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Roofing Materials Primer

Shingles: Voted Most Popular

Asphalt shingles continue to be a favorite choice for homeowners regardless of their budget. They come in an impressive array of styles, sizes and colors as well as several price points to meet every budget. You can also find ones that closely mimic the appeal of other materials such as slate or tile that some roofing contractors don’t work with so that you can get a great look for less. Keep in mind, however, that shingles won’t last as long as some more durable materials such as metal or tile.

Slate: Not All Roofing Companies Install It

For over a century, some of the finest homes in America featured slate tiles because they are beautiful, plentiful and fire-resistant. Today’s homeowners often request a slate roof from companies because of the traditional beauty and organic texture of the individual slate pieces. It’s becoming more difficult for companies to get top quality slate these days, so the price is accordingly higher. Slate can last for more than fifty years if properly maintained.

Copper For A Warm Glow

Many roofing companies like working with copper because it is malleable and durable, but homeowners prefer it because it has a rich glow and is a wonderful, warm color that can be preserved with a proper sealant. Others prefer to let the copper mellow into a natural patina as the elements turn the glow to a soft, gray-green shade. Installing a copper roof takes time and expertise, so you will pay a premium for its luxurious beauty, but since it will last for generations, it’s well worth the price.

Wood Shakes: Organic Style

Roofing contractors sometimes recommend wood shakes because they are thicker than shingles and reveal the warmth and interest of the wood grain. If you want an organic, natural looking roof, wood shakes are the ideal choice. Interest in wood shakes is growing as more homeowners turn to natural materials, but there are a few drawbacks to consider. Wood is more flammable than metal or shingles, so it may not be the right choice if you live in an area prone to wildfires. If you are interested in an eco-friendly material, however, they should be considered.

Quality HVAC System

How it runs should be your top concern. While you can manage many other things, you cannot change how good it is. You should make sure that it will run perfectly fine for you at all times. Regardless of weather or time, you should be able trust that your HVAC system will be in working order when you need it. If it is not, you are going to be dealing with the temperatures outside on your own. That is simply unneeded, especially since this is supposed to be there for you.

Having constant maintenance done on your HVAC system is a bother. It is going to end up costing much more than it is worth and it will become more stressful than you expected it to be. When you combine the two, you have something that is not worth what you are putting into it. That is why you have to consider reliability. You should be able to use this over a long period without failure or issues. If it is something that you can trust to work and that will do what is needed, you will be able to make use of it. You just have to make sure that the brand and option chosen are going to be there for you.

When you do have to do maintenance on it, it should not be overly difficult. There are certain tasks that you should be able to do on your own, without the assistance of a professional. During the more complex fixes and maintenance, however, it should not take too much time. This is something that should be easily managed without too much stress involved. You should be able to take care of whatever comes up.

Usability is another point that you should keep in mind. If it takes too much time or effort to get everything working, you are not going to be able to take advantage of it as soon as you need to. This can get in the way quite often, even leaving you uncomfortable as you try to get it to start. This should come easily to you, regardless of your knowledge concerning an HVAC system. You should be able to navigate it and have it doing what you need quickly and without a lot of effort put into it.

Water Damage Restoration

Loss Assessment and Categorization

Loss evaluation is the first and the most important step in water damage restoration. The assessment has to be correct so that an appropriate response can be taken. In restorating the damage caused by water, technicians and the insurance companies must work together and understand what is damaged and how to go about restoring the damage. Identifying the source of the damage, documentation of damage, and accurate estimates are mandatory for a proper water damage restoration. Categorization is based on the contamination levels of the water source. The categories are listed below

  • Category 1 – This is water from clean sources like pipes, sinks and toilets without faeces or urine.
  • Category 2 – This is water that has some contaminants like water from a dishwasher, washing machine or toilet with urine.
  • Category 3 – This is water that is highly unsanitary and is capable of causing illness or death if ingested. Sewage water, water from toilet with faeces, standing water with microbial growth and floodwater are some examples.

Decontamination and Drying

After the evaluation is complete, the process of drying and decontaminating begins at the site. Based on the extent of damage, damage caused due to water can be classified into 4 types. Class 1 Damage- When loss is restricted to a small area and less water has been absorbed by materials. This results in slow evaporation rate. Class 2 Damage – When the damage is to the entire room and carpet area. Class 3 Damage – When the entire area is saturated with water and Class 4 Damage – when there are many deep saturation pockets. Decontamination and drying is a key stage in Water damage restoration and equipments like blowers, dehumidifiers, scrubbers and subfloor drying equipments have to be used. Decontamination has to be done if contamination has been detected in the area. Decontamination may be done for the entire area or in specific pockets where contamination has been detected.

Monitoring and Completion

Monitoring the restoration process of damage caused due to damage is critical to achieve the desired results. One has to be proactive during the monitoring process. Checking if the drying equipment is setup properly, assessing if the personnel involved are qualified for the job and checking if the equipments are in working order are all part of the monitoring process. Necessary steps are to be taken if anything wrong is spotted during the monitoring process. The entire process of water damage restoration would be classified as complete only once the humidity, temperature and the moisture content is as per industry standards. Upon completion of the water damage restoration process, the drying equipment can be removed.

Avoiding Clogged Drainage

  • Use a filtering device: The use of a filtering device on your sinks is the first step in ensuring flowing drainage. You may want to use a combination stopper and strainer with the dishwasher sink because it will filter any food particles that would have otherwise gone down the drainage. The advantage of this strainer is that it will serve every single purpose even though you are likely to pay just a little more to have it. There is also the level stopper which appears to be the most affordable one which comes with a suction that will cover the drain. This one is normally placed on the sink when you are working and want to keep anything from going down.
  • Have plumbing consultations: While you may not yet be having any problems with the clogs and leaks in your house, this is not a guarantee that everything is going on well. Your drainage system needs regular maintenance so that any problems are detected early and dealt with before they become bigger. Get a qualified plumber who will regularly inspect the main pipes, sewer line or the septic tank. It is advisable that you have your plumbing checked at least once every six months. This is normally better than waiting to deal with bigger plumbing problems later.
  • Don’t use chemical based cleaners: The use of commercially available cleaners that are chemical based is so popular but in most cases they do more than you paid for; some of them corrode your metal pipes and this could lead to trouble. This is because some of the substances that are used to make these cleaners are corrosive and will end up damaging the plumbing pipes in the home. It is therefore advisable that you try as much as possible to use natural cleaners; the best remedy is pouring a mixture of baking soda and vinegar in hot water as it removes any grease and food particles in the pipes to prevent chances of clogging.

Minimize Damage From Water

As a property owner, those are some things that need thinking about. Not worry about, but think about. There are steps to minimize, if not prevent damage from water finding its way into your home or business. Here are a few tips you should find helpful. It’s better to think about these risks now, not when in the middle of a two- day down pour and the basement is leaking.

  • It may seem obvious, but how’s your flood and water damage insurance? What’s covered can get pretty specific, so it may be a good idea to go over your policy with your agent.
  • Check your sump pump if you have one. In fact, make it an annual routine check, just like checking your furnace before winter. If you don’t have one, and you live in an area where wet basements can be a problem, looking into having one installed may save you a lot of headaches later.
  • Speaking of sump pumps, consider having a battery back-up. Summer storms are often accompanied by power outages. Some can last for days.
  • Clean your gutters and downspouts every spring. Maybe more depending on the type of trees around your house. It can be a really smelly job, but you’d be amazed how much water gutters can direct away from your house.
  • Make sure your landscaping slants away from your house. Ideally, it should drop an inch for three feet or so. Over time, the soil around your home can settle. Remember, water runs down hill.
  • Seal cracks in your basement floor and seal the concrete with a good waterproof sealer.
  • Install covers over basement window wells.
  • If it’s a heavy snow year, remove snow three to five feet away from your foundation. When it melts and the ground thaws, it flows down.

Those are some things you can do for regular prevention and maintenance. But sometimes no matter how valiant efforts may be, your property may take on water anyway. There’s no need to panic and head for the hills. There are still some things that can be done to minimize damage. Fortunately, there is usually ample warning to take a few precautions if you’re paying attention to local weather and weather alerts.

Vinyl Windows

Functionality Considerations

Whether your frames are made from wood or vinyl, windows must function well. These are not just pretty panes of glass to let light into your home, they are devices that need to be opened and closed to work correctly. Choose high quality products that have been sturdily constructed. The corners should be welded near the frame and sash. There should be insulation and air chambers between the panes of glass that are strong and rigid. Check the opening and closing function to make certain it aligns with your needs. Do you want a device that slides left to right, down to up, or that opens out? Cleaning is much easier when the device can be tilted. Also, select products that have warranties, especially those that are guaranteed for a “double lifetime.”

Energy Efficiency

When selecting vinyl windows, it’s important to look for insulated glass that has been labeled as an “Energy Star” product. In order to earn these labels, each product must adhere to strict criteria on efficiency. Yours should have double-paned glass that contains a warm edge space in between the panes. This space cuts down on heat loss as well as gain. There are also those that have a reflective coating on the surface for further efficiency. A topnotch product will have a Gold Seal Certification on it.

Attractiveness Counts

The framed glass panes on your house are some of the most attractive aspects. They are like the eyes of the building letting the light in and allowing inhabitants to look out. You want your wood or vinyl windows to be beautiful. Today’s products come fully assembled and in a variety of textures and colors. You can customize your frame’s color to match your paint or trim, as well as opt for the more classic black, white, or metal tones. Look for those that have been treated to resist yellowing or cracking over time.

Protect The Environment

One of the best ways for you to go about making sure you are taking better care of the planet is to use less heat in your house in the winter, and to use less air conditioning in your house in the summer (which, of course, will have the added benefit of saving you money!); in the winter, try keeping the blinds open during the days to let in sunlight, which will warm up your house, and in the summer try keeping the blinds closed to block out the sun!

You can also look to use energy-efficient appliances, which are designed to use less energy than their standard counterparts; although you might have to spend a little extra money on such appliances, they will actually save you money over the long run, as you will use electricity in order to run them – and, of course, they will also help you do your part to take great care of the planet.

And on top of making sure you stick with energy-efficient appliances, you can also save energy (and money) by simply unplugging appliances when you are not using them; by simply unplugging things when they are not in use, you will save quite a bit of energy over the long haul, and will help make a difference in the environment as a result!

When it comes down to it, there is no reason why each of us should not be doing our small part to take care of the planet – even if you count yourself among those who do not feel that the planet is in bad shape at present – as we certainly have a responsibility to take good care of anything we have in our hands; make sure you are doing your small part to take care of the planet, and if we all continue to do so, the planet will continue to become a better place!

Ways To Trick Up Home Decor

Put up a gallery

This is one of the simple tricks to try out. Try out wall hangings like shabby chic wall hangings that blend into each other. Wall adornments could also be made from framed photos and art. Ensure the frames contrast with the art inside for example narrow black frames with white backgrounds.

Nothing says taste like good artwork on the wall. You could pick modern artists like Kinley Winnaman whose art is bound to blend well with many d├ęcor styles.

Go blue

Remember blue is the color of life. Pick out blue hued items and blend it with hints of white in the background. This gives your living space a sense of freshness and vitality.

Expand storage space

Get creative with unused storage. Paint neutral colors and set clear glass containers in them. Better yet learn how make extra storage by hanging containers under existing shelves.

Theme out your bookshelf

If you are a bookworm, make the bookshelf a focal point in the room. You can arrange books with the same color on the covers together. If this disrupts the arrangement by subject, make simple book covers with store wrapping paper in the colors you want.

Get a new look door

Surprise your visitors by changing the color of the doorway. You can also add a coat rack while at it so that your guests do not have to drag their dripping coats into your living room.

Play with the curtains

Simple arrangements of your curtains could change the look of a room’s size. Put two layers of curtains of different densities and tones of color.

These ideas are cheap or free to put in place and make your home look attractive and refreshed, without hiring expensive interior designers or making expensive purchases. There are a lot of places that give away old furniture or skids that you could create that special piece for whichever room you are decorating. Just sand down that old paint, then paint the piece of furniture with the color of your choice, add new hardware and it will look brand new. If you want to make it look a little distressed, take a piece of sandpaper and scratch over certain area to make it look worn. However you choose to decorate, it does not have to cost a lot to look expensive.

Home With Insulation

Temperature control is the main reason to have insulation in your home. Hot or cold, this can keep the temperature in each room where it should be. This is going to allow for huge savings on the heating and cooling while avoiding uncomfortable conditions throughout the house. Since temperatures outside can reach extreme points, especially in certain areas, you are going to want to have this helping you. You will be able to trust that the temperature chosen on the thermostat is going to be the temperature throughout your entire home, regardless of how it feels outside.

To make sure that what it is doing is going to work, you have to consider material. Not all materials can hold temperatures well, which means that it is not going to do the necessary job. This can lead to serious issues and even force you to do the insulation over again. Not only is this throwing money away, both with redoing the work as well as the energy costs, but it is also incredibly stressful. Rather than let this get the best of you and take more than it ever should, you should look into quality products.

You need to remember the fact that some materials are dangerous. While many good options are safe for the home, too many can easily catch fire. In many older homes, you will find that paper has been used as insulation. This is a danger and, if there is an electrical short or a small fire, will cause everything to burn much more quickly. With today’s advancements and options, that should not be a concern for you. To make sure that it is not, check to see what the material is. If you know that it is something that you can trust and that is actually good, you will be able to have it with fewer worries.

To ensure that you are making the most out of the insulation in your home, you have to have it checked. If you are not sure of what it is, reach out to a professional. You will be able to learn more about the material as well as the cost for a replacement, if one is needed. This is going to make sure that you have a comfortable, safe home for everyone and during all times of the year.

Glass Fencing

Glasses can be used for the construction of partitions, railing and fencing as they are strong. Tempered glass with its fasteners makes sure that your barrier stay on the ground strongly. An enclosure made of glass never tampers the natural looks of the area which in turn allows the property owner to enjoy the natural view of mountains, beach, or meadow nearby. This type of enclosure can withstand the variations in the weather conditions. The fastening systems used for this type of enclosure such as stainless steel, titanium and aluminum will not corrode due to the changes in weather.

These are used to give a visible and unique appearance to your property than other types of railings or enclosures made of iron, steel and wood. You can customize these barriers according to the specifications of the customer. The light source of the place where the fences are located should be considered before placing a glass barrier on the location decided. One of the major benefits of glass fencing is that no or little maintenance is required. They are affordable as they do not require sanding or painting over the years. These enclosures are easy to install and are suitable for outdoor and indoor fencing.

Glass fencing never blocks the light as natural light passes through the glass. Glass railing provides a sense of space to your enclosed area. Hence, you can build glass enclosures around the selected areas to make them look bigger. If you are providing a glass barrier around your home, then the outsiders will not feel that the compound is closed. Yet, it will give protection and safety to your home. As the glass is transparent, it can go with any kind of design or decoration. All the glass panels used in fencing are specially treated to make them strong. The glass barrier will not break, unless a great force is used on the glass. If you would like to make your home modern and elegant, then glass fencing is a good option.