drdiy

Ridding Attic Mold / Installing Glass Block Windows / How To Get Rid of Slab Ants

In Q&A on April 23, 2012 at 10:14 am

To all my followers: Please pass along my blog address to all your friends and family. I’d appreciate it!

Q:

How do we get rid of mold in the attic on the roof boards?  We have four roof vents. We had our carpeting cleaned and the house was full of steam, which rose to the attic and created the mold. How can we remove the mold?

A:

Four roof vents do not sound like enough unless your house is very small. Additionally, you need soffit vents to work in conjunction with those roof vents. You need one free square foot of attic ventilation for every 150-feet of attic space. The ventilation should be divided between your roof vents and soffit vents.

If indeed the mold was caused by a single incident such as the carpet steam, it “may” not be a health hazard. The mold should be tested. You can call any home inspection company. Some do testing, but all should be able to refer you to an environmental testing company they know is reliable.

The type and the severity of the mold growth in the attic should determine your course of action.

Q:

I’m a senior citizen and own my own home. One of the ways I want to make my house safer is by installing glass block windows. Currently there are four approximately two-foot by one-foot windows. I’ve never opened them and doubt they even can be opened.

My son who lives over an hour away told me it’s illegal. He said I have to have at least one window that can open. He said it’s to get out in case of a fire. Is that true?

A:

Yes and no. First, you probably could never get out that small window or even up to it if your life depended on it.

Regardless, that use to be code. In 2006 the code was altered. It is now permissible (read that as legal) to replace all unfinished basement windows with glass block windows unless there is a bathroom. The code also states that if the basement of the dwelling becomes finished, one egress window must be added.

Basements with a ceiling height less than 80-inches also are not required to have emergency escape and rescue windows.

The code also states basements without habitable spaces and having not more than 200 square feet of floor area shall also not be required to have emergency escape windows.

If an egress window is required, the bottom of the opening of the escape window must not be greater than 44-inches measured from the floor. The window opening needs to be a minimum of five square feet and open to a well equipped with steps or a ladder. Some of this applies to new construction. All of it applies to finished a basement.

Since a permit is required for escape windows as well as finishing a basement, the local inspector will make sure it’s done correctly.

Q:

We have a house with a slab and we are always finding small ants. Is there any environmentally sensitive pesticide that the ants can take back to their nest?

A:

My recommendation includes Terro® “Liquid Ant Baits”, which is manufactured by the Senoret Chemical Company. That is part one of a two-step process.

Step #1:

The sticky chemicals main ingredient is Borax. It is about the safest poison that I know of that works. As a matter of fact, it is specifically made for killing sweet eating ants (your slab ants).

You place the Terro® Liquid Ant Baits where the ants are seen, then just sit back and wait a few days, the ants carry it back to their nests and within a couple of weeks your problem should be eliminated.

Step #2:

Most ant infestations are linked to a colony that is located underground. A good second line of defense is to spread Terro® Outdoor Ant Granules around the perimeter of your house.

From experience, I know this process will have to be repeated periodically. Terro® is available at hardware, garden and home centers.

You can go to www.terro.com for more information.

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