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An Exploration of the Plumbing Industry

Quartz Vs Laminate: Which Is A Better Countertop Material?

Posted by on Feb 16, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Quartz Vs Laminate: Which Is A Better Countertop Material?

If you are currently in need of new countertops, you might be trying to stay away from the more expensive materials like marble and granite. However, this doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with plain and boring countertops just because they are cheap. There are quite a few materials that are affordable and very stylish. Two great options are quartz and laminate countertops. Here are some things to know about each ones o you can decide which is a better option for you. Laminate Let’s first look at each countertop material and what makes it different. The first option is laminate, which is not a solid material but a mixture of different types of materials. During manufacturing, these materials are placed in layers, including particleboard, plastic, paper, and resin. The finished product makes it look just like more expensive materials, without costing you a fortune. Quartz The other option is to go with quartz countertops, which are made from mineral quartz and some other materials. These might include binding resins, glass, and even some marble materials. Since quartz is not a solid type of stone countertop, it is not going to be as expensive as marble or granite. You might see this labeled as engineered stone. The Cost Differences Now that you understand more about what the materials are, you can start looking at their differences. Cost is a good place to start, since you likely have turned to these materials for being less expensive than solid stone. If your budget is strict, laminate might be a better option for you. It is usually less expensive than quartz, both in the materials and the labor and installation. Unless you are installing the countertops yourself, you want to consider what a contractor will charge for the installation.                                                                                                                    How They Look In terms of the appearance of each of the countertops, they can both mimic natural stone, but quartz is more similar to it. This is because it does have some quartz stone in it, so it has a little bit of natural veining. Quartz also has more depth in the appearance, as opposed to laminate where up close, it is easier to see that it is not real stone. However, if you like the solid color look, laminate is a great option. Their Durability One good thing about both countertop options is that they are relatively durable. However, laminate countertops are better for handling heat, while quartz is a better option when you want to reduce abrasions in the...

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Make Your Next Computer Recycling More Efficient

Posted by on Feb 9, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Make Your Next Computer Recycling More Efficient

Tossing a computer into the garbage is a waste of resources, not to mention illegal in some states. You’re throwing away an investment, even if the computer doesn’t work anymore. To get a bit of money back from the materials inside the computer, or to put what working components you can find to better use, here are a few efficient ways to find, dismantle, and recycle computers with the help of garbage removal tools and professionals. Aluminum Recycling Points Even though many modern computers are covered with acrylic or other plastic-like materials for design purposes, most computers are still made with aluminum cases and framework. The main exception is with ruggedized computers used for field or industrial work, which often use steel for case materials. The cases can be taken apart with screws in most situations, but you may want a rivet remove on hand for the few cases that use rivets. Metalworking safety gloves are the better choice if the case uses tabs or locking metal joints to hold everything together, since the force used to pull tabs apart may be enough to cause a cut when pulling everything apart. Magnets For Hobbyists If your computers have hard drives, they’re still worth some money even if they’re no longer working. Hard drives are made of aluminum cases that can be unscrewed to reveal a few different materials, with the rare earth magnets being quite valuable to hobbyists looking for something cheaper that store-bought novelty magnets. Keep in mind that hard drive is sometimes a generic term for a bigger category of storage devices. Solid State Drives (SSD) are often incorrectly called hard drives (the shortened form of hard disk drives or HDDs), but hard drive refers to the specific platter-based technology that includes magnets. SSDs do not have magnets–or any moving parts, for that matter. Working Parts Versus Recycling Bin Material If some of the components are still working, they may be better off sent to a new computer or marked for working condition. Recycling centers don’t necessarily has to destroy working components and can see that the functional components are put back into proper use. Devices such as hard drives are often the first to fail and have a much more limited useful life than other components, so they may be scrapped or destroyed. Processors require more attention to properly remove and preserve, so it’s more your responsibility to make sure that a processor worth hundreds of dollars isn’t turned into its much less valuable collection of gold pins and smaller metals attached to silicon.  Power supplies, memory modules and optical drives for CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs tend to last longer. To be sure that components are sent to their proper recycling destinations, you’ll need proper labeling to make garbage collection and recycling easier. A garbage removal professional can provide color-coded recycling bins to allow easier separation. Working devices can be placed into a set of bins dedicated for reuse. Different metals and other materials from non-working components can go into other bins, and you can hold onto those bins until a more favorable recycling pay rate is available. Recycling rates change daily and are different depending on the material, so be sure to speak with recycling professionals while keeping an eye on prices for the best payout. Contact...

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How To Remove Your Carpet

Posted by on Feb 9, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Remove Your Carpet

If you want to install new carpet in your home, you will first need to do some prep work. Of course, you can usually have your old carpet removed by the contractors who will install your new product. Alternatively, you can hire a different company to handle just the carpet removal and prep work. This is often the best way to find a competitive price for the job. You will need to shop around and get bids. However, you can make the job even cheaper if you do the work on your own. You don’t need any specialized tools or training to remove carpet from your subfloor. This article explains the best way to do it. Lifting the Carpet In order to lift up the carpet, you will need to find an edge. You will usually need a screwdriver or sharp tool to pry away an edge of the carpet away from the tack strips. If you cannot do this because there is floor molding, you can use a utility knife to cut a slit into the carpet. Then, you can hook this with the claw side of a hammer and start to pull up the carpet. As you lift the carpet, you should cut it into smaller strips that will be easier to carry out. Usually, strips that are less than 5′ wide are easy enough to carry. When working with the carpet, you should definitely wear thick, protective gloves. The carpet base is rough and sharp. One the carpet is removed, the pads should be easy to pull up. The pads are much lighter and easier to haul out of the house. However, they might be stapled to the subfloor. If your staples stay stuck in the subfloor, you will need pliers to pull them out one by one. Also, if your pads were glued to the subfloor in anyway, you might need a floor scraper to remove any leftover residue. Remove the Tack Strips Removing the tack strips is often the hardest part because they are secure to the floor with large nails. A large flathead screwdriver and a hammer will work the best. You might need to hammer multiple screwdrivers underneath the strip at once. Then, you can pry up at multiple points for better leverage. This also prevents the strip from breaking into small pieces. The last step is to clean your floors and you will now be ready for your new carpet...

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Preparing Your Home’s Exterior For Spring Showers

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Preparing Your Home’s Exterior For Spring Showers

As winter transitions into spring, you may be looking forward to warmer weather. Your home, however, may need some extra attention to prepare it for spring showers. Use the following guide to help prepare your home’s exterior for the coming rain, and keep the inside of your home dry and comfortable. Schedule A Gutter Cleaning Over the winter, leaves and debris may have become stuck under the snow and ice. As the spring thaw approaches, you may find that your gutters are clogged with this debris, which can prevent water from flowing through your gutters properly. Schedule a gutter cleaning, and ask your contractor to also perform an inspection. He or she can perform any repairs to damaged areas of the gutters and downspouts while cleaning out the entire system. Once everything is clean and prepared, rainwater can flow freely through your home’s gutters. Install Gutter Guards If you don’t already have some form of guards installed on your gutters, spring may be the right time to add them to your home. The guards prevent leaves and debris from piling up, so your gutters can perform properly. They also keep squirrels, birds, and other animals from nesting inside the gutters, which can cause blockages and even lead to animals attempting to gain entry into your home. You can install the gutters as a DIY project if you are handy, or you can have your contractor install them for you. Inspect Your Roof And Siding Leaks can become a problem in the spring if you have damaged roofing or siding, so consider having them inspected before the spring rains begin. You’ll want to look for loose shingles on the roof or damage to flashing, which can leave your home vulnerable to leaks. Loosened siding panels can also become an entry point for water in your home. Make the necessary repairs to these areas, and consider having your contractor perform a leak test on your roof to look for damage that isn’t obvious to the naked eye. Direct Your Downspouts Your downspouts will only work if they are positioned correctly. If they are too close to the home or they are positioned at the wrong angle, they can actually end up directing water into your home. They should be pointed away from the driveway to avoid flooding it in the summer and forming ice in the winter. The spouts should be angled at a downward pitch from your home. If you are unsure how to position your downspouts, have your gutter contractor handle this task for you. With the proper preparation, you can ensure your home is ready for spring rains. Talk to your contractor about any concerns you may have, including areas where you suspect you have leaks, and come up with a plan to make the necessary repairs before spring rains...

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Test

Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Test

Test Post

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3 Things You Can Do While Waiting for a Construction Permit for Your Basement

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things You Can Do While Waiting for a Construction Permit for Your Basement

Getting a house with an unfinished basement is like getting a blank slate of land. If you want to fix up your unfinished basement, you may need to get a construction permit for big changes. No matter if you want to make a basement movie room or you want to build a basement apartment, you will likely need to get a permit to change the structures of your home, including the electrical systems and building. While you are waiting on the city to approve your constructon permits, you should get started on the work that you can do. Here are three construction things that you can do without the permit.  Strip away any old items If you are doing a complete overhaul of your basement, you will need to start by getting rid of everything. Pull up the carpets and have these taken away from your home. You can remove old appliances that you will not use and take down any cabinetry or furnishings that will not be necessary for your new place. Order a large dumpster to take away the old items if you are doing a total overhaul.  Take measurements and order the equipment In expectation of your permits being approved, you should get together with your contractor and ask what items need to be ordered. It is always best to order the items ahead of time, so that when the permits come through, you can get started. Order the items that must be put in first, such as electrical items that must go behind the wall and flooring that will need to be put down immediately. Items that must be custom ordered should also be put in since these can take more time than normal stock items. Take the proper measurements and put in the necessary orders well in advance of the expected start date.  Prepare the rest of the house One good thing about waiting on construction permits is the chance to prepare the rest of the house for the impending construction. Make a clear walkway for construction workers to enter your home without anything being in the way. Lay down plastic to keep shoes with dirt from the outside from staining the flooring in you home. If the electrical needs changing, be sure to find proper flashlights so that you and your contractors can see inside of the basement if working in the dark. Setting up a proper workspace will make it easy and less stressful to start on the work after permits have gone through.  Learn more about the process through companies like Askenvironmental,...

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How To Improve Your Air Conditioner

Posted by on Oct 31, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Improve Your Air Conditioner

Noticing that you are having to run your air conditioner for a longer period of time in order to see an improvement in your home’s temperature? If this is the case, there are likely factors that are causing your air conditioner to run poorly. So before you continue to run your unit for a long duration of time, be sure to take advantage of these tips that can help revamp the performance of your unit:   Relocate Your Condenser: If your air conditioner’s condenser isn’t pulling in enough air, the performance of your air conditioner won’t be ideal. This is why it is great to relocate your condenser if it is being blocked by the side of your home, yard fence, and even landscape. Relocating your unit can increase the air intake drastically and this can improve the overall performance of your system without having to perform any major services. Replace Filters: Filters are a quick and easy service that you can do on your own that can improve the efficiency of your system. Along with providing cleaner air for your home, replacing filters that may be covered in dust or debris can improve the airflow of your system and this can help deliver more air to your home in a shorter period of time. This can also improve the overall efficiency of your unit. So every few months be sure to check your filters to see whether or not they need to be replaced so you can keep up with your filter maintenance. Improve Window Insulation: Does your air conditioner unit feed through your window? If it does and your window has small side cracks, the delivery of your unit may be compromised and this can easily impact the overall performance of your unit. So on a regular basis be sure that you take the time to inspect for window cracks so you can fix them before they cause any real problems with your air conditioner. Using these three tips can help you improve the efficiency of your unit more than you think and this can cut down the cost of your electricity bill, but most importantly it will allow you to cool your home in a quick time frame. So rather than continue to run your poorly operating air conditioner and potentially overpay on your electricity bill, try these tips and don’t hesitate to contact a company like All American Air & Electric, Inc. if you have further...

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When It Comes To Plumbing Services, A Flush Beats A Full House!

Posted by on Oct 31, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When It Comes To Plumbing Services, A Flush Beats A Full House!

Plumbing, like electricity, is something we all take for granted but miss it horribly when it’s not working. Many plumbing issues are fixable by homeowners, but some require the use of a plumbing services professional. It is important to not only consider inside plumbing but also outside plumbing too, which can cause one to require the help of a plumbing services professional, depending on the severity of the problem. In fact, of all the things that invariably can, and do, go wrong with all the aspects of homeownership, plumbing is one of the easiest things to deal with. A leaky faucet and a clogged toilet are two examples. With a bit of advice, these are do-it-yourself issues that can be dealt with. But if you get something like exploding pipes, or undetermined leaks, it’s time to call in the plumber. One often overlooked problem is water pressure. A dribbling shower is at most just a nuisance and is a result of low water pressure. You can get a water pressure gauge at a hardware store and test it yourself. If the psi is less than 30, the pressure is too low. The cause of low pressure could be a leaky pipe (generally an easy fix), which should be addressed unless you want to pay high water bills and possibly cause damage to your home, particularly if the cause is caved in buried pipes. Situations like this require the help of a plumbing services professional who can assess the situation using a camera and can undertake the necessary repairs. On the flip side is high water pressure. Use your pressure gauge and if the psi in this case is over 80, it’s too high and could lead to stress on pipes and ultimately cause fittings to crack and fail. A plumbing services company can install a pressure regulator on your main line to keep the pressure correct. In either instance, it pays to call a plumbing service provider to check out your pressure and avoid serious damage and high water bills. Your toilet is something you use every day and generally, aside from the occasional clog, nothing goes wrong. However, over time, even the porcelain throne has issues, and sometimes needs replacing. They can develop hairline cracks and leaks, which over time will become serious. Sometimes a plumbing service, such as Towers Murray Plumbing, can locate these and repair them, but at some point, replacement is the only...

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Three Of Your Siding Questions Answered

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Of Your Siding Questions Answered

Adding siding to your home can be a great option to increase its value and improve its appearance while also reducing the amount of work that will be needed to maintain its appearance. Yet, you may not have a lot of experience with this type of home exterior, which can result in you needing to have a few frequently asked siding questions and concerns addressed. Why Is It Important To Keep The Siding Clean? Siding will not require much maintenance, but it is important to make sure that you are regularly cleaning the siding. Over the course of time, many different substances will start to accumulate on the siding. These materials may eventually discolor the siding or otherwise compromise it by retaining moisture against it. To remove these materials, you will want to spray the siding with a pressure washer every year. Preferably, this maintenance should be done during the spring so as to remove these substances before the spring rains arrive. Does Sunlight Cause Siding To Fade? While siding is designed to last for many years, it is a reality that the intense light from the sun can start to break down the pigments in the siding. This can eventually have a bleaching effect on the siding. You can slow this effect by applying a sealant that protects against ultraviolet radiation. For the best protection, you will want to have the sealant applied every couple of years, as exposure to the elements will gradually start to break it down and wash it off the home’s exterior. Is Siding A Good Option For Homes In Storm-Prone Areas? There is a routine misconception that siding is not a good option for homes that are in areas that routinely experience severe storms. This belief is due to the fear that the winds from these storms will cause the siding to fail or be torn off of the home. Luckily, siding is designed to withstand the conditions produced by strong storms. However, if you are particularly concerned with this risk, you can purchase siding that is designed for particularly high winds. This siding is more expensive than standard types, but the added protection is more than worth this additional initial expense. Siding is a common addition for many homeowners to make. Yet, it is a reality that this upgrade can be misunderstood. Understanding that siding can be a durable choice for homes in storm-prone areas, the benefits of cleaning the siding on a regular basis, and the steps for protecting the color of the siding can greatly help you when deciding to make this improvement to your home. For more information on siding, contact a company like Side-Pro,...

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Three Tasks That Should Top Your Fall Household Maintenance Checklist

Posted by on Sep 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Tasks That Should Top Your Fall Household Maintenance Checklist

Once the summer weather begins to fade, you don’t have long to complete any necessary household maintenance before it gets too cold. You need a fall chore list, and your list of tasks needs to be prioritized to ensure the most important tasks are completed as soon as possible. This way, if winter weather arrives earlier than planned, you can relax knowing the most important items are complete. But, how do you decide what tasks should be at the top of your fall to-do list? It’s entirely up to you, but you should consider making these things a priority. Gutter Maintenance It’s extremely important to repair and clean your gutters and downspouts before winter weather arrives. When your gutters and downspouts are clogged, it makes it difficult for water to drain away from your roof. This could result in ice dams forming, which in turn, can cause damage to your roof or leaks in your walls and/or ceilings. If an ice dam is heavy enough, the weight of it could rip the gutter off your house. To clean your gutters and downspouts: Remove all of the debris gathered in your gutters. Use a hose to flush out any debris that’s collected in your downspouts. Install gutter guards, if needed, to help prevent your gutters from clogging. Ideally, you want to wait until all of the leaves fall from nearby trees before cleaning the gutters if possible. However, if you think that your area will get a bout of snow and ice before all of the leaves have fallen, get the work done as soon as possible. Remember, it’s also important to inspect your home’s drainage system to make sure the gutters and downspouts are in good condition and secure. If needed, you should repair or replace any sections that are damaged or loose before winter arrives. Furnace Inspection The last thing you want is for your furnace to stop working in the middle of winter. Having your furnace inspected in the fall can prevent this from happening. Call a local heating and air company like Universal Enterprises Inc. to schedule a routine inspection. During the inspection, the technician should check your furnace to make sure everything is in proper working order, as well as clean your furnace and vents to make sure there isn’t anything restricting airflow into your home. Keep in mind, if the technician spots a potential problem, you should consider having the repairs completed as soon as possible. This way, you don’t have to worry about a small issue becoming a larger, more expensive problem in the near future. Additionally, consider having the HVAC tech inspect and clean your air conditioner unit as well. This way, you’re already prepared for the next cooling season. Plumbing Winterization Before it gets too cold outside, you should winterize the pipes underneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks. This way, your pipes won’t freeze if it gets really cold outside. The process is actually fairly simple. All you need to do is buy pipe insulation tubing from a local hardware store, and then cut the tubing so that it fits the length of the pipe you’re winterizing. If you’re winterizing a pipe that curves, you’ll need to use two separate pieces of tubing — one to cover the portion of the pipe...

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