Saturday, October 18, 2014

Some Efforts That Might Make Your Suburban Home A Refuge...

Live in a row house or town house with adjoining walls?  Probably too close for comfort.  These ideas might prove worthwhile to the detached homeowner with a yard and fence.

If you house is so tightly built on your lot that you are shoulder width or maybe two in width between neighbors, then you are stuck with the weak-link scenario.  If everyone on your side of the street gets together and follows the same basic guidelines, well; there's always one or more who won't get on the bandwagon.  That said...

Older suburbia was big lot planned living.  Many of those old houses were torn-down and McMansions put up in their place.  Usually McManses are built to the very edge of the property line allowance and right to the street setback.  Probably have a concrete parking pad and garage instead of a front yard.  Many will have a swimming pool, maybe even an indoor lap pool which is a plus!

Water is a BIG Concern.  Don't got a pool?  Buy one!  Wallyworld and toy stores may still have a basic Above Ground pool you can erect in an afternoon.  Need a level spot in your yard, or cover a concrete pad/patio with 6mil plastic sheeting and then cover w/sand or clean dirt.  The pool frame erects on a circular frame which the 4' tall pool wall slides in.  The frame is supported w/vertical stays and lots of playground or other fine sand keeps it all erect when filled with water.  Talking 3000 gals or more and the pool with cheap electric pump/filter will be around $100/$150.

Pool supply store has more upscale kits and custom sized liners.  The liners are much more longlasting and made of better materials.  A good pool pump and filter with pool scour attachment may be worth the investment.  Admit it!  You always wanted a pool.  Now you have reason to buy one.  May as well get one you will enjoy and maybe build a deck framework so your family can enjoy it come next Spring.  In the meantime you got a supply of water.  Good idea to own a quality drinking water drip/candle filter and/or a distiller to make the HD Chlorinated pool water safe to drink.

Sewage  is going to be a huge problem.  Most persons sick with the disease will discharge virus laden sewage.  Will your town, municipality, MUD have sewage incinerators in time, or ever to handle this concern?  Probably not.

If you know where your water meter and sewer lines come into your house, you can dig around the sewerline, cut the pipe and cap it.  Might seem extreme, but should be easy to pull the cap and restore the line once any concern for present or future threat is gone...  Not like you need do this today.  Concern is that in a pandemic, most utilities will be down, unattended or at least understaffed.  If such situations begin to occur in your town, you can at least be sure no contagion will back up into your house through the sewer pipe.  Might want to search for these problems happening in flooding situations.  At best case secnario, if the sewage treatment plant(s) are down  your own effluent will not back up and pollute your home.

Pretty easy to attend to the other daily living necessities if you have these taken care of.  Plenty of quiet inverter generators on the market.  Might find one now on  See the earlier article on electrical generation.  Gas appliances, as mentioned before, can be converted to propane with an orifice kit.  Really NEED that water filter with 3 gal reservoir like the Katadyn or Berkey.  No charcoal filters, because they last only a few months vs many years for the standard non-charcoal element ceramic filters.

Got a fence?  Probably worth keeping your front gate locked with a good padlock.  Maybe a quarantine sign and a note advising to call and state business before expecting admission.  No stranger comes into your house.  No one.  On same notion, you do NOT go out either.  Probably much more information to come from other sources about self-quarantining or sheletering in-place.

Should the contagion be proven to be air transmissable, then you need to do all you can to seal your home and make a positive pressure within the house.  Positive pressure will carry inside air out, whenever a door or window is opened.  You don't want outside, non-filtered air entering your home in that situation...

Another thought:  When driving if your area has experienced an outbreak, use your Air Conditioner even if on warm/hot settings in Winter.  A/C in vehicle will circulate interior air without blending air from outside.  With good window gaskets and tight interior you should have positive air pressure working for you.  Not like your too likely to be out driving around in such times, but if you are; use your air-conditioner rather than just the vent.  Might also treat your window gaskets with armor-all or other silicon rubber/vinyl conditioner.  Older vehicle, like an older house might benefit from some silicon caulk applied around door edges and to seal any wiring push-throughs in the firewall under the hood.  Worth getting a new set of hinge pins for any doors that don't close tight.  And for sure, get new tires if you might need them, change oil and filters and keep vehicle in good repair for dependability and to avoid a breakdown.

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