How To Remove Water Stains On Common Areas and Items in Your Home

No matter how hard we try to clean and maintain our homes, there will always be something that will catch our eyes. It can be a cracked floor tile, leaking faucets, malfunctioning sockets, or stuck windows, among others. One of the most common household annoyances you may encounter is a water stain. These stains may be caused by an unwanted leak or if someone accidentally splashed water in a particular area of your home. Whatever the case, these stains are an eyesore and they need to go. As such, there are several places in your house where these water stains may appear and how to solve them accordingly.

Water Stains on Walls

A house’s interior walls can look pretty messy if there are water stains on it. To remedy this predicament, you will need a bucket containing water and bleach. Get a sponge to wash off the areas damaged by the stain. Be careful in doing this because the paint might be affected. If this happens, better get some primer and a can of paint. You will use these items to repaint the damaged area and restore your wall back to its original condition.

Of course, you also need to tackle the root of the problem as well. You will need to locate the source of the leak on your wall and have it repaired right away. More often than not, these water leaks can be caused by a defective concealed plumbing pipe. In this case, the best thing to do is call on a professional plumber to take care of this specific problem.

Water Stains on Wood

Your home has a lot of furniture made of wood in it. Most of them are tables you use in the kitchen and the living room. These stains are mostly caused by glasses containing cold water or any other kind of refreshments placed on top of wooden furniture. This will result in ugly stain marks on wooden tables or other kinds of furniture.

If you want to eliminate any trace of stains caused by water on wood, you need some baking powder. Pour one teaspoon of baking powder of the affected area and add another teaspoon of water. Rub the mixture in a circular manner until the stain is gone.

Another ingredient you can use is petroleum jelly. Get just enough of this stuff and again, rub it on the area where the water stain is located. Leave it to dry overnight and when you wake up, you’ll find no trace of the stain.

Water Stains on Granite

Granite is mostly used in the construction of countertops due to its beautiful and tough nature. Even though this is the case, granite countertops are not impervious against water stains. The solution itself is simple enough for anyone to do. First off, you will need a little bit of detergent and water to clean stains on your granite countertop. If that doesn’t do the trick, you can create a paste consisting of water, baking soda, and a diluted amount of bleach. This mixture will eliminate stubborn water stains on your granite countertop and make it look new again.

So You Want to Sell Your House

So you have decided to sell your home. There are some things you can do to make you house more attractive. It will speed up the sale and will help you maximize what you sell your house for. Real estate brokers work harder when a house is prepared becaust it streamlines their job and leaves less to explain.

Purge Purge Purge

You must try to make your house look like nobody lives in it. That means you have to remove all nick-nacks, family pictures, souveneirs anything related to your family. You want the prospective buyers not to feel like it’s your house. They have to see themselves in it which means unconsciously the house must seem neutra. If you are so attached to “things” you can’t do it., hire someone to help you. If you absolutely refuse to get rid of certain items, get a storage locker to put them in. But the house has to be without them.

Freshen Things Up.

If the paint looks dingy, get a paint job. Get the floors polished and rugs, if any, cleaned. The basement especially and the attic should be as empty as possible. I’m sure you have things in both places that have followed you for years and served no purpose except that they are there. I know it’s difficult but people’s personal things turn prospective buyers off. If you have a piano and it’s played, make sure it’s closed and there is no music laying around.

Make sure the house is spotless. That means the refrigerator, stove and other appliances should look as new as possible. Iin some cases, it might me worth an investment to replace an appliance that looks like it’s seen better days. Windows should sparkle. I suggest you get a professional cleaning crew to do everything. It is a relatively small investment that can reap large rewards in selling price. Outside there should be no items that make your backyard look like a junkyard. Get rid of all of it. If you have a lawn and/or landscaping, make sure everything is mowed, trimmed and pretty. If you have a pet that poops outside, clean it up.

Function

Make sure everything works. You don’t want to have to make any explanations. Electric appliances should work properly. Garage doors, doorbells, sliding doors should all function properly. Buyers and btokers will try switches to see what they do. Frequently this is an indication to a buyer that the house is cared for. It gives them the impression that they aren’t going to encounter problems.

Staging.

This is a worthwhile consideration. I know of houses that were on the market for months and sometimes even years with no bites. After getting a professional stager in to arrange the furniture, tell you what to add and what to discard, these houses sold in short order. I know of one house that sold in a day after staging. I know you are proud of the lived-in look your house has. It’s great to visit such a house, cozy and comfortable. But buyers are not interested. You wan’t nothing that will give the feeling that the house is “used.” You want a house that seems new, even it if isn’t.

Finally, when the house is shown, you should get out and stay away until the prospect buyer(s) are gone. You do not want to be there to answer questions or make friends. Lastly, good luck.

How To Prevent Water Hammers From Harming Your Plumbing Pipes

Water is such an important resource that plays a big role in our everyday lives. It helps us bathe ourselves, prepare our meals, and act a form of nourishment for our bodies. Without the presence of a clean and reliable source of water, our daily routine will surely be endangered. That’s why you need to familiarize yourselves with various plumbing problems so you can act on them right away. One of the many plumbing-related concerns you should know is a water hammer.

What is a water hammer exactly?

Although the term sounds ominous or complicated, it’s actually a very common occurrence in plumbing systems. A water hammer happens when the direction of water inside the plumbing pipes suddenly change direction. This causes a change in momentum and creates additional pressure on plumbing pipes. If too much pressure is created, it can come to a point where your plumbing pipes will be severely damaged.

How to resolve this plumbing predicament?

Although the damage caused by a water hammer can be serious, the solution at hand is pretty simple. All you need to do to prevent a water hammer from occurring is to install an air chamber in your plumbing system. Basically, air chambers function by preventing the water inside your plumbing pipes from creating waves. Without the presence of these waves, additional water pressure won’t be produced and your pipes’ integrity will stay intact.

To install an air chamber, you need to locate a cavity inside your walls that are in close proximity to the water valves. Once you have found these wall cavities, you can then place the air chamber to help prevent water hammers from happening. These air chambers are pieces of vertical pipes and can be easily added to your existing plumbing system.

After the installation of an air chamber, the work isn’t done yet. You need to determine if this addition is compatible with your plumbing system. As such you will need to follow certain steps to make sure the installed air chamber works properly.

First and foremost, you need to shut off the aforementioned water valve. After you have accomplished that step, you will need to open your property’s faucet that’s located at the highest point. Meanwhile, you will need to drain water from all the pipelines in your residential property or commercial establishment. You can do this feat by opening the faucet that’s located at the lowest point in your property. Usually, this faucet can be found in the basement or in your backyard. This act will induce more air into your pipes and air chambers to replace the water that was drained.

After this process has been completed, you can now shut off the faucet at the lowest point and switch the main valve back on. Once the adequate amount of air has filled an air chamber, this plumbing fixture will eliminate any chance of water hammers from happening. Just make sure the air chamber you installed is bigger than your water supply line so it won’t cause any clogging problems.

In the event a clog has hindered the operation of an air chamber, all you need to do is remove its cap and clean any dirt inside it. Nevertheless, you won’t fear water hammers when there is an air chamber present in your plumbing system. The solution itself to this worrisome plumbing problem is very easy to do.

 

Why You Need A Drain Strainer In The Kitchen Sink

Ideally, every home should have a proper garbage disposal method. This is to ensure that all the waste from the kitchen is disposed in the right places. It is because when such waste is left to get into the drains, it will lead to blockages. The result will be a sink that does not drain, and an odor that you cannot stand. If there is no garbage disposal, the best alternative is to install a drain strainer in the kitchen sink to avoid clogged drains.

Keeping Food Out of the Pipes

With a drain strainer, you will not have any problem keeping food particles out of the pipes. It sieves through the water to get out all the leftover foods. Sometimes, these particles may be small, and could tempt you to let them pass. However, after some time, you will notice that these small particles pile up to become a huge mess that won’t let water to free flow through pipes.

Making Your Work Easier

Another reason why every plumber recommends a drain strainer in houses that do not have garbage disposal is because it makes things easy for everyone. For you in the kitchen, it makes it easy to separate dirt from water while for the plumber, the pipes will be clean for longer and therefore, they require minimal maintenance. It is one of the small things that make a huge difference in every home.

When installing a drain strainer in the kitchen sink, you should find a reliable plumber. They will recommend the one that best suits your kitchen based on how you use it. Since the main aim is to ensure that you do not have to end up with a clogged drain, you have to do everything right.

If you are looking for a trusted, BBB-accredited plumbing company, check out this link. Do not wait for your kitchen drain to become clogged. Let the experts install your drain strainer for you.

4 Drain Cleaning Options for Blocked Drains

No matter how careful you may be while washing dishes and taking a shower, practically everyone ends up with a clogged drain every now and then. If you have a blocked drain at home, here are some drain cleaning tips worth trying out.

Plunger

A plunger is one of the fastest and easiest options you have for clearing your blocked drain, if used properly. You have to create a seal by placing its rubber head against the drain. This prevents air from seeping through, which is when you need to push on the plunger till its head inverts.

Now release the pushing motion till the head returns to its original shape. Repeat a few times, till the water starts draining. If nothing happens, try another DIY drain cleaning method!

Snake Drain Auger

Your next option is a snake drain auger that reaches deep into the pipe to remove blockages. Though effective, it requires quite a lot of skill. You have to insert it into the drain while rotating its cable handle in a clockwise motion.

Grip the handle about 3 inches from the drain opening so that you can feel the clog as you push the cable further into the piping. Once you reach the clog, try to break and hook the blocked matter by slightly pulling and pushing the auger.

Keep turning the handle till the auger gets hits the blockage. This is when you have to slowly pull out the auger so that the blockage hands onto it, and doesn’t fall back into the drain. Now remove the auger and pour some hot water into the drain to ensure the drain is clear.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

If the plunger and auger don’t work, you can next try chemical drain cleaners to unclog the blockage. These cleaners usually contain sulfuric acid and lye that get through tough clogs and also prevent recurring blocks. It’s important that you flush out remaining chemicals by running enough water through the drain.

Natural Drain Cleaners

Natural drain cleaners can also unclog drains, without the smell, residue and danger of chemicals. They are safer to use in a home with kids and pets as there’s no risk or danger of the kids or pets accidentally swallow or play with them.

Examples of natural drain cleaners are baking soda with vinegar or lemon juice, a mixture of borax, vinegar and salt or just running boiling hot water into the blocked drain.

Of course, if all this fails, or if you don’t have the time to unclog the drain yourself, you can always call drain cleaning professionals to do the job for you. Just make sure you choose the right company after checking their experience, license and estimate for the job.  Where we live, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, our favorite plumber can be found here.  (Gotta give the guy a plug every now and then, he’s always really good to me…)

22 Pest Control Strategies for Your Home

Taking control of your pest control means preventing bed bugs, cockroaches, ants, etc. before they get out of hand. Knowing what to do is half the battle, so here’s a list of twenty-two pest control strategies for every part of your home.

Outdoor pest control

  1. Keep grass cut short
  2. Ensure proper drainage
  3. Trim bushes and trees
  4. Remove standing water
  5. Level dirt/soil under outdoor structures
  6. Seal and/or paint outdoor structures
  7. Clear out outdoor debris
  8. Sweep outdoor spaces

Indoor pest control

  1. Store food in sealed containers
  2. No trash can under the sink
  3. Check for leaks around sinks
  4. Clean spilled food immediately
  5. Re-caulk cracks around sinks etc.
  6. Change sheets regularly
  7. Vacuum all areas often
  8. Clear out clutter like papers, cardboard
  9. Don’t leave pet food out
  10. Check screen and door seals
  11. Fix any leaks quickly
  12. Seal entry points in the attic and basement
  13. Use proper insulation
  14. Knockout cobwebs

These simple strategies for pest control will help to keep a wide variety of pests at bay in your Jersey City home. It doesn’t take a great deal of effort to prevent pests, but it does take a great deal of effort to get rid of them.

You might also consider calling a professional pest control expert to help you get ahead of the game. They can do an assessment of your home and help you find problem areas, getting out front of potential pest problems early.

If you are in the Jersey City area, we like Jersey City Exterminators, at www.jerseycityexterminators.com.

Quick Fix DIY – How to Seal Your Windows and Save Money

Photo credit: Foter.com

Sometimes it’s the simplest and easiest do it yourself projects that have the biggest impact. Sealing your windows doesn’t take long, anyone can do it, and your energy bill will thank you. Whether it’s summer and you’re trying to run that AC a little less or winter and you want to reduce the amount of energy you’re losing while heating, sealing your windows will help.

Properly sealing your windows

This is SO easy! You only need two supplies and a few minutes to a couple of hours (depending on how many windows you have in your home).

What you need:

  • Window sealant (you may need a few tubes depending on h ow many windows you have and how much big the cracks are that you need to seal)
  • Disposable gloves

You’re ready to go!

Grab your sealant and your gloves, then start to walk around the exterior of your home and look for openings around the edges of your windows. When I did this to my home, I found some gaps that were up to a half an inch! All these gaps do is allow warm air out in the winter and cool air out in the summer.

Just fill them in with the window sealant. Smooth out with a gloved finger when you need to. That’s ALL!

This simple, quick fix DIY home improvement project will give you peace of mind. I know it gave me peace of mind!

Of course, at the end of the day, if your windows are too drafty, then you have no choice but to replace.  Have a look here for our favorite windows.