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6 Tips For Getting Your House Ready For The Cold Weather

Posted by on 2:08 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 6 Tips For Getting Your House Ready For The Cold Weather

The best time to fix all of those little drafty areas in your house, so you’ll be warmer this winter, is in the summer. The work is much easier in a T-shirt and shorts than bundled up in a parka with a pair of mittens on. Get your supplies together and walk around the whole house. In an afternoon, you’ll have the house sealed up and you’ll no longer have to deal with drafty rooms. Supplies You’ll Need long flat-blade screwdriver small pry bar hammer finishing nails double-stick carpet tape roll of closed-cell foam insulation container of spray foam insulation weather stripping (optional) Making the Rounds Start on the top floor and make your way down to the basement. Look for all of the ways that warm air can escape from your house and seal those areas up. 1. Check the attic access. If you have an opening into your attic from a hallway or bedroom closet, make sure no air can get around the door or cover. Place a strip of foam insulation around the door and tack it down with the finishing nails or carpet tape so it seals the door when closed. 2. Look for space around the window sills. Sometimes builders cut out a larger space than what a window needs. It gets covered up with a trim piece so you don’t notice it. Gently pry the window trim away from the wall and look for a space. When you find one, take the trim off completely. Pack some closed cell foam into a small space or use the expanding spray foam for a larger gap. Replace the trim when done. 3. Check around all exterior doors for air leaks. As with the window, the door frames may have gaps around them. Pry away the trim around the frame and fill in any gaps you find with insulation. Also look for gaps around the door when it’s closed. Attach or replace weather stripping on the door edges to seal the door against air leaks. 4. Check light switches and electrical outlets. You can get air coming in around these spaces, especially when they are on an exterior wall. Remove the cover plate and pack a small amount of closed foam insulation around the electrical box. Replace the cover. 5. Look for space around vents leaving the house. Stove exhaust fans, dryer vents, and bathroom fan vents all have exhaust conduits that exit the house. Look for spaces around these vents and plug up the gaps. You may have to push the closed-foam insulation into the wall around the vent to get a good seal. Or use the spray foam to fill in large areas around the vent. 6. Seal around cables and pipes leaving the house. Walk around the outside of the house and look for: water pipes gas pipes electrical conduit telephone cables cable TV cables Spray the foam insulation around these cables and pipes where they exit the wall to stop any leaks there. Once you’ve sealed up the air leaks in your house, you’ll notice a difference this winter when the wind starts to blow. Save money on your heating bill and be more comfortable in your home by getting rid of these drafts. To learn more, contact a company like Fortune...

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Top Reasons To Use A Professional Carpet Cleaning Service

Posted by on 5:17 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Top Reasons To Use A Professional Carpet Cleaning Service

Do you have carpeting in some or all of your home? Are you trying to decide whether to hire a company to clean your carpets or whether you should attempt the job yourself? Here are some of the most important reasons why you should leave it to the professionals: Your carpet warranty: If you installed your carpet within the last year, you probably want to make sure that the warranty is still valid in case any issues arise. Manufacturers may specify that their warranty is only good if you have a professional carpet cleaning done every year. The manufacturer may not care if you cleaned it yourself, only whether or not a professional also did any cleaning. By performing the prescribed carpet maintenance, you’ll be able to keep your warranty intact for as long as possible. Pet odors: Pet odors and stains are notoriously difficult to remove. Chances are, you may already have tried several methods of removal. A professional carpet cleaning service may have access to stronger and more efficient cleaning solutions than you can find in an ordinary store. A pet stain that you’ve been fighting with for weeks or months may vanish completely after just one professional carpet cleaning.  They have professional-quality equipment: In addition to having access to a wider variety of carpet cleaning materials, they’ll also have access to better quality of equipment. Many carpet cleaners will use truck-mounted equipment, which is able to generate more heat and more suction than any rented or purchased home equipment. This better equipment means that they’ll be able to power through stains that could take multiple passes of a rented carpet cleaner to remove. As a result, not only will they be able to do the job better, they’ll also be able to complete the job in less time. They have more skill: Have you ever accidentally ruined an article of clothing, instead of removing the stain that you were working on? Not only does a professional carpet cleaning service have better chemicals and tools available to them, they’ll also have the knowledge and training to use them without damaging your carpeting. This means that whether you have an area rug made out of cotton or wool or just modern synthetic carpeting, they’ll be able to get out the accumulated grass and dirt stains.  Having your carpets professionally cleaned is a good choice for anyone with a busy lifestyle or who simply wants to have their carpets look like new again. Even if you have no pets and your carpet is no longer under warranty, your carpeting will look better than it has in a long time if you have it professionally cleaned. Contact a company like Conscientious Carpet Care to learn...

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Steps To Take Before Building A Fence

Posted by on 10:18 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Steps To Take Before Building A Fence

You may need a fence for many reasons: to keep your children safe, to keep your pets restrained, or to keep your swimming pool legal. Although some people choose to install fencing themselves, a contractor is often a better option. No matter who does the work, you will need to do some research before construction begins in order to make certain your new fence is legal. Restrictions  If your property is subject to municipality or neighborhood restrictions, you need to check to see what type of fence you are allowed to erect. Often, there will be restrictions on height and on the type of materials you can use. Many areas will restrict front fences to four feet and back and side yard fences to six to eight feet. If you want to use barbed wire or an electric fence, you will probably be out of luck. Most areas will not allow those materials to be used. In some instances, you will be required to keep the “pretty” side of the fence turned toward public spaces. Although it is your property, you will have to play nice with the neighborhood. Surveying Before you build a fence, you will also need to determine your property line. Even if you and your neighbors have an understanding about where that line is, you will need a survey to get a building permit and to protect yourself legally. If you are over the boundary line at all, your neighbor can usually force you to tear down your fence. Some neighborhood associations may require you to have the fence inside of instead of on the property line. Remember too, that your contractors are not responsible for discovering these rules. You must be aware of the restrictions and give them that information.  Contractors Experts recommend hiring a contractor that is licensed through the state for any significant work. Also, you can expect to pay somewhere between $32 – $48 per hour for a contractor’s services. Since you expect your fence to last for years, the investment is worth it. Plus, it adds resale value to your home while making it more secure.  Before building a fence, be sure to do your research. Check local ordinances and have a survey done. Also, search for a qualified and licensed contractor to do the work. Cutting corners on quality will only bring you short-term savings and long-term grief. A properly-done fence adds curb appeal to your home while making it safer and more private. Contact a company like Arizona Surveying and Mapping for more...

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What You Should Know About Landscaping Over Your Leach Field

Posted by on 6:03 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Should Know About Landscaping Over Your Leach Field

Septic system leach fields benefit from proactive landscaping. When you plant any greens over the leach field, it provides some stability to the soil, reducing the risk of erosion. The plants will also help improve the oxygen exchange that keeps the soil around your leach field healthy. A standard layer of sod is sufficient for this, but you can invest in flowers and thorough leach field landscaping if you want to help improve your property’s appearance. Choosing Plants for a Leach Field Be selective about what you plant over a leach field. Anything with thick, heavy root systems may cause damage to the pipe system. And, plants that have aggressively growing roots are a threat to the integrity of the pipe walls. Instead, look for plants with gentle growth and a shallow root system. Perennials, flowering annuals and even ornamental grass will work well. Considering the Drain Lines Don’t add any additional soil over the leach field unless you’re repairing erosion. If you have to till the soil or use any equipment over the leach field, be aware of where the plumbing lines are. Drain lines aren’t usually very deep below the surface, so you need to be attentive to the risk of damage. Preserving the Leach Field Function Don’t choose plants that will need frequent dividing or hands-on care. This disturbs the soil repeatedly, which can jeopardize the integrity of the pipes. If you opt for ground cover, don’t choose anything that will have a thick canopy. You want to be sure that sunlight will still reach the soil. That sunlight is essential, because it prevents the development of a cool, moist environment that will interfere with the oxygen exchange and evaporation. Skip the mulch for the same reason – it keeps the sun’s rays away from the soil. Prioritizing Safety If you’re opting to plant in your leach field by hand, wear gloves at all times. This protects your hands from any potential bacteria exposure. Whether you’re planting or weeding, any time you come in contact with the soil, protect your skin. Adding landscaping to your leach field may help you create the attractive, seamless yard you’ve been wanting. Additionally, the plants can help minimize erosion and keep the soil stable. Talk with a septic system specialist like McDermott Septic Tank Pumping before you plant. This way, you can get professional support to choose things that aren’t going to cause damage to the septic...

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Three Tips To Help You Pick The Right Roofing Contractor

Posted by on 10:38 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Tips To Help You Pick The Right Roofing Contractor

When you realize that your home’s roof is in urgent need of replacing, it’s always best to get job quotes from three or four roofing companies and pick the one that suits you best. Of course, you know that it’s important to confirm each company you consider is licensed, ensured and experienced, but beyond these three areas, it can be challenging knowing exactly how to weigh the companies you’re considering. Provided each company you contact has all the right paperwork, there are three other important questions to ask before you officially hire one company to do the work. Even if you aren’t well-versed in roofing issues, covering these topics will help you decide which company best suits your job. 1. Quote In Writing On the surface, getting a written quote for the job helps to protect you against unforeseen costs along the way, but getting each company to provide you with a formal estimate and quote for your roofing project has deeper value. Take your three or four quotes and compare them against each other. Experienced, busy companies will often give similar price quotes, but it’s a red flag if one company’s quote is noticeably higher or lower than the others. While a company that charges too much might push you away, don’t run toward a quote that’s surprisingly low — such a quote can be evidence that the company is inexperienced or plans to cut corners. 2. References Are Vital Ask every roofing contractor you contact for a list of references. Many contractors’ websites have photo galleries that allow prospective customers to evaluate the work, but it’s ideal to actually speak to previous customers to inquire about their satisfaction. Contractors should have little hesitation providing you with the name and phone number or email address of past customers who have indicated that they’re happy to serve as references; this approach is common in trades such as roofing, as it gives companies the ability to have customers spread the word on their behalf. 3. Gut Feeling Is Valuable Part of selecting the right roofing contractor for your job doesn’t involve tangible results like getting a quote or speaking to references. When you’re looking to hire a contractor, always acknowledge your gut feeling. Certain factors can help you decide whether you feel right about one company or another. For example, it’s a positive sign when a company calls you back promptly, makes a concerted effort to visit your home quickly and delivers your quote on time. Companies who fail to deliver in these areas should give you a shaky feeling that you shouldn’t...

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Want A Water Feature In Your Landscape? Make A Small Pond With No Electricity Needed

Posted by on 11:47 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Want A Water Feature In Your Landscape? Make A Small Pond With No Electricity Needed

Obtaining a unique and beautiful landscape is something that many homeowners dream about. If you’re one of them, you might be hoping for a unique water feature in your backyard that doesn’t need electricity to be beautiful. This guide explains how you can create your own pond in your backyard in just an afternoon.  Step 1: Collect Your Supplies Before you begin this project, gather the following supplies so that you can have them handy while you work: a shovel a tape measure a line chalk tool a rectangle in-ground pond tub a hand shovel several bricks a few bags of pebbles rocks and small boulders garden hose Step 2: Measure the Tub and Mark the Ground Get the width and length of the tub and mark these measurements on the ground with the line chalk. Measure the depth on the outside of the tub. Step 3: Dig the Hole Grab the shovel and begin digging the hole inside of your chalk lines on the ground. Use the tub’s depth measurement to know how deep to make the hole. Step 4: Insert the Tub Place the tub inside the hole. Make sure that the lip of the tub is level with the ground. If not, dig out a little more until this evenness is achieved. Step 5: Lay Down the Bricks Use the hand shovel to dig a space deep and wide enough for the brick to lay flat with the ground and tub. Then lay the bricks in this space around the tub. As an alternative, set the brick on top of the ground around the tub to make the pond appear deeper. However, you’ll still need to dig out some of the ground under the bricks so they are even and flat all the way around. Step 6: Add Rocks and Water to the Tub Place the pebbles in the bottom of the tub, there should be at least one layer of pebbles to cover the bottom of the tub to create a more natural look. Arrange your rocks and small boulders randomly on the pebbles. Use leftover pebbles to fill in and corners or cracks between the bricks. Attach the garden hose to your outdoor spigot and fill the pond with water. Once your pond is complete, set up lawn furniture and place some potted plants around it to complete the look.  Ask your landscape designer for more idea on how to obtain the beauty and peacefulness of water features in your backyard without the expense and hassle of calling an electrician or running water pipes through the ground. You can find more info...

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Six Signs Your Roof Needs To Be Replaced

Posted by on 2:05 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Six Signs Your Roof Needs To Be Replaced

Roofs have a limited lifespan, and will wear away over time due to weather exposure and general wear and tear. A roof that has reached the end of its lifespan can quickly cause other problems in your house by allowing water to seep inside, which can lead to water damage and mold growth. Knowing the warning signs of a roof that needs to be replaced can help avoid such problems from developing. Exterior Signs Damaged Shingles: Looking at missing or damaged shingles can tell you whether or not you need to replace your roof. Missing shingles can usually be attributed to high winds and heavy precipitation, but shingles that have begun to curl at the edges have reached the end of their lifespan and should be replaced. Rot: Any signs of significant mold or rot growth (usually discoloration, but sometimes actual plant growth can be observed, or soft and sagging spots in the roof) means that your roof should be replaced. However, if there is rot and mold growth on your roof, it has probably already spread into your home, which will require removal and cleaning. Gutters: Check your gutters after a period of heavy rainfall. If there are lots of small black granules collected in there, your shingles will probably have to be replaced, as they have become extremely worn down and thus less able to resist weather exposure. Interior Signs Light: If you can see sunlight when inspecting your roof in the attic, there is a serious problem, and your roof is not providing adequate coverage. Light usually means that water can get in as well. Water Damage: Any form of water damage in your attic means that your roof has reached the end of its lifespan. Look for any signs of mold and mildew growth, or discoloration. Discoloration does not necessarily mean mold – water runoff from shingles will be tinted black, and leave long trails of black stains on your walls and floor if it manages to get inside. Sagging: If the roof deck (which is the base to your roof on which shingles and other roofing materials are applied) is visibly sagging downwards at any point in your attic, your roof should be replaced immediately. Sagging means that water can flow underneath the shingle layer and build up on top of your roof deck, which at one point will give way and release a large amount of water into your home. To learn more, contact a company like Slaughter Roofing Co. with any questions or concerns you...

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Reasons A Garage Door Opener Upgrade Makes Sense

Posted by on 9:11 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The garage door opener you use to gain entry to your garage could use an upgrade if it is an older model. Even if it is still working properly, changing it for a newer model can increase safety and convenience. Here are some reasons why you should consider replacing your own garage door opener for a new model. Sound Quality Older garage door openers work by using a chain on a track to open the door. These tend to make quite a bit of noise as your garage door opens and closes. Newer models use belt drives or screw drives, both of which are considerably quieter because of the material they are made from.  Chain-drive garage door openers are still an option, as they are now constructed with a cover to help muffle the sound when in use. Security Garage door openers of the past used remote controls that were programmed with the same code for anyone with the same make and model opener. If you were to drive down the road with your controller and continuously push it, someone else’s door could open. New garage door openers offer much more safety. The code is reconfigured to work with your specific remote every time you use the door, eliminating the risk that someone else could get inside with their remote.  Safety If you have a garage door opener that is over twenty years old, there is a good chance that it does not have the safety-reversal feature that newer garage door openers are required to have. Two sensors are placed about a half a foot up from the floor on alternate sides of the garage door entryway. If something obstructs the path of the sensor when the garage door is being closed, the garage door mechanism will reverse so the door reopens. This design feature was invented to help keep small children and pets safe from having a garage door shut while they are in its path. Technology Modern garage door openers come with a variety of convenience features. There are applications you can download to your cell phone to run your garage door opener if you do not wish to carry a remote control unit. This allows you to swap vehicles without worrying that you forgot the device to open the door when you return home. It will also allow you to check on the status of your garage door when you are not at home via an Internet application. For more information, contact Girard’s Garage Door Services or a similar...

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Four Tips to Help Choose the Right Ductless AC System for Your Home

Posted by on 10:00 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you want to have an affordable and reliable AC system, ductless air conditioners are a great choice. They are inexpensive, reliable, and can be configured to meet the cooling needs of your home. There are many choices today when it comes to ductless systems, which can be single systems, mini split systems, or multiple systems. If you are considering ductless AC for your home, here are four tips to get the right cooling for your home: 1. Getting the Right Size Systems for Your Home There are many different sizes of ductless cooling systems. You will want to have systems that are right for your home, which is calculated by cubic feet of air space and the tonnage rating of the AC. If you are using more than one unit, this should be calculated individually for the space that the units are cooling. This will ensure that you have adequate and efficient cooling for your home. 2. Using Mini Split Systems with Zoning Mini split units are ductless AC systems that use one heat pump with two air handlers in your home. They are ideal for smaller homes that have minimal cooling needs. It is a good system for a single floor home where more than one unit is needed to cool your home efficiently. If you are adding cooling to multiple floors, this may not be an ideal solution for your cooling needs. 3. Multi-Story Homes and Multiple Ductless AC Systems If you are adding cooling to different floors on your home, you may need to have more than one system installed. This can be several mini split systems, which can provide cooling for each floor. This will give you more efficient cooling and better performance than installing one split system to cool multiple floors of your home. 4. Location and Care of Outdoor Heat Pumps for Your AC The heat pumps of ductless systems are installed outside of your home like conventional AC. They need to have the same care as any other heat pump. This means you will want to locate them in a place that is out of sight and free of debris. During the winter months, you may also want to winterize the units and protect them with covers like you would with a central HVAC heat pump outside of your home. These are some tips to help you with getting ductless AC that is affordable and efficient. If you are ready to have your new AC installed, contact an air conditioning service like Hudson Hdwe Plumbing & Heating Inc and ask them about some of these things for your home cooling...

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Picking Apart Scrap Metal From Computers

Posted by on 11:41 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you’re getting rid of an old computer, replacing a broken one or changing an entire department of workstations, there’s a lot of scrap metal to be had from the various components inside. Gold, tungsten, aluminum and rare earth metals are often in demand and available inside drives and on boards inside the computer. A few inspection points can help you locate the scrap material for removal. Circuit Board Gold And Copper Computers are based around the motherboard, a board that connects many other components such as the hard drive, processor and memory. One of the most popular metals that scrap enthusiasts think of when discussing motherboards is gold. Unfortunately, that’s not the big ticket item. There isn’t much gold to be scraped off of most motherboards. From a single board, there may only be a few cents of gold. It’s still important to recycle as much material as possible, but don’t expect a massive profit unless you’re turning in hundreds of boards. Other boards such as video cards and sound cards have varied amounts of gold, but there are other scrap metals to consider as well. Many of these boards are called expansion cards, which means they expand the capabilities of your motherboard. The cards often act as miniature motherboards in their own right, and often feature copper heat sinks and other heat displacement metals. Hard Drive Scrap Materials Hard drives have a few recoverable metals as well. The casing is often made out of aluminum, which is used to protect the inner moving parts from damage in case of dropping. The real value inside is the rare earth magnets. The magnets are used to hold the reader arms for the hard drive, which are responsible for moving across the platters inside the hard drive to read and write information. Rare earth magnets are sought after by hobbyists looking for affordable, small and strong magnets to experiment. Industries also need the magnets for holding certain parts and processes together temporarily. It’s important to note that not all hard drives use rare earth magnets. Solid state drives (SSDs) drives have no need for the magnets, as they don’t have moving parts that need to be secured. Although SSDs are beginning to change the hard drive market, older, platter-based technology is still a major factor in business and personal computing. To find a place for your scrapped materials from computers, contact a scrap metal buyer like Jp Salvage & Core who knows what to look for in your...

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