A Healthy Home Is; Designed, Constructed, Maintained & Rehabilitated To Support Its Occupant's Health. NEHA National Environmental Health Association
I Believe That Includes Physical, Financial & Emotional i.e. Health, Wealth & Happiness
Mother Nature & Father Time are busy recycling, without consideration for the economy or our economic class.
The Choice is ours, take care of what we have or it will be recycled.
Better products and better building practices provides better value.
The problems occurring in our homes and the solutions, as I see them.
27-years’ experience Maintaining and Repairing (dissecting, examining & diagnosing).
I come with an electronics, nuclear power and computer background, giving me an different view.
From my point of view PREVENTION IS THE CURE.
FACT: We forgot the goal is to drain water from all penetrations in our homes.
In 1976 the building was code changed; we decided it was about air infiltration and energy savings.
Flashing requirements were removed for vinyl and aluminum windows and doors;
snowballing into an epidemic of leaky homes, highlighted in our wet windy climate.
Now we rely on caulk and sticky tape, both are Band-Aids and fail for the same reasons.
They don't stick (wet/dirty surface), they rip (too thin for the necessary stretch), what they stuck to deteriorates.
We do not caulk airplanes, ships or cars to keep the wind/water out!
Why are we subsidizing the energy companies, commercial buildings leave lights on 24/7?
FACT: Many buy “Affordable Housing” and discover, it is not as “affordable” as we thought.
This is because “affordable housing” is a marketing term, not a reference to home ownership costs.
Unaware we are only deferring costs, increasing maintenance & repair costs.
We no longer build homes to last 150+ years; we build for 30 years and call it "affordable housing".
FACT: In Lincoln County and the Oregon Coast many homes experience serious damage in less than 5 years.
FACT: Over 60% Of Homes In Oregon Have Serious Damage From Water Leaks; 30% Nationwide (EPA)
(2006 congressional task force) No code improvements, and did create more jobs and more spending.
How Great Is That? Might that depend on whether you are spending or receiving?
"Grant me the Strength to change the things I can", I can't change the way this works, but I CAN adapt and change how I maintain my home, and you can do the same.
THE BIG CHALLENGE is; we are conditioned to believe, as our society has taught us to believe.
Example; we no longer believe the sun revolves around the earth, or the earth is flat. Yet we refer to sunrises and sunsets
This leads to our view of our world, and how we BELIEVE things work. Could it be different?
When we believe things are a certain way, we then do things the same certain way, not allowing for growth.
Things are not always as they seem. Today you are another day older, and another day wiser.
Each time you read this (or anything) you collect more insights and information.
Remember you were taught everything you BELIEVE you know.
Do we really KNOW anything, or do we just BELIEVE we know?
Explore with an open mind and we often arrive at a different conclusion.
Explore these ideas with an open mind and see if there is the possibility that they apply to you.
“Life is Change Growth is Optional” Karen Keiser Clark.
If you want better value (less cost over time), Call Michael for a no obligation consultation.
FACT: Roofs leak and by design drain water to the outside; at openings and each row of roofing (now we are caulking penetrations on them as well).
FACT: Walls leak & DO NOT drain water to the outside at openings; design & code allow 25% of water to remain behind the siding. Rocks, brick & concrete hold moisture next to the wall, keeping it wet.
FACT: Windows leak and doors into the wall; when they are installed, and replaced,
adhesive tape and caulk are expected to keep the weather outside; both fail quickly.
Roofs & Walls Leak - Drain The Water Outside ASAP, Not Behind The Siding.
FACT: Homes are built over a hole in the ground; roofs & gutters often drain next to our home & yards often slope toward our home, we cover the hole with plastic and forget about draining it. Oops.
FACT: Wet causes rot, grows mold, and attracts mice, rats & pests; costing your Health & Wealth
Does your home have moisture problems and water leaks?
Is your home humid, damp or wet, do your windows fog up or sweat?
Is your yard, crawlspace or basement damp or wet?
Does your home smell musty? If so, it has mold and/or mildew.
FACT: Your home is a complete system; and like your automobile, and body when a component is
not functioning properly, it affects the efficiency and health of your complete home, the physical
structure, you and your family as occupants, including your health effects noticed & realized yet or not.
Home Maintenance and Repair Costs are on the Rise.
Basic Economics; increased consumption thru planned obsolescence.
(short-term, quick-fix, throw it away, let the next generation deal with it)
The National average is 2 to 4% of market value and is rising fast.
That is $5 to $10 per square foot of living space per year homewise.com.
Homes have evolved from simple caves to our extremely complex modern homes.
A home is a complete system filled with interacting components including you and the hazards you create or carry, track, attract (pests), or otherwise bring in. You may not want to keep it “If it follows you home”.
Rain and ground water collection and disposal systems are complex and interconnected
Roofs catch lots of water, 1” of rain on a 2000 SF home is 2000 gallons to be collected and disposed of.
They leak; gutters clog and overflow, and often drain next to your home.
Also involved are clogged or missing foundation-footing drains, plants, sprinklers within 5 feet and incorrect yard slope.
The building’s exterior shell has complex interactions as well between roof, skylight & vent penetrations.
Siding, window & door penetrations can leak and trap water behind the siding, keeping the wall wet.
Attached decks, rock & brick facings, and concrete have direct contact can and do keep those walls wet.
Other interactions come from heating & cooling, bathing & cooking, cleaning products, people, pets & plants, all adding moisture.
Maintenance & repairs can even create & compound moisture issues.
Wet and moldy crawlspaces are far more common than homeowners think here on the coast.
Wet crawlspaces contain pesticides, fertilizers, pet restroom runoff (now you know where it goes), which creates a toxic soup, as it evaporates it is drawn into your living space for you and your family to breathe.
It is amazing that we dig a hole, build a house over it, and ignore that it can become a toxic pool.
Moisture provides a nurturing environment in the attic, walls, & crawlspace for molds, rot, dry rot, mice, rats, rodents and many other pests, all of which affect the quality of air you breathe & your health.
Berkeley Lab, EPA Studies confirm the large Public Health and Economic Impact of Dampness and Mold:
They estimate the number of asthma cases attributable to in-home exposure is $4.6 million, and costs
$3.5 billion annually, $761 per affected person annually.
Is Your Home Making You Sick? Symptoms can include asthma, allergies, headache, eye, nose, or throat irritation, cough, chest tightness, fever, chills, muscle aches, dry or itchy skin, dizziness and nausea, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and sensitivity to odors.
The leakage and moisture you do not notice causes expensive damage.
Homes that appear well maintained are still susceptible to moisture issues.
Building code allows 25% of the water that enters your wall to remain, CAUSING MOLD & ROT.
Always, when installing ANYTHING, drain the leakage from the hole (wall or roof) to the outside for the next stage in the drainage & collection system.
Purchased and used as a solution for all problems, caulk is at best only a Band-Aid or Lipstick
Caulk, when applied to protect and stop leakage, is a Band-Aid.
When applied for beautification((cover gaps) is Lipstick.
Caulk covers up. It sticks best on clean and dry surfaces, and it needs replacement often.
Caulking over caulk is adding another Band-Aid. We do not know what lurks beneath.
Buildings move, causing rips, tears & small holes that allow water to enter and cause damage.
Below is out of the 2011 newest code book, the results of the task force, it created many JOBS.
Don't Wait for the Government to fix it, Governments' JOB is Creating JOBS.
Notice every economic recovery is about creating jobs.
It Is Your Home, Your Problem, Your Responsibility. Most Insurance Does Not Cover This Damage.
If You Shop Price, Your Home is Built & Maintained to MINIMUM Building Code, if you are lucky.
BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT YOU PAID FOR. Business must profit or parish.
The components’ of price are short term and long term cost, Ben Franklin said "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
I say prevention is the cure.
Many believe, because they tell me so, "I hope this lasts untill I am gone" what are we leaving for our children and future generations to deal with. More to the point what are we teaching them about personal responsibility and being self-reliant?
Will Your Legacy Include a Healthy, Safe, Home
Built and Maintained to Last?
Will Your Home Be Full of Cherished Memories,
for Your Family’s Many Future Generations?
Or will it be a building in need of repairs,
A burden for your family to contend with & sell?
The Story of Stuff Anne does a fantastic job of opening your awareness.
Explore the site she has lots of other great ideas and explanations as well.
"The story of stuff explains from its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever."
Newer homes much worse than older homes, because we are making them suffocate in their own moisture.
I am seeing homes less than 5 years old with major siding and water leak issues, mold growing.
Being an uninformed consumer is very expensive; if we are not educated in the costs or expected maintenance of home ownership, it creates an unrealistic and un-workable outcome.
The same is true with your car and health, it is up to you.
It needs said that, vertical siding does not allow a path to drain the leakage out of the wall.
Walls leak, period, let it out.
All 4x8 t-111 type panels, and stucco expand and contract enough to causes cracking, break paint allowing moisture in.
Stucco if painted will no longer breath causing it to sweat, Oops more moisture problems.
Stucco is now applied directly to the building, in most cases which wicks the water to the wood structure.
Like concrete brick & rock all absorb and retain water keeping the building behind wet, we know what that does.
They are do not allow proper drainage at openings like vertical siding.
Hardipanel vertical siding relies on caulk solely at the joints to keep the water out, again where does the water go.
These issues are design issues in my line of thinking and are the standard not the exception.
I hope I have laid enough groundwork to interest you enough, to explore the information provided from a perspective of "why you need to; and are the only one that can", be in charge of your home and your life choices.
I am curious as why things are done the way they are, and how we can improve upon them.
AHealthyHappyHome looks at the long-term consequences of our actions, we realize that what we do not take care of for ourselves i.e. pay for when purchased, we pass on to future generations.
Yes, that applies to credit purchases, but also to our choices when it comes to our choices in life, such as our health and our world and home environments.
This is why we look to solve the problem at its source, and not spend any more time, energy or money on it.
Then we can forget about it an move on with enjoying other choices in life.
When it comes to problems such as moisture or pests we do not treat the symptoms, we find the source, eliminate them, then proceed to repair any damage.
If water is overflowing your gutters the problem is the gutters are not collecting all of the water, or not able to drain all of the water, not that there is too much water.
If your crawl space is wet, the problem is water/moisture coming in somewhere, not we live in Oregon and it rains a lot. Most of the time the source is the way the water is being collected from the roof, the drain around your home, the slope of the yard does not drain the water away from the house, sometimes all three.
Our mission is to find and solve these sources, before they cause mold to grow or attract pests, and cause more damage and expense or health problems.
We truly want you to enjoy your time and live life the way you decide.
We use quality products and install or apply them, using best building and maintenance practices, ensuring you the longest and best performance which reduces your expenses in both time and money.
We do this all keeping you our valued customer as the top priority; we always use the best work practices that ensure yours and our safety both from a conventional slips, trips, & falls perspective but also from a health perspective by not spreading contamination around your home.
As a Healthy Homes Specialist & Licensed Oregon Residential General Contractor (Michael Lee Norris CCB#112223).
I use a holistic approach that considers you, your lifestyle, your pets, plants, environment, and the entire Eco-system of your home, including the structure as a system, equipment and potential health hazards for you the residents.
I repeat this often as this is something no one has ever done to my knowledge, and equally hard for most to grasp.
Along with living & teaching 100% Responsibility.
I have married these principles with best building and maintenance practices; to empower you to take ownership
of your home as well as your life.
Your Home is a Complete Living Breathing System (video Link 23 minutes)
As Americans, we no longer consume more energy and resources per capita (person) than any nation on earth, not because we have altered our habits, as we have spread this consumption model to other wealthy countries and people.
I believe that we can and must also be the catalyst for more responsibility each one of us as our own example.
We do not want others to change us, must also recognize that we cannot change them,
however we can improve ourselves and lead like Gandhi and "be the change we wish to see in the world".
Building Green, energy conservation, etc., are all business models, providing consumers products and services, creating JOBS.
We are subsidizing the very businesses that are selling us that we need to reduce consumption, reducing our initial cost, reducing our desire to reduce consumption. This is also true in health care, school, government and all walks of our society.
We subsidize the gas, oil and power companies keeping our fuel & energy costs
among the lowest in the world and drive SUV's and live in larger homes etc.
Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL’s), cost more in materials, energy & pollution to produce.
They contain toxic mercury; they cannot be efficiently, if at all recycled. Compared with incandescent light bulbs that produce heat, are super cheap to manufacture, no new tooling or factory necessary, until we use air conditioning to cool the space the bulbs are producing heat our heating system does not need to produce, saving on that side of the energy equation.
What if we used an energy model that used incandescent light bulbs in cool seasons & climates, and a less heat producing method (LED or another technology less hazardous) in warm/hot seasons embracing all benefits to their greatest potential?
Other examples are gas water heaters in conditioned space use the stack effect exhausting heat, we set the temperature at 120 degrees to save energy, when it takes 140-160 degrees to kill the germs and keep them from growing in our food.
There are always more ways to evaluate information so it produces the best outcome for us. There is conflicting information available from our government.
The OSHA say that workers need to be protected if they are exposed to temperatures of 140 F or above.
The U S Health Department wants the public to use hot water 140 F or higher to kill the bacteria quickly.
The U S Department of energy suggests a 115 to 120 F setting residential water heaters to save energy.
They all ignore the temperature swings of the thermostat, which has a range of about 50 degrees or 25 above, and below the set point, distance to farthest water usage temperature vs. closest.
The reality is that we each need to take more responsibility of protecting our loved ones and ourselves.
One size does not fit all. We don't get anywhere expecting the other person to change or do "it".
Our building codes create homes that are so tight that now we install whole house ventilation systems to exchange our air 8 times per day, this allows us to survive in caustic chemical soup we are living in.
Follow the money it is not our health or wallet that is being considered on the large scale, and it is certainly not energy efficiency with 8 air changes per day. It is economics (jobs).
We spend thousands of $$$$ tightening the structure, then thousands more exchanging the air to make our homes livable, shorten the life cycle to 30 years, subsidize the power companies for cheap power which masks the desire to reduce consumption. How that is energy, efficiency should be beyond all of us.
Look at all of the commercial buildings glowing with all of their lights on 24/7, do we really buy this or are we so complacent we don’t care?
We accomplish nothing expecting the other person to change; we can only change for our-self and hope to influence the other person to follow as they see it as a good change and follow our leadership example.
AHealthyHappyHome provides professional maintenance & repair experts to keep the building structure,
the components and systems in the best health, ensuring the longest life span practical for each.
This approach provides a healthy and safe environment for you the occupants as well,
so you may happily enjoy your home for many wonderful years.
With our long term people based solutions approach, we assure the lowest overall cost of home ownership.
High energy bills, uneven temperatures from room-to-room, drafts, moisture, mold, mildew, poor indoor air quality, ice dams, pest infestations, seemingly uncontrollable humidity levels and even premature deterioration of building materials can all be the result of a breakdown in the relationship between the systems in your home – the building envelope (shell), heating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, you the occupants and your health consequences of living in that environment.
If one system has a problem, it affects the other systems’ ability to function properly. Treating the obvious symptom without knowing the real culprit behind it can actually make the problem worse or create new problems. The process of elimination approach just causes frustration as you try solution after solution – investing more time, money and energy – without resolution.
Properly diagnosing and fixing the root cause requires a home-as-a-system approach based on building science.
That’s exactly what we at AHealthyHappyHome are trained to do.
We conduct a comprehensive whole-home assessment to find the real problems, then prescribe and prioritize improvements that make the system as a whole function at its best.
As a fully Licensed Oregon Residential General Contractor and Healthy Homes Specialist we are able to manage all of your maintenance and repairs, as well as your home improvement projects.
Here’s How We Do It.
1. We Consult or Discuss: Most projects start with an interview with you the homeowner, where we learn what your concerns, motivations and objectives are, and decide whether our services can help you.
We offer home assessments to fit a range of priorities and budgets, utilizing our expertise and advanced diagnostic skills & tools to uncover the sources of your homes issues are, and what steps can be taken to make your home more efficient, comfortable, healthy and safe.
2. We Assess: Next, we will conduct a thorough walk-through – both indoors and out.
We assess your home as a system; along the healthy home principles of; keep it: dry, clean, safe, pest-free, contaminate-free, well-ventilated, and well-maintained. We use a holistic systems approach that considers you, your lifestyle, your pets, plants, environment, and the entire Eco-system of your home, including the structure and potential health hazards.
Depending on your needs and desires, we may use an infrared camera to get a visual on temperature differences in different areas, conduct a blower door test to depressurize the home and assess air leakage levels through the building envelope, and test for leakage in the duct work of forced-air HVAC systems. We can also perform other function and safety tests on HVAC equipment, including carbon monoxide levels and combustion appliance back-draft testing. Depending on the age of the home, we may test for lead Paint, asbestos, radon, CO, Natural Gas Leaks as well.
3. We Prioritize: At the end of the comprehensive whole-home assessment, we will provide you with a scientific, objective view of your situation.
We will be able to help you prioritize repairs in order – from must-do to nice-to-do.
This way you can solve the biggest problems without making smaller problems worse.
We assist you in planning for your future, by prioritizing repairs, creating your own personal maintenance list, we estimate your realistic cost of maintenance and repairs so you are better able to plan and budget for them.
4. We Maintain and Repair: We work with you to create and prioritize a customized home maintenance, repair & improvement plan that delivers the most cost-effective path to a Well-Maintained home.
We will be able to guide you regarding which fixes are suitable for your particular do-it-yourself (DIY) skill level, and which will require our expert help.
5. You Relax and Enjoy: You relax and enjoy the peace of mind knowing and the comfort living in; your fully repaired and well maintained home.
You know it is now Healthier and Safer keeping you Healthier Safer and Happier.
You can relax knowing you have more knowledge about what to expect as well as a plan for your home maintenance and repair or home improvement needs in the future.
You can rest assured that you have a team of caring professionals just a phone call away to assist you.
We at AHealthyHappyHome are professionals;
Think of us as your Home doctors, yes we make HOME Calls.
We consult with you.
We examine your home as a complete system, and diagnose.
We plan the optimum course of treatment for your home and you.
We recommend and assist you to prioritize them.
We Treat your home with the prescribed course of action.
Would you go to a doctor on a specific concern without having the doctor examine you as a whole person?
Do you get regular physical checkups? Do you have little things checked while they are still little?
How do you handle maintenance and repairs on you automobile or legal matters with your attorney?
The customary way we approach contractors for maintenance and repairs or improvements, in and on our homes, is to call for an estimate on a single repair, not realizing or forgetting it is part of the entire system (our home).
That approach causes problems in the complete system of your home, just as it would for your body, or your car.
Wearing shoes that do not fit properly will cause more problems than just sore feet.
Would you trust the doctor knew what was best for you without a thorough examination and consultation first?
No of course not (you wouldn't would you?), you first start with a consultation and examination.
It is there you share your concerns, motivations and objectives.
A course of treatment is prescribed; you discuss and decide if it is right for you.
At AHealthyHappyHome We Do and We Teach.
We can teach you about your home, and its maintenance and repair needs, then you know how to and why to, as well.
We can do this all while maintaining and repairing your home.
We provide you with the knowledge, confidence & support, to take ownership of your home & your life.
Whether you choose to do all of the maintenance and repairs yourself or you choose to have
AHealthyHappyHome do them or some choice in between we are here to assist and empower you.
We All have budgets, desires and priorities.
Our goal at AHealthyHappyHome is to help you identify and prioritize them.
Together we create a plan where you make the informed best choices for you.
Our approach is Start with You; it is your home, your choices, and your life.
Our goal is to empower and support you.
Life is a Balance of Choices, Trading "TIME for MONEY or MONEY for TIME”.
We each receive the same 86,400 seconds in each day (so far).
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE TO SPEND YOURS?
INVEST IN YOURSELF AND YOUR FUTURE
WASTE THEM BY NOT PLANNING FOR YOUR FUTURE?
For most of us, our HOME is our largest asset, and our largest investment, both in terms of time and money.
Where do you wish to spend your time and money?
With this economy, as always many people are looking at ways to consolidate home maintenance and repair expenses, so they may enjoy in another area of their life.
We can show you how to do what you can do, to reduce your home maintenance and repair, as well as your home improvement expenses.
With experience and education you will discover;
Long term solutions, are always a better investment than short term fixes.
Remember; consequences compound like interest.
Short term thinking, increases the cost of home maintenance and repairs.
The life cycles of our homes keep getting shorter, driving up the expense of your home ownership.
The great news is; that consequences do compound like interest and the opposite is true as well.
Start investing a little time and money early, and the rewards pay off handsomely!
You can take ownership of your home and your life, breaking this cycle for yourself.
Mother Nature Cares Not; what economic class we are in.
Maintenance and Repairs are included in the price of home ownership. Start Early - Save A Lot.
What phase of life are you in, earning and saving money or enjoying your time?
You can spend your time enjoying life, or making money doing what you love to do, and are good at.
You can have us do what we love to do, and are great at, saving your time and money in the long term.
We are here to empower & support you.
Responsible Homeowners Choose AHealthyHappyHome;
for Home Maintenance & Repairs Done Correctly Done To Last.
Assisting Homeowners in Becoming Healthy, Wealthy & Wise by:
Providing Value, in Long-Term People Based Solutions Since 1986.
Start Investing In Your Future Today. Call 541 961-4213
Contact us to schedule your healthy home assessment.