Stop Mold in Its Tracks

Boiler Installation Costs: A Guide For Questioning Homeowners

Posted by on 11:41 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Boiler Installation Costs: A Guide For Questioning Homeowners

Even though boiler systems were once the more popular form of home heating, many homes are now fitted with a different type of heat system. However, modern boiler systems are far more efficient than ever and still provide the double benefit of offering your home both heated water and heat in the winter with one unit. If you are considering having a boiler system installed in your modern home, you are bound to have questions about the process, but mainly about the costs involved. Here are a few of the most common questions about residential boiler installation costs and the answers you should know.  How much does a modern boiler system cost? A new residential boiler system can range in cost according to several different factors, but especially the type of boiler system you choose. A standard gas-fired boiler unit will cost you about $2,500-$5,000, while an oil-fired unit will cost you more like $3,000-$6,500. High-efficiency models can be a little higher at $6,000-$9,000 or even higher depending on the model type.  What is included in the boiler installation price? Included in the total price of boiler installation will be: the installation of the new boiler system, piping, wiring, and fittings the installation of new piping or radiators the installation of the wiring to power the new boiler system Additionally, the contractor will work with you to ensure you know how to properly use and maintain the system and even make recommendations on which type of system your home would work best with.  Are there any factors that could make the installation higher than usual? When it comes to modern boiler installation, there will always be some factors that could drive up the price. For example, if you have an outdated boiler system in place that will have to be removed first, you may pay more for the overall project. Likewise, removing old oil tanks on your property can come with an additional fee. In some cases, your contractor will have to charge an extra fee to cover the costs of an installation permit that is required by your specific location as well. It is also not uncommon for duct work to have to be replaced during installation. In the end, making the change to a modern boiler system in your home can be a good idea. If you would like to know more, contact a boiler installation technician in your area or Schweitzer Brothers for more...

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3 Ways To Improve Docks With Tropical Lumber And Hidden Fasteners

Posted by on 11:38 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways To Improve Docks With Tropical Lumber And Hidden Fasteners

If you are having a dock built on your waterfront property, you may be considering installing a wooden marine structure with conventional lumber materials. If you want it to have a durable and attractive look, tropical decking materials can be a good choice for the surface of your dock. If you choose to use tropical decking, hidden fasteners can be another solution that you want. This also means that you will need to choose additional bracing systems to improve the structural integrity of your dock. Here are some solutions that you may want to consider to improve the structure if you choose to use tropical lumber: 1. Add Extra Diagonal Joists To Brace The Dock Laterally Normally, your dock will have vertical joists that run from side-to-side or front-to-back. This provides less lateral support, which is usually done when the decking is nailed or screwed to the top of joists. With a hidden fastener system, there is nothing holding the deck surface in place and preventing it from rocking from side-to-side. To solve this problem, a few joists or blocks can be installed diagonally. 2. Install Cut In Braces To The Dock Before Any Decking Is Installed Another improvement that you may want to consider is to cut the bracing into the tops of joists before the decking is installed. This can be done with stainless steel or aluminum T-braces that are designed for marine environments. Another option is to install 2x4s that are cut into the top of joists diagonally, which can provide the dock with lateral stability. In addition, extra bracing at the base of piers can be used to stabilize your dock. 3. Add Lateral Brackets For Bracing At The Piers And Deck Surface The piers of your dock can also have bracing added to them. This can be the lateral bracing below the surface of the water, as well as bracing from the piers to the deck structure. Talk with the marine construction contractor about cutting these brackets with a decorative detail to give your dock more of an attractive look. These are some of the choices that you will want to consider to reinforce your dock if you install decking with hidden fasteners. If you are ready to build a new dock for your waterfront property, contact a marine construction contractor like Abbott’s Construction Services Inc. and talk with them about some of the choices to make your dock sturdy and...

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High Electric Bill? Use These Energy Makeover Tips

Posted by on 10:32 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on High Electric Bill? Use These Energy Makeover Tips

Each electrical bill might seem like it is larger than the last, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Many electrical fixtures are responsible for your high utility bills, and replacing them with more energy-efficient alternatives will not only help lower your home electrical bills, but will also save you money. Change Your Bulbs One of the easiest home energy upgrades is to replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. The latter is not only more energy-efficient, but lasts much longer. They are more expensive initially, but they will save you money overall. Replace Appliances Old appliances should be replaced–with those appliances that use up the most energy taking the greatest priority. Air conditioning units use up the most energy, so make sure that you replace your air conditioner every couple of years so that your home will be kept cool at the lowest cost. Hot water heaters are another unit that can drive up electricity costs. Therefore, replacing old hot water heaters with high-efficiency water heaters will lower your energy bills. Tankless hot water heaters are often the most energy-efficient option. Use Ceiling Fans Have more ceiling fans installed in your home so that you will not have to rely as much on air conditioning. Look for areas of your home that do not use ceiling fans and have more installed. Use Solar Panels One of the best energy-efficiency upgrades of all is to have the roof of your home fitted with solar panels. By doing so, you will no longer be completely reliant on the electrical grid. The degree to which solar panels will generate energy is based on how much sun your roof receives and the energy demands of your home; but regardless, you will receive some energy savings even if you still need to rely on the electrical grid to some extent. Remove Vampire Appliances There are many appliances in the home that are considered energy vampires. They are not in operation, but are plugged in and continue to use electricity. These are mostly computers and video game consoles. Depending on how often you use these devices, they can account for a sizable percentage of your energy use. The best way to ensure that you have the most energy-efficient home possible is to talk with an electrical contractor. There are some electrical contractors who are specialized in home electrical upgrades to not only make your home more efficient, but also more comfortable. You will need a full energy audit to determine which fixtures are costing you the...

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Sound-Proofing Metal Roofing: Three Options Your Contractor May Offer You

Posted by on 10:45 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sound-Proofing Metal Roofing: Three Options Your Contractor May Offer You

If you are considering purchasing a metal roof to replace the current roofing material you have on your home, you may have questions about noise levels and sound-proofing. The fact is, metal roofs installed on houses are typically no noisier than asphalt shingles or wooden shingles. However, if you want to be sure your metal roof is as quiet as a sleeping mouse, then you can ask your contractor about some sound-proofing options. Here are three options he or she might offer you to further deaden any noise that a metal roof might make during a storm. Keeping the Old Roof in Place Another option is to keep all of the old shingles in place. Not only does this deaden any sound caused by rainfall on your metal roof, but it also helps firmly secure the metal roof in place. The old shingles act as anchors to which your contractor can secure the metal roofing and shave off a lot of time and labor costs in the process. Unless there is some very severe damage to your old roof, you may want to consider this option because it tends to be the most economical of the three listed here. Additional or Really Thick Insulation in Your Attic Rolled insulation serves many purposes in your attic. Certainly not the least of these purposes is sound-proofing. When rolled insulation is installed between the rafters, it reduces some of the hollow reverberations and/or echoes that might otherwise occur with no insulation. Adding more insulation to these spaces or replacing it with really thick, quilted batting-type insulation is sure to reduce most noise (except for really loud claps of thunder). If you do not use your attic for storage, you may want to add more blown insulation to the “floor” area as well. Using Denser Hardwood Planks in Place of Particle Board Particle board, or “sandwich” board is often used as the first later over the tops of your roof’s trusses. It encloses the roof while providing a surface to which the roofing contractor then applies an under-roof material. Although it is more expensive, you could request thick hardwood planks in place of the particle board. Thicker planks are similar to adding thick insulation–the sound waves have a more difficult time traveling through these thick objects, and therefore, the sounds are barely heard, if at all. If your roof currently uses particle board, your contractor may need to rip it all off before attaching the thicker hardwood sheets to the trusses. Click here to learn more about metal...

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Important Facts You Should Know About Standard And Reinforced Concrete Residential Foundations

Posted by on 10:21 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Important Facts You Should Know About Standard And Reinforced Concrete Residential Foundations

If you are planning for your dream home, one of the most important details to allow for is the type of foundation you choose for the new house. Although you may assume that a plain concrete foundation is the right choice because it is such a popular choice, unreinforced concrete may not be the right choice if your home will be in a very cold area. In that instance, you should plan to either reinforce the concrete or use footings to make the area safe for your needs. When you need to make an informed decision about choosing the right concrete residential foundation for your new home, the following information will be very helpful. When You Should Choose A Standard Concrete Foundation As previously mentioned, a standard concrete foundation is the most common type of foundation. It can best be described as an even level of concrete that gradually thickens around the sides. In order to provide the best drainage, you will frequently see it laid on a bed of gravel and it may also be reinforced it with steel in order to make it a bit stronger. However, even with gravel and steel reinforcements, bitterly cold climates can still allow the concrete to crack or show other types of damage. Therefore, if you live in that kind of area, you would be better served with a more fully reinforced concrete foundation as described below. When You Might Need A Reinforced Concrete Foundation If you live in an area where it is very common to experience long, cold winters where extremely deep freezes are common, a standard concrete foundation alone will not be appropriate. However, you do have two choices that can keep your home safe and intact for many years. You may be advised that extra time to dig further into the ground will impact your budget and construction time-table. The first option to consider is known as a frost-resistant foundation and features a series of footings below the ground level where freezing usually ends. When the concrete is laid, it is then more resistant to the exceptionally cold climate because it has been supplemented with vertical and horizontal rigid-foam insulation. You may also choose to emulate areas like Sweden or Finland and use the frost-protected shallow foundation, which may also be referred to as the FPSF. It is unique because the concrete itself is modified by receiving additional concrete before being laid down. As a result, it is able to resist frost damage and the extra labor may not be necessary. In conclusion, as a new home-owner, you are likely to be very choosy about the details that go into the design and construction of your new house. Since the foundation of your home plays such an important role in its successful use, you should be aware of the preceding information about choosing standard or reinforced concrete residential foundations. To learn more, contact a company like Spiers...

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Heating Your Home: Ways To Reduce Heating Costs And Save Energy

Posted by on 4:00 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Heating Your Home: Ways To Reduce Heating Costs And Save Energy

If you are looking for ways to heat your home that are more efficient, you are not alone. With rising energy costs, many homeowners are looking at ways to reduce their energy consumption and increase the efficiency of their current heating system. Whether you are a new homeowner or you want to change out your current heating system, there are ways to improve your heating system. Some options include installing solar panels on your home, investing in radiant floor heating, having an energy audit done on your home, and purchasing an alternative heating source such as a pellet stove. Solar Panels  If your home qualifies for solar panels, this is an excellent way to reduce energy costs in your home. The roof of your home must receive enough direct sunlight throughout the day in order to qualify. Once the solar panels are installed, you may find that you are selling energy back to the grid some months. This will greatly reduce your electricity costs during the month, and it may even give you a profit when energy production is high. Radiant Floor Heating Radiant floor heating is more efficient than register heating because heat rises to the top of any room. With radiant floor heating, the heat begins at the very bottom of the room. This means the heat will then radiate up, warming the entire room. It is more efficient because it takes less energy to heat the entire room than if a traditional heating system is used. If you’re interested in installing a radiant floor heating system in your home, contact a company like Action Plumbing & Heating. Pellet Stoves and Alternative Heating Sources Many homeowners find that using a combination of heating sources reduces the overall cost of heating the home. When prices of one fuel are high, the alternative source can be used to heat the home. Pellet stoves are a great way to produce heat for your home, and the costs associated with purchasing and maintaining a pellet stove are reasonable. When you want to reduce your reliance on one heating source, a pellet stove is a great addition. Home Energy Audit Most states offer some type of energy audit program. If you want to improve the efficiency of your home, you can get an energy audit done. You will learn where air is escaping, where you may need more insulation, and how you can improve the overall energy usage of your entire...

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The Perks Of Casement, Sliding, And Fixed Windows

Posted by on 8:18 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Perks Of Casement, Sliding, And Fixed Windows

The cost efficiency and durability of your new windows largely depends on the style that you choose. Of course, you don’t have to install the same style of window in every fixture. You should only install more expensive window styles in fixtures where you will actually utilize the features. For instance, a sliding window is wasteful if the fixture is so high up in the wall that you cannot reach it. This article explains some of the key differences between the most popular window styles. It should help you choose the best style for each fixture in your home. Casement Windows Casement windows have a movable sash on a hinge. They work much like a door, except there is a cranking device mounted on the jamb of the window. The cranking device is easy to operate. It has gears, so even large windows are easy to operate. Nonetheless, you will often see a variety of casement windows that are electronically automated. That is, instead of having a cranking device, there is a switch that you simple push to open or close the windows. You can even find smart casement windows that can be controlled with a wireless device (remote control or smart phone app). The main perk of casement windows is that they can have one solid pane in the sash, instead of being separated into two sashes with two smaller panes (like on sliding windows). Sliding Windows Sliding windows are probably the most common in residential properties. They are easy to operate and they have a less complicated design than casement windows. This means cleaning, maintenance, and repairs are simpler. When choosing sliding windows, you need to choose between single or double hung fixtures. In a double hung fixture, both sashes are movable. However, on a single hung fixture, only the bottom sash is movable. Fixed Windows Finally, fixed windows are the most affordable. They have no moving parts or devices that can be costly to maintain and subject to malfunctioning. Fixed windows are durable, reliable, and cheap. So, if you have a row of separate fixtures, you might want to consider having some of them fixed. For instance, think about making every other window fixed, if only to save some money. These 3 window types are probably the most common in residential construction. You should definitely consider mixing and matching them throughout your home to ensure they are efficient and cost effective. For more information, contact a local company like Gulf Coast Builders...

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Common Issues With An Electric Garage Door

Posted by on 6:26 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Common Issues With An Electric Garage Door

An electric garage door provides you with a door that is easy to open and close with a button inside the garage and with a remote. However, there are some issues that tend to be common with this type of door. By identifying them, you know when it is time to call a professional for repairs. The Door Won’t Open or Close A common issue to have with an electric garage door is when the door refuses to close. This is often from problems with the photo eye. This is a type of beam that exists on the inside and outside of the garage door. It is triggered when you press the button on your remote, which helps you open or close the door. It also works with the button inside your garage. If your door won’t close or open, there is probably buildup on the photo eye. It might also simply be out of alignment and need a slight adjustment. Contact a garage door professional if your door still won’t open or close and the photo eye seems to be fine. There Are Issues With the Track You may also find that the garage door either doesn’t open or close all the way, or it has other mechanical problems with the track itself. It is often from the door track being out of alignment, which also keeps the door from moving properly. You may notice that when looking at the track, there is a gap or an obvious dent or bend in the rollers or rail of the track. This is not something you should try to fix yourself, so make sure you call a professional for repairs. The Extension Springs Are Worn If your extension or torsion springs are worn, cracked, or otherwise damaged, you will notice a difference in how your garage door operates. These happen to be very dangerous to inspect and repair on your own, so it is best that you contact a garage door professional if you suspect they are the culprit. A common sign that the extension springs are having trouble is when your door keeps falling after being released. Instead of closing slowly as it should, it falls quickly and slams shut. This is a sign that the springs need to be replaced. You might also find that the door is opening on its own, which is also a problem associated with the springs. Contact a service like Dorsey Garage Doors for more...

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Three Maintenance Steps To Lengthen The Life Of Your Asphalt Shingle Roof

Posted by on 6:20 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Maintenance Steps To Lengthen The Life Of Your Asphalt Shingle Roof

Although asphalt shingling is used on about 80% of America’s homes, it does come with its share of idiosyncrasies, such as the fact that it often needs to be replaced after just fifteen or twenty years. Short of replacing your roof with a more durable material, what can you do to lengthen its lifespan? Staying on top of any repairs as well as caring for your roof’s needs can help you keep it operational for the longest possible working life. Here are three maintenance steps to help you care for your roof in this way. 1. Protect from debris damage Small bits of debris landing on your roof may seem like a non-issue, but if you leave them there they actually have the potential to cause problems. Although leaves and twigs may not cause impact damage like a larger branch might, they can still become an issue if not cleaned off. For example, dead leaves that  sit on your roof can become wet in the next rain and cling to the surface of the roof, holding water against its surface and encouraging leaking and other roof problems. Debris on your roof can also encourage moss to grow there, which may also damage the shingles. Some homeowners elect to remove trees or large limbs that grow near the house. This can both protect your roof from impact damage if the tree falls in a storm and prevent debris from falling on your roof, meaning you won’t have to clean it as often. 2. Protect from gutter backup Sometimes small bits of debris may fall on your roof and be washed away into the gutter before you notice them and get up there to clean them off. Over time, debris buildup in gutters can lead to clogging, which is the cause of a lot of roof leaks. The clogged gutter can fill with water during a storm and act as a dam, creating a backed-up pool of water that may reach the edge of your roof and start to sneak in under the shingles. To prevent this problem, it’s best to clean your gutters periodically as well as each time a storm is predicted. 3. Inspect regularly Many other roof problems are possible though unlikely, so performing a scheduled inspection is necessary to guard against having any of these problems sneak up on you. You may wish to have your roof inspected by a roofing contractor every now and then, but you can do most of the inspections on your own. Some things to check for on these inspections include: Loose, rusty, or damaged flashing Cracked and shrunken caulking around flashing Missing or damaged shingles Moss, lichen, or algae growth Old, cracked rubber “boots” around vents If you find growths of moss or lichen on your roof, you can remove them on your own. You may also wish to treat your roof with a moss-prevention treatment so you won’t have the same problem in future. If you find flashing problems, you may be able to fix those as well before they cause leaks (if you’re a do-it-yourselfer and have experience working with roofs).  But remember, only go up on the roof in daylight and good weather, and don’t go up unless you’re currently in good health, wearing grippy shoes such as tennis shoes, and have...

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How To Caulk Custom Glass Shower Enclosures

Posted by on 6:14 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Caulk Custom Glass Shower Enclosures

If you have a glass shower enclosure, you know how important it is to keep the glass clean. Some people clean their glass after every time the shower. However, just using the squeegee will do nothing to clean the actual caulk in between the glass panes. The caulking where that glass meets the wall is usually the thickest and most likely to get dirty and brown. This browning can often be a sign of mold formation. Cleaning mold out of caulk is very difficult. It is quicker and more practical to just scrape the caulk out and reapply a fresh line. This article explains how to remove and apply new caulk to the seams and edges of a glass shower door. Scrape Away the Existing Caulk The first thing you need to do is scrape away all of the existing caulk. The best tool for this is called a painter’s knife. It is similar to a putty knife but it has an angled blade. This allows you to gouge out the caulk and scrape it away without scratching the glass or wall. The caulk should scrape away from the glass quite easily. However, scraping it away from the wall will vary depending on how strong the seal still is. For instance, it should easily scrape away from smooth ceramic tile, but it might take more scraping to get it off a stickier stone surface. Once you have scraped away the majority of the caulk, there will still be some residue left over. It is very important that you clean off this residue to create a smooth surface for the new caulk. Use a basic household cleaner with a rag, not a paper towel, to thoroughly rub away any caulk residue. Applying the New Caulk Applying new caulk might seem simple and self-explanatory if you have a caulk gun. However, it can be very hard to get straight caulk lines. One helpful tip to allow you to get the straightest line possible is to use painter’s tape. You can physically tape off where you want the edge of the caulk line to be. This creates a nice, straight line when you apply the caulk. Shoot it into the seam with the gun, then use your finger to wipe it down and push the caulk to further into the gap. The excess caulk will spread onto the tape, which you can later pull up, leaving behind a nice clean line. Having a solid caulk line will contribute to the stability of the shower enclosure. Also, your glass will look much cleaner if the seams are filled with clean silicone caulk. Of course, it is also vital in keeping your shower enclosure waterproof. To learn more, visit a website...

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