4 Common Chimney Problems

 

Built in 1765, Washington D.C.’s famed Old Stone House is a perfect example of a home that’s served well by a sturdy, finely crafted chimney. More than 250 years later, chimneys are still adding warmth and character to many homes in nation’s capital and surrounding neighborhoods. But in order to safely enjoy the many benefits associated with a chimney, they need to be properly maintained and proactively repaired, whenever possible. Here are four of the most common issues likely to require attention from chimney professionals.

1. Creosote Deposits

Creosote is the deposit that’s created when wood is burned in a fireplace. It usually combines with soot and ends up within the inside lining of your chimney. These deposits can become problematic if they block the flow of air and prevent the sufficient release of smoke. A chimney sweep has the tools necessary to safely and thoroughly remove creosote deposits from the flue lining.

2. Chimney Blockages

Some chimney blockages are from accumulated debris or bird’s nests. Other blockages may be due to structural issues with masonry. A chimney technician can determine if repairs need to be made to correct structural issues that may be fully or partially blocking your chimney. The National Fire Protection Association suggests having chimney’s inspected annually so blockages can be identified and corrected proactively.

3. Flue Cracks

A common type of chimney repair Washington DC homeowners may need involves damage to the flue. Clay tile is often used to line chimneys. However, it’s not as durable and long-lasting as stainless steel. Even tiny flue cracks can increase the risk of high heat causing damage to other parts of your home. Carbon monoxide and other dangerous gases may also seep into your home through flue cracks. With clay liners, possible repair issues include deteriorated mortar and areas with broken flakes of clay that could develop into full cracks.

4. Brickwork, Cap, and Crown Problems

When mortar deteriorates on a chimney, there’s an increased risk of moisture exposure. Damaged brickwork can also cause a chimney to become unstable over time. If the chimney cap or chimney crown (chimney wash) are damaged, the inner parts of your chimney could be damaged by increased exposure to the outside elements. The crown is especially important because it’s what seals the top of the chimney. A damaged crown can also affect how water flows off your chimney and increase the risk of excessive moisture exposure.

The type of chimney repair Washington DC homeowners may need will also depend on the overall condition of a chimney and its adjacent fireplace. One way to minimize the risk of experiencing serious chimney problems is to invest in a chimney cap. There are many designs available, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find one that works well with your chimney’s design. A chimney technician can install a cap for you.

Tips For Bringing Out the Best in Your Home

If you are a homeowner, you know how much you want to make your home a safe and pretty place to spend your time. No matter where you live or what you do in your home, you want it to look its best. However, many people don’t think about improving their home because they think that it would mean spending a ton of money that they don’t have or hiring a professional interior designer. Luckily, that is not the case for most people. Instead, you can make your home look and feel better just by making small changes around it.

First of all, identify places in your home that seem a little bland and add decorative touches to make it more personal and unique. For example, think about adding decorative ceramic wall tile from a trusted company like Lime Light Tile to add extra color and visual interest to your kitchen or other room in your home. Add bright splashed of color to your living room by picking pieces of furniture that are in unexpected colors or patterns. Don’t worry as much about making everything match. Instead, focus on how different pieces make you feel.

Similarly, think about how you use your home and how you can make it more comfortable and convenient for you. For example, is your kitchen stove easy to use and easy to keep clean? Is your bed comfortable and do you wake up feeling good every morning? Does your back hurt after you sit on your couch for a few hours or does it give you the support that you need? What elements of your home make your life better and what elements are giving you moments of frustration or irritation? Plan changes to your home based on the answers to these questions.

Finally, don’t be afraid to add a little personality to your home. Hang up pictures of your family and friends or of inspirational scenes. You don’t have to have a home that looks like it came out of a magazine for it to be wonderful.… Read more

Who Should You Hire to Repair Your Air Conditioner?

Your air conditioner is the most important thing in your house during the dog days of summer when it is very hot and sticky outside. Therefore, you need to get your air conditioner up and running as quick as you can when it has a mechanical problem. Choosing which company you are going to hire for this job is a very big decision. Choosing the wrong company could result in your air conditioner having more problems that only need to be repaired again in the future. Here is how you can make the right choice the first time when you hire an air conditioner repair company.

1. Look at the Better Business Bureau website to see which air conditioner repair companies have the highest ratings.

The BBB will have many companies listed that perform AC repair in Polk County FL. Carefully read all of the info they have provided you with. This will allow you to be able to choose a company that will do an outstanding job repairing your air conditioner without making any mistakes. You should focus on companies that have received an A+ rating from the BBB. These are the companies that are at the top of their industry.

2. See if anybody you know has had their air conditioner repaired recently.

Another thing you can do is to talk to members of your family and your friends. There is a chance that some of these people have needed some air conditioner repairs recently. If so, find out the name of the company they hired to do all of the work. Were they happy with the quality of the work? Did their air conditioner work good once the company was done fixing it? Did the company charge a reasonable rate?

3. Make some calls to local air conditioner repair companies to schedule an appointment.

The next step is to find out the exact amount that each company will charge for the repair work. You will need to have someone from each company come to your home and give you an estimate. Then you can make your decision.… Read more

Reclaiming Storage Space

If you’ve found yourself wondering where your storage space went, it’s time for a clearing. Your garage, basement or closets may be so cluttered they are no longer functional. You can reclaim your storage space by downsizing, organizing and investing in additional storage space. There are several ways to regain control of the clutter in and around your home.

Garage

If your garage has become a catchall for the overflow of items that don’t fit in your closets or basements, it’s time to move some things out. One of the best ways to tackle this problem is to clear everything out of the garage, sort it according to toss, keep and donate. Add some racks, shelves, cabinets or other organizational items to the garage then return the items you need to keep. In the future, limit the amount of stuff you put in the garage to items that fit into your storage system.

Basement

The process for clearing out the basement is basically the same as with the garage. Add some storage cabinets and shelving to the basement and don’t let the accumulation of items exceed your ability to store them in an organized manner. Once you’ve cleared the clutter, you may have extra space available for a work area, play area or additional living space.

Outdoor Shed

Investing in backyard sheds ma has many benefits. The shed can provide storage space for lawn and garden equipment. An outdoor shed is a good place to store large items that you don’t use often or holiday decorations that would otherwise consume closet space in your home. It can also be used as a playhouse, potting shed, workshop or reclusive retreat.

It’s all too easy to develop a stash and dash lifestyle when schedules are hectic. After a while, those items you stashed consume all of your available storage space. This can lead to stress and frustration. Setting aside time to regain control and establish an organizational system can make daily life a little easier for the whole family.… Read more

Exploring The Pros And Cons Of Asphalt Shingles For Your Roof

Among the various types of roofing that you can choose from, shingles tend to be among the most popular. In North America, asphalt shingles are typically the go-to choice for their affordable pricing and other advantages. Before you settle on this type of roof over other materials, however, take the time to learn more about the pros and cons of asphalt shingles.

Pro: Low Cost

The strongest point in favor of asphalt shingles, and the likely reason most homeowners opt for this material, is the affordable cost of them. In fact, asphalt shingles are the most affordable option for roofing. They also last around 20 years when cared for properly, providing a reasonable investment. While other materials do last longer, the durability of asphalt shingles combined with their affordability offers a nice value.

Pro: Your Choice Of Style And Color

Another strong point in favor of asphalt shingles is the vast range of options you have in terms of style and color. Asphalt shingles can be fiberglass or organic, both of which are waterproof. They also each have a range of styles, ranging from architectural shingles at the higher end of the cost spectrum to 3-tab shingles at the budget-friendly end. The range of styles and colors means that nearly anyone should be able to find an asphalt shingle that they like and matches their home, making this a highly accessible choice of material.

Pro: Effective Protection

Even as the most affordable type of roofing you will find, asphalt shingles are able to provide homes with more than adequate protection. Compared to some other options, protection is considered moderate, but it is more than enough for most homeowners across the country.

Pro: Simple Installation

Compared to other types of roofing materials, asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install. This means that a professional can do so quickly with minimal errors, something which helps to keep costs down. Additionally, the quick installation means that your home will be out of commission for very minimal time. You should always choose a reputable roofing contractor in Austin or a top rated roofer in San Antonio for any of your Central Texas roofing projects

Con: Can Do Poorly In Extreme Temperatures

Unfortunately, while asphalt shingles are an excellent choice in moderate climates, they do not do quite as well in extreme temperatures, no matter whether this is cold or warm. In extremely hot weather, the color of the shingles may fade and they may begin to crack. If the temperature is below freezing when installed, the shingles may become damaged. Asphalt shingles also do better at steady temperatures than those with extreme fluctuations. The constant contracting and expanding can lead to cracking. Asphalt shingles are less durable overall than other types of roofing, also having a higher susceptibility to lifting up in high winds.

<h2>Con: Not Ideal For The Environment</h2>

Another disadvantage of asphalt shingles is that they are not good for the planet. Asphalt is actually a semi-solid version of petroleum, a material … Read more