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Water In Your Home: 4 Steps To Safely Clean Up The Mess

Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Water In Your Home: 4 Steps To Safely Clean Up The Mess

You just got home from vacation to find out that your home has been flooded. You’re going to want to get it cleaned up as soon as possible. However, since the water has been standing for a few days, and you don’t know what the source of flooding was, you should assume that the water is contaminated. Stepping into contaminated water without protection could leave you vulnerable to infections and diseases, such as hepatitis A. Here are some step-by-step instructions you should follow for a thorough clean-up. Put On Your Safety Gear Before you begin handling contaminated water, you’ll need to make sure you’re wearing the appropriate clothing and safety gear. Wearing safety gear will protect you while you’re in the water. Here’s the gear you’ll need to wear during clean-up. Slip-resistant boots – to prevent falling in the water Gloves – to protect your hands Long sleeved shirt – with the sleeves tucked into your gloves Long pants – with the legs tucked into your boots Safety goggles – to prevent contamination from entering your eyes Mask – to keep contaminated water out of your mouth Remove the Water Now that you’re protected against contamination, you’re ready to remove the water. If there is a significant amount of standing water, you’ll need to use sump pumps to remove the water. However, if you only have a few inches of standing water on the ground, you can use wet/dry vacuums to remove the water. You’ll want to move room-to-room, beginning at the back of your home. As each room is cleared of water, close the door and place a towel along the outer edge to prevent water from draining back under the door. Remove the Carpeting If your carpeting has been thoroughly saturated, or the water was contaminated with solid waste – such as from a sewage back-up – you’ll need to remove it. Once you’ve removed the excess water, lift the edges of the carpeting up to loosen it from the tack strip along the edges of the room. Roll the carpeting up and carefully carry it out of your home. It will need to be cleaned and sanitized before it can be returned to your home. The padding will need to be removed and discarded so that you can dry the floors. Dry Your Home Once you have the water pumped out of your home, and your carpeting has been removed, you’ll be ready to dry the concrete subfloors in your home. For this portion of the process, you’ll need to bring in humidifiers and industrial fans. The humidifiers will remove mold-causing moisture from the air, while the fans thoroughly dry your home. You should run the fans and humidifiers until your home is completely dry and there are no signs of moisture. If you’ve come home to find flood waters, you’ll need to act fast. The information provided here will help you clean your home safely and thoroughly. More about this topic can be found...

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The Perks Of A Frameless Shower Enclosure

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Perks Of A Frameless Shower Enclosure

Are you frustrated with having a small bathroom that makes it hard to enjoy showers? If you don’t have the budget for expanding the walls in your bathroom, you may want to opt for a shower enclosure that is frameless and can create the illusion of a bigger space. Discover in this article why investing in a frameless shower enclosure is a good idea. You Won’t Feel Cramped The biggest perk of having a frameless shower enclosure in a small bathroom is that it won’t make you feel cramped. A frameless shower door is designed to display glass from the floor up, which gives the illusion of continuous space into the outer area of the shower. However, if you have a bathtub and shower combination, the enclosure will be installed on the bath tub. Even with a bathtub included, it will feel like more space because you won’t have to use a shower curtain. It Will Last Longer Than Average Shower Doors In order for frameless shower enclosures to stand in an upright position, they are designed with thicker glass than average shower doors. However, keep in mind that the thickness of frameless shower enclosures will vary based on quality, although they are overall thicker than other shower doors. The enclosures are also great for preventing water leaks when you are showering, as they are not installed in metal tracks. Metal tracks are not ideal because water can sit in the in them and lead to mold growth. Your Bathroom Will Look Better You will also find that a shower enclosure can add to the beauty of your bathroom. For instance, if there are shelves and racks in the shower area, you can display decorative items on them. The items will be seen through the shower enclosure to spruce up your bathroom. You will also have the option of hanging art on the wall in the shower area for added appeal when looking through the enclosure. The Price is Affordable There are several things that will play a role in the overall price of a frameless shower enclosure, including thickness, type and quality. Whether or not you have a single shower or bathtub attached to it will also have an effect on the price. Expect to pay a minimum or $100 or more for an enclosure for a bathtub and shower combination. A walk-in shower enclosure will cost at least $150 and up. Speak to a contractor, such as those at Shower Doors & More, about installing a shower enclosure in your small...

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Inspired Ideas For Customizing Your Inground Pool

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Inspired Ideas For Customizing Your Inground Pool

Your swimming pool is bound to become the center of your backyard enjoyment. As such, it should have its own unique character. Additions to your pool can include a functional space, such as a cabana, or a decorative piece, such as a waterfall. Customize your inground swimming pool so it becomes the heart of your backyard landscape. Poolside Cabana A poolside cabana is essentially a pergola, but you can outfit it with plenty of amenities. The Landscaping Network recommends planning a cabana that complements your outdoor living. For example, screen off an area for changing. Likewise, consider fitting the sides of the cabana with fabric panels to control the sun. If you fancy an entertainment center, include a drinks station under your cabana. Spa A swimming pool is no longer about just an inground pool. In fact, homeowners prefer to infuse the space with a resort feel. One way to do this is with an attached spa. An attached hot tub provides both a space for relaxing and a place to rehabilitate sore muscles. Plan to place your spa in a corner where you can easily shield it with landscaping. The spa should be easily accessible from the house but hidden from neighbors’ view. If you have the hot tub elevated, the sides can serve as a site for a pleasant waterfall. Water Feature Speaking of waterfalls, water features are another inspired method for customizing your pool. The style of the waterfall depends on the overall pool design. For instance, if you have a freeform pool surrounded by lots of plants, consider a stone waterfall such as one found in nature. Conversely, a modern pool is better complemented by a fall of water from a stone slab. If your landscaping is Mediterranean or mission in style, consider having water flow from a series of terra cotta pots. Fire Feature On the complete other side of the spectrum, fire features bring out the elemental nature of the inground pool. Many designers are adding fire features as close to the pool as possible. The feature could be added to a naturalistic waterfall. Fire pits can also be incorporated into the hardscape, especially of a more modern pool. Fire features allow you to enjoy your swimming pool even at night. Underwater Lighting Another way to enjoy your pool at night is with customized underwater lighting. With the development of fiber optics and LED lighting, designers can transform your nighttime pool. For instance, it’s possible to dot the bottom of the pool with lights to mimic the look of the night sky. Alternatively, consider having contractors add ambient lighting for your evening swims. Whether you customize for nighttime enjoyment or for healthful relaxation, create a swimming pool design, with help from a company like Easton Pool & Spa, that adds value to your...

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How To Seal Your Granite Countertop

Posted by on Dec 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Seal Your Granite Countertop

Granite is a beautiful, hard material that looks gorgeous when used for flooring, back splashes and even countertops. The downside with granite is that, although hard, it is a porous material that needs to be sealed to prevent stains. See below for instructions on how to seal granite and how to tell when it need to be sealed. When To Seal Your Granite You can tell when your granite needs to be sealed by giving it a quick test with a few drops of water. Add a few drops of water on your countertop and watch to see how quickly it soaks into the granite. If it only takes a few minutes for the stone to become darker where the water was absorbed, it’s time to seal your granite. How To Seal Your Granite ​Clean your granite countetop with a granite cleaner, which can be found at most hardware stores if you don’t already have some on hand. Follow the manufacturer instructions, then wipe it dry with a microfiber cloth (so no lint is left behind).  Allow the granite to dry thoroughly, at least 24 hours. You want the granite to be back to it’s original color before sealing it. Before applying the granite sealer, be sure to ventilate the area by opening up windows or doors. Also be sure to use rubber gloves to protect your hands. Test a small area with the granite sealer before applying it to the entire countertop. The sealer should not leave your countertop with a hazy or discolored look. If it does, look for a different sealer to use. Spray the sealer in small sections of your countertop evenly. It should only be slightly damp, not soaking wet. Allow it to soak into your countertop. Check the manufacturer directions to see how long you should allow it to set on your countertop. Buff it into your countertop using a microfiber cloth, then move onto the next section. Continue repeating this process until your entire countertop is finished, being sure to apply the sealer evenly all the way across your countertops. Allow the sealer to cure, which can be anywhere from 24-48 hours depending on the product you used. During this time, you should keep all items off of your countertop and avoid any water or moisture from coming in contact your countertop. Applying sealer to your granite countertops should be done when needed to help prevent spills, oils and everyday use from staining your countertops. It will keep your counters looking like new and extends the life of your...

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3 Tips To Help You Improve The Installation Of Vinyl Siding On Your Home

Posted by on Nov 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips To Help You Improve The Installation Of Vinyl Siding On Your Home

If you are looking for an affordable and durable choice for the exterior of your home, vinyl siding can be a great choice. It is a low-maintenance option to use to finish your exterior. There are some things that you may want to consider to improve the use of vinyl siding, such as using plywood sheathing, adding an air barrier and using a rigid material with foam backing. If you want to have durable vinyl siding for your home, here are some of the things that can help improve the vinyl siding: 1. Installing Rigid Plywood Sheathing For Backing Of Siding If you want to have a durable exterior, you may want to consider using a plywood backing for the siding. In some areas this is required, but some contractors may still use a foam sheathing if it is not required by building codes. It is generally a good idea to use plywood because it is rigid and can provide your home with structural integrity. It will also mitigate flimsy siding that can easily be damaged. You can also do this if you are installing vinyl over existing siding. The plywood will provide a solid surface for the new vinyl materials to be installed on. 2. Adding An Air Barrier To Improve Energy Efficiency  An air barrier can also help to improve energy efficiency. These materials are often called house wraps and resemble plastic packaging. They are meant to reduce air leaks and help make your home more energy efficient. The house wrap can also help to protect the plywood beneath the siding from weather. Using a house wrap will help to make your home more energy efficient and reduce energy loss. 3. Using Materials With Foam-Backing For A More Durable Finish Vinyl siding is a plastic material that can easily be cracked and damaged when struck. To protect your home, there are now many foam-backed vinyl siding products. These materials are more durable than conventional vinyl, as well as very rigid. The foam backing also provides the additional benefit of added insulation and energy efficiency for your home. Using these materials can give your home a durable vinyl siding finish. These are some of the things that you can do to improve the installation of vinyl siding on your home. If you are ready to have a new exterior finish for your home, contact a vinyl siding company like MAK Construction Corporation and talk with them about some of these...

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Home Maintenance: Maintaining Your Home’s Electrical System

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Home Maintenance: Maintaining Your Home’s Electrical System

The electrical system is the lifeblood of any home. It is the hub of power that controls almost every aspect of a house, so it is crucial that it remains in good shape. From time to time, it is important to check on your electrical system in order to ensure that it is working properly and is efficiently powering your home. In many cases, the electrical system is not large enough for the current electrical demands of a home, so having it replaced is something to seriously consider. The following signs are things all homeowners should watch for to make sure their electrical system is safe: How To Know if the Electrical System is Not Safe One of the biggest risk factors for an unsafe electrical system is the age of the home. In general, the older the home, the more likely the fuse box or electrical system needs to be checked. Before purchasing an older home, or immediately after, you should have the electrical system analyzed to ensure it is safe and will function. Keep in mind that older homes are not always used to powering the same amount of electronics as is customary today. If you plan to power a large amount of electronic equipment or have a lot of electrical appliances, it is best to have the electrical system checked. How To Know if the Electrical System is Not Sufficient An electrical system that is too small is not able to provide the amount of voltage you need to properly power your home. This typically occurs when you add in additional high-powered appliances or equipment to your day-to-day use. A system can also become insufficient when you add a new room or extra square footage to your home, particularly if you have central air and heating. If you have noticed that breakers are tripping on a consistent basis, it is time to speak to your electrician. You may only need to have some circuit breakers changed, but it may be necessary for a complete replacement of your electrical system. Maintaining your home’s electrical system should be among your top priorities as a homeowner. It is important to keep your electrical system in good condition because it provides power to your home. More importantly, a well-maintained electrical system keeps you and your family safe. Systems that are not functional can become overloaded or defective, possibly causing major damage to your home and property. Do not attempt to handle any issues on your own, as that can also be dangerous. If you have questions about your electrical system, contact a local electrician like Narducci...

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Get That Illegal In-Law Unit Up To Code

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Get That Illegal In-Law Unit Up To Code

If you are looking at buying a home that has an “in-law” or “granny flat” unit, know that the unit might not be legal to rent out as is. In many cases, these extra living spaces were not built with the right building permits. Many are in fine shape, but the lack of permits means that cities can shut down the units and potentially fine the owners. The lack of documentation can also affect your safety as an occupant of the house. With the help of building code consultants, though, it may be possible for you to fix up the unit so that you have a safe space that you can rent out. Permits Mean Minimum Standards Without a building permit, you have no idea if the unit in question is actually a hazard — maybe the location blocks access to your yard for firefighters, for example. You also don’t know whether the wiring and plumbing were really done correctly, or if there is an issue with flooding if the unit is on the ground floor. All of these uncertainties can make purchasing and living in that house a risky proposition unless you have a plan for getting the unit up to code. Also, if the unit is illegal, you run the risk of losing any rent you get from tenants. If the city says the tenants have to move out, for example, the tenants could claim that they didn’t know it was an illegal unit, and you might have to pay back rent, depending on what a court says. Code Consultants Can Do Evaluations As part of the home-buying process, you’ll have to have the home inspected. Rather than getting a general home inspector in there, get building code consultants who can show you what you’d need to do to bring the unit into compliance with local standards. Find out: How long getting the place up to code will take What specifically needs to be done What changes to city and state laws are coming that might help you or hinder you If the changes aren’t too drastic and your bank still approves your mortgage, get to work on the unit as quickly as you can. Be aware that your purchase and the inspections might draw the attention of the city’s code compliance department, meaning that you’ll have a deadline by which to get the work done or risk punishment. If you’d like more information on making these units legal and safe, talk to building code consultants today. These units are very common, so you should be able to find consultants who are familiar with these types of dwellings and who can help you get a good construction schedule into...

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Kilo-What?! How To Read Your Electric Meter

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Kilo-What?! How To Read Your Electric Meter

Are you frustrated with high electric bills? Perhaps you just want to be able to read your electric meter outside your home or place of business to help conserve energy in your home. Whether you are a homeowner or a business owner, there is nothing wrong with wanting to know what all those dials, numbers, and pointers on your electric meter mean. Simplifying Your Electric Meter First, it helps to understand exactly what it is that the electric meter does. As the name suggests, it measures the amount of electricity your home or place of business is utilizing. The question is, how does it do that? Well, it measures the electricity being used inside of the building in kilowatt hours (kWh) and then tells the power company how much you use every month. Now, you might be asking yourself – what is a kilowatt hour? In order to better understand, use this example: If your home or place of business utilized 500 watts for one hour, this is a kilowatt hour used to determine how much your bill is going to run. At the end of the month, all the kilowatt hours (kWh) used gets divided by the price per kilowatt hour and this is the total of your monthly electric bill. If your goal is to conserve energy and lower your monthly bills you will want to work on lowering the kWh number. Reading The Actual Meter The first rule of the thumb is to stand directly in front of your homes electric meter, at eye level. You need to be able to see the direction of each pointer clearly. You will see five circular dials on your meter and each will have pointers, pointing to one of the ten numbers. The pointers work like hands on a clock. The pointers will move as you use electricity in your home. This is how you read how many kilowatt hours you are actually using within your home. How To Read The Electric Meter Dials: You will want to read the dials in order from, left to right. If any of the pointers appear to be in between two numbers, you should always use the smaller number in order to get an accurate reading. Once you have your meter reading for the month you will want to subtract this month’s reading from your previous months reading. This will determine how much electricity you have used for the month. By understanding how to read the meter, you can even get a rough estimate of what your power bill is going to be before it even comes in the mail. For more information, talk to a professional like Art’s...

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What Do Home Renters Want from Their Outdoor Space?

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Do Home Renters Want from Their Outdoor Space?

It’s the responsibility of your rental property management company to ensure that your home renters are happy with their outdoor space, but do they know what your renters want? These tips will help you and your rental property management company provide functional and attractive outdoor spaces for your renters. Easy Maintenance Landscaping Features Home renters like attractive outdoor spaces, but might be less inclined than homeowners to spend their own time and energy making improvements and maintaining what’s there. Installing low maintenance plants will ensure that your home renters get what they want without forcing them to take on a lot of daily maintenance. This also ensures that your rental properties will look good without a lot of effort from the rental property management company. Drought-resistant shrubs. Drought resistant shrubs like Japanese boxwood and Western Serviceberry bring greenery and life to outdoor spaces without requiring a lot of extra effort from the renter. As an added benefit, these specimens are both slow growing, so they’ll require less grooming and pruning than many other specimens. Native flowers. Native flowers need little or no extra watering because they’re designed to thrive in the area where the home is located. Landscaping with native flowers ensures that your rental property will have outdoor color, regardless of how much time your tenants spend in the garden. Self-seeding flowers or perennials. Self-seeding flowers and perennials will come back year after year without requiring someone to plant new flowers in the spring, which takes the burden off your renters.   Grass Grass is important for tenants who have children and for people who like to spend time entertaining outdoors. When laying sod or planting grass, your property management company must pick the right type of grass for the land. Depending on the other landscaping features, your property may need a mixture of grasses, including shade-tolerant grass types. Shade-tolerant grass types are few and far in between, but if your property has large, dense trees, it’s important to plant grass that will grow beneath those trees. Planting the wrong type of grass for the property could result in a lot of extra maintenance from the renter and terrible looking grass as well. Parking Parking is critical for many renters. If your property is on a street with little or no street parking, it’s the job of your property management company to ensure that there is room on the property itself for parking two cars. That may involve widening the driveway or adding a carport. Room to Entertain Functional outdoor spaces like porches, patios and decks will help ensure that your tenants feel at home. This outdoor space needs to be present and in useable shape. It’s the responsibility of your rental property management company, such as Advanced Property Management, to ensure that wooden decks and patio roofs are in adequate shape for use, free of dry rot and peeling paint. Following these tips will help make your rental properties desirable places for top-quality...

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3 Tips For Unclogging A Kitchen Sink Drain

Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Unclogging A Kitchen Sink Drain

Kitchen sinks get clogged from many different things, from having a garbage disposal that is not grinding up food debris properly to getting an obstruction in the trap. It could also be from grease and oil coating the pipes and keeping food from traveling down the plumbing system. Follow these tips for unclogging your kitchen sink drain. Try Using a Plunger First Before you assume you have a major plumbing issue when your kitchen sink is clogged, grab your handy plunger and give it a few pumps in the sink. If there is simply an obstruction in the drain that is blocking water flow, the plunger might be able to force the water and obstruction down and leave you with a clear drain. Plunge both sides of the sink several times and run the water again to see if it helps the water go down. Use hot water to test it, as that also helps to break up debris that might still be in the drain. Empty the Trap The trap is a pipe that is located underneath your kitchen sink, which is what liquids and food debris go down after they go through the garbage disposal and before entering the drain. Many clogs in the drain are actually due to an obstruction in the trap. In some cases, it gets lodged to where no amount of plunging or drain cleaner will make it budge. If this happens, you will need to open up the trap to empty it out and remove the obstruction. Before you open the trap, place an empty bucket underneath the sink, as quite a bit of water will spill out. Next, try to use your hand to unscrew the nuts that are holding the trap in place. If this doesn’t work, pliers should do the trick. Just be careful when working with the trap so you don’t crack any of the pipes. With the nuts loosened, pull the trap straight down and let it empty into the bucket. Look through the trap and the pipes and remove any food or debris that is stuck in it. Replace it and see if your drain runs clear. Clean the Drains The last thing you can try is making your own drain cleaner using baking soda, vinegar and boiling water. You don’t want to use commercial drain cleaners since they sometimes contain chemicals that are bad for certain types of pipes. Instead of doing that, pour a few tablespoons of baking soda into the drain, followed by your vinegar. Let the vinegar and baking soda bubble up, and leave it in the drain for several minutes. When the bubbles settle, rinse the drain by using a pot of boiling water. This should clean oil, grease, debris, and hair from the drain. If none of these methods have worked, it is time to call a professional plumber like Plumb Care...

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