Here in Colorado, most homes have a basement. Whether you use it for storage, or have extra living space you depend on, it’s important to keep your belongings safe from potential damage. Basements that allow water to seep in through the walls smell terrible and often result in costly repairs. The following seven tips will help you keep your basement dry :
1. Check your gutters – If your home is equipped with gutters and downspouts, clean them on a regular basis and check for damage. If your home does not have them, install them to ensure that water is always directed away from the foundation of your home.
2. Do some landscaping – Grass, shrubs and the general state of the land around your home can cause water to gather around the foundation. Change your landscaping, and use plants that are more drought resistant, and don’t require an abundance of water. Bring in dirt to cause water to slope away from the house.
3. Install a sump pump – If you have noticed that your basement tends to have water accumulate after heavy rainstorms, installing a sump pump will make removing the water much easier.
Your water heater is probably something you take for granted…until it malfunctions. If you are having problems with your water heater pilot light going out, check these main culprits first.
1. Thermocouple – The most common cause of the pilot light going out is a thick looking copper wire called the thermocouple. It sits on the gas valve and is responsible for turning off the gas if the pilot light goes out. If the piece is faulty it tends to turn the pilot light off instead.
2. Draft – Is your pilot light going out mainly on windy days? Is the lighting area exposed to a draft? If the pilot light isn’t properly shielded from airflow, a draft can put it out.
3. Ventilation - Your water heater should have it’s own vent out through the roof. Any issues with the stack can cause a backdraft of air to flow down and put out the pilot light. If this is the issue, you might want to have a professional come look at it. They can tell you if adding to the stack height would help eliminate your problem.
Shopping for a garbage disposal? Whether you are looking to reduce your impact on the environment, or just looking for an easier way to deal with dinner remains, you want to make sure you get the right disposal the first time. So, here are a few tips to help you shop smart.
1. Size - When comparing garbage disposal units, one of the first things you will need to consider is size. Since the unit will be held within the area under your sink, you will want to find a disposal that can fit in the available space. Depending on your layout, this might eliminate several options already.
2. Power - Garbage disposals can vary in power from 1/4 hp to 1 hp. The power you want will depend largely on what you intend to use it for. It may surprise you to find that the most difficult food item for a disposal to process is stringy vegetables. The more leafy greens you dispose of, the higher you will want your disposal’s hp to be. For the average family home, a 3/4 hp disposal is sufficient.
3. Timing - Garbage disposals have two ways of grinding and disposing of waste. Some are triggered by the presence of food, while others are not activated until you apply electricity. Families with young children especially should consider going with the garbage disposal that gives you more control.
When was the last time you thought about water? Chances are it’s not on the top of your list of things to ponder. Yet increasingly water – especially fresh water – is a hot topic as we begin to experience more shortages as climate change and growing populations consumes this diminishing source.
The Water Footprint Network was created over 2 years ago as a way to promote the transition towards sustainable, fair and efficient use of fresh water resources worldwide. It does that through a variety of methods, including:
Creating a “water footprint” that shows direct and indirect water use of consumers and producers
Increasing water footprint awareness through communities, government bodies and businesses, to better understand how consumption of goods and services and production chains relate to water use
Encourage water governance that reduce the negative ecological and social impacts of various water footprints
In February 2011, The Water Footprint Network released its new guide – the Water Footprint Assessment Manual – which provides a shared global standard to use as a basis for formulating sustainable water strategies and policies.
One of the best ways to start conserving water is individually within our own homes. But that is only a start. Right now it is estimated that 85 percent of the water used in the world goes to make agriculture based products, such as food, beverages and natural fibers.
In order to change our direction, and prepare for the future, we need to think beyond the small things, and put large initiatives into place. And with ideas like The Water Footprint Network in place, we have a pretty good start.
It is a homeowner’s nightmare: water damage. You have to act fast to minimize the damage, but where do you begin?
1. Stop it at the source – The first thing you will want to do is find the source. Turning the water off immediately will prevent the damage from spreading further. If the source is too difficult to pinpoint, you may have to resort to more drastic measures. Turning off the water to the whole house will definitely stop the water if the source is a plumbing issue.
2. Call your insurance provider – You will want to let your insurance company know what has happened. The sooner you bring them in, the sooner your premiums can start working for you.
The need for water heaters does not lie only with individuals. Everyone needs hot water at some point. Commercial water heaters are used by a variety of businesses. For instance, hospitals make good use of commercial water heaters because residential water heaters will not meet their demands. Factories and large corporations need commercial water heaters, too, to withstand their water needs.
When you are in the market for a commercial water heater, chances are you’ve seen the many options available, including:
- Indirect (unfired hot water storage tank)
- Tankless coil
- Heat pump
The type of water heater you choose depends on your needs. Of course, you want to choose a water heater that is energy efficient. Even if price is a concern, the energy efficiency of your water heater will pay for itself over time in savings. Pay close attention to the energy labels of commercial water heaters and choose one that costs the least to operate In the long run. Read more
The plumbing inside your home is something you depend on every day. You expect your toilet to flush and your sinks to drain. You expect the water in your bathtub to quickly disappear after every bath and shower. You expect your hot water to be hot and your gas-operated appliances to work properly. All of these things depend on efficient and effective plumbing. Without proper plumbing, you run the risk of costly repairs in the future.
No matter what sort of plumbing work you need completed, it is important to hire a master plumber. Master plumbers are licensed in their field of work. The license means they have passed the rigorous exams, adhered to all guidelines and regulations, and have plenty of experience under their belt.
Master plumbers have proven themselves to be worthy plumbers. While you can take the risk and cut corners by hiring a non-licensed plumber, the result could be shoddy work that costs you later in repairs. Hiring a master plumber will provide you with the guarantee that the work will be completed in a satisfactory manner.
Did your electric bill this month send you through the roof? Are you astounded at how much the modern convenience of electricity is costing you? Here are a few things to look into, to see if you are wasting energy in your home.
1) Drafts - One of the biggest energy wasters in your home may be something you don’t even think about, the draft. Do you have air leaking in around windows and doors? Fix your drafts to save electricity needed for heating and cooling.
2) Old appliances – Old appliances can be another huge source of energy waste in a home. If the appliance isn’t in it’s best working condition it’s even more of an energy drag. Make sure your appliances are working at peak proficiency (and replace them with energy star when you can) to help save on your energy bill.