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Two Eco-Friendly Options For Your Next Water Heater Installation

Posted by on 5:55 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Two Eco-Friendly Options For Your Next Water Heater Installation

Plumbing probably isn’t something you think about a lot as a homeowner, except for when it has a problem; and when your water heater has problems, that’s a very big issue. If you’ve noticed that your water heater has been getting less reliable lately, if it’s had a big failure that makes it more cost-effective to replace rather than to repair, or even if you’ve just noticed that it’s very old and it’s probably time to think about a replacement, looking for a newer water heater that’s more eco-friendly is a great plan. Here are two types of water heater that can help you save money and help the environment by using less energy to heat your water. 1. Tankless A tankless water heater, also known as an “on-demand” water heater, saves energy by heating water in real time as opposed to heating it in advance and then keeping it warm in case you want it. This type of water heater is also more convenient for when you need to use hot water continuously for a long time; it can keep producing more heated water at a steady rate, instead of emptying a tank and then delivering cold water. Installing this type of water heater isn’t necessarily a big savings up front because your system will need to be adapted to work with the new type of water heater, but you’ll be able to save a lot of energy over the next decade or so (how much you’ll save will depend on how much hot water you use), so you can build up money savings over its lifetime as well.   2. Hybrid The hybrid water heater can help save energy by heating water more efficiently. It’s also called the electric heat pump water heater because it removes heat from the air and places into the water, which is a more efficient way to heat because it involves simply moving heat rather than creating it. This is similar to how your air conditioning system works, except that instead of extracting heat from the air and shoving it outside, it actually puts that heat into your water. As you can imagine, this can give your AC unit a boost during summer, but it can work against your furnace in winter if you’re not careful. Fortunately, your plumber should be able to help you get it set up with the correct ductwork to avoid using up the heat in your home during winter.   These two types of alternative water heaters can both help you save energy, allowing you to do your part to conserve resource depletion and greenhouse gas production. You may even be able to get tax credits for installing an efficient water heater if you choose one that’s Energy Star certified....

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Knowing When It’s Time To Repave Your Parking Lot

Posted by on 6:22 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Knowing When It’s Time To Repave Your Parking Lot

Keeping your company’s parking lot in good condition is not only an aesthetic priority, but a matter of safety as well. You want your customers and employees to be able to enjoy an attractive parking lot that is easy to walk on without tripping. If your parking lot is in need of some attention, then investing in repaving could be a great way to restore it to its former glory. Here are three tell-tale signs that you can watch for when trying to determine if it’s time to repave your parking lot in the future. 1. The appearance of potholes in your parking lot. A new asphalt parking lot is laid over a base made from aggregate materials. This base provides the structural support needed to keep the asphalt intact once vehicles begin driving over it each day. Over time, cracks in the surface of the asphalt can allow water to seep into the aggregate materials that make up your parking lot’s base. Water can cause the base to settle or erode away, causing the asphalt to fail from below and form potholes. If you see potholes starting to form in your company’s parking lot, it’s time to invest in repaving in order to repair the damaged base supporting your asphalt. 2. The appearance of significant alligator cracks. If you look at the surface of your company’s parking lot and see a series of cracks that resemble the scales on an alligator, it may be time to repave your parking lot. While a few alligator cracks can be repaired, significant cracking could leave your parking lot susceptible to water damage in the future. Eliminating all of the entry points that alligator cracks provide for water runoff by completely repaving your parking lot will help you keep your company’s lot structurally sound over time. 3. A lack of maintenance by the parking lot’s former owners. Although asphalt products are designed to last anywhere from 20 to 30 years, failing to properly maintain asphalt could result in premature failure. If you have recently purchased your commercial location, it’s possible that the previous owners did not complete the regular maintenance required to keep the asphalt parking lot in good condition. Without crack repairs in the first 3 to 5 years and patches as soon as the asphalt hits 5 to 7 years of age, irreparable damage may occur. Investing in repaving ensures that you will be able to start caring for your parking lot the right way from the very beginning. Taking the time to repave your parking lot when you move to a new commercial location, spot significant alligator cracks, or notice the formation of potholes will help you keep your asphalt attractive and functional in the future. Contact a company like Lakeridge Paving Company for more...

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Two Reasons Why You Should Choose Artificial Turf Grass For Your Lawn

Posted by on 4:34 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Two Reasons Why You Should Choose Artificial Turf Grass For Your Lawn

Regardless of how beautiful your home may be, the look can be nearly completely ruined if your lawn isn’t up to snuff.  You want grass that is lush and green and that just begs to be walked on barefoot.  That’s why you should install artificial grass.  Although you may not have ever thought about it, artificial grass may be the just key to taking your curb appeal to the next level.  Use this information to learn more about why you should install artificial grass as soon as possible. Artificial Grass Is Low Maintenance One of the main reasons why you should install artificial turf is because it is very low maintenance.  The days of you having to carefully watch over your grass to make sure it is healthy and plush will be over when you opt for artificial grass. You may be familiar with spending long days mowing your yard.  It can be a cumbersome activity, and sometimes you just don’t feel up to the task.  During these periods, you may have had to shell out a pretty penny to pay someone to cut your grass for you. When you have artificial grass, it never needs to be mowed.  Once it’s laid down and in place, you can sit back and bask in the beauty that it contains.   Artificial Grass Is Eco-Friendly Another reason why it’s such a good idea to go with artificial grass is because it is eco-friendly.  With artificial grass, you’ll be doing your part to help preserve the limited resources found in the environment. One of the problems with natural grass is that it requires quite a bit of water to remain healthy and green.  If you live in an area that doesn’t get a lot of rain, you may have to compensate for this by watering your yard with a sprinkler system or hose.  This consumes a lot of water each day, water which should be preserved and used for consumption. Artificial grass helps you avoid this quandary.  The grass will not require any water to remain green year round.  It also won’t matter if you go through a drought, since it stays in good condition regardless of how much rain water it receives. Getting artificial grass could prove to be one of the best decisions you’ve made.  Don’t wait; contact a lawn contractor right away so you can get the ball rolling on the installation of your new artificial lawn. Visit websites like to learn...

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How To Clean And Seal Grout Lines

Posted by on 10:59 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Clean And Seal Grout Lines

If you have a stone or brick exterior, you will need to do a little bit of maintenance to the surface over the years. Most experts will tell you that the most vulnerable part of a brick surface are the grout lines. If the grout is weakened, chipped, moldy, or deteriorating, there is a good chance you could have problems with the actual bricks on your walls. This article explains the best way to clean and seal exterior grout lines. This vital maintenance will not only make your walls look cleaner, but also preserve the original colors and prevent water damage. Cleaning the Grout Lines and Bricks Since most brick and grout lines are porous, you often need to spend quite a bit of time cleaning them. Try using a large scrub brush and heavy duty cleaner to scrub away any dirt, smoke, moss, or mold that might be deep inside. Trisodium phosphate (or TSP) is a very effective and easy-to-use heavy duty cleaner. You can spread it into the grout using sponges or mix in with water. A pressure washer can also be a very effective tool if your grout is especially dirty. You can mix a little bit of soap or TSP into the gun hopper for a stronger clean. However, if you are going to reseal your brick walls afterwards, you should try to clean them with only water. Soap residue left within the grout pores can make it harder for the sealant to stick and form a permanent bond. Using the Right Sealant Once your walls are sufficiently clean, you need to seal them with exterior grout sealant. There will be different types of sealant for different types of stone and grout. Finding the right solution for your wall should be no issue. You do need to first decide if you want a glazed, glossy, or matte finish. Glazed finishes are generally more water resistant and last longer. However, most people prefer the more subtle look of a matte surface. The sealant is meant to be spread over the tile and the grout. You can apply it with sponge or even spray it on with a pneumatic paint gun. The key is to just make sure it comes in contact with every square inch. Once it is applied, you just let it soak in until it is completely dry. Then, you can apply a second or third coat for greater protection. Any surface with grout lines will last longer and look better if it is regularly cleaned and sealed. For more information, contact local professionals like Nicholas Bianchini...

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Stylish Design Ideas for Your Concrete Patio

Posted by on 12:09 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Stylish Design Ideas for Your Concrete Patio

Concrete lasts a long time with very little maintenance—you already know that. But did you know that when concrete does need some maintenance, it’s generally relatively simple to fix? What’s more, you can easily update an old patio with a concrete overlay. In other words, a concrete patio could easily last through the entire tenure in your house. As you plan your patio, don’t picture a simple concrete slab; instead, dream big about your patio’s design. Slate Patio Contractors can use preformed stamps to create stone designs in a concrete slab. They follow this up with a staining and dying procedure so that the slab resembles actual stone. According to the Landscaping Network, ashlar slate is one of the most popular designs for a patio. Slate pavers offer distinctive color gradations with subtle planing or cleavage. Consider having your patio made over in an ashlar slate pattern. Gray is the most common color, but the natural stone also comes in shades of brown, purple, red, and green. You could choose shades of one color for the body of the patio with a decorative border in a complementary color. Old-World Brick Another material that decorative concrete can mimic is brick, which is a traditional building material. Actual brick is expensive and requires some maintenance, including the replacement of broken bricks. You could get the look of brick with the stamping and staining process. What’s more, if you have brick in your house, contractors can match the color with the dying and staining. A brick patio looks attractive with any style of traditional home; consider pairing one with equally traditional wrought-iron furniture. Terraces You probably picture wood when you think of backyard terraces. While wood is a common material for such a design, concrete can make an attractive addition. Because contractors pour the concrete, they can design any shape that fits into your backyard—including freeform. Consider having your patio stamped and stained to resemble natural stone. Plan the levels to coincide with chosen views or with different activities. For example, have one terrace be your dining patio, have another for sunbathing, have another for enjoying the view, and so on. Patio Bistro Along those same lines, perhaps you don’t have a lot of space for a patio but still want to dine outside. A patio bistro answers this call. Typically such a patio accommodates a bistro-sized table and just a couple chairs. You can add a fountain and some landscaping around the patio for a secluded dining spot. If space is really limited, have the concrete poured into a circle just big enough to accommodate the table and chairs. Such a charming bistro would be well-served by a concrete slab stamped and stained to resemble cobblestone, as at your favorite Mediterranean café. Utilize decorative concrete for a patio that complements your house and your outdoor...

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How To Refinish Your Bathtub

Posted by on 11:51 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Refinish Your Bathtub

An unsightly bathtub can make your bathroom look less than beautiful. Even if you try to hide it with a pretty shower curtain, that bathtub can still bring down the appeal of your bathroom. Taking it out and replacing it may not be an option for you, but, if your bathtub is still in good shape, you can refinish it to give it a new and updated look. The best part is you can try your hand at refinishing it yourself at home. See below for a few bathtub refinishing tips. Here’s What You’ll Need: Sandpaper (400 – 600 grit) Screwdriver Utility knife and razor blade Bathroom cleaner Scrub brushes Paintbrush/rollers Bathtub refinishing kit Painter’s tape Instructions: You’ll start by taking out the old bathtub hardware, including the drain and drain switch. These will leave dirt behind, but that’s OK, as your next step is cleaning the tub. Also take out any old caulking from around the tub. You want a clean space to work with. Use the razor blade to help remove any caulking that is stuck on the tub. Use your bathroom cleaner and clean your bathtub like never before. Pay special attention to the drain area and remove rust spots with a rust removing cleaner. Take the sandpaper and sand down the entire bathtub, including the top and outside areas. When finished, rinse the tub out and wipe it dry. Once it’s dry, you can tape off the edges of the bathtub. Tape around the top edge and the front near the floor. Using the refinishing kit, follow the manufacturer’s directions to prep the paint. Then begin cutting in the refinishing paint around the edges of the tub with a paintbrush. Use the roller to go over the rest of the bathtub.  Allow the first coating to dry, and add a second coating if necessary. To give the face of your bathtub a new look, instead of using the refinishing kit on the front, you can use air stone. Air stone is a lightweight stone-looking material that is very easy to install. You can find it at most larger hardware stores. You can also add beadboard to the face of your bathtub along with trim to give it a built-in look. Refinishing your bathtub can be done yourself, but does take some work. Contact a professional refinishing company like Carefree Koatings for more tips or to have your bathtub refinished by a professional if this seems like too much work for...

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Four Ways To Increase The Space In Your Bathroom

Posted by on 10:32 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Ways To Increase The Space In Your Bathroom

There are many reasons why adding a bathroom can be beneficial for your home. Not only does it provide your family more space in the house, but it can also increase your home’s value should you decide to sell it later. In fact, a half bath can increase the value of your home by 10.5%, while adding a full bath can increase the value of your home up to 20%, according to the National Association of Home Builders. In order to retrieve this amount, you want to make sure you are making the best investments to your bathroom regardless of the amount of space so you get the most for your money. Here are some tips for getting the best use of space in your bathroom.  Bring in Some Mirrors Mirrors are a great way to trick the mind into thinking the space is bigger than it really is. Standard builder’s mirrors are usually frameless and boring. To help add a little spunk to the bathroom, you may want to frame the mirror using a decorative frame. This can turn your mirror into artwork. Try to position the mirror across from a window instead of angling it towards a door. This will help provide a better scenery in the reflection and also trick the eye into thinking there is more space in the room.  Skip the Shower Curtain Instead of using a shower curtain for privacy to your shower and bathtub, opt for a glass shower enclosure instead. This removes the separation that a shower curtain offers and helps open up the bathroom so that it looks bigger. You can typically find a glass shower enclosure for around $900 to $1300, depending on the style. Talk with contractors or visit websites like for more options. With a shower curtain, you may have to replace it several times as your decor changes, but a glass shower enclosure will go with any color scheme.  Create Niches in the Wall In an effort to add more space to your bathroom so you can get around easier, one option is to create niches in the wall so you can store accessories in them. This is especially ideal for the shower area, as it is able to hold the soap and shampoo bottles. You can place extra towels and toilet paper in these niches rather than occupying all the storage space.  Choose Open Cabinetry Open cabinetry offers dual purposes as it allows you to store items and provide decor for the bathroom. When doing this, you want to be very organized since it will all be seen. Open cabinetry helps free up space in the closet as it provides you storage for your...

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4 Tips For Dealing With “Honeydew” On Your Trees

Posted by on 6:07 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Tips For Dealing With “Honeydew” On Your Trees

If you’ve recently walked out to your yard only to discover your tree leaves and limbs are covered with a sticky, unpleasant substance that drips to the ground, you have a honeydew problem on your hands. Honeydew is a substance (similar in consistency to honey) secreted by tree aphids, so its presence indicates an aphid problem. Not only does honeydew create a nuisance and attract unwanted insects like ants, but aphids can do serious damage to your trees if left unchecked. Here are four tips for dealing with honeydew and the aphids that cause it: Start with a Thorough Hosing Off For smaller aphid infestations, you may only need to use your garden hose to get rid of the bugs. A strong blast of water from your hose will knock the aphids off your leaves, and once aphids are forcefully removed from a tree they are typically unable to climb back up. Try to Introduce Ladybugs Ladybugs are considered a beneficial insect as they do not harm plant life and are a natural predator for aphids and other pests. You can actually purchase ladybugs online and then place them on the trees that have aphids. To keep them around, make sure they have access to some of the plants they need to create nectar. Options include clover, dill, and any kind of mint. Use Insecticidal Soap Insecticidal soap is typically just pure soap (without perfumes or additives) diluted in water which is then sprayed onto your trees. The soapy water suffocates and kills aphids and other pests, without harming beneficial insects like ladybugs or harming your tree. You can purchase insecticidal soap at any major garden center, or make your own at home. For larger trees, you may need to hire professionals since you are unlikely to reach the entire tree, even with a good ladder and spray bottle.  Keep Ant Populations Under Control Ants and aphids have a mutually beneficial, reciprocal relationship with ants protecting aphids from their natural enemies and eating the honeydew. If you reduce the number of ants in your yard, the aphid population will also dwindle. One effective way to do this is to locate ant hills in your yard and pour boiling, soapy water into them. By following these tips, you will soon have your aphid and honeydew situation under control. Be sure to call a tree service if your trees are heavily infested with aphids and these remedies don’t work. Visit for more...

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Tips For Cleaning Your Home’s French Drain

Posted by on 7:06 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Cleaning Your Home’s French Drain

If you have trouble with water accumulation around the foundation of your home, one of the best things you can do is invest in a French drain system. French drains are constructed from perforated pipe systems that allow water to filter down and run away from the house. You can install the drain pipes to route water where you want it to go. If you opt for French drain installation, you’ll want to plan to clean it at least once a year if not more often. Here are a few tips to help you keep it clean. Starting With A Pipe Flush The first step to clearing out your French drain pipes is to flush the system out. Put the open spout of your garden hose into the French drain opening. Then, turn the water on at a moderate pressure level. Let the water run through the drain line, following it along the path to make sure that everything flows properly. If you don’t see water running out the drain outlet, that’s a telltale sign that you have a clog in your drain pipe. You’ll need to be more aggressive to get rid of clogs. Increasing Pressure Sometimes all you need is a little bit more pressure behind the water in the pipes in order to clear a clog. Rent or buy a pressure washer so that you can introduce a higher pressure flow. Once you put the pressure washer nozzle in the French drain pipe, make sure you stand off to one side when you turn it on. If you’re too close to the back of the nozzle, water could splash back from the pipe and spray you. Adjust the angle of the nozzle as it sprays so that you can clear any debris that’s building up inside the pipes. If a pressure washer isn’t enough to get it done, you may need to snake the pipe. Snaking The Pipe Pipe snakes are a great way to take the resolution directly to the clog in the pipe. You can buy or rent a snake, then run that snake directly into the French drain pipe. Work the snake into the pipe up against the clog, then turn the water on so that you get some water pressure in the system. This will break up the clog and flush the debris away so that you restore water flow through the pipe. Keeping a French drain system clean is important to protecting your home’s foundation from water damage. With the tips here, you can clean the pipe system on your own. If you’re not comfortable doing it, reach out to a local contractor to help you get the job done...

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3 Tips To Help You Get The Most Out Of A Basement Remodel With Structural Changes

Posted by on 5:13 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips To Help You Get The Most Out Of A Basement Remodel With Structural Changes

If you have an unfinished basement, this can be valuable space for your home that you are missing out in. It may be that structural challenges have limited what can be done in your basement. Today, with engineered structural lumber, you can have greater spans and open space in your basement. There are a few things to consider when remodeling your basement, and getting the most out of space. Here are some tips to help you make the structural changes in your basement remodeling project: 1. Draw A Rough-Draft With Several Versions Of Potential Basement Designs There are many different ways to change the look of your basement, and you may want to have several options to choose from. Draw a layout of the current structural elements, such as beams, wall framing and exterior foundation walls. You can use this as a base to draw over with different options for your remodeling project. You may want to consider using a free layout software to create these sketches and get a basic idea of options in your basement. 2. Use Columns To Break Up Design And Keep Costs Of Structural Changes Down One of the main goals with making structural changes in your basement may be to open space, but this can be costly with large spans of beams. Consider adding columns to the design, such as at the end of a bar or at the location of furniture. When doing drawings of the design of your basement, add elements like cabinetry and furniture to the design. Doing this will help you decide what you want to do with your basement remodeling project and save money by adding a couple of columns to the design. 3. Consult A Structural Engineer For Ideas And Approval Of Your Basement Design Any time you make structural changes, they have to be approved by a building inspector. A structural engineer can give advice on different things you can do to change the look of your basement and make changes to the structure. They can also sign architectural drawings to get approval when you have your remodeling project inspected. These are a few tips to help you with making structural changes to your basement. These are some tips that can help you with the structural changes you are considering when remodeling your basement. If you need help with deciding on what can be done, contact a structural engineer to help with the design of these...

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