Archive for September, 2011|Monthly archive page

New Products Worth Checking Out!

In New Products on September 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Bissell Stomp ‘N’ Go

It works, what more can I say.  The product is called Stomp ‘N’ Go™ from Bissell.

Stomp ‘N’ Go
™ is a spot and stain-lifting pad for carpets and rugs. They are pre-moistened pads with some kind of oxy-based formula that actually absorbs tough stains.

No more sore knees from attempting to remove unsightly stains by scrubbing. No more bottles of chemicals to spill or store. You just place a pad over the stain, step on it and watch it work.

Most stains disappear in about thirty minutes. Tougher stains may take up to 24 hours.

Bissell claims their Stomp ‘N’ Go™ pads can remove tough-set stains such as red wine, food, fruit juice, coffee, tea, pet messes, blood, mud, dirt and more. The pad worked great on the couple of stains I tried it on.

There’s nothing more to say except the Bissell Stomp ‘N’ Go™ pads are available at K-Mart, select Wal-Mart and grocery stores for $4.99. Each package contains five, individually wrapped pads.

Where were these bags when I was young? It would have helped my mother immensely when trying to get my brothers, sisters and I ready in a pinch when we were little.

Trying to get yourself ready and out the door in the morning is hard enough, let alone trying to make sure your kids are ready for school, daycare or sports functions. It’s frustrating when they walk out of their room just before the school bus comes, dressed in a Halloween costume expecting that to be the appropriate attire for the day.

Organizables™ were designed by a mother/daughter team and are perfect for organizing boys and/or girls clothing. There are 5 zippered clothing bags labeled Monday through Friday that keep children’s clothes and sports uniforms wrinkle-free, neat, clean and ready to wear in a snap.

They are made of a non-toxic, lightweight material and come in either pink or blue and are ready to be personalized with your child’s name. They also have two zippered pockets on the front for holding any accessories.

This mother and daughter team also designed a set of weekend Organizables™ for the kids for that quick weekend get-a-way to Grandma’s, a sleepover at a friends house or for those parents who share custody, it comes in extremely handy having the kids clothes all ready to go in advance. The weekend Organizables™ come with two zippered clothes bags and two activity or accessory bags that fits neatly into a backpack.

The weekday set of five for either boys or girls costs $29.95 and the weekend bags including the activity bags cost $24.95 and can be ordered online at http://www.organizables.com.


For those of you who may have worked their way to the top, this new product may help ease your mind a bit when working outdoors and having to climb an extension ladder.

Ladder-Tite™ is a great, simple and smart ladder product for the do-it-yourselfer as well as professional tradesmen such as builders or roofers.

Ladder-Tite™ is a safety device that attaches easily to your extension ladder at gutter level and then hooks inside the lip of the gutter holding you and your ladder securely in place while you work on those exterior projects. It helps prevent your ladder from tipping backward or sliding.  Obviously the inventor was a real disappointment to his mother. He couldn’t keep his mind out of the gutter.

You can also use a fascia board arm attachment that will secure your ladder to the fascia board of your house.  The Ladder-Tite™ is made from high quality aluminum, stainless steel with brass thumb-sets. It is lightweight yet sturdy.

In the United States alone, there are more than 200,000 emergency room visits each year that are related to ladder accidents. Don’t become one of those statistics. Check this out by going to their website http://www.ladder-tite.com. You can also purchase it exclusively from their website for $29.95.


All Vinyl Siding is Not Equal /Helpful Baking Soda Tips

In Baking Soda Helpful Tips, Vinyl Siding on September 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Vinyl Siding is Not All Equal

There’s such a difference in the cost of vinyl siding a house. Isn’t all vinyl siding created equal?

I didn’t want to say this but I am actually forced to. “You get what you pay for”. There are different grades of vinyl as well as aluminum siding. Better grades can cost as much as 35-percent more but look better and last longer.

Another factor in price is the quality of, experience of, and the workmanship. Now, just because someone says he’s been doing it for 20 years doesn’t mean he is doing it right. I’ve seen terrible installation jobs using quality material. Such as, the siding was improperly lapped, sagging, or loose. Some contractors don’t even know how to properly trim around eaves, windows, doors, and edges. And when the trim looks bad, the job is bad.

One manufacturer found, that in over half the problem-siding jobs it was called out on, improper nailing was the cause. The nails should be hammered into the center of the sidings’ elongated slots and the nail heads should extend 1/16-inch from the face of the sheathing. They should not be hammered tight; also nails should be one-inch longer than the thickness of the underlayment for strength.

Helpful Hints Using Baking Soda

You know that box of baking soda in the back of your refrigerator? The purpose is to absorb odors and it works! Baking soda is also useful in other ways as well. Here are a few of those ways:

•    After handling smelly foods or chemicals you can scrub your hands with warm water and baking soda to remove those odors.
•    It’s also great as a kitchen fire extinguisher. If a small stove fire occurs, pour on the baking soda to snuff out the flames. It’s nowhere as messy as a chemical    fire extinguisher.
•    I have heard that if you have a musty, smelly book, you should seal it in plastic with baking soda for a few weeks. That should eliminate the odor, unless of course, the story itself stinks.

AtticMaxx Shelving System

In AttcMaxx on September 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm

AtticMaxx™ Shelving System You are paying “rent” on the stuff you store in your attic! I find many times that people stash seldom used items or holiday decorations in their attic. If your attic is properly insulated that would have been nearly impossible. A properly insulated attic should have at least 18-inches deep of insulation. By putting items on top of the insulation and compressing it, you have reduced the insulation’s R-value to an almost insignificant amount. By not insulating or compressing the insulation in an area and storing items there you are losing heat from your house. You are also contributing to ice dam problems in the winter. Either way, you can read this as costing you money. To save you money, yet maintain your attic storage, check out http://www.AtticMaxx.com. AtticMaxx™ is an attic storage system that utilizes your existing roof truss system. The trusses are pre-made framing that support and make up your roof structure. Prior to trusses, roof structures were built on-site. The framing, for the sake of simplicity, were called rafters. With many rafter-framed roofs, there usually was room to walk or store items in the attic. Of course that depended on the slope of the roof. Regardless, you still lost energy by storing items in the attic. Along comes AtticMaxx™. It is a simple- to-use and install, storage system that easily attaches to your trusses above the insulation, not on top of it. It can also be used on unfinished walls in basements, garages and outbuildings. The AtticMaxx™ kits come with eight shelving units and cost $169.99 per set. Each shelf holds up to 50 pounds. They provide easy access to your items (a.k.a. “stuff”). All you need to install the AtticMaxx™ is a screwdriver along with their email address or phone number. To help get you started, contact them at 650-870-6556 or info@atticmaxx.com.

Dryvit Siding & Color Matching Mortar

In Drivit Siding & Color Matching Mortar on September 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Dryvit Siding:


I found a home I am interested in purchasing. It was built in 2000, has a flat roof and sided with white brick and a Dryvit-looking material, which is also on the façade and parapet with PVC-looking pipes sticking out of the Dryvit for drainage from the flat roof. The roof also has two roof levels and the Dryvit-type of siding on the second floor wall abuts the roof surface.

I have been reading up on Dryvit-type of surfaces and learned that they can be a problem with moisture retention that can also cause mold or rot the underlying wood structure and because of this, regulations changed in 2000. I also read it is difficult to insure.

If this house was coincidentally listed as being built in 2000 and has this type of façade surface near or at the roof line, am I better off to walk away and continue house shopping?

I hope soon we will find the right home to have you fully inspect, we just don’t want to waste unnecessary time and resource if this is a red flag that is obvious to you and that we are better off avoiding purchasing.

Exterior Insulation Finish System (E.I.F.S.) siding, Dryvit is one brand and has a terrible history of problems if not installed absolutely perfectly. I have, on occasion, seen it done properly, but that does not seem to be the norm. One key component is a drainage system installed within the system. Using a small mirror, look for plastic channels at the very bottom of the walls. You should see holes in the plastic to allow moisture/condensation to exit. If they are not there, it was installed wrong. There are numerous other clues to look for, which you can find on the internet.

The flat roof doesn’t bother me since single membrane roofing materials (if installed properly) hold up just fine. They are not like the older tar and gravel roofs that needed constant maintenance.

I don’t know if “walking away” is the right decision at this time. But, before you call to set up an inspection, walk around the exterior again. Look for cracks in the Dryvit. Even hairline cracks are significant and are indicative of a problem.

Color-matching mortar:
I did some tuck-pointing on my brick house but the mortar is a different color. Can I color the mortar for the balance of the job?

You know why the three little pigs were safe from the big bad wolf? Good, clean, brickwork.

If you are planning on re-pointing old brick walls, don’t go colorblind. I’ve been asked numerous times if it’s possible to dye the new mortar to match the older mortar in a brick wall. Well, for all intents and purposes, I guess the bottom line is it’s not too likely or even possible.

Those old, brick houses, left outdoors in the heat, humidity, cold, environmental debris, as well as acids, have weathered your mortar that can’t be matched outside a laboratory.

Even if the old mortar were matched exactly in composition, the new mortar would look radically different if only because it’s clean. Here, the only answer is patience. Just let the toll of time and nature, blend the old and new. If you insist you can resort to some temporary form of surface tinting. At all costs avoid using color within the mortar itself. A colored mortar will provide a match, but only for a moment. The aging process will soon emphasize the inherent color differences that have existed between the old and new. Instead of matching colors, you have actually placed side-by-side two substances of inherently different color characteristics, which age will only emphasize.

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