About Nick Johanssen

A Quick Look At How To Maintain Your Water Well

Posted by on 3:51 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Quick Look At How To Maintain Your Water Well

Your well should supply you with water for many years. However, it isn’t something you can just install and forget about. You have to maintain the well properly so the water doesn’t become contaminated. This involves having annual inspections and keeping hazardous substances away from the well. Here’s a closer look at how to maintain your water system. When To Have A Well Inspection It’s a good idea to have your well tested annually just to ensure your family has safe drinking water. In addition to that, there are certain signs that indicate you should have your well water and system checked. For one, if your water flow becomes diminished, it could be a sign your well is clogging up. It could also indicate a shift in the water table. You should call your well contractor to diagnose the problem and clean the well if it needs it. If the quality of your water changes, it could indicate the growth of bacteria or an increase in contaminants due to chemical dumping by a local farm or factory. Your water may be cloudy, appear oily, or pick up a bad odor. The water itself may be contaminated, or the water could be fine, but it’s picking up contamination from a dirty well. Either way, you need to have the water tested just to make sure it is safe to drink. If you haven’t been keeping up with yearly water and well testing, a good time to get back on track is when you have a new baby in the home. You don’t want to bathe your baby in contaminated water or let your baby drink water that has high levels of chemicals or heavy metals. In addition, if someone in your family has a compromised immune system, you may want to have the water tested for bacteria and parasites. Once you’ve tested the water and found it to be safe, yearly testing should be adequate as long as the water quality does not change. Protect Your Well When your well was initially installed, the contractor chose the best location for it so runoff from farm buildings or work areas wouldn’t affect it. Make sure any new construction or animal holding areas are kept away from the well so chemicals and animal waste do not seep down into your water. Inspect the housing on top of your well occasionally to make sure it doesn’t develop cracks or gaps that allow mice and bugs to drop in and decompose in the well. Also, if you have land where generations before you have had wells on the property, there may be old wells that are not sealed properly. If you have such a well, you want to call a contractor to seal it. Rain and contaminated surface water will fall directly into the well and mingle with your drinking water and affect its quality. Annual Testing When the contractor checks your well, he or she will test the water for bacterial contamination as well as the presence of chemicals. The exact testing done is determined by what is present in your local environment. If your property is surrounded by big farms, the potential contaminants are different than those you would expect if you live near an industrial operation. Your water will also be...

read more

Why A Gas Water Heater Might Become Inefficient

Posted by on 8:40 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why A Gas Water Heater Might Become Inefficient

Does your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system use hot water for heating up the house? If you have noticed that the heater is not as efficient as it used to be, it is possible that the water heater is in need of a repair. Find out in this article what can cause a gas water heater to stop being efficient, as well as what hiring a plumber to install a replacement might cost. What Leads to a Gas Water Heater Becoming Inefficient? An HVAC system that uses hot water for heat will stop functioning if the gas water heater is unable to send heat or steam to the radiators. No heat from a water heater is likely due to there being something wrong with the pilot. Although multiple reasons why a pilot stop working correctly, one of the most simple reasons is from it not being lit. You can take a look at the pilot to see if there is a flame present. Hire a plumber to reignite the pilot if the flame is not there and you should start getting heat from the HVAC system again. Another cause of water heater problems is problems with the gas valve. Basically, the valve works by sending gas to the burner of the water heater so the pilot can be ignited. There is a part of the gas valve called a thermocouple that can prevent the valve from sending gas to the burner if it is damaged. Damage to the thermocouple leads to the gas valve not sensing when the pilot is in need of gas to stay lit. Inefficiency from a gas water heater may mean that it has become old and worn out. It is possible that vital parts like the pilot and gas valve are damaged beyond repair. You will have to get a new water heater if repairs can’t be made. How Much Does a Plumber Charge to Install a Gas Water Heater? You should be prepared to pay a minimum of $300 if you purchase a traditional gas water heater, including installation by a plumber. A traditional gas water heater can cost over $3,500 on the highest end of the scale. The gallon capacity of the water heater will be factored into the overall price. Don’t delay speaking to a plumber like A Absolute Plumbing & Heating so he or she can inspect your gas water...

read more

Three Tips To Help Deal With Foundation Settling And The Beginning Of Structural Damage

Posted by on 3:23 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Tips To Help Deal With Foundation Settling And The Beginning Of Structural Damage

The foundation of your home supports the structural loads in your home. Damage can cause major headaches like leaks in your basement. If the structure starts to settle, the foundation problems can be seen in other areas, such as sagging openings or cracks in exterior finishes. If you want to put a stop to your foundation problems, here are some tips to get the problems fixed: 1. Repairing Cracked Foundation Walls With Waterproofing Treatment If you have a home on a basement, cracks in the foundation walls can lead to water problems. To keep the water out, you can have the cracks sealed with a special sealant. The sealant will be applied to the crack to seal it and prevent leaks. It will also act as an adhesive, joining the sections of cracked concrete together to prevent further structural damage. You may also want to have the concrete patched. If settling is severe and a problem, wall bracing systems can also be added to provide more structural support. 2. Correcting Settling And Poor Footings With Pier Support Systems Sometimes, the problem with the foundation of your home may be that the footings were not properly built in the first place. In these cases, pier systems with jacks can be used to support areas where the foundation is failing. The piers are driven deep in the ground until they reach solid footing to provide your footings and home with structural support. There is also another method of soil grouting that can be used, which is where a concrete slurry mixture is used to create the piers beneath the foundation. 3. Dealing With Soft Soils Using A Tensioned Concrete Repair Method In some areas, soft soil can be a problem with home foundations. This can cause the foundation to settle unevenly or sink in the soil. With new construction, sometimes tensioned concrete can be used to ensure that the foundation settles evenly. This method can also be used to repair settling and prevent future problems with the foundation. Tensioned concrete systems use steel cables that are installed beneath your foundation, and then tension is applied to the foundation. This makes your foundation more stable and allows it to settle evenly. These are some tips to help you deal with foundation damage that leads to structural damage. If you notice problems with your foundation and signs of settling, contact a foundation repair contractor, like RAC Construction Company, to get the help you need repair the...

read more

After You Remove A Nail Or Screw From Your Vinyl Siding, Be Sure To Patch The Hole Like This

Posted by on 11:23 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on After You Remove A Nail Or Screw From Your Vinyl Siding, Be Sure To Patch The Hole Like This

Small holes in vinyl siding aren’t just cosmetic issues. While they have nails or screws in them, they’re just a convenient way of holding up a wreath or banner. But once the decoration is removed and the hole is left behind, you’ve got an opening for moisture to infiltrate your siding. So when you take down outdoor decorations, be sure to patch up your vinyl siding afterwards—it’s not as complicated as you might think. Gather Your Tools It doesn’t take much to fix a small hole in vinyl siding. You probably have most of what you need already: mild dish detergent (or vinyl siding cleaner), a sponge, a caulk gun, and an old plastic card (such as an expired driver’s license—don’t use a card you’ll want to use again). The last thing you’ll need is the vinyl siding caulk itself. Make sure you know the manufacturer and color of your vinyl siding; they will need this information at a hardware or home improvement store in order to get you the right matching caulk. If you don’t have this information, you can bring in a scrap of siding or call the contractor who installed your siding and find out the necessary details. Clean The Area Before you get started caulking, you need to clean the area. Cleaning vinyl siding is very simple—you just need to wash it with water and your dish detergent or vinyl cleaner. Use a soft sponge so you don’t scratch your siding. Rinse with water and wipe dry. Caulk The Hole Following the instructions on the caulk, cut open the tube and install the tube into your caulk gun. Place the nozzle over the hole you are filling and squeeze the trigger. You want to fill the hole completely, with a little excess to be cleaned off later. If you underfill the hole, you’ll just need to go through the caulking process again. Clean Off Excess Caulk After you have slightly overfilled the hole, you need to remove that excess to leave the caulk flush with the hole. Before the caulk hardens, scrape your plastic card across the hole to smooth the repair and get rid of extra caulk. If you wait too long and the caulk hardens, you’ll have to trim it away carefully with a razor or utility knife. Of course, it’s important to remember that this technique is for small holes like those made by nails or screws. If you have larger areas of vinyl damage, you’ll need to have the damaged area cut away and replaced with new pieces of siding. Color matching becomes much more important on large sections like this, so it’s a good idea to call a contractor who installs and repairs vinyl siding so that you can get a seamless...

read more

Taking Care Of Personal Items During A Remodeling Job

Posted by on 7:44 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Taking Care Of Personal Items During A Remodeling Job

If you are in the process of having your home remodeled, you most likely have a schedule set for several different contractors to come in to do their work. While your home is being revamped, furniture and other items will need to be moved to new locations so the workers will have enough room to do their jobs. Here are a few tips to use when removing items from the area where remodeling will happen. Remove Well In Advance You will want to remove all items from the rooms being remodeled way before contractors start doing their work. Allow yourself a month or so to remove items in a way where they are not just thrown into a pile in another room or in storage. Organizing your belongings before the remodeling takes place will be very helpful when it comes time to decorate your newly constructed area. Keep a list of where you place your belongings so you will be able to find them easily. If you keep the items in a storage unit, draw a map of the interior of your unit, labeling the locations where important items are kept so they can be accessed when you wish. Take Away Unwanted Items Now would be a great time to sift through your belongings, eliminating things you no longer have a use for. Call in a junk removal service like Ground Effects Hauling Inc to take away large items so you do not need to put them back into a newly remodeled area. If you have belongings you believe have value but you do not wish to keep them, have a sale on your property or list them in a local newspaper or social media group to get money in exchange. Cover And Store Larger items should be covered with furniture bags or large pieces of plastic and stored in another room or storage unit until they can be safely brought back to the completely remodeled room. Covering items is important to keep away any dust or debris from the work the contractors are doing if the items are not stored far from the area. You may wish to do the same with items in rooms adjacent to where the work is being done. Putting door sweeps or draft blockers along the bottoms of doors can help keep this dust out of rooms where important items are being stored. Keep smaller items in plastic storage containers with air-tight...

read more

Side Eye: Take A Look At The Side Of Your House If You Have Roof Leaks

Posted by on 9:14 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Side Eye: Take A Look At The Side Of Your House If You Have Roof Leaks

If you’ve been experiencing ceiling leaks, your first thought was probably to call a roofing contractor to have the roof looked at. But what if those leaks are in the ceiling of a room that isn’t on the top floor? Or what if there’s no damage to your roof that could be causing the leak, but the leak you see is in a room on the top floor? Sometimes “roof leaks” are actually located on the side of your house. Despite the odd location, a roofing contractor can still help you find the source of the leaks and rule out additional problems with the roof itself. Wind-Driven Rain What’s happening in cases where there’s a leak with no apparent roof damage is that the wind is driving the rain into the side of the house, and the rain is finding its way in through tiny cracks. These are often areas that weren’t caulked properly, such as around windows. The “seams” between floors on some buildings can also be hotspots for leaks if siding doesn’t cover the whole side of the house. Roof Leaks Still Possible At the same time, don’t assume the cause is always a patch of bad caulking if you see one of these odd leaks. It’s also possible that a roof leak is to blame, with the water dripping down between walls to lower floors. When water enters a home through the roof, it doesn’t start dripping into the room immediately below the initial point of entry. It can run along beams and the floor of the crawlspace or attic until it finds a weak point. Sometimes that weak point can bring the water down inside a wall, rather than right through the ceiling. If you find leaks like these, call a roofer first. You should verify the condition of the roof and work your way down. In other words, have the roofers inspect the roof and give it the all-clear or fix whatever they find. Then have the windows and other areas along the sides of the house inspected. Many times these side-entry leaks can simply be caulked shut, but you have to be sure you’re closing up the correct caulking. Remember that with leaks, there can be multiple points of entry to the home. Inspect Ahead of Time You can also head trouble off at the pass by having a contractor inspect your roof before the rainy season in your area begins. Once you’ve ensured the roof is in good shape, you can have other contractors such as window companies take a look at the caulking around the windows. It’s always better to prevent leaks, rather than waiting for them to happen. If you’d like to be sure you’re not going to have water seeping into your house this year, call a roofing contractor to start the inspection process. This will be money well-spent because peace of mind is worth more than any inspection fee. For more information, contact a roofing contractor like those at A1 Everlast...

read more

Maintaining Your Marble Surfaces With A Messy Family

Posted by on 7:24 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Maintaining Your Marble Surfaces With A Messy Family

Your counter tops are marble because that is what you wanted, and it should hardly be fair for you to have to give them up because you have children. Even though marble is considered to be a porous substance with the ability to absorb stains like a sponge and you have children who seem to provide the substances with increasing regularity, there is no need to let your dreams go out with a whimper. Even the potential for scratched and chipped marble does not need to lead to familial discord. You can find a happy medium. So if you are wondering how you can manage to sustain your gleaming marble counter tops without killing the kids (or your husband), here are a few things to consider. Create that barrier Marble often comes pre-sealed for protecting the integrity of the stone from staining and from damage to the interior. When you get your marble counter tops, it is important to find out which brand and type of sealer was used and how often it needs to be resealed. Some sealers need to be redone after 1 or more years while others may have a longer protection guarantee of up to 15 years. One of the easiest ways of knowing if the sealant needs to be reapplied is when liquid that has been spilled on it immediately soaks in rather than creating a bead on the surface. It might be better to use a penetrating sealant rather than a topical one, as it tends to last much longer and offer better protection from stains, although it does not prevent it. However topical sealants give better protection from acidic liquids such as vinegar or lime juice. You would need to decide which would be best in your family. The cost of a sealant can range between less than $20 to over $50 per quart and should be food-safe. Penetrating sealants lasting up to 15 years should be applied by a professional in order to make the warranty valid.  Dealing with the drama Even with sealants, you know your children are going to leave their plates and dripping glasses on your counter top, and your husband is likely to decide to start the indoor grill and get greasy smoke all over your marble surfaces. Never fear, there are ways around even those messes. For children who are old enough, you need to teach them to blot up their stain-causing messes of fruit juice or coffee, rather than wiping, as this can spread the liquid over the surface and make the problem worse. For those children who are younger, place mats on the accessible areas for them to put their leftover messes on. You should also make a concentrated effort to clean your marble surfaces with warm water and a mild detergent. If the stains have appeared from the greasy mess of the grill or the misplaced or neglected spill, then you can certainly try to remove it with a poultice of baking soda and water, flour and detergent or similar solutions. These should be applied and left on for at least 24 hours to draw the components from the marble. For more information, contact a marble cleaning company in your...

read more

Roof Maintenance Tips For The Summer Months

Posted by on 1:12 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Roof Maintenance Tips For The Summer Months

Being a homeowner requires a year round commitment to maintenance, especially when it comes to your roof. For many homeowners, this can be challenging and seem overwhelming. However, making a seasonal maintenance schedule can help simplify the process for you. Since the blazing heat of summer is quickly approaching, here are a handful of summer roof maintenance tips to get you started. Have an Inspection Have your roof inspected. The high winds of fall and heavy snowfall of winter can be especially harsh on your roof. Having your roof inspected in the summer, before this inclement weather arrives, can help ensure your roof is in good condition and prepared before the seasons progress. As part of the inspection, a roofing professional will look over the condition of your shingles, specifically looking for any loose ends that would increase the likelihood of the shingle detaching during a strong fall breeze. The inspection professional will also analyze the structural integrity of your roof, ensuring it is equipped to accommodate the weight of heavy snowfall. Clean Your Gutters Set aside some time to clean your gutters during the summer. Debris can easily accumulate in your gutters and cause a blockage. Once this happens, rain will be unable to properly flow off your roof and away from your home, setting the stage for a potentially costly roof leak. Cleaning your gutters during the summer ensures they are free and clear before fall arrives. This is especially important since the fall is the time of the year when the leaves begin to fall off the trees. This is a fairly simple task and there are a number of gutter cleaning wands that allow you to safely clean your gutters from the ground. Block Hiding Spaces Once the colder temperatures begin to arrive, smaller animals like squirrels, raccoons and birds can nestle in and call your attic home. In the process of preparing the space for their habitat, these animals can do a significant amount of damage to your roof, including loosening your shingles or tearing apart the soffits around your eaves. The best way to keep these animals out is to place a mesh guard over the vents, eaves and other open areas on your roof. You can also trim back any tree limbs that hang over your roof since this is how most animals get on your roof in the first place. When you make roof maintenance a priority, you don’t just save money, but you can extend the life of your roof. Make certain you are keeping roof maintenance a priority. For more information, contact a professional like those at Slaughter Roofing...

read more

How To Repair A Slate Roof Using A Slate Hook

Posted by on 11:33 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Repair A Slate Roof Using A Slate Hook

Slate is a good building material in that it can last for between a hundred to two-hundred years. That being said, slate is not impervious to damage. If individual roofing tiles break down, water can seep through your roof and destroy the roof deck and/or allow water to leak into your home. In order to get the most life from your roof, you need to remove and replace any damaged tiles that you find. The trick to doing this is to use a ripper to remove the old tile and a slate hook to hang the new tile.  How to Use a Ripper A ripper is a flat piece of metal with a hook at one end and special ears sticking out at the other end. You slide the eared end up under your roofing tiles to hook onto the nails that hold the damaged tile in place. You then tap the hooked end with a hammer to pull the nails out. There should be two nails holding the tile in place. Once you have removed these nails, you can slide the tile out of the way.  How to Use a Slate Hook to Hang a New Tile When you hang a new roofing tile with a slate hook, you first mark where the bottom edge of the tiles in the same row fall. Run a straight edge from the tile on either side of the missing tile and scratch a mark into the tiles from the row below the missing tile. Next, line your slate hook so that the hooked end hangs just below this line. A slate hook is an S-shaped piece of stainless steel wire. One end of the S will be straighter than the other and will have a point at the end like a nail; this is the end you drive into your roof. Holding the hooked end of the S, you put the point against your roof, and pound your hammer where the straight section meets the body of the S to drive your hook into the roof until the body of the S is flush against your roof. Drive the slate hook so that it hangs about a quarter or an eighth of an inch past the end of other tiles in the same row. Once your slate hook is in place, slide your replacement slate into place, making sure that the bottom edge of the tile slides into the hooked end. While you will need some specialty tools and equipment—like the ripper and a slate hook—to work on a slate roof, buying this equipment represents a minimal cost. If you own a slate roof, buying these tools to make your own repairs is a good idea. On the other hand, if you would rather not climb up onto your roof to make repairs, you can call in roofing professionals to make the repairs for you, just make sure that whoever you call has experience in working with slate. To learn more, contact a business like Lawson Brothers...

read more

Slate Roof Repairs: How To Replace A Cracked Tile

Posted by on 6:02 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

One of the best parts of slate roofs is that they rarely require maintenance or repair. However, on occasion, you may find that one of your slate roofing tiles has become cracked and must be replaced. If you are currently in this situation, you will be glad to know that performing this roofing repair will often be quite simple and can typically be completed on a DIY basis using the steps outlined below. What You Will Need Replacement Tile (be sure to closely match the tile to the color of your existing tiles) Crowbars (2) Hammer Plywood (large enough to cover the surrounding tiles) Roofing Nails Step 1: Isolate The Damaged Tile Isolating the damaged tile will make it easier to remove this tile and ensure that the surrounding tiles are protected from damage during the repair process. In order to isolate the tile you will be replacing, begin by sliding one of you crowbars under the right side of the tile in the row directly above the damaged tile. Continue sliding the crowbar under the tile until it is lifted off of the damaged tile. Next, use your second crowbar to repeat this process along the right side of the tile located directly to the left of the tile you will be replacing. Finally, lay a piece of plywood over the surrounding tiles in order to protect them from any impact. Step 2: Remove Broken Tile The next step in the process will be to remove the broken tile from your roof. If the tile has been secured with roofing nails, you will need to remove these nails before sliding the tile out of place. However, if your slate roof uses a hook system to keep the tiles in place, simply lift up and then out in order to unhook the tile from the tiling system. It is always best to try and remove the tile in one piece. However, if you are struggling to get the tile out due to multiple cracks, you can use a pry-bar to lift each section of the tile out separately. Step 3: Install Your New Tile Finally, you are ready to install your new tile. If your roof makes use of a hook system, this can be done by simply sliding the tile over the bar used to secure that row of tiles and then sliding the tile downwards until it locks in place. If your previous tile was nailed in place, you will need to use new roofing nails to secure the replacement tiles. Once you have the new tile in place, you can remove the crowbars from the surrounding tiles and your repair will be...

read more