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Cure Your Basement Odor

Having odor in the home isn’t just displeasing to your nose. The two main causes for the odor is mold and mildew accumulation that can be harmful to your health (allergy and asthma are two main conditions caused by undetected mold). This is not a problem that should be ignored, especially if you are trying to maintain the integrity of the home for years to come or are trying to sell it in the future. No matter how lovely the home is staged on higher levels, once your guests open the basement door and catch a whiff, they will know what the smell represents; Water! Mold and mildew smells coming from your basement are likely caused by condensation, leaking, and poor ventilation. Luckily, this problem can be remedied fairly easily. Check out these tips.

Air It Out

The musty basement smell is strongest in spring and fall when utilities aren’t running and in the winter when windows are closed. Poor ventilation of the basement is how the smell permeates each square inch. The first thing you can do is buy a humidifier to remove moisture and dry the place out. Open all windows and doors in the vicinity of the basement in hopes it will tame the smell.

Inspect

Put on your home inspector hat because you are going to examine both the inside of the basement and outside the home around the perimeter of the foundation. Inside look for water spots that indicate leakage, cracks in the foundation, or actual mold. Look at exposed pipes to see if they are dripping or wet with condensation. These should be wrapped in a wrap product specifically made for the purpose. Note what you see and call a professional to make repairs immediately before severe damage is done to the foundation. The problems are likely from the outside where you will examine next. The land around the home should slope away so that rain water is drained away from the home instead of down the foundation walls. Even water soaking into the dirt and penetrating the home’s concrete can cause cracks and damage. See if you have an adequate and clean gutter system doing its job. Gutter down spouts should extend at least 6 feet from the home’s foundation.

Get Rid Of The Smells Long Term

To get rid of the smells long term you will need to apply several of these tips. Wear a mask as you use a water and bleach solution to spray and clean every surface of the basement to kill any harmful mold that has grown. Mold may not be visible, but is still there so I would not skip this important step. If you have any closets or tight enclosed places in your basement, kitty litter makes a great odor eliminator in these areas. White vinegar scattered around in bowls will eliminate odor over a period of a few days. The smell of vinegar will also go away. For long term odor eliminating, leave open containers of baking soda in the basement just as you would for the fridge. The baking soda boxes can assist in odor elimination up to 3 months.

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Instances You Should Call Your Plumber Immediately

Some plumbing issues are minor nuisances that you might ignore for a while until it bothers you too much. A leaky faucet, a slow drain, a running toilet that you have to jiggle the handle to get it to stop, are examples of potentially minor plumbing issues. Some plumbing issues require attention immediately before they turn into a disaster. Keep your plumber’s number handy if you notice these potential problems:

Leaks

 

Any signs of leaks such as water spots on ceilings or walls or under your sinks should be taken care of immediately. Catching a leak early may result in just needing to dry out the wet surfaces.

Leaking Water Heater

 

You probably don’t look at your water heater often so if you do see water around it take action now. It could be a crack in the internal tank. A small puddle can turn into gallons of water damaging walls and floors. Water heaters have limited life spans. Frequent inspections and maintenance is good practice.

A big Increase In Your Water Bill

 

This could indicate a leak in your underground pipes. It could be from a constantly running toilet that you never use or a leak in a part of your house that you don’t frequent.

Sewer Gas Smell

 

You’ll need a plumber if you have cracks in your sewer lines. Some sewer gas problems are easy to solve such as keeping the water level up in your drain traps by pouring a cup of water down the drain.

Mold and Mildew

 

Look out for mold and mildew on any surfaces. Check in closets and back of cabinets. A leak can go undetected for a long time and grow mold in a widespread area.

A Wet Spongy Lawn

 

A wet lawn when the weather has been dry could indicate an exterior water main leak.

Frozen Pipes

 

Thawing your pipes as soon as possible can prevent a burst pipe resulting in flooding. Your plumber can thaw your pipes and help you to prevent it from happening again.
 A good thing to do right now is to make sure everyone in your household knows how to turn the water off to the whole house in case of an emergency. If you have an instance that you need to call a plumber, it might be a good time to get a complete plumbing inspection to prevent other instances.
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Is Your Home Natural Disaster Proof?

As a homeowner, it is always important to be concerned with the integrity of your property. This is especially true if you live in a region that is more prone to natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and even something as common as a water main break. You never quite know what the unexpected might throw your way, so it is always important to know how ready your home is. It is time that you learned if your home is really ready to survive these natural disasters. You never quite know when a natural disaster could be heading your way, which means that you need to know how your home will be impacted.

Here are some things to consider when it comes to your home and natural disasters:

Earthquake

This is a type of natural disaster that s not quite as common as you might think. In most cases, your home will not have to withstand a very powerful earthquake. However, it is possible that an earthquake could occur in the region where you live. In most cases, the amount of shaking that occurs with a typical earthquake is minimal. This also means that the amount of damage that occurs as a result is not too extensive. Even though most earthquakes are small, there could come a time when earthquakes are larger and cause a lot more damage. When an earthquake occurs, it is a good idea to make sure that you turn off the gas. If a line ruptures due to the earthquake, it could cause a lot of damage to your home. This means that you should turn of the gas before this has the potential of occurring.

Flooding

Another natural disaster that you need to determine if your home can withstand is a flood. Flooding is common in certain areas and the amount of damage that occurs ranges depending on the amount of flooding that occurs. Floods can sometimes happen as the result of another natural disaster, which means that they have the potential to be twofold. You typically have warning when the risk of flooding is on the way, which means that you should take precautions like elevating all of the appliances in your home and putting sandbags into place on your property.

There are always steps that you can take to make sure that your home is prepared for any natural disaster that may come your way.

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Things You Should Not Do When You Notice a Gas Leak

Gas leaks are a lot more common than you may actually realize. This means that if you own or rent a home, you are potentially at risk of a gas leak. This is something that you need to be aware of and it is important for you to know the top things that you should not do when a gas leaks exists. One of the best ways to be prepared is to know what actions are not suggested. If notice the strong smell of gas in your home, there are a few things that you need to make sure you do not do.

Here are the things that you should not do when you notice a gas leak:

Let It Go

One of the worst things that you can do when you notice the smell of gas in your home is to do nothing about it. Ignoring the smell of gas in your home is never a good idea. Gas leaks are incredibly dangerous and action needs to be taken right away. This means that by ignoring a potential gas leak, you could be putting your home at risk. You might assume that the odor is being caused by something else, but you need to make sure that you investigate the source of the gas smell and determine if you do in fact have a gas leak. It will not just go away on its own because the problem will only worsen with time.

Deal With it On Your Own

You might think that you have the capability of dealing with a gas leak on your own, but if you are not a professional in this field, this is not a good idea. You should never try to handle a gas leak on your own, because this is a situation that calls for experts. This means that you should only rely on professionals at the first sign of a gas leak in your home. It might cost you more money upfront, but it is the safer option in the long run and the best way to ensure that the gas leak will be fixed in the shortest amount of time possible. Trying to deal with a gas leak on your own is a mistake that you do not want to make. This will only cause you a lot of problems and is not worth the hassle. You are better off calling a professional right away.