Real Estate Agent DC: House Buying Tips

House buying is a cost-intensive venture; therefore, when you are doing it, you need to be cautious so that you buy the right one. To help you out, here are tips that you should consider when making the purchase:

Don’t go it solo

Buying a house isn’t like buying a bicycle. As mentioned above, you will be spending a lot of money on it which means that if you make the wrong decision, you will most likely regret it your entire life.

For you to be on the safe side, hire a real estate agent DC to help you out. In addition to the agent scheduling and accompanying you on the house showing, he/she also has the necessary information of the entire process which means that you will not only buy the right house, you also will complete the process fast.

Many people tend to shy away from hiring an agent as they deem them expensive. You should note that the agent is paid through the sale of the house. You only pay for the house and the seller takes care of the rest.

When you are hiring the agent, you need to be cautious so that you hire the right one. As rule of thumb, ensure that the professional is experienced enough in buying and selling of the kinds of houses that you are interested in.

Don’t a book by its cover

Many house sellers know the power of house staging. They will place the best quality furniture, carpets, pictures and other things to make the house as pleasing as possible, but don’t fall for it.

Always take time to look beyond the surface. When you are seeing the house, look under the carpet for the condition of the floor. Sometimes the house will be in perfect condition but don’t stop there. You should hire a professional to inspect the house with a fine comb.

The professional should take a look at the foundation, plumbing, molding, and any other areas. As rule of thumb ensure that the house is properly maintained and it will be in good shape in the years to come.

Pay attention to your needs

Different people have different needs when it comes to houses. Some want houses that are near the main highway, others want those that are near schools, and many other things. Your needs should take precedence as buying a house that doesn’t meet them you will live with regret the entire time you are in the house.

If you have school going children, you should take your time to research and find whether the area has good quality schools for your children. It’s also good to consider the safety issues in the area and crime statistics.

If they are of importance to you, find out if there are any good hospitals, groceries, and pharmacies in the area.

Before you make the decision on whether you will go with a given house, drive through the neighborhood on various days and at different times to find out the traffic, noise, and activity levels.

If the area checks out on most of the things that you are looking for in a house, go ahead and place an offer.

Don’t shy away from negotiating

While you are making a huge purchase, it doesn’t mean that the price is set in stone. When you see a house that you like, you should make your offer depending on your budget. When you are making the offer, always negotiate the price.

If the house has areas that may need to be repaired, ask the buyer to handle it or give you a discount. You can also ask the seller to pay for the closing costs if they are there.

When making the offer, it’s always wise to have a buyer’s agent DC by your side. If your timing is right, and you are buying the house in the buyer’s market, you will find the seller bargaining with you so that he/she can get the house off the market.

Obviously, this will see you saving a lot of money and you will have an easy time completing the purchase.

Common Car Window Tinting Myths

Due to its popularity, car window tinting is surrounded by plenty of myths. These myths include:

Car window tinting is entirely cosmetic

While it’s true that the window tint improves the look of your car, its benefits are way more than this. The car tint protects the insides of the car. This is because it provides a layer that prevents the harmful UV rays from getting into the car.

What is the end result of this? The interior of your car retains its new, modern look for a long time.

During the hot months of the year, the window tint reduces the burden of air conditioning as only a little heat gets into the car. When you don’t need a lot of air conditioning, you end up saving a lot of fuel down the road.

While it doesn’t prevent accidents from coming about, the window tint has been shown to greatly reduce the chances of you getting hurt by the window glass when it breaks. This is because it strongly binds onto the glass preventing it from shattering into small pieces when an accident happens.

The window tint bubbles and discolors after a short time

It’s true there are some cars that develop unsightly purple bubbles within a short time. You should note that this isn’t always the case as there are some cars that retain their elegant tint for a long time.

The window tint tends to discolor and develop bubbles when it’s of low quality and installed improperly by an amateur. Do you want your car tint to retain its look for a long time? You should take your time to research and find a high-quality material that is ideal for your application.

As rule of thumb, you should avoid cheap tinting films as they will come apart after just a few uses.

You also should ensure that the tinting is done by a professional. Some people go for the cheapest contractors that they come across, but this shouldn’t be you. Take your time to find a good expert with a proven record to tint your car.

Window tinting is illegal

You might have heard this. While there are some states that don’t allow tinting in their area, there are others that don’t have a problem with it. Others allow it but it has regulations that you should follow. For example, in California, you shouldn’t install any shade on the front windshield. When it comes to the front side windows, they should have a minimum of 70% visible light transmission.

You can be on the wrong side of the law if you don’t tint your car according to the laid down regulations by your state; therefore, you should take your time to research and find out what is allowed in your area and what isn’t.

Car window tinting makes the car too dark

You must have come across some cars that are too dark that they are appalling. When you are new in window tinting, you might have the impression that this is the case with all tinting films. There is nothing that is further from the truth than this.

You should note that the window tint comes in many shades for you to choose from. The cars that you see with films that are too dark have chosen those. If you don’t like that shade, there are plenty of others that you can choose from.

As mentioned above, for you to avoid being on the wrong side of the law, you should take your time to research and find out what is allowed in your state. You don’t want to incur a heavy fine and be forced to remove your tint, do you?

Window tinting is too expensive

While other people say that window tinting makes the car too dark, others say that it’s too expensive that many people can’t afford it. This is utterly a big lie.

While there are some premium tinting films and shops, auto window tinting doesn’t have to be an expensive investment. There are plenty of averagely priced good quality films in the market that you can go for. You only need to find them.

When it comes to the car window tinting shop Springfield, you don’t need to go to the most expensive one. You only need to find a good quality one that is averagely priced.

Understanding Chimney Relining

As a homeowner, you need to undertake chimney relining in the event your chimney liner comes off.

Why do you need to install a chimney liner?

The chimney liner provides your home with plenty of benefits:

Protects the home from the risk of accidental fire: The liner protects the wood around your chimney, shielding it from high temperatures that are produced in the fireplace. When you work with an unlined chimney, the heat produced in the chimney tends to move through the chimney and into the adjacent wooden parts extremely fast putting your house at the risk of catching fire.

Protects the brick and mortar from corrosion damage: If you have used your chimney for a long time you might be aware that the byproducts of combustion are toxic and corrosive. When the products seep directly into the chimney masonry, erosion results.

When there isn’t a liner, the combustion gases eat away at the bricks and mortar of the chimney, which puts you and your family at risk. This is because the cracks and gaps created by the erosion can allow the poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide to leak into your home.

Increases the efficiency of the fireplace: One of the popular ways of increasing the efficiency of the fireplace is to install a fireplace insert into an existing opening. Since masonry chimneys are larger than these inserts, the size difference often brings about safety and performance issues.

One of the ways of fixing this issue is by installing a chimney liner. The decreased size of the chimney flue increases the efficiency of the chimney thus you use little fuel.

Chimney liner options

Did you know that you have many options of chimney liners that you can choose from? Some of the most common ones are:

Clay: They are the most popular lining materials that you can choose from. They are loved by many people as they are inexpensive and highly durable. A properly maintained clay liner can last for up to 50 years.

While clay liners are cheap and durable, unfortunately, they are difficult to replace. This is because they require a lot of labor to tear them off. For you to avoid having to replace them every now and then, you should take good care of them.

Metal liners: The most common liners under this category are the stainless steel flue liners. While they are a little bit expensive to purchase, they require just a little labor to install them.

If you are strapped of cash and you want metal liners in your home, you should go for aluminum liners. They are often affordable, but they are only ideal for certain medium-efficiency gas appliances.

Cast in place liners: Cast in place liners are constructed from poured cement. The cool thing with lining with cement is that the process is less invasive, less laborious, and often cheaper than when you are rebuilding a clay liner.

When you take good care of the clay liners, they have the ability to last up to 50 years. You can install the liners on any type of chimney you might be having. The cool thing is that the lining can withstand a wide range of elements including heat, acids, and even condensation.

Tips to consider when relining your chimney

If the chimney liner has come off, you should replace it as soon as possible. As you have seen there are plenty of material options that you can go with. As rule of thumb, you should choose a material that gives you the best results and gives your chimney the look that you want.

Unless you are highly experienced at the installation of the lining material, you should avoid doing it by yourself—always hire chimney contractors to help you out. While the contractors will cost you money, they will be worth it as you will end up saving a lot of money and time in the long run.

Some people try to cut costs by going for the cheapest lining materials and hiring the cheapest contractors. Don’t do this. Remember that you always get what you pay for; therefore, when you pay cheap, you should expect cheap services and cheap results. For ideal results, always go for quality.

What You Need To Know About Quartz Countertops

In addition to Quartz countertops being tougher than marble, they are also less porous, harder, and appealing as granite. Are you thinking about installing these countertops in your home? There are plenty of things you should know about them:

They are ideal for kitchen use

When you are looking for pieces that will perfectly fit your kitchen, these are your go-to pieces. Since they are less porous than other pieces in the market, they tend to retain fewer bacteria, don’t stain or crack easily, among many other things.

For you to get the most from the pieces, you should buy the right ones. Different varieties of the countertops go at different prices and come at different qualities. It’s up to you to choose the ones that fit your home perfectly.

Quartz and quartzite aren’t the same thing

Many people confuse quartz and quartzite. One of the things you should know is that the two are very different. While quartz is an engineered material made with stone and resin, quartzite is a hard-metamorphic rock which a type of granite.

Quartzite originates as sandstone then transforms into quartzite in a process of high heating and pressurization. While the two are different, they are very durable; therefore, when you install them, you will enjoy having your countertops for a long time.

The countertops tend to scratch

While the countertops are tough compared to granite or marble, they aren’t a magical scratch-proof material. This means that the material is bound to scratch if you aren’t keen with your countertops.

Experts report that the susceptibility of the countertops varies depending on the color of the quartz. The darker the material, the more likely you are to scratch it.

For you to ensure that the countertops retain their look for a long time, you should protect the surfaces from damage. When you are cutting any substances on the surfaces, always have a cutting board in place.

There are plenty of quartz countertop varieties you can buy

Since the countertops are engineered, they come in different varieties for you to choose from. Due to the many options available in the market to choose from, many homeowners are confused about the best ones that they should go for.

If this is the first time you are installing the pieces in your home, you should get the input of a professional. The professional will help you in choosing a design that will not only look good in your home, but also last for a long time thus saving a lot of money in the long run.

The countertops are damaged by sunlight

While the pieces are tough, they can be damaged by sunlight. The damage is often extensive when the pieces are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time.

While your countertops will retain their look even when they are exposed to the sunlight every now and then, they are bound to get discolored when you install them outside or in areas where they are continually exposed to a lot of sunlight.

If your kitchen is allowing a lot of sunlight in, you should make a habit of covering the countertops up.

The countertops are easy to maintain

In addition to the countertops boasting durability and high performance, they are also easy to maintain. Since they are non-porous, they don’t stain easily. This means that even when there are spills, you have an easy time cleaning the surfaces as the spills don’t get deep into the surface.

While the countertops are easy to maintain, it doesn’t mean that you should mishandle them. When you are placing any hot materials on the surfaces, always protect the surfaces so that the pieces can last for a long time.

As mentioned above, you should cover the surfaces if your kitchen allows a lot of sunlight in.

Unlike granite countertops Raleigh NC and other materials, you don’t need to seal these countertops to keep them in good condition. Regular wiping of the countertops with a cleaner and polish is enough to keep the pieces looking great for a long time.

It’s common for the pieces to get damaged every now and then. When the damage happens, you should fix it as soon as possible.

Chimney Cleaning Services: Chimney Myths You Should Be Aware Of

While chimneys have been around for a long time, they are surrounded by many myths that can confuse you if you aren’t keen. Here are some of the most common myths as given by chimney cleaning services providers:

You can easily clean the chimney by yourself

It’s true you can clean the chimney by yourself if the chimney is small, but if it’s large, you will have a hard time keeping it clean. Proper chimney cleaning requires you to have the necessary training, experience, and tools. This means that if you don’t have any of these, there is no way you are going to properly clean the unit.

Chimney cleaning also comes with its risks. For example, you can easily choke from the creosote and lose your life. Instead of trying to clean the unit by yourself, you should hire a chimney contractor to help you with the cleaning.

Since the contractor has the necessary training, experience, and tools, he/she will clean the chimney fast and give it the looks it deserves.

You don’t need to clean or inspect a rarely used chimney

It’s true that rarely used chimneys aren’t as active as their counterparts that are used daily, but this doesn’t mean that you should ignore it. You should note that even if you aren’t using the chimney, birds, and animals can build nests on the chimney blocking the unit.

What is the result of this? When the chimney is blocked, carbon monoxide and other gases don’t leave the house which puts you and your family at risk.

Do you have a chimney that you barely use? Ask a chimney expert to inspect it and get rid of any birds or animals that might be there.

Chimneys with metal liners don’t need to be maintained

Chimney liners come in handy at increasing the efficiency of the chimney, dealing with the common chimney problems, and extending the life of the chimney. While this is the case, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t inspect or maintain the unit.

Just like any part of your chimney, the chimney liner is susceptible to creosote buildup and other issues that can lead to chimney fires.

For you to ensure that your unit is in top shape all the time, you should hire a chimney professional at least once a year to inspect it for defects it might be having. Also, remember to clean the unit if a lot of creosote has built up in it.

You don’t need to clean the chimney when you are using hardwood

You must have heard that you should burn hardwood for you to reduce the creosote levels in your chimney. It’s true that hardwood tends to burn at higher temperatures; therefore, little creosote is deposited on the walls of the chimney.

If you don’t remove the creosote for a long time, the levels will gradually pile up putting your house at the risk of fire. Regardless of the firewood that you are burning in your chimney, you should always clean it. As mentioned, hire a chimney cleaning professional to help you with the work—avoid trying to clean it by yourself as you won’t do a good job.

For you to reduce the creosote that might have built up in your unit, you should avoid burning softwood. The softwood tends to burn at lower temperatures that lead to the accumulation of creosote in the chimney. The best way of going about it is using hardwood that has been air dried for at least six months.

You don’t need to clean the chimney after buying a new house

If you have bought a house that is completely new you don’t have to worry about cleaning the chimney, but if there were people living in the house before you bought it, you should get worried about its cleaning.

You should only ignore cleaning the chimney if you have proof that it was recently cleaned. If you aren’t sure when the chimney was last cleaned or inspected, hire a chimney sweep Bowie or any other professional to inspect it and clean it if necessary.

Remember, the previous house owners might have gone for a long time without cleaning the chimney putting you and your family at the risk of fire.

Tree Removal Services: Things To Consider When Removing Trees

Are you looking to remove a tree? You need to follow a set of tips for you to do it right. Here are some of the tips to consider as given by tree removal services providers:

Put on the right protective gear

Anything can go wrong when you are cutting a tree. The tree can fall on you, branches might get on you, among many other things. For you to protect yourself from the risk of cutting a tree, you should put on the right safety gear. You should wear a hard hat, a pair of gloves, and earmuffs for your ears.

Use the right chainsaw

You need a chainsaw to remove the tree of interest but you shouldn’t use just any saw that you come across. As rule of thumb, you should avoid using an old or poorly maintained chainsaw. For you to be safe when cutting the tree, use a properly maintained chainsaw.

In addition to the properly maintained unit being easy to use, it also tends to be much safer to use. You can buy the chainsaw or rent it from your local store. In addition to considering how properly maintained it is, you also should consider its size. The size should depend on the size of the tree. If looking to cut a large tree, go for a large chainsaw and vice versa.

When you are using the chainsaw, be extra cautious as you can easily hurt yourself and other people in the area. Always ensure that you have a firm grip of the machine so that it doesn’t slip off your hands.

Before you start using the chainsaw, you should check whether it has the right tensions in place. It’s common for the chain to stretch and even loosen. Before you start cutting the tree, check whether the saw has the right tension so that you don’t have issues when cutting the tree.

Check the tree you are cutting

Did you know that some people cut the wrong tree? This is because they aren’t keen on their work. Don’t do this. Before you start the process, take time to inspect the tree and ensure that you are cutting the right one.

You should be cautious when you are cutting a rotten tree. Since the tree is already rotten, parts of it can easily fall off and land on you. You should avoid cutting the rotten trees. If you have to cut them, let a professional handle it.

When bringing down the trees, pay attention to the direction at which they fall. Is this the first time you are cutting the tree? You should note that the tree tends to fall away from the cut direction on the “hinge.” While this is the case, you should note that if you saw in one direction and you don’t provide an adequate felling hinge, the tree will fall in any direction that gravity dictates.

As you might have guessed, this would lead to property damage, tree damage, and even injury to you and other people in the vicinity. For you to be safe, you should take your time researching the direction that the tree will fall.

When cutting the tree, cut it with a directional notch that is deeper than 15-20% of the tree’s diameter.

Remember, even with the best planning, things can go wrong. For you to be safe, you should always have an escape plan in place. Have a way in which you can escape in the event the tree doesn’t go where you intended to.

Get rid of tree stumps

Removing a tree isn’t enough—you also need to get rid of stumps that remain. Leaving stumps after removing a tree not only leaves your yard looking ugly, it also leaves your yard infested with insects and even termites.

Stumps are also a safety hazard as people can easily trip on them.

As soon as you have removed the tree, you should work at removing the tree stump. The cool thing is that there are many ways in which you can remove the stumps. You can do the work by yourself or hire tree services Chevy Chase providers to help you out. Just like when removing a tree, take caution when removing the stumps so that you don’t injure yourself.

Listing Agent DC: Tips On How To Prepare Your House For Sale

When you are looking to sell a house, you need to find a listing agent DC for you to sell the house fast. While this is true, you should note that you won’t sell the house if you haven’t taken care of the basics. Before you go ahead and list your house, here are some of the things you should do first:

Fix ugly areas

Every house has areas that might put off potential buyers. You should pay attention to these areas and fix them as soon as possible. is the carpet too old? Get a new one. Are the walls washed up? Paint them.

While it’s recommended that you fix the problematic areas, you should be cautious when doing it. This is because you can easily find yourself spending too much money than you will get after the sale. When making the renovations, ensure that they are as affordable as much as possible.

For example, if the carpet is old, avoid going for the most expensive one in the market. You should find a decent one that will uplift the look and design of the house.

Declutter the house

Less is always more when you are preparing the house for sale. After fixing the ugly areas, go ahead and get rid of anything that doesn’t add much value to the house. This calls for you to do a clean sweep of the windowsills, tables, counters, and other visible areas of the house.

When you get rid of the excess materials, you not only give your house a sense of space, you also make it look neat which is bound to attract the buyers.

One of the major issues with people, when they think about decluttering their homes, is where they will take the excess materials. If the stuff is damaged, you should simply dump it. On the other hand, if the stuff is still in good condition, the best way out is to donate it. You can also pack it up and store it at an area where you will pick it up later.

Get rid of personalized items

It’s common to think that people will like the same things that we like. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. We are unique and want different things. When you are cluttering the house, you should remember to get rid of personal items such as family photos, bold artwork, and any furniture that gives your house an ugly look.

Regardless of how sentimental the items are, you should get rid of them. Remember, no one cares about what you value. For you to attract buyers, you should create a blank canvas where the potential buyers can build on.

Get rid of odors

There is nothing as off-putting as bad smell. Bad smell gives the impression that your house is dirty. It also might mean that the house is infested with animals. You should note that even slight odors can be a deal breaker; therefore, you should ensure that your house is odor free.

It’s common for people to get used to the smell of their houses that they might not notice it. Before you list your house, take time to invite someone to the house so that he/she can try to detect any smells. The smells can be pet smells or any other.

Are the smells pervasive? You will need to undertake deep cleaning. Some people try to mask the smells using candles and deodorizers. Don’t do this as in some cases, the smells are too strong for them. Also, the buyers might visit when there are no candles or deodorizers.

The best way out is to find the source of the smells and fix it.

Fix loose handles

I know, they might seem to be too minor, but you will be shocked by the negative effect they have on your ability to see the house. Are there missing handles in the house? fix them. Do you have a missing lightbulb? You should replace it as soon as possible.

Before you contact a real estate agent DC, you should take care of every bell and whistle. It’s recommended that you think like a buyer. This calls for you wear your buyer glasses and walk around the house. After scanning through, you should ask yourself, “Can I buy this?”

Chimney Cleaning Services: Health Hazards That Come With A Dirty Chimney

If you ask many homeowners, they will tell you the reason they seek chimney cleaning services is that they don’t want to suffer from chimney fires. Did you know dirty chimneys are a health hazard? Here are some of the ways in which you can compromise your health from having a dirty chimney:

Creosote exposure

Creosote is an oily black substance that builds up inside the chimney flue when you go for a long time without cleaning it. Creosote results when there is incomplete wood combustion. In addition to creosote being unsightly to look at, it also has a number of undesirable health effects such as:

Skin irritation: Are you allergic to dust? Chances are that when you come into contact with creosote, you will develop rashes. In severe cases, you might develop skin conditions.

Eye irritation: This goes without saying. When creosote particles are flying all over the house, they are bound to get into your eyes. As you might have guessed, this leads to eye irritation. Sometimes the irritation is grave to the extent of causing burning sensations or chemical burns.

It’s also common to develop high light sensitivity making it hard for you to undertake your daily chores outdoors.

Respiratory problems: If the creosote particles are going to irritate your eyes, chances are that they are also going to irritate your respiratory system. As a result, you are bound to start coughing, among many other things.

Cancer: Did you know that you can get cancer from creosote exposure? Long-term exposure of creosote is bound to cause skin cancer.

Abdominal problems: In severe cases, high creosote levels irritate the kidneys and liver leading to abdominal problems.

Other side effects of creosote are seizures and confusion in some people.

How can you prevent all this from happening? Simple. All you need to do is to clean the chimney at least once a year. You can do it by yourself or hire a professional to help you out.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Plenty of deaths have been reported resulting from carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. This makes extremely hazardous. You might be wondering how a dirty chimney leads to carbon monoxide poisoning, right?

When the chimney is dirty, there are materials in the chimney blocking the carbon monoxide from leaving the house. This means that the gas that is meant to go out, stays in. When substantial levels of the gas accumulate, you are bound to experience flu-like symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, headache, and confusion.

Inhaling large quantities of the gas at once has been shown to lead to brain damage, heart problems, and in severe cases, death.

When you hire a chimney cleaning professional, he/she should not only get rid of creosote, he/she should also inspect the insides of the chimney and remove dead birds and other materials that might be stuck there.

Chimney soot inhalation

Just like creosote, chimney soot comes about due to incomplete combustion. It comes about when wood doesn’t burn hot enough. This leads to the formation of black or brown dust sticks inside the chimney.

Failure to remove the soot early enough leads to a number of problems. The first one is lung hazard. Just like creosote, when you inhale large amounts of the soot, you have high chances of irritating the lungs. In some cases, you might cause lung disease.

In addition to this, you stand to suffer from respiratory infections when you are exposed to chimney soot for a long time.

Just like when getting rid of creosote, the only way of getting rid of chimney soot is to clean the chimney. As mentioned above, you can clean it by yourself or hire a professional to help you out.

Histoplasmosis

Histoplasmosis is a respiratory condition that comes about due to the inhalation of bird droppings. When you don’t clean your chimney regularly, chimney swifts, small, brownish birds can easily reside in your chimney. Their droppings bring about histoplasmosis.

When you are suffering from the condition you develop flu-like symptoms. They include: chronic coughs, chest pain, fever, sweats, and lack of appetite.

During chimney cleaning, the chimney sweep Bowie should identify the residence of the chimney swifts and get rid of them.

Drain Cleaning Services: Tips On How To Maintain Your Sewer Pipes

When you install drain pipes in your home it’s your responsibility to keep them in top shape for you to maintain sanity in the house. To help you out, here are tips on how to maintain your pipes as given by drain cleaning services providers:

Insulate sewer pipes from the outside

Few people do this as they think that the insulation is only necessary on water pipes. If you live in extremely cold places, you should go ahead and insulate your pipes. Sewer pipe insulation prevents the pipes from freezing thus you don’t have to worry about the sewer water freezing in the pipes.

You also don’t have to worry about the pipes exploding and having to replace them, which would be an extra expense on your side.

If you live in cold areas, hire a professional to go around the pipes and insulate them. As rule of thumb, you should use high-quality insulating material that will not only provide high-quality insulation, but also last for a long time.

Make use of strainers

Strainers are units that you place at the opening of the drains in order to keep hair, stones, and other materials from getting into the sewer lines. To maintain sanity in your drains, install a strainer in all the sinks in your home.

Of major importance, pay attention to the bathroom as hair and soap tend to cause clogging. You also should ensure that you install strainers in your kitchen drains.

Watch how you clean the drains

One of the things you should do to keep the units in top shape is to regularly clean them. While many homeowners know they need to clean their systems, most of them don’t know how to clean them properly.

Some use chemical cleaners which give instant results, which is wrong. While the chemicals give fast results, they often tend to damage the sewer pipes especially when you use them a number of times. Did you know the chemicals are also harmful on your skin?

You shouldn’t use chemicals at any time. The best way out is to use enzyme-based cleaners. While they don’t work as fast as their chemical counterparts, they don’t harm the sewer pipes. They also aren’t of any danger to your skin or clothes.

The cleaners contain natural bacteria that work slowly on the clogging materials and in no time they turn them in liquid. There are plenty of enzyme-based cleaners in the market that you can choose from. It’s up to you to choose the right one for your application.

Another highly effective method of cleaning the sewer pipes is pouring hot water down the drains at least once a week or at the end of the working day. The hot water washes down the clogging material, even the smallest leaving your pipes spotless.

Keep oil and grease away

There is nothing that clogs sewer pipes as fast as grease and oils. When you are pouring them in the sewer pipes, they are liquid but when they hit the cold drain pipes, they immediately turn solid. When you keep pouring the grease and oil in the sewer pipes, there is more accumulation of the oils and eventually, the sewer pipes clog.

For you to prevent your sewer pipes from clogging you should ensure that no oils or grease that ends up in the sewer pipes. You can do this by installing a grease trap in your home (if you produce a lot of grease).

You also should consider having a separate container where you put the grease. Once the container is full, throw it away or empty it.

Repair faulty pipes

Sewer pipes are bound to develop a wide range of problems. One of the most common ones is leaking. When homeowners notice their pipes leaking, most of them ignore it as they deem the problem to be minor. While it might be minor, you should note that it tends to lead to major issues.

When you notice your sewer pipes leaking, you should work at fixing them as soon as possible. You can do the work by yourself or hire sewer cleaning companies Manhattan to help you out.

Chimney Cleaning Services: Steps To Follow When Cleaning A Chimney Wood Stove

A wood stove provides your home with warmth and coziness especially during the cold months of the year. Since you use wood in the unit, creosote and soot tend to build up fast inside it which puts your property at the risk of fire.

For you to keep your family safe, you need to undertake regular chimney cleaning. You can do the cleaning by yourself or hire chimney cleaning services providers to help you out. For you to properly clean the unit, you need to follow a set of steps. These steps include:

Ensure it’s cold

Remember that you will be elbows deep in ashes when you are cleaning the unit. Since you don’t want to get burned, you should ensure that the stove is cold enough before you start the work. For you to tell whether the unit is ripe for cleaning, you only need to touch it. You should be able to touch the unit with your bare hands and not get burned at all.

Clean the firebox

The firebox is one of the most important parts of the stove thus you should pay a lot of attention to it. The firebox is the part of the wood stove where you load the wood for you to have the fire.

For you to clean it you need an ash bucket then using a shovel from the fire set, scoop all of the old ashes. You should remove as much of the ash as possible.

The best way of telling that you have properly cleaned the unit is cleaning it until you see the brick inside the stove. During the cleaning, remember to inspect the condition of the stove. Are there loose bricks? Are the bricks cracked? You need to take a look at this. If you notice any problem, fix it as soon as possible.

Pay attention to the ash box

The ash box is located at the bottom of the wood stove. The ash box is simply a little slide out drawer that catches the overflow of ashes from the wood box. The unit gives the ashes a place to go to cool off.

Just like other parts of the wood stove, you need to clean the ash box. This is to give room for more ash that the unit might be producing. The cool thing is that it’s easy to clean the box as all you need to do is to pull the drawer and dump the contents.

Clean the outdoor unit

You shouldn’t only focus on the insides of the wood stove. You also need to think about the outside of the unit. Since the outdoor unit is on the roof, you will need a ladder to clean it. Plenty of accidents have been reported as people are getting on the roof; therefore, you should be cautious when doing it.

The best way of going about it is having someone to hold the ladder for you. For you to clean the outdoor unit you need to pull off the cap, then, using a wire chimney brush, get rid of all the soot on the insides of the unit. By doing this you will get rid of all the creosote that might have built up inside the unit.

The broken up creosote gets into the chimney stove where you can clean it or let it burn.

Pay attention to the spark box vent

Does your chimney have an attached spark box? You should clean it. The function of the spark box is to keep the fire sparks from flying up through the chimney and landing on the roof thus putting your house at the risk of catching fire.

Due to the regular use of wood, it’s common for the spark box to clog up with creosote when you go for a long time without cleaning it. The best way of cleaning it is using a chimney wire brush and rub it on the outside.

When you do this you will break up any residues that might be clogging up the vent holes. Chimney repair experts report that when the vent holes are clear, fire is able to draw air better thus the fire burns better with little or no smoke. As a consequence, little soot is deposited thus you don’t have to regularly hire a chimney sweep Columbia MD to help you with the cleaning.