Pressure Washing Your Vinyl Siding

Periodic cleaning of vinyl siding helps maintain the value and beauty of the exterior of your home. A pressure washer machine is the ideal tool for cleaning using a spray coating, eliminating soil and dirt. Most pressure washers are easy to use and take little effort to work. All the materials that are needed, including the pressure washer, can be purchased or rented at your local hardware store. For you to do this successfully, you have to prepare the surface, select and use the proper pressure settings and practice how to use the machine. Read the following for specific instructions on how to pressure wash vinyl siding.

Select the appropriate equipment and settings. A gasoline or electric pressure washer, with a normal pressure of at least 3,000 PSI, and a flow rate of at least 4 gallons per minute, will provide enough strength to clean the difficult areas that must be reached to clean the vinyl surfaces. Adjust the low-pressure nozzle to 25 degrees. Add a suitable cleaning solution (for example, mild detergent) to the tank.

Test the spray in a small area to get used to its power. You can increase or decrease the power of the jet, adjusting the configuration of the nozzle or the distance at which you have your hands off the ground.

Work constantly, pressure washing one section at a time from bottom to top and sweeping from left to right. Always make sure the nozzle is pointing down at a 45-degree angle to minimize the amount of water that gets behind the siding. Excess water can lump.

Rinse the coating with fresh water. Work from top to bottom to avoid scratches, and rinse the area within 5 to 10 minutes of cleaning, before the detergent dries.


  • Point the nozzle at an angle and use the distance jet to clean glass windows.

Installing a Privacy Fence

Installing a fence will add the necessary privacy to your property. There is a wide variety of options for every budget and aesthetic taste. The following guide will teach you how to install a wooden privacy fence, although other options are also explained and discussed.

Before building your fence

Check the rules of the neighborhood. Before building a fence, it will be important to determine if you are allowed to build. If you build a fence in a place where it’s not allowed, you could get a fine and you’ll have to take down the fence. Before building, consult the rules of your local neighborhood or those of the neighborhood association regarding the construction of fences.

Check the city codes. Frequently cities have rules about fencing. You will need to find out what they are before building one. Some cities require permits to build a fence of any height, others only for those that exceed a certain height. Find out if you need a permit or if there are any other restrictions for your construction.

Get a permit. If you find out that if you need a permit, get one before building. It usually costs a little money and can be obtained from your local Municipality or from the Planning Department.

Choose your materials. It is important to decide what type of fence you want. There are many different types of materials, all with different benefits and drawbacks. You will need to consider how much time you want to spend or keep, how much money you have to spend on building the fence, and how long the fence should remain at your location.

A wooden fence is the most common. It lasts between 5-20 years, depending on the type of wood (for example, cedar will last longer than pine) and are relatively cheap. But wooden fences can be difficult to clean if paint is placed on them.

Vinyl fences will last many times longer than wooden fences, they can last a lifetime if you use quality vinyl. They can come in a variety of colors that should not fade over time and are easily cleaned if you put paint on them. However, they are slightly more expensive in terms of initial costs.

Brick is an option if you do not like the look of vinyl or wood fences, or if you feel the need for something stronger. You can use real bricks or you can use “concrete block”. The concrete block can then be covered with clay or plaster for a more “southwest” look. Concrete blocks can also be placed perpendicular to each other to create a patterned look on your wall. However, any type of masonry construction will be much more expensive than the other options, although it will last longer than wood.

Farm fences or green fences are a good option if your city is very restrictive with permits or if permits are very expensive. They are also good if you prefer more green plants in your garden, instead of fences. You can plant Arvovitae, a green shrub that grows three feet a year, put it on an iron or chain fence and bind ivy on it, or plant more standard hedges like holly.

Place the posts

Find the location for the posts. Use thread tied to stakes, determine the perimeter of your fence and mark the location of the corners, also measure and mark the locations of the intermediate posts (if necessary). The distance between posts depends on you but take into account that the normal space is 8 feet from center to center. Mark all locations with spray paint or stake holes.

Dig the holes for the posts. Use a hole-making device and dig holes at least ¼ to ⅓ of the height of the planned fence. Be sure to follow the rules stipulated in your permit, because many cities have rules about the depth of the hole. You will not want to hit a water pipe!

  • You can use a manual excavator or a motorized drill. You can rent both at your local hardware store.

Place gravel. You should put a couple of inches of gravel at the bottom of the hole, to provide drainage and make sure the posts do not rot.

Place the posts. Use 4×4 poles at your preferred height (factoring in the depth of the hole) and place them one at a time. This may require someone else to help you.

Pour quick drying concrete. Before placing the concrete, use a pole scale to ensure the pole is vertical and double check the height to make sure it is the one you want. Pour the concrete, mix it with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions and continue using the scale while pouring it to make sure it stays straight.

  • Alternatively, mix the quick-drying concrete in a bucket or wheelbarrow and then pour it.
  • You could still use thread to make sure the posts are aligned with each other.

Continue placing the posts. Place all the posts before continuing with the next step.

Build the fence

Measure and cut your railings. These are the boards (we recommend the 2x4s) that are placed between the posts, aligned perpendicularly. You will adhere the main boards of the fence to these. You must measure and cut them so they fit between the posts.

  • You will probably need two to three rails, depending on the height of your fence.

Create the frame of your railing. Then take a 1×4 board and cut it so that it is the same height as the posts. Mark the places in the wood where you want your railings to be. With this mark, nail the 2×4 directly to the end of the bottom and the top (and possibly the center) of the railings. These rails should be perpendicular with a turn of 90 ° of the 1×4 board, with a look similar to a T (if you look from one side, you should see the side of 1 “of the 1×4 and the 4” of the 2×4 ). Do this for each end of the railing.

Fit and adhere the frame. Fit the frame between the posts and secure it from the inside edge on the posts using screws.

Adhere the external tabs or posts. Use slats or posts the width you prefer, but they should not be thicker than 1 “. Clamp or screw them using a spacer between each board to ensure that they are even and that the space between them is slightly less than their width. Continue along the entire length of the fence.

Adhere the inside of the slats or posts. Now attach the boards on the inside of the fence. These should be placed so that they cover the openings created by the outer boards.

Add a door. You may or may not want to add a door to the fence to create an entrance to the patio.

Add the final details. Now you can paint or stain your fence as you wish. You can add a decorative layer or plant shrubs along the base.


  • You will usually receive a copy of the local rules and regulations when you apply for the permit.
  • The posts, the frame and the boards must be made of pressure-treated wood.
  • Only build along your property.
  • The materials to build the fence and doors are available at most hardware stores and home improvement stores.
  • Only galvanized nails should be used for pressure treated wood. Coated screws, stainless steel nails or other corrosion resistant fasteners should be used with cedar because galvanized will discolor cedar wood.

How to Prune a Tree

Pruning helps trees grow strong and look attractive and well cared for. A tree is pruned to remove damaged branches to facilitate growth or to give the tree a distinctive shape. It is important to do it correctly to avoid damaging the tree. Continue reading to learn the basic steps.

Evaluate the tree. Take some time to observe the size and shape of the tree and imagine how it should look once pruned.

Identify the main branches of the tree that would come to conform your “skeleton”.  Avoid pruning these branches.

Remove branches that are damaged. Whether they have been damaged by a storm or any other event, if there are broken branches they must be pruned so that the water and nutrients they are consuming are redistributed to the healthy branches.

Reduce the density of branches in areas where there are clusters. To grow healthy trees need good air circulation between their branches. When there are branches too close to each other, fungal growth is favored, and more insects are attracted.

  • Eliminate branches that are growing inward, towards the center of the tree. These cause disorder and are not healthy branches.

Prune branches that cause obstruction. Whether it is low branches that block a path or high branches that endanger the cables, it is good to prune branches that cause some kind of worry.

Prune branches to help shape the tree. If you want your tree to have a more rounded or neat shape, prune the branches that protrude at strange angles; a few cuts will make a big difference.

Prune as little as possible. Each cut you make exposes the tree to an infestation of fungi and insects, since you are removing the protective bark. Prune only what is absolutely necessary and never take off more than 25 percent of the branches of a tree.

  • Make sure that at least 2/3 of the height of the tree is composed of live branches; leaving only the trunk is not enough to ensure that the tree survives.
  • You cannot prune more than once per season. You should not prune more branches, unless a storm breaks some; the tree needs time to recover.

Prune to minimize damage

Dust off your tools to prune in the dormancy period. Less stress is caused to the tree when it is pruned in late fall or early winter, since sap loss is minimized. In addition, it is better for the tree if pruning is done at this time of year because the possibility of the “wound” becoming infested with fungi or insects is reduced, since these are also in a period of dormancy at the end of autumn and early winter.

  • A good indicator of the ideal time to prune is when the tree has lost all its leaves. This means that the tree has entered its period of dormancy until the beginning of spring.
  • If at any time of the year a storm breaks a branch, it is fine to prune it immediately instead of waiting until winter.

Make a cut at the bottom of the branch. This initial cut should not cross the entire branch, the reason for doing so is to prevent the branch from slitting too close to the trunk of the tree when it is about to fall under its own weight.

  • The cut should be made near what is called the neck of the trunk. It is that small part of the bark that protrudes and from which the branch is born. You have to leave the neck intact, meaning that the cut should not be made flush with the trunk.

Cut the branch several inches away from the trunk. Your second cut will cut off the branch at the height of the first cut you made. Remove the branch and what will remain is a stump.

Make a precise cut to eliminate the stump. Now you can make another cut just where the neck of the trunk ends, by doing so you will give the tree the opportunity to heal quickly and healthily.

  • Make sure you do not cut the neck of the trunk; it must remain intact.

Clean your pruning tools. Disinfect everything once the work is finished as tree diseases spread when the tools are dirty.


  • For small branches use pruning shears. For medium-sized branches (more than one inch in diameter) use shears (anvil or curved blade). For branches with a thickness greater than 2-3 inches use a tree saw. Do not use hedge clippers when you trim a tree.
  • Dead wood can be removed at any time.
  • Take a bleach solution with you in a container that is not prone to tip over and that is large enough to submerge your tools. When pruning, you can easily transmit diseases from one tree to another, this risk can be eliminated by frequently submerging the tools in the solution. This becomes especially important in small, highly populated orchards.
  • Verify the appropriate time of year to prune specific trees in your geographic area through a gardening resource (e.g. an association).

Cleaning Your Air Conditioning Ducts

It is necessary to regularly clean the air conditioning ducts in your home so that they can perform as efficiently as possible. Dirty air passages can harbor some types of virus, bacteria and other germs that can affect your health. In addition, dirt and the accumulation of dust that flows through air ducts can circulate particles that can potentially dirty and damage your furniture, appliances and clothing.

Prepare a cleaning bucket. Use a small bucket. Fill it with warm water and dishwashing detergent. Fill a spray bottle with vinegar. Just in case, have a household spray cleaner that can on remove mold on hand. Gather several rags, prepare your vacuum and look for a flashlight. Put all these items close by so you can easily use them.

Locate the air ducts in your house. Some houses have conduits in high areas of walls. Others have them at the bottom of the walls or even in the floor.  Some ducts may be in unusual places. Check in each corner to locate them all. The plan is to clean each of them systematically. Check if there is any furniture located under the duct, pictures on the wall, carpets, decorative items, etc. Move them so they do not get in the way and so they do not get dust or something else on them.

Remove the cover of each duct. The method you use will depend on the type of conduit you have. Some can be levered, others unscrewed, and others slide to be removed. Check the factory manual if you’re not sure.

Use a firm surface where you can climb if the duct is in a high place. A ladder, a bench, a firm chair, etc. Make sure that what you use is firm on the floor and does not wobble with your weight.

  • Use the vacuum cleaner’s nozzle to remove dust, lint, particles, etc. that have accumulated in the passageway of the conduit. If your vacuum is heavy and the duct is too high, ask someone to pick it up so you can concentrate on grabbing the nozzle and cleaning.

Use a rag and clean the inside walls of the duct with the mixture of warm water and detergent. Use a flashlight to see if there is mold. If there is, clean it with vinegar and if that does not work, apply the mold remover spray (be sure to follow the instructions). Use a paper towel to clean what is left after using the cloth and let it dry.

Re-cover the conduit. Continue with the next duct until you have cleaned them all.


It would be good to have a notebook where you can keep track of cleaning and maintenance work. In the list, it includes the cleaning of the conduits and the affected rooms. If for some reason you cannot clean the ducts of any room, the next time you clean them, start in that room.

  • If you care about having good air quality, cleaning the ducts is a task that should be done quarterly.
  • Not all houses have air ducts like houses that do not have central air conditioning.

How to Put a New Roof on Your Home

All homeowners want their home to be as safe as possible and everything starts with the roof. Although roofing materials usually last for 20 or 30 years, roofs will start to wear out sooner or later and can cost several thousands of dollars to repair professionally. Fortunately, with the right materials, planning, precautions and the adequate effort, any homeowner can renovate the roof of his house in a safe and economical way.

Keep in mind local building codes related to roofs. Many building codes regulate the number of layers of tiles that a roof can have, as well as the authorized tile materials.

  • Coastal areas that experience many winds and hurricanes have different load and structural design requirements than those in more central areas. If you live on the coast and want to work on the roof of your house, you must be very careful to obtain the appropriate permits to ensure the safety of your project.

Obtain all the necessary permits. Check with your local government agency if you need a building permit before changing the roof of your house. The permits are often offered by the Construction Services Department of the city where you live. Generally, you can get your project authorized if you provide the following:

  • Proof that you are the owner of the property
  • Application for permission (they provide it to you)
  • Declaration of reparation stating that you will replace the roof you are going to remove so that the construction complies with the current code.
  • Construction designs
  • Lifting designs

Choose an appropriate type of tile. There are many varieties of tiles available, some of which are more appropriate for certain climates and roof styles. Choose something suitable for your location, your home and the style of the project.

  • Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing shingles. They are very durable, and their life time can reach 20 or 30 years in the right conditions. Being reinforced with fiberglass, asphalt shingles often have a bit of roof pitch that sticks on top of the shingles.
  • Slate tiles are the heaviest and most durable tiles you can buy. Because they break easily, you need special pressure cutters to cut them and they are about three times heavier than the other tiles. It is recommended that you use slate tiles only if you are an experienced roofer looking for challenges. Slate tiles are great if you want to create a unique and durable roof for your home and are willing to go the extra mile.
  • Laminated tiles look like slate tiles, but they are layered asphalt shingles. They are similar, but a little thicker than asphalt shingles, so working with them could be similar. If you like what the board looks like, but you want the job to be a little easier, consider using this type of tile.
  • Wooden shingles are often the piecing of cedar, spruce or pine cut by hand. Wooden shingles are common in coastal regions of New England and allow a dilation and appearance of natural wear that some people like. They must be placed at a certain distance so that they can expand, but these types of tiles usually last 30 years if they are properly installed.

Define how many tiles you need to do the job. The area of ​​the surface that will cover the tiles is defined as a square of 9.29 square meters (100 square feet). However, tiles are usually sold in batches and usually 3 batches are needed to cover 1 square.

  • To find out the number of lots you must buy, measure the length and width of each section of the roof and multiply both to get the area. Add the areas of each section, then divide by 100 and you will get the number of squares that the roof has. Multiply this number by 3 to know the number of lots you need to buy.

Measure the length of a tile when you place it on the roof. This will help determine how the tiles you place across the roof will look like. Most asphalt shingles measure 91.4 centimeters (3 feet) in length. If the width of your roof is not a regular multiple of the length of the tile, you will have a piece left over at one end of each row.

  • The last row of tiles should hang above the edge of the roof. In the case of a roof with wooden tiles you would have to cut the tiles that go along the edges to create a straight line to accommodate them.

Prepare your roof

Take the appropriate safety precautions. Many roofs are very sloped and require roof struts to make work safer. Scaffolds and baseboards help secure the area above and around the roof to prevent tools and equipment from falling off the roof and hitting a pedestrian.

  • Place roof racks 5 x 25 cm (2 x 10 inches), about 91 cm (3 feet) above the roof edge. Make sure you wear a good pair of rubber-soled boots, so you do not slip while working on the roof. Goggles and work gloves are also recommended.

Rent a dumpster. It is useful to rent a large dumpster to throw away the old tiles. Normally, this costs about $200. If you keep it as close as possible to the house and cover the air conditioning units, the porches and other things that you do not want to be dented or dirty with the nails of the tiles and other rubbish, you can save cleaning time later.

Start by removing the tiles in the uppermost part of the trash container. Use a garden rake or shovel specially designed for roofs to take off the tiles to remove them more quickly or you can do it by hand and use a hammer. Leverage the nails, first loosening the ridge and then the tiles, picking them up with the shovel to take them to the struts. Take frequent breaks to take them to the trash with the shovel. Do not worry about removing all the nails at the beginning, some of them will come out with the tiles and others will not.

  • This is usually the dirtiest part of the job and it demands more physical effort, so make sure your plan takes into account the time and effort required to complete it. The tiles are often heavy and dirty, so do not stack them for a long time before removing them from the roof struts and taking them to the trash.
  • Step very carefully and make sure you work with at least one other person. Consider investing in a safety harness if you are on a very high roof.

Remove the metal flashing that is around the chimney, the ducts and the roof files. Some roofers reuse the metal flashing if it is in good condition, in which case you would have to carefully remove the nails and leverage them. Although to be honest, the flashing in the lime hole is almost always worn. Consider replacing everything while you are halfway through the project. If it looks questionable, drop it and install a new one.

Clean the roof. Sweep the roof and leave it as clean as possible, taking the time to remove any stray nails that did not come out when you removed the tiles. Reattach the loosened boards to the siding. Examine the siding to see if there are damages and rotten boards and replace the damaged sections as appropriate.

Install a barrier against ice and water and an asphalt felt. This sub-layer will serve as a temporary barrier against the weather. If you have gutters, you will need the ice and water barrier to cover all the gutters in the roof. Fasten it with tacks separated by a few inches at the top to hold it in place. Once the entire section is attached with tacks along the branding line, raise the bottom, peel back the backing and then drop it back into place. The ice and water barrier will automatically stick to the roof.

  • Unroll and staple a 13.5kg (30lb) felt over the rest of the roof. Use many 0.8 cm (5/16 inch) staples to make it safer to walk on the felt and avoid it being blown away by the wind. Now is when it’s worth having a hammer-type stapler (it costs about $30).

Complete the process of making your roof “weatherproof” with tarred paper. Use tin caps approximately 5 cm (2 inches) around metal discs and place them under the roof nails to prevent the felt from crumbling and blowing away in the event of winds before they are finished to place the tiles.

  • Keep the paper aligned and straight with a score line on the roof deck using marks measured from bottom to top. Do not use the bottom of the roof as a straight line. Doing so will cause the paper to bend, leaving wrinkles in the material. Allow the felt to extend from 6.5 mm (1/4 inch) to 1 cm (3/8 inch) at the bottom edge of the roof.

Put on the new roof

Put a drip mount around the perimeter of the roof. Use roofing nails separated by a distance of 30 cm (12 inches) that extend from 6.5 mm (1/4 inch) to 1 cm (3/8 inch) beyond the edge of the roof over the felt paper.


Place the flashing on the roofing tile, where two sections create a peak. The flashing comes prefabricated, folded to fit or flat and ready to be cut.

  • Some roofers like to reuse the old flashing if it’s still in good condition. The flashing almost always wears out but use your best judgement as to whether it can be reused. Usually, you will have to replace it.

Make a series of lines of marks separated by a space of 15 cm (6 inches). Use marks with chalk to keep the course of the tiles straight.

Place the initial course. Follow the lines of the marks, nailing your tiles with intervals of 15 cm (6 inches). Leave a space of 7 cm (3 inches) between the nails from the top edge of each tile. Depending on the type of tile you buy, there could be a special group of tiles for the initial row or a roll of lathing material that you can cut according to the length of your roof.

  • If you are going to use 3-tab tiles, place the nails approximately 1.8 centimeters (3/4 of an inch) above the cutouts, near where the tabs are attached to the top of the tile. Also, place a 5 cm (2 inch) nail on each end of the tile, aligned with the other two. In total, you will use four nails for each 3-tab tile to secure them.

Place the first course. Make a line to mark the initial row to use as a guide and remove the plastic strips from the back of the tiles in the package. Cut 15 cm (6 inches) from the length of the first initial tile you nailed, then use the rest of the tiles without cutting them. Modifying them in this way will join the ends of the first regular row of tiles that you placed on top of the initial tiles.

  • Alternatively, you can use an initial row of full-size tiles if you flip them until the tabs face up.

Place the second row of tiles. Put the first tile of the second-row half tab further back 17 cm (6 inches) from the edge of the first tile in the starting row so that the bottom of its tabs touches the top of the cut spaces in the tile that is located below. This half tongue must be cut in the part protruding from the left edge of the gable roof.

  • Continue placing the tiles in this same way, cutting the tiles to fit in the additional space you leave at the end of each row. Leave spaces between ducts, chimneys and flashovers and take more time in those areas.

Place tiles around ducts and chimneys. Cut a square of flashing that extends about 15 cm (6 inches) from the tube, with a hole in the center large enough to fit the tube. Place the tiles over the flashing, using glue to hold them in place and cut a special tile to make it fit over the pipe and finish the job.

  • There are “boots” for ventilation pipes that you can buy to slide them over the ventilation pipes or provide them with additional protection. A rubber washer makes it fit precisely and prevents the union from dripping.
  • To place the tiles around chimneys, cut several batten slats to fold them and create a bond between the outer edge wall of the chimney and the roof. Install them normally and place the tiles until they reach the edge of the flashing. Use glue for roofs and place the tiles on the flashing as usual.

Install the prefabricated ridge. Use cement roofing adhesive on any exposed nail according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Ridge tiles are used to connect your courses on one side and the next, finishing the higher parts with a uniform finish.

  • Although it is recommended to use prefabricated ridges, it is also possible to cut and make your own ridges with regular 3-reed tiles. Cut them according to the size you want and fold them over the high parts, installing them as usual.

Finish the job. Roofing causes a lot of clutter, so it’s important to save time when you work and clean up afterwards. Nails, pieces of lost shingles and other debris will likely contaminate the yard and the area around the house, which can be dangerous.

  • Some roofers pass high strength magnets (something similar to a metal detector) to collect the lost nails. Sometimes you can rent them at roofing supply stores to make sure there are no dangerous nails out there.
concrete repairs

What Exactly is Concrete?

Concrete is an integral part of modern society. Roads and bridges to the buildings in which we live and work, everywhere around you there are structures and infrastructure comprising concrete.  With concrete being used as a vital part of our daily lives, not many know the science behind the cement that makes it so strong and reliable.

Composition of concrete

Concrete is made ​​from more than one type of material, which is a composite material. The composite is formed with a filling material, which is an aggregate used to make concrete texture, and a binder or paste used to “glue” or unite the filling. Cement and water are the binder. The mixture of aggregates, cement and water creates the useful compound is known as concrete.


Cement is made of clay, sand, iron ore and limestone, burnt together at extremely high temperatures. Limestone must be removed and ground into small pieces. A mixer combines the small pieces of limestone, iron ore, sand and clay to form a powder of the four components. A rotary kiln into a cylinder, then burning this material composition for a maximum of two hours


When water is mixed with cement, a paste which binds all components is formed. The hydration process is a chemical reaction between the water and concrete components causing the concrete to harden. You must use pure water to ensure that the chemicals react properly and create strong cement. The relationship between cement and water is crucial for the production of useful cement. Too little or too much water can cause the cement to be too weak or unviable. Useful cement requires the perfect balance between the cement and water.


Aggregates are another component used in making concrete. They are materials such as sand or rocks that are added to the mixture of cement and water. Since cement is the most expensive part of manufacturing of concrete, adding the cheapest concrete aggregates gives you more for less. The final product is approximately 70% to 80% of the aggregates. Choosing a type of aggregate concrete depends on the type you want to produce. You can create dense and strong concrete using dense aggregates. Similarly, the use of soft and porous aggregates, like sand, creates weaker concrete with less wear resistance. Like water, the good aggregates must be pure. Any impurities in the aggregate could interfere with the chemical reaction needed to make concrete, or cause it to be weakened.

bedroom redesign

Tips for Drilling into Drywall

Plaster walls do not present a challenge to drill into them, however, you have to be careful when drilling drywall to prevent damage or drilling in the wrong place.


A metal detecting device can work well on a wall with plaster, but it does not determine the location of studs behind drywall. You may be able to get close to the location of the studs in the wall using one of these devices.  Once you find a stud, you can estimate that the others are about 16 inches (40.64 cm) apart from each other. If you’re still unsure about the exact location of the studs, drill pilot holes in the wall with a small mason bit. If you feel that the drill bit touches an air pocket behind the plaster, this indicates no studs. If you encounter resistance, you hit into a stud.

Perforated technique

When drilling plaster, you cannot use excessive force otherwise you run the risk of forming cracks in the drywall and the plaster crumbling. This means that if the drill has a hammer motion, do not use it, although the plaster may resist the drilling at first. You must start out drilling slowly, because the plaster is slippery on the surface and the drill can jump through the wall, entering at a wrong point.

Masking tape

An old plaster wall may collapse or break when penetrated with a nail or a drill, unlike new walls. The outer surface of drywall is where it would start to crumble, as it is broken by the force of the drill bit. To combat the tendency of the plaster to crack and crumble, place a piece of masking tape over the place where you want to puncture the wall. The tape keeps the drywall in place, instead of leaving it to break apart and crumble. When you have finished drilling, remove the tape from the wall without fear of the paint coming off.

Enlarge the hole

You can widen the hole you drill into a plaster wall if you need one wider to fit a stand. Sometimes the biggest drill bit you have available is smaller than the hole you need to use to hang an object on the wall. In such a situation, you must insert a long, thin instrument that fits inside, like a knife or a screwdriver. Use the tool to that will make the hole the size you need using circular motions against the sides of the hole.


Removing and Preventing Mold in the Shower

Mold is a type of fungus that grows and spreads in wet places. The rim of the shower is a good place to grow because it is difficult to see. If mold is not cleaned, it can continue to grow on the shower ledge spread to the rest of the shower and even behind the shower walls if there are cracks or holes in the sealant. Treat mold with natural products in your house, without exposing yourself to chemical-based products.


  1. Pour water over the top edge of the shower to wet the mold. By wetting the fungus you prevent it from traveling through the air during cleaning and removal which prevents mold inhalation or it traveling to another surface.
  2. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and generously spray the mold on the shower ledge. Let the vinegar sit for 30 minutes. Dampen a clean cloth with water, and then clean the shower ledge to remove mold and mildew.
  3. Mix a solution to help prevent mold return to your shower ledge. Measure 2 tablespoons tea tree oil and pour into a spray bottle. Add 2 cups of water and shake the bottle well.
  4. Spray the shower ledge generously with the solution. Let the oil dry on the surface and do not clean or rinse. The tea tree oil is effective for a month to keep mold from growing back.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep a spray bottle of vinegar in your bathroom. Spray the shower walls, the door and handle after each shower.
  • A bathroom with poor ventilation will have permanent mold problems. Open a window when possible and use the fan during and after showers.

Cleaning Tile Grout

The maintenance and stain removal of the grout in your tile floors is a complex task and may even be exhausting, especially when you have a large area like a tiled wall or floor that have retained dirt and stains over time. To make the job of cleaning as painless as possible, you’ll need the help of some kind of solution made for this specific task.

Chlorine bleach

First, remember that you should never use chlorine bleach on colored grout because the colored surface will be damaged from fading. You can only use chlorine bleach on white grout. Also consider that in general, chlorine has its pros and cons. It offers an incredible effectiveness in cleaning stains on grout, but it’s also highly corrosive and releases some vapors. If you’re using chlorine bleach, dilute it well (“Good Housekeeping” recommends using 3/4 cup bleach to one gallon or 3.7 liters of water) and wearing gloves. Pour on to the grout lines and rub quickly with a stiff brush then rinse well.


Oxygen bleach

Oxygen bleach is also used to remove stains, but it is much safer to use and more natural than chlorine bleach, which contains hydrogen peroxide.  Home improvement expert Tim Carter (“Ask the Builder”) is considered the best and ultimate cleaner for grout joints. Best of all, it can even be used on colored grout without damaging them in any way. If you use oxygen bleach powder, just add water and apply it as you would chlorine bleach or any regular cleanser. Do not forget to wait at least 15 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing, as this type of cleaner releases natural ions and requires time to act.


Sodium bicarbonate

Another recommendation from “Good Housekeeping” magazine is baking soda. It is known that this all-purpose product can effectively remove stains on both white and colored grout and can even kill any type of mold growing on the surface of your tiles. Mix 3/4 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup water in a bowl to form a smooth paste. Apply the paste to grout joints and rub firmly before rinsing.

PH neutral cleaner

A pH neutral cleaner has little effect when it comes to removing stubborn stains, rust and mineral deposits, but can do wonders to remove accumulated dirt in grout joints and for routine maintenance on your floors and tiles. In fact, to clean the area once a week with a neutral pH cleaner, you can prevent the formation of stains and mildew buildup. Many stores sell supplies for home cleaning products labeled as “neutral pH”, but you can use any pH balanced cleaning solution, including mild dishwashing detergent. Consider this type of cleaning as a preventive solution instead of thinking of them as stain removers.

Vinyl Replacement

Removing Sliding Windows to Clean Them

While cleaning windows, you encounter a situation where you can’t access the window from the outside so you need to remove it. If the window is too high for you or if something obstructs it, knowing how to remove it will be very useful.


  1. Look at the window you want to remove and remove any security device that would prevent you from removing it off the track.
  2. Inspect the side rails of the window at the top to see if there are screws. If there is, remove them. The screws are another type of safety device that prevents someone from opening the panel.
  3. Check the top track of the window and look for a small piece of rubber in the center; This is where the sliding panels line up when the window is closed. This is another kind of protection to keep the windows open. Pry the piece with a screwdriver.
  4. Removes the lock on the window.
  5. Slide the window almost all the way and put your hands on the sides of the panel.
  6. Lift the entire window out, pushing the entire panel into the track above.
  7. Take the base of the panel off the track and push it down to remove it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure you are very careful when removing the windows as they can be heavy. Be prepared.