How to Maintain Your Roof in the Spring Time

Ah Springtime. The cold weather from the winter has come to an end and the warm weather is making it’s way in. The trees and flowers are blooming and everyone seems to brighten up like the sun.

As magical as this time of the year may be, it’s also a time when you should be maintaining your roof. In fact, it’s one of the times of the year when maintenance is most important. While everything is beginning to bloom, your roof is beginning to be exposed to external circumstances that can do it harm.

In this article, we want to talk about three threats that your roof may experience during the spring, and what you can do to get a grip on them.

1.) Tree Limbs and Branches

Tree branches can fall off at all times of the year, especially when storms hit, leaving behind leaves, branches, twigs, and other debris to clutter your roof and gutters. You may not be able to see from a distance, but sometimes these debris can do damage that can only be seen up close. This could include holes, cracks, or gashes or other types that can cause water to stand on your roof, as it could be preventing from flowing off due to all the debris.

Water damage is one of the last things you want for your roof, and could lead to the last resort of an expensive roof replacement if the problem isn’t addressed in time.

2.) Animals 

Critters of all kinds like to land or climb to the depths of your roof, and more often during the spring. Some like to find warmth in your roof and will claw and dig until they get what they need. Even them just moving around on your roof can cause scratches and potential tears.

3.) Strong Weather

The Spring time is the prime time for tornadoes and other strong storms. Damaging winds and hail can cause your shingles to fall off or even create tears in your roof. Not to mention, the heat can cause the roofing materials on your home to consistently contract and expand, and potentially destroy themselves in the process.

How to Concoct Your Own Special Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solution

Carpet is comfortable for our homes but it inevitably becomes dirty and stained in time. Not only that, but deep down in the fibers can lie dirt and other debris that get ground in with vacuuming and frequent walking.

There are plenty of ways to take care of this but why spend a lot of money on renting a carpet cleaning machine or professional when you can make a formula for cheap and easy yourself. Of course it may not take care of the deep dirt, but it will sure keep a fresh top layer for your carpet.

Before beginning, you will need to acquire a few ingredients:

  • Spray Bottle
  • 1 Cup of Warm Water
  • Fresh Sponge
  • Clean Towel
  • 1 Tablespoon of White Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Dishwashing Liquid
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • *It’s best advised that you do a spot check before applying this mixture to any large areas. There are many types of carpet out there and they don’t all respond well to the same treatments.

Directions

1.) We begin by mixed all of the ingredients together into an efficient cleaning concoction. Keep in mind that vinegar and baking soda mixed together in large amounts can cause many bubbles and if you aren’t careful, a small explosion. Remember making a volcano in school and using these two ingredients to cause the “explosion?” Yeah, it’s that kind of explosion, ha.

Add the dishwashing liquid first, followed by the white vinegar, and finally the warm water. Put the lid on the spray bottle and hold it over a sink, just enough of an opening at the top to fit in the baking soda.

2.) Vacuum the area and then proceed wipe it gently with the abrasive side of your sponge.

3.) After you have made sure to do a spot check, spray the area with your mixture and gently dab the area with your towel. Be sure not to rub or scrub as this will push the stain deeper into the fibers of carpet, and make the stain more difficult to get rid of.

4.) You should already be able to start seeing some results. Continue to spray and dab the area with your towel to completely take care of the stain.

If the solution has not been as effective as you planned, try repeating the process once your carpet dries. Before doing this, we recommend that you do another spot check but this time on a small portion of the area you previously tried to clean.

5 Easy Landscaping Add-Ons for Your Lawn

Have you been wanting to make some updates to your yard to gain more curb appeal for your home, but don’t want to spend a lot of time of money in the process to make the changes?

In today’s post, we wanted to cover some simple ideas you can use to make some quick and easy adjustments to the outside your home. Better yet, they are inexpensive, yet highly effective.

1.) Plants

Plants, shrubs, and flowers are a great way to brighten up all surroundings, and can be easier to install than you may think. A simple way to plant these are to line them up vertically and not too close nor far apart.

Before choosing a type of plant, tree, bush, or flower for the outside of your home, do a little research to see which types of plants will function best in the area in which you live.

 

2.) Lights

Not only does lighting add a friendly touch to your home, they help with safety and setting the mood for your home. And if you decide to take advantage of planting a tree or flowers, lights are a great way to illuminate your landscaping at night, so your work can be on display 24/7.

You can find a variety of lighting at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot, and of course on many websites online.

3.) Walkways

Most homes have walkways of some shape or kind. Many stand alone, without being surrounded by plants, gravel, or other form of landscape design. If this is what your walkway looks like at the moment, consider adding a few plants, some mulch, or even some lighting to either or both sides.

And if you don’t care to spend some money…

 

4.) Decks and Patios

Adding a deck or even a patio to the back of your home can be a great touch that offers a great space for get togethers and parties. They can even be a solid place to relax and sunbathe on a sunny day.

You could even create a screened in patio, which is beneficial if you have animals that want to be outside.

5.) Fences

Speaking of furry friends, a fence is another way to keep them in the yard, but still allows them to get their time outside.

Fences are also a good way to obtain privacy from your neighbors, not to mention add value to your home.

6 Fun Carpet Cleaning Facts All Homeowners Should Know

vacuumingIt’s obvious to most people that like every other item you own, your carpet has eventually be cleaned. Many people would argue that it costs too much money to hire someone or that it takes too much time to do it on their own, yet the consequences of not keeping it clean can possibly end up costing more in the end.

Carpet may look and feel soft on the exterior but deep within the fibers lie thousands of germs, dirt, and bacteria that can have undesirable effects on health; especially those with allergies. Kids and outdoor pets can only add to the problem, making it take even tougher to keep clean.

In a well-written article we discovered on LoneStarHardSurface.com, there are a handful of facts mentioned that will make you NOT want to miss a carpet cleaning again, which is the inspiration of this article today. The next time you think about laying around or doing yoga on your carpet, you may think twice about the last time you gave it a thorough cleaning.

Here are the 6 most interesting facts we took from the article:

1.) This is kind of a scary one, especially if you have kids.- The stomach bug virus can harbor deep in the fibers of your carpet for up to one month.

2.) Sprinkle salt in your carpet and let it sit in one hour in order to brighten it.

3.) Us humans lost around 1.5 million skin flakes in an hour which become embedded in our carpets.

4.) Many people’s carpets are seven times more filthy than city streets and 4,000 times more than a toilet seat. Talk about germs…

5.) This one may be obvious to some, but: The 5 second rule is non-existent. In carpet, bacteria can live longer than 4 weeks!

6.) Carpet should be professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months. Many people may think that the professionals just say that to earn more business but after reading some of these facts, wouldn’t you agree that it’s starting to sound like a good idea every minute.

* * *

So when’s the last time you had your carpet cleaned?

Moving Tips to Help You Keep Organized

Moving is one of the most stressful things a person can do in life. Stay organized before, after, and along the way can make things much easier for yourself and your family, and even reduce stress.

 

 

 

Top Video Tips

  • Create a map for the movers that shows where they go
  • Put furniture directly in the room it is going to stay in
  • Color code boxes by your own system, or label the boxes by room
  • Unpack only one box at a time
  • Line boxes up against the wall in the room they go in, and have them facing the same direction so you can see the label of what is in each box
  • Know which room should be unpacked first (i.e kitchen and bathroom)
  • Pack appropriately – don’t over or under pack
  • Schedule in advance the time it is going to take you to pack and un pack; do rooms in order of importance
  • Don’t try to do too much at once; don’t be overwhelmed, you are on a set and planned schedule
  • Work together in an assembly line; make sure everyone knows their responsibilities

Tree Cutting Tips and Techniques

Cutting down a tree can be dangerous, especially when a tree has lived for dozens of years. Hiring a professional tree cutter is the safest means of tree removal but if you choose to do the deed yourself, the following tips will help you take down a tree more smoothly.

Before you begin, there are a few pieces of equipment you will need to get the job done right.

#1. Safety First: Grab yourself a pair of handy dandy safety glasses to keep your eyes protected from the line of fire and while you’re at it, grab some leg protectors or a pair of sturdy work boots. Sometimes, chainsaws can run into knots in a tree which cause them to come out of the tree and into your leg so you want to keep protected.

#2. Chainsaw: A chainsaw will be your most important tool, and should have a horsepower of at least 3.5 and a 20 inch bar. The bar is an indication of how deep the blade can penetrate, and 20 inches is generally enough for cutting down most trees.

#3. Test Rope: The final tool you need to acquire is a 1,000 lb rope to be used as a safety backup in case there are any problems.

Tree Cutting Tips & Precautions

We can’t say it enough – tree cutting is a dangerous job, and one that is recommended to be handled by a professional. It’s certainly not impossible to do the task yourself, but it will require a little bit of knowledge and understanding before beginning.

Some safety tips you want to keep in consideration:

  • If you have finished cutting a tree and it fails to fall, don’t walk up to it with your chainsaw as the tree is under massive pressure. Instead, use your rope to pull the tree carefully. Always put your safety first.
  • Never stand directly behind a tree as well. You never know when the stump could snap, and send the tree falling backwards.
  • Always check your gear before you begin working, to make sure that it is in proper working order.
  • Don’t cut down a tree on your own. At least make sure there will be one other person around.
  • Perform a thorough assessment of the surrounding areas of the tree to make sure there isn’t a chance that it will fall on a house, car, or any other valuable assets.

Safe Tree Cutting Techniques

1.) Evaluate how tall the tree actually is, and determine the best direction that it should fall keeping the height in consideration.

2.) Clear the area you plan for the tree to fall in so that nothing gets damaged in the process. Cut a v-shape into the tree on the side that you want it to fall. This “v” should be shallow, knee-height, and cut to the center of the tree to look like an actual v.

3.) When tying your rope to the tree before you start trimming, make sure you attach it to the middle or the area slightly above the middle.

4.) Move to the opposite side of the tree and slowly cut until it reach your “v”.

5.) When the tree begins to fall, move away as quickly as possible at a 45 degree angle. If the tree gets stuck on another tree or doesn’t fall over completely, carefully pull on the rope until it does. This is where it’s best to have other people help you, as there are more people to watch the tree’s progress from different angles.

5 Important Practices to Follow When Painting Your Own Roof

Painting your roof is a tremendous way to add value to your home, no matter what type of material it is made of. Doing the job yourself doesn’t have to be expensive, but can come with some issues of safety that you may not want to find yourself dealing with.

If you are up to the challenge, we have laid out a list of measures to consider for your safety and getting the job done as efficiently as possible. Prepare yourself with these practices before taking on the challenge. If they appear to be too risky they probably are so, use your best judgement when making the final decision.

1. Begin by Cleaning

To give your roof the best looking paint coating, clean the roof to ensure that you rid all debris and stains. A high pressure washer is the best way to clean a corrugated roof, but a hosepipe and broom and work as well. Sweeping tends to work better for titled roof as it can clean more effectively between the lines.

There are many chemicals available for cleaning a roof, and best used by the instructions on the label seeing as they all work differently.

2. Roof Evaluation

The next step before painting a tile roof is to make sure that there are no broken tile, missing ones, or any that need to be replaced. For corrugated roofing, make sure to do a pre-clean by washing it with degreaser. If you have any replacement sheets or an unpainted roof, prepare the surface of the roof with the primer and make sure it is dry before you begin painting.

3. Paint Selection

When choosing a color for your paint, take into consideration that lighter colors with reflect heat, and darker colors will absorb it which can cause it to wear away faster. Buy just enough paint for two coats, and measure how much you will need by calculating the area of your roof.

4. Painting Process

Tiled roofs can be painted the easiest by using an airless spray gun or paint brush. If your roof has lost most of it’s color already, you should consider applying a thick coat of sealer first, and use water based paint.

For corrugated roofing, you want to use paint that is specifically designed for metal roofs, as it adheres better and holds up against the elements over time. Painted rollers shaped like corrugated iron are the most ideal for painting but if you are looking to get the job done faster, airless spray guns are the way to go.

5. Painting Tips

Think of the bigger picture when painting your roof, and start with the areas at the top to prevent having to walk on the paint.

The most optimal weather conditions for painting are not when it’s hot, windy, or there’s a possible chance of rain, so always be sure to keep an eye on the weather. You also want to start as early as possible to you don’t have to rush to get the job done. Safety should always come first.

*** Practice Maximum Roof Safety *** 

Roofs can be dangerous places, so you should never work on one alone in case something were to happen. This is especially important for those that haven’t spent much time working on a roof. Wearing safety gear can help out a lot, which includes work boots, a hardhat or helmet, and safety glasses/goggles, and most importantly, a safety harness.

On top of all these important thing weighs one more, which is the ladder. You should always double check to make sure that your ladder is in a sturdy position on a solid level. For maximum safety, test the balance of the ladder before climbing up or down.

Is Your Roof Getting the Ventilation That It Needs?

There’s no better time to check the ventilation in your home than when you are already hiring a professional to perform a roof maintenance check on your home.

Ventilation has changed a lot over the years, and many homes today still have the same systems in place as homes did decades ago, which is why it’s important that you see how updated yours is. The job of a ventilation system is to make sure your attic isn’t too hot or too moist. This can cause great damage to your home and other unwanted problems including mold, condensation, higher energy bills, rotting wood, shortened shingle life, and more.

A properly working ventilation system is balanced, meaning the intake at the eave should be equal to the exhaust at the ridge. This allows there to be an even flow of air to keep the roof deck and attic in the best shape possible.

 If you aren’t sure what type of ventilation system you have or what kind of shape your current one is in, it’s a good idea to call a professional to come out and make an assessment. Not only will this educate you more on your home, but it allows you to see how well your ventilation system is doing, and how far along you are until it can be expected that you replace or maintain it.

As mentioned above, many houses these days still have older systems that may no longer be sufficient enough to handle the changes in the weather. An older system could also mean that you will soon need a replacement so again, it’s always a good idea to get it checked out so you can be more in the know of what’s taking place in your home.

It’s also important to note that bad ventilation can avoid any warranties you have, not to mention it can shorten the life of your roof.

Better safe than sorry is what we always say. It may seem like a pain now to have all of these things checked out, but it can end up saving a ton of time and money in the long run.

5 Green Cleaning Combos for Your Kitchen

We all love a clean home. From the smell to the simple feeling of your home being fresh and clean, it’s a great feeling to have. But like we talked about in one of our last posts, most home cleaning products contain harmful substances that could be damaging to the health of everyone in your home.

Many people don’t consider this because these well-known cleaning products are cheap and just plain easier to obtain. But what is it worth to breathe in these cleaners for years?

Green cleaning is an optimal solution that can can cost pennies on the dollar, and give you a more genuine and natural feeling of clean. When it comes to your kitchen where all of your food is prepared and consumed, you certainly want a safe and optimal clean. In this article, we are going to share 6 tips with you to leave you with a refreshing sensation that is actually safe to enjoy.

These tips come straight to us from a dear friend that owns a professional cleaning business, and a well trusted source. Our friend Sam, has been in the business for 40 years and is like a walking dictionary for anyone looking for effective cleaning solutions.

1.) Let’s start with the fridge. If your refrigerator smells or contains a lot of leftovers, consider using a lemon rind with baking soda. Scoop out the inside of the lemon (don’t worry you don’t have to waste it; instead put it in your garbage disposal for a fresh clean and smell) and add some baking soda. The baking soda will absorb the smell while the lemon leaves behind a fresh scent and continue to keep your fridge smelling great.

2.) Speaking of your drain, it can get backed up from time to time without proper cleaning and disposed items being left behind. Instead of calling a plumber, try pouring hot water mixed with baking soda and a half a cup of white vinegar down your drain. Be sure to stay back a little, as this mixture should cause a large and fizzy reaction. Just make sure to not use too much baking soda and this could cause a large explosion you won’t want to handle. Remember making the erupting volcanoes in school? Yeah, it would be like that.

3.) Do the taps of your sink faucet have limescale on them? Regularly cleaning your faucets with a small amount of acidic vinegar should prevent this limescale from revisiting over and over again.

4.) The more you use surface cleaners, the more chances you have of breathing in the toxic chemicals they contain. Using a lemon for a surface cleaner kills bacteria and is a great way to cut through grease and other grime, not to mention leave a strong smell of clean.

5.) Over time, build up can occur on the tops of your counters. Dust and grease can get settled in from regular cooking over time, but can be tackled with a simple household product know as dish soap. Create a thick layer of dish soap and apply it to the affected areas, leaving it on for 10-20 minutes. Rinse well with a sponge or dishcloth and dab to try with a cotton towel.

With these five tips, your kitchen can take on an entirely new feeling of clean. After applying them for yourself you will never want to buy store bought cleaning products again, and continue to make your own for years to come.

What kind of green cleaning products have you tried to make your home and safer and more natural place?

How To Handle a Septic Tank Emergency During Moving Time

It’s bad enough if your septic tank decides to break on you at all, but during moving time? Come on! Like there’s not already enough stress that comes along with moving anyway!

This isn’t the most common situation, but it has been known to happen to a few unlucky people.

This article will be here if you need it, and can help solve your septic disaster with as little added stress as possible; even if you aren’t in such a drastic need for a septic tank service.

Here are 4 Tips to Consider When a Septic Tank Services Becomes Necessary

1.) Calm down and take a deep breath

A broken septic tank can cause a big mess, and you are probably nowhere near qualified to tackle the situation on your own. Not that you would probably want to do it anywhere, amiright?

2.) Call a local septic tank company to come out to your home

This may sound super obvious, but not all companies that claim to be septic tank repair experts, ARE NOT in fact experts. Septic repair can be a big job and requires the proper knowledge, permits, and care of the surrounding environment.

The last thing you need before you move out of your home is to hire a shady septic service that leaves a giant mess on your lawn. “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

3.) Do your research first

You know you need to call a septic company, but don’t know how to tell who does the best job at a reasonable rate. You’re already spending money on movers more than likely, so the last thing you probably need is another huge bill along the way.

Use the internet to check all of the companies in the areas reviews on popular third-party review websites like Google, Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, and even Facebook. These can say a lot about a company not to mention, you get to see the levels of satisfaction of their previous and even most recent customers.

4.) Make Your You’re Getting the Best Rate

Some companies sometimes charge more than others in the area because they don’t have the same volume of business, therefore, they have to make up for it with their prices.

If you really want the best deal on the price you pay for your septic tank repair service, then your best bet is to call all of the companies in the area before deciding one to officially go with.

Final Steps for Your Septic Needs

No one wants to half to think about what’s wrong with their septic tank, so it’s always a good idea to just give a professional a call so save time, and possibly more money.

And who knows? Maybe the problem will just be that you need a septic tank pumping rather than repair.

That would certainly save you a lot more time, money, and overall trouble.

 

Image Credit: www.cheapmovingcompanies.co

Fantastic Formula For Cleaning Tile Grout Effectively

Tile and grout may be aesthetically pleasing to the human eye but when left dirty for some time, the opposite effect can sometimes take place. Tiny cracks along tile grout can be hard to reach and therefore clean, taking lots of time and even money to get clean again.

Despite what you may think, tile and grout cleaning doesn’t have to be that way and can be done quicker and easier.

The powerful solution we’re about to tell you about is cheap, efficient, and much less frustrating than hiring a professional or taking on the task yourself. So what exactly is this powerful solution?

The answer: Equal parts dish soap and white vinegar. Many people have said that Dawn has worked best for them, but in our experience any brand will work. Another recommendation is to heat the vinegar up in the microwave before adding the soap. The best way to find what works best for your situation will obviously depend on your individual preference.

To begin the process, mix the solution into a spray bottle and spray it on the grout lines you will be working on first. Let the solution sit for 3-5 minutes (for grimy, tough stains, leaving on longer can sometimes work better), then scrub. After that, wipe that solution completely away with a dry washcloth or towel.

Repeat as needed. For really dirty areas, this process may need to be repeated several times in order to make an impact on your surface.

And there you go! A quick and simple homemade cleaning solution for your tile and grout.

Now for those of you that prefer a little automation, we discovered a tool from Home Repair Tutor that goes by the name of the “Grout Grime Buster 3000″. This cool tool along with a solution similar to the one we featured in the beginning of this article can save you even more time and frustration.

With a combination like this, your tile grout is almost guaranteed to be clean again and dang near close to new again.

DIY Carpet Cleaner for Effectively Removing Pet Odors and Stains

If you have indoor pets, you probably expect to smell the occasional odor every now and then, or come across a nice stain with your name on it.

Covering up these smells with air fresheners is only a bandaid, and will never neutralize the smell completely. Getting to the bottom of the stain or smell will be your only hopes of tackling it for good.

If you have to eliminate carpet stains and odors constantly it’s even more important to treat the problem early on, as it will only get worse. Sometimes animals will continue using the same spot on a carpet because they can sense where they have done it before, which can lead to a mess of an entirely different proportion if the problems isn’t addressed early on.

Here is what you will need to get started:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Paper towels
  • 1 Cup of Water
  • 1 Cup of white vinegar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of baking soda
  • 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of 3% diluted peroxide

DIY Carpet Cleaning Solution

1.) Begin by blotting up as many of the stains as you can with paper towels.

2.) Mix the vinegar and water together and pour it on the spot or spray in on there. Spray just enough so that the solution gets deep down into the fibers of the carpet. Don’t overuse the solution, but certainly don’t be stingy.

3.) Using a scrub brush, toothbrush, or your fingers, work the mixture into the carpet without pressing down too hard.

4.) Blot every little drop of the water and vinegar until you can get it as dry as possible. If you want your carpet to dry faster, use a steam cleaner for faster absorption.

5.) When the spot is near the point of being dry, sprinkle some baking soda onto the stain.

6.) Work some peroxide into the stain using a pair of gloves and your fingers. Pay close attention from here because this solution together will turn into a giant foam.

7.) After a few short seconds, blot the wet area with paper towels to absorb all the water you can.

8.) Give the area time to dry completely.

9.) Once dry, vacuum over the area to remove any residue.

How to Aid Your Dishwasher With Running Better

Do you ever clean your dishwasher?

The thought of doing this doesn’t run through many people’s minds very often, seeing as there is already soap and water running through the unit on a regular basis. Bathtubs and showers typically have more amounts of soap and water running through them, and yet the still need to be cleaned regularly. So why should your dishwasher not be treated the same?

Just like the dirt and grime that build up in your shower, food and other debris can build up in your dishwashing machine, giving your dishes a lesser quality of clean.

Here are 5 proven tips to take your dishwasher to a new level of clean.

#1.) Wipe away soap scum with white vinegar

White vinegar is great for removing stains of all kinds, whether they be on carpet or inside a dishwasher, and an excellent way to reduce mold and mildew.

For the parts of your dishwasher that can easily be removed, mix 2 cups of white vinegar with hot water in your sink or a larger soaking area, and let them soak for a couple of minutes. Wipe the remainder of the unit with the solution while these are soaking, making sure you include the top, bottom, and sides.

#2.) Check for rust and if you find any, take care of it

Like any other appliance, rust can be a sign of age and should be addressed immediately. Rust cleaner is produced for individual units, so be sure to find one that is specifically for dishwashers.

#3.) Check and clean the filter

Many owners manuals will provide you with enough information to clean your unit according to it’s manufacturer and individual needs.

The filter resembles a basket that catches debris, and not all dishwashers will come with them. But for those that do, your owner’s manual will specify the best way to remove and clean it. Most of the time, the filter can easily be removed though, and thrown into the sink to soak with the other parts of your unit.

#4.) Do a deep cleaning

Again, the best way to clean and maintain your dishwasher is by following the owner’s manual. If you can no longer find yours, the internet can be a great place to find a substitute or one close to it.

It is recommended that you perform a deep clean on your dishwasher every six months so get rid of food and other debris, and keep all of your other parts in working order.

#5.) Always remove debris from your dishes before placing them inside the dishwasher

By completely scraping off any stuck on foods, you not only make your dishes cleaner, but you save your dishwasher from being clouded with it. Often times, these foods will fall off and move somewhere into the dishwasher and the more it adds up, the more it will stick around.

When to Have Your Septic System Pumped

Thinking about your home’s septic system isn’t exactly what homeowners want to do, but it’s just another part of maintenance. A little on the gross side, but hey, it counts for home maintenance. Anyways, one thing that is important for homeowners to know is how often they should have their septic tank cleaned.

img credit: youtube.com

If you don’t want to experience the type of septic backup that you hear them talking about in the Roto-Rooter (or whatever) commercials on TV. The last thing you want is to look out your window and see your yard flooding with waste from your system. Talk about a crappy day. Don’t be one of the many people that fail to have their septic system pumped out and end up in this type of situation.

In order to prevent this from ever happening to you, you should consider having your tank cleaned out every three to five years. The size of your tank is what will determine how often you will need a cleaning, so that will be an important factor to know when the time comes. Unless you feel qualified to find out the size for yourself, you may want to consider hiring a professional to perform a septic tank inspection to find out for you. Even if you don’t feel like you need to have your system cleaned, just know that it’s better to spend a little bit of money for prevention sooner rather than have to spend potential thousands later on. Trust me, you will never be sorry that you didn’t allow your system to overflow on you, causing a crapload of other problems.

How to Ensure That Your Septic Tank Stays Safe

If you want to make sure that you don’t have to replace your septic tank anytime soon, you may want to make it a habit to have your septic tank pumped on schedule. This isn’t so that contractors can make more money off of you, it’s for your own benefit in the long run. The cost of having your septic tank cleaned every three to five years in minuscule in comparison to the cost of a replacement. Take my word for it, friend.

One last thing. Did you know that components of your garbage disposal also go into your septic tank?

That means that over time, these solids in addition to those from your plumbing system combine and compile, which is why it’s important that you have your tank pumped every few years.

If you’re someone that is still a little uneasy about getting your septic tank pumped right away, you may be best off trying an inspection first. The only reason I mention this again is because it’s a better alternative to doing nothing, and will still save you money in the end. Just be sure to know where your septic tank is located so that you can show the professional when they show up. This certainly makes things easy for both parties.

 

4 Obvious Signs Your Dishwasher Needs to Be Replaced

Dishwashers can help make our lives easier in many ways and when something goes wrong with them, the first thing on most people’s minds isn’t to go out and buy a new one. Just because a part of your dishwasher isn’t working though, doesn’t mean there isn’t an easy way to get it fixed.

There are several components that make up a dishwasher and the key is finding which one isn’t doing it’s job. If your dishwasher is experiencing any of the following symptoms, it could actually be that time for that new replacement.

Of course before making a final decision, it’s usually best to have a professional come and look at your unit and make a final assessment.

Symptom #1: Not Wanting to Drain

Have you ever left your dishwasher to run a load, but come back bit later to find that a lake of water has drenched your floor?

If your washer is leaking water onto the floor or has standing water inside of it, there could be a crack inside somewhere causing the problem.

Symptom #2: Water Won’t Get Hot

Dishwashers use hot water from a heating coil or water heater. and when you open the door to your dishwasher and don’t feel the usual heat coming out it could be because the heating mechanism isn’t working.

This is certainly something you want a professional to look at, because sometimes it can be cheaper to get a new dishwasher all together. And who doesn’t get more excited about a new dishwasher before they get excited about a water heater or heating coil.

Symptom #3: Door Latch Doesn’t Work

As you probably know, you can’t run a load of dishes if the unit doesn’t securely close. With time and frequent use can come wearing and tearing of certain components, but the good news is they can usually be fixed if the problem isn’t too big.

Symptom #4: Rust on the Bottom

A sign of rust means that your dishwasher has been dealing with standing water for some time, and can’t really be replaced at this point. You really just need to get a better idea of the damage.

But instead of moving the entire unit out of place to check underneath, use a broom to sweep under it to check for flakes of rust.

Remember, it’s best to call a trusted professional before making the final decision about your broken dishwasher. Even if you need another opinion on top of that, it’s best to contact someone experienced to save you time and money that you may have never needed to spend.

Keep your dishwasher running smoother by following these maintenance tips.

 

image credit: National Geographic

How to Know If Your Garbage Disposal is Broken For Good

Garbage disposals have grown to be a great benefit in our modern day homes. Housed beneath our sinks, they make our lives life easier by eating our leftovers and getting rid of other unwanted food products we no longer have a use for.

Often, foreign objects will sneak into the disposal or too much food being inserted into it can cause the entire thing to become clogged.

But what do you do when your disposal isn’t wanting to work for you at all?

In this blog post, I would like to share some of the ways you can tell if your garbage disposal is broken before you decide to call a professional appliance repair technician or get a new one once and for all.

Hint #1: Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn On At All

When you flip the switch on your garbage disposal and nothing happens, there is more than likely an electrical problem. This could possibly mean that an attempt to put too much down the disposal could have caused it to overload and short out the circuits.

If resetting the circuits and trying the rest button on the disposal don’t work then there’s the unfortunate chance that it is seriously broken.

Hint #2: Disposal Comes On But Doesn’t Devour Food

When you can get your disposal to turn on but not take care of the food you are putting into it, there’s a good chance that the flywheel is stuck on something or the motor has locked up. This problem can also cause the circuit to overload and the disposal to turn off, which can cause drastic damage if the unit is left on during the process.

Hint #3: The Disposal is Making Humming Noises

There are times when you may turn on your disposal and all you get is a humming sound. Often times, tiny products can get stuck in, under, or near the flywheel of the disposal and in a difficult place to remove.

The most important thing to remember in this situation is to never leave the unit on for more than ten seconds so you don’t burn out the motor. Refer to the video below for more detailed instructions for removing debris from around your flywheel, or see this article.

 
 

How to Fix a Leaking Water Heater

 Water heater leaks shouldn’t be taken lightly, and should be assessed as quickly as possible. Even the smallest leak can cause mold or mildew damage, which can be quite hazardous to your health. Even the EPA suggests that any leaks that could lead to mold damage should be treated ASAP to prevent the risk of developing any major health problems.

On top of everything else, water heaters aren’t cheap to replace, so identifying what could be causing a leak is imperative to making sure you can fix the one you have now. In this article, I would like to talk about the ways to determine what could be causing a leak, so you can get the bottom of things and get the show back on the road again.

1.) Find the Leak, Keeping Your Safety in Mind

Keep in mind that a leaking water heater around electricity can pose a dangerous situation. For optimal safety, turn off the electricity to the water heater on your circuit breaker, and turn off the water while you are at it.

The next step includes draining your water heater of all it’s water. Use a bucket or similar object to empty the water from the hot water tap, to ensure that you won’t get scalded during the fixing process.

2.) Identify the Problem Causing the Leak

Water heater leaks can be caused by many different problems, but some of the most common include:

#1. Heating Element Leak – This is the last problem you want to have because it unfortunately means you will need a new unit completely, as the heating element is one of the most important and it’s the one not working.

#2. Plumbing Connection Leak – By plumbing connection, I mean the place on your water heater where your inlet and outlet pipes meet the unit itself. These components being lose can cause a leak, and simply tightening or replacing them can fix the problem all together.

#3. Storage Tank Leaking – Storage tank leaking can cause corrosion, which can mean a new unit all together. Check the entire unit for holes of all sizes and if you come across any at all, you unfortunately will be looking into a new unit.

#4. Excessive Pressure or Overheating – Excessive pressure from your unit can cause a leak, which can easily be addressed by lowering the temperature on your unit.

#5. Fault in Pressure or Temperature Relief Valve – A fault in pressure could be present thanks to a presence of debris, which can easily be cleaned out. The clogged debris may be causing a build up of pressure. Simply place a bucket underneath the overflow pipe and open up the T & P pipe to catch the debris.

3.) Complete Your Inspection Before Replacing

This may seem like common sense, but it’s best to make sure you have performed a thorough assessment before deciding that you need a new water heater.

If you aren’t 100% sure about your assessment, give a professional a call, as they may be your best option for saving money. After all, water heaters are expensive, and hiring a plumbing professional could actually end up saving you money in the end.

 

image credit: a1plumberinc.com

How to Clear a Clogged Washer Drain

Washers are one of the most commonly used appliances in modern day homes. Simple to use and quick to clean, washers save us from taking the time to wash our clothing and linens by hand. So when the hose becomes clogged and your washer is temporarily out of order, getting your unit first quickly is important.

The good news is that a clogged washer pipe can be fixed without having to call a professional, and for relatively cheap. If you are feeling up the challenge, grab the following tools and follow these guidelines to get your washer back on track in no time.

What You Will Need
-Bucket
-Pliers
-Source of Water
-Metal Coat Hanger or an object that can function similarly
-Flashlight
-Before you begin, best practice suggests that you check all of the other drains in your hose including the ones in your toilets.

Step #1: Dismantle the Hose

Using your pliers, loosen the hose by gripping the metallic cylinder that connects the hose to the back of the washer.

Turning at a counter clockwise direction, keep going until you are able to completely able to pull the hose directly from the back of the washer.

Step #2: Find Your Clog

It can be dark behind your washer so for best precision, use a flashlight to guide your search for the clog. If you cannot see it, give it another try, or simply consider giving a professional plumber a call.

Step #3: Drain the Hose

If your have been able to spot the clog, place a bucket underneath the hose and stick the straightened hanger inside. Pushing the hanger through the hose will loosen the sides of the clog, and any other parts of it that may be stuck.

Step #4: Clean the Hose

After loosening up the debris that make up the clog, use your source of water to rinse out the hose. At this point you should start to see the debris come out of the hose, so allow them some time to do so. When you notice that the flow of debris begins to slow, use your flashlight to look deeper into the hose to best determine if they are all removed.

It’s not unlikely to miss some components of the debris after all, some of them may break up into even tinier pieces that could come out in time.

Step #5: Test

After placing the washer hose back into the wall, perform a test to see if the drain is still clogging up. If so, you can either repeat the process, or give a professional a call.

Quick Microwave Troubleshooting (Instructional Video)

Microwaves are handy with saving time in the kitchen. If there’s a problem with your microwave, you more than likely want it handled as quickly as possible, as this is causing a delay in the way you prepare food for your family.

Because of the fast need to repair microwaves when they are having problems, we wanted to post this troubleshooting video so that instead of going through the tedious process of looking up the information you need and then taking the necessary time to read and understand it, and then put the information into action, you could instead watch a video and get a better idea of what to do.

So if you’re microwave isn’t heating, the middle plate isn’t rotating, or not even working at all, this video should help.

 If you are still experiencing the same issues after fully watching this video, it’s probably best that you call a professional to take a look at the problem.

 

Also, if you at all feel uncomfortable in any way about the electrical aspects of this tutorial, you should certainly give an expert a call as this could cause problems during repair. Electricity is nothing to mess with if you aren’t sure what you are doing.

5 Plumbing Maintenance Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

Modern plumbing has made all of our lives more simple however, things can go a whole other direction if problems arise.

In this post, we want to inform you of some of the signs that plumbing issues may be emerging, and what you can do if they happen to you. So without further ado, here are some solutions to any potential pollution that your system gives you.

1.) Know the Signs of an Oncoming Issue

Leaky faucets, rocking toilets, and damp cabinets can all be signs of oncoming plumbing failure, and should be tended to as soon as possible.

Little leaks can lead to big problems fast, so call a local professional to come out early while the bill can still be smaller than it would if the problem were to get worse.

2.) Learn How to Protect Your Pipes From the Cold

Protecting your pipes is imperative during the cold months of the year, and can prevent them from bursting or experiencing any other kinds of problems.

Be on the lookout for cracking pipes so you can tackle the problem before the pipe bursts.

3.) Prevent Frozen Pipes Before They Become a Problem

Why deal with frozen pipes if you can prevent them from becoming that way at all.

Important reminder: Turn the water off before performing this procedure, and be sure to check for leaks once you have turned it back on.

And don’t hesitate to call a plumber if you happen to mess anything up.

4.) Learn How to Access Your Home’s Sewer Valve

It will come in handy to know where the sewer valve is in case of a clogged sewer line.

This will benefit you before the problem gets worse, or to guide the sewer specialist so they can tend to the problem quicker.

5.) Know How to Shut Off All Major Home Appliances

You should always be aware of how to shut off all of the major appliances in your home such as the toilets, washing machine, dishwasher, and other small and large ones alike.

If you experience malfunctions with your appliances, knowing where to shut them off from an electrical standpoint can be beneficial, and save you a bit of a mess.