Category Archives: Home

Man checking the water heater

Ways of Minimizing Water Heater Energy Costs

Man checking the water heaterAmong all the electrical gadgets in a typical home, the water heater is among the leading energy-consuming equipment. And while you plan to cut down your utility bills this new year, you need to come up with ways to make your water heater energy-compliant.

You also need to minimize the need for emergency water heater repair services in Utah. Below are ways you can reduce your water heater energy expenses:

Turn Down the Thermostat

The majority of water heaters have a preset at 140 degrees; hence, the risk of scalding is very high. You can reduce it to 120 degrees. If you have been using your water at 140 degrees, 120 degrees may seem quite low, but the water is hot enough to meet your needs and still avoid mineral build up in your tank.

Insulate Your Hot Water Tank

If your tank is an old model, and it has an unheated space, you can wrap an insulating blanket to minimize the heating costs. If your tank is a newer model, confirm that the tank’s R-value is at least 24; else, you will need to insulate your tank.

Do not dare to wrap a new water heater that already has a layer of insulation.

Drain the Sediment at the Bottom of the Tank

Water heaters experience build-up at the bottom of the tank, which most experts refer to as sediment. This sediment reduces the efficiency of the hot water tank. Draining it will save you energy. But, how can you so that safely?

First, turn off the power supply to the unit and the water supply, then connect a hosepipe at the base of the tank and lift the tank’s pressure-relief valve.

Now that you know how to minimize your water heater’s energy expenses go ahead and carry out the three measures to your water tank. You will not only save money on your heating bill but also eliminate the need for unnecessary emergency water heater repair.

Get Rid of Bed Bugs Completely By Knowing Their Habits

Bed bugIt is tempting to think that you can easily get into bed bug extermination and take full control. These insects are some of the most difficult to eliminate because they are difficult to find. Adequate preparation is key.

Yes Pest Pros, Inc. shares a few important reminders to help you succeed in your quest to eliminate bed bugs for good.

Small, silent pests

Hiring a professional bed bug exterminator to deal with small insects that feed on the blood of animals and humans makes sense. Bed bugs do not fly, but they scurry around undetected, living inside mattress folds and box springs. They insert their tiny bodies between cracks in furniture and drop their eggs on textile. They are resilient and are most active at night when they prefer to bite sleeping humans and animals.

You’ll know you have an infestation if you notice any or all the following signs:

Red, itchy bumps on your skin

Signs of pest infestation show up on the limbs of people who often do not know they have a problem at hand. The bumps on the skin are red and itchy. The diagnosis of infestation is usually based on these marks. If you have no idea how the bite marks look like, it pays to spend a few minutes browsing Google for images.

Shells and castings

Other than bite marks, which can be relieved by creams and anti-histamine, you must watch out for shells and castings. These are products of molting, which indicate that the population of bedbugs in your home is already growing. There are egg cases and fecal stains, which are the only signs some people see.

Once bed bugs have multiplied, you will have trouble removing them completely. You should look for photos of shells, cast skins, and fecal droppings online so that you know exactly what to watch out for.

The extent of infestation is difficult, if not impossible, to determine unless you ask for professional help. Living with bed bugs is no way to keep a household. Learn how to get rid of them completely and call a bed bug exterminator to ensure the best outcome.

4 Benefits of Having a Fireplace

A fireplaceSipping a cup of hot cocoa, in front of a warm hearth and a French fireplace mantel is what most people love to do on a cold winter night. Keeping one corner of your home nice and warm will always have its benefits — if not for one, but for all members of the household.

Authentic Provence and other experts say that having a fireplace can say a lot about your way of living. Many say that a fireplace can bring a sense of vitality to a house. Many family gatherings happen in front of a warm fire, and why shouldn't they? Anyone can appreciate the calm and steady atmosphere a fireplace brings. Here are a few reasons you should get one yourself:

1. A perfect place for a date night

There are times when you'd just want to stay in and have a glass of wine with the person you love. Sitting by a fire and having an endless conversation can be a perfect romantic setting for a date.

2. A permanent cozy area

Everyone has a favorite spot in their homes. Most of them would be by the fireplace. Whether it's nursing a broken heart or spending quality time with a bunch of friends, a fireplace will always be a reliable source of comfort and warmth.

3. A warmth savior in blackouts

Winter can sometimes bring storms that knock out electricity. No one wants to be shivering under a blanket, waiting for the lights to come on. A fireplace is the best thing in the world in times like these.

4. Get eco-friendly heating

You don't need to use fossil fuels anymore. Most of today's wood-burning appliances are efficient, as these burn enough heat to warm your home longer. 

Like all things, fireplaces also have its disadvantages, as they can also be fire hazards. Make sure you follow all safety measures to keep a warm fire going in your home.

Plumbing maintenance

Factors That Affect the Integrity of Your Plumbing System

Plumbing maintenanceMaintaining the integrity of your house’s plumbing is essential in keeping water flowing to where you need it. This is not really an impossible task. The trick is to ensure regular maintenance by a professional plumber.

The most common condition that requires emergency plumbing Salt Lake City is burst pipes. Experts at Action Plumbing explain that burst pipes can cause extensive water damage to your property. Burst pipes may take long to discover because most pipes are hard to access. To prevent plumbing problems from occurring, be aware of factors that affect the integrity of your pipes.

Increased Water Pressure

When your pipes clog, water pressure in them builds up and, if left unattended, may become too much for your plumbing to handle. High water pressure is, in fact, the most common cause of bursting pipes. Routine maintenance can help to prevent frequent clogs, keeping water pressure at optimum levels.

Freezing Temperatures

Most pipes are located in hidden areas of your house. The heat from your heating system typically does not reach your plumbing system. In cold temperatures, the water in your pipes freezes and consequently expands. The stress caused by this frozen water can weaken your pipe’s walls, causing them to burst.

Encroaching Tree Roots

Tree roots are common causes of burst pipes. Roots naturally grow towards water. Any weak point in your plumbing system is a target for root encroachment. Roots then wrap around your pipes, eventually affecting their integrity.

Insulating your water pipes in freezing weather conditions is vital in preventing frozen water in your pipes. Correct installation in the right location will minimize root encroachment. Frequent and professional maintenance is essential in preventing clogging in your pipes.

Water damage from burst pipes will cost you much. Get an expert plumber to advise you on measures to maintain the integrity of your pipes.

Signs of a Damaged Sprinkler System

SprinklerA sprinkler is an essential tool in keeping your lawn green and healthy all year round. It also makes life easier for you since you don’t need to haul a hose around from one patch of grass to another every time to keep the lawn hydrated.

However, your sprinklers cannot last forever. There will come a time when you will need to have a sprinkler repair done by professionals in Salt Lake City. If a simple repair work cannot resolve the problem, then having your sprinkler system replaced is the most sensible solution. Here are some signs your sprinkler system needs immediate attention.

Leaking Sprinkler

When you notice soggy patches of grass or muddy areas in your lawn even after a dry weather, it could mean that your sprinkler has a leak. Even if the leak is not clearly visible, it is definitely there. The cause can be as simple as a loose head or as complicated as a flaw in the whole system. An experienced professional can help assess the situation and recommend solutions.

Dry Patches of Grass

When sprinklers are installed without considering the overall landscape of your lawn, you may end up with dry patches of grass because water does not reach them. The problem could also be due to low water pressure.

Low Water Pressure

Chips or cracks on the sprinkler head can cause low water pressure. When one or two sprinkler heads are not spewing water with enough force, some parts of your lawn will suffer from dehydration. You should have it checked by a professional immediately to avoid damage.

Sputtering Sprinkler Head

Sprinkler heads are designed to sprinkle water smoothly on your lawn and not sputter it sporadically. When you notice an irregular water flow, you may have a clogged valve or a cracked head. It could also indicate that your sprinkler system has water pressure problems.

Significant Increase in Water Bill

Another sign that you need the immediate assistance of a professional is an unusual spike in your water bill. Such an occurrence usually indicates that you have a leak somewhere. Do not hesitate to contact an expert to help you with your sprinkler problems.

Your sprinkler system plays a huge role in your home and yard maintenance. Make sure you catch and resolve any problems before they cause a significant damage to your lawn and your property.

4 Secrets to Hassle-Free New Home Construction

House under constructionBuilding a house from the ground up is a huge undertaking. It requires time, planning, and a lot of consideration to achieve the outcome you want. That’s why you have to be willing to spend and give all those things to ensure the success of your project.

Whether you’re a first-timer or not, it’s important to know the step-by-step process of home building. This way, it’s easier to fulfill and finish the job with ease. To give you the basics, here’s a list you may refer to:

Plan Everything Carefully

Planning is one of the most important steps in any construction project. Without it, it’ll be challenging to check the project’s progress and move forward. That’s why you need to ensure that everything was under consideration, including the view of those who are going to be involved. Be sure that you’ve talked and agreed on every little thing to avoid sudden changes that may cost a fortune.

Find a Builder to Trust

The next thing you need to search for is someone who could help execute the plan. This is where builders and contractors enter the picture. In choosing your team, it’s important that you take time in knowing them first. Ask around and listen for recommendations or feedback to sort out which among them is a perfect match for you. A group of custom home builders in MN suggest that other than a background check, you must directly interact with them to see how they communicate with their clients.

Stick with Your Budget

Another important factor you can’t simply set aside is money. Make sure that you’re capable of funding the whole thing up until the smallest work. Keep spending under control and avoid going over your budget. If it can’t be helped, you can create a maximum ceiling of what you should spend.

Avoid Following the Trends

Focus on the features and designs that would match your needs and lifestyle. It’s not practical to always follow all the rage because you’ll need to undergo renovation again when the trend dies out. Instead of being trendy, go for classic designs and materials because they stay dated no matter what. If you want to add a little something, you may always do so without ruining anything — both your budget and your home’s current aesthetic.

New home construction provides a satisfying and rewarding experience as long as you’re doing it right. Don’t succumb to its pitfalls by understanding what will matter most throughout the process. Be practical and stay organized to prevent having any remorse in the end. Keep these things in mind and you’ll certainly go a long way.

 

The Qualities of a Good Staircase

 

Good Staircase

A good staircase is an essential part of a building–be it for a residence, community, or business. It is a series of steps arranged in a fashion that allows people to go from one floor to another with ease. It must be built in such a way that avoids inconvenience and accidents for users. 

Even if there are elevators in the building, stairs must be present for exiting during calamities or emergencies.

Stairs also make it possible to create multiple story buildings that save horizontal space. This is particularly the case for commercial building stairs — vertically expanding a business is more cost-efficient than expanding it horizontally. But a staircase's functionality is only as good as its design.

Some Staircase Design Principles

Staircases may be circular, straight, spiral, or flared, but generally, a good staircase must follow certain principles to ensure optimal convenience and safety. 

Firstly, the location of the staircase is preferably central. This is to provide sufficient light and ventilation, and easy access for everyone in the building.

A flight of stairs is usually limited to 12 steps and has a minimum of three. To avoid accidents, open-well stairs must have balustrades, and wide stairs must have hand rails on both sides. 

The materials used to make the stairs should also be sufficiently strong to resist impact. Ideally, the material should also be fire-resisting.

The distance from a step to the flight directly above it must not be less than 2.3 metres. This is to ensure that a tall person may use the staircase with some headroom. 

The width of the stairs is also important. For public buildings, it must be at least 1.8 metres and at least 0.9 for residential buildings. The landing's width should also not be less than the width of the stair. The inclination of a staircase should be about 30 to 45 degrees. 

 

Take these principles into account when designing the stairs for your building project.

Why Amtico Remains a Popular Flooring Choice

Worker installing flooring tilesAmtico flooring is an eco-friendly alternative to other flooring materials that have been around since 1964 with office and manufacturing facilities based in the US and the UK. In fact, the FLR Group adds that Amtico flooring is one of the most popular options in the United Kingdom.

What Is Amtico’s Main Component?

The main component of Amtico flooring is a resin that has been compounded with high-quality plasticisers and mixed with stabilisers. These ingredients are then subjected to high pressure and temperature which produces very thin but extremely resilient floor tiles. Amtico floor tiles are all non-porous, very durable, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to maintain.

Why Choose Amtico?

Amtico floors are all made of six layers of the highest quality vinyl available and use a Rotocure process. These floor tiles do not contain filler-based cores, so you can rest assured that you will experience no shrinkage, stability, and delamination issues with your tiles. With proper installation and maintenance, these tiles can handle heavy traffic without chipping or cracking. Amtico is also able to capture the look and feel of natural wood and stones flawlessly.

Benefits of Amtico Floor Tiles

Amtico flooring may only be a replica of real wood and stones, but it is more durable and easier to clean and maintain. These tiles come with a 25-year residential warranty. Not only that, but the ownership of these tiles are also transferable. This means that even after selling your house, the tiles are still under warranty which is something potential buyers may see as a plus factor. Amtico also includes their tailored floor and bespoke service when you buy their products. This service allows you to personalise your tiles by choosing the cut you want. You may even mix and match different designs to your heart’s content.

Wrapping It Up

Aside from being durable and resilient, Amtico floor tiles have beautiful designs and many other customisable options. This is why it remains the number one choice of various industry giants who need durable flooring that can withstand heavy foot traffic.

Pets are Not the Only Ones to Blame; Humans Bring In Fleas, Too

Worker checking for house pestFleas are a huge nuisance. Their very presence suggests that a room, or indeed an entire house, is unclean. They also bring a bevy of health problems like skin irritation for humans and infection and tapeworms in pets.

Unfortunately, fleas are difficult to get rid of if you have a pet. These parasites cling to animal fur and live off their blood. They also multiply fast, with females laying up to 40 eggs a day. Speaking of which, Yes Pest Pros, Inc., an expert exterminator of household pests, says that fleas are prone to nest in carpets, rugs and pets’ beddings. 

But even though pets are the main cause of flea infestation, these parasites can still live in pet-free homes. Here’s how it happens.

Hitchhiking Parasites

Animal fur is basically a magnet for fleas. Faux-fur fabrics, or at least fabrics with soft, synthetic fuzz, also have the same quality. So, although fleas don’t have wings, they can leap very high and attach themselves to fur-like fabrics. They may prefer a combination of fur and warm-blooded skin, but it doesn’t stop them from clinging.

Walking through grass, entering the house of a pet owner, and playing with animals exposes you to these parasites. Moreover, if the route you take on the way home takes you past an infested house, you may inadvertently give fleas a free ride to your house. Fleas can burrow into the seams of fabric, staying there until a warm-blooded body is nearby.

Lastly, you are also at risk of getting fleas if you have next-door neighbors who allow their pet cat or dog to roam around freely.

Challenge of Eliminating Fleas in a Pet-Free House

Pet-free households often realize too late that they have a flea infestation. Fleas in the pupa stage can remain in that state for months at a time until it gains access to a host, after all. To make matters worse, though, unsuspecting people might dismiss early signs of flea bites for typical bed bug bites. It’s only when the infestation gets bad enough that they begin to take action.

It pays to watch out for fleas even if you don’t have pets. If you think your home has an infestation, call a pest control service immediately. 

Things to Consider When Getting Patio Shades

View of an outdoor room of a modern homeThe patio is an outdoor nook that offers a refreshing way to relax alone or with family and friends. Being constantly exposed to the elements, your patio and all of your outdoor furniture can easily be damaged. Moreover, the intense heat during hot afternoons can prevent you from enjoying it.
 
Ask any builder of patio roofing in Brisbane such as Just Patios to help you design yours to make sure it can accommodate all of your needs. Here are some important things to consider when investing in a quality exterior shade.
 

Protection

 
Find an awning that is durable and won’t succumb to corrosion. After all, it is only as good as its components. For your exterior shade to protect you and your patio from the elements, it should contain stainless steel frame nuts and bolts. Look for an awning with a long service life, so you get more from your investment.
 

Flexibility

 
Choose from manual or motorised shades. Whether you want your awnings to function through a remote or a switch depends on you. There are also options that combine both modern and traditional gears so that you can use your awning even during power outages.
 

Adaptability

 
Your patio shade should have features that match different areas and situations. If you’re putting it on a narrow space that is constantly exposed to the sun, find a unit that has intelligent components to keep up with the task.
 
When it comes to installing patio covers, know the significance of having a quality shade to protect your space. That’s why patio builders in Brisbane could provide you with the best materials available in the market. Don’t hesitate to contact them for more information on how to design your patio and get the most out of it.