Do These 3 Things & Your Water Heater Will Work for 12+ Years

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What is a water heater? How does it work? Water heater? Hot water tank? Same thing really. It’s your home’s engine that gives you and your loved one’s hot water. The tank holds your hot water and keeps it hot until you turn the faucets or appliances on.

Many homes have – sadly – inefficient, older, tank style, hot water heaters. Trouble is, when you are not using the hot water, it just sits in the tank, being continually heated. Furthermore, those long and luxurious showers/baths can deplete supply and you can wait for an age for the tank to refill. To see where you’re at with your hot water tank, it’s always best to call a professional water heater repair company. To give you sound advice. We can also assess your needs and help you save money.

How water heaters work

Hot water tanks are plugged into the mains or they can run on gas/fuel. The basic configuration is:

  • One pipe brings cold water in
  • One pipe moves hot water out
  • Heating element
  • Safety valve releases water from the tank if pressure/temperature is too high

The cold-water pipe brings water to the heating elements in the bottom of the tank. The water warms up, moves to the top of the tank and voila – you have hot water on demand.

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Tankless hot water heaters

Tankless hot water heaters do not store heated water in a tank. They deliver it only when you need it. Tankless water heaters are smaller standalone units that have a cold-water pipe that is heated by a gas burner or an electric element in an enclosed unit. Tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water – with some cons:

  • Limited flow rate
  • Installation cost can be higher
  • In a larger home you may need two

The pros are compelling though:

  • No storage tank means hot water on demand
  • Long life expectancy
  • Low operating costs 
  • Vastly improved energy conservation 
  • Saves space in smaller units 

For a more thorough look at these units, make sure to consult with “Toronto water heater repair.” We will lead you in the right direction.

What are the most common problems with water heaters and how to avoid them?

Smile HVAC Water Heater Repair Services helped us to outline the most common water heater issues:

No hot water

Is your pilot light on? Most gas-powered water heaters have a clearly labelled knob. Set to “off,” and wait five minutes for the gas to clear. Refer to your manual to relight if it is off.

Not enough hot water

Your thermostat may be down, or your tank may be too small. Get a bigger water heater from us or call us out to check thermostat.

Temperature problems

Try adjusting the thermostat to the right temperature. If it doesn’t work, call us. We’ll check your thermostat and correct any sediment build up.

Dirty water

If your water is brown, it’s probably the anode rod needs to be replaced or you have corrosion in your tank.

Low water pressure

Have a plumber (or us) check your pipes. Sediment or leaks in the lines are the likely issue.

Leaks

Check all connections and water exchange pipes. Tighten if loose. Check valves. Turn off the gas or electricity in your house then open and close the A and P valve. A properly working valve will release water when open.

Temperature

Check your breaker and thermostat. If both are fine, it may be your heating element. Your breakers are probably located in your basement or storage room. Breakers can trip if you are using multiple appliances at once. Switch the one that is off back again and see if it solves the problem. Call us if it doesn’t work.

How to extend the lifespan of your water heater

There are some basic steps you can take to prolong the life of your water heater. It’s best to call a pro but before you do but, try these:

Maintenance flush

Hard water means sediment build up. Sediment blocks heating elements and make your hot water tank work harder. A once a year maintenance flush can help. Drain the water from your tank by shutting off the gas or electricity. Attach hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and direct it into a floor drain or bathtub through a colander. Turn on a hot water faucet and wait until the sediment is gone.

Drained completely? Close the drain valve and fill the tank a little with cold water. Do the whole process again until clear.

Anode rod

Anode rods attract minerals from water and hold on to them. Those minerals become the sediment. Anode rods have a lifespan though. Replacement every 3-5 years is a must.

There is usually a hex nut on the top of your tank, the rod will be directly attached to it.

If your rod has heavy deposits, it is time to replace it.

Following the above, simple steps can extend the life of your water heater and prevent any costly accidents.

Always call a professional water heater repair company. Technicians can help with any issues you have, no matter the size. Your water system is an integral part of your home, they can help you to make it last longer and save you money.

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Discover The Differences Between Smoke Curtains & Fire Curtains

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The protection and prevention of fire is something that everyone should take seriously. Although you hope it will never happen, house fires do happen and kill more than 50 Australians every year.

If you haven’t already thought about a fire occurring in your home then you should. This means taking the standard preventative measures. That includes purchasing and fitting a smoke alarm to every level of your home, having a fire extinguisher handy, and developing an escape plan.

It’s important that everyone in the house knows the escape plan and has practiced it, this can make a huge difference in the event of a fire. You should also note that electrical issues are one of the biggest causes of house fires, get them annually inspected to reduce the risk. 

Alongside the above measures, you should be considering smoke curtains, fire curtains, or both. 

Smoke Curtains

As the name suggests a quality set of smoke curtains helps to prevent smoke from getting to the rest of the house. They can also be used to channel smoke. 

In any fire smoke rises. When you have a house fire the smoke is trapped by the room so looks for another exit point, usually around the doors, if they are closed. It will then continue to rise, filling the upstairs of your house first. Inhaling smoke is dangerous and kills more people than the fire itself.

That’s the reason you have smoke alarms.

The smoke curtains can be used at home or in the business, they are generally built into or attached to the ceiling; In the event of smoke being detected the smoke curtain lowers, although it stays above head height. This traps the smoke, preventing it from getting elsewhere in the building. 

Ideally, the smoke curtains can be sued to direct the smoke to a designated exit route, helping to keep the coats clear for others to escape.

Fire Curtains

In contrast, the fire curtain blocks a space entirely. These are also fitted to the roof and drop down as soon as smoke or fire is detected. But, fire curtains go all the way to the floor, separating the area with the fire in from the rest of the building. 

Fire curtains are generally made to withstand the heat of the fire for three to four hours. This buys people time to get out safely and for the fire service to control or extinguish the blaze. It can save sections of a building but its main aim is to create a safe passage for people to get out through. That’s why fire curtains are often fitted on each side of an escape route, keeping the route clear and safe.

Fire curtains can usually withstand temperatures up to 1800° F, smoke curtains can only handle 1112° F as they are only dealing with smoke. Both are effective at helping you to get out of a burning building safely. But, they are best used in conjunction with smoke alarms

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Tips to Move on Budget

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Moving is a stressful process that requires a lot of work and time. Many people are stressed when moving, and this is why no one looks forward to moving. Moving is also expensive because you have to spend a lot of money on packing materials and hiring professional movers. On realizing they have to move; people start thinking about how much it will cost. The good news is you can move on a budget. You don’t have to spend a lot on this process. It would help if you found ways of saving money when moving. Below are some tips for moving on a budget.

Decluttering

The cost of moving is mostly determined by the number of items you need to move. You need to look for items you can get rid of. Many people spend a lot of money on moving items that they don’t use or need. Go through your stuff and note any items you have not used in the past year. If you have not used something for that long, there is a good chance you will not use it any time soon.

There are different ways of getting rid of items. The first is selling them; you can sell them online on Facebook Marketplace and eBay. Another option is having a garage sale. You can get a lot from selling these items, and you can even use the money for your move. If you cannot sell the items, consider donating them.

Go room by room and see which items you need and those you can live without. You will also save yourself a lot of time you would have used in packing those items. Another benefit of donating items is tax deductions.

Look for packing materials on the cheap

When moving, you cannot do without boxes, packing tape, and packing materials. The good news is you don’t have to spend a lot on packing materials. You can get boxes for free, and it will save you a lot of money. It is a good idea to start early because it gives you enough time to find packing materials for cheap or free. You can ask your friends and family whether they have moving boxes. Local bargain groups on social media platforms are great for scouting free boxes. Local and big-box stores are a good source of free boxes. 

You don’t have to use only the packing materials you have bought. There are things in your home you can use for packing. You can use towels to wrap around delicate and fragile items. Blankets, duvets, and pillows will provide a cushion for your items, and you will save a lot that you would have used for getting packing materials—pack smaller items in laundry baskets and suitcases. You can employ a lot of creativity in this area because you use items you already have in your home. You will end up saving a lot on packing materials.

Running the numbers on professional movers

Many people hire professional movers for long distance relocation because it removes the burden of moving, but it also costs a lot of money. It is vital to understand the costs if you want to cut down on your moving costs.

It would help if you compared movers when choosing the best option. Moving companies will give you a free quote. You should consider getting at least four quotes before you select the right option for you. Do not make the mistake of choosing the first option you come across.

You need to find out whether the mover charges per hour or based on your load. If you are moving over a short distance, it might be a good idea to choose hourly movers. When moving many items or long distances, it is better to pay a flat rate based on load. There are moving companies that offer freebies like boxes, tapes, or other moving materials.

Check your calendar

Another factor that has an impact on the cost of your move is when you schedule it. You can expect to pay 20-30% less when you move between October to April compared to the summer months. This is because movers are busy since most people move during the summer. The time of the month you move will affect how much you pay for hiring long distance movers or renting a truck.

You can get cheaper rates mid-month because rental leases roll over at the end of the month. This is when movers usually have fewer reservations, which is why they offer their services at a cheaper rate than the end month. Weekend rates are higher compared to weekdays.

Starting early will give you the freedom to choose a moving date with the best rates. This is why you should get started with the process as soon as you know about your move.

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Dreaming of Unusual Houses

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In 1999, the producers of an unscripted TV series called House Hunters had the idea that people like to look at houses. Over 20 years later, it turns out they were really onto something. Sure, we like the human drama of somebody trying to pick a place that meets their needs, but we also like to imagine what our lives would be like if we were the ones moving. 

Bloggers have theorized that our love for looking at houses springs from the following:

  • Curiosity: It killed the cat, sure. Or at least, that's what we were told. But we like to see how other people live, what other houses look like, and so on.
  • Vindication: One blogger called it the “need to feel better about our own houses.” Why? We may never have the chance to live in our dream home. But seeing other houses can help us better appreciate our own.
  • Decorating and landscaping ideas: Looking at photos and videos of other people’s homes can often inspire us to do something a little different with our own.
  • Ideas for home sellers: One of the most common real estate tips for sellers is to stage your home. This doesn’t always mean getting rid of all of your stuff and bringing in rented furniture. It can be as simple as trimming your lawn, cleaning your gutters, and putting a wreath on your door. Watching a reality show in which potential homebuyers view properties can help you get a feel for what looks good to buyers and what doesn’t.
  • Ideas for homebuyers: Buying a home isn’t something that happens to most of us very often in our lives. The process can intimidate us, but it may help to watch other people do it on TV. Perhaps shows like House Hunters give us a realistic look at home shopping; sometimes, the exact house we want simply doesn’t exist. 
  • The need to dream: Sometimes, it's important to have dreams, and one of those dreams is to live in a different house than we do now. Maybe you dream of a mid-century modern oceanfront home in Malibu. Or maybe your idea of paradise is a cabin in the woods. Dream, dream, dream away.

Occasionally we like to look at celebrity homes. We wonder: How do millionaires and billionaires live? But other times we like to look at strange, unusual, eccentric homes. It stirs something in our imagination. To that end, here are a few of the most interesting homes listed on the market from around the internet.

Enter the Mushroom House – Pittsford, New York

Perhaps the most interesting home of all is something called The Mushroom House. It has captured the imagination of vicarious-living-seeking onlookers since the 1970s. It seems that every few years it gets new attention from the press.

The Mushroom House is an elevated pod-style home that looks, frankly, as though visitors from outer space landed in the woods and decided to build a house. But in the best way possible. 

It's part spaceship, part yurt, and part sculpture, and it’s located near park land, complete with streams and waterfalls. The house was designed in 1969 (duh) by a local architect, who conceptualized it from a stem of Queen Anne’s Lace. The original owner wanted a space that provided artistic harmony with nature, and you have to admit that she got it. 

Located in the greater Rochester area, the Mushroom House has been called “hobbit-esque,” a “rare and premier art icon home,” “retro-modern,” an example of “organic modernism,” “that ’70s house,” and “far out and groovy.” In 2017, it was listed on the rental market for $6,900 a month. 

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Everything You Should Know About Shower Doors Before Buying

When looking for additional accessories to improve your bathroom or for remodeling, one of the things that come to mind is to create a closure for your shower space or an enclosure. 

A shower curtain may come to mind or may be what you have presently. However, upgrading the shower glass door may be all your bathroom needs. Shower glass doors can instantly transform your bathroom from its natural look to a modern one that has that wow and elegant look.

Before adding shower glass doors to your bathrooms, let’s take a look at some of the top reasons why you should have one.

EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SHOWERS DOORS BEFORE BUYING_rc2315 - Google Docs

Important Reasons To Add A Shower Door

Privacy

  • Privacy:
    In a home where multiple individuals are using a bathroom, privacy is essential. Installing a shower door will ensure you get the privacy you need even while someone else is in the bathroom.
    There is a misconception that this is not possible with shower glass doors as all doors are transparent. This is not true, as numerous glass styles abound that can be installed as shower glass doors, and one of them is frosted glass.
    The frosted glass gives you the privacy you need as it blurs out object reflections without cutting out light and light reflections.

    Minimalist
  • Elegant & Minimalist Décor:
    A dedicated shower area with a shower glass door or shower enclosure with a shower door may be all you need to create that look of elegance in your bathroom. For minimalism, shower glass doors ensure you are only working on the essentials that you need in a shower space.
    Glass is a material that instantly transforms any space in which it is incorporated. A shower glass door does precisely the same. The look of your bathroom will be upgraded from the regular and everyday look to a modern and elegant one.

    Spa
  • Spa-Like Feel:
    Have you been longing to go to the spa, but there is no time? Or you just want to recreate the relaxing and calm feeling that comes with going to the spa in your bathroom? One of the key things to getting a spa-like feel at home is to have a dedicated shower space with a shower glass door.
    A shower glass door allows you to spend as much time as you want in the shower without getting disturbed, which is essential to achieving that calm and relaxing feel. Apart from that, a dedicated shower area with a shower glass door affords you the liberty to customize your shower area to reflect a calm, relaxing, and warm spa-like environment.

    Maintenance
  • Easy Maintenance:
    You must have come across the general notion that glass as a material used in interior decoration is challenging to keep clean and maintain. This is not at all true. Compared to other décor materials, glass is durable and does not cost a fortune to keep it looking good and in top shape.
    Cleaning occasionally with a glass cleaner or homemade cleaning solution and a squeegee or lint-free cloth is enough to keep your shower door shining and as good as new. Other materials will require so much more to maintain.
    Besides the above, glass is a versatile material that does not show visible signs of age, wear, and tear. In years to come, the glass will still probably look the same way as it looked when it was installed when cleaned and maintained regularly.

What Makes Choosing A Shower Door More Attractive?

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A shower glass door is an attractive addition to your bathroom with diverse customization options.

The first point of customization for shower doors is how the door will be installed. Shower glass doors can be installed as the following:

  • Framed shower glass door: These shower door types feature tempered glass panels and supporting frames. The supporting structures are, most of the time, made of aluminum. The aluminum can also be customized with powder coating to attain different colors. 
  • Frameless shower glass door: Frameless shower doors do not have supporting frames and, as a result, feature thicker tempered glass panels. The glass panes are connected and fitted together with hinges, clips, and brackets. They also feature rubber sweeps at the bottom to prevent water from leaking out of the shower enclosure.

Besides the installation style, which may be framed or frameless, there are diverse glass types to use in your shower glass doors. Whether your shower glass door will be installed as a framed or frameless design, you can have the following glass types incorporated into your door designs.

Frosted

  • Frosted glass
  • Patterned glass
  • Etched glass
  • Bronzed glass
  • Transparent/Clear glass

What Luxury Design Options are Available?

Shower glass doors can be installed in a variety of designs and styles. Some of them include the following.

Sliding

  • Sliding Shower Glass Doors:
    These are popularly referred to as bypass doors. It is installed with two or more glass panels on a track. The track allows the glass panels to slide along the defined pathway. Some models may use mechanical rollers to let the glass panels slide easily.

    This makes it easier to slide the door open and close.

    Corner
  • Corner Shower:
    A creative way to make use of shower glass doors is to install them as a corner shower. This means the doors are installed in a dedicated corner of the bathroom to create a dedicated shower space.

    These are usually installed as hinge doors, and they will transform the look of your bathroom from a regular one to an elegant one.

    Screen fixed

  • Fixed Shower Screen:
    Fixed shower screens are shower door designs installed as single or double glass panels that are immovable. The glass acts as a cover and provides privacy. The glass can also be of different glass types, but the doors will remain fixed to a position and immobile.

    Neo
  • Neo Angle Showers:
    Neo-Angle shower doors are installed at the points where two walls meet in a bathroom. They are round doors that give the shape of a cone after installation.

    Neo-Angle shower doors create a dedicated shower area in your bathroom and perform the functions of a shower enclosure. They are commonly used with stand-alone corner showers. As a result of the curved shape of neo-angle shower glass doors, they usually make the bathroom significantly bigger than its original size.

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Is It Safe to Power Wash Composite Decking?

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When you invest in high-quality composite decking, you want to be confident that it’s going to maintain its good looks for years to come. Most composite decking is very low-maintenance and won’t need sanding, staining or sealing like conventional hardwood decking. 

That being said, composite decking, like all garden features, can get dirty over time. If you find that your composite decking has gathered too much dirt to be simply wiped clean, then you might be thinking about getting your power washer out. But is it safe to power wash your decking? 

The short answer, yes! It is safe to power wash your decking as long as you follow the steps outlined below. 

First, make sure any loose leaves dirt and debris is removed from the surface of your decking using a broom. Once the surface of the composite decking is exposed, you can use your power washer and an appropriate cleaning product get the whole deck nice and soapy. You should see the dirt lifting away in front of your eyes! 

The maximum pressure of the power washer should be 1500 psi. Any higher than this and you could risk damaging your boards.

If you’re unsure which way you should clean the boards, we’d recommend looking at the grain of the boards and spraying it in that direction. This will help to loosen any dirt that’s become stuck in the wood grooves too.

Once the decking looks clean, use clean water to wash away any excess soap. Then, all you need to do is let your decking dry in the sun and it’ll look good as new.

Routine cleaning of composite decking

You’ll be pleased to hear that if you’ve invested in high-quality composite decking, it won’t need power washing very regularly. In fact, it might only need power washing every one or two years. 

Your standard composite decking cleaning routine will be much simpler. If you notice some surface dirt on your composite decking, a wet, soapy cloth should do the job. The polymer coating on the outside of the boards helps to protect it from stains, so you’ll never need to worry about permanent discolouration. 

Composite decking is ideal for busy family gardens because it can be cleaned down in no time at all! Muddy footprints, sand from the beach and even the occasionally doggy ‘do-do’ can be quickly removed from the surface of your decking leaving no trace behind. Sounds good right?

If you’re planning a garden renovation in 2021, we’d highly recommend taking a look at composite decking. It ticks a lot of boxes for a lot of homeowners.

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5 Ways to Freshen Up Your Home Décor

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Do you want to make your home look fresh and modern? Perhaps you’ve had the same décor for the last decade and you’re ready for a change. There are homeowners up and down the country that are looking for ways to give their home a clean and modern finish. Read on if you want to freshen up your home décor.

Address the walls

One thing in your home that can make the place look very dated is the colour and style of the walls. Big, garish wallpaper prints, bold colours and a lack of coherence between walls and furniture can make your home appear cluttered and poorly thought out. 

Stripping old wallpaper, re-plastering walls and giving the place a nice lick of neutral or white paint will instantly make your home feel cleaner and more modern. If you want to customise your home and give the walls a modern twist, why not hang some interesting art pieces on your freshly painted walls. These can be moved or replaced over time as your personal taste changes.

Increase open spaces

There are few people in this world that find dark, cramped spaces appealing. If you want to let light and air into your home, you could consider knocking down unnecessary walls to create a more open-plan design. 

It is, of course, important that you speak to an architect or chartered surveyor to make sure the walls you want to remove aren’t integral to the structure of the building. One false move and you could find yourself bulldozing a wall that supports the roof of your home! 

That being said, if you can open up the space in a safe and considered manner then you can give your home a highly-impactful new look. Turning two rooms, like your kitchen and dining room, into one bigger kitchen-diner will make it much easier to entertain guests and will give the illusion of a bigger home.

Modern floors

Take a look around, is your old, stained carpet creating a real eye-sore throughout your home? Perhaps it’s time to switch to a more modern flooring option. We’ve seen a lot of homeowners installing porcelain paving inside their homes to create contemporary, low-maintenance designs. 

By upgrading your old carpet for a more modern, tiled floor, you can make your home look effortlessly chic while also benefitting from all of the great features that porcelain has to offer. Porcelain pavers are stain-resistant, easy to wipe clean and a great investment for the future.

Out with the old, in with the new

People love to hold on to things for years and years and years. Because of this, clutter starts to appear all around the house, making it impossible to see a way to freshen up the décor. Our advice, give your home a major declutter. Get rid of things that no longer make you happy to make space for new things. 

Where you can, donate your old items to charity or sell them on. This will make it easier to let go of things because you know they’ll be going to a new home where they can make someone else happy. By clearing out the old and making room for the new, you give yourself space to explore your creativity.

Reduce, reuse, upcycle

If you’re not quite ready to get rid of all your old possessions, why not upcycle them. Old bits of furniture can be sanded and re-painted or varnished to give them a new lease of life. Pinterest is a great source of craft and design inspiration if you want to reduce your waste by upcycling your belongings. 

Sanding down an old coffee table and giving it a lovely new varnish, for example, can instantly transform the way it looks in your living room. This way of freshening up your décor is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to refresh your home décor.

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5 Benefits of Composite Decking

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The popularity of composite decking has grown exponentially over the past decade or so. Composite deck boards—once considered inferior to traditional hardwood decking—can now be found in gardens of all shapes and sizes, all over the country.

The main difference between composite and hardwood decking is that the latter is made of solid wood, whereas composite decking combines real wood fibres with synthetic materials. This type of product is also known as wood-plastic composite (WPC) decking.

If you’re thinking of building a deck in your back garden, here are 5 reasons to choose composite decking over hardwood decking materials…

1. LESS MAINTENANCE REQUIRED

The most oft-trumpeted benefit of composite decking is how little maintenance it requires. Traditional wooden decks typically need to be treated every year or so, whereas a good-quality composite deck will only need an occasional clean.

2. NO SPLINTERS

Composite decking is less susceptible to cracking and splintering than its solid wood counterpart. This means that composite decks are safer to walk on barefoot, and if you have children, they’re less likely to suffer a splinter when playing outdoors.

3. MORE RESISTANT TO ROT

Composite deck boards generally do a lot better than wooden boards when it comes to resisting rot, mould and mildew. If these are big concerns for you, WPC decking may help to put your mind at ease.

4. DRIES QUICKER

When it rains, wooden decking absorbs quite a lot of water, and as a result, the boards take a while to dry. Composite deck boards are less absorbent, so they dry more quickly, reducing the risk of algae growth.

5. MORE COLOURS TO CHOOSE FROM

If you’re not a big fan of the natural wood look, you’ll be pleased to learn that composite decking comes in a variety of different colours, including contemporary greys and blacks that are perfect for more modern outdoor spaces.

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What’s the Difference Between Garden Rooms & Conservatories?

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There are many different structures that you can build in your garden, adjoining your home. Each one has its own name, but these words are often used interchangeably; for example, a conservatory, a sunroom and an orangery may all look exactly the same in your mind’s eye.

So is there any real difference between a conservatory and, say, a garden room? A lot of people have been adding ‘garden rooms’ to their properties lately — even more so since the coronavirus pandemic started forcing us to spend a lot more time at home — but is this just a trendy new name for a conservatory? Or does it mean something else?

Naturally, you’ll get different answers from different people, but the general consensus is that garden rooms aren’t the same thing as conservatories. Here are some of the key differences that you should consider before deciding which to add to your house:

Conservatories and garden rooms are constructed differently.

Most conservatories have a brick base. The windows and roof are made of glass or polycarbonate.

A garden room is simpler and more modern in its construction: there is no brick base, just glass from top to bottom. The garden room’s frame is usually made of high-strength aluminium.

This means that, of the two…

Conservatories take longer to build.

Garden rooms are quicker and easier to construct than conservatories. An experienced installer can often finish a new garden room in just a few days.

A traditional conservatory, on the other hand, commonly requires several weeks of labour.

You should also take into account that…

Garden rooms usually don’t require planning permission.

This isn’t universally true — a garden room may require planning permission if it is especially large or if the property is in a conservation area or holds listed status.

However, approximately nine times out of ten, a garden room can be constructed without applying for planning permission. There are some circumstances in which a conservatory may not require planning permission either, but this is less common.

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Tackle Your Home Repair Tasks Before Moving In

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Moving to a new home can be a fascinating notion. We are sure you have many ideas in mind on how to organize and decorate it. However, before you start moving and placing the furniture, you must check if you need to make some repair arrangements. Try to ensure that everything is safe and works properly. Otherwise, you may start living in it with everything ready and instantly face repair works to do. 

Some of the tasks of relocation require professional hands. For instance, the most populated states in the USA witness moving trucks every day. Plumbers, roof maintenance specialists, lock makers, and other experts tend to create a mess-free moving experience. We will show you the most typical and essential home repairs to carry out before changing your home.

RENEW THE LOCK SYSTEM

We can never know how many people have a copy of the keys to the house where we will live. When a home gets listed for sale, the real estate agent, the maintenance and cleaning workers, or even a neighbor could also have a key. In this case, it is best to change the lock. If the house has an alarm system, we recommend changing the code.

CHECK FOR MOISTURE SPOTS

If you find yellow circles on a plaster wall, you must fix them before moving in. Any type of repair will always be easier to do if there is no clutter in your new living space.

FIND THE SHUTOFF VALVES 

You have packed the boxes, called in NYC Movers to relocate the belongings, but you discover that the plumbing installation in your new home has a fault. When you opened a tap, a leak got encountered. Therefore, it is essential to know where the stopcock is to close it immediately. It will save you hours of work and prevent flooding in your new house. If you can't find it for whatever reason, call a plumber so they can help you.

LOCATE THE LIGHTBOX

If there is an electrical installation, you must turn off the running lightbox. Put labels on the switches to determine which one is the general and which ones are the rest.

CLEAN CARPETS THOROUGHLY

You may get a furnished house with rugs or carpeting. Even if the previous owners did not have pets, it is worth hiring a professional capable of deep cleaning with steam machines. Only then will you make sure you kill germs and dust mites. You never know when they cleaned your rugs, so take advantage of it when the house is empty.

CHANGE THE FILTERS OF THE HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEMS

An old and dirty filter can cause severe damage to the air conditioner due to overheating. A completely new system can cost between $800 to $1200. Also, it is good to have a review every six months to avoid further damage.

TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PAINT THE WALLS OF YOUR HOME

Painting the house before the move will avoid all the hassle of removing and safeguarding furniture and others. It will also give you time to ventilate it before living in it. You will have the opportunity to do some tests and see if you like the result without having to paint in a hurry.

Another exciting option can be that of wallpaper: it is easy to put on. It will change the look of the room entirely.

INSTALL STORAGE SYSTEMS

Moving is when we discover the number of things that accumulated over the years. It would not hurt if you installed drawers, shelves, and hanging bars before moving. It will enable you to unpack and organize all the things from the first moment.

Whether you are moving in following a purchase or a rental, we strongly advise you to carry out your repair work in advance! Because yes, we often tend to postpone small finishing work until the next day. If you want to move in peacefully, it's in your interest to change the floor covering and paint before putting your furniture. You will appreciate and admire the whole idea of moving in. It will also be a financial investment that you will no longer have to pay afterward! Likewise, it is better to thoroughly clean the place before entering them (interior of cupboards, kitchen worktop, taps, etc.). It will allow you to enjoy your new home instantly. Even if the boxes collect a little dust, you will have to sweep or vacuum to settle in!

CONCLUSION

That's it! You'll finish unpacking the boxes and gradually settle into your new home. With everything in place, you can already enjoy your home sweet home. Between the boxes, the paperwork, the daily newspaper, the excitement, and anxieties, you often forget about the repairs. To help you in this crucial step, we prepared this list of repairs for a seamless move.

partnered post • image by Michal Jarmoluk


Why Your Attic Is So Hot & What You Can Do About It

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Ever wondered why your attic can get so much hotter than the rest of your house? The ever changing climate has allowed for temperatures in many places to spike up to 100° F, and your home, most especially your attic, cannot be spared from this. But fret not, because with the right materials, cooling down your attic only takes a little handiwork.

In properly designed attics, ideally, air would freely flow from inside to outside of the house, allowing the room to cool down and achieve a temperature that’s close to the outside environment. So when it’s cold outside, you’d expect your attic to also be cold. But because of the lack of insulation, your attic builds up heat more easily than the rest of your house because it directly receives heat from the sun. Your attic gains heat at a rate that’s much faster than it can allow hot air to escape. This is one of the major reasons your attic can feel so hot. Read on to know more about why your attic is hot and what you can do to cool it down.

Poor Insulation

Poor insulation is one of the most common culprits for excessively hot temperatures inside the house. If your attic is unbearably hot and feels dry, then you might want to check your existing insulation. Is it still doing its job or do you already need to replace it?

The R-value of an insulation represents its ability to resist the conductive flow of heat. If you’re looking to improve the insulation in your attic, the US Department of Energy actually recommends an R30 insulation or better in Zones 1 to 3 where it can be really hot especially during summer. Installing the appropriate insulation with an adequate R-value will significantly improve the temperature of your attic.

Fiberglass or mineral wool batt insulation is one of the most common insulation solutions used in attics. It has two main types – faced and unfaced, and they only differ in that faced insulation has the ability to control the movement of moisture into your living space. If you’re installing faced insulation on your roof, remember that the paper or plastic facing must face downward toward the heated attic space. If the facing is positioned upward instead, your batt insulation will be a potential reservoir for moisture, which can damage your roof or walls in the long run.

Insulation products with radiant barriers, on the other hand, are made of materials that reflect direct radiant heat from the sun instead of letting it through. These insulation solutions are especially useful during summer, as they help reduce heat gain from sunlight and improve the overall comfort of your attic.

Poor Ventilation

Another problem that might be causing your attic to build up heat is poor ventilation. While many people would not consider attics to be a living space, it’s still important to keep it well-ventilated to prevent the heat from getting trapped in your house. This includes ensuring a good and constant airflow in and out of the attic.

There are a number of ways by which you can provide better ventilation for your attic. Windows are a great option. Not only do they keep your attic cool, but they can also level up the look of your space and provide natural lighting. Your windows should be large enough to bring in enough air.

Another good add-on to enhance your attic ventilation would be vents. There are many varieties of vents that can help keep your attic cool, one of which is called exhaust vents. These are vents that are typically attached on the rooftop and come in three different models: ridge, static, and powered exhaust vents. They help remove excess heat (and even moisture) from your attic to make the air inside it cooler and more breathable.

Another kind of vent is the intake vent, also called the soffit vent, which is usually placed at the underside of the roof of your attic and is covered with a metal screen. These vents are designed to push out hot air trapped inside your attic as well as pull in cool air from outside. Most intake vents are small, which is why they are commonly missed during cleaning and maintenance. As a consequence, they can accumulate dust overtime, which impacts their performance. If you’re looking to add intake vents to your attic, make sure their size is proportionate to the size of your attic. This way, intake vents can greatly enhance the ventilation and breathability of your space.

Mechanical fans can also help improve passive ventilation in your attic. These fans are usually used to exhaust hot air out of rooms and exchange it with cool, outside air. If you’re planning to add mechanical fans in your attic, it’s important to remember to also have adequate incoming air vents around your roof to avoid creating negative pressure inside the attic. If this happens, the conditioned air will only just flow back out of your room.

Hot attics are one of the most common problems experienced by homeowners. There are several reasons as to why temperatures inside attics can reach scorching hot levels, but the main culprits are usually poor insulation and poor ventilation. If you’re looking to improve the level of comfort within your attic,  consider improving on these two important aspects of home design.

partnered post • cc-licensed photo by Lynn Friedman


How important is a comprehensive pipeline inspection?

Pipes

There are hundreds of thousands of miles of pipes laid across the country. They carry water, gas, oil, and a variety of other substances between homes and businesses. 

These pipes live in harsh conditions. Even if they are buried in the ground they are subject to temperature changes, exterior pressure, and chemical contaminants. Any leak or even a crack in these pipes can cause a major disaster. Depending on what the pipe is carrying it can deprive homes of essential utilities for days. Or, it can result in a chemical spill that is hazardous to people and the environment.

This is why the pipes need to be comprehensively inspected on a regular basis. Unfortunately, when the pipes are in constant use this can be difficult. Fortunately, dye penetrant testing can be used to inspect the pipes without disrupting or interfering with their use.

Magnetic dye penetrant inspection involves using wet magnetic particles. These flow over the pipe with the aid of a magnetic. At the same time, a UV light is used to inspect the pipe, highlighting cracks, chips, and other potential surface issues.

These readings can be used to determine if there is a break in the pipe or likely to be one soon.

Unfortunately, sometimes a sewer pipe is so badly damaged that no trenchless sewer repair is available. Pipes that are back-pitched, meaning the original contractors failed to use the right slope for your sewer line to your city connection, cannot also be fixed using trenchless methods. If this is the case, you will need to think of using conventional sewer repair methods.

The Importance of Comprehensive Testing

Visually inspecting pipes has its place but this in-depth testing technique is important. The key benefit is the early observation of potential issues. These can be flagged to be monitored closely or they can lead to repairs being conducted before the issue becomes an actual problem.

When you’re dealing with hazardous items, such as oil, a spill can have seriously detrimental effects on the surrounding environment. Undertaking these comprehensive inspections doesn’t just tell the world you’re doing your bit to protect the environment, it allows you to actually protect the environment.

These inspections can also highlight the overall condition of your pipework. While small areas can be defective for a number of reasons if you notice issues in many sections of the pipework you’ll need to investigate further.

It can be that the pipes are simply old and need to be replaced. But, there are other factors that can influence the pipe deterioration rate. You need to be aware of what these are and how they may affect all your pipework. 

The good news is that a dedicated team of people can conduct a comprehensive inspection for you, without disrupting your daily operations. 

One of the most common pipe issues isn’t sinister, it is simply nature. Water, oxygen, and metal pipes mix to create rust. When the rust builds up enough a hole, or crack will form in the pipe. Magnetic dye penetrant testing can spot these issues before they are visible to the human eye. This allows you to protect your existing pipes without the need to replace them.

That’s not just good for the environment, it's beneficial for your bottom line. As a business that is just as important as complying with regulations and saving the environment.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Sten Dueland


Top Tips For Fixing Kitchen, Bathroom, and Basement Drains

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The drains are an essential part of any home but they are often ignored, even when it comes to routine maintenance. Unfortunately, failing to pay them attention does increase the likelihood of them failing, resulting in wastewater and other items being unable to leave your home. 

It’s surprising how quickly this becomes an issue. If your water isn’t draining then anything entering the drains will stay there and ultimately overflow into your home. When you get sewage in your home it is hazardous to your health, stinks, and everything it’s touched will need to be thrown away.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to maintain the drains and prevent the issue. The most important of these is to inspect them annually. You can do this by investing in a drain camera. It’s inserted into the drains and gives you a picture of the inside. 

You’ll be able to spot any areas where waste is building up on the sides of the pipes. This, if left, will result in clogs and issues for you.

Eliminating the Drain Issue

If you already have an issue with your drain then the sewer camera can help you to locate it. Even when your drains are backed up and full of wastewater, you can send the camera along the pipes to find the issue.

Your next course of action will depend on where the clog is because this is almost always the issue with drains not draining.

A clog under an appliance can be broken up with a drain auger, or you may wish to use a chemical drain cleaner. This can erode the blockage and solve the issue. 

In fact, you can even put baking soda down the drain and add a little vinegar. The two compounds react viciously to each other and will effectively pressurize the clog, forcing it to break up. 

But, if the problem is further down the line, in the main sewer pipe it is better to find the first inspection hatch and take a look.

If it’s full the clog s further down the line, if it’s dry and empty the clog is before it. This tells you which direction to insert the camera to check the issue. You can then slide drain rods into the sewer pipe and attempt to break-up the clog.

Drain rods screw together, they are strong and flexible with a corkscrew-style attachment on the end. This can be twisted at the point of the clog to remove it and allow the wastewater to flow away again.

However, when unclogging any drain, particularly a sewer pipe, you should never stand above the drain. As the clog moves it can create a back pressure which will push the sewage out of the drain. If you’re standing over it you’ll get covered!

Should you be struggling with the clog it is always worth getting a professional in t help. They have the tools and experience to deal with the issue quickly and effectively.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Evandro Felippe


5 Common Kitchen Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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Many homeowners regard the kitchen as the heart of the home. If you love cooking for yourself and others, the right kitchen layout can provide all the space you need to perfect your culinary skills. When it comes to designing a kitchen, some homeowners make several errors that come back to bite them later down the line. With the high cost involved in a kitchen renovation, you need to make sure that every penny counts.

For things to run smoothly, here are five common kitchen design mistakes and what you can do to avoid them from happening to you.

Miscalculating Storage

One of the first steps you must take when designing a kitchen is to organise your storage arrangement. Whether you love to create tasty meals, or prefer to put things in the microwave, you need lots of space to function in your kitchen. If you miscalculate your storage space, your kitchen could end up looking cramped and be a bit of a nightmare to cook in.

Going Over Budget

While it may be obvious, many homeowners make the mistake of not having a realistic budget in place before designing their kitchen. With your blood, sweat, and tears pouring into the project, the last thing you want is to be saddled with a mountain of debt once your kitchen is complete. From the beginning, make sure you create an inventory list that includes both contents and furniture. You must plan accordingly and be realistic with what you can afford to spend. There are lots of tips that can help you create and stick to a budget.

Lack of Lighting

One of the key elements that will enhance your kitchen space is good lighting. Whether you want to elevate your countertop areas, or set the mood for your dining area, the choice of lighting you pick will make a huge difference. If you neglect your lighting, your kitchen may appear dark and gloomy, which can give off the wrong impression. You should also bring in plenty of natural light – not only is this good for function, but it can also provide tons of health benefits for your mental and physical wellbeing.

Neglecting Ventilation

While kitchen ventilation isn’t known for being glamorous, it is still something that mustn’t be overlooked. Cooked food can leave lingering smells that spread through your home, which can affect the atmosphere of each room. You must invest in a good ventilation system that is excellent at circulating air and catching and eliminating impurities.

Not Asking for Help

Some homeowners believe that they have the necessary tools and experience to complete a kitchen renovation alone. However, as one of the heftiest home improvement projects you can undertake, you may want to leave your kitchen design to experts like Hunter Hall Design. This company is based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and has many years of experience in designing dream kitchens. The team is incredibly skilful at what they do.

Whether you’ve just moved into a new property, or your existing home requires a revamp, renovating your kitchen can be a great way to create more space, increase the value of your property, and help you feel happier and more content in your home.

partnered post • image by Alessandro Altieri


Top 5 Things to Look for When You Are House Hunting

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Buying a house is an exciting experience. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for your first home or are simply moving on and up. The experience is the same. You’ll need to spend time considering what you want from your home and planning all the details of the move to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

However, before you commit to purchasing a home there are 5 things you should be looking at carefully.

  • Your Requirements

If you’re buying a home you need to consider what you actually need. There are some great properties on the market but should you be purchasing a 4-bed if you only need a 2-bed. Part of this will depend on your budget and your plans while in the house 

If you’re thinking about starting a family the extra space will be useful. But, you need to remember that a larger house equates to larger bills. It’s a balancing act.

  • Budget

An essential part of purchasing a home is setting your budget and then, once it’s established, not going over it. It can be very tempting to stretch it. But, if you’ve set your budget properly you can comfortably afford the house and any repairs while still enjoying your quality of life. 

It’s best to speak to a financial advisor before you define your budget.

  • The Neighborhood

It’s incredibly important to check out the neighborhood. This means asking around, especially with family and friends to see if they’ve heard anything about the area. You should also look at the local news reports, you can check back on the internet to see if there is a high level of crime or any other issues in the area.

Finally, it’s worth driving around the area at different times of the day and night. You want to be sure that you’ll feel safe and that it has all the facilities you need. 

  • Building Report

Now that you’re fairly sure you’re purchasing the house you need to get the help of a reputable to highlight building consultant Sydney. They will conduct a survey of the house for you. Their job is issues, such as structural cracks, subsidence, dampness, electrical problems, and even pest issues. Speak to the company to confirm what they will check.

It’s an important step as you never know what a house may be hiding. Solving the issues can be expensive, if you know beforehand you’ll be able to negotiate the price and you’ll be ready for the problems.

  • Local projects

Finally, as part of the purchasing process, you should be made aware of any projects that are happening in the area. Some can be good and are likely to increase the value of your property. But, if they are planning on demolishing half the houses for a railway line that’s not going to improve the quality of life or the value of your home!

It’s important to verify any upcoming projects to make sure you are buying the right home. 

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Marco Verch


Afraid of Deadly Germs & Microbes? Quick Cleaning Hacks to Stay Safe

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Living in a clean home is one of the most crucial ways to maintain your physical and mental health. Chances are you aren’t going to be the happiest and most productive version of yourself if you are living in a messy house. The dust lingers on for weeks, clothes are all over the place, and you haven’t done the dishes. In isolation, these issues might not seem like a huge deal, but in reality, these things become a problem when they occur altogether.

We understand that there can be several reasons why your house can be messy, but that doesn’t mean that you leave it that way. Ensuring that your place is comfortable, neat, and tidy are essential functions that we need to maintain as adults. If you are self-aware that you live in a chaotic environment and want to change, this article is for you. Moreover, with the prevalence of the pandemic, deadly germs and microbes need to be avoided at all costs. 

Here are a few quick cleaning hacks to stay safe:

Call junk removal experts

If excess debris is lying around the house and needs removing, consider calling junk removal experts. They are especially helpful if you have moved into a new home in Philadelphia. Usually, the former tenants left a bunch of junk behind. It's too much to throw in the trash, so what do you do? It's simple, you call for junk removal in Philadelphia and have them get rid of all the unwanted debris.

The team will help take care of the junk in your house and aid you in the cleaning process. Once all the stuff is out of the way, you can focus on what is important and get down to dusting and disinfecting.

Vinegar works wonders

You might not think so, but vinegar is a fantastic cleaning agent. It is useful to shine steel appliances, clean out stains, and get rid of certain kinds of smells. We recommend that you add vinegar into your arsenal in the battle against germs and microbes in your house. If you have a cat usually messes up in the house, vinegar is a known suppressor of cat urine smell. Add it to a spray bottle with equal parts of water and watch how it cleans dirt as good as any other cleaning chemical. The only downside is that vinegar has a pungent smell of its own.

Add pesticides to your mop

If you have made some water with fresh cleaning agents to help clean and shine the floors, consider adding a capful of pesticide to the water. Once you mop the floors, you are spreading the bug killer throughout the house. Adding pesticides is a hack that few people consider. It goes a long way in cleaning the house and ensuring that bugs and other creepy crawlies don't linger around too long.

Nobody wants insects in their home. Moreover, insects like cockroaches bring a range of germs and bacteria with them. Keep them at bay with this simple hack!

Don’t use too many chemicals

Your first instinct to kill germs might be to use as many cleaning agents as you can when cleaning around the house. Chemicals might not always be the best idea. Not only can the chemicals stain your floors and furniture, but it can also be bad for your health!

Strong chemicals can irritate your throat, and in extreme cases, pungent odors can damage your olfactory bulb! Therefore, you might want to consider dialing it back a bit regarding chemicals and other cleaning agents. Using alternatives from around the kitchen, such as baking soda, vinegar, and citric acid, can be great alternatives.

Use scalding hot water

In the fight against germs and bacteria, nothing works better than hot water. Mind you; we mean hot water, not warm. Warm water might even promote bacterial growth; hot water can kill most bacteria and help in the cleaning processes.

Hot water is also known to help dislodge sticky substances, which might have been tough to remove with regular water.

Conclusion

Though some of these quick cleaning tips seem relatively straightforward, you might notice that the majority of people are unaware of them. We rely so heavily on old school cleaning methods passed down through the generations that we fail to adopt modern ones.

Consider a combination of some of the cleaning hacks which we have mentioned here. Not only will they help keep the house clean, but they are considerably more eco-friendly and could help save you a bit of money in the long run. Besides, you might have the cleaning solution ready in your home. You don't even have to go down to the local departmental store!

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Matilda Wormwood from Pexels


8 Smart Ways to Avoid Plumbing Disasters

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While the adage that says an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure applies to health and life in general, the same can be said to keep the plumbing system in excellent condition. Maintaining your sink drains, toilets, and pipes are always better than spending on usually costly emergency plumbing repairs.  

Here are ten smart ways to help prevent the inconvenience and tedious process of visits from a plumbing contractor:

1. Easy on the drop-in cleaners: 

Sure, using your bare hands in cleaning your toilet is not recommended, but relying on drop-in cleaners to take care of the bowl or tank may not be the best idea either. Several studies suggest that the chemicals in the in-tank bowl tablets will, in time, can potentially damage the flapper, flush valve, pipes, and other components.

While these solutions are convenient and simple for toilet cleaning, the product could damage your lavatory and system, resulting in high repair costs for property owners.  

Because of this, most toilet companies do not endorse, and some even warn that the use of drop-in cleaner tablets will invalidate the warranty.

2. Use strainers to your drain: 

Placing a strainer in your kitchen sink to catch large portions of food and other fragments is a simple yet effective way of avoiding clogs. Food items such as rice grains, coffee grounds, pasta, bread crumbs, and smears could congest your kitchen pipes. These items should be filtered and should be discarded in the waste or garbage bin.

3. Check hoses regularly: 

Rubber hoses, including the one from your washing machine, may get brittle and develop crack over time. If you noticed a lump, the hose is up for replacement before it totally ruptures. It is also recommended to inspect for leaks at least every six months because leaks are the main culprit in your utility bill's increase, can affect your appliance's operations and can cause mold in the long run.

Another way to avoid emergency plumbing repairs with just a little extra cost is by purchasing stainless steel in place of rubber made hoses.

4. Use pipes as intended: 

One of the most common mistakes committed by homeowners is using their pipes from their original purpose. Most of the time, pipes are installed adjacent to dryers and washers in basements, and owners often hang wet clothes and other items on the exposed lines.

Tubes are not intended to support heavier weight, and prolonged exposure from hanging wet clothes and other similar objects could cause it to detach or even burst.

5. Know what to flush: 

Toilets are designed only to take in human waste, and even the thinnest toilet papers are not meant to be flushed there. Other solid wastes such as sanitary pads, diapers, and paper towels should be disposed of appropriately since they can cause clogs in your drains. It is suggested that you place a trash bin in your restroom to prevent yourself from discarding items you don't want down the pipes.

6. Keep the heater on: 

Whenever you leave home during fall and throughout winter, let your heater running on low mode. The temperature drops at these seasons, and keeping the heat could help protect the pipes in your property from freezing. Such can also prevent your pipes from cracking when a sudden stream of water flows through it. While keeping your heater running will affect your bill, that is relatively lower than an emergency plumbing repair or pipe replacement.

7. Set up backwater and sump pump system: 

Another tip worth considering is investing in a backwater control valve and sump system. The backwater setup is practical, especially in spots that are susceptible to flooding, and this can help stop the mess from an overflowed sewer line from building up in your cellar.  

A sump pump system that gets rids of water accumulating water on your basement flooring should also be useful in the long term.

8. Prevent flood from happening: 

The first step to avoiding a flood situation is making sure that all of those in the household are aware of the main water valve’s location in unexpected situations. Such will help avoid or at least minimize flooding so your properties will be safe from further damage. It is also recommended that the valve be appropriately tagged and placed on an accessible spot.    

You may also want to inspect the gate valves of its washers' tear wear to ensure that it would properly work when you needed it to shut off. 

The tips discussed above may help keep your plumbing system working as it should be. It's better to be safe than spend more on emergency plumbing repairs, which can be stressful too. Most of the suggestions listed above are simple yet practical solutions, so you might want to give them a try today.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Sten Dueland


5 Warning Signs of Faulty Electrical Wiring in Your Home

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Electricity is something you rely on every day but probably don’t spend much time thinking about it. That is until you have an issue with it. Then you’ll need to quickly contact your local Sydney electrician and get the problem sorted. 

It’s important to note that electrical issues in the home are still one of the most common causes of house fires. You may be surprised to discover that over 50 people die every year from house fires. These are generally avoidable and even preventable. That’s why it's so important to have an annual electrical inspection and catch problems early.

Here are 5 signs that you have faulty wiring at home and need professional help:

1. Flickering Lights

Flickering lights are great when you’re creating a Halloween setting or even want a good house party. However, they are a sign that something is wrong with the electrical wiring. In most cases, flickering lights mean there is either a bad connection or the wiring is damaged. This is causing the power to spark across the wires and the light to flicker.

It’s important to get it seen to promptly. 

2. Tripping Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are designed to trip when there is a fault on the circuit. They work extremely fast and shut the power down, reducing the risk of an electrical fire. If the circuit breaker is regularly tripping you have an issue on the circuit that needs further investigation.

It could be that you’re overloading the circuit and the excess power draw is causing the breaker to trip. However, if plugging some items in elsewhere doesn’t help then you probably have a wiring issue.  

3. Burning Odors

Burning odors is perhaps the most obvious and concerning of the signs that you have an electrical wiring issue. The odor occurs because the cables are getting too hot; When this occurs the outer protective sheath will start to melt, creating the distance aroma. As the sheath melts the wires are capable of touching each other, causing short circuits, power outages, and fires. 

4. Discoloration of Sockets

Alongside the odor, it’s normal to find that sockets and light switches are becoming discolored. This is because the heat is damaging the plastic, discoloring it as it warms it. It can even cause it to change shape. 

If you see discoloration on your sockets it could be a bad connection into the socket, or it’s a wiring issue. You’ll need to avoid using that socket until a professional has assessed it.

5. Buzzing, Fizzing, or Electric Shocks

Any strange noise in your electrical system should be treated as a bad sign. Buzzing and fizzing is a sign that the electrical current is moving between wires or to another conductive object nearby. It suggests the protective sheath is damaged and needs prompt treatment. 

If the wires are sparking between them then it’s likely you’ll get a small electric shock when you operate the switch or plug something in. Act quickly – it’s likely to get worse.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Kevin Faccenda


The True Purpose of Air Filters in your HVAC System

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There’s a ton of content around the internet about air filters and HVAC systems. It seems like everyone recommends replacing the filter regularly, but the reasons for doing so are often varied. Some articles talk about benefits of different filters, different particle sizes that pass through, HEPA level filters, supposed air quality improvements around your home and other upgrades. But how much of that is true? Let’s break it down.

You Have One Filter for your AC and Furnace

Air conditioners and furnaces operate as one system together. The intake all passes through to one filter, so you don’t need to replace filters in multiple areas. It’s usually located right next to your blower motor in your furnace, so normally you will find it there. If you think it strange that your AC filter is by the furnace, just remember that the air conditioner and heater are a team.

Filters Protect the Equipment, Not Your Lungs

The truth is that your filter is there to protect your HVAC system, not your health. This makes sense – in most homes air is entering and exiting the home through a variety of other methods. When you open the door or leave a window open, fresh air is introduced into the home that does not pass through the HVAC system and therefore is not filtered by your HVAC filter.

What the filter does is prevent dust, dirt, debris and other particulates from hitting the sensitive components of your HVAC equipment. It does prevent more dust from being blown through your ductwork and dispersed through the house, but it’s not going to purify all the air in your home.

The exception to this might be doomsday bunkers or extremely airtight homes that intake most of the fresh air through the HVAC system, but in most cases, this is not how homes work today.

Upgrading the Filter May Damage Your Equipment

You may want to think twice before buying a HEPA filter for your system. When the coronavirus pandemic started, searches for HEPA filters and other indoor air quality products skyrocketed. It’s true these filters are what are used in hospitals, but your typical residential HVAC system does not have components designed to work with a HEPA filter. HEPA filters have tighter weaves, which means it catches tiny particles and keeps the air remarkably clean. Because the weave is tighter, the airflow is restricted. This means your blower motor and other components have to work harder to draw the correct amount of air through the system, leading to greater wear and tear over time.

The same effect occurs if you leave your filter alone too long and it collects too much dust and dirt. You may be looking at a furnace repair due to low airflow during a cold winter night, which normally requires a professional to fix.

Keep it Clean, Keep it Open

If you’re really concerned about air quality in the home, follow the EPA’s guidance on improved ventilation and source control. Although your HVAC system should remain protected by your filter, your lungs will benefit from opening a few windows and letting the outdoors in.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by HomeSpot


Tips and Tricks for Drywall Plastering

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Hanging drywall is often a more forgiving tradesman’s job that doesn't necessarily require a high degree of precision and compliance with national and local standards. While there is no 100% way of hanging drywall, you still have to get it right, and there are countless ways to realize this.

By following the right techniques and with some repeatability, you can almost transform this into something of an art form, according to Plasterer Central Coast. Every drywall installation tradie will develop their unique way of accomplishing this that will enable them to have smooth muddling, taping and finishing in drywall installations. Here are some simple tips, tricks and hacks that you can use to hang drywalls correctly.

Get the Layout Right

You’ve got to get the layout right to ensure the drywall is installed and aligned correctly and with the best workmanship. Using a pencil, mark the areas where you will place the vertical studs. This will make it easier for you when the drywall panels are being attached to the framing. Before you start hanging the drywall panels, complete the insulating work as well as the vapour barrier installations.

Ensure the Framing is Flat

The drywall panels are likely to bend if the plane of the ceiling or the wall isn’t flat. It should be perfectly flat from stud to stud or between the ceiling joists. The bending of the panels creates ugly contours or even cracks on the finished ceiling or finished walls. That is why you should use level or straightedge to determine if the wall or the ceiling members are levels, flat and plumb. If it isn't level, you may need to plane down the framing members that shim out others extending farther out. For a perfect drywall installation, you need to get the plane’s level, flat and plumb.

Install the top row panels first

The professional way to install drywall panels is by starting from a single upper corner of the room and then installing the panels horizontally while ensuring the top edges are aligned against the ceiling. During the installations, the end of the panels must be placed at the centre of a stud. The panels may need to be scored and snapped into place to get the right fit.

User longer panels

DIYers tend to use 8-feet panels, but it is generally recommended that you use the 10 to 12 feet-long panels. These are also advantageous as they can cover the whole lengths of small rooms.

Start with the ceiling.

If you are drywalling an entire room, it is prudent to begin with the ceiling. The panels can be lifted and laid out against the ceiling joists with a pulley-driven drywall lift. Some crews use T-shaped “crutches” for placing the panels in place before driving in the nails or the screws. Overall, the techniques for installing the drywall panels onto the walls are mainly the same.

Attach the Panels to the Studs First

To hold the plasterboard securely against the studs, start by driving some nails and screws on their ends and down towards the centre. You should drive the screws far enough that they should ‘dimple’ the drywall surface, but they shouldn't go too deep that they'd break the paper surface. The strength of the attachment is undermined if the paper is broken. Drywall guns feature adjustable clutches that give you some control over the depth of the screw bit. Ensure that you choose the right size of screws and nails that will match the drywall size. The screws should be placed at least ½ inch from the edge of the panel.

The Panels Can Be Cut by Snapping

According to a professional plasterer, one of the easiest ways to cut the drywall length-wise is by first scoring a single side of the board using a utility knife. You can subsequently turn to the backside of the panel and crack it using your knee. If the gyprock board is hit at the correct spot, it will smoothly separate uniformly along the line you scored earlier. Once you have folded the panel along its scored line, you can slice it down straight along the fold on the other side using a utility knife. This will finish the cut.

Use the Right Tools

The secret to flawless drywall installations is using the right sets of tools, particularly those that are preferred by professionals. Having straight sets of tools is especially important if you will be installing the drywall alone. If you can’t afford the tools, you can rent them at the leading tool lease outlets or home improvement centres.

Some of the top tools that you should use for drywall installations include:

  • Drywall screwgun
  • Drywall stilts
  • Hydraulic drywall lift
  • Drywall rotary saw

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