Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Do Basement Waterproofing Before The Big Storms Hit

Insurance companies are reporting surges in recent years in lower level water damage claims. These claims are often due to basement flooding, and the sad fact is, many people find out after the fact that the damage is not covered. The reason is that many water damage claims from external flooding are disallowed because the homeowner did not carry the proper flood insurance policy. Though having the right insurance is important, basement waterproofing before the storm hits can prevent this nightmare scenario from ever occurring in the first place.

What is Basement Waterproofing?

Basement waterproofing is the process by which the lower level of a home is refurbished in a way that prevents external moisture from coming into the basement. Depending on the condition of your lower level, this could be a multi-step process. It begins with removing all moisture and its effects from the lower level. This may include some kind of mold and mildew removal if warranted.

Once the basement is completely dried out, then the basement sealing process begins. Basement sealing usually refers to sealing up any cracks in the walls, floors and ceilings where moisture may be coming into your basement. Once complete, there will be very little chance of moisture coming into your lower level under normal weather conditions.

One thing to keep in mind about basement sealing, it should be done at the first sign of cracks in the walls and floors. The reason is that even though a tiny crack may seem like no big deal, these cracks can grow in a hurry and, if left for too long, will not only allow a lot of moisture into your lower level, but it will make the basement sealing process twice as difficult and twice as costly. However, if you get to these cracks early, you can stay on top of the situation before it gets out of hand.

After the moisture removal and basement sealing processes are complete, there's one more thing to make sure of-that you are properly prepared for adverse weather conditions like heavy rain and flooding. This means having a reliable sump pump. There are a few things you can do in this area. They cost a few hundred extra bucks, but they can be very worthwhile. First, have a backup sump pump. This will insure that if your first one fails, they'll be another one that will kick in and kick the water back out of your basement.

Second, have your backup sump pump run on a battery. In the case of a power outage due to a bad storm, a backup battery will keep your sump pump working and your basement dry. Third, make sure that the sump pump hose runs far enough outside that the water will not easily come back into your basement.

Once all these basement waterproofing measures are taken, you'll be able to rest easy knowing you've done all you can to secure your lower level from moisture. This will allow you to make use of that extra space downstairs for some fun things like a game room or entertainment center, without the worry of moisture ruining all the fun.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Different Ways in Which PVC Panels Can Be Used in Home Improvement - Other Building Materials

Most building materials and techniques have come a long way in the last decades, so it is safe to assume that more and more people are trying to learn and to apply certain information regarding some of the best, cost-effective home improvement solutions. It has never been easier to get great quality at an acceptable price, thus making it possible for everybody to have their dream house.

One of the most common materials you can come across is PVC (short for Polyvinyl Chloride), which is generally used in construction due to its cost effective and highly durable characteristics. Even if used for everything from construction to clothing, PVC is still a rather controversial material due to the chemicals used in manufacturing it (even though non-toxic chemicals are used for drinking water PVC pipes etc.) but the most relevant health disadvantage is that PVC liberates a lot of toxins when incinerated.

This material can be found in the form of pipes, isolation for electrical wires and very often as PVC panels (used for commercial signs or ceiling tiles) which, depending on their intended use, are treated with additives such as UV stabilizers, lubricants, plasticizers, processing aids, impact modifiers, thermal modifiers, fillers, flame retardants, biocides, blowing agents and smoke suppressors, and pigments. As can easily be seen from the large variety of chemicals used, PVC panels (or any kind of PVC product) can be adapted for different specifications but they are also quite dangerous for the environment (mostly due to the fact that they do not decompose).

Another highly used (can be found into everything from plastic bags to bulletproof vests) plastic product is polyethylene. Generally found in the form of polyethylene sheets (or films), this is a material used in many commercial and industrial activities. A polyethylene sheet is usually used for weatherproofing, remodeling projects, retaining moisture but can also be used in agriculture. Polyethylene is also manufactured in the form of panels, which are extensively used in construction.

As with PVC panels, environmentalists are not really pleased with the use of polyethylene (or any other kind of plastic for that matter) due to the fact that it takes centuries for it to decompose.

Even if all plastics are controversial building materials, there has been a constant development in the field of environmental protection, the future holding many surprises for those who consider plastic not be biodegradable (a bacteria that can consume about 40% of a polyethylene bag has already been developed in China).