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Choosing Between Spray Foam Insulation And Loose Fill Insulation

Posted by on Jan 3, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Choosing Between Spray Foam Insulation And Loose Fill Insulation

Spray foam insulation and loose fill insulation are two of the most popular methods of insulating a home. Insulating a home, while expensive, will save a homeowner money over time — while also increasing the comfort of their property. But which method of insulation is best for your home depends on a variety of situations, including your budget and your needs. The Advantages of Spray Foam Insulation Spray foam insulation is a soft, expanding foam that is applied wet and then expands as it dries. Spray foam will fill the entire area that requires insulation, thus providing some of the best insulation that is possible. Spray foam can be used anywhere within a home and will not damage the home; the spray foam will only expand gently into the areas that have to be insulated, and will not apply any internal pressure to the structure. Because it provides better insulation, spray foam can save a homeowner substantial sums of money. Over time, spray foam remains exceptionally resilient and will remain pliable and effective. Spray foam also adds value to a property, which can be very important during resale.  The Advantages of Loose Fill Insulation There are two major advantages to loose fill insulation: you can do it yourself and it’s fairly affordable. Loose fill insulation can be purchased by renting a machine from a home improvement store and buying the loose fill itself. The fill is fed into the machine and the machine blows it into the necessary spaces — it can usually be done within an hour. Loose fill insulation is considerably less expensive than spray foam insulation for this reason. At the same time, loose fill insulation will generally not be as effective as spray foam insulation, as it “falls” into place and settles rather than filling the space entirely. There may be pockets of air and it may not be effective for narrow areas.  In general, loose fill is the cheaper but easier insulation option, while spray foam will be more costly but will save money long-term. If you’re looking to invest more in the value of your property and live in areas with fairly extreme weather, spray foam insulation will be the smarter choice. If you’re primarily looking to save money, or live in an area with very mild weather, you may be able to get by with a loose fill installation. For more information, talk to a...

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3 Ways You Can Protect Your Truck Bed

Posted by on Dec 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways You Can Protect Your Truck Bed

For most people, trucks are one part heavy-duty equipment and one part comfortable vehicle. While you want your truck to be rigid and tough when you need it to be, you don’t want it to look like this. Protecting the bed of your truck is one way to keep your truck looking good. The Problem With Damage Understand that damage to the bed of your truck isn’t just a cosmetic issue. Depending on the type of damage, problems can quickly travel to other areas. Consider a deep scratch that penetrates the clear coat, for instance. When the clear coat is removed, moisture can then reach the metal surfaces of the vehicle, which can lead to rust development over time. The primary problem with rust is that it rarely stays in the same area. It instead travels and spreads, creating a much larger problem. What You Can Do Secure Your Loads Prevention is always the best method of protection. When a load isn’t secured, it shifts all around during the transport process. This constant movement increases the risk of damage. This is even the case if you’re transporting something as innocent as boxes. You can avoid this damage by ensuring that all your loads are secured before transport. Install A Bed Liner One of the best ways to protect your truck is to install a truck bed liner. Bed liner options range from a carpet-like material (drop-in liner) to a rubber-like surface (spray-in liner). The goal of these options is to create somewhat of a barrier between your loads and the bed of the truck. With a liner, even if you do transport a rigid load, the liner will absorb the damage instead of your truck. Rely On A Trailer Even if you have a liner installed, it’s still wise to be mindful of the type of load you plan to transport. If it’s something especially sharp or rigid, don’t hesitate to relay on a trailer. Instead of placing the items in the back of the truck, you can attach a hitch and transport them in a small cargo trailer. It might feel like somewhat of a hassle to connect the trailer, but protecting your truck is well worth the effort. Your truck isn’t just your vehicle; it’s also an investment. By protecting the bed of your truck, you also protect your investment. A professional installer can assist you with selecting the right bed liner option for your...

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Having A Water Well Installed? Ask Your Drilling Contractor These Important Questions

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Having A Water Well Installed? Ask Your Drilling Contractor These Important Questions

Having a water well installed on your property is one of those projects that is bound to bring benefits and advantages in the end, but the installation process can definitely be intimidating. After all, the quality of the water you get from your water well will rely heavily on the proper installation. There are many skilled well drilling contractors out there who can help you ensure you get the best end result. However, to ensure you are comfortable with the process and the outcome of the well drilling process, there are a few questions you need to ask the drilling contractor before they get started.  Will the contractor be obtaining the proper permits? In a lot of places, you will be required to obtain a permit from the local health department in order to install a water well. This is because the local health department actually needs to know how many private water wells are in the area in case of contamination, and installing a new well could interfere with groundwater reserves that lead to someone else’s well. Make sure you find out if there are permits involved and whether you or your drilling contractor will be responsible for obtaining the permit before they get started. How deep will your water well have to be? The drilling contractor may not be able to give you an exact figure on how deep the water will be when they are done, but most of the time, they can give you a ballpark estimate. There are several reasons you need to know the general depth of your well, including that knowing the depth of the well will help you better choose the right well pump knowing the depth of the well will help with further maintenance later on knowing the depth of the well will give you a better understanding of the costs of installation Are there groundwater issues that could affect the quality of your water? Before drilling a water well, a contractor will usually perform extensive tests on the groundwater that is available to ensure it is good enough quality for human consumption. In most cases, the contractor will go over the results of these tests before they start to drill, but if they are not brought up, make sure you ask. It is the well drilling contractor’s responsibility to only place a water well in an area that is not fed by contaminated water.  Visit websites like to learn...

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High Deck Vs. Low Deck Installations: Significant Differences To Be Aware Of For DIYers

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on High Deck Vs. Low Deck Installations: Significant Differences To Be Aware Of For DIYers

There are essentially two deck levels. There are high decks, which are elevated way above the ground, and low decks, which are rare more than a foot or two off the ground. Both serve their own unique purposes and both have their benefits and drawbacks. If you plan to do your own deck installation, here are some significant differences to keep in mind as you go along. Elevated Decks Only Work for Pools and/or Backyards with Ravines An elevated deck is generally only used for properties that have deep ravines in the backyard or for patio doors that open to a pool area. Another exception to this rule is a split level home where the finished basement opens onto a concrete patio, but you want a deck above that. (Usually, patio doors overhead and just off of your dining room or kitchen open to the elevated deck, leaving the concrete patio below open for more entertaining.) To build an elevated deck with no real purpose is expensive, especially when a ground-level deck works just as well. Two Decks of the Exact Same Size but Different Levels Require Different Amounts of Lumber Let’s say you want to build a deck off the back of your house and the deck is twelve feet by eighteen feet. It is small for most decks, but reasonably affordable and doable on your own. The deck that is built low to the ground requires less lumber than the elevated deck. Why is that? Because you will need extra timber and extra long posts to elevate the deck. The price difference for an elevated deck is more too. A Ground-Level Deck Does Not Need Railings If you build a ground-level deck (i.e., one that only has a foot or less drop to the ground) then you do not need safety railings. Anyone who tumbles off this short deck will not be badly injured, and therefore deck railings are more or less for decoration. On the other hand, you may have to invest mightily for safety railings on an elevated deck, since anyone falling off an elevated deck can be severely injured (e.g., concussion, broken bones, etc.). This should be a major consideration for the type of deck you want to build before you build it. Decks Need to Be Snug to the House While you do not have to secure your deck to the side or back of your home, it does help steady the deck. If you build a very firm and strong support frame underneath the deck, that is even better. For added security and good measure, make the deck as snug to the house as possible to prevent legs and feet from sliding into the space between the deck and the house. Also, if you build a high deck or elevated deck, the railing definitely needs to be snug to the house so that children cannot sneak through the space between the railing of the deck and the house and fall below. For assistance, talk to a professional like Reeves Exterior...

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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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