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February 2017

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Preserve Your House by Recognising and Removing Dry Rot

While most features of a house can be replaced if they fall into disrepair or are damaged, a house’s foundation and structure can be difficult and expensive to replace. To help protect the structure of a house, you need to have it inspected for termites or dry rot to maintain your home’s value. Dry rot can attack any wood within a home, including the joists, beams, or subflooring.

What Is Dry Rot?

Dry rot is the result of a species of fungi which attacks damp wood or structural materials in your home. If not treated, it can decimate the wood in your home and get into both masonry and plaster. Since it attacks damp wood, you need to figure out what is causing the dampness in your home.

Causes of Dry Rot

Damp wood and structural materials can be the result of high levels of condensation in your home. Condensation can have many causes, but in houses, it is often the result of trapped hot air coming in contact with cooler surfaces, or warmer air in the home cooling down. Condensation can be prevented with proper ventilation.

Rainwater leaking into your home can also lead to dry rot if the timber is untreated. If you have a leak in your roof or foundation, the water can run onto the timber framing, the masonry, or the plasterboard and result in a serious problem. Before getting rid of the affected materials, the source of the leak needs to be found and stopped or the problem could happen again.

Dry rot could also be the cause of pipes or appliances, such as a freezer or washing machine, leaking water onto untreated floorboards or timber underneath the house. It can be difficult to spot problems deep within the home’s structure, such as underneath the house or within the walls, so you need to be able to recognize the signs of dry rot.

How to Recognise Dry Rot

Since dry rot is caused by a fungus, it is a living entity. The following are the four stages of a dry rot cycle:

  • Mycelium
  • Sporophore, also called fruiting body
  • Affected wood
  • Dry rot smell

Mycelium

The first stage of dry rot is mycelium growth, which appears to be a white or grey cotton or wool-like substance. During this stage, mycelium can spread throughout the area in search of a food source, which is generally wood. For it to spread, the conditions have to be just right, which includes having damp wood or structural materials.

Sporophore or Fruiting Body

During this stage the fruiting body can come in a variety of shapes and sizes with the inner area taking on a deep rust-red colour with a whitish outer ring. Most fruiting bodies are round, but their size, as well as their shape, depends on the conditions of the wood or material. Dust from the spores is one of the first indications to homeowners of a dry rot problem.

Affected Wood

As dry rot acts to remove moisture from wood and dry it out, the affected wood will show signs of dry rot being present. Wood with dry rot will look dry and may shrink due to the lack of moisture in it. The wood may be brittle and become warped, and the grains will look like the wood has cracked.

Dry Rot Smell

Another indication of the possible presence of dry rot is the odour. Dry rot has a damp, musty, fungal smell which you may come across in a crawl space of the house, or in the attic or the basement. If you find a damp area in your home and it has a musty smell, you should have someone inspect it for mould and dry rot.

How Dry Rot Is Treated

The way your dry rot problem will be treated depends on the extent of it. If it has affected structural materials, then they will need to be removed, which will require the help of professionals. Any wood infected with the fungus needs to be removed, and it is also recommended that healthy wood within a metre of the original infection site be removed as well.

After the infected wood and surrounding healthy wood is removed, it will need to be replaced with new wood, which should be treated, or pre-treated, with a fungicide. If the fungi have gotten into the masonry or other materials, you will need to remove and replace those as well. You should go ahead and treat the rest of the timber in your home with fungicide to prevent further issues with dry rot.

Preventing Dry Rot

To prevent issues with dry rot, you will need to find the source of the dampness within your home. If it is caused by condensation, then you may need to properly ventilate the damp areas, such as the attic, or use a dehumidifier to get rid of excess moisture in the air of your home. If the source of moisture is leaking pipes or water seeping into the foundation or roof, then those leaks need to be found and repaired.

Another way to prevent further issues with dry rot is to have your home damp-proofed by professional technicians. A damp-proofing company can survey your home to find the source of your dry rot problem. They can provide solutions to repair any problems they find, treat your home, and prevent further fungal infestations leading to dry rot. If you need to locate a damp-proofing company in your area, check on Thomson Local for essential damp control contacts.

A company specializing in damp proofing and dry rot solutions can help you retain the value of your home by removing dry rot and treating the rest of your house. By finding the sources of moisture and making repairs to prevent further dampness, dry rot and the damage it can do can be easily prevented. If you suspect dry rot is in your home, call on professionals to inspect your house and provide solutions to treat it.

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Home

Untreated Water Damages Are Dangerous To Health and Home Structure

Water is valuable for living beings. In the right scenario, it looks soothing and innocent. On the other hand, in unfortunate events water damages can be destructive. A little water is sufficient to end with huge damages.

If minor water issue is ignored then overtime it turns into a costly dilemma. A minute leak (pin-hole) can trickle gallons of water in a week. Just imagine the level of issues caused due to water from storm, flood, and burst pipe.

A home exposed for long to water damages will be a threat, so make sure to call water damage company Oceanside CA. Never ever assume that water will dry out and disappear.

Threats to home due to untreated water damages

Weakens wooden structure

Wood absorbs water just like a sponge. In case, bottom of wood wall gets exposed to water leaks then it reaches the top of the wall, very soon. If you ignore calling a reliable water damage restoration service then the water sitting inside the wall weakens the wood.

The wooden floors and walls become vulnerable and a threat to your home structural integrity. Moreover, wood is susceptible to mold and can rip through the walls and floors. High humidity area is a haven for the breeding of mold, which spreads within 48 hours.

Decreases home value

Water damages appear ugly and cannot be covered up efficiently. New paint on the water stains is visible, which confirms that the issue is rooted from water damage. Many potential buyers offer less value for your home or never return.

Electrical system gets ruined

Water and electricity are foes. Water damages cause short circuits, which will need professional electrician to check all your wiring system, thoroughly.

Water corrodes pipes

Corroded pipes develop leaks, means the minor issue has turned into a major problem, overtime. You need to take care of corroded pipes right away. It may seem non-hazardous now but after 6 months you will be handling more damages and expense.

Water damages insulation, metal structures, and trusses

A small or large pool of standing water can be hazardous. Standing water weakens home physical framework including metal structures and truss. Insulation damage can cause mold growth as well as escalate energy bills because there is no insulation against elements.

Standing water is bad

Standing water is dirty and unhealthy. Bugs and fungus star developing, if not removed, instantly. These bugs can get in your refrigerator. You can end up with food poisoning or other illnesses.

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Home

How Can A Locksmith Help You Out In Challenging Situations?

You don’t realize that locksmiths can be real life saver until you face trouble with any of the security devices whether in your home, office or the vehicle. Be it on the road, at home or at the workplace, a locksmith Austin can help you immediately.

Here are some situations when their presence helps you from the complicated situations—

Apartment lockout – take locksmith’s help to enter the room

Unfortunately, if you ever come across with the challenging situation of locked out in your own home, you may feel entrapped in a terrible situation. Things can get worst if you are not carrying the spare keys. Instead of breaking inside your own property, you can utilize the opportunity of calling up an emergency locksmith that can reach you in some time and can help you to get inside the residence. Also, they can help you in building a few more copies of the master keys so that you may not have to face the same consequences again.

Car lockout –get back on the wheel

If you ever face a car lockout accidentally, you can call up a locksmith offering emergency services. Some of them are ready to offer 24/7 service and because of their mobile services they can reach at the place wherever you are stranding with the dedication to help you out of the situation. Therefore, to handle such emergency services, you should save the contact number of the locksmith beforehand just the way to keep the contact details of the car mechanic.

Revamp the entire security setting –get updated for home security

If you’ve not updated the security setting of your home for ages, you can consider upgrading the overall security system of the house by hiring an experienced locksmith. When it comes to the protection of the family, you can’t take a chance. Contact a specialized locksmith that will understand your need and upgrade or digitalize the safety devices in your residence.

Repair/ replace/ reinstall the safety device –get it done with expert’s help

Damaged or broken security devices (locks, padlocks, keys) can put you in a vulnerable state. Don’t ignore or delay the matter and get help ASAP. Locksmiths will be absolute lifesavers in such instances.

The locksmith can reach you within the given time and can help you in the lockout situations or to help you open the jammed doors and windows, garage doors, etc. You can also get their help in enhancing the security of your home, business, and cars.

 

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Home Improvement

Foundation Damage Caused by Floods, One of the Most Destructive Forces

Do you think that the foundation of your home is invulnerable and unshakeable? If so, you are wrong. Floods, one of the most destructive natural forces can cause damage to the mighty concrete foundation of your home. It is true that the foundation of your home is strongly anchored, but the pressure caused by floods can damage your foundation. Do you want to know how?

How does water cause damage to your foundation?

The damage caused to the foundation is determined depending upon the magnitude of the flood. It is the heavy floods that usually cause damage to the foundation.

  1. Water moves very rapidly during heavy floods. The flood water pushes the sides of your home violently. This weakens the structure of your home and results in separating the structure of your home from the foundation.
  2. Water flowing on the ground is absorbed by the earth. Some types of soil absorb water and don’t get dried quickly. It holds water for a long time. Wet soil expands like a wet sponge. The expanded soil causes pressure against the walls of the foundation. This will cause cracks in the walls. Water seeps into the cracks and causes damage to the foundation.
  3. Sediment and soil from flood waters get deposited against your house. The combined pressure from the weight of the sediments and the pressure from the flowing water results in damage to the foundation.

How to know if your foundation is damaged?

  1. Rotation of walls
  2. Separation of walls from house
  3. Cracks in floors
  4. Cracks in walls
  5. Space between the wall and ceiling
  6. Space between wall and floor
  7. Sloping floors and walls
  8. Cracking of bricks
  9. Doors and windows not closing properly
  10. Garage door not shutting down
  11. Flaking of concrete
  12. Pooling of water
  13. Moisture and stains in walls especially in the basement
  14. Cracks in floor tiles
  15. Cracked and displaced moldings

These are the symptoms of damaged foundation. To make sure your foundation is not damaged, you should contact water damage Marietta GA immediately after floods. The professional trained experts will certainly know where to look for symptoms.

Foundation problems should not be ignored because they can cause serious damages to your house and your family. If the damage is bad you may have to evacuate the place. If it is repairable, a good reputable water damage company will help in repairing the foundation and restoring the safety of your home.

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Home

SHOULDICE DESIGNER STONE

 “Brick Veneer” is a word that usually gives a mental picture of a house made of brick. It is accurate but at the same time it is also inaccurate. A brick veneer wall that has been correctly put in place will have the same appearance as a house made of brick. The problem here is that because both homes appear the same to an untrained eye, many people do not really know that they are completely different. A brick house uses bricks as its support while a house made with brick veneers will exist for the purpose of outward appearance.

Here are some reasons why homeowners will use stone veneers brick wall.

  1. Changes the look of your home:

As said earlier, brick veneer is used to give passers by the impression that the home is made of brick. The house will have a way of supporting itself but the veneer will make it appear as though the house is made of brick. Homeowners looking for a new variety use this to make appreciable changes by making basically one adjustment.

  1. It is easier to install:

The bricks which make up a building made of solid bricks require the brick to be used during the construction stage. The bricks give stability and support to the house and the house will not exist without them. Veneer brick is similar to adding a garden or something similar as an accessory to the building. It does not require any knowledge of bricklaying to be installed, what is required is ambition. It is a suitable project for any homeowner who loves the idea of being creative.

  1. It is relatively inexpensive:

A house made solely from solid bricks is more likely to have a higher cost.Brick veneer covers the already existing walls. Veneer brick is relatively less expensive in terms of price due to the amount of raw materials required. Home owners who do not have expensive tools can afford an attractive layout without spending much money buying bricks.

Aside the fact that people get it twisted sometimes, a solid brick wall and a brick veneer wall are completely different from each other. A solid brick house requires bricks to remain standing and maintain shape. The house will have no support whatsoever without the bricks. A veneer wall differs in this regard because it will give observers the illusion that the building is made of bricks when actually it is using the bricks for aesthetic purpose.

Since 1947, Shouldice Designer Stone has been developing manufactured stone products for home building, architectural and landscaping industries. Their various collections of architectural, residential and stone veneer provide limitless possibilities to develop innovative and beautiful designs for all manner of projects.

Their architectural stone products of high-quality are the best choice for masons, designers, contractors, architects and homeowners across North America.

The industry leading manufactured stone products from Shouldice are crafted to satisfy the expectations of customers, including not only beauty and visual interest to a property, but also water-repellant features and durability which supersedes all standards for architectural stone veneers.

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Home

Three Facts about Air Filters Most Consumers Have Never Heard of

Every home owner concurs that air filters for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems ought to be changed regularly to derive optimal benefits from their systems. However, few people know the right kind of filter they should be using. Read on for three facts about air filters many property owners have never heard of. It is important to bear in mind these considerations when purchasing a filter for your AC or furnace. Knowing these facts can help you lower your utility bills, make your household members lead a healthier life and help you avoid causing unintentional damage to your HVAC system.

Fact One: Regular air filters are for protecting the system, not you

Most people believe that regular air filters work to improve air quality indoors. Contrary to this opinion, the main use of the filter is protecting the HVAC equipment. When trees bloom with new leaves and flowers are blossoming, many people allergic to pollen and dust resort to hiding in air conditioned rooms. Unfortunately, this may not do their sinuses and lungs enough good because the air filters used might still allow the nasty allergens to pass through and stifle the room. HVAC filters are primarily meant for trapping dust and keeping it from the equipment in order to maintain proper running of the equipment.

For the sake of fairness, regular filters can help keep some dust from your room (that is if you can change them frequently enough!), but they’re largely ineffective in trapping microscopic allergens that make people to sneeze and wheeze. As such, it is paramount the consumers use special air filters for their HVAC systems in order to trap those microscopic allergens.

Fact Two: The right filter is not enough

Having the right filter for your HVAC system is not enough to attain and maintain good air quality for your home. It is important to clean the filter as well as replace it often enough. If your HVAC system for at least one year, you probably are dealing with a massive dirt buildup and great inefficiency in your system.

Fact Three: A dirty filter raises your utility bill

A dirty filter does more than reduce your home’s air quality, which consequently aggravates allergies as well as asthma, particularly for the young ones. A dirty air filter makes the fan motor of your system to work harder. This translates to consumption of more energy to maintain the same living conditions. If your energy bill has soared alarmingly, the most probable culprit is a dirty filter in your AC equipment. Indeed, replacing your air filter is arguably the simplest way of reducing energy bills. Additionally, a dirty filter also makes your duct and the entire HVAC to get dirty much faster. In the end, the consumer ends up paying costly expenses for cleaning the system as well as replacing damaged units. As such, the importance of having the right air filter and replacing it often cannot be overestimated. Luckily, FilterBuy.com stocks the best air filters at reasonable rates.

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Home

Plumbing Services – How to Hire a Plumber

Almost every property owner will need plumbing services sooner or later. Unfortunately many property owners do not know enough about plumbing to make an informed decision about such a service. There are a few things that every property owner should know about plumbers before they hire one. A person does not have to know how to work on pipes or fixtures to make an informed decision about hiring a service to repair them.

When to Hire a Plumber

Quite a few people are even confused about when to hire a professional to work on their pipes. The best answer to this question is that a person should hire a pro when they cannot do the work themselves or do not know what to do. It makes no sense to hire a professional for simple tasks that a person can perform themselves. Such tasks would include plunging a toilet, clearing a clogged drain, installing a new faucet or replacing a washer. More complex jobs such as replacing pipes or fixtures, locating a leak or repairing pipes could require a professional. Houses in Sydney with leaking taps have plumbing services that get these problems fixed once and forever. A good rule of thumb is to hire a service whenever work requires specialized tools or actually replacing piping or fixtures.

Types of Services

There are different types of services that do different kinds of plumbing work. Generally the services will be divided into larger commercial services and professionals working on their own. The larger commercial services generally specialize in maintaining the plumbing in large buildings or for large entities such as government and corporation. An advantage to the large commercial services is that they often have plumbers on call 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Large Companies for Plumbing Emergencies

It would make sense to call a large service for an emergency situation that required immediate attention such as a broken pipe. Owners of rental property would be advised to use the larger services because they can quickly address emergency situations. The smaller services are generally better for work that is not done on an emergency basis. Examples of such work would require replacing fixtures or renovating a bathroom or kitchen. Smaller services will often bid lower on such jobs and do much better work than the larger services. They may also be easier to deal with and more willing to do custom work.

Hiring a Service

The kind of plumbing work required should determine what sort of service will be called in. Larger services are generally better for repair work, routine maintenance and emergency situations. The smaller proprietors will be better for renovation, remodeling and replacement work. This would include any job that would give a property owner time to take bids and evaluate them. A person can use all means necessary to get the best plumbing services available.

There may also be some services that don’t do certain kinds of work. Many larger commercial services will not do renovation or replacement work, while some smaller services will not do emergency repairs. The secret to hiring plumbing services is to evaluate the kind of work being done. This will enable homeowners to determine which kind of service they need.

 

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Home Improvement

Home Renovation Nation: How to Have the Right Tool on Hand for Any DIY Project

Home renovations can be a tough order for anyone, so if you’re thinking about changing anything around your home, you’re going to need to make sure you have the right tools for the job. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to complete a task only to find that you don’t own the tools to get the job done.

And if you’re doing a home renovation, you probably want to save as much money as possible, so you don’t want to buy tools that you don’t need. But how do you choose from the hundreds of different tools out there? It can be a challenge, but there are a few basic tools that you will need, so you can start with them. Here’s a quick guide to three of those tools you’ll be glad you bought once the renovation starts.

Claw Hammer

You may see a toolbox that has a bunch of cool looking tools in it, but if it doesn’t have a claw hammer, it’s not a complete toolbox. This is possibly the most essential tool you can have, especially for a home renovation.

You want to make sure to buy a claw hammer so you can use the claw end to pull out nails and rip off baseboards and floorboards if you need to. These hammers come in many different sizes and weights, but a standard one-pound hammer is usually perfect for any job.

Also, try to buy a hammer with a synthetic handle rather than a wooden one so that it will last longer and won’t be affected by moisture. Once you start renovating, you’ll probably find tons of different uses for a claw hammer, so buy a good one.

Wrenches

Wrenches are very handy if you plan on renovating any type of plumbing, such as getting new sinks, showerheads or toilets.

While any type of wrench may serve your purposes, it’s best to get a socket and ratchet set. These are very versatile and can fit in many tight spaces that a regular wrench may not, such as behind a toilet. The socket will fit snugly over nuts and bolts to prevent slippage and the ratchet extension will allow you to tighten or loosen without having to refit the socket after every turn. You can check this link to find a great socket for your home.

Power Drill

Buying a power drill will save you both time and frustration. Sure, you can put screws in by hand, but why would you want to waste that time, especially if you’re renovating an entire room and will need hundreds of screws driven in?

Power drills are relatively cheap and can hold many different types of bits, so you always have options at your disposal. Look for a drill that has multiple rechargeable batteries so you can keep working when one dies.

Before your start your home renovation, make sure you have the necessary tools ready.

Victoria O’Sullivan writes about DIY topics. Her Grandad gave her a toolbox for her 21st birthday – Something she wasn’t over keen on at the time but now finds invaluable!

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Home

Causes and Effects of Water Damage

A puddle of water may seem like a small and harmless thing, but it can be very dangerous. You will clearly notice the damage it can cause on the surface, but you will have no idea how much damage it can be causing under the surfaces like paint, carpet, etc.

Water damage is in fact an issue that most of the homeowners dread of. If it has rained heavily or snow is melting quickly, there are chances of facing a lot of water damage. Water can potentially damage your upholstery, wooden furniture, electronic devices, kitchen appliances, plumbing equipments, etc. Besides, excess of water accumulation also increases the risk of mold growth, which again is an expensive issue to deal with.

For sure hiring good water damage Collier TN based company can clean your house and handle the situation. Nevertheless, knowing a little about causes of water damage can help you stay alert and prepared. So, here is everything that you need to know about water damage…

Causes of water damage and importance of Restoration Company

There are numerous causes of water damage. Some of the most common ones are:

  • Leaky dishwashers
  • Broken pipes
  • Clogged toilets
  • Heavy snow
  • Overflowing washing machines
  • Broken hoses
  • Leaky roofs
  • Foundation cracks
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Floods
  • Heavy rain

Excess of water can cause problems to areas like basements and cellars. As soon as your home or business has faced water damage the first thing to do is get a water damage restoration team on the site. If prompt actions are taken, there is a possibility to save water-soaked rugs, carpets, furniture, clothing, etc.

The water damage restoration service that you hire must have necessary license, insurance, experience and latest equipments to deal with the problem instantly. Most water damage restorations companies specialize in minimizing the damaged caused. If there is a need, the company may even hire outside professionals to assess the property and determine the extent of damage.

They will employ high-tech equipment and time tested procedures to handle the situation. In short, they will make sure all the water is extracted from your property, it is dried out and dehumidified.

Lastly, keep in mind that moisture promotes mold growth which can lead to serious health issues. You or your loved ones may suffer from respiratory diseases like asthma and compromise immune system. Therefore, after facing water damage, cleaning up immediately is inevitable.

 

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Home

Three Tips for Handling Emergencies

While none of us every expect to have to be elbow deep in the middle of an emergency, it can happen. What is more, it will often happen when you least expect it. From suddenly having to deal with a loss of power and heat in a storm or earthquake to coming across a wrecked car on the side of the road, these are the events that test us. But if you suddenly find yourself in the middle of an emergency would you know what to do? There are a few things that it pays to have on hand at all times, and that is part of the key to be ready for whatever life sends you. Here are three tips to help you be ready to handle these emergencies, big or small, and come out of them feeling good about your part in it.

Start by Being Prepared

For those who live in earthquake country or out in the country where the winter can create havoc, having a backpack of essentials for survival is a good first step. So, what should you have in this? Besides a few obvious things like a first aid kit and emergency light batteries, add in a lightweight blanket, water purifying tablets and some roadside flares.

A friend of mine always packs a candle in a can in hers, you would be surprised how much heat a candle can create in a dark cold car that is stuck overnight in the snow. Make a list, you can find many of them online, and make up that emergency pack now.

Stay Connected

We have come to rely on our smartphones so much these days. In a situation where the towers that connect them go down or dark, it can be frightening. Make sure you stay connected with what is happening in your area by having a hand cranked radio handy in your home and your car.

This will help you to know if the event is local or has spread wider. It will tell you if help is on its way and what to do to get help if you need it. Radio may sound like an old fashion way to communicate, but in times of widespread disaster it remains the most reliable way to get information.

Rotate Canned and Dried Foods

In every backpack in the car or emergency box at home, reliable food will be important. But how to make sure that what you have packed is still edible ten years after you have packed it up?

I don’t know about you but around here we throw a party each year in the spring to eat the food we have packed, refill it with fresh and remind ourselves of where we stashed that darn thing.

Forewarned is Forearmed

That old saying might relate to war, but it can also mean how to be ready for any disaster. Whether it is a natural one like flood or earthquake or a manmade one like a riot in your town, be ready. Have something set aside, know where it is and keep it current. Who knows, your life or your family’s life may depend on it someday.

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