Jobs You Can Perform Yourself When Your Home Has Suffered Water Damage

Water damage is a huge hassle for any homeowner, but a visit from a water damage restoration service, like Althouse Cleaning, can make you feel at ease. The restoration crew will methodically work from one end of your home to the other to dry everything and ensure that future mold growth will not occur. While you can feel comfortable leaving this hard work to the experts, there are some smaller tasks that you can tackle between the time that you call the restoration service and the time that a crew arrives. Before you enter any wet area of your home, however, make sure that you’ve first turned off the power to avoid getting electrocuted. With that task complete, here are things you can do.

Start Removing Furniture

Depending on how long your home has been flooded, you should still be able to save certain piece of furniture from permanent damage. Start by removing those that are the least resistant to water — couches, plush chairs and other such items. Then, continue by removing wooden furniture and anything else that you can carry out of the wet space. Look for somewhere dry to place it. If it’s a sunny day, placing the items in your driveway to dry is an ideal plan, provided you keep an eye on the forecast. Otherwise, your garage can be ideal. Open the garage door to allow ventilation, and if possible, run some oscillating fans around the furniture to speed up the drying process.

Throw Out Damaged Items

One of the worst parts about a flood in your home is the realization that some of your items will be ruined. As difficult as it may be to do, take some time to pull these items out of the water and dispose of them. The longer they remain in your home, the more likely they’ll be to develop mold and compromise the air quality.

Scoop Out Any Standing Water

A flooded home can take many different appearances, but if there’s actually some standing water in the home, take steps to remove it. A shop-style vacuum that is capable of sucking up water is an ideal tool, but you should never use a standard household vacuum. If you don’t have a shop-style vacuum, use any objects that can help you scoop up the water. Things such as large pails, dustpans and any other similar receptacles are ideal. While the restoration crew will complete this job thoroughly, it’s possible to minimize the water damage if you tackle the standing water promptly.

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Interested In A Bank Owned Or Foreclosed Property But See Water Marks In The Basement? Don’t Panic

Are you interested in a foreclosed or bank owned property but you’ve noticed that there are some water lines in the basement? If so, don’t let these water marks send you running for hills, and instead find out why there is a water line.

Often if the owner isn’t paying the mortgage, so it gets foreclosed on or the bank owns it, they aren’t paying the electricity bill. If the sump pump in the basement relied on electricity to work, then that could be the only reason the basement had water in it, not because there are structural problems or other issues with the house. Here are the professionals you want to get assessments from to find out what’s going on with the house.

Plumbing Company

A plumbing company should come to do a full inspection of the sump pump and plumbing lines. The plumbers will make sure that the system is big enough for the house, that there aren’t clogs or flaws in the pipe lines, and that the system works properly. If there are concerns, or if you want a pump that has a battery backup, the plumbing company will make sure everything works.

Water Damage Repair Service

Get a quote from a water damage restoration company before letting them do any work. A restoration company can come to clean the basement walls, floors, and all items that were touched or affected by the water. The restoration company is going to remove the stains and odors from the water, and you can have them seal the foundation if you want at the same time. The sealant is a great protective option. You can click here to contact a water damage repair company.

Mold Remediation Company

Have the house tested for mold. The mold could have traveled through the ventilation system of the house, and it could be spread throughout the structure. The remediation company will give you a quote to remove all the mold from the property so you can breathe easy.

Once you find out if the basement will be fine with an improved sump pump, and after a restoration company cleans, and a remediation company removes any potential toxins, you can decide if you want to move forward with purchasing the home. A lot of banks are going to sell the property as is, because they are listed as a foreclosure or bank owned listing, so you will have to determine if it’s worth paying these expenses out of pocket. 

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Set Up A Home Office And Guest Bedroom In One

If you are setting up an office in your home, then you want to put a good deal of thought into the furniture you choose to furnish it with. Not only do you want to consider the comfort of the furniture, but it should also help to create a professional looking environment while saving as much space as possible. Also, if the room will double as a guest room, then you want to consider this when setting everything up. The information here will help you to choose office furniture that will work great.

Choosing the right desk

The right desk for your home office is one that fits well and gives you all the space you need for everything you are going to want to keep on it. However, you may want to consider a corner desk if your room is limited on space. This type of desk tends to offer a good amount of surface space without taking up too much of the floor space. If you are going to be using a tower computer, then you should also go with a desk that has a built in space of the tower so you don’t have to have it sitting on top of the desk where it will take up some of your work space and be at an increased chance of falling or having something spilled on it.

Choosing the right office chair

Your office chair should be as comfortable as possible. Getting a chair that offers lumbar support can help decrease your chances of developing back pain when you do a lot of sitting in it. A chair with rollers can also be good because you can move around the office easier. Also, one that rocks and tilts can be more comfortable.

Getting a bed that you can integrate into the office/guest room

A futon or sleeper love seat can be a good option. These beds double as sitting spaces where your clients can sit while still feeling as if they are in a professional environment. You can also go with a wall bed that you can completely hide in a wall space or cabinet when it isn’t in use. Then, it can easily be pulled out if you have a guest staying over for the night.

Choose the right shelving unit

Have a shelving unit installed that works for all your home office needs. However, do keep in mind that you also want the room to double as a guest room, so it should have doors. This way, your guest won’t have to stare at all of your work supplies while they are staying with you. You can work with a shelving company like Slide Out Shelves LLC to find the best fit for your needs.

Now that you are better versed on some of the considerations you need to make with regards to furnishing your home office and extra bedroom, you will be able to create a space that works great for you.

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Space-Saving Beds For Your Studio Apartment

If you live in a studio apartment, then you’ll want to do what you can to use that space wisely. You do have options available to you so you don’t have to have a bed right in the middle of the living space where it interferes with your ability to entertain friends and enjoy your living room the way you normally would. This article will introduce you to some of the different types of beds that make a good choice for small spaces and that can be hidden when you want to entertain.

A futon bed

A futon bed is designed to function as a couch, but it can be very easily converted into a bed by pulling it out in the front. Futon mattresses tend to be quite thick so you can enjoy a comfortable sleeping surface, as well as a nice one to sit on when you are using it as a couch. There are different styles such as ones with metal or wood frames and ones with mattresses that are leather, canvas, suede or many other types of material. This makes it easy for you to find one that goes well with the rest of your furnishings.

A hide-a-bed

You can get a sofa, love seat or even chair that pulls out into a bed. You will remove the cushions, lift up on a handle and pull the mattress out in order to convert the sofa to a bed. This option can be great since the pieces look like regular furniture when the beds are put away, but they can also be more work to turn into a bed.  

A loft bed

A loft bed may not be one that you can hide, but it is definitely a space saver. A loft bed stands on secure posts so the bed is elevated up in the air. This provides you with free floor space under the bed where you can set a desk or another piece of furniture. You will get into the bed by climbing a ladder.

A wall bed

Wall beds are great because they help you save space, can be easily hidden and are real beds. Wall beds fold up into a cabinet when you aren’t using them. When the cabinet is closed, it looks like a regular cabinet. When you are ready to sleep, you simply open the cabinet and pull the bed down.

Any one of these beds will help you to maintain a great look and plenty of room in your studio apartment and they will still provide you with a comfortable place to sleep. Start exploring your options at a store like Ritchie’s Furniture & Appliance.

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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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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.


May 2016
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