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Troubleshooting Slow Drains

Posted by on 1:52 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Troubleshooting Slow Drains

A slow drain may be frustrating or a pain, but many people often just live with it because they either don’t know how to fix it or just assume that’s how that particular drain is. However, a slow drain could mean that something major is wrong. The following can help you get to the root of the problem. Count your drains Your first task is to determine whether this is an isolated issue or a more pervasive problem. Check every drain in your home – sinks, tubs, and floor drains. Note which ones are draining slowly. If it’s just one or two drains, and they aren’t in the same room or directly above one another on multiple floors, it’s likely an isolated problem. If it’s multiple drains in the same zone of the home, you will need to be prepared for a more major blockage. Check the trap The trap in a sink drain is the curved pipe directly beneath the sink. With the water turned off and bucket beneath the trap, use a pipe wrench to remove this trap. You will likely find the problem – hair, soap scum, or other debris has begun to block the pipe. Remove the gunk and replace the trap, thus solving the problem. For the tub or shower, the trap isn’t easily accessible. Most of these drains have a screen you can remove with needlenose pliers or by twisting and lifting it. There may even be a chain attached, which is designed to hang down the drain and catch the gunk so you can remove it before it forms a clog. If there is no chain, use a plumber’s zip-it tool or a long wire with a hook bent into the end to reach down the drain and pull out any gunk. Diagnosing major concerns When drains continue to move slowly, especially when the issue is affecting multiple drains, you may have a blockage in a main drain pipe. If the slow drains are only in one section of the house, chances are it is the sewer pipe that connects that sector to the main drain. A plumber can snake it out to the main drain, solving the issue. The main drain may have a clog if all the drains are moving slowly. This can be due to a blockage or tree roots in the drain, which will require a mechanical snake to remove. Find out more about cleaning your drains by talking to a plumber in your...

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Tips For A More Efficient Air Conditioner

Posted by on 3:41 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For A More Efficient Air Conditioner

Running your air conditioner but not noticing any improvements in your home’s temperature? If this is a reoccurring problem then it is likely that you have failed to keep up with the maintenance of your home’s air conditioner. Though it may have been a while since you last serviced your unit, no need to worry as there are many great at-home services that you can implement to improve the performance and efficiency of your unit, like the following: Upkeep the Condenser Unit: The condenser component of your air conditioner is a critical aspect when it comes to revamping the performance of your AC. Without a properly working air conditioner your unit may lack fuel delivery and may not be able to chill the air enough to drop the temperature in your home as rapidly as it should. So, to ensure maximum performance, you will want to clean the vents of your condenser so that it can have the air intake that it needs to properly cool your home. Fix Air Leaks: Fixing air leaks can be a tremendous help if your duct has minor holes allowing the cool air to escape. If your duct has holes, you will want to wrap foil-faced insulation over these holes to stop the air leaks. This service alone can be just the improvement that you need to see excellent results from your air conditioner. Swap Old Filters: Old filters can become clogged with debris and dust, minimizing the airflow and this can reduce the air levels that are blown into your home. This can cause you to run your unit for extended periods at a time in order to compensate for the lack of air delivery, which means you will be spending more on your electricity bill and seeing poor performance from your unit. Also, having old and dirty filters can impact the air quality of the air that is being delivered to your home which can likely be a threat to your health. So, replacing old filters on a regular basis is best for both your health and the performance of your system. Applying these tips can be a quick, easy, and a very effective way to revamp the overall performance and efficiency of your unit, which can not only help you cool down the temperature of your home in a timely manner but can also help you reduce the cost of your AC utilization due to you being able to minimize the use of electricity consumption related to poor...

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Tips For Streamlining Recycling At An Event

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If you are hosting a large event, you can save a lot of waste by recycling correctly. But getting everyone on board with recycling at an event can be tricky. Here are some steps you can take to make recycling a reality at your event.  Have Adequate Recycling Space The first step is to make sure that you have adequate space for your recyclable goods. If your bins start to overflow halfway through the event, do you have a way to refresh your recycling space? You could either schedule a pickup if your recycling services can be on call, or you might want to rent roll off dumpsters to house recycled goods. This way, your clean-up crew can dump any full recycling bins into a final dumpster that will be recycled after the event.  Label Recycling Spots Clearly Your labeling will make a huge difference in how much people recycle. If they are enjoying the event and need to throw something away, they may not put a lot of effort into figuring out the correct bins for recycling. You may want to have your trash bins and recycling bins in a different spot so that there isn’t any confusion. Make sure the bins are a different size, shape, and color from your regular trash cans so that people don’t mistake the two.  Mention the Importance of Recycling You may also want to briefly explain the recycling system at some point during the event. A quick, 30 second speech will draw people’s attention to the importance of recycling at your event. And your words may stick in their mind later when they go to throw some items away.  Hire Greeters You could also hire a recycling crew to be present at the event and help people recycle. They can tactfully direct people to the recycling bins when necessary.  Hire Some Sorters You may not have a perfect recycling bin after your event, so hire a clean up crew to do some sorting of your recycling bins. They can pull recyclable items out of the trash cans and also remove trash from the recycling bins.  These steps will make it easier for you to collect recycling materials without a ton of extra effort. Your recycling services might have ideas about how you can make recycling more efficient at your event as well, such as building easy-to-use recycling infrastructure and facilitating easy pickup of recyclable goods.  For more information, contact local professionals like Ground Effects Hauling...

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When Style Is More Than Style: Further Considerations for Choosing a Roof Style

Posted by on 4:20 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When Style Is More Than Style: Further Considerations for Choosing a Roof Style

When it comes to choosing a roof style, you should think beyond curb appeal if you wish to stay satisfied by your chosen style for a long time. Here are other factors you should consider. Installation Cost Your chosen style may affect your roofing budget. As a rule, the more complicated a roof is, the more it will cost to install. Pitched roofs, for example, cost more to construct than flat roofs. The additional cost can be attributed to the extra hours and materials needed to come up with the complicated shape. For example, a sawtooth roof, which has multiple pitched roofs running parallel to one another, requires more materials to construct than a simple pyramid roof where all sides meet at a single point at the top. Maintenance Cost Apart from the installation cost, you should also be prepared for the maintenance costs of your chosen roof style. For example, flat roofs are more prone to water or debris-related damage, so they require more frequent inspections and maintenance. This is because flat roofs tend to have drainage issues. Also, a roof design that incorporates numerous projections, valleys, and ridges will require more intensive maintenance than roofs with continuous surfaces. This is because roof problems often begin at those connection points. Wind Resistance Certain roof shapes hold up better to the wind than others. This should be of great concern to those who live in hurricane-prone or coastal areas. For example, a multiple-panel roof is more likely to withstand wind forces than other types of roofs. Even the slope of the roof matters; data shows that 30-degree slope is the best for wind resistance. Even the presence or absence of roof overhangs, including their length, may affect the wind capabilities of a roof. Ask your roofing contractor how your roof is likely to fare during a strong wind. Resale Value Unless you plan to live in that house forever (and don’t forget that unforeseen circumstances may change your mind), you should also consider the resale value of your house while choosing a roof. For example, well-designed roof ridges with stylish ridge caps are considered attractive by many people. Even the color of the shingles may affect how people view your house; the roof’s color should complement or offer a striking contrast to the colors used on the exterior of the house. You can change some aspects of your roof style during the roof’s replacement, while other aspects are best considered during the first installation or design. For example, it won’t cost you much to switch from one color to another while replacing a roof, but it’s expensive to change the slope of the roof. Talk to a company such as Palmer Roofing for more...

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Answering A Few Common Concerns About Paving Your Driveway

Posted by on 10:46 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Answering A Few Common Concerns About Paving Your Driveway

A paved driveway can help to improve both the convenience of accessing your property as well as its value. Yet, it can be a fairly common issue for individuals to be unsure of what they should expect from the process of paving a driveway to their property. If this is something that you have started considering doing for your property, you will likely greatly benefit from learning about the answers to these common driveway paving questions. Will The Property Need To Be Excavated? Some individuals will have concerns about the prospects of needing to have their property excavated. However, it is important to note that this step is essential for ensuring that the pavement is poured as evenly as possible. Luckily, paving professionals have tools that will be able to limit the excavation work to the area where the pavement will be located. This can greatly reduce the impact this work will have on the rest of your yard. Can A Driveway Be Poured During The Winter? There is a common misconception among some homeowners that they will only be able to add a paved driveway during the summer months. Yet, it is actually possible to pave a driveway during almost any month. Typically, the only time when paving is not possible is during periods when the ground is frozen. Paving during these times can cause the pavement to dry unevenly, which can severely weaken it. How Long Will It Take For Your Driveway To Be Ready For Use? Once the pavement has been poured, it will need time to dry and cure before you use it. The drying process will be completed fairly quickly, but the curing phase of this can take several weeks to complete. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to speed up the curing process because this will require the water in the pavement to evaporate. If you make the mistake of using the driveway before it has fully cured, the weight of your car may leave indentations in it. Making the decision to invest in a paved driveway for your property can be a major project to undertake. As a result, it is critical for you to be as informed as possible about about these projects. By appreciating that excavation may need to be done to your property, that it is possible to pave a driveway during the winter and the importance of allowing your driveway to cure, you will be much better prepared to decide whether this is a suitable project for your home’s needs. For more information, contact a company like R Williams Paving...

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Fiber Cement Siding Vs. Vinyl Siding

Posted by on 8:01 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Fiber Cement Siding Vs. Vinyl Siding

Whether you’re building a new home, an addition to your current home, or you’re replacing your old, run-down siding, you have to choose the right siding material for your house. Vinyl siding has been the number one exterior wall material for the past 20 years, but more and more people are starting to opt for fiber cement siding, such as Hardie planks, instead. So, which option is the best choice? Both materials have their own pros and cons, and learning more about them allows you to make an informed decision. Fiber Cement Siding Fiber cement siding, such as Hardie planks, is made by forming a mixture of wood pulp and Portland cement into planks or shingles. It’s attached to your house directly, using nails to hold it in place. Most Hardie board siding includes a 50-year limited warranty, and if purchased prepainted, a 10 to 15 year warranty on the finish. Some of the benefits of fiber cement siding include: Rot resistant Impervious to termites and rodents Won’t warp, shrink, or melt Non-combustible Highly durable and weather resistant Fiber cement siding is more durable than vinyl siding, which can melt during a fire and be damaged during a storm. Like vinyl siding, it’s available in a wide range of colors and can be customized to mimic the look of other siding options such as wood shakes. However, it also costs more than vinyl siding, and the finish needs maintained approximately every 15 years. Vinyl Siding Vinyl siding is made from PVC, a durable plastic. The siding is hung from rails that are attached to your house, which allows it to contract and expand when the temperature changes. Vinyl siding has been know to buckle in extremely hot temperatures, so it might not be the best option for homes that are located in areas prone to extreme heat. There are several benefits to vinyl siding, including: Can withstand gusts of wind up to 240 miles per hour Budget friendly Insect proof and fade resistant Waterproof Resistant to warping and shrinking One of the best things about installing vinyl siding is that it’s practically maintenance free. While vinyl siding can fade slightly over time, it’s usually not too noticeable so there is no need to repaint the siding once it is hung. Also, vinyl siding is easy to clean when needed. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether fiber cement or vinyl siding is the best option for your home. If you’re looking for the most durable option, fiber cement siding is your best bet. However, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly solution, vinyl siding is a better choice. Talk to a company like Side-Pro, Inc. to learn...

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Answers to a Few Common Questions About Land Surveying

Posted by on 9:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Answers to a Few Common Questions About Land Surveying

Land surveying is an essential service for anyone that owns real estate. However, it is an unfortunate fact that you may not be particularly informed about these services if you have only recently acquired your first real-estate property. As a result, you may benefit from having the following couple of questions about land-surveying services answered. Why Would You Want to Have Your Property Surveyed? When a land survey is done, the precise measurements of the property will be marked. This can be essential for anyone that is considering an improvement to the property that will come close to the legal boundary. If you make the mistake of encroaching on your neighbor’s property during these projects, you may be required to pay for any damages or the costs of restoring the property. Additionally, you may want to have any potential property that you are considering buying surveyed. It is possible for the seller and the real-estate agent to be somewhat misinformed about the actual boundaries of the property. By having it surveyed, you will be able to ensure that you know exactly what the property encompasses before you decide to make the purchase. How Is a Survey Completed? The process of surveying can be rather complex. It will typically start with the surveyor researching local real-estate documents and other historical items to determine the legal boundaries of the property. To translate this information into the real world, the surveyor will use natural landmarks and other features to clearly delineate the boundary of your property. Depending on the size of the property being surveyed, this process can take several days or longer to complete. Is It Inconvenient to Have a Land Survey Done? Some individuals may be concerned about their land survey being extremely inconvenient. Luckily, you will not be required to be home during this work, which can greatly reduce any inconvenience you may experience. However, if you will not be home when the surveyor is working, you will want to ensure that you leave a key so that they can open and close any gates that may inhibit their access to your property. Land surveys can be something that most homeowners will need to have done at some point or another. However, if you are not informed about these services, you may not be sure of when to use these services or what to expect. By understanding how these services can help you, the way that a surveyor will determine the boundaries of the property, and that you will not have to be home for the surveyor to do their job, you will be better able to make informed choices about using these...

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Three Things To Remember When Building A Home By The River

Posted by on 11:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Things To Remember When Building A Home By The River

If you love the water, living by the river might seem like an ideal situation for you. If you plan on buying land and building a home near the river, here are three things you’ll want to keep in mind. Know Your Boundaries After buying land, you need to make sure you know the boundaries of your parcel of land. By knowing this information before you even begin building, you can save yourself time, money, and a lot of headaches down the road. When you get boundary surveying done by a licensed surveyor, it will most likely cost you money. Some factors that might influence this cost include: Accessibility of the land The size of the piece of land The shape of the piece of land When building a home, knowing your boundaries is important as it can alleviate landowner disputes with neighbors, make you aware of any zoning restrictions, and let you know if there are any underground utilities. Understand Flood Levels When building a home by the river, you will also want to ensure you are not building on a floodplain. Floodplains usually experience some flooding when the river is unusually high or when the water threatens to go above the flood stage. Most areas near a river are susceptible to flooding anytime the river goes over its banks, but flooding causes more problems on a floodplain. Understanding flood levels is important, and if you’re unsure of the elevation of the land you’re building on, check with your municipal government about obtaining a flood elevation certificate. State-licensed surveyors also do flood elevation certificates. Get Flood Insurance If you are building near a river, you may be required to obtain flood insurance. The cost of the insurance may depend on the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). If you live in a place that is at risk for flooding, the policy cost will lower as the BFE rises. Some of the things that are covered by flood insurance include: The home and its foundation Electrical and plumbing systems Detached garages Removal of debris Whether it’s required or not, having flood insurance when you live near a river will help give you a peace of mind and could save you money down the road. Building a home near the river can be a wonderful experience, but in order to make it even better, it’s best to be aware of these three...

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Two Reasons Why It’s Better To Purchase A New Home

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When you’re in the market to purchase a house, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make concerns whether you’ll buy a new home or go with a resale.  You may have been leaning toward a resale because you believe that it will be more economical.  However, there are a number of reasons why new homes are the better choice.  Aside from the obvious fact that they are in pristine condition because they’ve never been lived in, there are a number of other factors that make new homes the superior option. The Building Envelope Matters Buying a house is about more than the sticker price.  You have to think about the total cost of ownership, and that’s where new homes shine. Newly built homes are often built under different building codes than their older counterparts.  One section of the code deals with the building envelope.  This outlines the amount of insulation that must be installed in the home in order for it to meet the requirement.  If you buy an older home that was constructed under a less stringent building code, you may find that you end up losing money in the long run. The building envelope of a house helps to prevent your cool or warm air from seeping outside.  If you don’t have an efficient building envelope, your heating and cooling system has to use more energy to keep your indoor climate at the level set on your thermostat.  In this case, the excessive energy bills that you rack up could make the total cost of ownership of a used home more than that of a brand new house. You May Spend Less On Maintenance Maintenance is another point that you should consider when you’re trying to decide whether to buy new or resale.  New homes are now being built with composite materials that don’t require as much maintenance as natural products.  An older home with real wood trim that warps and rots will require more maintenance than a new home that has composite trim that is virtually immune to the elements. Buying a new home could prove to be the best decision you could have made.  Talk to a general contractor so you can get the ball rolling on making the plans for your new house. Or, see if there’s a new developed area in your area that is selling new homes. Additionally, some homes on the market are relatively new and would be just as...

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3 Issues That Can Cause Clogged Drains

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There are many issues that can cause clogged drains. They can wind up being anything from cooking oil to even soap. It’s best to be on the lookout for these issues and take a proactive stance towards them. Throughout the course of this brief article, you will learn about just a few things that can wind up causing harm to your drains by clogging them. Cooking Oil And Food Your kitchen sink is ground zero for potentially leading to a clogged drain. Why is this? First and foremost, food and cooking oil were not meant to go down your drain, though many a time, that is where they end up. This can wind up harming the integrity of your pipes. The only time that food should ever go down your drain is if you have a garbage disposal and it is properly turned on. Oil should never make its way down your piping system, even if you have a garbage disposal. Food and oil, combined with hard water and soap, can make clogs a very real possibility and a difficult one to clean out. Soap This might seem like an odd issue that can clog your drain. After all, isn’t soap supposed to go down your drain? It is, but soap that is combined with hard water can create a mixture known as soap scum. The minerals present in hard water adhere to the soap, which causes a gooey, clumpy substance that can harden inside of your pipes. This can cause water to back up and your sink to overflow. You should take a preventative stance against the presence of soap scum by either using hand sanitizer instead or liquid soap in the place of bar soap. Better yet, if you install a water softener, this will get rid of the conditions that create soap scum. Hair Hair, whether it’s from the top of your head or elsewhere on your body, can wind up getting caught in your shower drain or kitchen sink. When combined with either shampoo or shaving cream, hair can create a very sticky situation for you drain. There is, however, a great way to prevent hair from even making it down your drain in the first place. By investing in a hair catcher, you can rest assured knowing that no hair is going to make its way down your shower drain. It is imperative that you clean it out on a regular basis, however. The hair catcher itself can become backed up with hair! Contact a company like Midwestern Plumbing Service for more...

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