Getting Your Garden Winter Ready

Want To Turn Your Basement Into A Family Game Room? 4 Features To Add

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Want To Turn Your Basement Into A Family Game Room? 4 Features To Add

It is easy for basements to go underutilized in homes, especially when they are not finished. If you have an unfinished, partially finished, or completely finished basement and want to turn it into a game room that the entire family can enjoy, you will want to invest in certain features. Padded Flooring Carpet is an excellent addition to this room because it provides a layer of protection for kids and items. If something were to fall down, landing on carpet would greatly reduce the chance of it breaking. It is also ideal for all stages of life as babies can crawl and toddlers can run around without fear of getting injured too badly. Rubber is another padded flooring option, which has a distinct advantage in being resistant to mildew and water. This is perfect for basements, where mold and moisture problems are more likely to happen. Built-In Storage If you want to avoid clutter in your game room, built-in storage is the way to go. Sure, you could always add storage chests, bookcases, and cabinets that provide you with the storage you need, but these solutions would take up space that could otherwise be used to accommodate more people or games. A great place to add storage space is below the stairway going down into the basement. Another option is to add built-in bookcases between the studs in the basement walls. Recessed Lighting Glaring light can definitely get in the way of enjoying games. Recessed lighting is the perfect way to illuminate your game room as it will not put a glare on computer monitors, projectors, or televisions. Adding dimmers will allow you to adjust the lighting to create the perfect ambiance for the situation. Soundproof To create a space that anyone can use at any time without disturbing others in the house, you should opt for soundproofing. Soundproofing is possible with gypsum wallboard, which will minimize how much noise spreads throughout the rest of the home. It is important to soundproof the walls as you do not want a loud gaming night to wake up your closest neighbors. For most homeowners, the basement is an opportunity to create something that fits their wants and needs, and a game room is one of many options that you have. When you start planning, adding some or all of these features onto your list of things to do will help you create an ideal game room for the family. If you need help remodeling your basement in any way, contact a company like Property Service Agency...

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Know A First Time Homeowner? The Best Non-Conventional Gifts

Posted by on Mar 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Know A First Time Homeowner? The Best Non-Conventional Gifts

If a family member or close friend has recently bought their first home and you are looking to get them a gift the can really use, you want to skip the local home décor store. Instead of getting them a candle or something to hang on the wall, get them something that they can really use. The homeowner needs thing that will help them take care of their new investment. Here are a few different options you purchase for the homeowners if you know they don’t have the items. Outdoor Power Tools Does the homeowner need a lawn mower, weed whip, leaf blower or any other outdoor power equipment, like that from Joe’s Tractor Sales Inc, to help them with their lawn maintenance needs? If so, these are great gift ideas because they may not be at the top of the priority list for the homeowner, or the homeowner may not want to spend the money on the items. A Grill   A gas grill they can use in the garage or on a back patio is a great gift to help them enjoy their new home and entertain. You can accompany this gift with tools, a grill cover and any other items that you think will go well with the item. If they are interested in a charcoal or infrared grill, you’ll want to explore all your grill options before making a purchase. Cleaning Service Have you noticed at the house that the gutters are filled, the drains are slow, or that there are other problems? Pay for a plumbing company to do a pipe cleaning, for a gutter cleaning company to do a gutter inspection and cleaning. These may be tasks that they don’t know how to do, and that they aren’t sure who to hire for the work. Professional painting, carpet cleaning or chimney cleaning are other suggestions you can try. As a new homeowner it can be hard to know what you really need, and there are so many different expenses that come along with buying your first home. Take a walk around the home and talk with them about what they have to take care of the house and what they need, so you can get them something that they will use regularly. They will get tons of item that aren’t necessary to help maintain their financial purchase, but you can give them a gift that will be useful for...

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How To Prevent And Treat Lawn Fungus

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Prevent And Treat Lawn Fungus

If you notice problems with your grass such as gooey substance or brown patches, then you may have a lawn fungus. It’s one of those things that are easier to prevent than treat so it’s best to take care of your lawn properly to prevent it from happening. Prevention There are several things that you may be doing wrong that could make your lawn more susceptible to lawn fungus. Here are a few of the top errors that cause lawn fungus due to poor maintenance. Improper mowing: If you cut your grass too short or if your mower blades are dull, then this can cause the growth of your grass to be stunted. This makes it weak and more easily invaded by disease and fungus. Improper watering: Fungus likes to grow in wet conditions. If your grass stays continuously wet without being able dry properly, then this can cause fungus to grow. If you really need to water, do it early so the blades can dry off properly during the day. However, make sure you don’t water midday as the hot sun beating down on your grass will burn it. Improper fertilization: Fungus can happen when your grass is weak from being deficient of nutrients, so fertilize your lawn regularly. Make sure you follow the directions carefully because over fertilizing can also cause fungus. Treatment If you’re unable to keep lawn fungus away, then treat it quickly before it gets too bad. There are fungicides that you can buy that work for most lawns or you can do soil tests to find out the best kind for your particular lawn type. You can also spot-treat small patches infected with fungus using materials such as tea or baking soda solutions. If certain areas of your lawn continuously fall victim to lawn fungus no matter what you do, then you can either call in a professional like Superior Lawn and Landscape or consider changing that area to some type of lawn feature such as a flower bed or rock garden. Remember after you treat lawn fungus, your grass is unlikely to grow back so you will need to replant your grass in that area. Lawn fungus can be a pain to eradicate so remember to help your lawn by keeping it in the best shape possible. Good lawn care is the best defense against pesky lawn fungus. If you do need to treat for lawn fungus, then try natural treatments first. Lastly, don’t ignore the problem; take care of it right away so you can get your lawn back to normal as quickly as...

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Remove Common Ragweed From Your Lawn

Posted by on Jan 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Remove Common Ragweed From Your Lawn

Common ragweed is a plant that contains long, thin leaves that have rounded edges. In the center of each weed’s leaves, stalks grow that contain small yellow flowers. Many people are allergic to this weed variety and experience watery eyes and frequent sneezing when exposed to it. If common ragweed is growing on your property and you would like to eliminate it due to allergies, the following tips will help you. Supplies spray herbicide plastic sheeting  tarp distilled white vinegar spray bottle face mask rubber gloves hand shovel trash bag grass seed water hose Apply A Herbicide Or Distilled White Vinegar Eliminate the ragweed by spraying each plant with an herbicide. Before applying the herbicide, use plastic sheeting or a tarp to cover areas of your lawn that are adjacent to the weeds. Put on a face mask and a pair of rubber gloves to protect yourself from the chemicals that are in the herbicide. Aim the herbicide’s nozzle directly at each weed and squeeze the trigger several times. Wait for the weeds to wilt. This may take a few days. If you are leery about using chemicals on your property, fill a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar and apply it to the weeds. Vinegar will effectively kill ragweed within a few days, as well. Remove Weeds And Plant Grass Seed Once the weeds have wilted, grasp each one firmly with glove-covered hands and pull it upwards. If some of the weeds are difficult to remove, use a small hand shovel to loosen the soil that surrounds them before pulling them from the ground. Place all of the weeds in a trash bag and dispose of them. If there are several bare sections on our property where the weeds were once growing, plant grass seed in them. Sprinkle a liberal amount of grass seed to the areas of your yard that you are treating. Make sure that you use the same variety of grass that is planted in the rest of your yard. Apply plenty of water to the grass seed with a water hose.  Mow Your Lawn Often Water the new grass each week to assist with healthy growth. Mow your lawn often to keep it maintained. Mowing your lawn will prevent new common ragweed from thriving if it ever grows on your property again. Frequent mowing will weaken any weeds that are present and will prevent them from producing pollen or seeds, which could lead to more weeds. Your lawn will continue to look great and you can enjoy spending time on it without suffering from allergies. If you need extra help getting rid of your weeds, go to websites like http://snydersweedcontrol.com/ for more...

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Duct ~ Duct ~ Ewww: The Nasty Truth About Leaking Ductwork

Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Duct ~ Duct ~ Ewww: The Nasty Truth About Leaking Ductwork

If you have leaking ductwork, your home may be riddled with several problems that you have not realized are related to the ducts. Malfunctioning ducts can negatively impact indoor air quality resulting in respiratory issues. They may also result in property owners having higher energy costs associated with their heating and cooling due to energy being lost and wasted through the leaking ducts. The following issues represent some of the most common and serious problems leaky ductwork can cause. Humid Air Perhaps you have not seen unexplained moisture settling on surfaces, which is a sign of humid conditions, but you may have noticed that the air in your home usually feels clammy. This could be because defective ducts are causing poor air circulation. If you try to make the air less humid by running the air conditioning, you will likely still not achieve dehumidified air. Instead, you may find that you are constantly running the AC trying to get your home feeling comfortable. Installing a dehumidifier is a temporary fix for this type of issue, however due to the potential for energy loss and other issues related to leaky ducts, a repair should be planned in the near future. Lethal Air Air duct issues can contribute to potentially fatal circumstances. When ducts are not sealed properly, there is a chance that a draft can occur. The air draft may result in exhaust fumes being drawn back into your home. Carbon monoxide is an example of a potentially lethal exhaust fume that can be back drafted due to leaky ducts, and a gas furnace is an example of an appliance that could cause the hazardous exchange. Polluted Air There are some instances where leaky ducts may compromise air quality to the point where sickness occurs although the air may not contain lethal gas. Polluted air should be considered a priority fix because it can aggravate allergies and serve as a precursor of potentially more serious duct issues in the future. A crawlspace is an example of an area that may contain contaminants as a result of not being a commonly accessed area. Dust and other debris can likely be found in these types of areas. If there are gaps or leaks in the ductwork, the contaminants from these areas may contribute to indoor air pollution. An air conditioning repair professional is the best resource to use for ductwork inspections. This is because some other problems may appear to be related to ducts, but they may be related to another issue. For example, high energy costs could be the result of inadequate insulation or older appliances rather than duct issues....

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3 Ideas To Help You Save Money On Your Energy Bill

Posted by on Nov 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ideas To Help You Save Money On Your Energy Bill

As a homeowner, you are always looking for ways to save money on your energy bill. However, you don’t want to spend a fortune to make it happen. Now, you can save money on your energy bill by adding in a few home décor items and implementing a couple simple tips into your life. In doing so, you can slash costs and keep more of your money in your pocket. Try out the ideas below and see how much of a difference it can make in your life. Seal the windows. If you have some old towels lying around that you aren’t using that much, you can use them to seal your windows off. Simply roll the towels up and lay them in front of the windows along the seal. This helps to block the drafts out and keep more of the warm air in. In doing so, you can save on your energy bill and furnace costs because your furnace isn’t going to be working overtime in an attempt to keep your home at the right temperature. Add in some stylish curtains. Regardless of whether you already have curtains or you need some, you might want to check into some of the stylish curtains that have a built in barrier. Not only do they block out the sunlight, but they also help insulate your windows and make your home more energy efficient. They come in an assortment of colors and designs to accentuate your space and make it look amazing. Consider using a space heater. Even if you don’t have zone heating right now, you can simulate it using nothing more than a space heater. This allows you to keep your costs down while still staying comfortable in the room you are using. There is no need to spend extra to heat the entire home when you are only using the living room or bedroom for example. Heating the one zone will help cut your energy bills, while helping you stay at the perfect temperature wherever you are. In doing the three things above, you can start saving money now. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to winterize your home. You can get the job done for less than a couple hundred dollars, but the savings will start adding up pretty quickly. While every home is different, you should be able to save anywhere from 10–20% each month as an estimate. Find out more today at a place like D. Schultz...

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Pros And Cons Of Pans Made From Various Metals

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pros And Cons Of Pans Made From Various Metals

If you’re choosing cookware for your kitchen, you have three basic metals to choose from: aluminum, stainless steel, or copper. Which is the best choice for you will depend on how you intend to cook and what qualities are most important to you. To help you decide, here’s a look at the pros and cons of each material. Aluminum  Aluminum reacts quickly to temperature changes, making it a good choice when you want to heat something up quickly. It is resistant to corrosion and rust, and when you choose anodized aluminum (which is very common in cookware), it is naturally non-stick, so you do not have to use a lot of oil in cooking. The downside to aluminum is that it will react with acidic ingredients like tomatoes and vinegar. giving the food a metallic taste. If you cook with these ingredients often, you’ll want to choose a different metal for your cookware. Stainless Steel Stainless steel cookware is durable; it won’t bend if you drop it like aluminum sometimes may. It is non-reactive, so you can cook any dish inside of it, and it tends to be quite affordable. Stainless steel cookware won’t rust or tarnish over time; it stays looking like new for ages. The downside to stainless steel cookware is that it has poor heat conductivity when compared to copper or aluminum. It takes longer to heat up, so you have to exercise a little patience when cooking. Copper Copper cookware has excellent conductivity and heats up quickly, which is why many skillets intended for high-heat cooking are made from copper. Though copper itself is reactive with acidic ingredients, most copper pans are lined with stainless steel to prevent this issue. Copper is known for its even heating, which is important if you’re cooking highly intricate dishes. The downside to copper cookware is that it is quite expensive in comparison to other materials. It does not work well on induction-style cooktops, either. Also, copper cookware does not take well to paint, so most copper pans are plain copper in color and may take on a tarnished look (similar to that of an old penny) over time. In the end, it is up to you to choose the cookware that best suits your needs. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with having multiple metals in your cookware collection. For instance, you could have a copper skillet, an aluminum pot, and a stainless steel...

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How To Find The Source Of Bad Smells In Your Carpet

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Find The Source Of Bad Smells In Your Carpet

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting your house clean from top to bottom and realizing that something smells bad. You can try spraying air fresheners, but chances are that is only going to take care of the problem temporarily, if at all. What you really need to do is find the sources of the bad smells in the carpet so that you can fully remove them. Follow Your Nose It might seem like your nose already did everything it could do by finding out that something in the carpet isn’t right. While that’s the first step in the game, there’s more to it. If you close your eyes and follow the bad smell, your nose can actually lead you to the spots that are the worst. Trust your senses and let them do their job. If you feel as though you’ve become too adjusted to the smell, try clearing your olfactory nerve by smelling something cleansing, such as coffee grounds. This helps your nose to “reset” itself and you’re more likely to be able to find the source of the bad smell. Use a Black Light One of the more common causes for bad smells in carpet is urine and other bodily fluids. Some of these types of stains are obvious, but others are not at all. One foolproof way to find these stains is to use a black light. Components in urine and other bodily fluids glow when exposed to black light. Make sure that you vacuum first, because lint can also glow under the light. The room needs to be dark for the black light to work properly. Once you find the stains, make a note of where they are so that you can get them thoroughly cleaned. Watch Your Pets If you think you’ve found all the spots, but you’re not sure, watch your pets. They’ll go back to spots that they’ve soiled over and over again. Try not to be obvious about watching where your pet is headed, but you need to make sure that you’ve found all of the smelly spots. Once your pet does lead you to some questionable spots, clean the area with enzyme cleaners that can break down the elements that attract your pet to that location. Whether you’re dealing with pet stains or other sources of stinkiness in your carpet, it may be time to leave it to the professionals. Contact a carpet cleaning service today who can ensure that all of the bad smells are totally removed from your carpets. To learn more, contact a company like Darling’s Carpet & Floor...

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5 Tips For Dealing With A Cockroach Infestation

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Tips For Dealing With A Cockroach Infestation

Cockroaches are notoriously hardy and breed rapidly. Once you begin to see roaches in your home, there is a good chance that there are many more that you can’t see hiding throughout your house. If you begin to see multiple cockroaches in your home, use the following tips to deal with an infestation. Contact a Pest Control Specialist Cockroaches are very difficult to kill, so if you have an infestation in your home, a bottle of bug killer you buy at a home improvement store is not going to get the job done. If you want to get a roach infestation under control, you will need the services of a pest control company. Depending on the severity of the infestation, your home may need chemical smoke bombs to kill off all of the pests. Strong chemicals are typically used to control a roach infestation, so it is in your best interest to remove your pets and children from the home while the pest control service is being performed. Your pest control technician will be able to tell you when it is safe for you to return to your house. Keep Roaches Out After initially dealing with a cockroach infestation and killing them off with chemicals, it is important to make sure that new roaches can’t get back in your house. Look around the exterior of your home to see if there are cracks or holes near the foundation of your house, around the windows, or next to pipes going into your house. Seal any cracks or holes, and consider using drain stoppers in your sinks and showers, as roaches are capable of coming up through drains. Eliminate Food Sources If you want to prevent another roach infestation, it is important to remove all possible food sources. Keep all food in tightly sealed containers, and don’t leave pet food out after meal times. It is also important to wipe your counters frequently to remove crumbs, and  make sure that trash cans in your home have lids. Take Care of Leaks In addition to food, cockroaches are continually looking for water sources, so if you have a leaky or dripping faucet it can be a beacon to roaches. Fix all leaks in your home, and be mindful to dry puddles in or around sinks after using them. Regular Pest Control Services After you get a roach infestation under control, one of the best ways to prevent another one is by getting regular pest control services in your home and around your property. In addition to keeping cockroaches away, pest control services can also ensure that your home is free from other gross insects and...

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Warning Signs Of Hard Water In Your Home

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Warning Signs Of Hard Water In Your Home

Although all water contains some level of naturally occurring minerals, water that’s too heavily saturated with minerals is referred to as hard water. It can be destructive to your pipes and appliances, and it can sap the life out of your skin and hair. If you aren’t familiar with hard water or don’t know how to tell if you have it, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some of the common signs. Here are several things to watch for that may indicate the presence of hard water in your house. Persistent Soap Residue Take a look at your tub and sinks. If there’s a hazy residue left on the surface of each one or you’ve got soap scum accumulating on them, you might have hard water. If you do, you’ll also see film or haze on your glasses when they come out of the dishwasher. The mineral content of the water makes it hard to rinse soap clean away. Chronic Dry Skin and Hair If you’re using a lot more conditioner these days to battle drying hair, it may be due to hard water. Similarly, if you’ve found yourself having to invest in a lot more moisturizer, that may be the reason. The minerals can dry your hair and skin out significantly, and the soap residue left behind on your skin can intensify the reaction. Extensive Buildup on Fixtures The final place to evaluate if you’re looking for signs of hard water is your water fixtures. Since your water flows through these fixtures regularly, the mineral content in it often leads to deposits along all of your water fixtures. If you see any white residue on your shower head, faucets and other water fixtures, it’s a likely sign that you’ve got hard water. You might also see those same deposits inside your dishwasher. Take a look at the heating element that’s inside the dishwasher to see if it is black with a smooth, clean finish. If you’re seeing white or brown spots instead, that’s a sign of mineral deposits. You may find that the deposits on your water fixtures become severe enough that you have to actually wash the sprayers to unclog them. Use a mineral deposit remover for this if you want it to be as effective as possible. If your home is showing any of these indications that you have hard water, you should reach out to a water softener installation contractor like Metro Water Conditioning Inc. He or she can put in a whole-house water softener to help ease the...

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