Time to Raise The Roof

Tips For Keeping Your Home’s Foundation In Great Shape

Every homeowner takes pride in keeping their house in top shape. That said, a house is a complex building and it can be difficult to keep tabs on all elements of your family’s home. One area that can sometimes be overlooked is your house’s foundation. This critical area of your home can degrade over time if you do not monitor things like the water drainage around your property.

If you want to avoid having to call a foundation repair service, here are a few tips to keep your home in great shape:

Check Gutters and Downspouts

One of the biggest keys to keeping the bottom of your home in good shape starts at the top. Most houses have a gutter or downspout system installed in order to keep water from pooling on the roof and causing a problem.

But if these systems are not functioning properly, they can actually cause a problem elsewhere. Keep your gutters and downspouts free of debris in order to avoid a clog. A clog could cause water to fall only in a specific location and cause water to pool, and that’s bad news for your foundation.

Keep an Eye on the Grade

A good grade when it comes to your house’s foundation means the degree at which the ground slopes away from your house. This slope within 10 feet of your foundation should be at about 3 to 5 percent. If you notice that water is puddling in a specific section, it may be because the grade is not what is should be.

A foundation repair specialist can fix any problems you discover before they become a larger issue. If the grade is a persistent problem, you could consider getting a french drain installed in order to solve the issue.

Don’t Forget the Plumbing

While a large part of good foundation maintenance has to do with monitoring water outside the house, don’t forget to check the pipes inside. An annual plumbing inspection can periodically check for leaks that might be doing internal damage to your house’s foundation with you even realizing it. 

When it comes to taking care of your house, don’t overlook your home’s foundation. Inspect your gutters and downspouts on a regular basis and ensure that no clogs are developing. If you do notice a pool of water starting to develop, get some assistance to fix the grade of the slope around your house or consider installing a new drain. Regular plumbing inspections are also a good idea.

Contact a company like Reynolds Construction with any questions or concerns you have.

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Find What You Need When You Need It: Material Handling Equipment That Gets You Organized

Your construction crew may refer to you as obsessive compulsive or anal retentive, but the fact is a well-organized equipment truck makes the job run more smoothly. For maximum efficiency. and a place for everything and everything in its place. nothing beats material handling equipment, especially racking. Both your trucks and your work shed can be outfitted to suit your organizational needs in the following ways.

Racking Inside or on Your Trucks

Putting racks inside your cargo vans or on the outside of your pick-up trucks is not as hard as you might think. For the insides of your cargo vans, louvered racking is ideal. You can power-screw the louvered panels to the sides of the interior of the truck, and then all of the little hang and stack bins you can mount onto the louvered panels. The bins themselves can be color-coded–blue for nails, red for screws, yellow for nuts, etc., or you can just use whatever size bins you need and label them all on the front of each bin with a permanent marker.

On the outside of commercial pick-up trucks, you can use modular storage unit pieces, bolted to the bed of the truck, which can also be locked for safety. Another possibility is compartmented drawers, which would hold a lot of small fasteners inside a box, none of which could be jostled out of the trucks or lost in a mess in the back of the trucks. To really make compartmented drawer bins work for your work trucks, you might also consider horizontal bin cabinets, which can store every type of hand tool and fastener in the construction trade.

On-Site Storage

Undoubtedly, you have some sort of storage shed for equipment when you are onsite, or you keep the majority of small metal goods and tools in the office trailer with you. To avoid a ton of clutter and help your crew find what it is they are looking for quickly, you could purchase peg or slat boards on which you can mount both bins for fasteners and pegs for hand tools and small power tools. Additionally, if you have your workers sign tools out and/or record what supplies they remove from your inventory, then you can also keep track of what you need to replenish and verify it with the bins on the boards. Everything is labeled, in its place and accounted for when you utilize these racking and storage options.

Speak to a company like Tri State Surplus Co to learn more.

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Preventing And Repairing Garbage Disposal Jams

The garbage disposal is a must-have appliance in many kitchens. It makes cleaning up a breeze, since leftover food can go right down the sink, without any need for plate scraping or smelly garbage hanging about. Garbage disposals aren’t always a replacement for the trash can, though. Putting the wrong thing down the sink can result in a jam, which will put the disposal and the sink out of commission until it’s fixed. Understand what causes jams and what you can do if they happen.

Clogs: Common Causes

Garbage disposals use a system of spinning blades to grind and mash food into a liquid paste before it passes into the drain system. Certain items can gum up the blades so they don’t move, resulting in a messy clog. The following items are generally a no-no for the disposal:

  • Anything with stringy fibers, including corn husks and large pieces of celery, can wrap around the blades.
  • Gummy foods, like pasta and rice, become paste-like when mashed in the disposal, leading to a major clog.
  • Greasy foods, including bacon grease and oils, can solidify in the drain and disposal, leading to both a clog and a foul odor.
  • Any non-food item, such as paper, twist ties, glass, and sponges, can lead to an instant jam.

Basic Repair

Often, you can repair the jammed disposal on your own. First and foremost, you need to turn off all power to the disposal before you begin. Then, you will need to check the main disposal unit under the sink. There will be a place to insert an hex wrench in the bottom of the unit. Garbage disposals usually come with their own wrench, which you may find under the sink or taped to the side of the disposal unit. If not, you can use any wrench that fits.

Insert the wrench into the disposal and try turning it in either direction. You will likely have to use some force to get it to move, and then wiggle it back and forth until it moves easily. This turns the blades inside the unit, forcing the jam through.

Once this is done, turn the disposal back on and run water through it until it is clear and working well. In the future, always make sure you are running water down the drain when the disposal is running, since this will help minimize the chances for a clog. If for some reason this won’t clear the jam, contact a local plumber or repair technician from a company like Gold Seal Plumbing. They will be able to quickly fix diagnose and fix the problem and get your disposal running again.

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How To Repair Broken Obstruction Sensors

A garage door that comes down on your car, a child, or a pet can cause some real damage. Thus, modern garage doors are equipped with an obstruction sensor. However, if this obstruction sensor starts to malfunction, your garage door will not close like it should. Your first instinct might be to call for repairs, but before you do, you should inspect your garage door to see what you can do on your own. 

How Obstruction Sensors Work

You will have two obstruction sensors, which will be located on either side of your garage about six inches from the ground. Each sensor will have an electronic eye and a laser. The laser will run from sensor to sensor and as long as the beam is unbroken, your door will close just fine. However, if something breaks the beam, the sensors will send a signal to your motor to reverse the direction of your door. This is how it works in an ideal situation, but if your motion sensors are not working like they should, your door will not operate properly. 

Diagnosing Sensor Problems

If your garage door starts to close, then suddenly reverses itself, you likely have a problem with your sensor. You may be able to close the door by holding the button down on your wall closer, but this is not a permanent fix. 

Repairing a Malfunctioning Sensor

There are three main things that can go wrong with a sensor. Two of those problems you can take care of on your own, and one requires the help of a professional. They are as follows:

  1. Located near the floor of your garage, sensors can get obscured by windblown debris, dust, and spider webs. Thus, your first step in troubleshooting your sensors should be to clean them.
  2. If cleaning them doesn’t help, move your sensors from side to side then up and down. Your sensors should be equipped with a light that glows green when both sensors are in alignment. Keep maneuvering your sensors until you see the green light.
  3. If you try steps one and two, and you can’t get your sensors to work, you likely have an electrical problem, and you will need to call a garage repair company to correct the problem.

Not every problem you have with your garage door requires a professional. Doing some troubleshooting on your own can help you to save money, but if you make your best effort and still can’t get your door working, it is time to call for reinforcements.

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Regularly Clean Your Home’s Rain Gutters So They Can Protect Your Home

Since your home’s rain gutters serve the vital function of directing storm water away from the base of your home, it is important that you regularly clean out the leaves, pine needles, and dirt that tends to accumulate in the bottom of rain gutters.

Follow these simple steps to properly clean your home’s rain gutters:

Step 1: Remove Leaves Manually

The first step to clean your home’s rain gutters is to safely climb on a folding ladder. For this project, you should use a ladder with a shelf so that you have a place to put a bucket to collect the leaves from the gutters. For safety, stand on the first step of the ladder and jump up and down a bit before you climb up. If the ladder doesn’t move, then the ground will be stable enough to hold your weight. If the ladder starts to sink into the ground, then you can place a piece of plywood under it.

Wearing rubber gloves, you should remove all of the solid material found in the gutters. You can use a gutter scooping tool or a large plastic kitchen spoon to help make the project easier. Never use a metal spoon in your gutters as it can damage the gutter.

Once you have removed all of the leaves, you can compost the material for use in your garden.

Step 2: Spray the Gutter Tracks and Downspouts

Using your garden hose with a nozzle attachment or a pressure washer, wash down all of the long gutter tracks and the downspout pipes to remove any lingering dirt or leaves. If you use a pressure washer for this project, be sure that you do not aim it at the underside of the roof’s shingles as this can damage the integrity of the roof.

Step 3: Treat Any Biological Contaminates

If you find any mold, mildew, or moss growing in your home’s gutter system, then you should treat it. You can spray it with a mixture of chlorine bleach and some warm water. Spray the area with the bleach mixture and scrub it with a stiff brush to remove. Wash down the gutter and paint on your home to remove any bleach to prevent it from doing any damage.

Step 4: Inspect the Gutter System for Damage

Once your gutter system is cleaned, then you should walk all the way around the perimeter of your home and check for any damage that needs to be repaired. Things that you should look for include:

  • holes
  • cracks
  • missing rivets
  • missing spikes
  • damaged caulking

Additionally, if your home has older metal rain gutters, then you also need to check for missing paint or signs of rust. If you find any rust it must be sanded, treated, and repainted to prevent it from spreading.

A Note About Gutter Guards

If you do not like cleaning your gutters or live in an area with a lot of trees, then you should consider having gutter guards installed on your home’s rain gutter system. The gutter guards are made in such a way that they allow water to drain from your roof and keep leaves and pine needles out of the rain gutters. This eliminates the need for you to clean your home’s gutters.

Conclusion

By regularly cleaning your home’s rain gutters, you are preventing water from damaging your exterior paint, landscaping, and your home’s foundation. If you are interested in having gutter guards installed or are in need of professional gutter cleaning, you should contact a local rain gutter cleaning company like Mr. Gutter for assistance.

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5 Fresh Ideas For Your Shower Stall

Your shower is an integral part of your morning routine. You probably step into the shower in the afternoon or evening at least once a week as well. Therefore, your shower stall is an important part of your bathroom design. If you’re considering a remodel or building from scratch, design a shower stall that complements both your bathroom and your bathing routine.

Sliding Glass Door

If your bathroom is on the small side, a sliding glass door for your shower is a good update. A clear glass door doesn’t impede the visual space. Likewise, the glass reflects light back into the bathroom, making it appear larger. You can even select different designs for the top track of your sliding glass door.

Frameless Shower Glass

A frameless glass enclosure is as practical as it is attractive. Frameless glass doors are a universal design staple because they don’t feature a rim for stubbing toes or otherwise impeding entrance into the shower. The frameless construction of the rest of the enclosure means no metal trim that can rust or collect mold, making clean up easier. Frameless glass also allows for a seamless visual transition from your stall to the rest of the bathroom.

Transom Windows

Transom windows are a unique addition for glass shower enclosures. Typically located above the door, transom windows open out to the rest of the bathroom. You can keep them open during your shower to minimize the accumulation of steam or simply provide additional ventilation. They also deliver an attractive design element for being so unexpected.

Massage Sprays

Whether you need a morning pick-me-up or a soothing shower after a workout, massaging sprays are a luxurious upgrade in your shower. Horizontal sprays are typically part of a spa panel, though they can be installed separately. Contractors angle them to best provide a back massage during your shower.

Double Shower

If you’ve got the space in your bathroom, consider a double shower. Such a construction almost takes on the feel of a shower room. Better Homes and Gardens suggests installing the double shower near a window or set of windows and utilizing glass walls to let the sun through. The design goal for the double shower is to keep things symmetrical, with shower heads on opposite sides and everything providing a mirror image of the other.

Glass shower doors and entire enclosures afford your bathroom an airy ambience. Massage sprays, transom windows and doubling up in the shower are affordable luxuries that make your bathroom unique. For more information, contact a company like Clifton Mirror & Glass.

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5 Tips To Prevent Key Duplication Fraud

Key duplication fraud is making a copy of a key without the consent of the owner. As silly as it may sound, key duplication fraud is becoming common for thieves. Think about it – they don’t have to break the door to get access to your office, house or car:

New technologies have developed an online key duplication software and unfortunately, thieves have the run for your money with it. The thieves take a photograph of the key they want to duplicate then they use the software to process the duplication, and are issued the key after payment. It’s also easy for them to reproduce new vehicle keys by sending the car’s Vehicle Identification Number label on the dashboard to the dealership. After a while, they are issued the duplicated key. Below are five tips to prevent key duplication fraud. 

1. Use an Authorization System

Companies can keep track of the keys made. They should set up an authorization system with their locksmith. The locks are installed after the specification of the number of keys is made. Duplication cannot be done until the authorization information is presented. This system can minimize duplication of keys by thieves and also makes it difficult for employees to request and make copies. 

2. Mark – Do Not Duplicate

The office should enforce strict regulations about making duplicate keys. To help aid this, they should have a tag ‘Do not duplicate’. Employees should just have to check in if they have lost or left behind their key. This is a reason that keycards have become so common in the workplace. Terminated employees should return the keys to the employer and this should be a part of their termination process. 

3. Inspect Employees Keys Often

A company should have a policy in place to ensure the given set of office keys are with their rightful owners. This prevents thieves from having access to the lost keys. 

4. Protect Your Vehicles VIN 

Covering the dashboard with opaque electric tape can prevent duplication of keys by viewing the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The thieves will not be able to view the VIN, hence less duplication. 

5. Keep a Valet Key

Most updated cars have push button starters. Although you may have a valet key, this would only be used to open the door, not start the engine. This may be useful if someone is cleaning your vehicle or performing other types of inspections that don’t require your vehicle to start. If you have an older model vehicle, a valet key would start your vehicle and is a great option to have so no one gets the full set of your keys. 

Key duplication fraud makes it easy to break into your space and undetected when thieves have access to your keys. Follow the above five tips to protect your keys. To learn more, contact a company like Anytime Lock Key & Door with any questions or concerns you have.

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