No Picture
Renovation Contractor

Repairing Water Damaged Flooring

When water damages your flooring, prompt repair is necessary to avoid further problems such as warping, damage to adjacent boards and the growth of mold and mildew. If only a few of the wood boards in your floor sustained water damage, you can repair the water damaged wood flooring yourself by sanding the damaged boards. However, if a large area of your floor was damaged by water, you will need to replace the entire damaged area.

You will need to gather the following tools and supplies in order to begin repairing water damaged flooring:

Razor knife

Flooring nails

Nail gun

Sharpened wood chisel

Circular saw

New wood flooring boards

Hammer

Safety goggles

Measuring tape

Wood filler

Sand paper

Before tearing up your flooring, try these steps to remove small areas of damage to wood floors.

1. Test the damaged area by seeing if sanding the boards removes enough of the damaged wood such that you can no longer see water stains on the board. If this process removes all of the damage.

2. Fill in the area with wood filler.

3. Allow the wood filler to dry.

4. Sand the wood filler down to match the level of the undamaged boards.

5. Stain the repaired boards to match the finish of the undamaged boards.

If the area of damaged floor is more than one or two boards, or if sanding did not remove the water damage, you will need to tear out and replace the damaged boards. Before you begin, place your safety goggles over your eyes to avoid getting injured by wood splinters.

1. Place your circular saw onto one of the new flooring boards.

2. Adjust the blade of the circular saw to match the thickness of your flooring board.

3. Use your circular saw to cut around the floor boards that are damaged. Make your cuts about 1 inch from the edge of each of the damaged boards.

4. Use your wood chisel to pull out the center of the board that you just cut out and pry the remaining ends out from the undamaged boards.

5. Measure the length of replacement floor board that needs to go in the hole in your floor.

6. Cut the replacement flooring board with your circular saw.

7. Use your hammer and flooring nails to pound the new flooring board into place.

8. Apply a small amount of wood glue to the edges of the new boards.

9. Allow the wood glue to dry.

10. Stain your new flooring boards to match the undamaged boards.…

No Picture
Room Additions

The Joys of Hot Running Water

Remember the days when the idea of having running water meant one’s younger brother dashing out the door to fetch a bucket of water from the nearby spring? Probably not, but that’s not a bad thing. Oh, and if you weren’t on the water detail, then you were the one on ash duty or coal patrol which helped to stoke the fire to keep the home fires burning. And that was just the fire to heat up the hot water reservoir, which was attached to the stove, to experience that glorious sensation of a hot water bath.
It was usually a once a week experience on Saturdays and the waiting in line for one’s turn was no popcorn at the Nickelodeon thrill. It involved more than the discomfort of the cold. It involved patience, stamina, and back-breaking labor. Then, only the more modern families had the convenience of a hot water reservoir, for it was actually considered a luxury.
Water was heated by the means of the flue, from the stove’s smoke stack, passing through the hot water reservoir. The hot water was then drawn off from a faucet attached to the reservoir. Well, you get the picture. The other way to create hot water was through Grandma’s copper pot.
Grandma would be standing in front of her stove in the kitchen tending to her huge, copper pot. This 25 gallon boiler, when doing its job, became the most welcome visitor on those cold, winter nights. What with all that running, stoking and carting of the coals Grandma’s boiler would yield a fine pot of hot water. The ritual of the Saturday Night bath was born out of the necessity for cleanliness in times when hot running water was not readily available at the kitchen sink.
It had come to be expected that all would take a bath whether one needed it or not. It was most always in the kitchen close to the warmth of the coal fired cook stove. Would it have made sense to have it anywhere else? The kitchen in effect became the bathroom. Certainly a forerunner of what one has today.
But now back to the actual bath. If one was lucky he got to be the first one in, or maybe not so lucky, as he was then responsible for carrying in that old washtub that served as the receptacle for the bath. They used the term receptacle because it sure wasn’t big, let alone comfortable. The youngsters would be the first in the water.
It was not changed for each person, rather additional hot water was added until everyone had their turn. Of course, the biggest challenge was keeping the few inches of water in that tub hot. The first bathers would be the ones with the cleanest bodies. It only made sense that the last person in was the dirtiest, after all who would want to follow that episode?
Is it any wonder that those of us living in today’s modern times, with today’s modern conveniences, tend to distance themselves from the struggles and inconveniences of days past. There’s nothing wrong with that, really. But it would be something if the next time you stand before a sink with hot running water, flowing away by the gallons, that you would at least give a nod to those who made that convenience possible. It is the modern day plumbing contractor.…

No Picture
Bathroom Remodel

Septic Tanks – Ensuring Water Quality

Understanding septic systems capabilities and limits is needed to ensure water quality. A septic system is a type of On-Site Sewage Facility and is a self-contained, underground waste-water treatment system. By using natural processes to treat the waste-water on-site, septic systems do not require the installation of miles of sewer lines, making them less disruptive to the environment. A septic system consists of a septic tank, a distribution system and a soil absorption system, also called a drain field. The septic tank is a watertight box, sometimes made out of concrete or fiberglass, with an inlet and outlet pipe. The septic tank treats the waste-water naturally by holding it in the tank long enough for solids and liquids to separate. The waste-water forms three layers inside the tank. Solids lighter than water float to the top forming a layer of scum.
Solids heavier than water settle at the bottom of the tank forming a layer of sludge. This leaves a middle layer of partially clarified waste-water. The layers of sludge and scum remain in the septic tank where bacteria found naturally in the waste-water work to break the solids down. The sludge and scum that cannot be broken down are retained in the tank until the tank is pumped. The layer of liquid flows from the septic tank to the drain field. A drain a series of trenches lined with gravel or sand and below the ground. The drain field treats the waste-water by allowing it to slowly trickle from the pipes out into the gravel and down through the soil. The remaining impurities are trapped and disposed of in the soil. The excess water is eliminated through percolation into the soil, and eventually returning to the ground water, through evaporation, and by uptake through plants and transpiration.
The Center for Watershed Protection notes that septic systems can be effective methods of water treatment, however failures are common in many areas. Even properly functioning septic systems can leak and are not designed to effectively deal with most of the phosphorus and nitrogen load found in the water it treats. Pathogenic fecal bacteria are also a concern. The primary concern for a municipality is proper maintenance of septic systems, and in some cases the total load of partially treated pollutants that can impact local drinking water and wildlife. A solid understanding of septic systems capabilities and limits, and a good government plan is needed to ensure water quality.…

No Picture
Bathroom Renovations

Simple Ways to Cut Your Hot Water Bill

Your hot water bill can be reduced by making use of some simple tricks that will permit you to consume less water and thus pay less. The first thing you need to know is that the water pipes in your home need to be in good condition and free of leaks to avoid water losses. A dripping hot water connection is literally money down the drain. It is a good idea to do a visual inspection of the piping in your basement every two years or so.
Another good way of saving on your hot water bill is to use other types of water heaters, such as a tankless water heater that heats water on demand. It will save you plenty of energy, because the water gets heated only when needed. This is in contrast to a conventional tank that works to keep the entire tank of water at a constant temperature at all times.
Some other ways of reducing the bill is to make some changes to your shower. The new models of energy efficient shower heads help to save energy and water without reducing pressure. Low flow shower heads use up to 70 per less water than normal ones. Some models provide adjustable spray jets that reduce heat loss and improve comfort. An energy efficient shower head consumes about 5 liters per minute, as opposed to a traditional one that averages about 14 liters per minute.
The reduced flow results in a reduction of water consumption, so you will save on your water bills and sewer bills. For those of you who have septic tanks and wells, it makes for less wear and tear on your pumping equipment and the number of times you will need to have your septic tank pumped out. To further reduce your water consumption, consider installing a shower head with a stop button, or a single handle faucet, which you can press to interrupt the flow. The advantage of this button is that you can interrupt the flow while you soap or shampoo, then turn it back on and rinse at the same rate and temperature as before.
A large number of shower faucets are fitted with safety devices such as valves to regulate pressure and maintain the water temperature at a constant level. In a household with small children or elderly folks, this is an essential way to keep everyone safe from burns that can result from scalding hot water.
You can also save more water and energy by taking quick showers instead of long baths. You will consume as much as 50 per less hot water depending on the shower head you use. For example, a shower of 5 minutes with a flow rate of 9.5 liters per minute, consumes approximately 47.5 liters of water while a bath, half full, requires an average of about 100 liters of water. A timer, such as an hourglass or a manual timer, can help to control and reduce the time spent in the shower. Even if you decide to shower a little longer than usual now and then, your low flow shower head will save you money.…

No Picture
Kitchen Renovation

Clear The Pipes And Let The Water Run With These Plumbing Tips

Plumbing problems can always pop up. Some plumbing problems require only a simple fix; however, others can be more complicated. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are, when you’re educated properly on plumbing you can fix most problems within a reasonable time period.

If you have a frozen pipe, turn on the nearest faucet so the water has an escape route when the pipe starts to thaw. This can prevent damage to your house because it lets the pressure that is in the pipe out, and keeps it from bursting.

To maintain a clean, well-functioning septic tank, it is recommended that you clean it out once every five years. Doing this prevents any sediment from getting built up within the tank, which causes a backup in your home or causes your entire septic system to fail. If the cost of pumping your septic tank seems a bit steep, remember that the cost of cleanup and repair of a failed septic system will be much higher.

Knowing all your different tools and how they are used will be a great help when you work on a plumbing job. So be sure to read through all your manuals as well as research as much as you can on the internet where you can gain information to help you with your projects. Plan thoroughly before attempting a repair. Mistakes can be very expensive to fix.

Do not use harsh chemicals to clean or treat your toilet. These tablets have chemicals that can damage rubber parts that are essential to the proper functioning of your toilet.

Ensure that if something goes wrong in your garbage disposal that you resist any and all urges you have that might make you want to put your hands inside to fix a problem. Even while turned off, the garbage disposal is still a dangerous place for your fingers. Troubleshooting techniques and schematics of your garbage disposal are available on the Internet.

Keep grease, fat and oil out of your kitchen drain. Whenever they cool, they tend to harden and make clogs inside your drains. Even with a garbage disposal, you are going to cause it to be less efficient and risk drain backups. The best thing to do is to dispose of oil-based liquids away from your sinks.

Always have cold water running when you are using your garbage disposal. The helps sharpen the blades and clears out the drain mechanism. If you use hot water, any grease in the disposal will liquefy, causing it to accumulate further down the drain, which could cause clogs.

Trash should go in the trash basket, not the toilet. Use the toilet for what it is designed for, and it won’t give you a lot of problems. Never flush paper towels, tissue, diapers, or tampons. These things do not break up correctly and can clog your pipes. In addition, you should only use the amount of toilet paper that is absolutely necessary when cleaning yourself.

As you know, plumbing can have lots of different things go wrong with it. When you use the ideas that you’ve just learned, you’ll find that dealing with plumbing problems is no longer a stressful ordeal.…