General Contractor Pavel Rombakh Shares Potential Health Concerns from Rodent Infestations
Eek! A mouse! When a furry rodent finds its way into your home, there are plenty of reasons to get pest control on the case or set some traps. Rats or mice can eat your food, damage your home , chew on electrical wiring leading to electrical shorts and fires, and even worse, spread diseases to those in the home, said Pavel Rombakh, a general contractor.
Pavel Rombakh said the most common time to see rodents in the house during the winter, when they seek out a warm, cozy place to spend the winter with lots of food and safety to have their babies. Unfortunately, rats and mice can carry more than 35 diseases, which can be spread to humans and cause serious complications.
Rodents can spread disease in numerous ways:
Through handling live or dead rodents
Through rodent bites
Through rodent feces, urine or saliva
Through fleas or ticks that have bitten an infected rodent
According to the National Pest Management Association, unwelcome rodents enter 21 million homes in the United States every winter— and one of those households could be yours. Pavel Rombakh said the problem is more common than people think, because mice and rats are able to squeeze through tiny spaces to enter a home and sometimes have easy access via a basement or attic. If this happens to you, despite your best efforts to prevent it, it is crucial to get pest control on it as soon as possible, Pavel Rombakh advised.
Here are some of the most common diseases that can be spread by mice and rats.
Hantavirus is typically carried by the deer mouse, white-footed mouse cotton rat and rice rat. The virus is transmitted when particles from rodent urine, droppings or nesting materials are breathed in by inhabitants of the home or if someone eats food contaminated by those substances. Additionally, if a rodent bites someone, the hantavirus can be transmitted.
Symptoms of the hantavirus include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, headaches, chills, nausea and vomiting. If left untreated, the virus can progress to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, which has a mortality rate of 38%.
Of course, many people are familiar with the plague from the Middle Ages, which made rats infamous for the spread of disease. There has not been an urban outbreak of plague from rats since the 1920s in the United States. However, people are infected by the plague in rural areas in the western United States to this day.
There are many varieties of plague that have different systems. Typically, the plague is spread by the bite of a flea who has been infected. Cats and dogs can bring these fleas into the home, so it’s important to prevent fleas on pets.
Bubonic plague, septicemic plague and pneumonic plague are all serious and can be fatal if untreated, but can be treated with antibiotics.
Tularemia outbreaks are responsible for the deaths of many rodents and rabbits, but then can also be spread to humans through tick and fly bites, ingesting contaminated water or inhaling contaminated dust. This disease is found in most of the United States.
Symptoms include a fever and can also take the form of inflammation of the eye, skin ulcers, sore throat and lymph gland swelling and chest pain, cough and trouble breathing. Tularemia can be treated with antibiotics.
The best way to avoid these and other diseases is to speak with a pest control specialist or general contractor about avoiding infestations of rodents, advised Pavel Rombakh.
The Basics You Need to Know Before You Start Flipping Houses, From General Contractor Pavel Rombakh
Before you begin flipping houses, there are a few things general contractor Pavel Rombakh wants you to know to make sure you know so you are prepared and can make the experience profitable. As most people know, flipping houses is not something you can just jump into; it is important to have a strategy and a timeline in place before houses are purchased and walls torn down. Here are five things Pavel Rombakh said people should know before their first house flip.
It’s always good to start with the basics, Pavel Rombakh said. House Flipping, in essence, is purchasing houses and then quickly re-selling them for a profit. Usually a house flip is done in under a year and improvements are made to the interior and exterior of the house to increase its value. In some cases, no renovations are done to the house but because of the housing market, the house is able to be sold in the same condition for a profit within that one year.
1. What are the risks to house flipping?
As a general contractor, Pavel Rombakh said he has seen troubles with house flipping gone wrong. Of course, the biggest risk of house flipping is not making a profit on the house or, even worse, losing money on it. This can happen with fluctuations in the housing market, which is fairly unpredictable, Pavel Rombakh said. However, it can also be caused by paying too much for renovations that do not increase the value of the house greatly enough to make a difference in profitability.
2. Who can I ask for advice about flipping houses?
Pavel Rombakh said he always suggests people seek advice and counsel from professionals when they are flipping houses. A general contractor is always a good person to speak with, because they have knowledge of how much particular repairs might cost and what a house will need. Additionally, Pavel Rombakh recommends working with a trusted real estate agent in your area. A real estate agent can provide information on good neighborhoods to purchase homes and the state of the housing market. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice,” Pavel Rombakh said. “It always helps to get the opinions of professionals who have intimate knowledge of house flipping.”
3. Are there houses I should avoid purchasing when looking to flip a house?
If a house seems “too good to be true,” it usually is, said Pavel Rombakh. Be wary of amazing bargains and get a second opinion to make sure there aren’t hidden costs or issues with the house that you are missing. It is fine to purchase houses that have had additions over time, but have a trusted inspector take a look at these to make sure everything was done properly, or you could have a giant project on your hands.
4. What improvements are the most important to make when flipping a house?
While a house may never be fully “finished,” some things add more value and are more crucial than others, Pavel Rombakh said. Replacing all the door handles, for example, is a lot less valuable than making structural improvements and improving the outside of the house. Kitchen and bathroom upgrades generally provide the best return on investment.
5. How can I make sure the house I am flipping will stand out to prospective buyers?
“It’s always a good idea to choose a house that has something unique about it when purchasing a house to flip,” Pavel Rombakh advised. For example, a house on the waterfront or with a view of the water or mountains, a flat yard, a secluded home or a house located higher on a hill than other houses in the neighborhood will all catch the eye of prospective buyers. Choosing a house with a unique quality will help it sell more quickly and can bring in a higher profit, Pavel Rombakh said.
Pavel Rombakh Shares Tips on Staying on Top of Structural Issues in Your Home for Safety’s Sake
Structural issues in the home can cause serious damage that can be costly and even hazardous to the safety of residents. Therefore, it is crucial to stay on top of your house’s structural needs to prevent damage from occurring or take care of it when it does happen, according to Pavel Rombakh, a general contractor.
Here are three structural issues that should be taken seriously in your home.
1. Foundation issues
Issues with a house’s foundation are usually quite serious, said Pavel Rombakh. The foundation includes the basement walls of a house. Of course, the foundation of a home is one of the most important aspects of it, as the rest of the house rests on it and relies on the foundation for stability and security.
“Typically, foundations are made of concrete and steel,” Pavel Rombakh said. “But some homes, especially the older ones, have wood in the foundation too. Find out what your home’s foundation is made of so you can keep an eye out for potential problems in the foundation.”
While foundation problems can be enormous, they can also be relatively minor and won’t take much work to address. If the floor of your house is not level, there is a sinkhole beneath it or the slab is cracked, have it looked at and addressed so the problem doesn’t grow, Pavel Rombakh advised.
2. Bearing wall problems
Another key component of keeping a house standing up is its bearing walls, Pavel Rombakh said. Bearing walls are an integral part of the house and keep it standing, bearing the weight of the house. Not all walls in your home are bearing walls: many are not structural and can be removed and moved as needed, but it’s important to make sure you don’t compromise a load bearing wall when remodeling your house.
In bearing walls, trouble can creep in from termites, dry rot or construction that is done incorrectly. “Just like with the foundation, structural issues with bearing walls can range from minor to very serious,” said Pavel Rombakh. “It’s essential to have them looked at so you know how critical the situation may be.”
3. Issues with beams
If the beams of a house are not able to support the house, problems can certainly creep in. If you are doing home construction, it’s vital to make sure that when you replace walls, the beams used are strong enough to support the posts.
The good news, according to Pavel Rombakh, is that it’s usually easy to notice beam problems, as trouble beams typically sag, are cracked or vibrate. Beam problems are also easier to fix than other structural problems.
General Contractor Pavel Rombakh Shares Tips for Preparing for a Pest Control Visit
No one wants to have to schedule a pest control visit, whether the problem is creepy or crawly. However, if your preventative measures haven’t worked and creatures have infiltrated, it’s important to get in touch with a pest control expert right away to stop the problem before it becomes bigger and damage is done to your home, according to Pavel Rombakh, a general contractor who recently received Top Rated and Elite Service badges from Home Advisor.
“If you spot a few roaches or rodents, don’t let it grow into a bigger problem,” Pavel Rombakh said. Here are his five tips to prepare for a visit from pest control.
1. Choose your pest control service carefully. Don’t just pick the first one in the yellow pages— scour Yelp looking at reviews, ask Facebook friends who they have used and find someone who specializes in the type of pest you need to eradicate. “You can’t do too much research, especially when you are paying someone to deal with a problem like this in your home,” Pavel Rombakh said.
2. When a pest control professional first arrives at your house, they will typically begin their inspection by checking entry areas, said Pavel Rombakh. This means taking a look at windows, doors, pipes, your attic and garage. This is where pests can enter the home and they may need to be addressed so the pest problem does not persist. A professional will also examine potential cracks or holes in the entry areas and make recommendations for their repair.
3. The pest control expert will also look for moisture in your house, since excess moisture can attract pests and make them feel welcome. A moisture meter may be used to determine where moisture is getting into the house.
4. Once the pest control professional has conducted a thorough inspection of the house and yard, they will assemble their findings and discuss the data with you. They will inform you what steps you need to take to fix the problem and prevent additional problems going forward. “Ask any and all questions you have at this time,” Pavel Rombakh advised. “There are no stupid questions and a professional should be able to give you the information you need about next steps, safe pest control methods to use around pets and children, maintenance and follow-up you will need to do.”
5. According to Home Advisor, the estimated cost for pest control is around $170, which varies based on the type and severity of pest. Waiting for too long to address the problem can lead to the pest issue growing further and being more damaging and costly. Pests can cause allergic reactions and diseases to human inhabitants, and can also be destructive to your home, including chewing on electrical wires (which can lead to a house fire), creating holes in walls and causing structural damage to wood homes.
Pavel Rombakh Shares Top Tips and Advice On Choosing Paint That Regulates Home Temperatures
General contractor Pavel Rombakh said he has recently seen interest in thermal insulating paints, paint that is made to reduce heat transfer. When clients ask about whether they should choose this paint for the interior or exterior of their homes, he gives the general information on the subject so they can choose what is best. Here’s what Pavel Rombakh tells his clients.
- The idea for thermal insulating paint originated with NASA because they wanted to protect their space shuttle from extreme heat. The paint, which creates a heat barrier, has developed from there and become available to consumers. It is either sold as its own paint or as a powdered paint additive that can be mixed with regular paint, allowing for a greater selection of paint colors. There are many brands that offer these paints, according to Pavel Rombakh.
- Pavel Rombakh warned that the technology of thermal insulating paint is still new, so there hasn’t been a great deal of testing done on its effectiveness and efficiency. Small tests that have been conducted have suggested the paint may be effective in reducing the cost of energy for a home. EnergyIdeas Clearinghouse reported that the paint reduced heat gain by approximately 20 percent when fully exposed to the sun.
- In order for paint to be at its most effective, the side of the house that faces the sun should be painted with thermal insulating paint. This will ensure the paint’s potential to capture heat is maximized, according to Pavel Rombakh.
- There is more to saving energy and reducing heat transfer than just the type of paint you use. It’s important to have good home insulation in walls and ceilings and energy-efficient doors and windows in the home. Paint alone will not make much of a difference, but in combination with other best insulation practices, as recommended by a general contractor, Pavel Rombakh said it can be a helpful addition.
- It’s important to choose a brand of paint suited for the environment it will be in, whether indoors or outdoors, said Pavel Rombakh. The additive is an insulating powder that can be stirred into your preferred brand of paint and it blends in smoothly. Insulating paint is not cheap, however, and sells for around $50 a gallon. The paint can be used on exterior or interior walls, storage sheds, playhouses or other paintable surfaces you wish to cool down.
Professional Pavel Rombakh Shares How You Can Educate Yourself and Avoid Dry Rot in Your Home
Whether or not you know much about dry rot, you know it’s not a problem you want to deal with in your home. Long-time general contractor and remodeler Pavel Rombakh said dry rot is one of the most frequently asked questions he receives from clients, and he advises them on what it is and how they can prevent it or take care of it if it’s too late.
Dry rot is wood decay that is caused by fungi. “Dry rot can wreak havoc on any wooden structure inside or outside a house,” said Pavel Rombakh. Fungi break down the components that make wood strong and resilient, causing it to become weak and brittle.
Typically, dry rot affects wood that is wet, so the key to preventing it is to eliminate the cause of moisture to the wood. “Usually wood with a moisture content of over 20% is most susceptible to dry rot,” Pavel Rombakh said.
Dry rot also loves humidity and warmth, so Pavel Rombakh suggested to keep an eye on areas of the home that are excessively humid and during warmer seasons (around 75 degrees Fahrenheit). “If your wood was not kiln-dried before use, it is at risk for a higher moisture content,” Pavel Rombakh said.
If your home sustains flooding, a burst pipe, or especially warm and wet conditions for any reason, keep an eye on the wood to ensure dry rot does not begin, advised Pavel Rombakh. If it is not stopped in time, wood with dry rot can disintegrate, causing greater structural issues to the house.
When inspecting for dry rot, look for sunken wood, cracked drywall or tile, or peeling paint which are signs of damage. You may also see water droplets on the wood, cracks in the structure, a growth on the wood that is silver and gray or a fungus that looks like cotton wool.
Dry rot can be treated in several ways, depending on budget and the severity of the situation, Pavel Rombakh said. Epoxy treatments kill the rot and strengthen the wood, while commercial antifreeze kills the fungus and stops it from growing in the future. Another option is to splice in new wood to repair the existing damage.
“Preventing dry rot is the best thing you can do to save yourself a lot of time and money,” Pavel Rombakh said. He advises priming wood before painting it, checking your roof and gutters regularly for damage, leaks, clogs; keeping an eye out for plumbing leaks and having proper indoor ventilation so wood doesn’t become too damp.
Interested in flipping houses after binge watching HGTV? You’re not alone! The allure of making an old, run-down house gorgeous and new again and turning it over for a profit is appealing to many people, said general contractor Pavel Rombakh.
“Flipping houses has certainly grown in popularity over the last several years,” Pavel Rombakh said. “We see a surge in this, but it’s important to know all about it because it’s not always as glamorous or quick as it appears on TV.”
House flipping is when a real estate investor purchases houses and quickly sells them for a profit. Typically, this is done in a year or less to be considered a house flip. Often, the house is purchased with the intention of making repairs and updates so the house can be sold at a much higher profit because of the work put into it. However, in some instances, houses are flipped in a growing home market and sold for a higher profit since the market is doing well.
“It is tricky to flip houses in a housing market that is improving, because it’s not always guaranteed,” said Pavel Rombakh. “When you remodel the houses you flip, you’re certain to make money when you resell the house because it has been fixed and updated, so the value has increased greatly.”
Flipping houses can still be risky, of course, if improving the house costs more money than you’re able to sell the house for. If the house’s foundation or roof are in disrepair, the costs can rack up quickly.
“Consult with a general contractor to get an idea of how much different kinds of repairs will cost, from hardwood floors to a brand-new kitchen,” advised Pavel Rombakh. “I always advise people to make a budget so they know what they can do and what they have to compromise on.”
Pavel Rombakh also suggested making small changes to the home that can make a big difference in how it looks and how fast it can sell. Some yard maintenance, fresh paint, new cabinets and hardware can go a long way and aren’t nearly as costly as completely redoing whole rooms of the house.
In addition to consulting a general contractor, Pavel Rombakh recommends speaking with a real estate agent for advice on the state of the market and the best options of houses to flip in your area. “This is one of those cases where getting a number of opinions is going to benefit you in the long run,” Pavel Rombakh said.
Discuss the repairs and finishes you’re planning with an experienced real estate agent who sells in the area. Some great looking finishes might have no value in certain areas (for example, pure gold knobs in “starter homes” would not impact the sale price).
Always plan to hit the market during its prime time. Sometimes it is worth it to pay more for a house just to get it ready for the best time to hit the market. “More often than not I see investors miss the market timing, even when they have done great remodels that have taken a lot of time,” Pavel Rombakh said. “I had a customer who could have sold her house in April of 2018 for $610,000 after necessary repairs and remodels, but she insisted on more upgrades hoping to get a higher price, got on the market in August, and sold it in November for only $535,000, even after spending more than $20,000 in additional upgrades.”
Pavel Rombakh Gets Real On the Topic of Paint that Regulates Home Temperatures
“I get many questions on thermo-insulating paints, and many people think they sound too good to be true,” said general contractor Pavel Rombakh. Here’s what he tells his clients and what you need to know about insulating paint that claims to regulate the temperature inside your home.
Insulating paint is made to reduce heat transfer. “This idea actually originated with NASA because they wanted to protect their space shuttle from extreme heat,” said Pavel Rombakh. After that, other companies started producing brands of insulated paint with a powdered paint additive that creates a heat barrier when mixed with regular paint. Today in stores, many brands sell insulating paint or the additive that can be mixed with regular exterior or interior house paint.
Since this technology is relatively new, there hasn’t been much large-scale testing of the paint’s effectiveness, according to Pavel Rombakh. However, small tests have been done that show the paint may help reduce energy costs. EnergyIdeas Clearinghouse reported that the paint reduced heat gain by approximately 20 percent when fully exposed to the sun.
“For the paint to be most effective, it should be painted on the side that faces the sun,” said Pavel Rombakh. “In my experience, its potential is maximized when used on the exterior of homes rather than the interior.”
Though paint can provide a boost and may help reduce energy use, having good home insulation is still crucial, Pavel Rombakh pointed out. If you want to use insulating paint, use it with other best insulation practices. Refer to your building codes for the proper amount of insulation needed for walls and ceilings and use energy-efficient doors and windows in your house.
If you choose to buy insulating paint, it’s available as premixed paint or as an additive to the paint of your choice. It’s important to choose a brand of paint suited for the environment it will be in, whether indoors or outdoors, said Pavel Rombakh. The additive is an insulating powder that can be stirred into your preferred brand of paint and it blends in smoothly. Insulating paint is not cheap, however, and sells for around $50 a gallon. The paint can be used on exterior or interior walls, storage sheds, playhouses or other paintable surfaces you wish to cool down.
Expert Pavel Rombakh Lets You Know What to Expect From a Pest Control Visit
Whether you have a pest problem already or are trying to prevent one this season, it’s a good idea to stay on top of pests in your home, according to Pavel Rombakh, a general contractor who recently received Top Rated and Elite Service badges from Home Advisor.
“Removing pests is typically more expensive than preventing them, so even if you see a few roaches or rodents, don’t let it grow into a bigger problem,” Pavel Rombakh said.
Choose a pest control service with great reviews and one that specializes in the type of pest you have, whether it’s ladybugs or rats. When a pest control professional arrives at your house, they will start by checking entry areas, said Pavel Rombakh. Windows, doors, pipes, your attic and garage will be inspected, since this is where pests can enter the home. Cracks or holes in these entry areas may be allowing pests in and will need to be repaired.
The individual will also look for moisture in your house, as excess moisture can be a culprit for attracting pests. Tools like a moisture meter may be used to determine where moisture is creeping into the house and bringing creepy crawlies with it.
Once the pest control professional has conducted a thorough inspection of the house and yard, they will assemble their findings and discuss the data with you. They will inform you what steps you need to take to fix the problem and prevent additional problems going forward.
“Ask any and all questions you have at this time,” Pavel Rombakh advised. “There are no stupid questions and a professional should be able to give you the information you need about next steps, safe pest control methods to use around pets and children, maintenance and follow-up you will need to do.”
According to Home Advisor, the estimated cost for pest control is around $170, which varies based on the type and severity of pest. If you prefer to get a second opinion for whatever reason, do so in a timely manner, said Pavel Rombakh. Waiting for too long to address the problem can lead to the pest issue growing further and being more damaging and costly. However, once you find a pest control professional you trust, you can work with them in the coming years to address all pest control issues and prevention questions that may spring up.
Pavel Rombakh Shares His Rules to Guide You to a Timely Roof Replacement
It’s important to practice good roof maintenance, get your roof inspected in the spring and check for possible issues so you can stop any emergencies from happening before they become a big problem.
However, sometimes it’s time to get a roof replacement, and general contractor Pavel Rombakh has a few tips to help recognize when the time has come. Pavel Rombakh was recently awarded badges from Home Advisor for his excellent service.
He has given the Top Rated and Elite Service badges for his quality work.
How Old is Your Roof?
Roofs don’t have an indefinite life expectancy— they typically only last for about two decades. A typical asphalt shingle roof lasts for about 25 years and a roof installed over a layer of shingles lasts for 20. Know the details on when your roof was installed and what it’s made of so you can save your pennies for the eventuality that it will need to be replaced in your lifetime, said Pavel Rombakh.
Look for Signs of Rot
Check for trapped moisture, rotting boards or sagging spots in the roof as early indicators of rot in a roof. When the roof is sagging, it’s time to replace the roof. “If you delay replacing a roof with rot, it can cause damage to the rest of the home, so it’s best to get it looked at right away,” Pavel Rombakh said. Moss and mold on a roof are further indicators of trapped moisture that should be addressed.
Check Your Shingles
Inspect your shingles regularly to make sure nothing is cracked, damaged or buckling, said Pavel Rombakh. Also keep an eye out for shingle granules in the gutters, which can be a sign that the roof is nearing the end of its life.
Pay Attention to Weather Damage
Wind, rain and heavy snow can all take a toll on your roof. After a weather event, check on shingles to see what condition they are in. Shingles can loosen the sealant and nail, which means the time to replace your roof is near. If you spot exposed nails, take care of them quickly, as exposed nails can rust and cause leaks. Too many nails can lead to the need for roof replacement.
Look for Sloppy Cement Work
Some roofers use roof cement to prevent leaks where shingles meet walls and chimneys. This only stops leaks temporarily, and when the cement hardens it will crack and leak. If this is how your roof is patched, repair it with metal before it impacts the integrity of the roof, advised Pavel Rombakh.