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How to Dry a Water Damaged Ceiling

If your roof has water damage, you will need to remove the drywall and let the inside of the roof dry out. If not, mold may grow inside your ceiling. Correct the initial cause of the leak to avoid future damage. If you are not sure where the leak is, ask a professional roofer or plumber to inspect your home. If you notice mold development anywhere in your home, hire a professional mold-removal contractor to get rid of it immediately.

Instructions

  1. Push gently over the area to determine the magnitude of water damage. You have to remove and place sections of plasterboard that are soft or severely arched.
  2. Use a knife to mark a line around the entire damaged area.
  3. Break apart the area within the score lines with a hammer and remove all damaged plaster.
  4. Reach inside the hole to find the wooden posts closest to the edges of the hole. Use the knife and hammer to remove the plaster up to the wooden posts, leaving a square or rectangular hole in the ceiling.
  5. Remove some gypsum (drywall) panels in the middle along the uprights on each side of the hole (leaving half of the exposed beam showing to allow for installing screws to secure the new piece of gypsum).
  6. Set fans and dehumidifiers up to dry the interior ceiling area. If the outside air is dry, open the windows and doors to let fresh air in. Depending on the magnitude of the water damage, it could take several days for everything to dry completely. The goal is to avoid the development of mold after closing to the ceiling. Do not proceed until the interior of the roof is dry.
  7. Cut a new piece of plaster to fit the hole. Use drywall screws and a drill to attach to wood. Install screws every four to six inches along the outer edges of the hole where the wooden crossbars are. This will strengthen the connection between the existing roof and the new part.
  8. For normal ceiling, use a 6-inch gypsum knife to compound on each joint. Place a section of drywall tape over the composite and wipe it flat. Fill in all heads from the screws. Wait for the joint compound to dry completely (usually 24 hours). Use a 12-inch gypsum knife to apply a second layer of compound over the entire area, this time leaving a thick, soft layer. Allow to dry and then sand the area with 150 grit sandpaper.

Prime and paint as normal. If you notice rusty or yellowish water stains showing through the composite joint, use a special concealed primer (available from hardware stores). Ask the staff or check the label to verify the primer is specifically designed to conceal water stains.

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Choosing a Paint Color for your Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of your home and is inviting to family and friends to enjoy each other’s company. A simple decorating project can be to create this atmosphere in your kitchen by added some color.  If you choose the right paint color, you can create the most gorgeous room in the house.

Instructions

  1. Control the color ratios when designing a color scheme for cooking. A good rule is to divide the use of color into three components, using your main color in 60% of the room or on the walls.
  2. Bring a notebook with fabric swatches, wallpaper, countertop and cabinet colors you’ll use in your kitchen when you go to buy paint. When fabric samples are not practical, get paint samples first and then combine it with the other items.
  3. Experiment with a combination of contemporary colors that combine opposite colors on the color wheel. For example, a rustic kitchen can be painted red and green to get that attractive complementary aspect to the eye.
  4. Choose colors that are close to each other on the color wheel to achieve a combination of similar color to your kitchen. Combine citrus shades such as lime green, lemon yellow and orange to create a striking and cheerful combination.
  5. Use multiple shades of a single color to create a monochromatic color scheme for your kitchen. This is successful especially when you choose neutral colors for a contemporary monochrome look.
  6. Choose colors that encourage enjoyment of food. Experts say the color red is a color that wets the appetite, making it ideal for painting kitchens and dining rooms. If the idea of ​​painting all your kitchen red seems overwhelming, just paint one wall in this striking color and the rest with a neutral color.
  7. To keep things fresh paint your kitchen with a soothing shade of blue or green. These colors create a relaxing environment for eyes and are suitable for kitchens with western exposure.
  8. Choosing a lighter color for the ceiling of your kitchen will make it feel larger. If your ceiling is not flat, you can choose two colors ​​to make clear contrast between the angular parts of the ceiling and the center.
Carpet Cleaning Services

Natural Solutions for Deodorizing Carpets

Several everyday situations can make your carpet become a smelly mess. Pets, children and even adults can leave unpleasant odors trapped in the fibers of a carpet. These odors can last for weeks and resist normal carpet cleaners. There are several ways to freshen smelly carpets using nontoxic and common household products.

Vinegar

Natural and cheap, vinegar does not mask odors, it removes them. Pour undiluted vinegar in a spray bottle. Start at one end of the carpet, and spray the bottle while moving forward and backward. Continue in this manner while moving across the carpet until you have saturated the fibers. As the vinegar dries, it eliminates the odors that are trapped.

Sodium bicarbonate (Baking Soda)

Used to clean and deodorize, sodium bicarbonate naturally eliminates pet odors, smoke and many other unpleasant odors from carpets. Cover the entire carpet with a thin layer of baking soda and wait several hours. If odors are strong, leave the baking soda overnight. Remove the powder with a vacuum cleaner. Repeat the process as often as needed to refresh carpets that smell bad.

Corn starch and herbs or spices

Instead of buying expensive carpet powders, create your own all-natural powder using common household items. Fill a plastic container with a lid with cornstarch. Add dried herbs or spices and mix with a spoon. Choose herbs and spices that are to your liking. Lavender, clove, cinnamon and rosemary are just some of the options available. Sprinkle the carpet with homemade dust and rub it between the fibers with a scrub brush. Wait a few hours and vacuum to remove dust from the carpet.

Borax and cornmeal

Borax is a versatile cleaning powder, when mixed with cornmeal, eliminates bad odors trapped in the carpet. You can find borax in the laundry sector in supermarkets. Pour 1 cup borax in a container and add 2 cups of cornmeal and mix with a spoon. Cover the carpet with this mixture and let stand for an hour before removing it with a vacuum cleaner.  Repeat the process as needed when the carpet begins to smell.

Considerations

Before removing odors from a carpet, pass the vacuum cleaner to remove lint, hair, dirt and other debris from the surface. Vacuum the carpet daily to keep it at its best and prolong its life. Use a sweeper equipped with a HEPA filter which helps reduce odors in the air during vacuuming.

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Tips for Improving Home Heating with a Pellet Stove

When the trees begin to cover the ground with their leaves it’s a sign that the cold will soon be knocking on the door. That is when it becomes urgent to have a good home heating system. An economic, ecological, profitable and efficient system, such as a pellet stove, which uses biomass as fuel to make the home a pleasant environment. But how can you improve and optimize a pellet stove to heat a home?

The first important point is to take into account the location. Pellet stoves do not have a masonry shell like chimneys, so the heat they produce radiates 360 ° around them. That is why it is important to place the stove in an open room, preferably with a single wall around it, avoiding corners, thus the diffusion of heat has fewer barriers.

These home heating systems have a high calorific value, so with very little “pellet” fuel they are able to generate a lot of heat.  However, that heat can be reduced to your surroundings in large rooms. In these cases, in order to promote the diffusion of the produced heat it is advisable to install a pellet stove with integrated ventilation system.

Not all pellets are suitable for use in biomass stoves. As with chimneys there are woods that are better than others, with greater calorific power. So when buying pellets you must check that it has a low degree of humidity, that in the pressing it has been given a suitable density and that they come from sustainable productions, for example the pellets made with traces of olive bones.

The air to a pellet stove is supplied from below, thus ensuring that all biomass fuel has sufficient combustion and the fire has the required intensity. Lack of air causes fumes and poor heating, so it is important to clean the ash drawer frequently, preferably before each use and before each winter season use a chimney sweep cleaner suitable for pellet stoves to clean the evacuation ducts of fumes.

Finally, make sure that the room where the stove is is properly ventilated, which favors a better heating of the home.

decking services

Four Ideas to Improve Your Exterior Lighting

If you do not want your garden to disappear at night, install good outdoor lighting. In many occasions the decoration and protection of the home, is focused on the interior. But what about the exterior?

Your garden should reflect your personality, decorate it to your liking and improve the security of your home.

A simple way for your gardens to become a cozy and safer place is to install outdoor lighting.  It is not only necessary to have good lighting in summer; in winter, when the nights are longer, and we find fog and bad weather, good lighting is more important than ever.

If you do not know how to go about picking out the right lighting, here are some ideas to improve the lighting of your garden:

  1. Place lights along areas where there is traffic such as the road, main entrance and garage. In this way, you improve the security of your home by increasing the visibility of the entrances and exits. Besides illuminating these areas well, accidents can be avoided because there will not be a lack of light. For this you can use high power spotlights, such floor lights which can be purchased at any home improvement store.
  2. Light up the elements of your garden: highlight those elements of your garden that you like. You can light up tall trees, like small shrubs, flowers, a small pond or fountain. Anything. The trick is to hide the light well and focus the elements correctly so that they truly illuminate what you want them to see, and do not create shadows that instead of illuminating, hide what you want to display. Play with the colors and spotlight combinations, make your garden be eye-catching at night.
  3. Place lights in such a way to create a path: create a path of lights towards the entrance. This in addition to improving visibility at night, makes your garden look much more modern and cozy. For this you can opt for two options: recessed lights in the ground or pathway lights. We recommend this last type of lighting: it does not waste electricity, as most now come as solar powered, and although they do not give much light, it is enough to light the way.
  4. Place torches or candle holders: this type of lighting is purely decorative. It is obviously for the good weather, and will give a very warm look to your garden. These can be placed within the garden if you’re hosting a party or as holiday decorations.
handyman at home

How To Replace Pipe In An RV

Replacing the pipes in an RV is very similar to replacing the pipe in a standard residential home. It’s just a matter of removing the old parts and putting in the new ones. Spare parts do not need to be RV-specific parts. Standard PEX plumbing pipe can be used as a substitute for hot or cold supply lines. Drainage pipes can be standard PVC pipes used in residential plumbing. The only differences are the incoming will go to a fresh water tank and the leaving will go into two separate holding tanks with special adapters for the connections.

Instructions

  1. Close the water supply to the RV. Empty the fresh water tank, sewage tank and dirty water tank.
  2. Disconnect the sink and shower supply line. Cut the tube near the end to remove the connections. Look under the house and locate the other end of the pipe and any coupling on the line. Cut the other end of the tube into the nearest coupling or tank inlet. Pull the tube slightly to make sure it slides freely. Leave one end and tape it firmly to the end of the new PEX pipe. Pull the old pipe tightly with new pipe. Continue pulling until the new pipe appears on the coupling or the other end of the pipe. Remove the ribbon and attach new connections with adapters.
  3. Disconnect the drain hose from the electric unit. Saw the tube in half at the connector locations or anywhere along the pipe that will ease the removal. Remove parts and replace with standard residential PVC pipe and fittings. Use glue to hold couplings in different places. Secure piping while maintaining proper drainage slope in the motor home with nylon flanges.

Tips & Warnings

  • Special RV water baths and water heaters can be used for replacements.
  • Appropriate one-way valves should be installed in all tank and bathroom locations.
  • Each section of the feed tube can be removed and replaced individually. Use as few connections as possible for each section of pipe.
  • Access to plumbing pipes and connections may require the removal of panels from under the motor home.
  • Connections in the fresh water tank and sewer and gray water tanks can be tailored to connect to standard residential plumbing connections.
  • Always take precautions and wear proper safety equipment while using hand tools
drain services baltimore

How to Clean a Drain with a Snake

A drainage snake – also known as a drainage auger – is a tool used by plumbers to clear clogged drains. It consists of a handle, a flexible metal “snake” and a hole in the end to break the blockage. Breaking a nuisance with a drainage snake is something that most homeowners can do themselves, without having to hire a plumber. Drain snakes are available in every hardware store and are available in many shapes, lengths and materials.

Instructions

Shallow clogs

  • Insert the snake into the drain.
  • Push the snake deeper and deeper into the tube, turning the crank clockwise, adjusting to reposition the handle as you go. You can stop pressing when you get to the obstruction.
  • Turn the snake clockwise to allow the auger into the obstruction.
  • Pull the snake slightly backwards to break off parts of the blockage. Depending on the size of the obstruction, you have to do this several times to clean the drain.
  • Run hot water through the drain to remove the jam from the rest of the pipe.

Clogs of deep

  • Remove the trap under the drain with a socket wrench. Directly under the drain, you will notice a horizontal and vertical piece of pipe connecting pipe. This section is known as a trap and will have to be removed to snake the drain.
  • Insert the snake from above into the horizontal piece of pipe under the sink. Force the snake downward when you reach the “T” in the pipe.
  • Push the snake deeper and deeper into the tube, turning the crank clockwise, adjust to reposition the handle as you go. You can stop pressing when you get to the blockage.
  • Pull the snake slightly backwards to break off parts of the obstruction. Depending on the size of the blockage, you’ll have to do this several times to clean the drain. You’ll know the drain is clear when you no longer feel a blockage in the pipe.
  • Replace the trap and run hot water through the pipe to purge the remainder of the obstruction.

Tips & Warnings

  • If these strategies do not work, you may need to call a plumber who will have access to more powerful tools to help get rid of the blockage.
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How to Build a Concrete House

Concrete blocks can be an inexpensive material for building your next home. They are not only relatively simple and basic, but are also considered structurally sound and solid. In the following article, you’ll learn about the steps required to build a house of concrete blocks.

Instructions

  1. When the company delivers the blocks, the load will consist of 80-90 blocks that must be broken down into stacks of blocks 10-12 and stacked about 2 feet (0.6 m) from the floor where the house will be built.
  2. Mix the mortar according to instructions on the bag, usually 16 shovels of sand and half a sack of cement. Put two to three shovels of sand and then half of the bag of mortar in the truck. Mix the dry parts with a hoe and then add the rest of the sand. Once all the dry parts are mixed, gradually add water and mix until it has the consistency of cake batter.
  3. When the mortar is mixed and ready, put some shovels in the corner. Make sure you have four corners reference to work from and that the walls are relatively square to each other. You’ll build at least four corners until about five blocks high. Spread mortar mix in two thick lines almost as wide as the concrete slab and thick enough to put three or four blocks along. You have a corner of 90 degrees. After the first row has been laid, stagger the next block to put it midway on the lower block. Use a level and plumb in the corner of your walls to be perfectly straight, square and vertical. Use a brush to soften the mud joints between the blocks.
  4. Once the corner walls have been made with five blocks, work on the middle section. Using blocks of lines, stretch nylon cord and tie it around the block. Place the blocks on the corners of the front row and start filling the first course.
  5. Continue until you have the desired height walls, generally 8 to 10 feet (2.50 to 3 meters) high.

Tips & Warnings

  • If possible, hire an assistant. It is always faster to have someone who can help maintain the mix, stack blocks and mortar.
  • Safety first. Never let the walls get higher than allowed. They might be unstable and fall.
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Decorating tips for your office

Decorating an office is not just adding some pictures on the wall. When choosing decorative items for your office, it is important that you select elements that reflect the personality of your company. Whether for your personal office or your work office, there are many ways to create an attractive environment without spending a fortune.

Warehouse office

For the storage in your office, be sure to select the most decorative furniture, instead of aluminum filing cabinets. These filing cabinets may work best in a hospital, but for an office with style, choose shelves and desks made of wood or that have an aluminum surface.

Allow customization

Let your team use some personal things to help promote moral, showing off the personality of coworkers and what they like. You can limit the amount to only a bulletin board or shelf of personal items, and consider restricting racist, sexual, political or religious messages so no one feels uncomfortable.

Motivational Poster

Framed posters are not only attractive, but can also improve morale and instill a creative workforce. These can be hung on the wall opposite doors, in the bathroom, or in the break room. Small plates with inspirational phrases are available in decorative stores or office supply stores online and in many US cities.

Plants in the office

Some plants can thrive in an office setting. It is always interesting to observe uniformity and constant change of its foliage, in addition to improving air quality. Having plants in your office is a great way to add decor, whether you choose a tree, an aromatic herb for the window, aromatic floral bouquets or hanging ferns. It is also a necessary element of Feng Shui.

Office color

The color on the walls has a big impact on the mood in the office. Painting helps transform a room cheaply. There are theories on the effects that colors have on productivity and morale of the team. Try to match colors in the room to create an environment that is attractive but not too relaxed. According to Janet Lynn Ford Worx, “The combination of colors may be overlooked when it is pleasant, but may be highly offensive when the composition seems to clash.” Use a color wheel to choose complementary colors and opposites, and search for neutral colors with less thought. Pink, for example, can be relaxing and stimulating, but is perceived as a feminine color and for many men may not be suitable for an office.

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Achieving an Antique Look with Gold Paint

Although there are many antique items available in most home improvement and craft stores, you can save money by using gold paint in combination with other materials to create a faux antique gold finish. You can paint any article to have an antique gold finish with the right paints and primers, but ceramic or wood items with a natural matte finish will not give much brightness. To receive an old appearance, a gold finish with give you the antique look with the best results.

Instructions

1.  Clean the surface with a damp cloth in soapy water to remove any residual grease or dirt. Dry completely.
2.  Sand the surface lightly with 120-grit sandpaper to remove stains or minor dents. Clean the surface with an anti-static cloth to remove dust. Sand the surface again with 180-grit sandpaper to make the surface very smooth.
3.  Paint the surface with gold paint. Add one or two more layers, allowing each layer before applying the next.
4.  Sand the painted surface lightly with 220 or 240 grain sandpaper. Focus on the areas that regularly show wear such as corners, the upper and lower parts of the surface and areas frequently used.
5.  Dip a clean brush into dark varnish or coffee paint. Remove the excess on a paper towel. Lightly brush the brush on the surface, leaving much of gold paint visible.
6.  Remove any excess varnish or paint from the surface. Allow to dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Apply the gold paint in thin layers to avoid smudging.
  • Brush the coffee paint or varnish very slightly. If it is thick, consider thinning with paint solvent or water for a better result.