How To Prevent Damage To Your Marble Floors

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Blog, Construction & Contractors | 0 comments

There is no doubt that marble floors lend a touch of elegance to any home. Unfortunately, this beauty and elegance can quickly begin to fade if your marble floors are not properly cared for. This is why it is so important to take preventive measures to protect your floors from damage. Implementing the simple tips below can help you to accomplish this task.

Place Door Mats At All Entrances

Even the smallest grains of dirt and sand can scratch the surface of your marble floors. In order to limit the amount of dirt that makes it into your home, it is important to place door mats at all entrances. While a mat outside will often be enough to manage the flow of dirt and debris at a rarely used entrance, you may find that you need a mat both inside and outside of high traffic entrances in order to successfully accomplish this task.

Sweep And Mop Daily

Many people are hesitant to mop their marble floors due to the porous nature of this stone. However, sweeping and damp mopping your floors on a daily basis can help to prevent dirt from penetrating the stone’s surface and causing permanent etching.

When mopping your floor each day, be sure to use a mop that is slightly damp rather than sopping wet. Plain warm water should be enough to get rid of most dirt if you are cleaning your floors each day, however, you can use a mild detergent to help get rid of any stubborn dirt or sticky substances. When using detergent to clean your floors, be sure to dilute this detergent well in warm water before use. You should also avoid the use of any detergents that contain bleach or citric acid, as these ingredients can damage your floor.

Always Tend To Spills Quickly

Any spills, including a water spill, should be attended to quickly. This is very important because the longer you allow liquids to sit on your marble floor, the higher the risk will be of leaving permanent etching behind.

When cleaning up a spill, be sure to use a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching your floors or leaving behind cloth fibers that can ultimately cause your floor to look dull or dirty.

In Conclusion

Taking the time to care for your marble floors each day will ultimately prove to be the most efficient and most affordable way of maintaining these high end floors. While keeping up with this daily care may seem a bit tedious at first, repairing the damage that can be caused by failing to complete this daily routine can prove far more expensive and time consuming.

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Tips For Dealing With Noises In Your Plumbing System

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Your home’s plumbing system contains a long network of pipes, all of which can shift and move as the water flow and pressure changes. Noises coming from the plumbing system, including banging and squealing, don’t always mean that there’s damage. Noise could be an indication that there’s excess pressure in the pipe or may just mean that you need to stabilize and support the pipes. Here are some tips for dealing with pressure and loose pipes.

Adjusting the Pressure Regulator

If there’s a pressure buildup in the pipes, you may need to adjust the pressure regulator. Look outside the house where the water line feeds in. There should be a pressure regulator attached to the line before it comes into the house.

Attach a pressure gauge to the outside hose bib and turn the water on to normal flow. If the pressure reading indicates a level over 65 psi, you should adjust the pressure regulator to reduce the pressure in the pipes. The pressure should be closer to 60 psi for less stress on the plumbing system. To lower the water pressure, you can use a flathead screwdriver to loosen the regulator’s lock nut.

Installing a Water Hammer Arrestor

If the noise is exclusive to a specific faucet or faucets, you may be able to stop the sound by installing a water hammer arrestor on the water line in question. Some of the most common lines to cause these noises are dishwasher lines and washing machines, because the valves close quickly, causing the pipes to shift.

Water hammer arrestors for washing machine lines are screw-on fixtures, which makes them quick and easy to install. In other cases, they connect to the pipe directly. In those instances, you’ll have to cut the pipe and add a tee to the line. Before you cut into the pipes, make sure that you turn the water off.

Adding Support Straps

If your noisy water pipes are due to loose supports, you’ll want to install more support straps along the pipes. You can identify this as the problem by monitoring the pipes along the ceiling in the basement or throughout the house as you turn the water on. If they shift slightly as they make noise, they need support.

When you install support straps, you need a secure destination for the mounting screws. Make sure that the wood or support beam that you use is solid so that the screws stay in place. Use an electric screwdriver or drill to install the screws so that you can be sure that they are as tight as possible.

Since your water pipes can be affected by many things, the tips presented here can help you troubleshoot the issue. If the problem persists, local plumbing contractors can help you isolate and repair the problem.

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Improve A Small Yard With The Right Tree

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Blog, Construction & Contractors | 0 comments

All too often, small yards are plain yards. A small square of grass, with maybe a few flowers in a boring border bed, is all you see. Make even the smallest place more visually appealing by adding a tree or two. Trees add color and shade to your landscape, while also providing varying textures and heights that draw the eye upward. This can give the illusion of a larger, more welcoming space.

Choose a Few Key Trees

Placement is key when space is at a premium. First, determine what you want to achieve with the trees on your lot:

  • Do you want to shade the house in summer or block cold winter winds? If so, then one or two carefully placed trees may be all you need.

  • Are you more interested in aesthetics—such as framing the entrance to your yard? Two slender trees with a high canopy can frame without shading the entire yard.

  • Is food your final goal? Most fruit varieties come in dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties, or you can have fruit trees trimmed into an espalier that grows flat along a fence.

  • Do you prefer trees that add to the quality of your landscape? Whether you want shade for a garden bench, a profusion of spring flowers, or a place to hang a wooden swing, chances are you can achieve the goal with a single well-placed tree.

Trim Regularly

Although tree trimming is important in any yard, it’s vital if you have a small lot. Annual pruning helps your tree maintain a low but full shape. Start trimming as soon as you plant the trees. Consulting a professional tree service is your best option. They can help you choose the varieties that will achieve your goals, and then they can keep them pruned so they develop a strong framework that won’t outgrow your space. Most trees require annual pruning, especially if you opt for evergreens.

Keep Them Healthy

A sick or damaged tree isn’t attractive, and it can pose a major hazard to your property and well-being on a small lot where the only room to fall is on top your roof.

Your tree service company can help you identify and treat pest infestations or diseases promptly, giving you the time and the tools needed to keep the tree healthy. Combined with regular maintenance, including pruning, fertilizing, and watering, your trees will benefit your landscape instead of endangering your home.

A small lot doesn’t have to mean a plain yard. Take the time to develop a landscape plan that makes the most of your space while still leaving room for a few healthy and attractive trees.

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3 Advantageous Things To Use When Repairing Your Home’s Roof

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Blog, Construction & Contractors | 0 comments

When something is wrong with your roof, you may want to repair it yourself. If you are going to be taking on one of these roof repair jobs, the things listed below will come in handy.

Penetration-Resistant Boots with Rubber Outsoles

There may be sharp nails and screws on your roof, which could severely hurt you if you step on them. This doesn’t have to be a problem, though, if you wear penetration-resistant boots with rubber outsoles. These boots feature a durable sole that will not allow sharp objects to break through the bottom surface.

Since these boots have rubber outsoles, they will be completely slip-resistant. So while you are walking on your roof, wet surfaces will not cause you to slip and fall off your roof. A lot of these boots are completely waterproof, so if you are working out in the rain, water will not seep in through your boots and get your feet wet.

Steel Roofing Spade

Removing damaged shingles by hand by can be tiring and dangerous, as some of the shingles may be sharp and could cut your hands. You can stay safe when removing shingles if you use a steel roofing spade. These spades have teeth-like points on the end, which help you get underneath shingles with ease.

The teeth-like points also help you remove nails and screws, along with the shingles, in one smooth motion. The steel construction makes these spades extremely durable, so you don’t have to replace them on a regular basis.

When selecting a roofing spade, you might consider one with a fiberglass handle. This design makes the spades lightweight and easier to work with for hours.

Magnetic Sweeper

After working for a while, metal pieces like screws and nails may collect around your property. Fortunately, you don’t have to pick these pieces up one by one if you use a magnetic sweeper.

Featuring a magnet on the front, this sweeper will collect metal objects around your property. All you have to do is push these sweepers forward. Thanks to large side-mounted wheels, going over tough terrains will not be a physically demanding task.

After collecting nails, screws and other metal objects, you can put this sweeper over the trash can. Once you pull the lever down on the side, the magnet will instantly let go of the metal pieces.

Repairing your roof can be difficult and dangerous, but it doesn’t have to be when you use the things listed above. They will help your roof repair job go as smoothly as possible. And of course, if you don’t have this equipment and climbing around on your roof doesn’t appeal to you, you can always hire an experienced roofing company to take care of it for you. 

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3 Tips To Ensure That Everyone Gets A Hot Shower

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Blog, Construction & Contractors | 0 comments

Does it feel as if there’s never enough hot water for everyone in your house to get a hot shower? If so, you may be thinking about replacing your hot water heater. Before you do though, there are some simple tips that may be able to increase the amount of hot water you get, without the need to buy a whole new large appliance. Try out these tips before you call a plumbing expert. 

Insulate the Hot Water Heater

The better the insulation around the hot water heater, the hotter the water will be, and the less of it you’ll need to use to reach your desired water temperature. Your hot water heater may not be insulated, or it may be that your insulation is old and no longer very effective. You can solve that problem by adding more insulation yourself.

You have two options – you can wrap fiberglass insulation around the hot water heater and secure it with duct tape, or you can go to the home improvement store and pick up a water heater insulation kit. Both options work equally well, but the kit may be easier to use if you aren’t used to working with insulation. Be sure not to cover the thermostat, and if it’s a gas furnace, stay away from the vent as well to avoid a fire hazard.

Insulate the Hot Water Pipes

It won’t do much good to ensure that the water is piping hot inside the heater if it’s just going to get cold on its way to the shower. Luckily, putting insulation on pipes is even easier than insulating the hot water heater. Self-stick pipe insulation is an inexpensive, simple fix.

Self-stick pipe insulation is made of foam, and it has a slit down the middle and an adhesive edge. Just open the foam tube at the split, position the insulation over the pipe, pull off the paper over the adhesive, and press the two sides of the foam together around the pipe. As simply as that, your pipes are insulated.

Flush the Hot Water Heater

Flushing the hot water heater is an important part of water heater maintenance, but many homeowners don’t know how to do it. It should be done at least every three years. Sediment that builds up in your tank can cause the water to heat less efficiently, so it’s definitely worth a try if you aren’t getting enough hot water.

Start by turning off the power or gas to the hot water heater, and if it’s a gas heater, set the thermostat to “pilot”. You’ll also need to turn off the knob that controls the cold water flow into the tank. Turn the hot water faucet on in one of the sinks or tubs.

Next, attach a hose to the valve at the bottom of the heater, put the other end of the hose into a bucket in a safe place, and turn on the valve to let the water flow out. After you release some of the water, check a bucket full of water for sediment – it will look like sand. If you see it, continue flushing the tank until you get a few buckets of water that is clear and free of sediment. When you’re done, turn off the valve, detach the hose, turn the water supply back on, and then adjust the thermostat and before you turn the power back on.

These suggestions are inexpensive or free, and should help with your hot water difficulties. However, if you find that you still don’t have enough hot water, it may be time to talk to your plumber about upgrading to a bigger hot water heater or a tankless heater that supplies hot water on demand. 

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