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Home Improvement Information

Should I have a plumbing inspection done on my new home?

Posted by: Katherine Harvey

Benefits of a Plumbing Inspection for New Homeowners

 

plumberIf you are a new homeowner, or you are thinking about purchasing a home, a plumbing inspection offers many advantages. It is wise to schedule a plumbing inspection so you will know what to expect. You will have peace of mind and be able to enjoy your new home with no inconvenience or unpleasant surprises. If there are any potentially expensive problems, you can catch them before they snowball and get out of control.

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Installing a New Furnace in Your San Diego Home

Posted by: Katherine Harvey

When San Diego temperatures start dropping, you need a furnace you can rely on. If your furnace goes out, quick and efficient installation of the new furnace will help protect your family and keep your pipes from freezing. A furnace professional can help you choose the best furnace for your home and get it installed in time to stay cozy and warm even on the coldest winter nights.

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How to Lower Your Air Conditioning Bill

Posted by: Katherine Harvey

For residents of northern San Diego and the surrounding towns, summer is headed this way and with it warm temperatures. Depending on your cooling system, if you run your air conditioner for a long period of time, that bill can get expensive.

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Finding In-home Air Leaks

Posted by: Katherine Harvey

If you’re a resident of San Diego or the surrounding areas, it’s important to make sure your home is properly airtight. Air leaks in your house can cause you to slowly lose significant amounts of heat or cool air without your even knowing it, resulting not only in a potentially high bill payment but also an inefficient method of cooling or heating your home. With winter on its way out and spring just around the corner, both situations are a very real, continuous problem if you have not found and fixed air leaks in your home.

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DIY Plumbing Repair: Running Toilet Keeping you Up at Night?

Posted by: Katherine Harvey

We all know that sound, the water constantly running no matter how many times you kick it. It’s quite simple to fix so don’t let that annoyance bother you anymore. This Do It Yourself project will be beneficial for the years to come.

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Air Quality in Your Home

Posted by: Katherine Harvey

The majority of people do not know that indoor air pollution can often have much higher levels than outside. This is not good for people who suffer from allergies or asthma as these pollutants are the direct cause.

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Replacing Tile

Posted by: Katherine Harvey

One Broken Tile Needn’t Ruin the View

It is one of Murphy’s laws that a tile always cracks or breaks smack dab in the middle of the tiled surface. It is a law of human nature that once you spot the defect it will drive you crazy.

So you have to replace the tile. Actually, that’s the easy part; the tricky detail is removing the old one.

Hopefully you have a few tiles left over from the original job. If you don’t, locate a replacement before you remove the broken tile. A cracked tile is better than a missing one.

First remove the grout all the way around the offending tile. The technique differs a bit if the tile is a 4-1/4”x 4-1/4” or 6”x 6” wall tile than if it is a larger floor tile. Larger tiles have wider grout lines that allow the use of a grout saw to cut through to the mud or drywall. Grout saws are available for about $8.

In addition to a narrow grout channel, wall tiles also have spacer lugs or tabs molded into the bottom of the tile. These touch the adjacent tile which makes removal even more difficult.

A utility knife works as well as anything for removing grout which you need to clear down to the lugs to remove pressure against adjacent tiles as you work. Take small strokes with the knife and whittle away the grout. Proceed slowly avoiding the edges of other tiles so you don’t end up having to replace two or three more.

Use a glass cutter and a ruler to make an X across the face of the tile and then a small cold chisel (or nail set) and hammer to make a hole in the center of the X. Working slowly and carefully from the center, chip the tile away with the hammer and chisel. Do not attempt to pry away the tile.

With the old tile out clean the setting material from the wall. This could be mastic or glue but is likely thin set mortar. Course sandpaper will remove any of these.

You may have to remove some or all of the spacer lugs to fit the new tile into the gap. You can nip them with a tile cutter or sand them down.

Apply thin set mortar to the back of the tile to within about ½ inch of the edges and put it in place, tapping it with a hammer and wood block to level it with the existing surfaces. Allow 24 hours for the mortar to dry then using a damp sponge, fill the joints with wall or floor grout and smooth the joint with a wet index finger. Wipe the tile repeatedly with clear water to clean off all grout which will form a rough haze if left to dry.

Now step back and enjoy seeing the whole wall, countertop or floor again.

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Blow Off Your Old Refrigerator Gasket

Posted by: Katherine Harvey

Even when shipshape, an older refrigerator is one of the biggest energy gobblers in a home and if the door gasket is shot it gobbles even more. A cracked or warped gasket allows cold air to escape to the outside where it condenses and turns into drips that leak back into box or onto the floor. Old gaskets are unsightly, unsanitary, and messy, prone to harbor mold as well as food spills.

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When to Replace Common Household Items

Posted by: Katherine Harvey

As a homeowner, you know that nothing lasts forever. You constantly need to be away of your common household items that regularly need to be replaced in your home for best performance. Doing so may actually save you money as well as avoid any major problems that can occur down the road.

So how long do you need to check and replace common household items? Browse through the list below and make notes so you know when you need to do it yourself.
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