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Four Ways to Keep Lady Bugs Away from Your Home This Fall

Posted by on Nov 23, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Ways to Keep Lady Bugs Away from Your Home This Fall

Lady bugs might seem cute and harmless, but when there are swarms of them covering your home in the fall, they quickly become an annoyance. If you notice some of these pests starting to flock to your property, there are a few easy ways to deter them from your home, and more importantly, keep them from finding their way inside. Seal all of the cracks and crevices in your home. In the fall when lady bugs tend to “swarm,” they are looking for places to hibernate over the winter. Your home may be an attractive option for them if it has a lot of little nooks and crannies where they can hide and sleep. So, spend a weekend sealing any crevices on your home. Caulk your windows or apply new weather stripping if needed. If there are holes in your siding, patch them up. Repair damage to any mortar between brick or rock features, too. Plant mums around your home. Mum plants repel lady bugs thanks to a certain oil they contain. Thankfully, you can usually find a bounty of these plants for sale at home goods stores and even grocery stores during the fall. Plant one every couple of feet around the border of your home. You can even leave the mums in pots and just set them around. Don’t be concerned if the mum plant withers soon after planting. Its scent will still repel lady bugs. Mums are perennials, so they will come back next year and every year after that. Vacuum up the first ones you see. Often, a few “scout” lady bugs will arrive and check out a place. If the place is appealing, then a larger group of lady bugs will appear soon after. So if you’re noticing a few lady bugs now, try vacuuming them up with a shop vac. Getting rid of these initial lady bugs will help deter others from coming. Burn the vacuum bag that contains the lady bugs to ensure you get rid of them completely. You may need to vacuum them up every day for a while to get the population under control. Scatter diatomaceous earth (DE) around your home. DE is a fine powder made from the shells of tiny, sea-dwelling creatures. It won’t hurt you, but it will dehydrate the lady bugs’ exoskeletons, ultimately killing them. Scatter some DE on the ground around the edge of your home. You can also dust this powder around door frames and windows where the bugs tend to congregate. If lady bugs still flock to your home in spite of having followed these tips, contact an exterminator or pest control supply company in your area through resources...

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How To Bleed A Radiator

Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Bleed A Radiator

Radiators are a common form of residential heating that make use of hot water or steam to provide heat to specific rooms throughout a house. However, over time air can become trapped in the pipes of your radiator, which prevents the radiator from providing heat to the room. Thankfully, if this does occur, all you have to do is bleed the radiator of the excess air to get it working again, a fairly simple process that only requires a few basic tools. What You’ll Need Before you get started, you should assemble all the tools and materials that you’ll need in a single place to speed up the process. You’ll need protective gloves (made out of fabric, not rubber or plastic, which can melt), a screwdriver or radiator key, a dry cloth, and a small bowl that can fit under your radiator. All of these items can be found at most hardware stores if you don’t already have them lying around your home. Bleeding a Radiator Firstly, ensure that the radiator is turned off – if it’s turned on, you may injure yourself during the process. Next, locate where the bleed valve is on your radiator. It’s usually fairly obvious, located on the top of one side of the radiator, though it is located on the bottom on some models. Put the small bowl underneath the valve to protect against any spills that may occur. Insert the screwdriver or radiator key into the valve, and turn it counterclockwise (to the left) half a turn. Some radiators have valves which are too small for a screwdriver, but needle nosed pliers will work in a pinch. A soft hissing sound will tell you that you’ve begun to release air from the radiator. Keep an eye on the valve – it may take a few minutes for all of the air to bleed out of your radiator’s pipes. Once the valve begins to bubble, or a steady stream of water begins to flow out of it, your radiator’s pipes have been completely drained. You can now use the screwdriver or radiator key to close the valve again, turning clockwise (to the right) until the water stops flowing out of it. Use the rag to clean up any water that may have spilled out. You’re now able to use the radiator as you see fit. For future reference, it’s a good idea to bleed all of your radiators before the winter season starts to ensure that they are working properly. For more tips, contact a home heating repair...

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Prevent Exposed Plumbing That Leads To A Septic System From Bursting

Posted by on Sep 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Prevent Exposed Plumbing That Leads To A Septic System From Bursting

Prevent exposed plumbing that leads to your home’s septic system from bursting during the winter by insulating it with the steps below. Once the pipe sections have been covered with insulating tape and a foam cover, water and liquid waste that runs through the plumbing will not be likely to freeze and cause the pipe sections to expand when they thaw out. Materials soapy water sponge towel metal file roll of insulated plumbing tape scissors measuring tape foam insulating sleeve wide thermal tape heat lamp Clean The Plumbing’s Exterior And Secure Insulated Tape Turn off the main water valve. Clean the outdoor plumbing that is attached to your home’s septic system with a soapy sponge. Once dirty residue has been eliminated, use plain water to remove soapy film from each pipe section. Dry the plumbing pieces with a lint-free cloth. Lightly sand the surface of each pipe section with a metal file. By doing so, the insulated plumbing tape will adhere the proper way.  Wrap a couple layers of insulated plumbing tape evenly around each pipe section that you would like to protect during cold weather. Use scissors to trim the end of the tape and press the end firmly against the plumbing with your fingertips. Cover The Tape With A Foam Insulating Sleeve Measure the plumbing that you covered with insulated tape. Purchase a foam insulating sleeve that is the same length. Slightly pull the sleeve’s foam edges apart in order to widen the gap. Slip the sleeve over the plumbing. Hold the edges of the foam together and cut strips of wide thermal tape that are long enough to cover them. If you are covering a long section of the plumbing, cut a piece of tape that will cover a small section of the foam’s opening and secure it before cutting additional pieces of tape and adding them. Keep A Close Eye On The Weather During Cold Weather Turn on the main water valve and use the plumbing inside of your home in a normal manner. Keep a close eye on the weather forecast during the winter. Although the foam insulation and tape will prevent the plumbing from freezing in most instances, it doesn’t hurt to take additional precautions. When the weather is predicted to be freezing temperatures, plug in a heat lamp outdoors and aim it towards the outdoor plumbing. A heat lamp will keep the surface of the pipe sections above freezing, preventing them from cracking or...

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Use Decorative Film To Conceal Scratches In A Glass Shower Door And Add Privacy

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Use Decorative Film To Conceal Scratches In A Glass Shower Door And Add Privacy

Conceal scratches in a glass shower door’s exterior and add privacy to a shower stall by securing a colorful piece of decorative film to the glass with the steps below. A piece of film that matches other colors or patterns that are displayed in the bathroom will provide the shower door with a customized appearance. Materials Needed glass cleaner lint-free cleaning cloths measuring tape washable marker self-adhesive film mild detergent water spray misting bottle surgical gloves squeegee seam roller Clean, Measure, And Mark The Door’s Exterior Close the shower door. Remove surface dirt and smudges from the glass exterior with a lint-free cleaning cloth that has a small amount of glass cleaner applied to it. Dry the door’s surface with a fresh cloth. Measure the portion of the door that you would like to cover with decorative film. Use a washable marker to mark the corners of the section that you have chosen. Purchase a piece of decorative film that is the same size as the measurements that you have acquired.   Secure The Film To The Glass Prepare a soapy solution to assist with adhering the edges of the film by filling an empty spray misting bottle with water and adding a small amount of mild detergent to it. Put on a pair of surgical gloves so that your fingerprints do not appear on the glass shower door while you are applying the film. Remove a corner of the film’s backing and press the sticky side of the film against the corner of the glass that is marked. Before covering the glass, use a clean cloth to wipe away the marker. Continue removing more of the film’s backing and pressing down the adhesive against the glass until the entire piece of film has been secured. Move a squeegee across the decorative film in straight lines to remove wrinkles and flatten the film. Spray The Corners And Sides Of The Film Spray the corners and sides of the film with the soapy cleaning solution that was added to the misting bottle. The solution will help the film remain secure against the glass. Move a seam roller firmly over the film’s edges and corners. Afterwards, wait for the soapy solution to dry. Once this occurs, the decorative film will remain in place. Care for the film by wiping it off with a damp, soapy cloth on occasion. Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning cloths or sponges when treating the film’s surface. For more tips on how you can customize your shower, talk to a company like Monroe Industries...

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Consider Professional Landscape Services While Attempting To Sell Your Home

Posted by on Aug 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Consider Professional Landscape Services While Attempting To Sell Your Home

Having a beautiful landscape on your property is an ideal way to encourage you to spend time outside. However, you may not have taken advantage of this opportunity as a homeowner, and now you are in the process of selling your home. Although it might not be feasible to create an intricate landscape with features such as attractive landscaping rocks and outdoor lighting that fits with your land, you can still get professional landscape services to get your home in the condition it needs to be in for selling. The better your home looks from the outside, the better chance you have of selling your home in a timely manner. Get Your Property Ready to Impress Home buyers are going to see pictures of your property from the outside before they see ones on the inside. It is for this reason that you need to impress them right away, otherwise they may not take the opportunity to look at other photos because they did not like what they saw in the first place. Although the landscape may not be a deal-breaker for many home buyers because they can make changes after they buy the home, this can negatively affect their overall impression of the property. Also, since you will likely have your own definition of impressive, professionals will know how to keep it neutral for buyers. Keep the Lawn Green Another important factor that plays a huge role in selling your home is the lawn. An unhealthy lawn is something that a potential buyer will notice right away, and they may think that your property has more problems than it lets on, which can prevent them from moving forward with making an offer. However, a beautiful lawn has the opposite effect by building confidence in aspiring home buyers. Make Attractive Lighting Although you can fix up trees, plant beautiful shrubs, and maintain the lawn meticulously, you will not have an opportunity to impress as much as you could without exceptional lighting. Most potential buyers will see your property in the daytime, which means they will not see the outdoor lighting in action, but it is not uncommon for these individuals to drive by the property after it gets dark. These individuals are the ones who are serious about buying a home and you need to make the greatest impression to them. When you have proper lighting in the front yard and backyard, you can make people feel safe, which is exactly what you want them to feel when it involves trying to sell your home. With the help of a landscaping company, like Mr Green Thumb, you won’t run into any trouble trying to sell due to problems with your...

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Learn How To Remodel Your Bathroom To Make It More Accommodating If You Are Restricted To A Wheelchair

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Learn How To Remodel Your Bathroom To Make It More Accommodating If You Are Restricted To A Wheelchair

If you are restricted to a wheelchair, having a home that is customized to suit your needs can make daily living easier. One area that you may want to remodel first is your bathroom. Traditional bathrooms can often be difficult to navigate when restricted to a wheelchair and can pose many dangers. Use the guide below to learn how to have your bathroom remodeled to meet your specific needs. Have a Barrier-Free Shower Installed A barrier-free shower is a shower that has no barrier between the exterior and interior of the shower floor. You can easily roll your wheelchair directly into the shower without having to lift your body over the edge of a tub or lip at the edge of the shower. Have a bench and handrails installed in the shower so that you can easily maneuver yourself out of your chair and into the shower. You can slide yourself under the shower head to enjoy a nice warm shower after a long day. For more information on barrier-free showers, contact a company like Trending Accessibility. Have Handrails Installed Around the Toilet Being able to get on and off of the toilet on your own is important when you live alone. Having handrails installed around your toilet will allow you to easily get on and off of the toilet on your own as needed. It is important to have a professional install the rails to ensure that the installation is done properly so that they can support your weight fully. Have a Pedestal Sink Installed A pedestal sink is often a great option in your bathroom because it will provide you with more floor space so that you can easily maneuver around. The pedestal sink takes up less room than a traditional vanity without taking away from your ability to brush your teeth or wash your hands.  Have the Mirror Lowered When you move into the home, have the mirror lowered in the bathroom so that you can see yourself in the mirror easily when getting ready in the morning. You could have a larger mirror installed in place of a smaller mirror to give the room symmetry, as well. Being able to be as safe and comfortable as possible in your own home is important. Customizing your home to suit your needs will take time, but remodeling the bathroom is a great place to start because it is one of the rooms that you will use often throughout the day....

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Three Ways To Use Precast Stone In Your Outdoor Or Garden Space

Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Ways To Use Precast Stone In Your Outdoor Or Garden Space

If you are looking for a beautiful addition that will give depth to your outdoor or garden space, look no further than precast stone. This material will provide your landscaping design with a unique look that you will not be able to create as quickly and inexpensively with too many other materials. Not only is precast stone beautiful and easy to design with, it is also strong, resilient, and if installed correctly, it will last a lifetime. Here are a few places that you may want to consider adding precast stone in your outdoor space.  Create A Walkway Nothing invites you into a garden more than a wandering walkway that leads down through it, but unfortunately plain concrete or gravel paths do not always create the effect that you may be seeking. If you already have existing concrete paths, consider recovering these by using stone pavers or overlays. Stone pavers come in a wide variety of textures, materials, and colors that can be laid alone or on top of the concrete slabs that you may already have in place. You can find them made out of the following: Limestone Bluestone Sandstone Granite Travertine and more You can mix and match them to create unique designs, which will allow you to be as creative as you choose to be.  Create An Outdoor Kitchen If you spend a lot of time outdoors entertaining family and friends, you may want to use precast stone elements to create an outdoor kitchen. The look of the stone will nicely match your outdoor appliances no matter if you choose to install highly stainless steel appliances or just a simple barbecue grill.  You can use your stone to create a feature wall, cover decking columns, or to create your deck or flooring. Because it is stone, the number of places you can use it is endless. You will never have to worry about it getting wet and clean up is a breeze. Simply hose it off or wipe it down. You will never have to worry about what chemicals you can and cannot use on it.  Create A Stone Fireplace If you are not into cooking and the outdoor kitchen does not appeal to you. Consider installing a stone covered fireplace on your deck. Not only will its warmth extend the amount of time that you spend outside during the cooler months of the year, but it will also give you the ability to add fire to your outdoor space during the summer months. Just think how much fun it will be to roast marshmallows or wieners on a hot summer night. These are just a few of the places that you can use stone in your backyard or garden space. There are many more. Just look around and think of all of the projects you can do. To learn more, visit a website...

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3 Home Improvement Projects To Protect Your Family From Summer Storms

Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Home Improvement Projects To Protect Your Family From Summer Storms

The temperatures are going to be rising soon, and this means that in addition to the heat, you will be dealing with summer storms. In some areas, storms can cause billions of dollars’ worth of damage. This is why you want to protect your home and your family with improvements like shutters or a storm cellar. Here are some home improvement projects that you may want to consider to keep your family safe during summer storms: 1. Protect Your Home With Shutters To Cover Windows And Doors Shutters can be one of the best and most affordable improvements that you do to your home. You may want to consider different types of shutters, such as roll-up shutters that work like a garage door. There are also traditional shutters, which attach to the outside of the window, and are opened and closed manually. If you are considering home automation, install the roll-up style shutter for ease of operation and installation of automated systems to open and close the shutters. 2. Keep Your Family Safe In Severe Weather With The Addition Of A Cellar Even with shutters and other improvements, severe storms may be too bad for your home to withstand. It is a good idea to have a storm cellar installed for your home. This can be a cellar that is outdoors and beneath the ground, or it can be a panic-room inside your home. These are typical in homes in the Plains of the Midwest, but they can also be practical in many other areas of North America where storms are likely to bring heavy winds or tornadoes. 3. Install Hurricane Straps And Other Systems For Storm And Wind Resistance   Hurricane strapping is something that has become more common in home construction. These are steel straps that attach different structural members of your home, such as the rafters and floor joists. There are many different types of systems to add hurricane resistance to your home, which can be done even in areas thousands of miles away from the sea. Consider updating your home with hurricane strap systems if it is several decades old. You can also contact a structural engineer and talk with a contractor about installing these systems for you. These are some improvements that you may want to consider for your home to protect your family during summer storms. If your home is without shutters, contact a residential shutter installer to help install storm shutters on your home to protect your...

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Comparing Wood And Vinyl Window Shutters

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Comparing Wood And Vinyl Window Shutters

Window shutters are designed to protect your windows against extreme weather conditions, but also fulfill a decorative role, and can add to the overall aesthetic of a room. The two most common types of shutters are wood and vinyl shutters. Though both types of shutters are similar in their function, their material differences lend each variant a distinctive set of advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the differences between wood and vinyl shutters can help you choose the one that best fits your needs. Wood Shutters Wood shutters provide a natural aesthetic to your window. One of the main draws of having wooden shutters installed on your windows is the fact that wood can be stained or painted very easily, which means that you can customize the aesthetic very easily, and change the appearance of your shutters without replacing the shutters entirely. Additionally, wood is a very durable material and is able to withstand a great deal of physical trauma without cracking, breaking, or otherwise becoming damaged. However, wooden shutters are susceptible to rotting and mold growth over time due to water exposure and must be constantly painted and sealed to ensure that they do not begin to degrade. This increases the maintenance costs and time commitment to your shutters over time, especially for climates with a high degree of humidity. Vinyl Shutters Vinyl shutters are an economical choice for most homeowners. Vinyl shutters tend to be less expensive than wooden shutters (depending on the type of wood you compare them to) and are also much more lightweight, which makes the installation process easier, saving you money on labor. Additionally, vinyl shutters are immune to rot and pest infestations which can plague wooden shutters. This helps reduce the amount of maintenance that you’ll have to do on your shutters and can extend their lifespan. It is also important to note that vinyl is not an absorbent material like wood is, which means that vinyl shutters are much easier to clean. A mixture of warm water and detergent is all that you need to remove caked-on dirt. However, vinyl shutters cannot be repainted or stained like wooden shutters can, which can limit your aesthetic choices. Furthermore, vinyl as a material is not as durable as wood is, and can be easily broken by debris flung around in a storm. This can represent a significant cost, as the entire shutter will have to be replaced. To learn more about your options for shutters, check out a company like Cover Up...

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3 Crucial Tips About A Tenant’s Rights And Responsibilities When Dealing With A Property Management Company

Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Crucial Tips About A Tenant’s Rights And Responsibilities When Dealing With A Property Management Company

One problem that tenants often face is not knowing their rights when it comes to renting their property. In order to have a beneficial and professional relationship with the people who represent your landlord, it’s important to have the following information. #1-Know How To Properly Ask For Repairs Although it’s easy to assume that when you need a repair, you should simply call the property management company, doing so isn’t always sufficient. Instead, check your lease and consult with the employees at the firm as to the expected protocol. Even if putting the request in writing isn’t required, it could still be helpful. It’s quite common to need to ask for repairs in writing. You should verify whether that can come through email, fax or a paper form and then plan to follow up on that written communication with a phone call shortly after. Even though it may seem redundant, this gives you the opportunity to confirm that they got it and allows you an opportunity to determine a time frame for the repair. If it becomes necessary, by keeping a copy of the written request, you will be able to establish later on that you informed them of the problem on a specific date and time. #2-Verify Your Maintenance Responsibilities Another common mistake is assuming that any repairs or maintenance are the duty of the property management company. However, that isn’t always true, since there are basic issues you are likely to be responsible for. If left undone,they could result in expensive repairs that you could similarly be liable for. One example is changing the filter in your HVAC system or window units. A clogged filter forces the unit to work harder and eventually can damage it. Unfortunately, that means that if you don’t replace or clean the filter, you could accrue significant costs to replace or repair the unit. Fortunately, your lease will probably outline your duties. The same can be true of checking and replacing batteries in your smoke detectors, since their failure could result in a fire going undetected, property damage and death. #3-Know The Law In your Area Obviously, the goal is to have effective communication with your property management company so that you can enjoy your home. If that doesn’t happen, despite your best efforts and paying your rent on time, it’s a good idea to verify the renter’s laws in your area. For instance, knowing how much notice both your lease and the state require before moving will help you plan financially, as failing to give adequate notice of your intent to vacate can result in a hefty bill. In addition, you may also find that the management company has a limited period of time after you vacate the property to return your deposit to you or inform you in writing of why they cannot do so. Finally, you are typically only allowed to withhold rent in very limited circumstances and when you do, it is best to put those funds into an escrow account. Otherwise, you could soon be dealing with an eviction, instead of just a poor relationship with the property management firm. In conclusion, a property management company functions as the liaison between you and your landlord. Knowing your rights and applicable renter’s laws is crucial; as is effective...

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