|Home Improvement Information|
Hidden Causes of Water Damage in the Home
In addition to causing destruction, water damage also has an adverse affect to the indoor air quality of your home. Damage from water can cause wood rot, insect infestation and mold .
The obvious causes of water damage are leaking roofs, windows, doors, foundation cracks and visible plumbing leaks. These are fairly easy to detect, enabling a quick repair before maximum damage occurs.
The not-so-obvious culprits are moisture behind finished basement walls that are insulated with fiberglass; poor grading around foundation walls and air leaks that occur between the living space and attic.
Insulating finished basement walls with fiberglass is not a good idea.
Fiberglass will absorb water and not allow it to travel through the wall, preventing a drying effect.
Some people think installing a plastic barrier in the wall is the answer, but this approach only traps moisture. A better way is to use rigid insulation (also known as blue board).
This insulation is semi-permeable and allows moisture to travel through the wall, allowing it to dry. Water can also enter the basement if the grade of the land is pitched toward the house.
Grading the soil away from the house and adding rain gutters will guide rainwater away from the house.
Openings from the house to the attic and poor ceiling insulation in houses located in colder climates can lead to ice dams that cause water to back up into the house.
Air leakage from the house to the attic will carry moisture in the form of humidity into the attic that can form water on the underside of the roof leading to rotting and mold.
Typical leakage points between the house and attic are:
For those who live in warmer climates, water damage can occur within your walls because of poorly designed air conditioning systems.
Systems that are oversized (a larger capacity than necessary)will not remove enough humidity which leads to high moisture levels that condense on cooler surfaces.
Duct systems that are imbalanced can draw outside humidity through walls that can produce water in the walls.
Mitigating these problems requires a professional.
Repairing the attic problems listed above may seem simple enough, but trying to do it yourself doesn't guarantee you really fixed the problem and can sometimes lead to other problems.
Hiring an insulation expert who specializes in building science (also known as a building performance specialist) will ensure the job is done properly and safely.
These specilaists come equipped with tools such as blower doors, pressure guages, etc. to quantify the measures taken for the repairs.
The same goes for the air conditioning specialist, he should have duct diagnostic tools to test your ductwork to be sure it is properly designed and performing efficiently. If you are unable to find someone in your area, go to www.energyconservatory.com.
They are manufacturers of the required testing instruments and they will have contractors in their database they can recommend.
In addition to taking care of the water damage, your home will be more comfortable, you'll save money on your energy bills and improve your indoor air quality.
Ed Bishop is founder and president of Enhanced Living Inc., a Troy, NY-based design-consulting and contracting company. A pioneer in residential contracting, Ed is a thirty-year industry veteran trained in the "House Is A System" approach to HVAC design. He was formerly a building analyst instructor, providing certification training for New York's Home Performance with ENERGY STARŪ program.
Refinishing A Hardwood Floor
Want to bring your hardwood floors back to their former beauty, but don't have the money? Then read on for some tips on how you can refinish the floor yourself.
6 Saving Tips When Moving
Moving households, whether it is due to a job transfer or upgrading your home, and whether moving across country or across town, is an expensive proposition. Even when a new employer sponsors a relocation, there are hidden or un-thought-of expenses such as tipping or registering your vehicle in a new state. Here are six ways to reduce expenses during your next move:
How To Choose The Perfect Granite Work Surface
My Grandmother used to say to me "Nothing cheap is good and nothing good is cheap". This ring true when dealing with the purchase especially on the internet of Granite Work Surfaces. In fact of all stone so read carefully.
Bathroom Interior Design
Any advice or guide on the interior design of a bathroom should be based around one simple concept: keep it simple. Rooms inside of a home should have functional aspects, and if one room is designed for very specific functions, it is the bathroom. There have always been many jokes about the "throne" of a home, but the honest fact is that creating a visibly appealing and comfortable bathroom will inspire positive feelings to its users.
Avoid Problems Painting Aluminum and Vinyl Siding
Anyone with older aluminum siding is well aware of the paint chalking problem. Just rub your hand along the old siding and the chalky old paint will be all over your palm. Trying to get paint to stick to this could be a real problem. This is due to oxidation of the paint. Siding manufacturers originally referred to this problem as a "benefit". They called it, "self cleaning", as the paint literally washed off the house.
Aluminium Window Frames
When double glazing first became a popular window choice in the 1960s, most frames were made of aluminum. Aluminum remained the most popular choice for framing double glazing windows through the mid-1980s, when it held over 60% of the market. Since the introduction of PVC window framing, the market share of aluminum framed windows has dropped steadily. As of 2003, less than 17% of windows sold were aluminum framed. There are many reasons for the drop in popularity - and still some good reasons for choosing aluminum over PVC or wood frames.
Duct Cleaning - Proper Principals and Practices
As a qualified duct cleaning contractor I have discovered that most homeowners feel that they are very uninformed when it come to the principals and practices of proper air duct cleaning hygiene.
How to Finance a New Kitchen?
Want to improve the look of your property? Want to add value to your property?
What Does It Take To Be An Interior Designer?
When trying to decide if Interior Design is right for you, it helps to know what that really means. Interior Design is not simply the profession that "makes rooms and places pretty"; it takes a little bit more than that. You need to know how to do some of the technical aspects of design also. Some of these technical things include:
Quick and Dirty Guide to Wood Flooring
If you've always longed for hardwood floors, you're in good company. While soft wooden floors date back to the Colonial era, hardwood floors first burst on the scene in the late 17th century. If you only know that you want hardwood floors gracing your home, read this quick and dirty guide so that your head won't spin when you talk with your contractor. This ten-minute read will guide you through the basics of wood species, grades, types and styles.
Useful Home Products Will Help Your House Sale Profits
Even if you've never been involved in the sale of house before and yours is about to go on the market, you probably know enough about the process to be able to repeat, like a litany: clean it; paint it; fix it. But do you find yourself asking: How clean does the house have to be and how do I tackle the job? Do I really have to paint? What are the best colors to choose? What do I need to repair? When considering these questions, it's good to remember that most prospective home buyers are an unimaginative lot. Your house may be immaculate but if the rooms are cluttered, crowded, and dark, they may appear to be less clean and much smaller than they really are. Picture this: an old, seven-piece mahogany dining room suite plus a rocking chair and seven boxes of books packed in anticipation of your move are wedged into a dark green room with a brown rug and a window covered by heavy velvet drapes. Why is this decorating scheme a mistake? It's because most people are unable to imagine how big and beautiful the room would look if painted off-white, everything removed but the dining room suite, a pastel tablecloth and a fresh flower centerpiece on the table, curtains stripped from the window, the rug removed, and everything spotlessly clean. In the words of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, you must "make it so"; otherwise, it might take you a very long time to sell your house and the offers to buy will not only be slower, but lower. Clean, Clean, Clean Your best friend when cleaning your house for resale will be tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) or its equivalent. TSP is one of the home products that top the list of must-haves, and it's not expensive. Roll up your sleeves, put on your rubber gloves and scrub your walls and ceilings, and anything else that needs your elbow grease. Unless you can afford professional cleaners, there's no way out of this one. Carpet cleaning is another must and there are home products for the do-it-yourselfer or you can hire a cleaning company to take care of this job. If you have shabby rugs scattered throughout the house, forget cleaning them; it's probably better to remove them altogether. There are home products to clean things that require special care ? ceramic tile, porcelain, stainless steel, wood cabinets, aluminum siding, etc., and you can find whatever you need at your neighborhood hardware store. Ask questions and read labels. When using commercial cleaning products, wear gloves and a mask. It's wise to be careful. Paint for a Pristine Finish As thorough as your cleaning job is, it won't have much impact on sagging, faded wallpaper, gouges in the walls, or cracked and peeling paint. Repainting is the solution, and interior painting jobs start with stripping off old wallpaper, attacking cracks and gouges with filler, and then getting to work with your roller and brush. This is also the time to do all the small repairs that need your attention: hammer in nails; repair the broken step; replace the broken glass. When selecting paint, the best colors for your walls and ceilings are white, off-white, cream, creamy off-white ? you get the picture. A light, cool, neutral color can fit into everyone's decorating scheme. (You want that young couple to see your home as the perfect setting for their red plush love seats.) If you have recently painted one or more rooms in quite dramatic colors, leave them as they are. As long as the walls and trim are clean and fresh, prospective buyers won't mind a bit of repainting if they want to change the colors ? the main thing is not to overwhelm them. If you need to paint the outside of your house, it's not necessary to restrict yourself to neutral colors for exterior paint; however, a bright color is not a good choice. Something fairly subdued is better, but be creative when painting the front door; a dramatic touch might be needed to make your house memorable. It's easy for a buyer to repaint a door if he or she doesn't share your love of Christmas red or purple passion. Remove the Clutter It's time to say goodbye to your high school chemistry notes, the clothes you outgrew five years ago, the playpen your twelve-year-old no longer needs, and everything else your family will never use again, read again, or wear again. Be tough! Do it! Take it to the dump; hold a garage sale; donate it to your favorite charity. Don't let it take up any more of your storage space ? you're going to need it all to store the things that are currently stacked on shelves and floors and cluttering up counter tops throughout the house. Important home products that can help you deal with this part of your preparation are closet organizers. They come in every size and style imaginable, and you are sure to find something suitable. When you have everything neatly stored in your closets and cupboards, walk through the house and pick up and put out of sight everything else on your counters and table tops that don't need to be there. "Clutter-free" means clutter-free and it won't kill anyone in the family to have to reach under the counter for the dishwashing detergent or the toothpaste for the next few days or weeks. You probably don't think of furniture as "clutter," but clutter is anything that unnecessarily crowds a room, a doorway, or a hall. If your home has very small rooms and you can manage without some furniture items for awhile, arrange to use a friend's garage or basement to store them. It will "open up" the rooms and make your house appear larger and brighter, and that's a good thing. Let There be Light Sunlight is a friend to the house seller, and you should try and let as much of it into the house as you can. Wash windows inside and out and wash or dryclean the window coverings: curtains, drapes, and blinds. Before showing the house to a prospective buyer, replace burned-out light bulbs, turn on the lights, open the windows, lift the blinds, and pull back the drapes. Final Touches Ask a non-smoking, non-pet-owning friend to come into your house when you have finished cleaning and painting. Are all the pet odors and smoking odors gone? If the house passes the sniff-test, place some potpourri in open dishes to add a fresh, clean scent; otherwise, get back to work. Finally, step outside and see what a prospective buyer's first impression of your yard is likely to be. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges and bushes, weed the garden, edge the flowerbeds, and sweep and clean the walkway, deck, or patio. Your yard is another selling feature of your house, and must be clean and tidy, too. Home products can help make your house appear big, bright, clean, and ready for a prospective buyer to move right in, which is exactly what you want.
Tips For Breaking Away From White Wall Paint
Paint is one of the most affordable and easiest ways to change a room. But choosing the right paint colors for your home can seem like an overwhelming task.
Outdoor Ceiling Fans Complement the House
Fans extending from the ceiling have been around for centuries and the modern ceiling fan as we know it today has been used since Victorian times. Savvy homeowners use the ceiling fan in every room imaginable. They like their looks as well as how comfortable they make them feel. Why keep all of this style cooped up inside? Take the ceiling fan outdoors to the patio for a focal point of a great outdoor room. Look at your patio furniture and the style of home before you purchase an outdoor ceiling fan. If you own a log home, you wouldn't want a futuristic black enamel ceiling fan or the contemporary pastel home in South Beach may not look good with dark oak fan blades. A Victorian mansion speaks of a matching outdoor ceiling fan that fits the period of the house. You get the idea, common sense and your decorating style will dictate which fan you go with. Lighting kits are available for these fans but I prefer your outdoor lighting to come from other sources. My husband and I think it feels much cozier when a glaring ceiling light isn't shining on us. There are great looking area lamps and sconces that will compliment your ceiling fan. Let a fan be a fan when it comes to the patio.
The Art of Power Washing Siding
Some of the most common mistakes to avoid made by homeowners and contractors are:
Add Value To Your Home With A Home Improvement Loan
Buying a home is a big and important investment for most people, and understandably property owners want to keep their home in good condition and looking great. However, carrying out home improvements can be difficult if finances are tight and this is where a home improvement loan could really help. You can get some really good deals and rates on loans for home improvements these days, which means that more homeowners can now afford to improve their properties in many ways.
Soy Candles? What Will They Think of Next?
Quick: What comes to mind when you think of soy candles? Before my formal introduction to soy candles, I thought organic (read expensive) and BEIGE! And not just the color beige, but beige as an overall description for soy candles-blah like baby food, ground chick peas, and a pale winter pallor. I had no idea why it would even occur to anyone to purchase a soy candle.
What is Wire EDM?
What exactly is wire electrical discharge machining, also referred to as Wire EDM? Wire EDM is the process whereby hard metals, those that previously could not be machined or manipulated by traditional methods, could now be machined, manipulated and designed by electrical charges in order to cut away the unwanted metal into heretofore unattainable shapes and designs with greater tolerances and precision.
Physiological Response to Window Coverings
Nothing soothes the brain like Mother Nature, whose intrinsic scenery relaxes and refreshes us, consciously and subconsciously. Therefore, a view of nature should never be completely covered up during the day.
Paving The Way For Californias Asphalt Consumers
The California asphalt paving industry is ever-changing and in order to provide the best services, asphalt paving companies are turning to new technologies to stay ahead of the competition.
Carbon Monoxide Can Be Deadly--Early Detection Monitors Make It Easy to Protect Your Family
If you burn gas, kerosene, or wood in your home to produce heat for cooking or warmth, you need to monitor the level of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is odorless and can easily build up to dangerous levels. Ordinary carbon monoxide detectors don't sound an alarm until certain levels of carbon monoxide accumulate in the air. New monitors show the amount of carbon dioxide in the air at any given time, so you can take action well before levels reach the danger zone.
|home | site map|