Signs Your Chimney Needs to Be Cleaned
On colder winter nights, there’s nothing quite like a fire roaring the hearth. If you use your fireplace regularly, however, you need to perform the proper maintenance. When chimneys aren’t cleaned, buildups of soot and creosote develop, which can have dangerous consequences. Here are a few signs that your chimney needs to be cleaned.
Creosote is the main reason why chimney users need to perform regular maintenance on their chimneys. Most experts recommend that homeowners clean their chimneys at least once a year. These cleaning sessions are primarily to get rid of creosote buildup. Creosote is the result of incompletely burned wood; when you light a fire without sufficient oxygen, it results in unburned tar vapors, which collect over time. If the layers of creosote get too thick, it can cause chimney fires.
To avoid this fate, homeowners should know how to detect creosote buildup. First, they should check for downdrafts coming from the chimney. If the airflow is coming down the chimney, open windows and doors until the flow of air reverses. Once the air is moving in the right direction, put on a pair of goggles, grab a poker, and strike the creosote deposits above the smoke chamber. Ideally, the poker should leave a thin mark on the wall. If the scratch has the depth of a paper cut, your chimney doesn’t need to be cleaned. If the scratch has a measurable width, like 1/8-inches to 1/4-inches, your chimney needs to be cleaned before you use it again.
Other Signs That Your Chimney Needs to Be Cleaned
A visual inspection of creosote buildup isn’t the only sign of a chimney in need of a sweep. When using the fireplace, homeowners should be on the lookout for unusual activities, like slow-starting fires and smoke that fills the room or house. When the fire isn’t burning, homeowners may notice strange smells or gusts of cold air.
Don’t let your fireplace turn into a safety hazard. If your chimney needs professional assistance, look for expert chimney cleaning Washington DC.…
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.
Preventing Plumbing Problems this Holiday Season
Dealing with plumbing problems can be a huge headache, but dealing with them during the holiday season can be a nightmare. Instead of enjoying the time with your family and friends, you will have to worry about how you will get your drain unclogged or stop your toilet from running. On top of this, many services are not available during the holidays, which will lead you to having to wait for a couple of days before someone can come out to fix your problems. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent all of this from happening, and the best way to do this is to prevent plumbing problems. Listed below are a few ways to prevent plumbing problems this holiday season.
Avoid pouring cooking grease in the drain
During the holiday season, there will be lots of cooking, and much of the cooking may include the use of cooking grease. However, if you pour cooking grease into the drain, it will clog and harden. Once this happens, then your drain will probably get clogged. In order to prevent this, you can pour your cooking grease into an empty bottle and dispose of it in the trash.
Invest in plumbing drain screens
Another way to prevent plumbing problems is to invest in drain screens. One of the great things about drain screens is not only do they help with potential plumbing problems, but they are inexpensive. The benefit of drain screens is that they will prevent particles from clogging the drain. There are times in which hair, food, or other particles will go down the drain. By having a drain screen, all of these particles will be caught before they do damage to your drain.
Use baking soda treatments
Although there are lots of toxic drain openers, there are other ways to open your drain. With the toxic drain opener, you can often do additional damage to your drain. Therefore, there are home treatments that do not involve this level of toxicity. One home treatment is to use baking soda. All you need to do is sprinkle a little baking soda in the sink and tub drains and then rinse it with warm water. Also, vinegar can also play a huge role in unclogging drains. If your drain becomes too clogged, you may have to consider sub-slab leak detection in order to make sure that the leak is not below the slab.
Install a washing machine screen
Similar to drain screens, washing machine screens will help to prevent materials from clogging the washing machine’s valves. It is important to keep a check on the screens. By doing this, you will know when it is time to replace them.
This holiday season it is important to avoid plumbing problems. While you never know when you may have a plumbing problem, taking steps to prevent problems will decrease the likelihood that you will have to deal with this during the holidays. Taking a few extra steps today will lead to less stress in the future.…
The ceiling fans have always served the mankind by providing all the ventilation necessary for a room. The ceiling fans circulate the air in a room which is highly vital for the freshness factor to be maintained in a room. Whatsoever might a product be, equipped with all the advancements in technology and with features more than that of ceiling fans like air conditioning and heating facilities, it can now way substitute a fan. A fan has become an indispensable electrical furnishing for every home and does its bit by providing relief and comfort to the people. May it be the winters or the scorching heat in the summers, a ceiling fan gives relief in both the seasons by spreading the cold air pockets in the chilly days and bringing in the cool breeze from outdoors during the summers.
LATEST MODIFICATIONS IN THE CEILING FANS
As time has passed, man has been continuously trying to modify all the existing facilities that would result ultimately in better outputs. The ceiling fans have also gone a series of modifications and feature additions in the due course and the ceiling fans that we see today are a result of such evolution. The latest features that have been added to the ceiling fans include bladeless design, remote controlled power toggling option, LED lighting system etc. Off all such developments, the LED lighting system when equipped on the fans possesses a great advantage for the people. People generally have separate arrangements for the fans and lighting systems in their houses. Now if fans come with attached and easy to control LED lights, the additional costs for the lighting system can be effectively curtailed resulting ultimately in lesser investments
THE LED CEILING FANS ADVANTAGES
Luminous Luminaire (80 Watts), Orient Spectra, Havells Leganza, Crompton Greaves Uranus are some of the best fan models with LED lighting system. The LED lighting system on these fans , which is specifically designed for saving up some additional energy and eliminate the need of a additional lighting system, also adds to the style quotient of the house. The fans with LED lighting look trendy and are easy to operate as well. Most of the LED lighting systems that are mounted on the fans are operated using a remote (Orient Spectra). However an additional wire is sometimes provided along the fan connection so that the light can be operated using the wall mounted switches. A variety of fans are available in the market basing upon the power of the LED lights and features of the fan itself. A customer can easily choose from a wide range of options basing upon his needs.
WHERE TO GRAB THE BEST CEILING FANS WITH LED LIGHTS?
Almost every fan company has now come up with fan models that have LED lighting system. The additional advantages that such fans have to offer owe to their pricing on a bit higher side. However one can get huge discounts by checking the above listed fan models available on several ecommerce sites like Flipkart, Amazon, eBay etc. One can also visit any retail stores to get the desired model of the fan with LED lights. Generally the lighting system is of 12 Watts of 18 Watts.
The fans have also a provision of dimming out the light if necessary by using a dimmer which is similar to the one which is used to control the speed of the fans. This means that these lights can double up as a bed time light too. The fans with LED lighting have shown a substantial rise in sales in the past few years.…
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.