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Three Tips For Your Heating System

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Tips For Your Heating System

A heating system can be a remarkably complex part of your home. As a result, it is critical for you to make sure that you are taking the appropriate steps to help it avoid some of the more routine issues that can arise. For those that have little experience with furnace maintenance, this task can seem somewhat intimidating. However, there are a few simple tips to follow that can help ensure your furnace works as efficiently as possible throughout this coming winter. Inspect The Furnace’s Flue During the course of operation, your furnace will produce a number of hazardous gases as byproducts. Ensuring that these gases are able to efficiently ventilate away from the home is essential. To accomplish this task, your furnace is equipped with a flue. Unfortunately, the flue can become clogged as time passes, which may greatly inhibit the ability of these fumes to escape the home.To prevent a dangerous buildup of these gases, you will need to make sure that you thoroughly inspect the flue prior to the start of the winter months. During this inspection, you will want to make sure that soot deposits along the walls are not threatening to close the flue and that it is free of bird and squirrel nests. Remove Any Dust Or Dirt From The Exterior Of The Furnace Prior to running your furnace for the first time this year, you should thoroughly clean the exterior. Dust can gather on the exterior of your furnace, and this can allow it to be spread throughout the home when you turn on the heating system. In addition to improving the air quality in your home, this will also help to minimize any burning odors that are produced the first time you turn on your system. Service The Furnace’s Burner The burner is one of the most important components of your furnace, and it is also prone to suffering some of the worst wear and tear. You can help your furnace’s burner avoid some routine problems by thoroughly cleaning it before you use the heater for the first time and periodically throughout the winter. Ideally, you should make it a point to clean the burner at least once every couple of months to ensure that the system is using heating oil as efficiently as possible. When cleaning it, you will want to use a damp cloth to wipe away any of the oil residues that may have collected on it. For more information, contact local professionals like Kohl Heating & Air...

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Five Sure Signs That You Have Water In Your Basement

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Five Sure Signs That You Have Water In Your Basement

No one wants water in their basement. Not only is it messy, but it can lead to harmful mold and mildew. However, if you live in a part of the country that is subject to frequent rain, keeping the water out of your basement can be a challenge. You don’t have to see pools of standing water to know that you have a moisture problem, there are a number of more subtle signs that something is amiss. 1. White, chalk-like deposits. If you don’t notice any standing water, but you see white, chalk-like deposits around your basement’s windows and outside walls, this is likely a sign that water has been there and has evaporated. The white substance isn’t really chalk; it’s small amounts of limestone and other minerals that can be found in most city water supplies. 2. That tell-tale musty smell. Moisture is a dark, enclosed space has an odor that unmistakeable. If you’re confronted with that strong smell of mildew when you open the basement door, it’s time to call the waterproofing professionals. 3. Flaking on your basement walls. If your brick or concrete basement walls are flaking, water has likely penetrated inside the surface of the walls and the salt and other minerals in the water is causing the outside of the wall to deteriorate. 4. Black spots on the walls. Black spots on your basement walls can be mold that is forming due to the moisture in the air. This can be a serious situation if left unchecked. Large amounts of black mold can aggravate chronic breathing conditions, such as COPD and asthma. 5. Bowed walls in your basement. A sign of a serious basement water problem is walls that are slightly bowed or less than plumb. This is generally caused by the water-saturated ground surrounding your foundation pushing on the walls and causing them to shift slightly. Water in your basement can be caused by a number of issues. This can be as simple as a clogged gutter or as serious as a foundation that needs reinforcement. If you notice one of more of these warning signs, it’s time to call in the professionals. Persistent water in your basement can cause your foundation to deteriorate over time as well as lead to mold and mildew forming and being circulated throughout your living space. A good basement waterproofing contractor can evaluate your situation and propose a course of action for solving your moisture...

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Turning Your Roof Into A Living Feature: The Best Plants To Use On Living Roofs

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Turning Your Roof Into A Living Feature: The Best Plants To Use On Living Roofs

If you have been thinking about installing a living-roof system, choose the plants for it wisely. Opt for those that grow quickly, as well as plants that can self-sustain in your grow-zone. When planning your living roof, consider using the following plants: Grass. Grass and ground-cover is a must for a living roof and it is used to fill in around your other plants. It is important to go with something low-growing and that will thrive in your native climate. Talk with local landscaping professionals or garden retailers to find the best grasses for your roof. Herbs. Herbs make excellent cover for lawns, gardens, and your roof! Additionally, you will have an unlimited supply of culinary herbs for cooking, arrangements, and crafting, while enjoying the fragrance that they provide. Bring an aromatic touch to your living- roof with these herbs: Oregano. Oregano is hardy with a spicy scent. Thyme. Thyme grows low to the ground, and can help fill in spaces around your other flowers and plants. Mint. If you want a fast-growing herb, choose mint. There are many varieties and types that make your roof smell fantastic, too! Wildflowers. Wildflowers are hardy and can usually sustain themselves, which is ideal for living roofs. Some wildflowers that work on living-roof systems include: Yarrow. Flowering yarrow is resilient and not fragile, so it makes great cover for roofs. These are colorful plants that thrive and quickly spread. Aster. Asters are another wildflower that is perfect for your living roof. These colorful blooms grow easily and attract butterflies to your property, which is another beautiful bonus! Wildflower seed mixes. Another idea is to buy a wildflower seed mix from your local garden supply store to scatter among the grass, herbs, and succulents that you are planting. Each year, your roof will display different colors and blooms which makes for an exciting planting option. Succulents. Succulents are a mainstay of your living roof and will take up the majority of space on larger surfaces. Some succulents to consider are: Houseleeks. For year-round coverage, look for houseleeks. Houseleeks come in a wide range of colors, and grow low to the ground so they cover roofs quite well. Sedums. Sedums are a succulent that can thrive in all types of conditions. These are often found growing between rocks or in rough terrain, which makes them hardy enough to plant on your roof. The leaves are often shiny and smooth, resembling stone. Hens-and-chicks. The bell-shaped blossoms of hens-and-chicks make them a perfect addition to your living roof. These are hardy little plants, that require very little water, and that often can self-sustain in some climates and regions. Enjoy the beauty and energy-efficiency of your own living roof! Talk with contractors about reinforcing your roof to support the weight of the plants, soil, and water, and discuss planting options with gardening experts. Use these tips as a guide to some living-roof ideas that can sustain themselves and thrive to create a colorful, vibrant roof!  Contact a company like All American Roofing Incorporated to get...

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How To Refinish A Pine Floor

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Refinish A Pine Floor

If your pine floor is faded or scratched, you don’t have to replace the floor. Pine floors are a soft wood, which means the grain is less dense than solid hardwood floors. However, pine can be refinished to look new even by a beginning DIY person. Here are some tips to refinish pine flooring. Prepare to Work For this project, you need: work gloves face mask safety glasses broom mop plastic hammer 80 -grit  and 100-grit sand paper 150-grit sandpaper belt sander and palm sander foam roller or bristle brush stain and sealer  Close the windows and doors, then seal entryways with plastic to keep dust from spreading. Hammer in loose nails. Soft wood is prone to contracting, which may loosen nails. Remove vent plates in the floor,,and lay plastic cover them. Remove as much furniture out of the room as possible, and cover non removable items with plastic. Sand the Floor Sweep or vacuum the floor, then damp mop the floor, and let it dry. Keep the sander moving at all times on soft wood, or it will cause marks. Attach 40- grit sandpaper to the belt sander, and begin sanding at one end of the room several inches from the wall. Sand the length oft he floor; following the grain of wood. For newer flooring, start with 100-grit sandpaper. Change to 100-grit sandpaper, and repeat the process. For newer flooring, change to 150-grit sandpaper. Use the hand sander on edges and corners. Sweep sand dust, and damp mop to ensure all the dust has been removed. You may save sand dust to use as wood filler for dings or scratches. When you need to fill a scratch, mix the dust with lacquer thinner. Apply the Stain and Sealer Plan a path to apply stain and sealer , so you won’t be walking on the floor after staining. Add sealer first on wood that is completely exposed using the brush or roller, and let it dry. This will help the stain set evenly, since pine absorbs stain fast. Apply the chosen stain with a brush or foam roller; following the wood grain. Let the stain dry, which commonly takes about twenty-four hours. Sand the stain with 100-150-grit sandpaper, since it will feel rough after drying, but do not sand too hard to avoid removing the stain. Clean sand dust. Apply a second coat of stain, if desired, and let it dry. Refinishing pine floors helps them last longer, but it takes patience. If you don’t trust your skill, or you think it’s time for a replacement, hire a contractor or company like Painting By Jerry...

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Get Better Humidity Control By Regularly Changing Your Air Filters

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Get Better Humidity Control By Regularly Changing Your Air Filters

With time, an air conditioner’s filter usually wears out. This reduces its ability to trap dust since the wear and tear can create holes that are big enough to let in dust particles. And since the air filter is an air conditioner’s first and only defense against dust accumulation, failure to trap the dust particles usually leads to dust-related problems. One of the most common of these problems is reduced cooling efficiency at the evaporator coil area. And since an air conditioner’s ability to cool air usually allows it to reduce humidity levels in a home, the reduced cooling efficiency is bound to cause humidity control problems. Dust accumulation and evaporator coil performance The evaporator coil has one job: to facilitate cooling by creating perfect conditions for effective heat exchange between the refrigerant and the passing air. It is designed to be a low pressure area so as to maximize the amount of heat that the refrigerant absorbs when evaporating. It is also made of copper, which is a good conductor of heat, to guarantee efficient heat exchange. Accumulation of dust particles on the surface of the evaporator coil usually takes away the made-from-copper advantage. This is because continued accumulation of the dust particles creates an insulating layer that then reduces the rate at which the refrigerant absorbs heat from the air passing over the evaporator coils. Reduced cooling efficiency and humidity control Normally, the cooling effect created by the evaporating refrigerant causes condensation to occur at the evaporator coil area. This reduces the amount of moisture in the air that the air conditioner dumps in the area that it is cooling, something that eventually reduces the room’s humidity. In an air conditioning system whose evaporator coil is covered in dust, the reduced heat-exchange efficiency that occurs because of the dust layer will reduce the level of condensation in the area. Less moisture will therefore be removed from the passing air. As a result, the air conditioner will have a hard time controlling the humidity of the place it is cooling. The increased humidity in your home may then lead to mold growth that may then trigger allergic reactions in your loved ones. Changing filters for better humidity control To prevent this from happening, change your air filters regularly. Doing so at least once after every three months will ensure that your air conditioner has a dirt-proof defense system. It will prevent the efficiency-reducing layer of dirt from covering the evaporator coils, something that will then improve the effectiveness of the dehumidification process of your air conditioner. To learn more, contact an HVAC services...

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Things To Do With Your Old Garage Doors Instead Of Throwing Them Out

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Things To Do With Your Old Garage Doors Instead Of Throwing Them Out

Instead of throwing your old garage doors to the curb or taking them to the landfill when you have new doors installed, you might want to consider some other things that can be done with them. To help get your creative juices flowing, you will want to review the following suggestions. Donate Them To Charity There are some charities out there that accept building supplies, even if they are used. As long as they are still in good enough shape, someone in need might be able to put them to good use. Some of these charities may simply find the people in need and donate your old garage doors, while others will sell them to the general public for a discounted price. The money collected goes towards various needs such as helping the homeless or building new homes for low income families. Use Them When Building A Dog House If your dog spends a good bit of time playing outside in the yard, it would be nice to provide it with shelter that it can use if needed. You can spend the money to purchase a dog house from a pet store or you can build your own with the use of old wooden garage doors. You can use the old doors for the side walls, roof, and floor. You may want to make sure that you are placing your finished dog house on top of some bricks or patio stones in order to prevent ground moisture from causing your dog house to develop mold and rot. Create Custom Decorative Signs If you like decorative signs that have unique, clever, or funny sayings on them and would like to make your own, you can use your old garage doors to do just that. Simply cut your doors into the various sizes that you would like to use for signs. Do not forget to sand down any rough edges so no one gets cut on them. Apply a fresh coat of paint over your new sign boards. Once that initial coat of paint is dry, you can paint whatever saying you would like on to the sign. You can freehand the lettering, or you can use stencils for a more uniform look. After all of that has dried, you will want to apply a clear coat of protective sealant over all of it so that it will last for as long as possible. With those few suggestions in mind, you should be able to find a good use for your old garage...

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4 Benefits Of Investing In A Wrought Iron Fence

Posted by on Jun 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Benefits Of Investing In A Wrought Iron Fence

Are you opening a private elementary school and don’t know which type of fence should be installed around the property? You might want to consider getting a wrought iron fence, as there are numerous benefits that will come with the investment. Take a look at this article to find out why investing in a wrought iron fence is a wise decision for your business. 1. Adds Great Curb Appeal A wrought iron fence is beneficial because it will add a lot of curb appeal to the landscape surrounding your private school. The beauty of the fence might even attract more people so you can fill your classes in a timely manner. The best thing about a wrought iron fence is that you can choose between numerous different designs, as the metal can be bent into any shape. You can even opt for getting the name of your private school shaped into the metal to make the fence more unique. 2. Provides Satisfactory Security Although people will be able to see through a wrought iron fence, it is great for keeping intruders off of your property. Being able to see through a wrought iron fence is actually a perk for a schoolyard, as it will allow parents to peek in on their kids when they are playing outside. Depending on the height of fence that you choose, it will be hard for people to jump across. Plus, wrought iron is a hard metal that will be difficult for a trespasser to bend and create a large enough space to enter your property. 3. Highly Durable A wrought iron fence can last longer than many of the other fencing types. For instance, you won’t have to worry about untimely deterioration from water damage as you would with a wooden fence. You can also get a wrought iron fence powder coated to make it even more durable. Basically, a powder coating can be static-electrically sprayed onto the iron and baked into it in the color of your choice. You will end up with a more appealing fence that is also resistant to several outside elements. 4. Does Not Require Much Maintenance Maintaining a wrought iron fence in a good condition is not a difficult task, especially if you get it sealed with a protectant that can prevent it from rusting. If an area of the fence becomes bent, such as from a car crashing into it, you can simply replace that specific area without the need for a new fence. Contact a commercial fencing company to get a wrought iron fence installed as soon as you are...

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Adding On An Extra Bedroom To Your Home? Here’s Why A Ductless Heat Pump Is A Good Idea

Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Adding On An Extra Bedroom To Your Home? Here’s Why A Ductless Heat Pump Is A Good Idea

If you are thinking about adding an extra bedroom onto your home, you might be thinking about having an HVAC company tie the new room in with your existing HVAC system. However, you might find that a ductless heat pump system is a better option. These are a few potential reasons why. Avoid Replacing Your Entire HVAC Unit Depending on the size of your home, your existing HVAC unit and your add-on, there is a chance that your existing unit is not powerful enough to heat the entire home and the new add-on, too. This could result in the need to replace your entire existing unit, which can obviously be expensive. It might not seem like a big deal if it’s about time to buy a new unit anyway, but if your unit is not too old and is in good condition, it can be a waste. A ductless heat pump will allow you to add reliable heating to this new part of your home without having to fully replace your existing unit. Enjoy Separate Climate Control in Your Added Bedroom There are a few reasons why you might want to enjoy separate climate control for your new bedroom, depending on what the room will be used for: If the new addition is going to be your master bedroom, you might like being able to adjust the heat to your preferences without changing the temperature in the entire home, such as if you like to sleep in a toasty room in the winter or if you prefer for your room to be a bit cooler at night. Some people add onto their homes when having a new baby. If this is the case, it can be nice to be able to keep the room nice and warm for the baby, without having to heat the entire home more than usual. If you’re going to be using your add-on as a guest room, you can save money on your heating bills by only heating the room when someone will be staying in it. If you’re going to be using the room as a workout space, it can be nice to keep it a bit cooler than the rest of the home while still having ample heating so that it doesn’t get too cold in the winter. As you can see, if you’re building an add-on to your home, it can be a better idea to use a ductless heat pump to heat it. Luckily, an HVAC contractor like Salem Heating & Sheet Metal, Inc. or others can assist you with...

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Cleaning Tips For Your Asphalt Parking Lot

Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cleaning Tips For Your Asphalt Parking Lot

Your parking lot is the first thing that clients and customers see when they visit your business. Because of this, you should aim to have a clean parking lot that is free of clutter and gunk. Fortunately, keeping your asphalt lot clean is not difficult. Use the tips here to keep your parking lot looking fresh, spotless, and welcoming to visitors.   Stain Removal Methods Oil and dirt stains will inevitably show up on pavement. These stains are somewhat of an eyesore, but you can remove them using the methods below. Laundry Detergent Method – Powdered laundry detergent removes oil and dirt stains from clothing, and it also removes them from asphalt surfaces. Apply a generous amount of powdered detergent to the stains in your parking lot. Add a bit of water to create a paste-like consistency, and let that sit for at least 30 minutes. After this, scrub the surface with a stiff brush. You can rinse away the excess residue using the deep cleaning methods described below. Kitty Litter Method – Cat litter can be used as an absorbent to remove oil from asphalt surfaces. Sprinkle the kitty litter over oil stains throughout your parking lot. To treat prominent or stubborn stains, step on the kitty litter with closed-toed shoes to apply pressure. Let the litter set for several hours or overnight. Sweep it up before performing the deep cleaning process. Deep Cleaning Tools To effectively deep clean your asphalt parking lot, you need to use the correct tools. Before you use one of them, sweep your parking lot using a push broom. This will get rid of light to moderate dirt and residue and make the washing process easier. Consider one of these tools: pressure washer – A pressure washer is a tool used to remove dirt and caked-on residue from outdoor surfaces. You can rent or purchase pressure washers from hardware stores and online retailers. You may use concentrated liquid cleaner along with it. Liquid cleaners often contain chemical ingredients and solvents, so use them with caution. flat surface cleaner – A flat surface cleaner performs the same action as a pressure washer but covers large areas of asphalt at once. This tool has a large circular base that is attached to a spray wand or pressure washer. The base reduces streaking or ‘zebra stripe’ patterns that may occur if you use a pressure washer alone. You can buy the base and attach it to a pressure washer, or you may buy an entire cleaning unit.   In some cases, even the best deep cleaning tools will not repair the look of an asphalt parking lot. If you notice that the parking lot surface is broken, cracked, or otherwise damaged, get in touch with an asphalt paving contractor (such as Lakeridge Paving Company). Investing in a fresh, even, and high-quality parking lot surface makes your business more attractive, and it makes parking and walking safer for...

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3 Tips To Extend The Life Of Asphalt Shingles To Reduce The Cost Of Repairs And Replacement

Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips To Extend The Life Of Asphalt Shingles To Reduce The Cost Of Repairs And Replacement

Installing a new roof can be a big headache, as well as expensive. The chore of replacing your roof is something that will eventually have to be done, but you can also do some things to extend the life of your asphalt shingles. Maintenance and repairs are key to long lasting shingles, as well as improvements that help prevent problems like ice dams. Here are some improvements that you may want to consider to extend the life of your roof: 1. Regular Cleaning With Care To Prevent Damage To Shingles One of the best things that you can do to reduce potential damage to your asphalt roof is clean it regularly. The trick to this is doing this chore with care and not causing damage when trying to clean the shingles. It is not a good idea to use a pressure washer; instead use a garden hose and a broom with soft bristles to gently scrub the roof it is needed. This will prevent wear of the granules on shingles and prolong their life. 2. Repairing Damage And Addressing Issues With Heavy Wear Roof damage can be caused by many things, such as weather or wear due to areas where there is a lot of water runoff. It is important that you address repair needs before they cause more problems. In addition, you may want to address any problems that you may have with runoff and common wear of your shingles. This can be done by adding small structures to divert the water and improve runoff. 3. Protecting Your Asphalt Shingles With A Cool Roof Coating Asphalt shingles can also be damaged from the sun, which can also contribute to heat gain and more energy use to cool your home. A cool roof coating is a coating of sealant that is light in color to reflect sunlight and keep your home cool. These coatings have the added benefit of protecting your shingles from wear and can actually extend the life of your roof. If you are also looking for energy improvements, a cool roof coating can be a good solution. These are some tips to help you extend the life of your asphalt shingles for a longer lasting roof with fewer problems and repair costs. If you are ready to start replacing your asphalt shingles, contact a roofing contractor like those found at Heritage painting & Waterproofing and talk with them about what can be done to reduce...

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