July 1999 Edition

Problem Cooling Upstairs 

We have a two story house and in the summer it is almost impossible to cool the upstairs. The downstairs is like a refrigerator just to keep the upstairs comfortable. Is there anything we can do about it? 
First of all, it is assumed that you have a single heating and air conditioning unit. When you have one unit for each floor, you can set each unit separately and it is easier to balance the heating and air conditioning. With only one unit, the upstairs will be warmer in the summer & winter and the downstairs will always be cooler.
There are three simple solutions to improve the balancing in both the winter and the summer.    
1. Most supply registers come with adjustable louvers. In the summer, close most of the registers downstairs. The natural path of cool air will keep the downstairs cool. In the winter, close most of the registers upstairs. Hot air will naturally rise. Ceiling fans will help to distribute the air.
2. If closing registers does not work, have a licensed heating and air conditioning contractor install manual dampers in the ductwork. Dampers will shut off the air to a particular section of the house. It is helpful to label the dampers with direction such as “open in winter, close in summer”.
3. The third solution would be to install automatic dampers. Automatic dampers work with thermostats located both upstairs and downstairs. As the temperature changes, the demand for heating or cooling changes automatically.                        
Most new homes are being built with “zoned” systems. This means, each floor or zone has its own furnace and air conditioning system. The installation cost is more, but the operating cost is normally less. 

 Resurfacing A Bathtub

We have a 1950’s home with the original tile and cast iron bathtub. The tile is in great shape, but the original finish of the tub is gone and the tub gets dirty easily. Is having the tub resurfaced a sensible option? 
Yes, especially if it’s only the tub you’re dissatisfied with. Replacing a bathtub usually involves removing some of the surrounding wall and floor tile - old tile that’s often impossible to match. So replacing a tub can easily escalate into a wall tile and plumbing replacement project too.
Fixture resurfacing has gotten a bum rap because, until about ten years ago, products were not very good, and a lot of so-called pros skip the essential prep and priming stages.                       
A good resurfacing job involves:                       
1. Etching the tub with hydrochloric acid to remove the sheen and give the new surface something to bite onto. In other words, providing a mechanical bond.
2.  Spraying on two coats of a hydrochloric acid-based primer that eats its way into the old surface.
3.  Spraying on two or three coats of a tough polymer coating that’s like a liquid glass.                       
You must let the tub cure for three or four days before using it. You can locate a resurfacing company in the yellow pages under Bathtubs & Sinks - Repairing & Refinishing. Find a company that will supply references and be sure to check them. A high quality job will run $250 to $350. 

SOURCE: The Family Handyman March 1999 Edition

 L-P Siding Fund Update

Would you give us an update on Louisiana-Pacific Siding Fund? Are they still running out of money? 
According to the L-P Inner-Seal ® Siding Litigation Claims Administrator, claims are paid in the order in which they are received as complete and valid. The time frame for payment is dependent on the volume of claims and the availability of funds.
L-P is obligated to pay a minimum of $275 million over the seven-year period of the Settlement. Of the $275 million, L-P has paid $195 million to date. The remaining $80 million is due in installments of $30 million, $20 million, $15 million and $15 million. These installments are required to be funded in June 1999, June 2000, June 2001 and June 2002, respectively. The two optional contributions of $50 million, if L-P elects to make these, will be funded in August 2001 and August 2002.
However, in Spring 1998, it became apparent that the pace of claims received exceeded the annual funding obligations of L-P under the Settlement Agreement. Class Counsel, L-P and the Special Master immediately began working to develop a fair, equitable response. An Early Payment Program and a Second Settlement Fund were developed as a means to provide claimants an earlier payment on approved claims. Depending on eligibility, claimants will be notified by mail of their options for participating in either of these programs. However, it is important for all claimants to understand that their participation in the new programs is completely voluntary and the original settlement remains in effect and unchanged.

For more information contact: Louisiana-Pacific Inner-Seal Siding Litigation, P.O. Box 3240, Portland, Oregon 97208, 1-800-245-2722, or visit the website at www.lpsidingclaims.com/

 If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length.

 Quote Of The Month

He who is not contented with what he has...would not be contented with what he would like to have?”

- Unknown 

 A Tip Of The Hat To:

Martha Scarbrough


Marilyn Meacham

Re/Max Suburban Atlanta

4989 Peachtree Parkway

Norcross, Georgia 30092