How to Perform Drain Cleaning in Your Home

Assume that it is spring season, and you want to do some cleaning your garage, your apartment, and removing debris from crawling spaces on the porch. You may clean all these regions and then forget about the drains. Imagine having your draining sink or toilet being slow without having concern on how to make the draining system normal. A slow drain is a result of clogging in the drainage system, which may lead to complete blockage. 

To avoid clogging and all its negativities, here are tips on how you will clean and keep your drains clean.

  1. Use of deodorants on your drain

For instance, if your drain has blocked due to the presence of food remains or other fabrics, your drain may develop a foul smell, and the only way to go about this problem is to use a deodorant to get rid of the smell. You can also call for services from the heavy-duty drainers to unclog your drain, and after their job is done, vinegar to get rid of that nasty smell produced. You will be required to flush your sink with hot water,  pour a half cup of hot vinegar to the drain, rinse with cold water to solidify any grease on pipes, and pour another cup of hot to wash away blockages from your vinegar.

  1. Use of Citrus.

It is good to use chemicals I cleaning your drainage system, but they can cause you more trouble when cleaning your drains. If you are using drain auger to get rid of a serious clog, you should put it far away to prevent ingestion by your children or cause stains on your clothes if not well kept. If you have a citrus fruit in your house, run your garbage disposal with citrus rinds to degrease and refresh your drain since it goes through built-up grease and fruit residues, thus unclogging your drain.

  1. Use of professional help.

If cleaning the drain becomes a hectic and beyond your hand’s control, you should not worry about it! That means that you have done your best, and the only remaining option is to contact professional plumbers who will offer you the best services and keep your drainage system clean and clog-free.

While we can have a great time cleaning and maintaining your house, you should make sure that you do not always forget to clean your drains using the tips discussed above. Don’t forget that if the first two fail, then the best option is the third because professionals will offer you extra help.

Different Options for Garage Floor Sealers

Before constructing a garage floor, you are advised to choose a floor that fits all your requirements and is within your budget. Different floor coating improves your garage as you can decide whether to use rigid plastic combined with tiles or decide to use rollout floor mats with epoxy coatings. Floor paint coatings and covers prevent your garage floor from being affected by stains, hide cracks, and make it easier for you to clean the floor.

Two general types are available for your garage floor, that is coatings and coverings. Different types of coatings include concrete floor paint, DIY garage floor coating made op paint, and DIY garage floor coating made of concrete strain, DIY garage floor made of concrete sealers. Coverings are used when you want to hide cracks and wide holes without using mortar. The advantage of coverings is that they are fast and easy to use but are expensive than coatings. Some coverings include; rigid tiles, rollout mats, flexible interlocking tiles, and ordinary vinyl tiles.

Discussed below is an overview of different sealer options for your garage floor:

  1. Latex sealer.

It is just like a floor paint, which is more exposed to corrosive chemicals and less tough than the proxy. It only benefits by annual protective waxing, or you will be required to reapply them after some years of use. These sealers work best when used with the concrete floor because they stick better on them than the urethane sealers, making it a choice to use a premier for oil-based floor paint or rather epoxy.

  1. Urethane sealer.

This is a tough sealer compared to acrylic sealer but doesn’t fit well when used in a bare concrete floor. The sealer provides high gloss and clear finish that is not easily affected by chemicals making it preferable over epoxy and concrete stain. The setback involved with this sealer is that it is more expensive than other sealers whereby new versions that are solvent-based require the use of a respirator when applying.

In a nutshell, sealers are like floor paints except that they’re tougher, and they come after paints because of their less costly nature. Sealers are easy to apply by using a brush and roller, making them dry into a clear or semi-gloss product depending on the product chosen. You are therefore advised to use these sealers because they are of different versions to suit your garage best depending on whether you need a water-based or solvent-based version.

Avoiding Side Effects of an AC Unit

In months when there is no respite from a lot of heat, air conditioners make us a good save. Despite their help during these seasons, they are not as good as you may think because they have a lot of side effects when it comes to your health and the environment. The side effects are because most people do not know how to use the devices or what location they should be kept when in use.

What are the exact effects of these devices? Below are some of the effects and how you can avoid them:

  1. Annual care and maintenance

Because the AC is always exposed to all weather conditions, dust from the environment, and other particles like dye can make the AC jam. This may lead to the development of respiratory diseases. Therefore, make sure that your AC is serviced often to ensure it is in good working condition and, if not so, then be prepared to wake in the middle of the night coughing like a maniac. Keep in mind that if you have allergies and are using an AC, then the allergy will worsen throughout the whole summer.

  1. Be exposed to fresh air.

When you are used to an air conditioner, temperatures outside your house may be a bit hot. Do not be overexposed to the AC in the name of luxury. It’s also a little bit better to spend some little time outside your house to enable the body to adapt to the normal temperatures and be active.

  1. Get the room well ventilated.

In case your house has a lot of contaminants, then letting enough air into the house will save you the headache. Cold air produced by your AC is heavy and makes your breathing process difficult. You are also advised to make sure that your room is well ventilated to enable better and normal breathing processes. 

The best way to control the effects caused by air conditioners is to utilize the device. It is good to enjoy the hot sun while under your AC, but you should also be informed of its side effects on your health and environment. You should, therefore, prevent the effects by following the precautions and use of knowledge.

Tips on DIY Concrete Polishing

Concrete polishing can be achieved when the right steps are followed. Concrete polishes are mostly used on floors because of their smoothness, durability, and low cleaning maintenance. Most concrete polished floors provide beauty because of their different patterns and are slip-resistant on rainy seasons.

To obtain polished decorative concrete, the following tips should be considered.

  1. Determine surface hardness. This is the first step to consider. Determining the texture of the surface can be used by a test kit. The kit provides a tip that will help to scratch the surface until the tip stops scratching the floor. The point when the tip stops scratching the floor is the hardness level of the concrete.
  2. Grinding the floor. The floor coating should be considered. If it is coated, then it should be removed by an appropriate tool. Grinding is done to flatten the surface. The grinding is done with a grinder machine.
  3. Removing metal tool marks. This is known as the transitional stage. A transitional tool is used to remove the metalmarks. It also makes the surface visible ready for polishing.
  4. Harden the concrete. After the marks are removed on the floor, the floor should be vacuumed. The densifiers are used to harden the floor. The densifiers protect the movement of water through the surface.
  5. Concrete Polishing. This is when the polishing is done. Before that, the floor should be free of dust to perform the polishing. The polishing should then be performed gently to its best.
  6. Protection of the polished concrete. Once the polishing is done, security should be applied. The shelter is in case of exposure to chemicals or oils.

Because concrete polishing is a flooring option that is becoming widely considered in the modern world, assuming that you follow all of the steps above, the polishing expected would be accomplished.

Deciding between Engineering Wood Flooring and the Real Thing

Engineering Wood is a wood made of layers that contains the hardwood and plywood. While the standard wood, Solid wood, has multi-layers of wood. Another distinct feature of the two is that the engineering wood is more durable than the solid hardwood.

Some of the features to consider when deciding on the two kinds of wood include:

  1. Appearance. The solid wood flooring is narrower than engineering wood flooring. The solid wood has tight seams between boards while the engineering wood is wider and has slight grooves between boards.
  2. Water and Heat resistance. Engineering wood flooring is better in humid conditions because of its plywood that makes it’s more stable. The solid wood is not advisable in humid conditions because it can swell and warp.
  3. Installation. When installing, engineering wood flooring is the best than solid wood. The solid wood needs a nail down of installation. Various methods can be considered on the engineering one, installation of the click-clock or glue- down forms are used.
  4. Cost. The engineering wood is less expensive than solid wood. This is because of the worthiness of the engineered wood. The engineering wood has a long lifespan if not refinished than solid wood.
  5. Durability and Maintenance. Solid wood can be refinished several when it wears out. The engineering wood flooring it’s only refinished once because of its exhausting hardwood layer.
  6. Care and Cleaning. Both the solid and engineering flooring is easy to clean by using a vacuum. Sweeping also can be recommended but when it comes to mopping, water and steam are not advised to clean any wood surface. A wood cleaned can do.

 If you decide to use a wooden floor, search for enticing and long-lasting unique wood flooring to increase your home value. Ultimately, engineering wood flooring uses less wood compared to the solid wood hence it’s highly recommendable.

Three Reasons Why Circuit Breakers Trip

When your circuit breaker trips,  there are chances of losing power in some areas of your home rather than the whole house. This is because all electrical circuits in your house have the protection offered from the fuse. You should know the location of this fusebox, and it should be easy to access and open. Take your time to identify each fuse if none of the fuses is labeled to help you identify which area each switch controls. When the circuit breaker trips, it means the maximum amperes have been reached and depending on the model of your electrical panel, trips may cause slight movement of the handle, and you need to take a close look to identify which switch tripped.

Below are some reasons why your circuit breaker trips:

  1. Circuit overload

When the electrical wire exceeds its normale amperage, it is said to be overloaded. You need to disconnect some appliances from the circuit and use another circuit for your intended purposes. Before you reset the breaker, you should identify the cause of the problem by unplugging all items. After resetting, turn on the and plug-in items one at a time. If the overload continues, replace it with a new circuit handling the amperage in the area.

  1. Short Circuit

When the live electrical wire comes in contact with the neutral wire, then a large amount of current flow, which is also an overload, is experienced in the circuit, which is then referred to as a short circuit. When current overflows in your circuit, it makes your circuit to break blow while producing sparks and a popping sound with possible sound. Loose connections may be a cause of short circuit or faulty electrical switches. You can trace the shortcircuit on your own or call an electrician to help. 

  1. Ground fault

This happens when a live wire makes contact with the earth wire. When this contact is made, it results in tremendous current going through the circuit breaker leading to a trip. The national electrical code requires homes to be protected by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters to prevent fires in case of any fault.

It would be best if you were informed that circuit breakers are safety devices that protect us when electrical malfunctions occur.you are advised not to repair any electrical codes unless you are qualified and always use caution when handling electrical-related issues. 

Materials used for waterproofing Foundations

Waterproofing materials are vital for buildings. When constructing, the foundation should be mainly focused. In the case of a leaking foundation, where the water vapor and liquid water transmits, some materials can prevent such an effect. Without the right waterproofing types, the house can experience many problems

The materials used for waterproofing are

  1. Solvent-based asphaltic emulsion. This is used to make asphalt concrete that is used for waterproofing. It can be sprayed or applied by hands. It prevents cracking and shrinkage of the concrete. It is the best material used to prevent water movement
  2. Rubberized asphalt. This asphalt contains polyvinyl chloride for secure handling. There are two types of rubberized asphalt, the sprayable and sheet version. The sprayable version is water-based; hence its safer. Both versions are not exposed to sunlight because of their sensitivity to ultraviolet light. So when they are used, they are covered and protected. This material provides a thick membrane for waterproofing.
  3. Polyethylene. For a thick membrane, polyethylene should be considered. It manufactures sheet membrane systems. Its layers include a mixture of virgin polyethylene and recycled polyethylene. It also contains components that protect it from the ultraviolet rays.
  4. Bentonite. It is a material made of clay. It helps to prevent the movement of water and water vapor. It is thick by texture and expands when wet. When used, it is sandwiched between layers for its purpose.
  5. Protection Components. Materials can be beneficial, but conditions should also be considered for waterproofing membranes. They should be protected from damage, and water should be drained away from the membrane, and energy should be conserved to insulate the basements.

 To effectively form an impervious barrier over foundation surfaces, walls, and other structures, the above discussed are the most common materials used to prevent water movement in building foundations. 

Bathroom Design and Remodeling Ideas

The best bathroom design should take care of all needs of the family and priorities should be given importance. For example – A master bathroom should have all luxuries including a soaking tub, steam shower, or even fireplace. A bathroom for kids should be easily accessible and should always be clean. One should focus on style and comfort when it comes to bathroom for guests.

A bathroom is generally smaller than other rooms in the home and has lots of plumbing. Therefore, it is very critical to take care of special requirements like ventilation, natural light, and privacy. All these issues should be taken into account when designing a bathroom.

Bathroom Design Layouts

A bathroom is one of the most complicated part of a home during new construction and during remodeling unless you have ample bathroom space for obligatory bathroom components including – toilet, sink, tub /shower, and cabinet / storage. All these bathroom components can occupy most of the space leaving little space for the room’s design.

Sizes of most standard bathrooms run 5 feet by 7 feet. If you enjoy the luxury of more ample space, there is more scope for better bathroom design.

When working on bathroom design layout, the most important point to consider is about your needs and setting a priority list.

To get answer to what you need in your bathroom, ask following questions to yourself and your family members:

  • Do you only take showers? If yes, you don’t need a bathtub. You may invest the money in installing multiple showerheads.
  • Do you enjoy in a bathtub? If yes, go for a good bathtub with whirlpool jets.
  • If the bathroom also used to apply makeup? If yes, you may need a separate vanity area with makeup storage cabinets and bright mirror with light.
  • Do you want privacy? Install the toilet behind a closed door within the bathroom.
  • Once you are ready with all the answers, you are ready to move to the next step.

Bathroom Design Priorities

When designing a new bathroom, it is extremely important that you have a clear idea of your priorities including: bathtub, shower, lavatory, vanity, storage, plumbing and everything else you wish to consider in your bathroom.

Following elements in a bathroom need special attention:

  • Light: light, specially natural light in the most important element for any home or bathroom. Make sure your bathroom gets ample natural light through operable windows, skylights etc for brightness and warmth. Also arrange for natural ventilation.
  • Storage: A smart and efficient storage space in a bathroom can add to décor and convenience. Make sure there is enough storage space for essentials such as personal items, towels, toilet paper, vanity for makeup, and hair care items etc.
  • Plumbing: Plumbing is one element in any bathroom that can decide the look and layout. Before proceeding with bathroom design, get quote / estimate from your contractor or plumber. Make a diagram of the plumbing before starting the actual work.

Smart Design for the Small Bathroom

Designing a small bathroom demands creativity. A small space is much more difficult to design because it doesn’t offer many options. However, a small bathroom of standard 5-by-7-foot can be made look larger in following ways:

Set the toilet and sink along one wall of the bathroom. This will leave a clear corridor of space.
Set all cabinetry off the floor. This will allow for more floor space.
Choose a pedestal sink rather than a console sink. This will keep the floor space open.
Set the bathtub or tub/shower combination across the width along the far wall, under a large window. This allows the eye a space-enlarging view to the outdoors.

Design Your Dream Kitchen in Budget

We all dream to build an ideal kitchen in our home. But an ideal and dream kitchen is a kind of luxury for many people who can’t afford it. Designing an ideal dream kitchen in budget and available low fund is difficult but not impossible. You may have to sacrifice on spending to find the perfect new product mix.

A beautiful and ideal kitchen design can only be created by a perfect combination of design, convenience, and safety. The best kitchen design and layout will offer you the ease of movement around the kitchen, accessibility to food, utensils, and cooking apparatus. Moreover, you should feel comfortable in the kitchen.

In order to design your kitchen in budget, the first thing to ascertain is to know and understand areas where you want to invest and spend your dollars. What are your likes, dislikes, taste and passion? If you are a chef, or if you are more inclined towards cooking or if you just love food, you may consider investing your money on professional-grade kitchen appliances. If you are one of those party lovers and an entertainer, you may like to have a wine cooler and island seating. Making your kitchen comfortable and work for you is always worth the investment.

Kitchen Appliances

Even when you want your kitchen to be comfortable and work for you, you should focus on the future trends. Style and design are important considerations, essential quality products are important too. One such item is the kitchen faucet.

Always consider a good quality branded faucet with lifetime guarantees considering that you are not going to change it too often.

Cabinets and Storage

Make wise decisions when it comes to kitchen cabinets and storage. Avoid all junk drawers. Add wisely designed quality cabinets to safely store all you household items and cooking and dining utensils. To get the most out of your investment, choose a finish that will meet your present and future style and needs.

I recently read the “Real Deal” Survey, conducted by Decora Cabinets and Kitchen and Bath Design News which mentions that white/cream or natural oak, maple and cherry are the most widely accepted cabinet finishes.

Where to Save

When it comes to kitchen flooring and countertops, try to get the look for less. Laminates offer the look of high-end options without the expense and maintenance. Wide ranges of options are there for countertops. The trusted VT Fine Laminate Countertops offer a variety of options that emulate the look of natural granite and quartz. For kitchen flooring, you can consider vinyl flooring that offer both style and durability in budget. Other laminate flooring options are also available that offer patterns and textures to get look of wood, ceramic tile or stone.

Do it yourself (DIY)

In any home and kitchen remodeling and maintenance work, your own labor can save you a considerable amount of money. Doing it yourself with help of handy family members and friends can save good cash. You can hire a professional to do the major renovation, but ask for a discount if you assist with demolition, clean-up or the finish work and painting. Why should you help him for free?

Recycle and Reuse

Designing your ideal kitchen doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to start from scratch. Check out for items that are working and consider recycling and reusing them. If your kitchen already has cabinets that meet your storage needs, but not your aesthetic needs – try to paint or refinishing them. Remember that kitchen storage cabinets need a good investment and by refinishing an existing cabinet you can save a considerable amount of money. If you have appliances, furniture, lighting and cabinets that are in good working condition, you can try to sell them on online auction sites such as eBay and Amazon and even try getting some good deals on purchasing new ones from these sites. By doing this, you not only save the environment but also keep them out of landfills.

So, with little planning on how to design, where to invest and where to save money, you can easily design your ideal dream kitchen in your budget.

How to Find and Hire the Best Home Remodeling Contractor

If you are thinking to remodel your home for just home improvement or to add more comfort and value to it, then it is better to understand some of the basics on how to find and hire the best and perfect home remodeling contractor. Little homework done before hiring a general home remodeling contractor can save your lots of money and also your job will get done better with satisfaction.

Many home improvement and remodeling projects are DIY, which means that you can do it yourself without having to hire any expert. However, some major home improvement and remodeling projects need you to hire a contractor or an expert. Before hiring a contractor, make sure to do some research about the professional or the company.

Following are some of the rules to follow while hiring a home remodeling contractor:

Contractor License

The first step is to check and make sure that the contractor you are about to hire to remodel your home has a valid license to do the work. Any contractors try to avoid paying the license fee and other tests. Hire a contractor who has a valid license and has all the expertise to do your work.

Take References

Once you have checked the validity of the contractor license, it is time to verify the company’s history. All contractors will say that they are the best in the industry. You just cannot trust what they say. Ask them for some remodeling work that they may have done in your area. Visit those places and physically check the work of the contractor.

You can also verify the claims of the company online. Do some online research and check out blogs and forums with discussion about the remodeling company. You can also ask questions on these sites and get feedback of some past clients of the company.

Remodeling Contract

Once you are satisfied with the past history of the contractor, it is time to make a contract with the company. Mention each and every point very clearly in the contract. Write down what do you exactly want the contractor to do and the fee. Breakdown labor and material costs. Write down payments terms very clearly. Never pay 100% advance fee to any contractor. Most contractors want 50% fee as advance and the balance 50% after the job is complete. Most people prefer to pay in stages as the work progresses.

After hiring a Home Remodeling Contractor

Once you have hired your contractor and made the contract, it is time to start the work. Make sure you communicate regularly with the contractor. This will avoid and misunderstanding or confusion. Explain your plans very clearly with sketches and drawings. You can also show him examples.