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    Hillsborough County School District to approve HVAC, roof and security upgrades at many schools – ABC Action News - June 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. Hillsborough County school leaders are set to approve school improvement projects at several of its elementary, middle and high schools at a board meeting on Tuesday.

    Many of those upgrades will be paid for with the half-penny sales tax that voters approved back in 2018.

    Repairs, including fire alarm system repairs and a partial heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) replacement at Blake High School are now complete.

    Lithia Springs Elementary School and Mintz Elementary Schools will be receiving roof repairs.

    Hillsborough County School district leaders are also expected to approve security upgrades to two schools on Tuesday.

    Those upgrades include a security wall modification project, proving securable classrooms will improve sound qualities for Bellamy Elementary School.

    School board leaders are also approving a completed project to install a new secure entrance at Chamberlain High School. This project was completed in August 2019.

    Continued here:
    Hillsborough County School District to approve HVAC, roof and security upgrades at many schools - ABC Action News

    Fewer capital projects expected by Chautauqua County this year | News, Sports, Jobs – Evening Observer - June 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    While there are no final decisions on what projects Chautauqua County will be doing this year, it appears there will be fewer of them.

    During last weeks County Planning Board meeting, board members were asked to rank submitted projects.

    There will be a smaller number of projects this year, said Planning Director Donald McCord.

    The Sheriffs Office requested seven projects: a scheduled storage server replacement, a convection oven, a planetary mixer for the jail, a hot water heater, a tower site UPS battery replacement, and parking lot maintenance.

    McCord noted they were holding off on requesting any new vehicles, because of the financial challenges created by current pandemic. He expects new vehicle requests in 2021.

    Other county departments requesting projects included the legislature for an A/V upgrade; an office expansion design for the District Attorney; a roof replacement for EMS; an emergency notification system and wireless network for the countys Informational Services; a Discover eGOV Civil Service System for Human Resources; a first-floor renovation for Health and Human Services; and a replacement of voting machines by the Board of Elections.

    No costs for any of the projects were listed.

    The countys Department of Public Facilities/Buildings and Grounds requested a skid steer, a building and grounds maintenance building, some door replacements, carpet and a Mayville arc flash study.

    CARTS the Chautauqua Area Rural Transportation System requested a bus replacement, a bus wash and some new software.

    Jamestown Community College listed 16 projects, including furniture, interior repairs, LED lighting, roofs, as well as a soccer field and an athletics stadium.

    County Planning Board members requested JCC prioritize its own projects, to assist them in determining the best option for the county.

    There were 12 projects listed for the county airports. Ninety-five percent of all funds come from the federal or state governments, but planning board members were still concerned about the local costs.

    Its going to be impossible for the county to get out of running these airports, said Rick Ketchum, board member.

    Another board member, whose name was not listed on the zoom call, agreed. Why are there two airports in the county this size? It doesnt make sense, he said.

    McCord said he understood their concerns and suggested the board hold a separate discussion on the countys airports at a future meeting, although no date was discussed.

    The Planning Board is scheduled to meet again on June 16 to try and finalize a priority list.

    Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

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    Fewer capital projects expected by Chautauqua County this year | News, Sports, Jobs - Evening Observer

    California Was Set To Spend Over $1 Billion to Prevent Wildfires. Then Came COVID-19 – OPB News - June 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    With the coronavirus pandemic eroding state budgets across the country, many communities risk having this disaster make them less prepared for looming climate-drivendisasters.

    Still recovering from devastating wildfires, California was poised to spend billions of dollars to prepare for future fires and other extreme weather disasters. The infrastructure projects, designed to make communities and homes more resistant to wildfire, have long been overlooked, fire expertssay.

    But with a $54 billion budget deficit, the programs are being put onhold.

    Its really a shame, says Alexandra Syphard, a fire scientist at Sage Underwriters, a wildfire insurance company. Obviously COVID has been a shame on so many different levels. We were ramping up to provide what I believe is one of the most progressive and important investments in terms of fire risk that there couldbe.

    With more than 25,000 homes and buildings lost over the last three years, California has focused recent spending on adding new firefighting crews and emergency response capacity. This year, the state planned on investing in something that could lessen the need for fire-fighting: hardening millions of homes to make them more resistant to burning.

    Similar home-retrofitting programs, piloted in communities around the state, have been verypopular.

    Up here in the mountains, a wood-shingled roof is another name for a matchbook, says Bill Seavy, a homeowner in South LakeTahoe.

    Until a few years ago, Seavy had a wood-shingled roof, but he replaced it through a program that incentivized homeowners to install fire-resistant roofing. The local fire agency, the Lake Valley Fire Protection District, created the program after the 2007 Angora Fire, which destroyed almost 300 buildings and homes in theregion.

    In Lake Tahoe, were vulnerable, and theres three million people in California that live in areas like this where youre vulnerable, says Seavy. So weve got to do everything wecan.

    Through federal funding from FEMA, homeowners could get 70 percent of their cost covered for a replacement roof. Wood roofs can fuel the spread of wildfires by catching burning embers.

    Most homes are not burned by fires just marching up to them and burning them down, says Syphard. Most are destroyed because the fires are occurring during really high wind conditions and there tend to be these burning embers that can fly kilometers ahead of the fire front. And its these burning embers that tend to get into all the little nooks and crannies of ahouse.

    Even small fixes to a house can make a big difference, like putting mesh screens on attic vents or covering the eaves under aroof.

    Things that in particular would prevent embers from penetrating the house are super significant in making a difference between whether a home survives a fire or not, saysSyphard.

    Last year, California lawmakers approved the first major statewide program for incentivizing such home-retrofits. In January, Governor Gavin Newsom announced $100 million in state and federal money to help homeowners replace roofs and make their homes more fire-resistant, particularly in low-income communities where upgrades may be out of reach formany.

    But in May, Newsom proposed suspending the program, citing the need for deep budget cuts to offset the falling tax revenue from the economicdownturn.

    We learned that in the Paradise fires, homes built or retrofitted with home-hardening materials and features often withstood the deadly flames and stood to live another day, says California Assemblymember Jim Wood, who authored the bill to create the program. It is a sorry state when we refuse to acknowledge the importance, and financial benefits, of investing inprevention.

    Two other substantial climate initiatives were also put on hold in the Governors revised budget, which would have funded projects to prepare for fires, droughts, floods and sea level rise. Those include a $4.75 billion Climate Resilience Bond scheduled for the November ballot and $1 billion in state funding over five years for climate-related projects. State lawmakers are still trying to push ahead with a bill that would put a $7 billion climate and economic recovery bond on theballot.

    The wildfire funding left in Californias budget this year will likely go to firefighting and emergencyresponse.

    Were staring down the barrel of another intense wildfire season given how dry it was this winter, says Wade Crowfoot, Californias Secretary for Natural Resources. So we are anticipating actually having to juggle disaster response from differentdisasters.

    Supporters of the resiliency initiatives say spending money to prepare for disasters in advance is substantially more economical than waiting for them tohit.

    A dollar spent today saves you about six dollars in future emergencies, says Kate Gordon, director of Californias Office of Planning and Research. And if you think about that, its really logical. The cost of emergency response is enormous. Look at Paradise rebuilding an entire town and relocatingfolks.

    State officials say theyre looking for other ways to fund climate preparation in hopes of preserving momentum after the recentdisasters.

    We are retooling in real time to really continue to drive forward those same priorities, particularly climate resilience, in a more constrained fiscal environment, says Crowfoot. Our residents get it. Californians want us actually to do more to protect communities fromimpacts.

    California, like many states, is looking to federal stimulus funding to fill in the gaps, since climate-related projects could qualify as infrastructure spending. Theyre also looking at partnerships with privateindustry.

    There is a moment at which this kind of economic disaster creates opportunity for thinking differently about how to build forward, says Gordon. Not to bounce back, but bounce forward.

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    California Was Set To Spend Over $1 Billion to Prevent Wildfires. Then Came COVID-19 - OPB News

    Better Business Bureau warns about free home inspection scams – fredericksburg.today - June 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Spring and summer warm weather brings both showers and roofing scams. BBB Scam Tracker is getting reports of free roof inspections that turn out to be anything but free.

    How the Scam Works

    You get a call or knock on the door from someone claiming to represent a roofing company. According to BBB Scam Tracker reports, con artists often use the name of the state plus Roofing or Construction as their business name. The bad mimics the good in order to sound legitimate.

    The roofer offers a free inspection. The person may claim that their companys working on a neighbors home, so were offering free inspections to those living nearby. But often when you ask questions about where the business is located or how their services work, youll just as often be met with vague answers. If so, this is a great big red flag.

    What happens next if you accept the free inspection? If they dont find enough wear and tear to merit a whole new roof, they may fabricate it by tearing off shingles to mimic wind damage. Or they may simply show you pictures of someone elses damaged roof. Dont hire this company! Any repairs done by such a dishonest business are not likely to be high quality.

    How to Avoid Roofing Scams

    For More Information

    To learn more about hiring a roofing company, see BBB.org/Roofers. You can also find valuable information at BBB.org/AvoidScams.

    If youve been the victim of a roofing scam, report it on BBB.org/ScamTracker immediately. Your report will help alert others to the danger.

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    Better Business Bureau warns about free home inspection scams - fredericksburg.today

    Four Protesters Sit on a Tesla’s Glass Roof, But Not Why You Might Think – autoevolution - June 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Protests in the USA are still going strong over the murder of African-American George Floyd by a Minneapolis PD officer on May 25, and without any concrete decisions on the authorities' part, it doesn't look like they will die out anytime soon.

    Since every apple has some bad seeds, the peaceful protests have turned violent in the past and some will probably continue to, but for the overwhelming majority of cases, these have been nothing more than people taking to the street to express their anger and disappointment with the way society - and above all, authorities - continues to treat people of color.

    Under different circumstances, seeing four people jumping up and down on the glass roof of a Tesla Model S might have been interpreted as vandalism, but considering one of those on top is the owner of the vehicle, it's safe to assume the other three have his permission as well.

    It all happened this Friday, June 5th, on the streets of Seattle. According to CleanTechnica, that car belongs to musician Raz Simone who is a known hip hop artist and one of the four people sitting on top of the car. I don't even begin to imagine how they mustered up the courage to get up there and bounce on the EV's roof, but it appears to have worked. Still, I don't imagine they take any responsibility if anyone else tries it and fails.

    Tesla has a strange relationship with glass. The company holds multiple patents and is clearly paying a lot of attention to the transparent bits of its vehicle. You only need look at the windshield of the Model X electric SUV or the number of its vehicles that have a panoramic roof. On the other hand, there was that incident at the Cybertruck launch where the steel ball thrown by the lead designer made a huge gash into what was supposed to be armored glass.

    Watching Eric Jensen's footage and the electric (excuse the pun) atmosphere, you get the feeling more would have joined in if there was any room left. That got me thinking. I wouldn't be surprised if this sparks the idea for a new record: how many people can the glass roof of a Tesla hold? Now we just need to find somebody with enough friends and the masochistic disposition to deal with the Tesla service center for eventually replacing that glass.

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    Four Protesters Sit on a Tesla's Glass Roof, But Not Why You Might Think - autoevolution

    All Trades Enterprise Inc Is One of the Top Places for Roof Replacement in Colorado Springs and Pueblo – Press Release – Digital Journal - June 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Homeowners looking for a roofing contractor offering roof replacement within budget can get in touch with All Trades Enterprise Inc. They are one of the best when it comes to dealing with all sorts of roofing issues.

    This press release was orginally distributed by ReleaseWire

    Colorado Springs, CO -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/01/2020 -- The roof is one of the essential parts of the house, and it needs to be kept in proper shape. If left unattended, a small problem will not take a lot of time to turn into something big. The last thing that any homeowner will probably want is to see the entire roof crashing down. That is why one needs to take the responsibility of getting in touch with a company that can help them fix the problem. All Trades Enterprise Inc. seems to be an excellent place to get in touch with for roof replacement in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

    When it is time for the roof to be replaced, it is better to consider investing in Asphalt Roofing. This valuable suggestion also comes from the roofing professionals at All Trades Enterprise Inc. They recommend homeowners to invest in Asphalt roofing because of its durability. Since the roof of the house is something that one will not change frequently, it is advisable to invest in a sturdy roof and can withstand the harshness of the weather. However, it is a roof, and it can sometimes require replacement due to extensive wear and tear. If the gutters are filled with granules from the shingles, then the roof needs to be replaced at the earliest. A quick roof replacement can save one from lots of repair work in the future.

    All Trades Enterprise Inc., also offers kitchen and bathroom remodel in Colorado Springs and Pueblo, painting services, landscaping and more.

    Call 719-375-0504 for more information.

    About All Trades Enterprise Inc.All Trades Enterprise Inc., is one of the companies that has been offering roof replacement services in Colorado Springs and Pueblo. They also offer kitchen and bathroom remodeling and more.

    For more information on this press release visit: http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/all-trades-enterprise-inc-is-one-of-the-top-places-for-roof-replacement-in-colorado-springs-and-pueblo-1292913.htm

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    All Trades Enterprise Inc Is One of the Top Places for Roof Replacement in Colorado Springs and Pueblo - Press Release - Digital Journal

    Your Guide To The Wayland 2020 Town Election – Patch.com - June 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    WAYLAND, MA It's going to be an unusual election. This time that's not due to politics, but because of the pandemic.

    Wayland's spring town election will take place Tuesday following a more than two-month pandemic-related delay. Polls will be open all day, but the Town Clerk has been advising residents to vote absentee due to the lingering coronavirus pandemic.

    Here's what you need to know about the June 9 election:

    Voting hours

    Like normal, you can vote between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. at the town building. For those who are not voting in-person, absentee ballots have to be in by 8 p.m. Tuesday. You can drop ballots in the mail, but your best bet is to drop off your ballot in the box in the town building vestibule it's open 24 hours.

    As of mid-May, the Town Clerk had received close to 700 absentee ballots. You can find absentee voting applications on the Town Clerk's website.

    Candidate profiles

    Way back in February, Patch asked candidates to fill out questionnaires about why they're running in 2020. Here are the candidates we heard back from (in alphabetical order):

    There are more than just School Committee and Board of Selectmen races. There are 11 races ranging from Town Moderator to the Recreation Commission. See everyone running here.

    Ballot question

    Wayland voters will be asked to approve a debt exclusion so the town can borrow money to pay for a new roof at Loker Elementary School. The Loker roof is leaking and in need of a full replacement. The total cost of the replacement will be about $4.3 million, and the state School Building Authority has approved a $1.2 million grant toward that total cost.

    Original post:
    Your Guide To The Wayland 2020 Town Election - Patch.com

    Is the Flo smart water monitor still worth it 18 months later? – ZDNet - June 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Here's the Flo installed in my house.

    I originally reviewed the Flo smart water monitor in 2018. Since then, I've replaced it once and added to it with a water overflow detector. My initial observations and my conclusions after 18 months are documented below.

    I have had the misfortune to experience the results of two leaks inside my home. Trust me when I tell you that, if you haven't gone through this, you really have no idea how bad it can get.

    The first occurred quite some time ago. I went to work in the morning, worked a long day, and came home... to my basement apartment filled with five inches of water. My cat was cowering on my bed, clearly quite freaked out.

    As it turns out, one of the hoses to the washer had split. Water from the hose flooded into my apartment for hours. Later, I was told by the insurance adjuster that the top source of in-home flooding is broken washer lines, and the best way to prevent that from happening is to spend a few bucks and upgrade to metal lines. Let that be a hint to you. I've always upgraded my washer lines since that day.

    To prevent that from happening again in this house, I've added the newly released Flo Smart Water Detector. More on that device below.

    Also: CNET lab tests the Flo

    It took more than two months for my life to go back to normal. Thankfully, most of the expense was covered by the apartment management and insurance, but I lived with huge fans running day and night trying to clear out the moisture. All my rugs had to be deep cleaned, and all my furniture had stains on the legs. All told, it cost the insurance company, the apartment manager, and me more than $4,000 to recover from the lack of a $12 metal hose.

    This is what our wall looked like after discovering one small leak. Not pretty.

    The second leak occurred just recently. We bought our new house and had a home inspector check it out. We were told there were no visible or known leaks.

    Two weeks after the sale, I drove down to the house with my wife (we were still living in our rental house while we fixed up our fixer-upper). My wife noticed discoloration on the wall near the ceiling in a bathroom.

    It turns out there was a pipe junction in the ceiling above that wall that was leaking. There was more discoloration behind the drywall. We wound up ripping out the entire wall, and with it, the vanity, to mitigate the problem. Not counting the cost of the plumber to fix the leak, the drywall repair, painting, and a vanity probably cost us a few thousand dollars, an expense we had not budgeted for.

    I'm sharing these two examples in some depth to show you what can happen when your home has a leak. Keep that in mind when I discuss the Flo, a smart home device that, if installed, could have substantially reduced the damage from both these emergencies.

    Serendipitously, the folks at Flo Technologies reached out to me about doing a review of Flo just about a week after we discovered the stain on the wall and were making plumbing repairs. To say I could appreciate the need for its product was an understatement.

    You can see exactly what's flowing into your house in real-time.

    Here's the thing: At that time, my wife and I were still living about 45 minutes away in our temporary rental home. We expected there to be at least three more months of work on the new house before it was ready for us to move in.

    Although one or both of us went down there as often as our schedules would permit, there were still times when the house would be unoccupied and unobserved for days at a time. We had no idea if we would discover more leaks or problems that, left unobserved, would mushroom into new big expenses.

    But, if we could put a Flo on the pipes, if something bad happened, we'd know pretty quickly, even when we were miles away from the house.

    Flo picked up the cost of the $500 device and sent me one for review. It needed to be installed right at the point where water comes into the house, and it needed a power socket nearby. It cost me about $350 in licensed electrician and plumber hours to get the device installed.

    If you're doing the math, getting a Flo and installing it will cost somewhere between $500 and $1,000 for most users. That seems like a lot. It is a lot.

    But when you factor in the time, stress, and out-of-pocket cost for a major leak, the up-front cost is actually worth it. That's why I took you through my two experiences. I want you to understand the scope of the emergency the Flo is meant to protect you from.

    The Flo is a smart valve. It sits at the point water enters your home and, if it detects an anomalous situation, it closes off water flow to the house. That's why it needs power. There's both a Wi-Fi client and a motor inside the unit, and both need power to operate.

    Once installed, Flo takes about a week to get used to the water usage patterns in your home. A toilet flush uses a certain number of gallons quickly, then stops. Washing at a sink might use a smaller number of gallons for 3 to 5 minutes, then the water flow stops. Taking a shower uses a larger number of gallons, but after 10 to 20 minutes, that water flow stops as well. Washing clothes also uses a certain number of gallons and might run for 20 or 30 minutes.

    Each of these patterns is observed and cataloged by the Flo. Flo then watches to see if anything outside one of these patterns occurs.

    You don't want to see one of these, but you'd rather see one than not, if you know what I mean.

    Here's how it would have worked if I had a Flo back when my apartment flooded. Once the feeder pipe to the washer broke, Flo would have detected water flow. Based on the gallons per minute, it might have even assumed a wash was running. But if the water kept flowing for 30, 40, 50, 60 minutes, Flo would suspect something was amiss.

    The first thing it would have done would be to send me an alert on my phone. I would have gotten a message that said there was high water usage. At that point, I could have tapped my phone and remotely, at work, turned off the water flow into the house. If Flo sent me that alert and I did not respond, Flo would have automatically turned off water flow to the house.

    Water that was still in the pipes might have leaked out the washer hose. First, if I found out there was a leak, I might have left work early to check it out. Alternatively, when I got home that night, I would have had a big puddle around the washer, not a 5-inch deep lake throughout my whole apartment.

    Flo also does regular tests for small leaks. Every night, it shuts the water off for about 10 minutes. During that time, it monitors to see if there's a pressure drop. Your home's water pipes are a closed system. If the input port is closed and all the valves are closed, pressure should not drop -- unless there's a leak.

    Leaks can be from a faucet not fully closed or from a pipe in the wall dripping onto drywall for weeks. The Flo can't tell you where the leak is, but it can tell you if it sees a pressure drop, which you can then investigate.

    Let's start with the last test I just described, the Flo test for tiny leaks in the system. Here's a log from a few days last week. As you can see, most nights Flo reported a successful health test. One night, it detected a small drip. And one night, the health test was interrupted.

    This log contains a lot of useful information, especially when trying to determine if a leak is systemic or situational.

    An interrupted health test is usually because someone in the house opens a faucet or flushes a toilet. But the small leak is the important one. If a small leak is detected each night, that's a problem. But if it's only detected once in a while, the odds are that a faucet hasn't been fully closed.

    Thankfully, I've only had one high usage alert, and that was while painters were at the house. Funny story. I had installed the Flo, but still wasn't living in the house. As such, our water usage was negligible. There might have been a toilet flush once every day or so, but that's about it.

    Suddenly, the painters were there, and they were using a lot of water to clean up. I got a high water alert and immediately called the contractor. "Hey," I said. "Is there any chance you started to use a lot of water down there?"

    "Uh, yeah," replied the painter. "Why?" A second or two passed. "Wait," he exclaimed (for real, his voice went up a whole octave). "How do you know?"

    I explained the Flo. While I was excited that the system worked, it was clear that the idea I knew what was happening at a water flow level from across the state discomfited my contractor. I think he's been suspicious of my gadgets ever since.

    As I said, we're living in a fixer-upper. Fixer-uppers are often great investments, but there are days.

    A month or so after I got the Flo, the rainy season hit in full force and we discovered a leak coming from the ceiling in our hall. We had to break open some of the ceiling and we found both a water pipe and boards from the roof. The question was: was it the pipe or was it the roof?

    We were pretty sure we could eliminate the pipe because the previous night's Flo health test hadn't reported a leak. To be sure, I manually initiated a health test run, and ten minutes later, we had our answer. It was not the pipe that was leaking.

    We were able to quickly eliminate one possible source of the leak. While we still had a roof to fix, the Flo was able, at least, to tell us it wasn't the fault of the pipe.

    Setting up the Flo was a pain. You're supposed to pre-bind it to your Wi-Fi network before the plumber shows up. I did that, but once installed, it lost that connection, and I had to spend almost an hour fiddling with the unit and restarting it before I got it to bind with my router. That cost me an hour in plumber fees.

    Once it was finally connected, it worked flawlessly for about six months, then it died. Kaput. Zilch. Fortunately, it didn't die in the middle of a water pressure test, so we were still able to use city water. Had it died with the flow constrictor closed, we would have needed to use a special hex wrench to open it back up.

    I contacted the company (this was before they were acquired by Moen), and it sent me a new device. However, not wanting to incur more plumbing service fees, I let the replacement device sit on my shelf for about half a year. Then, I had another plumbing project that needed attention, so while the plumber was here, I asked him to replace the dead device with the new one. He did, and since all the prep work had been done for the previous device, the installation of this new one didn't cost nearly as much as the original install.

    The new device does the smart water check in seconds instead of minutes. Since we installed it, it's reported on our water regularly, and once again, we've got peace of mind.

    I'm also not thrilled with how the power connector goes into the Flo unit itself. There's a gasket that's intended to prevent water from getting into the power connector, but it tends to push the connector out of the small socket.

    A much better design would have been a positive link or lock once the power connection was made into the Flo. Again, it's worked since I set it up, but it could be a bit better.

    Moen has added a line extension to its Flo product that makes a lot of sense. The Smart Water Detector is a little puck that sits where pooling water would gather in the event of a leak. When my 18-year-old fridge died last fall, I bought a Samsung Smart Things leak detector and placed it under the new fridge. Because the plastic water line goes into the wall, we couldn't replace it with a metal one. That plastic line was at least as old as the old fridge, so we decided a pro-active monitoring solution would be a good idea.

    This was before Flo introduced its water detector. While the Samsung device will post alerts, the Flo Smart Water detector goes one step further. If it detects a leak on the floor, it automatically shuts off the water using the Flo. I placed the unit Flo sent me under the washing machine, in case that decides to flood.

    This gives Flo multiple points of leak monitoring. The device can sense water pressure changes at the main junction. But by using the leak detectors on the ground, it can also sense leaks from around the house and shut them down, possibly preventing the kind of disaster I had with my washing machines back in the day.

    Yes, probably. The cost of water damage is so high that if you're even slightly concerned about making sure you don't live through an inside flood or leak that could cause mold or other organic substances, it's worth getting. It also detects high water pressure and freezing water temperatures, so you have a much better chance of preventing bursts due to freezing pipes.

    Back when we were in Florida, there was a lot of what we called "snowbirds," folks who lived in the north through the summer months and moved down to Florida for the winter months. If you're someone who migrates between homes and, for whatever reason, can't shut off mains water at the house you're not at, a Flo might prove essential.

    Likewise, if you're someone who travels a lot, being able to monitor water usage from anywhere in the world is a big win. I had a major disaster in my apartment, and that was from water flow while I was at the office, just my normal commute away from home. Back in those days, I traveled a lot, and when I think about how bad things might have gotten if the water kept running for days, it gives me the chills.

    Yes, the Flo is pretty expensive. It's also not able to pinpoint where a water problem occurs, just that there is one inside your home.

    Think about this:Zillow says the median home value in the US is $221,000. The site CostHelper says that it can cost from $5,000 to a whopping $70,000 to clean up damage from a water leak. Is it worth spending $500 (plus labor) to protect such a huge investment while at the same time preventing such huge costs?

    In my mind, after living through two very costly water damage situations (which, still, were at the low end of the overall cost spectrum), and then, with the Flo, being able to quickly eliminate and positively identify a roof leak, my answer is "yes." It is worth the initial expense. That's because the cost of damage ranges from simply daunting to truly horrifying. Plus the stress. Don't forget the stress.

    Of course, if the Flo fails, as mine did, you might only think you have water monitoring. When our first Flo stopped working, the app did not alert me. We probably went days to weeks without active water monitoring, and it was only when my wife pointed out she hadn't heard the sound of the valve closing during test time that we finally realized it was dead. The Flo rep wouldn't tell me if these failures were common or if it was simply growing pains since I was an early adopter. That said, I'm far happier with the new replacement Flo installed than I was during the intervening time that we didn't have it watching over us.

    You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz, on Instagram at Instagram.com/DavidGewirtz, and on YouTube at YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV.

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    Is the Flo smart water monitor still worth it 18 months later? - ZDNet

    Council landed with 77k bill to replace leaky eco roof – Brighton and Hove News - June 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The Level cafe by Simon Carey from geograph.org.uk

    The cafe on The Level was built in 2013 as part of the award-winning revamp of the central Brighton park. Contractors Thomas Sinden said the cafe construction project was worth 1 million.

    But earlier this year, the roof had to be replaced because it was leaking.

    And according to a Freedom of Information request from a member of the public, the council has picked up the 77,000 cost of replacing it even though its still under warranty.

    Its response appears to put the blame on the fact so many different companies were responsible for its installation, no one company is liable for the replacement.

    When making his inquiry, resident Ted Newton said either the architect or the contractor should pay for the repair.

    He told Brighton and Hove News: I have a gripe with the whole Level thing. Once you start getting money from the Heritage Lottery Fund its like free money and its thrown around willy nilly.

    There used to be a little kiosk selling chips and those people had been there for years and they werent involved in anything to do with the Level revamp, they were simply told their lease was going to be ended.

    That cafe just represents everything thats wrong with how Heritage Lottery Fund money is spent.

    In its response to Mr Newtons FOI, Brighton and Hove City Council said: We used a standard form of contract with a commercial warranty.

    However, it was decided that the costs of the legal proceedings against various parties, had no guarantee of success, due to the history of involvement of various parties, and that the costs we would have to bear outweighed what would be recovered.

    In a subsequent response, it added: Even where successful, not all costs would be recoverable.

    The council owns the building and is responsible for its upkeep. It first leased it to the Velo Cafe, run by Small Batch Coffee, and is now run by Tomato Dolce and Salato.

    The work on the cafe is featured as a case study on websites of several of the contractors involved in its construction.

    Organic Roofs, which also helped install the replacement roof, features the then Velo Cafe roof in a piece entitled Organic Roofs vs Cowboy Builders about their appearance on a Channel 5 TV show.

    It said: Some of the multiple benefits Lee (Evans, company director] explained included the greatly extended lifespan of the waterproofing . . . and the magical figure of cost.

    Overall the message was that everyone can do their bit, and the upfront investment is more than balanced by the life cycle savings.

    Organic Roofs did not respond to a request for comment.

    Hertalan, which manufactures the waterproof panels used by Organic Roofs, also featured the Level Cafe in an online case study.

    It says: Our EPDM systems have a life span of more than 50 years (SKZ Study 2001).

    Architects Knox Bhavan and contractors Thomas Sinden also feature the cafe on their websites. Neither responded to a request for comment.

    Brighton and Hove City Council also failed to respond to a request for comment.

    See the article here:
    Council landed with 77k bill to replace leaky eco roof - Brighton and Hove News

    When the Hollinger houses got indoor bathrooms and peaked roofs – My Timmins Now - June 8, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Hollinger houses afteer 1936, when the peaked roofs were added, effectively adding a second storey to the four-room homes.(Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre)

    When Noah Timmins founded the Hollinger gold mine, he needed housing for his workers. So in 1919, he built 150 four-room, tar paper houses on the avenues west of Mountjoy Street North then another 100 in 1922 and another 100 on Spruce, Balsam, Maple and Elm Streets.

    Museum director-curator Karen Bachmann tells us that backyard privies were replaced by indoor bathrooms in the 1920s.

    By 1936, these little homes are flat-topped roofs and again families are big, so we create the little peaked areas on them, creating some more space upstairs, she says.

    Many of the Hollinger mine employees living in the houses were avid gardeners.(Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre)

    Bachmann adds that when the mine closed in the late 1960s, employees living in the houses were given the opportunity to buy them.

    There was some money available to renovate them, so they were more than glad to do that, she recounts. And the Hollinger houses have been a part of our community ever since.

    See the original post:
    When the Hollinger houses got indoor bathrooms and peaked roofs - My Timmins Now

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