How to clean your clogged drain lines

Keeping your drain lines clean is an important part of your home maintenance checklist. Many of us would only think about our drain lines when it’s clogged. Surely, it will ruin your day when you have limited time in your tight schedule and it’s very emotionally draining.

When the drain lines is clogged, calling your local plumber would be a good option. But you can avoid this clogged problem if you maintain it properly. Upland Plumbing* would be happy to share their expertise on how to maintain your drain lines properly:

Slow draining in your fixtures

drain cleaning

If you experience slow draining in your fixtures, immediately try pouring 3 cups of boiling water in the sink with 1 cup of baking soda. Repeat this step until the condition in better.

Draining is slow usually after you pour grease in the drain. Rinsing your drains with this mixture could help you deal with the sluggish drain. It would be ideal that you perform this procedure when you pour a lot of grease on your drain lines.

Clean your drain lines on monthly basis

Vinegar

Pouring baking soda and vinegar combination in your drains is best done in a monthly basis. This is a good practice to prevent any major buildup in your drain lines. It is also a cheap option for you.

To save more, purchase large box of soda and gallon of vinegar. Doing this cleaning maintenance is simple.  Pour 1 cup of baking soda in the drain then follow a one cup of vinegar. This combination would cause some reaction which effectively cleans that drain.

Cleaning hair clogged drains in your bathroom

baking soda

The mixture of Baking soda, water, salt and cream of tartar is best when it comes to dealing with clogged hair. It is perfect for drains in your bathroom. What you have to do is simply mix these items and pour it down on the drain. After that, pour a 1 cup of boiling water.

This is a simple yet effective way of dealing with buildup of hair in the drain lines. Better do this once a month so that clogs caused by hair would not become a serious problem.

Using chemical drain cleaner products

Another way is, you can use Enzyme cleaners that could be easily bought in the market. These enzyme cleaners could deal with clogs in drains and also deals with any bacteria buildup in your drain. Just make sure you choose the eco-friendly products and adhere the product usage instruction guide.

When the problem is serious and the steps above do not improve the condition of your drain lines. It is the time to call your local plumber.

*Upland Plumbing is an California local plumber providing plumbing services in all cities of San Bernardino County, California. Visit their website for more information http://www.upland-plumbing.biz/.

How to Get Rid Of Spider Crickets Effectively?

how to get rid of spider crickets

source : www.upload.wikimedia.org/

Spider crickets are called as such because they look like spiders and generally identified by their long legs and antennae.  These crickets have a brownish color, wingless, with a humpbacked appearance.  They are commonly found in caves, woody environments, animal burrows, cellars, damp basement walks and can leave an annoying accumulation of insect secretion.  These crickets that look like spiders are also known as cave or camel crickets.  Here are some effective ways on how to get rid of spider crickets that invade your home.

how to get rid of spider crickets

source : www.panamleathers.com

1. Eliminate Moisture

Since moisture is their friend, the number one thing on your list of how to get rid of spider crickets should be to eliminate or minimize moisture in your home.  Identify the rooms in your home where moisture would more often accumulate like the laundry room, bathroom, barrage, and basement among others.  Consistently check these areas and dry them off at once when necessary.  Wet towels or mops should not be allowed to stay on the floor.

how to get rid of spider crickets

source : www.kellerbasementne.com/

2. Seal the Cracks

One of the best solutions on how to get rid of cave crickets in your home is to prevent them from gaining access to it.  Normally this cricket that looks like a spider stays outdoors but when the weather gets hot, they begin to look for warm, shady, and moist places.  Make sure that there are no crevices or broken caulk in your bathroom or laundry room.  The cracks on window frames, doors, and foundations of your home must be sealed off as well to minimize access to your home.

how to get rid of spider crickets

source : www.goingforwardblog.files.wordpress.com

3. Proper Storage

Another preventive solution on how to get rid of camel crickets is to make sure that old boxes, furniture, books, clothing, and almost anything should be stored without touching the ground.  This is because camel spiders will eat just anything they can sink their teeth into, especially in the absence of food.  You may also put these items in plastic carts before storing them on shelves.

how to get rid of spider crickets

source : www.123rf.com

4. Soapy Water

You may have already reached the point where you no longer want to know how to get rid of spider crickets, but rather how to kill spider crickets.  An effective solution is to put soapy water in a container and place it in your basement or where the camel cricket infestation resides.  This is an effective solution on how to kill camel crickets because these pests love water and will immediately go for these containers.  Soap is not lethal to camel crickets but will neutralize their waxy coating allowing them to sink faster and eventually drown.

how to get rid of spider crickets

source : www.petrecognition.com

5. Pet Defense

Many homeowners have testified to the fact that pets like dogs or cats are fond of picking off and eating these spider crickets.  Instead of using insecticide that can be harmful to humans, especially if there are babies in the house, getting a pet is an effective way to defend your home against spider cricket infestation or attack.

how to get rid of spider crickets

source : www.growace.com

6. Sticky Traps

Cricket Spiders are known for jumping all over the place, which makes it quite challenging to capture them.  One of the best solutions on how to get rid of cricket spiders is to place sticky traps, like the ones for roaches or mice, and spread them on certain areas of the room where these pests reside.  The corners are particularly good spots to put these sticky traps because people will not step on them.  In no time at all you will see the cricket spiders stuck on the traps.

how to get rid of spider crickets

source : www.vodex.co.uk

7. The Last Resort

As a last resort on how to get rid of spider crickets, you can use insecticide.  Spray the insecticide on windows, basement doors, foundation walls, vents, crawlspaces, closets, baseboards, fireplaces, stairwells, and other potential entry points and areas where spider crickets might reside.  This is a last resort and recommended mostly for homes that already have an infestation.  Insecticidal baits can be placed at the outer perimeter of your home to kill the spider crickets outside.

These are some of the most effective ways on how to get rid of spider crickets in virtually any home.

What do you think about these solutions? please comment below

How Much does a Radon Test Cost?

how much does a radon test cost

source : www.coxenvironmental.com/

Before we go into how much does a radon test cost homeowners, let us first take a look at its importance.  According to the Surgeon General and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), testing is the only surefire way to ensure that homes are risk-free of radon.  In fact, all spaces in your home under the third floor should be tested to get an accurate radon level reading.  It is important to understand the cost of radon testing because some contractors may provide different kinds of service agreements.  Some options to consider are:

how much does a radon test cost

source : www.spradlinginspections.com/

Home Test Kits

These are basically do it yourself radon test kits that rely on qualified methods of testing.  These kits that are available from hardware stores or home centers can implement short-term testing that covers 2 to 7 days or long-term testing that can go for as long as a year.  Short-term testing make use of charcoal accumulors while long-term testing rely on electret or alpha track.

These home test kits that go for anywhere from $9 up to $40 are ideal for evaluating possible risks in your home.  The important thing to remember when you use this type of home test kits is to follow the instructions carefully.  Detection of radon levels require appropriate time and placement.  Normally, it should be placed undisturbed for up to 96 hours at the lowest livable area in your home.  As to how much does a radon test cost, this can actually be done for free if a free test kit is available in your State Radon Office.

source : www.nextstepenvironmental.com/

source : www.nextstepenvironmental.com/

Online Testing Kits

How much does a radon test cost for online testing kits?  That would depend primarily on whether you would retrieve the test units yourself or if the tester will do it.  It is ideal to include a radon test to be done as part of a home inspection procedure.  On the average, the cost of testing of this nature would set you back around $125.  This procedure makes use of the double test cylinder protocol recommended by the EPA.

These radon kits can be ordered online even if you do not want to include a home inspection procedure.  It is important to take note that the cost of radon test of this nature will include a travel fee if the homeowner chooses to retrieve the test vial instead of the contractor.

Other short-term online testing kits can provide a passive testing method that requires about 48 hours of testing time.  This test requires an initial and a secondary testing using the identical devices in the same area of your home.  Usually this type of radon testing kit can go anywhere from $10 to $20.  Long-term testing kits range from $20 to $50 inclusive of the test device, postage mail to the testing laboratory, and the laboratory fees for the analysis of the device.

how much does a radon test cost

source : www.bertfish.com/

Professional Radon Testing

This process is highly recommended for homeowners who want to sell their home or simply need a confirmation of the radon level test results from a do it yourself radon test kit.  How much does a radon test cost using professional services?  The national average reported cost of testing is around $800 with the lowest cost sitting at $150 for an average-sized home.  Many homeowners reported spending anywhere from $390 to $1,005 with the highest amount reported standing at $1,258 depending on their actual location.

Testing of this nature will confirm that the procedures are not only completely done, but also yield impartial results.  These are carried out by state- or nationally-trained and certified professionals.  Labor fees of these professionals would be reasonably placed at $60 to $200 depending on the scope of work and the actual location of your property.  When done as part of a home inspection the average charge is about $150 while without home inspection it can be $250 or more.

These will give you a clear idea of how much does a radon test cost to allow you to decide which is the most appropriate for you.

so which is your preference? please comment below

How to Cut Concrete Pavers Safely?

how to cut concrete pavers

Pavers are made from materials like brick, stone, tile, and concrete, which are usually used as flooring materials outside of homes or buildings.  Cutting these pavers to size can be quite challenging and a bit dangerous if not done properly.  Here are some ways on how to cut concrete pavers safely.

how to cut concrete pavers

source : www.anthonyfernando.com

1. Old Fashioned Hand Tools

Using a pitching chisel to cut through pavers may be time consuming and comparatively difficult, but it does give you more control over the cutting process making it safer.  Another important thing to remember on how to cut concrete pavers using a pitching chisel is that it can also create a significant amount of dust.  Moreover, the edges can be uneven requiring you to chip off the excess for a smoother fit.

The process is relatively simple though as you only have to hold the pitching chisel directly over the line and use a hammer to scratch out the portion that has to be cut.  The whole movement should be forceful and steady to ensure that the pitching chisel remains on the line.  It is equally important to wear safety glasses when cutting through pavers to avoid injury to your eyes.

An alternative is to use a bolster chisel for cutting and a cold chisel for trimming the edges.  The hammer should weigh no less than a kilogram to achieve the desired force for cutting.  This is one effective but rather slow solution on how to cut pavers.

how to cut concrete pavers

source : www.amazon.com

2. Power Saw Tools

A comparatively faster way to cut through pavers is to use power saw tools like the Stihl saw or the Skill saw.  It is important to understand though that if you want to use this solution on how to cut concrete pavers, you must also have a work horse or work stand fitted with adjustable sides so that the pavers can be secured.  This process can create neat cuts is a shorter time but generates more dust.

Another very critical thing to consider with this way of cutting pavers is that the blade must be changed to a diamond- or carbide-tipped one.  Table saws generally deliver more power than handheld ones so if you have access to one you may want to use it.  The drawback in using the power saw solution on how to cut concrete pavers is that you will find it difficult to do angled cuts.

Cutting efficiency is determined by the size of the blade.  Majority of construction contractors prefer about 300mm diameter blades and power saws that can go up to 7,500 rpm.  Using diamond blades may require constant cooling and dampening of the dust using a stream of water, which is known as the wet cut.  There are also diamond blades that can do dry cut.

how to cut concrete pavers

source : www.harosboiler.com.au/

3. Paver Splitters

By far considered by many construction contractors as the simplest, fastest, cleanest, and most accurate solution on how to cut concrete pavers, it has remained the most preferred option.  Splitters rely on specialty saws attached to a straight guide and a hose.  These are intended to keep the cutting straight as well as maintain the cutting are wet with minimal dust residue.

No special training is needed to operate splitters.  There are also no moving parts that require extensive maintenance or cause unnecessary danger to the user.  There are a number of models and sizes that are available depending on the type of cut you need to do or the type of material that will be handled.

In general, there are three types that can effectively handle cutting of pavers:

  1. For regular pavers, there are manually operated splitters;
  2. For irregular surfaces, splitters with individual toothed blades are recommended; and
  3. For huge paving requirements, the hydraulic splitters must be used.

All of these are safe solutions on how to cut concrete pavers that you can rely on.

Do you have any other tips on how to cut concrete pavers? don’t hesitate to comment below

Understanding The Cost of Mold Remediation

cost of mold remediation

source : www.static.gamesradar.com

Every homeowner should be aware of the presence of molds in their home.  Although these are considered as simple organisms, they can create a lot of problems in your home and affect the health of your family.  Because molds love the combination of moisture and oxygen, the most common places they are found in are the walls, the attic, crawlspaces, and ducts.  Before calling on professional help, it is necessary to have an understanding how to arrive at the cost of mold remediation.

cost of mold remediation

source : www.originalorkopina.com

Do-It-Yourself Cleaning

There are certain instances that the cost of mold remediation is relatively negligible.  When the area of infestation is small enough, you can actually buy some cleaning supplies and take care of the mold removal yourself.  This do-it-yourself (DIY) solution results in a cost of mold remediation of anywhere from $120 up to $150.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a small area is anything that is no more than 10 square feet in size.

When doing this DIY solution, it is important to take into account the health and safety of your family.  If you fail to completely remove the mold infestation, no matter how small, you may fall into a false sense of security and allow the problem to grow bigger without knowing it.  To be on the safe side, repeat this DIY solution periodically and you do not have to spend much on mold remediation.

cost of mold remediation

source : www.shutterstock.com/

Infestation Area

The cost of mold remediation is mainly based on the surface area that has to be treated.  Professional contractors may recommend that you scrub hard surfaces with water and detergent then thoroughly dry it off if the area in less than 10 square feet.  However, for a medium-sized area, if bigger than 10 square feet, the cost of mold remediation would run anywhere from $500 to $4,000, depending on your actual location.

For mold infestation covering walls, the attic, crawlspaces, and ducts in your home, the usual price charged by contractors is in the area of $2,000 to $6,000.  For homes with widespread mold infestation, meaning it is already affected the structure or foundation of the home, be prepared to cough up $10,000 up to $30,000 for the cost of mold remediation.

If you are only concerned about your crawlspace, the price would also vary distinctly and can go from $500 to $2,000.  You also have to take into consideration if your home has been flooded resulting in mold infestation, this can result in other damages that can jack up the price.  Aside from the location of your home, its actual size will also impact the cost of mold remediation.

cost of mold remediation

source : www.servicemasterallcarerestoration.com/

Additional Expenses

When computing the cost of mold remediation, it is important to understand that there are other processes that will contribute to the overall price.  Normally, when it comes to mold remediation, it is important to first have mold inspection or testing done to have a baseline on the amount of work that should be covered by the contractor.  After the mold remediation is completed, it is important to inspect and test the infested area again to make sure that everything has been cleared.

There are certain contractors that will offer free inspections to lower the cost of mold remediation.  However, it would be more beneficial if the inspection is handled by another firm to ensure that you are getting the best service for your money.  This will also help keep the contractor in line knowing another firm gave you an idea of the extent of damage to handle.

If the extent of the infestation is truly large, then you may need to consider moving to another home temporarily, which will add to the cost of mold remediation.  This is necessary especially if the type of mold is something that is considered toxic and can put the health of your family in danger.

Although all of these point to the cost of mold remediation becoming extremely expensive, you may want to check with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the possibility of deducting your mold remediation expenses from your tax.

Do you have any suggestion before doing mold remediation? Please comment below

How to Get Rid Of Ticks in the House?

how to get rid of ticks in the house

source : www.imgkid.com

The problem of how to get rid of ticks in the house is a fairly common one than most people think.  Sometimes, people do easily identify ticks because they come in various colors and can be fairly small at less than 1mm long.  The main sign that you need to get rid of ticks is the ticks themselves; other signs will include medical symptoms that only professionals can diagnose.  Here are some methods you can use to get rid of ticks in the house.

how to get rid of ticks in the house

Preventing the Infestation

Like most problems with pests, the most effective method on how to get rid of ticks in the house is to stop them from getting inside.  To this extent, you need to make sure that any gaps, crevices, or cracks are immediately patched up to cut off the entry point of ticks.  Take proper care of your pets so that they do not become carriers of ticks and introduce them into your home environment.  Make sure that you do not have rodent nesting materials or empty bird’s nests lying around because ticks can easily infest these.

how to get rid of ticks in the house

source : www.charlesandhudson.com/

Battle for the Yard

Many homeowners forget to consider how to get rid of ticks in the yard when battling an infestation in their homes.  Especially for homes that are surrounded by wooden areas or heavy bushes, these are nesting grounds of ticks that can easily creep into your home without you knowing.  So part of the solution is to kill ticks in the yard.  Make sure that the piles of grass, bushes, and leaves that can be used as hiding places of ticks are properly disposed of.

Maintain a healthy length of your grass by regularly mowing it so that it does not become a shelter for these pests.  Cleanliness is an effective deterrent against tick infestations because your properly will not attract rodents that are commonly identified as carriers.  Remember that even birdseeds and woodpiles can be a cause of tick infestations.

how to get rid of ticks in the house

source : www.property118.com

Create an Unsuitable Surrounding

Getting rid of ticks requires ensuring that your home does not become a suitable breeding ground for them.  Taking off from the solution of how to kill ticks in your yard, make sure that the area around your home is dry with any vegetation cut short; ticks do not like these types of environment.  If you have plants or weeds, do not place them near your home so that ticks cannot use them as springboards into your home.  Just like the method on how to kill ticks in the yard, keep the height of your plants always in check.

how to get rid of ticks in the house

source : www.trend-kid.com

Hot Water for Washing

In case you fail to use the method of how to get rid of ticks in the yard, and the ticks have already made it into your home, always check dirty bed linens and clothing.  This is an important thing to remember for solving how to get rid of ticks in the house.  Dirty bed linen and clothing attract ticks, so make sure to wash these using hot water.  In fact, one of the best methods on how to kill ticks is to wash the linen or piece of clothing with the hottest water possible based on its type of fabric.

Make it a point to never leave any dirty laundry on the floor even if you are not sure if your home has a tick infestation.  For linen and clothes that have ticks, never put those together with other dirty clothes in the laundry hamper.  This is another vital step on how to get rid of ticks; put the infested clothed straight into the washer.

These are all effective methods on how to kill ticks and prevent them from infecting your home without resorting to pesticides.  However, for severe conditions, the best solution on how to get rid of ticks in the house is to hire an exterminator or do you have any other suggestions on how to get rid of ticks in the house? please comment below

How to Build a Screened In Porch by Yourself

screened in porch

source : www.thehomeknowitall.com/

It does not take a degree in engineering to have a do-it-yourself (DIY) screened in porch.  However, it must be emphasized that many of the systems used on how to build a screened-in porch often results in saggy screens after only a few months.  The main culprits are normally small staple wires and narrow wood railings used for the foundation of the screens.  If you are ready to put in the work, then follow these tips in screening-in a porch to achieve that professional quality result.

screened in porch

source : www.rosewoodstudio.com/

Tools and Materials

It cannot be stressed enough to make sure that you have all the necessary tools and materials on hand before you start any work.  Here are the things you will need:

  • Screening and spline, which normally goes for 37 cent per square foot. You can also opt for a $60 kit that is designed to deliver tighter screens.
  • The tools you would need are a hammer, flat prybar, pair of pliers, utility knife, non-marring mallet, spline roller, and pruning shears.
screened in porch

source : www.themetricmaven.com

Preparing the Work Area

Assuming you are replacing the old screening in a porch, it is important to completely remove the old screen.  If you are starting from scratch, then you would need to measure the area to be screened-in to know just how much screen you need to buy.  You will also need wood for the foundation.  For the moment let us tackle how to build a screened-in porch that is better than your old one.

  1. The battens should be removed so you can complete remove all the staples used to hold the old screen in place;
  2. Use the flat prybar to detach the battens from the porch posts;
  3. Carefully pull down the old screen and make sure that the staples are pounded flat to avoid accidentally cutting yourself;
  4. Clean off the area to ensure that the new screen can be snuggly installed and prevent sagging.
screened in porch

source : www.thisoldhouse.com/

The Base Strips

The vertical base strips will serve as the guide for the installation of the new screens and help to hold it in place.  Take note when learning how to build a screened-in porch that having base strips is better than using a million staple wires to hold the screen in place.  The strips also minimize possible sagging for a considerable time.

  1. Clean off the outside of the porch posts before fastening the vertical base strips;
  2. For a 4-inch wide post, a 3.5-inch base strip would be ideal, while on a 2-inch post a 1.5-inch base is recommended to have allowance on both sides;
  3. Take your pruning shears and cut to length the base strips;
  4. Make sure that the base strips are securely in place.
screened in porch

source : www.gettum.com/

Screening In

This the crucial part on how to build a screened-in porch to ensure that the seams are not obvious.  As a DIY screened-in porch project you may want to have someone help you with the screening part.

  1. Gently pull the screen fabric tightly with one hand while making sure that the screen does not tear;
  2. Roll the spline snuggly into the groove of the strip;
  3. Take the utility knife and remove any excess screen. Stick to the edge of the spline to remove any protruding screening material;
  4. You can opt to use tear-resistant screening material for the lower half of the walls as precautionary measure;
  5. End it by closing the screen splines and base strips on the posts using long wide cap trims;
  6. Get the non-marring mallet and gently tap on the cap trims so that they go securely onto the base strips;
  7. Use the pruning shears to cut the cap trips to length after they have latched onto the base strips.


Following these steps will give you an easier and better solution on how to build a screened-in porch even if you do not have much DIY experience.

If you have any suggestion about do it yourself screened in porch, don’t hesitate to comment below

 

Understanding the Cost of Asbestos Removal

cost of asbestos removal

source : www.malrod.co.uk

According to the website of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), many of the products used in construction today are asbestos-free and must be properly labeled unless otherwise.  For old houses or properties, especially those constructed in the early 70s, some components may still contain asbestos.

The general fear is that asbestos, according to some scientific studies and research, may contribute to some potential health problems like cancer.  It now becomes essential how much asbestos removal costs to ensure you do not get the raw end of the deal.

cost of asbestos removal

source : www.nationofchange.org

Inspector Pricing

When you hire an inspector to come into your home to test for asbestos, it would normally set you back anywhere from $400 to $800.  This is for an average-sized property and should cover testing of the air and part of your home like roofing, insulation, furnace duct, and boilers among others.  The samples will be sent to a laboratory for testing to accurately determine the presence of asbestos.

If the collected data reveals the presence of asbestos, then your next step is to hire a professional contractor to do the removal.  This is only the first step of the process but is something to consider to determine how much does asbestos removal cost.  You also have to remember that you would need to retest your property once removal has been done to make sure that your home is contamination-free.

Is this necessary or just an add-on to the cost of asbestos removal?  The pre-removal inspection process is vital to help you ensure that the professional contractors you will hire will take the correct steps like sealing off the contaminated area.  The post-removal inspection is a validation of the work that the contractor has done and assurance of the safety of your home.

cost of asbestos removal

source : www.bobvila.com/

The Trained Professional

It must be emphasized that asbestos removal should only be handled by a trained professional.  Thoroughly review the contract before signing as a safeguard.  With professional contractors, it is vital to understand that the cost of asbestos removal will vary depending on your location.  This is primarily because State regulations impact the removal process as well as the amount of work that must be done.  Therefore, more work increases the amount of how much does asbestos removal cost.

Let us take for example a 10-foot asbestos insulation.  Removal of this can go for as high as $700 and if you intend to carry out the procedure for your entire home (as you should) to include your floors, roof, and walls, the amount can reach $30,000 on the average.  This however will assure you that removal of the materials will not only be done properly, but carefully as well.

Another factor that affects how much does asbestos removal cost that you must consider is the labor cost of the contractor.  An acceptable rate would be anywhere from $200 up to $400 an hour.  The good thing about this is that you can always ask the professional contractor to provide you with a quote by the job pricing to save on the overall cost.

If your professional contractor refuses the job on a contractual basis or does not include the issuance of a certification of removal of materials from your property, then you should look for another contractor.  Aside from your peace of mind, the certification is proof that your home is asbestos-free in case you decide to sell it off.

cost of asbestos removal

source : www.designpublic.in

Actual Scope of Work

To make sure that you are getting your money’s worth, you should understand the scope of work that will be covered by the cost of asbestos removal.  Work will start from sealing the contaminated area from the rest of your home to ensure that other parts will not be contaminated.  The contaminated area is considered dangerous and should remain off-limits except for the trained professionals undertaking the removal process.  The removal will include the shipping of the asbestos material away from your property.

Depending on the extent of contamination, you may need to leave your home until all the work has been completed.

Now that you have an idea of how much does asbestos removal cost, it is important to caution against self-removal because the process is dangerous and cause more problems than solutions.