Lift, Lower, Seal, Tuck: Explaining The Options For Basement Waterproofing

Waterproofing a basement is a lot like keeping time from marching across your face. It uses the same terminology, and the same concepts—albeit not the same materials or procedures. If your old basement is leaking like a sieve, you may find that you need to give it a facelift using lift, lower, seal, and tuck procedures. Here are some closer explanations to how these terms apply to your basement and information on the procedures themselves.

Lift

A basement waterproofing contractor comes in, excavates your basement walls, looks for sagging and drooping areas, then uses braces to push the walls up from underneath the slab underground. Since sagging often contributes to cracks, lifting puts the walls and floor slab back where they belong. That, in turn, prevents the basement from leaking.

Lower

Basements that are barely basements because you have to duck to walk through them have a similar but opposite problem. Most of these basements were not constructed to support the weight of the house. Instead, they were meant to be cellars or water collectors only. As the old house was renovated or remodeled, water collection was no longer necessary, and few people used them to store canned goods in order to avoid pests. However, these basements still collect water because of the way they are built. Lowering the basement by lifting the house and creating a deeper basement with flatter floors and direct access to city sewer lines removes the wetness and dampness you now have.

Seal

Sealing your basement can occur outside, inside, or both. Waterproof sealants or black rubber coating frequently used to seal cracks in asphalt driveways is used to coat exterior walls. Clearer, less messy coatings are used to seal the walls from inside the basement. As long as there is no substantial damage to the foundation, sealants are an inexpensive option.

Tuck

Tucking means that the foundation of your home is excavated and exposed for several feet all the way around. Braces help reposition and stabilize walls so that the whole of your basement is completely level. Any areas where basement walls are not level, there is likely an opening that creates the perfect place for water to enter. Bracing the walls via the tucking process stops the water from finding a way in. This is highly recommended if you notice that different parts of your home seem to be “up” or “down” and things roll different directions or doors do not close or stay closed.

For more information on basement waterproofing, contact a company like Sohan and Sons.

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2 Reasons To Consider Xeriscape Landscaping

Xeriscape landscaping is one of the best resources at your disposal if you live in an area that has very little rainfall or is in the midst of a drought, mostly because this type of landscaping is designed to minimize water usage. Listed below are two reasons to consider is xeriscape landscaping.

Saves Water

One of the key selling points of xeriscape landscaping is that it is going to be able to greatly cut down on the amount of water that you use on your property. One way in which this is accomplished is by using inorganic landscaping features whenever possible, such as rock formations, hard surfaces, and walkways. However, this does not mean that xeriscape landscaping does not use plants; it typically does utilize those plants and grasses that are drought-resistant and that can go quite some time between watering sessions. 

The fact that xeriscape landscaping saves you water can also save you money in a wide variety of ways. For example, if your local area is in the midst of a drought, water prices can be quite high and you could face pretty stiff fines for watering your property too much or too often. In addition, some areas will actually give you tax breaks or pay you to convert a percentage of your lawn into a setup that does not require any watering, such as by converting a portion of your grass covered lawn into a concrete surface.

Requires Less Maintenance

Another huge reason to consider xeriscape landscaping is that it will allow you to greatly reduce the amount of maintenance that you have to perform. Because of the fact that many xeriscape landscaping arrangements use slow-growing plants, you will not have to mow your lawn as often or trim your hedges, bushes, or flowers as much.

These plants can include cacti, zoysia grass, Bahia grass, or Bermuda grass. This makes xeriscape landscaping a perfect option for elderly individuals that may not have the stamina or strength required to maintain their yards properly or individuals that simply don’t have enough time to dedicate to their lawn due to a busy work schedule.

Contact a landscaping service in your area today in order to discuss how xeriscape landscaping can benefit you. This type of landscaping is ideal for anyone who wants to save water while also minimizing the amount maintenance that they have to perform on a daily basis. To learn more about your options, contact a company like Bourget Bros. Building Materials.

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2 Ways To Properly Maintain Your Air Conditioner

One of the most important things that you can do throughout the summer is to properly maintain your air conditioner, mostly because this can save you quite a bit of money and keep your air conditioner in good condition. Listed below are two things that you can do in order to keep your air conditioner properly maintained.

Clean The Air Filter

One of the steps that is most often overlooked when it comes to maintaining an air conditioner is keeping the air filter clean. The air filter on the air conditioner is responsible for keeping all of the dust and other debris in the air from being spread around the house when the air conditioner is activated.

In the case of a portable or window mounted air conditioner, you can usually find the air intake filter on the front of the machine itself. It can be a bit trickier to find the air intake filter on a central air system, usually it is located near your home’s furnace, rather than on the unit itself. In most cases, you can find the air intake filter behind a large rectangular vent sitting in plain view near your furnace.

Once you have accessed the air intake filter, you can either replace it with a brand new filter or simply use your vacuum cleaner to remove all the dust and debris. This is very important as a dirty air filter can easily end up making your air conditioner less energy efficient, which can really drive up your monthly utility bills.

Clean Your Ducts

Another step that you need to take in order to keep your air conditioner properly maintained is to clean out your ducts. When your ducts are full of dust and other debris, it can lead to reduced airflow from your air conditioner to the rest of the house. As a result, you will find that it is taking much longer for your air conditioner to get your house to the desired temperature, which can also result in higher utility bills.

Another issue caused by a dirty or poorly maintained duct system is that it can degrade the indoor air quality of your home. This can lead to more frequent allergic reactions and illnesses for your family, while also causing the interior of your home to smell musty. In order to clean out your ducts, you should consider hiring an HVAC professional, like those represented at http://www.nathansheatandair.com/, as it can often be quite difficult to reach all of the areas of your duct network without the proper tools.

Contact an HVAC contractor today in order to discuss the various steps you can take to keep your air conditioner working at peak efficiency. Cleaning your air conditioner’s air filter and your home’s duct network can help keep your conditioner working well for many years to come.

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Learn What To Expect When Having A Handicap Ramp Created Outside Of Your Business

When you have a business, you need to be sure that there are access ramps available for any handicapped individuals that need to enter or leave your establishment. The ramps can be made from many different items including wood, asphalt, or concrete. It is often best to choose to have the ramps made from asphalt because it is so durable, very affordable, and long lasting. The guide below walks you through the process that the asphalt company will take to create the ramp, so that you are prepared for what to expect when the ramp creation begins.

The Area Will Need to be Blocked Off

The area where the ramp will be created will need to be blocked off. You do not want any of your customers to get hurt by the equipment, step on hot asphalt, or simply step off the curb without realizing there is a drop. You can block off the area with warning tape or using traffic cones and signs.

They Will Create a Frame for the Ramp

Next, the paving contractors will create a frame for the ramp. You do not want the ramp to be too large or too long, so creating a frame will ensure that the asphalt goes exactly where it is supposed to go and nowhere else. The frame allows the asphalt to meet the side of the sidewalk of your business with ease. Once the asphalt meets the side of the sidewalk, more will be added and will be spread to create an incline that wheelchair users can use.

They Will Create Edges for the Ramp

After the majority of the ramp has been made, the contractors will remove the frame and add more asphalt to the sides of the ramp. They will then use special tools to spread and smooth the new asphalt so that it creates smooth, rounded edges on the side of the ramp so that someone can come up and down the ramp from any angle smoothly.

The Ramp Can Be Painted

Once the ramp is complete, you may want to have the contractors paint around the edges of the ramp to make it very noticeable to people who may need to use it. A wheelchair can be painted on it or you can simply have the edge of it painted with bright blue paint to indicate it is a handicap ramp.

Once complete, disabled customers should be able to get in and out of your business with ease. This will ensure that you are getting as many customers as you possibly can at all times.

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Update The Look Of Your Bathroom With Beautiful Tile

When you want to update the look of your bathroom, the first thing you may want to consider doing is changing the tile that you use in the room. Tile can have a huge visual impact on the overall look of a room and adding complimenting tiles to the space can give it the unique look you want. The guide below walks you through the process of choosing which tiles to use when trying to transform your bathroom.

Consider the Size of the Room

You first need to consider how large the bathroom is when choosing tile. You want to be sure to use tile that is not too large for the space otherwise it may make it feel even smaller than it already is. If you have a large bathroom, small tiles can create a jumbled look in the room. You can buy single tiles to take home and place in the room before you buy a large number of them. This will allow you to be sure that you choose the right size tile for your bathroom.

Consider Pairing Different Tiles Together

When you are choosing the tiles that you want to use in the room, consider creating a border around the edges of the room to give the room even more character. You can pair different types of tile together to create the unique look you want. Some people choose to create stripes using different tiles or simply create an accent stripe along the center of the shower surround.

Consider the Colors You Want to Use

Be sure to consider the colors that you want to use in the bathroom. If you will not be replacing the vanity, the toilet, or the tub, be sure to choose tile that will complement the colors of those items. You do not want to want to have mismatched colors all over the room or it will create a messy look. You want to be sure that the look is peaceful and flowing so that you do not feel anxiety when you walk into the room and see that nothing matches in the space.

Once you have chosen the tile from a place like Quality Floor Covering & Decorating Center Inc, be sure to have professionals install it for you. This will allow you to be sure that everything is placed evenly and made to be as secure as it can possibly be. The professionals know how to properly space the tile so that they have a uniform look when everything is said and done.

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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 http://www.villagefireplaceandbbq.com.

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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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