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This informative resource page is provided to you courtesy of  Patton Home Inspections.


House dust mites are not a problem in Colorado!!

By Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University Extension Entomologist

House dust mites, or more specifically their airborne feces, are a potentially serious allergen.

Their basic food source are skin flakes - dander - which make up ca 80% of household lint.

However, they can't feed or develop on "raw" dander. It must be defatted and partially digested by an Aspergillus fungus.

The growth of the fungus requires fairly high humidity to grow. Further, at humidities much below 70% the mites tend to lose more moisture than they can acquire, which ultimately is lethal. It is generally considered that 60% RH is the absolute minimum where dust mites can occur. Given relative humidities found in this state average ca 35% or so (and considerably lower in homes during winter) that pretty much eliminates this problem.

Dr. Nelson of National Jewish Hospital in Denver did a survey of house dust mites in Colorado several years ago. He found none, with one exception. The exception was an invalid, confined to bed with a humidifier running constantly next to the bed. He concluded that they are not a problem in the state.

Despite this, articles about house dust mites continue to periodically crop up in local newspaper stories. They also are sometimes used in advertisements to create concerns so that people will buy products. One example is companies that clean heating ducts and picture a big house dust mite in advertisements.

I can think of fewer places that would be more unfavorable for a house dust mite to live than in a Colorado heating duct.





January is National Radon Action Month

Radon Public Service AnnouncementIndoor Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and the leading cause among non-smokers. Protect your family. Test your home. During the month of January, EPA works to raise the public's awareness about radon and the importance of testing for radon -- especially in homes and schools. The EPA, working in concert with Federal, State, and local governments as well as volunteer organizations, conducts many different programs to educate Americans about the indoor radon health threat. About 1 in 15 homes has high radon levels. If you haven't tested your home, do it now during National Radon Action Month. If you have further questions about Radon, please call your state radon contact (just click on your state), or call the National Radon Information Line at: 1-800-SOS-RADON [1-800-767-7236]  Read More...


Asbestos was widely used until the mid 1970's.  It has excellent insulating properties unfortunately asbestos when airborne is also a very dangerous carcinogen. EPA Asbestos 


Polybutylene (PB):  

Polybutylene is a material that was used for water supply piping from 1978 until 1995. Plumbers liked it because it requires special tools to repair and it is less expensive than copper.  Polybutylene pipe has been the subject of several class action law suits due to its tendency to leak when used with chlorinated water.  For more information please go to Polybutylene.com 


ABS Pipe:

ABS pipe is rigid black plastic pipe used to drain sinks, tubs, showers, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers. Six class action complaints have been coordinated before the Honorable Mark B. Simons, Contra Costa County Superior Court, State of California, and allege that ABS pipe manufactured at certain times between 1984 and 1990 by Polaris Pipe Co. ("Polaris"), Gable Plastics, Inc. ("Gable"), Centaur Mfg., Inc. ("Centaur"), Centaur Marketing, Inc. a/k/a Phoenix Extrusion Co. ("Phoenix"), and Apache Plastics, Inc. ("Apache") is defective and may leak. The overwhelming majority of the allegedly defective ABS pipe at issue is located in the State of California. All defendants in this action deny all liability and deny that the ABS pipe at issue is defective. The Court has not yet ruled, one way or the other, on the correctness of plaintiffs' claims. In addition, the fact that your residence or building has ABS pipe manufactured by one or more of the defendant manufacturers does not mean that your residence or building has the allegedly defective ABS pipe at issue. 


Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok Circuit Breaker Articles and Failures Research:

 Federal Pacific Electric "Stab-Lok" service panels and breakers are a latent hazard and can fail, leading to electrical fires. The problem is that some double-pole (240-Volt) FPE circuit breakers and possibly also some single-pole units simply may not work. There also have been reports that independent of the breaker problems, there have been panel and panel-bus fires and arcing failures in some equipment.

More about Federal Pacific Electric Panels From Codecheck.com


EIFS is a siding system used for exterior walls in both residential and commercial construction. One type of system which has been widely used on residential homes is called barrier EIFS.  Barrier EIFS typically is designed to resist water penetration at the outer surface but not water that gets behind it. There are some newer drainable EIFS systems on the market which are designed to allow the escape of such water.

NAHB believes that homes with barrier EIFS can develop moisture intrusion problems even when properly constructed according to industry standards. Unlike other types of cladding, the design of barrier EIFS does not allow the draining of water that gets behind the system, either through building components (openings in the building envelope for doors, windows, etc.) or when sealants break down or crack. Depending upon the climate and the overall make-up of the wall assembly, the wall may not readily dry out. Sustained elevated levels of moisture without adequate drying will cause rot or decay to sheathing and framing. Moreover, unless a homeowner shows an undue level of diligence to ensure that all openings in the house remain properly sealed and caulked over the life of the house, problems with water intrusion are more likely to occur than with other types of cladding.

The following information has been taken from a brochure entitled, "Water Intrusion and Remediation for Wood Frame Homes with Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS): A Question-and-Answer Information Sheet for Home Owners" (Third Edition - January, 1999). The brochure was developed for owners of wood-frame homes with EIFS cladding. It was written by the EIFS Review Committee, a multi-disciplinary group with expertise in the investigation of water-intrusion in EIFS-clad structures. The Committee includes representatives from NAHB, the NAHB Research Center, EIFS manufacturers, building code officials, and engineers.  NAHB.ORG









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