One of the cool tools that I use during inspections is a FLIR Thermal Imaging camera. This allows me to take measurements of temperature differentials of various surfaces and objects during an inspection. Useful for finding areas of air leakage and hidden insulation problems.
I took a picture of my sleeping dog Magoo this morning to show what the camera is capable of doing. The image on the left is the regular digital camera image while the picture on the left is a blended thermal image. Relative cool areas are darker, warmer areas are brighter. Magoo is working hard at sleeping and is significantly warmer than the floor he is laying on.
Thermal imaging works best when there is a large temperature differential between the inside and outside of the house. The images above show a front door from the inside on a cold morning. You can see a big temperature drop at the bottom of the sidelight window on the left and the bottom of the door. Looks like there is some air leakage on the bottom of the door - the weather stripping likely needs to be replaced.
Looking for a gift idea for that someone who takes care of your home improvement needs? One of the best tool sets that I have ever used for general home improvement tasks is the Bosch 12 Volt Drill and Impact Driver set. These are small and compact tools that are powered by a rechargeable lithium battery. Though they are only 12 Volt batteries these tools are more than adequate for most home improvement projects.
The combo set includes both a 3/8 inch drill (Bosch PS 31) and an impact driver (Bosch 41), two batteries and a charger. Highly recommended.
Amazon Link: Bosch PS 31 and PS 41 Combo Kit.
Sliding screen doors are great at keeping bugs out and allowing pleasant breezes in but they are prone to damage. Dogs trying to get in, cats trying to get out and children who try to grab on to the frame too enthusiastically can all be a problem. Follow this step by step guide to learn how to replace a damaged screen on a sliding screen door.
Choose a corner and start to remove the spline (rubber piece holding the screen in the channel). A slotted screw driver is a good starter to pry out the spline. Once it is started you can pull the spline out around the perimeter of the door.
Remove the damaged screen from the frame. The screen should remove easily once the spline is out.
Start at the top. Use the spline tool to pre-crease the screen in to the channel. Press the spline into place over the screen and in to the channel by hand. Follow up with the spline tool to roll along the spline and firmly seat in place.
I concentrate on the top of the door frame first and try to get everything positioned evenly along the width of the replacement screen. Don't be afraid to start over if you notice the screen isn't quite level with the frame. Just pull out the spline, reposition the screen and repeat until everything is nice and even.
Once you are happy with the top of the door move to the right side. Once again use the thin side of the spline tool to pre-crease the screen in to the channel. Place the spline and then use the concave side of the tool to seat the spline in place.
The bottom and left side of the door are a little bit tricky. You want to make sure to pull the screen tight before creasing the screen and placing the spline.
Hold the screen tight and work a few inches at a time with the spline to ensure that everything stays level and taut.
Once you reach the starting point with the spline you will likely have a bit left over. Cut to length with a utility knife.
Once the spline is firmly seated and the screen is to your liking it's time to trim the excess screen away. Using a utility knife, cut just outside the spline on the screen. Slow and steady will give you a nice clean edge.
Replace the door hardware. Adjust the door as needed and lubricate the tracks.
I have an awesome wife. Kara has stuck with me for the past 22 years and supported me in everything that I have done. She is a very talented photographer who runs a successful business - Kara Jovag Photography, is an outstanding Mom for our 3 daughters and can still be patient with her husband.
She was nice enough to help with some of the pictures on this website and design my new business cards. Besides the business cards, Kara does portrait work, some real estate photography and has become the unofficial photographer for all of my daughters lacrosse teams. Check out the website and her blog for more examples of her work.
"Brian, what are you going to do when you get out of the Army?" - common question I was asked in August of 2016.
I was retiring after 22 years in the Army and all my training and education was as a Physical Therapist. It seemed like I had educated myself into a corner. I wanted a break from being a full time PT but I still wanted to do something that utilized my skills and provided a challenge.
I've always loved DIY projects (and my wife keeps me busy with projects around the house). We have a rental home that I maintain and have remodeled over the past 8 years. I enjoy projects around the house and learning something new about plumbing, electrical, construction and building practices with each new problem to solve.
It hit me when we bought a college rental house in Bellingham. It was built in 1902 and had a ton of character as well as a lot of problems to fix before it was ready to rent. I walked around the house with the home inspector during the inspection and was fascinated with the process.
Looking at a house and assessing the systems, construction and how the whole thing goes together is very similar to doing an evaluation of a patient. I'm skilled at diagnosing musculoskeletal issues in patients and those same skills are essential in being a good home inspector.
I needed a change and this was it - become a home inspector. I get to use all my skills I've learned as a PT and combine them with my love of DIY with the challenge of looking at something new every day.
Brian Jovag, owner of Jovag Home Inspection.