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6 Tricks for Keeping Thieves Away

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 6 Tricks for Keeping Thieves Away

A thief may end up in your neighborhood looking for a house to break into. You want to do everything in your power to make your house one that they will pass by. There are a lot of tricks you can use and things you can do to make your home look less attractive to thieves, and here are several of them:  1: Don’t advertise what you have Don’t leave your shades open to display your big-screen TV or other expensive items. Don’t leave possessions like bikes and tools in your yard. When you purchase an expensive item, tear up or flatten the box and put it in a black trash bag or trash can where it can’t be seen. 2: Don’t allow your house to look vacant Make it look like someone is home and awake, even if you are away or asleep. You can do this by leaving certain lights on and something that generates some noise, such as a TV or radio. If you are out of town, consider asking a neighbor to park their car in your driveway and make sure you put a hold on your newspaper delivery so they don’t pile up on your driveway—a sure sign of vacancy. 3: Have a loud dog The size of the dog won’t matter as much as the amount of noise the dog makes. Thieves shy away from houses with barking dogs because they can bite, and, more importantly, they will alert everyone within earshot to a break-in going on at your home. 4: Use a variety of motion detectors around your property You can install motion activated lights and sprinklers around your yard to alert you to a potential intruder and to help chase them off. Another benefit to placing these things around your yard is they will also give you the added bonus of chasing off unwanted wildlife from your property. 5: Have a security system installed One of the biggest things that you can do to keep thieves from considering your house is to have a security system installed. This system will protect your home in many ways. It will send off a loud siren in the event of a break-in that lets everyone around know what’s happening. It will also allow you to monitor your home and record what’s going on with a security camera. 6: Have a locksmith come out A locksmith is someone who is very knowledgeable about getting past locks, and having one come out and look at your property to test its security is a good idea. They will be able to educate you on weaknesses in your doors and windows. They will also be able to fix those problems for you by setting you up with more secure knobs, hinges, and locks. Speak with a representative from a company like San Pedro Lock & Key for further information or to set up an...

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Tips On Crane Safety During Periods Of Hazardous Weather

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips On Crane Safety During Periods Of Hazardous Weather

Even in perfect weather, operating a crane can be dangerous if certain precautions are not taken. In the wintertime, hazardous weather like high speed winds and low temperatures can make safe crane operation even more challenging.  Yet contractors know the importance of being able to avoid delaying project completion because of weather hazards. If you’ll be busy with construction projects throughout the upcoming winter, you might want to be aware of the following tips on safely operating a crane despite extreme weather: Know wind speed ratings for equipment you use A crane is generally given a wind speed rating indicating the fastest wind in which it can safely be used. You’re running severe safety risks if your using a crane in high speed winds that exceed this rating.  Decrease the wind resistance of loads Anything you can do to decrease the drag of your crane load will minimize the effects wind has on crane operations. If you can reduce wind resistance by somehow packaging or encapsulating your load more aerodynamically, you can improve safety.  Always be aware of wind direction You can minimize the challenges of operating a crane in wind if you’re aware of how wind direction can affect crane operation. If you’re operating a crane in winds coming from the side or rear, the load may create an increased strain on the crane that should leave you operating with a reduced maximum load capacity.  Be aware of the fact that winds get stronger at higher elevations Winds pose a more severe risk if you’ll be operating a crane at high elevations. The higher up you ago, the more wind speed tends to increase. If possible, operate low to the ground if you need to get a job done in heavy winds.  Understand the relationship between temperature and tensile strength Cold temperatures can detract from a crane’s tensile strength by causing materials in the crane to contract or become more brittle. If you’re concerned about tensile strength in crane components, you might want to discuss the issue with the crane manufacturer before operating a crane in cold temperatures.  Consider a cold weather finish Cold weather finishes can fortify crane materials so that they stand up better to cold temperatures. These finishes typically consist of hold-dipped galvanized steel or two-part epoxies.  Use an enclosed track system Enclosed track systems can be used to surround the moving parts of a crane for added strength. They are especially effective at preventing the buildup of ice on the crane trolley, and this prevents ice from obstructing the movement of crane components.  For professional crane services, contact a company such as Winslow Crane Service...

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Repair Flashing Around Roof Dormers Before Winter

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Repair Flashing Around Roof Dormers Before Winter

Now is the time to make sure your roof can withstand another harsh winter. You should inspect the roof to see if the flashing around your attic dormers is still in good shape. Flashing is a narrow piece of tin or aluminum used to seal the joint where the exterior walls of the dormers meet the roof. If the flashing is damaged by the elements or falling tree limbs, you should remove the old piece of flashing and replace it with a new one to prevent water from leaking into your home over the winter. Here is how you can replace a section of flashing along the bottom seam of a dormer. You Will Need: New Flashing Tin Snips Roofing Tar Roofing Nails Caulk Caulk Gun Putty Knife Hammer Small Flathead Pry Bar Degreaser Rags Old Paint Brush Gloves Remove Old Flashing Take your utility knife and cut through the roofing tar and/or caulk along the top edge of the flashing resting against the dormer. Slide the flathead end of your pry bar in behind the flashing. Take your hammer and put it between the dormer and the middle of the pry bar. As you push the top of the pry bar toward the dormer, the flathead end will push the flashing and nails away from the bottom of the dormer in a “see-saw” motion. Repeat the same procedure when removing the flashing that lies on top of the roof.   Use your putty knife to scrap off any remnants of tar and caulking off of the roof and dormer. Wash down the area where the flashing was with a degreaser to remove any grease that could interfere with the adhesiveness of the caulk you will put down, and then rinse the area with water. Install New Flashing You want the piece of replacement flashing to be a few inches longer than the piece you removed. Take the piece of tin or aluminum and bend it to create a crease in the middle. Slide the one end of the flashing up under the existing flashing facing the peak of the roof. Place the other end over the top of the flashing facing the edge of the roof. Liberally place silicon caulk behind the flashing. The caulk will create a barrier moisture. Nail the sides of the pieces of flashing into the dormer and roof with roofing nails. For extra protection against water leakage, cover the seams around all four sides of the piece of flashing with a thick coat of roofing tar. To learn more, contact a company like Truss Components of...

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Troubleshooting Submersible Well Pump Failure

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Troubleshooting Submersible Well Pump Failure

Whether you’re aerating a pond or bringing up water from your farm’s hand-dug well, a submersible well pump can make life easier. Rather than having to connect lengths of hoses that could be moved away on either side of the pump or having to suck water up to an outside pump, the submersible pump does most of the work at the water source. Unfortunately, a few failure points could ruin your pump productivity and leave you with a sputtering mess. Take the time to understand a few submersible well pump troubleshooting points to get keep your system in check or to fix a failure.  Filter Mesh Blockage, Sizing And Damage Submersible well pumps need to deal with a variety of water qualities, which means multiple filters are available for different purposes. The type of soil near the bottom of your well or other sediment may mean you’ll need a tightly-woven filter to remove grains of sand from sandy loam, a wider mesh to block out insects or plants or a filter that only blocks out pebbles and rocks.  With the exception of some advanced filtration systems, the filter is more for the pump than it is for you. Some debris can block the pump, causing its motor to work harder until it eventually overheats. Although many submersible pumps are designed with a basic pass-through system that can allow debris to enter and exit without damaging the inner workings, wells with rocky bottoms may need a filter to avoid chipping or denting the inner chambers. The filter can be clogged or damaged over time, but make sure you inspect it before replacement. If the damage seems to be in a drastic, violent pattern, you should check with a pump professional for suggestions on sturdier filters. Sturdy does not necessarily mean harder. You may need a thicker, rubber-like mesh that can give way to debris without being dented while still filtering out undesirable sediment. With that in mind, make sure that you’re not using a filter that is too fine for your well. If you have no sand in your well, but you’re using a sand filter, your water will be moving at a slower rate than it should be because of the partial blockage that all filters have. Hose And Hose Fitting Issues The connections for your pump are important because they may be handled a lot. If you’re using a garden hose or a transit hose to move water to another part of a property, you’ll need to make sure that you’re using a sturdy material. If you’re in agriculture, avoid rubber. Resin and chemicals used to bond the hose could rub off in the area, leading to slight contamination. Since the hoses are likely to be in the sun for a while, rubber can soften and melt, leading to leaks or full-on breakage. The fittings need to be easy to turn, and made out metal that is sturdy enough for farm use. Avoid plastic or iron fittings, and try to get a fitting that has handles for you to turn in case your hands are slippery. Contact a submersible pump professional (such as one from Modern Pump & Equipment) for more suggestions on what to do with pump failure, avoiding connection damage and keeping your pump as efficient...

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Dogs After Your Cats All The Time? 2 Ways To Keep Them Out Of Your Yard

Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dogs After Your Cats All The Time? 2 Ways To Keep Them Out Of Your Yard

Some dogs just do not like cats if they are not around them very much. If there are dogs that lives close to you that likes to terrorize your cat, you can take steps to keep them out so your cat can live in peace. Fence and Gate One of the easiest ways to take care of this problem is by installing a fence that the dogs cannot get through. This also provides you with added security, and gives your home aesthetic appeal. There are many different types of fences you can choose from: Chain link:  Chain link fencing is affordable, and has little maintenance. Add some inserts to the fence, and the dogs will not be able to see into your yard. Aluminum: Aluminum fencing will look nice around your home, and you can paint it any color you like. The only maintenance you will have to do is to keep it clean, as long as you use a good exterior paint. Wood: Wood fencing not only looks beautiful, but gives you privacy, and the dogs cannot see into your yard. Choose the best type of wood and the fence will last a very long time for you. Wrought iron: A wrought iron fence is likely more expensive, but it is strong, durable, and looks beautiful. It does require upkeep in cleaning and repainting the fence every few years. Talk with the contractor about the gate for your new fence. What you use should match the fence. For example, if you have a wrought iron fence you will want a wrought iron gate. If you do not want to manually open and close the gate, ask a contractor like Carter Fence Co to install one that is electric so you can open and close it by pushing a button. The contractor can also custom design a gate for you, as it is usually the focal point of your fence. Odors Your dog may be attracted to your yard because of odors, such as your cat’s feces. Make sure you remove the feces as soon as possible. There are also products you can purchase from the pet store that you can spray around the perimeter of your yard, as well as on your lawn. Dogs do not like the odors of these products, which may deter them from entering your yard. If you do not want to spend money, you can use products from your own home to repel the dogs. For example, ammonia and bleach work well. It is important to note that these two things can harm your lawn and vegetation so make sure you put them only around the perimeter of your yard. The only caveat to using these products is they will have to be reapplied after it rains. Install a motion activated sprinkler so the dogs are sprayed with a burst of water every time they step onto your lawn. This will surprise them, and they will likely run away. You can find these sprinklers at home improvement...

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4 Ways To Landscape Your Backyard On A Budget

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Ways To Landscape Your Backyard On A Budget

A bare dirt backyard can be an eyesore, but many homeowners lack finances and landscaping knowledge, which makes them hesitant to take on the job. Luckily, there are a number of ways to save money on landscaping a backyard so you have a beautiful outdoor space for your family to enjoy without breaking the bank. Use the following tips to get that backyard that you want on a budget: Hire a Landscape Designer This may seem counterintuitive when you’re thinking about how you can landscape on a budget, but a residential landscaping contractor can actually save you a lot of money on the overall project. A landscape designer will understand what plants, flowers, and shrubs will grow best in your area, while also knowing how to arrange hardscape features for maximum visual appeal and function. Investing in a landscape designer will ensure that you have a comprehensive plan to follow in order to create your backyard space; depending on how limited your budget is, you may decide to make it a totally DIY job or hire landscapers or contractors for certain projects. Grow Grass From Seed Sod can provide instant gratification when you want a lush green yard, but it is expensive and with some time and effort you can replicate the results by growing grass from seed. The first step to a successful lawn from seed is ensuring that you plant the right type of seed; if you consult a landscape designer, he or she can advise you on what grows best in your climate, or you can ask questions at your local nursery. Make sure you have nutrient rich top-soil, and be prepared to water it often until all the grass grows in. Purchase Outdoor Furniture at the End of the Summer Season Having outdoor furniture enhances your backyard and makes it easier to spend time outside enjoying the beauty of your yard. But outdoor furniture can be quite expensive; your best bet is to shop for outdoor furniture after Labor Day when different stores and online retailers will slash the prices as they make room for fall and winter inventory. Depending on how much furniture you need for your backyard, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars. Utilize Container Gardening Creating the perfect backyard on a budget doesn’t happen overnight. As you’re working on different projects, consider planting some plants, flowers, fruits, and vegetables in pots on your patio. You can nurture these plants, and when the time comes, you can transplant them into your yard without having to spend any money. Nurseries sell a wide variety of plants, shrubs, and flowers, but it can be very rewarding to grow some of the foliage in your yard from...

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A Well Owner’s Guide To Periodic Maintenance

Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Well Owner’s Guide To Periodic Maintenance

When you need to be sure that your water well is able to last the long haul, you will need to practice some key tips for maintenance. There are a lot of things you can do to make sure that your water well, well pumps and all of its components are well looked after, so that they can operate at their peak and deliver you fresh water when you need it. You owe it to yourself to implement these maintenance guidelines, so to put these plans into action, read on and apply the suggestions.  Be Mindful Of Your Landscaping Practices When caring for your well pump and all of the components found in your well, you will need to make sure that you are being a good steward of the area that is located around the well. For instance, you will need to be sure that you never use things like harmful fertilizers, paints and other harsh chemicals anywhere near the proximity of your well. These chemicals can mix into the water and not only harm the drinking water, but damage the well itself. Take good care of the casing lid of the well so that it is durable and able to protect your pump and all components inside of the well. Further, be mindful of any landscaping or modeling around the well, and never let pests build nests anywhere near the well. Internalize Some Troubleshooting Tips To best manage the systems in your well, you will need to develop some key troubleshooting tips. This can be the difference between having your well last a short period of time or for more than 20 years. First, be sure that the pump is getting adequate electricity and that no circuits are tripped. Periodically check the circuit breaker to verify this. Next, inspect all valves and especially check the trip handle for your pump pressure switch. A bad switch can create safety issues and cause your well to degrade prematurely. Further, always be mindful of the color and smell of your water, to be sure that no contaminants are leaking into the system. Invest In A Well Service Plan If you are not a licensed and insured well contractor, it is best to leave the more serious and detailed repairs to the professionals. Little fixes are okay to handle on your own, but you need to get annual inspections and thorough maintenance from well pump inspectors and contractors who know how to fix these issues accordingly. Invest in a well service plan, to be sure that your well performs admirably throughout the course of its lifespan. Follow these tips and your well will serve you greatly for years. For more help, touch base with a well contractor in your area or visit other websites for additional...

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What to do if Your Central Air Conditioning System That Doesn’t Work

Posted by on Jul 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What to do if Your Central Air Conditioning System That Doesn’t Work

Have you been using a window air conditioning unit because your central system has stopped working? It is worth your money to get the central air conditioning system repaired or replaced, as it can help you reduce the amount of electricity you are using to cool your house. Find out below how a contractor can troubleshoot and repair a central air conditioning system, as well as what replacing it is estimated to cost. How Can a Contractor Troubleshoot a Central Air Conditioning System? The coolant in your central air conditioning system will be examined to determine if it is the cause of the problem. The coolant is vital in cooling down your house because it is what the evaporator coil needs to get cold. Basically, the coolant turns into gas when it makes it to the evaporator coil. The gas causes the coil to get cold enough to cool warm air down when it passes through and touches the metal. The evaporator coil will also be inspected in case it is damaged. Holes in the coil interfere with air making it through to the vents, as a lot of the air can seep out. A minor thing like dirt can also cause the evaporator coil to stop functioning. You don’t want too much dirt accumulating on the coil because it can prevent warm air from touch the cold metal and being cooled. The lack of heat exchange between the inside and outside of your house can also cause problems for the air conditioner. The heat pump is the part of the system that removes warm air from the inside of your house. The pump then brings in cooler air from the outside.  A contractor will troubleshoot the pump to find out if it is repairable or should be replaced. You may simply need a new central air conditioner installed. What Does a Central Air Conditioning System Replacement Cost? You are likely to spend less money on a central air conditioning system that does not need any work done to the air ducts in your house. A new system will cost an estimate of $3,500 or more, and the price of installation is included. This quoted price is for a home of 2,000 square feet, so you may pay more if your house is larger than that. Speak to an air conditioning contractor, like one from A-C Contractors Heating & Cooling, to see what kind of repairs your system...

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Creating A Unique And Romantic French Decor In Your Home

Posted by on Jul 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Creating A Unique And Romantic French Decor In Your Home

If you are considering the kind of decorative theme for your home that is soft, non-invasive and romantically appealing, you might think about taking a closer look at some ideas inspired by the French culture. Think of your dining room with French doors opening onto an outdoor deck and gorgeous flower garden. Maybe you would prefer to have French doors in your bedroom for waking up to a wide open view of nature, framed by uniquely decorative French doors. When you choose to add a bit of romantic French culture to your home’s decor, making sure you do so in a smooth, uninterrupted manner is important for achieving the results you can enjoy for years to come. Color Means Everything To Your French Door’s Decorative Impact When considering the color to paint your French doors, consider whether you want to use your doors as a frame for the great outdoors or if you want to focus more on the interior design of the doors. Enhancing the interior design of a room using French doors can be easiest using the right color. For example, if you want to frame the wooded area in your backyard, you can draw it into your room better when the doors are a brighter, stark color like blue or red. Bear in mind the colors you choose for your French doors should also match your primary decorative theme as well. Window Treatments Can Add An Inviting Appeal Wooden blinds would compliment the naturally colored wood stained French doors while pastel shades would work better for the French doors painted soft white or ivory. When making choices for window treatments, be sure to consider whether you want to bring colors from the outside in. Do not forget to match interior color scheme to the window treatment you choose for keeping your color scheme flowing smoothly and uninterrupted. Using French Doors Between Two Rooms One way you can use a French door of unique design is using it as an entry way between two rooms. French doors opening from your bedroom into a dressing room would be a comfortable, romantic design. Maybe you have the perfect way to use French doors in your living room, using them to join your dining area in a more appealing, inviting manner. Always remember to keep the functionality benefits of your French doors in mind when planning your home’s new romantic design. How you decorate your home can have a huge influence on how you feel when there. Enhancing your home’s design with romantic French accents and stylish doors could be a great way to achieve the kind of comfort you are dreaming about. To learn more, contact a company like The Door and Window...

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Storms May Damage More Than A Roof’s Surface – Always Check Your Vents

Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Storms May Damage More Than A Roof’s Surface – Always Check Your Vents

When a roof is properly ventilated, air circulates through it naturally, keeping heat and moisture from building up. And if the ventilation system becomes damaged, the lack of circulation can cause more than an uncomfortably hot attic – it can cause serious roof damage. How Does Roof Ventilation Work? Ventilation systems for roofs are very clever; most require no fans or external power to work. Instead, they work on the principle that heat rises. Vents are placed both at the bottom of the roof, by the eaves or soffits, and at the top of the roof, near the ridge. When the air under the roof gets hot, it rises and exits through the upper vents, and this pulls cooler air in through the lower vents. What’s So Bad About Heat Under The Roof? Keeping heat under your roof might not sound so bad – especially if you live in an area with cold winters. Sure, you might need to run your air conditioner a little more in the summer, but won’t February be more comfortable? In fact, cold-weather areas will feel one of the most serious effects of heat buildup under a roof: ice dams. If the air right under the roof gets too hot, it can melt the layer of snow sitting directly under the roof. This water naturally slides down the roof, but as it gets further down the roof, it gets less heat from the roof, and eventually it can re-freeze near the edge of the roof or in the gutters. The weight of this ice can cause damage to the surface of the roof. In addition, once these ice dams form, any more melted water from higher up on the roof can get stuck, pooling on the roof or backing up between shingles and causing water damage. What Happens When Too Much Moisture Builds Up? The second major problem from bad ventilation is that moisture isn’t carried out of the roof by the movement of air. High humidity can be a serious problem for a few reasons. It may lead to expansion of the wooden parts of a roof, causing pieces to fit poorly or shift around. This weakens the structural integrity of the roof. High humidity can also cause rusting of metal fittings in the roof. And humid areas are a prime environment for the growth of mold and mildew, which can spread through your house, growing out of sight above ceilings and behind walls. What Can You Do? The most common cause of poor ventilation is for your vents to be damaged during a storm. Many people remember to check the surface of a roof for storm damage and do any needed roofing repair, but be sure to take a look at your vents as well. Any visible damage should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further problems with your...

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