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7 Aspects To Consider When Having Your Home Custom Built

Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 in Uncategorized |

If you are about to enter the process of having your new home custom built, there are several things you need to take into consideration. From the style and floor plan of your custom home to the custom home builders you choose, every decision you make will have a great impact on the final outcome. As you begin this new and exciting experience, here are 7 considerations to keep in mind: 1. Be Sure You Are Pre-Qualified for a Custom Construction Financing Loan Before you set out to find custom home builders, you’ll want to be certain that you pre-qualify for financing. This may help you avoid disappointment if you are not pre-approved. There may be various types of home construction loans available that you qualify for. Check with lenders to learn more. 2. Choose the Perfect Custom Home Builder The custom home builders you choose should be based upon your needs. For instance, when selecting your home builders, consider your price range. Define your requirements by considering the size of the home you will want built. Some custom home builders specialize in building homes in one size and price range, while many others build various-sized homes with a wider price range. Of course, you will want your home builder to be licensed and fully insured, as well as provide references from past clients. Did you know that in some states, it is not a requirement to be licensed to build homes? Experience counts as well, and generally speaking, the more experience a home builder has, the more confident you may feel. 3. Decide Upon the Right Location for Your New Home If you don’t already own the lot in which to build your new custom designed home, you will have to choose a lot and location that suits your needs. Your custom home builder can offer suggestions and help you in your decision of location. Custom home builders often have a variety of lots in various locations, so you will want to ponder this decision carefully. Alternatively, you might want to enlist the services of a land specialist when choosing your land. 4. Take a Tour of Model Homes Before You Decide This is an imperative step to take prior to the building process. After all, you will want to see various floor plans and home styles to give you inspiration and see first-hand how the home will suit your needs. Ask to tour various homes which the builder has constructed so you can see the work up close. To help you visualize the floor plans, your custom home builder may offer three-dimensional renderings for you to view at your leisure. After viewing the renderings, you can discuss any changes or additions you’d prefer before construction on your new home actually begins. 5. Inquire About the Warranty Coverage Having a new home custom built will typically include a warranty of the components inside, as well as the home itself. For your peace of mind, be sure the warranty is transferable to a new owner should you decide to sell your home in the near future. 6. Ask About Upgrades While having your new custom home built, you might want to consider upgrades and how they will fit into your financing budget. For instance, do you want hardwood floors?...

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3 Things That You Shouldn’t Do In Your Septic Drain Field

Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Your septic drain field might just look like a patch of your grass on your property, but if you aren’t careful, you could do damage to your septic tank and system if you aren’t careful about what you do in this area. These are a few things that you shouldn’t do in your septic drain field. 1. Drive If at all possible, it’s smart to avoid driving your vehicle over your septic drain field. This additional weight can be too much for this area to bear, and it can cause damage to your septic system if you aren’t careful, such as by crushing pipes. Even though occasionally driving over this area might not cause any damage, it’s best to avoid doing it when you can. Additionally, you should not park on top of your septic drain field, and if you are having a party or will otherwise have a lot of people parking on your property, you should consider roping this area off to prevent people from driving or parking there. 2. Plant Trees Did you know that planting trees and other plants that have major root systems can be a bad thing for your drain field and septic system? This is because as your plants grow, the roots can spread and can cause damage to pipes and the soil. Even though a few small plants with tiny root systems might not be a big deal, planting trees or other larger plants should be avoided. 3. Pouring Out the Wrong Things Chemicals can affect your septic system’s health. Not only should you be careful about what you pour down your drains and flush down your toilet, but you should also be careful about what you pour out in your drain field. Be cautious about pouring out cleaning supplies, paint, pesticides and other similar products in the drain field area. Otherwise, you have to worry about the good bacteria in your septic system being killed, making it impossible for your system to properly do its job. As you can see, there are a few simple things that you should keep in mind in your drain field area if you want to keep your septic tank and its accompanying system working as they are supposed to. Otherwise, you might find that your septic system could be seriously damaged, and pipes may have to be replaced, or your septic tank might have to be pumped prematurely because it is not able to do its job as it is supposed to. For repairs and cleanup, call professionals like Moon Site &...

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Why Opting For A Gravel Driveway Is Ideal

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Uncategorized |

There are many types of materials that can be used for paving a driveway. However, some of the materials are more durable than others. If you are fed up with the amount of maintenance that your driveway needs each year, it might be time to switch to a different type of material. Gravel is a great pavement material choice for numerous reasons, so you should consider investing in some. Take a look at this article to learn about some of the things that makes a gravel driveway a wise investment. Your Driveway Will Flood Less Often One of the problems that many homeowners have with their driveways is improper drainage when it rains. Water can sit on the pavement for a long time before it is gone, which can cause many problems. The great thing about a gravel driveway is that the water will drain off of the surface in a timely manner. The water will simply seep down into the rocks. There will be a smaller chance of flooding when it rains. Different Gravel Types Are Available for Appeal Don’t think that your driveway will have no appeal if you opt for gravel. You will be happy to know that gravel is actually available in numerous colors, so you can make the driveway look as appealing as you desire it to be. Appeal can also be added by choosing specific sizes of gravel and getting creative. A contractor can give you design ideas if you are unable to come up with one on your own. There Will Be Little Maintenance Involved The best thing about using gravel for driveway construction is that you won’t have to do much maintenance. Less maintenance also means that there will be less money spent on repairs. If the gravel becomes uneven as time passes by, you can actually use a rake to fix the problem. If you ever develop pot holes due to gravel being displaced, you can easily purchase new gravel and fill the holes in on your own. Professional Paving Assistance Will Be Affordable You will enjoy the affordability of getting a gravel driveway constructed by a professional. There is less work involved with the paving process, so you will have lower labor fees to pay. The driveway can also be completed in a timely manner, which is another reason why you won’t have to spend a lot of money on getting it constructed. For more information on gravel, contact a company like The Dirt Hauling...

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2 Sump Pump Backup Options

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 in Uncategorized |

If you live in an area where you rely on a sump pump to keep your basement dry, making sure that it does not fail is probably very important to you. After all, if your sump pump stops working at a critical moment, you could find yourself dealing with major flooding in your basement and even into the rest of your home. Making sure that your existing sump pump is in good condition is a good way to protect yourself, but you may still want to have a backup option. These are your two main options to consider. 1. Install a Battery Back-Up System One popular choice is to install a battery back-up system on your existing sump pump. This can be a good choice because it does not require you to buy an additional system, so it can be more affordable if you are on a budget. Basically, if the power goes out in your home, the battery back-up system should kick in and make sure that your sump pump is still working. It is still important to make sure that your sump pump is kept in good condition because you won’t have another system to fall back on in the event that the sump pump itself stops working rather than just losing power. 2. Install a Battery-Powered, Back-Up System Another option, and one that you might want to consider if you have a little more to spend or if you are particularly concerned about flooding, is to install a secondary system that is also powered by a battery. Then, if the power goes out or if your primary pump fails for another reason, your back-up system will turn on and will take over the job. This option can be much more expensive than simply buying a battery system for your existing sump pump. The good thing, however, is that you will have an entire back-up system to rely on in the event that something goes wrong with your primary system. As you can see, you do have your options when it comes to choosing a back-up system for your sump pump. Don’t just wait until something happens to start looking into a back-up system; instead, consider talking to a sump pump installation professional about these two options. Then, you can assess your needs and budget and can choose the one that is right for your home. Check out for more...

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Migrating To VoIP? Make Sure Your Fire Alarm System Can Handle The Transition

Posted by on Nov 8, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Fire alarm systems play a pivotal role in saving lives and, in many cases, limiting property damage. Transitioning your building from traditional phone service to Voice over IP (VoIP) can cause some unexpected problems, including how to handle fire alarm monitoring in a reliable manner. When dealing with older protocols, older equipment, and tight timetables, it’s important to understand how the switchover can affect fire systems communications and learn ways to mitigate the various issues posed by VoIP networking. The Problem with Leaving POTS Behind For decades, Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) was the undisputed standard for most communications, including fire warning equipment. Nearly every building is wired for POTS, and older National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes required buildings to maintain at least one dedicated POTS line. These days, POTS usage is quickly falling by the wayside in favor of other technologies that are making use of improved Internet protocol (IP) communications. But leaving POTS in the dust poses plenty of challenges for anyone making the switch to VoIP. Unlike analog networks that are optimized for voice communication, IP networks are optimized for data. Data compatibility issues stemming from the conversion of analog signals into digital format can prevent analog dialers on older fire alarm panels from successfully sending the correct signals to a monitoring station. Power outages can also pose a problem for fire alarm panels reliant on VoIP. A POTS line supplies its own power and fails only when a line at the interface box is cut or when there’s an outage originating with the phone company. In contrast, a power outage can interrupt modem and router equipment, taking the VoIP line with it until power is restored. Weaknesses in VoIP Attempts to integrate older fire alarm systems into a VoIP network often reveal weaknesses in VoIP itself: Errors in sampling can occur when converting analog signals into usable digital data, resulting in portions of the alarm tone information being lost. Hardware or software failures that prevent certain VoIP accessory devices from working can also prevent the fire alarm system from transmitting its signals. Internet connection instability problems caused by heavy traffic, cyber-attacks, or other uncontrollable issues can disrupt fire alarm monitoring service. Cellular to the Rescue Upgrading your fire alarm panel may be the easiest way to mitigate issues surrounding older panels and VoIP, but budgetary concerns may rule out such a drastic move. In the meantime, there are a number of alternatives available that resolve the above issues with VoIP. One such alternative involves the use of cellular communications for fire alarm signal transmission. GSM communicators allow fire alarm panels to transmit signals over GSM cellular networks — the same networks used for cell phones worldwide. This feature completely bypasses VoIP, giving you an alternative that isn’t affected by the limitations of VoIP systems. GSM communicators can be easily integrated into existing fire alarm panels, making them an inexpensive alternative when compared to a complete systems upgrade. GSM communicators are also able to transfer more data to the monitoring station, allowing fire alarm panels to communicate not only the existence of an alarm, but also detailed information on where the alarm is located. This detailed information can help firefighters mount a more effective response to fires. According to Rodger Reiswig, Director of Industry Relations...

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Plumbing a Wet Bar in Your Oft-Flooded Basement? What Precautions Should You Take?

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’ve always dreamed of spending time in your own basement bar, you may already be outlining construction plans in your head. Although building a wet bar from scratch can take more than a few weekends of work (not to mention some do-it-yourself blog reading and viewing of online videos), the project is achievable for the handy homeowner. However, if your basement tends to take on water after your area has received rain for more than a few days in a row, successfully plumbing a wet bar can become more complicated, and failing to control the flow of floodwater into your basement while generating outflow through the drains and dishwasher can result in more than wet socks. Read on for some of the factors you’ll want to consider and preliminary steps you should take before undertaking construction of a basement wet bar.  What should you do to eliminate flooding issues before building a bar? Building and plumbing a basement bar becomes much less complex when you’ve already undertaken efforts to eliminate flooding issues in your basement once and for all. Your first steps will likely vary somewhat depending upon the source of your flooding. In some cases, a house is simply constructed on or near a floodplain so that some seepage is unavoidable. However, by insulating the interior walls of your home with a moisture-retardant barrier and then installing an additional layer of drywall on top of this barrier, you’ll be able to prevent much of the floodwater from seeping directly through your walls. A moisture barrier on the outside of your foundation (for partially-submerged basements) can also help.  You’ll also want to ensure that your sump pump is up to the task of constant pumping through floods—and if you don’t already have a sump pump, a heavy-duty one should be your next home investment. This pump will be submerged beneath the floor surface in your basement, where it can pump out any rising groundwater and ensure that it doesn’t breach the underside of your home’s foundation.  Finally, you’ll want to check—and perhaps update—the backflow valves on each of the drainage pipes running from your basement. These valves are crucial in preventing floodwater or backed-up sewage from returning into your home through its drainage pipes, and a failed or broken backflow valve can cause major plumbing problems during heavy rain. You may need to enlist the services of a plumber to survey your sump pump and backflow valves to ensure they’re in good working condition and up to the task of the additional water and waste needs of a wet bar.  What types of plumbing are best for basements that tend to flood?  In some cases, you may be better off simply constructing a holding tank (like a miniature septic tank that can be pumped more easily) rather than connecting your basement’s wet bar to your home’s drainage pipes. You’ll still be able to take advantage of your home’s water supply without risking clogs, backed-up pipes, or other plumbing issues often inherent with waste pipes that need to flow upward.  However, if you’re planning heavy or frequent usage of your basement bar, you’ll likely be best served by hooking up with the rest of your home’s plumbing. You may need to invest in a sewage pump that will help force...

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5 Reasons Why Dry Cellulose Is The Best Insulation Material For Your Detached Garage

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Dry cellulose has replaced fiberglass as the insulation of choice when it comes to retrofitting detached garages. The dry cellulose material provides excellent noise cancellation, moisture control, heat transfer prevention and fire resistance. Furthermore, cellulose is made from two environmentally friendly, renewable materials: recycled newspaper material and borate powder products. When you select dry cellulose insulation for your detached garage renovation, you can rest assured the material will greatly benefit both the condition of your building and the environment. Read on to learn more about the five main benefits of choosing dry cellulose insulation. Noise Cancellation Dry cellulose insulation is densely packed into the garage walls through small openings made between the framing lumber. The densely packed material dramatically reduces noise from traveling through the walls by absorbing the sound vibrations. In fact, up to 80% of noise is canceled as it attempts to travel through the cellulose material. The insulation will muffle sound coming from next door or down the street, so you can think about your next project in peace without having to leave your garage or wear earplugs. Your neighbors will also be safe from the racket caused by your air and power tool usage as you forge ahead with your garage tasks. Moisture Control Dry cellulose actually keeps moisture from accumulating inside your walls by allowing it to migrate through the fibers. As the moisture migrates, it quickly evaporates, leaving the inside of your walls clean and dry. With such a quick evaporation rate, mold and mildew do not have a chance to build up in your walls. Your insulation contractor will likely not need to install a vapor barrier with the dense pack, dry cellulose due to its supreme moisture dissipation abilities. Heat Transfer Prevention The resistance to heat flow, or R-value, of dry cellulose insulation is approximately four per inch, which is double the rating of low density fiberglass. As a result, cellulose dramatically decreases heat transfer through the garage’s exterior walls. The material also prevents air leakage from affecting the temperature in the garage as caulk, windows seals and other barrier materials start to wear out over time. Fire Resistance Dry cellulose insulation contains up to 20% boric acid, ammonium sulfate or other flame retardant substances. The flame retardant minerals are added to the cellulose material after it goes through the hammer milling process. These natural minerals keep the cellulose fibers from smoldering, smoking or fully combusting when exposed to extreme heat. As an added benefit, these substances act as an insecticide by abrading the exoskeleton of insects, like ants, cockroaches and beetles, and causing them to dehydrate and die.   Environmentally Friendly Although it can last a long time, fiberglass is largely made out of nonrenewable materials. Dry cellulose insulation, on the other hand, is primarily constructed out of recycled newspaper placed in community bins. The waste paper is shredded into tiny fragments in a single step process performed by the hammermill tumbler. The flame retardant minerals added to the finished paper shreds are naturally found in the environment and only pose a real threat to insects that come in close proximity to the insulation. The minerals are not toxic to humans or animals, especially when used as a confined element in your cellulose insulation. Insulating Your Garage Build When you...

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Listing Your Home For Sale? What Improvements Can Fetch You The Highest Purchase Price?

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’re planning to sell the home in which you’ve spent most of your adult life and downsize to a smaller place with less upkeep, you may be looking at your surroundings with a newly critical eye. The imperfections inherent in a home that has been well-used over the years can be endearing and even bring back memories for homeowners, but they will likely just look like chipped paint or stained carpet to prospective buyers. What can you do to quickly get your home into showroom shape without cutting into your sales profit? Read on to learn more about the most effective pre-listing improvements you can do yourself, as well as some for which you may want to enlist professional assistance.   What pre-listing improvements can you perform yourself? Much of what you’ll need to do to make your home “show” better is purely cosmetic. Repainting your home in a neutral color can help you mask many imperfections and give buyers more of a blank slate within which to imagine their own furniture and decor. Before repainting, you’ll be able to patch any holes you’ve accumulated in the drywall over the years, from the dents and dings caused by furniture to pinpricks and nail holes from where you’ve hung artwork. After your paint job has been completed, you’ll be left with a fresh-smelling and immaculate series of walls that can help your home appear brand new again. You should be able to do this repainting yourself by purchasing a few gallons of neutral paint (high gloss or semi-gloss is usually the best choice to repel handprints and surface dirt), some paint rollers, painting tape, and a plastic or canvas tarp to protect your floors. After taping off any areas that aren’t to be painted (like baseboards, crown molding, or door jambs), you’ll want to fill in holes or other imperfections with drywall putty and level the surface with a putty knife. Once the putty has dried in place, you’ll use the paint roller to fully cover the surface of the wall with a thin layer of paint. Depending upon the color of the paint you’re covering, you may be able to get by with a single layer of high-quality paint; for darker paint, several layers may be necessary. By that same token, replacing older or worn flooring can be a cost-effective way to give your home a facelift. Just as neutral, newly-painted walls can encourage buyers to imagine their own artwork or family photos hanging in your home, new floors can rejuvenate a room and eliminate any lingering odors or stains (particularly if you’re replacing carpet in a home with pets).   While you may be willing to give your prospective buyers a generous allowance to purchase and install their own floors after closing, many buyers are unable or unwilling to look this far ahead, and may simply write your home off as an option due to the worn or dirty-looking carpets or damaged laminate or hardwood floors.  Many household flooring options once required professional installation for a seamless look. However, many brands of laminate, engineered hardwood, and even carpet are now designed with the do-it-yourselfer in mind. These solid-surface flooring panels often snap together to create a “floating floor,” rather than requiring installation with nails and glue; meanwhile,...

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4 Garden Design Ideas You Can Create Using Topsoil And Gravel

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Landscaping with gardens is an excellent way to improve curb appeal, increase your overall property value, and provide your household with free food throughout the year. Produce such as tomatoes, peppers, and squash are sure to add lots of color to your landscape design and offer you access to plenty of fresh ingredients for your meals on a regular basis. As long as your gardens are well designed and easily accessible, it should be fairly easy to care for them throughout the year. Here are four garden design ideas that may meet your specific needs and preferences: Perimeter Gardens You can effectively create a privacy hedge by planting gardens along the entire perimeter of your property. Install lattice of two or three inch height along the edge of your property line and plant vine veggies in front of the lattice so they’ll grow up and along it to create extra privacy for your yard. Fill in the garden with topsoil for a clean look, and add a walkway in front of the gardens along the entirety of your property’s perimeter. It’s a good idea to make a small wall between the garden and gravel walkway using larger rocks about the size of your hand. Simply place a line of larger rocks where the topsoil of your gardens and the gravel walkway meet. This will keep the soil from spilling over into the walkway and minimize maintenance needs as time goes on. Orchard Gardens Create an orchard look in your yard by planting your gardens in multiple rows and leaving space to walk between each one. Start by preparing garden plots of about 12 inches wide and four to six feet in length, and about two feet apart from one another so there’s room to walk between them. Plant produce such as green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplant along the prepared plots, and add a layer of topsoil to make the garden plots look uniform in size. Between each plot, put layers of gravel down to create paths that you can use to easily and quickly care for your plants. Gardens with Water Features If you want to create an upscale look, consider adding water features to your gardens. This can be done with the help of a couple solar water fountains and garden hoses. Create a simple water feature by making a flat space in your garden with gravel that your water fountain can sit on. The gravel will slow down any water that falls on it and help ensure that the fountain doesn’t drown nearby plants. For a more dramatic look and feel, place a small black pond liner in the middle of your garden and pile gravel along the edges of it to make it look like it’s built into the ground. Fill the pond liner with water and place a waterproof stand in the middle to put your fountain on top of. When turned on, the fountain will spray water into the pond liner and create a waterfall effect to enjoy. Centerpiece Gardens If you’re not interested in spending a lot of time caring for your gardens to ensure that they thrive, you can create a centerpiece garden or two that look impressive but don’t require a lot of work. To make a centerpiece garden, place...

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Insulate Your Garage Door with These Three Ideas

Posted by on Apr 13, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you use your garage as a workshop, an art studio, an office, a laundry room, or any other space where you spend a lot of time, you may want to insulate your garage door. Insulation reduces the heat loss from your garage and helps keep it warm. There are several different DIY insulating ideas to consider, such as these three: 1. Polyethylene Film If you don’t use your garage for your car any longer and you don’t care whether or not you can open the door, you can use polyethylene film to insulate it. A single layer of polyethylene film provides some insulation, and thick double-layered film provides even more. To install it, you simply need to roll out several pieces of film and pull them over the inside of your door. Then, secure the film to the walls around your door using staples, u-nails, or adhesive. Make sure that the film extends above and below the door as well to prevent cool air from seeping through those openings. The drawback of poly film is that, again, it blocks your door from opening and closing, and it doesn’t insulate as well as foam or other types of installation. 2. Foam Insulation Boards To insulate with foam boards, measure the panels of your garage door. Then, cut foam insulation boards to size with a sharp knife. Use silicone or another type of strong adhesive to glue the boards to the inside of your garage door. If you like, you can add extra insulation to your door by leaving an air gap between the insulating board and the garage door. To do this, cut heavy-duty strips of cardboard the same width as your garage door panels. Glue a piece of cardboard on the top and bottom of each panel. Then, adhere the insulating boards to the strips of cardboard. The cardboard makes the insulation jut out a bit, creating a space for air. Before adding the insulation to your garage door, weigh all of your materials. Then, check how much weight your garage door opening mechanisms are designed to hold—this information should be in the user’s manual that came with your garage door opener. If you overweight the door, the springs will be under too much tension, and they could snap and come loose from the door. If you are not sure whether or not your garage door opener can handle the extra weight, consult with a repair person. They can assess the situation and adjust the springs as needed. Similarly, if you know how much extra weight the door can handle and you plan to add more than that, call a repair person to address the spring tension. 3. Low-Density Spray Foam If you want an easier application process, consider using low-density spray foam to insulate your garage door. There are several types of spray insulation, but if you don’t want to add lots of extra weight to your garage door, you should use low-density spray foam. This is the lightest weight spray foam on the market—unfortunately, however, it doesn’t offer as much insulation as high- and medium-density spray foam. To install it, grab the can of spray foam and spray it over the back of your garage door. Use a back-and-forth motion to cover the panels of your...

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Backups And Overflows And Plugged Drains, Oh My! A Guide To Preventing Common Plumbing Issues

Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Nobody wants to call the plumber at midnight when the toilet is overflowing onto the floor or sewage is spewing out of the bathroom sink. Even having to call for a plugged sink drain in the middle of the day is annoying and costly! Instead of sitting and hoping you never have to make that emergency call to the plumber, why not be proactive? There are five simple habits you can adopt that will greatly reduce your chances of common plumbing issues including backups, overflows and plugged drains. Human Waste and Toilet Paper; Nothing Else Gets Flushed If it’s not number one, number two, or toilet paper, it has no business getting flushed down your toilet. If a little toilet paper gets stuck in a pipe, it will break down and free itself within a period of several hours. However, personal wipes, feminine hygiene products, condoms, and other items take much longer to break down — months in many cases. If one of these items becomes stuck in your toilet drain pipe, it will be there until someone physically frees it. Even if the products says “flushable,” you should avoid flushing it down the toilet. Following this rule will greatly reduce your chances of a backed up or overflowing toilet. Wipe Your Plates Before Washing Them Hopefully you already know not to pour grease, like cooking oil or bacon fat, down your drain. But did you know that the smaller amounts of grease you rinse off of plates and into the kitchen sink can also be harmful? These little amounts of grease can slowly build up in a drain over time, grabbing onto other little food particles that flow past them and eventually leading to a clog. Scrape your plates with a spatula before rinsing them in the sink, and if they are notably greasy, wipe them down with a paper towel that you place in the trash before washing them, too. You should suffer fewer clogs in your kitchen sink as a result. Keep Hair From Going Down the Drain One of the most common contributors to clogged and backed up bathroom drains is human hair. Even if you don’t realize it, you shed hair every time you take a shower. That hair goes down the drain, where its unique texture makes for some remarkably stubborn clogs. Put hair traps in each of your shower and tub drains to catch this hair, and empty them regularly. Plastic hair traps are only a few dollars at home improvement stores, and for just a little more, you can buy some very nice looking metal ones. If you ever wash your hair (or a pet’s hair) in the sink, you should put a hair trap in that sink, too. Put a Screen On Your Washing Machine’s Drain Hose You know how much lint comes off of your clothes and gets stuck in your dryer’s lint trap? Well, lint comes off of your clothes in the washer, too, and it ends up in the drains where it can cause clogs. Place a metal screen over the end of your washer’s drain hose to catch this debris, and change the screen regularly. Metal screens that fit over the end of washer hoses and can be secured with zip ties are sold regularly in...

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