Fireplace Showcase Presents: The One Match Fire Starter

Posted: November 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
 

It does not require the skill of an Eagle Scout to make a good fire in your fireplace. You just have to use a tried and trusted fire-starting method and what better way than to use an easy one step method using fatwood?

Before you start your fire crumble two or three sheets of paper such as yesterday’s newspaper. Avoid burning plastics or paper with color printing (such as the Sunday comics, magazines, or gift wrapping paper) as they give off toxic fumes. Put the crumbled paper on your fireplace grate. The grate elevates your fire, allowing it to pull in plenty of air to keep a good draft going up the chimney.

On top of the crumbled paper place a couple of sticks of fatwood, a natural fire starter. Fatwood comes from the stumps of pine trees, the section of the trees that naturally collects the highly combustible resinous sap or pitch. It is a sap soaked southern yellow pine natural fire starter. Purchased in easy-to-use sticks about 8 inches long, fatwood is known as nature's one-match fire starter.

When using fatwood as your fire starter, add 3 pieces of split, dried firewood on top of the fatwood. This will ensure that the fire will start and heat the right way, and will help to avoid any smoke coming into the room. As the fire burns, use the tongs from your fireplace tool set to add more split firewood as needed. Place a fireplace screen in front of the fire to protect your home and loved ones. Now, sit back and enjoy your fireplace fire! If you have any questions about fatwood or any fireplace needs feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.


Generator Choice Tips

Posted: November 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
 

Hurricanes and other natural disasters such as floods, ice storms, and heat waves strike more often now a days. They come and wreak havoc on the lives and businesses of entire communities and leave in their wake destruction. Those of us who live in areas prone to hurricanes, flooding, and ice storms, know all too well that the initial disaster is only the beginning of the trouble. After evacuating in order to avoid personal harm we often come back to find broken windows, fallen trees, and more often than not downed power lines. In order to get life back on track it is necessary to have power and that is why many people decide to own or rent a portable generator. These simple machines can be a lifesaver when it comes to getting back to life and business. However, like all things they are not all created equally and as such there are a few important things to look for when purchasing or renting.

First of all one must decide how much power they realistically need to get things back up and running. To gauge this you will need to determine what types of appliances you need to run and how much energy they need. You will need to find out what sort of wattage the heater needs, or if it is hurricane season the air conditioner, also the refrigerator, water heater, and any other appliances in the house. When you add up all the wattage needed for these appliances it will often be much higher than what you realistically need.

Many appliances require a large amount of energy to start but not to run continuously. Others use the same amount whenever they are on. If you stagger your usage and don’t turn everything on at once you can often operate on a much smaller unit. Another important part of this is the willingness to compromise on unnecessary appliances. For instance leaving off the TV and the lights saves enough power to run a refrigerator and a furnace. On the other hand if it is necessary to have all of the appliances in the house all on at the same time and don’t want the hassle of picking the most important you will want to buy a larger generator. The tradeoff will be that the larger the unit the more gasoline it will consume.

Fuel efficiency is something to consider when choosing a generator because the availability of more fuel is not always guaranteed during a disaster. Smaller inverter types are more efficient than the larger higher wattage units. These inverters are best for delicate electronics like computers because they control the output in order to keep a steady stream with little or no spiking.

The last thing to consider is the amount of noise the generator puts out. Although not strictly a functional issue there is a quality of life issue to this matter. If you have a home fairly far from neighbors then noise is less of an issue but if you live in the city there are other people to consider as well as your own comfort. Gas engines can be loud and as such a smaller quieter model is preferable even if it comes at the expense of some power output.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have electricity on demand provided by a generator, New Orleans residents? There are many choices, here are some tips to aid you. Click here to view our products.


3 Misconceptions About Foundation Repair That You Should Know

Posted: November 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
 

Are you scared that you need foundation repair because you've noticed cracks in your foundation slab? Or maybe in your basement you've seen cracks spreading through the walls? Don't panic. It's not the end of the world. Now don't misunderstand, cracks in your foundation are potentially serious. But there are also quite a few misconceptions about foundation repair. Once you sort through and better understand them, you should be able to breathe a bit easier and ease your worries.

First of all, if you have cracking, it automatically requires and extensive foundation repair solution. Well not necessarily. Sometimes cracking is merely cosmetic. How can you tell? Well, only a professional can give you a true answer to that question. Your best bet is to just have our professional A-1 team come out and take a look to assess the damage. It could only be minor cracks that are not dangerous at all, but as we well know even the smallest cracks can be harmful.

Secondly, your foundation walls are going to have to be completely rebuilt. The fact is, there are multiple methods of foundation repair. A complete rebuild is only necessary in the most extreme cases. Usually you'll already know because at this point your foundation walls will be on the verge of collapsing. Otherwise, you'll likely be able to take advantage of another technique, such as stabilization straps or steel beam reinforcement.

And lastly, foundation repair results in destroying your beautiful lawn in order to fix your problem. In the most extreme cases yes has happened, however as foundation repair techniques have improved over time, new methods have been developed which are less invasive. For example, if you're able to utilize the stabilization strap method of repair, there is no damage to your lawn. The same goes for using reinforcement beams. Will these methods work for you? You won't know until you ask. So contact us today and let us use the A-1 method to repair your foundation needs.


Children’s Dental Hygiene Is Not All About Brushing and Flossing

Posted: November 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
 

Most dental problems can be avoided by educating your children on the importance of dental hygiene at an early age. Teaching them to brush regularly is just one part of the education process. We need to teach our kids the importance of brushing and flossing, but we need to teach them how to look after their teeth in other ways as well.

We all know that sugar is bad for the teeth, unfortunately it also tastes great. It is not possible to just cut sugar out of the diet. Kids and sweets just attract each other like metal and magnets. What we can do though is teach the kids to moderate the amount of sugar they eat. We need to provide alternatives in the lunch box and teach them that fruit is also a snack.

When the kids do snack, show them that a drink of water after the snack will help remove the sugar from the mouth area. Make it a condition of the snack that they drink a glass of water after they have finished eating. Try and get them to swish it around the mouth before swallowing. It is about minimizing the time the mouth is in contact with the sugar.

Be careful of the chewy sweets as they often stick in the small gaps of the teeth causing problems. It is advisable to avoid these types of sweets, especially if it will be a long time until the next brushing and flossing. If the kids insist on these treats then get them to brush their teeth afterwards as a condition, kids will do just about anything for sweets. Encourage your kids to drink juices and milks rather than fizzy soft drinks and cordial. By drinking milk they will also get the benefit of calcium, an essential mineral to healthy teeth and bones.

The key here is to teach our children that sugar is fine, as long as we eat in moderation and take the proper steps, like drinking water after a snack. Again it is the younger kids that will pick up on this faster, but with persistence and some advice you can easily teach your children the importance of diet and how that links to healthy teeth.


Loan Modifications, Negative Equity and Short Sales

Posted: November 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
 

...By Kiley Black

Negative equity is the term that describes the situation of having a home that is worth less than your mortgage. In layman terms, you are upside down on your home. Negative Equity is the result of the boom and bust cycle of the housing market. If you find yourself in this situation, you have a few options which consist of a short sale, foreclosure, loan modification or a deed in lieu of foreclosure. If you do not have the resources to sell your property, meaning you do not have enough money in the bank to make up the difference between what is owed and what you can sell the home for, your options are more limited. However, if you have the resources, if you have money in the bank, you can go the closing as a seller with money. In this way your credit can remain unaffected.

A loan modification is when, as the homeowner, you find yourself unable to make your monthly loan payment. You can work with your lender to get the loan modified, or lessened. This does affect your credit rating. Loan modifications show up as late payments, but you will be able to stay in your home.

A short sale is when your lender agrees to accept less than they are owed for an outstanding mortgage loan. A bank would much rather agree to a Short Sale than foreclose on a home.
No matter your situation when you have an upside down mortgage, you need a real estate attorney who is well versed in these procedures. Contact Black and Buono today.