Seven great reasons to love laminate floors

If you’re looking into new flooring, laminate floors have a lot of positives you might not have thought of. Here are seven advantages to help you make your decision.

laminate-floors

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Laminates are attractive

Patterns are available that photographically reproduce exotic timbers and minerals you would never be able to afford or even legally acquire in some cases. Some even reproduce the textures of these materials. If you used the “real thing”, you’d be damaging the environment and decimating forests; instead, laminate flooring is composed of fibres that would otherwise get dumped and burned. The range of patterns is limited only by your imagination.

Laminates are durable

These floors resist scratching, fading, stains, burns, impact and wear. Fit them correctly – with room to expand and a smooth, dry sub-floor – and they’ll serve you for years to come. They’re vulnerable to dampness, but there are sealed options or membranes for protection underneath. The wear resistance should suit the area where you want to use them, but the European Producers of Laminate Flooring (EPLF) award abrasion ratings to make this easy to match.

Laminates are easy to install

Laying laminates is like a jigsaw puzzle or building with Legos because they easily click together; there is no need to nail it down or spread mucky goo everywhere. Many people can install them in an entire room in just a day.

Laminates are affordable

When you take their long-lasting qualities into consideration, they definitely offer excellent value for money. If you take the time to put it in properly, this type of floor could last you a lifetime.

Laminates are comfortable

They’re resistant on the surface, but the layers beneath the floors have some softness and suppleness that provide rest for your sore feet or little ones tumbling around. Choose one offering good cushioning, such as those available from an online flooring company like http://www.ukflooringdirect.co.uk/.

Laminate is low-maintenance

Clicked into place, it is flawlessly smooth without seams to collect detritus. Don’t shake a dripping wet mop at it; a little wipe is all it takes to get it gleaming again.

It is reusable

This floor is not really attached, so there is no scraping around when you don’t want it any more. With a little care, it can be reused, and if you can get a few quid for it, all the better!

Home Ventilation: 4 Ways To Do So

download (39)Home Ventilation In Four Ways

You’re living in a home that has no form of ventilation except opening windows and doors whenever the need arises. So you may be wondering as to why there is a need to install a ventilation system.

Reasons To Ventilate Your House

1. Reduce condensation buildup. Once the air in your house becomes too humid and dense, it can no longer hold in moisture. This is when condensation begins to form, leading to problems such as mold and mildew.

2. Allergens will be properly filtered out. Opening a window or door does not always ensure that the allergens in your home will get out. Without proper ventilation, it is easy for allergens such as pollen to increase in number and become trapped in your home. A proper home ventilation system will ensure that allergens do not get the chance to fester and grow, thus making the air clearer and cleaner for those suffering from allergies.

3. Poor ventilation can lead to musty, damp conditions which lead to respiratory conditions for those suffering from asthma. Also, proper ventilation can aid in reducing mites which cause a number of issues such as itching, breathing problems and skin conditions.

Ways In Which You Can Ventilate Your Home

1. Natural ventilation. This type of ventilation involves modifying particular features of the house that help in bringing in fresh air. An example of this is a solar chimney which allows for air to be heated by the sun, allowing it to rise up through the chimney. As a result, the pressure within the house is lowered, allowing fresh air to be drawn in.

2. Supply-only ventilation. This form of ventilation involves supplying fresh air into the house through fans placed in strategic areas. This system allows for fresh air to be delivered to one area of the house, or the whole house through air vents. However, the system does not provide for a means for musty damp air to be expelled. It relies on air leakage sites throughout the house, such as cracks, to expel the stale air.

3. Exhaust-only ventilation. The opposite of supply-only, this form of ventilation involves expelling stale air, and relying on natural means for clean air to be drawn into the house. Exhaust fans are usually placed in parts of the house with a lot of moisture, such as the kitchen and bathroom, and are run either alternately or continuously. Once this moist air is drawn out, fresh air can be drawn in.

4. Balanced ventilation. This is a combination of supply and exhaust-only ventilation systems. This type involves creating airflow of stale damp air out and clean dry air in. This type of system offers control in determining where exactly the clean air is coming from, where it is being delivered and where the stale air is being expelled.

These are the various ways in which you can ventilate your home. A ventilation system specialist would be able to tell you which kind is most suitable for your house.

Understanding the Six Different Types of Siding

download (38)When planning a home construction project, one of the decisions that you will need to make is the type of siding to use. This part of the home’s exterior has a direct impact on the effectiveness of water damage protection as well as the value of your home.

Here is a brief description of the various materials that are used to make it.

Vinyl

Companies that specialize in making house building materials started using vinyl in the late 1960s. Its durability, versatility, and easy maintenance led to more companies opting to use it instead of the conventional materials. One of the highlights is that it is available in different colors and patterns to suit both contemporary and modern architectural designs. Some of the most popular designs are fish scales, scallops, shingles, and vertical panels.

Wood

The best wood siding is made from pure hardwood such as red oak, beech, hickory, soft maple, and sycamore. Advancement in technology has also led to new machines that use softwoods such as redwood and cedar. The downside of using softwood is that it requires intensive maintenance and is prone to damage when exposed to extreme temperature and moisture conditions for extended periods.

Aluminum

Aluminum has been overtaken by most modern materials. However, one of its benefits is that it requires little maintenance, has fireproofing capabilities, and is available in a wide array of colors and styles. Though it can fade and dent, it will not crack or rot like the siding made from wooden material.

Fiber Cement

This variety is made from a special mixture of cellulose fiber, cement, and sand. Pressurized steam is used to increase its dimensional stability and strength. The fiber helps to reinforce the mixture, thereby preventing cracking. In addition, it can have an embossed, smooth finish or a wood-grained texture to complement your home design.

Fiberglass

This is one of the most innovative and durable alternatives to all other materials highlighted above. It gives homes a unique and elegant appearance. It is good to note that it is available in different colors and lengths. More importantly, it requires little maintenance.

Stucco

This variety is an ideal choice for homes that have a Spanish architectural design. It can be coarse, raked, swirled, or smooth as it is made using materials such as lime, pebbles, and sand. Some of its characteristics include fire resistance, low maintenance, and a high energy efficiency degree. The material has the ability to contract and expand depending on the outdoor weather conditions, which reduces cracking.

These are the six most common materials used to make siding. No matter the type that you decide to use, make sure that it is installed correctly and by an expert contractor to get value for your money.

Why You Cannot Do Without Sub Floor Ventilation

images (20)Reasons Why Every Home Should Have Sub Floor Ventilation

Subfloor ventilation offers air flow in places where it is common to find mold, mildew, rotting wood and pests, usually in the subfloors of most houses and buildings. If left untreated, such conditions can lead to health complications.

How It Works

The whole point of a subfloor ventilation system is to replace the moist stale air with fresh dry air. The most basic form of this type of ventilation involves placing air ducts in strategic places around the building. After installation, natural ventilation is meant to take care of the rest. As stated, this is the most basic form, but in most cases it is not sufficient.

Simply having air ducts allowing air into and out of the subfloor is not enough, and you need the help of fans that help speed the process along. These fans will aid in expelling the moist stale air and replacing it with clean air from outside the building. Other forms of subfloor ventilation involve placing fans on one side of the building to draw in fresh air, then exhaust fans on the opposite side which are meant to expel the moist air. Some of these ventilations can be modified to not only extract moist air from the subfloor, but from other parts of the building that tend to be over moist.

It is important to note that subfloor ventilation only works well if you have avenues for replacement air.

Why You Need It

Below are a few reasons why subfloor ventilation is important:

1. Inhibits the growth of mold. Mold thrives in moist conditions, and one of the best places is your building’s subfloor. If its growth is left unchecked, mold can lead to a number of health problems mostly respiratory conditions. Symptoms that mold causes include coughing, sneezing, asthma attacks, congestion, wheezing, and allergic reactions. The proper circulation of clean air will help in eliminating the mold.

2. Termite protection. Termites enjoy wood, and more so, are attracted to moist areas, such as a subfloor lacking proper ventilation. If the wooden structures have already started decaying as a result of the increased moisture, then the termites will only worsen the condition. They will eat into the wood, causing it to become weak.

3. Moist conditions in the subfloor can pose a risk to the building’s structure. This is because moisture can increase the rotting of the wood. This weakens the timber, which in turn weakens the entire structure. You can prevent this from happening by installing subfloor ventilation.

4. Reduction in potential costs. If you think about the damage that moist conditions can cause, then you will realize that repairing them will cost quite some money. This will cater for the medical costs as a result of the respiratory issues caused by the mold as well as the repairs to the building’s structure as a result of decay and termite infestation. All this can be prevented by simply installing a proper subfloor ventilation system.

The Benefits Of Water Storage Tanks

images (19)The installation of water storage tanks assist in the collection of excess rainfall that can be used for various domestic purposes. Purchasing these units requires consideration as to whether the tanks will be located below or above ground offering ease of use and management. The following tips can assist in choosing the containers to store sufficient volumes of liquid.

For water savings and storage options, including an above ground tank can provide residential and commercial properties with many benefits. It is an efficient option offering cost savings for consumers who no longer need to rely on the supply from local authorities for minor watering tasks. The stored volumes are commonly used in the garden, car washing and related tasks allowing for greater savings.

Keeping the system a distance from the surface offers a more efficient storage solution including ease of maintenance. It is easier to install these types of units in comparison to the underground tanks relying on additional construction and expertise from a professional and a reputable installation company. A professional approach can determine the most effective options that are compatible with home and business usage requirements.

Most prefer these tanks to remain on the surface of land as it will not require any form of excavation for installation. This will reduce the costs involved in labor as less time is spent digging and having to create a supported foundation for the location of these types of units. Digging into the soil includes additional safety standards that need to be followed to minimize injuries or damaging the system.

The management of tanks requires a regular clean by rinsing the inside of the container and removing any mold and algae that have formed along the interior. Scheduling emptying of units will make it easier to wash and remove any grit or grime that has accumulated over time. Performing these methods is made more efficient and simple when units are not positioned underground offering ease of drainage.

Underground tanks are more expensive because it is incorporated in building plans in the construction or renovation of homes. Securing these systems below the surface can minimize taking up a significant amount of backyard space for smaller gardens. It is harder to clean and requires the development of a strong and safe foundation to safeguard against damages that can occur over time.

When looking to incorporate a water storage tank, it requires the services of an experienced and reputable installation business. Professionals can advise on which locations will prove best for collection and the size of system most suitable for property requirements. Safe standards are upheld and implemented to protect from deterioration and provide consumers with ease of maintenance.

 

Does Your Siding Have Storm Damage

download (37)Unless you are a very heavy sleeper, you certainly heard the volatile rainstorm that occurred in Central Indiana the other night. Although falling asleep to the soft drizzle of rain is relaxing, the thunder from our most recent storm was not something anyone could have easily slept through. But the surrounding community of homeowners are no longer losing sleep from thunder so much as they are losing sleep over the amount of storm damage to their home’s siding. The next day, did you see signs of storm damage on your siding? If so, it is important to have storm damages repaired properly, and within a speedy time frame, in order to protect your investment wisely.

Signs of Storm Damage

Heavy winds, rains, hail, and sleet can all occur during an aggressive rainstorm. These occurrences can all cause a wide spectrum of storm damage, especially to siding. Whether you have stucco, vinyl, aluminum, wood, or laminate siding, it can be vulnerable to storm damage. Examples of damages include holes in stucco, missing boards, broken clapboard tiles, cracks, dents, chips, abrasions, and more. But fortunately, all of these damages can be reversed with the help of a qualified general contracting company.

Signs of Storm-Damaged Siding:

  • Missing Clapboard Tiles
  • Broken Boards
  • Missing Sections
  • Chips
  • Dents
  • Holes
  • Dirt
  • Rips and Tears
  • Abrasions
  • Loose Siding
  • Structural Instability
  • And More

Although siding is designed to last decades, it is not entirely resistant to damages caused by heavy wind and rainstorms. Trees and other debris can be tossed into your yard and rip holes in your home during severe storms. Be sure your homeowners’ insurance policy covers storm damage in the case that a tree or large limb falls onto your home, or your siding is destroyed by wind and rain.

Get Professional Siding Repair

It is important to repair damages to your home’s siding in order to protect your investment. This is because siding damage causes exponential damages, like rust, fungal growth, pest infestations, insect infestations, water damage, and more. A licensed general contractor has the training, knowledge, and resources to provide outstanding siding repair, replacement, or installation in a convenient time frame. Always do your research, and choose a general contractor that has experience with siding installation and repair. Choosing to do it yourself can not only put you at risk of injury, it can jeopardize the structural integrity of your siding if done improperly, and even worse, it may cancel your siding’s warranty.

 

3 Top Tips for Choosing Your Bathroom Sink Unit

download (36)When it comes to selecting a cabinet or unit for your bathroom – whether this is to install your inset sink in or simply just for storage – there are many things to take into account. These include colours, size, shape, material, and the price of the product too. This can mean that people take a great deal of time thinking over their options before they make a final decision.

Although it is important to make an informed decision after considering several options, there are several tips that can be followed to make the process of making a choice much easier. Here are three pieces of advice that can help you narrow down your options to find the best sink units for you.

Firstly, bear in mind that many units actually come in standard sizes for many bathrooms, so you will not have too much to worry about in this regard. The best thing to do is to take measurements of your property and then consult a specialist retailer and see what they have in these sizes. Even if there is not one in the ideal size, they will likely have options just a little larger or smaller.

These sink units may be entirely suitable, and it helps to play around with a few possibilities to work out what will look best and what will suit your storage needs best too. However, sometimes you will need customised cabinets of certain heights, depths and widths, in which case it is important to ask your retailer where to you can go to source these items.

One of the good things about standard sizes is that they are designed to make sure that sink units and toilet units are not intrusive in your space. These items generally tend to be relatively minimal so that you will have a good amount of storage but will also have a lot more open space in your bathroom – which is good to avoid knocks and bumps.

The second thing to think about is the style of your units, and whether they match the overall theme of your bathroom. This can be hard to get right, especially as there are so many beautiful designs and models out there all vying for your attention.

It helps to decide whether you prefer a modern or a traditional looking bathroom, as this can help you define a few models of sink, units, toilets, showers, lighting and mirrors that will likely all work together. However, it certainly does not hurt to get the advice of a seasoned professional in this regard.

In many cases, retailers will be more than happy to suggest a few different models that will work with the theme that you have planned for your home and your bathroom, and for this reason it is a good idea to ask several vendors what they suggest that will fit in with your plans. You can then consider which models of the ones suggested will likely look best with your interior design scheme.

Thirdly and finally, remember that a unit for both your sink and your toilet is the best way to make use of your space in the bathroom, especially in more limited areas. This is because they increase storage as well as conceal pipe work, which gives a sleek and tidy finish to the room.

It is also worth noting that these options are often great as pipe work is easy to access when there is a problem, which is not necessarily the case when there are wall mounted sinks or toilets installed. This can make for a very practical and great-looking solution for the bathroom.

These are just three tips to bear in mind when looking for sink units for your bathroom. Not only are these a very practical choice, but with careful selection in regards to size and to style you are likely to find something that fits your interior design plans perfectly.

Home Ventilation In An Older House

download (40)Home Ventilation For A Renovated House

According to NASA, human related activities such as chemical plants have contributed greatly to the number of greenhouse gases which have in turn caused an alarming warming trend leaving serious side effects in its wake. It’s little wonder then that one of the factors that most people look for when shopping for a house is a properly working ventilation system. But what about if you are moving to an old home that is not fitted with a modern ventilation system? The likely solution would be to install one. If you choose to go the DIY route, you may want to have a few tips in mind.

How Home Ventilation Works

In the same manner in which we need clean air to breathe, so does a house need it to stay fresh. It is important that the air that is expelled by the house’s inhabitants is replaced with fresh air. In some cases, simply opening some windows is enough to let in clean air. However, if you have installed a home heating or cooling system, then allowing in air through the windows or doors may affect its functionality.

A home ventilation system works by expelling used air and introducing clean air from the outside into the house. This works because expelled and used air is lighter and floats to the top, while cold fresh air is denser and flows to the bottom; a ventilation system facilities this flow of air.

Tips On Home Ventilation In An Older House

Below are tips on how you should go about ventilating an older home.

1. Assess how the former owner maintained the home. If the house seems to be in a general state of neglect, you may need to replace the whole system. However, if the previous owner did a fairly good job of maintaining the system, then you may need to replace only a few parts of it.

2. Do not depend on a home inspector to determine the state of your ventilation system. This is because although he/she may be trained to look at a house in general, only a ventilation system specialist will be able to truly determine whether or not a system is good enough to function.

3. If the house you are living in is approaching the 10 year benchmark, then you may want to set aside money in order to have your ventilation system replaced.

Advantages Of Having A Well Ventilated System

Once you repair an old or buy a new ventilation system, there are a number of advantages you will enjoy.

1. Regulate your air. A good ventilation system will know when to bring in fresh air, as opposed to bringing in fresh air all the time which can lead to high energy bills.

2. Without proper air circulation bacteria, damp air, pollutants and allergens will buildup which in turn will cause the air inside your home to become more polluted than the air outside.

Best Way to Control Your Ultra Modern Home

download (35)We all have seen many movies featuring automated devices. They seem fascinating and almost unrealistic. However, not all of them are results of camera tricks. Today, the advancements in the world of technology have made it easy to own automated devices and gadgets. Anyone can get such devices for the home at some extra cost. Popularly known as home automation devices, some consider these devices as a part of home decor, whereas for some people, these are of great importance.

People use home automation gadgets as per their requirement and use. One can buy such devices from the local electronic store or through online electronic stores. These devices are roughly divided into two classes, i.e. security, and comfort.

Home Surveillance: Feel Safe While Alone

Earlier, regular burglar alarms were used to safeguard the home against the possible break-ins. However, today they are replaced by state-of-art home surveillance systems. Regular alarm systems use to make a sound in case of any break-in, giving burglar ample time to ransack the home and escape. Now the things have changed a lot. Once installed, a home automated system allows you to turn on the lights with a single touch on the remote controls and prevent the crime. Alternatively, it can be programmed to turns on the light automatically in case an intruder enters your premises.

A home surveillance system comes with modern burglar alarms, light regulation and safety measure activating features. One can easily get high-end systems with best universal remote through online electronic shopping, and make the home safe from burglars, thieves, and trespassers. With universal remote controls, you can quickly take command of the entire home automation system, even while sitting in the comfort of your living room. In addition, you can also protect your loved ones from tripping over in the home by using your automation gadgets. Just one touch of your home surveillance remote control and you are guaranteed with utmost security.

Enhance Your Comfort in Just One Touch

Everyone wants to use the latest technological advancements and enjoy the comfort. How about switching the television, fan or light while sitting on the couch, or ensuring whether the windows and doors are locked or not without physically going around the home. Home automation allows you to bring your imagination to reality, with just one touch. With home automation, you do not need to wait for someone to do the work for you.

Home automation offers a convenient way to do work more neatly and elegantly. Once installed, the system remote controls allow you to manage the electronic gadgets that are compatible with the system. It is one of the few ways to improve your life. One can easily find loads of automation devices on the online electronic stores. However, once you purchase the device, it is advisable to stick to do-it-yourself mode, so that you do not have to pay for professional service fees.

Investing in these systems is a good move if you use the technology for the right purpose. You can check for new home automation devices by browsing through online electronic stores. Once you figure out the right device for your home, it is time to get your home automated.

Types of Grout Sealer

images (18)What type of grout sealer you will need will depend on the type of tiles you are dealing with. For example, your bathroom flooring will need a different treatment than the splashboards in your kitchen. The different types of grout sealer include:

• Penetrating sealers-this type of sealer is also referred to as impregnator sealer. This type of sealer is the best option for most general uses. It is a highly recommended product for most of any tiling projects. They are usually the best at preventing mildew growth and stains. This grout sealer is very good when it comes to preserving and maintaining tile and grout color. At the outset it can be more costly and more intensive to apply. This sealer soaks through the top porous layers of the material, bonding to form a barrier that is impenetrable. Generally it is long lasting and can last as long as ten to fifteen years in most instances. It does not need any special care or attention except for general upkeep. When you need to replace it you will either have to strip the old grout off and start again or you will have to choose a sealant that is surface based.

• Silicone and water sealants-these are two of the more popular surface sealers. Both are designed to form a barrier that will rest on top of the grout and tiles. These are inexpensive and many find that they are easier to apply. They will usually not leave any type of residue and if you make a mistake applying the grout sealer the mistake can be easily corrected. Most of these types of sealers will last between three and five years. Foe areas that see a lot of moisture the water=based sealants are not the best choice because they will have to be reapplied more frequently. In these areas the silicone sealants are the best choice. The reason is that their chemistry is based on oil and not water.

• Acrylic sealants-acrylic is a synthetic fiber and is often thought to be the most durable of the surface sealants. This type of grout sealant can last for six to ten years. When it is time to reseal the residue from the sealant can sometimes be difficult to remove. In the beginning it can be a little more costly but in the long run it is cheaper than other sealants. To avoid inhaling any fumes make sure the room is well ventilated and you wear protective eyewear. This type of grout sealer can be toxic to animals and people.

This article is penned by Lora Davis for Harper Carpet Care. The company has over a decade of experience in providing the best carpet care and flooring solutions to residents in Austin, Tx. If you need a reliable and affordable grout sealer services or want to restore grout then there’s no better service than Harper Carpet Care.