Your home is one of the largest investments in your life. It is a significant aspect that you want to keep until the future generations. To do that, your home should stand against elements and time.
An essential factor that will define how long will your house last is its structural integrity. It aims to prevent deformation, breaking, and failure due to load.
Concrete is a popular material for construction. You might want to know how long it lasts as it looks tough and resistant. It is also known for durability
On average, concrete houses and other structures will last for at least 75 to 100 years. However, that does not include apartment buildings, as they can only have a life of about 50-60 years. You can also improve that by maintaining your home. If you look at concrete structures in many places, there are castles and others made by concrete that are even over 200 years old. That is how strong the material is.
Time is not your house’s friend. It will make it degrade, even if it is made of concrete. You have to get it designed by a professional, so you can get the best out of it.
Benefits of Your Concrete Home
Living in a concrete home has lots of advantages for you. It will also last longer, and you can give it to your predecessors. The next generation of your family will benefit from it as well.
Low Energy Bills
Heating and cooling costs are significantly lower by 20% to 25% in concrete homes. That is because they are better insulators than other materials, so you can regulate temperature better.
Comfort and Quiet
Many who live in concrete homes that they have less unwanted noise. There are also no cold drafts, which is because of the barrier that the concrete forms. Sounds from outside also cannot effectively penetrate the wall, so compared to wood, it is much quieter.
Unlike wood, concrete is pest-proof. You can also make sure that there is no moisture in it. You can make sure that you will have no problems like rot or fungal and insect infestations.
Healthy Indoor Environment
You won’t have mold, mildew, or other harmful things inside your house if you have concrete walls. You can make sure that the air inside is safer and easier to breathe in, as they also reduce infiltration.
Concrete is also fire-resistant. It is a safer option for construction material with a property like that. It can withstand high temperatures and flame, which won’t help the fire spread, if there is ever a situation like that in your home. That is unlike wood, which is highly flammable and will easily get reduced to dust.
You do not have to maintain concrete walls too often, as they are strong and durable. If you want to, then it will make your house last longer than a hundred years.
Your home is very essential to you, take care of it, and make it last for generations to come.
Posted on September 3, 2020
Stucco is a great-looking finish and is also known for being low-maintenance. Although it can survive at any given climate, it is more suited as a siding choice for hot and dry climates. This is because stucco finishes do not do well enough with wet climates. However, stucco is not just for exterior walls; interior stucco finishes are a great option and solution for more durable walls and it will also give great texture and looks. With that being said, we can say that stucco finishes are surely durable, great-looking, and low-maintenance. But just like any other household materials, it can also deteriorate through time, so household owners should always check and inspect their stucco finishes to maintain its quality.
Oftentimes, one of the common damages that you will see are cracks. These cracks must and should be repaired as soon as possible as they pose potential problems in the future. It can grow bigger and let water get behind the wall, causing damage to your walls. There are several reasons why stucco cracks, but there are ways to repair it.
What Causes Stucco to be damaged?
Stucco cracks and damages are notorious for causing bigger problems and damages. It is very common due to the natural soil movement and expansion that happens in the ground due to temperature. It can also happen for some other reasons, such as:
- Irregular inspection of stucco
- The foundation and settling of the house
- Improper installation of stucco finish
- No allowance for thermal expansion
- Did not install weep screed, which allows the moisture to escape the wall above the foundation
- Stucco layer that is applied was too thin
Tips on How to Repair your Stucco Cracks
Repairing your stucco cracks is relatively easy, and by doing it, you should first consider some factors. Stucco crack repairs will always depend on its depth, the length, and the cause of the crack. If the crack is just a hairline crack or just less than ¼ inches, then it will be relatively easy for you to repair. This kind of crack repair is best done if you are going to paint the wall after the repair. But if you are not going to paint the wall, you must quickly remove all of the caulk that surrounds the crack. If you want to get the best results, painting the repaired area is always recommended.
Here are some tips for caulking your cracked stucco:
- Always remember to apply the caulk in the morning. The sun causes concrete to expand, making the cracks relatively smaller than at night.
- Apply caulk generously. Do not be afraid of putting caulk around the crack as you can easily clean it afterward.
- Once the caulk is applied, you can always use your fingers to spread the caulk evenly. Make sure that the caulk reaches all of the crack’s edges.
- Once you applied all the caulk the crack needed, let it dry. If it shrank during the curing process, apply more.
- Once it is dry, it is now ready for painting.
Air conditioning units are made for home comfort and provide good quality of air and home environment. But if your air conditioning units are constantly making noises, it ruins everything.
Modern air conditioners are designed with sound-dampening technology to minimize distraction created by noises. So if you ever find yourself constantly bugged out by noises made by your air conditioning unit, to help you out.
Here are some of the usual noises and their indications:
A high-pitched or hissing sound. If you ever encounter this noise, shut your air conditioning unit immediately, and call a professional right away. It is too dangerous for you to handle it. It could be a sign of high internal pressure within the compressor. It could also be a sign of a refrigerant leak, which not only damages your unit but also threatens you and your family’s health. If your unit turns off on its own, don’t panic. It is because your sensor is detecting some hazard and it is doing its job to save you from it.
When you hear this kind of noise, it is usually caused by deterioration and loosening of some parts. Another cause could be some debris like twigs and leaves that could be stuck inside. Another culprit could be the fan blades. When fan blades are loose, it could make some rattling sound. In some cases, it could be coming from loose electrical components.
Squeals and Squeaks
These particular noises are usually coming from your blowers and fans that are transmitted through the duct system. Usually, outdoor fans are squealing and squeaking when they are becoming worse. In rare cases, the blower wheel and its housing may also be the cause of these noises. For some units, these noises are normal upon starting up. It’s up to you to identify whether the sound is something already there from the start or if it is something new.
This sound is usually normal upon start-up and shutdown, but constant ongoing clicking sound may be a sign for something serious. It might be a sign of a defective thermostat or a failing control system. It could also be caused by several electrical components inside your unit. It’s best to monitor and pay attention to this noise to save you from something worse in the future.
Clanking is usually a sign that there are some unbalanced or loose parts inside the unit. The parts inside the unit may have failed, or the compressor might have become loose, which may need to be replaced in no time. This could also indicate that the fan blades inside are loosely-attached, causing it to hit other parts.
Usually, banging is a sure sign that some parts are loosely-connected or broken. The culprit could be the connecting rod, the piston pin, or the crankshaft, all of them being inside the unit’s compressor. In some cases, it may also be caused by a loose or unbalanced indoor blower. In the worst cases, it might indicate that your compressor needs to be replaced.
If you hear something unusual coming from your air conditioner, make sure to pay attention to it and address the problem by calling repair services. It is always the best decision to solve the problem right away. Not only it will save you money in the long run, but it also saves you from the hazards the noise may bring.
Estimated Costs for HVAC Repairs
HVAC repairs might cause us headaches when it caught us off-guard. This makes HVAC repair costs quite unexpected as well. Some might be wary of calling their HVAC contractors due to unforeseen prices that might only come when the technician already inspected the system. Here are some estimates to help give you an idea of how much repairing your HVAC system might cost.
The furnace is an important element of your HVAC system and it might breakdown and need the help of a professional. Homeowners spend about $297 for furnace repair. There are additional charges if something needs to be repaired or replaced specifically in your furnace. The cheapest would be the pressure sensor or circuit board which will be about $50, while the most expensive would be to replace the heat exchanger which will cost you about $500 to $1,200.
Air-conditioners or other types of cooling systems might also need some repair or tune-up. People spend an average of $300 on air-conditioner repairs. The cheapest replacement for your air-conditioner would be the condensate drain tube which costs about $20, while the most expensive is to replace the condenser coil with a price that ranges from $1,900 to $2,900.
Your heat pump is also important and while you can do some inspection yourself, it might still require the help of an HVAC professional. Like the others, costs may vary depending on what component has to be repaired or replaced. Replacing air filters will only cost from $15 to $150, and it might cost $800 to $1,700 when doing large repairs like replacing ductwork or compressor.
Other than the expenses stated above, your contractor will also charge $100 to $150 per hour with a service call fee of $75 to $200. However, the emergency hourly rate will cost about $140 to $250. Diagnostics might also be an option for you if you are not sure of the problem with your HVAC system, which costs about $90. If your system only needs a tune-up, it only is about $100.
Flat- rate Charges
Flat rates are charged for small jobs that require significantly less work than others. This is charged by many HVAC contractors, and might save you money for the same rate will be charged even if it takes more time to do the work.
Inspection and Cleaning
When your HVAC system is finally repaired, you might need or want to have an inspection to make sure everything works; this will cost you from $50 to $120. To maintain the efficiency of your HVAC system, professionals recommend cleaning it every 2 to 5 years. This will cost you about $300 to $1000, or $35 per duct. Cleaning will make your HVAC system work effectively and will be energy efficient.
Taking care of your HVAC system is important to avoid more costs for repair, but it will always help to have an HVAC professional once in a while. Remember to not be afraid of unexpected costs because these estimates are here to help you!
Air conditioning units are essential nowadays for our comfort and to make our home more livable. But just like any other home equipment and appliances, your HVAC system also comes to have some problems that need to be diagnosed and solved. Most of the time, the problems are about leaks that cause energy costs to rise, pressure imbalances, moisture problems, rot, and might even affect the air quality and ventilation of your home.
Here are some tips on how to repair your AC unit ductwork:
Inspect for a Leak
Turn your AC unit around and try to feel for possible leaks. You can know there’s a leak if you try to observe and feel if there is an abnormal blowing of warm air or if it sucks air. By doing this, you can wet your hands to heighten your sensitivity to detect air, or you can use some thin toilet papers to detect air movements. Sometimes, the problem might be just poor insulation but try to look for discoloration or rust around your insulation because this might indicate a leak. Check if the joints in the pipes are connected properly.
Sealing the Leak
Once you found a leak, turn the system off before doing any work. Use an aluminum foil to cover up holes and gaps. It is the best tape to use because it is cold and heat resistant, moisture and chemical resistant, and it is very adhesive even for long periods. You can use it alone, but you can use it with fiberglass tape with a mastic sealant with it. It is the best sealant to use because it sticks for a very long time, preventing frequent repairs.
Applying Mastic Sealant
To help improve the adhesion of the seal you made, use a mastic sealant. By doing this, you have to dress appropriately because it will surely be messy. Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Use gloves to spread it over a tape, but a disposable paintbrush will also do the job.
Testing the System
To know if the repair you’ve done is successful, you must test your system and use it just like how you’ve used it before. Turn on the system and start inspecting if there are still problems occurring. Observe if the temperature is normal and check if the seal you put holds effectively by checking if there are still leaks. If you want to be sure that it is running smoothly, you can call your trusted HVAC contractor for diagnostics. They will also make sure that your HVAC system passes most model codes, including the 2006 International Residential Code (IRC.) This will make sure that your system meets all the requirements and standards, and that it will work both effectively and efficiently.
If you followed all of the steps mentioned above, repairing your ductwork should be as easy as pie. But if you are afraid to do it alone or if your repair is unsuccessful, it is still best to call for your trusted repair contractor. We hope we’ve helped! Good luck with repairing your AC ductwork.
In a place where hot to mild climate is prevalent, having an air conditioner is one of the most effective and great ways to make your living environment cooler. A cooler home is a comfortable one, they say. And just like all of the other household equipment and appliances, air conditioners need repairs and maintenance to make it run smoothly.
As time goes by, repairs and maintenance will be a need for your air conditioner. And before calling for repair services, it’s not bad to try to do it on your own. As you do that, here are some tips on how to repair your air conditioner:
Most of the problems air conditioners have been categorized under two symptoms: either it does not cool sufficiently, or it can’t be turned on.
Window AC Insufficient Cooling
Most of the air conditioners that are not cooling enough may just need to be recharged with refrigerant, but there are chances that it just needs to be cleaned.
Cleaning your unit is an easy thing as the steps needed to do are indicated in your owner’s manual. But if you happen to misplace your manual and can’t find it.
Here are some steps to guide you on your cleaning:
1. Unplug the Unit
First, unplug your unit for your safety before carefully removing it from your window. But if you just intend to clean its filter, you should be able to remove its grille and filter without removing the unit from the window. If you want to remove it from the window completely, do so if it helps you to work more efficiently.
2. Remove the Grille
Remove the grille and filter after unscrewing the metal cover. Remember to be careful and not damage the coil’s fins. To do this much effectively, refer to your manual.
3. Wash the Filter
Wash the filter thoroughly and carefully. This usually resolves the problem. If cleaning it won’t work and seems like it needs replacement, you can easily find filters at your nearest stores or online.
4. Use a Vacuum
As you clean your coil’s fins, use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attached to it. Remove all of its dust and debris thoroughly. Remember to do it gently and carefully as it is sensitive and can be damaged easily.
5. Clean the Rest
As you are cleaning the filter and the coil, clean the rest of the unit with a damp rag. Remember to open all of its drains to allow water to drip away from the unit. Let it dry thoroughly and completely afterward.
6. Lubricate with Oil
Just like any other machine, your unit’s motors and bearings also need to be maintained with oil and lubricant. Lubricate your motor and bearings to make it run smoothly as ever.
7. Reinstall the Unit
After finishing the steps above, carefully reinstall the unit in the window. Make sure all of the screws and bearings removed are kept back in place.
Window AC Can’t Be Turned On
Most air conditioners run electricity and draw a lot of electrical power, which can lead to wearing out as time goes by and can eventually lead to complete failure. If your air conditioning unit doesn’t turn on at all, here are some tips on how to address this problem:
1. Make Sure it is Plugged In
Any appliances that need electricity to run needs to be plugged in before it runs. Plug it in and make sure that the switch is turned on. Try to put the thermostat to the “cool” setting and below room temperature to test it out.
2. Make Sure the Outlet Works
Use a voltage tester to see if the outlet is the faulty one. Any device won’t run if it is plugged into a faulty outlet. If it happens to be faulty, it is best to find an electrician to repair it for you.
3. Check the Indicator Light
Check the light. If it doesn’t go on, the circuit has possibly overloaded—check the panel or fuse box and reset the breaker or replace its fuse. If the light works, the switch is likely faulty. It can also be caused by a thermostat that doesn’t function or needs cleaning and repair.
4. Repair and Clean the Thermostat
You can refer to your manual on how to repair your thermostat or find steps online. If repairing it doesn’t help, try buying a new one. Spending money for a brand new thermostat saves you more money in the long run.
If you’ve done all of the things mentioned above and your unit still doesn’t work, then it is the time to call for repair services. It is not bad to try something yourself, but it is still the best decision to let them handle these things because they are the ones who are expert and experienced.
Choosing the right contractor for your heating and cooling repairs and services might be the most crucial. It is where you HVAC depends on whether being successfully repaired, or put to a worse scenario. While it is a bit intimidating, being picky on your contractors is a must. Not only it will bring security to your home, but it also brings quality service.
If you happen to choose the right contractor, then the quality of the job will reflect that. It’s either you enjoy an HVAC like a well-oiled machine or have it repaired and replaced again by other contractors.
Here are a few tips to help you find the best contractor for your HVAC:
The first thing you should do is to gather referrals from everyone you know, including your neighbors, your trusted friends, or even your relatives. In this way, they can share with you the contractors or companies that somehow did a successful job for them.
Search and Review Reviews
Searching the nearest and best companies and contractors in your area is such an easy thing to do. In just one click, you can find different companies with different reviews. It is up to you to choose the best one.
In finding the best, learn to review other customer’s reviews. Read their feedbacks and comments. Happy customers are a good sign that a company has a good reputation.
Check their Website
After reviewing reviews, check the information about the company on their website. Check how long have they been working in this kind of business. Check their licenses, their credentials, and their certifications. In this way, you can see if they have a good reputation and they can be trusted to do quality workmanship.
If a company is a reputable one, don’t be afraid to ask them specific questions that apply to your situation. Most HVAC contractors work on all brands of HVAC equipment, but if you have a specialized system like a heat pump or a boiler, make sure that the contractor you find is an expert and experienced about your specified system.
Optimize Your Budget
A heating and cooling system repair and replacement may be costly and can throw off your budget. To optimize your budget, don’t be shy to ask for coupons and special offers from your contractor that can help lessen your expenses. A well-known and empathic company will surely help you with these.
Let Them Evaluate Your Home
A good and experienced contractor will surely evaluate your home before any work should start. They will conduct inspections, measurements, and ask questions about your current system to assess the problem even more. If a company didn’t have your home evaluated and wants to get working immediately, it is not a reputable one and you should consider finding another.
Compare and Contrast Estimates
Before a company starts to work, they should give you an honest and transparent estimate of expenses to guide you throughout. It is like a map for you to know how much and how expensive the project will be.
After getting estimates from a company, don’t be afraid to talk to other companies and compare their offers to each other. Not only it will help you to maximize your budget, but it will also help you to know what company brings the best quality out of the cheapest price.
And these are the tips that you should know to find the right HVAC contractor for you. With the right knowledge and balance of all the tips mentioned, you can surely find a good company that will serve you the best quality workmanship you’ll enjoy.
Posted on May 8, 2020
The question “How to build a virtual assistant yard care business?” is not just a question of how to get started with a business or how to make your business a success.
A virtual assistant can offer valuable advice and feedback that you may not have access to if you decide to start up your own business. So it’s essential to make sure that you hire the right people and that you know exactly what they can and cannot do.
If you decide to engage the services of a virtual assistant then you have two choices. You can either go for the home-based business model or you can opt for a shared office option. Now it is necessary to decide how you are going to achieve your business goals.
The home-based business model, referred to as a HUB or headquarter, is when a virtual assistant company employs a customer care executive as the head of operations. This person will be responsible for taking care of all customer contact and taking care of all tasks related to customer support.
The virtual assistant as an office model employs an employee as head of a virtual office, which is usually located at a particular address. A person who is experienced in business and is familiar with marketing, sales and customer service skills can do well as a virtual assistant.
With the shared office option, on the other hand, a virtual assistant is provided with his own work space, if he wishes, and shares a specific office with other virtual assistants. This model helps reduce costs as the company does not need to maintain a separate space for each virtual assistant.
With all the types of virtual assistant models available out there it is really difficult to know which one is best suited for your needs. One of the key things to consider is whether the virtual assistant company offers training.
With some companies this can come in the form of free online training courses. In fact it is advisable to always go for the virtual assistant who offers a free training course as this helps you to understand the business model better and learn what techniques are being used by other virtual assistants in their work.
One of the most important things to consider when deciding which type of virtual assistant to hire is the amount of training he has. Some virtual assistants may not require any specific training, whereas others may have special skills and knowledge that are not possible to teach during a basic training course.
To ensure that you hire the right kind of virtual assistant for your business, the best thing to do is to look for testimonials from other customers. Ask him about his expertise and the benefits he provides his clients so that you can determine if he meets your needs.
It would also be worthwhile to ask him about the size of his business, as this could play a vital role in determining the best virtual assistant for your business model. He should be able to understand your requirements and offer advice accordingly.
It is really a challenging task to find the right virtual assistant for your business and you certainly don’t want to spend too much time or money to find the perfect person for your business. All you need to do is get in touch with virtual assistant companies offering a free assessment and find out if they meet your business needs.