Three Tips For Avoiding Routine Septic System Problems

Posted by on Oct 3, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Buying a home in a rural setting can provide you with great value for your money. However, it is common for homes in these settings to use septic systems, and if you have never owned a home with one of these systems, you might not fully understand what needs to be done to help the system avoid routine problems. To make sure that you avoid some common complications, you will want to be mindful of the following tips.

Avoid Pouring Bleach Down The Drains

There are many people that will use bleach to clean their sinks and remove clogs from the plumbing. However, if you have a septic system, you will want to avoid using this chemical. Bleach can be exceedingly harsh and toxic. As a result, it may kill many of the bacteria in the septic tank, and this will greatly reduce the ability of the system to break down solid organic matter. White vinegar can be an effective cleaning option for your sinks, and it will not pose a serious threat to the health of your septic system.

Know The Location Of Your Septic Tank And Drainfield

Many new homeowners may not know the exact location of the septic tank and drainfield. Unfortunately, this can make it easy for you to inadvertently damage the system. This occurs when the soil around the system becomes compressed, which can happen when you make the mistake of parking over the tank or drainfield. Planting large plants near the septic system can also cause problems as the roots may enter the system and clog it. By knowing the location of this system, you will be able to easily prevent these threats from causing problems for your home’s septic system. To determine where your septic system is located, you can hire septic care professionals to map this system. This is done through the use of specially designed metal detectors. Once the system has been found, you should mark it with lawn ornaments or other light decorations so that you always know exactly where it is buried.

Ensure Your Yard Has Good Drainage

In order to function efficiently, your septic system will need to be in soil that has good drainage. Unfortunately, if your yard has poor drainage, you may find that the system slows and causes pooling water in the yard following periods of rain. Correcting this problem will require the installation of French drains, gutters, or gravel. To help you determine the steps for most efficiently improving the drainage in your yard, you can hire a landscaping professional to conduct soil tests and study the terrain to help you choose a cost-effective solution for improving this issue.

Contact a company like Lutzky Contracting for more information.

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Think You Need A New Boiler? 5 Symptoms That You Should Replace It

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Your boiler is important as it provides you with hot water and can also heat your home. If you have an old boiler, it may be time to replace it. Below are five symptoms it may be having telling you that you should.

Hear Too Much Noise

Your once quiet furnace may be making a lot of noises, such as squealing, rattling, popping, or banging. These noises may mean there is a problem with one of the components inside the boiler, a belt may be broken or loose, or many other reasons. Some of these problems are easy fixes, while others are expensive repairs.

Dusty and Dry

There may be a problem with your boiler if you all of a sudden see a lot of dust inside your home, or your home may feel much dryer than normal. If so, the furnace is not able to clean and moisturize the air in your home. If you have someone in your home that has allergies, this airborne, dust, pollen, or mold can make their symptoms much worse. You will also notice dry skin, plants may become droopy, or have frequent static shocks when you touch things.

Wrong Temperature Inside Your Home

You may notice that the temperature in your home is not quite right. For example, the kitchen may be colder than the dining room. Your entire home may not feel as warm in the winter even though you have the temperature set right on the thermometer.

Increase in Energy Bills

If you notice an increase in your energy bills and can find no logical reason why, your boiler may be the culprit. This is because, with age, a boiler can become less efficient. When this happens, it has to work much harder to heat your water and home, which puts a lot of stress on the boiler making the problem even worse.

Frequent Repairs

If your boiler is constantly going down, this can result in a lot of money spent in repair bills. If you keep doing this, you very well could spend enough money in these repair bills to purchase a new boiler. Not only this, it takes up your time, plus you and your family may be without hot water and heat until the boiler is repaired.

Contact a boiler contractor, such as the Schweitzer Brothers Company, to come to you home if your boiler is having these symptoms. They can help you determine if you should replace it.

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Add An Etched Pattern To A Plain Glass Shower Door’s Exterior

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If the plain glass shower door that is secured to the shower stall in your bathroom doesn’t provide you with much privacy while you are showering, add an etched pattern across portions of its exterior by following the basic steps below. Once you have completed this upgrade, the shower door will have an improved appearance and you can shower without feeling self-conscious about being exposed to your family members if they don’t realize you are in the bathroom and enter it.


  • glass cleaner 
  • soft cloths
  • measuring tape
  • chalk marker
  • self-adhesive stencils
  • plastic sheeting
  • rubber gloves
  • disposable cup
  • etching cream
  • wooden stirring stick
  • paintbrushes (various sizes)
  • bucket of warm water
  • rags
  • towel

Clean The Glass And Secure The Stencils

Close the shower door. Clean the exterior side of the glass with a soft cloth that has been dampened with glass cleaner. Dry the glass with another cloth. Decide where you would like to place the stencils. Use a measuring tape and a chalk marker to assist with marking each spot that you will place a stencil. Wipe away the chalk marker with a cleaning cloth before securing each stencil to the glass. 

Prepare And Apply Etching Cream To The Glass

Cover the floor with a piece of plastic sheeting to protect the floor from etching cream that accidentally spills or drips. Put on a pair of rubber gloves and pour a bottle of etching cream into a cup that is set on top of a covered surface. Stir the cream to eliminate any lumps. Use paintbrushes that are various thicknesses to fill in the stencils. Use straight brush strokes and attempt to cover each section as evenly as possible. 

Wait For The Cream To Transform The Glass And Remove It Afterwards

Wait several minutes for the etching cream to transform the way the glass looks. When this occurs, the cream-covered spots will have a translucent appearance. Use a rag that has been dipped into a bucket of warm water to remove the cream from the shower door. Gently wipe away the cream and rinse the rag with fresh water as needed.

Once all of the cream has been removed, use a towel to blot the design on the door until it is dry. Remove the stencils and dispose of extra cream. The door will have an attractive design that will add beauty to your home’ bathroom and you can shower with confidence, due to the increased privacy that you are provided with.

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How To Easily Install A Sump Pump In Your Basement This Summer

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If your home does not currently have a sump pump, you can easily install one in your home this summer. Here are the basic steps that are required for installing a sump pump.

#1 Determine Where To Put It

The first thing you need to do is determine where you want your sump pump to go in your home. Ideally, you want your sump pump to enter into the lowest part of your basement and be located near both an outside wall and a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet. It should also be near where your utility, water and sewer lines all enter into your basement.

#2 Figure Out Where The Pipe Will Go

Second, you need to figure out exactly where the pipe will go for your sump pump will be routed. You need a place for the pipe to go outside of your home as well.

#3 Purchase A Sump Pump & Liner

Third, you need to purchase a sump pump and liner. It is best to purchase them to go together so that you can get a sump pump and liner to match each other. Remember, the size of the liner that you choose needs to correspond to the size of size of the hole that you are able to dig in your basement for your sump pump.

#4 Dig The Hole

Fourth, you need to actually dig the hole in your basement. Make sure that you dig it to the specifications of the liner and pump that you purchased. You are going to want to add a couple inches to the width and depth of your hole. If you have a dirt basement, this should be an easy task. If you have a concrete finished basement, you are going to need to rent a jackhammer to cut through the concrete before you dig the hole. You are going to want to use a leveler to make sure that the hole is even.

#5 Line The Pond

Fifth, once you dig the hole, you are going to put a layer of gravel across the bottom of the hole. Then, you are going to want to put the liner in the hole or pond. After you put the liner in the hole, put gravel around the outside edges between the liner and the hole.

#6 Set Up The Piping

Take the discharge pipe and add it to the pump. You are going to want to connect it to the appropriate outlet and make sure that it is set up right. When you are sure that it is set up correctly, use piping cement to seal the pipe into place. Make sure that you drill a small vent hole into the piping that drains over the pit that you dug but is out of the water. Then, you are going to want to place the pump inside of the liner.

#7 Caulk The Hole

Finally, put caulking around all the pipes and around any holes in the pump. You want to have a good seal on everything.

#8 Adjust The Float Value

Make sure that you check the float valve on the pump and add water to make sure that it is at the right level.

This is a complex job that should be attempted by someone with at least basic experience with plumbing. To learn more, contact a company like Rite-Way Waterproofing

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Why Is Spray Foam Insulation Worth The Extra Cost?

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When choosing insulation for your new home, you may be tempted to go with fiberglass over spray foam simply because it’s cheaper. However, spray foam insulation is well worth the extra cost in the long run. Here’s a look at some of spray foam insulation’s major benefits.

Lower energy bills.

You’ll pay more for spray foam insulation upfront, but it will likely save you money in the long run. Spray foam does a better job of reducing heat transfer.  Since it seals to the structures it is sprayed onto, it does not allow air to leak through gaps. Both of these factors lead to lower heating and cooling bills and a more comfortable home.

Fewer problems with mold.

Fiberglass insulation can absorb moisture, and once that happens, it can easily develop mold and mildew. Moldy insulation is less effective at keeping your home comfortable, and it also puts you at risk for allergic reactions and health issues. Spray foam insulation is a dense, water-resistant foam. It’s not like the soft foam you’d find in a cushion or stuffed animal. Water rolls off its surface, meaning that it does not hold onto moisture or become moldy. This makes spray foam a great choice especially if anyone in your home has allergies.

Fewer issues with rodents.

Rodents like to build nests in fiberglass insulation. They can rip it apart and move it around, nestling into it. Spray foam insulation does not tear up like this, and it’s not soft material. Plus, since it seals to the walls and floors where it is sprayed, there won’t be as many gaps for rodents to enter your home through.

No safety concerns with kids.

Fiberglass may not be the most dangerous material in the world, but it’s certainly not something you want your kids getting into. The fibers can cause splinters and could cause serious damage to the eyes. Spray foam insulation is totally safe once it’s cured. You don’t have to be worried if your child touches it. They won’t be able to pick it apart easily, and there are certainly no fibers for them to breathe in or get in their eyes. Though some consumers have expressed concern about poisonous gasses being released from spray foam, as long as the insulation is installed and allowed to cure properly, this should not be an issue. An insulation contractor, like one from Alaska Quality Insulators Inc, will tell you to stay out of the home for a period of time after the spray foam is installed. Once this period of time has passed, you don’t have to worry.

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3 Tips To Help Protect Your Home From Lightning Damage

Posted by on Jul 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Electrical storms can produce some awe-inspiring lightning bolts, but they can also wreak havoc on your home. Preparing for an electrical storm isn’t something that many homeowners take the time to do, but it could help you save a significant amount of money in the future.

Here are three tips you can use to ensure your home is prepared to withstand the potential negative effects of an electric storm in the future.

1. Install a lightning rod.

If you live in an area that is frequented by electrical storms, then taking the time to install a lightning rod on the top of your home could be beneficial. The lightning rod will not increase or decrease the odds of lightning striking your home, it will simply direct any lightning that does happen to strike your property safely away from your home.

Without a lightning rod to help absorb the electrical charge of a lightning strike, the positive ground charge that naturally accumulates in response to a potential lightning strike would accumulate beneath your home. This ground charge has the potential to cause electrical fires, side flashes, and even death. Protect your home and your family against electrical storm damage by installing a lightning rod.

2. Unplug your electronics.

Today’s homeowners enjoy high-end electronic devices inside their homes. If you have a nice television, a new desktop computer, or an amazing surround sound system, these electronic devices are at risk of sustaining serious damage during an electrical storm.

A lightning strike that hits near a home or power line has the ability to travel through electrical or phone wires and into your home’s outlets. Even if your electronic devices are plugged into a surge protector, the device likely isn’t equipped to handle the 5,000 to 50,000 ampere current that can be generated by a lightning strike. Whenever an electrical storm warning is issued in your area, unplug all electronic devices from outlets and telephone lines to prevent storm damage.

3. Keep tree branches trimmed.

Electrical storms are often accompanied by high winds. If you have trees with dead branches in your yard, you could find yourself facing some significant damage after an electrical storm passes. Gusting winds or lightning strikes can cause dead branches to break free from trees, slamming them into homes, sheds, and automobiles.

Ensuring that you are keeping your trees pruned regularly and not allowing any branches to get too close to your home will help you avoid the devastation that can be caused by a tree branch that has been blown or struck down in an electrical storm.

Proper preparation is key when it comes to avoiding damage during an electrical storm. Install a lightning rod on top of your home, unplug electronic devices as the storm approaches, and ensure that dead tree branches are removed regularly, and you will be able to weather the worst electrical storm.

For tree services, click this link or do an online search. 

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Water Damage 101: 4 Non-Weather Related Causes

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you are like most people, you probably think of a natural disaster whenever flooding or water damage is mentioned. While natural disasters are certainly a common cause of residential water damage, they aren’t the only reason. In fact, there are several reasons for water damage—and most of them are all hiding within your home.

So what non-weather related reasons might your home suffer from water damage? Here are four causes:

1. Leaky or Broken Pipes

A broken or leaky pipe is one of the more common reasons for residential water damage. Obviously, large leaks can cause indoor flooding. However, even a small leak can begin to cause problems. Over time, leaks create a moist environment which is perfect for mold and mildew. Pooling water from a burst pipe can also cause issues withing the flooring, walls, or ceiling of your home as well.

2. Defective Appliances

Another culprit for indoor water damage is defective appliances. If you are like most people, your home is full of appliances that use water. Washers, dishwashers, water heaters, refrigerators, and freezers can all cause water damage issues in your home. Washers, dishwashers, and water heaters are the common cause of indoor flooding, as they can easily overflow or leak while in use.

However, freezers and refrigerators can also cause issues if they begin to fail. Although on a much smaller scale, your home might be at risk for mold issues when these appliances fail. Additionally, these appliances can leave pools of water throughout your home which can also cause serious issues.

3. Clogged Toilets

A clogged toilet might also cause water damage in your home. When a toilet clogs, it commonly overflows. The overflowing water can begin to leak out onto your floor. Even if addressed quickly, a clogged toilet can quickly begin to cause issues. Not only can it be unsanitary, but it can also cause problems with your flooring and subflooring.

Toilets may also begin to leak and cause water damage due to issues with the actual toilet, such as a cracked tank. So always use the toilet properly and do not flush anything inappropriate, such as feminine hygiene products, to avoid water damage. 

4. Sewer Backup

Finally, a sewer backup might also cause your home a significant amount of water damage. Typically caused by solid objects or grease going down the drain, a sewer backup usually causes a significant amount of indoor flooding. Other common causes for a sewer backup include root overgrowth, not performing maintenance, and bent or burst pipes.

As you can see, there are many reasons that your home might suffer from water damage that aren’t related to weather. If your home does suffer from water damage due to these, or any other reason, contact a water clean up professional (such as one from Complete Restoration Services) for help.

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