Archive for the ‘home maintenance’ Category

Get Rid of Bathroom Mold & Mildew

Posted on: September 18th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

It’s the room where you get clean… but the bathroom itself is usually very dirty! With all of that water, come mold and mildew. Not only is it unsightly, but it an also be a hazard to your health and your home in large amounts. What are your choices if you don’t want to use harsh bleach? What other contributing bathroom issues do you need to look for?

Hot water with some soap and baking soda can remove mold and mildew. Mix one teaspoon of liquid soap with one cup of baking soda to make a paste, and add essential oils for a nice scent if you’d like. You can also mix a little bit of bleach in a spray bottle and use that as a finishing touch.

Vinegar is another item you probably already have in your home that is a great cleaning agent. Put white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the area. Wait an hour, and then scrub. In addition, if you regularly spray vinegar on a surface prone to mold, it will help prevent it from growing.

Hydrogen peroxide in a dark spray bottle (to keep its effectiveness) can clean up mold and mildew. Simply spray it, leave for at least 20 minutes, and wipe clean. You can also add a bit of vinegar too.

While you’re cleaning up, take a look around your bathroom to see where mold and mildew might hide— like that cute whale faucet cover for your kids! Also, see if there are leaks that need to be addressed or if you’d benefit from adding an exhaust fan. Take steps to prevent major problems in the future.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

Home Preparation for Emergencies

Posted on: September 18th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Hurricane season is in full swing and the time of year when most house fires happen is around the corner. If you haven’t already, now is a good time to go through your home safety checklist. Here are some things to check.

When we turn our clocks back we should change the batteries in our smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Set aside an hour to go through your whole house. Speaking of fire preparation, check to make sure you know where your fire extinguishers are and if an extinguisher has been used, you may need to replace it.  Also—go over your fire escape plan with your family.

Check to make sure you know where your first aid kits are—or make/buy some if you don’t have them. They should include bandages, gauze, tweezers, painkillers and anything else you might need if injured.

Other items to keep in a plastic box: duct tape, plastic sheeting, garbage bags, plastic ties, nonperishable food, water, a blanket and a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.

Some alarms to consider installing: wireless water alarms under sinks or behind the fridge that will sound if there is a leak, and a sump pump alarm that can detect water levels rising quickly and warn you of a potential flood.

You can also get an automatic shutoff valve for your water heater in case it leaks.

Go over your emergency plan with your family. This will include things like where to meet in the house or out of the house.

Lastly, get your major home systems inspected twice a year to make sure they’re in top shape to prevent them from being the cause of your emergency. You can’t control the weather, but you can control what shape your house is in.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Quick Ways to Freshen Up Your Home For Fall

Posted on: September 3rd, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

 

Maybe you’re getting ready to have guests over and you’d like to spruce things up, or you’re just in the mood to make changes without shelling out a ton of money or spending all weekend on projects. If you’ve already tidied up a bit and want to do a little something more, here are some easy ways to freshen up your home.

With fall and winter coming up, you’ll need more light. Head to the store and switch out your 60-watt bulbs with 3-way bulbs so that you can soften light in a room. While you’re at it, look for energy-efficient bulbs, which will cost more but last longer and use less electricity.

Update your accessories. No, not your scarves and hats—we’re talking couch pillows and mantelpiece décor. Take a look at what you already have in your closet and then take a quick run to the store—even the dollar store has great stuff. Add some festive fall pillows and a comfy throw on your couch and get some pinecones, pumpkins, or whatever your heart desires for your mantle. This can change for each holiday or season—so have fun with it.

Frame and display your kids’ drawings. If you have kids, this is probably something you’ve thought about but never got around to doing. Spruce up a bare wall with your kids’ fantastic art. It’s sweet and will bring a smile to guests’ faces.

Clean your carpets—especially if people are staying the night in those carpeted bedrooms. If you have a carpet cleaner, this will be easy and shouldn’t take more than a few hours. If you have to rent one, it will take up a little more time and you’ll have to shell out on average about $30-$40. Don’t worry about moving large pieces of furniture such as dressers—just shampoo the areas that can be seen and that you walk on. They’ll look like new!

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

Laundry Room Safety

Posted on: August 24th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

The laundry is where many house fires start and injuries occur. It’s a commonly used part of the home but most of us don’t keep it properly cleaned or maintained. How can you make yours safer?

First off, the dryer. Clean your lint trap after every load and clean with a nylon brush every few months. Deep clean your ducts and vent when you notice a decrease in dryer performance or at least once a year. It is a good idea to do this more often if you have pets or a large family. While checking your dryer ducts, make sure they are not plastic, which can be a fire hazard. If they are, replace them with straight or flexible metal ducts. Check the vent’s output for any blockages, such as leaves or bird nests. Lastly, keep the area around your dryer free of clutter and make sure there is proper airflow around it.

Next, the washing machine. Check hoses at least once a year for bulging, cracking, fraying, and leaks around the ends. Even if there aren’t any problems, replace hoses every 4 to 5 years. Make sure there are at least four inches between your washing machine and the wall to prevent hoses from kinking. Also, keep the machine level so it does not damage the floor during the spin cycle. Put a drip pan underneath the washing machine so it does not damage the floor is there are any leaks. This is especially important with an upstairs laundry.

A few last tips: keep a fire extinguisher nearby, don’t overload the washing machine, and clean the washing machine regularly.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

Salt Water Pool Chlorinator Energy Usage

Posted on: August 14th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

We still have plenty of warm weather left to enjoy. If you’re a salt water pool owner, or are considering getting one, you may have noticed how much energy—and therefore money—your salt water chlorinator uses. How can you reduce the cost of running it while still making sure its safe and clean?

Salt water pool owners are often told to run the pool pump 4 – 6 hours in the winter if you don’t winterize your pool and up to 10 – 12 hours in the summer. This is not always true. It depends on your usage. Don’t assume that is the rule.

Generally electricity costs less during the evening hours, so consider running your pump then.

Often salt water chlorinators can be adjusted for optimal use and chlorine production. You can dial in the percentage of the time the pool needs for optimal chlorination. For people that use their pool often, adjust it to about 45-50%. With a higher percentage the chlorine will go up and too much salt will be used. Too low and the chlorine level will slowly come down.

If you keep your salt water chlorinator at 45% but only use it once a week, chlorine levels will skyrocket because there is not enough demand to use up the chlorine. Each pool use is different. Start low, at about 5%, and make the adjustment in the evening. Then you can test your chlorine in the morning and take note of the pool chlorine level. Ultimately through trial and error you’ll find the correct amount of time your filtration system is running and the amount of time your salt water chlorinator is producing chlorine.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

 

 

Insulate with Spray Foam

Posted on: August 5th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Fiberglass is a popular choice for attics and other spaces, but what if you’re thinking about spray foam insulation? It does cost more up front and may require some professional help, but it can perform as much as 50% better than fiberglass. Spray foam is also a moisture barrier and helps to dampen sound. How do you get started?

  1. If you decide to DIY, purchase a spray foam kit and wipe down the area you’ll spray. Make sure there is no water or debris.
  2. Cover electric boxes and connections.
  3. Check the temperature of the surface and the room, because adhesion and expansion of the foam are reduced by low temperatures.
  4. Put on eye protection, respiration gear, and protective clothing.
  5. Test your nozzle so the foam flows properly. After drying, rip a piece out and see that the inside is properly set and dry.
  6. Spraying close to your surface will cover a smaller area with more foam. Spraying further away from the surface will cover more of an area with less foam. Try to make as few passes as possible, because spraying onto wet foam can get messy and create an inconsistent surface. If you do end up needing to spray more than one layer, wait until your first layer of foam has cured.
  7. You can scrape away any cured foam that has covered the front of the wall studs.
  8. The kit can be used again—remove the used nozzle, remove the trigger safety, open both valves and make sure the face of the gun is clean. Stop using it when the foam starts to sputter and does not spray correctly.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24-hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

Prevent a Failing Water Heater

Posted on: July 24th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

It is a crucial part of your home and often completely forgotten about until a major issue comes up—the water heater. The main cause of water heater failure is age. The seam on the back of most water heaters rusts and deterioration happened generally between about 9 and 11 years.

What does this lead to? Typically, flooding. However it isn’t always a sudden burst—sometimes it is a slow leak that might be easy to miss if you’re out of town, not home much, or simply don’t go in the area where you water heater is very often (such as a basement.) It is a good rule of thumb to get a new water heater every 9 years or so.

While repairs and installations are best left to a professional, there are some steps you can take to help out this important piece in your house:

Get your water heater’s shut-off valve and all piping inspected once a year. Signs of broken valves as well as wet or loose joints and rust will be some signs that more severe damage is likely to come.

Getting your water heater flushed to remove the sediment once a year will help as well. Water heaters can be flushed by attaching a garden hose to the valve at the base of the water heater. Turn off the power and run hot water until it cools before flushing the tank since the heated water may be 140 degrees or more!

If you live in an area with hard water, installing a water softener can also extend the life of your water heater.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

Grilling Safety

Posted on: July 2nd, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

If you’re planning to fire up the grill on July 4th, Labor Day or any other day this summer, make sure you don’t see fire anywhere but the grill by following some simple safety tips.

First and foremost, if you have a gas grill, check for leaks by putting a soap/water solution to the hose with a spray bottle and turning the propane on to see if bubble form. No bubbles = good. Bubbles mean that you should turn it off and check the connections. Also, check the connection points.

If you smell gas, turn off the tank and burners and get the grill serviced before using it again. If the smell continues though, call the fire department.

For charcoal grills, if you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Do not use other flammable liquids. Keep charcoal fluid away from any other sources of heat.

For electric charcoal starters, you’ll likely need an extension cord as their cords are short. Keep in mind that metal parts will be very hot! Hang it up where nobody will bump into it and make sure it isn’t near anything flammable.

If the rain starts or you’re too hot, do not decide to move your grill indoors or anywhere near the house, deck or low-hanging branches.

Keep excited pets and children away from the space around the grill and always have someone watching the grill.

Always clean your grill after using it so that grease or buildup doesn’t stick.

Let coals cool completely after you are done grilling, and then dispose of them in a metal container.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Pressure Washing Around Your Home

Posted on: June 16th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Perhaps your deck is looking pretty dirty or you’re getting ready paint your siding. It’s a great time of year to start pressure washing around your home. Here’s how to get started.Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Heating, Electrical, and Plumbing pressure washing tips.

Spraying power ranges from 1,200 to 3,000 pounds per square inch (psi).  To keep from damaging your painted soft-grain wood siding, or other soft materials, use a 1,200 to 1,500 psi model. It is also a good idea to look for a wide spray nozzle to disperse water pressure more evenly. The stronger non-painted surfaces can withstand 2,500 to 3,000 psi models, which will work the fastest.

Before getting started with the pressure washing, cover lights, shrubs, plants, or anything else that you want to protect with plastic or drop cloths and make sure they are secure with duct tape or weights. Also, take a brush and scrub visible mildew that you can easily reach.

Next, connect a garden hose to the pressure washer and turn on the water. Do not skip out on testing the pressure! Hold the pressure washer nozzle with both hands about 3 feet from the wall, then move closer to the wall until you are sure you won’t cause any damage but feel the spray is strong enough to remove dirt as needed.

Begin by spraying towards the top of the house and then work your way down. Don’t forget the overhangs and gutters (spray these at about a 45-degree angle.)

Leave the siding to dry for at least a few days before you begin painting. If you’d like, you can use the same pressure washer for your driveway, porch, sidewalk and deck. Keep in mind though, that these areas typically need a stronger psi, so you may not be able to get quite as much dirt and grime off as you would with another model.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

Keep Your Crawl Space Dry

Posted on: June 11th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Its one of the last places you might think about—or want to deal with—in your house. However, as you may know from house hunting or your own bad experiences in your home, this is an area you should not overlook. How do you keep your crawl space dry?Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing, and Electric keeping your crawl space dry

Outside sources such as roof gutters and downspouts are the most common causes of crawl space water entry or high moisture. Inspect around the outside of your home to see where sources of water need to be directed away from the house. This is commonly a problem for homes located at the bottom of a hill. Check your gutters to make sure they are in good shape and free of debris. If you need to test your gutters and downspouts, run the house through them. (Grab a friend or family member to help.)

Your last step outdoors may be to install a drainage system and sump pump inside or exterior waterproofing and foundation drainage.

As far as inside water sources go, you’ll want to look for sources of leaks and moisture as well as improper venting. In addition to water, look for condensation on pipes, under flooring and on foundation walls, foundation wall stains, and mold. Look below bathrooms and kitchens.

This summer it is a good idea to insulate cold water pipes in the crawl space to stop dripping of condensation that forms on the cold water lines in humid weather. (Do this is the basement too.) You may consider using a dehumidifier on a regular basis to help keep things dry.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!