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When Is It Absolutely Necessary To Change Your Locks?

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Is it time to change your locks? The signs are there if you pay attention. A well-made lock can last for a long, long time. A cheap lock will last you a long time too as long nobody tries to test it. Both of these types of locks will require a replacement at some point. Here’s how you can tell if it’s time. Look to See if the Lock is in Disrepair A lock that needs replacement will let you know. Look at yours. Does it just look worn out? Is there rust creeping around the edges of it? Is it absurdly dull and tarnished looking? Does it resist when you use the key? These are all signs of a worn lock. If you notice any of these things, then you need to replace the lock. Once a lock reaches this point, its integrity is completely compromised. A rusty, worn lock doesn’t require any real effort for someone to break. This goes for deadbolts as well as spring bolts in doorknobs.   There are many more reasons you may want to change out a lock or multiple locks in your home or business. Just make sure that you don’t swap the locks when a far cheaper, and quicker, rekeying will do. For example, if you lose a key or somebody moves out, you don’t have to change all the locks unless you specifically want to. You can rekey the cylinders and keep your functional locks. Reasons Beyond Disrepair Reasons beyond disrepair, when it’s essential that you replace the lock, usually have to do with damage. Break-ins – Even if a break in doesn’t succeed, you may need to change the lock. Brute force and tampering can weaken the lock or cause it not to work as it should. Even if it looks fine and works fine, you should consider replacing it. If you’re unsure, you can remove it and bring to a locksmith to see if it’s still okay to use. Accidents – Much like an attempted or successful break-in, accidents are a good reason to change out a lock. If somebody accidentally barrels into the door, or a small vehicle hits it, then it’s no different from someone applying brute force on purpose. Reasons Unassociated with Disrepair Reasons that have nothing to do with damage, wear, or tear often have to do with aesthetics and security. Aesthetics – You may want to upgrade your locks to match the overall look and feel of your house. This is especially nice after a renovation. Nice locks can improve the value of your home just a bit as well, simply by looking good and functional. Security upgrades – There is a whole world of locks, locking mechanisms, and modern locking technology that can go right on your door. You may want to upgrade from the locks you have to something a little more robust and secure. If you have cheap locks, then upgrading is a good option. But even if you have good locks, you may want to take it step further to something like a keyless entry lock. Yes, there are consumer-grade door locks that can read cards, fingerprints, or a sequence on a keypad. The Bottom Line on Changing Your Locks The bottom line is you either replace your locks because...

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Tips For Avoiding Frequent Air Conditioning Repairs

Posted by on May 24, 2015 in Uncategorized |

While some air conditioning problems will require the expertise of a professional contractor, others can be easily repaired or even prevented on a DIY basis. For instance, issues with energy efficiency and low output levels can typically be prevented through the use of the simple air conditioning repair tips outlined below. Tip #1: Change Or Clean Your Air Filter Each Time Your Energy Bill Arrives A dirty air filter can cause a variety of issues, including high energy bills and low air output levels. This is because when your air conditioner’s intake filter becomes excessively dirty, your AC unit will no longer be able to easily pull in air from around your home. This will cause the unit to consume more energy to try and keep the air circulating and will ultimately result in less cool air being produced as the unit continues to get less and less air from around your home. The best way to prevent these issues is to change or clean your air filter approximately once a month during the cooling season. The problem is, while many people are aware of the need to replace this filter, they will often forget to complete this basic maintenance while struggling to keep up with all of their other daily responsibilities. Learning to associate the need to change or clean this filter with the arrival of your monthly energy bill will help to ensure you never forget again. Tip #2: Clean Your Outdoor Condenser The First Time You Use Your AC Unit Each Year Plants, dirt, fallen leaves, and other debris can get stuck inside your outdoor compressor and result in your AC unit being unable to produce as much cold air as it once did. Over time, this debris may even cause serious damage that could result in costly repairs and maintenance. The good news is, these issues can often be prevented by cleaning this outdoor unit just once during each cooling season. The best time to complete this maintenance is the very first time you turn on the AC unit each year. When performing this annual maintenance, you will want to begin by pulling any weeds or trimming back any plants that have grown within a few feet of the unit. Next, you will need to treat the area with a weed control product in order to prevent them from returning later in the season. Once the area is free of weeds and other plants, you will need to wash down your outdoor compressor using a standard garden hose. While you may think that using a high powered hose attachment or pressure washer will do a better job of getting the unit clean, the truth is, this approach can actually damage the protective cage around the unit. Therefore, you should always resist the temptation to use anything other than a standard garden hose. Simply allow the water to run over the unit until the water runs clear. This is really all it takes to keep your outdoor unit free of damaging...

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3 Tips To Care For Your Aluminum Storefront

Posted by on Apr 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you want to be able to take good care of your aluminum storefront, you’ll need to learn some very important guidelines that will give you what you need. An aluminum storefront can be a great investment in your building, because it is durable and will last for years when in great condition. But if you want to be sure that you are able to keep the storefront clean, aesthetically appealing and efficient, you’ll need to follow these critical tips to guide you.  #1: Be Careful And Precise When Cleaning Your Aluminum Storefront Keeping your storefront clean will allow the metal to remain intact, without rusting and developing corrosion. Because of this, you must make sure that you give your storefront thorough cleanings using the proper techniques. Since your storefront is likely made of anodized metal, consider some of these tips: If the storefront is newly purchased, clean the metal as soon as you get it, in order to avoid discoloration and other problems from construction dirt Periodically, utilize a solvent on your aluminum storefront and leave it to air dry If your aluminum storefront is coated with difficult to remove stains and dirt, you can feel free to use power tools in order to loosen it Never use any acidic cleaners on your aluminum storefront when cleaning it #2: Purchase A Maintenance Plan For Your Storefront There are a variety of professionals who will be able to keep your storefront in working condition. Many of these contractors can sell you a plan that allows you to get routine cleaning, waxing, rust removal, sealant application and more. By paying for this maintenance in advance, you will be able to get a professionals’ assistance in keeping your storefront intact. Since this creates a first impression for anybody who visits your place of business, you’ll need to make sure that it is a quality first impression.  #3: Provide A Pressure Washing To Your Storefront Periodically In order to be sure that you are able to keep your storefront free of any discoloration or stain, you would do well to invest in a pressure washer. While routine cleaning will go a long way, a seasonal pressure washing will help with keeping your storefront clean and pristine. This, in turn, gives you the opportunity to retain a sense of professionalism and vibrancy with any design used on your storefront.  Keep these tips in mind, so that you are always able to get the most out of your aluminum storefront. Talk to a company like Glasshopper Schor Glass to learn more about caring for your aluminum...

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How To Move Garden And Lawn Equipment

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you’re moving your household, your garage or garden shed is probably last on your mind, and for many people it’s the final area of the home they pack—big mistake! Packing lawn and garden equipment can be time consuming, and these are valuable items that need proper attention. You may even have to get some items ready days or weeks in advance. Here are some tips for safely and efficiently moving your garden supplies. Mowers and Power Tools Your mowers and power tools (chain saws, weed whackers, etc.) should be tended to first, as many moving companies require they be drained of all combustible fluids, like oil and gasoline, before they can be moved. Some small engine shops that repair mowers will do this for you and certify that they are empty. Be sure to ask your moving company well in advance of the move if they will even take these items. If not, you need to either arrange for separate transport or sell them and buy new equipment later. If you own a rider mower or tractor, ask your moving company about that too. You may need to move it separately via a large equipment shipping company. If your grass needs to be cut right before your moving day, hire someone to do the last mow for you. Chemicals You won’t be able to take any combustible, flammable, or otherwise dangerous chemicals in the moving van. Try to use these items up, give them to neighbors, or take them to a municipal waste center that handles hazardous materials. This includes pesticides, herbicides, and the like—your moving company can provide you with a list. Tall Tools Your collection of tall garden tools may be just as expensive as your mower. First make sure they are clean and dry before packing them. Again, defer to your mover on how these should be moved. Some movers will wrap them in a blanket for you; others want you to pack them. If you need to pack tall tools, try using heavy-duty wardrobe-type boxes or create a taller box by using one large box to serve as a lid for another one. Hand Tools Like your tall garden tools, small hand tools should be thoroughly cleaned and wiped as well. The main issue in packing these is to make sure any sharp edges are covered. You can wrap individual tools in old towels and place them in a heavy box, taking care not to overload it. You can also put them in a garden pail and pack that inside a large box. If you have one of those pocket organizers that fits over a five-gallon bucket, use that to keep tools separated and protected. Pots While plastic pots can be stacked and boxed without much care, ceramic pots need to be packed just like any other household breakables. Stack several in a box with cardboard or bubble wrap in between each one. You can wrap your garden hose around any fragile pots for extra protection. If you are planning to move pots with plants in them, make sure the plants won’t be in the moving van long enough to kill them. Also, know that many states have very strict rules about moving plants, and some may forbid you taking them to your new...

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3 Helpful Steps To Take When Dealing With A Mouse In Your Home

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you find a mouse in your home, it’s important to do something about it quickly. If you don’t, they may mature, allowing them to produce 8 litters in a one-year lifespan. To deal with mice, these steps can be taken. Locate & Remove Mouse Droppings It’s important to remove mouse droppings from your home, because if you don’t, germs can linger and spread throughout your home. Mice droppings will be around the size of a pellet, and there will be a lot of them in one area. Wear gloves and use a scooper to put the droppings into a plastic bag after you have found them. Take the plastic bag and throw it in the dumpster. It’s important to disinfect the area where the droppings were located, as this prevents germs and bacteria from spreading. Then, throw the gloves away, and wash your hands thoroughly. Set Out Live Steel Traps If you feel confident that you can remove the mice alone, it’s a good idea to use live steel mouse traps. These traps give you the ability to remove mice without having to kill them or cause them any harm. Steel traps are beneficial because mice can’t easily chew through them. They have a low profile design, allowing you to place them underneath furniture. Multi-catch steel straps are great, as they can hold more than one mouse at a time. This is ideal because there will likely be several mice in your home. In order for these traps to be effective, you will need to put bait in them. One of the best baits to use is peanut butter, as it has a tempting aroma that will effectively attract mice. Cotton is also ideal because mice love using it for their nest. Get Help From an Exterminator If all else fails and your home traps don’t seem to be doing the trick, you can seek help from an exterminator. This professional will first make sure all food sources are enclosed in either glass or plastic containers. Cracks, holes, and crevices will be sealed with steel or concrete. Once the entry points have been taken care of, the exterminator will set out different types of traps. These include glue and live traps. Potential nesting spots, such as a pile of clothes or a stack of papers, will be removed from your property. After the rodent has been removed from your property, countertops, floors and walls will be cleaned. This helps kill off any bacteria that may have spread because of the...

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3 Signs That Your Well Pump Needs Service

Posted by on Nov 28, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you use a well to supply your household with water, then you probably enjoy the benefits of enjoying your natural resources and not paying a monthly water bill. Wells and well pumps need routine maintenance and repair if you want to continue to enjoy these benefits, however, so it’s critical to know the signs that service is needed. These are three signs that you should look out for; if you notice any of them, then it’s important to call a well pump service like Stettler Supply Co as soon as possible to take care of any potential problems. 1. You Have Poor Water Pressure in Your Home If you have noticed that the water pressure has gone down in your home, there is probably one of two problems. You could be dealing with a plumbing issue, such as a broken pipe, or there could be something wrong with your well pump. Check your pipes to ensure that they aren’t frozen or broken, then call a well pump service. Then, an experienced technician can fix your pump to ensure that it pumps an adequate amount of water. 2. You Hear Your Pump Running Constantly Your well pump should turn off and on as needed. If you do notice that your pump is running too much, there is a good chance that it’s struggling to pump water or that there is a sensor and shutoff issue. Either way, it’s critical to have your pump serviced as soon as possible. Otherwise, the motor could burn out from running too much, or you could deal with other issues. 3. Your Pump Turns Off and On Too Often It’s true that your well pump should turn on and off as needed, but you shouldn’t hear it cycling off and on constantly. If it does, then there’s a chance that it’s having a hard time getting water. This means that the problem needs to be addressed as soon as possible to help prevent damage to your well pump motor and to ensure that your family gets all of the water that it needs. It’s important to look out for well pump problems if you want to keep your well in excellent condition. These issues can lead to loss of water in your home and more costly repairs for your well pump, so make sure that you call a well pump service as soon as possible if you notice any of them. Luckily, a good well pump service should be able to repair the problem as soon as...

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A Few Ways To Improve The Way Your Backyard Looks

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you want to spruce up your outdoor property, there are a few different routes that you can try to achieve the desired look you are looking for. You can do some landscaping to try and beautify the vegetation, or you can make a structural addition. Either way, your home will have an upgraded look that you will love. Here are a few ideas that you can do to make your back yard look great. Some Things To Do Ahead Of Time Before you start your backyard project, there are a few things that you will need to take care of to make sure that the land is ready for your project. If you have not yet had a land survey, now is the time. You do not want to build something on land that is not yours, finding out that you will need to remove it later. If you need any permits in order to build, you would need to apply. You can find out what permits are needed at your local township building, and a land surveyor can be hired at Krause & Gantzer. A Swimming Pool Adding a swimming pool to your backyard is a great way for you to keep fit during the summer months and it will increase the value of your home. In-ground swimming pools will be more expensive, but will be more pleasing to the eye. You can construct your pool in a way where it will have waterfalls and bubbling rock structures in it, further enhancing the pool area. A Shed You can add a shed to your yard to help with the clean up of yard supplies and outdoor lawn equipment. This will beautify the property if you pick the right type of shed. Match the siding or paint color to your home and add a roof that is made from the same type of shingling.  A Backyard Retreat Add a small backyard area that you can go visit to get away from everything. You can place a bench or lawn furniture in the area, which can be surrounded by fresh floral landscaping. Add a trellis, sidewalks and a bird-bath to bring your area to the next level. A Fish Pond or Fountain You can put in a fish pond or a water fountain to make your backyard look better. A fish pond will give you a lot of delight. You can go pick out your favorite koi or similar fish to keep in the pond. A fountain will give your backyard an interesting water structure to be enjoyed. You can place benches around each, for an area to sit down and...

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Ideas For A Budget-Friendly Guest Room

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It’s quite possible to furnish a guest room comfortably and attractively while adhering to your budget. At the very least, your overnight guests will require a comfortable sleeping solution, adequate lighting and storage for their belongings. Your budget-friendly sleep options might include a daybed, futon or air mattress, while a floor lamp is an inexpensive lighting solution. First Up: Slumber Time Essentials When furnishing your guest room, providing a place to sleep should be your first order of business. A less expensive option than a standard bed might be a daybed or futon. A daybed will typically require a twin-sized mattress, and there is no need to furnish it with a headboard. A futon will provide a seating solution for daytime use, then convert to a bed for sleep. The futon frame and mattress combined is typically a lot less expensive than a traditional bed. If you’re on a tight budget, you might consider an air mattress for your guest bed. Inflatable air beds come with inflating pump and are available in twin, full, queen and king sizes. Most are made with a soft velour top and can be outfitted with traditional sheets and bedding. Consider a raised air bed for the look and feel of a traditional mattress. Inexpensive Guest Room Storage One way to save money on guest room furniture is by choosing a bed and storage combo. A daybed with storage drawers underneath may eliminate the need for a dresser. Otherwise, you’ll want to consider an inexpensive chest of drawers for storing personal belongings and clothing. A unique idea for guest room storage is a storage bench. This option provides extra seating with storage cubbies underneath. Some include pull-out drawers. Budget-Friendly Seating Ideas If your guest room is to be used primarily for kids and teenagers, one or two over-sized bean bag chairs might fit the bill. These are more affordable than traditional chairs and they are available in a wide array of colors to complement most any decor. A media lounger chair is another cool option. It’s low to the floor and perfect for watching TV, reading or playing video games. Similarly, a folding “butterfly lounge” chair is soft and comfy, and much cheaper than many side chairs. Lighting the Way For an inexpensive lighting solution, consider a floor lamp. Furnishing the guest room with one adjustable-angle floor lamp may be more practical than buying two table lamps. It’s great for reading, too. Another alternative is choosing an overhead ceiling fan with built-in light. This may be an efficient lighting option, as the ceiling fan light may have a dimmer switch that saves energy. Last but not least, be creative when furnishing your guest room. Budget-inspired furniture does not have to mean boring or unattractive. Anything from a lava lamp for ambient glow, a combination bookcase and TV stand, or even a mattress placed on top of a homemade platform can be cost-effective yet stylish. Visit local furniture stores to get an idea of what styles and designs you want to go...

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Why Your Leach Field Is Leaking Too Much

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you’ve noticed that parts of your yard are consistently damp and smell foul, you probably have a problem with your septic system’s leach field. Your leach field is responsible for taking excess liquids from your septic tank and gradually draining them into the earth, but they can only handle so much. Overuse of water, dumping too many chemicals into your septic tank, the presence of grease and even tree roots can interfere with the leach field’s operations, but luckily you can fix many of those problems without having to replace your field. Grease If you do a fair amount of cooking you may dump your grease down your garbage disposal. This grease makes its way to your tank and then filters out through the leach field. The problem is that, when it cools, it solidifies within your leach field and can clog it up. In this case, all you usually need to do is stop dumping grease down your septic tank immediately. Though it may take some time, the bacteria in your tank and leach field will break down the grease. The exception is if your leach field is clogged completely by too much grease; in that case you may need to replace your field. Household Chemicals The helpful bacteria in your leach lines can’t do their job if they’re all dead. Dumping household cleaners and other chemicals down into your septic tank will gradually kill off that bacteria, which means solids and other materials aren’t broken down. When solids aren’t broken down properly they can block the entrance to your leach field and cause a backup. These bacteria often come back by themselves, though it’s not a swift process. Tree Roots Tree roots can cause a few different problems depending on where exactly they’re growing over your tank system. In minor cases, roots can penetrate your leach field and block the pipes, preventing proper draining. In more severe cases, however, the intrusion of roots on your system can cause your pipes to burst, which can cause backups inside your house. In minor cases, hire someone to remove the plants and roots or use a root killer like copper sulfate to get rid of them. Actual burst pipes will need to be replaced regardless. Regardless of the reason, a backed up leach field is something that needs to be taken care of quickly. Apart from being an inconvenience due to the presence of septic water and the odor that comes with it, septic bacteria can be harmful to pets and children. If your leach field isn’t in an area you usually access you can possibly afford to wait if you have fixed the cause of the problem, but otherwise you should call a septic professional from a company like Sullivan Septic as soon as...

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How To Replace Your Dryer Heating Element On Your Own

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If your dryer is not heating up correctly, do not fret. Most likely, your heating element needs replaced. You can replace your heating element on your own.  Get The Right Supplies To start off with, you need to purchase the dryer heating element that is specified by your dryer manufacturer. You can order it online or at your local appliance store. You will also need a screwdriver as well as long nosed pliers as well. Disconnect The Power Before You Do Anything Else First off, you need to disconnect your dryer from its power source before you do any work. There are a few different ways you can disconnect your dryer. You can unplug it from the wall outlet. Or you can turn off the circuit breaker that your dryer is on. Pull Out the Dryer In order to work on your dryer, you will need to pull it out . You may want to enlist the help of a friend to move the dryer so you do not strain your back.  Remove The Back First off, you need to get out your screwdriver and remove the screws from the back of your dryer. You may want to put them inside a container or baggie so the screws do not get lost. Get To Work Now the real work begins. You will need to remove three different items from the back of your dryer before you are able to replace the heating element.  On the right side of the dryer, you will see a long vertical can. You will need to use a 5/16 inch hex screwdriver to loosen one of the screws. You just want it to be loose at this point. You do not want to remove it yet. Once it is loose, tip it upward and lift it off the two bottom hooks. Remove the limit thermostat wire that is located just above the long vertical can and the thermal fuse wires. The thermal fuse wires are two wires that are mounted high up on the side of the can.  This should all come away together as one piece, wires, can and all.  Tilt the heating element forward and the old heating element will slide out of the can. This will leave a shell where the full can was.  All you need to do now is to slide the new heating element you purchased into the shell or can that was holding the old heating element. You will need to hook the can back onto the dryer and make sure the wires are in place. Once the can is back in the right place, you will want to screw back in the hex screw.  Finish Up To finish up the job, you need to get out the screws that you set aside in a baggy or container and use them to reattach the back. Then, get a friend to help you move the dryer back into place. Plug your dryer back in, and turn on the circuit to your dryer back on. If the problem was with your heating element, it should work fine now. If you need appliance parts for this or another household job, contact East End...

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5 Tips For A “Make A Wish” Party Theme

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When it comes to planning your child’s birthday party, there are many different themes to go with. A fun party for children of all ages is the “Make a Wish” or “Wish Upon a Star” party theme. Not only is it easy to choose coordinating decorations, but the themed activities and food can also be a lot of fun. Here are some tips for making this magical birthday party theme a reality. 1. Color Scheme Start by choosing your color scheme. Many star-themed birthday parties go with the traditional blue, white and silver colors, but there is no reason you can’t think outside the box. If the party is for a little girl who loves pink, you can incorporate that by turning it into a shabby chic-style make a wish birthday party. You should always start with the color choices and overall style, as it is needed for nearly every other aspect of the party planning. 2. Decorations Now that you have chosen the colors, you can start thinking of decorations. Think of stars as your main source for decorations, along with the color scheme you are going with. For the tablecloths, choose a solid color and put star decorations on top, such as star table lanterns and glitter confetti spread around in the shapes of stars and moons. Lamps and lanterns are always a fun way to decorate for this type of party because it adds the “magical” element. Hanging string lights outside or around your home is highly recommended. 3. Food For the food, you can go along with the star-shaped theme or have traditional food, but serve it in pretty dishes that match your décor. An easy way to make treats that match your make a wish theme is by baking cookies and using star-shaped cookie cutters. You might also want to stick to a celestial theme by also making cookies shaped like suns and moons as well. 4. Games and Activities There are a variety of themed games and activities you can choose for this type of party. One of the best activities for the make a wish theme is by having each guest write their wish on a piece of paper, fold it up and put it in a closed container you have out. Dress up this container to have that magical element where they believe their wish will come through. You can also have a craft where the kids decorate with star stickers and glitter pens on a picture frame or small canvas, which also becomes their take-home prize. 5. Invitations For the invitations of a make a wish party theme, you have the perfect opportunity to use all the glitter and star confetti you want. Make up the invitations to match the color of your party theme, then put some pretty confetti inside the envelope. This is a really fun way to get the kids in the magical spirit for the birthday party...

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