Month: June 2020

Asphalt roofing: all you need to know

There are many factors involved when you decide to update your roof. As the first defense for your roof, you want shingles that are both strong and that will last for many years. Other factors include the cost of the roof, how much maintenance it requires and possibly the appearance.

For these reasons, many homeowners choose asphalt roofing as the preferred choice when it comes to the right balance between cost and benefits.

Active Roofing Ltd.  is a full-service roofing company, including doing asphalt roofing installation. They share more of the information and benefits that asphalt roofing offers:

Types of asphalt shingles 

Asphalt shingles come in two different types of base materials: organic and fiberglass. Organic shingles use a base mat made up of recycled paper, wood fiber or other types of organic materials. The benefit of organic asphalt shingles is that they are incredibly durable and less prone to tearing, as well as less brittle than fiberglass shingles. However, with an organic base, they have a higher risk of fire damage.

Fiberglass, on the other hand, uses a base mat of glass fiber, making it less at risk of fire damage. Thanks to the glass base as well, it is much lighter, meaning it is easier to install. Fiberglass shingles also contain less asphalt than organic, making them a more environmentally friendly option. The downside, however, is that fiberglass is less ideal for extremely cold climates, as it can become brittle and break.

Design and appearance 

Asphalt shingles in general also come in a wide range of colours and textures, which can be chosen to customize your home. The design of the shingles though comes in two different options: architectural or 3-tab shingles. The latter is laid out in a strip of three evenly spaced tabs, creating a flat and uniform pattern. These are the most commonly used, as they are both lighter and cost less than architectural.

Architectural shingles can vary in shape and are both thicker and stronger than 3-tab shingles. These shingles are multi-layered and as such create a 3-dimensional appearance when installed. Because of their 3-D design, architectural shingles are better able to replicate the look of wood shingles.

Maintenance and benefits

When it comes to maintenance, asphalt roofing is one that requires very little. The care it does need is similar to the basic care of any other roofing. Clearing debris from the roof and gutters, as well as routine inspections,  will help prevent or catch problems early on. It is also important to replace any shingles that are damaged to prevent roof leaks or structural water damage.

In addition to the benefits of its low installation cost and maintenance, asphalt shingles are also very energy-efficient. They easily reflect sunlight, which helps keep your home cooler and keeps monthly bills down. Plus, with the availability of colours and designs, asphalt shingles can also easily enhance the visual appeal of your home. Read more about choosing the right asphalt shingle colour to compliment your home.

Roofers in Vancouver 

Active Roofing Ltd. offers only the best service and expertise when it comes to installing the right roof for your home. Whether it is upgrading an old roof, installing a new roof or just a basic repair, Active Roofing is the professionals to call.

Contact Active Roofing Ltd. today for any questions or to book an installation!

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Click to Find >>>> Roofers in Vancouver

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Solar Panel Cost in Canada  

Thanks to the advancements in technology and the push to go green, more home and business owners are making the switch to sustainable, clean energy. A solar system harnesses the energy from the sun to power our homes. Over the years, solar panel cost has steadily dropped, making it more available and easier to install.

That said, the cost of solar panels is a significant investment that requires the right commitment and a period of waiting to see a return on that investment. While the benefits and value that solar offers often outweigh the cost, it’s important to understand the breakdown. Depending on where in Canada you live, the price of a solar power system will vary. What won’t vary, however, are the benefits offered by going solar.

Why solar power?  

Switching to solar power is a long-term investment that should be considered if you are planning to stay in your home for many more years. You want to be there to reap the benefits of your investment. The payback of solar is extremely worthwhile and it more than pays itself off over the long-term. Solar power offers both personal benefits and environmental ones.

Reduce and eliminate energy costs

For starters, those monthly energy bill payments will drop significantly. Given the right-sized system and enough time, it’s even possible to reduce electricity bills to $0. The average lifespan of a solar panel is guaranteed for 25 years but can easily last 30 years or more. Plus, throughout that lifespan, solar panels will only see a 0.5% efficiency reduction per year. So, even years down the road, a solar system will continue to produce a steady supply of energy. For prospective buyers, as well, the appeal of buying a home outfitted with solar panels is ever-increasing, meaning that if you do decide to sell in a few years, that solar investment will add value to your home.

Reduce your carbon footprint

From an environmental perspective, solar power is just as beneficial and appealing. Naturally, as a source of green energy, solar helps combat climate change and pollution. Likewise, solar energy is an entirely renewable source. As long as the sun exists, solar energy will never run out. Non-renewable sources, such as fossil fuels, will eventually run out and burning fossil fuels is contributing to climate change.

According to the Canada Energy Regulator, 2040 is expected to see solar power make up 3% of the total generated electricity in Canada. With that in mind, investing in solar power now is a great head start on guaranteed future benefits. It’s important to understand the cost of investing in solar, by breaking down the expenses.  

Infographic - Solar Panel Cost in Canada

Cost breakdown 

First, breaking down the final cost of a solar system means looking at the various parts and involved stages. The cost is split between the system itself and how much power costs in each province. Solar systems are calculated in dollars per installed watt ($/W), where a low cost, high wattage, is ideal. The prices for this vary between provinces. Alberta, for example, costs between $2.51-$2.77 per installed watt. Newfoundland & Labrador, however, costs between $3.53-$4.31 per installed watt.  

One thing you never want to skimp on to save expenses is the professional installation of your solar panels. You always want someone with lots of experience, skill, and who is certified in solar installations. Solar panels prices are a major upfront investment, so you want to invest properly at every step. Plus, the installation will need to be signed off by a professional electrician or solar installer to be approved during an inspection from your local municipality.

Installation and parts

Different parts of the solar energy system can also affect the final cost. The solar panels are easily recognized as they are what sit on your roof and collect the sunlight to convert to electricity. The panels’ size depends on the amount of energy each one produces and ranges from 250 to 400 Watts. The number of panels needed depends on how much power each one provides. More power, for example, will mean fewer panels are necessary for your home.

Inverters

Inverters are the second part of the system and convert “direct current” (DC) into “alternating current” (AC). AC is the energy used by homes, so it must be converted before being used. Then there is the energy storage device, which is key for storing excess energy and saving it for later. This stored energy can be re-accessed during cloudy days, nights, or in the winter when there is less sunlight.

The other option is  “Net Metering,” which uses the grid to store energy. Excess energy goes back to the grid and gets applied as a credit to your utility bills. Similar to a battery, when you need more power, you just use the credit to access that stored energy again. This method is currently very popular in Canada and is used by most solar system owners.

Racking

The final part of a solar system and is what holds each panel in place. Roof-mounted racking is typically how solar panels are installed on houses. Different styles can are available for angled or flat roofs, as well as metal or shingled roofs. Ground-mounted racking is another option if your roof can’t support solar panels. This method is more expensive up front, however, since it requires extra materials to secure. Steel and aluminum are the most common materials, but wood may be an option if a homeowner DIY’s the racking. DIY is typically not recommended, as wood won’t last for the duration of the solar panel’s lifespan. If you choose ground racking, then hire a professional to help.

Cost of the system 

Depending on the number of solar panels, what type of inverters you choose, and what method of racking, the final solar panel cost will vary. Other factors, such as climate and daily amount of sunlight, will also affect the efficiency of the system. Nova Scotia and Alberta, for example, get lots of sunlight, making them ideal for solar, which lowers the cost. 

Calculating the cost of solar panels is also a two-part breakdown between what size you need and the cost to install.  

Calculating the size

The size of the system refers to how much energy you need your new solar panel system to produce. This amount will vary depending on much energy your home uses throughout the year and what type of energy. To do so, add up each month then divide the total by the annual average of sunlight hours in your province. Depending on whether your home currently uses gas or electricity, the numbers will vary.

Calculation: System size (kW) = yearly home energy use (kWh) / annual average of solar hours (h)

Energyhub.org breaks down the annual average amount of full sunlight for each province as such: 

Saskatchewan: 1330 kWh/yr

Alberta: 1276 kWh/yr

Manitoba: 1272 kWh/yr

Québec: 1183 kWh/yr

Ontario: 1166 kWh/yr

New Brunswick: 1142 kWh/yr

Prince Edward Island: 1104 kWh/yr

Nunavut: 1092 kWh/yr

Nova Scotia: 1090 kWh/yr

Northwest Territories: 1064 kWh/yr

British Columbia: 1004 kWh/yr

Yukon Territory: 965 kWh/yr

Newfoundland & Labrador: 949 kWh/yr

Once you know the size needed for your home, you can calculate the cost to install it. Keep in mind that the upfront cost for solar energy is much more expensive. However, the long-term payback and benefits are what make the outlay worthwhile.

Calculating the cost

To calculate the solar panel cost, you simply need to multiply the size of your system by the cost per installed watt ($/W).

Calculation: system cost = size of system x cost per installed watt.

Energyhub.org breaks down the cost for each province per installed watt as such:

Alberta: $2.51-$2.77

British Columbia: $2.54-$2.69

Manitoba: $2.63-$2.90

New Brunswick: $2.65-$3.24

Newfoundland & Labrador: $3.53-$4.31

Northwest Territories: $2.43-$2.68

Nova Scotia: $2.74-$3.35

Nunavut $4.00+

Ontario: $2.34-$2.59

Prince Edward Island: $2.73-$3.33

Québec: $2.56-$2.83

Saskatchewan: $2.64-$3.22

Yukon Territory: $2.77-$3.38 

Pricing example

Imagine you live in a gas-heated home in Alberta and use 15,000 kWh annually. The size of your required system would be:  

(15,000kWh / 1276h = 11.76kW)

Then, use that number to calculate the total cost for your system: 

11,760 Watts x $2.51-$2.77 = $29,518 – $32,575

A system that needs 11.76 kW would cost between $29,518 – $32,575 to install in Alberta.  

Keep in mind that this is just an average estimate. Other factors, such as how much energy your household uses each month or what size you need, as a result, will affect the final solar panel cost. Even where you live in Canada will cause prices to vary, as the price for electricity and hours of sunlight is different.  

Clean energy incentives and rebates

In order to help offset the cost of solar panel installation, most provinces have introduced incentives and rebates. These rebates encourage more people to go solar, as well as help those who already have, to offset the cost. Rebates return a portion of the cost, to help more homeowners handle the cost of going solar. In addition to solar rebates, some provinces offer other clean energy incentives to help make your whole home a green, energy-efficient space.

The rebates

Alberta: No longer offers provincial solar incentives; there are incentives for Canmore, Edmonton, and Medicine Hat.

British Columbia: Offers a multitude of various rebates, including a Renewable Energy Rebate for solar energy installation.

Manitoba: Manitoba Hydro Solar Rebate Program ended in 2018. However, the Green Energy Equipment Tax Credit offers a 10% refund on solar panels prices.

New Brunswick: The Total Home Energy Savings Program rebates from $0.20/Watt to $0.30/Watt on solar power. Higher savings are rewarded based on the amount of energy-saving upgrades your home has.

Newfoundland and Labrador: Currently do not have solar rebates in place.

Northwest Territories: Offers a 50% rebate on solar energy through the Alternative Energy Technologies Program.

Nova Scotia: Solar Homes offers a rebate of $0.60/Watt and covers approximately 25% of the solar system’s cost.

Nunavut: Does not offer solar rebates or incentive programs.

Ontario: Provincial energy efficiency programs and clean energy incentives have both been cancelled in Ontario.  

Prince Edward Island: The Solar Electric Rebate Program helps provide support and incentive for solar panel installations. The requirement for residential homes is $1,000/kilowatt installed, not exceeding 40% of the total cost.

Québec: Currently does not have a solar rebate in place, though there was a temporary incentive from 2016-2019.

Saskatchewan: No longer offers solar rebates or incentives. The old SaskPower Solar Rebate was slashed and then revamped for Nov. 1, 2019. This no longer offers rebates, but you can credit excess energy at 7.5 cents/kWh, which is down from the original 14 cents/kWh.

Yukon Territory: The Renewable Energy Systems Rebate offers as much as $800/kW for residential homes using off-grid power. The rebate offers up to a maximum of $5,000 per system per year.  

Considerations of solar power

With the benefits and costs of solar power in mind, it’s also important to consider other elements of solar. A roof that can support solar panels, for example, will play a major role in the deciding factor. Solar installers will help optimize the panels’ location, but your roof must get enough sunlight first. It’s also worthwhile to cover any reroofing needs or repairs now before you install any panels. Once the panels are installed, maintenance is another thing to consider. Unless the panels are clear, your home won’t be benefiting from full solar capacity. Clearing away dust, debris, and snow in the winter needs regular upkeep.  

Then there is the matter of sunlight. Depending on your energy needs, being able to maximize the amount of sunlight you get will play a significant role. Alberta and Manitoba, for example, get 1,276 and 1,272 respective hours annually. These make them prime areas for solar energy, while Yukon only gets 965 hours. In addition to savings, the total hours of sunlight will factor into how long your payback period is.

The payback period

This period refers to the amount of time it will take for your solar panels to produce the initial investment cost. In Canada, this timeline varies from 8 to 16 years and again depends on your current province. You can, however, calculate the timeline yourself and see how long it takes before you start turning a profit.

First, calculate the system’s gross cost by adding up everything you paid and subtracting any rebates. From there, calculate the amount of savings that you will make each year with your system. This final number will tell what your payback period will be. You should also consider the environmental payback, and by eliminating the use of fossil fuels, the positive impact you’re making no the environment.

Remember, going solar is never a decision homeowners regret. So, once you’ve made the decision, look for a certified solar company to help!

Find a RenovationFind certified solar company now!

RenovationFind Certified is a symbol of integrity held by only the most trustworthy companies in home improvement, service, maintenance. 

This post first appeared on https://blog.renovationfind.com

USB wall outlets vs. standard outlets 

Electronic devices aren’t just changing the way we live or communicate. They are changing the way we charge. Wall outlets with adaptors have been common for years, but a demand for more convenience and faster charging is now taking over. When USB wall outlets first started appearing, it was in airports or cafes. Now, USB outlets are making their way into homes where people can access easy charging for their devices at any time.

Based on how much we depend on our smartphones, tablets and other devices, it seems that USB outlets are here to stay. As the technology for devices advances, efficient and quality USB charging is quickly becoming the new norm. Updating your electrical to include USB outlets is more than just a temporary convenience; it’s a long-term investment with great benefits.

Standard outlets

If you take a look around your home right now, you’ll find that most walls have standard outlets. These outlets have three slots in them, with two on the side and one rounded one on the bottom. The two vertical slots are hot and neutral, respectively, while the bottom slot is a ground slot. The grounded slot acts as an added safety measure against any short-circuiting by redirecting the charge into the ground. Any connected devices stay safe this way, and there is no risk of being dangerously shocked.

Design

The design of a standard outlet is simple enough, but there are different styles with special features. A GFCI outlet, or ground fault circuit interrupter, has two small “reset” and “test” buttons between the slots. This type of outlet is typical in bathrooms, kitchens, or any areas where water is involved. The GFCI monitors all electricity and will trip itself and turn off if there is a dangerous surge of power.

Other types include AFCI outlets, or arc-fault receptacle, which protects homes against electrical fires. Tamper-resistant receptacle outlets are ideal for protecting children against electrical harm. The outlets have shutters built in that only open for electrical plugs and otherwise, stay sealed when not in use. For outlets placed outside of the house, there are weather-resistant ones with built-in weather hoods. These can resist rain, snow, and even moisture, and won’t corrode while outdoors.

Benefits

The main advantage of standard outlets is their wide range of designs and uses. Each room in your home can have a different outlet that will suit the space’s needs. That may mean a GFCI outlet in the bathrooms or near kitchen sinks or a weather-resistant outlet to add to your outdoor seating. All standard outlets also have three-prongs instead of two-prongs, which provide an added level of protection. Without the grounded bottom slot, two-prong outlets are at higher risk of fires, electrical surges, and costly resulting damage.

Older homes may still have two-prong outlets, which aside from being a safety risk, aren’t up to code anymore. If you have old outlets, it’s a worthwhile investment to call a professional electrician to update them. Depending on your electrical needs as well, it may be the perfect time to switch to outlets that offer a USB port as well.

Infographic USB Wall Out lets VS Standard Outlets

USB wall outlets

USB outlets combine the design of a standard outlet, but with the added benefit of USB slots, which effectively double its function. As homes are filling more and more with various electronic devices, these outlets are becoming increasingly popular. You can have outlets installed that have both the three-pronged outlet as well as the USB ports, so you can accommodate a range of electronics. You can also have straight USB outlets installed if you wanted a designated charging station in your home.

Design

Despite not having as many diverse options for GFCI or AFCI designs, there are still various styles of USB outlets. Depending on personal needs or wants, USB outlets can easily be customized to suit those demands. The typical USB wall outlet model has two outlet slots and two USB slots in between. Other models can have two USB slots but only one outlet or have four slots of USBs only.

Kitchens, for example, typically benefit from having a four USB slot outlet as a dedicated charging station. Likewise, a home office, where various devices need to power, would benefit from an additional USB only outlet. USB wall outlets can also come with tamper-resistant designs, to help keep them safe around children.

Benefits

One of the main advantages of owning an electrical outlet with USB is the lack of bulk or need for adaptors to charge your devices. Instead, cables are plugged straight into the USB port, saving both space and visual clutter. Not only that, but USB outlets charge faster than through an adaptor, as much as 40 percent faster. The reason being is that most USB outlets have a smart detector that optimizes the amount of power needed to charge the device. Similar to the variety of designs with standard outlets, the various number of USB outlets can be customized. Each room can have a different style to better suit each need, no matter where you are in your home.

USB outlets will also vary based on their USB ports, which depending on the model, will affect what cables will fit. For USB wall outlet connections, there is either USB-A or USB-C. Depending on the style of your USB outlet, it may come with just type A or have both type A and C. Before you buy a new outlet, it’s necessary to understand the differences so you can buy the right style.

Difference between USB-A and USB-C

In addition to type A and type C, there is also USB-B. However, type B is for connecting printers, computers, or external hard drives. The design itself is also recognizable by its squared appearance, compared to the smaller and slimmer design of type A or C. Because type B is used for connecting and not charging, USB outlets don’t use type B.

USB-A

Type A is the most common type of USB and is easy to recognize on most USB ports on laptops and computers. The design is identifiable by its small, rectangular shape and grids on one side inside the head. These grids make it notoriously one-sided, meaning it has to be put in the right side up before the USB plugs in. Most laptops still have a type-A slot, but as charging sizes have changed, especially for phones, two new styles of type A were developed: micro and mini.

Mini USB-A: Mini USBs were first introduced back in 2005 and are much smaller than the traditional type A. Despite having slightly less power, the smaller size means more compatibility for more devices. Everything from cell phones, cameras, and mp3 players can be charged with the mini. Additionally, they have a much longer lifespan and can be connected and disconnected upwards of 5,000 times before showing wear.

Micro USB-A: The micro USB was released in 2007 and is essentially a newer and more efficient version of the mini USB. It is the smallest of the three but is quickly becoming the universal design for USB ports and cables. Micro USBs are also much more robust and long-lasting with a connect and disconnect lifespan of upwards of 10,000 times. It can also transport data in addition to working as a charging cable. Mini USBs are still around, but they are steadily becoming obsolete in favour of the micro.

Most USB outlets come with at least one of the two USB slots being a type A, which allows older phones or laptops to still charge at the outlet. However, the type-A slot isn’t split between micro or mini support. Instead, the secondary slot is compatible with type C, which acts as the all-in-one updated version of a type-A USB.

USB-C

Type C ports are much newer models that are more and more becoming the new standard for cell phones, controllers, and even laptops. Unlike type A as well, USB-C can work for both charging and data transfer, much like the micro USB. Another attractive key feature is its slimmer design and lack of interior grids, meaning there is no right or wrong side. Whichever way it’s plugged in, it will work. As an updated model, the USB-C offers a much faster charging speed than the USB-A. It is also universal across most products, from Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung, so no device is excluded from use.

Because USB-C is still relatively new to the technological scene, USB outlets still offer both type A and C slots. Depending on the types of devices in your home, you may need to use both types of slots. As the popularity of USB-C is still growing, it’s a safe bet to buy an outlet with both.

Signs you should upgrade your outlets

Most of the time, outlets are used without much thought, at least until something goes wrong. Discoloration has appeared on the walls, for example, the plug falls out right away, or there’s smoke from the outlet in severe cases. In situations like these, calling in an electrician for help is the safest and obvious course of action. But just because your outlets aren’t in trouble and work, doesn’t mean they are still meeting your needs. Broken outlets are a great excuse to update them, but don’t let that be the only reason. As technology advances and new needs arise, consider some other signs that it’s time for an update:

1. Time to declutter

Is the area around your wall outlets turning into a cluttered mess? If so, it’s time to update the outlet with something more efficient. By installing USB electrical outlets, you’ll free up a ton of counter space by not needing all those adaptors and cables. You can also choose where to add your new USB outlet so that appliances and devices aren’t competing for use or space.

2. You want more convenience

Instead of constantly having to unplug other cables before you can charge your phone, a USB outlet saves that trouble. If you have a home office, you can plug in your computer, printer, and phone without a second thought. Not only that, but every device will charge just as fast, even with simultaneous charges. Install multiple USB outlets throughout your home, so you never find yourself without a convenient place to charge.

3. The power just isn’t enough

Charging your device through a wall adaptor may be faster than through a laptop, but it still takes time. With a USB electrical outlet not only will it charge faster, but you can charge more. USB outlets are optimized to feed enough power to a device to charge it quickly. Instead of relying on power cords or extension cords, a USB outlet will cover it all. It’s also safer to use than extension cords, which can eventually deteriorate and result in safety issues.

What to look for in a USB outlet

Once you’ve settled on upgrading to USB electrical outlets, it’s time to know what to look for. Everything from the electrical rating or number of USB slots must be taken into consideration first.

Choose higher amperage

Don’t worry about overloading your device by choosing a high amperage USB outlet. The USB port itself will recognize how much power a device needs and will only deliver the safest amount. By selecting the highest amperage, you can ensure the fastest possible charging speed for your device. Each USB port will split the total charge between the two, so a higher overall number means an even split. Amperage can range from 1.0a/2.0a up to a 4.8a power charge. Depending on what and how many devices you plan to charge, you may want more power.

Decide on the number of USB slots 

Depending on where in your house your plan to install a USB outlet, it’ll affect how many slots you need. For a home office, you want an even split between USB and three-prong sockets. A kitchen, though, may benefit from a dedicated charging station with just USB slots. Plan which rooms will benefit the most from a USB electrical outlet, then settle on the number. Also, take a look at what type of USB slots are offered, whether its two type A or one type A and one type C. Depending on what devices you own, you may only need type A USB slots. If your household has a blend, buy a USB outlet that offers both types of slots.

What safety features do you want

USB outlets don’t have as many varieties as standard outlets, but there are still some safety features to consider. A surge protector USB, for example, will offer an added layer of protection for your device against power surges. If you have small or visiting children, then a USB outlet with tamper resistance is ideal. For double the protection, buy a USB outlet that offers both surge and tamper protection.

Don’t skip out on cost either by choosing the cheapest option or an uncertified one. With electronics, it’s always safer to choose a slightly more expensive option, as an investment that isn’t low-quality and risky. Certifications such as UL and NEC code outlets will guarantee that your outlets are up to standard and so safe for your home and devices.

Safety first: leave it to the pros

It may be true that installing new outlets is an easy matter, but that doesn’t mean you should DIY it. Without the right safety experience and electrical knowledge, there is a bigger risk of installing the outlet wrong and inviting unnecessary danger. Not only that, but it can affect

the value of your home if the outlets aren’t up to electrical safety codes. Instead, call a professional electrician to handle the installation for you. Their experience and skill will ensure everything is properly installed so that your home and family stay safe.

Find a RenovationFind certified electrician in your area!

RenovationFind Certified is a symbol of integrity held by only the most trustworthy companies in home improvement, service, maintenance. 

This post first appeared on https://blog.renovationfind.com

Leveling your concrete floor

Undergoing a basement renovation or looking to install new flooring? Before anything can be done, it’s important to level the floor. It may be difficult to proceed on a project with a slanted concrete foundation. Installing a flooring textile will be difficult with cracks or slants. Pieces could bend and pop out of place, or not even go in at all. With the help of Edmonton Concrete and Asphalt, leveling your floor can be a project made easy.

Step 1: Fill any cracks

The first step before leveling is to fill in any cracks in the concrete. These cracks can cause problems in the future for your foundation. The cracks may also increase in size, causing the floor to bend or slant. Concrete contractors will check the space for cracks in the surface, filling them accordingly.

Step 2: Latex bonding

Once the floor is dry and the cracks are filled, latex bonding is applied. This layer will act as an adherence for the concrete materials and an extra layer of protection for your flooring. Brushes or mops are used in order to effectively spread the material.

Step 3: Mix the concrete

Mixing concrete is a relatively easy step. All it requires is mixing the bagged compound with water, according to the instructions of the bag. For larger jobs, the concrete will be mixed in a commercial concrete mixer. The compound must be completely mixed for the concrete to have the best performance.

Step 4: Pour and spread

It’s important to pour the substance quickly, as it’s a fast-drying substance. Once poured, the contractor will have to work quickly to spread it around, making sure that the material reaches every part of the floor in the space.

Step 5: Dry time

The last thing to do is… well, wait. This step doesn’t require the assistance of a contractor or construction worker, but your patience. Let the floor dry for several days before walking or working on it. You don’t want any footprints under your flooring.

Step 6: Continue on your renovations

Once your flooring in the basement is level, you can move on with your basement plans. The workers at Edmonton Concrete and Asphalt have the experience to ensure that everything is done properly, and any future projects you may have will go on smoothly. Now, you can truly make the space your own with a proper, level floor.

Concrete Contractors in Edmonton

Edmonton Concrete and Asphalt is a licensed, multi-faceted group of contractors. They provide a comprehensive scope of services throughout Alberta and its regions. They encompass the industrial, commercial, and residential areas for all of your Edmonton concrete, asphalt and paving, parking lot maintenance, excavation, demolition, and epoxy surface needs.

Looking for help? Contact Edmonton Concrete and Asphalt today!

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RenovationFind Certified is a symbol of integrity held by only the most trustworthy companies in home improvement, service, maintenance.  It increases consumer confidence in your business, giving you an edge over your competition while validating you as the best.
More than an online directory, we are Western Canada’s fastest-growing marketing platform for promoting and connecting the best trades, service, and home improvement companies to homeowners.

This post first appeared on https://blog.renovationfind.com

Why you shouldn’t attempt DIY spray foam insulation

Spray foam insulation is one of the most energy-efficient insulation products on the market. It can be applied in hard-to-reach places. Spray foam fills in all gaps, providing a perfect air and water-tight seal. It also acts as an insulator and moisture barrier at once, unlike traditional batt insulation that requires a moisture barrier to be installed for it to be effective.

It’s great if you want to reap the benefits of spray foam insulation, but you should never attempt DIY spray foam. Foametix in Winnipeg shares why:

It requires specific equipment.

Spray foam is created by combining two liquids in a specialized spray foam container and gun. When they combine, they create a chemical reaction to form polyurethane foam. Then the foam is carefully sprayed and applied to the wall or other space that requires insulation. This equipment and materials can be expensive to buy and complicated to use. Professional spray foam installers have the equipment and supplies to do the job correctly and efficiently.

There’s a lot more to it than just ‘spraying it on’.

Your spray foam application has to be a very specific thickness. Ideally, you want it in even layers, no more than a few inches thick. Each layer has to cool before you add another one. If it doesn’t cool properly, it will crack. So, if your application is too thick it can trap heat and reduce circulation. If it’s too thin, it can’t perform at peak efficiency. Experienced insulation contractors have the training and expertise to install your spray foam insulation perfectly.

It requires a lot of prep work.

Before you install any insulation, you’ll have to prepare the work area. A spray foam insulation contractor will consider thinks like the framing of the wall, plumbing, electrical and other things along the surface area receiving the spray foam. Spray foam cannot adhere to certain materials, and in those cases, a seasoned professional will know what to do.

It’s expensive to fix when installed incorrectly.

The main reason homeowners choose to DIY is to save money. If you do this job incorrectly, you’ll have to hire a company to fix it at a high cost to you. They will have to spend time cleaning up your mess, preparing the surfaces again, and then installing the new insulation. Save money, time, and stress by hiring a professional insulation contractor for your spray foam insulation, before you make any mistakes with DIY.

Insulation Contractors in Winnipeg

FOAMETIX Coatings of Western Canada is a professional insulation contracting company both with extensive experience and specialized high-level training in the insulation industry. From spray foam, attic insulation upgrades, and industrial insulation removal, you can trust the team at FOAMETIX in Winnipeg to get your insulation job done right – so you can start benefiting from energy-efficiency and savings.

Contact FOAMETIX today!

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Benefits of professional gutter cleaning and repair  

Eavestroughs play an important role in the appearance and safety of your home. Failing or clogged gutters are not only unappealing, they invite the risk of water damage and costly repairs. If the water from rain and melting snow can’t drain properly from your home, it can cause flooding near your foundation. DIY maintenance is important, but nothing beats the benefits of professional cleaning and repair.

The Gutter Doctor in Calgary is a professional exterior home services company. They share the benefits of hiring their pros to handle your eavestrough cleaning and repairs: 

You’ll avoid injury 

Ladders cause a huge risk of possibly slipping and falling. Using an older ladder can be dangerous if it is either unstable or hasn’t been well maintained. Not only is it a safety risk to you, but it may also cause damage to your roof or gutters. A professional, though, will have the experience to navigate your roof or use a ladder safely with the right equipment. They’ll handle cleaning your gutters, so you don’t have to worry about any safety risks.

They’ll catch things you may miss 

A misplaced screw or early signs of corrosion can easily go unnoticed if you don’t know to look out for it. Things such as loose screws, small cracks, or dents can quickly develop into serious and costly damage. Even overgrown tree branches can present future issues for your gutters, either by clogging or damaging them. Professionals have an eye for these little details, though, and will look for them while cleaning your gutters. Keeping up with small, professional repairs such as these will help ensure your eavestroughs have a long lifespan and don’t get destroyed over the winter.

It protects your home against damage 

Clogged gutters are an obvious risk of water damage, but so are worn or damaged gutters. Bad installation or sagging adds weight to your roof that will eventually lead to damage. If water gets into the fascia or soffit, it will weaken or even eventually cause rot. If you’re constantly repairing your gutters as well, it means your gutters aren’t properly protecting your home. Instead of spending money on constant repairs, hire a professional. They’ll provide the right repairs and cleaning to get those gutters back to full capacity. If the damage is too severe or your gutters are just old, they can help with a new installation. Professional gutter installation is just as important since it guarantees quality and safety for your home.

Basic DIY care 

Aside from hiring professional, preventative, and proactive DIY maintenance will further help protect your eavestroughs. Clearing out leaves will prevent clogs, and checking for any damages can help prevent unexpected repairs and costs. In the springtime, check to see if any tree branches are starting to grow out. If they are, take the time to cut them back to avoid leaves getting into the gutters. Keep the area around the downspout clear so that any water has a clear path away from your home. Paired with annual professional cleaning and checkups, you won’t have to worry about your gutters unexpectedly breaking down.

Eavestroughs in Calgary 

With over 15 years of dedicated service, experience, and customer satisfaction, The Gutter Doctor guarantees their skills and attention to detail. Whether your home needs gutter cleaning, fascia repairs, or roof repairs, The Gutter Doctor offers it all. They’ll give your home the quality care it deserves so that you can have absolute peace of mind.

Contact The Gutter Doctor today for all your needs!

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This post first appeared on https://blog.renovationfind.com

Questions to ask to help decide if rubber paving is for you

When it comes to driveway materials, concrete, asphalt, and gravel are typically what come to mind. But what about rubber driveways? While usually considered for interior flooring, rubber driveways are quickly becoming a more popular choice. With concrete driveways, in particular, rubber is the new solution to avoid costly repairs or resurfacing.

Dura Paving in Edmonton is a professional rubber paving company. They share some questions to ask yourself to help decide if rubber paving is for you:

Is your old driveway affecting curb appeal?

Worn out or cracked driveways can drive down your home’s curb appeal and affect resale value. You can repair concrete or asphalt but resurface with rubber if you want to give your home a new look. Rubber completely removes any cracks or stains and instead creates a seamless and attractive new driveway. Not only will it be visually appealing, but it’ll also help boost your home’s value. It’s long-lasting and naturally slip-resistant, making it ideal for children or elderly family members. You can also add some additional features, to help further boost your driveways curb appeal.

Do you have a strict budget?

Sometimes the cost of repairing or resurfacing a driveway can hold back homeowners from being able to do anything. Gravel is the most cost-efficient option, but if visuals are a factor, it may not be the first choice. With rubber paving, though, it can easily be applied over various surfaces, such as concrete or asphalt. Cost-wise, this is a great way to cut down expenses by not having to demolish your old driveway.

Rubber maintenance as well, won’t bring about any additional costs, since it’s already low maintenance. All it will need is a light water wash now and again to clean away any dirt. You won’t have to worry about ice in the winter since the surface doesn’t easily pool water. Snow can quickly also be cleared with plastic shovels, meaning your rubber driveway is low maintenance all-year-round.

How long will you stay in your house?

Are you planning to sell soon, or are you staying in your home for many more years to come? The good news is that either way, rubber paving will last for 20+ years before wearing down. That will appeal to potential buyers who will see the new driveway as a long-term investment along with the house. If you plan to stay in your home, it’s still an investment, since you won’t have to worry about replacing it for years. It’ll also add value back into your home, so down the road when you sell, that cost will pay itself back.

Do you want to customize the look?

Stamped concrete or asphalt impressions are a great way to add some customization to your driveway. Not only is this visually attractive, but it adds great curb appeal as well. If customization is something you want, rubber driveways can also easily do just that. Colour treatment is a popular choice and lets you match your driveway colours to your home. The right look can either complement your home’s décor or make your driveway a standout feature. Either way, you won’t find yourself without options!

Rubber Paving in Edmonton

At Dura Paving, they pride themselves on giving your home a fresh new look with their rubber paving. All their products are eco-friendly, and quality is always ensured to provide you with peace of mind. They offer rubber paving for driveways, walkways, patios, and pool decks. Any rubber service you need, Dura Paving is the company to call.

Contact Dura Paving today!

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Click to Find >>>>> Rubber Paving in Edmonton.

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Why you should always leave furnace repairs to the pros  

There are some repairs that can easily and safely be DIYed, but some should be left to the professionals. Knowing when to DIY and when not to can be tricky to decide, especially when you are hoping to save money. When it comes to furnace repairs, those jobs should always be left for the pros.

Cross Country Mechanical Ltd. in Spruce Grove shares some of the reasons why it is safer to leave these kinds of repairs to the professionals:

It can easily become dangerous 

Even if the problem with your furnace seems small and simple, it can easily become a bigger, serious problem. It’s always better to call in a professional to take a look and fix the problem because they will be able to do so safely. If the problem does become worse, it can quickly lead to much more costly repairs or worse still, needing a whole new furnace.

Carbon monoxide leaks are serious 

Particularly with gas furnaces, the risk of carbon monoxide leaks is a real danger both in your home and for yourself. Since carbon monoxide is both odourless and colourless, it is a deadly gas that can easily go unnoticed. CO alarms will catch any leaks, which is why you should always make sure they also get regular maintenance and still work. Read about symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure and poisoning to keep yourself safe in the event a leak does occur.

What else should be left to the professionals?

Aside from furnace repairs, there are also a few other things that are better left to the professionals. These include regular maintenance, installations, or trouble-shooting loud noises such as loud bangs or screeching. As well, recurring heating or pilot problems may be signs of serious internal problems. Any of these repairs should always be left to a professional with the knowledge and tools to safely do so.

What can I safely do myself?

Apart from the obvious safety benefits of professional fixes, there are some jobs that can be tackled at home. These, however, are more maintenance upkeep, rather than repairs. Things such as changing the air filter, adjusting the thermostat, or clearing away dust, are all safe to tackle. Between regular home maintenance and getting an annual professional maintenance check, your furnace will ideally continue to run smoothly. However, if something acts up, then just remember to always call the professionals first for help.

HVAC Companies in Spruce Grove

Cross Country Mechanical LTD is committed to excellence in customer care and service throughout the Spruce Grove and Edmonton areas. Our highly trained technicians can service, install, or upgrade any make or model of HVAC and refrigeration systems. Monitor and control components of your home from virtually anywhere with COR Home Automation. Cross Country Mechanical is an authorized dealer for CARRIER, AMANA, and COR.

If you need furnace or air conditioner repairs or replacement, contact Cross Country Mechanical Ltd. today!

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This post first appeared on https://blog.renovationfind.com

5 Benefits of Professional Kitchen Cabinet Painting

Your cabinets are more than worse for wear. The paint is peeling and fading in some places, and the handles could use a little tune-up as well. It’s time to grab a bucket of paint and get started. Except, maybe you should let professional kitchen cabinet painters in Oakville handle it instead.

They will be equipped with all the knowledge and tools necessary to make sure that your cabinets look like something out of a catalog. If you’re not sure what direction you want to go in for your cabinets, they can give you some helpful design advice as well.

Are you ready to get started? Keep reading to learn all the reasons why it’s best to leave your kitchen to the professionals.

1. They Can Give You Helpful Advice

You’ve been browsing through catalog after catalog of paints and kitchen cabinet colors. There have been a few that catch your eye, but for the most part, you don’t see anything that will match your decor.

A professional cabinet painter will be able to look around your kitchen and give you a little advice concerning style choices and colors.

2. Prep Work

There is quite a bit of prep work that goes into painting your cabinets. You can’t just slap a coat of paint on it and call it a day.

You’ve got to take off the doors, sand it, and prime it before you can begin painting. Someone who professionally paints cabinets will have all this prep work in mind before doing the job and will take measures to do it right.

3. They Have Skills and Tools

Professional cabinet painters have gone through training so that they have the technical skills needed to tackle any job.

Not only do they have skills and experience, but they have the right tools for the job as well. Tools that a normal person may not have access to or that would be expensive to gather.

4. It Saves Time

Painting cabinets isn’t a quick job that you can get done in a few hours. As we stated before, there’s a ton of prep work that goes into it. It’s not something you can do during the weekend while you’re off work.

A professional painting company will bring in a crew to get the job done in half the time it would usually take, and they’ll even handle the cleanup after.

5. You Shouldn’t Attempt It by Yourself

Painting your cabinets is not a DIY project. Once you mess up, that’s it. You can’t go back.

Instead of taking the risk and ruining your kitchen cabinets, it’s better to hire someone who knows what they’re doing.

Reasons to Seek Out Professional Kitchen Cabinet Painting

If your cabinets are starting to show their age, the best way to bring them back to their former glory is by adding a fresh coat of paint. You could make an attempt yourself, but unless you have the experience, it’s better to leave it to a professional kitchen cabinet painting company like us.

We have all the tools necessary to get the painting job done. Go here to get a free quote today.

This post first appeared on https://blog.renovationfind.com

Why Hardwood Refinishing Is Best Left to Professionals

If you have hardwood floors in your home it’s safe to assume you’ve thought about sprucing them up. However, hardwood refinishing will require the use of tools that you may not have readily available at your disposal. 

Hardwood refinishing involves the operation of a drum sander in addition to stain and lacquer. Are these tools ones that you are familiar with or comfortable using? If not, here are some of the best reasons to leave the job to the professionals.

Reasons for Professionals to Assist with Hardwood Refinishing

While buffing out some scratches on your floor and applying a top coat may not seem like a large overhaul, refinishing your hardwood floors may be a little more complex than you thought.

Sure, you might own a drum sander and may have stained some wood before, but now we are talking about a large surface area that — if not done correctly — could cause unforeseen damage and may end up costing more than you initially thought had you have left the job to a professional. Here are some things professional services may offer that you cannot do.

Major or Minor Repairs

No matter how large or small your hardwood refinishing project is a professional is well equipped to take it on. If during what you thought was just some simple sanding, staining, and applying a finish you find there was some accidental or unknown damage, are you handy enough to fix the issue? If you discover some planks actually need to be repaired or removed a professional can do so. 

Attention to Detail

After the floors are prepped and ready for the next stages, matching the stain and pattern is something an expert will have a much easier time with than if you try to do it yourself. Having the sanding patterns and color matching done correctly is something that can make or break the overall finish of your floor. Is this something you know how to do already? If not, you might want to leave this one to a skilled craftsman who only uses the best tools available.

Full Suite of Services 

When you work with professionals, such as the craftsmen at Handyman Connection, the end result will be beautifully refinished hardwood floors. Refinishing hardwood can be a laborious task and a messy one at that. If you’ve never refinished floors before, you may be unaware of how much dust and debris can fly around in the process — resulting in those working and in the vicinity to wear masks. Not to mention, a professional service will have all the tools needed to do the job to the utmost satisfaction, whereas if you run into a problem, you may need to call an expert in, resulting in a higher cost than what could’ve been accomplished from the start.

Contact Handyman Connection With Your Hardwood Refinishing Needs

Handyman Connection is your go-to professional service for all of your hardwood refinishing needs. Call or text us today to ask any questions and to receive a free estimate

The post Why Hardwood Refinishing Is Best Left to Professionals appeared first on Handyman Connection.

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