Keeping Up With the Jones Family

5 Simple and Cost-Effective Solutions to Your Residential Water Heater Problems

Posted by on 8:37 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Simple and Cost-Effective Solutions to Your Residential Water Heater Problems

Most homesteads depend on water heaters for that refreshing shower, especially after a tough day. But if you want to prolong the life of your system, you will need to perform regular maintenance. Repairs also help to keep water and energy bills down, saving you money in the long run. Here are some a few tips to consider if you want your water heater to remain in excellent shape. Type and Design of the Water Heater — Before you pick up that phone and call a plumber to fix your faulty heater, you should at least know the type and model of the heater. Depending on your preference, you will choose between heaters that run on electricity, solar or gas. Different water heaters have different procedures for troubleshooting. Therefore, knowing all these details will help your plumber determine the correct repair mechanisms before arriving at your house. Draining or Disassembling the Heater — For water heaters attached to shower heads, you can disassemble the shower head and remove the dirt and debris that have built up over time. The debris often causes the heater to malfunction because it affects the smooth functioning of the anode rod. As for the tank-type heater, you should drain it at least once a year to remove all sediments. Saturated particles can make the water cloudy, depleting the anode rod. Smelly Water – The issue of smelly water is common in tank-type heaters because of the excess hydrogen sulfide gas. This gas builds up in the tank when the water quality deteriorates. A professional plumber can clean the tank after draining it to remove the anaerobic bacteria responsible for generating this gas. When cleaning the tank, simple homemade ingredients such as vinegar or baking soda can also be effective in eliminating this smell. Leaking Problem — This is one of the most common reasons that homeowners request plumbing services. Leaks can originate from many places in the water heating system. Faulty valves, broken pipes, rust, and corrosion can cause water leaks. Your plumber will repair or replace damaged pipes, fixtures, and seals to stop the leaking problem. However, have this issue fixed as soon as possible to avoid incurring high energy and water bills. Yearly Inspection of the Hot Water Heating System — Troubleshooting a water heater when it breaks down is not an adequate solution for the problem. Have a plumber conduct a methodical yearly inspection to determine the parts that need replacement and those that can be repaired in the interim. You should not wait until your hot water heater fails before you call a professional because there are always tell-tale signs to look out for.     ...

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Important Questions to Ask When Considering an Opening Roof

Posted by on 4:25 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Important Questions to Ask When Considering an Opening Roof

An opening roof is like an awning for your patio or deck area, the slats of which you can turn to open. This is a great choice for controlling the sunlight and air you get in that area; you can open the slats just slightly for a bit of sun on a warm summer day, or open them all the way at night when it’s cooler. An opening roof also allows you to enjoy your outdoor space even in the rain, as you can close the slats for a full roof enclosure. If you’re thinking of getting an opening roof, note a few questions to ask to ensure you know what’s involved in the installation and ensure you get the right type for your home. Ask the load ratings The load ratings refers to the weight the roof can manage without cracking, bending, and the like. In areas with lots of snowfall, you may need a stronger load rating than is standard, as that snow and heavy ice with it may be heavier than a standard slat can manage. If you don’t get a stronger load rating, you may need to brush off the opening roof regularly during the winter or risk having it actually cave in. Be sure you understand the load ratings and how much snow and ice it can manage if this might be a factor in your area. Note the rotation If you want maximum control over the sunlight and air circulation let in by your opening roof, ask about the rotation of the slats. A ninety-degree rotation means they’ll simply move from one flat position to standing straight up and down; this is actually very limited, as you may want to turn the slats even further than that when you rotate them. Look for a full 180-degree rotation or something close to this range; this will allow you to rotate the slats to any angle so you can block sunlight or air as is most comfortable. Ask if you can build your own frame Many openings roofs will come with a prebuilt frame, but you might want something very personalized in order to match the materials on your deck or carport. You might also already have a frame you were using with an awning or shade sails, and are upgrading to an opening roof. In many cases a company can accommodate but they may need to cut the slats a certain size to fit, so ask about this when ordering rather than assuming you’ll need to tear down your current frame. Check out a company like Patioworld NSW Pty...

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Five Tips for Choosing and Cleaning Carpet in a Childcare Centre or Nursery

Posted by on 4:49 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Five Tips for Choosing and Cleaning Carpet in a Childcare Centre or Nursery

If you run a nursery or child care centre, keeping the carpet clean can be a challenge, However, although it can feel like a losing battle, you should attempt to keep the nursery carpet as clean as possible. Here are some ideas on choosing carpet and cleaning it safely and effectively: 1. Choose low pile carpet. If you are buying new carpet for your nursery, opt for low pile. Shag or other long pile can harbour dirt and germs, and it can be harder to clean. To make up for the difference in comfort, invest in a small swatch of carpet or a cushion for each child to use during reading or play time. If you are undecided whether or not you need new carpet, carefully consider replacing it. Old carpet can harbour allergens that make it difficult to breathe, hard to think and cause other issues. Putting in new carpet and scheduling regular cleanings can help to protect the air quality for the children in your school. 2. Use rugs or mats under messy activities. For arts and crafts or other messy endeavours, protect the child care centre’s carpet with special rugs, painting drop cloths or even small patches of vinyl flooring that you keep rolled up in a corner until you need it. If possible, create a few uncarpeted corners in your nursery and restrict messy activities to those areas. 3. Keep a spot cleaner on hand. Ideally, you should not wait for the professionals to clean every drip or drop that plops on your carpet. Whether the kids stage an impromptu food fight or you drop some art supplies, always be ready to spot clean carpet. To minimise the presence of chemicals around little children, consider using a homemade cleaner of vinegar and sodium bicarbonate. That helps remove most stains, and it doesn’t contain toxins. 4. Hire natural carpet cleaners. When hiring professional cleaners, talk with them about which types of cleaning methods they use. As you run a nursery, you may want to err on the side of natural cleaners. That helps to protect the kids in your classroom from any irritations linked to chemical cleaners. 5. Vacuum regularly. Finally, you should vacuum the carpet in the nursery on a regular basis. You can minimise dirt in the area by requiring kids to remove their shoes or encouraging them to wipe their feets on mats at the door. Remember to use a HEPA filter to protect your air quality....

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DIY Carports In Queensland: What To Know

Posted by on 4:19 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on DIY Carports In Queensland: What To Know

There’s a lot more that goes into car ownership than paying for insurance, maintenance and repairs. Many people choose to invest in a carport in order to protect their vehicles against harsh elements of weather. Building your own carport allows you to save on the cost of hiring various contractors for the job at hand. Here are three things that DIY-minded homeowners in Queensland should know before they undertake to build a residential carport. You’ll Need A Building Permit In many other Australian states, it is possible (and legal) to build a residential carport without seeking approval from local councils. However, this is not the case for Queensland residents. Property development laws in Queensland require residents to seek approval before they can erect permanent free-standing structures or before they can make significant changes to the structure of an existing building (as would be the case with an attached carport). You would also require an owner-builder permit if the cost of the carport to be built is greater than 11,000 AUD. The Right Carport Material Carports are often made of wood or steel. Steel carports are often more durable than carports made of wood in the face of harsh weather conditions (e.g. exposure to moisture and humidity). The main problem associated with steel carports is that they’re vulnerable to corrosion. This is because the carport will constantly be exposed to salty sea water (in the form of condensation), which is bound to accelerate the mentioned process. For this reason, your carport should be made of a metal that has the highest resistance to corrosion. 316 stainless steel is perhaps the best choice for a residential carport in coastal areas of Queensland (e.g. Gold Coast City). This grade of steel is made up of various compounds including molybdenum. This compound is not present in other grades of stainless steel, and it’s known to increase the corrosion resistance of the metal. Thus, a carport made of 316 stainless steel should be more durable. You also need to confirm that your choice of carport material is not prohibited by the body corporate in your residential community. Drainage As you plan to build a DIY carport, remember that you need to make provisions for efficient drainage of rainwater from the carport roof. You can do this by channeling the run-off through a storm water drainage system through the use of rainwater tanks. Legal requirements for carport drainage vary from one council to the next. It’s best to consult with your local council before choosing one type of drainage system over the...

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3 Ways to Make the Design of Your New Home Energy Efficient

Posted by on 9:50 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways to Make the Design of Your New Home Energy Efficient

If the builders will soon be starting work constructing your new home, you may be considering what steps you can take to make your home more energy efficient. Not only can having an energy efficient home save you money, it can also help to save the environment. Below are 3 great things you should consider adding to the design of your new home to maximise its energy efficiency.  Install Low Energy Windows Low energy windows are designed to keep the interior of your home cool during the hotter summer months and warmer in the colder months. The glass used to manufacture low energy windows is coated with a metallic oxide. This coating reflects long wavelengths of sunlight, which allows light to enter your home while the heat is reflected outwards. During the colder months, the metallic oxide will reflect heat back into your home, rather than allowing it to radiate out from your windows. Low energy windows do not appear tinted and look much the same as standard glass. Use a Recycled Steel Frame Using recycled steel to build you home can help to save you money when compared to buying newly made steel panels and beams. Using steel rather than wood during the framing process also helps to reduce the number of trees which are cut down and reduces the amount of steel which may have gone to a landfill. Install Insulated Panels You can use insulated panels as part of your basement, flooring, load bearing walls and foundations. The panels are pre-manufactured using a wooden frame, insulation and cement or plywood panels attached to either side. While they may not be visually appealing, you should remember that it is possible to install brick or stone onto the outside of the panel and wood can be installed on the interior side. Insulated panels also offer the added benefit of being easy to install which reduces the amount of time it will take contractors to construct your new home. They are also a very energy efficient choice, which can help you to save money by creating a well-insulated home. By including some of these features in the design and construction of your new home, you will be able to ensure your home is comfortable while also saving on your energy bill and helping the natural environment. Contact a house builder today to find out more about designing and constructing an energy efficient...

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Wood Finishes | 3 Considerations For Choosing Between Oiling And Staining Your Timber Deck

Posted by on 7:05 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Wood Finishes | 3 Considerations For Choosing Between Oiling And Staining Your Timber Deck

Once you finish constructing your timber decking surface, the only thing you need to do is to finish it with oil or stain. If you leave it untreated, you should know that the surface could be prone to fading, cracking and weathering over time. Stains and oils have their own benefits, so follow these considerations when it comes to choosing between them for your timber decking. Establishing Your Desired Colour Tone Some homeowners like the idea of lighter colour tones, while others prefer darker ones. Tinted finishes are available for a darker and richer wood finish, while untinted stains are ideal when homeowners want to retain the original wood colour of their timber decking surfaces. Both stains and oils offer you dark and light choices when it comes to colour tones, but you have a greater variety of shades when you choose stain finishes. This makes it easier for you to choose a shade that perfectly resonates with the colour scheme of your outdoor space. Of course, if you had an oil finish in the past and you like the colour tone, then this is an excellent choice for you. Determining Ease Of Application Traditionally, oil finishes are thicker than stain finishes, so novice homeowners that undertake this application task for the first time may find oil tougher to manage. Applying thick oil coats can attract dirt, dust and other pollutants, which will make your timber deck look unsightly. Oil finishes typically also take longer because you need the first coat to soak into the wood completely before the application of any additional coats. This entire application process may take you a few days to complete. In comparison, timber stains are relatively easier to apply and offer quick drying finishes, so you can finish your timber decking coating within a day.   Consider Frequency Of Maintenance   Some homeowners don’t mind added chores, while others are looking for minimal maintenance solutions. If you fall into the latter category, then you’ll obviously want something with as little maintenance as possible. Stain finishes are your best option because they don’t require re-coats very often. If you fall into the former category, you can choose between oil and stain finishes. Oil typically requires more frequent re-coats than stain finishes, but they are well suited to homeowners who can handle the additional workload. If you’re looking to choose between oil and stain finishes for your timber decking, consider these factors to make an informed decision for your...

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When “Early to Bed and Early to Rise” Becomes a Problem

Posted by on 10:30 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When “Early to Bed and Early to Rise” Becomes a Problem

Do you wake up very early in the morning, long before your alarm sounds? Do you struggle to stay awake in the evening? If you’re stuck on an excessively early sleep pattern and you can’t seem to fix it, you could have Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder (ASPD). What is Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder? ASPD is a condition that makes you wake up excessively early in the morning and fall asleep long before your desired bedtime. Although less well-known than the opposite condition, Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder, ASPD can have a devastating impact on sufferers’ social and family lives. Some people with this disorder wake up as early as 3am, even if they went to bed late the night before and intended to sleep in. As a result of their excessively early waking times, people with APSD often fall asleep in the early evening, which can mean missing out on social events or family time. How to Cope With ASPD If you’re struggling to break free from an excessively early sleep schedule, try these tips to reset your body clock. Keep your bedroom dark in the mornings. Prevent the first rays of dawn from waking you by blacking out your windows. Some people tape blankets, cardboard or aluminium foil over their windows to block out the light, but ready made curtains made from light-blocking materials are a more elegant long-term solution.  Expose yourself to bright lights in the evening. Ordinary household lighting may not be enough to make you feel awake and alert. Try using a light box to increase your wakefulness in the early evening when you would usually begin to feel sleepy. If you go outside in the early morning, wear sunglasses to reduce your light exposure. Make gradual changes. Forcing yourself to stay up much later than usual is likely to result in exhaustion if you wake up at your usual early time, which could mean falling asleep even earlier the next day. Gradually shift your bedtime a little later each day. Some people with ASPD use slow-release melatonin to help them sleep through the night. Melatonin is a hormone that makes you feel sleepy. Pills that gradually release melatonin into your body during the night can help you stay asleep until the time you want to wake up. Consult your doctor. Your doctor can give you advice about safely using melatonin, lifestyle changes or light therapy to shift your sleep...

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How To Make Gorgeous Glow In The Dark Planters To Light-Up Your Deck After Dark

Posted by on 8:55 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Make Gorgeous Glow In The Dark Planters To Light-Up Your Deck After Dark

Decking can make a great extension to your living space for socialising and dining.  You can add atmosphere and ambiance to your deck in the evenings by adding interesting lighting features.  A really effective and simple project that you can do yourself is making ‘glow in the dark’ planters.  By day the planters can provide a beautiful display of colourful plants, and by night they give your decking a soft, luminous light.  Because no expensive batteries or awkward trailing wires are needed, the planters provide a cheap and fully portable lighting source.  Read on for instructions on how to make your own glow in the dark planters. What you’ll need glow in the dark spray paint (available from good DIY centres) plain, unpainted terracotta planters or pots washing-up liquid warm water scrubbing brush old newspaper or a drop cloth disposable face mask To make this project even cheaper, you could use old pots that you already have.  Plain terracotta pots are perfect as the spray paint won’t adhere as easily to painted or varnished surfaces.  The glow in the dark paint works by soaking up the sun’s rays during the day, and then glowing brightly at night, just like solar lighting. How to do it Begin by washing the pots to get rid of any clinging soil and dust so that the surface is clean and free from debris that would prevent the paint from adhering.  To do this, make up a mild solution of washing-up liquid and warm water in a bucket, dip the pots into the solution, and give them a good scrub.  Rinse the pots thoroughly in clean water and allow them to air-dry.   When the pots are completely dry, place them upside down on sheets of old newspaper or a drop sheet to protect the ground beneath from stray splats of paint.   Put on your face mask so that you don’t inadvertently inhale any paint particles, and make sure that the area you’re working in is well-ventilated.   Give the spray can a vigorous shake to ensure that the paint inside is well-mixed, remove the cap, and then spray the outside of the pots.  Begin at the top and work your way down to avoid any drips.  Allow the paint to dry completely.   When the paint is dry, apply a second coat and allow it to dry.   Plant up the pots as desired, and then place them in bright, direct sunlight for the day.  When the sun goes down, place the pots around your decking and enjoy the ethereal glow they produce.   Although the paint is waterproof, you might need to reapply the treatment every season to maintain the glow in the dark effect. For more ideas to build and improve your deck, visit websites...

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Features to Discuss With Your New Home Builder

Posted by on 6:37 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Features to Discuss With Your New Home Builder

When having a new home built, you want to take the time to discuss with your home builder all the features that will be included, from those that will make you more secure to those that will make your life easier and more enjoyable overall. Unless your builder only offers some cookie-cutter designs, consider asking him or her to include all of these features in your plans. 1. Hidden storage If a home’s cabinets and cupboards just don’t provide enough storage for your family, you don’t need to keep everything out in the open. Hidden storage can mean spaces under the floorboards, under an exposed staircase, or even behind bookcases. Work these into your design plans so you can find creative ways of storing that are also private and secure. 2. Automation There is virtually nothing in a home that cannot be powered and automated and even controlled from a remote keypad or your smartphone. Choose the automation that works for you rather than overspending on features that are “cool” but pointless for your needs. For example, you might not have a problem with remembering to turn off the water faucet, so you don’t need automation for your home’s plumbing, but if the home will be in a very sunny area, you might want automatic blinds that you can raise and lower with a remote control rather than constantly getting up.  3. Photovoltaic products Photovoltaic products are those that convert solar power to electricity. Solar panels are the most obvious products, but you can have photovoltaic power in windows, roof tiles, and other such materials. This makes maximum use of solar power. Ask your builder about these products and if they can be used in your home’s construction. 4. Recycled water Another way to “go green” with your new home is to use recycled water. When you run water down the kitchen or bathroom sink, this can be redirected to the toilet tanks in the home. This water is then used for flushing the toilet. You can then use less fresh water for toilets and waste less of this resource and also reduce your water bill. 5. Scaling down appliances Many homeowners want a large kitchen with oversized appliances. However, if it’s just you or you and your spouse and you don’t need larger appliances or a big kitchen, discuss have apartment-sized appliances instead. This can mean a three-burner stovetop rather than four, or a shorter and smaller refrigerator. Remember that your home works for you and your needs, so you might scale back the kitchen appliances and space in the kitchen in exchange for more living space elsewhere. For more information about having a home built, contact a company like Seapointe...

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What’s Your Noisy Old Air Conditioning System Saying To You?

Posted by on 10:54 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What’s Your Noisy Old Air Conditioning System Saying To You?

If you have an old air conditioning unit, it probably makes a comforting, familiar noise during operation that you’ve become accustomed to hearing over the years.  However, if your aging unit changes its tune, you may have cause for concern.  Read on to find out what those odd noises could mean and what you should do if you hear them. A high-pitched squealing sound The usual cause of a high-pitched squealing sound is a problem with the air conditioning unit’s fan belt.  The ear-splitting squealing is caused by the fan belt slipping as the unit operates.  Fortunately, this is generally an easy, inexpensive fix that can be quickly sorted out by an experienced appliance repair technician. A gentle hissing noise If you hear a low hissing sound emanating from your air conditioning unit’s vents, it could be caused by an air leak.  Leaky ducts can be repaired but shouldn’t be neglected, as they can cause the unit to work harder and consequently use more power, which could lead to higher energy bills. However, if the sound is coming from elsewhere in the air conditioning unit, a refrigerant leak could be to blame.  This is potentially a serious fault as it could interfere with, and impact on, the compressor or other important components inside the unit.   Repairs could be very expensive, and you might be best advised to replace the unit with a more modern one A clattering or rattling noise Clattering or rattling sounds are usually caused by loose connectivity inside the air conditioning unit’s ducts.  However, the blower’s motor or fan could also be responsible.  Loose connections are fixable, but a duff blower component could require replacement. Loud banging sounds If your air conditioning unit begins making loud banging noises, you could be in for trouble.  Although such sounds could be made by a minor fault such as a bent fan blade, the most likely cause is an issue with the compressor, which could mean replacing the whole air conditioning system. Constant buzzing noises If your air conditioning unit starts buzzing constantly, the most likely culprit would be an electrical fault.  A simple replacement of a minor component may solve the problem, but buzzing sounds can also be indicative of more serious issues with the unit’s motor. In conclusion If you live in an area of Australia with a very hot summer climate, such as Perth, it’s vital for your comfort that your air condition system is reliable, and a change of soundtrack could mean that it’s time to say goodbye to your old unit.  Have a chat with a reliable local supplier to see what alternatives are...

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