Tips To Give Your Outdated Fireplace A Makeover

Fireplaces can add beauty to your home, in addition to adding warmth on cold days/nights. If you live in an older home, chances are your fireplace may be a little less beautiful and a little more outdated. It probably has ugly black/brown/orange bricks, a gold or brass colored firebox door, and may even lack a mantle. Some older fireplaces may even take up most of the wall, so it may feel like more of an eyesore than a beautiful focal point. Don’t grab your sledgehammer just yet though, that old fireplace can be updated to look more modern. See below for tips to bring that old fireplace into this century.

Whitewash The Brick

Start with the brick and whitewash it using a mixture of two parts white paint and one part water. Use a paintbrush and several rags to brush on the paint and then wipe off the excess using the old rags. This process paints over the unsightly brick, while allowing some of the color to show through. For less coverage, add more water to the paint. For more coverage, add more paint to the mixture. You can also use gray paint instead of white for a different look. 

Paint Over The Firebox

Get rid of the ugly brass/gold color of the firebox by painting it with high heat spray paint. This job can get pretty messy, so be sure to use plastic covering on everything to help prevent over-spray. Tape off your brick and cover it with plastic to prevent over-spray on this area as well. Be sure to clean the firebox thoroughly to get rid of dirt, dust, and soot. You need a clean surface so the spray paint has something to adhere to. Spray the firebox using a more modern color such as oil rubbed bronze or black. Allow the first coating to dry, then apply a second coating. Be sure to wear gloves, a respirator, safety glasses, and old clothing when painting with spray paint in a confined space.

Add A Mantle

Help break up the brick on your fireplace by adding a beautiful mantle. You can purchase a mantle that can adhere to your brick, or you can use an old piece of barnwood for a conversational piece. You can also make a mantle using wood, molding, and trim to create a one of a kind piece.

Other Tips

  • Use your mantle as a place for your decor. Change up your decor with each season or holiday. Use the base of your fireplace as a place for decor as well.
  • Break up all of that brick on your fireplace by adding decorative tile around the firebox, or shiplap wood above the mantle.
  • Cover the brick with airstone if you don’t like the look of the brick (even painted). You can find airstone at your local hardware store and is very easy to install.

Don’t take out the old fireplace just yet. Give it a nice remodel instead using paint and some decorative touches. For more information or assistance, visit websites like

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Own An Office And Have Elevators? Tips To Keep Them Moving Up And Down

If you own your own office and have elevators, it is important that you keep them maintained. This will not only keep you, your employees, and anyone visiting you safe, but will help keep people walking through your door. If the elevator is out of service, some people may refuse to walk the stairs. Below are some tips on keeping your elevators maintained so this will not happen.

Check the Lights

There are many lights in an elevator and you need to make sure they are always working correctly. Lights will burn out just like any other light. If the cab does not light up, someone could become injured. If the light for the button that goes to your floor is out, someone may think it is not working and will not push it. You would also likely hear complaints from your employees as well as customers that do make it to your office.

Keep Them Clean

If you are cleaning any internal components, you do not need to use strong, industrial cleaners. This is because these cleaners may cause corrosion on the internal parts, which would lead to elevator malfunction. Only use a cleaner that is specifically made to be used for elevators.

Always keeping the inside of the elevators clean is also important. Because people constantly walk in and out, the carpeting will become dirty quickly. If you notice dirt buildup clean the carpeting with a carpet cleaner that can be purchased at any home improvement store. There are also spot treatments that can be used to remove stains quickly.

Make sure the walls stay clean and wipe over the buttons with a damp cloth. Do not spray any type of cleaner on the buttons or it could cause damage. Inspect the elevators daily and keep a log so you will know this is being done.

Do Not Overload

Make sure you know the maximum weight the elevators can hold. This weight should be posted somewhere inside of them. If the elevators are overloaded, they will not operate properly. This will also cause the inside mechanisms to wear out much quicker, and can affect the safety of passengers riding the elevator. The last thing you want is to have a lawsuit on your hands.

If you know you will often have to transport heavy things in your elevator, install another service elevator, which is made to carry heavy loads.

If you notice any kind of problem with your elevator not working properly, contact an elevator service.

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Keeping Your Seawall In Good Working Order

If you have ocean or lakefront property or live on a river, there is a good chance that you have a seawall on your property. A seawall is your protection from the powerful force of crashing waves, rising tides, or flooding rivers.

Not only does a properly placed and constructed seawall protect your home and property, it prevents soil erosion. Soil erosion can lead to landslides or entire slabs of your property just washing away. Additionally, soil erosion is bad for the environment. As the soils enter the water, it can cause water pollution, which in turn can lead to algae bloom and fish loss from oxygen deprivation.

When there is a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or flood, your existing seawall can become stressed from the pressure of doing its job. While you may be able to get away with delaying other household repairs, a damaged seawall needs to be addressed immediately, because when it goes, it goes. Here’s what you need to know about keeping your seawall in good shape.

Start With An Inspection

After each weather event, visually inspect your seawall. Check the cap for any cracks or missing sections. Look at each slab section of the seawall and note any signs of deterioration. Assess if they are leaning or are out of alignment with one another. Check the structural integrity of the support beam and look for any corroded or rust spots. Inspect both sides of the wall. Determine if any soil is being lost on the property side of the wall or if the footings may be coming loose. Note the health of any vegetation on the wall and insure plants like ivy or invasive species haven’t gotten a foothold on the wall. If you live in a cold climate, an inspection should be done after every winter as well.

Schedule A Checkup

If you see any signs of wear after a storm or flood, immediately contact a contractor to come out and assess the damage and structural integrity of the wall. A skilled professional will be able to tell if the damage is serious or not.The following are two of the most common types of major damage that can occur:

  • Seawall Cap Failure. Prolonged exposure to saltwater can corrode the reinforcing steel bars in the cap and can cause expansion that will lead to cracks. If this expansion and contracting process is allowed to continue, eventually large pieces of the seawall cap will break loose.
  • Sheet Pile Failure. These are the individual sheets that collectively make up the seawall. If the berm or embankment is lost or shifts, it can cause the wall to buckle and come out of alignment.

As every situation and property is different, so are the repair methods. A seawall repair contractor will discuss which options are best for you. 

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3 Restaurant Boiler And Pipe Issues That Could Spell Trouble

If you’ve got a boiler inside your restaurant, you may not spend much time near it because you’re working hard on getting your food to your customers. It’s easy to overlook early signs that the boiler might be on its way out, but if your restaurant’s boiler or heating system is exhibiting any of the signs below, it may need attention from a professional.

Any Noise

It is natural to assume that the gurgling, hissing and knocking sounds your boiler makes are normal, especially if you bought the restaurant from another owner who never mentioned any problems with the appliance. However, boilers should operate without making too much noise. Sounds can usually be the primary sign that something might not be right, even if there is not a serious problem.

For instance, mineral deposits from the boiler’s water supply could be building up on the boiler’s heat exchanger; if that’s happening, you might hear some hissing, but that buildup can be easily scraped away by a pro. However, there may also be a more serious problem like a leak or inadequate flow of water.

Drastically High Utility Bills

When you’re going through your bills each month, how much attention do you pay to the utility bill? If you’re like many restauranteurs, you view a steadily rising utility bill as a sign that the business is thriving, more food is being prepared and the place is open more hours. However, if you see a utility bill that seems drastically higher, the culprit might be the boiler.

If you purchased the restaurant when the boiler was already installed, it’s possible that it’s just an old model. Old models tend to be less energy-efficient than STAR appliances today. Of course, there could be significant sediment or caked-on grime that could be making the boiler work harder, which can drive up utility costs.

No Heat from Certain Radiators

An easy thing to miss in a restaurant is a non-working radiator. It could be in a spot that’s always warm, such as the kitchen, or you might just assume there are cooler spots without thinking of what that could mean. There may not be a problem with the boiler itself but with the pipes, which might be clogged or starting to corrode. A professional contractor can tell you whether the pipes have to be replaced or whether they can simply flush them out to get the radiator working again.

Keeping your employees and customers comfortable is important, so once you notice any of the issues described here, contact a commercial boiler repair company right away. They can help find whatever the problem is and give you some idea of how well your boiler is doing.

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Options, Options, Options: What Your Choices Are When Looking At Rotary Screw Compressors For Sale

If your only rotary screw compressor just kicked the bucket, you are probably in the market for a new one. As you begin your search for rotary screw compressors for sale, you may be quite surprised at just how many different options and compressors are available in this category. Here is a sampling for you to choose from when you are trying to track down your next compressor, and why the options you choose could determine what you accomplish with this tool.

Tank Size

Bigger is not always better, unless it is an air compressor tank. The more compressed air the tank holds, the more you can accomplish in a day. Even more astonishing is the tankless compressors, which produce quite a bit of pressurized air on demand. However, with regards to size and use, you may still prefer a traditional rotary screw compressor with a tank because they are more portable. You can purchase a compressor with a 53-, 60-, 80-, or 120-pound PSI tank, or if you do not mind your tankless remaining stationary (or mounted to a flatbed truck), you can get a greater PSI of 150 or above. 


Rotary screw compressors come in three styles:

  • Three-phase
  • Single-phase
  • Variable speed

The single-phase style of rotary screw compressors is your most basic; it only has a single wire power source with no backup. Three-phase styles of these compressors have more than one live wire/method of providing power to the system to help it function, which means you could have fewer break-downs and less down time. Variable speed means the compressor can switch and move between power sources and methods of power delivery. The first two can get most construction jobs and industrial/manufacturing jobs done, while the final style of machine (variable speed) provides you with a control dial that allows you to crank up the power/energy distribution when you need more of it.


Voltage is another important factor in how you use your rotary screw compressor and how you are able to power it. Most of the compressors with less power and a tank are the ones used on construction sites because they will not burn out a generator as quickly. The ones with higher voltage needs are best used in shops and factories where there is sufficient power to keep these machines (and everything else!) running. The voltage options run the gamut from 230-volt-single phase (most basic) to the 208-230-460 variable speed voltage requirements.

For more information, contact professionals like Kruge-Air Inc.

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3 Reasons To Install Security Shutters At Your Business

If you own a business with a storefront or windows that allow the public to see inside, you likely take at least some security precautions each time you lock up at night. But if people can still see inside the building and take a look at your sales floor or other expensive merchandise and equipment, your business could still be viewed as an opportunity for thieves. If you’re looking for more protection than just throwing a padlock on the doors, perhaps it’s time to consider the installation of security shutters. Here are 3 benefits that security shutters can provide your business.

An Effective Deterrent

Yes, security shutters can obviously help prevent a break-in if a someone actually does try to get inside your building, but also keep in mind that security shutters may be even more effective at stopping potential thefts before they even begin. A thief walking or driving past your storefront isn’t going to be very interested in what’s inside if he or she can’t see anything. Security shutters can help prevent your business from becoming a target in the first place as thieves will want to move on to easier opportunities.

Protection From The Elements

Security shutters don’t just keep thieves out; they can also help provide your business some extra protection from Mother Nature. Security shutters are usually made out of aluminum or steel and can help protect your windows from strong bursts of wind and flying debris. If it’s necessary to keep your building’s air conditioning or heating on overnight, the shutters will also help to provide an extra layer of insulation for the building.

Low Maintenance

After the security shutters are installed at your place of business by a professional contractor, there will be very little that you will have to do to take care of the system going forward. Most security shutters can easily be pulled down or pushed back up, and some of them can even be lowered or raised with the push of a button. Shutters provide extra protection but it won’t take your employees very long at all to get them into place at the end of the night.

If you’re looking to provide some extra protection for your storefront or business, you can’t go wrong with security shutters. Properly installed shutters will keep peeping eyes away from your merchandise and equipment and help deter theft in the process. Shutters can also help protect your business from the elements, and they are relatively easy to open and close. Contact a company like Nevada Rolling Shutter Inc. for more information.

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3 Things To Do For AC Maintenance During A Heat Wave To Avoid Repairs

During a summer heat wave, you can be sure that your AC is going to be working full force to keep your home cool. This also means that it is more likely to break down and need repairs. If you want to avoid costly AC repairs during this summer’s heatwaves, it is important that you keep up with maintenance with a company like Borter Heating & Air Conditioning Co to ensure your cooling is working efficiently. Here are some of the things that you can do to ensure your air conditioning is working its best this summer:

1. Change Filters And Check Vents For Signs Of Problems

Filters are one of the most important components of your AC and changing them during summer heatwaves is important to prevent problems. In addition to regularly changing the air filter, also check vents for debris that may be blocking them and make sure they are open. If you have a dusty home, you may want to occasionally clean dust out of return vents. During extreme heat when you AC is working harder, you may want to do these tasks more often.

2. Inspect Thermostat And Program AC For Maximum Efficiency

Inspecting the thermostat is another task that you will more often during the summer months. This can be testing it to make sure it is working and changing batteries if needed. In addition, it can help to program your AC for maximum efficiency during the summer months. This may be programming it to work less during cool nights and reducing the settings when you are not at home. If you have several presets for your thermostat, you may want to program various for different types of weather, such as for cooler days, cool nights or, nights that the temperature does not go down and you still need AC.

3. Clean The Outdoor Unit And Keep It Free Of Windblown Tree And Plant Debris

The outdoor unit of your AC can also cause a lot of problems during a summer heatwave. Dirt and debris can cause problems, such as the coil freezing or damage to the fan and other components in the unit. This is why it is important to keep the outdoor unit clean. This is something that you may want to do as often as changing the filter. During months when there is a lot of pollen or other debris from trees and plants around your home, you may want to do this more often and check the unit weekly to see if it needs to be cleaned.

These are some of the things that you will want to do to ensure that your AC is working efficiently this summer. If you need help with maintenance or repairs you cannot do yourself, contact an HVAC service and have them ensure your system is ready for the hottest days of summer. 

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