What to Consider Before Signing a Lease

Signing the lease of a house or apartment for rent is an agreement that needs to be carefully reviewed before you make the leap.

  • Read the lease thoroughly before you sign it. Not all leases are the same, so it is important to look over each section of the lease every time you rent and have a new lease. Review the most important dates, amounts, expectations, and terms, for example whether subleasing is allowed or not.
  • Be clear about how much money you will have to pay in advance. Many homeowners require a security deposit, which can amount to a month’s rent or more. In addition, if you work alongside a real estate broker, you must pay fees to them as well.
  • Know all possible penalties. A lease usually details the penalties that the landlord can charge you for damages, late payment of the lease or early termination.
  • Determine which utilities are left to you. The payment of electricity, gas, water, garbage collection and other bills varies by owner, so find out what you must pay. Also, know who the providers are available for each service and then look into which offers the best cost.
  • Know how far in advance you must report the termination of the lease. The amount of time required varies by state and may depend on the owner or the leasing company. There may also be charges related to early termination, so it is important that you know your obligations before signing the lease.
  • Identify all associated costs. Before signing a lease, make sure you know how much rent with any necessary utilities you can afford.

Six Steps to Prevent Carpet Mold After Water Damage

Exposure to mold can cause health problems for some people by irritating the nose, eyes, throat or lungs. Breathing airborne mold may trigger symptoms in those with hay fever, asthma and allergies.

The best way to keep mold from spreading is to act fast when you know water is present. If you follow these six steps you should stay mold free.

Remove water as quickly as possible

Use a wet/dry vacuum to clean up as much water as soon as possible. These machines are the most effective tools for removing water and can be rented or provided by water and smoke damage remediation companies that specialize in repairing residential flood damage.

Use fans to speed up carpet drying process

It can take several days for fans to completely dry a water-damaged area. The good news is that they also help circulate fresh air.

“When you think it’s all nice and dry inside, it’s not,” Lipford adds. “Keep the fans going 24 hours a day for at least another week or so.”

Homeowners can rent high-power drying fans from local home improvement stores with tool rental service.

Use a dehumidifier to dry out the room

These machines remove excessive moisture, which makes the air feel cooler and limits mold and mildew growth. Any equipment that helps dry out the air and the ground will speed up the drying time for your damaged floors and coverings.

Steam clean carpet and flooring

Steam clean all carpets to properly sanitize and deodorize. Typically, water-damaged carpet padding must be replaced.

Replacing just the padding is much less expensive than having to re-carpet your entire home.

Sanitize walls and baseboards

Anything touched by storm water should be sanitized. Clean all walls, hard-surface floors and other household surfaces with soap and water.

Sanitize them with a solution of 1.5 cups of chlorine bleach to one gallon of water. Remember to wear rubber gloves during cleanup.

Check furniture

Look for water damage and remove furniture from wet flooring.

Water damage can easily be hidden underneath rugs or carpet, so be sure to give your home a thorough inspection if you suspect water damage.

Five Inexpensive Ideas to Decorate Your Bedroom

Use storage for clean decor

Some beautiful colored baskets arranged throughout your bedroom are perfect to help keep things in order! Your decor will be cleaner and dust will be easier to eliminate which is a good thing, especially if you are sensitive to mites. Do you have a lot of things? Feel free to put things you do not use in a bin under the bed!

Decorate your room … from the bottom up

Add personality to your room by adding wall decorations! Family photos, travel souvenirs, original artwork…everything is allowed. The only rule? Let your imagination be free. In addition to being an affordable way to bring change to the room where you sleep, you can easily change these decorative items when you want.

Change your quilt and bedding

No need to buy everything new to make changes to your room! Instead, opt for a new duvet and for new bedding. To avoid having to change all the accessories in your bedroom, keep the same color theme. A little trick: take photos of them with natural lighting. You will be able to ensure a perfect match with your new bedding during your shopping session.

Change some accessories

New lamps? A mountain of new cushions? Some well selected accessories can totally change the look of a room. Set your priorities and make a list to avoid surprises at the store checkout … or regrets when you get home.

Antique furniture for retro decor

In addition to being eco-friendly, furniture recycling is a great way to incorporate retro elements into your décor. The combination of recent furniture and pieces found at an antique store or at the flea market is a good way to redo decor at a low price. Warning! It might be necessary to examine your findings before bringing them back to your cozy nest, as bed bugs may be hidden there.

What to do When Ceiling Paint Starts to Flake

When you see that paint on your ceiling has begun to flake off, you must act quickly to find the cause and remedy possible problems with the house. To restore the ceiling, you must go through multiple steps, including the removal of old paint and restoration of the ceiling surface.

Check for moisture

Chipping paint usually indicates moisture problems running through the ceiling or high humidity in the house that produces condensation of water in the ceiling. You should check if there is moisture on the site where the paint is peeling off simply by placing your hand over the area where the paint has begun to come off. However, if you see mold growth, do not place your hand near it. If you see water seeping through the ceiling, check the pipes in the upstairs room to see if they’re leaking, if there isn’t a room upstairs, call a roofing company to find the cause of the damage.

Protect yourself

If your house was built before 1978, there is a possibility that the paint on your ceiling contains lead and can be toxic. For added security, it means that at least one layer of paint contains lead.  If you live in an older house, wear clothes that cover arms, put on gloves, a face mask and safety glasses. If you see the presence of mold, protective clothing will also help protect your health.

Remove the loose paint

Before you can do something with the section of the ceiling where the paint is peeling, you must remove the old peeling paint. A spatula is a good way to remove the old paint without ruining the ceiling. Remove the loose paint in the area where it is peeling off, while still scraping the ceiling around the painted parts until you find chipped paint firmly attached to the ceiling. If the flaking was the result of water damage, dry the ceiling with fans before proceeding.

Patches up the place

Having taken all the peeling paint off and drying the damp ceiling, patching is the next step. You have to use a patch to smooth the surface of the plaster ceiling, where there are cracks or other surface damage. The patch also helps bring the ceiling level with the rest of the ceiling. It might be a good idea to apply several coats in the area where the paint is missing to help level it. Once the patch is completely dry, you can apply a primer to match the rest of the ceiling

Preventative Measures to Keep Your Home Fire Safe

Every year the fire department receives thousands of reports of house fires. Sometimes there is only material damage, but every year there are hundreds of wounded and dozens of deaths. Fire can be prevented, but you have to take measures. Together with the fire department we provide you wir=th tips on how you can prevent this from happening to you.

How quickly does a fire seize itself?

It depends on the fire load; That is the amount of combustible materials in a room. ‘An oak armchair from the old days hardly burned, but nowadays they are made of cheaper wood and materials which burn very quickly. Make sure to close doors at night. If there is a sudden fire at night, open doors ensure that a fire is fueled. Choose smoke detectors that are audible.

What causes a fire?

The fire service writes that the three most common causes of fire are: heating, cooking and an electrical appliance. If you have a chimney and fireplace, make sure you have clean and dry firewood that has been dried for at least a year and a half. You have to have your chimney cleaned and checked every year by a professional company.

The oven, fryer and microwave are often a source of a fire in the kitchen, but one can also be caused by a pan on the stove. Therefore, use a kitchen timer and make sure that you do not have flammable items around the stove.

The washer and dryer are also possible causes of fire. Clean the filters and clean under and behind the appliances once a year.

Fire? What do you do?

Is there a fire in the pan? Then close it with the lid and not with water. Turn off the extractor and do not walk with the pan. Chimney fires can best be extinguished with sand and by closing the chimney flap. Do not throw water onto the fire, an explosion may occur. If there is a fire starting in the house, it is best to extinguish it yourself with a fire extinguisher. Use short blows and only do so if you do not end up in danger yourself. If the fire starts to blow quickly, alert the fire department by calling 911.

Tips

Here are some preventative measures you should take to reduce the risk of fire as much as possible.

  1. Place smoke detectors and a fire blanket on every floor.
  2. Do you have a back door? Make sure that there is a key in there so that you can always go outside.
  3. Keep a large fire extinguisher in the house.
  4. Fire extinguishers are not eternally sustainable. You have to have it inspected every two years.
  5. If you have a smoke channel or chimney in the house have it cleaned at least once a year. Bird nests can be built inside them.
  6. There is a danger of carbon monoxide in winter. Therefore, install carbon monoxide detectors or fire/carbon monoxide combination detectors.
  7. Dust that collects in ventilation areas are very sensitive to fire.
  8. Sockets are very useful, but if you plug in too many chargers that require a lot of power, there is a risk of a shorting a circuit and fire.
  9. Washing machines and dishwashers can catch fire due to a short circuit, because there is too much dust in them, they are overloaded or too old.
  10. Do you have halogen lamps? It is better not to have them too close to the curtains or ceiling. Replace them with LED or energy-saving lamps.
  11. Nights on the couch with a candle on the table can be very nice, but also dangerous. Make sure that the holder or jar is a non-combustible material. Do not place candles near curtains either.
  12. Install a fire blocker. This device you place on the inside of a dryer or washing machine. Fire extinguisher will be released automatically in case of fire.
  13. In bed, an electric blanket can be very nice, but due to overheating or short-circuiting such a blanket can cause fire. Check before use after taking it out of the closet if it was stored for a long time and check the blanket before putting it in bed.

Home Insurance Coverage for Technology

Home insurances serve to cope with the most varied unforeseen events. The most common coverages include water damage, broken glass and sanitary appliances, as well as expenses caused by fire or atmospheric phenomena. Those that are less known by the general public are the coverage of home insurance for new technologies. Times are advancing and policies too and there are many advantages that you can benefit from.

The best policies for the home will offer your computer assistance, which includes technical support, by telephone or online, for incidents that occur on your computer or computers 365 days a year. In addition, you can access an additional service to erase the fingerprint. The insurance company deals with the erasure of information present in the public part of the Internet that causes reputational or economic damage to the insured. The best insurers assume the cost of this service.

There are insurances that include the protection against digital violence to minors. Upon the alert of the insured, the insurance company issues a report with certification of veracity for cases of digital violence to minors insured in the policy, which may serve as proof in a complaint. This option usually extends to any means of electronic communication, except for voice calls.

Another of the most interesting coverages for the insured is the location and blocking of mobile devices in case of loss, damage and theft. In order to provide this service, companies provide specific applications that the customer has to download to their mobile device. This allows to make reports of the situation of the device, screenshots and, if the device has a camera, a photo of the moment. It also makes it possible to see the programs that are running and the files that have been modified.

Coverage of home insurance for new technologies provide many advantages for all those who have computer equipment, but this type of policy also provides basic coverage for the risks that occur in a home, such as emergency assistance and repairs . Some insurances offer within their optional services, home DIY and repair of white goods.

How to Fix a Crumbling Brick Chimney

It is not uncommon for brick chimneys to crumble with age. Chimneys are often positioned in exposed areas of the roof, and crumbling can occur due to weathering even if other brickwork around your home is in good condition. In most cases, a crumbling chimney means the mortar between the bricks has degraded, the bricks have cracked, or both. Repairing a chimney that has started to crumble is a task most homeowners can do themselves. Often it requires you to repoint the mortar and replace any damaged bricks.

Replacing Damaged Bricks

  1. Measure the length of the damaged bricks in the chimney. Bricks that have been custom-cut will require you to cut the new brick to fit.
  2. Mark the measurement of the old bricks on your new brick using a marker.
  3. Put on safety goggles and work gloves. Chip a groove along the lines you marked in the brick using a chisel and a hammer.
  4. Insert a brick set into the groove, and strike the end with the hammer to split the brick at your mark. Continue cutting the remaining bricks in the same manner.
  5. Chisel out the mortar around the damaged brick to a depth of at least 1/2 inch, using the hammer and chisel. Move the chisel along the joint, removing about 1 inch of mortar at a time. Clean out the joints with a wire brush as you work.
  6. Pull each brick as it loosens from the chimney and set it aside. Do not remove too many bricks from the chimney at one time. Instead, repair the chimney in stages, removing only a handful of bricks at a time. Once one area is repaired, it will support the structure as you tackle the next.
  7. Mix your mortar according to the manufacturer’s label instructions. Make only enough to work for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
  8. Dampen the brick with a sponge. Apply the mortar into the empty spaces in a layer that is the same thickness as adjacent joints.
  9. Trowel a layer of mortar onto the top and ends of the replacement brick, and place the brick into the mortared space.
  10. Scrape away excess mortar with the trowel. Shape the wet mortar with the trowel so that it matches the appearance of the adjacent joints.
  11. Continue applying mortar into the empty sections and replacing the bricks until all the damaged bricks have been replaced.
  12. Allow the mortar to dry for about an hour. Wipe the excess mortar from the surrounding brick with a damp sponge.

Repointing Crumbling Mortar

  1. Chisel cracked or crumbling mortar from the joints with a hammer and chisel. Clean each joint of loose mortar and dust with a wire brush.
  2. Mix your mortar according to the manufacturer’s label instructions. Make only enough to work for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Usually, mortar is mixed at a ratio of 2 parts sand to 1 part cement. Water is added until you achieve a paste like consistency.
  3. Pour the mortar into a mortar bag. Place the nozzle of the mortar bag into the cleaned out joints, and squeeze to push the mortar through the nozzle to fill the joint.
  4. Scrape the excess mortar from the chimney using a trowel, and shape it so it matches the adjacent joints.
  5. Allow the mortar to dry for about an hour. Wipe the excess mortar from the surrounding brick with a damp sponge.

Tip

  • An old frosting bag can be used instead of a mortar bag.

Removing Paint Rust From a Car

A rust stain on your car can be detrimental to its appearance and cause great damage. What began as an aesthetic question can be turned into a structural one. Over time, rust can eat through paint and metal, causing parts of the vehicle’s body to fall apart. Irregular spots remain abandoned, posing a safety risk and threatening the structural integrity of the vehicle. Rust damage can also make a car difficult to sell.

  1. Use an electric hand grinder with a 150 grit sanding wheel to remove rust from your car. This will level the rusted area with the surrounding surface.
  2. Remove the 150 grit sanding wheel from the electric hand grinder and attach a metal grinding wheel. Slowly apply the metal grinding wheel to the rusted area to remove rust from your car. This process should also eliminate dents and bumps in the area. Turn off the sander and clean the area with a clean cloth.
  3. Use a piece of 150 grit sandpaper to sand the surface with your hand. Continue sanding until the previously oxidized surface is completely smooth. When you have finished sanding you should be able to close your eyes, run your fingers over the sanded area and not feel any difference between it and the rest of your car.
  4. Repair of remaining dents or imperfections with putty for car bodies, which can be purchased at any auto parts store. Allow the putty to dry overnight and sand with 150 grit sandpaper until it is soft to the touch and flush with the surrounding surface.
  5. Frame the outside area that you’ll be painting with blue painter’s tape. Apply a thin layer of car paint primer on the affected area. You can buy primer paint at most auto parts stores. Allow the first coat to dry for 10-15 minutes. Apply three thinner layers of primer paint. Allow the primer to dry overnight.
  6. Apply three thin coats of automotive paint in the same manner as the first. Remove the tape and allow the paint to dry completely overnight.
  7. Wax the area you have just painted to protect it from future oxidation damage.

How to Organize a Pantry

Organization is an important aspect of food storage. Maintaining an orderly storage area will give you easy access to food and make it easier to see what is available in a short time. It is easy to see what needs to be replaced and there is less waste when the area is kept organized. Another reason to get organized is to save money on food. By knowing how much of each item is available you can determine how much of each is needed. Being able to see how much storage space is available will let you know if it is possible to store more items that are on sale.

Instructions

  1. Put like items together. Place cereal, oatmeal and other breakfast items on a shelf. The pasta and pizza things with sauces on another. Arrange fruits and vegetables on their own shelves. Putting condiments on a shelf only will make things easier.
  2. Group together items of the same size of each shelf, but be careful to keep different foods separate.
  3. A blackboard hanging on a wall near the pantry. Take inventory in a grid using a permanent marker. Enter the list of foods with the same pen. Keep an erasable marker and an eraser.
  4. Draw a line for each stored item. Erasable marker used for this purpose. Draw a line over an item every time you use an item and add a line each time you add an item to the pantry.
  5. Use small containers for different products to carry, like ketchup and mustard. Use these products when making lunches for picnics and other activities.
  6. Use baskets or other containers to store small items that are not easily stored on the shelves. The spices can be stored in this way, also envelopes of beverages and sauce mixes.
  7. Use another container for teas. They can get out of control if not monitored. Coffee pods can be placed in another container. Use containers with lids for these products and to help preserve freshness.

Tips & Warnings

  • Line the shelves of the cupboard with paper for easy cleaning.
  • Put a couple of bay leaves on each shelf and one in each basket or other container. This will help prevent insect from getting in the food.
  • An additional basket for items to take as napkins and plastic cutlery sets can be helpful.

Applying Epoxy Paint to a Garage Floor

Epoxy paint can transform an old and tired garage floor into a showroom. Epoxy paint is a bit harder to apply than normal household paints. However, with proper preparation, you can get an excellent result from your DIY efforts. Learning how to apply epoxy paint will help get you on your way to great appearance and well-designed garage floor.

Instructions

  1. Tape a piece of plastic to your concrete floor with tape. Let the plastic stand for 24 hours. After waiting the allotted time, remove the plastic from the floor and check for moisture. If the floor looks darker or humidity is evident, do not apply epoxy paint to your floor. Moisture will ruin the paint job over time.
  2. Clean oil stains and grease spills from the ground. Use a degreaser, such as dish soap, and a brush to remove stains as much as possible. Clean the rest of the floor with an electric scrubber. To do this, first wet the floor and pour a small amount of degreaser on it. Run the electric scrubber on the floor until it is clean. Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove excess water and soap. Rinse the floor with water and repeat. Let the floor dry for 24 to 48 hours.
  3. Etch the ground with acid. Spread a solution of 12 ounces of muriatic acid and 1 gallon of water in the soil. Add the acid to the water in a bucket. Use a respirator to protect yourself from fumes. Use a power washer or hand wash to scrub the acid solution on the floor. Rub each area for about 10 minutes. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing, including safety glasses, gloves and closed shoes because the acid can be harmful to the eyes and skin. Rinse the floor twice with water and let it dry overnight.
  4. Mix the epoxy resin according to the instructions on the package. Spread the epoxy paint on the floor with a brush and a foam paint roller. Again, it is important to use proper safety equipment, including a respirator and gloves. Paint the entire floor with epoxy paint. Spread colored flakes over damp paint. Wait for the paint to dry overnight.
  5. Mix and spread the clear top coat over the top of the epoxy paint with a brush roller and paint. Wait for the top coat to dry for a day or two before use.