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Home and Yard Maintenance

2 Tips For Maximizing The Efficiency Of Fiberglass Batt Insulation

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Tips For Maximizing The Efficiency Of Fiberglass Batt Insulation

Fiberglass batt insulation is a great way to protect your home from unwanted heat loss. Yet unless your insulation is installed correctly, you may not be getting the maximum benefit. If you will soon be insulating a new home, or have plans to re-insulate your existing home, read on. This article will present three useful two for getting the most out of your fiberglass batt insulation.  Cut Your Batts Precisely Fiberglass batt is fairly easy to install, thanks to the fact that the insulation comes pre-formed, in large rolls. Yet gaps between batt and stud can leak to costly heat leaks–even when the gaps are relatively small. Likewise, compressed batt also leads to problems where heat retention is concerned. For those reasons, it pays to be extra careful when cutting the batt down to fit between the wall studs. Measure each space carefully; though the spacing between studs should be uniform, there are often slight deviations in width. To ensure a snug–but not overtight–fit, you’re going to want to cut a piece of batt that is one inch wider than the void space you’re filling. Here’s a good way to help make a nice even cut. First measure out a few points along the length of the batt to be cut. Now place a long board atop these points. This will help to guide your knife as you cut. By bearing down on the board, it will also temporarily compress the insulation, thus allowing you to make an easier cut. Never Stuff Batts Behind Pipes Or Cables Pipes, cables, and other items passing along the inside of a wall can create difficulties when placing insulation. Fitting the batt around the outside of the projection will leave an undesirable void space, one which compromises the insulating value of the batt. For this reason, many beginners choose to stuff their insulation tightly behind such pipes or cables. Unfortunately, this can be just as devastating to the overall efficiency of your insulation. If compressed to a width below the labeled thickness, the insulation’s R-value–a measure of its insulating power–drops off dramatically.   Luckily, there’s an easy trick to help you avoid both of these scenarios. You see, fiberglass batts are created so that they contain a vertical weave. This means that they can easily be torn open along their length. Thus, when you find a pipe or a telephone cable in your way, simply split the batt so that the obstacle can be sandwiched inside of it. Contact a business that specializes in insulation for more...

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3 Ways That You Can Make Your Landscaping Kid-Friendly

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways That You Can Make Your Landscaping Kid-Friendly

When it comes to creating a backyard that your children are going to enjoy, there are so many fun things that you could potentially include. However, it is a good idea to think of what types of things that your children will enjoy and go from there. This article will discuss 3 ways that you can make the landscaping in your backyard kid-friendly.  Use Stepping Stones To Create A Hopscotch Path A fun and simple way to make your landscaping more kid-friendly is to turn some of your stepping stones into a hopscotch path. To do this you will simply need to paint numbers onto the stepping stones and then line them up in a hopping pattern for hopscotch. To make them more fun, you can paint each stepping stone and number a different color to make them bright and easy for your children to see. This is a much better option than drawing a chalk stepping stone path on the sidewalk because it will last forever and your kids can play whenever they’d like.  Create Raised Garden Beds For Children To Grow Plants In If you have children that are interested in plants at all, or if you want them to become interested, then you can look into creating some raised plant beds in your backyard as part of your landscaping. This raised plant beds can be as big or as small as you’d like. You will simply create a box out of wood, and place soil inside for the plants. You can create a raised plant bed for each of your children, and inside they can grow whatever plants that they are interested in, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, watermelon, etc.  Use Sand Around The Playground Area While the options of using either wood chips or recycled tires in your background playground area definitely aren’t bad ones, sand is often times the best option for children for a variety of reasons. The sand is going to be soft on their feet when they are barefoot, so you don’t have to worry about them getting poked or otherwise hurt. Also, the sand is an excellent option for the playground area because it allows this location to double as a sand box. You will simply want to make sure that you have thick landscape fabric placed under the sand so that weeds and other plants won’t grow up into it.  For a landscaping company, contact a business such as Greenlane Landscaping...

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When Should You Replace Your Air Conditioner?

Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When Should You Replace Your Air Conditioner?

As a homeowner, one of the more difficult decisions you face is when to replace your air conditioning system. Having a new system installed is a serious investment, but repairing a dying unit can be a waste of money. You can apply a few common sense measures to determine if the time has come for a brand new air conditioner. $5000 Rule Experts recommend following the $5000 rule. If you are having difficulties with your system, consult a qualified technician for an estimate on repairs. You should multiply the amount of the repairs by the age of your air conditioner. So if your unit is nine years old and the repair bill will be $450, your number is $4050, and you can feel safe in having the unit repaired. If the bill will be $600, you should definitely consider replacing the unit. Air Leak Check If your energy bills have gone through the roof and your system seems to be constantly running, you should consider having your system checked for air leaks. You can contact your HVAC professional and arrange for an energy assessment. They can perform a blower-door test that uses air pressure to expose your energy leaks. In some areas, utility companies will subsidize these assessments.  Partial Replacement The outside portion of your air conditioning unit may give out first since it is at the mercy of the elements. As a result, you may be tempted to replace it but to leave the inside elements alone if they are still working properly. Although you may save money in the short term, this strategy may backfire in the future. Your air conditioner will work better if it “matches” since the units are meant to work together. You may sacrifice efficiency if the new section isn’t truly compatible with the old section. If possible, replace the entire unit at once. The added expense is worth it if it means more comfort and lower energy bills.  The health of your air conditioning system is important to your quality of life and family finances. When you are having issues with your unit, you need to consult with your HVAC professional about the cost of repairs. If your unit is ten years or older, you do not want to invest too much money in repairs. You can also have your home tested for leaks to see if leaky ductwork is the problem. In many instances, replacing your unit is the best solution....

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Creating A Year-Round Sunroom

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Creating A Year-Round Sunroom

A sunroom is a wonderful addition to a home, allowing you to enjoy the sunshine during the warm months of the year. If you are considering adding a sunroom to your home, you need to decide if you want to enjoy your sunroom all year long. You can easily do so by adding a few cold-weather features during construction and decorating.  Insulated Glass For yearlong use, you will need to install double-pane insulated glass for your windows. In addition, you should choose insulated glass for the “knee walls,” the lower portions of glass in your room. The glass roof will also need to be insulated. Your designer or contractor can advise you about the best glass to choose as well as the glass coatings you need to make your new room energy efficient.  Heating One easy way to add heat to your sunroom in the colder months is to add a fireplace. You may choose a traditional model or a more modest electric version. If your room is properly insulated, you will not need a huge unit. Keeping things small will make sure that you do not block out any light, which will be the main draw of your sunroom.  Design If you are planning to use your sunroom all twelve months of the year, you can still keep the colors light and bright. However, you may want to tone down your wall paint slightly so you can decorate for the fall and winter months without “fighting” with the room color. You should purchase hardy furniture that can withstand the constant sun exposure. Experts recommend choosing items that have been coated with sealants or protective paints and stains. Add a daybed to your room so that you can enjoy sleeping surrounded by the beauty of nature in all of its variations. You can also consider it a spare bedroom. But remember, if you or your guests want to sleep past sunrise, you will need to install drapes to block the early morning sunshine.  If you are going to build a sunroom, you can get the most out of your investment by making it suitable for use all year long. Sunrooms are a natural family gathering place that may be more popular than your living room. If you insulate well and add a heat source, you should be able to use the room on a daily basis. Also, you can even use it as a spare bedroom. These sunrooms make your home a more beautiful and enjoyable...

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Heading To College: What To Pack

Posted by on Sep 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Heading To College: What To Pack

Around the fall, many students start their journey to college. For many of these teenagers, they have never had to move, making it difficult to understand the task ahead of them. For a lot of them, they will be moving into a small space that only allows for very little. In fact, the average dorm room only measures about 228 square feet. If your teen is planning on living with a roommate like most do, then you will want to divide the footage by 2. This leaves very little room for most teenager’s belongings. Before you begin the process of moving your teen into their dorm room, here are some tips to help.  Pack for the Season A lot of college students will be headed back for fall break or the next holiday. This means, they will have an opportunity to come home and gather some of the items they have found they needed. When packing clothing, it is important to take only what is needed. There is no reason to take the entire wardrobe. Packing just for the season will help narrow down the selection. Depending on the climate, you may want to add a few pieces for the next season in case it comes in a little early. It is always a good idea to check the average temperatures in the city your teen will be living in to get a good idea of what the climate will be like.  School Supplies A lot of parents will start to buy school supplies a little early in hopes to catch a good deal. When it comes to moving your teen into college, you don’t get the same school supply list you would get in primary school. It is best to purchase school supplies when you arrive at the school so you do not have to worry about packing and unpacking them. Check out the area around the school to see what stores are available to shop at.  Communicate with the Roommate A good tip for deciding what should go and what should stay is to get on the same page with the roommate. Most college students will be rooming with someone. You don’t want to take a bunch of stuff your teen won’t even need. Make sure they have communicated with their roommate and figured out who is going to bring what. There is no reason for two TVs, refrigerators, or even microwaves. These items can take up a lot of space. For more moving tips, contact a local moving company, like Home To Home...

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The Truth Behind Six Common Geothermal Heat Myths

Posted by on Aug 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Truth Behind Six Common Geothermal Heat Myths

If you’ve been looking at alternative heating options for your home to break away from the fuel-burning furnace, you might have thought about investing in a geothermal heat pump. Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding heat pump use that often discourage potential new users. Understanding the truth behind these myths might help you determine if a geothermal heat pump is right for your needs. Here’s a look at some common misconceptions and what you should really know about them. Myth: Geothermal systems aren’t renewable – they use electricity. Truth: While a geothermal system does rely on a small amount of electricity for the pump, the amount used is minimal in comparison to the amount of heat it’s transferring. And it uses far less electricity than a standard electric furnace. Myth: You need a large yard to install a geothermal system. Truth: Although horizontal loops require a good amount of ground area for the pipes to be run, some properties actually benefit from the use of vertical pipes instead. In that case, the amount of ground surface required is minimal, because the pipes are all installed vertically in the ground instead of spreading them out across the property. Myth: Geothermal pumps are noisy. Truth: Geothermal pumps can actually be quieter than a standard furnace in some installations. And, there’s no large compressor unit outside that can annoy your neighbors. Myth: Geothermal systems only offer heat. Truth: Geothermal systems are great for heating your home, because they can draw heat from the earth and transfer it to your house. That doesn’t mean that heat is all they do, though. You can also use your geothermal pump system to draw heat out of your house for cooling in the summer. That means you won’t need a secondary system for cooling. Myth: Geothermal systems are unsafe because they carry refrigerant in the pipes underground. Truth: Most geothermal systems rely on water in the pipe system underground. Water flows through the lines from a reservoir or your home’s water supply. Myth: Geothermal systems consume a lot of water, so they aren’t good in areas with water restrictions. Truth: Geothermal systems don’t consume water at all. Many heat systems are closed loop systems, so the water simply flows in a complete cycle of sealed pipes. If your heat pump is drawing water from a reservoir, that water cycles through the system and then returns to the reservoir, consuming no water at all. If you have more questions, speak to local heating contractors for...

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The Truth Behind 4 Common Mold Myths

Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Truth Behind 4 Common Mold Myths

Mold is a common problem in households across Canada. Specifically, mold tends to form in areas of high moisture or humidity. Certain types of mold can also cause respiratory problems. Any time you find mold in your home or even on your property, it’s a good idea to address it by contacting a remediation company. In the meantime, avoid falling for any of these common myths about mold. Myth 1: Bleach Kills Mold and Keeps it From Returning Many people think that simply dousing a moldy surface with bleach and scrubbing it away will take care of the problem for good, but this isn’t often true. Generally, bleach can be used to remove mold from non-porous surfaces, but this isn’t usually the case for surfaces that are even remotely porous, such as wood. Plus, using bleach comes with its own inherent health and environmental risks, since bleach is a very strong chemical. Myth 2: You Can Handle a Mold Problem Yourself Another myth to be careful about falling for is that you can always handle a mold problem in your home without the help of a professional. While small areas of surface mold may be able to be cleaned on one’s own, this will not address the long-term problem because it doesn’t address the cause of the mold. The only safe way to get rid of a mold problem for good is to have a professional determine the type of mold, remedy it, and repair the cause. Myth 3: It’s Possible to Get Rid of 100% of Mold Believe it or not, mold is all around you. It’s found in spores that float throughout the air you breathe, even though you can’t always see it. As such, it’s impossible to get rid of all mold entirely. In fact, mold is a natural part of the environment and only becomes a potential problem when it begins to accumulate in larger quantities within an enclosed space. Therefore, if a mold company promises to completely eradicate the mold in your home, you may want to take this promise with a grain of salt. Myth 4: All Mold is Hazardous to Your Health Finally, understand that not all mold is dangerous to your health. In reality, only a few types of mold are known to cause infection and health problems in humans (with toxic “black mold” being among the most common types)–and even these molds are most dangerous to those who already have health respiratory problems, such as asthma or allergies. If you have a mold issue, keep these things in mind and hire a removal company like Advanced Cleaning &...

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The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Terrazzo Flooring

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Terrazzo Flooring

Terrazzo flooring is made up of ground up particles of marble, quartz, or granite that are then combined with a polymer that hardens into a smooth, flat surface, making terrazzo ideal for flooring applications. Since terrazzo flooring is so unique in its construction, it provides a number of different advantages and disadvantages when compared to other types of flooring materials. Understanding the pros and cons of terrazzo flooring can help you decide whether or not terrazzo flooring is the right fit for your home and contact a local flooring professional, like those at Chinook Upholstery Draperies & Flooring Ltd, for more information. The Advantages of Terrazzo Flooring Aesthetic Appeal: Terrazzo flooring is completely unique in its appearance, as every terrazzo floor is made with a different amount or ratio of marble, quartz, and granite. Additionally, specific designs can be easily put into terrazzo flooring, allowing you to match the appearance of your floor to your desires very easily. Durability: Terrazzo flooring is extremely durable. The polymer that is used to bind together the bits of stones is similar to concrete, which allows for your floor to withstand a great deal of traffic. This means that over time, even in high traffic areas, your floors will not fade or wear away, a definite advantage over less durable types of flooring that may need to be refinished, like carpeting or hardwood. Easy Maintenance: Because the surface of terrazzo flooring is sealed and completely flat, it is extremely easy to clean, and very hard for chemicals and other substances to stain your floor. You can clean terrazzo flooring with a wide variety of commercial cleaners without having to worry about damaging the material itself. The Disadvantages of Terrazzo Flooring Cost: The initial cost of terrazzo flooring is quite high, far exceeding other types of flooring like tile or hardwood. This means that terrazzo flooring may not be the best option for every homeowner. However, it is important to note that terrazzo flooring will save you money over time, as it is extremely durable and will not need to be repaired or refinished like other types of materials. Long Installation: Terrazzo floors require the pouring of various layers of bases, polymers, and mixtures to correctly form your floors. This installation process is quite complex, which increases both your installation costs and the amount of time that it takes until your floors are ready, which can be a major drawback for homeowners looking to quickly replace their floors. Comfort: In the winter, terrazzo flooring can be quite uncomfortable to walk on, as it does not retain heat very easily. While this can be easily combatted through the strategic use of carpeting, this makes terrazzo flooring less ideal in colder...

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Three Ways To Get Clean Water In Areas With Poor Water Quality

Posted by on Jun 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Ways To Get Clean Water In Areas With Poor Water Quality

If your home is in a rural area, it is likely that you do not have water services. Many rural homes rely on wells and other water sources to get the water they need. In some areas, the water quality is not the best; these areas need something more than a water filtration system to get clean water to use in the home. This can be a well treatment system, as well include sources like rain collection. Here are some ways to get clean water in areas with poor water quality: 1. Salt Water Distillation System For Areas With Little Fresh Water In some areas, fresh water may not be available. In many coastal areas, the water may be brackish that is a mixture or salt water and fresh water. This water cannot be cleaned using a conventional filtration system. To solve the problem of salt water, distillation systems can be used to remove the salt and other contaminants from the water. 2. Rain Collection And Cisterns For Areas With Poor Ground Water Sources Rainwater can be another great source of water if you do not have a well that can provide you water all year. The rainwater can be collected in cisterns and then processed and used for the water needs of your home. This is something that can be done in areas that have dry seasons where well water can dry up. With the addition of filtration, you can use rainwater collection systems for water supply if you do not have a reliable water well on your property. 3. Well Water Treatment Systems For Areas With Ground Water Pollutants The quality of groundwater may not always be the best in some areas. Some homeowners have to deal with things like alkalinity and heavy metals. These are problems that cannot easily be resolved with a common home filtration system. Instead of a filtration system, you may need to have a complete well water system. This complete water purification system treats you well water before it goes to your home. If you live in an area that has very poor groundwater quality, this is a type of system that you may need to have installed. These are some things that can be done to get clean water in areas that have poor water quality. If you need a solution for better water quality for your home, contact water filtration service (such as Holmes Ecowater) to get the help you need installing the right system for your...

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Before The Flood: How To Protect Your Home

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

If you fear that a flood might be coming your way, then you are probably worried about the damage that will be done to your home and your possessions. Even if you have made the decision to evacuate the area with your family, you probably want to do what you can to protect your property. Luckily, following a few steps before a potential flood can help reduce the possible damage, so take these steps to try to protect the things that you care about. Protect Important Documents First and foremost, make sure that important documents are protected. Scan copies of all of your essential paperwork, and load them to an online server. If you are unable to move your original copies to a safe location, put them in plastic zip-top bags, then store them in a waterproof safe or other waterproof container, and put them on a top shelf in your home. Lift Items Off of the Floor Lift as many items off of the floor as possible. You can use bricks or concrete cinder blocks to elevate your washing machine, dryer, stove, refrigerator and other appliances. Furniture can be elevated off of the floor with wooden crates or cinder blocks. Items should be moved to countertops and shelves whenever possible. Clean Your Gutters Clean gutters can help carry water away from your home and can help reduce the chance of flooding. Use a long handle, such as the handle off of a broom or rake, and use it to get rid of any leaves or other debris that might be clogging up your gutters. Also, make sure that your downspouts are clear and ready for periods of heavy rain. Disconnect Electricity As you probably already know, water and electricity do not mix. Consider disconnecting the power supply to your home; this can help prevent electrical fires and major damage to your home’s wiring. Stash your refrigerator and freezer with as much ice as possible, and keep the doors tightly shut to help protect your food supply in the meantime. Find a Good Restoration Company Don’t wait until after the flood to find a good water restoration company. Now is the time to find a reputable company that you can call if a tragedy strikes and causes damage to your home.  It can be terrifying to know that your home is at risk of being flooded, but knowing about the risk ahead of time can help you prepare. Although it can be impossible to fully prepare for one of these disasters, taking these steps can help you protect the things that are most important to...

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