3 Reasons To Hire A Structural Engineer Before Making Foundation Repairs

Is the foundation for your home not quite as it should be? If you’ve been noticing a lot of cracks in your foundation or it seems like your door or windows aren’t closing properly, it might be time to bring in a foundation repair company to take control of the situation. But having said that, there is another hire you may wish to make first. A structural engineer can come in and analyze the situation in ways that the foundation repair company may not be able to. Here are 3 reasons to consult with a structural engineer before moving forward with foundation repair work.

Get A More Complete Analysis

Structural engineers are trained to pinpoint the exact areas that are causing the most trouble. You will get a more complete analysis when an engineer is involved. If you have an engineer on your side, you can be confident in dictating to the repair company what exactly you do and do not want done. Any contractor can be brought in to fix up a foundation, but a structural engineer is specifically trained on how to handle the exact situation you are currently dealing with.

Get Expert Preventative Advice and Plan for the Future 

Structural engineers aren’t just adept at spotting problems, they know a lot about how to avoid developing those same problems in the future. If a particular area of your property looks like it could be trouble, you’ll have a heads up about it in advance. For example, an engineer will likely put together an engineering report that you can consult in the future if you ever need to close on the home or obtain a loan and there are questions about the house’s stability.

No Worries About A Sales Pitch

You’d like to think that most contractors will only work on what is absolutely required, but keep in mind that a contractor is always going to err on the side of performing more work so that they can get paid more. But a structural engineer has no such conflict of interest.  A structural engineer’s reputation is built entirely on their ability to provide a 100 percent unbiased report on your property. Going with an engineer before bringing in the foundation repair company could potentially save you some money. 

If you think your home needs some foundation repairs, consider bringing in a structural engineer to assess the situation before you hire a contractor to actually fix things. Engineers can help you pinpoint the exact trouble spots with more clarity than the average contractor may be able to, you’ll also get a full report that can come in handy if a third party ever has question’s about your home’s stability, and paying for a structural engineer could actually save you money in the long run. 

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Choosing The Right Gutters For Your Home

As a homeowner who likes to keep up with maintenance and care, you often know when you should or absolutely need to replace certain elements of your home. Because of this, you may be in the process of getting ready to replace your gutters. There are many different types of gutters that you can choose when you are planning to replace your gutters. Once you weigh the options, you can get started on your gutter replacement project as soon as possible.

Know the Different Gutter Materials

While many people assume that all home gutters are the same, there are actually several different materials to choose from for your gutters. Wood gutters are a less common, though they are traditional-looking gutters you may want to consider for your home. If you have an old-fashioned style or a home that has a cabin or cottage-like design, wood gutters may fit in well with your design aesthetic.

Wood gutters do require more general maintenance than the other types because wood needs to be sealed and resealed to prevent damage from moisture. These gutters may also have issues with pest infestations that other gutters would not.

On the other hand, vinyl and metal gutters are far more common and have fewer issues with pests and water damage. Vinyl gutters are very durable in nature and are one of the least expensive gutter options available to you. However, they are also made of thinner material than their metal counterparts. If you are in an area prone to extreme weather, this can mean that your gutters may crack or experience other damage.

Metal gutters are durable and strong. They resist cracking and denting and can last for decades or even for a lifetime depending on the metal you choose. Copper and stainless steel are among the nicest and most expensive gutter materials because of their aesthetic appeal and high quality. Aluminum is far more popular and less expensive, but is more prone to damage and needs more maintenance that the other metallic options.

Understanding the Seamless vs Traditional Gutter Difference

There are two different types of gutters that require different installation: seamless gutters and traditional gutters. The traditional gutter installation process is something you can do yourself. The materials come in pieces that are assembled together as you place one piece after the other.

Seamless gutters, on the other hand, are more difficult to install. Your home will need to be measured and then the gutters cut ahead of time so that they can be placed as one piece on each side of your house. These gutters only have seams on the corners of your home so that there is less of a chance of your gutters leaking. Installing these gutters requires extra tools and machines that will always require professional installation.

Now that you know a few of the different options available to you in choosing your new gutters, you can get the process started and have your gutters installed in no time.

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Water Damage Restoration Tips For Your Important Items

Flooding, whether due to a natural disaster or a broken pipe, damages more than just your home. Valuables, including irreplaceable items, may also fall victim to the damaging waters. The following tips can help you salvage some of these important items.

Tip #1: Be Gentle

Gentle handling of all wet items is key to increasing their chances of survival. If dirt or silt has settled on a wood or metal item, rinse it off with a gentle stream of water. Do not try to wipe dirt or scum off with a rag – this will just force the soil into the fibers. Often, dirt and scum doesn’t pose an immediate risk to an item that has been subjected to water. Most textiles, including fabric and leather, won’t absorb the dirt as they dry, so you can just leave the dirt in place until later.

Tip #2: Dry Properly

Although you are likely in a hurry to dry out your items, you don’t want to move so fast that you damage them beyond repair. Your best option is to move everything to a covered area, such as a garage or dry room, and spread everything out to dry. Trying to speed up the process by placing items in the sun can actually cause more damage, since the sun will bleach textiles or weaken adhesives. Instead, rent dehumidifiers and high-powered fans from a restoration company. Use these in the room to encourage speedy drying and minimize the chances of mildew, all without causing sun damage to anything.

Tip #3: Shape Carefully

Not all items should be laid flat to dry. For example, baskets, shoes, or shaped leather items should be arranged so that they maintain their shape as they air dry. Gently stuff shaped items with an absorbent towels to help them dry properly. Replace the towels daily so they don’t interfere with the drying process by holding onto too much moisture.

Tip #4: Prepare for Help

While it’s possible to handle the initial collection and drying process on your own, you will probably need help to restore your items. A water damage restoration company has the equipment to help repair dye runs in textiles such as rugs, repair water-damaged leather, or refinish wood that has been damaged. As your items dry, collect any pieces that break or come loose and keep them in an open plastic tub so they can also dry. The restoration company will need all the loose pieces to fully restore your items.



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Fix Those Torn Window Screens To Let In The Air But Not The Insects

You keep the windows closed because the screens have holes in them and let insect pests into the house. Repair those screens so you can open up your house and let the fresh air again. This is a simple DIY project that requires a few tools and will take you about an hour to do. Here are the steps to getting the air moving through your house while keeping out the insects.

Materials Needed for This Project

  • scissors
  • flat-blade screwdriver
  • knife or box cutter
  • couple of old rags
  • one heavy book

Your local home improvement store has a window screen repair kit with some of the supplies you need to fix at least one screen. The package includes:

  • one roll of window screen material
  • one long piece of rubber stripping called a spline
  • a tool for working with the spline that looks like a plastic pizza cutter

Fixing the Window Screen

These steps will work to repair any of the window screens in your home.

  1. Remove the window screen by pulling up gently on it while pulling the bottom away from the window frame.
  2. Place the window screen on a flat surface with the side with the rubber strip facing up.
  3. Pry a section of the rubber strip out of the frame, then pull on it to remove it completely.
  4. Pull the screen material out of the frame.
  5. Wipe the frame down, focusing on getting any dirt out of the channel where the rubber strip sat.
  6. Unroll the screen material from the kit over the frame.
  7. Cut the material, leaving a couple of inches overlapping the sides of the window screen frame.
  8. Find the end of the rubber strip (spline) and push it onto the material and into the channel gently, taking care not to tear the material.
  9. Gently push a couple inches of the spline into the channel.
  10. With the concave end of the spline tool, roll it along the rest of the spline while pushing it into the channel.
  11. Continue until you get as close to the corner as you can, then carefully push the spline into the channel around the corner with the end of the screwdriver.
  12. Continue using the spline tool on the next edge.
  13. When two edges have been done, place the book on the screen material in the center of the frame. This stretches the material enough so when complete, the screen will be at the right tension in the frame without distorting the shape of the frame.
  14. Continue rolling the spline into the channel with the spline tool until you reach the other end of the rubber strip.
  15. Cut the strip and push the end in with your screwdriver to meet the starting end of the spline.
  16. While holding the excess screen material tight, carefully run the sharp knife at an angle against the spline to cut it off as close to the spline as you can.
  17. Replace the window screen into the window frame by aligning the top into the frame and pushing up slightly on the bottom while pushing it into the bottom of the frame.

Problems That May Require Help to Resolve

You may need the help of a window screen repair service should you encounter any of these problems:

  • Rust or corrosion prevents you from removing the window screen. You’ll need a service to come out and fix the screen for you.
  • The window screen frame is cracked or dented. If you can get the window screen out, take it to a screen repair service or hardware store and have them replace the damaged piece. To find out more, speak with a business like Northridge Screen.
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Protect Against Water Damage: 4 Ways To Waterproof Your Home

The rainy season is just around the corner, and you’re trying to come up with new ways to waterproof your home. Here are four steps you can take to waterproof your home before the rains come.

Clean Your Rain Gutters

When you think of a flooded basement, your thoughts probably don’t venture up towards the roof. That’s where your first thoughts should go, though. If rainwater from the roof isn’t directed away from your home, it can pool around the foundation. Once the area around your home is flooded, the water can seep into the basement under your doorways and through ground level basement windows. Before the rains come, climb up on a ladder and clean out your rain gutters. Use a whisk broom to remove the debris and then flush the gutters out with a garden hose.

Install a Sump Pump

Don’t wait until your basement is flooded to figure out how to get the water out. Install a sump pump in the basement. The sump pump will remove water from the basement floor and drain it to an area located farther away from your home.

Apply Waterproof Sealant

Flood waters can destroy the concrete in your basement and lead to mold growth. You can protect your concrete floors and walls by applying a layer of waterproof sealant to the concrete in your basement. The sealant will prevent water and moisture from getting into the small pores and cracks in the concrete. For maximum protection, apply sealant to the exterior and interior concrete walls. It’s a good idea to repeat the application once a year.

Add a French Drain

If you have a problem with water pooling around the foundation of your home, a French drain will remove the water and prevent basement floods.

Supplies You’ll Need

  • Shovel
  • Gravel
  • 20 feet of 4″ perforated drainage hose


  1. Beginning near up against the foundation of your home, dig an 8″ deep trench that leads away from your home. The trench should end at a location about 20′ away from the house.
  2. Fill the bottom of the trench with gravel.
  3. Lay the perforated drainage hose in the trench.
  4. Place a small grate over the end located near the house.
  5. The grate will allow water to drain into the trench.
  6. Cover the trench with dirt.
  7. Be sure to leave the end near the house uncovered.
  8. The floodwater will drain through the pipe and be absorbed into the soil.

For more information, contact Fire & Flood Services Inc. or a similar company.

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Paint Stripping: Answering A Couple Of Basic Questions

Your home’s interior is likely filled with wooden furniture and cabinets, but if these items are painted, the paint will start to degrade as time passes. This can severely compromise the appearance of your home’s interior, and you may not have the money available to replace these items. Fortunately, paint stripping may allow you to breathe new life into these items, but if you have never done this type of routine maintenance, you may benefit from having a couple of questions about paint stripping wood furniture and cabinets answered. 

What Is The Process For Paint Stripping Wood Furniture And Cabinets?

One of the first things you will need to do before stripping away the paint is to lightly sand the surface of the item. This will remove any sealant or finishings that are in place, and if these substances are not removed, you may have a difficult time removing the paint because they will block the paint stripper. 

After you have lightly sanded the item, you will want to apply a generous amount of your paint-stripping chemical to the item. These substances come in a variety of types, but individuals will little experience in this task should opt for a thicker paint remover. This will be easier for them to work with, which can reduce the chances of accidentally spill the paint remover. After you have let this substance sit on the furniture for several minutes, you will want to wipe it away with a thick and damp cloth. If there is still paint left behind, you will want to repeat this process until the paint has been completely removed. 

Are There Special Steps You Should Take Before Painting Or Staining The Stripped Wood?

When the paint has been removed, it is important to note that you should thoroughly clean the wood before you start the process of painting. This will remove any dirt or other contaminants that will prevent the paint from fully bonding with the wood. 

Once the paint has fully dried, you will want to apply a coat of sealant over the paint to help protect it against moisture damage. While this may seem unnecessary for indoor furniture, it can protect it against humidity swings that can cause condensation to soak into the wood. 

Stripping the paint off of old furniture does not have to be a challenging or difficult task. By understanding the steps involved with this process and how you should go about applying the fresh paint to it, you will have a much more thorough understanding how to successfully complete this routine work. 

To learn more, contact a company like Dip ‘N Strip

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How To Avoid Mold Growth In The Laundry Room

The laundry room is one place in the house that is highly susceptible to mold growth. This is because of the excess moisture in the air and the lack of ventilation in the area. In order to avoid mold growth in the laundry room, you will want to consider these tips:

Remove Clothes from Washer Immediately:

One reason mold growth can happen quickly in the laundry room is because many times people will forget to transfer the wet clothes to the dryer as soon as they are done in the washer. If clothes are left in the washing machine, it creates the perfect environment for mold growth. If you do happen to forget the clothes, you must run the washing machine again with hot water in order to kill any mildew that has grown. 

Frequently Clean the Washing Machine:

The washing machine creates an environment that can easily harbor mold spores, which is why it is so important to clean the washing machine often. You want to run a cleaning cycle with the recommended soap for the machine. Or if you have an older washing machine, then you can run it with hot water and vinegar to help clean it out. Also, be sure that you leave the washing machine door open after you have removed wet clothes to put in the dryer to help air it out and prevent excessive moisture build up. 

Remove Dryer Lint:

Dryer lint can also cause problems with mold. You want to be sure that you are removing the lint from the filter after every load. Also, be sure that you check the dryer hose every now and then to remove any lint build up there, as well. 

Replace the Dryer Hose When Necessary:

If you ever feel any air coming from the dryer hose, then you must be sure that you replace it. This indicates that there is a leak and having this air in the laundry room will cause excessive moisture build up. 

Get Proper Ventilation:

If you have any windows in the laundry room, be sure to open them when doing the laundry. If you don’t, then turn on any fans in the room. Also, consider the purchase of a dehumidifier that will help to remove excess moisture from the air. 

By knowing how to avoid mold growth in the laundry room, you can be sure that you are keeping your family and home happy and healthy. You can also avoid expensive mold removal in the future. For more information, check it out.

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How To Mold-Proof Your Home

Mold can be a health hazard, and it’s notoriously difficult to get rid of. The best way to deal with mold is to prevent it from ever growing in the first place. Here are some ideas to make your home unfriendly to mold.

Equip Problem Areas

The first places that mold often grows are the basement and the bathroom, so you can take preemptive steps to prevent mold growth in these areas. 

For the bathroom, be sure that you always have ventilation when the shower is turned on. This could mean opening a window, or if you live in a colder climate, installing a timed ceiling fan to remove the steam. For the basement, a large circulating fan or dehumidifier works well. 

Monitor Humidity

In order to keep your home free of mold, it’s a good idea to keep humidity levels low. Some humidity is necessary for a comfortable home environment, and a good rule of thumb is to keep humidity levels around 30 to 50 percent. You can place a monitoring system in your home to track this. A dehumidifier is a great tool for reducing moisture levels in the home but there are also home remedies, such as placing a bucket of rock salt in your home. 

Waterproof Your Walls

If you live in a wet climate, it’s especially important to keep your walls free of cracks. There are a variety of over the counter sealants that you can use to temporarily plug cracks on your own. For a more comprehensive solution, consider getting a waterproofing service to coat your walls. 

Take Care of Wet Spots

Wet walls are extremely inviting to mold. If you start to see your paint bubbling up, you may have a water problem that you need to deal with. In some cases, applying heat to the wall is good enough to dry out the problem area. However, you also may need to address the source of the leak with a specialist before mold starts to grow. 

What to Do When Mold Strikes

If you start to see the telltale signs of mold growth, such as discolored walls, it’s important to see a mold removal specialist right away. Mold growth can get out of control if not treated properly, and you may not be able to do a deep enough clean on your own. Thankfully, mold removal specialists, like those at Authorized Services, have specific tools for coping with mold problems and preventing the recurrence of mold. 

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3 Clever Ways to Have a Glass Shower Door And Keep Your Privacy

Glass shower doors are beautiful, sleek, and modern, but they offer very little when it comes to privacy. If you love the look of a glass shower door but value your privacy, you’re no doubt looking for ways that you can have your door and your privacy too. Fortunately, you can have both. While it takes a bit of creativity and careful selection, you can create privacy in your bathroom fairly inexpensively by implementing one of these three clever ideas. 

Select a Sophisticated Shower Door

Many glass doors are clear and offer very little privacy. This is especially true of frameless shower doors, which do nothing to prevent someone from seeing directly into the shower. However, not all glass shower doors are so transparent. If you select a door that has textured glass, you will have privacy, regardless of the type of door you choose. There are several different types of textured glass to choose from, including patterned glass, etched glass, and opaque glass. These glass doors are engraved with patterns and/or tiny etchings that make it difficult to see through the door. 

Install Quick and Easy Privacy Features

If you already have a transparent glass door and don’t want to go through the trouble of purchasing a new one, you can add a few things to your existing shower to make it more private. Inexpensive options include window film, glass decals and a shower curtain. Window film comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, which allows you to get creative. Glass decals also allow you to decorate your bathroom in a whimsical way while adding privacy. If you prefer a shower curtain, you can place one inside your glass door and push it far off to the side when you’re not using your shower. 

Redecorate Your Bathroom

Another great way to add privacy is to obstruct the view into the shower with clever decor. For example, a folding screen adds a great design element while creating privacy. You can also create privacy with plants, sculptures and other decorative items. The key is to place these decorative items in the line of sight from the bathroom door to the shower. That way no one will see you showering if they happen to walk in on you. 

As you can see, there are several great ways you can have your glass shower door and maintain privacy at the same time. All it takes is a little creativity. And if you don’t want to go to the store, you can shop for custom shower doors online.

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Vacation End With A Flooded Home? 3 Important Steps To Take Before You Begin The Clean-Up

You go away for vacation and return to a watery disaster inside your home. The upstairs tub was left running and it’s flooded your entire home. Now you’re left to clean up the mess. Before you start the clean-up effort, there are some very important safety issues you should take care of first. These steps will help protect you and your family from harm.

Turn Off the Power

Before you enter your home, be sure to turn off the power. Water conducts electricity, which means that you’re in danger of electrocution if the electrical system has been exposed to water.

Don’t turn your power back on until an electrician has cleared your home and ensured that it’s safe. If the water was high enough to cover wall outlets, you may need to have those outlets re-wired before you can safely use them again.

Have Your Home Inspected

Before you re-enter your home to begin clean-up, you need to have a contractor come out and inspect the premises. Flood waters can undermine the structural integrity of your home. This is particularly true of floods that begin on the second level of your home. The water can soak into the floor boards and framework, which can cause the floors and walls to collapse.

A water damage contractor will be able to inspect your home and determine whether you’ve suffered any structural damage to your home. If you have, you’ll need to have those damages repaired before you can safely re-enter your home.

Wear Protective Gear

Once the contractor has determined that it’s safe for you to re-enter your home, you’ll need to wear protective clothing. This is especially important if your home has been under standing water for several days.

Standing water can become contaminated quickly, which means you’ll be exposed to harmful bacteria if you enter without protective gear. Some health issues associated with contaminated flood water include diarrhea and infections. Your protective gear should include:

  • Face mask
  • Goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Boots

Be sure to tuck your pant legs into your boots and your shirt sleeves into your gloves before you begin working.

You never know when your home is going to flood. Things like broken water pipes or faucets that are left running can cause significant damage. If you’ve suffered a serious flood, this guide will lead you through the precautionary steps you should take when cleaning up the water damage.

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About Me

I bought my parents house off of them when they decided to move into a retirement village. I knew that I was going to have a lot of work to do since my dad didn't have the ability to do a lot of the work that the house needed, but I was willing to do it. What I didn't realize was that there was extensive damage in the attic space from my dad letting the roof remain bad for so long. I had to hire a restoration company to come out and make the repairs because they were beyond my ability. Find out what it took to make those repairs by visiting throughmy site.


February 2016
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