Mountain Deck Project 2013

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Denver Residents, Did You Know?

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

Denver residents may dispose of  and recycle their household hazardous waste properly through the City’s Household Hazardous Waste Program.  Residents living in single-family homes or buildings of seven units or less can make an at-home collection appointment once per calendar year.   All participants must submit a $15 copayment at the time of their appointment.

There are three easy ways to schedule a collection appointment:

  1. Call 1-800-HHW-PKUP (1-800-449-7587)
  2. Email AtYourDoor@WM.com
  3. Go to www.WMAtYourDoor.com

Before making appointment, please make sure that you qualify.  To quality for an appointment, you must have either: 

  • A minimum of 25 pounds of any one material listed under the Acceptable Household Hazardous Waste list. * Please note that we will not make appointments for only latex paint.  If you only have latex paint, please review the list of latex paint drop sites on the Recycling Directory  OR
  • A minimum of 3 different types of materials listed under the Acceptable Household Hazardous Waste list.

Once you make an appointment:

  • A Collection Kit is shipped so you receive it a few days before your scheduled collection.  The Kit includes a bag to contain your materials, instructions, labels and a tie to secure the bag.

Assemble all your HHW according to the instructions.  Be sure to include the $15 co-payment. We will not accept materials without lids or those which are leaking or not labeled. Containers must be 5-gallons or less.  The collection bag holds about 10-12 gallons.  If you have more waste than will fit in the bag and are willing to pay for collection of the excess material, then please call the 1-800-449-7587 hotline to arrange for payment for those additional items.

** Note: Denver residents that reside in multi-family buildings with more than 7 units are not eligible for a door-to-door collection, but may make an appointment to drop off items at the Denver Regional Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Residents using the program will be responsible for a $15 co-payment.  Drop-off appointments are limited, so only residents living in buildings with more than 7 units are eligible for drop-off appointments.

Please visit the site below if you do not live in Denver and are interested in a hazardous waste program in your city.

http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDPHE-HM/CBON/1251616594182

 

Alternative Drop off areas for Items:

1)  Latex Paint-  for list of drop sites, visit denvergov.org/recyclingdirectory, or call 311

2)  Compact Fluorescent light bulbs- all Home Depots, Lowes and Ace Hardware stores accept CFLs for recycling, no tubes

3)  Motor Oil and Auto Batteries- most AutoZone’s, Checker Auto Parts, Advanced Auto Parts and Pep Boys stores will accept motor oil and auto batteries

4)  Antifreeze-  Most grease Monkey stores

5)  Household Batteries- Batteries plus accepts, 303-504-0101.  they accept rechargeable batteries and lead-acid batteries.  There is no fee for small quantities.  also, Best Buy will accept rechargeable batteries at kiosk inside door at all stores.  They will also accept all electronics at the “Geek Squad”  desk

 

Thanks for your time, I hope this helps……………

 

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Tips to Winterizing Your Home

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Winterizing your home to prepare for the cold season can help make your place more energy-efficient, which is good for both the environment and your bank account. While outdoor winterization is important, prepping indoors is just as crucial. Here are 10 simple steps you can take to get the inside of your house ready for Old Man Winter.

Check your insulation situation. Quality insulating is one of the best ways to keep cold drafts out of your house. Your attic should have a minimum of 12 inches of insulation. If you’ve got less than this, add a new layer. The price will vary depending on the type of insulation you choose and how much you need, but you’ll get it back in the money you save on energy costs.

Make sure your ducts are properly connected and insulated. The U.S. Department of Energy says that 60 percent of heated air may be lost before it reaches air vents due to poorly connected or poorly insulated ductwork. To make sure your ducts are functioning at their best, examine them for defects and repair any gaps, holes or pinched areas. You should also vacuum them to remove any accumulated animal hair, dust or other gunk that has made its way inside.

Check the furnace and change your filters. Don’t wait until the first freeze to make sure your furnace is working. Turn it on in the fall to ensure that it’s functioning properly. For about $100 to $125, you can have an HVAC professional inspect the furnace and point out any possible issues. You should also put in a new filter and plan on checking the filter once a month to make sure it’s clean and air is flowing through unimpeded.

Insulate your pipes. There’s nothing worse in the dead of winter than having to deal with a frozen pipe that’s burst. Prevent this from happening by purchasing pipe foam to wrap around your pipes. You can pick this up at most hardware stores and then cut it to fit your pipes.

Swap out screens for storm windows and doors. It was nice having screens in your windows and doors to let in the summer breezes, but now it’s time to trade those screens out for something more heavy-duty. Installing storm windows and doors in place of the screens will help keep cold air out and warm air in, saving you up to 45 percent on your heating bill.

Accessorize your windows even more. After the storm windows are in place, you can take winterization to the next level by using caulking and weather-stripping around the frame to help reduce drafts. You can also trade out lightweight summer curtains for thicker blackout curtains that will keep heat inside.

Change the direction on your ceiling fans. Most ceiling fans are equipped with a switch that will change the direction of the fan. Flip the switch so the fan spins clockwise, which will push warm air down and recirculate it throughout your home.

Make some adjustments to your chimney. Hiring a chimney sweep to inspect your chimney once a year is a good idea to make sure everything is functioning correctly, however, you can make a couple of adjustments yourself. Start by purchasing a chimney cap with a screen that will keep foreign objects from entering the chimney, which can cause damage. Also, make sure that the damper is closed when you’re not using the chimney, which will help keep cold air from coming inside.

Reduce drafts under doorways. Keep cold air from coming in under exterior doors by fitting the entrances with a “draft snake.” A draft snake is a long, tubular piece of fabric filled with sand that will prevent drafts from coming inside.

Move furniture off vents and close up rooms that aren’t in use. Making sure your furniture isn’t covering vents may sound like a no-brainer, but you should still give the rooms in your home a once over to ensure that warm air can flow through uninhibited. You should also close up the vents in any rooms that aren’t in use, which will reduce your energy costs even more. Also, close the doors to rooms that aren’t in use when the heater is on. There’s no point in warm air traveling to uninhabited rooms

If you would like assistance tackling any of the above projects, click the “contact” button to the left and let Screw Loose? LLC take care of the rest.

Thanks for your time, I hope this helps………..

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5 Terrible Chemicals That Could Be In Products Used At Home

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Today is Earth day, yet it is also a the month when people begin to “Spring Clean”, using chemicals that can harm the planet and ourselves.  Below are 5 terrible chemicals found in household products.  Getting rid of these in your home can make for healthier home living as well as a happier planet.

1) Antibacterial Products:

Soaps, cosmetics, cleansers, lotions, toothpaste and other products may carry an “antibacterial” label, but you are really paying extra for unnecessary additives like Triclosan and its chemical cousin Triclocarban — which may be doing more harm than good. Triclosan is found in over 80 percent of Americans’ bodies and exposure has been linked to allergies, impaired reproduction, hormone disruption, and weakened muscles. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) admitted that Triclosan is no more effective at preventing illness than regular soap. Widespread use — in everything from cutting boards, yoga mats, bedding, soaps and gels — could also be promoting drug-resistant bacteria.

For over 38 years, FDA has failed to regulate these chemicals in hand soaps. NRDC has taken the agency to court to push them to finish the antimicrobial soap rule and close the loophole. In the meantime, avoid anything labeled “antibacterial” or “antimicrobial” which contains Triclosan or Triclocarban, and use regular soap and water to wash your hands.

2)  Toxic Flame Retardants:

Furniture foam is saturated with flame retardant chemicals that not only don’t stop furniture fires, but also make fires more toxic by forming deadly gases and soot, the real killers in most fires. What’s worse, flame retardant chemicals are linked to real and measurable health impacts, including lower IQs and decreased attention spans for children exposed in the womb, male infertility, male birth defects, and early puberty in girls. A recent study in animals linked flame retardants to autism and obesity.

Americans carry much higher levels of flame retardants in their bodies than anyone else in the world, due in large part to an ineffective California standard, which spurred the increased use of flame retardant chemicals in California and nationwide. To limit exposure and keep toxic chemicals out of our home, support California’s proposed revision to its furniture flammability standard and reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). At home, practice common-sense cleaning measures like vacuuming with a HEPA filter and damp mopping and dusting regularly.

3)  Pesticides On Your Pets:

Flea collars can leave residues on your pet, exposing your family to two very hazardous pesticides, Tetrachlorvinphos and Propoxur, types of chemicals largely banned from home products because of the risks to kids. These pesticides are toxic to brain development and can cause cancer. Kids are particularly at risk because their bodies are more vulnerable and their activities, like putting their hands in their mouths after petting animals or playing, increase the amount of these pesticides that gets in their bodies.

For years, NRDC has been pushing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to get toxic pet products off store shelves but the agency continues to lag in protecting our kids and pets. Learn more about safer methods of flea and tick control at GreenPaws.org and also check out Green Paws’ product guide, which ranks more than 125 flea and tick products, categorizing them by the level of their potential health threat.

4)  Toxic Lawn Care Products:

So called “Weed and Feed” lawn care products — a combination of fertilizer and toxic chemicals designed to kill weeds -results in the use of more, and often unnecessary, quantities of the weed killing chemicals. This can expose people and pets to toxic chemicals linked to reproductive harm and cancer and contaminate our air, water and homes. The most common weed killer in these products is a herbicide called 2,4-D, but Dicamba and Mecoprop are also used. The chemicals in these products find their way into our homes tracked in by shoes and pet paws. Once inside your home, 2,4-D can remain in carpets for months Young children who crawl on carpets or play on the floor and grass are most at risk for exposure through their skin, inhalation of household dust or ingestion when they put their hands in their mouths.

Better gardening methods exist. Weeds can be removed by hand and there is no need to broadcast potentially toxic chemicals over a large area for a small problem. For particularly troublesome areas, spot application of herbicides is a better approach. The best way to choke out weeds is to grow a healthy organic lawn.

5)  Toxic Pesticides in Children’s Shampoo:

Lindane is a hazardous insecticide found in shampoo treatments for head lice and scabies that can lead to respiratory problems, numbness, seizures and even death. Despite the established health and environmental dangers of Lindane — and the existence of alternatives — the chemical is still sold in most of the United States as a prescription drug. The FDA has refused to remove Lindane from the market, even though it is a DDT-related pesticide banned by the EPA and being phased out around the world by international treaty.

So if it is time to purge items from your home, start with the toxins and then move onto the junk.

If you have any home project needs, click on the “Contact Button” to the right and let Screw Loose?LLC take care of the rest.

Thanks for your time, I hope this helps………

 

 

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Ladder Safety

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The Month of March is where ladders start to become a part of a DIYers life again. While a lot of projects around the house could not be done without ladders, they can also make projects a bit more dangerous if not used properly.  The consumer product safety commission estimates that ladder accidents result in 150 deaths and over 180,000 accidents per year.  Below is some information about ladders and some things to do to avoid accidents.

Ladder basics
The material a ladder is made of can significantly affect its performance and your safety. Aluminum ladders are a good choice because they combine strength with little weight. Fiberglass ladders are the best choice for doing electrical work or when working near power lines because fiberglass is non-conductive. Wood ladders, on the other hand, are almost a thing of the past. They are heavy and more fragile than aluminum or fiberglass. Although I still have a couple of wood ladders at home, I use them only for light-duty tasks such as replacing light bulbs and dusting the blades of ceiling fans. At my place of work we no longer use wood ladders — most of them became unstable and warped with age, and many were crack

ed or missing pieces. Unless your wood ladder is in good condition, stick with more modern materials.

Ladder ratings
Ladders are rated by the amount of wei

ght they can safely bear (including the person

using the ladder plus any tools and materials). Each is clearly marked with a color-coded label stating its duty rating:

•Red (Type III) is for light-duty and household use and can support up to 200 pounds.

•Green (Type II) is medium-duty (up to 225 pounds) and suffices for most painting and handyman tasks.

• Blue (Type I) is considered heavy-duty (up to 250 pounds).

•Orange (Type IA) is extra-heavy-duty (up to 300 pounds).

•Yellow (Type IAA) is special- or rugged-duty (up to 375 pounds).

Ladder Precautions

Each time you use a ladder, inspect it to ensure that it’s in good working order and free of any grease, dirt or oil that might cause you to slip. Make sure that all of the mechanical parts operate smoothly. As you set it up, follow these rules:

• Open stepladders to their full width, and make sure that the cross braces are locked in place.

• Never use a stepladder as you would an extension ladder (folded flat and leaning against the wall).

• A ladder’s legs must rest on a firm, level surface. This is usually not a problem indoors, but outdoors you may need to shim one or both of the legs with wood or another flat, hard material. These supports must be able to bear the combined weight of the ladder, the person climbing and any materials and tools. The supports should also be large enough that the ladder’s legs won’t slip off of them if your weight shifts the position of the ladder slightly. Ladder levelers, short extensions for the legs of extension ladders, will do the same job without the risk of slippage.

• Extension ladders must extend at least 3 ft. above the highest support point (such as the gutter or roofline) to provide a handhold when stepping from the ladder to the roof and to allow for extra contact area in case the ladder shifts.

• If your ladder’s legs must rest on a slope, be sure to block behind the ladder by driving stakes, such as pieces of pipe or rebar, deep into the ground. The little metal teeth on the feet of the ladder are not enough to keep the ladder from slipping.

• No matter how well you position your ladder, it never hurts to have a spotter, especially if the ladder is leaning against a curved surface, such as a tree.

• Never move a ladder while standing on it. Always climb down, move the ladder, check its stability and then climb back up.

If you have areas in your home you cant get to or do not have a ladder to accomplish the project you want to do around your home, click the “contact” button to the right and let Screw Loose? LLC take care of the rest.

 

Thanks for your time, I hope this helps…………..

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Special Uses For Common Household Products

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We are in the age of recycling, but sometimes we do not know how to recycle certain items around the house.  Avoid buying extra items by following the ideas below to re-purpose some of your common household items, instead of throwing them away.

1)  Use charcoal to keep air fresh:  Place charcoal, in open bowls or perforated plastic bags, in your fridge or drawers to banish odors.

2)  Use plastic tops to catch paint off a paint brush:  Cut a hole in a lid large enough for a paintbrush handle. Slip the handle through the opening, and paint mess-free.

yogurt cups used to catch paint drops

3)  Use vinegar to revive old paint brushes:  Soak gunked-up nylon brushes in hot vinegar for up to 30 minutes to remove paint and soften the bristles. Afterward, wash them in hot, soapy water, brushing off paint as needed, then rinse and let dry—good as new.

4)  Use foam packaging peanuts to lighten up heavy planters: Pour peanuts into a large pot and add soil to boost drainage and make it easier to move.

use packing peanuts to boost drainage in and lighten large planting pots

5)  Use aluminum foil to sharpen scissors:  Fold a sheet of foil several times and cut through it with a pair of dull scissors to sharpen the blades.

6)  Use gift cards to get rid of air bubbles:  Rub the edge of a card along a freshly wallpapered surface—especially in corners and around tight spots near windows and doors—to help the paper lie smoothly.

7)  Use plastic plant pots to organize hardware:  Use seedling trays in drawers or on your workbench to sort and store nuts, bolts, nails, and odds and ends.

8)  Use shellac to restore old hardware:  After removing dirt and paint drips from hinges, knobs, and pulls, seal the pieces with clear shellac—it will keep brasses from tarnishing too.

9)  Use carpet scraps to move heavy furniture:  You’ve seen the infomercials for those furniture sliders, right? Well now you can make your own! Slide pieces of carpet pile-side down under-neath the legs of a bureau, bed, or dresser, then push it across the floor—much easier than lifting.

10)  Use sponges to keep water-loving plants moist:  Place a sponge in the bottom of a planter before adding soil, to keep water in reserve.

11)  Use coffee filters to keep windows clear:  Spray panes with glass cleaner, then wipe away with a doubled-up coffee filter. No lint, no streaks.

12)  Use car wax to unstick hinges:  Use car wax to lubricate the hinges of garden shears and scissors

13)  Use sand to give paint some grip:  In a bucket, combine 2 cups of paint with ¾ cup of sand. Use the mixture to coat stair treads; let dry, then top them with a coat of regular paint.

14)  Use plastic bags to apply waxes and creams:  Use a bag as a mitt to spread furniture wax or polish. Then buff to a shiny finish using a soft, dry cloth.

15)  Use chopsticks to label plants:  Create markers by stapling a plant’s seed packet to a chopstick and placing it inside the pot or bed.

16)  Use copper pipe to hold toilet paper:  Copper gleams as a support for toilet paper.  To keep its sheen, spray it with lacquer.

copper pipe used as toilet paper holder

17)  use dental floss to hang pictures:  Braided wire can mar your wall, use dental floss instead.

18)  Use old magazines to keep glass paint free:  Who needs tape? Before painting window muntins, wet the edges of magazine pages and press them onto the panes, edges against the muntins. After painting, the paper peels off easily.

dental floss used to hang picture frames

If you need assistance with any home projects, or utilizing some of the above techniques, click the contact tab to the right and let Screw Loose?  LLC take care of the rest.

 

Thanks for your time, I hope this helps……………………

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Water Heater Maintenance 101

AHHHH!  a hot shower, nothing beats it!  However, not many people realize what brings that joy to our every day life.  Our water heater brings it to us, and it can shut it off just as easily if it is not cared for.   The worst feeling on a winter morning to get a cold shower.  It can also be very costly to have a plumber come in on a emergency situation because the water heater is out.  Following the routine maintenance described below will allow you water heater to achieve the highest efficiency and longest life.

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new hot water tank

FACT:  a typical life span of a tank water heater is 8-12 years, but with routine maintenance a water heater can  greatly exceed life expectancy.

1)  Always keep thermostat below 120 degrees to avoid scalding and for energy efficiency.

2)  Once a year, empty the tank.  This will remove any sediment build up in the bottom and will make the unit operate quieter.

3)  Ensure there is 2 feet of clearance around the tank at all times, unless the manual specifies differently.

4)  Test the pressure relief valve once a year.  Open the valve quickly 3 times, emptying contents into a bucket.  Look for slow leaks after this test.

5)  When leaving town, put heater setting on “vacation”, saving energy, but keeping the pilot light lit.

6)  every 3-5 years have a professional examine entire tank, specifically the anode rod, which prevent water corrosion.

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corrosion on water heater connections

7)  If you see any corrosion on your tank, take immediate action to rectify the corrosion or leaks will begin as it occurred in the picture above.  This water heater needed to be replaced as the insides were eaten away by the corrosion.

8)  proper venting is important for CO emissions and to keep the pilot light lit (on gas models).

9)  Never cover the venting area on the side of the tank.  This is usually done with an insulation blanket as people think that it will make their water heater more efficient.  However, covering these vents will suffocate your water tank and it will have to be replaced.  Only cover if the manual says to cover as most water heaters today are internally insulated.

If you need assist maintaining your water heater, or have other plumbing projects in your home, click the “contact” button to the right and let Screw Loose? LLC take care of the rest.

 

Thanks for your time, I hope this helps………………

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Home Water Winter Season Maintenance Tips

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Know the location of your water shut-off valve and test it regularly.

If a pipe breaks, you won’t want to have to find it then or, worse, wait for someone to arrive at your place to find it for you. In most single-family homes, the shut-off valve is in the basement or the crawl space, on a wall facing the street.

Keep your meter pit and curb stop valve accessible

If you cannot operate your shut-off valve inside the building, you may need to have your plumber or Water company turn off the water at the curb valve near the street. Many valves cannot be operated because they have seized up over the years, or because they are inaccessible because the valve box is full of debris or out of line. Be sure your property has a curb valve, you know where it is, and the valve box is clear of debris, vertical and centered over the valve.

Turn off and drain automatic and manual sprinkler systems before first freeze.

You’ll thank yourself in the spring. The alternate freezing and thawing of water in the system can create cracks and weak spots, triggering silent underground leaks or mini-geysers.

Turn off outdoor faucets and be sure to disconnect hoses from them.

Make sure the faucet and the outside portion of the pipes are fully drained. A valve inside many houses will shut off the water’s flow; then open and close the tap outside to release any water in the pipe. Disconnect the hose to ensure that freeze-proof faucets will drain and to avoid damage to the hose from freezing water.

Winterize unheated or vacant buildings.

Significant property damage and water loss can occur before burst pipes are discovered in vacant buildings. If your vacant building has a fire protection system, make sure there is no danger that the water servicing this system might freeze.

Insulate water pipes that may be vulnerable to the cold or have caused problems before.

Pipes close to exterior walls or in unheated basements can be wrapped with pieces of insulation. Don’t overlook pipes near windows, which can quickly freeze. For particularly difficult pipes, consult a professional on how to select and apply heat tape. Pay special attention to indoor water meters. If the meter freezes, it can cause your basement to flood, and Denver Water will have to replace the meter (at your cost) before you will have water again. Caution: Improper use of heat tape can cause fires. Never put heat tape on the water meter to avoid damaging plastic components of the meter.

 

 

During Deep Freeze:(-5 and below):

Keep open cabinet doors leading to exposed pipes (such as access doors for sinks), so that household air can warm them.

The natural flow of warmer air will help combat many problems.

If you have an attached garage, keep its doors shut.

Occasionally, plumbing is routed through this unheated space, leaving it vulnerable to winter’s worst.

Crack a faucet farthest from the place where your water enters the house.

A very slow drip will keep water molecules moving, reducing the chance that pipes will freeze. Place a bucket underneath the faucet so the water can be saved for other household uses.

Keep your thermostat set above 65 degrees when leaving your house or business for several days.

 

 

If You Think Your Pipes Have Already Frozen:

How-To-Thaw-Frozen-Pipes

Don’t wait for nature to take its course:

Thaw the pipe as soon as possible or call a plumber for help.

If you do it yourself, shut off the water or test the shut-off valve.

You don’t want water suddenly gushing from the pipe when it thaws.

Remember: When thawing things, slower is better.

Pipes warmed too fast may break.

A hair dryer trained at the frozen area of the pipe is appropriate. A blow torch is not.

 

 

If you need assistance with frozen pipes, insulating pipes, or any other plumbing issues, click the “contact button to the right and let Screw Loose? LLC take care of the rest

Thanks for your time, I hope this helps………….

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Garbage Disposal Not Working?