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Choosing A Water Feature For Your Yard: Things To Consider

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Choosing A Water Feature For Your Yard: Things To Consider

Whether you want a simple water fountain to attract birds and make a small trickle you can enjoy or you want to transform your landscape into a full-fledged water feature, you want to know what you’re getting into when you make this kind of change in your yard. From how you want your water feature to operate to the care it needs to keep it functioning year-round, here are things you should consider when you choose a fountain in your yard.  Operation Water features often run on a pump that filters water through a pool and back up into pipes to pour back out over rocks. A fountain runs similarly, spouting water via openings in the fountain’s design. You will want to choose a solar powered water fountain if you don’t want to have to worry about hiding cords from view or having to unplug the unit at night. As a bonus, solar power is free and won’t cause your energy bill to rise. It also reduces the risk of someone tripping on electrical supplies and gives your water feature a streamlined appearance. You can buy solar powered water fountains at your local home improvement store. Winter care You don’t want your water feature to freeze up in the winter, causing the filter and pipes to crack. You can prevent this from happening by winterizing the unit. You can have your landscaper winterize your outdoor water fountain by blowing it out with an air compressor and unplugging all water sources, or you can turn your unit off yourself and cover it with a heavy tarp or car cover to prevent freezing or winter damage. Make sure to drain your water feature prior to covering it even if you haven’t used the unit for a while. Regular cleaning By adding fish to the pooled water in your water feature, you can reduce moss and algae buildup in your fountain.There are many types of fish you can choose from besides your classic koi that can thrive in both slow and fast moving fountains. Fish you can consider include: sunfish darter killifish You will also want to make sure to clean out your fountain’s water filter regularly to take out leaves, bugs, algae, and other debris to keep the water flowing smoothly. If you notice your water trickling slowly or stopping completely from your water feature, your water filter may be to blame. Clean it several times a week as part of your regular...

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The Different Types Of Outdoor Water Fountains

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Different Types Of Outdoor Water Fountains

Adding an outdoor water fountain to your lawn or garden is a great way to create more beauty on your property. Water fountains can be used as a lovely focal point for your flower garden or a stand alone feature in the center of your lawn. There are various types of outdoor water fountains available and the style that works best for you may depend on how much property you have or the type of landscaping you wish to create. These are some of the different types of outdoor water fountains that can be used to beautify your lawn or garden. Outdoor Spouting Water Fountains  Spouting water fountains create dramatically beautiful spraying effects. The water comes from a pipe and sprays up into the air and the water looks similar to a large plume of feathers or a palm tree. These fountains can be added to existing water features easily because they have a submersible pump that sits directly in a pool or a pond. Some spouting water fountains are also self-contained with a built-in reservoir for water that is reused constantly. These can be conveniently displayed anywhere there is a nearby outlet for plugging the pump in. Outdoor Cascading Water Fountains  Cascading water fountains are also very popular for enhancing the beauty of a lawn or garden. These fountains have water flowing at a slower, more subtle rate than spouting fountains. Some of these fountains have tiers that create waterfalls at different layers. Cascading outdoor water fountains may have water flowing from different areas throughout the fountain, but the water is usually flowing at a calmer, more trickling speed. Cascading water fountains are also commonly self-contained for easy installation. Outdoor Wall Water Fountains  If you have limited space in your yard or garden, you also have the option of installing an outdoor wall fountain. Wall fountains can be freestanding against a wall or fence or be hung directly on a wall. Wall fountains usually flow at a steady rate that is faster than a cascading fountain, yet slower than a spouting fountain. These fountains are usually self contained with a built-in reservoir that uses the pump to cycle the water through continuously. However, you will want to replace the water on occasion to keep it looking fresh and clean. Outdoor water fountains are available in a wide variety of different shapes and sizes. Some of the more popular ones may be in the shape of statues, bridges, various sizes of pots and urns, or rock walls that look like natural...

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Waterproofing Your Home, Inside And Out

Posted by on Oct 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Waterproofing Your Home, Inside And Out

In order to fully protect your home from water damage, you’ll need to work both inside and outside of the home to set up your waterproofing systems. Here are some ideas on how to make your home more waterproof. Make Sure Rain Has an Escape Route The first thing that needs to be done is to make sure that when it rains, water isn’t able to pool up against your house. For one, your gutters should be cleared and the spouts should be measured to ensure that they take water at least 3 feet away from your home. Residential rain gutter installation services can evaluate your home to make sure that your gutter system is in good condition and sufficient for the volume of rain in your region. The slant and construction of your roof also matters; if you have a flat roof, consult a specialist to make sure that you have enough drains installed in your roof. The slope of your property is another factor to consider. The slope should go from high to low, carrying water naturally away from your home. You may need to get out a shovel and change the slope of your terrain, or hire a landscaper to do it for you. Be Careful with Landscaping Another problem can occur when rain is encouraged to pool in the roots of your home’s landscaping. If you have plants with deep roots next to the foundation, they may draw water to them. Make sure all plants are kept at least a few feet away from your home. Get Rain Guards If you are in an area where flooding is a concern, then you might want to invest in rain covers that fit over your basement windows. These strong plastic shields don’t cost much, but they can do a lot when it comes to keeping flood and rain water from flowing into your windows. Get Internal Waterproofing Done It’s also a great idea to get your inner walls waterproofed, especially in the basement. Water that gets into your walls may slowly trickle down into the basement, where it may pool and rot the interiors of walls. And if you get a leak in your foundation, walls that aren’t properly waterproofed may allow water to get into your basement. A waterproofing team can help to make sure that these walls won’t cave in because of long-term rotting. They may start by applying a sealant to ensure water stays out. These are only a few of the options for making your home more impervious to water damage. It pays to consult a home waterproofing specialist (read more about it here) to advise you on the methods that fit within your...

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Want An Easy And Stress-Free Move? 3 Extra Services To Use From Movers

Posted by on Oct 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Want An Easy And Stress-Free Move? 3 Extra Services To Use From Movers

Moving out of your parents’ home or an apartment that you share with roommates might be easy because you may not have that many items that are entirely yours, but this might not describe your situation. Moving a fully furnished house is not only a little more challenging, but it’s time-consuming as well. It is easy to make mistakes at some point along the way, which can be stressful to handle and resolve. In an ideal situation, you may not want to experience any of the stress or difficulties that come with moving. This is absolutely possible when you are willing to hire movers for some additional services. Furniture Disassembly Some furniture is quite manageable, such as ottomans, coffee tables, and dining room chairs, but pieces like dressers, bed frames, dining room tables, and portable islands are not easy to move. You will find it relieving to know that you do not have to worry about taking the furniture apart before moving. It can be placed entirely in the hands of movers who will handle the responsibility prior to loading up the truck. This will allow you to keep using all of the furniture right up to when you are leaving the home. Vehicle Towing Transporting your own car with a moving truck gives you several options. One of them is towing the vehicle along for the ride, but this can be somewhat stressful to handle. Not only do you have a moving truck that you are not used to driving, you also have to manage the car behind the truck. You have to worry about a number of things such as loading dos and don’ts and your driving habits. It is much better to let professional movers worry about everything related to transporting your car to your new home. Packing Your Items Whether you have several months or just a few weeks until you move, you might not look forward to the packing process because it involves putting everything into boxes that need to be properly packed. It is an option to hire movers to come over to your house before the move to handle this process. They can bring all of the supplies and make sure everything is put into high-quality boxes in the most protected way possible. This will keep you from feeling stressed about the condition of your items upon arrival. When you make use of these professional services, you can enjoy a straightforward, stress-free move. For more information, contact local professionals like Frank and Sons Moving and Storage Inc. Agent for Wheaton World Wide...

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A Brief Look At Low-E Glass

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Brief Look At Low-E Glass

Your choice of replacement windows can not only affect the look of your home, but it can also have an impact on your home’s overall energy efficiency. Low-E glass is specifically designed to reflect excess heat and light, keeping your home cooler throughout the day while helping you save money on heating and cooling costs. The following takes a look at this recent technological innovation and how it can benefit your home. What Is Low-E? The term “Low-E” is simply shorthand for “low emissivity,” reflecting its ability to allow only low levels of radiant energy to pass through. Ordinary window glass has high thermal emissivity, meaning that just about all of the energy given off by the sun passes through unimpeded. With clear windows, your home is absorbing all of that radiant energy during the daylight hours. At night, the opposite occurs — all of the radiant energy stored in your home escapes out of the windows. This explains why certain rooms in your house can seem unbearably hot during the daytime, only to become freezing cold at night. Highly emissive glass can be made to transmit less radiant energy simply by adding a thin metallic coating to the surface. A Low-E window uses this type of coating to regulate the radiant energy that’d normally pass through a clear window. The film reduces light transmission by a very small amount, but more importantly, it also blocks infrared energy from coming through. The end result is a window that manages to keep excess heat out during the day while holding it in your home during the night.   Hard Coat vs. Soft Coat The metallic coating used with Low-E glass can be a hard coat or a soft coat. A hard coat, also known as a pyrolytic coat, is applied during the production process. The tin dioxide coating fuses to the hot glass surface, usually taking on a bluish tint in the process. The end result is a hardened coating that resists wear and most forms of damage. Hard coatings are preferable for cold climates, since the coating is emissive enough to allow some infrared energy through and keep the building warm during the winter months. A soft coat is applied after the glass has been cut. The cut sheets are placed into a vacuum chamber and bombarded with layers of silver via magnetron sputtering. After several thin layers have been applied to the glass, the glass is sandwiched together with the Low-E coating on the interior of the panes. Soft coat Low-E coatings require more protection, as these are usually more fragile than hard coats. However, soft coats offer drastically reduce UV transmittance and offer a lower U-value than their hard coat counterparts. This makes Low-E soft coatings a better choice for sunnier...

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Three Reasons To Call A Professional To Have Your Carpet Cleaned

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Reasons To Call A Professional To Have Your Carpet Cleaned

You may think of yourself as a do-it-yourself type when it comes to repairs and maintenance around your home, but when it comes to carpet cleaning, it is best to call a professional. The following are just a few of the most important reasons for having this work done by a professional. Better equipment Although it is possible that you can rent the same equipment a quality carpet cleaner will have, it is not likely. A professional carpet cleaner uses equipment that is designed to be used for commercial applications. Professionals depend upon having top-notch equipment for the high-quality cleaning of carpets that customers expect. Even if you are fortunate enough to have access to the same equipment the pros use, in the hands of an amateur, it is not likely to be effective in getting the job done. It takes more than an afternoon to learn how to use quality carpet cleaning equipment. Proper technique Having the right equipment is only part of an amateur’s problem. You must also know the proper technique of cleaning. There is a great deal of preparatory work that needs to be done before a carpet cleaning machine is used. Granted, some of it can be learned from a how-to booklet, but most of it comes from experience. This is especially true because there are different types of carpets. They are made from different materials and are manufactured in various ways. Knowing the best way to clean each type of carpet is one of the hallmarks of a professional carpet cleaner. Better knowledge of stain removal This includes knowledge of chemicals for stain removal. This type of work is an important part of cleaning a carpet. It is not simply a matter of using a steam cleaning machine. You want any stains on your carpet to be gone after the carpet is cleaned, and most cleaning machines alone will not do this. But a professional often has several chemicals to choose from and knows which one is best for a particular type of stain, as well as the best technique to apply the chemical. Most stains can be removed from your carpet, but you need to have the knowledge and skill related to stain removal. Never mind those machines that your local home improvement store may offer. If you want your carpets cleaned properly and to a high standard, simply call a certified carpet cleaning professional at a company like Chem Dry Springfield. They can give you an estimate for your entire home or simply the portion of the carpet that you want...

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Pros And Cons Of 2 Different HVAC Air Control Systems

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pros And Cons Of 2 Different HVAC Air Control Systems

The purpose of an HVAC system is to push out cool or heated air to make your interior temperatures comfortable compared to the outside air. This simple definition becomes more complicated when you start looking at air conditioning models since there are a couple of key different air control systems available. Each system has its own pros and cons that can help you determine what type of heating and cooling system would best work in your home or building. Constant Volume Strategy A constant volume or constant air volume system operates at a consistent rate of airflow but varies the temperature of that air to achieve a comfortable temperature inside your home. The system doesn’t have a fan-only setting that can allow you to simply move existing air around your home. A constant volume system is either fully on or fully off. The air conditioning unit for a constant volume system is fairly simple, low cost, and low maintenance. But the unit can also prove impractical for larger buildings or homes due to its constant functionality, which can drive up utility costs. Multi-zone constant volume units can work in mid-sized buildings but will involve higher costs to properly setup the system to disperse air throughout the building. There are two main versions of the constant volume system: terminal reheat or mixed air. The terminal system ensures that your home reaches the maximum heating or minimum cooling temperature you indicated and then shuts the system off. The mixed air system runs both the hot air and cold air at the same time to mix and reach the optimal temperature before shutting off, which does a better job at achieving your desired temperature but doesn’t do wonders for controlling humidity. Variable Volume Strategy Home central air conditioners are usually variable volume systems, which vary the rate of the airflow while the temperature of that air stays at a constant. The variable volume system has several advantages including more precision in temperature controls, the ability to run in fan-only mode, and energy savings associated with both of those qualities. A constant volume system is better at controlling humidity and servicing various building sizes. The main disadvantages compared to a constant volume system are the higher initial price for the unit, the more complex parts and maintenance, and the fact that the system might be too expansive for smaller buildings with very simple heating and cooling needs. Contact a contractor, like HomeSmart From Xcel Energy, for more...

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How To Give Your Water Softener A Second Life

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Give Your Water Softener A Second Life

If your water softener is no longer working, and you don’t want to shell out the money to purchase a new water softener right now, you may be able to refurbish your old water softener and get some additional life out of it.  Supplies You will need to purchase a bag of resin beads that is as large as the size of your resin tank. If you are not sure of the size of your resin tank, check your manual for your water softener. You will also need 90% waterproof silicone grease, a flat-headed screwdriver, and a water hose.  Turn Off The Water Supply To The Unit The first thing you need to do is turn off your water softener. You will need to turn the bypass valve or valves on your water softener to the off position; if you are not sure where the bypass valve(s) are located, consult your owner’s manual. To be extra safe, you can turn off the water to your house by turning the main handle for your water supply to the off position as well. Turn Off The Power Supply To The Unit Second, flip the breaker switch for the water softener on the power box to the off position. Then, unplug the unit.  Disconnect The Unit If your unit is still connected to any plumbing fixtures, you are going to want to disconnect it. This should involve unscrewing the pipe that connects the water softener to your water supply. Your owner’s manual should provide details on how to complete this step for your particular unit. After the unit is disconnected, move it out so that you can work on it. You are going to want to pull out the water reservoir assembly portion of the unit and take it outside; you may want assistance with lifting it. Drain The Water Once you have removed the water reservoir, take it outside. The area where the water is held should already be exposed; it should fill up one side of the reservoir Carefully lean the reservoir over and drain out the water. You’ll want to drain the water away far away from any plants or grass; the high concentration of salt inside of the reservoir will kill your grass and any nearby plants. Access The Resin Side Of The Reservoir There should be a lid on top of the other side of the reservoir where the resin beads are located. Once you have poured out the water you are going to need to remove this lid. You should be able to pry off the lid with the assistance of a flathead screwdriver; just gently put the flathead screwdriver under the edge of the lid and pry it open, working your way around the top until it pops off.  Once the lid is removed, you should encounter a screen. You should be able to easily remove the screen by hand or with the assistance of your flathead screwdriver. There should be a tube, called the riser tube, in the middle of the container that you will need to pull out.  Remove Water & Resin Beads Carefully tilt the reservoir on its side in order to drain the water from the resin side of it. When the water level starts to get low, and you see...

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Load Covering Options For Landscapers

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Load Covering Options For Landscapers

As a garden maintenance and landscape business owner, chances are you spend a lot of time hauling yard debris, wood chips, and other loose items. An uncovered load is a dangerous load, and in some states it is even illegal. The following can help you determine the best method for securing your load. “Blue” tarps The traditional blue tarp is inexpensive and readily available in many sizes. Although it is often thought of as a blue tarp, it is also available in other colors, including green and brown. The main drawback to this method is that the tarps can be difficult to work with. They aren’t well-fitted, so creative use of tie downs and grommets is required to keep them from flapping in the wind. Although UV resistant, repeated use does make them eventually become brittle. Holes are also common except for in the thickest tarps. Truck tarps Trucks tarps come in a range of options. The beauty of these is that they are fitted to the size of your truck’s bed or your utility trailer so that they can actually wrap around the sides and fit snugly. Tie-downs, which are heavily reinforced, are also placed to fit your vehicle more closely. You can even purchase completely custom tarp systems. These include a tie-down kit that is fitted to your vehicle so that securing the tarp is literally a snap. As an added benefit, you have more options that can work better with landscaping-specific needs. For example, traditional tarps can become prone to mildew when they are constantly covering plant debris loads on hot days. This is because moisture becomes trapped beneath the tarp. A mesh or breathable truck tarp can solve this problem. Cord system Cord systems are primarily useful if you need to tie down an awkward load that doesn’t need full coverage, such as a stack of landscaping timbers. They aren’t for loose loads, like bark mulch. The simplest system uses just ropes and the tie downs built into your cargo space. If you haul large or awkward items regularly, you should consider having a custom tie down kit installed. These tie downs are installed inside the bed or on the deck of the trailer. They are designed to be used with a ratcheting strap system, so they are sure to be secure. As an added benefit, you can combine them with the tie downs used for a custom tarp system so that you get dual use from your investment. Contact a tarp or cargo covering specialist in your area for more...

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Light Control For Blinds: FAQs

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Light Control For Blinds: FAQs

There are plenty of reasons to buy new blinds for your home. Aesthetic concerns, attempts to make your home more modern, and controlling the lighting situation in your home are all noble reasons to change up your window blinds situation. When it comes to controlling the lighting situation in your home, there might be a number of questions you have about this phenomenon. This brief guide will serve to answer just a few of those questions. Why Should You Use Blinds For Light Control? Perhaps the primary reason you should invest in blinds as a form of light control is just that: it is an investment. Utilizing blinds as a form of light control is energy-efficient. Not only are you helping the environment by curtailing your use of electricity as a form of lighting source, but you’re also cutting down on your monthly utility bills. One of the most efficient types of using blinds as a source of light control is referred to as “daylight harvesting.” This process revolves around how and when you will employ the use of your blinds to bring in the optimal amount of light that you prefer into your home. Where You Should You Locate The Blinds? The answer to this question depends largely on the contingencies of your home and what sort of lighting configuration is even possible. For example, apartments in a densely-populated urban area that have south-facing light sources aren’t able to harvest the amount of light that an open ranch house is able to. For those houses with an optimal lighting situation, like the aforementioned ranch house, it is recommended that you keep blinds on both the easterly and westerly windows to block the sun when it rises, and you can raise the blinds accordingly through the day; or, if you wish, simply open them first thing in the morning to allow the maximal amount of light enter your home. Should You Use Filters Or Black Out Light? Black-out light blinds work by simply blocking as much light as they possibly can when they are pulled down. Sometimes, an attachable dark fabric can be placed onto blinds in order to give them a black out effect. Blinds that filter lights, on the other hand, are much less stringent about the amount of light they allow into your home when pulled. With some light-filter blinds, you can adjust them to allow the amount of light you desire into your home. Check out the site for more...

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