Blog - The Stress Point

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Recent Blog Posts - Residential

Brick Veneer - Defined in the Code

Even with its long and trusted history, questions can arise regarding the performance of a brick veneer system. When these performance issues arise, the property owner, adjuster, or attorney are often barraged with various terms such as water-resistive barrier, veneer, or exterior wall envelope...

Why Is the AC Vent Wet?

Have you ever walked around in your socks at home, stepped onto the air conditioning (AC) vent and your socks got wet? Have you ever noticed water dripping from a ceiling AC vent? You might say to yourself, my vents are leaking water; do I need to call the plumber?

Creep

One day a homeowner exited his home to find water pouring down the driveway. Closer examination revealed water was coming from the water meter box and the plastic threaded connector attaching the transition pipe from the water meter to the house supply line had fractured due to continuous stress...

Voltage Surge or Lightning Strike?

Many times electrical engineers are confronted with trying to classify damages to electrical and electronic equipment as the result of a lightning strike. More specifically, was the damage the result of a surge or a direct lightning strike? The answer is “maybe neither.” The chances are the damage...

Keep Your Head Out of the Clouds

Engineers should never have their heads in the clouds, and a good engineer would never be as subjective as Hamlet and Polonius were when observing the shapes of clouds in Shakespeare's "Hamlet". However, pattern recognition is not just the stuff of playwrights... the ability to see patterns is key...

Where's That Water From? (Part 1)

portrait photo of Rod

Rod Turk, P.E.

In part 1 of this four-part series, we will examine common causes of water damage from mechanical systems. Small, slow leaks—or “stealth” leaks, as well as large floods, cause more obvious and widespread damage. Either of these types of leaks can be caused by many different mechanical systems in...

Automatic Water Shut-off Valves

To anyone that has ever had a water line burst in their house, it is clear, the uncontrolled discharge of water into an occupied space is a problem. To anyone that has ever had a water line burst in their house, it is clear, the uncontrolled discharge of water into an occupied space is a problem...

Why Frozen Pipes Rupture

With winter (or frozen pipe season) upon us, I’m reminded about misconceptions regarding frozen pipes and pipe bursts that were located in a heated space. The following information will illustrate how this happens.

Where did the Water Come From?

portrait photo of Richard

Richard T. Edwards, P.E.

As a materials engineer with some experience in chemistry, I am often asked to assist other engineers in determining the source of water in a crawlspace or an affected area. Obviously, seawater versus freshwater is not a difficult determination. This can be differentiated by simple turbidity tests...

Air Infiltration & Leakage (Part 2)

Air infiltration (air that comes in) and air leakage (air that goes out) negatively impact energy usage and costs in conditioned spaces – for homes and businesses alike. We’ve talked about what infiltration and leakage are and how to combat them at a basic level, but to really fix the problem for...