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Home Renovation Tips

Plumbing Resolutions To Make For The New Year

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Plumbing Resolutions To Make For The New Year

The New Year will be here before you know it! It’s at this time of year that many homeowners make New Year’s resolutions to help them take better care of their homes. These plumbing resolutions can help you take better care of your pipes and help you save money on residential plumbing services in 2016. Stop Using Chemical Drain Cleaner Chemical drain cleaner is bad for the environment and can be bad for some older pipes. Instead, you should use cultures of bacteria and enzymes that eat through organic waste. You can also clear your pipes without chemical drain cleaner in less harmful ways using a plumber’s auger. An auger consists of a stiff cable with a sharp, corkscrew-like end. The cable is inserted into a clogged pipe until the pointed end reaches the clog. Once it pierces the clog, the auger is retracted and the clog is removed. Not only is this method much safer for your pipes, but it can also be cheaper than chemical drain cleaner. Treat Your Garbage Disposal Better Resolve to avoid flushing anything into your garbage disposal that can cause a clog. This includes rinds, stringy foods like celery, coffee grounds, and bones. You can also resolve to start flushing the pipes leading from your garbage disposal with natural products like vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice. All these products are safe for pipes and can help keep the drain leading from your garbage disposal clear. Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing Frozen pipes can burst, causing floods and massive water damage. The most effective way to prevent this from happening is to keep your pipes warm using pipe insulation. Purchase self-adhesive pipe insulation and attach it to all the plumbing in your home that you can actually reach. This includes pipes in the crawl space, basement, access panels, and in the areas under sinks. Stop Flushing Things that Shouldn’t Be Flushed The only things that should get flushed down your toilet are toilet paper and human waste. Other items like tampons, adult wipes, and flushable kitty litter are all bad for your drains, your sewers and your septic system (if you have one). Even these products that are designated as flushable are not truly safe to be flushed down the toilet. Although they may technically flow down the drain, there’s no promise they won’t get caught in the sewer once they’re down there. Click here for info about how to make the most of your plumbing and what you can do to fix other common...

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Removing Spray Foam Insulation From Interior Materials

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Removing Spray Foam Insulation From Interior Materials

Spray foam insulation is an excellent option for insulating existing homes. Since the foam is sprayed into the walls, ceilings and floors in liquid form, it can be done with minimal damage to the home. Unfortunately, sometimes the insulation can get away from the installers and land on furnishings, trim work, windows and other materials in the home. Below, you will find out how to remove the spray foam insulation if it was to harden on your interior surfaces. Removal from Wood Removing the insulation from wood surfaces requires a delicate touch to avoid damaging the wood. Use a plastic putty knife to remove as much of the foam as possible. Apply some mineral spirits to a clean cloth to saturate the cloth—you want it wet, but not dripping. Lay the cloth over the area with the foam on it and let it rest for 10–15 minutes. The mineral spirits will work to soften the foam. Once the foam has become soft, use the plastic putty knife to gently remove the foam. Repeat this process until all of the foam is gone. Once gone, clean the wood surface with your favorite wood cleaning product. Removal from Vinyl Vinyl windows and doors are a bit easier to clean than wood since you don’t have to worry as much about gouging the surface. Use the plastic putty knife to scrape as much foam away as possible. Apply a bit of acetone to a clean cloth and begin wiping the area. Continue reapplying the acetone to the cloth and wiping away the foam until it is gone. Removal from Glass This is an easy process. Use a flat razor to scrape the foam off of the glass. Just be sure to keep the blade flat to prevent scratches on the glass. After the foam is removed, use your favorite glass cleaning product to clean the glass and remove any streaks and residue that remain. Removal from Fabric If the foam has hardened on fabric, mineral spirits can help to remove it. Before you apply the mineral spirits to the fabric, test it on a small area that isn’t easily visible to ensure that the mineral spirits don’t damage the fabric. If mineral spirits isn’t safe for your fabric, contact a professional upholstery cleaner to do the cleaning for you to prevent causing more damage. These cleaning tips will help to remove the foam insulation that got away from the installers during installation. If you have questions, visit Fortune Insulation Contractors...

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Four Problems You Are Likely To Have With Your Water Well And How To Deal With Them

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Problems You Are Likely To Have With Your Water Well And How To Deal With Them

If you rely on a well to get water to your home,  there are a lot of problems that you are probably going to face. This can be things like poor water quality, equipment failure, and in some cases the well going dry. These problems will not be a big deal if you know how to deal with them. Here are some tips to help you deal with some of the most common water well problems: 1. Dirt And Debris Getting Inside Of The Well Casing When you have a well, dirt can get in the casing during and after the installation process. This can happen due to things like soft soils. The well may need to be flushed when this happened. It is also done when you have a well drilled. You will also need to sanitize your well from time to time to kill off bacteria and organisms in the water. 2. Clogged Water Lines Reducing Plumbing Pressure In Your Home The water from your well can have many different minerals in it. These minerals can cause calcium build up in lines. Eventually, this can lead to the lines from your well becoming clogged with debris. To deal with this, you may need to clean the main line to your home occasionally. It may also need to be replace it when it gets too old and worn. 3. Pump Failure Causing You To Not Have Running Water Another problem that you may have with your well is pump failure. You will eventually have to have repairs and maintenance done to your well pump. You may also have to replace it at some point. Consider the type of pump you plan on using. A submersible pump will make it more difficult to do your own maintenance and may need to be completely replaced. If you use a jet pump, you will be able to do a lot of your own maintenance and easily repair the pump. 4. Shallow Wells Going Dry During Severe Droughts If you have a shallow well, you may have issues with the well going dry during summer droughts. To combat this problem, you may want to consider having the well drilled deeper or having alternative water sources, such as rain collection. The best solution will be to have a combination of water resources to ensure you have the water you need. These are some tips to help you deal with some of the most common water well problems. If you need help with maintenance or repairs, contact a land surveying contractor, like DC Gohn Associates Inc Surveyors & Engineers, to survey your land to find the best places to drill for...

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How To Caulk Shower Doors

Posted by on Oct 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Caulk Shower Doors

Shower door kits are great because they have almost everything you need for complete installation. They have easy-to-follow instructions, making it possible for nearly anybody to install them. Prefabricated kits are affordable, especially if you install them on your own. However, most kits come with instructions that say very little about how to caulk the edges and seams. The edges and seams of the metal track and where the glass meets the wall, must be sealed with waterproof caulk to prevent leakage. This is one of the most important steps of the entire process. So, if you just finished installing your prefabricated shower door kit, but don’t know how to caulk the edges, this article is for you. Caulking Like A Pro First, you need to make sure you have the right type of caulk. Most people will want clear caulk on glass doors. This definitely looks the best in a shower environment. You caulk must be waterproof and able to stick to porcelain, or tile, as well as the glass. These materials are generally very slick, so adhesives don’t always adhere well to them. This is why you want to use a caulk that is specifically designed for use with porcelain, tile or other high-gloss surfaces. Before you start the work, you want to clean the seams that you are going to caulk. Make sure there is no gunk or soap scum present. Applying the Caulk The key to applying the caulk is to use caulking gun. Cut the tip off the gun at a slight angle, and make sure it is smooth. As you squeeze along the seams, don’t worry if the caulk line is not even or perfect. You will smooth it out during the next step. Using your finger, and wearing a latex glove, you want to wipe away the excess caulk. Wipe only small sections, cleaning off your finger on a paper towel between each wipe. If you properly wipe, you will be smoothing out the caulk line, and pushing the caulk into the seam to create a stronger seal. Your fingertip is the best tool for creating smooth caulk lines, but only if you keep it perfectly clean. There are many tools and devices that claim to give easy, no-mess caulk lines. However, you will get the best results if you just use your finger. Your shower doors will be much stronger if you apply a thick coat of caulk to the seams. For professional help, contact a company such as Shower Doors &...

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Four Tips To Help You Give Your Chain Link Fence An Attractive Custom Appearance

Posted by on Sep 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Tips To Help You Give Your Chain Link Fence An Attractive Custom Appearance

If you want to have an affordable fence installed around your home, a chain link fence may be a good investment. It can also be a plain looking fence, but there are some things that you can do to give it a custom look and features. This can include things like casing around the posts and features like lighting. Here are some tips to help you give your new chain link fence more of an attractive custom look: 1. Adding Lattice To Create A Privacy Screen If you want to have more privacy for your home, adding a screen can help. This can be done by attaching lattice materials to your fence. To reduce visibility, you can use a windscreen fabric behind the lattice to make it solid. If you add a windscreen, you may want to add lattice to both sides for a more attractive appearance. 2. Casing Posts With Wood For An Attractive Look Most chain link fences have plain metal posts, which can be an unattractive addition to your fence line. For a more attractive look, you can case them in by wrapping them with a wood material to make a box for the post. Use fence caps to top them off and give them a unique look. 3. Framing Wood Sections With Wood Lumber Materials Many chain link fences may have a tensioned wire at the top and tension bars to hold them in place. They may also have a metal bar at the top. You can change the unsightly metal appearance by framing in the sections with a wood trim materials. This can give your fence a unique look and add strength if you only have tension cables. 4. Adding Lighting, Post Caps And Electrical Installations To Fencing Lighting and electrical installations can also be a good integration for your fence. If you plan on using post caps, this can be a great place to add lighting to your fence. Electrical wiring and outlets can be installed in casing and where you have framed in your fence sections. It is also a good idea to use conduit to make it easier to install wiring and electrical installations. These are some tips to help give your chain link fence an attractive custom look. If you need to have a fence installed around your home, contact a fencing contractor, like Everlasting Fence, and talk with them about helping you with some of these...

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Pebbles, Stones And Bricks! In Kitchen Design, The Possibilities Are Endless!

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pebbles, Stones And Bricks! In Kitchen Design, The Possibilities Are Endless!

If you’re remodeling your kitchen, you might think that you must stick with what’s common in your neighborhood. Since you are the one who is going to be in your kitchen daily, it’s perfectly fine to go against the norm, and create a space that’s unique to your style and makes you feel happy and comfortable. Using pebbles, stones or bricks in your kitchen is one way to accomplish a unique style. However, using these items doesn’t mean that you have to stick with one particular style. This guide explains three design types that you can you choose from. Going Rustic To incorporate rustic charm to your kitchen, choose a pebble, stone or brick in natural tones. Natural pebbles compliment each other well, whether they match or are simply in the same color family. Unrefined bricks or distressed stones, similar to ones you might find on a nature walk, complement rustic themes. These colors will also complement your kitchen fixtures, especially if they are antique bronze or brass. Use these materials on your backsplash or have a custom countertop created to make your fixtures pop. Keeping it Classic Exposed brick is a fun feature that is a classic in décor and complements nearly any style or taste. Even if you do not live in an older building or home, you can achieve this look by installing them as your backsplash, or you can even create an entire wall of manufactured brick stone. This stone comes in a variety of colors and is simple to install with mortar, making it an excellent choice all around. Moving Toward Chic and Elegant If you’re looking for an elegant and timeless look, consider marble in various stone colors. Marble is a chic choice for a kitchen backsplash or feature area over the stove. The natural vein in marble brings the outdoors inside with an elegant twist. Take things a step further and ask your contractor to install a marble countertop that’s a shade lighter or darker than the backsplash or above-the-stove feature. In doing so, you’ll add contrast to your kitchen and a splash of creative flair. Choosing the materials for your kitchen is an important part of the process of obtaining the look you want. Take your time in choosing the right stone materials to go along with your brand new kitchen, so that you can be proud of your choices when your kitchen is complete. Ask your contractor, someone like Lehman Construction Services Inc​, for more ideas on how to make your remodeling project one the best in the...

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Triage Your Bathroom Problems After Water Damage

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Triage Your Bathroom Problems After Water Damage

Toilets can leak or let water flow indefinitely or until they’re shut off. Some issues could be from wear and tear, while others could be from poor installation. Water damage in the bathroom can bring a modern home down to primitive levels of comfort, but a few inspection and troubleshooting techniques can help you work around the problems or at least know what to expect from repair professionals. Toilet Flushing And Filling Failure Toilet clogs are common problems, and require either a plunger, a professional or enough time for the clogging materials to break down and pass through. A few mechanical issues may be harder to ignore. If your toilet doesn’t flush when you push the lever, there’s a few problems between the lever (the flushing handle) and the flapper (the stopper that signals old water to flush and new water to fill the bowl) that could be your problem. Although some problems are more likely than others, start from the lever. The toilet lever is usually installed by screwing the handle side to an inside bar that connects to the rest of the lever system. It’s possible to screw the lever on too tightly, which can result in the lever not lifting the flapper when casually pressed. It can also result in the lever being stuck in the up position, which results in continuous water emptying and filling. The toilet won’t flush without enough water pressure, and water pressure can’t build up if the toilet’s water tank is constantly releasing water. You’ll need to adjust the tightness of the lever just enough to allow easy flushing, but not so loose that the handle shakes and moves out of place when touched.  A Broken Chain May Call For Replacement If the lever pushes, but doesn’t seem to flush, you may have a broken or loose chain. The lever and bar is connected to a chain, which lifts the flapper when the level is pressed. It’s possible to push the lever too hard and cause the chain to snap or the hook connecting the chain to the lever to come off. The chain, lever and the stopper can also begin to corrode and deteriorate over time, especially if you live in coastal areas with salt water that isn’t completely filtered out.  Look inside the toilet’s tank to see if the chain is broken or removed. Even if the chain simply fell off of one of its connections, be sure to inspect the other components to make sure that they’re still in tact. You’ll need a new toilet flusher kit if any of the parts have been installed long enough to begin to break, but there’s no reason to buy a new kit if it was simply installed poorly. Contact a water damage restoration company like Complete Restoration Services if the problem seems deeper than basic troubleshooting, as well as suggestions for toilets, parts and other ways to keep your bathroom...

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Tips To Remove Mildew From Vinyl Siding

Posted by on Aug 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips To Remove Mildew From Vinyl Siding

Mildew forms on vinyl siding after it is exposed to moist, shady conditions and can diminish the beauty of your home. Learn how to remove these unsightly green streaks and how to protect the vinyl so that mildew isn’t as likely to form again.      Materials plastic sheeting rubber gloves long handled scrub brush water hose (with adjustable nozzle) industrial strength detergent bucket bleach vinegar small scrub brush ladder Cover Foliage And Remove Surface Dirt Place sheets of plastic over foliage that is located close to your home so that it doesn’t come into contact with the cleaning solution. Put on a pair of disposable gloves to protect your hands while you are removing the mildew stains. Fill a bucket with water and add a small amount of industrial strength detergent to it until it is sudsy. Set up a ladder by one end of your home. Spray off the vinyl with a water hose to remove surface dirt. Begin spraying off the vinyl at the top of the house and work your way downwards. Dip a long handled scrub brush into the soapy water and apply it to stubborn stains. Move the brush back and forth while pressing down to help loosen the stains. Remove Stubborn Stains Stubborn mildew stains can be removed with bleach or vinegar. Add a small amount of either of these to the cleaning solution. Apply the solution to the stains with a scrub brush and allow it to penetrate for a few minutes. Bleach and vinegar work well on porous surfaces and will dissolve the mildew after several minutes. Move the scrub brush firmly over the stains and rinse them off with a water hose. Adjust the nozzle on the hose so that the stream of water coming out of it is strong. Remove the plastic sheeting from the ground when you are finished. Prevent Mildew From Forming After all of the mildew has been removed from the vinyl, minimize the chance of it forming in the future. Clean the gutter system out a couple times each year to prevent water from backing up and dripping down the sides of your home. Trim tree branches and foliage that is growing close to your home. Rinse the vinyl off several times a year to remove residue that could penetrate the vinyl surface and cause stains to form. All of these tips will help keep the vinyl protected.  For replacement vinyl or further assistance, contact a local outlet, such as Michel Home...

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How To Paint Your Bathroom Walls

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Paint Your Bathroom Walls

The bathroom is often the first room in a home that needs to be remodeled. It has endured more foot traffic than other rooms. Luckily, since bathrooms are typically smaller, changing elements like flooring, molding, or paint is more affordable. This article will explain how you can remodel your bathroom on the cheap by repainting the walls and ceiling. Choosing the Right Paint When painting your bathroom you need to use semi or high gloss paint. Usually, paint with a higher gloss will last longer, especially in the moist environment of a bathroom. However, many people do not like shiny paint on their walls. Semi-gloss paint is a good compromise for people who like walls with a lower sheen. Priming the Walls When painting in a bathroom, you need to prime the walls first. Primer will protect the drywall and add an extra layer of protection from the moisture. When priming, you do not need to worry about getting a solid even finish. The color of the primer will not affect the color of the paint if it is not evenly applied. Painting the Walls Depending on the brand and thickness of paint, you might need to apply two coats of paint. Two coats of paint (in addition to the coat of primer) will give your walls even more protection. The hardest part of painting is cutting out (or painting around the edges). You can use painter’s tape to mask off the parts that you do not want to paint. When painting the corners where the wall meets the ceiling you might as well just cut in by hand. The texture of the drywall will make it hard to create a strong seal with the tape. Paint will probably seep underneath the tape, so you might as well paint it by hand. Just follow the line of the wall corner and work slowly so paint does not get onto the ceiling. However, you will probably want to tape off the molding, shower basin, and other elements that have a harder, smoother finish because the tape will create a strong seal. New paint in your bathroom can protect your drywall and make it last even longer. It is a great home remodel that will also change the style and feel of the entire room. Best of all, you can do the work on your own and make the project very affordable. If you do decide to go with a professional, talk with a place like Two by Four Construction LLC for more...

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When Is It Time To Call An Electrician?

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When Is It Time To Call An Electrician?

There are some simple electrical tasks that can be performed by the average homeowner, such as replacing outlets and light switches. However, there are some electrical projects that are best left to professionals. These include Working inside the circuit breaker box The circuit breaker panel beneath the cover of the breaker box contains a myriad selection of bare wires, powered breaker slots, and grounding bars. The only safe way to work inside a breaker box without the possibility of instant electric shock or death is to turn off the main breakers and work in the dark by flashlight. Attempting to thread bare wires into circuit breakers and grounding bars in a cramped and crowded circuit box by the light of a flashlight may lead to incorrect wiring. That could create a breaker box that has a live power wire connected to a grounding bar. Death, electric shock, or fire could result when the main breakers are activated and power is restored. Running electric wire through finished walls and ceilings Adding an additional line from the breaker box requires running long lengths of wire through walls and ceilings that are filled with obstructions such as ceiling joists and wall studs. Older homes in particular may have unusual configurations and compositions in walls and ceilings. You may find some walls or ceilings to be virtually impenetrable without causing serious damage. Some older homes may also not be as square as they appear, and as you drill through a ceiling to run a length of wire, you may find your wire protruding from the floor in a different section of the upper floor that you had anticipated. Wiring heavy duty appliances Appliances that consume a large amount of electricity, such as electric stoves and dryers, require the use of heavy gauge wire, which is very thick and difficult to bend and connect to the proper terminals. If it is not connected securely, electric shock, fire, or damage to the appliance may result. These appliances also require the installation of a double circuit breaker and connection of the heavy gauge wire inside the breaker box, which amplifies the dangers of working inside the breaker box that were previously mentioned. Working within building codes Any electrical work that is not done according to state and local building codes will not pass inspection. If you decide to sell your home, you will need to have all code violations repaired or replaced. A professional electrician, like those at Narducci Electric, will be familiar with all the building codes and perform the work safely and compliant with all...

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