Choosing the Perfect Replacement Smoke Alarm

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When it comes time to replace your smoke detector, you may discover that it is also time to upgrade your older smoke detector to a newer version. New innovations in smoke detection have caused these devices to go far beyond “smoke detection” and have become heat and flame detectors. Smoke Detection The two types of smoke detectors are ionization and photoelectric smoke detectors. Ionization smoke detectors use a small amount of americium-241. This creates an electric current that can be disrupted by smoke. However, this version is much more likely to have false alarms. The second type is the photoelectric smoke detector. A light source deliberately misses a sensor when there is no smoke. However, when the smoke enters the smoke detector, this scatters the light and allows for the sensors to detect the smoke. This is more effective at detecting slow, smoldering fires. Since both smoke detectors are so useful, it may make sense to use a dual sensor, which uses both types. However, fire-safety experts argue that the dual type is not recommended because the ionization component leads to a delay in when the smoke detector goes off. Heat Detection An alternative to a smoke detector is a heat detector. This option is designed to respond to convection heat. When the ambient temperature reaches a point that indicates a fire, the heat detector goes off. There are both fixed and rate-of-rise detectors. The rate-of-rise detector determines when there is an abrupt rise in temperature, a sign of a fire. This can reduce the number of false alarms. Since both smoke detectors and heat detectors can be effective at detecting fires, it may be recommended that you use both in your home. 10-Year Alarms If you are tired of replacing your smoke detector, there is fortunately a 10-year sealed smoke detector. These are powered by lithium batteries that are designed to last for 10 years. Since it is recommended that you replace your smoke detector every 10 years, this is a perfect time frame. Other Features Besides considering how the smoke detector detects the fire, you should look at other features that come with it. This includes smoke detectors that will trigger other smoke detectors in order to create a household alarm that will be more likely to be heard by all residents. Battery backup ensures that your alarm will continue to work even if the original battery fails. There are also versions that allow for the alarm to be quickly deactivated with the press of the button. Think about all of the things that you dislike about your old smoke detector and use this to determine what characteristics your smoke detector will have. Talk to a company...

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A Few Tips For Caring For Your Brick Home

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Brick can be a highly durable building material to use when building a home. However, some individuals will make the mistake of assuming that this means the brick will not require regular maintenance. This can cause them to overlook some simple steps that can help to extend the life of the brick while ensuring that it looks its best. If this is the case for you, learning the following care tips may help you take excellent care of your brick home. Clean The Exterior It can be common for individuals to like the look of moss and ivy growing on their brick homes. However, it is a reality that these materials can cause extensive damages to the brick. This is because they will trap moisture against the brick and mortar, which can lead to cracking. To minimize the risk of this happening, you should have the exterior of your home pressure washed every couple of years, and you should regularly trim any vines that start to grow on your house. Inspect For Signs Of Damage At least once a year, you should perform a thorough visual inspection of your home’s exterior. During this inspection, you should look for signs of damage to your brick and mortar. In particular, cracking can be a common problem. Also, you may notice the mortar starting to become brittle. When you notice these problems starting to form, it is imperative for you to contact a professional masonry service. These professionals will be able to replace the damaged mortar or bricks. Unfortunately, if you wait to have this damage repaired, it may worsen, which can greatly increase the cost of repairs. Apply A Protective Sealant Every few years, you should consider having a protective sealant applied to your home’s exterior. These sealants will prevent moisture from being able to seep into the brick and mortar. While it may seem like applying this sealant could be a project that you can easily do yourself, you should leave this to a professional. It can be difficult to reach some of the higher areas of the house, which can put you at risk of falling from your ladder. Also, if you were to inadvertently miss any areas of the exterior, it could severely compromise the effectiveness of the sealant. By hiring a professional, you can ensure that this work is done effectively and safely, which may be more than worth the costs of hiring these services. For more information, contact Nicholas Bianchini Masonry or a similar...

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Two Different Ways You Can Use Ready-Mix Concrete to Enhance Your Landscaping

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Ready-mix concrete can be used for a variety of projects from patching up a concrete driveway to laying a new concrete slab for a patio. If you are ready to make some changes in your landscaping, you can use ready-mix concrete for this purpose. Keep reading to learn two ways you can do this. Landscape Edging You can use concrete as landscape edging. This can save you a lot of time, as with concrete edging you will not have to keep replacing broken or rusted landscape edging. You will likely like the look of concrete edging also. The concrete can be used in many types of curves, unlike metal curbing. Concrete edging can also keep weeds and grass from invading your flower gardens. To get started with landscape edging, lay a garden hose on the ground in the shape you want the edging to be. This will give you a guide to go by. Next, excavate the perimeter of the border, removing approximately eight to ten inches of the soil. When you are finished excavating, compact the soil so there will be a solid base for the concrete. You can compact it by using a tamping tool, which you can purchase at a garden center. Mix the concrete according to the instructions provided. If you want your concrete to be a certain color, you can purchase coloring at the home-improvement store. It comes in a powdered form. You can find colors that will make the concrete look like brick, stone, or another specific color you want. Follow the instructions on the powdered color you purchased so you know how much powder to add to the concrete. Pour the concrete into the excavated soil and use a trowel to smooth it out until it is even. Let the concrete dry completely, and then remove the hardboard and wooden stakes Concrete Pavers You can use the ready-mix concrete to make concrete pavers to add a stone walkway to your landscaping. You could add a walkway path that leads to a flower garden, a bench, or another place in your yard. Before you starting making the concrete pavers, you will have to find a mold. You can use a mold of any size or shape. Mix the ready-mix concrete according to the package directions. Spray the mold liberally with non-stick oil cooking spray to keep the concrete from sticking to the mold. Pour the concrete you prepared into the mold. Make sure the concrete is even inside the mold. If it is not, use a trowel to even it out. Place a rag over the concrete to soak up any excess water that may be on top of it, and then remove the...

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Water Down To A Trickle? 4 Steps To Service Your Pressure Tank

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If the water from your faucet is coming out as a trickle, you might have a problem with your pressure tank. The pressure tank ensures that water from your well will flow through to your home with proper amount of force. To ensure that your pressure tank works properly, you need to perform routine maintenance. Here’s a quick guide to proper pressure tank maintenance. Turn the Power Off Before you begin any work on your pressure tank, you need to make sure that the entire well has been turned off. Begin by turning the power off at the well. Be sure that the power is off to both the well and the pressure tank. Next, you’ll need to turn the power to the well off at the circuit breaker. This will ensure that the power is off to the entire system. Be sure to place a note on the circuit breaker letting people know that you’ve turned the power off. Labeling the circuit breaker will ensure that someone doesn’t accidentally turn the power back on while you’re working on the pressure tank. Drain the Tank Once you have the power turned off, you’ll need to drain the tank. This is a simple process that only requires a garden hose. Locate the drain at the bottom of the tank. Attach your garden hose to the drain and open the valve. The water should begin draining as soon as you open the valve. Leave the valve open until all the water has been drained from the tank. Remove the Hatch When all the water has been drained from the tank, you can disconnect the air regulator and remove the hatch. Using a pair of adjustable pliers, twist the regulator to loosen the connection and remove the regulator. Once the regulator has been removed, use a screwdriver to loosen the screws and carefully lift the hatch off the tank. Service the Tank To maintain adequate water pressure, the tank needs to be clean. Calcium deposits can build up inside the tank. Those deposits can reduce the effectiveness of your pressure tank. Use steel wool to clean the inside of the pressure tank. Wipe the residual away with a soft cloth, and replace the hatch and the regulator. If you receive your water through a well, you need to make sure that the pressure tank is working properly. Use the instructions provided here to keep your tank clean. Talk to a professional, like Valley Drilling Corp, for more...

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Best Modern Commercial Roofing Options

Posted by on Jun 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

There are many new roofing materials coming onto the market for commercial roofs; the tar and gravel method is no longer your only option. Here are some alternative commercial roofing options to talk about with your roofing contractor.  Thermoplastic Roofing Thermoplastic roofing material is becoming a very common option for roof installation because it is both very durable and reliable. This material is a composite that is resistant to ozone and damage from chemical exposure. This can be a great investment for your company, since these installed roofs can last for several decades and require less maintenance than older roofing materials.  Metal Roofing Metal roofing options are also becoming more sophisticated. Metal roofs used to suffer from a few pitfalls, including rust and corrosion. But with the combination of specific epoxy coatings, these roofs can prove to be both durable and resistant to the elements. Not to mention, they can make a big style statement for commercial establishments and help the business facade to stand out, if the metal roof contrasts well with the rest of the building’s decor.  Photovoltaic Solar Panels Another option is to incorporate photovoltaic solar panels into your roofing design. With this type of roof installation, you’ll use class and membrane material to support the cells. This is a great way to trap the solar energy that hits your roof and translate it for use in your home energy supply. The PV cells may be one of the more costly options because they aren’t in heavy use yet. But they can offset their own installation cost in the long run by helping to reduce your electricity bill.  Green Commercial Roofs Another option is to have a green roof made of sedum. These can be covered in vegetation, which helps to insulate the roof while making use of natural materials. These roofs have become popular in the past few years both as a cheap method of insulation and because they are socially responsible; they can help to dissipate heat and reduce the amount of heat trapped in commercial zones.  Commercial roofing options are abundant, so it’s important to talk with your roof installation contractor about the various options to choose which ones work for you. Your contractor may help you do a long-term cost analysis that includes the costs of roofing installation, the roofing maintenance costs, and any benefits that offset the upfront cost of your...

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Studying For Your PE Exam As A New Civil Engineer? What Can You Do To Improve Your Odds Of Success?

Posted by on Jun 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Graduating college with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering may have been one of the proudest moments of your life — watching the culmination of years of hard work, missed social engagements, and late nights in a professional degree that can allow you to work as a civil engineer anywhere in the country. However, before you obtain a full-time job in your chosen profession, you’ll usually need to take (and pass) the professional engineering (PE) exam. This final barricade to entry to an in-demand profession can sometimes seem like a huge hurdle, especially if you’re already burned out by the college grind. Read on to learn more about what you’ll need to do to improve your odds of success on your first crack at the PE exam, as well as some tips to make the test-taking process easier and less stressful.  What should you do to improve your odds of passing the PE exam on your first attempt? As with any test, the key to success is to practice. Although you may not necessarily need to shell out for an expensive or hands-on review course, obtaining a book of practice questions and quizzing yourself (with a timer available) can give you a good idea of the types of questions you can expect and the approximate amount of time you’ll be able to devote to each question without running the risk that you’ll need to rush through to finish. You’ll likely want to do at least a few minutes of practice questions each day to keep topics fresh in your mind and develop the discipline to quickly come up with answers rather than letting your mind wander between questions.  Is there anything else you can do to reduce test-taking stress on the big day? If you tend to be a nervous test-taker, you may worry that your exam day nerves could overcome any of the careful preparation you’ve put into the test. It’s important to do whatever you can to calm yourself and reduce the mental pressure you may be placing on this test. One way to do this is to adopt a test-taking method that can allow you to solve the easier problems first, giving you the confidence you need to tackle the harder or more time-consuming ones. You may want to start by going through the exam once quickly, answering only the questions you are confident about and can do quickly. During your second run-through, you’ll want to look at questions that are a bit more time-consuming or require you to review material but are able to be handled without devoting too much time. This will leave only the hardest questions for the end of the exam, when your brain...

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