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Exterior Painting Prep Steps Many People Leave Out And Why You Shouldn’t Forget Them

Posted by on Nov 27, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When people decide to do their own residential exterior painting, they tend to leave out some prep steps. These important prep steps can make all the difference in how your home’s exterior paint job looks. If you decide you are going to do your own exterior painting rather than hire a professional, here are those steps that other DIY house painters miss, and why you should not forget to do them. Washing the Home’s Exterior You may not be able to tell that your siding is dirty unless you have white siding. All other colors of siding and painted wood exteriors do not show the dirt that naturally accumulates on a home’s exterior surfaces. Before you begin painting any part of your house, you should always wash it thoroughly. Thankfully, you can use a power washer on the exterior of your home and blast off dirt on every square inch of siding or wood clapboard that you have. Priming The most common mistake DIY painters make is not priming the surface before painting it. People simply do not know or do not realize that the primer does more than provide you with a nice, opaque, white base coat. It also provides you with a sealant for any little holes, nooks, or crannies into which spraying or blotting paint would not be a good idea. It can also block bugs from chewing their way through. There are even primers that provide anti-mold and anti-mildew protection, so that is a bonus if you are worried about any wooden sections of your home’s exterior. Covering the Windows and Doors with Protective Film If you are going to use a spray paint machine to get that nice, even, drip-free coat of paint, do not forget to seal off your windows and doors with protective film. This plastic film is similar to insulating film in that you have to tape it to the edges of your windows and doors. It protects the windows and doors from getting paint on them, which would be a major hassle to remove if you accidentally sprayed some paint on these areas. Once you are done painting the whole of the house, you can remove the tape and film for a flawlessly painted exterior. If you want to include the window trim in the paint job, you will have to paint theses areas by hand, which some professional painters do before they cover the windows and doors with...

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Plumbing Drain Pipe Guide

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Replacing the pipes underneath your sink is a job that you may be able to tackle yourself if you are comfortable performing basic home maintenance. The challenge comes in knowing what types of pipes to choose. Your options are usually limited to either a metal or plastic PVC pipe. The following can help you better understand the two choices so you can make an informed decision. Metal pipes Most metal pipes are made of either copper or galvanized steel. Copper Many people like copper, especially if the pluming beneath the sink shows, since it is attractive. It also doesn’t corrode or taint the drinking water and it has a long lifespan in most cases. This is in part because copper doesn’t corrode and develop pinhole leaks. The main issues with copper are the price and the installation. Copper can be an expensive choice, especially compared to the other options. It also must be soldered together, so the DIYer must have both soldering experience and the equipment. A special lead-free solder must also be used so that lead doesn’t get into the water supply. Steel Galvanized steel pipes aren’t as common as they once were, but they are still in use in some homes. Older pipes contained lead, which is why most homes had them removed, but there are newer ones available without the lead. The main benefit of this choice is cost. The problems with steel are many. Steel tends to corrode as the galvanized coating wears off. This will lead to pinhole leaks. The flaking metal can also clog pipes and lead to drain backups. PVC/PEX pipes The new kid on the block is PVC, or polyvinylchloride. There are usually a few different varieties of PVC available, each offering more durability than the last. PEX is the strongest variety, and it is quickly becoming the industry standard because it is durable and rarely leaks. You can even put a drain snake down a PEX pipe without worrying about punching a hole through the PVC, as it can in some thin-walled metal pipes. The main downside with PVC and PEX is that leaks can occur around the joints. Fortunately, you can avoid this by wrapping each joint in either plumbers putty or tape before attaching the pipes together. The pipes are also easy to cut to size yourself with a small pipe cutting tool or even a hacksaw. For more help in replacing the drain pipes beneath your sink, contact a plumber like Gopher Plumbing Supply....

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Post Seasonal Storm Cleanup: What Should You Know And Expect About It?

Posted by on Oct 14, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If rainwater flooded your home recently, you may have a great deal of storm damage to clean up. Two of the problems you most likely face right now are mold and black water. If you don’t dry up your home and reduce the humidity levels in it, both contaminants can quickly take over your house and cause many health issues for your family and pets. Here’s how mold and black water affect your home and what you can do during your post storm cleanup to treat them. What’s So Dangerous About Mold and Black Water? Mold grows exceptionally well in warm, damp conditions, including situations caused by intense seasonal storms. The fungi spreads by contaminating soggy flooring, walls, and other surfaces with spores, which feed off the organic material found in the things they land on. Depending on how waterlogged your home is right now, it can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for mold spores to develop in your home. If the conditions are very favorable, mold can grow much sooner. Black water, also known as sewer water, enters your home if sewer pipes break in your yard or in the neighborhood streets. Sewer-contaminated floodwater is generally one of the most dangerous types of water you can encounter. Sewer water contains various parasites, different types of bacteria and other microscopic organisms that have the potential to cause respiratory, skin, and digestive system problems in humans.  Having your home professionally cleaned and dehumidified can help protect you and it from the issues above. How Do You Clean Up Your Damp Home Safely? You should understand that if your home is contaminated with sewer water, you should contact a water remediation company for help. You should never attempt to clean or remove anything contaminated with black water yourself. It’s also important to understand that items contaminated with sewage may not be saved due to safety reasons. A remediation company will generally remove and discard all items exposed to sewer water properly and clean items not exposed to it for you.  After making your home safe to work in, contractors will place dehumidifiers in different rooms to dry out the damp flooring, walls and other items. Dehumidifiers suck up the moisture inside your home, which helps reduce or stop mold growth. The process can also help destroy pathogens like bacteria. The dehumidification process may take a while to complete, depending on how flooded your home and items are. If you have concerns about the time or process, consult directly with the contractors.  If you need assistance now or wish to learn more about post seasonal storm cleanup, contact a contractor...

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Chrome Versus Zinc: Battle of the Corrosion Coatings

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When you use bolts, anchor studs, or any other metal connector in construction, you have to take corrosion into account. Unless the connector is going to be in a pristine environment, it can be subject to enough moisture that the metal can weaken substantially and rust. Even other types of metal can affect the connectors. To better protect against corrosion, connectors need to be coated. Two of the toughest coatings are zinc (applied through regular plating or hot-dip galvanizing) and chrome. Looks Chrome wins in the looks department. It’s nice and shiny; think of all the midcentury cars you’ve seen with polished chrome fenders, and you’ll get an idea of why it looks so appealing. Chrome still needs to be cleaned to maintain its shine, but it’s a good choice for connectors that will be visible and that need to look neat and trim. Zinc coatings start out shiny, but they can start to look grayish and weathered over time. They work well in situations where the looks of the connectors are obviously not important, and they work well in situations where the connectors will be hidden. Zinc-coated connectors tend to be cheaper than chrome-coated connectors, so if you need to save money, zinc should work in most cases except those, as mentioned, where you really need the connectors to literally shine. Lifespan Possibly the longest-lasting coating-and-metal combination is chrome-plated stainless steel. The stainless steel is already rather corrosion-proof, and the chrome plating adds another layer of very tough protection. But this is also one of the more expensive combinations; it’s good if you absolutely need toughness, such as in outdoor environments, but it can be difficult on tight budgets. Zinc coatings are not infallible, and in some cases they’re designed to fail (there’s a reason for this). Connectors covered in zinc can corrode if the zinc layer is breached, so if you use zinc-covered items, you have to keep inspecting the connectors closely. If the connector is in something made of copper, a zinc coating is often best. The acidity of copper can weaken other metals over time, and the zinc layer acts as a decoy, if you will. The copper gradually attacks the zinc layer, leaving the main metal of the connector untouched until the zinc is all gone. At that point, the connector needs to be watched carefully or just replaced right then. That makes using a zinc-coated connector sound pointless, but again, cost is an issue. If you need to keep your costs down, zinc-coated connectors are likely to be more affordable. You’ll just have to pay more attention to them. Your best strategy is to talk to dealers such as Northland Fastening Systems who sell the connectors you need and tell them what sort of environment the connectors will be in. That will allow the dealers to help you find the best coating for your...

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Bulk Electronics Recycling Assistance For Businesses

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Whether you’re getting rid of entire departments of old computers or closing a facility, the challenge of getting rid of electronics while complying with waste regulations can be hard to manage. If you’re planning on reusing certain parts, the process can become even more complex. To make new construction or pre-demolition of electronics-stocked buildings easier, here’s some electronics recycling insight for businesses trying to reduce downtime while maximizing their bottom line.  Streamline The Removal Plan Efficient removal is about more than just making employees carry boxes outside. There’s a few safety considerations and proper workflow ideas that can be applied to multiple parts of the process. First, designate entry and exit plans for personnel moving the electronics. To avoid collision or awkward shuffling and stopping as workers come and go, you’ll want everyone on the same page when it comes to using a certain doorway or a certain side of the hallway. Although it sounds simple, there’s always the issue of some workers carelessly taking a single, aggressive route and expecting others to get out of the way. Equally frustrating is when two parties meet up and slow down the process by waiting for one another to make the first move. A plan of walking on the right side of any given path can go a long way when it comes to avoiding workload slowdown. Separating Recyclable Materials If there are a lot of scrap materials, spare parts and peripherals, it’s better to create organized bins for the small objects for later removal. Designate an area for organizing before leaving the building to conserve worker energy. An adjacent room or empty space near the removal area is best so that workers won’t have to waste energy by walking long distances to drop off a few small parts.  Using recycling bins allows workers to complete a removal task with few trips and reduces the amount of time spent on separating outside. Especially in construction zones, remodeling areas or demolition sites, you’ll want to reduce the amount of time spent outside of office spaces or worker shelters. Both separated recycling bins and larger systems such as desktop computers can be placed on pallet jacks or other loading platforms for quick delivery if you contact a recycling service ahead of time. Waste collection companies like Ground Effects Hauling Inc can deliver sanitized roll off dumpsters that can be loaded on the ground, allowing workers to walk in and set down recyclable materials. If you plan on recycling certain components, such as copper or aluminum heat sinks from computers or power supply units, decide between recycling components or specific metals and materials. For example, you could designate a bin for all copper materials from a computer, or you could create a bin for all heat sinks. The decision depends on how much effort you want to invest in breaking down units and the daily recycling prices for each material. Low-entry storage is a better choice than using a top-loading recycling dumpster, since workers may have to reach too high in order to deposit materials. This increases fatigue and can lead to injury depending on how heavy the materials are and the condition of your workers. Contact a container rental company to discuss dumpster delivery, construction site navigation and recyclable materials...

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Portable Vs Window AC: Which Should You Choose?

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you are in need of air conditioning in your home, you might not be quite ready to have a central air conditioning system installed. While these are effective, they require more time and money in order to have the ducts and vents installed. Another option is to go with something a little easier to install and less expensive, such as a portable air conditioner or a window unit. Here are some things to consider when deciding between these two popular options. How much installation do you want to do? When one of the most important things to you is that you can get the air conditioner set up with minimal effort and in the least amount of time possible, then a portable air conditioner is probably the way to go. However, remember that it is not just a unit you plug in and turn on, similar to a fan. You still need it to remove the hot air from the room in order to get the coolest air possible, so they usually come with a window kit. This involves putting an exhaust out of a window of your choice, though it is still much easier to install than a window air conditioner. Are you on a limited budget? While it might seem like a portable air conditioner would be less expensive, they often cost more. If you are on a limited budget, then you might want to look at window air conditioners. These are smaller units in general, and while they do require a little more time to install, you will most likely save money. It is still a good idea to shop around and compare the costs of each option. Do you want to be able to move the air conditioner? You can technically move either of these air conditioners, but moving a window unit isn’t an easy feat, so you probably want to keep it in just one window. If you want to be able to move the unit easily from one room to the next, go with a portable air conditioner. All you have to do is move the exhaust part to a different window, followed by the portable unit itself, then plug it in. This lets you move it into your bedroom at night when you need to sleep, or into the living room when you will be spending a hot day in that room. It is a good idea to speak to an air conditioner professional to discuss the pros and cons before deciding which unit will work best for...

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3 Tips To Prevent Customers From Being Injured By Your Commercial Boiler

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you own or operate a business that uses a boiler for heat, you might be worried about one of your customers being injured by the boiler. For example, the pipes that run throughout the building might get hot to the touch, or you might be worried about something happening with the gas. Luckily, following these tips can help you prevent your customers from being injured by your commercial boiler. 1. Wrap Your Boiler Pipes If you have not wrapped your boiler pipes already, you should know that doing so is a good idea. This is particularly true in a commercial establishment. By wrapping your pipes with pipe insulation, you can help prevent them from being quite so hot to the touch, which can help prevent customers from burning themselves if they touch or brush against the pipes. Plus, as an added bonus, wrapping your pipes helps you ensure that your boiler is heating more efficiently, which is a good way to save on gas. 2. Call for Help Immediately if You Smell Gas Even though you might think that it’s normal to smell a gas odor when your boiler is running, you should know that this type of smell can be a sign of a dangerous problem. Plus, you also have to worry about how it can affect the indoor air quality and your customers. If you do smell a gas odor, it is critical to call a professional immediately to ensure that there is nothing wrong with the boiler. 3. Keep Your Boiler Properly Maintained Ensuring that your boiler is properly maintained is essential for the safety of your customers, so make sure that you follow the maintenance schedule for your commercial boiler and that you have your boiler inspected each year. Then, you can have your boiler checked out by a professional to look for any potential problems that could pose a danger for you, your employees, or your customers. It can also help you make sure that your boiler lasts for as long as possible and can help you maintain the factory warranty, which is important if you don’t want to be on the hook for repairs. As you can see, there are steps that you can take to help prevent your customers from being injured by your commercial boiler. By following these tips, you can help keep everyone safe, can help prevent potential lawsuits, and can enjoy peace of mind. For commercial boiler repair, contact a company such as Boiler Services,...

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Custom Wrought Iron Gate Rusted? How To Get It Looking New Again

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Custom wrought iron driveway gates give your home privacy and also security. If you have had your gate for some time and it has started to rust, follow the tips below to see if you can get the gate looking brand new again. Remove the Rust Before you do anything, you have to get the rust off the gate. You can do this easily by using a steel brush. Simply scrub the gate with the brush with heavy force until the rust is completely gone. Don’t worry about scratching the gate, as the steps below will take them out. Smooth the Surface The surface of the rusted area has to be smooth before you start painting the gate. You can smooth it out using sandpaper. Anything around 60 to 80 grit will work fine to smooth everything out. Rub the sandpaper over the area in a back and forward motion. Run your hands over the area when you are finished to see if it feels completely smooth. If it does not, then sand it again until it is. When you are finished, use a damp rag to wipe over the area to remove very small rust pieces that may be left behind. Use a dry cloth to completely dry the gate. Apply Some Primer Before you start painting the gate, you need to first apply a primer. Make sure the primer you purchase is alkyd-based, as this will work great on wrought iron. Follow the instructions carefully on the bottle of the primer. The easiest way to do this is to purchase a spray primer. Once you finish applying it, let it completely dry before you continue. Paint the Wrought Iron Gate Now that you have smoothed and primed the surface, you are ready to paint the gate. Purchase exterior metal paint that is the same color as your gate. A spray paint is the easiest way to do this. Apply one coat of paint and then let it completely dry. Once it is dry, then apply a second coat. Take pictures of the gate before you purchase the paint, so the salesperson can help you choose the right color.  You may want to consider painting the entire gate, as the new painted area will likely stand out. If you cannot get your gate looking new again, contact a custom gates company to install a brand new wrought iron gate for...

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Bamboo Vs. Cork Flooring: How Do You Choose?

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Uncategorized |

You know all the benefits of bamboo and cork flooring, and now is the time to choose between them. Just how do you do it? What makes one better than the other for your particular home? Here are three questions to answer to help you make your decision. Do You Have Time to Clean? The first thing to consider is whether you have time to clean or not. This doesn’t mean time for spring cleaning, but the weekly housework. Bamboo is much easier to deal with on a daily basis, since you can use any other floor treatment on it. If you have a hectic life and want something simple that looks great, this is the one to choose. If cleaning isn’t going to be an issue, cork could certainly be considered. The problem with cork is that water makes it expand. You may find that it cracks and is damaged due to improper cleaning. If you don’t have the time or the money for special treatments, avoid it. Are You on a Tight Budget? What’s your budget like for your flooring? While you may want to have saved plenty, other events and situations may have put you in a tight spot. While cork and bamboo are cheaper than hardwood floors, bamboo is the cheapest of the two options. About Home states that the cost for both types of flooring is between $6 and $8 per square foot. Bamboo is also cheaper to maintain, since you can clean it with normal cleaning methods. Where Do You Want It Placed? With the knowledge that cork can crack due to moisture, you will want to think about the placement. If you have a room that regularly suffers from dampness for whatever reason, you may want to avoid cork flooring. This can be a big problem in bathrooms. Bamboo will work in all rooms. However, both are suitable for many other rooms in the home, and this includes kitchens. If there is a spillage, quickly clean it up and you shouldn’t see any long term damage to your cork flooring. Take your time with your decision. There are many benefits to the two types of flooring, especially when it comes to cost and look. However, there are also downsides. To help you choose which one to go for, think about where you want to put it and the time you have for cleaning. These factors can really make all the difference. To learn more, contact a company like Thayer Decorating...

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Scaffolding Safety For Homeowners

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Scaffold rental can be necessary for homeowners taking on DIY projects like gutter repair and house painting. Scaffolding can make reaching parts of your house much easier, which can make your DIY projects go more quickly and smoothly. Knowing how to use your scaffolding safely is an important part of completing your home improvement projects without problems. The following tips will help you (and those around you) stay safe while using your scaffolding. Know When to Get Down Scaffolding can be dangerous during storms and times of high wind. Check the weather forecast before planning to use your scaffolding. If storm clouds roll in while you’re on the scaffolding or if the wind picks up, move on to other projects and return when the weather is safer. If your scaffolding relies on a wire and hoist system to operate (a type not commonly used in residential projects), get off the scaffolding if any wires or ropes show signs of fraying. Maintain a Level Scaffold Each time the scaffold is moved, check the decking with a level and adjust the legs as necessary. Do not extend the leg adjustment screws more than 12 inches. Keep Feet Secure on the Deck of the Scaffold Your feet should not leave the deck of the scaffold at any time during scaffold use. Do not lean out with your body bent over the railing of the scaffold or climb up on the railing at any point. Never shake the scaffold to move it one direction or another. Keep Children and Pets Safe Around the Scaffolding Pets and children may be interested in the scaffolding, and young children in particular may try to climb up on the scaffold. Set up a rope or barrier around the base of your scaffolding to keep children away from the structure. Establish rules requiring your children to walk, not run, when in the vicinity of the scaffold. Never Leave Tools Unattended on the Scaffold Leaving things on the scaffold unattended could lead to those things being blown off at a later time, during periods of bad weather. Take down everything from the deck of the scaffold when you’re finished using it. When removing tools and other items from the deck of the scaffold, lower the items. Never toss anything from the deck of the scaffold. For more information about the proper way to use a scaffold, talk to a scaffold rental company like All Star Equipment Rental & Sales, Inc. and consult with the manufacturer’s...

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2 Signs You Need To Have Your Masonry Concrete Foundation Repaired Or Restored

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Your home’s foundation is what supports your home, so it is important for your safety that it stays in good condition.  Generally, a masonry foundation consists of cinder blocks, which are concrete blocks laid in a running pattern on top of the foundation footings. A mason uses mortar mix to adhere the blocks to each other. Over time, there can be problems with the masonry foundation, and they should be addressed as soon as you notice them. Below are two signs you need to watch out for. Damage to the Mortar You may see damage in the mortar that is between the concrete blocks. You may see cracks going either vertical or horizontal, or in a stair step pattern.  When the concrete blocks of your foundation are pushed inward due to exterior pressures, you will likely see the damage as bulging or bowing at the center of the wall. This problem is often due to the soil that surrounds your foundation. When the soil becomes over saturated with water, it increases pressure. If you see these cracks or a bulge or bow, you should have your concrete foundation repaired immediately. If you do not, the blocks will start to move, and the mortar between the blocks will separate from each other. The contractor will first stabilize the soil to increase the strength and stop further movement of the foundation. They will use either carbon fiber or steel to stabilize the foundation. Masonry Discoloration If the masonry foundation on your home is old, it can start to discolor over time.  To bring your foundation back to its original color, you can hire a mason to restore it for you.  This process will also repair any cracks the foundation may have.  The mason will remove the discolored mortar joint, and then clean out any debris. They will then replace the mortar. It is important that you hire a professional to do this for you. They will know how to match the color properly, as well as how much mortar needs to be removed. Once the mason is finished, they may suggest that you seal your foundation. This will help it to stay clean much easier. The mason is able to restore individual pieces of your foundation instead of doing the entire thing, if needed. Talk to a mason in your area, like http://www.mararestoration.com, who can come to your home and inspect your foundation to see what repairs or restoration it...

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