RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Hard Water at Home? Handle It with These Tips

May 20, 2016 1:27 am

Certain areas of the U.S. contain soil replete with calcium and magnesium—two contributors to hard water, or water with a high mineral content, at home. Though hard water poses no health risks, it can damage a home’s plumbing system if not addressed.

“Homeowners and renters who do not have a home water softener or water purification system are probably very familiar with the tough, white residue left over by hard water,” says Josh Kelly of Parker & Sons, an Ariz.-based home services company. “The severity of hard water is measured in grains-per-gallon, or, as we call it in the industry, GPG.”

Severe mineral build-up can accelerate the deterioration of pipes. It can also restrict water flow, creating pressure within the home’s plumbing system.

“There are many different options when it comes to dealing with hard water,” Kelly says. “We suggest doing researching and picking out the method that is best for your home.”

One option is an ion exchange water softener, which removes calcium and magnesium ions and replaces them with sodium ions. The result is softened water with higher sodium content. It is important to note, cautions Kelly, that individuals on a doctor-prescribed low-sodium diet should ask their physician before using.

It is also wise to leave the installation to a professional, Kelly says.

“It is always a good idea to consult with a professional, especially when it comes time to install your water softening system.

“Quality of life will improve almost immediately,” Kelly adds. “Say goodbye to unsightly white deposits on your dishes and glassware, and say hello to clean, soft, delicious-tasting water.”

Source: Parker & Sons

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Maintenance 101: A Structurally Sound Deck

May 20, 2016 1:27 am

(BPT)—A deck isn’t just a bonus for homeowners—it’s sought after by homebuyers, too. In fact, at resale, a wood deck addition can recoup up to 75 percent of its cost, according to Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report.

For maximum return-on-investment, maintain your deck’s structure with the long-term in mind, recommends the Softwood Lumber Board (www.woodnaturally.com).

To start, inspect your deck each year. Go underneath to make sure beams, boards, connectors, fasteners, joists, posts and railings are all stable, says David Finkenbinder, branch engineer with Simpson Strong-Tie, a structural connecting system manufacturer.

“The ledger connection is where the deck connects to the house,” Finkenbinder explains. “It is one of the most common failure points on a poorly built deck. It's very important to use structural screws, rather than nails, to secure your deck ledger board to your home.”

Like a house, a deck should support the weight it will need to carry. The deck should be load-tested, with structural connectors and fasteners spanning from the house to the posts in the ground.

Metal connectors, nails and screws can corrode over time due to the elements, weakening the deck’s structure. Connectors with a zinc-galvanized coating and hot-dip-galvanized fasteners resist this corrosion. If you live along the coast or near a body of water, consider using stainless steel connectors and fasteners.

A licensed contractor or your local building authority can assess your deck to ensure it is up to code. You may also want to review the “DCA 6: - Prescriptive Residential Deck Construction Guide,” a publication by the American Wood Council, at www.awc.org/codes-standards/publications/dca6.

Beyond those measures, the Softwood Lumber Board advises regular maintenance, and a cleaning and/or staining or sealing once a year.

If you have more questions regarding the structure or safety of your deck, consult a professional. He ors he can thoroughly inspect the structure, as well as recommend repairs and estimate costs, if needed.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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