Tips for Choosing the Best Contractor to Repair Broken Pipes

When upgrading a home, one of the things that you will be looking at is the drains. You want to ensure that after renovations, you have a properly functioning plumbing system. This is because apart from making the house more comfortable, it can also increase its value, and reduce insurance costs. So, how do you find the best contractor to repair broken pipes? Consider the following factors.

Choosing the Right Plumber

It all starts by choosing a plumber to work on your drainage pipes. Regardless of where you live, you are likely to find many contractors for this job. However, it is unlikely that they all will be suitable. You need to find out what they are capable of. For example, you may ask for some of the projects that they worked on and see if they reflect what you want. You also should talk to them about your unique needs so that they understand your project.

Latest Plumbing Technology

If you look at some of the leading plumbing companies in your area, you will notice that they have invested in the latest technology for broken pipes repair. Some of them use video inspection to find faults in pipes and fix them accordingly. This is the reason they are always fast and accurate in what they do. If you choose a company that still relies on ancient techniques, you will only end up a disappointed customer.

When looking for a contractor to repair broken pipes, you should insist on experience. During their work, plumbers acquire unique skills and therefore, they become better with time. At the end of the day, what you need is a home with the perfect drainage system.

Entrust the repair of your broken pipes to the professional plumbers of this company. They are available 24/7, including holidays and weekends. They also offer water damage restoration services. 

Toilet Auger vs. Top Snake vs. Plunger

The right tool for the job makes all the difference when you’ve got a clogged toilet drain. No matter what the clog is, if it’s in a toilet then it’s probably tough on the nose, not to mention disgusting. There’s no reason to fear the toilet clog though! With the right tool, you might not even need to call a professional plumber.

Toilet Auger

A common and often effective tool for unclogging a toilet is the trusty toilet auger. These can be found at major home supply stores, and it’s a tool that can be invaluable if you find yourself getting regular clogs. The tool moves through the toilet drain in order to remove the clog or whatever else may be causing the obstruction. The unique design of the toilet auger makes it more effective at removing clogs than most other options like toilet snakes. Toilet augers have a coil head that hooks objects to free them from the toilet. The long, flexible shaft has an auger bit at one end of the tool, with a crank on the other end that allows the user to turn and push, removing the drain clog.

Top Snake

You don’t’ always need something big to unclog a toilet, or to unclog any kind of smaller opening. A top snake is most effective on stubborn clogs in tubs, showers, washing machines, and sinks. The shape and the size can vary widely, leaving you with lots of options for your plumbing needs. The wire coil of a top snake has a corkscrew-like tip that goes into the pipes to hunt down the clog. With a long cord that’s made from tough cable, top snakes are perfect for drains that don’t have too much build up.

Plunger

Everyone has a plunger! This stalwart tool has helped Elizabeth homeowners get stuff unstuck for generations. Most people don’t realize that there are two types of plungers – flange plungers and cup plungers. Flange plungers are perfect for toilets, with their lipped design, help create a better seal in your toilet to get the drain moving. Cup plungers are what most of us thing of as a regular plunger, and their rubber cup is perfect for sinks and tubs.

The more you know, the better you’ll be able to get the right tool to help you unclog your drain easily and without having to resort to calling a sewer service!

Looking for quality tools to unclog your toilet? If you need just a little pressure to get things flowing, check out this shop that carries toilet plungers, auger, and other plumbing supplies. 

6 Things that Invite Bugs to Your Home

Photo credit: insightpest via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Most of us don’t want to think about getting bugs into our home. However, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to getting bugs out of your house.

Just like all animals, bugs want food, they want water, and they want shelter. You’re probably unknowingly giving bugs an open invitation into your home! The good news is that there are ways to for Jersey City, NJ families to prevent bugs from getting into the house in the first place.

Screens/Doors

Sealing off screens doors can help prevent cockroach infestations, flies, mosquitos, and all kinds of bugs!

Crevices/Cracks

Sealing off crevices and cracks, particularly in older homes, prevents bugs from ever getting in in the first place.

Food

This one is obvious, but it’s worth noting anyway. Cleaning food debris away from dining areas, including washing dishes, cleaning counters, mopping floors, etc. cuts off the food supply of cockroaches and ants, preventing major pest control issues.

Trash cans

Of course, trash cans are a major draw for pests, which is why it’s important to make sure they’re sealed tightly and cleaned out regularly.

Pet food

Pets like to eat food, and so do pests. Don’t leave pet food out where pests can get to it, and always be sure to clean up your pet’s feeding area after they’re done eating.

Papers and boxes

Bugs like cockroaches love to hide in papers and piled up boxes. Don’t let clutter get out of control, as it offers the perfect place for pests to hide!

 

If you’ve got a pest control problem, check out this company that offers professional bug extermination services. With their help, you will live in a house that is absolutely bug-free!

How to Powerwash Your Driveway – DIY

Driveways tend to gather a great deal of muck and stains over time. Luckily, cleaning your driveway is easy to do and effective with a power washer.  

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Broom
  • Stiff brush
  • Spray on degreaser
  • Pressure washer cleaner
  • Pressure washer (rent one or borrow one, you don’t have to buy)
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Painter’s tape
  • Garden hose

Instructions for pressure washing your driveway

  1. Clear debris and dirt from the driveway using a broom.
  2. Cover exterior surfaces that are nearby using the painter’s tape and the plastic sheeting.
  3. Read the manual thoroughly before starting to use the pressure washer.
  4. Spray the surface degreaser on tough spots and scrub with the stiff brush. The pressure washer is going to do most of the work, but elbow grease is still required.
  5. Connect the pressure washer hose and its wand to the pressure washer according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Choose the tip that’s specifically for washing, it might be labeled “soap”.
  7. Connect the hose to the pressure washer and the garden hose to the water supply portion of the pressure washer.
  8. Turn on the water.
  9. Place the siphon tube (this should be supplied with the pressure washer) into the pressure washer detergent container and attach the pressure washer.
  10. Hold the spray handle and turn the pressure washer on. Keep your distance 10-18 inches from the driveway surface.  Use a smooth, back and forth motion along the driveway, overlapping strokes about six inches.
  11. Allow the detergent to sit on the driveway surface for five minutes.
  12. While the detergent is sitting, change the tip on the pressure washer to the “25 degree” tip. Detach the detergent according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  13. Work your way back along the driveway now with water to remove the detergent in the same manner as you sprayed on the detergent.
  14. For tough stains, hold the tip just three to four inches from the surface and use even, slow strokes to remove the stain.

Once your driveway is clean, consider sealing it to protect it from future stains.

Need help in cleaning your driveway? No worries! Click here to check out companies that offer professional power washing services in Troy, MI.

How I Opened My Stuck Garage Door

Not too long ago, my garage door got woefully stuck in the down position. It was a fair nightmare, as I had to get to work and it seemed like a huge hassle. With some quick research and a little ingenuity, I was able to get the door unstuck and get on my way, just a little late. I’m thankful for an understanding boss.

One of the primary purposes of a garage door is security. We don’t want just anyone to be able to open our garage door easily, just like we wouldn’t want anyone to be able to open our front door easily. Just like everything in life, garage doors can malfunction. That might mean leaving a garage door stuck in the closed position or stuck in the open position. Neither one is a good thing. As homeowners, we take it for granted that things will work – until they don’t!

If your garage door is stuck, you don’t necessarily need to call in a service. I didn’t! It’s possible to do it yourself, getting your garage door unstuck DIY style. You can often get your door open and shut manually with a few simple steps, avoiding an emergency call to a garage door servicer. Incidentally, I did end up calling a service to get my garage door fully serviced after my emergency open. But I was glad to be able to take care of it in a pinch.

Understand the mechanics of a garage door

Garage door openers are made up of two primary parts.

  1. The powerhead (that motor mounted to the ceiling)
  2. The rail (the long track that the door runs along)

Different garage doors are driven differently. Mine is a chain, but they can also be belt or screw driven. The door itself is connected to the carriage, which goes back and forth along that rail we just talked about. So door > carriage > rail. The carriage travels up and down the rail to bring the door open and then to close it.

Generally, garage doors have a manual release cord that’s connected to the carriage. You’ll need it if you ever have a power outage and need to get the door open, or if your power garage door just quits working. It was certainly glad to have it! Otherwise my car might still be in the garage as you read this.

Steps to unsticking a stuck garage door

Your first goal is to disconnect the garage door from the automatic opener.

  1. Unlock your garage door and ensure it’s in the closed position
  2. Pull the manual release cord down. (Mine is red, and yours probably is too). This disconnects the electric operator from the door.
  3. Open and close the door by hand.

As long as your door has been decently well maintained, this should work like a charm. The manual effort you need should be minimal. I’m not a giant muscly guy, and I got mine open pretty easily.

If the door is super heavy feeling or if it catches as you open it, just look at the mechanical pieces for anything that might be broken. Sometimes there are obstructions that prevent the door from opening. Don’t mess with any cables or springs as you’ll just be begging for trouble (those things are packed with tension), but tightening screws, etc. is absolutely doable.

Once you’ve got the thing open, your car is out, and you’re ready to reconnect for security purposes, you can just follow these quick steps to re-power your garage door.

  1. Put your garage door in the close position.
  2. Press the “close” button on your automatic door controller. This should move the trolley back down to the towbar arm, where it will reconnect.
  3. If your door doesn’t have an electronic reconnection option, you might have to pull the manual release cord all the way to the door to reconnect it yourself.

That’s not so bad now, is it? Once I got my feet under me, I had my garage door open my car out, and my door closed and reconnected in less than twenty minutes. I wasn’t even that late to work!

Good luck, and may your garage doors always open easily.

Are you looking for an expert to repair your stuck garage door? Check out this list of companies that offer professional garage door repair services in Boston. They are available for both residential and commercial projects.

Do You Need a Professional Exterminator?

Most homeowners who perform their own pest control activities do so because they want to save money. They think about the pay that they will have to give to a professional exterminator, and think that it is better to do it themselves. Others are not comfortable with a stranger going to every corner of their home in search of pests. However, studies show that there are more advantages to hiring an exterminator than doing it yourself. To start with, these are professionals who have been trained and so, they understand their job perfectly. The following are some of the reasons you should choose professionals to remove bedbugs, cockroaches, and other pests.

They use specially formulated products.

Have ever stopped to think about your safety when you use the pest control products from local stores? When faced with cockroach infestation, some people simply buy products without thinking about the harm to their heath. Even though a professional exterminator will use the same products, they know how to formulate them so that they do not cause any harm. They will get rid of the pests while protecting you and your family at the same time.

They know how to find and identify pests.

You may spray the entire house thinking that all the bedbugs and cockroaches have died only to see them crawling out of their hideouts the other day. This is because you do not know how to find them. These insects know how to hide from harmful substances and will sense when you are about to poison them. On the other hand, a professional cockroach service will know where they hide and get them out. They are the kinds of contractors that will kill up to the last pest and leave your house free from any of the nuisance caused by them.

It saves your time.

If you are a professional who is always busy at work, the benefits of hiring a professional pest exterminator are quite obvious. You will not have to waste your time on DIY projects. Instead of that, you can leave them to work on this project as you go on with your daily routine. The best part is that you will come back home to a house that is now free from pests.

Clearly, the benefits of hiring a professional pest exterminator are almost endless. However, you need to be careful with the exterminator that you choose. Find out is they have the capacity to get rid of all the cockroaches and bedbugs. You also may want to know the methods that they use to get rid of these pests.

They company that I use in Jersey City for one of my rental properties there is Jersey City Exterminators.  Their site is jerseycityexterminators.com.  They come when they say they are going to come, they get the job done, and they follow up to make sure that what they did worked.  And, if it didn’t, they come back and take care of it.  It frees me up to worry about other things, like crown moulding. 🙂

My Work Website and Its Travails

I was talking yesterday to the guy who designed my website, and he was telling me how out of date the site is.  I get it.  I’m a hands on guy, but not a keyboard.  I like to use my hands to cut 2×4’s and to drill holes, but not to spend an inordinate amount of time on the computer (I dictate this stuff to my wife who posts it on my blog for me.).  Anyway, so he was going on and on about programming languages, HTML, and ecommerce and and all that.  Then he mentioned Ruby on Rails and more specifically a site called GitHub – which I guess is a place where all these web designer guys hang out and share their work with each other. I guess this Ruby thing has a lot of potential to make a site that can do a lot of stuff – like sell things, or offer programs to my clients (maybe a design program so they can visualize a new kitchen perhaps?) and he was trying to sell me on it.

 

The downside is that designing a site using this platform will give me more flexibility later, but HOO is it more expensive! My question is if anyone has had any experience with a Ruby Rails website.  I guess it would be worth the extra development expense if it gives me a lot of flexibility later as my business grows  – then, apparently, I can offer all sorts of other goodies on the site that I would not be able to offer if I had a more basic site.  I could, conceivably have a software program designed that does something useful and charge a monthly fee.  Then if i get enough people signing up, it will be more money coming in every month. Just have to figure out something really useful!

 

PS the GitHub site can be found here.  Let me know if any of you have any thoughts about this.