The First Snow

You can believe I was exceptionally disgusted when seeing we had snow on the ground early this morning. Ugh! This is something we normally start finding the week around Thanksgiving, and most times that’s even early. Oh well, like someone said yesterday, “We didn’t have a Spring this year, and now no Fall.” Perhaps climate change will convert our four seasons into two–winter and summer. If that happens, we’ll likely start appreciating every day of summer all the more like the Nordic and Baltic countries do.

This morning was our monthly MLS meeting, and since there was a presentation being given by a new home inspection company that’s starting a satellite in our area, I decided to make an appearance.

First Citizen’s Bank supplied seasonally appropriate treats which were pumpkin bars, donuts, hot apple cider, and coffee. The hot apple cider and pumpkin bars were very good, and before leaving, I thanked the representatives from that bank for always doing such a good job of providing treats whenever they sign up for it.

The presentation given by the home inspection company was quite enlightening, and I hope a number of Realtors add that company’s name to their list because I’ve already had a personal experience with them on a home I recently sold. I do know the buyers were pleased with their home inspection abilities.

They focused heavily on two different problem areas, and those being the electrical and weather-sealing of exterior windows and doors. They had a slide show of some pretty scary discoveries, and definitely glad I’d not encountered anything like that with my listings and sales.

After seeing all those photos, I’m beginning to grow all the more leery of slip-shod new constructions, and especially the tract housing you’d normally find in many of our metro areas. One of the slides showed a huge building that was part of a condominium development where the siding was improperly installed which allowed water to seep behind it and then the continuous rotting of the cheap particleboard sheathing behind.

One thing he mentioned which made sense, was that because homes and buildings are fully insulated and airtight, any water that seeps in, isn’t able to dry out because of there being no air movement. You can believe my mind started remembering some of the idiotic things some homeowners have done like, placing a wooden subfloor on top of a concrete basement floor, and then installing interlocking planks of laminate on top of it. Now that’s a rotting mold-bomb in the making because if water seeps under that “decking”, it’ll stay there and then start rotting the wood between the concrete and laminate flooring. When knowing how susceptible “River City” homes are to water seepage, the installation of flooring like is a nightmare in the making.

I had to laugh when the inspectors were talking about how some go off the charts whenever the word “mold” comes into conversation. I was delighted to hear that they have the ability to take samples and ship them to a Florida lab for testing. It didn’t surprise me when he mentioned that to date, the mold samples they had sent for analysis, came back as being non-toxic.

It all goes back to keeping everything in perspective to where you remove the problem, and then repair the damage, and what most people don’t realize, is that if you have chronic water issues in a basement, you look for the source of the problem, fix it, and then do an extensive clean-up.

I was in a basement several days ago that had mildew stains on the walls that were about six inches high all around the perimeter, and wouldn’t you know it, the owners hadn’t run their air conditioning all summer, and didn’t have a dehumidifier down there to keep it dry. They certainly didn’t like my cause and effect reasons why their basement looked like it did. Oh well, we all must live and learn.

By the time I was ready to close up shop, I looked out and noticed too much snow on my sidewalks, so yours truly grabbed a shovel and removed the first snow of what appears to be a long winter ahead. You can be sure the drivers were slipping and sliding around on the streets late this afternoon. There’ll be some fender-bending happenings until everyone gets used to driving on snow and ice once again.

Tonight’s one-liner is: Logic is the technique by which we add conviction to truth.

Joe Chodur

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