Having Fun With Brickwork

Having Fun With Brickwork

Different Types Of Pool Enclosures To Get More Use Of Your Swimming Pool

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If you have invested in a swimming pool, you will only be able to use it during certain times of the year if it is not enclosed. Heating systems may allow you to extend your heating system a little, but it does not work as good as an enclosure, and you will still have the problem of debris. With an enclosure, you will be able to reduce maintenance and get more use of your pool. There are also different choices for the types of pool enclosures you can have installed. Here are some different types of pool enclosures and their benefits: 1. Fixed Home Additions For Pool Enclosures If your pool is near your home, you may want to have an attached enclosure installed. This can be a great idea if you live in a colder climate and want to be able to enjoy your pool all year. It can also be a more costly addition to your home, but will also allow you to incorporate architectural features into your enclosure, such as a patio area. 2. Permanent Metal And Glass Structures Permanent metal and class structures are a common solution for pool enclosure. They can have windows and doors that can allow you to partially open the structure during nice weather.  These systems may cost less than a retractable system, but will still allow you to enjoy your pool every month of the year. 3. Full Height Retractable Enclosures Full height retractable enclosures are enclosures that can be installed over an entire pool area, rather than just your pool. If you want to be able to change your pool according to the seasons, these are ideal systems to have installed for your pool. Some of the newest systems can even be attached to your home to give you a place to entertain guest all year round. 4. Partial Retractable Glass Enclosures Partial retractable pool enclosures are usually enclosures that just cover the pool and will give you enough space to swim in any weather. They will cost less than some of the other systems, but will not give you a solution for your entire pool area. If you just want an enclosure to be able to swim all year, this is an ideal solution that is affordable. These are some of the pool enclosures that you can have installed on your home to enjoy your pool all year. If you want to have an enclosure installed for your pool, contact pool enclosure contractors to find out what enclosure will be the best for your home and your budget. To learn more, contact a company like Lightning Custom Screens Inc. with any questions you...

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Duct Cleaning: When To Buy And When To Avoid

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If you own a home with a climate control system, you’ve probably heard about duct and vent cleaning services — and if you’ve heard about those, you’ve probably heard about the debate over whether you should hire a service or whether they are worth the price. While some companies press the benefits of regular cleanings, regular cleanings probably won’t affect your system too much either way. But this doesn’t mean they should never be used. Under certain circumstances, hiring a cleaning service can be well worth the cost. When You Don’t Need Cleaning As your air conditioner and furnace move a lot of air, the insides of your ducts, as well as your vents, are bound to collect some dust. However, a little dust and dirt is pretty typical of HVAC systems and doesn’t really impact the efficiency of your system unless there is an overwhelming amount. Your intake duct’s air filter also catches plenty of incoming dust, dander and hair, which keeps the air coming from the outflow ducts relatively clean. So if your system is running fine and if you and your housemates aren’t experiencing any sort of mysterious allergies, you shouldn’t need to hire a cleaning service — at least not on a regular basis. You should, however, make duct inspection a part of your annual routine to look for any creatures or mold. When You Need Cleaning While duct cleaning isn’t really necessary on a normal basis for an HVAC system that runs fine, they are much more useful on an as-needed basis. In fact, there are certain situations in which you should definitely hire a cleaning service. Construction: Whether you’re moving into a brand new house or just had construction done on your home, you should at the very least get your ducts and vents examined. During construction these ducts should be sealed, but if they aren’t sealed properly, harmful chemicals could be left in the ducts and then come out into your house when your system is turned on. Signs of Creatures: If you see animal droppings or dead insects inside your ducts, that’s a sign that things are getting into your ductwork that shouldn’t be. As a result, you will need your ducts cleaned to decontaminate them, but you will also need to have them examined to find out just how creatures are getting in; that will need to be fixed as well. Allergies: If you or other people in your house are experiencing allergy symptoms for reasons you can’t seem to figure out, it may be time to look at your vents. There is no guarantee that anything in your ducts is causing the problem, but checking can help offer some peace of mind. Allergy symptoms can also indicate that there is something like mold within your ducts, so it’s always worth looking into. Dust From Vents: If you see a puff of dust from your vents every time the air turns on, they need to be cleaned. While you’re looking at getting your ducts cleaned, check your air filter as well. That should be changed every one to three months. If you’re still unsure or if you do think a cleaning could help, contact a vent cleaning system like Clean Air Systems Inc today to be...

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The Dos And Don’ts Of Dealing With A Shattered Window

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Discovering a broken window in your home is never a pleasant experience; whether your shattered window was caused by a stray ball from the nearby golf course, an act of vandalism, or anything in between, time isn’t exactly on your side when it comes to dealing with the aftermath. You’ll want to get your shattered window replaced as soon as possible to protect your home. Surely, your best bet is to contact a window replacement company, but there are some things you should and shouldn’t do in the meantime. DO Assess the Damage It’s always best to begin by assessing the damage. Specifically, if you’ve got double-pane glass, check to see if both panes shattered or if one pane is still intact. If one is still intact, your window will still be able to keep insects and unwanted debris outside, so you won’t necessarily need to be in as much of a hurry to have it replaced. On the other hand, if both panes are broken, then you’ll need probably an emergency replacement from a company that offers same-day service. DO Secure the Area Furthermore, be sure to secure the area as soon as possible. This means keeping all small children and family pets away from it. If you have pets, consider keeping them in a kennel or locked in another room of the house until the glass is cleaned up. Children should be instructed to stay out of the room in the meantime. The last thing you want is to add an injury to this already unpleasant situation. Make sure other adults in the home are made aware of the situation and consider placing chairs or other furniture around the area to prevent injuries. If you can’t have the window replaced same day, be sure to secure your window with a piece of plywood in the meantime as well. DON’T Do a Haphazard Cleanup Job Finally, when it comes to cleaning up broken glass, don’t make any mistakes that could land you in the emergency room. Always wear close-toed shoes and a pair of thick leather gloves while cleaning up shattered glass. If removing glass shards from a hardwood or tile floor, start by sweeping large pieces off the floor and then use a vacuum to pick up the excess. When cleaning glass off of a carpeted area, use a vacuum and follow up by using large pieces of tape to pick up smaller shards of glass that may be left behind. For more information, visit http://www.newjerseywindow.com or a similar...

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Why Drain Cleaning Chemicals And Septic Tanks Don’t Mix

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Maintaining a working septic system takes more than just the occasional inspection and cleaning visit from a company like Speedy Rooter. It’s all too easy to damage the delicate balance in the tank without realizing it as you clean and maintain your home. Chemical drain cleaners are some of the worst common household products that threaten the health of your septic tank. Wiping Out The Bacteria A healthy septic tank is full of bacteria, and these tiny helpers break down both liquid and solid waste so the system doesn’t get full and back up. You might think a disinfectant like bleach is the biggest threat to the tank’s bacterial balance, but chemical drain cleaners are far worse. One teaspoon of drain cleaner has the same effect on the bacteria as two full gallons of bleach. It’s not necessary to kill off all the bacteria living in your septic tank to cause a problem. Knocking down the population still puts a lot of strain on the system. The processing power of the tank drops as the levels decrease. Even occasional usage of the wrong drain cleaner causes waste to build up faster than usual, resulting in more frequent cleaning calls to prevent gross waste backup problems. Safer Alternatives If you’re tired of standing in three inches of water every time you shower, you can still clear your clogged drains without hurting the rest of your septic tank. Choose a septic-friendly way to clear the pipes like: Enzyme products: These products use the same types of clog-eating bacteria found inside a thriving septic system, and the mixtures were originally created for cleaning out tanks. It takes a few hours for the microorganisms to loosen the hair or fat stuck in the pipe, but you won’t need to worry about damaging your waste processing system. Homemade cleaning mixtures: If you’re the DIY type, try one of the many recipes relying on the foaming power of vinegar and baking soda. Some methods also call for the addition of salt and boiling water, neither of which pose a threat to your septic tank in the small amounts needed to clear a clog. Mechanical drain clearing: No drain cleaning liquid can compare to the reliable power of a drain snake or auger. While you’ll need to invest in a new tool or call a plumber to try this method, it’s sure to restore the flow without threatening the tank. If you’ve got a bottle of chemical drain cleaner under your sink right now, contact your local waste management facility to find out how to dispose of it safely. You might need to visit a specialty plumbing store to find your own drain snake or enzymatic product, but it’s worth the extra work if it saves you hundreds of dollars by reducing the number of visits from a septic maintenance...

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No Flat Roof: Tips For Choosing A Unique Roof

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It can take as much as $35000 to replace your roof depending on the style and the materials that you choose to use in the renovations. If you are going to spend that much money, you can get a unique, eye-catching, energy-efficient roof that is likely to last for decades, with proper maintenance. While your budget, time and climatic conditions will all have to be factored in, when choosing the right roof for your needs, here are two unique ideas that could make your roof a show stopper.  The idea of…arch? An arched roof is a striking architectural feat that can be used to cover the whole house or a portion of the roof. It can be done using stone, wood, concrete or steel and it offers the interior resonance of special acoustic qualities and often gives the house the added feel of having more space. Although it can be expensive to design and build, due to the intricacies of the design, it has the advantage of replicating the look of traditional and historical architectural styles.  An arched roof has the advantage of being resistant to strong winds, in the case of such events as a hurricane and depending on the width of the building, it can act as a load bearing part of the structure. It also allows for easy runoff of water and snow which would help to prevent drips and cave-ins during heavy rain and snow seasons.  Domed please A domed roof can also be expensive but is quite striking and has been described as luxurious. It comes in lightweight prefabrication options but this will depend on the size and design of the roof. The materials that are best for use in making a domed roof includes shingles, metals or glass with metals being the most expensive at approximately $800 per square of steel shingle and $900 per square of aluminium shingle. Metal also requires the least in long term maintenance.  A domed roof can be so designed as to be a source of natural lighting especially when glass is used as the roofing material. Like the arched roof it can be used on the whole roof or a portion of a roof and can be designed to be the centerpiece of the whole roof. Domed roofs are an excellent addition to other roofing styles to give your home that extra bit of elegance. (For more information on roofing services, contact Allied Construction...

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What Kind Of Garage Door Should You Get?

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Choosing a new garage door is a big decision since there are so many different types of doors, each with their own pros and cons. Some doors are sturdier but heavier, while others are lightweight but not the best for security purposes. Here are the different types of garage doors to help you choose the best one. Wood The very first garage doors made for homes were made of wood, so it makes sense this type of door still appeals to many people. There are different styles of wood garage doors, from automatic doors to standard doors. Some wood garage doors have windows, and others are double garage doors with two separate doors for one garage. The least expensive type of wooden garage door includes flat hardboard panels that are painted any color you like, though stain-grade wood looks more natural and really gives your home that warm and attractive appearance. Wood Composite If you want a wooden-type door that has the look of wood but is sturdier and requires less maintenance, you can choose a wood composite garage door. This type of door is made with recycled wood fibers, instead of solid panels of wood. It lasts longer, is more durable, and is more resistant to splitting and rotting. It can also be stained or painted, so you still have the same selection of colors. Steel For a heavy-duty garage door that is durable and doesn’t have a lot of maintenance, you may like to have a steel door. This is a very popular material to use on modern homes. If you like the look of wood but the durability of metal, steel can easily be painted to mimic a wood appearance. They are also good because they are available in roller doors, traditional manual doors, and automatic garage doors. There are different thicknesses of steel doors, so pay attention to this when finding the right one. For more security, choose a thicker and commercial-grade garage door. Aluminum The least expensive type of garage door is made of aluminum. This may look just like a steel or faux wood door, but it has less maintenance than wood and costs less than steel. It is also more lightweight, which is good for manual use of the door and installation, but it also dents more easily. Fiberglass While fiberglass garage doors are not used as often as other garage doors, they are a good option if you lie on the coast because it is resistant to salt damage from the ocean. On the other hand, fiberglass is very lightweight and does not insulate well, as well as being susceptible to fading from weather exposure. Another benefit of fiberglass is that it does not dent easily. Talk to places like Allied Garage Door Co for more information and...

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How To Care For Granite Countertops

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Not only do granite countertops make elegant additions to kitchens, they’re also very durable and scratch-resistant. Although granite can handle a lot of wear and tear, it’s important to care for them properly to ensure long-lasting durability and shine. As an added bonus, you can buy granite countertops in a wide variety of colors, such as shades of black, grey, tan and even red, to custom match your kitchen decor. Tips for taking care of your granite countertops: General Maintenance  Make sure that your granite countertop is properly sealed prior to using it. Although granite is naturally very hard and less porous than other popular countertop materials, such as marble, it’s prone to absorbing spills. Unsealed granite will soak up liquids such as water, juice and oil, possibly leaving an unsightly stain. To check if your granite countertop is sealed, place a few small drops of water on it – if the liquid beads up, the countertop is sealed. If the stone soaks the water up, reseal the countertop as soon as possible. When it comes to everyday cleaning, avoid using harsh cleaners or abrasive sponges on the granite, which can break down the sealant and damage the granite over time. Acidic cleaners containing lemon and lime juice, ammonia and bleach are also on the do-not-use list.  To avoid staining your countertops, wipe any spills with a clean, soft sponge as soon as possible. After wiping up a spill of anything but water, clean the granite with a mixture of warm water and a gentle dish soap. Wipe the area with a dry microfiber cloth to prevent streaking and promote an attractive shine. Sanitizing the Countertops You can sanitize the sealed granite countertop as often as you’d like with a solution of water and isopropyl alcohol. Although granite is generally bacteria-resistant, feel free to give your countertops a deep cleaning as needed, such as after cooking with raw meat. To make the sanitizing solution, fill a spray bottle with half purified water and half 91percent isopropyl alcohol. Next, shake the bottle to mix and spray the solution onto the granite. Allow the cleaning solution to sit on the countertop for three minutes before wiping it up with a soft cloth. Again, go over the granite with a dry microfiber cloth for a streak-free finish.  Protecting the Countertops One way to protect the granite surface from excessive daily wear and tear is by setting drinks on top of coasters. You should also cut up produce on cutting boards rather than directly on the countertop. Also, place hot items, such as pans and casserole dishes, on pot holders.  To purchase your own new set of countertops, contact professionals, such as Commonwealth...

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Frozen Pipes: How To Prevent This Problem (And React If It Happens To You)

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If you are a new homeowner and a fan of the holiday season, you’re probably looking forward to the first time you put up the Christmas tree or light the Menorah in your new abode. While winter can bring fun to your life, it can also bring some headaches if you are not prepared for protecting your home from the cold. Specifically, the cold can wreak havoc on a house’s plumbing system if the homeowner is unprepared for the problem. Here are some tips for how to prevent this problem and what you should do if you get a frozen or burst pipe: Get Professional Insulation If you live in a part of the country where it gets especially cold, you might want to consider getting insulation installed right on your plumbing pipes. A professional plumber or contractor can install different materials right on top of the pipes that will help protect from the cold. You could also attempt to do this yourself to save money, but you don’t want risk accidentally damaging a pipe because you don’t know what you’re doing. Unless your confident in your abilities, hire a professional for the job. Open All Cabinet Doors and Leave the Faucets Running You just turned on the weather report and noticed that the temperatures are going to plummet tomorrow. Take steps to keep your pipes from freezing by doing two things: open up all cabinet doors to ensure that the circulating heat can get as close to the walls and the pipes within your home as possible and then make sure you leave each faucet in the house running, just a little. Running water can help prevent a pipe from freezing. What to Do if a Pipe is Frozen or Bursts Make sure every member of your family knows where the water shut off is and how to do this in case of emergency. If a pipe actually bursts, your first step should be to turn the water off to stop the damage. But hopefully, it won’t come to that. If you notice a pipe is starting to freeze, call a plumber right away. In the meantime, you can take a hair dryer and blow it directly on the pipe that you believe might be frozen. Turn up the heater as high as you can stand it for the short term. Make sure your house’s plumbing system is ready for the winter ahead by educating yourself on how to prevent frozen pipes. If you are especially worried, it’s possible to get a professional to install a covering over your pipes that can help insulate them. When the thermometer starts to dip, turn the heater up and open all cabinet doors so that the heat can get as close to the walls of your home as possible. If a pipe does start to freeze, contact a plumber and make sure you know where your water shut off is in case a pipe does burst before the plumber can get there. Have more questions? Try contacting a company like Absolute Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Services Inc. to learn...

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