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A New Winter Wonderland — 5 Tips For Designing An Indoor Pool

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’re an avid swimmer in a climate that isn’t conducive to outdoor pools, you can still have the pool of your dreams… indoors. But indoor pools can have their own challenges to design and include in your home. If you’re thinking of adding an indoor swimming pool, here are the top things you need to know before digging. It’s Easiest to Integrate Early. Adding an indoor pool is best done when designing new construction, rather than adding on to an existing home. If you think you may want to add a pool inside, this may affect your decision whether to purchase an already-built house or to build a custom home instead. Because of their unique structural needs, adding a pool while building a new home may save you a lot of money in the process. It Needs Air Quality Attention. While the actual indoor, in-ground pool is structurally similar to an outdoor, in-ground pool, the biggest difference in cost and maintenance comes from the environment needed in the room in which the pool is housed. Temperature and humidity must be controlled so as not to cause damage to the building. This usually means installing a dehumidifying system, angling the decking to lead water away from the walls, and creating steady air circulation.  You’ll Want to Protect Walls. Added vapor and moisture protection goes into the room’s structure, too. Plastic vapor barriers or waterproof boards are built into the walls and ceiling in order to prevent any moisture from reaching the home’s framing and encouraging rot or mold.  It May Need More Space. An outdoor pool area may not seem to be as large as that needed for an indoor pool because of a smaller visual footprint and the ability to spread out. Inside, you will need to add storage spaces, create sufficiently large decking and lounging areas, and raise a roof that’s taller than standard rooms in the home. For this reason, don’t underestimate the amount of square footage that a useful and entertaining indoor pool will take up. By working with a custom pool designer early (and possibly alongside your architect), you can find a comfortable size and shape for your dream pool. Add Lots of Sunshine. Design your pool room with a lot of natural lighting via skylights and windows — or even a retractable roof — in order to create a welcoming environment. This may affect where you plan to place the pool in the home’s design. However, you also want to build in nighttime lighting so that you can enjoy the pool during any time of day.  By learning about the unique needs and design of an indoor pool, you can create just the right one for your family. And then, you can splash around any time of the year without ever leaving the comfort of your home. For more information on custom swimming pools, contact a company like Nassau Pools Construction...

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What’s Worth Recycling in Computers?

Posted by on Sep 7, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’re getting rid of an old computer, you should know that inside your computer, there are a lot of scrap materials and whole components that could be useful to someone else. Recycling centers can take your old computers and parts in multiple forms, so it’s up to you if you want to turn in specific metals such as aluminum or copper for a specific pay rate or get an easier bulk payment. Here’s an overview of what computers have to recycle to make the decision a bit easier. What Parts Can Be Reused? Not every part in a computer is totally useless, even if the system stopped working due to physical damage. Certain components may still be working and can be taken out for reuse while everything else gets recycled. Electrical damage, burnouts, and other issues with physical damage can’t be easily predicted, but here are a few of the more commonly reused parts. Power Supply Unit (PSU) – As the power source of the computer, power supplies are built to last. They’re the most at risk for electrical damage, as they’re the first component exposed to electricity, but if the PSU is still working, it’s likely still useful for multiple generations of computers. Desktop computers may have become more advanced in even a decade, but power demands only increase significantly if the computer is for high demand activities such as gaming or graphic design. Memory – Random Access Memory (RAM) – RAM is in the form of rectangular sticks and isn’t easily damaged. RAM sticks are so sturdy that many computer hobbyists and technicians keep them in drawers, unlike other sensitive components. For most computers, RAM falls under the Double Data Rate (DDR) standard, with DDR3 being the most commonly found generation as of 2016 and DDR4 quickly increasing in use. Generations have physically different notches for fitting pegs to prevent mismatching. Processor – The processor connects to a socket with many small holes for the processors pins. These pins are easily bent and broken and should only be handled by a computer expert. If someone wants the processor, consider just giving them the entire motherboard it’s set in. Hard Drive – Hard drives are used to store information, so make sure to erase any of your information before selling or recycling. Scrap Locating and Removal for Computers If you’re building piles of scrap metal for melting, have a system for scrap recycling, or have noticed an increase in recycling payout rates, here’s a few of the more commonly recycled components and their materials. Computer case – The computer case is the largest and most noticeable metal recycling point. Although modern computers are often covered in plastic molds for appealing designs, the frame is still made of aluminum for structural strength. Industrial computers or systems used in rugged locations may have steel frames. Heat Sinks – Heat sinks are solid blocks of aluminum or copper with thin, machined fins used to transfer heat away from the processor or other components. Be careful, as the fins are sharp enough to cut with just the brush of a hand. Papercut-like incisions are normal when handling heat sinks. Aluminum heat sinks are more common than copper heat sinks, with copper being mostly for gaming and other high-performance systems. Processors –...

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Paved Driveway Have Weeds? Tips to Restore It So It Looks New Again

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016 in Uncategorized |

A paved driveway can look attractive when it is brand new, but over time it can start looking run down due to the elements. Weeds can quickly make your driveway look unattractive. Fortunately, you can make your paved driveway look new again by following the tips below. Use Chloride to Remove Weeds Weeds can come up through even tiny cracks. The weeds do not actually come from below the ground, but tiny seeds get into these cracks, and when it rains they start to germinate. It can be difficult to remove these weeds because the roots grow below the driveway surface. You can use chemicals to remove the weeds and moss, but many chemicals you can buy are toxic. You can save money by instead using chloride, which can be purchased from a hardware store. It comes in plastic containers in different sizes. How much you choose to buy depends on the number of weeds you have. Before you get started, put on a thick pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands. Pour enough water over the weeds to dampen them but not saturate them. Put small handfuls of chloride granules over the weeds and spread it out evenly. Use a garden hose set to a fine mist to spray the chloride granules until they start to dissolve. You do not want to mist them so much that they become saturated. Let the chloride sit for approximately one hour, or until the granules have completely dissolved. Use your hose on regular spray to spray the chloride off. Chloride is a strong chemical, so do not let children or pets around the chloride or let anyone walk over it. Repair Cracks Once the weeds are gone, you should repair the cracks so they do not come back again. This is generally very easy to do. Go to a home-improvement store and purchase pavement crack filler, which comes either in a tube or a pourable form. If you purchase crack filler in a tube, you will also have to have a caulk gun to apply it. Make sure there is no debris left in the crack. You can use a pressure washer to flush out this debris. If you purchased the pourable crack filler, shake it up to mix everything up before you start using it. You do not have to do this with the tubed product. Fill the crack in with the filler carefully, making sure it is completely filled in. Smooth out the filler so that it is flush with your pavement. Let the filler dry for approximately 24 hours before you walk on it. If your driveway still looks run down, you should consider installing a brand-new driveway. Contact a company such as Southwest Slurry Seal, Inc. for more information or for help with repairing the cracks in your...

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3 Tips For Air Conditioning Maintenance

Posted by on Jul 31, 2016 in Uncategorized |

A whole lot can go wrong in your home when you do not put frequent time and energy into caring for your air conditioning system. It is for this reason that you will need to hire a seasoned professional who can handle the work for you, as you also follow some do-it-yourself air conditioning repair tips. When you combine these practices, you will have the opportunity to keep your home nice and cool, while also avoiding some expensive repairs that could have been avoided. Start by using these three air conditioning maintenance tips below.  Tip #1: Stay On Top Of Changing Your Air Conditioning Filters Your air conditioning filters provide a barrier between the outside elements in your rooms and the inside of the air conditioning system. The filter prevents debris and dust from building up inside of the air conditioner, which will cause it to overwork and break down. Doing this will also prevent energy waste, since it lowers consumption by 5 to 15 percent. You need to buy the right sized air conditioning filters for your HVAC system and take it upon yourself to change them every couple of months or so.  Tip #2: Wash Down The Condenser Unit Make sure that you are maintaining the air conditioner’s outdoor moving parts in addition to the indoor unit. Start by locating the outdoor air conditioning machinery, so that you can vacuum and clean the condenser unit. First, turn off the power to the unit by accessing the shutoff switch. Make sure that you are choosing to clean this machinery on a day that is at least 60 degrees, since this is the minimum temperature for testing out your HVAC system. Once the unit is off, use a shop vacuum to thoroughly remove dust from the fins and then wash them down with a hose. Restart the system and your air conditioner should run smoothly, since it is free from dirt and debris.  Tip #3: Check Your Refrigerant Lines If you want your HVAC system to stay nice and cool throughout the summer time, you will need to check out the refrigerant lines. Give it a visual inspection to make sure that nothing appears clogged, cracked or damaged. If you need to replace your refrigerant line, call up a qualified professional heating and cooling contractor who can handle the job for you.  Follow these three tips to the best of your ability and hire an HVAC contractor, like A Absolute Plumbing & Heating, who can help...

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Four Benefits Of Opting For A Custom Dock For Your Lakefront Home

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have recently purchased lakefront property or are just looking to install a new dock, you will likely be presented with two options. You can choose to buy a pre-designed dock that simply needs to be assembled on-site, or you can work with a custom dock installation company to create a more elaborate platform specifically for your property. Although you may be tempted to use the kit, you may also be surprised to learn of the many benefits of building your own dock from scratch with the help of professional contractors. These are just four reasons why you should start seeking estimates for a custom dock.  Adding a Second Level or Cover If you intend to spend significant time enjoying the quiet serenity of your lakefront, or if you plan to go fishing on rainy mornings, it makes sense to invest in a cover or even a second story for your dock. Doing so will transform your lakefront from a useful facility into a tasteful area for socializing and relaxing. With an additional level, you can barbecue and observe from above while guests and family launch boats or jump in below, and either way your boat will be more protected from the elements.  Choosing Your Materials Pre-designed docks are also often pre-fabricated, meaning you will be forced to use the materials outlined for that particular blueprint. If you are interested in using recycled materials or have a specific wood or metal in mind to match your landscaping or fight rust, it is often easier to design your own dock than find a suitable plan for one that fits all of your requirements.  Installing the Amenities Your standard dock is a fairly simple structure, without any of the niceties most homeowners have come to expect from modern living. For those who truly want their waterfront to be an extension of their home, running out electricity, lights, and even sound systems are all a necessary part of entertaining and enjoying nature for extended periods of time. A custom dock company will work with your home’s electrical setup and ensure that any electronics on your dock are adequately shielded from the weather or would-be intruders.  Tailoring Your Dock to Your Boating Tastes Besides making life on a lakefront more pleasant, a customized dock can also make your boating more pragmatic. For example, if you like to keep both a motorized boat and some kayaks, you can install a kayak rack as part of the dock for easier access. Whether you choose to build the perfect number of docking spaces or leave a few for later expansions to your fleet, you will be able to rest assured that your lakefront dock is catered precisely to your family’s...

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5 Advantages Of Rotary Screw Compressors

Posted by on Jun 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Whether you need an air compressor for a large scale industrial application, or to power air tools such as jack hammers or sanders, a rotary screw compressor can be a great choice. There are many benefits and advantages to purchasing a rotary screw compressor, especially if you are replacing old equipment. Some of the reasons to choose this type of air compressor include the following: Energy Savings Most quality rotary screw compressors are designed to be incredibly efficient while using as little energy as possible. Rotary screw compressors are made to keep a consistent pressure, which can eliminate wasting energy due to pressure fluctuations. While you may pay a little more upfront to buy a rotary screw compressor, if you own it for several years there is a good chance that your savings on operating it will be greater than the money you could have saved by purchasing a different type of air compressor.  Strength and Durability Today’s rotary screw compressors are noted for their strength and durability, which means if you purchase one and properly maintain it, you will have a quality piece of equipment that can last for many years. The design of modern day rotary screw compressors makes it possible for them to run constantly without sustaining extensive wear and tear, which means that you can get the most out of your new compressor and use it to assist in completing multiple projects in a short amount of time without having to worry about mechanical problems or overheating.  Low Oil Carry-Over A good quality rotary screw compressor, like those offered at Kruge-Air Inc, typically offers a very low oil carry-over, which can go a long way to keep the air quality safe in an area where the compressor is used often. Most rotary screw compressors draw in fresh, clean air, and then release clean air free of fumes from the oil into the environment.  Tolerable Noise Level Air compressors can be loud, and when they are running on a continual basis it can be annoying and even harmful to those working around it. Rotary screw compressors often produce less noise when they are running, which can make for a much more comfortable working condition while the compressor is in use.  Lower Operating Temperatures Rotary screw air compressors typically operate at a much lower temperature than other types of air compressors. This fact means that the parts and machinery of the unit typically do not experience as much wear and tear, which can greatly increase the compressor’s life...

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Comparisons Between Traditional And Seamless Gutters

Posted by on Jun 8, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Are you a homeowner? Are you tired of leaky gutters that need to be cleaned out every few weeks? If you’re a typical homeowner, you probably have gutters that fill up with flowers, leaves and other debris, causing water to build up and leak out of the seams along its length. As you may already have experienced, leaky gutters can damage your flower beds and may cause leaks within your basement. Fortunately, you can alleviate these issues by having your gutters replaced. Here are some things to know about seamless gutters: Quick to install: With ordinary gutters, you have to install many pieces of gutter for a single section of roof. Even for professional installation, this can be quite tedious and time consuming. Not only do the individual lengths have to be fastened into place, chances are good that several gutter pieces will have to be custom-cut on site so that you have gutters of the correct length. In contrast, seamless gutters are made on site, at your house, from a large coil of gutter material. This allows the professionals who are doing the installation to have access to gutters that are significantly longer than standard gutter lengths.  Easy to clean: The more seams there are along the length of a gutter, the more opportunity there is for leaves and other debris to get caught, causing water to build up in the gutter itself. Even the most expensive and well-sealed gutters will eventually start to leak if they are filled with standing water all of the time. Seamless gutters do have some seams, but only at the corners of your house. As a result, there is much less chance that anything will get caught and cause water to build up. Because the seams are only at the corners and not along the whole length of the house, it should only take you a few minutes to clean your gutters if cleaning should become necessary. Variety of materials: Both traditional gutters and seamless gutters come in vinyl and aluminum varieties. If you want to stick with traditional gutters solely because you like a particular material, you shouldn’t let that concern you. Depending on the companies around you, the vinyl type of seamless gutters may be available in several different colors. Although many people may choose not to, vinyl can be painted if you don’t like any of the color choices available to you. Aluminum can also obviously be painted and may be what most people think about when they think about painted gutters. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of painting, bare aluminum can be an attractive finish. For more information, contact a company like A – 1 Seamless Gutters...

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Four Upgrades To Consider If You Need A New Roof

Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’ve noticed that the shingles on your roof are looking old, and you are considering a new roof, then you should take the opportunity to make some upgrades. These include upgrades to the type of shingle, as well as structural changes that could improve your home. Choose Fiberglass Instead Of Organic If you’re going to choose asphalt shingles, as opposed to installing a metal roof, then make sure you choose a fiberglass backed shingle. Old asphalt shingles were made with “organic” backers, which were often paper or compressed wood fibers. The problem with these backers is that they more susceptible to dampness and will rot easier than inorganic backers such as fiberglass. Another added benefit to a shingle that is backed with a fiberglass material is that it is more resistant to fire. Or Go With Tin Another option to consider is to opt for tin shingles instead of asphalt. Tin shingles can last forty years. They are not as expensive as copper, so if you’re on a tight budget they are not beyond your reach. They are resilient to heat and snow and require virtually no maintenance. You don’t have to hire someone to climb up every year and clean off mold like you should with asphalt shingles. Add Solar Shingles You might want to take this opportunity to install solar shingles. These are less obtrusive than large solar panels. They are small, about the size of a regular asphalt shingle. They visually mesh with the look of a fiberglass asphalt roof. Some people cover their entire roof in solar panels, while others choose to run a single line across the length of the roof. The panels will need to be connected to your home’s electrical system, which means that the contractors will need to drill through the plywood sheathing and run the electrical line down to the basement, or wherever your circuit box is located. Create A Skylight If your roof is in need of new sheathing (the plywood underlayment that sits under the asphalt shingles) then you might want to take this opportunity to install a skylight. If the contractors are going to be tearing up the old plywood, you might also have them cut a hole in the roof and install a skylight. This has benefits beyond providing a beautiful view from the interior of your home. You can also create a natural source of light. This can reduce the need for interior lights, which should lower your electrical bill over time. For more information on roof replacement options, consider contacting companies like Nelson Contracting,...

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Remove A Large Tree Stump From The Middle Of Your Property

Posted by on May 6, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If a large tree stump is taking up space in the middle of your property and minimizing the beauty of your yard, remove it with the following instructions. Once you have eliminated the stump, plant grass seed or some of your favorite plants or bushes in the additional space. Supplies power drill funnel stump remover granules heavy tarp paving blocks shovel hatchet stump grinder safety gear wheelbarrow topsoil rake grass seed plants or bushes water hose Add Stump Remover Granules To The Stump’s Surface Use a power drill to create holes that are a few inches deep around the stump’s surface. Insert the end of a funnel in each hole and pour stump removal granules into it until all of the holes are full. Place a heavy tarp over the stump’s surface to prevent the granules from spilling out. Place paving blocks along the edges of the tarp to prevent it from shifting. Wait the recommended amount of time that is listed on the back of the container of granules. The trunk may take several weeks to decompose.  Inspect The Stump And Grind It Into Small Pieces Uncover the stump and push the end of a shovel against it to determine if the wood is spongy. If so, it is ready to be removed. Dig down into the ground to uncover the stump’s roots. Use a small hatchet to cut pieces of the root system that are partially underground. Use a stump grinder to grind up the rest of the stump. This piece of equipment can be acquired from a business that rents construction equipment. When renting the grinder, you will be provided with information that will help you use it the proper way. The piece of equipment will have a blade that needs to be inserted into various parts of the stump to cut up the wood. Before turning on the machine, put on a pair of safety goggles and work gloves. Place all of the loose pieces of wood into a wheelbarrow and dispose of them.  Add Top Soil And Plant Grass Seed, Plants, Or Bushes Fill in parts of the ground that contain holes with topsoil. Even out the topsoil with a rake. Plant grass seed or some of your favorite plants or bushes in the cleared section. Water the grass seed or plants. Care for the newly planted items by making sure that they receive water several times a week. Once the grass, plants, or shrubs grow, your yard will have an improved appearance that you can enjoy whenever you spend time...

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Purchased An Old Brick Home? 2 Things You Should Now Do Outside

Posted by on Apr 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you purchased a brick home and have everything ready inside, you need to now head outside and do some things to get everything finished. Below are two things you may want to consider. Rendering the Brick If the brick on the home is old and fading, rendering can bring it back to life. Two reasons you should consider rendering your brick home include: Aesthetics One reason people use rendering is to improve the look of their home.  Applying a render coat can brighten up dull brick and give your entire home a facelift. Polymer modified cement is a type of rendering often used on brick homes. This is a mixture of clay, lime, cement, sand, and bonding agents. It Is usually sponged and floated to create the desired finish. It can then be smooth or textured, natural or colored, or painted any color you like.  The contractor can show you the different types to help you make a choice of what you would like. Contact a rendering company for more information.  Prevent Penetrating Damp Another reason you should consider rendering is to prevent penetrating damp. This is like putting a waterproof seal on your home. Your brick home may be liable to damp when exposed to rain or snow for long periods of time. When this happens, water seeps through the brick, which can cause the bricks to break down, and the water can get into your home. Landscaping A landscaper can make your yard look beautiful and look like a work of art. The landscaper will also make sure your lawn is functional. Some landscape services will do other things you may not think of. For example, if you are planning to install a new driveway, the landscape contractor can help you design it. They can help you determine if you should choose a curved, circular, or straight driveway. The contractor can help you with decorative options, such as pattern stamping, colored concrete, or adding stains. The landscape contractor can also help you with lighting elements. Lighting is important if you like to spend time outdoors at night. There are many different types of lighting the contractor will show you including, post lights, spotlights, string lights, and lanterns. They can help you choose and plant trees, plants, shrubs, and flowers for your yard. The contractor can dig out a flower bed, and provide maintenance of the trees and beds when they finish planting them. Do the two things above and you will have a home that you and your family can be proud...

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Answering A Couple Of Questions About Monitored Fire Alarm Systems

Posted by on Mar 7, 2016 in Uncategorized |

A fire can rapidly cause extensive damage to your property, and it can also cause the loss of life. Unfortunately, there can be a number of sources of fire in a home. Whether it comes from a cooking accident, lightning strike or electrical problem, it is important to make sure that you are as protected as possible against this damage. To this end, you should consider installing a fire alarm system in your house. However, those that have only recently purchased their first home might benefit from having these questions about fire alarm monitoring systems answered. Why Should You Opt For A Monitored Fire System? Many homeowners may assume that they only need to install smoke detectors to protect their families and home from fire. However, it should be noted that smoke alarms only work to alert those inside the house of the threat of a fire. As a result, if you are not home, there might not be anyone around to call the fire department. Luckily, monitored fire alarm systems can be an excellent way of ensuring the fire department can be contacted in the event of a fire. These systems use sophisticated monitoring and networking technology to allow the monitoring service to determine when a fire starts and where it is located. This can allow first responders to know where the fire is located when they arrive at your house. What Should You Do During A False Alarm? One of the downsides of monitored fire alarm systems is that false alerts can cause first responders to arrive at your house. Whether this is due to a system malfunction or you burning dinner, it is important to deactivate the alarm as quickly as possible. Often, these systems have a function to allow you to report the false alarm. Failure to quickly cancel and report the false alarm can cause you to pay a false alarm fee from the local first responders. The amount of this fee can vary depending on the locality, but your fire alarm contractor will be able to provide this information to you.  Protecting your home and family from fire is a critical responsibility for homeowners. While a monitored fire alarm system can help you to meet this need, it is important to be informed about these systems before making a decision. Knowing the advantages of having these system installed and the need to avoid false alarms will help you to make the decision as to whether this is a sound investment for your...

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