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Friday, January 30, 2015

Check Out These Upcoming San Diego Events

With the new year comes new holidays and events worth celebrating. During the months of January and February, you’ll find plenty of culture, excitement, and good cuisine throughout the city of San Diego, all just a short distance from your luxury apartment at Carmel Pacific Ridge.

Winter Brew Fest
San Diego’s annual Winter Brew Fest is an intimate craft beer festival highlighting some of the best independent craft brews from the state of California. The event also features live music performances and plenty of food and other vendors. This year’s Winter Brew Fest will be held at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park on February 20th and 21st. Proceeds from this event will go to Outdoor Outreach and the San Diego Mountain Bike Association. A special souvenir glass is included with your admission, and the price of attendance for designated drivers is only $10. Tickets can be purchased online in advance or at the door of the event.

Museum Month
February is Museum Month in San Diego, which means you can enjoy half-price admission at some of San Diego’s finest museums. To get started, you’ll need to pick up a Museum Month Pass at any Macy’s Store in town. Each Museum Month Pass is good for four half-price admissions throughout the month of February at 45 participating museums, including the USS Midway Museum, the New Children’s Museum, the San Diego Natural History Museum, and the San Diego Museum of Art.

San Diego Restaurant Week
San Diego Restaurant Week takes place from January 18-24 in 2015; this biannual event allows participants to try out discounted menus at nearly 200 San Diego County restaurants. No advance planning or participation fee is necessary—when you choose a participating restaurant for lunch or dinner, you’ll automatically have access to a two-course lunch menu for $10, $15, or $20, or a three-course dinner menu for $20, $30, $40, or $50. Participating restaurants include 333 Pacific, Anthony's Fish Grotto in San Diego Bay, Del Mar, or La Mesa, Azuki Sushi, Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar, NINE-TEN Restaurant, Nobu San Diego, Puerto La Boca Restaurant, Searsucker, and The Prado at Balboa Park. You can visit the San Diego Restaurant Week website to search the complete list of participating restaurants by name, location, or price.

San Diego Chinese New Year Food & Cultural Fair
2015 is the Year of the Ram on the Chinese calendar, which begins on February 19. The 33rd Annual San Diego Chinese New Year Food & Cultural Fair will be held the following weekend, running February 21st and 22nd from 10am until 5pm on Third Ave. and J St., near the San Diego Chinese Center. This free cultural event includes the sights, sounds, and tastes of an authentic Chinese New Year celebration—you’ll see dancers, martial artists, acrobats, and a lantern parade you won’t soon forget. Other activities include crafts, shopping, multiple demonstrations, and plenty of food vendors around every corner. The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum will also be open to visitors, including its Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Extension and Chinese garden and koi pond.

Life at Carmel Pacific Ridge means access to all that San Diego has to offer, all year long. You can check out our luxury apartment community online to learn more about our features, amenities, and floor plans, or contact us about rental rates, move-in dates, and any other questions you may have.  

New Year's Resolutions for Your Apartment

 A new year can mean great things for your apartment. Making a few New Year’s resolutions for your apartment will set the stage for a more enjoyable living space that better reflects your personality and style every day of the year. You can choose how big—or small—the changes you make will be to completely customize and refresh your home and your apartment lifestyle.

Use What You Have
It can be tempting to save candles, soaps, dishes, silverware, and many other items for decorative or seasonal purposes only. Maybe you like the way the packaging of a certain item looks, or want to use your favorite sheets sparingly to keep them in good shape. However, this can result in excessive clutter in your apartment and deprive you of the well-made or favorite items contained within. Rather than saving items for special occasions or simply because of how they look, make a resolution to use your favorite and high-quality belongings. Keeping these items in storage negates the worth of having them and deprives you of the enjoyment you’re sure to get when you use your good soaps, dishes, and linens more often.

Break Up Your Housework
Housework is one of the most oft-ignored tasks because it can feel overwhelming. This year, make a resolution to break up your housework into more manageable chunks so you’re more likely to get it done and enjoy the process. For example, set aside each day of the week to clean one area of your apartment, such as the living room, kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom. Alternately, choose one task you will complete throughout your entire apartment each day, such as vacuuming, dusting, wiping down counters and mirrors, or picking up clutter. Leave at least one day a week work-free so you don’t feel overwhelmed; taking a one-day break from housework will help you to recharge before your weekly cleaning schedule resets.

Get Creative with Décor
If your décor feels bland or outdated, the first months of the new year are the perfect time for a refresh. Take a look at your apartment’s décor and find the objects you’re least attached to or dislike the most. Get rid of these items right off the bat, which will clear space to make your apartment look and feel more open while allowing you to focus on the decorative items you do like best. You don’t need to purchase anything new to create new décor—consider using old items in new ways or simply moving furniture or art from one room to another to completely change the style of your living space while keeping the basic elements of your décor the same.

Carmel Pacific Ridge features large living spaces, breathtaking views, and a long list of resort-like amenities you’ll love. Click through our website to explore our luxury apartment community in San Diego, including our apartment floor plans, finishes, and nearby hotspots.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Caring for Your Skylights

Skylights are a handsome and energy-efficient addition to any home. Keeping your skylights in great shape will protect them from wear and ensure they always look great, providing the light and ventilation you expect. Caring for your skylights isn’t a difficult job; contact your Bethesda roofing contractor if you’d like more information about skylight care or need to schedule a roof and skylight inspection.

Cleaning Your Skylights
The key to maintaining your skylights is keeping them clean. Although you can clean your skylight just like a regular window, its unique location in your roof can make this task slightly more challenging. Start by cleaning the interior portion of your skylight; if you need a ladder to reach your skylight for cleaning, always use caution and make sure your ladder is in good condition before mounting it. Place a plastic tarp or drop cloth underneath the ladder to catch any stray cleaning solution and prevent slipping. To clean the glass, use a natural window cleaner such as a mixture of water and vinegar or water and mild dish soap; you can spray cleaner onto the glass with a spray bottle or spread it over the glass using a soft sponge. Use a squeegee to remove excess liquid and finish by drying any remaining moisture with a soft microfiber cloth. If you have plastic skylights, you can protect the surface using a thin coat of automobile polish or wax. To clean the exterior of your skylight, you’ll need to access your roof—only perform this task if you can safely do so. If you can’t reach your roof easily, your roofing contractor will be happy to help you clean your skylights safely. Once on your roof, never step or lean on your skylight or its frame. You can use a soft mop or spray bottle to apply the same cleaner that you used indoors, starting at the highest point if your skylights are angled. Use a long-handled squeegee to remove excess cleaner and wipe dry with a microfiber cloth attachment.

Checking Your Skylights
In addition to cleaning your skylights, you should check the glass or plastic regularly for scratches, pits, or cracks. If you notice damage to your skylight, contact your roofer for repairs or replacement. Check over the frame of your skylight as well to make sure it is tightly sealed in your roof to prevent leaks and air exchange, which will affect the energy efficiency of your home. If your skylight frames are painted, check with your roofer about the best type of paint to touch them up when they show wear and tear. Hinged skylights that open for ventilation should be opened and closed periodically to make sure the hinges work properly. Remove any dirt or debris from the hinges with a soft cloth and lubricate them with a dry silicone spray or other product as recommended by your roofer.

Well-maintained skylights will offer bright natural light to enhance the comfort and appeal of your home for many years to come. Please click through our website to find out more about our comprehensive roofing services in the Alexandria, Bethesda, Fairfax, and Arlington areas, including skylight installation and green roofing options.

Types of Roof Ventilation Systems

Proper ventilation plays an important role in the function and longevity of your roof. Ventilation is also necessary for a comfortable and energy-efficient home. Without adequate air circulation, your roof could be at risk for deterioration, ice buildup, leaks, or mold growth. Studies indicate that many American homes suffer from inadequate roof ventilation. There are many different types of ventilation systems available to protect your roof and improve the energy efficiency of your home—keep reading to learn more about your roof ventilation options in Alexandria, Fairfax, and Bethesda.

Ridge and Soffit Vents
Ridge vents are a common design used in peaked residential roofs. A ridge vent runs the entire length of the roof at the peak and blends naturally into the look of this structure. Ridge roof vents are simple systems with no moving parts; they are typically combined with undereave venting, called soffit vents, to create a complete system that moves air into and out of your attic. Air is drawn in through the soffit vents and expelled through the ridge vent via convection to maintain a cooler, moisture-free attic and protect your roof.

Box Vents
Box vents are a type of low-profile roof vent that form a low, box-like structure on your roof. A box vent is placed directly above a hole cut in your roof to allow air to flow up through the vent. Like ridge vents, box vents are passive systems that incorporate no moving parts. These vents also work best in combination with soffit vents to draw air up into the attic for better circulation. Because box vents are typically small, you may need to install many box vents over the surface of your roof to provide enough ventilation; however, these vents can be installed in any location on your roof for convenience or aesthetics.

Wind Turbine Vents
Wind turbine vents, sometimes called rotary vents, incorporate a moving system of vanes. Although a wind turbine vent doesn’t need the wind to work, this type of vent will draw more air up and out of your attic when the wind is blowing for increased efficiency. When there is no wind, a wind turbine vent acts just like a box vent, allowing hot air to escape from your home passively through a hole in your roof. Wind turbine vents have a slightly larger profile than box vents, but you may need fewer of them to achieve the ventilation you need because they can be more efficient.

Power Ventilators
Power ventilators incorporate motor-driven fans to actively draw hot air and moisture up out of your attic at any time. These vents can be tied into your home’s electrical grid or installed with a solar panel to provide natural power to each unit. Power vents may incorporate temperature and humidity sensors, which prompt them to activate when conditions in your attic indicate that ventilation is needed. These types of vents look much like box vents, but fewer vents may be required overall due to their efficiency.

Do you know if your home’s roof incorporates the ventilation it needs for efficiency and longevity? Visit our website today to reach an experienced roofing contractor in your area for more information about the needs of your residential roof, including maintenance, repair, and new roof or ventilation system installation.  

Troubleshooting Common Washing Machine Problems

You rely on your washing machine for clean, fresh laundry whenever you need it. Thus, it’s extremely inconvenient when your washing machine doesn’t work as expected. Knowing the most common washing machine problems and how to troubleshoot them can help you save time and stress if your washer goes on the fritz. Don’t hesitate to call in your Portland appliance repair expert if you can’t puzzle out the issue or don’t feel comfortable making repairs yourself.

Power and Water
The two things your washing machine needs to operate properly are water and power. Interruptions in either of these two necessities will hinder proper washing, so these are the first things you’ll want to check if your washing machine isn’t working. Make sure the appliance is plugged in and that the cord and plug appear in good condition without any damage or fraying. Also check your circuit breaker to make sure your washing machine is receiving power. Your washing machine will also have one or two hoses at the back, which is where it receives its water. There should also be a valve mounted on your wall that opens and closes the water line. Make sure both hoses are connected properly and aren’t damaged; also check that the valve is open so your washing machine can receive water.

Dirt and Debris
Although you may not realize it, your washing machine needs to be cleaned regularly. Dirt and debris, such as lint and other clothing fibers, can build up inside the appliance and cause problems during washing cycles. Soap scum left over from detergent can also cause clogs or poor quality performance over time. To clean your washing machine, run it through a cycle with either 1/2 cup baking soda or three cups of vinegar. Additionally, your washing machine has a lint trap that needs to be emptied periodically for the best results. Check your user’s manual or contact an appliance professional if you aren’t sure where your washing machine’s lint trap is located or how to check it.

Leaks are one of the most common washing machine complaints. A leak may be caused by many things, so it’s important to check over your entire washing machine to find the source of your problem. First, check the water supply connections to make sure the hoses are attached snugly to the wall outlets and your washing machine. Also ensure that the hoses are in good repair and not leaking themselves. Next, find your washing machine’s drain hose and check its connections and integrity as well. Inspect the wash tub, which could be cracked or dislodged enough to allow water to leak out during wash cycles. Also examine any seals around your washing machine and make sure the lid closes properly, as a dented or problematic lid may also be responsible for leaks.

With proper maintenance and the repairs it needs to combat normal wear and tear, your washing machine will continue to stand ready every laundry day. Please visit our website for more information about appliance repair in Portland or to schedule service online. We also invite you to look through our blog, where you’ll find more helpful tips, troubleshooting information, and brand spotlights.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Commercial Plumbing Updates to Save You Water and Money

Saving water means saving money for residential and commercial property owners alike. Making a few simple updates to your commercial property can drastically reduce your daily water usage to add up to significant savings each year. If your commercial building in Anderson, SC, older than a decade and hasn’t been recently updated, it could be time to look at the many benefits of updating your plumbing and fixtures.

Toilet Updates
In most businesses settings, the majority of your building’s water usage is attributed to toilets. Most toilets that are ten years old or older use 3.5-7 gallons of water per flush or more, while modern high-efficiency toilets can drastically reduce that value. A typical high-efficiency toilet uses 1.6 gallons per flush; thus, replacing your older models with new ones can add up to significant water savings. Replacing your 3.5-gallon toilets with 1.6-gallon models could save you on the order of $100 annually per toilet if each toilet is flushed 30 times per day. Other options to consider when updating your restroom facilities include dual-flush flushometers, which adjust the amount of water used per flush depending on need, and waterless urinals, which require no water to flush at all.

Faucet Updates
Sinks represent another source of significant water usage in any commercial building, including both restroom and kitchen sinks. Updating your faucets will not only improve the look of your facilities, but reduce water usage in these areas as well. Touchless or automatic faucets are a popular restroom upgrade that work by sensing the presence of hands held in front of or under the faucet. This process eliminates the water wasted during the time it takes to turn the faucet on and off, as well as preventing faucets from being left running by accident. Both touchless and manual faucets are available with low-flow features, which reduce the amount of water used with an aerator that mixes air with the water as it pours from the faucet. Aerators can reduce the amount of water each faucet uses by up to 75% without compromising the water pressure needed to wash hands properly.

Grease Trap Updates
Restaurants and many other commercial buildings are required to maintain a grease trap to collect greases and fats before water is flushed into the sewer system. However, an old or inefficient grease trap could be costing you extra money by affecting the function of your plumbing, even causing you to use more water in an attempt to flush out stubborn drains. Upgrading your grease trap to a modern, efficient system can help you save money on water and plumbing repairs over the long term, resulting in a healthier plumbing system that works as it should.

If you own a commercial building, updating your plumbing offers many benefits. You’ll enjoy lower water usage and reduced water bills, as well as more efficient plumbing that is less prone to problems. Visit our website to find out more about our residential and commercial plumbing services throughout the Anderson area; check out our blog for even more water-saving and plumbing maintenance tips.  

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.