Village Blog

Ants! Call the Exterminator

Posted by James Whittemore on Tue, Jun 11, 2013 @ 11:06 AM

Not so fast. Do you know the difference between what some call “Sugar Ants” and Carpenter Ants that are active this time of year? Sugar ants are the ants that show up every Spring, looking for food inside your home. Fairly innocuous, unless the get into the bag of sugar which they did at my house and then tell their friends. Sugar Ants usually disappear with ant spray or ant traps, but I've found that making my own ant traps using 20 Mule Team Borax and sugar 1:1 with a little water takes care of them in just a day or two. If you'd like to know more about that solution, email me.

Through the years though I've had more than one call from a homeowner needing carpentry repairs on their home usually in preparation for painting. The ensuing dialog contains a statement like “we’ve seen the ants carrying the sawdust for years, but the exterminator comes and takes care of them”. The truth is that Carpenter Ants only invade rotting wood. Wood that gets wet repeatedly (dry rot) decays the sound wood fibers giving Carpenter Ants a food source and a protected nesting place that they love. Termites attack sound wood. Ants, only rotten wood. So, if you see piles of saw dust don’t call the exterminator, call Jim at Village Building and fix the ant problem forever! Well..... at least the Carpenter Ant problem, anyway.

Fixing Drywall Nail Pops, Permanently!

Posted by James Whittemore on Mon, May 13, 2013 @ 11:05 AM

  When fixing drywall nail pops on a wall in need of repainting, homeowners will generally hammer the nails back in and use spackle or joint compound to cover them again. Eventually, they all return. Some in a season, some in a year and most all of them are back within 5 years, making your wall need repair and repainting all over again.

  Where did they come from?

Nail pops occur when the framing lumber beheath the drywall fully dries and shrinks releasing the woods grip on the nails driven into it. When the drywall was initially nailed to the framing beneath it, the framing was not fully dried. As it more completely dried it shrank. Some of the shrinkage occured during the first heating season and more in the ensuing heating seasons. The drywall itself is relatively stable with changes in season, unfortunetely the framing beneath it isn't. Drastically setting the nail probably gains another 1/8" of holding power while compromising the drywalls "facepaper".

   How can I fix them, pemanently?

Half inch thick drywall is generally secured using 1-1/2" nails that are coated or manufactured with ringed shanks. While I prefer the coated nails either will work to make this repair. Place the point of the new nail at the edge of the head of the "popped" nail and drive it in, so as to overlap the head. The new nail will have at least an inch of holding power in the now dried, fully shrunk framing. Set the nail without ripping the facepaper. Now coat with drywall compound twice and sand it and you are ready to paint. Overlaping the head of the original with the new nail's head is key to the success of this solution.

Tags: Fixing, Drywall, Nail, Pops

Creating a Video Archive of Your Home.

Posted by James Whittemore on Tue, Jan 08, 2013 @ 12:01 PM

Although none of us expect it, imagine trying to convey to an insurance loss adjuster what things were like before the disaster happened. With a video archive of the interior and exterior of your home, how much easier could that be? Given all the video capabilities available today it should be easy for each of us to create one, but most of us still procrastinate on compiling one.

Storing this video offsite either in a safe deposit box or as part of a cloud based data storage system could make this information invaluable should a devastating loss ever occur.

As part of our Home Asset Management Analysis we can create that video archive for you while surveying your home for small problems that could become bigger ones. Identifying and addressing these defects early can save you much more if left to linger.

Call Jim today to create a proactive approach for maintaining and protecting a major asset, your home.

Tags: video archiving your home

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