Home Improvement Archive

5 Gas Fireplace Efficiency Issues to Address as a Homeowner

Be safe and efficient with your fireplaceIf you must have been planning to get a wood fireplace in your home, but the risks around using firewood indoors keeps you hesitating, you are right. But still, you can go for gas fireplaces, right?

However, before you call in gas fireplace installation services to your Salt Lake City home, you will want to brush up with a few things, especially on these fireplaces.

Always Make the Right Choice

Gas fireplaces are available in different types and models. Take time to go through these varieties and choose one that befits your needs. You could use the help of an expert recommendation if you do not know much about fireplaces.

Do Not Use It to Cook

Smother the temptation to use your fireplace to grill some meat when relaxing with family. A gas fireplace’s purpose is to give you warmth and comfort in the house, not for cooking.

No Need to Decorate It

Does not add any manner of decorations on the fireplace, or its components, because you could affect its functionality. You can, however, decorate the mantel and other areas around it.

Proper Maintenance

Although you do not have to deal with ashes in your gas fireplace, you need to keep yours clean. Vacuum it to get rid of dust, mainly, if you have not been using your gas fireplace for a long while.

Program It

Some fireplaces come with systems that enable you to program them. You can set the time you want them to light up and when they should switch off. The automated mechanisms will save you on gas, as you will only use the fireplace when you need it most.

Having had a sour experience with wood fireplaces does not mean you should never use one in your house. With the right choice of gas fireplaces and proper installation, you can keep your Salt Lake City home warm cozy again.

But note that the maintenance practices of a gas fireplace are different from that of the wood types.

 

3 Thing to Remember When Pruning Your Backyard Trees

a close-up of hands hugging a treeWell-maintained trees in the backyard are a great highlight and foundation. Make sure that you prune them properly with these practical tips for proper trimming, so you can create your own little forest right outside the house.

Seasonal timing for pruning

Pruning is not just for bonsai — it is also a good practice when it comes to lawn care in Utah, a service provided by firms such as Greenside Landscaping. It is important to remember that you need to prune your trees to keep them from becoming too tall or wide.

Pruning can be dependent on the season and timing. For instance, spring may not be the best time because you may weaken trees that have just sprouted new leaves. Late summer is a great time to prune since the leaves should have thinned.

Reduce the size with a trimmed crown

The crown is the tree’s top portions where the leaves and thinner branches are. Instead of just cutting the top completely, cutting off the top, you can either do a crown lifting, where the target would be to remove lower branches, or crown thinning, which focuses on removing up to 30% of dead branches to decongest the tree’s overall look.

Careful cutting for large branches

Trees with large branches can be challenging work, and a good bulk of the work for lawn care is executing a proper cut of the branch to let it heal correctly. There are three cuts that you need to do to for a big tree branch. The first is a notch cut to avoid splitting the bark.

The second is a relief cut to take away the weight of the branch furthers from the tree trunk. And the final cut is one that follows the branch collar according to its slanted angle. The goal is to avoid cutting too short or too long because the end goal is to have a nice smoothened healing on the trunk that is shaped like a donut.

Let your favorite tree be a majestic highlight in the backyard — just make sure that it is properly kept, so it can grow within its space to become the proper star of the show.

4 Reasons You Must Waterproof the Basement and How

Waterproofing Sealing AdhesiveMost households turn their basement into a storage space, a laundry, a workstation, or a game room. Whatever it is used for, it is important that the basement is leak-free to avoid spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars for repairs.

Why You Should Waterproof the Basement

Avoid Flood

Water weakens the house’s structure and because it tends to go down, the basement receives the worst impact. Waterproofing the concrete floor will keep the water out even during heavy rains.

Prevent Growth of Molds

Molds are known to cause a variety of health conditions, such as respiratory problems (allergies, asthma, etc.) and eye irritation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Also, mold growth could spread and damage your property if ignored.

Avoid Major Foundation Problems

Moisture can get trapped within the tiny porous surfaces of the foundation. Changes in temperature cause the foundation surfaces to contract or expand and lead to cracks. These cracks affect the integrity of the house’s structure and could lead to major repairs.

Increase Property Value

When there are no problems with the overall structural integrity of the house, its property value increases. You also pay lower insurance premiums with a house that is safer to live in.

Tips on Waterproofing the Basement

Waterproofing the basement can be tricky, especially if your house is in a humid region. Don’t worry, though, because there are steps you can follow for a leak-free basement.

  • Start by locating the leaks in the basement. Do include the pipes during your inspection.
  • Clean the floor thoroughly using a broom and a mop. Clean cracks and holes using a steel brush.
  • Patch small holes and cracks in your Sydney home by using the right waterproofing products. DIY.com suggests using a pastry bag when filling the holes and cracks with concrete. Allowing the concrete to overflow provides an additional hold to the main floor. Let them dry and then sand the patched areas.
  • Check the edges and corners of the basement floor, especially for older homes. Clean the gaps or cracks with a steel brush before applying concrete. Use a silicone tape to seal the seams, and then apply another layer of concrete.
  • Lastly, paint the basement concrete floor once the patched areas have dried completely.
  • If you live in an area with too much moisture, you can dehumidify the basement using charcoal or salt.

The basement must be kept sealed and leak-free all-year round because it’s more than just a storage space. Leaky basements can cause serious structural problems and expensive repairs. Also, molds could grow and harm your health.

4 Ways to Prepare for a Home Extension Project

Bluepirint of a house to be extendedEven if they are just extensions of the actual house, any form of renovation still requires a lot of planning. Proper planning and preparation are essential for the project to avoid any problem during the implementation. This way, you can get the results you want.

These four tips can help you prepare for the home extension project that you’re planning:

Contact a junk pickup service

There is a big chance that a part of the wall of your house will be torn down to make way for the extension. You must ensure that the debris from this will be eliminated. This is because it can be a hazard. In addition, it doesn’t look good in your backyard. Call a junk pickup company to help you clean the site.

Choose the right contractors

For the house extension to be built properly, you must have contractors that will handle the job professionally. Make sure you hire the right one to ensure the quality of work and the results you’re after.

Set a timeline for the project

You need a vision of how fast you want the project to be finished. This timeline will serve as a guide for you and your contractor. Let everyone know and follow this schedule.

Make sure you have financing

Building an extension of your house doesn’t come cheap. You might need financing for it, especially if you don’t have enough funds at hand. You can take out a loan for this. Another option is to take the funds out of your savings.

A home extension is done so that there will be a larger living space for the entire family at home. If that were to happen, there should be a lot of preparation to ensure that the project will go smoothly and become successful.

4 Tips to Clean Up After a Huge Storm

Complete Cleaning OutfitGoing through the experience of a storm passing through the country you live in is a stressful thing. Cleaning up after the storm is even more exhausting. Since New Zealand is in the Pacific Ocean, people have become so used to storms that cleaning up after the strong winds and rains has become normal.

These are four tips that can help you improve the process of cleaning up after a big storm.

Contact glass repair services

There is a big chance that you will need glass repair services for your home. Storms are usually so strong that they can uproot big trees. This means lighter things may be flying around and can break glass windows.

To make sure that your family is safe and no one gets hurt by getting near the broken glass, you must fix and replace the glass windows. Call glass repair services in Auckland to help with this.

Do not wade into the water in your basement

If the rains flooded your basement, it might be smart to avoid the area for the moment. There could be a live wire in the basement that is wet, which can electrocute you.

Start with your backyard

Your backyard must be a nightmare after the strong winds and rains. This is where you may want to start. Sweep the leaves and plants that may have been uprooted.

Avoid structurally challenged buildings

If there is a building in your complex that is structurally challenged, avoid them for now and do not clean yet. Until you are sure that the storm has not compromised its safety, it poses a danger to you and your family.

As cliché as it sounds, there is always a rainbow after the rain. This is why life should go on after such destruction. Homeowners in New Zealand should start by cleaning up.

Precautionary Measures for Optimum HVAC Performance

technician checking HVAC systemFor families living in cold regions, such as West Valley, Utah, ensuring a working heating system even before the winter season arrives is part of a routine check. But even if you’ve made all the preparations, some things may not go as planned.
Good thing most HVAC companies offer emergency heating repair services in the West Valley area.

Taking proactive measure is the key to lower the risk of an emergency. Aside from the regular check to ensure optimum performance, knowing some common symptoms can help you preempt any further damage. One good example is the furnace, where some of the most noticeable signs occur:

Furnace Problems

A squeaking sound resembling an old doorjamb could be a sign of a mechanical problem. Getting a low amount of heat is usually the sign of dirty air filters that need cleaning. Worst case scenario, the blower needs replacement. Clogged filters could also be one of the reasons the cycle mode strangely toggles on and off.

Meanwhile, electrical problems are usually connected with the pilot control, the electric ignition, and in most cases, a malfunctioning thermostat. It’s best to leave these types of problems to the professionals.

Preventive Maintenance

HVAC problems usually arise from clogged filters and could lead to various consequences if left unresolved. The solution is simple: keep the filters clean. If it needs replacement, don’t hesitate to buy a replacement. It’s better to pay for inexpensive filters rather than having a major, costly HVAC repair.

Most homeowners usually have spare filters, alternating the usage to prevent premature wear and tear. Check the battery of the thermostat regularly to make sure there’s no corrosion. The same goes for the circuit breaker and power supply.

More importantly, you should be familiar with how the entire HVAC system works. It doesn’t mean you need to know how to troubleshoot the system. But if you know how the heating system performs, it gives you a better idea if something is not working the way it should.