Mineral Deposits On Your Faucets: A Closer Look

Have you noticed limescale or mineral deposits around your faucets? If these deposits are just starting to accumulate, they may be nothing more than a hindrance to the appearance of your fixtures, but if they’re more advanced, they may slow the flow of water from your tap. Some homeowner just replace their faucets when limescale becomes too advanced, but there are better ways of dealing with this issue. Here’s how to remove the limescale — and a look at how to prevent it from coming back.

How do you remove mineral buildup on a faucet?

There are numerous limescale removers on store shelves, but all you really need is a bottle of white vinegar. If it’s the head of your faucet you’re dealing with, fill a plastic bag with vinegar, and then immerse the faucet head in the bag. Rubber band the bag around the faucet, and let it sit for a day. If you’re trying to remove buildup from a flat portion of the faucet or the groove between the handle and the sink, soak a rag in vinegar. Set the soaked rag over the mineral buildup. Feel the rag every few hours to ensure it’s still moist, and replace it with a new vinegar-soaked rag if needed. After about 24 hours, the mineral buildup should scrub away with just a sponge.

How do you keep limescale from coming back, and why is that so important?

The scary thing about limescale or mineral buildup is that if it’s appearing on your faucet, it’s accumulating on the inside of your pipes, too. If your pipes become too clogged up with mineral deposits, you’ll need to have them replaced, which is a costly endeavor.

You can prevent limescale from returning to your faucets and from harming your pipes by having a whole-home water softener installed. This device removes the excess minerals — mostly calcium and magnesium — from your water before it flows through your home’s pipes. A basic water softener in an average-sized home will cost you between $500 and $1500, but it’s a worthwhile investment since it will save you from excessive plumbing bills in the future.

Mineral buildup on your faucets is not just an annoyance — it’s a sign that something more sinister is going on inside your pipes. Remove the limescale for now, but then also be sure to soften your water to prevent any further damage. To learn more, contact a plumber in your area.

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Remodel The Basement Into An Art Studio With The Help Of A General Contractor

As an artist, you may have always dreamed of having a space designed specifically for your creative endeavors, making it a good idea to look into how a general contractor can help make this space a reality. If you have a basement that you primarily used for storage and are interested in how to remodel it into an art studio of your own, it’s a good idea to look into the following ideas.

With the right projects, your basement can quickly become a space that you feel creative in and can draw, paint, or sculpt without any problems.

Install New Windows for Added Natural Lighting

One of the most important features of an art studio is good lighting, with natural lighting being the ideal option. If your basement is currently quite dark and the only windows are very small in size, you should look into the larger sizes of windows that can be installed in basements. These wider windows can take advantage of any natural light, especially if they are positioned towards the side of your home that receives the most sun.

To get the most out of your new windows, make sure the landscaping surrounding your home isn’t obstructing the light.

Get the Basement Properly Heated and Cooled

In order for your basement to be as comfortable as possible, you need to make sure that you’re not skimping on the heating or cooling system. While it can get expensive to incorporate your basement into the heating and cooling in the rest of your home, this can make it easy to control and can even reduce your energy costs rather than using only fans and portable heaters.

Opt for Bare Flooring Over Carpeting

As you look for new flooring to have installed in a basement, you may be drawn towards carpet due to its plush feeling and variety of styles. While carpeting does have advantages, you need to be aware of the fact that hardwood and tile is much easier to clean than the fibers of carpeting that paint and other art supplies can drip on and stain.

As you explore the projects that can make a big impact in your basement art studio, you’ll be able to get the finished look that is important to you. From making sure that lighting is plentiful to checking whether or not it will comfortable temperature-wise, these improvements can ensure that you can do your art confidently in the transformed art studio.

For general contracting, contact a company such as Countertops & Laminated Specialties Inc.

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Itsy Bitsy Entrance — 5 Landscape Ideas For A Tiny Front Yard

If you have a house lot with a small front yard, there may seem to be little you can do with it. But with the right focus, you can create a tiny but perfect oasis to welcome your guests. Here are 5 ideas to get you started.

Create a Destination. Paths and walkways are natural invitations to enter — or to meander. For a casual and warm feeling try laying flagstones or stepping stones into dark mulch and complementing the pathway with flower beds. The natural end of your walkway can be anything from the front door to a sitting area with bistro chairs or a bubbling fountain.

Go Cottage Chic. A cottage garden is perfect for many climates, including coastal areas. Cottage gardens are exuberant and overflowing with lush and colorful plants like lavender, poppies or sage. Because they originated with small yards set between the house’s face and a fence, they usually look best in limited space. 

Build a Patio. Just because it’s the front yard doesn’t mean you must have a lawn or a lot of greenery to maintain. To go for a low-maintenance, useful and fun look, why not opt to install a full front yard patio instead? Flagstones make a good casual patio, or you can choose a more formal look like brick or carefully-designed pavers. Still want colors? Use containers, plant boxes, window boxes and hanging baskets to add flowers and shrubs — even small trees — to the space.

Scale Down. If you had in mind the perfect front yard landscape design but simply don’t have the space to execute it, try creating a miniature version of your dream. Plant dwarf trees or smaller versions of trees like the colorful crab apple or Japanese maples. Want a formal row of hedges? Build a straight, symmetrical path and line it with small evergreen bushes (such as a dwarf boxwood) neatly trimmed and filled out with miniature roses. 

Create a Green Square. Even if you have just a very small space to plant, go all out with it. Create a square between your driveway and walkway, for example, to layer greenery in an eye-catching and vibrant display. A rear layer of dwarf or columnar trees may give way to a layer of dark green shrubs. In front of the bushes, add taller flowers and then shorter ones at the very front. Or install a short berm in the center and build your green display outward from it. Don’t be afraid to go wild with your small space and use it to express your individuality.

If you’re unsure what to do to maximize your tiny front yard, you may want to work with a professional like The Hilltop Landscape Architects & Contractors. But whether you do it alone or you ask for help, the end result will be a welcoming portal for your guests and family for many years to come.

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3 Ideas To Make Practical Improvements To Cabinets During Kitchen Renovations

If you are renovating your kitchen, there may be many different types of improvements that you are planning on doing. This can include remodeling your cabinets, which can involve completely replacing them or refacing and improving them. With some of the improvements you do to your cabinets, you may want to include practical solutions for your kitchen, like slide-out cooking surfaces and organized storage. Here are some ideas that will make practical improvements for your cabinets:

1.Give Your Kitchen More Surfaces With Slide-Out Preparation Areas

You may want to have more food preparation surfaces in a smaller kitchen. One way to do this is by creating slide-out cooking surfaces. These can be integrated into your cabinets and give you surfaces when you need them and hide out of sight when you want to have more floor space in your kitchen. This can be a great feature to add next to a kitchen sink or the stove top.

2. Add Organization To Your Kitchen For Pots And Pans

Another improvement you may want to have for your kitchen is more storage space. A great way to accomplish this is by adding organizers for the different utensils you have in your kitchen and for pots and pans. You may want to consider solutions like slide-out drawers for spice cabinets and slim silverware drawers to organize your tableware. You may also want to have cabinet organization installed for the clutter of cleaning products that is often found beneath kitchen sinks.

3. Add To Your Kitchen With A Foundation Extension And Seating In A Day Window

If you have space, you may want to consider adding to the kitchen by extending the foundation. This can be a small bump-out with a day window and breakfast area. You could use this space to hide clutter you use less often with storage in cabinets, beneath bench seating. You may want to have this area by the kitchen, or it can be an expansion to other areas like a dining room. If you have a concrete foundation, a residential foundation contractor like those found at Spiers Construction can also help you with things like structural changes. This can be good if you plan on removing walls and need to have foundation footings to support the changes to the structure of your home.

Practical kitchen designs can do a lot to improve space and functionality of your kitchen. You can contact a foundation contractor to help with the expansion of your kitchen to make more space in your home.  

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Three Benefits Of Using An Articulating Borescope For Your Geothermal Drilling Needs

If you need to be sure that you are using the best inspection tools possible for geothermal drilling in your area, you owe it to yourself to get your hands on an articulating borescope. This is a piece of equipment that allows you to take high quality video glimpses inside of any surface that you can’t view with the human eye. Prior to shopping around for the best borescope for sale, you should read on and learn about the benefits of using one of these instruments. From there, you can get in touch with a company that can sell you the audio visual equipment that you need. 

Benefit #1: Articulating Borescopes Are The Superior Tool For Geothermal Inspections

The efficiency and precision of articulating borescopes is unrivaled in terms of audio visual instruments. When you use these tools, you will best be able to explore restricted areas thoroughly and completely. The reason for this is that these borescopes provide you the opportunity to view all points and get clear images without having to worry about the depth of the area. These instruments deeply explore the nooks and crannies of these areas, which would otherwise be difficult or impossible to reach and analyze. 

Benefit #2: Articulating Borescopes Allow The Full Control Over Navigation

Because these borescopes have moveable cameras that you can control, you will best be able to steer it in a way that makes the most sense for your exploration. For instance, if you are drilling and need to steer the borescope past or around objects in its way, you can do so without losing resolution. You will also be able to control the camera itself, so that you can pan and tilt it from any moving or stationary position. 

Benefit #3: Articulating Borescopes Are Crafted To Match Your Needs

These tools are useful for people who work in a number of different industries. Because of this, you will have the freedom to buy one that best suits the application that you plan to use it for. For instance, you may find one articulating borescope that suits you to survey underground utilities so they are not damaged in the course of your geothermal drilling. Either way, be sure that you find the exact model that suits you for your industry and the drilling needs that you have. 

Consider these three benefits as you shop around for the right articulating borescope for your geothermal drilling needs. 

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How To Use Spray Foam Insulation

Adding insulation to your home is most effective if you do it before the drywall is installed. Once the house framing is fully sealed, adding insulation can be a very expensive and messy process. Spray foam insulation is an extremely effective alternative to fiberglass sheet insulation. To effectively apply spray foam insulation, you will need to rent an insulation spraying machine. These machines are large, but the operation is very simple. This article explains the advantages of spray foam and how to use it.

Spray Foam Insulation is Easier to Apply

Applying spray foam insulation is much easier than traditional sheet insulation. Sheet insulation needs to be cut to fit in between each individual stud bay. This takes much longer. Not to mention, fiberglass sheets are hard to work with because the fibers are so itchy. Many people are extremely allergic to the fiberglass fibers. Spray foam insulation is messy, but the fibers are not as itchy. Spray foam is a composite fiber material. It is not as itchy or annoying as fiberglass. The fact that spray foam is slightly sticky actually makes it easier to clean up. The fibers will stick to a surface where they can be easily wiped up. Fiberglass will float all over the place and you might even be cleaning it up after the drywall is installed.

How to Use a Spray Foam Insulation Machine

You can usually get a better deal on your machine rental if you buy a certain amount of insulation from the same home improvement store that you are renting the machine from. These portable machines are heavy, but they have wheels that allow you to move them around the job site. The actual foam comes in easy-to-carry bags. You just need to add the recommended amount of water in a bucket and mix them together. Then, put it into the machine hopper. Before you start to spray, you should mask off the floors. Even if the floors are unfinished, you will want to reduce the mess so you don’t track the foam all over your job site. The machine allows to you spray in ceilings and vertical walls with ease. You are bound to get overspray on the front of the studs, so make sure to wipe off the overspray so that the surface is flat when it comes time to install the drywall.

A spray foam insulation machine will make your job so much easier. It is a great alternative to fiberglass sheet insulation. If you decide you’d rather have professionals take care of the job for you, contact a company like Midwest Custom Coatings.

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How To Clean And Seal Aluminum Ducts

Heating and air conditioning units have many potential fail points. Many people think that weaker airflow and less cold air is just a result of the condensing unit being too old. But, even if you have the most up-to-date and energy efficient condensing unit, your system will not be effective if your ducts are not properly sealed. This is why you should clean and seal your ducts to make sure they are running efficiently. You might find that this simple repair saves you money and makes both your heating and air conditioning units more effective.

Cleaning the Ducts Via the Air Registers

When it comes to cleaning your ducts, a good place to start is the air registers. The registers that direct the air that blows into your house can be easily removed by taking out a couple of screws. Once the registers are off the wall, use a flashlight to look into your ducts and see if there is any serious dust or mold buildup on the inside walls. You can wipe away the reachable areas with a wet rag. A simple trick for reaching deeper into the ducts is to tape a rag onto the end of a broomstick. Get the rag a little wet and then wipe the sidewalls clean.

Seal the Ducts Leading into the Wall

There are a few vital sections of the duct system that are not inside the walls. The ducts from the condenser unit, which is on the outside of the home, lead into the building. They then go directly to the furnace, which is either in the garage or basement. The ducts that lead in and out of the furnace can both be sealed.

Many people make the mistake of using duct tape. It might sound like the right product for the job, but it will not seal anything. Instead you need to use aluminum tape. This creates a perfectly airtight seal. The key is to seal the joints and elbows of the ducts. Even if they feel tight, a little aluminum tape will not hurt them. Since the exterior ducts are exposed to the elements and human contact, they can get knocked loose and even bent.

This is just one way to ensure that you are not wasting air or money while your heating and air conditioning are running. You will also be protecting your furnace and condenser by not overworking them.

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