Professional Drywall Tips For The DIY’er

If it’s one thing that a lot of DIY’ers get into trouble with it comes to drywall home repairs. It looks easy enough on YouTube or in a book, but once you start slinging the mud, weird things can happen. No one told the drywall, tape and mud that it was suppose to be easy and trouble free. Then when you start talking about matching texture, the home DIY’er quickly realizes they may have bit off more than they bargained for. Hopefully, these drywall tips will help you become better at repairing drywall.

A good repair job will start by how you cut the piece that is to be repaired. I know some people who’ve tried to repair drywall between the studs. This is just ridiculous! I prefer that I have some type of backer between each side of the drywall patch. Preferably studs. If I can’t use a stud, there are commercial products designed to stiffen the new piece of drywall while you patch it. I myself will just use a 1×4 slid up behind the drywall patch and screw the edges in place. Make sure all edges are flush or you’ll have a noticeable repair on your hands.

The first thing you’ll need to make sure of is that you get the right kind of drywall mud. Most homeowners will find that the premixed all purpose drywall compound will be fine for repair work.

Mesh or Drywall tape? Again, I prefer the mesh for home repair work. Some will go with the adhesive backed mesh, but I haven’t had much luck with it when trying to repair a large section. I normally just get the non adhesive mesh and make it stick with just small amounts of compound.

I also like to use two strips of mesh overlapping. I think this gives the edges of the repair more strength.

Another mistake a lot of people make is putting too much mud on the seam or repair. More mud does not make for a better repair, actually it weakens the repair! Use as thin of a mud joint as you can. I prefer to let the joint set overnight and thoroughly dry. If you live in the SouthWest where the humidity is virtually nil, then you might be able to apply a second coat within a few hours.

For the best results, let the first coat dry thoroughly and sand it. Apply another thin coat and let it also dry thoroughly and sand it. The edges of your repair should be flush and blend in with the rest of the wall. If not, it’s your repair, if you can live with it, fine. If not, you can either start over or sand down the high spots and fill the low spots until they’re not noticeable, but I haven’t had much luck with this.

Once you have the edges flush, then comes the next part. Some people will just throw texture up on a piece of sheetrockk and then paint it. I’m a little different. I guess it’s because I’m a perfectionist. This is how I do it.

I will prime the new sheetrock with a good primer. Original Kilz is my favorite if you can stand the smell. I then let the primer dry completely. Then I’ll texture the patched area. Just make sure you match the texture first. Don’t use Orange peel if you have a knock down texture. I know this may sound elementary, but you’d be surprised at how often this happens.

Also, I shy away from that texture in a can stuff. I’ve tried every brand I could find and just haven’t found any I thought was acceptable. Save yourself the trouble and pass on it. For repair jobs, I use a Wagoner Power Tex texture gun. This little gem works wonders on repair jobs. You can choose the type of texture you want to apply by changing the nozzles. It’s also very easy to clean up afterwards.

The Wagoner Power Tex is not an air operated texture gun. It operates on electric and has a small motor at the rear that blows the air through the gun. It’s very effective for small areas.

As for texture, I’ve used the powdered texture you mix up. But I really prefer premixed joint compound for repairs. I add just a little bit of water to thin the compound up. If it’s too thick, it won’t work in the Wagoner.

You’ll do yourself a favor it you practice with the Wagoner Power Tex on a scrap piece of cardboard before you try it on your wall. Practice until your results look like the texture on your wall and then spray the repaired area. After I’ve sprayed the repaired area, I let the texture set 10 to 15 minutes so it can start setting up (for knockdown texture). I’ll then knock it down and call it a day.

Just like my joints, I let the texture set over night and dry completely before doing anything else. Once they are completely dry, I might ever so lightly hit the area with a fine sander if I think it needs it. I clean the area up, prime it once again before painting. After that coat of primer has dried, I’ll then paint the area. If it’s a large area, you may have to repaint the whole wall to get it to match. Hey, it was about time you repainted that room anyway. Right?

I hope this will help you on your next drywall repair job!

How To Keep Your Swimming Pool Clean And Safe For Swimmers

No pool owner wants their pool maintenance routine to feel like a chore. Luckily with the high-quality pool chemicals that are available on the market, the emergence of automated robotic cleaners and the efficiency of pump and filtration systems, it should only take a couple of hours a week to keep your pool safe, hygienic and clean. In this article we’ve broken the process down into four basic steps. Here’s how to keep your swimming pool clean and safe.

Your first step is to test the pool water on a regular basis. This will tell you what chemicals are needed and in what amounts. Using test strips that are simply dipped in the water is one of the easiest ways to achieve this. If you want to get a little more precise, get hold of a more advanced test kits that can read pH, alkalinity, total chlorine levels, free chlorine levels, phosphate levels and levels of dissolved solids.

Your second step is to add the chemicals that are needed. You need to ensure your primary sanitizer (such as chlorine or bromine) is present in required concentrations, that you add a pool shock treatment on a regular basis and that you maintain the pH and alkalinity of your pool using water balancers. You may also occasionally have to add a clarifier to clear up water that has turned cloudy and use an algaecide periodically to prevent any algal contamination. If you pool is being heavily used or there has been heavy rain that has washed contaminants into the pool, its a good idea to shock treat the pool more often. Remember to ensure that the pool is not being used when you add any pool chemicals.

Your third step is to run your pump and filter system for around 10 hours each day. That is normally enough to ensure that the entire volume of water used in your pool is pushed through the filter system. Sand and DE filters need to be back-washed on a regular basis.

Your fourth step is to skim any surface debris from the pool on a daily basis, clean out your skimmer baskets, brush around any hard to reach areas and vacuum your pool. When it comes to pool vacuums there a number of options on the market. Some like suction side and pressure side vacuums run off your main pump and filter system. But there are also truly automated models, such as blue peal pool cleaner, or the nitro robotic cleaner. They are completely integrated and self-contained units and do not require any complicated installation. These will help you learn how to keep your swimming pool clean and safe.

Cork Flooring Suits Those On A Budget

When budget is a factor in the choice of flooring, why not have a look at the different types of cork flooring on the market today. It is practical and relatively easy to maintain as well as being anti static and non slip making it a safe choice especially if you have children or older people living in your home. Buy the thicker cork board tiles as they will last longer and in the long run will prove better value for money. There are three main reasons why this type of flooring is a good choice:

Comfort

Cork flooring provides a comfortable, soft feeling underfoot as well as acting as an insulator. It is not suitable for use in areas of your home that are exposed to strong sunlight as it will fade. You can buy different varieties of cork floor tiles. Some people prefer to buy the composite tiles which are a mix of cork and vinyl backing. This is much more hard wearing than 100% natural cork flooring although it is not as environmentally friendly. If you want your floor to keep looking great make sure it is correctly laid and properly sealed.

The type of home you live in is a factor in your choice of flooring

If you live in an apartment building you should check your lease to see if there are certain conditions mentioned regarding the choice of flooring in your home. Some buildings, particularly the older ones, have restrictions on the type of flooring you can use to prevent being a noise nuisance to your neighbors. Also there is a safety consideration as some flooring such as ceramic tiles can be very heavy and the structure of the building may not support it properly. Natural cork flooring shouldn’t cause you any problems as it is both lightweight and an effective noise reducer.

Keep your health in mind

If you or your family suffers from hay fever or other allergic reactions you need to choose the right type of flooring. You may have been told to pick a natural carpet such as those made from 100% wool or natural fibers. The problem is that carpets can hide certain pests such as bed bugs, dust mites and animal fleas. Laminate and wooden floors may seem like the answer but these can become very dusty very quickly. Laminates can release chemical gases depending on how they were made. Cork board flooring on the other hand is 100% natural and has yet to be linked to any form of allergy.

Not only that, but cork flooring is a green alternative because it’s a renewable resource. The tree where cork is taken from is not killed, it just produces more cork!

My Swimming Pool Lights Don’t Work: A Troubleshooting Guide

Swimming pool lights look great at night, and they make it safer to swim. If your light suddenly switches off there are several reasons for this problem. In this article we will review step by step what you should do to find the root cause.

Preventive measures

First of all, know that when handling water and electricity you need to take prevention measures. Make sure every switch related to the pool lights is turned off. Start with the pool light switch itself, move on to the circuit breaker and switch it off. Next, tape all switches to prevent someone from coming in and turning it on while you work. Put up a sign as well, you can’t be too careful with this.

Check the circuit breaker

To find out what the problem is, your first stop should be at the circuit breaker. Is it tripped? by now you should have the pool light switch off, so turn on the circuit breaker, and if it immediately trips, it means you have a short circuit. You will need an electrician to help you further with the problem.

Check the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)

If the circuit breaker does not trip, your next stop should be at the GFCI. This is itself a circuit breaker, much more sensitive because it is designed to prevent swimmers from getting an electric shock from the pool lights. If you don’t know where this switch is, try looking at your main panel box for your house, a sub-panel box near your pool filter device or an electrical outlet close to the pool.

Once you find it, check if the switch is tripped. It should have a test button, make sure the pool light switch is off, and press it. If the button pops, it means there is power up to this point and it’s on. If it doesn’t, press the reset button. If this button trips, you’ll need an electrician to find out what the problem is. If it holds, try your pool lights and see if they work.

Finding out the cause

Your light should come back on. If it doesn’t you may have a burned out bulb, but if it does, then what may be happening is that there is water in your light fixture. The light’s heat vaporizes the water which in turn makes the GFCI switch trip. This can also happen if there is humidity around the outlets that are on the same circuit as the GFCI; cover them up to keep this from happening.

Problems such as this are seldom included when calculating inground pool prices, but they’re a natural occurrence in pools. If you followed this guide you’ve probably encountered the problem. The question now is how to solve it. Well, if water in your light fixture is the problem, you will need to take it out and dry it, but there’s a set of steps for that procedure by itself. Make sure to research how to do it properly, so you can have your inground swimming pool lights back on in no time.