Energy Bill Increasing? Your Windows May be to Blame

Decorating Ideas For An Ebonized Hardwood Floor

Posted by on 8:44 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Decorating Ideas For An Ebonized Hardwood Floor

Hardwood floors are a luxury for your home. They feature the pretty grains and warm palettes typical of the wood you’ve chosen. However, maybe you’re looking for a more neutral foundation for your flooring. Ebonizing is a process in which contractors finish wood floors with a black stain. The stain can range from very translucent to completely opaque. You can also choose finishes ranging from a high gloss to a gentle sheen. Safari Chic A chic décor style for the living room is inspired by Africa. Safari style can take on different looks, but the palette often includes sand, beige, and black. The light, warm colors work well for the furnishings. Leather chairs are an attractive accent. A common accent piece is a faux animal skin rug, such as zebra or tiger. Such rugs pop against an ebonized wood floor. To keep the look a little warm, consider one of the translucent stains with a low to mid gloss. Mod An ultra-modern style looks sophisticated in any room. For this décor style, start with opaque ebonizing and a medium to high gloss finish. This gives the clean profile characteristic of the style. For palette, a couple options look very attractive. You could go for shades of neutral, such as taupe and beige. Alternatively, you could opt for a pop art color scheme. With this option, start with a black and white palette, then add bright colors for accents. Either way, choose furniture and décor with clean lines and clear geometry because this is characteristic of the style. Updated Historical On the opposite side of the spectrum, ebonized hardwood floors don’t have to be exotic or mod. A very translucent stain can simply darken the wood while leaving the grain clearly visible. This gives the floor a beautiful, timeless effect that matches well with traditional décor. You could decorate your rooms with vintage wood or plush, oversized furnishings. A darkened wood floor also makes textiles pop, so lay down a granny rug, or decorate with colorful throw pillows and quilts. Luxurious Neutral As Home and Garden TV points out, the deep color of an ebonized hardwood floor simply speaks to luxury. Consider an opaque stain but with a low-gloss finish for any room. Add rich neutral hues to your décor, such as cream or warm taupe. In the kitchen and bathroom, marble countertops or tiles look stunning against the foundation of this kind of floor. The style of furniture can range from contemporary to vintage, and you can even add in some warm wood furniture to the...

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Types Of Residential Tree Care Services

Posted by on 7:02 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Types Of Residential Tree Care Services

If your home has a large yard with plenty of trees, chances are good that you’ll need the services of tree care professionals at some point. You can call on these experts to help with everything from removing a downed or damaged tree after a storm to landscaping your unruly foliage.  While you may choose to handle some of your tree care—such as trimming—yourself, sometimes it makes more sense to hire professionals to get a job done, especially if it’s a big or even dangerous task. Not only do tree care experts have the experience to handle a wide variety of jobs, they’ll have specialized tools that you most likely don’t have on hand as well.  Here are a few services that you can get from tree care experts: 1. Soil Care and Fertilization  The first step to healthy plants and trees is good soil care and fertilization as needed. Tree care experts will visit your home and test the soil conditions to see what it needs to produce robust foliage. This is especially helpful if your plants and trees aren’t thriving or are dying, because your soil may be missing important nutrients. The professionals may take sample of your yard’s soil to check its pH levels, and adjust accordingly. Look for tree care companies that use eco-friendly phosphate-free fertilizers to eliminate water pollution risk. 2. Storm Damage Care After a bad storm with damaging winds, your yard may have trees with broken limbs or loose roots. Not only are these conditions unsightly, they can be dangerous, too, if a branch falls to the ground or onto an electrical wire. The arborists will come and safely remove any damaged tree limbs, as well as inspect the tree for any other weak areas caused by decay or insect infestations. If a branch is just broken in one area, they can prune to keep the healthy portion intact.  3. Tree Removal Services  If you suspect a tree in your yard has died due to a bug infestation or disease, the arborists may need to remove the entire thing for safety reasons. They can also remove stumps using specialized machinery to prevent a landscaping eyesore. 4. Landscaping  You can hire tree care professionals a few times a year to trim branches and leaves for aesthetic purposes. You may also need to have your trees pruned if their branches obstruct windows, doors, driveways, or any other areas that you need to access on a daily basis.  For more information, contact local professionals like Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care,...

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Want A Cheap Inground Pool Fast? Fiberglass Is Best

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If you have wanted to get a pool for your home and you aren’t sure how you can make it happen in a short amount of time and on a tight budget, a fiberglass pool could be the solution to your dilemma. A fiberglass pool is one of the easiest pools a contractor can install at your property, and the pool is going to be something that you can enjoy for years. Here are a few of the reasons why you want to look into getting a fiberglass pool. You Need a Pool Fast Are you looking to have a pool installed in a very short amount of time? The fiberglass pool can be ordered from the manufacturer and delivered quickly, or if the pool contractor already has one in stock, it can be delivered within days. This means that you could be swimming shortly after you order the pool, if the contractor can get the pool dug out to put the liner inside. You Don’t Want Maintenance With a concrete pool, you’ll have to worry about water and bacteria getting absorbed into the porous concrete, and you’ll have to constantly monitor and fill the pool with chemicals. A vinyl liner pool brings problems like tears in the liner and the liner coming away from the edge of the pool. Since the fiberglass pool is a solid frame, it’s going to be impermeable so bacteria doesn’t get absorbed. You also don’t have to worry about tears and holes. Your Budget Is Lacking If your budget isn’t high and you don’t have the money for a concrete pool or a customized pool, picking out a stock fiberglass pool that is already made or made on an assembly line is one of the best ways to save money. You can get the pool you want, and improve your property, without going over your budget. Talk with a few different pool contractors in your area to see who has a fiberglass liner in stock, who can get the pool installed quickly, and how much this project is going to cost. Some of the pool contractors may have payment programs that you can look into so you can pay on the pool in a few different payments, or others may have a credit card company that finances people looking to put a pool on their property. Once you have quotes and financing, you can set a date for swimming. Contact a company like KrisCo Aquatech Pools & Spas to get...

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Air Conditioner Troubleshooting: Condensate Draining Mistakes To Look Out For

Posted by on 3:33 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Air Conditioner Troubleshooting: Condensate Draining Mistakes To Look Out For

When warm air passes over an air conditioner’s evaporator coils, it is cooled. This usually reduces the moisture-carrying capacity of the air, triggering condensation. This moisture doesn’t have a role to play in the air conditioning process and has to be drained off. This is done through a condensate drainage system that is made up of a condensate collection tray and a system of small pipes. Mistakes in the installation of this drainage system can interfere with the draining process. This may then not only cause property damage, but also lead to bad odors in a home. The following are common condensate drainage system mistakes that you should look out for. Up-hill slope Most air conditioning systems depend on gravity when emptying the condensate collection tray. Therefore, if the condensate drain lines in your air conditioner are sloping up-hill, the drainage process will be inefficient. The water will find it hard to flow through the lines at places with an up-hill slope, something that will then increase the risk of the collection tray overflowing. Up-hill slopes also increase the risks of blockages. This is because the rate at which the condensate flows usually reduces at up-hill sloped sections. This reduced pace then gives time for any dust particles that may have been washed down from the evaporator coils to settle. With time, this accumulation may end up blocking the drain lines. This may expose your home to moisture damage and mold growth that usually results from air conditioner water leaks. To be on the safe side, make sure that the entire condensate drain line is sloped downwards. This will allow the condensate drainage system to take maximum advantage of gravity and thus reduce the risks of air conditioner leaks. Direct connection to the house drain piping When air conditioner drain lines are connected directly to a home’s main drain piping, they usually expose the system to both bacterial hazards and sewer gas infiltration. This is because any bacteria in the drain piping can grow back up. With direct connections, there is also nothing that can prevent the sewer smells from climbing up the condensate drain lines and into your air conditioning system. This exposes a home to both bad odors and increased risks of bacterial attacks. Avoiding direct connections to your home’s main drain piping is advisable. You should instead direct your air conditioner’s condensate drain lines outside so that they can empty the water to either the ground or your gutter system. However, if you must use your home’s drain piping, making sure that a moisture trap is installed is advisable.Visit websites like for more...

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What Does It Mean If The Salt In Your Water Softener Never Goes Down?

Posted by on 9:03 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Does It Mean If The Salt In Your Water Softener Never Goes Down?

Water softeners are supposed to use up salt as they run, which means they need to be refilled on a regular basis. If your water softener never seems to need more salt, this is indicative of a problem. The following tips will help you repair your water softener. What does it mean if the salt level in your water softener never goes down? Very likely the salt level is going down, but your water softener has formed a salt bridge. A salt bridge is a hard crust of salt that sits on top of the crumbled salt inside water softener. As the crumbled salt goes down, the salt bridge stays at the same level and gives the appearance that the water softener is not using salt. What should you do to get rid of a salt bridge? To get rid of a salt bridge, use a long, blunt stick (like a broom handle) to gently push on the top of the bridge. As you push on the salt, the structure will give way. Once the bridge has been crushed, use the broom handle to stir up and crush any remaining bits of salt. Never use a sharp or pointed object (like a screwdriver) to break up a salt bridge, as this can puncture the tank. What causes a salt bridge to form? Salt bridges can form for a variety of reasons. High humidity is a common problem that causes salt bridges. Salt bridges can also form if you use the wrong type of salt, or too much salt in the tank. How can you prevent salt bridges in your water? Check the type of salt that your water softener manufacturer recommends using, and switch to that type of salt if you aren’t using it already. Also, check the manufacturer’s recommended fill height and fill up the tank to that height only. If this doesn’t fix the problem, then the problem is likely humidity. This can be a difficult problem to fix, depending on where the water softener is located. You can try running climate control in your home to see if this fixes the problem, or purchase a dehumidifier. If you can’t reduce the humidity where the water softener is located, then plan to break up salt bridges on a regular basis. What should you do if a salt bridge isn’t the problem? If this is the case, you need plumbing services from a company like Pipeworks Inc. Talk to a certified, reputable plumber in your area. He or she can help you get you water softener working once...

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Severe Weather Coming Through? 4 Weather-Related Roofing Problems You Should Watch For

Posted by on 7:59 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Severe Weather Coming Through? 4 Weather-Related Roofing Problems You Should Watch For

If you’ve recently moved to the southwest region of the United States, you might not be prepared for the severe weather that you might encounter. Some of that weather can really wreak havoc as it passes through. Wind, rain, hail and freezing temperatures can pose a serious threat to the roof on your home. Here are four different types of weather-related roofing damage you need to be prepared for. Falling Tree Limbs When the winds kick up, they can send tree limbs crashing into your home. Even if they don’t break completely through the roof of your house, they can still tear at the shingles and leave gaping holes in your roof. If you’ve had a windstorm blow through, you need to inspect your roof as soon as possible. Pay close attention to the areas closest to the edges where tree limbs can brush against the roof. Frozen Roof Flashings Ice can cause severe damage to your roof flashings. When it rains, the temperatures can dip quickly, causing ice to form along the edges and seams of your roof. The rain that seeps under the flashings can freeze. As the rain water freezes, it will expand causing the flashings to crack under the pressure. When that happens, you may notice water leaking into your home around the cracks in the flashings. If you’ve experienced freezing temperatures following a rain storm, you should inspect your roof for ice formations along the edges of the roof and around the metal flashings. Heavy Snow Pack If you’ve experienced an unusually thick snowfall, you may have a heavy snowpack on your roof. Heavy snowpack on your roof can lead to severe damage, such as cracked roofing material, crushed tiles, and loosened shingles. If you have a heavy snowpack on your roof, you should clear the snow as soon as possible and inspect for damage. Once the snow melts, it could cause water to leak into your home at the areas that suffered damage. Hail Damage You might not realize this but even small pieces of hail can damage your roof. As the hail hits your roof, it can dent and tear at the shingles. Those dented and damaged areas will continue to deteriorate until they’re repaired. Not only that but large hail can dent the roof all the way through to the wood sub-roofing. If you’ve recently experienced a hail storm, you should have your roof inspected for damage. Now that you live in the Southwest region of the US, you should be prepared for severe weather patterns. The information provided here will help you prepare for the weather-related roofing damage you may experience.  Talk to professionals, such as Grissom Contracting, for more...

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3 Tips That Can Help You Maintain Your Home’s Carpeting

Posted by on 8:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips That Can Help You Maintain Your Home’s Carpeting

Carpeting is one of the most comfortable and popular flooring options available, but it can also be a bit tricky to maintain and keep it looking nice. Listed below are three tips that can help you keep your home’s carpeting looking as nice as possible for as long as possible. Use A Carpet Cleaning Service The biggest way to maintain your home’s carpeting is to make sure that you use a carpet cleaning service regularly to perform a deep cleaning. This is important because even if you are fanatical about vacuuming your home there will still be dirt, bacteria, and other things that are ground deep into your carpet from foot traffic and spills that a vacuum cannot reach. However, a carpet cleaning service will be able to periodically remove those items and cause your carpets to smell and look like new again. Blot Any Spills One of the best tips for maintaining and cleaning your carpeting is to avoid scrubbing your carpets when a spill occurs. When you scrub at the spill, you are actually forcing the spill deeper into the carpet and damaging your carpet’s fibers. In addition, the scrubbing can also cause the spill to spread out and stain more of the carpet.  Instead of scrubbing, consider lightly blotting the spill in order to absorb the spill without damaging the carpeting. When blotting, also make sure to blot in toward the center of the stain to avoid accidentally causing the stain to spread.  Use Pet-Specific Cleaners  A big mistake that many people make when they are trying to clean up a pet accident on the carpet is to use normal carpet cleaners or detergents to clean up the spill. While these methods are great for actually removing the visible part of the mess, they often will have little impact on the odor that pet urine or feces can leave in the carpet. In many cases, the pet urine or feces can soak down into the deeper parts of the carpet fibers or the carpet pads. When pet urine and feces soaks into the carpet, bacteria can develop that will cause your carpets to smell, with the odor being particularly strong during hot days. Even worse than the odor is the fact that the smell can actually encourage your pets to do their business there repeatedly. However, many pet-specific carpet cleaners will have enzymes and other chemicals that can kill off the odor and the bacteria. Contact a carpet cleaning service or carpet installer like Parker Floor Covering today in order to discuss how to properly and effectively maintain your carpeting. Using a carpet cleaning service, blotting spills, and using pet-specific cleaners for pet accidents can help keep your carpets in great shape for a long...

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Three Maintenance Tips For Your Hot Tub

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Having a hot tub installed can be an excellent way of providing you and your family with a way to relax. However, these devices will require regular care to keep them safe from some of the more common problems that can arise. Yet, there are some new owners that may not be aware of the maintenance needs of their new hot tubs, which can cause them to make potentially serious mistakes. To avoid this outcome, you should make sure to keep the following few tips in mind. Inspect The Liner And Exterior If you own an above-ground hot tub, you will want to make sure to visually inspect the interior and the exterior of the tub. This is necessary to make sure that the liner has not been damaged, which can cause the tub to leak. By inspecting the exterior of the hot tub at least once a month and the interior each time you drain the tub to replace the water, you will be able to catch these problems before they lead to serious issues for your tub. When doing these inspections, you should look for small cracks and discolorations. It can be common for the color in a compromised area of the liner or exterior wall to start to fade, which can alert you to need to have it inspected by an experienced professional. Keep It Covered When It Is Not Needed During times when you are not using the hot tub, you should keep the cover over it. Failure to do this can allow leaves and other debris to get into the water. In addition to making the water dirty, these materials can pose a risk to the pump. If leaves or sticks get into the pump, it is possible for them to cause the unit to jam, which will require professional repairs to correct. By keeping the tub covered, you can greatly reduce the risk of this problem occurring. Have The Hot Tub’s Pump Serviced At least once a year, it is important to have the pump serviced by a trained technician like those at Kaupas Water. Over the course of a year, the pump can suffer extensive wear and tear, which will need to be corrected in order to avoid serious malfunctions. By having the tub serviced just before the start of spring, you can help to reduce the odds of your hot tub encountering serious mechanical problems in the near...

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Reasons To Consider Hydrovac Excavation For Your Trenching Project

Posted by on 12:45 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Reasons To Consider Hydrovac Excavation For Your Trenching Project

Whether you’re laying pipe, installing a French drain or any other project that requires a trench, you might want to consider using hydrovac excavation to dig it. This type of approach relies on highly pressurized water to clear soil out as opposed to standard excavation methods. Here’s a look at a few of the reasons why you might want to consider opting for hydrovac trenching over a standard digging approach. Less Equipment Hydrovac services are a bit more convenient, because there’s less equipment required to get the job done. Hydrovac excavation relies on a self-contained excavation truck that carries the water and everything, which means you won’t have need for a backhoe or other large excavation equipment to get things done. These large trucks can tear up grass and leave you with patchwork to do in order to restore your lawn afterward. When you’re looking to reduce the damage to your yard from heavy equipment, this may be the way to go. Lower Cost Hydrovac excavation allows for more precise targeting of the actual soil removal. It’s much easier to control and direct a stream of pressurized water than it is to manage the placement of a backhoe shovel. This means less time on-site to get the job done, so you’ll pay less in labor costs and time. Not only that, but you’ll have less general expense for total manpower, equipment maintenance and other associated costs because the process is more streamlined. When your project budget is limited, hydrovac service may give you the result you need with less financial expense. Minimal Environmental Damage If you’re looking for an excavation process that has minimal effect on the surrounding area, hydrovac excavation could be the solution. Although most traditional excavation methods can cause erosion due to the digging, hydrovac methods don’t. The greater control allowed by this method makes it easier to minimize the damage to the surrounding area. You also minimize the emissions issues, because you won’t have the same heavy equipment running and burning fuel the whole time. Finally, the use of water in this process helps to minimize dust exposure. With so many benefits to hydrovac excavation, you can see why you should consider it for your next project. The convenience and reduced associated damage are great reasons to think about it. If you’ve been planning a remodeling project that requires a trench, reach out to a local trenching service today to see whether hydrovac excavation would work for your...

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Three Types Of Electrical Wiring Problems To Look For In A Kitchen

Posted by on 3:27 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Types Of Electrical Wiring Problems To Look For In A Kitchen

While analyzing a house for its new-home potential, the electrical system is one of the things you’ll want to pay special attention to, since it can make the difference between living happily in the house for years or having the house burn down in a catastrophic fire. As you walk through the house, take note of anything you see that may add evidence to the “for” or “against” arguments. Here are three things to look for in the kitchen if you want to catch hints that all may not be well in electrical wiring land. 1. Lack of GFCI outlets All outlets in areas where water-related electrocutions are a high risk should be connected to a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). A GFCI outlet looks different than a normal outlet; it has two buttons, one of which is a “test” button and the other of which is a “reset” button. These outlets are required by electrical code now in traditionally “wet” areas such as garages, bathrooms, and kitchens. If you don’t see one or more GFCI outlets in the kitchen, there’s a problem. Don’t freak out if you see one GFCI and one or two normal outlets, though; the normal outlets may be wired to the other one to protect them as well. You can check by testing each outlet as though it were a GFCI outlet. Plug in a small lamp or other device to whichever outlet you want to test, then press the “test” button on the GFCI outlet. If they’re wired together correctly, the lamp will immediately shut off as the GFCI device breaks the electrical connection. 2. Too few outlets Not having enough outlets in a kitchen can mean that you’ll need to have work done by a licensed electrician to add enough outlets for your needs. Or it could be an indicator that the wiring system is fifty years old and needs to be replaced altogether. If you see only one or two outlets in the kitchen, it’s a good idea to give the electrical system a closer look. Calculate the number and type of outlets you’ll be likely to need (for example, one for the microwave and blender, one for the stand mixer, as well as 240 volt outlets for large appliances) and make sure the number available matches that. 3. Outlet damage  If you see blackened, melted, or broken outlets or switches, expect trouble. If they’re hot to the touch or give off a burned odor, you should also be extremely skeptical since this may indicate a dangerous malfunction. The outlet could be experiencing electrical overload, or even a critical condition such as crossed wires or loose connections, that makes it unsafe to use. These three problems that you may discover in your kitchen can alert you to issues with the wiring that may require expensive rewiring or electrical repair that can even involve the whole house, especially in cases of older houses that may have worn-out wiring...

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