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Roof Vents and Attic Vents

Roof vents and attic vents are an extremely important component of your home. Their function is to create balanced air flow and ventilation in the attic. Without proper balance, problems can occur. The right number of roof and attic vents will extend the life of your roof and help prevent expensive repairs.

The Problems Resulting from Inadequate Roof and Attic Vents

* Air gets rapped in the attic with improper ventilation, creating an ideal environment for mold to grow. Mold can lead to serious health problems.
* Your air conditioning system will have to work harder. During the summer, the temperature in your attic can reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit. This forces your air conditioner to work harder to keep your home cool. This wastes of energy and results in higher energy bills.
* The hot air can bake the underside of your roofing and shingles, causing them to warp or crack, shortening their lifespan.
* During the winter, the warm, moist air from your heating system gets trapped in the attic. This causes snow on the roof to melt. When the outside air temperature drops, the melted snow freezes into ice and causes ice dams. Ice dams often lead to roof leaks and shingle damage.

Types of Vents: Intake Vents and Exhaust Vents

There are two types of attic and roof vents: intake vents and exhaust vents. Intake vents are those placed along the soffit (the area under the overhang). Intake vents allow fresh air into the attic. Exhaust vents are installed in the upper third of the roof to allow the air in the attic to escape.

Intake Vents

There are three types of intake vents used for residential roofing: gable, static and soffit. Each vent provides a different form of ventilation and is important to the overall functioning of your roof.

1. Gable - These vents are installed in the gable wall located right below the peak of the roof. Gable vents help heat escape during the summer and they prevent condensation during the winter. There are many decorative gable vents on the market, available in different shapes and colors.

2. Static - Also known as louvers, static roof vents are covered openings on the roof. They allow air to escape from the attic. Several static roof vents are required to properly ventilate the attic. They are installed near the top of the roof.

3. Soffit - Soffit vents are located under the eaves, right near the gutters.

Exhaust Vents

There are two types of exhaust vents: static vents and power vents

1. Static Vents - These allow air to escape without power. Ridge vents are one type of static vents. They allow the most air to escape and are installed near the roof peak. Ridge vents are the most effective types of vents.

2. Power Ventilators - These vents remove air from the attic. Also known as turbine vents, they use the power of the wind to move the air in and out of the attic. They are installed along the face of the roof. When the wind blows, it spins the turbine, which draws air up and out of the attic.


Gutter Cleaning Tips and Tools

Gutters need to be cleaned regularly. The most common type of debris found in gutters is leaves, small twigs and branches. Debris in gutters causes corrosion and could puncture your gutters. Sixty percent of gutter clogs are caused by debris located at the top of the gutters. Cleaning your gutters properly will help you avoid costly repairs and prevent water from seeping into your home. Overflowing gutters will eventually allow water to seep under the shingles on your roof and into your walls through ridge vents and windows. Plus, clogged gutters are heavy and could cause the gutters to loosen.

Gutter Cleaning Tools
Gutter cleaning tools can help facilitate a thorough cleaning of your gutters. There are many gutter cleaning tools on the market that you can purchase to help clean your gutters. Good-quality gutter cleaning tools can be purchased for under $100. If you don't want to spend the money on a specialized gutter cleaning tool, transform tools you already have into gutter cleaners. There are several tools that you probably have in your home that can easily double as a gutter cleaning tool. A trowel, garden spade or spatula makes a great gutter cleaning tool. If you are physically unable to clean your gutters, hire a professional gutter cleaning company to do it for you.

Gutter Cleaning: Four Easy Steps

1. Clean out the downspout debris. Begin at the bottom of the downspout. Use the trowel to scoop out debris.

2. Clean out the gutter debris. Carefully position and climb up a ladder. Scoop out debris with your hands. Alternatively, use a gutter cleaning tool as directed.

3. Clean out the gutter with a hose. Wash out each end of the gutter using a hose. For the best results, use a high pressured nozzle.

4. Clear additional debris. If the water is not flowing steadily through the gutters, then there is still debris that needs to be cleared. Gently use a plumber's snake to remove additional debris.

Additional Gutter Cleaning Tips:

* Follow proper safety precautions when using a ladder. Never place a ladder on ice. Place the ladder on a firm, level base. Avoid leaning an extension ladder against the gutter as it could dent or damage the gutter.
* Wear gloves to protect your hands. Gutters have sharp metal screws sticking out into their troughs.
* Wear safety glasses or goggles.
* Make sure that the downspouts are cleared before you start flushing the gutters with water.
* Rent, borrow or purchase a power washer to deep clean the gutters. If you clean the gutters a few times a year, you can avoid the need to power wash.
* Inspect the gutters for any damage.


6 Mistakes Not to Make With Laser Measurement Systems

If you run any type of manufacturing process, then having your equipment properly calibrated to the right standards is absolutely necessary. You can't afford to have your equipment create anything that isn't to standard.

If you do, you may end up with parts that don't fit, or products that won't work. Since laser measurement systems are the most accurate, this is where you will want to start when getting the services you need.

Optical alignment services are one of the most common processes for calibrating your equipment. Although highly specialized, this process is readily available. What's key is to get these services done on a regular basis.

If you want to purchase these services, then make sure you avoid making the following mistakes:

1. Don't work with anyone who isn't certified. This is a highly specialized service and because it, you need someone who knows how to do the job right. When shopping for these services, you'll want to make sure that you not only check their certification, but you also want to check their experience.

2. Don't wait until your equipment breaks before you use these types of services. It's absolutely crucial that you calibrate your equipment on a regular basis. If you don't, then it could cost you a lot more money in the long run, first because you'll have to pay for emergency services. Second because your equipment will make parts and products that don't meet your specifications.

3. You didn't check to make sure the company had the precision measurement services you need. It's absolutely critical that you find a company that offers the process you need. If they don't, you will have wasted your time with a company that can't help you. Make sure you know your equipment. Then you'll be able to get the job done right, as well as fast.

4. You didn't take the time to shop online. Let's face it, everyone does business on the internet these days, and if they don't, they're leaving money on the table. You will save yourself a lot of time by shopping online. This will allow you to compare services, as well as qualifications, and you won't have to talk to anyone until you have found the companies you want to consider.

Once you have found the right companies, then call them up. Ask them questions. Get all of your questions answered before you make a commitment.

5. You have no clue about what type of equipment you need to calibrate. It's difficult to get a quote, or to find the right calibration services if you don't know what the equipment is. This can be easily solved simply by having the make, model and any other relevant information necessary to get the most accurate information.

6. You didn't get a quote. A quote can save you a lot of money, so once you have selected the companies that offer what you need, ask them for quotes. This way you'll save a lot of money. If you don't like the company you're working with, you can always change, and the quotes you have on hand will allow you to select a new company much quicker.

Laser measurement systems, specifically optical alignment services are a specialized form of precision measurement that requires not just highly specialized equipment but also trained and certified technicians who can properly calibrate your equipment. It's important that you find these services before you need them and maintain your equipment on a regular basis. Otherwise, you could face problems in your industrial process.

Don't neglect this. It will save you time and money in the end.


What Is A Deep Cycle Battery?

A lead-acid battery that is designed to be deeply discharged during use is called a deep cycle battery (DCB). They are re-chargable and meant to be used over and over again.

They differ from starter batteries (CS), like those in an automobile, that are designed to deliver short bursts of high current to crank an engine to start it. They rarely use more than a small portion of their stored capacity. A DCB may be used as a CS, however, with the lower "cranking amps" it puts out, it would generally need to be over-sized.

Deep-cycle batteries are generally 50-80 percent discharged during their normal cycle of use. They may be cycled down to as far as 20 percent but this decreases lifespan and increases cost of replacements. It is not a recommended practice.

As a rule of thumb, 50 percent discharge is the optimum rate to get the best service out of these products. This is linked directly to the number of times they may be charged/discharged over the useful life of the battery.

The main difference between deep cycle and cranking batteries is in the lead plates contained in them. DCB's have thicker plates, high density paste material and thicker separators. These thicker plates resist corrosion through longer periods cycling.

Deep cycle batteries can be found in use just about anywhere. Some common uses include:

* Forklifts
* Marine
* Wheelchairs
* Holding cells for solar panels
* RV's
* ATV's
* Snowmobiles
* Trolling motors

Flooded batteries lose some electrolyte by evaporation during charging. They must be regularly maintained and inspected with water added as needed.

This problem is largely overcome with SAL (sealed acid lead) type batteries. They are virtually maintenance free. These are the more popular and versatile type of DCB's available today.

Most failures of deep-cycle batteries can be attributed to degeneration of the active material of the plates. Another common fault is corrosion of the internal grid that holds active material.

Storage capacity of a deep cycle battery is usually limited by electrolyte capacity and not plate mass. This improves life expectancy.

There is an environmental impact to be considered with the disposition of discarded units. Most DCB's in the marketplace today are lead acid batteries. They are most often recycled and reclaimed.

These units are recycled at very high rates of recovery:

* 98% by volume, 99.5% by weight
* The plastic cases, lead plates, sulfuric acid, solder, and other metals are 100% recovered for reuse.
* The paper separators that wrap the plates are the only thing not recoverable.

Those are pretty phenomenal numbers in our eco-sensitive society. Recovery rate is 97% industry wide on all lead acid batteries sold in the United States. This results in nearly a closed manufacturing cycle in the this industry.


Portable Air Compressor to the Rescue

Last week I decided to help my Dad power wash the cedar siding on his house. It has been about 15 years since it was last done, and it was really showing signs of needing help. The mold and darkened surface was significant. Anyway, I decided to use a regular gasoline power washer to clean the wood. It worked like a charm, and before lone, the job was done and sitting there dry. Since it needs some time to fully dry out before applying stain, I had some time to consider how I wanted to apply it. Of course, brushing is probably the very best way to really get the stain into the wood, but I was also interested in saving a little time. I preferred to just use a sprayer to apply the stain. My search soon revealed that a portable air compressor was something I would "need". Funny how our wants and needs intersect at times, isn't it?

I found a nice air powered air gun at a local hardware store. At first it seemed just perfect. I was about to buy it when I noticed on the little description card that it was not recommended to be used with a compressor smaller than 6 gallons. Dang! The portable air compressor I had was only a small 2 gallon pancake compressor. That just wouldn't cut it. I had to buy a larger unit so that I could get the gun, so that I could finish the house project. See how this goes.

I looked over my options and soon settled on a 20 gallon portable air compressor that would not only adequately run this particular tool, but would also serve my needs going forward. You never know what use you might find for such a great machine. Being able to power up and use tools with pressurized air is clean, efficient, powerful, and fun.

I returned to the job site with my new goodies and soon discovered that I had indeed made the right choice. The compressor started right up and was soon pressurized and ready to go. I hooked up the hose and gun, filled the reservoir with stain, and started systematically applying it to the siding. The portable air compressor was on wheels, and easy to maneuver. I could see the dry wood soaking up the stain and I was happy I'd opted for this method of application. I dreaded the idea of having to brush stain on for hours on end. Once I had the first coat on I let it set for a couple hours while I took a break, then went back out and applied a second coat. This probably would have been sufficient, but I had read that the very best thing to do when applying stain with a sprayer is to go back and brush over the job. Doing this really drove the stain into the wood and allowed it to fill every little pore.

A portable air compressor is what made this job not only possible, but also enjoyable and satisfying as well. Who knows when I might use it again. I am, however, glad that I have what I need now to do all sorts of jobs I couldn't do before.


Assessing the Quality of Storm Doors and Metal Gates

Anyone who wants to protect their home knows the value of installing storm doors and metal gates. While all manufacturers will tout their products as being of the best quality, this is not always true. As such, it is important to know how what to look for when buying storm doors.

It is also important to know that cost is not necessarily an indicator of quality. Some metal doors while not expensive can stand up to the elements and break-in attempts. Conversely, some expensive storm storms will not live up to expectations.

When checking out storm doors you need to think about security, weather protection, or both as these will play a part in any buying decision. If security is the main aim, then look for those that have security grills as part of the design. If weather protection is the prime concern, bear in mind that some types of material such as wood, will not stand up to lots of rain.

What to Look For in Storm Doors

There are many ways to learn what to look for when evaluating the quality of storm doors and metal gates. This information is available online as well as from some manufacturers of these products.

* The Material Used: This is an important, possibly the most important consideration when checking out storm doors. Most are made of metal, wood, fiberglass, plastic, vinyl or a combination of materials. Aluminum clad in vinyl is now a more popular choice than wood as it is much stronger and durable, plus it is inexpensive.

Of course, iron is the strongest and it lasts longer, so it therefore tends to be the material of choice when security is a priority. Of course, this quality comes at a higher price than those made from other materials.

* Types of locks: When it comes to security, the strength and quality of storm doors mean nothing if the locking system is below par. Multi-point locks that feature more than one bolt and latches are worth considering.

Tamper-proof dead bolts are also highly recommended as security locks. These help keep the door sturdy and make them less likely to cave in when under attack from the elements or man.

* The frame used: No matter how good the storm doors are,if the frames used to support them are substandard then security and quality will be compromised. The best quality frames are made from aluminum or fiberglass, although metal-clad wood is also becoming popular. Regular wood frames are not highly rated when security is the main concern.

* The type of finish: If the door is located in an area where it will get a beating from the weather, the finish is important. Wood for example will need to be treated periodically to keep it from becoming warped. It must also be protected from insects like termites that can cause significant damage.

If purchasing in-store, do not be afraid to test them out, looking for defects such as a rough finish or scratched and damaged frames. When shopping this way you can easily compare the look and feel of various brands before deciding. Ask questions of the sales representatives, they should be knowledgeable about the brands they carry.

Once you have purchased your storm doors and metal gates you need to ensure that they serve you for a long time. One way to do this is to get warranties on the items. That means that when doing your comparison-shopping, you select only the dealers that offer this.

It is also important that you follow instructions on maintenance and care for these doors. Good quality storm doors and metal gates should not need a lot of maintenance to keep on doing what they should. The designs of most of these essential fixtures are now quite attractive and it is easy to find a look that suits the decor of your home.


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