Posts Tagged ‘home maintenance in Winston Salem’

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!

Common Home Cleaning Mistakes

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

 

 

Inevitably, when you have company over for the holidays, someone will spill red wine on your carpet or drop food onto the floor or counters. If you want to be prepared, take a look at some of these common cleaning mistakes many people make — and learn what to do instead.

images-5Don’t scrub that spill on the carpet — this can actually make it worse. Instead, scrape up as much as you can with a spoon (if you can). Blot the spot with a clean white paper towel or cloth and blot until dry. In addition, could place a pile of books on top of the towels and change them out frequently. Then treat the spot with a stain remover.

Natural cleaning agents like lemon juice and vinegar can be used on many things — but not everything. These acids can damage natural surfaces such as marble, limestone and onyx.

Not all cleaners are disinfectants. If a product has an EPA registration number it is a disinfectant. (It will say something like EPA Reg No.). Also make sure you leave the cleaner on the treated spot for the recommended amount of time.

Practice caution when using abrasive tools. The heavy-duty cleaning sponges can scratch surfaces such as plastic or ceramic cooktops. The magic erasers may damage surfaces like vinyl flooring.

Be aware of what you type of surface you are spraying directly with cleaning products. For glass, wood, stainless steel and electronics, spray a small amount onto a microfiber cloth then wipe the surface. Use a dry cloth to wipe away any excess liquid.

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!