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The Ultimate House Entropy Quiz
by Staff
Home Sweet Home, goes the cliché. But that's assuming it was constructed well and that you are maintaining it lovingly. If you neglect it, entropy can set in with the result of inevitable decay. Keep your home sweet with its inherent sparkle by taking this quiz on house entropy.

Cleaning gutters, replacing roof shingles and recaulking windows are all aspects of home maintenance. What do they achieve?

  • They keep you busy even during retirement age.
  • They keep your home value high.
  • They protect your house against the ravages of weather and time.

How long it would take for a home to deteriorate depends on which factors?

  • the climate and the current state of your house
  • the neighborhood you live in and your family size
  • the size of the house and the amount of time it took to build it

What is your home's biggest foe?

  • extremes of temperature
  • strong winds
  • water damage

How are most roofs structured?

  • They have brick tiles over a layer of dry wood.
  • They have steel beams and wooden rafters.
  • They have roofing shingles over a kind of plywood.

What is the expected lifespan of roof shingles?

  • 10 to 20 years
  • 20 to 30 years
  • 30 to 40 years

Where do you find the home's "envelope"?

  • It's the exterior walls, door frames and window frames just inside your home's outer shell.
  • It's the slot by the front door through which mail is delivered.
  • It's the walls that connect the roof to the flooring.

What damage can leaves trapped in the gutters cause?

  • exterior paint decay
  • water spillage onto your roof
  • burst bathroom pipes

Why do paint and wallpaper peel when you have a hole in your roof?

  • Sunlight penetrates through the hole and causes the peeling.
  • There's no connection at all -- the two are incidental.
  • Condensation forms because of the combination of cold and humid air inside and that moisture causes the peeling.

Your builder used caulking to seal the windows. Why are there signs of rotting there now, years later?

  • because the caulk loses its effectiveness after about 25 years
  • because he didn't do a good job
  • because caulking isn't a good sealant

Which home construction material deteriorates sooner: brick or wood?

  • wood
  • brick
  • about the same

Over time, where does moisture seep into a brick home?

  • into the flooring
  • into the roofing
  • into the shell underneath the brick exterior

When your house undergoes its final stages of decay (even though you hope it'll never happen), what is the last to go?

  • metal plumbing and gas pipes
  • the exterior
  • the gaskets

Termites and other tiny bugs are an ever-threatening danger to your home. What makes a conducive environment for them to breed and bore through your timber?

  • aluminum window frames
  • moisture
  • gloss paint

When termites eat through your timber, what is the nature of the process?

  • They feed on the dust particles covering the timber, then release a certain toxin into the air.
  • They ingest moisture particles and give off carbon dioxide.
  • They use bacteria in their stomachs to break down the timber into cellulose.

If your house is in a bad state of repair, what damage could dry outside vegetation cause?

  • It could strangle your home like an overgrown weed.
  • It could pose a fire hazard.
  • It could start growing inside your home.

How can tree roots cause major damage to a neglected house?

  • They can loosen the soil and allow water to penetrate the foundations underneath.
  • They can spread along the sides of the house.
  • They can absorb the carbon dioxide around.

After many years of disuse, a house could see the decay of its footing or structural base. What is the worst that could happen then?

  • It could form cracks.
  • It could get severely weather-beaten.
  • It could form a sinkhole and the entire house could crumble into it.

In hot climates, what could cause a home to decay sooner?

  • heat waves
  • sunshine
  • humidity

What might cause a home to decay sooner in cold climates?

  • frost
  • thunderstorms
  • cold winds

Is there hope for a home that was badly constructed from the beginning?

  • unfortunately, never
  • thankfully, always
  • hopefully, sometimes