Monthly Archives: February 2020

De-Winterizing a HUD Property

When the Department of Housing and Urban Development takes ownership of a house, it disconnects the utilities and, depending upon the house’s location and also the time of year,”winterizes” the house. Typically, this involves draining off the house’s water channels, treating the plumbing systems with plumbing antifreeze to prevent freeze damage, and draining tanks and bathrooms. This causes problems for potential buyers that want to inspect the house’s plumbing, plumbing and other systems before closure. In California, only properties over 2,000 feet are winterized.

Buyer Beware

HUD homes are sold”as -is,” which means that the buyer takes the property in its present state. HUD won’t fix a property in poor state. For this reason, HUD advises all buyers to make a professional home inspector to inspect the house before closing. The inspector checks to verify the house meets any fix requirements set by the purchaser’s mortgagee and complies with local zoning and building ordinances. From a practical perspective, the house inspector can only test plumbing factors such as the water drain and pressure lines if the property is de-winterized.

Requesting an Inspection

The purchaser has 15 days from winning the bid to get the house professionally inspected. If he misses the inspection window, the purchaser cannot inspect the house. HUD sends the purchaser’s agent a utility activation request form, which authorizes HUD to turn on the utilities for three successive days inside the 15-day inspection window. For winterized properties, the purchaser must specifically request de-winterization when he yields the usefulness request form. HUD then de-winterizes the home and joins the utilities to facilitate the house inspection.

The De-Winterizing Procedure

De-winterizing a property completes the winterizing process. Primarily, it reactivates the pipes so that the home inspector can inspect for leaks. Faucets are prepared for water flow by taking away the aerators, which allows debris to drain from the system. Appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers are reconnected to the water source, including water heaters. Supply valves are exposed and, since the water has been turned back on, checked for leaks.


When the buyer completes his inspection, HUD re-winterizes the property. The purchaser pays for this service upfront by sending a check with the usefulness request form. Prices vary, depending on the dimensions of the house and how it is heated. The money is non-refundable, even if the sale falls through. After closure, the buyer becomes responsible for permanently de-winterizing the house and triggering the utilities ready for moving in.

When HUD Will Not De-Winterize

HUD inspects properties before listing, and includes the list a Real Estate Condition Report that indicates the property’s overall condition. Plumbing leaks and deficiencies have been noted on the report. HUD won’t de-winterize for inspection any home with a plumbing fault. Buyers who bid on these properties do this in the full understanding that a problem exists, and the purchaser is responsible for repairing it at close of escrow. Normally, the price reflects the condition of the property.

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The Way to Ascertain the Soil Absorption Rate for a Drainage Bed

If you plan to build a drainage bed, or drainage basin, it’s very important that you be aware of the absorption speed of the site’s dirt. This speed will tell you how much area in square feet that the bed should cover for draining water to harden, or absorb into, the soil rather than pooling on or running off the region. Pooling can attract insects and cause smells, and runoff erodes soil and can spread contaminates. Soil’s absorption rate is dependent upon the amount of clay, sand, loam or gravel that the soil contains.

Choose at least three locations to dig a hole at the prospective drainage bed area, with the holes spaced evenly across that area. If the region is large region, then digging over three holes will create more precise soil absorption rate results. For instance, plan to dig 1 hole at each corner and at the center of the future drainage bed area, or dig holes in a grid pattern each 20 feet if the bed area will be very big.

Dig a vertical hole using a 4- to 12-inch circumference in each location chosen for a hole, employing an augur or spade for the endeavor. Every hole’s sides must be vertical, and each hole has to be the same depth water will enter the drainage bed, which usually is 6 to 36 inches below the soil surface.

Roughen the walls of each hole if necessary to keep the absorption conditions natural. If a hole’s sides are smooth, solid surface as opposed to how dirt appears naturally in the lawn, then that state will not lead to an absorption rate that is accurate for the lawn.

Place about a 2-inch-deep layer of 1/2-inch gravel in the bottom of each hole.

Fill each hole with no less than a 12-inch-depth of water, measuring from the top of the gravel. If a hole is fewer than 12 inches deep, then put at least a 6-inch-depth of water from the hole. Allow the water to saturate the soil overnight or for no less than four hours, adding water to each hole as necessary during that time to keep the water level in the 12-inch or even 6-inch depth over the gravel, using whichever water depth you used initially. If, however, you add water to a hole twice and twice the water drains in fewer than 10 minutes, then you don’t have to add water to the hole. Furthermore, if the soil is mostly clay and a hole’s water level does not appear to move, then continue to maintain the hole’s water level for three to five days. The time you maintain a certain water level in each hole is that the saturation period.

Place a yardstick or ruler in each hole the day following the saturation period is over. The yardstick’s or ruler’s ending displaying the 1-inch mark has to be at the hole’s bottom, over the layer of gravel. The yardstick or ruler should make it to the top of the hole, and so use a ruler just in a hole that is no more than 12 inches deep. The water does not have to have drained entirely in the hole, but it has to be fewer than 6 inches deep.

Add enough water to each hole so that the water depth is 6 inches. Refill each hole to the 6-inch water depth every 30 minutes for four hours as water seeps in the hole. Write down the water level in each hole in the four-hour mark, but don’t add water to the holes. Subtract 1 hole’s current degree of water out of six to ascertain how many inches of water have been consumed. Duplicate that job for every single hole. If your lawn has sandy soil and the holes’ water is eliminated before 30 minutes pass, then refill every single hole to the 6-inch water depth every 10 minutes for a period of one hour. Take the water level measurement of the holes in the mark.

Divide the elapsed time by the number of inches the water level dropped in the 6-inch degree in a hole during the last measurement interval. If, for instance, 4 inches of water stayed in a hole following 30 minutes, then divide 30 by 2 to find an absorption rate of 15 minutes per inch for that hole.

Insert the absorption rates of each hole. Divide that total by the number of holes to find the average absorption rate for the whole possible drainage bed area. If you found over a 20-minute per inch difference in the absorption rates of the fastest-draining and slowest-draining holes, then utilize the slowest-draining hole’s absorption speed as the absorption rate for the drainage bed region.

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How to Wash Wooden Paneling With Vinegar and Mineral Oil

If you grew up in the 1960s or ’70s, wood paneling, together with orange shag carpet and avocado-green appliances were the decorating rage of the afternoon. Paneling from this period consisted of durable fiberboard sheets covered hardwood veneer, generally in dark brown. But today, paneling is significantly lighter in its own tones, ranging from faux cherry wood to aged-picket-fence white. Paneling requires minimal attention to keep it looking good, making it a favorite in family homes full of pets and kids. You are able to keep paneling looking its best by utilizing household products such as vinegar and mineral oil rather than costly over-the-counter products that may contain chemicals you do not want in your home.

Everyday Cleaning

Dust the paneling by wiping it with a dry microfiber dusting cloth. If dusting does not remove all the dirt, then use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove the loose dirt and dust. Be sure to clean in the crevices on the surface of the paneling fully, where dirt and dust get trapped.

Insert 1/2 cup of mineral oil and 1/4 cup of vinegar into your spray bottle.

Fill a measuring cup with warm water and add it into the mix in the spray bottle. Shake the bottle to mix the solution.

Spray the mix on the wall and rub it in with a clean rag, scrubbing any particularly dirty spots in a circular motion.

Buff the wall with another clean, dry cloth in a circular motion to pull out the shine of the paneling.

Deep Cleaning and Polishing

Pour 1/2 cup of apple-cider vinegar and one cup of warm water into a spray bottle to make an extra-strength cleaning alternative.

Saturate a microfiber fabric using the spray on to clean stubborn grease or dirty spots on the paneling. Wash your paneling in tiny sections using this method.

Wipe paneling dry with microfiber fabric when finished cleaning.

Apply mineral oil into some other clean, dry cloth. Buff the paneling in tiny circles with the fabric to make it shine.

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What Impact Does Common Vents Have in an HVAC System?

Like the thought that cranking the thermostat all the way up or down cools or heats a home quicker, the belief that closing some family ports increases overall HVAC performance and efficiency is a busted myth. In reality, it usually has the opposite effect. In today’s energy-efficient residences, air flow is balanced to preserve neutral air pressure in each room. When some ports are closed, that delicate balance hints, energy consumption increases and household relaxation declines.

Increased Duct Leakage

Even with all ports open, the Department of Energy estimates the typical house loses up to 20 percent of heated and cooled air through leaky ducts. But that percentage climbs even higher if some supply ports are closed. Air pressure inside supply ducts increases in proportion to the number of ports closed and shoves still greater quantities of conditioned air out of existing leaks. Your furnace or A/C runs more “on” cycles to compensate for your reduction, boosting operating expenses.

Pressure Imbalances

Although the supply enroll into your room is closed, the return enroll from the room (which cannot be closed) proceeds pulling air into the furnace or A/C. Room air pressure changes out of neutral to negative. A closed, depressurized room always sucks unconditioned outside air in through small gaps and cracks which exist in almost any structure. Room temperature gets cold or warm and transfers to adjoining rooms by conduction through walls, offsetting the air conditioner or furnace as well as increasing energy consumption.

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Sprinkler Systems & Wells

Sprinkler systems supply even watering for your lawn or garden on a program which you control. Setting up a sprinkler system typically involves measuring the pressure and water circulation of your home’s water main and designing the sprinkler system accordingly. If you plan on using a well to feed the sprinkler system, then there are a few things that you must keep in mind to avoid potential system issues or damage.

Water Pressure

Wells operate differently than a municipal water system, pulling water from the ground and then pumping it to your house. Instead of maintaining a constant pressure like lots of municipal systems do, the water provided by your nicely uses local pumps to give pressure. This pressure might differ based on the size and power of the pumps used and may be lower than what you would have access to on a bigger system. Another pump is frequently used to power the sprinkler system, providing more pressure inside the system and preventing pressure drops in the event you utilize water at the house while the sprinklers are functioning.

Variable Flow Rate

Calculating the flow speed supplied by means of a well is tricky since most wells feature a cylinder where your house draws its water. The flow rate provided by the cylinder frequently differs from that of the well itself, causing the speed of flow to fall if the tank gets empty. As sprinkler systems utilize a lot of water, your sprinklers can utilize all the water on your well tank if they pull more water than your principal well pump supplies. If your system attempts to draw more water when the cylinder is empty, air is pulled into the pump which can lead to overheating and eventual breakdown.

Backflow Prevention

A backflow prevention module is an significant part any sprinkler system. This is especially important for a well-fed sprinkler system, as it prevents dust, dirt and other unwanted contaminants that might get in the sprinkler pipes from leeching into the water storage tank which also provides your home. Various grades of backflow prevention modules are available and local statutes may specify a minimum grade for you to utilize to avoid waterborne illness or other possible issues.

Size Limitations

The pressure and flow rate limitations of a well produce a limit to the magnitude of sprinkler program you can install on your premises. You should consult the performance graphs for different sprinkler heads and pump systems to determine how much area you can cover the pressure and flow speed that your nicely supplies. Optimizing the design of your sprinkler system will help as well, as each bend or curve from the system reduces pressure marginally. Increasing the magnitude of the heels in your well will increase output pressure and flow speed, though this growth is limited by the magnitude of the pipes and other equipment employed from the well.

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Muscadine Varieties for Wine

All grapes are not created equal. Some are cultivated for fresh eating, and others for pressing into making and juice wine. Muscadines (Vitis rotundifolia) are grapes that boom from the heat, humidity and long growing seasons of the native southeastern United States. Several muscadine varieties are grown especially for wine-making due to their juice grade and pigment firmness.

Grape Species

Muscadines differ in look, taste and culture from other grape species. Other American native grapes (V. labrusca) develop in colder regions of the USA, and European grapes (V. vinifera) thrive from the Mediterranean climate of California vineyards. French hybrids are crosses of European and American grapes. In areas outside the southeastern United States, muscadines do not boom, but their rootstock is favored. Because of its natural resistance to diseases and insects, viticulturists prefer muscadine rootstock for grafting other grape species.

Muscadine Wine Grapes

Muscadine grapes mature individually in loose clusters instead of simultaneously in bunches such as other grapes. Harvesting muscadines leaves a stem scar at the point where individual grapes attach to stems. Grapes for ingesting should have a “dry stem scar” so they pull from vines and hold well after harvest. Wine grape varieties have “wet stem scars” that make them suitable for making and pressing juice. Another varietal thought for muscadine wine grapes is pigment firmness. Muscadine grape pigments are more unstable than other species, which causes juice to undertake a brown cast over time. Selecting muscadine varieties with stable pigments makes the best wine.

Red Wine Varieties

Purple and purplish-black muscadine grapes make red wine. “Noble” is the principal variety for creating red muscadine wine due to its many desirable traits over its counterparts. Its purple shells have more stability than most other muscadines. “Noble” is a productive, disease-resistant vine that bears grapes with high-quality flavor. The muscadine grape breeding program in the University of Georgia lists “Noble” as the leading red-wine cultivar and recommends it as the premier choice for this particular use. “Regale” has a distinctive flavor and productive habit, making it a different desirable red-wine grape.

White Wine Varieties

Bronze-colored muscadines make wine. “Carlos” is the top bronze collection for juice processing and wine making. In certain areas where “Carlos” is susceptible to berry decay, “Doreen” is a suitable substitute due to its higher disease resistance. “Doreen” bears exceptional football-shaped grapes on productive and vigorous vines. “Magnolia” has greater cold tolerance than other varieties although it ripens unevenly, which necessitates staggered harvests. “Welder” is just another bronze collection which bears prolifically on powerful vines.

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The way to Grow Vegetables Close Eucalyptus Shade

For gardeners with small yards and large trees, vegetable growing is something of a struggle. If the tree in question is in the Eucalyptus family, the challenge is much greater, because the leaves are evergreen, providing year-found shade, and they shed copious amounts of leaves and bark peelings which are toxic to some plants. To get around these challenges, develop sturdy edible perennial vegetables under the canopy, and utilize containers or raised beds in the sunniest spaces near the tree.

Remove or prune some of the eucalyptus’ divisions, if possible. Opening up the tree even marginally can bring a surprising amount of light to plants growing under or just past the tree.

Plant shade-tolerant, perennial vegetables under the outer canopy of this eucalyptus. Bamboo, New Zealand spinach and daylilies, all that have edible plant parts, tolerate the tree’s leaf litter and dry, partial shade.

Establish raised beds or containers to get annual vegetables as far outside the tree’s canopy as you can. These growing systems avoid competition between vegetable roots and tree roots. Additionally, by removing the need to dig into the dirt, you wo not need to worry that alleopathins from decayed leaf litter will damage your vegetable crops.

Fill containers and raised beds using top soil or potting compost and soil.

Plant seeds or seedlings of leafy vegetables that can tolerate partial shade. Good choices include beets, onions, cooking greens — kale, mustard greens, spinach, collards, cabbage and chard — along with leafy greens.

Mulch that the annual vegetables to conserve water, suppress weeds and form a barrier between the soil and the eucalyptus leaf litter.

Water annual vegetables often. Even in the shade, raised beds and containers dry out more rapidly than traditional garden beds. Examine the dirt at least once every day.

Handpick bark and leaf litter from chlorine beds, or use a leaf blower. This not only cuts down on the risk of eucalyptus allelopathins from harming the vegetables, but prevents the litter from crushing or smothering smaller vegetables.

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