Exploring Wood Floor Restoration Techniques

Basement Waterproofing: What Is Negative Waterproofing?

Posted by on 10:04 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Basement Waterproofing: What Is Negative Waterproofing?

When water is allowed to seeped into your basement, you will be dealing with a potentially dangerous and uncomfortable situation. Left untreated, even small amounts of moisture will allow corrosive minerals to damage the integrity of your basement walls and mold to create potentially dangerous respiratory conditions. Although the preferred method for stopping this damaging moisture to fortify your wall from the outside, this process can involve hundreds of man hours or access to heavy machinery. Fortunately, negative waterproofing allows you waterproof your basement from the inside with very little equipment or expertise. Locate, Dry, and Map the Leaks Waterproofing your entire basement is often unnecessary and not cost effective. A targeted approach, designed to stop moisture from flowing specifically where it’s flowing into your basement can be just as effective as waterproofing the entire space. Locate: to target your waterproofing, you will need start by locating the damp areas in your basement. The most common locations where water enters basements include: corners: particularly the lower corners. below declivities: if you notice that the ground slopes outside your basement you are more likely to see water pool at these low points. shaded locations: the side of your home that receives the least amount of sunshine, particularly if you live in a climate where snow/ice can accumulate during winter Dry: once you target specific areas on your basement walls, you will need to dry the walls to see exactly where the moisture collects and spreads. To accomplish this task, you will need to dry the basement walls and wait for a moisture pattern to emerge. The two most common drying methods include one very low tech approach and one that will likely require renting equipment. hair dryer: for smaller basements, using a small hair dryer can be suitably effective for drying damp basement walls. Set the hair dryer on its highest setting and direct the hot air on the damp surface until the wall looks similar to the surrounding surfaces. industrial dehumidifier: these industrial fans essential suck moisture out of the air. If you choose to rent one of these industrial devices you will likely need 24 to 48 hours to complete dry the space so that damp walls completely dry out. Map: now that you’ve dried your basement walls, you have the opportunity to map the moisture pattern on your basement walls. There are two steps to take when mapping this emerging moisture pattern. photograph: taking a pictures of the basement walls every few hours can allow you to track specifically where the water is pooling and spreading. When taking these photos, it helps to give each location a letter or number to help you cross reference the photographic evidence as you collect it. mark: since you will eventually cover any damp areas on your basement walls, you can use a permanent marker or spray paint to mark the moisture pattern as it manifests on your basement walls. Negative Sealing Once you’ve located, dried, and mapped the moisture patterns on your basement walls, you’re ready to negatively seal them. You simply need to apply negative sealing waterproofing product to the damp areas you marked and photographed in the aforementioned steps. negative sealing products: be sure to use a negative sealing product that’s specifically designed to seal the material that...

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Before Finishing The Basement In Your Old House, Take Steps To Reduce Mold Growth

Posted by on 12:38 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Before Finishing The Basement In Your Old House, Take Steps To Reduce Mold Growth

Moisture issues are a problem in many homes, but basements especially have a reputation for damp conditions and musty smells. If you’re hoping to finish the basement space in your older home, you need to be realistic about potential moisture and mold problems before you undertake any finishing. Here are the initial steps you should take before you begin.  1. Remove any and all mold that is currently present in the home.  Old houses have a long history of owners who have made changes to the home’s materials, finishes, and even the footprint. Before you begin a serious renovation project that will close off plumbing and access to floors and walls, have a mold remediation company inspect for any mold that might be present in the home—especially in the basement. Pay specific attention to older laundry rooms and bathroom fixtures (solitary sinks or showers) that might be located in the otherwise unfinished basement area. You don’t want to inadvertently cover up mold that is flourishing, only to face a much more expensive remediation later.  2. Assess actual moisture levels.  Even if you’ve never had an actually flood in the basement during a rain storm or with spring run-off, you still need to address these “slight” moisture problems. Check the foundation walls for signs of water—old whitewash will yellow from water leaks. On bare brick, water will leave white mineral deposits. Windows could have slightly warped frames. Concrete could show pitting, and mortar in between old rubble or brick foundations could be cracked from exterior water pressure in the soil surrounding the basement. Make a note of even the most minor signs of water—you’ll have to assess each one before finishing can begin. 2. Run a vapor barrier test. Tape a large sheet of clear plastic on the bare masonry of your walls in different areas of the basement. Water vapor that leeches in will condense and pool on the plastic, showing that moisture is more of a problem than you may have anticipated. If you have dry plastic after a few days, you know you’ll be mostly in the clear to apply spray insulation, framing, and sheetrock. If the plastic is not dry, you’ll need to contact a waterproofing company for advice on how to best remedy the problem—it may involve waterproofing the foundation exterior of your home. They will need to run more extensive and precise vapor barrier tests.  3. Use interior waterproofing products. Once you’ve filled gaps, fixed exterior drainage, and installed a sump pump in case of flooding, it’s time to apply interior waterproofing—even if your basement seems dry. Interior waterproofing products work quite well as a preliminary measure to improve your vapor barrier test results. In older homes, however, applying this barrier can be more time consuming because it often needs to be applied over bare brick, concrete, or stone. This means removing the preliminary white washing or other paint that is common to basement walls of historic homes. You can also apply it to the floor. It can take time to remove this layer, and if you’re not up to the DIY task, leave it to a waterproofing professional. 4. Use subfloor panels. Laying carpet or any other flooring directly on concrete traps condensation and leads to moldy flooring. Mold quickly spreads once it...

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How To Repair A Broken Seam In Aluminum Gutters

Posted by on 8:37 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Repair A Broken Seam In Aluminum Gutters

Aluminum gutter seams can separate over time after repeated exposure to sun, rain, ice and wind. These broken seams not only permit water to leak, they also can weaken the gutter structure and eventually may damage the gutters or even the fascia. However, repairing these seams is not difficult and can be accomplished with just a few minutes work. Below are the supplies and tools you will need, as well as easy-to-follow directions for fixing broken seams in aluminum gutters: What you will need Plastic roofing cement Fiberglass fabric mesh Scissors Work gloves 2-inch wide margin trowel Electric drill with ⅛-inch bit Pop hand riveter ⅛-inch blind rivets Locking pliers Wire brush Degreasing spray cleaner Paper towels Step ladder or extension ladder Step-by-step repair procedure 1. Work with safety as a priority – Whenever you perform work on gutters, be sure to take a few important safety precautions to keep yourself from being hurt: Position your ladder on firm, level ground to ensure it doesn’t slip or fall when you climb. Be aware of power lines that may enter your home near the roof line and keep a safe distance. Wear protective gloves that will prevent cuts and scratches when working with sharp gutter edges. Look for stinging insect nests and hives attached to the fascia or gutters before beginning your work. 1. Thoroughly clean the interior surfaces of the gutter – Before attempting to repair the seam, you will need to clean the inside of the gutter to remove all dirt, animal droppings, oil, tar or other debris that might prevent good adhesion of the cement. Spray the inside of the gutter on both sides of the seam with a degreaser, then wipe it clean with paper towels. If there are any stubborn traces remaining, use a wire brush to scrub the gutter clean, then re-spray and wipe it dry. 2. Clamp the gutter together at the seam – After the gutter is cleaned out, you will need to clamp together the sections on both sides of the separated seam. Position and hold the gutter pieces together by hand, and attach a pair of locking pliers to keep the sections in-place while you perform the repair. 3. Rivet the seams – When the seams are clamped together, drill a ⅛-inch hole through the front wall of the gutter sections, then use a pop riveter to install a blind aluminum rivet. Next, drill another hole about one-half of an inch beneath the first one, and install a second rivet. 4. Apply a layer of plastic roofing cement to the interior of the gutter – Dip the corner of your margin trowel into the roofing cement container, then apply a layer of cement to the inside of the gutter on both sides of the seam. Spread the cement about three inches on both sides, then fill in the seam area itself so that no bare metal is visible and the rivet heads are covered, as well. The layer of cement should be approximately ⅛-inch thick across the site of the repair. 5. Cut and inlay a strip of fiberglass mesh tape – After the initial layer of plastic roofing cement has been spread into the gutter interior, cut several 6-inch by 2-inch long strips of fiberglass mesh. Place the strips...

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Black Water: Protect Your Home From Damage With A Fill Dirt Fort

Posted by on 7:48 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Black Water: Protect Your Home From Damage With A Fill Dirt Fort

When a sewer line backs up or breaks in your yard, it can quickly threaten your home with black water. Black water can be extremely difficult to remove from your home, but you can take steps to keep it out before it causes too much damage. If you don’t do something immediately, your family could be at risk for a host of medical problems, including parasitic infections and disease. Here’s what black water is and how you can reduce the destruction it causes in your home with a fill dirt fort. What Types of Dangers Lurk in Black Water? Black water describes sewer water that contains feces, dangerous microorganisms and diseases, such as encephalitis and leptospirosis. Many of these contaminants harm both humans and animals because of how they enter the body.  Black water contaminants invade your body through your mouth and skin. However, a number of pathogens and microorganisms invade your body through your eyes, ears, nasal passages, and lungs. The contaminants cause many symptoms that range from a mild fever to heart and kidney failure. In most cases, you won’t know you have a deadly infection or disease until you experience: Respiratory distress or the inability to breathe properly Intense bouts of diarrhea and vomiting Head pain, such as migraines and sinus infections Dizziness and lethargy Now that you understand how dangerous black water is, it’s critical that you keep it out of your home. How Can You Build a Fill Dirt Fort? Until someone arrives to repair the damaged sewer line, build a protective fort around your home with fill dirt. Fill dirt, also known as subsoil, is found beneath the top layer of soil and grass on your property. This type of dirt consists of rocks and thick, inorganic material that may block or slow down sewer water from coming close to your basement or crawlspace.  To build your protective fort, you need to find a good place to dig up your fill dirt. You can choose an area of the property that doesn’t contain valuable gardens, flowers and other landscaping features you want to destroy. In addition, you want to select an isolated location that doesn’t see a lot of foot or vehicle traffic, such as close to a fence or shed. Remember, you don’t want to use topsoil to construct your fort, as it can be too thin, soft or porous to contain the sewer water. You don’t need to dig too far into the ground to find fill dirt. Most fill dirt begins at about 12-24 inches below topsoil and appears red to reddish-brown in color. Once you find a place to dig, follow these steps below: Use a large shovel or excavating tool to break up the topsoil and grass over the fill dirt. Place the topsoil and grass somewhere close to the digging site. You can use the topsoil and grass to refill it the site later. Fill a large wheelbarrow or container with as much dirt as you can safely move or haul to the locations closest to the damaged sewer line. You can find these locations by examining the ground. If they appear saturated with sewer water, place your fort in those places. Place fill dirt directly in front of the vulnerable locations, then continue to build up the fort until the sewer...

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Flash Flood Warning? Basement Flooding Prevention Tips to Do in Advance

Posted by on 3:25 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Flash Flood Warning? Basement Flooding Prevention Tips to Do in Advance

Flash floods can bring an enormous amount of water in a short amount of time. When a flash flood warning is issued for your area, you have very little time to prepare. It’s important to understand that no matter what preparations you do, there’s not much that can hold back the amount of water a flash flood can bring. However, it is important to reduce the risks of dangerous conditions in a flooded basement. Here are a few suggestions of what to do in advance to reduce your risks of returning home to the dangers of a flooded basement after you evacuated. Prevent sewage from backing up into your basement When flash floods rip through neighborhoods, they can cause sewage to back up through floor drains in basements. To prevent this, you can install a check valve in the basement floor drain. These valves are designed so liquids can only go down into the drain and no liquid came come out of the drain. This is important to protect your basement and the rest of your home from sewage. If you don’t have a check valve in the floor drain and your basement floods, do you touch the water with bare skin. Also, everything in your basement can be contaminated with sewage. Don’t try to clean up this type of mess yourself. Hire a professional flood damage restoration service for more information and assistance instead. They have the equipment and bio-hazard suits that are necessary for protection from contamination. Prevent electrocution by turning off the power Water and electricity is a dangerous combination. Before evacuating your home due to flash flooding, it’s a good idea to shut off the main circuit breaker of your home. That way, you won’t risk electrocution when you return home. A big part of a waterproofing system is the sump pump. Prepare for flooding by having a battery backup to power your sump pump without electricity. Occasionally test the battery backup by shutting off the electricity power source and filling the sump pump pit with a bucket of water. If the battery backup doesn’t pump the water out, replace the batteries. If that doesn’t work, you may need a new backup. Consult with a waterproofing specialist to be sure. If you don’t have a battery backup power source for your sump pump, don’t let that prevent you from turning off the main circuit breaker. It may be possible for a sump pump to electrify the water in a flooded basement. An alternative to a batter backup is a gas-operated generator. However, it’s not recommended to leave a generator running if you need to evacuate due to a flash flood. Prevent your heating oil tank from spilling oil Water just several feet deep is powerful enough to carry away vehicles on roadways. Imagine what that type of force can do to the heating oil tank in your basement. Even though the sideways force of the water in a flooded basement may not be forceful enough to move these items, the vertical movement could topple them over. When it comes to your heating oil tank, this could mean oil will be mixed in with the flood water in your basement. As you can imagine, it would be a feat to remove the oil/water mixture. There are...

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Remodeling Your Home? 2 Ways To Protect Your Investment

Posted by on 5:41 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Are you planning on remodeling your house? After scrimping and saving for years, you might be excited to run to the store, gather some supplies, and start a few projects. Unfortunately, unless you work as a professional contractor, it isn’t always easy to know what to tackle first and which materials to use. Here are two ways to protect your investment so that you don’t end up with buyer’s remorse later:  1: Target the Right Space When you think about the money that you are about to spend on your project, you might zero-in on high-tech appliances or paint swatches. However, if you really want to add value to your space, you should carefully consider the ROI of each project, or the Return On Investment. An ROI percentage compares the average cost of each project to how much value it will add to your home. For example, if you find a project that costs $1,000 and has a 120% ROI, your project would have added $1,200 to your home’s value. However, not every project is created equally and targeting the right space is important—especially if you want to protect your investment. Here are some common household projects and how they stack up financially: Bathrooms: Are you thinking about replacing those toilets and resurfacing that old footed bathtub? Mid-range bathroom remodels average about 77.1% ROI. To put that number into perspective, if you spend $4,000 to fix up your bathroom, you could make over three-fourths of that money back. Kitchen: You might not think that refinishing those dated cabinets and switching out those counters would make that much of a difference, but minor kitchen remodels have a great ROI. In fact, it is estimated that a mid-range kitchen remodel could return as much as 81.8% of your original investment. Entryway: If you really want to make your money count, focus on your entryway. In fact, replacing your old door with a stronger steel version could yield as much as a 98% return. As you mull over your remodeling options, try to identify the most impactful areas in your home. While home appraisers or potential buyers might be able to overlook that dingy carpet, a sparkling kitchen filled with high-end upgrades might tip the scales in your favor. 2: Choose Materials Carefully Once you start shopping for materials, you might be tempted to stick with lower-end products to save a little cash up front. Unfortunately, if that flooring choice, front door, or siding doesn’t wear well, you might end up losing money in the long run. Cheap materials could fall apart, making your place look messy and destroying your investment. Here are a few things to keep in mind while you are at the store: Wood: Why would you splurge on alder cabinets when those pine models look pretty similar? Hardwoods like mahogany, oak, maple, and alder have a lower moisture content than softwoods like pine and cedar, which makes them less susceptible to bending and warping. Hardware: As you select hardware like drawer pulls and doorknobs, try to pick options that will look great several years down the road. After all, it might sound fun to pick those industrial knobs now, but how will they look when the trend ends? Instead, side with simple, classic touches that will stand the...

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Removing Carpet After Water Damage

Posted by on 6:31 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Experiencing a house flood is a traumatic, stressful experience. After the worst is over and the standing water has been removed, you will most likely be facing carpet that is seriously damaged. If your flood wasn’t too extreme, you might be able to dry your carpet out to the point where it doesn’t have to be replaced. However, if you were faced with a large amount of standing water, you will most likely have to tear out your carpet so that new carpet can be installed. You might think that it would be easy enough to just tear it off the floor and toss it out, but there are steps that should be taken to remove water-logged carpet safely. Find The Damaged Portions Of Carpet The first thing that you need to do is figure out exactly where your carpet is damaged. If you experienced flooding in an entire room, most likely every area of the carpet is damaged. If the damage was more localized, ensure that you know exactly where the damage occurred. If you miss a spot of damaged carpet, mold and mildew will quickly grow on your damp carpet and could spread to other parts of your home. Remove The Baseboards In order to get to the carpet more easily, remove the baseboards near the area where you will be removing carpet. You can use a putty knife to pry the baseboards off. Once you have removed them, set them in another room. Cut The Carpet Into Sections Although you may want to just pull all the carpet up in one go, this is a bad idea. Carpet that is water damaged will be a lot heavier than normal carpet. This water weight will make it harder for you to remove, handle and dispose of the carpet. That is why it is best to cut the carpet into sections. Cut slits in the carpet about a foot apart, which will give you a template for where you should cut each section. Start with the first slit, and cut down the length of the carpet, pulling the carpet up as you go. You should be left with an easy to manage length of carpet. Roll up this section and dispose of it. Repeat this step for the padding that lies underneath the carpet. Chances are that if your carpet is badly water damaged, the padding will be, too. You should continue cutting and pulling strips of both carpet and padding until all the damaged flooring has been removed and disposed of. Dry Out The Floor Once all the carpet and padding has been removed, there might still be moisture present on the concrete. Use de-humidifiers, industrial fans and open windows to completely dry out the floor before you have your new carpet installed. Considerations If only a small section of your home’s carpet has been damaged, you may want to cut that small portion out and try to dry it out and then put it back into place. However, this is not recommended, as even after carpet seems dry it can still be prone to mildew production, as well as bad smells. If you aren’t comfortable removing carpet yourself, water damage restoration professionals can not only help you with the first stages of flood clean up, such...

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