What you can do to save on your water bills

With the news today that water costs are rising by up to 8.8% in England and Wales from April, with an average increase of 5.7%, we can all take a look at what we can do to minimize our water use and keep our bills down.

Here are some suggestions on easy things you can do in the house:

  • Repair all drips from all taps in your home– this could conserve more than 5,500 litres of water in a year
  • Switch off taps when not using them– particularly when you are doing things like brushing your teeth, as a running tap wastes over 6 litres of water a minute!
  • Fit a water efficient shower head
  • Set up a double flush toilet
  • Put a ‘Hippo’ in your loo!
  • Set up water butts in your garden and use watering cans– see our basic DIY task on installing a water butt
  • Look into whether having a water meter fitted would be much better for you– it does not cost you anything to have one set up. If you have more bed rooms than individuals in you home, you may well be much better off with a meter.

You could likewise check out setting up a grey water recycling system to allow you to re-use drainage from baths, sinks and cleaning machines, to flush toilets and water the garden.

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The 5 Great Benefits of Tiling your Bathroom or Kitchen

When it pertains to upgrading your cooking area or bathroom there are a number of popular DIY jobs that enter your mind. But most likely the most reliable and least expensive needs to be setting some quality tiles. Not only can these home improvements be done without the need to hire a costly tradesperson, but on a regular basis include serious worth to your home. Here we analyse the benefits that you might soon be enjoying need to you choose to tile your bathroom or kitchen area.

Tiles are Cheap to Maintain
Whether you are putting down floor or wall tiles in your kitchen or bathroom, there is one huge benefit over the options– maintenance! This is specifically real if you opt for ceramic floor or wall tiles since they are usually water repellent and require extremely little looking after once installed properly. Any dirt or gunk can be sponged off and apart from applying sealant every once in a while, when these are installed you are excellent to go.

Tiles are Cost Effective
Tiles are still one of the best choices pound for pound in today’s house enhancement flooring and wall arena. Simply take a look at the expenses per square meter and include the low upkeep and amazing durability of tiles for your kitchen area or bathroom and you will quickly understand why they are still one of the most popular alternatives here in the UK and beyond. If you search you can find some great deals, so a little time on the internet can pay a huge divided. For example, (at the time of writing) these Crossover Sabbia Tiles from Eden Tiles are over ₤ 10 per square meter cheaper than a prominent brand.

Tiles are so Durable
Just go back to the Roman days and you’ll see plenty of tiles embellishing those palaces and for good factor. Quality tiles will last for several years and so long as you install them properly and use the proper grout and sealant, your kitchen or bathroom will continue to add worth to your home. An example of a terrific tile for bathrooms and walls is.


Tiles Offer a Huge Range of Style Options
You may have a fondness for plain tiles or possibly you can’t get enough of the current funky patterns. It doesn’t really matter due to the fact that you’ll be able to discover an ideal match or quite close at your preferred home enhancement centre. Feature tiles can include so much colour to your kitchen or bathroom so don’t hurry to select the perfect mix due to the fact that they will soon be an important part of your house for many years to come.


Tiles are So Easy to Install
You need not be a master craftsman to lay down a kitchen flooring or a bathroom wall. Take your time and with a little practice you can do a task that will stand examination. This is yet another reason that you need to think about tiles over the alternative items. Anyone with typical house improvement abilities and a few days of time can do a very persuading task when it concerns tiling in your house. So long as you don’t take a lot of tea breaks, you can finish around 150 square feet of tiling in a single day. Learn how you can lay tiles with our secure on laying ceramic tiles.

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Advice on Damp, Leaks and Condensation Issues in the Home

When it’s pouring down outside, there’s no better place to be than in your own home, warm and dry. What are you going to do when your home starts to let water in? Water in your home can trigger wet, mould, and even wet rot. Condensation and damp can be brought on by a variety of factors: drying out damp clothes, showers, kettles, and even our breath, and if it’s left unattended, it could cause structural issues to your structure.

What is Condensation?
Condensation can form when there’s a distinction between temperature levels inside and outside, and enough humidity in the air. This will cause damp and mould, and will definitely rot your window frames. Thankfully, condensation is easy to deal with. Simply wipe it down with a cloth, and simply wash it down the drain. If the condensation still persists, attempt covering your pots whilst cooking, not letting the kettle boil as long, keep the room well-ventilated, and in some extreme cases, you may need to use a dehumidifier. But do deal with condensation the minute you find it, because if you do not, it will develop into mould.

What is Mould?
Mould is a fungus that prospers in damp conditions. Wash down all the infected location with a Health and Safety Executive-approved fungicidal wash. When you’ve cleared all the mould and you’ve left it to dry out, remodel if essential using a fungicidal paint and wallpaper paste. Attempt to keep the space well-ventilated at all times with air bricks, or even leaving the window open.

Whether it’s increasing wet or penetrating damp it can cause major structural problems to your house, and if it’s left ignored, it can perish your plasterwork, damage your paintwork, and even ceilings can come collapsing down. Damp is easy to spot– it leaves tide marks, it’s dark, it’s cold to touch, and it is available in two types.

Penetrating moist: that’s when you in the wall or the ceiling, which will let the rain water be available in. It can even be available in from gutters and downspouts, and even rubbish left outside, piled up against the wall– that can assist penetrating damp draw its method through the brickwork.

The other one is rising moist– that’s when you have not got an enough DPC (which is a Damp-Proof Course) in the brickwork to stop water level of the ground penetrating its method through.

If it’s penetrating moist, you may have the ability to solve this yourself– find out where the water’s originating from, fix it, dry it out using a dehumidifier if you’ve got one, and after that re-plaster if required and finish with the paintwork. If you do think you’ve got rising wet, you should not try to tackle this yourself: your whole home might need a brand-new Damp-Proof Course. You’re going to require to use a certified professional because left untreated, it could lead to yet another issue.

If damp or wetness enters your woodwork, it can cause wet rot. Wet rot is a fungus that enters wet wood. It begins to deteriorate it from the inside out, it offers a dark wet look with cracks in the timber. Although it’s not as severe as dry rot, it can do major damage to your timbers, but you need to be able to treat it yourself.


Fixing the Damage Caused by Damp, Rot and Condensation
Firstly you require to develop where the water’s being available in, and then, obviously, handle it. Then you require to learn which lumbers are rotten and need replacing. You can do this by getting yourself a sharp tool like a bradawl, merely pressing it through the wood, and if you discover it goes all the way through quite easy, you know that it’s completely decomposed– it needs to be changed with brand-new. Keep in mind, as soon as you’ve eliminated all your rotten wood, you require to deal with the area with a damp rot fungicide, covering all the areas where the fungi could be hiding prior to you use any brand-new wood.

If you want to stop your problems with moist turning up again, then always ensure your roofing system is effectively preserved, that there aren’t any cracks in your walls, and that nothing that might be collecting water is accumulated against your external walls. And keep spaces that are prone to condensation well-ventilated, and always resolve an issue the minute you discover it, because they won’t improve on their own.

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Condensation in and on Your Double Glazing

If you live in the UK you will likely be used to living with some form of condensation in your house, be it in your bathroom after a bath or shower, in your kitchen after cooking or on your windows.

If you regularly indulge in the very first two points above, possibilities are that this is one of, if not, the primary cause for condensation buildup on your windows (together with a couple of other things) and most of the times this can be easily treated by following some basic actions:

  • During cooking, make certain that all pans and pots are covered with a lid and open a window close to your cooking location
  • If you have a hood extractor over your cooker, use it as this will assist to shift any wet air outside
  • When bathing or showering, again, open a window and utilize an extractor fan if you have one
  • Avoid drying any fabrics inside your house As they dry, the wet air will be released into your home.
  • Utilize your heating system to maintain a consistent and stable temperature level to ensure surface areas are kept warm, reducing the possibility of condensation
  • Open your windows for at least an hour a day as this will permit clean air in to replace the warm moist air in your spaces
  • Where condensation does form, wipe it off as soon as possible to lower the threat of it evaporating back in the air
  • These are some standard steps to require to a minimum of minimize the threat of condensation, not simply on your windows but also within your home as a whole. If moisture is kept to a minimum and your surface areas are kept at a continuous temperature this should go quite a method to decreasing any condensation accumulation dangers.

If nevertheless the majority of your condensation issues exit in, on or around your windows then this might be an indication that this is where the concern lies.

Condensation In, On and Around Windows
When dealing with your double glazed systems, condensation normally forms in among 3 locations:

  • On internal glazed faces
  • On external glazed faces
  • In-between glazed areas of the sealed double glazed system


Fixing Condensation Internally

As we have actually talked about above, if you primary issue is wetness on the internal locations of your glazing, attempt to lower the quantity of wetness that is present in your house by routinely opening doors and windows and allowing fresh air to replace stale, moisture-laden air, cook and shower with windows open and extractor fans on if you have them (if not, think about getting them fitted), dry clothing outside and so on …

By doing this you must see an extreme reduction in moisture accumulation, maybe not clearing it all totally however definitely decreasing it to a more manageable level.

After taking our recommended steps and you see no or really little difference, this might be a sign that your double-glazing is not what it when was and is now permitting the cold air outside to lower the temperature level of the inner glass pane, developing perfect conditions for condensation.

If this is the case there is really extremely little you can do aside from replace the sealed system (glazed area) and frame and although this sounds costly (in reality it is), it might not just treat your condensation problems however assist to save on your heating expenses!

This particular concern is actually rather unusual and remains in a lot of cases a good thing! This is an indication that your windows are well thermally insulated. In failing or poor quality systems, thermal transfer takes place where heat from the internal pane takes a trip throughout the air gap and heats the external pane.

Where the heat transfer procedure is avoided from happening due to the thermal qualities of the sealed unit, wetness can condense causing condensation.

Although this can be rather bothersome as it undoubtedly obscures your vision out of the window, it’s a great problem to have and a sign that your windows are in good condition and preventing excessive heat loss.

Fixing Condensation Between Glazed Units

There is generally only one reason for condensation and wetness in between glazing and this is that the seal that seals the two glass panes has actually stopped working.

Occasionally there can be other causes such as uncommonly cold or humid weather, high presence of wetness from fresh paint, plaster or large scale building and construction work to the property or that the base of the frame is filled with water and with time this will gradually seep in, but in basically all cases it’s down to the sealed system itself failing.

At this point you actually just have 2 choices:

  • Get the defective sealed system changed with brand-new
  • Get the unit repaired

Prior to and after sealed unit repair– Image courtesy of infinityglassandmirror.net
The repair work process normally goes something like this– A little hole is drilled in either one or both of the panes or in the spacer bar. An unique drying representative is then pumped or injected into the unit drying it out and then it is cleaned up and resealed.

Different companies will use various strategies and techniques to attain the repair work however in essence the moisture is gotten rid of and the system resealed.

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How Condensation on the Toilet Cistern can Ruin Your Bathroom and how to Avoid it

Bathrooms are hot. When the radiators are off all over your home, there is a good chance that the towel rail in the bathroom is still on. Bathrooms are also extremely damp, it’s what they are for! All of these factors are a dish for condensation concerns.

Add heat and water together and you get humidity. The bathroom is definitely choc a bloc with humidity!

Add to this heat and humidity a really cold surface such as your cold water toilet tank or the cold water pipelines which feed your tank, the bath and the basin.

Your cold water, originating from the mains, is normally between 5 and 20 degrees celcius. Warmer if it originates from a cold water tank in the loft, however nonetheless, much cooler than the temperature level in your bathroom.

This cold water makes the surface of the toilet cistern extremely cold and, or course, the surface of the cold water taps very cold too. The minute the humid hot air from the bathroom hits the cold surface area of the cold pipes or toilet cistern, it instantly turns to liquid, spilling water all over the flooring. This is called sweating in the trade and you can be sure that in one week alone the cistern and cold pipes sweat a fair bit!

There are one or two methods to stop, or very much decrease, condensation on the toilet tank. The very first is to have a lot of air modifications in the room. This is easy if your bathroom has a window; you simply open it 2 or 3 times a day.

If you do not have a window however, you are reliant on the extractor fan to take the hot air (and the smells) out of the bathroom and brand-new air to go into through the door. The new air however, is just old air from downstairs. Just as warm and just as likely to condense!

We might add some hot water to the cistern. That would warm the cistern walls up and lower condensation– BUT– the pipes included is beyond many DIYers and, if the bathroom is used often, it can be pretty pricey. The warm water also cools down really quickly when its mixed with the cold in the cistern, so not much of an option truly.

We might box the pipelines and the cistern in and ensure that inside the boxing is a great deal of insulation keeping everything great and warm so the moisture in the air does not condense. This is a terrific service where practical but once again, quite expensive.

What can we do? Do It Yourself Doctor have actually thought about this issue for several years. Our option has to do with as useful as it gets. If we cant warm the water up, or change the air temperature, all we have actually left is to alter the temperature level of the cistern walls Why do not we insulate the tank.

Simply cut the Yoga mat to the shape of the within the tank, making holes for the flush pipeline and water inlet pipeline, stick it to the surface and let it all dry.

When the water is turned on, the yoga mat insulates the tank but even much better than that, a few of the water squeezes up in between the mat and the sides of the tank. This acts then exactly as a wet match does to a diver. The thin layer of water gets warm and warms the contents of the tank. Condensation is lowered hugely and your bathroom flooring is saved!

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Have you Thought About Shower Panels Rather Than Tiles in the Bathroom?

When people think of refurbishing the bathroom or fitting a shower their first stop is usually the wall tile showroom. A great alternative however; is to use decorative waterproof panels. Choosing shower panels instead of tiles makes installing a waterproof surface easier and faster for the competent DIYer. A shower panel is usually 2.4m high and 1m wide. This covers 2.4 sq m of your bathroom wall in about 30 minutes whereas the same area, especially with lots of cuts round pipes and units, can take all day.

What do Panelled Bathrooms Look Like?

There are many types of shower panel on the market. Trade names include Aquapanel, Aquabord, Aquamura, Mermaid, Minerelle, Wetwall and so on. Our personal favourite is Aquabord, from a company called IPSL (Industrial Plastic Solutions Ltd) which has two incarnations. Both have tongue and grooved edges and, when fitted correctly, give virtually invisible, fully waterproof joints. They can be stuck straight onto existing, tiled walls

What’s the Cost Difference Between Shower Panels and Wall Tiles
There is no doubt for the DIYer, in pure financial terms, using shower panels in your bathroom is more expensive than tiling. Were you being paid on a time basis for fitting however, the cost of using panels rather than tiles would be far cheaper.

The additional expense of the materials is, in our opinion, very much worthwhile. Tiles can, and very often do, leak…..Jointing, or grouting the tiles is the last job. It’s boring and time consuming and is rarely done properly as the joints do not get filled up properly in the rush to get it finished…The joints in tiles are the most vulnerable place, and when they leak it can go undetected for ages until a nasty brown stain appears on the ceiling…..Then the cost of tiling the bathroom really mounts up! Professional tilers spend as long grouting as they do tiling, it’s that important.

Shower panels on the other hand, have no vulnerability in their joints. The tongue fits tightly into the groove and nothing gets through. That, together with good quality IPSL sealant ensures that you only spend your bathroom renovation money once!

Remove basin and toilet to get the best finish for your panelled bathroom
The easiest way to fit shower panels also gives you the best finish. It’s so much easier to remove the hand basin and toilet before you fit the panels. That way you reduce the amount of cuts you need to make and as well as being so much neater, it is considerably more waterproof. The panels will overlap the bath and/or edge by 10mm, making that waterproof as well. See our full project on fitting shower panels to make a great job of your bathroom

Can I Fit Shower Panels Over my Tiled Walls?

Yes you can. Firstly clean down the tiles to remove all traces of soap, shampoo and greasy children’s finger prints ! Then use the super grab adhesive supplied by IPSL to simply stick the panels to the wall….It really is as easy as that.

The panels are cut with a normal fine-toothed handsaw and holes for pipes etc are drilled with ordinary hole saw drill bits.

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