EZ Wall

Are you looking to build a retaining wall in the front yard without too much effort?

Here’s how to build a retaining wall that’s inexpensive and requires little masonry skill – although you do need to be able to lift 60lbs sacks of dry concrete.

It turns out that stacking bags of dry concrete is a quick and cheap way to construct a wall.

After soaking the stacked bags of concrete with water, the concrete hardens in the bag.

It may not be the best looking wall, but it’s strong and cheap.

Lowes sells a 60 pound bag of Quikrete concrete for $2.97

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Throughout most of the 20th century, asbestos products were hailed as a ‘wonder fiber’ that insulates up to intense temperature.

Due to its outstanding resistance to heat, its fibrous structure and low cost – asbestos was manufactured into thousands of products from toasters to heating ducts for 60 years.

In 1977, asbestos was found to cause cancer in workers who breathed its microscopic fibers in mines, shipyards and asbestos plants decades after their exposure. When the EPA discovered this, they restricted the use of asbestos.

It’s the breathing of fibers when this material is disturbed, not its presence, which is considered a health risk.

When the home inspection report comments that the heating ducts have been wrapped in an asbestos material and that some ductwork sections have separated – there’s no need for panic.

People have time to become informed about asbestos, obtain estimates, and select an appropriate course of action.

A licensed contractor will recommend a course of action ranging from encapsulation to removal and replacement of the heating ducts.

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Oh Deer

When the home inspector rounded the corner into a Pittsburg family room… He did a double-take, as a full size deer was staring at him.

The inspector stared back.

Definition of stare: To look directly, fixedly, or vacantly, often with a wide-eyed gaze.

Definition of a stare-down: To stare at a person or animal until that person or animal blinks or turns away.

The deer never blinked.

Okay, the inspector may have lost the stare-down contest, but he didn’t say: “Oh deer, I missed something at that inspection today”

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Mushroom Tale

The home inspector was meandering through a vacant Oakland craftsman house built in the 1930s.

The inspection was discovering the typically items – double-hung windows that were painted shut – large cracks in the plaster walls – rodent activity in the crawlspace… until he walked into the bathroom.

It’s not every day that you see a mushroom growing up between the vinyl floor tiles.

Mushrooms are fungi that require oxygen, a food source, suitable temperature and a source of water to grow.

In this case, the subfloor under the vinyl tiles is the food source and there must have been a water problem associated with the bathtub plumbing for a source of moisture under the floor tiles.

Mother Nature wins again.

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