Posts Tagged ‘home maintenance in Greensboro’

Remove Snow Without Damaging Your Home

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

 

You might be dreaming of a white Christmas, but when we actually do get snow, how do you clear out your driveway, walkway, porch and deck in a way that won’t damage your property?

Make sure your equipment is ready to work. Use the correct fuel for your products to make sure you don’t permanently damage them. Drain the gasoline tank when equipment won’t be used for a month or more.

Remove large amounts of snow in layers and before it is packed down by cars and walking.

Don’t use ice picks on driveways or sidewalks because they can damage the surfaces.

It is helpful to stake the driveway with markers before the snow hits.

As for de-icing products, some may damage the flooring in your home or your plants, and some may harm your pets. Here is what you need to know:

Sodium chloride (rock salt) is common and cheap. However it doesn’t work well if the temperature is below 25 degrees. It can also leach into soil, changing the chemical balance and bringing it to a toxic level.

Calcium chloride is not as harmful to your land but can leave a residue that can be damaging to tile and carpeted flooring as well as your pet’s feet. It is much more expensive than rock salt but you use much less. It also works well at extremely cold temperatures.

Calcium magnesium acetate is even more expensive than the aforementioned options, but it is salt-free and biodegradable. It is not harmful to the environment. It is less corrosive to concrete than salt.

To keep yourself safe, don’t bend at the waist, because it puts too much pressure on your back muscles. Lift with your legs apart with your knees bent and back straight. Shovel small amounts at a time.

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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!

 

 

Mulching Your Leaves

Posted on: October 20th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Once you’ve finished cleaning your gutters, next up is getting the leaves off of the lawn. Mulching is much easier than raking, and the organic matter breaks down and releases nutrients. It also keeps the leaves out of landfills. Mulch can also reduce development of some weeds, like dandelions. So if you want to try it this fall, how do you get started?

You can mulch with a regular lawn mower by taking off the grass catcher off your mower and setting the blade to its highest setting. It may take a few passes to get the job done. However, it is better to use a mulching mower or mulching blades. This is because they break down the leaves into smaller pieces with decompose faster, instead of sitting around on your lawn possibly blocking the sunlight and water and even getting sticky and moldy after rain.

A good rule of thumb is to not mulch constantly, but rather do it in between raking or leaf-blowing sessions. If the leaves are clumpy and not spread pretty evenly, or if there are simply too many leaves, it can kill the grass. If you do decide to do it more often, make sure to do it once a week or so—before the leaves become too much to handle. You cannot wait until the leaves are piling up five inches high—get to them sooner. You’ll also want to mulch when it has been dry.

If you’re using a regular mower and afterwards you cannot see any grass at all, reattach the bag to the mower and go through one more time. Add the mulched leaves from this round to gardens beds or a compost pile.

Microbes and worms recycle the carbon from the leaf bits, and microbes can do their job better with nitrogen. You can get lawn food to help break down the leaves even faster.

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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!

Preventing Wood Rot

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

 

Houses are made with a lot of wood—framing members, plywood, trim, etc. You can shell out plenty of money to fix wood rot if it is left untreated and it
can even bring on the termites—so how can you prevent it?

At least once a year inspect your home:

Look for cracks or holes in the caulking around windows, doors and dryer vents. Re-caulk any openings with acrylic latex exterior caulk.

Check under eaves, around fireplaces, and on interior ceilings for any possible leaks.

Look for sagging or leaking gutters and downspouts.

Trim back any shrubbery or tree branches closer than 2 to 3 feet from the sides and roof of your home.

Check for peeling and cracked painted surfaces and prime and paint if needed.

This fall, make sure your crawl space vents don’t get blocked with leaves and other debris.

Lastly, check for dirt and debris between decking boards. Clean them out and spray with a hose if needed.

If you think you have some wood rot, press on the wood surface and see if it feels soft or crumbly. Remember this can happen on the layers underneath—even if the surface isn’t so obvious. Some common spots include: where siding meets trim, where two pieces of trim meet, horizontal surfaces, deck support posts and fascia behind leaking gutters.

In the future, use decay-resistant or pressure-treated lumber for decks. Stain or paint all sides of each lumber piece before assembly. Do not lean anything against your siding. Make sure to clean your gutters this fall.

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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!

Clean Your Gutters

Posted on: September 30th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

The leaves are already starting to fall, and before you know it, you’ll have a yard full of red, orange and brown foliage. While it may be pretty to see, it can also be a big hassle. How can you get your gutters ready for fall and make sure they stay in good shape?

Fall means lots of debris in your gutters. Removing the leaves and other debris from your gutters will ensure proper water drainage. This is an often overlooked task that can prevent serious damage to your roof and home.

Clean your gutters at least once a year to make sure water drains well and away from your home to prevent damage to your home.

You’ll need a sturdy extendable ladder—preferably one with ladder horns so it won’t damage the gutters. You will also need a small hand shovel or something to scoop out the debris. If you want to protect your lawn, put out a plastic tarp underneath where you’ll be dumping all of the gunk.

Make sure you not only clean out the clogged gutters, but also the downspouts. Make sure the downspouts are still connected well and pointed away from the house.

After digging everything out of the gutters, flush them out with a garden hose. Check to make sure your gutter system does not have any leaks.

If you want to help prevent gutter buildup in the future, install gutter covers. These are typically mesh screens or clip-on grates. They should also be inspected and cleaned at least once a year, although they will cut down quite a bit on the work you’ll have to do with your gutters each fall.

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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!

 

Christmas Tree Safety

Posted on: November 30th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

christmas wishesThe sight of a Christmas tree in your home can bring fond memories and a feeling of happiness and excitement. With this piece of holiday decor, though, comes the potential for hazards. Below are a few tips to help make your holiday a safe one:

  • When shopping for a natural tree, look for a tree with vibrant needles that don’t break easily and are hard to pluck. You’ll want one that looks hydrated and the trunk should have sticky sap. All of this means the tree will be less of a fire hazard.
  • Wait to buy your tree if you can —those that are cut early in the season are more likely to dry up before the holiday season is over!
  • Make sure your tree stand can hold plenty of water—preferably at least one gallon. Cut two inches from the base before putting the trunk in, and make sure to water daily.
  • If you take the artificial tree route, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant.
  • Electrical ornaments and lights should not be used on artificial trees that have metallic leaves or branch coverings.
  • Make sure your tree is at least 3 feet away from sources of heat such as fireplaces, candles, heat vents or space heaters.
  • Don’t use lit candles on the tree.
  • Don’t use any strings of lights that have broken cords or any loose bulb connections.
  • Don’t connect any strings of lights that are not supposed to be connected together.
  • Only use lights that are specifically made for indoor use and check that the lights have been tested by a qualified laboratory.

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!

Seal Those Basement Cracks

Posted on: October 5th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Sealing cracks in your concrete or masonry basement walls may be at the bottom of your home maintenance priority list, especially if you don’t use your basement very often. It’s not something to be ignored though, because fixing these problems can lower your energy bills and help prevent water damage and other serious issues.

But how do you fix them? Follow these simple steps:

1 – First youfoundation’ll want to buy a caulking gun and epoxy-based sealant. (Kits are available that contain all of the items you’ll need.) Clean any gaps with a wire brush and shop vacuum then make sure the area is dry and clear of debris.

2 – Mix the sealant according to the instructions. (Some may come in a pre-mixed tube.)

3 – Some cracks will only need one coat, but others will need more. If that’s the case, make sure the first coat dries before applying the second coat, then smooth the area with a putty knife. Know that epoxies strengthen and bond with the concrete to prevent cracks from expanding.

4 – If you are sealing an expansion joint, install the backer rod. This provides a filler that helps keep the sealant in the joint and also reduces the amount of sealant needed.

5 – Leave the area alone for 24 hours.

6 – Check to make sure the sealants have bonded, and you’re done.

That said, if you have a crack that horizontal or runs along the foundation, this is likely a more serious issue, so don’t try to tackle that on your own — call a professional. If there is moisture, mold, or water damage, this is also an issue that will likely need to be handled by a professional.

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!