Five Signs That Mean It’s Time to Repaint Your Home

If you’re thinking of updating the look of your home, you may think of condo painting as something inconvenient and time-consuming. You would need to dedicate more than a day for painting services, clear all the furniture, and find the best painter for an HDB painting service. But it could be all worth it. For one thing, your house or condo is one of the places you’ll spend time in the most. It’s a reflection of your personality, and its impression on your guests can bounce back on you. The integrity of your home is also important for your safety and health, shielding you from the elements and health hazards.

Repainting your home is not just a matter of aesthetic and design to make things look pretty, it’s also a necessity as well. So when the signs show that your house need to repaint, it’s time to call a painting contractor. But aside from the obvious signs of paint chipping or fading, how do you know when to repaint your home? Here are some of the signs to help you know when to pick up the phone and call a painting contractor.

1. Your paint flakes, bubbles, or cracks
Flaking, bubbling, and cracking paint is an effect of environmental damage. If your paint is not weatherproofed properly, water can seep into the paint and create mold and rot. This is why you will often notice paint flaking or cracking on house exteriors, where it is exposed to the elements. This can also be caused by most of the outdoor elements in Singapore, such as strong sunlight, extreme humidity, storms, and sand and ocean breezes.

In order to avoid this type of damage, your chosen painting service contractor will need to scrape off the flaking and cracking paint and remove all bubbling paint to smooth out the surface. Then, you will need to have the surface of your Singapore home repainted with new coat of wall colour, preferably with a good waterproof finish. There are many types of paints that are specially formulated for Singapore weather, to combat the effects of environmental damage. These paints are perfect for HDB painting or condo painting. While they are a little bit more expensive than the usual paint formulas, they may be perfect for homeowners who want to be secure against damage from sunlight and water.

2. Hardened Caulk
Caulk is applied to the spaces in between materials. With every surface, there will always be gaps between where materials meet, or underneath nails or in corners of walls. This is where caulk comes in, to cover these spaces to make sure that your house is proofed from extreme temperature and even outside noise. Because materials naturally expand or contract, caulk is designed to be elastic as well. However, as with every elastic material, caulk can lose its elasticity as time goes on. This is usually caused by extreme weather cycles, as days are hot and sunny, and the nights are cold. To know if your caulk is still elastic, you could press down the beads of the caulk; if it is hard and resistant, it will need to be replaced.

You may choose to remove the caulk yourself, by using a caulk remover and scraping off the excess caulking. However, you may not have to do this all on your own. Caulk removal may be part of the painting services of your contractor.

3. Fading paint
Fading paint is one of the most obvious signs that your home needs repainting. However, people often think that fading paint can be left alone for a while, thinking that it doesn’t really mean any serious damage that should be addressed immediately. Sometimes, this can be true. Paint can fade because of its exposure direct sunlight, an effect called sun bleaching. This isn’t surprising considering the sunny Singapore weather. However, when paint fades in areas that don’t have direct sunlight, this can mean something that requires your immediate attention.
Fading paint on shady areas can mean problems that are caused by water intrusion. If this is the case, you may need to check for water leaks to stop further damage. This is something that should be immediately addressed in a condo painting or HDB painting service, as water damage can mean extensive as well as expensive repairs if action isn’t immediately taken. Aside from choosing an ideal colour for my condominium home, your chosen local painter in Singapore will able to make recommendations for paint that is specially formulated to be resilient against water and water damage.

4. Paint color morphed
Other than fading the shade of the paint, direct sunlight can also cause the shade of paint to morph into a different color from its original shade. This new shade can be entirely different from the desired shade and can be a cause for sore eyes. If your paint color has morphed, you will need to repaint the surface again and make sure to seal this new coat of paint with a finish that can stand the effects of UV rays. To preserve the paint color of the wall, you may also avail of services like high pressure cleaning for walls in Singapore. Wall cleaning helps in maintaining and cleaning the paint off your property. Talk to your commercial painting contractor if they also offer services as such.

5. Before it looks like it needs to be repainted
You don’t have to wait for signs for your house to be repainted. Repainting your house before it shows signs of damage can save you a lot of time and effort. Plus, your preparation wouldn’t have to be as extensive. If you repaint early, you could skip having to scrape off peeling paint or replacing seals and materials.

A good rule of thumb is to hire a painting contractor every seven to ten years. However, you would also need to consider the materials that your home is made of as well as the weather conditions that it is subject to. In sunny Singapore, exteriors would have to be repainted more often, especially for exteriors that are made out of wood.

Home Rental Improvements That Won’t Break the Lease

As a home renter, your home beautification and renovation ideas seem limited, and that can be really frustrating. Many renters in Singapore are looking into long-term stay in their chosen properties. In result, making a few simple changes and renovations can be a priority, and why it shouldn’t be? You plan on staying in the space for the next three or more years. While it isn’t your property, it doesn’t mean you cannot make it look and feel like home.
Here are seven tips and tricks for home improvements without breaking the lease.

1. Know Your Limitations
Who would not want a new kitchen or a newly renovated bathroom with new tile flooring? Yes, you can afford it, but it’s a large project that will cause major changes in the property. Are you sure your landlord is okay with it?

To make sure, contact the managing agent. Standard tenancy agreements usually prevent any alterations or renovations in the condo units without the approval of the landlord. Begin the process by consulting the condo manager or the landlord for your renovation options and limitations.

Still in the hunt for a place to rent? If you are already eyeing a space that you think you will have to repaint or renovate, ask the managing agent upfront what the property owner’s policies are when it comes to adding personal touches to the condo for rent. That way, you already have an idea of what is allowed o be altered before you sign the contract.

2. Consider Simple Options
The property management or the properties and facilities management firm available in Singapore may not be in favour of you repainting the walls or polishing the floors, and those are the regulations you need to abide. However, don’t lose get too frustrated. You can always do a few very simple and temporary fixes allowed by most facility management companies.

One example, hiding cracks on walls can be as simple as handing an art work or small potted plants. Use adhesive hooks to hang these decorative, so you won’t have to drill into the walls. You think the doors are too basic? Making it look sophisticated can be as simple as replacing the knob or hanging an ornament or a large welcome sign to overshadow the door itself.

3. Maximize Interior Decorations
Just like the previous tip, maximize using temporary decor to disguise or hide something you want to be hidden.

a. Use Removable Wallpapers
Go for peel-and-stick type of wallpaper to make sure there won’t be adhesive residue when you need to take the off the walls. It will surely hide cracks, holes or chipping paint in one go. Plus, it’s temporary, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the lease.

b. Swap Out Light Fixtures
Getting a new light fixture is one of the easiest ways to renovate rented spaces. It’s a minor alteration, yet creates a major impact to the look of the room. Just make sure to safely store the original light fixture throughout your tenancy, and replace it before moving out.

c. Cover Up Ugly Flooring
Hate that ugly linoleum floors? Need to hide cracked tile flooring? Cover it up with a carpet, feathery rug or removable flooring, which comes in different designs to match your interiors.

d. Replace Removable Furniture
If your bathroom cabinet and mirror are not built into the wall, you can replace it with statement pieces that you like or even just a simple one that isn’t contractor-grade looking. Replacing is as simple as unscrewing the old furniture, storing it and then hanging prettier pieces.

4. Add More Countertop Spaces
Condos and rental apartments always seem to have very limited spaces to cook or hold your kitchen appliances. Many hardware shops and department stores here in Singapore sell rolling kitchen islands, which require no installation at all. If you get one, you can simply roll it out the house when you decide to move out.

5. Use Tile Stickers (Temporarily)
If you know your landlord will flip if he sees the tiles are ripped out during scheduled estate maintenance, you better not alter those permanently. Instead of replacing the tiles, use tile stickers for temporary tile upgrade. Tile stickers come in different sizes and designs, and easily stick to existing floor tiles. One they are on, they look like the real thing.

6. Install Few More Shelves
Installing shelves may require a few screws, but your condo manager or landlord will likely allow this and may even ask you to leave it behind when you move out, since they provide more storage spaces for the future tenants to use. If the managing agent asks you to remove it, just be sure to fix tiny holes so the wall looks clean.

7. Remember That It’s Still Your Landlord’s Property
Most tenants think that the renovation they plan to make will benefit the property management, but this is not always the case. Landlords and property owners are very careful when it comes to estate maintenance and upgrades. Oftentimes, basic furniture and neutral palette is chosen so it does not offend buyers and tenants. It is best to ask about the changes and make sure that your landlord is okay with any alterations to get your deposit back in full.

While most property owners do not care of temporary and minor changes, you should get their permission when planning for permanent renovations, such as the painting and any decorating that requires drilling into walls. Ask for a written approval for such alterations to ensure you won’t be charged or penalize for doing the changes.

Common Aircon Emergencies that Need A Pro

Air conditioners need regular maintenance, event he modern models that are energy-saving and more compact than the larger, noisier, old models. Air conditioners are prone to a lot of issues as they age, that is why a scheduled aircon maintenance and inspection by a reputable aircon servicing company in Singapore are necessary. Occasionally, air conditioners also run into issues even when properly maintained.

Watch out for the following issues and call aircon repair services immediately.

• Air Conditioner Leakages. Leakages can be caused by several issues, but the most common culprit is a dirty unit or air filter. Leakages are easy to detect in most models of air conditioners and the unit itself will also show clear signs of malfunction if there are internal problems that you have not detected yet. The most obvious signs would be dripping fluids from the air conditioner, change in the quality and temperature of air, and foul odor coming from the unit. Leakages can attract mold growth, block the drainage, and damage the condenser so call the aircon maintenance crew as soon as possible if the unit has not been inspected for more than six months.

• Unit Will Not Turn On. When the air conditioner fails to turn on even after you checked if it’s connected to a power outlet, it could indicate several issues. Check the thermostat for issues or inspect the transformer first, then look for signs of burnt wires. You can usually tell if there are burnt parts from the odor coming from the unit. Call the nearest aircon servicing company in Singapore to deal with the problem. It is not recommended that you open or dismantle the unit yourself to avoid further damage. Unplug the unit and wait for the licensed aircon technician to inspect it.

• Thermostat Issues. The thermostat needs regular fine-tuning because it is prone to a lot of problems. After all, it is the tool that regulates the temperature of the room and the time the unit produces cool air. Fluctuations in the temperature may be due to a malfunctioning thermostat that needs to be replaced, reprogrammed or calibrated.

• Unit Does Not Work. If the air conditioner does turn on but does not work properly, the refrigerant or the grill might have problems. A dirty aircon can also have several issues especially if the debris has built up significantly to clog the grill. Call the aircon repair services in Singapore to inspect the refrigerant level or to clean the unit if the grill is clogged.

• Noisy Air Conditioner. Most modern air conditioner produce less noise than the older units, that is why if it is producing unusual noises, you should call an aircon servicing company in Singapore to inspect the unit. The problem may be caused by the fan belt, rust formation in some parts, or a loose part in the unit. Some of these defective parts might need replacement.

• Unit Produces Foul Odor. The problem can simply be from a dirty filter, but it’s important to determine where the odor specifically comes from. Is it an electrical odor or a damp and musty odor? If you smell burnt electrical parts, then there could be mechanical failure in the unit or overheating. The wires in the aircon are probably worn down or melted and must be replaced. In other instances, the ductwork and heat exchangers might be clogged with dirt. If it is a musty odor, like damp socks, then there could be leaks in the system. Regular air conditioner maintenance in Singapore will reduce incidents such as these in the future.

• Uneven Heating. If you find that the other areas of the room do not receive as much cool air as the others, there could be a problem in the aircon’s dampers. To produce cool air, the air from the room must travel through the ducts. But if the dampers have problems, the flow of the air might be obstructed, creating an imbalance in the air flow. Regular aircon maintenance will prevent this problem in the future.

• Unit Blows Warm Air. If the air conditioner is blowing warm air instead of cool, then the condenser probably has some issues. Turn off the unit and visually inspect the condenser coil. This component is supposed to remove the heat from the air and releases it outside of the room. Most condensers in commercial and industrial buildings are found outside, which means they are exposed to the elements. In some cases, the condenser coils can also be frozen due to obstructions in the air filter and ductwork. Call the aircon servicing company in Singapore to inspect and clean the unit.

• Reduced Efficiency. If there are changes in the airflow, you need to check if the filters are dirty before calling the aircon repair crew. If cleaning the filters do not work, however, the problem could be caused by defective blower motor, dirty coils, debris in the ductwork, or a loose fan belt. Call the aircon servicing company to inspect the cooling unit and determine if the ductwork is clear and properly installed.

• Expensive Electrical Bills. Changes in the electrical bills could indicate a hidden problem, although this could also be attributed to other systems that use energy. Call a licensed electrician to inspect your building’s electrical works to eliminate other possible problems. If the problem seems to point to a faulty air conditioning system, call a licensed aircon technician to look for defects in the compressor valves and ductwork or determine if the refrigerant is low.

• Units Cause Sickness. If your employees are having problems in breathing or are reporting incidents of flu, cold, irritation, dry skin, and allergies, then your air conditioner might be the culprit. Have your units inspected regularly for debris buildup, leaks, and clogs.

Dry Cleaning: What It Is

Dry cleaning is one of the most common laundry service in most laundry pick up and laundry delivery shops in Singapore, but not everyone knows what happens during the process and why it’s the fastest way to get you clothes washed.

Let’s look at the process of dry cleaning and what makes it ideal for cleaning certain types of clothes, linen, and upholstery.

The Origins of Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning is not a new process in most commercial laundry services like laundry first/ from Singapore. In fact, there is evidence that the dry cleaning process goes as far back as the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The technique is quite different from the one the laundry service uses today, because they used a type of clay to remove dirt from the fabrics, although it was still essentially a cleaning process that did not use water.

Most wash and fold laundry services shops in Singapore, however, model their process to the use of dry cleaning solvents which became popular in the mid-1800s. Over the years, the dry cleaning technique and the products used continued to improve as the demands for safer alternatives were considered. Most of the concern focused on the search for solvents that were less flammable, and by the 1930s, the most popular type of dry cleaning solvents in most laundry service shops was created.

The idea of using a solvent to remove dirt from fabrics is based on the extraction of compounds by using non-polar chemicals. Delicate types of fabrics that are not supposed to be soaked in water could get damaged, because most of the stains can only be removed in high temperatures and water-based detergents. The non-polar dry cleaning solvent will not interact with the fabrics and will avoid stretching, shrinking, and distorting the fabric. Not only is dry cleaning ideal for delicate fabrics, but for almost any type of fabric including uniform laundry that is prone to wear and tear.

The Dry Cleaning Solvent

There are various dry cleaning solvents that in Singapore have been using in their 24 hour laundry service. These includes solvents like turpentine spirits, kerosene, benzene, camphor oil, petroleum solvents, white gasoline, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, glycol ethers, n-propyl bromide, liquid carbon dioxide, trichloro trifluoroethane, trichloroethane, decamethylcyclopentasiloxane, trichloroethylene, and perchloroethylene. The most widely used commercial dry cleaning solvent is the perchloroethylene which is also known as perc.

The dry cleaning process, however, is not entirely a dry process because most commercial laundry services still use other detergents and chemicals to remove stains. These are special types of detergents that perform the following functions: carry the moisture to remove water-soluble dirt, suspend the dirt removed from the clothes, and to act as spotting agent to allow the water and solvent to remove the stains.

You should also ask the laundry services if they use the following chemicals: brighteners, fabric conditioner, bactericide, anti-static, and anti-lint products. The dry cleaning machine will look similar to a regular washing machine and will also use mechanical friction or tumbling, but the chemicals are less harsh on delicate fabrics.

Questions You Need to Ask Your Electrician

Finding a good electrician in Singapore is easy if you know what to ask. It is essential to find the best licensed electrician because electricity is an important resource that also has the capacity to cause injuries and damage.

These are the important questions you need to ask the electrician services company before hiring them.

1. What type of electrician services are available? Narrow down your choices of electricians in Singapore by looking at the services they provide.
2. Do you provide a free consultation or inspection? If you’re not sure what the problems is, it’s better to call in the expert electrician to inspect the place.
3. Do you provide free estimates? You can ask this during the site inspection.
4. Can you provide a price listing for the services you offer? Even if you don’t need other repairs now, you should ask for a complete list of services available.
5. Are there any special electrician services or packages available? Some electrical services companies specialize in specific jobs. Knowing this can be helpful especially if you own commercial buildings.
6. Are there any additional costs not included in the price list? Do you have an hourly rate or a fixed rate?
7. If there are damages or changes to the structure affected by the electrical works, does your electrician services company provide additional services to fix it or do I have to hire another professional to fix it?
8. What are the most common problems you work on? This will let you know if the electrician has any experience with your problem.
9. Do you have any experience with this specific electrical works problem?
10. Will you provide the materials and tools, or do I have to purchase some of the items needed?
11. Do you recommend shops or products where I can purchase replacements for light fixtures? Some electrician services company like power max in Singapore provide their own quality materials.

12. I have a fixed budget; can you provide a breakdown of all the expenses for this specific work? It may be possible to choose what you’re only willing to pay for.
13. Do you provide emergency repairs? Owners of businesses and commercial buildings should have a reliable electrician to contact in case emergency repairs are needed to avoid interruption of daily operations.
14. Are you a licensed and accredited electrician? It’s important to hire a good electrician with the right training and experience to avoid accidents from substandard work.
15. Are you insured? There is always a risk of accidents at work. You don’t want to pay for unnecessary fees in case of injury or damage to the structure.
16. Do you have any specialty? Some electricians like Singapore have more experience with specific jobs than others.
17. Do you have any additional training and experience?
18. Is it possible for me to inspect your credentials?
19. Can you work with special projects, such as installation, data cabling, solar equipment, and others?
20. Do you work with other contractors for remodeling spaces?
21. How about working in newly-constructed buildings?
22. How long have you been in business?
23. Who will perform the work? Are they employees or will you be sending contractors?
24. If you are sending contractors, are they covered by the contractor’s insurance?
25. Can you provide the credentials of the members of the team who will be working on the problem?
26. Are there differences in the rate of electrician specialists in your company?
27. How do I pick from one of the licensed electrician specialists in your company?
28. What are the differences between the different licensed electrician specializations?
29. Will my problem require the expertise of a master electrician?
30. Can you provide references or reviews? You can find some of the reviews on the company website, but you can also gain additional information from the electrician.
31. Is it possible for me to check any work in progress?
32. What are your experiences in electrical works at home?
33. What are your experiences in electrical works at commercial and industrial buildings?
34. Are you well-versed in the electrical code requirements of Singapore?
35. Do you have any experience in the installation of electrical appliances?
36. Do you have any experience in the repair or troubleshooting of electrical appliances?
37. How long do repairs take? When will the work commence? The electrician should come in early to start the work and finish it on the agreed time and date.

38. Will I be notified before the work starts? This is important to know if you own a business so that you can prepare beforehand.
39. The building needs electrical repairs; are you going to work with live circuit or should I provide a shutdown notice beforehand?
40. I own a commercial building; will my daily operations be affected? In some cases, the elevators are left to function while the work is ongoing.
41. Can I stay at home while you work and how long will you work within a day if the work takes several days?
42. Are there any changes I need to be aware of once the work starts?
43. Am I allowed to check the progress of the work periodically? If the work will take several days, you should be allowed to inspect their work, or you should at least be updated of the progress.
44. Do I need to apply for a permit for electrical works especially for a commercial building?
45. Will you perform a safety inspection once the work is done?
46. Are there any potential problems that I might have overlooked?
47. Do you guarantee quality of your work?
48. Do you have any warranty of your work?
49. Does your warranty also cover the materials you used?
50. If there are problems, can I contact your company?

Common Plumbing Problems and Mistakes

Usually the most common plumbing problems we have at home are clogged drains. Some problems however can be more than just simple drainpipe blockages. What are the common plumbing problems and what should we do? When do we call a reliable plumber for help? The following is a list of common problems and mistakes and the steps to keep your plumbing at home working perfectly.

Clogged drains. Most drain cleaners don’t do the work. Some are even harmful when used often. Clog removers can sometimes eat away at the drainpipes regardless of the material it’s made of (usually pipes are made of PVC or metal). The best way is to prevent clogging from happening is to keep the drains clear. Avoid placing small items near the drain to prevent blockage. Make sure to clean the strainers or stoppers from time to time. Ask your local plumbing contractor for options if you want these. Keeping your clogs clean however sometimes does not do the job. Reliable plumbing services in Singapore offer cleaning of waste pipes, bathtubs, and toilet bowls. You may also opt for a scheduled maintenance of your plumbing works.

Running toilets waste a lot of water and can add up to your bill. This usually happens when the flapper valve does not fit properly. The flapper valve allows the water to pass from the tank to the bowl. If fixing this is beyond your skills, it would only worsen the problem. Call a reliable plumber.

If you are planning a renovation and engaging a good plumbing services from Singapore or remodeling of your bathroom, make sure that there is enough space around the toilets. This will not only prevent small objects from accidentally dropping into the bowl, but there will be enough leg room as well. If you do not have this option or the budget to fix the placement of the toilet, make sure to avoid placing objects near it.

Dripping faucets. This is usually caused by the deteriorating washer made of rubber or silicone. When this happens the washer does not prevent enough water from pushing its way through the pipes. Ignoring this problem, no matter how common, can rack up your water bills. Replacing the washer will need specialized tools. It’s best to consult a reliable plumber if the problem has been going on for a long time. Otherwise, you can do the job yourself.

Silent leaks. Some issues cannot be seen right away until you notice that your water bill has gone up. Schedule an appointment with a plumber for maintenance and check-ups. Low water pressure can also be a sign that the pipes leading to your home have a leakage. Ignoring this problem might cause damages to your property.

Low water pressure. The most common cause is a blockage of deposits in the faucet aerators. Some faucets have aerators that can be removed for cleaning. If no changes occur even when you do this, the problem might be even more serious. A pipe may have a leakage that you could not see. It could also be due to problems in your local water supply system.

Leaky pipes. Usually leaks occur at U-joints in pipes. If you notice a water build-up in pipes leading to your house, there is a possibility that a line is broken. Some leaks however are not noticed immediately. Fixing leaks can be easy but if you do not want the mess that goes with it, call plumbing services or a 24 hours plumber.

Lack of traps or vents in the drains. The S-shaped pipe under your sink is an example of a trap. If you need to make sure your home’s plumbing has enough traps and vents, ask a reliable plumber about it.

Water heaters have pressure and temperature relief valves. The valves have to be placed correctly for them to work. The installation of water heaters should be done by a licensed plumber to avoid problems.

Fast-fixes that go wrong. Sometimes the problem seems minimal that we tend to come up with easy and fast solutions. If it is beyond your repairing skills, do not try to do it yourself. Call a 24 hours plumber if a problem occurs at night.

Poor installation. It is good to invest in quality plumbing. When planning to move into a house or building a new one, consult a plumbing contractor. This will save you money, time and effort. The fewer problems in the future, the less worries for your family. Most plumbing contractors have websites if you need more detailed information on the services they provide. One common mistake is that drainpipes do not have enough slope. The wastewater will travel slower and there is a tendency for waste materials and debris to accumulate.

For fuel gas piping, Singapore has laws for the supply, installation and fitting of gas pipes. It is important that you know your rights for your safety.

Mismatched pipes. This can also be avoided if proper installation is done. Sometimes we overestimate our plumbing skills and consequently cause bigger problems in the future. Pay attention to the pipe size, material and fitting. Better yet, ask a plumber to replace the pipes for you.

Finding local plumbers can also be a hassle. Luckily, Singapore has licensed quality plumbing services providers for every plumbing needs. Determine your problem first. Knowing the cause beforehand will make the job or repairs easier. Keep your budget and time constraints in mind as well especially if you need a quick repair at home. Keep a list of numbers of your reliable plumber or the nearest plumbing services center. Lastly, make sure that the plumber is licensed and qualified for the task.