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Fireplace Problems

Fireplace Problems

So a customer asked why his cement fireplace logs were turning black and soot was building up at the top of the decorative stone fireplace face. After all this was a natural gas, direct vent fireplace that had been converted to propane. “Note” – Always use a conversion kit that has been approved by the manufacturer.

Although this type of fireplace can generate some heat, it is intended more for the ambience than for heating purposes. It should be clean burning unlike a standard wood-burning fireplace which creates a lot of smoke and soot. Well the problem was that the entire kit of vermiculite, rock wool and lava rock was mixed together and placed into the burner pan which instantly contaminated the clean burning fuel. This fireplace never had a chance. A classic case of not following the manufacturer’s instructions. Remember these fireplaces have been tested many times before final approval and the manufacturer knows what is best. The lava rock should have been placed around the burner pan and not in it.

The solution in this case is to clean out the burner pan and discard the vermiculite, rock wool and lava rock. These items can then be purchased as a kit or separately from many manufacturers. Place the vermiculite in the burner pan slightly covering the burner tubes. Tear the rock wool into pieces about the size of a quarter and place them on top of the vermiculite. Because the rock wool/vermiculite is intended to simulate burning embers, the pattern is personal preference. Next place the lava rock around the bottom of the fireplace being careful not to spill too much into the burner pan. The fireplace log-sets can be expensive, so to avoid the replacement costs the soot should be cleaned off with an approved product. In fact, depending on how much use your fireplace gets, a yearly maintenance schedule should be adopted to include the cleaning of the log set and the replacement of vermiculite, rock wool and lava rock as needed. This will help to keep the fireplace box and surrounding areas clean of soot. Other contributing factors to the soot problem could be low gas pressure caused by the propane tank needing a refill or improper placement of the fireplace logs. Again, always read the literature that is included with your new appliance and then follow the instructions. It will save you a lot of frustration and ultimately a lot of money.…

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Alternative Cleaning Solutions: Cleaning Has Never Been Easier

Alternative Cleaning Solutions: Cleaning Has Never Been Easier

There are a massive variety of different techniques that the modern household uses to keep their home looking spotless, but often these methods are time consuming and don’t leave the opportunity for the homeowner to enjoy some free time during their day. For this reason, many homeowners are turning to some alternative cleaning solutions to make the many jobs they carry out quicker and more effective. They also have the added bonus of often being cheaper than the traditional methods, so the homeowner is winning on two fronts.

As well as alternative cleaning solutions for the home, many of the same techniques can also be used elsewhere, such as at a place of work so that the staff there are subject to a nicer workplace – therefore leading to higher morale and increased productivity. It is a well-known fact that happy workers produce better work, so all employers should actively encourage their workspace to be of the highest standard of cleanliness.

Probably the most effective alternative cleaning solution is to actually catch the mess before it begins to take hold in the first place, through the use of many different items that can be bought cheaply. These can work in any room of the house, but are particularly effective in the garage area, where a lot of mess can build up quickly.

Many people are now buying garage floor mats, which are perfect for the dirtiest of areas, such as garages used for messy jobs like car repairs and other mechanical processes. The mats sit on the floor and soak up any oil or grease that comes in to contact with them, therefore meaning that the person won’t have to spend hours trying to rid the floor of spillages and other unsightly marks.

When it comes to areas that are prone to water intrusion – such as areas with high flood occurrences and snow melting – then a water absorbent sock is hugely useful. These will sit next to a door or garage door and absorb any of the water that encroaches, therefore meaning that it doesn’t gather inside and stain carpets or other floor types. They are also very cheap, which makes them a must for anyone who regularly suffers from this problem.

Aside from these preventative measures, there are some very good alternative cleaning solutions for cleaning mess after it has happened – especially should carpet or other upholstery be affected. The most popular is steam cleaning, which will use a totally chemical-free method to lift the stains from the carpet and therefore make them easy to remove.

For oil stains that have appeared in garages, there are a few ways that can be tried, which are all cost effective and slightly on the quirky side. Firstly, there is the use of WD-40, which can help to lift oil stains. When mixed with the affected area and washed with water, many find the stain comes right off. Alternatively, try using some cat litter. This is super absorbent and will take in most of the oil that has been spilt on the floor.

It is plain to see that a huge array of alternative cleaning solutions exist, all of which make the homeowner’s job so much easier. As well as taking the work out of cleaning, they will also leave far more money in the homeowner’s purse – something that is vital in these tough economic times.…

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Few Tips For Cleaning A Basement Floor

Few Tips For Cleaning A Basement Floor

Without a doubt the basement floor is always the most cluttered in the house, meaning that tidying this area is a chore that can often take hours, or even days. To help lessen the workload and make the job a slightly more manageable one, there are a few tips that the homeowner should follow in order to ensure that the job goes smoothly – both this time and in the future…

The number one rule for the basement that prevents lengthy clear ups is not letting the junk accumulate on the basement floor on the first place. When one considers the amount of animals – such as rats and mice – that can live in basements, this even becomes a question of hygiene, as nobody wants to have an item that has been around these rodents. Purchasing some shelves from a DIY store is an easy way to counter this – they are reasonably cheap, as well as being simple to put up.

Once all of the items that are of value are placed on the shelves, the homeowner then needs to be ruthless with what they keep. If the different things in the basement have been there for a long time, then the chances are they won’t really be needed and they would be better off being donated to a charity shop or other worthwhile cause. Just shifting the clutter around won’t solve any problems, so it is best to be decisive and act, before the amount of mess gets too much to bear.

Now that the basement floor is free from clutter, the homeowner can begin cleaning the different places – including the wall, ceiling and basement floor. Additionally a humidity checker can also be placed in there, so as to rid the area of all the excess moisture that builds up there. This will prevent mold and mildew from taking root in the basement, as well as stopping items getting damaged by the moisture.

The next step is to clean any stains or other marks that have developed on the basement floor over time, which can be done with a number of industrial cleaning products. The best of these are sorbent pads, which will easily extract almost any stain – perfect for basements that have oil stains in them. They can also be used on the basement wall should they also be stained by different liquids.

After the basement floor is clean, the option to cover it springs up, as this will prevent it from becoming dirty again. The best option for this is absorbent mats, as these will prevent any stains from appearing while also having the capability to be easily washed.

As well as these socks, the homeowner can also use absorbent mats. These will catch any drips before they hit the ground and therefore keep the floor free of marks. They can easily be washed as well, which brings to an end the need for scrubbing.

Through completing all of these tasks, the individual should find that they not only have an immaculate basement, but that they also have a basement floor that won’t get cluttered in the future!…

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Hiring Home Repair Professionals Or Amateurs

Hiring Home Repair Professionals Or Amateurs

During the years I have worked in the home remodeling business, I have seen home repairs done by professionals and amateurs and most of the time there’s a big difference between the two of them.

Just the other day, I was looking at a home that was built in 1922 and the homeowner wanted an estimate for her bathroom remodel. By looking around the home, I could tell that some of the home repairs were done by amateurs and I proceeded to ask her about them.

She told me that it wasn’t a big deal and I was going to be fixing them anyway, so why should she even worry about them. I then tried to explain to her, the difference between hiring a home repair professional or amateurs to work on her home. These problems created by the inexperienced amateur home repair people, are now costing her thousands of dollars to fix by a professional.

Now I got her attention, now she was starting to listen attentively to everything that I was talking about. Now the next part of this isn’t going to make every homeowner happy, but you really do get what you pay for, most of the time.

It’s a lot easier to show some one, than it is to convince them that I’m on their side. I have their best interest in mind and I’m only trying to help them solve their problems. Most home repair professionals want you to recommend them to your friends and with that in mind, will always do a good job.

Amateur’s on the other hand, might feel the same way and would love to have referrals to expand their business, but lack the experience necessary to make good home repairs. The biggest difference between a home repair professional and an amateur is experience and price.

Some homeowners are always going to be interested in saving a few dollars and their home repairs will end up costing them more money in the future. Sometimes it’s better to pay a professional a few more dollars today than it is to pay an amateur less money, only to find yourself fixing the same repair later.

Always hire a professional with experience.…

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Repairing Brick Walls

Repairing Brick Walls

Bricks are a common building material that often become damaged over time. Cracked bricks are unsightly and can be hazardous, making knowledge of brick repair rather important. Most people can perform brick repair on their own, saving the need to call in the professionals. Small cracks grow rapidly and usually multiply, so even the most seemingly insignificant crack should be addressed. Active cracks will spread, requiring the brick to be replaced. Passive cracks, however, do not and are usually reparable. Repointing is the method most often used when repairing damaged brick. It involves removing old mortar and replacing it with new. Repointing also requires tools such as a chisel, screwdriver, or drill to remove debris from the crack; therefore, it is best to use protective eyewear with all of the debris these tools will probably kick up. To more fully clear the crack of debris, spray it with some water to clear out the smallest particles.

The next thing to do is to mix some mortar and let a little bit of it dry in an inconspicuous area of brick. Why? To make sure that it is the right color before you proceed with using it. You can buy mortar at most home repair shops. A type specially made for brick repairs is typically available. Once you have checked that the mortar matches the rest of the brick structure, it can be applied as needed and then shaped and flattened using a trowel. You should spray the area with water once a day for a week afterwards. Though not often readily associated with brick repair, a garden hose is a handy tool because the brick needs to be kept wet as it is being repaired. Muriatic acid can be used to remove residue once the repair is complete, so keep the gloves and protective eyewear handy. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Brick repairs may not be a daunting task to those experienced in home improvement, but some people are not as well-versed in these matters. If brick repair seems like too much of a challenge, it may be best to call in a contractor. Calling the professionals for a small job may, however, not be the best way to spend money.…

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Home Repair Grants – The Truth About Home Repair Grants

Home Repair Grants – The Truth About Home Repair Grants

Frequently we find some small damage caused to our buildings and we take action instantly to rectify it, when the cost is minimal. But when harsh damages are caused, especially by natural accidents like hurricanes, tsunami etc, the affordability to meet such gigantic costs becomes not possible. That’s why the government helps folk, who cannot afford, through home repair grants.

The repair grants offer is absolutely free and you do not have the stress of repaying it back. Unlike loans for home repairs, you don’t need to produce any assets or credit history to avail these amazing grants. Almost all of the grants on house repairs are either funded by private millionaires or by the govt.

Usually, to understand about the grants allotted by the governing body, you can inquire through HUD dep., and get the complete details regarding the grants. The repair grants could be for the handicapped, pensioners, people who lost their home in natural disasters and so on. Usually, the flawless applications get the grants quickly. So guarantee to fill in all the columns and attach each proof, certificates and other necessities together with the application. Don’t forget to include the evidence for your eligibility, for example, if you are a senior citizen, looking for grants on home repair include the explanation for your age.

There also are varied private corporations and individuals who offer grants to patch up the house. Folks with helping mind stand up to aid the individuals who are actually short of cash, to repair their home. Such kind of home repair grants and the details can be known through your local chamber of commerce and local advertisements. Get the contact address and phone number to reach them to avail these grants.

If you are a disabled person, in need of repair grants, it is good to search through online websites, as you can fetch huge information related to the grants. Countless grants target these disabled folks and all of the details are out there on the web. Guarantee to search it patiently, and list out all the grants, to apply. But once, these loans are granted, inside a week you will be asked to collect your checks for the amount you have applied. Some grants may not give you the entire amount you need to fix your home; yet, these home repair grants can reduce the stress of paying loans. Therefore, if you find any repair in your home, take advantage of these free grants, so that you can lessen the money burden to do the work.…

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Are There Any Government Grants For Home Repair?

Are There Any Government Grants For Home Repair?

Are there any government grants for home repair and remodeling functions in house? If you are in the United States of America, then certainly you can enjoy the benefits of such awards. These awards facilitate you to set aside thousands of bucks, from your budget of your restore and remodeling projects. Today, grants for home repairs have become typical that millions of taxpaying citizens claim to obtain it, in their favor.

Are there any government grants for home repair, at free of cost? Remarkably, it is legitimate. The government funded awards for house repair are hundred percent complimentary. And once you are eligible to acquire 1 or myriad of them, nobody will inquire one to repay it back again, inside your lifetime. Even if you seek for loans from federal government, you’ve to spend a nominal rate of interest along using the capital quantity. But in awards, there is no dedication or liability to repay it, but appreciate the environment of freshly remodeled home.

These people also utilize for remodeling grants availed by the government. Besides, you can find also people who keep gaining from the awards and totally rehabilitate the whole home creating. The reviews say that around 75 billion bucks are assigned for home repairing awards, annually and almost all the applicants go without rejection. You can apply for the home restore awards, once you decide to undertake the repair functions. You can collect the cash sooner, right after the declaration.

Are there any government grants for home repair to decrease the anxiety of repayment? It is really anxious during every monthly repayment of loan, therefore, instead of going for the higher awareness bank loans and reaching the private lender or mortgaging, you should try through the awards, to remodel or repair your home. Unwind your self with the grant money, which you need not reimburse; yet enjoy the goodness of flawless home environment.…

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Glass Vessel Sinks – Class and Elegance

Glass Vessel Sinks – Class and Elegance

Over the years, sinks have evolved into something more than a necessity. With the introduction of vessel sinks about a decade ago, sinks have become another bathroom vanity that more people are enjoying today. As compared to other bathroom vanities like a bath tub, Jacuzzi, or a cabinet, a sink is functional and practical. It comes in various shapes, sizes, and materials to suit the taste, preference, needs, and budget of the owner.

The bathroom is now considered as an important part of the house. Many people especially the wealthy, now deck it with luxury and include the space for interior decoration to impress guests who might be coming over. In some cases, house owners merely want to transform the tiny room into a space where they can relax, a pleasing sanctuary wherein they could rejuvenate after a long busy day at work.

Basically, a sink is a huge bowl that is placed on the countertop. Either made of metal, stone, pewter, glass, ceramic, and so on, the idea was originally conceived from the washbasin, except sinks are connected to a plumbing system, eliminating the need to replace the water. A faucet, although not connected directly to the vessel, is also part of the system.

Glass sinks are a popular choice for those renovating their bathrooms or just moving into a new home. They are moderately priced, not as expensive as stone or metal sinks, and stylish. They are easy to clean, too. All you need is mild soap and water or a standard glass cleaner applied with a soft cloth.

Glass vessel sinks come in many colors and shapes. The material is made interesting by manufacturers by creating them in attractive shapes like flowers and so on. There are transparent, translucent, and opaque glass vessel sinks. Manufacturers have made them more interesting by molding them into various shapes like flowers, animals, and other figures.

Vessel sinks made of glass are both stylish and elegance. They look luxurious but do not cost as much as bronze and stone vessel sinks. Of course, you need not worry about them breaking. Glass vessel sinks are made of durable tempered glass at least three-quarters of an inch thick. They do not break easily. Just remember to avoid using abrasive materials every time you wipe your vessel sink clean.

Vessel sinks will surely make a fine addition to your house or bathroom. They are ideally at the bar or the guest bathroom, but what should stop you from enjoying this simple luxury as often you want? Even if you have no immediate plans to renovate you bathroom or move into a new house, getting yourself a glass vessel sink will surely give you a boost without boring holes through your pockets.

Consult online stores on available sizes, designs, and prizes of vessel sinks. Many of them are willing to deliver for minimum shipping fees. Or you could also search and find out about stores selling vessel sinks in your area.…

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Home Repair Near me

Air Conditioning and HVAC Heating Near Houston Texas

Importance of Preventive Maintenance

We can all agree that it is much better to invest a small amount of money for preventive maintenance than significant ones if you neglect the repairs.

Generally, preventive maintenance can help you save money, improve your household’s overall safety, and boost the air quality, which will provide you with additional comfort.

At the same time, you will be able to reduce energy bills, prevent expensive repairs, and save money in the long run.

If you’re in Houston, we recommend you to check some reputable companies like this one (view company) so that you can determine the best course of action for your HVAC system. A quick google search can always help.

A worthwhile investment will increase your HVAC system’s longevity, which is why you need to think about regular maintenance and inspection.

Let us start from the beginning.

1.Save Money

  • Energy Bills – We have mentioned above that paying small amounts is much better than investing in an entire replacement, especially if you have in mind that it is a capital project. According to statistics, regular maintenance will help you reduce the chances of expensive repairs up to ninety percent. The best way to understand the importance is by comparing your system with a car you are probably driving. Generally, you would avoid driving thirty thousand miles without an oil change. The same thing works for HVAC systems because it is way better and affordable to prevent repairs than to get to a point where you need to replace everything to make your household comfortable. Besides, you will ensure that you get a highly efficient system. Therefore, you will save up to thirty percent on energy bills based on numerous studies.
  • Extend the Life – Besides, you will be able to increase your entire system’s longevity, which means that you do not have to think about hefty investments in the future. Remember that installation requires plenty of money for contractors for units, and it is a process that may take weeks depending on the size of your house. Therefore, the longer you neglect maintenance, the more significant issues are bound to happen. You should check here to learn everything about HVAC in general.
  • Stay Under Warranty Deal – You should know that each manufacturer would require written proof of annual maintenance if you wish to use a warranty deal. Remember that some components that can go faulty are costly, so you should invest in maintenance instead of thinking about the significant issues. That way, you can save money in the long run, which is an essential factor for your family.

2.Improve Air Quality

According to the EPA, indoor pollutants are at least two times higher than outdoor, which is essential. This is highly important in case your family members suffer from various respiratory issues.

Since we share our homes with unhealthy substances, it is vital to find ways to get rid of them and reduce their levels. The best way to do it is to conduct regular maintenance and change the AC unit’s filters at least once a month.

Remember that high humidity levels can lead to mold infestation, which is expected if you neglect the ventilation cleaning. If you wish to ensure that your cold and warm air is as filtered and clean as it can, you need to conduct preventive maintenance at least once a year.

3.Boost Your Comfort Levels

Generally, having a properly working HVAC system means that you can enjoy in a comfortable household without any additional hassle.

That is the main reason why you should think about regular inspection, which will help you maintain its efficiency and improve overall air distribution.

It will also reduce the chances of not warming up your household during the cold winter days. However, most homeowners tend to neglect the inspection to end up with severe consequences no matter the time of year.

You can easily handle some problems by yourself, including changing filters. However, cleaning ductwork requires professional equipment and knowledge, so it is much better to find professionals instead.

If you wish to learn how to maintain an AC by yourself, you should visit this guide: https://www.wikihow.com/Maintain-an-Air-Conditioner for more info.

That way, you can keep your home safer and prevent excessive heat or cold to enter inside, which will provide you with additional comfort. In worst-case scenarios, you can return from a holiday to find frozen pipes, leakage, and other issues.

Noticing problems when they occur is not prevention, but repair, which is something that will take plenty of money out of your pockets. Instead of thinking about the severe issues that may happen, you should spare a few hundred for maintenance and rest assured all year long.

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The Top Things To Look For When Saving Money Around The Home

The Top Things To Look For When Saving Money Around The Home

It’s tough to make ends meet these days. For many this was never easy anyway, but now that the economy seems to be stuck in reverse we have to find ways to pinch pennies more effectively. We are constantly looking for shortcuts and save money around the home is a priority.

There have got to be ways that we can be efficient, saving money without enduring too much of a hardship. For example, do you really need all those bright lights in each and every room during the evening? Turn it off when not really needed.

One of the greatest inventions of the modern-day are energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs. We need to use these instead of incandescent and inefficient ones. Consider them to be an investment for the long term even though they are a little bit costly to buy to begin with.

Ceiling fans are a great addition to any home, but you can get freestanding versions as well. With these in your most “lived in” rooms you will find that you are able to turn the air conditioning down in the summer. When it comes to saving money around the home, it will be a huge help.

I know that you might like to take a bath, but why not think about taking a quick shower instead? You will be able to save a lot of water by doing this and consequently the amount of energy that you use to heat it up. We should all be saving water as a precious commodity anyway.

Consider what you are doing when it’s time for laundry. Do you really need to do two separate piles of laundry – one for whites and one for the colors? Certainly, when clothes are new they might run, but not after a few washes.

Pick up a match or cigarette lighter and go and stand next to each door and window. Put the light up against the edges and see if the flame flickers a lot. If it does this means that you have leaks and you will probably find that you have many.

Whenever you locate leaks around doors and windows it’s quite a simple fix. Get some of those draft stoppers which are great when saving money around the home. They’re durable and flexible and can be put in place quite easily. You would be amazed how much of a difference they can make.…