What to Consider When Hiring Professionals for Interior Painting

download (41)Whether it’s a remodel of an older home or decorating a brand new house, interior painting is an important part of the construction. It can be a pain to do it alone, so most people hire others. Here are some basic pointers to keep in mind when it comes to making your home a colorful, peaceful retreat.

Have Colors in Mind

This may sound obvious, but many people start interior painting without really having a full vision for their decor. Think about what each room’s decor and style will be like. Keep in mind smaller rooms-darker colors tend to make the room feel even smaller. In this case, light and bright colors will make the area feel open. Decide what sort of ambiance the room should have; for instance, bedrooms should be calm and relaxing. Light blues, grays, and neutral colors may work here. Figure out ahead of time what kind of colors to have in each room, and it will make the job much easier.

Lead Paint

It’s important to check for lead in homes built before the late seventies. Old layers of paint may still have traces of lead, which can be detrimental to one’s health and the environment. Make sure your painters check all layers previously painted for any traces of lead.

Think of Extra Costs

Sometimes, one is not just paying for paint and labor. Depending on the wall texture, it may require extra preparation and priming before the project is started. As well, ceilings that need to be painted will become an added cost. Painting baseboards and crown molding may cost more due to extra labor and additional colors. Even covering large walls in a house with high ceilings can cost more.

Decide on Finishes

This is definitely an aspect of interior painting that many overlook. Depending on the room, the walls may require a specific finish, such as a flat finish versus a high sheen finish. Flat does not have much of a shine, and it may be harder to clean because of its dry texture. Higher sheen or eggshell finishes have a higher gloss and hold up better to washing. In general, high gloss finishes are easier to clean. They do especially well in areas of high humidity or dampness, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Eggshell finishes in kitchens also make grease and grime cleanup easier.

Prep for the Job

Instead of hiring the painters to do the prep work for the home, it may be beneficial to do it yourself. This is important in any house, but especially for older homes with wallpaper that needs to be removed. This can save both time and money when the hired interior painters do not have to do this themselves. This also isn’t a step that should be avoided; paint can peel, crack, or chip if there is not a proper base.

If hiring a professional is required, it’s best to follow these tips and try to make the job easier. It will lead to a gorgeous home and beautiful results.

Tips for Choosing House Painting Colors

download (42)It is often said that the easiest way to change the appearance of a home is to paint it. And, while this is true, knowing what colors to paint your home’s exterior, or perhaps determine what color to paint a particular room, is rarely as easy as it sounds. Just take a walk down the paint aisle of your local home improvement store or visit a paint store and you will quickly discover that the days of simple red or white are no more. There are now more hue variations than one can begin to imagine. Add in the number tools, brushes, trays, etc. and just the thought of a weekend spent house painting can be overwhelming!

Thankfully, house painting doesn’t have to be terrifying or overwhelming. With an understanding of the following paint selection tips from house painting pros and average homeowners, you can have a new look for your home in no time at all.

Paint Selection Tips for Anyone

· Start in a smaller space. You don’t have to paint a main space first. Choose a small room, a hallway, or even and accent wall. Use an area rug, pillow, piece of artwork, or some other piece with a color you like in it, and take it to the store with you. The salesperson can help you find a paint color to match, or either custom mix that color for you.

· Use paint to enhance the existing architecture. By painting molding, mantel, built-ins, or doors, you can add color in a small way and make a decision regarding main wall color after you have lived with the new look for a few days/weeks.

· Note what rooms are visible to one another. Pay attention to what colors are used (if any) and how much of each room can be seen from an adjoining room. Consider keeping adjoining spaces in neutral tones as these are nearly foolproof choices.

· Think about the mood you want to create. Rich colors such as brown, deep greens, rich reds, etc. lend an air of intimacy and warmth; while softer colors like blue, light yellow or green have calming affects.

· Think about your lighting. Natural lights show the truest color, incandescent lights bring out the warm tones and, fluorescent lighting casts a blue tone.

· Know the terms. Hue is the term for color; the value refers to how light or dark it is, saturation refers to how dominant the hue is; and, intensity is the brilliance of the color.

Choosing a paint color for your next makeover project doesn’t have to be intimidating. You can walk with confidence into any paint aisle and make the decision with ease. Then, it’s just a matter of painting the space yourself or calling in a professional such as the Bay Country Painters. Regardless of your choice, you can have a great new look for your home in no time at all.

Of Primers, Sealers and Undercoats

images (17)So you have decided to give your home a new coat of paint and while looking for paints, you come across this terms and wonder what they do. Firstly, I would like the congratulate you on your brave decision to re-paint your house. In order to ensure your newly painted house will look as good as it can be, it is important to have an understanding of these terms. Not to worry as even professional painters are confused by these words “primers”, “sealers” and “undercoats” are used interchangeably. In this article, we will help you clear some of the doubts you may have.

What is a Primer?

We will first have to take a look at what a primer does.

A primer is a coat of paint that is applied directly to the bare substrate. Its main functions are to:

1. Provide excellent adhesion to the substrate (wall) for the new paint.
2. Provide protection to the substrate (wall) until it can be top-coated.
3. Prevent moisture reaching the substrate (wall)
4. Protect the substrate. Some wood primers have fungicide to prevent mould-growth and anti- rust properties in metal primers.

Primers are usually pigmented to allow painters to know that a wall has been primed. Also they contain a higher amount of pigment volume concentration (PVC) which results in a slightly “rough” finish after drying. This “roughness” provides for better adhesion for the subsequent coats of paint.

What is an Undercoat?

An undercoat is designed to fulfil the following roles:

1. Provide a base for the topcoat to adhere to.
2. Provide a film to prevent moisture from getting to the substrate (wall).
3. Even out small imperfection on rough surfaces.

Undercoats generally have the role of filling surface imperfections and preventing moisture. They have high pigment volume concentration (PVC) to fulfil this role. Steel primers often contain pigments such as micas and talc powder which work well to protect against moisture.

What is a Sealer?

A sealer can be seen as a specialised primer. A sealer can be used prior to, or in place of a primer. Sealers are designed to:

1. Provide good adhesion for the subsequent coats.
2. Recondition poor substrates such as old, cracked walls.
3. Seal off surface porosity to prevent subsequent coats from sinking in which could lead to a “non-uniformed” finish.
4. Prevent stains.

The composition of sealers are quite varied as sealers carry out many different roles. Unfortunately, the naming of sealers and primers can be rather loose among products. In this case, it is important to know what you want to do with the sealer/primer and check against its uses on the product label.

General Rules

1. An undercoat is a type of primer, but a primer is not always an undercoat.
2. If it is a new surface, use a primer. For surfaces that have been painted, use an undercoat.
3. A sealer can be seen as a specialized primer.
4. Always use primers, sealers and undercoats from the same brand as your top-coat to ensure maximum adhesion. While most brands claim their primers and undercoats can work with any paint, they general do testing only within their product lines.

Through this article, we hope we have given you a better understanding of 3 different products. With this new knowledge, you are better prepared to undertake that painting project and utilize these products more effectively.

Benefits Of Installing A Sump Pump

images (16)A sump pump is used to stop water from building up in basement and crawl spaces. It is a common inclusion in various residential and commercial buildings. It is a waterproofing system that collects and redirects water away from the foundation of the house. It is placed in the pits designed to collect water and other liquids.

There are mainly two types of sump pumps, namely, submersible and non-submersible. Installation of this pump should only be done by an expert. He can also advise you on the type of pump which will be best suited for your house. Here are a few benefits of installing a sump pump in your house:

Prevents Damage from Flooding – It is a great device if your house is in a region which is prone to heavy rains. It can help prevent your home from water damage due to flooding and humidity, especially the basement. It also saves you from huge financial losses that water can cause. It ensures that every space and room below the ground level remain dry and warm by eliminating dampness and humidity. Installing a sump pump is a convenient and low-cost solution to remove accumulated water from your home. It will also keep your personal belongings from getting damaged.

Reduces the growth of mold/mildew – A damp and moist basement helps in the development of mold. By preventing water from accumulating in the basement you can prevent mold and mildew from growing. This not only helps in protecting your house from any damage, but also protects the health of your family members.

Reduces the risk of Fire – Electric fires are common in flooded areas. You can prevent electrocution and electrical fires by installing a sump pump.

Increases the value of your Home – If your basement other lower areas remain dry, the foundation of your home will remain structurally sound. This will help in increasing the value of your home considerably.

Some sump pumps are powered by electricity, while others are water-powered. The number of pumps you need to install in your home will depend on the size of your home. Sump pump installation is a complex task, therefore it is never recommended to install it on your own. It is best to hire a plumber for this task. It is important to make sure that you hire a professional and skilled plumber for this task.


Residential Painting Contractors

download (40)This is a professional who paints exterior and interior walls, the trim, and porches on a home. Professional residential painting contractors have specialized knowledge in knowing what the right types of paint to use for a job along with adding details to the painting job such as borders or texturing. There are some that also have the equipment that will allow them to reach places up high such as window shutters or second stories. Their primary job will be to provide paint applications in various homes. They may also work for a builder painting the homes that are being built.

Due to many homes now having vinyl siding that is paint-free homeowners no longer need the outside of their homes painted. There are some homeowners who do prefer the authentic wood look and may still need an exterior painter to do this work. Some residential painting contractors have their own business and will hire work out to subcontractors if they are extremely busy or have a rush job. Other times they may do all the work themselves so they will make a bigger profit.

There are benefits of hiring residential painting contractors instead of the homeowner doing all the painting. In addition to there being less painting for the homeowner the contractor has the special equipment and tools that can help the job go faster, the paint job will have a more professional look to it, and the contractor may have employees to help with the work. Some examples of special equipment and tools can include specialized lifts or ladders, extensions to attach to paint rollers so they can reach higher areas, knowledge how to do decorative details and more. Residential painting contractors are often skilled in many other tasks besides painting. They know how to get walls ready for painting by being able to sand and prime the walls and how to fill in holes and cracks so when it is painted it looks like nothing was wrong with the wall.

When hiring residential painting contractors you want to make sure that they have the experience to do the job. You can find a local contractor by checking with their local phone directory, asking friends and family for references, or looking online. Ask to see their license because in some areas they have to take the same exam as the general contractors. You should also ask how long they have been in business and what specialize training they have. You should also ask if they charge by the hour or by the job and if they give free estimates. Get everything in writing in the contract.


3 Ways Water Enters Your Basement

download (39)There are 3 ways that water enters your home. Cracks are created in the wall, footer and the floor.

The Wall

(Wall is usually made from Cinder Block, Poured Concrete, Brick or Stone)

Wall cracks are created through several different ways:

    • Lack of Parging and Tar – When you home was first build the builder puts a layer of parging and tar on the outside of your foundation wall. Over time the tar wears away just as the asphalt on you roof wears away and needs to be replaced. As the parging and tar disappear, water and ground acidity have direct access to your foundation wall.


    • Improper Backfill – When the builder used a bull dozer to push in the backfill around your foundation the pressure against a wall caused a crack.


    • Ground water – Water accumulates in the backfill area of your home and starts to pressure on your wall. Ground water gathers the Acid in the ground and deposits it against the wall of your home. Acid starts to eat away at the wall of you home and creates cracks in the foundation wall.


    • Settlement – When the home settles in to the ground clay the walls move slightly and crack.


  • Water is absorbed into the foundation wall and the area above the freeze line. The depth of the freeze line is 24 inches in Virginia. As the temperature cools and warms the wall expands and contracts. This causes cracks in the foundation wall.

The Footer – (A Footer is a 12-Inch-Deep by 16-inch-wide slab of concrete around the bottom of you Foundation) From a bird’s eye view the Footer looks like a side walk around your basement. It is place in the hard pan clay of the bowl in which your home’s foundation is built.

Cracks in the footer are caused by pressure from water forcing its way underneath the footer washing away the clay and gravel surrounding the footer. As the earth beneath the footer moves the footer cracks and moves.

Floor – (Floor is a slab of concrete poured after the Footer and Walls are placed in the home.)

Newly poured concrete and dry concrete do not bound together. Since the floor is poured separately after the footer and walls are built there is a natural seem between the wall, footer and floor. This is where water first appears. Usually you will see water in the corner near the where the wall, footer and floor meet.

The reason this occurs is due to the hydrostatic pressure that is created when water forces its way around the walls, underneath the footer and pushes on the floor. Hydrostatic pressure is pressure that is exerted at equilibrium at a given point within fluid due to the force of gravity. Hydrostatic pressure increases in proportion to depth from the surface due to the increased weight from the fluid exerting downward force from above. This pressure causes water to enter through the natural seem between the wall, footer and floor as well as push water up through the center of the floor.

How do you solve this issue?

In order to address water leaking into your home you must address all facets of the problem or the problem will continue and continue to get worse until you have non-reparable structural issues.

If you excavate and repair the wall will it solve your issue?

No – Repairing the wall will not solve the problem of water getting into the home underneath the footer and through the floor.

Will a French Drain solve the issue?

No – Putting in a French Drain alone will not solve the water affecting your wall and it will not stop the water underneath the floor. The mold mildew and smell will all still continue to grow.

The solution is to create a Water management solution that addresses the issues on the Wall Footer and the Floor. Water Management is less expensive and disruptive than excavation and provides better warranties.

How To Fix A Leaky Basement

download (38)The basement is an important part of every house used for storage purposes. Basement leaking is a common occurrence in many homes. Even a small leak in the basement can be distressing. The dampness not only damages your belongings can also cause several health problems.

Fixing a leaky basement is very important to prevent it from creating further damage. If you have the right tools and materials, you can fix the leakage on your own. Follow these simple and easy steps to fix a leaky basement:

Find the source of Leakage – The first thing you should do is to find the source of the leak. Examine your property thoroughly both from inside and outside to find cracks in the wall. The reason of leak can be a broken pipe inside the wall. You can also use a damp meter to track the leak.

Inspection – If the reason of leakage is a broken pipe; you should call a plumber to fix it. If the leakage is caused by a crack, you can easily find and fix it on your own. Use a hammer and a chisel to open the crack and remove any loose material from inside the crack using a metal scraper. It is important to clean the crack properly with a brush to remove dust and debris to allow the cement to stick properly.

Fill the Crack – You should first dampen the area with water using a spray bottle. In the next step, use hydraulic cement to fill the crack. Prepare the mixture after reading the instructions written on the pack and apply it on the crack properly. You can fill the gaps using small pieces of stones. Use a scraper to make sure that the cement is in level with the wall. You should then let the cement to dry.

Use a Sealant – You can apply a waterproof sealant to protect the walls from dampness and moisture. Use a dry-lock paint sealant and be careful to wet the walls before applying the sealant. You should let the sealant dry properly before applying the second coat.

If you don’t wish to fix the crack by yourself, taking professional help is the best option. Professional plumbers usually apply an injection of epoxy or polyurethane directly into the crack. They help in filling the entire crack efficiently. Fixing a leaky basement is very important to maintain the structural health of your house.


Underpinning a Basement Is It a DIY Job

images (11)If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.

It is the age of Do-It-Yourself or DIY. If you believe the internet, every job under the sun is a DIY job. You may have noticed home improvement websites claiming that underpinning a basement is a DIY job. It can be completed successfully with step-by-step procedure mentioned on the websites. But, is it true? Before putting on your work boots, consider the following things:


Today, the internet is the primary source of information for everything. You may have researched for several hours and read everything related to underpinning a basement. But, do you have the experience to undertake such a complex engineering process?

If you work in the construction industry and have knowledge about underpinning a basement, you can decide to undertake the underpinning process on your own. But, remember that it will require your dedicated efforts.

Structural Engineer

A structural engineer is required to make sure that your home can sustain the underpinning process. If you decide to start the work without consulting an expert, you may harm the structural integrity of your home.

Permit from the Local Government

Before starting the underpinning process, you will have to follow different types of laws and regulations such as building permits and zoning regulations. Obtaining a permit from the local government is a complicated procedure because it involves several documents. Are you ready for it?

Permission from the Neighbor

If you share a wall with a neighbor, the foundation of his home will be affected by the underpinning process. You will have to assure him of the safety of his home. Underpinning contractors have experience of dealing with neighbors on a regular basis. So, it is ideal to hire a contractor and let him/her undertake the task of convincing your neighbor.

Find Equipment and Handyman

Underpinning a basement requires specific equipment for excavating earth under the foundation. Even if you rent the equipment, you might not have the experience to use it. In such a situation, you will have to spend a lot of your time in finding handyman with experience of using the equipment. So, it is wise to hire an underpinning contractor because his team of talented handyman will take care of the underpinning work efficiently.

Underpinning a basement is different from building a kitchen cabinet. It is a complicated engineering process. There are chances of things going wrong quickly. If you start the underpinning process on your own, you may end up making a grave mistake such as damaging the foundation structure of your home. So, it is better to let the experts do their work.


Most Common Basement Problems

images (15)Basements are subjected to a lot of problems because of their location. No matter whether you are using your basement for simple storage purpose or recreational activities, these problems can decrease your home’s value.

A basement is an important part of every house. It can be used as an additional storage or activity space. Even a minor problem with the basement can be emotionally very stressful. Here are some of the most common basement problems that every homeowner must have faced at some or the other time.

Cracks – The problem of cracks in the basement wall or flooring is very common. They allow water to seep into the house. Cracks can occur either naturally or because of an external force. If not checked on time, small cracks can get bigger over time and cause major problem to the foundation of your house. Bigger and more serious cracks should be checked out by a professional. Cracks on the floor can be due to the mistakes during construction and can show up as the house ages. The soil around the house can constantly erode because of water, thereby weakening the foundation of the house. These problems need to be addressed as soon as they are spotted.

Humidity – It can cause problems like the growth of mold and dust mites. Living in a humid house is not very comfortable for a human being.

Smell – Humidity and smell go hand in hand. Foul basement odors are usually caused by mold, mildew, drywall, paint or dust mites.

Mold – The growth of mold in the basement not only causes a lot of problems, but also deteriorate the value of your house. It smells bad, looks awful and causes serious health problems like asthma, headaches and allergic reactions.

Basement Leaking or Flooding – This is a very common problem that house owners face especially during the rainy season. Wet basements can cause several other problems. Water may enter the basement either from the inside or the outside. The only solution to the problem is waterproofing the basement with the help of a professional.

These are some of the common basement problems that house owners face at some or the other time. It is very important to keep a check on these problems and corrective measures should be taken as soon as possible. It is always advisable to seek professional help in fixing the basement problems. Not only these professionals are experienced, but also have required tools and equipment to solve your basement problems.


Causes Of Basement Flooding

download (36)Many homeowners face basement flooding as a common problem. Wet or damp basements are a common problem in both old and new homes. Basement flooding creates mold and mildew and ruins flooring and wall materials. Most often it happens during rainy season, but it can also occur during a dry weather.

Many people wait for the problem of basement flooding to go on its own. This attitude can prove to be very dangerous for the structural health of the home in the long run. Whenever your basement floods, it is best to deal with the problem straight away. Hiring the service of a waterproofing company offering wet basement solutions is the best way to deal with this problem. First, it is very important to understand the reasons for basement flooding. Here are a few reasons why your basement may flood:

Location of the House – Usually houses are built on sloped terrains, which allow accumulated water to drain. If your house has been built without proper sloping or on the lower part of the estate, it will flood frequently.

Improper Drainage System – The problem of leakage is very common if a drainage system is not installed properly. A properly installed drainage system helps in moving the water away from the basement and block the entry of the water in the building.

Sump Pump Failure – The work of a sump pump is to collect the unwanted water and discharge it away from the home. But if it is not working properly, it won’t work properly and may lead to basement flooding. Some of the common reasons of a sump pump failure include, improper installation, lack of regular maintenance, power failure and clogged discharge lines.

Leakage in the Sewer Pipe – Smaller leaks in the sewer pipe can only become noticeable when the issue has become very serious. This can prove to be very dangerous.

Leakage from the Wall Cracks – This is one of the most serious issues and the cause of the crack needs to be found to avoid the building up of more cracks.

Other Reasons:

– Seepage
– Debris in the Eavestroughs
– Window Wells Leak
– Honeycomb Leakage
– Mortar Joint Leak
– Floor Cracks
– Plugged Drain Tile

The good thing about basement flooding is that it can be easily fixed through wet basement solutions. All you need to do is hire a good waterproofing company after doing proper research