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4 Ways To Prepare Your AC For Summer

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Uncategorized |

As summer approaches, visions of barbeques and swimming come to mind. Along with that comes the escape from the heat into your home which, hopefully, will be cooled down by an air conditioner. Here are four tips on how to prepare your AC for summer.  Replace the Filter Unless you have a washable filter which you can simply clean, you will need to replace the filter for you air conditioner about once a month during the months you are using the air conditioner. This will help the air conditioner run more efficiently as well as keep high air quality in your home.  Clean AC Condenser Coils  Running the AC with dirty condenser coils can drive up the cost of running the AC by quite a bit. To save some money this summer and here on out, clean the condenser coils at the beginning of summer each year. The process is simpler than it sounds; all you need to do is purchase specially made coil cleaner, apply it to the coils, wait for it to foam off, and then rinse it off with a hose.  Check Coolant Lines As with the condenser coils, the coolant lines need to be checked at the start of each summer when you will be using the AC. Make sure that the insulation around the coolant lines is in good shape. The coolant line needs to be properly insulated in order to prevent condensation on the lines. Look for tears, rips or worn out spots in the insulation. If the insulation is not in good shape you can replace it, but make sure that you get the exact type of insulation called for.  Test AC and Call in a Professional  You should turn your AC on before it starts to get very hot to ensure that it is working. If you find that it isn’t working, or if you don’t want to check your AC yourself, it is a good practice to bring a professional in to check your AC at the start of each summer. They will be able to make sure that the AC is in good working order and maintained correctly. An AC professional will be familiar with changing/replacing filters, condenser coils, and coolant lines, and unless you are familiar with HVAC systems, will save you a headache knowing that you will not run into any problems with your AC while it is hot during the summer. Contact a service like Aggressive Mechanical Contractors to learn...

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3 Tips For DIY Backyard Landscaping

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Uncategorized |

A beautiful backyard is something that most homeowners want, but hiring a landscaping company can be expensive and more than a person can afford to spend. If you are willing to put in some time, effort, and spend a little bit of cash, you can have a great yard for you and your family to enjoy. If you’re considering landscaping your yard yourself, use the following tips to ensure that you stay within your budget: Grow Your Own Lawn Having a lawn in the backyard is great for kids and pets to enjoy, and it is also visually appealing. Sod is very popular, but you’ll pay a premium especially if you need the ground prepared. If you have a little bit of time and patience, you can grow a beautiful lawn from seed that will rival the look of a sod lawn. The first step is to purchase the right type of seed for your climate. Visit a local gardening nursery and ask a staff member for advice on what kind of grass grows best in your area. After selecting the right grass seed, you’ll need to get the ground ready. Remove all weeds, dead patches of grass, and rocks with a garden hoe, and then apply a thin layer of nutrient rich soil. Use a hand-held or push seeder to distribute the seeds. If you notice a lot of birds in your yard, place a layer of straw over the seeds to protect them from the birds. Give the area plenty of water every day, and it won’t be long until you have a gorgeous lawn for the fraction of the cost of laying sod. Utilize Ready Mix Concrete Ready mix concrete is a very affordable material when landscaping a backyard. Use the concrete to lay a great patio where you can place an outdoor dining table, or purchase concrete molds from companies like Van Doren Red-E-Mix that allow you to create a beautiful path to the gate in your side yard or a garden. Ready mix concrete is very versatile; just make sure that you are ready to use it right away so it doesn’t harden too fast. Consider a Water Feature One of the easiest ways to add impact to a DIY landscaping project is by including a water feature. Fountains and ponds are eye-catchers, and you can make them the focal point of your yard. Beautiful fountains can be purchased at may home improvement stores. A DIY pond requires some digging, a pond liner insert, and some foliage. When you finish your DIY landscaping, you will most likely have a wonderful yard that you will enjoy on a regular...

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Troubleshooting Five Common Malfunctions Of An Automatic Gate

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you want to properly maintain your automatic gate, you need to stay on top of malfunctions by carefully troubleshooting. The longer your automatic gate is out of service, the more hassle it’s going to cause you at your facility.  The following is some basic troubleshooting information on five of the most common malfunctions seen in the workings of automatic gates: The gate is not reacting at all when controls are pressed. When this happens, the first thing that should be done is an inspection of both the switch and the breaker to which the switch is connected. If the breaker does not need to be flipped and the switch seems to be functioning properly, you should check the outlet itself. Plug another electronic device into the outlet to see if the outlet itself is functioning. If you still have not determined the problem, you should consider the possibility that the ground fault interrupter is tripping.  The gate only functions when there is a person standing nearby. If the position of people around the gate affects the functioning of the gate’s automatic opening and closing mechanism, there could be an issue with the unit’s antenna. Try elevating the antenna to remedy the situation. If this doesn’t solve the problem, it’s possible that a radio transmission source nearby is interfering with the automatic gate’s signal. This might make it necessary for you to purchase a special receiver that won’t be subject to interruption.  The gate opens but doesn’t close. One of the most common reasons why a gate would successfully open but have problems closing is a physical object blocking the gate. Check the gate’s track to see if there are any mechanical blockages. Also, you should inspect for physical damage to the track.  If your automatic gate swings to open, there could be damage to the gate arm if the gate is opening properly but not able to close afterwards.  A beeping sound continuously comes from the gate. Like home fire alarms, automatic gates are frequently programmed to beep periodically as the battery loses juice. If you notice that a persistent beeping is coming from the gate assembly, try changing the battery and see what happens.  The gate doesn’t stop where you want it to stop. If a slide gate continues to move past the point where it is closed, there could be a problem with its limit switch nut missing the limit switch. On a slide gate, a lever should keep the nut held in the proper place. You’ll need to make sure that it’s lining up properly with the limit switch and adjust it as necessary to get the gate to stop where it’s supposed to.  For more information about maintaining your gate, visit websites...

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How To Prepare Your Boiler For Winter

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Winter can be hard on your home and its components and you need to prepare for it. Your home’s boiler system is especially important to prepare for winter. There are several steps you should take to prepare properly. Properly Maintain Your Boiler It’s important to maintain your boiler all year long, especially in winter. Here are a few of the most important things to remember for proper maintenance of your boiler system. Clean: It’s a good idea to clean before the bad weather hits and the same goes for your boiler system. Check for soot and clean it up to keep the boiler running smoothly. Filter: Depending on the type of filer your boiler has you will either need to replace it or clean it. It’s good to do this before winter hits to keep your boiler system running efficiently. Check hardware: Make sure that you check all the fittings and hardware to make sure they are not rusted or worn out. Have Your Boiler Inspected It’s best to have your home’s boiler system inspected once a year to make sure it’s functioning properly and that no additional maintenance is required. Generally an inspection involves examining the gas lines, tightening gaskets, and cleaning the vents. Run Your Boiler to Find Hidden Problems Sometimes it may seem as though your boiler looks and runs just fine, but when you run it the problems can come to the surface and it’s time to get professional help. Also, while you’re running the boiler, look at the flame to make sure it is the normal blue color. If the flame has the appearance of a yellow color or is smoky then something is wrong. It is normal to hear some noise when you run your boiler, but if you hear any loud, unusual sounds coming from your boiler then it might be time to get help. The same goes for smells. You shouldn’t smell anything coming from your boiler while it runs. If you smell anything burning, then turn the boiler off and get help. Other Things to Remember Make sure not to leave the vents closed. If you do keep them closed, the heat will not be dispersed evenly and will not heat your house efficiently. The most important thing of all is to make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector if you run the type of boiler that has the threat of carbon monoxide leaks. Maintenance, cleaning, and inspecting your home’s boiler is not difficult or that time consuming. It’s best to make sure everything is in good working order to ensure you can keep your house nice and toasty in winter. It’s also best to do this in order to keep your boiler running efficiently and safely. For more information, contact a company like A Absolute Plumbing &...

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Scaffolding Can Be Made Out Of Several Materials

Posted by on Jan 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Scaffolding is used on construction sites to allow workers to access higher levels of buildings in a safe way. The scaffolds give them a firm, level area to walk on so that the work can be done. Scaffolding is made of several different materials.  Metal Most scaffolding that is used in North America and the western world is made out of metal, with some wooden parts. This is especially true when it comes to scaffolding that is several levels high. The metal is stronger than wood and holds up well. The pipes that make up the majority of the scaffolding are hollow and made of steel or aluminum. The vertical pipes are bolted together, with cross beams that form a large X inside each section, to give further strength and support. Then there are some horizontal pipes put on to support the platforms for the workers to stand on. The platforms are generally made out of wood. but can also be made out of metal.  Composite Metal scaffolds aren’t always able to be used on construction sites. In places where there is a risk of electrocution, metal scaffolds don’t make it safer for people to work, it just puts them at higher risk. In those cases, a thermoplastic composite that has been reinforced with glass fiber can be used. The plastic doesn’t conduct electricity, so it can be used around high-voltage lines or other electrical sources. The glass fiber reinforces the thermoplastic to make it stronger. This scaffolding can use used with wooden planks, but is more commonly used with composite planks as well.  Bamboo In places where bamboo is plentiful, like China and India, bamboo is used for scaffolds. Bamboo is much stronger than most people think. The strength comes from the way that the bamboo grows. It grows in sections without any knots or crooked fibers. It has been used for scaffolding even when building high rise buildings. The scaffolding can be secured at the corners with nylon straps or even with rope that has been made out of the hair found on coconut shells.  Scaffolding makes it much easier for tall buildings to be built. Without it, workers wouldn’t have a safe place to stand and work. When it comes to scaffolding construction, there are several different materials that scaffolding can be made out of, and each has its own place in the world of building construction. For further assistance, contact a local outlet, such as American Scaffolding...

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Removing Your Carpeting To Go Back To Hardwood Flooring

Posted by on Dec 31, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If your house has hardwood underneath your carpet, there may come a time where you want to go back to how the floors once were. It will be tedious to remove all of your carpeting to get to that original hardwood, but in the end, it will be worth it. Here is how you can do it on your own. Tools And Materials Before you can start this project, you’ll need the following items. Anything that you don’t own can be purchased or rented at a home improvement store. Utility knife Screwdriver Duct tape Sponge Vacuum cleaner Mild detergent Edging sander Floor sander Putty knife Wood putty Sandpaper (Fine-grit, medium, and coarse) Stain Varnish Sheepskin cloth Remove The Carpeting The first step is removing the moldings that surround the room. Then use your utility knife to cut the carpeting into strips. Your city may have rules concerning how wide carpeting rolls can be to be picked up from the trash removal service, so make sure they conform to those standards. Start pulling back the carpeting, using a screwdriver to remove staples if necessary. Use duct tape to secure the rolls together when finished with each strip. Then dispose of the carpet pad underneath. Clean And Sand You’ll need to give the floor a proper cleaning to get rid of the dirt and debris left on the floor from the carpeting. For example, there may be glue on the floor from the carpet padding. You can use mild detergent and a sponge to give the floor a good scrubbing, and vacuum up any remaining dirt. A floor sander and edging sander will make the sanding process go fast, and both can be rented from a local home improvement store. The entire floor surface will need to be sanded using coarse sandpaper, followed by medium-grit, then fine-grit. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove remaining dust in the area. Stairs will need to be sanded by hand, since they are too small to use the larger equipment on. Repair and Finish Any holes or cracks in the flooring can now be fixed. You can fill them using wood putty and your putty knife. Once the putty has hardened, you can use sandpaper to make the area smooth. Apply stain to the floor using your sheepskin cloth, which will not cause damage to the floor’s surface when applying it. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how long the stain must dry before applying additional coats for a darker finish. Varnish can be applied last to make the floor shine, as well as help seal the stain in. If any of this sounds too difficult for you, contact a hardwood flooring business, such as Rainwood Interiors Inc, to help you out....

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Having a New Fence Installed? Use One of These Strategies So Your Dog Does Not Dig Under It

Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in Uncategorized |

One of the goals of fencing in your yard is to keep your dog inside – but that will all be for naught if he just decides to dig a hole under it and escape anyway. The good news is that if your new fence is not up yet, there are two design choices to choose from when it comes to keeping your dog from digging underneath it. Here’s a look at your options. Option #1: Pour concrete under the fence. If you have a layer of concrete poured beneath where the fence will sit, then when your dog tries to dig out, he will hit the concrete. You can “end” the concrete just below ground level so you can cover it in soil, and no one will know it is there. If you’re a bit handy, you may be able to handle this task yourself. Make sure you know exactly where the fence will be placed — you may want to consult your fencing company to make sure of this. Then, dig a trench about one foot deep and eight inches wide just to the inside of where the fence will sit. Use a square-tipped shovel to make sure the trench has even sides. Prepare some ready-mix concrete according to the instructions on the package, and start filling the trench. Remember, it will be below ground, so it does not have to look perfect. Once the concrete is set, you can cover it with soil and leave your fencing company to install the fence. You can also hire a concrete contractor to pour the concrete for you. Your fencing company may have someone they regularly work with on projects like this, so ask them before you hire someone. Option #2: Extend the fence below ground. If you have a very large yard, pouring concrete in that long of a trench could be a gigantic task, and you’re probably better off with this option. Instead of choosing a fence where the bottom board sits just above the ground, you can choose one with rails that extend about a foot below ground level. When your dog digs, he will run into fence. The downfall to this option is that the rails that are buried underground will degrade over time since they’re exposed to so much moisture in the soil. A few years down the road, you may find that the rest of your fence still looks great, but that these bottom boards need to be dug up and replaced because they’ve weakened to the point that your dog can push through them. You can minimize this issue by picking strong fencing made of cedar or oak rather than a soft wood. Talk to a fencing company, such as American Secured Fence, about both of these options. They can look at your yard and situation, and let you know which has worked best for similar customers in the...

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Spoil Your Cats By Transforming A Sunroom Into The Perfect Cat Hangout

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Even if you keep your cat indoors due to safety concerns with the outdoors, there are a number of benefits that come with using an enclosure to give your cat some extra stimulation. If your home has an aluminum sunroom, you can easily transform this space into a ‘catio‘, giving your cat a great place to watch the wildlife outside and get some fresh air. Choose the Ideal Kind of Paving The flooring in the sunroom makes a big difference in the event that your cat scratches the floors or if the sunroom gets a lot of direct sunlight. Poured asphalt is generally the best option for sunrooms, especially when sealant is used, since it is easy to clean and will stay fairly cool if your sunroom gets a lot of sun. For a more cost-efficient option, look into the durability and price of laminate floors as well. Provide Your Cat with a Tree to Scratch If your sunroom is enclosed with a mesh screen, you may be concerned about your cat scratching it and ruining it by accident. An easy way to prevent your cat from scratching the screen is by simply providing them with a cat tree. If the cost is a concern, look into what is involved in building your own cat tree since it can save money and allow you to create a custom tree that is perfect for your cat. Make Sure the Sunroom is Fully Enclosed One of the most important parts of designing a sunroom for your cats to use regularly is making sure that they cannot escape. The sunroom needs to be fully enclosed with durable material and checked regularly for any signs of tears that they could rip into holes. Keep Your Cat Comfortable with All the Essentials Even if you only intend on allowing your cat on the sunroom for a few hours each day, it is important that they still have everything they need to be comfortable. This includes a litter box, a water dish, somewhere to lie down, and even a food bowl. All these items set out in the sunroom can help ensure your cat will not be uncomfortable while outside. Giving your sunroom an update in terms of appearance and function can go a long way towards making a sunroom a favorite place for your cat. With new asphalt poured in and a few extra features added, the sunroom can be a safe and enjoyable place for your cat in the years to come. To find out more, speak with someone like...

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Avoid Accidents On Your Job Site That Can Lead To Lawsuits And Profit Losses

Posted by on Nov 8, 2015 in Uncategorized |

As a contractor, you probably understand the devastation a serious accident on your job site can cause for your profits, not to mention the possibility of serious injuries and death for someone innocent. In most areas, laws require you to take precautions on your site to prevent injury, but in the rush of getting started and meeting deadlines, some of these requirements may be forgotten. Find out the steps you can take on your site to help prevent injuries to your workers and to people living or passing by your job site. Dumpsters Must Be In Place Having dumpsters in place on your construction site before work begins is important. If you have debris laying around waiting for a dumpster, a worker could trip over something and end up with an injury. Injured workers means you dealing with workman’s compensation lawsuits, so taking steps to always have debris and rubble from your site put in a dumpster at all times is vital. Fencing Is An Essential Aspect Of Job Site Safety A construction site can be a dangerous place, especially if you are excavating or digging tranches that could cave in. Keeping the public out of your site is vital to avoid serious accidents. For example, if you have a huge mound of dirt piled up from excavation, passing kids could find it inviting to play in. If a child fell into an excavation hole and the dirt caved in on top of him or her, the results could be deadly. Avoiding these kinds of mishaps is as easy as putting up impassable fencing before you start work. Chain link fencing is best to prevent anyone from entering your job site without proper clearance. Talk to a company like Statewide Rent-A-Fence for more information. Safety On Your Job Site Never stack materials or other stockpile too high, especially near to trenches or excavation sites. Avoid stacking heavy materials like block or timber near to your perimeter fencing as well. If a stack of materials fell, it could land on someone or it could damage your fencing, leaving an entryway for someone to get in. Materials falling into an excavation site could also mean you losing money on the cost to replace them in the event they are too damaged to still use. Ensuring your construction site is as safe as possible is important and can help you avoid tremendous profit losses. Always take the time to assess a site for finding the areas that should have focus on them for increased safety measures. Remember to take into account requirements that are in place by the community you are working in as well, for fulfilling your part of the law to keep your workers and the public safe from...

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Tips For A Successful Older Home Demolition Project

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Getting ready to start swinging the sledgehammer at the walls in your older home home is always an exciting time. However, doing construction work can also be loaded with a lot of apprehension, if you are not experienced with wall demolition projects. Follow these tips to prevent damaging things you didn’t anticipate, and to stay safe during the demolition process: Find All Electrical Lines and Plumbing Pipes All of the walls in your home have plumbing pipes and electrical wires running through them. Your home’s ceilings can also have HVAC ducts as well as pipes and wires. To avoid damaging your home’s electrical, plumbing, and ventilation systems during your demolition project, you need to locate their components within the walls before you start breaking into the walls. You can find pipes and electrical wires using a metal detector. Run the metal detector along the walls and mark the location of any metals that set off the detector. From these marks you can trace the structures below the sheetrock to help you know where you can and cannot use force on the wall. Use a smaller hammer on the metal-containing areas and be careful not to damage anything below the drywall. Peel back the drywall around areas you believe might contain hidden items. Once you get the walls opened, then you can easily assess what is between the studs. Wear Appropriate Clothing for Demolition Since there will be building materials flying around as you demolish them, you should always wear appropriate clothing. At a minimum, you should wear: boots jeans long-sleeve shirt leather gloves goggles In addition, you should also wear a dust mask that is designed for drywall dust. There will be a lot of dust created when you remove the drywall from the walls, and a mask will help to protect your lungs from damage. Call a Professional for Mold, Lead-Based Paint, or Asbestos Finally, some older building materials and mold can make you and your family sick. Should you discover mold, lead-based paint, or asbestos in your home during your demolition project, then you should contact a professional building contractor for assistance. It is not safe for you to handle these materials and they are not something to mess around with. Generally, these things will be specially sealed so that they are contained and no longer harmful for humans, or they will be removed in a manner that does not spread their toxins around your family’s living...

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Avoid That Sinking Feeling: 5 Decisions Leading To The Right Kitchen Sink For You

Posted by on Oct 7, 2015 in Uncategorized |

When remodeling your kitchen, you’ll have a lot of decisions to make. But one of the key areas to choose well is finding the right sink for your family. There are more decisions to be made about the sink than most people realize. Here are the top 5 decisions you’ll have to make when buying a new sink.  Number of Bowls. Practicality is your first decision when it comes to your new sink. How many bowls do you want in the sink, and how deep do you want them? Modern sinks can come with 1,2 or 3 different bowls — which can be very convenient for busy cooks. You can wash vegetables in one bowl while soaking dishes in the other, for example. You can even get bowls that are different sizes (a shallow bowl is great for those who find leaning over a large sink to be physically uncomfortable), although it will cost you a little more. However, don’t choose a sink that overwhelms a small kitchen.   Bar Sink Large kitchens may warrant a second, so-called “bar” sink to help with the workload. These additions can be convenient if you make large meals with multiple cooks working at the same time. You can install a bar sink away from the main sink to help maximize work space. However, it may cost several hundred dollars to move plumbing and install the second sink, so be sure you really need one before spending the money. You may need to make a similar decision about a “pot-filler,” which is a cold-water tap installed near the stove (for filling pots, as the name suggests). Again, convenience may trump the extra cost.   Holes in the Deck. While you probably do not want holes in the deck of your boat, you do want holes in the deck of your sink. These are the places you will put your faucet, spout, soap dispenser and more. Most homeowners today want at least two holes: a spigot faucet and a hole for a retractable spout (for added convenience). The rest is up to you.  Under or Over? Today’s sinks can be installed either above the surface of the countertop (called “self-rimming”) in a traditional manner or below the counter (called “undermount”). Undermount sinks are a little harder to install but are popular because they feel sleeker, more modern and cleaner. If you choose to have an undermount sink, you will need to have countertops of solid material (such as granite) because the material will be visible.   Faucet Materials. Most people opt for a single spigot faucet with a pull-out spout. For the finish, chrome remains a timeless and classic choice. However, other looks are popular as well. Thanks to modern technology, polished brass now comes with more durability. Satin-nickel is also increasing in popularity for its warm and neutral appearance. In addition to the faucet itself, you will need to decide what material the spout’s hose should be made from. Rubber hoses are the less expensive option, but stainless steel hoses are less likely to kink. For more information about kitchen remodeling, contact RDI or a similar...

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