Pages Navigation Menu

Home Renovation Tips

Triage Your Bathroom Problems After Water Damage

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Triage Your Bathroom Problems After Water Damage

Toilets can leak or let water flow indefinitely or until they’re shut off. Some issues could be from wear and tear, while others could be from poor installation. Water damage in the bathroom can bring a modern home down to primitive levels of comfort, but a few inspection and troubleshooting techniques can help you work around the problems or at least know what to expect from repair professionals. Toilet Flushing And Filling Failure Toilet clogs are common problems, and require either a plunger, a professional or enough time for the clogging materials to break down and pass through. A few mechanical issues may be harder to ignore. If your toilet doesn’t flush when you push the lever, there’s a few problems between the lever (the flushing handle) and the flapper (the stopper that signals old water to flush and new water to fill the bowl) that could be your problem. Although some problems are more likely than others, start from the lever. The toilet lever is usually installed by screwing the handle side to an inside bar that connects to the rest of the lever system. It’s possible to screw the lever on too tightly, which can result in the lever not lifting the flapper when casually pressed. It can also result in the lever being stuck in the up position, which results in continuous water emptying and filling. The toilet won’t flush without enough water pressure, and water pressure can’t build up if the toilet’s water tank is constantly releasing water. You’ll need to adjust the tightness of the lever just enough to allow easy flushing, but not so loose that the handle shakes and moves out of place when touched.  A Broken Chain May Call For Replacement If the lever pushes, but doesn’t seem to flush, you may have a broken or loose chain. The lever and bar is connected to a chain, which lifts the flapper when the level is pressed. It’s possible to push the lever too hard and cause the chain to snap or the hook connecting the chain to the lever to come off. The chain, lever and the stopper can also begin to corrode and deteriorate over time, especially if you live in coastal areas with salt water that isn’t completely filtered out.  Look inside the toilet’s tank to see if the chain is broken or removed. Even if the chain simply fell off of one of its connections, be sure to inspect the other components to make sure that they’re still in tact. You’ll need a new toilet flusher kit if any of the parts have been installed long enough to begin to break, but there’s no reason to buy a new kit if it was simply installed poorly. Contact a water damage restoration company like Complete Restoration Services if the problem seems deeper than basic troubleshooting, as well as suggestions for toilets, parts and other ways to keep your bathroom...

read more

Tips To Remove Mildew From Vinyl Siding

Posted by on Aug 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips To Remove Mildew From Vinyl Siding

Mildew forms on vinyl siding after it is exposed to moist, shady conditions and can diminish the beauty of your home. Learn how to remove these unsightly green streaks and how to protect the vinyl so that mildew isn’t as likely to form again.      Materials plastic sheeting rubber gloves long handled scrub brush water hose (with adjustable nozzle) industrial strength detergent bucket bleach vinegar small scrub brush ladder Cover Foliage And Remove Surface Dirt Place sheets of plastic over foliage that is located close to your home so that it doesn’t come into contact with the cleaning solution. Put on a pair of disposable gloves to protect your hands while you are removing the mildew stains. Fill a bucket with water and add a small amount of industrial strength detergent to it until it is sudsy. Set up a ladder by one end of your home. Spray off the vinyl with a water hose to remove surface dirt. Begin spraying off the vinyl at the top of the house and work your way downwards. Dip a long handled scrub brush into the soapy water and apply it to stubborn stains. Move the brush back and forth while pressing down to help loosen the stains. Remove Stubborn Stains Stubborn mildew stains can be removed with bleach or vinegar. Add a small amount of either of these to the cleaning solution. Apply the solution to the stains with a scrub brush and allow it to penetrate for a few minutes. Bleach and vinegar work well on porous surfaces and will dissolve the mildew after several minutes. Move the scrub brush firmly over the stains and rinse them off with a water hose. Adjust the nozzle on the hose so that the stream of water coming out of it is strong. Remove the plastic sheeting from the ground when you are finished. Prevent Mildew From Forming After all of the mildew has been removed from the vinyl, minimize the chance of it forming in the future. Clean the gutter system out a couple times each year to prevent water from backing up and dripping down the sides of your home. Trim tree branches and foliage that is growing close to your home. Rinse the vinyl off several times a year to remove residue that could penetrate the vinyl surface and cause stains to form. All of these tips will help keep the vinyl protected.  For replacement vinyl or further assistance, contact a local outlet, such as Michel Home...

read more

How To Paint Your Bathroom Walls

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Paint Your Bathroom Walls

The bathroom is often the first room in a home that needs to be remodeled. It has endured more foot traffic than other rooms. Luckily, since bathrooms are typically smaller, changing elements like flooring, molding, or paint is more affordable. This article will explain how you can remodel your bathroom on the cheap by repainting the walls and ceiling. Choosing the Right Paint When painting your bathroom you need to use semi or high gloss paint. Usually, paint with a higher gloss will last longer, especially in the moist environment of a bathroom. However, many people do not like shiny paint on their walls. Semi-gloss paint is a good compromise for people who like walls with a lower sheen. Priming the Walls When painting in a bathroom, you need to prime the walls first. Primer will protect the drywall and add an extra layer of protection from the moisture. When priming, you do not need to worry about getting a solid even finish. The color of the primer will not affect the color of the paint if it is not evenly applied. Painting the Walls Depending on the brand and thickness of paint, you might need to apply two coats of paint. Two coats of paint (in addition to the coat of primer) will give your walls even more protection. The hardest part of painting is cutting out (or painting around the edges). You can use painter’s tape to mask off the parts that you do not want to paint. When painting the corners where the wall meets the ceiling you might as well just cut in by hand. The texture of the drywall will make it hard to create a strong seal with the tape. Paint will probably seep underneath the tape, so you might as well paint it by hand. Just follow the line of the wall corner and work slowly so paint does not get onto the ceiling. However, you will probably want to tape off the molding, shower basin, and other elements that have a harder, smoother finish because the tape will create a strong seal. New paint in your bathroom can protect your drywall and make it last even longer. It is a great home remodel that will also change the style and feel of the entire room. Best of all, you can do the work on your own and make the project very affordable. If you do decide to go with a professional, talk with a place like Two by Four Construction LLC for more...

read more

When Is It Time To Call An Electrician?

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When Is It Time To Call An Electrician?

There are some simple electrical tasks that can be performed by the average homeowner, such as replacing outlets and light switches. However, there are some electrical projects that are best left to professionals. These include Working inside the circuit breaker box The circuit breaker panel beneath the cover of the breaker box contains a myriad selection of bare wires, powered breaker slots, and grounding bars. The only safe way to work inside a breaker box without the possibility of instant electric shock or death is to turn off the main breakers and work in the dark by flashlight. Attempting to thread bare wires into circuit breakers and grounding bars in a cramped and crowded circuit box by the light of a flashlight may lead to incorrect wiring. That could create a breaker box that has a live power wire connected to a grounding bar. Death, electric shock, or fire could result when the main breakers are activated and power is restored. Running electric wire through finished walls and ceilings Adding an additional line from the breaker box requires running long lengths of wire through walls and ceilings that are filled with obstructions such as ceiling joists and wall studs. Older homes in particular may have unusual configurations and compositions in walls and ceilings. You may find some walls or ceilings to be virtually impenetrable without causing serious damage. Some older homes may also not be as square as they appear, and as you drill through a ceiling to run a length of wire, you may find your wire protruding from the floor in a different section of the upper floor that you had anticipated. Wiring heavy duty appliances Appliances that consume a large amount of electricity, such as electric stoves and dryers, require the use of heavy gauge wire, which is very thick and difficult to bend and connect to the proper terminals. If it is not connected securely, electric shock, fire, or damage to the appliance may result. These appliances also require the installation of a double circuit breaker and connection of the heavy gauge wire inside the breaker box, which amplifies the dangers of working inside the breaker box that were previously mentioned. Working within building codes Any electrical work that is not done according to state and local building codes will not pass inspection. If you decide to sell your home, you will need to have all code violations repaired or replaced. A professional electrician, like those at Narducci Electric, will be familiar with all the building codes and perform the work safely and compliant with all...

read more

5 Tips To Ensure A Solid Foundation For Your Home

Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Tips To Ensure A Solid Foundation For Your Home

When you’re building your home, you know that the foundation must come first. It’s one of the most important aspects of your home. A poorly built foundation can cause major structural issues, including shifting, cracking in walls, and even collapse. To make sure your home has a good, solid foundation, here are five tips to follow: 1. Have your soil evaluated. Before starting construction, your soil needs to be evaluated for the presence of organic materials, clay, sand, and other elements. The composition of the soil where you build your home affects the strength of your foundation, since this is what your foundation sits on top of. The amount of water that the soil absorbs, as well as how much the soil expands and contracts, affects the durability of your foundation. 2. Hire grading contractors. Grading is an important component of laying a foundation. Grading is the amount of slope around a structure. Improper grading for a foundation can cause water to collect around the foundation. Excessive groundwater can saturate the soil, damage the concrete, and even cause your foundation to shift. A grading contractor ensures that the grading of your land will cause water to move away from the property. 3. Hire an independent inspector. Once the foundation is laid, hire an independent inspector before you or the contractor begins framing. The inspector will check the foundation grading, leveling, and materials. He or she will check for cracks, bubbles, and other signs of foundation trouble. Even the best contractor can make a mistake, so getting an inspection is worthwhile to ensure your foundation is solid. 4. Cure your foundation the right way. Once the foundation is poured, you need to give the concrete plenty of time to cure. Depending on the weather conditions, the foundation may need as much as one week. Allowing concrete to cure allows it enough time to reach its maximum strength. If you try to backfill or frame before the concrete cures, you run the risk of causing the concrete to split. While the concrete cures, it’s important to keep it wet. Proper hydration strengthens the bonds in the concrete. 5. Use concrete blocks. The material you use for your foundation walls can have a huge impact on its durability. Instead of regular blocks or bricks, use concrete blocks to build the walls. Concrete blocks hold more weight, they can be assembled quickly, and they are lightweight. This saves you money when you’re paying a contractor to do the job. Not only do concrete blocks save you money, they make your foundation stronger. Concrete blocks are resistant to frost, snow, and moisture, which prevents water damage to the structure. These are five tips to ensure a strong foundation for your home. Call a contractor today to learn...

read more

How High School Chemistry Will Help You Get More Out Of Your Propane Tank

Posted by on Jun 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How High School Chemistry Will Help You Get More Out Of Your Propane Tank

These days, everybody is trying to stretch their propane tank a little farther, but one little-known way to do this can be taken right out of your high school chemistry class. Even if chem wasn’t your best subject, a couple of scientific laws can still help you get more out of your propane tank, saving you money and a visit from your gas company.  The Ideal Gas Law The ideal gas law says that pressure times volume is equal to the amount of gas, multiplied by a constant, times the temperature, which can be shortened as PV=nRT. How does this translate to more value from your propane tank, you might ask? The answer lies in the temperature, as the higher the temperature, the more volume of propane will be present in your tank, and therefore the more gas you can use for your business. The same goes for pressure, but raising the pressure in your propane tank is much harder than raising the temperature.  Le Chatelier’s Principle Propane will either exist as a gas or as a liquid, depending on pressure and temperature in the tank, and this relationship is dynamic based on Le Chatelier’s Principle, which states that a system at equilibrium will absorb shocks to the equilibrium. In plain language, if a liquid is heated up, it is more likely to turn into a gas. Since you can’t use liquid propane in as many places as you can use gas, keeping your propane in gas form is preferable, and this can often be done by keeping the temperature relatively high.  The Bottom Line As you can see, your tank’s temperature can be very helpful in getting the most use out of the limited gas in your tank. The best way to regulate your tank’s temperature, then, is by installing a tank heater, which will help to keep the gas in your tank at a temperature that will keep the pressure high enough to use the gas useful, while preventing the gas from turning into useless liquid propane. This part can be installed very easily and quickly, and is a small investment for the benefit that it provides.  Many business owners might not know that the easiest way to improve their bottom line isn’t in buying more or less propane, but getting the most out of what they do buy, and simple chemistry can teach you how to accomplish this. Buying a propane tank heater simply improves the quality and state of your fuel so that you don’t have to buy as much propane, and your machinery will undoubtedly run longer and better on the same amount of fuel....

read more

How To Ban Stink Bugs For Good

Posted by on May 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Ban Stink Bugs For Good

If you have ever walked into your kitchen and smelled a terrible odor followed by signs of a brownish-black bug, you probably have stink bugs. They can be a real pain, not to mention the smell that lingers even after you have killed them. Here are some tips for getting rid of stink bugs for good. Eliminate Food Sources Stink bugs are drawn to different food sources, so by keeping your kitchen and home clean, you can prevent them from entering your home. Make sure you don’t leave any unopened food items out on the counter. All opened food boxes or bags should be sealed properly, or transferred to airtight containers. If you open a bag of sugar for your coffee, transfer it to a container instead of leaving the bag open. Make sure you do your dishes as soon as possible, wipe up spills with a strong cleaning product, and keep all crumbs wiped up. Sweep your floors regularly to catch any crumbs that might have fallen. Seal Off Your Home You won’t have to deal with stink bugs in your home if they have no way to get it, so make sure you do a thorough inspection to look for potential entry points. Stink bugs might look large, but they can fit through very small openings. Look for any holes or cracks around your home’s structure and seal them off. Look behind your chimney, underneath wood fascia at the roof, and at your siding. These are common places where there could be spaces large enough for stink bugs to get through. Use silicone caulk to seal entry points. Also check your window screens, as they might have holes big enough for the bugs to get through. Keep the Lights Turned Off When the sun goes down, try to turn off your outside lights whenever you aren’t spending time on the patio. Stink bugs are attracted to lights, so by turning off patio twinkle lights, lanterns, and porch lights, you can reduce the amount of them that want to come exploring around your home. When you are done spending time outdoors, close all your blinds and curtains to keep the light spilling outside to a minimum. Ventilate Moisture-Rich Areas Another thing that stink bugs enjoy is a location in your home that has a lot of moisture. They will start calling these places their new home if it provides a good environment for them. To prevent this, make sure you have good ventilation in areas of your home with a lot of moisture, such as bathrooms, crawl spaces, your garage, basement, and attic. In addition to ventilation, a dehumidifier can also be effective. Click here for more information about pest...

read more

Landscaping Tips: Using Rocks Without Turning Up The Heat

Posted by on May 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Landscape rocks are considered an integral part of many yard and garden designs, but they can create a heat sink effect that can harm your landscape plants or even your home. The heat absorbed by the rocks can heat up your home’s interior or make outdoor patios too uncomfortable to spend time on. Fortunately, understanding how the different types of rocks can affect the heat around your home, and the best ways to use them, allows you to enjoy rocks in your landscape without any ill effects. Rock Color and Heat Retention It’s common knowledge that light colors reflect heat and light, while darker colors absorb it. The same is true for any rocks placed in the landscape. Light-colored rocks will reflect light and heat, which means they may reflect more light and heat into the home nearby. Dark rocks, on the other hand, will absorb the heat into the ground. This may make it easier to grow certain plants in cooler climates. The Best Locations for Landscape Rocks Location is everything when you are deciding which rocks to use and where to use them. Generally, you will want to avoid heavy rock usage on the south and west side of a home in all but the mildest of climates. This is because you do not want to overheat the home or tax its cooling systems by creating heat sinks on the sunniest sides of the house. In shaded areas, white rocks are a better choice than dark rocks. This is because the white rocks will reflect up what little light and heat penetrates the shade, making the area seem brighter and helping to increase the temperature in the area slightly. Dark rocks are generally better used in sunnier areas where you don’t want or desire the reflected light. Creating Buffer Zones One way to minimize light and heat reflection into the home is to create a buffer zone between the house and the landscape rocks. You can also use this concept around patios and other outdoor areas that you don’t want located next to a heat sink. Plants are the best buffer. You can plant shrubs between the rock landscaping and the buffer area. Another option is to place narrow border beds, filled with small shrubs, perennials, or annual flowers. The plants will also benefit from the added warmth that radiates from the rocks. You can also use decorative screening to create a buffer. Wood or vinyl lattice is the most common. Use the screening on its own or use it to support plants, such as climbing vines. Another option is to use bamboo as a living screen. Choose a clumping bamboo variety to avoid invasiveness concerns. For more information, contact Builders Sand & Gravel Inc. or a similar...

read more

The Harm Of Interior Painting: Why You Should Hire A Professional

Posted by on Apr 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When you are painting a large amount of walls in your home, you are at risk of getting harmed from the volatile organic compounds in the paint. The best thing you can do to stay safe is leaving the task to a painting contractor. Find out below how exposure to paint when painting your walls can harm your body. How Can Interior Painting Lead to Bodily Harm? Paint contains a lot of harmful chemicals that can make you sick if there is not enough ventilation while you are painting. You can even put your health at risk of getting cancer from the chemicals in paint, specifically from a volatile organic compound known as formaldehyde. The worst thing about formaldehyde is that it is a human carcinogen. Your risk of inhaling volatile organic compounds becomes greater as paint dries up. In the worst case scenario, inhaling volatile organic compounds can lead to problems with your central nervous system. You may feel shaky, delusional or faint from losing consciousness when your central nervous system is harmed during the task of painting. A few of the less severe symptoms that you can experience include: Red eyes Sneezing Coughing Sore throat Congestion Watery eyes A runny nose Minor symptoms from inhaling volatile organic compounds will usually subside on their own. However, you may end up in the emergency room if you experience any severe symptoms. It is a good idea to avoid painting your walls and leave it to a professional so you won’t have to worry about any symptoms. Is Hiring an Interior Painter Affordable? The affordability of services from an interior painter will depend on the square footage of walls being painted. For instance, you can expect to pay an average of $200 plus for a professional to paint a 12×12 foot room in your house. The quality of paint used by the painter will also factor into the price. If you intend on supplying all of the paint in advance and only hiring the professional to paint, you may not have to spend as much money. The overall price will depend on who is hired to complete the task. Interior painting is a great way to give a home a quick makeover. Although painting may seem like an easy task, it can be harmful if not done the right way. Get in touch with a professional painter so you can get your walls painted while avoiding the inhalation of volatile organic compounds. To learn more, contact a company like J Maintenance...

read more

Benefits Of An Asphalt Driveway

Posted by on Apr 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The benefits of an asphalt driveway over concrete are substantial. If you’re thinking of paving a new driveway, and you haven’t considered this alternative before, now is the time to talk with a paving contractor in your area to discuss the stability, attractiveness, and functionality of paving your driveway in asphalt. Asphalt is a More Affordable Choice Asphalt is cheaper than concrete, and if you’re a homeowner on a budget, you’ll appreciate the difference. According to Angie’s List, the cost per square foot of asphalt typically ranges between $3 and $5. If you compare this to concrete’s $10 to $15 per square foot, you’ll see why asphalt is a popular material for residential driveways. Asphalt Is Installed More Quickly Concrete must endure a curing process to reach its full strength. To cure completely, the driveway must be left untouched for a period ranging from three to seven days. That’s a long time to park on the street. With an asphalt driveway, 24 to 48 hours is the normal wait time before you should begin parking on it. An Asphalt Driveway is Less Prone to Cracking Regardless of how well it’s installed, concrete will crack over time. Asphalt typically won’t. Asphalt is better able to expand and contract with the ground as it changes from temperature to temperature, which makes it more durable and resistant to cracking. And if you do end up with a crack in your asphalt driveway, the cost and time to repair are much less than they are with concrete. Snow Melts Faster on Asphalt One perk that many homeowners overlook is that snow melts faster on asphalt because its dark color absorbs the heat of the sun instead of reflecting it the way light-colored concrete does. Your winter cleanup will be easier and your driveway more navigable in winter if you choose asphalt as your driveway material of choice.  Aside from these advantages, an asphalt driveway is an attractive addition to your home’s curb appeal. Its dark, formal appearance blends well with any style of home, and it provides a functionality and an ease of maintenance that concrete doesn’t. Taking care of your asphalt driveway is as easy as hosing it clean and resealing it once every few years. If you follow these simple instructions for caring for your asphalt driveway, it will remain a functional and attractive part of your home’s curb appeal for years. For more information, contact Fayetteville Contractors Inc. or a similar...

read more