Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 7/19/2015

Mold could be lurking in your home, often found in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and laundry rooms. You can also find mold near leaking pipes, faulty air ducts, leaking roofs, and areas that have previously been flooded. Mold found in your home can cause you serious health problems and major damage to your home. The only way to truly know if you have a mold problem is to have a professional mold inspection. Here are a few reasons why you should hire a professional home mold inspector: 1. To see if you have hidden mold growth. A professional mold inspector has special equipment to locate mold. Hidden mold is found in places like in the drywall, under the carpets, and in the air ducts. 2. Do you suffer from allergies, coughing, or headaches? All of these could be symptoms of mold exposure. 3. Before you buy a home have a mold inspection to identify and address any mold issues before closing on the home. That way you will feel more comfortable and confident with purchasing the home. 4. Most home insurance policies do not cover major mold damage. It is important to protect your investment by knowing if the home has mold that needs to be addressed. A professional mold inspection can help protect your health and protect your investment as well.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 6/28/2015

There is nothing worse in a home than a wet basement. Not only can it deter potential home buyers it can also present health problems, and permanent damage to your home. Tackling the problem of a damp or wet basement is no easy task. Here are some ideas to getting and keeping your basement dry. Find the source The source of the problem could be a water leak or high humidity. Both can lead to mold, mildew, or other biological growth. They can even lead to rot, structural damage, premature paint failure, and a variety of health problems. Check for water seepage. Look for leaks in the foundation, or small gaps around windows or doors. Water can also come from inside your house from a leaking water pipe, toilet, shower or bathtub. Indoor humidity is often caused by normal activities of everyday living, such as showering, cooking, and drying clothes. Damp basements are usually caused by moisture migrating through a concrete foundation. Other common causes are condensation on cold concrete walls and floors during humid months. Stop water leaks Standing water on the floor after a heavy rain is usually the result of a leaky foundation. Make sure all rain gutters are cleared and downspout runoff away from the foundation. The ground around the house should slope down and away from the foundation. If necessary, re-grade around the house. If you have a sump pump, make sure it is working properly. Water stains on the ceiling or wall under or near a bathroom could be a leak from a water pipe, toilet, bathtub or shower. This will require a plumber to repair the leak. Water damage or mold should be handled by a contractor who specializes in mold remediation and water damage repairs. Reducing indoor humidity Dirt floors in the basement should be covered completely with plastic to slow down water vapor coming through the soil. Install ventilation fans in kitchens and baths to control moisture. Make sure they are venting directly outside. Clothes dryer should be vented directly to the outside. Consult the Consumer Products Safety Commission additional safety tips for dryer vents . Check the heating and cooling system to make sure it is sized and operating properly to remove humidity. Have all duct air leaks sealed. Use a dehumidifier in the basement can reduce condensation. A dry basement will not only lead to a healthier home it will lead to a more profitable sale when the time comes.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 6/21/2015

With the recent scrutiny being placed on food quality in America, many people are looking to starting their own gardens. While there's no denying that keeping a garden can be a lot of work, the benefits of growing your own produce are hard to ignore. If you are thinking about trying out your green thumb, there are a few things to consider. What would you like to grow? Would you prefer a garden that you can keep indoors, or do you want an outdoor garden? How much time are you willing to dedicate to your new project? Herb gardens are a good start for anyone interested in growing useful plants. You can grow any combination of herbs indoors. Many herb kits exist, and can be purchased from your local gardening store for relatively cheap. These kits take the guesswork out of picking a complementary combination of herbs, and come complete with full instructions on how to maximize your little garden's potential. If your ambitions are bigger, you can opt for an outdoor garden. Outdoor gardens give you much wider selection of plants to choose from. Living in New England, you can count on about 120 frost-free days, so pay attention to the plants that you choose for your garden. You'll want to choose fruits and vegetables that can survive the occasional frost, and are considered relatively hardy. Here's a few ideas to get you started. Plants that do well in the climate of New England include tomatoes, asparagus, snow peas, zucchini, peppers, eggplant, and cucumbers. Tomatoes in particular offer a lot of variety, from the smaller cherry tomato, to more robust varieties like beefsteak. A newer variety of tomato called Glacier does fairly well in colder climates, and packs the same zest as the more fickle, hot-climate tomatoes. If you want to add a more unique fruit to your garden, you might also want to consider one of the heirloom tomato varieties. I've heard of a tomato called "White Wonder", which is a nearly all-white tomato that packs a whallop of flavor. Many types of berries do extremely well in New England summers. Why not try your hand at strawberries? Cavendish are a large, sweet variety of strawberries that do extremely well here, despite the harsh, unpredictable nature of our climate. For more information on gardening in New England, please visit the following link. http://www.gardeninginnewengland.com/index.asp Good luck!





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/31/2015

Getting organized in your home can be less expensive and easier than you think. There are items all around your home that can help you get the clutter in order. Here are just a few tips to get you off to a good start: A big problem is spices, they get lost in the cabinet, take up tons of room and are always hard to see. If this is a problem in your home use a mop holder to store spices on the inside of a cabinet door. Too many craft supplies and a place to put them is a typical problem. Arrange crayons, colored pencils and more in an over-the-door shoe organizer. You have all your supplies organized and easy to see in no time. Use the shoe organizer for anything. It can also be great for cleaning supplies. If you need decorations for your playroom walls and you have too many board games this is a great solution. Take the glass out of frames and frame the board games and hang on the walls. Attach the game pieces in little baggies to the frame. What about all that jewelry? If you could actually see it you may even wear it more. Hang a peg board on the wall in your closet and hang your necklaces from it. Need a place to put your earrings? How about an ice cube tray? These are just a few nifty ideas. What are your best ideas to keep your home organized?




Categories: Help Around the House  


Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/24/2015

Did you know the average family spends over $1600 a year on utility bills alone?   Here are some simple steps you can take to not only save energy but also put some money back in your pocket.

    Put your thermostat to work
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommends setting your air conditioner at 74 degrees and your furnace at 68 degrees. Investing in a programmable thermostat is a good idea. Set the thermostat to be warmer or colder when you are not home. Reduce the difference in temperature between the inside and the outside of the home to help save energy and money.
    Invest in energy-efficient appliances
You may notice now that washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, air conditioners, and computers now come with Energy Star labels which mean they are energy efficient.  Energy Star appliances will save you money over older appliances.
    Unplug
Computers, stereos, toasters, and other appliances draw energy even when they are turned off. A large LCD or plasma TV consumes about 400 watts of energy when in use and 4 watts when not in use.  Using a surge protector will help reduce energy costs. Plug your appliances into a surge protector and turn off the protector when appliances are not in use.
    Seal it up
A well-insulated house is a way to save money on heat and cooling costs. First, start by adding insulation to the attic floor. Next, make sure to fill in any holes in exterior walls especially where pipes come in and around windows and doors. Lastly, wrap hot water pipes with insulation.
    Slow the flow
Install low-flow fixtures to conserve water on your shower, faucets and toilets. Also remember to repair leaky faucets and toilets and turn off the water when brushing your teeth and scrubbing dishes.