Facts about Mold Removal and Water Damage for Home Improvement

One way to improve home and property is to remove mold growth. This will also benefit everyone in the family who are prone to allergy, asthma attacks, or sickness when exposed to molds. If you don’t want molds from growing in your house, knowing what to do and how to avoid them is a must. According to the leading property restoration company in Florida, All Dry USA, here are some facts about molds and how to remove them:

What is Mold?

A mold is a type of fungus growing hyphae. Molds grow in humid, damp, or warm conditions. They make spores to reproduce. Exposure to molds can be harmful health, especially to people who have asthma and prone to allergy. Severe reactions may also occur when exposed to extensive mold growth such as fever, shortness of breath, and stuffy nose. Removing molds from your home is not only good for your health but also a great way for home improvement.

Common Indoor Molds

  • Cladosporium – A type of mold that grows indoor and outdoor. They form branching chains of olive-green or brown or black colors.
  • Penicillium – Commonly seen in its blue-green mold. This type of mold has been used for medicinal purposes.
  • Alternaria – A type of mold that causes allergens in humans, asthma attacks, and other health risks.
  • Aspergillus – A type of mold that is found all throughout the world. Although it does not normally cause sickness and illness, individuals with weak immune system and lung problems can still be at risk because the molds worsen the health problems.

How Molds Grow?

Molds grow on any substance and surface where moisture is present. As they reproduce by spores, molds also are carried by air and land on any surface and multiply. To grow, molds need organic matter that serves as their food. They also grow faster on moisture and damp environment.

How to Prevent Molds from Growing?

Molds can be good and beneficial in some way but most of the time, they can be harmful. Because of this, preventing them from growing is important to know. The major key to mold prevention is moisture control. On the other hand, it is also essential to identify those problem areas in your home that needs proper correction. If there are wet areas inside and outside the house, it is recommended that you dry them out right away. Proper ventilation can help as well, and you can choose to equip your homes with reliable mold-resistant products and items.

How to Clean and Remove Molds?

In case molds are already present in your homes, mold removal is the quickest solution to it. You can use vinegar and bleach to kill molds and fungi, and then give the surface a complete and thorough wash. After cleaning, it is required to completely dry the entire area to make sure that no moisture is left on the surface and on the hidden parts.

Mold removal and treatment of water damage are essential to a well-maintained home. Spend a few dollars for home maintenance and home improvement to prevent molds from growing and to ensure that your expensive investment, your home, is taken care of.

Common Roof Types in Florida

A Closer Look at Roof Types in Florida

As you know if you live in Florida, the climate offers plenty of sunshine but there’s plenty of inclement weather as well.

In this article, Elite Remodeling Services, roofing contractor in St Augustine, FL, starts off today by taking a glance at the most common roof types in Florida so you can see what options you have at your disposal.

With such a prevalence of storms, winds and rain, you need to place durability very high on your list of priorities when choosing the best types of roofs in Florida.

Metal Roofs

Steel panel roofing is tailor-made for resisting the rigors of coastal living. This type of metal roof will withstand sea spray and it’s highly unlikely to corrode.

You can opt for standing steam, the most popular choice, while metal tiles also work well. If you’re on the trail of the best roof shingles for Florida, metal shingles make perfect sense.

Built to endure 50 years or more and completely recyclable, metal roofs are hard to beat if you want to protect your Florida home from the ravages of storm damage.

Be aware in advance that metal roofing is costly to buy and demands expert installation. If you’re planning to stay in your house for the long haul, though, this is an investment worth making.

Concrete Tiles

Looking not dissimilar to wood shakes but performing in a more rugged manner, concrete tiles are starting to gain steam with homeowners in Florida.

As well as being incredibly durable, concrete tiles will also ward off the infestation of insects. These roofs are also very unlikely to rot and they stave off mold effectively.

Concrete tiling is a surprisingly lightweight roofing solution without sacrificing staying power.

Price is the most serious drawback with concrete tile roofs. They are also prone to deteriorating over time and also losing their natural color.

Clay Tiles

Clay tiling meshes well with the style of home in Florida and it also responds very well to high temperature.

If you’re looking for the best roof shingles for Florida, clay tiles are much longer lasting than asphalt shingle.

Aside from an occasional clean, there’s very little maintenance required with clay tiles and they will not burn in the event of a fire.

One significant drawback is that they will crack if you walk on them so they are not suitable for any roof with foot traffic.

Wood Shakes

Wood shakes are resilient to the salt water that plagues coastal regions so this type of roof makes perfect sense in Florida.

If you’re looking for the best type of roof for hurricane, wood shakes on your roof can also cope with seriously heavy 250mph winds.

On the flipside, wood roofing doesn’t last so well and it’s fairly intensive when it comes to installation, too.

Natural Slate

Natural slate roofs routinely come packing 50-year warranties which gives a good indication of just how hard wearing this type of roof is.

That said, the prohibitive cost and heavy nature of natural slate, combined with the fact it can be prone to breakage, means it might not make the smartest move for everyone.

What is The Best Roof for Florida?

While you might be tempted to roll with the extremely popular asphalt shingles, these make a particularly poor choice if you’re living in Florida. The high winds so often a feature of coastal living will make mincemeat of this type of roof.

There are so many variables when it comes to choosing the best roof types in Florida, it would be impossible to say outright that x is the right roof for you.

Do you due diligence and stick firmly to the budget you have in mind.

Consider all aspects of the roof from aesthetics through to durability and maintenance then you should have a very clear idea of which is these kinds of roofs would work best for your house.

Although this is to a large extent subjective, we would suggest that the best roofing materials for Florida are as follows:

  • Metal roofing
  • Natural slate
  • Concrete tiles
  • Clay tiles
  • Wood shakes

How Long Do Roofs Last In Florida?

As with the issue of choosing the best roofing material for Florida, there’s no clear-cut answer to how long a given roof will last.

The material you opt for is obviously a central factor in whether your roof is likely to last 15 years or 100 years.

How suitable this material is for the vagaries of the Florida climate will also increase or lessen the lifespan of your roof. Pay close attention to the list above and take plenty of time to get this decision right if you want as much life as possible out of your roof.

If you decide upon a metal roof as we suggest, you can expect a solid 50 years of wear from your roofing system which makes a metal roof in Florida a very smart investment. Be sure to contact Elite Remodeling Services of St Augustine, FL for all your roofing needs!

The Benefits of Metal Roofing

metal roof colors

Damp Proofing Walls – Why and Where to Start

damp walls photo

Have a look at some of our articles containing useful and informative information regarding our services and products.

The most obvious way to avoid having to engage in damp proofing walls in your building is to have been fortunate enough to have had the services of a knowledgeable builder, obviating the need for any rising damp solutions. However, many factors give rise to damp walls.

Indications that Damp Proofing of Walls May Be Required

Should you notice a band of bubbling paint or wallpaper, friable plaster or a strip of whitish salts deposited on walls just above floor level, rising damp and subsequent damp proofing of walls may be indicated. Rising damp is generally caused by the capillary effect of water, which thus seeps into porous surfaces, degrading them. A few reasons could be:

  • Your building may be old, built during a time when rising damp preventative products such as damp proof course, were unknown or not in common use.
  • Roofing problems requiring attention. You may qualify for a state farm roof replacement.
  • The outer ground surface may be level with, above or too close to the damp proof course layer. This rising damp preventative membrane should be at plinth level (where the walls join the foundation), and the outer ground level should be at least 150mm below this.
  • Clay soil can cause soggy conditions, which necessitates damp proofing of walls.
  • Drainage of rain water may be inadequate or ineffective, or ground may slope towards the building.
  • Burst or leaking pipes can exacerbate damp conditions.
  • Condensation or penetrating damp could be a factor, particularly where solid walls were built with mortar high in lime content, or a gypsum based plaster mixture was used.

Address the Causes and Not Just the Symptoms

Although there are a multitude of rising damp DIY solutions on the market, you may well waste time and money by attempting to eliminate rising damp in your walls by yourself, only to find that the problem reoccurs later.

A qualified wall damp proofing specialist will first thoroughly assess the nature and cause of the damp walls and inspect the surrounding terrain before making any recommendation of a solution to combat rising damp. The cause and not just the symptoms must be addressed, to ensure a long term wall damp proofing solution.

He will establish whether adequate measures were taken during construction to prevent rising damp. Thereafter, the exact type and cause of damp manifestation will be assessed, and then advise given on the best type of damp proofing solution. There is no “one size fits all” solution.  Proper assessment is crucial.

The damp proofing of walls may include the re-positioning of downpipes, gutter repairs/maintenance, and changing outside ground levels and drainage. The correct, best performing rising damp solution is the answer to putting damp walls, floors and constant costly repainting and re plastering behind you.

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Green Building Materials & Design

green building supplies

A home is more than the sum of its components, so the selection of green building materials is an important part of a building project. There are several factors we use to judge the “greenness” of the materials we use and recommend.

  • Is the material locally produced (reduced transportation)?
  • Is it made from renewable sources?
  • Is the product an energy efficient green building material, both in production and in use?
  • Is the product non-toxic in application, in use, and in disposal?
  • Is it readily recyclable or bio-degradable at the end of its useful life?

There are a couple of other things that we also like to consider. We love products that will require little or no maintenance.

We compare the life cycle costs of competing green building products, looking for the one that will be the most economical over the life of the home. And being owner-builders, we are always on the lookout for products that at are easy to work with.

To keep things organized, we will group our discussion of green building supplies into a few categories….

Green roofing materials

Think of your roof as the hat that your house wears. You and your green home will want a roof that is attractive, energy efficient, durable, and as green as possible. New eco-friendly roofing solutions are raging to the forefront of a growing industry. Companies like Brava Roof Tile, Davinci, and Enviroshake offer synthetic roofing systems for all climates.

While most of the readily available roofing products are man-made, some are definitely greener than others. Let us offer you some insight into the green building supplies and give you a few tips that will help you make your choice.

There are some truly green roofs made from natural materials, such as thatch or “living” green vegetation. However, we will focus our discussion on the more common, and building code friendly options like composite roof tile made from recycled plastic.

Lumber and other structural products

For our current construction project we are using two items that we consider to be very, very green building products – local lumber and straw bales.

The bales are supplied by a local wheat farmer, reducing transportation energy expenditures (and costs), and keeping money in the local economy. The lumber was produced even closer to home.

Check out our Solar Wood Kiln article to see how we converted the trees on our home site into usable lumber.

Windows and doors – going beyond insulated glass

Have you been to your local building supply center, or looked through a home design magazine lately? The assortment and price range for windows and doors is staggering.

Unfortunately, not all insulated glass is created equal. Let us share our experiences and tips with these products. There will be a few sad stories along the way.

Green and sustainable flooring products

We had a minor disagreement writing on this topic, but finally decided to include both “green” and “sustainable” in our discussion. One of our major beliefs regarding green construction is that you should use what you already have. So we support the use of salvaged materials, especially wood flooring.

If you don’t have a convenient or economical source of salvaged materials there are some excellent sustainable flooring products. Check out the options in bamboo and cork flooring. It is beautiful, durable, renewable…and very economical.

Green wall finishes

There are a number of “old-time” wall finish products that have reappeared with the increased demand for green materials. And the results have been surprisingly good.

Many of these older products and processes were both environmentally friendly and durable. They were replaced with less friendly products that had advantages for assembly-line construction of tract homes.

Take a look at the lime based and clay based finishes that we are using on our home.

If you have a question about green building materials or products, please drop us a line on our Contact Us form

Finding the Perfect Spot for a Photo Shoot

The love affair started years ago. That is, my love affair with this old motel not too far from my home. It’s the kind of place where lonely travelers would crash for the night, or down and out country band would make it’s last stand. What a perfect spot for a photo shoot! Kind of reminds me of the junk yard photos I took a while back. It took 3 years to find our perfect couple for this location but when Vanessa and Eli walked through our door, we knew our wait was over.

But a funny thing happened. When the shoot was over and I gazed at the collection of images we had created that afternoon, I realized that this location, with it’s vintage paint, and charming retro character, became just that: the location. All my visions or grungy moodiness and artistic lines faded as I was struck by the love and tenderness of the two people in front of me.

Vanessa looked absolutely stunning as did Eli. While Vanessa had hours of pampering, Eli needed a bit of grooming. One thing that really made a difference for Eli was a men’s shave set from Counterman.

Vanessa and Eli, thanks for showing me how love can outshine even the most salmon walls. You guys are beautiful and I’m so looking forward to photographing you on your wedding!

old motel photo

Why You Should Choose Metal Roofing

It is not always easy to choose the type of roof that you want for you business or home. We take photos of all kinds of roofs. Although there are many different options out there for roofing you should know that the decision does not have to be as hard as many people make it out to be.

In fact the decision can be quite easy once you are able to look at the benefits that each type of roof will give to you and your business. One of the best types of roofing is metal roofing and there are many different reasons that this roof is able to offer you such great benefits.

metal roofing solutions

Metal Roofing Cooling Costs?

When most people think about Arizona metal roofing in Phoenix, their first concern is the fact that they think it will increase their cooling cost because of the fact that it is metal. However, the truth of the matter is that the metal is able to reflect a great deal of sunlight. This means that it can actually save you money on your bill as this will allow you to not need to use as much electricity to keep your home cool as you might need to otherwise.

You will also find that these roofs are able to withstand things like hail and wind better than many other types of roofing. In some cases metal roofs are able to withstand as much as 120mph of wind which is hurricane force winds.

This is certainly a great benefit to those who live in areas that are proven to this type of damage. Also, many think that a metal roof is more proven to lightning. You should know that lightning is known to strike the highest point and if your roof is the highest point this is likely but it is not because of the material. If you are worried about this you can choose to have lightning rods installed by a reliable residential roof contractor.

Metal Roofs are Easy to Care For

Metal roofs are also easy to care for and to take care of. You will be able to use a water hose to spray your roof down from time to time to keep it from getting dirty. If you have spots that have been left unclean too long then you might find that you need to use a pressure washer and to prevent this from happening again you can clean your metal roofing more often.

Metal Roof Replacement Prices

Metal roofing in most cases is going to cost you a little more than an asphalt/fiberglass roof that is shingle. However, you should know that in many cases it will actually allow you to save money as it is less likely to be damaged and also will help with the cooling cost of your home. All of these great benefits are reasons that more people are starting to choose metal roofs.

Although the decision on which roof to choose can be difficult it is easy to see the clear benefits that you can get from choosing a roof that is metal versus the other types of roofing options that are available out there on the market today.

Old Junk Yard Engagement Photo Shoot

Engagement sessions are best done several months before your wedding. We like that it allows you to choose a different season than your wedding to give you more variety in your images. Doing your engagement session early also allows you to focus on your wedding plans closer to your date. Choose a location that expresses your personality and sense of style. It’s a great chance to get creative and most of all, have some fun!

We’ve always wanted to shoot a session in an old junk yard. So, when Krista and Steven came to us looking for something unique for their engagement session, we knew they’d be perfect for this! Besides being a super sweet couple, what struck us about them was their love for life, travel and adventure. Having reached their dream of traveling to every continent, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for them next! If you’re wondering, this junk yard was just outside of New York City!

Krista and Steven just recently tied the knot at the lovely Juniper Kitchen and Wine Bar. Here are a few of the many images we love from their engagement session (stay tuned for their wedding images!). K&S, you guys are awesome! If I ever need someone to fix my jeep, I’ll give Steven a shout. 😉

When Spring Arrives

Spring arrives and reminds us another season has begun.  We have been quite busy in the past little while and taken a bit of a break here on the blog to focus on our family and current clients, but have lots to share!  If you are still here reading our blog, well, these upcoming posts are for you.  Thanks for keeping us inspired and special thanks to MOB and blog-reader, Dawn, whom we’ve had the privilege of meeting, for giving us just the push we needed to keep writing. Another big shout out to our sponsor USA Home Improvement of Broward County Florida for providing us with professional advice.

Some personal news: We recently welcomed baby girl #3 into our family last month and despite the exhaustion, we couldn’t feel more blessed.  Stay tuned for more on that in an upcoming post! And we also want to share some secrets for finding the perfect spot for a photo shoot!

Other than that, we have some really exciting weddings, engagements, and lifestyle sessions, to share (including a few maternity and baby sessions that we have had the privilege of shooting).  Up first though, is a sneak peak of Pamela and Jimmy’s recent winter wedding in February.

Happy Spring!

spring photos