Time to Raise The Roof

Are You Poisoning Your Children? Everything You Need To Know About Lead In Your Drinking Water

Lead poisoning has been thrust into the public spotlight once again after evidence emerged that an entire city was drinking water contaminated with toxic levels of lead. While lead contamination rarely happens on this large of a scale, it is not uncommon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that millions of children are being exposed to lead in their own homes. Following is everything you need to know about lead and your child. 

How Do Children Get Lead Poisoning?

Lead, a metal, is a natural element found in the earth. In the past, lead was used in many household products, including paint, plaster, glass, pewter, and pottery. Since it is found in the ground, lead can also contaminate ground water sources. If you have a well, you should be extra concerned about lead. It is estimated that up to 20 percent of children with lead poisoning got it from drinking contaminated water. 

What Are the Symptoms of Lead Poisoning?

Lead accumulates in the body over time and can lead to some very serious conditions in children, including behavior problems, speech and hearing issues, and brain damage. Neurological deficits are common. In cases of severe toxicity, children may experience organ failure. They can even die. Children who are exposed to lead also often exhibit slower growth and development than other children. Once exposed, children may store lead in their body for decades. What’s more, there is no way to reverse many of the effects of lead poisoning. 

How Can you Test Water for Lead?

If you have a well, you have to test it regularly for contaminants. Since lead can also be found in indoor plumbing, it’s vital that you test your well water as well as the water coming out of your tap. Many health departments will test your water for you. You can also purchase a test kit at most home improvement stores. 

How Do You Remove Lead from Water?

If you know that your water has lead in it, you can take steps to remove it. The first thing you must do is figure out where the lead is coming from. If it is getting picked up by the water as it passes through a pump or your pipes, you can replace these components to get rid of the led. There are also water treatments, such as reverse osmosis and distillation that remove lead. Additionally, you should always allow water to run for a couple of minutes before using it. It’s also a good idea to use cold water for food preparation as it contains less lead than warm water. 

Lead contamination is a serious issue when it comes to underground water sources. Be sure to have your water tested regularly to ensure that your children aren’t poisoned by your water source.

For more information in lead poisoning prevention, contact businesses such as Golden Gate Well Drilling & Water Conditioning.

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3 Home Remodeling Ideas To Consider When Your Family Begins To Grow

If your family is growing and you realize that you no longer fit into your home as well as you used to, then you may want to consider remodeling. This is a great alternative to having to sell your home and try to find a new one. Remodeling is also likely going to be less expensive than purchasing a new larger home, and it won’t require you to have to relocate from an area where you are happy and comfortable. This article will discuss 3 home remodeling ideas to consider when your family begins to grow. 

Turn Your Garage Into A Living Space 

One great way that you can add some extra living space to your home is to convert your garage. By adding insulation to your garage, as well as heating and cooling, you can make this space livable year round. You are also going to want to take the time to either replace the garage door with a wall or seal off your garage door so that it no longer can be opened and is insulated like the rest of the garage. Once this space has been converted, it can then be used as a bedroom, a game room, a family room, or a variety of other things. Then, if you still need to have a garage, you can either build another one onto the side of the house or your can build a detached garage. 

Finish Your Attic 

If you are in need of more bedrooms for your older kids, then you could consider converting your attic into one or more bedrooms for them. Once the attic is finished, it can actually be a great space for a bedroom. The sloped walls can add a lot of character to the room, and they will likely enjoy the privacy. You will just want to make sure the the attic is fully insulated, the floors are structurally secure and finished, and windows are added or the current windows are made up-to-code. 

Knock Down Walls In Between Your Kitchen And Living Room

If you are looking for more space in the main areas of your home, you can knock out the walls between your kitchen and living room to not only create more space, but to create a more modern and open floor plan. This floor plan is going to be perfect for allowing more sitting and walking room for everyone in the home, and it will also help you to better interact as a family when some of you are in the kitchen and others are in the living room. 

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What You Need To Know About DIY Fireplace Painting

People make a decision to paint their fireplaces for various reasons. Sometimes it is a project that is started to change the appearance of a room. Other times painting bricks is desired to cover mismatched portions of fireplaces or to hide signs of aging. The following points will be valuable to you if you are considering painting your fireplace.

Determine the desired outcome of the project beforehand.

Some people decide to paint their fireplaces in an effort to make them the focal points of the rooms they are located in. Others prefer to paint theirs to make them blend in with the walls for a more uniform and conservative appearance. If your effort is to make your fireplace a focal point that stands out, you should aim to paint it a color that contrasts with your wall. For example, if your walls are light, painting the fireplace a dark color will create a contrasting effect and dark walls will be contrasted by a light-colored fireplace. If the goal is to make the color complement or blend, you would simply paint the fireplace the same color as the walls or a few shades lighter. 

Inspect the fireplace for signs of damage.

Chances are that there are minor damages to your fireplace. You may want to repair these prior to starting your paint project. For example, you may want to get broken bricks extracted and replaced. You should also look for signs of minor damage such as cracks. Some of these may not require you to remove bricks, but additional mortar may need to be applied to these areas to seal the cracks . 

Clean the bricks, and allow them to dry.

Bricks and mortar are porous. This means that you will need to allow them to dry between cleaning attempts. You should not attempt to paint over bricks that have signs of debris or dirt. This is because the residue will be more apparent when the paint is applied. After cleaning brick and mortar areas, they will need to dry to ensure that the paint process goes smoothly. 

Prime, paint, and protect. 

Primer is needed on bricks for the same reason that it is needed on walls before they are painted. You should not apply the primer until you are sure that the cleaned bricks are dry. Prematurely painting the bricks will negatively impact the outcome of your project. You also need to ensure that you protect your floors and edges of walls that meet with the fireplace by using painter’s tape and draping materials prior to painting your fireplace. 

A painting contractor is a good resource to use for more guidance on painting your fireplace and other brick portions of your home. If you find that the steps needed to prepare your fireplace for painting are too much, they are the ideal choice to ensure the best finish. 

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4 Tips for Landscaping Your Front Yard Beautifully

You’ve heard about curb appeal and how it adds value to your house. A large part of your home’s curb appeal comes from the front-yard landscaping. Your front yard is the gateway from the street to your front door. Create a beautiful landscape that fosters the ambiance you want to promote in your front yard.

Lead Visitors to the Front Door

Your front walkway not only allows visitors to walk right up to the front door, it draws the eye to your house. Create the ambiance you want with this pathway. If you want a grand entrance to an historical home, install a wide, straight walkway made out of a traditional material such as brick. Alternatively, use spaced pavers to create a curved pathway for a casual approach. Whatever the style, your front walkway should include borders, be it with hardscaping or landscaping.

Plant Gardens

In that vein, don’t neglect to actually plant your front yard with more than grass. Frame a lawn with pretty flower beds, or plant a foundation garden near the base of your house. Such gardening is like grooming for your home—not essential, but improving. If you don’t want a lot of maintenance, use native plants or succulents. For year-round beauty, consider layers of evergreens. For example, plant an evergreen tree and one or two different evergreen shrubs. The latter can even serve as the border of your walkway.

Include the Right Tree

Going along with that, the right tree can really add curb appeal to your house without much maintenance on your part. You don’t want a tree to take over your whole front yard, but you do want one that looks attractive year round. Home and Garden TV suggests some larger varieties, such as Minnesota redbud, red buckeye, and autumn-brilliance serviceberry. For smaller trees, the site recommends hinoki false cypress, “little volunteer” tulip tree, and crape myrtle. Plant the tree well enough away from the house that it won’t cause problems but will offer shade.

Add Sensory Details

With your front-yard landscaping, plan to include senses other than sight. Start with scent-bearing plants. Flowers are the obvious choice, with roses, honeysuckle, and lavender being classic options. However, fragrant herbs such as rosemary and thyme can be good sensory additions. Likewise, consider adding a water fountain to your hardscaping. The water music will create delight in your visitors and can mask street noise when you’re enjoying your front yard.

Let your home make the first impression you desire by attending to your front-yard landscaping. Call a company such as The Hilltop Landscape Architects & Contractors for help.

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Three Prevelant Myths About Roof Damage

Roof damage can be one of the more serious problems that a homeowner will have to address. Sadly, many new homeowners may not have the experience necessary to be informed about this particular threat. Strong storms can be among the more common sources of damage to roofs, but many homeowners may be under the impression that some routine misconceptions about roof damage are true. Learning the truth behind these notions about storm-related roof damage will allow you to be better able to keep your home safe from this damage.

Myth: Only Severe Storms Can Cause Serious Roof Damage

It is commonly assumed that a storm will have to be severe in order to cause damage to the roof. However, it is possible for even relatively weak storms to cause branches to fall down and to produce intense hail and powerful gusts of winds. All of these threats can cause extensive damage to a home’s roof. As a result of this threat, it is important to check your roof periodically and after any storms pass through your area.

Myth: Storm-Related Roof Damage Is Always Easy To See

Many new homeowners will make the mistake of assuming that damage to the roof will be easily seen by looking at its exterior. Unfortunately, it is possible for extremely small cracks or gaps to form in the roof, and these areas can allow substantial amounts of water to seep into the home. To catch these issues, you will want to regularly inspect the ceiling in your attic. When the roof suffers relatively minor damage, it may be apparent in the form of water spots on the ceiling. If you notice these spots, you should contact an experienced roofing contractor from a company like Grissom Contracting to inspect the roof so that the source of the damage may be identified and corrected.

Myth: There Are Not Any Effective Steps For Preventing Storm Damage To The Roof

It is commonly assumed that storm damage is the product of bad luck. However, you should be mindful of the fact that there can be steps taken to help to protect the roof against these damages. This is possible by making sure to properly maintain the roof. This will include washing it to remove debris and moss, sealing it to prevent water damage, and keeping the gutters clean. These steps will keep the roof structurally sound, which may help it to better withstand the intense stresses that it will experience during storms. In addition to these steps, you should also trim any trees or other large plants so that no branches hang over the roof, as they can fall during these storms and puncture the roof.

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Building A New Home? Two Reasons Why Stucco Siding Is The Way To Go

If you’re in the process of planning to build a new home, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make concerns which type of siding you’ll use.  While vinyl is a popular, affordable choice and brick homes often look quite majestic, there’s another material that you may want to consider:  stucco.  Stucco is a cement-like mixture that may contain extra additives for even more durability.  Learning more about the benefits of stucco can help you see why it is the right choice for the siding of your new home.

Stucco Is Highly Customizable

One of the main reasons why stucco is such a great choice is because you can completely customize it and make it your own.  Regardless of the flair that you want to add to your home, stucco can help you achieve the look.

Stucco mixes well with colors.  Instead of a boring, one-dimensional house that consists of only one hue, you can choose to add complementary colors to different parts of your house.  This can really enhance the curb appeal of your home and make it stand out.

In addition, you’ll be able to add texture to the look of your home by requesting that certain parts of the stucco siding be made into the design of your choosing.  You can even have your family initials etched into the stucco as it’s being applied so that once it dries, you’ll have a long lasting memento that boldly proclaims who built the house.

Stucco Is The Durable & Low Maintenance Option

If you want siding that is going to stand the test of time, you definitely want to choose stucco.  You’ll find that your stucco siding is able to stand up to all kinds of weather conditions, so you can look forward to keeping your stucco siding intact for the long haul.

Using vinyl may not be the best idea because the siding frequently comes undone when strong winds occur.  You won’t have to worry about this when you have stucco siding.  It can stand up to strong winds, harsh sunlight, and other exposure to the elements that would easily break down less durable siding options.  To keep it looking good, all you’ll need to do is periodically power wash it to remove dirt and debris.

Choosing stucco as your siding could prove to be a very wise decision.  Contact a siding contractor today, so you can find out more about your options for making stucco the siding of your home.

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3 Tips To Help You Choose The Best Roofing Material

The roof over your head is one of the most important aspects of the structure of your home. Your roof should be able to keep out many of the outdoor elements that can make your home cold, susceptible to mold growth, and susceptible to water damage. This is why choosing the right roofing material for your home is so crucial for ensuring that your roof is protecting your home in the best way possible. Here are three tips that will help you choose the best roofing material:

Know the Conditions of Your Roof:

In order to decide what roofing material is best, you have to know what your roof is susceptible to. For example, if your roof is in the sun for a majority of the day, then your roof is susceptible to damages from the harsh rays of the sun. In this case, it may be best to consider metal roofing materials because of their ability to reflect the sun rays back. Also, consider how much rain your area gets, as well as snow. Doing this will ensure that you choose a material that is going to last for a long time to come in the conditions of your area. 

Know the Costs:

Besides the costs for the roofing material itself, you are also going to have to pay labor costs to have the roof installed. It’s important to consider these costs to ensure that you are able to afford the roofing material that your home requires. There many be a roofing material, for example, that would be a great protectant for your home, but it may be highly expensive. Consider looking for cheaper options that still provide the same level of protection. If you want a steel roof, for example, but cannot afford the high costs, a similar, cheaper metal roofing such as aluminum is definitely the next best option.

Know Future Mishaps:

Finally, you should know what the future will hold depending on the roofing material that you choose. For example, you should know what maintenance costs are going to be like. This way, you choose a roofing material that has the lowest possible cost of future maintenance. You also want to consider the common problems associated with each roofing material type. This way, you can choose a material that does not suffer from as many problems. 

When you consider these three tips, you can be sure that you choose the best possible roofing material for your home. For more information, contact companies like American Building & Roofing Inc.

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