Although it may not feel like it, spring is just around the corner and with that comes getting much needed maintenance done on our homes. If you will be looking for someone to do the work for you, how can you be sure to get someone honest who will not try to rip you off?
Here are a few pointers:
While there are many honest workers out there, it’s always good to be on our guard. Please feel free to contact us with further questions.
One important area of the house and often considered the heart of the house, is the kitchen. There are many areas of the kitchen that indicate to us what kind of state the rest of the house is in.
When looking at potential problem areas of the kitchen, we would probably start with the sink. The sink gives us an indication of the water pressure and the drainage of the pipes around the sink. If the water pressure is inconsistent with the rest of the house there could be a problem with corrosion in the faucet area or other complications that have to do with the installation or condition of the pipes leading to the sink. One other facet of the sink could be the garbage disposal and its condition could easily be deciphered by turning it on and off.
Since water is a potential hazard for any house, the dishwasher would be another aspect of the kitchen that's important to inspect. We need to check for potential leaks and faulty seals. Water damage can usually be seen around the area of the dishwasher and under the sink. If there is water damage, what usually follows is mold and rotting of the floorboards or cupboards. It's also wise to check for damage in the cupboards, the drawers and it's doors.
The countertops are also commonly used and could lead to further problems down the road if they are not in the right condition. A quick summary of an inspection of the kitchen.
We are just a couple of weeks away from a brand new year. Will 2018 be the year you purchase a new home? Do you have a limited budget?
Perhaps you decide to purchase a house that has previously had a fire. While this can be something that works out for you, there are many factors to consider. The following video will help you to have an idea of what you would need to look out for if you decide to choose this option.
We want you to have a home that you can be safe and able to relax in, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
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In our previous article, we discussed what a Biowall is. In this blog we will discuss the benefits of Biowalls, and whether it is a good idea to have them in cities such as here in NYC.
Research has shown that when a Biowall is placed in an office environment, it has a beneficial effect on its employees. There are generally happier and there is more productivity.
Sick Building Syndrome (or SBS) can cause a number of ailments such as headaches, dizziness, and nose, throat and eye irritation. Biowalls in their active state provide a natural air filtration system which can aid in reducing the effects of SBS. This natural filtration can also help against unhealthy pollutants.
Biowalls are not only beneficial in the interior of a building, but also have many benefits on the exterior of a building. A Biowall could actually aid in the protection of the building from harmful UV rays and even acid rain.
Active exterior Biowalls also add insulation, which can help in reducing energy costs.
As we discussed last time, exterior Biowalls also help with the effects of UHI (Urban Heat Island) as heat does not radiate as much.
Green roofs are fast becoming a very popular way of helping the environment. Those who are interested in green roofs, would enjoy a Biowall as there is less structural strain on the building than with the green roof.
As we have briefly noted, a Biowall can provide many benefits. Who of us doesn't enjoy being in an environment where there is some level of nature?
It is important to note however, that Biowalls also have some disadvantages. If you would like to know more information about this, please feel free to contact us.
Biowall, this might not be a term you are very familiar with. There are other names for this type of wall, such as green walls or living walls.
What is a Biowall?
Basically they are a wall that is covered with living plants. They can be used both inside as well as outside of a building. They are often used inside in homes and are also good for offices. Their ability to purify the air makes them a good choice for indoor use. Of course they do not replace a traditional HVAC system, but instead are used to work alongside one.
They are good for outdoor use, especially in more urban areas. Because concrete walls and surfaces reflect heat, this can make urban areas a lot hotter than they should be. In the summer time, this can lead not only to excessive heat, but also to bad air quality. It is referred to as the Urban Heat Island (UHI). A biowall in areas like these serve to reduce the effects of UHI.
There are 2 different types of biowall. A panel system, which uses soil that is packed into plastic bags and then the plants are placed into compartments. They are fed by an irrigation system which is connected. The other type of biowall is a felt system. Plants fit into felt that is backed by a waterproof layer, which is used as the means of growing the plants. As the plants grow, their roots grow downwards which helps to support them.
What are the advantages to biowalls? And are there any disadvantages? This will be discussed in future articles.
Lightning poses a threat to all of us, not matter where we live. While the obvious and biggest danger exists for someone outside in a lightning storm, dangers also exist when we are inside our homes.
There are numerous dangers associated with a lightning strike at home. One of the most evident is that the house could set on fire. The risk of electrocution is also an important factor to consider.
Obviously, a fire in a home caused by a lightning strike could significantly damage it, but a lot of damage could also be caused from the water used to put the fire out. This in turn, if not treated properly could create a mold issue later on.
Your homes appliances could be damaged due to power surges.
How can we be safe at home during a lightning storm?
Keep out of the way of windows.
It is best to not do anything that involves using running water such as washing dishes and bathing etc.
Although a surge protector can help protect electronic equipment, don't think that is all you need. Be on the safe side and unplug or turn off any electrical appliances that could be damaged if lightning strikes, things like computers and phones. Also don't use these appliances while there is lightning in your area.
There are other measures you can take to protect your home from a lightning strike, such as a lightning rod or a lightning protection system. It is best to research which option is best for you and your area.
These are just a few things to think about and stay safe during a lightning storm.
While Aluminum siding is not too popular these days in the construction of homes, it can still be found on many older homes. Here are a few helpful things to know about Aluminum siding.
Is Aluminum siding durable?
Yes, it can actually last up to the life of the building, but only if it is maintained well. It doent rust, and it wont be affected by termites.
How safe is it?
If installed properly, it gives great waterproof protection.
In case of a fire, it will not melt or burn.
Is it aesthetically pleasing?
It can be, as it can be easily painted, however this does tend to need to be redone every few years. It should also be noted that Aluminum siding is prone to scratches and dents which can look rather unattractive and is not too easy to fix.
Some home owners may also have a problem with the noise it can make when rain falls on it.
This is just a very simple look at what to consider with Aluminum siding , however for a more thorough inspection, please contact us and we will be happy to advise you or schedule an appointment.
Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer as it has no odor and cannot be seen, and so attacks without warning. Many instances of Carbon Monoxide poisoning occur in the home, this is largely due to faulty, fuel burning appliances found in the home.
What are some ways that CO Poisoning can be prevented?
As you can see, it is so important to regularly check your home for CO dangers. Please call us to schedule an inspection or if you need help with any questions.
Backflow in a water system can happen very easily and ensuring that it won't happen to you, in your water lines is an important step to having safe water to drink and to use in your home.
Backflow is a term referring to the backtracking of normal water, causing waste water to enter the lines meant for clean water. Backflow will occur in an improperly installed connection of pipes between a public source of potable water and a pipe with polluted or contaminated water.
Backflow can occur in pipes in different ways, such as when the use of water exceeds the amount of water that is supplied, or when something causes the water flow to reverse due to the creation of a vacuum for one reason or another. There be various causes, such as when there is a break in a water main, when firefighters are using a water source, or maybe some pipes are being repaired or flushed.
Obviously, the causes of backflow are unavoidable and can't be controlled, but can easily be prevented, and that’s why it's so important to have a backflow preventer installed when necessary. For tips to find out if one needs to be installed or inspected, and that it's the right type, don't hesitate to contact us.
So many things in our home nowadays are electric, from kitchen appliances to iPads and phones, everything requires an electrical outlet. In many older homes, there are simply not enough outlets, so a power strip seems the obvious choice to keep up with the demand, but how can we make sure that we are using them safely? Consider the following:
As you can see, power strips can be very useful, but only if used correctly.
Please give us a call with any questions you may have about electrical outlet safety in your home
PARKER AND WEST ENGINEERING, PLLC.