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Install a Sump Pump

Sump pump is a term used to describe a small pump that is installed somewhere in the lowest part of the basement or crawlspace so that it can keep the foundation area of the building dry.

Water can damage the roots of the building and thus sump pump is installed to keep the area under the building dry and away from even the minute chances of flooding.

It pumps the water out of the building without letting the soil under the building absorb it so as to maintain the strength of the structure.

This post is to guide you with the DIY steps of installing a sump pump. You can hire a professional to do the same if you are not comfortable doing it yourself but at least you should be aware of the process so that you can monitor the installation closely.

Step #1: Determining the Location of the Pump

The initiation of installation will be from finding an ideal location to install the pump. Two things which you need to take care of while choosing the location include presence of an electrical plug and the place where water clogging happens.

If this spot is sloped downward and is near to an outside wall then there is nothing like it as it will help in installing the pipes easily!

Step #2: Digging a Hole

You may have to rent a jackhammer to dig a hole which is six inches deeper and ten inches wider than the sump. Before you place the sump into this hole you should put gravel equivalent to three inches in this hole to provide extra solid protection to the sump. You might have to use this gravel to fill up the gaps to ensure proper fit of the sump.

Step #3: Installing Discharge & Pump Pipes

The size of PVC pipe and adapters that you might require to complete the installation is as per the brand of your sump. Hence you may refer to instructions for them.

The discharge pipe needs to connect to the pipe leading from pump and should be sealed with silicone chalk to tighten the grip and ensure that there is no leakage.

Pedestal and submersible pumps are installed outside and inside the basin respectively to ensure that when water is collected is in the basin the pump should not get stuck as otherwise it would cause the pump to work incorrectly.

All you have to ensure is that yard grade is appropriately fit and won’t let the water flow back towards the foundation. Hence, after the discharge and pump pipes are adequately set in place, a check valve is installed on the open end of discharge pipe to ensure that water is not flowing back into the basin.

Apply sealant to the hold from the where the PVC is coming out of the house so that water should be discharged only through those pipes.

Step #4: Test the Pump & Cover the Sump

Pour a bucket of water in the sump basin and activate the sump pump to check if it is working fine and not spreading out the water to undesired location. If everything is fine, you may plug the pump and cover the sump to keep it in place and place gravel around the pipe.

Install an Invisible Dog Fence

running dog

You want your home to be comfortable for your dog and convenient for you. You should install a dog door in your home to allow your dog in and out of your home without requiring you to let him or her in and out.

You should also install a fence around your property to ensure the dog does not leave the safety of your yard. You can either install a wood fence or chain link fence. Otherwise, there is a more modern option. You can install an invisible dog fence.

An invisible dog fence is a series of wires underground that surround the boundary lines of your home. The wires emit a small current to a device on your dog’s collar the creates a minor shock.

The intent of this system is that after one or two shocks, your dog will learn not to attempt to cross the invisible fence and the boundary lines.

STEPS TO INSTALL AN INVISIBLE DOG FENCE

You should map out the boundary lines for your invisible dog fence. You need to call 811 and your local utility providers to ensure that you can dig along the boundary lines you map out in your yard. Once you know where you will bury the wires in the yard, you can start the process.

You will need to dig a trench along the boundary lines. The trench doesn’t need to be more than 1-in or 6-inches deep. You just need to dig the shovel into the ground once and then tamper the wire into the soil. Just be careful not to cut or damage the wire in the process of burying it underground.

Once the wire is sufficiently buried, cover the trend with dirt and soil and move on to the next section of the boundary line. Continue this process until a wire is buried around the perimeter of your home.

You should mark the boundary line with a red flag ever 2-3 feet. The flags will provide visual representation of the invisible fence for your dog so he or she can learn how far they can roam throughout the yard.

You should be able to remove the flags from the yard after a few weeks as your dog will learn not to cross the lines fairly quickly. You now have a fence that is easy to maintain and protect your pet for many years.

Where to Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Your Home

In recent years, it has become standard for homeowners to install carbon monoxide detectors in their home. This is after several tragic stories related to children and families dying in the night due to CO poisoning from carbon monoxide in the home. The gas is invisible and almost odorless and hard to detect without detectors in the home.

The most common question when it comes to carbon monoxide detectors is where to install them? This post from Ezquiz Home Care Tips will offer information on the best locations for carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

HOW TO INSTALL A CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR

There are several brands and models of carbon monoxide detectors to choose from but for the most part the installation process is similar. Each detector ranges from $10-50 a piece depending on the model you purchase.

You will likely need a drill as well as a screwdriver to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home. To install the device should not require more than 5-10 minutes each. We recommend that you follow the exact instructions from the manufacturer of the detector for the best results.

BEST LOCATIONS FOR CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS

The standard rule for carbon monoxide detectors is that a minimum of one should be installed on each floor of a home. You should place the detector at eye level and in locations where the alarm will be heard and loud enough even in the middle of the night when everyone in your home is asleep.

This rule includes basements too. If you have a basement in your home or a subground level in your home you need to install a carbon monoxide detector in that room too.

You want the detector at eye level because unlike a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide detector has a digital display to communicate the current CO levels in the home. You want the display to read “0” at all times and you should monitor the display each time you pass the detector in your home. The best location would be in your hallway and near the entryway of your bedroom and other interior doors. You can never be too safe when it comes to your home and your family.

Do not place the detector near a water heater or a gas furnace or other fuel combustible devices in your home. These devices can lead to false alarms from the detector due to minor emissions of the gas. We also do not recommend placing the detectors in the garage, laundry rooms or kitchens either for the same reason.

Each model and brand of carbon monoxide detector comes with a recommend expiration date for the device. You can purchase 5-year or 10-year models. Do not forget to replace the carbon monoxide detectors in your home. We recommend changing them a few months before the expiration date in order to be 100% certain that the device is still functioning to the best of its ability.

We hope this post answered all of your questions concerning carbon monoxide detectors and where to place the devices in your home. Please use our contact form here to send us questions about this post.

How to Install a Dog Door

dog door

In our last blog post, we outlined how to install an interior door in your home. We’re continuing the door theme in this post today. Instead of interior doors, we will be explaining how to install a dog door in your home for easy entry and exit for your pet.

You will love this project if you live with a dog. The addition of a dog door in your home is extremely convenient. You won’t have to get up in the middle of the night to let your dog outside anymore.

This will help avoid “accidents” in your home and on your carpet too. Pet urine stains are very bad for carpet according to chemdrybexarco.com. These types of stains can cause permanent damage to your carpet pad and subfloor.

Let’s get started. Here is how to install a dog door in your home:

The first thing to determine is where you want to install the dog door. This will usually be on your back door connected to a mud room, laundry room or your kitchen. The door you choose should lead directly to a safe open space outdoors for your dog to go to the bathroom and relax and play.

Then you need to decide which dog door to purchase. There are several brands and models to choose from. You can buy a metal dog door or a plastic one but be sure to purchase a size that is large enough for your dog to comfortably enter and exit the door.

You should measure your dog from shoulder to shoulder and add 2 inches. Then measure your dog from shoulder to the bottom of their torso and add 2 inches. This should ensure that your dog can comfortably use the door.

We recommend removing the door from the hinges before beginning the installation process. You can lay the door onto sawhorses or a bench and the project will be much easier. Be sure to set the exterior side up and cut through the bottom of the door, not the top.

The door you purchase should come with an outline or template. You will use this to trace along the door to create the necessary cutout for the door. Be sure the cutout is at least 3 inches from any edge of the door.

Now place the door frame into the cutout and use a pencil to mark the screw holes for the frame. Then remove the frame and drill the holes for the screws. Now hold the inside frame beneath the door and screw the frame in from the bottom. Now the dog door is installed.

All that is left is to reattach your door to the hinges and train your dog to use the door going forward.

Most models available for purchase at the hardware store also include a solid plastic cover to slide into the door to close access if you do not want your dog exiting or anything from the outside entering through the door.

You and your dog will love this addition to your home!

How to Install Interior Doors

interior doors

Your wood doors in your home receive a lot of use over time and eventually need to be replaced for both function and appearance. The good news is that it is a very easy home repair to install interior doors.

You will either need to purchase a pre-hung door if the door frame is damaged or a slab or blank door if the door frame is intact. There are many types of interior doors to choose from. Purchase one that best fits the style of your home.

If you need to purchase a pre-hung door be sure to purchase one with the correct swing. Open the door and stand with your back to the hinges. If the doorknob is on the left side, you will need a left-handed door. Some pre-hung doors have a beveled edge on the left side so be sure to look for this.

Be sure to purchase a door that is the same size as the old door too and be sure to use the same size hinges for the door to open and close properly.

You can now remove the doorknob and lock hardware as well as the hinges and remove the old door from the frame.

Lie the old door on top of the new door and ensure the dimensions are in sync. Trace a pencil along the new door where there is excess. Cut the excess with an electric saw. Trace the locations of the door knob and hinges on the new door.

Use a chisel to outline the edges of the hinge location on the new door. Then make relief cuts a couple of centimeters apart and chisel out the wood for an indent that will accommodate the hinges.

Now hold the hinge in place and drill in the screws to fasten the hinge to the new slab door. Now drill the holes for the doorknob and the edge borehole for the locking mechanism and latch.

If needed, now is the time to paint the new door. Do not wait until after the new door is hung on the frame.

Now return to the door frame and attach the jam and strike plate for the new hardware. Now set the door in the hinges and insert the hinge pins. Test to see if the new door is opening and closing correctly.

There should be about a 1/8th inch clearance at the top of the door and along the side of the door. You only need 1/16th inch of space on the hinge side. If the door is too tight in the frame you should remove it and saw off a little more of the excess until the door fits properly in the frame.

Continue to saw excess and test the door until it fits perfectly. Then you can install the doorknob and hardware on the new door. Test the doorknob. If everything is correct you are finished.

Installing interior doors is a relatively simple home repair project that shouldn’t require more than a couple of hours to complete. If you are not comfortable using saws and some of the equipment necessary for this project, consider hiring a professional repair man near your home.

Money-Saving Home Maintenance Projects that Should be on Top of your List

We’re are always excited and happy about the new home we just bought. We just can’t wait to move into the dream home. Most homeowners get frustrated and they joy ends as soon as they move into the new home only to find unexpected repairs. Everything might have seemed fine when you moved but after a couple of years, things start changing as the basement start getting flooded and the roof start dripping. The good news is that you can avoid such catastrophes by maintaining and taking proper care of your home. Here are some money-saving home maintenance projects that need to be at to of your to-do list.

Inspecting your Gutters and Downspouts

An improperly installed and a damaged gutter system and downspouts will result in foundation damage. It will start with a leaking basement before the foundation gets damaged. May also result in wood rot and infestation of pests such as termites which might end up damaging your property. It’s, therefore, crucial that you maintain and clean your gutters on a regular basis. In addition, make sure the nearby trees are well pruned and trimmed to reduce the amount of debris and leaves falling on your roof. Remember to position your downspouts well so that they can effectively direct rainwater far away from your home’s foundation.

Attending to your HVAC system

Your home serves as a place of relaxation and comfort as you stay away from the busy and tiresome work and daily routine. The HVAC system in your home helps in regulating and keeping your home’s temperature comfortable during the different seasons of the year. These systems should be regularly maintained to ensure optimal performance and prevent them from breaking down. Work with an HVAC expert to inspect them at least every month and replace any damaged or worn out components.

Finding and Sealing Air Leaks

Make sure any crack, seam, and opening in your home is sealed to prevent loss of energy. Air leaks will increase the cost of your energy bill since they tend to suck energy from your home. Hire a professional to inspect and determine if there are air leak sources in your home.

Assessing your Attic Insulation

Your roof’s attic system is responsible for retaining heat, controlling moisture and ensuring proper ventilation. It’s important that your attic has proper insulation to make sure your home temperature is not affected. A well-insulated attic will keep your home cool during the hot summer days and warm in the cold winter season. That means you won’t spend extra or a lot of money on your monthly energy bills.

Checking for Water Leaks and fixing them

You can’t fix what you cannot detect. A good way of preventing water damage and mold or mildew growth is detecting and fixing water leaks early enough. Start with your under-sink cabinets and your ceilings. Any signs of staining on your ceiling would indicate roof leaks. Also check all your toilets. Don’t forget to hire a professional roofer to carefully inspect your roofing system for any damage or issues. This should be done at least once a year and anytime there’s a severe weather condition such as hail storms or high winds.