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Caring For Your Honed Marble Countertops

Posted by on Aug 29, 2015 in Uncategorized |

When it comes to selecting the right countertop material for your bathroom, marble can be a great option. Marble countertops lend a timeless elegance to any room, and homeowners often enjoy incorporating this classy looking stone into their bathroom design. Marble countertops come in two finishes: honed and polished. Honed marble is better able to mask imperfections over time than polished marble, so selecting a honed marble slab for your bathroom is wise. Here are three things you can do to care for your honed marble countertops. 1. Make sure your honed marble countertop is sealed before use. Marble is a porous stone. This means that it will absorb trace amounts of any liquid that it comes into contact with. Marble countertops in the bathroom will be exposed to water from the sink and oils from makeup and other bath products. To prevent these liquids from staining the surface of your countertops, it’s important that you apply a sealer to honed marble before use. Sealers are designed to penetrate into the pores of the marble, preventing harmful liquids from causing permanent stains. 2. Keep your honed marble countertops clean. Using traditional cleaning agents could damage your marble countertops. Instead, you should keep your bathroom counter clean by using a scouring powder specifically designed for cleaning marble. Start by wetting the surface of the countertop with hot water, then apply the scouring powder (a powder that contains chlorine bleach is best). Using a stiff brush or power scrubber, begin scrubbing the surface of the countertop using circular strokes that overlap one another. If your countertop is especially dirty, you can leave the suds on the surface for a few minutes to soak. Rinse with clean water, and use a soft rag to wipe the surface dry. Following this cleaning routine will help preserve the integrity of your marble countertops. 3. Have your marble countertops refinished when scratches appear. Scratches are inevitable when you have a marble countertop. When the scratches on your bathroom countertop become too noticeable, you can restore the beauty of your honed marble by refinishing its surface. Start by cleaning the surface of the countertop and creating a frame around scratched areas with masking tape. Using a handheld circular sander and 220-grit sandpaper, start sanding the area inside your masking tape frame. Lift the sander off the countertop’s surface every 20 seconds, and wipe the sander with a cloth. Repeat this process with a 400-grit, 600-grit, and 800-grit disc until you can no longer see the scratches. Keeping marble countertops looking nice in your bathroom doesn’t have to be a struggle. Seal the stone before use, clean your countertops using only a scouring powder designed specifically for use on marble, and refinish the surface of your countertops when scratches appear, and you will be sure to enjoy your marble countertop for years to...

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Septic System Upgrades: Three Upgrades To Protect Ground Water Supplies

Posted by on Aug 13, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you have a septic system and a well for the needs of your home, ground water contamination may be a concern that you have. This means that you will want to have well systems that help purify water and septic systems that keep waste out of the ground water supply. With upgrades to your septic system, such as self-contained drainage, you can protect your water supply. Here are some things that you can do to upgrade your septic system and prevent ground water contamination: 1. Installing Aerobatic Septic Systems For Poor Soil Aerobatic septic systems are sewer treatment systems on a small scale. These systems consist of a series of chambers and tanks that breakdown solid waste. This type of system is often used for properties that have poor soil quality that does not filter effluent. It can also be used in areas with high water tables, or for homes on wells where water contamination is a concern. These can have a drain field like a conventional system, or they can be newer self-contained systems that recycling the water after it has been treated so no waste ever reaches the soil. 2. Improving Drain Fields With Mounds, Wetlands And Lined Drainage Drain fields can also affect ground water quality. Problems with the drain field can include collapsing, clogs and leaks in the system. To address these issues, you may want to consider an alternative drain field solution. Some things that can be done include the use of wetland systems to filter the effluent. Better filtration and lined drainage areas can also be good solutions to prevent contamination of ground water. 3. Multi-Chamber Tank Systems With Storage For Greywater Recycling It is also important to reduce your water consumption with a septic system. This can be done by using multi-chamber systems that reduce the amount of water. These systems can be aerobatic systems that act more as a complete waste treatment system, or they can be systems that store greywater. Separate greywater storage can allow you to recycle greywater, which will not only allow you to reduce septic problems, but also reduce water consumption. This can be good for areas that have warm months when wells can go dry. These are some ways you can upgrade your septic system to protect your water supplies. If you need help with improvements to your septic system, contact a septic installation contractor, like those at Moon Septic, and talk with them about providing some of these improvements for your...

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Troubleshooting Your Boiler

Posted by on Aug 3, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Being deprived of hot water or central heating can be an incredibly frustrating and potentially hazardous situation. In order to minimize your worries and help you correct that problem, here is a guide to troubleshooting your boiler: What does a boiler do? Your boiler is responsible for two main things in your house: heating up water for showers, sinks, and washing machines, and acting as a central heater. Some water boilers are specifically meant for heating your plumbing water, while others serve both purposes in your house. The first thing you want to do is narrow down the problem from “a heating problem” to a more specific problem, such as “a problem that prevents hot water from reaching specific faucets.”  Ascertain The Problem Check to see whether the heater works and whether you have hot water. If you have problems in both areas, then there is a decent chance that the problem lies with the boiler. However, if the problem is limited to one of those areas, then the respective distribution system might be at fault. Ventilation In the case that your hot water works but you aren’t getting hot air when the heater is on, there is a good chance that your ventilation is at fault. Carefully note which rooms, if any, are receiving heat. If only a couple of rooms are affected, then there is probably a blockage near the vents in those rooms. You should open up the vents in affected rooms and use a flashlight to check for any obvious blockages. If you can’t see any, then the problem might be too far into the ventilation system for you to easily access yourself. Similarly, if none of your rooms are getting hot air, then the problem is either in the ventilation near the boiler or is a problem with the boiler itself. It can be dangerous to tamper with your boiler since it deals with large amounts of electricity and heat. In such cases, you might be better off hiring a pro. Hot Water If you have heating, but your hot water doesn’t work, then there is likely some sort of problem with your plumbing or with the hot water tank itself. In order for the boiler to distribute water to your house, it needs to be full of water. If it is empty, then you have a dangerous situation on your hands. Many boilers will continue to run, even if there is no water contained inside. If the pressure in an empty heater gets too high, it might rupture violently. There might be a clog in the plumbing close to the boiler, which would prevent any hot water from reaching the rest of your house. It can be dangerous to handle such a clog on your own, so it is recommended that you call a professional such as Boiler Services,...

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Tree Trimming: Don’t DIY

Posted by on Jul 16, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you’ve noticed you have overgrown trees and you don’t know much about landscaping, you’ll want to call the professionals. There are a lot of concerns that can arise when you cut down tree branches, especially if you don’t have the knowledge or the equipment.  Overgrown trees can become a visibility concern when backing out of a driveway, they make your landscaping look unkept, and the branches can move in the wind and cause a lot of damage. Here are a few of the benefits you’ll get when you choose professional trimming.   Safety It can be hard to tell when a tree branch is going to fall when you’re cutting it and where it’s going to land. The experts work to make sure the branch doesn’t damage any houses, vehicles or property, and that brush doesn’t harm anyone. They also have all of the safety equipment needed to do the job. You have to worry about things like power lines and your own safety when trimming trees, which is why you want to leave it to the professionals. Removal The experts are going to haul away all of the brush and mess from trimming. If you don’t live in an area where you can burn leaves or brush and you don’t live in an area where you can easily dispose of the brush, it can be inconvenient trying to get rid of it. You could even have to pay for a dumpster or trash removal service. The trimming company should take everything away for you. Inspection While the tree removal company is working on the branches they can inspect the tree to make sure the tree doesn’t have a fungi problem like scotty mold or other problems.  They can also tell you if there are a lot of dying or dead branches, which are a danger. The inspection will help you determine if you need to treat the trees or if they have to be removed.  When you start talking to tree trimming companies (such as Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc.) make sure that they have liability insurance and you aren’t liable for any of their workers on your property while they are at your home. Different trees are going to have different costs for trimming because of their size and the type wood. Get estimates from multiple different companies if you are worried about the cost, and if you feel the first initial quote you get is too...

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Three Tips To Help You Save Money On Your Heating Oil Bills

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Uncategorized |

The high cost of home heating can put a major dent in your winter budget. Fortunately, there are many ways you can save money if you heat your home with an oil furnace. The following tips can help lower your fuel bills while still allowing you to stay warm this winter. Tip #1: Get a Tune-Up The simplest yet most effective way to save on heating oil is to keep your furnace in top condition. An annual service check and tune-up ensures your furnace is working as efficiently as possible. The technician will check and clean the burner and interior filters in the system, check that everything is working properly, and then will lubricate and adjust the various parts of the furnace so they are at peak performance. You will also need to clean or replace the main furnace filter monthly for the duration of the heating season to make sure the furnace continues to perform efficiently. Tip #2: Seal the Leaks A leak means you are burning oil, but not providing heat inside your home, and instead wasting the heat by sending it outside. Heating leaks can occur in various parts of your home. Poor weatherstripping around doors and windows is a common cause of heat loss, and one you can easily remedy. Simply purchase a roll of adhesive weatherstripping to replace the old stripping.  Leaks can also occur due to poor insulation. For example, attics are a common location that aren’t insulated well. Blown-in insulation is a quick way to add more insulation and lower your oil costs. Finally, you may want to have your heating ducts inspected to make sure you aren’t losing heat before it makes it out of the vents. A duct inspection will reveal any leaks along duct joints, which can then be properly sealed. Tip #3: Get on a Plan Another way to save money on your oil costs is to work directly with a heating oil delivery company. Most providers have plans that allow you to spread the cost out over the year, so you can budget a set amount monthly for your winter heating. Many companies also offer prepay options. You can prepay for your winter’s oil when the prices are low – usually in summer before the winter heating season. This way you won’t have to pay high winter prices when you need a refill in January. Some companies even offer plans that allow you to lock in the price by scheduling your first delivery in summer. With these deals you don’t have to prepay to get the lower summer rate at your next delivery. To find out more about heating oil, speak with a business like Self Heating...

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Got Children? Follow These Essential Garage Door Safety Tips

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Although you and your family probably rely on your garage door in your day-to-day lives, you might worry about your kids getting hurt by this dangerous mechanism. Therefore, if you want to keep your children safe, you should follow these essential tips for garage door safety. Mount Your Garage Door Opener Higher Check the garage door opener that is placed inside your garage, next to the entrance to your home, and make sure that it isn’t where any of your children can reach it. If it’s too close to the door, your kids could be tempted to play with it. Consider having it mounted higher up on the wall so that only adults can reach it; if you need help, you can hire a garage door repair professional to assist you. Also, keep any handheld controls out of reach of your children; as you probably already know, kids can be particularly attracted to devices with buttons, so they could inadvertently cause injury while playing with your controls. Check the Safety Mechanism Your garage door should have a reverse mechanism in place if it was made after 1993. This reverse mechanism is designed to make your garage open back up if someone or something goes underneath it while it is in operation. If you haven’t done so lately, you should have it inspected by a garage door repair professional from a business like Plano Overhead Garage Door to ensure that your safety mechanism is working properly. You can also test it yourself by putting an old toy doll or other baby-sized item underneath the garage door to ensure that the garage door reverses itself before touching the item. Never Open or Close Your Garage Door Without Looking at It If you’re in a hurry, it can be easy to press the garage door opener as you are gathering other items from the house or the car. However, it only takes a split second for a child — or adult or pet — to walk underneath it. Therefore, you should never operate your garage door unless it is directly in your line of vision. Although you might love the fact that your family has a garage, you might be worried about it putting your children at risk. Garage doors and their openers can be dangerous for adults and children alike, but there are steps that you can take to keep your family safe. Follow these tips, and you can greatly reduce the chance of your children being harmed by your garage...

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Tips To Extend The Lifespan Of Your Wool Carpeting

Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Wool carpeting is durable, attractive, and an eco-friendly choice since it is made from natural fibers. It can also be pretty expensive, so if you have a wool carpet, you’ll want to make sure it lasts as long as possible. These tips will ensure it stays looking fresh, clean and well-kept for years to come. Vacuum with the brushes set higher If your vacuum has a setting that allows you to raise and lower its brushes, raise them so that they are just barely resting on the surface of your carpeting. With synthetic carpeting, you might want to place them lower so that they do a better job of “combing” through the carpet as you vacuum, but with wool, too low a setting can make the carpet look frizzy over time. When vacuuming, also remember to use long, gently strokes rather than shorter ones, since this is easier on your carpeting. Keep sunlight off of a dark wool carpet The natural dyes often used to color wool carpets (especially those that are marketed as eco-friendly) are often prone to bleaching in sunlight. Keep the shades closed when the sun is particularly bright and your carpet’s color will stay more even. Never carpet shampoo your wool carpet Wool is prone to shrinking if it does not dry at a very specific rate after becoming wet. Thus, it’s not advised to carpet shampoo a wool carpet. If your carpeting is dirty and in need of cleaning, call in a professional. Many have special machinery designed to dry or damp-clean wool carpets without causing shrinkage. Use a dehumidifier in your home Changes in moisture levels throughout the season can also contribute to shrinking of wool carpets. If you live in a humid area or an area where the humidity fluctuates seasonally, invest in a dehumidifier. Some models integrate with your HVAC system, while others are free-standing units that you can simply set up and plug in yourself. You can put a portable dehumidifier in the basement and it will keep the humidity in your whole home under control — there’s no need to put it in the room where your wool carpeting is located. Just make sure the model you buy is designed to treat the square footage of your home. With the tips above, you can keep your wool carpeting in great shape. It will stay soft underfoot, dirt-free, and properly-sized for your room, as long as you take these simple precautions.  No matter the type of carpet you have, it’s always a smart idea to call a professional service like Gulf Coast Carpet Cleaning if you’re concerned about the state of your...

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Learn How To Clean And Replace Your Gas Furnace’s Thermocouple

Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If the pilot light to your gas furnace keeps turning off each time that you turn your unit on, the thermocouple may be dirty or need to be replaced. Learn how to handle each of these situations so that you can use your furnace without any interruptions.  Use The Following Materials emery cloth lint free cloths compressed air thermocouple pliers Remove Corrosion From The Thermocouple Turn off the power to your furnace so that you do not suffer from an injury while you are cleaning the thermocouple. Open the access panel on your unit. Next to the pilot light, you will see a long, metal tube that has a couple wires connected to it. This part is the thermocouple. It is a sensor that determines when the thermostat is turned on. It is responsible for keeping the pilot light lit. Remove corrosion from the ends of the thermocouple by rubbing a piece of emery cloth over the surface. Emery cloth has sandpaper on one side and fabric on the other. It is pliable, making it easy to use for this step. Spray compressed air on and around the thermocouple to remove dust particles that remain. Turn the power back on to your unit and relight the pilot light. If the pilot light stays lit and your furnace operates the proper way, the problem is resolved and there isn’t anything wrong with the thermocouple. If not, you will need to replace the thermocouple. Replace The Thermocouple Unhook the wires that are attached to the pilot light by gently pulling on them. Use a pair of pliers to loosen and remove the nuts that are connected to the thermocouple. Pull out the bolts that run through the thermocouple. Slide the thermocouple through the bracket to remove it completely. Purchase a new one at a hardware store or home improvement center. Slide the new thermocouple through the bracket. Insert the bolts and attach a nut to the end of each one. Tighten them with a pair of pliers. Reattach the wires that run from the thermocouple to the pilot light assembly. Turn the power back on to your furnace. Relight the pilot light. Warm air will come out of the vents in your home and the pilot light will not go out at random times.  You must maintain the thermocouple so that it continues to work properly. Inspect the ends of it on occasion and remove corrosion if any is ever present. For more information, contact a company like West Country Heating &...

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3 Tips To Prevent Water Damage From Getting Worse

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Water damage can be caused by a lot of things. Everything from a major water heater malfunction to a tiny plumbing leak can cause water damage in your home, and you also have to think about environmental events, such as roof leaks and flooding. Regardless of the cause of water damage in your home, you probably want to prevent the problem from getting any worse while you are waiting for a water damage restoration professional to arrive. Luckily, following these tips can help. 1. Put a Stop to the Water Source If at all possible, put a stop to the source that is causing water to get into your home. Use plumbing tape to cover up any pipe leaks, place a bucket or pot underneath roof leaks, or turn off the water to your faulty appliance or entire home. By preventing any more water from getting in your house, you can help prevent further damage. 2. Air It Out Mold, mildew, musty odors and other water-related problems are more likely to develop in humid conditions. If your windows and doors are closed tightly and there is water in your home, the entire house is sure to become humid and moist. If it is safe to do so, consider opening up all of your windows and doors to allow your home to “air out.” This can help prevent mold and mildew from growing in the first place and can assist in getting rid of any musty odors. 3. Sop Up as Much as You Can If there is standing water in your home, do what you can to get it up while you are waiting for someone from the water damage restoration company. If you have access to a wet-dry vacuum or a carpet cleaner, use your appliance to suck up as much water as you can. Using towels and newspapers to soak up excess water can also help. By getting up as much water as you can now, you can help prevent your floors, walls, cabinets and more from rotting out or otherwise becoming damaged. As you can see, there are steps that you can take to help prevent water damage from getting worse. If you follow these tips and hire the right water damage restoration company, you can help ensure that your home can be fully restored after a flood or plumbing issue within your home. This can save you a lot of money and can help you recover from the incident as soon as possible. Visit a company like Flood Damage Restoration for more...

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3 Tips For Getting Your First Home

Posted by on Apr 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you want to make sure that you are able to close on a home and make your dream of ownership a reality, you’ll need to use the right advice. There are some key strategies that you’ll be able to use in order to get the home of your dreams. As a first time homebuyer, you might be wary of the process, so take advantage of some of these tips, in order to get the most of this situation.  #1: Ask Yourself The Most Vital Questions In order to make sure that you’re getting the the most out of your home purchase, there are some very critical questions and points that you will need to address, including the following: Know the items, fixtures and features that you want. For instance, if you need at least four bedrooms, it can be hard to compromise on this need  When it comes to your affordability, experts suggest that you stay within 2 to 2-and-a-half your gross income when it comes to buying a house. Carve out an exact price range that you can afford for the home. This will let you narrow down your options Speak with the National Association of Realtors to find the licensed and insured real estate agent that can help you out #2: Account For The Full Price Of What You Will Be Paying You will need to make sure that you understand more than just the price tag on the home you are looking for. There are a number of costs to consider, including: Closing costs on the home Insurance policies and ongoing utility payments  Homeowner’s association fees and other such programs Property taxes on the house The percentage of fees that you will pay to your real estate team #3: Assess Your Credit And Financial Life In order to make sure that you’re getting the service that you need as a new homebuyer, you’ll need to assess both your credit score and your overall financial life. To get the best terms for your loan, you’ll need to look into your credit report so that both the score and the availability of credit is on par. From here, you will be able to understand how much you can afford without breaking the bank. You’ll need to make sure that your new home is an investment in your life, as opposed to a financial hindrance that you will not be able to afford on a monthly basis.  Take advantage of these tips so that you are able to get the help that you need as a first time homebuyer. Talk to experts like MVM Custom Homes Inc for more...

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Want To Landscape Around That Air Conditioner? Follow These Tips!

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

Let’s face it: your conditioner condenser isn’t the most attractive thing on your lawn. It’s big, it’s square, it’s made of metal. It’s also noisy when the air conditioning is running, which can draw unwanted attention to the unit. If you’re like many homeowners currently planning their spring landscaping, you’re seeking ways that you can hide your condenser in the coming growing season. Hiding that big ugly condenser is a good idea, but care must be taken to ensure that the condenser has enough air circulation to remain cool and functional throughout the long hot summer. These landscaping tips will help you install landscaping around your condenser in a way that is safe for your air conditioner and good for your home’s curb appeal. Install Attractive Fencing Installing attractive fencing–maybe a stained or painted wooden picket fence–is one of the most effective landscaping tools for hiding your air conditioner condenser and keeping your lawn looking beautiful. When installing fencing around the condenser, keep the fence at least 2 feet away from the unit. Remember to install a gate in the fence to allow air conditioner repair people easy access to your unit. To dress up the fence a little bit more, plant clusters of annual flowers around the perimeter of the fence.  Plant Slow Growing Shrubs Like the fence, any shrubs or flowers in the area around the air conditioner condenser must be positioned in such a way that leaves 2 feet of open space between the air conditioner and the plants. In addition, plants that need to be pruned frequently create a lot of organic waste, which in turn can clog the fins of the condenser. To avoid this problem, hide the condenser with slow-growing shrubs like the English boxwood, which needs less pruning than many other shrubs and therefore produces less organic waste.  Avoid Annuals and Vining Flowers If you’re going to plant flowers in the vicinity of your condenser, annuals are a poor choice because they’ll die yearly, producing organic waste that can clog the condenser’s fins. Vining plants are an even bigger problem because they’ll need to be pruned on a regular basis to prevent them from crowding the condenser. Large, perennial flowers like tropical canna lilies are an excellent choice in warmer climates, where the lilies can grow tall enough to hide the condenser, and will last many growing seasons in a row without being uprooted or trimmed down. In colder climates, flowering shrubs like roses are acceptable, as long as the roses are kept far enough away that the thorns will not snag on the clothes of anyone who comes to perform air conditioning repair or maintenance. Following these tips will help you hide your condenser while still ensuring it has adequate air circulation. For more information about air conditioning maintenance, contact Certified Appliance or a similar...

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