Interior – CheckThisHouse https://www.checkthishouse.com Home maintenance, remodeling, repair, and improvement tips for your property Sat, 26 Sep 2020 19:25:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.15 Renovating a Home: 5 Important Things You Should Consider https://www.checkthishouse.com/9482/renovating-a-home-5-important-things-you-should-consider.html Sat, 26 Sep 2020 12:16:09 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9482 It doesn’t matter if you are renovating your kitchen, bathroom, dining room, or the living room – home renovating is a pretty stressful and huge project that requires a lot of attention and research from your side. Before you decide to dive right into it, there are a lot of things you need to know ... Read more]]>

It doesn’t matter if you are renovating your kitchen, bathroom, dining room, or the living room – home renovating is a pretty stressful and huge project that requires a lot of attention and research from your side.

Before you decide to dive right into it, there are a lot of things you need to know so that you don’t make things harder than they need to be.

Renovating a condo or any other interior design project requires a little bit of creativity from your side and good organizational skills.

Here are five things that you must know if you want to carry out your condo renovation project with the utmost efficiency:

1. Have a Clear Idea about Your Budget

The very first thing that you have to keep in mind is that you need to set clear guidelines when it comes to your budget.

So, before you start doing your research about the details of the project, you should set a budget for yourself that you should stick with.

Remember that your budget should not be too strict as home renovation projects can get out of hand pretty fast.

Be a little flexible with your budget as it is always better to go for quality rather than doing renovations again and again.

2. Figure Out Your Limits

The next thing you need to do is to be a little realistic with your project. Some people try to do lots of things at one time and end up doing nothing.

After you set your budget, you should devise some project limitations to stay within.

Even though you may want to decorate the house of your dreams, there are some dreams that are hard to convert into reality.

Always try to be in line with your budget and leave some changes for the future.

3. Focus on Building up Instead of Tearing Down

Another thing that you have to take into consideration is that home renovation projects are a lot different than home rebuilding.

The best way to open up space and get the most out of it is to build it up rather than to tear it all down.

If you are not satisfied with how your condo looks instead of doing a complete overhaul, you can try some solutions like condo balcony flooring as they will give your condo a whole new look without having to make a lot of changes to the structure of the room.

4. Choose a Good Contractor to Work With

Now while you may be good with ideas and creativity, you are going to need some help when it comes to the realization of the project.

In order to translate your ideas into reality, you have to hire good contractors that are able to meet your needs.

The contractor will deal with all the hard tasks such as getting the material for your project, planning the functional details, arrival, and use of materials, and completing your project in time.

5. Choose To Stay Somewhere During the Project

After you have decided on a contractor and handed over the project to him, you need to think of your own safety.

If you are living alone, it is better to stay within the condo and overlook the project yourself.

However, if you have kids in your home who need to be attended, it is better that you shift elsewhere for the time being as there will be a lot of noise and dust in your home, that will destroy your peace.

Essentially, it might also be a good change of scenery for yourself, and you can enjoy a little vacation.

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5 Benefits for Having Cellular Blackout Shades and Blinds https://www.checkthishouse.com/9467/5-benefits-for-having-cellular-blackout-shades-and-blinds.html Wed, 23 Sep 2020 12:56:32 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9467 With the increasing temperature of sunny days, everyone wishes to darken their rooms with the best cellular blackout shades. The early sun causes the rays to seep in through our bedroom windows at near 6:00 am every morning while the sun sets later in the evenings. Long bright days are lovely; however, these can also ... Read more]]>

With the increasing temperature of sunny days, everyone wishes to darken their rooms with the best cellular blackout shades.

The early sun causes the rays to seep in through our bedroom windows at near 6:00 am every morning while the sun sets later in the evenings.

Long bright days are lovely; however, these can also disturb our sleeping schedule.

Read on to learn about some benefits of having cellular blackout shades and blinds:

1. Best Protection Against UV Rays

Prolonged exposure to the UV rays is harmful not only for our skin but also for our furniture, floors, and artwork.

Prolonged exposure can cause wallpapers and pictures to fade away. Over time it can also damage your soft furnishings and vinyl floors.

You can find a variety of cellular blackout shades online and at your local stores that provide good protection against the damaging UV rays.

Taking good care of your bedroom décor, walls, and the bottom is essential.

This is why many people opt for getting the best darkening shades that serve a two-fold purpose: protecting the furniture and darkening their room.

2. Enhances Privacy

You can choose between various styles and fabrics of blackout shades. Not only will you reduce light but also enjoy the outside view with opting for a top-down or bottom-up styled blackout shades.

More importantly, darkening shades help with maintaining one’s privacy as well.

It doesn’t matter whether you opt for a bottom-up style or a top-down style, the natural sunlight will be blocked, your privacy will be kept intact, and, still, you can admire the view.

3. Darkens the Room

Cellular blackout shades will assist in maintaining darkness in media rooms, bedrooms, and guest bedrooms.

Blackout shades ensure a better night sleep for you and your family. There are other places in your home that require light control, such as your media room.

For instance, your TV screen and computer monitor must be protected from light glare.

The perfect cellular blackout shades provide flexible light control.

4. Adds Vibrancy

Depending on your room décor, you will have a variety of blackout shades to choose from. From extraordinarily sophisticated and elegant windows décor to minimalist décor, there is a variety of style and function combinations to treat your windows.

The best blackout shades will have a transformative impact on your bedroom space with an addition of vibrancy.

The color choice of cellular blackout shades ranges from subtle muted tones vibrant bright colors.

The fabric of shades is as important as its color and style. For instance, if you opt for shades with opaque or semi-opaque fabrics, sunlight can be blocked entirely.

On the contrary, sheer fabric has a mere softening impact. The best cellular blackout shades are made explicitly to block light and sun rays to the maximum.

They are designed specifically to minimize rout holes and light gaps.

5. Stay on Trend!

Cellular blackout shades stay in trend. Their style, shape, and texture maintain the look of freshness without getting confined to a particular era.

This appealing side of cellular blackout shades makes them suitable for all kinds of environment, be it urban or rural.

You might be looking for the best cellular blackout shades for your office, living area, or bedroom; you will never run out of choices.

Cellular blackout shades are designed in such a way that they perfectly blend into any environment, be it modern or even a country farmhouse.

The absence of harsh outlines in their design is beneficial in blending in with sleek interiors by exhibiting a warm and comforting touch.

If you are looking for ways to update your old home, an upgrade to your windows décor might just be what you need.

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How To Design Your Bedroom For Better Sleep Quality https://www.checkthishouse.com/9462/how-to-design-your-bedroom-for-better-sleep-quality.html Wed, 23 Sep 2020 12:29:41 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9462 You spend a significant amount of your life sleeping. Sleep is as important as the food you eat and your level of physical activity. Getting enough sleep fuels your body and maintains the proper function of your bodily processes. This is why the bedroom is one of the most important places in your home. You ... Read more]]>

You spend a significant amount of your life sleeping. Sleep is as important as the food you eat and your level of physical activity.

Getting enough sleep fuels your body and maintains the proper function of your bodily processes.

This is why the bedroom is one of the most important places in your home. You may not know it, but many things in your bedroom can cause insomnia.

If you have a problem sleeping, you need to evaluate your bedroom design and check if it’s a conducive place to rest.

There are many things you need to consider when designing your bedroom to make sure that you get good quality sleep.

Aside from placing comfortable furniture, you also need to consider wall colors, windows, and lighting.

Here are some tips to help you design your bedroom to make it more conducive for sleeping:

1. Choose The Right Bedding and Mattress

Choosing the right mattress and fabrics for your bedding is critical in getting a good night’s sleep.

If you want to sleep like you are in a five-star hotel, you should try a high-quality mattress like a Saatva mattress.  Like most hotel-quality mattresses, these mattresses are sturdy enough on edge, and you won’t feel yourself sinking too much.

Your mattress should have this characteristic so it can provide you with enough back and neck support and keep you comfortable when you sleep.

You should also choose bedding fabrics that are soft to your skin and doesn’t cause an allergic reaction.

Choose fabrics that absorb excess moisture so you won’t feel too hot or cold on the bed. It’s recommended to choose fabrics made from cotton, silk, wool, linen and bamboo.

2. Don’t Make Space For Electronics

If you want to have a good night’s rest, make sure that you get rid of electronics in your bedroom, and that includes television.

Watching TV in the bedroom keeps your mind stimulated, and the light from the screen prevents your body from regulating sleep properly. Don’t include a TV stand in your bedroom design or don’t mount it on the wall.

Aside from television, it’s best to remove other electronic devices like computers or laptops.

When designing your bedroom, it’s best not to place the power source beside your bed to prevent the temptation of charging the devices while using them on your bed.

3. Make Sure It Has Proper Ventilation

Many people have a hard time sleeping during the humid summer nights or the cold winter season.

Whatever the season may be, make sure your bedroom has proper ventilation so you won’t wake up feeling too hot or cold in the middle of the night.

The optimal temperature to give you good quality rest is between 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you’re renovating for the summer season, make sure you add an electric ceiling fan to keep you cool in the summer heat.

When preparing your room for the cold season, make sure you check your windows for leaks so that cold air won’t come inside.

Checking your heating and cooling system is also critical to ensure your room will have proper ventilation.

4. Place Your Bed In The Right Position

Make sure that your bed is placed in the right position.

It’s recommended to place your bed away from the door or window, so you won’t instantly feel the light coming in to bother you in the morning.

Also make sure that you have an unobstructed path to your bed. This is to make sure that you won’t trip and fall in case you need to get up in the middle of the night.

5. Choose Calming Colors

It may be tempting to choose a vibrant color for your bedroom walls; however, the wall color can also affect your sleep quality and the overall feel of the room.

Neutral colors like greys, beiges, and whites are recommended for bedrooms.

If you want to add more color to your space, choose pastel colors to create a calming effect.

Is this still too dull and boring for you? Add a pop of vibrant color through your pillows, beddings, and other décor items.

6. Regulate Lighting

Sleeping in a dark room helps your brain prepare your body to sleep.

If you’re not comfortable sleeping completely in the dark, you should use ambient lighting or install dimmer switches so you can control the brightness of your bulbs.

If you sleep during the day, get some room-darkening blinds or drapes to make your room completely dark and fool your brain to induce sleep.

Summary

To create a relaxing and comfortable sleeping space, consider the spaces in your bedroom.

Make sure you place your bed in the right spot and avoid putting spaces for electronic devices like televisions, laptops, and computers.

Make sure you use the right colors and lighting to help your body calm down when you stay in the bedroom.

Getting proper sleep is essential to keep you healthy. Since you’re going to spend a lot of time in your bedroom sleeping, create a design that allows for a good night’s rest.

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How To Reduce Echo and Stop Sound Travelling in Your Home https://www.checkthishouse.com/9447/how-to-reduce-echo-and-stop-sound-travelling-in-your-home.html Thu, 17 Sep 2020 12:43:39 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9447 Do high ceilings and hardwood floors in your home make you feel like you’re living in an echo chamber? Echoes and travelling sounds don’t make for a relaxing space. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce noise in your home without undergoing any construction. Let’s look at what causes echoes and how you can combat them ... Read more]]>

Do high ceilings and hardwood floors in your home make you feel like you’re living in an echo chamber?

Echoes and travelling sounds don’t make for a relaxing space.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce noise in your home without undergoing any construction.

Let’s look at what causes echoes and how you can combat them with 4 simple tips:

How Does Sound Travel Through Your Home?

Echoes are sound waves that bounce off of the surfaces in a room. When there’s nothing to absorb these travelling sound waves, they produce echoes.

Hard, smooth surfaces like wood floors, walls, and glass have nowhere for the sound to go, so sound waves are reflected rather than absorbed.

High ceilings are also culprits for echoing because sounds travel further to reach their destination, thus creating more reverberations.

The best way to cut down on echoes is by adding softer materials to a room – giving the sound somewhere to go.

Area rugs, upholstered furniture, canvas wall hangings and similar items will help decrease echoes in a room.

If the sound waves have somewhere to land, they can’t travel throughout your house.

Adding softer materials is the most straightforward way to reduce echoes but other solutions, like hanging soundproof curtains and installing wall panels, can also lower the noise level.

1. Add Furnishings

The more furniture you put in a room, the less echo there will be. Instead of moving freely about the space, sound waves are stopped by sofas, chairs, ottomans, or coffee tables.

Furnishings work even better to reduce echo when they’re upholstered in the right fabrics, too. A slick, leather sofa won’t catch as much sound as a fabric made from polyester or nylon.

If you’re shopping specifically for noise-reducing furniture, then keep the fabric type in mind.

Putting up artwork like canvas prints on the walls can also decrease echoes. Sound waves that would normally bounce off the wall are caught by the canvas instead.

Adding pillows and blankets to your furniture also helps with travelling sound.

Relying on furniture and décor is one of the simplest ways to prevent echoes in your home. Not to mention, it gives you a chance to add some style to your interiors!

2. Hang Noise-Reducing Curtains

If you don’t want to buy more furniture, another way to keep noise to a minimum is with soundproof curtains. Regular curtains can help combat echoes, but soundproofing curtains go one step further.

They’re created with dense, soundproofing fabrics that help deaden noise. They also come in a variety of colours and styles to easily fit with your existing design aesthetic.

When selecting noise reduction curtains, ensure the fabric has been tested for soundproofing and choose a material that’s likely to absorb more sound.

To make the most of soundproof curtains, you should hang them from floor to ceiling, instead of from the top of the window.

Consider also doubling the number of panels you need, to provide more density.

With dense, full-length, noise reduction curtains, you can diminish echoes travelling in your house or flat.

3. Install Wall Panels

If you need something more effective than furniture or soundproof curtains, then you might consider fabric or foam wall panels.

These types of panels are used in commercial spaces like theaters and recording studios to reduce noise and enhance acoustics.

For those with home theaters or who need soundproof space to play music, wall panels are a practical and inexpensive choice.

Fabric wall panels are constructed from soundproofing materials and then covered with fabric. Take care to choose panels with fabrics that actually absorb sound.

Foam panels come in different thicknesses and can help seal in more sound than fabric panels. Foam is less visually appealing than fabric, however.

4. Acoustic Wood Wall Panels

For the best noise reduction solution – cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing, and echo diminishing – consider acoustic wood wall panels.

These panels combine the best features of wood wall cladding and sound-deadening wall panels. They reduce noise like fabric or foam panels, but they’re much more attractive.

Panels like these make a great feature wall in any bathroom, kitchen, or living room.

With a wood slat design, this type of acoustic panel isn’t only suited for TV rooms or rooms with recording equipment. Acoustic wood wall panels can go in kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, bedrooms, offices, or any interior space.

They’re also easy to install. There are two methods: for a better soundproofing quality, you should use batons.

For more decorative purposes, you can simply screw the felt backing into the wall directly.

Timber wall panels with acoustic properties are an ideal, design-minded solution for echo reduction in your home.

Final Thoughts on Reducing Echo

Echoes and noise pollution can make your home feel less comfortable.

With simple solutions like adding furnishings, hanging soundproof curtains, or installing acoustic wall panels, you can reduce the sounds that travel through your home.

And if you want both a stylish and cost-effective soundproofing system, acoustic wood slat wall panels are your best choice.

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Home Maintenance Tips: How To Keep Every Inch Of The House Clean https://www.checkthishouse.com/9442/home-maintenance-tips-how-to-keep-every-inch-of-the-house-clean.html Wed, 16 Sep 2020 14:39:14 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9442   Life just seems to get busier and busier by the day. Between work, family, and home life, most people feel like they barely even have time for themselves. If you work a full-time job and have your own family, your life might seem like an endless cycle. You start the week off by going ... Read more]]>

 

Life just seems to get busier and busier by the day. Between work, family, and home life, most people feel like they barely even have time for themselves.

If you work a full-time job and have your own family, your life might seem like an endless cycle.

You start the week off by going to work, and when you get home, you cook, clean, then wake up and do it all over again.

You try to do your best, but by Wednesday, most people are exhausted and ready for the weekend. The house just seems to get messier and grow out of control as the week goes on.

Your laundry pile keeps getting higher and higher and the house seems like it’s getting less organized by the day.

Keeping your house squeaky clean might seem impossible, especially with a busy schedule and kids—but it’s entirely possible.

There are several things you can do that will make cleaning your house easier:

Tips On How To Keep Every Inch Of Your House Clean

1. Start Your Day Off By Making Your Bed

Making your bed as soon as your alarm goes off will ensure you start your day off the right way.

This will also set your brain into gear and make it harder for you to crawl back into bed, thereby motivating you to get more stuff done before having to leave the house for the day.

2. Dust Off Your Furniture As You Get Ready For The Day

Keep multi-surface wipes close to your bed and use them to wipe off your furniture as you get ready for the day.

This will keep dust from building up automatically, giving your house a cleaner look and shine.

This will also take one thing off your to-do list for the weekend, which means more time for yourself and your family.

3. Presort Your Laundry

Something that will save you tons of time is buying everyone in your family their own laundry basket so they can sort out their dirty clothes easily during laundry day.

If you want to be even more time-efficient, get everyone in your house two small laundry baskets so they can use one for whites and one for colored clothing.

4. Make Your Own Disinfectant

Another thing you can do to make cleaning easier is to make your own disinfectant at home. You can do this by mixing one cup of alcohol with half a cup of water.

This will help keep eating areas and other traffic-heavy rooms germ-free.

Especially since there’s a pandemic, having rubbing alcohol close by is crucial in disinfecting yourself as well as some belongings so be sure you know where to buy isopropyl alcohol.

5. Clean Your Closet As You Get Dressed For The Day

We’re all guilty of having an over-cluttered closet that’s full of clothes, shoes, and other accessories you likely no longer need.

Some people clean their closets out once or twice a year, but that task can be time-consuming and energy-draining.

The smart thing to do is clean your closet as you get dressed in the mornings.

If you come across something that’s no longer in good shape or if it doesn’t fit right, throw it in a bag and sort through them at the end of the month, getting rid of anything that no longer works and donating the rest.

6. Clean Your Bathroom After Every Use

One way to keep your house from getting too messy (or smelly) is by cleaning your bathroom regularly.

This will not only keep your bathroom looking great, but it will prevent unpleasant odors from building up and spreading throughout your house.

One way you can do this is by adding cleaning your bathroom to your nightly routine. You don’t have to do a deep clean, but wiping down the counters and cleaning the toilet every night is a good idea.

7. Clean As You Cook

If you love to cook, you probably don’t feel the same about cleaning up afterwards.

One way you can avoid the dreaded after-dinner cleanup (and a pile of dirty dishes) is by cleaning as you cook.

If you give the dishes a quick wash after you use them, you’ll get done for the evening faster, and you won’t have a pile of dirty dishes in your kitchen sink.

8. If You Have A Big Family, Do Laundry Regularly

Laundry day can take hours to get through. Washing clothes is enough work but, afterward, you still have to fold them.

If your family is big enough, this task alone might even take you the whole day.

One way you can avoid the dreaded laundry day is by putting a load of dirty laundry into the washer every day as soon as you get home.

That way, your laundry doesn’t pile up and you won’t have to dedicate a whole day to just washing and folding clothes.

9. Don’t Put Off Folding Your Laundry

When doing the laundry, washing is the easy part. The real work comes when it’s time to fold them. It can be easy to put off folding laundry all day—sometimes even all week—but a pile of laundry can be an eyesore and make your house seem messy.

Putting a folding table in your laundry room and forcing yourself to fold the laundry before leaving the laundry room is a good way to keep your laundry from piling up.

This is a good chore to do until right before you finish off your day. That way your mind has time to relax and get ready for bed.

Conclusion

Keeping your house in tip-top shape can be a difficult task when you work full time and have to manage a household.

Fortunately, there are a few tips that you can implement in your everyday routine to help you keep your house squeaky clean.

This will not only save you time but it can also make your day go by easier, and give you more time to enjoy yourself and your family.

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It’s Time to Renovate: Here’s 4 Tips for You To Consider https://www.checkthishouse.com/9435/its-time-to-renovate-heres-4-tips-for-you-to-consider.html Tue, 15 Sep 2020 11:55:52 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9435 When you are thinking of changing the look of your home, one of the things that you should consider doing is carrying out a home renovation. The list of possibilities that come with a home renovation are endless so it can be quite easy to get carried away. To keep you on track when renovating ... Read more]]>

When you are thinking of changing the look of your home, one of the things that you should consider doing is carrying out a home renovation.

The list of possibilities that come with a home renovation are endless so it can be quite easy to get carried away.

To keep you on track when renovating your home, we are going to discuss some tips for you to consider – keep reading to find out more:

1. Look for Inspiration

One of the things that you should consider first when it comes to carrying out a home renovation is to make sure you have a look for some inspiration.

As you can imagine, there are a lot of different options to consider when renovating and you might find it hard to decide what look you want to achieve.

However, if you have a look for inspiration, you will be able to find some remodelling and renovation ideas that you would want to try out and incorporate into your home. This way, you’ll know what is on trend and what isn’t.

2. Set a Realistic Budget

When it comes to carrying out a home renovation, you should make sure that you set a realistic budget.

Yes, you might want to make a lot of changes and have a lot of ideas but, these will also come at a cost.

Not only will you have to pay for the renovation to take place but, you will also need to consider the costs for adding new decorations and finishing touches as well as considering storage for your items while your renovations are taking place.

If you are looking to put your items into storage during your renovations, you should look for affordable options to save you money.

3. Put a Plan in Action

Now that you have decided what you want to achieve with your renovation, you should try to put a plan into action.

When you put a plan into action, you will be able to decide what you want to be done first, work out how long it will take and much more.

This way you can work your home around your daily life without it getting in the way of anything or cause you any inconvenience.

It will then allow you to work out when you can decorate and add all your finishing touches to complete your renovation.

4. Hire Professionals

As you are looking to get your renovation started, you will want to make sure it is carried out right the first time round and, in order to do this, you will need to hire professionals.

Yes, it can be more expensive to hire professionals to carry out your renovation but, it will be worth it when you have a new home to look at with a high-quality finish.

With professionals, you can expect little to no errors or problems but, if you hire non-professionals you could run into problems that could cost you even more money to replenish and correct.

Keep These Tips in Mind

There are a lot of things to keep in mind when you are carrying out a home renovation. From setting budgets to keeping ideas in mind to considering storage, there is a lot to be done.

Make sure to take our tips on board!

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Bed Bug Anxiety: Dealing with Home Environment Intruders https://www.checkthishouse.com/9429/bed-bug-anxiety-dealing-with-home-environment-intruders.html Fri, 11 Sep 2020 13:05:37 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9429   Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that get their name from the fact that they often live in beds (mattresses, to be precise) and feed on human blood when people are asleep. It’s safe to say that nobody wants them in their home. Unfortunately, the spread of bed bugs can occur easily because they ... Read more]]>

 

Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that get their name from the fact that they often live in beds (mattresses, to be precise) and feed on human blood when people are asleep.

It’s safe to say that nobody wants them in their home. Unfortunately, the spread of bed bugs can occur easily because they travel a lot on suitcases, clothes, linens, animals, and people.

So no matter your location, New York, Madison, Fargo, or Las Vegas, pest control is better to be called, even if you’re not sure what you’re dealing with.

There’s no need to panic because bed bugs don’t carry any diseases that could be dangerous to our lives or health, but their presence can still be repulsive and their bites irritating and painful.

What’s more, not many people realize what kind of impact bed bugs infestation can have on our mental health.

The Attack on Privacy

Bed bugs attack you in bed when you’re asleep in your cozy bedroom. It’s the place and time when you should feel absolutely safe to be able to get proper rest, the place of relaxation, and intimacy.

In your own bed, more than in any other place in the world, you want your privacy to be respected.

Bed bugs deprive you of that feeling. People who deal with the problem can’t sleep because of the bites and the constant thought that they share their bed with intruders. It leads to chronic stress and sleep deprivation.

But not only those struggling with an infestation may suffer because of bed bugs. There are people who still stress, because they dealt with them in the past, or who know someone who did.

For others, it may be enough to read an article or hear something by accident to dive into obsessive behaviors.

Then, they will spend their days and nights looking for bugs in their beds and claiming all other insects to be them.

The Consequences of Bed Bug Anxiety

Living through a bed bugs infestation can be a life-changing, haunting experience.

According to a study conducted by medical entomologist Jerome Goddard at Mississippi State University, people who went through a battle with these insects very often show similar symptoms to those who have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), including the most severe ones, such as hyper-vigilance, paranoia, obsessive thoughts, and depression.

None of them could actually be diagnosed based on this study alone, but certainly, many of them were in need of psychological help.

There was also a questionnaire concerning bed bugs sent to seven major cities in the USA answered by almost 500 people. Among them, 29% suffered from insomnia, 22% from emotional distress, and 20% from anxiety.

It’s important to note that researchers don’t know what was the state of these people’s mental health before the infestation, but bed bugs can certainly be a huge, disturbing stressor.

Bed Bugs are Hard to Forget

People who deal with bed bugs very often become more sensitive than before. They need to learn how to sleep calmly all over again.

Their bed, a place associated with safety, comfort, and relaxation, becomes something to be anxious about.

Every movement or a feeling on your skin feels like a bug; each spot discovered on your body looks like a bed bug bite.

These people tend to search their beds each night, or even several times a night, and every suspicion that the bugs may be back can lead to throwing everything away, calling pest control services, or trying to get rid of them on the spot.

Maintaining good air quality is important, it gives the impression of freshness.

The List of Problems Goes On

Many renters don’t receive help from their landlords, or it takes too much time to receive it.

Pest control services are the most effective solution for these situations, but not everyone can afford it, so they try managing it on their own, too often unsuccessfully.

So if someone rents an apartment and does everything to make ends meet, it may be hard for them to deal with the problem without any help.

Then, there’s also a feeling of isolation. Despite the scale and the randomness of the problem, many people still associate bed bugs with dirt, uncleanliness.

Victims of the infestation don’t want to share it with everyone, although it’s rarely their fault.

Don’t Suffer in the Shadows

Experts are far from concluding that bed bugs alone can lead to mental health issues, but they have no doubts that the infestation may be a stressor or a trigger.

The most important thing is not to stay silent.

Speak up. Ask for help, or even demand it if you think you’re entitled to it (like in the case of renters and landlords).

And then, if you feel down, stressed, anxious, paranoic, don’t be afraid to seek advice.

Every reason that bothers you is a reason good enough to contact a mental health specialist.

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5 Things to Consider in Your Kitchen Renovation https://www.checkthishouse.com/9424/5-things-to-consider-in-your-kitchen-renovation.html Fri, 11 Sep 2020 12:57:03 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9424 Kitchen remodeling is a huge undertaking that many of us dream about. After all, this is one of the most significant interiors at our home, as it is the place where we prepare meals and have them with our beloved ones. When you finally decide to change its design, you need to plan the whole ... Read more]]>

Kitchen remodeling is a huge undertaking that many of us dream about. After all, this is one of the most significant interiors at our home, as it is the place where we prepare meals and have them with our beloved ones.

When you finally decide to change its design, you need to plan the whole work thoroughly.

Take into account the space you are dealing with, and think if you want to expand it. Consider the workability of the layout you have now, and the estimated cost of the whole remodeling.

Don’t forget that such an endeavor often gets out of control if the ground rules are not established tightly from the very beginning.

In order to help you to prepare for your kitchen renovation better, we have come up with some amazingly useful tips. Check them out!

1. Choose the Proper Lighting

A kitchen without proper lighting will neither be useful nor esthetically pleasing. Different types of it need to be used for particular purposes, for example:

  • Downlights. Installing them all over the open space will provide the interior with atmospheric ambient light. Also, remember that safety is crucial. That’s why you should always select a model resistant to fire.
  • Pendants/Ceiling Fixtures. So as to make work zones (like a peninsula, an island, or a sink) brighter, mount some decorative pendants that will produce diffuse light without any shadows.
  • Under-Cabinets Lighting. With task lighting under the cabinets, it will be easier to do all the kitchen tasks that require precision and can be dangerous if not done carefully.

2. Plan Wide Walkways

Your kitchen certainly must be convenient to use, so plan your paths so that you could use them easily.

At least two people should be able to pass each other there, so make sure their width is 36 inches or more.

Moreover, in the cooking zones, they should be even wider. If there is usually one person preparing meals, 42 inches should be enough, but if there are two, then you should go for 48 inches.

Also, adapt the peninsulas and islands accordingly.

3. Select the Color Scheme

The color scheme is one of the most significant aspects of the kitchen renovation. Neutral colors are usually the best choice, especially if you plan to sell your property soon after the remodeling.

Light-colored (especially white) kitchens are highly popular nowadays, as they look clean and bright and follow the present interior design trends.

However, if the renovation takes place just for your comfort, not for selling, you do not have to follow any trends but just arrange it in accordance with your personal preferences.

You can choose Italian or Scandinavian style, or any other that suits you!

4. Buy High-Quality Appliances

Keep in mind that the choice of kitchen appliances will hugely affect your comfort while working in the kitchen.

For this reason, you should really choose them wisely.

Take your time to read some reliable reviews online, and do not always go for the cheapest options. If you are on a tight budget, look for some special offers, or buy a second-hand appliance that still looks well, but do not go for low-quality products.

Remember that you will use a sink, oven, fridge, etc. on a daily basis and, if they work poorly, it will be very frustrating for you.

Also, they may break very quickly, and you will have to spend more money anyway.

5. Consider Getting Professional Help

Some people may not have such a precise vision about their home – they have some ideas in mind, but they are not sure which design would be best for them.

If that is your case, make sure to get some professional help. Search for a recommended interior decorator and explain to them what you want your kitchen to look like.

They will help you choose the right cabinets, lighting, appliances, and even plan out the best layout.

An experienced decorator knows how much space is necessary between particular elements to make them look fantastic and convenient to use.

Summary

If you are planning to sell your property or if you are just fed up with its present appearance, it is an excellent idea to remodel your kitchen.

To come up with a perfect design for you, you can get some professional assistance or just search for inspiration on the internet.

As exciting as it can appear, you should keep it well-organized and carefully plan all the steps, and limit your budget, adjusting it to your financial capabilities.

Your renovation project should cover all the crucial elements of the kitchen, including the color scheme, lighting, appliances, and more. Good luck!

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5 Strategies to Increase Your Home Value Before Selling with the Best ROI https://www.checkthishouse.com/9411/5-strategies-to-increase-your-home-value-before-selling-with-the-best-roi.html Sat, 05 Sep 2020 12:29:23 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9411 If you’re a lucky homeowner, you know that besides the sentimental value your home has to you, it’s also a massive piece of investment. That’s why, in case you’ve been thinking about selling it, you should prepare for it well. Many factors can influence your home value, and to keep it high, it’s best to ... Read more]]>

If you’re a lucky homeowner, you know that besides the sentimental value your home has to you, it’s also a massive piece of investment.

That’s why, in case you’ve been thinking about selling it, you should prepare for it well.

Many factors can influence your home value, and to keep it high, it’s best to keep your home in the best condition possible throughout the entire time you own it.

However, life happens, and sometimes we get so caught up with our current affairs that we forget to do all the repairs.

So, if you want to sell your home but you’re not satisfied with its current market value, there are some things you can do to change that.

In this article, you’ll find 5 different strategies that can help you increase your home value and give you the best chances for return on investment.

Replace Your Old Garage Door

This one is more of a professional project, but it’s definitely worth it. According to the experts from A1 Garage, it has the potential to recoup around 97.5% of the costs in terms of return on investment.

After all, garage doors are one of the weakest links when it comes to home security. Repair or replace them, remodel your garage inside, and the value of your home will go up.

To make things easier, consider hiring a professional to do the work for you.

Choose a secure garage door type and, to make it more esthetically pleasing, match the design and color to that of your home’s doors and windows. When it comes to materials, pick insulated models, preferably made of steel, as they’re the most durable and sturdy.

Paint the Walls

There’s no better way to refresh the look of your interiors and exteriors than painting the walls. A good rule of thumb would be to go for neutral colors, as they’re universally appealing.

Even if someone wants something from the bold color spectrum, they can do as their heart desires once they finalize their purchase and start renovating.

As for the exterior, it’s obvious that dirty, dilapidated surfaces will act as a deterrent. Your home should look good both on the inside and on the outside. If you’re unsure if you should give your home exterior a little makeover, ask your real estate agent for advice.

Sometimes a small color retouch will be enough to boost your property value!

Replace the Floors

One of the first things a buyer will notice while entering your home is the flooring. An old, dirty carpet, laminates, or an unkempt hardwood floor will immediately ruin their first impression.

Keep in mind that while hardwood floors are extremely sought for in a home, a stylish, high-quality carpet can be of great value as well.

However, if other homes in your neighborhood go at a good price and have hardwood floors, you may want to consider following suit.

You’ll be surprised how much you can increase your home value just by upgrading your flooring.

Remodel Your Kitchen and Bathroom

One of the most effective ways to increase your home value fast is to do a little makeover in your kitchen and bathroom. These rooms will quickly show any signs of wear and tear, and that’s not going to sit well with potential buyers.

You don’t need to do a full bathroom or kitchen remodel to sell your house.

First, clean these rooms thoroughly and make sure there’s no mold or stains. They should smell fresh and look neat.

However, you may want to consider replacing the fixtures if they’re outdated.

Clean and Declutter

It’s surprising how many things we manage to accumulate over the years. Sometimes we’re not even trying, and yet when someone comes into the house, they can feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of things.

If you’re trying to sell your home, buyers will definitely be discouraged upon seeing all the clutter and unkempt interiors.

Before you show your house to the prospective buyers, make sure it’s squeaky clean. Take care of all the prominent, visible spaces, but don’t forget about the tricky spots and hidden corners.

Try to make your home look more spacious by getting rid of unnecessary items; if you can, get storage space, sell, and pack them away.

It’s the best way to make the buyers feel like they’re looking at a place they can potentially call their own.

The Bottom Line

If you want to sell your home and increase its value, these ideas can help you achieve it.

Some of them require more time and effort, but you’ll ultimately see it was all worth it.

If you feel like this list is too overwhelming, start from the most manageable tasks and move on to the more difficult ones.

Remember what your goal is – you want to sell your house, and you want to make a profit of it.

With just a bit of determination and dedication, you can increase the value of your home and ensure that potential buyers will be satisfied with their investment.

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The Value of a Play Area in Your Home https://www.checkthishouse.com/9407/the-value-of-a-play-area-in-your-home.html Fri, 04 Sep 2020 11:29:35 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9407 When you think back to when you were a kid, more often than not, your mind wanders to the moments you spent playing and having a blast with your friends and family. It’s to those instances of joy in our young lives that we create lasting memories and inform how we live our adult lives ... Read more]]>

When you think back to when you were a kid, more often than not, your mind wanders to the moments you spent playing and having a blast with your friends and family.

It’s to those instances of joy in our young lives that we create lasting memories and inform how we live our adult lives with a similar sense of wonder and play.

Whether you’re thinking of adding space to make room for a play area, or you already have one—there’s no question: Having an area for your little ones to play and ultimately learn and grow is invaluable.

A space in the home for children to play is an opportunity for them to develop a sense of identity, personal space, and independence.

The Benefits of a Play Area

A child’s sense of identity is extremely important to their development, and a play area that reflects your child’s worldview will help in the development process.

Through the acts of playing and discovery, kids are called upon to act on their own resources.

Because a play area affords the parent an opportunity to supervise at more of a distance, a child will be more inclined to try new things on their own and come up with ways to eliminate feelings of boredom.

When you allow a child to feel independent during their play time, their confidence levels go way up, and ensures the way they see themselves in comparison to their peers is not diminished.

Walking hand in hand with a child’s sense of identity is their simultaneous need for personal space. Just like you need your space to work and be with yourself, a child needs their space to play.

It’s important to remember that a child’s space to play should be just that: theirs.

Not only will it allow their imaginations to be free to explore the possibilities within the play area, they may be less likely to bring their games  out into other areas of the home where playing isn’t appropriate.

Reinforcing that the play area as their own won’t just necessitate an additional boost of independence, it will build a trust between parent and child. And, as an added bonus, you—the parent—can take a second to breathe.

Play Areas and Home Learning

Regardless of your child’s level independence and sense of personal space, there’s a good chance they’re a little confused (like most of us are!) as to what exactly is going on with coronavirus.

If you’re in the same boat as many American parents, then home-learning is something you’ve had to deal with.

Fortunately, creating a great school environment or a tutoring area for homeschooling doesn’t have to be that much of a headache, and, if you’ve already got a play-area consider yourself halfway there!

While converting a corner of your child’s play area into a learning corner is certainly no substitute for a classroom, it’s a great option to get them re-engaged in learning.

A kid’s play area, as we’ve said above, is their space. It’s a place where they feel like they belong. It’s comforting to be there, they know it, and they own it.

When kids associate learning with playing, they’ll be much more inclined to sit with you and the lessons of the day, which makes your job as a parent much easier.

Conclusion

Having a designated play area at home is one of the best moves you can make if you haven’t already made it.

It can serve as a useful makeshift classroom while home-learning is still on the docket during Covid-19, but more importantly, an “unstructured” play area in the home is absolutely essential to your child’s growth and development.

When they learn a little bit about themselves and what they like, they uncover their independence and autonomy, and those are two things they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

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What is Transitional Design Style for a Kitchen https://www.checkthishouse.com/9371/what-is-transitional-design-style-for-a-kitchen.html Tue, 25 Aug 2020 11:20:22 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9371 Are you a fan of transitional design? Wait, what? What is a transitional design and why would I be a fan? By definition, this style combines an old-world style with elements that include modern fashion of adding contemporary glass and chrome. Who wouldn’t like to have this striking blend of old and new in their ... Read more]]>

Are you a fan of transitional design?

Wait, what? What is a transitional design and why would I be a fan?

By definition, this style combines an old-world style with elements that include modern fashion of adding contemporary glass and chrome.

Who wouldn’t like to have this striking blend of old and new in their home?

It’s a refreshing look that gives the illusion of wide-open space but contains all the comfort too. This is the look that makes your living space look cozy but never too crowded.

Let’s start at one of the main hubs in your home and it’s a place where we tend to gather. It’s also a room that many still believe is the heart of your home.

That is, of course, the kitchen and here is why it makes sense to change it into a transitional design:

How Does It Make Your Kitchen Look?

If you’ve ever been inside a typical restaurant kitchen, what do you first see?

If it’s a well-designed kitchen, it’s an open space that has a lot of chrome. The work prep tables, cabinets, and shelves are all reflecting the overhead light.

There’s something about shining chrome that tells you that it’s clean, space-age, and a somewhat sterile environment.

With the transitional design, this approach is limited to where chrome should be placed. This element is balanced with another shining surface instead.

When you add glass surfaces into a kitchen, it changes the sterile feeling and makes your kitchen reflective without overdoing it with chrome. This is another reason why transitional kitchens like to add lots of outdoor light.

A well-lit kitchen in the daytime makes it appear larger than it really is. Instead of being inside a dinky dimly-lit cooking area, all the reflective surfaces help light up the walls and floors.

Even the main island station is often high gloss lacquered panels that help reflect all that daylight.

But the best hallmarks of the transitional design are well placed hanging lamps that bring back all the charm. This is the perfect reason to add sunken spotlights to help keep your work area readily lit at night.

Mixing the Old With New

The real beauty of the transitional design is that you work with what is already in your home. Older homes often work best since the charm of traditional wood trim and old-world charm.

What is added or changed is the overall openness, and that should make your kitchen appear larger. Adding a center island workstation takes away the typical counter space along the walls.

While you can still have some countertops near your grill and oven area, leave the work area wide open. This allows your kitchen to achieve a fresh updated look.

With newly added cabinets that match the center island, it retains the pleasant aesthetics the room already had.

Change your oven or fridge to bring in the chrome aspects or glass panels too.

But the real trick is to keep a light creamy color to the whole room to really let that light soak through. The light should be on your side to make the entire room look inviting.

Even the center island should have a light reflective top so you can see what you’re preparing.

As far as flooring, it can be rich wooden stained floors or match your cabinet style.

Think Big – But Keep it Simple

There’s always a solution to change up your current kitchen and switch over to transitional design. The warmth that comes from this style is crisp and fresh and never falls short of breathtaking.

If you’ve been dreaming of updating your old kitchen and are looking for a new direction to work within, this is it.

Having a retro design kitchen that has all the best aspects of open space and practicality is worth the effort.

There are so many ideas you can look to for inspiration. The possibilities are endless!

Whatever you decide to add to your kitchen upgrade, just don’t forget that chrome and glass add plenty of class.

And you never lose the traditional look with such a rich and fancy cabinet and loads of lacquered glossy shine.

Let your imagination run free, especially when you add lots of light.

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How To Repair Cracked Shower Grout https://www.checkthishouse.com/9366/how-to-repair-cracked-shower-grout.html Fri, 21 Aug 2020 22:41:34 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9366 Looking to update your bathroom without breaking the bank? Repairing tile grout can be an inexpensive way to freshen your space and make a big impact. Sometimes, grout cracks develop as a result of age or improper tile installation. It may take some time and effort to fix the grout, but you could save a ... Read more]]>

Looking to update your bathroom without breaking the bank?

Repairing tile grout can be an inexpensive way to freshen your space and make a big impact.

Sometimes, grout cracks develop as a result of age or improper tile installation.

It may take some time and effort to fix the grout, but you could save a significant amount of money by doing the job yourself.

Read on to learn how you can repair cracked shower grout in just a few easy steps:

1. Choose Your Grout Type

Grout comes in two primary forms: sanded and unsanded. The type of grout you choose should be based on the width of the tile joints.

Before you begin, measure the space between the tiles. If it is larger than one eighth of an inch, use sanded grout.

However, do not use sanded grout with metal, glass or marble tiles since it can scratch these surfaces and cause damage.

2. Select the Mortar Color

Grout is available in many colors. If possible, take a loose piece of the current grout with you to the hardware store and find the closest color match.

Don’t worry if you cannot get the exact shade — modifications can be made by adding more water to lighten or grout mix to darken.

3. Clean the Shower

Apply a mildewcide to any mold and allow it to penetrate.

Wash the shower with a degreasing cleaner and use a grout brush to remove stains and mildew.

Let the shower dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

4. Remove the Grout

Remove loose, brittle grout from the walls with a grout removal tool or bamboo skewer. Use even, steady motions so that you do not chip the tile.

As best you can, dislodge all of the old material and vacuum the cracks thoroughly to capture any dust left behind.

Always wear eye protection when removing grout.

5. Mix the Mortar

Follow the instructions to mix the new grout in a clean bucket.

If needed, adjust the color with additions of water or grout until you attain the desired shade.

Stir the mixture using a mixer attachment or drill until it is smooth and creamy.

6. Apply the New Grout

Scoop some of the grout from the bucket with a small putty knife. Using a sponge, apply a smooth layer between the tiles and wipe any excess with a clean, damp cloth.

Continue this process until you have filled every incomplete line with new grout.

When finished, allow the mortar to dry for the time recommended by the manufacturer.

7. Clean and Coat

With a damp sponge, wipe any dirt or hazy residue from the tiles and smooth every fresh grout line.

Let the shower dry and then coat the new grout with a top-quality sealer to keep water out of the grout lines.

Allow the sealer to cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions before using the shower.

Since grout is porous, it tends to crack and crumble over time with normal wear, especially in older homes that are prone to settling and movement.

With a few tools, you can easily repair cracked grout and make your tiles look new again.

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An Introduction to Home Improvement https://www.checkthishouse.com/9331/9331.html Tue, 11 Aug 2020 15:41:01 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9331 “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.” “Home is where the heart is.” These well-known expressions indicate that home is somewhere that is both desirable and that exists in the mind’s eye as much as in a particular physical location. Across cultures and over the centuries people of varied means have made ... Read more]]>

“Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.”

“Home is where the heart is.”

These well-known expressions indicate that home is somewhere that is both desirable and that exists in the mind’s eye as much as in a particular physical location.

Across cultures and over the centuries people of varied means have made homes for themselves and for those they care about.

Humans have evolved to be home builders, homemakers, and home-nesters.

Dwellings that are recognizable as homes have been found everywhere that archaeologists and anthropologists have looked, representing every era of history and prehistory.

A home carries many and varied symbolic meanings embedded in the physical design of houses and projected onto them by the belief systems within which our lives play out.

The landscape, geopolitical location, the people who live with us, and material possessions with which we furnish our home space are essential aspects of the place where we dwell.

Complex interactions with all of these elements define home as we see it. And as we define home, we also define ourselves concerning it.

So, if a home is so important in our lives, we should make sure it has a perfect environment and is well maintained:

Why Spend Time on Home Improvement?

Home improvement is a pretty big topic, especially if you are the type of person to watch shows or read about the styling, trends and upgrades that are possible.

But it’s not always about looks– some home improvements are strictly about making the house work better!

This means that you could add in a central air unit, move the location of a door or change the types of windows you have.

No matter what you’re aiming for, home improvement is a valuable way to invest back into your space.

As professionals invested in creating excellent homes, you’ll want to make sure the improvements you make are budget-friendly but still add value.

Home Improvement Tips

Have a Larger Living Room Area

The living room is a place where you spend most of your family time. It’s a place where you showcase your pieces of art or your taste in sculptures and literature.

It’s always a good idea to carve some little space into your living room. It would not only enhance your family time experience but also help you in various aspects.

It’s a perfect place to have your kids birthday party and the family get together. It’s extremely helpful in such a situation.

You can try different party styles and themes like a Fortnite themed event.

The living room is also a place where gaming enthusiasts can enjoy games such as Fortnite, PUBG, FIFA. Gaming consoles are becoming more and more popular, so it’s a good idea to create a proper gaming setup.

What’s better than having a recliner and the setup in your spacious living room?

Have a Separate Study Room or Reading Room

It’s quite important whether you have a student in your house or you have someone who loves reading.

One of the most important reasons for having a dedicated area for study is that it sharpens the mind and improves concentration.

A separate study area is better than using a bedroom, kitchen or living room.

The student in a dedicated study space is much less likely to be under disturbance by other people at home.

It should be a room that is filled with positive energy, an environment which encourages learning.

Paint It to Perfection

Do you notice yourself eyeing the gorgeous colour pallets of professionally decorated homes?

Whether you’re a fan of demure earth tones or fun bursts of colour over monochrome themes– here’s a simple fix: paint.

If you want to change the entire character stamp of a home, add some fresh paint to your home. You can look online for modern inspiration or hit the store yourself to mix and match.

Changing up the colours inside your home is relatively cheap since most paint gallons cost $30. Compare that to the nearly 1k that most people spend getting professional painters in to do the job.

This doesn’t even take into account the range of buyers who will be attracted to the modern interior of the home.

Update and Add Your Finishes

One very useful home improvement tip is to update and add to the finishes in your home.

Every cabinet or door handle, faucets and light fixtures could all use an update every so often.

Some modern options include hardware that’s bronze, rose gold, mod matte black, or very sleek steel! Home finishes don’t just stop at hardware.

Think about adding crown moulding to the home for additional charm.

You can pick up the materials from any home goods store and, with a few measurements, make a huge difference in your room.

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How to Properly Choose a Vanity to Improve Your Bathroom https://www.checkthishouse.com/9312/how-to-properly-choose-a-vanity-to-improve-your-bathroom.html Tue, 04 Aug 2020 11:35:28 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9312 One way to improve your bathroom is to add a vanity. A vanity can revamp a space without doing major remodeling. It improves how your bathroom will look, but it will also provide more storage spaces for your toiletries and towels. There are many vanities available, and it may give you a hard time choosing ... Read more]]>

One way to improve your bathroom is to add a vanity. A vanity can revamp a space without doing major remodeling.

It improves how your bathroom will look, but it will also provide more storage spaces for your toiletries and towels.

There are many vanities available, and it may give you a hard time choosing the right piece that will fit your bathroom.

Worry no more – because here are some tips on correctly choosing the right vanity to install in your bathroom:

Consider Proportion and Size

The first thing you should consider when planning to add or change your bathroom vanity is the size and proportion.

You do not want your bathroom to be overcrowded because of vanity. It should add more beauty and comfort to your bathroom, not the other way around.

Knowing the appropriate size of vanity you should install in your bathroom during the selection process is crucial—the standard widths for a vanity is 24, 30, 36, 48, or 60 inches.

You can also find sizes between the standard sizes, from the smallest to about 14 inches up to the largest, 70 inches and up.

To make sure that the vanity you have decided to choose will fit your bathroom, you will have to measure the area where you are going to install it.

When measuring, you have to make sure that you give the vanity enough allowance around open doors, drawers, and shower stalls.

Installing a new vanity and not being able to open doors and drawers due to improper fitting would be a waste of money and effort. Using a painter’s tape would be a big help to tag dimensions and get the proper fitting.

Consider Who Will Use It and How

When choosing a vanity, the person who will use it should always be taken into account. Then the next thing you should consider is the primary purpose for the vanity.

If you and your partner are going to use the vanity, it is better to opt for a double sink vanity to give both of you a chance to use it simultaneously.

Knowing how both of you will use your bathroom vanity will help you decide whether to choose a vanity with more shelves or more drawers.

Picture yourself using the vanity and write down the things on how you wanted to store your stuff like makeup, perfumes, etc.

Choose a Style

Now that you already know the exact measurement and the purpose of your vanity, it is now time to choose the design and style.

There is so much to consider when choosing the style and design for your vanities, such as materials, color, and the design itself.

Most typical American bathroom cabinets are usually made from plywood, fiberboard or particle board.

Among these three materials, plywood would be the most advisable material for a bathroom vanity as it can resist water better than the other two materials.

You can choose any color that you want as long as it will not contradict your whole bathroom’s color and theme in terms of color.

White is considered the safest color to choose as it blends well with other colors. It is advised to choose white vanity, especially if you are planning on reselling.

White is a color that never gets old. It also creates the illusion of more space, which is suitable for small bathrooms.

If you are crazy over minimalist design, white will also suit your taste as it provides a more simple and airy vibe.

Properly Locate the Plumbing

Locating where the plumbing is situated is a must before installing or remodeling your bathroom vanity.

It is important that the plumbing be correctly installed on your sink to avoid plumbing and water leak problems in the future.

Location also has a huge impact when choosing what type of vanity is best for your bathroom, considering the plumbing location.

For instance, you want to install a floating vanity. You should ask yourself first if your plumbing will allow you to install this type of vanity design?

Your bathroom’s plumbing is the one that will dictate where or what kind of vanity should be installed.

Changing your plumbing will be a costly and inconvenient task, so locating where it is before you decide to install your vanity would be prioritized.

Although it is possible to move your plumbing if you want, it is still better to talk to your plumber or your contractor before making any decisions.

Do not decide on your own as it will cost you more money and time if you make the wrong decision.

If you do not have a plumber yet, it is advisable that you hire a plumber with a proper license and do not rely on a random person who claims to be an expert in such things. You can hire a plumber online and study their background and experience.

Also refer to the reviews from their past clients. If you hire the wrong man for the job, it is more likely that your vanity will wear out easily due to pipe leakage.

You can also ask the plumber for a warranty to ensure that they will provide quality work.

Takeaway

Knowing how to choose your vanity correctly will help you achieve the bathroom you wanted.

If you go ahead and purchase a vanity without consulting all the important aspects mentioned above, your dream vanity project might become a nightmare.

Remember that it is not just choosing the right style. It is more of choosing the correct size, style, and location.

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What You Should Know Before Refinishing or Replacing Your Hardwood Flooring https://www.checkthishouse.com/9304/what-you-should-know-before-refinishing-or-replacing-your-hardwood-flooring.html Wed, 29 Jul 2020 11:41:32 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9304 Many property owners wish to find suitable flooring for their house, to improve the look of their house or business premises. In other cases, the existing wooden flooring in the house has been used for many years and has developed scratches, looks dirty. Hence many property owners would like to find out if it is ... Read more]]>

Many property owners wish to find suitable flooring for their house, to improve the look of their house or business premises.

In other cases, the existing wooden flooring in the house has been used for many years and has developed scratches, looks dirty.

Hence many property owners would like to find out if it is possible to revive wood flooring and make it look like new.

Choosing a High Quality Flooring Material

One way to ensure that the flooring in the house is of high quality and lasts for a long period of time is to choose a reputed flooring supplier and installer who will offer a wide range of vinyl flooring, wood flooring, laminate flooring, outdoor decking and other flooring-related services.

One of the main considerations while choosing flooring for a room in the house is the profile of the users and how the room will be used.

Vinyl Flooring

In the kitchen, bathroom and other areas, water is likely to get spilled on the floor, it is advisable to choose flooring which is waterproof.

Hence vinyl flooring is preferred since it is waterproof, inexpensive, durable and available in a wide range of colors and patterns.

Another major advantage is that it will not be attacked by termites. Installing this flooring is easy. Vinyl flooring is also suitable for rooms used by small children.

Laminate Flooring

Many people are interested in having flooring which will match their decor and furniture. Laminate flooring is preferred since it is affordable and fairly durable.

A warranty for a period of up to 15 years is usually offered by the seller.

The flooring will also not get damaged if moisture levels are high or if water is spilled. This flooring is usually installed in the bedroom and living room.

This flooring has many of the advantages of wooden flooring, yet is available at a lower cost. It is also more durable compared to wooden flooring. Proper installation will increase the life of the flooring.

Wood Flooring

Wood flooring remains one of the most popular flooring options for most properties, and installing wooden flooring can increase the value of the property to some extent.

In addition to matching the furniture, it is also a very comfortable surface for walking, jumping and exercising.

Based on their budget and decor, customers can choose from solid wood and engineered wood flooring.

Solid wood flooring is made from different types of wood like teak, pine, oak and durability depending on the hardness of the wood.

Sealing the wood will prefer damage due to exposure to moisture. Engineered-wood flooring has multiple layers of wood and is more durable.

Replacing Existing Wood Flooring

Many homes and other properties constructed a decade ago or earlier have wooden flooring which may have scratches or looks dirty.

Replacing the wooden flooring is expensive, so property owners with a limited budget can opt to refinish the flooring to revive it and make it look like new.

The flooring installer will usually have the equipment for resurfacing of the wooden flooring, which involves removing the top layer of the flooring by sanding it, and then sealing it to prevent damage due to scratches and dirt.

Refinishing can be completed within a day for most homes, and is affordable.

Property owners who wish to install new flooring for their property should finalize their budget for the work and measure the area where the flooring will be installed. They should then contact one or more flooring companies and ask them for a quote for the flooring, specifying the type of flooring.

After comparing the prices quoted and checking reviews of these companies, the property owner should choose a flooring company. It is also advisable to check the company profile, and warranty offered.

The flooring company will then visit the property to take exact measurements of the areas where the flooring has to be installed.

After the flooring material is prepared for installation, it will be delivered to the specified address.

The property owner will have to ensure that there is nothing on the floor at the time of flooring installation else time will be wasted clearing the floor.

The flooring will then be installed by the flooring company staff using specialized equipment at a time convenient to the property owner.

Most reputed flooring companies will offer a warranty for the flooring they supply and also the installation work.

They will also provide guidelines for using the flooring so that the flooring will last for a long period of time.

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3 Creative Uses of Tile In Your Home https://www.checkthishouse.com/9299/3-creative-uses-of-tile-in-your-home.html Wed, 29 Jul 2020 11:22:46 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9299 Tiles don’t have to just be used for a conventional floor or wall coverings. There are plenty of other creative ways that you can use tiles to create effective features in your home that are both beautiful and practical. There are also many innovative ways that you can use leftover tiles in your home so ... Read more]]>

Tiles don’t have to just be used for a conventional floor or wall coverings.

There are plenty of other creative ways that you can use tiles to create effective features in your home that are both beautiful and practical.

There are also many innovative ways that you can use leftover tiles in your home so that they are not wasted.

1. Tile Tabletops

Tiles can be used to make a beautifully warm kitchen or outdoor tabletop that is both practical and stylish.

For a tabletop, natural tiles work best as they are easy to clean and maintain.

Brown or deep red quarry tiles are a good choice as they are hardwearing and functional.

Quarry tiles only need to be cleaned with soap and water and you can use a little acrylic sealant on them so that they repel water.

Slate and terracotta are also great choices for a tabletop and will bring a sense of rustic charm to your interior decor style.

2. Tile Headboards for the Bedroom

If you want to create a warm, Mediterranean look in the bedroom, then a tile headboard can make a real statement and be decorative too.

The traditional Greek-style tiles are a good choice, they are painted with beautiful, blue intricate patterns on a white background.

The tiles don’t have to match either — one of the main features of Mediterranean decor is non-uniform tiles, all with their own interesting unique design.

Provencal patterned tiles would work equally well for a tile headboard in the bedroom. Their warm colors will bring comfort and sunshine into your room.

3. Using Leftover Tiles

At the end of a tile project, it is common to have a number of leftover tiles. These tiles can be used as decorative coasters for your living room.

If you have plain tiles, you can use acrylic paint pens to create your own designs on them. You can also put family photos on your tiles and cover these with a spray sealant. All you need to do then is attach sticky felt pads to the bottom of your tiles.

If you have five leftover tiles, you could also use them to make an unusual tile planter in the shape of a simple box. This is an easy project for someone who is new to DIY, all you need is some epoxy resin to seal the tiles together.

Tiles don’t have to just be used on the floor, or on a bathroom wall. There are some wonderfully creative ways you can use tiles to make statement decorative pieces in your home.

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How To Protect Your Home from Flooding https://www.checkthishouse.com/9285/how-to-protect-your-home-from-flooding.html Wed, 22 Jul 2020 12:25:40 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9285 Do you think your home is safe from flooding? No matter where your house is located, there are many risks that exist that can cause flooding in your home and, consequently, expensive damage. You can prevent the headache of flooding and extensive damage by protecting your home from floods. Here are some factors you should ... Read more]]>

Do you think your home is safe from flooding?

No matter where your house is located, there are many risks that exist that can cause flooding in your home and, consequently, expensive damage.

You can prevent the headache of flooding and extensive damage by protecting your home from floods.

Here are some factors you should consider when it comes to your home’s flood-risk as well as preventative measures you can take to avoid disaster:

Evaluating the Risk of Flooding in Your Home

Before you make changes to your home in order to prevent flooding, it’s best to determine whether or not your house is at risk of flooding.

The key three risk factors include your home’s location, foundation and plumbing system:

Location

Where your house is located is a big determining factor of whether or not your home is at risk of flooding.

Check out the FEMA Flood Map Service (in the U.S.) or Floodsmart Canada to see what the general flood risk is in your area.

These maps feature zones that indicate flood risk.

If you are in an area that is at risk of flooding, investigate the structure of your home to ensure that it is built to withstand flooding. This includes looking at the grading of your property as well as whether or not your home is raised on stilts or piers.

Next, you should get the right coverage for floods under your homeowner’s insurance policy. Most basic policies exclude flood damage.

Foundation

Not all flooding to your home is caused by regional risks. Occurrences such as spring thaw or extreme weather conditions can cause flooding in your home.

Most notably, water can enter your home through a damaged foundation.

To inspect for damage to your foundation, look for cracks and fractures in the foundation as well as on walls and floors. Also check for doors that do not close or open properly – this could be a sign that your foundation has shifted.

If your foundation is causing flooding in your home, it is in your best interest to have it repaired.

Plumbing System

Flooding refers to any instance where water enters your home and causes damage. Sometimes, this is not necessarily an exterior problem.

Burst or broken pipes can cause your home to flood and result in significant damage.

Alternatively, exterior forces can cause your sewage system (whether it be municipal or a septic tank) to backup into your home.

In order to prevent your pipes from leaking water into your home, it’s best to know how old your pipes are. If your home is older, the piping is likely old too.

Also know where your pipes are located and regularly inspect them for signs of wear or cracking.

Protecting Your Home From Flooding

Apart from mitigating flood risks that may already exist, here are some preventative measures you can take to ensure unforeseen circumstances do not damage your home:

Backwater Valves

To prevent sewage backups into your home, install a backwater valve.

Also known as backflow or sewer backup valves, these simple devices are designed to allow water or sewage to flow only one way.

This means that if the municipal sewage system or your septic tank becomes overwhelmed with water, the overflow cannot enter into your home.

Installing a backwater valve into an existing home requires a plumbing permit (since a qualified plumber will have to access the main sewer line), but most municipalities will offer a rebate for doing so.

Ultimately, having this peace of mind is well worth the effort.

Respect Your Drainage System

Clogged drains are a common cause of flooding and these blockages are usually avoidable.

The best way to prevent clogs is to be careful about what you put down your drains. For instance, hair is the leading cause of blockages and should not be flushed down the toilet or sink.

Also, food scraps such as egg shells, coffee and pasta can clog your drains if disposed of down the kitchen sink. Same goes for grease, which is a major cause of blockage in kitchen plumbing.

Be mindful of what you deposit into your drains and try to toss these culprits into the trash instead of your toilet or sink.

Position Your Downspouts

Perhaps one of the simplest ways to avoid flooding in your home is to point your downspouts away from your house.

This will keep run-off water from pooling around your foundation and causing damage and flooding.

Also keep your gutter clear of debris to avoid having water pour from the edges toward your home.

Keep Your Home Flood Free

Being proactive when it comes to mitigating your home’s flood risks is well worth it in order to avoid significant damage to your house’s structure.

Take a look at your home’s current situation and consider following the above preventative measures to keep your home and your family safe from flooding.

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5 Ways to Upgrade Your Home Without Doing Major Renovations https://www.checkthishouse.com/9270/5-ways-to-upgrade-your-home-without-doing-major-renovations.html Fri, 17 Jul 2020 10:12:55 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9270 After spending more time at home than any summer before, more and more home dwellers are looking to make some upgrades to their space. If you’re among the DIY dreamers, check out these five simple ways to upgrade your home. 1. A Fresh Coat of Paint Whether you’re tired of looking at the same 50 ... Read more]]>

After spending more time at home than any summer before, more and more home dwellers are looking to make some upgrades to their space.

If you’re among the DIY dreamers, check out these five simple ways to upgrade your home.

1. A Fresh Coat of Paint

Whether you’re tired of looking at the same 50 shades of beige day in and day out of isolation or are just noticing some drab details, a fresh coat of interior paint is the ideal solution.

Not only will this easy Sunday project make your space look more polished, but incorporating new colors in your home can actually boost your mood, too.

As you start swatching different color combinations, consider these color psychology guidelines:

  • Orange — evokes energy and fun
  • Red — bold and dramatic
  • Yellow — brightness and joy
  • Green — earthy, balanced
  • Blue — calmness
  • Purple — elegance
  • Pink — feminine
  • Black — luxury and sophistication
  • White — cleanliness, minimalism
  • Brown — natural, warm

2. Amazing New Accent Pieces

If it’s just a room or two that needs a little refresh, all you need is a few accent pieces to make a big difference.

A statement chaise, decorative storage space, or a new pendant light are the perfect finishing touches to an uninspired room.

If you already have a well-curated theme going, check out these designers to continue your look:

  • Article: Modern, refined pieces that pay homage to iconic mid-century looks.
  • Hooker Furniture: Elegant furnishings that nod to a classic style.
  • FLOYD: Functional and eclectic designs for the modern home.
  • Burrow: Sustainably made custom seating.

And if you’re not in need of a furniture overhaul, these smaller additions can make a really big difference to your dining, lounging, and culinary experiences:

  • The Lam Label: If you’re looking for unique artwork to don your shelves, look no further than these curated ceramic antiques!
  • Estelle Colored Glassware: These pastel-colored wine glasses are sure to elevate any girl’s wine night or evening in.
  • Society6: This artist’s marketplace is chock full of wall art and funky decor that’s perfect for upgrading any room in your home.
  • Great Jones: Add a little color and class to your kitchen with these essentials — their cast-iron Dutch oven is most popular.

3. A Backyard Boost

After spending long hours bingeing Netflix, puzzling, and trying new crafts, many of us in lockdown have recognized the importance of having a backyard space.

If your outdoor area is leaving something to be desired, do some freshening up with these easy fixes:

  • String lights add a bit of whimsy and create the perfect backdrop for a sunset cocktail hour.
  • Potted succulents are an aesthetically pleasing and low-maintenance solution to upgrade any patio.
  • Build a shed to house yard tools and unsightly appliances.
  • An outdoor rug helps tie your look together while keeping your space clean and polished.

4. Rethink Storage Solutions

Sometimes, all an undesirable space really needs is a little deep-cleaning, reorganizing, and restructuring.

Start the process by taking an inventory of clutter in the room. Are there lots of things left out on surfaces, or is it looking pretty minimalist?

If the answer is the former, you might want to consider adding some more sophisticated storage solutions.

A floating shelf, hideaway ottoman, or some wicker baskets are functional yet fashionable ways to free up space.

5. Infuse Your Personality

Ultimately, your house should be uniquely yours. By incorporating trinkets that remind you of your travels, photographs that encapsulate memories, or your own artwork, you can create a space that reflects your personality and passions.

If you’re feeling stuck, check out these fun projects to bring some more of you into your home:

  • Use Social Print Studio to easily print and frame photos from your social media profiles.
  • Find funky vintage collectibles at your local thrift shop, swap meet, or antique store.
  • Keep your favorite fresh flowers on display at all times — they’re beautiful and boost your mood!
  • Diffuse essential oils that relax or uplift you for a well-rounded vibe around the house.

Wrapping Up

You don’t need to go full-on demo day to revamp your space — with a few tweaks to paint color, furnishings, and accents, you’ll be well on your way toward building a home you’ll love!

How do you plan to elevate your space this summer? Share your ideas with us in the comment section below.

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How To Deep Clean Your New Home Before Moving In https://www.checkthishouse.com/9224/deep-clean-house-before-moving-in.html Tue, 07 Jul 2020 11:20:01 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9224 Whenever you are going to move into a new abode, there is a high possibility that somebody else resided there before. Bearing this in mind, you ought to be extra careful at least during the initial week of your moving in. One authentic way to accept your new residence will be to look after it ... Read more]]>

Whenever you are going to move into a new abode, there is a high possibility that somebody else resided there before.

Bearing this in mind, you ought to be extra careful at least during the initial week of your moving in.

One authentic way to accept your new residence will be to look after it even before moving in.

However, it will not be possible to accomplish it unless and until you do have a proper plan in your mind.

Why Should You Perform a Deep Cleaning Prior to Moving In?

You will be able to know your new home while deep cleaning it and you will likewise be able to sanitize it properly.

You need to consider many things prior to starting deep cleaning and we will cover all of them in this article.

After comprehending what to do once you start, the task will become quite easy for you. Following this, you will be able to stick to the normal cleaning routine.

So, let us not waste time and see how to deep clean your new home before moving in:

Declutter as Much as You Can

Decluttering is extremely important since it will allow you to visualize the area which you need to clean. Remove any unwanted items from the space since too many objects can get in the way.

Make use of the loft for storing items. In case you have any everyday item which you do not use regularly, it will probably be better to transfer them to the dump or a charity shop.

Apart from this, try to keep your pathway clean. Remove any debris and mud from the pathway so that it becomes easy for you while you perform a deep clean.

In fact, it is important to be prepared while deep cleaning and try to make certain that there is not much clutter in the way.

You are going to move the equipment and you will also want to reach beneath the furniture while cleaning carpets.

Your job will become easy in case there is less clutter. Also cover most of the furniture if you can particularly in case you perform any touch-up job.

Take Care of the Curtains

Although curtains will add glamour to your space, it is quite difficult to wash them. The reason for this is that they are manufactured from 2 different materials, and they also tend to shrink easily.

However, curtains can be washed at various locations professionally these days. It will be the size of the curtain that will determine how much they will charge from you.

Although it will be sensible to get the curtains cleaned professionally, you can also do it on your own. You simply need to do a cold wash and then allow them to drip dry.

Nevertheless, the curtains might shrink if you adopt this method of cleaning. Moreover, they can lose their brightness as well.

Get Any Painting Out of the Way

In case you would like to do any painting, the time is correct for you to do so.

After covering your furniture and removing the curtains, it is time for you to get rid of any drip from the floor such that you will be able to move freely.

Painting can prove to be quite messy and you can’t rule out accidents. Get the floors covered and get rid of any pet from the room. Pawprints appear cute but you might need to scrub them from the bed and the kitchen worktop.

In case you need to paint skirting boards, and you are the owner of a pet, go for a quick vacuum initially. In fact, pet hair can get anywhere while affecting the quality of the finishing as well.

Clean the Ceilings and Walls

Although you might feel tempted to commence with a vacuum, you might have to redo it in case you need to deep clean your ceilings.

Do the corners by making use of a fluffy brush, and clean the edges. Bear in mind to take care of the light at the center, and the lampshade should also be inspected.

In fact, you might need to replace them.

A vacuum should never be used on the walls or the ceiling even when you are running short of time. In that case, it might result in accidental scratching or flaking of the paintwork.

On the other hand, you can use the fluffy brush to get the job done more effectively.

Get rid of fingerprints while working your way down, particularly where there are light switches.

It is essential to perform most of the cleaning in rooms where there are some teenagers since they are in the habit of consuming food while doing their homework.

Try to look for lines where there have been desks, particularly if the desks are used for makeup.

Although it is feasible to scrub the walls, the majority of the walls do not come with wear-resistant finishes. Consequently, a repaint might be needed for heavy-duty staining.

In fact, cleaning walls will become a lot easier for all those who are making use of scrubbable paint.

You can also purchase products like Dulux Washable from the stores in case you are doing this on a regular basis.

Next, you need to take care of the skirting boards. On most occasions, they are going to need a proper scrub and maybe a touch up every now and then.

Once you have finished doing this, spray them using furniture polish before polishing off. It will provide them with a good shine.

Clean the Carpets

Cleaning carpets might prove to be tedious especially in areas with high traffic.

Fortunately, you will come across several machines on the market that will help you to do this easily. You can either buy them or hire them as per your convenience.

Although the domestic carpet machines tend to be okay, they might not be able to get rid of the staining properly in the long run.

Begin by providing a quick vacuum to the area and try to pick up any large piece. Following this, get hold of your carpet cleaner. It is recommended to go slow while using the carpet cleaner.

You will be able to get the best results once the cleaning solution starts leaking out below the carpet cleaner while you move.

In case the stains are quite stubborn make it a point to add the cleaning solution to them, and use a brush for scrubbing. Use the cleaner to go over it immediately.

For this, you can use laundry detergents. After the carpet has been cleaned, vacuum it once more to get the best results.

Clean the Toilet and the Kitchen

Similar to the other rooms, work your way down after starting right from the top. Moreover, the surfaces need to be cleaned properly as well. For this, you can get rid of the deposits of soap, debris, and grease.

Begin with the top of the toilet, and gradually move to the tiles. For this, you can get hold of a steam cleaner for steam cleaning the tiles. This will help to remove lots of grime and is quite effective when it comes to soap scum.

Make use of a thick bleach in the bathroom. It is advisable for you to make use of using gloves and protecting your eyes while handling bleach and other types of caustic solutions.

Make use of something which is appropriate for the bath. If it happens to be enamel, the stains have to be soaked in the washing-up liquid for around 20 minutes after filling it up. Acidic products should not be used in any case.

In case it happens to be a traditional acrylic bath, almost anything can be used on it. Therefore, you need not worry and you can simply bleach away. Do not neglect the skirting boards and use a mild bleach solution for cleaning the floor.

The worktops in your kitchen are most likely to be greasy. For this, you can use any cream degreaser that will help to get rid of any stain on the kitchen wall. Try not to use liquid products since they tend to run down quite fast.

Remove the stains from the back of the cooker and the rear part of the sink. Also, remember to clean the overhead fan. Wash them as per the instructions of the manufacturer after unclipping them.

Although you can wash them in the dishwasher, it will be a sensible idea to soak them in the water beforehand using a degreaser.

The front part of every unit in the kitchen should be scrubbed properly, and the handles should also be made clean. Even though ornate handles can give you a tough time, it will be better to detach them and soak them for a while. You can also use a dishwasher for cleaning them in case one is available to you.

The last thing will be to scrub the flooring for getting the extra shine.

Conclusion

Although you might need to work hard for deep cleaning the house, it won’t take much time with the proper equipment and tools.

Following this, you will be able to spend the remaining part of the year joyfully.

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Top 7 Tips To Make Your Building’s Bathrooms Sparkle https://www.checkthishouse.com/9218/top-7-tips-to-make-your-buildings-bathrooms-sparkle.html Mon, 06 Jul 2020 21:22:06 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9218 Commercial bathrooms have a simple purpose. Office complexes, retail stores, municipal buildings, and theaters all have central areas such as lobbies or reception areas. But restrooms are easy to overlook until they have fallen below acceptable standards. Whether the ventilation unit is in disrepair or the hardware is rusting, restrooms require a lot of maintenance. ... Read more]]>

Commercial bathrooms have a simple purpose. Office complexes, retail stores, municipal buildings, and theaters all have central areas such as lobbies or reception areas.

But restrooms are easy to overlook until they have fallen below acceptable standards.

Whether the ventilation unit is in disrepair or the hardware is rusting, restrooms require a lot of maintenance.

This guide gives you a little knowledge about what’s involved in cleaning restrooms and how to make your building’s standards just a little bit higher than before.

Hardware can be prone to rust, especially when ambient moisture isn’t kept under control by a properly ventilating HVAC unit.

Humidity also affects restroom partitions, which tend to take the majority of the abuse with graffiti, carvings, and markings.

Assessing what material your bathroom’s toilet partitions are made of is the first step to addressing the issue.

Manage Ventilation

Air filters and intake vents are part of the cleaning process. HVAC units do an important job of ventilating bathrooms.

If air quality is compromised by dust particles to begin with then your customers aren’t going to have a good experience.

Make sure restrooms have good heating and cooling to ensure everyone has a comfortable experience.

Know Your Toilet Stall Material

Professional builders, contractors, construction workers and maintenance staff can all benefit from being knowledgeable in this key area.

The type of material the partition is made of will help dictate the cleaning and scratch recovery methods to use.

There are several common partition materials listed below:

  1. Powder-Coated Metal – These cost-effective partitions typically start with a lightweight honeycomb cardboard core with a covering of a thick sheet of metal. The metal is then covered with a powder that is baked into the metal. Powder-coated metal partitions come in a variety of colors as the coating can be colored.
  2. High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) – These durable, and easy-to-repair partitions are cut from a single piece of HDPE. The surface is typically textured, which makes it resistant to graffiti, cuts, and dents. This partition will be easy to identify by its feel and robust look.
  3. Laminate – Most professionals are familiar with laminated surfaces. Laminated partitions are made of a particle board core, which is then covered in a layer of laminate. You will see these in a vast variety of colors and textures.
  4. Stainless Steel – Their honeycomb core adds to the strength of these partitions. You can identify the stainless steel shells by their gleaming and often elegant appearance. They are easily distinguishable from powder-coated metal surfaces by their appearance.
  5. Phenolic – Some people confuse this material with HDPE. They are different. Phenolic partitions are made of a melamine sheet surface and multiple layers of craft paper that have been saturated in a Phenolic resin. This transforms it into a high-density and water-resistant material. You will find these in a wide range of colors.

When Graffiti Happens, Act Quickly!

Graffiti of any type invites more graffiti. Having fully trained staff members who are ready to address and repair the markings or carvings can minimize the impact of the defacing.

Carvings, scratches, and notches can be a maintenance person’s worst nightmare.

For metal surfaces, depending on the depth, scratches can often be buffed out or minimized. Using a polish per the manufacturer’s instructions can give the best results.

Laminate partitions are probably the most vulnerable to permanent defacing.

Obviously, the surface is not solid and penetrating, therefore a deep scratch can cause appearance and structural concerns. If the scratch cannot be effectively repaired, replacement may be necessary.

Depending on the frequency and level of the vandalism, it may be appropriate to replace the partitions with a more resistant material.

Phenolic partitions can hold up to a higher level of abuse since the surface is more difficult to penetrate.

If you do discover scratches, they can be addressed with your favorite surface cleaner and polish. Be sure to use non-abrasive cleaners to avoid making the scratch deeper.

Start Conservatively

You may be surprised by how many stains soap and water or your favorite general cleaner will remove.

Using a soft cloth or brush should be your starting point. Being conservative with cleaning chemicals can help preserve the surface being cleaned. This is especially true for laminated and powder-coated metal surfaces.

Circular rubbing motions versus side-to-side rubbing motions on all surfaces can make the successful stain removal less distinguishable.

Follow Guidelines for Cleaning and Stain Removal

Each partition material has its cleaning advantages and trade-offs.

According to the Bobrick Advisory Bulletin TB-60 Toilet Partition Cleaning & Maintenance, “Most stains can be completely removed with the cleaning methods listed. However, if the laminated plastic surface is scratched or badly worn, stains may be more difficult to remove and some may leave a ghosting effect.”

This bulletin also draws attention to the risks of laminate surfaces swelling over time.

Laminate and powder-coated metal partitions should generally be cleaned with non-abrasive cleaners using a soft cloth or brush.

As you look at cleaning frequency and possible partition replacement in commercial buildings, builders, contractors, construction workers, and maintenance staff should consider the building’s purpose and type of business.

Bathrooms in schools, entertainment venues, and bars can be at a higher risk for marking and carving abuse.

HDPE and phenolic partitions are heavier duty solutions that landlords, building owners, and maintenance staff will be pleased with going forward.

Although most people associate stainless steel as being almost indestructible, it is not impervious to rust.

Exposure to cleaning solutions containing bleach, water containing iron, and salt exposure (from snow boots or any other contact) can all cause rust.

It can get out of hand if not removed. Fast Partitions has an official guide on how to clean your bathroom partitions that goes further into the specifics for each material type.

Mirrors Are a Reflection of the Bathroom

One of the last things a person looks at in the bathroom is themselves. Mirrors can get damaged and develop black spots.

Other than regular cleaning, glass repair should be left to the experts. Your local glass company can be a trusted source.

If there are continued damage risks, there are damage-resistant mirrors or anti-scratch films that can be applied.

Building maintenance crews can make recommendations to the building owner or management company.

Touch Up Bathroom Hardware

Brackets, locks, and door handles also need to look their best.

First, you should ensure there are no sharp edges or burrs; it is possible to file some burrs off.

Occupant safety is obviously a first priority. Your favorite polish can bring back near-original luster. You can also use special types of hardware paint.

By far, the best way to deal with commercial bathrooms is to prevent problems from building up and becoming unmanageable.

Keeping a steady schedule of maintenance and cleaning will provide a better experience for customers, as well as your staff.

Hopefully, this guide will help you get the job done as effectively and easily as possible

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How To Renovate Your Bedroom For The Summer https://www.checkthishouse.com/8642/how-to-renovate-your-bedroom-for-the-summer.html Wed, 24 Jun 2020 11:57:36 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=8642 Humans spend about one-third of their lives in the bedroom. It’s because sleep is an integral component of life. Without proper sleep in a comfortable space, you become vulnerable to health complications such as mood swings, fatigue, and weak immune systems. However, it can be challenging to gain the right comfort level during the summer. ... Read more]]>

Humans spend about one-third of their lives in the bedroom. It’s because sleep is an integral component of life.

Without proper sleep in a comfortable space, you become vulnerable to health complications such as mood swings, fatigue, and weak immune systems.

However, it can be challenging to gain the right comfort level during the summer.

The hot sun bears its high temperatures inside your bedroom, which makes it tougher than average to relax.

Thankfully, you can beat the summer heat in your bedroom with these five tips:

1. Change The Mattress

Many homeowners feel that a bedroom isn’t a bedroom without an appropriate mattress.

Ensure that your mattress has a breathable material. Otherwise, you’ll wake up in the middle of the night as if you’re swimming in sweat.

Mattresses with breathable materials provide cooling comfort as you sleep during the warm nights. Search for mattresses made from materials, such as the following:

  • Plastic polymers
  • Polyurethane foam
  • Upcycled denim
  • Lambswool
  • Natural cotton

However, it’s also important to consider other essential factors such as size, density, and support.

Moreover, choose a mattress that can cater to specific health needs. For example, some mattresses do better than other models in reducing snoring.

To learn more about these variants, you can research online companies like Bed Advisor to find the perfect bed for you.

2. Install A Smoke Alarm

Gain peace of mind while resting in your bedroom in the summer with a smoke alarm.

Several smoke alarms are available on the market, but consider choosing an optical or photoelectric smoke alarm for your bedroom. These models are less prone to false alarms than other variants, thanks to their improved internal algorithms.

Optical smoke alarms are ideal for bedrooms and living rooms since these areas tend to have flammable objects, like soft furnishings and cables.

Don’t forget to follow safety guidelines when installing smoke alarms. Consider these recommendations during the installation:

  1. The device should have a label of a certified testing facility.
  2. Mount the alarms high on ceilings or walls.
  3. Wall-mounted alarms should be no more than 12 inches away from the ceiling.
  4. Install smoke alarms within three feet of the peak of pitched ceilings.
  5. Don’t install the alarms near openings, such as door and windows, as drafts might interfere with the operation.

Installing smoke alarms should be a central component of your summer bedroom renovation project.

Knowing that the alarm warns you of nearby fire and smoke will help protect the home and all of its residents.

3. Add A Coastal Touch To The Décor

Bedrooms can look amazing with summer-themed decorations and furniture.

The beauty of adding a coastal style to your bedroom is that this design can fit different looks. Whether your current bedroom appearance exudes designs leaning towards boho, farmhouse, glam, or traditional, you can insert coastal accents to fit the season.

For example, accent your room with blue tones and shell-themed decorations to bring the summer vibes into the room.

Consequently, you may change the color palettes of your curtains, beddings, and pillows to match the season. Incorporate beachy colors, like sandy beige, watery blues, and beach pebble gray.

You can also use these colors if you decide to paint your bedroom walls for the remodeling project.

4. Add A Touch Of Green To The Room

Show your green thumb by adding plants to the bedroom for that extra layer of comfort.

Looking at green can help calm the mind, which can be a crucial factor when trying to relax while in the bedroom. Sometimes, it’s tough to relax while the summer heat is unbearable.

You don’t have to fill every corner of the room with florae. Adding slight hints of green in each corner of the bedroom can already help induce feelings of relaxation. Consider plant options, like:

  • Parlor Palm
  • Snake Plant
  • Moth Orchid
  • Pothos
  • Dracaena

5. Hang Wall Art

You might think that your walls look bare and unfit for the summer season. If so, consider adding some wall art to add a bit of summer flair to the bedroom.

Opt for wall art that can provide summer vibes to the space.

For example, hang paintings depicting sandy beaches or seashells.

You may also hang summer-themed fabrics, like beach sarongs, and all you need are bulldog clips to hang them properly.

Conclusion

Renovating your bedroom for the summer may not require a lot of time and money.

Consider remodeling the space with plants, wall art, and the right colors.

Also, don’t forget about changing your mattress to a breathable model to ensure that you’ll always get a good night’s sleep in this season.

Follow these tips, and you should gain a relaxing and safe summer in your bedroom.

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Leaky Dishwasher? Don’t Call the Handyman Just Yet https://www.checkthishouse.com/8637/leaky-dishwasher-dont-call-the-handyman-just-yet.html Wed, 24 Jun 2020 11:46:06 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=8637 We all get leaks sometimes at home. Whether it’s dishwashers, washing machines, or pipes anywhere around the house, leaks are always a sign that something is wrong and can be a great source of concern. However, before you get on the phone and drop hundreds of dollars on a repairman, take a look at this ... Read more]]>

We all get leaks sometimes at home. Whether it’s dishwashers, washing machines, or pipes anywhere around the house, leaks are always a sign that something is wrong and can be a great source of concern.

However, before you get on the phone and drop hundreds of dollars on a repairman, take a look at this guide and see if you can’t hop into the do-it-yourself mindset and fix that leaky dishwasher on your own.

Why do it yourself? There’s two good reasons, and the first one is money.

With the right tools, some patience, and a good attitude, you can fix most dishwasher leaks for under $20 if you do it on your own.

On top of that, getting the job done and being your own boss is scientifically proven to give human beings a big and well deserved boost of confidence and self satisfaction.

So, let’s start with the basics.

Identify the Leak

It might not be obvious where the water or washing fluid is coming from, so be sure to consult your dishwasher’s manual so that you can figure out where all of the relevant parts are.

To identify the leak, run the dishwasher and look below as it’s running to see if you can pinpoint where the liquid is coming from.

Most dishwashers have lower front panels that are screwed into the rest of the machine. Unscrew the panels so that you can get a better look at the washer door and any visible tubes.

If the leak is coming from a visible hole in a tube, you can try patching it with very strong tape or super glue.

However, if you need to replace the entire tube, it may be a job for a repairman.

Check the Door Seal

While running the dishwasher, push gently on the door. Is it loose or giving way?

If yes, this would mean that you have a loose door that is likely the source of your leak.

Fixing a loose door is one of the easiest forms of maintenance you can perform on a dishwasher, and will rarely require outside help if you know what to do.

Check your dishwasher’s manual to identify where the door adjustment mechanism is.

For most dishwashers, it is going to be a fairly simple screw mechanism on the top or the bottom of the door frame. Tighten it, but don’t overdo it. If the door is too tight, it can get stuck or damage the frame.

Check for Other Leak Sources

Most dishwashers leaks can be chalked up to a problem with the door, particularly the door not sealing properly. This is a pretty easy fix you can do yourself.

But if you think the door is not causing the problem, open the dishwasher and remove (if possible) and clean the gasket, or clean it in place using soap or household cleaner and water.

If you still have water leaking through the door, it’s possible that there is a problem with your gasket that cleaning alone can’t fix. Inspect the gasket, looking for cracks or broken parts.

If you find a crack or break, you’ll need to replace the gasket. However, you still don’t need a handyman for this.

Simply order a replacement and follow the manual to reinstall it yourself. You can find high quality appliance replacement parts online to help you get the job done.

Usually, replacing the gasket is just a matter of a few screws.

Let’s say you’ve done all of these steps but you’re still getting a leak while the dishwasher is running. If you haven’t already, check which soap you’re using. Sometimes the wrong type of liquid wash can get bubbly and cause an overflow.

Time for a Professional

Of course, if none of these methods fix the problem, don’t feel bad about calling in a professional to troubleshoot solutions for you.

That said, more than nine in ten leaks are related to the dishwasher door itself, so if this is the likely case, then rest assured the chances are high that you can go it alone.

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10 Tips For Keeping Your Home Cooler This Summer https://www.checkthishouse.com/8631/10-tips-for-keeping-your-home-cooler-this-summer.html Sat, 20 Jun 2020 11:58:18 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=8631 Many people around the world love the summer season. It’s bright and sunny all day, meaning they get to enjoy a range of wonderful activities. Not to mention the summer vacations students get from schools and colleges. But, it can also get incredibly hot and humid during the season, leading to massive bills. If you ... Read more]]>

Many people around the world love the summer season. It’s bright and sunny all day, meaning they get to enjoy a range of wonderful activities.

Not to mention the summer vacations students get from schools and colleges. But, it can also get incredibly hot and humid during the season, leading to massive bills.

If you want to make some changes around your house to make the summer weather more bearable, then check-out the following tips below.

Don’t Park a Recently Used Vehicle in the Garage

Many people have garages attached to the main structures of the house, and they make one simple mistake that leads to the entire house becoming hot.

That is, people park their recently used vehicles right inside the garage and close the doors.

All that heat from the engine can make the garage incredibly hot, and the entire house along with it. Therefore, you can simply let the car cool down in the driveway and park it in later.

Also, you can use a garage cooling system to make sure the area stays nice and cool.

Insulate Your Home

You need to find ways to get less heat into your house. That will not only help you and your family be more relaxed, but it can also help you save more on the bills.

You can start by keeping all the doors shut during the day time and making sure they are correctly insulated with no cracks around their frames. You should consider doing the same for the windows and other parts of your home.

Another excellent way to block the heat is to have natural shade with trees covering your home. But with that, you will need to take excellent care of the gutters and the roof.

Shut All the Blinds

You need to shut all the blinds in your house because the windows are notorious for letting in heat. While you can get the windows tinted to keep the heat out, it will require a more significant investment than you might be looking for.

That’s why blinds are the best way to make sure the heat stays out. If you have very light curtains, then you might want to replace some of them with a thicker material to better shade the windows.

You can also lower your bills by 7% by shutting the blinds and curtains.

Set Your Ceiling Fans to Move Counter-Clockwise

Many people aren’t aware that they can change the direction of the ceiling fans. Most ceiling fans are made to be adjusted seasonally.

While the clockwise rotation may be suitable for cooler weather, you can set the fan to rotate the other direction during the summer.

This setting will change the airflow in the room and give you a more refreshing breeze than you would expect. If you want to have more fun, then turn up the fan’s speed. It can make the room cooler.

Embrace the Nights

It’s common knowledge that the temperatures get lower during the night. That is why you should schedule any parties or handouts at night.

But that’s not all. You can open up all the windows in the night and allow the cold air to come into the house and make the rooms cooler.

That, combined with the different rotation of the fans, can be excellent in making your home cooler.

Fire up The Grill

You may turn on the stove or the oven in your home to cook the food. While that is the usual way, these appliances can make your home much hotter than you would want them to be.

You may also not be able to use any ceiling fans or air conditioning in the kitchen because they can interfere with the cooking process.

So what can you do?

Go out to the backyard or the balcony and fire up the grill. You can grill the food and keep all the heat outside your home. This will not only keep your house cool, but it is also a healthier way to cook your food.

Switch Your Lights

You might already be doing plenty to keep your home cool, but luck might still not be on your side. What could be going wrong? Maybe you should take a look at all the lighting fixtures around your house.

The light bulbs and tube lights can release a lot of heat if they are kept turned on for a long time.

When you find out just how much, you will be surprised. If you haven’t changed your bulbs in a while, then it might be time for a switch.

While new bulbs will release less heat, you might want to look at LED options. They will consume far less electricity and release much less heat. Allowing you to save bills in two ways.

Freeze Your Sheets

Although this may seem crazy or comical, it is actually an excellent idea. A little while before you are about to head in for the night, you can place your sheets in your freezer to make them cooler.

However, you need to put them in a plastic bag before putting them in the freezer. Otherwise, you will end up with cold, smelly sheets.

While you are throwing your sheets in there, toss in your pillow covers as well. Also, if you like to sleep with some layers or a light blanket, then fill a hot water bottle with freezing cold water and keep it under the sheets with you.

The Bottom Floor Is the Coolest Floor

If you are struggling to sleep or sit around on a higher floor, then you should go down to the lowest level of your house.

You see, the air rises when it is hot, and it will go down when it’s cold. That is because the cold air is denser. That is also the reason why radiators and heaters are placed on the floor.

That is why you will have a much better time sleeping and staying on the bottom floor of your house. So, move your beds downstairs and have a much better sleep.

Feel Too Hot? Use an Ice Fan

When the temperatures reach an all-time high, and you are in a non-air conditioned room, life can become incredibly challenging.

But, luckily, bright minds have come up with a solution for this as well.

You can keep a small electric fan on a higher surface and place a bowl full of ice in front of it. When the ice is melting and evaporating, it will release cold air.

At the same time, your fan will send the cold air your way.

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How Technology Constantly Improves Your Lifestyle: Electronic Water Descaling https://www.checkthishouse.com/8569/electronic-water-descaling.html Tue, 24 Mar 2020 19:45:37 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=8569 water being poured into a glass on a blue backgroundWe live in an era where technology has advanced beyond our expectations. Over 100 years ago, we could barely even dream about improving our water. Nowadays we have electronic water descalers that can soften hard water without making it lose minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Because over 80% of U.S. households have problems with ... Read more]]> water being poured into a glass on a blue background

We live in an era where technology has advanced beyond our expectations. Over 100 years ago, we could barely even dream about improving our water. Nowadays we have electronic water descalers that can soften hard water without making it lose minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

Because over 80% of U.S. households have problems with hard water, many people have been softening their water using salt-based water softeners. These machines effectively replace calcium and magnesium with sodium inside the water. This method solves the issue of mineral deposits around your showerhead and faucet. It also prolongs the life of appliances that are connected to the plumbing system because they won’t get clogged with chalk as easily.

However, its benefits tend to fade away once you start looking at the negatives. Softened water contains sodium, which makes it unsafe to drink in large quantities even for healthy adults. Sodium also makes it impossible for people with diabetes or high blood pressure to drink the water. Plants can stop growing and might even die if you water them with softened water.

Water descaling is meant to solve these issues. It is an eco-friendly method of reducing the water’s hardness. Water descalers keep the minerals in hard water while also preventing build-up inside your pipes or appliances. As such, you don’t lose precious minerals and you don’t ingest extra sodium. And you also get the advantages of softened water.

How water descalers work

A water descaler purifies water by sending electric impulses through the pipe. As the impulses travel through your plumbing, the mineral crystals in the water change shape. As a result, they don’t cling to your pipes as much. Even better, this method also works on still water. As an example, unlike water softening, this method doesn’t leave salt or sodium in your water heater.

To put it in even simpler terms, the calcium and magnesium particles inside the water start flowing as suspended particles. Their shape and size are modified by the water descaler.

The main advantage of water descalers is minimal maintenance. Unlike water softeners, you don’t need to ever worry about pouring salt in. They’re so easy to install you don’t need a plumber. There are certain models of descalers like the Yarna water descaler, where you just need to wrap two wires around your main pipe and plug the descaler in. Then you just sit back and relax while it does its thing. It may be important to note that the results should start showing in about 3 months.

yarna water descaler parts

Water descalers protect the environment and make your life easier.

Although a water softener is suitable for cleaning your clothes, taking a shower or washing your dishes, the same can’t be said about other things. Watering plants with softened water might kill them. If not, it will stop their growth. Babies can’t ingest the water without it causing stomach problems. People with diabetes or high blood pressure also shouldn’t touch it. And not even regular adults can handle the excess sodium. You get the point. It’s not good for drinking.

Descalers don’t cause any of these problems. And they don’t waste much water. They simply work by “rewiring” the calcium and magnesium molecules. Less water waste means a smaller bill and also less stress on your local water plant. So you’re getting only the benefits of water softening and saving the planet at the same time.

These eco-friendly alternatives are based on a certified technology that offers you salt-free, mineral-rich tap water.

How to make sure your water descaler works well

Before installing the descaler, make sure to remove any existing scale from your pipes. Once you have removed most of it, you can install the descaler. Let it run for at least three months and then try cleaning your ducts again. If the descaler works properly, you should see less build-up in your pipes than before. Not only that, but your pipes should also be easier to clean.

Another way of checking the efficiency of your descaler is by washing your dishes. If there are few or no smudges left after cleansing, your descaler works properly. After this, you can try washing your clothes. If they look better than they did when you used to clean them with hard water, your descaler works excellent.

Keep in mind what electronic water descalers don’t do

Water descalers do not remove iron. If you live in an area where metals inside your water are a problem, you might want to (also) look for filters. Also, if your water is contaminated with dangerous viruses and uncommon bacteria, descalers won’t do much to filter them out. They are not meant to handle the removal of hard materials and dangerous substances. For that, you will also need to attach a filter.

Closing thoughts

The advantages offered by water descalers compared to water softeners are amazing. They can make the water more friendly to your appliances, dishes, and clothes without maintenance. Their eco-friendliness also makes them desirable in a world where pollution seems to be at an all-time high.

They don’t waste precious resources. And the way they modify calcium and magnesium particles makes the water drinkable yet friendly to your appliances. So, if you want all the advantages of water softeners without any of the hiccups, then water descalers are right for you.

For more great home ownership tips, check out the other blogs on Check This House.

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The 12 Types of Mold and Where to Find Them https://www.checkthishouse.com/8538/12-types-of-mold.html Fri, 21 Feb 2020 19:21:32 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=8538 Round air ventilation frame on white ceiling with wet stains, streaks and mould around ventilator.For any homeowner or renter, nothing is more annoying and alarming than having a mold problem in your residence. One, they’re unsightly and pungent. Two, some of them can be a little difficult to find. And three, they can take a toll on your overall health. Needless to say, it’s always advisable to seek help ... Read more]]> Round air ventilation frame on white ceiling with wet stains, streaks and mould around ventilator.

For any homeowner or renter, nothing is more annoying and alarming than having a mold problem in your residence. One, they’re unsightly and pungent. Two, some of them can be a little difficult to find. And three, they can take a toll on your overall health.

Needless to say, it’s always advisable to seek help from a professional mold company, to avoid the risk of your problem getting out of hand. In case you didn’t know, there are about 100,000 types of mold out there that might still be unknown to you. Research tells us that most homeowners and renters are oblivious to the presence of mold in their house.

There are three classifications of molds according to their hazardous effects: allergenic, pathogenic, and toxigenic.

Allergenic Molds

These only affect those who have allergies or asthma. When allergic people come in contact with these molds, they exhibit some kind of hypersensitive reaction. These types of reactions include sneezing, runny nose, skin rash, and red eyes. Inhaling allergenic molds may also trigger respiratory inflammation among asthmatic people. Studies have shown that about 20% – 30% are very prone to allergenic molds. Those without allergies, on the other hand, are more immune to these molds when they are in small quantities.

Pathogenic Molds

These are the molds that you have to be careful of, especially if you have a low immune system. Pathogenic molds cause diseases or infections in humans. In some cases, those in perfect condition may actually fend off the bad effects of this type of mold. This is primarily the reason why they are often dubbed as opportunistic pathogens. Infants and old people are most likely the victims of these since they have weaker immune systems than most adults.

Toxigenic Molds

These are the most dangerous of the 3 types of mold we have covered so far. They pose a threat to your life, whether you have a strong or weak immune system. This is because toxigenic molds produce poisonous chemicals called mycotoxins. Direct exposure to them, either via ingestion, skin contact, or inhalation, may cause mild to severe reactions. When worse comes to worst, they may even cause severe illnesses such as cancer.

Next, we give you 12 types of mold that you can commonly find around your house. Read on if you want to know how to identify them and how serious their effects can be.

1. Acremonium

Classification: Toxigenic

What it looks like: Usually, this mold starts out as a colony of pink, grey, orange, or white moist. It then slowly turns into a powdery substance over time, which means you can prevent it from spreading throughout the house through immediate removal.

Where you can find it: Keep an eye on it in your home’s heating, ventilation, and cooling system.

Health effects: It may cause damage to your bone marrow, weaken your immune system, and even take a toll on your brain function.

2. Alternaria

Classification: Allergenic

What it looks like: It’s either dark green or brown in color. It has hair, giving it a velvet-like texture.

Where you can find it: Alternaria is typically present in areas where there has been a major water leak. For instance, showers, bathtubs, and under sinks.

Health effects: When not removed immediately, this type of mold can trigger asthma attacks.

3. Aspergillus

Classification: Allergenic (It can also be toxigenic, depending on the species.)

What it looks like: This mold may come in different colors, but it’s generally brown or green. It takes on the shape of long flask-like spores. If you leave it unresolved for a long time, it can multiply and form thick layers or walls of the mold.

Where you can find it: It usually resides on wooden surfaces.

Health effects: Most species of Aspergillus are not that dangerous, bringing only minor and manageable allergies to people exposed to it. However, other species (the ones that produce mycotoxins) have been proven to be very hazardous to people with a weak immune system. They can cause respiratory infections, inflamed lungs, etc.

4. Aureobasidium

Classification: Allergenic

What it looks like: Pink, brown, or black are its usual colors. Over time, however, they begin to appear darker brown.

Where you can find it: You can spot them mostly behind wallpapers and on painted or wooden surfaces.

Health effects: It may cause infections on the eyes, skin, and nails.

5. Chaetomonium

Classification: Toxigenic

What it looks like: It begins as a white, cotton-textured colony. It gets darker with the passage of time, from gray to brown to black.

Where you can find it: You can easily recognize its presence in your home because of its musty smell. Check the roof, basement, pipes, drywall, and under wet carpets. It basically thrives in places that suffered water damage.

Health effects: Much like Aureobasidium, it can also cause skin and nail infections.

6. Cladosporium

Classification: Allergenic

What it looks like: Experts have identified this mold as olive-green or brown in color, with a texture that is very like that of suede.

Where you can find it: It’s found in carpets, fabrics, and upholsteries.

Health effects: It often causes mild (itchy eyes, runny nose, and sore throat) to severe (shortness of breath and respiratory infections) reactions.

7. Fusarium

Classification: Allergenic and Toxigenic

What it looks like: It comes in pink, red, or white.

Where you can find it: It loves growing on food, carpets, wallpapers, fabrics, and other water-damaged materials.

Health effects: It can cause skin infections and allergic reactions. Prolonged exposure to it, however, has more serious effects on your health. These include bone infections and brain damage.

8. Mucor

Classification: Allergenic

What it looks like: It generally looks white or gray in color. When not taken care of as soon as possible, it can grow in thick patches fast.

Where you can find it: It likes to grow near your heating, cooling, or air conditioning systems. It also loves company, so you can find it near other types of mold such as Stachybotrys.

Health effects: It can trigger asthma and/or flu-like symptoms. In worst-case scenarios, It can cause fungal infections that can damage your eyes, nose, lungs, and even your brain.

9. Penicillium

Classification: Allergenic

What it looks like: Like Alternaria, this type of mold has a velvety texture. It’s generally blue or green in color.

Where you can find it: You can look for it in mattresses, ventilation ducts, wallpapers, and carpets. Beware, because it can multiply rapidly. If you’ve flooding in the past, then it’s time to check for this kind.

Health effects: Since this mold is mostly airborne, it can bring about mild to severe respiratory issues.

10. Stachybotrys

Classification: Toxigenic

What it looks like: This type is commonly referred to as the black mold for obvious reasons. It has a slimy texture.

Where you can find it: It typically thrives in areas where moisture has been quite an issue for a long time.

Health effects: It has life-threatening effects on humans, including shortness of breath, fatigue, sinusitis, etc. It may also affect your mental health. Children and babies may also have neurological and pulmonary problems.

11. Trichoderma

Classification: Allergenic

What it looks like: It usually appears as white or green woolly patches.

Where you can find it: They can grow in any wet and moist areas.

Health effects: Most species of Trichoderma are harmless, but others still produce mycotoxins, which may cause severe health problems like sinusitis.

12. Ulocladium

Classification: Allergenic

What it looks like: It’s black in color.

Where you can find it: It resides in places where there has been extreme flooding due to water leaks. This is typically in kitchens, bathrooms, or basements.

Health effects: It may cause severe illnesses such as hay fever and skin infections.

Mold is everywhere. No matter what type of mold problem you are having in your home, it’s always best to address it as early as you can. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s imperative to treat all types of mold with the same gravitas as they are all hazardous to your health in one way or another. If you’re concerned about the condition of your home, don’t second guess and immediately ask a professional to conduct mold testing in your home. You may contact Hero Mold Removal for accurate and affordable mold testing and mold removal services.

For more great home ownership tips, be sure to check out the other blogs on Check This House.

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What Do I Do If My Toilet Clogs? https://www.checkthishouse.com/8441/what-do-i-do-if-my-toilet-clogs.html Fri, 05 Jul 2019 20:03:57 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=8441 It’s something you use every single day. You have one at home, you use one at work; you have access to one pretty much wherever and whenever. When they’re working, they provide us relief, but when they aren’t…? Cue stress. That’s right – we’re talking about our favourite thing in the bathroom – our toilets. It’s ... Read more]]>

It’s something you use every single day. You have one at home, you use one at work; you have access to one pretty much wherever and whenever. When they’re working, they provide us relief, but when they aren’t…? Cue stress.

That’s right – we’re talking about our favourite thing in the bathroom – our toilets.

It’s on of the most used pieces of “furniture” in your house – your porcelain throne. Sure, you may know how to keep it sparkling clean, but can you handle your own when whatever you’ve left behind refuses to flush?

Probably not.

Luckily for you, we’ve put together this how-to/101/DIY-guide telling you exactly what to do if your toilet clogs. 

Unclogging Your Toilet

More times than not, you can fix a clogged toilet all on your own. If your toilet is clogged, try these home-remedy methods first, before calling a professional for help.

 

  • Grab that Plunger

 

It’s not fun – but it works. 

A plunger acts, essentially, like a vacuum for your pipes, by suctioning out whatever it is that is clogging the pipe and preventing the water and waste from flushing properly.

Depending on how clogged the pipe is, it may take multiple attempts to loosen and clear the blockage – don’t give up after only 1 or 2 plunges. 

Pro-tip: run the plunger under hot water before using to soften it – this will allow you to create a better seal between the plunger and the hole in the toilet, increasing your chances of successfully dislodging the clog-culprit.

 

  • Use a Waste Removal Product

 

There are a number of products available on the market that contain enzymes meant to liquefy organic waste materials. 

These products are most often found at your local home improvement store and are incredibly easy to use – simply pour the recommended amount of product into your toilet bowl and wait.

While this method is not instant – it can take a few hours and is usually recommended to leave overnight – it is highly effective. But remember: this only works on clogs that are caused by organic waste – enzyme product removal won’t help with that toy car your child accidentally flushed.

 

  • Make Your Own Drain Cleaner

 

It may be hard to believe, but a simple mixture of baking soda and vinegar – two things that every household has – can work magic when it comes to clogged pipes.

Simply pour one cup of baking soda into your toilet bowl, followed by one cup of vinegar, and watch whatever is clogging your pipe fizz away right in front of your eyes. 

  • Get Professional Help

If you have tried all of the methods listed above and your toilet is still clogged, you may need to contact someone to clean the entire drain

In the end, a clogged toilet may be a relatively simple problem or could be an indication of something much more serious.

Often times – and especially the case in older neighbourhoods, farms or acreages, you may require more serious service such as Augering, root cutting, flushing/steaming, backhoe services, or actual sewer line repairs.

Considering the potential ‘cost’ (financial & emotional), weigh your options carefully – and good luck!

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How to Design a Calming Nursery https://www.checkthishouse.com/8393/how-to-design-a-calming-nursery.html Fri, 10 May 2019 19:29:46 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=8393 There’s nothing more exciting than bringing your newborn home for the first time from the hospital and showing them their nursery. As you plan to have a child or children, you want to create a calming environment for them to grow in. It’s inevitable that newborns will wake up in the middle of the night ... Read more]]>

There’s nothing more exciting than bringing your newborn home for the first time from the hospital and showing them their nursery. As you plan to have a child or children, you want to create a calming environment for them to grow in. It’s inevitable that newborns will wake up in the middle of the night crying. However, you can do little tricks that will create a nursery that will provide comfort, peace, and happiness. To help you get started, here are design tips for creating a calming nursery your baby will love!

Color

The color of your nursery will set the tone for the mood of the room. If you want to create a calming space, lean towards soft pastels and neutral colors that reflect light nicely. Sure, babies and toddlers can stain your walls as they grow older and begin reaching for the crayons. But, trying to mask wall imperfections with dark colors like navy blue will create an unsettling mood. To preview what wall colors will look best in your nursery, download paint-color apps that will allow you to take a picture of your room and get a sneak-peak of what different colors will look like as you begin to renovate your nursery!

Furniture

To create a comfortable nursery, you’re going to need comfortable furniture. Find a comfortable rocking chair to make feeding time more relaxing or help your little one fall asleep during those restless nights. If you want your newborn to sleep soundly through the night, you’re going to want a bassinet that will offer the perfect sleep environment. Make changing diapers more bearable with a changing that table that easily stores diapers, baby powder, and wipes for your convenience! When designing your nursery, you want to keep yourself in mind, too. Happy and relaxed parents will calm your newborn as well, so invest in quality furniture that will make every stage of growing up pleasant and memorable.

Storage

You’ll be surprised at the number of clothes, toys, and books you’ll accumulate when you give birth to your newborn. People love shopping for those adorable baby shoes, onesies, and funny t-shirts. Before you know it, your nursery will be swamped with articles of clothing of all sizes. Creating ample storage space will reduce your stress and clearly organize every pair of pants, shirts, dresses, onesies, PJs, and sweatshirts by the correct size as your baby rapidly grows. With all the books you acquire, create a learning space in the corner that neatly stores crayons, papers, and bedtime stories. Throw those food stained bibs and tops in nursery bins that need to head off to the laundry room, and get storage shelves for those fuzzy stuffed animals and fun toys to reside.

Safety

Safety should be on the top of your mind when designing a calming nursery. How can you remain calm when your newborn’s in a hazardous environment? Always invest in a reliable baby monitor to keep a keen eye on your precious child during the night or nap time. You should also equip your nursery with carbon monoxide alarms and fire alarms in case a gas leak or fire were to ever occur. Babies are curious about the world around them and they often venture off unnoticed, exploring the surroundings around them. If your nursery is on the second floor, make sure you safely securing railings along your staircase to avoid any accidents. Additionally, purchase furniture that has dull edges or place padding along sharp corners of tables and other furniture to avoid any mishaps.

Lighting

Similar to the wall color, lighting plays a vital role in creating a calming space for you and your newborn. During the day, allow bright natural light to flow in through the windows. However, the last thing you want is to stimulate your baby before bedtime with bright fluorescent lights. Invest in low-light fixtures that will allow you to change diapers during the wee hours of the morning while keeping your newborn sleepy. When it comes time for nap time, roll down blackout shades that will emulate the nighttime hours.

Getting Started

Now that you have these basic tips, it’s time to get started designing your nursery! If you don’t know where to begin, try using an interior design app that allows you to preview what furniture and other accessories will look like in a room. To make the most calming setting, always keep your baby and you and your spouse in mind to make child rearing enjoyable.

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Creating a Great School Environment for Your Homeschooled Child https://www.checkthishouse.com/8353/creating-a-great-school-environment-for-your-homeschooled-child.html Wed, 02 Jan 2019 20:14:49 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=8353 Homeschooling has evolved to be the choice of many young, modern parents who are distrustful of the safety that public school provides. These same parents are also dissatisfied with the current curriculum and academic instruction provided to their kids. Homeschooled children make up only four percent of the world’s student population. However, that total of ... Read more]]>

Homeschooling has evolved to be the choice of many young, modern parents who are distrustful of the safety that public school provides. These same parents are also dissatisfied with the current curriculum and academic instruction provided to their kids.

Homeschooled children make up only four percent of the world’s student population. However, that total of more than 1.8 million kids is growing each year. With school violence on the rise and incidents appearing on the news nightly, it is no wonder families are choosing to educate their children at home where they can control their safety and wellbeing.

A Dedicated Learning Space – Design Matters

It’s not enough to buy some books and create lesson plans before homeschooling your kids. It’s best to have a dedicated space for your classroom, to keep distractions at a minimum. You don’t want to mix home space with learning areas. If you are redecorating, now is the time to think about adding on a room specifically for your classroom.

Don’t forget to consider how your child learns. Visual learners can become overwhelmed with too much light, color, and too many objects. Auditory and kinesthetic learners have different needs that technology can solve. When setting up your classroom, consider the design elements, the color of the walls, furniture placement, and lighting and fixtures.

When designing your dedicated homeschooling space, remember to think about safety. School supplies and fixtures can present dangers that are not found elsewhere in your home. If you have elevated walkways or balconies off the learning room, be sure to protect little ones by installing child proof guardrails. The last thing you want to worry about is extra danger while homeschooling.

Homeschool Environment Essentials

Having a comfortable and safe learning environment will help your children get the most out of their education. Designing a space that invites imagination and exploration should be a top priority. Every home classroom should be large enough to have different areas.

First, you will want bookshelves for a library. A rug is needed for more interactive play and off-book education. A special projects area is critical when working with materials like clay and paints. Organization bins help a lot with keeping a multitude of supplies in order and making clean up at the end of the day a snap. Don’t forget the chalkboard or a modern whiteboard upon which you illustrated lessons and examples.

You will need desks and chairs to complete the classroom look and feel. When your kids get older, you can modify the furnishings as well as update the paint color and other fixtures to grow right along with them. For teens, tablets and other computerized technology provide great learning tools. Don’t forget a dedicated break area where kids can stop learning and have a snack.

Managing Your Homeschool Environment

Along with the school supplies, books, and resources, you need to consider the environment where you teach. Studies have shown that playing light; classical music can stimulate brain activity and enhance learning and focus.

Additionally, make sure other ambient noises are at a minimum. You want your classroom environment to be comfortable without being distracting. Dimmer switches on lights make sense so you can change the mood and intensity of lighting throughout the day.

When it makes sense to do so, move the classroom outdoors for some diversity and fresh air. Just like in public school, do not dismiss your kids until all learning is done for the day. Remember to take breaks and build in time for recess.

Keeping Your Homeschoolers Motivated

The idea of homeschooling might seem daunting at first, and you might wonder how to keep your kids motivated. Unlike public school, you can control the lessons, activities, and the motivators. You know your kids better than anyone. You know what is important to them and can use those incentives as rewards to help them stay engaged and moving forward.

There are dozens of online homeschooling support groups where you can connect with other families and share tips and solutions on lesson plans, motivation, and other issues. You can also schedule play dates and physical education field trips as a group to help your child grow socially and interact with other homeschooled children.

Once you have your lesson plans set up, you are in complete control. You can choose creative ways to educate your kids on the subjects they are required to learn. Perhaps you take them outside one day to learn about biology and visit the pond down the road. For kids, this is way more fun than sitting in a public school lab dissecting a frog. You have the freedom to help your children grow through real-life experiences they might miss attending public school.

Puppets as Learning Tool

Puppet shows are very popular with young children. Usually, the characters are fun, colorful and silly, thus appealing. As a child grows, they slowly learn empathy and how everyone is not in the same mood all the time. Puppets help them understand diversity and personality, and they teach compassion very well.

Using puppets in your classroom is a great way to detach from the feelings but yet teach them in a meaningful way. You can also have your kids use puppets as a way to communicate things to you through a third-party. This way the puppet is saying it, not them. The detachment aspect is compelling and helpful especially when teaching empathy.

Many psychotherapists use puppets in their work with children. Puppets also inspire imagination and let a child try on different personalities, emotions, and aspects of who they are learning to be.

Fueling Young Minds and Bodies

Another great benefit of homeschooling is that you can control your student’s lunches — healthy food fuels both the mind and body. Starting kids off early with a healthy diet will assist them in maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding many dangerous health issues and diseases later.

The Mediterranean diet is a great option. It consists of lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, grains, proteins like fish and chicken, and healthy fats like nuts, avocado, and olive oil. It also wards off high cholesterol and other heart-related diseases.

Homeschooling your little ones includes a ton of great advantages. While spending extra time with them, you also provide them with a safe, solid education while also helping them learn and grow the way you want them to.

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Should You Sell, Throw Out or Fix the Expensive Stuff? https://www.checkthishouse.com/8349/should-you-sell-throw-out-or-fix-the-expensive-stuff.html Wed, 05 Dec 2018 21:56:53 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=8349 Owning big-ticket items like a house and car is a decision not to be taken lightly, mainly because the responsibility of ownership doesn’t end with that initial purchase. When we buy something expensive, we expect it to last for a long time and are not necessarily thinking about future costs associated with repair, replacement and ... Read more]]>

Owning big-ticket items like a house and car is a decision not to be taken lightly, mainly because the responsibility of ownership doesn’t end with that initial purchase.

When we buy something expensive, we expect it to last for a long time and are not necessarily thinking about future costs associated with repair, replacement and maintenance. When something does go wrong, it always seems to happen at the most inopportune time.

The life expectancy of many household appliances is at least 10 years if taken care of properly. Meanwhile, items such as the home’s interior windows should last 20 years or more. Even a car can last 20 years; however, the average age of all cars on the road is 11 years.

It may be difficult to know exactly when to ditch or sell your old appliances, cars and windows. You may want to consider fixing them before getting rid of them. Selling your old appliances can also be a great way to make some extra cash on the side.

Let’s look at how to know whether to sell, toss, or fix some of life’s more expensive necessities and highlight ways to make the selling, fixing and throwing out processes easier.

 

Maintain & Clean Appliances

To make sure you’re getting the most mileage you can out of your appliances, you should schedule regular maintenance checks and cleanings. A dryer is supposed to last a decade or more, but if you aren’t cleaning out the areas that trap lint such as the motor, belt, drum and vent pipe, it may die before its time. Washers and dryers also become unbalanced over time, which can cause the components to fail and be costly to repair. If your washer is rattling and rocking back and forth during a load of laundry, it’s probably unbalanced.

Your first solution should be to fix the problem rather than buy a brand new appliance, especially if it fails before its intended lifecycle is up. Regular maintenance of any appliance can help extend the life of it, but sometimes it may make more financial sense to replace an old appliance rather than repair it. If you aren’t sure about the condition of your appliance, you could always ask a repair technician for advice.   

Be sure to research the lifespans of your appliances and systems and consider purchasing a home warranty plan in case something major breaks down.

 

Sell Your Old Appliances

If you’ve taken good care of your older appliances and simply want to upgrade to newer appliances, you can probably earn money to put toward a new purchase by selling your current appliances if they are in good condition. This is why it pays to properly maintain appliances like your refrigerator, stove, and washer and dryer.

Selling your items online through Craigslist may be your best bet as that’s where bargain hunters are looking to buy large appliances and furniture for themselves or to sell for a higher price. Unless you have a truck or trailer, you’ll have to specify that you want the buyer to pick it up.

If you simply want appliances gone, you may consider hiring a dump truck service if you have heavy loads and want someone else to haul the junk away. But if you really want to make a little extra money, you’ll have to get creative. In addition to Craigslist, you could sell at a garage sale, to a local scrap metal recycling center, or to an appliance reseller.

 

Replacing the Windows

Like our modern appliances, it’s easy to take our home’s windows for granted. Eventually, windows wear out, become drafty and lose their luster. Even if window replacement is not at the top of your priority list, keep in mind that replacing them will help increase the value of your home, make it look nicer, and improve energy efficiency. Other benefits of replacing your windows include better security, more comfort and lower heating and cooling bills.

A standard, double-pane vinyl window will cost about $450-$600, including installation. A wood replacement window runs between $800-$1000 each. Depending on how many windows you need replaced and the size, you could spend a pretty penny.

According to HomeAdvisor, the cost of 10 new replacement windows and installation for a single-story home ranges from $3,000 to $7,000. If the window frame needs replaced, cost of replacement increases anywhere from 50-100 percent, which raises the average cost to $5,000-$40,000.

 

Cars: Sell, Trade, Repair

Other than your home, you probably don’t own anything more expensive than your car. But unlike a home, a car depreciates in value as soon as you buy it.

You may be wondering when is the perfect time to sell, trade in, or repair your used car. A lot of it depends on your current needs and the condition of the car. If the car you have runs perfectly fine and it’s paid for, it wouldn’t make sense to trade it in for a new car unless you have disposable income or want something fancier. If your car is old and beat up, you could still sell it for cash if you know what your “junker” is worth, even if it’s just for parts.

The mileage and age affect the value of the car even if you don’t have repairs to make yet. Cars tend to dip in value after the warranty expires and around the 70,000-mile mark. Around 100,000 miles, the car takes another dip in value and seems to be a symbolic milestone when people either decide to sell it or run it into the ground.

Expensive repairs also need to be taken into consideration. Let’s say you have an old car and the transmission went out but the vehicle is otherwise in good condition. You could either sell the car or rebuild the transmission. If you sell it, you may only receive salvage value for it. If you get the transmission replaced or fixed, you can keep driving it because it’s in good shape otherwise or decide to sell it once it’s fixed.

If your car, home appliances and windows are all perfectly functional and you don’t have the money to buy new things, maybe it makes more sense to pay for repairs until you absolutely need those upgrades in your life.  

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3 Ways To Avoid Large Scale Bathroom Renovations https://www.checkthishouse.com/8331/3-ways-to-avoid-large-scale-bathroom-renovations.html Tue, 20 Nov 2018 19:52:21 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=8331 Well-functioning bathrooms achieve a lot. When they run well and look good, they increase the value of our homes, they keep us safe from things like mold, and they allow us to feel refreshed and at home in our houses. Sometimes, though, our bathrooms themselves are in need of a refresh. As those who own ... Read more]]>

Well-functioning bathrooms achieve a lot. When they run well and look good, they increase the value of our homes, they keep us safe from things like mold, and they allow us to feel refreshed and at home in our houses.

Sometimes, though, our bathrooms themselves are in need of a refresh. As those who own their homes know, one of the costs of home ownership is maintaining your home so that its value remains over the long haul. Keeping bathrooms updated means ensuring that you’re taking care of what you have and you’re making small changes as the needs arise. Doing so is the key to preventing a situation wherein your only option is a major, costly renovation to save your bathroom.

 

Remove Dirt and Grime

Many large problems people run into in their bathroom spaces are the result of small problems that they never addressed. The smaller an issue is, the easier it will be to deal with. Any problem that arises in the bathroom that you put off will not go away, it will simply become more problematic, and more costly on your time and your resources.

Get rid of rust: Both seen and unseen rust is problematic in bathrooms. Removing rust from the likes of toilets and showers ensures unsightly stains don’t make your bathroom look dirtier than it actually is. Rusting pipes in the bathroom left untreated can end up damaging your plumbing.

Kill mold: Not only is mold potentially harmful for individuals, it can also damage the walls and drywall within your home. As soon as you spot mold growth in your bathroom, take the steps to kill it. It’s important to remember with mold that if you can see some, there is likely more lurking where you cannot see. Therefore, it’s valuable to use a squeegee to remove excess moisture after showers, and to keep fans running at least half hour post-shower to ensure proper ventilation.

Clean the fan filter: As Josh Crank writes in his overview of cleaning fan filters out, “Bathroom exhaust fans are among the most underappreciated systems in today’s homes. They’re easy to forget about when it comes to home maintenance, and they can sometimes malfunction without homeowners even noticing. But when they’re used properly and well maintained, they can make any home safer, more energy efficient and fresher-smelling.”

Consistently assessing how the components in your bathroom are fairing and taking the steps needed to keep them well-maintained will serve you and your bathroom well.

 

Replace the Worn Out or Damaged

Given the fact that our bathrooms really operate as an interconnected system, it’s clear that areas in need of replacing aren’t simply isolated issues. Instead, when things are broken or worn down, it’s often the case that those problems will weaken the area as a whole and you’ll end up having to fix more components.

Fix flooring issues: No matter the type of flooring in your bathroom, if there is damage to the floors the inevitable consequence is that you will have water damage, as well. Whether you need to replace hardwood planks or tiles in the floor, the quicker you respond to damage the better off you’ll be.

Reseal grout: While many will tell you that grout should be sealed every year, the reality is that watching your grout for signs of wear is a better, more cost-effective way to judge. When film coatings on top of grout begin to chip, the grout showing underneath is a sign you’ll need to reseal. If your grout has a penetrating sealer, which is clear, you know you need to reseal when the grout begins changing color, because that is a sign air is reaching the grout.

Things will inevitably break and where out, but staying on top of repairs is the difference between a worn out bathroom and a like-new one.

Refresh Where Needed

Sometimes bathroom maintenance isn’t so much a matter of complete replacement or removal, but rather giving some attention to areas that need a relatively straightforward fix. We can easily tune out small imperfections that we see on a day-to-day basis, but not doing that and actively problem-solving will ensure fixes stay small and your bathroom stays pristine.

Stop the leaks: “The average household’s leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year and ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day,” writes the EPA. Leaks waste water and money, and bathrooms leaks a prime culprit. Check your toilet flapper faucet, especially, for leaks.

Deal with cracks and chips: As we’ve noted before, “While cleaning the bathroom or taking a shower; follow the grout lines and look for missing grout, hairline cracks. Pay close attention to the corners and seams – those are the most common areas for the cracks to appear and the grout to become loose.”

If you see an area in need of a little love, give it some, and reap the rewards of bathroom that works they way it should.

When we do home maintenance, we have the power to make many small choices and repairs that ultimately save us from having to make large ones. When you see maintenance that needs to be done, a choice is always made: you either fix it right then or you fix it later. The only difference is usually the time and money spent on it. The longer the problem is allowed to exist, the larger the cost. As in most areas of life, the best home maintenance is that which works smarter, not harder.

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Basic Ways to Prepare Your Home For Winter https://www.checkthishouse.com/8317/basic-ways-to-prepare-your-home-for-winter.html Mon, 22 Oct 2018 18:43:51 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=8317 The cooler months of the year are certainly full of their own distinct charms, but for homeowners they also bring a distinct set of challenges. The precipitation levels increase, cold winds blow, and temperatures drop. Keeping our homes in good working order and ensuring they remain bright and warm doesn’t happen accidentally. Instead, it’s a ... Read more]]>

The cooler months of the year are certainly full of their own distinct charms, but for homeowners they also bring a distinct set of challenges. The precipitation levels increase, cold winds blow, and temperatures drop.

Keeping our homes in good working order and ensuring they remain bright and warm doesn’t happen accidentally. Instead, it’s a matter of planning ahead and preparing for the specific difficulties potentially on the horizon. But, there are relatively straightforward ways homeowners can maintain their homes and create a space that weathers — pun intended — the seasons well, and in doing so promotes health and happiness.

 

Highlight the Sources of Light

Obviously, the primary way to achieve a home that remains warm and welcoming all year is by ensuring you have the appropriate lighting sources. Successfully utilizing your existing natural and artificial light sources is the key to combating less sunlight.

Windows

While it’s more challenging, even in months with less daylight you can take steps to maximize the natural light — and by extension warmth — coming into your home. This is largely a result of creating a support system that will highlight every bit of light.

Make sure they’re well sealed: It is important to make sure your windows are well sealed. This will ensure that the value of the light let in isn’t missed due to loss of heat in your home. In most cases, this will require simple recaulking if your windows aren’t fully sealed.

Reflect the light: When you can, fill your spaces with reflective surfaces so that the light is continuously transferred throughout the room. Mirrors, hardwood floors, and reflective furniture are best for this.

Accentuate window spaces: Home decor experts note, “The effect of sunlight through your window curtains can sometimes bathe a room in color when the curtains are drawn… The less dense the fabric is, the more light it will let in unless it is lined.”

Thus, choosing curtains shouldn’t just be about how well they’ll block, but also how well they’ll be able to let light through while still granting privacy.

Artificial Lighting

Not all artificial lighting is created the same. In this case, more is not necessarily better. Instead, it’s worthwhile to invest in the right kinds of bulbs and to use them in a strategic manner.

Pick the right bulb: Warmer, yellow light-creating bulbs will make spaces like the bedroom and living room seem cozier and calmer. Whiter lights in practical, task-oriented spaces like the bathroom and kitchen will work best.

Install dimmers: This is the magic step that can transform how bulbs appear and how they impact the living spaces where you place them. Dimmers give you the ultimate control over the bulbs you’re using.

Keep them clean: The most cost effective way to utilize what you’ve got is to keep the bulbs clean. Going through your home and cleaning what you have will pave the way for lighting that is efficient and effective.

 

Maintain the Spaces That Receive the Most Winter Wear

Part of the reality of inclement weather is that it inevitably takes a toll on the spaces we live in. Whether its because it’s impossible to leave the precipitation outside, or because our behavior inside our home changes, there are specific sections of the home that often experience more damage during the cold months.

Outside Interiors: Cold weather can make otherwise harmless outside spaces risky to move about in. If you have a garage or shed, water can enter and then freeze when the temperature drops, creating a hazard for all who enter.

Before the weather takes a serious turn for the worse, organize your shed or garage so that the floor is free of obstructions, and you can access whatever tools you may need with ease. If keeping the area heated is not an option, remain diligent in terms of removing excess water from the floor or vehicles so that it won’t become a safety risk.

Floors: When there’s excessive rain, sleet, or snow, it will often stick to clothing and shoes, and our floors pay the price. This really means we pay the price if we don’t take care of them. To protect floors from damage, use mats inside and outside, mop up any liquids, and vacuum up the salt tracked inside as quickly as possible.

Stoves: According to the Department of Energy, a seasonal shift happens in the kitchen: when the weather drops we use our stoves and ovens more than during other parts of the year. Be sure to keep burners and the oven clean.

 

Prepare for Storms

There are few things more disconcerting than being caught unprepared in the midst of severe weather. You can’t always control the amount of impact that a weather-related situation has on you and your family. However, preparing in advance for difficult situations means you are doing what you can.

Batten down the hatches: To prepare for weather at its worst, be sure to take some precautionary measures to protect your house. Tree branches should be trimmed, gutters cleaned out, and siding secure. This is the time to check and verify that weatherstripping on your home is up-to-date.

Protect pets: Include your pets in your preparation. In winter, it’s difficult not to expose some pets to the elements. Take preventative measures to ensure your pet stays safe and dry at home, too; options like pet insurance and pet wellness plans guarantee that you’ll prepared in the worst case scenario.

Emergency supplies: Consider investing in extra supplies, and even a generator in case of power outage. Keep emergency kits in both your home and vehicles. Additionally, there’s wisdom not only in knowing CPR as adults but also in having kids learn CPR.

Prepare for health hazards: While colds and flus may not be literal storms, in the United States they become so pervasive during fall and winter the CDC refers to them as “annual epidemics”. Thus, to avoid illness taking over your home the healthcare professionals at Healthline recommend taking extra care to keep your home clean and disinfected and to practice healthy habits as individuals.

Home preparations for fall and winter may seem daunting, but the reality is they’re totally doable. Not only that, they have the power to make the season, as a whole, more enjoyable as well. The cooler months of the year can mean we feel that we’re perpetually battling the weather so that we can protect our home from the elements. This can be discouraging not only in terms of our houses physically, but also in terms of how we feel in general.

Most of the time, though, the elements’ power to affect our homes and our emotional well-being is impactful only in direct correlation to the amount of time and planning we invest in home preparation.

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5 Things Every Home Owner Should Know About Their Attic https://www.checkthishouse.com/8301/5-things-every-home-owner-should-know-about-their-attic.html Mon, 08 Oct 2018 18:38:08 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=8301 Every homeowner knows all too well the stages of wondering what to do with their attic: cautiously exploring, ambitiously attempting to make use of it, and ultimately giving up and deciding to pretend that it isn’t even there. Maybe it’s spooky, maybe it’s a mess, or maybe it’s just a massive pain in the butt ... Read more]]>

Every homeowner knows all too well the stages of wondering what to do with their attic: cautiously exploring, ambitiously attempting to make use of it, and ultimately giving up and deciding to pretend that it isn’t even there. Maybe it’s spooky, maybe it’s a mess, or maybe it’s just a massive pain in the butt to get up into.

Whichever excuse your using, it’s time to face the facts – we can’t ignore our attics forever.

To prove why, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 things every homeowner should know about their attic – you’ll thank us later.

  1. Attics Are A Great Place For Your Furnace

Most houses have their furnaces in the basement or in a designated “utility closet” on the main floor, but most homeowner’s don’t realize that there is another space in their house that can be a great option – the attic.

Of course the attic can be a hassle to get in and out of the one or two time’s a year you actually need to service the furnace, but there are many advantages to combat this slight inconvenience.

  • Having the furnace in the attic affords you additional usable space in your basement or on your main floor – space you can utilize for more living space, more storage space, etc.
  • Having your furnace in the attic means the ducts running from the attic to the upper and main levels of the house will be shorter – shorter distances for the heat to travel equates to less heat loss, meaning an attic furnace is actually more efficient.
  • An attic is a great option if you are expanding the size of your home and require a second furnace – rather than having to rearrange your current utility space to accommodate room for a new furnace you can simply place the new one in the attic.

Just note, there are a number of regulations that must be met when placing your furnace in the attic – safety first!

  1. Attics Are Also A Great Place For Mould and Pests

Mould and pests are two things you don’t want to find in your attic, but that can be quite common.

Even the smallest of leaks in your roof after a heavy rain or long, snowy, winter can result in trapped moisture in your attic. This moisture causes mould, which can damage the structure of your roof and attic as well as causing allergens that can be hazardous to your health. The best way to combat this is to keep your roof, especially the shingles, in good condition.

In addition to mould, you can also often find rats, bats, raccoons, and a variety of other little critters making themselves at home in your attic. For small critters, you can usually trap and release them yourselves, for the bigger one’s you may want to enlist the help of a professional. But remember – use humane methods of removal only!

  1. Attic Insulation Is Crucial For Keeping Your Home Comfortable and Healthy

And it ensures your attic is performing as efficiently as possible – which also saves you money!

It’s easy to check if your attic is properly insulated – if you see bare spots along the walls or ceiling, or the insulation that is there looks thin, worn out, or damaged (especially water damage), you may want to have a professional come in and touch the insulation up.

There are a few options for insulation, such as loose fill insulation or blanket insulation, and the newer option, spray foam polyurethane. Of course, each option has their pros and cons, which will depend on factors such as your budget and what you intend to use the attic for.

  1. Your Attic Is Incredibly Important To The Structure Of Your Home

Things that may appear to be small issues can easily be due to larger problems that are out of sight. If you notice any leaks or cracks, it is best to have them checked out as soon as possible.

While these may be isolated to the attic and be easily repaired, they may also indicate more substantial problems such as cracks in the foundation of your home or even a variety of other structural issues.

The longer issues like these go unnoticed, the more expensive they will be to repair and the more hazardous they become to the integrity of your home – don’t hesitate to call a professional, even if the problem you have found seems minor, because it may not be.

  1. You Should Check Your Attic Every 3-6 Months

As you can see, there are many different problems that can arise within your attic. In order to catch these problems before they grow out of hand, professionals recommend you inspect your attic every 3 to 6 months.

By inspecting your attic regularly, you should be able to keep your problems to a minimum and only have to worry about regular maintenance. This will save you time and money, keep you safe, and keep you sane – a few minutes of your time every few months seem worth that!

Is there anything else you think homeowners should know about their attics? Share below!

References

  1. https://www.checkthishouse.com/6209/attic-furnace-platform-installation-requirements.html
  2. http://www.rwwestinspections.com/guide-attic-maintenance/10748/
  3. https://www.hunker.com/13408474/why-put-a-furnace-in-a-houses-attic

 

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Extreme Amount of Moisture in my Attic | Attic Ventilation https://www.checkthishouse.com/4555/extreme-amount-of-moisture-in-my-attic-attic-ventilation.html Sun, 21 Feb 2010 23:04:46 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=4555 Condensation dripping from an H clip in poorly ventilated atticI have an extreme amount of moisture in my attic, I recently had my roof re-shingled and had the roofer add 2 more vents for better ventilation. There is a build up of frost in certain areas of my roof, it has been an extremely cold winter, would lack of insulation cause this and how deep should the insulation be?]]> Condensation dripping from an H clip in poorly ventilated attic

Attic moisture is a very common problem in cold climates.

Attic moisture - Condensation dripping from an H clip in poorly ventilated atticAttic moisture - Frost developing on roofing nails and decking in poorly ventilated attic - black mold will follow shortlyLet’s answer the attic moisture question below (from one of the website visitors): I have an extreme amount of attic moisture, I recently had my roof re-shingled and had the roofer add 2 more vents for better ventilation.

There is a build up of frost in certain areas of my roof, it has been an extremely cold winter, would lack of insulation cause this and how deep should the insulation be?

Attic moisture - Missing attic floor insulation allows heat transfer between the conditioned space of your home and the atticLack of insulation on the attic floor (house ceiling) is definitely one of the most important reasons for attic moisture resulting from migration of warm air into the attic, and moisture condensation on the roof framing / decking.

Although, properly designed attic ventilation would most likely remove this warm air before it starts elevating attic moisture levels and condensing. However, we’re still loosing expensive energy.

Attic moisture - Vents along the lower portion of the roof, one of the solutions if there is no soffit - help to maintain air circulation and remove attic moistureInstallation of additional roof vents helps to control attic moisture under one condition – they have to be distributed properly in order to maintain air circulation between the lower and upper section of the attic, or sideways (between gables). Those two additional roof vents (I’m assuming on top of the roof) won’t help much if there’s nothing or not enough vents (air intakes) along the bottom edges of your roof.

Depending on the roof design, installation of  “lower” vents could become a challenge – the best example would be a roof with no overhang /soffits to accommodate vents. In such case, attic moisture control can be performed utilizing the following 3 passive vent options:

  1. Drip edge vents installed along the bottom edge of the roof / right above the gutter
  2. A few regular vents on the roof surface, within 1/3 of the distance between the bottom and top section of the roof plane (not an ideal situation but sometimes the only one)
  3. Hip vents – the same as a ridge vent (almost)

Attic moisture - Humidistat and temperature sensor equipped attic power vent helps to remove attic moisture - condensationUnfortunately, any significant amount of snow and / or ice accumulating at the lower portion of the roof, inside the gutter (for a drip edge vent) will most likely compromise the air flow and prevent attic moisture removal. It sounds like there’s no solution… well, if you combine a humidistat controlled attic power vent, with any of the above described passive vents, you’ll have much better chance of removing attic moisture and preventing frost and condensation from building up in your attic.

The insulation issue / how deep the attic insulation should be to minimize attic moisture problem?

It all depends on your geographical location and type of the insulation installed. The most commonly used for the attic floor are blown-in types of insulation: cellulose and fiberglass.

Attic moisture - Frost and black mold covered roof decking surface, heavy condensation stains on roof framing - caused by too much insulation stuffed into the soffit and blocking soffit ventsFor attic insulation amounts and sample calculations please visit – attic ceiling insulation

You can also find more information about your attic issues (including more about attic moisture) on my website under “Attic

Please, let me know if you have any other questions, and please – take care of attic moisture and condensation issues before it gets moldy.

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How Much Attic Insulation You Need: Insulation Zone Map https://www.checkthishouse.com/4417/how-much-attic-insulation-you-need-insulation-zone-map.html Thu, 14 Jan 2010 23:04:40 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=4417 Lack of the floor attic insulation (house top floor ceiling), or inadequate amount of the insulation are definitely some of the most important reasons responsible for migration of conditioned (hot or warm) air into the attic. During the cold season, missing attic floor insulation or low levels of attic insulation might be devastating, result in ... Read more]]>

Lack of the floor attic insulation (house top floor ceiling), or inadequate amount of the insulation are definitely some of the most important reasons responsible for migration of conditioned (hot or warm) air into the attic.

During the cold season, missing attic floor insulation or low levels of attic insulation might be devastating, result in excessive condensation, attic mold growth, ice dams, and deterioration of the roof decking surface.

With sufficient attic ventilation, conditioned air that has penetrated ceiling surface into the attic would be discharged from the attic into the house exterior, sometimes without even causing any problems.
However, your heating and / or air conditioning system will operate much longer and more often in order to keep up with the thermostat settings – that’s more cost to you.

How much attic insulation do you need in your area?

The amount and R-value of your attic floor insulation depends on your geographical location / zone.

The R value or R-value is a measure of thermal resistance (ability to resit heat traveling through it) used in the building and construction industry. The higher R-value – the better insulation performance. (Full Wikipedia definition).

Some states, do not have building codes regulating energy efficiency at all, and each existing municipal code might be different. Therefore, you may want to check with your local building department how much attic insulation is required in your particular area before you start a project.

Use the US map and the chart below to determine recommended attic insulation R-values in your area and how much attic insulation you need (source – Energy Star website ).

How much attic insulation you need - United States insulation amounts map

Zone Recommended insulation values based on your current attic condition
There’s no attic floor insulation – install following: If you have 3″ – 4″ of  the attic floor insulation, install additional:
1 R30 to R49 R25 to R30
2 R30 to R60 R25 to R38
3 R30 to R60 R25 to R38
4 R38 to R60 R38
5-8 R49 to R60 R38 to R49

How much attic insulation on the floor you need (its thickness) will depend on the insulation type / each one has a different R-value, so you’ll need more or less of the particular insulation type to achieve the same thermal protection.

How much attic insulation you need – thickness calculation example:

The average R-values of two most popular attic floor insulation types are (you’ll find the exact R-values on the insulation packaging material):

  • Loose fill cellulose  3.2 to 3.8 per inch
  • Loose fill fiberglass  2.2 to 2.7 per inch

To find out how much attic insulation you need for a home located in #4 zone, without any existing attic floor insulation (according to the table recommended minimum R-value is R38), wee need to perform this simple calculation:

R38 divided by R3.2 (cellulose) = 11.875″  loose fill  insulation thickness
R38 divided by R2.2 (fiberglass) = 17.27″  loose fill  insulation thickness

I hope that the above map and tables will help you determine how much attic insulation you should have to prevent many serious problems from happening, and to keep your monthly energy bills as low as possible.

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How to Get Rid of Mold in Your Attic – Kill Stubborn Mold! https://www.checkthishouse.com/4081/mold-in-house-attic-how-to-kill-mold-how-to-clean-mold.html https://www.checkthishouse.com/4081/mold-in-house-attic-how-to-kill-mold-how-to-clean-mold.html#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2009 21:00:54 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=4081 How To Remove MoldLet me give you an advice on how to get rid of attic mold, something to consider before signing a contract with a mold remediation company.]]> How To Remove Mold

Getting rid of mold in the attic used to be one of the most “popular” concerns addressed by my clients after the home inspection. I’ve already covered why is black mold growing under the roof, and how to prevent or stop attic black mold from growing in my previous posts.

Now is time for getting rid of mold in your attic

Getting rid of mold in the attic - roof framing not contaminated, roof and decking replacement might be less expensive than mold remediationBut before I explain the “typical” way of getting rid of mold, let me give you a little advice, something to consider before you sign a few (if you lucky) thousand dollars contract agreement with a mold remediation company.

Getting rid of mold in the attic TIP (to consider):

  • Let’s assume that you are in the middle of a real-estate transaction, and the home inspector just revealed to you, that your entire house attic is contaminated with black mold. If you have a brand new roof, you can only blame yourself or try to blame the roofing contractor for not checking the attic before replacing the roof (he’ll laugh at you unless you’ve actually asked the guy to check the attic before the roof replacement). If you have an older roof, the importance of this getting rid of mold advice is even greater.
  • Call at least 2-3 mold remediation companies for an estimate – specify to the representatives, that you not only want to have the mold removed, but also attic ventilation system corrected / installed if necessary / ask if the attic insulation requires replacement. With the numbers from the mold remediation contractors, call 2-3 roofing contractors and ask them for a quote on the roof replacement cost including decking boards / plywood (ask the roofer to check the attic area), and your attic ventilation improvement.

Be cautious if they only suggest humidistat controlled power vent installation – without properly functioning soffit vents, any type of vents along the lower portion of the roof, or gable vents, this might not be an adequate solution.

  • If the attic insulation replacement is not required (it most cases it will not be possible to tell without laboratory testing), make sure it’s sealed with plastic foil before the roof and its decking replacement. Fold the foil sealing its contents after the contaminated decking has been removed, and dispose of as a regular waste (EPA recommendation)
  • If you only have a small area of attic contaminated with black mold, the roof replacement option would be more expensive. But instead of getting rid of mold from an entire attic by performing black mold remediation procedures, it might be cheaper (or even much cheaper) to remove all contaminated decking, install completely new roof and correct ventilation issues. I’ve seen $3,000.00 – $10,000.00 invoices for the attic black mold remediation process in approximately 1000 – 1200 square feet of attic area.

Benefits of getting rid of mold in your attic by replacing the roof

  • A few befits of the roof / decking replacement over the other types of getting rid of mold procedures:
  1. Roof and decking replacement might be cheaper than getting rid of mold be cleaning an entire black mold contaminated attic
  2. The house attic black mold that was killing your real-estate transaction is gone
  3. Attic ventilation improvement is much easier during the roof replacement and often handled with no additional or insignificant cost
  4. After getting rid of mold using this method the buyer gets a brand new roof

Even if the roof replacement price is slightly higher than getting rid of mold with a traditional mold remediation process, it is still worth to take it under the consideration because you’re gaining a valuable house update (new roof), that will be disclosed on a real-estate listing.

In some cases, the roof decking and framing are contaminated, and decking replacement only would not entirely solve the problem. In such case, you’d have to clean mold contaminated joists and / or trusses.

Killing attic black mold and getting rid of mold the typical way

This isn’t a black mold killing or mold cleaning case study, it is just an explanation based on my observations and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommendations.

Even if you’re dealing with a small mold contaminated attic area – 10′ x 10′ is the maximum area recommended by the  EPA to be treated by non-professionals, forget about getting rid of mold / killing mold by spraying it with bleach or other disinfectants. It ‘s been confirmed by laboratory testing that they don’t kill all of the spores and in most cases, you’ll be just making a mess.

The best way for getting rid of mold in the attic (black mold and any other mold) is to remove it from the surface it’s growing on, or remove the contaminated surface!

The following “getting rid of mold” / cleanup methods are recommended by EPA and all of them can be applied in the attic, assuming that it is a small area (up to 10 sq. feet).

  1. Get rid of mold-contaminated surfaces by using a wet vacuum – the type you can fill its tank partially with water to contain mold residue from the contaminated surface
  2. Wipe the surface with a damp sponge or rag – use clean water or wood cleaner
  3. Use a high-efficiency HEPA vacuum cleaner on thoroughly dried surfaces, and dispose of the picked-up contents in well-sealed plastic bags
  4. Remove all contaminated material, seal it in plastic and dispose of as regular waste. They recommend using HEPA vacuum after this, but in the attic you’d most likely have to remove the floor insulation (if contaminated). You can also cover the insulation with plastic foil, and fold the foil sealing its contents after the cleaning process.

You may or may not have any allergic reactions to the attic black mold. However, while getting rid of mold always use protective equipment, especially while working in the attic area where you are exposed to the insulation fibers and dust.

Also, as minimum protection, while getting rid of mold EPA recommends Gloves, N-95 respirator and eye protection (preferably fully enclosed goggles). As additional protection you can add a half-face respirator or full-face respirator with HEPA filter, disposable full-body clothing, headgear, and foot coverings.

Getting rid of mold in the attic if large section or an entire attic is contaminated

I personally wouldn’t even attempt to do it myself, so my suggestion is:

  • For getting rid of mold in a heavily contaminated attic use a professional mold remediation company – check their background and check it “manually” by calling their clients! Ask for clients who had their attic mold remediated approximately 1-2 years ago – it usually takes a winter for the mold to start growing again if the job wasn’t fully completed.

Getting rid of mold in the attic - remove it, do not encapsulate!Insist on removing the attic black mold completely instead of encapsulating it (Media Blasting methods give the best results). Encapsulation is simply a process of covering the mold-contaminated surface with paint (paint-like product) that contains (or at least some of them do) mold killing chemicals.

The video below explains getting rid of mold in the attic with the soda blast mold remediation process, and you can immediately see the results of this procedure.


After properly getting rid of mold in your attic and having all of the issues responsible for black mold growth corrected, which is even more important than mold removing, it will not re-grow / no need for encapsulating.

  • Hire a different contractor for mold testing and mold remediation to eliminate conflict of interest
  • Make sure that you perform an independent clearance test after the mold remediation process completion. The clearance test is to determine if there are any mold spores remaining in the previously contaminated area.

Getting rid of mold in the attic - partially encapsulated attic mold - your money wasted on poorly performed work. Always remove mold and correct moisture problem.Getting rid of mold in the attic - rotten section of mold contaminated roof deckingExtremely important! – personally examine the attic (or have somebody you can trust do it for you) after getting rid of mold / performing mold cleaning procedures. I’m not exaggerating – I’ve seen several attics after “professionally performed remediation”, they either didn’t know the correct way of getting rid of mold in the attic or they didn’t care (close to $10000 price tag!).

After getting rid of mold the wood surfaces should be perfectly clean (like brand new), unless there was some rotting that resulted from leaking roof or extremely humid conditions in the attic – those sections of wood should be either replaced or reinforced from underneath. You don’t want anyone to fall through the roof while servicing it or just inspecting.

This concludes getting rid of mold in the attic & killing mold in the contaminated attic but I highly recommend going a little deeper into the “attic” subject by reading my other posts in the “attic” category.

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Code Requirement for Bathroom Vent Location & Bathroom Exhaust https://www.checkthishouse.com/3971/code-requirement-for-bathroom-vent-location-bathroom-exhaust.html https://www.checkthishouse.com/3971/code-requirement-for-bathroom-vent-location-bathroom-exhaust.html#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2009 19:42:31 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=3971 Well, there’s no specific building code requirement for the bathroom vent location / exhaust fan installation. You can have it almost anywhere on the ceiling or wall (floors are forbidden due to possibility of vent flooding). The bathroom vent you see on the picture is slightly above the floor level (it’s actually just a register, ... Read more]]>

Well, there’s no specific building code requirement for the bathroom vent location / exhaust fan installation. You can have it almost anywhere on the ceiling or wall (floors are forbidden due to possibility of vent flooding).

Bathroom vent with a purpose

The bathroom vent you see on the picture is slightly above the floor level (it’s actually just a register, fan motor installed in the attic above), and I personally guarantee that in this location works like a charm (there’s one more bathroom vent above the shower stall).

The reason for placing the bathroom vent motor in the attic and running an exhaust duct behind the toilet was that some jurisdictions do not allow to have the bathroom vent assembly installed lower than any sink, tub, toilet edge or shower head.

Installing bathroom exhaust on GFCI protected circuit could be another solution but check with your local building department before installation.

Building code paragraphs concerning bathroom ventilation based on 2006 IRC (International Residential Code):

  • Every bathroom requires an openable window that provides at least 1.5 square ft of air flow area when open – 2006 IRC [303.3] OR mechanical type ventilation: 50 CFM intermittent or 20 CFM continuous operation – 2006 IRC [303.3X]

CFM – cubic feet per minute – general term used to specify the amount of air that the bathroom vent / fan (in our case) is able to move within one minute of its operation.

  • Air must be exhausted directly to the outside – 2006 IRC [303.3X]
  • May not discharge to crawlspace or attic – 2006 IRC [1506.2]13
  • Outdoor openings screened 1/4″ – 1/2″ mesh – 2006 IRC [305.5]

However, in general, placing a bathroom vent in the areas other than the ceiling or upper sections of the wall will compromise one of its main purposes – moisture removal. Proper bathroom vent / exhaust fan placement becomes critical if you have any sources of hot, moist air in the bathroom area (tub, shower, steam room, etc.), and the best strategic vent location would be directly above or as close as possible to that source, but still high up.

  • Warm, humid air is less dense than dry air and it will rise to the ceiling, cool down, and condensate on its surface, unless there’s a powerful enough exhaust fan / bathroom vent to suck it out from this area.

If you install the bathroom vent / fan directly above the tub or shower, it must be listed as suitable for such locations, and must be installed on a GFCI protected circuit – this is every manufacturer’s (not the code’s) requirement.

Bathroom vent calculator

Very important thing to remember is to properly size your bathroom vent / exhaust fan.

The exhaust fan sizing formula is very simple … actually there are three simple methods to do it (click the image or link below).

Calculations are based on the size of your bathroom and you can do it manually or use my Bathroom Vent Calculator – enjoy it.

Bathroom Exhaust Fan GFCI Protection will give you some more information about bathroom vent installation requirements

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Proper Bathroom Exhaust Fan Sizing & Bathroom Vent CFM Calculator https://www.checkthishouse.com/3978/bathroom-vent-cfm-calculator-bathroom-exhaust-fan-sizing.html https://www.checkthishouse.com/3978/bathroom-vent-cfm-calculator-bathroom-exhaust-fan-sizing.html#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2009 05:47:42 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=3978 bathroom-air-ventBathroom vent CFM calculator uses 3 stage formula located below. It is based on HVI (Home Ventilating Institute) guidelines that recommend approximately 8 room air exchanges per hour  for a bathroom under 100 square feet of area. CFM – cubic feet per minute – general term used to specify the amount of air that the ... Read more]]> bathroom-air-vent

Bathroom vent CFM calculator uses 3 stage formula located below. It is based on HVI (Home Ventilating Institute) guidelines that recommend approximately 8 room air exchanges per hour  for a bathroom under 100 square feet of area.

CFM – cubic feet per minute – general term used to specify the amount of air that the bathroom fan  is able to move within one minute of its operation.

  • First you have to measure your bathroom dimensions to calculate room volume (length x width x height of the room = … feet³)
  • Divide the number of … feet³ by 60 minutes (fans are sized based on the number of recommended air exchanges per hour / 60 minutes)
  • Multiply the result by 8 (eight is the recommended number of room air exchanges per hour)

Any result smaller than 50 CFM would still require minimum 50CFM exhaust fan (building code requirement). HVI ventilation rate recommendation for bathrooms larger than 100 square feet is slightly different and based on the number and type of plumbing fixtures within the bathroom area.

Each fixture (toilet, shower stall , bath tub) requires 50 CFM, Jacuzzi / hydro spa / whirlpool – 100 CFM. All you need to do is add number of fixtures and multiply by the required CFM.

Example of a calculation for bathrooms with over 100 square feet of area:

Toilet (50 CFM) + shower stall (50 CFM) + Whirlpool (100 CFM) = 200CFM bathroom exhaust fan.

bathroom-air-vent

Building code does not specify bathroom vent locations but in any size bathroom it is the most logical to install it over or as close as possible to the plumbing fixture that requires it. You can also install two or more individually controlled bathroom exhaust fans over different areas (with combined CFM’s equal to your calculation).

This would be the most efficient way to control moisture and bathroom odors (enclosed toilet rooms require separate exhaust fans).

Remember: bathroom vent GFCI protection is required for installations over the shower and tub areas.

Based on the final results of the bathroom vent calculator or bathroom exhaust manual calculations – pick the bathroom exhaust fan and install it in the most appropriate location.

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Proper Attic Ventilation With Vent Chutes & Roof Soffit Vents https://www.checkthishouse.com/3913/attic-vent-chutes-does-your-attic-ventilation-require-any.html Mon, 27 Jul 2009 02:24:50 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=3913 Attic VentilationHouse attic ventilation & vent chutes Vent chutes that are also called baffles or rafter vents play an important role in your attic ventilation system. House attic vent chutes and their three important roles in attic ventilation: vent chutes provide unobstructed air passage between the soffit vents and the attic vent chutes allow installation of attic floor insulation close to the soffit, without worrying about clogging the soffit attic ventilation ports with insulation vent chutes allow for sufficient accumulation of insulation right above where your house ceiling meets the exterior wall, thus limiting air exchange between the living space and the attic  However, your attic ventilation / air [...]]]> Attic Ventilation

Vent chutes that are also called baffles or rafter vents play an important role in your attic ventilation system.

House attic vent chutes and their three important roles in attic ventilation:

  1. Vent chutes provide unobstructed air passage between the soffit vents and the attic
  2. Vent chutes allow installation of attic floor insulation close to the soffit, without worrying about clogging the soffit attic ventilation ports with insulation
  3. Vent chutes allow for sufficient accumulation of insulation right above where your house ceiling meets the exterior wall, thus limiting air exchange between the living space and the attic

Soffit and soffit vents - and important part of attic ventilation which is required for the vent chutes to function

However, your attic ventilation / air circulation can perfectly survive without the vent chutes, in some cases they might be even useless (houses with no soffits or no soffit vents don’t have any use for vent chutes) – it all depends on the design of  attic ventilation and insulation of the attic floor.

Soffit – the exposed underside of the roof section overhanging house wall

So, how do you find out if your attic ventilation is properly functioning and if you need any attic vent chutes?

Unfortunately, you have to have attic ventilation examined (not that this is the only reason to visit your attic periodically). If your climate has a cold season; pick one of the coldest days for this purpose, best if the temperature drops below freezing.

This way, you’ll be able to spot many more attic ventilation problems than while doing it on a warm day. For attic ventilation issues other than vent chutes, please visit the rest of the  house attic problems category posts.

House attic vent chutes come in two popular flavors:

  • cardboard
  • foam (looks like a compressed Styrofoam), and variety of colors.

Most typical attic vent chute sizes are 16″ and 24″ to match open space between the roof framing members.

Vent chutes are shaped in such way that can be stapled to the roof decking along its edges, which is an easy task if installed on a new construction, without the ceiling drywall below.

Attic vent chutes can be also installed by sliding them between the insulation and the roof decking, which might be hard in some cases because of the roofing nails sticking out of the decking, low clearance, and insulation of course.

  • Attic vent chutes are very useful for attic ventilation improvement in attics filled with a blown-in type insulation.

Attic ventilation problems - missing attic vent chutes, insulation blown by air drafts away from the soffit, exposed ceiling below

Improperly installed attic vent chutes compromise attic ventilation and are responsible for mold growth

Blown-in or any loose / poured type of the attic floor insulation isn’t as easy to control as blankets and other compacted / formed into a shape insulation types.

Without vent chutes, the insulation can fall into the soffit compromising attic ventilation, or it is often blown by air drafts from the area near the soffit deeper into the attic. This exposes attic floor and allows warm air from the living area below to migrate into the attic and condensate on the roof decking surface (cold season).

To maintain attic ventilation and prevent such situation from happening short pieces of batt insulation can be placed in the area closest to the soffit, and then filling up the rest of the floor cavity with blown-in type insulation, or by installing vent chutes.

With already installed blanket, batt, rolled type of attic insulation stuffed to far into the soffit you’d need to pull it back into the attic so you have enough room between the roof decking and the insulation for sliding the vent chute into that space.

  • Don’t push the vent chute all the way down into the soffit, this is not necessary, it just has to go slightly deeper than the insulation directly beneath it. After placing the vent chute against the roof decking (staple it if you can), push the pulled insulation firmly back into the space, but without crushing the vent chute.

Attic ventilation – vent chutes in cathedral ceilings

Attic ventilation - cathedral ceiling insulation without required 2 inch spacing to decking and no vent chutes installed (cold climate) often results in mold growth

This attic ventilation subject I’ve already covered in the cathedral ceiling ventilation article. If there are no vent chutes installed and the insulation has been packed tightly into the rafter space, you’ll most likely end up with mold, and not much can be done without serious remodeling.

Bathroom vents discharging into the soffit - air returning into the attic through the vent chute and causing mold growth

In some cases installed vent chutes might create attic ventilation problems – a very common issue is when the bathroom vent discharges into the soffit (International Building Code does not allow it, but some jurisdictions do … for some unexplained reason).

With the attic vent chute installed close to the bathroom vent discharge register, the warm and humid air will always find its way back into the attic and often result in condensation + mold growth.

How many attic vent chutes / rafter baffles do you need to optimize attic ventilation?

If you go to your attic to evaluate attic ventilation and against all odds everything looks perfect:

  • there’s no moisture stains on roof decking and framing
  • no corrosion or roofing nails sticking through the decking
  • no dripping condensation stains on the attic floor insulation
  • no mold residue

you most likely don’t need any vent chutes.

Missing vent chutes compromising attic ventilation and causing mold growth

If you did notice any of the problems listed above, you’d have to start investigating attic ventilation, and attic vent chutes installation might be a way to solve your problems.

You can start from installing them only in the areas where you observed some obvious ventilation issues.

Attic ventilation - properly installed and perfectly performing attic vent chutes 1

Properly installed attic vent chutes improve attic ventilation

You can also fill every single rafter / truss space with a vent chute just to be on a safe side, but before you do that, make sure that your house has a soffit with existing and open vents.

Attic vent chutes installed but soffit vents clogged or non-existing, which resulted in mold contamination

No matter how many vent chutes you’ll install in an attempt to improve attic ventilation, they won’t work if the soffit vents are clogged or if they don’t exist at all – seeing a soffit vent register on the house exterior does not necessarily mean that it is open.

It might be sealed with several coats of paint, clogged with dust / lint, clogged with insulation from attic, or there might be no cut-out above the exterior register – check this first.

Whatever you decide to do, always remember about your safety first!

Do not attempt to do anything you are not felling 100% comfortable with, be extremely cautious on the ladder, always wear protective gear when working in your attic, avoid performing attic ventilation and vent chutes work in hot weather.

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How to Perform Kitchen Inspection | Home Inspector Tips https://www.checkthishouse.com/3486/chicago-new-condo-kitchen-inspection-manual-electrical-more.html Tue, 31 Mar 2009 03:38:54 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=3486
Kitchen inspection manual is not a replacement for an inspection performed by a professionally trained and licensed home inspector.

The following kitchen inspection guidelines can be used by a home inspector to establish routine procedures while performing a general home kitchen inspection. Every home owner/ seller / buyer can also follow this kitchen inspection manual to determine if his kitchen conforms to the residential construction industry standards or / and if the contractor did his job right on a brand new kitchen.

Keep in mind that building codes are updated / changed periodically and requirements my slightly vary between jurisdictions. Don’t hesitate to ask me questions and always verify if particular requirement has been adopted and is being enforced in your area by contacting your local building department.

Some jurisdictions may not adopt various building codes or their portions even for a few years (or sometimes never) after they’ve been issued. Kitchen inspection and my other inspection manuals are based on the most widely adopted in United States residential building code: 2009 IRC (International Residential Code), and on the oldest and most widely used electrical code: 2008 NEC (National Electrical Code). Plumbing and HVAC uniform codes which are used in various parts of US have been utilized as well.

Kitchen inspection – electrical requirements

Check kitchen GFCI post for more ONLY electrical details of the kitchen inspection.

  • Start your kitchen inspection by evaluating the electrical circuit breaker panel – check for kitchen labels (all electrical panel circuit breakers require labeling), there are usually 3-5 (sometimes more) circuit breakers dedicated for kitchen circuits (depending on your kitchen features)
  • Minimum of 2 x 20 Amps circuit breakers are required for the kitchen countertop small appliance circuits, and they are usually marked as “kitchen counter GFCI”, “kitchen counter outlets”, counter receptacles”
  • Besides the countertop outlet receptacles small appliance circuits must serve the refrigerator, all exposed wall receptacles in the kitchen, dinning room and pantry. To be on a safe side I would suggest to have the refrigerator put on an additional / dedicated small appliance circuit breaker (15 Amps or more) which serves no other appliances (this is permitted but not required by code)
  • You kitchen lights or any other areas not listed above CANNOT be served by the small appliance circuits (wall clock or kitchen range ignition are OK)
  • Kitchen dishwasher and garbage disposal will in most cases require separate circuits
  • All kitchen countertop receptacles must be GFCI protected and 20 amps rated. There might be 2 GFCI receptacles (each on one of those two circuit breakers), and additional outlets connected to those GFCI receptacles (protected by them). Even if your kitchen has only 2 countertop outlets, each one must be on a dedicated circuit.

Kitchen inspection – GFCI outlet testing

Test every single outlet with a GFCI circuit tester or use any cord & plug lamp – make sure that it is ON when plugged into the tested receptacle and it goes / stays OFF after you push and release TEST button. Don’t forget regular GFCI outlet maintenance and testing, your life might depend on it.

Kitchen inspection – GFCI outlet spacing and locations

Kitchen inspection, electrical - there must be no point along the kitchen countertop wall line located further than 24 inches from the receptacle (horizontally)

There should be no space along the wall above the kitchen countertop further than 24” from an outlet receptacle. This basically translates to – “an electrical outlet every 48” above the countertop”. Wall section directly behind the sink, kitchen range, and cook-top doesn’t require electrical outlets.

Kitchen inspection - GFCI required above 12 inch or wider countertopKitchen inspection - kitchen island requires GFCI protected outletEach individual counterspace 12” or wider requires an electrical outlet receptacle.

  • Kitchen island and the peninsula require at least one GFCI protected receptacle (no more than 12” below the counter with up to 6” overhang). The island receptacle is sometimes missing because of the difficulty in installation, especially if the island was not planned in an original layout.

Kitchen inspection advice for home owners / sellers or home buyers:

If your new kitchen inspection reveals an outlet receptacle missing from the kitchen island (assuming it is required in your jurisdiction), try to look at this problem and all other issues as a person purchasing this house / condo from you in the future.

Imagine ripping of the floor, maybe cutting the concrete layer underneath to accommodate conduit, maybe removing some of the  kitchen cabinets to connect this single outlet … You’re looking at maybe several hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars spent on something that should be in place.

It could also become a safety issue – using any small appliances on the kitchen island without an electrical outlet would most likely require an extension cord hanging across the kitchen. Just add a couple of children running around …

If it’s a brand new kitchen inspection you’re performing, make sure that everything is correct or request repairs from the developer/ contractor.

Kitchen inspection – exhaust fan

Individual kitchen exhaust or microwave hood are not required but if they are already there why did somebody waste time installing them the wrong way…

  • Make sure the exhaust fan / microwave assembly is secured to the wall / cabinet.
  • Turn it ON and check if there’s any suction at the bottom inlet ports (you can place sheet of paper over the inlet). Some installers forget to adjust the unit for recirculation or exterior discharge (knockout plates might need to be removed and / or blower assembly flipped).

If there’s no suction, appliance would have to be removed and disassembled to correct this condition. It is also possible that wrong type of the hood has been installed, it might be designed for an exterior discharge only and if such was not provided, it will be blowing air from underneath.

  • Open the cabinet above the hood and check if the exhaust fan discharge pipe is installed and secured. No plastic ducts are permitted and building code requires smooth wall pipe / not a flexible type (by the way, a while ago I had a conversation with a Chicago building inspector who said that flexible is OK, while his book says it is not…). Grease will contaminate flexible air duct much faster and create a fire hazard.

Kitchen cabinet unprotected surface (no hood / microwave installed over the gas range / cook top) must be at least 30” above the gas burners, 24” if range hood installed (or lees if allowed by the vent/microwave manufacturer).

Kitchen inspection – dishwasher installation

  • Make sure that the dishwasher is secured to the countertop or side cabinets and properly leveled. The door should easily close and its lock engage without forcing it. Run a cycle to ensure that there are no leaks on discharge and supply lines. Examine kitchen floor area in front of the appliance for leakage stains / damage.

Kitchen inspection – dishwasher air gap, high loop, anti-siphon –  To determine proper installation, you will have to check manufacturer’s installation guide for your particular appliance. Some dishwashers have those features already built in but they are not visible.

Kitchen inspection – garbage disposal installation

  • Run water into the garbage disposer side sink, turn the switch ON to operate disposer.
  • Check sink and drain pipe connection for leaks.
  • Examine electrical connection at the bottom or side of the disposer and at the junction box (if present) – there should be no loose connection or / and exposed wiring.
  • Follow this link for a few more garbage disposal installation requirements garbage disposal wiring

Kitchen inspection – range installation

  • Gas appliances require shutoff valve immediately after the flexible gas connector – shine a flashlight behind the appliance without moving it, or move it as little as possible. If the kitchen range gas shutoff valve is located at the wall lower section, it might be visible by removing the bottom drawer.
  • Kitchen range must have a safety anti tip bracket installed (chain will do too) to prevent it from tipping over and injuring whoever accidentally pushed down onto the open oven door (manufacturer requirement, always included in installation kit, rarely installed).

Kitchen inspection – sink and faucet

  • For sinks mounted under the stone countertop pour some water along the seam and look underneath to make sure that is not leaking inside the cabinet
  • Test faucet assembly to make sure that it is secured and free of leaks, make sure that cold and hot is where it supposed to be. Run water in each sink bowl for several minutes and check for leaks underneath the sink.
  • Faucet aerator screens (end of the spout) sometimes requires cleaning / this is often the solution to poor water pressure or uneven discharge

Kitchen inspection – countertop, backsplash and counter seams inspection

  • Check if countertop / its backsplash are secured and sealed with silicon at seam and along the wall to prevent water penetration. Look for dents, chipped edges, uneven seams, cracked surface.
  • Stone and tiled countertops require sealer application on regular bases (depending on material and sealer). However, there’s no such obligation, so protect your investment on your own – application of a good sealer will preserve the surface original look, prevent staining of natural stone and grouted areas (if tiled).

Kitchen inspection tip: In case you have a marble countertop or backsplash, be extremely careful with anything that might cause discoloration – marble is like a stain sponge – seal it often and with good products.

Kitchen inspection – cabinets

  • Test cabinet doors and drawers for alignment and proper operation – they are usually very easy to adjust with a screwdriver (as long as the hardware is not damaged). The cabinets must be secured to the wall framing and in most cases you’ll be able to see screw heads along the interior or exterior top and base of the cabinet.

However, some kitchen cabinet manufacturers use special system of railings which is attached to the wall framing and the cabinet simply hangs on it. In such case there might be no visible screw heads.

  • Also, look for scratches, cracks, warped doors, exposed nails, loose / missing kick-plate, and anything else that doesn’t look natural.

Kitchen inspection – lighting fixtures

Operate light switches to make sure that all fixtures are functional. In some floor plans you might have two kitchen entrances and light switches located at each one. You should be able to turn the lights ON/OFF (at least the main light fixture) independently from each side.

Test both switches in ON and OFF position – if improperly wired or wrong type of a switch used, you will not have a full control at both ends.

Kitchen inspection – under the cabinet lights / low voltage

  • There are two types of light fixtures used for this purpose – low voltage (usually 12V) and a regular / high voltage. Low voltage wiring between the fixture and a transformer doesn’t have to be inside the conduit (some jurisdictions might require it) and it should never be mixed with high voltage wires.


The transformer could be inside the kitchen cabinet, on top of it, or underneath / behind the kick-plate, usually plugged into an electrical outlet / sometimes switched. Low voltage wires can pass through the cabinet walls and behind them to the fixtures itself.

Kitchen inspection – under the cabinet lights / regular – high voltage

  • There are also (sometimes looking exactly like low voltage lights) under the cabinet lights that require high voltage power supply to the fixture itself (transformer might be built into the light fixture), and in such case that wiring between the electrical box / switch must be inside the conduit with a proper type connectors installed.
  • If the light fixture came with a cord & plug (not designed for hard wiring), this must not be altered, lamp cord removed or hidden behind / inside the walls.

Light fixture should have a label stating what kind of a voltage is using – it’s usually visible on the fixture enclosure surface or after you remove the light bulb cover (turn the light OFF and don’t touch the light bulb if halogen).

I hope you didn’t find to many problems during your kitchen inspection.

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Bathroom Window Safety Glass & Tempered Glass in Bathrooms https://www.checkthishouse.com/3232/bathroom-window-safety-glass-tempered-glass-in-bathrooms.html https://www.checkthishouse.com/3232/bathroom-window-safety-glass-tempered-glass-in-bathrooms.html#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2009 04:21:45 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=3232 Bathroom window safety glass is required if the bottom edge of the window is within 60” from the tub or shower standing surface. This bathroom window safety glass requirement has been with us since 1991 edition of the Uniform Building Code. However, almost every single home inspection I perform in a new construction or gut-rehabbed ... Read more]]>

Bathroom window safety glass is required if the bottom edge of the window is within 60” from the tub or shower standing surface.

Bathroom window safety glass - required for any windows within 60 inches from the tub or shower standing surface

This bathroom window safety glass requirement has been with us since 1991 edition of the Uniform Building Code. However, almost every single home inspection I perform in a new construction or gut-rehabbed properties fails on the bathroom window… obviously; it’s not an important requirement.

Anyway, for your own safety (not the developers), if you have a window on one of the shower or bathtub surrounding walls and its bottom section of the glass starts less than 60” from the standing surface, look at the corners of the glass. There should be a permanently etched label confirming that your bathroom window safety glass / tempered glass is installed.

On occasions, in custom windows, there might be a removable label applied. If there’s no label or visible etching on your bathroom window glass surface, assume that it is not a safety / tempered type of glass and slipping or falling onto such window may result in serious injury.

There are 2 types of bathroom window safety glass than can be used as long as they meet 16 CFR 1201 Class II impact standard (400ft lb) :

  • Laminated glass – it’s a sandwiched sheet of plastic foil between the glass panes. If broken, plastic holds pieces of glass together and prevents injury.
  • Tempered glass – it’s heat treated during the manufacturing process. If broken, crumbles into small pieces, just like the car door glass sections.

Wire reinforced glass is no longer permitted for use as a bathroom window safety glass.

Tempered Glass in Bathrooms

Bathroom tempered glass - shower enclosure

Other areas in the bathroom that require use of tempered glass are enclosures (including walls and doors) surrounding tubs / hot tubs, showers, spas, whirlpools, saunas, and steam rooms. The same standard as for windows is required.

Custom, decorative pieces of glass manufactured for some of those applications might not have any markings / labels that would clearly state type of the installed glass. If you know the manufacturer – ask for the safety glass certificate.

Glass blocks (windows or walls) installed in the bathrooms are considered masonry not glass.

If you just purchased a brand new property, and there’s no etching on the glass surface, request a certificate from the developer / window company, check with your local building department. Don’t just assume that the bathroom window safety glass has been installed.

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Kitchen Stove Safety Anti Tip Bracket https://www.checkthishouse.com/3135/kitchen-stove-safety-anti-tip-bracket.html Thu, 05 Mar 2009 03:48:02 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=3135 Kitchen stove - two piece anti-tip bracketSimple devices like the kitchen stove anti tip bracket can save your child and yourself from serious injuries and sometimes even death. Kitchen stove anti tip bracket is a single or two piece device, supplied by the stove manufacturer, that must be installed at the base / behind the stove. It prevents the stove from tipping over or tilting while somebody applies pressure to the open oven door. Since 1991, after “voluntary safety standards” have been developed by UL (Underwriter Laboratories) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute), gas and electric stove installers are required to install provided by the manufacturer stove anti [...]]]> Kitchen stove - two piece anti-tip bracket

Simple devices like the kitchen stove anti tip bracket can save your child and yourself from serious injuries and sometimes even death.

Kitchen stove anti tip bracket - single piece safety deviceKitchen stove anti tip bracket - two piece safety deviceKitchen stove anti tip bracket is a single or two piece device, supplied by the stove manufacturer, that must be installed at the base / behind the stove. It prevents the stove from tipping over or tilting while somebody applies pressure to the open oven door.

Since 1991, after “voluntary safety standards” have been developed by UL (Underwriter Laboratories) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute), gas and electric stove installers are required to install provided by the manufacturer stove anti tip bracket. Also, kitchen stove must remain stable when 250 pounds of pressure is applied to the open oven door for five minutes.

Based on CPSC (US Consumer Product Safety Commission) reports, there were 143 incidents over the 27 year period (1.1.1980 – 12.31.2006) that involved kitchen range tip-over caused by a missing anti tip bracket. Thirty three fatalities (part of those 143 incidents) involved 19 children, and all 33 deaths were caused by the victim being trapped under the range that fell on them.

Those are of course only reported to CPSC accidents caused by a tipping stove / missing anti tip bracket, and there might be many more. Or maybe this is a complete number which gives us ONLY 5.3 stove tipping related incidents per year. For as long as it doesn’t involve our family or friends it usually means nothing to us. I’m pretty sure that most kitchen stove owners don’t even realize that anti tip bracket installation is required by the manufacturer for stability of the stove.

They probably didn’t even hear about the stove anti tip bracket … have you?

I rarely see this stove anti tip bracket installed at the new construction or gut-rehabbed properties, which means that the installers are simply too lazy to do it. They must be educated / instructed by the manufacturer because it’s a part of the stove installation procedure, and a very simple one.

  • Check behind your kitchen stove for an anti tip bracket
  • Call your installer if he forgot to put one for you
  • Contact stove manufacturer if you need a kitchen stove safety anti tip bracket!
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Bathroom Exhaust Fan & GFCI Bathroom Vent Protection Requirements https://www.checkthishouse.com/2940/bathroom-exhaust-fan-and-vent-requirements.html https://www.checkthishouse.com/2940/bathroom-exhaust-fan-and-vent-requirements.html#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2009 02:58:33 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=2940 Bathroom Exhaust Fan & GFCI Bathroom Vent Protection RequirementsEvery bathroom without an openable window (min 1.5sq. ft) requires an exhaust fan. The bathroom ceiling exhaust (or wall) should be discharging to the house exterior, not into the ceiling / wall frame cavity, or another room, crawlspace, attic, etc. This is extremely important if your bathroom contains any significant humidity source like a shower ... Read more]]> Bathroom Exhaust Fan & GFCI Bathroom Vent Protection Requirements

Every bathroom without an openable window (min 1.5sq. ft) requires an exhaust fan.Bathroom vent improperly discharging into the soffit resulting in mold growth

Bathroom vent discharging into the soffit which is not recommended

The bathroom ceiling exhaust (or wall) should be discharging to the house exterior, not into the ceiling / wall frame cavity, or another room, crawlspace, attic, etc. This is extremely important if your bathroom contains any significant humidity source like a shower stall, bathtub, steam shower, etc. Discharging moisture from your bathroom fan into some enclosed and/or poorly ventilated areas is often responsible for the crawlspace and attic mold growth. By the way, have you ever checked your attic ventilation?

Bathroom vent improperly discharging into the attic

  • Bathroom ceiling exhaust fan requires a damper to prevent back-drafts
  • Bathroom exhaust exterior vent opening should be screened with a ¼” to ½” mesh to prevent birds from building nests inside the vent pipe

GFCI protection for bathroom ceiling exhaust ventBathroom vent GFCI protection is required for installations above the shower or bathtubNEC (National Electrical Code) does not require bathroom exhaust fans to be installed on a GFCI protected circuit. However, you should be following the manufacturer’s installation instructions. In most, or should I say in all, cases concerning a bathroom exhaust fan installation directly above the bathtub and / or shower stall (or any other moisture sources), the bathroom fan must be listed as suitable for such locations and must be installed on a GFCI protected circuit.

This is a paragraph from the bathroom exhaust fan installation instructions:

“If this bathroom exhaust fan is to be installed over a tub or shower, it must be marked as appropriate for the application and be connected to a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) protected branch circuit.”Bathroom vent - GFCI protection requirement for over the shower and tub installationsTo test if a bathroom exhaust fan is GFCI protected, turn the fan ON, and push TEST button on a bathroom GFCI receptacle or GFCI breaker dedicated for this bathroom. If the exhaust fan is still running after the receptacle or the breaker tripped, it is most likely not protected (there are occasionally some hidden GFCI receptacles installed).

You should always check the manufacturer tag before attempting to install a ceiling exhaust fan directly above the bathroom tub or shower stall.

Bathroom exhaust fan tips:

Bathroom vent - humidity sensing fan with time and sensitivity adjustment

  • For those who always forget to turn ON the bathroom exhaust fan (or forget to turn it OFF), I highly recommend one with a humidity-sensing switch. I’ve been using two of those in my bathrooms for almost 4 years, and I am very happy with their performance. One of the humidity sensors failed during the first year, but the manufacturer replaced it without any problems.
  • Bathroom humidity sensing fan (at least the one that I have is made by BROAN) can be wired like a 3-way switch – it means that you can turn the fan ON/OFF using a regular wall switch or it will be automatically activated by an elevated humidity level.
  • Controls on the bathroom humidity-sensing fan allow for the time of operation and humidity level adjustments.

Let me know if I’ve left anything unanswered about bathroom exhaust fans!

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Garbage Disposal Wiring & Kitchen Disposal Safety https://www.checkthishouse.com/2890/garbage-disposal-electrical-wiring.html Sun, 15 Feb 2009 06:34:40 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=2890 Loose garbage disposal electrical connectionHave you ever looked at your garbage disposal wiring? If you did, you’re probably not one of the homeowners that own garbage disposal units visible on the pictures. This is just another waiting for an accident type of a situation and garbage disposal wiring should be on a home maintenance routine check-up list. Garbage disposal vibration, especially under some heavy loads … by the way – this is not a garbage can, and don’t use it as such, sometimes causes garbage disposal wiring and plumbing connections to separate. Even properly wired garbage disposal electrical cable might become loose and fall off the connector creating [...]]]> Loose garbage disposal electrical connection

Have you ever looked at your garbage disposal wiring?

If you did, you’re probably not one of the homeowners that own garbage disposal units visible on the pictures.

Garbage disposal wiring performed with electrical tape instead of conduit connectorThis is just another waiting for an accident type of a situation and garbage disposal wiring should be on a home maintenance routine check-up list.

Garbage disposal vibration, especially under some heavy loads … by the way – this is not a garbage can, and don’t use it as such, sometimes causes garbage disposal wiring and plumbing connections to separate.Loose garbage disposal wiring / connectionGarbage disposal wiring cord installed without a connector

The properly wired garbage disposal electrical cable might become loose and fall off the connector creating a hazardous condition. Because there are different requirements for garbage disposal wiring (types of conduit, disconnect / switch) you have to check that with your local code enforcement division.

There are however some items that apply to every type of garbage disposal wiring / installation:

  • In most cases the manufacturer will recommend or require garbage disposal to be installed on a dedicated 15-ampere or 20-ampere electrical circuit (not shared with any other appliances). For the smaller units with less HP you might be able to share dishwasher power supply but you’d have to compare ratings on both – check this Kitchen GFCI post.
  • Garbage disposal wiring connections must be concealed within the wire compartment box at the base of the unit (behind the metal plate)
  • Depending on your local jurisdiction requirements, the garbage disposal might need to be hard wired (no plug), or connected with an approved cord and plug. Either type of garbage disposal wiring requires a dedicated type of connector at the appliance wall penetration. The conduit or cord must be secured in place and connection checked periodically.
  • Garbage disposal wiring must include grounding! For a hard-wired appliance the wire must be attached between the disposal grounding terminal (usually green screw) or green wire, and an electrical system grounded terminal.
  • Cord connected units must use an approved type cord with a ground conductor and a 3 prong plug inserted into a grounded receptacle – no lamp cords please.
  • Some brands have an ON/OFF switch built into the garbage disposal, activated by turning specially designed drain plug. However, even with this future, your local jurisdiction might require the installation of an additional ON/OFF switch while performing garbage disposal wiring.
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Bathroom GFCI Receptacles and Electrical Components https://www.checkthishouse.com/2522/bathroom-gfci-receptacles-and-electrical-components.html Thu, 22 Jan 2009 04:46:25 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=2522
Bathroom GFCI protection - an outlet is required within 36 inches from the outside edge of each basin

Bathroom GFCI receptacle protection is required by the NEC (National Electrical Code), and of course by a common sense – why would you risk getting electrocuted if you can secure your safety by installing GFCI outlet.

Since some bathrooms are currently equipped with many electrical current hungry devices, bathroom electrical power supply requirements had to be slightly adjusted. We used to have a bathroom sharing an electrical circuit with exterior outlets, the kitchen, and a garage – not anymore.

Bathroom GFCI receptacles - hydro-spa accessory heater requires second electrical supply sourceOf course, the minimum bathroom electrical requirements listed below are not going to work if you add a steam shower, heated electric floor, hydro-spa heater, several light fixtures, heat lamps, etc. For all that additional equipment load calculation would have to be performed, but now, let me cover the basics.

The minimum requirement for a single bathroom electrical supply is one, 20-ampere rated electrical circuit. This electrical circuit should not be used for anything else than outlets and equipment within the bathroom.

Bathroom electrical: bathroom GFCI receptacles

Bathroom GFCI receptacles picture - 15 amp and 20 amp ratedBathroom receptacle - GFCI protected outlet is required within 36 inches of the outside edge of each basinBathroom GFCI protection is required for all new bathroom outlet receptacles.  Bathroom electrical wiring and bathroom receptacles must have a 20 ampere rating:

  1. 20 ampere rated circuit breaker inside the electrical panel
  2. 12 gauge copper wire
  3. 20 ampere rated GFCI outlet receptacle
  • Bathroom GFCI receptacle must be located within 3’ (36″ / 900 mm) from the basins outside edge. The same rule applies for multiple sinks / additional bathroom receptacles must be installed if necessary.
  • If you are replacing an old, not GFCI type bathroom receptacle, you have to install currently required GFCI type outlet in its place unless this circuit is already protected by another GFCI receptacle or GFCI breaker. Using a GFCI breaker should be done with caution because the device will not protect ungrounded electrical installation.

  • Remember about bathroom GFCI maintenance and testing on regular basis – approximately once a month

Bathroom electrical: hydro-massage tub

  • Hydro-massage tub must be protected by a bathroom GFCI receptacle or GFCI breaker, and must have a disconnecting means in sight of motor – most of the tubs have a cord and plug which can be simply pulled out of the socket. Hydro-spa with a hard wired motor should have a ON/OFF switch mounted in sight of motor.

Bathroom GFCI protection - hydro-massage tub motor terminal needs to be bonded to the water pipeBathroom electrical - hydro-massage tub motor terminal properly bonded to the cold water pipeBathroom electrical components - hydro-spa motor must be accessible and access large enough to service or remove

Hydro-massage tub motor terminal needs to be bonded to a water pipe (cold) with solid #8 copper wire. The bonding is prohibited for a listed double-insulated type motors (it should say on the motor label, and there will be no terminal).

  • Hydro-massage tub motor must be accessible, and the access panel large enough for servicing including motor replacement.

Bathroom electrical: bathroom lighting

There are some types of light fixtures listed below that are not permitted within a certain area in the bathroom. This area is located directly above the bathtub and the shower stall, and additionally extends 3ft (0.9 meter) horizontally, and 8ft (2.5 meter) vertically from the bathtub top rim and the shower stall threshold.

The forbidden types of bathroom electrical light fixtures or parts of fixtures in this area are:

  • Cord connected lights (i.e. table lamp)
  • Chain / cable or a suspended cord
  • Track type
  • Pendants
  • Ceiling fans

Bathroom lights - located within the tub or shower exterior wall and up to 8' from the top rim must be marked for damp or wet locationsBathroom wall light electrical wiring must be concealed inside the fixture enclosure or junction box

  1. Any electrical light fixture located within that area must be marked for damp locations or wet locations where it’s subject to shower spray.
    Bathroom light fixtures electrical wiring must be concealed within the electrical junction box or fixture enclosure

After seeing peoples’ lack of common sense in many hazardous situations, I always recommend to put any of the bathroom electrical light fixtures located above the bathtub and / or shower stall on a GFCI protected circuit… but that’s your choice (it is not required by code but may be in your local jurisdiction and / or light fixture manufacturer requirement).

One last bathroom electrical component which under some conditions would require bathroom GFCI protection is covered here – Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Final bathroom electrical pledge – please, no electrical panels in the bathroom, and remember that properly installed bathroom GFCI could save your life.

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Stains on Walls, Ghost Marks, Water Marks on Walls, Soot – Is it a Mold Issue? https://www.checkthishouse.com/2432/ghost-marks-and-soot-deposits-on-house-walls.html https://www.checkthishouse.com/2432/ghost-marks-and-soot-deposits-on-house-walls.html#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2009 18:33:27 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=2432 During my inspections, I have been asked many times about stains on walls, also called ghost marks, soot deposits / dust marks and water marks on walls interior surfaces. Since there was usually a mold concern in my clients’ questions, I’ll try to explain that stains on walls / ghost mark phenomenon. Are stains on walls ... Read more]]>

During my inspections, I have been asked many times about stains on walls, also called ghost marks, soot deposits / dust marks and water marks on walls interior surfaces. Since there was usually a mold concern in my clients’ questions, I’ll try to explain that stains on walls / ghost mark phenomenon.

Are stains on walls a mold issue?

In most cases stains on walls including so called “ghost marks” have nothing to do with mold.

If you notice ghost marks / dark stains on walls / interior ceiling surfaces outlining house framing, dark dots corresponding to nails and screws underneath the wall finish, stains around picture frames hanging on walls, carpet discoloration along the house exterior walls, sooty residue around the windows and doors, etc., mold is usually not the problem.
Water marks on walls - frost covered areas with ghost mark stains, possibility of mold growth behind the wallWater marks on walls - ghost marks and moisture stains on house wall, possibility of mold inside the wallHowever, if there appear to be water marks on walls, there’s moisture involved, and it’s detectable in the stained area (i.e. stained section covered with ice, surface condensation), there may be mold growing beneath the wall surface.

There are a few factors responsible for those dark stains on walls and, sometimes, to permanently stop ghost marks from appearing on your house interior surfaces, you may need to take care of all of the issues.

Mr. Albert Einstein has explained mechanics of those stains on walls decades ago, and the most understandable and simple translation of his equations would more or less sound like this:

Particles of dust floating in the air stick more to cold than warm surfaces.


Let’s see how this statement applies to ghost marks in our homes.

Stains on walls along framing members - ghost marks on house wallStains on walls - Temperature difference between ghost marked and unaffected wall area was 25FThe most annoying and noticeable dark stains on walls usually appear along the house exterior framing as straight lines on the walls and ceilings (especially cathedral ceilings). Sometimes they are back in one cold season, just after repainting.

You can trust Mr. Einstein and assume that discolored areas are colder that the rest of the wall. You can also do a little experiment and slide the palm of your hand along the wall surface between the darker / stained wall area and unaffected one to feel temperature changing, sometimes significantly. Unless you have a surface thermometer, pick a cold day for the “manual” testing.

I’ve measured temperature along those areas with stains on walls / ghost marks and clean sections during cold, winter days; and in some cases, there was almost 30F difference.

The reasons for those areas to have so much lower temperature are:

  1. No insulation / poor insulation or displaced insulation inside the wall
  2. No insulation / poor insulation between the exterior finish (i.e. siding) and wall framing
  3. Loose siding panels and gaps around wall penetrations
  4. Stains on cathedral ceiling
  5. Metal framing

Stains on walls - Ghost marks and moisture stains on the house interior walls caused by air drafts and missing wall insulationItems 1 & 2 – Unfortunately, the only solution to prevent stains on walls and water marks on walls caused by missing insulation or insufficient amount of  insulation is adding more. If it is in an accessible attic, you may be able to do it yourself – the most critical areas are along the wall / ceiling seam where the wall top plate is, so make sure that it is insulated. While doing it, don’t compromise attic ventilation by blocking soffit vents with insulation (install vent chutes / baffles instead).

For exterior wall cavities, the cheapest solution might be to hire an insulation contractor and have him blow the insulation into the wall cavities.

# 3. Loose siding panels and gaps around wall penetrations simply require resealing

# 4. Correcting a problem causing stains on walls / ghost marks on the cathedral ceilings (without an accessible attic space above) could be more difficult.

Blowing in the insulation will cause ventilation problems (like condensation and mold growth) in the roof rafter space. In some cases, the only solution might be the removal of the drywall / plaster / paneling, etc. and insulation installation. If the insulation is there, but there doesn’t seem to be enough of it, installation of another drywall layer would add an extra thermal barrier; make the interior surface temperature uniform – it may be enough to eliminate stains on walls, cold spots, and ghost marks.

# 5. Stains on walls / Ghost marks on the metal framed walls are the worst to deal with.

Since metal framing transfers temperature much faster than wooden studs (actually 300 times faster), the only solution would be to install foam sheathing over the metal studs. Try to do THAT on an existing home… It would be a huge mess.

Some other “ghost marked” areas:

  • Stains on floors – If you see dark stains on carpet along the exterior walls, put your hand there. The area is usually much colder and you may feel some air drafts. So, once again, we have that cold spot / magnet attracting dust, plus carpeting acting as a filter for air being exchanged between the interior and exterior (or just between two different areas inside the house).
  • Stains on walls – ghost marks around the pictures / picture frames hanging on the exterior walls – picture and frame act as an extra insulator creating small temperature zones, disrupting air circulation and attracting dust particles.
  • Stains around the doors and windows – gaps in trim and lack of insulation around the openings allow for air drafts, lower surface temperature, and attract dust

We just covered two stains on walls /ghost mark creating factors – cold and Mr. Einstein’s dust particle theory.

However, there are many other components of our households (and beyond) responsible for creation of one more factor – black carbon, commonly known as soot.

Soot is composed from microscopic particles, which are released into the air as a by-product of an incomplete combustion (fuel burning process). Any type of fuel we burn inside our homes is a potential source of soot; even the extremely popular scented candles (especially them) can produce significant amounts of soot.

Since our homes become more and more air tight for energy conserving purposes, the air exchange becomes minimal and all that soot is being deposited in various areas of our homes creating stains on walls / ghost marks. Colder spots will be of course favorable, but areas directly next to the soot source will also become contaminated.

Stains on walls / Basic soot deposits solutions:

  • Let your house breathe occasionally / open the windows and doors to replace some of that contaminated air
  • Regularly service all your fuel burning appliances to keep combustion as clean as possible (soot deposits around the central heating system registers might be a sign of the furnace heat exchanger failure)
  • Service your chimney to ensure that all exhaust gases are being properly discharge to exterior
  • Trim your candle wicks to a max ¼” long and use open candles (not the jar type) for better combustion

You can take some simple steps to control stains on walls also referred to as “ghost marks” but in some cases the solution (especially if you noticewater marks on walls) may not be that simple.

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Ice Dams and Icicles, Preventing Roof Edge Ice Damming https://www.checkthishouse.com/19/ice-dams.html Wed, 31 Dec 2008 02:59:22 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/testhouse/?p=33 How to prevent roof ice dams formation

Roof ice dams formation along the edges of your home roof and icicles hanging from the gutters and / or soffits should never be ignored. Their beauty on the exterior has roots penetrating your house attic and wall structures, often causing significant damage.

There are three main things responsible for roof ice dams:

  1. Inadequate / improper house attic insulation
  2. Inadequate house attic ventilation
  3. Heat sources in attic area

Roof ice dams and icicles caused by missing wall and floor insulation in attic areaAny areas between the attic and living space that are missing or have a low amount of insulation permit unwanted heat to transfer from the house into the unheated attic.

Warmer air elevates the roof deck temperature directly above the “leak” and causes snow to melt onto the roof surface. Water running down the roof towards the area along the gutters / over the soffits starts re-freezing (soffits and gutters are colder than the rest of the roof surface because they hang over the house edge), creating roof ice dams.

Roof ice dams and icicles caused by missing soffit vents and low attic insulation levelResults of roof ice dams caused by a poor soffit ventilationWater from melting snow and ice forms icicles; some of the water below and above the ice dam will find its way back under the shingle surfaces. If your roof has no ice & water shield installed (older roofs rarely have that), the roof deck becomes soaked with water and eventually mold starts growing on its surface. In some roof / house structure designs, water from the roof ice dams might start dripping into the wall cavity located directly underneath it.

Continuous soffit vent significantly improves attic ventilation and helps preventing roof ice damsRoof - attic power and passive vents help preventing roof ice damsIf you have any heat sources in the house attic like improperly installed bathroom vents, heating ducts, gaps around the attic floor penetrations, etc., you are dramatically increasing your chances for roof ice dams formation.

Properly designed attic ventilation, including plenty of soffit / drip edge vents and roof top vents, may be able to remove the excess of heat and prevent roof ice dams from appearing on your roof. However, by leaving leaks as they are, you are wasting expensive energy.

Snow melting on roof surface due to missing attic insulationObserve your roof after the snowfall. If you notice snow disappearing from the roof surface in certain areas – check the attic. The main problem should be directly below that spot where the snow has already melted. It may take only a little effort to find it, but be extremely careful when evaluating the attic – don’t do it if you are not 100% comfortable with it!

It doesn’t take much snow on the roof to create serious conditions in the attic and roof ice dams on the exterior. If you chose to ignore it, though, it might require a lot of effort and money to fix it.

Roof and gutter heating cables – they help to eliminate roof ice dams, and might be your only solution for some types of roofs. However, if your house has an accessible attic, and poor attic ventilation is responsible for roof ice dams – correct the problem. It might not be cheaper, but it will also help to keep your house cooler during the summer.

Check your attic periodically, if you notice roof ice dams forming along the edges of your roof, that’s where you have to go to fix this problem.

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Attic Black Mold and How to Prevent or Stop it from Growing https://www.checkthishouse.com/2138/how-to-stop-and-or-prevent-mold-from-growing-in-my-attic.html https://www.checkthishouse.com/2138/how-to-stop-and-or-prevent-mold-from-growing-in-my-attic.html#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2008 23:03:27 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=2138 If you had a chance to read “Attic Black Mold and Why is it Growing in Your Attic” (you can quickly watch the short video below), it’s now time to continue attic evaluation.


Attic black mold does not necessarily cause your house environment contamination, but under some conditions it might.

However, attic black mold usually becomes an issue when discovered during the home inspection. In addition, depending on the contamination extent, correcting the problem could make a significant hole in your budget.

In case the black mold has already contaminated your attic, I will show you how to stop it from further spreading. If there is no mold, just follow the same guideline to ensure that everything is the way it should be.

Remember – if you are not sure how to do it – find somebody else comfortable with accessing the attic. It is not worth the risk of getting seriously injured! The best time to inspect the attic and determine if it is functioning properly is during the coldest winter days.

Attic black mold - properly insulated attic access panel

How to prevent attic black mold #1

You should have attic access panel / pull down stairs insulated to minimize air transfer between the living area and the attic. Roof-decking section located above the attic entrance might be your first encounter with attic black mold.

Pre-cut piece of a blanket insulation glued to the hatch will do the job – if it has a paper facing (or any other vapor retarder type), apply paper to the hatch material surface. If using any other materials – make sure that they are not flammable and can be exposed.

For pull-down stairs, people sometimes make a square / hinged / insulated box that opens up into the attic after the stairs are open.

Attic black mold cause - missing kitchen vent section in attic areaAttic black mold cause - missing bathroom vent discharge pipeAttic mold cause - disconnected bathroom vent discharge pipeAll dryer / kitchen / bathroom vents must discharge to the house exterior and beyond the attic area – they are huge sources of warm, humid air, which feeds the attic black mold growth if trapped under the roof.

How to prevent attic black mold #2

If you are looking at the attic section located directly above the bathroom and / or kitchen with an exhaust fan discharging through the ceiling, you should be able to see some kind of a pipe/duct (galvanized steel, aluminum, or plastic – no plastic for the kitchen vent!) between the attic floor and the roof decking.

If there is no pipe, and you cannot see the fan enclosure itself, turn it on before you step into the attic, and try to locate it by following the sound, exhaust fan might be under the layer of insulation.

House attic black mold - bathroom exhaust fan discharging into the soffit causing mold growth on the roof deckingHouse attic black mold - bathroom exhaust fan discharging into the soffit causing mold growth on the roof deckingThere is a chance that vent discharge pipes are in the soffit or connected to the vent ports installed inside the soffit. Personally, I don’t recommend such installations and for one very simple reason – they are often responsible for the attic black mold growth.

During the cold season warm air will return to the attic through the soffit vents (some jurisdictions permit it and even recommend such installation). So, if there’s no pipe attached to the vent, or one discharging through the soffit appears to be causing black mold growth (stains / discoloration above the soffit area where the pipe enters), remove the vent pipe from the soffit.

Extend it through the roof using a dedicated port or at least install it close to the attic vent (just make sure that vent screen is clean).

Attic black mold - kitchen vent must have a dedicated port, attic roof vent should not be used for this purposeKitchen vents should have dedicated ports (don’t use attic ventilation ports), and smooth interior, single wall, galvanized steel pipes should be used for discharge, not plastic or aluminum flexible hoses.

How to prevent attic black mold #3

Disconnected dryer vent in attic area might result in attic black mold growthAttic black mold - lint contaminated dryer vent on roof surfaceA dryer vent discharging into the attic is a huge source of moisture and heat – requires its own dedicated port (just like the kitchen vent). Again, smooth interior wall metal pipe should be used (no plastic permitted and flexible aluminum not recommended).

Dryer vents require periodical cleaning

to remove accumulated lint from interior walls – when it becomes clogged, you’re just wasting precious energy and creating a fire hazard – if it penetrates the roof, it would probably be easier to separate the discharge pipe in the attic area (at roof vent connection) and clean pipe and roof vent screen from there.

Clogged dryer vent pipes overheat and if pipe connections have been sealed / secured with regular duct tape, they might eventually separate. This would allow for warm and moist air discharge into the attic, thus creating a perfect environment for attic black mold. Do not use screws on connections, they simply trap more lint inside, so plastic ties and heating ducts aluminum tape / aluminum foil tape + regular maintenance is the best choice.

How to prevent attic black mold #4

Missing skylight chase walls insulationAttic mold - missing attic floor insulation

Any missing insulation on skylight chases, walls / ceiling between the attic and living quarters should be installed – with blanket type insulation always put moisture barrier / vapor retarder (paper, plastic, aluminum, etc.) facing towards the heated area – never leave flammable paper exposed.

Improperly installed attic floor insulation - exposed flammable paper and double vapor retarderAttic mold - vapor retarder facing should be always applied toward heated areaIf you’re planning to install additional insulation on top of the existing one, make sure that there’s only one vapor retarder – example: if an existing insulation has a paper facing, you should not install another paper faced insulation layer on top of the old one.

 

Attic mold - open chase around the chimney at the attic floor penetration is a significant source of heat and should be properly sealed

There might be an open chase / empty wall space between the basement / crawlspace and attic area – seal it, from both sides if possible (around the chimney flue pipe – use metal fire-stop/radiation shield and proper clearances to framing and insulation). If it is a duct supplying combustion air to the furnace / utility room containing gas burning appliances – it must remain open and unobstructed.

How to prevent attic black mold #5
Attic black mold - cathedral ceiling insualtion without required 2 inch spacing to decking (cold climate)Attic mold - 2 inch separation between the insulation and roof decking for proper air circulationCathedral ceilings insulation – Cathedral ceilings insulation – it has to be installed with a proper clearance to decking surface (2″). Without that clearance that allows for air circulation, mold might start growing on the roof-decking surface.

How to prevent attic black mold #6

Plumbing vent pipe left open in attic area, and should continue through the roofPlumbing vents terminating in the attic area – extend them through the roof, repair or replace cracked plumbing vent pipes. Sewer gases vapor adds additional unwanted moisture to the attic which can condensate on decking, start dripping onto your ceiling, and become breeding ground for the attic black mold.

How to prevent attic black mold #7

Furnaces and water heaters installed in attic areas should be contained inside a separate and insulated room – code requirement in some jurisdictions. Any vent pipes discharging exhaust gases from the furnace, water heater, fireplace, and passing through the attic area must be double wall / B vent type or sometimes triple wall (manufacturer or local requirement in some jurisdictions).

How to prevent attic black mold #8


Missing, deteriorated insulation on attic installed air ductAttic mold - uninsulated forced air heating system ducts waste energy and release heat into the atticHeating ducts – insulate their surface to help your heating and air conditioning system perform more efficiently. Besides wasting expensive energy, heat released from the air ducts surface might condensate on the roof decking surface and cause mold growth.

How to prevent attic black mold #9

Attic mold caused by leaking roof surfaceLeaking roof – fix it as soon as possible because the mold feeds on moisture, and in this case will grow at any temperature.

And the number 10

I’m listing it as a last item, but it is actually the most important thing that causes attic black mold growth – lack of proper attic ventilation. Make sure that your attic has it and that it is properly balanced. It means that you should have a sufficient amount of attic ventilation ports split 50/50 between the upper and lower portion of the roof.

The above standard might work if everything else is perfect, but in reality, the attic vents will eventually become clogged with lint, insulation, bird nests, etc. When that happens, any combination of the first 9 items from my list increases chances for mold in your attic.

I hope that the above 10 paragraphs will help you to stop or prevent attic black mold from growing. I also highly recommend to check  my other attic black mold concerning posts for more valuable information on this subject.

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Flood Damaged Household Appliances https://www.checkthishouse.com/1265/flood-damaged-houshold-appliances.html https://www.checkthishouse.com/1265/flood-damaged-houshold-appliances.html#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2008 17:48:11 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=1265 Read more]]> Are you scratching your head wondering if your flood damaged household appliances can be saved, or if you can safely operate them after just a few inches of water flooded your basement …

There are a few household appliances that, because of their large size, are usually installed directly on the floor surface. With the basements and crawlspaces that are subject to flooding, such installations become very risky, and it would probably make sense to either elevate those appliances on some kind of a platform or relocate them to the first floor to prevent the possibility of water damage.

Some or all of the electrical and gas components (depending on the design) in water heaters, furnaces, washers, dryers, dishwashers, ranges, etc. are located in the lower part of the appliance enclosure. Often, even just a few inches of water might compromise those parts, making the operation of the appliance hazardous.

Yes, you’re right: this may not happen. Just like the cell phone you’ve dropped into the sink, and after a few days of drying, it started operating again. But you’ve lost warranty on it now – cell phone manufacturers will have proof because there is a little sensor inside the phone which changes color after being exposed to moisture.

Flood damaged household appliances are unlikely to have such sensor, but because their electrical and gas components have been designed to operate in a dry environment, submersing them under water might cause unexpected problems, eventually leading to electrical shock and / or gas explosion.

It’s just like with a flooded car, even if it runs for a while, its electrical wiring and other components will start corroding and deteriorating, eventually causing the car to stop running, possibly even start a fire. It might happen after a week, month or even a year.

When you see have it replaced in the “flood damaged household appliances” listings below, it applies to the whole appliance, and not just the parts. In many cases it might actually be cheaper to install a new appliance than have all the compromised parts replaced (unless you’re capable of doing it yourself).

  1. Flooded gas water heater – if the water level reaches the burner or gas regulator / temperature control – have it replaced. Moisture might cause corrosion of those parts and create hazardous conditions, including gas explosion. Also, soaked insulation under the exterior jacket will cause water body to corrode (same for electric).
  2. Flooded electric water heater – depending on the size, they might have one or two heating elements. All submersed electrical connections and components (wires, terminals, relays, thermostat, etc.) will eventually corrode and create hazardous conditions / possible fire – have it replaced.
  3. Flooded Gas Furnace – it’s bad for any design. Up-flow, down-flow, horizontal – a few inches of water will most likely cover some of the gas or / and electric (electronic) components – have it replaced. If you’re not sure how high the water level was before it receded, turn off the power to the furnace and remove the lower service panel – there might be a distinctive water line on the side walls, cover, or any other internal parts.
  4. Flooded Electric Furnace – any electrical parts submerged under water require replacement. With an electrical furnace, it might actually be cheaper to replace the electrical parts, unless the blower and its motor were also affected – have it checked by an licensed HVAC contractor.
  5. Flooded washer / dishwasher – both have electrical wiring, motors, and other components installed in the lower portion of its enclosure – if submerged, have it replaced
  6. Flooded clothes dryer – gas or electric will have a motor at the base, some wiring, gas valve / pressure regulator – if submerged, have it replaced
  7. Flooded gas range – gas supply, regulator, and bottom burner may be at the very bottom (depending on the design) – if submerged, have it replaced
  8. Flooded  electric range – there are usually electrical connections, terminals, and the bottom heating element within the few inches from the floor level – if submerged, have it replaced

Sometimes, your flood damaged household appliances might be salvageable, but have a professional determine it … It’s for your own safety!

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What is Attic Black Mold and Why it’s Growing in Your Attic https://www.checkthishouse.com/549/do-you-know-why-is-mold-growing-in-your-attic.html Sun, 03 Aug 2008 17:30:03 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=549 attic black moldThere are actually several different reasons that might be responsible for the mold to appear under the house roof... and sometimes compromise your real estate transaction. That is why attic evaluation and attic mold treatment (if you’re out of luck) should be performed before even putting your house on the market, and on regular basis.]]> attic black mold

That is why attic evaluation (and attic black mold treatment if you’re out of luck) are such an important component of house maintenance and should be performed before even putting your house on the market, and on regular basis.

Why is attic black mold growing under your roof?

Watch Home Maintenance videos on Youtube.com – Black Mold in Attic

Attic black mold caused by inadequate ventilation

In search for attic black mold pictures I went through just a couple of hundreds files from my recent home inspections. And… I’m overwhelmed with a number of homes contaminated with attic mold. While inspecting I’ve never realized that, but this is just another proof that house attic is one of those completely off limits house areas for many homeowners.

Therefore, I decided to bring a little House Attic Black Mold awareness into your daily routines, and hope you’ll find it helpful. You can find more about mold in your house by following this link – household mold , and this post will deal strictly with pointing out conditions responsible for attic black mold growth.

Many factors can cause attic black mold to grow on your roof decking, and unfortunately the only way to find out is to go there. Below are the 10 main reasons responsible for the black mold growth in your attic:

Attic black mold and frost caused by missing soffit vents#1. cause of attic black mold growth in cold climates is an inadequate attic ventilation – check under the “House Attic Problems” category and Roof / Attic Ventilation Inspection post for more details about types of available venting and venting requirements

#2. The reason responsible for attic black mold contamination is improperly designed attic ventilation – a combination of vents that instead of exchanging the air between exterior and interior, they trap, create pockets of “dead air” which condensates on roof decking during the cold season. Attic ventilation design depends on the shape of your roof, its complexity. Some combination of attic / roof vents might work, some will not – if your attic is suffering from improperly designed ventilation, and you don’t know what to do, send me some pictures and I’ll help you with making this decision.

#3. Dryer / kitchen / bathroom vents discharging into the attic are often responsible for condensation, frost and attic black mold growth on the decking surface. Although condensation and frost buildup conditions would only apply to cold climates, all of the exhaust fan types from within your house should discharge to the exterior.

Attic black mold - missing insualtion on the attic floor allows for heat transfer#4. Inadequate / missing attic floor insulation and vapor retarder (moisture barrier) – allows for heat and moisture transfer from your house into the attic area. Bouncing back to the cold climate – it will often result in attic black mold growth.

Vapor retarder definition – it is a  material or system which adequately retards the transmission of water vapor.

#5. Poor / improper cathedral ceiling insulation and skylight chase walls insulation may also be responsible for attic black mold contamination.

#6. Furnaces and water heaters produce significant amount of heat and if installed in a poorly ventilated attic  (not contained within a dedicated  / enclosed area – attic closet), especially in a cold climate, could be responsible for condensation buildup and mold growth.

#7. Plumbing vents open into the attic discharge moisture saturated sewer gases into the attic.

#8. Uninsulated forced air heating system ducts – in cold climates, they waste precious energy and increase chances for attic black mold.

Attic mold - HVAC air ducts and plumbing pipes chase open into the attic. Uninsulated house interior walls allow for temp. exchange, moisutre buildup in cold atticAttic mold - gaps around the plumbing vent stack at the attic floor penetration allow warm air to enter the atticAttic mold - opening in the attic floor continues to the basement allowing house warm air to travel into the cold attic#9. Poorly insulated ceiling penetrations, attic access panels, kitchen soffits open into the attic, etc. It all adds up and the results are sometimes pretty dramatic. I’ve seen chimney and plumbing pipe chaises open at the lowest floor of the house, in a basement or sometimes flooded crawlspace, continuing through the house’s floor or two, and into the attic. Imagine the amount of warm, humid air transferred into the attic space and how much attic mold this can produce.

#10. Leaking roof – mold in the attic caused by the failing house roof protecting surface will be usually concentrated in leakage area and below it. However, poor attic ventilation could significantly accelerate mold growth.

Combining just first two items from the list of t he 10 main reasons responsible for the attic black mold growth could transform your attic into the steamy, mold-contaminated room during the cold season.
Any warm air trapped under the roof will cause condensation to form on framing, decking surfaces, and roofing nails creating mold nesting habitat.

Some homes have more than one attic and upper one, usually located above the bedrooms and bathrooms is always more susceptible of being contaminated with black mold. Warm air from lower parts of the house will naturally rise up, transfer through the ceiling and all its penetrations into the attic.

Attic mold solution has two parts and both should be executed at the same time:

  1. Attic mold removal
  2. Correction of factors responsible for attic mold – without it, attic mold will most likely re-appear within one season

Black attic mold and frost covered nailsBlack attic mold contaminated decking and framingOnce everything is properly fixed, you won’t have to worry about any attic mold growth. However, I still highly recommend to periodically monitor the attic.

Since you already know, why is the black mold growing in the attic it is time to do some investigation above the ceiling. Be extremely careful, if you don’t feel comfortable with accessing the attic, find somebody else to do it for you!

Pictures of mold in attic - roof decking covered with mold Pictures of mold in attic - contaminated decking surface visible directly above the attic access panelPick a cool day for this trip, powerful flashlight and dust mask. Attic access might be as easy as pulling down folding attic stairs, but sometimes it is a challenge as far as size of an opening and its location.

Shine your light beam above your head and onto the roof decking / framing surface, check carefully areas where attic floor meets the roof, because that’s where attic black mold usually starts appearing (samples of what you might see are on the pictures).

If you see no discoloration, clean wood surface with no mold residue on it, than everything should be OK .

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Cathedral Ceiling Ventilation | House Attic Vents https://www.checkthishouse.com/20/cathedral-ceiling-ventilation.html https://www.checkthishouse.com/20/cathedral-ceiling-ventilation.html#comments Tue, 11 Mar 2008 18:32:24 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/testhouse/?p=37 Depending on your house interior and roof framing design, cathedral ceiling ventilation can be treated as an independent, or attic ventilation related condition. As much as regular attic ventilation is an important part of your house maintenance routine and usually easy to perform, cathedral ceiling ventilation maintenance might be difficult or even impossible to do. Majority of problems with cathedral ceiling ventilation develop in structures where the ceiling framing, and roof framing are the same. What it means, that there’s no accessible attic between the ceiling and roof surface, only narrow, rafter / truss space which should be partially filled with insulation. [...]]]>

How to maintain cathedral ceiling ventilation?

Depending on your house interior and roof framing design, cathedral ceiling ventilation can be treated as an independent, or attic ventilation related condition. As much as regular attic ventilation is an important part of your house maintenance routine and usually easy to perform, cathedral ceiling ventilation maintenance might be difficult or even impossible to do.

Majority of problems with cathedral ceiling ventilation develop in structures where the ceiling framing, and roof framing are the same. What it means, that there’s no accessible attic between the ceiling and roof surface, only narrow, rafter / truss space which should be partially filled with insulation. Sometimes there’s partial attic, and you can see / look into the cathedral ceiling structure from accessible part.

Cathedral ceiling ventilation - attic visible above the ceiling“Safer” (from the cathedral ceiling ventilation point of view) types of cathedral ceilings are the ones, which have a separate from roof framing structure, which allows air to circulate more freely (image). But let’s talk about this first type. Depending on severity of the cathedral ceiling ventilation problem, you may, or may not see its consequences for a long time.

Some of the conditions, you’d be noticing are:

  1. roof surface deformation above the cathedral ceiling section of your house,
  2. moisture stains on cathedral ceiling surface,
  3. moisture dripping from recessed light fixtures or electrical boxes on the cathedral ceiling,
  4. moisture / water stains stains along the top section of the window located in the wall supporting lower end of cathedral ceiling,
  5. dark stains (ghost marks).

Cathedral ceiling ventilation problem 1Cathedral ceiling ventilation problem 2All of the above conditions are curable, but depending on the extent of damage, it might get expensive (lack of proper attic ventilation is a main cause of attic black mold growth and ice damming). Basic principle for cathedral ceiling ventilation is pretty much the same as for any attic with a “twist” to it.

To prevent possibility of moisture condensation, you need constant air movement between the bottom and top of the roof, through the space between rafters / above the insulation layer installed on top of the finished ceiling. “Twist” is for extreme conditions, which in regular attic are easier to spot, and much cheaper to correct.

1. Cathedral ceiling ventilation / insulation

If properly installed between the rafters, on top of the ceiling material (drywall, plaster, paneling sheets, etc.), there should be approximately 2″ of space left above it, which allows air to flow between the bottom and top of the roof. Ideal installation would also include vent chutes / baffles, secured to roof decking, which ensures proper insulation spacing and undisturbed air flow.

Check here your attic insulation amount recommendations.

Contractors who misunderstand principles of proper attic ventilation, never use vent chutes, use more or thicker insulation than required, packing it tightly into the rafter space, blocking completely air flow, and causing… costly “headaches”.

2. Cathedral ceiling ventilation / Roof bottom vents

Because each rafter space is like a small, individual attic, it needs fresh air feed, which in most cases comes from roof overhang – soffit. With a variety of roof soffit designs, it is hard to suggest any particular type of vent, but continues one would probably cover all possibilities and ensure that each rafter space will receive fresh air. If there’s no overhang / soffit, “vented drip edge” can be utilized.

3. Cathedral ceiling ventilation / Roof top vents

Depending on how your cathedral ceiling ends, different types of vents would be required;  if it goes all the way to the roof top / ridge / peak, where other side of cathedral ceiling starts, the only type of vent that should be installed is a ridge vent .

Some roofers prefer static roof louver vents, and if installed between every two rafters, it will do the job – but it doesn’t look nice, especially when you have a long ridge line. If your cathedral ceiling ventilation ports / space between the decking and the top surface of insulation resting on the ceiling drywall is visible from an accessible attic, and there are no obstructions, any type of properly installed attic vent will do, as long as it provides adequate output.

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Attic Ventilation Requirements: How Many Attic Vents Does Your Roof Need? https://www.checkthishouse.com/18/attic-ventilation-how-many-attic-vents-your-roof-needs.html https://www.checkthishouse.com/18/attic-ventilation-how-many-attic-vents-your-roof-needs.html#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2008 02:53:58 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/testhouse/?p=32 As long as you have an attic (most likely if your house has a pitched roof and none or partial cathedral ceilings), it should be accessible, and periodically checked for any abnormalities. Many of the home owners don’t even realize, that there’s an attic, and how important it is to maintain attic ventilation and [...]]]>

In order to comply with attic ventilation requirements number of attic vents needs to be calculated and strategically installed. This is one of … or rather the most important issue associated with attic area, having huge impact on your house “health” and proper functionality (especially in cold climates).

As long as you have an attic (most likely if your house has a pitched roof and none or partial cathedral ceilings), it should be accessible, and periodically checked for any abnormalities. Inadequate attic ventilation often results in such “abnormal” issues.

Many of the homeowners don’t even realize, that there’s an attic, and how important it is to maintain attic ventilation and control amount of moisture migrating into this area.

Providing attic ventilation by using a combination of various types of attic/roof vents, plays a key role in preventing such problems as attic mold, condensation, and ice damming…

Attic ventilation requirements/ air circulation

So, how much of that air circulating through your attic you really need …

You can find online calculators, to give you the explanation in numbers and I’ll try to add a few words to it.

Basic attic ventilation principal is to keep that unused section of our house as cool as possible – critical condition during the cold season – dividing amount of the roof upper and lower vents 50/50.

Attic ventilation - insulation of unheated attic roof decking is not recommended, and flammable paper facing should be never left exposed

Some of us think absolutely opposite and seal all of the attic ventilation ports, sometimes insulate roof decking, assuming that such action will lower the utility bill. Unfortunately, by doing that, they are creating ideal attic mold growing environment (moist and warmer than exterior). You can partially determine how good is your attic ventilation by examining roof surface during the winter (from the ground of course!).

After some snow accumulates on pitched roof surface, monitor it over the next few days, and if roof remains snow covered, there’s a good chance, that your attic ventilation and attic floor insulation is adequate, and whatever heat is being transferred through the attic floor (house ceiling), and all other penetrations between the house and attic area has enough escape routes.

Attic ventilation and insulation - melting snow above poorly insualted attic section

Any roof surface section, where snow starts disappearing, usually corresponds to a heat source in the attic, or pin-points attic part where the warm air has been trapped, instead of being vented to the exterior. With ambient temperature above freezing, such investigation might not be accurate, and you’ll need to open the attic hatch…

The ideal roof / attic ventilation would consists of combination of vents located in upper section of the attic (ridge vents, turbine, box-shaped or dome static vents, electric motor powered vents), vents installed along the bottom parts of the roof overhang, called intake, or soffit vents, hip vents, and / or gable vents (all of the provided links are just samples, vents manufactured by one company). Roofs with no or very small overhang might be able to utilize “vented drip edge” .

Do not combine attic gable vents with roof soffit and ridge / upper roof vent systems – it will disturb attic ventilation process.

Attic ventilation - damaged roof turbine vent

Attic Ventilation Requirements – How Many Attic Vents Your Roof Needs

  • Industry standard for proper attic ventilation recommends (for no vapor retarder type of attic insulation – no paper, plastic or aluminum layer between the attic floor and insulation layer) 1 sq. foot of ventilation for every 150 sq. feet of attic space divided 50 / 50 between the inlets and outlets.
  • For vapor retarder equipped attic insulation (for example fiberglass blankets/bats with paper facing),  you should have 1 sq. foot for every 300 sq. feet of attic space – assuming that everything else is perfect…

Complexity of some roofs might prevent such installations, and compromise proper attic ventilation, but each of those “unique” designs would have to be examined and discussed separately. Lets assume, that we have as many venting ports as we should (based on simple formula above, and house exterior examination), and that everything was installed the way it should be, without cheating…

Attic ventilation - properly operating soffit vents extremely improve air circulation through the attic

We can only see this element of attic ventilation – roof soffit vent cover, and expect to have an opening behind it. Once installed, it is hard to determine, if the cover has been secured directly over the cut-out in soffit board. The easiest way would be to access attic area, and check for a light shining through the soffit vents, you should be able to see it from access point.

However, in some cases, you might have to walk further from the attic entrance – be extremely careful if you decide to do that, use good lighting and watch your steps, because most of the attics have no floorboards installed, and you have to step on framing members.

If roof soffit vents are visible on the exterior, but you can’t see any light shining through them, your attic ventilation could be suffering, and you can expect that:

roof soffit vents are clogged with dust or several coats of paint (they should be cleaned if possible or replaced)

Attic ventilation / air circulation - vent chutes / baffles help to transfer fresh air from the soffit into the attic

Attic ventilation - vent chutes / baffles prevent soffits from being clogged with insualtion

roof soffit vents are sealed with attic floor insulation, so called – vent chutes / baffles correct this problem, and they should be installed in rafter / truss spaces corresponding to soffit vents on exterior, or in all spaces (just like on the pictures with black chutes) – they are cheap and more can only do better

roof soffit vents might only exist on exterior – there’s no cut-outs underneath (have some new vents installed or correct current installation to improve attic ventilation).

Compromised attic ventilation - gable vent clogged with birds nest

Attic ventilation / attic air circulation - roof vent clogged with a bird nest

Attic ventilation - two roof vents clogged with bird nests

Most common problem with gable and roof top vents is that they get clogged by bird nests or dust / lint, which compromises ventilation. If that happens, just clean it periodically and if wire screen is damaged – replace it.

Some people install screens on the inside (from the attic), covering cut-out in roof decking board…, it is easier and it does prevent rodents penetration, but it is still great spot for a bird nest.

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Attic Power Vent, Heat and Moisture Ventilation Solution https://www.checkthishouse.com/8/attic-power-vent.html Sat, 09 Feb 2008 01:51:27 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/testhouse/2008/02/08/attic-power-vent/ attic ventilationAttic power vent fan blades are extremely sharp! When doing any type of maintenance work around it, make sure that power supply to the motor has been turned off! Most of those attic vents are controlled by a heat or humidity sensing switch and can become active / cause injury while you’re performing maintenance. Humming, muffled noise coming from above the ceiling during the summer is most likely an attic power vent, working hard to pull out hot air from under the roof (attic power vent should be placed close to the roof ridge – top, or installed as a gable [...]]]> attic ventilation

Attic power vent fan blades are extremely sharp!

Attic power vent - gable

Most of the attic power vents are controlled by a heat or humidity sensing switch and can become active / cause injury while you’re performing maintenance.

Roof / attic power vent

Humming, muffled noise coming from above the ceiling during the summer is most likely an attic power vent, working hard to pull out hot air from under the roof (attic power vent should be placed close to the roof ridge – top, or installed as a gable vent).

The most common installations include adjustable thermostat and in some cases humidistat, which activates attic power vent motor accordingly with your preferences (once set, it operates automatically responding to temperature or / and humidity changes).

There are also some devices preset by the manufacturer (usually between 85F – 100F), and attic power vents with no sensor at all, controlled by on/off switch mounted in various location (usually close to the attic entrance).

Attic power vent installation requirements

To serve its purpose properly and save instead of wasting your money, certain requirements for attic power vent installation have to be met:

Single soffit ventTypical soffit ventGable vent sampleThere must be other, adequate number (or more likely square footage area) of ventilation ports installed in lower section of the roof, they are called: soffit vents, if your house roof has an overhang, which extends beyond the house exterior wall, or gable vents – located at the attic area, commonly on the exterior wall where the two planes of a sloping roof join, forming a triangle.

There’s a possibility, that type of your roof allows only for installation of vents on its surface – good examples are hip roofs on many of the Chicago style Georgian type homes, which have no overhang / soffits.

In such case, if the attic power vent has been installed in upper section of the roof, passive vents can be placed not less than 1/3 of the distance between the roof bottom edge and top (ridge), hip / ridge vent system can be installed, or vented drip edge mounted along the roof edges.

Combustion air supply from attic to furnace - utility room must remain open all the timeThe attic floor, and all penetrations between the attic and living area of your house should be properly insulated and sealed. Any gaps, holes, and lack or inadequate number of attic vents will cause attic power vent to create a vacuum, and remove AC cooled air from the house. In some properties, there’s a duct between the attic and utility room, which provides combustion air for gas burning appliances – this one must remain open on both sides (on the picture)!

Make sure that the attic power vent, or its opening is protected with wire mesh / screen – vents are usually equipped with wire mesh that wraps exterior of the fan blades housing, and prevents rodents from accessing attic area (screens installed from attic side allow birds to build nests inside the fan).

However, some of the larger animals are strong enough to penetrate this obstacle, in the process damaging fan blades. Therefore, it’s a good idea to examine your attic periodically. Be careful, most attics have no flooring installed and walking on framing is difficult, if possible, examine fan condition from attic access point.

Before installing a new attic power vent in your attic, make sure you properly calculate square footage area If installed fan is too small, it will have to operate much longer, to move the same amount of air through the attic. Adjusting thermostat too low might cause fan to run constantly during hot summer – try to set the temperature dial to a 100 -110 degrees Fahrenheit.
The fan should start automatically as soon as the attic temperature rises above the preset setting, and cuts off when the attic is cooled down to approximately 10% below the thermostat setting.

Try low voltage, solar battery operated attic power vent – saves money on installation, very quiet, but approximately 3 times as expensive, as a regular attic power vent.

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