What Is the Difference Between a Cinder Block and Concrete Block

Cinder blocks and concrete blocks have some fundamental differences that can be traced down to their core ingredients. At first glance, it’s hard to determine their differences due to their shared fundamental properties, but a closer look could help us point out their utmost differences. Most often, people interchange the two, thinking that they are alike. This misconception arises from the fact that at first glance, the differences are covert. Even though similar materials are used in their construction, the cinder block has extra material on it. 

In this article, we will define the differences between a cinder block and a concrete block. 

Concrete is a mixture of cement, aggregates, and water. When these materials are combined, a chemical reaction occurs, and the concrete is formed as a result. Concrete blocks are precast concrete that can either be solid or more hollow cavities. The sides can be smooth or come with a distinctive pattern. It is frequently used as a building material in the construction of roads, bridges, walls, homes, properties, and other infrastructures. 

Main features of Concrete Blocks: 

  • Usually heavier than the cinder blocks 
  • Can withstand high pressure 
  • Contains steel, cement or wood 
  • Have a significant tensile strength that makes it ideal for tougher structures 
  • Cinder blocks are made of concrete and coal cinders or ash. It is often known as the remains of burned coal. Usually, in karate demonstrations, they are using cinder blocks instead of concrete blocks. Unlike concrete blocks that suit large construction projects, cinder blocks are often used in small projects like garden walls or small wall division. 

Main features of Cinder Blocks: 

  • They re lighter than concrete blocks 
  • Both contain concrete and coal cinders 
  • They tend to bow and buckle 
  • They do not have a substantial tensile strength
  • They can not be used in big construction projects because of their strength capacity 
  • The repair is usually expensive that’s why they are not recommended in locations that are prone to a high risk of damage 
  • They are used as a safety barrier 
  • They are used to decorate the wall 
  • They are used for foxing doors and windows 
  • Useful in differentiating the appearance of structures

Comparison between the cinder block and the concrete block 

CINDER BLOCK CONCRETE BLOCK 
Ash is the main aggregate in the cinder block.The concrete block also consists of fly ash in the building of masonry units.
Cinder block is more costly because it requires a lot of repairs.Concrete block, due to its strength, does not need a lot of repairs. Therefore, it is more cost-efficient in the long run. 
Cinder block has a hollow rectangular form.The concrete block is structured flat and concrete. 
Cinder blocks have not been massively produced in nearly 50 years. Thus, it is considered as an old fashioned building material. Concrete blocks are massively used until today because of its durability and structural strength 
Cinder block is made up of both cinder ash remains and concrete.A concrete block is made up of wood, cement, or steel. But it is most commonly made of cement. 
Cinder block is often used in small construction projects such as the building of garden walls.A concrete block is used in more sizeable and substantial construction projects.
Most building codes do not allow the use of cinder blocks because it is not as flexible as the concrete block.Concrete blocks are way much stronger than the cinder block.
Cinder block lacks tensile strength to withstand high pressure.A concrete block is a hard, strong, and durable material that can withstand high pressure.
Cinder block is lighter than the concrete block. This makes them ideal for small construction projects.A concrete block consists of aggregates such as stones and sands, making it heavier than the cinder block.

Now that you know the key differences between concrete blocks and cinder blocks, you can easily decide which one to use in your construction project. A heavy-duty, large building construction will need strong and durable materials that can be found on the concrete block, while a small backyard or garden project will not require a strong tensile strength. Therefore, a cinder block is good enough for such a project. Choosing which block to use depends on the type and size of the project you are building. Most of the property owners prefer to use concrete blocks for long-lasting durability and strength, as well as flexibility in terms of possible alteration. But there are still some who prefer cinder blocks due to its lightweight property. 

When it comes to buying the right blocks for you, one of the things that you need to learn is to identify the physical difference between the concrete block and the cinder block. Concrete blocks appear to be heavy and new, while cinder blocks look older and light. It’s best to buy from a reliable hardware store or seller who will be able to provide a detailed description of each block’s properties. 

How to Install A Shower Pan On A Concrete Floor

Oh! I heard that you are now in the process of renovating your bathroom. A bathroom is one of the most important parts of a house. Sometimes, this is the right place to relax and contemplate life. One of the necessities to have a comfortable bathroom is having a shower pan on the concrete floor. Its purpose is not just for making your bathroom more beautiful but also for safety and concrete floor durability.

Before we start on how to install a shower pan, let’s first define what it is for us to understand more.

A shower pan is the base of a shower that collects the water. It has a non-slippery texture that prevents you from having any other accidents while taking a bath. Most of the shower pans are made up of acrylic or maybe, fibreglass. You can make your own shower pan but for efficiency, there are manufacturers that are producing this kind of material. 

Why do I need to install a shower pan?

You need to install a shower pan not just for the sake of designs but more importantly, for the sake of safety and for concrete to last longer. Since shower pan has a non-slippery texture, it would help you to avoid accidents in the future. Concrete also absorbs water and if concrete continuously and tirelessly absorbs water in everyday life, expect that your concrete will be damaged shortly.

Installing a shower pan only involves easy steps as long as you have the right equipment to use.

Here are the lists of things that you need to have:

  1. Hammer
  2. Tape measure
  3. Pliers
  4. Wet saw
  5. Screwdriver
  6. Level indicator
  7. Silicone
  8. Masking tape

Before we start installing the shower pan, it is important to get the right and exact measurements. No more no less policy must be implemented. The measurement must be exact strictly to ensure the goodness of the shower pan on catching every water that will fall every time that you use the shower.

Next thing, make a shower drain. It is a necessary thing to have drainage. You do not want to be flooded by used water, right? To make this, here are the procedures.

First, Set a tray that is connected to the drain.

Second, wait for the cement to dry. Do not put the body hole first because we need to set the shower pan before putting it.

Third, Pour water to ensure that the holes can drain and has no problem with draining.

Let’s get it on and install your shower pan!

Use a level indicator to make sure that the concrete floor is consistent on its level. Water will not flow properly if the surface is not flat. Apply a roofing paper and vinyl sheets to make the shower pan waterproof. That is needed because water can be absorbed by the concrete and it may lead to damages such as cracks. The shower pan is easy to apply because we have set it on its exact measure a while ago. Install the shower drain and screw it. So, that’s it! We just need to perform a water test to ensure that the drainage and shower pan works well.

In doing this, you only need a short time to accomplish all of it if you are guided responsibly and if you have the right equipment needed. When things do not go with what you planned, just fix it right away to avoid more serious damage.

How Long Does It Take For Concrete to Dry

Concrete is a common material for construction. It is made of cement, fine aggregates, coarse aggregates, and water. It is great for making columns, beams, and foundations. Because it is created by mixing materials and applied as a wet mixture, it has to dry out.

Approximately, concrete will dry in 24 to 48 hours. However, it will take at least 28 days before you can make sure that it achieved its “full effective strength.”

Curing Time

Actually, concrete does not finish curing, ever. That is because it gets harder every day. That is a function of the cement particles that you mixed with the water. The concrete has tiny moisture bubbles and the cement will bond with them, so it will keep getting slightly harder and harder. 

If you need the concrete for a specific reason, then you might want to consider that before deciding the length of time you let it dry. That is because its strength will depend on it. 

If you are going to walk or drive on your concrete, you may think about how many days will it take for you to do that without sinking. Actually, it will only take one to two days. After a week, the concrete will already achieve at least 70% of its strength. Do not worry if you are planning on driving on it because it won’t get damaged. However, be careful if you want to move some heavy equipment, you may have to do that after twenty-eight days.

Factors That Affect Drying Time

For your information, there are also factors that may affect the time your concrete takes to dry. It is not consistent and will depend on the conditions you have in your area.

One of the factors is moisture. If you put in less water into your cement mixture, then it will dry quickly. However, because there are no moisture bubbles, then the particles won’t make bonds. Because of that, the strength of your concrete will be poor. If there is too much water, then it may dry for too long and have some flaking on the top layer. It is essential that you only add enough water to the mixture so it is workable, but not saggy, and you will end up with a strong concrete.

Another factor that may affect your concrete drying time is temperature and weather. If it is hot outside, then it will dry faster. If you have cold weather, you may cover the drying concrete with a concrete blanket which is designed to raise the temperature and make it dry quicker. That is very useful if you want to speed up the drying time and if it is too cold.

Lastly, the mixture you made is also going to affect the drying time. When you are mixing the cement, you may add some accelerant, which will speed up the process. However, it may not be as strong as other concrete that did not have accelerants.

Drying your concrete may need some patience, but if you want it to be strong, then you have to be ready to wait. 

Where to Find an Air Conditioner Capacitor

Inside your air conditioner are components that help your unit run efficiently, smoothly and properly. One of these essential components is the capacitor. It is a tiny, cylindrical, or round object that stores and supplies energy to the unit, especially during start-up. When your air conditioner breaks down at some point, the problem might be coming from a bad capacitor. If you have to replace it, you have to find the same model and the one that suits your unit. To help you, here are some places where you can find a capacitor. 

Nearby HVAC Stores

Most of the time, local HVAC stores near you have everything that you need, especially capacitors. Go to the nearest store and ask the store clerk about the capacitor that will match your air conditioner. It is better if you have the faulty capacitor with you so that they will know what exactly you are looking for.

Online HVAC Stores

You can always search the web for online HVAC stores. Before searching for a capacitor online, make sure that you know all the information your previous capacitor has. Before buying, always check the reviews submitted by other buyers. Online stores are highly accessible, but you’ll have to wait for a while as they ship your item to your door.

To make sure that you are buying the capacitor that is suitable for your air conditioner, here are some capacitor information you will need to know about:

Capacitor Type

Usually, there are two types of capacitors you can find inside your air conditioner. They are called run capacitors, and the other is called a start capacitor. Run capacitor helps your unit from start-ups, even until your unit is running. While the other only helps your unit during start-ups. 

Capacitance Value 

One piece of information you have to take note of is the capacitance value. This is printed on the side of your capacitor. Usually, there are two types of capacitors. One is a run capacitor, and the other is a start capacitor. Of course, they will have different capacitance values. Find a capacitor that has a capacitance value matching your old one.

Capacitor Voltage

The capacitor you need to buy should match your old capacitor’s voltage. Knowing this information is very essential for your unit. This information is easily visible as it is printed on the side of the capacitor. If it happens to be erased, it’s usually indicated inside your unit’s manual. 

Capacitor Shape

The capacitor shape will also tell you that it has a different job than other capacitors, so this is very important to take note of. Some capacitor shapes may vary from others, so you have to keep this in mind and buy a capacitor that will match your old capacitor’s shape.

If you are confused about what capacitor you should buy, don’t be afraid to contact your trusted HVAC contractor. If your unit is still under warranty, it is best to let them handle this problem. 

What Service Should Be Done On Home Air Conditioners and Furnaces?

Signing up to a service plan offered by your HVAC contractor might relieve you of some worry about maintaining your HVAC system, especially your air conditioner and furnace. It will help you make sure that everything will work perfectly every time you need it to. It will make sure that even if outside temperatures are extreme, inside your house will still be comfortable. Check-ups, tune-ups, and inspections should be in place. Here are the essential services your units need for maximum efficiency.

Electrical Components and Controls

Some problems you might encounter may originate from the electrical components of your units. Checking the wires, capacitors, fuses, and breakers occasionally will help minimize that. Oiling the motors as needed will also make sure it will run smoothly.

Air Filter

One of the defining factors of airflow in your system is the filters. They get dirty after a while so check them at least once or twice a month. It depends on your units’ type, model, or brand if its filter can be cleaned or needs to be replaced. Just make sure that the filter you buy won’t restrict airflow.

Evaporator Coil

The air filter protects the evaporator coil from dust and dirt but over time, it will still accumulate some. It is important to examine this one once in a while because it won’t be able to absorb heat if it’s dirty. Sometimes, ice may also build up here, but your technician can easily get rid of that using special chemicals for the task. 

Condenser Coil

Among all the other parts of your unit, this is the most exposed to debris and dirt. As it is placed outside, make sure it is free of grass, weeds, or other plants. Make sure air will flow nicely in it.

Refrigerant Amounts

 Your technician or contractor should include checking your air conditioner’s refrigerant amount occasionally. Eventually, it will decrease due to usage and won’t cool the air as much. It can be recharged by your technician to efficiently cool air again. Regular service will also give your contractor a chance to catch possible leaks in the system and to take care of them immediately.

Chimneys and Vents

To make sure that air will go in and out properly, checking the chimney and vent is a must. Many overlook these, but it will help your air conditioner and furnace work efficiently.

Ductwork

With proper ductwork installed for your units, air will flow properly. Make sure there is good insulation and proper junctions. Your technician will be able to take care of the problems like leaks and gaps in the pipe connections. Your air conditioner and furnace will work effectively if you have a great ductwork. 

 If you want to avoid unexpected costs of emergency repairs, book plans with your HVAC contractor now. Take advantage of check-ups, tune-ups, cleanings, and inspections they offer. They will be ready to do the essential services to keep your air conditioner and furnace in good condition.

How to Manually Turn On An AC Unit

Sometimes we can’t help but misplace some of our belongings like keys, cards, money, and others. This might be common but may still stress you out, especially if what you lost is a remote controller for an appliance. It might even make your head hurt if the temperature is getting hot and what you misplaced is the controller for your air-conditioner. Don’t worry though for not all hope is gone. You can still do something and that is to do things manually. It is always good to keep that as a back-up plan.

The first thing you can do, to make sure you are on the right track, is to consult your user’s manual; that is, if you still have it. Oftentimes, this will answer most of your questions and solve your problem with your air-conditioner. It will also help you locate the parts in your unit that you have to tinker. If you do not have it, here are tricks to help you turn on your unit manually.

  1. Look For the Power Button

Different brands, models, or types of air conditioners will have their switch placed differently, but they will all have one. It is a safety standard for all air-conditioner units to have a power button. If you have your manual, look at it and it will have a diagram showing the parts of your unit, but if not, try inspecting it and you might find the button somewhere near the thermostat, behind the front grille, or at the lower right corner. Now it will be simple to turn it on or off.

  1. Reset the Unit

You can try resetting your air-conditioner if it turns on then shuts down because of a timer. Some units have reset buttons but you can do this by unplugging it and waiting for 30 minutes before plugging it again.

The breaker can also be used to reset the system. Go to your basement or to where you keep your breaker. Turn off the one for your air conditioner and wait for 30 seconds, then you can turn it back on.

  1. Download some Apps that might Help

Available on Google Play Store are some air-conditioner related apps. You can try these out. Download one of those apps then follow their instructions to connect to your unit. Not many people lose their mobile phones so this may be a good replacement for your remote control. If you find this good or you are comfortable with it, you can keep using your phone to turn your air-conditioner on or off. If not, you can still look for or purchase another remote control but be sure to not lose it this time!   

We hope that we were able to aid you with your predicament, but if not, then there is probably much more to it than what you think. Do not hesitate to reach out and remember that your HVAC contractor, technician, or professional will always be ready to help out.

How often should air conditioner be serviced?

Air conditioners play an important role in everyone’s lives. They come in handy especially when the hot sunny days come and the heat just won’t stop from increasing. Buying an air conditioner is quite a big investment. You surely would not want your air conditioner to last only for a year. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average lifespan of an air conditioner unit is 15 to 20 years. But of course, to be able to reach this, you have to make sure that your unit is in good shape in the long run.

To do this, you have to do regular maintenance. Regular maintenance will help your air conditioner live long and healthy. Not only it will make your air conditioner last longer but also save you from bigger expenses for repairing or replacing damaged parts, or worse, buying a new air conditioner again. Now, the question “How often should my air conditioner be serviced?” will come to your mind. 

It is ideal to service your air conditioner at least once or twice a year and the same goes for heating. The best time to do so is on the spring season just before the summer comes. But of course, to maintain your air conditioner, you have to make more efforts than just those once a year service. There are some things that you should leave to professionals. But you could also do some work to make your air conditioner live long. 

Here are some ways to maintain your air conditioner by yourself:

 1. Change the Air Filter

This contributes hugely to maintaining your air conditioner. Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest tasks to do too. The air filter is the one who filters particles like dust from going to your rooms. In the long run, it will collect a lot until it gets clogged. It will not function efficiently if this instance happens. So, you have to check it regularly. 

Some conditions tend to be the deciding factors of how often you should change your air filter. If you happen to have pets and family members that are quite sensitive to dust and other allergens, you may have to change it more frequently. The earliest maybe once a month. 

To do so, just locate the air filter, slide it out, and insert the new filter. Remember to pick the right size and the position it needs before sliding it in.  

2. Keep the Coils Clean

The coils of your air conditioner will help the refrigerant absorb heat and then cool your home. As time pass by, this will accumulate dirt that will cause it to reduce its capacity to absorb heat. If this happens, it will be harder for your air conditioner to cool your room.

The best way to maintain your coils clean is to clean the area around the outdoor component.

3. Clean it on Spring

Before the summer days come, check it up in Spring. Some things that you can do is to make sure that the indoor vent is clean. Your outdoor unit should also have at least 2 feet of clear area around it. You can also pour a cup of a mixture of water and bleach down the drain of the outside unit to prevent the buildup of algae and mold.

But of course, you can’t do all the work just by yourself. There are some matters that you should leave for the HVAC professional technicians. In case your air conditioner makes a loud noise as you turn it on or off, it’s not blowing cool air, or it just wouldn’t turn on. Those are where the professionals should take action. But it would be a lot better to ask for inspection before any of these happen to avoid more expenses. 

Remember that prevention is better than cure. Ask professionals for a regular checkup. An air conditioner that is in good shape could last you a lot of years. Take care of it for a long-time benefit.

Air Conditioner Turns On and Off Right Away

 A great investment for the comfort of your home is an air conditioner. Naturally, you want it to last long and give you a great performance. However, even if you maintain it as best you can, it may still fail you once or twice. A common happening is a short cycling, or when your unit turns on and off repeatedly. If this happens, then you might have higher energy costs, uneven temperatures, and an air conditioner malfunction. That may be because of a variety of causes you don’t notice in your unit, here are some reasons why.

Dirty Air Filter

Ideally, your air filter must be cleaned or replaced every 30 days. If it is clogged and restricts airflow, your air conditioner might stop working for a while and eventually try to turn back on. This is a quick check-up and fixes you can do yourself. 

Dirty or Frozen Evaporator Coil

 When the evaporator coil gets covered by dirt or ice, it gets insulated. The refrigerant in it won’t be able to absorb heat from the air. It will be tricky to clean this up so better call your HVAC contractor to help you out.

Dirty Condenser

Your unit’s condenser is always exposed outside. It is more prone to dust, dirt, or debris, than any other part of your system. Check if no grass or foliage are obstructing its airflow. 

Thermostat Issues

Sometimes, the problem might be brought by your thermostat. It might have inaccurate readings if it is placed somewhere near windows, kitchens, or vents. Place it somewhere near the center of your house.

 Check the settings on your thermostat. There might be some problem with the timer. Consult your owner’s manual to see how to change it.

Look at the screen of your thermostat. If it is blank, it might need some new batteries or is broken. If it is the latter, call a professional for repair or replacement.

Grime In The Compressor

The compressor might overheat if there is a buildup of grime in it. It might malfunction or fail. This is an essential part of your air conditioner, so call your contractor to help you with it. 

Low Refrigerant Level

 The refrigerant in your unit is responsible for absorbing heat from the environment. It runs through the coils and the compressor. Your air conditioner won’t work efficiently and short cycle, if it lacks refrigerant. You may ask your technician to detect if your unit has the correct amount of refrigerant in it. If not, it only needs a recharge.

A more complex problem you might have is a refrigerant leak. Sensors within your air conditioner will turn it off if it detects a leak. This will also cause your unit to have a low refrigerant level. It is better to call your HVAC contractor for help.

Short cycling is a sign of trouble in your air conditioner, but it will vary from easily fixable to more serious ones. Make sure to contact a professional for help if it is getting out of hand.

Pool Repairs and Maintenance – Repair and Maintenance Tips For Charleston, SC

Planning a vacation to Charleston, SC may seem like a far-fetched thing to do if you have been suffering from a constant pool repair nightmare. After all, who would want to get away from the bustle of South Carolina and the sparkling waters of its local pools, especially during their off season? But sometimes, the best vacations are those that let you take a look at the problems that can sometimes be so much more frustrating than the problems themselves.

Home pool

Whether or not Charleston can live up to its reputation as a top tourist destination when it comes to repair nightmares, it is very easy to see why it might be one of the biggest hitches for homeowners around the world. The large number of beachfront pool establishments in and around Charleston, SC make it even more frustrating when you’ve fallen victim to one of these maintenance nightmares.

The most common reason why there is a sudden drop in the water level of your home’s pool is due to a good chunk of sediment and other debris that has collected over time. While a decent amount of this material is harmless, it can still cause damage to the frame and pipes of your pool.

You may have noticed that your water heater needs to be refilled on occasion, particularly when it is under a lot of stress. Before you start complaining about how the water heater maintenance in Charleston, SC has been more than you bargained for, there is something that you need to know. Perhaps you will need to spend a bit more money for a single water heater that is able to withstand the humidity and temperature fluctuations that tend to occur when your home is located near the ocean.

Your water system may also require an expensive repair job when it starts to get clogged with grass and other types of debris. What makes this repair task a bigger headache is that the amount of debris that accumulates in the pump filter and faucet of your home water system can be staggering.

So what should you do when the weather turns cold and the water freezes over the ice box or ice house in your backyard? In most cases, you should avoid having a water heater outfitted with a desiccant packet.

Many homeowners and contractors tend to overlook the fact that the city of Charleston offers some assistance for those of us that live in areas of the state that have too much snow and ice. What does this mean for you?

In short, if you live in an area that experiences too much snow and ice, you should contact your local water utility company to inquire about the availability of some form of free, local service. Your company may provide you with some types of winterization services that can help you reduce the chances of needing repairs on your water heater.

Charleston, SC provides numerous chaser for owners who suffer from maintenance problems with their swimming pools. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) maintains a website that has helpful information and resources that can help you protect the environment and your swimming pool from any additional damage that can be caused by a leaky pool pump or broken seal around your pool filter.

Besides the great reasons that maintenance nightmares can put you through, it can also be financially draining to you and your family. When you begin to think about all of the things that you can do to improve the amount of money that you save when it comes to your pool repair bills, one service that you might want to try is making sure that you only purchase your pool parts from a reputable dealer.

Sure, it is important that you take care of your pool, but a reputable pool repair shop should be able to offer you more than a dozen options when it comes to providing you with the parts that you need for your pool. When you keep the things that you need from a reputable vendor, you may be able to enjoy savings that can make your repair and maintenance work go much faster.

Investing in these pool parts that you can buy directly from your local vendor can be a great way to save money. By doing some research online, you can easily find the top-rated pool parts and supplies and get the most for your money without having to pay through the nose for anything in return.