Posts by Nate Michelson

Understanding Your Auto Glass: Repair Or Replace When You Have A Crack Or Chip In The Glass

As part of the structural integrity of your car, your windshield is very important. While your windshield allows you to see clearly while you drive, it also protects you from the elements as you travel down the road. When you have a crack or a chip in your auto glass, it’s important to get your windshield evaluated. Even when the damage is small, you may be setting yourself up for bigger problems if you don’t get the windshield repaired right away. Your state may even have laws preventing you from driving with a crack in your windshield, so it’s time to get it checked by a professional.

The Size of the Crack or Chip

A small chip, which doesn’t obstruct your vision and doesn’t have any nearby chips is usually easy to repair. If you have a small crack, you have to be careful that the crack doesn’t start to spread across your windshield. Even a small crack can cause your windshield to weaken, and any type of trauma to your windshield can cause the entire thing to break when it is already weakened.

Where the Chip or Crack is Located

Where the chip or crack is on your windshield is important. If you have several chips close together that are at the outer edges of your windshield, this can cause a problem with the overall strength of your windshield. If anything blocks your vision, it needs to be fixed right away. If you have a small crack far from the driver and it doesn’t prevent the driver from seeing the road, the crack can wait for a bit to be repaired.

Small Cracks Usually Expand

Just the simple motion of driving down the road, or temperature fluctuations with the weather can cause small cracks in a windshield to start spreading. Cracks in the glass, no matter how small, are weak areas. When you repair a crack right away, it won’t spread across the windshield. Ignoring the problem will eventually lead to the crack spreading, and you may end up needing a completely new windshield.

Small chips and cracks can usually be repaired, while more extensive damage to a windshield usually means that it will need to be completely replaced. While you may be able to drive around safely with a small chip or crack in the windshield for a few weeks, you should always get windshield damage inspected to make sure your safety isn’t compromised. For more information, look at this, or other similar resources.

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Liven Up Your Old Victorian Home With These Two Tips For People On A Budget

If you have been lucky enough to find a beautiful Victorian house, but it’s in need of a bit of work, then you should be excited. Look at it as an opportunity to turn it into a really wonderful, historic, and beautiful house. While you may not have the money available to do major renovations, there are three really beautiful things you can do that will make your Victorian house shine. Here are two really fun ideas you can have done while on a budget.

Bring In The House Painters To Transform It Into A Painted Lady

Victorian houses are sometimes painted in a variety of light colors (often pastels) and these homes have gotten the name Painted Ladies. They are really beautiful, and they will make your home stand out among the many other historic homes in your neighborhood. What you can do is look online at many of the photos online of the various Victorian painted ladies around the country and take ideas about what you might like. One thing you should consider is that the painted ladies use color to highlight the Victorian homes wonderful architectural details. So, for instance, you might have a pale canary yellow used as the trim, and a light pink used on the soffits and molding, and a base color of a powder blue for the walls.

When you speak with the house painters, make it clear that you want a multi-colored house, and you will be using pastel colors. Have them come and show you the test colors on your house. It’s not good enough to try the paint on a scrap piece of 2×4 because that is fresh wood. The colors might not look the same on your old Victorian home. So they will need to paint small test patches around your home. Companies like J Maintenance Co may be able to help meet your needs in this area.

Sand And Polish The Floors

You want nice, exposed wood floors. Rugs are fine, but you never want to have wall to wall carpets in an old Victorian. What you want are small rugs and lots of exposed wood. So rent a sanding machine and clean up the old floors. Buy a dust mask so that you don’t breathe in any of the old wood dust and chemicals from the stain that will get thrown up in the air. Then, after the wood has been sanded down to a clean, raw state, you can apply a fresh stain. If you don’t feel comfortable applying stain (or natural oil or wax) then you can bring in a floor expert to work on this aspect of the house. 

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Safety Equipment You’ll Need for Welding

Whether you want to learn welding for a new career in the construction industry or if you just want to make your own repairs around your home or farm, one thing you’ll have to stock up on is safety equipment. You can’t weld without safety equipment because of the intense heat, bright light, and UV radiation that is released during the process. Here are a few of the items you’ll need for the best protection.

Fire Resistant Clothing

You don’t want to wear your regular clothes when welding because flying sparks could ignite the fabric. Instead, buy fire resistant clothes that cover as much of your skin as possible. Long sleeves and long pants are a must. Plus, heavy fabric with a tight weave is ideal since it will protect your skin from burns. Buy shirts without pockets, and pants without cuffs. You don’t want any crevices available for sparks to land in or you could get a bad burn on your skin before you can get the spark removed. Be sure to care for your fire resistant work clothing properly because the retardant will probably wear off a little each time the clothing is laundered. Wash the clothes according to the manufacturer’s directions. Don’t wear them to weld if they have spills or stains that could easily ignite. Also, don’t forget your head. You’ll want to protect your hair and scalp from flying sparks by wearing a fire resistant cap or hood while you work.

Face and Eye Protection

It is critical to wear eye protection when you’re welding because the radiation and intense light can cause blindness. There are two components to eye protection. Goggles protect your eyes from flying sparks and metal debris. A helmet with a face shield protects your eyes from bright light and radiation. A welder’s helmet has a plate in the front the covers your entire face and part of your neck from heat and burns. There is a small window in the helmet so you can see what you are working on. You can insert lenses into the helmet that offer various degrees of protection depending on the type of welding you’re doing. The darker the lens, the more protection from light and radiation it offers. When you weld, two types of light radiation are produced. One type emits heat and warns you of exposure. The other type is undetectable. You could be exposed to damaging light radiation and not even know it until hours later when your eyes swell and you temporarily lose your vision. For that reason, you should never weld without full protection for your eyes.

Shoes and Gloves

Foot protection is necessary too. Leather ankle boots are ideal as these spare your feet and ankles from burns. Steel-toe boots offer further protection. Always wear your pant legs on the outside of your boots rather than tucked it. This keeps sparks from falling inside your shoes. Gloves are required any time you weld. You can buy gloves made specifically for welding. These are thick gloves made from leather that protect you from burns and cuts. If you keep the gloves dry, they also offer some protection from electrical shock while you’re working.

Other protection you may want to consider depending on the type of welding you do and the environment you’re welding in are ear protection against excessive loud noise, a respirator if ventilation isn’t adequate, and a leather apron for enhanced protection from flying sparks. Welding is a very useful skill to learn, but the risk of injury is high if you don’t wear the proper safety equipment. Fortunately, you can easily find everything you need wherever you shop for other welding supplies and accessories.

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Air Conditioner Troubleshooting: Common Causes Of Restricted Airflow

An air conditioner needs adequate airflow in order to function efficiently. This is because, when there is a short supply of air into the system, the balance between the rate at which the refrigerant absorbs heat and the rate at which warm air is supplied to the evaporator coil will be disrupted. The abnormally low temperatures that result from this then cause evaporator coil icing, something that eventually causes a marked decrease in the air conditioner’s performance.

Knowing the common causes of restricted airflow usually comes in handy when trying to figure out what needs fixing. Here is what may be to blame for your restricted airflow problem.

Blocked return air inlets

Return air inlets serve as entry points of air into the air conditioning system. To help protect the air conditioning system, these inlets are usually covered in grilles. Unfortunately, dirt and debris sometimes collect on these grilles, limiting their capacity to let in air into the system. This then causes restricted airflow and icing-related air conditioner complications.

The location of the inlets also makes them susceptible to getting obstructed. They tend to be located either on the floor or near the bottom of a wall, something that increases the chances of the inlets getting blocked by things such as furniture.

Cleaning the return grilles and moving physical obstructions such as furniture will be enough to solve this problem.

Air duct defects

If you are using flex ducts to carry air from the return air inlets to the air conditioner, any collapsed section of the duct will reduce the amount of air that the air conditioner receives. To reduce increase the efficiency with which an air conditioning system cools a home, the air ducts of the system are usually armed with insulation. A problem usually arises when, due to poor installation or simple wear and tear, the insulation collapses. This turns the insulation from a performance-increasing asset into a liability since it obstructs airflow within the ducts.

Dirty air filters

When dirt accumulates on an air conditioner’s filters, it clogs them. This usually limits the ability of the filter to let air into the air conditioning system and essentially causes restricted airflow. In extreme cases of clogging, the amount of force exerted on the filter usually increases. This can sometimes cause the filter to get sucked into the duct system. This then creates a blockage within the ducts that limits airflow. Simply removing the filter in question and then washing it in a solution of water and vinegar will go a long way towards preventing airflow problems.

For more tips, contact a company that specializes in air conditioner repairs.

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Preparing Your Roof for Winter

Typically, the colder months are especially hard on your roof and can cause serious damage that leads to costly repairs. Accumulated snow and ice dams can cause damage to your shingles, result in leaks, and even weaken the structural integrity of your roof.

Luckily, there are some preventative steps you can take to prepare your roof for the chilly weather and reduce the damage sustained during winter. Read on to learn what you can do to winterize your roof and hopefully prolong its lifespan. 

Inspect and clean the rooftop and gutters

Winterizing your roof should start with a thorough cleaning of the rooftop to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris on the surface that could trap snow or prevent water from draining off the shingles. Debris on the rooftop could also be pushed down to the gutters, resulting in clogging issues.

It is best to perform the cleaning with a long push broom in mid-to-late fall so the rooftop is relatively clean when the snow starts falling. Next, clean out the gutters with a pressure washer to remove debris and ensure that roof drainage isn’t compromised during winter. Clean-flowing gutters can also help reduce ice build-up and stress to the roof supports. If you live in an area that experiences severe snow fall, you may need to call in a roofer to install heating cables along your gutters so as to prevent the formation of ice dams. 

Additionally, you should inspect the roof for damaged or missing shingles that could leave your roof prone to leaks and replace corroded fasteners or damaged flashing, especially on the edges of the roof and around the chimney. Finally, consider trimming branches overhanging the roof to prevent wind damage to the shingles, gutters, and eave boards or the accumulation of leaves and twigs on the roof during winter. 

Repair the insulation

Your next focus after performing an outdoor inspection of the roof is to examine the state of your roof insulation. If compromised, the insulation can lead to a weakened roof that is prone to leaks and heat loss during winter, and that could lead to excessive ice damming and outrageous heating bills. 

Head to the attic and inspect the ceiling for water stains that essentially point to damaged insulation above. Next, call in a roofer to remove shingles above the damaged areas and replace the insulation. The roofer can also locate and plug any gaps on the shingles that could cause leaks that could damage the insulation.

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