Effective Plumbing Tips For Saving Water In And Around Your Home

Aug 22, 2014 by

In some areas of the country, droughts are increasingly becoming a serious concern. Even places that aren’t typically known for being dry, like Oregon, are being threatened by water shortages. Whether or not you live in an area that’s at risk for a drought, you should be concerned with the amount of water you use, especially during the hot summer months. Not only can water conservation save you money, it also protects the environment and allows this precious resource to replenish more quickly. Learn how to save more water with the following tips.

Saving Water Outside Your Home

Beside your kitchen and bathroom, your yard is perhaps the part of your home that uses the most water. For example, you might have an automatic sprinkler system which, if you’re not careful, can waste a lot of water unnecessarily. Try the following to curb your outside water usage:

  • Water your garden from up close. You might prefer to stand under the shade by the side of your house and spray your garden from a distance, but you could be wasting a significant amount of water this way. Instead bring the hose over to the plants and spray the water directly at the base of the plants. 
  • Water in the early morning. If you water your yard and garden in the middle of the day, the water will evaporate quickly. This not only wastes water, but prevents your lawn from getting the nourishment it needs as well. The best time for watering is in the early morning hours just before the sun comes up. 
  • Install a drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation systems conserve water and are inexpensive. You can hire a professional plumber to put one in for you, or even install it yourself if you prefer.  
  • Program your automatic sprinkler carefully. Automatic sprinklers can be programmed to water your lawn for a certain amount of time at different times during the day. Program it to water for a short time early each morning, and be careful that you haven’t accidentally set it to water all night long, as this will waste water and damage your lawn.

You can find a professional to help you with these tips at http://www.maintenance-pro.com.

Saving Water Inside Your Home

You use water almost everywhere in your home, from your washer and dryer to your kitchen sink. You can easily waste a lot of water with all of the appliances and faucets you have around your home, but they also make it easy to save water if you use them conscientiously. Consider the ways you can save below:

  • Let your dishes soak. If you wash your dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running constantly while you scrub and rinse each dish. Fill the sink up, let the dishes soak, and only turn the water on when you need to rinse. If you use a dishwasher, don’t run it unless you have a full load of dishes to put inside it (but be careful not to overload it and reduce its efficiency). 
  • Only flush when it’s necessary. If you blow your nose, throw the tissue in the toilet, and immediately flush, you’re wasting a lot of water. Wait until you actually use the toilet to flush, and throw facial tissues in the trash can instead of the toilet. Never throw other types of paper like paper towels in the toilet–they can easily clog it.
  • Have a plumber install high-efficiency plumbing fixtures. “Green” fixtures like faucet regulators and low-flow toilets can save both money and water. 

Perhaps the best way to save water is to use it as sparingly as possible. This means being more conscious of how much water you use and taking active steps to reduce that usage.

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Dispel The Myths That Are Keeping You From Installing Metal Roofing

Aug 20, 2014 by

There are plenty of roofing materials on the market, but asphalt shingles are certainly the most popular. While they are inexpensive to purchase and install, you will pay for it in their shorter lifespans. A cost effective alternative would be metal roofing, but some of these common metal roofing myths might just be holding you back.

Metal Roofing Attracts Lightning Strikes

Metal is conductive, and electricity always takes the path of least resistance, so it must be an attractive target for lightning strikes.

The truth is, lightning strikes occur at the highest point of a building, regardless of the material. While a direct strike to your building will probably destroy everything plugged into the walls, there is a far bigger concern in the form of fire. Since metal isn’t combustible, it will actually reduce the risk of fire in case of a lightning strike. Additionally, you can ground the entire roof, reducing the damage from the storm.

Metal Roofing is Noisy

Have you ever been in a metal shed when it was raining outside? There is no way you want that much noise inside your house.

If you use the same roofing materials as a pole shed, you are certainly going to have the same kind of noise. Metal roofing designed for home use is a very different animal. The major difference is insulation. Barns and pole sheds have bare metal on the bottom, so all the noise is transferred into the building. Your home has layers of substrate and insulation between the metal and your ears, muffling the sound to the point where metal roofing has the same or lower volume level than a traditional product.

Metal Roofing Will Degrade Quickly

Rust from rain, dents from hail or damage from walking on the roof during maintenance will all damage the roof. There is no way it is worth the cost to purchase and install.

  • Metal roofing is coated in several layers that help keep the core from being damaged by water or light. Zinc and aluminum keep the stainless steel core from rusting, and this is coated with an additional layer of paint. At most, you may need to touch up the paint before the roof is ready to be replaced.
  • If metal roofing wasn’t resistant to hail damage, it wouldn’t be nearly so popular as a building material. While it won’t be able to take on an F5 tornado, it will handle most of what nature throws at it.
  • Unlike slate tile, you can actually walk on your metal roof for roof repairs, even if you pick a style that mimics the look of slate. Talk with the installers and the manufacturer to find out what is and is not safe to do on your new metal roof.

Metal Roofing Will Destroy Your Cell Phone Reception

Metal is bed for cell reception, so a metal roof will block your cell phone signals.

Metal roofing can indeed damage cell phone signal, but for the most part it won’t affect your cell signal. You have probably used your cell phone inside many commercial buildings, most of which rely on a metal structure.

If your cell phone signal is already spotty, then you may need to invest in a cell signal booster to improve your cell performance. While it does represent an additional cost, you may be able to cover that cost with the reduced maintenance required with your new roof. However, the improved signal from the booster will be better than what you had before you installed the booster.

Metal roofing might not be the right choice for your current project, but you should at least consider it. Metal roofing requires less maintenance and lasts longer than asphalt shingles, and therefore raises the value of your home.

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7 Ways To Make Your Home Less Desirable To Intruders

Aug 19, 2014 by

Burglars are unfortunately something that people always have to watch out for. The world is a dangerous place, so your home has to be the one safe place for your family. There are a wide variety of security systems and specialty locks from companies like Arapahoe County Security Center Inc that can keep intruders out of your home, however one important aspect is keeping them from wanting to entering your home in the first place. There are many different things that you can do to try and keep your home off of the map for burglars.

Skip the Privacy Fence

Privacy fences give homeowners a false sense of security. You may feel like your home is in its own personal bubble with a nice tall fence around it. However, if you feel secure because of a privacy fence, so will a burglar. It’s the shorter fences that intruders don’t like because the neighbors can see them prowling around uninvited. If you’re more interested in security than privacy, opt for an iron fence. Even if it’s tall, people can still see through it, making intruders much less comfortable with waltzing in.

Keep the Shrubbery Trimmed

Another mistake that homeowners make is having a lot of privacy trees and tall shrubbery. Again, it just gives intruders a lot of cover when it comes to breaking into your home. Keep privacy trees to a minimum and trim down the shrubbery so burglars will feel more exposed if they try to enter your home.

Get Creative with Your Spare Key

Don’t stick your spare key under a flower pot or your welcome mat. The obvious places are the first places that an intruder will look. Find a much more creative place to hide your key. Your backyard is a great place. It takes a little extra time to go and get it, but intruders aren’t going to look that hard for a key.

Another great place is with a neighbor. You can ask your neighbor to allow you to hide it under a rock in their garden and you can do the same for them. Even if an intruder finds it, they won’t know which door the key goes to.

Get a Guard Dog

Many people will get a large friendly dog to give off the illusion that they have a guard dog. If you have a family, the intruder likely won’t be fooled. Most people will assume that if you have children, you don’t have a mean dog in your home. Instead of getting the biggest dog that you can find—get the loudest. Small yappy dogs are much better for home protection because noise is a burglar’s worst enemy.

Don’t Let Mail Pile Up

When you go out of town, letting newspapers and mail pile up is the worst thing that you can do. Nothing says, “I’m not home” like a pile of newspapers on the porch. Have the post office hold your mail anytime you go somewhere overnight. If your local paper doesn’t do holds, ask a trusted neighbor or friend to pick it up for you.

Install Motion Sensor Lights

Keeping a light on is just about as effective is keeping a light off. If an intruder is staking out your home and sees that you always leave a light on, all it does for them is give them better light, especially if you turn on a light, and then leave for a night job. Motion sensor lights are much more effective because everyone knows that they mean someone is outside at that very moment.

Don’t “Check-In” On Social Media

One thing that many people do with social media is “check-in” to everywhere that they go. People love to announce to their friends when they’re getting on an airplane or taking off for the weekend. When you’re telling your friends, you’re telling intruder’s too. 80% of robbers now check social media when staking out someone’s home to see where the homeowners are and where they plan to go soon.

These seven tips will make your home much less likely to be the target of burglars. Keeping your excursions off social media, making your home less hidden from the neighborhood, and a loud dog will make intruders want to skip your house the next time that they’re in your neighborhood.

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Roof Leaks And Mold: What You Need To Know

Aug 15, 2014 by

A leaking roof can cause all sorts of problems in your home, but the biggest problem is mold growth. Mold can grow wherever water can be found, and a leaking roof can provide the exact environment that a mold colony needs to flourish. Below are some facts about mold, as well as some of the steps that will need to be taken to prevent this unwelcome guest from damaging your home and health.

Learning About Mold

Mold is a fungus that can grow upon and eat away at the porous building materials that comprise your home. All that mold needs to thrive is a small amount of water and an undisturbed location. Once these criteria have been met, a mold colony will begin to reproduce.

Mold reproduces by sending spores out into the air in the hopes that the fresh spores will land upon a suitable foundation for growth. When humans inhale or come into physical contact with these spores, series illness can occur. Some of these illnesses include:

  • Rashes and/or hives
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Harsh cough
  • Wheezing

In fact, some molds, like the group Aspergillus, can even cause life-threatening infections that will require immediate medical assistance.

Why You Should Be Worried

Mold is very commonly found in houses that have experienced roofing issues such as:

  • Leaks
  • Cracks
  • Missing roof material
  • Weather-related damage

This is because of the fact that roofing issues are not always noticed until it’s too late, and a leak has been detected inside of the home. By the time water begins forming puddles on the floor, a leak has typically been present in the roof for some time, since rainwater needs to travel a great distance to end up in a noticeable puddle on the inside of the home.

Once rainwater has broken the seal of the roof, it travels along the beams, rafters, and other wooden supports that line the inner part of your ceiling. This creates a perfect environment for a mold colony to begin rapid growth. Even more importantly, the damp, moldy wood will no longer be as strong as the before, leaving your ceiling susceptible to cave-ins and a generally weakened frame.

How To Prevent Mold

The best way to avoid mold is to have your roof inspected annually by a professional roofing company. Not only can this company repair any visible damage to the roof, but a team of trained roofing specialists can also detect signs that a leak could occur in the near future. Some of these signs include:

  • Depressions
  • Missing shingles
  • Sun damage
  • Wind damage

This will keep your home safe from any mold growth that could be caused by a leak in the roof.

However, if it is too late, and a roofing leak has caused mold growth in your home, you will need to seek help from a company that specializes in mold removal and treatment.

How To Eliminate Mold

Dealing with mold requires special training and equipment that is not always available to the average homeowner. It is for this reason that you should leave any mold treatment up to the professionals.

To remove mold from your home, a mold removal company will need to:

  • Repair/seal any and all leaks
  • De-humidify the affected area
    • Mold cannot continue without moisture, so using special de-humidifying machines will help to stunt the growth of any and all molds in the area.
  • Clean all surfaces
    • This is done with special detergents and cleaning materials that require special protective equipment to safely apply.
  • Remove and replace any damaged structural elements
    • If any support beams or load-bearing elements have been weakened by the moisture and mold, they will need to be replaced.
    • While expensive, this step ensures that no lasting damage is done to your home as a result of the leak and mold growth.

As you can imagine, the steps needed to remove mold from a home are far more intensive than the steps needed to simply prevent mold growth from occurring. This is why you should always have your roof inspected at regular intervals by a professional roofing company, like All Climate Roofing. Doing so will save you a great deal of money and stress in the long run, and keep you and your family from experiencing the health concerns that arise when dealing with mold in the home.

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How To Plan The Construction Of Your Home’s New Deck

Aug 14, 2014 by

When planning the construction of an outdoor deck, think of it as an expression of your personality and lifestyle. The style you choose should accommodate your family’s choice of outdoor activities, and its décor should complement the natural environment, while providing you with an extension of comfortable living space. When planning your deck’s style, size and layout, you’ll get the most enjoyment out of it if you strive to make it uniquely yours.

Choosing the Right Style

As you embark on this type of outdoor construction, make sure your contractor shares your vision of the completed project. This means you need to be very specific about your needs and desires during the planning stages. These traditional deck styles can be designed to suit your family’s needs and the available outdoor space:

Ground-Level Deck: This is the style that immediately comes to mind for many people when they think of outdoor decks. There are plenty of options available with a ground-level deck, besides a simple rectangular shape extending from the back of your house. Consider a wrap-around deck, or utilize the natural landscape by building it around an existing tree.

Free-Standing Deck: If there isn’t enough space for a deck to be situated directly adjacent to your house, construct a free-standing deck that sits apart from your house. This works well if there’s no room for a deck because of an obstruction, or if your home sits too close to your neighbors, but you have plenty of available backyard space. You may even decide to construct a boardwalk that leads from your house to the deck so it feels like an extension of your home’s living space.

Raised Deck: A raised deck may better-accommodate the floor plan of your house. Perhaps you envision yourself stepping outside the master bedroom in the evening to look at the stars, or your kitchen is located on the second story of your house. You’ll also need to decide if your raised deck will be completely enclosed, or if you want stairs leading to the ground.

Multilevel Deck: Think of a multilevel deck as two, three or more decks assembled together at different heights. While the construction of this type of deck can be a bit more complex than other styles, it can also be incredibly versatile and spacious. A well-designed multilevel deck is interesting to look at and can accommodate a number of activities at the same time.

The Size of Your Deck

Your deck should be large enough to comfortably accommodate all of the outdoor activities you want to enjoy on it. For instance, if you plan to entertain friends and host family cookouts, make sure the size is large enough to hold a grill, plenty of patio furniture and room to mingle. When considering the size of your deck, remember to plan ahead if you hope to add something like a hot tub or outdoor wet bar in the future.

You also need to make a list of all the activities that will take place on your deck. For example, if you need space for your kids to play in their kiddie pool, as well as a solitary spot for sunbathing, you’ll want a deck that includes areas for both of these activities. Even a small deck can be arranged to accommodate more than one activity at a time. Once you know how the deck will be used, you can more accurately choose the right size.

Planning the Layout

One of the easiest ways to plan the layout of your deck is by marking off the proposed layout before construction begins. If you have one particular style and layout in mind, make sure you are realistically allowing enough space for all of your deck furnishings. Even if you haven’t already purchased deck furniture, use measurements of typical patio chairs and such to actually draw the outlines in spray paint on the ground at the deck site.  

When planning your deck’s construction, it’s also important to think about how the completed project will look in relation to your house. If your house is small, a deck that’s too large will look ill-proportioned.  On the other hand, a deck that’s too small may not accommodate your family’s needs. Discuss the project with a landscape construction pro to get professional advice and an objective opinion before finalizing your deck plan.

For more information, visit http://www.lientransportation.com.

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