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Monthly Archives: August 2018

Have Quieter Home

Enhance your windows

Double glazed and triple glazed windows are very effective in blocking sound. They have air layers that break passing sound and sound energy is lost. It is best to make considerations when building your house in a noisy area or to make enhancements to already existing windows.

Reduce noisemakers

When choosing your appliances, remember that there are models that have nosy operations and they can limit you from enjoying some quiet around the home. Buy models that are quieter in operation to enjoy a significant noise reduction around the home. Whether you are buying a dishwasher, fans or fridge remember to check noise levels. The appliances should also be in good working order all the time to eliminate vibrations, rattles and buzzing.

Use materials that are sound absorbing

What you need to remember is that softer surfaces absorb sound waves whereas hard surfaces tend to reflect them. You can use the soft materials such as padded carpeting and acoustic ceilings to minimize sound bouncing around your home. Drop ceiling systems and acoustic tiles also have good acoustical properties and they can be considered.

Enhance your doors

Soundproofing doors can get tricky, but you can start by sealing edges that transmit sound. It is also advisable that you install doors that block sound. Solid core doors block sound interference and eliminate the drum-like reflections that hollow core doors have. The doors might be a little costly, but they go a long way in soundproofing your home, especially when you also weather strip them.

Think about the garage door

The garage door is a very important addition to a home. When you select a door with internal foam insulation complete with interior panels, you will manage to minimize sound and noise. This is especially important if you have rooms right above the garage door. It will prevent outside noise from seeping in through the door. You also want to make sure that your door is properly maintained so it does not end up being a noise maker around your home.

Take care of noisy pipes

Pipes can chatter and rattle or even make loud bangs during different situations. One of the easiest ways of silencing the pipes is by using water hammer arrestor. There are however so many other ways of ensuring that the pipes do not make the annoying sounds.

Remove Old Steel Railings

To remove the stainless steel railing you need to first remove any screws that might be holding the railing brackets to the wall. The best tool to use here is the screwdriver.

Once you have removed all the screws you should place an 8-inch blade in the reciprocating saw and set the saw against the vertical supports of the steel handrail. For ideal results you should ensure that you place the saw as low to the ground as possible.

While holding the reciprocating saw to the railing support, you should depress the trigger of the saw and cut through the vertical support of the railings.

If the railing is longer than you can handle, you should cut the horizontal bars. Here you should cut in the same way that you cut the vertical support. If you find it difficult to cut, you should consider changing the saw blade and replace it with a sharp blade.

You should continue and cut through each old steel railing post and remove the entire handrail.

After doing this you should attach a ¼ inch thick hard grinding wheel to a 4-inch grinder and grind the stub of the vertical railing. If the stub is longer than ¼ inch, you should place the grinding wheel on the ground, against the vertical support extending from the ground and cut the stub off the ground.

To make the cut surface smooth and even with the floor, you should file it down.

Once you have done this, you should not leave the metal filings on the ground. This is because they rust quickly and they can easily stain concrete. To be on the safe side you should clean the area immediately. Here you should use warm soapy water and a wire brush to remove any rust stains that might be there.

You should note that steel is recyclable; therefore, you should not throw the railing in the general trash bin. The best way of disposing it is taking it to a scrap yard where it will be recycled.

Since you will be using machines in the process of removing the stainless steel railing, you need to be very careful when handling the machines. This is to avoid injuries.

Space Saver Stairs

Convenience – Anyone who has ever wrestled with folding loft steps will appreciate being able to simply walk up a set of permanent stairs when they need something from the attic.

Safety – As a fixed structure, space saver stairs are much sturdier than any ladder. That said, the design needs to be right. As each step takes more strain than the average staircase (due to the steep pitch), the treads should ideally be at least 32mm thick and made from a strong timber such as oak or ash. Pine and similar softwoods are liable to crack so should not be used. Slip-resistant surfaces for the treads are essential. You will also need a robust handrail, preferably on both sides. Provided all these conditions are met, there is no need to worry about safety.

Style – These stairs are available in a wide range of designs and materials, so you can choose one to suit your home’s character and décor. The cut-away steps are considered by many to be an attractive design feature – and you can even paint or stain them different colours for extra effect.

Cost – As there are fewer treads in space saver staircases they almost always cost less to produce than standard stairs, making them an economical option for home owners on a budget.

Drawbacks of space saver stairs

Restricted use – These types of stairs are not intended for use as a main staircase, but are only suitable for access to a single room such as an attic or cellar.

Unusual design – It can take a little while to get to grips with the alternate tread arrangement, as you only place one foot on each step. Some people find it easier to start off on their left foot rather than their right, and vice versa. Many stair manufacturers are able to accommodate individual preference, and arrange the steps accordingly.

Pitch – Obviously, these staircases have to be steeper than standard stairs otherwise they would not have a reduced footprint. This does make them a little harder to climb than normal stairs, which is why strong handrails are particularly important with this type of design.

Water Storage Tanks

For water savings and storage options, including an above ground tank can provide residential and commercial properties with many benefits. It is an efficient option offering cost savings for consumers who no longer need to rely on the supply from local authorities for minor watering tasks. The stored volumes are commonly used in the garden, car washing and related tasks allowing for greater savings.

Keeping the system a distance from the surface offers a more efficient storage solution including ease of maintenance. It is easier to install these types of units in comparison to the underground tanks relying on additional construction and expertise from a professional and a reputable installation company. A professional approach can determine the most effective options that are compatible with home and business usage requirements.

Most prefer these tanks to remain on the surface of land as it will not require any form of excavation for installation. This will reduce the costs involved in labor as less time is spent digging and having to create a supported foundation for the location of these types of units. Digging into the soil includes additional safety standards that need to be followed to minimize injuries or damaging the system.

The management of tanks requires a regular clean by rinsing the inside of the container and removing any mold and algae that have formed along the interior. Scheduling emptying of units will make it easier to wash and remove any grit or grime that has accumulated over time. Performing these methods is made more efficient and simple when units are not positioned underground offering ease of drainage.

Underground tanks are more expensive because it is incorporated in building plans in the construction or renovation of homes. Securing these systems below the surface can minimize taking up a significant amount of backyard space for smaller gardens. It is harder to clean and requires the development of a strong and safe foundation to safeguard against damages that can occur over time.

When looking to incorporate a water storage tank, it requires the services of an experienced and reputable installation business. Professionals can advise on which locations will prove best for collection and the size of system most suitable for property requirements. Safe standards are upheld and implemented to protect from deterioration and provide consumers with ease of maintenance.

Rainwater Harvesting

Depending on the size of the use will determine how big the system needs to be. Your rainwater collection system can be as simple as one or more rainwater cisterns, or rain water barrels connected to the downspouts of your home gutters. Or if you prefer, you can construct a more elaborate system piece by piece.

A complete system for rainwater collection could include either above ground or below ground storage tanks. While above ground tanks are easier to install, they can definitely be more expensive and less attractive. Below ground tanks might require some digging, but they are less prone to evaporation since they are underground and not in direct sunlight. Preventing evaporation may be extremely important- especially in drier climates-depending on how much you rely on your rainwater supply.

You may be both excited and overwhelmed at the thought of collecting rainwater and all the benefits which come along with doing so. Once you are ready to begin building your rainwater collection system, you will be ready to begin a worthwhile, rewarding endeavor. So do not hesitate, contact a pump supplier and get your own rainwater harvesting system installed.

External Wall Cladding

Enjoy different styles

One of the benefits of making use of external wall cladding is you can enjoy numerous styles that can complement your home, from brick, vinyl, and metal cladding. With all these selections, homeowners can find the ideal cladding that can cater to their needs.

Improve wall aesthetics easily

Wall cladding is easy to install. Therefore, homeowners can improve wall aesthetics easily. Not to mention, homeowners can also create their ideal house style properly. For instance, for homeowners who want to make their houses look like a traditional house, they can make use of vinyl. On the other hand, homeowners who want to make their houses more modern can make use of metal and vinyl cladding.

Strengthen walls

Some homeowners think that wall cladding is only used to improve the looks of walls. Luckily, wall cladding can also help strengthen walls. This is possible since it can actually contribute greatly to the stability, safety and strength of the building because it’s a hard, heavy material. In addition, brick and vinyl cladding are quite long-lasting. Wall cladding like vinyl can even provide other features to strengthen walls because it is mould- and mildew-resistant. With this, walls are protected against issues that can damage it. Cladding can also help contribute to indoor temperature regulation, but insulation has to be installed under it.

Increase home value

Finally, cladding most especially brick cladding can also help improve the value of your house. As for vinyl cladding, it can also increase the value of the house depending on its looks. Thus, the best way is to accomplish this is to mix and match vinyl cladding with other materials to achieve an entirely unique appearance.

Grout Ceramic Tile

The cement in grouting material is what makes it hard and takes a reasonable time to totally harden. If grout dries to fast the hardness can be reduced. To improve the resulting grout dampen (not soak) the joints between the tiles and hour or so before applying the grout. This can be done with a damp rag, brush, sponge, spray bottle etc.

Mixing the Grout:

When mixing dry powder grouts with water or a liquid grout additive, very little mixing is required to evenly blend the grout. Over mixing can entrap air bubbles which may increase shrinkage, allow moisture to dissipate easier and can affect the overall uniformity of colour. To reduce air bubbles add the liquid to the powder instead of the other way around. DO NOT MAKE THE MIX RUNNY! Mix to about the consistency of peanut butter. Let sit for about five minutes then lightly remix. The use of latex additive when mixing grout substantially improves the color and surface hardness.

Applying the Grout:

1. Apply the grout into the joints with a rubber-faced grouting trowel or float. To prevent internal voids pack the grout into the joints. After the joints are full, use the float to squeegee the excess grout off the surface of the tile and to level off the grout joints.

2. Let grout dry for about 15 minutes. Using a spray bottle spray a misting of water on the entire surface. Immediately use the float trowel and repeat the squeegee process to further remove surface grout and smooth out grout joints.

3. Let the grout sit about 30 minutes, then use a damp (not wet) sponge and lightly wipe surface of the tile. Do not use a circular motion with the sponge, use diagonal strokes so as to not disturb the grout lines.

4. Fine dust residue can easily be removed with a clean dry cloth the following day when the grout is hard and not subject to damage. Allow a minimum 12 hours to harden before further washing or in the case of the floors walking them.

5. All cement based grouts should be sealed to retain their appearance and reduce cleaning problems. Grout must be allowed to cure for a minimum of one week before applying a sealer.

Installing Adequate Ventilation

If your home is damp and has a musty smell, ventilation can help to keep your home dry and ensure that the indoor air is fresh and clean. Ventilation gets rid of the stale indoor air and replaces it with fresh air from the outside. There are different methods of ventilating your home such as the natural method. Natural ventilation is the free flow of air into the home from doors, windows and openings around the building. However, if you are living in a home that is insulated, you will need to have a mechanical ventilation system that will air your home.

The Use Of Mechanical Ventilation

You can opt to use mechanical ventilation in order to effectively get rid of stale air from your home. You can decide to install fans in the specific location where moisture build up and pollution is originating from in the home. For instance, you can install fans in the bathroom, kitchen or on the sub floor to get rid of moist air and replace it with drier air from outside. You can also decide to use whole house ventilation where the entire house is ventilated by a set of fans which bring in the fresh air and duct systems which get rid of the stale air.

Heat Recovery Ventilator

A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) is an efficient home ventilation system which captures the heat from the outgoing stale air to heat up the incoming fresh cold air. A HRV is made up of a fan which brings in the fresh air and another fan which gets rid of the stale air. The system has a core where the exchange of heat from the stale air to the clean air takes place.

The core where the transfer of heat takes place has a thin route through which the stale and fresh air passes. However, the stale and fresh air does not mix at any point during the heat transfer. An HRV is able to retain about eighty-five percent of the heat from the outgoing stale air which makes it an efficient ventilation method. During the warm summer days, the HRV can take the heat from the incoming air and transfer it to the stale outgoing air thus allowing you to enjoy the cool clean air.