Handymen Services; Are they Right For You?

pioneer (10)Handymen services are a very inexpensive way to fix those small projects that you didn’t have time do, or do not have the skills or tools necessary to accomplished them.  For many people, having someone they know recommend a handyman is the best way for them to feel confident the job will be done, and the person in question trustworthy.  There are many companies out there that offer the services of a handyman, with license and insurance to back up any project they do. But, regardless of what choice you make, the recommended handyman or the company offering the services of a handyman, be choosy and do a bit of homework before any project you start.


Rosie on the House: Jobs a handyperson can do for you

Lots of times you have little jobs around the house that you don’t have the time to do. Or maybe you don’t have the skills or tools to do the job. So you think you want someone you might describe as a handyman or handywoman.

How do you find this handyperson? You can ask friends and neighbors, of course. You can ask your homeowners association if they have lists of people other neighbors have hired. You can look online.

Many times a contractor or remodeler you have used in the past has someone on staff that does these “handy” jobs. There are also licensed contractors who run handyman services of one kind or another. Of course, you want to find someone who has experience in the kind of job you want done.

There are some rules and regulations about what work a handyperson can do. Arizona law does allow unlicensed handymen or -women to do small home repairs or fixes if the value of labor plus materials does not exceed $1,000 and does not require a permit from your city or county. This handyman’s exemption means almost anyone can do small jobs in your home.

But the state does say that a contractor must have a license before he or she can do any electrical or plumbing jobs in your home. And you must always hire a licensed and insured contractor if your repair or renovation requires a building permit from the city or county.


Home Help: Keep your home safe without compromising style

TIP OF THE WEEK

Home accidents cause nearly 13 million injuries a year. Some simple updates to your home can help you avoid these accidents, as well as give your rooms a facelift.

The less clutter, the better: Sometimes the bulky knife block can be an eyesore or take up too much space on small countertops. If you are looking for new and interesting ways to store sharp knives, try installing magnet strips on the backsplash in the kitchen. This will not only keep your counter clutter free, but give your kitchen some flair.

Step it up: Have kids at home? Put a stepstool that slides into the toe kick beneath the sink so that your kids are able to roll it out like a drawer and step up to wash their hands. This is also great for parents who have young chefs in the house who like to help out in the kitchen.


Home Repairs That Can Save Your Budget

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Doing a little bit of maintenance around your home every year can surely prevent costly repairs that you are not expecting. A list of yearly chores for the fall is a good way to keep you organized, and keep your home healthy thought out the year. Here are 4 chores for you to do this year.

1.Tree branches that are too long around your home can be trim to a good size, and help you keep them from damaging your home during a good storm.

2. Cleaning the gutters, and making sure they are debris free, can help you keep the water flowing well.  Water sitting around the foundation of your home will eventually find a way to the basement, and   give you a new set of problems.

3. Inspecting the roof for loose shingles, or other problems can help prevent further damage to the roof.  Inspect the foundation of the home as well.

4.Change your smoke detector batteries, and carbon monoxide detectors as well if you have them.


Six Expensive Home Repairs You Can Avoid With A Little Maintenance.

The cost of owning a home goes well beyond the price you paid for the house itself. When something breaks, you have to fix it, and those repairs can be costly. You can’t foresee or avoid every home repair, but some regular maintenance can save you hundreds — maybe thousands — on some of these big ones.

Inspect Your Roof Every Six Months to Avoid a Costly Roof Replacement.

If you have a loose shingle or a leak in your roof, it will typically cost you several hundred bucks to fix the problem. That’s not exactly spare change, but if the problem goes unaddressed, the damage will cost a lot more in the long run.

When you neglect a leak, water can seep into the insulation and other parts of your attic, which can lead to mould growth and structural damage to your attic’s decking, beams and joints. At this point, you may have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to fix the problem. Duh, that’s what homeowner’s insurance is for, you might think. Bad news, though. Typically, homeowner’s insurance only covers damage that is sudden and not preventable. Most policies won’t cover any expenses you could have prevented with proper maintenance.


Quick Fix Home Repairs You Can (Really!) Do Yourself

Did you know…

There are some quick fix home repairs you can do yourself, at little to no cost?

Patching up those small holes in your wall from nails and screws can be a cinch…with a just a little toothpaste! Squeeze a bit into the hole, and simply use a putty knife or playing card to scrape off the excess!

Scuffed linoleum floors can also be rejuvenated with a little toothpaste just apply some to a dry towel and buff out those scratches. An old tennis ball fitted at the end of a broom handle can also do the job!

Finally, if you have any loose laminate tile that needs to be adjusted, try using an old hair dryer! Hold the dryer a couple of inches away from the tile and move it around until the laminate’s glue softens up. Then, simply reposition as needed! Just be careful not to hold the dryer too close for too long or you’ll burn out the motor.


Video: How a Sump Pump Helps Protect Your Home from Flood Damage

If you’ve ever been the victim of water in your home then you know how much of a hassle and how costly it can be to repair the damage. Having a sump pump in your house is the best defense against flooding. A plumber can install one for you or replace your broken one.

Brad Isley, L.E. Isley & Sons Inc.:  “Anybody that has a sump pump pit needs a sump pump. If you have a basement you have a sump pump pit and if you have a crawlspace you’ll have a sump pump pit so you’ll need a sump pump. Older homes sometimes do not have a sump pump pit and there are companies out there that will put those pits in and run the piping. There are a lot of different model, sizes, and horsepower on a sump pump. It’s based on your application. A traditional home uses a 1/3 horsepower sump pump. Some of your larger homes or large commercial buildings use 1/3 or 1 horsepower sump pump.


 

The Fun Part of Waterproofing the Basement – Decorating It

stock-photo-3164773-executive-home-bar-and-entertainment-roomYou finally got your basement waterproofed.  It’s dry, looks good and smells even better.  Now it can be used as an actual living, working, and storage space.   This is where the fun starts; it’s time to decorate.

Basements can be a decorating challenge because they’re usually used for a variety of different functions (i.e. workshop, crafts, kid’s play area, storage, media room, workout equipment, laundry, meditation).  Some of these uses are utilitarian and straightforward, while others are more esoteric and personal. 

Here are some decorating ideas to make your spaces functional and uniquely your own.

Use the walls

Too often walls are used only to hang pictures on or put furniture against; there are other uses for them.  Think about using your storage needs as a decorating opportunity.  Depending on the function of the room consider using bookcases, cubbies, lockers, storage units or shelving.  Add corresponding baskets or plastic totes and you have a functional as well as decorative feature. 

Exercise room – metal shelves for weights, workout DVDs, fitness balls/mats and clear plastic totes for smaller items.  Kid’s play room – shelving (sturdy and secured to the wall) painted in primary colors for books, games, baskets and colored totes for toys.  Media room – bookcases for DVDs, electronic equipment and baskets for remotes.

Consider the ceiling

People don’t consider the ceiling when they’re thinking of decorating.  But, the basement can be different – like the walls, the ceiling can be used for decoration and function.  If you have overhead space there are some creative ways to use it.

Kid’s play room – string a net from the ceiling between 2 corners and use it to store balls.  Workshop – save garage space by hang bikes or golf bags along the wall, out of the way, with ceiling hooks.  Storage room – that Christmas tree doesn’t have to take up valuable self or floor space; some overhead hanging units can hold up to 250 lbs. 

Remember the stairs

The space under the stairs is usually left to spiders and bugs.  There are many pre-made cubbies, shelves and bookcases that fit under standard basement steps or you can get built-in shelves or cabinetry. 

Getting to decorate after your basement has been waterproofed is exciting, and there are a lot of good ideas you can use.  Just keep in mind that simple and uncluttered never goes out of style.  Cluttered and disorganized will make even an Architectural Digest room look bad.


Nicole Abbott is a professional writer who’s had over 200 articles published.  She’s a business consultant and former psycho-therapist with over 20 years of experience in mental health, business and addiction.  She’s a coach, lecturer, trainer and facilitator.  She has conducted over 200 workshops, trainings, presentations, seminars and college classes. 

Dry Basement Means Healthier Living

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Pollen, dust, grasses, and in some instances mold are some of the ever present allergens in our homes.  Healthier living in these cases is very difficult.  Children with allergies have a very difficult time living in these conditions, and can develop respiratory illnesses due to these air pollutants.   The United States Environmental Protection Agency – epa.gov — has many resources for businesses and individuals concerning clean air in businesses and homes. And you can follow the links below if you need more information about clean air in your home.


Dry out the foundation for a cleaner and healthier basement

Even if you only visit your basement infrequently, you can easily tell when you have issues with moisture. Damp spots might be spreading along the floor, or beads of water will be sweating out of the walls.

This moisture can be particularly concerning if the basement is closely connected to the rest of the home through ductwork or if you plan to finish the space. John Carmody and Brent Anderson, writing for the University of Minnesota Extension, says the water can lead to the formation of mold or mildew, which can be harmful to your health.

If you finish your basement without first taking steps to dry it out, the floor and wall coverings will eventually start to molder and rot. To avoid this problem and keep your basement from getting too damp, you’ll need to find out how moisture is getting into your home and work to keep it at bay.

Causes

Moisture in the basement might be the result of condensation or water leaking into your home. The water could be coming from rainfall, snowmelt, a rising water table, or an interior water leak. During the summer, moisture might stem from the condensation of humid air on cool surfaces in the basement.


Are Growing Molds in Your Flooded Basement Something You Need to Be Worried About?

All households with flooded basements share the same concern and that is on how to pump the water out. However, there are other problems that they need to be more anxious about and these are the growing molds that seem to inhabit on their basement’s walls. This is a common problem if basement waterproofing was not done. If the problem lingers, it will cause so much hassle and this does not only limit on the wall’s aesthetics. Molds will cause problems to your family’s health as well.

“The presence of humidity, regardless of the amount causes mold spores to attach to the wall’s surface and grow”, Philadephia’s Director of Environmental Protection Agency Christina Schulingkamo said. They are the ones dealing with Sandy’s aftereffects this October, totaling to billions of dollars damages on the East Coast.

Anyone who is allergic to molds will manifest symptoms when exposed to mold spores. The person may experience irritation of the nose, eyes, airways and skin. It will start with a mold growth on a damp corner which will ultimately release tiny spores that float on the air. Once this will be inhaled by someone who is allergic to it, the person will start rubbing one’s eyes and sneeze. It can even trigger asthma attack.


Ten Things You Should Know about Mold

  1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints.
  2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
  3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
  4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.

 

Keeping Your Basement Dry This Summer

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Keeping your basement dry and free of mold is something that as a homeowner  are constantly battling. Humidifiers are a great way to get the moisture out of the air, and prevent the mustiness that comes along with too much humidity.  Keeping your basement dry after a storm is usually easy if the drainage in your home is good.  Making sure the water does not sit by the foundation of your home, and eventually finding a way to your basement, is something we can do every year with no cost. Keeping your basement shouldn’t be difficult, read the following articles below for more information about this topic.


So, You Want to… Waterproof Your Basement

Basement waterproofing can be a confusing (and expensive) process. But if you’re dealing with leaky foundation walls or water welling up from the floor, finding an effective means of managing these problems could save you a lot in the long run. Here’s a quick rundown of your options for keeping downstairs dry.

Unless your plan is to install a swimming pool in your basement, you probably cringe at the idea of water trickling in beneath your house. While the best time to waterproof is during new construction, if you live in an older structure, you don’t have that luxury. There are, however, a few measures you can take to protect your home from water, running the gamut from inexpensive safeguards to high-dollar professional remedies. Here’s all the information you need to choose the best solution for your basement.

EXTERIOR REMEDIESThe most effective way to waterproof a basement is from the outside. Doing so, however, involves excavating the soil away from the exterior of the foundation on all sides and installing drain tile (a flexible perforated pipe covered with mesh or fabric) at the base of the foundation.

You’ll most likely need a permit before starting, and some building authorities will allow only a licensed contractor to do the job. Digging a 7- or 8-foot-deep trench around your foundation is dangerous; it comes with a high risk of collapse, so it’s usually better to seek out an excavation contractor who employs safe digging techniques and trench bracing, anyway. Timing is essential: Schedule your contractor during a relatively dry season, or you could end up with a trench full of water that will have to be pumped out before work can continue.


Proper drain installation will keep your basement dryMy last house had a basement that leaked water. I’m building a new home and want my basement as dry as the Atacama Desert. I’m confident that my drain tile was not put in correctly at my last house. What are the best practices when installing drain tile around a foundation? What materials would you use? What are the biggest mistakes you can make when installing foundation drain tile? — Beverly H., Fall River, Mass.

You’ve touched on a subject that’s near and dear to my heart. My college degree is in geology with a special interest in two things: geomorphology and hydrogeology. Those are fancy words for the study of the surface of the earth and the study of groundwater. Both of those disciplines are in play when it comes to foundation drain tile.


How to Keep Rain Out of Your Basement

Last May was one for the record books, when severe storms slammed the Front Range, bringing snow, hail, tornado warnings and heavy spring rains. More than eight inches of rain fell, making for the wettest single month ever recorded in Colorado Springs.

Those who suffered landslides, sink holes and flooding in their basements won’t soon forget this experience. Yet, despite 2015’s unrelenting rainfall, many Front Range homeowners remain unprepared to deal with the consequences of outsize storms.

“We had an unprecedented amount of rain last year and chances are high we’ll be hit hard again this year,” says Dave Correa, supervisor at Peak Structural, a waterproofing and foundation repair contractor in Palmer Lake, Colorado.

Basement flooding is a problem that does not go away on its own, he points out. “Once water finds its way into a basement or crawlspace, it creates a path that excess water can follow for years to come,” says Correa. “Unless you take steps to address the problem, you’ll be stuck battling the rainfall, and fearing the nightly weather report, year after year.”


 

Controlling The Allergens in Your Home

pioneer (13)According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology  – Acaai.orgasthma affects more than 17 million adults and more than 7 million children in the United States.  Allergies are the 6th. Leading cause of chronic illness in the United States with a cost that exceeds $18 billion every year, and there are more than 50 million Americans that suffer from allergies every year.

Spring is a nice season for most of us, but for allergy sufferers, it is a season of tremendous discomfort and pain. The sneezing, wheezing, itchy eyes, runny nose that pollen brings to allergy sufferers is tremendous.  Preparing your family for this allergy season begins with you.  Keeping a home free of mold and allergens, can provide the clean air that your family needs this allergy season.

For more about this topic, follow the links below.


10 Steps to Control Allergens in Your Home

Allergens such as mold, dust and pollen will always be present in your home but there are steps that you can take to get them under control. These 10 easy tips will help reduce allergens in your home as well as your exposure to them. Try three or four or implement all ten.  You’ll see a difference in the health, and happiness, in your home.

  1. Use the bathroom fan                                                                                                                        Mold and mildew, shown here growing on the underside of a roof, can be a major source of household allergies.The bathroom can be the most humid place in the home because showers and baths produce steam. Excess moisture plus heat causes mold. If you don’t have a fan make sure that your bathroom is well ventilated by leaving the door open or cracking a window.
  2. Stay organized
    Keep your home and closets organized. Clutter collects dust and dust contains allergens. Stacks of magazines and knick-knacks are some of the worst offenders for trapping hidden and unwanted dust.

 

How to Allergy-Proof Your Home

Use the right products in the right way to prevent sneezing and wheezing during pollen season and beyond.

The simplest way to keep allergy symptoms at bay? Avoid exposure to the substances that provoke your sneezing, wheezing, and itchiness. But how? We looked at the research, spoke to leading experts, and reviewed our own product tests to determine what can help and what to skip when you’re trying to allergy-proof your home. Read on to find out which of the five following strategies really work.

Anti-Allergy Bedding

Swathing mattresses, box springs, and pillows in allergen-impermeable covers can entrap dust mites and animal dander as long as you use covers that are made from woven fabrics, according to research studies. Non-woven covers are less durable and won’t protect you from dust mites long-term. Plus, their dimpled surface can allow a variety of allergens to collect there. So before you buy, check product labels for a fabric pore size (the size of openings in the weave) no greater than 6 micrometers or microns, and for words such as “woven fabric.”


 

Are you allergic to your home?

Homes are places of comfort, security and rejuvenation. But what happens when your home makes you sick (literally!)? When not cared for correctly, homes can become the very reason you fall ill and stress levels will skyrocket. One obvious reason for this is the hidden allergens in your home. Common symptoms of allergies include wheezing, rash, watery eyes, swollen eyelids, itchy throat, runny nose, coughing, redness of the eye and itchy eyes.

Does your home have these allergens?

Dust

Dust is the most common culprit behind most allergies. If not cleaned regularly, dust mites and cobwebs can trigger respiratory problems. The best way to tackle dust is to set up a daily cleaning routine. Perhaps, investing in a good vacuum cleaner can help. Using microfiber clothes, brooms and mops for cleaning can also help.


Stop Mold Growth Before it Starts

pioneer (3)Mold occurs naturally in our environment, both indoors and outdoors.  Outdoors it plays a key role in vegetation decomposition, it’s beneficial.  But, indoors it’s undesirable and should be avoided.

Mold reproduces through spores that float through the air.  They’re invisible to our eyes and are always present.  Mold starts to grow when the spores land on a wet or damp surface — no water, no growth.  Therefore, it can only become an indoor problem, and a health hazard, when the situation is right for it to grow.

It’s impossible to get rid of all indoor mold spores, remember they’ll always be in the air.  However, a little bit of knowledge and work goes a long way toward limiting or stopping them from growing into an active mold culture.   

There are places in our homes more prone to humidity than others (basement, bathroom and the kitchen depending how often it’s used).  Humidity is water and it takes water for the spores to take hold.  Limiting or eliminating humidity is key to curtailing or getting rid of mold.

The ideal indoor humidity, for personal comfort and mold control, is between 30% to 50%.  It’s best to not let it go above 60%.  A basic, inexpensive humidity meter can tell you what the levels are in your home.  It’s important to move the meter from room to room as levels can change drastically from one to the other.

Of course, you may not need a meter.  If you can see the mold on the ceiling of your shower or the walls of your basement you know you have a problem.  But, a meter provides a helpful guideline, especially when you’re interested in maximizing personal comfort, as well as mold control. 

There are many common sense ways to reduce humidity: increase ventilation (open doors and windows, run exhaust fans), decrease condensation and it’s “hidden” sources (empty air conditioning and dehumidifier drip pans, insulate cold water pipes, cover sump pumps), wipe moisture from surfaces (windows and sills, walls, pipes), air conditioners and dehumidifiers.

Most people don’t know that many appliances produce moisture, especially in Northeast Ohio where we live in closed up houses for so much of the year.  Whenever possible, vent clothes dryers, stoves and kerosene heaters outside.   

It’s hard to have a completely mold free home.  There are just too many places in the average home for moisture and spores to join.  But, with some diligence you can go a long way toward limiting its impact on you and your family. 


Nicole Abbott is a professional writer who’s had over 150 articles published.  She’s a business consultant and former psycho-therapist with over 20 years of experience in mental health, business and addiction.  She’s a coach, lecturer, trainer and facilitator.  She has conducted over 200 workshops, trainings, presentations, seminars and college classes. 

Basement Waterproofing: Finding The Right Company

pioneer (14)We all have heard about the terrible job some waterproofing companies do when you hire them to waterproof your basement.  From the outrageous prices they quote, to the poor job they do and the mess they leave behind when finishing the job, some companies are not equipped to do a good job in your home.  There are many questions that as a homeowner you are entitled to ask before signing any papers with these so called contractors.

  • Are you insured, bonded, and have a license to do the job required?                           

Making sure that the company you hire has insurance that protect you from a lawsuit if anything should go wrong with the job, is a prerequisite you should not take lightly.  If any permits are required, you need to know they can take care of it without hesitation.

  • How long have you been in business?

The history of the company matters.  There are some companies that open for business, make some money doing bad jobs, close their doors and begin someplace else.  A company that has been in business for a long time and can provide you with a clean record, plus great references, is a company that you can trust and you can do business with, without too much concern.

  • Is this the best method and price for my particular problem?

IF the job they explain they are going to do seems “shady,” maybe you need to look someplace else.  The job they are proposing to do, materials needed and time frame should be explain to you easily. Any questions you have should be addressed and answered promptly.  If you do not understand the process and the materials they are using, you should look into a second opinion to make sure you understand what they are doing.

Having a good grasp on the information the contractors are telling you, requires that you do your homework too.  Knowing the problem your basement has, researching the methods, materials and companies doing these kind of jobs can mean saving money while having a job well done. 

If you have questions or need more information about basement waterproofing and foundation repair contact us.  We will be happy to offer a solution that makes sense to you and is kind to your wallet.


A Safe Home For 2016

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Basic remodeling projects are a good way to keep your home “healthy” and looking nice without costing you a fortune.  Other remodeling projects you may do in your home are not as exciting or visible to the friends you invite over but, are necessary to your home.  Foundation repairs are not something you can postpone till later.  Being proactive and looking at the health of your foundation in your home is financially responsible.  If you notice a crack in the foundation of your home and do not take measures to get it fixed, eventually the cost of fixing it can be a bit more than you anticipated. Call us with any questions you may have about foundation repairs and basement waterproofing in northeast Ohio.


Small cracks can mean big problems

Most homes have doors that stick or small cracks in the walls. Even though it’s common, cracks are not something to be ignored.

Homes and the soil underneath them move with the temperature and moisture of our Louisiana weather. Given the type of soil that makes up the Red River Valley and our Louisiana weather patterns offering river flooding and drought at the same time, we have dynamic soil. This can cause serious structural damage to our homes over time.

Soil and concrete slabs are subject to temperature change, which means a house will move and “settle” throughout the year. Foundation settlement issues are standard for our area, experts and homeowners agree, but when should a homeowner be concerned that a crack is more than just a crack?

“All structures and buildings move to some extent,” said Matt Wallace, a professional engineer, registered structural engineer and president at local firm Aillet, Fenner, Jolly, and McClelland, Inc.

Homeowners should be aware of warning signs for a possible cracked foundation, such as doors failing to latch, cracks in walls – over doorways, ceilings – cracks in the flooring, or windows failing to operate properly.


Cheryl Parson: Nine tips to protect your home

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU

We’ve been very fortunate to have an amazingly gentle entrance to our winter season thus far, so many of us have put off (or forgotten) some vital tasks around our homes. Old Man Winter can take a huge toll on the value of your biggest investment.

Here are things you should do, while it is still relatively warm, to prepare your home against his attacks!

1. The most important thing to make sure is service yourheating system. Have a certified HVAC technician inspect your furnace or heat pump to make sure your system is clean and in good repair. The service tech can also check for damage to the system that could cause carbon-monoxide leaks.

2. Almost as important as your furnace is your roof. Check and repair loose, damaged or missing shingles. Also inspect the metal flashing in the valleys and aroundchimneys. Winter storms and melting snow can destroy and cause leaks leading to costly repairs and mold.


How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Foundation?

Foundation settlement can lead to major structural problems within your home. There are ways to repair a concrete foundation without having to tear it out and start from scratch. Repairing a foundation can be a costly job, but the better educated you are about types of foundations and how best to repair your foundation, the better you can work with your contractor to find a solution you can afford.

With major foundation repairs involving hydraulic piers costing $10,000 or more, and minor cracks costing as low as $500, most homeowners will pay around $3,774 to repair foundation issues.
Here are a few things that can influence the cost of a foundation repair.

Foundation Problems

Foundations that have been built on expansive clay, compressible or improperly compacted fill soils, or have been poorly maintained can have serious damage as the foundation settles and moves.


Protecting Your Home Against Disasters

stock-photo-3164773-executive-home-bar-and-entertainment-roomHomes are probably one of the biggest assets most americans have.  Guarding it against disasters is not only important but necessary.  Moldy basements, leaky roofs, foundation problems, and scams concerning your home are dangers that you have to protect yourself against, and take care of them when they arise. Follow the articles below for more news concerning your home.


When severe weather strikes, make sure your home is ready

Our homes provide shelter from the extremes of Michiana weather, but only if we take steps to protect them, too.

Living in northern Indiana, our homes are hammered each year by frigid polar vortexes, straight-line winds, “thunder-snow,” sudden downpours and the occasional tornado.

Spring is when the weather is at its most unpredictable. The ground saturates with April rains, only for it all to freeze when winter makes an unwelcome return 12 hours later.

Our houses provide shelter from these all-too-common extremes, but only if homeowners take steps to protect their homes, as well. Taking preventative measures can save thousands when it comes to the potential cost of fixing water damage and mold.

FLOODING AND MOISTURE PREVENTIONDampness, water seepage and flooding inside the basement or crawlspace is the most common problem homeowners run into during the spring, said Jared McQueen, president and owner of A&M Home Services in South Bend and Lakeville.


Mold habits die hard, so here’s what to do

Q. Is there any kind of professional certification for people who claim to locate and remove mold in private houses? I asked the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, but they didn’t know.

Our house (which was built in 1973) has had a moldy smell in the summer for as long as we’ve lived here (almost 16 years). I’ve cleaned everything in sight, but that didn’t help. I think there is something inside the walls. There are people who claim to be able to find and fix these problems, but I’d like to be sure they really know what they’re doing before I pay them a lot of money.

A. There is no official organization in Massachusetts that I’m aware of. There is the National Association of Mold Professionals (www.moldpro.org), which is a nonprofit that develops and promotes the mold inspection and remediation industry. The association has been around a long time and has a reputation for developing best practice-training and public mold education.


The 9 Biggest Home Repair Scams

From watered-down house paint to unnecessary termite treatments.

From time to time we bring you posts from our partners that may not be new but contain advice that bears repeating. Look for these classics on the weekends.

I’ve had numerous people come to my house offering “great deals” on home repair services over the years.

One hustler knocked on my door recently. This was our exchange:

“Good afternoon, sir! I’m with Speedy’s Chimney Sweep. When was the last time your chimney was inspected?”

“Hmmm … good question,” I said, scratching my chin and looking towards the heavens. “I think it was about 85 years ago.”