Air Cleaner or Purifier For Basements: Does Your Basement Make You Sick?

Are you lucky enough to have a basement in your house? Perhaps you are and it is useful sometimes isn’t it? You use it for a variety of things no doubt. Maybe your basement is used as sort of extra storage facility.

You put all the extra stuff you haven’t used since Christmas in or you just have a lot of extra things that never get used and you put it in your basement.

Basements sometimes get dirty. Fact. You might not think that you can do anything about it. You might not think that it’s worth the time to purify or clean the air. Consider the health of the family. Do you want a safe environment for your children? As a good parent you will want to do anything and everything to protect your children from allergies and all sort of nasty diseases.

Does your child have asthma? If so then not only is it absolutely necessary to keep your entire house clean but your garage, attic and your basement need to be clean as well. If you child has ever had an asthma attack then you will understand the importance of making sure the environment is clean, clear and safe.

Ever considered purchasing an air cleaner or purifier for your basement? You may be thinking it’s expensive but the prices are not as pricey as you might expect. As with all products you can find good quality at reasonable prices if you shop around. The Internet is a good place to start and you can find some great deals. When looking for an air purifier there are many good brands to consider.

Brands like Austin Air, NQ Clarifier, IQ Air HealthPro and AllerAir 400 are the best products for cleaning and purifying the basement. The Austin Air Allergy Machine Air Purifier is the same product that is used in many hospitals. Hospitals have to be clean to avoid highly contagious germs like MRSA that spread easily in a hospital.

With all the human contact that goes in and out of a hospital they need a product that can be relied upon to clean and purifier to a quality standard. What’s safe in hospitals is safe for the home.

When choosing a product however make sure that you read the specifics because some products are more targeted toward allergies and some to killing germs. Protection from allergies for the whole family is essential and a fact of modern life.

With our ever-faster pace of life you can’t spend your spare time thinking about cleanliness. You need products that do the work for you automatically. An Air Cleaner or Purifier for your basements is a step in that direction. Be safe and be clean.… Read More

03c – Phelps Residence – 2041 La Salle Ave – 1905 (E)

03c - Phelps Residence - 2041 La Salle Ave - 1905 (E)

West Adams Heights

“Nowadays we scarcely notice the high stone gates which mark the entrances on Hobart, Harvard, and Oxford streets, south of Washington Boulevard. For one thing, the traffic is too heavy, too swift; and then, again, the gates have been obscured by intrusions of shops and stores. At the base of the stone pillars appears the inscription “West Adams Heights.” There was a time when these entranceways were formidable and haughty, for they marked the ways to one of the first elite residential areas in Los Angeles. . . In the unplanned early-day chaos of Los Angeles, West Adams Heights was obviously something very special, an island in an ocean of bungalows—approachable, but withdrawn and reclusive—one of the few surviving examples of planned urban elegance of the turn of the century.”

– Carey McWilliams, “The Evolution of Sugar Hill,” Script, March, 1949: 30.

Today West Adams Heights is still obviously something special. The past sixty years, however, have not been kind. In 1963 the Santa Monica Freeway cut through the heart of West Adams Heights, dividing the neighborhood, obscuring its continuity. In the 1970’s the city paved over the red brick streets and removed the ornate street lighting. After the neighborhood’s zoning was changed to a higher density, overzealous developers claimed several mansions for apartment buildings. Despite these challenges, however, “The Heights,” as the area was once known, has managed to regain some of its former elegance.

The West Adams Heights tract was laid out in 1902, in what was then a wheat field on the western edge of town. Although the freeway now creates an artificial barrier, the original neighborhood boundaries were Adams Boulevard, La Salle Ave, Washington Boulevard, and Western Avenue. Costly improvements were integrated into the development, such as 75-food wide boulevards (which were some of the first contoured streets not to follow the city grid), lots elevated from the sidewalk, ornate street lighting, and large granite monuments with red-brass electroliers at the entrance to every street. These upgrades increased the lot values, which helped ensure the tract would be an enclave for the elite.

One early real estate ad characterized the neighborhood stating: “West Adams Heights needs no introduction to the public: it is already recognized as being far superior to any other tract. Its high and slightly location, its beautiful view of the city and mountains make t a property unequaled by any other in the city.”

The early residents’ were required to sign a detailed restrictive covenant. This hand-written document required property owners to build a “first-class residence,” of at least two stories, costing no less than two-thousand dollars (at a time when a respectable home could be built for a quarter of that amount, including the land), and built no less than thirty-five feet from the property’s primary boundary. Common in early twentieth century, another clause excluded residents from selling or leasing their properties to non-Caucasians.

By the mid 1930’s, however, most of the restrictions had expired. Between 1938 and 1945 … Read More

Interior Log Walls – The Causes and Repair of Water Stains on an Interior Log Wall

Causes of Interior Water Stains

Water stains are the result of water contacting unprotected log surfaces. Before you begin to remove the stains on your interior log wall, you need to determine where the water originated. This may have occurred during the building process, gaps between the log courses due to settling or broken gaskets/caulking that have failed. Water stains can also be the result of a previous plumbing problem or just windows left open repeatedly allowing water to enter. Once you are certain the situation has been corrected, you can begin to repair the water marks.

Repairing Water Stains on Interior Log Walls

There are several methods used to remove water stains from an interior log wall. The best method may depend on the depth and severity of the staining. If they were caused during the building process and the staining is severe, you may want to consider hiring a log home professional to have the walls media blasted with corn cob, glass or walnut shells. Although this can be messy and will involve removing all objects from inside the room, it is very effective. Most log professionals will do their best to seal the area and help minimize dust from traveling into other areas of the home.

Usually water stains are in a more confined area and not too severe. If you decide to tackle the project yourself, start by using regular sand paper (fine to medium grit, depending on the log species) and a traditional palm sander. Begin sanding at the edge of the water mark. If they can not be easily removed it may be necessary to use an orbital sander or belt sander. Concentrate on blending the darker edges. It takes patience and care to remove the water stained area without removing too much of the log fibers. You can easily damage your log wall creating an uneven and undesirable look. You may be able to achieve good results by sanding the water stained area only and applying a pigmented stain. However for best results, once the water mark has been removed, lightly sand the entire log wall to allow for even absorption of stain and avoid color variations.

Staining Interior Log Walls

Interior log walls are exposed to areas of indirect or direct UV rays through skylights, windows and doors. Even if your interior log wall was not previous stained, chances are that over time the characteristic of the log wall will appear different.

Most log home coatings companies have developed products designed specifically for interior log walls. These products are typically water based and available in different finishes. Depending on your personal preference, you can choose a clear (non-yellowing) finish in a gloss or satin. If you prefer a pigmented stain, most offer different shades. Whether you are trying to match an existing log wall or deciding what color would best blend with your existing finish, most manufacturers are happy to mail color samples of their products. Applying a finish to interior walls … Read More

Chinese Drywall Repair: Ready, Set, Sue!

“Don’t anticipate there’s going to be some magic paint… that’s going to fix this problem,” announced David Kraus, a state toxicologist with the Florida Department of Health.  Damnit!  Now what am I going to do with all this paint I bought from those lying magicians!  If your home smells like eggs and your appliances have stopped running, you may want to get in touch with a professional liar- in other words, a lawyer.

What is it?

Chinese drywall repair refers to the repair of drywall that has been imported from China which is emitting gases that corrode copper, reek of rotten eggs, and worst of all, can make you sick.  This is not to imply that all Chinese drywall is tainted, though recent reports have primarily targeted several Chinese drywall manufacturers.  It is still unknown, however, if any of the contaminated drywall was originally manufactured in the U.S. or made in China and later rebranded in the states.

This specific type of drywall is alleged to contain high levels of sulfur, which causes corrosion in copper piping and wiring within houses, as well as within electronics and appliances such as air conditioners, washing machines, and refrigerators.  There has not been much conclusive evidence to pinpoint the reason for the drywall’s toxicity, although a popular theory is that the drywall became tainted from being manufactured in gypsum mines, which used coal fly ash, a waste by-product from power plants.  When coal fly ash leaks into the air, it can potentially emit sulfur compounds.

While it is unknown how many U.S. homes contain Chinese drywall, most reported cases are developing in Florida, with a smaller, yet significant amount in Alabama and Louisiana.  This is most likely due to the humidity and heat of these areas, which causes the sulfur in tainted drywall to migrate into indoor air, creating a noxious odor. However, some attorneys involved in Chinese drywall class action suits believe that the problem may be larger than the scope of the three states in question, claiming that the humidity of these areas is what’s exacerbating the foul smell and corrosion of copper.  Likewise, the head of construction consulting firm Foreman & Associates claims that in 2006 and the early months of 2007, the United States imported enough drywall from the Chinese manufacturers in question to build at least 50, 000 homes.

Who needs it?

The tell-tale signs of tainted Chinese drywall are foul odors (especially noticeable when first entering the house), corrosion of household appliances and electronics (most evident through blackened wires) which causes them to break down (especially if they’re fairly new), and the onslaught of health ailments, primarily headaches, sore throats, and irritation of the eyes.  So if you’re experiencing at least two out of the three (be mindful, it is allergy season), you should probably contact a local inspector.

Most of the homes affected were built between 2004 and 2006, when post-hurricane reconstruction forced a U.S. drywall shortage, which in turn caused builders to look abroad.  However, … Read More

Decent Home – Home Improvements

Decent Home - Home Improvements

Socket and light switch have both been moved in th hallway – all the sockets are about 12 inches higher and light switches 6 inches lower. and some in entirely different places altogether – it’s very confusing when you walk in, in the dark with no idea where they’ve been put 😀

Posted by Steph J Clarke on 2012-10-25 22:10:17

Tagged: , wolveshomes , DecentHomes , Home Improvements … Read More

Advantages of Natural Stone Cladding

Stone cladding is a method of covering the walls using synthetic or natural stone veneers. Everyone wants the latest happening thing, whether it is a smartphone or natural stone veneers! Trends never die as new products are invented pushing older ones to oblivion. People tear down old looks and install hyped products, bringing luxury to their homes forcing others to follow the trend to avoid looking out of touch. For those with budget constraints natural stone cladding is the smart renovation option that saves money and beautifies homes too.

Stones are not only beautiful construction materials, but also investments as they enhance the resale value of your home. You may be surprised that even tenants look for homes with modern amenities and trendy designs. However, using natural stone veneers excessively is also not advised as they make your home look crowded. Installing only where they are required is a sensible option which saves time, money, and also makes your home look exquisite.

Stone claddings help you access luxury at lesser cost and keep up with the times. Here are some advantages that go along with these revamping materials.

Protection from weather

Constructions made of concrete are vulnerable to the action of environmental agents such water, heat, and microorganisms. Covering the walls using stone veneers shields your wall from degrading agents and makes it look exquisite.

Beautify walls affordable

Numerous color combinations and features make stone veneers the attractive choices for homes. Stone wall clads are an inexpensive way to give your walls, the most beautiful revamp.

Heat resistance

Natural stones absorb radiation and release them gradually, keeping the room temperature constant, helping you avoid dependence on room heaters. When used outdoors, they resist temperature well and remain strong for years.

Non-porous

Stone cladding are non-porous materials which protect your walls against attacks of environmental agents, thus enhancing the life of your walls.

Man-made

Stone cladding are composites of stone pieces glued together as tiles. Stone claddings can also be man-made, usually of concrete, resembling the looks of materials such as wood, stones, ceramic, etc.

Easy customizable

Unlike stone, tiles are easier to cut and customize, saving you of troubles of heavy cutting work.

Light on walls

Stone tiles are heavy and many times not viable options for old buildings. In earthquake prone zones they are not advisable the construction becomes vulnerable to damage and are lighter with look good as well.

Enhances life

By protecting your wall against moisture and degrading agents, natural stone veneers add years to your construction.

Low cost

Cheaper compared to stones, but they are in no way less attractive.

Stone cladding is the latest trend among home owners that is sure to stay for some time. These are cost-effective ways to transform your home with little efforts and money. They enhance the life of your home and are safe options for constructions in vulnerable zones.… Read More

How to Budget on Bathroom Renovations

     The bathroom is a cluttered, tiny room off the bedroom where we rush to brush, shower, and fix ourselves before we set off for work. Nevertheless, it could also be a haven, a place of retreat after a hard day at work. A place to soothe the soul and calm the nerves. This can be done, and fits any budget.

     The second most popular remodelling project after the kitchen is the bathroom upgrade. However, the expenses involved could be quite staggering—with an average over $10,000! Wait, do no let this discourage you from renovating your baths, following are some tips on doing it that fits your budget.

1. Determine a specific budget and plan. Consider your funds and find out how much you can spend on a bathroom renovation. It is helpful to do some window-shopping for fixtures and accessories and compare quality and prices.

2. The answer to a tight budget is taking it a step at a time. If you have the funds to spend on a bathtub, once this is accomplished, you could proceed to the next area. Each time you finish, it is wise to wait until you have the funds available to start on the next one. This will lessen the headaches involved in renovations.

3. Shop for items that you need during off-seasons where stores might offer discounts or sales. This could be during the summer or throughout the holidays where most people would not think of renovating their bathrooms.

4. You can choose to do it yourself.  You can replace worn towel bars, faucets, medicine cabinets, mirrors and light fixtures by yourself.  For a more flattering look, add down lights and put them on dimmers. The bathroom door could be replaced with one that has a full-length mirror set with new knobs and handles. A fresh coat of paint will do the trick of lighting up the look of your bathroom enormously. Nevertheless, before you proceed to do it yourself, consider your experience. Usually, if you do not have any experience or knowledge in bathroom renovations, you could end up spending more money than hiring a professional because of the many mistakes you make. Consider your options and decide wisely.

6. Make use of low-cost accessorizing. The key to this is to make use of the things you already have. Play it with colors. If you have a gold tub, toilet and sink, you can make it your color scheme.  Matching dominant colors will enable you to create a calm and uniformed look in your bathroom.

7. Try reglazing your tub instead of replacing it, most especially if it is still in a good working condition. You will be able to save more than half the price of a new tub and at the same time, lessens dust.

8. Use cultured marble sheets instead of a ceramic tile. Marble sheets are a good choice for your tub surroundings. They are easier to clean and can save you a lot on labor costs. Fiberglass … Read More