Mulching Your Leaves

 

Once you’ve finished cleaning your gutters, next up is getting the leaves off of the lawn. Mulching is much easier than raking, and the organic matter breaks down and releases nutrients. It also keeps the leaves out of landfills. Mulch can also reduce development of some weeds, like dandelions. So if you want to try it this fall, how do you get started?

You can mulch with a regular lawn mower by taking off the grass catcher off your mower and setting the blade to its highest setting. It may take a few passes to get the job done. However, it is better to use a mulching mower or mulching blades. This is because they break down the leaves into smaller pieces with decompose faster, instead of sitting around on your lawn possibly blocking the sunlight and water and even getting sticky and moldy after rain.

A good rule of thumb is to not mulch constantly, but rather do it in between raking or leaf-blowing sessions. If the leaves are clumpy and not spread pretty evenly, or if there are simply too many leaves, it can kill the grass. If you do decide to do it more often, make sure to do it once a week or so—before the leaves become too much to handle. You cannot wait until the leaves are piling up five inches high—get to them sooner. You’ll also want to mulch when it has been dry.

If you’re using a regular mower and afterwards you cannot see any grass at all, reattach the bag to the mower and go through one more time. Add the mulched leaves from this round to gardens beds or a compost pile.

Microbes and worms recycle the carbon from the leaf bits, and microbes can do their job better with nitrogen. You can get lawn food to help break down the leaves even faster.

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Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Christmas Tree Safety

 

christmas wishesThe sight of a Christmas tree in your home can bring fond memories and a feeling of happiness and excitement. With this piece of holiday decor, though, comes the potential for hazards. Below are a few tips to help make your holiday a safe one:

  • When shopping for a natural tree, look for a tree with vibrant needles that don’t break easily and are hard to pluck. You’ll want one that looks hydrated and the trunk should have sticky sap. All of this means the tree will be less of a fire hazard.
  • Wait to buy your tree if you can —those that are cut early in the season are more likely to dry up before the holiday season is over!
  • Make sure your tree stand can hold plenty of water—preferably at least one gallon. Cut two inches from the base before putting the trunk in, and make sure to water daily.
  • If you take the artificial tree route, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant.
  • Electrical ornaments and lights should not be used on artificial trees that have metallic leaves or branch coverings.
  • Make sure your tree is at least 3 feet away from sources of heat such as fireplaces, candles, heat vents or space heaters.
  • Don’t use lit candles on the tree.
  • Don’t use any strings of lights that have broken cords or any loose bulb connections.
  • Don’t connect any strings of lights that are not supposed to be connected together.
  • Only use lights that are specifically made for indoor use and check that the lights have been tested by a qualified laboratory.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Seal Those Basement Cracks

 

Sealing cracks in your concrete or masonry basement walls may be at the bottom of your home maintenance priority list, especially if you don’t use your basement very often. It’s not something to be ignored though, because fixing these problems can lower your energy bills and help prevent water damage and other serious issues.

But how do you fix them? Follow these simple steps:

1 – First youfoundation’ll want to buy a caulking gun and epoxy-based sealant. (Kits are available that contain all of the items you’ll need.) Clean any gaps with a wire brush and shop vacuum then make sure the area is dry and clear of debris.

2 – Mix the sealant according to the instructions. (Some may come in a pre-mixed tube.)

3 – Some cracks will only need one coat, but others will need more. If that’s the case, make sure the first coat dries before applying the second coat, then smooth the area with a putty knife. Know that epoxies strengthen and bond with the concrete to prevent cracks from expanding.

4 – If you are sealing an expansion joint, install the backer rod. This provides a filler that helps keep the sealant in the joint and also reduces the amount of sealant needed.

5 – Leave the area alone for 24 hours.

6 – Check to make sure the sealants have bonded, and you’re done.

That said, if you have a crack that horizontal or runs along the foundation, this is likely a more serious issue, so don’t try to tackle that on your own — call a professional. If there is moisture, mold, or water damage, this is also an issue that will likely need to be handled by a professional.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!