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Four Signs You Need To Service Your Septic Tank

Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Septic tanks are a necessary alternative to sewer systems for houses and buildings located in rural areas. They make use of bacteria and chemicals to break down organic waste slowly over time. However, like all parts of your home, septic tanks can become damaged and begin to malfunction over time due to age and general wear and tear. Knowing the warning signs of a failing septic tank can help you determine when to contact a professional before your septic tank fails entirely. Slow Drainage If the water within your house across several different water fixtures and appliances is no longer draining at the proper rate, your septic tank is probably full. Some slow drainage, such as toilet clogs or sink problems, can be attributed to a blockage in your pipes – but if the drainage doesn’t speed up after making use of a plunger or another method to clear your plumbing, the issue most likely lies with your septic tank. Backup In the same vein as above, if there is any sewage backup or if flushed waste comes back up, your septic tank is most likely almost full and needs to be pumped immediately. Besides being simply unpleasant to experience, this also represents a health hazard as it exposes you to bacteria which may be harmful to your health if left unchecked for an extended period of time. Bad Smells Another clear indicator that you need to contact a professional to inspect your septic tank is a bad smell. If you smell sewage within your home, your septic tank is likely full and just needs to be pumped. If you can smell sewage in your yard or around the exterior of your home, there is an issue with the integrity of your septic tank or plumbing that is causing sewage to leak into the ground. Grass Growth Though an easily missed sign, a portion of the grass in your yard growing faster than the rest is an important indicator that there is something wrong with your septic tank. When this occurs, it usually means that your septic tank is leaking, causing organic matter to seep into the dirt of your lawn, acting as fertilizer and promoting the growth of grass and any other plants that it comes into contact with. This can be a serious problem if left unchecked, as it means that your septic tank is either overflowing or somehow damaged. For more help, contact a service like Ace Sanitation...

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3 Steps To Keeping Your Log Home Looking Like New With Sealant And Stain

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016 in Uncategorized |

A log home can be a great looking home that can last for centuries. Your home will need some care and maintenance if you want it to stand the test of time. This can include repairing damaged logs and staining the wood to protect it from weathering. Sealing the logs can help protect your logs for years to come. Here are some simple steps to help you make your home last for generations:     1. Cleaning And Bleaching Log Surfaces To Prepare Your Home For Sealant Before you can get started staining your logs, you will want to clean them. This can be done with a pressure washing machine, which will help get all the dirt out of the cracks. In addition, you may want to bleach the wood. Bleaching will not harm the wood and help ensure that all the logs have been well cleaned. It will also ensure that you have an even color stain when the project is finished. 2. Caulking And Chinking The Logs To Prepare Them For Stain And Sealant Once all the wood is clean on your home, you will be able to better access the damage. Any small repairs may be fixed with a little wood filler, but some of the larger repairs may require the help of a professional log home repair service. You will also want to caulk around any cracks and in between the logs, which is called chinking. This will seal all the gaps in the logs and prepare your home for the stain. 3. Applying A Stain And Sealant To Protect The Logs For Years To Come There are many different types of stains to choose from for your home to look like new. Some of these are just to give the logs color, while others also include a sealant. To make the job easier, look for a stain that is designed for log homes. These products can also include solutions to help protect against insect damage and weathering. The stain and sealant products are also easy to apply with one simple application. These are the basic steps to give your log home a new stain to protect the wood for many more years. This is something that you will want to do every few years to ensure your log home looks great for generations to come. If you need help with repairs and staining, contact a log home repair contractor to ensure the job gets done...

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The ABCs Of Staying Sane During A Kitchen Remodel Project

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

From replacing kitchen cabinets to installing new countertops, a kitchen renovation is one way to add value to your home. However, not every homeowner has the skills or tools to tackle a kitchen remodel project on their own, and even hiring to get the job done comes with its stress factors. If you have made arrangements with a contractor to have your kitchen remodeled, you should know that the more planning you put into the event, the less stressful the whole thing will be. Thankfully,  there is a simple ABC rule set that you should keep in mind that will help you out along the way.  Arrange a makeshift kitchen elsewhere in the house.  During the kitchen remodel project, that part of your house will be pretty much off limits for the duration of the event. Even if you can make your way into the kitchen to grab a sandwich or whatever, it may not be the best idea. A few days before your kitchen renovation project is scheduled to begin, set up a makeshift kitchen elsewhere in the house. Of course, your makeshift kitchen may not have everything, but you can easily situate your fridge, microwave, and coffee maker somewhere else, such as the dining room or even a spare bedroom.  Bring easy-to-prepare meals home for a while.  Skip the big suppers and breakfast foods that require cooking while the kitchen remodel project is underway. Even though the project may take a few weeks to complete, you will be much more content if you go ahead and create a meal plan that does not involve using your kitchen or a lot of dishes. You can prepare some things in advance before the project starts and pop them in your freezer, such as soups and pasta dishes, and then just reheat your meals as needed.  Create a detailed plan-of-action and go over it with your hired contractor.  One of the biggest factors in getting through a kitchen remodel project unscathed is knowing what to expect and how long everything is going to take. During the planning phase of your remodel project, sit down with your hired contractor and create a detailed plan of action. This should be laid out in chronological order as a checklist of tasks that will need to be completed so you will always know where the workers are at in the project and how much more they like until the job is complete.  For more information, contact Parkview Homes or a similar...

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Three Ways to Keep Storm Drains Clear

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have just bought some land and there’s a storm drain on your private property, you’re going to have to learn fast how to keep that drain clear. City governments and utility departments don’t always handle drains on private property; while some might conduct periodic inspections, the bulk of the care and cleaning is up to you. Letting a storm drain clog up results in flooding on your land, possibly around your house, so follow these three tips to keep those drains as open as possible. 1. Watch Those Leaves and Clippings Whether windy conditions are blowing leaves off trees or you’ve just mowed a large patch of lawn and left clippings everywhere, you have to ensure those materials don’t end up in the storm drain. Frequently rake your yard when leaves are falling or have been blown down. Even if it doesn’t look like there are a lot of leaves, they can quickly become a problem because they add up quickly over time. A few leaves here and there each day can become a drain-clogging mass rather quickly. As for grass clippings, either sweep those up and dispose of them as green waste or run your mower back over them to chop them up. If you cut them into smaller pieces, more of them will sink in between the remaining grass blades, making it harder for the wind to sweep them toward the drain. 2. Seal and Anchor Garbage Cans Another debris problem is trash. A blown-over garbage can, or one that’s been yanked over on its side by a determined raccoon, can send garbage hurtling everywhere. This includes into the storm drain, where it can be a worse clog factor than leaves. Always ensure that your garbage cans are sealed so that animals can’t get in and so that the garbage won’t spill out if the can falls over. Try to anchor the cans on non-garbage-pickup days, too, to prevent the can from tipping over. 3. Add a Grate or Screen If the storm drain on your property is open, add a metal grate or screen in front of the opening. You’ll still have to clean leaves and other materials off the screen, but you won’t have to worry about anything falling into the drain and creating a clog that’s hard for you to remove. Do keep in mind that a screen will stop a lot of material, so you’ll have to check the screen frequently to ensure it stays clear. If you have questions about keeping the storm drain clear, or if you’d like a professional company to come out and ensure the drain is not harboring a hidden mass that could block the drain, contact a drain and sewer company in your area, such as Plumb Care Plumbing. They can help you ensure that all of the drains on your property, from your sink to the storm drain, remain open and...

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3 Things To Remember When Removing Popcorn Ceiling

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If your home currently has popcorn ceilings, you might be ready to get rid of them as soon as possible. Even though they might have been popular years ago, these ceilings can make your home look old and outdated. When removing your popcorn ceilings, just make sure that you remember these things so that you can enjoy the best possible results. 1. There Might Be Asbestos First of all, depending on the age of your home, there is the possibility of asbestos exposure when you start removing your popcorn ceiling. For best results, you’ll want to have the area tested for asbestos by a professional asbestos abatement team. If asbestos is found, you are better off letting a professional team, such as those at IRS Environmental of WA Inc., remove the popcorn ceiling for you so that you can keep yourself safe from asbestos. 2. There Could Be Ceiling Damage What a lot of people don’t realize is that popcorn ceiling is often added to ceilings that have imperfections, such as cracks in the drywall. In fact, some builders may not have been as careful when installing the ceiling in the first place because they knew that it would be covered up with popcorn ceiling anyway, making imperfections more difficult — or impossible — to see. Be prepared for there to be damage to your ceiling when you remove the popcorn, since you might have to make repairs to it to make it look good again. You’ll probably need a joint compound, for example, to help repair any cracks. 3. It’s a Messy Job Removing popcorn ceiling might not be that difficult, but it can be messy. This means that you’ll want to be ready to handle the mess before you start the job out. For example, you’ll probably want to move all of the furniture and decorative items out of the room; otherwise, they might get messy when the popcorn ceiling starts to fall. You will also want to keep a heavy-duty shop vacuum cleaner or a broom on hand to clean up the mess as you go, or you might want to cover and protect the floor with plastic sheeting so that you can quickly and easily get rid of the mess. As you can see, there are a few things that you should remember when removing popcorn ceiling from your home. If you remember these things, you should be successful when removing popcorn ceiling and making your home look and feel more...

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3 Energy Efficient Commerical Roofing Options

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Energy efficiency is something that is becoming a bigger priority for many Americans. This trend toward energy efficiency is even showing up in commercial properties. The roof is one area that plays a big role in how energy efficient a building is. Commercial roofing, which is most commonly used for businesses, tends to be larger than residential roofing. It’s also usually flat or low sloped. Choosing roofing that is energy efficient for a business can reduce peak cooling demand by 10–15 percent. Not only is energy efficient commercial roofing good for the environment, it also can save a business money as well. Here are three energy efficient roofing options that businesses should consider. Solar Panels One way to harness the energy of the sun is through the use of solar photovoltaic panels. These panels can be installed on nearly any type of roof and can convert energy from the sun into energy that can be used throughout the building. This energy is clean, renewable, and, most importantly, free. The overall cost of these panels has been going down in recent years due to higher demand and improved technology. Solar panels are a great way to improve the energy efficiency of a building and can translate into big energy savings. Roof Coatings Roof coatings are one way to make a commercial roof more energy efficient without solar panels or roof replacement. Roof coatings work by making the surface of the roof more reflective. This allows the roof to reflect some of the energy from the sun back into the atmosphere instead of it being absorbed by the roof. Roof coating keeps the roof cooler and helps keep energy costs down. These coatings can be applied on nearly any type of commercial roofing.  Green Roofs One way to get both an eco-friendly and energy saving roof is by installing a green roof. Green roofs are roofs that have soil and vegetation on top in place of typical roofing material. They are cooler than other types of roofing and thus provide energy savings. They also work to reduce the urban heat island effect. Typical roofing and asphalt can make cities every warmer since they absorb energy. Green roofs work to counteract that and provide many environmental benefits. These roofs also last longer than traditional roofing. Energy efficient roofing is an attractive option for commercial properties. Roofing that involves special reflective roof coatings or solar panels can lead to big energy savings. Green roofs are also a great choice for businesses looking for energy efficient commercial roofing. For more information, talk to a professional like Danny Odom & Son...

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Not Happy With Your Shower Door? A Few Things You Can Customize

Posted by on Apr 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you walk into your bathroom and are put off by the Plexiglas shower door in a wobbly frame that came with your shower enclosure, have no fear, you can have the door customized to fit the décor and style of the room. To get a better idea of what you might like, a trip to a local bathroom fixture store is in order; or you may just look online to find what you like. Once you have decided on something, contact a contractor to get him or her started on the customizations. Here are just a few things you can have changed or made to give you what you want. Dimensions If your shower doors are now two smaller doors that open across each other, you can have one larger one made. Be sure there will be enough room for this door to swing open since it won’t slide. You can also have the doors made to go all the way to the ceiling, or stop at a height you prefer. Glass can be cut to almost any dimension you desire. Frame The simple silver or gold-looking frames around the door may be something you really do not like. You can choose to have chrome, plastic, or a protected wood frame. Of course, you can also choose to have no frame at all. Color and Tint If you are a bit modest, and people seem to always walk into the bathroom while you are showering, you can have the glass tinted very dark. Choose any darkness of tint you prefer in a variety of colors. The color can be to meld into the rest of the bathroom or used for a bit of contrast. Blocks, Panes or Just One Big Sheet  You do not have to go with doors that are made of one solid piece of glass – or two pieces if you have two doors. Have the door created with a bunch of panes, either for the whole door, across the top or bottom, or up the sides. It is also possible to have glass blocks instead of just a single sheet. Whatever you can envision can be down, just talk to the glass contractor. You should be able to relax in a room you find appealing when taking a shower, bath, or just going through your normal bathroom routine. Don’t have the shower door be the thing that turns you off when you see it. Have a custom door created that will complement the look and feel of the room. Contact a company, like Southern Glass & Mirror or a similar location, for more help and...

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Limit Stress While Getting Your Bathroom Remodeled With The Following Tips

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Remodeling your bathroom can be a fantastic way to add value and make it more functional, but it can also come with a lot of unknowns if you’ve never tackled a large remodeling project in the past. To get your bathroom in shape and prevent any unneeded stress, it’s a good idea to look into what kinds of steps you can take to limit the stress you could experience. Make Plans for the Bathroom That Will Be Out of Use If you only have one bathroom in your home or have a large family and share just two bathrooms, it’s important that you take the time to explore what kinds of preparations you can make. In some cases, you may want to get a portable bathroom put in to provide a space for your family to use the toilet and take a shower while the remodeling is being done. If you can afford it, and the remodeling project will take a short time, you could always stay in a hotel instead. Remain Patient While Handling the Design Process With the costs involved in remodeling your bathroom, it’s important that you don’t rush and make any quick decisions. In order for your bathroom to stay in good shape for as long as possible, you need to take your time to choose features that are the most appealing to you and have good craftsmanship. This can help prevent any disappointment once the remodeling is finished. Carefully Consider Your Options for Contractors If you’ve made the decision to hire a contractor to handle most of the bathroom remodeling work, you need to remain patient and consider all of your options before choosing a contractor. Not only will this help ensure that the end results fit your needs, but it can also make a big difference in the costs for the project. Save Money by Handling Some Projects on Your Own An easy way to cut some costs is by handling some of the projects for your bathroom remodel on your own. Many contractors will be comfortable with you doing some DIY work on the days that they are not working, making it a good idea to choose projects that are easy to do. For example, installing tile flooring on your own can save a significant amount of money and still look great. Remodeling your bathroom doesn’t need to be an expensive endeavor or a stressful one, but only if you take the time to consider what can be done to make the remodeling project a comfortable experience. For more information on remodels, contact a company like Renew Construction,...

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How To Choose A Paint Color For The Exterior Of Your Home

Posted by on Feb 15, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The last thing you want to do is be the house on the block that either blinds people or makes them throw up because of your unattractive paint job. Not wanting this to happen, unfortunately, is enough to make anyone apprehensive about choosing an exterior paint color. Fortunately, there are a lot of easy steps you can take to make sure you paint your home a color that works. Plan Around The Existing Elements of Your Home There are some elements of your home that are not easy to change unless you are doing a full renovation. This includes surfaces such as roof shingles, stonework, driveways, or pathways. It is important to take the colors of these elements into consideration as you are making your choice. Take a look at the undertones of the different elements and see if you can come up with a color that mixes well with them. For example, are the elements a cluster of warm colors (khaki, brown, and beige) or cool colors (black, gray, and blue)? Consider choosing another warm or cool color to match the undertone your home already has. Think About What Type of Visual Impact You Want To Have What kind of impact do you want the visual appeal of your home to have on people? Namely, do you want your home to stand out or do you want it to fade into the background? A color that is a slightly brighter or lighter shade than the colors of landscaping and neighboring homes around it will make it pop and stand out. A color that is a darker than the surrounding colors will make your home recede into the background. There is no right or wrong way to go about this particular decision as it is just a matter of personal preference. Avoid Mistakes Homeowners Commonly Make Drawing Attention to Unattractive Features: One of the biggest mistakes you can make is drawing attention to the unattractive elements of your home with an accent. For example, do not paint the trim of the uneven window on the side of your home a vibrant color. You should also avoid accenting air conditioning units, protruding garage doors, and gutters. Not Considering The Neighbors: Unfortunately, you also have to take into consideration the houses neighboring your home. You want to avoid choosing a color scheme that clashes with your neighbor’s homes color schemes. Go with a subtle color scheme that blends into the theme your neighborhood already has. Not Considering The Landscaping: The landscaping surrounding your home is just as important as the neighboring houses. You need to stop and ask yourself if the trees, flowers, or shrubs will change colors with the seasons. While the vibrant green tree might look great with the color you have chosen now, will it still look good when the tree is orange, red, and gold for the fall season? Heavily wooded areas will make colors appear darker than they actually are. This must also be taken into account as you may not want to completely camouflage your home either. As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when choosing new residential exterior painting options. As long as you are observant of the area surrounding your home, you should have no trouble finding a...

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Three Budget-Friendly Options For Greening Your Roof

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Uncategorized |

1. Cool roof coating or paint If your roof is of a suitable material, you can significantly improve its reflective qualities simply by applying a cool roof coating. Applied like paint, this coating helps roof surfaces reflect not only light but also thermal rays from the sun. It also helps make your roof more watertight and improves its working lifespan. The drawback of this solution is that it’s not recommended for the ubiquitous asphalt shingle roofing. If you have metal or tile roofing, however, this is the solution for you. Metal roofs also take well to regular paint, so you can simply paint yours a light color rather than a dark color to improve its reflective powers. 2. Replacement materials If you’re on a budget, replacing your roof just to make it greener isn’t an option. However, if you have asphalt shingles, you’ll likely have to change the roofing in a few years anyway (since asphalt is one of the shorter-lived roofing materials). Switching to a more eco-friendly material when you do replace the roof is a good way to minimize extra expenditure while getting maximum greening power. Some eco-friendly roofs, such as slate, cost much more than a normal asphalt roof, but you can usually obtain a good-quality metal roofing for not much more than asphalt shingles. And because the metal lasts so much longer than asphalt, especially with a cool roof coating, it may even pay for itself before you have to replace it. Another low-budget way to go green during roof replacement is to send your old shingles to a recycling facility, keeping them out of the landfills and reducing the demand for new shingle production. 3. Insulation If you’re not planning on replacing your roof for a few more years, you might want to think about what you can do in the meantime to be as energy-efficient as possible. One of the best ways to improve the efficiency of an asphalt shingle roof is by adding more insulation. Even if you already have adequate insulation, adding a bit more can help. This is because asphalt shingle roofs get so hot in summer that they tend to warm up the interior of your house a significant amount, making your AC system work harder. In fact, people who replace their conventional roofs with cool roofs may see a 20% decrease in their AC energy usage during the summer months, so the more you can insulate your roof to keep that heat out, the easier it will be on your AC unit. These three options can help you if you want a more energy-efficient roof but don’t have a lot of extra money. If you have a non-asphalt roof, you can just paint it with cool roof coating and you’re all set. If you have an asphalt roof, try insulating it more until your next planned replacement, and then switch to a metal roof. Contact a company like K&R Roofing and Gutters for more...

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Consider Stamped Concrete For Your New Patio Flooring

Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 in Uncategorized |

A patio is a perfect addition to your backyard. It extends your living space and gives you another place to dine or entertain friends. If you need to watch your budget, you don’t have to settle for boring gray concrete for the flooring. Instead, you can hire a contractor (such as one from Robert R. Andreas & Sons Inc.) to install a stamped concrete patio and create a living space with flooring that flows seamlessly with your indoor floor. Stamped concrete can mimic any kind of natural stone or wood. Here is some more information on stamped concrete.  It Starts With Poured Concrete Concrete is an affordable flooring material. That makes it a budget-friendly option. Concrete is also very versatile. It can take any shape you want very easily since it is poured and spread into a mold. You could create a round, oval, or kidney shaped patio if you want. It’s also easy to connect concrete walkways and tiered levels. When you work with concrete, almost any design you can imagine for your patio is possible. Added Pigments Create Color Your stamped concrete patio can be any color you like or any combination of colors. This allows you to have a patio that looks like it is made from bricks, travertine, slate, or wood. A skilled contractor is able to vary the colors so it looks like your patio is composed of individual pavers or stones. If you’d rather be artsy instead of trying to mimic a natural material, you can choose to have the concrete dyed into any pastel or bright color or color combination you choose. Stamps Provide The Designs Before the concrete is dry, the contractor stamps the designs on it. This requires a lot of experience and skill, and that’s why stamping concrete usually isn’t a DIY project. The concrete has to be almost set, and then the work has to go quickly before the concrete has become too hard to work with. There are a number of stamps you can choose from. For instance, you may want small rectangles stamped in that look like bricks. You could also choose large squares that resemble travertine tile. You could also have other geometric designs, such as hexagons, stamped into the concrete. Once the job is finished, your patio will look just like it was made from more expensive natural stones or individual pavers. However, you won’t have to deal with problems like pavers shifting or weeds growing in the seams since your patio will actually be a continuous layer of concrete on the bottom. If you have stone flooring indoors, the patio can be made to duplicate its looks so the space truly becomes an outdoor extension of your home....

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