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How To Protect Your Patio From Harsh Weather

Posted by on 12:00 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Protect Your Patio From Harsh Weather

Unless you are planning to completely rebuild your patio in the near future, you might want to think about all of the ways in which you can protect it from the harsh weather. This way, your patio will remain in great shape for many years to come. Install A Quality Patio Cover There are a lot of patio covers on the market, so you will want to be careful to select the one that best suits your needs. For example, you may want a patio cover that will cover the entire length and width of your patio. This way, it will be best protected from falling snow. Then, even during pleasant weather, you and your loved ones will be able to sit out on the patio without having the hot sun rays beating down on you. Do Not Use Rock Salt If you leave in a region where you get some snow and ice during the winter months, you will need to make sure that you are making it safe to walk across the patio and up and down its steps without slipping. While it may be tempting to use rock salt for this purpose, you will want to avoid doing so. The rock salt can eat away at any sealant or wood stain that you have applied to your patio. Also, the salt tends to dry out the wood, which could cause it to break apart. Instead, you will simply want to shovel the snow off while making sure that you are not scraping the wood with the snow shovel. Spread some fresh cat litter over the areas where you will be walking, as this will provide you with the traction you need. Allow the sun to take care of the rest by melting the ice. Apply A Coat Of Sealant In order to protect the wood patio from splitting apart, drying out, or fading in color, you will want to apply a quality sealant. Make sure that you are applying it during a time when the forecast is not calling for any rain for a few days. This will ensure that the sealant has plenty of time to dry. You may have to repeat the application of sealant every one to two years depending on how much harsh weather you experience where you live. When you do your best to protect your patio, it will last for many years. Contact a company like The Patio Cover Guy to learn...

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Pros And Cons Of A Sprayed-On Roof For Your Commercial Building

Posted by on 3:54 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pros And Cons Of A Sprayed-On Roof For Your Commercial Building

The first time you heard of a sprayed-on roofing system (you can choose SPF, which stands for Spray Polyurethane Foam, or a silicone option), you probably thought that it sounded like an original idea but not super reliable. However, it does have unique selling points that make it an ideal choice for certain commercial roofs, so you should consider it from all angles before simply dismissing it in favor of a type of roof that you know more about. Here are the pros and cons of this roofing type for your commercial building. Pros Seamlessness is a big benefit with this type of roof. Because it’s sprayed on evenly over the whole surface, it doesn’t have joins or overlapping shingles or any other weak spots where edges come together. Because joins and seams have prime vulnerability to leaks, this means your roof is less likely to develop leaking problems and require repairs. Another bonus is that your roof won’t have overhang that can catch an updraft, which is especially important if you live in an area frequented by hurricanes, tornadoes, or other strong winds. In addition, sprayed-on roofs are eco-friendly because they’re light in color, meaning that your building won’t use as much energy on air conditioning. And the roof is fairly impervious; if your building isn’t destroyed and you take good care of the roof, it could last indefinitely. Cons A high-quality sprayed-on system can actually be quite expensive, which makes sense when you realize that it’s made out of a high-quality silicone material. In addition, one of the ways you’re supposed to maintain your spray-coated roof is by “re-coating” it every few years, which sounds an awful lot like replacing the roofing material, doesn’t it? Fortunately, the “re-coating” procedure is less invasive and much less expensive than the initial application and does not involve removing the coat of sprayed-on material that was initially applied. And while your roofing contractor may suggest that you get your roof “re-coated” after the first few years, that’s just because it’s important to give the roof a few years to settle in and then make sure it’s in good shape for long-term use. After the first re-coating you probably won’t need to worry about re-coatings more than once a decade or so. These pros and cons show some of the ways that sprayed-on roofing systems are different from conventionally applied roofing materials. Although spray-coated roofing isn’t for everyone, it’s an exciting new paradigm that can change how you think about your commercial roofing systems. For more information, contact a company like East Texas Roof Works & Sheet Metal...

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Stonework Project to Give Your Landscaping the Natural Look & Feel of Stone

Posted by on 3:35 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Stonework Project to Give Your Landscaping the Natural Look & Feel of Stone

If you want to have more natural materials in the design of features around your home, stone is one of the most versatile materials. It can be used for anything from finishing exterior walls to building fences and retaining walls. You may even want to use stone to create a water feature or give a patio area a textured surface. Here are some landscaping projects that can be done with stone to give a natural look: Face Old Brick & Concrete With More Attractive Stone Materials Old brick and concrete can be an unsightly feature of your home’s exterior. If you are trying to accomplish a more natural design, then you may want to consider materials like wood or stone to finish the exterior. Stone is a great choice of material that can be used to add a veneer face to these dull or worn surfaces. There are also a variety of materials to choose from, such as field stone or synthetic stone veneer systems that are meant for home renovations. Add Stone Paths With a Natural Looking Design that Blends in With Nature Another option you may want to consider for your home to add a natural stone look is paths. Instead of a conventional concrete or wood material, consider making garden paths out of stone. This can even be done to upgrade existing concrete pathways with a brand new stone look. New synthetic pavers are also available to give your landscaping a makeover with stone paths and patios. Include Rock Gardens With Natural & Synthetic Materials to Add More Texture to Landscaping You may have a yard that is flat and does not have natural features like rocks. If you want to give your landscaping more texture, consider doing a rock garden. There are a variety of different size stones that you can get from stone supply services. You may also want to consider doing synthetic stone sculptures to add large boulders to your rock garden design. Consider Unique Water Features That Have Stone Details & Access for a Custom Design If you want to have a natural landscaping design, water features are great for plants and animals. One thing that can often be missing from a water feature is stone and natural rocks. Using stone to create details like waterfalls and other features can help give your design more of a custom look and natural feel. These are some of the options that you may want to consider if you are ready to add features to your landscaping with a natural feel. If you are ready to get started with some of these projects, contact a limestone supplier like Small’s Sand Gravel Inc to help you with choosing the best materials for your landscaping...

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Water Well System Maintenance Tips That Ensure A Safe Drinking Supply

Posted by on 8:02 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Water Well System Maintenance Tips That Ensure A Safe Drinking Supply

If you are a homeowner and you have your own water well situated on your property, you most likely want to take the needed steps in keeping your water supply safe for consumption, bathing, and cleaning. Failing to keep tabs on the activities that occur around your well, in addition to failing to evaluate the water supply regularly, can lead to illness if the supply is contaminated in any way. Here are some steps you can take to ensure the water you use on a daily basis is in the best possible condition at all times. Make It A Priority To Keep Hazardous Material Away From The Well It is extremely important to keep all hazardous materials away from your drinking supply. Any liquid substance you use near your well can seep into the system if there is damage to the well structure. Avoid washing an item with a chemical agent anywhere near your well. Consider switching from pesticides to organic methods such as the application of nematodes when pests are a problem in your yard. Keep pets away from the well so waste does not add bacteria to your water supply. Do not place your gas container on the ground near your well when filling a lawnmower or weed-wacker. Keeping liquid items away from your well will keep your supply at a lower risk of contamination. Inspect The Well System For Indications Of Damage Take the time to check over the structural components of your well system periodically for damage. The cap portion protruding from the ground should have a tight seal to keep water contained without worry of unwanted additives. If this cap appears cracked, or if it jiggles around loosely when you try to jostle it, it may be putting your water supply at risk. The sound of trickling water near the well indicates a problem with a valve inside. If either of these scenarios occur, call a well inspection service to check over your well in detail and make needed repairs. Evaluate And Disinfect Your Water Supply To Ensure Quality It is a good idea to have your well water tested if you are worried the supply has been compromised. Call your local Health Department to find out the number of a reputable water testing service in your area. If they indicate your water is not up to par, they will give you recommendations on the right method in treating it so it is considered safe once again. In many cases, adding bleach to the supply will eliminate bacteria present inside. This can be done on your own, but will require that the water supply is not used for a few days afterward to allow the substance to mix with the supply...

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Locating Your Septic Field Before Beginning A New Construction Project

Posted by on 12:49 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Locating Your Septic Field Before Beginning A New Construction Project

If you are planning to build a shop, garage, barn, shed or other building on your property, you will first need to learn the location of any utilities running below the construction site. This is a basic safety measure required by law in most parts of the United States, but it is sometimes easier said than done, particularly in areas that have been inhabited for a long period of time. If, for example, your septic field was installed before you moved into your home, you may only have a vague idea of its location. Tracking down your field and any other pipes nearby is a necessary first step before you can begin breaking ground.  Checking Local Regulations  Prior to committing to any project, you should look into your local building regulations and ensure that you will be able to meet all of the requirements, inspections and paperwork deadlines required for your particular structure. Most areas require that the ground be swept for utilities before permission is granted to proceed. If you aren’t sure which regulations you should be following, contact a pipe locator service in your area for some expert guidance.  Examining Your Records You can get a rough idea of your septic field’s location through the documents and blueprints that should have been drafted during its installation. You will need to know both its size and the direction it runs, allowing you to mark off the area where pipes are likely to be present. Some homeowners are able to eyeball their field by checking for a patch of lusher grass over the septic tank.  Considering the Presence of Undetected Lines Even if you have the precise corners of your septic field marked based on exact documentation, you will likely still need to go to further efforts in order to get construction approval. This is due to the possibility of old or unrecorded pipes, which could be lurking below the surface and prone break without warning. If your local laws require you to guarantee that there are no lines at all in the construction area, your best bet will likely be to call a pipe locator service to scan the site for you.  Hiring a Pipe Locator Service Most pipe locators no longer need to probe the soil physically, which once carried a risk of damaging any pipes they bumped into. Nowadays, modern technology has allowed professional technicians to peer into the ground and detect both the metal in lines and the frequencies they emit. This makes it possible to sweep an entire construction site in a relatively short time, while still providing excellent accuracy. Rather than attempting to decipher these frequencies and the machinery involved on your own, it’s usually far more cost-effective to hire professionals to get the job done both quickly and thoroughly. Keep your project on schedule and avoid expensive fines by taking care of these preliminary measures as soon as possible.  For more information, contact Spearhead Locating Services Inc. or a similar...

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FAQ About Inground Swimming Pools

Posted by on 7:30 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on FAQ About Inground Swimming Pools

Are you thinking about getting an inground swimming pool installed to take up space in your large backyard? Although having a swimming pool is a nice feature to have in a backyard, there are a few things you should know before moving forward with construction. This article answers a few of the questions that might come to your mind when investing in an inground swimming pool. What Kind of Materials Can Be Used for Construction? There are various types of materials that can be used for constructing an inground swimming pool. If you are looking to get a pool constructed on a limited budget, opting for vinyl is ideal because it is the most affordable. However, concrete is one of the popular materials used for inground swimming pool construction. There is also the option of fiberglass or gunite. Will Regular Maintenance Be Necessary? Maintenance will be required in order to keep the water in your pool safe for swimming in. For instance, it is important for the chemicals to be balanced, such as with a sufficient amount of chlorine for fighting germs. It is also wise to get the filtration system cleaned every now and then to make sure debris from the surface of the pool is able to flow out freely. One of the most important aspects of maintenance is for the drain covers to be checked to make sure they are not loose. Loose covers can lead to someone suffering a serious injury due to the pressure inside of the drains. What Kinds of Features Can Be Added? There are numerous nice features that can be added to an inground swimming pool. You can make your water appear to be different colors by getting fiber-optic lights installed. Another great feature to consider is a spillover spa. For instance, the water from the spa can spill over into your main swimming pool to add more appeal. Getting a waterfall placed inside of the pool is also a good idea. How Much Will Professional Construction Cost? The overall price that you are charged for inground swimming pool will depend on the material used, the size, and the features that are added. You should expect to pay a minimum of $7,000 for inground pool construction if you opt for vinyl. Contact a pool-construction company so an appointment can be made for your inground swimming pool to be constructed as soon as it can...

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Important Steps In The Process Of Grading A Yard

Posted by on 10:34 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Important Steps In The Process Of Grading A Yard

Using fill dirt to shape a yard and channel the flow of water away from a home’s foundation is a good idea for aesthetic reasons and for proper drainage. It’s also a fairly straightforward landscaping process. The following are seven steps to the process of grading a yard with fill dirt: Get rid of vegetation The first step to grading a yard is to remove any vegetation that is growing around the home’s foundation. It’s possible to pull vegetation up with the roots and replant it afterwards. Otherwise, it will be necessary to reseed the yard after fill dirt has been placed.  Create a slope line using stakes A slope line needs to be envisioned and outlined using stakes. This slope line should allow water to slope down from the home and drain away from the foundation.  Establish slope lines using stakes Strings should be placed along each of the slope lines that have been established by the stakes. Run a string along each line and make sure that the string at every slope line is at the same height at each point.  Gradually mark out a raise in each section of yard using the strings You should then manipulate the elevation of each slope line slightly so that the slope lines gradually descend the further you get from the home’s foundation. Don’t make the slope away from the foundation too steep. An excessively steep slope could encourage soil erosion and make it hard for vegetation to grow.  Place fill dirt in the designated area The next step is to place the fill dirt between the ground and all the strings. You can transport fill dirt into place using a wheelbarrow. For larger scale jobs, you may use a tractor to move large quantities of fill dirt at once.  As you place the fill dirt, make sure you leave some sign of the stakes above the ground so you don’t lose track of where the stakes and strings have been placed.  Pack down fill dirt using a lawn roller You need to then pack down the fill dirt you have put into place so that it is not easily washed away by rain. A lawn roller can be used to firmly pack down the fill dirt so that it is ready for seeding or for you to replant the original vegetation. Remove all stakes and strings from the yard Don’t forget to remove the stakes and strings from the yard after you have packed down the fill dirt. Contact a materials supplier,like Southern Landscape Materials, for more...

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Pros And Cons Of The Different Types Of Heat Pump Water Heaters

Posted by on 1:11 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pros And Cons Of The Different Types Of Heat Pump Water Heaters

Traditional electric water heaters use the electricity to operate a burner assembly that heats the water within the tank. A heat pump water heater does not directly generate heat to warm up the water but rather uses electricity to pull heat from the surrounding air and applies that heat to the water. The difference in operation has its pros and cons that can help you determine if a heat pump water heater is a good match for your home. Here are a few pros and cons of the heat pump water heater. Consult a plumber or water heater installation company for more information. Pro: Energy Savings Compared to Traditional Electric Water Heater A heat pump water heater only needs to use enough electricity to pull in hot air, compared to the whole burner assembly action of a traditional water heater. The heat pump water heater is therefore far more energy efficient, which can save you some money on your utility bills. You will need to find a water heater installation company with experience installing heat pump water heaters for the best results. The installers can walk you through how the water heater will function and all of the parts involved in the heat pump system. Pro: Can Also Serve as an Air Heating / Cooling System The heat pump water heater can serve as a standalone unit or work as part of a larger system that can also serve as your central air conditioner and furnace. The heat pump heating and cooling system still uses the same principles of using electricity to draw in hot air in order to heat your home. But the system can also push out hot air from inside your home in order to cool the indoor space. Heat pump systems can save up to 50 percent on the energy costs of a traditional HVAC system. The system might cost a bit more initially for setup, but the low maintenance and energy efficiency will make the upfront cost pay off in the long-run. Con: Have Narrow Climate Requirements The heat pump water heater requires the ambient or surrounding air to have a certain amount of warmth in order to function. This doesn’t mean the units are limited to those living in tropic areas. But you do need to live in an area with weather that tends to stick between the range of 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit regardless of season. Those are the optimal temperatures for the heat pump water heater to work to the best of its ability. Contact a company like Stephens Plumbing And Heating Inc to learn...

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Recognize When It’s Time To Replace Your Sump Pump

Posted by on 9:39 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Recognize When It’s Time To Replace Your Sump Pump

When it comes to sump pumps, the most important thing to remember is that they don’t last forever. Whether the unit simply dies or it is no longer equipped to meet your needs, there comes a point when you will need to replace your sump pump. Make sure you know how to recognize the signs that indicate it’s time for a replacement. Longer Operation One sign that you need to replace your sump pump is a longer operating time. If you’ve had your pump for an extended period, you probably have a general idea of how long it typically stays on. When it’s running longer than normal – this is something to focus on. One of the most common reasons for a longer operation is a volume of water that is too large for the sump pump. For example, if when you first purchased the sump pump you only had three bathrooms in your home, but have upgraded to five bathrooms over the years, this increases the load on the sump pump. Typically, whenever you make these types of upgrades, you also need to upgrade your sump pump. Increased Noise Another indication that it might be time to replace your sump pump is an increase in noise when the pump is operating. A pump in good condition should be almost silent. The only thing you should hear is a subtle sound from the motor. If the motor is excessively loud or if you hear a banging or knocking noise, this generally means there is an issue with the fan. The fan is responsible for pulling the water into the pump. As it starts to fail, its impellers will struggle to rotate, leading to the sounds you hear. When the fan fails, the unit basically becomes inoperable.   Powers On And Off Unexpectedly An obvious sign that it’s time to replace the sump pump is when it just randomly powers on and off. All sump pumps have a float switch that basically tells the sump pump what to do. For instance, when the water level reaches a certain point on the switch, the system will power on. An indication that the float switch has failed is a pump that seems to randomly turn on and off in a repeat cycle. This is primarily a problem because if the pump doesn’t turn on when it needs to, you could end up with a backup. When the float switch has failed, it’s time to replace. For more information, contact Rite-Way Waterproofing or a similar...

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Live In The Desert? How To Create Water Reservoirs Prior To Your Water Well Drilling Project

Posted by on 5:43 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Live In The Desert? How To Create Water Reservoirs Prior To Your Water Well Drilling Project

Although a small percentage of the total land mass of the U.S. is covered in desert, there are still many residents that choose to live in these arid locales. As such, they have to find sources of potable water, which usually comes in the form of a water well. If you have moved to a desert state or if you have lived there for some time and need a new water well, you may be short on water for some time. Here is how you can prepare for your water shortage before you drill a new well and create water reservoirs. Above-Ground Reservoirs There are survival kits that help you construct water conservation tanks. Most of these kits help you build tough, heavy duty tubs (for lack of a better word) to hold as much clean water as you can gather during the rainy seasons and whatever you can add to it from your current well. Keep the tubs covered and the lids secured until you need to tap these tubs for water. You can also construct your own water tower to act as a water reserve. If you do not have any welding skills to create the barrel-shaped body of the tank, see if you can find a ready-made barrel substitute that will not rust and will contain all of the water it collects. You do not have to erect it high in the air, but the water tower should be off the ground and able to dispense water with a spigot or pull chain and spout. Below-Ground Reservoirs Below-ground reservoirs are constructed a lot like in-ground swimming pools. These do require a lot more maintenance and monitoring to keep the water clean, but because they are in-ground, the water tends to stay a little cooler than any water you store above ground. You also have to contend with run-off and purification issues, but if you are willing to deal with these extra steps, you could possibly collect more water. (Some desert-dwelling homeowners use the below-ground reservoir for watering their lawns and washing outdoor surfaces while they use the above-ground reservoirs for drinking, cooking, washing laundry and dishes and bathing.) If you need help constructing a below-ground level reservoir, ask your well drilling contractor for a few tips. Once You Have Your Reservoirs and They Are Filled to Capacity… Once you have your reservoirs set up and they are quite full (this may take a while), then you can give a well contractor like Hudson Valley Drilling the go-ahead to begin drilling your new well. While the contractor and his or her crew are busy finding you a new source of water, you can use the water in your reservoirs for your daily needs. If it looks like your contractor may need a few extra days to find you more water, use your reservoir water...

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