Useful Tips for Renovation After a Flood
Profile of the door- I suggest saving a door so you can match color and style. You may not be able to match exactly if your cabinets are more than 2-3 years old so find the one with the closest outside edge detail that matches. The inside detail is less noticeable.
Color and finish of the cabinets.-Remember the finish may have faded with age and sun exposure. Just try to match the best you can.
Flush doors or recess doors- This is a big one. When possible take a picture of your cabinets. Look and see if the door goes all the way to the edge or is inset a bit. This can make a difference in the layout of your cabinets as well as the profile look. You want to make sure you choose a look that blends.
3. Choosing insulation-
When your house is flooded you need to replace the insulation. There are a couple of basic types of insulation- faced or unfaced. The thickness of insulation usually are R13 R19 R30.
Generally speaking you should have the insulation in the inside walls of the house( bathroom areas) unfaced so air can circulate. You would also use unfaced in a crawlspace under the floor. On all outside walls you would want to use faced insulation.
The type and thickness of insulation you use depends on the depth of the studs. For instance, with an inside wall 2 x 4 stud you would use R13. Outside walls or garages may be 2 x 6 which you can use R19 and crawl space beams are much deeper so you would use R30 or R19. R19 is used more for cooling and in colder areas and R30 is used more for heat retention in ceilings.The main things is to not use a thickness of insulation that you must cram in the space. This defeats the purpose and cuts off airflow.
There are many different types of tile. A couple of things to keep in mind when choosing tile for your home or office. Ceramic tile is less expensive and can save you money but you want to use that only in areas that are not high traffic. Walls, small bathrooms are perfect for this type of tile. For high traffic areas you will want to use Porcelain, Slate or a solid stone or tile that can handle abrasion and traffic. Pay attention to the cleaning and maintenance of the tile or stone. Some material take more care than others.
5. Nuetralizing and testing your soil after a flood.
A flood can ravage a yard–floods can cover your yard in harmful bacteria and often times will damage a yard to the point that it must be reseeded. But lime can help you revive your yard. Lime can help to neutralize harmful bacteria in your yard, add needed calcium to the soil, and lower the acidity of the soil to optimal levels. The beneficial effects of lime can encourage your flood damaged grass to regrow or prepare your soil for reseeding.
If you want to have your soil tested for environmental safety call your local health department and they can guide you on how to have that done.
Things You’ll Need:
30- to 40-lb. bag of dolomitic lime per 5000sqft
Soil pH tester
water and hose
Use a water hose to rinse away the sediment, left behind from the flood waters, from your flood-damaged yard. Lightly rake the yard to remove any metal, plastic or other foreign items left from the flood.
Take an assessment of your grass to determine if it is healthy enough to be saved. If the lawn has sustained minimal damage–the grass retains much of its green color and the root structure is intact–purchase some dolomitic lime from a local hardware store to disinfect the lawn.The calcium in the lime will also nourish the damaged grass. It is advisable to till and reseed a lawn that has been waterlogged or sediment covered for longer than four days.
Use a soil pH tester to check the acidity of the soil in your yard before reseeding. Set the switch on the tester to the “pH” position, and then stick the probes on the bottom of the tester into your soil. Read the tester’s pH meter to find out the level of acid present in your soil. Test several other spots in your yard to get an idea of how acidic your soil is. This will indicate how much lime you need.
Place the lime into a drop spreader and then distribute the lime evenly across your lawn. Use one 30- to 40-lb. bag of lime for every 2,500-3,5000 square feet of yard space. If your yard’s pH is just barely outside of the optimal level of acidity for the type of grass you will grow, use less lime–try using one bag for every 3,500 to 4,500 square feet of yard space.
Work the lime into the soil with a garden rake. For lawns that are too damaged to revive, use a shovel and garden rake to mix the lime about half a foot down into your yard. Reseed and or fertilize the lawn two weeks after you’ve mixed the lime into your soil.
6. Water Restoration Versus Mold Certification- Do you need to do either or both?
Water Restoration Companies offer a number of services. You can have them totally strip your walls, floors, wipe down and spray areas with antimicrobial solution to prevent mold, kill existing mold ect.
They can also test moisture in the floor and walls to determine when you are dry enough to rebuild and if certain items are safe to keep.They are the experts.
Most companies will allow you to use as much of their services as you want. Although you can do alot of the services yourself, keep in mind that most licensed bonded companies keep up with the latest codes and effective solutions. It is their business to make sure you are safe. Water restoration companies can NOT provide you with a certificate, however, keeping your records of what was treated with your home documents can make a world of difference in resale. Also water restoration prepares you to be able to pass Indoor Air quality tests to receive a letter of acceptable air quality after a disaster.
If you choose to have someone restore your home, make sure they are Licensed and Bonded.
There really isn’t anything that is a “mold certificate”. What you CAN receive and want to obtain is essentially a letter stating that at a certain date after the disaster that the indoor air quality was tested and was at acceptable levels. Companies such as B4 out of Lavernge TN specialize in that field.They can come out and test the levels of mold as well as look for visible mold. After testing if results are not acceptable they will offer solutions to fix the problem. If levels are acceptable you will receive a letter showing the test results, date and acceptable levels of indoor air quality approval. Keep this with your house documents for resale.
Make sure that whatever “Testing” company you use is certified and licensed for the specific area you are testing for. Check to make sure they are using government certified and approved technology and are certified to use the equipment.It is also advisable to use a different company for restoration than you are using for testing. This gives credibility and provides more reliable results.
After a flood another important element to check for is RADON. Most people focus on mold, but often overlook Radon testing. Radon is a radioactive gaseous element produced in the disintegration of radium, a radioactive metallic element. It cannot be detected by the senses and can be confirmed only by sophisticated instruments and laboratory tests. The gas enters a house through pores and cracks in the concrete or through floorboards of poorly ventilated crawlspaces, especially when wet ground allows the gas to escape easily through the soil and disperse in the atmosphere. Radon is a lung carcinogen: the National Academy of Sciences estimates radon causes some 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths annually.A certified indoor air quality testing and approval letter runs about $300.00. Radon testing runs about $150.00.
There are 2 times you can test for mold; before you rebuild and after complete renovation. If you wait until after renovation the test will be an “indoor air quality” test.You will run your Fan on your AC for 3 straight days to bring out any lingering mold spores, other carcinogens and toxins. After you run for 3 days change your filter as the air during that 3 days is not an accurate read of the quality and can be very toxic . Once you have done the above you are ready for testing.The test will give you detailed information about what is in your air and if it meets Government Health acceptable levels.
I would strongly suggest the water restoration as well as the testing, especially if you have any intention of selling your home, or have someone with a low immune system or allergies.
7.Information about Central Air Units after a flood
First thing you need to consider related to your Central air unit after a flood is how far under was the unit sumerged. Were any parts of the electrical or motor under water? If so you may want to consider replacing your unit. Sometimes the unit can be fixed saving money. However, proceed with caution. After a flood manufacturers will void any warranty of the unit and parts. So you may fix it temporarily only to find out later that something else breaks and not only are the parts not covered but any work done on the unit after the flood is not warrantied as well, including labor.
If your duct work was underwater it is imperative that you replace it. Otherwise, you will be blowing in mold spores and other toxins in to your breathing air, causing extreme sickness.
Even if your unit works, if it was sumerge and your duct work was underwater, DO NOT turn on your HVAC. You are inviting all the toxic elements into a sealed space( your home).
If you have a crawl space that was flooded, make sure that all duct work is removed, all plastic, and insulation are removed and replaced. Clean the area completely including all beams and treat with an antimicrobial solution.Dry out with fans. You do not want to have any standing water.
Special Design note. A special note for Split HVAC units or upstairs units. When a house is orginally built all the piping is run on the inside of the house behind any brick or siding. However, when you purchase a new unit you can not get to those pipes to replace them. Therefore, new pipes must run on the outside of the house. This is not attractive. You can however request a cover that blends in with your vinyl, wood of brick to minimize the appearance. Talk to your HVAC contractor and they can explain your options.
Choosing an Central Air Unit.
Some of this information provided by http://www.furnacecompare.com/buying_central_ac.html
Buying a Central Air Conditioner
Factors to consider:
1.Are you paying a reasonable price for your central a/c?
2.What capacity of central air conditioner should you buy?
3.Should you buy a high, middle, or low-efficiency air conditioner?
Are you paying a reasonable price for your Central Air Conditioner?
There are essentially two costs when purchasing and installing a new central air conditioner: equipment costs and labor costs. Don’t be surprised to pay $3,500 plus( 2000sqft home) in cost to install new ductwork and a new HVAC unit. The installation can take several days and requires a great deal of detail.Beware of prices too low as well as prices too high.
As with installing a furnace or boiler, you will need to work with a good HVAC contractor when you install a new central air conditioning system. Make sure that you get quotes from at least three contractors. This will ensure you a low, medium and high bid, and give you a good sense of what it is reasonable to pay. Also, make sure to screen your potential contractors to ensure that they have happy customers and no complaints. Always choose a licensed bonded contractor!
Choosing the right size Central Air Conditioner
As with sizing furnaces or boilers, it is important to have an HVAC Contractor perform a load calculation before you decide which size air conditioning system to buy. If you install an air conditioner which is too large, it will cycle on and off too often, substantially reducing the efficiency of the system. Too small, and your air conditioner may not be able to meet the demands of a hot, humid day.
Dont’ assume that previous owners or the builder did this calculation. Builders will use the least expensive unit that meets specifications. So it may not be the best size or the most energy effiecient for the space.
The industry standard load calculation is called the Manual J calculation. It takes into account the size of your house, the amount of insulation installed, the square footage, and a host of other factors.
Central Air Conditioner Efficiency
The most common measure of the efficiency of a consumer central air conditioning system is the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Beginning in 2006, an air conditioner must have a SEER of at least 13 to be sold in the United States. Higher efficiency models have a SEER between 14 and 22.
A more common rating method for commercial air conditioners is the EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio). EER is a measure of the ratio of the amount of cooling (measured in BTUs) to the amount of electricity it consumes (measured in watt-hours). The EER is a steady state measure — that is, the efficiency is only measured once the unit has started up and is running at a steady capacity. SEER takes into account the startup and shutdown time as well, making it a more accurate measurement for determining the actual energy costs for the end user.
Currently until Dec. 31st 2010 There is a tax credit up to $1,500.00 if you purchase a high energy efficient HVAC unit. This is definetly worth considering if you plan to stay in your home for more than 3 years.
8. Recyling and GREEN Tips for Rebuilding
It is a little hard personally to think about recyling and environmental issues in a time of crisis, however, if you have noticed the temporary landfills you can’t help but think about it.
Here are a few things you can do to help.
1. Keep a separate bag for all the cans and water bottles that workers and your family use so you can take to a recyling station near you.
2. Tear down and keep any cardboard from new appliances, or anything new that you purchase. You would be amazed at the amount of cardboard that can be recyled.
3. Make sure that any appliances that you are getting rid of are disposed of properly. Contact your local metro works department if you have questions about hazardous materials or what needs to be disposed of in a special way.
4. When purchasing new furniture look for items that have eco friendly foam and fabric. These will biodegrade over time in a landfill leaving no trace.Some manufacturers of furniture also use UV technology to cure their wood. Whenever, it can make sense in your budget, choosing GREEN products can make a huge difference.Ask about their Sustainability statements if they are not already posted.
5. Check out different flooring options. Upgrade to GREEN carpet padding. It is a little more expensive but is a better padding and is biodegradeable. So if you can afford just a little more, this is a wise choice. Check the manufacturing practices of flooring manufacturing and make GREEN choices whenever you can. Ask about low emmissions during manufacturing. Also when looking at wood flooring products consider bamboo or recyled wood products.
Just doing any of the above will help our environment. So when rebuilding try to think GREEN.
9. Paint tips
When remodeling one of the givens is new paint. This is an area where you can do it yourself and save a great deal of money. Here are just a few tips to help insure you are satisfied with your paint job.
1.With new drywall make sure you choose new dywall primer and prime and prepare the area properly for your new paint. You may want to lightly wipe off any drywall dust before you prime.
2.If you are trying out a new color or paint I suggest getting a sample can and doing a test area first. Most stores have these for about $3.00 each and it covers about 4′ x 4′ of wall. You can then see how the color is afffected by natural and artificial light and how it really looks in a larger space and in your space. This can save you a lot of time and money. Better safe than sorry.
3. Choose good quality paint. You may think you are saving money by going with a less expensive paint, but in essence the less expensive brands may take 2-3 coats where the good quality paints will only need 1-2. This saves not only time but money because you need less paint. This also makes a huge difference in appearance and how even the paint spreads.
4. Some paints will have built in tinted primer or you can get primer that is tinted the color of your paint.This means it will take less coats to get the color you want. This is strongly recommended for darker colors as they are difficult to get an even appearance.
5. Don’t take shortcuts in preparation. Use painters tape to protect areas you do not want painted. I prefer a blue tape so I can see just where things are taped and how much paint I get on it.Make sure you have the correct tools on hand before you start. Invest in a good roller, edging brush and any other triming and edging items you think you might need. Make sure you choose the right roller sponge depth for your task. Ask a professional on what is the best nap for your roller for what you are painting. Generally, a 3/8″ is a good depth for most general painting.
6. Paints can be done in several different sheens: Flat, Eggshell/Sateen, Semi gloss, High Gloss.
Most builders use Flat paint because it is less expensive because it covers more area. It is also harder to see imperfections in the drywall.However, flat paint is hard to wipe off and clean making it look dirty really fast. I do not recommend Flat paint.
Eggshell or Sateen is great for most areas. It is easier to clean and still covers very well. It also is almost as affective at hiding imperfections as the flat paint.
Semi Gloss is great in high traffic areas or kitchens. It is VERY easy to clean. It will however, have a shine about it and shows imperfections in the walls.
High Gloss is usually reserved for trim and doors. It is very easy to clean with a little water and a rag. It may also be used on cabinets in a kitchen or bath room.
7. Oil or Latex paint. When possible choose a water based Latex paint. This is easier to clean off and better for the environment. Alot of older buildings however have oil paint.Make sure you know what type of paint is on the walls before you paint. You do not want to waste your time putting Latex over oil. It will peal right off. If you want to move from an oil paint to a Latex paint, sand the surface and prime before painting. Failure to do this will yield undesirable results.
8.It is almost certain that you will have to do some minor or major touch up later. When that time comes you want to be able to match the paint. After you are done painting you want to make sure you have a record of what paint you used and where. It is a good idea to either copy down the mixture information off the paint can label and note what room it is for, or you can always take a picture with your cell phone of the top of the paint can with the information and send to your email with the name of the room in the subject line. Having a picture also gives you the color on the paint can top making it easier to recognize.
9.Paint is usually only good for about 1 year after opening so you don’t want to keep it much longer past a year. It will not coat evenly.To dispose of used paint you can take the top off and let it dry out. When it is dry most trash collectors will pick up. However, check with Metro Works on how your area disposes of hazardous products. NEVER throw away cans filled with wet paint in to the trash. Protect our environment and make sure things are disposed of correctly.