Category: Home Improvement

Have A Quieter Home

Enhance your windows

Double glazed and triple glazed windows are very effective in blocking sound. They have air layers that break passing sound and sound energy is lost. It is best to make considerations when building your house in a noisy area or to make enhancements to already existing windows.

Reduce noisemakers

When choosing your appliances, remember that there are models that have nosy operations and they can limit you from enjoying some quiet around the home. Buy models that are quieter in operation to enjoy a significant noise reduction around the home. Whether you are buying a dishwasher, fans or fridge remember to check noise levels. The appliances should also be in good working order all the time to eliminate vibrations, rattles and buzzing.

Use materials that are sound absorbing

What you need to remember is that softer surfaces absorb sound waves whereas hard surfaces tend to reflect them. You can use the soft materials such as padded carpeting and acoustic ceilings to minimize sound bouncing around your home. Drop ceiling systems and acoustic tiles also have good acoustical properties and they can be considered.

Enhance your doors

Soundproofing doors can get tricky, but you can start by sealing edges that transmit sound. It is also advisable that you install doors that block sound. Solid core doors block sound interference and eliminate the drum-like reflections that hollow core doors have. The doors might be a little costly, but they go a long way in soundproofing your home, especially when you also weather strip them.

Think about the garage door

The garage door is a very important addition to a home. When you select a door with internal foam insulation complete with interior panels, you will manage to minimize sound and noise. This is especially important if you have rooms right above the garage door. It will prevent outside noise from seeping in through the door. You also want to make sure that your door is properly maintained so it does not end up being a noise maker around your home.

Take care of noisy pipes

Pipes can chatter and rattle or even make loud bangs during different situations. One of the easiest ways of silencing the pipes is by using water hammer arrestor. There are however so many other ways of ensuring that the pipes do not make the annoying sounds.


Choose Flotex Flooring

In recent years, these people have succeeded in inventing a new type of flooring which is practical, cheap and aesthetically pleasing. Flotex flooring has combined the best features of carpet flooring and vinyl flooring and is much like a hybrid of the two. Flotex flooring can commonly be found in public spaces such as in libraries, gyms and classrooms. Many people assume that Flotex flooring is just a short-haired version of carpet, but it has a number of features which make it a much better alternative than it’s long-fibred ancestor. Flotex flooring is increasingly finding its way into domestic homes on the back of its success in public places. Why? This article will explain the main features of this new type of flooring and look at the reasons why you might want to select it when decorating.

Durability and comfort

The fibres used in Flotex mean that this part of the flooring is very similar to carpet, whilst the base from which the fibres are attached makes it more similar to vinyl. But it is these fibres that I want to turn my attention to first. For every metre squared of Flotex, you will find around seventy million fibres. This is much more than you would find in a metre squared of carpet and the results are astounding. Having these fibres makes walking on the floor comfortable if you have no shoes on, but it also means that it is highly durable and that it can withstand a lot of traffic. On top of this, the sheer number of fibres mean that it provides comfort and acoustic qualities which are even better than those provided with carpet.

Hygienic and washable

One of the main differences between carpet fibres and Flotex fibres is that these ones are dead upright. Carpet fibres tend to be curved and this means that they trap everything, from dirt, to spillages and allergens. Flotex flooring, with its upright fibres, does not do this. Any spillages or any mess which is created is very easy to clean from the surface of the carpet, whilst the base of the flooring means that the whole thing is waterproof. Thus any spillages made can be cleaned up in your own time without having to worry about them soaking in and damaging the floor. On top of this, the upright fibres quickly release dirt and allergens to vacuum cleaners and other cleaning products meaning that the floor will almost always be clean and people with allergies can live without worrying about them.


Types Of Granite Countertops

Cut

Here a natural stone is cut from quarried pieces and then installed on your counter. To get this style of countertop, you should take the measurements of your counter and then visit the stone yard and find a stone that will be of the right size.

Many people make the mistake of sending people to the stone yard and enquire about the stone from the phone, which is wrong. To be on the safe side you should visit the stone yard and choose the slab by yourself.

Honed

Honing is a method that leaves the slab muted, opaque, and rustic in nature. You should note that while the honed countertops are great to look at, they often stain than their polished counterparts. To maintain the elegant nature of the honed countertop, you should add your favorite color on it before you finish and seal it.

Satin

Satin is a finish that has a contemporary feel than unpolished granite or highly buffed pieces. Satin countertops give a different feel to the hand and at the same time change the tone of a room.

Engineered

These are composed of a natural stone that has been grounded together with resins and other pigments. The products can be produced in different thicknesses which makes it easy to overlay them over existing structures.

Engineered granite is nonporous which eliminates the problem of minute gas emission. The nonporous nature of the countertops also makes the surfaces ideal places to prepare food.

Polished

These countertops are usually very clean and they are often the top choice in upscale design. It’s common to find them in high end places. The high gloss nature of the surfaces closes the pores thus making them easy to clean and more durable.


Signs of Roof Damage

The weather can damage your roof in many different ways. Wind, for example, can tear shingles off your roof and warp gutters. The wind can also lift and displace tiles. Snow, ice, storms, lightening, rainfall and extreme temperatures can also damage roofs.

Even heat can damage a roof. Too much sun can cause certain types of roof tiles to crack and blister. If an attic isn’t ventilated properly, rising hot air from inside the home will push its way to and through the roof. Has there been a fire in your neighborhood? Heat from a fire near your home can melt tiles and other roofing materials.

Roofs can also be damaged by falling objects such as tree branches. If you see broken tree limbs on the ground near your home, check the roof closest to where the limb was found. Look for any signs of damage, including scrapes and gouges. Minor damage may be a sign of more serious issues. When a tree limb breaks and falls on a roof, it can also cause structural damage to the house.

Earthquakes, even small ones, can damage roofs as well. Many times, the damage is caused by the collapse of masonry chimneys. Improperly built roofs or roofs with too much weight can also lead to buckling during a quake.

Most homes are built with asphalt shingles. The asphalt tiles are coated with tiny granules that provide UV protection. Damage to an asphalt roof can include missing granules (bald tiles), holes in the tile, as well as cracked, torn or missing tiles. Asphalt tiles can also become “bruised” or dented. Large amounts of tile granules in rain gutters means your roof is deteriorating.

Tile roofs can be damaged very easily, particularly from falling objects. Indicators of tile roof damage include chipped, broken or missing tiles. If you find pieces of tile on the ground, it’s time for a roof inspection.

Cedar roof tiles can split, particularly in dry climates. In areas where there is consistent or excessive rainfall, moss can start growing on the tiles. In general, natural roofing tiles and materials will deteriorate faster than synthetic roofing.

Your roof should be inspected on a regular basis – at least twice a year. Make sure it is inspected closely both inside as well as outside. On the inside, look for water stains, which can be an indicator of a leak, or insulation that has been stripped away.

If your roof is severely damaged it may need to be re-roofed. Make sure you contact a licensed and qualified roofing contractor or trusted general contractor who can help you with roof shingle installation.


Protective Nature Of ARC Valves

How It Functions and Application

A minimum flow valve which is an automatic recirculation valve offers protection automatically during low load operation. When the pump load drops below the minimum flow, the valve disc starts moving to the seat causing a bypass bush opening to create a bypass flow path which in turn makes it possible for the minimum flow load to be reached and maintained. This valve is used protectively in pumps handling hot boiler waters. It is also used in situations where there is partial evaporation of water content that can cause the pump to run dry. The valve makes sure that the minimum flow is still maintained even when such boilers are completely shut.

Another application of this valve is in the protection of high performance pumps in the startup phase. In such a case, several pumps are parallel in use with one pump in standby. This recirculation valve allows a smooth swap from one pump to another without causing any damage to any of the pumps. They are used in chemical and refining industries, maritime, paper and pulp industries and also in power industries to offer this kind of pump protection.

Choosing an ARC valve

There are a variety of recirculation valves in the market just like there are different pump brands. It makes it important to ensure that you get the best from the start to offer you the kind of functionality you wish to enjoy. Some of the things that you can consider when buying or choosing among the valves include the design which can determine the smooth functioning of the valve, the bypass and check features combination, protection level offers, external actuation requirements and availability of high pressure variants. They are some of the things that can help you in settling for a valve that will effectively serve your needs.

The automatic recirculation valve comes in different sizes from brand to brand. Depending on the application process, you should be in a position to choose the best. You will find anything from 1 inch up to 24 inches of valve sizes. You can even have larger sizes especially made for you to offer you the effectiveness that you are looking for.


Water Conditioner

  • Do I squeak when I bathe? Contrary to popular belief, “squeaky clean” isn’t the best option. Hard water takes away your skin’s natural oils, so softer water is the healthier choice. Some people claim that soft water makes them feel a bit slippery, but it’s usually because they are unused to feeling water the way it’s supposed to be felt.
  • Do my pipes have a lot of scale? If the answer is no, then a water conditioner system might be a better choice than a softening system. If there isn’t a lot of buildup in the pipes, your water might not be as hard as you think. You should talk to an expert, however, before making the decision about what is or isn’t too much.
  • What is a water conditioner going to do for my city water? It could help you remove extra chlorine or chemicals, and help remove any contaminants that might have been missed by your water company. If your health is important to you, then a conditioner could be in your future.

If you’re concerned about water spots or metals in your water, a water softener can take care of those for you. Saltless water conditioners also do nothing for spots on your dishes, and can cause you to use more soap. If you’re looking only to remove some sediment, then water conditioning is the right choice.

In the end, whether or not you condition your water comes down to the benefits you’ll reap. In short, here’s what you stand to gain:

  • Cleaner, fresher tasting water
  • Water with less chlorine in it
  • Water with less sediment
  • Better working pipes because of reduced scaling

The best part of all, however, is that you’ll see more money in your pocket. With water conditioning, you spend less money: you don’t need a plumber as often, you can grow more food (if you wish), and you don’t need to wash clothes twice. You’ll be healthier, too, from drinking and bathing in water that isn’t contaminated – and it’s impossible to put a price on that.


Underground Water Tank

The stored water could be used for purposes like watering the outdoor garden or washing vehicles. So this excess stored water can be used for additional purposes. If the normal water supply is used for additional purposes, then there could be scarcity of water.

This stored water could also prove useful in case of emergencies like fire. In case of a major fire outbreak, the stored water could be used for extinguishing it. Many insurance companies also offer discounts in insurance premiums to people who have underground water tanks in their homes. So keeping stored water in your home will not cost you much, but will definitely be helpful during contingency.

In order to purchase subterranean water tank, the following steps needs to be followed.

First of all you need to determine, where will you place the tank in your home. In order to make this happen you have to allocate a space for the tank. You need to have sufficient space for placing the tank in your home.

The second most important factor is affordability. Obviously the larger tanks would be more costly than the smaller tanks. Before thinking about purchasing a large tank, you should determine whether you can afford it or not. You have to also evaluate your requirement. If your requirement of subterranean water is less, than you should purchase a small tank. If the requirement of stored water is more, than a larger tank is required. You will also have to spend money on the piping. You must consider all these factors before making a purchase.

You have the option of purchasing the tank online. You will find various companies selling tanks online. You must select the tank that is most suitable to you in terms of price and suitability. But before making the purchase, you must check the customer reviews. You must purchase only those products which have favorable customer reviews. Generally the reviews given by other customers are correct.


Make Home As Fireproof As Possible

Don’t Smoke Indoors

Clearly, smoking at all can make you more likely to develop all kinds of nasty health ailments. But smoking indoors, especially in a bedroom, greatly improves the odds of a still-lit cigarette butt finding its way onto flammable material. In fact, the National Fire Prevention Association cites smoking as the number one cause of fire-related deaths.

Run a Monthly Fire Drill

Everyone knows to keep at least one smoke detector in their home, but when was the last time you heard of anyone testing their fire alarm? The USFA recommends deliberately activating your smoke alarm once a month to know if batteries, or the alarm itself, need to be replaced. In addition, it could be crucially helpful to map out potential escapes routes, and rehearse where household members should go in the event of a fire. According to the Red Cross, only a little more than a quarter of American families have gone over a fire escape plan, so you’ll immediately be better prepared than most people.

Be Careful While You Cook

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls attention to the kitchen as a place where fires hazards can occur. The agency recommends wearing short-sleeved shirts, or at least clothing that won’t leave anything dangling over a flame, while cooking. In addition, you should never take your eyes off food on a burning stove, and it’s not a good idea to leave anything flammable – towels or dish rags, for instance – near the stove.

Be Selective Where You Put Space Heaters

Electric space heaters can be a great way to cut down on your heating bills during the winter months. However, the CDC notes that you should be careful not to place them anywhere near bookshelves, waste paper baskets, or anything that could catch fire.


Types Of Fire Sprinkler Systems

Dry pipe system

The pipes in this system are filled with air under pressure and the water is held back by the control valve which is usually located outside the protected area. When the sprinkler head is activated, the valve releases the compressed air through the sprinkler head. Once all the air has been released, water fills the system.

You should note that this system has a slower reaction time. The good side with the system is that it releases large amount of water; therefore, fire is put off fast.

Another good thing is that you don’t have to worry about flooding in case there is leakage in the pipes. These systems are used in areas where the wet and alternate systems can’t be used.

Alternate systems

These systems are usually filled with water for the summer period then when the season is over, they are drained down and filled with air for the winter period. These systems are ideal for underground car parks and other buildings that are not usually heated.

Pre-action systems

These are variations of the dry and wet pipe systems. These systems must be triggered twice before water is dispensed from the sprinkler head. The first trigger allows water into the pipes while the second trigger releases the water and pushes it to through the sprinkler in order to extinguish the fire.


Time For Outdoor Construction

You may investigate outdoor construction with many attitudes, some wiser than others. Many times these inspirations lead people who have no background in construction to try their hand at it. The vision they have is so clear, they assume the process of creating it must be as easy and clear. Family and friends may try to warn this person about the vast challenge they are taking on, encouraging them to seek out guidance.

Some of these people listen, and find professionals they can work with and learn from, or just pass the job onto once they grasp how complex actualizing their dream is. These folks often relax in their realized vision; chuckling at how grand and simple they once thought construction was.

Some of these people choose not to listen to friends and family, and seek no professional help. Gathering a few DIY manuals, watching a few YouTube videos, they are convinced they can build their vision with no training and a lot of heart. Unfortunately, too many spouses have been forced to stand by, jaw clamped shut, as their loved one spirals down a pit of botched projects, dwindling money and patience.

A few of these types realize their mistake, and asking for help, see their dream realized and find appreciation for specialists. Some of these situations end in projects half-finished and falling apart. Procrastination creeps under the guise of learning and many seasons may go by without progress.

And then there are the strong few who plow through with little progress to show for their doggedness. They finish the work, but the dream has been lost in translation. Perhaps they will see a vision of perfection overlaid the shoddy work, or perhaps they will cease to visit that part of the property. To each their own.

Your experience of outdoor construction will go much smoother through seeking professional help. The lasting effects of the project will be there for all to see, so some pre – planning goes a long way. Your family should discuss the budget, and decide on weather proof materials that are durable and pleasing to the eye. Checking these expectations with a professional contractor will help give the project the body it needs to take shape.