5 Painless Water (and Money) Saving Tips!

In addition to saving water you will save money on your utility bill, water conservation helps prevent water pollution in nearby lakes, rivers and local watersheds.

Conserving water can also extend the life of your septic system by reducing soil saturation, and reducing any pollution due to leaks. Overloading municipal sewer systems can also cause untreated sewage to flow to lakes and rivers. The smaller the amount of water flowing through these systems, the lower the likelihood of pollution. In some communities, costly sewage system expansion has been avoided by community-wide household water conservation!

1. Install a Low-Flow Showerhead
Save water and money, and still have ample water pressure, with a low-flow shower head, which can slash bathing-water consumption 50 to 70 percent. The devices are simple to install and start at around $8. Many styles and features are available, including flow-adjusting dials and a pause button. Wary about installing your own shower head? If you’re in Houston or surrounding areas, let us do it for you!

2. Turn Off the Tap While You Brush
Don’t let your water dollars — and one of nature’s most precious resources — run down the drain. Just turn off the water while you brush your teeth. The average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of two gallons a minute, according to the EPA’s WaterSense initiative. That means you’ll save up to 8 gallons of water a day per person.

3. Water Your Yard in the Morning
The best time to water outdoors is in the morning, both to reduce water waste and to promote healthy flora. Morning air is cooler, so less water is lost to evaporation than during the middle of the day. If you water in the evening, you run the risk of promoting fungi and bacterial diseases.

4. Use a Pro Car Wash
It may surprise you, but commercial car washes use water more efficiently, typically using 45 gallons of water per car. Home washers typically use between 80 and 140 gallons. Commercial car washes must also drain their wastewater into sewers, versus simply running it across your driveway into the land.

5. Fix That Leak
Don’t ignore that dripping faucet or leaky pipe joint. One faulty faucet wastes 3 gallons of water per day, reports the U.S. Geological Survey. So get a pipe wrench and tighten those seals, replace old and worn hardware. If you need professional help One Call offers free estimates! Remember every drop adds up, so call now! 713-880-5200

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Protect Your Wooden Floors!

This guest post by Tina Geisner will help you get on your way to owning a healthier, longer lasting wooden floor!

Everyday, floors are subjected to extraordinary wear and tear which can be moderated, even eliminated. Thus, there is need to protect floors by providing an entryway for children and guests to sit down and remove their outdoor shoes or boots prior to entering the home. Japanese homes typically have one step up into the house as a reminder to remove footwear and make available slippers as well so people are encouraged to take off their shoes upon arriving.

Consenting to people wearing street shoes inside the home results in scattering all sorts of grime throughout which requires more cleaning. Thus, homeowners who establish rules for leaving shoes at the door save cleaning time, as well as money because the wood flooring will last longer and require less professional help.

Supply Slippers for Everyone?

Lots of advantages can be derived from wearing slippers, the most important of which is to protect floors. Slippers can help keep feet warm, especially on tile floors that can get very cold. This is especially true in finished basements which are often used for children’s playrooms. It is quite common to wear slippers after bathing and before getting dressed. Those who spend a lot of time on their feet in the kitchen can benefit from cork-lined slippers that provide cushioning for tired legs.

Tip: Benches at Entryways (Front and Back) Encourage Putting on Slippers

The cost and time to refinish floors is well worth making an effort to have family and guests wear slippers in the home. Too often homeowners only become aware of the damage caused by dirty shoes until it is time to sell the home. Attractive slippers and a relaxing place to sit while removing shoes and putting slippers on will motivate kids and guests to follow the homeowner’s biding. It also helps to have shelves to store shoes while slippers are being worn, besides following Japanese custom.

Refinishing wood floors is far more complicated than running a vacuum cleaner and just moving your furniture around because it creates an incredible amount of fine dust that gets into everything. It is really hard if you’re going to refinish your hardwood floors correctly.

Wood floors are very popular with homeowners but they need to be cleaned and treated carefully, i.e. using rubber glides under furniture legs. When wood floors aren’t maintained properly, re-finishing the floors is necessary to remove the many small nicks, ground in dirt and more. Refinishing wood floors is far more complicated than running a vacuum cleaner so take extra careful on your floors.

Tile Flooring

The Do and the Don’ts!

The popular use of slate tile flooring in many areas of residential and commercial interiors and exteriors is a tribute to its versatility and aesthetic value. With its distinctive surface, ease of installation and workability, decorative color variation, and its natural slip-resistance that makes it a great choice for practicality and look. With slate, you always have firm footing!

Do:

• Consider the area in which you wish to install your slate tile flooring and be sure that the type of slate you choose to buy is appropriate with regard to climate, foot traffic and any other pertinent factors.

• Consider the substrate over which you will install your slate tile, and make sure that it is suitable for your specific choice.

• Expect color variations and use them to your advantage when approaching the layout of your slate tile.

• Layout your slate tile flooring in a dry run, and test the color patterns, thickness variation, and overall spacing of your particular batch of slate.

• Use a type of mortar for slate tile that is conducive to your interior or exterior installation.

• Choose an appropriate slate tile flooring sealant. Some varieties you might consider are high-gloss (which gives your slate tile a lustrous “wet look”), low sheen (which is reflective, but not as shiny as high-gloss), or no sheen, sometimes known as natural finish. The look that these finishes provide are down to taste, but (once again) it’s a good idea to make sure that your sealant is suitable for slate tile.

• Hire an experienced flooring professional if you don’t have experience in laying slate tile yourself. This can help you to avoid costly mistakes.

Don’t:

• Forget to allow for breakage and waste when you place your order. Accidents can happen, both in transit and on the job site.

• Fail to inspect your substrate for loose materials or dirt. It is important to have a clear, clean and level substrate for a slate tile flooring installation.

• Install slate tile flooring on a wet surface. Despite the resilient nature of slate, trapped moisture remains to be something to be avoided in any installation.

• Apply a sealer to a slate tile floor that has been waxed or oiled but has not yet cured. The resulting marks left by walking on a slate tile floor that hasn’t cured can be difficult to remove later.

• Begin grouting too soon. It’s a good idea to wait at least a day before grouting your slate tile in order to allow the mortar to properly set

New site (and blog)!

One Call Houston is excited to showcase our new website and blog, where we anticipate sharing lots of little-known info to help you keep your air conditioning, heating, plumbing, and other household systems in good shape. We will also be posting a weekly video Q&A where you can ‘Ask Edgar’, the owner of One Call all about any household, renovation, or do-it-yourself project question you might have. Leverage his 25+ years of experience to help you with your projects!

Meanwhile, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @onecallac, and have a great week!



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