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What To Do When Carpenter Bees Are Eating Your Log Home

Posted by on Mar 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Log Home’s are beautiful and strong. They are a great example of a house that can withstand years of weather and still look gorgeous. There is one problem: carpenter bees. These bees can wreck havoc on a log home and make it look like Swiss cheese. It’s not just a cosmetic problem; it’s a structural one. These bees will turn solid logs into hollowed out timber. It won’t happen overnight, but if left alone, the bees will destroy the house. Here is what you can do about carpenter bees. Make Sure It’s A Carpenter Bee and Not A Wood Pecker Just because there are small holes in the logs it does not mean that there are carpenter bees present. Another culprit that you need to be aware of is the woodpecker. If you haven’t seen bees boring into the logs, then don’t be so certain that the hole was made by a bee. A hole made by a carpenter bee will be perfectly round. They are small circles. A wood pecker hole will look more uneven. Also, most carpenter bees leave a small amount of dust at the base of the hole. If you wait outside on a sunny day and observe the area where the holes are, you should see the bees entering or exiting. One thing to keep in mind is that carpenter bees will sometimes attract wood peckers. So, even if the holes were made by carpenter bees, wood peckers might soon show up. The wood peckers eat the bees, so they will be drawn to the wood and begin their own attack. Filling The Hole Is Not Sufficient The first mistake people make is to fill the hole and then think that the job is done.  The problem is that carpenter bees tunnel deep inside of the log. They live inside of the logs. They don’t have hives in trees. So, if you plug the hole, all you are doing is closing one exit. They will simply tunnel a new exit. How To Properly Deal With The Hole You should get a can of insecticide that has a long, flexible nozzle. Place it into the hole and then spray. This should kill most of the bees that are inside. Then you should fill the hole with wood putty. If you are concerned that you won’t get to all of the bees, you can always hire a specialist. They have tools that can reach deep into the log and kill all of the bees. Treat The Logs So The Bees Won’t Come Back Once the holes are filled, the next thing you have to do is treat the logs with a stain. Carpenter bees are attracted to bare wood. This is why painted houses don’t have a problem with carpenter bees. However, log homes tend to be stained and not painted. So, you will want to make sure your logs are stained. There are additives you can use with the stain that act as an additional repellant.  You will buy these separately and mix them into the stain. This should keep the bees from returning in the future. If they’ve already caused extensive damage, you may need to contact a local contractor that offers log home repairs to help you take care of the problem and get...

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Frozen Roads And Nowhere To Go: How To Handle A Heating Emergency

Posted by on Mar 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

With more than one city in the United States seeing snowfall amounts far beyond normal, it is not inconceivable that you could get trapped in your home with a furnace that is over-stressed and in need of repair. If you happen to get stuck in a home with no heat and cannot get out because of the weather, it can get a bit scary for sure. However, with a little critical thinking and some ingenuity, you can keep your family warm in spite of the fact that your furnace has stopped heating your home. Scale Down Your Living Space The first thing you need to do in a heating outage is to scale down the size of the space to be heated. Without a whole-house system continuously funneling heated air through the home, you will see your house grow could really fast. Grab some heavy blankets and block off the most well-insulated room in your house by covering the entryways. Take into consideration where natural sunlight can come in, but avoid rooms that may have drafty windows and doors. In most cases, rooms on the lower levels of the home will stay warmer for longer periods because they are less prone to drafts. Further, small spaces are a lot easier to heat and will be maintain a steady temperature easier than something large, or with tall ceilings. Find Heat Sources of Every Kind When you are in a desperate situation, there are a lot of things in your home you can use to generate a little heat. make a trip around your home and garage and look for what you can find that may be related to the following items: Propane lanterns – The propane lanterns generate a lot of heat and burn clean. Therefore, they are safe to use inside the home. Just keep the lantern at a safe distance from other items and on a sturdy table. Candles – Jar candles generate a small amount of warmth on their own, but gather a group of them and you will see quite the difference in the temperature. Taper candles can produce heat as well, but it is generally not as much. Crock pots and slow cookers – Fill these with water and turn them on their highest setting with the lid off. They will offer a good amount of heated steam that will not be overpowering. Portable camping stoves – Camping stoves, usually powered by propane, can give you a safe source of heat in the event of an emergency. Make sure you place the stove on a good solid surface away from anything that could catch on fire and never leave it unattended. When you and your family are starting to feel the sting of a bad furnace because of the cold, it is time to do what you can to stay warm. Keeping this guide in mind when you are waiting for furnace repair (from professionals such as those from Kohl Heating & Air Conditioning) or the ability to get out in the weather could be the difference in how warm you can stay....

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HVAC Heat Pump & Blower: How They Function & What Can Be Done When They Malfunction

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

There are a few parts of a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system that are vital for energy efficiency. The heat pump and blower must be in a functional condition or you can end up with air that is not true to the temperature on the thermostat circulating in your house. Below, you will learn about the function of a heat pump and blower to an HVAC system and what can be done when they malfunction. How Does a Heat Pump & Blower Function in an HVAC System? The heat pump works in an HVAC system to exchange heat within the interior and exterior of your home. The pump is able to help either heat or cool your home based on the temperature you want. If the heater is running, the pump removes cool air in your home and brings in warm air from outside, if available. If you want cold air, the pump removes warm air from the interior and brings in cool air from outside. The blower is the main part of your HVAC system because no air will flow through the ventilation system without the blower being functional. When you turn the thermostat on, the blower releases air into the ventilation system based on the temperature you set. Dirt can prevent the blower from working completely, or it may simply interfere with how much air it is putting out. What Can be Done When a Heat Pump & Blower Malfunctions? If a heat pump fails to remove or bring in air when the HVAC system is running, there may be several things wrong. One problem may be that dirt is covering the pump and it is in need of a professional cleaning. The other problem may be that ice is covering the pump, especially if it has rained or snowed. A specialist can defrost the ice in such a case. If the HVAC blower is not functioning as it should, the problem is usually due to dirt accumulating. Dirt can cover the blower motor and stall air production until it is cleaned off. Leave the cleaning to a professional because accessing the blower is a complicated task without the right kind of skills. As soon as you notice a change in the efficiency of your HVAC system, get the heat pump and blower inspected by a specialist to avoid high energy bills. Timely repairs can prevent costly replacements! Contact a company like Nebraska Heating & Air for more...

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Correcting Leaks In Well Pumps

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

One of the challenges of submersible residential pumps is that they can be very hard to access. This is because the pump and motor assembly is assembled high above the well pump. Another challenge of diagnosing well pumps is that they often have symptoms that can overlap with each other. This can make it difficult to diagnose the cause of the malfunctioning pump. However, one of the most common problems is a leaking tank. Finding Leaks Sometimes, the well pump does not have enough water within the tank. The challenge of correcting leaks in well pumps is that it can be difficult to locate where the leak is coming from. The Threaded Fittings One place where a well pump leak can come from is at the threaded fittings. To correct this, you will need to disassemble, clean and then apply a sealant or tape to the site of the leak. This will fill in the gap through which moisture escapes, bringing leaks to a halt. Leaks in the Tank Rusting can eventually cause the tank to develop holes. Unfortunately, the holes cannot be permanently corrected and you will likely need to replace the entire tank. However, the holes can be patched up temporarily to allow the well pump to remain in operation until you can replace the entire tank. Patching Leaks Very small holes in the tank can be patched using threaded screws. These leak-repair screws have washers around them designed to seal the hole as the screw is driven into place. This helps slow own the leak until you can implement a more permanent solution. Buy several sizes of the screw, start with the smallest and work your way up until you find one that fits snugly into the hole. Small globs of epoxies or sealants can patch a hole. They must be fast-setting so that the leak won’t wash away the sealant before it can set. The sealant is not designed to be a replacement for getting a new well pump. Instead, it is designed to hold you over until you can have a new tank installed. While inspecting the damage, be careful not to poke the area too much because the tank can sometimes be thinner than expected and break, causing a catastrophic leak. Since correcting the leak might be intimidating, you should consider contacting the manufacturer to have a service technician sent and you should also consider getting a new well...

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Benefits Of A Dedicated HVAC Staff

Posted by on Nov 30, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Contacting Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) professionals for a broken air conditioning or failed heater is a fairly common task, but would a dedicated team of HVAC professionals be better for your business? If you require regular monitoring, adjustments and creative approaching to heating, cooling and ventilation, consider a few benefits of commercial HVAC contractors as part of your regular payroll. Fine-Tuned Temperature Management In settings such as laboratories, chemical processing systems or high-temperature machine cooling, there are more temperature requirements than simply turning a knob.  Pharmaceutical labs, for example, may have multiple temperature requirements. The room itself may need to be at a set temperature for equipment, substances and human comfort. Specific cooling systems may need a much higher or much cooler temperature for stabilizing conditions, killing germs at high temperatures or causing dormancy at low temperatures. Producing medication or specific chemical compounds may require such specific temperatures through a large system of air power, coolant or evaporation. When the systems go down, do you want to rely on an outside team that may not have specific skills for your systems or a team that works specifically for your needs? Unless you plan on ordering new parts for every failure or minor change in conditions, you’ll want a team that can tweak the inner workings of your cooling system. Programmers and engineers who work with your systems may have some limited skill with making specific changes, but having a dedicated team for maintenance and upgrades can lead to scheduled, reliable service every time. Maintain Reliable Maintenance Records Many people stick by product brands due to loyalty from continued performance. Unfortunately, there may be many performance standards and useful options that may be missed due to avoiding a product that may have malfunctioned for reasons other than the brand. With an on-board HVAC staff, your future system breakdowns can be analyzed and documented by not just one person, but a team of HVAC system experts. New and old thoughts can be poured into the breakdown and suggestions can be made on moving forward. Instead of avoiding a system that was damaged due to a fluke in the environment that couldn’t be avoided, you can count on a real fix with a documented history of how well certain systems perform. Your future equipment choices can be made with a consulting team that is always available and ready to think about your specific system’s needs. Contact an HVAC team, like McFoy Refrigeration, Inc., to get started on building a lasting professional...

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The Best Ways To Keep Iron Fences From Corroding

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Wrought iron fences are vulnerable to moisture. However, if they are constructed in areas that are not prone to moisture problems, such as in Arizona, they are not as likely to rust. Still, iron fences will need some care and maintenance so that they can last longer. Remove Rust Use a wire brush to remove the rust from the surface. After you have removed as much rust as you can with the wire brush, use sandpaper to remove the remainder of the rust. Then, add a primer to the metal designed to be rust-inhibitive. Add Primers The primers that are the easiest to apply are those that are sprayed from an aerosol can because these can more easily cover every part of the fence. Wait for the rust-inhibitive primer to dry so that you can then paint the surface. The best paint to use is an enamel paint intended to be rust-inhibitive. Adjust Your Property for Your Fence After you have properly coated the rust, you will want to take other steps to reduce the risk of your fences rusting. Cut back plantings to make sure that they do not touch the wrought iron. When watering your yard or using sprinklers, try to keep the water from touching your fence. While you will not be able to completely prevent water from touching your fence, you will be able to minimize this problem. Clean the Fence Periodically Cleaning the wrought iron fence regularly will make sure that debris does not rest on it that causes the metal to corrode. Apply the cleaner with a spray bottle so you can get the cleaner into all crevices. After you have wiped down the fence and cleaned it, dry it thoroughly. The areas that will most likely have moisture accumulate is near locks and latches, so make sure those areas are completely dry. Then, to protect the paint, by applying a car wax. Repair Bubbling and Flaking Paint When the paint bubbles or flakes, you will need to replace it. Clean the paint off with a wire brush. Then, use a rotary tool with a grinder to remove the paint. If there are any holes or pitting, use metal filler to correct this problem. Finally, repaint the fence. By making sure that your iron fence is properly protected, it will last much longer. While these measures might cost money, you will save more money overall by not having to replace your iron...

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Winter Damage On Roofs: Beyond Weight Damage

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When people think of winter damage to roofs, they mostly think of destruction due to the weight of snow and ice. Unfortunately, this is not the only way that winter can reduce your roof’s durability. Other ways in which the low temperatures can damage your roof include the following: Freeze-Thaw-Freeze Cycle During a snowfall, the first layer of snow melts because the roof is relatively warmer than the environment above it. This melting snow gets into cracks and crevices on the roof. Then as more snow falls, the water in these cracks and crevices freeze, and this is where the problem begins. As you know, water expands when it freezes, so the freezing water will expand and enlarge the cracks on your roof. On a subsequent warm day, the snow and ice melt to fill the enlarged crevices. If more snow falls on the roof, the whole process repeats itself. A vicious freeze-thaw-freeze cycle is then formed, and the cracks in your roof widen with each complete cycle. Pretty soon you will be dealing with a roof leak. Thermal Shock Apart from the freeze-thaw-freeze cycle, winter conditions can also damage your roof due to thermal shock. Most solids, such as those used on your roof, expand when heated and contract when cooled. Unfortunately, rapid expansion and contraction (occasioned by temperature fluctuations) makes the materials lose their tensile strength. This is known as thermal shock, and it is what happens when temperatures fall and rise rapidly during winter. The roof materials suffer thermal shock and weaken, meaning they may not be able to withstand further stress, for example, from strong winds or accumulation of snow on the roof. Thermal shock is more pronounced in: Aged roofing materials Roofs with multiple materials (different materials expand and contract differently) Roofing materials that are poor conductors of heat (such as rocks and ceramics) Prevention One way of preventing winter roof damage is to install a reflective roof. If you already have a roof in place, then you can paint it white to reflect most of the heat. That way the materials won’t expand or contract as much because they won’t absorb a lot of heat. Additionally, you should deal with the snow on your roof by installing adequate drainage on your roof and removing snow or ice before they accumulate to dangerous levels. This is to prevent the freeze-and-thaw cycle. You may not be able to prevent all forms of winter roof damage. Therefore, you should have your roof inspected by roofers before and after the winter season. The first inspection is to identify and strengthen any weak points, while the second one is meant to identify and repair the...

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Are Your Elevators Ready For An Anime Convention?

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Anime conventions are fun and profitable events for attendees and bystanders alike. Attendees don’t just stand around in costume: they spend money and help to boost the local economy. Fanimecon attendees created an economic impact of $10.5 million dollars in San Jose in 2014. Attendees also bring a huge boost to nearby hotels by booking rooms and purchasing food, toiletries, and using valet services. Before your hotel can start raking in these profits, however, you should consider the functionality of one thing in your hotel that will affect every convention attendee that stays in your hotel: your elevators. Wear & Tear The largest anime convention in the country had 80,000 attendees in 2014, and the majority of those attendees needed hotel rooms. If your hotel is being used to house anime convention attendees, chances are your hotel is mostly or completely booked. Even if all of your elevators have been functioning without problems, keep in mind that anime convention attendees will use your elevators more than business people or tourists. Most anime convention attendees book a room not only for a place to sleep, but as a convenience. They frequently come back to their room to drop off purchases, change clothes, and to recharge before heading back down to crowded convention halls. While your regular clients may only use the elevator a few times a day, a single anime convention attendee may come and go from their room many more times. This means your elevators may be in use on a nearly non-stop basis all day and night for the entire weekend, creating more wear and tear than usual. Overcrowding & Abuse Anime con attendees who have to wait for a long time for an elevator may become frustrated with waiting and choose to pile into elevators, overcrowding them and pushing them to their weight limit. Some of the most popular anime shows revolve around teenage characters, so it’s no wonder that teens are attracted to anime conventions. Unfortunately, teens are also more prone to mischief than adults! Teenage attendees may purposefully stop elevators, press all the buttons, or try to open the panels. Liability All of these factors added together may result in elevator breakdowns. While the behavior of the attendees may or may not be to blame for the breakdown, people stuck inside an elevator for a prolonged period of time may choose to sue. Even if it doesn’t produce a lawsuit, it may be necessary to compensate them by reducing the cost of their room bill, or waiving their stay entirely. It could also result in less attendees being willing to stay in your hotel when the convention comes the following year. Take Precautions Once the convention has started, you should consider having employees act as elevator monitors, keeping control of the flow of traffic so only a certain amount of people can enter each elevator in the lobby. However, the best thing you can do is to prevent a problem from happening in the first place. Prior to the convention, have all of your elevators examined and serviced, by professionals such as Capital Elevator Services Inc. Make sure everything is up to code, functioning properly, and that emergency call boxes and alarms are working. If any problems are found that can’t be repaired in time...

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3 Appointments You Want To Make Before The Winter Season Hits

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

With certain parts of the country already seeing a few inches of snow, it won’t be long before everywhere will be covered in the fluffy, white snow. As much as you might want to hold it off, you know it is only a matter of time before you are trying to unbury yourself from the mounds of snow. It isn’t just the snow that people dread, though. It is also the bitter cold that takes your breath away when you step outside. To make sure you are taken care of this winter season, consider making a few appointments to cover yourself for what lies ahead. Schedule a Duct Cleaning Since you are going to use your furnace quite frequently, you want to have someone come out and clean all of the ducts for you. You never know what has been crawling around inside of the ducts, which is why it is more important than ever to get them cleaned before blowing all of the pollution into your home. With a thorough cleaning, you won’t have to worry about breathing anything that could make you sick. Have Your Furnace Inspected Beyond having the ducts cleaned, you also want to have someone come out and inspect the furnace for you. The technician will go through the furnace to see if there is anything you need to have replaced before it gets too cold and you are left with no heat at all. They will also change the filter and clean all of the dust and dirt from the unit for you. If any repairs are required, you can take care of them at this point before it gets too bad. Book a Snow Removal Company Along with snow, you have to worry about what you are going to do to clean your driveway. If you are like most people, you don’t want to get out there and shovel everything out of the way for hours on end. You want something simple and efficient. Consider hiring a snow removal company such as AP Enterprises Property Services to handle all of that for you. Not only will it save you a lot of time, but you won’t have to worry about the hassle that comes with having to handle it on your own. By making these three appointments, you can embrace the winter months that are fast-approaching. Instead of worrying about what’s coming your way, you can sit back, relax and know that you are taken care...

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Simple Yet Effective Improvements For Insulating Your Home

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When your home has an issue with excess airflow, you need reliable ways of controlling any leaks you find. This does not mean you have to replace all of your insulation to complete this task. There are several simple and effective improvements you can make that will help reduce the amount of air that comes and goes throughout your home. Insulate Electrical Outlets One area that allows air to flow into your home is the electrical outlets on your exterior walls. Most outlets have no insulation around them, which makes it easier for hot or cold air to get into your home. To correct this issue, you want to install outlet insulation. This may seem like a difficult task, but it is simple to complete on your own. The biggest issue with this task is the time it will take you to add the insulation product. This method requires an outlet sealer, which is a thin piece of flexible foam. You should always start by turning off the electricity to the outlets, since this will prevent you from accidentally shocking yourself. After the electricity is off, you remove the faceplate, insert the foam, and then replace the cover to complete the process of insulating your exterior electrical outlets. Replace Caulking Another method for reducing airflow throughout your home is to replace the caulking around your windows and doors. When air leaks through this area, most people choose to install weather stripping, which will help control some of the leaks. However, if the caulking around your windows and doors is cracking, additional weather stripping will not fix the entire problem. This task does take time, patience, and skill to get right. Removing the caulking without damaging your walls is a bit tricky, because you need to cut away the caulking without cutting into the drywall. The problem with simply pulling off the caulking is that if it is painted, you could easily rip the paint off a portion of your walls at the same time. Unless you are confident in your ability to handle this job, you want to consult a home improvement company, such as Home Exteriors Of Fayetteville, to handle the task for you. You also need to consider the exterior of your doors and windows when you are having this type of work done. Even with new caulking on the inside, air can still leak into your home if the outside caulking is damaged. Protecting your home from both sides is the most effective and simple way to insulate your home from outside air...

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