Heritage Restoration, Inc.

Mild Thing, You Help My Purse String

So this winter has been great for those who don’t like the cold and slush, as well as a bit easier on the bank account, so it’s a great time to analyze and retrofit your old house. Many believe an old house can’t be comfortable and efficient without severe intervention, ruining its soul and threatening its function. Old houses have their own unique characteristics, from how they were built and modified, to their site conditions; each playing a role in how they now function. Fortunately today we have science using great tools and techniques homeowners and professionals alike can use to break through your mystery house, and you can find out at our workshop on February 15, 2020.

Somewhere in Providence, February 12, 2015

January 2020 was pretty tame. The average temperature was 8 degrees warmer than the 100 year average and about 7 degrees warmer than last year. We had less bitter cold wind events, resulting in less times we were reminded that our houses are a sieve. It was 5 years ago we had severe ice issues from prolonged cold and precipitation. Yet for many, the only thing that has made the house better is the weather itself, not repairs or upgrades.

Ice damming is a condition of a poorly functioning thermal dynamic in a house, with the heat from the interior warming the roof, melting the snow, then refreezing when it hits the cold overhang. There are times when an intervention is more expensive or worse than taking the risk of it happening every 10 years, but it costs very little and does no harm to investigate what is going on.

Our workshop this Saturday, February 15 at 9AM at 6 Robin Street, Providence, will focus on how you and the professional can determine the best methods to diagnose and retrofit your building. The workshop will demonstrate how a typical diagnosis proceeds.

Who Was The Builder, and What Did They Do?

Age, style, construction methods and evolution all contribute to how a building performs and more importantly what can be done effectively and efficiently. Is it already insulated? Replaced a boiler or the heat? Or worse, replace the windows? And still nothing is better?

How You Doin?

A house’s health is first and foremost in consideration of retrofit. Lichen, mold, mildew and rot reveal excess moisture or direct water infiltration, which can be detrimental once a house is insulated. Everything from the gutters, to the siding, to the windows and doors, to the basement are all part of the analysis.


A blower door test makes the breeze

This is where guessing meets facts. Once we understand the building, we invite in the energy geeks. An Energy Audit by a certified professional gives a snapshot of your house. They start with analysis of your systems, like a boiler’s efficiency, to determine the health and function of your heating and cooling systems. A visual assessment of the exterior water and moisture control, as well as the interior of where and how it was insulted, if at all, as well as things like the electrical system’s age and if knob and tube is present. The auditor perform the really cool stuff using Negative Air Blower Door Tests, Infrared and Smoke Sticks to find where your house breathes. The data is collected then presented to Heritage for us to develop the best methods of addressing all of these findings together.

You Make Me Want To Be A Better House

Every old house conflicts with our assumptions because, well, we assume. Science allows us to better judge what we are seeing, and even more importantly, allows us to develop a better plan. If we blindly judged the house and left how to intervene with the “professionals”, we would get their opinion based on what they do, not what is best for the building. So with this plan, we can call each specialist and request the work to be done in a specific way, hopefully the way they know best, giving your building the best, most cost effective, healthiest, and functional method building. And even better, you can test and track the house AFTER the retrofit, to see how successful it was. So far, every house we have conducted these assessments for and intervened performed better.

House in Bristol after an audit. We replaced the storm windows and closed up major holes.

So join us for the event, or even look for videos we may post in the future. Let’s save some money, and better yet, save a house.