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Home Improvement

Is it time for a new roof? Here’s what you need to know!

By | Asbestos, Home Improvement | No Comments

Asbestos-containing roofing material… What is it?

Asbestos-containing roofing material, or ACRM, is any shingle, roof underlayment, caulks/sealants, flashing, or tar paper that would be over contain over 1% asbestos. It is important to be aware of what is this for the simple reason of contamination of items in your around your home.

To paint a picture imagine your getting a roof replacement the hired contractor is removing the existing roof and as they’re removing them a couple falls off the roof onto the back patio. The contractor goes to “clean it up” by picking up the shingles and sweeping up the dust. You, not knowing the hazard of what could be asbestos dust, walk out later to inspect the work they have done. At that point you have walked through the area with the “asbestos dust” and likely have or will track the “asbestos dust” into your home unknowingly.

That example happens way too often in the real world, and that is why it is important to always test to find out whether your roof has ACRM on it.

Don’t just stop there.

If you happen to have a roofing material that is asbestos-containing here are your options:

As a homeowner, you could repair or replace the roof yourself. We recommend you use the proper P.P.E which includes gloves, a NIOSH P100 rated respirator, safety glasses, and a disposable Tyvek suit. Also do not forget the use of a drop cloth, most states require the drop cloth to be 6 mil thick so it will not tear easily as well it is a good idea to double bag the trash bags of waste.

If you do not feel comfortable handling asbestos-containing material, then we recommend finding and using a licensed asbestos abatement contractor to perform removal and possible repair of the roof. 

To learn more or to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, visit baxtergroupinc.com.  Request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY ebook.

Do You Know The Most Dangerous Material In Your Pre-1980 Home?

By | Home Improvement, Indoor Air Quality, Renovation, Safety | No Comments

Do you know what it is?

And more importantly, do you know if you’re at risk?

Let’s say you’re deciding whether or not to go with a new look with your kitchen or bathroom this summer before the holidays. You’ve created a checklist of things like

  • New cabinets
  • Paint
  • Appliances
  • Flooring.

After doing some research and finding out what direction you want to go in, you now schedule to have a licensed contractor come and give a few estimates. During this inspection, he mentions your home has asbestos 9×9 tile in the kitchen.

Now you’re stuck wondering what to do next, how much it will cost, whether your health is in danger, and many other questions you will have along the way.

We have the information you need.

Our first recommendation is: Get it tested

Not all 9×9 tile is asbestos positive, but most 9×9 tile in a home built before 1980 is greater than 1% asbestos.

Our second recommendation: See if it is in good condition

If the tile is in good condition then don’t disturb it. Asbestos is only dangerous to your health once it is disturbed. In most cases, you can cover the existing floor with another layer of flooring material which lowers the risk of being exposed to asbestos fibers.

Our third recommendation: Take action if it’s in bad condition

In this case, you should think about contacting a licensed asbestos abatement contractor. The risk of exposure once the tile is disturbed, whether it be broken already or breaking the tile during removal, is extremely high and without proper P.P.E your health would be at risk. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the dangers of asbestos can be Asbestostis (chronic lung disease), Asbestos.com lists various types of cancer and also some nonmalignant diseases. Either way, it’s best to keep yourself educated to make sure you are doing everything possible to keep you and your family safe.

To learn more or to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, visit baxtergroupinc.com.  Request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY ebook.

What is one of the most dangerous long term effects of a Basement Renovation?

By | Home Improvement, Radon, Renovation | No Comments

The simple answer is exposure to radon gas, which is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

The bigger question is why. There is a variety of answers to that question so we’ll provide some background.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer according to the EPA. Radon gas is inert, colorless and odorless. Radon is naturally in the atmosphere in trace amounts. Outdoors, radon disperses rapidly and, generally, is not a health issue. Most radon exposure occurs inside homes, schools, and workplaces.

Radon is a soil gas that is formed from the Polonium and Uranium in the soil around your home that tends to seep through the imperfections in your basement retaining wall. Imper

fections may include plumbing or electrical penetrations through below-grade walls that aren’t sealed properly, cracks in slab floor or below grade walls, and possibly an unsealed sump. It is recommended to test for radon before and after the renovation project to assess whether the radon level is higher than the EPA recommends.

To learn more or to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, visit baxtergroupinc.com.  Request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY ebook.

November’s Breathe Healthy Initiative Topic: Wet Basements and Crawlspaces

By | Basement Dewatering, Basement Water Control, Baxter Group, Inc., Home Improvement, Wet Basements | No Comments

Warning signs that indicate a moisture problem exists in a basement or crawl space should be followed by a full assessment.

WET ALERTS include:

  • Humidity over 60%, which may indicate moisture exists but the source may be hidden … a leaking pipe, water lying against the exterior walls, water entering cracks in walls.
  • Condensation on structural components or other components within the space, which may indicate that warm moist air is entering the cooled area.
  • Peeling paint, which may indicate water is seeping under the paint and causing it to bubble.
  • Cracked walls, which may indicate that severe pressure is occurring under the floor or behind the wall. This could lead to structural damage as well.
  • Cracked walls, which may indicate that the concrete was not allowed to cure properly or that pockets of air were not properly removed during the initial installation of the foundation. Water will then force its way through the wall.
  • A coating of efflorescense on the wall, which indicates that moisture may be seeping through the wall. Efflorescense is the salt and chemical residue from either the soil or concrete wall.
  • Buckling or bowed-in walls, which may indicate severe pressure behind the wall. It may have originally been hydrostatic pressure or water pressure, but over time it could transition to the pressure coming from the weight of the soil pressing against the foundation walls.
  • Mold, which may indicate high-humidity events or moisture events.
  • Puddles, which may indicate that the footings are too narrow or not laid deep enough, causing them to be susceptible to movement caused by soil erosion.

Although multiple signs seem to become evident all at once, quite often the problems were gradual and unnoticed.  Water problems can also originate because of one event such as local dynamiting, a storm that saturates the ground, or recent changes to landscaping.  All these events can also change the composition of the ground around the basement or crawl space creating new water entry paths.

To learn more, to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, or to request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book, visit baxtergroupinc.com/healthy.

5 Projects PERFECT for Winter!

By | Home Improvement | No Comments

You’re not going to be building a deck outside during the winter so here are some great projects to do while stuck indoors.

 

1.  Flooring

Replace your floors by switching out the old with hardwoods, laminate flooring, tile and more, or install carpeting.

 

2.  The Kitchen

  • Add a backsplash
  • Re-tile the floor
  • Upgrade the appliances

 

3.  The Bathrooms

  • Install a new sink, medicine cabinet, faucets, tub and/or shower
  • Upgrade to a water saver toilet

 

4.  The Basement and Attic

If sitting on the couch next to the fireplace all winter is getting a little boring, a great idea is to finish that basement or attic. This includes everything. Framing, the electrical work and plumbing, choosing where to put the TVs, speakers, internet cables etc., installing the drywall, flooring, the door and painting.

A smaller project may be finishing the garage.

 

5.  Retrofit Fireplace Doors

Remember that fireplace? It’s possible it’s horribly inefficient. An open firebox sucks warm air right up the flue. Adding glass doors makes the fireplace much more effective at radiating heat. Doors also keep kids and pets from getting too close.

Signs of Water Leakage

By | Home Improvement, Wet Basements | No Comments

Dampness.

A musty odor.

Cracks on the walls or floors.

Discoloration or white powder on the walls.

 

Does this describe your basement?

 

These are signs of water leakage and excessive humidity.

One of the most common areas where water seeps into basements is where the basement wall meets the floor. The main cause of this water seepage is called Hydrostatic water pressure. This pressure can force water into a seam or weak point in the foundation, primarily the cold joint, where different pours of concrete meet. Because wet concrete will not bond to dry concrete, this creates spaces.

There’s a way to control that Hydrostatic water pressure. It is a simple vinyl baseboard which is bonded to the floor and sits next to the wall. In a finished home, it takes the place of baseboard trim.

This system:

1.  Affordable

2.  Non-invasive

3.  Can be installed in finished and non-finished homes.

4.  Can be painted.

5.  Only deals with seepage that enters the structure so humidity levels are not increased.

6.  Can easily be sealed if radon gas is a concern or problem.

 

The epoxy used is stronger than concrete.

It will:

1.  NOT break down over time.

2.  Set up in wet environments. Already have a wet basement? Doesn’t matter! You don’t have to wait until your basement is dry to fix it.

Have You Considered a Basement De-Watering System?

By | Home Improvement | No Comments

Does your basement flood?

Does water constantly seep in?

 

Our system includes a vinyl baseboard which is bonded to the floor and sits next to the wall. In a finished home, it takes the place of the baseboard trim that surrounds the foundation walls. Our bonding agent uses an exclusive epoxy that is extremely strong.


Advantages of Our Basement De-Watering System!

  • Can be installed year-round in retail stores, law offices, dental offices, hospitals, municipal buildings, clinics and more.
  • Affordable – 1 to 2-day installation means less cost for you.
  • Non-invasive – There is almost no dust and mess since we don’t tear up any concrete floor.
  • Doesn’t disturb any landscaping.
  • Repair work is also non-invasive and the system can be visually inspected.
  • Can be installed in finished and non-finished homes.
  • No waiting until the basement is dry to install. It can be set up underwater.
  • Partial systems are available.
  • Systems can be painted.
  • Epoxy will not break down over time, and only deals with seepage that enters the structure so humidity levels are not increased.
  • Can be drained to either a sump pit or floor drain (if allowed by your local municipality).
  • The system can be easily sealed if radon gas is a concern.

Benefits of Having Our System:

  • A dry basement increase your home’s value.
  • A dry basement can be remodeled.
  • A dry basement allows for more storage without the worry of items getting wet and destroyed.

Don’t Let Your Business Flood!

By | Home Improvement | No Comments

Attention Business Owners!

 

You do everything to make your business prosper. Participate in social media, sales and promotions etc.…

 

But have you ever thought about protecting the building itself?

If the building has a basement, you may want to consider Basement De-Watering.

 

Here are some possible problems, and how Basement De-Watering can help:

 

The Building Structure:

If you live in an area with moist soil, structural problems could be imminent. Water can seep into the basement of the building causing the structure to become very unstable. Wood beams can swell and crack; concrete flooring can crack, and walls can bow.

How Basement De-Watering Helps:

Basement De-Watering will block the constant water seepage from the ground.

 

Mold:

If the building basement is constantly damp, mold will thrive. While visible mold could be contained to a small spot, microscopic mold spores get into HVAC systems and can be spread throughout the entire building. This is very hazardous to the health and the wellbeing of building occupants.

How Basement De-Watering Helps:

Basement De-Watering prevents a dry basement from becoming a wet basement.

 

Small Animals and Insects:

Rats, mice, beetles, and cockroaches. They love the damp, dank, and dark. If they decide to move in, they can get into walls and chew up electrical wiring.

How Basement De-Watering Helps:

Basement De-Watering will prevent a dank and damp environment.

 

Natural Disasters:

Hurricanes- they dump water, saturate the ground, and cause flooding. Even a good summer thunderstorm can pour down rain quick enough to cause a flood. That water will find every unsealed crack and crevice in the basement and turn it into a wet environment.

If the basement is used for storage purposes, personal and business items can be damaged. Paper business documents can be destroyed.

How Basement De-Watering Helps:

The rainwater won’t find any cracks or crevices to sneak through.

Basement De-Watering:  Protecting your building from water prevents so much more.