Sealing Drafts in Laundry Rooms and Basements

When it gets cold outside you’ll begin to feel the drafts coming in through the cracks and gaps in your home’s foundation. Less obvious is when it gets warm and the cold airleaks back out. Visit our article on sealing drafts to finf out how to identify where a draft is coming from or going to and learn how to fix it.

Stop drafts in Your Laundry Room

Concrete Curing Times

Concrete hardens rapidly at first and then the process slows down. The actual curing time for concrete varies, dependent on weather conditions, temperature, mixture proportions, the size and shape of the concrete area, and the specified strength of the concrete.

Many websites specify a curing time of 28 days, but this is not long enough for the cement to reach full strength. The American Concrete Association Committee 301 indicates that ASTM C 150 Types I, II, III, IV, and V cement will reach 70 percent of strength within 14 days, with some types reaching this point earlier than others. If using moist-curing for at least the first week, cement may see an additional strength increase of 50% or more by the 90 day point.

To learn more about different cements, the impact of factors such as temperature, curing times, and how to maximize the strength of your concrete, visit our article on cement and concrete.

Cement vs Concrete

Many people are confused about the difference between cement and concrete. Lets talk about what cement and concrete are made from and how they are used.

Many people use the words cement and concrete interchangeably but cement is actually an ingredient in concrete. Portland cement is a powder made from limestone, clay and pulverized rock that is mixed with other materials like sand and water to form concrete.

The cement is the glue in the concrete mix.

Water is the actuator.

To learn more about different cements, curing times, and how to maximize the strength of your concrete, visit our article on cement and concrete.

How to Clean Your Clothes Dryer

Keep your clothes dryer operating in tip top shape.

Aside from cleaning out any melted crayons or other items that can coat the inside of your dryer’s drum, there are a few other places to keep in mind.

If your dryer doesn’t seem to dry as well, it may be a simple fix.

The most likely culprit is your dryer exhaust hose.  In most cases either your hose is plugged or you have lint and other debris backed up into your dryer exhaust, or both. To fix this problem…

  • Get a small garbage can or plastic bag.
  • Wait for your dryer to cool.
  • Unplug your dryer.
  • Move it away from the wall.
  • Unclamp the dryer hose in the back and pull off the dryer hose.
  • Shake the hose into the trash can or bag (this may be very dusty!) until you are sure there is no blockage.
  • Using a narrow diameter brush or a similar tool, try cleaning out any visible debris from inside the dryer exhaust.
  • Re-attach the hose, check that it is tight, replace the dryer, and do a test load.

Basic maintenance such as this will prolong the life of your dryer and make it last longer.

Read more Dryer Maintenance

Latex Paint Does Not Cure Immediately

Painting your home or office?

Latex paint is a good choice for most applications – it has lower off-gassing than other paints, it dries to the touch quickly (sometimes too quickly) and it’s the most widely used and available type of paint, meaning there are far more color options available.

You can even get paint and primer in one.

You may not be aware that even though latex paint dries to the touch quite quickly, especially in dry environments, it doesn’t cure as quickly.

Many experts advise that latex paint takes 14-30 days to cure!

What does this mean for you?

  • The most important point is that you can’t scrub it. If you do, some of it will peal off.
  • It may be more permeable for contaminants, meaning that they may penetrate into the paint.
  • You need to be careful to avoid splatters onto your new paint.
  • Applying another paint of a different color next to the first paint (as in wall and trim) may result in problems with wiping up spills or overages.

Under ideal conditions your paint should cure in about two weeks. In humid, cold, or poorly ventilated rooms it may take more than twice as long to cure.

As an aside, do not paint with latex when the painted surface or the surrounding air will be colder than 50 degrees fahrenheit. It’s also not advisable to paint when the temperature will be consistently dropping below 50 degrees before the paint has cured.

Free Weekly DIY Workshops

Did you know that many local big box hardware stores offer DIY classes each week for free. That’s right, FREE home improvement classes that teach you how to do remodeling. For instance, many local Home Depot stores often hold classes on Saturday mornings.

You’ll want to grab a notebook to take notes because they deliver a lot of information but no handouts. Classes are usually held in one of the aisles near a particular area that they are teaching about.

Check your local hardware store to ee if they hold classes, and if so find out the class schedule.