How to Maintain Your Air Conditioner
When you live in hotter climates, your air conditioner is one of the most important appliances in your home. It’s up to you to care for your AC system throughout the year. There are a few tips to help you with this process.
Adjust the Thermostat
You should always have your thermostat set for a realist temperature. If you’re not going to be home, there’s no reason for it to feel like an ice box. Particularly in the heart of summer, your AC will have to work on overtime in order to maintain the temperature. This will put a strain on your system and cost you more on your electric bill. If you don’t already have a digital thermostat, it might be a good idea to invest in one. It will allow you to set the thermostat so that it adjusts throughout different times of the day based on when you leave to go to work and when you go to sleep at night.
Change the Filters
The air filters on your air conditioner need to be changed regularly. The frequency will depend greatly on how many people live in your home and whether you own pets. If you live alone with no pets, it might be fine to change the filter once every six months. However, if you have a family of six with pets, the filters should be changed monthly. New filters ensure that the air is able to flow through so that the system runs efficiently. It also improves air quality.
Schedule Routine Maintenance
By scheduling an air conditioning service Fort Myers residents get a technician to check out the system. A technician can identify problems early on, clean vents, and adjust the thermostat for you. Identifying problems early can save you a significant amount of money and keep your system running at an optimum level.
There is a lot that you can do to protect your AC. By being a responsible homeowner, you can ensure that your system will run properly throughout the year.…
Ways to Get a Cheap Granite Worktop
Granite is definitely a top choice when it comes to worktops. It is a strong material that can stand the test of time. Even if you are always working on your worktops, you have the guarantee that granite will remain strong. But it price is not so cheap.
The only problem is the cost. Granite is a strong rock that has taken years to form. Therefore, pure granite price are really high. Given its durability and overall aesthetic appeal, you won’t hesitate to spend a lot. The good news is that there are ways for you to afford this type of worktop even if it is expensive.
You might be surprised to find suppliers online that can offer granite worktops at a cost which is way lower than what local stores can offer. Even if you spend money for shipping, you will still spend less compared with local store purchases.
Use discount coupons to make it cheap
As you search for choices online, you might also find discount coupons and vouchers. They might not be too significant in reducing the cost, but at least you can buy your granite worktop at a lower price. You just have to be patient in searching for these coupons. Even local stores also have the same promotion that you can avail of if you want to.
Wait for clearance sales
Both online stores and regular stores offer clearance sales. This happens when they have already sold a specific number of items, and they no longer care if the remaining items are sold or not. Therefore, if they want to dispose of these items, they are sell it in a clearance sale for a cheaper price.
Buy items during the holiday season
This is another good strategy. A lot of items are sold at a lower price during festive seasons. People are willing to spend money even on expensive items at this time of the year. They won’t even care about spending money on expensive worktops. For sure, many companies fight over this market and decide to lower their price tags. You should take advantage of such opportunities.
There are different sites offering worktops. Don’t settle for the first option you can find even if it looks good. You might find a similar design on other sites, but it cost you at a much lower price. Just make sure that you read the description of the product too. Sometimes, images are deceiving. Products that look the same have very different prices mainly because one is smaller. So please, you must reading the product description or manual before decide to buy it.
These are just some of the tips to use when you are planning to buy a worktop made out of granite. This does not guarantee that you can really buy the worktop at a low cost, but at least you can give these strategies a try.
You can find quality granite worktops in London. You won’t be disappointed with your choice especially if you have already looked around and done your research.
4 Ways Water Gains Access to Your Foundation
One of the worst things for a foundation is to allow water to collect and sit. It begins to deteriorate the foundation material and will enter the structure, which can cause even more damage. Below are four ways water attacks your foundation.
Lack of a Working Gutter System
Your gutters and downspouts are an essential part of drainage that helps protect your foundation. It gathers the water pouring off the roof after a rain and leads down and away from the structure. Clogs, broken sections and a lack of gutters all contribute to water seeping through the foundation and causing damage.
Cracks In the Foundation
Existing cracks in your foundation, no matter how small, can spell big trouble over time and require exterior foundation repair. Water has easy access to the interior of the building through the cracks. Ice can build up in the cracks and force them open wider. Over time it can begin deteriorating the materials of the foundation.
Poor Property Sloping
If your building is stuck in a low spot of the property, or on a hillside, water can pool around the foundation after heavy rains. It will lead to necessary repairs of the foundation and creating a better drainage plan that removes the water from the property.
Extensive Soil Erosion at Foundation
Severe settling of the foundation and soil erosion leads to a trenching along the edges of the foundation. These low areas are perfect for the build-up of water. You may need to have the settling problem fixed and the soil replaced that has drifted off with rain runoff.
Avoiding the water problems that lead to foundation problems are preferable to dealing with the potential for extensive damage to the foundation and interior of the building. Your foundation is designed to last the lifetime of the home or business when cared for properly.…
Important Tips On How To Prevent Home Fire
We tend to prepare ourselves for a problem, the moment it appears, which means that we neglect the idea that prevention is a better solution than stopping fire after it happens.
Preparing your house for fire scenario is one of the most important things that you should do, but it is essential to know how to do it.
The main thing you should have in mind is that a little preparation could mean the difference between life and death. According to statistics, people report more than million fires in the USA, which caused millions of dollars in damage and thousands of lost lives.
The best solution that you can do is to find fire protection storage tank and to keep it in the neighborhood just in case. However, apart from that, we decided to present you essential tips to understand how to prevent home fire:
First Line of Defense: Smoke Detectors
It is important to have fire alarms in proper places around your home, but apart from setting them, you have to make sure that they are vital and ready to alarm in case of fire. We recommend you to place fire alarms in every room, or even better; you can find carbon monoxide alarm.
You should install smoke alarms in each bedroom, as well as on every level of the home, including the basement. If you have levels without bedrooms, we recommend you to install alarms in the living room, or next to the stairway.
When you install smoke alarms in the basement, it is important to place them on the ceiling at the bottom of stairs. You should install them at least ten feet away from cooking appliances because that way you will reduce a possibility of false alarms when cooking.
We recommend you to mount them on ceilings or walls. If you want to find interconnected smoke alarms, you will gain additional enjoyment because it will ensure that everyone hears the alarm in case of fire.
You should also have in mind that smoke detectors have an expiration date, which is approximately ten years. Therefore, you should switch them when the meet life expectancy, because latest smoke detectors contain numerous features that will protect your home against fire damage.
Store Flammable Items Properly
We have all heard the old saying that goes; it is important to put things in their right place. This is particularly important for flammable items that you contain in your house. It is important to store combustible items in ventilated areas and container that will keep things around it protected from damage.
If you have another place in mind, we recommend you to remove them from the house, because you don’t want to have things that will be potential fire triggers. If you have materials and rags that were connected with flammable materials, we recommend you to dispose of them as soon as possible.
Create a special place for lighters and matches, and have in mind that the place should be away from children and heat objects. Have in mind that if your kids see them, they will try to use it, which means that you will risk in making a house fire.
Always Maintain Chimney
One of the biggest reasons for home fires are unproperly maintained chimneys. You will have to take care of it the same way as your vehicle. Therefore, it is essential to conduct an inspection regularly and to clean it perfectly after heat season, because that way you will prevent creosote buildup.
At the same time, we recommend you to keep pellet stoves, wood stoves and fireplaces clean for maximum efficiency and safety. The danger doesn’t come from the chimney, which means that you have to check for leaves and branches in its areas and keep it clean.
According to regulations, the chimney has to be at least three feet taller than the roof, and it should be insulated and have a spark arrestor on top. Therefore, before you start enjoying next to the fireplace, you have to make it work perfectly, because that is the best way to prevent any fire hassle that can happen.
Apart from the idea that you have to prevent fire by creating a thorough inspection of everything that goes on inside your house, it is important to explain to your family how to act in case of fire.
If you want to learn what to do in case of fire emergency, you have to click here.…
The History and Benefits of Cafe Shutters
If you’re looking to make home improvements related to your windows, you have a lot of options. Some of these depend upon where the window is located in the house (which side of the house, which floor of the house, etc). While others are down to personal preference benefits or features that you consider must-haves for your windows.
How Cafe Shutters Can Brighten Your Home
If your goal is to let in a lot of light while maintaining some measure of privacy, you might consider cafe style shutters for your ground floor windows. Their design allows for a lot of natural light to enter via the top half, while a beautifully-crafted screen maintains privacy on the lower portion. Many people like this style due to its versatility and ease of use and installation.
Cafe shutters got their start in Europe but came to the new world via the Spanish. They were widely used for a long time after thanks to being cheaper than the glass options of the day.
While it is easy to think of such shutters as simply half the size of “ordinary” shutters, it’s recommended to install them by matching them to the highest point of your window’s transom. You don’t want to end up with shutters of any type that don’t really match the feel and look of the window and throw off the whole aesthetic. Taking such measurements is also practical as it ensures the windows are used to their fullest capabilities with no unnecessary overlap.
Best of all, you can still use them in the same way as a full height shutter, with positioning in both open and closed states and adjusting their louvers to allow more light. However, it is most typical to only adjust the slats instead of fully opening the window, since you have full lighting from the top portion.
As we touched on previously, it’s best if cafe shutters suit the window frame and the surrounding decor to ensure uniformity and an aesthetically-pleasing look. Another consideration is location. This style is ideal for keeping things private at eye level but in addition to light, can let in a lot of nice breezes if the shutters are installed in an area that allows outdoor air to circulate well.
And while it’s mostly a question of looks, be sure to take some time to consider what sort of materials you want for these shutters. The most popular choices tend to be a variety of hardwoods, and which one is usually dependent upon again, the type of window and decor in the location. There are also a few less common material types that are better suited to different areas of the home. Some people like having these shutters in their bathrooms, and so will opt for synthetic materials that give extra protection against moisture while still allowing for all of the benefits of the cafe style. Whatever the type of home or room, you should always check some of the tips on how to choose the right shutters for your home.
In short, this style provides many benefits and very few drawbacks. As long as they fit with the window and decor of your home, simply choose materials, colors or finishes that work well for you. Once installed you can enjoy lots of natural light, without sacrificing privacy.…
These days coloring the concrete surfaces both old and new using acid stains (also called reactive stain or chemical stain) is very popular because of its unique looks and cost effectiveness. Acid staining is a process in which an aqueous solution of metallic oxides and inorganic acid is sprayed over an existing concrete surface. The acidic solution of metallic oxide reacts with lime (Calcium Hydroxide) present in the concrete yielding insoluble, colored compounds that become a permanent part of the concrete. Therefore, one of the basic conditions where coloring concrete using acid stains is going to work is the presence of lime in the concrete. Quiet often people who have just bought a home or condo, remove the carpeting or vinyl tile, and find something underneath which they believe is concrete. When they spray the acid stain or reactive stain and wait to get disappointed because they do not see any change in the color on their concrete surface. This is because the substrate that looks like concrete is in fact gypsum based ‘Gypcrete’. Builders often use this on upper floors to level out areas of sub flooring and provide a good base for other types of floor coverings. Unfortunately, staining Gypcrete does not produce any desirable results since it does not contain any lime; moreover it is too soft and easily abraded. Therefore ‘Gypcrete’ cannot be used as a wear layer.
Since Gypcrete surfaces cannot be used as a wear layer and acid stains do not work on them, it is usual practice to apply a 1/16inch polymer modified concrete resurfacing material (also called micro-topping or skim coat). Please find below the steps involved in resurfacing Gypcrete and acid staining with a micro-topping or skim coat –
a. Sweep the Gypcrete surface and dry vacuum the surface thoroughly. Rake out the joints where drywall meets the floor. Clean the adjoining areas even those not being resurfaced with a micro-topping.
b. Install masking paper (plastic) at least 48″ high on the surrounding walls. Spray a light mist of water just to damp the surface (DO NOT FLOOD!)
c. Using a brand new rayon mop, apply the first coat of acrylic primer (Cp1000) after diluting it with water @ 1:1 ratio. After waiting for at least 60 minutes, apply second coat of diluted acrylic primer and let it cure overnight (or 10 hours at least) before proceeding to the next step.
d. Apply another coat of acrylic primer, this time non-diluted and let it dry for 30-60 minutes. The third coat of primer can be applied using garden sprayer (i.e., available in Home Depot or Lowes).
e. Apply a thin coat (1/16″) coat of micro-topping or polymer modified overlay using magic trowel. Please follow the link for specific instruction on application of polymer modified micro-topping, Sgraffino. Allow the micro-topping to cure for at least 24 hours. In damp and cold conditions (basements), wait for at least 48 hours before proceeding to the next step.
f. Apply acid stain on the completely dried micro-topping. Please follow the link for specific instruction on application of an acid stain, Patinaetch. Allow the acid stained surface to dry for at least 24 hours before proceeding to the next step.
g. The micro-topping needs to be protected with a good quality sealer. Apply one coat of water based epoxy sealer, Perdüre E32 followed be another coat of water based polyurethane, Perdüre U46. Allow at least 6 hours between the application of epoxy primer and polyurethane topcoat. The sealed surface will be ready for use after 24hours. Of course, it takes at least 3 days for full cure.
Making a mind for installing a floor in your house? Do not get confused; simple and durable flooring you can opt for is there. Vinyl flooring is one of the finest choices keeping in view the long lasting quality and its affordability. Especially when you are considering flooring of bathrooms and kitchen, vinyl floor is the best option. Trend of installing vinyl floor is increasing day by day. Not only the durability and affordability is the major reason but also it has a wide range to select from. There are various designs, colors and types and the prices depend on the quality and material used in manufacturing. Let’s discuss in detail the characteristics of this flooring.
Introduction To Vinyl Floor:
Vinyl floor is basically a building material made of polyvinyl chloride called PVC. It is made of engineered products instead of original material. Similar to linoleum but is more durable. It can be used in commercial areas like offices, shopping malls as well as in residential areas like bedrooms as well as kitchens and bathrooms.
Types Of Vinyl Floor:
There are basically two types of this flooring. One is called printed vinyl and the other is inlaid vinyl. Printed contains a thin sheet of vinyl and has a coating of printed-paper. It is cheap in cost and is not much durable, while the inlaid vinyl is thicker in sheet strength and is expensive. Both are available in the market in form of sheets as well as tiles.
Advantages Of Vinyl Floor:
Vinyl is less cost, long lasting and easy to maintain flooring. It is highly resistant to moisture and this quality makes it best option for the bathrooms and kitchen flooring. It can be the great flooring for heavy traffic areas like offices, shopping centers and schools. It’s underlay gives comfort to the foot and add insulation.
Disadvantages Of Vinyl Floor:
One of the major drawbacks of vinyl floor is that it cannot be refinished or polished. Over time when it looses its luster it looks dull and it can wear down. Though it is less in cost from other flooring but have short life comparatively. It is also sensitive to sunlight and cold and can get fade or crack.
When choosing for vinyl floors consider installation, cost and type of vinyl. Use inlaid vinyl flooring for heavy traffic areas like shopping centers, offices and schools. Printed vinyl floor is best for low traffic areas like personal bedroom. Use tiles if you want more designs and it is also easy to install on your own. But if you have tight budget go for vinyl sheets, as it is less in cost than tiles.