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Brandon Chew

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About Brandon Chew

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    Inspecting, Consulting
  1. Properly installed wire mesh will add strength to a floor slab. But it is rare to find it properly installed on a residential job and the added strength can't overcome the stress created by the typical improperly prepared base. In practice, the wire mesh serves to hold the pieces together after the slab cracks.
  2. You'll usually find these prohibitions in the local sewer use law. The building code will usually just say something like "discharge to an approved location"; then the sewer use law will prohibit things like roof drains, a/c condensate, and sump pumps from being discharged into the sanitary sewer system.
  3. Gil has made only one post (back in Sep 2007) in a forum named "Insurance Q & A With Gil Stuart".
  4. Tread carefully here. It seems to me like he wants you to "bless" his work on the roof. A series of expectations are being set that could leave the inspector holding the bag: After the roofer made his repairs the inspector said it was "ok" The roofer thinks he's only liable for his work for one year The roofer thinks if any leaks develop after 1 year that the manufacturer will take care of it (they'll only cover a defect in the shingle and will punt installation problems) If those are "25-year shingles" the homeowner expects the roof to be leak-free for 25 years... Just giving a heads up,
  5. OK, but the ice in the pic is on the outside of the pipe....I don't see the connection between that and the mixture being "wrong". I'm not an expert on geothermal (more accurately, ground-source heat pump) HVAC systems but I know enough to take a stab at your question. The unit in your pic contains the compressor and water-refrigerant heat exchanger of a split system. The AHU is somewhere off your picture, probably in the attic with the gas furnace. The top two lines coming out of the unit are for a heat assist loop for the hot water system. The bottom two lines are for the groun
  6. I just say the work was not completed in a professional and workmanlike manner. Most folks can understand that. Then they are free to put whatever label on it that works for them.
  7. "What say ye?" I would have answered false without putting a lot of thought into it. For the question statement to be true, the terms asphalt shingle and architectural shingle would need to be identical and interchangeable. They are not. The first refers to the material from which the shingle is made while the second refers to the style of the shingle. I agree it is a poorly worded question and the explanation also leaves a lot to be desired. Jim's comment about dog and rottweiler is spot on. I would also assume that when they wrote "asphalt shingle" within the context of that ques
  8. I think it is a good idea, but it creates some practical problems that you need to either agree to live with, or figure out a way to work around. The first one is that information on web sites is frequently moved around and the links often change, so you need to keep verifying that all of them are still active and pointing to the place that you want them to point. Even then, there's no guarantee that the site host doesn't move the info on you tomorrow. The second, is that you have no control over the content at the link, and the content can be changed at any time by the site host. Whil
  9. I use 2006 IRC R1001.10: (note: the same requirement is in the current New York residential code and prior versions of the IRC, but with different section numbering -- R1003.10)
  10. I'll bet it is for bathing the family pet (maybe they had a show dog?). It's hard enough on the knees and back when Fifi is in a regular tub and you are kneeling on the floor outside of it. Put her in the bottom of a sunken tub and the only way you'll get the job done is if you crawl in there with her. Even then you are kneeling down in a tub and there is not a lot of room for the two of you in there. Climb in the tub, put Fifi on the shelf, pull the shower curtain closed, tilt the shower head toward the shelf and wall (or maybe they used one of those hand-held shower heads that you ca
  11. Yeah, that's the type of inspection I think of for required pre-occupancy inspections, and that's my understanding of it as well. It would be a local, not a state requirement. These types of inspections are usually based upon something like the ICC's International Property Maintenance Code. Here's the scope section of that document: For a residential occupancy, the IPMC essentially defines the bare minimum legal requirements that make the building livable for people inside it and safe for those walking outside it. It's what the building official uses to condemn structures and evict tena
  12. Aye, that it is. I was thinking about single wall vent when I wrote my post. On a B-vent, the acid would attack the aluminum liner first. ... until it ate through the inner liner.
  13. Zinc oxide. Yup. Rub some on your nose to prevent sunburn. [] The vertical vent is too large for the BTUs in the exhaust from the water heater. The exhaust gas cools too much inside the vent and the water vapor in it condenses. The condensate also pulls NOx and SOx out of the exhaust gas creating a liquid that is a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acid. The acid first dissolves the galvanized coating on the steel vent pipe. The white powder you see, zinc oxide, is what remains after the liquid has evaporated. After the condensate strips the zinc from the pipe, it attacks the steel, eatin
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