Water Heater Repair, What Can Go Wrong?

It is understandable that people want to save money by tackling seemingly minor household maintenance themselves rather than hiring someone else to do it. When it comes to your water heater, however, that can lead to problems. Sometimes, very expensive problems.

Water Heater Repair, What Can Go Wrong?

Your water heater needs periodic service to remove sediment build up. Depending on your home’s water quality, this might need attention every one or two years. This build-up affects the efficiency and output of the appliance, as well as the life expectancy of the tank liner. The more build up in your heater, the harder the heater has to work to maintain temperature, and the quicker the lining deteriorates as that build up reacts with the storage tank itself.

The process of dealing with this involves turning off the appliance, shutting off the water supply, draining and flushing out the tank, and refilling and turning everything back on. It is also an opportune time for replacing or servicing parts of the heater, including the electrical elements or gas burner, anode rod, dip tube, thermocouple/igniter, temperature/pressure relief valve, and checking for gas leaks.

Some of the problems that can occur include the following:

  •    Dysfunctional Water Shut-Off Valve
  •    Water Shut-Off Valve That Starts Leaking When Operated
  •    Clogged Drain Valve
  •    Drain Valve That Won’t Shut Off After Use
  •    Clogged Drain When Flushing Out the Heater
  •    Leaking Temperature/Pressure Relief Valve

These direct issues and other indirect problems arising from the interruption of the water and gas/power supply are things that most are not prepared to handle. These problems can lead to requiring emergency service, or potentially lead to water damage in the case of a leak or clog, particularly if your water heater is on a finished level. Hiring a service professional, who is equipped to handle these scenarios, not only makes it easy for you but may end up being less expensive than trying it yourself. Contact us!

Cabinet Re-Finishing: Enameling Tips

Having your kitchen cabinets enameled is a job that can completely transform the entire room. Whether your cabinets are old and outdated or just not attractive, a good enamel job will surely fix the issue. Take a look at some good kitchen cabinet enameling tips to help you get started.

Cabinet Re-Finishing: Enameling Tips

Choosing Your Paint 

The paint that you use for your walls is not suitable for something like your kitchen cabinets. It’s an entirely different type of surface. Applying regular paint to cabinets will result in chipping and excessive wear. You’ll need to choose an enamel instead. Using a high-quality enamel will hold up better, last for longer, and give you a nicer and smoother finish.

Choosing Your Color 

You will definitely want to focus on choosing a color that flatters your appliances. Certain colors will make your appliances stand out, and others will make your appliances virtually disappear. You don’t want anything to clash. The trick is to compliment your appliances, not make them look bad. This especially holds true for appliances that are older or outdated. You’d be surprised at how much nicer you can make them look simply by just changing the color of your cabinets.

Packing Up Your Cabinets 

You will obviously need to remove the contents of your cabinets before they get enameled. Make sure to label things and pack them up neatly so you can easily return them to their home when the job is complete. Clean off the counters, roll up any rugs, and remove any curtains that might get in the way as well.

Contact us today at Excellent American Painting & Handyman Service for more kitchen cabinet enameling tips. We’re here to help you get started today.

Professional Pressure Washing

Chewing gum pollution is a major problem for property owners, and the only solution is a professional pressure washing. Every day, many people thoughtlessly spit their gum on the sidewalk without realizing they are polluting. Gum pollution is such a big problem, the United States General Services Administration has created guidelines for cleaning it from historical sites and buildings.

Professional Pressure Washing and Gum Pollution

Chewing gum has been around for thousands of years. However, until the modern era, it was a product made from natural ingredients. Today, synthetic rubber is the main portion of most chewing gums. As a result, it does not degrade naturally. As it sits on surfaces, like concrete walkways, the product will create a stain that is impossible to remove without the correct equipment, solutions, and techniques.

The problem is probably bigger than most suspect. The chewing gum industry has annual sales of $2 billion and produces 100,000 tons every year. This translates to the average person chewing 280 sticks of gum every year. Even if a small percentage is improperly discarded, it creates a major problem. As the industry grows, the headache only increases for property owners.

Gum pollution is unsightly, but its improper removal can cause damage to surfaces. Excellent American Painting & Handyman Service has state of the art equipment and trained technicians who can safely remove gum from your facilities’ surfaces without causing damage. We can pressure wash buildings, sidewalks and more, keeping your property clean.

If you would like to talk more about gum pollution, or need more information about professional pressure washing, please contact us.

Planning Kitchen and Bath Updates

The two most valuable remodel for any home are the kitchen and bathrooms. This is in part because these rooms are the least often remodeled rooms in your home. If your kitchen and bathrooms have styles that are from decades ago, it is probably time to consider an update. Planning kitchen and bath updates will allow you to customize your home the way you envision it.

Planning Kitchen and Bath Updates

Plan Ahead

While you have the walls open in a kitchen or a bathroom, it is time for your electrical wiring and plumbing inspected for signs of wear or problems. It is so much cheaper and more effective when this gets dealt with while the walls are already open. If you have an issue with these later, it will take opening the walls in places for repairs. That makes a lot more mess than having it done now. Also, now is a good time for inspecting everything hidden in your walls for issues. That means allowing a little room in your budget for upgrading anything that is not up to par.

Plan According to Your Budget

If you have room in your budget for everything that you desire, go big. If not consider these finance-friendly tips. Keeping your features in the same place saves money. That means you are not moving plumbing or electrical features around much. Keeping your stove in the same place means you don’t have to relocate the route to your vent fan outlet on the outside of your home. Keeping your tub and/or shower in the same place means the drain pipe is already there. Even if you need to replace some of these support systems, it doesn’t take re-framing.

Plan Your Features According to Your Lifestyle

If you never use the tub, consider replacing it with a shower. If you cook a lot, consider claiming the breakfast room area into your kitchen and adding in kitchen seating. Or if you don’t cook much, consider scaling back on your kitchen features and going with more open shelves that are popular today.

Style

Remember how long it was since the last update for these rooms, and plan accordingly. Your style is important here. Choose colors for your more durable features that are either neutral or the color you want for a long time. If you love a color, having a kitchen sink in that color is great. If you don’t, it will get old quickly. This is why many sinks, tubs, and appliances are mostly offered in basic colors like white, black, and stainless. Choose a tile that gives your bath or kitchen pizzazz without limiting you to colors that you will tire of. Once again, if you don’t love a particular color that much, go neutral.

Color

Big colors now are blues and greens. Pinks are gaining in favor, as is yellow. Black is the new grey, or so many design magazines are saying. However, remember that darker colors make rooms feel small. Keep these for big rooms or accent colors. When planning where you want color, wall colors are easily changed. So are curtains and towels. These are good places for colors that you want now and might not want later. Small appliances like toasters wear out often and make great places for a splash of color. Otherwise, have fun.

At Excellent American Painting & Handyman Service, we are here to help you make the best of your home. Please, contact us for more information today.

Take the Stress out of Door Installation

Replacing that old door seems like a simple enough task: run to the hardware store, buy the right size door, and screw it into a place where the old one was. Unfortunately, this DIY project often turns out to be more than homeowners bargained for. What seems like a quick task can turn into an ongoing job that never quite works out. Even worse, doors that are not hung properly can lead to damage to both the door and your home, leading to the need to go through it all again.

Take the Stress out of Door InstallationHanging a new door will require, among other things, precise measurements and the ability to work in small detail even with a large piece of material. This work starts well before the new door even goes up. In some cases, the previous frame or trim might need to be replaced. The existing subfloor or sill may need to be repaired before work with the new door begins, particularly on doors that have been exposed to the elements. Preparing the opening can become a job in itself.

The door itself – after the opening is prepared and reframed if necessary – must go in perfectly level. The process continues after the initial hanging, using shims to help align the frame, with adjustments continuing until everything is plumb. Once the door hangs nicely, it may be time to insulate around the frame.

The process involves far more steps and caution that might be expected. To save time and hassle, it often makes sense for homeowners to seek help from a reliable professional. At Excellent American Painting, we want your door replacement to go as smoothly as possible. Please contact us with any handyman service requests or to receive more information.

Gutter Cleaning is Not Something That You Should Ignore

If you are like a lot of homeowners, you might not find yourself thinking about your gutters very often. After all, gutters can be an “out of sight, out of mind” type of thing. However, your gutters have a very important job, and keeping them clean is essential. Gutter cleaning is not something that you should ignore and below we’ll discuss why.

Gutter Cleaning is Not Something That You Should Ignore

When gutters become clogged with various types of debris, such as leaves, tree branches, and dirt, then it makes it difficult or impossible for the water from your roof to flow through the gutters and away from your home as it is supposed to. This can lead to water standing on your roof, which can cause serious roof leaks.

Additionally, if the water is not directed far enough away from your home, which your gutters are supposed to do, then it can end up flowing alongside your foundation. Over time, this can cause foundation issues with your home.

Preventing your roof from leaking is important if you want to avoid costly roofing repairs and if you want your roof’s lifespan to be what it’s supposed to be. Additionally, a leaky roof can cause damage to the inside of your home, costing you money. Foundation damage to a home can also be very expensive.

Gutter cleaning, on the other hand, is affordable and can be done quickly and easily by the right professional. Then, you can avoid all of these problems and so much more. If you are looking for someone who you can count on to clean your gutters quickly and efficiently and at a fair price, contact us at Excellent American Painting & Handyman Service today.

Residential Painting: 3 Reasons to Hire a Professional

Painting your home is one of the fastest ways to make it look clean, presentable and if you’re selling — ready to sell. Painting the exterior can boost your curb appeal and make your home look fresh and new while painting the inside can make your rooms look up-to-date and attractive for a minimal cost. While you can go the DIY route, painting the home yourself takes more time than you think and could be far more expensive than you expect. Hiring a professional for your residential painting helps you save both time and money and ensures that your project is a success.

Residential Painting: 3 Reasons to Hire a Professional

The Right Tools for the Job

A professional residential painting team will have the right tools for the job already at hand. Even a single room DIY project can cost far more than you expect since you have to purchase brushes, rollers, trays, tape and a variety of other items needed to complete the job. A professional already has these tools at hand and will not charge anything extra to use them. Homes with tall feature walls, high ceilings, and elaborate trim require specialty tools, ladders, and scaffolding; professional painters already own this equipment.

Professional Quality Work

You may paint your home once every few years or if a new trend inspires you to redo a room; professional painters cover hundreds of rooms and homes per year. This heavy experience allows them to complete your work without mistakes and ensures that you get a quality paint job. If you’re painting for the first time, or have only painted but once or twice, you simply won’t get the same level of quality that a professional can provide. Your home is your largest asset and you look at those walls every day;  it is worth paying for professional in most cases.

Speed Matters

A professional not only has the experience needed to do a quality job; they can perform the job quickly. If you’ve had DIY jobs that extend on for weeks you know how important it is to get the job done and get back on with your life. A painting job requires you to move furniture, cover things up and not use the space until the paint is dry. Opting for a pro ensures the job is done quickly and doesn’t get hung up, even if you have other things going on in your life.

Whether you want to make sure that your home is in the capable hands of an experienced professional, are concerned about the quality of the paint job or simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of a big DIY project, we can help. Contact us to learn just how fast and easy it is to give your home a fresh new look with paint.

Plumbing Repairs: Signs You Need a New Garbage Disposal

You rely on your garbage disposal every day to get rid of food scraps quickly and conveniently. And while garbage disposals should easily last several years before needing any significant plumbing repair or replacement, it’s good to be aware of the common signs you need a new garbage disposal in your kitchen.

Plumbing Repairs: Signs You Need a New Garbage Disposal

Perpetual Bad Smells

Over time, food particles that haven’t been broken down and flushed out properly can build up in your disposal, causing a foul smell. If you’ve tried flushing your disposal with hot and cold water, lemon juice, baking soda, and all the other household remedies out there to no avail, then it may be time to consider replacing the entire unit for a fresh start.

Frequent Clogs

Your disposal should be able to pulverize and dispose of most foods within a matter of seconds. If you find that your disposal is frequently becoming clogged or takes a long time to break down food, then it might be time for a replacement. Dull blades could be to blame, and these can be replaced or sharpened by a plumber; however, if your disposal is several years old or older, replacement may be the more cost effective option.

Water Leaks

Water pooling underneath your sink? Check to see if it’s coming from a bad seal on your garbage disposal or from a crack in the disposal tank itself. If it’s the former, then a little bit of plumber’s putty can probably repair the problem. If it’s the latter, then you’re going to need a new disposal entirely.

Unusual Noises

Finally, if your disposal is making odd noises–especially the sound of metal on metal–this could be a sign that your motor is about to burn out. If your disposal is more than a few years old, then total replacement is likely the best option.

When it comes to your plumbing and other general handyman needs, be sure to contact us for professional service and competitive pricing! While painting is our specialty, we offer a wide range of home improvement services.

Three Reasons to Consider Ceiling Fan Installations

Ceiling fans make great additions to almost any space in your home. They provide the cool comfort of a fan’s breeze and help lower your electric bill. Popular reasons to install ceiling fans include:

Three Reasons to Consider Ceiling Fan Installations

  • Style – Ceiling fans are available in a wide variety of designs and sizes. You can choose a model that serves as a nice accent piece for a room’s decor or opt for something more subtle. Styles range from brass and natural wood to wicker or painted wood. You can find a ceiling fan to meet your needs and your sense of style.
  • Comfort – Who doesn’t like a cool breeze on a warm day? Ceiling fans are a great way to cool off any area of your home. A ceiling fan can provide cooling in living rooms, bed rooms, dens, kitchens, and even porches. Unlike box fans and oscillating fans, ceiling fans provide a nice breeze without the annoying humming sound. In the winter, you can even reverse the direction of the ceiling fan with the flip of a switch to better circulate warm air that gathers near the ceiling.
  • Savings – We all hate opening the electric bill every month, especially during summer. When the temperature goes up outside, so does the electric bill.  Ceiling fan installations are a great way to help reduce your air conditioning bill! You can keep cool in the refreshing breeze of a ceiling fan while conserving energy by running your air conditioner less.

We can help with your ceiling fan installation needs — contact us today!

Exterior Painting Services: A Job For a Pro

Interior painting is easy. A few brushes, roller, paint tray and maybe a small step ladder are all that’s needed. Weather is not a concern, heights are irrelevant and it can be broken up into small sections to easily fit into your busy schedule. Not so with exterior painting.

Exterior Painting Services: A Job For a Pro

The overarching factor governing painting outside is the weather. Rain in the forecast means no painting. High humidity can likewise shut an operation down. Full sun is ideal for applying paint, but it can be downright miserable to work in. Bright sun also mandates working quickly- the expression “like watching paint dry” doesn’t apply to a painted surface in direct sun. Of course, a good day for painting isn’t much use if you have to work or meet some other obligation.

Finding the time paint the exterior of your home at the same time conditions is agreeable is reason enough to hire it out to professionals. But before painting, your home’s siding will need to be prepped. Scraping off old paint, nailing down loose boards, filling in cracks and holes and carpentry repairs are necessary before wetting a brush. This process can take up to a full day. An added consideration is the additional equipment. Exterior painting almost always entails an extension ladder. You’ll be spending at least $100 for a short, basic ladder with 200lb capacity. For a better ladder, you could spend several times that amount. Working at a height is dangerous and various stabilizing devices are available to keep your ladder steady. All for more money, of course. Given most exterior painting cannot be done with a roller you’re going to put in a lot of time on that ladder. You can cut that time down by ponying up the money to buy or rent a sprayer. These take some getting used to and can clog if not properly cared for. If you should drop your sprayer from a height, you’ve got a mess to clean up and an expensive piece of equipment to replace.

Saving money on home repairs by doing it yourself is great for some projects. But painting the exterior of an entire house takes a lot of time and more skill than most people realize. If you’ve only got weekends to work with you’re further hampered by weather limitations. Why not contact us and save yourself the stress, time and aggravation by letting the pros of Excellent American Painting handle it for you? Weekends go by fast enough as it is.