Maintaining Your Natural Stone Countertops: A Guide For Newbies

Posted by on Mar 7, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Congratulations on your new natural stone countertops! With proper maintenance and care, your counters can remain beautiful and functional for a lifetime. The following tips will help you take care of your natural stone countertops in the years to come. Seal Your Natural Stone Countertops With Silicone Impregnator Unless you’re otherwise instructed by the company that sold you the countertop or your countertop’s warranty instructions, seal your countertop with a silicone impregnator. Silicone impregnator is a product that seals the stone and helps prevent penetration of water, oil and other liquids. Many silicone impregnator sealants can be applied with a cotton cloth, but you’ll want to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when applying sealant to your counters. After applying silicone impregnator, check the manufacturer’s recommendations to find out when the sealant should be applied next. Some types of stone require sealant to be reapplied more frequently than others, so pay careful attention to the instructions. Wipe Down Your Countertops Daily Clean your countertops on a daily basis to prevent stains and keep your counters looking their best. To clean your counters, simply wipe them down with a damp cotton rag or microfiber cloth, then dry them with a clean towel. Clean Spills Immediately Don’t assume that your countertops are fully protected from spills just because you’ve applied silicone impregnator to the surface. Spills should still be wiped up immediately to prevent stains. Use a cotton cloth, dish rag or microfiber cloth to wipe away spills. If oil is spilled on the countertop, you may need to wipe down the counter with a damp rag and then dry it with a separate rag to ensure that all the oil is removed. Remove Stains with a Poultice If your natural stone countertops become stained, mix a thick paste of baking soda and water. Spread the baking soda and water combination over the stain and cover the paste with plastic wrap. Leave the paste on the stain for a day, then wipe it away with a damp rag. The baking soda should have absorbed the stain from the stone. If some of the stain remains, repeat the process. Following these tips, your stone countertops should remain sealed, stain free and beautiful for many years. To find out more about caring for your stone countertops, talk to a customer service representative at the store where you purchased the countertop. He or she should be able to answer your questions and tell you more about keeping your stone countertop in good shape. Visit for more information....

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Understanding The Operation And Response Of Your Septic Tank Alarm

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’re moving into your first house that is equipped with a septic system instead of being connected to the municipal sewer system, you’ll need to understand what the septic tank alarm means and what you should do if it goes off. Most people who are inexperienced with septic systems don’t even realize that there is an alarm until it sounds, and they don’t know how to address it. Here are some tips to help you understand the function of the alarm and how you should deal with an activation. The Basics of Septic System Alarms A septic system alarm is an indication that the tank isn’t forcing overflow into the drain field. Whether this is due to a failure of the float in the tank or other issues, it can lead to a serious backup in your plumbing system. The alarm is designed to notify you of this problem before it actually causes the plumbing system to back up. The alarm float in the tank sends a signal when it reaches the sensor that’s placed at the warning level of the tank. This is usually far enough down to allow you time to have the tank pumped if needed, but not so far that it activates unnecessarily. The float and alarm system are usually on a separate electrical circuit with a power backup system so that you don’t lose functionality when you lose power. Finding the Septic Tank Alarm The location of the septic tank alarm will vary from property to property. Sometimes, it’s attached to the tank itself, while other times, it may be installed on your home’s exterior wall, in an outdoor shed or even in the basement. Ask the prior owner or the septic company where your alarm is so that you know where to find it to turn it off if it activates. Dealing With a Septic Tank Alarm Activation If the alarm goes off, you’ll need to try to restore the flow to the tank. If your septic tank uses a pump to transfer liquid to the drain field, you can try to reset the breaker for the septic pump. If this doesn’t get the system flowing again, you’ll need the help of a septic tank specialist to assess the tank’s drainage pipes for clogs. When you move into a home with a septic system, make sure you ask about the alarm. The more you know about where it is, how it works and how you can shut it off, the easier it will be to deal with any potential septic tank problems. For more information, contact Moon Septic or a similar...

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What Can Happen If Your HVAC Air Filter Becomes Clogged?

Posted by on Jan 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Your furnace depends on an air filter to clean the air and prevent dirt from building up in the HVAC system. If your air filter becomes clogged, it can impact the functionality of the furnace. Knowing the details can help you maintain your heater this winter. What can happen if your HVAC air filter becomes clogged this winter? If your HVAC air filter becomes clogged, it becomes harder for your heater to push hot air through your HVAC system when it’s trying to heat your home. If the air filter is very clogged, this can cause the furnace to run continuously for very long periods of time. If this goes on for long enough, a safety feature in your home’s furnace will kick on and turn off the burner, causing your furnace to stop working and the HVAC system to blow cold air. How can you tell if your HVAC air filter is clogged? If your air filter is clogged, you can tell by pulling out the filter and inspecting it for dirt. You can find the filter in the slot between the return air duct and the blower. If the filter is visibly dirty, there’s a good chance that it’s causing your furnace to work inefficiently. The dirtier the filter is, the more clogged it is. How can you fix the problem? To fix the problem, turn off your furnace and remove the filter from its slot. Take the filter to a hardware store or home improvement center, and purchase a filter that matches the size of your old filter. Take the new filter home, insert it into the slot near the furnace, and then turn the furnace back on. Can you do permanent damage by not changing your HVAC’s air filter? Using your furnace with a dirty air filter incurs extra wear and tear on your furnace’s motor. Doing this on a regular basis can shorten the service life of your furnace and may cause you to need to replace it more quickly. It may also require you to get heating repairs more frequently because it can cause the parts of your furnace to break down. How can you avoid this problem in the future? You can avoid this problem in the future by replacing your HVAC air filter every three months. If your air filter becomes dirty before the three months is up, replace the filter on an as-needed basis. For more information about how you can protect your furnace and avoid necessary heating repair, speak with an HVAC repair professional like those at Custom Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. He or she can give you tips and...

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Sneaky Signs Of Moisture Problems In A Central Air Unit

Posted by on Jan 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you want to talk about modern home components that are truly valued when it comes to comfort, there is no doubt that the central air unit will come up. While a central air unit can make everything about dealing with summer temperatures easier, a faulty unit can be a major pain–especially if there is moisture involved. Older central air units are quite notorious for pushing excess moisture into the house when they have problems, but unless you are familiar with that fact, you will likely blame the problem on something else. Here are a few sneaky signs that you are dealing with moisture problems in your home’s central air unit.  You have odd odors radiating throughout your home that resemble the odor of stinky socks.  One of the telltale signs that you have moisture problems with a central air unit, whether it is in the ductwork or the unit itself, is an odd smell. If moisture is building up at any point within the system, it will eventually start to stagnate and mold and mildew can form. The smell that will be provided in the cooled air will almost always resemble something similar to the odor of old socks and should signal you that something is wrong. If the air coming through your vents is offensive, get in touch with a central air service like Central Aire Conditioning or others right away.  Your vent registries show signs of rust on the inside.  Even if you don’t catch onto moisture problems as soon as they are apparent, you will likely spot signs around the vent registries over time. If your vent registries are starting to get rusty, it is a good idea to have a technician come out and take a look at your unit to make sure there is not something wrong. A bit of outside rust is normal in some high-moisture areas, such as the bathroom. However, if the rust is more in the inside of the registries than the outside, it is a good sign that the air being forced through contains a higher level of moisture than it should.  There seems to be excess condensation when the unit is in operation.  A central air unit pulls in humid, hot air, dehumidifies it and sends it over a condenser for cooling. During this process, moisture should be fairly well eliminated by the time it makes it into your home. Many homeowners see what they believe is condensation on the walls around vents and assume this to be normal, which is true if the cold air is allowed to collide with hot surfaces or atmospheres. However, condensation should never be an issue if the house is already fairly...

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How To Improve Safety With Construction Fencing Signage

Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in Uncategorized |

You may be considering different ways to keep your construction site properly fenced off and safe for the public. But in addition to making sure you have sturdy and effective fencing materials, you should also consider the type and style of signage you plan to mount on the fencing. Working together, proper fencing and informative signing can keep people safe. Most states have very specific requirements about the type of fencing required to keep workers safe. Following these instructions carefully, and adding signage that further delineates safe and dangerous areas, can help keep you from a lawsuit. Keeping Visitors Safe When people who are not employed by your construction company must enter the site — perhaps they are other contractors, designers, employees or visitors of the building’s resident company — they must know where to go and how to get there. Construction fencing can help designate pathways or safe areas for visitors to be in, and signage can help this. Wayfaring signage, also called directional signage, can show the visitors where they are at the site, where the main office is located and other landmarks where they might need to go.  Keeping Pedestrians Safe Another class of people who may find their way to your site are pedestrians. These people include the random folks who walk by on their way to another place as well as those curious sightseers who are trying to get a glimpse of what’s going on in the construction zone. For these people, strong perimeter fencing is vital. This needs to be high enough to keep anything that might fall from injuring a passerby. It may also need to be solid, so that small pieces or dust cannot easily escape from the site. In these cases, panel signage on the outside of the fence can help. This signage can serve a dual purpose of explaining the project, informing the public when construction will be completed, warning people away from dangerous areas and even advertising the construction company and other contractors. Keeping Your Staff Safe Another reason why construction fencing is required by many municipal and state governments is to help keep your construction workers safe and avoid having them inadvertently go into “off limits” areas. Signage is important here, too, to show what areas are potentially dangerous.  Fences can also serve as good places to erect temporary signage that details progress on the site and gives employees information that they need to know about their specific parts of the project. In addition, fencing and signage that prevents outsiders from seeing in can help prevent theft and other property crimes to the construction site. Your staff won’t be slowed down by loss of important equipment or...

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3 Helpful Tips For A Successful Kitchen Remodel

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in Uncategorized |

A beautiful kitchen is on most homeowners’ wishlists, so if you’re less than happy with your current kitchen, a remodel may be the perfect solution. Remodeling your kitchen can also add value to your home– you can expect to recoup approximately 79.3% of the money spent on a minor kitchen remodel and 67.8% of the cost for a major kitchen remodel when you sell your house. If you’re going to invest the money to remodel your kitchen, consider the following tips: Hire a Licensed Contractor When it comes to a large project like a kitchen remodel, it is essential to hire a contractor who is licensed, bonded, and insured. Working with a licensed contractor typically costs more than an unlicensed contractor, but the extra expense is usually worth it because you know that you’re working with a professional who takes his or her job very seriously. In order to obtain a contractor’s license, an individual usually has to pass a business management test, prove that he or she has project management experience, and undergo a background check. In many cases, a contractor cannot obtain a license if he or she has unresolved complaints about past projects. Spend the extra money on a licensed contractor if you want your project to go smoothly. Leave Extra Room in Your Budget A good contractor is skilled in giving accurate price quotes for a kitchen remodel, but there is always a chance that something can come up that costs extra. Whether a plumbing issue is discovered while installing a new kitchen sink, or you realize that you want a different grade of countertop that costs more, it is always a good idea to have a little extra room in your budget to account for unplanned expenses. The last thing you want is for your remodel to be delayed because you don’t have the funds available to finish a project because of unforeseen circumstances. Make a Plan for Living without a Kitchen Depending on the extent of your kitchen remodel, you may not be able to use your kitchen for several days or even a few weeks. It is a good idea to make a plan in advance so you and your family do not have to eat out for every meal. If possible, set up a temporary mini kitchen in another area of the house– include a coffee maker, toaster, electric skillet, microwave, slow cooker, and a compact refrigerator. Don’t forget to purchase disposable cups, plates, and cutlery to use during the remodel. Reach out to a contractor like Bob Carroll Building Contractor for more...

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