Get Rid of Mold in Your Home

mold in bathroom

Check out this article below from houselogic as it relates to mold and getting rid of the pesky stuff!

Mold. UGH. Soooo Gross. Here’s How to Kill It Forever

By the way, bleach doesn’t work. And don’t try to scrape it off, either.

Ugh. Mold. It’s ugly. It’s tenacious. It’s the uninvited guest that keeps visiting — no matter how rude you are to it. But, unwittingly, you may be setting up the perfect conditions for mold’s return: a food source, lots of moisture, and a pleasant temperature.

“You’ve got to eliminate one of those three legs of the stool so mold won’t grow,” says Pete Duncanson, director of system development for ServiceMaster Restore. “And it’s always easier to prevent than to remediate.”

Assuming you like warm showers and a comfy thermostat setting, there’s not much you can do about the temperature mold loves. But you can get rid of mold — and permanently prevent it — by controlling the other two factors: food and moisture. Here’s how.

Starve It Out

Mold is a horror flick cliché. It’s everywhere. It’s alive. It spreads by spores floating in the air. And it can grow on any surface — porcelain, plastic, copper, silicone — as long as that surface is coated with organic matter.

“Mold doesn’t live on your shower walls or the grout or caulk; it actually lives on the deposited skin cells and soap residues (which have your skin cells in them),” Duncanson says. So. Gross. So, yes, if you want to get rid of mold you gotta break out the cleaning bucket. There’s no way around it. But the good news is that you don’t need toxic cleaners. Soap and water works just fine with some elbow grease, says Bob Justewicz, a director at the National Association of Mold Professionals. But two warnings:

  1. Don’t bleach it. Online chat rooms and myriad websites might have you believe that bleach kills mold. Both professionals say it’s not true. “Bleach or peroxide removes the stain, but they don’t kill the mold,” Duncanson says.
  2. Don’t scrape it. Remember, mold is alive (it’s ALIVE!) and reproduces through microscopic spores. “If you brush [mold spores] with your hand, they just go into the air and look for new places to colonize,” Duncanson says.

What about those daily shower sprays? Will they work? They are of some benefit, says Duncanson, in that they help push mold’s food sources down the drain. But as a solo act, no, they won’t keep your bathroom clean.

Dry It Out

How? Use your exhaust fan. “Running the fan any time the bathroom is in use is a good idea,” Duncanson says. “Then leave it on for 30 minutes after or at least as long as the shower ran.”

But make sure your fan actually exhausts outside through the roof or a side soffit and not into the attic. “If it’s going into the attic, you’re causing moisture to go into an unconditioned space, and you can cause mold growth there.”

No exhaust fan? “Any movement of air will help dry out the bathroom,” says Justewicz. “Even a desk fan on the vanity will help.”

After a shower, use a towel or squeegee to wipe down shower walls. Open the shower curtain to let it dry. Mop any water spills on the floor and counters. Avoid piling in too many shampoo and body wash bottles. They’re a perfect place for moisture and mold spores to hide.

Make It Stay Away

Here are a few more tips if your bathroom mold seems especially strong-willed:

Re-caulk. Mold adores crevices — probably because it knows you can’t reach it there. If lots of mold has built up on your caulking, it’s probably because it’s spread deep into unseen spaces behind it. If so, re-caulking may solve the problem. Just be sure to follow these tips to keep the problem from getting worse:

  1. Once you’ve removed the compromised caulk, be sure to thoroughly clean and dry the area before putting down new caulk.
  2. Use caulk labeled specifically for the bathroom, which means it will be mold resistant.
  3. Let it cure for at least 24 hours (or as long as it needs to) before taking a shower or bath. If it’s not dry, it’ll allow moisture to creep back in, undoing all your hard work.

Check everywhere for mold. If it keeps coming back, it may have a colony somewhere you haven’t found. Check behind the toilet and under the sink. Moist drywall and wallpaper are tasty treats for mold.

Install a humidity monitor. Affordable at around $10, they can let you know when moisture is building before it turns into an indoor rain forest.

Know when to get help. If it keeps coming back, or you see areas of mold the size of a quarter or bigger you want professional help. “You’re dealing with excessive moisture or a food source that needs to be controlled,” Duncanson says.

How to Get Rid of Bathroom Mold

  1. Use soap and water, not bleach. Bleach only discolors it; it does not get rid of mold.
  2. Keep your bathroom as dry as possible. Use squeegees on shower walls and doors. Use an exhaust fan religiously. Wipe wet areas with dry towels.
  3. Recaulk your tile if necessary. Be sure to get caulk that is meant for humid and wet areas, like bathrooms.
  4. Get a humidity monitor to let you know when moisture is building up to mold-friendly levels.

The Surprising Effect of Homeownership You Won’t See on HGTV

home pet

I saw this article and thought it should be shared!  So many people watch HGTV and think “hey, that’s not heard-I can do it!”

Reality TV can be glamorous; yet despite the name, doesn’t usually reflect real life.  Here’s how your life will actually (positively) change after buying a home. 

How to Install Laminate Flooring

laying laminate flooring

This post is from an awesome article posted on HGTV online I just had to share!  Check out the original post here with more photos. 

Materials Needed

  • snap-together laminate flooring
  • baseboard
  • quarter-round molding
  • plastic sheeting
  • duct tape
  • finish nails
  • wood putty
  • touch-up paint
  • spacers
  • rubber mallet or tapping block
  • tape measure
  • chop saw
  • circular saw
  • jigsaw

Prep Subfloor

Thoroughly clean the subfloor so that there is no debris on the floor and that it is flat and smooth. Directly onto the subfloor, lay down a layer of plastic sheeting to create a moisture barrier. Tape the sheeting two inches above the floor using painter’s tape. If needed, use duct tape to overlap the edges of the plastic sheeting. Overlap the plastic sheeting by six inches.

Install First Row of Flooring

Use small sections of planks as spacers to hold the flooring away from the wall about 1/4 inch. The spacers help allow for expansion around the perimeter of the floor. Place the first row snug against the spacers. Trim the last plank to length to fit so that it ends 1/4 inch from the wall.

Continue Installing Floor

Use the short trimmed section of the previous row to start the next row. This will ensure the joints between planks in a row are staggered from the joints in adjoining rows. The laminated flooring in this project has a soundproof backing and wood finish. It snaps together by lining up the planks at an angle and then flattening out the row being installed. To save the edges of the flooring boards, use a tapping block or rubber mallet to tap adjoining rows together. This will prevent damage to the tongue or groove with the hammer.
When installing the next plank in the row, lift the plank at an angle to allow it to set/lock in place and tap the plank against the previous plank in the row with a mallet. Continue across the room until reaching the far side. Trim the last row so it ends 1/4 inch from the wall. Measure and cut planks lengthwise to fit the last row.

Install Baseboards and Molding

Remove the spacers around the border and install baseboards and quarter-round molding, covering the plastic moisture barrier on the wall and the gap between the wall and the flooring. Set nail heads slightly below the surface of the molding and fill with wood putty. Let the putty dry, then lightly sand to make sure the surface is even. Use touch-up paint to cover the putty.

Enjoy your new laminate flooring for years to come! 🙂

 Click here to see what Lowes has to offer for laminate flooring!

“I Really Can’t Deal!” Patio Problems Solved

Cute Home Patio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image: Dabito

I loved this article from houselogic, so I figured I’d share it with you to help spread some great tips to make the most of your outdoor patio space!

 

Summertiiiime and the living is supposed to be easy — but not if you live on a hot mess of a patio.

Whether it’s dying plants, a view of your neighbor’s garbage cans, or mosquitos that threaten to drain you before you can drain a beer, patios tend to develop some chill-disrupting problems. Here’s some of the more annoying ones, and how to fix them.

#1 My Patio Is Too Small

Train a vine to grow up a wall, hang plants from the roof, or set potted plants on shelves on the wall. “Anything that draws the eye upward makes the space feel larger,” says Brian Patrick Flynn, designer from “HGTV Dream Home.”

Tying the patio space visually to your yard will also make it feel larger, too. Layer plants around the patio’s edge — short ones at the front and taller ones as you get farther from the patio. Don’t have planting beds? Use containers of plants to get the same effect.

#2 My Patio Is Near a Busy Street

Nothing kills a patio buzz like a swarm of noisy traffic. A masonry wall is the best way block the car horns and sirens, of course, but that’s a large and expensive project.

A cheaper, simpler option: Make a living wall of plants. A dense planting can cut noise by as much as 10%.

Or create your own noise. Try installing a fountain. Even though the sound of gurgling water won’t drown out all the street sounds, it will mitigate them and soothe your noise-battered soul.

Playing music or white noise over an outdoor Bluetooth speaker can also knock down noise. Try some rainforest-themed white noise to make your patio feel like it’s surrounded by jungle birds, not a highway of V-6 engines.

#3 There’s Too Much Shade — I Can’t Grow Anything!

Yes, you can. You can grow plants that like shade. Ferns, hostas, palms, banana trees, and a gaggle of other plants will adore your shady patio.

They have nice leaves, but don’t bloom much. If you must have flowers, plant them in containers and place them in sunny spots in the yard. Move them on the patio when you have guests over.

If moving 25-pound containers of begonias isn’t your thing (fair), go with fake flowers.

Put a bouquet of iron or wooden yard-art flowers in a pot, hang some flower-themed art on a wall, or upholster your furniture in a botanical print to add color to a patio or deck that’s overcome by shade.

Note: Never use silk flowers. Ever. They’re perfectly suitable for cemeteries, but that’s about it. Unless you’re going for a uniquely morose patio theme, steer clear.

#4 There’s No Shade!

A sail shade is the simplest, fastest, and cheapest solution to provide shelter from the sun. It gives you shade where you want it, when you want it.

If you can wait a year for shade, train vines to grow overhead on a pergola, which is a more permanent (and value-adding) solution than a shade. Not only will the vine shield you from the sun, but also it will lower the air temperature, thanks to the magic of transpiration.

When the air heats up, the vines’ leaves release water into the air. It’s nature’s air conditioning. The best solution: Keep that sail shade up until the vines have covered the pergola.

#5 My Neighbors Are Too Close

If your neighbor’s gaze is an uninvited guest at every patio party, put space between you and them with plants.

Install a sheet of lattice on the side of your patio closest to the neighbors, and train a fast-growing, leafy vine like ivy or jasmine to climb up the side of it. Looks like a garden, acts like a privacy fence.

How’s that for polite but effective? If you want privacy faster, line up a row of big planters filled with tall evergreens along the patio’s edge. Outdoor drapes work, too. Close them when you want some peep-proof outdoor time.

#6 The Wind Is Blowing Our Cocktails Over

See above. A lattice wall or row of heavy planters filled with tall plantings can make a great windbreak as well as a privacy screen.

If your nuisance wind comes from varying directions, put the containers on rolling plant stands and move them so they block the wind as needed. Another solution: Heavy-duty outdoor curtains made of marine-grade fabric with weighted hems.

#7 My Patio Has No View

In a perfect world, a knockout view is just part of the patio package. In reality, you might be gazing at the neighbor’s swing set or the side of their garage. If painting a sunset mural on the garage is out of the question, adjust your gaze inward, rather than out with a focal point on your patio.

“Hang an outdoor mirror, install a sculpture, or water feature, or create a wall covered in unique materials like stacked stone or painted a bright color,” Flynn says. Even stringing twinkly party lights around the edge of the roof, or on your oversized plants, will make your patio more scenic and give you something to look at.

#8 We’re Being Carried Off by Bugs

Your gentle breeze is an insect’s hurricane. Make your patio a permanent Category 5 for pests with an outdoor fan. At night, use an LED bulb with a Kelvin rating lower than 3,000. It produces a yellow light that’s less appealing to bugs.

Or battle nature with nature. Invite bats and birds to your yard. They’ll eat the bugs that are trying to eat you. Hang a bird feeder and a bat house, and provide a source of clean water for them to drink. (Use a fountain to keep the water moving, so mosquitos won’t breed in it.)

And don’t be silly. Bats won’t hurt you. Scare the bejesus out of you, maybe. But you’ll get used to them. The bugs won’t.

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