How to remove and clean your mini blinds

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Before you consider buying new mini blinds, you should consider cleaning the old ones. It’s a whole lot less money to clean them than it is to replace them.

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

Cleaning Mini Blinds, Cleaning Mini Blinds

The first thing you want to start with is understanding the types of mini blinds and what the manufacturer recommends for cleaning, because you don’t want to hire someone that does a different kind of cleaning, that’s not recommended for your blinds.

Before you consider buying new mini blinds, you should consider cleaning the old ones. It’s a whole lot less money to clean them than it is to replace them. The process is simple. To clean white vinyl mini blinds, fill your bathtub 1/3 with water, mix in 1/2 cup of bleach. Soak the blinds in this for about 30 minutes, then rinse well. Hang them up outside to dry. Even the string comes clean as well as the blinds.

When it comes to spring-cleaning, mini blinds are among the most over-looked items in your home. When was the last time they got a good cleaning? Just make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions so you don’t damage them.

If you purchased your mini blinds from K-Mart and it cost you fifteen dollars, obviously you’re not going to clean that type of product. But if you have a custom blind that cost $100 a window, you want to keep them looking like new. The cost of cleaning runs from about $14 up to $32 per shade or blind, depending on the kind you have.

How to remove a double hung wood window

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Learn how to remove an old wood double hung window and install a vinyl replacement window.

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

Vinyl windows, replacement windows, how to install windows, installing vinyl replacement windows, double hung windows

Last week I told you how to measure your wood window openings to properly order your new vinyl replacement windows. This week I’m going to explain how to remove your old windows. The vast majority of wood sash double hung windows in America have the same specifications. Starting from inside the house and working out, you have a wood stop approximately 3/8″ X 3/8″. Then comes the lower sash (the sash is the piece of glass and surrounding wood frame). Then you have another wood stop (called a parting bead) between the lower sash and upper sash. This stop is approx. 1/4″ X 1/2″. Then you have the upper sash, and finally, the outside wood stop (called a blind stop) that is approx. 1/2″ X 3/4″.

Before beginning, be sure to wear safety glasses and gloves. The safety glasses will protect your eyes from debris, and the gloves help avoid splinters. The inside stop needs to be removed first. Try not to damage these,they will be re-installed after the replacement windows are put in. If you should happen to crack the old stops, you can take a piece to a hardware store or molding store to get replacement wood stops. If the stops have been painted to blend into the surrounding trim or wall, you need to put a flat screwdriver or putty knife into the indented area that separates the stop from the surrounding area. Drag the blade from top to bottom to chip away the paint. Then put a stiff blade putty knife into this seam and pry the stop away from the frame. Start in the middle of the stop where there is the most flexibility. Work the putty knife from the middle to the top, then from the middle to the bottom. The number of nails that were used to install the stop will determine how difficult removal will be. I have seen some stops that have just 3 nails, while others have had 6. Most of the time there will be stops around all four sides of the opening, but I have seen some openings that didn’t have a top stop, and others that had no bottom stop.

After the inside stops have been removed, you should be able to pull the lower sash out. If the windows were painted shut at some time, you might have to pry the area where the lock is located to separate the sashes. Now, once you get the lower sash out, it will still be attached to the cords that hold the window up when you raise it. Take a pair of tin snips and cut the cords while maintaining tension on them. The cords will recoil back into the assemblies. Take the lower sash and set it aside.

Next,we need to remove the middle stop, or parting bead. This piece is going to be thrown away, so you don’t have to be careful when removing this piece. The parting bead will be on top and along both sides. It’s never on the bottom. Take a screwdriver and tap it into the groove between the side frame and parting bead. Pry out. The bead is nailed into a recessed groove. When all of the parting bead is out, the upper sash will come out. If it’s painted to the outside stop, CAREFULLY pry the sash from the outside stop with a stiff putty knife. You want to avoid damaging the outside stop. Remove the upper sash the same way you did the lower sash, cutting the cords under tension.

At this point,you should have the inside stops removed and set aside to be installed later, both sashes removed, the middle stop or parting bead removed and discarded,and the outside blind stop left in place undisturbed. Check to make sure there are no obstructions in the opening such as nails,the metal tab at the bottom for holding in the old screen, etc. The final step is to take a stiff putty knife and scrape the inside face of the outside blind stops to get rid of any old caulking. This is the surface that the replacement windows are going to rest against, and we are going to want this area as smooth as possible. Clean up all loose debris from the opening, and you are now ready to install your replacement windows. That will be our topic for next weeks article.

John Rocco has been installing replacement windows since 1978. To learn more, visit How To Install Windows

How To Refinish Hardwood Flooring

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Whether you’ve just found a hardwood floor under your old carpeting or the wood floor you installed is looking a little beat, refinishing is the best option to bring out it’s inner beauty. Here are the steps you need to take to refinish your floors on your own.

Clear the Area

You need to remove everything you can from the floor area you are going to refinish. Sofas, curtains, tables, rugs, etc. Another, often overlooked, important thing is to block as much of the airflo…

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

wood floor refinishing,hardwood finish

Whether you’ve just found a hardwood floor under your old carpeting or the wood floor you installed is looking a little beat, refinishing is the best option to bring out it’s inner beauty. Here are the steps you need to take to refinish your floors on your own.

Clear the Area

You need to remove everything you can from the floor area you are going to refinish. Sofas, curtains, tables, rugs, etc. Another, often overlooked, important thing is to block as much of the airflow through the area as possible. While your finish is drying any airborne particles will stick and become part of the floor. Anything left in the area or those surrounding it should be properly protected while sanding. Dust covers and plastic blocking doorways are two of the best ways to accomplish this.

Before Sanding

You want to go over your floor and fill in any cracks or gaps in the wood. Use wood putty in visible areas and caulk along the baseline if necessary. If your floor was beneath carpeting, use diagonal pliers to remove any left over staples or remaining carpet padding. Then go around and sink any nails that may be sticking out as these can damage the sanding equipment.

Floor Sanding

You need to wear a dust mask and ear protection, sanding your floor might the noisiest, dustiest thing you ever do! You want to start your sander above the floor and gently lower it down. Be careful not to gouge your floor, it isn’t hard to do. Just remember to be gentle and let the sander sort of float along the surface of the wood. Also make sure you never let the sander sit in one place on your floor, it will leave a swirl mark in seconds that will take you hours to remove.

Sand with the grain of the wood. Move forward and backward over each row so you get a nice even sanding. The first pass is your rough pass, now you need to change to a medium grit paper and go over the entire area a second time. Then go over the floor again looking for cracks, gaps and nails. Use putty and sink any nail heads you see.

Now you want to use a palm sander with a fine grit paper for your final sanding pass. Once finished, vacuum the whole area including the walls and ceiling. You need to remove all particles, dust, and anything else that can stick in the you wood finish. Now it’s time to buff. Follow the grain in the wood and start in the middle of the room. After that your wood floor is ready to be stained, that’s it.

How To Refinish A Vinyl Or Tile Foor Using Floor Finish.

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The following procedure is for reapplying coats to an already finished floor or applying finish to a new floor. When finishing a new floor always follow the manufacturers recommendations for prepping the floor. You should always consult the flooring manufacturer on the types of finishes that are suited to your floor.

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

floor finish, floor finishes, refinishing floors, floor wax, types of floor finish, floor finish products, janitorial supplies, cleaning supplies

The following procedure is for reapplying coats to an already finished floor or applying finish to a new floor. When finishing a new floor always follow the manufacturers recommendations for prepping the floor. You should always consult the flooring manufacturer on the types of finishes that are suited to your floor. When finishing any floor we recommend that you use a quality floor finish that is correctly matched to your flooring. Our online floor finishing procedures are the general guidelines for finishing a floor. These days floor finish has become the alternative to old fashioned waxes. Floor finish can give a floor a great long lasting shine without the problems of conventional waxes.

Procedure:

Make sure that your floor has been prepared for finishing. Clean the floor removing as much dirt and debris as possible. If the floor has more than 5 coats of finish we recommend stripping the floor first. Too many layers of finish can dull a floor. Over time floor finish can yellow in color, if you see any yellowing on the floor we also recommend that you strip the floor first.

After the floor has been prepared, vacuum or dust mop the floor to remove any dust. We recommend that you spray your dust mop with dust mop treatment to remove as much dust as possible. Make sure to remove anything stuck to the floor, anything that is on the floor when you finish it will become part of the floor finish and you will have to strip your floor and begin again.

Make sure that the floor are you are finishing does not and will not have traffic moving through it for at least 12 – 24 hours depending on the type of finish that your are applying (see floor finish manufacturers specifications for curing and drying time). Use warning signs to make sure the area where you are finishing is marked out so that everyone is aware of the area.

Finishing a floor requires the use of two mop buckets. One bucket will be used to keep the finish mop damp and the other will be used to apply the floor finish. Line the floor finish bucket with a clear trash can liner so that you can dispose of the finish easily after the job is complete.

Fill one mop bucket 1/2 way up with water and the lined mop bucket 1/4 full with floor finish. Dip your finish mop into the water bucket and wring until the mop is damp and water does not drip from the end. Next, dip the damp mop into the floor finish and wring until the finish mop does not drip.

The best way to finish floors is to divide the floor into sections to assure that an even amount of floor finish is applied everywhere. Begin applying the floor finish at the furthest corner from the entrance. Apply floor finish to the baseboard area first (a block applicator can be a great tool for this job) working away from the corner. Make sure the floor finish is going on to the floor in a thin even coat.

After you have applied floor finish to the baseboard move on to the open areas of the floor. Move the mop head in a figure eight motion overlapping mopping sections by about an inch.

After you have applied the finish evenly to the entire area, let the floor dry. The floor should look glossy with no raised areas or drip marks. Follow the floor finish manufacturers recommendations for drying time. Depending on the floor finish you may wish to apply more than one coat of floor finish, if so, let the floor dry in between coats. You may also want to buff the floor in between coats so that the second coat adheres better to the first coat.

To maintain the new look of the floor finish you can burnish with a burnishing floor pad, again see the manufacturers recommendations for maintenance on your floor.

After 12 hours your floor should be fully cured. Floor traffic can now resume.

How To Put Up Drywall

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How to Drywall

Whether you are refurbishing an existing room or creating an addition, adding drywall is a great do-it-yourself project. Proper drywall techniques can make the difference in how a room looks, but with a few tips you’ll be able to make your room look great. Most materials and supplies can be found at your local home improvement center or hardware store. You will be able to save a lot of money by doing the project yourself plus you’ll have the satisfaction of …

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

drywall

How to Drywall

Whether you are refurbishing an existing room or creating an addition, adding drywall is a great do-it-yourself project. Proper drywall techniques can make the difference in how a room looks, but with a few tips you’ll be able to make your room look great. Most materials and supplies can be found at your local home improvement center or hardware store. You will be able to save a lot of money by doing the project yourself plus you’ll have the satisfaction of accomplishing your home improvement project.

Materials and Supplies

The first part of starting a drywall project is to ensure you have all the materials and supplies needed. Supplies and materials should be purchased based on the amount needed. Calculate this by determining the total square footage of the room plus ten percent to allow for waste. Divide this total by thirty to in order to use 4′ x 8′ drywall sheets, and round up to the closest number. You will then need joint tape, joint compound, screws and nails. For each 1,000 square feet purchase 370 feet of joint tape, 140 pounds of joint compound, 700 screws and 700 nails. This will provide all the supplies and materials needed to complete your project.

Tools

Having the proper tools is also necessary in successfully completing a drywall project. You will need a utility knife for cutting the drywall plus a T-square for making properly aligned cuts. A saw is also handy for cutting out places for electrical outlets or other obstacles. A rasp can be used for shaving slightly over cut pieces but it is not necessary. Fastening screws and nails will require a hammer and screwdriver. It is recommended a power screwdriver be used. A taping knife is essential for finish work and helps spread joint compound. You will also need a sander to smooth all the seams.

Hanging and Fastening

Hang sheets from the top to the bottom, perpendicular to the framing. Check your local building codes for fastening requirements as these may vary. Use screws every sixteen inches along the frame and fill in with nails so fasteners are found every seven inches. Countersink both screws and nails for a more secure fit. Make sure to position joints properly. Hand cut joints should meet other hand cut joints and natural edges should meet natural edges.

Finishing

Once all the sheets are in place, you will start applying joint compound to the seams. Don’t be concerned about using too much. Run the knife along the seam, pressing it into the space. Next, use tape, lightly pressing it from one edge to the end, centered over the seam. Working from the center to the end, press and smooth the tape out. Apply a thin layer of compound over the tape so you can still see it. Fill in all the countersunk nails and screws with compound also at this point. Allow this to dry at least twenty four hours before starting the next process. The next process involves more compound to smooth out all the edges from the previous step including the nails and screws. Allow this to dry another twenty four hours. The final coat will take some patience as here is where you want to make the edges completely smooth. Take care to ensure all edges are smooth and filled. Finally, you will sand the walls. Make sure to wear protective masks as there will be a lot of dust generated and vacuum often to remove particles.

Once you are finished with the drywall project you will be ready to prime the walls. Priming will help hide any imperfections and will give you an even surface for your final product. You may now choose to paint or wallpaper the walls to your taste. The entire process will take several days including drying time and labor.

How to Protect Yourself When Purchasing a Home

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When you are purchasing a home, whether it is your first or not, it is important that you protect yourself and your investment. Many people will make sure their appliances have warranties, as well as their vehicles. Most people will not make a big purchase like those without a warranty, so why is it that so many people make the biggest purchase of their lives (a home) and do not get a warranty?

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

Home Owner Warranty, Home Buyer Warranty, Home Seller Warranty, Homeowner Program, Air conditioner Repair, Furnace Repair, Appliance Repair

When you are purchasing a home, whether it is your first or not, it is important that you protect yourself and your investment. Many people will make sure their appliances have warranties, as well as their vehicles. Most people will not make a big purchase like those without a warranty, so why is it that so many people make the biggest purchase of their lives (a home) and do not get a warranty?

There are many things you can do to protect yourself when you buy a home but probably foremost is ensuring that you have a warranty on that home. A home warranty is not a new product – in fact, home warranties have been around for quite some time. In the past, however, most people thought that home warranties were only offered by builders on new homes, but that is not the case. In fact, you can purchase a home warranty on any home, new or used.

Usually, either the buyer or the seller will purchase a home warranty. A buyer purchases a home warranty on an older home to safeguard themselves from any major repairs that need to be done that can’t be seen on inspection, or foreseen. It’s hard to tell that the water heater or furnace is about ready to kick the bucket and need replacing from looking at it. A home warranty protects from those repairs and replacements for the term of the policy. A seller will purchase a home warranty for the home they are selling as a selling feature. A home warranty helps secure their pricing near where it’s listed at. Also, many homes that come with a home warranty will sell much quicker than one without.

With this, it is important then that when you are purchasing a home that you ensure you have a home warranty. A home warranty will save you a lot of time, money and trouble if something major should go wrong. In most cases, a home warranty will cover:

  • Air conditioning system
  • Built in dishwasher
  • Built in microwave
  • Built in trash compactor
  • Ceiling fans
  • Central heating unit
  • Duct work
  • Electrical systems
  • Garbage disposal unit
  • Plumbing systems
  • Refrigerator
  • The oven or range
  • Washer and dryer
  • Water heater

Here is a list of things that are generally not covered with a home warranty:

  • Outdoor sprinkler systems
  • Outdoor water systems
  • Faucet repairs (unless otherwise stated in the policy)
  • Spas (you can request/add this coverage in some cases)
  • Pools (you can request/add this coverage in some cases)
  • Hot tubs (you can request/add this coverage in some cases)
  • Permit fees
  • Hauling away debris
  • Hauling away old appliances

There are items that are often not covered by some plans, which are covered by others, including:

  • Washers (because they are not built in to the home and are not always included with a home.)
  • Dryers (because they are not built in to the home and are not always included with a home.)
  • Garbage disposals
  • Garage door openers
  • Refrigerators

The best thing to do is to talk to the agent you are dealing with and ask what is and isn’t covered in detail with your policy. Anything you talk about should be put in writing and signed by the agent. If he says the garbage disposal is covered, then ensure it is written in the policy.

It’s best to take some time and do your research if you are purchasing your own home warranty package for a home. The rates, coverage and deductibles vary from company to company, and from state to state. There are many options available to you, so talk to a qualified home warranty agent to discuss what type of home warranty program suits your needs the best.

If you are buying a home that comes with a home warranty, it’s important to remember that this type of warranty is non-renewable; whereas if you purchase your own, it is likely able to be renewed when the initial year-long period is up. Again, it’s important to ask of the seller what is included and not included in the warranty before purchasing the home. Read through the policy to be sure you are clear on what is and is not covered.

Buying a home is an exciting time, but it can also be quite daunting. You never know what you are getting when you purchase an older home, but a home warranty can help dispel any misgivings you have.

How to properly seal a vinyl retrofit window

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Learn how to properly seal your vinyl retrofit or replacement windows to avoid future leaking problems

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

Retrofit windows, vinyl windows, replacement windows, how to install windows, how to treplace windows

These days a lot of homeowners are replacing their old windows with vinyl windows using the retrofit style of window frame. This is particularly true in the west, and specifically, in California. The number one arguement that I have heard against using the retrofit method, is that it is susceptible to water leaks. Well, that’s true if you don’t do it properly. But, if you do a complete tearout of your old window down to the studs, you’re going to have water leak issues there as well if you don’t install the new window properly. So I think that arguement is, well, all wet. So, let me tell you the best way to install your retrofit windows that will ensure that water cannot get in.

There is an old song that goes, “It never rains in California, but girl don’t they warn ya, it pours, man it pours”. For those of you in California, you know how true this is. While California doesn’t get a lot of annual rainfall, when it does rain, it can come down in buckets due to the close proximity to the ocean. So, you want to be sure that your windows are well sealed. If you are installing retrofit frames against a stucco house, you want to put a thick bead of sealant right on the outside face of the old window frame, all the way around. Latex caulk should work fine, but if you want to spend a little more to get the best sealant available, use 100% silicone. Depending on the number of windows you will be doing, this extra cost can add up. You pay approximately $1 for a tube of acrylic latex caulk, and $4 or more for a tube of 100% silicone. You are going to use 1-3 tubes per window, depending on the size. So you can see how it could add up. Here is a trick that I used to do to save a little money; The most vulnerable part of your installation is the top of the window, because gravity will have the water running down from the roof to the ground. It’s not likely that water is going to find it’s way through the sides or bottom. So, I used to carry two caulking guns, and load one with the silicone, and the other with the acrylic caulk. I would run the silicone accross the top of the old frame, and caulk the sides and bottom. Then, put your new window into the opening and have a helper hold it firmly in place while you plumb and level it, then screw it into place.
After you have the window completely installed, your final step should be to caulk where the retrofit lip meets the stucco. Here again, I used to use white silicone on the top, and caulk on the sides and bottom. You now have a double barrier against water infiltration. After about a week, check the sealant around each window for signs of cracking. Because stucco is usually uneven, there could have been gaps that were larger in some areas than in others. If you don’t force the caulk into the gap to completely fill it, the caulk can sag before drying, causing a crack to form. Simply recaulk over any cracks that you see. You can check the silicone on top as well, but because silicone dries like a rubber substance, you shouldn’t see any cracks there. OK, what if the replacement windows are going between wood trim surrounding the opening? If you are using the retrofit lip, and trimming it to fit between the wood, then you still apply the heavy bead to the old frame before installing the window. But, instead of sealing where the retrofit lip meets the stucco, you seal where it meets the wood. Then, you want to be sure to seal above the window, where the top piece of wood meets the stucco. Again, use silicone up there. Now, no water can run down the stucco wall and get under the top piece of wood.

Sometimes, though, you might decide not to use a retrofit style frame between the wood, choosing a block replacement frame instead. If you choose to do it this way, you have to add trim to the outside. You still want to apply the sealant to the old frame, then apply your trim so it contacts the new window as well as the sealant on the old frame. If you follow these procedures, you won’t have to worry about any water penetrating into your home, I don’t care how hard it pours!

How To Properly Maintain A Vacuum Cleaner.

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If you own a cleaning business you know how crucial maintaining your vacuum cleaner fleet can be. Properly maintained vacuum cleaners can save valuable time and labor while keeping your clients floors looking great. Keeping your vacuum cleaner suction system void of debris and obstacles can increase the life of your vacuums motors in turn saving you money on internal parts and labor. A simple monthly inspection can save you time and money while increasing your vacuum cleaners efficiency.

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

commercial vacuum cleaners, commercial vacuum cleaner, vacuum cleaners, vacuum cleaner, maintain vacuum cleaner, fix vacuum cleaner, repair vacuum

If you own a cleaning business you know how crucial maintaining your vacuum cleaner fleet can be. Properly maintained vacuum cleaners can save valuable time and labor while keeping your clients floors looking great. Keeping your vacuum cleaner suction system void of debris and obstacles can increase the life of your vacuums motors in turn saving you money on internal parts and labor. A simple monthly inspection can save you time and money while increasing your vacuum cleaners efficiency.

The first thing to inspect on your vacuum cleaner is the cord. Check for any cracks or kinks in the cord make sure the cord connection to the vacuum is tightly secured into the vacuums body. A cracked or twisted cord can be an electrical hazard for your cleaning crew and people around the work area. If the cord is cracked and bare wire is exposed replace the cord immediately.

The next area to check on the vacuum cleaner is the filtration system. On a filter bag system check for any blockages on the incoming suction tube and the exhaust port. If your vacuum has any internal filters check for filter blockage and replace or clean them if they are dirty. Some vacuum cleaners have clips that old the filter bag in place, check to see if clips are cracked or bent and if so replace them immediately. If the filter bag is not sealed on the intake port debris could get into the vacuums motor and impede the performance of the vacuum cleaner.

If everything checks out in the filter compartment then its time to move to the underside of the vacuum cleaner. Lay the vacuum cleaner on the ground and roll it over to expose the beater bar and suction area of the vacuum. Make sure the intake suction tube is not blocked by debris that can cause a strain on the vacuum belt and prematurely burn out the motor. Check the beater bar for any cotton or fibers that might be wrapped around it. If material is wound around the beater bar cut it off carefully using a scissors while being careful not to cut the beater bar bristles. Spin the beater bar and listen for squeaks or grinding in the beater bar bearings. The beater bar should roll smoothly with light resistance from the belt. If the beater bar does not roll smoothly have a vacuum technician inspect and and if needed replace the bearings.

The final part of the inspection process is a quick look over the outer shell of the vacuum cleaner. Check for cracks or protruding parts and then roll the vacuum to see if it moves smoothly. If everything checks out then it should be good for another month of great service. On higher priced vacuum cleaners repair costs can amount to up to 500 dollars. A regular vacuum inspection can keep these costs down and your cleaning business running smother.

How To Properly Clean Carpets Using A Portable Carpet Extractor

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When cleaning carpets many people try to save money by renting a portable carpet extractor to clean their carpets. Cleaning your own carpets can be easy but there are a few guidelines that you should follow. Portable rental carpet extractors can be rented at most hardware and grocery stores. These small carpet extractors are great for small areas but are low powered and often times well used. When renting a portable carpet extractor it is advisable to check with you local cleaning and janitorial supplies store.

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

cleaning supplies, carpet extractor, vacuum cleaner, vacuum cleaners, cleaning carpets, portable carpet extractor, carpet spotter, carpet fan

When cleaning carpets many people try to save money by renting a portable carpet extractor to clean their carpets. Cleaning your own carpets can be easy but there are a few guidelines that you should follow. Portable rental carpet extractors can be rented at most hardware and grocery stores. These small carpet extractors are great for small areas but are low powered and often times well used. When renting a portable carpet extractor it is advisable to check with you local cleaning and janitorial supplies store. Carpet extractors rented from janitorial distributors are usually in better condition and provide more suction. These professional types of portable carpet extractors can usually be rented for a little more than the cost of renting one from a local hardware or grocery store. Also by going to a professional cleaning supplies distributor you are likely to find better carpet cleaning products than at your local grocery store.

When you go to rent your carpet extractor make sure you have the janitorial supplies distributor go through the workings of the machine thoroughly. Janitorial distributors sell professional and industrial carpet cleaning supplies everyday and are well versed in recommending the right carpet cleaning products for your individual needs. Always ask if there are other attachments that can be rented for the carpet extractor so that you can clean your furniture and drapes at the same time. If you’re going to rent a carpet extractor for a 24 hour period is advisable to get as much use out of it as possible.

After you have purchased all your carpet cleaning chemicals and have rented your carpet extractor it’s time to start cleaning your carpets. First try to move as much furniture out of the room as possible to have a clear path for extractor. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly to remove as mush large debris as possible before using the carpet extractor. If you have extra dirty traffic lane stains it is recommended that you spray these areas with professional traffic lane cleaner and follow the manufacturers’ recommendations for use. It is usually easier to spray traffic lane cleaner onto the dirty areas with a common garden pump up sprayer. Make sure to clean the garden pump sprayer before use to remove any residual chemicals from gardening.

After the traffic lane cleaner has had time work you can beginning extracting the carpets. When mixing your extraction solution for the carpet extractor, make sure to follow the manufacturers’ recommendations. Mix the precise amount of water with the extraction solution and try to get the water as hot as possible. When you extract and clean carpets hot water will get your carpets cleaner than using cold water. When you are using a carpet extractor make sure to make a cross hatch pattern with your cleaning lanes. First do the entire room in strips going one way the extract over the strips at a 90 degree angle going the other way. After you have extracted the entire room it’s time to perform a thorough rinse of your carpets. When rinsing the carpet extract the room with cold water to remove any detergents and extraction solution. If you do not rinse your carpets thoroughly your carpet can act like a dirt magnet after it dries. At the end of your rinse cycle the dirty water coming out of the extractor should be a lot clearer than when you started.

After you have extracted your carpets use a dehumidifier and carpet fan if possible, to speed up the drying of the floor. Damp and slowly drying carpets can cause mold and bacteria to grow in the carpet padding. Carpet fans sometimes known as carpet air movers dry the floor quickly by blowing large amounts of air over the carpets surface. The dehumidifier will take the water out of the air as the carpet dries and make your living conditions a little less humid. After your carpets have dried use a vacuum cleaner to remove any hair and lint brought to the surface of the carpet due to the carpet extraction process. Before returning the carpet extractor back to the rental store make sure it is clean and in the same condition you checked it out in to avoid any extra fees for cleaning the unit.

How To Prevent Home Repair Scams and Disputes

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Spring is right around the corner and it will once again be time for the home repair scam artists to come out of the cold.

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

contractor, work, check, advance, contract, pay, –, large, home, offers, local, con-artists, contact, contractors, large sums

Spring is prime time for home repairs — and that makes it prime time for outright scams or frustrating disputes. You can take action to avoid both problems.

Home repair scams by traveling con-artists work like this: Con-artists stop at your door, give you a hard sell, and offer sensational low prices. It might be for roofing or painting, tree-trimming, or asphalting your driveway with material supposedly “left over” from a job nearby. The con-artists insist that you pay in advance — but they do little or no work and never return. Remember, legitimate contractors very rarely solicit door-to-door. Be skeptical. The main rules are to check out a contractor, and never pay large sums in advance to a contractor you don’t know. Help older neighbors who might be pressured or intimidated into paying traveling con-artists.

A few ‘bad-apple’ local contractors also take large advance payments but fail to do the work, or do just part of a job or very shoddy work. This is hard to prove as fraud, but it’s costly and frustrating. Follow these tips to protect yourself when you hire a contractor:

Beware of high-pressure sales tactics such as “today-only” discounts, offers to use your home as a “display home” for replacement siding or windows, and “lifetime warranty” offers that only last for the life of the company. Always get several written estimates — shop around for the best deal before making such a large investment.

Check out a contractor before you sign a contract or pay any money. Request local references — and check them out. Contact the Attorney General’s Office to see if it has complaints or contact the Better Business Bureau. You can also contact your county clerk of court and ask how to check if a contractor has been sued by unsatisfied customers.

Get it in writing. Before any work begins, agree on a written contract detailing work to be done, responsibility for permits, costs, and any other promises. Ask for a copy of the contractor’s liability insurance certificate. Put start and completion dates in writing, and consequences if the contractor fails to meet them. (Example: the contract could be nullified if the contractor doesn’t start on time.) If you sign a contract at your home, in most cases you have three business days to cancel.

Avoid paying large sums in advance if you don’t know the contractor. If you have to make a partial advance payment for materials, make your check out to the supplier and the contractor. Insist on a “mechanic’s lien waiver” in case the contractor fails to pay others for materials or labor.

Be very cautious of credit or financing arranged by a contractor. This is an area of serious abuse by a few contractors in Iowa who arrange credit with high-cost lenders. Such loans may have high interest rates, steep up-front fees, hidden costs, and even costly brokers’ fees. Be wary of offers to incorporate credit-card debt or other debt into a second mortgage. Check first with your attorney or a local lender you can trust.