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Problems With Your Furnace After Home Renovations

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Problems With Your Furnace After Home Renovations

Since 2013, when there was a 12 percent increase in home renovation projects, the housing market has seen an improvement in such activities. This is especially true since fewer people are reported to be trading up and are concentrating on making the best of the homes they have. However, while a home renovation can net you anywhere from 53 to 100 percent return-on-investment, it can cost you more in immediate issues with your furnace.  So if you have recently completed a home renovation or are in the process of doing one, here are a few problems you may encounter with your furnace as you step into the winter season. Smell the burn Home renovations such as a kitchen or basement remodel, which may have generated a lot of dust, could cause you to get a burning smell when you turn on your furnace. Hopefully you would have discovered this while preparing the furnace for winter, as it would be quite inconvenient to have to turn off your furnace while your house is cold. A burning smell can be due to dust and dirt in the combustion chamber igniting when you turn on the furnace. It can also be due to dust and dirt from your renovations getting into the filter. This might normally happen, to a smaller degree, when the furnace has not been in use for the long spring and summer months. However, the dust from renovations might make it worse. Should this happen, you need to turn off the furnace, evacuate your family from the house and then do your checks (especially at the site of the furnace) to ensure that there is really no fire. Contact a furnace repair expert so that checks can be done on these as well as any other areas that might be malfunctioning, such as a faulty blower or dirty ducts. Churning and groaning It is possible if your renovations included electrical operations that your furnace can be affected by them. Issues to look for in this include having a blower that turns on before the heating element or getting a churning sound from your furnace when it is turned on. Other indicators also include the furnace not coming to a stop even when the thermostat is turned off or the control board going on or off at random intervals.  Should this happen, it is important to turn off the furnace from the main switch and then call in the experts to locate the problem. Of course, before you have to have a cost of between $59 and $800 for a furnace repair, it would be wise to consult a furnace repair technician before the renovations so that they can advise you on the precautions to take in protecting your furnace in the first place.    For more help, visit a website...

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Various Options For Keeping Your Home Warm With Heating Oil

Posted by on Nov 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Various Options For Keeping Your Home Warm With Heating Oil

If you live in an area where gas lines aren’t available and electricity is expensive, an oil furnace is a good option for keeping your home comfortable. You have a variety of ways to warm your home with heating oil from a forced air furnace to under floor radiant heat. Here is how a heating oil system works and the choices you have to keep your house warm. How the Oil Burner Works The heating oil from the tank outside of your home is drawn into the furnace when you adjust the thermostat for the house. The oil passes through a pipe with a narrow opening, which compresses the oil and mixes it with air. This ratio of oil to air is important for the furnace to give you the most heat with the least waste. The oil and air combination form a fine mist which is sprayed into a steel chamber and ignited. The heat created in the combustion chamber can then be used to warm your home in a number of ways. Forced air system – Air from the house is drawn into a heat exchanger which is attached to the combustion chamber. The air is warmed and then pushed out into the house with a blower. Ductwork takes the air into your rooms through vents in the floor or wall. Hot water radiant heat – In this system, the oil burner heats water in a large tank which is then sent out to warming units in the house. These can include: Baseboard radiators – These sit next to the floor and send out heat from the hot water. Upright radiators – These are an updated version of the old steam radiators. They are made of metals that heat and cool quickly wasting little energy in the process of heating a room. Steam radiators – The oil burner can heat water enough to create steam which is fed into this older type of heating system. Under floor radiant heat – Plastic tubing is placed under the floor and is filled with hot water from the oil burner. The tubing heats the air against the floor causing it to rise and heat the rest of the room. Oil Furnace Inspections A yearly inspection of your oil furnace is important to keep it safe and performing well. The typical items the technician will look for when maintaining your oil system include: Blocked air jets – These prevent the oil from entering the combustion chamber. Incorrect oil-to-air ratio – The mist formed by the air and oil must be in the right proportions to give you the most heat and least waste gasses. Air in the oil lines – Leaks in the tubing from the oil tank to your furnace allow air to get in. This creates a knocking sound in the lines when the oil is being drawn into the furnace. Contact a heating oil contractor, like Cash Oil, with further...

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Tips For Maintaining Cement Fiber Siding

Posted by on Oct 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Maintaining Cement Fiber Siding

If you’re considering new siding for your home, longevity and annual maintenance are likely a major concern. Cement fiber siding is one of the lowest maintenance choices available, but some care is still necessary to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. The siding is made from a composite of sand, cement and cellulose fibers, which provide the look of wood siding without the danger of rot. The following tips can help you keep this siding looking its best. Tip #1: Perform an Annual Seam Inspection There are seams on your siding boards where they abut against windows, door frames, and the roof soffits. These seams are usually sealed with a latex caulk. The caulk prevents moisture, dirt, and pests from making their way behind the siding boards. It’s a good idea to inspect this caulking at least once a year. Look for peeling, cracked, or damaged caulk. If you find damage, simply scrape out the old caulk with a putty knife, clean the area, and then apply a new bead of latex caulk to reseal the seam. Tip #2: Keep It Clean Cement fiber siding is a painted product, so regular cleaning can help prolong the life of the paint. Dirt, bird droppings, algae, and sap can all eat through paint. To wash the siding, spray it down with a garden hose and scrub it with a deck brush. You can also use a pressure washer, set to a low setting, to quickly rinse off any dirt – just be careful not to hit a window. For hard-to-remove stains, such as algae or moss, dilute chlorine bleach in water and scrub the area. Keep in mind that bleach can kill plants, so make sure the run-off doesn’t go into the garden or yard. Performing a thorough cleaning at least once a year is usually sufficient. Tip #3: Provide the Occasional Touch-Up Cement siding doesn’t require painting as often as wood siding – a quality paint job can last 15 years or longer. You only need to repaint if you notice fading or peeling. You can use any exterior acrylic paint or cement siding boards successfully. Avoid latex paints, though, since they may peel. Other than washing, the only other prep work for painting necessary is to remove any rough or peeling areas. You can scrub these off gently with sandpaper, or remove large swathes of peeling paint with a paint scraper. Then, apply two coats of your paint to ensure an even and durable finish. If you find your siding has extensive damage or you prefer letting the professionals handle the exterior of your homes, contact a service like Side-Pro,...

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What To Know About Having Your Business Sign Installed

Posted by on Oct 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Know About Having Your Business Sign Installed

Signs are essential to your business. You’ll need signs of all sizes to advertise your services and location. You may be able to rent some signs, such as those on billboards. You can put up vinyl signs and banners yourself. When it comes to lighted signs, huge signs, and elevated signs, you’ll need to work with a contractor. Here are some things to know. The Preparation Phase Before the contractor begins planning the installation of your sign, he or she will need to study your local codes and apply for all the proper permits. There may be regulations regarding the size and height allowed for your sign. Local codes may also stipulate where you sign can be placed. Once that’s known, the contractor surveys the area where the sign will go and draws up a plan for its installation. This could be a complicated process if you want a sign on a building tower or pylon. Design Your Sign Once you know where you sign will go, how large it will be, and what is allowed on it, you can begin the design phase. The sign installation contractor may also offer design services or you may need to find a design studio to do the job. You want the sign to be effective at drawing in customers, so a company with experience in advertising and copywriting is a must. Things to consider are colors and fonts used on the sign along with graphics. Decide if you only want your name and logo or if you want details such as address and hours of operation. Consider who will see your sign. If it is only visible by people passing by quickly in cars, then the less text, the better. Sign Installation Installing a new sign can be an involved process depending on the type of sign you’re getting. The contractor may need to bust up concrete and sink a support beam into the earth. If the sign will be lighted, an electrician needs to make the necessary electrical connections. The contractor will need heavy equipment to lift pylons and heavy signs. It may seem like a complicated and expensive endeavor, but in the end it’s worth it. An attractive sign in the right location will bring new customers and mark the location of your business. Plus, the sign will last for many years, so you’ll get a good return on your investment. No matter what kind of sign you have installed, you’ll have to maintain it. The amount of maintenance it requires will depend a lot on local weather conditions. Wind and hail may cause damage, while the sun might cause the sign to fade over the years. Lights will eventually need to be replaced. Vandals could even cause damage to your sign. The installation contractor you choose may also offer maintenance services you can sign up for when you have the sign installed. Visit Hickory Sealing & Striping for more...

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How To Install Prefabricated Hardwood Floors

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Install Prefabricated Hardwood Floors

When it comes to investing in hardwood floors there are many things to consider. One of your chief concerns should be whether you are going to install the floor on your own, or have it installed by a professional. If you buy the right type of hardwood floor, it is actually not that difficult to handle the installation on your own. You do not need to have a wealth of construction experience and a bunch of rare power tools to install prefabricated hardwood floors. This article will explain the process of installing prefabricated hardwood floors. It should help you decide if you’re going to hire a contractor or do it yourself. Tools You Will Need Installing prefabricated hardwood floors actually does not require too many heavy duty tools. The most important tool you will need is a compound miter saw. If you do not already own one, you can easily rent want to get the job done. You also need a measuring tape, rubber mallet, hammer and caulk gun. It is also very important that you have the right safety equipment. Having comfortable knee pads can make the installation process much easier and less painful. Cutting the Planks There is actually very minimal cutting when it comes to installing prefabricated floors. This is because the planks are milled in easy-to-handle sizes. Most planks are less than 10′ long and 8″ wide, so they are very light to carry and set on the saw guides. You really only need to make cuts when you reach the walls. You also want to stagger the plank so the end seams do not line up perfectly. So, if you are starting on a flat wall you should cut every other piece in half. You will be able to make more accurate cut it you that up a cutting station. Place your saw on a stable table. Laying the Flooring Laying the paint on the floor is extremely easy. You just need to sleep down a little bit of floor adhesive to adhere the planks to the subfloor. Some people even install floating floors: meaning there is no glue or fasteners that attach the hardwood to the subfloor. This makes it easier to change and update it down the road. Prefabricated floors are built with a simple tongue and groove system, so they can be attached to each other without any glue. They simply snap into place. To make sure the planks are firmly attached, you will need to lightly hammer them in place with the mallet. All in all, installing hardwood floors is not that difficult. If you have a miter saw, and are able to withstand the constant bending down and lifting of the supplies, you can certainly handle to...

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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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