Whether you’ve lived in your house for five months or five years, opportunities are that you have a few maintenance tasks to accomplish this year. While some residence redevelopment projects won’t make much era or money, the major ones can put a significant dent in your time and budget. One channel to avoid corrects is to carefully judge whether the problem merits a major redevelopment or a quick fix. This checklist can be used to assess the damage and make a plan to address it.# 1 You’re Repeating Your Mistakes
Did that wall patch not accommodate again? Are you always replacing that one crooked tile? If your residence mends keep feeling a bad remake of Groundhog Day, it may be that larger obliges are at play. Recurring small-scale amends may indicate issues with the foundation, HVAC arrangements, or a lack of insulation. If you’re often clearing the same types of repairs in the same domains, a remodel may be in your future.# 2 The Time is Right
Many people remodel when they can’t stand to look at that same discolored kitchen counter for another day, or the storey is too uneven to walk on safely. Another policy is to compile major improvements when it’s most affordable to do so, such as:Wait for a sale on grove floors to remake your hardwoods.Plan for reparations in the off-season. For instance, you might find a better batch on HVAC in the tumble, when the warmer months have passed.Work to improve your credit to qualify for the best loan possible. If your ascribe tally is currently under good sit and lend proportions are right, a personal home improvement loan may make it the perfect time to get going on your amends. # 3 It Saves Money Later
It takes time, exertion, and cash to do most remodels, and many of us may find it hard to justify the expenditure. Putting off an essential remodel, nonetheless, can cost more down the road.
Leaky roofing will lead to mold emergence or impaired drywall. Drafty windows campaign higher-than-normal heating bills and can even lead to pests opening the residence.
One question all homeowners should question in order to review a remodel is, “It costs money to fix this now, but what the hell is it cost to fix later? ” You may not be able to afford delaying that remodel after all.# 4 You Can Run in Phases
Another common objection to doing a major project is that the mess can stop life for those living at home. That’s why it’s smart to look at whether you can break down a restoration into manageable stages. Evaluate what it will be like to live in the home during those phases as well as what it will cost.
A bathroom remodel that buds you without a shower for a week may not sit well with your family. A carefully scheduled projection where the lavatory isn’t working for a few hours, nonetheless, is more suitable. Plan out your campaigns carefully to see what every stage will do to your budget and your lifestyle.# 5 Help is Available
Good help is hard to find, and nowhere is that truer than in the home improvement category. Whether you plan on tackling it DIY, or you’d instead leant a contractor in charge, you’ll need to bring in some intelligent and reputable professionals for at least a portion of your projection.
Since major brave adversities, seasonal trends, and even the market can determine if professionals are available for hire( and what their expenditures is likely to be ), consider proposing your assignment around when you can get the work done right.Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay
What if it’s not time to remodel? What if your budget, the market, or your planned won’t enable it? As long as the damage or wear doesn’t affect your home’s safety, you may be able to make do with some lesser reparations until the time is right. However, a personal loan can help you cover the costs, with median interest rates much less than that debit card in your wallet.
Finally, whether your assignment is big or small, buy quality plies. They ogle better, and they will last longer than the cheapest mannequin, which will save you fund in the end. If you’re buying a brand-new bathroom, consider the high-end model you’ll want for your daydream lavatory. If you need to patch and paint, look at alternatives that will be easy to remove when it’s time to create that tradition built-in. Financing is available for even small projects.
Repairs happen. Take care that they are a brought forward in your quest for a full remodel, and not a stumbling block to progress.
Linsey Knerl is a personal finance professional, author, public speaker, and member states of the ASJA. She drafts for Upstart and has a passion for helping consumers and small-minded business owners do more with their resources through awareness of the latest financial services.
Water pipes that silently serve your home day in and day out can become raging geysers when windy, sub-zero temperatures find their way into the wall and floor cavities shared by your home’s plumbing system. As water is cooled, it expands. Unfortunately, the pipes carry it – do not. As a result, these plumbing pipes literally explode, ripping wide-open and allowing an endless supply of water to drench every element of your home in its path. Making matters worse, pipe bursts usually happen overnight turning sweet dreams into frozen pipe nightmares, or worse, they can even burst when you’re away from home!
Repair costs can range from hundreds to fix the pipe, up to tens of thousands to repair the ensuing water damage. Fortunately, with a little planning, you can protect yourself from the ensuing cold-water drenching and damage. Here’s where to begin.Open cabinet doors
On very cold nights open the doors to any under kitchen or bath sink cabinets that are located on outside walls, allowing those area to warm from the home’s heating system. This can prevent the inside of the cabinet from becoming a freezer that can lead to frozen water lines.Turn off outside faucets
This first tip may seem like a no-brainer but it’s surprising how often its overlooked until a burst reminds a forgetful homeowner! Most outside faucets have a shut-off valve called the hose bib, usually located inside the home, crawlspace or basement within a foot or two of the faucets location. Turn the valve off, then open the exterior faucet and leave it open all winter long. That way if the valve leaks slowly as some do, any water that accumulates will drain out. By the way, if you are locating these valves for the first time, make sure to add a tag to them so they can be easily found in the future.
Likewise, be sure to drain any in-ground sprinkler systems. This is best done by a sprinkler company with a high powered air compressor strong enough to purge all of the water out of the lines.
Insulate all exposed water pipes
Insulate all water and heating lines located in unheated crawl spaces, attics, and basements. You can use insulating foam tubes, fiberglass tubes and/or fiberglass pipe wrap. Be sure that pipe elbows are carefully wrapped as well, since these tend to be the hardest parts to get covered. If you notice that the same pipe freezes all the time, then you might want to consider having that pipe re-run through a warmer section of the house.
We took this approach to stop a persistent frozen plumbing pipe problem in the kitchen of our 1886 home. The sink supply lines ran up an exterior wall and through a crawl space that were both very difficult to reach. The solution was to abandon those pipes and re-run new supply lines made of PEX, a virtually leak-proof plastic pipe that is also very flexible, and hence much easier to instal through enclosed walls and tight spaces.TIP: Which will burst first? Hot water pipe or cold water pipe?
While you’d think cold water pipes would freeze and burst before hot water pipes, the answer is just the opposite. Here’s why: as hot water passes through the water heater, air bubble entrained in the water are released. When water freezes, these air bubbles create a bit of a cushion effect and can take displaces some of the pressure caused by the expanding water. With hot water, there are no air bubbles and hence no cushion. As a result, all that expanding ice presses outward and rips the pipe open faster than if it were a cold water pipe!Seal drafts in walls, floors and around pipe openings
Super-cold wind-driven air causes many frozen pipe problems as those drafts can freeze uninsulated pipes in a matter of a few hours. Finding and identifying those drafts in areas like exterior walls, crawlspaces and basements, can prevent frozen pipes. Consider using expanding foam sealant like to seal odd shaped spaces, and add batt insulation to the box joists along the interior perimeter of your crawlspace or basement.
If your home is on a crawlspace, close or cover foundation vents. Cut blocks of foam-board insulation to fit the vent openings, and slide them into the vents. Don’t forget to open the vents again in spring; necessary to prevent excessive moisture from forming
Also, it’s worth noting that drain and vent lines can also freeze. On very cold nights, run some hot water down drains that may be located on outside walls of your home.
Keep heat on, even if you’re not home
Keep all your heating zones above 55 degrees all winter long to prevent frozen pipes. Shutting off or lowering unused heating zones can cause water and heating lines to freeze in walls and ceilings of the unused areas, as well as frozen pipes. On super-cold nights, raise the temperature a few degrees higher than normal.
Also, even if you are winterizing your vacation home, keeping some heat on prevents condensation and mold from forming, as well as slows the swelling of doors and other wood parts of the house. You are better off spending a little extra on energy to prevent the pipes from freezing than paying even more for repairs!How to thaw a frozen pipe
If you are caught off guard by a frozen pipe, you may have some time to thaw it before it breaks. Plumbing pipe heat cables, commonly referred to as “heat tape”, works well as a DIY solution for this, but only if it is used safely. Heating tape is an electric appliance in the form of a long strip. You attach it to the plumbing pipe, plug it in and the strip gets hot, and hopefully warms and thaws the pipe. Just remember to turn off the water line first, in case a break formed but the water was too frozen to leak.
Plumbing pipe heating cables are pretty effective in most cases, however, I want to caution that there’s one common and potentially dangerous use I’ve seen countless time in my experience as a former professional home inspector. That is to place heat tape under the pipe insulation. This is a huge fire threat as the amount of heat generated by the tape appliance is not designed to be contained by insulation. I have seen heat tape actually burn when it was applied like this by an unwitting homeowner. This is a severe fire danger, so make sure you carefully follow the heat tape manufacturers instructions.
Aside from covering the tape with insulation, another common mistake is overlapping the tape, or essentially wrapping it around itself. The tape should always be attached parallel to the pipe, with the thermostat touching the pipe, and secured every few inches with electrical tape.
Also, if you decide to go with heat tape, buy a new one from a reputable source. The safety standards continue to improve and many old heat tape products are simply out of date and unsafe.
If the freeze is beyond what can be accomplished by heat tape, a plumbers are equipped with pipe thawing machine that can handle bigger jobs.How to monitor for a major pipe leak, even when you are not home
Smart home technology has made it easier to monitor many things in our home and water usage including that which would signal a major pipe break is certainly among its capability. The Streamlabs Smart Home Water Monitor is a new level of protection from water damage, including a major pipe burst. The smart home device helps you detect leaks in real time, learn about your usage and water habits, and find ways to use water more efficiently—all in an easy-to-use app. The installation requires no plumbing work – it’s simple to install and connects directly to your home Wi-Fi, and can alert you at the first sign of major water usage, like a frozen and busted pipe!Frozen pipes and insurance
Homeowners insurance policies usually cover leaks not caused by deferred maintenance and neglect. Check your policy or contact your insurance professional to determine coverage for a “sudden dispersals of water,” which is insurance speak for a busted pipe!Leave the water trickling
Finally, if you haven’t taken any of these steps and are worried about one very cold spell, it OK to leave water trickling in a faucet or two and that MAY stop the pipe from freezing and bursting. Sure, it’ll waste water but its a small price to pay for a quick preventative step.
Bottom line, just a few simple steps can keep your water flowing like it should all winter long. Frost-proofing your exterior water faucets and water pipes in your home now can help prevent major damage should a pipe freeze and break in cold weather.
It’s one big mess we guarantee you want to avoid!
The post Prevent Plumbing Explosions with this Frozen Pipe Checklist appeared first on The Money Pit.
Concrete is one of the most economical, versatile and durable building materials available. Regardless of your skill level, building a sidewalk, patio or floor with QUIKRETE Concrete Mixes can be successfully achieved. Before pouring concrete into the forms, make sure your forms are level. Place three to four inches of QUIKRETE All-Purpose Gravel and spread the gravel evenly.
Using a tamper, compact the gravel base. A solid sub-base will help prevent erosion, when the slabs settle. Then, dampen the gravel with a garden hose. This will help prevent shrinkage cracks, especially in hot temperatures. Pour the concrete mix in evenly placed amounts. The top of the concrete should be about two to three inches above the forms, before leveling.
Then, consolidate and distribute the concrete, evenly, using a hoe. The surface of the concrete should be relatively flat and slightly above the form. Next, use a straight 2×4 long enough to rest on the opposite sides of the form to screed the concrete. Move the board back and forth, across the surface of the concrete, in a sawing motion, to remove the excess concrete and smooth the surface.
Add concrete to any low areas and screed level. This will take several passes. Once the concrete has lost its sheen, use a wood float, in an arching motion, to smooth the concrete surface. This is an important step because it will consolidate the concrete and bring cement to the surface, which is necessary for a durable finish.
Immediately after floating the concrete, use a stiff bristled broom to create a non-slip, broom finish. All broom strokes should be made in the same direction. Next, use a groover and a straight edge to cut in control joints. Control joints are designed to allow for expansion, contraction, and movement in a concrete slab.
A four inch thick slab will require control joints at a minimum of every ten feet, in each direction. Control joints should be cut at least 1/4 the depth of the slab. For a finished look, use an edging tool to consolidate and shape the edges of the slab. Several passes should be made, in each direction, for a smooth finish.
Freshly placed concrete should be water-cured for a minimum of three to five days with a fine water mist. The need for water curing can be eliminated by applying QUIKRETE Acrylic Concrete Cure & Seal immediately after finishing the concrete.
Acrylic Cure & Seal can be applied with a roller, garden sprayer or a brush. QUIKRETE Acrylic Cure & Seal will also provide a semi-gloss sheen that repels water and protects the concrete from oil, grease, gasoline and food stains.
When working with cement-based products, always wear eye protection and waterproof gloves.
Step 1 Prior to placing concrete forms:Construct the form with 2×4 or 2×6 lumber and secure in place by wood stakes and deck screws. Excavate the slab area to a depth of about 7 inches, allowing 3 inches for a gravel base and 4 inches for concrete.
Step 2 Check the forms for level (¼ inch for every 12 feet is sufficient to allow for rain run-off). Patio and sidewalk forms should slope evenly away from structures.
Step 3 Evenly spread 3 to 4 inches of QUIKRETE All Purpose Gravel and then level the gravel.
Step 4 Compact the gravel base using a tamper.
TIP: a solid sub-base will help prevent erosion and slab settling.
Step 5 Dampen the gravel base using a garden hose to prevent shrinkage cracking especially in hot temperatures.
Step 6 Pour the concrete mix in evenly placed leads; the top of the concrete mounds should be about 2 to 3 inches above the forms before leveling.
Step 7 Consolidate and distribute the concrete evenly using a hoe. The surface of the concrete should be relatively flat and slightly above the form.
Step 8 Screed the concrete using a straight 2×4 by moving the board back and forth across the surface of the concrete in a sawing motion to remove the excess concrete and smooth the surface.
Step 9 Add concrete to any low areas and screed level.
Step 10 Once the concrete has lost its sheen, smooth the concrete surface using a wood float in an arching motion. NOTE: use a stiff-bristle broom to create a non-slip broom finish (all broom strokes should be made in the same direction).
Step 11 Cut in control joints using a groover and straight-edge (a 4-inch thick slab will require control joints a minimum of every 10 feet in each direction).
NOTE: control joints should be cut a minimum of ¼ the depth of the slab.
Step 12 Use an edging tool to consolidate and shape the edges of the slab. Several passes should be made in each direction for a smooth finish.
Step 13 Freshly placed concrete should be water cured for a minimum of 3 to 5 days with a fine water mist.
TIP: water curing can be eliminated by applying QUIKRETE Acrylic Concrete Cure & Seal immediately after finishing the concrete. Acrylic Cure & Seal can be applied with a roller, garden sprayer or a brush.
From Source Article: moneypit.com