How To Replace Cracked, Dirty Grout

The home inspector in Atlanta GA often finds cracked grout and tile during his home inspections in Atlanta.

Tile is among the most versatile home surfacing materials. It can be as functional and good-looking on your home’s walls as it can be on counter tops, adding a polished look to your kitchen or bathrooms.

Tile is also easy-to-clean — so long as it’s well-maintained.

Proper tile cleaning is more than just a daily wipe-down. Cleaning tile requires a periodic resealing of the tiles themselves, as well as a re-grout for when the existing grout cracks, or stains.

Replacing grout is a job that’s low on skill but large on elbow grease. You can hire it out to a handyperson in Canton , or you can handle it in-home. If you choose to replace your own grout, here are the steps you’ll want to follow.

First, you’ll need some tools :

  • Hammer and screwdriver
  • Grout scraper
  • Putty knife
  • Damp sponge
  • Dry cloths
  • Grout
  • Grout sealer

Start by using your screwdriver to loosen bits of the damaged and/or dirty grout. Tap the screwdriver with the hammer gently to avoid scratching your tile. Once you’ve loosened the grout, use the grout scraper to remove the remnants.

Next, pour new grout into the crevices between the tiles and smooth it into place using the putty knife. The motion is similar to that of buttering a slice of bread. Scrape up the excess grout as you work. Continue spreading the grout until you’ve finished a several-foot section.

Before the grout has dried, use a damp sponge to wipe the tiles clean and neaten the grout lines. You can also use your finger to smooth and remove excess grout from between the tiles.

Repeat the grouting and cleaning process until all of the grout has been replaced. Allow the grout to dry for the length of time recommended by the manufacturer.

Next, using the dry cloths, buff the tiles, using a forceful, circular motion to remove any remaining grout residue.

Then, as a final step, for long-lasting protection, seal the grout using a commercial grout sealer from a hardware store.

Keeping grout in good condition does more than just make your kitchen or bathrooms look great — it protects the surfaces beneath the tile, too. Re-grouting tile is a basic home improvement task that can pay for itself many times over.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

How To Remove Soap Scum From Shower Doors

Dirty shower doors can ruin an otherwise sparkling-clean bathroom. The soap scum that accumulates isn’t just unsightly; it contains body oils and skin particles that provide for a perfect bacteria breeding ground.

Supermarket shelves in Canton are filled with bathroom cleaners that promise to cut through soap scum, but the cleansers don’t always work and those that do often contain harsh chemicals that can irritate your skin.

Cleaning shower doors can be more safe and more pleasant, then, when you use chemical-free household products, many of which you likely have in your kitchen already.

White vinegar makes an excellent soap scum remover, for example.

To remove soap scum from your shower doors using white vinegar, pour non-diluted white vinegar into a spray bottle, and then spray your shower doors until the soap-scummy sections are completely saturated. Let the vinegar sit for several minutes. This allows the white vinegar time begin breaking down the soap scum.

Spritz the surface again, if necessary, to keep the surface wet.

After the white vinegar has had some time to work, wipe the soap scum away with a non-scratching sponge.

If the soap scum is particularly stubborn, cutting through it completely may require a mild abrasive.

After letting the vinegar soak for several minutes, sprinkle baking powder on your sponge and remove the soap scum using a moderate amount of pressure and small circular motions. If your shower doors are textured, you may need to switch to a scrub brush to get into the crevasses.

Reapply baking soda and re-spritz the doors with vinegar as needed to remove the soap scum completely. Then, just rinse away the residue with hot water.

Give the shower floor a final rinse after the residue drains.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home
inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit. You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online. We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time. Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website.

How To Keep A Stainless Steel Product Shining

Stainless Steel RefrigeratorWith their sleek, modern look, over the past 10 years, stainless steel appliances have move from “hot trend” to commonplace.

However, as any Canton homeowner with stainless steel appliances will tell you, to keep a stainless steel surface free from marks, drips and fingerprints can be a futile exercise. Streaks and smudges will happen — they can’t be avoiding.

There are tricks, however, for keeping your stainless “shining”. You’ll need a microfiber cloth and a small bowl, plus some dish detergent, and some WD-40 or furniture polish.

First, start with a single teaspoon of dish detergent in a quart of hot tap water. Using the microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the appliance’s surface, rub the mixture firmly in the direction of the steel’s grain.

Rinse the surface with clean, hot water and dry it immediately.

If the smudge remains, as a second attempt, spray a little WD-40 or furniture polish on the surface of the stainless steel appliance and buff the mark away using the microfiber cloth.

Then, if the smudge still remains, apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the appliance surface and — again with the microfiber cloth — rub in the direction of the grain. This will remove the mark, but it will also dull the stainless steel’s shine.

Therefore, to restore the appliance’s luster, use a small amount of WD-40 or furniture polish, or buff the appliance with a drop of mineral oil.

You may also use a commercial stainless steel cleaner to clean your home’s appliance and these products work well. However, they’re often thick with chemicals and can be more expensive than one of the do-it-yourself solutions presented above.

Sometimes, though, it takes a specialty product to get the job done.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit. You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online. We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time. Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website.

50 Creative Reuse Ideas For Your Home And Garden

“Creative Reuse” is the transformation of everyday items that would otherwise be thrown out into something useful. It’s where being “green” and the arts can converge. 

In every Bridge Mill home, there are literally hundreds of items that be reused and repurposed, including such disparate items as chipped coffee mugs, step ladders, and bubble wrap. After transformation, for example, these three items can become a simple storage container, a plant stand, and greenhouse insulation, respectively.

Real Simple made a list of “50 All-Time Favorite New Uses For Old Things“. It’s a list of Creative Reuse projects from which you’re bound to find inspiration.

For example, the magazine suggests using an old Twister Mat as a children’s party tablecloth; or an old eyeglasses case to hold nail care essentials such as clippers, files and scissors.

Some of Real Simple’s other top ideas included :

  • Distinguish your glass from other party-goers’ glasses at a party with peel-on/peel-off window decals
  • Protect counter tops from hot dishes with and old mousepad-turned-trivet
  • Eliminate travel bulk. Carry non-prescription medicines in an old contact lens case.
  • Use Play-Doh as a candle or sparkler holder
  • Pour pancake batter into an old ketchup bottle for no-mess cooking

With Creative Reuse, you’re limited only by your imagination and, even then, Google can be a terrific project resource.

Check the Real Simple list for 50 great ideas.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

Dirty Fruit? Consider this Organic Recipe.

How clean is the fruit that the Atlanta Home Inspector eats? Have you stopped to wonder how many have handled the fruits and vegetables from the market? The only way to know how clean your fruits and veggies are, is to home grow and organically clean them. As busy as home inspectors in Atlanta are these days, time becomes an issue for growing your own produce.

By coating fruits and vegetables with wax, the grocery can keep the itmes stocked longer. Also consider the pesticides used on your produce while they are still growing. Even organic produce, which is free of harmful pesticides, they are still passed through several hands on the way to the market.

Make your own organic fruit washWashing your vegetables and fruit in water might not be enough to eliminate the germs. Another option to consider is making your own organic fruit wash. Atlanta Home Inspections  has not tried this recipe yet, let us know what you think!

Here is what you will need:  a large pitcher, 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 TBs of baking soda, 25 drops of grapefruit seed extract, 1 spray bottle. Note: this recipe will make enough wash to last for 1 month.

First:  pour the cup of water, white vinegar and baking soda in a large pitcher

Second: add 25 drops of grapefruit seed extract

Third:  mix and pour into spray bottle.

Now you are ready to spray. Spray the wash, coating food, let it stand for at least 5 minutes before rinsing, then run water over the fruit.

You might just be surprised at the dirt and chemicals that wash from the fruit.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David & Bonnie Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

 

Make Your Own Organic Fruit Wash

How clean are the fruits and vegetables you eat? Unless you pick your food straight from the farm, your food is likely more dirty than you think.

In addition to pesticide treatment made while food is still “on the vine”, fruits and vegetables you buy at a grocery are often coated in wax to preserve their “shelf life”; and you can never know how much dirt your food has rolled in.

Even organic foods are handled multiple times on the way to the grocery store. They may be pesticide-free, but they’re not dirt-free or free from human handling.

This is why we wash fruits and vegetables before consumption — to wash off dirt. But, there are extra precautions you can take to make sure your food is truly “clean”.

One such method is to use a make-it-yourself, organic fruit wash. The recipe is basic and simple. All you need is a large, lidded pitcher for mixing, some everyday foods, and a spray bottle.

  1. In the large pitcher, pour 1 cup of water, 1 cup of white vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of baking soda.
  2. Add 25 drops of grapefruit seed extract. If you can’t find this at your local grocery, check with a natural food store or specialty store.
  3. Mix ingredients in the pitcher, and pour into a spray bottle

That’s it.

Then, when you’re ready to clean fruits and vegetables, use your homemade spray wash and coat the food liberally. Let the food stand for 5 minutes, then rinse the spray wash from the food in the sink.

Expect dirt to roll off fruit and vegetables surfaces and for the spray’s vinegar component to neutralize pesticides. You’ll be left with cleaner, healthier natural foods.

To make the fruit wash should take less than 5 minutes. Each batch should last one month, depending on the amount of fruits and vegetables you consume.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit. You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online. We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time. Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website.

Polybutylene Piping Systems Found During Atlanta Home Inspections

 

  Atlanta Home Inspections  will sometimes find Polybutylene Piping.  Polybutylene piping systems are made  of resin, grey or white in color, and have a dull finish.  Inside your home, the fixtures could be found by the Atlanta Home Inspectors in bathrooms as feeds to your sinks and toilets, near water heaters and also in unfinished basements along the ceiling.

In the 1980′s there were numerous Class Action Lawsuits concerning the structural integrity of the piping systems. Defective manufacturing and defective    installation was reported to have caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. It is believed that the basic structural integrity of polybutylene piping  systems is defective due to oxidants in public water supplies. The oxidants cause a chemical reaction within the polybutylene and the fittings, casuing them to become brittle. Once the piping weakens, it can then completely fail and end up causing structural damage.

Once touted as “the pipe of the future”, polybutylene piping became the cause of much scrutiny in many Class Action lawsuits.  The material’s low cost and ease of installation made them an in demand product from 1978 until 1995.

  Sometimes, a home will have partial installation of polybutylene. It is a good idea to check the water main outside of your home, as well. If it is blue in color, then it is polybutylene. Although, sometimes it can be grey or black in color. This can become confusing, because other types of piping are also  found in these colors.  The line will run from the main into your home, typically into the crawlspace or basement area. Also check the shutoff valve in your home, as well as, the shutoff valve at the city water meter. Cases have been reported where one valve shut off was copper, but the other was polybutylene.

  If you are worried about polybutylene piping systems, it is best to consult a professional plumbing expert to provide the best information for you, your home and your family.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David & Bonnie Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

5 Simple Ways To Declutter Your Home

When a home is listed for sale, its “clutter” can be the difference between a rapid sale and no sale at all.

Clutter, in its strictest sense, is defined as anything untidy; or in a disorderly state. In real estate, the term is broadened to include unnecessary furniture pieces; unwieldy artwork or collections; stacks of papers and/or magazines; and anything that otherwise restricts the open flow of a home’s floor plan.

In other words, clutter is anything that distracts from your home’s natural footprint.

As a home seller in Woodstock , understanding how your home’s clutter can affect a buyer is paramount to helping your home sell faster, and at a higher contract price.

First, there’s the psychological angle. A potential home buyer may see clutter and think “mess”. Few people want to buy a house they find messy or otherwise disorganized.

Second, there’s the practical angle. A home that appears full of “things” also appears as if its lacking in storage space. This, too, can turn off buyers.

When you list your home for sale, here are basic tips to de-clutter your home. Some of this advice may not be practical with respect to your home, in particular, so make sure to ask your real estate agent for follow-up help.

  1. In each room, remove photos, trophies, plaques and other personal items on display.
  2. Remove large collections such as dolls, cars, miniature cans, and the like.
  3. Remove worn throw rugs
  4. Remove items from kitchen countertops, including small appliances
  5. Remove items from bathroom countertops

You should also consider removing distinctive artwork from your walls, or replacing pieces with items that are more bland.

The over-reaching goal of de-cluttering is to depersonalize and neutralize your home so a buyer can visualize himself/herself living there. De-cluttering your home can also make your home appear larger, accentuating the features of each room.

It’s no wonder that minimally-cluttered homes tend to have a wider appeal among buyers.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David & Bonnie Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

Hardwood Floors Are Always Trendy, Yet Practical

 

Atlanta Home Inspections get the privilege of entering numerous homes thourghout the North Georgia region.  Many trends are seen and documented through photography and video during the compilation of each inspection report. An aspect that seems fashionable and practical shows up repeatedly during Atlanta Home Inspections  ; hardwood floors.

 From the runway to the living room, hot trends in home fashion can take the style of a room from simple to stunning. Incorporating trendy furniture into home decor is an easy way to add style without having to make costly renovations.

If you are looking for ideas to upgrade your home’s interior decor for 2012, the American Hardwood Information Center offers design trends inspired by the most recent High Point Market home furnishings show.

Bring the outdoors in
A key furniture trend for this season is bringing the outdoors in through the use of natural American hardwoods. Outdoor-inspired furniture that mimics traditional park benches, picnic tables and lawn chairs, using hardwoods, is a noteworthy design element. Inspired by Mother Nature, designers at the High Point Market showcased hardwoods in both traditional and modern forms, accentuating the organic curves, movement and form of the natural material. Homeowners can mimic the look by selecting wood furniture with unique curves or pieces that highlight the natural whorls, knots and texture of the wood.

“It is never a surprise to see hardwood show up in what’s trending all over the High Point Market,” says Rose Bennett Gilbert, home decorating expert, author, and syndicated columnist.  “After all, hardwood is a natural material that’s totally adaptable to whatever style or shape is on-trend in furniture. And that’s not just furniture: hardwood is an essential ingredient throughout the house — any style of house — in flooring, cabinetry, and millwork, as well as furniture.”

Garden inspiration
Tying in with the theme of bringing the outdoors in, garden inspired design is a hot trend in both furniture design and home decor accessories. The garden gate motif works well with everything from bedspreads to pillows to furniture coverings.

Natural neutrals to bright blues
Trends in wood finishing have moved from dark to light. Consider lightening up the look of your furniture with soft neutrals such as pale grays, whites and nudes.

Beyond hardwoods, mixing in bright hues with your decor can really make a room pop. What’s hot right now? Color palettes inspired by earth’s elements such as blues, greens and reds.

Cherry on top
Though wood finishes may be trending lighter, American cherry is the top species in four categories of wood furniture, including bedroom, dining room, home office and entertainment cabinets, according to Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers, Inc.’s 2011 Furniture Styles and Material Use Survey, conducted at the High Point Market. Walnut, red oak and white oak round out the top species, with many furniture manufacturers using clear, satin finishes to protect the wood while allowing its true characteristics to come through.

If you are undecided about which species to choose for your home design, the American Hardwood Information Center at www.HardwoodInfo.com offers a species guide, stain selector and inspirational photo galleries to help with wood furniture selection. A free smart phone app is available for download as well.

“With hardwood as a prominent trend in home furnishings right now, the site is a valuable tool for those looking to incorporate American hardwoods into the design of their home,” says Linda Jovanovich, executive vice president for the Hardwood Manufacturers Association, and representative of the American Hardwoods Promotion group. “One of the great things about hardwood is that even as design trends come and go, solid hardwood furniture will last a lifetime and can be restained or painted if you want an on-trend look.”

From the runway to the living room, hot trends in home fashion can take the style of a room from simple to stunning. Incorporating trendy furniture into home decor is an easy way to add style without having to make costly renovations.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David & Bonnie Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

 

What Other Task Can You Think of That Takes Less Than Five Minutes?

Keep a clean air filter

Clean air in your home is important because it promotes better health.  Nobody wants to be coughing and sneezing – especially if it is preventable by simply replacing your home’s air filters! How long has it been since you changed the air filters in your home?

The Atlanta Home Inspection team suggests that you set up a schedule for replacing your air filters.  By setting   a schedule that coincides with other home maintenance you are more likely to remember the task.  By replacing them at least once every three months, you will benefit. If you have pets or your home is in a dusty region then a monthly filter change might be more beneficial.

Trapping and removing dust particles from the air you are breathing and replacing it with clean air circulation is the job of an air filter. Changing air filters is among the easier do-it-yourself chores. What other task can you think of that takes less than five minutes?  The secondary benefit of doing it is that new filters help keep your HVAC unit in tip-top shape.

Here’s how to change your home’s air filter :

  1. Open the air filter compartment door/slider on your HVAC unit.
  2. Note the size of your current filter. It’s typically written on the frame.
  3. Note the direction in which the filter is pointing. There may be an arrow on its frame.
  4. Purchase a new filter at a hardware store. Make sure the sizes matches the size from Step 2.
  5. Remove the old filter.
  6. Replace old filter with the newly purchased one from Step 4. Make sure the arrow is pointing in the same direction as the original filter’s arrow.
  7. Using a marker, note the date of filter change on the side of the filter.
  8. Close the air filter compartment door/slider.

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When you find a filter type and style that you like, consider buying them in bulk — it can be helpful to have extra air filters laying around the home for when you need them — especially during season changes when you may want to replace filters more frequently.

In addition, when purchasing air filters, don’t opt for the cheapest available. Often, the least expensive filters allow large particles to recirculate through the HVAC unit, and back in to your home. Choose a middle- or top-line product instead.

Your home and your health will thank you.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David & Bonnie Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website.