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Tips For Getting Your Home’s Plumbing Ready For Fall

It may be summer now, but fall is just around the corner. Once temperatures outside begin to drop, your home’s plumbing may become vulnerable to problems like freezing temperatures. Protecting your home’s plumbing from the cold will help you take care of your property by preventing floods and pipe bursts. The following tips will help.

Insulate Your Pipes

Insulating your home’s pipes is one of the best ways to protect your home’s plumbing from cold temperatures. There are many different methods for insulating pipes. The most effective method is to use self-adhesive pipe insulation, which is sold in home improvement centers and hardware stores. This insulation is pipe-shaped and designed to adhere to your pipes with minimal effort. Simply cut the insulation down to the right size, then remove the adhesive backing and stick the insulation directly onto the pipe.

If you’re on a budget, wrapping your pipes in newspaper can help protect your pipes from cold weather. Use rubber bands or wires to hold the newspaper onto the pipes.

Weatherproof Outer Rooms with Plumbing

Not all pipes are exposed, so insulating all of your plumbing may not be an option. Sealing and insulating the outer rooms of your home can help. This is especially important in unfinished areas of your home, like laundry rooms and basement areas with water heaters. Look for holes in the outer walls of your home where pipes enter or exit your home. Use expanding foam insulation to fill cracks and gaps. Use weather stripping to fill cracks in windows. This will help keep the walls of your home from reaching freezing temperatures on cold fall and winter nights.

Drain and Remove Hoses

Water that stays in outdoor hoses can freeze when the weather gets cold enough. This can cause the hose to crack or deteriorate and may cause the water inside the outdoor faucet to freeze as well. The best way to prevent this from happening is by removing the hose, draining it of water and placing it inside where it won’t do damage. 

Keep the Number for a Trusty Plumber on Hand

Despite these preparations, you may still need plumbing repair this coming fall and winter. To protect your home and property, get the number of a trusty plumber in your community, such as one from a company like Salinas & Sons Rooter Service. Once you know who to call for plumbing repairs, you’ll know what to do in the event that a pipe freezes and bursts this coming season.

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3 Best And Worst Roofing Materials For A Raised Ranch House

The Raised Ranch home is a modified version of the traditional Split-Level Ranch that simply adds more stories to the house. The homes stay light on ornamentation with the main visual focuses the asymmetrical layout, possible blending of vinyl and masonry siding, and a pair of gabled roofs that have lower slopes than traditional gables.

If you have a Raised Ranch home and need a new roof, there are a few roofing materials that work best and worst with this house and roof style. Discuss the options with your residential roofing contractors for more information.

Best: Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles have good durability, a versatile range of colors and textures, and – perhaps most importantly – a low price tag. The low price can come in particularly handy if you have a tight budget, since the Raised Ranch has two gabled roofs that need to be covered with roofing materials.

The asphalt shingles can become damaged under frequent hot and sunny conditions, which can cause some warping, and have the potential to become loosened by high winds. But the lower slope of the Raised Ranch’s roofs mitigates the wind damage done to the roof compared to a traditional gable.

Best: Metal Roofing 

Gable roofs have a design that naturally drains off rain and melted snow with little issues, regardless of the roofing material. But the layout of a Raised Ranch’s roofs can create a lower valley portion that can accumulate potentially damaging water. Metal roofing can help drain that valley and keep your roof and interior home free of water damage.

Metal roofing fabrication has advanced to the point that others will likely have no idea that your roofing material is in fact metal. The material comes in a range of colors and can come cut into shingle shapes or in standing seam metal planks that work the best for aiding with larger drainage issues.

Don’t want to use metal roofing all over your roof? Ask your roofing contractors about metal flashing, which is a bendable strip of metal roofing installed only in the area or areas of drainage concern. Your main roofing material can install over the edge of the flashing to hide the flashing’s existence.

Worst: Slate Tiles

Slate tiles come with a natural elegance, a steep material cost, and a heavy physical weight. The latter characteristic doesn’t pair well with gable roofs, which have a minimal amount of support bracing in order to maximize your indoor living space. Your gable roofs likely lack the amount of support required to hold up slate so installing the tiles could make your roof collapse.

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How To Fix Low Spots In Your Lawn

There are many things that can lead to a bumpy lawn that isn’t level. Mowing or walking on the lawn while the soil is wet, the removal of a large tree or bush, or simple erosion in lower-lying areas can all lead to this problem. Fortunately, you can usually fix it without ruining your grass. The following will guide you through the process.

Create the filler

Sand is sometimes recommended for filling low areas, but it can cause problems on its own. The sand can mix with the clay naturally in your soil, which makes it harden. This results in a crust on top of the soil that water has trouble soaking through. Instead, mix equal parts sand with topsoil or compost. The sand in the mix ensures that is sprinkled down and fills in around the base of the grass plants, while the topsoil in the mix provides nutrients and water retention so the sand doesn’t crust over.

Cover the lawn

The next task is to fill in the low spots with the mixture. Sprinkle the sand mix over any ruts or low spots until they are either level or only the tips of the grass are showing. You don’t want to cover the grass blade completely. You can then use a rake to move the sand mix to fully level the area. Once it looks level, water the lawn thoroughly to settle the sand mix.

Reapply as needed

In most cases, you will need to fill in the low area at least one more time after the sand mix settles. If the low area was caused by a tree removal, you may need to repeat the process several times over the course of a few years. This is because the old tree roots beneath the lawn are decomposing, causing the lawn to slowly settle. When reapplying, wait for at least a month after the last application. This ensures the grass has grown through and rooted in the first sand application. Then, apply the sand mix just as you did before.

Helpful tips

Here are a few tips to help you with the leveling process:

  • Use a long board to check the level of the lawn. After applying the sand mix, place the board so it lies over the spot that was low with the ends of the board on areas that weren’t low. If there is no gap under the board, you have filled the spot in sufficiently.

  • Avoid mowing over the area for at least a week so the sand mix can settle and the grass can begin rooting. This will prevent new ruts from the lawnmower wheels from forming in the filler.

For more information, contact Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc. or a similar company.

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Top Signs That Your Foundation Is In Need Of Repair

As a homeowner, it is important to make sure that you are spotting trouble with your foundation before it gets out of hand. Check out the following signs of foundation trouble so you will know when it is time to call in a foundation repair expert.

There Are Gaps Between The Ceiling And Your Crown Molding

Now, as some homes age, the foundation will settle a little and this can cause materials in the house to shift a little. This is normally not a cause for concern. However, if your crown molding always sat nice and flush against the ceiling and there is now suddenly huge gaps everywhere, you might want to call in an expert. This can be a sign that you are not experiencing the normal settling of the foundation. You could have a major problem on your hands.

Your Basement Walls Are Bowing Inward

It is important that your basement walls always remain as nice and straight as possible. If they are starting to bow inward, it is most likely due to the fact that the soil outside is expanding when it is wet and therefore pushing against the walls of the foundation. Once the foundation walls start to move, they will continue to move until the problem is resolved and the walls are repaired. This is because once they are moved out of place, they are no longer as strong as they used to be. The last thing you want is for one of those walls to completely cave in. 

The Windows And Doors Are Malfunctioning

If you are starting to notice that you have some windows and doors that are starting to stick in place and are no longer opening and closing as easily as they used to, it could be that there was a sudden shift in your foundation. You will want to call in a foundation expert to examine the situation. This way, you will be able to know if the foundation is done settling and it can be left alone or if the house needs to be jacked up so the foundation can be repaired. In the meantime, you may have to make some adjustments to your doors so that you can continue to use them.

With those few signs in mind, you should be able to determine whether your foundation is in need of repair from a professional foundation expert. Contact a business, such as American Mud Jack Inc, for more information. 

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Three Signs That Indicate Your Windows Need Replacing

Your home windows make a huge impact on the comfort and appearance of your home. This is why it’s important to inspect them every once in a while for signs of possible reasons they need to be replaced. Here are three major signs that indicate it is time to consider replacement:

Performance is Poor:

There are two ways that windows can begin to perform poorly. One way would be that opening and closing the windows has become a difficult task. This indicates that the windows are becoming old. You will definitely appreciate newer windows that easily open and close for your convenience. This is especially true when it comes to closing and locking your windows, which is key to your home safety. If doing this is difficult, chances are that one day you won’t be able to close or lock them at all. The second way that windows start to perform poorly is when they begin to let in air leaks. You will notice this when your energy bills become higher because you need to run the AC or heater for longer periods of time and on higher settings. 

Appearances are Dull:

Over time, older windows begin to have a dull appearance. If you had wood windows, the wood may have begun to chip. You may even notice signs of discoloration from water damage. Whatever the case, having windows that are dull in appearance can seriously hinder the curb appeal of your home. Replacing these windows can improve not only your home’s curb appeal but also the value of your home.

Cleaning is Challenging:

At some point, condensation can build in between the glass of the windows that is impossible to remove. This leaves water spots that make your windows hard to see through, which also reduces the amount of natural lighting coming into your home, as well. There may even be rotting around the frame that is difficult to remove too. Once cleaning the windows becomes nearly impossible or too much of a hassle, it’s best to replace them. Newer windows are often better in design, making them easier to clean, which is going to improve the appearance of your home, bring in more sunlight, and ensure that the air in your home is cleaner. 

Keep in mind that some of your windows may have these signs while others do not. This is because exposure to weather conditions may be different on each side of your home. If this is the case, you can simply replace some of the windows instead of all of them at once, which will help save you some money. 

If you have questions about replacing the windows in your home, contact Community Builders or another local window company.

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Revamping The Man Cave With Inexpensive And Fabulous Hardware Store Finds

If your guy loves his own space where he is surrounded by the things that he loves, there is no doubt that you have a man cave in the house. But after several years of football games, visiting buddies, and changing perspectives, that man cave may just need a little sprucing up. Before you head out to the local home retail and design store to pick up new decor, take a trip to the local hardware store. There are a handful of man-cave-worthy creations you can pull off with just average items you can get at just about any store that specializes in hardware. 

Create crafty screwdriver hangers. 

Pick up a handful of off-brand screwdrivers and you have all you need to create some pretty cool hanging hooks for the man cave. Keep in mind screwdrivers with a thinner metal will work best, as they are much easier to bend, and you need screwdrivers that have a hole in the handle for hanging as well. Use a pair of vice grips or pliers to bend the metal part of a screwdriver into a hook and then hang the screwdrivers on the walls of the man cave to act as coat hooks, hat hooks, or even hooks to hang other decor. 

Make use of basic lumber. 

There is no need to invest in expensive tables in a room where coasters may or may not be used and there could always be a pair of feet propped up on a table. Simple tables are easy enough to craft as long as you have a few pieces of lumber from the hardware store. You could go with a basic sheet of plywood and prop it up on bricks or even tire rims or attach a few boards together and attach some legs with a drill. 

Ask about old advertising at the hardware store. 

If your guy is all about his tools and working with his hands, he will appreciate tool and hardware memorabilia in his man cave. Ask the hardware store manager about old advertising signs or even posters that can be used as wall art in a man cave. You can hang these items in inexpensive poster frames to create a totally manly look in the space. In a lot of cases, a hardware store will just toss these things in the trash, so you can likely pick up a couple of things that are completely free. Contact a business, such as O L Willard Co, for more information. 

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Building A New Home? 4 Steps To Adding A Wonderful Wine Cellar

For wine enthusiasts, having your own, dedicated wine cellar is a dream come true. If you’re able to build a wine cellar in a new construction home, you have the opportunity to create a storage and display space that will help you enjoy your wines for years to come. So, what can help you build a great wine cellar? Here are 4 tips for any collection.

Decide on Your Goals. You will first need to decide what you plan to use your wine cellar for. If it’s just for storage and you want the most bang for your buck as far as storage goes, simple wood and metal racks are inexpensive and can hold a lot of bottles. If, instead, you’re looking to host guests, display bottles, or show off your collection, you will need to budget extra space and money for additions like islands, display tables or cases and premium trim materials. 

Know Your Chill Options. Wine storage can be designed both for large and small budgets. If you have a small budget, you may just want to create a space for wine cabinets. These refrigerated cabinets can hold dozens or hundreds of bottles at the appropriate temperatures in a more public part of the house. But if your budget is larger and you have enough space in your home design, a dedicated wine cellar is the best choice for display and hosting of fellow aficionados. If you are planning on a room cellar, be sure your contractor is aware of the needs of a full wine cellar before beginning. 

Understand the Wine’s Needs. To store wine, a dedicated wine cellar will likely need three key aspects:

  • Insulation. Outside walls will require better insulation than inside walls. Most walls should have at least R12 insulation, possibly higher if there are any exterior walls included. 
  • Moisture Barrier. A standard vapor barrier should encircle the room, usually made from poly sheeting. This layer goes inside the insulation layer.
  • Airtight Seal. To prevent the first two aspects of your cellar from being wasted, the door should form an airtight barrier when closed. You can use something as simple as a door-sweep and weather stripping to help create a good barrier for the door.

Choose a Cooling System. The method to actually keep your wine at the designated temperature depends on your budget and the location of the cellar. Through-the-wall systems are the least expensive methods, whereas a ducted system is likely to be much more expensive. Work with your contractor to determine what fits your budget.

Building your dream wine cellar is a fun project that can best be accomplished only when designing a new home. Relish this chance that few fans will share. No matter what type of cellar or storage area you can design into your home, the result will be a better way to enjoy your hobby and share it with friends. 

For custom home construction, contact a company such as Cornerstone Contracting.

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