Home Improvement--General/ventilation


Hi Diane,

I have a small house that was insulated with clown in cellulose. There has been a bit of water leaking at the time of spring melt where the snow piles up heavily at a point where 3 separate roof levels meet. I'm worried that I will get rotting, as I do smell mold at that time. Can you advise me as to what to do about that possibility?


Hi, Mike.

Water leaks are the hardest problems to locate and fix. There may be several causes for your problem, including insufficient flashing at the point where the rooflines meet, or ice dams that lift your roof and allow moisture to enter. There could be other things that cause or contribute to your problem, that need to be inspected and thoroughly tested. To get the best solution, you really need to hire a professional, experienced roofer in your area. Here are some tips to help you find a qualified roofer, in an order that will be most helpful to you:

1.  Get referrals from the NRCA, National Roofing Contractors Association (http://www.ncra.net);
2. Call local organizations affiliated with NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) or NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry), to get referrals to their members;
3.  Get referrals from neighbors and friends who've had a good experience with a local roofer.

Never rely on any kind of advertising to find a qualified professional. With every referral you get, no matter what the source, verify licensing and other credentials, and check references (including Angie's List). Don't let anyone try to sell you an immediate solution using scare tactics or high-pressure sales tactics. It may take a while to discover the reasons for your leaks.

One of the problems with cellulose is that it absorbs and holds water, which can (and will) make a leaking problem worse. You may have to remove and replace the cellulose. The musty smell you get when the roof leaks is not good for your health. A continuously-damp (or wet)  environment can be the breeding ground for mildew and mold, and can eventually lead to rotting wood, and termites that rely on moisture in the wood for their water. Attic ventilation is very important, but it will not solve your leaking problem.

Hope you get a good (and relatively inexpensive) solution to your problem.


Diane Plesset, CMKBD, NCIDQ, C.A.P.S.
D. P. Design

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Home Improvement--General

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Diane Plesset


I will answer questions about anything to do with bathroom remodeling: design considerations, safety, function, materials (cabinets, countertops, plumbing fixtures and fittings, lighting/switching, heating and ventilation, tile, stone, concrete, tub and shower enclosures, flooring, etc.), saving water, trends, ROI, and appearance.


25+ years as a bath-kitchen design specialist, hundreds of completed bathroom projects (all styles, all investment ranges). Author of "THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling," co-host of a home improvement program on a local radio station for over three years. Currently hosting "Today's Home" on Lifestyle WebRadio every Sunday afternoon (http://www.todays-home.com).

NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association), NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), PRO (Portland Remodelers' Organization), IDPC (Interior Design Protection Council).

"THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling" (my book, published in 2003), Designers' Illustrated Magazine, Gentry Magazine, Kitchen-Bath Business Magazine, Kitchen-Bath Design News Magazine,Interior Coordinator Magazine (Japan); San Jose Mercury News, San Mateo Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Statesman Journal, Portland Tribune, Oregonian.

Multiple degrees: Bathroom Design, Residential Interior Design, Kitchen Design, and Lighting Design. Regularly attend classes and seminars to maintain current knowledge about codes, trends, sustainability, new products, etc.

Awards and Honors
Awards: Henry Adams Designer of the Year, CoTY, Master Design, Best of the Best, Chrysalis, Excellence (best home in its category), and NABE (best how-to book, 2003). "THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling" received #1 listing in the City of Chicago publication, "Hiring The Pros".

Past/Present Clients
To see photos of completed projects, visit my website: http://www.dp-design.com/portfolio

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