Some years, in Houston, it might rain alot (see
Flooding below). However, in the past few years,
there have been more years of drought than wet
years. This can cause expensive foundation
To help prevent foundation problems, you should
keep a moist soil content around the perimeter of
your house to keep the soil from drying out,
resulting in a cracked slab. Most of the soil in
the Houston and surrounding area is a clay type of
soil which swells when its wet and shrinks and
cracks when it is dry. When we have a severe
drought, the soil around the slab shrinks and
cracks causing stress on the foundation and
subsequent cracking. This can especially occur if
you have trees closer than 20 foot from your house
since they tend to remove all the moisture from
You can keep a moist perimeter by using a soaker
hose on a timer. Make sure you water your trees as
When you think about the impace of a hurricane, you might
only think about immediate problems such as how to leave town.
However, it can also cause home improvement prices to increase.
Leading indicators as of 2006, indicate that the home improvement
business is going to remain solid. There will be a demand for materials
when rebuilding New Orleans and other areas, and local distribution
channels may be challenged to maintain inventory.
- Indoor Air Pollution
Also, contractors may not have enough time to take care of everyone.
These effects have all ready been seen in drywall, roofing, siding and
Call KJM Construction to help you get through these potential problems.
The EPA has stated that one of its significant
concerns is Indoor Air Pollution produced by mold.
Mold can cause several different medical problems.
Commonly reported symptoms include runny noses, eye
irritation, aggrivation of asthma, headaches,
dizziness and fatigue. So, it is important to keep
your home free of mold.
For mold to grow, several things are required.
The most important of these are: Water (either
absorbed from a leak or 65% or greater relative
humidity), a Food Source (wood, paper, leaves, Your
Home's Walls), and an appropriate Temperature
(40-120 degrees F).
Some Recommendations to prevent mold are:
- Use an air conditioner during humid
- Be sure your home has adequate
- Clean bathrooms with mold killing
- Do not carpet bathrooms
- Remove and Replace flooded carpets
- Remove and Replace flooded sheetrock
- MAKE SURE THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY LEAKS IN
YOUR BATHROOM OR KITCHEN
KJM Construction can help you by adding
additional ventilation to your house, replacing
flooded sheetrock, repairing leaks, or remodeling
your bathrooms/kitchen to make them less
susceptible to mold. Call KJM Construction for all
your remodeling needs.
Doing a remodeling job incorrectly can lead to
health problems. Just recently, the Environmental
Protection Agency came out with two news bulletins
regarding possible health concerns for
The first item is about treated lumber. This
lumber is most often used for outdoor applications,
such as decks and fences, because it does not
deteriorate over a long period of time, and does
not require painting. This is because the lumber is
pressure treated with CCA (chromated copper
arsenate - think arsenic). Users of this product
should wear proper clothing including dust mask,
gloves, long pants, and long sleeved shirts when
cutting or sanding this wood. Of course, you should
make absolutely sure that you do not breathe any of
the sawdust, or burn the wood.
The second item is about indoor air pollution.
The EPA says that indoor air pollution is one of
the leading causes of health problems, and that
indoor remodeling is one of the major causes of
this pollution. (Think of the results of using
treated lumber inside). Common remodeling tasks
often release dust and other tiny particles into
the air, and biological contaminants from insects
and rodents that are present in the walls and
ceilings could be released during renovation.
Consequently, you should make sure that you do not
use any dangerous materials inside, and clean up
the area in a professional manner.
If you are concerned about possible health
problems when doing your remodeling job - don't
worry. Let the experts do it! Call KJM Construction
for all your remodeling needs.
to prepare for a Hurricane
Hurricanes like Hurricane Gladys (1968) can
cause more property destruction than almost any
other natural disaster. It is important to be
prepared ahead of time for a hurricane. The
following are some of the basics:
Make sure you have a flashlight with fresh
batteries and/or candles.
Fill your bathtubs with water.
Make sure you have sufficient canned goods
If you are within 20 miles of the Gulf you should
cover your windows with plywood (we can help with
Make sure your trees are properly trimmed so that
limbs won't fall on your house.
If you have an electrical generator, make sure it
is in working order, and preferrably place it above
Right now there might not be any activity in the
Atlantic Ocean, but you never know when a major
hurricane will be in the gulf. Prepare Now!
to do after a Flood
Houston Flood - 2001
After a major flood when water marks are showing
one to three feet high inside the home there are
several things should be done even before the
insurance adjuster shows up.
First make a camera or video survey of the
Pull all absorbant materials (carpets, rugs,
etc) off the floor, and remove them from the
To prevent problems with mildew, you will have
to remove sheetrock that was affected by the flood.
If the water level was less than 2 inches, remove
the lower foot of sheetrock around the entire
afected room(s). If the level was between 2 inches
and 1 foot, remove 3 feet. Above 1 foot, remove the
entire wall. This prevents mold from speading
throughout your house.
Once all the sheetrock is removed, the best way
to sanitize is to get a pump garden sprayer and put
1 part bleach to 2 parts water into the pump and
spray all the affected areas (studs, bottom plates,
and slab). This helps prevent mold and mildew from
building up behind your new walls, even if it takes
a while to get a contracting crew in to fix your
At this point, you should make sure that your
insurance adjuster has seen the damage, and call a
contractor like KJM Construction to fix the
Floods like this can happen anywhere, even in
places which did not get hit by the current Houston
flood, or even in places designated non-flood
plain. So for a minimum amount a year, you should
get Flood Insurance. Contract your usual Home
Owners Insurance Company about acquiring flood
insurace. Remember, your regular Insurance Policy
does not cover floods.
A good question. What Can radiant paint do for
Most people have probably heard of the benefit
of putting radiant paint in their attic in order to
keep their homes cool and their air conditioning
bills low in the summer.
What you might not realize is that radiant paint
can keep your home warmer (and your heating bills
lower) in the winter, and can be used on surfaces
other than your attic.
The reason why radiant paint can be beneficial
both during the summer and winter is based on
physics. Radiant energy (heat) travels in
waves called ElectroMagnetic Waves.
During the winter, most conventional paints
absorb these waves and transmit the heat to the
exterior of the building causing your house to cool
down (and requiring you to use more energy to heat
the house). Radiant paint reflects these waves back
into the house, thereby keeping your home
This is not a problem during the summer, because
during the summer most of the radiant energy is
hitting the outside of your house, instead of the
inside. With conventional paint, the waves are
absorbed by the walls and the heat is transmitted
to the inside of the house (where you do not want
it). Radiant paint prevents the heat energy from
entering the house, keeping it cooler in the
In short, radiant paint prevents heat from
moving from inside to outside keeping your home
warmer in the winter, and prevents it from moving
from outside to inside keeping your home cooler in
Radiant Paint can be installed in your attic
(especially good for the summer), or on the
interior walls of your home. If you want to install
it on the interior walls of your home, it is best
to put it on a south facing wall. Radiant paint
comes in several different colors so you can match
it to your existing color scheme.
When installing radiant paint, it is important
Not to mix the paint by shaking the can. If you
need to mix the paint, mix it by stirring only.
With the continuing increases in the cost of
natural gas and electricity, installing radiant
paint would be a great investment. The best times
for installation are either during the spring or
And talking about saving energy, you can save
even more by using natural lighting during the day
instead of artificial lighting.
How? Have some skylights installed!
In this newsletter, we are featuring three new
tubular skylights. We have rated them in the order
in which they are shown (best comes first).
Solatube's Skylight features technology that
captures and redirects low angle light down the
tube for enhanced performance during cloudy days
and during early morning and late afternoon
Sun-Tek allows the versatility to allow the use
of natural lighting in small rooms such as
bathrooms, hallways, and closets.
ODL has a skylight which will evenly spread
light over 300 sq. feet.
So, between these three new skylights, you could
provide your entire house with inexpensive (free)
Another way to save energy is by using good
Ultra Touch produces Natural Cotton Fiber
Insulation that provides both thermal and
aucoustical insulation. Since it is made out of
cotton, instead of Fiberglass, it is also safter to
handle and is formaldehyde free. Ultra Touch is
insulation that will lower your energy costs,
provide you with a quieter environment, and that is
safe for you and the environment.
And with all the money you will be saving with
Radiant Paint, and Skylights, you will be able to
make your house more attractive at night with Tahoe
Lighting's in-ground lighting which can be used on
patios, sidewalks, and driveways.
Another great product for your home is the Ultra
Round shower by Ultra Baths. This shower features a
corner drain and gutters along the interior to
facilitate water drainage. The base is constructed
of high quality Acrylic which creates a smooth,
shiny, less porous surface.
Other New Products
Your Home's Value
Looking for a very effective way to improve the
value of your home? One of the best ways to do this
is by doing an attic addition.
Take a look at an unfinished, poor looking attic
Redone as a storage space - Doesn't it look a
Attic additions is a cost effective and popular
improvement for your home. According to the
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
(NARI) it is one of the most popular remodeling
You can have your attic redone to be just
storage space, or you can do more. You can add
another bedroom, walk-in closets, or even add a
recessed entertainment center/bookshelves/computer
desk to an existing second story room. What you can
do is only limited by your imagination and the size
of your unfinished attic.
When you are ready for your attic remodeling
job, call KJM Construction for all your remodeling
If you have any home improvement questions, feel
free to contract us.
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