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Newsletter Articles - 4th Editions


“How To Determine If It’s Time To Replace Your Roof”

Asphalt roofing shingles deteriorate slowly over time. This can make it difficult to determine when to sink time and money into repairing an older roof and when to invest in a new roof.

The longevity of your roof depends on many factors, including: shingle weight, the quality of installation, ventilation in the attic and the degree of exposure. Shingles that last 25 years on one house may only last 15 years on another. Shingle decay is the most accurate indicator of your roof’s remaining life. There are three stages of shingle wear and decay that you can spot from the ground.

1. In stage one, the colored stone granules that are embedded in the shingle’s asphalt surface begin to wear away. This stage is easy to spot on a light-colored roof because as the granules wear away, you will see patches of the base material, jet-black asphalt exposed. If you have a dark-colored roof, you need to do an up-close inspection of the shingles. Generally, roofs do not leak at this stage. The asphalt, however, becomes brittle and begins to curl. Curling is also a sign of poor attic ventilation.

2. In stage two, bare spots of asphalt become clearly visible and are widespread. The roof will appear blotchy and gray. At this point, in most cases, it’s still possible to correct the problem by installing a new layer of shingles over your existing shingles. This is called a “layover” and is less costly than tearing off the existing shingles and starting from scratch.

3. In stage three, exposed sections of your shingles will crack and begin to break off. You’ll also find worn shingles in your gutters or on the ground. You’ll also see exposed nail heads on your roof that were previously covered by the missing shingles. At this stage, the missing shingles will cause bare spots on your roof. If you don’t have leaks already, you soon will. If you’re only missing a few shingles, it’s still possible to lay a new layer of shingles over your existing roof.If, however, you have many spots where your shingles have worn away, most of the remaining shingles are probably so brittle and curled that a new layer won't lie flat. In this case a complete removal of the old shingles and replacement with new shingles is necessary.

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"How To Increase Your Home's Value By 10% ! "

When you increase your home's physical appeal, the overall value of your home can go up by a whopping 10%!

You can accomplish this by planting colorful flowering trees and shrubs that bloom in the spring, produce fruits and berries in the summer, and have colorful foliage in the fall.

For starters, your best bets are aromatic sumac, bayberry, firethorn, hawthorn, and the American cranberry bush.

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"Amazing Uses For A Common Household Product ."

You're probably familiar with the popular lubricating spray WD-40. But what you probably don't know is that it has hundreds of uses other than loosening rusty bolts.

Did you know that WD-40.

* Keeps dogs, flies, and maggots out of trashcans.

* Removes stickers and adhesives from glass.

* Loosens stuck light bulbs.

* Removes scuff marks, rust, gum, and stubborn stains from linoleum and tile floors.

* Keeps mud from sticking to leather and plastic boots.

* Removes oil spots from the garage and driveway.

* Quiets squeaky door hinges.

* Cleans car battery posts and terminals.

* Protects saw blades and makes cutting easier.

* Prevents rust on outdoor furniture.

* Makes window shades roll easier.

* Protects and cleans electric shavers.

* Removes crayon and other marks off walls and floors.

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"Home Safety Tips ."

Each year, there are nearly 600 deaths in the U.S. caused by electrocution. As you perform outdoor spring-cleaning projects this year, keep these important safety measures in mind:

* Before each use, inspect power tools and electric lawn tools for frayed power cords, broken plugs, or broken housings.

* When using extension cords outside, make sure they are marked for outdoor use.

* Unplug your power tools when they're not in use, as some internal parts may remain electrically charged even though they are not turned on.

* To reduce the risk of cutting a power cord while mowing, cutting hedges, or trimming weeds, start in the area nearest the outlet and work away from it. You'll always want the cord to be behind you.

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"The First Thing You Should Do Before You Paint A Room! "

Thinking about painting a room? Did you know that you should consider having the carpets professionally cleaned before repainting or remodeling a room?

Cleaning will bring out the carpet's true color. This will help you set up the color scheme for wall finishes and room furnishings, and allow you to pick the perfect color for that room!

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"Here's How To Take The Mystery Out Of Choosing The Right Paint For Your Home "

Ever notice how paint colors always look different on your wall then on the sample sheet at the paint store? The reason they can appear so different is because there are several different paint finishes available in the same shade of color. A paint color can appear slightly darker or lighter depending on the finish you choose. There are several paint finishes you can choose from, with each one reflecting a different amount of light, thereby changing its hue. The most common finishes available today are flat, eggshell, and gloss. Here's how to choose which one is best for you.

Flat finish: a flat finish will appear lighter because it reflects less light than an eggshell finish. It's also the easiest to touch up when walls get scuffed or nicked. Flat finishes work well on ceilings and in rooms where sheetrock joints are more visible. The flat finish helps to minimize the appearance of wall imperfections.

Eggshell finish: an eggshell finish will reflect a warm luster and has a slight sheen. It is used most in formal spaces and is more difficult to touch up. It's common to paint living room walls with eggshell because of its inviting tones.

Gloss finish: a gloss finish will reflect the greatest amount light and will appear darkest. In general, gloss finishes are used in modern interiors or in spaces that demand a wipe-able finish, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Semi-gloss finishes are commonly used on trim and cabinets.

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"How To Give Your Deck A Facelift In Just 5 Easy Steps!"

In many situations, it only takes a year or two for a beautiful and healthy looking deck to appear ragged and weather-beaten. A worn and dreary looking deck can take the fun out of using it for barbeques, get-togethers, and relaxation.

What looks like severe deck damage can often be fixed with the right materials and a little elbow grease! To give your deck a facelift, follow these five easy steps and your deck should look as good as new by the end of the day.

Materials. stain or finish that is suited to your wood.

Tools. screwdriver, hammer, flat pry bar, drill with screwdriver bit, paint brush or roller, sanding block, pressure washer.

Step 1-Deck inspection : Check all of the boards carefully for deterioration. If your deck was constructed with pressure-treated wood, it will be quite resistant to rot. If you have a deck that was built with cedar, redwood, or other untreated wood, there is a slightly higher risk of rotting. Just about any wood can be subject to decay if it stays wet long enough. Rot will often occur under the deck boards, on the underside of stair treads, and at the ledger (the ledger is the board that is attached to the house). Run your screwdriver across the ledger to see if there is any rotting.

Step 2-Deck repairs : If you discover rot and it is less than ½ inch deep, the board can be left in place. If the rot is deeper and more extensive, the board will have to be replaced. Use your flat pry bar to remove the rotten boards and replace them with rot-resistant wood. If you find that the deck nails or

boards are popping up, do not hammer the old nails down again. Simply remove the nails and replace them with either longer nails or deck screws.

Step 3-Preventive rot maintenance : if any part of your deck stays wet for a day or more after rainfall, take action to dry it out. This is as simple as sweeping away standing water and sweeping away leaves and other debris from between the boards. Also, be sure that all bushes and tree limbs are cut back away from your deck and that downspouts direct water away from your deck.

Step 4-Cleaning discolored wood : if your deck has a dull gray color, chances are it's covered with a thin film of mildew and needs nothing more than a good cleaning. One of the easiest ways to remove mold and mildew from a deck is by using oxalic acid (wood bleach). You simply mix water with the oxalic acid, scrub your deck, and rinse it off. To give your deck a quick and easy cleaning, rent a pressure washer that's equipped with a fan tip. Spray quickly and evenly across the deck boards.

Step 5-Sealing and finishing : when you are finished cleaning your deck and the boards are completely dry, it's best to apply a sealant to your deck.

Many high quality sealants are available at your local hardware or paint supply store. A good finish will contain oil or paraffin to keep out moisture. It should also contain UV blockers to protect your wood from the sun's damaging rays. Many finishes also contain insecticides that fight off wood-eating bugs. You can apply the finish using a paint brush or paint roller, or even a pump-style sprayer. Simply apply an even coat of finish and you'll have a deck that you can enjoy all season long.

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"What To Do When Your Doorbell Isn't Doing Its Job ! "

If your doorbell conks out on you, don't rush to the phone to call an electrician. It's very likely that you can fix the problem yourself in a matter of minutes.

The most common problem that will cause a doorbell to quit is corrosion on the contacts. It only takes a little corrosion to break the electrical connection.

When repairing the doorbell, the first thing you want to do is completely turn off the power. Next, remove the button cover. Then, loosen the screws that hold the doorbell wire and pull the wire away from the screws. Clean each wire and connection with sandpaper or emery cloth until they shine. After the wires and contacts are clean, reattach them, turn on the power, and give it a test. If the doorbell still fails to ring, simply replace the button. Replacement doorbell kits can be found at your local hardware store.

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"A Timely Guide On How To Choose The Best Firewood ! "

A crackling fire on a chilly evening will go a long way to warm the heart and soul. Fires also provide a cozy place for friends and family to gather, especially during the holidays. You can use this handy guide to help you pick the best wood for your fireplace.

Types of firewood. in general, oak is one of the most popular firewoods. There are many different oak varieties available. Oak is long burning, usually lasting 1 to 1 ½ hours per log. It's slightly higher priced than other woods, but it smells nice, splits easy, and lasts long. Other popular wood burning alternatives would be: ash, beech, birch, dogwood, elm, hickory, maple, pinion pine, pine, pecan, mesquite, and juniper.

The key to good firewood. the wood's moisture content is one of the key factors for a successful burn, so be sure the firewood has been properly dried. Quality firewood dealers will dry their wood for 12-15 months before selling it. Buying wood from the supermarket will most likely leave you with firewood that's only been dried for 3 months. Supermarket wood is sold wet and will pop and split when burned. The trick is to know your dealer. By calling the National Chimney Sweep Guild at (317) 871-0030 , you can get quality references for firewood dealers in our area.

How firewood is measured. firewood should be sold by the cord or increments of a cord. Beware of folks selling firewood by the "truckload". A cord is a measurement of neatly stacked and rowed firewood that equals 128 cubic feet. The stack measures four-feet tall by four-feet wide by eight-feet long. A good dealer will have increments from an eighth of a cord on up.

Storing your firewood. to get the most out of your firewood, you'll want to store it outside on a rack. Keep the firewood off the ground to prevent rotting. Properly stored firewood can easily last up to a year.

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"2 Simple Ways To Reduce Harmful Bathroom Mold ! "

Most folks aren't aware of this, but bathroom mold can cause a host of sinus and respiratory illnesses.

To help prevent mold from forming, you'll want to leave your shower door/curtain open when it is not in use. Also, you'll want to run the exhaust fan while showering and for 15 minutes after showering is over. For added protection, you can squeegee excess water from the tub and walls.

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"Life Saving Tip From Firemen & Paramedics ! "

One of the biggest complaints from firemen and paramedics is that they cannot see the street addresses of the homes they are responding to! Rescue officials say that most addresses are hard to read or impossible to find.

Solution : Use large, reflective letter and number characters to denote your address. Make sure your address is easily read from the center of the street, at night and during poor visibility! This will help ensure that rescue officials are able to find you.

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"An Easy Energy Savings ... "

If you have Venetian blinds, did you know that the direction of the blinds can directly affect heat and energy loss? Believe it or not, there is a right way and a wrong way to slant the blinds during the colder months.

During the cold months, when your Venetian blinds are closed, the slats should be slanted from indoors to outdoors (up). Slanting the blinds this way will trap the cool air between the window and the blinds and will keep the cold air from entering your room. Also, make sure the blinds are fully lowered so they touch the windowsill.

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B&B Contractors
10 Greenhill Road
West Chester, Pa 19380
Phone: 610-696-0294

E-mail us at: bbcontractors@verizon.net


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