Pros & Cons of Various House Foundations

Slab, Crawlspace or Basement? When building a new home, which foundation is the best choice? I offer the pros & cons of the typical three choices.

Slab:

Pros:
– Least expensive to build
– No moisture/humidity to deal with under sub-floor
– Easy access for handicapped or senior persons, since very close to ground level

Cons:
– Hard surface, takes a toll on your body/joints
– Difficult to run additional wires/pipes
– HVAC typically located in the attic (unconditioned space)
– A leak in a water supply line in the slab is very expensive to fix
– Entrance at ground level, not as eye appealing
– High likelihood of radon issue (can be easily mitigated)
– More prone to wood destroying insect issues, since close to ground

Crawlspace:

Pros:
– Able to install additional wires/piping easily if needed
– Wood floor structure is softer than concrete
– Entrance higher off ground, more eye appealing
– Easy access for repairs
– Less likely to have a radon issue (on ventilated crawlspaces)

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Cons:
– Moisture issues (water & humidity) are a major issues, creates fungus growth & rot
– Easy access for unwanted pests
– HVAC in unconditioned space

Basement:

Pros:
– Able to install additional wires/piping easily if needed
– Wood floor structure is softer than concrete
– Easy access for repairs
– Entrance higher off ground, more eye appealing
– HVAC is located in conditioned space (more energy efficient)
– Additional storage/workshop
– Inexpensive additional square footage, can be finished at a later time
– Increased re-sale value of home & increased buyer appeal
– You can build on a sloping grade
– Provides shelter during extreme weather (tornado’s, hurricane’s, etc)

Cons:
– Most expensive to build (compared to a slab or crawlspace)
– Need a sloping lot to build a walkout basement
– Higher likelihood of radon issue (can be easily mitigated)

Mac has remodeled many old homes, been employed in several different construction trades & is a major do-it-yourselfer. He currently owns a home inspection company and has been inspecting homes for many years which is where my experience is most relevant to the proper way to build a home. To learn more about building your dream home, visit my website, http://www.house-building-tips.net

Author: Mac Barlow
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Pros & Cons of Various House Foundations

Slab, Crawlspace or Basement? When building a new home, which foundation is the best choice? I offer the pros & cons of the typical three choices.

Slab:

Pros:
– Least expensive to build
– No moisture/humidity to deal with under sub-floor
– Easy access for handicapped or senior persons, since very close to ground level

Cons:
– Hard surface, takes a toll on your body/joints
– Difficult to run additional wires/pipes
– HVAC typically located in the attic (unconditioned space)
– A leak in a water supply line in the slab is very expensive to fix
– Entrance at ground level, not as eye appealing
– High likelihood of radon issue (can be easily mitigated)
– More prone to wood destroying insect issues, since close to ground

Crawlspace:

Pros:
– Able to install additional wires/piping easily if needed
– Wood floor structure is softer than concrete
– Entrance higher off ground, more eye appealing
– Easy access for repairs
– Less likely to have a radon issue (on ventilated crawlspaces)

Cons:
– Moisture issues (water & humidity) are a major issues, creates fungus growth & rot
– Easy access for unwanted pests
– HVAC in unconditioned space

Basement:

Pros:
– Able to install additional wires/piping easily if needed
– Wood floor structure is softer than concrete
– Easy access for repairs
– Entrance higher off ground, more eye appealing
– HVAC is located in conditioned space (more energy efficient)
– Additional storage/workshop
– Inexpensive additional square footage, can be finished at a later time
– Increased re-sale value of home & increased buyer appeal
– You can build on a sloping grade
– Provides shelter during extreme weather (tornado’s, hurricane’s, etc)

Cons:
– Most expensive to build (compared to a slab or crawlspace)
– Need a sloping lot to build a walkout basement
– Higher likelihood of radon issue (can be easily mitigated)

Mac has remodeled many old homes, been employed in several different construction trades & is a major do-it-yourselfer. He currently owns a home inspection company and has been inspecting homes for many years which is where my experience is most relevant to the proper way to build a home. To learn more about building your dream home, visit my website, http://www.house-building-tips.net

Author: Mac Barlow
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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How to Choose the Best Water Purification Systems For Home Use

Choosing the best water purification systems for home use can be a daunting task. There is so much to know! What types of contaminants are distillers best suited for? Why is reverse osmosis not the best for water that has a lot of trace minerals in it? Figuring out what the right system is can sometimes feel like getting a master’s degree in public health! Well, continue reading, because hopefully this article will straighten out some of these questions and make choosing the right water filter easier, if not easy!

The first thing you need to do when you’re thinking about getting a water filter or purifier for home use is understand the type of contaminants you have. There are basically two classes of contaminants, living and non-living. Now, it’s not quite that simple, but that will get us started. Living contaminants consist of bacteria, viruses, and larger microorganisms. Non-living…well, that’s everything else.

If your water comes from a well, then you may have an issue with living contaminants. Carbon filters, especially when combined with ceramic filters work well here. So do ultraviolet light filters. Distillers and reverse osmosis systems would also work well. You can have living impurities in your water even if you’re getting it from a public system that’s supposedly been treated.

Even if your city’s or municipality’s water purification systems have chlorinated the water, you can still have a problem with larger microorganisms, like protozoans and cysts. You especially need to be aware of this if your city’s water comes from surface water (drawn from a river or lake).

How are you going to know if you have these types of contaminants? Well, you can test your own water. You can buy good tests from companies on the Internet for a few hundred dollars that can test for everything! If you’re getting public water, then you can write the water company and request a copy of their mandatory tests. They have to give you a copy–it’s the law.

Okay, that takes are of living impurities, what about non-living? Well, that’s a broad spectrum of contaminant, most of which water treatment systems are just not able to deal with. If you’re getting well water, then this could be contaminants like industrial chemicals that entered the aquifer from somewhere else, agricultural run-off, naturally occurring radon, or other naturally occurring trace minerals like asbestos. Water purification systems like ultraviolet filters are going to do nothing for you, here.

Again, if your water comes from public water, then you potentially have an even bigger problem. Researchers have found everything in our water from pesticides to prescription drugs, not to mention lead, heavy metals, asbestos, just to mention a few contaminants. Carbon and ceramic filters work well here, as long as you maintain the filter properly (easy to do!). Water purification systems like distillers would work well, except your water is almost surely chlorinated, and most distillers should not be used for chlorinated water. (Some can, but they have to have a pre-filter to get the chlorine and other volatile chemicals out.)

Buying the right one of the many water purification systems can be a time consuming, confusing process. Hopefully, I’ve given you some pointers here that can help. It’s worth the effort, though! Your future health may depend on it.

To learn more about home water purifiers, visit my website!

R. Lee Cole is an avid health and exercise enthusiast who loves to make his research available to everyone via the Internet. Check out Lee’s website for more information about this important topic.

Author: R. Lee Cole
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Waterproofing Expert Sees Better Home Values and Green-Collar Jobs in Indoor Air Quality Upgrade

As this nation debates health care reform and frets about the economy, a crawl space sealing contractor is preaching a unique path to recovery that he believes offers three essential benefits: improved home values, safer personal environments, and endless green-collar jobs.

The health care debate too often blinds us to an alarming truth: one of the greatest dangers to health is the accumulation of poisonous gases and other pollutants in the underbelly of residential real estate. Without proper mitigation, American homeowners and their families remain vulnerable to costly and deadly chronic respiratory diseases – regardless of health care innovations.

I’m convinced that as a nation we are ignoring our health and safety. It amazes me that even in this modern age, many homeowners and realtors are not aware that fifty percent of the air we breathe in our homes originates in the basement or crawl space. Radon gas, pesticides buried in the soil and the off-gassing of oriented strand board (OSB) that is used to build our floors and foundations, all contribute to the danger.

Encapsulating a crawl space is the first step when cleaning indoor air. The next step is installing an Active Moisture & Soil Gas Management System. This innovative approach uses a wireless Sunsei solar-powered shed ventilator to reverse a home’s field of pull so that soil gases and vapor are sucked out of the living environment. The fan is a back up measure that will ensure the removal of airborne contaminants in the event that the encapsulation is compromised.

If I had it my way, each community would sponsor a meeting of contractors, government officials, real estate professionals and homeowners. Together they would debate the facts and set much higher environmental standards for housing. Fortunately, doing so would spur the economy in two significant ways. First, improving indoor air quality through proper encapsulation of crawl spaces can actually add value to a home – and a “Cadillac” upgrade is relatively inexpensive – while cutting health costs. Next, the increased demand for these services would create green-collar job opportunities. In 2008, both presidential candidates articulated the need for creating this type of work force.

It’s a win-win situation. A contractor with his head held high could provide a quality ‘green’ service that will grow his business and perhaps allow him to hire more workers. The homeowner benefits from a service that won’t break the bank and eliminates a health risk. If I can add value to my home and get it back on the sale, why wouldn’t I do it?

Homeowners would be wise to calculate the dire financial consequences of job loss due to poor health, and then compare that to the cost of indoor air quality remediation. Contractors eager to expand revenue might do the math for prospective clients. Help the homeowner understand that they either have clean air or contaminated air. There is no in-between.

Home buyers and sellers are familiar with inspections for radon gas, a natural but poisonous soil gas. But there are other dangers. For example, many new sub-divisions are built on land that was once used for agriculture, where fertilizers and pesticides were prevalent. Buried, forgotten fuel tanks might also be a source of contamination. Homeowners should research the history of the land they live on.

Homeowners must always be aware that many contractors specialize. Perhaps they are HVAC or radon experts only. These professionals tend to micromanage one element that affects indoor air quality without looking at big picture.
Once again, the lack of correct information provides an opportunity for contractors and other workers who may be seeking a career change: Become a ‘green’ indoor air quality specialist. Those who answer the call may find themselves at the forefront of a movement that wants it all – clean air and economic stability.

Lou Cole is the president and owner of Emecole, Inc., a manufacturer of concrete crack repair epoxies and polyurethane foams since 1987. Today, Emecole is a leading supplier of basement waterproofing and indoor air quality control products through the United States and Canada. For more information, visit http://www.emecole.com or write to 50 E. Montrose Dr. P.O. Box 7486, Romeoville, IL 60446.

Author: Louis Cole
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Workers Compensation Should Be Provided to American Indian Miners

For decades, Native American miners have worked the mines of the Colorado Plateau. Their job was to with drill deep into the rock and mine out soft uranium ore. The very uranium unearthed by countless American Indians helped produce the nuclear warheads that propelled America to victory during the Cold War.

Meanwhile, these American Indian miners have themselves become casualties of the Cold War as a result of their work. Many of them have died, or are dying, of cancer and other related diseases that results from being exposed to radiation in those mines. Nearly everyone in this community has either lost someone very close to them or are fighting for their own health.

Many of the workers are plagued with scars on their arms, a telltale sign of the dialysis treatments they’ve had to endure over the years. The dialysis is the only available treatment for those who suffer from kidney failure. Blame has been placed on the mines’ drinking water, which has been proven to contain traces of radioactive minerals in scientific testing.

Congress passed the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act in 1990. This law was passed for the purpose of helping the uranium miners and many others who have been suffering from work they’ve done in the mines. The fact is that the majority of this work was simply done to advance the country’s nuclear weapons program.

Under the provisions of the law, every underground uranium miner is entitled to $100,000. The criteria for receiving this compensation is that the miner must experience at least one out of the six lung diseases that stem from exposure to radiation. Hundreds of American Indian miners, who are eligible for this compensation, have not been paid.

The bill that was passed presents the miners with a range of obstacles to overcome. The first step is the most difficult and requires them to fill out paperwork written in English. The problem for these Indian miners is the fact many of them do not understand English that well.

Astoundingly, only 96 miners who have filed compensation claims through the Office of Navajo Uranium Workers have been approved, even though 242 miners have applied. Overall 1,314 former uranium mines claims have been approved by the Justice Department. This is less than half of all claims that have been filed.

Workers need to prove to the government the amount of time worked in the uranium mines by providing check stubs, records or other documentation as part of the application process. Those types of records are seldom kept by the miners who have been working in the mines for decades. These records are even more troublesome to get a hold of later on.

The Navajo Indian Reservation saw the first uranium mines opening in 1947. At the time, the jobs and occupations which opened up as a result were welcomed. Despite the fact that the wages were low and conditions were poor, many were happy to just have a job.

Radon is one of the most serious hazards presented by mining. A by-product of decaying uranium, radon is odorless, colorless radioactive gas. It was that exposure to radon that is believed to cause the majority of lung problems that makes these miners eligible for the promised government compensation.

In order to facilitate the process of receiving compensation for their injuries, past miners and tribal leaders plan to petition Congress for modification of the bill in the fall. The government’s dilemma lies with the fact that the Navajo miners believe the quality of their work determines the reimbursement they collect.

As a person looking for workers compensation lawyer you should visit that site.

Author: Shaney Mansey
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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