How to Detect Mold in your Home

How to Detect Mold in your Home
Mold can cause some serious problems when it takes up residence in your home. When mold is found in a home, it should be handled with extreme concern and caution. Mold can be essentially found in any environment or season, so its smart to be on the lookout, especially if you have had any leaky pipes or water damage. Because mold grows on organic material, it can do a lot of damage to your home. Most types of mold are allergenic and some are even toxic, meaning exposure to most molds can have adverse effects on your health. The majority of indoor mold growth is potentially harmful and a should be removed as soon as possible. It’s important to be aware of the presence of mold on walls or in your home. Below are a few ways to detect mold growth inside your house.
Be Aware of Leaks or Moist Ar
Mold grows quickly and spreads even quicker. All molds thrive in damp or humid areas, and commonly these are spots like within walls or under sinks where mold can easily stay hidden. Because of this, mold infestations can take off and get out of hand before you know it. Most of the time the only way to detect a hidden mold problem is by actively looking for it, or from the presence of stale air and allergy like symptoms.
Watch for Water Damage
Many homeowners don’t notice roof leaks or water entering around windows before the damage is already done. Check your home during and after heavy storms to find any spots that water may be entering form damage or weathered materials. Water damage will inevitably lead to mold damage if left unchecked. This goes for basements and attics big time.
Be Aware of Odd Smells
If you start to smell musty odors, you should search for mold. Smelling the mold means that it is reproducing by releasing spores, and inhaling these spores could be harmful. Remember that mold grows where water is present, so the best places to look are usually around leaky A/C units or behind refrigerators. If you find mold, it’s important not to handle it directly. Some molds can be toxic and cause skin irritation if you come into contact so emphasize safety.
Get a Certified Mold Inspection
If you are weary about the presence of mold in your home, you can call certified mold remediation specialists like Steamy Concepts for a free visual mold inspection. We have a 24/7 emergency response, and we are happy to answer any questions you have about the mold remediation process. We are skilled and trained to find even the most hidden mold, like within walls or under tile. After all is said and done, the road to prevention is awareness. Be on the lookout for any signs of mold in your home and call us at the first sign to stop mold in its tracks.

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Why Is Mold Dangerous?

Toxic Black Mold Growing On The Wall
Why Is Mold Dangerous?
You may have thought that your itchy eyes, coughing, or sneezing was just seasonal allergies or a slight cold, but what if the truth was that you could be reacting to the presence of mold. Many people have concerns about finding mold or fungus in their home. It’s scary to think that there could be something living in your house and on your walls that might be affecting your health and probably damaging your home as well. Mold in your home can pose a number of serious health problems that you may not realize. Since mold can be found in virtually any environment, everyone is potentially at risk for toxic mold exposure, regardless of where you live.
The presence of mold is a serious concern; keep reading to find out why.
Indoor Mold Causes Illness and Health Problems
Indoor mold might be unsightly and smelly, but it will also affect the air quality in your home. Molds reproduce by forming tiny spores that are too small to see with the naked eye. Spores travel through the air and land on surfaces searching for water to grow. Mold spores can survive under most conditions; even conditions that mold wouldn’t survive in.
One toxic type that is generally referred to is black mold, which describes “Stachybotrys Chartarum”. There are many types of mold that appear to be black, though. It goes without saying that living with mold can be dangerous, and if you have reason to suspect that you need a mold removal specialist you definitely shouldn’t chance it. Large quantities of any mold are a major health concern, not to mention the damage it could do to organic building materials like wood throughout your house.
Mold is found in Carpet
Just because mold is not immediately apparent or visible on a carpet’s surface does not mean that mold growth is not in progress. If you suspect you may have mold in your carpet, you’re going to want to kill it right away. Wall-to-wall carpeting, as well as area rugs, can provide an ample breeding ground for mold if conditions are right. So what do you do if you happen to find some mold spots? The first thing you need to do if there’s mold in carpet or mold in your home is identify exactly where it is and how deep it goes. Any amount of mold in carpet usually means that the carpet needs to be disposed of. That means prevention is the best combatant for carpet mold.
Preventing Mold Growth in Carpet
Mold always grows in certain conditions that include either humidity or a steady source of moisture. It goes without saying that after any sort of flooding your carpet is likely going to be ruined. Containing any amount of water that makes it into your home and drying any wet areas quickly will do a lot in the prevention of moldy carpet. Any carpet exposed to standing water has problems if not dried and cleaned immediately. Especially if the pad underneath the carpet gets soaked, there will definitely be a good chance for the appearance of mold.
You can always use a dehumidifier in humid areas to help control the moisture in the air. If mold spores don’t have humidity they cannot grow. This applies to when you get your carpets cleaned as well. You don’t want your carpet to be wet for long periods of time, so after a good carpet cleaning routine, the drying process should be important.

Removing Mold PPE
How to Detect Mold in your Home
Mold can cause some serious problems when it takes up residence in your home. When mold is found in a home, it should be handled with extreme concern and caution. Mold can essentially be found in any environment or season, so it’s smart to be on the lookout, especially if you have had any leaky pipes or water damage. Because mold grows on organic material, it can do a lot of damage to your home. Most types of mold are allergenic and some are even toxic, meaning exposure to most molds can have adverse effects on your health. The majority of indoor mold growth is potentially harmful and a should be removed as soon as possible. It’s important to be aware of the presence of mold on walls or in your home. Below are a few ways to detect mold growth inside your house.
• Be Aware of Leaks or Moist Area – Mold grows quickly and spreads even quicker. All molds thrive in damp or humid areas, and commonly these are spots like within walls or under sinks where mold can easily stay hidden. Because of this, mold infestations can take off and get out of hand before you know it. Most of the time the only way to detect a hidden mold problem is by actively looking for it, or from the presence of stale air and allergy like symptoms.
• Watch for Water Damage – Many homeowners don’t notice roof leaks or water entering around windows before the damage is already done. Check your home during and after heavy storms to find any spots that water may be entering form damage or weathered materials. Water damage will inevitably lead to mold damage if left unchecked. This goes for basements and attics big time.
• Be Aware of Odd Smells – If you start to smell musty odors, you should search for mold. Smelling the mold means that it is reproducing by releasing spores, and inhaling these spores could be harmful. Remember that mold grows where water is present, so the best places to look are usually around leaky A/C units or behind refrigerators. If you find mold, it’s important not to handle it directly. Some molds can be toxic and cause skin irritation if you come into contact so emphasize safety.
• Get a Certified Mold Inspection – If you are weary about the presence of mold in your home, you can call certified mold remediation specialists for a free visual mold inspection. Most companies we are happy to answer any questions you have about the mold remediation process. They are skilled and trained to find even the most hidden mold, like within walls or under tile. After all is said and done, the road to prevention is awareness. Be on the lookout for any signs of mold in your home and call a professional at the first sign to stop mold in its tracks.

Mold In Corner By Moisture
Different Types of Mold
So you think you might have just spotted mold on the walls, and now you’re wondering exactly what kind of mold it is or if it’s toxic. Mold is actually a very common problem because mold spores are literally found almost everywhere. That means that usually any source of water in your home, like a leaky pipe, could give mold exactly what it needs to grow. Many different types of mold can be found in homes, and although they all might look different, every type of mold will usually cause an unpleasant musty smell. No matter what, it is extremely crucial to rid your home of mold as soon as you suspect that it may be growing. Keep reading to find out about common types of mold commonly found in homes.
1. Alternaria – Alternaria is usually found in your bathroom where dampness occurs like in showers or below sinks, but it is also found as a result of water damage in homes. It is the most common form of allergenic mold in the world and usually causes asthma like symptoms. This type of mold is known to spread quickly because it can grow in spaces with minimal water.
2. Aspergillus – This type of mold is usually found in American homes and can be almost any color. It is highly allergenic and under the right conditions will even release toxins. Common symptoms around Aspergillus are asthma attacks, lung infections, and respiratory inflammation. This type of mold is capable of producing aflatoxins, which is known to be a deadly carcinogen.
3. Cladosporium – This is a unique mold that can grow in both warm and cold temperatures. It’s frequently found in areas like insulation, carpet, wallpaper, upholstery, mattresses, couch cushions, etc. It usually appears brown or green with suede-like texture. This mold can cause health problems relating to skin and respiratory issues. While not considered toxic, Cladosporium is still very allergenic and should not be handled directly.
4. Penicillin – Penicillin is one of the more easily recognizable forms of mold, as it appears blue or green with a velvety texture. This mold is found in materials like carpets and on walls. It is known for its antibiotic properties, but when found inside your home it can cause serious respiratory problems. Penicillin spores are frequently found in the air in damp and moist areas and are known to cause chronic sinus infections and inflammation of the lungs.
5. Stachybotrys – Probably the most commonly known type of toxic mold, Stachybotrys is usually referred to as “Black Mold”. This mold is both toxigenic and allergenic and usually appears to be slimy and dark green or black in color. This mold will thrive in damp areas with high humidity and grows best on materials like wood, cardboard, paper, hay, or wicker. Because of its production of mycotoxins, black mold has been known to cause chronic sinus infections, asthma attacks, allergy symptoms, depression, and fatigue. The affects this mold has on children can be extreme, so any sign of mold should be handled ASAP.

Removing Mold
How to Remove Mold
Mold is an annoying issue. Every day that mold is given time to grow and spread just adds to the difficulty of removing it. Once it finds an area it likes, like humid basements or bathrooms with moisture, it will start to multiply quickly. Since molds decompose organic materials, this poses a big threat to the condition of your home. Don’t hesitate. If you think you have a mold problem be proactive to remove it as quickly as possible.
1. Killing Mold with Bleach – You’ve probably been told to reach for the bleach upon the first sight of mold, but is this the best way to kill mold? Although bleach has been used to kill mold for ages, it doesn’t work very well on most types of mold that you find on porous materials. This is because chlorine bleach does not penetrate the surface of porous materials, whereas that is exactly where the mold grows its roots. The ironic part about using bleach is that while the mold killing properties sit on the surface of the mold, the water properties contained within the bleach are absorbed into the roots, giving the mold more moisture to feed on. Since the roots of the mold are left behind after using bleach, the mold will almost always return.
2. Killing Mold with Vinegar – The use of vinegar to kill mold is inexpensive and a good green option to use on very small amounts of mold in your home. Vinegar is mildly acidic, making it much safer to use than chlorine bleach. It has been known to kill mold when evenly sprayed or poured onto moldy areas. It won’t work 100% every time, but it is a good option for very small mold remediation projects.
3. Killing Mold with Baking Soda – Baking soda is a very common household cleaner that is usually used because of its lack of chemicals and mild basic properties. It might take a little elbow grease, but it’s been known to kill mold and remove odors from your home with ease. For the best chance at success, it’s a good idea to use vinegar along with baking soda so you can hit it on both fronts.

BIO: Sean Raley is an author for multiple good carpet cleaning and Arizona plumbing websites. He has a passion for living healthy and striving to be the best version of himself. On the weekends you can find him hitting the hiking trails in southern Arizona, or maybe even some of his favorite national parks!
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes…you’re Doing Something.” -Neil Gaiman

Outlet Receptacle Defective

Problem: Outlet won’t work, sparks, does not receive prongs on plug, or does not grip plugs.

Background: Most homeowners should not have any problem replacing a common-wall electrical receptacle (sometimes called a “duplex” receptacle) if safety precautions are taken and the new receptacle is the same as the one replaced. The receptacle may also be the 3-hole type in stalled where heavy appliances and tools are used, a protected outlet with a spring-loaded cover that springs back over the openings, or it may be a receptacle-switch combination. Older receptacles with 2 slots can be updated to 3-prong types if grounding can be provided; if not, call an electrician for advice.

What to do: The procedure of re placing a receptacle is similar to that of replacing a light switch. Make certain the power is off, then remove the cover plate. Pull the old receptacle out and note the position of the wires. Unscrew the terminals so the wires can be removed, then install in the same way on the new receptacle. Hook the wire loops so they are clockwise under the terminals on the new receptacle. Reinstall the receptacle in the electrical box, turn on the power and test to see if it is working.

Special advice: Newer polarized outlets have one wide slot and one narrow slot to accept the wide and narrow slots of polarized plugs. The National Electrical Code requires home wiring to be identifiable by color code. Neutral wires are white; live wires are colored, usually black.
Polarized outlets and plugs continue this identification, assuring that the live wire is connected to the incoming side of the switch in an appliance. The wide slot is connected to the neutral (white) wire in the sys tem. In polarized lamp and appliance leads and extension cords, the neutral (white) wire may be ribbed for identification. Non-polarized, 2- wire plugs can be used with a polarized outlet, though the polarization continuity will not be assured.

Helpful hint: Note that all grounding (3-wire) plugs are polarized since the position of the prongs is determined by the third prong. To double-check a new receptacle, you can buy an inexpensive circuit tester. It will indicate if ground, neutral, or hot wires are properly connected, and whether the hot and ground wires are reversed, or whether the hot and neutral wires are reversed. They are usually avail able where electrical parts are sold.

Interior and exterior door installation

Interior door installation

Most interior doors (excluding hi-fold doors) are pre-hung assembled or knock down ready to assemble.

To accommodate a pre-hung door the R. S. O. (rough stud opening) must be installed to allow for shimming tolerance, this is required for both sides and the top. The rule of thumb is one inch wider than the door width and one half inch higher including the door frame. This is to allow for any shrinkage or twisting in the rough stud opening. If your door is the knock down ready to assemble type put the unit together following the instructions. You will find that you can assemble for either right hand or left hand hinge, swinging in or out of the opening.

Apply a piece of 1×2 across the door at the bottom (right jamb to left jamb) to hold the door in the front plumb and square. Set the door in the opening and using carpenters square and level shim with cedar door shims and fasten with nails. Do the hinge side first then the others shimming where required top and side.


Exterior door installation

Installing a new exterior door will require you to make a number of decisions.

1. Solid core plywood faced door?
Will require a lot of maintenance, staining, sealing and painting.

2. Solid wood door i.e.: Western Red Cedar or Oak etc. Will require sanding, staining, natural finish — subject to temperature change inside and out. Panels may crack requiring repairs and refinishing on an annual basis.

3. Steel insulated door primed ready for paint? Most people assume steel insulated doors are a finished product (usually white in colour) “WRONG”. They must be painted within the first 6 to 8 months of installation using an exterior acrylic latex or exterior urethane paint. Door must be washed with T.S.P General Household Cleaner or T.S.R using a pot scrubber pad and rinsed well before painting.

4. Consider fibreglass-insulated doors, as they are maintenance friendly.

5. Good, Better, Best, One of the best doors available now is the new Protect Door manufactured by Guenther Doors. Their new laminated inner frame adds structural strength giving greater security and comfort.

How to repair a crack, a bigger hole or a large hole in drywall

How to repair a crack in drywall:

1. Apply joint compound inside the crack using a wide drywall knife. Use ample amounts to fill the crack and create an even surface with the surrounding area. Al low time to dry You can tell when it is dry by waiting until it turns an even, white color If it is still a shade darker in some areas, it is not completely dry This usually takes a couple of hours. To speed up the process, you can add heat or a fan to the area.

2. Sand this area with 100-grit or similar sandpaper, or a damp washcloth, for a smooth surface. This does not have to be perfect, however, since this is just the bottom layer.

3. Apply additional joint compound (mud) to the crack.

4. Immediately apply paper joint tape over the entire crack in the wet mud.

5. Smooth the joint tape with the wide drywall knife, working from the center outward.

6. Use additional joint compound to apply layers over the tape and blend (feather) it into the surrounding areas.

7. Let dry for several hours.

8. Repeat these steps until the repaired area blends with the surrounding wall. Don’t worry—if you mess up, you can always sand it down and start over.

9. Sand with 100-grit or similar sandpaper until smooth.

10. Try to re-create the texture of the wall. Do this by put ting a small amount of joint compound on a wet wash cloth. Dab it onto the wall like you would a sponge, until you have closely matched the surrounding texture, adding or subtracting wherever necessary

11. You are ready to prime. Make sure you use a primer before you paint because the new substance on the wall is much more porous and will absorb paint more quickly changing the color and texture of the paint slightly.

12. Allow two coats of primer to dry before applying the paint to match your wall.

How to repair a bigger hole in drywall:

1. If the hole is bigger (anything larger than the golf ball but smaller than a softball) or has cracked edges, you need to do a little bit more. Get a ‘peel and stick repair patch” from the hardware store.

2. Peel and stick the patch over the hole.

3. Apply a thin layer of joint compound over the entire patch with a wide drywall knife.

4. Let the compound dry.

5. Add a second or third coat until the area blends in with the surrounding areas.

6. Let the compound dry and the patch set until everything is completely dry

7. Sand with 100-grit or similar sandpaper until smooth.

8. Try to re-create the texture of the wall. Do this by put ting a small amount of joint compound on a wet wash cloth. Dab it onto the wall like you would a sponge, until you have closely matched the surrounding texture, adding or subtracting wherever necessary.

9. You are ready to prime. Make sure you use a primer before you paint because the new substance on the wall is much more porous and will absorb paint more quickly changing the color and texture of the paint slightly.

10. Allow two coats of primer to dry before applying the paint to match your wall.

How to repair a large hole in drywall:

1. Square the hole by cutting around it in a square pat tern using a utility blade or drywall saw.

2. If the hole is near a stud, you are in luck. Cut the dry wall back to about ½ inch over the stud and skip to step 7.

3. If there is no stud, you will have to make your own tiny studs.

4. Take small pieces of scrap wood or drywall and place them behind the drywall surface.

5. While holding them close, use drywall screws to attach these tiny studs to the outmost edges of your new square hole. These are what you will use to attach your new piece of drywall.

6. Cut the drywall patch a little bit smaller than your square hole so it will fit easily into the hole.

7. Attach the patch to the tiny studs or main studs in all four corners with drywall screws.

8. Apply fiberglass mesh tape to all the seams.

9. Apply a thin layer of joint compound over the entire patch with a wide drywall knife.

10. Let the compound dry

11. Add a second or third coat until the area blends in with the surrounding areas.

12, Let the compound dry and patch set until everything is completely dry.

13. Sand with 100-grit or similar sandpaper until smooth.

14. Try to re-create the texture of the wall. Do this by putting a small amount of joint compound on a wet washcloth. Dab it onto the wall like you would a sponge, until you have closely matched the surrounding texture, adding or subtracting wherever necessary

15. You are ready to prime. Make sure you use a primer before you paint because the new substance on the wall is much more porous and will absorb paint more quickly, changing the color and texture of the paint slightly.

16. Allow two coats of primer to dry before applying the paint to match your wall.

How to replace or fix a doorknob

Repairing or Replacing a Doorknob

Just as new knobs can give a kitchen a brand-new look, door knobs can really update the feel and look of your home. Are your doorknobs in good shape? Could they use a little updating? Are they lose or malfunctioning? If your doorknobs are dingy, you will be surprised at how simply changing them can really add to the look, feel, and cleanliness of your home.

Doorknobs are not too expensive and relatively easy to install. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and locking mechanisms. If you are changing out an old door knob, make sure your replacement is the same size. Most doorknobs are standard and interchangeable, but you want to make sure.

Essentially, you can approach replacing or fixing a door knob in the same way. Typically, if your doorknob is loose or is in need of repair, you can simply replace the whole thing, or you can take it apart and tighten it up. Either way, the steps will be the same.

How to replace or fix a doorknob:

Out with the old:

1. Take the old doorknob out of the door by first removing the trim (the metal ring on the door surrounding the knob). Using a screwdriver, unscrew the two screws that hold the trim to the door. If the trim does not come off when you unscrew it, you may need to use a scraper or flat-head screwdriver to ease it off.

2. Next remove the two screws on either side of the door knob mechanism. These are what hold the mechanism (and the two doorknobs) together.

3. Take a good look at how the doorknobs come apart. This will help when you install the new ones.

4. Take the old doorknobs out and set them aside.

5. You will be left with just the bolt (or the locking mechanism). Remove the two screws that hold this in the door, and remove the bolt.

6. Does the strike plate also need to be replaced? Take a look at it. If it’s in good shape (and matches the color of the new doorknob) then keep it. If not, remove the two screws that hold it to the doorjamb and set it aside.

In with the new:

1. Take the bolt section and place it into the opening. Doorknob bolts have one side that is slanted. Make sure the slanted side faces the direction in which the door closes.

2. Screw in the bolt section with the screws provided.

3. You should have two doorknobs and two trims. Take the first trim and put it up to the door, covering the bolt section.

4. Take one of the doorknobs (the one with the mechanism that fits in the bolt—usually a square hole) and put it through the trim and the bolt.

5. Take the other doorknob and trim piece and put it on the other side of the door. Make sure you align these correctly. Remember the two long screws you took out of the old doorknob? Well, this one needs those too, so make sure they all line up.

6. Put in the long screws. Begin to tighten each just a little; going back and forth between both sides to make sure that the knob is coming together evenly.

7. You will now need to put the strike plate onto the door jamb.

Strike plate:

1. Take a pencil and mark up the end of the bolt.

2. Close the door and turn the handle so that the bolt gently hits the doorjamb. Repeat this a few times.

3. This should leave a mark on the doorjamb. The mark will show you where you need to place the strike plate. You may need to use a chisel to adjust the previous hole.

4. Place the strike plate in the correct area, and attach it with the screws provided.

5. Test the lock a few times from both the inside and the outside to ensure that it has been assembled properly. Adjustments may need to be made.

6. If the strike plate seems loose, you may need to buy longer screws to get a tighter fit.

TIPS:

When you take apart your old doorknob, keep all the pieces together or even reassemble them. Having this as a reference when you put in your new doorknob will be really helpful.
Have patience. Doorknobs have a lot of tiny little pieces, which can disappear and cause contusion, so go slow. You’ll do just fine!

Key Doesn’t Work In Door

Problem: Door won’t open be cause of binding or broken key, a stuck bolt, or a frozen lock.

Background: Like most other mechanical devices, keys and locks can wear out or become damaged. Some times lock problems are caused by a misaligned door. To prevent lock problems, periodically inspect them, tighten loose screws, apply lock lubricant, and make adjustments as necessary to strike-plates. Excessively loose tubular or cylinder locksets, or locks that seize the key, may be candidates for replacement; however, sometimes a locksmith can replace worn tumblers and springs.

What to do: If the lock is frozen, try warming the key and reinserting it, or try squirting alcohol into the key hole. When a key breaks in a lock, it is often because it was not pushed in completely before turning, or the wrong key was pushed into the lock. If part of the key stays inside the lock, remove the cylinder and try pushing the key part out with a fine pin from the shaft end. When keys bend, it may be caused by a poorly made duplicate key. If an original key works in the lock, have the duplicate remade. Binding can also be caused by worn tumblers. If you think this is the problem, remove the cylinder and take it to a locksmith. If the key turns, but the bolt sticks, check to make sure the bolt isn’t blocked by paint. If the bolt can’t move because the door is misaligned, check and align the door.

Special advice: To help avoid lock problems, try to make all keys easily identified. When having duplicate keys made, go to a qualified lock smith who uses top-quality blanks. (Having at least 1 extra duplicate key kept in a secure place can pre vent an emergency.) When replacing locksets, spend more for the best quality you can afford. Locks can be lubricated with graphite (in a pinch, rub keys with graphite from a wooden pencil) or with fine oil sold for that purpose. Don’t use regular lubricating oil.

Helpful hint: When locking up the home, don’t lock all other doors from the inside; if the door locked with a key doesn’t work you won’t be able to gain entry to the inside of the home.

How to restretch carpet

RESTRETCHING LOOSE CARPET

Carpeting that isn’t glued down is held around the perimeter of a room by wood strips with metal pins that grip the carpet backing. To repair loose carpets, you’ll need to rent a “knee kicker,” a stretching tool to pull the carpet tight and reattach the edges to the strips. These can be found at rental centers and carpet distributors.

How to restretch carpet:

1. Turn the knob on the head of the knee kicker to adjust the depth of the prongs. The prongs should extend far enough to grab the carpet backing without penetrating through the padding.

2. starting from a corner or near a point where the carpet is firmly attached, press the knee kicker head into the carpet, about 2 inches from the wall. Thrust your knee into the cushion of the knee kicker to force the carpet toward the wall.

3. Tuck the carpet edge into the space between the wood strip and the baseboard, using a 4-inch wallboard knife.


REGLUING LOOSE SEAMS

Most carpets are held together at the edges with heat activated seam tape. The tape comes in rolls and has hardened glue on one face. You will need to rent a “seam iron.”

How to reglue loose seams:

1. Remove the old tape from under the carpet seam.

2. Cut a strip of new seam tape, and place it under the carpet so it is centered along the seam with the adhesive facing up.

3. Plug in the seam iron, and let it heat up. Seam irons work like curling irons and regular irons, but they vary in the amount of time needed to heat up. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see how long you should wait for it to heat up.

4. Pull up both edges of the carpet, and set the hot iron squarely onto the tape. Wait about 30 seconds for the glue to melt.

5. Move the iron farther along the seam, as necessary.

6. Quickly press the edges of the carpet together into the melted glue behind the iron. If anything goes wrong you have only 30 seconds to repeat the process.

7. Separate the pile to make sure no fibers is stuck in the glue and that the seam is tight.

8. Place weighted boards or phone books over the seam to keep it flat while the glue sets.

Repairing or Replacing a Doorknob

Repairing or Replacing a Doorknob

We’ve seen it a million times on cop shows: the guys in uniform leap up the stairs, guns ready, and kick in the villain’s front door.

If only the criminals had used longer screws!

Replacing an existing dead bolt, whether for extra security or because of a malfunction, is not a difficult job. Once you buy the lock, you can do the replacement in a few simple steps.

When you’re preparing to put in a deadbolt, make sure you buy heavy-duty three-inch screws. In the real world, a person kicking in your door is more likely to be a thief than a police officer. Many dead bolts are mysteriously sold with small screws, which won’t be enough to stop someone from kicking in your door without too much effort.

(The same goes for an inside chain lock. Make sure you use long enough screws to prevent someone easily kicking in the door.)
There are two basic types of dead bolts: surface mount and internal. Surface mount dead bolts are easier to install, but internal deadbolts provide more security. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that I recommend spending a little extra effort and money for the sake of your security: if you can, go for an internal dead bolt.

Check to see if your door has a hole for a dead bolt. If not, you will need a hole saw for this project. Hole saws can be found at any hardware store. They are about the size of a measuring cup, with jagged teeth, and attach to a drill, Make sure the hole saw you buy matches the size of the new dead bolt.


REPLACING AN OLD DEAD BOLT

How to replace a dead bolt:

Out with the old:

1. Take the old dead bolt out of the door by using a screwdriver to remove the screws on the inside panel of the lock. Take a good look at how the lock comes apart. This will help when you are installing the new one.

2. Take the inside and outside pieces of the lock face and pull them apart and away from the door.

3. Remove the screws from the lock mechanism plate, which is located on the edge of the door.

4. Remove the screws from the strike plate, which is located on the doorjamb.

5. Measure the diameter of the hole in the door to be sure that you buy the same size dead bolt. Even better, you can take the old dead bolt to the hardware store to en sure that you buy the right size.

TIP:

Some models may be a bit more difficult to replace due to mounting brackets or slightly different assembly. The process of removing the old dead bolt can teach you things that make puffing in the new unit that much easier, so remember the steps.
In with the new:

1. Place the new dead bolt mechanism in the hole in the door.

2. Instead of using the screws provided to attach the strike plate to the doorjamb, use longer screws that are the same diameter. This will make the lock much more secure. You may need to drill pilot holes first.

3. Put the inside and outside halves of the lock cylinder together. You can use the screws provided to attach them to each other and to the door.

4. Be sure that the bolt plate on the edge of the door is flush with the surface of the wood. Otherwise, it will keep the door from closing. If the new plate is slightly bigger than the space for the old plate, you may need to use a wood chisel to enlarge the area a bit.

5. Now attach the strike plate.

6. Take a pencil and mark up the end of the bolt.

7. Close the door and turn the latch so that the bolt gently hits the doorjamb. Repeat this a few times.

8. This should leave a mark on the doorjamb. The mark will show you where you need to place the strike plate. You may need to use a chisel to adjust the previous hole.

9. Place the strike plate in the correct spot, and attach it with the long screws, not the ones provided with the plate.

10. Test the lock a few times from both the inside and the outside to ensure that it has been assembled properly. Adjustments may need to be made.

INSTALLING A NEW DEAD BOLT

How to install a new dead bolt:

1. Buy a dead bolt and measure the diameter of the hole it will require you to make in the door. Buy a hole saw of the same size. The hole saw will attach directly to your drill.

2. The dead bolt should be placed about 6 inches above the doorknob (from the center of the doorknob to the center of the dead bolt). Center it above the doorknob. Measure and mark this distance with a pencil.

3. Wearing eye protection, drill a pilot hole with a 1/8-inch drill bit all the way through the door in the very center of your mark.

4. Attach the hole saw to your drill.

5. Using the pilot hole as a guide, drill through the door, stopping halfway. Very important: only drill halfway! Drilling halfway from each side will prevent the door from splitting. Make sure you hold your drill level and steady so that you do not create a crooked hole.

6. Move to the other side of the door, and drill from that side until you get all the way through with the hole saw. The hole saw will hold on to the drilled-out piece of the door. You can use a flat-head screwdriver to pry it out.

7. Place the new dead bolt mechanism into the hole of the door and follow steps 2—10 for replacing a dead bolt.

Instant Room Makeovers

Is your room in dire need of a makeover? Don’t sweat over remodeling costs just yet. Most people put off updating their décor because they think it’ll cost a fortune, but that’s not always the case. Often, dull rooms are just a small change or two away from a new and improved look—and the best news is that you can do it on a budget. Here are some ways to give your room an instant makeover without breaking the bank.

A new paint job

Color is usually the first thing people notice about a room, so it makes a sensible start for a makeover. A change in color can completely turn your room around even if you don’t change anything else. Most rooms can be fully repainted for under $500 and finished in four days or less.

However, a change too drastic can be hard to pull off. If you’re not sure how much you want to change, consider keeping your current color and choosing a lighter or darker shade. Bring out the color with contrasting hues in your area rugs, pillow cases, or curtains.

Contemporary area rugs

If you’re going for a trendy look, modern area rugs are the way to go. Today’s rugs are designed to catch the eye with their bold colors, unusual patterns, and avant-garde designs. Choose a bright color if your walls are plain or neutral. Pink area rugs and red area rugs are some of the most popular choices these days; they go particularly well with browns, blacks and grays. For a more festive look, spread some colorful braided area rugs or kids area rugs around the house.

Zen-style elements

More and more people are getting into Asian themes, and it’s easy to see why. The calm, open feel of Zen homes is a fresh change from the sleek lines of modern design. You don’t have to build an entire Zen garden to get the same effect. What you can do is introduce these elements in little accessories, such as window treatments and room dividers. Start by giving your floor a natural feel using bamboo area rugs, sea grass area rugs, or other natural weaves. You can also use these materials in decorative pieces or even your furniture.

Slip covers

Furniture tends to get dated fast, so you want to be able to update them anytime. The best way to do this is with slip covers. Unlike upholstery, slip covers can be removed and replaced as you wish, so you can change your furniture to match your changing tastes. You can buy them off the shelf or have them custom-made—either is cheaper than upholstery. Have a supply of basic colors and designs, and some “fancy” ones for special occasions.

New accessories

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference. If old paintings or drapes have lost their effect, put them away and replace them with a fresh new piece. Go for something that works with your décor theme. If your room is large and opulent, oriental area rugs can replace those old wall-to-wall carpets.