Monday, January 16, 2012

Preventing mold growth in your next bathroom remodel

    Listed here are 7 Important tips to bathroom remodeling that prevents mold and moisture damage. These are general practices that professionals live by for the safety and health of you and your family.

  1. Exhaust fan: A good exhaust fan must be installed with a  90CFM rating or higher. The ducting must be connected properly and routed to the exterior of the house through a roof or wall vent.

  1. Count down timer: A timer should be installed in place of a switch for the exhaust fan. Digital timers are available and are not so much of an eye sore. The timer should be run for an additional 20 minutes after water has been shut off or drained to rid of any excess moisture.

  1. Paint sheen: Avoid flat or low sheen paints, they will not shed moisture as easily as satin, semi or high gloss sheens. The walls, ceiling and wood work should be covered well with a satin or semi gloss finish. High gloss is ultimately the best for moisture resistance and easy clean up however the glare from lights can be daunting. Remember when sampling paint to choose the same sheen that you will use for the final coat.

  1. Drywall: If installing new sheetrock use a moisture rated board such as green board which has a moisture resistant paper on the outside. Keep in mind this is not intended for the wet areas of the bathroom such as a shower or backing for tile. There are specific wall boards and waterproofing practices for wet area applications. 

  1. Primer: An additional barrier of protection is to primer any new wallboard or patching before texture. This will allow an extra layer of protection to block mold spores from growing underneath the surface. You will also find the painting finishes better with an even coated surface.  

  1. Tile and grout sealer: There are many sealers available  to apply on the surface of the tile and grout. This procedure should be done once a year. Drytreat is a popular sealer that carries a 15 year warranty when installed by a certified applicator and only needs to be applied once.

  1. Proper caulking: Caulk the areas between any two joints that meet and where standing water may intrude or weep behind surfaces. Be sure to use a bathroom approved caulking or silicon and press it smoothly into the joint for a water tight seal. 

  2. If mold is an issue before starting a bathroom remodel it must be properly treated and cleaned before covering it. If there is a visible trace of black mold and the surface feels damp then replacing and drying out the damaged area must occur prior to remodeling. Inspect the moist area for additional water damages and rot.  Please use safe cleaning methods or call a professional.  

Friday, January 13, 2012

For the facebook user

 I encourage home owners and DIY'ers to "Like" our facebook page for home tips, pics and ideas.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

15 year tile sealer Drytreat

We are now a certified applicator of the 15 year warranty sealer for natural stone and grout called Drytreat.

STAIN-PROOF Original™ is an impregnating, invisible and breathable sealer that protects exposed natural stone, tiles, pavers, concrete and grout from damage caused by water, salts and oil-based stains. Treated indoor and outdoor surfaces become easier to clean, maintain, and keep looking good for longer. STAIN-PROOF Original™ provides lasting protection for natural stone, concrete, terracotta tile, cast stone, paving, sandstone, limestone, brick and grout.

Stain Proof

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Paint-on solar cells developed

How cool would this be? Paint-on solar cells developed ScienceDaily (Dec. 21, 2011) — Imagine if the next coat of paint you put on the outside of your home generates electricity from light -- electricity that can be used to power the appliances and equipment on the inside.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ever thought of using cork flooring?

Here in this West Linn bathroom remodel cork flooring was installed to maintain a warm and comfortable feeling. The material is soft and quiet unlike tile that you would normally see in a luxury bathroom. The idea of installing cork here rather than tile was for the guests who will now step out of the shower onto a soft warm floor. What a nice feature as a guest. There is also a Cambria engineered quartz counter top to prevent stains and reduce maintenance to a bare minimum. Not much lighting is needed in this hall bath. Most hall bathrooms will be lit well enough with a three light 60 watt fixture. Even with a dark floor and dark cabinet

Monday, October 24, 2011

Winterizing checklist and tips for your home

Download and print check list here.

  • Gutters and downspouts, clean and ensure proper connections and flow.
  • Inspect weather stripping around doors and windows. Even the garage door, attic and crawl access.
  • Professionally clean your chimney and fireplace (wood Burning).
  • Insulate attic, floor, basement, water lines, heat ducts, garage.
  • Add a vapor barrier on your crawl space floor such as visqueen.
  • Inspect for rot and mildew.
  • Insulate water lines or wrap with heat tape from a local hardware store.
  • Turn off valves to outside faucets and hose bibs and install a foam cover from any hardware store.
  • Test your heating system that everything works properly.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm and test your smoke alarms.
  • Change the air filter in your ventilation system.
  • Move combustible items before running heaters such as long curtains over base board heaters.
  • If you use fuel for heat have your tank topped off.
  • Install a thermostat on your furnace with a programmable timer to save energy on your heating bill.
  • Clean and clear your heat condenser that is located outside to prevent any rusting  or corrosion. Cover it for the winter to prolong the life of the elements inside since it is exposed to the weather.
  • Purge your sprinkler system.
  • Wrap your water heater with a blanket specifically used for water heaters if your water heater is in a cold area.
  • Inspect the sump pump in the crawl or basement if you have one. Your crawl space can be filled with water and you could never know unless physically looking. Standing water could damage everything in the crawl from mold and rot.
  • Fire prevention- Keep gasoline and fertilizers stored separately along with other combustibles to prevent igniting and fires.
  • Install new light bulbs in all the exterior lights for safety. Add new lights on a motion detector to detour intruders and provide sufficient light for yourself when needed.
  • Add a timer or motion detector to the porch light for when you come home.
  • Avoid blocking off the vents in the crawl space unless a severe cold front is coming in for a few days. The vents are there to release moisture preventing mold growth. If there is an issue with drafts through the floor there are other options to consider such as insulate and seal any holes in the subfloor.
  • Look for and clear dead limbs and over growth greenery that may pose a threat to safety of people and the house.
  • Inspect all vents into the house for tight screens to prevent unwanted critters making themselves a home. You will find these in the eves and crawl space as well as any dryer duct vents that may be in the siding.
  • Roofing - There are so many attributes to a roof that a professional eye can tell if you are in need of a roof or not. If it leaks or is more than 15 years old collect a few estimates. Ask each roofing contractor if it can go another year or two. 

For question about winterizing your home or maintenance for the winter call Affinity Home & Design to schedule a free assessment and estimate. 503-650-3090 or email

Download and print check list here.