Preparing Your Gutters For A Winter Storm: Three Steps To Take

Posted by on Nov 27, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Winter storms bring with them lots of heavy snow and ice, which can cause damage to your gutters. Preparing your gutters for winter storms can ensure proper water drainage from your home and prevent ice dams on the sides of the building. Here are three critical steps to take before the first winter snowfall to keep your gutters working smoothly all the way until the spring. Have Your Gutters Cleaned Gutter cleaning goes beyond simply removing leaves and twigs from your gutters. Over the summer months, your gutters may become a home for birds, squirrels and pesky insects. Having your gutters cleaned before the winter will remove these obstructions from the gutters safely, and may even prevent them from coming back to roost in your gutters later. If your home has tree branches near the gutters and roof line, you may have some larger branches and debris from your tree that needs to be removed. Once your gutters are clear, melting snow and ice from the approaching storms can drain properly through your gutter system. Check Your Downspout Pitches Even if your gutters are free from debris, you may still have issues with water coming into your home if your downspouts are not angled properly. Have your contractor check the pitch for each downspout to ensure the water will flow down and away from your home. Downspouts on an incorrect pitch can actually direct water toward your home, where it can enter your basement through tiny cracks in your foundation. Consider Gutter Guards Gutter guards can prevent leaves and debris from blocking your gutters, but they can also prevent damage to your gutters caused by ice. The thawing and refreezing of ice in gutters can cause damage to your gutter system. Gutter guards can prevent this by enhancing your drainage system so water does not sit in the gutters. Gutter guards also facilitate proper drainage of water as warm weather approaches and snow begins to melt. With water draining properly and not sitting in the gutters, these guards can also help to eliminate some ice dams on your home. Talk to your contractor about some other steps you can take to prepare your home for winter. You may need to install extra flashing or insulation to prevent ice dams from forming on the roof, and you might also need to trim trees back to keep your roof and gutter free from debris all year round. Taking a few precautions before winter weather strikes can ensure your home is ready to stand up to Mother...

Read More

Three Energy Efficient Improvements To Integrate Into Your Boiler

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Boilers can be a great way to efficiently heat your home and water for plumbing. They can be used for many different types of heating systems, including central HVAC and radiant flooring systems. They can also be combined with green technologies to help make your home even more energy efficient. Here are some of the things that you can do to make your boiler more energy efficient: 1. Installing Solar Collectors To Reduce Energy Consumption If you want your boiler to be as efficient as possible, there is nothing better than free energy. You can use solar collectors to help provide your boiler with the energy that is needed to heat your home. The good news is that these are very affordable systems that can easily be installed and integrated into your boiler. There are also many different types to choose from, such as an evaporated tube system, which can even provide the boiler with hot water during the coldest winter months. 2. Using A Geothermal Loop To Make Your Heating More Efficient Another option that you may want to consider for your boiler is a geothermal loop. This is a system that uses liquid that is circulated through the ground to provide energy. The ground temperature is constant, which means you boiler will need to use less energy to heat water. Another benefit of this type of system is that it can also be used with an air conditioner to help reduce the energy consumption when you need to cool your home. This can be a good investment if you are having a completely new boiler and heating system installed in your home. 3. Increase The Capacity Of Your Boiler With The Installation Of Storage Tanks The capacity of your boiler can also make a difference in energy consumption, especially if you use solar or geothermal systems. You can have additional storage tanks added to store water until it is needed by your boiler. This can allow you to collect solar energy during the daylight hours, and you boiler will have the energy available at night when there is no sunlight. These are some of the improvements that you can do to make your boiler more energy efficient. If you are ready to improve some of these features in your home, contact a boiler installation contractor to get the help you need with maintenance and upgrades to your home’s heating systems. For more information, visit a website...

Read More

How To Repoint The Mortar In A Brick Chimney

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized |

The mortar between the bricks in a chimney should leave no place for water to settle. This will prevent water from pooling up, freezing, and damaging the chimney through the process of frost wedging. Over time, however, the mortar in your chimney can start to wear out, and as it does, it can lead to damage to the bricks in your chimney. Whenever you notice that the mortar in your chimney is starting to fail, you need to act to repair it.  Recognizing Damage to Your Chimney Damage to mortar can be hard to see from a distance and hard to recognize if you don’t know what you are looking for. Thus, if the damage is near the top of your chimney, you will either need to use a ladder or climb up on your roof to get a good look at it. The first thing to look for once your are in place, is for mortar that is not flush with the face of the bricks that make up your chimney. Next, you should look for mortar that is cracked or crumbling. If you find these signs, you need to make repairs.  Repointing Your Chimney Making repairs to the mortar in a brick structure is known as repointing. Follow these steps to repoint your chimney: 1. Use a chisel and hammer to chip away any crumbling or cracked mortar.  2. Mix up a batch of mortar. Use two parts sand to one part cement and enough water to make a thick paste.  3. Put this mixture in a mortar bag. 4. Squeeze the mortar carefully into the cracks between the bricks.  5. Let the mortar dry for at least an hour.  6. Use a trowel to scrape away any mortar that sticks out past the face of the bricks in your chimney, making sure that you don’t remove so much mortar that it is no longer even with the surrounding bricks.  If you don’t repair damaged mortar in a chimney, it will continue to erode. When it does, it will no longer support the bricks of your chimney like it should, and they crack and or fall out. Thus, to keep your chimney looking good and to help it retain its structural integrity, you need to make sure that you inspect your chimney mortar regularly and make repairs when necessary. If you are uncomfortable making your repairs for any reason, then you need to call in professionals for help.  To learn more, contact a chimney repair company like Excel Chimney & Fireplace...

Read More

3 Smart Tips For Taping Off The Room For Paint Projects

Posted by on Oct 7, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you decide to tackle the painting process on your own, you must master the art of prep work to achieve excellent results. Your success in taping off the room directly influences the final appearance of the paintjob. Appropriate tape application and removal controls the paint lines and eliminates splatter on otherwise unpainted surfaces. Once you master taping off, you can complete nearly any paint project in your home, from one color coverage to intricately designed accent walls. Here are three tips to help you master the fine art of taping off the room.   Don’t Press The Edges Down For quick and easy removal of the tape upon completion of the painting job, you need to leave the outside edge unattached. As you tape around trim, doorframes and windows, resist the urge to press the floating edge around the side of the protected surface. The floating edge will catch paint drips and direct them away from the trim boards or other unpainted surfaces. Furthermore, at the end of the job, you will not have to peel the tape off the surface with your nail. You can simply grab the open end and lift the paint off the surface with one smooth movement.   Verify Edge Seal With Nail Once you finish taping off the room, you will need to make sure the masking tape does not have any breaches in its connection points. If the tape has any air bubbles or uneven sections, it could allow paint to drip underneath, ruining the finish of that surface. Since the tape hides the drips, you would not even notice the problem until the paint soaks in and dries. You can verify the tape is securely connected by running your fingernail over the masked edge next to the wall. Remove Before The Paint Dries After you finish applying all of the paint coats, walk around the room and check for thickly coated areas threatening to drip. Upon verifying the paint is evenly applied and not at risk of dripping off the wall or ceiling surface, you must remove all of the masking tape at once. If you wait for the paint to dry before removing the tape, it will often tear pieces of dried paint off the wall with its removal. Instead, while the paint is still wet, you can carefully pull the tape off the protected surface and away from the wall for a clean removal. If you grow frustrated with mastering paint prep work, you can choose to assign the taping and painting tasks to your general contractor.  These skilled professionals can use their skills to tape off the room, paint and unmask all of the surfaces to create...

Read More

Removing Toys Dropped Down Drains Is Not Child’s Play

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Clogs in drains are frequently disasters-in-waiting. A clog causes flooding which, in turn, leads to potentially massive damage to an interior. Mercifully, certain clogs are pretty easy to deal with. Pouring drain cleaner breaks down the obstruction and opens up the pipes. When a little kid (or a big kid) drops a toy down a drain, however, the problem with a clogged drain becomes a bit more complicated. Drain cleaner is not exactly going to melt a toy helicopter made of metal and plastic. DIY steps to clear the out could lead to an even bigger disaster. A Plunger is a No-Go Reaching for a plunger is probably the first step taken soon after a toy helicopter is dropped or flushed. Honestly, a plunger could end up making things a lot worse. Plungers create suction that can pull apart and loosen clumps of tissue, food, soap scum, and other refuse. Tissue is malleable. A toy helicopter is not. The plunger may move the helicopter around and allow it to sink deeper into the plumbing or septic lines. The end result here is now it becomes a lot harder and costlier to get the toy out or deal with clogs filling lengthier amounts of pipe. Don’t DIY Without Experience There are some “simple” steps suggested to deal with a toy-clogged drain. The two-pronged plan of using plumbing wire and, if that fails, removing the toilet to eliminate the obstruction is best left to someone who knows a little bit about plumbing. For one, the wire could end up getting stuck or dropped down the drain creating more problems. A plumber using a professional-grade rooter could smash up that helicopter or any other toy with ease. Creating more obstructions with a lost DIY wire might necessitate removing pieces of pipe underneath the home. Removing the toilet is probably another bad idea unless you know how to properly caulk the toilet when putting it back. Caulking is one of those jobs that looks easy, but actually requires a lot of deliberate care. Even slight imperfections in in the new caulking will allow moisture to enter. The end result may be massive damage to the floor and further costly repairs. Call The Clog an Emergency To call dropping a toy down a drain an emergency is not an overreaction. Damage to the pipes and floods in the home are serious matters. The best way to deal with the situation is to call a local plumber like Ken Tyson Plumbing right...

Read More

Clean Your Gutters Every Fall Or Never Clean Them Again: How Gutter Products Make A Difference

Posted by on Sep 3, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Gutter installers have already begun to receive phone calls this year as autumn begins in the farthest Northern points of the U.S. and leaves and twigs have begun filling gutters. If you find that you just cannot push yourself to climb another ladder and clean another gutter, there is help for you. You can also avoid the annual expense of hiring someone else to clean your gutters with some very useful gutter products and accessories. The Cheapest Gutter Accessory–Foam Gutter foam is the cheapest option available to you. Pre-cut sections of angled foam allow for water, melted snow and melted ice to pass through, while the debris of autumn sits on top of the foam wedges until it dries out and blows away. The one down side is that an accumulation of wet leaves can sit on top of the foam and create molding mess that draws bugs and spreads the mold to your roof eaves. If you utilize gutter heaters to melt snow and ice to prevent ice dams, this also presents a problem because you cannot leave the heaters in the gutters with the foam wedges. The Second Choice-Gutter Filters In long, snap-on sections of what looks like a cheese grater you can find help with gutter filters. These are especially nice because they snap on, precipitation flows right through them, some lesser particles of debris can flow through, and larger debris flows right over the top and onto the ground. Nothing gets caught, stuck or messy, and you will not have to clean your gutters for several years in a row. (Eventually you might want to climb up and make sure the collection of small debris particles, the pieces that can actually fit through the filters, has not accumulated and become a blockage. With the filters, this will take a long time, but cleaning occurs less than annually, and that might be enough of a break for you.) Full-on Gutter Guards This gutter product replaces your gutters entirely with a hooded gutter. All large debris slips off the vinyl tops of the gutter guards while precipitation runs down into the very narrow opening of the gutters underneath. Most gutter guard products are guaranteed to prevent any gutter cleaning at all for the next decade or more, and this type of accessory is easily and quickly installed by gutter installers who sell gutter guard systems. They are the most expensive accessory because they require the complete replacement of your current gutters, but they will pay for themselves after just a couple of years. For professional gutter care, contact a company such as Tingley’s Seamless...

Read More
Page 5 of 10« First...34567...10...Last »