Importance Of Humidity Levels In Your Home

Posted by on Oct 15, 2014 in Blog, Construction & Contractors | 0 comments

If someone in your home has allergies or asthma, a humidifier can be beneficial. Increased humidity in your home can help ease breathing in both children and adults. It can also help reduce symptoms of respiratory infections, such as a cold, as well as dry skin and cracked lips.  When using a humidifier in your home, however, you must monitor the humidity levels.

Different Types of Humidifiers

Humidifiers emit steam or water vapor into the air to increase moisture levels. There are different types you can choose from including:

  • Steam vaporizers: This type of humidifier uses electricity to create steam in the air. The humidifier cools the vapor before it is released.
  • Central humidifiers:  If you use a central humidifier, it is built into your home heating and air conditioning system.
  • Evaporators: An evaporator uses a fan that blows air through a wet belt, filter, or wick.
  • Impeller humidifier: If you choose this humidifier, it features a rotating disk that produces cool mist in the air.

Humidity Levels in Your Home

You need to keep a watch on the humidity levels in your home. Humidity is how much water vapor is in the air, and it is generally higher in the hot summer months, and lower during the cold winter months.

It is recommended that you maintain a relative humidity that is below 50%. If you live in a colder climate, you will need lower levels to prevent condensation on surfaces, such as windows.

If the humidity levels in your home are too high or too low it can cause problems, such as:

  • High humidity: If the levels are too high, it will cause condensation on your windows, floors, walls, and more. This condensation causes the growth of molds, dust mites, and harmful bacteria. This can trigger an asthma or allergy flare-up, as well as cause other respiratory problems.
  • Low humidity. If your home has low humidity, it can irritate your throat and nasal passages. It can also make your eyes itchy, and make your skin dry.

Measuring the Humidity Levels in Your Home

There is a tool that you can purchase from many hardware stores called a hygrometer. This tool works by measuring how much moisture is in the air. You can purchase humidifiers that have a built in hygrometer so you can keep a constant check on these levels.

Talk with your doctor before you purchase a humidifier for your home. They will be able to tell you what will work best for you for the medical problem you or your family is having.

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Troubleshooting The 3 Most Common Water Heater Issues

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 in Blog, Construction & Contractors | 0 comments

There isn’t much that can go wrong with water heaters, but it does happen, and when it does you may be at a loss as to what to do about it. Follow these simple steps to troubleshooting your water heater and applying easy repair solutions as applicable.

Before You Start

Take the proper safety precautions before doing any tinkering with your water heater.

  • If it’s an electric water heater, turn off the power to it by switching off the appropriate fuse or circuit breaker that powers the water heater.
  • If it’s a gas water heater, locate its gas control valve and turn it to the “pilot” setting.
  • Make sure to shut off the water supply that feeds the water heater.

Symptom #1: It’s not making hot water.

This can be attributed to a bad gas pilot or gas pilot control valve, or a faulty thermocouple. You may be able to fix this by checking the flame on the gas pilot to make sure it is properly alight. Using the small screw, adjust the flame throw to make sure it’s not too strong (it may be noisy) or too weak (smaller than 1/2 inch). When you are done, make sure you re-tighten and replace the gas thermocouple and the gas pilot control valve.

Symptom #2: You’re getting lukewarm water instead of hot water.

First of all, you want to make sure that your water heater is large enough to deal with your hot water usage. Your hot water consumption should be about 75% of your water heater’s capacity. For example, a 40 gallon water heater should be used to service a household that consumes 30 gallons of hot water. There are various resources online that will help you calculate your household’s water usage.

If your water heater is the proper capacity, the problem may lie within a crossed water connection between hot and cold water. Turn off the water flow to the water heater. Next, try turning on the hot water in your sink faucet. If water comes out, there is a crossed connection. Look for a cold water line connected to a hot water line on your water heater or faucets.

Symptom #3: Your water heater seems to be leaking.

The temperature and pressure valve on your heater may be leaking due to too much pressure, or a faulty valve. Eliminate the former possibility first by putting a bucket under the overflow pipe and flushing the temperature and pressure relief valve. If you still see a leak at the temperature and pressure valve, simply replace the valve.

Sometimes the issue will be one that you won’t be able to repair on your own. If none of the above steps seem to be helping, call in a professional from a company like Mechanical Energy Systems to assess the situation and get in the proper repairs.

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What’s Under Your House? Protecting Your Crawl Space From Pests, Moisture And More

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 in Blog, Construction & Contractors | 0 comments

The crawl space under your home houses pipes and ducts, but it can also harbor a variety of problems. Moisture is the main concern in most crawl spaces, but pests, stale air and mold can also turn this hidden area into a nightmare unless you address the problem quickly.

Problem #1: Pests In the Crawl Space

If things beneath the house are going bump in the night, you may have an animal squatting in your crawl space. Raccoons, possums, and stray cats may find your crawl space the perfect home out of the elements. Mice, rats and snakes can also get into your crawl space.

Keeping the perimeter clear of plants and debris allows you to quickly find any holes where pests may get in, so you can repair them promptly. If your crawl space is vented, cover the vents with 1/4-inch hardware cloth to keep the beasties out. If you do suspect an animal has set up a home under your house, call in a professional to remove the pest.

Problem #2: Stale Air in Unvented Spaces

Unvented crawlspaces can become a haven for mold. Usually, the air in the crawl space is kept dry by either a dehumidifier or by the home’s air conditioning unit. If these don’t work properly, or if moisture builds up quicker than the unit can dry it, moisture and mold occurs.

Not only can this cause rot, it affects the air you breathe. Up to 40 percent of the air circulated through your home comes from the crawl space. A regular inspection can help ensure that everything below is staying dry.

Problem #3: Poor Barriers and Insulation

Truly unfinished crawl spaces have a dirt floor, which only increases moisture problems. If the crawl space is also poorly insulated, you have a recipe for condensation and moisture buildup. Dirt floor crawl spaces should be lined with a vapor barrier on the ground. This keeps the ground moisture from coming up and into the crawl space.

Problem #4: Too Much Moisture

If you have water in your crawl space, it’s time for immediate action. A few things you can do to prevent or manage the problem include:

  • Scheduling an inspection.
  • Verifying that the crawl space is properly insulated and has the correct moisture barrier installed.
  • Sealing the crawl space walls to keep outside moisture out.
  • Verifying that the dehumidifier or air conditioner is running in the crawl space properly.
  • Not using your crawl space for storage.
  • If your space is vented, making sure none of the vents are blocked.

If you do suspect a problem in your crawl space, especially from moisture, get it repaired quickly. Waiting can make the problem worse. The wood in your home’s foundation could rot, or you may end up with a major mold problem. Perma-Dry Waterproofing & Drainage, Inc. is a local company that specializes in crawl space repair.

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Changing Your Workspace So You Can Work With Smaller Beads

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 in Blog, Construction & Contractors | 0 comments

When you are using small beads to make crafts like jewelry, you may find the process difficult at first. However, by making a few changes to your workspace, you will find it much easier to work with these tiny beads on a regular basis.

Organizational Boxes

Keeping your beads separate and organized is a challenge, though you can accomplish this goal by using different organizational boxes. The most common ones have lids and individual sections for your beads.

However, if you cannot find a box large enough at your local craft store, you can always use a plastic tackle box designed for fishing lures. The plastic tackle boxes look identical to the beading ones. and they come in different sizes as well. Another advantage is that these boxes fit into most drawers, so you can store them out of the way when you do not need them.

Paint Trays

One of the best items to have when working with small beads is a plastic paint tray. These trays have separate sections that most people use for separating colors when painting.

The idea is the same, except you place different colored beads into each part of the tray. This item allows you to place the exact amount of beads you need for your project.

Proper Furniture

When working with small beads, you may have a tendency to hunch over your work. Choosing different furniture for your workspace can help minimize the stress you put on your back and shoulders while working.

The chair you use needs to have adequate lower back support. It is also important to make sure that your feet can touch the floor at all times. When your feet are planted firmly on the floor, it can help with the blood flow to your legs, which will also reduce your chances of developing muscle cramps while sitting for extended periods.

The table you choose is just as important, because you need to be able to push your chair further in. If the arms of your chair cannot fit under the table or desk, you will need to lean in to see what you are working on, which in turn can hurt your back.

You also want to make sure that the tabletop is large enough to accommodate supplies you need for your project. It is also important to have additional storage nearby such as drawers or shelves, so if you do need more supplies, you can easily reach them.

Working with small beads can be a challenge for many reasons. To make the experience easier to handle, you want to think about changing your workspace. By making these changes, you will find it easier to store and work with your small beads on a daily basis.

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Metal Fabrication: Three DIY Projects A Steel Fabricator Will Be Able To Help You With

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 in Blog, Construction & Contractors | 0 comments

If you like DIY projects, you may sometimes need steel work done. This is something that a metal fabrication service will be able to help you with. They can help you with things like building an outdoor boiler, sawmill and other projects. You may be able to do some things yourself, but for structures that have to support weight or pressure, it may be better to pay a metal fabrication service help you with your project. Here are three DIY projects that a metal fabricator will be able to help you with:

1. An Outdoor Boiler Housing

If you decide that you want to have an outdoor boiler installed for your home, there are a lot of things that need to be done. You may want to have housing built for your boiler. For it to be more resistant to fire, you can have a metal fabricator make it from steel. There are advantages to having a metal fabrication service build your boiler house, such as having an area made for firewood storage.

2. Metal Frame For A DIY Sawmill Project

A DIY sawmill can be great if you like doing wood projects and want to be able to mill your own timber. There are different types of DIY sawmills, which can use bandsaws or chainsaws.  These will all need to have a type of steel frame to support the weight of timber being milled. You can have a steel fabrication service build the metal frame of your saw mill. By having a service build the frame for you, you will be able to have them build it to your exact specifications and needs.

3. Heavy Duty Steel Work Benches

If you like to do your own projects, you may want to have heavy duty work benches. You can have the frame of your work benches made from steel, which will support heavy duty projects. If you have a steel fabrication service do this for you, you can have it made with places for things like saws or other tools and features that you want to have included in the design of your work bench.

These are some steel fabrication projects you may want to have done to help you with your DIY projects. You can contact steel fabricators like Schorr Metals Inc and ask them about doing these things for you. They will be able to make whatever you need to your exact specifications.

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4 Ways To Save Money When Installing New Carpeting

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 in Blog, Construction & Contractors | 0 comments

You can have new carpeting installed and stay within your budget if you are willing to do a little price comparing and ask questions of installers and contractors. There are a few ways you can save money on your carpet installation, so you can enjoy the warmth and comfort of soft, newly-laid carpet under your feet. 

1: Consider Pieces and Parts

While price comparisons are a good idea when shopping for carpeting, you should also consider buying remnants. This is a good idea if you only need carpet for one room or a couple of smaller rooms. Carpet remnants are simply pieces of carpeting in various sizes that are left over from full pieces, so they are generally cheaper but still the same quality as buying full carpeting. 

2: Lend A Helping Hand

The price of removing the old carpet and cleaning up afterward is generally included in the price of carpet installation. You can discuss doing the preparation work beforehand and the cleanup afterward yourself with the contractor. He or she will often knock the price down, which may save you quite a bit of money. 

Discuss hauling away old carpet with your local garbage service. In some instances, if you obey their rules of cutting up the carpet and padding it into strips when removing them and taping the strips neatly together, a garbage service may haul it away for free. 

3: Order Carpet Online

By shopping online you can buy carpeting from a wholesaler or directly from the manufacturer and cut out the middle man. However, it might be difficult to get a good sense of the color and feel of the carpet from an online photo. What you can do is go to a carpet store, find the color you like and have a salesperson write down the product number, name and color. You can use this information to find the exact carpet online, so there won’t be any surprises when it arrives. 

You might consider choosing a few different types and colors and do price comparisons online. This also helps because you have a backup choice if the carpet you want is not available online or out of stock. 

4: Ask For Seconds

If you decide to shop for your carpet online, you cannot forget about the padding. You can ask an online salesperson about buying seconds. While this may sound bad, it’s not. Seconds just means that the padding colors don’t match, or the padding is made by different manufacturers or made up of different types of padding. 

When you think about it, no one will see the padding that hides under your new carpet, so the look or color doesn’t matter, especially if you are saving money. 

Your dream of having new carpet can become a reality. If you have questions contact a local contractor like those at Olden Paint & Fresh Look Flooring. He or she can offer you advice and answer your questions about carpet installation services. 

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