Archive for the ‘Home Improvement’ Category

Cleaning Granite Countertops How To Care For Granite}

Submitted by: Countertop Queen

Have you been thinking about purchasing countertops, but are wondering what type of maintenance comes with them? Or, have you recently purchased granite countertops and are wondering how to clean and maintain them?

Well first off, upgrading your countertops to granite is a great choice because you can get it for a great price while increasing the value of your home and if cared for, granite counters can last a lifetime. Definitely make sure you shop around at your local granite stores to find the best deal. Many stores will be willing to price match others, while offering a wider selection of colors. Also some store offer different types of edging and thickness of the granite. Before you go into the stores make sure to look around online and have an idea of what you are wanting beforehand.

When it comes to properly caring for your granite countertops there are a few guidelines that will ensure the longevity and beauty of your stone. Below we have mapped out some dos and donts for cleaning your granite counters.


-Use a sponge or microfiber cloth to dust off and clean granite counters

-Wipe down daily and as needed with wate

-Hot water is the best way to clean your granite on a daily basis because it will clean the entire surface without leaving a residue and it does not damage the stone.

-Blot up spills immediately

-Acidic liquids will not etch granite, but could potentially stain the surface.

-Clean about once a week with a damp cloth and stone cleaner that is formulated with a neutral pH

-Reseal your countertops about once a year with a stone seale

-A good way to check if you need to reseal your counters is to splash water on the surface and if the water doesnt bead up then you should reseal your granite. Stone sealer can be purchased at any local home improvement store.

-If stains or damage occurs contact a stone-care professional for repai

-First try contacting the company who you purchased your countertops from – if they are not able to help try calling another local granite company


-Dont use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners

-These can scratch, pit and etch the surface of the stone

-Dont use soap repeatedly to clean your granite

-This can cause a build-up and dull your countertops shine

-Dont use cleaners with vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange

-Cleaners with acid in them can damage the finish on the granite so make sure your cleaner does not have these products in them

If you have any additional questions about caring for your granite counters feel free to ask a granite expert online on the Nashville Granite Quote website at the link below. Always make sure check with a granite professional if your countertops experience major damage. Never try to fix them yourself if you are not properly trained to do so.

Nashville Granite Quote – Ask an Expert

For granite deals in the Nashville area check out Granite Direct

About the Author: Nashville Granite Quote – Ask an Expert

For granite deals in the Nashville area check out Granite Direct


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Frozen Pipes What To Do

By Mike Rosa

When winter arrives, frigid temperature hits and freezes water. As it freezes, it expands. This now causes your pipes to burst and possibly, flood your house all throughout. It is very important to prepare for the cold months, and one of them is to include your water pipes. Prevention is always better than cure all these can be avoided as long as you do a little planning. Take into consideration that those water fixtures that freeze are the ones that are exposed to the unforgiving temperature these are your water pipes found in the exterior walls, attics, basements, garages, crawls, even kitchen cabinets. Your swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and outdoor hose bibs are also vulnerable to freezing.

If this is your first time, identify first where your main shut off valve is located. The main line is usually outside your house and you may contact your local water supplier to help you locate your main valve. It is usually located near your water meter, or near your homes foundation. Know how to use it because its your single important step to prevent freezing pipes that burst. You can do a dry-run and try shutting off the valve once you have found it.

Drain your hoses of any remaining water and store them carefully. Close all the valves supplying water to these hose bibs while keeping the taps open to allow them to drain.

Inspect your home and locate all your water pipes. Check your basements, interior and exterior walls, attics, crawls, kitchen cabinets, include your bathroom in the check. Even hot water supply can freeze especially so if there is no running water.

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Following your manufacturers instructions, drain water from your water sprinklers and/or swimming pool. Avoid using antifreeze unless instructed by the manufacturer as this is harmful for you, your pets, and the environment.

Make sure to open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate along the pipes.

Keep garage doors closed to protect your water pipes located in that area.

Allow for a water pressure break by letting the water drip into the faucets. Running water helps prevent freezing.

Maintain your thermostat at the same temperature for day and night. Make it no lower than 55F.

Use a “heat cable”, “pipe sleeve”, or a UL-listed “heat tape”, or any other insulating materials on pipes that may be subjected to freezing. You may find these materials at your local hardware store, DIY shops, or at a building supplies retailer. Make sure that the pipes are wrapped carefully and as instructed and leave the joints taped.

But What if You Need to Thaw Frozen Pipes?

If your water valve is turned on but you only find a trickle coming out, suspect a frozen pipe. Locate the frozen area and keep the faucet open to allow running water once you treat the frozen pipe.

You may treat the frozen area by doing the following: use an electric heating pad, or a hair dryer, or use a towel drenched in hot water on the frozen pipe. Never use blowtorch or candles, or any kerosene operated heaters, or anything with open flame. Make sure that you dont use electrical appliances on open water. Wait for the water pressure to be fully restored. If the area is impossible to reach, time to call a licensed plumber.

Locate other areas that may have other frozen pipes. If one area is affected, it is most likely that some other pipes are affected as well.

Turn off the water valve once your basement is flooding and call your emergency hotline or your local plumbing service.

For your future use, you may want to think about relocating your pipes to a warmer environment. If your house is being remodeled, a licensed professional can help you. You may also want to insulate or add your attics and basements (where your water pipes are located) to your centralized heating system.

About the Author: We can help you with your central heating and boiler needs. Visit us in


and we will be more than glad to help.


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Sightseeing New York With A Film Buff Boyfriend

By Rachel Hill

Sightseeing New York with your boyfriend in tow can be difficult. After all if you were with your girlfriends you wouldn’t have any qualms about spending an afternoon in Bloomingdale’s or dragging them halfway around East Village so that you can have your picture taken standing on the steps next to Carrie’s apartment. When it’s your boyfriend however, something’s got to give. So if you’re planning on watching a fashion show at Macy’s or checking out the Gossip Girl Hotel, make sure that you indulge your boyfriend’s passion by ordering a pizza from the restaurant used in Men in Black II, or checking out the Ghostbuster’s fire station.

Grab a Bite with the Men in Black

Your boyfriend is bound to tell you that sightseeing New York and an empty stomach just don’t mix. So before he, or his stomach, get the chance to grumble, whisk him away to Ben’s Pizza, which is probably the most famous pizza joint in the whole of New York City. Sadly, Rosario Dawson won’t be serving you, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t stop by 177 Spring Street for a slice of the restaurant’s greasy pepperoni pizza, with possibly the best crust you’re ever likely to sample.

Visit Spiderman’s House

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From New York’s best pizza, to hanging out with New York’s most famous pizza delivery boy! Most of the Spiderman trilogy was shot around Los Angeles, but if you take the subway to Queens you can still see the childhood home where Spiderman lived with his Aunt Dorothy. Spiderman’s road is 69th Street between Metropolitan Avenue and Sybilla Street in Forest Hills. Whilst you’re in Queens you may be tempted to wander uptown to 92nd Street near Elmhurst Avenue. This is the address of Betty Sanchez from Ugly Betty and the mint-green, colonial house that she lives in is a popular attraction for those sightseeing New York.

Relive Karen’s Disastrous Double Date at Salernos

Another movie filmed around Queens is Goodfella’s, and the Italian restaurant Salerno’s, based at Hillside Avenue on Richmond Hill, Queens, is remembered for being the place that Hill took Karen on their first disastrous double date. Of course, Hill managed to impress Karen later by whisking her through the kitchen at the old Copacabana Nightclub, based at 10 East 60th Street at Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The nightclub may have since closed but you can still see the entrance used for the electrifying tracking shot.

Who You Going To Call?

The small firestation that serves as the Ghostbusters Headquarters is, in fact, a real building and can be seen when sightseeing New York’s Tribeca area. The 8 Hook and Ladder is based at 14 North Moore Street and is still a working firehouse. However, a decommissioned building in Los Angeles was used in the Ghostbusters film for the interiors.

Norman Osborn’s Apartment in Spiderman

Back in Manhattan you can visit the apartment of Norman Osborn, Spidey’s arch-nemesis. Norman’s apartment at 5 Tudor City Place at East 41st Street scores a hat-trick for your film-buff boyfriend, as it was home to no less than three iconic movies. Tom Hanks’ character lived here in Splash, Norman Osborn in Spiderman and most famously it was the home of the intended bomb victim in that cult-movie classic Scarface.

About the Author: Marta Sanders-Cooper is the New York Destination Expert for Shorex, specialising in unique and unmissable, expert-led tours & excursions in major cities around the world, for the best in city

sightseeing. New York

tours are custom made and constructed from an extensive menu of activities, attractions and excursions, many of which are unique to Shorex.


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