Empty Nester…now what?

“Empty Nesters”

  05 13 2019

We will soon be empty nesters. My husband and I just graduated our oldest daughter from college and our youngest will soon be attending the same college, 5 hours away. So, this fall we will be considered empty nesters. It was bound to happen; we raised our girls to be able to live on their own (hopefully they won’t want to come back home to live…as we want our privacy finally, is that rude?). Our oldest is a nurse and accepted a job in Dallas, too far to live at home for the commute every day from the suburbs. So, we did our job as parents, preparing them for the real world, “adulting” as we are more commonly hearing. Our neighbors may not know that we are empty nesters, aside from the fact that there are two fewer cars parked in our driveway. That is the only way of possibly knowing how many people are residing in a home.

So how do we know when termites, ants, and mice are living in our homes? Afterall, they don’t drive cars; they just move in without asking. Now that is rude.

I have been working in the building industry for 23 years and have come to realize some important facts:

  1. Water will find a way in
  2. Fully adhered building membranes are better than loose laid
  3. All concrete cracks
  4. Almost all building membranes need to be protected from UV rays
  5. There can never be enough eyes on the project
  6. When inspecting a job, take photos of the process and follow up with an email (proof of what you said on the job site)
  7. Water will find a way in

Why repeat 1 & 7? Because it is so true! It needs repeating. No matter what product you are putting onto/into or under the building project, you need to ensure water will not find its way into the structure.

Just about any place water can get in, termites can get in as well.  This is due to their tiny size (1/50” width) and their ability to chew through building materials such as framing, wall boards, insulation with paper backing, furniture, moldings, and carpet backing.

Many gaps large enough for termites will also allow entry by other pests as well. Mice, ants, and termites (along with spiders, roaches and other pesky crawlers) are also needed a good home to reside in.  Don’t allow this to happen simply by overlooking a few key components that you did not add for perimeter exclusion. Products are available for beefing up the below grade waterproofing membranes and air-barrier solutions to the building envelope.  For a small up-front investment, you can design and build your next project to be virtually pest and pesticide free. These membranes are made and tested for termite exclusion (which means all-pest exclusion, since a termite is the smallest and most invasive insect out there!).

Spring is when we are reminded of all the pesky swarming insects that are breeding and finding new places to populate. Make your next project part of the next generation of sustainability, and yes, go ahead and be rude to the pests that want to enter your building or home without permission, no entry allowed.  Unless of course, you have them pay rent.                       Jill Heidorf, CSI, IIBEC, WWYW

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