An Exploration of Air Conditioner Maintenance and Repairs

3 Maintenance Tips For Vinyl Siding On Your Home

If you are considering installing vinyl siding for your home, you want to be aware of how to ensure that it is long lasting. Keeping the vinyl siding long lasting will keep your home valuable and ensure that you don’t have to replace it for a long time to come. This is going to save you money and even help you to sell your home if you plan to in the near future. Here are three maintenance tips to keep in mind when you install vinyl siding:

  1. Keep it Washed: You want to wash vinyl siding regularly, since dirt and grime can build up on it easily. This is especially true if you live in a windy area, since dirt can easily blow up onto the siding and stick to it. One of the great things about vinyl siding is that you don’t have to use any special cleaners to keep it washed. Instead, you can simply use soap and water to keep it clean. 
  2. Always Check for Moisture: A problem that many homeowners have with their vinyl siding is water damage. This is because homeowners don’t check for moisture build up on the siding often enough. If you leave moisture stuck in the vinyl siding, mold can easily begin to grow and cause you to deal with expensive mold removal, or it can even make you have to replace the vinyl siding altogether.
  3. Replace Damaged Panels: Whenever you notice a damaged panel on the vinyl siding, you need to have it replaced. Damaged panels aren’t going to protect your home as they should. If you leave damaged panels, there is a chance that you will eventually have to replace the whole siding of the house, which can be expensive, instead of replacing damaged panels as they occur. A damaged panel is any panel that has chips, cracks, and other marks. Luckily, vinyl panels are extremely easy to install, so you don’t have to worry about how much time it takes out of your day to replace any. 

By knowing how to properly care for the vinyl siding on your home, you can be sure that it lasts as long as possible and keeps the value of your home high. You will also be able to enjoy the many benefits of vinyl siding, which includes its long lasting features, since vinyl holds up well against many extreme weather conditions. 

For more information, contact a local siding installation company, like Liberty Exteriors LLC

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Want to Make Your Home an Intriguing Place? Consider One of These Staircase Ideas

Home is definitely what you make it–from the furnishings to the people inside of it, to the decor and more. One of the things that can make your home more intriguing when your guests come over and more visually appealing to you and your family members is a custom staircase. There are all kinds of fun things that you can do with staircases to give your home a unique flair, and some of the best ideas include:

Stairs With Storage Space

One of the coolest ideas that is both attractive and frugal is the stairs with storage space option. You can have a contractor build your stairs just like any normal set of steps, but then inside each step, there should be a pullout drawer that you can access to store items in that you wouldn’t normally have extra space for. If you’re afraid of falling down the stairs when trying to put things into the drawers or take them out, then you can opt just to have the bottom two steps converted into storage drawers, as that way you can still access them from the floor if you so desire.

The Classic Spiral Staircase

In movies and books, you often see pictures of a spiral staircase with its elegant looks and winding railings. Though one of these staircases might be exhausting to walk on all day long, they definitely look attractive and beautiful. In the event that you ever need to sell your home, a spiral staircase is sure to be one of the major selling points that really convinces the potential buyer to go for this classy home.

Figures Added to the Bannister

For a really attractive and unique look, consider getting a set of stairs with some sort of a figurine added to the bannister or railing. This type of staircase should generally be placed right near the front door, as it will greet guests when they come in. Depending on the type of figurine you decide to put on the bannister, the stairs can look a bit imposing or shocking at first, but more often than not, the design looks rather elegant and may even improve people’s opinion of your home.

Floating Stairs

If you’re confident in your ability to not fall down the stairs, then a set of floating stairs might be an attractive way to add some flair to your home. These stairs do look attractive, and people will be amazed at how you can get up and down them without hurting yourself. Anyone who uses these stairs should be careful, though, as there is nothing to hang onto when using them, so caution must be taken at all times so as not to fall and suffer a serious injury.

Stairs are some of the best parts of homes, as they not only provide access from one story of the home to another, but they also often tell the story of the home just in the way that they are designed. If you want a staircase that breaks the traditional mold and that looks quite different from the rest, then consider one of the four ideas mentioned above and watch your guests “ooh” and “aah” when they come over to your house. (For more information, contact Whiteford Hardwood Floors Unlimited LLC.) 

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3 Ways To Prevent Flooding In Your Basement

If you are worried about your home flooding, you’re not alone. Floods are the #1 disaster in America and can rake up over $3 billion in damages annually. The last thing you want to worry about is going down to your basement and seeing water. This could be the result of a leaking pipe, a bad hot water heater, or even a crack in your foundation. Being able to prevent this type of damage to your home can save you thousands of dollars. Here is what you can do to prevent your basement from flooding. 

Fix Lot Drainage Issues

One of the major causes of basement flooding is improper drainage. If you want to ensure your foundation remains free from rainwater pressure, you are going to have to inspect your property for these issues. You want the ground to slope away from your foundation so you don’t have to worry about rainwater putting pressure on the exterior of your home. This is doable with just a shovel and a little work. Create barriers around your home that allow the water to be diverted away from the home. 

Install a Sump Pump

Sump pumps are great for preventing flooding from occurring in your basement. If you don’t have one, you should look at getting one installed. A sump pump can cost you between $100 and $200 and is well worth the cost in the end if it helps you avoid flooding. Most sump pumps run on electricity so it will cost you some money to run. You can find several models offering a backup battery that will keep it running should the power go out. 

Repair Cracks

You should inspect your foundation often for cracks. This is a sure way to accumulate water in your basement if it is exposed to the outdoor elements. Even a small crack can cause an extensive amount of damage when water gets through. In order to avoid this from happening, you need to make sure you seal up any cracks. You can purchase some epoxy at your local hardware store that allows you to seal up any cracks quickly and efficiently. 

If your basement does get flooded, be sure to call a professional water mitigation service. They can mitigate the water quickly and efficiently ensuring the least amount of water damage possible. Electrical and slip and fall hazards are always potential problems if you try and handle the water restoration yourself. 

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Garage Door Maintenance Tips

Your garage door: An integral part of your home, but something that you probably don’t think about too much. When you want to pull your car out or in, you open and close the door to your garage, and you don’t give it a second thought. But, when it gets stuck, it starts to shimmy or it makes a lot of noise, your garage door is suddenly on the forefront of your mind.

In order to avoid these types of problems, your garage door should be something that you think about often. Why? Because you should perform regular maintenance on it. With routine maintenance, you can keep your garage door functioning properly and safe.

Here’s a look at some routine maintenance tips that will keep this part of your home in good shape.

Inspect the Springs and Track

The springs and the track play a key role in the operation of your garage door and they should be inspected regularly. In order for the door to function properly and safely, they need to be bolted securely in place. If you notice that they are moving or shaking, adjustments need to be made. To be on the safe side, have a professional do this job. Even if you’re a seasoned handyman, if you aren’t well-versed in garage door repair, you could end up hurting yourself, or making the door unsafe.

Lube It

There are several components involved in the operation of a garage door, and these components need to be lubricated in order to operate properly.

Lubricate the hinges, wheels, bearings, rollers, springs and tracks once a year using grease, oil or a silicone-based spray lubricant. This is a job that you can safely do yourself. However, if you are uncomfortable doing it, call a professional to do the job for you.

Check the Weather Stripping

Every garage door has weather stripping around its edges. This weather stripping prevents wind, rain, snow, sleet and all other elements from penetrating your garage door. If the weather stripping is frayed or loose, you could end up having a wet, cold or hot garage. Replace the stripping as needed to ensure those elements stay out. This is another DIY job, but again, if you feel uncomfortable doing it yourself, have a professional replace it for you.

Your garage door is an important part of your home. In order to ensure that it operates properly and safely, routine maintenance by you and a professional, like Kim’s Garage, is an absolute must.

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Innovative Ways To Cover Windows For Privacy

If you have small windows on or around your front door, you may have thought of ways to cover them so people on your front porch cannot peek inside your home. There are a few different ways you can try making your windows more private. Here are some instructions for you to use to cover these windows so you do not need to worry about peeping eyes.

Replace The Windows

Replacement windows are always a great option for getting a window that works for you. There are a couple of different privacy windows available. One is a window with a blind incorporated between two panes of glass. You can shut the blinds on each pane individually when you do not wish for light to come inside or when you do not want strangers peering inside your home. On sunny days where you are able to monitor the arrival of guests, you can keep them open. This gives you the option of having them open or shut depending on your mood.

Frosted windows are another type that can help keep the inside private. There are many patterns or degrees of frosting to pick from so it is difficult for someone to see inside. Call a replacement window contractor to see what options are available for your window set up.

Frosting The Windows

You can frost your own windows in a couple of different ways. Glass frosting material can be sprayed on your windows. If you wish, it can be sprayed over the entire pane or can be sprayed-on in a pattern. To place a pattern, find a stencil in a hardware store or craft store. Tape into place and spray the frosting inside the pattern cutout. Move the stencil and repeat until you have frosted the window to your liking. This is a permanent frost.

To make a non-permanent frost, you can use contact paper. Clear contact paper will give your windows a glaze that cannot be seen through. Use a stencil and trace the pattern you like several times on a sheet of contact paper. Cut out the patterned pieces and peel the backing off of the paper. Stick into place. After you have placed the pieces, you can remove them when you want to try a new pattern.

Cover The Windows

You can cover your windows with a variety of different coverings. Blinds can be hung over small side windows and can be closed when you do not want sunlight or guests peering inside. Curtains can be placed by putting curtain hangers over the windows. Pick a sheer curtain if you still want sunlight to get inside. It will be enough to keep people from looking into your home. Heavier curtains can be used in cooler weather, helping retain the heat inside your home.

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What You Need To Know About Fiber Cement Siding

When the time to replace the siding on your home, you may wonder what options you may have. After all, you want a siding option that is durable, long-lasting, and that will look good while keeping your house safe from the elements. One option you may not yet be familiar with is fiber cement siding. Before you make any decisions regarding your siding material choices, get to know a little bit more about fiber cement siding so you can determine if it is the right option for you. 

What Is Fiber Cement Siding?

Fiber cement siding is made up of a composite of materials. The mixture used to create this siding material is a combination of wood fibers and cement, which is made up of various minerals and metals including iron, limestone, and calcium. 

What Are The Benefits Of Fiber Cement Siding?

The benefits of fiber cement siding are numerous, but by far the most important to you is its unparalleled strength. Fiber cement siding has the strength and durability of stone building, but without the high cost. In fact, the cost of fiber cement siding is not only lower than that of stonework, but is also cheaper than wooden siding options as well. 

Additionally, fiber cement siding is highly versatile from a design perspective. If you love the look of wooden siding or shingles, fiber cement siding can be designed and installed to mimic this appearance. You can customize the color you want to perfectly match your existing paint job on your house, and the aesthetic possibilities are virtually endless.

Are There Any Drawbacks?

While the benefits of fiber cement siding are numerous, there are a few potential drawbacks. Because of the cement component of this siding option, it incredibly dense and heavy. As such, it is not a do-it-yourself siding installation project. You will need to hire a crew of several workers to install your fiber cement siding safely and properly. 

While fiber cement siding is cheaper than stone or wood alone, it is more costly than vinyl siding options. However, vinyl siding will need to be replaced far more frequently than fiber cement siding. Additionally, you will end up repairing vinyl siding far more frequently. So, while you may be saving money in the moment, your long-term costs will likely be higher with vinyl siding. 

Now that you know more about fiber cement siding, you can make the best possible decision for you and your home. So, make your siding material selection, from a place like Side-Pro, Inc., and get started on your home improvement project as soon as possible. 

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Two Strategies For Clearing Out A Clogged Sink Drain

Nothing could be more frustrating–or more gross–than a backed-up sink. One thing it doesn’t have to be, though, is expensive. If you have a clogged sink, or if you would like to prepare yourself for the next time you do, read on. This article will present two strategies for clearing a clogged sink.

The Sink Stopper

The overwhelming majority of slow-draining and clogged sinks are caused by hair and other gunk that has become tangled with the bottom part of the sink stopper. While there are numerous products on the market designed to address this issue, by far the most effective and economical solution is to remove the stopper yourself. All this task requires is a pair of adjustable pliers.

The stopper lever on top of your sink connects down to the so-called “pivot rod,” which moves the stopper in and out of place. In order to remove and clean the stopper completely, it is necessary to first unscrew the retaining nut that keeps the pivot rod in place.

Before you attempt to remove this nut, however, you’ll want to make sure there is no standing water left in the sink–otherwise you’ll end up getting soaked once the nut is loose. Either give the sink enough time to drain, or, if it is completely backed up, use a thick sponge to transfer the water to a bucket. 

Once this is done, you may proceed to unscrew the retaining nut and remove the pivot rod. Now you should be able remove the stopper completely from the top of the sink. Be warned, you will likely be pulling out a slimy, nasty hairball along with it. After cleaning the stopper, put the assembly back together and then run some water to see if the problem is solved.

The Plunger

Chances are the above strategy will prove effective at eliminating your clog. But if the problem persists, it’s time to get out your old friend, the plunger. This tool is highly effective at clearing out clogs that have developed below the stopper.

Plungers work best with the stopper removed, which can be done as explained above. Once you have taken the stopper out, however, be sure to reinsert the pivot rod and screw the retaining nut back into place. This will keep all that gross clog-water from escaping on the floor as you are plunging.

With the plunger in place, fill the sink with approximately two inches of water. Press a damp rag against the overflow holes at the edge of the sink–this will increase the effectiveness of the plunger by creating a temporary vacuum in the pipes. Two or three solid plunges should be all it takes to get the problem fixed.

For more information, contact a business such as Benjamin Franklin Plumbing.

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