Create a Beautiful and Functional Wooden Fence

Disappointed In The Performance Of Your Home A/C? Maybe You Have A Humidity Issue

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Disappointed In The Performance Of Your Home A/C? Maybe You Have A Humidity Issue

Coming home to an uncomfortably warm house on a hot summer day often causes homeowners to wonder if their air conditioning system has malfunctioned. While this may be true in some cases, this type of problem can also be caused by changes in your home’s humidity levels that are too great for your home’s air conditioning system to handle. Relative Humidity Levels in the Home Relative humidity is a measurement of the amount of water vapor found in the air and when this measurement increases suddenly it can make people feel uncomfortable or even complicate some types of health issues. In most cases, homes and other structures that have a relative humidity level of thirty to fifty percent are comfortable for human habitation. Although indoor humidity levels can be influenced by the climate where the home is located, they can also be positively or negatively impacted by moisture-producing activities or conditions found inside the structure of the home. A properly sized, well-maintained home air conditioning system will be able to overcome daily fluctuations in the humidity of a home caused by normal activities, such as bathing, cooking and laundry so that the home remains comfortable. However, when humidity levels exceed normal ranges for long periods of time, the air conditioner may no longer be able to compensate. Causes of Rising Home Humidity Levels In addition to common daily activities that create humidity, there are many other conditions that can create additional humidity in the home, including: installation of a water feature inside the home, such as a fountain, hot tub, etc. a significant increase in the amount of water used inside the home (such as several extra showers per day while hosting guests, etc.) growing a significant number of plants inside the home, as well as using any type of hydroponic or misting system  excessive pipe condensation or hidden leaks in water supply lines latent roof leaks that allow moisture into the envelope of the home changes in the structure or insulation of the home that result in inadequate ventilation Reducing Home Humidity Levels If your home suffers from rising humidity levels that are affecting the efficiency of your air conditioning system, you will need to take steps to remedy the situation. If the increase in humidity is temporary and easily addressed, purchasing and using an inexpensive portable dehumidifier may be all that is needed to offset the problem. For a more permanent solution, you may want to consider contacting a local, reputable air conditioning contractor to discuss updating your system with a built-in dehumidifying component. To learn more, contact a company like Custom...

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Four Tips To Help Level And Square Casings To Prepare For Replacement Windows

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Tips To Help Level And Square Casings To Prepare For Replacement Windows

Replacement windows can be a great improvement to your home. They can be attractive and help improve energy efficiency. The replacement windows are usually installed in existing casings. In a perfect world, no repairs will be needed to install new windows. Unfortunately, many of your casings may need small repairs and adjustments before the job can be completed. Here are some tips to help you with squaring and leveling openings: 1. Removing Trim To Prepare For Repairs Before you can get started repairing windows, you will want to remove interior trim to make adjustments. This can be done by prying the trim loose with a flat bar. Before you do this, use a level to check the window. If it is level on the sides and tops, it may not need any repairs, so you can leave the trim and move on to the next opening. 2. Checking Openings For Square It is a good idea to check the openings for square. To do this, measure from corner to corner diagonally. The measurements should be the same in every direction. If there is a difference, use a flat bar to pry the window casing to one side or another until it measures the same. The casing is the frame that holds the window. If you do not have enough room, you can pry the entire frame to one side to make space for adjustments. 3. Leveling And Shimming Window Casings It is also important that the window is level. Use a level to check the tops and sides of the windows. Adjust the window and then add shims. If you have to level the window, it is likely that you will need to check it for square again. You may have to repeat this process until the casing is square and level. There is a trick to keep the window square while leveling it; use a piece of wood trim and nail it diagonally to hold the window square while you check it for level. 4. Adding Shims And Securing Casings For Installation Once you have the window square and level, you will want to shim it and fasten it to keep it in position. These are wood strips used as spacers to adjust the window casing. Use window shims to place them between the casing and wood framing. You may have to use several of them to get a tight fit. Use nails where there are shims to prevent the opening from moving until the window is installed. They can be broken off and left once the window is installed and the trim put back on the window. These are some tips to help you with leveling and squaring openings before you have your new windows installed. If you are ready to have your windows replaced, contact an installation contractor like Gulf Coast Builders Inc to get help with these repairs and the...

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Propane Patio Heaters: An FAQ

Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Propane Patio Heaters: An FAQ

Propane patio heaters enable you to enjoy your outdoor space after the sun has gone down and a chill has set in. For people who like entertaining friends and family in their backyard spaces, propane patio heaters are a must-have item. If you’re unfamiliar with these handy space-heating units, these frequently asked questions and answers will help you decide whether or not a propane heater is right for you. How do propane patio heaters work? The propane is kept in a liquid state inside a pressurized canister. When the canister is turned on, propane exits the canister as a gas. The propane works its way up to the top of the unit where it’s burned in a controlled environment. The heat radiates to the roof of the unit, which is curved in an umbrella shape to redirect the heat waves back toward the ground.   What’s the difference between electric and propane heaters? Electric heaters and propane heaters function in the same way, by radiating heat in a very localized area. The major differences between these two types of heaters originate with the fact that their fuel sources are different. For example: Gas tanks vs. Bulbs. Propane heaters require replacement propane tanks as the propane runs out. Electric heaters require replacement bulbs as the bulbs burn out. Cords. Electric heaters have cords and must be plugged into the wall to operate while propane heaters are free-standing.   Flames. Propane heaters use actual flames to heat spaces, and electric heaters do not. However, both types of heaters can be a fire hazard when not properly used or maintained. How can you tell if there’s a gas leak? If there’s a gas leak, you’ll probably be able to smell gas in the air. However, there are other ways to check for leaking gas. if you’re concerned, you can check your propane tank by mixing a cup of soapy water and slathering the soap onto the gas line. If your gas line has a leak, bubbles will appear.  Are propane heaters dangerous? Propane heaters are safe if they’re used safely. Use good sense when operating a propane heater. Never leave a propane heater turned on while in an enclosed space, and never leave a child or pet alone with an operating propane heater. If you’re concerned about the safety of your propane heater, consider getting a model with an automatic shutoff function that activates when the heater is knocked over. To learn more about propane heating, contact a propane service like Self Heating...

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How To Build For Fire Safety

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Build For Fire Safety

One of the best ways to prevent fire damage is to build a system in place that will prevent the start and spread of fires. Here are some of the most important factors to consider for great fire protection engineering.  Fire Alarms Modern fire alarms can go beyond simply alerting you of a fire. Some systems will actually call the fire department for you, making it easy to manage fires while you’re off the premises. Your fire detection system can also be wired so that it connects to your sprinklers or other fire suppression systems.  Passive Prevention You can build fire protection right into the walls by adding insulation to your dividing walls. Many offices and residential spaces have firewalls to divide units from one another.  Active Prevention Systems A good fire suppression system is key for large commercial spaces. Sprinkler systems are a popular choice, since they can be customized to be more or less responsive. For instance, you can add a heat control system to the sprinklers so that they only fire at a certain temperature. You may also want to have gaseous and chemical fire suppression systems on hand; for instance, carbon dioxide can be quickly applied to the fire with the help of a fire extinguisher.  Design for Emergency Evacuation You can prevent confusion in your space by having a strong emergency evacuation plan and having it posted around your space. A fire protection consultant can help you plan exits and walkways so that you take into account the traffic volume in your building and the worst-case scenarios for bottlenecking and blocked exits.  Design for Flammable Materials Controlling the spread of fire through flammable materials involves controlling both space and human behaviors. You can engineer safe storage spaces for flammable goods, and you may also want to keep them in a specific area of the building that has stronger fire protection systems. As far as controlling human behavior, you might use things like signs and security codes to remind people of heightened safety concerns when working with flammables.  Many of the items above will be built into fire safety laws for commercial business owners. However, anyone building a home or an office building can benefit from making sure that all of these fire management systems are in place. A contractor can help you assess the cost and time to add these fire protection engineering services to your...

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Keep The Drought From Destroying Your Home

Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Keep The Drought From Destroying Your Home

If you are living in an area that is experiencing a drought, you’re probably worried about your lawn and garden, as well as your future. What you may not be thinking of is the impact the drought can have on your home. Since the foundation is one of the most important parts of your house, it’s time to take a look at how the drought might impact it so you can prevent any long term damage. Water Landscaping Near the House Perhaps you are using your limited watering time to try and keep your lawn looking great. While that may help spread the green, it isn’t doing anything to prevent damage to your home. Instead of watering the grass, focus on the area closest to the house. When the ground is dry, its very mass is smaller because it isn’t holding any water. That causes the ground to pull away from your home, taking its support away from the foundation of the house. Water the ground near the home to prevent this from happening. Maintain the Foundation Prevention is one of the best ways to limit the damage that can be done to your foundation. While you are trying to ensure that the strength the ground offers isn’t taken away, it’s just as important to be sure that you aren’t fighting a losing battle with an already damaged foundation. Inspect your foundation for cracks, or missing chunks of concrete. These are signs that it is already weakening. Rather than just patching the areas, contact a professional who can asses if the foundation is still level. Then they can repair the cracks and replace the chunks while also making sure that the foundation doesn’t just look better, but is also completely functional. Use Creative Watering Techniques At this point, you aren’t really watering the lawn to make flowers grow. You’re watering the area closest to your house to help keep your foundation in good condition. That means you may want to get creative with your watering methods so you can water this area as much as possible. Pour old dishwater on the ground near the foundation Use bath water to water the lawn Invest in organic soaps so you aren’t putting chemicals on your lawn when you water it with used water Bend a long rectangular piece of metal in half, lengthwise so that you have a long crease going down the center of the metal piece. Drill holes in the crease. Set it on the ground around your foundation. The dew will collect and drain directly into the ground below it. When it comes down to it, how you use your water during this time can have a serious impact on where your money goes in the future. You may lose a few flowers, but you’re going to save your home.  For more information on crack sealing and ways to protect your foundation, contact a professional like Southwest Slurry Seal, Inc..          ...

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Hot And Muggy? 4 Ways You Can Make Your Home Less Humid This Summer

Posted by on Jun 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hot And Muggy? 4 Ways You Can Make Your Home Less Humid This Summer

Did you know that humidity alone can make you feel warmer or cooler regardless of the actual temperature? It’s true! When humidity levels are low, the air temperature feels at least 5 degrees cooler. Similarly, high humidity levels make it feel like it is much warmer than it actually is. So if you have a house that stays humid all of the time even though your air conditioning works, you will have a hot and miserable summer. In order to stay comfortable, you need to keep your indoor humidity levels at about 45 percent. Following are four ways you can make your home less humid this summer. Increase Ventilation Your air conditioning unit is designed to remove moisture from the air, but it can only do so much. To help it out, you have to find ways to increase the ventilation in your home. Sometimes, it’s as easy as cracking a window or turning on an exhaust fan. However, if your home has a humid attic or crawl space, you may have to hire a contractor to install vents in these areas. Avoid Increasing Humidity It only takes approximately 5 pints of water to raise the humidity level to 60 percent in a small home. For this reason, you have to avoid releasing moisture into the air while doing everyday activities, such as cooking and showering. You can do so by shortening your showers and lowering your water temperature. When it is particularly humid outside, you might also want to think about using a slow cooker or grilling out.  Repair Your Home You would be surprised by how much moisture improperly wrapped hot and cold water pipes release into the air. Your windows can also allow moisture to pass through if they are not maintained properly. To keep moisture at bay, perform necessary maintenance tasks, such as caulking around your windows, wrapping your pipes and applying weatherstripping around your windows and doors. Get a Dehumidifier If all else fails, you might want to consider getting a dehumidifier. These units are ideal for naturally moist spaces, such as the basement. The are also great for homes that lack ventilation when there is no feasible or inexpensive way to increase ventilation. Your air conditioner does a great job when it comes to removing humidity from the air, but it can only do so much. If your home is hot and muggy, have your air conditioning unit inspected to make sure it is working properly. If it is, look for other ways to decrease the humidity in your...

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Important Facts About Water Filtration You Need To Know

Posted by on Jun 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Important Facts About Water Filtration You Need To Know

Many people turn on their kitchen faucets and drink the water coming from it without ever considering what could be in it. You would never know if you were drinking a dangerous bacteria or if you were ingesting prescription drugs remaining in the water despite water treatment efforts. Contaminated water sometimes tastes no different than if it was clear and free of unwanted health risks. Learning more about what is in your water is important, especially if you are considering the installation of a water filtration system.    Reading Up To Date Reports From Your Local Water System Your local water treatment facility must, by law, provide you with a report about any type of contaminants that have been found in your water supply. You must also be informed about what steps were taken to ensure the water remained safe during the treatment of contaminants as well. If you can get copies of past reports, taking the time to compare them is a good way to determine recurring contaminants. When making choices about the water filtration system for your home, knowing which contaminants you are trying to filter out is important. Checking For Specific Filtration Benefits Some filters work for some contaminants while they do not work for others. When it comes to the filtration of parasites like Giardia and Cryptosporidium, knowing the filter you purchase will work at filtering them is extremely important. While it is true that most brands of water filters do filter out these kinds of dangerous parasites, there is always the chance you could get one that does not. Check filter labels for manufacturing data about testing to see if the filter will take out parasites and other contaminants you know have been found more than once in your water supply. The Importance Recycling Used Water Filters Avoid tossing your used water filters into the trash. By doing so, you are only reintroducing the contaminants inside it back into the environment once it reaches the landfill. Taking the time to locate a recycling facility in your area that accepts used water filters is important to lower the risk of recontaminating the water supply. Some water filter manufacturers have special programs set up for you to use for recycling. Learn more about the brand of your water filter and your options for recycling it before you make final purchasing decisions. Knowing the water you give your children to drink is clean and free of things like parasites and chemicals is a good feeling. The peace of mind that comes with using a high quality water filtration system (such as is offered by Valley Pump Inc) is important, especially when you have children or elderly people living in your home. The time and money you invest in learning more about the water you drink is always...

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How To Maintain A Wrought Iron Fence

Posted by on May 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Maintain A Wrought Iron Fence

Wrought iron fencing is an aesthetically appealing, durable, and luxurious fencing option for your home. However, wrought iron is not an invincible material, and over time weather exposure and general wear and tear can ruin the appearance and the structural integrity of a wrought iron fence. In order to mitigate the spread of rust on a wrought iron fence, it needs to be maintained. Proper maintenance of a wrought iron fence can extend its lifespan by decades, saving you repair and replacement costs in the long run. How to Maintain a Wrought Iron Fence Wash: Caked on dirt can ruin the appearance of your fence, as well as hide the development of rust. Mix together warm water and regular dish soap in a bucket, and use a sponge to wipe away any dirt and debris that is stuck on your fence. For stubborn materials, use a stiff bristled brush. Rinse: Rinse off your fence with a hose to prevent the soap from being exposed to the wrought iron for too long, as this can stain the fence itself. Let the fence air dry. Rust: Look at your newly cleaned fence to see if there are any spots of rust forming. Spotting rust early means that you can remove it before it spreads throughout the fence, which means that the damage is minimized. For any spots of rust that you do find, scrape them away with regular sandpaper. Once you’ve removed all the rust from the fence, rinse the entire fence down to remove all the rust particles, and let the fence dry again. Primer: Apply a primer to your fence. There are special iron primers, available at most hardware stores, which inhibit the growth and spread of rust on iron. These types of primers usually come in an aerosol can for easy application. Simply spray the fence from top to bottom with the primer, and allow the first coat to dry. Once the first coat is dry, apply a second coat in the same manner. Paint: Once the primer has dried, you can paint your wrought iron fence. The paint acts as a barrier for the actual fence, and prevents rust from developing. There are specially formulated wrought iron paints, like the primer, that are especially rust resistant, available at most hardware and paint stores. Apply the paint with a paintbrush over the entirety of the fence, allowing the first coat to dry before applying a second. Such maintenance prevents rust from developing on your wrought iron fence, and helps to maintain the structural stability of your fencing. While this does not need to be done every month, repainting your fence once a year, or whenever you notice the paint chipping and peeling, can greatly extend the lifespan of your wrought iron...

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Drain Tile Installation FAQ

Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Drain tile is a drainage system that is commonly installed around the perimeter of a building, near the foot of the foundation. Drain tile is used to transport extra water away from a site, ensuring a manageable amount of moisture in the area being drained. How can I know if my home needs drain tile? A frequently leaking or flooding basement is the most sure-fire sign that your home needs drain tile. Other indications that your home needs drain tile include condensation on your basement walls, wetness around the cracks in the floors, water stains on the walls and general dampness in the basement. If you suspect that your home could benefit from drain tiles, contact a general contractor to get a drain tile test done. How does drain tile work? Drain tile pipe is inserted around the perimeter of the home. The pipe will be perforated along its length so that water, but no soil, can seep into the pipe. Once the water is in the pipe, it’s drained away from the home. What’s the difference between an exterior and interior drain tile? Interior and exterior drain tile have their advantages and disadvantages. Interior drain tile pipe is less invasive and requires no digging, which makes it less expensive. Interior drain tile can also be installed regardless of the time of year. However, installation of interior drain tile pipe is less effective for brick and stone foundations unless a sealant is also applied to the outer perimeter of the house, which requires digging and can significantly increase the cost. Exterior drain tile, on the other hand, has the advantage of draining the soil around the house, not just the water inside the house. Draining water outside the home relieves pressure on the foundation. The installation process for exterior drain tile is much more invasive and usually disrupts landscaping around the outside of the home. Like interior drain tile, exterior drain tile requires a sealant to be applied around the exterior of the home, but because installation of exterior drain tile requires the area around the home to be dug up anyway, this is an easy task to complete during the installation process. Which type of drain tile is better: interior or exterior? The type of drain tile that is best for your house depends on many factors, including your budget, timeframe, the severity of your problem and more. If your home needs to have drain tile installed, your contractor will be able to advise you on the best type for your property. For more information, contact a company like Rite-Way...

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5 Tools You Should Expect An Automotive Locksmith To Have Available

Posted by on Apr 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you find yourself locked out of your vehicle and have no spare key, the first person you will think to call will likely be a local automotive locksmith like A-Okay Lock & Key Inc. Most people expect a locksmith to show up with a few simple tools and a head full of knowledge to help them out. However, automotive locksmithing is much more technical than what most people know and can involve a lot of different tools of the trade. Here are five tools you should expect to see your locksmith show up with when you call or have access to at their office. 1. Computer – Years ago, car doors had a simple locking mechanism and the ignition was not all that technologically advanced. However, security is a crucial component of the modern vehicle and this means that there are a wide range of locks, keys, and security features that can come into play. Therefore, do not be surprised to see your preferred locksmith show up with a nice laptop in tow. He will use this to track down information about your specific vehicle and its locks. 2. Transponder – Car keys are no longer designed to simply slip into a specifically designed ignition. They boast transponder units that allow the car to recognize that the right key is being used. This is why a replacement car key for some models can get so expensive. If you lose your key, your locksmith could have a transponder machine either in their van or at the office. This machine is used to create a computer transponder that will match what your car key must have. 3. Key Machine – Believe it or not, most locksmiths have a key machine implemented right into their service vehicle that allows them to make keys right on the spot. The machines are not as massive as they once were and will easily fit in the back of a van where the locksmith can work on creating a new key for customers with little wait time involved. 4. Lock-Popping Tools – Even though the industry of locksmithing has changed thanks to modern technology, you will still see a lot of traditional tools in use during a service call. Your locksmith may pull out a shimmy bar that can be used to pop open a lock or even a lock-picking tool to gain access the old fashioned way. Even though you may think that an automotive locksmith provides a simple service, the service they provide can involve many more facets than you think. If you are ever curious about the tools that the locksmith you call on brings to your aid, feel free to ask. These service professionals will likely be glad to explain the tools being...

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