Choosing the Right Nuts and Bolts

metric or sae know how to pick the right pieces

Employees of hardware stores get asked very difficult questions on a daily basis. The reason for this is that the vast majority of the casual home owner or renter who makes their way into these stores in search of tools or supplies, rarely knows exactly what it is that they need.

For this reason, it is good to be reminded from time to time that hardware store employees, while often very knowledgeable about their chosen department, are not miracle workers. They are not blessed with the psychic ability to be able to know exactly what each customer needs based on only the most ambiguous possible description.

For instance, there is no hardware store employee in the world who could immediately find the right part for such a request as:“I’m looking for a bolt about an inch long.”

The follow-up question would surely be something like: “What else can you tell me about the bolt?”

And this is where many customers freeze up. They never thought to find out any more. They figured that a hardware store is a place one goes to buy bolts, so they will obviously know which one is required for each situation. Clearly (and everyone should know this already, it just helps to be reminded), there are certain things that a person must know before going to the hardware store, especially something that comes in such a wide variety as nuts and bolts.

Here are some tips for being able to find the right fasteners

Tip #1 – If the Old Part is Available, Bring it In

It’s very surprising how many people neglect this first, rather self-evident truth. The easiest way for a person to find exactly what they want at a hardware store is to bring an identical part along. Especially in terms of bolts, where there are several different “pitches” of threads (thread pitch refers to how large or small the individual threads are) along with many different sizes, this is very important. Even the precise measurement of bolts will not necessarily be helpful, as there several other features that make bolts unique, such as…

Tip #2 – What’s the Thread Pitch

If the nut or bolt is lost or otherwise can’t be brought in to match it up, get as much information as possible before heading to the hardware store expecting a miracle. Measure the length, then the width, then try to estimate the thread pitch. Generally, there are a few pitches per diameter of bolt, which are often referred to as “fine, medium, or course” (or some variant of these threads). These thread pitches are also often labeled using numbers – for instance, a ¼ -24 bolt means that it has a diameter of ¼” and a thread pitch of 24 (which would probably be a medium pitch – a fine being 32 and course being 12). Often, to prevent extra trips, it is best to be safe and simply pick up each of these threads (unless a large quantity is needed, in which case perhaps it is better to start with just one of each and then return once it has been determined which is correct.

Tip #3 – SAE or Metric? It’s Not as Clear as it May Seem!

Looking for a bolt for a car engine? Remember that there are two major types of threads – SAE (standard, as it is often called in America) and Metric, which are not remotely compatible with each other. In an automobile, many people think this is a simple question to answer – just figure out where the car is made. If it’s an American car, it takes SAE threads, if it is foreign, it takes Metric. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The majority of the time, fortunately it is this simple, but there are many instances where people mistakenly make this assumption, then find out that their particular car model does not keep with this rule. New Ford engines, for instance, often use foreign-made components, which means that there will be a mixture of SAE and Metric threads.

Once again, the best answer is to bring as much information into the store as possible, but if it is not possible to bring the actual bolt or nut, perform measurements as thoroughly as possible, and buy several different sizes (nuts and bolts are generally fairly inexpensive, if only a few are needed), just to be safe.

Tip #4 – What’s it made of?

Is the nut or bolt in question stainless steel, galvanized, grade 5, grade 8, or any number of other different metals or hardnesses? Sometimes this is important, sometimes it’s not.

  • If it’s going to be used in automotive applications, often times grade 8 (or hardened) hardware is the way to go for extra strength (and safety) – though be warned that there are applications where harder is not better, as under a certain amount of tension some bolts are expected to break for safety reasons, so it’s best not to make too many assumptions.
  • Grade 5 is a fairly standard bolt that is fairly hard, though not resistant to corrosion, so only used for indoor applications (this is the standard kind of bolt that comes in furniture and such applications as that).
  • Stainless Steel is, as the name implies, resistant to corrosion, though it is not as hard as grade 5 or grade 8. It is also fairly expensive, so is not cost-efficient to be used in every application.
  • Galvanized steel is generally standard grade 5 steel covered in a corrosion resistant zinc coating. These are a generally more cost-effective alternative to stainless steel, though they rarely come in fine threads, so are not universally compatible.

So, armed with this little bit of knowledge, perhaps the next trip to the hardware store will go a little bit better. Just remember – the more one knows, the better the trip will go, and the less frustrated the store employees will get.

The post Choosing the Right Nuts and Bolts appeared first on All around the house.



Useful Tips for Basic Household Repairs

These useful tips for simple home repairs can save you from issues growing into major problems around the home.

Hidden Dangers in Clothes Dryers

An estimated 15,000 fires are caused by clothes dryers each year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. They can cause serious injures and have resulted in deaths.

  • Some fires are caused by lint build-up in the exhaust duct. Corrugated vinyl ducts seem more likely to lead to fires than metal ducts. The simple solution is to remove and clean ducts and lint traps frequently. Also important is to never leave the home when a dryer is running.
Check Out: Check for Highly Flammable Dryer Lint in Duct Vents and Exhaust

Stick With the Right Adhesives

  • Adhesives have improved considerably over the years. Always choose a name brand adhesive made for the specific surfaces that require repair or mounting.
  • Epoxies are good for metals. Heavy-duty adhesives can permanently attach heavy objects to walls. The key word is permanent. Removal of the object and adhesive could take the walls with it.
  • Cars have their own set of adhesives for various projects. Some are transferable to home repairs and some are not. Read directions and always follow the instructions for surface prep and applications.
Check Out: How to Select the Right Caulk for the Job

Running Toilets

  • When the water in the toilet tank runs for a short time, stops and then periodically repeats the process, the probable cause could be a worn flapper. The rubber becomes soft and allows water to leak out of the seal at the base of the flush valve.
  • Replace worn parts. Some toilet tanks have snap-in systems and that means the entire system needs replacement.
Check Out: 5 Simple Toilet Repairs Anyone Can Do

Sink Drips

Problems in faucets can be attributed to failed valves, O-rings, washers and other moving parts. Faucets, which are compression (stem) or washerless (handle movement controls water flow), can be taken apart easily. Worn parts should be replaced with new items that conform specifically to the make and model of the faucet. Wrenches, screwdrivers and pliers will be needed.

Check Out: Faucet Replacement Guide if you decide to replace instead out repair

Shower Water Flow

Slow water flow in shower heads can be a simple repair. Often, the cause is minerals in the water collecting and clogging holes in the shower head.

Unscrew and remove the head. Soak it in vinegar to break down the minerals. A toothpick should be used to poke through clogged holes. Hand-held shower heads should be replaced if the tubing has pin-sized holes and slits. Don’t rely on temporary patches with tape or adhesives.

Basic Home Tool Kit

These and other basic maintenance projects around a home can be completed with a little knowledge and the right tools. Basic tools that every household should have readily on hand for basic projects include:

  • Hammer;
  • flat-head and Philips screwdrivers;
  • needle-nose pliers;
  • locking-grip pliers;
  • slip –joint pliers;
  • Putty knife;
  • power drill;
  • sandpaper in various grits;
  • a variety of all-purpose adhesives;
  • A retractable steel ruler and level;
  • Plunger and drain auger;
  • Safety goggles;
  • dust or insulation masks.

The post Useful Tips for Basic Household Repairs appeared first on All around the house.


Summer Flowering Shrubs for a Lasting Garden


Perhaps one of the best perennial shrubs that flowers all summer is Camellia. Different cultivars flower at various times, and in various colors, from October through May. So, acquiring two or three varieties will see your shrubs in bloom from autumn to spring. An outstandingly long-flowering variety is Camellia x williamsii ‘Donation’. Its glossy evergreen leaves are set off to perfection by the pink large flowers that bloom between February and May. It reaches a height and spread of 5 m x 2.5 m and is equally at home as a single, container grown plant as it is grown as an informal hedge. This medium height flowering shrub is particularly suitable for a semi-shady spot as the flowers will last longer out of direct sunlight.


Another perennial shrub smothered in long lasting spring blooms from March to May is flowering quince. Again, there are a number of cultivars offering different colored flowers. Chaenomeles x superba ‘Pink Lady’ offers deep pink flowers on bare branches, followed by fruit and glossy leaves. Particularly striking is ‘Crimson and Gold’ with its crimson flowers and yellow centers. Both are medium height flowering shrubs at a height and width of around 1.2 m x 2 m and are particularly effective trained against a wall. For a slightly larger cultivar at a height and width of 2.5 m x 5 m try Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Nivalis’. Pure white flowers smother its spiny branches before the leaves and fruits appear.

Check Out: 3 Shrubs Display Four Seasons of Interest

Deutzia pulchra (deutzia) flowers from April to June. It makes an attractive specimen plant, or is equally at home in a border. Although it is frost hardy down to -5C it may need additional winter protection if temperatures fall below this on a regular, sustained basis. The dark green leaves on this shrub accentuate the clusters of white flowers, tinged with pink. It reaches a height and spread of around 2.5 m x 2 m.

Long Lasting Flowers from Summer to Autumn


One of the best long blooming flowering shrubs, with flowers appearing in June and lasting throughout until October Abelia x grandiflora (abelia) is hard to beat. Small pink-flushed trumpet-like flowers appear against dark leaves which it retains almost all year. Reaching a height and spread of 1.5 m x 1.2 m it is frost hardy and may need extra protection in prolonged sub-freezing temperatures.

A surprisingly fully hardy shrub is Hibiscus syriacus ‘Oiseau Bleu’ (tree hollyhock). Its trumpet-shaped, large blue flowers coupled with its three-lobed leaves give it rather an exotic-looking air. A hot summer will have it flowering prolifically from August to October, so it needs to be in a sunny spot. It reaches a height and spread of 3 m x 2 m. Try combining it with other late long flowering perennials for a colorful display right through until autumn.

Shrubs with long lasting flowers can be real features in any garden, blending in with surrounding plants or providing a backdrop. They also make significant specimen plants in their own right. For versatility there’s nothing better.

The post Summer Flowering Shrubs for a Lasting Garden appeared first on All around the house.


23 Most Common Home Construction Errors

Home building presents many issues

Building a new home can be an exciting moment in your life, this place will be built as a dream home, unfortunately if you don’t know what to look for, your new dream home might have several unseen issues. Listed below are some of the most common home construction errors.

23 Home Construction Errors

Foundation and Framing Errors

  • The foundation is out of square or the layout is inaccurate.
  • Footing drains are not carefully placed to prevent filling up with silt, being crushed during back-fill, or not breaking grade.
  • Wall framing is out of plumb. This will come back to haunt you at every stage of construction; sheetrock, finishes, finish carpentry, installation of doors and windows all will become problematic.
  • Framed walls constructed without blocking for proper attachment of sheetrock finishes, toilet accessories, and cabinets to be hung.
  • Framing constructed without adequate fire-stopping.

Thermal and Moisture Protection Errors

  • Inadequate crawl space or basement ventilation installed to prevent condensation problems.
Check out this post to learn more about mold dangers caused from inadequate ventilation
  • Vapor barriers are installed without proper attention to windows, electrical outlets and other penetrations.
  • Soffit and ridge ventilation is not provided, or not calculated properly to meet code, or insulation is installed in such a way as to block clear flow of air from soffit to ridge.

Finishes Errors

  • Wood siding and trim is not back-primed increasing the amount of future maintenance required.
Check Out: Home Siding – Decoration and Protection
  • Exterior painting is accomplished under unfavorable weather conditions, or wood siding and trim has not been allowed to sufficiently dry out prior to application.
  • Wood windows and doors are not immediately primed upon arrival at construction site, invalidating warranty and causing warping or other damage to units prior to installation.
  • Installing sheetrock with too many butt joints or not completing enough sanding on the final tape coat; imperfections only reveal themselves after painting has been completed or when the sun hits walls at a certain angle.
  • Installing tile without proper attention to layout, creating awkward or too many cut pieces at walls, cabinets, or plumbing fixtures.

Plumbing, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Errors

  • Installing too few or not properly locating return air registers for hot air and air conditioning systems to function properly.
  • Not providing enough heat at kitchens and bathrooms, relying exclusively on toe-kick heaters.
  • Not providing cast iron waste pipes through walls and ceilings adjacent to living areas. Plastic pipe is noisy and insulation usually proves inadequate.
  • Improper size and location of holes drilled into floor joists for plumbing pipes and electrical wiring reducing the structural capacity of framing members.

Electrical Errors

  • Poor planning and coordination with framing contractor; not allowing for symmetrical or optimal aesthetic placement of recessed light fixtures.
  • Not pre-wiring for future needs, not installing conduits from basement to attic for future power, telephone, and computer lines.
  • Not providing conduits under sidewalks and driveways for future landscape lighting.

Hiring a Contractor Errors

  • Not thoroughly checking your General Contractors references.
Check Out: 9 Tips for selecting a good Contractor
  • Not obtaining a list of sub-contractors who will work on your project, and thoroughly checking their references.
  • Not ensuring your contractor pulls all required permits, which can effect the home inspection and resale value.

The post 23 Most Common Home Construction Errors appeared first on All around the house.


The Top Most Signs for Roof Replacement

People do spend a lot of their time and money in building their homes. They keep the focus on every
minute detail to ensure that their home structure is robust as well as looks aesthetically appealing.
However, with the passage of time, there are some significant damages that need to be identified and
repaired timely to maintain the robustness of the structure. The majority of the people often times
neglect the roof maintenance until it becomes perceptible. The roof is the most important component of
the building structure and it is important to regularly repair the damages to avoid major damages. The
roof damages such as holes, blisters, leakage, and cracks must be repaired without delay as if they are
not repaired they will give rise to major damage to the home foundation that will lead to more costly
The roofs are exposed to harsh weather conditions and other damages. For that reason, it is imperative
to inspect the roof on a regular interval to spot the damages and get them repaired timely. The roof
maintenance and repair are crucial as it ensures maintaining the sturdiness and enduring life of the roof
and maintain the structural integrity of the building structure. Even if the damage is minor it must be
repaired as with time it proves to be fatal. If you spot any type of damage to the roof then to protect the
family from the harsh weather conditions and ensure maintaining the sturdiness of the structure it is
important to hire the service of a professional roof restoration company that can help restore the
damage efficiently.

Benefits of the well-maintained roof structure

  • Proper roof restoration and repairs help enhance the roof sturdiness and help protect from extreme weather conditions and to keep your home comfortable for your family.
  • The roof is the major component of the home and maintaining the roof will not help preventing major damages from the mold, debris, leakage, etc. but also help enhance the resale value of the home.
  • Maintenance of the roof enhances the sturdiness and extend the roof life
  • Regular roof repair and maintenance is less costly and help reduce the chances for the major damages that will help save a lot of money.

Top most signs for Roof Replacement

  • Crack in the Roof Surface– The cracks on the roof are the major sign of the roof damage. The blisters and cracks can lead to fatal damage to the roof and the home structure. Therefore, if you spot cracks on the roof then make sure to get them repaired timely.
  • Lack of Roof Maintenance– Often times, the majority of the people neglect the roof maintenance and do not inspect their roof regularly to spot the damage like cracks, holes, leakage etc and fix then timely. Regular inspection and timely repairs are important as it will help enhance the roof life, protect from the harsh damages and reduce the chances of major damages and expensive repairs.
  • The Increase in the Utility Bill Charges-It there is an increase seen the energy bills then it indicates the sign for some damage to the roof
  • Water Damage-The water is one of the biggest reason for the roof damage and penetration of the water can lead to serious leakage problems. As well as it may lead to the accumulation of the molds and mildews that the harmful for the health, breathing problems and allergies. Identifying the main reason for the water damage might prove to be difficult; in such a case it is best to avail the service of a professional roof restoration company.
  • Animals and Birds-Many times the birds and animals build nests and create channels to move to the other parts of roof that can damage the roof and lead to great destruction.
  • Roof Flashing Damage– Because of the flashing damage like bents and rust may cause serious leakage problems that can damage the roof. However, if you detect the problem earlier then you can prevent the further damages caused by the leakage.
Well, there are various damages that are easily noticeable but there are certain damages that cannot be
identified easily, such damages can lead to major damages in the future. For that reason, if you are not
able to detect the reason for roof damage, call for the service of a professional roof restoration company
that can help resolve the problem timely in a proficient manner. These companies have the expertise and
guarantee to accomplish their job competently.
Author Bio: Jim Chronopoulos is the owner of Melbourne Quality Roofing offering all types of roof restoration services. With over 25 years of rich experience Melbourne Quality Roofing provides professional and affordable roof restoration services to commercial and residential properties in Melbourne & nearby suburbs.

The post The Top Most Signs for Roof Replacement appeared first on All around the house.


2018 Ultimate Guide for Spring Landscaping

Learn to grow the perfect ladscape

As the snow recedes and the weather begins warming up, it is time to start landscaping.

Start your spring landscaping plans with proper planning

Landscape Design

A well design landscape will minimize your effortsIt is important to properly plan your landscape design properly, so you know where to plant your perfect landscaping accents. A proper design plan takes into account all aspects of your yard, from sunlight to drainage, then it incorporates in the mix of the different plants, so the left isn’t full of yellow flowers and the right is full of decorative grasses.

To fully bring your plans to fruition start off with a drawing of your yard, front and back. Then start adding in your planting beds, draw in anything you want to add, from decks or patios to new planting beds or even a garden.

While drawing up your plans, figure out if you want a low maintenance landscape.If you do want one, check out these 10 tips.

To learn more about landscape design planning, check out this post, along with these 4 helpful tips on design planning.

Need some landscape design inspiration?


Ok, so you have this perfect landscape panned out, make sure the grass looks good as a compliment.

Lawncare tips for a lush lawn

a quality lawn doesn't just happen, it requires lots of workProper irrigation is an important part of achieving the perfect lawn, and really the only way to get that is with sprinklers. Watering your lawn with built in sprinklers on a timer, is the optimum way to irrigate your lawn in a hands off manner, but if you don’t have them yet, consider going with a manual set out sprinkler. Learn all you can about proper irrigation in this post.

Another important aspect to growing that yard of your dreams, is fertilization. Think of fertilizer as food for your lawn, like us, our lawns won’t grow without proper nutrients. It isn’t just as simple as buying any fertilizer at the store and putting it all over your soil, check out this post to know how to test your soil to know what you need. After you have determined that, learn all you can about fertilizers in this post. Also consider using manure as part of your lawn feed routine for a more natural and organic option. Something to consider working into your lawn’s fertilization routine is a fertilizer with a pesticide, so you keep bugs out of your beautiful landscape.

No matter how much fertilizer you use, and how much you water, you can still encounter issues.

Know how to address these common lawn issues:

  • Bare spots in the yard can be troublesome to even the most ardent lawn care routine. This post offers some great advice on how to address them.
  • No matter how much you had properly planned your landscaping, there will be shady spots, which can harm your grass, so check out these tips to correct shade grass issues.
  • Lawn sod will correct issues quickly, and installing it is quite simple if you follow these 5 steps.
  • WEEDS! No matter how much you work on your lawn, weeds will be the bane of your existence. Knowing how to properly control them will ease your stress, check out these tips.
  • Thatch is a build-up of dead grass that can choke the roots of your lawn. Learn how to properly dethatch your lawn in this post.
  • If the grass is thin, but not bare, then overseeding the lawn is your best option, so check out this post to learn how to do it properly.

So you’ve learned how to address all common lawn issues, you have your watering routine perfected and have fertilized the grass to perfection, there is still more to maintaining that perfect lawn. Like lawn mowing, know how to properly cut the grass is very important, as if it isn’t cut properly, it can hinder all your hard work. Equally important to properly cutting your grass, is to make sure you have a sharp mower blade, because a dull blade will chop your grass with a rough cut, which can lead to lawn diseases. Equally important to mowing your lawn is to properly trim along the borders, and that requires understanding the basics of trimming.

Another helpful thing for growing a beautiful lawn, is aeration. A compacted yard can choke your grass, and aeration is as simple as poking holes in the dirt. Ok, maybe a bit more involved than that, so why not learn all you can in this post.

Learn all the tools you’ll need for proper landscaping here.


As you’re working in your yard, know what grasses to grow:

Now you have the perfect green lawn and your landscape design plan in hand, it is time to start putting everything into place for the dream yard to spend your time relaxing in.

Learn all you need for a dream landscape

know how to properly tackle all your home landscaping needsWalksways are a great accent for your landscape, picking the perfect type of path topper is essential. Check out this post to learn all about pathways for your landscape.

Adding rocks to your landscape is perfect if you want to simplify your landscape upkeep. Check out this post to learn about how to setup a nice rock garden. If this is your first time trying to grow in a rock garden, start with something easy, like succulents. If you don’t want a whole rock garden, consider using accent rocks.

Got a shady spot that you want to make into a beautiful shade garden? Adding a colorful groundcover is the perfect compliment.

Having beautiful plants is great, but accessorizing your landscape with accent pieces really steps up the quality. Check out this post to learn about 10 pieces you can add to your landscape design plans.

During the day your landscape is visible to all, but without proper lighting, it becomes invisible at night. Know how to properly light your landscape.

Most people count on their planting beds for growing plants, but to add some serious depth to your lawn use containers. This post explains everything you need to know about adding containers to your landscape.

A garden island can break up your lawn, so it is more than just a field of green grass. Knowing how to put one in can aid your design, check out this post to learn all about installing a yard island.

Flowers, are the ultimate compliment to your landscape, they bring color. Everything you need to know about adding flowers to your landscape can be found here. If you want perennial flowers, consider using bulbs. Never forget, the highlight of any landscape is growing roses, so learn all you can about them.


If you follow all the advice found here, your spring landscaping will be easy, which means your lawn will reward you all summer and into the fall with a gorgeous place to relax. Don’t forget to put in a bench, so you can actually have a place to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

The post 2018 Ultimate Guide for Spring Landscaping appeared first on All around the house.


Tips to Improve Flower Arrangements

There is no doubt that a beautiful fresh flower arrangement adds beauty and elegance to the decor of a home. Knowing some unique ways to help keep the cut flowers fresh, speed up the assembly of the arrangement and enhance the appearance of the finished design will make the flower arrangement look more professional.

Ways to Retain the Freshness of Cut Flowers

  • If the flowers are being cut from the garden carry them in a heads-down position. This will ensure that heavy-headed flowers will not snap off.
  • Lay the flowers flat on a sheet of newspaper and wrap them into a bunch. Place the bunch in tepid water for up to five hours or overnight to condition them.
  • To reduce underwater decay, strip the stems of all the foliage that fall below the water line.
  • Prolong the freshness of an arrangement by spraying the flowers with tepid water morning and night.

Flowers with Woody Stems

  • Preserve or revive flowers with woody stems by softly pounding the bottom two inches of the stem prior to putting them in water.
  • Ensure woody stemmed flowers absorb enough water by paring off the bark from the bottom two inches and crosscut the stems.

Flowers with Soft Stems and Heavy Heads

  • Stems of flowers such as Gerberas can be strengthened by wrapping thin wire around the length of the stem.
  • The bent stem of a heavy-headed flower can be repaired by pushing a toothpick through the centre of the flower and into the stem.

Rapid Opening Flowers

Flowers such as Roses, Tulips and Lilies tend to open rapidly in warm weather. To avoid blooms from opening while arranging, use sticky tape to lightly keep the petals together. Remove the tape shortly before the arrangement is displayed.

Securing of Flowers and Foliage in the Container

There are various materials that can be used to secure the flowers and leaves in the container. The type of base used will be dictated to by the size and shape of the vase and the variety of the flowers used.

Flower arrangement mounted in chicken wire

The most common types of bases are:

  • Oasis- a green ‘sponge-like’ material which has to be well soaked (preferably overnight) into which flowers and foliage can be inserted. These usually come in rectangular blocks but can be easily cut into any desired shape. Using oasis has the added advantage of not having to use excessive amounts of water since the oasis itself is saturated with water.
  • Pinhoder- a small heavy base with spikes sticking up. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The stems of flowers and leaves can be secured on to the spikes.
  • Chicken wire- crumpled chicken wire is useful if the vase used for the arrangement is tall or very large. The stems of the flowers are inserted into the holes in the chicken wire.

Knowing the little tricks of the trade can help to achieve a more professional finish to the fresh flower arrangement.

The post Tips to Improve Flower Arrangements appeared first on All around the house.


5 Simple Toilet Repairs Anybody Can Do

fix your toilet yourself

When a toilet starts acting funny there aren’t that many things that can go wrong. A little expertise and a few dollars can fix many common problems with a household toilet.

The Ways of a Toilet

Before a person can fix a toilet, it is important to know a little about how they work. In the back of the toilet there is a float that controls the water level in the tank. There is a bar on the back of the handle that connects to a plug in the bottom of the tank. When the toilet is flushed, the bar lifts the plug and lets the water out. The water slowly runs back into the toilet through the refill valve and when the floating ball levels out it stops. These mechanisms are the basis for most home toilet repair since they are ease to get to and simple to fix.

Five Simple Toilet Fixes

Most of these require that you take the lid off the toilet tank. Remember that the water in the tank is clean but may splash a little if you flush the toilet with the top off.

  • Loose Handle – Look at the back of the handle inside the tank. There should be a small screw that holds the handle on. Look over the connection before you tighten it. If there are any obvious cracks or wear spots the handle should be replaced. If the back of the handle is in good shape just tighten the screw and it should be fine.
  • Loud Flush – If the toilet sounds very loud after a flush the water pressure is likely too high. Most toilets have a water valve under the tank in the back. Turn down the pressure and it should quiet down.
  • Water in the Float Ball – The floating ball in the back of the toilet is like a hard-shelled balloon. Sitting in the cold water in the back of a toilet can cause the outer shell to break down and let in water. If this happens, the float will get too heavy and needs to be replaced.
  • Splashing or Running Water Sounds – In the back of the toilet there is a pipe that connects directly to the bowl called the overflow pipe. There should be a tube that runs down into it from the refill valve called the refill tube. If the tube comes out of the pipe, the water won’t refill the bowl properly. The water has to raise high enough in the tank to run down the overflow pipe. This running water causes the noise and is easy to fix by simply putting the tube back into the pipe.
  • Toilet Doesn’t Flush – If you push the handle and nothing happens then the chain that connects the handle to the plug at the bottom of the tank has likely come loose. Reconnect the two parts and the toilet will flush again.

Don’t be afraid to repair a toilet

Many people don’t like to deal with toilets because they think they are dirty or the won’t understand what’s wrong. In reality, toilets are pretty simple machines. With a little bit of information it is easy to fix minor problems without calling a plumber.

The post 5 Simple Toilet Repairs Anybody Can Do appeared first on All around the house.


Peperomia Plant

Peperomia Plant perfect for home and office

The very popular peperomia plant is a great choice to add color to any room or office. Whether you have one peperomia plant or several grouped together, this attractive plant will brighten up any room.
There are over 1,000 species of peperomias growing throughout North and South America and the Caribbean. All of them are tropical plants and considered to be semisucculents. They have thick, juicy stems and leaves that hold water in reserve. Besides being attractive plants, peperomias make a nice gift to anyone with marginal green thumbs because they’re so easy to grow. Basically, the only way to kill this plant is by overwatering it.

Basic Description of Peperomias

Peperomias are slow-growing tropical plants that are found on tropical floors or at the base of trees in a tropical forest. For this reason, they don’t like direct sun and thrive indoors in a variety of lighting. They actually thrive under fluorescent lights which makes them an ideal candidate for the office.

The attractive stiff, waxy succulent-like leaves will catch your eye and depending on the species, the leaves may be variegated, wrinkled, or white-edged. There’s one species, the Peperomia argyreia that is striped and looks like a watermelon. It’s very attractive but can be hard to find.

Most peperomias do not flower in the traditional sense. Their flowers are a long, rat-tail like stem with tiny greenish flowers on an upright spike. Once this spike dies, remove it and the plant may bloom a second time during the summer months.


Types of Peperomias

There’s 3 different types of peperomias; bushy, upright, and trailing.

Peperomias are great for indoor air cleaning
Bushy Peperomia

Bushy Peperomias: The bushy peperomias are the most popular variety. They generally grow 4-8 inches high and are very compact. They have a variety of leaf shapes and are very attractive all by themselves. The most popular is the wrinkle-leafed Peperomia caperata and I’m sure you’ve seen these in homes or garden nurseries. There’s a stunning white-edged Peperomia caperata variegata and the Peperomia argyreia, or watermelon peperomia has striped leaves that look like watermelons.



A good peperomia will brighten your office
Upright Peperomia

Upright Peperomias : These plants are usually between 5-8 inches tall and have more distinct thick stems than the bushy peperomias. The Peperomia magnoliaefolia variegata is the most popular of this group. If you have one of these and plant it with the solid green Peperomia magnoliaefolia it will make an extremely attractive dish garden. If you can find the uncommon Peperomia verticillata, or also known as the whorled peperomia, you’ll have an attractive conversational piece. This plant has a 1 ft. stem and whorls of leaves. It’s quite different and very tropical looking.



A trailing peperomia is perfect for a hanging basket in a home office
Trailing Peperomia

Trailing Peperomias : There are several varieties and they look great trailing near a kitchen or office window. The Peperomia rotundifolia is the most common with small round one-third inch leaves that are solid green and fleshy-looking. The cupid peperomia or Peperomia scandens variegata has a variegated leaf that is pointed on long 3-4 ft. stems. This plant can actually be used as an indoor climber with a trellis. It looks great on a trellis in a corner. The creeping peperomia, Peperomia prostrata has a striking green leaf that is marked with silver or cream tones. The leaves are small one-third inch ovals on long red stems. This is quite a colorful plant especially in the office.


Caring For Peperomias

Without a doubt, peperomia care is very easy. Peperomias can live in a variety of light situations from low to very bright. They do not like direct sunlight. High heat is not a problem with this plant and average home temperatures are fine. Surprisingly, they do not need high humidity or constant misting to live. They are just fine with an occasional misting during the summer months and low humidity.

As with all succulents, peperomias do not like to be repotted frequently. They are slow growers and you’ll probably repot them only once or twice in their lifetime. They live practically forever which is another reason why they’re an ideal houseplant. When you do have to repot them, peperomias prefer a peat-based soil or regular potting soil with good drainage.

The quickest way to kill these plants is by overwatering. Peperomias retain water in their leaves and stems so don’t water them until they are nearly dry. After you water them, wait an hour and empty any residual water out from the base. These plants need to be fertilized about once every 3-4 months in spring and summer and no fertilizing during the winter months.


Peperomias are a great choice for an indoor plant and are easily available at most nurseries and florists.

The post Peperomia Plant appeared first on All around the house.


How to Avoid Mold Damage to a Home

A dry climate can make it hard to grow crops and cultivate food that’s needed for life. However, it also cuts down on unwanted organisms like mold and mildew. People who live where it rains often have more trouble keeping mold out of their yards and flower beds, as well as off of their driveways, patios, and sides of their houses. Some of them even have to deal with mold remediation to get mold and mildew out of their homes.

The outdoor mold can be an annoyance and it can be unsightly, but it’s generally not dangerous. When mold moves to the inside of a home, it can be hazardous to health and it needs to be removed. The mold can come about from water damage, but it can appear through normal living in a damp climate, as well. The best thing to do is to keep mold and mildew from getting started inside the home in the first place.

Most People Assume Mold and Mildew Won’t Bother Them

People who have carpet in their homes are particularly vulnerable to mold growth in wet climates because wet shoes bring a lot of dampness to the carpet. When it comes to water damage, carpet is vulnerable. If the climate in the area is wet for a long period of time and doesn’t have much opportunity to dry out, the carpet can stay damp and mold can begin to grow.

It’s assumed by a lot of people that a good air conditioning system is enough to avoid mold damage, or that plumbing that doesn’t leak is all a person needs, but that’s untrue. Those things are certainly important, but they might not be enough.

Another area that people ignore when it comes to mold and mildew in their homes is what their pets are bringing in. A wet dog lying repeatedly on the same area of carpet or on the same cloth couch can cause mold just as easily as-if not more easily than-wet shoes or damp clothing.

Despite your best efforts to avoid mold, if you find some during a renovation, learn how to deal with it in this post

How to Look for Mold and Mildew in the Home

A musty odor is one of the main clues to mold in a house, and it’s one of the things that people who handle water damage restoration will ask about if you have to call them. Mold can grow in the padding under the carpet, behind baseboards in the drywall, and under sinks, as well as in the corners of damp rooms like bathrooms. Mold and mildew growth can also appear in the shower, and in the area under and around an indoor air conditioning unit if there are any leaks or even a lot of condensation.

If someone thinks that he has mold in his home, it’s a very good idea to look for it-but finding nothing doesn’t mean the mold isn’t there. Instead of giving the home an all-clear, the homeowner who suspects mold but doesn’t see it should call in a water damage restoration professional. Someone who’s trained to look for mold will have the skills and the equipment to find it if it’s there. Once it’s been detected, removing and treating it can begin, and mold damage can be repaired.

Keeping Mold and Mildew Out in the Future

People who have experienced mold in their home in the past want to make sure that it stays out in the future. To do that, some of them take small steps and some of them take larger, more drastic steps for cleaning mold and keeping it at bay. Small steps include using technology such as a dehumidifier to keep the air in the home drier, not allowing animals on the furniture if they’ve been outside, and removing shoes at the door so they aren’t carrying water across the carpet.

Larger steps can include changing out cloth furniture for leather, removing all carpet from the house in favor of tile or hardwoods, and updating the home to have better ventilation in areas like the kitchen and the bathroom. While these kinds of measures can be costly, they reduce the chance of mold and the dangers of it. They also help to avoid costly repairs that need to be performed if mold is found in the home and water damage restoration or mold remediation is needed.

It’s not necessary for a person to live in a sterile environment or move to the desert to get away from mold and mildew, but taking care of a home is important. It can affect the resale value, the health of the occupants, and the overall quality of life for the people in the home.

The post How to Avoid Mold Damage to a Home appeared first on All around the house.