Tag Archives: humidity

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Time to Remodel the Basement

Years have passed and it seems your basement is in need of a little TLC. Or, you may have witnessed last spring’s catastrophic floods, which are expected to happen over and over again, so maybe you want to keep your basement dry next year? If so, follow this guide.

While you are at it, why not check the radon level in your home. Is this cancer-causing gas seeping into your basement? The detection device is sold in large shopping centres and hardware stores. If you do not believe this gas is present in your home because you have not smelled it, think again. Radon is odourless and colourless. If the level is high, the Écohabitation organization has designed a system, supported by drawings, to evacuate the gas.

On the Écohabitation website, you will find the basic steps to waterproof your basement in a sustainable manner. Here is a quick summary. Continue reading

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Winterizing a Window

One of your windows is in poor condition. For whatever reason, you couldn’t replace it before the winter season’s arrival. Here are a few guidelines to help you prevent damage or a hike in heating costs.

  • Weatherstripping is the key element in heat loss prevention. Make sure it is in mint condition.
  • Clean every part of the window with a brush or a vacuum cleaner. It can actually make a small difference.
  • If the caulk breaks when touched with a screwdriver or any other tool for that matter, it needs to be replaced.
  • Window films can reduce heat loss up to 50%. It is applied to the inside of the window on the surface of the glass and can be installed by anyone.
  • Adhesive foam tape isn’t the most durable, but it will last through a winter season.
  • You can buy draft stoppers that attach to the outside of the window on milder days.

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Wine cellar and wine cave

Wine is suitable for all seasons, but during the rigours of fall and winter, it provides a warmth that is unique to it. During these times, it has the gift of reconciling us with life. Not surprising that lovers of good wine reserve a specific place for it.

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Some people store it in their closet. Sacrilegious? Not at all. Good bottles of wine can be stored anywhere, as long as it is cool, devoid of light, has an ambient temperature between 10 and 15 degrees and 55% to 80% humidity. Warning! All these conditions must be respected to the letter, all year long. Wine is delicate and sensitive to changes in temperature. It needs stability. The slightest change can alter it.

To ensure this stability, some wine enthusiasts resort to a mini-air conditioner, a humidifier, a wine cooler, and other devices after having consulted a wine specialist.

There are two other mandatory conditions: the wine must be free from any vibration and the air it breathes must be pure. Therefore, you should avoid storing it in the garage. Continue reading

How to choose the best gypsum board

Also known as “gyprock,” “sheetrock” or “plasterboard,” sheets of gypsum are found everywhere in the structure of modern houses. In fact, gypsum has become the reference material over the years. So what could be more natural than to choose this material to finish our walls?

You would think it wouldn’t be complicated to buy this wall component. However, once you get to your building centre, you’re faced with a variety of dimensions and colours. Which one do you choose?

First you have to know your needs. Are you going to use it in a regular room, or a humid area like a bathroom where air quality is very important, or a space that needs to be fire-resistant?

Choix Gypse Murs ISTOCKPHOTO Renovation
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A natural cellar for fruits and vegetables

Farmers used to store their vegetables in an underground space in the middle of a field. Come fall, potatoes, cabbage, carrots and other garden produce was stored underground. Otherwise the vegetables were found under the house in a space known as a root cellar.

It’s quite likely that root cellars and natural caves still exist in Quebec. You just have to go for a walk far out in the country to find them.

These underground spaces have a dual advantage: they stay cool in the summer despite the hot weather and they are protected from freezing in winter. If you go into one of these underground spaces, you’ll find that they’re cool and humid, and that the only light usually comes from the light of day through the open door.

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