Seven Tips for Hiring a Plumber

If a water problem suddenly pops up in your house, then you have to call a plumber to restore order to your home. This can be a problem, especially during times when money is tight. It can be really frustrating and stressful when something breaks unexpectedly. What are some pearls of wisdom you need to know about hiring a plumber? Here we take a look at the seven useful tips to call in an expert repairman.

First of all, always get recommendations and referrals from others. Talk to your loved ones, your friends, your co-workers, and neighbors for references.  You should have no difficulty in finding some recommended plumbing repair companies and others you should stay away from.

Secondly, when you call someone to repair your plumbing system, provide as many details as possible about the circumstances you find yourself in. Tell them where the leak is in your home and describe the type of pipes it’s coming from if you know.

Third, find out if the plumber charges for the time it takes to travel to your home. Some experts charge their clients once they arrive and enter their homes; while others charge from the moment they get into their cars or trucks to drive to the residence. You need to know if the trip will be billed or not, as this will account for your decision of whom to hire.

The fourth tip is to know beforehand if the plumber will have the necessary parts on hand when he arrives. Are you going to have all the supplies you need or are you going to have to take one (or more) trips to the local hardware store? If he has to go shopping after he shows up, is he going to be charging for those extra trips to the store?

The fifth thing to consider is whether there will be a minimum charge for services rendered. There are some contractors who charge a minimal fee to their customers (eg, 30 minutes or 60 minutes), while others do not.

The sixth tip is to find out what credentials the plumber has. Ask the person how long they have been employed in this line of work and ask about their training. You should also ask if they have any accreditations.

Knowing these things should play a part in the decision. The seventh word of  advice is to find out if the contractor has insurance and if he does  find out how much insurance he carries.

How To Paint A Small Kitchen

Paint cannot increase the amount of space to work or the storage of your small kitchen, however, by selecting specific colors and paint finish, you’ll give the small area a greater sense of space without spending a fortune. A clearer and brighter environment will also be more pleasant to work in when preparing food, and will be more attractive in the early morning, when preparing the first important cup of coffee.

Instructions

Choose colors and paint finishes. A white or cream ceiling immediately gives more height to the kitchen. To promote the feeling of space, choose colors that make the walls visually recede. Sherwin Williams paint manufacturers suggest blue, green and violet as examples of colors that have that effect. A semi matte, satin or latex finish are suitable for walls and ceilings in a kitchen as they are easily washable. However, semi matte requires more scrubbing. Use oil paint on wood trim as it provides a tough, durable and washable finish.

Remove all things from work surfaces in the kitchen. Cover with plastic protective sheets to prevent staining with paint. Open the doors of the kitchen cabinets. Hang sheets of protective plastic over them and cover the front of the cabinets, then close the doors. This will keep in place while you paint. Cover the floor with a protective cloth, and protect all edges of the enclosed areas you are going to paint with masking tape.

Clean the walls and moldings that are going to paint using a brush, then wash every surface with a solution of warm water and mild detergent, using a sponge mop and clean rags. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and let the surfaces dry completely. Control holes and cracks. If you find them, apply caulk with a putty knife. Allow the putty to dry, then gently sand it flush with the rest of the surface. Wipe again to remove all sanding dust.

Apply a coat of primer to the walls and ceiling. Paint around the edges using a small brush, then use the roller in larger areas. Apply oil based paint to the molding. Let everything dry before applying a second coat of primer.

Apply the first coat of paint to the surfaces of the kitchen in the following order: ceiling, walls and molding. Again, paint using a small brush, and use a roller to apply the paint in larger areas. Use a brush for trim. Allow the paint to dry and apply a second coat, using exactly the same method.

Remove paint from brushes and rollers. Latex is washed under running water. Oil paint is removed with a brush cleaner, such as acetone. Wash brushes and rollers with warm soapy water and rinse. Let them air dry before storing. Remove all protective coverings from the kitchen once the paint has dried completely.

How to Paint an Oven with Heat Resistant Paint

When you are looking for ways to rejuvenate the kitchen, it is not always possible to purchase new equipment. Fortunately, an alternative to buying a new appliance, such as an oven, so it looks new and vibrant again, is a coat of paint. However, you cannot paint with just any paint. You have to use a heat resistant paint, which is generally epoxy based. With the correct preparation and application techniques, you can paint an oven with heat – resistant paint and rejuvenate any kitchen.

Instructions

  1. Clean the entire surface of the oven. Scrub it to remove grease and dust and filth. In most cases you should clean the surface of the oven with a sponge (or cloth) and a mixture of soap and water. For a more thorough cleaning, use a scrub brush or stiff bristle stainless steel pad. If your oven is painted, gently rub the surface with sandpaper and then clean any dirt with a damp cloth.
  2. Remove the electric coils and covers, and other parts of the oven which can’t be readily removed and that you do not want paint. Use painter’s tape to mask areas you do not want to paint, such as door handles.
  3. Apply heat-resistant paint with a brush. Follow the specific label instructions on how many layers should be applied and the drying time. Let the paint dry.
  4. Open the windows to provide good air circulation and ventilation when you use the oven for the first time after you’ve painted. Your oven may give off mild vapors or light smoke the first few times you use it. This should not happen more than the first few times the oven is used, but open the windows on these occasions so that the air remains safe.

Tips & Warnings

  • Start with the painting process when the oven is completely cool. Ideally, the surface temperature of the oven should be about 60 ° F (15 ° C) or at room temperature.

Decorating Open Kitchen Shelves

Open shelves that are generally in kitchens allow viewing of decorative items. Garnish open shelves in your kitchen to set the color outline, theme and style of the room, in addition to use as storage of any need you may have.

Instructions

  1. Paint the shelves to contrast with the walls or add an pop of color.
  2. Decorate the space behind racks. Place fabric or wallpaper behind the shelving to complement the color of the walls or cabinets. Or you can hang decorative plates on the wall to serve as decoration. Use plate racks or removable putty to hold them in place.
  3. Arrange the dishes as you would if they were in closed cabinets. Use one color or the colors of your kitchen to create a natural look. For example, using plates covered with red, green and cream with an apple in the center if your kitchen is decorated with red and green.
  4. Hang cups with hooks on the bottom of the open shelves, if they work with your decor and style.
  5. Put the occasionally used baking supplies or utensils in containers or baskets. Store sugar, flour and other items commonly used in transparent containers or colored, depending on your preference.
  6. Arrange the decorative elements on open shelves, if you do not want to show your dishes. For example, add a vase, plants, baskets, containers or ornaments.

Tips & Warnings

Add lights to the shelves if they contain decorative elements you want to highlight.

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Hanging Heavy Objects on a Wall

Sometimes a task at first glance is easy, like hanging an object on the wall of a room, but can become complicated if you’re not sure how. Hanging, for example, a large mirror can become a problem, because it can fall when least expected and cause damage to the person who is looking in it or passing by it.

For this reason, you should make sure that the system for hanging heavy objects hold perfectly throughout, not just in the moment but for many years. For objects that are particularly heavy, such as large murals or mirrors, can be hung in an effective, simple and durable way by using special fittings for hangings.

Types of Hardware

Such grips are metal and may even support up to ninety pounds of weight, and even more. They consist of two distinct parts. One goes into the wall and secures with four resistant screws and anchors. The other part has a projection which is screwed to the object with four screws. You must use two sets of hardware of this style, one on each side of the mirror or object you want to hang, and then engage the projection in the slot.

To perform this task, you need the help of another person in order to avoid accidents. If you want to get extra strength on the walls, use wall anchors. These can be of many types. Some are standard, that hold a lot of weight and are designed for hollow walls and false ceilings. They also can come in metal and plastic. For plaster walls, there are special bolts that can be used.

Doing a Water Damage Assessment

Incorrect water damage assessment to any material such as wood or drywall (plasterboard) or even water susceptible metal may lead to unforeseen consequences which include underestimating the damage or failing to recognize the damage, which can cause more damage. For example, if you under report the damages, an insurance company will restrict you. If it does not recognize damage, damaged wood or material can lead to further wet rot that you may not fully recognize until much later. An accurate water damage assessment increases the likelihood that your insurance company will pay you properly, and insures you can repair or replace the damaged material.

Instructions

  1. Allow materials and structures to completely dry. Drying reveals damage to the material.
  2. Examine the surfaces of wood, walls or even “water deformation” ceilings including blistering, swelling or fraying. Blister formation consists of bubbles or raised pockets of material such as paint, plaster or laminate where the surface material actually pulls away or elevates the underlying layers. Swelling is made up of solid materials that are swollen with water, then keep a swollen look once dried and frayed consists of fibrous edges where grains of wood cloth or other material become soaked.
  3. Check floor panels, ceiling panels or walls of visual signs of secondary structural stress such as buckling of adjacent sections, bowing of individual sections or corner compression. Buckling occurs as a consequence of swelling and consists of one or more swollen structures pressing against each other until one slips or causes the material to curve (bow). Corner compression also produces inflammation and consists of wrinkled corners mashed or compressed between two adjacent panels.
  4. Inspect any exposed metal surfaces for oxidation that appears as red powder or brick color, indicating elemental iron deposits.
  5. Look for erosion on surfaces or even on the ground around foundations or landscaped areas such as stone paths. Erosion on the tiles consists of bits of washed sand, so the asphalt tile appears as smooth as a worn tire. Erosion messages around the foundation of your home or around patio or stone walkways can appear as pockets or holes in areas once filled with dirt and these holes are deepened with additional rain or leaking that removes dirt.
  6. Inspect walls, ceilings, and floors for stains. These spots will appear as wet pockets when all has dried. These stains indicate water has penetrated into the structure and could have caused wet rot or mold.
  7. Examine garage floors or concrete basement walls for filtration indicates internal cracks where water was collected. These inner water bags can create pressure and cause surface cracks.
  8. Inspect garage floors or concrete basement walls for cracks resulting from changes in ground due to rain. These cracks let the water flow freely in a room or even on a floor, creating more damage.

Unclogging an Air Conditioner Drain

Your air conditioner is equipped with a drain line that sends water from the unit to the outside. This line should cleaned on a regular basis or it can get clogged with algae and mold. When it does, you are in danger of getting water damage around the unit and damage to the line and unit itself.

Instructions

  1. Unplug the air conditioner. Disconnect the power to the air conditioning unit. This is always recommended when working on appliances.
  2. Take off the filter at the end of the outside drain line. Otherwise, the filter will be damaged.
  3. Place the end of a wet-dry vacuum over the end of the drain line.
  4. Wrap a cloth around where the vacuum and drainage are located. Wrap your hand around it to make a firm connection. Turn on the vacuum for about five seconds so it can suck the debris causing the blockage.

Tips and warnings

  • Pour 1 cup of bleach in the line each spring. This reduces the possibility of it becoming clogged.

Cleaning a Drain with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Would you like to know a home remedy to clean the drain of your house without using toxic products? The mixture of vinegar and sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is a solution. Here we’ll explain how to do it.

Cleaning the house can be fun or it can become an extremely stressful operation. Few men and women can truly say that they enjoy doing housework, however, when we find solutions that help us with this task, we can enter the tasks with a different attitude. There are activities that seem impossible to perform successfully, but the key is finding the right technique and product.

We’re going to focus on one of the most tedious tasks in the home, cleaning the drains. To do this, there are numerous chemical, toxic and polluting products in stores, but here is an equally valid alternative that also takes care of the environment.

Home remedies to clean the drain

For this, you will need two products that we all have in our homes, we are talking about vinegar and baking soda.

To make this mixture you will need: 100 grams of baking soda, a glass of hot vinegar and a glass of boiling water.

The cleaning of the drain should be done at night, before going to sleep so that the product takes effect for several hours. First, pour the baking soda into the drain and then pour in a cup of hot vinegar and a glass of boiling water. It is important that, once the cleaning operation is carried out, do not turn on the water until the next morning. After all night the mixture of vinegar and baking soda will have done their cleaning, a technique that is not harmful to the environment.

If you wish you can perform a weekly cleaning of the drains of your home, this technique will not cause any obstructions.

You already know how to clean the drains of the washing machine, the sink, the dishwasher, etc. But, all prevention work is essential. Therefore, below, we offer some recommendations to prevent drains from becoming clogged:

  • Never throw food in the sink drain because the remains of it accumulate in the pipe and in the siphon and can cause blockages. Your sink should have a plug with holes so that the food does not go through.
  • Do not dispose of oil residue through the sink because a greasy film can form on the pipe where any food remains attached, causing bad odors and clogging.
  • In addition, the soaps that you use can leave sediments in the pipes. Every 10 days it is advisable to clean them with a hot pot of salt water.

Do you think this is the only benefit of vinegar? This is a product that has numerous benefits for your personal beauty and is also a great ally to lose weight.

How to Hide an Unused Door

Although most of the doors of a home are usually functional and easy access to rooms or storage spaces, there may be situations where the door does not lead anywhere. For example, it may be a small door leading to shower plumbing. When you have an unused door, you may want to hide it from view. There are some methods that work.

Instructions

  • Make or buy a modified mirror or piece of art that extends over the entire height and width of the door you want to hide. Use something light, like a canvas, it can be moved if you occasionally need to access the door. Hang a mirror or artwork directly over the door so that it hides the entire opening, including the frame.
  • Creates a wall fabric extending around the wall on which is the door is framed. Place eyehooks approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) below the ceiling and hang curtain wire between them. Measure the wall and cut a piece of fabric that is large enough to cover the space. Cut the fabric so that it is larger than the wall if you want a similar effect to a billowing curtain. Fix fabric fasteners to the curtain wire.
  • Place a piece of furniture in front of a high doorway leading to the place you never need to access. High and wide shelving, an entertainment center or the Chinese cabinet, provide options. Cover the top of the furniture with accessories that extend above the door frame, if necessary.
  • Place tall plants in pots, either real or artificial, in front of the door to hide it from view. Use lush shrubs instead of trees to greater coverage.

A Residential Plumbing Guide

Residential plumbing or home plumbing can present serious difficulties if you ignore signs of problems for a long time. For example, you may have trouble deciding when to tackle a job yourself or call a professional. Understanding how your home plumbing system works can help you save time and money.

Purpose

The main purpose of a residential plumbing system is to provide a filtered water supply for the home and to allow wastewater to drain from the house. Its plumbing system connects a series of pipes to clean lines of water supply and sewage. Pipes carry water to all plumbing fixtures, such as sinks and showers. Each pipe system has a main shut-off valve for water supply, and many newer houses have shut-off valves for individual parts.

Inlet water

The incoming drinking water goes through your pressure regulator and water meter if your house has one. Water then directs to your hot water heater, some outdoor accessories and the rest will supply cold water for interior accessories. Plumbing uses various materials to build supply pipes, including copper, PVC pipe or PEX pipe. The main pipes have a diameter of 3/4 to 1 inches while the secondary pipes have a diameter of 1/2 inch.

Sewage water

Sewage drainage, one of the most vital functions of your plumbing system, helps keep your home free of toxic gases and sludge. In modern houses, they are usually made of plastic materials such as PVC pipe or ABS drainage system, although old houses may use cast iron. Plastic pipes, however, usually make more noise than cast iron pipes and because of this, some modern houses still have cast iron pipes.

Trap and ventilation

A fundamental part of the sewage system, the trap, a curved piece of pipe beneath the fittings like in a sink, maintains a small amount of water in the line at all times, which prevents hazardous gases from backing through the pipes and enter the home. Another fundamental safety feature of the plumbing system, the ventilation line, carries the gases from the house sewage through a pipe that extends through the roof.