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What To Do When You Want Interior Brick Walls In Earthquake Country

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Do When You Want Interior Brick Walls In Earthquake Country

If you have just moved to a quake-prone section of the country from a non-quake-prone area, you are in for a new experience, to say the least. This is especially true if you’re looking at houses to buy. Not only do you have to get used to occasional shaking, but you have to redo your concept of decorating and having a strong, sturdy home. If you are used to brick being one of the strongest materials available (maybe you came from a windy area where brick was king), now you have to get used to brick being one of the more dangerous materials available. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to avoid brick completely. If you want to have the look of an exposed brick wall inside your home, for example, you have a few options. Existing Brick Walls If you’re considering buying a very old home, you may find real brick walls. Your pre-sale home inspection should tell you if these walls are reinforced or unreinforced. If they are unreinforced, either don’t buy the home, or be prepared to spend the money to have the walls reinforced immediately. Unreinforced masonry has a very good chance of collapsing in a quake, and retrofitting can be expensive. If the walls are reinforced, and you decide to buy, have the walls inspected by engineers who can tell you if the reinforcements are up to current technological standards. If they aren’t, get to work and get those walls shored up. As more and more quakes happen, scientists, engineers, and builders learn more about what works and doesn’t work to keep a wall upright. Take advantage of this knowledge, especially if the wall is an interior wall. Even reinforced masonry can see damage and have bits crumble off during a quake, so ensure that each and every brick is as secure as can be — and don’t put your bed or any seats next to those walls. You Want to Add Real Brick If the home doesn’t have actual brick walls, but you want that look and want to use real brick, you can find thinner brick veneers made of real brick. Curbly describes the process used to turn a downtown San Diego condo (and yes, downtown San Diego sits directly over one end of a quake fault, the Rose Canyon fault) into a New-York-warehouse-style home using these veneers. Some veneers use materials other than brick, like plastic, so ensure that the ones you buy are made of real brick material if you really want an authentic look. Faux Brick If you’ve decided you just don’t want to mess with real brick, or you can’t find it (or your homeowner’s association forbids it), go for the faux look, which can be pretty realistic looking if you find the right material. Apartment Therapy lists five different ways to fake the exposed-brick look, ranging from painted stencils to molded paneling to drywall that’s formed to resemble bricks on one side. There’s even 3-D brick wallpaper that’s removable. If you’d like more information about getting that brick look or living with brick in a quake zone, contact a masonry company in the new city. They will be very knowledgeable about how brick reacts in an earthquake and how to use it safely. They can also help...

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Three Important Jobs That Can Extend The Lifespan Of Your Roof

Posted by on Jan 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Important Jobs That Can Extend The Lifespan Of Your Roof

While it might not be something you spend much time looking at, the roof of your home serves as a valuable line of defense against weather elements that can cause considerable damage. As such, it’s important to give some regular thought to your roof and, in particular, think about the jobs you can perform to keep the roof healthy and prolong its life. Hiring a roofing contractor to inspect your roof is ideal if you aren’t able or willing to do the job yourself. Between inspections, here are three jobs that you can perform or hire someone to do that can often add years of life to your roof. Ensure Your Attic Is Adequately Insulated An attic that lacks proper insulation can be detrimental to the health of your roof. When heat from your attic escapes through the roof, it can form ice dams during the winter. Ice dams are barriers of ice that run the length of the edge of the roof and can prevent snow from sliding off. Over time, accumulated snow can put strain on the roof and cause damage. Additionally, the ice dam can force the water from melting snow under the roofing shingles, which can lead to the rot of your sheathing and the need for a major repair job. Add extra insulation to your attic or have a contractor do the work for you. Install Gutter Guards The installation of guards on your home’s gutter system is an effective way to keep the gutters operating properly. Guards prevent them from filling up with leaves and seeds that can form barriers over time and push the water under your shingles, which promotes rot. This task is especially important for homeowners with multiple trees on their properties. Gutter guards are sold in a variety of different styles, but the main premise is that they contain holes or a screened section that allows rainwater to enter but blocks the entrance of debris. Keep Your Trees Tidy Trees can pose a risk to your roof beyond just shedding their leaves into your gutter and leading to water damage. If the trees are left to grow wildly, their branches can interfere with the shingles on your roof. In time, there’s a risk of individual branches actually lifting your shingles away from the sheathing, which will allow the rain to cause damage that can be costly to fix. Keeping tabs on your tree branches—or hiring a contractor to do the work on your behalf—can save you significant roof-related headaches. If you do find that your roof needs some repairs, contact a professional roofing contractor, such as Liberty Exteriors LLC, to do the work for...

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What Steps Should You Take To Maintain Your Sewer System After A Flood?

Posted by on Dec 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Steps Should You Take To Maintain Your Sewer System After A Flood?

If your neighborhood has recently endured flooding following severe winter storms, you are probably anxious to assess the damage after waters recede. You may be relieved to find that your basement and carpets seem to remain untouched by flood waters. However, even if your home appears unscathed, your sewer pipes could be masking (or harboring) a potential future problem in the form of flood debris. Read on to learn more about what you’ll need to do after a flood to ensure your sewer remains in good working condition Have your sewer pipes inspected with a video camera. During a flood, high levels of ground water can seep into sewer pipes, preventing them from draining properly. Pipes that drain into a river or creek could quickly become backed up once flood waters rise over the pipe’s opening — and with these waters often come tree branches, pieces of drywall or other construction materials, caustic chemicals like fertilizer, or heavy metals. If your drainage pipes don’t have filters or grates to keep debris out, this detritus could become lodged in one of your pipes, creating a blockage that will likely require professional removal. Even if your pipes seem to be in fine working order after the flooding, you’ll likely want to schedule a video plumbing inspection and sewer cleaning. During this process, a plumber will use a flexible video camera to travel the length of your sewer system, looking for any damage to the interior of the pipes, debris, or narrowed sections of pipe that could be prone to clogging. Because this camera can help show the exact areas where work is needed (without requiring excavation or drain-clearing chemicals), it’s one of the least expensive ways for you to assess damage and proactively repair potential problems.  Install protective equipment to prevent damage from future floods. In some cases, it takes the threat of flood damage to spur disaster preparations. Taking preventive measures like installing grates in all venting pipes to filter out debris (or even installing a pump to help prevent flood water from traveling up your pipes) can dramatically diminish the odds that your home will suffer major flood damage. Because many homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flooding without an additional rider, taking these preventive steps can help lower your flood insurance premium to a more affordable level — or even help you qualify for flood insurance if you live in a high-risk area that could render you otherwise...

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Asphalt Shingles Are A Very Common Roofing Material

Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Asphalt Shingles Are A Very Common Roofing Material

There is a variety of shingle choices that you could use on your roof. One very common kind is asphalt shingles. They have been used for decades. Part of the reason for that is that they are relatively easy to install, and tend be somewhat less expensive than some other choices. Asphalt shingles also have a very long lifespan, ranging from 15-50 years, depending on certain variables.  Asphalt Shingles The shingles themselves are constructed of a couple of parts. The first part is a base mat of some kind. Then the mat is covered with asphalt for waterproofing, and then finally with some small ceramic gravel pieces. The ceramic gravel is there to help reflect some of the UV rays back up off the roof. UV rays have the chance to be potentially damaging to your shingles.  Types of Base Mats There are a couple of base mat choices. One is fiberglass, the other is organic.  Fiberglass A fiberglass asphalt shingle starts with a woven fiberglass mat. Then some asphalt is applied to the shingle. There doesn’t need to be a lot of asphalt on these shingles since the mat itself is fairly strong, the asphalt is mostly there as a waterproofing agent. Before the asphalt dries, the small pieces of ceramic gravel are sprinkled on the shingles.  Most new construction using asphalt shingles use this kind. They tend to have a longer warranty than other kinds of shingles. Fiberglass asphalt shingles also tend to be lighter, as well as a less expensive choice. An added benefit is the fact that they have a higher fire resistance, due to the lack of organic parts.  Organic The organic asphalt shingle starts with base of felt. The felt is generally recycled from other shingles. Before it goes anywhere, the felt is saturated in asphalt. That gives the shingles their strength and their waterproofing. In order to put the small piece of ceramic on the shingles, a layer of adhesive asphalt is sprayed on the shingles for the ceramic to hold on to.  These shingles were the more traditional kind asphalt shingle. They aren’t used as much these days because fiberglass shingles are moving in to become the industry standard. However, if you want the organic style, you can still get them. You will tend to pay a little more and they are going to be heavier on your roof.  Asphalt shingles can be a good way to make sure you have a decent roof on your house, especially if you are running on a tight budget. To learn more, contact a residential roofing...

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How To Determine If Chemical Etching Is The Right Way To Refinish Your Kitchen Hardwood Floors

Posted by on Dec 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Determine If Chemical Etching Is The Right Way To Refinish Your Kitchen Hardwood Floors

Refinishing your kitchen hardwood floors can take a lot of time and effort if you go the traditional route and sand your floors down before applying a new finish. However, if you are looking for a faster way to refinish your hardwood floors, chemical etching may be the way to go. With chemical etching, you can refinish your kitchen hardwood floors in a day. However, chemical etching is not right for all hardwood floors. Here are a few pointers to help you determine if chemical etching will work well on your floors. Quality Varies Chemical etching is one of the fastest ways to refinish your kitchen hardwood floors. However, how great your floors look afterwards really depends on what kind of condition your floors were in to begin with. This refinishing method is not right for all floors. Inspect Your Floor For Scratches The first thing you need to do is inspect your floor for scratches. Over time, all floors end up with at least a few scratches on them. While you are inspecting your floor, pay attention to how deep the scratches are. Are the scratches light and only on the surface? Or when you touch the scratches can you see that they extend deep into the wood? If the scratches are light, the chemical etching method should work well on your floors. You may need to do a few touch-ups to smooth out the cracks before you apply the etching, but overall, the etching should help your floors look like new. If you have a lot of deep scratches on your wood, chemical etching may not be the best method for you. The scratches will not disappear and may still be apparent after you stain your floors. If you do have a lot of deep scratches, you may need to sand your floors in order to get a smooth finish. Inspect Your Floor For Wear Next, you need to inspect your kitchen floor for wear and tear. If the area you want to refinish is so worn down that the current finish is flaking off or is worn away, don’t try chemical etching. Chemical etching will cause discoloration on bare wood. Chemical etching works best on low traffic areas where the wood is not worn down. Pay Attention To The Finish Finally, if you don’t know already, you need to determine what type of finish is on your kitchen hardwood floors. If you have a wax finish on your hardwood floors, you will have to sand your floors before you can refinish them. Any other type of finish will work just fine with the chemical etching finish process. Chemical etching is a great way to give your kitchen floors a new life without investing a lot of time or money into the project. However, if your kitchen hardwood floors are really worn down, have lots of deep scratches or have a wax finish, you’ll need to go with the traditional sanding method if you want to refinish your floors. Chemical etching will not work well on kitchen floors with those characteristics.  For kitchen remodeling services, contact a company such as Winston Brown...

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Be Wary Of Electrical Damage Due To Roof Leaks

Posted by on Nov 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Be Wary Of Electrical Damage Due To Roof Leaks

This winter looks to be a rainy one in many parts of the country, and if you start to find signs of a leaky roof, you might think that all you have to do is move things out of the way and call a roofer. However, you may need to call an electrician as well — and that may be a more urgent task. Roof leaks obviously damage the ceiling and walls, but the dripping water doesn’t just stick to the drywall. It can create a massive fire hazard, too. Wiring Protection Isn’t That Protective Like other materials, the protection around electrical wiring — be that insulation or a box around circuit breakers — can break down over time. It’s not unusual to find corrosion, holes, cracks, and other defects in circuit boxes, and insulation is often a target for rodents looking for something to chew on. All of this can expose wiring and circuits to water that might be leaking into the ceiling or walls. Leakage Current Risk Water creates something called leakage current. Water itself doesn’t do a good job of conducting electricity, but rainwater — full of minerals including minimal salts — is very attractive to electrical currents. Walters Forensic notes that the current will start traveling through the water when it comes in contact with exposed wiring, and this will lead to a gradual accumulation of more salts in the water. Eventually, the current traveling through the water becomes strong enough to generate heat and create something called a carbon bridge, which can lead to arcing and fire. How to Turn off Electricity Roof leaks are common, and you normally don’t see people panicking over a small drip. But if the dripping becomes extensive, with several leaks in the home, or the water is near a switch, outlet, breaker or fuse box, or other fixture, then you need to call an electrician and have him or her turn off the electricity and investigate. Because of the risk of electrocution, don’t touch the circuit breaker or fuse box yourself. If you’re dealing with leaks now or are worried about what to do should you find one, talk to an electrician today. He or she can inspect boxes and accessible wiring to check the integrity of the insulation and boxes. If there’s a problem, he or she will be able to correct it now, before the onslaught of heavy rain. Contact a company like Dr Electric for more...

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Differences Between Truck Bed Liner Types

Posted by on Oct 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Differences Between Truck Bed Liner Types

Do you own a small family farm? Do you use a pickup truck to move different supplies around your farm? If you’re worried about protecting the bed of your truck, then a bed liner is for you. Here are some things you should know about the different types of truck bed liners: Spray-on bed liners: Other types of truck bed liners may only be made for a certain make or model of vehicle. With spray-on liners, measuring is obviously not necessary. Because of the process involved, this is not a project that can be completed by the average person. You will need to take your truck into an appropriate mechanic or auto body shop and they will spray a protective coating onto the bed of your truck. Because there are no screws needed for the installation of this type of liner, rust is much less likely to be an issue than with other styles. Rubber mat liners: These can be used on their own or to supplement other types of truck bed liners. While the rubber mats are often sold for a specific make or model, there is some leeway possible. For example, if you have double rear wheels, you may be able to purchase a liner that is meant for a truck with only single rear wheels. You would then use something like a strong utility knife to remove the additional rubber needed to make the liner fit in your vehicle. The main drawback of this type of liner is that it only protects the bottom of the truck bed. Depending on what you’re hauling, you could still damage to the sides of your truck bed. Drop-in liner: This type of liner offers more protection to the sides of your truck bed than a rubber mat liner. Unlike spray-on liners, a drop-in liner can sometimes be installed by the truck’s owner, with just a little help. If you want the protection offered by a spray-on liner, but live too far away from an appropriate shop, a drop-in liner may be for you. Unfortunately, these types of truck bed liners may not be available for your make and model of truck. If your truck is more than a few years old or is an extremely uncommon model, you may have a hard time locating a drop-in liner that will fit. Since they are made out of molded plastic and not rubber, you won’t be able to easily modify a similar liner to give adequate protection for your vehicle’s bed. For more help or information about truck bed liners, contact a professional like those at Jack’s...

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5 Big Indications Your Garage Door Needs Help

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Big Indications Your Garage Door Needs Help

It’s really easy to take your garage door for granted. It stands there solidly, providing a barrier when you need one. And then suddenly, it doesn’t do what you need or what you expect, and that’s a problem. Here are some signs that you need to get an expert in to work out what’s going on with your garage door. The Door Doesn’t Open at All Sometimes the solution is a simple one. Maybe the remote needs new batteries or the power is out for a bit. Other times, the solution is much more complicated. Remotes and keypads can lose programming, or the door itself can have something that physically blocks the door from raising, or lowering. Because that’s the corollary to this problem: The door may not be able to close, which offers additional problems in terms of security. The Door Is Saggy Look at the door carefully, when it’s closed and when it’s open. Also pay attention while you’re raising and lowering the door. Is it sagging anywhere? The middle, or one of the sides? This is an indication that one area might be loose. Or the tracks could be misaligned. Regardless, if you let the door continue on the way it is, it’s going to become a much bigger problem. The Door Closes…and Then Reopens Have you ever closed the garage door, started to back out of the driveway, only to watch the door sweep back up? That’s not a good feeling, especially if it keeps doing the same thing several times in a row. There could be problems with how the door is set up, in terms of the amount of pressure the opener uses to lower the door, or there could be something else that needs adjusting. There could also be something wrong with or blocking the safety switch. The Door Sticks Your garage door and its tracks and rollers collect a lot more gunk than you realize. Because of all the oil and grease that lubricates the moving parts, they attract dust and dirt, which becomes sticky and can clog up the rails. You could also just need to lubricate the rollers, particularly if that hasn’t been done in a while. The Door Is Louder Than Usual Unless you just moved into your home, you’re familiar with the normal sound of your garage door and opener. If it starts to sound louder than it usually does or it sounds markedly different, there is reason to investigate. You could have issues with one or more springs or the motor in the opener may be developing a problem. If you suspect that your garage door needs a little bit of help, don’t hesitate. Contact an expert in garage door service today to find out how to solve the problem. For professional garage door services, contact a company such as American Eagle Garage Door...

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Breaking Tradition Away From Storm Preparation

Posted by on Sep 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Breaking Tradition Away From Storm Preparation

Whether you live deep in the heart of hurricane alley or any area prone to storms with powerful winds, there’s a lot of information to consume when it comes to preparing for disaster. Unfortunately, some of the advice may be outdated or based on tradition that could have been corrupted as it was passed down. Although tradition may come with a lot of nostalgia and respect, make sure that you’re able to split truth from legend by knowing what works, what doesn’t and how the tradition could have started in the first place. Taping Windows Is A Bad Idea Some incorrect methods of preparing for hurricanes are so old and well-known that they’ve become cultural icons. One such icon is a cross or an X of tape covering a window. The technique may become more advanced, such as forming a star or asterisk or adding more lines of tape in different areas. There are ways to protect yourself by taping windows, but it takes a lot more work that the popular cross of tape. The idea behind tape is that instead of dealing with many small pieces of broken glass, tape can stop the glass from flying as far and can keep the glass at a safer size. The tape isn’t just an inferior method; if you don’t tape properly or only used a small amount of tape, projectiles can stay in larger, heavier and more dangerous pieces as they break. At best case scenario, you’ve wasted tape that hasn’t increased safety. At worst, someone could be hit with a large piece of glass with other pieces swinging like a flail. Shutters And Boarding Are The Way To Go There are multiple demonstrations that show the weakness of tape against certain projectiles, such as flat projectiles bringing down taped pieces of glass or boards going directly through the tape as if it weren’t there. Although there are products designed to add strength to a window, it may be more affordable to stick with hurricane-proof shutters that can close as needed or by nailing thick boards across your window area. Board thickness matters, as thin or poorly-designed plywood can be just as unsafe as tape. Weak wood that splinters away can be unsafe as well, as a projectile could split the wood at the grain. While you don’t need to spend top dollar on premium wood types for safety, it’s better to consult a window specialist to find out what kinds of protection are available. The window specialist can give information on not only boarding, but shutters that can be installed and quickly closed during a storm. If your windows are broken before you’re able to prepare or if you’d like to look into hurricane-safe glass, ask a window specialist, such as, for replacement windows that fit both your home’s decoration direction and your safety...

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How To Keep Your Brick Pavers Looking Great All Year Long

Posted by on Sep 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Keep Your Brick Pavers Looking Great All Year Long

Brick pavers can be absolutely gorgeous. Along with being fully functional, they can also add a certain decorative element to your property and can give your home a lot of curb appeal. They are also very durable and do not require a lot of care, but there are a few things that you should do if you want to keep them looking great. If you follow these tips, however, you can keep your brick pavers looking fabulous all year long. Have it Professionally Sealed First of all, if you have not done so, you should have your brick pavers properly sealed. It is best to have this done when your pavers are first installed, but even if they are older, you can have them cleaned and sealed at any time. The sealant that a professional brick paver cleaning and sealing company (such as American Pressure Cleaning & Sealing) will add will provide a protective coating, which will help prevent cracks and holes. It will also make your brick pavers easier to clean and can make them look nice, shiny and new. Clean it Regularly It’s a good idea to clean your brick pavers regularly; this will help protect them from the acid from the rain and will get rid of dirt and grime before it causes stains. If you keep up with regular cleaning, you can use a regular water hose  to get rid of most grime. However, if you notice that your brick pavers are exceptionally dirty, you can either rent or purchase a power washer — or hire someone who runs a power washing company — to clean it, or you can scrub at any dirt and grime with a long-handled deck brush and a bucket full of a mild detergent — such as dishwashing liquid — and warm water. Protect it from the Winter Elements During the winter, it’s smart to sprinkle rock salt on your brick pavers to prevent snow and ice accumulation and to provide traction for anyone who will be walking on them. However, you should make sure that you spray your brick pavers off after the threat of snow and ice has ended, however, to get rid of the salt and prevent it from causing staining. As you can see, it’s entirely possible to keep your brick pavers looking excellent all year long. If you follow these tips, you should be proud of the way that your brick pavers...

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