Monthly Archives: August 2016

Solution of Problems Water Pressure

acProblems with water pressure are one of the more annoying things that can go wrong in a house. Showers become less satisfying and dishes are even more of a chore than usual. A lot of homeowners live with these and many other water problems, simply because they aren’t aware of how to fix them (or prevent them in the first place). There are, however, many options available to change your water pressure from bad to “super-bad”.

Urban Water Pressure
Most people get their water from a municipal water company. In the main lines underground, the water pressure is very high. Due to friction, this water loses its pressure between the main line and your home. It loses still more pressure between where it enters the home and the faucet it comes out of. The smaller the space is for the water to move through, the more friction there will be. If water has low pressure when it comes out of a faucet, it means that somewhere between the main line and your sink, the water is experiencing too much friction.

Sometimes, the excess friction is caused by pipes being too small in the first place. A pipe that is 1/2 inch in diameter causes significantly more friction than one that has a 3/4-inch or a full inch diameter. If your home is full of 1/2-inch pipes, replacing the ones that are easily accessible with 3/4-inch pipe will make a noticeable difference. Paying a professional to come in and replace all the plumbing with 3/4-inch pipe will make an enormous difference. People building a new home can upgrade from 1/2-inch pipe to 3/4-inch pipe for a relatively low price and save a lot of hassle in the long run.

Blockage Might be the Problem
Low water pressure can also be caused by blockages or chemical buildup in pipes. Water leaves small mineral deposits (often calcium) as it travels through plumbing. If enough of these deposits stick to the inside of the pipe, they reduce the diameter through which the water can flow (which in turn increases the friction, and so on). Since mineral buildup large enough to affect flow can easily be seen, examining a sample section of pipe from a fixture where the water pressure is low can identify this problem. Chemicals can be used to break down and flush out mineral buildup in these cases.

If your water pressure has been consistently good and suddenly becomes very poor, the problem may be outside of the house with the water main itself. Let the water company know if you suspect that a pressure problem is coming from outside the house.

Well Water Pressure
Homes that use well water instead of municipal water have a water pressure tank. While these homes can have the same sorts of problems that non-well homes do, the water pressure tank can have problems of its own. The tank may be too small to provide all the pressure needed when water is being used in many places at once. It can also leak. Homeowners with wells may want to have their water pressure tank examined for leaks and for capacity if pressure problems arise.

Read more: http://www.homeadvisor.com/article.show.Water-Pressure-Make-Your-Flow-Fly.14498.html#ixzz4Jv51J1LS

Tips To Maximize Your Home’s Curb Appeal

asdCurb appeal is the attractiveness of your home from the curb; this includes the home’s exterior and yard. Having a clean, uncluttered and neat appearance makes a strong first impression to potential buyers and is the key in getting them to view the inside.

Landscaping efforts, even low-cost improvements offer a solid return on investment that you’ll recoup nearly all of. Here are a few tips to maximize your home’s curb appeal.

    1. Mow the Lawn – make sure the lawn is cut regularly – in some cases twice a week to give it a well maintained look. If you don’t have the time hire a service until the house is sold
  • Edge the Lawn – a properly edged lawn stands out and shows your commitment to maintaining the property.
  • A Green Lawn – if the grass is unhealthy or worn plant grass seed and water it to get it back into shape. Patching with turf is a good option for bald spots and heavy trafficked areas.
  • Trim the Trees – tree limbs and foliage should not be touching or hanging near your roofline, have them and hanging limbs removed.
  • Trim the Shrubs – all shrubs should be neatly trimmed – critical for curb appeal.
  • Add Color – plant some color to have the yard pop. Potted annuals at the entrance, near walkways and planting beds can make a big difference. Consult with your local garden center or hire a pro to maximize seasonal color.
  • Pull Weeds – remove weeds from the yard, planting areas and walkways. If you don’t remove the entire root or use a weed killer they will come right back.
  • Mulch & Stone – put a down a fresh layer of mulch and if you have stone make sure all thin and bare spots have proper coverage.
  • Lighting – If you have outside lighting make sure everything works.
  • Clear the Yard – remove all litter, leaves, sticks, and other objects that don’t complement a neat lawn.
  • A Neat Yard – coil water hoses, remove toys from the yard, get rid of broken patio furniture.
  • Seal the Driveway – have the driveway sealed and any cracks repaired.

If your yard and lawn need real help consider hiring a landscape service to get your house ready to compete with others. Again, landscaping offers a great return on investment and having a strong curb appeal is essential to maximizing value and speed of sale.

Using Non-Toxic Weed Control for Your Garden and Green Lawns

Herbicides, whether applied by themselves or in the form of weed and feed products that combine fertilizer and herbicide in one application, can easily run off into streams and lakes and can migrate into groundwater supplies in areas of porous soils.

Preventing Weeds in your Lawn
Weeds move into lawns when conditions favor their growth over that of turf grasses. A healthy lawn will be able to endure drought, diseases and pest infestations better than a stressed lawn. Healthy grasses can also compete better with undesirable weeds.

Promote lawn health by mowing and watering properly:

    • Mow at a 2.5 -3″ height. Taller grass develops deeper roots, an advantage during dry spells
    • Water deeply once a week. Lawns need about an inch of water a week. Supplement with irrigation only when necessary
    • Water early in the morning
  • Water at a rate that the soil can absorb

To control the spread of broad-leaf weeds, try using corn gluten, a non-toxic corn by-product. Apply at the suggested rate in the spring (when forsythia is blooming). Corn gluten will not kill existing weeds, but will prevent new ones from germinating each year that it is applied, and it adds some nitrogen to the soil as well.

Preventing Weeds in Garden Beds
For newly planted beds a two to three inch deep layer of mulch will help keep weeds down until the plants grow and shade the ground. Take care to keep mulch away from the trunks of trees and shrubs as this encourages certain pest problems. Shredded leaves can also be used as a temporary mulch. They will decompose and enrich the soil.

A “living mulch” of ground covers and/or low perennials planted beneath trees and shrubs will add beauty and shade out annual weeds.

Help for Tough-to-Weed Areas
Weeds often take root in between pavers or stones used for walkways and patios, as well as in cracks in asphalt or concrete. Manage weeds in these areas with a highly acidic spray to kill the above-ground portion of the plant.

The commercially available sprays are typically made with vinegar or lemon juice either alone or in combination with herb or citrus oils such as thyme and orange. These sprays work well on annual weeds. Pouring boiling water over the weeds is also an option. Killing perennial weeds with either method will take repeated applications to exhaust the nutrients stored in the root.

Reduce Pesticide Use with Smart Plant Choices
Head off pest and disease problems by choosing plants that have built-in disease and insect resistance.

    • Cool season grasses such as tall and fine fescues, kentucky bluegrass and perennial rye grass are appropriate for the Northeast. Choose fescues for shadier areas. Pick grass seed mixes with more bluegrass for areas that are sunny and will receive a lot of use.
    • Crabapples are a popular tree with multi-season interest. Choose varieties resistant to rust, scab and fireblight – three very common diseases.
    • Roses are susceptible to black spot, but there are some resistant varieties. Or try the hardy “landscape roses” which offer beautiful flowers, excellent cold-hardiness and are disease resistant too.
    • White-barked birches are extremely popular, but plagued by the bronze birch borer. Choose the ‘Heritage’ river birch over the European white birch.
    • Phlox, bee balm and certain asters are susceptible to powdery mildew. Newer cultivars and hybrids such as Phlox ‘David,’ or ‘David’s Lavender,’ New York Aster, and the beebalms ‘Raspberry Wine,’Coral Reef’ and ‘Marshall’s Delight’ are less prone to mildew.
    • Lilacs are also mildew targets. Try ‘Miss Kim,’ the Meyer Lilac, little-leaf lilac or the cultivar ‘James McFarlane.’

Controlling Lawn and Ornamental Pests Naturally
There is an array of natural alternatives to pesticides for controlling insects in your lawn and on your ornamental plants. For example, parasitic nematodes can be applied to the lawn to control grubs before they turn into Japanese and other beetles that eat our plants. Suppressing grubs will also help with mole problems. For specific fixes for insect problems on other ornamentals, consult the Resources page.

Lawns: The Best Way to Fertilize
Over-fertilization or applying fertilizer at the wrong time can harm your lawn. First determine IF there is a nutrient deficiency that needs to be corrected. A soil test can determine this and also give essential information about soil pH. Adding fertilizer will not solve a pH problem. Too much nitrogen decreases root growth, increases susceptibility to disease and decreases tolerance of environmental stresses.

Is the pH Correct?
Turf grasses grow best in soil that is neutral to slightly acidic (pH 6.5-7). Soils in the northeast often need lime to make the soil less acidic. It is best to apply a high-calcium or calcitic limestone rather than dolomitic limestone to avoid adding too much magnesium to the soil.

Adding Nitrogen
Most lawns that are kept green all summer will need extra nitrogen. Nearly 50% of this can be supplied by leaving clippings on the lawn. The best time to apply the other 50% is in the fall (mid to late October). Instead of raking leaves, use a mulching lawn mower to shred the leaves and leave them on the lawn. By spring they will have decomposed, adding nutrients and organic matter to the soil.

Lawns fertilized in the fall will stay greener longer, green-up earlier the following spring, and have higher energy reserves through the summer. This stored energy helps keep turf grasses healthy and more drought resistant. If you fertilize an existing lawn in mid-summer, you’re feeding the weeds.

Broadcasting up to a half of an inch of finished compost on an established lawn provides nitrogen and other trace nutrients and builds organic matter in the soil. More serious nitrogen deficiencies should be corrected with a slow-release, organic source of nitrogen such as blood meal, cottonseed meal or fish meal. Apply in the quantities indicated by your soil test while soil temperatures are above 65 degrees.

How Much Lawn Do You Really Need?
Lawns are often the default landscape, used for “something green” and perceived as low-maintenance. In reality, lawns are one of the most high maintenance and high cost elements of the landscape. Think about how much lawn your lifestyle requires and if there are areas of your yard that could become a garden of perennials and grasses, a mixed shrub border, or a grove of trees with groundcovers beneath.