Security Fencing Options: Aluminum VS Wrought Iron

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

If you are in need of a security fence to put around your business property, there are several types to choose from. Fencing that is made of metal is usually a good option for security, because it is sturdy, can handle the elements, and is almost impossible to break into. Many metal fences also come with a variety of gates, which allows you to completely close off your business property when not in use. Aluminum and wrought iron metal fencing are two of the most common types, which are detailed below.

What is Aluminum Fencing?

One type of metal security fence you can choose for your business is an aluminum fence. This type of fence is made of metal pickets and rails of sturdy, powder-coated aluminum. Many of these fences come with a lifetime warranty because they are meant to last many years. Aluminum is a stable material that allows you to get the security you need without worrying about intruders.

What is Wrought Iron Fencing?

Another option with metal fencing for your business security is wrought iron fencing. These use square tubing and punched channels, as opposed to typical pickets and rails. It is another excellent fence made with black powder coating so that it doesn’t need to be painted over and over again. Wrought iron fencing has a shorter warranty because it doesn’t typically last as long as aluminum.

Why Choose Aluminum Fencing?

One of the biggest advantages to aluminum fencing over wrought iron fencing is that it is nearly maintenance-free. It does not rust, chip or crack over time like wrought iron fencing. Aluminum fencing also should not need to be painted as you won’t have peeling or chipping paint. Between the lack of maintenance and the long lifetime warranty of aluminum, this makes it a great investment. The aluminum is lighter than wrought iron, it is also less expensive to buy the materials for the fence, and it is easier to install.

For business security, make sure you get commercial-grade aluminum for your fence, as it is lighter and slightly less secure than a strong, wrought iron fence.

Why Choose Wrought Iron Fencing?

Wrought iron fencing on the other hand is much heavier than aluminum, which can actually be a benefit. While it is more expensive and has a more difficult installation process, wrought iron is much harder for intruders to get into. They won’t be able to bring tools to break into your fence, making it excellent for a high amount of security. This type of fence is preferred when you have a business with very expensive or sensitive information you are trying to keep locked up, such as if you own a self storage unit. It is also an attractive type of metal with many design options available.

For more information, contact City Fence or a similar company.

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3 Tips For Winter Chimney Repairs

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in Blog, Construction & Contractors | 0 comments

An aging chimney can lead to all sorts of problems, from unsightly cracking to damaging water leaks. While chimney repairs are best performed in warm weather, sometimes the problem demands immediate attention–whatever the time of year. Yet, if you intend to hire a chimney repair service in cold weather, there are a few things you should know. This article will present three tips for winter chimney repairs.

1. Never attempt repairs in freezing weather.

Most chimney repair jobs require an element of masonry work. Depending on the type of chimney you have, this may either involve the application of fresh concrete stucco or brick mortar. Unfortunately, neither of these substances perform well when applied in freezing temperatures. That’s because when they freeze, the water in them causes them to expand, leading to the formation of cracks.

In general, it is best to wait for warmer weather before performing such repair jobs. Of course, sometimes things just can’t wait. If you have to attempt a winter repair, be advised that you should only proceed if the temperatures are forecast to remain above freezing for at least 36 hours. This will help ensure that your stucco or mortar is able to set without freezing.

2. Consider using a tarp.

Many houses contain chimneys which for one reason or another are simply not used. If this is true in your case, you might consider having the chimney covered with a waterproof tarp until repairs can be made in the springtime. This will prevent water from exacerbating the problem or, even worse, penetrating into your home.

That said, it is vital to double check that you are not unwittingly covering up an active flue. Oftentimes, furnaces, boilers, or water heaters may tap into the chimney in order to release the carbon monoxide caused by their combustion. When hiring a repair company to install your tarp, be sure to ask them to check that the outlet they’re covering belongs to the chimney alone.

3. Warm your materials for winter repairs.

If temperatures are forecast to remain above freezing, you may choose to go ahead with your repair. Yet it is still important to do everything you can to ensure your stucco or mortar doesn’t freeze before it’s been able to fully set. Begin by bringing all of your repair supplies indoors. Allowing them to come up to room temperature before being mixed will allow them to set faster.

In addition, discuss the possibility of heating the outside of the chimney using a portable space heater. Even a slight increase in its exterior temperature will hasten the setting time. Be sure to ask your chimney repair person if this is a viable option for you.

Bottom Line

Winter is not the ideal time of year to have to perform a chimney repair. Unfortunately, sometimes there’s simply no other choice. When faced with the prospect of a winter repair, it is therefore important to have the right information. The tips outlined in this article should provide some valuable guidelines as you proceed. If you’re looking for a company to repair your chimney, consider contacting Carleton Chimney Services.

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Three Luxurious Shower Choices For Your Spa-Style Bathroom

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

When designing a spa-style bathroom, many homeowners focus on their tile choices, the placement of light fixtures, and their selection of specialty options like heated floors and Jacuzzi tubs. One design element that deserves a little more attention is the type of shower plumbing fixture you include. After all, if your goal is to create a luxurious bathroom that makes you feel pampered and elegant, a plain shower head just won’t do. Here’s a look at three super-luxurious options.

Overhead Rain Panels

Do you love the feeling of rain falling on you from overhead? An overhead rain panel is built into your shower ceiling. Instead of releasing a 3 – 4 inch stream of water like a typical shower head, it features numerous rain jets spread over a 2 or 3 square foot space. This makes for a very relaxing shower experience and envelopes your whole body in water, all at once.

Installing overhead rain panels will require some reworking of the plumbing layout in your bathroom, since the water will be released from overhead rather than from the wall. Also, you’ll typically want a large shower drain to capture all of the water and prevent overflows.

Wide, Semi-Traditional Shower Heads

If your shower and bathroom designs limit the space available for specialized plumbing but you like the idea of a rain-like shower, a wide, semi-traditional shower head may be the right choice for you. In most cases, all you’ll have to do to convert from a plain, wall-mounted shower head to this style is have a longer arm installed. The arm extends from the wall, towards the center of the shower. Attached to the end of it is a large shower head, which faces downward and emits a rain-like stream of water. You won’t typically need any special style of drain for this shower design, so you may be able to avoid costly pluming modifications entirely.

Multiple Wall-Mounted Shower Heads

Picture two shower heads on each of two opposite walls. Whenever you turn your shower on, you’re enveloped in water coming from both directions. This arrangement creates a massage-like sensation, since the water hits you at multiple points on your body instead of just from overhead.

Incorporating multiple shower heads into your shower design typically requires re-working your plumbing. You’ll need pipes running to both sides of your shower. Usually, any centrally located drain is sufficient for capturing the water.

When working with an architect or builder to design your luxurious bathroom, don’t forget to consider your shower choices. Picking one early in the design process will make it easier for your contractors to design the bathroom around the necessary plumbing. Talk to your local plumber, such as Norm’s Mobile Service Plumbing & Heating Ltd, for more options.

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Professional Maintenance Can Help You Avoid Future Furnace Problems

Posted by on Dec 2, 2014 in Blog, Construction & Contractors | 0 comments

Now that the cold weather is here, it’s important to make sure your home’s heating system is working at top efficiency. A service professional can prevent future problems by doing a thorough inspection and performing any necessary furnace repairs while completing these tasks: 

Thermostat troubleshooting: The technician will make sure that your electronic thermostat has a functioning battery. They’ll check the components for dust, cleaning it with compressed air. They’ll make sure that the wiring isn’t loose, and tighten any terminals. A thermostat that has been knocked crooked can be inaccurate, so they’ll make sure that it is level. 

Air filter inspection: Your technician will want to know how often your air filter is changed. They will check to make sure you’re using the appropriate style and size. They can also demonstrate how you can change the filter yourself between scheduled professional service maintenance calls. 

Voltage testing: The professional will use their equipment to check all electrical connections in your system and replace any disconnected or loose parts in order to avoid any future component failure. 

Oiling: The moving parts of your system will be subjected to increased friction and wear out faster if the lubrication isn’t properly maintained. A qualified professional knows how to expertly add oil without gumming up the unit’s mechanism. 

Exhaust outlet inspection: It is critical that your heating system’s exhaust is expelled properly. If not, it could create a hazardous buildup of carbon monoxide or other gases. The worker will check your vent stack or chimney flue to make sure there are no leaks, back drafts, or corrosion and replace any damaged parts in order to fend off any potential harmful situations.

Condensation drain management: Your furnace’s condensation drain needs to be kept free of obstructions. Water damage, interior high humidity, and possible bacterial growth could occur if the technician doesn’t clear out the blockage.

Fuel line inspection: The accumulation of soot on a furnace’s burner combustion chamber can reduce its heating efficiency. Cracked heat exchangers, leaky fuel lines, and broken connections need proper attention in order to avoid safety and fire hazards. The pressure of the gas or oil lines needs to be checked to make sure that the proper amount of fuel is reaching the furnace. 

Start and shutdown control testing: The technician will test your heating system’s start and stopping cycles and make any necessary repairs to ensure your system continues to work properly. 

Your furnace may not be showing any signs of problems now, but scheduling a maintenance check today can prevent any sudden breakdowns in the future. For more information, contact a local HVAC company, like Just In Time Furnace Inc.

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Three Ways To Insulate Your Home To Make It More Energy Efficient

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Insulating your home doesn’t just end with the walls.  There are other areas of your home that may be poorly insulated, and you may be feeling the pain in your wallet.  When your house lacks adequate insulation, your heating and air conditioning system has to work much harder to maintain the desired indoor climate.  This overworking of your heating and air conditioning system not only results in larger energy bills, it can also shorten the lifespan of your unit.  Instead of spending unnecessary money to heat and cool your home, use these tips to learn more about the areas of your home that you can insulate so you can save big.

Insulate Your Attic

One of the most overlooked areas in any home is the attic.  Unless you have converted your attic into a usable room, it is likely a place that gets little traffic and is largely used for storage.  If you are one of the many people who rarely uses your attic, you may be unaware of how poorly insulated the space is.  When your attic doesn’t have the proper insulation, a great deal of your indoor air escapes outdoors and throws your system into overdrive.  This is especially true during the cold seasons, since heat naturally rises.

Insulating your attic is the perfect way to make your home more energy efficient.  The insulation will trap your indoor air and keep it inside, as well as serve as a buffer against outdoor air getting in. 

Your Doors And Windows Can Be Insulated Too

Insulating your doors and windows not only helps make your home more energy efficient, it also works to prevent bugs and other critters from entering your abode.  Although the insulation that you use around doors and windows looks different than the type that is used in walls, it has the exact same function:  Preventing air and sound from seeping out of your home.

You can purchase inexpensive stripping from a local hardware store to place in the cracks and crevices of your doors and windows.  If you notice any gaps in your window, you can buy caulking to fill in these places for even greater protection.

Insulate Your Basement

Basements are another overlooked space in homes that can be a big offender as it pertains to making your home less energy efficient.  Insulating your basement is important because the space is in such close proximity to the cool soil, which can make a substantial difference in how much cold air enters your home.  Bringing in a professional who can add insulation to your basement is a great way to prevent excessive seepage, while you enjoy the energy savings.

Insulating your home can help to increase its value, while it simultaneously decreases your energy bills.  Talk with an insulation contractor, such as Four Seasons Insulation Ltd., so you can enjoy the benefits of an energy efficient house.

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