Mar 30, 2015

Caring for Your Chimney

If you are lucky enough to have a chimney in your home, you should be looking for ways to get the best out of it. It’s often difficult, however, to know exactly how this might be achieved.

Depending on how often your chimney is used, it will need to be swept at least once a year. Many chimney owners neglect this particular chore and instead allow the soot lining the interior of the chimney to accumulate wherein the performance of the chimney to diminish over time.

Marcus Roofing

A clean chimney is a healthy chimney; clearly a chimney which cannot effectively do its job – namely to remove harmful gases from the room – is a dangerous thing indeed.In some cases, the results can even be fatal.This danger can be avoided through sensible maintenance, so that the chimney remains as clear as possible and these fumes are allowed to escape.

As well as slowly poisoning you, smoke which cannot properly escape will cause damage to the interior of your home – it will spread soot though your living room, causing blackened smears to appear across your walls and upholstery – rapidly devaluing them.

Another more dramatic outcome of not having your chimney swept is that it might catch fire.This is because the ash and tar which collects within the chimney is flammable and in sufficient quantity, capable of igniting.This will cause significant damage to the chimney itself and will quickly damage it to the point where it can crack which will require a lot of work to fix. In some(mercifully rare) instances this has resulted in the fire spreading to the rest of the property – with disastrous consequences!

Replace damaged chimneys

If your chimney should become cracked, then it is imperative that you seek to replace it before using it more extensively.The heat that comes from the chimney can escape through any cracks, causing them to rapidly widen – to the point where the chimney itself might fall off the building! In order to avoid this danger, enlist the services of a specialist company like Marcus Roofing.Their website, which lists a whole range of roofing services, can be found at

Hire a professional chimney sweep

Many have attempted to clean the interior of their chimney with just a vacuum cleaner.This is not sufficient, as much of the grime and soot which collects within a chimney has solidified and is utterly adhered to the chimney wall.It will need to be removed, using a brush designed for exactly such a purpose.

It is perfectly possible to perform the sweep yourself – provided that you are willing to venture onto the top of your roof.You will need a special long pole and a chimney brush (brushes are available in different shapes to suit standard chimney dimensions). There are several drawbacks to doing this, however.The first prohibiting factor is the cost.While the services of a qualified chimney sweep will cost around £50, the cost of this equipment can amount to a great deal more. Since this is a task which is only performed very occasionally, hiring a professional is often the more sensible option.

Install a bird guard

A common problem for chimneys is that they make excellent locations for birds to make their nests.This problem is particularly troublesome, as one might expect, far out in the countryside where the bird-to-chimney ratio is a great deal less favourable. There are many methods out there to help prevent birds getting inside your chimney,but birds can be very crafty and have been known to remove makeshift solutions.For this reason, it is advisable to invest in a special bird guard for your chimney.These will exclude birds and are rugged enough to withstand any damage birds might inflict while not affecting the efficacy of your chimney.

Do not burn wet wood

You might be forgiven for assuming that if wood is dry enough to catch fire, then it’s dry enough to use as firewood.This assumption is slightly erroneous when it comes to an indoor fire.For one thing, wet wood is liable to spit and crack, sending white hot sparks shooting out – which is not such a problem in a bonfire or campfire, but definitely a problem in your living room. It is particularly important, from the point of view of your chimney’s long-term health, to prevent moisture accumulating in the flume.This can lead to a build-up of tar on the interior walls of the chimney and cause it to require more frequent cleaning.

Rattan VW Beetle

This VW Beetle made of rattan can be seen at Museum Angkut (the Transportation Museum) in Batu Malang (East Java, Indonesia). I didn’t know whether it still can run or not. 

Mar 28, 2015

7 Interesting Ways to Decorate Your House

Decorating the house is the second most important option for you after you get in a new residence. All of us want to make our residence look apt but is often confused which one would suit better. You cannot just use a trial and error technique to find out which one looks better and is also affordable at the same time. Here are some interesting ways by which you can give a special look to your hard earned residence.

If you are looking for flats for rent in Bangalore then you must try it.
A good colour combination: The foremost thing in decorating your house comes with the colour. The colour you put on the walls marks your taste at the very first visit. Choose the colours which befit your choice. You can use alternate light and dark shades on the walls which gives a bright appearance to your house. Add borders using a different dark shade which gives it a vibrant appearance.

Put different photo frames: Use a variety of frames on the wall and try to make a photo grid on the wall of your drawing room. This gives a good appeal which will hold the various pictures down the memory lane. This shows your family line in a more eloquent manner and adds to the beauty of the room. The photo frames must a variety in design which will have a new pattern on the wall of your drawing room. You can use the wooden frames on the side table also to give a family feel to your house.
Use different lampshades: Arranging various lamp shadesin your bedrooms and along the stairs gives a new look to your house. Use dimmer lights as it gives a soothing feel after the day’s work. Use lampshades of various shapes and sizes to place it on various positions. Brighter light spoils the mood of the house, use dim lights on the four ends of your ceiling which focuses on the floor and lights up your room romantically.

Use ropes as curtain rings: Instead of using metal rings for your curtains use ropes to hang your curtains. This is cheaper method and gives a contrasting flavour to your residence. Use curtains of lighter shade so that the ropes can be seen distinctly and add to the eco friendly feel to your house. They are innovative and will give a completely different look to your house. You can even colour the ropes so as to make them look vibrant and attractive.

Decorate your unused fireplace: You can use a series of white candles or candle stands to decorate your fireplace. Place a nice sliding chair or bean bag around so that you can sit back and have a conversation. This area of your house gives a romantic essence. Use the glass stands which looks like small chandeliers to give a more eloquent look!

Place mirrors of various designs: Mirrors gives a reflection of yourself. You can place mirrors on the walls with equal spacing to give it a more spacious look. You can also place a series of mirrors as a decoration of your ceiling. This is different from the other methods and looks more beautiful.

Use wallpapers: You can also opt for wall papers for your walls. A portion can look different using wall papers with a similar colour combination like your wall colours. A wall paper behind your sofa set will look enamouring as it is different from the conventional use. You will get a variety of wall papers in the market, Try and use a brighter pattern on your wall in case you have used light colours on your walls!

Big Stones

There are a wide range of stones that can be seen at the information centre of local stones inside Jakarta Gems Centre

Mar 27, 2015

What to be Aware of When Installing Underfloor Heating During the Winter

Many people make the decision to install underfloor heating once winter has already started, which often means that it’s often a few months before they’re enjoying the benefits. If the installation is set to occur during the winter, there are a number of mishaps that could occur, which can severely damage your system before you’ve even used it! In this article, we have outlined some of the main things that you need to be aware of to avoid these mishaps.

There is always a chance that the pipe will burst
Firstly, we felt it is was important to stress that, no matter what the manufacturer has claimed, if water expands with the pipes there is always a chance that they will burst. Whilst some pipes really are more robust than others, you have to wonder whether you’re willing to take the risk. Consider the fact that, if a pipe were to burst, you will have to find the leak, dig up the screed, fix the pipe and re-test the system in order to get it back up and running.

So, what do you need to be aware of when installing underfloor heating during the cold winter months?

  • Introduce Anti-Freeze
    After the pipes have been laid and the system is pretty much ready to go, ensure that an anti-freeze inhibitor has been introduced. This will help to prevent the water from freezing in the pipes and should be introduced to your system every winter. Freezing is the main cause of bursting, as it causes the water to expand and break through the pipes. When the weather or system warms up, the water melts and leaks through.

  • Pressure Test
    Before the underfloor heating system is signed off, it needs to be pressure tested to ensure that the pipes can withstand the force of water being pumped around. You have the option to pressure test the system using air rather than water, which greatly reduces the chance of water freezing somewhere in the pipes. If the installer is performing the test for you, they may have already decided to use air rather than water.

  • Drain the System
    If the system will not be used immediately and your installer has decided to pressure test it using water, it is important that you completely drain the pipes once the test is complete. Air can be used to force the last of the water out of the system, ensuring that not a single drop is left to freeze and wreak havoc in the pipes. If the system is going to be used straight away, however, the water can be left and anti-freeze added.

At the end of the day, the best way to avoid mishaps with the installation of underfloor heating is to have it installed at a warmer time of year (such as spring or summer). For some homeowners, however, this is simply not an option – perhaps you’re building and the system needs to be installed before the next stage can commence, for example. In these cases, it is important that you complete the above steps to ensure that mishaps are kept to a minimum.

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