Are You Ready To Stain Your Deck This Summer?

How To Stain Your Deck

You may be utilizing these long summer days by taking on extra household projects and tackling them yourself. You’ll save money this route and learn new skills, however, it’s always good to be educated and prepared before taking on any project. If you’re considering a revitalized look and feel to your back deck, then consider these simple steps below that will guide you through the process to a beautiful end result! 

  • Clean the deck surface before applying any stain. If there are any marks, dirt on the deck, the stain may not stick to those areas and it could peel. Start by sweeping off your deck, then do a clean wash to remove the extra layer of dirt and marks.
  • Apply cleaner to the deck. You can do this a few different ways – either roll on the cleaner or you can spray on the cleaner. Whichever method you choose, make sure that the wood stays wet while the wood is soaking up the cleaner.
  • After 15 minutes, scrub the wood so that the cleaner is worked into the wood. Use a hose to wash away any remaining residue on the deck surface.

 

Now that the cleaning and prep work is done, it’s time for the fun part of applying the stain!

  • Use a roller or a brush to apply the stain. If you do choose a roller, you may want to follow-up with a brush to ensure that the stain is applied fully and set in.
  • If one coat is not enough, apply a second coat of stain. It’s best to wait at least four hours after the first coat has been applied before layering with a second coat.  And be sure to wait at least 24 hours before walking or placing objects back on the deck to make sure it’s completely dry!

Your outdoor hose is required multiple times throughout the staining process. It’s safe to make sure that your faucets and outdoor water sources are performing optimally. Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing  & Electrical and we’ll check all emergency water shut-offs for proper performance and tag main emergency shut-offs. If your emergency shut-off does not work when you need it, there could be big problems. We can also check all your lawn faucets for any leaks that could be wasting your money.

 

Have more questions? Call us —we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical at 800-461-3010 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day.

 

Considering HardScaping? Central Carolina Air Conditioning Plumbing & Electric can help!

Anything in your yard that is technically non-living can be considered a hardscape. The definition is quite broad and can include anything from rocks and pavers to bricks and stones. If you’re considering adding some beauty to your backyard this summer, we’ll share a few things to know before starting. These tips will make the overall process smooth, successful and more cost effective. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric can even help with your water and electric installation!

  • Always plan out the whole hardscape project. We know this can become a costly endeavor – so if you choose to do it in phases, still plan out the whole project to save you time down the road when you start the other phases.
  • Maintain a balance. You’ll want to create a harmonious balance between hard and soft cape – (i.e. rocks and stones for the hardscapes and plants and trees for the soft capes).  
  • Hardscapes can increase your home value. Get an appraiser to provide an appraisal for what your home would cost by basing it off your budgeted hardscape plans.
  • Consider the functionality. How will you be utilizing the space in your backyard/the hardscapes? While the hardscape you create should and can be beautiful, it should also work with how you are going to use your backyard. Consider the layout of furniture you may place in the backyard.
  • Don’t forget topography! If your backyard has other challenges such as drainage, make sure that you keep this in consideration and plan around it. If topography challenges are beyond your comfort level, it may be best to hire a professional for some guidance to make sure that your time and investment in hardscaping pays off in the end.

 

Whether it’s plants or also a water fountain hardscape you’re installing, your backyard will require some amount of water and possibly electric as well. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can check all emergency water shut-offs for proper performance and tag main emergency shut-offs. If your emergency shut-off does not work when you need it, there could be big problems.

We can also check all your lawn faucets for any leaks that could be wasting your money.

 

Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

Standard vs Comfort Height Toilets

Whether you’re in a new home or used home, the kind of toilet you use is an important decision. Although it’s a needed appliance, the choices used to be almost non-existent. Today, there are now options on the market as more research has been released showing the importance of finding the right toilet for your needs.

There are benefits and draw backs for each one. Keep in mind a couple things when considering your choices – whichever toilet you choose should allow you to be able to easily rest both feet on the ground. You should also be able to easily get up and sit down.  A significant amount of research concludes that the ideal position for use of a toilet should be a squat position with the hips below the knees. 

 Standard Height Toilets:

  • These are typically the best option for shorter people, as they are only 15 inches above the ground.
  • Standard height toilets come in multiple colors and styles.
  • Depending on the brand, they usually cost more.

Comfort Height Toilets:

  • Because they are 16-19 inches above the ground, this option is ideal for taller people.
  • The extra 2 inches of height is not only beneficial for tall people, but often the choice for elderly and disabled.
  • Comfort height toilets also are available in a variety of colors and styles.
  • They are recognized as ADA (adults with disabilities) compliant.
  • Generally, comfort height toilets are a less expensive option, although the cost difference is marginal.

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can help you determine which height works for your family and can also perform dye tests on all your toilets to ensure that there are no water leaks, which equate to money wasting. If your toilets are connected to a septic tank and there’s a water leak, then you could be wasting even more money! Not only can we provide dye tests, but we can also check all faucets in your home and all exposed hot and cold water lines to identify and repair any water leaks in your home.

Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

Tools Every Homeowner Should Own

Although you may not be able to predict and prepare for any sudden problem in your home, there are certain lengths you can and should go to that will allow you to respond quickly to these problems. Instead of having to run to the closest hardware store every time something breaks in your home, you can be prepared with a tool kit that will help fix most of the minor problems that could arise.

Drills and Bits – Buy a battery-operated drill and a variety of different sized drill bits, and you’ll be all set for multiple fix-up tasks!

Wrench set – Used to unfasten and fasten bolts, a wrench set is a necessary staple in any homeowner’s set.

Hammer – The size of the hammer head should match the size of the nails you buy with it. So a bigger hammer is best used with larger nails.

Tape Measure – This will come in handy during many situations, from measuring your windows for a new set of blinds, to checking square footage of rooms.

Utility Knife – Definitely a necessity – a utility knife will allow you to effectively open any package or box.

Pliers – Used for gripping pipes and twisting wires.

Safety Items – Anytime you perform tasks that require the tools above, it’s best to use the appropriate safety items like gloves, eye goggles, and ear plugs.

Caulking Gun – Use your caulking gun for any gaps or holes that may appear, such as windows or door frames or for filling in holes around your bathroom or shower!

Screw driver set – A variety of screw driver sizes are useful for changing air filters, electrical outlets, cover plates or adjusting furniture and fixtures.

Refer to your tool box to handle all the minor fixes needed in your home. While this tool box will have you prepared for any unexpected minor repairs, you’ll definitely need professional assistance to fix the unexpected larger repairs such as a plumbing or electrical problem. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical will be there 24/7 to help!

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

Walter Filtration For Your Shower

 

While you may already have a water filtration system in your kitchen for drinking and cooking water, have you ever thought about filtering your shower water? It may sound strange at first, since you probably don’t stand under the shower and drink all your water for the day, but it is actually a smart thing to think about.

Water contains chemicals such as chlorine, which is not healthy to put into our bodies in high quantities. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and absorbs what it comes into contact with. Furthermore, since we typically take warm—even hot—showers, (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a long shower to decompress?) the absorption of the chlorine into our skin is easy.

In addition to the high levels of chlorine, we may also be exposing ourselves to harmful trihalomethanes (THMs), which come from chlorine reacting with other products in the water. Because of the warm air, inhaling the chemicals occurs easily as well. The chemicals can also lead to dry skin, irritation and eczema.

There are many types of shower filters that will help prevent your exposure to all of these things. Filters use charcoal/carbon, Vitamin C or KDF (kinetic degradation fluxion). Carbon filters remove chlorine well but don’t work as well at warm temperatures. The good news is, they are inexpensive. KDF filters are also inexpensive and a pretty effective option. Vitamin C filters create a chemical reaction that changes chlorine and other chemicals, making them harmless.

Most filters are easy to install but you will need to replace them every few months. If you take many baths, there are also filters for that as well. If you want to go a much more expensive but thorough route, consider a whole house filter, typically installed 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!

Home Hazards Often Overlooked

 

 

Every homeowner knows the list of home repairs and maintenance is never ending. Although it may be daunting to think about everything needed to maintain your home, it is important to remember things that are easy to overlook. Here are some hazards to keep an eye out for that can wreak havoc on your health and your wallet if not addressed.

Improper dryer exhaust venting causes thousands of fires every year. Over the years lint buildup restricts the airflow in your dryer, which leads to increased fire danger. It is a good idea to regularly check your aluminum vent hose to make sure it is not crushed or kinked. Once a year is a good rule of thumb. Also, clean your vent line regularly. If you are not comfortable trying it yourself, call a professional.

An inefficient water heater is another commonly overlooked problem. Not only will it reduce efficiency and lead to higher bills, but a faulty water heater can also be unsafe. It has the potential to explode, damaging your home and possibly hurting people. Inspect it regularly, and again, if you don’t know what you’re doing, call a professional.

Leaky plumbing may not be top of mind, but it wastes a lot of water and leads to unnecessarily high bills.  Furthermore, leaky pipes, or other water-related issues such as clogged gutters, can lead to water damage as well as mold and mildew. A plumber can fix these problems before they get worse.

Lastly, environmental threats such as asbestosradon gas and lead paint can damage your home and your health. You can test for these things on your own with an at-home test and a specialist can direct you towards the course of action you need to take if you need.

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!

Winterize Your Sprinkler System

 

 

images-3Did you know that water can remain in your irrigation system even after you’ve drained it? If that’s the case for your system, that means it could potentially freeze and expand during the cold winter months, then crack the PVC piping. Even with the more flexible polyethylene pipe, it can still expand under pressure and water inside can rupture the pipe walls.

To avoid this happening, implement the winterizing techniques like those listed below. If you don’t know what type of system you have its best to use the blowout method.

Manual Method and Automatic Method: 

  • If manual valves are at the end and low points of the irrigation piping, use the manual drain method. Shut off the irrigation water supply and open all the manual drain valves.
  • If automatic drain valves are at the end and low points of the irrigation piping, use the automatic drain method. Shut off the irrigation water supply (in the basement) and activate a station to relieve the system pressure.
  • In both methods, after the water has drained, open the boiler drain valve (or the drain cap on the stop and waste valve) and drain all the water that remains. Open the test cocks on the backflow device. If your sprinklers have check valves, pull up on the sprinklers to let water drain out of the bottom of the sprinkler body. When all the water has drained out, close the drain valves.

Blow Out Method: 

This method involves blowing out an irrigation system with compressed air. It is best to hire a professional to perform this type of winterization method as it takes particular knowledge as well as stringent safety precautions.

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!

Protect Your Pipes From Freezing

frozen pipes

 

Temperatures are dropping and along with the fun the winter can bring, this season can also bring on some big home headaches. As early as this week, temperatures are forecast to fall low enough for pipes to freeze, so now is the time to prepare.

The pipes that are most likely to freeze are those exposed to severe cold, such as sprinkler lines, outdoor hose bibs, pool supply lines, and water supply pipes in unheated indoor areas like basements, crawl spaces and garages.

Before the temperature drops:

  • Drain any water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses.
  • Close the inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs.
  • Open the outside hose bibs to let water drain and keep the outside valve open so any water in the pipe can expand.
  • Hot and cold water pipes in unheated areas such as basements, crawl spaces and garages should be insulated.

When the freezing weather is approaching:

  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to let warmer air circulate around the plumbing.
  • Let the cold water drip — even just a trickle — from the faucet connected to exposed pipes.
  • Don’t lower the thermostat significantly at night or while away from home.

If your pipes do freeze:

  • Keep the faucet open. This will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Use a heating pad, hair dryer, space heater or towels with hot water on the affected pipes. (Make sure to do this safely! Nothing flammable near space heaters, etc.)
  • Call a licensed plumber if you don’t know which pipe is frozen or can’t access it.

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!

Maintaining Your Water Heater

 

water heaterYou do not want your water heater to break down at this time of year — well, any time of year really, but definitely not when you need a hot shower after a cold day! Did you know that water heaters typically last for a decade or more?
If you maintain yours, it can last even longer. So how do you make sure yours is in good condition and when you need a new one?

An easy way to keep you water heater in good working condition and save money every month is to dial the temperature down. (This is also a good safety measure if you have young children that could easy turn the handle on a tub and burn themselves with hot water!) You’ll find a setting dial on your water heater—either a knob on the gas valve or thermostat behind an electric water heater panel. Dial it down to 115 to 120 degrees. This will not only reduce energy used to heat the water, but also protect the tank from overheating.

Test the T&P (temperature and pressure) relief valve. All you have to do is lift up on the lever part way and let it go so it will snap back. You’ll hear the water being released into the drain tube. If it did not do anything, it needs to be replaced.

Every year, conduct a mini flush. Sediment at the bottom of the tank leads to rust and inefficiency. All you have to do is put a bucket under the drain valve near the bottom of the water heater tank and turn the valve counter-clockwise to release a few gallons of water into the bucket. Sometimes you can do a full flush, but that requires more work and shutting down your water heater.

Finally, if your water heater does not heat efficiently and/or constantly needs repair, look for a new one. A new water heater is typically about a thousand dollars, often less.

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!

Saving Water in Your Toilet

toiletWant to save water?  About 45% of your total water usage is in the bathroom, and nearly 27% is in the toilet alone! Older toilets can use up to seven gallons per flush, while the most efficient ones use only 1.28 gallons per flush.  That is an annual difference for per person of a little more than 10,000 gallons per year.  That’s a lot of water that can be saved!

So what can you do to save water?  First, if you know you have older toilets that use a lot of water consider replacing them with new, lower flow units.  If you live in an area served by a municipal water supply and pay for water you can recoup your investment fairly quickly through the water and sewer charges.  If you depend on a well for water, you just may save yourself from a dry well during a drought.

If you don’t want to replace fixtures, consider ‘bricking’ your toilet.  You can use any item with sufficient weight to sink in and displace the water, but bricks are cheap and don’t corrode the toilet parts.  Place a brick in the back tank of your toilet.  This reduces the water that flows through the toilet with each flush.  And, as always fix any leaks, including flappers that don’t seal as soon as possible to reduce waste.  Also consider how you use your toilet.  Place used tissues in the wastebasket rather than flushing them.  This practice alone can save you a lot of money over time.

But remember, the new toilets are extremely cost effective and much more energy efficient.  We’re happy to review your plumbing issues and recommend the best course of action based on your budget.

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!