Posted in Home Improvement

Methods Of Ventilating Your Under Floor

When your home environment is safe, you not only get to enjoy clean fresh air but your health is also safeguarded. You may have installed a home ventilation system without seriously considering the under floor. It may only occur to you that there is a problem with the under floor when you get a musty smell in the home and discover the presence of mould. As soon as you realize the under floor may be having an issue, you should call in a sub floor ventilation expert. He will assess you’re under floor and recommend a ventilation system that will keep the space drier and fresh.

Requirements For Your Under Floor

A sub floor that is not properly ventilated is an attraction for termites which can destroy the timber supports of your home. This will cause the value of your home to go down. The presence of mould will cause you to develop respiratory problems and you are likely to have sinuses and symptoms of allergies. The area between the floor and the ground should, therefore, be ventilated properly.

Your under floor should not have any vegetation or rubble and should have vents that are spaced evenly. The vents should be strategically located to ensure that there is cross ventilation. This means that clean air should come in from one side and should be expelled from the opposite side. The ventilation that will be needed for your under floor will depend on the location of your home and the type of weather experienced in the area.

Causes Of Dampness In The Under Floor

During the rainy season, flood water may fail to drain properly and may pool against the wall of your home. This water will then gradually soak into your under ground causing it to be damp. You may also have a garden that is right next to your wall and whenever you water the garden, the water will end up finding its way to your under floor. You could also have a pipe that is cracked underground which is causing water to seep into your under floor. If you are living in an old home, there is a possibility that the level of the ground around your home has changed and has interfered with the sub floor ventilation.

Damage To Timber

If your floor is made from timber and your under the floor is damp, the floor boards will absorb the moisture and will expand. Since they are tightly packed on the floor, the boards will begin to rise up as they will find no space to expand. This means that your floor will be uneven. The floor boards can also expand so much that they end up pushing out the frame of your wall. When the timber in your sub floor begins to decay, termites can find a nest there and will feed on the timber thus destroying the structure of your home.

Ventilating The Sub Floor

Depending on the ventilation requirements of your under a floor, you can either use natural or mechanical sub floor ventilation. Natural ventilation is where natural flow of air is allowed to move in and out of the sub floor through vents. Fans can also be used to bring in air from one side and expel damp air from the opposite side.

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Risks That Are Addressed Through Sub Floor Ventilation

It is very important that your home is safe for you and your family members since this is a place where you spend a lot of time. An unsafe home environment can be caused by excessive moisture in the air.

Moisture from the bathroom and the kitchen can accumulate in the home and if there is not sufficient aeration, condensation takes place. This condensation causes dampness which also affects the under floor. You should therefore ensure that your entire home including the under floor is properly ventilated. Sufficient sub floor ventilation will ensure that your under floor is dry and free from moisture.

Risks Associated With Dampness

When your home is damp, it will cause the structure of your home to rot and you will then be required to carry out repairs which can be quite expensive. You will also have to deal with the growth of bacteria and dust mites. The presence of dust mites will cause you to have itchy eyes and a blocked nose. You can end up sneezing a lot and may also experience breathing problems.

The spread of mold in your home due to dampness will result in fungal spores which can cause respiratory problems. You should therefore ensure that there is sufficient ventilation in the rooms in your home. This will allow the moist air to get out and get replaced with drier air. You should also not forget to vent your under floor using a suitable sub floor ventilation system.

Considerations When Installing Vents

Having the right sub floor ventilation is important in order to allow drier air from the outside to flow into the space. This will keep your under floor area dry enough by removing the moisture coming from the house and from the ground. The vents should be placed correctly in the building to allow cross ventilation. This means that fresh drier air should come in from one direction only and the moist air should move out from the opposite direction.

You should also ensure that the vents are placed high enough to avoid flood water getting into the under floor. You should remove anything in the sub floor that would hinder the flow of air in and out of the vents. You should check the vents from time to time to ensure that they are not blocked by soil or anything else.

Additional Ventilation

If natural ventilation is not enough to keep your under floor dry enough, then you will need to install fans. The fans are installed strategically so that there are fans that draw in air from the outside while the other fans push out moist air from the opposite direction. You can also have a fan that is linked to a pipe through which the moist air can be expelled to the outside.

There are instances where you have satisfied all the sub floor ventilation requirements to ensure that you’re under floor is dry enough. However, you may find that the area is still damp even after installing enough ventilation. When faced with such a situation, you should cover the ground with polythene sheets as this will help in keeping the under floor dry.

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Importance Of Installing An Adequate Ventilation System

A clean indoor environment is of great importance due to the many hours that you spend within your home. The indoor air that you breathe in should be fresh and clean to ensure that you do not get any respiratory complications. The only way your home can have a continuous supply of fresh air is through effective home ventilation. As long as your home has adequate ventilation, condensation which leads to a damp home will not take place. The structure of your home will not suffer decay and will remain intact for a long time.

Importance Of Ventilating Your Home

If your home is damp and has a musty smell, ventilation can help to keep your home dry and ensure that the indoor air is fresh and clean. Ventilation gets rid of the stale indoor air and replaces it with fresh air from the outside. There are different methods of ventilating your home such as the natural method. Natural ventilation is the free flow of air into the home from doors, windows and openings around the building. However, if you are living in a home that is insulated, you will need to have a mechanical ventilation system that will air your home.

The Use Of Mechanical Ventilation

You can opt to use mechanical ventilation in order to effectively get rid of stale air from your home. You can decide to install fans in the specific location where moisture build up and pollution is originating from in the home. For instance, you can install fans in the bathroom, kitchen or on the sub floor to get rid of moist air and replace it with drier air from outside. You can also decide to use whole house ventilation where the entire house is ventilated by a set of fans which bring in the fresh air and duct systems which get rid of the stale air.

Heat Recovery Ventilator

A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) is an efficient home ventilation system which captures the heat from the outgoing stale air to heat up the incoming fresh cold air. A HRV is made up of a fan which brings in the fresh air and another fan which gets rid of the stale air. The system has a core where the exchange of heat from the stale air to the clean air takes place.

The core where the transfer of heat takes place has a thin route through which the stale and fresh air passes. However, the stale and fresh air does not mix at any point during the heat transfer. An HRV is able to retain about eighty-five percent of the heat from the outgoing stale air which makes it an efficient ventilation method. During the warm summer days, the HRV can take the heat from the incoming air and transfer it to the stale outgoing air thus allowing you to enjoy the cool clean air.

Contacting A Ventilation Expert

In order to get the best home ventilation system, it is a good idea to contact a ventilation expert who will assess your home from the ground to the roof. The expert will then recommend a ventilation system that will effectively air your home. You should ensure that the system which is installed is quiet enough and has a warranty.

Posted in Home Improvement

Safety Tips For Removing Snow And Ice

Removing snow and ice on your lawn and landscape is a very essential winter safety activity. While shovelling snow, people may suffer from injuries. These include blisters and heart attacks. Know though that with proper safety procedures, these injuries can be prevented.

Shovelling Your Driveway

Slips and falls can be prevented when you keep your driveway and walkway clear of snow and ice. It is very crucial that you keep some safety tips in mind each time you shovel.

Know if you must not shovel – There are certain people who are prone to injuries if they shovel snow. If you have a history of cardiac problems, avoid doing this activity.

Dress appropriately – It can be tempting to just run out and remove the snow and ice on your walkway regardless of what you are wearing. If you dress the right clothing for this activity, injuries can be prevented. It is highly advised that you dress in layers – wear a head covering, a scarf, warm socks, and gloves. Moreover, wear waterproof booth with slip-resistant soles.

Use the right shovel – Make sure to use the shovel that fits your body size and your level of strength. Choose one that has a handle that is the right length for your height. If you use one that has short handle, you may be leaning forward more. This will put you the risk of a back injury. Most importantly, choose one that is very comfortable to use.

Be cautious with deep snow – You must remove the snow when the ground is lightly covered. This will reduce the accumulation of packed, heavy snow. Instead of lifting the snow, just push it. But if lifting it is necessary, do not overload the shovel. And when the snow is deep already, remove it in layers.

Always stay hydrated – When you go out to shovel, drink a bottle of water. After that, drink regularly so you don’t become dehydrated. Avoid overexerting as well. This means that you have to take breaks often. You can go indoors to warm up. And if you feel any pressure or pain in your chest, immediately call your doctor.

Removing Ice

Aside from paying attention to your footing, here are other safety tips when doing this activity.

Purchase the right chemical products – An efficient way of melting the ice is putting a layer of rock salt on icy areas. Be reminded though that rock salt can damage concrete and metal surfaces. This is also harmful to plants. Prior to using any ice melting products, you must carefully read the labels.

Remove icicles – You need to get rid of any hanging icicles from gutters and roof edges. This will prevent injuries to children if they fall.

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The Importance Of Hiring A Ventilation Expert

Your home may be experiencing mold and a stale smell due to a damp under floor. It could be that you have poor drainage around your house. This causes water to pool against the wall whenever it rains. With time the water will find its way to your under floor making it moist. It could also be that there is a pipe that is leaking in your under floor which needs to be fixed by a plumber. The problem could also be due to poor ventilation.

It is therefore important to contact a sub floor ventilation expert who will assess your under floor and determine the reason for the dampness. He will then recommend a solution that will effectively keep your under floor dry.

What Does A Ventilation Expert Do?

When you contact a ventilation expert, he will check your under floor and confirm that the cause of your damp under floor is poor aeration. There are many factors that contribute to poor aeration of your under floor. It could be that you are living in a home that was built many years ago and the ground has shifted over the years. This will cause the placement of the vents to be altered which then affects ventilation.

Your under floor could also have been built with insufficient vents or vents that are too small. You may also have carried out some landscaping which ended up blocking the vents that are meant for ventilation.

Finding A Solution

The ventilation expert will need to come up with the sub floor ventilation requirements of your under floor. He can do this by calculating the air flow which will enable him to know how much ventilation will be needed and the type of ventilation that will be effective. You can either use natural or mechanical ventilation to air your under floor. The type of house you have, the type of soil that it is built on and the weather conditions experienced in your locality will be considered when deciding on the type of ventilation.

The expert has to ensure that the vents are placed correctly so that fresh air comes in from one direction only and the stale air is extracted from the opposite side. In order for the ventilation to be effective, it may have to be regulated at one point or another. Mechanical ventilation can be used so that the fans are switched off when the air outside is humid so that this air is not introduced into the under floor.

Sub Floor Design

If you are planning to build your home, you should make sure that the sub floor ventilation requirements are addressed. This will ensure that your home is built on the right foundation and you do not have to deal with a damp under floor later on.

The sub floor is a very important part of your home as it holds your floor and the entire home. A sub floor that is properly designed will protect your home from movements in the soil. Soil can expand and contract in response to the amount of moisture and it can also move due to the weight of your home. The right ventilation will ensure that the structure of your home remains intact.

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Tips To Wind Up Your Bedroom Efficiently

While moving into a new house is a moment of joy for all owners, it is also very tiresome at the same time. The most important task at hand is to wind up your bedroom well because this is the one place in your house where you are likely to keep your most valuable possessions. Thus, be prepared to have a hectic schedule while packing because this would be the best time when you can actually discard the unwanted stuff to declutter your room. Be very clear that the more things you pack the more expensive your shift will be.

Here are some tips which will help you clear up your room efficiently without much hassle.

• Organize your room: Having an organized room to start off with would prove to be beneficial as you would be able to get ample amount of space. It would also help you pack only the important things which would be dust free.

• Have a checklist at hand: Although making a list of your belongings would seem to be a very immature idea at first, you can trust anyone on this that would seem to be a boom when you start packing up. This is because you would have all things clear as to which ones are important and your top priority. This list would also give you an idea about the amount of packing material you would require.

• Pack mattress and carpets efficiently: Most of the people invest a huge amount of money in buying a mattress as it is a matter of their comfort. Thus, make sure you pack them well so as to avoid them from getting dirty during the transit. Pack them securely in shrink wraps which are specifically meant to protect carpets and mattresses. Don’t worry if you do not have one. The packers and movers would surely be able to help you on this.

• Make use of garbage bags to pack linen covers and pillows: Since garbage bags are large and sturdy they would be the best packing material for your linen covers and pillows. Be sure to seal the bags before transporting them.

• Get the help of your kids: Let your kids take the responsibility of their own room. Involve them in the packing process which would also reduce your burden. Make sure they throw away the things which they no longer use.

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9 Ways to Prepare Your Home For Winter

Now that fall is officially come and gone, it’s time to prepare your home for cold weather. Preparing your home for a long, cold winter is something every homeowner should consider before the season really takes hold. These steps, most of which you can do yourself, will help lower your utility bills and protect your investment.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. The fan will produce an updraft and push down the heated air into the room from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises). This is especially useful in rooms with high ceilings, and it might even allow you to turn down your thermostat by a degree or two for greater energy savings.

Clear Your Eaves
This is not a complicated task, but it’s an important job nonetheless. Clogged eavestroughs can lead to the formation of ice dams, which can tear off gutters, loosen shingles and leave your roof vulnerable to leaks. Simply climb to the edge of your roof and carefully dig out the debris. It’s not necessary to remove every small stone. The main purpose is to make sure nothing restricts the flow of water, and that no stagnant water remains in the gutters.

Prevent Ice Dams
If your home had lots of icicles last winter, or worse, ice dams, which can cause meltwater to back up and flow into your house, take steps to prevent potential damage this year. Get the assistance of a home-energy auditor or weatherization contractor. Have them fix the air leaks or inadequate insulation in your attic.

Check Your Roof
If you can’t get access to your roof, or prefer not to go on the roof, use binoculars to inspect the shingles. Look for damaged, loose or missing shingles that may leak during winter’s storms or from melting snow.

Caulk Windows and Doors
If the gaps between siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. (Check the joints in window and door frames, too.) Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink and it’s impervious to the elements.

Shut Off Exterior Faucets
Cold winter temperatures can cause your pipes to freeze and burst inside your home, which can result in major water damage. Locate and close any shut-off valves that lead to outside faucets, and drain any excess water inside the lines. It’s also a good idea to also drain any interior pipes in unheated areas of your home, such as your attic.

Stow Your Mower
As the mower sits through the winter, fuel remaining in its engine will decompose, “varnishing” the carburetor and causing difficulty when you try to start the engine in the spring. wait until the tank is nearly empty from use and run the engine (outdoors) to use up the remaining fuel.

Call a Chimney Sweep
Before you burn the Yule log, make sure your fireplace (or any heating appliance burning gas, oil, wood or coal), chimney and vents are clean and in good repair. That will prevent chimney fires and prevent carbon monoxide from creeping into your home. If you have a wood-burning heating appliance or fireplace, have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney inspector to reduce your risk of a fire.

Test Smoke and CO2 Detectors
Regardless of the time of year, it’s always a good idea to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure the batteries are still functioning. Remember that these detectors lose their effectiveness over time, so replace old and outdated products after five years of use.

Posted in Home Improvement

Save Money With These Seven Home Improvements

Everybody wants their home to be in the best condition as you will want to live a comfortable life. You will always have a long list of renovations in your mind. Upgrading the house can be a little expensive, and you may not have enough budget for the renovations. You can save a lot of money if you are careful with your improvement plans. Prioritizing your repairs is important. Try to focus on the ones which are a high priority. Focus on improvements which are going to save money in the long run as well.

Here are some of the improvements that are useful in saving money:

Getting Rid of Drafts:

Experts mostly recommend that insulation is an excellent choice when it comes to preparing for winters. But sealing doors and windows is an always a good choice no matter when you do it. The seals always pay off so you can either invest in real seals or replace them with better-insulated ones. You should look to add insulation in the major areas such as the attic. Insulating the attic not only helps in keeping the house warm in winter but it is also helpful in keeping the house cold in summers. Seal all the air leaks like the outlets and switches. It will not just bring comfort to your life and will result in money-saving improvement.

Adding the insulation on just the doors and replacing the windows you will see improvement in the appearance of the house and also see energy improvements. You can also recoup most of the cost if you look to selling the house.

Adding Low Flow Fixtures:

Low fixtures are an excellent home improvement because it will help in decreasing the water wastage. It will assist in saving a lot of money as well. With low fixtures, you can also reduce about fifty percent of water consumption. It is important to look for improvements that help in energy efficiency because it is not just good for the environment but is also cost-effective.

Replacing Regular Bulbs:

The regular light bulbs are high consumers of energy. You can save some money by replacing them with fluorescent bulbs. They have a longer lifespan as compared to the regular bulbs although they might cost more initially. The high initial cost can make up for a low running cost. These bulbs also assist in lowering the energy bills.

Updating High Energy Appliances:

You can reap a lot of benefits from improvements if you upgrade your appliances which are inefficient. Most of the power is consumed by large systems such as the heating system, heaters, air conditioning, refrigerators, and dehumidifiers. You can adjust the energy consumption of the appliances like installing a thermostat that is programmable and running during night hours. You can repair the already existing systems or replace them with the new and better models.

Dishwashers:

It is important to replace the old dishwasher with a new one because they use just an average of 5.8 gallons of water in each cycle. The other dishwashers can cause a lot of water wastage because they used as much as ten gallons in each cycle. If you upgrade your dishwasher, you can save a lot in when it comes to energy costs and save plenty of water as well.

Cleaning the Gutter and Dealing With Structural Problems:

Water is mostly the culprit behind the most expensive home repairs. If there are any leaks, you should deal with them and make sure you control the water around your house. Gutters are the first line of defense against any water problems in your basement, rotten wood fascia, leaking roofs and other serious problems. Firstly you should clean the gutters and install gutter guards because it helps in preventing any future damage from water.

You should look for foundation cracks, mildew or mold in a basement area, roof issues, and loose shingles or any other possible signs of water damage and a sign of pests. Water repairs are costly, but you can lower the cost by doing prevention and maintenance by yourself. You can maintain the gutter and water leaks by regular inspections and upkeep.

Programmable Thermostat:

They have gained popularity because they have many energy and money saving advantages. If you know how to use the device correctly, you will be able to use a lot of money. It is mostly more accurate than the conventional thermostat. It is efficient and cost-effective device and an excellent choice for improving your home.

These are some of the home improvements which will not just make your house more comfortable but will also help in saving some money.

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Major Drywall Repair Mistakes When Dealing With Water Damage

You notice a darker spot on your wall or ceiling and determine that it is the result of water damage. If you decide to repair the drywall yourself, you should check out some of the most serious mistakes which are commonly made and how to avoid them. Let’s begin.

Missing to eliminate the underlying cause of the problem.

You fix the drywall and forget about it only to discover that the water damage is back on just a few weeks or months later. Avoid this mistake by getting down to the cause of the problem as soon as you discover it. Most often, the water damage is the result of a roof leak so roof repair will be needed too. Problems with the pipes are equally serious and should be dealt with right away.

Ignoring mold or remediating it in the wrong way.

Keep in mind that even if you remove the portion of drywall where mold has grown, it may continue to spread afterwards. That is why the affected area should get a mold treatment just to be on the safe side. Additionally, some types of mold such as black mold are extremely dangerous and should only be handled and removed by specialists.

Removing only a portion of the affected drywall.

The rule of thumb which you must follow to avoid making this grave mistake is to cut out an area which is slightly larger than the section which seems affected by water. If the sides of the hole, which should ideally have rectangular shape if it is large, feel damp to touch, cut small sections of them until you feel a completely dry surface. One of the best tools to use for this job is a keyhole saw.

It may go without saying, but if an entire drywall panel is soaked with water, it must be removed. This is one job which is better left to professionals primarily for safety reasons. Generally, when you do any kind of big drywall repair job, you should wear a protective mask, goggles and gloves to be on the safe side.

Not installing replacement pieces of drywall properly.

It’s a bit challenging to cut pieces of the correct size, but it is always best to make them slightly larger and use a knife to trim them. If the piece is considerably smaller than the hole, the cement adhesive may not be able to hold it firmly in place and you may be forced to fix the drywall soon after the initial repair. When fitting a piece of replacement drywall, you should do it at an angle to save time and effort and to avoid damage to the surrounding material.

Applying joint compound incorrectly.

Usually, one layer of joint compound isn’t sufficient for restoring and leveling drywall patches. In this case, you should apply two or three to get the best result. The key thing is to leave each layer to dry fully before you apply the next one. Otherwise, it may begin to crumble.

If your drywall is heavily damaged by water or you aren’t sure that you can repair it properly, use a professional service.

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The Benefits Of Weathering Steels

Rust kills steel, but it benefits weathering steel. Another term for weathering steel is Corten steel. The American Institute of Steel Construction refers to this type of rust as the useful corrosion. The great thing about Corten steel is that its lifecycle increases when it is exposed to the elements. Moreover, it saves a lot of money as you won’t need to paint the steel over and over again. Let’s know some great benefits of weathering steel.

Corten is Trademarked by the USS

Corten was trademarked by the widely known USS. Originally, it got the ASTM A242 standard, and is also appreciated by the latest ASTM grade for coils and sheets made of steel. This standard is known as A606. This type of steel was made with silicon, nickel, chromium, phosphorus and copper. When exposed to the elements, these ingredients allow the steel sheets to produce a fine layer of rust, which gives the impression that the steel sheets have been repainted recently.

Exposure to the elements

Traditional steel loses its strength when exposed to corrosion, but Corten gets stronger when it is exposed to the weather. The sheets form a layer of beneficial layer when they come into contact with oxygen and moisture. So, this is one of the major benefits of Corten.

The strength of the weathering steel is also very high. Plus, they require less maintenance and save you a lot of money. All of these benefits make this type of steel an ideal choice for the construction of roofs, bridges and buildings with open frames. As a matter fact, history tells us that bridges constructed with the weathering steel stand the test of time for as many as 120 years without requiring a lot of maintenance. So, these bridges don’t need to be regularly checked or inspected.

The look of the Corten is another thing that makes it so popular. Buildings constructed with this steel look reddish, just like rust. As the exposure to the elements continues, the steel starts to have a russet patina, and most people find it very beautiful. So, the rust looks beautiful and doesn’t look ugly in any way.

The Takeaway

To cut a long story short, Corten steel is popular among a large community of engineers and architects. And the reason is that it offers a lot of advantages over the traditional steel. This steel is arguably the strongest steel that is able to stand the test of time and doesn’t require a lot of regular upkeep. Moreover, buildings built with the Corten don’t need to be painted, which is a great thing for the environment as well. And the biggest of the benefits is that you save a lot of bucks, as you don’t need to pay to the professional to inspect the buildings on a regular basis.

So, these are a few benefits that shed some light on the importance of the Corten. If you are planning to order steel sheets for your upcoming construction project, do give a go to this type of steel. Hopefully, you won’t regret your decision and recommend it to your friends as well.