Getting Rid Of Your Carpets? Here’s How

old-carpetIf you’ve just purchased a home or you’re thinking about redecorating your home, there’s a good chance you’re thinking of beautiful hardwood floors. Whether it’s the aged elegance of reclaimed wood or new bamboo, parquet or any other kind of hardwood, the first step is getting rid of your existing flooring – and all too often, that means tearing out carpeting. It’s a big job, but it’s not nearly as hard as you might think. Even if you’re not up for the challenge of laying down new floors yourself, this is definitely a DIY project.

Don’t Try To Take It Out In One Piece

Your carpet may have arrived in one piece, but there’s no reason at all that it has to leave the same way. You’ll have a much easier time dealing with it if you cut it into smaller, more manageable pieces. A box cutter works wonders here – don’t use scissors, this is actually a lot harder than using a knife. Strips of 2’ by 8’ are pretty easy to handle. Start from the edge and work your way through the room. Not only are these smaller pieces a lot easier to work with, you’ll also have a much easier time getting them into a trash can or dumpster.

Get Rid Of The Padding

Taking out the padding is equally easy. Just repeat the same process you used to take out the carpet, cutting the padding into manageable pieces and taking them out.

Tack Strips

This part can be a challenge, at least until you get the hang of it. However, with the right tools, this can be a very quick and easy job. If you’re planning to lay down a new floor, then there’s an especially easy method: push a chisel (or the end of a pry bar) under the tack strip and push to remove it. This can scratch up your floors, so you may want to skip this method if you’re not installing new flooring afterwards. The slightly less easy method involves a flat head screwdriver and a hammer. Slip the head of the screwdriver under the tack strip and give the handle a gentle tap with the hammer to force the tack strip up. After you have all of the strips out, use the hammer to pry up any remaining nails.

Now, it’s just a matter of cleaning up and preparing your floor for the next step. If your goal was just to expose your existing hardwood floors, then there is no next step. It really can be that easy to give your décor an upgrade and even increase the value of your home!

Air Conditioning and Politics

There were a number of articles published in a journal not too long ago that reported some fascinating findings. These articles were about the fact that people’s belief can influence how they feel the cold.

Some researchers questioned a large group of people about their perception on climate change, political views and beliefs. It resulted in some amazing results. People with left-leaning beliefs thought that the weather was hotter than what it was, while people with right-leaning beliefs thought the opposite.

This also was reflected in the means of cooling their bodies. Political views also influenced whether people thought air conditioning was or was not beneficial for them.

People with views to the left thought the use of air conditioning was beneficial and that it prevents exposure to certain pollutants from outdoors. They also feel that air conditioning helps them be healthier. People holding views to the right thought air conditioning is okay for occasional use, but also felt that fresh air was important, as much as possible. The line of employment people are involved in will also influence how they feel about using air conditioning. There are people, who feel air conditioning is not conducive to ideal healthy. There has long been the perception of air being recirculated a cause for illness to happen, and this has been proven to a certain extent.

Many experts have debated the issue of whether it is healthier to recirculate air or to breathe in fresh air for many years. The truth is that both are fine depending on the environment in which you live and your particular circumstances.

The truth is to neither the right nor left, as most truths are. Air conditioning in some cases protects people’s health. In offices, it can be a means for preventing pollutants to circulate and cause various respiratory issues or other illnesses. Many offices are in the city and it seems that people are healthier, who use air conditioning under these circumstances. They are breathing in recirculated air that has fewer pollutants in it than the outside air, which makes it healthier. This fact lessens the amount of respiratory issues suffered and keeps the pollution out of the office, when the open windows would just let the pollution in.

This post was contributed by Conditioned Air Solutions of Madison Alabama.

Popcorn Ceiling Removal

popcorn ceilingPopcorn ceilings are soooo ’70s. Not only are they well past their prime, bumpy ceilings are tacky. If you’re tired of living with these monstrosities, let’s talk popcorn ceiling removal.

Experts strongly recommend an asbestos check before you disturb the status quo. You can buy an asbestos testing kit or mail some scrapings to a laboratory for analysis.

In the event asbestos is present, put away your tools and contact state-certified asbestos abatement professionals. Asbestos removal is not a prudent DIY project.

Under the best circumstances, popcorn ceiling removal is a dirty job. You should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) including: face mask, goggles, close-toed sturdy shoes, coveralls and work gloves.

Gather your tools before beginning the project. You’ll need: ladder, 6″ putty knife or plastic trowel, spray bottle or garden sprayer (preferred), plenty of plastic tarps and a couple of rolls of masking tape. You may need a sander.

Prepare the room by moving contents to another area. Turn off the electricity in the room where you’re working and take down light fixtures and/or ceiling fan. Cover the floor and walls with plastic and secure with tape. Put on your PPE.

If it appears somebody has painted over the bumps, you will need to sand the ceiling before wetting.

Wet the textured ceiling thoroughly, using your garden sprayer or spray bottle. Using side-to-side motions lightly spray the same small section several times until you have properly saturated the entire ceiling. Let the water soak into the ceiling about 20 minutes.

Now it’s time to get down to serious popcorn ceiling removal business! You might want to crank up your favorite tunes. Get your putty knife and start scraping. Don’t get overly vigorous. Keep your putty knife level so you won’t gash the drywall.

There is no doubt this work is tedious, but very important. Just keep scraping until done. If it seems your work is getting harder, give that section another drink of water. Wait the requisite 20 minutes, start scraping and the “popcorn” should pop right off.

After you finish scraping, get a damp (not wet) sponge and remove any stragglers. Now, eyeball the ceiling for gouges or rips. If necessary, use drywall compound to repair the damage and conceal any nail holes. Be mindful, you’re aiming for a smooth surface, so that you will likely need to do a final sanding prior to painting.

Now, stand back and admire your popcorn ceiling removal work!

Why I Picked Carpet Tile for the Game Room

PS-AMERICANOYou might ask about a perfect way to cover a game room floor. Most families are like mine with a limited budget for home improvement. The game room takes priority because the kids and guests enjoy gathering in this comfortable spot. I knew right away I would be doing some serious research time before making my decision. The results led to choosing carpet tile for several reasons. Because of all the foot traffic the game room gets, in addition to moving furniture from one spot to another, quality is as necessary as style. I was lucky to find peel and stick carpet tile at bestcarpetvalue.com. They provided great over the phone help and the tile was fine.

Great Designs

One of the first things I looked for was a floor covering that would provide the design I had in mind. After all, the game room is a warm, inviting area. I certainly didn’t want something delicate in appearance, like white plush. I did find some rolled carpet with patterns, but not what I wanted. Tile and linoleum aren’t suitable on cold days. A friend suggested looking at carpet tiles, which are easy to install and offer incredible variety.

Fantastic Choices

I admit I was expecting to see a bunch of bland 12 x 12 inch squares and flat topping. Instead, I found out the carpet tiles also come in pile carpeting, designs, a bunch of different shapes and colors, and affix to the floor in a variety of ways. Imagine my surprise to see so much variety and style! What a delight to find the size and pattern I was looking for in a self-stick form. The reason? Installation was a cinch!

Simple to Care For

Guests, as well as the kids, try to be careful and not spill food and drinks or track in dirt. Well, I can honestly say I am quite easygoing about the game room floor as long as they try. Unlike the living room rolled carpet with its tedious cleaning, I just have to lift up the dirty tiles, clean them and put them back after they dry. One hint I’m glad to have heeded was ordering extra tiles in case a replacement was needed. So far it’s not been required, but I’m prepared in the event it does.

Unique Way to Wallpaper a Wall

wallpaper-okSome walls just seem to cry out for something different. This is especially true with walls that may be the only wall in a room with wainscot or a narrow bit of wall at the end of a hallway or entryway. You might want to consider using wallpaper in a uniquely different manner.

Instead of hanging panels of wallpaper, get scraps, samples, short rolls, etc. and tear them into small pieces of a couple of inches square to create a mottled look on your wall. It does take some time but is simple to do and can be a fun, creative way to add color to a small part of your home.

The first thing to do is prepare the wall. If it has old wallpaper on it, you will want to remove that wallpaper. To do this, you can use a wallpaper remover to loosen it and then scrape it off. If the wall is painted with a smooth surface, just clean it well and put primer on it. If the wall is textured, you can use a joint compound to fill in the low areas, let it dry, sand it lightly and then cover with primer.

Finding wallpaper for this is fairly simple. Most stores that carry wallpaper have sample books and may have some old ones they will either give you or sell cheaply. Also check the bargain wallpaper for rolls of discontinued wallpaper, short rolls and scraps. It is best to have an idea of what colors you want before you start buying so you don’t end up with wallpaper you end up not being able to use. For example, you may want to use blue as the basic color so you look for various shades of blue. If you want to create some sort of pattern in another color or two, such as a night sky, also watch for whites and shades of yellow.

If possible, get prepasted wallpaper that only has to be wetted to put up. Since it may not be possible to get all of it in prepasted, get wallpaper paste too. Even the prepasted will stick better with a little more paste on it. The paste won’t be mixed as thick as it would if you were hanging full panels so you won’t need to buy as much.

Once you have most if not all of the wallpaper you will need, start tearing it into small pieces of two to three inches square. In a medium bowl or bucket (an ice cream bucket works well for this), mix the wallpaper paste so it is soupy. This would be about three parts water to one to one and a half parts wallpaper paste. Drop a couple of handfuls of the torn wallpaper pieces into the paste mixture and start sticking them to the wall, overlapping them slightly as you go. One nice thing about this method is that it is forgiving and there is no such thing as a mistake.

Once you have the entire wall covered with no bare wall showing, you can add a complimentary wallpaper border at the top and bottom for a finished look. Once it is completely dry, you can give it a couple of coats of spray or roller polyurethane to seal it.

Though it takes time, it can be fun to do and your wall will be unique. If you have more walls that are similarly crying out for something different, you might use the same technique and try different colors and effects for each one so each can make its own statement.