Welcome to Sparkle Magic, your source for finding leaders in the home service industries.

We understand how important it is to find the right companies to work with to provide the services you need for your home. By sharing company reviews, tips, and information we hope to help you hire the businesses that best suit your needs. One this site we discuss carpet cleaners, landscapers, electricians, HVAC technicians, window tinting professionals, glass repair services and many more services you may need around your home. Save time and money by hiring the right contractor the first time and you have a go to source for life.

Why I Prefer Green Carpet Cleaning

eco friendly carpet cleaningDo you have you carpets and rugs professionally cleaned every so often? I have mine done about every 6 to 8 months and recently I started to become more conscious about the services I was using around my home because of my sons allergies. As a result, my carpet cleaning company of choice was also scrutinized. Unfortunately I found some reasons why I should make a switch when I did my research. But before I go into what made me made the change, im now using Chemdry of Duval in Jacksonville FL because their process is a lot cleaner. They use an organic cleaning solution combined with carbonated hot water.

At first I had always liked my old cleaners, they tried hard, made a noticeable difference in the appearance of my carpets but the techniques they used was outdated in my opinion. First, after reading into the company more I discovered they used some chemicals during the cleaning process I was surprised about. These were things I didn’t wants my children to be exposed to on a daily basis when they run around on the carpets barefoot or lay on them. Ive actually heard of kids who got sick just from unseen chemicals in carpets.

The next thing I noticed (just from observation) was that with the old carpet cleaners my carpets stayed damp sometimes for 3-5 days. During this time I always had to make sure to keep my kids off of them so they wouldn’t track dirt on the damp carpets that had just been cleaned. Looking into this more too, the excess damp time can be the perfect place for bacteria to grow. That’s another reason why Chemdry’s promise of rugs that dry in a matter of hours appealed to me so much. No offense to my old cleaning service but the health of my family is a priority.

How Do You Know When to Upgrade Your Heating and Air Conditioning?

No matter how well you service and maintain your heating and air system, it isn’t going to last forever. Each year it will become a little less able to do what it did when it was brand new, and will be a little efficient relative to newer systems. Eventually everyone needs to upgrade to a new heating and air conditioning system. The key question is when should you do it?

I’d been wondering about the system in my home in Wappingers, New York. My heating and air system was old and I figured my utility costs were a little high. But I had no idea if it was the right time to upgrade my system. I’ve talked to some heating and air specialists and now I’ve got a better idea. If you’re considering an upgrade, here are some factors to consider:

How old is your heating and air system?
If your system is more than ten years old, it’s liable to be substantially less efficient than newer systems. At this point, upgrading to a high-efficiency system would likely reduce your energy consumption by about 20 percent. If your system is even older, the difference may be greater than that.

What is the SEER value of your system?
If you want a more definite idea about how your system compares to newer models, you’ll want to know its SEER (or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) value; the higher the SEER value, the more efficient the system. This value also provides a way to compare projected operating costs between more and less efficient systems.

Are you calling the repairman more frequently?
The older your system gets, the more frequently it will need repairs. So the next time you have a service call from a repairman, ask him about the nature of the repair. How long will the repair or new part last? Is the repair indicative of a failing system or just normal wear and tear? My heating and air repairman here in Wappingers was happy to explain things at length, and I suspect yours would be, too.

How does your current energy consumption compare to previous years?
Your heating and air system is likely to use more than half of the energy required by your home. When that system becomes less efficient, you’ll see the effect on your household utility bill. Compare your current bills to older ones to see if your system is becoming less efficient. This will also provide even more insight into how much you could save with a new system.

Upgrading to a newer heating and air conditioning system is a big investment. That investment makes a great deal of sense for some, and less for others. Educate yourself about your system and today’s heating and air options – or get some insight from a local professional. That way, you’ll have a better idea if a heating and air conditioning upgrade makes sense for you.

What You Need to Know Before Installing a Steam Shower

Have you ever wanted to turn your master bathroom into your very own sauna and spa get away? Can you imagine the relaxation of being to relax in your very own steam room after a long, hard day at work? Well don’t just dream it, create it! All you need to begin to create your very own steam room is a shower with a glass enclosure. If you currently only have a tub and shower combination simply invest in installation and glass repair in Winchester VA to upgrade your bathroom instantly. Be sure to keep in mind the following.

Cost

In order to protect from moisture damage and have the proper ventilation, you will need a moisture-sealed glass shower enclosure. Depending on your location and bathroom layout, you should budget between $2,000-$3,000 to install the entire steam shower set-up.

Location

Before building your steam shower you should consider where you want the shower to be located and where the plumbing system is already set-up. Keep in mind you will need the glass shower enclosure to be sealed and built all the way from the floor to the ceiling. This is done to keep moisture from reaching the walls which can cause rotting and water damage.

Materials

Make sure you purchase waterproof paint for the walls as well as waterproof sheetrock. Also, consider added ceramic tile to the walls instead of paint. Tile is an excellent water proof design option. If you are not starting from scratch and instead converting an existing shower into a steam shower, take the necessary steps to steam-proof the surrounding areas.

Steam Generator

You are going to need a steam generator device that will be hooked up into your existing plumbing system. Try to install the generator between 20 and 40 feet from the shower itself, ideally in a hall closet or the attic. Keep in mind that the generator needs to be installed near both the water supply and electrical connection as well as a drain.

Consumption

This is one luxury that you don’t have to feel guilty about. You may think that having a steam shower is wasteful, but think again. Steaming is actually a green way to shower. In a standard size glass shower, if you steam for 20 minutes you will only use about 2 gallons of water. As a point of reference, a 10 minute shower uses around 30 gallons of water.

Simple Repairs in Your Home

Senior Home Repairs

There are many small repairs that you may be able to handle on your own. Leaks, a broken toilet, or a wobbly dresser are all things that most homeowners can figure out for themselves without calling a service for help. Plumbers, Electricians, and repairmen usually get calls for installations or emergency work.

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However, a senior may have to call services more frequently due to illness, injuries, or increased fatigue. They are less likely to bend over a sink and fiddle with the fixture until it works or crawl into hard to reach spaces. There are a couple of options in these situations for a senior who does not reside in an assisted living community.

First of all, a senior could call a typical repair company and pay an hourly fee to have the work completed. This hourly fee is probably more than it is worth for a small repair, and it would make sense to look into other options to save money.

They could also call a family, friend, or neighbor for help. This is easy if you live close to family or friends who are willing and able and feel comfortable asking for assistance. Some people feel that asking for help is depending too heavily on others for favors.

A great option for any senior who needs assistance around their house is a service that will offer in home senior care. This means that a paid companion will come perform small repairs, help you run errands, cook, clean, and more. Relying on a simple non-specialized service is a great way to get help in all of the areas that you need. If you have frequent household maintenance issues, ask for a helper who has some experience in this area and would be great at lending a hand.

For all emergencies and difficult repairs, always call a qualified professional. This increases the chances of having a repair performed correctly the first try so you will not have to call back. These issues are worth the investment. For smaller repairs and solutions, just ask for help before calling a specialized business!

Importance of Regular Carpet Cleaning

As someone in the home services industry who knows a thing to two about carpet cleaning, one of the most common questions im asking is how often should people have their carpets professionally cleaned. While this can depend on many things like the type of carpeting you have, how many people live in your home and whether you have pets, I always stress the benefits have having it done regularly. Without any additional information I typically tell people they should have their rugs and carpeting cleaned about every 6 months.

Benefits of Cleaner Carpeting

Any professional cleaning company like the ones I use at http://www.richmondchemdry.com/ will rightly tell you, clean carpets last longer before and after carpet cleaningthan ones that are not properly maintained. The reason I think is most important is the air quality in your home which improves when any carpet, rug, or upholstery gets cleaned. Carpeting is especially important when it comes to having a sanitary home because it tends to track more dirt than you might think which can also include allergens and types of bacteria. Regular cleaning also helps prevent long terms stains and spots, something nobody likes. This improves the overall look of any room as well a major reason for calling a cleaner in the first place.

When you find a reliable carpet and rug cleaning company, its much easier to maintain them. Similar to most aspects of home maintenance, cleaning for carpets is well worth the investment in the long run because the overall cleanliness and appearance of your home will show from it. Many people don’t realize how dirty they are getting because of the gradual nature of the color change over time. So if your not sure, go ahead and get the cleaning done once and make note of the difference. Im sure you will be surprised how much better your home looks and you will probably be able to breathe a little easier too.

Benefits of Residential Window Film

Windows are one of the unsung heroes of the home. Imagine how bleak and depressing living in a home without those glass squares that adorn so many of our walls. We need natural sunlight and to see nature to bring us peace and remind us how great the world around is really is. That being said, not all windows are created equally. Mediocre windows can create seriously uncomfortable hot spots, fade furniture and carpet, and add hundreds of dollars to your heating and cooling bills every year. You don’t have to completely replace your windows to start avoiding this pitfalls though.Residential Window Tinting

Glare reduction makes watching the television and using computers exponentially more enjoyable. Stop squinting and turning the screen just to avoid that blinding reflection.

Window tint can also be decorative. Add an etched or patterned effect to a shower door, bathroom window, or kitchen cabinet to remain stylish while reducing see through visibility for privacy.

Security window film makes your home harder to break into and can deter intruders from coming in. The film holds the glass in place instead of allowing it to shatter and fall to the ground. This also helps protect against violent weather that might through branches or hail against the side of your home.

Consider calling a professional residential window tinting expert today.

When to Seek the Services of a Professional Electrician

Many homeowners think, in order to save money that they will attempt to repair any home electrical issue themselves. In addition, many homeowners take pride in doing their own home repairs and renovations. However, this can be very dangerous and there are a number of scenarios where it is best to call a professional electrical contractor in Chattanooga TN. Below are a list of two typical home renovations where it is best to contact an expert electrician.

Electricians Chattanooga

Dividing a Basement into Separate Rooms

You may think all it takes to add individual rooms to a basement is throwing up a few walls, but its way more than that. There are numerous structural requirements and building electrical codes that need to be followed for a home to pass a safety inspection. The two most common mistakes that homeowners make when dealing with their electrical systems are wiring complications and overloading their electrical circuits.

Household electrical circuits are designed to manage a maximum of 15-20 amps. Circuit breakers are meant to function at 80 percent capacity. This means a typical 20-amp circuit is not designed to handle more than 16 amps of power. Overloading your circuit can lead to blown breakers or possible house fires.

Adding an Enclosed Four Season Patio

Before embarking on any home addition projects, you should have your home’s electrical system inspected. And when you do have work done, ask about warranties on any equipment installed. You may have expensive and potentially dangerous electrical issues lurking that could stall any additional project. In addition, when adding onto your home you may need circuit breakers replaced or even an entire panel upgrade so you are not overpowering your electrical system. For more information on the cost of home improvements and electrical upgrades, contact your local expert electrician in Chattanooga.

Deciphering Those Difficult Product Warranties

Appliance Repair AustinHave you ever bought a big ticket item such as a pricy electronic or a home appliance and noticed that a manufacturer or retailer may try to sell you an additional product warranty? Warranties are a promise by the manufacturer or seller to the consumer that provides assurance on the product they are purchasing. Warranties may be implied but are typically written and they outline the contractual relationship between buyer and seller. The Federal Trade Commission has outlined the laws that are required for catalog and internet warranties.

Although written warranties are not required, most warranties that come with big ticket purchases include:
- Length of the warranty including exact start date, expiration date, and conditions that could classify the warranty as voided.
- A point of contact to receive warranty service
- Course of action that will be taken by the company i.e. refund, repair, or replacement
- Are any repairs or parts excluded from warranty coverage
- Are any damages or expenses resulting from the product malfunctioning covered for example, if your home washing machine breaks and clothes are damaged.
- Are there additional terms or limitations such as for personal use vs. business use
Warning: Be wearing of verbal warranties. If a company promises free repairs or replacement orally, be sure to also get it in writing. This way, you will have some assurance in case something does go wrong.

 

There are also warranties that are imposed by states individually; this is referred to as implied warranties. No matter the state, almost any purchase you made is covered by some form of an implied warranty. The most common is a warranty of merchantability, this is a promise that the product will function or perform as it is supposed to. This is to help protect consumers from faulty products. Products that do not include a written warranty are covered under implied warranties unless the product is marked as is. There are a number of states that do not allow “as is” sales such as Kansas, Maryland, Maine, West Virginia, Vermont, D.C., and Massachusetts.

The best way to prevent product issues and warranty disputes is to thoroughly read the warranty before purchase, especially for online orders. Keep a copy of the exact warranty and highlight exactly what is covered. Also, write the start and expiration dates of warranty coverage on your paperwork. When filing your warranty make sure you staple your product receipt to the document as proof of purchase. Lastly, use the product as intended and outlined in manufacturer instructions this includes standard maintenance and inspection requirements that go along with your product.

What to Expect from Your Window Company

There are many replacement window installation companies out there. But, it is important to make sure you have the expert in the industry working on the windows in your home. We have prepared a list from the professionals at the Richmond Window Corporation of the steps your window installation company should follow.

Windows Richmond VAThe first step is to remove the existing window trim and casing.  This can often require prying the jamb extension from the old window trim.  A jamb extension is a piece of wood that’s attached to the window jamb in order to make it level and even with the wall.

Next, you are going to want to make sure your replacement window company removes the old window track. To do this, the window company is going to want to unscrew the window from the existing window jamb. Make sure that this process is done very carefully as to not break the window pane glass. Some windows may have multiple moving tracks inside and may be easier to remove one sash at a time.

Third, you are going to want to make sure your window installers prepare the new window opening. This is the point where structural integrity of the window opening should be examined. If you have an older home, you may have leaking, mold, or water damage from previous poorly installed windows. If there is damage, make sure the damaged areas are repaired before installing the new window. This is also the time where measuring the rough opening will take place. This is to make sure the new window will fit within the opening. The rough opening should measure about a quarter of an inch larger than the outer dimensions of the window frame.

Then, you are going to want to replace the window stop. The window stop is placed around the outer sides of the window jamb and is made of wood.  The window stop’s purpose is to keep the window from sliding out of the opening. It may be likely that the original window stop is in operational condition however, if damaged you will need to have this replaced as well.

Next, you are going to want to make sure your windows go through a dry fit trial. This happens before any silicone putty is applied. Any potential window fitment issues should be identified here and when done properly, the window should have a snug fit. Make sure you are 100% satisfied with your window at this phase of the installation. This is your opportunity to troubleshoot any problems before moving forward. Now it is time to have your new window installed. The installation itself is relatively simple if proper preparation steps have been put in place.

If there are still gaps around the window frame, consider adding spray foam or cut rolls of insulation and pack them into the gaps between the frame and the wall. And now it’s time for the finishing touches. Pick a favorite style of crown molding that compliments your home. Attach the trim to the wall with finish nails. Fill in the nail holes and paint the molding of the trim around the window for a polished look. For further energy efficiency, take a look at my post on tinting for home windows.

Finding the Right Carpet for Your Home

Flooring is one of the most important choices you’ll make when decorating your Northern VA home. Choosing the right carpet will help can create a comfortable oasis and compliment your furniture. In addition, choosing carpet over hardwood flooring will better sound proof and weather insulate your home. Not to mention, carpet it is more durable and easier to maintain than hardwood flooring. Yet, how do you choose the right carpet that fits your family’s lifestyle. Carpet Cleaning Alexandria VA

There are numerous factors to take into consideration when picking the right carpeting. The two most important factors are traffic and the space type of usage will highly impact your decision. A soft and smooth carpet would be idea for a bedroom with less traffic. Plush pile carpeting feels like walking on air but it shows ever footprint. If you are looking to carpet a high traffic area such as a den or family room, a cut-and-loop pile construction carpet may be ideal. These types of carpets are low maintenance.

If you are looking for a carpet that will easily hide dirt and stains, you may want to consider Berber carpet. Berber carpet is often composed of multicolored fibers as well as typically being more pricy. When picking out new carpet for any room, make sure you bring samples of fabrics and colors that are already in the room. Keep in mind; more than 95% of all carpet is composed of synthetic material. This often means lower costs and less maintenance. Yet, this doesn’t mean there is no maintenance required. If you are purchasing carpet for your home make sure you are also regularly maintaining your investment with professional carpet cleaning services. Having an expert carpet cleaner will allow you and your family to enjoy your home’s carpet flooring for years to come.