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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Exposure to Asbestos During Home Renovations

Asbestos has become quite the topic in recent years. Many construction workers have found that they were exposed to asbestos during renovation or construction jobs, and as a result developed serious health conditions like mesothelioma. Even worse, many of the loved ones and families of these construction workers have also been exposed to asbestos from particles brought home on construction workers' clothing. Because of the impact it has had on many unsuspecting families' health and well-being, class action lawsuits have been filed and other construction workers have been left wondering whether or not they should worry about future construction jobs or refuse jobs that work with construction.

Home renovations are often the biggest culprits of asbestos exposure now, as materials containing asbestos fibers and dust are exposed when parts of older homes are demolished, ripped down, and removed. Despite the dangers of it, asbestos is very rarely banned in certain construction materials. According to the EPA, asbestos can be found in a number of building materials, including:

-vermiculite attic and wall installations
-vinyl floor tiles and tile backing
-siding and roofing shingles
-patching compounds, textured paint found on walls and ceilings
-in protective materials installed around stoves that burn wood
-hot water and steam piping
-oil and coal furnaces
-door gaskets
-fabrics with heat-resistant properties

Asbestos exposure is a serious problem, and can cause a number of diseases. The three most common diseases resulting from exposure to asbestos are asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that adversely affects the abdomen, chest, heart, and the lining of the lungs. Asbestosis is a long-term lung disease that is non-cancerous but can still be severely impacting to your health. Asbestos exposure tends to manifest itself in the form of lung conditions because asbestos fibers are usually introduced to the body through inhalation. If great care is not taken when handling material with asbestos fibers in it, these adverse health effects can surface.  
 The Nova Group pays close attention when carrying out extensions and alterations to older style buildings and as soon as asbestos is detected they call in the licensed experts to remove and dispose of this dangerous material. 

Tiling Bathroom Walls and Shower Area

How to Tile Bathroom Walls and Shower/Tub Area

More and more people are now choosing to have tiles in their bathroom as opposed to drab and dreary wallpaper or paint. Not only do they look nicer, but they last a great deal longer as well.

Of course, the first thing many people are going to do is call out a tiling expert to do the job for you. This is not necessary. You can do just as a professional job yourself. Let’s take a little look at how you can do this.

Tools and Supplies:

·         Tiles. This is a completely personal choice. Remember, some materials are slightly harder than others, and if you are choosing porcelain tiles and you want to hang anything up on them, you will need a particularly expensive drill bit to drill your hole.
·         Tile Adhesive
·         Tile Cutter AND/OR a Tile Saw
·         Grout Spreader AND/OR Adhesive Spreader
·         Tile Spacers
·         Spirit Level
·         Tile Nibblers
·         Straight Edge (a metal ruler – sometimes called a square also. 2 foot long if possible)
·         Some Nails to hold Straight Edge in Place
·         Tape Measure
·         Silicone Sealant

How to Install the Wall Tiles:

1.       You will need to start by preparing your walls for tiling. This means it needs to be as smooth as possible. Hopefully by now you should have taken off the wallpaper and any old paint, if you haven’t then make sure all of it is removed. A heat gun may come in handy here, as well as a scraper. If any residue is left behind then it may cause your tiles to be a little uneven.
2.       The next important stage is to come up with the layout for your tiles. This is going to ensure you get a completely uniform look across the whole room. Start by marking out where the bottom row of tiles will be. Place your straight edge at this point and level it up with your spirit level. Once you are sure it is completely level you can nail it into place.
3.       With your tape measure, measure into the center of the wall and place a mark along the straight edge where each tile is going to be placed. Don’t forget to take into account those tile spacers! If there is less than half a tile space left at the sides then you will want to move your midpoint slightly. There is nothing worse than having a thin border in the bathroom.
4.       Repeat the same process on the vertical. Be sure that everything is square vertical and horizontally!
5.       Once you are happy with the layout of the tiles it is time to start putting them in place. Work your way up from the bottom. Spread a little bit of tile adhesive onto the back of the tile and slide it into place. Ensure that it is level with your spirit level before putting the tile spacer there. Repeat this process around the room. For now you can leave the borders. Wipe away an excess adhesive with a wet cloth as soon as possible.
6.       Now it’s time to cut the border tiles. You will need to do this one at a time. Face the tiles down, with one edge against the end of the wall. Bear in mind where your tile spacers are going to be located. Mark on the back your cut mark. Take it over to your tile cutter and cut along this mark. If you need to be more precise then use the tile saw. Place the tile into place like all the others. Repeat this process for all of the tiles that you have around the edges.
7.       Once all of the tiles are in place you can use silicone sealant in between each of them to finish up the job. It is preferable to use silicone sealant in place of grout as it is much more flexible and therefore more durable.
Note: If you are tiling around a bath or shower area then ensure that you seal it correctly, as well as use waterproof adhesive, sealant and grout.