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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Basics of Roof Cleaning

Although roof maintenance is largely not a DIY project, there are a few simple tasks you can perform regularly to keep your home’s roof looking and functioning like new. Regular cleaning will prevent mold and algae growth, which can cause unsightly stains on your roof that detract from the look of your home. Furthermore, simple gutter maintenance will prevent problems during rain and snow, which could threaten the integrity of your roof. In addition to the regular cleaning tasks outlined below, don’t forget to schedule a yearly roof inspection and maintenance visit from a professional roofer to check for signs of wear and take care of the more extensive maintenance tasks you can’t perform on your own.

Why Roof Cleaning Is Important
A clean roof is a healthy and aesthetically-appealing roof. Your roof not only plays a vital role in the comfort and safety of your home, it is also an important aspect of its curb appeal. Keeping your roof clean and maintained will ensure its materials last for their full predicted lifetime, minimizing the amount of repairs needed and ensuring you get more out of your roof before it requires replacement. Regular cleaning will prevent dirt, debris, and stains from accumulating, which detract from the overall look of your home and your property. Because most roof “stains” are actually due to moss or algae, it’s especially important to address these marks as soon as you see them. Although you may think stains are only a cosmetic issue, the fact is that mold, moss, and algae growth on your roof can damage your roof’s structure over time if left unchecked. Removing the cause of these stains will protect your roof and its integrity so it can continue to perform its function for many years to come.

What You Can Do to Keep Your Roof Clean
There are a few basic roof-cleaning tasks that you can easily perform on your own. How often you need to clean your roof is generally determined by need—when your roof looks like it needs cleaning, it’s time to clean it. However, preventive maintenance should also be considered; cleaning your roof two to three times per year can prevent problems or stains from occurring and enhance the overall look of your home. If your roof is easily accessible by ladder, you can apply a cleaning solution yourself. Make sure any cleaner you choose is appropriate for use with the type of roofing material you have. Mix the cleaner as per the package instructions in an insecticide sprayer or power washer. If you choose to use a power washer, make sure to set the pressure to low to prevent damaging your roof. Spray the cleaner onto your roof, then let it sit for the recommended amount of time—typically half an hour. Rinse away any cleaning solution with fresh water and let your roof dry naturally. In addition to cleaning your roof, you should also regularly clean out your gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters can easily overflow, causing water damage and stains on your gutters and your home’s siding. The weight of clogged gutters could also damage your roof, leading to the need for extensive repairs or even gutter and roof replacement.

In addition to these simple tasks, your Alexandria roofer can help you maintain a clean and beautiful roof with a regular maintenance plan. Visit our website for more information about our roof and gutter services for residential and commercial buildings, or fill out our online form to request an estimate.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Apartment Decorating with Books

Whether you’re an avid reader or a casual one, chances are that you’ve got more than a few books. While books are easy to store and look great when properly organized on a bookshelf, they are also a versatile way to add color and personality to your apartment’s décor. Rather than keeping all your books neatly stacked on a set of shelves, consider the many ways in which you can use a few—or more—volumes as decorative accents and accessories throughout your home.

Visual Vignettes
Books make either a perfect centerpiece or an excellent addition to any visual vignette. If you want to highlight your books as the core of your vignette, place them at the center of your arrangement and choose items that encourage the eye to settle on the books and their covers. Alternatively, you can use books to raise or frame other pieces you want to focus on in your vignette, such as statues, flowers, or decorative items, letting your books serve as a background for your display, rather than the focal point.

Coffee Table Displays
Books add personality to your décor in many ways; one of the easiest ways to decorate with books is to choose one or a few volumes and incorporate them into your coffee table display. You may wish to choose books for their subject, size, or color, depending on how you want to use them as part of the overall arrangement. Coffee table books are a wonderful way to show off your personality and can often provide an easy icebreaker during parties or other social gatherings. Additionally, you can easily rotate the books you keep in your coffee table display to match seasonal décor or highlight your many interests.

Kitchen Décor
If you have a collection of cookbooks, don’t hide them—display them as part of your kitchen décor. You can stack books on countertops, inside display cabinets, or on bookshelves to add color to your kitchen while keeping these valuable reference materials close at hand. If you choose to keep cookbooks in a cabinet or on a bookshelf, consider breaking up the monotony with dishware, pots, pans, or other kitchen-related décor for a more interesting and aesthetically-pleasing display.

Appealing Bookshelves
Even the books that you choose to leave on your bookshelves can be arranged in a way that turns your bookshelves into a decorative statement, rather than a simple storage option. The easiest way to improve the look of a bookcase is to arrange books in order of size or color. “Zig zag” your arrangements such that each subsequent shelf runs from largest to smallest starting at opposite ends. Break up the look of purely vertical books by leaning or stacking books horizontally at the ends of each shelf; you can also add small decorative items, photos, or even small baskets or jars for storage at the ends or in the middle of each shelf for even more variety.

At Carmel Pacific Ridge, you can put your personality and your love of books on display throughout your luxury studio, one-, two-, or three-bedroom apartment. In addition to a spacious floor plan and private outdoor living space, you’ll also enjoy features and amenities that include a professional fitness center, jogging trail and dog-walking loop, digital café and study lounge, and green apartment construction with eco-friendly materials. Visit us online to find out more about our features, availability, and pricing.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Caring for Your Commercial Roof

A proactive approach to commercial roof maintenance will ensure that no unforeseen problems affect your business operations or the comfort of employees and customers. While some commercial roof care tasks can be performed on your own, others should only be completed by an experienced roofer. Taking care of your roof by maintaining it regularly will not only save you money over the short term, it will benefit you in the long term as well—studies show that well-maintained roofing lasts an average of 21 years longer than roofing that is not cared for regularly.

Maintain Your HVAC Equipment
Many commercial buildings have HVAC systems located on the roof. Although you may not think about how you HVAC system affects your roof, problems with roof-mounted air conditioners, fans, and air handlers can damage to your roof as well. Condensation or ice formation on a poorly-maintained cooling system can cause water damage and promote the growth of mold and mildew, which could lead to deterioration of roofing materials. Excessive vibration from an overworked or aging HVAC system can cause cracks or other damage to the material of your roof as well, leading to air and water leaks that cause further trouble. Thus, maintaining your top-level HVAC equipment is an important step toward both indoor comfort and roofing integrity.

Trim Your Trees
If the landscaping around your commercial building includes tall trees with overhanging branches, keeping these trees maintained will also protect your roof. Avoid letting branches get so long or heavy that they bow down close to your roof, as poorly-supported branches could snap off in a storm or high winds, causing damage. Gutters can easily become clogged with plant debris from overhanging branches, which could cause leaks that damage your property and invite the growth of mold. Furthermore, pests and insects could use overhanging branches to reach your roof, damaging it and paving the way to larger pest problem as well. Keeping any trees located near your building healthy and well-trimmed will reduce the risk of damage to your roof.

Inspect Your Roof
At least once a year, perform a thorough visual inspection of your roof. Look for areas of pooling water, bowed or sloped roofing, missing gravel or other roofing material, and other signs of damage that should be addressed. If your roof includes chimneys, check the condition of the flashing and mortar around them as well. Don’t wait to schedule repairs if you think your roof needs them—letting small problems grow into large ones by ignoring them will only cause you more stress and cost more to repair in the future. If you aren’t able to inspect your roof on your own or aren’t comfortable doing so, talk to a professional roofer about scheduling an annual roofing inspection.

Caring for your commercial roof will reduce the cost of annual maintenance by up to 11 cents per square foot. Additionally, regular care and repairs will increase the longevity of your roof and improve the appearance of your commercial property. Click through our website to find out more about commercial roof installation, roof repair, and roof maintenance in Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, and McLean.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How to Clean Your Refrigerator

A clean refrigerator is also a well-maintained one. Although you use this appliance daily, how often do you think to clean it? Giving your refrigerator a thorough deep cleaning two to three times a year offers many benefits, from a safer environment for your food to an appliance that is less likely to need repairs as it ages. Even if you don’t have time for a deep clean, a quicker, less intensive cleaning will still help to maintain this valuable appliance.

Deep Cleaning Your Refrigerator
Deep cleaning your refrigerator every few months will keep it looking and functioning like new throughout its lifetime. First, you’ll need to remove all the food from your fridge and set it aside—this is also a great time to check the expiration dates on all items and throw away any expired food. Next, remove all the shelves and drawers; if you can’t remove them, you may want to consider unplugging your refrigerator while you clean to conserve energy. Wash all the surfaces of your refrigerator, shelves, and drawers (inside and out, top and bottom) with warm, soapy water. Follow with a damp cloth dipped in clean water to rinse away any soap and finish by drying all surfaces with a soft absorbent cloth. If your refrigerator, shelves, or drawers have any stains or encrusted food, use a solution of vinegar and water to help break up and remove stains and dried food or liquids. A smelly refrigerator can be addressed with a variety of solutions, including baking soda, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. You should also take this time to check the gasket around your refrigerator and freezer doors—the rubber should be in good condition, without cracks or damaged areas. Clean the gaskets using an old toothbrush dipped soap-and-water solution, then rinse and wipe them dry. Replace all shelves and drawers, then wipe down any food packaging with a damp cloth before returning it to your fridge. Wipe down the exterior of your refrigerator and use your vacuum hose to remove any dust from the coils at the back of the appliance, as well as the grille at the lower front of the appliance. If you unplugged your refrigerator during cleaning, make sure to plug it back in and enjoy your squeaky clean fridge!

Quick Cleaning Tips
In between deep cleans, taking care of your refrigerator is still important for its function and longevity. Every one to two weeks, wipe down the exterior of the fridge with a damp cloth, including all the way around the doors and the gaskets. Use your vacuum cleaner’s hose attachment to clean the coils behind the refrigerator and the grille at the front or bottom of the appliance. This step is particularly important, as it will prevent dust buildup and keep your refrigerator functioning efficiently—and often more quietly—for comfort and convenience. Finally, wipe any available surfaces of the interior with a damp cloth to prevent spills from drying out and making a more difficult mess to remove during your deeper cleaning sessions.

Cleaning your refrigerator regularly will go a long way toward maintaining its efficiency and functionality. If you do experience trouble with your refrigerator, your local appliance repair service can help you solve it quickly to reduce stress, spoiled food, and high energy bills. Click through our website to learn more about refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher repair in Portland, or take a look through our other blog articles for additional tips, advice, and troubleshooting.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fall Events in the San Diego Area

San Diego and the surrounding area plays host to a wide variety of fall events, festivals, and more to get you into the spirit of the harvest season. You can experience local cuisine, culture, and art when you attend one or more of the area’s amazing fall festivities, many of which are the largest of their kind on the West Coast.

San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival
Get ready for a taste of nearly 300 of San Diego’s restaurants, wineries, and breweries at the 12th annual San Diego Bay Food & Wine Festival. Taking place this year from November 16-23, this festival is the largest food and wine event on the West Coast. Stop by just once or come back every day to experience some of the best cuisine the Bay Area has to offer or sit in on a workshop or demonstration by one of the festival’s many attending expert chefs and culinary personalities. Events include celebrity chef dinners, wine, beer, and meal tastings, informational seminars, culinary classes, and upscale parties; tickets can be purchased for a single event or as a package for the full experience.

Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show
The Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show is one of the largest arts, crafts, and gift shows on the West Coast. This three-day event takes place from October 17-19, 2014, at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. In addition to the thousands of vendor and food booths selling gifts and snacks, you’ll find nonstop entertainment that includes stage performances and strolling entertainers; there are also kid-friendly activities and craft demonstrations for younger attendees to enjoy. Your one-time admission allows you to return as many times as you’d like with a hand stamp so you can continue to enjoy the festival for a single low fee.

Mother Goose Parade
The Mother Goose Parade is famous for ushering in the holiday season in the Bay Area. This event is the largest parade in San Diego County—in fact, it’s the largest parade in the entire Western United States. Each year, this parade attracts over 400,000 spectators and features a new parade theme for every event. Beginning at 9am on November 23, 2014, the Mother Goose Parade winds its way through the streets of El Cajon with over 100 floats and participants, including marching bands, drill units, equestrian groups, clowns, giant balloons, and more from across the U.S. In addition to the parade itself, the Mother Goose Village is open from 9am-3pm for youngsters to enjoy.

Day of the Dead Festival at Market Creek
On November 1, San Diego residents can take part in a Day of the Dead celebration by attending the day-long Day of the Dead Festival at the Market Creek Amphitheater. Throughout the day, local and international entertainment will take to the stage with music, dance, and more. The festival also includes traditional Mexican food, a display of over 150 lowrider cars, hands-on craft workshops, and arts and crafts sales and displays. More traditional Day of the Dead events, including a Catrina competition, Calaveritas, and a blessing by the Kumeyaay Nation, will also take place throughout the day.

Carmel Pacific Ridge offers an accessible San Diego location just minutes from freeways and convenient public transportation. Furthermore, you can step right outside your apartment door to enjoy local parks, dining, entertainment, and culture, all right in your backyard. Check us out on the web to find out more about our luxury apartment community in downtown San Diego or contact us to discuss rates and availability today!

Are Your Pipes Stressed? Tips for Preventing Plumbing Leaks

Any time there is excess stress on your plumbing system, your pipes could be at risk for a leak. Factors that can stress your pipes include age, water pressure, and water hardness. Knowing the condition of your home’s plumbing and incoming water can help you to recognize the need for plumbing assistance to lower the levels of stress on your pipes and avoid future problems that could raise your water bills and damage your Anderson home.

Address High Water Pressure
Water pressure refers to the force with which water comes out of your plumbing fixtures. While many people prefer water pressure that is high, too much pressure can put every aspect of your plumbing at risk, from your pipes to your fixtures. You can test your home’s water pressure with a detachable meter; these meters are typically less than $10 at a local hardware store. Attach the meter to an outdoor hose spigot and ensure all plumbing fixtures in your home are closed and all water-using appliances are off. Turn on the spigot and read the water pressure on the gauge; “healthy” pressure should register between 40-85 psi. If your water pressure is higher than 85 psi, your pipes are under unnecessary stress. Contact your plumber to discuss installing a pressure reducer—simply reducing your water pressure to 85 psi or below will take excess stress off your pipes without affecting your comfort.

Address Hard Water
Hard water contains high levels of dissolved minerals inside your water. Although hard water has no effect on your health, it can have an effect on the quality and longevity of your plumbing. Over time, minerals are deposited inside your pipes, leading to buildup that causes the opening through which water can flow to narrow. Buildup can also occur inside drains and fixtures, while limescale may form on tiles, porcelain, stainless steel, and even dishware washed in hard water. Hard water often hinders soap’s ability to form a later and clean, which also means your household may be using more water than necessary to bathe and clean dishes and clothes. You can find out if your home’s water is considered hard by checking with your local municipal water service or asking your plumber for more information. If your water is too hard, talk to your plumber about installing a water softening system. There are a variety of water softening systems available on the market today, each designed to remove minerals from your water as it enters your home. This will improve the quality of your water to lower the stress on your pipes and fixtures, while also reducing the amount of water you use and even improving the taste of your water.

Addressing factors that cause stress on your home’s plumbing will improve the lifetime of your pipes, fixtures, and water-using appliances. If you’d like to find out more about plumbing solutions in Anderson, SC, visit our website to check out our comprehensive plumbing services in your area. Don’t forget to click through our blog for additional tips, information, and the latest plumbing news.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What’s New from Whirlpool

The Whirlpool brand name is one of the most famous in household appliances. Whirlpool gained its current name in 1950 and sold its first top-loading automatic washing machine in the same year, just one year after the first ever sale of the top-loading automatic washer. Since then, Whirlpool has expanded its product line and acquired many other famous name brands, including KitchenAid and Maytag. Keep reading to discover the newest home appliances available from Whirlpool and how they can enhance your quality of life every day.

Duet Washer and Dryer
The 2014 Whirlpool Duet washer and dryer system is designed to minimize the time and effort you spend doing laundry. These high-efficiency front loading appliances incorporate numerous features that sense your laundry’s needs to provide the perfect cleaning cycle every time. The 4.5-cubic food washing machine offers a 12-load detergent cartridge, reducing the time it takes to throw in a load of laundry; a detergent monitor lets you know when it’s time to refill so you’ll never be caught off guard. This adaptive appliance includes up to 14 different wash actions and a precision detergent dispense system to tailor the washing process to each load. Washing cycles include an allergen cycle, a sanitize cycle, and even a wash and dry cycle that washes and dries small loads without the need for a dryer. The matching 7.4-cubic foot Duet dryer is available in both electric and gas-powered models. Dryer features include a sanitize cycle, a steam refresh cycle, and a SilentSteel dryer drum that minimizes dryer noise from metal zippers, buttons, and more.

Gold Dishwasher
The Whirlpool Gold dishwasher with TotalCoverage spray arm technology is crafted to provide customized cleaning no matter the load. This dishwasher is ENERGY STAR qualified and features Whirlpool’s unique TotalCoverage spray arm, which cleans dishes using twice the number of jets as other dishwasher brands. With its smarter spray sequence, your Gold dishwasher will clean your dishware from every angle for superior results. Other features include an AccuSense soil sensor, which detects the amount of cleaning needed based on the soil level of your dishes, and a specially-designed silveware spray option to prevent residue on silverware in the basket. If you use the same cycle option frequently, your dishwasher will even remember your preferences and automatically choose the last cycle when activated.

Slide-In Gas Ranges
Whirlpool’s slide-in gas ranges are equipped with a variety of features designed to make meal preparation and cleanup a snap. These 5.8-cubic foot appliances can be customized to meet your exact kitchen specifications for a seamless, built-in look. Slide-in ranges incorporate some of Whirlpool’s best cooking technology innovations, such as Frozen Bake technology that eliminates the need to preheat your oven and TimeSavor Plus convection cooking for reduced cook times and improved flavors. When you’re done creating your meal, Whirlpool’s AquaLift self-cleaning option will clean your oven in just 50 minutes, eliminating the need for harsh cleaning chemicals or time spent scrubbing your appliance.

Even the highest-quality home appliances need regular maintenance and repairs to perform their best. Visit our website for additional information or to schedule appliance repair in Portland online or by phone. Click through the articles in our blog to stay up to date on the latest brands, maintenance tips, and more for your home appliances.