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House Improvements

Water Heater Leak 101 – How to Fix a Water Heater Leak

Have you got a water heater leak? Confused how to deal with it next. Listed here are some methods for figuring out the cause of a water heater leak as well as what needs to be done to fix the problem without going over budget.
Look for the Problem
The initial step in mending a leak is examining the device and then looking for the source of the leakage.
Check around the container to locate where the water is dripping from. A lot of leakages are signs of a torn water heater container. (The water tank in the heater is a closed container, most likely made out of glass.)
If the tank itself is dripping, then it is time for you to purchase a brand new heater. If the leak is rather from the piping leading in or out of the container, then that is some thing you may most likely mend by yourself.
Note: One reason a unit may leak is because the equipments are loose. Often the pressure relief valve is cracked and requires changing.
Prepare for Draining
Once you have identified the problem in the outside water fittings or pressure valve, you need to take steps to shut down and drain the heater.
First, you should gather the things you will need: an adjustable wrench, bucket, dry towels, and plumbing thread.
Next, you need to disconnect the power or gas. If it is electric, switch off the main circuit breaker. Remember to place a note on the box mentioning that there is a project in action so no one accidentally turns it back on.
Disconnect the gas by turning the gas knob to the shut off position. Turn off the water inputs.
Get Inside
Empty the tank into the pail and dry the equipments with the towels. Since the tank is drained as well as safe, you may open, reapply the plumbing string or tape to the pipe, and tighten up the equipments.
Change the pressure valve when required. Ensure all things are back in its place before you switch on the water.
Next, check by switching the water inputs on. If absolutely nothing is dripping, then you’ve effectively learned the way to fix a water heater leakage as well as saved yourself a lot of money.…

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House Improvements

Top Plumbing Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Burst pipes can be a disaster. And you won’t just need a plumber, either. While the plumber will replace the pipe-and should ensure it doesn’t happen again-even a small crack can release hundreds of gallons of water into your home each day, destroying possessions, causing structural damage and creating the kinds of conditions that dangerous molds love.
First a Little Physics: Why Do Pipes Burst?
Water expands when it freezes. Think of ice cubes-when you first put the tray in the freezer, the water is neatly contained in its little compartments. If the tray is filled a little too full, however, when you go to add a cube to your drink, you’ll find they’re all frozen together. At some point the water in each compartment expanded, overflowed and fused with its buddy in the next compartment over.
The same principle is at work when pipes burst.
Interestingly, though, it’s not usually the outward pressure of expanding water on the pipe walls that causes the pipe to burst. Here’s why. When a pipe is completely blocked by ice, water gets trapped between the ice dam at one end and the closed faucet at the other. As water expands further down the pipe and freezes, pressure builds up between the blockage and the tap… and the pipe will burst at its weakest point.
Think Prevention: Winterize Your Plumbing
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure… and in the case of frozen and burst pipes, a little prevention will save you whack of cash and some huge headaches, too.
Here are four tips worth taking as winter gets closer.
1. Wrap up to stay warm. Check that any pipes close to the exterior walls or floors in a basement or crawlspace are properly insulated. Insulation value increases with the thickness of insulation you use, so don’t be afraid to wrap to the max. Not sure if you’ve got enough insulation? Call a plumber to do a quick assessment.
2. Keep the heat in… and the cold out. Seal up any air leaks near your interior pipes to make sure they aren’t being exposed to freezing outdoor air. Cover any nearby outside vents that could let cold air. Don’t forget to check that there aren’t any gaps or cracks where the pipes enter your house, too.
3. Turn off the taps. Outdoor water taps are a recipe for pipe disaster if the pipe running between the tap and the interior pipe freezes and bursts. Turn off the exterior water source… and don’t forget to turn on the taps to drain all remaining water.
4. Keep the heat on. If your furnace quits, your basement pipes won’t stay warm for long. Invest in a little proactive heating maintenance to keep your water flowing well all winter. Even if your furnace is functioning properly, if your thermostat is turned down too low or you’ve closed all the vents in your basement, it may not be warm enough to keep pipes from freezing.
Plumber’s Wisdom: How to Fix a Frozen Pipe
Sometimes our best efforts at prevention aren’t successful. Or an early cold snap catches us unawares. If you turn on your tap and nothing comes out-and this is problem your neighbours aren’t also experiencing-here’s what you should do.
1. Stay calm. Just because your pipe is frozen doesn’t mean it has-or will-burst.
2. Turn off your main water valve. This is absolutely necessary if you know your water pipe has burst, as it’s the only way to stop the flow of good ol’ H2O. But it’s a good precaution if your pipe is frozen, just in case there’s a small crack you’re unaware of because the water is frozen.
3. Try to locate the frozen section. This will be a part of the pipe that is noticeably colder than the rest… and there may be more than one if you have multiple blockages.
4. Turn on the cold water tap closest to the frozen section of pipe. This will let the water escape safely down the drain when it melts.
5. Warm the pipe. A hairdryer is best-unless the pipe has burst and there’s been a flood, in which case you should never operate electrical devices in the area. Start near the closest tap and work your way towards the frozen sections. Never use an open flame to thaw a pipe-it’s a fire hazard and could harm your pipes.
6. Inspect the pipe for cracks. You’ll want to know you won’t cause a flood when you turn your main water valve back on.
7. Fix the problem. Call in a reputable professional plumber to assess the situation and make recommendations.…

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House Improvements

Budgeting for a Home Renovation

Budgeting for home renovations is always tough. Even when you plan for everything and even a few glitches along the way budgets often find a way to be busted. In order to keep your progress from ending in a budget stale mate here are a few things to keep in mind when renovations are planned for your home.
First decide why you are renovating your home. What do you hope to accomplish with the renovation? Are you adding space for a new addition? Are you adding space for a kids play room or do you hope that with your renovation you increase the value of your home. Knowing exactly what you hope to accomplish with your home renovations will make it easier to create a budget and stick to it. It is often when a plan is not created that we go overboard with spending. So the more you can think out ahead of time before renovations on your home begin the better your finances will look in the end.
Speaking of a budget determine how much you can afford to spend on this home renovation. If you realize that what you hope to accomplish is not possible within the funds you have allotted for the project than you can easily put it on hold at this stage of the process. Determine the cost of all materials, tools and furnishings that will be needed to complete the renovation. If you are doing a kitchen renovation make sure to take into account large items like stoves and refrigerators. If you are doing a bathroom remodel take into account a new tub, sink and vanity. A toilet and new fixtures should also be added to the budget.
Next ask yourself are you up to taking on the challenge of a remodel or is it better for you to hire a contractor to ensure a smooth renovation. If you are the handyman type simple renovations can easily be done on your own and can save your contractor fees. If you are going to hire out a residential contractor make sure to look at examples of their previous work. Ask for references and check out their website. The detail put into their work, references and website will give you a good idea of their work and work ethic. It is also important to make sure your gut tells you that the contractor you have chosen is right for you and your home renovation.
A timeline is also important in home renovations. It is important to go over this with your contractor and get in writing a plan of attack. It is important that each step is broke down into a time frame so that you and the contractor can work together to make sure progress stays on track.
Making sure that the contractor you hire is on the same page as you is one of the most important steps in home renovation. You can have this by opening the lines of communication from the start. Know that sometimes things can take an unexpected turn but that you are interested in keeping up to date with the progress and would like updates even when something goes haywire
Once you have agreed upon a plan do not keep changing things. Nothing makes a contractor bitter more than an indecisive customer. They to have a time frame to stay within so that they can continue work with other clients. Every change adds time and money to the budget so stick to the original plan of attack. It will ease the schedule and budget if you stick to the initial renovation plan.
The last thing you will need to decide is if you plan on living in your dwelling during the construction or if you plan on finding a place that is more conducive to your life. If you decide to live in your home during the renovation make sure that you do not interrupt the progress. A happy contractor makes for a happy homeowner.…

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House Improvements

Bathroom Blinds

The bathrooms in our homes are often our own personal sanctuaries where we retreat at the end of the day to relax and forget the day. Homeowners across the country are investing more money into their homes and one of the primary places that the investment is best spent is in the bathroom. Bathrooms now are much larger than they were in the past and often have lavish showers and spa tubs.
When shopping for our bathrooms, textiles are an important part of the progress. It gives us the opportunity to add our own personal touch to our baths and leave our own unique mark. We, of course, want our textiles to follow a common theme. Bathroom blinds are a great way to tie-in our tastes in our baths. As we are spending more time in our bathrooms as a personal resort from the world, blinds have become a necessity.
We find ourselves sometimes spending hours in the comfort of our bathrooms and don’t want to be bothered or seen by outsiders. Bathroom blinds come in a variety of designs and styles, but functionality should be the foremost concern. Cloth blinds are not good for bathrooms as they will become moist and possibly become moldy. Solid woods are a better choice, but synthetic woods are the best bet. These types of blinds will not be susceptible to bathroom moisture or aging due to the humid bathroom conditions.
Finding the perfect bathroom blinds can give you the privacy that you need while adding your own personal style to your home bathroom.…

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House Improvements

Thrifty Retirement: Choosing a Remodeling Contractor

You’ve lived in your home for many years now. It’s beginning to show its age or perhaps its configuration no longer fits your needs, but you really don’t want to move, to leave your convenient neighborhood, or to be farther from your friends or family. You decide instead to remodel. Finding a reliable, trustworthy contractor is the first thing you must do. The second is to pay attention to what the contractor is doing. This is your home and your money: stay on top of the project.
I learned this lesson the hard way.
Our kitchen had an odd layout and some of the appliances needed to be replaced. I went to an annual remodeling show held in our town and spoke with several of the companies there. I told them all what I wanted, which was to save most of the cabinets, which were in good condition, but to replace just a few to fit the new floor plan I had in mind. I wanted to be able to reuse those we would tear out. I easily dismissed several contractors, as they weren’t interested in a project that wasn’t all new, and I narrowed the selection down to just a couple.
I called one and talked with him. I liked him immediately, but asked for references. I phoned all the references, and to a person, they all had glowing reports. I hired him to do the work in the kitchen and I couldn’t have been happier. He was able to preserve more of the cabinets than I had planned on and had to make only one new cabinet door. I was impressed with his reasonable cost, his excellent workmanship, and his clear concern for the environment, as well as with his pleasant return to fix a couple small blips.
A couple years later when we decided to do a major remodel of our master bathroom, he was the obvious choice. He even used the same crew boss as had worked on the kitchen. I had high hopes and no reservations. However, as the work progressed, I found questions popping up. The crew boss was showing up later in the day, or some days not at all. The job was taking longer than I expected. This wasn’t quite right; that had to be redone. We had ordered a custom-made vanity that was delivered and installed while we were gone for a long weekend.
When I first saw the cabinet, I knew something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. It took two weeks for me to pinpoint the problem. The style wasn’t what I had ordered. Where did this go wrong? The estimator blamed the cabinetmaker, and the cabinetmaker said he made what the estimator ordered. Meanwhile, my contractor was left holding the bag, as he was financially responsible for getting me the right vanity cabinet.
My contractor returned several times to fix small things the crew boss had messed up, but it’s been a year now and I still don’t have the vanity I ordered. The contractor is still the nicest guy in the world, but he has already lost money on this job and he still owes me a vanity. Will I ever get it? I don’t know.
The bottom line is that you must stay on top of the workers and the job, even if you know them. Check every day. If you don’t like a specific detail, speak up right away. In my case, it turned out the crew boss was having family problems he hadn’t mentioned to the contractor. His mind was somewhere else while he was working, and my contractor and I both paid for it. When the wallpaper was stripped, instead of washing the old glue off the walls, they painted over it. The floor tiles are not level and have created an uneven floor. The towel racks were mounted too high and had to be removed and remounted. The toilet was not level. And of course, the vanity is still wrong.
I keep hoping to hear from the contractor. I call every couple of months and he always says he’ll get to it. Maybe I’ll be lucky: maybe he will.…

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House Improvements

Three Important Steps to Easy Log Home Maintenance

There are three important log home maintenance steps that need to be completed to ensure that the home lasts a long time and maintains its beauty. While maintenance of any home is very important, maintenance for a log home is especially important to ensure that the structure of the home remains solid and without defect. These three steps can ensure that it lasts a lifetime and longer.
Inspect the Home at Least Once Each Year
One of the most important steps in log maintenance is to inspect the entire home from the foundations to the roof at least once a year. During this inspection, look for anything that indicates damage to the wood or the structure of the walls and ceiling. This can include looking for water damage, insect damage or the like. This maintenance step might need seem like it improves anything, but a visual inspection can ensure that any issues are discovered long before they affect the beauty of the log home or its structure. It is especially important to inspect the areas around the foundation as this is where water can settle and cause problems.
Refinish and Seal the Logs
A great maintenance taste that results in the home lasting as long as possible is the refinishing and sealing of the logs. Ideally this should be done as often as recommended by the manufacturer, refinishing and sealing a log home can be a time consuming task but it should be done at least once every couple of years. Refinishing the logs ensures that they are as beautiful as possible and removes and debris or dirt from the outside of the home. It also ensures that the original luster of the logs is restored. After refinishing, sealing the logs can help hold in their beauty and keep out water and other damaging things. A seal also can increase the beauty of the logs.
Repair Small Problems Before They Grow
The final log maintenance step that ensure the home will last a long time is to fix any small problems before they become large. With a log home this is especially important because wood can show only a small area of damage but have larger problems hidden further in the wood where it is hard to see. So, if there is a problem, addressing it quickly can ensure that larger problems are swiftly identified and corrected as well. When repairing a log home, hiring a professional is always a good idea because a professional has the experience to identify problems early and correct them properly.
There are three main steps to proper log home maintenance. First, always inspect the home at least once each year to identify any problems before they become major issues. Also, ensure that any small problems are addressed quickly and by a professional to make sure that they don’t become larger problems. The final step to maintaining a log home so that it lasts for a lifetime is to refinish and reseal the home as often as possible.…

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House Improvements

Kick Pests Out With These Useful Tips

Finding out that you have a pest problem is never fun. Being unaware of solutions can cause your anxiety to grow. Lucky for you, you have found the information that will help you get rid of them quickly. Keep reading and learn how to eradicate household pests.

DO you have a fruit fly issue? The problem may be with your drain. Place plastic wrap over your drain, keep it there for a handful of days, and see if any flies have begun appearing. If fruit flies still appear, scrub around your drain after pouring boiling water. That should keep fruit flies from breeding there.

Attack a pest problem at its source. That means getting rid of what attracted the pests in the first place. Pests may be drawn to your house because water, food and shelter can be found there. Search for and get rid of food scraps, leaks or entry points.

Check your local building authority and ordinances for available options for pest control. If you are trying to sell your house, you might not want to spray pesticides that are illegal. This happens only rarely, but it is still wise to seek out pest control products that are legal and effective.

If you want a real test for detecting a termite problem, use a dog trained to sniff out the bugs. Human inspectors only have the ability to render a verdict on 1/3 of the house. Trained dogs can actually check out your entire home. They smell for methane gas, which is a byproduct of the wood the termites are eating.

Bedbugs hide in a variety of locations, making them hard to completely get rid of. All holes should be sealed before beginning any type of extermination. This will ensure that bugs cannot hide in the holes during the extermination process, only to emerge later.

Look around your house for any cracks or places that pests could enter, and seal them right away. These are just the places that pests love to find as they are looking for ways to get inside. If you close them off, the pests won’t be able to get in.

It is notoriously difficult to eradicate fleas and their eggs once they get into your house, but there are a few things that can work. Start by vacuuming them every day and then using a flea spray. Be sure that you get rid of every vacuum bag that you use as soon as you are done.

It is important to have your home checked for pests on a regular basis. If your home has an underground component to it, you may be susceptible to subterranean termites. Check out your basement and any other underground area.

Electronic pest control can work really well. You plug these little devices in every room, and they make a tiny buzzing sound that keeps rodents away. Even though humans can hear it, the sound does not harm people or animals at all. Rodents do not like the noise and will not stay in the same area.

You should now know enough to start taking action and get rid of the pest that has invaded your home. Use the information you’ve learned here for your war on the pests. Pretty soon, your pests will be gone and your life will be back to normal.…