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Create a Livable Outdoor Space by Adding a Deck

Outdoor livable space is a popular trend. You can set up an outdoor seating area, outdoor kitchen or outdoor dining space. This allows you to entertain guests outside or host a larger party than what your home can hold. This trend inspired my wife and I to build our own outdoor livable space. However, one of the biggest decisions we faced was what the base for our space would be. We could use concrete, lay pavers or construct a deck. After doing a lot of research, we decided on a deck. It was a challenging decision, but we are pleased with the outcome. In fact, we are so happy we decided to start this blog and help educate other people on decks and livable spaces. Learn the benefits, learn the downside, learn how to care for your and learn what kinds of wood are best for an outdoor deck.

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Create a Livable Outdoor Space by Adding a Deck

Blackwater In Your Basement? Clean It Up Safely With These Tips

by Kelly Simmons

If the bathroom above your basement overflows and floods raw sewage into the room, you want to clean up the mess in the safest way possible. The blackwater from your toilet can contain dangerous pathogens, such as bacteria and parasites, that make your family sick. Because of this, you don't want to clean up the water unless you have the right equipment, supplies and protective clothing. Here's how you clean up your basement safely.

Purchase Your Supplies

To clean up the water in your basement, purchase several pairs of yellow vinyl gloves to protect your hands from the contaminants in it. Also, purchase one large mop to sop up the water and a carpet blower fan to dry the flooring thoroughly after you remove the water.

You also want to buy a pair of eye goggles to protect your eyes from splashing water and a plastic head covering such as a shower cap to keep your hair dry. Finally, purchase or secure a pair of calf-high boots made of rubber or vinyl. The soles of the boots should be thick enough to keep your feet dry.

Now, you're ready to clean up your basement.

Clean Up the Basement

First, cut electrical power to the basement. Water can spread to an electric furnace or some other equipment and shock you. Next, open up the windows in the basement to circulate as much fresh air into the room as you can. The fumes and odors from the sewage can cause respiratory problems. 

Fill two large buckets with hot water. Pour 5 cups of white vinegar and 3 teaspoons of dish detergent into one of the buckets but leave the other bucket untouched. Dish detergent removes any oily residue that came out of your broken toilet's sewer pipes. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which is very useful in destroying pathogens.

The best way to clean up the basement is to start at the side farthest away from the door to avoid recontaminating the floor as you clean it. Now, follow the steps below:

  1. Put on your protective gear. 
  2. Place the mop into the bucket with the cleaning solution, then remove it.
  3. Wring only a small amount of solution from the mop, then begin cleaning the flooring.
  4. Dip the mop into the clean bucket to remove the contaminants. Ring the mop out, then dip it into the bucket of cleaning solution.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until you reach the door. 
  6. Place the carpet blower fan in the basement's doorway. Turn the fan on high, then leave the room. 
  7. Place your protective gear in a trash bag, then place it in the garbage can outside the home.

It may take a day or so before the flooring dries. After the flooring dries, check the room for any signs of water. If the flooring is still damp, leave the fan in the room for an additional day.

If you have concerns about your basement, contact a water damage contractor for information.

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