What is hard water and its effects?

How water becomes hard water

Water labelled as “hard” is high in minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium. Firstly, hard water is not hazardous to your health, but rather an annoyance. It causes ugly mineral deposits  on fixtures and reduces effectiveness of soap and cleansers.

Water is the universal solvent. It’s good at grabbing dissolvable minerals, both good and bad. 373px-Hard_water_and_drop

As water travels through soil and rocks, it breaks down minerals and carries them along. Calcium and magnesium disintegrated in water are the two most basic minerals that make water “hard.” The level of hardness gets to be more obvious as the calcium and magnesium content increases.


Signs of Hard Water

Hard water meddles with cleaning everything from washing and dishwashing to showering and personal care. Garments washed in hard water might look dull and feel scratchy. Dishes and glasses might be spotted when dry. Hard water might bring about a film on glass shower entryways, shower dividers, bathtubs, sinks, fixtures, and so forth. Hair washed in hard water might feel sticky and look dull.

While washing clothing in hard water, cleanser curds lodge in fabric to make it firm and unpleasant. Deficient soil expulsion from clothing causes turning gray of white fabric and the loss of splendor in hues.  Over time washing in hard water can shorten the life of garments. What’s more, soap stains can remain on dishes, bathtubs and showers, and all water apparatuses.

Hard water likewise adds to wasteful and unreasonable operation of water-utilizing machines. Warmed hard water shapes a size of calcium and magnesium minerals that can add to the wasteful operation or disappointment of water-utilizing apparatuses. Funnels can get to be obstructed with scale that lessens water stream and at last requires channel substitution. Issues with red and dark stains in dishwasher and dishes.


Health Impacts

Hard water is not a health risk. The National Research Council cites that hard drinking water for the most part contributes a little sum toward aggregate calcium and magnesium human dietary needs. Specialists have concentrated on water hardness and cardiovascular disease. While a few studies propose a relationship between’s hard water and lower cardiovascular ailment, different studies don’t show a connection. The National Exploration Gathering expresses that outcomes as of now are uncertain and prescribes that further studies ought to be directed.


How to Test Your Water

HardnessMapIn the event that you are on a metropolitan water system, the water supplier can let you know the hardness level of the water. If you have a private water supply, you can have the water tested for hardness. Numerous organizations that offer water treatment solutions also offer hardness tests. For DIY’ers, water hardness testing packs are accessible for buy through water testing supply organizations. In the event that more exact measurements are required, contact a testing research center.


Understanding The Results

The hardness measurement of your water will be in grains per gallon, milligrams per liter (mg/l) or parts per million (ppm). One grain of hardness equivalents 17.1 mg/l or ppm of hardness. Water hardness is identified by the Water Quality Association as follows:

0 – 17.1 ppm: soft

17.1 – 60 ppm:  slightly hard

60 – 120 ppm: moderately hard 

120 – 180 ppm: hard

180 ppm and over: very hard



Mechanical water softening units can be installed into your house to consistently remove calcium and magnesium. In them, water goes through a media bed that’s supersaturated with sodium. Ion exchange happens as hard water goes through the softening material. The hardness minerals connect themselves to the gum dots while sodium on the sap globules is discharged at the same time into the water. At the point when the tar gets to be soaked with calcium and magnesium, it must be revived. The passing so as to revive is finished a salt (brackish water) arrangement through the pitch. The sodium replaces the calcium and magnesium which are released in the waste water. Hard water treated with a particle trade water conditioner has sodium included. According to the WQA, the procedure introduces sodium at the rate of around 8 mg/liter for every grain of hardness uprooted per gallon of water.

If the water has a hardness of 10 grains for each gallon, it will contain around 80 mg/liter of sodium if all hardness minerals are removed. People on a sodium restricted diet might be directed by their doctor not to use sodium water conditioners, to soften only heated water, or install a drinking spigot with non-softened water. While not common, there are potassium based softeners if sodium in a concern.

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Understanding the Need for Gutter Guards

It is a fact that you pay more attention to the gutters in your homes. Keeping them clean and getting them free of debris and other unwanted elements is always very important. With fall being around, you know that you will have a hard time keeping those dried leaves off of this part of your home. You do not want these things to be blocking the gutters or you risk a flooded basement or a damaged and cracked foundation. Checking out some gutter guards in Detroit, MI might be a good idea for you.

gutter cleaning hazards

When considering gutter cleaning, safety first!

There are a lot of homeowners these days that would prefer doing the gutter cleaning themselves. This is simple enough to do, but one has to remember that there are certain risks that are attached to the job. This is why for the most part, people would rather call the experts in and let them do the task instead. This costs a lot of money. So, covering the gutters with the necessary guards may help reduce the instances where cleaning is required.

You will be delighted that there are a lot of gutter guards that the market offers. Of course, there are a number of factors that should be considered first before you do decide to purchase. You want to be sure that the one you get is exactly appropriate for the kind of gutter that you will be attaching it to. What you need is a guard that will really maximize the protection of the gutters.

Start by being aware of the different types of gutter guards that you can purchase in the market. There are the mesh types which are made of metal sheet that have tiny holes. Here are the reverse curve ones what help position the water down so leaves will be directed at the ground when they fall. There are bottle brush types that are made from bristles. They are positioned upright inside gutters so the debris will just fall on top. Ne can get the nylon ones too, which work really well during the winter since their design helps prevent snow from actually building up. Then there are ones made from foam.

What people need to understand though is that yes, these fixtures are expected to lessen the instances when they will need to get their gutters cleaned. But the fact still remains that they will still require some sort of maintenance. Inevitably, some debris is going to be collected on top of the covers. However, the good news is that they will be so much easier to clean than not having these coverings there.

This is also the reason that people are encouraged to shop around wisely. They have to be sure that the type they end up installing on their roofs are exactly those that will really fit the design of the gutter. This is necessary so they are confident that they can maximize the presence of these guards to better protect the waterspouts along the way.

They can be expensive too. There are even some cases where it will cost more than the costs of getting the gutters cleaned for several years combined. But if your home has gutters that are significantly tall, this makes the job more dangerous for you to do on your own. In situations like these, it makes sense to get these guards installed.

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Why Gutter Guards Are Beneficial to One’s Home ?

Why Gutter Guards Are Beneficial to One’s Home ?

Gutters are placed on the edges of the roof where rainwater can drain out of the house. In a way, it is a protection from all the mess that a gutter can get on the roof. It keeps the house dry and clean. It prevents leaves, twigs, and other forms of dirt from accumulating on the gutter. Especially during fall when leaves fall heavily on the roof, it may trigger formations of mold, mildew and rotting. If not properly maintained, it will affect the overall structure of the house.  So why not install gutter guards to protect the house from possible and upcoming damages.

What Are Gutter Guards ?

Gutter guards can help keep the foundation of the house in good condition. A broken gutter can have a number of holes where rainwater flows uncontrollably through it. The gutter may have debris which adds moisture to the foundation. It forms a pool of water down the ground and cause deformations on the foundation. In a way, it may damage your belongings like furniture and fixtures.

To know where to get gutter guards, a number of shops offer these in a wide array of shapes and styles. Just choose the best ones without hurting your budget. You can always prefer vinyl or steel mesh, which works to keep dirt out of the gutters.  You may wish to take measurements of your gutters to obtain the right styles. The shape and size of the gutter guard will affect the amount of mess your gutter can withstand. So ensure you know what you really prefer.

Maintenance On Gutter and Gutter Guards

Note that it is not all the time the gutter guards are good protection for your roof. There are some designs, especially the flat gutter guards, which may easily accumulate dirt, twigs and leaves. It can have the gutters clogging, which defeats the real purpose of the installation.

Also, just be aware that some materials for the gutters are prone to rust, which may also require maintenance. While a gutter guard may prevent clogging from happening, it also prevents freezing moisture to leak through your ceiling, down into your walls and floors, especially in wintertime.

With these, do regular maintenance to keep your house always in good condition. If the gutters are protected with gutter guards, keep it clean all the time, so you are promised with warmth, safety and good health for everyone living inside. For good maintenance, you may wish to call a gutter installation and cleaning service, or prefer to do it yourself.

A number of providers can be contacted for reliable and durable gutter guards for the roof. You can always ask for their assistance when it comes to your
need. Take note on how they explain the products. If you get an idea on what you want, expect the gutter guards to be installed properly, to last long enough, and make your own homes protected from any season – be it rainy, winter or the falling of leaves.

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Can A Contractor Be Trusted?

Can A Contractor Be Trusted?

Before you get a contractor to do any jobs at home like installing seamless gutters and gutter guards, you should ask yourself if you can actually trust your contractor. The result of their jobs should make you happy. So how can you make sure that you will be satisfied with their work?

Where should you find a contractor?

It is better that you look for one as close to your home as possible. You can ask your friends, neighbors and family members for a referral. It is important that you get at least three names. Then you can cross-check the information that you get with other resources before choosing a contractor. Here is a list of places that you can check:

  • Better Business Bureau. Check if there have been any complaints against the contractor. Do not jump into any conclusions though if there are any because even the best contractors can take missteps. What is important is that the issue has been resolved with all parties satisfied.
  • Check online review sites but do not depend on just one site.
  • Hardware stores and lumber store manages. They know the ones that can get the job done and those with good reputations.
  • Check their recent jobs. If you are on site, you can also ask the homeowner if he or she had any problems with the contractor.

When you check online review sites though, make sure that you get the big picture first before you allow a review site to dictate how you should feel about a particular contractor. Do not limit yourself to one contractor. Make sure that you balance both the negative and the positive reviews.

Will you be screwed if you sign a contract?

Before you sign one, make sure that everything in the contract is crystal clear to you and it has been written in a way that satisfies you. Here are some steps you can do before you sign a contract.

  1. Get a bid. It is important that you get at least three bids. Ask each contractor to itemize the bid. This will let you see how much money is going where and if ever you need to cut costs, it will be easy for you to check which ones you can do without.
  2. Review the contract. After selecting a contractor, you will get a contract. Make sure that you carefully read it. If there are things you are not too sure about, you can ask a lawyer to check it for you. This would mean additional payments for attorney’s fees though. Make sure the contract includes:
  • Any necessary permits and/or approvals will be taken care of the contractor.
  • Start date and end date of the project.
  • Payment schedule.

Make sure that you also include that a certain percentage will be paid after the work has been done and you have confirmed with all the subcontractors that they have already been paid. If they have not been paid, you might be forced to pay the contractor’s debt to them.

  1. Dealing with any changes. The contract should have a change order clause. It should also include that any changes must be signed by you and the contractor.
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Costs of Home Improvement for Certain Problems

Costs of Home Improvement for Certain Problems

It is typical for homeowners to be wary upon seeing defects in the house. These defects have to be fixed and doing repairs means spending money. Repairs can range from cheap to costly. It might be necessary for you to call in professionals to assess the defect for you. This way you will know what the exact problem is. Here are some common problems and the estimate cost for repairs.

Cracked concrete
You might find thin crack in your concrete’s foundation. This could be because of settlement and does not necessarily mean you should be concerned. The homeowner should pay attention though to the direction and shape of the crack. Horizontal splits in the concrete could mean that there is pressure from the soil and this will need repair.

If the crack has water coming from it or is much wider than .25 inches, you must have an engineer check this right away. If the moisture gets in the crack, it will make the steel of the foundation rust.

It would cost around $300 to get a structural engineer to assess the property. If there are major structural damages, costs typically range from $10000 to $30000.

Water stains on the ceiling

After finding one, it is important for the owner to determine where it is coming from. If there is a bathroom right above the spot, it could be possible that there might be a problem with the plumbing. This could be an expensive repair.

If the water spot seems to come from the roof, this need not be an expensive repair especially if your roof is new. You might also want to check your seamless gutters. To avoid any accumulation of debris on your gutters, you might also want to look into placing gutter guards. You could get an expert to do this for you. This normally costs around $200.

If you happen to have older roofs that are in poor condition already, then you might have to replace the whole thing. This could range from $5000 to $12000.

If there is a problem with the heating source or air conditioning, then it is important to get the system inspected. It is likely for the technician to do general maintenance of the unit and look for the source of the problem. Once repaired, the owner will need to make sure that they perform regular services to make sure that the unit is in good condition.

Defective fuses and igniters are quite cheap to fix. But if the unit is quite old already, then the owner might want to look into getting a new unit. Even though it can still be repaired, older units do not offer the efficiency that newer models have. Brand new HVAC unit cost around $5,000 but if you want to get one that is highly efficient, the cost would start at $10,000.

Take note that repairs should be done by experts. It might seem more expensive than doing it yourself but in the end, you can be assured that the issue has been properly fixed. This means that you will be able to save more in the long run.


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Benefits of Seamless Gutters

Benefits of Seamless Gutters

If you happen to be looking for aluminum gutters, then you might be faced with two options. You can either choose for the sectional gutters or you can go for the seamless gutters. But what is the difference between the two? Sectional gutters have smaller sections that have been joined together. The seamless gutter is made of one piece. The only joints that can be found are those around the corner. These gutters have an advantage over sectional gutters, and that is the reason why these gutters are used more frequently than the regular ones.


  • It needs less maintenance. Gutters that have joints are prone to accumulation of debris although this can be resolved by gutter guards. Thing that accumulate in the gutter such as leaves and twigs can clog the gutter. When this debris accumulates in the gutter, it might also attract birds and pests, which can cause bigger problems. They may also destroy not just the gutter but the walls and nearby structures. Gutters that are seamless minimize the chance of clogging or accumulation of unwanted materials.
  • There are no leakages because a seamless gutter only has joints and fasteners at downspouts and joints. Because of this streamlined construction, leaks are minimized; thus, it requires less maintenance. Because there are no seals and joints that gather debris or cause erosion, these gutters provide properties much better protection compared to joint gutters.
  • These gutters come in a wide variety. You can choose from a wide range of colors and materials, depending on your preference and requirement. Some of the available materials are aluminum, steel and copper. So you can choose the best option that suits you.They also come in different colors. This way you will be able to choose the ones that best suit the exterior of your property. You can also get it in either enamel or baked finish which means you will no longer need to paint it and worry about the color. This will also save you a lot of hassle.
  • They are made to measure. Since these gutters are customized, they will fit your property well. It also means that it needs professional installation, but just bec
    ause professionals will be the ones to install the gutters, you can be assured that your gutters will last long without needing any maintenance. At the same time, this is also the best possible protection for your home.
  • It may be expensive at the beginning when you have a seamless gutter installed. But take note that it requires low maintenance and costs for repair. This means that you will be able to get your money’s worth in no time.
  • Having a seamless gutter will be better than sectional gutters that have different fasteners and joints.

Now when I gave you the benefits of the seamless gutters, I assume that you will search and investigate properly about the mentioned gutters. You can find a lots of information about them on the internet or probably at your local hardware store, which will probably offer the expert advice and expert installation that will make your home a better and safer place for living.

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