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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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Fixing A Damaged Vacuum Cleaner’s Power Cord

Posted by on Dec 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If one of your kids was a bit too aggressive while they were vacuuming and managed to suck up the electrical cord into the vacuum’s roller, then you need to fix any damage to the cord before you can safely use your vacuum cleaner again.  Use this procedure to fix the damaged cord and save yourself money over having to purchase a new vacuum cleaner: Inspect the Entire Cord for Damage Any frayed areas of your vacuum’s cord can shock you or start a house fire. For these reasons, you need to inspect the entire cord for damage. You should identify any areas of cracking or fraying in the outer plastic covering around the electrical wire. Make note of each area of damage. Tape Areas with Only Surface Damage Areas on the cord with only superficial damage can be taped using electrical tape. You must use electrical tape and not shipping, masking, or duct tape. Unlike these other types of tape, electrical tape is pressure-sensitive and insulates the inner wires to prevent dangerous shocks and sparks. Splice Together Cut Wires For any areas along the cord where the wires were cut by the roller of the vacuum cleaner, you can either choose to splice the wires together, or you can cut the cord off and replace the plug on the end. This is often the better choice if the damage is near the end of the cord and will leave a long enough cord to operate the vacuum cleaner without the need for an extension cord. To splice the wires together use these steps: cut the damaged area out of the cord using sharp scissors strip about an inch of the wire clean of its protective plastic wrap the wires together inside of a wire nut, one for each color of wire wrap the wire nuts with a thick layer of electrical tape Wrapping the wire nuts with electrical tape will prevent shocks and it will help to keep the wire nuts in place. Replace the Electrical Plug If the damage to the cord is too severe or near the end of the cord, then you can easily cut off the cord and replace the plug. You can buy a replacement plug inexpensively at your local hardware store, and it will come with straightforward instructions for how to install the new plug onto the cord. For Additional Assistance Finally, if you need additional assistance repairing the power cord for your vacuum that your child damaged, then you can take your vacuum cleaner to a local appliance repair professional (such as Appliance Service Co Inc.) and they can assist you. In fact, if the cord is badly damaged, they can remove it and replace the whole thing with a new...

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Easy Updates To Make Over Your Bathroom

Posted by on Nov 30, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Would you enjoy a bathroom that’s like a spa retreat? Or perhaps you just want to make over bland bathroom décor. Either way, it’s not necessary to break open the piggy bank. Instead, choose a decorating style and color palette. From there, add a few updates to make your bathroom feel rejuvenated. Replace the Vanity Fixtures You’d be amazed at how fresh your vanity will look with new fixtures. Once you’ve selected your decorating style, be it modern or beach cozy, brainstorm which fixtures best promote the theme. From there, consider upgrading. For example, opt for the chic water pump faucet to spill water into a vessel sink. Such an update can make your whole vanity look new. Put in New Lights Another relatively easy update for your overall ambience is changing out the light fixtures. It can be as simple as replacing the central pendant lighting or choosing new wall mount lights around the mirror. However, Better Homes and Gardens suggests giving LED lighting a chance. LED lighting allows you to customize the amount of light in the bathroom, going dim for relaxing soaks in the tub or brighter to facilitate your morning routine. It’s even possible to customize LED lighting, for example by putting it under the vanity. Change the Showerhead While replacing the showerhead won’t change the look of your bathroom, it will definitely refine your morning routine. Rain showerheads are still very popular because of their luxurious feel. If you really want your bathroom to feel like a resort, consider having a spa panel installed. A spa panel consists of several spray options for a customized cleanse. If you need help installing a new shower head, contact a professional service such as Central Plumbing Specialties.  Install a Heated Towel Rack As you consider a bathroom makeover, don’t only think about the looks of your bathroom. Consider also what updates might best facilitate your bathroom routines. If you have to heat your bathroom, consider heating your towels as well. A heated towel rack is a glorious luxury on chilly mornings. These racks mount right onto the wall. They’re typically heated with electrical wiring. However, if you’re redoing any plumbing, it’s also possible to have them heated via hot water. Add Wallpaper Painting the walls is an easy update you probably already know about. However, many fashionable bathrooms feature wallpaper as well. Well-chosen wallpaper can promote any theme you’ve chosen for your bathroom. For example, choose to paper one wall with a pretty beach motif. Alternatively, let the wallpaper take center stage. Choose a bold design, and let this serve as your color palette....

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Why Fiberglass Is An Ideal Siding Product

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Uncategorized |

One of the best home remodels is to add siding to your exterior walls. New siding on your home will drastically change the curb appeal of your property. It is a very affordable way to change your home style. Exterior siding products, like fiberglass sheets are affordable, cheap to install and very energy efficient. It is a very smart home improvement for long term homeowners who want to make their household greener. This article will explain why fiberglass is one the best exterior siding products on the market. Fiberglass is Waterproof Fiberglass is perfectly waterproof. More importantly, it will remain waterproof without any special treatment or painting over the years. Raw fiberglass planks are made out of strong polymers and plastics that are impermeable. Other fiberglass products are made out of the same polymers, but they are powder coated with a textured coat of paint. This coat is nearly indestructible. Even if the paint coat does somehow get chipped, the fiberglass underneath will not get damaged by the water. Since fiberglass is waterproof it can withstand the heaviest rain and snowstorms. At the same time, it allows you to clean your siding with a pressure washer to restore the original shine and remove dirt. No need to condition or oil the siding with chemicals to clean it up. Fiberglass is Stylish As mentioned, fiberglass sheets can be ordered with powder coat finishes. These finishes often have fake textures like brick, grout, stucco and wood grain. This allows you to have the look of these popular materials without the maintenance. You can also match with existing hardscaping around your yard, making your new walls fit in with your property. Also, you can custom order fiberglass in nearly any solid color you could imagine. Fiberglass is Easy to Install One of the best features of fiberglass is that it is so easy to install. In fact, some homeowners install it on their own, even though they are not skilled craftsmen. Most fiberglass sheets are engineered so the pieces attach to each other very easily. You often don’t need any screws or glues to attach the pieces to each other. You only need to attach special mounting brackets to the sidewall and then the sheets are hung from the brackets. If you follow the instructions, you can probably handle the installation on your own. There are many other factors that might draw you to fiberglass. Once you see the various products in person, you will be able to determine if it is right for you. To learn more, contact a siding contractor like Fredericksburg...

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Troubleshooting Baseboard Heating Problems

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you have baseboard heating in your home, you will want to take steps in maintaining the baseboards so they dispense enough heat into the rooms where they are located. If you have noticed a reduction in the amount of heat a room is receiving, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the situation. Here are some tips you can use to regain a constant flow of heat in a room via baseboard panels. Clean The Heaters Failing to clean baseboard heating panels can cause them to become full of dirt, which can block the heat from getting into the room. Remove the baseboard heater covers and take a look at the coils inside. If they have fur, dirt or dust covering them, the heat will be obstructed from blowing into the room. Turn off the baseboard heaters before using a vacuum cleaner with a soft bristle attachment to remove debris from the coils. If any of the fins appear to be bent, use a fin comb to push them back into a flat position so they can distribute heat properly. Remove Any Blockages Check that the carpeting underneath the baseboard heaters is not curled or bunched up. If it is not lying flat, it can redirect any heat coming out of the unit back toward the unit itself instead of allowing it to flow into the room. Keep draperies from covering baseboard heaters as well. If there are pieces of furniture in front of baseboard heating panels, they may also be blocking the flow of air. Make sure there is ample room between the heater and the piece of furniture so heating can be dispersed throughout the room evenly. Evaluate The Controls If the damper is not set in the right position, the heat will be blocked from entering the room. Make sure the damper is in an “on” position so heat has a chance to come out of the coils instead of being trapped inside the unit itself. Check the thermostat to make sure you have it set at the right temperature as well. Check Your Electricity Check all electrical connections if you have electric baseboard heaters. Wires should be free of fraying or cracking and should not be used if they do not appear to be intact. Have a heating specialist check the voltage of the unit if it continues to have low heating output. To learn more, contact a company like Custom...

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For Myths About Oil-Based Heating: Busted

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you’re considering moving into a home with oil-based heating, you may be a bit nervous. Many people have heard all sorts of negative myths regarding this style of heating system. However, most of the myths floating around are exaggerated or completely false. Here’s a look at the truth about heating oil. Myth: Oil is explosive; your tank may explode. The truth: Oil has to vaporize before it will ignite, so your tank of liquid oil will not just explode or ignite. You can actually drop a match in a puddle of oil, and it will just go out. For this reason, oil-based heating is considered quite safe. Myth: Oil is in short supply and hard to come by. The truth: Many people fear that the oil supply will run out, or that companies won’t be able to get a hold of any, and they’ll be left shivering in their homes without heat. While this may have been a substantial concern a few decades ago, the US now has a huge supply of oil, thanks to advanced oil harvesting technologies like fracking and horizontal drilling. Even better, oil is now less costly since more is being drilled on American soil rather than imported from the Middle East. Myth: Oil-based heating is smelly. The truth: When your system is operating properly, you should not smell a thing. If you start smelling a smoky, fuel-like smell, then your furnace is malfunctioning and may not be venting properly. You should turn your furnace off and call your HVAC technician. This does not happen often; it may never happen to you once in the life of your furnace. Myth: It’s hard to find technicians who work with oil-based heating systems. The truth: It is true that some heating companies specialize in a certain style of heating. In areas where natural gas heating is the most common, there are likely some companies that only service natural gas heaters. However, if you dig a little deeper into advertisements and classified ads in your area, you will almost certainly find several companies who service oil furnaces. More than 13 million homes in North America use it as a fuel source, so it’s far from obsolete. If you’re having trouble locating a technician who works with oil in your area, call an HVAC company who specializes in other styles of heating and ask them to recommend one. They tend to have connections within their industry and can point you in the right direction. For more information, contact Cash Oil or a similar...

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When Trees Are Out Of Control: Prevent Foundation Damage And Roof Problems With Adequate Pruning

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Although trees are a beautiful addition to any yard, trees that are out of control can cause significant problems. From broken branches falling on roofs, to roots growing into the foundation of your home, trees that are too close to your dwelling should be pruned or taken down completely. When you own property, it’s important to look for signs of disease or rot in the trees that are close to your home. If you find issues, it’s time to call a professional tree service to assess the situation more carefully. Tree Branches are Touching or Close to Your Roof Tree branches that are too close to your roof will eventually start touching your roof. This can cause serious problems with your roofing tiles, making tiles come loose or causing breaks in the tiles. Before you have problems with leaks in your roof, all branches that are close to your roof should be pruned. Even if the branches aren’t touching the roof, they can easily break off in a storm. Broken branches cause similar issues to branches that are touching the roof. Tree Roots Can Cause Serious Foundation Damage If you have discovered a leak in your basement recently, this could be because of tree roots that have grown out of control. Tree roots can cause problems with your foundation, and if you have any trees close to your home, they may be the cause of recent leaks. Tree roots grow pervasively, and it’s important to understand that for as much of the tree you see that is out of the ground, there is at least that big of a root system underground. This means that if tree branches are close to the house, chances are that there are tree roots close to the house as well. If the tree you are trimming has been trimmed a number of times, the roots are definitely close to the foundation of your home. When you notice broken branches, signs of tree rot, or leaves that seem like they are diseased, it’s time to call in a professional tree service such as Smitty’s Tree Service Inc to take a look at the trees on your property. While it is possible to do some light pruning on your own, it’s nearly impossible to properly prune a larger tree on your own without the right equipment. If you have concerns about potential foundation or roof damage caused by trees in your yard, call in a tree service right away before your problems become more difficult to...

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Replacing Your Roof Before Winter? Know Your Material Options

Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in Uncategorized |

As the seasons begin to change, you can find yourself shocked one morning when you wake up and realize that all of a sudden it is autumn again. And if you are planning any major home improvement projects, like replacing your roof, you will need to get those done before the icy chill of winter begins. As you plan your roof replacement this fall, you may wonder what roofing materials you should use in your home improvement project. Get to know some of the options available to you so that you can get started on your roofing project before winter creeps up on you in the same way autumn did.  Recycled Rubber Roofing One of the newer roofing material options available for home use is recycled rubber roofing. This roofing material also happens to be highly eco-friendly.  The rubber used in this roofing material comes primarily from recycled car tires. Rubber provides excellent insulation for your home. It prevents heat or cool air from escaping your home and at the same time will absorb thermal energy from the sun, preventing it from penetrating into your home from the roof. Recycled rubber roofing comes in a variety of style choices designed to look similar to different types of shingles. This is an extremely durable form of roofing material that will last for decades with little need for repairs.  Slate Shingles Unlike standard shingles that are made out of wood or asphalt, slate shingles are made from natural stone that is quarried from mines throughout the United States. This is perhaps the most durable roofing material around, as stone like slate can last for decades if not centuries.  In fact, some slate roofs are even made from repurposed slate shingles that were used on other homes previously. However, with this durability also comes an increase in the initial cost of installation. Slate is also a very heavy roofing material in comparison to other types of shingles. Because of the heaviness of the stone, you should not attempt to install slate shingles yourself. A trained professional can ensure that the structure underlying your slate shingles is strong enough to support the stone to prevent any damage to the main structure of your home.  Now that you have a couple of ideas about the materials you can use for your new roof, you can get in contact with a roofing supply company and place your order. The sooner you get started, the more likely your project will be complete before winter. Visit a company like American Building & Roofing Inc...

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3 Tips To Make Your French Doors More Private

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you are trying to achieve an elegant feel in your home, then having sliding glass doors leading into your yard can be a bit boring. Replacing these doors with french doors, installed by a company like Port Orchard Glass, will help you improve your home’s aesthetic value, but you could feel a little exposed. Here are three tips you can use to help make your french doors more private in the future. 1. Install iron scroll work over the window panels on your doors. If you want to add an additional design element to the exterior of your home[,] while making your french doors more private, then installing iron scroll work over the window panels on your doors could be a viable solution. The ornate patterns developed by iron workers can easily be ordered to fit the dimensions of your french doors. These decorative iron elements will allow natural light to enter your home, while obscuring the view for anyone looking through the windows from outside. Opting to invest in custom iron scroll work to make your french doors more private provides an elegant and stylish solution. 2. Transform your door’s window panels into faux stained glass window panes. Stained glass not only obscures the view from outside your home, it also acts as a piece of art that you can be proud to showcase in your home. If you want to turn your french door’s window panels into faux stained glass window panes, the process is simple. You will need glass paint, a decorative design, and some instant lead from your local craft store. Trace your decorative design onto the window panels using the instant lead. Starting in the middle of your design to prevent smudging, add paint until your design is complete. Allow time to dry, and enjoy your new faux stained glass doors. 3. Attach some frosting film to your door’s windows. If you are looking for a less-permanent solution to your privacy problem, then frosting film could be the answer. This product is designed to adhere to the surface of your glass, then peel away once it’s no longer needed. Start by purchasing a roll of contact paper and print out a stencil in a design that matches your personal style. Trace the stencil onto the contact paper in a repeating pattern, then cut away the negative space between your tracings. Place the contact paper on your windows, and you will have a chic looking frosted pane. Maintaining privacy with a french door doesn’t have to be difficult. Install a piece of iron scroll work over the window, turn the panes into faux stained glass panels, or use contact paper to create a frosted...

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Reading The Cracks: Asphalt Repair

Posted by on Aug 5, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Not only do cracks in your driveway make your home look shoddy, but they can also undermine the integrity of your asphalt. Thus, whenever cracks form, you need to take steps to repair the cracks before they lead to the need to replace your entire driveway. While you might think that all cracks are the same, you would be wrong. In order to make enduring repairs, you need to understand what type of cracks you are dealing with and what is required to make a repair.  Longitudinal Cracks Simply due to the heating and cooling cycles that your driveway is exposed to, your driveway may start to crack. Often cracks that result from heating and cooling will extend down the length of your driveway or across the width of your driveway. Thus, they are called longitudinal cracks. In order to repair such cracks, you need to first make sure that they are at least half-an-inch wide. If they are not half-an-inch wide, your joint-sealing compound will not work properly, so you will need to widen the cracks with a chisel and hammer. Next, remove all loose and/or organic material from the cracks. You can then fill the cracks with a rubberized joint compound. The rubber will allow for expansion and contraction and thus prevent further damage.  Block Cracks If you do nothing to repair longitudinal cracks, they may grow into block cracks, which divide your driveway into large sections or blocks. You can repair block cracks in the same way that you repair longitudinal cracks, but you should also apply a seal coat to protect your driveway against future damage.  Crocodile Cracks If you don’t repair block cracks, eventually crocodile cracks divide your driveway into small clumps of asphalt, which resemble the scales on a crocodile’s back. If you have crocodile cracks in your driveway, you cannot simply fill the cracks with a joint compound. Instead, you have to remove the damaged section of driveway. If a large portion of your driveway has succumbed to crocodile cracks, then you will have no choice but to replace your driveway. As long as the damage is small, you can remove the damaged portion of your driveway and replace it with a patching compound.  Repairing a driveway is hard work, but it is not impossible. To get the most life from your driveway, you should repair cracks as soon as they form, but if you are slow to make repairs, you can still save your driveway as long as the damage is not too extensive. To prevent future cracks from forming, make your repairs and then cover your driveway with a sealcoat.  Contact an asphalt contractor for more...

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