For In the case of concrete slabs, look for cracks, soil separation from the edges of the slab, water stains or discolorations or evidence of pest intrusions (mud or mounds of dirt on the slab edges). Some cracking is not unusual in a climate with elastic soils some cracking is not unusual, - but, large cracks (greater than ¼ inch) should be evaluated by an expert, especially if any buckling or warping of walls or floors is also present. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="300"]...

We run this reminder every year or so because we think it is so important. If there were an emergency situation, could you quickly and efficiently turn off your electricity, water and/or gas? Do you know where your emergency shutoffs are and how to use them? It could save you a lot of damage and money if water is cascading from a ceiling, electricity is arcing and sparking within your walls or you smell a gas leak. Here are Home Hints about emergency utility shut offs. [caption id=""...

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300"] JapaneseToiletControlPanel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption] An article in houzzz.com says: "Indoor plumbing is arguably the greatest invention in the history of humankind (with the possible exception of Peeps sushi). And the porcelain and chrome toilets that grace most bathrooms in the industrialized world work fine. While most people think, "‘If it ain’t broke, why fix it?’" some gadget-happy companies — especially in Japan — say,...