Archive for June, 2014|Monthly archive page

Pool Water Health Hazard / Reviving Exterior Copper / Colder House After Renovation

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2014 at 2:53 pm


My mother has a neighbor who has an in-ground pool that has not been used in over ten years. They keep it covered; however the rain and snow collect on the cover and then once a year the ducks have a playground. They do drain the water partially but the green stuff (algae?) lays on the surface and they never clean that. Wouldn’t this be a health hazard?


There are “possible” health hazards to those up close and even immediately down wind. The only way to determine this would be to have some air testing done. Certainly if the yard is not fenced and secure there is a real danger to neighborhood children, stray animals and pets.

Contact the Michigan Department of Public Health at 517-373-3740, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality at 800-292-4706, your local county health department or building inspector to investigate further.


Is there an easy and inexpensive way to revive copper and restore it to its original color?


You can have ‘easy’ or you can have ‘inexpensive’, but not both.

According to www.corrosion-doctors.org you can clean copper without harming it using hydrochloric or muriatic acids. Be careful and use eye and skin protection. You should also protect the rest of the surrounding areas and vegetation.

I also spoke with Ken Hancock, owner of New Life Copper & Brass in Casco Township. Ken is an internationally recognized expert on cleaning copper. He does not recommend the acid cleaning. Ken said that most copper has a clear coating that should be removed prior to cleaning the copper. The coating can be removed with any paint stripper. Next, use abrasive pads, like 3M’s Scotch Brite pads, the type that can be attached to a polishing machine to clean and restore the copper. Make sure you always go in the same direction, either up and down or side to side. As a matter of fact, start in a back corner that is out of sight until you get the hang of it otherwise it could look even worse.

Afterward, spray on an automotive clear coat finish. If you want more help, call Ken at 586-725-3286.


I read one of your columns from February about a cold house. Ours is a bi-level built in the 1950’s. We have had two major renovations due to ‘Mother Nature’. One was a roof that caved in from an ice storm and the most recent one was a flood from a major rainstorm. As a result of both of these, the house has almost had itself redone! We have had reputable firms involved with the work performed but I am now puzzled (even haunted comes to mind) at a frozen winter here. Even the cat is cold! Is there some way I could find out if we need more air ducts, heat outlets closer to the floors, etc? I am extremely curious about what can be done to be warm inside my home without wearing layers of clothing. I even had any thyroid condition ruled out.


You must understand that hot air rises and cold air is heavier, so it falls. If you want your lower level in a bi-level house to be 70-degrees, the upper level will be way too hot.

That being said, I have a few questions for you: Is the heat coming out of the registers throughout the house? If so, how is the insulation in the walls and ceilings? You can have plenty of heat, but if there is little or no insulation, the walls and ceiling will act as a “heat sink” and the rooms will never get warm.

Was the house comfortable prior to both catastrophic events? If so, it sounds like the contractors did not replace the insulation. Look in the attic and measure the depth of the insulation (if any).

I hope this is helpful. If you have any follow-up questions, feel free to contact me.


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