Restoring Your Home’s Natural Beauty

Should You Have An Old Oil Tank Removed?

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Should You Have An Old Oil Tank Removed?

Many homes that were previously on oil heat have switched to natural gas or electric furnaces over the years. This means that although the furnace has changed, the old oil tank may still be buried in the yard near the home. The following guide can help shed more light on the situation and help you determine the best course of action. Why are decommissioned tanks a concern? Old oil tanks placed underground will eventually develop leaks, typically because of rust and corrosion. Even if the tank somehow resists rusting, it will eventually develop leaks along the seams as the old welds give out. This can result in a major environmental concern, as the oil will leach out into the soil, poisoning both it and the groundwater. This can be an even more immediate threat if you grow a food garden near the old tank location or if your home is on well water. If the leaking oil gets into a municipal water source, you could even be held liable for the environmental damage and necessary cleanup. How can you tell if you have a tank? If you aren’t the first owner of your home, you may not know if there is a tank because the previous owner may not have disclosed this information. Fortunately, there are ways to check if your home was ever on oil. The quickest way is to call your utility company. They may have records to indicate when your current heat source was put in, for example, if the home was added to natural gas for a furnace well after it was built. There are also signs you can find on your property. Look for old, disconnected oil lines coming through the foundation near the furnace. Also, walk around your yard and check for any pipes coming out of the ground – these could be vent or filler pipes. If you find these signs, you should then call in a professional to verify whether the tank has been removed or not. What should you do if a tank is found? Don’t try to dig it up yourself! Instead, first arrange for soil testing. Several soil samples will be taken and tested for petroleum. Then, have the tank removed professionally and then test the soil a second time. The reason for two tests is to protect you. If the tank was not leaking prior to removal but it is damaged during removal, you don’t want to be responsible for the oil cleanup. That would be the tank removal company’s responsibility. If there was oil in the soil prior to removal, you will need to both have the tank removed and arrange for environmental cleanup yourself. Contact a tank removal company like Capital City Tank Services Inc for more help. Often, they are able to help with the entire process, from locating the tank, to testing the soil and removing the old tank....

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Tips To Consider When Changing Your Own Chimney Liner

Posted by on Mar 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips To Consider When Changing Your Own Chimney Liner

Over 60 percent of residential energy use in Canada goes into space heating so for those who have a chimney in their houses this can help to save a lot of money. However, if your chimney liner is damaged, old or inefficient, you may need to change it so that you are able to properly utilize this source of heating. Fortunately, this is something that with a little research and time, you can do yourself and you will not need more than the tools you probably already have in your storage or shed. Before you get going, however, you need to check to ensure that your insurance company does not have any clauses in your policy that specify the use of a certified technician.  So, for a DIY project in changing your chimney liner, here are a few pointers.  Flue of choice The most likely flue to use is a stainless steel variety. These come in rigid or flexible formats. The rigid pipes are available in diameters from 3″ to 10″ while the flexible pipes come in 2″ to 10″ diameter measurements. They also come with the specific advantage of having a lifetime warranty. The length that you will need for the project is dependent on the height of your chimney while the diameter is equal to that of the exhaust hole that will be attached to the appliance. When ordering your chimney pipe you should be careful to order a little more than the required length so that you can give yourself room for errors. The cost of the flue pipe varies depending on the type you decide to use but you can generally get it at a cost of between $175 and $400.  Tools of choice The tools you will need are pretty simple and can usually be found in your tool kit already. If you have a razor knife, a flat head screwdriver. A caulk gun, a pair of safety glasses, some working gloves and a power drill you can get on your way in making your home safer with a new liner. In addition, you will also need a grinder for cutting through the chimney liner. This is suggested to give the best and most accurate cuts but if you do not have this, a hacksaw blade or Sawzall can also be used to get a similar result.  The only other tools and materials you are likely to need should come in the liner kit. In addition to the chimney liner, the kit should have a connector, a top plate and a rain cap. Make sure to check for these when you purchase your kit.  For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from Chimney Repair from Top Hat Chimney Sweeps and...

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2 Common Chimney Repairs You Don’t Want To Ignore

Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Common Chimney Repairs You Don’t Want To Ignore

Chimneys and fireplaces are a great addition to any home. The warm glow of the fireplace on a chilly night is perfect for cuddling up with someone special and watching your favorite movie. They help to cut down on your energy bill as well, which is a huge bonus for those looking to save money. Not only do they look beautiful, but they can further enhance the look and feel of your home as well. However, you have to make sure you do your part to maintain them. Otherwise, you are going to end up with one problem after another. Here are a couple common issues that have to be addressed with chimneys. Blockages Oftentimes, something ends up getting into the chimney flue without your ever realizing it. Whether it is leaves, debris, rodents or a bird’s nest, you need to make sure the chimney is clean at all times. Otherwise, you could go to use the fireplace and wind up with a major fire erupting because there is no place for the fire to vent. Your best bet is to have someone come in at least once every year and do a thorough inspection and cleaning. This will save you a lot of hassle down the road. Cracks When the fireplace is built initially it often comes with a chimney lining. Clay tends to be the most commonly used material. However, it isn’t as durable as its stainless steel counterpart is. If you have a stainless steel lining, you generally don’t have to worry about replacing it. If you happen to have a clay lining, that’s another story. Your fireplace is put through a lot of stress and heat which can cause the lining to get damaged. Damaged flue linings are quite dangerous. If there are any cracks in the lining, you need to refrain from using your fireplace until you get a chance to have the lining replaced. Otherwise, you could end up with a house fire. It also releases dangerous carbon monoxide gases into the home, so you might want to think twice about foregoing an annual chimney inspection. As nice as your chimney and fireplace might be, you have to take the time to let someone come out and look at them on an annual basis. In doing so, it will save you a lot of hassle and headache along the way. Better to be safe than it is to have something major erupt down the line. For more information, consider checking into chimney repair by Direct Chimney Services and other...

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Why Resealing Your Garage Floors Is Essential To Keeping The Concrete In Good Condition

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Resealing Your Garage Floors Is Essential To Keeping The Concrete In Good Condition

The flooring in your garage can make a big impact in how happy you are with the space since it may be somewhere that you regularly use for crafts, storage, or to park your car. Whatever the main purpose of your garage, it is important to look into how crucial regular resealing is for the flooring inside. Resealing the garage floors can make a big difference in the condition of your floors over the years, along with helping in the following situations. Potential Flooding from the Washing Machine Water that gets on unsealed concrete can be frustrating to deal with since the moisture is likely to be absorbed into the flooring. If you have your washing machine and dryer in the garage, there is always the possibility that an issue may occur with the machines themselves or with the connection to the main water. This can lead to water getting all over your concrete floors, which requires that you do some major restoration work. Car Fluids Dripping On the Floors If you park your car inside the garage, it is important that you take extra measures to ensure that no leaking of any fluids occur. Oil, coolant, and other liquids can drip onto the concrete when the car is parked indoors, leading to staining. With sealed floors, the liquid can simply be wiped away with a paper towel and no stain will occur. Water Getting In the Garage from Outdoors While the insulation around your garage door and any other door leading outside should help keep rain and snow out, there is always the potential that moisture finds its way inside the garage. In this situation, you will need to make sure that your garage is protected with proper sealing of the floors. Replacing the Entire Floor Can Get Costly If the concrete flooring in your garage becomes too wet, you will end up dealing with it needing to be replaced at some point since it will become easily stained. With resealing as necessary, your concrete flooring will look shiny and will prevent moisture from being an issue in the garage. With the numerous problems that can occur for unsealed garage flooring, it is important to regularly inspect the condition of your floors. From preparing for the possibility of a flood to preventing car fluids from staining the floors, you can notice a major difference in the condition of your floors with regular sealing being done when the floors begin to look their shine.  Contact a local repair company, like Lloydminster Garage Flooring, for more...

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3 Valuable Tips For Minimizing Mold In Your Home

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Valuable Tips For Minimizing Mold In Your Home

Mold is not only unsightly but, unchecked, it can also lead to a host of health problems. For those reasons, it is important to control mold before it reaches dangerous levels. If you would like to learn more about fighting mold in your home, read on. This article will present three tips for minimizing mold. Stop mold growth by identifying plumbing leaks. It’s natural for mold to develop in places where there is an increased amount of moisture in the air–bathrooms, especially. But when you notice mold proliferating in other parts of the house, chances are it means you’ve got a leak of some sort on your hands. To find the leak that’s contributing to the mold, begin by turning on the nearest water source. Continue to let this water run as you check surrounding areas for any signs of leakage. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find the leak right away. Remember that the water causing the mold may have traveled far from its source. Don’t hesitate to check for plumbing leaks in adjacent rooms–or even floors–of your house. Ceiling mold usually means you’ve got problems with your ductwork. People are often mystified by mold that forms on ceilings, especially when there are no signs of a roof leak behind the problem. Yet ceiling mold is just as often caused by problems with the ducts above. You see, cold air passing through your ducts causes the warmer air around it to condense. Insulation is meant to keep this from happening, yet if the insulation has come loose–or was not installed properly–the result is mold-inducing moisture. A similar thing happens in cold months. If warm air is allowed to escape–either through lack of insulation, or through unsealed joints–it will cause moisture to form in the air. Eventually this will cause dampness in your ceiling, providing the perfect breeding ground for mold. Thus it is important to have your ductwork inspected if you have noticed any signs of mold forming on the ceiling. When in doubt, perform a mold test. In most cases, mold is easy to recognize. Yet in its early phases it can sometimes be hard to determine whether a surface is moldy or just dirty. In order to answer this question, make a simple bleach solution using 1 part bleach to 16 parts water. This is just strong enough to kill the mold. Dip a cotton swab in your solution and press it gently against the surface. If the spot quickly disappears, you can safely assume you’re dealing with mold. If you find you have an extensive amount of black mold, contact a professional removal company, like Advanced Remediation Solutions...

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DIY Garden Uses For Old, Broken Brick

Posted by on Sep 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on DIY Garden Uses For Old, Broken Brick

You’ve had a professional come in to repair some old, broken bricks. Usually, the broken bricks are removed and replaced with intact, new bricks. You’re left with a bunch of broken bricks. You could send them to a plant for recycling, or you could recycle them yourself by using them for garden decorations. Here are some of the best ways to upcycle broken brick in your garden: Pathways Pathways are one of the go-to uses for old bricks. It doesn’t matter if you only have broken brick with pieces missing or chopped into large chunks. You can still use them to make beautiful pathways throughout your garden. Dig out your pathway and only dig into the ground as thick as the brick so that the brick shows and isn’t buried. Fill in the hole with the bricks. Place broken sides face down, if you want, or just fill it in with pieces sticking up a little bit for a rougher pathway. Finish the pathway with concrete filler and then rinse the top with a water sprayer once dry. Pot Drainage If your broken bricks are just small chunks that you can’t use for pathways, you can instead use them in your flower and plant pots for extra drainage. Fill up the bottom of the pot with the small chunks of brick. The water will drain out of the bottom of the pot easier than if you just used dirt, which absorbs and stores the water. Using bricks for drainage also means you use less dirt in the pot, which can be a waste. Brick Mosaics Small chunks of brick can also be used to make mosaic tables for your garden. Use the brick pieces the same way you would use broken china, glass, or pretty stones in mosaics. Place the clean bits of brick on the top of a table in a nice pattern. Fill in the gaps with grout and scrape it smooth. Let the grout dry and you have a pretty brick table. You can incorporate colorful rocks or china to add some color to the mosaic if you don’t want just plain red or brown brick. Decorative Gravel Gravel is often used for pathways in gardens or for edging. Decorative gravel is gravel that also looks extra pretty. You can find decorative rock gravel and even colored sand. Another high-end decorative gravel is brick. Pieces of brick with soft edges spread over the garden area is a unique decorative gravel and often more expensive than traditional gravel. Save money and make your own decorative gravel with the broken bricks you already have. Chop them up into smaller chunks, if necessary. Sand down sharp edges with sand paper. It might time consuming, but it’s better than paying. These uses for broken bricks will make your garden beautiful, help the environment through recycling, and make use of those unwanted brick pieces. For more information about how to re-use brick, contact a company like Restoration by Projects...

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