Home and Garden

Preventing Water Damage in Your Home, As Early As Construction Stage

Home and Garden

Mold on the WallWhen summer arrives in British Columbia and the rest of Canada, many property owners emerge from hibernation not to enjoy the sun, but to repair water damage and remove molds. Of course, this is the best time to examine the property for defects and stop any water intrusion. Spring also reminds them about that leaky roof that has led to ceiling damage over the years. Construction defects can be hard to deal with, especially if they become visible many years down the line. Mold removal in Canada’s homes will be minimal if construction dealt with the following features.

1. Adequate Space Between Floor and Ground

Professor David Balmforth (formerly of the Institution of Civil Engineers) once suggested that all new buildings in Britain should be built at least one meter from the ground. This approach could also work in Canada as a supplement to conventional flood defense mechanisms.

2. Proper Ventilation in Attics and Crawl Spaces

Buildings that have poor ventilation in these areas constantly grapple with mold damage. You can counter this through bathroom fan venting. If there are water intrusion problems in the affected area, you may want to solve it to prevent mold exacerbation. However, the most reliable prevention is providing enough ventilation during construction.

3. Proper Installation of Building Envelope

When you talk of building envelope, you are primarily referring to exterior building materials. Poor installation of the envelope has cost many British Columbia property owners time and money in removing. The purpose of the Canadian Building Code is to prevent instances of buildings draining uncontrollably.

Mold damage claims are numerous across the country, and one leading cause of this knee-jerk reaction is poor construction practices. Remediation treatment is an expensive and lengthy process that may lead to interruptions. Be proactive by ensuring your property is built in complete adherence to existing regulations.

Bathtubs For the Elderly and People with Disabilities: Design Considerations

Home and Garden

Elderly on a relaxing safe bathtubCaring for an elderly or person with a disability can be very challenging. But, it is the responsibility of the caregivers to facilitate a comfortable life for them. Caregivers should attend to all their personal needs while giving them a sense of independence or freedom to move. This gives them the necessary self-confidence to keep them going.

Among other things, bathing is one aspect of life that needs to be done privately. One way to encourage independence at home is by getting a bathtub that will suit the user’s special needs. Here’s what you should look for in a tub.

Walk-in Tubs

One of the facilities you can provide for an elderly parent or relative with a disability is a suitable bathtub. These walk-in tubs from heavenlytubs.com, for example, are specifically designed to meet the needs of the elderly and people with disabilities. They come in various sizes and configurations. While they are made to suit people with mobility issues, everyone at home can use one too.

Safety and Accessibility

Regular bathtubs are not safe and accessible for the elderly and people with disabilities. This is why walk-in tubs are an ideal choice because they come with doors that can open outwards and inwards, providing safe and easy access to the user. Some tubs have doors large enough for a wheelchair to fit.

Another important thing to consider is the surface. The floor of the tub should be non-skid to avoid slipping and falling. Armrests and bars should also be within reach, stable, and non-slippery.

Ease of Use

Finally, the bathtub should be easy to use and intuitive. Ease of use is just as important as safety and accessibility, as it ensures that the user can bathe without needing help. Bathing should be private and intimate, so utilities should be easy to reach and use.

If you have an elderly or person with a disability to care for at home, it is wise to buy a tub that’s comfortable, safe, and accessible to suit various mobility issues. It may not be much, but being able to bathe on your own is an important matter for people living with so many restrictions.

Don’t Be the next Burglary Victim

Home and Garden

A burglary attempting to break into a houseAn alarming number of burglary cases are filed each day in the U.S. A new case happens every 15 seconds. In Chicago, burglary is more common than other types of property crime.

Everyone can be a victim. A burglary happens when you least expect it. However, you can do things to prevent this. First, know the common mistakes that make you the next potential victim.

1. Insufficient security and alarm systems.

Lawn signs and decals alone may or may not work, but if they fail, it would be best to have other security features. Thieves today are wiser, but they cannot outsmart you if you are prepared with surveillance cameras, motion detectors, and alarm systems in Chicago, Illinois.

2. Easy accessibility.

A burglar would grab any opportunity that comes his way. Leaving the doors and windows open provides easy access.

Poor lighting and an unmaintained landscape can hide intruders.

Locked doors and windows do not exempt your home from being a prospect, especially when it has poor lighting and overgrown greenery. Thick bushes make a good spot for hiding, and poor lighting also hides intruders.

3. An unoccupied home in a low traffic location.

Thieves find empty houses attractive above all because they make easy targets. The chances of not getting caught are exceptionally high when no one is at home. Based on statistics, around 60 percent of home break-ins happen in daylight when people are at work.

Prevent Burglary

Improving security features and installing monitored security systems at home are the best ways to protect the home from burglars. However, they can also fail you if you take some things for granted.

Always lock doors and windows at home and keep well-maintained landscape. Install powerful lights especially near entry points. Keeping valuables out of sight can also discourage thieves.

Thieves are getting smarter, and this should make every homeowner more vigilant. Make sure your home is safe from intruders and burglars.

Understanding and Dealing with HVAC Duct Leaks

Home and Garden

A HVAC technician on the job HVAC systems can’t heat up space efficiently without a series of ductwork. If these ducts leak heat or cold, they might present a host of problems. Take water heaters, for example. The primary heater takes care of the main job, and then the hot/warm water is transferred t to wherever it’s needed. Like air conditioners and furnaces, the duct/pipe work fulfills a critical role in keeping the entire system running.

Water heater repair professionals from firms like Expert Plumbing, Heating, Air and Electrical recommend that potential leaks be identified and fixed immediately. But first, you have to find the leaks.

On the Lookout

Water heaters leak in familiar places. Among the most common areas is the bottom. It’s also easy to determine whether there’s a leak: there’s a pool of water at the bottom of the heater, which shouldn’t happen at all. Aside from causing the water/electricity bill to increase, the leak is also a nuisance and can be a breeding ground for mold.

What if the leaks could be anywhere on the system? When looking for problems, it’s critical to turn off the water supply temporarily to avoid potential complications and unwanted mess. Afterward, it’s time to inspect the entire system. Look at every connection, nook and cranny: the pipes, valves, pumps, controls, and radiators for any semblance of mineral build up. If you see something that looks like hardened sediment anywhere, it might indicate a leak.

Going the DIY route still might not be enough. Calling in an expert to perform an inspection is not just a luxury, but a necessity. Professionals can provide a thorough diagnosis while documenting all issues and possible solutions. This can be helpful especially when negotiating the cost of mending leaks, or for determining whether the heater is due for a replacement.

Water heater leaks are nothing to ignore. A lot of things can go wrong and not just the power and water bill, either. If problems are quite apparent, calling in a professional helps immensely.

What Plumbers Would Like You to Know

Home and Garden

Male PlumberAs cliché as it may sound, it’s easy to ignore what’s already under our nose. One good example would be the pipes running through your walls. It’s the same pipes that bring in clean water when you’re going for a morning shower, washing the dishes, and flushing the toilet. That said, without proper maintenance, your pipes might not last as long as your home.

Be Alert

When asking a seasoned plumber, you would realize that nothing beats awareness when it comes to preventing plumbing problems. That said, you need to make sure that you keep an eye out for any possible plumbing problem. This would include leaking faucets, small water puddles, or ballooning of paint. Allhoursplumbingslc.com and other experts say that these signs could mean that you already have a leak somewhere along your walls.

Now, you also need to make sure that you ready your pipes for the winter season. Keep in mind that freezing temperatures can cause your pipe to become brittle and break down easily. A good way to deal with this is to have your pipes insulated once the temperature starts dropping.

Know Where the Valves Are

In case you do get a major leak and your basement starts flooding, you need to know where to go to turn off the main valve. This is something you have to do before making a call to any plumber. The shut-off valves that you need to be familiar with include the gas valve, the sewer valve, and the main water line valve.

Do Small Repairs

Not all plumbing problems warrant a call to a professional. In some cases, you can repair things on your own. For example, clogged drains and blocked toilet bowls are some of the problems you can solve on your own.

If you want to save on the services of a plumber, your best move is to make sure that you take care of your pipes and drains on a regular basis. Don’t make matter worse for your home and your pocket.

Have an Urgent Plumbing Problem? Call a Plumber

Home and Garden

Plumber Pumping a Clogged SinkThe house is a complex system where every equipment or element is important. If one of these elements get damaged or destroyed, it could affect the house. For example, the plumbing system is essential for the everyday life of the residents.

However, when there is a leak in the bathroom or the sink in the wee hours, you might feel a need to call a plumber. Calling an emergency plumber in Orem is one of the first things you might have in mind. However, during an emergency, you should inspect the problem first before calling an experienced plumber.

Inspect the Leak or Damage

It’s pivotal to assess where the leak is. When you do this, inspect the source of the leak and the extent of the damage. In this way, you can immediately tell the plumber later.

Try to Manage the Situation

Though there are emergency plumbing services, not all states and cities have this. When there is no one to call and it’s an urgent problem, try to manage the situation first. Turn off the main for your water, so the area will not be flooded. If the area is in your basement, make sure that your water main is turned off to prevent serious damage and fungal growth.

Call the Plumber

Many plumbers offer emergency plumbing services. They are trained and committed to providing quality services. They also have the knowledge to deal with any piping problem effectively. It is important to have the phone number of the company in case you might need it.

Sometimes you assume that you can do a leak on your own, but sometimes only a plumber can do the job. When your faucet or shower won’t work or has a big leak that needs to be addressed immediately, calling a plumber can surely solve the problem.

Eliminate the Ant Menace in Your Home

Home and Garden

antsAnts are quite an industrious bunch. They run a tight and orderly colony in a manner  that astounds the scientific community. In fact, some of the scientists marvel at the ability of such small creatures to lead such an extraordinary life.

Each day, workers comb their immediate surroundings in search for food before ferrying it back to the colony with a religious zeal. While such organization is admirable in the outdoors, it can be devastating if happening inside your home.

If you notice an ant infestation, you need to take swift action to remedy the situation.

Feed the ants

While this might seem counterproductive, it boils down to the kind of food you leave out for the ants. Rather, than going out in search of the colony, you can have the ants destroy it for you. If house ants invade your home, leave out a mixture of part borax and three parts powdered sugar.

Borax is toxic and kills any termite that ingests it while the sugar serves as bait. Ants are unable to differentiate between the two and will judiciously ferry the poison back to their colony, killing it off.

In the case of carpenter ants, just locate their nest and douse it with food grade diatomaceous earth for pest control.

Call an expert

In cases of a large-scale ant invasion, it is time to call in the big guns for a lasting solution. In areas with large termite mounds nearby, you might suffer recurrent attacks. As such, you need a better strategy to deal with the menace.

Other than getting rid of the ants, a termite exterminator firm in Salt Lake City can help you ant-proof the home. They can recommend ways to treat the wooden bits in the home and seal off any entrances that allow ants into the home.

Ants pose a significant risk to your home, and as such, you should make every effort to eradicate them. These useful pointers can help you deal with such an infestation painlessly.

What Type of Swimming Pool Is for You?

Home and Garden

A worker installing tiles on the bottom of a swimming pool There is a good chance that if you have a house and a large yard space, you’ve probably thought of hiring a pool construction company in Salt Lake City, Utah. Swimming pools can be expensive, but Dolphin Pools & Spas says that it is also great for family fun, parties, and morning exercise.

However, choosing the right type of pool is usually the hardest part. You have to think about things like your budget, space, and maintenance. Here are the pros and cons of both in-ground and above ground pools that can help you decide.

In-ground pools

In-ground pools are the best if you are looking for something more permanent and of higher quality. The materials used to build this kind of pool include concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass.

These pools are very sturdy, which makes them easier to customize, especially if you hire a professional pool builder for the job. In-ground pools also have the size advantage that is the best for people with big families, pool parties, and even exercise.

In-ground pools are expensive. Aside from this, there’s a lot of maintenance involved that could cost you more in the end. This is due to feeders, pumps, and the underground pipe system that in-ground pools require. This pool is also permanent and is difficult to change or remove once built.

Above ground pools

Above ground pools are inexpensive and can be a lot of fun to build if you are handy with tools. The average pricing with builders for above ground pools go for about $1,000 or less. Maintenance is easy too, because you do not have to worry about any underground pipes and drains. Above ground pools also do not require that much space either.

The only real problem with this kind of pool is it is very hard to find a builder for it. You might have to be handy with tools and build one yourself. Cheap pools often equate to cheap quality as well, so you really need to be wary when you see pool builders offering to build this below $100.

Deciding on what kind of pool to build boils down to your preferences, budget, and backyard space. It hinges on whether you are ready more for something permanent and of high quality or something that is cost effective and easy to maintain.

Could You Use Gift Money for Your Home’s Down Payment?

Home and Garden

Man handing the keys to the new couple If you’re having a rough time to pool money for your dream home’s down payment, a gift of money from a family member or friend could help you out. This gift money should be a genuine gift, however, and not a loan disguised as a gift. It should likewise be properly documented through a gift letter and financial statements.

Here are some rules you have to know before using gift money for your home deposit:

Who Could Donate and How Much?

All mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) allow individuals, such as family members, your employer, or friends to donate money for your house’s down payment. However, a mortgage originator from a top mortgage company in St. George warns that your donor couldn’t be a person who has a vested interest in the property’s sale, like your real estate agent or seller. In addition, your donor would have to pay taxes if the gift money is more than the limit in a given year.

Are There Limitations?

With FHA mortgage loans, you could even pay your entire home deposit with gift money — provided that you’re paying at least 20% of the down payment. If your home deposit is lower than 20%, however, you would have to put in some of your own money. The amount would depend on the requirements of the insurance company that you’re buying your private mortgage insurance from.

In addition, the house you’re buying must either be your second home or primary residence and you couldn’t use your gift money towards buying investment properties. You could, however, use your gift funds toward your other expenses that are related to your mortgage loan, such as your closing costs.

While documenting and obtaining gift funds to pay your down payment would require effort, it would all be worth it in the end.

Above Ground Storage Tanks – How they are fabricated and installed

Home and Garden

Water storage tankGetting an above ground tank from concept to construction to installation is a long and very complex process. It has to be planned well and executed by experts.  There are many types of steel storage tanks, but each one starts the same way – as a drawing and large flat sheets of steel.

Process of building an above ground tank

  • Planning: Customers usually approach tank building companies with their requirements. The builder draws up plans and calculates size and foundation load and other details for approval. After getting approval, the builder procures the raw materials and hires subcontractors for the job. Based on need, builders have to adhere to specifications set out by organizations like the API.
  • Building: Once the materials needed for the above ground tank fabrication are delivered to a facility, checks are conducted to ensure that the steel sheets meet project requirements and specifications. Then the plates are separated and cut into the roof, bottom and structural shapes and set aside. In addition to these plates, other parts of the tank like pipes, fittings, flanges, ladders, etc. are fabricated in the shop, provided the builder can do so.
  • Preparation: If the contractor has the capability to perform plate blasting and priming in the shop, the plates are prepped and painted before they are shipped to the tank’s site. Coordinating the delivery of all the parts to the construction site is coordinated carefully. One has to ensure that there is enough room for the cranes, welders, tool trailers, etc.
  • Building: Construction starts with the bottom/foundation plates. The next step is to add the breakdown plates and weld them to the bottom. Tests are done at every stage to check for leaks. Then the shell plates are put into place one at a time with a crane. As the tank takes shape and becomes taller, the builder installs scaffolding so that worker can weld the shell plates. The roof of the tank is constructed on site as the tank is taking shape – it is one complete structure, welded together. Items such as roof nozzles and vents are installed during this time.

Once the shell is set up, and internal welding and cleaning are taken care of, the team installs the tank roof. This is hoisted into place with a crane and welded. The scaffolding is removed, and external ladders and platforms are welded to the shell. After construction is completed, the above ground tank is tested by using water to ensure no leaks. Once that is done, the next step is to paint the exterior.