Your resource of foundation repair information and local contractors.

Need Info or Local Contractor? Call Us: 309-944-7296

AFFILIATIONS

Saving Money and Energy

clock July 21, 2010 15:04 by author blogadmin
Save money and preserve energy by using cool water when washing clothes and replacing light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights.

 

This day and age we are bombarded with Green Products and Energy Saving Devices, but do we really know what they mean or what our goal truly is? Why do we need to save energy? How will it help me? Will what I do really matter in the long run? These are the questions that we are all thinking about, now  we just need some guidance and honest answers.

It is no secret that we cannot continue to increase the demand on our current power sources at our current pace. If our demand for power continues at the current rate, without improvements, we will be in trouble in very short order. Fossil fuels, coal natural gas and petroleum cannot keep up with our current rate of usage growth. Secondary sources of power generation, Nuclear Plants and hydro- electric plants, cannot be built fast enough to compete with demand. All is not lost though.

Renewable energy production, wind, solar and geothermal can increase very quickly and without much burden to consumers. Ten years ago we rarely saw Wind Turbine farms or Solar Farms, they were few and far between – literally. Today you see 250 megawatt wind farms throughout the Midwest (http://www.tradewindenergy.com/) , that’s enough power for about 75,000 homes. Large Solar Farms (http://www.solarpower.org/) of 5-15 megawatts are no longer uncommon to see, especially in the east and west. These are current and viable options to much of our energy needs. No longer is this a pipe dream, it is technology that is available today and as production increases the cost per watt will decrease dramatically.

Now, we are fairly helpless in providing our own renewable energy. Yes we can put a solar panel on our roofs or place a wind turbine in our back yards, but will this really help? Not as much as if we decrease our individual power consumption. This is easier than you might think, as long as we all have a goal. I propose that our goal should be to decrease our individual power consumption by 25%. Yes 25%.

This raises an obvious question – how can I decrease my power consumption by 25%? Simple, start with the following nine steps:

·         Replace your home light bulbs with CFL’s (compact fluorescent lights). A single bulb will save $30 in its life, on average. They use 75% less electricity than standard bulbs. There is no down side, they save money and reduce our energy consumption. Remember your outdoor lights, CFL’s can really save money here.

·         Turn off appliances when they are not being used. I am not suggesting that you stop using appliances, only to turn off the TV when you are not watching it, shut down the computer when it is not being used and of course shut off lights in rooms that are not being occupied. A desk top computer typically uses between 60 and 200 watts of power.

·         Use cooler water when washing clothes. The cold/cold setting uses only 16% of the energy compared to the warm/cold setting. And the cold/cold setting uses only 8% of the energy required to run compared to the warm/warm setting.

·         Heating and cooling systems are a very large source of potential savings. We have all heard it for years – turn up the temperature setting on your air conditioner. Once again, you do not have to stop using it, just get a programmable thermostat and turn it up 2 degrees over “normal”. Running a fan is much more cost effective than adjusting the setting down a degree or two. Also shutting off vents in rooms not being used can save some real money.

·         Use your curtains and shades. In the summer keep them closed when the sun is shining on them. In the winter keep them open to let radiant solar energy in and then close them at night to trap the warmer air in. What could be simpler than this? You paid for blinds or curtains, use them.

·         Do not soak dishes in the sink. Yes, I said do not soak dishes in the sink. A dishwasher uses around 37% less water than doing them by hand. Quickly rinse the dish and place it in the dishwasher. It would not hurt to turn down the heat on the dishwasher cycle also.

·          Buy kids toys that do not use electricity. For every toy that uses electricity buy them one that does not. What could be simpler? Have them use their mind when playing and they might even get some exercise on top of it.

·         Plant a shade tree on the south side of your home. You will want to keep it its expected height away from your foundation to prevent potential foundation repairs (http://www.myfoundationrepairs.com/) down the road. Shade trees are an excellent insulator and will help with those summer electricity bills.

·         Consolidate trips in your car. It seems obvious but consolidating errands into a single trip will save you money. Resist the urge to run unnecessary errands. Wait until you have more than one errand to run and try to combine your trip to a single store if possible. Also, as Americans we all love the freedom that driving a car affords, but we waste money and energy by taking multiple cars to places when adding a person or two to your car would work just fine.

Now that you have read these nine easy steps to saving money you have to admit, saving money and energy is fairly simple. Common sense will take you far in your quest to save money and energy. Let the experts figure out how to add renewable energy generation and decrease our demand for foreign oil. You and your family can reduce your energy demands by taking a few simple steps, and you will save money!

 



Best 4th of July Celebration

clock July 4, 2010 17:53 by author blogadmin
Some cities go above and beyond to help create the best 4th of July celebration for their community.

The celebration of our Independence is very special and this is displayed across the country with fantastic fireworks displays and neighborhood parties. Most every community has their own special celebration where friends and neighbor are encouraged to get together and have a BBQ, or go to the lake or some other special event. At the end of the day we all expect to see a brilliant fireworks display which brings an end to our day of celebration.

While most every community has a 4th of July event, some cities go above and beyond the norm to create a special event for all. The best of the best community celebration are listed below.

Washington D.C. - It should come as no surprise the the biggest and most glamourous display of our countries independence is in our capital city. 2010 is the 30th anniversary of PBS broadcasting this special display for all to see. No doubt that many will be in attendance for the 234th birthday of our country.

Traverse City, MI - Lake Michigan provides the backdrop to this Independence Day celebration. Combined witht the local cherry festival this event has become world famous as the place to be on the 4th of July. The Blue Angels will provide crowds with excitement as they display their flying skills followed by a majestic fireworks display over Lake Michigan.

Eastport ME - This five day celebration which includes BBQ's, boat races, parades and of course fireworks displays. Being the eastern most city in the United States it is fitting that such a celebration occurs here. This event is ideal for families to be together and relax in the sun until the daytime and night time fireworks displays.

Philidelphia, PA - The Philly celebration is a two week event that includes concerts, pisnics and parades that only the home of the Liberty Bell could pull off. The Party on the Parkway and a concert in the park is followed by a fantastic fireworks display.

Chicago, Il - This one million person event in Grant Park is actually done on the 3rd of July so that friends and family can spend the 4th together. Also on the 4th of July the Navy Pier celebration is an event for all. People travel from across the country to view this spectacular display.

Alpharetta, GA. - The Peach State is well known for its family oriented activites and 4th of July weekend is no exception. On the fourth, many head over to Wills Park where the City of Alpharetta’s Recreation and Parks Department offers families a free evening of fun. Activities for children, entertainment and a spectacular fireworks show top off a weekend of pure Americana.

Vail, CO. - Vail’s event-filled Fourth of July celebration, Vail America Days, continues to be a top destination for those looking to celebrate the summer holiday in a fun and safe mountain environment. A full week of activities leads up to the July Fourth celebration with the 38th annual Vail Lacrosse Shootout. Highlighting the activities will be the traditional Fourth of July parade on Sunday, beloved by locals and guests alike. This year’s theme is “America the Beautiful” and will set the tone for the rest of the day’s celebrations featuring a patriotic concert, Vail Farmers’ Market and a fireworks display.

Nashville, TN. - Nashville’s Music City July 4th “Let Freedom Sing” event is consistently ranked one of the best in the nation. The fireworks take place at Riverfront Park, overlooking the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville and are accompanied by Music City’s best singers and musicians. The festival lasts all day and the free family fun zone will be a hit with younger kids. Live music will be offered beginning in the afternoon and playing through the night.



Foundation Repairs and Summer Heat

clock May 30, 2010 11:00 by author blogadmin
The summer heat and dry weather causes foundation cracks, basement wall cracks and the need for foundation repairs.

 

As the outside temperatures start to rise and the rains slow down our focus needs to be on our foundations. Foundations are very susceptible to fluctuations in moisture level of soils. Spring brings moderate temperatures and steady rains. Summer brings high temperatures and fewer rains. These fluctuations cause movement in your home's foundation which can result in cracks in walls and sticky doors and windows.

During the spring the weather is mild and moist, which causes the soil to become saturated and swollen. These wet soils expand and become very dense around and under your foundation. Often you will notice new cracks in basement floors, drywall, and foundations. These rigid surfaces show these signs of stress because of the expanding soils surrounding them.

As summer starts soils begin to dry out and shrink. Generally, you will notice cracks to develop in your yard and the soil pulling away from the foundation. Over time this process happens deeper and deeper in your yard causing your foundation to settle. As the foundation starts to settle, new cracks will develop vertically in the foundation. These vertical cracks are due to differential settle or uneven settlement caused by different soil moisture levels around your home. The location of trees, flower gardens and shade will help determine the drying time and extent.

To prevent further damage caused by soil movement foundation repairs become necessary. Whether it is helical tiebacks during the spring rains or steel push piers in the heat of the summer, slowing or stopping the movement is the key to preventing major structural damages. Foundation repair methods are successful when they move the bearing surface of the foundation to soils that are not affected by moisture changes in the upper levels of soils. By bearing on deep soils the foundation remains stable and less affected by active soils.

As the temperatures increase in your area keep an eye on soil moisture levels and any new cracks in your home. These are signs of future movements and potential foundation problems. While some will tell you that you can reverse the effects of drying soils with soaker hoses, the amount of water necessary to do this is usually unpractical. A simple one-inch rain that falls on a 1,500 square foot roof equals nearly 1,000 gallons of water. When you add in the water that falls on your lawn it is simple to see replacing this quantity of water becomes very difficult and expensive.



FIND A CONTRACTOR IN YOUR AREA

CHOOSE STATE:

Month List

Sign in


Go Back to MyFoundationRepairs.com    RSS comment feed RSS