Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Biggest Home Rip-offs and How to Steer Clear Of Them

There are some people in the world that will generally, not think twice before taking advantage of homeowners with regard tohome repairing jobs. However, with a little thought and effort, you can make sure that you never become a successful target for these scammers.  

Scam #1: Leaky Roof Wrangling

Majority of the times, the reason that roof leaks occur is because either the sealing around the vent pipes has failed, or the metal flashing on the chimney has deteriorated or the connections between the roof sections have eroded. Often enough, a mere replacement of the flashing or sealing will get the job done, which won’t cost you a lot as well. 

Hence, tearing off a bad roof isn’t a good idea, unless the demand is being made by your building code. In many towns, they allow homeowners to install a second or even third asphalt roof, if the house’s framing can support it.

Scam #2: Basement Boondoggle

You may not know this, but in actuality, the causes of many basement leaks are; an overflow from clogged gutters, un-sloped land around the home, misrouted downspouts and even lawn sprinklers that are improperly aimed. 

Before calling in for professional help, you can try and reduce the moisture that is found along the foundation of the home by cleaning and de-clogging all the gutters, re-positioning the sprinklers, etc. 

Another cause of damp basements is high humidity. Attach a piece of aluminum foil to a wall, to test for humidity. If in a day or two some moisture shows up, this is a sign of condensation, for which you’ll need a de-humidifier. If there is water still seeping from the walls, the best thing to do is repair wall cracks using hydraulic cement which is widely available at home stores. Finish it off with good quality water proof paint.

Scam #3: Chimney Sweep Swindle

You should get your chimney checked annually according to experts, for creosote buildup and to check the structure of the chimney. This will cost you no more than $100 to $250, plus an additional $100 to $150 if cleaning is required. Be sure to hire only chimney sweepers who are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. 

Paying close attention to what the technician is doing is also a recommended idea, during inspection and the actual work. Due to technological advancements, sweeps are using video cameras from which you can view everything that is happening inside the chimney.

Scam #4: Dealing With Mold Mayhem

A simple fact is that healthy people have very little to worry about, as far as their health is concerned. For people already plagued with asthma and allergies, however, molds put them atgreater risks. Nevertheless, most types of mold are very easy to removeYou can easily clean non-porous areas and surfaces with the help of just soap and water, paired with a solution of one cup of bleach and one gallon of water. It’s very easy to control future mold growth as well, by simply eliminating excess moisture by keeping humidity levels low and fixing leaky pipes immediately.     


Saturday, April 11, 2015

You Have Been Cleaning the Bathroom Wrong, All Your Life

There is just something about cleaning a bathroom that makes many people feel squeamish, just by thinking about this necessary but disgusting chore. Maybe it’s the thought of the work required to clean it, the fact that we defecate in there, or whatever other reason; regardless, cleaning bathrooms is officially the least liked chore of all. This is why; we like to opt for the easy route when it comes to this chore which means that the cleaning is not done as thoroughly as is required.

Following are some tips and tricks to not only clean your bathroom as quickly as possible, but in a thorough and effective way as well.  

Don’t Clean Surfaces at Room Temperature

You might not know this but the effectiveness of alkaline cleansers can be doubled by heating the tub, sink and tiles at just 10 degrees above the normal air temperature. You can do this by filling the tub or sink with the hottest water from the tap, let the water sit for a few minutes, and then scrubbing the areas clean.

Don’t Scrub On Plastic Shower Curtains

Doing so will be just a waste of your energy. Instead, a much smarter option is to throw the curtain in the washing machine, along with a couple of towels, a full cup of vinegar and run the machine for at least five minutes. Let the curtain and towels soak in the vinegar induced water for about an hour, then turn it back on. After the cycle is complete, take out and hang to dry.

Using Paper Towels Is a Big No

Instead, a better idea is to invest in a good quality and durable microfiber cloth. Made from ultra fine synthetic fibers woven closely together to create a kind of static charge, the microfiber cloth is able to pick up dust and dirt without the help of sprays. In addition, these cloths are washable and re-usable for a long time.  

Vacuuming is Important for the Bathroom Too

One misconception of homeowners is that vacuuming can only be done on carpets. Well, not only can you vacuum on your bathroom tiles and other places as well, but doing so, is probably a good idea. What you should do before cleaning the tiles is tosweep or vacuum the floor which will remove loose debris and dirt, then wash with a cleaning solution. 

Don’t Forget To Clean Behind the Toilet

Admit it, you don’t clean behind the toilet but here’s why you should. It’s very easy for urine and fecal matter to deposit back there, which is very hard to clean due to the gross residue left behind. To help clean this area of the bathroom, use a few paper towels as it’s better than a re-usable one for the dirty job. Dip the towels in an antibacterial cleaner, and start off by ‘flossing’ the back of the toilet. Leave for a few minutes, and then repeat the process but this time with a dry towel.  

4 Helpful Tips for Faster Spring Cleaning

Are you ready to give to your home a scrub; from top to bottom? One very important tip, when it comes to spring cleaning is that you should focus all your efforts on the big parts of your home first, such as the furnishings, appliances, carpeting, and so on. You will then have a spring cleaned home in no time at all, if all these major tasks are covered.

Saving Time on Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning

You might say it’s not possible, as the chore is a very demanding and time consuming one. But in fact, you can make it less time consuming and demanding by moving the furniture just slightly,instead of completely out of the room or even against the wall. 

Remember to place the legs of all the pieces of furniture on top of wax paper, which will protect the carpet after shampooing and ensure that the furniture legs do not get wet or damaged as the carpet is left to dry. To speed up the drying process, open all the windows of that room and the fan as well if available.

Finishing Your Floors, the Effective Way 

A good way to protect floors in the kitchen from wear and tear is by applying a sealer or wax according to the directions provided by the product’s label. The simplest method by far is to use a combination of wash and wax floor solution, which will save you, loads of time as well.

Although no-wax floors can last long without a polishing treatment, they still need some kind of treatment to make themlook fresher. They also need a protective buffer to make them more durable against wear and tear. Use a 2 in 1 floor cleaning solution that both; cleans and shines. 

For wooden floors, move furniture and rugs out of the way and apply a wood cleaner. Finish it off with either a paste or liquid polish.  

A Little Intelligence with Vacuuming Will Go a Long Way

The labor intensive and out-dated rule of vacuuming where youdrag every piece of furniture out of the room and off the carpet;doesn’t do any favors to your back. Adopting new rule will not only save time, but also enable you to clean every nook and corner thoroughly and quite effectively, without any trouble!

Simply move the big pieces of furniture to the left or right, but only a little. Move the piece at its original place after vacuuming the newly vacated area. 

Washing Walls, Cabinets and Woodwork Isn’t So Hard

With the help of a sponge and any dishwashing solution, wash the surface after dividing it into sections for efficiency. A sponge mop will help you reach the higher spots easily. Place water in 2 buckets, one with cleaning solution and the other to wring the sponge in, for the easiest and quickest cleaning possible. Dry the walls and woodwork with a clean and dry cloth.