Posts by Tony Steward

Common Ways That Trees Damage Houses

Having large trees in your yard has its benefits. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, they provide shade for your yard and house. However, it’s possible for trees to damage your home as well. So, it’s important for you to know how trees can be damaging to a house and whether the trees in your yard pose a risk.

Falling Trees and Branches

Sometimes, trees fall. If you have a tree that’s dying, it may eventually fall on its own. However, bad storms can also cause trees to break, high winds may uproot trees, and heavy snow or ice could cause tree branches to come crashing down. If a tree falls on your home, it could cause a lot of damage to your house. So, it’s important to have the trees in your yard assessed by a professional from time to time. If you’re worried about a tree’s health or think that it may not be able to withstand a big storm, you should consider hiring a tree service company to assess the risk and remove the tree if needed.

Tree Roots

While tree roots grow slowly, they can become quite large. After all, they are continually searching for a source of nutrients and water for the tree. They might need to extend pretty far. If tree roots are growing near or through something, such as a concrete walkway, sewer pipes, or your home’s foundation, the pressure they apply can cause a good amount of damage.

The good new is, tree roots won’t directly damage your home’s foundation. However, they can cause the soil that your house is sitting on to become displaced, which, in turn, results in the foundation to your home shifting. The same thing happens with concrete walkways. If the soil underneath the walkways becomes displaced, it might cause small cracks in the concrete or lifting. Unfortunately, your home’s sewage system can be damaged by tree roots. Small tree roots can grow in the small holes in the plumbing. As they grow, they become large enough to completely block the pipes, which can cause sewage to backup into your house if it isn’t caught soon enough. So, if you have large trees growing close enough to the pipes in the ground, your foundation, or concrete, you might want to consider whether or not the tree roots pose a risk to determine if you should keep the tree or have it removed.

Swaying Branches

If you have a tree that’s close enough to your house that its branches scrape against the windows when they move, you should consider calling a tree service company to have the branches trimmed back. Overgrown branches near windows could end up breaking the window glass if the wind gets strong enough. Also, trees with branches growing near electrical lines need to trimmed regularly so that they don’t catch fire.

Not all trees are large or close enough to cause damage to your home. However, if you’re concerned about a nearby tree, you should have the situation assessed by a professional like one from Smitty’s Tree Service Inc as soon as possible.    

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Heating Tips For Allergy Sufferers

Coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy eyes, for the 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies these symptoms can happen at any point during the year. One time of year that can be particularly uncomfortable for those suffering from allergies is when the temperatures drop. Dipping temperatures outside mean that people are turning on their heaters inside. The problem is that many have heating systems that force warm air throughout the interior of the home. This moving air can blow dust and other allergens throughout the home, irritating allergy sufferers. Here are three heating tips for allergy sufferers.

HEPA Filters

During the warm months when heaters are not in use, allergens tend to build up in the air ducts. When the heater is turned on and the air is forced through, these particulates scatter throughout the home. When it comes to removing particulates that can irritate allergy symptoms, HEPA filters are a must for any heating system. HEPA filters work by forcing air through a fine mesh. The fine mesh is able to trap allergy inducing particles such as pet dander, pollen, dust mites, and more. Using these filters with a forced air heating system can help keep allergy symptoms at bay. 

Increase Humidity

Another issue that many allergy sufferers have when the heat comes on are nose bleeds. Heaters dry the air out within the home and in turn dry out nasal passages leading to bleeding. Humidifiers are the best solution to this issue. They range in price from $100 to more than $1,000. A steam humidifier is hardwired into a home’s heating and air conditioning system and regulates humidity throughout the home. This is the best choice for many allergy sufferers. It’s also one of the most expensive options, costing $600 to $1,600 with professional installation.

Radiant Floor Heating

One way to bypass the problems of forced air heating is by getting rid of it altogether. Radiant floor heat allows the home to be heated from below without the use of blowing air. The lack of moving air means that allergens are not stirred up. This type of heating is the best choice for those who suffer from allergies. There are two types of radiant floor heat, electric systems and hydroponic systems. Both options are costly. Electric systems cost $6 to $16 per square foot while hydroponic systems cost $8 to $12 per square foot. 

Creating a warm and comfortable indoor environment when temperatures drop can be challenging for those who suffer from allergies. HEPA filters and humidifiers can make a big difference. However, the best choice for heating for those with allergies is to install radiant floor heating. Contact a business, such as Adams Plumbing & Heating, for more information.   

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Going Up Or Going Out — How To Choose Between A One Story House And Two Stories

Planning to build a new home? There are many decisions to make, but probably the first and most basic one is this: one story or two stories? There are good reasons to choose either style of house and good reasons not to choose it. Here’s a quick guide to the pros and cons of both housing plans.

One Story

Among the most popular reasons for building a ranch style home is the lack of stairs. With so-called “baby boomers” accounting for about 1/4 of the overall U.S. population, this means that a lot of homeowners are older and looking for homes with more accessibility and an easier layout. You may want to consider this point if you’re interested in improving your house’s resale value or if you have aging family members who visit or stay with you.

Single story homes also offer more flexibility in design and layout. Because of their stacked-on-top nature, houses with two levels have certain limitations — among these is ceiling height and variation. You simply can’t have vaulted or cathedral ceilings nor skylights on the main level of a multi-story house. You’re also likely to need less bathrooms in a ranch home because the baths are more easily available rather than running upstairs or downstairs continuously. 

The “cons” of ranch homes tends to lie in their size and cost. Because you have a more sprawling layout, there’s simply more home to build. This means a larger roof and foundation to pay for. It also requires more physical space on the lot or piece of land. 

Two Story

The two-story house has grown in popularity to become the style most likely to be thought of first. One of the main reasons for such popularity is that it takes up less space. With average new homes in the United States encompassing about 2,392 square feet, it’s important to think about how much of your yard will be taken up by the house. Taking up less ground space also translates to cheaper construction costs if your budget is limited. 

Families may find, though, that two story construction is noisier and more cumbersome. With kids and pets running around the home, the sounds can travel between floors pretty significantly. Squeaks in the upper floor, heavy foot traffic and noise going up and down the stairs can all add up to a headache. In addition, rooms placed too closely together — like bedrooms placed on top of the family room, for instance — can add to noise pollution. And the house may be less energy efficient with two levels to keep comfortable. 

By knowing the advantages and disadvantages of both single level and multi level houses, you can make the best choice for your own situation. Work with your contractor to determine which of these factors is most important to you and your home lot. The end result will be a home that you can love for years to come. Contact a contractor that offers ranch style custom homes for more information.   

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Renting A Dumpster For Your Roadway Project

When you work in the roadway repair industry, whether you service parking lots, athletic surfaces or public streets, keeping a dumpster handy is a necessity. This will help you to be a good steward of your environment and avoid creating unnecessary waste while you work. Getting the help of a dumpster rental will help you with any sort of roadway repair that you engage in, so consider these questions below as you reach out to a company that will assist you. 

Why is a dumpster rental advantageous to my roadway repair business?

You owe it to yourself to take out a dumpster rental for a number of reasons. For one, this is an incredibly green-friendly step to take, because this waste removal is excellent for the environment and will also ensure that you don’t get hit with any pollution fines or penalties while working on pavement or roadways. If you separate your dumpsters by materials that can be donated, sorted or recycled accordingly, you may also open the door to tax incentives. These dumpster rentals are also incredibly affordable, making it an inexpensive investment into your business as a whole. 

What should I think about when hiring a dumpster rental company?

If you want to hire the help of a dumpster rental company, the size is one of the most important considerations to keep in mind. The size of the dumpster typically ranges between 20 and 100 feet, so you’ll have options to match the amount of debris created. Consider the size and scope of your roadway repair project for any given day and take into account the amount of broken asphalt and debris that will be created. Once you are ready to rent a dumpster, you should have all policies in writing and ensure that the company will insure the rental, so you don’t have to pay for any potential damages that may occur during the rental period. You need to also get the drop off and delivery agreement in writing so that you have peace of mind.

How much will a dumpster rental cost?

It is crucial that you shop for the best price on a dumpster rental. There are a great deal of price ranges that you can expect to pay for a dumpster rental depending on the company that you choose. However, fees for junk removal can range anywhere between $50 and $650 depending on the size of the waste load and the type of waste that was collected. These dumpster removal fees are in addition to fees for renting the dumpster itself. 

Consider these points as you seek a dumpster rental for your next roadway repair project.

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Carving Unique Features Into Your Granite Countertops: What These Features Are And Why You Would Request Them

Granite countertops are the most prestigious of countertop surfaces because they are very expensive, and most people consider them quite beautiful too. However, it is difficult to care for them in ways that do not cause them the slightest damage, and it only takes one slip of the knife or one scalding pan set directly on the granite to ruin it. To counteract these incidents from occurring, new features have been developed and designed which carve out special and unique features in your granite countertops. Here are some of those features and why you may want them.

The “Hot Pot Spot”

Setting a hot pan down on a granite counter would make any counter installation expert cringe. Even if you have only done this accidentally or to avoid burning a child who is tugging on your pants leg, it is something you want to avoid as much as possible. That is why the “hot pot spot” was created. It is more or less an area carved out of the granite countertop where it is safe to set your hot pan or pot, a sort of carved out and predesignated countertop trivet, if you will. By having your counter expert carve out this one area in the counter, you have someplace to put the pot/pan down in a hurry and not worry about how it will affect the rest of the counters.

The Raised Carving Surface

Even if you have always used a cutting board to cut up meats and vegetables and you have never used your bare countertops, you will still want to rethink this with granite. That is why some homeowners have a butcher block counter installed in the kitchen just for this very reason. This type of counter is made entirely of a very thick slab of hardwood, so it can take the abuse of cutting food and the occasional slip of the knife. Your granite stays safe, beautiful and scratch-free. A smaller cutting surface may also be installed within a frame of granite countertop close to your stove. These surfaces, regardless of which you choose, are always quite thick and/or rise above the surface of the surrounding granite just enough to avoid the point of a slipping knife.

Personalization

Finally, some homeowners request personalization of their granite countertops. This can be done one of two ways; either an all-over lattice-style carving is made into the granite for pure decoration, or you can actually laser your family’s initials, crest, etc. into the countertops. This makes your countertops very distinct, and items that are both valuable and very distinct are often left alone by thieves because nobody can sell it to someone else without it alerting the buyer or police that such items were for sale. 

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Earthquake and tornadoes were my biggest fear as a child. They still in someways are, but as I'm building more and more homes, I've begun learning about the different safety measures that are incorporated with the architectural designing. I think it's good to know where the best places to stand are in case of the natural disaster, and which places to avoid. As I've done research I've learned how glass can shatter and much further then what I thought –which has helped me mentally prepare myself to stay away from windows. I think the best way to be prepared for anything is to become educated on it, which is why I'm maintaining this site.