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hausdok

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hausdok last won the day on March 27

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About hausdok

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    TIJ Founder
  • Birthday 09/18/1951

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  • Location
    Edmonds, Washington
  • Occupation
    Sometimes Home Inspector - Full-Time Curmudgeon

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  1. Hi All, I think that the insurance agent is overstating the issue based on what the agent thinks he or she is seeing from the ground. I seriously doubt that an insurance agent put a ladder against that gutter and climbed up there to get a close look at the cover and the darker algae-covered areas appeared from the ground to be denuded of protective granules. Had the cover been properly cleaned prior to the agent's visit, the agent probably would have graded the roof acceptable. Just my opinion, based on what I'm seeing and knowing how lazy prone to overstatement some agents can be. "Biological" growth? Why mince words - it's fungal growth. Moss, lichen, algae, mold (mildew) are all fungal organisms and all have one similar trait that is harmful to asphalt roofs - they all secrete various degrees of oxalic acid in order to digest what they are trying to eat and they are particularly fond of lime - one of the minerals found in plenty of roof granules and in fillers used in some asphalt lamina formulations. The oxalic acid breaks down lime so it can be digested and for some reason it reacts with the asphalt/fiberglass lamina beneath the granules and over time causes shingles to harden and become brittle more rapidly. The lichen in particular, when it is removed, will leave dark spots where there are almost no granules left. Keeping the roof free of fungal growth can slow the process; and careful cleaning of a roof suffering from widespread fungal growth can help to extend the life of the cover, but those areas that are already completely denuded of granules, such as those dark spots left where lichen had probably been growing, without granules to lessen their exposure to UV are going to degrade more quickly. That cover has a service life expectancy of about twenty years. Look at the third photo and you can see that granule density is near 50% of what it originally was. Look at the first photo and you can see that the edges of the tabs at the keyways are beginning to lift. These are both signs that the cover is most-probably somewhere between fifteen and twenty years old. It's not at point of no return - the point at which the cover won't gain any benefit if cleaned - but, if it isn't properly cleaned soon by next fall that fungi growth is probably going to get it there. That cover can be cleaned. Just understand that, like Jim said, it's not a good idea to push the envelope and wait for that cover to become unreliable - especially given the winters and snow you have in New Jersey. If the job is done properly, and the cover is carefully maintained after that, the homeowner might be able to squeeze another five or six years out of that cover, but by then those shingles will be so far gone that the granules will slough off so easily that walking on the cover will be like stepping onto ball bearings. I used to recommend using a 20% solution of sodium hypo-chlorite (swimming pool chlorine) and water for removal of fungi growth, but that's a pretty unforgiving solution. If a homeowner isn't careful to wet down and cover up any shrubs and flower-beds close to the house, before using the solution - and doesn't rinse those areas down after the roof is done to further dilute any overspray that's soaked into the ground around the covered areas, you can end up with dead plants and grass. Today there are biodegradable solutions like Defy Roof Cleaning Concentrate or JoMax Roof Cleaning Solution. I like JoMax. It still uses a bit of regular household bleach mixed with the JoMax concentrate and water but it's far less corrosive than a 20% solution of swimming pool grade chlorine and JoMax has been around as a mildew-removing house wash for decades (They are owned by Rustoleum so you know they have to be big.). Clean the gutters and clear the downspouts first, so that they'll drain properly and won't overflow during the cover cleaning process. Wet down any vegetation within ten feet of the house prior to beginning. You'll need to apply more water on the sunny side than the shaded side or things will dry out before you get started. Lightly cover more sensitive plants such as rose bushes or flower beds with plastic - just don't leave it on for too long or strong sunlight will damage them (In fact, it's best to do this on a cooler day when overcast skies are expected but rain isn't due inside your roof cleaning window.). Apply your pre-mixed solution to the cover where cleaning is needed - there's no point in cleaning where there isn't any fungal growth - allow it to work the recommended amount of time and then rinse off with a soft spray of water. A second application may be necessary if the first go-round doesn't loosen the grip of the material on the cover and allow it to be rinsed into the gutters. Once the cover is free of growth and has been very well rinsed, go down, rinse off the vegetation close to the house again, remove any plastic covering sensitive plants and rinse those areas again to ensure any overspray that's soaked into the ground is heavily diluted and the vegetation is cooled down. Look up, if your gutters weren't already clean before you started, and you were sloppy and got overspray on the gutters, they may be covered with vertical streaks that are going to require you to clean the exterior of the gutters, so it's best to have cleaned the exterior of the gutters before even beginning this task. I'm betting that cleaning will dramatically improve the appearance of the cover from the ground. Then, if the agent is brought back and it's explained that the discoloration the agent perceived as granule loss was actually algae staining, the agent might revise his or her initial assessment. No guaranty - you're mileage may vary and all other disclaimers I can think of implied, etc.. ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!! Mike
  2. I wouldn't even call it thinly disguised, Jim. Point number five is Get Insured. There are links in there only to Inspector Pro. If one really wanted to write an objective article about business strategies, and one of those strategies was to Get Insured, one would expect there would be links to a list of all insurance companies that specialized in home inspectors, not just IPro. Yes, very much like click bait. ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!! Mike
  3. Hi Jim, More guidance came out from DOL via email. They are basically saying it's OK for folks to go business as usual as long as they do the safety guidelines. Personally, I think it's a huge mistake and I wouldn't be surprised if someone gets sick. Folks should realize that, even though about 95% of folks survive this, your lungs are left scarred by fibroids and nobody is talking about how long it takes for them to fully heal, if ever. I still think that, until this is over, folks should STAY THE F**K HOME !!! ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!! Mike
  4. Nah, the knees have been bone-on-bone for more than a year. I had to postpone the replacement surgery several times. Now, it's the medical folks that have postponed it. I've swallowed enough pain killer tablets in the past year to cobble the driveway. Think I've watched all of Netflix and Amazon Prime too.
  5. It isn't. Can't go vertical for more than about a minute without a lot of pain. So...……….
  6. I used to social distance myself from the New York State Police in one of these. They could get close on the straights but I'd blow 'em away through curvy back roads. Later addendum: I should have added that, despite quite a few follow-the-leader games, they only caught me once - but once is all it takes. Damned fog! Drove into a cloud bank in a low area. Nobody was behind me when I entered, but when I came out the other side there was a brown Fury III with a bubble-gum machine on the roof closing on me close and fast. After chasing me for 15 - 20 minutes, I turned down a road I wasn't familiar with and discovered that it wasn't maintained. After 300 yards it was covered with snow a foot deep. Cited only for 130 in a 55 'cuz the trooper was a friend of my father (The other troopers at the station were pissed he didn't write me for multiple evading, reckless driving, etc.). The judge wasn't happy - $100 fine (Ouch - that was a lot of money in 1971.) plus, he had DMV suspend my license for six months (Triple Ouch). My old man went ballistic. Those were the days - young, dumb and full of cum.
  7. Had to laugh. I saw this on some home inspector's FB page today and grabbed it.
  8. They've been around for about 15 years in the Seattle/Bellevue/Redmond area of Washington
  9. Wow, Spain is a big country but it's got 5,000,000 less people than S. Korea.
  10. Half-joking repair recommendation = Flex Glue
  11. https://www.foxnews.com/health/fda-oks-emergency-authorization-of-drugs-touted-by-trump-to-fight-coronavirus
  12. Some more info from someone who appears to know a lot more than some. https://techstartups.com/2020/03/28/dr-vladimir-zelenko-now-treated-699-coronavirus-patients-100-success-using-hydroxychloroquine-sulfate-zinc-z-pak-update/
  13. We're fighting a real war. With automation, it probably takes a total of ten seconds to make a mask and a half hour on a rapid assembly line to create a respirator. If they are going to force GM to join Ford, Philco, etc. in making respirator production more rapid, they can do the same for mask producers. Hell, if there aren't enough producers in the country, toss some money at some enterprising individuals so they can buy the machinery and supplies and set up new companies churning them out around the clock. Hell, the new entrepreneurs will make money and they can even put some folks back to work in the process. It's what we did at the outset of WWII. A lot of new manufacturers ramped up very quickly while existing ones re-tooled. We did it then we can do it now. Korea flattened the curve but ours is still climbing like a 757 leaving Boeing Field. Korea did it with a combination of things. People listened when they were told to self isolate. They listened when they were told to clean their hands often and self isolate. They listened when they were told to frequently sanitize surfaces. They listened when they were told to keep their distance from one another. They all, with very few exceptions, donned face masks and forced themselves to keep their hands away from them. They're medical folks very rapidly figured out that zinc supplements and chloroquine sulfate administered early-on kicks this bug in the nuts. They published those real-life findings weeks ago. One doesn't need a prescription in Korea. All you need is to be over 21. You walk into a pharmacy, tell 'em what drug you need, and, when the pharmacist hands it over you pay him/her. It's that simple. I know, some of you are probably going, "Pfft, Korea? That's apples and oranges. This is the US. We're huge compared to them. We need more." Well, not that much more. All of South Korea is about the size of Oregon, but South Korea's population is 51 million - one-seventh the size of the US. If they can get ahold of this thing so rapidly in a country that is that densely populated, we can too - we simply need to stop waiting for folks to become sick enough to need hospitalization and get them identified and treated early so that they can recover at home off of ventilators. It took people here way too long to take this seriously. Once they began realizing it was real, lots of 'em refused to follow any of the recommendations because they had this nutty idea that they were somehow immune or invincible. That allowed this stuff to spread further. Meanwhile, the FDA, with its layers of bureaucracy, is moving at a snails pace with approving use of chloroquine sulfate and the number of deaths continues to increase its pace. ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!! Mike
  14. So, now, something else to add to the discussion. About two hours ago, I was communicating via FB messenger with an old schoolmate from my hometown, Amenia, NY. Amenia is in Dutchess County, about a hundred miles north of the World Trade Center in Manhattan. My friend told me she is mad as hell and terrified. Keep reading and you will learn why. When the first few COVID deaths occurred in New York City and she'd heard all of the dire predictions that there would be a pandemic, she'd shut herself up in her home on March 1st. She is retired, over sixty-five and has COPD, so she felt it was the prudent thing to do. Since her self-isolation began, she had been having friends and relatives go to the market or run errands for her. They would deliver to her home and leave the bags of groceries and such at the end of the driveway and collect a check for payment from the mailbox next to the driveway. After the items were delivered and the persons that delivered them had left, she'd go outside and walk to the end of the driveway to retrieve the items. She hadn't allowed ANYONE, not even her son or his family who lived next door and who were also sheltering in place, enter her home since March first. About two weeks ago, her son and daughter-in-law asked her to attend the upcoming birthday party for one of her grandsons. Initially she refused, citing her fear of getting exposed to COVID. Her son and daughter-in-law implored her to attend; stating that only locals would attend the party and none of those had been farther than Millerton, NY, ten miles away, in the past four months, so they were sure none of them would be infected. Finally she gave in and about ten days ago she attended the party. There turned out to be about thirty persons at the party - only family and close friends - so everyone was convinced that they'd all be safe. The party lasted about five hours, after which everyone left and went home. A few days after the party, she heard from her son that one of the friends who'd attended the party had come down sick with what she'd thought was a cold. The friend decided that, just to be safe, she'd get tested for COVID. She went over to the nearest hospital in Sharon, CT, about six miles away and got tested. The friend was shocked when she tested positive for COVID. Now you know why my old friend is pissed off and terrified. She's not only worried for herself - her son, a heavy smoker, has heart problems, and two of her grandkids have asthma (Not surprising since their Dad is a heavy smoker.). She is terrified because she knows that if they get hard locally with that virus, and if she herself turns out to be infected, she probably has little chance of surviving because of her existing health issues. Sharon Hospital is tiny - about fifty beds - and she says they only have two ventilators on site. The next two closest hospitals are in Poughkeepsie, NY and in Danbury, CT - both about twenty-five miles away and in towns with much larger populations. There is one elderly doctor in Amenia. There are probably two dozen doctors that live in Sharon and work at Sharon Hospital, but some of them are surgeons and other specialists - only two are three are internists (I think that's the term she used) that would treat COVID patients. I asked her, "If everyone at the party is absolutely sure that they have only had contact with family and friends, and none have had any outside contact for a few months, how did that lady come down with COVID. She guessed that someone at the party - possibly the lady who is sick, but it could have been anyone at that party - had touched a surface in town somewhere that was contaminated - possibly the counter in the lobby of the post office that everyone uses or the counter at the only convenience store- gas station in town where everyone in town fills up their tanks. Apparently, she'd placed her un-gloved hands on the counter while she'd spent a few minutes chatting with the proprietor, another local. And now the rest of the story. When I left Amenia forty-five years ago, the largest local employer was a state hospital. That hospital closed about twenty-five years ago. Then, since ridership had dropped off when people from the city no longer rode north to visit their loved ones at the state hospital, the New York Central Railroad discontinued its service and tore up their tracks. Right around that time, most of the large local farms, which had been purchased by out-of-town investors as tax shelters, began going broke due to mismanagement and owners began selling them off for building lots. Most lots were sold to folks from New York City, most of whom then turned their properties into little weekend horse ranches surrounded by white fences. Since all of those new "ranches" had caused property taxes to spike to an unreasonable level, and since there were too few jobs to be had, many families - mostly younger folks who'd formerly been employed at the state hospital - began moving away and were gradually replaced by well-heeled folks from New York City who built McMansions and commuted by car to the city to work. Seeing that influx of commuters, about twenty years ago, the New York Central restored it's rails to a point three miles south of downtown and built a park-n-ride at the terminus. Today, about two hundred commuters with very distinct Noo Yawkaa accents, which are different from the locals, board the morning train at that terminal bound for Manhattan. In the evening they return, get in their cars and drive home to their McMansions. Though they may never really know who spread that bug from New York City to a tiny hick town a hundred miles north, it's a fair guess that the carrier(s) were probably commuters who used that train and who'd used the post office or had filled up at the one place in town where one can get fuel - that convenience store - and that may have been where the lady became infected. My friend will be driving out to the emergency room at a hospital in Danbury, CT tomorrow to get tested. Her son will apparently be taking his family down there at the same, as will the other guests at that party. Sharon Hospital, only six miles away, would not test them, citing a shortage of test kits and the need to reserve the kits for those who are showing active symptoms. Word has spread through the community and people are understandably shook up. My friend's future, and her life, and the future and lives of her son and grandchildren are now in limbo until the test results are known. Is there any clearer indication of how easily this bug can be spread and how dangerous it is? ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!! Mike
  15. The other day, either here or on another home inspector's site, an inspector explained how he was being pressured by agents to ignore one of these Governor-ordered stay-at-home orders. He was arguing with others who urged him to stay home because he was worried that, if he refused, agents would not refer their clients to him in the future. Hmmm, who is the low man on the totem poll in the transaction - the agent, the buyer or the inspector? I submit to you that the referring agent is going to always think of the inspector as the low man on the totem pole, regardless of comparative experience between the two. Now, suppose one really doesn't want to go out there, but does anyway at the urging of the agent, and a day after the inspection the client gets sick. The agent and the inspector get tested and test positive. Then they quarantine themselves and recover at home without even needing a ventilator. The client dies. That would probably be a pretty alarming scandal. Who do you suppose the agent is liable to say caused her to get sick and her client to die? Which inspector is the agent liable to never refer customers to that inspector again? Which inspector is liable to end up being branded an irresponsible piece of shite by the agents once they circle their wagons? Be sensible - STAY THE F**K HOME !!!
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