HOME TIPS (repair/building)
- Serious Bathroom Mold As a professional bathroom remodeler in South Florida, I see more moldy bathrooms than most other humans do. Sad to say, but if your grout has large areas that are moldy and keep turning black no matter how often or what solution you use, it's probably not the grout. Typical modern construction methods mean that your shower/bath walls are made out of "greenboard," which is simply sheetrock with a water resistant front piece of paper on it. Sheetrock is gypsum mud poured between two sheets of heavy paper. So making the first sheet water resistant does not, over time, protect the homeowner from mold, mildew and rot associated with wet wood and organic products. The fairly expensive but proper solution is to remove the walls, treat for mold in the wall cavity, replace the walls with Durock or some other cement board that does not contain wood (paper) or organic (gypsum) matter. When you set tile on the cement board, you should have put mold, mildew, rot and the associated allergies behind you. Unfortunately, it will cost you between $1000 to $2000 to replace the walls. If you are going to build a house in the near future, insist and pay a premium to get cement walls in your bathing area. It only costs the builder about $50 to $75 extra (per bathroom) to use Durock. If he wants to charge you a couple of hundred dollars extra at the time, pay him or you will be paying me or someone else ten times as much a few years down the road.
- Whenever painting concrete or cement such as slab or steps,
- concrete or cement blocks or walls and footings, after first
- washing and rinsing the surface, always wipe the surface again
- with straight (undiluted) white vinegar. Let the vinegar dry
- on the surface and do not rinse off. Then paint the area
- immediately after the vinegar is dry.
- Your paint will last nearly twice as long, even with heavy foot
- traffic, and any decorative painting will be less prone to
- blistering or peeling from sunlight.
Instructionsif you have a crack in your home's foundation, it is important to know if it is horizontal or vertical. Cracks that run more or less vertical and that are not more than 1/8-inch wide are probably not cause for alarm. If they are horizontal, however, there could be a problem. If it has misaligned edges or has movement, it might require a professional check-up. You should monitor it by marking off the ends of the crack and making several ?alignment? marks across the crack at various points. Then check it periodically. If the crack gets longer or the marks become misaligned, it's cause for concern
My patio is a concrete slab with a planting area around two sides. It was in bad repair with a few cracks. I cleaned the slab with TSP, and then I went to Home Depot and bought concrete paint in two different colors. One color was used as a base coat and the other was sponged on the base coat with a brick shaped sponge. I used a yellow-beige as the base with a red-brown color for the "bricks." It looks like a brick patio
and I get many, many compliments on it. You can find many different paint colors. Here are a couple of hints. Don't paint when it's over 90 degrees and let the base coat dry at least 24 hours. Be sure to leave at least one to one and a half inches between each "brick." If they are too close, it doesn't look real. Be careful when moving furniture for a couple of weeks. Keep some paint in case you need it. It is easy to touch up. Mary Ellen
Foundation Crack Foundation
If you have a crack in your home's foundation, it is important to know if it is horizontal or vertical. Cracks that run more or less vertical and that are not more than 1/8-inch wide are probably not cause for alarm. If they are horizontal, however, there could be a problem. If it has misaligned edges or has movement, it might require a professional check-up. You should monitor it by marking off the ends of the crack and making several ?alignment? marks across the crack at various points. Then check it periodically. If the crack gets longer or the marks become misaligned, it's cause for concern
Unlike other appliances, the less you use it the more likely it is to break down. Water that remains in the bottom of your dishwasher is there for a reason; it keeps seals moist, to prevent leaks and protect the motor. When not used for long periods, the water evaporates, seals dry out and leaks and motor problems become likely. To prevent this, before a dishwasher sits unused for more than two or three weeks, pour in a half cup of liquid bleach (this prevents bacterial buildup). Then add 3 tablespoons of mineral oil. These coat the surface of the water and prevent evaporation -- even over long periods of time. With a dishwasher, it's "use it or lose it" -- or protect it.
Top-10 Weatherization Tips.
10. Caulk windows, doors and cracks in siding
9. Weather-strip windows, doors and thresholds.
8. Seal gaps around plumbing and electrical penetrations with foam in a can.
7. Install foam gaskets in electrical switches and outlets.
6. Add a water-heater blanket.
5. Insulate hot- and cold-water lines.
4. Put aluminum foil behind steam radiators to bounce heat into the room.
3. Install lined drapes or dense window coverings.
2. Close fireplace dampers, when not in use.