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Repainting Your House? Why Soda Blasting May Be The Way To Go

Posted by on Jul 17, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’re getting ready to repaint your house and you want to be sure that you won’t damage the siding while you strip the paint, you might want to consider soda blasting instead of using a traditional sandblasting media. Soda blasting is particularly beneficial for things like brick siding, because it won’t erode the brick itself. Here are some of the things you should know about soda blasting before you decide. What Exactly Is Soda Blasting? Soda blasting is the process of using sodium bicarbonate, known in most homes as baking soda, to strip things from the surface of material. It is gentle on surfaces because it is delivered as a fine powder and is minimally abrasive. The granules used for soda blasting are specially designed to withstand the pressure of a blasting nozzle, allowing you to clean the surfaces without damaging them. Why Choose Soda Blasting? Not only is soda blasting gentle, it’s also an environmentally-friendly option. It doesn’t build up in soil or contaminate waterways in runoff. If you’re concerned about how you affect the environment, that makes it a great choice. Soda blasting is a time-saver, too. You won’t have to tape the windows and other glass before treating the surface, because soda blasting is gentle enough that it won’t damage those delicate surfaces. It is important to remember, though, that you should always wear a mask when you’re soda blasting. The powder that it breaks down into can irritate your lungs a little bit otherwise. What Are The Best Materials For Soda Blasting? There are some materials that benefit from soda blasting more than others. When you are dealing with surfaces that could be damaged by regular blasting media, like brick, ceramic or soft wood, soda blasting may be the best choice for the project. It’s also ideal for things like copper and aluminum because the baking soda won’t leave pits and flaws in the metal surface. If your goal is to minimize the filler and repair work you have to do after blasting, this may be the way to go. Sandblasting and soda blasting are both great ways to clean a surface in preparation for painting or other finishes. If you’re thinking about repainting your home, soda blasting may be the solution you need to clear the old paint away without creating more work for you in the process. Talk with a local blasting contractor about the soda blasting media available to...

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Tips For Improving Water Pressure From Your Well

Posted by on Jul 17, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When you rely on a well as your home’s water supply, ensuring that you have enough water and sufficient pressure is important. If you’re having trouble maintaining water pressure the way that you like it, you don’t have to resign yourself to it. Here are a few tips that may help you to restore and maintain the pressure level in the water exiting your well. Assess The Peak Demand Sometimes, water pressure problems are the result of a water pump that isn’t able to hold up to the water flow that your system demands. You can find this out by evaluating your home’s peak water demand as it compares to the rating of the pump that’s in your well. Write down all of the water fixtures that you often run at the same time. Calculate the gallons per minute of each of those fixtures. You can do this by running water from the fixture into a five-gallon bucket and counting how many minutes it takes to fill it up. Add up the gallons per minute of all of those fixtures to determine the peak demand in your home. If your well pump is rated for fewer gallons per minute than that, consider upgrading so that you get sufficient water flow. Check The Pipe Diameters Most of the plumbing pipes that run in the walls of your home are small in diameter. If your well water is running through lots of these pipes, you’ll need larger diameter pipes to maintain the pressure level in the water. Any time you add fixtures or extra pipe for the water to flow through, you lose pressure along the way even if your pump can keep up. You’ll need to talk with a plumber about this step, because the pipes will need to be professionally replaced if necessary. Adjust The Pressure Regulator Well pumps have a pressure control screw that helps you regulate the pressure of the water out of the pump. You can adjust this screw easily to increase the pressure from the pump. Just shut down the power to the pump and open the small grey box mounted near the pump. Turn the larger of the two nuts in the box clockwise to increase the water pressure. Only turn it a small amount at a time, though. Test the pressure after each adjustment so that you don’t overdo it. Stop at the lowest pressure that’s sufficient for your needs, because too much pressure can actually wear down the pump prematurely. With these tips, you don’t have to sacrifice water pressure for well water. Talk with a well pump technician or Valley Pump Co for more information....

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Places In Your Home That Probably Need More Insulation

Posted by on Jul 17, 2016 in Uncategorized |

It’s no secret that adding insulation to your home can lead to increased energy savings and comfort. Insulation isn’t just to keep you warm in winter, either. It can also help keep your home cooler in summer by preventing the loss of cool interior air or the entrance of hot exterior air. If you are wondering where you may need to add insulation, this guide can help. The Attic Attics are often under-insulated. Since heat rises, you want to make sure that you aren’t losing warmth through the attic during cold winter weather. Crawlspace-style attics are good candidates for blown-in insulation. For this, a large hose is placed into the attic and insulation is blown in. Walk-up attics are better suited for traditional batting if the ceiling isn’t finished. The insulation is simply unrolled between rafters and nailed in place. If the ceiling is finished, then small holes are drilled in the wall board and insulation is blown in. Then, the holes are patched and painted. Floor Floors are another area that may be overlooked, especially if your home has a crawlspace or basement beneath it. Homes on slab foundations are usually fine, although you can have insulated pads or even flooring installed over the slab if you are worried about cold feet. For homes with basements, usually batting is attached underneath the floorboards – to the basement ceiling – between joists. This is also how crawlspaces are usually insulated. Regular fiberglass batting or foam batting can be used. Walls Exterior walls can also be under-insulated, especially if you live in an older home. If the insulation doesn’t fill the space in the walls, then blown-in insulation is the least invasive option since it only requires a small hole which can be patched. There are ways to use batting insulation if you don’t mind removing wall boards completely and then replacing them with new ones. This usually isn’t recommended due to cost and time. Pipe and Vent Entrances Some of the more overlooked yet highly underinsulated areas are anywhere that pipes, cables, or vents enter or exit the home. The issue is that a small uninsulated gap is usually left around these devices. You can quickly fix the issue with a can of spray insulation. Simply place the nozzle into the gap and fill it with foam. The foam will expand as it dries. Once dried, you can simply trim off any excess with a knife. Talk to an insulation professional in your area for more...

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Proactive Ideas To Help Business Owners Compete With Online Shopping & Win!

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016 in Uncategorized |

As a business owner you already know that the popularity of online shopping has created some difficulties for retail stores that still focus on providing an in-person shopping experience for the consumers of their product or service. While this fact is certainly worth noting, business owners, like you, who are concerned about what this trend will do to their bottom line should use it to motivate them into making some proactive changes instead of allowing their business to be swallowed up by the big online retail conglomerates.  Make it easy, make it convenient, make it fun Shoppers like to see, touch and evaluate the product or service they are buying before agreeing to the purchase and this is something not possible with online sales. Even worse, just trying to return a disappointing online purchase can be a long, complicated and sometimes costly process. In addition, even though many online purchases can now be delivered within 24 hours, many customers still like to get the product they are buying immediately upon purchase. Retail brick and mortar store owners who understand the downside of online shopping can increase their customer base by tapping into these trends with ideas designed to make shopping in a physical store much more enjoyable than online, such as developing and offering a good return policy that is easy for customers to use offering points or rewards for frequent purchases building a mailing list and notifying loyal customers of special savings, sales or discounts holding contests for prizes or store credit encouraging current patrons to refer your store to their friends, relatives and co-workers by offer special discounts or a small gift renovating the store’s interior to increase customer comfort and enjoyment, such as more comfortable dressing rooms and bathrooms or a comfortable lounge or play area to help entertain bored spouses or kids while a family member shops offering samples of the products you are selling, if possible, such as samples of foods or skin care products offering demonstrations of how to use the products or materials you sell, such as teaching customers how to do a craft or complete a home improvement or gardening project ensuring the store is well lit and all aisles and displays offer shoppers plenty of room to maneuver carts and strollers Make them look, make them wonder, make them want to come inside Attention, by both foot and vehicle traffic, is something every business owner with a physical storefront must seek to attract around the clock, even during hours when the store is closed. Store fronts and signage should be attractively designed, with coloring, fonts and wording that can be easily read and remembered. The messages, on both store front windows and all signage, should offer potential customers an intriguing idea of the benefits that await them in your store and make them curious to learn more. For help in developing the best signage and store front lettering for your business, contact a reputable sign company in your area. They will be able to help you design a message that will attract more customers and help your business continue to...

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2 Ways To Help Secure Your Garage

Posted by on Jun 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Having an attached garage makes your life a lot easier. You can pull your car right into the garage and then unload it into your house. However, your attached garage can also be a weak spot in your home’s security. If you are worried about how to make sure that your house is still as secure as possible, there are some simple things that you can do to help assure that security.  Cover Your Windows If your garage door has windows, it is easy for a bad guy to look in and see what you have in there, or if you are home. There is one easy way to get rid of that risk: covering your windows. If you don’t want to completely block them up, which would get rid of any light you might get in your garage, there are other options.  For example, you can go to a home supply store and get a film that you can put over your windows. That film will make it look like your windows are frosted. That way you still get the light, but you have blocked the view. Since the film goes on the inside of the window, you won’t have to worry about anyone peeling it off. A side benefit of this film is that it will help to hold your windows together and make them harder to break.  Add Security Lights Adding some lights is an easy way to scare off any bad guys. There are a few ways you can do that. One is that you can add motion detector lights on the outside of your garage. Anytime they sense movement, the lights will turn on. Another way you can add lights is to have a sensor that turns on a light in your garage every time the door opens. That will help you when it’s dark and you are coming home. Some automatic garage door openers also have lights as part of their system. They will automatically turn on when the garage door is activated. The light will be on a timer, which you can set, and will be on long enough for you to turn on an overhead light or to get in the house.  Making sure that your family is safe is something that you spend a lot of time doing. Making sure that your garage isn’t a weak spot in your home’s security is one way to do that.  For garage doors, contact a company such as Plano Overhead Garage...

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Don’t Let The Water In: 3 Simple Steps To Waterproof Your Basement

Posted by on May 24, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have a basement, you need to protect it against moisture damage. To do that, you need to eliminate both types of moisture threats, which are interior humidity and exterior water – such as rain and snow. The humidity inside can cause moisture to build up on the concrete, which can lead to mold growth and concrete damage. The water outside can seep under the foundation and into your basement through the exterior doors and windows. Here are some steps you can take to waterproof your basement and protect it against interior and exterior moisture hazards. Insulate the Dryer Vents One of the simplest ways to waterproof the interior of your basement is to insulate the dryer vent. As the dryer heats up, warm air can escape through the seams in your dryer vents. By sealing the dryer vents using aluminum tape, you’ll stop warm, humid air from escaping into your basement. Add a De-Humidifier If you have a bathroom in your basement, it’s important that you control the moisture that builds up when you use the shower. Adding a de-humidifier will allow you to remove excess moisture from the air. It’s also a good idea to install an exhaust fan in the basement bathroom and instruct everyone to turn it on whenever they use the bathroom. The exhaust fan will also remove excess moisture from the basement bathroom. Repair Your Rain Gutters To thoroughly waterproof your basement, you need to look outside too. Your rain gutters are the first line of defense when it comes to keeping rain water out of your basement. Before the rains arrive, be sure that your rain gutters are cleaned out and in good condition. Use a whisk broom to sweep away any leaves that might be clogging the gutters. Once you’ve done that, use your garden hose to wash away any dirt and debris that might be stuck to the bottom of the gutters. While you’re washing the gutters, pay attention to where the water drains from your downspouts. If the water is emptying out near the foundation of your home, you should adjust them so that they drain as far away from your home as possible. If your downspouts drain too close to your home, the water could seep into your basement. Water and moisture in your basement can lead to significant damage, such as mold growth. If you haven’t waterproofed your basement, you should do that as soon as possible. Use the suggestions provided above to protect your basement against water and moisture damage. For more information, contact B-Sure Systems Inc. or a similar...

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Examining Which Fungal Growths Prefer Your Home’s Materials

Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

A study published in the US National Library of Medicine in 2011 shows that some fungi and molds found in water damaged structures do seem to have an attraction to certain types of building materials. Learn more about which kinds of mold and fungi prefer water damaged materials in your home. The Famous Green Mold On Walls When damaging water has come into your home, like in a flood or something as small as a roof leak, you may see a green mold growing on the walls in the area water has come into contact with. The green mold you see is called Penicillium chrysogenum and is the same mold discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928. While this mold was a great discovery towards the manufacturing of useful antibiotics, it is never good to have growing in your home. Penicillin mold spores are airborne and can have a serious impact on people with depressed immune systems and respiratory problems. Penicillium chrysogenum is the most common type of mold growth found in homes that have suffered water damage. For this reason, making sure you have water restoration and cleanup professionals visit when you find mold growth and water damaged materials in your home is extremely important to your health and your family’s health. The Mold That Prefers Cellulose Cellulose is an organic compound that is present in many building materials like wood and wallpaper. Chaetomium globosum is a common mold found in damp places, like water-damaged areas in your home, that feeds on the cellulose in building materials and has been found to be a human allergen. Cleaning up this and other types of toxic mold is a careful process that should be carried out by a professional, especially if you or someone in your family suffers with issues like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Dangers Of Wet House Dust Mucor racemosus is a mold commonly found in house dust found on the floors in most homes. When you home is flooded or otherwise damaged by water, Mucor racemosus becomes wet, but still has potent properties for toxic health effects in those people suffering with respiratory problems. Water damaged areas in your home could contain more than one mold, so ensuring you retain the services of expert water cleanup professionals is important to avoid getting exposed and sick. When you home suffers water damage, it can be disheartening and overwhelming. Your first instinct is get it cleaned up and back to normal as fast as possible. However, taking the time to hire professionals like those found at Complete Restoration Services for this type of cleanup is the best way because you can avoid causing more problems, like those with your...

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4 Ways To Protect Your Construction Site

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Theft and vandalism of a construction site is a common occurrence. Stolen and damaged equipment can slow down a project and lead to further complications. It is because of this you need to take steps to secure your site. Here are some tips for securing your site.  Limit Access to the Site One of the most important steps you can take to secure the construction site is to limit the access points around it. Temporary fencing can be placed around the entire site and only one access point allowed. By sticking with just one access point, you can monitor activity in and out of the site easier.  Choose the Right Fencing It is not enough to just erect temporary fencing. You need to pick the right type. There are several types of fencing available, including wire mesh and chain link.  Chain link fencing offers some sense of permanency because the posts have to be secured in the ground with cement holders. It can take some time to set up the fence and this can take a day away from working on your project.  A wire mesh fence is a popular option because it is easier to set up than chain link fencing and is relatively cost-effective. It is also very secure because the meshing is tight and strong.  Work with a fencing contractor to determine the best type of fencing for your construction site.  Install Motion-Sensor Lights Even if your construction site has lighting, it might not be enough to deter potential thieves and vandals. However, the addition of motion-sensor lights could be. The lights should be installed throughout your construction site, but especially in areas that are out of view from the most trafficked areas of the site.  Require Sign-Ins for Equipment At the end of each day, ensure that all workers are returning equipment back to storage by having them sign off when storing it. Appoint someone to verify the equipment is in place and that the storage is properly locked.  As an added measure, you can have kill switches installed on your equipment. The switches can be triggered to disabled when an unauthorized person attempts to use it. Even if the equipment is stolen, the thieves cannot use it.  There are many other ways you can secure your construction site and equipment. Assess the site and determine what other measures you and your workers can put into place to safeguard your business. Check out a company like Statewide Rent-A-Fence to learn more about your...

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Defending Your Deck — 5 Privacy Solutions To Fit Any Budget

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Adding a new deck to your home is a great way to bring more enjoyment to the outdoors, increase the entire home’s functionality and make it easier to entertain friends and family. But if you have nearby neighbors and lack privacy, that deck can be less appealing and even seldom used. So, how can you add some privacy to your lounging and entertaining space outside? Here are 5 easy things you can do on any budget.  Add a Wall A privacy fence is an easy and cheap way to make your deck more protected from views and noise, but you will want to dress it up to prevent it from sticking out like a sore thumb. Opt for a more ornamental fence design or create your own by capping a basic fence with lattice or decorative bars. Adding container plants or small trees along the inside of the fence will help it blend into the deck.  Use the Home The easiest way to design yourself some privacy is to make use of existing buildings or hardscaping. Your house is an obvious view-blocker if you can find the right spot. Walk around the house and consider all the angles (from both inside and outside) to see if there is a perfect spot just waiting for a nice deck. If the best location is not the most convenient from the home’s exterior doors, consider adding a short walkway to the deck or even converting an exterior window into a door that works better.  Try Some Greenery A few well-placed natural barriers can help immensely while still making the deck feel warm and inviting. A tree is a great way to add a cover over the area as well as block views from the side. Evergreens are another excellent, year-round alternative that blocks out both views and noise. Use a mixture of trees and shrubs placed logistically to create a haven for entertaining.  Use Lattice or Fabric  If you’re looking for a less permanent or less expensive option, try some lattice or a trellis. A trellis can be planted with climbing vines to add to the coziness of your deck while partially blocking the view and allowing sunlight in. Canvas fabric can also be used as a temporary solution. Create a sail-shaped canopy using sturdy canvas attached to poles or a frame above the deck or hang durable fabric like curtains to block your neighbors’ views.  Add a Roof A simple roof can transform any deck. In addition to blocking the views of second-story or uphill neighbors, it also creates a nice shade in warmer climates, protects the deck in the winter and makes the whole space feel cozier. While adding a roof may be the most expensive option, if you are thinking long-term, a quality pergola or extension of the home’s roofing material is the best way to complement a long-lasting composite deck that will provide years of use.  For more information, contact a deck contractor in your...

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Three Kitchen Safety Tips That You Should Know

Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The kitchen is the most used room in many homes, but it can also be the most dangerous. Heat, sharp objects, and dangerous appliances are contained in this one space. The following tips can help you keep your kitchen the safe haven for food and family that it is meant to be. Tip #1: Stow Blades Safely Avoid the temptation to simply shut sharp knifes and cutting implements into a drawer. Instead, store them in a knife block or on a magnetic wall strip. Make sure the strip or the block is out of the reach of small children. When washing knives, soak them in a cup in the sink as opposed to throwing them into the dishwater to become lost beneath the suds. They should also be placed into a dishwasher point down to avoid pricks. Tip #2: Use Countertop Appliance Safely Appliance cords can be dangerous, especially for children. Keep the cords of small countertop appliances tucked away so a child doesn’t pull on them and bring a toaster or microwave onto their head. Use appliances as directed. For example, sticking a knife into a toaster to dislodge a stuck piece of bread is both an electrocution and a fire hazard. If you have the storage space, put away small appliances when they aren’t in use. If you must leave them on the counter, unplug them when you aren’t using them to minimize the chances of an electrical fire or accident. Tip #3: Install Fire Safety Systems Kitchen fires are often the main safety concern. Fortunately, there are several ways to avoid them. At the very least, make sure your kitchen is equipped with a fire extinguisher rated for kitchen use and that everyone in the home knows how to use it. You should also have a fire alarm nearby. An alarm that is heat sensitive is more useful, since you don’t want cooking smoke or steam to set it off. Finally, consider installing a fire suppression system. Overhead sprinklers are one option. There are designs that are almost invisible when they aren’t deployed. You can also have a range hood system installed. This system sits beneath the hood so it only targets the stove and oven in the event of a fire. Talk to a company like Fire Extinguisher Service Center to learn more. While practicing general safety tips can make your kitchen a much safer place, having the right safety equipment is also a must. Contact a contractor to see what types of home safety systems would be a good fit in your...

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Information On Septic Cleaning For New Homeowners

Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 in Uncategorized |

No matter how careful you are with managing what goes into your septic tank, regular tank pumpings and cleanings are still a must. This is because sludge and scum will still build up inside of the tank, which can lead to messy overflows or major tank problems down the line. If you are a new homeowner that is dealing with a private septic system for the first time, the following guide can help you understand your septic maintenance routine. How often should you have your tank pumped and cleaned? There is no single correct answer to this question. The previous homeowner can provide you with their timetable, but understand it may be different than yours. This is because the frequency of cleaning depends on the size of the tank, how many people are in your household, and the types of waste you put down the drains. A heavily used system may need cleaning annually, while one with less stress may go for three years between cleanings. Use information from the previous homeowner as a guide, but you may want to schedule an inspection after the first year, so you can get a more realistic picture of your tank’s use. Can you clean the tank yourself? This is not a good idea. Septic pumping and cleaning is a dangerous job. Not only is the septic system filled with highly hazardous waste, the process of cleaning it is also dangerous. Sewer gases can be a real concern. Cleaning uses both special brushes and tools to break up the solids, along with a pump truck to remove them. Under no circumstances should you or any other untrained individual enter the tank through the manhole cover. What does a clean tank look like? If you are new to septic tanks, you may be surprised to see that a clean tank still looks dirty. This is because a film of scum is left on the walls of the tank. This is actually a bacterial film that feeds on the contents of your septic system, helping to break down the waste so the system works properly. A proper cleaning leaves this film in place so your system will remain balanced. Is there anything you can do to help or save money? Knowing your septic system’s access points is very helpful. They are often buried, so a pumping company may charge extra if they have to locate the access point or uncover it. The easiest way to avoid this charge is to get the access information from the previous homeowner and to uncover it before your septic service arrives. Failing this, make note of the location after your service finds it the first time so you can then handle this job in the future. It is better to pay for this part of the service only once as opposed to every time you need a cleaning. Contact a local septic cleaning company if you have further questions about your system. To learn more, contact a business like Hemley’s Septic Tank...

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