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Septic Tank Maintenance During The Holidays

Posted by on 5:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Septic Tank Maintenance During The Holidays

Your septic tank may function well throughout the year, but some septic systems can struggle to keep up with demand at the holidays. With extra people staying in your house, your home will likely produce more wastewater than normal, and some unwanted items may get flushed down the kitchen and bathroom drains. Controlling these problems can help you keep your home in good working order over the holidays. Inform Holiday Guests People who are used to living in a home with a sewer may not understand the difference between a septic tank and a sewer system. When your guests arrive, kindly explain that certain items cannot be flushed down your home’s drains, including: Medicines Feminine hygiene products Antibacterial cleaners and hand sanitizers If you’re uncomfortable talking to your guests about your septic system, put up small, tasteful signs in your bathrooms and kitchen. Stagger Showers and Laundry Larger than normal amounts of water flooding your septic system can prevent solids from properly settling at the bottom of your septic tank and can potentially lead to clogs. Staggering your household showers and loads of laundry can help prevent these problems. Coordinate with your guests to space out showers and laundry cleaning throughout the day to ease the burden on your septic system. Install a Septic Tank-Friendly Garbage Disposal A garbage disposal might create problems for your septic tank. By flushing extra solids into your septic system, your garbage disposal could cause clogs and septic tank backups. Some households can get away with occasional use of their garbage disposal for ordinary meals, but holiday meals can be especially problematic because they’re so large. You can avoid this problem by either disconnecting your garbage disposal, or by installing a septic tank-friendly garbage disposal unit before the arrival of the holidays. Remind Guests Not to Flush Fat and Grease Down the Drain People who live in your house are probably used to preventing cooking oil and grease from flowing down the kitchen drain, but your guests may need special instructions. If your guests help you clean up after meals, kindly remind them not to dump fats and oils down the kitchen drain. Get Your Septic Tank Cleaned Septic tank pumping should happen approximately every 2 or 3 years. If your home’s septic tank hasn’t been serviced in a few years, have this done now before the start of the holidays. Later in the fall, you may become busy making plans and buying gifts, and that can make it harder to get routine septic tank maintenance scheduled. For more tips on how to keep your septic tank problem-free over the holidays, talk to a pumping service like All County...

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Got a New Paper Birch Tree? Tips to Keep Your New Tree Healthy

Posted by on 6:04 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Got a New Paper Birch Tree? Tips to Keep Your New Tree Healthy

A paper birch tree has a beautiful white bark that grows best in cool climates because it has shallow roots. The best climate for it has cool summers and long winters. This tree has a narrow canopy that will provide you with dappled shade. Because the shade is dappled, you can plant groundcover plants that grow well in part shade under it. Below are some tips to help you take good care of your paper birch tree so it stays healthy. Proper Care for the Paper Birch Tree Contact a tree company in your area to help you set up a preventive insect-control program. This is very important, as these trees are susceptible to a variety of pests. A newly planted paper birch tree should be fertilized with a birch-tree fertilizer to help it get established, promote root growth, and to increase its tolerance to stress. You should be able to find this fertilizer at garden centers or online. Follow the instructions on how to properly apply it to the tree. Your paper birch tree should be pruned to give it a strong structure and maintain its health. Removing branches that are diseased or broken will stop fungi from spreading throughout the tree. If the tree becomes too full, the tree-trimming service will thin it out so it has more sun exposure and so air can circulate within the canopy much better. This can help the tree resist many diseases. Symptoms of Infections You should learn the symptoms of different pest infections so you can get the tree the help it needs. One of the deadliest pests that attacks paper birch trees is the bronze birch borer. Some of the main symptoms of this pest include: Sparse foliage Chlorotic leaves Upper branch dying Bumps on the branches of limbs D-shaped holes in the bark If you notice any of these symptoms, check it out online and contact the tree-trimming service immediately. Catching the problem early may save your tree. If it is too far gone, the tree will eventually die. The birch leafminers is another pest that goes after paper birch trees. Leafminers are the larvae that come from tiny wasps, known as black sawflies. Adult wasps lay their eggs on the leaves. When the eggs hatch, the leafminers eat through the birch leaves, which creates pale, small tunnels. Over time the leaves will turn brown and die and drop from the birch tree. Fortunately, the birch leafminers will not kill your paper birch tree, but they will affect its appearance. If properly taken care of, a paper birch tree can live to be over 100 years...

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Eliminate Water From Your Home’s Basement, And Repair And Protect Concrete Walls

Posted by on 6:08 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Eliminate Water From Your Home’s Basement, And Repair And Protect Concrete Walls

Water that accumulates on your residence’s basement floor each time that it rains can cause extensive water-damage to your home’s structure. Eliminate water from the basement and repair any damage in the basement’s concrete walls by completing the steps below. Afterwards, apply a waterproofing sealant over the concrete to provide it with additional protection from damage, which could result in leaks. Materials sump pump portable heaters soapy water scrub brush putty knife wire brush vacuum cleaner (with hose attachment) towel tube of concrete filler trowel can of waterproofing sealant paint roller and frame paint tray and liner Eliminate Water From The Floor And Dry The Surface Rent a sump pump from a rental company or home improvement center to siphon water from the basement floor and deposit it outdoors. Most sump pump models need to be placed on a level surface before being plugged into an electrical socket. The siphoning hose needs to be placed in the puddled water and the transfer hose needs to be inserted through a window so that water will be dispersed outdoors. Once the water has been eliminated, set up a couple portable heaters in the basement to assist with drying the floor.  Repair Damaged Walls And Apply Sealant If you spot small cracks and grooves in portions of interior concrete walls, clean the affected areas with soapy water and a scrub brush. Use a putty knife or wire brush to help loosen small fragments of concrete that are stuck inside of the damaged sections. Use a vacuum hose to remove any concrete dust that remains on the walls. Dry the treated areas with a towel if they are damp. Apply a thin line of concrete filler to each part of the wall that is physically marred. Smooth out the surface of the filler with a hand trowel. The filler needs to harden before applying a coat of sealant over it. The drying time may require several hours. Once the sealer has a firm, dry surface, mix the sealant and pour some of the product into a paint tray that has a liner inserted in it. Add a coat of sealer to each interior wall. Roll the sealer across the concrete in straight lines. Once the sealer has dried, an additional coat can be added if you didn’t effectively cover each wall with the first coat. In the future, water will not be likely to enter your home’s basement and the concrete walls will not be susceptible to damage.  For more information or assistance with completing this project, contact contractors like those at Rite-Way...

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3 Essential Safety Tips to Remember When Doing Work on a Roof

Posted by on 5:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Essential Safety Tips to Remember When Doing Work on a Roof

There may be times when you need to get on your roof and do a small repair. You may get on the roof to clean off debris or clean the gutters. No matter what the reason is for you to get on your roof, you will want to stay safe on your roof. There are some simple things to remember, like wearing the correct shoes, using a ladder correctly, and using fall protection when needed. Here are some essential safety tips to keep you safe while you are doing work on any roof. 1. Wear Soft Shoes and Carry a Foam Cushion to Prevent Sliding on Shingles Soft shoes are an important element of staying safe when doing work on a roof. You may think about putting work boots on when you get on a roof, but you will be safer with soft-soled shoes. This is because they provide a better grip on asphalt shingles and allow your feet to adapt to the contours of the roof. In addition, a small foam cushion can be good to prevent sliding as well as protect you from contact with fiberglass that is in many roofing products. 2. Use the Ladder Correctly and Use Scaffolding Jacks for Small Roof Repairs The ladder is one of the most dangerous elements of doing any type of maintenance around your home. When you use a ladder to get on your roof, make sure that it is leaned away from the roof at a good angle and that several rungs of the ladder extend above the eave. In addition, you may want to use scaffold jacks for some repairs, like replacing shingles. If you use scaffold jacks, use them correctly. The ones that nail or screw to the roof should be attached to rafters and not the plywood decking and should have walk-boards that only span a short distance if you are using wood. 3. Get the Appropriate Fall Protection and Use It Correctly on Higher Elevations For higher work, you may need to use fall protection, or harnesses and ropes designed for doing roofing work. It is important that these systems are used correctly. Like with scaffold jacks, any tie-downs that fasten to the roof need to be attached to something solid and not plywood decking. In addition, the rope of your harness should only allow you to come to the edge of the roof and no further. These are some essential safety tips to help you stay safe while working on a roof. It is important that you take precautions when doing this type of work and follow any safety advice. If you have need help with some of your roof repairs, contact a roofing service such as Grissom Contracting to help get the maintenance done safely....

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Hidden Electrical: 3 Tips For Getting Creative With Conveniently-Placed Outlets

Posted by on 4:42 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hidden Electrical: 3 Tips For Getting Creative With Conveniently-Placed Outlets

It is almost impossible to have too many outlets in your home, especially with the number of appliances that a given household uses on a regular basis. However, some homeowners don’t like the appearance of outlets or are inconvenienced by them. If this sounds like you, here are three ways you can creatively hide your outlets while still ensuring that they are easily accessible when you need power: Recess Your Outlets into the Wall How bad do you hate it when you stub your toe on the dresser or the couch the sticks out too far from the wall because of an outlet? Or maybe you are just tired of seeing that huge gap between your furniture and the wall. Whatever the case may be, a quick and easy solution is having an electrician come in and recess your outlets into the wall. You will still have electricity access whenever and wherever you may need it, but you don’t have to worry about any gaps and the inconvenience those gaps cause. This can be done behind beds, sofas, bookshelves, entertainment centers, etc. and it makes for a much more visually-appealing space. Add Outlets into Kitchen Cabinetry Cluttered countertops are not eye-appealing. This is true whether you are in the kitchen or the bathroom. However, you have appliances that you use frequently that you prefer to keep plugged in and easily accessible so that you don’t have to worry about constantly dragging it in and out of the cabinets and then finding an available plug so that it can actually be used. One effective and creative solution to this is to have an electrician install outlets inside your cabinets. This will allow you to hide your appliances, while also keeping them plugged in and ready-to-use when you need them. At the same time, though, it frees up a ton of space on your countertop and improves the overall aesthetics of the space. This can be done in both the kitchen and the bathroom. Add Outlets Specifically for Holiday Décor Are you a big sticker for holiday decorations? Extension cords can not only be unsightly, but they can be unsafe as well. So, to help free up the use of extension cords, why not consider having an electrician add outlets in areas where you like to hang lights and use electrical holiday décor? For example, outlets can be placed high on the wall just beneath the crown molding, or an outlet can be installed on the exterior of your home underneath the roof’s eaves. Visit for more information....

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How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies In Your Home

Posted by on 9:01 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies In Your Home

Fruit flies are those tiny pesky flies you may have noticed before around your fruit, drains or just randomly flying around your home. They like fruit but tend to make their homes in the gunk in the drains throughout your home. You can get rid of them all by yourself and finally be rid of those annoying little bugs. See below for tips and instructions on how to get rid of fruit flies and how to prevent them from returning. Get Rid Of Fruit Flies: Put Fruit Away. Keep flies away from your fruit by putting your fruit away. Place fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator, rather than on the kitchen counter. For bananas, which can also be refrigerated, if you prefer they stay out, simply wash the skins down with soapy water and allow them to air dry. Clean Drains. Clean out your drains, where gunk can build up, creating a nice home for flies to live and lay more eggs. To clean out your drains, you can use a store-bought drain cleaner, or for a more natural way, boil a pan of water and pour the boiling water slowly into your drain, being sure to get it on the sides of the drain. You can also use bleach in your drain to clean them out. Again, pour it slowly and be sure to get the sides of the drain. Do this in all of your sink, shower and floor drains throughout your home where fruit flies can live. Set Traps. For flies that are still flying around inside your home, set a trap to get rid of these. You can set a trap using a cup of apple cider vinegar on your counter. Cover the cup using plastic wrap (be sure it is covered tightly with the plastic wrap). Then poke a few small holes in it. The flies will go into the cider vinegar but cannot escape. Change the apple cider vinegar trap every couple of days. Keep The Fruit Flies From Coming Back: To help prevent the fruit flies from returning to your home, be sure to keep your drains clean. Be sure to use the drain traps to prevent food and other particles from going down into your drain. Clean your bathroom shower and sink drains often to prevent hair and other gunk from building up. Also clean up around garbage areas where food and other items can attract these bugs. Keep your fruit off of your counter, but if you must keep it out, be sure to throw out fruits and vegetables that have become overly ripe. These pesky bugs can be a bit of a pain, but you can get rid of them. For more information, contact Antex Exterminating Co Inc or a similar...

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Homeowners: 3 Reasons Why It’s Important To Handle Water Runoff Properly

Posted by on 6:11 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Homeowners: 3 Reasons Why It’s Important To Handle Water Runoff Properly

As a homeowner, it is important to think about things like gutters, downspouts and other ways to handle water runoff from your home. Even though it might not be a very fun part of home ownership, water runoff can actually cause a lot of problems. These are a few issues that you might face if you don’t ensure that the water is adequately carried away from your home. 1. Foundation Damage Keeping the foundation of your home in good shape is critical. Unfortunately, excessive water pooling around the outside perimeter of your home can affect your foundation. This is because excessive saturation of the soil around your home can cause the soil to contract and expand, which can then cause cracks and other problems with the foundation of your home. Since foundation damage can cause additional damage to the inside of the house — such as causing doors to stick and walls and chimneys to crack — and since foundation repair can be expensive, it is best to prevent foundation damage whenever possible. 2. Oversaturation of Plants If you have plants on your property, you probably love the curb appeal that they add to your home. You might not think that water runoff is bad for them, since plants obviously need water to live and grow, but the oversaturation that can be caused by uncontrolled water runoff can actually be detrimental to your flowers, shrubs and other plants. When water runoff runs off of your home and around your plants, it often pools on top of the already-wet ground. This can effectively “drown” your plants. Directing the water runoff with gutters and downspouts can allow you to control the amount of water that your plants get. 3. Flooding Flooding is obviously a major concern in areas where there is excessive rain, particularly if you live in an area that is below sea level. Water running off of your home and pooling up around your house can increase your chances of dealing with flooding, while ensuring that the rainwater is directed away from the house can help reduce the amount of water that stands outside of your home during heavy periods of rain. As you can see, handling water runoff properly is critical if you are a homeowner. If you do not currently have gutters and downspouts in place, or if you fear that your existing system isn’t working properly, consider working with a professional so that you can handle the excessive water in the most effective way possible. To learn more, contact a company like Crest Engineering...

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What You Need To Consider Before Having An Old Home Interior Demolished

Posted by on 5:13 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Need To Consider Before Having An Old Home Interior Demolished

Old houses often have a charm and style that is unmatched in modern homes. Unfortunately, they also often have wood rot, pest infestations, and layers of wallpaper covering crumbling plaster walls. Renovating an old house, particularly if the house has not been properly maintained, will usually require a complete demolition of the interior. To ensure safety and to determine the structural integrity of the home, it may be necessary to hire a demolition specialist. A demolition should not be rushed into without any thought, so here are some questions the property owner should consider before it begins. Are there restrictions because of its historical status? Homes listed on the National Registry of Historic Homes are able to be renovated as long as there is not any federal funding of the home. This would have likely been mentioned when the home was sold, but not necessarily. If there is any concern of a potential problem because of the status of the home, it is a good idea to contact the registry before making any changes.  Can anything be salvaged before demolition? The interior may be a loss due to old wiring, inadequate heating, and crumbling plaster, but that does not mean there is no value left to the materials. Simple things like trim, doorknobs, and fireplace mantels are often salvageable. Even if they are not something the homeowner would like to use in their design, there are many people renovating old homes who are willing to pay well for genuine items rather than using replicas. Other items to save are vintage lighting fixtures, claw foot tubs, and even kitchen sinks. Was an asbestos inspection performed to avoid delays? Asbestos is a serious concern and it can be found in a number of areas throughout a home. This includes ceiling and floor tiles, insulation, and siding. The demolition team will need to cease working if any asbestos is found and wait until a removal expert clears the site. This can lead to many additional costs that could endanger the completion of the project if owner does not have enough budgeted for unwelcome surprises. Have an inspection performed before a demolition team is hired to avoid this problem. Hiring a demolition crew is a great way to get to the bare bones of the home. Having this step professionally performed will ensure that nothing structurally necessary is removed, and it will create a blank canvas for the owner that wants to recreate the home for themselves. This phase of renovating is much messier and more complex than many people realize. Demolition companies can do the work safely and remove the tons of waste after the process....

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Three Benefits Of Installing Automatic Driveway Gates

Posted by on 1:37 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Benefits Of Installing Automatic Driveway Gates

Automatic driveway gates are a great addition to most any property, especially when you’re trying to enhance your property for security and aesthetic purposes. Before you make the decision to install the fence and gate system or not, you should understand some of the benefits you’ll see from doing so. Here’s a look at some of the things that an automatic gate system will do for your property. Improve The Value Of The Property Installing an automatic gate system will help you enhance the value of the property in many ways. First, the improved property security makes it more valuable. In addition, when you choose a gate that’s designed to blend well with your property’s landscaping and the general aesthetics of the neighborhood, it can enhance the property value as well. Enhance The Security Of The Property Installing an automatic gate ensures greater property security because it allows you to control who has access to your land. When you add a gate like this along with a fence that circles the entire property perimeter, there’s a significantly reduced risk of burglary or other unauthorized access to your property. You can even incorporate video surveillance and intercom communication to allow for remote control of the gates from inside the house. Many homeowners see a reduction in home insurance premiums with an addition like this. Not only does the reduced risk of burglary make your property a lower risk for the insurance company, but the limited property access also reduces your liability risk. Ensure Security With Your Pets As a pet owner, particularly with certain dog breeds, you risk liability if the animal bites or otherwise injures someone. When you add a fence like this to your property, you reduce your pet’s access to others. Passers-by won’t be at risk of being chased, and it may also allow mail delivery and other services to be safer. Along with the security benefit for others, systems like this also ensure greater security for your pets. You won’t have to worry about a pet sneaking out through a manual gate while you’re pulling your car out or before you get out to close it. As you can see, the investment in an automatic gate for your property can be well worth it in most cases. Whether you’re looking to increase the property value before a sale, enhance your security or protect your pets, you’ll be able to do it with a fence and gate installation contractor like Gibson Construction Of Nevada...

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Four Things You Need To Be Aware Of If You’re Interested In Constructing A Dock

Posted by on 10:29 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Things You Need To Be Aware Of If You’re Interested In Constructing A Dock

When it comes to marine constructions, builders need to work around not only building code restrictions, but also environmental restrictions from an area’s conservation department. If you’re interested in constructing a dock on your property, you need to be aware of both types of restriction. The following are four factors you need to be aware of that could indicate that your projected dock construction project will violate building code or conservation department restrictions: The length of a dock typically in most locations is not allowed to exceed 1,000 feet. Many building code and conservation departments enforce a dock length limit of 1,000 feet to minimize the amount of disruption that a dock can create along a shoreline. It may be challenging or impossible to get a permit for a dock construction that’s longer than this length.  A dock construction cannot prevent entry into state waterways. The public is ensured access to state waterways. As such, a dock construction on a private property cannot restrict access to these waterways.  If you’ve got an opening to state waterways on your property and you want to construct a dock, you’ll need to work an access point into the design that’s open to the public. Dock construction is usually restricted around sensitive ecological resources like oyster beds. Before you can have a dock constructed on your shorefront property, you’ll need to do some research on the ecological makeup of your surroundings. The ecological makeup of a shoreline tends to be sensitive to disruptions like large construction. Many different coastal resources are protected by conservation departments nowadays. If you’ve got an oyster bed along your shore or your shore is home to an endangered species, you are probably not going to be legally permitted to go ahead with a dock construction project. A dock construction usually cannot extend past a navigable creek. Your dock design can’t close off a navigable creek that cuts into the shore. While you can still construct a dock if you’ve got navigable creeks cutting into your shoreline, you will have to end the dock at the first navigable creek.  If all this seems complicated, you might want to consider checking with your area’s developer to determine if your lot is appropriate for dock construction. Often, developers working with waterfront subdivisions create DMPs (dock master plans) to detail any lots they’re working with that are eligible for dock construction. This can be a highly useful resource for coastal property owners interested in dock construction. Click here, to learn more about this...

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