Time to Raise The Roof

Practical Ways To Extend The Life Of Your Garage Door

Garage doors are one of the most functional parts in a home. Keeping the door operating efficiently for a long period of time is key. Fortunately, this isn’t a difficult process. Here are just some of the practical ways you can keep your garage door functioning correctly to extend its life.

Keep Your Ears Open

The way a garage door sounds when operating can be very telling when it comes to its overall condition. If you listen closely, it’s easy to be alerted of a problem early so that you can fix it before it becomes something more extensive.

For example, if you hear a clanging or squeaky sound when the door is opening or closing, this is often a sign that the extension springs that support the door are starting to wear. As the springs continue to decline, this will only make it harder for the door to move. This can put extra wear on the opener’s motor and cause damage to the track.

Lubricate Often

It’s also a good idea to lubricate all the moving parts of your door occasionally. Garage door systems have a number of moving parts. When they aren’t lubricated, they don’t move as well, which can cause friction buildup, which will ultimately increase the risk of a part failure.

When performing this step, it’s best to stick with a lithium grease. Lithium grease is an excellent option because it is thicker. Thicker lubricants tend to stay in place longer, reducing the frequency at which you need to apply it. Additionally, most lithium grease blends also have rust preventing qualities.

Perform Seasonal Cleanings

Consider adding your garage door to your seasonal cleaning regimen. Keeping the door, particularly the tracks, clean is an excellent way to minimize problems and potential malfunctions. Dust, dirt, leaves, lubricant and all other types of debris can build up along the tracks of the door system.

In excessive amounts, this buildup can make it more challenging for the door to move along the track. The harder it is for the door to move, the greater the risk for damage to the door. Cleaning the door is as simple as using a blend of mild detergent and soap to scrub away any debris. Make sure you remove any water that may have pooled along the track to help prevent corrosion.

For more information, contact Plano Overhead Garage Door or a similar company.

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3 Ways That You Can Keep Your Yard Looking Great All Winter With Artificial Turf

If you’re frustrated by how unattractive your yard can become during the winter due to cold weather, it may be time to start looking into alternatives. While you can rip out your current lawn and have a gravel or rock yard installed, this may not be a good option if you’re a fan of lush, green lawns. If this is the case, it’s important that you begin to look into how artificial turf can be a valuable addition to your yard.

Provides You with Green Space to Enjoy Outdoor Activities

An enticing reason to opt for artificial turf over a gravel or rock front or back yard is due to how much more enjoyable it can be to step on. If you have a rock yard, it’s likely that you won’t be spending a lot of time on it. This is especially true if you have children or pets that typically like to play in the yard. With artificial turf, you can still enjoy using these outdoor spaces for whatever activities or games without the hassle of a real grass lawn.

Eliminates the Need for Extensive Lawn Care

Keeping a lawn in good shape can be time-consuming and expensive—especially when winter rolls around. Not only does your yard likely need a lot of water to keep green, the cold weather can lead to it dying anyways. Fertilizing the lawn come spring takes time as well, making the proper care of your lawn a long ordeal. With an artificial lawn put in, you can cut down the time needed for landscaping significantly without giving up a lawn entirely.

Gets Rid of Potential Pests That Can Cause Problems

One thing to be aware of if you stick with a regular grass lawn is just how problematic they can be when it comes to pests. Fire ant mounds, as well as a number of other invasive insects, can begin to call your grass lawn home. This can be a real problem if you like to spend a lot of time on the lawn throughout the year. While pest control chemicals are an option, it’s better to not need to rely on them at all. By getting artificial turf put in, you can enjoy your yard without the concern of pests making your yard their new home and potentially causing harm or damage.

While the cost of artificial turf can be steep, around $5 to $20 per square foot, it can be ideal for your needs. Understanding the various benefits of artificial turf can help you move forward with getting it installed properly and without concerns over its use. If you’d like more information about the benefits of artificial turf or its installation, go to http://bourgetbros.com.

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Three Ways Your Sump Pit Can Affect The Type Of Sump Pump You Can Install

If you’re in the market for a new sump pump, the easiest way to decide which one to replace it with is probably just getting the exact same type you had before. But there’s no reason you must do that, if you think another type would suit your needs better. However, there may be certain aspects of your situation that dictate which types of pump will work for you and which ones won’t. The sump pit your pump resides in is one of these factors. Here are three ways in which the sump pit may affect the effectiveness of certain sump pumps in your situation.

1. Submersible vs. Pedestal

Submersible and pedestal are the two most commonly found categories of sump pump. A pedestal pump sits up out of the water, while a submersible pump sits at the bottom of the sump basin or pit. Submersible pumps are frequently recommended for their longevity and high quality manufacture, but depending on the type of pump you had before, your sump basin may or may not have enough room for a submersible pump. Check guidelines for the size of sump pit you should have based on the size of pump you’re shopping for. Since the whole point of having a sump pump is to keep your basement water-free, you may need a larger sump pit if the one you have isn’t large enough for the size pump your basement needs.

2. Switch type

The sump pit’s size can also rule out one or more float switch types for your sump pump. The three switch types are tether (the largest), vertical, and electronic. Small sump pits will require either a vertical or an electronic switch; a tethered switch can’t function if your sump pit is less than fourteen inches across. This is because the float needs plenty of elbow room in order to float freely and provide an accurate reading. 

3. Head pressure needed

Measure the distance from your sump pit/basin to the pipe it must pump water to. This distance is the amount of vertical lift or “head pressure” your sump pump will need. The further your pit is from this pipe, the more head pressure is required. Check to see that the head pressure is over the required distance before selecting your sump pump. Since head pressure is related to horsepower, you may need a more powerful model if you have a high vertical lift requirement.

These three factors all shape the requirements for your sump pump. Be sure to scope out your current sump pit before you go shopping for your new pump so that you can get all the specifications right. for more information, visit sites like http://www.rite-waywaterproofing.com. 

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Tips To Address The Risk Of Power Surges In Your Home

One of the things that many homeowners overlook is the importance of protecting their home from power surges. Not only can those surges put your home’s appliances at risk of damage, they can also damage the wiring in your home. Sometimes, power surges are so subtle that you don’t even notice them, though the power coming through the lines is still sufficient to cause damage. Here are a few things you should know about protecting your home.

Make Sure The Wiring is Grounded

Your home’s wiring must be grounded in order to reduce the risk of surges. There’s a ground installed at the power meter for the primary incoming power. You should see a couple of rods in the ground around that power meter that have copper caps on them. Attached to those caps are usually a couple of small wires. Those rods provide a path for excess electrical currents to discharge, protecting your home from that current flow. If you can’t find them or the wires appear to be disconnected, call a local electrical service as soon as possible.

Install Surge Protection to Dampen Surges

You’re probably familiar with the power strips that have built-in surge protection. You can also install power receptacles in your home that include that same protection. In addition, if you work with your local electrical services, you can add a full-home surge protector to the primary incoming electrical line. This helps to regulate the electricity coming into your home at all times, minimizing the risk of surges.

Have An Electrical System Assessment

While you’re taking steps to prevent an electrical surge, you should have the wiring in the house evaluated and have your entire property assessed for other vulnerabilities with the electrical system. For example, old wiring can be a serious safety hazard and may not be able to handle power fluctuations as well as new, updated wiring can.

Power surges are a significant concern for homeowners because of the damage that they can cause and the fact that they are typically difficult to detect. With these tips and the help of your local electrical services provider, you’ll be able to not only protect your home against the risk of surges but also spot any other potential vulnerabilities that could threaten the integrity of the electrical circuits in the house. Call your local electrician or G.J. Rossi & Son today for a thorough evaluation and to install some of these protective measures. Having the work done by a professional is essential for safety.

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3 Tips To Remember When Installing Solar Panels On Your Roof

Solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular method of reducing energy costs for families. Unfortunately, when the panels are improperly installed on the roof, they can be damaging to your home.  To help with the installation of your solar panels, here are some tips to keep in mind. 

Review the Local Housing Codes

Your solar panel project should start by researching the local housing codes so that you do not violate them with the installation. The codes can vary from city to city, but there are some basics that apply in most areas. 

For instance, some cities require that there is enough room for firefighters to be able to walk the roofing in case of an emergency. Your contractor can help create a plan for placing the panels. 

An inspector will also want to ensure that your electrical service panel fits your current electrical supply. The solar panel could be feeding more electricity through the current panel than it can handle. If that is the case, you will need a new service panel.

Install Panels With a Comparable Lifespan to Your Roofing

Once the solar panels are affixed to your home, removing them can cause damage to your roof. Not only can the panels become damaged, but also the roofing. 

It is because of this you need to install panels that have a comparable lifespan to your roofing. For instance, if you have an asphalt roof that has approximately 10 years left before it needs to be replaced, look for panels that offer 10 years of coverage. 

Your roofing contractor might recommend waiting on the panels until it is time to install a new roof. At that time, you can shop for panels and roofing that have the same lifespan.

Install Drainage for Water

Normally, water that is on your roof trickles down into the gutters and through the downspouts. Once the solar panels are installed, though, the flow of water from your roof and into the gutters could be interrupted. As a result, the water can start to pool up on your roof. The longer the water sits, the more likely it is to seep through the roofing and into your home. 

To avoid this, you and your contractor need to ensure that there is a path for the water to flow through on the roof. You can also rely on a vacuum system to help pull the water off the roof and out into the yard.

For more information, contact East Texas Roof Works & Sheet Metal LLC. or a similar company.

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Outdoor Kitchens: 3 Types Of Lighting You Need For Different Areas

While you may think that the most important part of your outdoor kitchen is the actual kitchen itself, it may actually be the lighting. After all, you can’t cook in the dark if you decide to entertain in the evening. Therefore, you will need to make sure you have adequate lighting for the three main areas of your outdoor kitchen.

Task Lighting in the Grill Area

When it comes to the lighting design of the outdoor kitchen area, one of the most important parts is the grill area. Part of the reason for this is due to food safety issues. The person cooking the food must be able to tell if the food is being cooked properly prior to taking the food off the grill and serving it to guests. LEDs are an excellent type of light for grill task lighting as they provide a bright white light that will help you see clearly. This will ensure that the food is not only safe to eat, but that it is also being presented well. Also, the U.S. Department of Energy says that LEDs do not put off a lot of heat, which is important because there is already plenty of heat coming off of the grill so you don’t need a light bulb adding additional heat to the area.

Ambient Lighting in the Eating Area

Once you’ve figured out the grill lighting, it’s time to take care of the lighting in the eating area. You will want to figure out a way to keep insect attraction at a minimum. LEDS make for a great type of lighting in the eating area as they’re durable and energy-efficient. In fact, the Department of Energy states that LED bulbs will use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescent lighting. Now, to help keep insects away, you can install ceiling fans in the dining area. This will also help with climate control. In addition, tiki torches, incense and anti-pest plants may be used around the eating area to help repel insects.

Safety Lighting Along the Walkways

The last step in your outdoor kitchen lighting design is figuring out the lighting along the walkways from the home to the outdoor kitchen. You can use low-voltage lighting to line the pathways, or you can use LED lighting like you have with the above areas. The great thing about LED lights is that they’re energy-efficient, long-lasting and cost-effective. You have several options with walkway lighting, depending on the type of pathway that you are lighting. For example, if you are lighting steps, you can use lights placed in the steps themselves. If you’re lighting a pebble rock landscape path, you could choose miniature lanterns on ground stakes.

For help with the design and installation of the lighting in your outdoor kitchen area, consult with a professional electrical contractor from a company like B & N Electric Company Inc.

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Create The Right Mood In Any Room By Installing Dimmer Switches

Being able to control the lighting in any room lets you set the mood for any activity. Turn down the chandelier lighting in the dining room for that candlelit dinner. Lower the lights in the family room for a cozy evening. With a few household tools, you can change regular light switches to dimmer switches. When you’re ready to create your own mood lighting, here is how to install dimmer switches throughout the house.

Tools You’ll Need

  • flat-blade screwdriver
  • wire cutters/strippers

From the home improvement store:

  • a dimmer switch for each light you wish to control
  • decorative wall plate to cover the switch (you won’t be able to use the old cover plate)

Note that some dimmer switches only work with the old incandescent bulbs. Other switches work with the new compact fluorescent lights (CFL). Make sure that you buy the dimmer switch that matches the type of light bulbs you wish to control.

Replacing the Light Switch

  1. Turn the electricity off to the light switch at the circuit panel for the house.
  2. Remove the decorative cover from the light switch.
  3. Loosen the two screws holding the switch in the junction box.
  4. Pull the switch out of the box with the wires behind it.
  5. Unscrew the green or copper screw holding the ground wire onto the switch and remove the wire.
  6. Cut the black and white wires going into the back of the switch as close to the switch as possible.
  7. Strip about a half inch of insulation from the ends of the black and white wires.
  8. Secure the end of the green ground wire to the green or copper screw on the dimmer switch.
  9. Push the bare end of the black wire into the hole on the back of the dimmer switch marked “Black” or “Hot.”
  10. Push the bare end of the white wire into the hole on the back of the dimmer switch marked “White” or “Neutral.”
  11. Push the wires into the junction box followed by the dimmer switch.
  12. Secure the dimmer switch in the junction box with the two screws.
  13. Place the decorative cover on the switch.
  14. Turn the electricity back on to the switch.

Problems You May Encounter

If you have any of the following problems, you’ll need the help of a residential electrical services company to address them.

  • The old light switch only has two wires going to it. This likely means there is no ground wire. An electrician will need to run a ground wire to the switch.
  • The wires are a different color than the standard black, white and green. The electrician will have to sort out the wires for you and replace them with the standard colors. To learn more, visit a website like http://aaaeinc.com/.
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