How To Tell if Your Chimney Needs Repaired

If your home has a natural fireplace, you probably love spending long nights by the fire with your favorite book. However, that first chilly night after a long summer can pose a threat if you haven’t properly maintained your chimney. Even if you have, unexpected damage could be hiding where you can’t see it. Check out these signs that you need repair or new chimney construction Philadelphia PA.

You Notice Debris in the Firebox

Have you noticed black, crumbling soot in the firebox even though you clean it regularly? It could be creosote, a combustible material that builds up within the chimney and poses a fire hazard. The situation is even more serious if you see what looks like broken pieces of a flower pot in your firebox. Many old homes have terra-cotta chimneys. Finding pieces of it means the chimney’s liner was likely damaged during a fire. Each of these problems could cause an even larger fire next time. Avoid using your fireplace until a certified chimney sweep inspects it.

There Are Changes Within Your Walls

Have your framed pictures been falling off the walls around your fireplace lately? Has your paint been bubbling or peeling? Your chimney could be the culprit. When heat escapes a damaged chimney and finds its way to your home’s wood framing, it quickly pulls away moisture and creates dry wood and a serious fire hazard. If you notice anything out of the ordinary about your walls, stop using your fireplace and contact a professional.

You Smell More Smoke Than You Should

Naturally, you’ll notice slight odors of smoke when you light a fireplace most of the time. However, it should never be overwhelming. If spending time in front of the fireplace becomes uncomfortable because of excessive odor, the chimney may need to be repaired. It most certainly does if you notice the odor in any other room in the house. If you begin to smell too much smoke, put out your fire and call 911. The fire department can use special tools to see any fire in the chimney or walls and instruct you to contact someone for chimney repair if needed.

Your home’s chimney should be inspected at least once per year to ensure it’s safe and in good working order. Contact a professional as soon as possible if you know yours is behind schedule.

3 Work Tasks for Summer

After a long winter and an uncertain, rainy spring, there’s nothing quite like getting out and about in the summertime. Between vacations and going to the pool, make time for these summertime work tasks. 

Yard Work

Summer is the busiest season for yard work. Plants are growing like crazy, it’s your job to mow the lawn, prune the things that need pruning, harvest what needs to be harvested all while practicing both terrestrial and aquatic weed control. There are tons of tasks to take care of in your yard but don’t neglect your other maintenance. 

Dry Day Work

Take advantage of hot days to do tasks that need time to dry. For example, you might have roof work that needs attention or a large exterior painting task. Brickwork and concrete also need plenty of time to dry, so take advantage of sunny days while you have them. Don’t forget that summer weather can turn quickly, so keep an eye on your forecast and be prepared for sudden storms. 

Storm Proofing Work

Hot summer weather means volatile weather patterns. Thunderstorms are common, and that’s just the beginning. Tornado season peaks earlier in the summer and hurricane season hits in the late summer and early fall. In dry areas, periods of drought are often followed by flash flooding or mudslides, so no matter where you are or what time of the summer it is, it’s never a bad idea to prepare to batten down the hatches and weatherize your house. Research the likely threats, find out how best to guard against them and add those tasks to your summer to-do list. 

Summer is a great time to get work done in the yard and outside. Certain tasks can really only be done while the days are long and the weather is dry. Save these tasks for the summer and enjoy the benefits year-round.

3 Great Finishing Touches for Kitchen Remodels

Planning a full kitchen remodel? Don’t forget to add some finishing touches to really set your new space apart. Here are three great tips to keep in mind as you tackle your kitchen renovation.

1. Choose Appropriate Lighting

Lighting is a crucial element in setting the mood for any space. Light fixtures are often chosen during the final stages of a kitchen remodel – they are the finishing touches you’ll put on your space. It’s important to choose lighting that fits the overall style of your newly improved kitchen, but you could also have a little fun mixing up styles. You could go classic with farmhouse style lighting, or follow a more industrial, modern vibe. For kitchens with a trendy industrial aesthetic, choose fixtures from industrial kitchen lighting Kansas City to enhance the room’s overall style.  

2. Use Upgraded Hardware

When making your kitchen stand out, it’s all about the details. Install upgraded hardware and fixtures to elevate the style factor of your new kitchen. Use warm-toned brass fixtures to give the space a luxurious look. Pay attention to finishes, such as brushed, matte or polished. Instead of buying from a big box hardware store, browse independent design showrooms to find unique fixtures that will give your space an exclusive look.

3. Install Quartz Countertops

It’s no secret that granite is the go-to stone for kitchen countertops. Why not give your kitchen a more distinctive look by installing quartz countertops? Quartz counters will add a dazzling, high-style aesthetic to your new space. Best of all, quartz countertops are more durable and heat-resistant than other materials – they’ll stand up to the demands of a busy kitchen.

You want your new kitchen to be a special gathering place for family and friends. By following these tips, you’ll be enjoying your unique new kitchen in no time!

4 Basic Tips for a Good Crop

Let’s be honest: Nothing can guarantee a good harvest. Even if you do everything right, there will always be unforeseen difficulties and factors that you cannot control for. The most you can do is prepare for every possible contingency and hope for the best.

Some of these contingency plans can get quite advanced. However, it may be helpful to just go over the basics. Therefore, this article is taking a look at some of the fundamentals you need to encourage a good crop.

1. Irrigation

As every farmer knows, plants need water to grow. The best case scenario is that your area receives sufficient rainfall to provide the necessary hydration. However, that is not always the case, and if the rainfall is not enough, you need to find a way to provide the necessary water through irrigation. That means figuring out where the water will come from ahead of planting.

2. Weed Abatement

Weeds compete with your crops for soil, water, and sunlight, the necessities of life for a plant. Therefore, it is very important to practice effective weed abatement Menifee CA to keep them under control.

3. Pest Control

Yes, it’s a controversial topic, but if you want to protect your crops from being eaten before they reach their prime, it is one you have to think about. If you have strong feelings about organic farming, that means working out an alternative strategy to pesticides. If you do decide to use pesticides, that means taking care to apply them when the weather conditions are most favorable: low wind speeds, moderate temperatures, dry conditions, and a clear forecast.

4. Flexibility

The ability to adapt is necessary to survival. While a successful harvest involves careful planning beforehand, it also means factoring in some wiggle room to modify your plans for changing situations.

Hopefully, these basic tips will help you to reap a bountiful harvest.

Why You Should Hire Professionals for Commercial Roofing

A roof is a vital element of your commercial property. It protects the entire structure, valuable possessions, and occupants from intruders and weather elements. You should, therefore, hire a roofing company Raleigh NC for inspections, repairs, and maintenance, even if you have in-house maintenance employees. Here are more benefits of engaging professionals for commercial roof repair.

Detailed Inspection

A roof inspection can be an intricate process that is often best handled by experienced professionals. It involves checking the roofing material and gutters for signs of damage or possible future damage. Roofing contractors should have the skills, tools, equipment, and technology required to identify damaged parts or signs of water beneath the roofing materials.

Experience

Experience is king when it comes to commercial roofing repair and maintenance. The leading roofing contractors have generally undergone training in roof installation and repair, and they often spend most of their time inspecting, installing, and fixing damaged roofs. They should have extensive knowledge and experience to handle a broad range of commercial roof repair projects.

Saving Time

A commercial roofing expert can take just a few hours to complete a project that might take nonprofessionals days or weeks. Roofing contractors can apply the most efficient approach to repair damaged roofs. They should know what it takes to fix the damaged roofs, and you can trust their skills, equipment, and experience. Professionals should get the roof of your commercial property correctly repaired within the shortest time possible.

Safety

Falling accidents are real in the roofing industry. Professional roofing should contractors understand the risk and invest in the best safety gear. They often undergo safety training, acquire safety resources, and buy insurance coverage to mitigate the risks. By hiring professionals, you can protect yourself from unforeseen safety issues that may arise in your commercial property.

Make the Right Choice

The roof of commercial property needs extra care and attention for the safety of the entire structure, occupants, and the contents within. Invest in quality roofing materials and hire an experienced roofing contractor for repair and maintenance. Your roof should then remain in good condition and will likely serve you for a long time.

Why You Should Consider Pool Remodeling

As a homeowner, you enjoy owning your own pool. Swimming is an enjoyable way to exercise and you can do it right at home. You don’t have to go to the gym or visit a public pool. But maybe you want to give your pool new life or you might want to make your pool more energy-efficient. Perhaps you want to change up your pool to match your newly renovated home. Whatever the case, pool remodeling may be right for you. Whether you want to make your pool more kid-friendly or improve its functionality, you should consider pool remodeling round rock tx. There are so many benefits this service has to offer.

Better Energy Efficiency

One benefit you can get from remodeling your pool is making it more energy-efficient. This is done by changing the plumbing system and changing the electrical fitting. As a result, you’ll be saving more energy, which translates to savings on your monthly energy bill. This can be especially true if you have an older pool. While the plumbing and electrical system are both doing their jobs, these systems might be using more energy than they need to. Therefore, a pool remodeling project can provide you with upgrades, such as variable speed pool pumps.

New Features

Not only can remodeling your pool give it a new look, but it can also add new features. For example, you can add on a hot tub or spa, new pool coping or a new, trending design. The options are virtually endless when it comes to pool remodeling. You can customize your pool to your liking. 

If you’re renovating your home, pool remodeling may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, it should at least be a consideration. After all, your pool should look great too.

Tips for Maintaining an Attractive Driveway

It might sound strange, but your driveway is a part of your home even though you don’t give it much thought. It pretty much exists for you to park your car on. However, a driveway can be a large part of your land, so make the best of it. Here are four tips to make your driveway look sleek and attractive.

Seal and Patch

One of the smartest things you can do for your driveway is to patch any holes and seal it. Applying driveway sealer Columbia SC not only makes your driveway look top-notch, but it also forms a rubberized barrier protecting it from moisture and chemicals. It also shields it from sun damage and extends its life.

Flower the Edge

A driveway can look utterly amazing if you use it to showcase your potted plants or shrubs. Lining the driveway with beautifully colored flowers extends a garden from the back to the front of the house. This feast for the eyes makes your entire house look beautiful. Your plants will also benefit from being closer and easier to water.

Keep It Weeded

One of the cheapest and quickest ways to make your driveway look sharp is to remove any weeds that poke their way through the cracks. Weeds can show up almost overnight and before you know it, the driveway is full of them. Pulling them out and using spray killer on tough areas will have your driveway looking brand new again.

Install a Heating Element

If you live in a snowy part of the country, this suggestion could be a dream come true. A heating element, installed under the asphalt, can actually help melt your snow. This is a unique solution for people that can’t shovel and it helps keep the driveway clear all winter. 

Use It to Your Advantage

A driveway is a necessary part of your home, but that doesn’t mean it has to look boring. A space that big has a huge potential to make your property look incredible. Use it to your advantage.

Testing Gauges for Sewer and Sanitary Pipes

Mandrel testing for the use of sewer and sanitary pipes is also referred to as deflection testing. This test type is used to figure out the ovality that is present inside the sewer pipe and if it meets the specifications required. Put simply, the goal of this testing is to check and make sure that the pipe is round and that it isn’t displaced under the existing load.  

How the Test is Conducted

To conduct this test, pipe deflection gauges must be put in the proper position. The first step of the test is to pull the mandrel from one end of the pipe to the other. This helps to ensure and verify that there is plenty of clearance present. The device is approximately five percent smaller than the pipe that is being tested and it should move through without any issues. If the device gets stuck, then it means the pipe has failed this test and that repairs are needed.

The Components Used

The aluminum or other lightweight metal deflection mandrel is used with a nine-arm configuration. This ensures that the test is accurate. Also, the open design lets water, along with other debris pass through with ease. Another tool that is used for verifying that the deflection gauge is still within the level of tolerance is proving rings.

Today, both states and cities are using the mandrel tool to inspect the interior of sewer conduits and underground pipes. Usually, once construction is complete or if maintenance is being performed will be when this test is conducted. They are invaluable tools that help ensure the pipes in place are able to perform as needed to minimize the issues related to pipe problems or other issues that may arise with the sewer and sanitary pipes that are being used today by an array of municipalities.

Three Easy Home Improvement Projects in Wisconsin

It’s easy to improve the value of your home yourself, without large-scale, expensive projects or contractors. There are certain items that draw a lot of attention in your home that can be made over with a few simple tricks. Add one or two of these ideas to your to-do list.

Fireplace

If presented properly, a fireplace can be a stunning statement piece in your home. Especially in a cold state like Wisconsin, most buyers are looking for functional fireplaces, as well. Make sure you have it cleaned out and up to date. Switch to gas if you don’t want to deal with wood burning. You can update the look by changing the fireplace surrounds Milwaukee. Find some sleek tile and keep it simple or create a pattern.

Cabinets

You don’t need to rip apart your kitchen to make a complete transformation. These days light, airy kitchens are very popular, sometimes with bold splashes of color. All you need is a screwdriver and some paint to make it happen. You can take the doors off of your cabinets and paint them to whatever color you want. You can also change the pulls and knobs for added detail. Your kitchen will look completely different, and you won’t be wasting perfectly good cabinets.

Lighting

Sometimes all a place needs is adequate lighting to make it more appealing. Consider switching to recessed lighting and using LED bulbs. Add lighting underneath your cabinets or inside drawers to really wow people with a futuristic vibe. Find a statement chandelier or fixture to put above your dining room table. Find lamps that double as light sources and art. Change your curtains or install updated blinds to optimize your natural light.

It’s well within your reach to upgrade your home to keep up with the latest trends. You don’t need a demolition team or a huge renovation budget. If the bones of your home are good, the possibilities are endless for updating your style.

Tips for Seasonal Home Maintenance

For a first-time homeowner, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed by all the quirks your house has to offer and be unsure about what to expect in each of the seasons. In these first few years, you might be in for a few surprises, but with some careful attention, you can prepare your budget and your time for years to come.

Winter Is Coming

Living in a colder climate, you may be expecting to shovel your sidewalk from time to time after a blizzard. But there are other things to be aware of, including the snow load on roof, the windows allowing cold air to seep inside, and learning which materials won’t pock your sidewalk while giving the postman’s shoes something to grip.

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Preparing for spring may mean discovering places where your basement floods or your lawn grow thistles. You may find yourself deciding between push mowers and lawn services, learning how to aerate your yard and how to maintain the underbrush. This is a good time to check the attic as well and prevent unwanted houseguests.

Summer Loving

Oppressive humidity may make you want to stay inside, but it is important to keep up on regular maintenance during this season. Touching up paint on your fence and window sills, power washing the driveway, cleaning out the gutters, and checking on your smoke detectors and drains are all useful summer projects.

Keeping on top of maintenance season by season allows you to be aware of the special attention your new house needs. Whether this is your forever home or a starter house, being aware of the necessary evils of home ownership and addressing problems as they arise before they become too big to handle will allow this place to be a much more peaceful one.