There is an intuitive accident causation model called the Swiss Cheese Model where small risks across a broad spectrum of qualities line up perfectly to create, well, an accident. JLC published “What A Long, Strange Drip It’s Been” this month which is a great example of this kind of cumulative impact small mistakes can have. Bad drip edge install, overhang-free building design, failure-intolerant fascia detail, a discontinuity between fascia and wrap, and a home owner without a proactive approach to preventative maintenance. I grimaced when I reached the part where the sheathing repair didn’t include a replacement of the drip edge – especially when you can see that a new roof was installed between the original inspection and the final sheathing repair.
A while back the Fine Homebuilding Podcast mentioned a paper by M.C Baker called “Decay of Wood“. Took me a bit to find it, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a crisp five page introduction to wood decay. It is great to find these kinds of introductory texts which lay out exactly enough to start you on a research path – for example, I didn’t know that there were five specific types of building-rot fungi of most concern/importance. That’s a short list!
Rick Steves largely lives on the edge of my consciousness – he’s a famous figure whose books I never really used (for no particular reason I mostly used the Lonely Planet guides). He was profiled last month in the New York Times and, as always, sets the bar high for engaged living: pack light, stay positive, and try new things.
Throw-back Song of the Week: Whale – Hobo Humpin Slobo Babe