Sniffing Out House Problems

first_imgShower smell: Check the bath fanIf you can smell that moist, shampoo-scented air from the shower and you are not in the bathroom, then you either don’t have a bathroom exhaust fan, it’s not on, or it’s not powerful enough.Unvented bathrooms can cause your home to rot from the inside out — costly and bad for your health. Put in a bath fan if it’s missing (see GreenSpec guidance on bath fan selection), and get the electrician to have it come on with the light or with a humidistat. Attic smell: Air leakage problemsAttics smell different: it’s some combination of the insulation, the wood dried to a crisp by the summer heat, and probably some history of squirrels, mice, or both.When I smell this in the upstairs of a house — not in the attic — I read it as a telltale sign of extreme air leakage: lots of holes in the basement and attic floor that allow air to leak out, and to move in the other direction on some windy days. Solution: seal up the air leaks in your home, particularly between the attic and the living space. (See GreenSpec guidance on products that help form a home’s air barrier, and recent posts on where to look for air leaks in existing homes.) Basement smell: Dampness, leakageIt’s alarming when you can smell that musty basement smell on the first floor. Even the basement should not smell that way — if it does, work on improving exterior drainage, putting vapor barriers over damp walls and floors, and dehumidifying, among other things.If that smell is migrating upstairs, look for air leakage from the basement up through plumbing and electrical penetrations, and moisture problems migrating up from damp basement walls through sill plates. Check the bottoms of exterior walls for signs of mildew or mold, and manage the water at its source. Combustion gases: Safety issueIf when inside you smell the exhaust from your wood stove, furnace, boiler, or other combustion appliance, your health may be in jeopardy from the particulate matter in the smoke, or from carbon monoxide (CO) — which is odorless but often accompanies other gases. In all these cases, bring in the appropriate technician as soon as possible (the fire department may also be willing to measure CO levels for you), particularly if you’re due, in case there is an immediate problem with the heating appliance.If you only smell these smells on a windy day, or when a low-pressure system has settled overhead, the issue may be that the normal weather patterns that help gases exhaust from the home are working against you. This topic is more than we can delve into today, but if it’s a regular occurrence it is worth investigating with a contractor’s help. One quick point: if it’s a building with a high-capacity range hood, beware of “depressurizing” your home with that fan, leading exhaust to get pulled into your house from your furnace.Do you have carbon monoxide detectors? Why not? Kitchen smells: Install a range hoodSometimes it’s nice to smell what’s cooking all through the house, but in the long run it’s bad for indoor air quality, particularly due to the moisture generated by cooking. Install a range hood and run it when cooking, but look out for problems with high-capacity range hoods. (See GreenSpec guidance on kitchen range hood selection.) Dryer exhaust: Moisture, fire hazardSmelling dryer exhaust inside the house is a red flag indicating lack of a vent, or a plugged vent. Lack of a vent risks moisture problems inside your house, and coating everything with dryer lint.A plugged vent is a serious fire hazard. Take immediate action!center_img Tristan Roberts is Editorial Director at BuildingGreen, Inc., in Brattleboro, Vermont, which publishes information on green building solutions. Stuffy smell: Need more fresh air?Does the building smell stuffy? Many homes and offices don’t have enough fresh air, for a variety of reasons.In commercial buildings, the most common problem is poorly designed or malfunctioning ventilation equipment. Calling in an indoor air quality expert or a commissioning agent would be wise. In homes, it’s likely that there is no ventilation system bringing in fresh air, and because of weather patterns or because the home is relatively tight, you’re not getting enough fresh air. A ventilation expert can help. Off-gassing: Keep harmful chemicals outTo maintain good indoor air quality (IAQ), avoid bringing smelly stuff into the house. If something smells bad, get rid of it. In the world of building materials there is a lot to keep up with here, but at a minimum look for low-VOC coatings, and other products with IAQ certifications such as Greenguard Children & Schools, and FloorScore. (See BuildingGreen’s guide to key product certifications for more info.)I’ve just scratched the surface here — keep your nose out and let me know what you’ve been smelling!For more information, listen to Joe Lstiburek’s indoor-air-quality podcast, and find out why your eyes, nose, and the back of your hand are surprisingly accurate IAQ diagnostic tools. A victim of a hepatitis E infection she picked up unknowingly in Brazil, Genevive Bjorn’s liver rebelled against her one night in Hawaii. Her body almost shut down on her, but with help from the hospital, a battery of tests, her watchful boyfriend at her side, and a diet of nothing but rice porridge, she squeaked through.This is what happened next, as she wrote last year in The New York Times: “My liver began barking at smells and substances I’d barely noticed before. I considered myself an earthy minimalist, but my house turned out to be a chemical minefield. I developed a doglike olfactory sense that guided me as I sniffed, recoiled and pointed out to Adam what had to go. He tossed out most of our bathroom and kitchen products, along with everything preserved or petroleum-based.”Her talent for nose for the faintest of smells makes her a “super sniffer,” one gifted with this sense. As Bjorn recounted recently on her blog, The Daily Smell, while sniffing around a friend’s new home at the friend’s request, she rapidly sniffed out the previous location of the kitty litter box which had been moved two weeks prior, rancid vegetable oil in the kitchen, possibly unsafe coatings on kids’ furniture and toys, and even the spot in the living room where the previous owner had died months before.You don’t need to be super sniffer, though, to pick up on scents in buildings that tell us some interesting things. Here are some that I’ve noticed.last_img read more

Nadal: Federer not ‘boyfriend’ material

first_imgRobredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo LATEST STORIES Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim When asked to describe what he admires most about Federer, also a long-time off-court friend, Nadal was keen to cool the “bromance.”“I don’t want to look like I gonna be his boyfriend, no?” said Nadal, causing a packed media conference room to burst into laughter.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“We don’t want to talk these kind of things before important match. We have a lot of respect for each other, no? We played a lot of times. I think we did important things for tennis. We appreciate that.“We always had a good relationship. I think he always has been a great ambassador for tennis and for our sport, with good image, of course, and representing good values. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ View comments TNT, SMB repulse foes Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side KEY BISCAYNE, FL – APRIL 02: Winner Roger Federer of Switzerland with the trophy next to runner up Rafael Nadal of Spain after the final at Crandon Park Tennis Center on April 2, 2017 in Key Biscayne, Florida. Julian Finney/Getty Images/AFPNEW YORK, United States — Rafael Nadal had to calm growing enthusiasm over a possible US Open semi-final clash with old rival Roger Federer by warning reporters against making the two appear “boyfriends.”Nadal and Federer, two of the greatest players of all time, have met 37 times, including 12 at the Grand Slams, but never in New York.ADVERTISEMENT “One important thing that is a great example for kids, doing unbelievable well and doing it with the right attitude.“That’s something I admire as you can admire — I think I answered already.” CBBSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his sidelast_img read more

Mohammed Kaif: India’s new ‘finisher’ is one of the fittest players in the team

first_imgFAMILY PORTRAIT: Kaif’s family enjoys the limelight in AllahabadHOME FRONT The son of Uttar Pradesh Ranji Trophy player Mohammed Tarif, now a train ticket collector, and Kaiser Jahan, cricket runs in Kaif’s family, with his elder brother Saif also turning out for the state in the Ranji Trophy.The story of,FAMILY PORTRAIT: Kaif’s family enjoys the limelight in AllahabadHOME FRONT The son of Uttar Pradesh Ranji Trophy player Mohammed Tarif, now a train ticket collector, and Kaiser Jahan, cricket runs in Kaif’s family, with his elder brother Saif also turning out for the state in the Ranji Trophy.The story of how his father, a heart patient, and his mother went to watch Devdas when Kaif came in to bat at Lord’s is famous; few know that brother Saif did watch the cricket and ran over to the hall during the interval to tell his family what had happened.When mother spoke to Kaif, the first question she asked him was, “Beta Honey, Ganguly tere upar chad gaya tha, tujhe chot toh nahin lagi (Didn’t you get hurt when Ganguly jumped on you like that)?”COMING OF AGE At 12, Kaif joined a sports hostel in Kanpur to pursue cricket. He worked his way up the ranks in junior and Uttar Pradesh cricket, a boy driven by ambition to prove that cricketers from his state could make it big time.The Lombard Under-15 World Cup of 1995, where India beat Pakistan in the final, was the time Kaif’s name began to circulate on the national stage. He then led India to victory in the Junior World Cup 1999, and has since kept knocking on all the right doors.GROWING GAINS: Kaif (sitting extreme right) in his early daysPORTRAIT “Kaifu” to his teammates, India’s new “finisher” is one of the fittest players in the team. When the team first introduced “bleep”tests for endurance, Kaif topped the minimum level of 11 set by the physio, reaching a level of 14. As his other teammates struggle with dietary restrictions, Kaif chuckles – he’s one of the rare few who has been told to put on weight, and can eat what he likes.advertisementIn the field they reckon on a good day he can save the team between 12 and 16 runs. Off the field, he’s a quiet sort, who prays five times a day and listens to old Hindi film songs to relax once the cricket is done.Other than cricket, Mohammed Kaif, regular kid, loves climbing on the roof of his home in Kali Mai Lane in Keetganj, Allahabad, to fly kites.last_img read more

Captaincy will bring the best out of Glenn Maxwell, says Ricky Ponting

first_imgFormer Australia captain Ricky Ponting said he was surprised to see Glenn Maxwell being made the captain of the Indian Premier League franchise Kings XI Punjab for the ongoing 10th edition of the league. (More IPL News)Kings XI Punjab appointed Australian all-rounder Maxwell as the captain of the side ahead of South African Hashim Amla and England’s limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan after finishing last in the previous season.Maxwell has led KXIP to a positive start in IPL 10 with two wins in as many matches.Maxwell contributed in both the victories with unbeaten scores of 44 and 43, respectively, powering his team home in the two run chases.  Ponting believes captaincy will bring the best out of Maxwell. (IPL 2017’s first controversy: Kieron Pollard in Twitter outburst against Sanjay Manjrekar)”I was a little bit surprised (they made him captain) but I’m actually really excited for him to get that opportunity,” Ponting was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.”I actually think it’ll bring the best out of him. His last couple of years of IPL cricket haven’t been as good as the years prior, but to get that bit more of responsibility could be just what he needs.Maxwell recently scored his maiden Test ton for Australia in the third Test against India in Ranchi. (IPL 2017: Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene empathises with umpires after howler against Rohit Sharma)”We’ve just seen him have a breakthrough Test innings a couple of weeks ago, which I think delighted all of Australia. Everyone has been waiting for that breakout performance and there it was.advertisement”This could just be the start. It could be the beginning of a very, very good back half of Glenn Maxwell’s life. So I wish him all the best.”However, the former Mumbai Indians coach said the biggest challenge for Maxwell will be to manage off-field pressures rather than on it.  Maxwell has no previous experience of captaining a senior side and it was the first time that the 28-year-old will lead a side since he captained his Melbourne club Fitzroy-Doncaster more than three years ago. (Exclusive: Muttiah Muralitharan slams Sanjay Manjrekar’s comments on Kieron Pollard)”The moments I’ve spent with him and you talk about the game with him, I think he understands the game particularly well. And the good thing is he’s got a few Aussie boys (Kings XI teammates Marcus Stoinis and Shaun Marsh) around him as well that’ll make that job a little bit easier. He’s familiar with the coaches and the owners as well, which is really important in the IPL.”They’re the kind of things you have to manage as a captain or a coach of an IPL team. There’s so many external things to manage.”And that’s probably going to be the most difficult thing for Maxi; the on field stuff will be fine, the other pressures that come with it will be a bigger challenge,” he said.last_img read more