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Kitchen Renovation

Avoid Costly Problems This Winter

Imagine sitting in a cozy recliner in front of a crackling fire and sipping hot cocoa. Then, just as you reach complete relaxation, you feel a chill from a cold draft under the door. This moment of winter discomfort could have been prevented with the proper maintenance.
Inspecting your home on a regular basis and keeping it properly maintained throughout every season is the best way to protect your home. A regular schedule of seasonal repairs can put a stop to the most common (and costly) problems before they occur.
You don’t have to be a seasoned do-it-yourselfer. Some of the maintenance and repairs to your home may be easily accomplished with the use of a maintenance book or manual from your local library. For unfamiliar or difficult jobs, it is best to consult a professional.
Proper care and maintenance of your home helps provide a healthy and safe environment for your family, while preserving its value. It’s the biggest investment you’ll ever make!
Here are home maintenance tips for January and February:
JANUARY
Your household appliances probably got quite a workout during the recent holiday season. Now is the time to get them back in shape.
Drip pans on most stoves can be removed and put in a dishwasher for cleaning. For stubborn stains use a scouring pad, or replace the pans altogether. Clean underneath range hood. Remove and clean or replace range hood filters.
Self clean your oven and get rid of all those splatters from holiday cooking. To clean porcelain stovetops or glass range/oven control panels use a non-abrasive cleanser or glass cleaner. Be careful of “cream type” cleansers as they often have tiny abrasive particles in them, which can damage your stovetop or control panel.
Use a vacuum with a narrow nozzle to clean condenser coils on the back or underneath your refrigerator.
Clean refrigerator door seals so they don’t get stuck to the door frame and tear. Use an old toothbrush and a little soap and water to clean in all the nooks and crannies. Use a bit of bleach for any mold growth.
Repair worn dishwasher rack tines to prevent rust pieces from ruining the pump. Clean the rusted spots on the dishwasher rack with sandpaper to make the repair last longer.
FEBRUARY
As you snuggle in front of a cozy fire or bask in the warmth of your wood stove, you are taking part in a ritual of comfort and enjoyment handed down through the centuries. However, if you don’t give some thought to the condition of your chimney before you light those winter fires, your enjoyment may be very short-lived. Why? Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires.
Have your solid fuel venting system inspected annually, and have it cleaned and repaired whenever needed.
Use seasoned woods only (dryness is more important than hard wood versus soft wood considerations). Build smaller, hotter fires that burn more completely and produce less smoke. Never burn cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, trash or Christmas trees; these can spark a chimney fire.
Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures where wood stoves are in use, so you can adjust burning practices as needed.
Have the chimney inspected and cleaned on a regular basis.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that you call on certified chimney sweeps, since they are regularly tested on their understanding of the complexities of chimney and venting systems.…

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Renovation Contractor

Handle Your Plumbing Problems With These Tips

Everyone has questions about plumbing at some point in time. Everyone should want to understand how to correct minor problems and how to do their own maintenance. These tips and hints will give you a little enlightenment on both ends of the spectrum, thus giving you the choice to proceed as you need with your plumbing demands.

Have a professional flush your septic tank every five years or so to keep it working well. This keeps the tank from developing a buildup of sediment, thereby preventing the septic system from backing up or failing altogether as a result. Hiring a professional to pump out your septic tank is costly, but it is far preferable to the damages that could be incurred if the tank becomes backed-up or inoperative.

Your plumbing experience can go a lot smoother when you know your tools, as well as how to handle them properly. Read the instructions, which many people overlook, and check out the internet which has many resources to help with plumbing issues. Don’t just blindly rush into a project. Plan each project so that you don’t make costly mistakes.

If your toilet is clogged, the water level in the toilet is low, and a plunger is not doing the trick, you may be able to resolve the problem by pouring a bucket of warm water into the toilet from waist level or higher. Repeat this as many times as necessary until your clog is gone, and you can flush normally once again.

Putting a cup of any kind of baking soda followed with a cup of white vinegar each month will keep your drain running smoothly. Seal off the drain with a conventional plug or a piece of fabric while the natural chemical reaction takes place. Flush it with boiling water after a few minutes. This procedure should clear the pipes of soap scum and accumulated hair.

Be sure that the overflow holes are free of debris. Overflow holes are used in case the sink starts to overfill, which may not seem like a big problem–until it is. Make sure to clean out the overflow holes each time you do maintenance checks on your sinks.

In order to keep your plumbing bills as low as possible, keep in mind prevention is key. Clogged drains are one of the more common issues when it comes to plumbing problems. Hair can cause clogs, among many other things. Avoid this by using a drain cover or screen that keeps hair and other particles from clogging your pipes. It’s more convenient to remove hair before it has a chance to get down the drain and into the pipes.

Don’t use drain cleaners if you can avoid it. The chemicals that these cleaners are made up of are corrosive, and will damage the pipes in your house if you overuse them. Sometimes, finding a professional to fix a blocked drain is the best way to solve the problem.

You need to know how to address problems before you actually experience them. In addition, performing a small amount of routine maintenance could help stop any problems. Use the advice in the article above to maintain and fix your home’s plumbing.…

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Home Repair

Experiencing Problems With Your Roof? Try These Suggestions!

A well-maintained roof keeps you safe from the elements. If you’ve got roof problems, bad weather puts your home at risk. When you learn about your roof, you can spare yourself trouble ultimately. The information below will set you up for success.

Examine your roof on a yearly basis. Roofs are commonly most damaged during winter months as well as spring time. For this reason, these are the times to pay close attention to your own roof.

While leaks sometimes can be caused by shingles that are faulty, be sure you look at your roof’s foundation too. Water could be seeping in from somewhere else, such as dry-rotted siding or gaps along windows or doors. Check every possible entry point, including rotten wood, to ensure you solve the problem once and for all.

Safety is priority one when roof repair is involved. Trying to fix a leak during a rainstorm can result in serious injury or even worse. Put a bucket beneath the problem area, and then inspect the roof to determine the extent of necessary repairs.

If a roofing salesman is giving you a high pressure pitch, tell him no thank you and show him out of your home. These unscrupulous people will stop at nothing to get you to sign a contract with them, and you always end up on the losing end, so stop them in their tracks.

Always research roofing contractors. It’s important that you don’t simply hire the one with the lowest bid. Spend some time looking up local roofers. Investigate the possibilities online, talk to friends and co-workers, or use a referral service to locate the best company for the job.

If you are waiting for your roofing contractor to show up, try a temporary solution for your leak. You can nail heavy plastic to damaged areas. This will cost you a lot of money in the future on repairs.

Don’t use band-aid solutions. It may seem cost effective at the time, but in the end, you are more likely to have further damage that will only cost you more money. It is always best to fully repair the problem as quickly as possible so that you do not have much bigger problems down the road.

When hiring a contractor, be sure they they are experts in their field. Friends and neighbors who have recently had work done on their roofs may have recommendations for you. Choosing the right roofer means you will receive quality work that doesn’t result in problems in the future.

Any roofer you are considering using must have the proper license to do business. If you don’t what what your location requires, don’t simply believe what the roofer tells you. Look up the building department in your area and give them a call to see what is needed.

If your roof is poorly taken care of, it is not an experience that you will soon forget. You have the power to avoid such hassles now that you have read the above information. Use the knowledge at the right time, and you will find confidence in taking care of your roof.…