Tag Archives: Twin Cities Home Improvement

Wallpaper…Making a Comeback in 2014

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Rumors have been circulating since last week, that after twenty years, Pink Floyd may be teaming up for a new album, which is being cited as one of the biggest come backs of the year.  In the world of interior design, there’s another home feature making a comeback…wallpaper.  Believe it or not, this material that homeowners have a love/hate relationship with is back in the good graces of many interior decorators.  Like all resurging trends, it’s best to know how to work it in the present day so you don’t look like you’re stuck in a time capsule.

Commitment: Bear in mind that wallpaper is more time-consuming to change out than paint.   Be sure you love the design you’re opting for so you don’t experience buyer’s remorse.  If the thought of an entire room of wallpaper doesn’t appeal to you, it’s perfectly acceptable to apply wallpaper to a single accent wall.  This concept works especially well in bedrooms where you can wallpaper the wall behind your headboard and then paint the other walls a calming, complimentary color.

Room Size: Just as in the case with paint, it’s important to consider room size before committing to color and pattern.  In smaller spaces, it’s best to opt for lighter colors in larger prints, which deflect the room’s smallness.  Applying wallpaper to a hallway or inside a closet can add interest that otherwise wouldn’t be there.  Check for remnants for smaller projects which can save you money.  Hanging wallpaper on the ceiling, and painting the rest of the room a similar color, is another trend.

Print Pattern:  Love small prints?  They work well in larger rooms.  Larger prints work better in small spaces because they trick the eye in believing the room is larger than it is.  Another trip to making a small room look larger is wallpaper with a horizontal pattern. A room that has a low ceiling can benefit from wallpaper with a vertical striped pattern because it will elongate the space.  Bold, rigid patterns add zing to a room,while lines with soft patterns evoke a sense of calmness.

Avoid These Rookie Application Mistakes:

  • Not lining up the pattern correctly so it’s easily visible where one roll starts and another ends.
  • Applying wallpaper directly to drywall which will cause damage to the wall when it’s time to remove the wallpaper.
  • Placing a pattern upside down.

NOW THROUGH THE END OF JULY, SAVE 50% OFF LABOR ON LEAFGUARD GUTTERS, GAF ASPHALT ROOFING & SEASONGUARD WINDOWS.  CALL US AT 800.873.1451 FOR A FREE, NO-OBLIGATION ESTIMATE.

What Women Want-Positioning Your Home to a Female Home Buyer

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In 2004, diamond producer, DeBeers, launched a national campaign encouraging women to splurge on a ring for themselves to be worn on their right hand in order to celebrate their power and independence.  The campaign dismissed the notion that women needed to wait to become engaged in order to acquire such a beautiful and expensive piece of jewelry.  Flash forward ten years to the present day where the National Association of Realtors has recently released a study identifying single women as the second largest segment of home buyers after married couples.  It goes without saying that girl power and buying power go hand-in-hand.  Looking to capitalize on this growing market with the sale of your home?  We’ve got a few pointers for you!

Space to Entertain: Whether it’s having a wine & cheese night, hosting their book club, or throwing a backyard barbecue, female home buyers favor homes that allow them to place hostess.  During showings or open houses, have your real estate agent highlight items such as your home’s multi-room audio system, built in wine rack, or backyard gazebo.

Low Maintenance Living: While single women, with fast paced lifestyles, are certainly capable of household chores, the fewer they have to do, the better!  Suggested maintenance free features include: clog-free gutters, composite decking and vinyl windows.

Closet Space: Shoes, purses, sweaters and leggings…oh my!  Never have we heard a woman complain that her closet was too big.  For this one, bigger is better…PERIOD!

Security: Female home buyers rate this towards the top of their priority list.  After all, if you can’t feel safe in your own home, where can you feel safe?  Amenities you can add to your home in order to attract female home buyers include a home security system, an attached garage, fencing, adequate outdoor lighting and window treatments that prohibit outsiders from being able to see in.

Natural Light: Women appreciate natural light because of its aesthetics and energy efficiency.  In short, the more windows the better!  Don’t fret if you have an older home and the amount of natural light is minimal.  Skylights and sun tunnels are an easy workaround to this issue.  They provide the natural light within a home without sacrificing privacy.  Popular areas to add them include bathrooms and walk-in closets, since natural lighting works best for grooming and makeup application.

Upgraded Bathrooms: Single females looking to buy a home appreciate spa-inspired bathrooms.  Desirable features include a soaking or jetted tub, premium or multiple shower heads, lots of storage and ample outlets.  Bonus points if the home’s largest bathroom is connected to the master bedroom.

Move-In Ready: When given a choice, over a fixer upper with more space or a smaller move-in ready property, today’s single female home buyer will chose move-in ready.  Why?  More space requires significantly more maintenance, something they aren’t interested in doing.

 NOW THROUGH THE END OF JULY, SAVE 50% OFF LABOR ON LEAFGUARD GUTTERS, GAF ASPHALT ROOFING & SEASONGUARD WINDOWS.  CALL US AT 800.873.1451 FOR A FREE, NO-OBLIGATION ESTIMATE.   

3 Secrets to Loving Your House Just the Way it Is

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This winter, TMZ featured an article about a domino real estate situation where Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco bought Khloe Kardashian’s home.  In turn Khloe turned around and bought Justin Bieber’s estate.  It’s interesting that even celebrities, who rake in millions each year, still get bored with their homes and put them on the market in order to purchase what they consider to be a better property.  While it’s unlikely that most of us will find ourselves, in this situation, there’s nothing wrong with taking steps to ensure the home you have is one you love.  Here are some tips from us on how to achieve this.

Don’t Live in Someone Else’s Home: When one of our employees bought her first home she was excited at the prospect of not having to stare at the white walls of the apartments she’d rented for the past four years.  After hours of scouring paint samples and home improvement websites, she settled on lime green for the color of her master bedroom.  While her mother questioned the choice as they started applying it to the walls, she ultimately stuck with the color.  There’s a lesson to be learned from this.  While most realtors wouldn’t suggest paint in bold shades when you’re putting a home on the market, if you’re planning on staying in it for a few years, there’s no need to live in a home as if it’ll be put up for sale at any moment.  Make it your own and select colors that speak to you.

Decorate with Purpose: The below painting by famous artist Joan Miro sold at auction for $2.2 million.  We’re willing to bet that most of you could find a lot more fun ways to put that kind of money to use!  The point here is that just because something is valuable doesn’t mean it’s meaningful.  When choosing your home’s décor, regardless of what your budget is, take the time to carefully consider whether or not what you’re adding is truly something you want to be surrounded with on a daily basis or if it’s simply something that the retail world is saying you need.

Banishing Clutter: In addition to collecting dust, clutter also has negative effects on your psyche.  A study by Princeton University found that the more disorganization in your life, the more stressed out you become.  Make an effort to donate, discard or sell items you no longer use and notice instantly your level of stress decrease.  While the prospect of tackling an entire house can seem daunting, break the task into smaller bits to make the feat more achievable.

NOW THROUGH THE END OF JULY, SAVE 50% OFF LABOR ON LEAFGUARD GUTTERS, GAF ASPHALT ROOFING & SEASONGUARD WINDOWS.  CALL US AT 800.873.1451 FOR A FREE, NO-OBLIGATION ESTIMATE.  

Dry Rot Basics

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What is it? Dry rot is a phenomenon that can impact all varieties of wood.  When this fungus spreads throughout the interior of wood, it becomes weak and will start breaking apart.  When dry rot occurs in a building, the structural integrity often becomes compromised.

What are signs of dry rot?  Dry rot is such a nuisance because the early stages are difficult to identify to the untrained eye.  Adding to the confusion is the fact that it can vary in appearance. Identifiers include darkened or shrunken wood.  Coloring is typically off-white or gray.  Wood affected by dry rot will shrink and crack.  It becomes soft to the touch and warp.

How does it spread?  Dry rot is fed by moisture inside the wood and in order for it to spread; it needs a source of moisture.  Because dry rot causes the affected wood to crumble and separate from the unaffected wood, the unaffected wood becomes exposed and soon becomes infected.

Why does it happen?  There are lots of occurrences that result in dry rot, though most have to do with proper management in the home.  Clogged or broken gutters and downspouts can increase the likelihood of dry rot, as can improper flashing on your roof and around your chimney.  Inadequate ventilation can also contribute to dry rot.  It’s a common misconception that dry rot only occurs in older buildings.  This couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, if siding isn’t installed correctly and water is able to permeate through the siding, it’s only a matter of time before thousands of dollars of damage is caused.  For this reason, it’s crucial to work with a reputable licensed and insured company who know what they’re doing and is willing to stand behind the work they perform.

How do you eradicate? Full eradication of dry rot is crucial because failure to do so can result in it reappearing.  The only way to kill dry rot is to kill its source of moisture.  Once this has been accomplished, the affected areas must be dried completely.  From there, the fungus that caused the dry rot must be treated.  The final step is repairing the damage.  This process should be completed by a licensed professional who can effectively determine the full extent of the dry rot.  Failure to fully complete any of the steps listed above can result in the dry rot manifesting itself once again.

Lindus Construction is a full-service remodeling company specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Decking, Home Remodeling & New Construction. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 for a free no obligation estimate or check us out on our new website at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into 830 WCCO every Saturday from 9a-10a with Denny Long & Andy Lindus for our Home Improvement Show.

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How Does a Brick Home Stack Up Against the Rest?

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In the story of The Three Little Pigs, the big bad wolf is easily able to destroy the homes made of straw & sticks but has a little more trouble when it comes to the home made of bricks.  We’re going to assume that since the story took place long ago & far away that the siding options were limited and that’s why brick reigned supreme.  But in today’s world there are a lot of other siding options besides brick. So just how well does brick stack up against other siding options?  Let’s find out!

PROS

Maintenance-Oftentimes, brick wins favor with homeowners because it requires very little maintenance; it does not need to painted or stained and does not rot.

Durability-Because of its makeup, brick will hold up much better than most siding types when it comes to hail, high winds, extreme temperatures and fire.  Some insurance companies offer discounts because of this.

Added Home Value-When compared with other durable siding materials, having a brick home can increase the value of a home.

Timeless Look-Since brick is one of the oldest building materials available, choosing it for a home offers a traditional ambience that will be functional for years to come.

Termite Resistant- In areas where termites are of a concern to homeowners, brick homes often prevail because termites do not disturb this type of home.

 

CONS

Cost-Laying brick is a labor intensive process that requires workers with extensive training.  The brick itself is also a premium building material.  Because of this, brick is one of the most expensive siding materials available.

Repair-In the event that your bricks become damaged, repairs can be costly.  Bricks weather over time and it can be quite difficult to match the coloring of bricks when replacement ones are installed.

Water Absorbency-Brick can absorb moisture and transfer it indoors and causing the paint on your walls to peel and wood molding to shrink.  For this reason, it’s important to keep gutters clog free on brick homes.

Project Timeframe-If you’re considering a new brick home, it’s helpful to know that this type of construction take significantly longer because of the manpower needed.  Brick also needs time to dry at various points during the construction which can also delay a project on a tight deadline.  Unlike other forms of construction, brick cannot be installed at freezing temperatures or the building will not be structurally sound.

Additions-If you foresee adding onto your home, brick isn’t the wisest choice because it adds onto the project cost significantly.  Furthermore, it may prove difficult to match the new brick and mortar with those already there.

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

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Top Spring Home Improvement Projects

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We keep hearing meteorologists say spring is only 40 days away! It is hard to comprehend this notion for many of us Midwesterners due to the painfully cold and snow heavy winter we have had. With spring just around the corner here is a list of top home improvement projects that you should consider having done as soon as the snow thaws.

Roof replacement or repair

This year’s record cold and snowfall takes a toll on the exterior of your home, especially your roof that could have received damage such as losing shingle granules, moisture seeping in between the cracks and creases or damage from an ice dam problem. You should have a reputable contractor come out and inspect your roof for signs of disintegration and curling or peeling of your shingles. Your roof is one of the first lines of defense when it comes to severe weather and we all know that springtime can bring storms.

Don’t put off getting new rain gutters one more year!

If you don’t have any rain gutters on your home, it is completely defenseless against the raging rainstorms that can occur in the Midwest. If you don’t have gutters at all, you risk rain eroding the soil around you home, which can leak into your basement. If you still have traditional gutters on your home, it is essential to clean out the organic debris that has accumulated in them over the last season to avoid overflowing. If you are ready to experience the modern age of a one-piece seamless gutter system, LeafGuard gutters, are the only gutter system to receive the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. To learn more about the features and benefits of LeafGuard gutters, check out our website at http://lindusconstruction.com/MN-Gutter-Installation-WI.php .

Inspect your deck

Beautiful cedar decks are very popular in the area that we live and are a point of pride for a lot of homeowners. Inspect your deck for any rotting or warped boards. Examine the stain on it to see how it weather the cold winter and if you think your deck is in need of full replacement consider using composite decking. It has taken the deck industry by storm, now surpassing cedar decking installation, and requires minimal maintenance if any at all.

Spruce up your siding

Your siding plays an important role in protecting your home during the harsh winters just like your roof does. If it is time for an update to add more curb appeal, you definitely need to consider installing LP® SmartSide® that will offer your home the warmth and beauty of traditional wood, with the durability and workability of engineered wood. LP® SmartSide® is also backed by an industry leading 5/50 year transferrable limited warranty. The manufacturing of this product is also backed by the green initiative by using the entire log in their manufacturing process and any wood waste is repurposed to help fuel their mills. LP also participates in SFI® certified forest management and fiber sourcing systems to insure that their wood they used comes from well-managed forests. To learn more about LP® SmartSide® go to their website at http://www.lpcorp.com/ .

 

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

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Ramifications of Remodeling Without a Permit

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Contrary to what you may have heard, the “p” in the word permit does not stand for “pain”.  While it may seem like one more thing on a seemingly endless laundry list of tasks when it comes to a home construction project, it’s vital that a permit be secured when required by your local jurisdiction.  Failure to do so can have some ugly consequences which can vary greatly, depending on local ordinances.  Here are just a few:

Cease & Desist Order: If you’re caught red-handed in the middle of a project that requires a permit and you failed to secure one, you may be issued with a cease & desist order.  This means that all work must be stopped until a permit is acquired and the work already completed is inspected.  If the project is found to not comply with building codes, you will be forced to spend extra money and time to bring it up to code.  Quite likely, you’ll be forced to undergo re-inspections and pay a stiff fine.

Forced Removal: In some cases, a homeowner who completes a project without the proper permits can be forced to remove it at their own expense, pay fines and be required to redo the work with a permit.  This can include projects as substantial as a deck or addition.

Rewinding Portions of the Project: Let’s say you have electrical work completed but close off the wall before an inspector is able to check out the work.  Some municipalities may force you to open the walls up, at your expense, so that the inspection may occur.

Obstacles Selling Your Home: Let’s say that you add onto your home without getting a permit.  When it comes time to sell your home, an appraiser may not have to add in the new square footage in their appraisal, which means the home very likely will appraise for less than others of the same size.  This means a lowered asking price and can cause trouble for those trying to secure financing to buy the property.

Insurance Issues: If a permit is not pulled, your insurance company may not legally have to pay for any damage that occurs.  (And yes, this could include a house fire that occurs as a result of your “creative” electrical wiring.)

The Bottom Line: Local municipalities vary in the type of project and pricing for permits.  Before commencing a home improvement project, do your homework and find out if a permit is needed and how the inspection process works.   Because at the end of the day, regardless of who you hire to complete the work, the ultimate responsibility of ensuring the correct permits are pulled falls on the homeowner (though a reputable contractor should assist you in completing the process).  Claiming ignorance will not get you out of any of the above situations.

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

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A Dozen Ways to Tell Your Home Needs New Siding

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Changing your home’s siding is the single biggest impact you can make to the look of your exterior.  It’s a transformation that’s impossible NOT to notice.  But how do you now when this project is needed?  Here’s our list of the most common times siding needs to be updated.

1) Hail Damage-Siding acts as your home’s protective skin.  Hail damage can compromise siding’s protective qualities and is a reason that it’s often necessary to replace siding after a hail storm occurs.

2) Outdated Color-If you’ve ever driven past one of those “We Buy Ugly Houses” billboards and felt personally attacked, it’s a strong indicator that it’s time for new siding.

3) You Want to Live Maintenance Free-It can be bothersome (and expensive!) having to paint and stain your siding repeatedly.  Why not switch to something that requires less attention?

4) Current Siding Has Dry Rot -Dry rot is a fungus that is fed through moisture that causes wood to disintegrate.  In addition to being an eye sore, dry rot makes a home’s siding much weaker than it should be and therefore, unable to properly protect your home from mother nature.

5) Damage by Wildlife- If your home’s siding has been flawed due to insects or woodpeckers that see it as a good place to raise a ruckus, swapping out siding for something less animal friendly (and high maintenance!) is the way to go.

6) You’ve added onto Your Home-This one’s simple.  No explanation needed.

7) You’re paying a Small Fortune for Heating & Cooling- Oftentimes when you hear mention of insulation, your first thought is your home’s attic.  But don’t forget that there’s insulation in your home’s walls.  High heating & cooling costs can signal that your insulation is subpar.  If you’re insulating, changing out siding at the same time can be a natural fit.

8) Siding is Cracked- If siding is cracked, it can allow water to infiltrate the underlayment which can cause a problem over time.  If only a few pieces are cracked, you may be able to replace only them.  However, if most of the house is cracked, replacing all siding is the ideal solution.

9) Siding is Loose- Siding cannot properly protect your home if it is loose.  If this issue is widespread, address as soon as possible with new siding.  If it’s limited to a few small areas, you may be able to get away with addressing only those spots.

10) Peeled Interior Paint & Wallpaper-A sign that siding is allowing moisture in can be peeled interior paint and wallpaper.  Ignoring this problem can lead to widespread interior problems.

11) Overly Faded Siding- This is a common indictor that siding is nearing the end of its lifespan.

12) Bubbles in the Siding-The bubbles weren’t in the siding when it was installed and they shouldn’t be there now!  Bubbles are evidence that water has become trapped in the siding and that it can’t properly function to protect your home.

Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects. We proudly carry SeasonGuard Steel Siding, James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding, CenterLock Vinyl Siding and many more!! Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free siding in-home estimate!

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FAQ’s About Building Inspectors

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What’s the Role of a Building Inspector? A building inspector’s role is to survey completed construction projects to ensure that they are in compliance with building ordinances.

Who Do They Work For? Most frequently, building inspectors are affiliated with regional governmental agencies & planning offices.

What’s Their Purpose? Building inspectors are there to verify that a minimum level of quality and safety are being followed at the construction site.

How Do They Know That Work is Being Performed? Once a construction permit is pulled, a building inspector will be informed.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire One?  The funds to pay them come through construction permits.

What Happens if My Project Passes Inspection and a Safety Issue Occurs Later? The building inspector, along with the government agency they represent, could be held responsible.  This is part of the reason building inspectors have a reputation of being meticulous.

How Often Will They Visit the Jobsite? The answer to this is all dependent on the scope of the work being performed.  If it’s a new construction project, they may come out at various checkpoints to make sure the work is being completed in alignment with building codes.  If it’s a one day job, such as new roof, they may only visit when the work is finished.

How Does an Inspector Know the Work Has Been Completed? The contractor who pulled the permit calls the issuing agency and lets them know that the project has been completed and that they may visit the jobsite.

How are Jobs Graded? Jobs are graded on a pass/fail basis.

Who Needs to Be Present for an Inspection? This varies by project, but if the inspector does not need access to the interior of a home (think siding or a roof) they can simply visit the sitewithout supervision after they have been notified the project is finished.

How Do I Know if My Project Passed Inspection? The inspector will sign off on the building permit.  They do not call the contractor to inform them that they passed.

 Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

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Why Is There Always Mold Growing In My Bathroom?

Filed under Andy Lindus, Construction, LeafGuard, Lindus Construction, WCCO, WCCO Home Improvement Show, www.lindusconstruction.com
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What is usually a windowless, warm, moist space in your home that tends to have mold or mildew growing in it? That’s right, it’s your bathroom. We want you to know that you are not alone on having a recurring issue with mold and mildew in your bathrooms. What you really need to know is how to clean it properly and how to get it from coming back! The number one reason that mold is found most commonly in your bathroom is that it is the perfect environment for it to grow. The amount of water used in your bathroom from showering and washing your hands, creates wet surfaces that if not completely dried properly will inhibit the growth of mold. Below, we are going to discuss where mold likes to hang out in your bathroom and how to get rid of it.

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Mold in the shower

You often find the most mold in your bathroom in your shower and bathtub area. Did you know that the grime from your body oils and soap scum are a favorite treat for mold to feed on? If you want a non-toxic mold remover product for your shower, combine ½ cups of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide and 1 cup of warm water in spray bottle. Spray it generously on all of your shower surfaces and let it sit for an hour to penetrate. Then scrub it with a stiff bristled brush and hot water. You should only make this concoction when you are ready to use it because hydrogen peroxide loses its potency over time. If you feel the need to use bleach, mix equal parts of bleach and water and do the same process of spraying on the surfaces. Make sure to keep it away from any linen to avoid discoloration and also, turn on the fan to avoid breathing in toxic fumes.

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Mold on objects in your bathroom

Are you one of those shower junkies that has every single body wash, facial cleaner and loofa that comes out at Target? If so, you should know that one of molds favorite places to hang out are on bottles and items that are frequently getting wet in your shower. The more items that you have in your shower just increase the chances of water being trapped in undesired areas creating a mold paradise. Store your items higher up in your shower to avoid being soaked by the water and possibly only bring them in when you shower and remove them after.

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Reduce the humidity

To prevent mold from growing in your bathroom the humidity levels in there should be below 55%. Many households do not have adequate ventilation in their bathrooms with under-performing fans causing the growth of mold. You need to make sure that you turn the bathroom fan on before you get in the shower and keep it on for roughly 10 minutes after to ensure the steam is removed from the air. Best tips to avoid mold coming back in your bathroom

  • Spray your shower area a few times a week with homemade cleaner
  • Run your bathroom fans regularly
  • Shake your curtain when you are done showering to remove access water
  • Hang up your towels to dry evenly

Lindus Construction is a full-service remodeling company specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Decking, Home Remodeling & New Construction. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 for a free no obligation estimate or check us out on our new website at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into 830 WCCO every Saturday from 9a-10a with Denny Long & Andy Lindus for our Home Improvement Show.

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