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Frequently Asked Questions
Why Preventative Maintenance?
The single best saying for preventative maintenance is just like owning a boat “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. When it comes to regular maintenance the long term savings add up. For example, replacing the air filters in a HVAC system or refrigeration system. The immediate reaction for most people is how much and that is the tricky question. The cost of filters and having them changed on a regular basis is a fixed cost. The more significant question is how much does the regular changing of air filters save in electrical costs and premature equipment failure? Hidden costs caused by not changing air filters regularly is allowing dirt to accumulate on the cooling coils and in turn lowering the efficiency of the equipment (higher energy costs).
Ultimately if the cooling coils are allowed to become dirty they must be cleaned to restore efficiency and this is another cost above and beyond inefficiency, premature failure and equipment that is not reliable. Ultimately ignoring regular maintenance will cost more in emergency service calls, energy costs and part replacement. Regular maintenance will not eliminate part failure, but it will keep equipment working as efficiently as possible during its usable service life.
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What paint sheen should I use inside my house?
Paint sheen is tricky and opinions vary depending on the product manufacturer, personal preference or website. The range of paint gloss from flat to high gloss has tradeoffs. Hiding surface imperfections (flat) vs. resisting dirt and ability to be scrubbed (higher level of sheen). The key element for interior sheen selection is room use and natural light that skirts along a given wall or surface. Eggshell sheen has a finish that looks like an eggshell and is used for many interior spaces. The issues with eggshell paint on surfaces that have natural light on them is that touchups are visible. Often times this question is driven by the presence of young children in the home and the fingerprints found on walls. (The reality is that they are only children for a very brief time) Having raised two children myself I like flat paint on walls and satin on trims. Quality flat paint hides surface imperfections, can be scrubbed and can be touched up or repainted at will without consequence. Trims are often used as a handle or something to touch when walking by so they need to be cleaned more often hence the higher gloss. Hope this helps…
Why is my floor tile cracked?
If the problem is contained to a single tile it could be accidental damage from an object being dropped or a localized problem. However if it is a crack that extends or affects other tiles it is likely to be a subfloor issue. When tile flooring (ceramic, VCT, LVT) begins to crack along a given line or direction, generally the cause is subfloor movement. Any substantial floor flex will, over time, cause tile failure. Modern adhesives and tiles do allow for a minimum amount of deflection however any deflection is a concern for the longevity of your tile floor.
What is the white powder on my bricks/blocks in my basement?
The name of the white powder is efflorescence. Efflorescence is a crystalline calcium salt deposit that forms on surfaces of masonry, stucco or concrete. It is whitish in appearance, with the growing crystals resembling hair growing out of the substrate. At onset the crystals may be brushed away and the white “stain” on the block can be removed with cleaners designed to dissolve the salt. In advanced stages the deposit will solidify and must be removed mechanically (grinding), think stalactites and stalagmites.
I want my house exterior and trim painted, does it need to be cleaned first?
The answer is YES! Eighty percent of any good paint application is preparation. All exterior surfaces that are to be painted need to be cleaned of not only loose paint and dirt but paint chalk film and mold. I have seen the consequences of improper surface preparation, specifically when mildew is not properly removed before paint film application. Needless to say this is defiantly one of those situations where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Every exterior is a case by case basis, generally pressure washing and chemical treatment for mold is sufficient. When the existing paint films are oxidized to the substrate complete removal is required. Gloss paints should also be etched to ensure proper adhesion of the new paint films.
Why is the caulk around my toilet cracked and looking loose?
Depending on the conditions it could be toilet seep. In a residential setting toilet gasket seep results in a wet spot on the ceiling (depending on the floor the toilet is on). In the commercial setting it is much harder to identify as many commercial floors are concrete and offer a place for the seeping effluent to escape. Beyond the caulk looking a bit odd, look for excessive moisture in the area of the toilet, between and under the floor tiles. A toilet that is loose on the floor (wobbly) is a prime candidate for seep. The repair in this case is straight forward, remove the toilet from the flange, clean the area and reinstall the toilet with a new gasket. This repair can range from as simple as my description to being reasonably complicated depending on the condition of the underlying toilet flange. Unfortunately it is impossible to know the condition of the flange until the toilet is removed. Rectifying toilet seep is for professionals’ not DIY’s, sewer gas, exposure to possible disease, repair options and the weight of the fixture are of primary concern.
Florescent lamps have complex specifications regarding color, size and longevity. For example GE-F32T8/SPX41/ECO2 means 32 Watts per tube – T8 is the tube diameter specification – 30,000 Hour service life depending on rapid start, instant start ballast and hours used – 2,925 lumens, how much light the lamp actually produces – 4100K is the color of the light produced 3000K comparable to Warm White 3500K comparable to White 4100K comparable to Cool White 5000K comparable to Chroma 50 6500K comparable to Daylight – 800 series phosphors lamps offer superior quality of lighting, increased energy efficiencies and longer life. – A recurring issue our customers have revolves around the frequency of lamps failing to fire. At Ryans Commercial Maintenance we research replacement lamps that last longer than many of those sold at the big box stores and are matched appropriately to your lighting needs.
The lamps we specify for replacement have, on average, a manufactures lifespan of 30,000 hours (depending on ballast and use). Recurring lamp replacement is great for our business but not yours and it’s your business that matters to us. Ryans Commercial Maintenance goes that extra mile on your businesses behalf taking the worry out of your everyday maintenance.