How Much is a Water Heater Repair?

Few things can throw a household into chaos like a broken water heater. That can mean no hot showers, no hot water to wash your hands, and no hot water to wash the dishes. It can make you feel like you’re living in pioneer times! Whether your water heater has stopped working entirely, or is just giving you cause for alarm, you’ll want to have a professional come fix it right away. But, before you start making calls, you better do some research. The best way to walk into any situation is by having done some research. You can get your start by reading this guide: how to price a water heater repair. For most modern people, a water heater is a convenience they can’t do without. Don’t get stressed out if your heater is on the fritz. Just take the simple steps necessary to price the project so you won’t be surprised when it’s time to pull out your checkbook.

Why price your water heater repair? When you first realized you were having problems with your water heater, you may have panicked. You may have anticipated spending an arm and a leg, or having to sacrifice your firstborn child to pay to have the heater. But doing a little research could alleviate your fears. Pricing this project will allow you to start with your eyes open. You’ll have some concrete facts to stand on. You will have a rough estimate about how much things cost, so there won’t be any surprises.

Is there something wrong with your existing water heater? Try to isolate the symptoms that your water heater is showing. You don’t have to be an expert or even know how to fix it, but keeping track of your symptoms will help your professional when he or she comes to diagnose your equipment. Also, this will help the two of you figure out if you need a repair or need to buy a new heater entirely. Some common water heater problems: no hot water; not enough hot water; water leaking from the heater; rust colored water; or a bad, rotten egg smell. If you notice these things, write them down with a few details about when you noticed them and what was going on with the heater at the time.

Check your warranties! Before you get ready to shell out a bunch of cash, check the warranties on your water heater. The problem might be covered by the manufacturer. As soon as you notice problems, pull out the paperwork you got when your heater was first purchased. It might have information about how to troubleshoot common problems. It might also have information dictating what fixes they will cover and who must make repairs to the equipment. If you have any questions that aren’t covered in the paperwork, simply give the company a call. Most major brands have 1-800 numbers set up just to help customers who are experiencing problems.

Who will fix your water heater? If your heater is still under warranty, there’s a good chance that the company already has certain people they’ve hired to work on their equipment. That’s good to know because failure to use approved technicians can lead to a void on your warranty. If you are free to choose who you like to do your water heater repair work, be smart about it. Ask friends, family and neighbors for recommendations. Look online for professionals in your area. Ask potential hires for references and make sure you get a written price quote.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dripping Faucet? No Problem!

Faucets are an essential part of a home structure and keeping them in a good working condition is very vital. A leaky outlet not only disturbs sleep and adds to the water bill but also causes inconvenience that might range from annoying to catastrophic. The typical reasons of faucet dripping include corrosion, mineral deposit on the internal parts, or defective gaskets, o-rings, or washers. Nonetheless, most faucets that leak can be fixed easily by homeowners if they have the right tools. Ignoring a faulty faucet can turn a simple repair of $200 into a $1,000 plumbing replacement project. Besides, a dripping faucet leads to a wastage of over hundred gallons of water every month. Understanding why a faucet is leaking is crucial to fixing it properly. Fix the drip before you end up losing some more sleep and money over it!

Not only is that bad for the environment, that wasted water will cost you. The United States Environmental Protection Agency reveals, “On an average, leaks can cause almost 10,000 gallons of wastage in a home every year, and this amount is sufficient to fill a swimming pool. The most common issues of leakage are dripping faucets, leakage in toilet flappers, or leaking valves, all of which can be easily fixed. However, among these, the most prominent leakage issue is caused by a dripping faucet; fixing one can save almost 10% of a homeowner’s water bill.”

The Cause

There may be several reasons behind why your faucet is dripping. Discussed herewith are some major causes of a dripping faucet.

1. Problem in the O ring – A stem screw is used to hold the handle of a faucet in place. This stem screw comprises of a small disc attached to it, known as the O ring. This is an integral point wherein dripping can occur. The O ring can become loose or wear out over regular usage, causing the faucet to drip near the handle. Replacing the damaged O ring can fix the dripping faucet, if this is the issue. This problem occurs specifically in cartridge faucets.

2. Corroded Valve Seat – A valve seat serves as a connection between the faucet and the spout in compression mechanism. Accumulation of water sediments can cause the valve seat to corrode, causing leakage around the spout area. Make sure that you clean the valve seat regularly, with the help of a professional plumber.

3. Worn out Washer – This is one of the most common causes behind a dripping faucet. During each use, the washer is forced against the valve seat, and this constant friction and resistance causes it to wear out. As a result, dripping is noticed around the spout. Dripping caused due to worn out rubber washers in a compression faucet can be mended by replacing the washer as soon as possible.

4. Improper installation of Washer – Often, if the washer is not installed properly or is not of the right size, it can cause leakage. Acquire professional help in installing the washer correctly, and you can say adios to the leakage problem.

5. Loose Parts – Due to continuous usage, the adjusting ring and packing nuts in the steam screw may become loose, causing leakage near the handle of the faucet. If there is leakage from the handle, either you need to tighten the packing nut or completely replace it.

6. Worn out Seals – Inlet and outlet seals are an intrinsic part of disc faucets. Upon constant usage, sediment can accumulate inside the assembly, causing the seals to wear out. This is one of the reasons behind a dripping faucet. Hire a plumber to clean the water sediments regularly from the inlet and outlet seals to make sure that you have your faucet mechanism working properly. You can also replace the seals with duplicates for better functioning.

7. Broken Plumbing –Though rarely, a dripping faucet may also be caused due to a broken pipe or fittings. Broken pipes develop cracks that may interfere with the water pressure and lead to faucet dripping from time to time. In case you have tried all the above mentioned solutions and the issue remains unfixed, you should hire an experienced plumber to check your water pipes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to – The Ultimate Guide: Cleaning a Nifty Grout

What is grout? It’s the material used between tiles to fill in spaces and give strength to tile. It comes in four types: sanded, un-sanded, acrylic latex and epoxy. It can come in a variety of colors. If it’s not properly sealed – that is, if a water-repelling sealant isn’t applied – it can become vulnerable to wear and tear. And you may already have an idea that cleaning your grout will sound just about as appetizing as filing your taxes or paying a speeding ticket. But, like so many adult responsibilities, it must be done.

Bathroom tiles are pretty durable and are made to last a long time. However – dirty, grimy, cracked and stained grout can make your bathroom look old way before it’s time. Things like hard water and debris can collect in your grout and become unsightly. Here are five tips to help keep your bathroom sparkling white.

Make sure all your hard work doesn’t go down the drain by applying a sealant. That will make it harder for stains to show the next time.

The Magic Household Mixture

  1. Stir together ¼ cup baking soda, ¼ cup salt and ¼ cup of water. Spread the mixture over the grout and scrub then wash clean after a few minutes.
  2. Baking soda isn’t the only household supply you can use to clean your grout. There are a variety of things you probably have in your home that you can use to clean your grout, including vinegar and lemons. Mix a paste of lemon juice and baking soda in equal parts. Spread, then scrub and rinse clean.
  3. Or make a mix of ¼ cup salt, ¼ cup baking soda and ¼ cup vinegar. Make a mix of ½ cup baking soda, 1/3 cup ammonia and ¼ cup white vinegar to seven cups of water to make a cleaner for your grout and tiles.

The Power of Bleaching

Bleach can help get rid of any mold and mildew that may be growing in your grout. The wet environment of a bathroom is a great environment for yucky growths and they can pose a big health hazard. According to the National Institute of Environmental health sciences, mold loves dark, humid and musty environments. It can take hold in your home and produce allergens that can make you sick. Scrub the grout with a mixture of one part bleach and five parts water.


If your grout is very badly worn, doing spot repair is an easy do-it-yourself job. Purchase the grout at a home improvement store, but make sure it matches the grout already in your house. Clean the area needing repair with a mixture of vinegar and water, mix up the grout and apply with a grout float. Then, remove the excess grout with a squeegee or grout sponge and let the area dry completely.

Grout Sealant

Make sure all your hard work doesn’t go down the drain by applying a sealant. That will make it harder for stains to show the next time. Before applying the sealant, make sure the grout and tile is completely clean. Next, use the sealant that is best for the type of grout in your home. Then make sure the area you are working in is well ventilated. Finally, use a sponge or brush to apply the sealant.

Leave It To The Pros!

Professional grout cleaners use a mix of hot steam, detergents, water and vacuum extraction to get grout good as new. These service professionals know what they are doing and offer great time saving benefits. Get great deals from the best Professional grout cleaners. You can request anything you need help withat

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WANTED: Good House Cleaner

We can all get so per-occupied with a lot of things that we actually tend to forget that we also need rest ourselves. We wanted to make sure that everything is taken cared of towards the end of the day that usually, it is either we miss out rest or forget to finish something out of too much stress. When life crowds out the details that you need to take care of, it’s time to hire out and pay someone to do the job instead. Housecleaning can be one of these tasks that you find you just don’t have time to do. Instead of living in disorder and mess, hire a housecleaner to help you maintain order in your home and keep it tidy. By hiring a good housecleaner, you’ll be certain to have a professional worker who will work diligently to deliver quality services.

It is important to find a good house cleaner due to several factors. While you obviously want to find a good housecleaner to ensure that your home is clean, there are other reasons why it’s important to find a high quality housecleaner, too. When you place your trust in a housecleaner, you want to eliminate concerns and worries about your home’s cleanliness from your daily thoughts. A good housecleaner’s responsibility and reliability will enable you to concentrate on other duties while your home receives the regular maintenance it needs to stay safe and healthy for your family.

What to look for in a Housecleaner?

As you interview and consider different housecleaners, evaluate each to notice whether the housecleaner has characteristics of a professional. A professional housecleaner will portray a responsible and respectful demeanor as you converse and speak. Although you might feel tempted to try a housecleaner without extensive experience, thinking you can save money; this is not always worth the risk. A less experienced housecleaner may not have the skills and tools necessary to provide high-quality work. The housecleaner will dress neatly and appropriately and exude confidence and professionalism. The housecleaner will reply to emails and voicemails in a prompt and professional manner. The housecleaner will own tools and cleaning equipment to make it possible to clean your home thoroughly. The housecleaner will examine your home to provide you with a bid for cleaning. The housecleaner will also possess liability insurance against any damage that could occur to your home as a result of the housecleaner’s actions. As you speak with the housecleaner, you should hear a confidence in abilities and a desire to provide cleaning assistance with your home.

A bad housecleaner on the other hand usually becomes obvious within a short time of speaking with a person. A bad housecleaner may arrive late to an interview appointment,  may dress in sloppy or dirty clothing, not portraying a professional appearance. A bad housecleaner may not have a list of references to provide you to prove past experience and satisfied customers,  may have a wide-open schedule because other people have not retained the housecleaner’s services and may not possess liability insurance, necessary for protecting you against financial loss from accidents.

Spot a Fair Housecleaner Bid

After speaking with several housecleaners, it’s time to receive bids from housecleaners to ascertain which housecleaner will provide the services you need at a price that fits your budget. The bid should include concise details about the entire housecleaning service the professional will provide. The regularity of service, the days, the time spent cleaning, the parts of the home under the housecleaner’s responsibility, an exact description of the housecleaning services performed, the products used for housecleaning, who will provide the products, the tools used for house cleaning, who will provide the tools and a complete breakdown of the services and the price for each service. Incomplete bids or bids that do not include all information will not give you enough information to accurately assess the services the housecleaner would provide. Once you receive these bids, compare them carefully to find the housecleaner’s bid that fits your needs and budget most precisely. Remember, the lowest bid isn’t always the best bid. It may be wiser to accept a bid with a more moderate price.

Crosscheck Online Housecleaner Reviews

Housecleaners should be able to provide you with a hefty set of references to verify experience, ethics and skills. Require that each housecleaner you consider gives you three references. Once you have this information, call the references to speak with either former or current clients. Ask precise questions about the services provided, the quality, the timeliness and the professionalism of the housecleaner. If possible, ask if you could view the work of the housecleaner so you can compare it to your own home. This might give you useful information about whether the housecleaner is up to the task and would be able to provide high quality cleaning services that fit your needs. Check the housecleaner’s reputation as well. Enter the housecleaner’s name or company name into an Internet search engine to see if you find any important information regarding dissatisfied customers or legal issues. You might also contact your local Better Business Bureau to see whether a housecleaner has any complaints registered by dissatisfied clients.

With a high quality housecleaner on board, you can look forward to a tidy home that stays nicely organized. Don’t forget to visit the Red Beacon website more hiring tips, too.

Posted in Home Improvement, Maids and Cleaning Services | Leave a comment

Convenient Ways to Clean Your Appliances

Appliances would perhaps be the most essential part of any house as it provides not just comfort but also convenience. However, it can also be a significant investment in the home, often costing thousands of dollars at initial purchase. Not only can the purchase price be high, the price to run appliances is often a noticeable part of your monthly budget. Maintaining appliances carefully can pay you back in both the long and the short term. The U.S. Fire Administration offers compelling reasons to maintain appliances, in addition to budgeting costs. Poorly maintained appliances may even be a fire safety hazard in the home. Your clothes dryer and kitchen range, for example, require regular cleaning to ensure that they stay in proper working order.

To be sure that your investments will operate safely and efficiently in your home for many years, follow some of these convenient ways to clean your appliances.

Look for Chemical-Free, Homemade Cleaners.

While you could load your cleaning cupboard with a variety of strong chemicals that might get the job done, you also have chemical-free options that can clean effectively without some of the potential side effects of using chemicals. Another benefit of homemade cleaners – they are generally less expensive than cleaners you purchase in the store. Sprinkle straight baking soda liberally over sinks, counters and tubs and use it as a natural scouring powder. Combine baking soda and white vinegar to use as a scrubbing and scouring solution that will eliminate grease and cut through mildew. Lemon juice is another natural cleaner that can eliminate bacteria.

How to Clean Microwave?

The microwave oven often receives frequent use in a home, so it’s important to keep it free of spills and debris. Fill a microwave-safe cup with water and place it in the microwave. Heat the water for about two minutes and then leave the cup undisturbed in the microwave oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. After this standing time elapses, remove the cup from the microwave. You should find the interior of the microwave damp from steam. Immediately use a damp cloth to clean the interior of the microwave. Any debris and food stuck inside the microwave should wipe off easily.

How to Clean Stainless Steel?

Stainless steel appliances and sinks can quickly become host to smudges and fingerprints. Keep stainless steel shiny and clean by using a window-or glass-cleaning solution. You can also make your own solution with ammonia. Spray your cleaner of choice over the stainless steel and wipe it off quickly with a soft, dry cloth to shine the surface.

How to Clean Oven and Stove?

Your oven and stove require frequent maintenance and cleaning to ensure that they stay safe and attractive. Always clean off the stove surface to remove food particles and stains, which can mar the surface of your stove and create a fire hazard. Check the oven regularly to ensure that it stays clean and free of debris and grease. When the oven becomes dirty, use a self-cleaning setting on the oven (if available) or clean it with a cleaner designed for ovens.

How to Clean Refrigerator?

The refrigerator often receives intense use in the home, storing food products and leftovers. Once each week, wipe down the outer surface of the refrigerator to remove food debris and fingerprints. Inside the refrigerator, wipe the surfaces with a mild detergent to remove spills and debris. Pull the refrigerator away from the wall and use your vacuum cleaner brush attachment to vacuum the coils at the back of the refrigerator once or twice each year. Regular cleaning keeps your refrigerator sparkling, reduces the maintenance work and lengthens its life.

How to Clean Freezer?

Depending on your freezer, you may experience ice building up inside the unit over time. Twice a year, turn off the power to the freezer, empty it and allow it to warm to room temperature. Defrost the inside of the freezer and wipe down the surfaces with a cloth soaked in mild detergent to clean them. Replace the items in the freezer after checking each item to ensure it isn’t past expiration.

How to Clean Washer?

The washing machine is another tough appliance that receives hard use in the home. With the constant grime that moves through the washing machine, it’s important to keep it clean for the best efficiency. To clean a top-loading washing machine, fill it with hot water and add 1 quart of chlorine bleach to the water. Allow the bleachy water to agitate for approximately one minute and then turn the washer off, allowing it to sit for 60 minutes. Turn the washer back on and allow it to pass through the wash cycle. Repeat the same process again, this time with white vinegar. To clean a front-loading washing machine, set the washing machine to a large load setting and fill it with hot water. Add 2 cups of white vinegar to the detergent dispenser and allow it to progress completely through the cycle. Repeat the same process again, this time with 2 cups of chlorine bleach.

How to Clean Dryer?

The lint filter that slides in and out of your dryer traps lint that falls off your items as you dry them in the dryer. If you operate the dryer without the lint filter, the lint may clog the vents attached to your dryer, causing a fire hazard. Always clean the lint filter before using the dryer. Once or twice each year, clean the drum area around the lint filter to remove lint that escapes the filter. Check the vent pipe that leads from the dryer to the outside once each year to remove lint that can reduce the drying power of the dryer and could become a fire hazard.

How to Clean AC unit?

To maintain an air-conditioning unit, you must clean it at least twice during the cooling season. Turn off power to the unit and use a garden hose to spray off the coils, starting at the top of the unit and working your way down. You can also use a toothbrush to get into cracks and crevices. Hire an expert to provide annual maintenance to your unit before you begin using it at the beginning of the summer.

How to Clean BBQ Grill?

Your barbecue grill may receive tough use during the summer season. To maintain it for safe use, perform deep cleaning once or twice each year. Disconnect the propane tank from the grill and remove all grates from the grill. Soak the grates in soapy water and use a grill brush to clean the interior of the grill, including the heating elements. Scrub the grates with the grill brush after soaking them for about 30 minutes. Clean the exterior of the grill with soapy water and a cloth. Reassemble the grill.

Although your appliances do require maintenance, the time spent to keep them clean and sparkling will extend their useful life and protect your investment. Swing by the Red Beacon website for more helpful cleaning advice, too.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Carpet Stains? No Problem!

You look around and see that carpet sporting the remnants of two kids’ birthday parties, one wayward bottle of red wine and several unfortunate pet incidents and you are now looking at that poor carpet that used to be so fluffy, so new, so white. A clean carpet makes your house look and smell better. Not only can dirty carpets sport ugly stains, they can trap bad smells inside the home. That could be why it’s such a big business. According to Consumer Reports, Americans spend $3 billion a year to have their carpets professionally cleaned. A good, professional carpet cleaning can turn back time on your home’s carpet, making your home as spotless as they day you moved in.

Here are some questions and answers that will help you revive the beauty of that precious carpet:

What kind of stain?

Not all stains are created equal. Some stains are harder to get out than others. Some easier stains to remove are things like ink, juice or excrement. Not all stains are created equal. Some stains are harder to get out than others. Some easier stains to remove are things like ink, juice or excrement. Things like blood, chocolate and vomit are a little more difficult to remove, so they require tougher cleaners. It’s also possible that you’re tackling something bigger like flood damage or cleaning up your rental property after some not so sanitary previous inhabitants. Take all these things into consideration when outlining a plan with your professional.

What’s your carpet type?

There are a many different types of carpet on the market. The most common carpet fibers are acrylic, blends, nylon, olefin (also known as polypropylene), and polyester, recycled and wool. The way the carpet is also variety in the feel of carpet. There are options like textured plush, Saxony and plush that lends different looks to your home while taking into account different kinds of lifestyles. The kind of carpet you have plays a huge role in what kind of cleaner you’ll use. Some carpets can’t take bleach-based cleaners. Some are more durable and can stand up to rigorous scrubbing better than others.

What can you do?

Help your professional by doing some of the work right when the stain happens. Blot the spot – but make sure not to rub or be too rough as that could just grind the stain in more deeply. Using cool or lukewarm water, mix up a dish detergent solution. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse. Repeat this process several times, but make sure you are gentle. Make carpet cleaning a regularly scheduled part of your home maintenance. Having the carpets in your home cleaned often will cut down on the work your professional will have to do the next time. Instead of having to tackle years of built-up stains, he or she may only be challenged with one or two. That will probably mean lower cleaning bills for you in the future, too. Find someone you can trust.

Is it worth repairing?

The lifespan of a carpet is anywhere from 10 to 20 years. If your carpet is badly stained and showing its age, it might be better to just toss it in favor of something brand new. Taking these tips into consideration could help your carpets have a brilliant future and keep any stains firmly in the past!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Best Way to Organize Your Kitchen Tools

The process of meal preparation and serving would be so much more enjoyable if you have a well-run, well-organized kitchen. However, life can get busy and hectic – it’s easy for things to fall into clutter and chaos. And, when things are a mess, you don’t want to bother with being in your kitchen at all. There is a way to stay away from the takeout menus and in front of your stove. A well-organized kitchen is possible – and it doesn’t take too much money or energy to achieve. This guide will show you great ways to organize your kitchen tools and make your kitchen look perfect!

Bins and Baskets. When it comes to organization, bins and baskets are your friends. They help create order even when their contents may night be stored very neatly. Use bins to store unused food storage containers, extra serving spoons, or fancy dinner napkins. You don’t have to busy yourself trying to hide them, either. Many manufacturers offer storage bins that are attractive enough to be part of our kitchen’s décor.

Relocation, Relocation, Relocation. Because the kitchen is often the heart of the home, lots of things end up there that shouldn’t be. Take some time to identify things that have managed to find themselves in your kitchen and deposit them in their proper homes. That means moving pens and pencils are cluttering up the counter to the home office, and those shoes, socks, coats and hats need to be relocated in bedrooms and closets. If you are low on space, you may even want to relocate kitchen supplies that you don’t always use. If you know that you only use your large serving platters on Thanksgiving, or your grandmother’s special tea set only on Mother’s Day, you may want to store them away in the attic during the rest of the year.

Figure Out where you Use What You Use. Organization isn’t just about getting rid of things. It may also be about changing how you use what you have. If you find yourself wandering far away from your stove to find your favorite stirring spoons over and over again, maybe you should store them closer to the stove. Clutter can come out of being too lazy or too tired to put things in their proper homes. Better storage placement also means it’s easier to put things away correctly the first time.

Using your Cabinets. Make sure your cabinets are clean, neat and clutter free. Stack dishes and cups to make the most of your cabinet space. Make sure everything is stored neatly so that you can see what you have. When storing food, group like products together so that you know what you have and when you need to restock.

Hanging Pots. Don’t forget that your ceiling can provide you with storage space. Hang large pots and pans so that they are up and out of the way when they are not in use. You can also find pretty ways to hang teacups, onions and potatoes so that you know where that they are and they aren’t making a big mess.

Don’t Neglect What You Already Have. Nowadays, people are looking to save money like never before. Save yourself some money by making sure that you are using the things that are already in your home to the best of their abilities. Make sure that all of your cabinets, shelves and drawers are being used. If they are, make sure their contents are organized to give you the maximum amount of available surface space.

Get Rid of What you Don’t Use. You might think it’s noble to keep that ugly soup tureen your mother-in-law gave you for a wedding gift, but if you don’t use it it’s just taking up space in your kitchen. Be honest with yourself. Get rid of anything you don’t use and have no intention of using. Donate canned good items that your family doesn’t like to a local food bank (as long as they are not past expiration and in good condition). Give bowls, cups and dishes away to other people who might find a use for them.

Shelving. Shelves are another great way to display the things you need in your kitchen. If your kitchen already has adequate shelves, use them and keep them clean and neat. If your kitchen doesn’t have any shelves, you can quickly and easily put on one or more on your own with little effort. Go to a local home improvement store or enlist the help of a good contractor. Put up a shelf and then use attractive baskets or bins to store your things.

Group Things Together. That means that all glasses should be together, all canned goods should be together, all food storage containers should be together, and so on. Save yourself the frustration of hunting for what you need by assigning everything a “home” and then sticking with it.

Look for Space in Unexpected Spaces. Look for unconventional spots in your kitchen to help organize your life. That might mean hanging storage containers from the inside of cabinet doors or maybe painting a wall with chalkboard paint to create your own reusable spot for your weekly shopping list. Get creative and have fun! Remember, the more you enjoy organizing your kitchen the more you’ll enjoy being there.

Good kitchen organization is indeed possible! All you need is a bit of determination, dedication and creativity. Figure out a good organization routine that works well for you and your life. Set aside a time and day to give your kitchen a good cleaning regularly. That way you won’t have a huge task to tackle.

Posted in Carpentry, Home Improvement | Leave a comment

How to – The Ultimate Guide: Austin Garbage Collection

There are quite a few things to love about Austin, Texas. Living and growing there could be one of the most unforgettable things for a child but as a grown up, it’s possible that another ‘unforgettable thing’ about Austin is the fact that the area is known for a really bad waste removal system. Who wants to deal with garbage?  According to the Texas roadside cleanup organization Don’t Mess with Texas, about 827 pieces of litter accumulate on Texas roadways each year. The group says that food wrappers and tobacco products are the most common types of trash they find. As a responsible citizen though, there are a few things you can do by properly disposing of your garbage.

Help keep Austin beautiful by disposing of your waste the right way. Here are some of the things that you need to know in order to help out:

TIME: The city of Austin asks that you place your trash at the curb by 6:30 a.m. on collection day.

BASICS. Place your trash at the curb by 6:30 a.m. on collection day. If you have bags of trash that don’t fit inside your cart, place them next to the cart and tag them with an “Extra Trash” sticker. Those stickers cost about $4 and can be purchased at most local grocery stores. Failure to mark your extra trash could mean an $8-per-bag penalty fee. City officials would also like residents to place all waste containers about five feet apart to make it easier for trucks to collect them. If, for whatever reason, your trash is left behind, call Austin Resource Recovery at 311 or email them. They’ll pick up the trash as soon as possible. Oh, and for residential pickup, only dispose of regular household trash. Household chemicals, dead animals and old computer equipment should be disposed of elsewhere.

HAZARDOUS WASTE. Things such as batteries, florescent lights, paints and paint thinners, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, cleaners, ammonia and bleach, motor oil and other automotive fluids, pool chemicals, aerosol cans and photographic chemicals falls under hazardous waste. These items and things like them should go to Austin’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility, located at 2514 Business Center Drive, Austin 78744. Please note that while the facilities take most chemical trash, there are things they won’t take. Radioactive materials, tires, electronics and explosive materials are some of the materials that are not accepted. If you have questions, call ahead before you go.

RECYCLING. The city of Austin collects recycling every other week. On recycling day, make sure your items to be recycled are on the curb by 6:30 a.m. Make sure to remove all excess food from any containers before putting it out for recycling. If you can’t fit everything inside your recycling cart, place the rest of your things inside of a cardboard box or reusable container and they will be picked up at no extra charge. Also, make sure to flatten all cardboard boxes you are disposing of. If there are several boxes, flatten them and then tie them into bundles. Things that can be recycled: paper, boxboard and cardboard, aluminum and metal cans, glass and plastic containers.

Things that can’t be recycled: plastic bags, aluminum foil, Styrofoam, pizza boxes, large metal items like frying pans and metal pipes, large plastic items and wire coat hangers.

Follow this guide, because lazy garbage disposal really stinks.

Posted in Home Improvement | Leave a comment

How to – The Ultimate Guide: Power Washing Trade Secrets

Power washing your home and driveway is a great way to restore luster to your home after a particularly dirty winter. Although power washing and pressure washing the home is something that more people are doing themselves, there are still some best practices to adhere to in ensuring a great job is done.

Now getting a professional to check easy fix like this could cost you a fortune however, troubleshooting this could definitely help you save some money before calling the pros. Here are some tips:

The Right Tools. Efficiency is the key. This means having the right tool for the job and not having a power washer alone will help. Homeowners should learn how different nozzle options before starting the job. These power washers come with interchangeable spray tips that are either used to lower the water pressure or generate high pressure. It also has a variety of angles. No need to play expert, just know which ones to use. Knowing which tip to use when is a crucial component of doing a stellar job on your power-washing project. Generally, the smallest angle gives the most powerful stream, and the largest angle allows for a wider, lighter stream. The lower angles are great for dealing with stubborn stains and gunk, while the higher angles are great for light rinsing or soaking. Make sure that every inch of your target area are cleaned by consistent left to right movements.

The Right Chemicals. Make the results and the experience itself as stunning by proper use of cleaning chemicals. Power washing chemicals are specially formulated and specifically designed for use with a power washer. They cut through grime, kill mold and other organisms, making it easier to clean the designated area to be washed. Ask your local hardware store for the best chemicals specifically made for use with power washers!

Create A Perfect Power Plan. Scout out your project by checking all corners of the house that you wanted to power wash and save hours with a perfect planning system. Know which tips to use where, take note of places to use chemicals and make sure there’s enough space for water to flow in rinsing. Test all the tips and have a feel of your tool to know how it is like to be holding back the trigger. Safety instructions are always available to guide you. Preparation leaves less of a window for problems down the road.

Patience and Precision. Stick to your plan! Take your time and make deliberate, completely consistent movements left to right to ensure you get every inch of your target area cleaned. Don’t rush your movements – if you’ve planned out the project and know where you are starting, you’ll have already saved yourself some time. Consistent movements make for more precise sprays, and you’ll be amazed at how fast you can knock out a job. After applying the appropriate chemicals, be patient in allowing them to sink in and work on the areas you’ve sprayed them. Give anywhere from five to fifteen minutes before spraying again and rinsing. This will ensure a great finish!

Posted in Home Improvement, Jobdeals HowTo, Maids and Cleaning Services | Leave a comment

How to – The Ultimate Guide: Toilet Replacement

Most of the water used in the average household gets flushed down the toilet. If your toilet is old and inefficient, you may be using more water than necessary. A high-efficiency toilet can reduce the amount of water you use to reduce your expenses. A leaky or malfunctioning toilet can be a hassle at best and a serious problem at worst. When your toilet isn’t operating correctly, the first option involves repairing your existing toilet. If this proves impossible, the next option involves a complete toilet replacement. With a toilet replacement guide, you can perform your own plumbing work to save money and make your bathroom fixtures work again.

How to Remove the Old Toilet. When you decide that you must replace your toilet, the first step involves choosing a toilet that will fit into your space. Measure the space for the toilet, including the wall behind the toilet. Measure between the wall and the bolts on the floor. This measurement will determine the size and style of the new toilet you select. Because toilet bases can be of varying size, these mounting holes must fit the existing configuration and space in your bathroom. Remove the old toilet first by turning off the water supply to the toilet. Flush the toilet to get any existing water out of it and then disconnect the supply line from the toilet bowl. Remove the toilet tank from the toilet bowl by removing the bolts that connect them. Move the tank out of the room to get it out of the way. Remove the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor. As you loosen the toilet from its mount, take care not to spread the gasket wax onto surrounding surfaces. Move the toilet out of the way and place a towel into the drain hole to keep gases out of the bathroom.  Clean off any remaining wax and putty from the area around the base of the toilet so the entire area is clean and ready for the new toilet.

How to Install the New Toilet. Insert the bolts into the flange. Install the wax ring onto the waste horn. Move the towel that was plugging the waste drain hole and place the toilet onto the flange. Install the washers and nuts and then press down on the toilet gently before tightening the nuts evenly. Place bolt caps onto the bolts. Check the toilet for leaks. As long as nothing is leaking, seal the base of the toilet with silicone sealant. Place the rubber gasket over the outlet at the bottom of the toilet tank. Insert the tank bolts and washers from the inside of the toilet tank, pushing them through to the bowl. Position the tank and tighten the nuts evenly. Install the toilet seat.

Turn on the water supply line and test the flushing of the toilet. You may need to adjust the flushing mechanism slightly. Take care not to tighten any bolts too much – damage can occur to the toilet base if you tighten bolts too tightly. With a little effort and a few hours of time, you can place a new toilet into your bathroom.

Posted in Plumbers | Leave a comment