Mold Inspection Could Change Your Life

Things to Consider in Hiring a Mold Removal Company Vs. Trying to Remove it Yourself

Should I Try to Remove Mold from my Property Myself?

There can be a lot of confusion and anxiety around this question, hire a professional company or try to and clean/remediate mold myself? Some people say try and clean it yourself and others say never attempt to clean it yourself. These two options as stated can be confusing and worrisome

What is the First Course of Action?

Before addressing the cleaning/remediation process, first find and correct the cause. Since mold is mostly caused by a moisture/water issue

first check for the following intrusion/causes for the mold growth:

Plumbing Leaks

Ceiling/Wall Leaks

Recent Spills

Flooding/Puddling

Humidity

These are common water intrusions that cause mold to develop and grow. If you find one of these problems near your mold area, you have most likely found your primary cause. Once the cause is found it is imperative to fix the problem as soon as possible before addressing your mold problem or calling a mold remediation company. If you need to call a professional, ask them what you can do to keep the area as dry as possible while dealing with your mold issue. If you do not deal with the primary cause first your mold will most likely grow back in just a few days

What if I cannot locate the moisture intrusion?

If you cannot locate the source of your moisture contact a leak detection company first. These companies are designed to find the exact location of the source which can save you time damage and repairs. Usually they can fix the problems themselves however if it is a plumbing problem that requires a plumbing professional also, they most likely will give you some great recommendations.

 

Mold Inspection

Mold spores are a big problem for homeowners. It can grow anywhere in the house which has a plumbing leak, poor ventilation, and high humidity. If left for quite a while, mold spores will eventually spread to different areas and damage house structures. Not only are molds a danger to your house, they also pose health risks for all occupants.

Mold Assessment & Testing

Are you worried that your house is in danger of molds? Then, the first thing you need to do is to assess and test your house for mold.

How Do I Get My House Tested For Mold?

There are several ways to get your house tested for mold:

Mold test kits. Do-it-yourself mold test kits can be purchased in home improvement stores or online retailers. To use these kits, you will collect samples by yourself and then send it to a mold testing laboratory where the type of mold present is determined.

Multiple mold tests. There are three types of mold tests: air testing, surface testing, and bulk testing. The amount of mold spores can change from time to time so it is better to test different parts of your home.

Professional mold testing. The best way to get your house tested for molds is to avail the services of professional mold inspectors. Hiring experts will definitely give you more accurate results.

Mold Expert? Licensed Mold Inspectors

Services to do the following services:

Mold inspection

Mold testing

Mold remediation

Mold removal

Asbestos testing

Asbestos abatement

homeowners need not to worry anymore about mold problems in their homes. Catstrong ensures high-quality mold inspection, testing, and remediation services that will make your home mold-free

 

Mold

Molds are a large and taxonomically diverse number of fungal species in which the growth of hyphae results in discoloration and a fuzzy appearance, especially on food

The network of these tubular branching hyphae, called a mycelium, is considered a single organism. The hyphae are generally transparent, so the mycelium appears like very fine, fluffy white threads over the surface. Cross-walls (septa) may delimit connected compartments along the hyphae, each containing one or multiple, genetically identical nuclei. The dusty texture of many molds is caused by profuse production of asexual spores (conidia) formed by differentiation at the ends of hyphae. The mode of formation and shape of these spores is traditionally used to classify molds

Molds are considered to be microbes and do not form a specific taxonomic or phylogenetic grouping, but can be found in the divisions Zygomycota and Ascomycota. In the past, most molds were classified within the Deuteromycota

Mold had been used as a common name for now non-fungal groups such as water molds or slime molds that were previously classified as fungi.

Molds cause biodegradation of natural materials, which can be unwanted when it becomes food spoilage or damage to property. They also play important roles in biotechnology and food science in the production of various foods, beverages, antibiotics, pharmaceuticals and enzymes. Some diseases of animals and humans can be caused by certain molds: disease may result from allergic sensitivity to mold spores, from growth of pathogenic molds within the body, or from the effects of ingested or inhaled toxic compounds (mycotoxins) produced by molds

 

BLACK MOLD REMOVAL COST: SHOULD I BUY A HOUSE WITH MOLD?

BLACK MOLD REMOVAL COST

Dampness in any home can lead to mold and mildew growth, and in addition to being a health hazard, moldy conditions have the potential to cause rot, structural damage, and premature paint failure. If you’re considering buying a home with black mold in the unfinished basement (or the attic and/or crawl space, the two other most common places for mold to be found in homes

HOW DOES MOLD AFFECT THE VALUE OF A HOME?

Mold can affect the appraisal value of a home. For some buyers, this is a good thing because it makes a home more affordable. But if you’re hoping to move into a home in excellent condition, don’t make an offer on a home with mold until you’ve had an independent appraisal. FHA appraisers, for example, are required not only to note if mold is growing in a home, but also the type of mold and its location. If you find that the mold growing in the home is black mold, there are a few things you should know: toxic black mold can cause permanent damage to your health and in extreme cases has even lead to death.

Large overgrowths of mold and mold in unusual locations are especially likely to lower a home’s value. If the FHA appraiser finds that the mold overgrowth is dangerous, you might be required to remove the mold before you can get an FHA loan.

Before you buy any home, you should have it inspected for mold and other problems. During this inspection, you might learn what caused the mold as well as the black mold removal cost. Sellers also have to disclose if there is an ongoing mold problem in the house or if it has previously flooded, but they don’t always do so. Never take a seller’s or real estate agent’s word about the presence of mold. Even if you’re getting a steep discount, get an inspection. The cost of removing the mold could be greater than your savings.

HOW MUCH DOES BLACK MOLD REMOVAL COST? 💰💰

To properly remediate mold (and make sure it doesn’t come back), you’ll need to hire a mold remediation specialist. A mold remediation specialist will remediate the basement while making sure mold spores do not get into the heating and cooling system, which would otherwise get recirculated throughout the home, continuing to make occupants sick even once the basement itself has been cleaned.

 

Personal Safety During Mold Remediation

How do I protect myself from mold?

Mold remediation protection is important. The first Principle of Mold Remediation according to the IICRC regards Safety and Health. The full range of effects that mold exposure can have on humanity is unknown, and isn’t something that can ever really be understood in its entirety. A person with allergies to mold can be far more susceptible to the ill effects of it and its possibly toxigenic spores. The same caution must be given to those with asthma, respiratory problems or any immune compromising illnesses. It’s also possible that exposure to mold will have stronger effects on children or elderly people.

In any mold remediation project you must wear the correct mold remediation protective personal equipment for the job. A P100 or better rated respirator is essential. Never enter an area infested with mold without a P100 respirator. Breathing in molds spores can be dangerous even for completely healthy people.

Always wear gloves and protective clothing to limit exposure to your skin. Nitrile gloves are a favorite among professional remediators, but kitchen rubber gloves are just as good in many situations. A tyvek, or similar type of full body coveralls is recommended, but sometimes isn’t entirely necessary in the cleaning of smaller mold problems. The very least you should have in the way of clothing should be long sleeves, long pants, boots, respirator and goggles to cover your eyes.

In areas of heavy infestation, (especially in a basement, crawlspace or attic where ventilation could be poor and humidity high) or any situation where you’re cleaning a toxigenic, black mold, you WILL need more and better mold remediation protective equipment. You’ll need full body coveralls, (average, porous clothing can easily capture airborne mold spores, allowing them to reach the surface of the skin during the sometimes hot and tiring process of mold remediation), Strong rubber or nitrile gloves and a full face P100 respirator

Black molds require the right conditions (a large moisture source, poor ventilation, high humidity and plenty of cellulose material to feed on) for them to produce deadly mycotoxins. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) states, however, that all fungi most likely produce allergens that could cause disease depending upon one’s exposure to it. And of course, those allergic to any type of mold will be more susceptible. Standard practice in mold remediation is to take all the precautions one can.

How To Get The Best Loading Services Maintenance

What To Expect & What Not To Do When Movers Pack For You

Packers are generally highly experienced employees of a moving company. They have years of experience in packing household goods; they move very quickly and efficiently; they are tasked to pack tightly and carefully; and their goal is to pack each carton to capacity without either over packing it (making it too heavy) or under packing it (more paper than needed). They have been trained to meet high industry standards and, in most cases, can make packing look easier than it is. When packers enter your home, they will walk with you and listen to any concerns you may have for special care items. Once they have a good understanding of what needs to be done, they will move to pack your home quickly.

What will they do?

The first step is to protect your home. They will normally start by protecting your floors. Next they will bring packing material, cartons, tape and paper inside your home. They then will most often split into different rooms of your home. One person may work in your kitchen while another may begin in one of your bedrooms. The packers will not mark individual items on the cartons; they will only identify the room of the house the carton comes from. If you want to notate items on a carton for your own convenience, that’s something you’ll need to do. At the end of a full day, two professional packers should be able to effectively pack between 100-150 cartons.

Will my things be damaged?

Good packers have been trained to wrap and protect items by specific placement inside a box or carton. This does not mean that items are never broken, as many different circumstances can influence whether or not something ends up breaking, but damage is much less common when using a professional packer than when you pack yourself.

How do they pack so fast?

Packers do not have any sentimental attachment like you do to your items, so they are able to function in their roles much like a robot – very systematically. Emotions, memories and decisions on what goes and what stays is not something that concerns them so they can effectively complete their job in a much shorter period of time. It will be important that you have a clear idea of what is going and what is not going prior to packing day because, if not, it becomes virtually impossible for packers to adjust and it becomes a costly process to you if you are changing your mind on what to take and what to leave behind while packers are working in your home

Do I need really need to be there while packers are packing?

Simply, yes. You do need to be present for your packing. You should also make sure that children and pets are not in or around the packers as this can slow the job and create unsafe distractions. There are also often parts and pieces that will be lying loose while in the process of disassembly and packing. This could be considered hazardous to the safety of children and pets, so it’s best to make sure they’re occupied somewhere else.

 

Safety Tips When Moving During COVID-19

first learned about coronavirus COVID-19, how it spread, and how it was already affecting the health of so many, it didn’t take long before the way we lived our everyday lives changed drastically.

Many non-essential services have been forced to shut down, and we’ve learned that the best way to keep ourselves, our families, and our friends safe is to practice social distancing and strict cleanliness routines.

However, it all happened so quickly that many people had already closed on the sale of their homes, or purchased new homes, which isn’t something that can easily be postponed or cancelled. And, sadly, we also know that with the uncertainty of jobs, income, and the economy, some will be forced to change their living situations in order to manage financially.

Do-It-Yourself Moving Options

The best way to ensure that your items are not being contaminated is to handle them yourself. If you’re able to do all packing and loading yourself, then this is one of the safest and convenient moving options

Using a Moving Container

The biggest benefit to moving with a container, like a BigSteelBox, is that you’re in complete control of your move. Only you have access to your container, you will be the only one packing and handing your items, and you keep the key.

 

Get a Self Service Moving Quote

Are you experiencing sticker shock for your move? Is your long-distance move causing you to lose sleep at night? Do you want to get full service move quality for truck rental pricing? Then you have come to the right place.

Whatever you are shipping, we can help. We can provide moving trucks for anything from a 1 bedroom apartment to a full house. We can also move your car with one of our large auto transporters while moving your furniture on a moving van. Our relocation coordinators can help coordinate your move to fit your busy schedule! Since you take care of the packing and loading, you get the best cross country moving service at the best price. Fill out our quick quote form and instantly get moving rates emailed to you to ultimately save time and money.

We find that customers often have similar questions or experiences. That makes this section of our website packed with good information for those that are looking to move or that are already using full service movers or self service movers.

You load, They drive, You Save. Find out more information about how people are renting space on moving vans and loading it themselves to save money.

Save money on your long-distance move by doing the loading and unloading yourself. Movingplace provides the truck, fuel, driver, and door-to-door transportation.

 

Simple Steps to Make Your Move Less Stressful

Last year more than 40,093,000 people, or 14.19 percent of the U.S. population, moved to a new home. Though it can be a fun and exciting time, moving can also be a lot of work. In fact, 75% of movers say that moving is somewhat, quite, or very stressful. Between organizing your belongings, packing boxes, and loading the moving truck, there are many aspects of moving that are overwhelming.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans planning an upcoming move, you’re probably starting to get a little anxious about the event. With the right resources and preparation, you can make your move stress-free and easy. The following seven tips provide helpful insights on everything from how to pack your boxes to packing a moving van.

One part of moving is in the preparation, meaning how well you pack and organize your belongings. First, it’s important to note that you should wait to start packing until as late as possible so you don’t have to dig through packed boxes.

As you start to pack, here are a few considerations to keep in mind to ensure you are packing in the most sensible manner.

Use the appropriate sized boxes. Heavy items, like books, should be packed in small boxes, while things like linens, pillows, and light weight times go in bigger boxes.

Load the boxes by putting the heavier items at the bottom and lighter items on top.

Don’t leave empty spaces in boxes. Use clothing, towels, linens, or packing paper to prevent loose space unbalanced boxes.

Try not to pack items from different rooms together. Not only will it make packing easier, but you’ll thank yourself when the time comes to unpack.

Label each box with the room in which it belongs and includes a description of the box’s contents. You can also use numbers to label each box and keep an inventory in your moving notebook.

Label each side of the box. Lauri Williams of Casual Uncluttering LLC, says, “Always label all four sides and the top of the packing boxes. That way, no matter what side of the box you can see because of where it ends up, you’ll know what’s in the box. There were days I wished I could have labeled the bottom too.”

Put packing paper around each of your dishes and wrap bundles of five or six in more paper. Always pack dishes on their sides – never flat – and be sure to use plenty of paper to pad the top and bottom of the boxes.

If you’re moving valuable art, talk with your mover about special crating. Oil paints should never be wrapped in regular paper, but should be bubble wrapped and placed in a frame box.

 

A Perfect Solution for Small Moves

we know that every move is not the same. And sometimes, thinking “inside of the box” can save you time and money.

Obviously the size of the move will impact the services you’re looking for. A small move will have different factors to contend with than a larger move. Still, the stakes of a smaller move may be as big as a move two or three times its size, so it’s important to have a small move solution that meets your needs. This is where a quality small moving company can make all the difference

provides the following benefits for those looking at moving companies for small moves:

Professional packing into a professional shipping container

Faster transit and delivery times

Simplified pricing for improved budgeting

Specific pick-up and delivery dates

Performance in less time than the industry average

Decreased potential for loss or damage to your household goods

Important Facts On The Electrical Wiring Log Homes

Bathroom Electrical Wiring – Issues and Safety Precautions

Bathroom Electrical Wiring: Issues and Safety Precautions

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, tens of thousands of fires happen all over the United States every year that are caused by electrical issues. Besides the millions of property damage that are incurred, there is also the unfortunate loss of life that happens in hundreds of these kinds of cases. There are also hundreds of consumer products that can cause electrocution and death (especially with bathroom electrical wiring), so it is best that the appropriate safety precautions are done in order to prevent any sort of unfortunate incident to happen.

A Volatile and Dangerous Mix

It is a well known fact that water and electricity just do not mix. It is a very deadly combination. So you can just imagine the kinds of dangers you have with bathroom electrical wiring systems. Of course, no one can eliminate entirely the need for bathroom electrical wiring systems – with outlets for dryers, heaters, lights, and all other electrical appliances you use in the bathroom, all you can really do is to observe the proper safety precautions and steps to make sure that the electrical system in your bathroom is safe for you and all who use the bathroom.

 

Some Safety Tips

Use moisture-splash proof switches.

Moisture-splash proof switches are designed to prevent water from entering the switch and coming into contact with the wires inside.

Ensure all receptacles are GFCI-protected.

GFCI outlets help reduce the risk of shock hazards in damp areas and have already saved thousands of lives. The National Electric Code currently mandates the installation of GFCI outlets in the bathrooms, crawl spaces, and kitchens among other areas in the house for protection.

 

Position the Receptacles Properly

You shouldn’t just position the electrical outlets anywhere you please. Some of the guidelines to follow include installing a receptacle:

Within three feet of the outside of each basin (bath, lavatory, sink or any bowl of water)

On a wall or partition adjacent to the applicable basin

Behind or beside, but neither across or over a sink

Each of these guidelines serves specific purposes. For example, installing a receptacle over a sink can easily lead to the code hanging into the sink and causing electrocution.

 

Distribute the Circuits Properly

Lastly, you should distribute the different circuits in your bathroom and keep them isolated. For example, the light circuits should be different from the fan circuits. The objective here is to ensure that a fault in one circuit does not interfere with the operation of another circuit. That way, your light stays on even if the fan is not working, and you get enough light to rectify the fault. All these are measures to keep bathroom users safe. If you can’t handle them all, then you are not cut out for bathroom electrical wiring. In that case, you should let a professional home electrician contractor handle the work.

Install Exhaust Fans

It is not just the bath water that you should worry about; bathrooms tend to accumulate high levels of humidity and moisture. These too can cause problems with your electrical wiring. The countermeasure here is to install exhaust ceiling fans and prevent accumulation of steam or moisture.

 

Bathroom Electrical Safety is Paramount

Water is essential to human health and hygiene. Unfortunately, it’s also a great conductor of electricity. That means that you could receive a severe shock when you are standing in water, and even wet skin allows electricity an easier path to pass into your body. Electrical shocks can cause burns, heart arrhythmia, nervous system damage and death, and bad wiring or improper grounding can also start a fire. That’s why safety in your bathroom electrical work should be one of your primary concerns. Follow these tips to avoid an emergency:

  • Make sure your electrical sockets are located a safe distance away from the shower. Cover the outlets when they aren’t in use.
  • All the outlets in the bathroom should be equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters, which can sense when an electric current is improperly grounding and automatically shut down the power, potentially saving a person holding a hair dryer in the shower from a nasty shock.
  • On that note, never use electrical devices in the bathroom when you are standing in or otherwise in contact with standing water. This should be common sense, but sometimes people forget or get careless.
  • Any exposed or frayed wiring in the bathroom should be addressed and repaired immediately.
  • If you use an electric heater in your bathroom, it should be hardwired into a circuit, and preferably installed into the wall or ceiling.
  • The less wiring you have in your bathroom, the better, so recessed or enclosed lights are better than light bulbs or fixtures that hang freely from the walls or ceilings.
  • Pull strings for your lights are safer than switches because they prevent wet hands from getting anywhere near the circuit.
  • Electrical work must be performed by a licensed professional so you have assurances that the job is done well, and recourse if it isn’t.

What To Consider When Doing Home Renovation

Raise the Value of Your Home with These 7 Remodeling Tips

Raise the Value of Your Home with These Remodeling Tips

When it comes to home renovations, the money that you put in cannot always be recouped when it comes time to sell. Most people want to get the best value for their dollar when doing home renovations and there are some important things to keep in mind. Before you decide on a remodel, consider the cost versus the value, and decide if the remodel you want to do is a worthy investment. Ultimately, you want to improve your home and then when it comes time to sell, you can command a higher price. The following remodel ideas may help you add some value to your home.

Increase Light and Space

Dark, cramped rooms are no good when it comes to real estate. One thing that homeowners can do to increase the appeal of their property is open up the house to create more of a flow and enhance natural light. Consider knocking down some walls to brighten up a space. An open floor plan will also make a home feel much larger and is better for entertaining. Perhaps you’ve wanted to do this for years, but worried about the cost. It’s time to answer the question, how much does it cost to knock down a wall?

Landscape & Curb Appeal

The curb appeal of your home is incredibly important when it comes time to sell. The first impression of a home that someone will have is from the look of the exterior. It is said that a good first impression of a home can add five percent to its value. Make sure your exterior paint and details are up to par. The driveway should be paved properly, and any lawn space should be properly maintained. Consider drought tolerant plants if you are not great at gardening. If you have a deck, add some nice furniture, or create a colorful garden in some extra space.

Create a Home Office

With more companies giving employees the option to telecommute, a home office can really add some value to a home. If you have some extra space in your home, consider converting it into a home office. Make sure there is plenty of work space, and remember to have grounded outlets installed as well as data ports and possibly an extra phone line.

Consider Adding a Deck

It has been determined that when you spend the money to add a deck onto your home, you will likely be able to recoup more than eighty percent of its cost at sale time. If you choose to install a deck, take some time to plan it out and come up with unique features such as built in benches or a fire pit if your city or town allows them. Use higher grade materials to increase the life of the deck.

 

Your DIY home renovation project may actually lower its value

Homeowners wield hammers, wrenches and brushes for the satisfaction of completing the work and to save money, usually hoping to bolster home value in the process. And two out of three isn’t bad — until it’s time to sell.

Don’t assume that DIY projects build home value.

When home inspectors come across evidence of one botched DIY project, they know that there’s more to discover. With every badly done project, a homebuyer adds one more item for the “fix or discount” list for renegotiating the sale price. Cosmetic work might be subject to dispute but dangerously wrong plumbing, electrical and structural work is non-negotiable: The house must be brought into compliance with local building codes. Buyers are not interested in purchasing liabilities along with a house.

“The seller will compare their DIY house to a gut rehab down the street that was done by a licensed contractor, so the seller thinks, ‘I’ll get the same price, and I’ll make more money because I saved money by doing it myself,’ ” said Jeff Merritt, a Chicago home inspector who runs Homestead Inspections.

Fix the fix: Be sure that all work — DIY and professional — is completed in compliance with local building codes and inspected accordingly. Keep copies of all municipal inspections and proof of fulfillment of codes so you can show a potential buyer that the house complies with code.

Don’t confuse code compliance with quality of work.

Municipal inspectors confirm that work in process is up to the standards set by the building code, explained Decker, but code compliance is no guarantee of final quality

 

things to consider before buying a property to renovate, according to a realtor

The objective of the tour was to give buyers an idea of the market, plus to showcase homes in a friendly, suburban neighborhood that is up-and-coming. Even though we’re not ready to buy yet, we’ve begun researching the market in more affordable areas while we discuss what we’d want if we choose to buy

We were surprised when Keller Williams real estate agent Marc Hagerthey insisted that we ought to consider buying a “Grandma’s house.” And we were even more surprised that we were excited by the idea.

Just what is a Grandma’s house, exactly? Imagine an older home with good bones that is only in need of cosmetic updates. It might have a Pepto-pink bathtub, but, as Hagerthey says — Grandma took care of what matters.

A Grandma’s house sits at a middle price point on the spectrum of fixer-uppers, somewhere between a move-in ready flip and a major renovation. The nice thing about buying a Grandma’s house is that, often, this kind of historic home has never gone unoccupied or fallen into disrepair. Though it might need some updates, a good Grandma’s house will be structurally sound and well-maintained.

In certain real estate markets, says Hagerthey, there is low inventory when it comes to move-in-ready historic homes. A Grandma’s house offers a solution and might help buyers get a “deal” they may not normally get in a more competitive market.

 

Designers And Experts Share The Best Home Renovation Tips For Maximum Resale Value

Whether it’s just one room or an entire house, renovations are a major undertaking. These projects require time, energy and cash. From investors planning to rent out or flip a property to the average person buying their first home, every renovation decision made now can impact the return on investment in the future.

While finishes, appliances and construction choices aren’t the only factors that affect resale value—they are essentially the only things sellers can control. So, will spending extra on a marble floor in the bathroom today feel still feel a smart idea five years from now? The experts weigh in.

The house was essentially a teardown. But because the property is located in a historic preservation zone, every square inch of the 1921 Spanish style home had to be gut renovated from the outside in. Just two original features remain—the carport, which was grandfathered in, and the façade, which had to be restored.

The first and one of the most important things the couple did was assembling the best possible team. The Mintons hired Rob Diaz and Anastasia Ratia to build and design their new home. “They had an amazing vision that we knew was going to transform the property into the house we always wanted to live in,”

Many structural elements of the house had to be replaced both for the sake of habitability and resale, including installing a new roof and foundation. All of the electric and plumbing was replaced. The floors were leveled and ceiling raised. The Mintons are also in the process of turning the garage into an additional dwelling unit to add resale value.

 

Things You Must Do Before Remodeling Your Home

Whenever you approach a home renovation or remodel project, there is a range of emotions. As a homeowner, you feel excited about the changes to your home, but there is sometimes a sense of uneasiness about the process.

Know What You Want In Your Home Remodel

Before you go too far down the path of design and style, you need to determine what your goals are for remodeling your home.  This may seem obvious, but many homeowners get far along the path without truly understanding the purpose of the renovation.

What is the best way to determine your goals?

Start by making a list of everything you want when you are done remodeling your home. If you need ideas in this dreaming stage, you can find plenty of ideas on realtor websites, home improvement magazines, Pinterest, and any other homeowner’s source.

Figure Out Your Renovation Budget

We all know good things take money, and when it comes to renovating your home, sadly, it usually takes a lot. Make sure you take a good look at your finances in setting your budget, and make sure you stick with this budget.

Be careful – this is not always true!

For example, if you spend a lot of your remodeling budget on expensive extras and upgrades, this does not always increase the home’s value by the spent amount.  Even installing energy-efficient windows, one of the best upgrades you can do to your home, will see an average return of 81% of your money.

When You Need Professional Help To Control Possums

Tips for Attracting Opossums to Your Property

Although some people think opossums are pests, they are in fact useful little animals in your garden. They eat real pests such as slugs and small rodents and rarely cause problems themselves* (see bottom of page). Opossums are also entertaining to watch because of their agility and intelligence. As with other wildlife, much of the natural habitat of opossums has been lost to development and agriculture.

Opossums inhabit a wide variety of habitats and are not at all territorial. They naturally prefer deciduous wooded areas near water sources, but can also be found in farmlands or marshes. They have become very common in urban, suburban and farming areas. They are wanderers, highly nomadic, and do not staying in one specific territory. Even mothers with young will spend only a few nights in any given place. They reside in a variety of homes including abandoned burrows, tree cavities, hollow logs, attics, garages or building foundations. They are not adept at digging, so they often utilize burrows that another animal, usually a skunk or woodchuck, may have excavated. They may even share dens with other species, including rabbits, skunks, raccoons, other opossums, and small mammals.

here are a few ideas for attracting opossums the right way…

Encourage other wildlife to provide opossum prey by gardening organically and planting a dense variety of plants. Opossums need to obtain most of their food from natural sources.

It’s best not to attract wild animals, including opossums, into an area with food. That is a good way to create a nuisance animal that ends up being killed. Food left outside may also attract mice, skunks and raccoons, which can quickly become pests. If you do decide to leave food for opossums, it can be as simple as a couple of bowls on the ground. Omnivorous opossums appreciate meaty treats such as cat kibble as well as fruits and vegetables. DO NOT LEAVE HUMAN FOOD, especially junk food. Opossums may well love such food, but it is not good for them. Ideally, put the food out in the evening, watch the opossums feeding, then remove the food bowls so you don’t wind up feeding rodents.

Providing shelter material or habitat is the best thing to do to attract opossums, but due to their nomadic nature this may not be successful. In many states it is not legal to transport/relocate wild animals. If this is to be done, the animal should be trapped humanely in a havahart trap and taken several miles away to a forested area near a water source (stream or pond). If the animal was a nuisance, near a barn or chicken coop, cleaning up all food that would attract opossums, will solve the problem. Opossums do not need to be lethally trapped in order to discourage them.

Install a opossum nest box to mimic the tree holes that opossums use for nesting. An opossum nest box is essentially like a large bird box with a 5-inch diameter hole near the top. The Australian government provides detailed instructions for making opossum boxes, which are the right size for North American opossums as well. Attach the nest box 6 to 10 feet up in a tree.

Provide an underground burrow or den. Some opossums prefer to nest in the abandoned burrows of other animals, so make an artificial one. Dig a trench about a foot deep and a foot across, then cover with sheets of scrap wood. Leave an entrance gap of a few inches. Cover the wood with anything you like, such as plants, a small shed or a pile of scrap wood and branches to provide a refuge from other wildlife.

 

EXPERT TIPS FOR TRAPPING AN OPOSSUM

Have you ever heard the phrase “playing possum?” This actually originates from the tendency of the opossum (or simply “possum”) to involuntarily play dead when startled or threatened.

Opossums are marsupials; in fact, they’re the only marsupials residing in North America. While they like to create dens in hollow trees or the vacated burrows of other animals, opossums can also find a home under your deck, shed or house. Because of their unspecialized biology, flexible diet and reproductive strategy, opossums are successful colonizers and survivors even when their habitat has been disrupted.

While opossums may be good at playing dead, it doesn’t mean they’re harmless. All that digging and burrowing can compromise the foundation of structures, one of the reasons why you need to send them packing if you discover them on your property. They’ll also feast on just about anything, including your garbage.

GET RID OF POSSUMS: HOW TO TRAP AN OPOSSUM

Opossum traps come in a variety of sizes and styles. Possum trapping tips include placing traps wherever you’ve seen signs of their activity, such as burrowing. Before setting a trap, always check with your local game commission to ensure you’re allowed to trap in your area. Also, avoid trapping during early spring and summer to prevent separating babies and mamas

BAITING POSSUM TRAPS WITH THE BEST BAIT FOR POSSUMS AND OTHER OPOSSUM BAITING TIPS

Although they aren’t particularly finicky eaters, the best possum bait is fish or apples. Baiting opossum traps with canned pet food also works well. While there are differences of opinion as to the best bait for opossums, all professional trappers agree, the smellier the better. (No, your old sneakers won’t do the trick!) One of the most important opossum baiting tips is to smear the bait in, on and around the trap.

 

Tips For Living With Opossums

As the development of once rural areas increases, the opossum continues to be pushed out of its natural habitat and forced to live in a more urban environment. Opossums are extremely adaptable and have successfully made the transition to accept people as their neighbors. With a little tolerance and understanding you can do the same for the opossum, and we can all happily co-exist.

Considered rodents by many, this is a common misconception. Opossums are marsupials, or pouched mammals, and are related to the kangaroo and the koala. The opossum holds the distinction of being North America’s only marsupial. We should not consider them as pests, but beneficial to the environment, as they eat all kinds of bugs and insects including cockroaches, beetles, cricket and spiders. Snails and slugs are considered a delicacy. They also help keep the rat and mouse population in check. Opossums have well earned the title of “Nature’s Little Sanitation Engineers.”

LEAVE THE OPOSSUMS ALONE

Opossums should be allowed to live in their natural habitat. They are opportunistic animals and will often move into an area that has been damaged and then vacated by another animal. Unfortunately, the opossum is usually blamed for the damage.

DO NOT TRAP

Opossums are transient animals, staying only 2-3 days in an area before moving on. Removal is neither necessary nor desirable. Wildlife experts agree that if opossums were eliminated from an area, the population of roof rats and other pests would proliferate.

OTHER OPTIONS

If you find an opossum continues to return to your area, try eliminating the things that are attracting it. Clear away bushes, woodpiles and other hiding places, pick up fallen fruit from trees, and do not leave pet food out over night. Try leaving an outdoor light on at night.

 

Possums

Possums live in the trees and occasionally come down to the ground to look for food. Brushtail Possums live in tree hollows and Ringtail Possums in the south of Australia build a nest out of sticks. Both kinds of possum may live in our roof if they can’t find suitable homes in trees. Possums live in territories and mark the boundaries with smells. They rub the scent from glands under their chin, chest and base of tail against trees so everybody knows who’s the boss in the area. Possums protect their territories by fighting off intruders.

You can look after possums in your own backyard

Many of our possums are dependent on tree hollows. They need them to sleep in during the daylight hours. Competition from other possums, birds, bats and gliders along with the clearing of many old trees has reduced suitable hollows and possums often move in to the roof or walls of your home. They are not quiet – if you have a possum in your roof, you will soon know about it!

What is a backyard buddy?

Backyard buddies are the native animals that share our built-up areas, our beaches and waterways, our backyards and our parks. The possum is a backyard buddy. Backyard buddies are also the local people who value the living things around them, like possums, and are willing to protect and encourage them by doing a few simple things around their own homes.

Be a backyard buddy

It’s easy. All you have to do is care… and take a few simple steps. Step one is to find out what possums do and do not like.

Possums love:

Eucalyptus leaves – they are the Ringtail Possums’ favourite food. They, and Brushtails, also eat flowers, fruits and veggies. In your garden they love to eat roses, gardenias, fuchsias and passionfruit.

 

What to do if there’s a possum in your roof

Do you have a furry housemate you’d like to evict? Here are four simple and gentle ways to move them along.

Possums are regular visitors to South Australian gardens, especially common brushtail and common ringtail possums.

Both are nocturnal, but brushtail possums are about the size of a cat, with bushy black tails, thick grey fur and large ears, while ringtails are also grey, but are smaller, with small ears, and skinny, white-tipped tails. Brushtails favour big old gum trees with hollows to nest in, but these are becoming few and far between, forcing them to look for alternative accommodation – and that may mean your roof.

Possum boxes

Buy or build a possum box or two, and put it in a sheltered spot in your garden at least 4 metres off the ground. Check the boxes regularly to make sure that bees, wasps or pest birds such as starlings have not taken up residence.

Secure the roof

Look carefully for any gaps or holes around the eaves, then wait until dark. When you see the possum leaving the roof, block the gap with wood or chicken mesh.

Install a one-way door

If you’re struggling to see when your possums are leaving the roof or concerned that one will be left behind and become trapped, a pest controller will be able to advise on how to install a one-way door that will let the possums out but not back in.

What to Expect From a Mold Remediation Company

Mold remediation is the removal as well as cleanup of mold present in indoor environments. It is very important to tackle your mold problem head on before it starts to cause damage to your home and health.

Causes of Mold

Many building materials can sustain the growth of mold. It is mainly caused by the presence of moisture or water indoors and grows on organic materials. Organic materials consist of things that were once living. Most mold growth is found on wood floors or wooden studs. It can also be encouraged by a lack of drying of building materials like concrete. Leaky roofs, flooding, problems connected with plumbing, and building maintenance can result in the growth of mold indoors.

Hiring a certified remediation contractor is not required but when it comes time to sell your home, you are required by law to disclose any mold incidences in your home including floods. If the work was done by a licensed certified Remediator, they should require a mold clearance test for the area. This gives your buyer proof that the work was done by a competent mold remediation in Charleston, SC.

If you decide to hire one, it is generally safer and more effective than a “do-it-yourself” approach because they use special equipment. In either case, always follow safety precautions to reduce exposure to mold by using protective clothing, a respirator, and eye protection. I have seen lots of “Handyman Disasters of Mold Remediation” that go wrong and contaminate the entire house. Remember to always protect the rest of the house from contamination with the proper containment.

Addressing Mold Remediation and Mold Removal

First and most important to fixing the mold issue is finding and fixing the moisture issue. Likely this will be in the vicinity of where the mold has been spotted. If the source of the moisture is not fixed and only the mold is cleaned it will come back. The problem is only masked at that point. In fixing the issue it is important to resolve to gain control over the moisture levels. If the levels in one given room are over fifty-five percent the best option is a dehumidifier.

If a leak or flood has occurred the problem is more clear and defined. This will be a matter of removal of the excess water using a pump to clear the area of water. From there it is important to ensure that the area is completely dry. This is possible using fans to circulate the air and a humidifier. All wet items should be removed and properly taken care of. Problems that go unattended for over forty-eight hours can lead to the most complications. Immediate care and resolution are the best options in mold remediation.

The next step after removing and finding the source of the issues is to clean and remove the mold. Before this is even started it is advisable to prevent the spores from scattering. When the mold becomes airborne it will start to reproduce on whatever it lands on given the conditions are right. To prevent these areas of mold growth from spreading each area should be blocked off and cleaned separately. You can do this by sealing the room with plastic sheeting and place tape on the edges as a seal. Air purifiers are wise to run throughout the space.

Why Use a Mold Expert

Mold can just be wiped away and thrown out, so why go through the hassle of finding an expert and then paying for their so-called “expertise?”

Well, there’s more to removing mold than just wiping a polluted service. Sure mold can be wiped away, but it doesn’t stay away. By using the best resources that are accepted and used by hospitals, you can feel sure that the mold problem is being resolved.

Be sure to research the guarantees of mold remediation as well as the company offering the service.

Effectiveness Of A White Label Payroll Service

How to Choose the Right Payroll Outsourcing Vendor to suit your Requirements

We were recently quoted in an article on Human Resources Director about the things that business owners should consider when thinking about payroll outsourcing and choosing a vendor.

Looking to free up your team’s time for more strategic and value-adding work? It might be time to consider outsourcing your payroll function.  After years of lagging behind the US and Europe – where payroll outsourcing has been a mature market for some time – BPO analyst firm NelsonHall predicted in 2016 that the payroll outsourcing sector in Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at twice the rate of the total global market, valuing it at $1.2bn by 2020.

Zac Ma, Sales Director, HRO, SEA at Links International, told HRD that more and more organisations, especially in Asia, are beginning to recognise the importance of utilising their HR resources as a strategic business partner and are starting to see value in outsourcing administrative tasks like payroll. “They are also beginning to realise that very often there are actually tangible ROI benefits to it,” he said.

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, Scott Thomson, chief operating officer, Links International, explained to HRD that the payroll outsourcing provider must be up to date with legislative changes. “This should be pretty much standard today,” he said. “Most service providers will have the resources to keep up to date with any changes and to communicate that to clients.”

Ma said it’s important to understand whether the vendor is delivering payroll service as its core service or whether it’s a complementary offering. “This makes a difference simply because expertise is required. Use the analogy of going to a shirt tailoring shop to get custom shoes – the quality of advice and service might be questionable.”

 

Find payroll software

Overview

If you decide to run payroll yourself, you need payroll software to report to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

HMRC-recognised software

HMRC tests payroll software to check it can report PAYE information online and in real time (RTI).

You can choose from free payroll software (if you have fewer than 10 employees) and paid-for software that has been tested and recognised by HMRC.

You should consider which features you need. For example, some software will not let you:

produce payslips

record pension deductions

make pension payments

pay different people over different periods (for example both weekly and monthly)

send an Employer Payment Summary (EPS) report or Earlier Year Update (EYU) to HMRC

 

How To Choose The Best Payroll Service For Your Business

If there is anything that can be more painful than going through the monotonous and tiresome process of payroll management, it is to mess up with it. Even if you manage to keep the mistakes to minimum, doing your payroll in-house can still cost you. The valuable time and efforts you spend on calculating the money that you have to give away could instead be spent on making money! This is the reason why so many SMEs are turning to outsourced payroll services.

The apparently simple process of getting your employees paid is actually a complex procedure. It is much more than keeping track of their work days and preparing a few checks. It can be overwhelming for small business owners who are not well acquainted with accounting and payroll processing.

Why Payroll Outsourcing Is a Wise Choice For Small Businesses?

The dilemma of whether to keep payroll in-house or go for payroll system outsourcing can be really confusing. “If a small business owner has a good background in accounting and is willing to research all the laws, remember all the deadlines, and has a very simple payroll, then they could consider doing the payroll themselves,” said Clare Wherley, CPA and co-founder of accounting firm Lassus-Wherley.

How to Choose The Best Payroll Service: What to Look For?

The reason to outsource payroll is strong and reasonable. Payroll consultant India or payroll services India vary in cost, however their pricing structure is quite standard. Most of the online payroll services charge their clients a monthly flat rate, based on the services used and number of employees.

According to Ken Darrow, editor of Payroll for Dummies, and group marketing manager at Intuit Payroll, “There’s three things that payroll should do for you. It pays employees on time, it pays your payroll taxes on time, and it actually files your payroll tax forms on time. You want to do all three of those to be compliant with the law, and you also better do the last two or you’ll get fined.”

 

How to Select Payroll Software for Your Small Business

Are you pulling out your hair over payroll? Doing your own payroll, even for just one employee, has many pitfalls for the small business owner. There’s a lot to know, and keeping up with many federal, state, and local payroll tax regulations is a pain. In addition, you have deadlines to meet, for payments and reports to all these agencies

Payroll is your business responsibility. Having a payroll service doesn’t relieve you (the business owner) from the responsibility for paying employees, withholding, reporting, and paying federal and state tax agencies. No matter who you hire, your business is ultimately at fault if something isn’t done or isn’t done correctly.

What Are Payroll Services?

There are two kinds of payroll services: online services and (for lack of a better term) personal services. The online services may be apps or online-based. The personal services are a business owned by an individual who may do payroll online or who may be local.

How Much Does an Online Payroll Service Cost?

The first thing business owners ask when looking for a payroll service is: “How much does it cost?” While cost is important, other factors are just as important.

Setup, training, and dashboard: The system should be easy to set up. You should have a dashboard to guide you through processes and to allow you to check on activities like filings and paycheck deposits. Training should be simple, with good videos to help you work through the various processes. What level of payroll knowledge do they assume you have? Most business owners have little knowledge, so your service should provide detailed basic knowledge of payroll terms, paychecks, and filings

 

Outsourcing Payroll: The Pro’s and Con’s

Outsourcing Payroll: The Pro’s and Con’s

Payroll commonly refers to a company’s records of its employees’ salaries and wages, bonuses, and withheld taxes. It is a specialised function that requires specialised and trained staff. For decades, it was seen as a simple accounting function but it is no longer the case. It is now a specialist occupation on its own

What is employer’s duty when it comes to payroll?

The business of employing people in the UK is regulated by government legislation designed to protect employees. Under these legislations, employers are entitled to provide a regular financial reward for their work. This amount is specified in their contract of employment.

The government department that is in charge of collection of taxes is Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The job of paying employees is handled by the payroll department of a company and you, as a payroll administrator will need a range of skills and knowledge to do the job rightly. You must be aware of the need to get things done on time and to do them correctly and accurately.

Employees are entitled to receive their pay on or before the due date. You must always meet the deadline. Failure to pay your staff on time could cause financial difficulties for the employee, undermine their confidence in their employer and thus demoralise them at work.

There are also deadlines for making payments to HMRC, the courts, pension providers and other external bodies. Failure to pay these on time may result in financial penalties and high-interest charges.

Protecting The Home With Common Cockroaches Control Techniques

Creepily Amazing Cockroach Facts!

Disgusting. Ugly. Filthy. Creepy. These are usually the words used to describe cockroaches. And yes, these may be true. But you know what else? Cockroaches are unique insects, and as much as you may hate to admit it, amazing creatures. How amazing? Read on (if you have the guts, that is).

Cockroaches are older than dinosaurs.

If ever you’re having trouble with cockroaches, be comforted by the fact that you’re not the only one. The very first humans probably had the same problem and they didn’t even have bug spray! Indeed, cockroaches have been around longer than we humans. Recent studies show that they have even been around longer than dinosaurs, as early as 359 million years ago! How did cockroaches manage to survive when so many animals have gone extinct since that time?

There are more than 4,000 species of cockroaches all over the world.

There are approximately 4,600 species of cockroaches and they can be found all over the world, in every continent except Antarctica. Before you panic, though, only about 30 of these species can become pests. Most of them live in forests, whether under the ground, crawling across the forest floor or in trees, while others live in caves, fields, swamps and grasslands. One species of cockroach can even live in the desert, absorbing water vapor using its mouth structures in the absence of water.

Some cockroaches can grow over 3 inches long.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest cockroach is the Megaloblatta longipennis found in Central and South America, which can grow up to 3.8 inches long and have an 8-inch wingspan. The Central American giant cave cockroach can reach the same lengths but has a shorter wingspan, around 5 to 6 inches. The heaviest cockroach is the giant burrowing cockroach from Australia which can weigh over an ounce – as heavy as a CD. It is also the longest-lived cockroach, able to live for up to ten years.

 

 

A Cockroach Can Live for Week Without Its Head

Due to their open circulatory system, and the fact that they breathe through little holes in each of their body segments, they are not dependent on the mouth or head to breathe. The roach only dies because without a mouth, it can’t drink water and dies of thirst.

A Cockroach Can Hold Its Breath for 40 Minutes

These pests can even survive being submerged under water for half an hour. They hold their breath often to help regulate their loss of water.

They Can Run Up to Three Miles in an Hour

While this may seem like an impressive athletic ability, what it really means is that they can spread germs and bacteria throughout a home very quickly.

 

 

Prevent Cockroaches From Infesting Your Home

If you want to prevent cockroaches from infesting your home, you might as well cut out the beer. Scientists have proven that cockroaches are attracted to alcoholic beverages. They just love the smell of alcohol mixed with sugar. Can you imagine a cockroach getting drunk? If you want to keep cockroaches from infesting your home, you would want to clean up after you drink. And keep your bottles in a secure and tidy place. You would not want these insects to be crawling up and down your bottles while you sleep. Cockroaches can cause several illnesses such as Typhoid, Dysentery, and Polio. So, you better be careful, these creatures might seem harmless but they give one hell of a plague.

Did You Know That Cockroaches Are Hydrophilic?

They live to love water! They can survive without food for a month BUT they can only survive in a week without water. That explains why cockroaches love to be in the kitchen sink and in the bathroom. They just love moist. To prevent cockroach infestations in your home, you must always remember to keep your kitchen dry. I am sure you would want to use clean pots and spatulas for cooking. Also, remember to keep the bathroom tidy and sanitary. You would not want these creepy insects crawling over your soaps.

 

Coackroaches are now farmed for medicine

Cockroaches are now farmed in China as their value has increased tenfold in the last four years. Powdered cockroach is used in traditional remedies but cosmetic companies also use them as a source of protein.

A new ‘super’ cockroach has been born

The cold New York winters usually keep roach numbers at a manageable level. But the Big Apple is now suffering at the hand of a new Asian breed which can survive whatever the weather. Populations are soaring!

Cockroach fighting is bigger than One Direction….in China

Cockroach racing and cockroach fighting is growing rapidly in both the US and China. The New York Times carried a report in 1886 of a group of Chinese people traveling around major cities and staging roach fights, bringing in thousands of dollars in bets. Considering those are 1886 dollars, that’s not bad.

 

Cockroach Farming

In China, cockroach farming is gaining recognition. Cockroaches are dried to be used in cosmetics and in medicine as a protein source.

Memory

A cockroach begins every day with no memories about the previous day.

Chocolate Bar

There are cockroaches in our food. Cockroach antennae and legs are present in popcorn, peanut butter, cheese and chocolate bar.

Tips For Cleaning Your Vinyl Flooring With Care

Vinyl Flooring Pros & Cons

Vinyl floors are a popular option among homeowners, particularly in kitchen and bathroom applications. A synthetic cousin of linoleum, vinyl flooring is water-and stain-resistant, versatile, and provides good durability for the cost. Thanks to a number of advances over the years, today’s vinyl floors are attractive and economical.

Types of Vinyl Flooring

There are two types of vinyl flooring: sheet flooring, in which the flooring material is laid down in sheets 6 or 12 feet wide, and tile flooring, which uses tiles of 9″x9″ or 12″x12″. While sheet flooring is more water resistant and is easier to install, many homeowners prefer vinyl tile, which replicates the look of a ceramic tile floor at a more affordable cost.

 

Types of Resilient Vinyl Flooring

There are several categories of vinyl flooring, and while all are grouped under the label “resilient,” they have very different methods of installation and some different merits.

  • Resilient sheet vinyl: This is the most common form, consisting of a thin flexible sheets of vinyl bonded with a printed design and transparent wear layer. Sheet vinyl comes in 6- or 12-foot wide rolls, which means that the flooring can be laid with very few seams. This makes it the best (and cheapest) form of vinyl for wet locations, such as bathrooms. Sheet vinyl is normally installed with a glue-down bond, although there are some forms that are installed with just a perimeter bond.
  • Resilient vinyl tiles: This product is largely the same as sheet vinyl, except it is sold in boxes of square pieces, which are either glued down with troweled-on adhesive or by a pre-applied adhesive exposed when a peel-off backing is removed.
  • Luxury vinyl: This is quite a different material, a thicker, semi-rigid form of flooring that is manufactured in either long planks (known as LVP, or luxury vinyl planks) or tiles (known as LVT, or luxury vinyl tiles). Marketed as rigid-core vinyl by some manufacturers, these products are made with relatively thick layers that give the flooring some rigidity. Either way, luxury vinyl tiles or planks are usually floating floors that snap together at the edges and rest over an underlayment with no glue-down bond. Of all the forms of vinyl flooring, this is the most prestigious, and in the right application, it can actually add real estate value to a home. The plank forms generally are manufactured to resemble wood, while the tile forms are made to resemble ceramic or stone tile.

 

The Pros of Vinyl Flooring

The biggest advantage of vinyl plank flooring is the fact that it is 100% water resistant. This means surface water and spills won’t affect the flooring. This makes it the ideal flooring solution for spaces such as basements, kitchens, bathrooms, restaurants and cafes. It is a great option for those with pets that worry about accidents.

In addition, vinyl plank flooring is very durable with commercial grade wear layers that can withstand heavy traffic. Larger commercial spaces can benefit from a glue down vinyl installation.

Many businesses and households love that vinyl is durable and easy to maintain. Regular sweeping and weekly mopping is all you need to keep your floors looking great.

With advances in vinyl plank flooring, you can find vinyl floors with rigid core construction, making them more dimensionally stable and sturdy. In today’s market, you have many options when it comes to vinyl flooring. You can find vinyl plank flooring with attached underlayment, thicknesses up to 8mm or more and hand scraped textures.

Vinyl flooring can be installed on nearly any subfloor, with the thicker floors being forgiving to imperfect subfloors. Luxury vinyl plank flooring has a DIY installation with either a click lock, glue down or loose lay installation method.

The affordability, durability and appearance makes vinyl plank flooring a great option for busy spaces without the price tag of real wood or tile!

 

Vinyl Flooring Cons

  • Surface vulnerability. The spongy soft feel of vinyl can also make the material more susceptible to cuts and gouges from sharp objects like heavy knives, meat cleavers and so forth. Obviously, this is mostly a concern in a kitchen environment and mainly where single-sheet vinyl is installed—damaged individual tiles can usually be removed and replaced individually. Where heavy furniture is placed on vinyl, it’s also good preventive medicine to place furniture pads under the feet.
  • Sub-floor issues. It’s a good news/bad news situation: The good news is that vinyl can be installed over an intact, clean sub-floor without modifications or demolition. The bad news is, if the subfloor is less than optimal then repairs or improvements will be required to accommodate the adhesive needed to install vinyl. Also, the floor must be scrupulously free of any loose particles. Vinyl is thinner and more flexible than other types flooring. Even small particles beneath vinyl will result in noticeable bumps on the surface.
  • Indoor environmental concerns. Vinyl is a byproduct of petrochemicals and may emit vapors called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the indoor air, particularly when new. It should also be noted that VOCs are and always have been released by many building materials, including other flooring such as laminated wood and carpeting. Since 2010, the vinyl flooring industry has been actively working to reduce the content of volatile organic compounds. In addition, an industry certification process called FloorScore is now in effect to rate the potential VOC content of flooring products including vinyl. Consumers can look for the FloorScore certification to comparison shop among vinyl flooring manufacturers for the lowest VOC and other chemical content.
  • Marginal effect on home value. While upgrading a home with certain types of high-end flooring such as exotic hardwood or imported ceramic tile may boost the resale price of the home, most types of vinyl flooring aren’t a major contributor to higher home value. The exception might be today’s more pricey luxury vinyl tile (LVT) that provides striking enhancement to indoor decor and may ratchet up the market value of a residence.

 

To clean vinyl

steer clear of abrasive scrubs, scouring pads, detergents, waxes, solvents, and ammonia—all agents that can dull and damage the surface. Instead, dry mop or vacuum to remove surface dust and dirt (avoid the “beater bar” vacuum attachment). Deep clean with a homemade solution of one cup of white vinegar mixed with a gallon of hot water, adding a few drops of mineral oil to amp shine, if desired. If using a commercial cleaner, be sure it’s designed for vinyl floors.

Vinly Flooring Types And Materials

Things You Need to Know Before Buying Vinyl Flooring

While vinyl records have gone the way of disco and VCRs, vinyl flooring is in. Experiencing record highs in sales, vinyl flooring is growing increasingly popular with homeowners. This is likely due to the unique benefits that vinyl flooring provides. It’s easy to install and maintain, long lasting, and provides a comfortable surface to walk on.

Types of Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring comes in 2 types—sheet flooring and tile flooring. Sheet flooring—which is laid down in sheets that are 6 or 12 feet wide—is water resistant and easy to install. Vinyl tile flooring comes in tile sizes of 9 or 12 square inches; it replicates the look of ceramic tile but is more economical. Luxury Vinyl Tile—which simulates stone or wood—comes in plank shapes, often 7″ wide by 48″ long

Vinyl Finishes

There are 3 types of finishes for vinyl flooring, all of which provide a beautiful end result.

Vinyl no-wax finish: This is the lightest type and is great for areas with light foot traffic and minimal exposure to dirt and moisture

Urethane finish: More durable, this finish is heavier and can stand up to moderate foot traffic and is also resistant to scuffing and easy to clean

Enhanced urethane finish: This is the toughest available and can accommodate the heaviest foot traffic, is highly resistant to scratches and stains, and enjoys a lasting luster without constant care

Cost

Per square foot, vinyl flooring is one of the most economic options of flooring that you can choose. On average, you can expect to spend $2-$12 per square foot to have it installed. Luxury Vinyl Tile—or LVT to those of us in the biz—is similarly inexpensive, costing on average, $3-$14 per square foot for installation. When you compare the cost to wood, stone, or ceramic flooring, vinyl offers a significant cost savings. And if you’re handy, you can cut costs even further by installing vinyl flooring yourself. Depending on the complexity of the project, you can expect to spend $1-$2 less per square foot if you perform the installation, but of course we are always happy to install your new flooring

Ease of Installation

Installation of vinyl flooring is typically easier than installation of other flooring materials. A floating vinyl sheet, for example, doesn’t require glue or staples. Instead, peel and stick vinyl can simply be adhered to a prepared subfloor. Vinyl flooring can also be installed over concrete, hardwood, or plywood. It can even be installed over existing vinyl; however, it isn’t recommended if you have 2 or more preexisting layers.

 

How to Choose Vinyl Flooring

You learned about the benefits of vinyl and you’re thinking this may be a good option for you. Now, you’re ready to buy, but where do you start? Knowing how to choose vinyl flooring for your home isn’t always easy. With so many options available, it’s hard to narrow down your choices and make the right decision for your next project

Type of Room

This is an important first step to figuring out which floor is best for your needs. Are you installing in a basement or moisture prone area, such as a kitchen or bathroom? Are you planning to use this in a business, such as a cafe, boutique or restaurant?

Traffic

Second, you will need to consider how much foot traffic the room or area will see on a regular basis. If you’re installing your vinyl in an area that will see heavy foot traffic, such as the foyer or in a cafe, you’ll want to go with a vinyl that has a higher wear layer, such as a 12 or 20 mil.. If your vinyl will be housed in a guest room or other space with minimal traffic, the wear layer and thickness are not as big of a concern.

What is your style and decor goals?

Vinyl flooring can be found in many versatile decors. Depending on your style, you can find vinyl floors in wood, stone, cement and shabby chic looks. With advances in surface technology, vinyl can be found with beautiful textures to mimic real tile and hardwoods. Vinyl plank flooring can be found with wide planks, multi-plank designs and more traditional plank widths. Adding to the style, beveled edges or square edges are also available.

Subfloor

Your subfloor will be a big factor in how your flooring feels under your foot. If you are installing a vinyl on top of a concrete subfloor, you will have a very hard surface beneath your floor. With a thin vinyl, this will feel like you are stepping on a hard surface. If you install  a vinyl on a wood subfloor or an existing surface, you will have a softer start to your installation. This will still be a solid surface and feel hard, but it will not feel as blunt as a concrete subfloor will

 

How to Choose Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl plank flooring is an engineered floor covering designed to mimic the look of real wood. When you’re choosing your flooring, you’ll need to consider the thickness of the vinyl, the wear layer, and the installation method. Armed with this information, you should be able to find the perfect vinyl plank flooring for your home!

Opt for a thickness of 2–3 mm (0.079–0.118 in) for low-traffic areas. If you’re covering a small area with low traffic, you can choose planks in a thickness of 2 mm (0.079 in), 2.5 mm (0.098 in), or 3 mm (0.12 in)

Select planks between 3.2–4.0 mm (0.13–0.16 in) for high-traffic areas. Most of the common areas in your home, including the living room and the kitchen, will be best suited by a high-quality plank that is either 3.2 mm (0.13 in) or 4 mm (0.16 in) thick

Choose a thickness of 5 mm (0.20 in) or more for the highest quality. The thickest vinyl planks can be anywhere from 5 mm (0.20 in) to over 8 mm (0.31 in) thick. These planks cost the most, but they are also the most durable and usually look the most like real wood.

Select a vinyl no-wax top coat for the most affordable wear layer. The top layer of your vinyl flooring, or the wear layer, is what determines how durable the flooring is. A no-wax coating is made from urethane or vinyl. It’s the most affordable option, but it is the least durable

 

How to choose and lay vinyl flooring

Advances in technology and printing mean that vinyl flooring can now compete with other kinds of flooring, including natural materials, such as solid wood, real stone and ceramic and porcelain tiles, in terms of appearance and texture. But what makes  vinyl flooring most popular is its long lasting durability, scratch resistance and easiness to clean.

HOW MUCH DOES VINYL FLOORING COST?

On average, vinyl flooring costs between £10 per m² and £25 per m². It is possible to spend more on vinyl flooring if you go for a bespoke option, but this depends on your own specifications, the quality of the material and the detail you require.

HOW MUCH VINYL FLOORING DO YOU NEED?

How much vinyl you need depends on the size of the room you are flooring, and the format of the tiles you are choosing. Measure the length and width of the room and then multiply them

HOW TO FIT VINYL FLOORING

Fitting vinyl flooring depends on the type of vinyl and the skill required: if you are laying a single sheet in a large room, then one wrong cut can be an expensive mistake. Some products require adhesives for installation, while others come with a peel-off sticky backing or click together like laminate boards.

WHERE TO LAY VINYL FLOORING?

Due to vinyl’s durability and water resistance, it can be laid in virtually any room of the house, including kitchens and bathrooms, although it is not suitable for wet rooms. In its sheet form, vinyl is particularly good for busy family bathrooms as it can be fitted seamlessly, but make sure that the design you choose is slip resistant.

 

VINYL PLANK FLOORING BUYING GUIDE

Okay, so obviously vinyl planks are the hottest flooring on the market right now. No really, they are. Many people are ripping up their carpet and putting down luxury vinyl planks for a lovely wood look in their home. Nowadays you can get a wood-look flooring without the expense and maintenance of actual hardwood. Let’s be honest, if you have a family, kids, and a pet, you don’t want hardwood. It’ll be roughed up in no time under all that stress. That’s where vinyl planks come in

What is Vinyl Plank Flooring?

There are so many types of vinyl plank flooring, that this question becomes a little difficult to answer. After all, you have peel and stick vinyl planks, rigid core, luxury vinyl planks, and waterproof vinyl planks.

Vinyl Plank Flooring Thickness

Why does plank thickness matter? Well, because the thicker the plank, the sturdier it is. Thicker planks are denser and more substantial beneath your feet. A thicker plank can also cover up a less-than-stellar subfloor

Vinyl Plank Flooring Wear Layer

Why is the wear layer important? Well, it’s what protects your vinyl flooring from surface scratches and stains. It’s the second half of the durability equation: thick vinyl + thick wear layer = higher quality.

Types of Vinyl Plank Flooring

Here I want to cover three big categories of vinyl plank flooring. Yes, there are three. Your choices are indeed vast and scary. Hopefully not too scary after I narrow this down for you. But probably still vast, which is okay because choices are a good thing! Anyway, there are three main types of vinyl plank flooring: luxury vinyl planks, waterproof vinyl planks, and rigid core vinyl planks.