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Preparing Your Water Heater For Winter

Preparing for winter doesn't just entail taking winter clothes out of storage. The appliances you use also need to be prepped in order for them to work well throughout winter and survive the cold. Your water heater, an important appliance for the winter, especially needs attention if you do not want to run out of hot water for bathing, cooking, cleaning, and other purposes. If your water heater is not ready for the cold winter, you are running the risk of damaging it. So to avoid inconveniences that can be brought about by the absence of a water heater, you would do well to make sure of a few things.


Though water heaters themselves do not freeze in the winter, the same cannot be said for house pipes. External house pipes connected to your water heater need to be insulated against the cold. This way, water won't freeze on the way to and from the water heater. You can avoid overworking your water heater by avoiding frozen water in the pipes. You can use aluminum foil as a quick fix, though it would be better to use foam insulation. You can also use heat tape.

Water Circulation

Another way to keep water from freezing in your pipes is to circulate water constantly, especially on days or nights of lower temperature. The constantly running water will have fewer chances to settle and freeze. Keeping your water running, of course, can cost more money and use up more energy, but it is worth it in the long run. However, it is a small expense and inconvenience that can be brought about by damaged pipes.

Tank Care

Even before you install your water heater, you should be thinking of how it would fare in the winter. This means that you should be careful and selective about where you put your water heater. Ideally, your water heater should be in a part of your house that has more heat. You should avoid putting your water heater in the garage, as it would be colder, especially in the winter. If your water heater is in a warmer place, it is less likely to sustain damage from very low temperatures.

Sediment Removal

As time goes by, sediment from water can collect in your water heater. This sediment can negatively impact your water heater's performance, affect the quality and acidity of heated water, and even help corrode the inside of your water heater. You would do well to regularly get rid of the collected sediment at least once every year. You can have a professional like drain the sediment out of your water heater if you are unsure of how to proceed.

You also need to make sure that you have enough fuel to keep your water heater and other appliances running. Insufficient fuel will negatively impact your water heater's performance. Check your meter and try to estimate if you will have enough fuel for all of your appliances all winter. You can also ask your gas company if your household consumption exceeds your meter.

What To Do After Your Tub Or Shower Has Been Refinished

Your contractor has completed refinishing your bathtub or shower. Hooray! You canât wait to use that new lavender bath salt that you just bought. But donât get too excited yet. You might think that your shower is ready for use but itâs actually not.

After the contractor is done with the shower refinishing job that you hired him for, there are some reminders that he might dish out before you start using your tub again. Make sure to read through some of the most common precautionary instructions below that your contractor may or may not tell you about after he is done working on your tub:

1. Keep the shower dry - donât get the shower pan wet for about 24 hours. This is to ensure that the finish will dry completely and that it wonât peel or get removed due to the moisture. Keep moisture all over the bathroom to a minimum to allow for proper drying time. Air thatâs too humid can slow down the drying process. If the hot water coming from a nearby faucet (not the one on your bathtub) is making some major fog on the bathroom mirror then thereâs also a good chance that moisture is headed to your newly refinished tub. Use other bathrooms in the meantime. Consider this fact before you have your shower refinished as you wonât be able to use your bathroom properly for at least 24 hours. Think also of the timing as to when you should have your tub refinished. The best time is to do it during spring or fall when thereâs not much humidity in the air.

2. Inspect the shower - if your contractor did a good job, there should not be any bubbles on the surface of your shower. The finish should feel smooth to the touch and not rough or bumpy. The finish should be even all over. There should be no dust, dirt, bug, or debris stuck to the bathtub after the contractor is done. Check also the surrounding area. The contractor should have covered the surrounding areas so that paint wonât get into the walls, floors or places that you donât want painted. 3. Clear the air - the fumes from the shower refinishing kit that your contractor use may still linger in the bathroom and can make you sick if you keep inhaling it. Make sure to clear the air by opening windows in the bathroom or placing a fan inside the bathroom to ventilate it. The fumes should not linger for longer and if it does, call your contractor immediately.

4 Mowing Tips To Keep Your Lawn Healthy

A healthy, green, and soft lawn is a good thing for your home. Ensuring your lawn will be neat and healthy after it has been mowed is a major concern to many people. While cutting the lawn too low puts it at a high risk of weed invasion and drying out, the quality of the lawn mower can also determine how neat or healthy the freshly cut grass will be. The only way to keep the lawn in a good condition is by taking all the precautionary measures to ensure it is mowed properly. Outlined below are a few mowing tips for a perfect lawn.

1. Clear out any debris or stones

This should be the first thing you do before firing up the lawn mower. Using a long handle rake, rake out any debris, leaves, rocks, sticks and any other foreign material in the lawn first. Raking out golf balls and rocks will not only prevent damage on the blades (or blunting) but will also keep you out of the operation room. As long as the hard materials are out of the way, it will then be much easier to keep the mower blades sharp for a perfect cut.

2. Ensure the mower blades are sharp

The main idea behind mowing your lawn is to cut the grass uniformly and at the desired height. While sharp blades can help achieve that, dull blades only tear the grass thus making your lawn seem untidy. If the blades are frayed or shredded, you should then consider sharpening them. If some of the blades are broken, it may be time to replace them.

3. Mow high

Although most people think that mowing low will help save them time (from having to mow frequently), this only damages your grass and also paves the way for weeds to grow. The first rule of thumb in keeping your lawn healthy is by mowing less than 1/3 of the grass blades. One thing you need to remember is that grass uses these blades for photosynthesis hence vital for its health. You would rather mow high frequently but have a healthy lawn, than mow low then have patches of dry grass in the lawn.

4. Only mow when the grass is dry

Dry grass is considerably much easier to cut at an even level as compared to wet grass. Mowing just after a storm or after watering the lawn is a sure way to have irregular cuts and lengths. Wet grass is also harder to cut, and will under most instances clog the lawn mower or even make the blades dull.

You also need a lawn mower that is powerful enough to cut through the grass entirely. You also need to take good care of the freshly cut lawn by mulching immediately and watering it frequently to restore its vigor. These simple home improvement tips will help your lawn flourish during the summer.

Residential Plumbing San Diego Ca

San Diego homeowners who experience residential plumbing problems usually experience these 5 areas of concern: obstructed drain pipes, clogged toilets, garbage disposal problems, leaky faucets, and pipe leaks. Discovering how to find and repair these issues is necessary for property owners.

Your plumbing system will ultimately trigger problems for you. These five issues are common among plumbing systems in houses. Learning to spot them early can help you in deciding to contact a plumbing company or whether to handle the repair yourself . It is very important to act quickly before the problem gets worse or causes water damage to your home.

Blocked Drain

A blocked drain, typically in a sink, happens when buildup of food, grease, hair, or other gunk stops the flow of water. This is one plumbing issue you can likely fix on your very own. A sink plunger typically dislodges the clog. If this does not work, you can use a commercial drain cleaner, or you can open the drain trap and clear out the pipelines.

Blocked Toilet

A blocked toilet can send out nasty sewage into your home as the toilet overflows causing hazardous water damage. Considering that this issue generally appears when the toilet is flushed, it's usually a nasty one. The best method to handle it is to shut off the water supply to the toilet as soon as you see the issue. The toilet ought to have a shutoff valve near the back to the flooring. Then, use a plunger or metal snake to dislodge the clog. If you frequently have this residential plumbing problem, call a plumber to determine why your toilet is not flushing as it should.

Problems With the Garbage Disposal

If your garbage disposal does not work, you likely have food stuck in it. The unit probably has a key wrench. Utilize this to loosen the obstruction. Simply place it on the appropriate point at the bottom of the disposal, then turn the key counterclockwise until it can move again. Prior to using the disposal, run it while cold water runs down the drain. This will reduce any remaining food particles.

Leaky Faucet

Frequently faucets start to leak due to the fact that the washer inside the system has to be replaced. To do this, shut off the water, and after that get rid of the cover of the faucet. Remove the handle, and you will see the washer inside. Replace it, put the system together once again, and check for leaks. If your faucet still leaks, tighten up the handle.

Leaking Pipe

A leaking pipe is the most commonof plumbing problem that you might need professional aid to fix. The first step is finding the real leak. If you can find and repair the leak by yourself without comprehensive repair to the pipe or the have to solder, don't hesitate to attempt. Nevertheless, if the leak is challenging to discover, needs soldering, or looks complex to fix, you may be much better off calling a plumbing professional.

So the next time you notice a plumbing issue in your house, decide if you have one of these 5 issues. If so, consider whether you feel comfortable fixing it by yourself, or whether your household would be better served by working with a plumbing expert to do the task.

Tips To Avoid A Home Improvement Nightmare

Do you enjoy improving upon your home? If you answered "yes," then great! You have stumbled onto an article that can reaffirm your home improvement knowledge and may even improve your skills. Incorporating the knowledge in this article into your next job can help you out.

Without much decoration and personality, simple lamp shades are sometimes very boring. By decorating these shades with stencils and paint from a craft store, you can turn a dreary lamp into a focal point in any room. This will add some style and personality to you rooms and take away the drab look from a cheep looking lamp shade.

If you have small holes in your wall, you can repair them by using spackling paste. Simply apply the paste to fill the holes and wait for it to dry. The paste may expand and crack, so you can apply a little more paste if needed. When dry, sand away any excess until the dried spackle is flush with the wall. Then paint the wall any color you desire.

During summertime, go outside and pick some wildflowers. Place the wildflowers between the pages of an old and unwanted phonebook. Pile about 50 to 60 pounds of books on top of the phonebook to press the flowers dry. After about a week or two of pressing, adhere your flowers to a piece of cardstock and hang them in your room. They create a great focal point as well as a nature friendly approach to home decorating.

If you don't want to refinish your old and weathered wooden floors, you can instead, give your home a cottage style boost. Buy some oil based paint and choose some affordable stencils. Use the stencils and paint to re-design your wooden floors. Add some cute designs in varying patterns, to give a full on-cottage look to your home.

When cracks appear in your interior walls or your ceilings, have them inspected by a construction professional as soon as possible. While the most likely cause of such cracks is a simple failure in the finished surface, they can indicate deeper, much more serious causes. You don't want to blithely paint over a crack and forget about it when it is actually indicating foundation settlement!

To make your doors feel new, replace your doorknobs. While purchasing a new door can be extremely costly, new doorknobs are available at a very low cost. A clean and new looking doorknob can change the appearance of your entire door. Try to pick out a doorknob that compliments your house's style. Also make your door efficient by planning to have solar ones. There are various door and windows efficient improvement offered by shower doors Utah.

Did you enjoy going through information on an activity that you enjoy? Did you find anything that you can use on your next job? This article was written to help people like you reaffirm their enjoyment of the activity, along with learning a few pro tips and tricks to improve your home.

Some Important Facts About White Mold

People understand the dangers of having mold growth in their homes or structures. While a lot of attention has been focused on toxic black mold, it is important to know that a lot of other kinds of fungus can also affect our health and well being. White mold is one of the many fungi that can have an adverse side effect on our bodies. Experts think that the same caution and attention should also be focused on other species of mold as to that of the black variety because several of these can negatively affect our health both long term and short term.

Mold vs Efflorescence

This white type of mold is characterized by the white coloring that it has as it grows on mostly porous surfaces. Just like any other kind of mold, it needs to be out of direct sunlight and in a consistently moist area to grow and thrive. It is often overlooked and ignored because it might have been mistaken for efflorescence. Efflorescence is an occurrence that commonly takes place on structures made of concrete or brick as well as any other masonry structures. The production of efflorescence is due to the salts and minerals in masonry and concrete products coming to the surface as the item or items are exposed to water. Experts who are trained to detect and assess a building for molds can easily tell the difference between the two. Some efflorescence occurrence which are older actually look like fine crystals which is very different from the cottony appearance of mold. Home owners in Texas who wish to tell the difference between the two should exercise caution when doing the following ways to distinguish:

- observe what kind of substrate the white growth is on (efflorescence occurs exclusively on concrete and other masonry items)

- observe the appearance of growth (mold is finer and more cottony looking than efflorescence)

- a moldy smell might be present if the growth is white mold

- cautiously spray a fine mist on the white growth (efflorescence should dissolve since it is made of salts and minerals)

Health Implications

A lot of people think that this particular white fungus is not dangerous and will not affect their health. While it is not as dangerous as toxic black mold, people are different and each may have different reactions to environmental factors. Some people are more sensitive to allergens while others with a lowered immune system might react to exposure to mold spores from the white variety after being fine beforehand.

Common health issues that come with exposure to spores from this particular mold have something to do with the upper respiratory system of the person. Usually, when spores are inhaled, they almost instantaneously trigger an allergic reaction in the individual. The symptoms of this reaction is similar to allergic rhinitis or hay fever, including but not limited to:

- itchy, watery eyes

- itchy nostrils or nose

- a runny nose

- chronic cough

more serious symptoms are:

- nausea

- dizziness

- depression

- headaches

The reason some individuals may have more serious symptoms may have to do with how long they have been inhaling the spores as well as a not so effective immune system.

The removal of white mold should be done with caution; better yet, done by professionals who are trained to do this effectively with the means to protect themselves from exposure. Do-it-yourself projects to remove white mold colonies should only be done on a small or medium sized colony in a well-ventilated area. The person to do this should also wear protective clothing that covers up most of the limbs and other body parts. These include a mask, goggles and gloves.

While immediate removal is necessary to prevent health issues, it is also important to identify the kind of mold present. Professionals can test the spores and can use a vacuum to make sure that spores will not float to other areas of the house when they are being removed. Mold Removal

Bug Problems? Here's What You Can Do

So, you hear the noises coming from your kitchen and you know that there is nobody out there. You open your cabinet to get out some noodles to cook for supper and find that the box has been chewed by something. You need to read through the article below to learn how to rid yourself of the pests in your home.

Never step on a cockroach to kill it. When you step on it, it can release its egg sac. The eggs can then be transferred from the bottom of your shoes throughout the carpets and rugs in your home. The eggs survive in your carpet until they are ready to hatch, leaving you with a much bigger roach problem.

Keep in mind that pests are not fond of the same air you are. Your home might not have been designed for proper ventilation in crawl spaces and the attic. However, these spaces need sufficient ventilation so that the environments within them are not suitable to pests who might come in.

Opt for rock or stone when landscaping your yard instead of straw or wood chips. Organic material is the perfect habitat for many pests. If you want to keep them out of your home, both your home and yard should be as inhospitable to pests as possible. Pests will never make it into your home if they can't get past your yard.

Laundry detergent is a great tool for preventing ants from entering your home. They strongly dislike the smell of the chemicals used in detergent. Use this by putting the detergent in a spry bottle and using it all long the entrances to your doors and any other place ants could enter.

Sometimes calling a professional exterminator is a necessity. While many do it yourself, remedies work wonderfully, infestations can reach beyond the control of your average house owner. While it may be more expensive to call in a professional pest control services Escondido or service, it is definitely worth it to effectively rid your home of pests.

Inspect the outside of your home for any cracks in the screens, walls, windows, and doors. Seal all of these cracks to help eliminate pests. When the pests can't get inside, then the battle is halfway won. Install new thresholds on your doors, fix holes in screens, and repair weather stripping on your windows for best results.

One of the biggest sources of pests entering your home is the type of mulch you use on the outside garden beds. If you are using wood chips, termites are attracted to this and will get inside your home from it being in close proximity. Use rocks and stone in your garden instead to eliminate this problem.

Knowing how to get rid of the pests in the home will help you get these pests out of your home for good. Use them and remember them for the next time you hear the pests doing their thing. Soon, you will not have any pests getting into your cabinets because they will all be dead.

Tips For Homeowners Preparing For Furnace Installation

Furnace installation should always be done in the right way regardless of whether it is a system replacement or upgrade. At times, the issues related to furnaces are as a result of poor installation. A home evaluation is one of the most crucial aspects when getting a new heating system.

Toronto HVAC contractors will come to your home before the installation in order to carry evaluations. There are some things that should be done in preparation for installation.

Evaluating needs.

Home inspections carried out by HVAC companies enables them to assess the specific needs of a particular homeowner. The capacity of a furnace must meet the heating requirements of a particular room. It is a good idea to look for help especially if you have never used a furnace before. This will help you get the right sized system to satisfy your needs.

There are many things you need to consider when choosing the size of a suitable unit. Some of these factors include insulation of a home, windows, roofing, doors and other ventilation systems which affect the load capacity of a furnace.

Air Ducts Inspection.

HVAC contractors also look at the airflow in your home. The furnace installation should match the airflow in a particular space. Therefore, it is very important to have inspections of vents and ducts in your home. If the ducts are dirty, it is a wise idea to clean them in order to help prevent any dust particles from entering the new system.

Dust-free ducts will also provide clean air for respiration. Before installing a heating system, it may be a wise idea to look for professional duct cleaning services. Depending on the location of the ducts, it may be necessary to seal them. This is what a heating contractor does.

Clear Space.

To have a successful installation process, you have to make it easier for contractors to do their work. Evaluate the place the furnace is going to be installed and see if you need to move anything.

This will make the area easy to access. The contractors should not trip over things when moving to and from during this process. This is why it is very important to clear the area where the installation will take place.

Ask how long the installation will take so that you can know how long the contractors will be in your home. It may be a good idea to find a place for your children to say for that period of time.

Contact a good HVAC company in Toronto such as Toronto furnace Experts to help you know whether there are other requirements for the installation.

Getting Concrete With Pre-cast Concrete Beams And Columns

Why use precast concrete beams and columns, in the first place? They have the most adaptable solution to the structural part of your project. Precast beams and columns can be used for a few applications. You name it, from parking designs to the structural groundwork of medium and/or high-rise commercial buildings. They are also the perfect solution for low grade parking situations. As a result, it can help wipe out the need for a parking lot Also, it scales down the size of the lot that is required. You can now make an optimal framework for projecting architectural and structural wall panels. You can also set the hollow core floor and roof plank with the beams and columns.

Basically speaking, here are a few things you need to know about beams and columns:

1. Beams

Typically, beams are considered structural factors and are out of one of the three key shapes:

A. Inverted tee beams B. L beams C. Rectangular

Beams are horizontal units that attend to deck members such as double tees, hollow-core, solid slabs and a few times to other beams. They can be fortified with either conventional reinforcing bars or pre-stressing strand. This will be contingent on loading conditions, the preferred production method of the producer or the spans.

The size is essentially any size. It depends on the need to fulfill the structural requirements. The depth is somewhere between 16 to 40 inches with a width of 12 to 24 inches. The span to death ratio is 10 to 20. Considering that beams are tossed upright, the bottom, ledges and sides are cast against a form. Regularly, it will give an as cast finish that turn into a polished and hard finish.

For the square and rectangular shapes, the columns are heaved in a horizontal position. 3 out of the 4 sides are produced with a form.

2. Columns

Customarily, columns are used to holds up beams and spandrels in applications like parking structures and precast concrete of all kinds. Most often, they are constructed as multilevel components varying from a single story to six levels. Maybe, even more. In order to please the architectural and structural requisites, shapes and sizes may vary.

In order to match the varying changing riser sections that they uphold, sizes can depend on its required structure. The width is somewhere between 16 to 24 inches. Once it finishes, three of the sides will have an as cast finish that turn into hard and sleek finish. The fourth side on the other hand is burrowed by the finishing crew to correlate the other sides as intently as possible.