Browse Month by January 2017
Home Improvement

Tips Easy Resolved House Problems

Here are a few ways to do cheap fixes for your home in the most affordable way.

1. Insulation
Fixing your insulation could save you at least 50% of your energy bills. All you need to do is use rubber tubing, fiberglass and cellulose on the spaces between doors, windows and other openings. Using double-glazed windows is also useful for repelling outside temperature. You could lower the value on your thermostat now.

2. Energy Saving Appliances
These expensive appliances could save you more in terms of energy expenses. A great bonus with energy saving appliances is added features. For air conditioners, for example, you could set the time it would activate and it would turn itself off. For washing machines, it would optimize the energy it uses for cleaning clothes as well as the water needed for washing.

3. Fixing Holes in the Basement
Your home’s foundation could give in due to moist and the natural wear-and-tear of materials. If the foundation-form rod holes are becoming exposed, you might need some cement to patch the holes. Bricklayer mortar or cement and sand should do the trick for such holes. However, you will need to find some personal cement laying equipment.

4. Tile Laying
Laying tiles isn’t easy. Builders make sure the floor is even, the tiles are cut and evenly spaced, and they are laid down carefully or else they could be broken. Tile mastic serve as the strongest adhesive for tile laying projects. They are affordable in most hardware stores too.

5. The Magic That is WD-40
Squeaky windows and doors? A solution spray called WD-40 could work wonders by lubricating the hinges of these annoying home pests. Any household should have a can of this at the ready for any lubricating needs.

6. Talcum Powder
Too-shiny floors are great to look at but annoying to hear. Squeaky floors, a negative side-effect of ultra-house cleaning, are no match to talcum powder. It makes the floor cleaner and less slippery too.

7. Wallpaper Unfurling
Awesome wallpapers having their adhesive grip loose? Don’t fret. Using a knife, spread wallpaper paste on a clean sheet of paper. Attach the paper against the loose area of the wallpaper. Press the wallpaper and writing paper sandwich against the wall and voila! You have a fixed wallpaper!

8. Cleaning an Old Chandelier
Majestic chandeliers could return to their glorious years with good dusting. Unplug your chandelier, wear white cotton gloves damp with glass cleaner. Wipe the chandelier clean and then use another pair of dry gloves to rub the chandelier clean of dust.

9. Sliding Window Problems
WD40 won’t do well for sliding window problems, but a bit of silicone spray lubricant would do great for the skids. Spray the lubricant on a rag then wipe it along the sliding tracks of the windows. Silicone lubricants work well with wood, metal or plastic, so you won’t have to worry about anything.

10. Stubborn Bathroom Decals
Sometimes, debris leave a mark on your house. The WD40 lubricant could help here. By spraying the areas with WD40, you could then use a credit card to scrape the debris away from your bathroom tiles and even your bathtub. Rinse the entire thing with dishwashing soap and you’re done.

11. Clever Light Bulb Removal Trick
Using duct tape, you could instantly remove any hard-to-reach and hard-to-unscrew light bulb. Procure a one foot length of electric tape into the middle of the light bulb. Then, by folding the tape in half, stick it onto itself. Then grip each end between your thumb and index finger then you could instantly loosen up the light bulb.

 

Home Improvement

How To Handle Water Damage Problems

Water damage is one of the most serious things which can happen to your home. To ensure that you will act in the fastest way possible, you need to have a clear idea of what has to be done exactly for your house to be restored. Here is a brief guide to the different types of water damage and the methods for remediating them. Make full use of it to protect your home.

Types of Damage Based on Category

Clean water damage occurs when the water is clear and does not contain contaminants. In this case, the water usually comes from a burst pipe. Even though the health hazard for people is practically non-existent, you must act immediately to dry the flooded area or mold can grow quickly.

Grey water is an indicator of slight contamination with microbes. It may come from the washing machine or from the toilet bowl. Cleaning should begin immediately provided that cleaners wear protective gloves, masks and goggles.

Black water is heavily contaminated by all kinds of dangerous microorganisms and possibly chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides. Black water flooding usually occurs in case of a natural disaster or serious damage to the sewage system. This type of water damage must be handled by professionals only as it is extremely hazardous.

Levels of Water Damage

Class 1 destruction is when there is a small amount of moisture within a restricted area. Usually, only porous materials such as plywood are affected. As long as the area is dried quickly, only minor water damage repair will be necessary.

Class 2 destruction is present when the water has affected the entire room and has reached a level of twelve inches or higher. It has penetrated various structural materials, but not too deeply. In this case, the repair can involve removing wet sections of damaged materials like drywall and filling the holes with special sealant. This method has the best chances of working when the drying is quick.

Class 3 water destruction is when the walls, ceilings and floors along with the carpet and insulation are saturated with water. Professional inspection is necessary to determine if the house can be salvaged, which is most often the case, what kind of repair is needed and how much it will cost. The solution typically involves replacing the flooring, the wall and ceiling drywall panels and the insulation.

Class 4 destruction is when the water has saturated even non-porous materials such as stone. The most serious type of water damage typically occurs when the house has not been dried quickly. It is worth noting that sometimes the delay is due to technical reasons such as uncertainty whether the structure is safe enough for the restoration crew to get in. Again, expert inspection is required for determining if and how the house can be saved. If the foundation is mostly still intact, for example, repair may be an effective solution.

Is there a way to prevent water damage? Proper house maintenance is essential. While an insurance cover for flood may not be a prevention method, it will help you deal with the consequences of the disaster.

Use expert water damage repair services as soon as your house is dry. Rely on experienced professionals to restore your home.

 

Home Improvement

Avoid Stairs From Squeaking

What makes stairs squeak? The noise usually comes from loose treads (the surface of the steps that you walk on) or risers (upright boards that join the treads together). This is normally due to natural shrinkage of the wooden stair components over time. The adhesive that was originally used to bind the risers and treads together might also have failed.

There are several methods of tightening up the steps to reduce or eliminate the creaking. The best way is to work from underneath the staircase, as the results won’t show and you can usually make a stronger repair. If this is not possible you will have to tackle the problem from the other side.

Repairing squeaky stairs from above

There are three main methods of tightening up loose stair parts:

1. Screw the treads down

The best way of fastening the treads securely to the risers is by screwing them down. Three screws per tread is normally enough. Drill pilot holes through the tread in line with the riser, ideally using No.8 x 38mm countersunk screws, then drive in the screws below the surface of the tread. If there is no stair carpet to hide blemishes, conceal the screws with matching wood filler.

2. Nail down loose treads

A simple repair is to hammer nails into the edge of the tread at a central point where it connects with the riser. For the best grip, insert the nails in pairs so that they are angled towards each other over the creaky spot. Drill pilot holes first to avoid splitting the wood, then drive the nails below the surface and cover with wood filler.

3. Glue on a moulding

Try adding a piece of quadrant moulding (shaped to form a quarter circle) to give the tread extra support. You can secure it to the top or bottom of the riser, or both. For the best results, stick the moulding to both the tread and the riser. This method is more aesthetically pleasing than using screws or nails – however, if your stairs are uncarpeted you will have to add the mouldings to every step, not just the creaky ones, so that they all look the same.

Repairing squeaky stairs from below

If you can get underneath the staircase you may be able to carry out more effective repairs – but remember to wear eye protection as you will spend a lot of time looking upwards. There are various options:

1. Insert blocks or brackets

A good way of strengthening the join between tread and riser is to use small triangular wooden blocks, known as glue blocks. Position a block in each corner of the step under the tread and against the riser, and glue into place. Secure with screws – drive two upwards, into the tread, and two horizontally, into the riser. If possible, get a helper to stand on the tread while you drive in the screws.

Alternatively you can secure small rectangular blocks of wood, known as string blocks, to the corners of the steps to fasten the treads to the strings (supporting boards that run along the side of the stairs). If necessary, you can use these in addition to the glue blocks for extra strength and rigidity.

2. Replace wedges

Make sure that the wooden wedges – which are used to lock the stair treads and risers into their matching slots – haven’t fallen out or begun to slip. Replace any missing or damaged wedges and glue loose ones back into place before tapping them firmly home with a mallet.

Small ‘slip’ wedges, or shims, are another effective way of tightening the joints between risers and treads. The wedges should be around 30mm long and 3mm thick, tapering down to a point. Glue into place, then use a sharp chisel to shave off any protruding ends.

 

Home Improvement

All About Sub Floor Ventilation

A safe and healthy home and work environment is a must if you are to be in good health. You should be able to breathe in clean fresh air as you go about your activities in the building. A musty and damp room can cause you to develop allergies and respiratory infections whereby you end up coughing and wheezing. You can however stay in a healthy home by ensuring that it is well ventilated. You should also ensure that you have sufficient sub floor ventilation in your home in order to have a safe environment to live in.

How Sub Floor Ventilation Works

If you have a sub floor that is damp, has mold and a stale smell then you definitely need some form of sub floor ventilation. Ventilation gets rid of the damp air and replaces it with dry fresh air. The simplest form of ventilation is natural ventilation where vents are set up on the walls of the building. This allows fresh air to move into the rooms and the basement.

If natural ventilation does not work well enough, you can install fans in the sub floor. The fans will get rid of the damp air and will replace it with fresh air from outside. The fans should be placed strategically to ensure that fresh air comes in from one side and the damp air is expelled from the other side. If fresh air comes in from opposite sides, there is a risk of the damp stale air rising into the building thus causing a health hazard.

What Causes Dampness?

Dampness occurs when moisture accumulates inside a building and does not have a way of getting out into the open. The moisture gets trapped in the building due to poor ventilation. An accumulation of moisture results in the growth of mould which can easily spread in the sub floor. The mould then gives rise to fungal spores which become airborne.

The fungal spores are a health hazard when inhaled because they are known to affect the respiratory system. You can end up developing respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and you may also experience chest pains.

Planning For Sub Floor Ventilation

It is always better to plan for sub floor ventilation during the design of your house. This will ensure that you do not have to modify your house later on in order to accommodate ventilation. The ventilation rate of your sub floor should therefore be established so that you can get the ventilators that will give your under floor sufficient air flow.

When planning your landscaping, you should ensure that the vents that are meant for ventilating the under floor are not obstructed. You should also consider the positioning of the vents if you want to build in an area that is prone to flooding during the rainy season. The vents should be raised to avoid water getting in and increasing the risk of dampness.

Benefits Of Sub Floor Ventilation

Once you have the right sub floor ventilation in place, you will keep your home free from condensation, mildew, mould and dampness. Your home will also be free from bad odors and from termites which can cause great damage to the structure of your home.