Programable Thermostats, Caulking & Grout

Programable Thermostats
With the changing of the seasons comes the adjusting of the Thermostats. Of course, some people tend to adjust their thermostats a few times every day, because they have older technology thermostats. There are now many thermostats that are programable and they are quite handy and energy saving. You can program them to adjust the temperature up and down at different times of the day, according to your living habits. For example, when the weather turns cooler we have our Heater set a few degrees warmer starting at 6 PM and then the setting drops to 68 degrees around the time we typically go to sleep. In the morning, it is set to go up few degrees warmer 15 to 20 minutes before we wake up and then back down to 60 degrees about the time we usually leave for work and stays there until evening. Energy savings comes from a couple benefits: One never forgets to turn it off and you do not have to leave the Heating or Cooling on all night just to wake up to a comfortable house. We find that we are quite comfortable sleeping with the heat set back several degrees and during the day we basically turn the unit off, although one can adjust to any desired temperature. All of the programable thermostats have a manual override feature so that if you adjust the temperature they will hold that setting until the next programed adjustment. Programable Thermostats are fairly cheap, starting around $50- are usually easy to install and if you are handy you might install one yourself. If you prefer professional installation it usually does not cost an arm and a leg to have one installed. If you have a programable thermostat but have not set it up yet, we recommend doing so, just follow the instruction manual and it goes pretty easy. If you do not have one we recommend having them. They help conserve energy and the house always feels comfortable.

Caulking & Grout
Caulking & Grout issues often come up on an inspection report because related problems often allow for water to leak into areas where it should not be. Water problems are probably the most common and important issues that we look for during an inspection, because they can cause major damage to the surrounding areas such as rotting wood, mold etc.

This is why at “The Best Home Inspections” we have both a Moisture Meter and an Infrared camera to help us locate possible water concerns during an inspection.

Another related important point is understanding the difference between Caulking and Grout and the somewhat different reasons for using each. According to Daltile,, one of the biggest and best tile suppliers, “The purpose of grout is, simply, to fill the joint between the tiles”. Grout does not seal anything and does not actually stop water from going anywhere. It does slow water down considerably if it is in good condition and none is missing. This is why you cannot stop a leaking shower from leaking by just filling in the missing grout. If a shower etc. is leaking and it is not around the faucets or enclosure then the real problem is in the waterproof membrane (usually tar paper but better yet plastic sheeting) behind the tile and concrete or wall board.

Caulking, on the other hand is made to seal things and stop water from traveling. Shower faucets, shower enclosures and sinks are always supposed to be caulked because there is high water volume in these areas. We need the caulking to be there in perfect condition to keep water from escaping into the walls, cabinets etc. and causing damage. Another benefit to caulking is that it is flexible, which grout is not. Caulking is used in the corners of a shower or where the tile meets the tub not because it is sealing a leak (assuming that things were built correctly) but because these areas will experience movement and will break and loosen the grout. Fortunately, replacing caulking and grout is fairly easy and inexpensive to do, and as important as they are, should be done whenever it is necessary.

Home Related Web Sites
If you ever have a desire to find out how something in your home works or how to fix it you can of course Google or Ask it but sometimes it can be handy to have a place to look directly. Here are the sites that we sometimes refer to that have a lot of information about taking care of your home, in no particular order:

“Be There Or Be Square!”
Our dear friend Johnny Recine sings most Friday and Saturday nights from 5:30-9:30PM at Earth, Wind & Flour 2222 Wilshire Bl., Santa Monica, CA 90404, (310) 829-7829. Johnny Recine, a vocal performer for 16 + years, has entertained at various night clubs, restaurants, private parties, Weddings and other special events who specializes in the unforgettable standards of the Great American Songbook, the sounds of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis, Jr., Tony Bennett, and more. We are very excited about this because we think he is wonderful, we love his music. TheĀ Earth, Wind & Flour offers great food, reasonable prices, and a full bar.