Getting A Grip On Cupped Wood Flooring

Cupped wood flooring isn’t the hottest new style. Instead, it’s something that you’d never want to see after installing your beautiful wood flooring. Knowing how this all-too-common wood floor failure occurs is the key to making sure it doesn’t happen to your installation. What Is It and How Does It Happen? Cupping is commonly defined as a condition where the sides of the wood flooring board are higher than its center. In other words, the board bows into a concave shape, giving it a cup-like appearance. The floor itself takes on an unattractive and bumpy washboard appearance. In any cupping case, the main culprit is bound to be moisture. The wood itself has an equilibrium moisture content (EMC) that’s affected by both temperature and relative humidity of the air around it. As a result, the wood gains and sheds moisture as it attempts to achieve equilibrium with its surrounding environment. In a high-humidity environment, the wood boards swell as they absorb moisture. This causes adjacent boards to be crushed by the expanding boards, forcing them to bow inwards into a gentle “U” shape. What Causes Cupping? Cupping is a problem that has a number of unique causes. Knowing which one applies to your own home goes a long way towards getting the problem taken care of: High indoor relative humidity is a common cause of cupping and other types...

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Tips For Designing A Coastal-Themed Fence For Your Home

Living in a city that’s close to the coast has its benefits—you’re minutes away from the beach, the weather is perfect nearly all year long, and your neighborhood has a relaxed vibe. However, incorporating these traits in your landscape design can be a difficult task—especially when you’re considering installing a fence around your home. By following these tips, you can make your custom fencing design match perfectly with your lifestyle: Choose An Appropriate Material Coastal climates typically have a higher salt concentration in the atmosphere than inland cities due to their vicinity with the ocean. For this reason, it’s necessary that the material you choose for your fence will be able to withstand constant exposure to salt-filled air and high levels of humidity. Unfortunately, wood and wrought-iron are highly susceptible to weathering in your region’s climate. Luckily, other materials, such as vinyl or glass, can be expected to last decades even while constantly exposed to salty air and humidity due to their impermeable surface. However, vinyl and glass fencing can be expensive. If you’re worried about the initial cost of constructing a vinyl or glass fence on your property, then the next best material would be a wood that’s been pressure treated. Pressure treating is the task of applying preservatives to wood. The preservatives used to pressure treat wood that’s intended for fencing protects the wood from weather and...

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Nuisance Vs. Threat: Which Bugs To Ignore And Which To Exterminate

Home invading pests are unpleasant no matter how innocuous they are. If you find yourself with an infestation, is it really important to call an exterminator right away, or should you try to live with the bugs a little longer? Below is a basic guide to what pests you need to rid yourself of right away, and which ones are ugly but pose no real threat. The list might surprise you. Ants Ants are one of the most common home invading insects. Most people will have encounters with ants at some point in their lives, because ants are so numerous. The ratio of ants to humans is approximately 1.5 million to one.  So, with so many ants in the world, what havoc can they wreak? Hardly any, as it turns out. They may be unsightly, you may hate seeing them in your cabinets and on your counters, but they don’t post any serious health threat, and they almost never do any serious structural damage.  If you find yourself struggling with an ant invasion, simply leave out ant bait. Baits work because the worker ants take the bait home to their colony, destroying them at their roots. Don’t try to use sprays, because killing a few individual ants won’t solve your problem. Spiders Arachnophobes may want to skip this section, because even though spiders are one of America’s most common...

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Semi Truck Fleet Owners: 4 Practices For Pavement Longevity In Your Truck Yard

Do you own a fleet of semi trucks? If so, you know the damage big rig trucks are capable of inflicting on the asphalt pavement in your truck yard. What you may not know, however, is that much of this damage can be slowed, or eliminated altogether by employing some forward-thinking preventative measures. Check out the following four practices for increasing the longevity of your truck yard’s asphalt parking lot. 1.  Make The Right Tire Selection When the Florida State Department of Transportation ran some tests to determine the effects of tire type on asphalt damage, they found that super single tires were more detrimental than any other type. The reason for this is that super singles provide less rubber-to-asphalt contact than other tires, so the weight of the trucks that have them is more centralized on a single point of pavement, as opposed to being spread out and dispersed as much as possible.  The more stress that is on a single point in the pavement, the more that pavement is prone to cracking and rutting. When choosing tires for your fleet of semi trucks, stick with dual tires or wide-based tires to distribute the weight of each truck over a greater amount of pavement surface. 2.  Provide Your Trucks With Plenty Of Turnaround Room When semi trucks and their trailers have to turn sharply, their tires grind against...

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Keep The Garage Door Shut To Protect Your Home

Your garage door is the single biggest entryway into your home. And in some homes, it is also the busiest entrance and exit to a house. Unfortunately, burglars also love using garage doors to access your home. To keep these unwanted guests from gaining access to your house, it would be wise to heed the following tips: Close It When You’re Not in the Garage Sounds simple, right? But too many homeowners forget to shut their garage doors or assume that their homes are safe if someone is at home while the garage door is open. In fact, in about half of all residential burglaries, thieves entered a home through an open garage door. And, of course, everything in your garage—from your children’s bikes to the beer in your garage fridge—can also be quickly stolen by an intrepid burglar. Law enforcement officials recommend that you close your garage even if you are in the house or in your backyard working on your yard. At the very least, you should lock the door between your house and the garage. Always check your garage door at night before retiring for the evening to ensure that it is shut. Many thieves aren’t afraid to enter a home even if the occupants are sleeping inside of it. Maintain Your Garage Door Thieves will take advantage of garage doors that are broken or are poorly maintained. For example,...

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Ammonia Refrigeration And Human Health: Advice For Employers

Ammonia is one of the most common industrial chemicals used in the United States. Agricultural fertilizer uses 80 percent of the ammonia produced in America, but the chemical is also a common choice for refrigeration, as well as plastic manufacturing, pesticides and dyes. Although ammonia serves many useful purposes, it can also present a significant risk to human health. If you depend on ammonia refrigeration to keep your business running, learn about the health implications of this important chemical, and what you need to do to protect your employees. The properties of ammonia Ammonia is a chemical mixture of nitrogen and hydrogen. The chemical is soluble in water, and is often available in a liquid solution known as aqua ammonia. The ammonia that businesses use in refrigeration is anhydrous, which means that it is pure and doesn’t contain any water. To work effectively, the ammonia used for refrigeration must remain 99.95 percent pure. Impurities can enter ammonia refrigeration systems in several ways, through leaks, during repairs and while naturally breaking down. Workplace hazards from ammonia Ammonia is a high health hazard because it presents several risks to human health. According to the United States Department of Labor, ammonia exposure becomes immediately dangerous to life at a level of 300 parts per million or more. Where the chemical is at a concentration of between 15 and 28 percent by volume...

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Window AC Installation Mistakes That Can Damage Your Home And Your Unit

Air conditioners have become standard units throughout most American homes. Just about every home you enter will have a central air conditioning system, a window AC unit or a wall AC unit. Window units are more common in the Northeast than in the Midwest, South and West. As the owner of a window unit, proper installation is a must, because even the simplest mistake can damage your home and your unit. Window Units Not Designed for Walls Although they may have a similar appearance, window units differ from wall units. Approximately 58% of homes throughout the Northeast use either window or wall AC units. Some homes use a combination of central air conditioning and window or wall units. Wall units use a unique design that allows you to slide the unit into an opening in the wall. A window unit, on the other hand, typically contains side fins for ventilation, which is why you should never attempt to install the unit in the wall. The side fins produce condensation. If you attempt to install a window unit as you would a wall unit, you risk damaging your walls because of the condensation from the side fins. The depth of your walls may potentially block the side fins and create a problem for your unit. For example, partially blocked side fins may cause the unit to push harder to produce...

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3 Issues That Cause Sewer Line Damage

Your plumbing system has worked flawlessly for the past decade, but it’s now causing several problems. Your yard seems to be constantly damp, your drains seem to be slowing, and a terrible odor seems to be wafting around your home. These issues are all symptoms of a cracked sewer line, which is typically caused by one or more of these issues: Shifting Terrain Earthquakes, excavation, and other ground-shaking events—along with natural tectonic plate movement—will cause the terrain surrounding your sewer line to shift. As the terrain around your sewer line shifts, it puts pressure against your rigid pipeline. When the terrain surrounding your line applies a significant amount of pressure against your pipes, they’ll crack. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to prevent shifting terrain from damaging your sewer line aside from replacing the entire line with cast iron pipes. Flaws in Design Laying a sewer line requires a significant amount of planning. If the slope, material, and depth of your pipeline were not designed correctly, then your sewer line will develop several problems as time passes. For example, a sewer line can become frozen in cold climates if it’s not constructed at the proper depth. A frozen sewer line occurs when the snow or ice on your lawn chills and eventually freezes the ground directly beneath it. The climate will only affect the ground beneath it until...

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