Getting Your Garden Winter Ready

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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2 Reasons to Utilize Chemical Free Laundry Detergent

Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Reasons to Utilize Chemical Free Laundry Detergent

Choosing to go with a chemical free laundry detergent is a great decision, mostly because it can benefit you and your household in a number of ways. You should consider utilizing a chemical free laundry detergent to minimize allergic reactions and create a safer environment. Allergic Reactions A regular type of laundry detergent will typically have a variety of perfumes and dyes in them that can cause frequent and severe allergic reactions in many people. In addition, since the detergent will be used on all your clothing and bedding, there is a good chance that if you have a skin allergy that you will end up having an allergic reaction across large portions of your body. Not only can this be a very unpleasant experience, but it can also be dangerous if you have severe skin allergies. However, not only does a chemical-free laundry detergent get rid of all the harmful chemicals, it also gets rid of those perfumes and dyes. This helps you avoid any unpleasant or painful allergic reactions in sensitive areas. This is also going to be especially useful if you have a young child or infant in the house because his or her skin is going to be extremely sensitive.  Safer Environment Another reason to switch to a chemical free laundry detergent is to make your home into a much safer and healthier place to live. Having harmful chemicals in your laundry detergent could lead to residual chemicals remaining on your clothing and blankets even after they are washed. This means that not only will your skin be in contact with the chemical residue, but you will also be breathing it in.  In addition, many chemical free laundry detergents are also designed to be safe for homes with small children and pets. As a result, you will not have to panic if there is a small detergent spill, or if some of the detergent ends up on your pet’s paws or your child’s hands. Due to the lack of harmful chemicals, the detergent will not burn your child’s skin, and some are even safe if they are accidentally ingested.  Visit your local department or grocery store in order to see the many great chemical free laundry detergent for babies options. A chemical free detergent can make your home quite a bit healthier for you, your family, and your pets. In addition, chemical free detergents can also reduce the risk of you experiencing an allergic reaction if you have skin...

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How To Protect Your Trees From Woodpecker Damage

Posted by on Jul 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Protect Your Trees From Woodpecker Damage

The knock of a woodpecker can be one of the lovely sounds of nature when you’re walking in the woods, but it can cause some worry if you hear it on your own property. That’s because woodpeckers can damage your landscape trees as they bore for insects. This damage can weaken trees, leaving them open to disease and insect infestation. The following guide can help you prevent this damage to your trees. Perform a Tree Health Check A woodpecker hammering on your tree’s trunk can sometimes indicate that there’s an insect infestation already. Keep in mind that woodpeckers peck tree trunks for a variety of reasons, such as to attract potential mates or to get sap, so it doesn’t always mean there is a problem. The quickest way to find out if insects are the cause is to check the health of the tree. Some common signs of insect infestation include chewed or damaged leaves, weak growth, and dieback. You may also see galls on the branches or the underside of leaves, or fungal growth on foliage and branches. This is because fungus  and mold is often attracted to the sticky substance called honeydew that is excreted by feeding insects. If you find an insect problem on your tree, you will need to bring in a tree service company (such as L and M Tree Service). They can accurately identify the pests and begin treatment. Once the bugs are gone, the woodpecker will also likely leave.  Get Sticky If the woodpecker isn’t nesting in the tree and it isn’t feeding on insects, then it’s likely hammering holes to communicate with other nearby birds or to reach the sweet sap inside your tree. You may be able to discourage the bird from landing in your tree with a commercial sticky product. These products are made to be spread on the tree trunk. Woodpeckers don’t like the sticky feeling on their feet, so they won’t land on the trunk anymore. You will need to reapply the substance when the stickiness wears off. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Scare ‘Em Bird scare devices will sometimes work to frighten off a woodpecker. Try stringing mylar “bird” tape in the branches. This tape blows in the breeze and flashes in the light, which may startle a woodpecker. Devices that make noise or move in response to motion may also work. As a final scare tactic, try placing a hawk or owl decoy in or near the tree. The woodpecker may recognize the predator and decide to hammer...

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2 Ways You Can Embrace Aromatherapy When You Have Sensitive Skin

Posted by on Jun 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Ways You Can Embrace Aromatherapy When You Have Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, then you know all-too-well that one type of ingredient you must typically avoid in skincare products and even your laundry detergent is scent. Your sensitive skin may keep you from being able to apply that great, uplifting citrus body lotion or use that relaxing lavender bath-bomb in your evening bath, but don’t think it has to keep you away from great scents and aromatherapy altogether. Using alternative solutions to fill the room and hit your nose with great-smelling and mood-altering scents may lead to you never missing those scented body products again.  1. Try Tealight Oil Warmers Tealight oil warmers are great to use for aromatherapy, and as an added bonus, they also double as home decor. They are typically made from ceramic or other glass, and you simply pour a little scented oil into the top compartment of them and light a tea candle underneath to heat the oil.  Don’t worry, because the gentle heat from the tea candle does not burn the oil, but it instead heats it enough to allow it to slowly evaporate and fill the room with a great scent.  You can place one warmer in the kitchen or living area and fill it with an uplifting scented oil, such as bergamot or mandarin, and let the energizing scent help you power through those household chores or help you concentrate while you work at the computer on that important thesis paper.  Place another in the bathroom, and fill it with relaxing lavender or vanilla scented oil, so you can enjoy these scents during your bath without using irritating scented bubble baths or bath bombs. Other scented oils can help when you are feeling depressed or anxious, and you may end up noticing that you don’t need that evening cocktail when your home is filled with relaxing scents.  2. Embrace Oil Sniffing When you need a quick pick-me-up away from home or you need a scent to help combat that anxiety before a big meeting, don’t let it upset you that you cannot wear a scented lotion that can help combat these bad feelings. You can purchase those same essential oils that others are able to use in their skincare products, but instead just take them and inhale the aroma that unleashes when you open the bottle for a quick whiff of mood-altering scent.  If you are using tealight oil warmers and have already found your favorite scents to combat your unwanted moods, then you can decant a bit of the oils you love most into tiny containers to keep in your purse. You can the pull them out whenever you need a quick mood boost from their great scents.  If you have sensitive skin and you can’t take advantage of the mood-altering aromatherapy body products, then try using tealight oil warmers to fill the room with scent instead. Remember that the scent only has to hit your nose to do its job, and scented body products are only one of many delivery options for great...

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What You Should Know about Pruning Trees

Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Should Know about Pruning Trees

If you have trees in your backyard, whether they are meant for decoration, shade, or harvesting, you should learn how to trim trees. Part of trimming trees includes pruning, which helps to improve the healthy and vitality of your trees. Here are some tips for pruning your trees. Reasons to Prune Your Trees It can first help to know exactly why you need to prune your trees. Here are the most important reasons for pruning trees: Personal safety – The first reason you might want to prune your trees is for safety reasons. Some branches might be at risk of falling on their own and injuring someone, so you should remove these branches before that happens. You also need to trim branches that might affect someone’s line of sight in your driveway, which can also affect someone’s safety. Tree health – Pruning your trees will also help the tree itself. When you remove diseased parts of the tree, you allow the rest of the tree to get healthy and thrive. Pruning when you are thinning the top of the tree, called the crown, also helps increase airflow to the tree. Appearance – Lastly, you might want to trim the trees for aesthetic reasons. This includes keeping the trees at a reasonable size and allowing the stimulation of flower production. Thin the Crown You should start pruning the tree by thinning the crown. This is necessary if the tree you are trimming is a hardwood trimming. With crown thinning, you are removing certain branches and stems around the top of the tree to provide better air circulation and light penetration from the sun. Find any stems that have a narrow or V-shaped angle and remove those first. You want the branches that have a U-shaped angle unless they look diseased. Remove any inner lateral branches or foliage that might cause tufts of branches. Raise the Crown Once the crown of the tree has been thinned out, it is time to raise it. Crown raising is the process of removing branches from the bottom portion of the crown where you are able to provide better clearance for the line of suite, vehicles, and pedestrians. This is done most often with trees on the street or along driveways. Looking at the bottom crown of the tree, find any branches that seem to be sticking out or creating an obstruction of someone’s line of sight. These are the ones that should be removed. However, if it looks too tangled up or like you would need to remove a large portion of the tree, you would be better of hiring a professional tree trimming company. Remove Diseased or Infested Branches Te last step to pruning a tree is removing anything that looks diseased or at risk of dying. You should be able to tell the dead branches from the healthy ones. They are often darker in appearance when they start rotting and dying, sometimes having a soot-like or dry quality to them. You may notice little holes or cracks in the branches or leaves, which show signs of pest infestation. If they look diseased or dying, make sure they are removed. These simple methods of pruning a tree will help you get the tree to its approximate size and remove branches that are not...

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3 Tips To Prevent Tree Damage To Your Home During Hurricane Season

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you live in an area that is affected by hurricanes in the late summer and early fall, you probably worry about your home being affected by tree damage. Most people who live in hurricane-prone areas have seen at least a few houses and structures that were damaged by trees, and you probably want to do what you can to prevent this from happening on your property. Luckily, following these tips before hurricane season strikes can help you protect your home and your family: 1. Cut Down Weak or Dead Trees Overly weak or dead trees are an accident that is just waiting to happen, especially in the high winds that can occur during a hurricane. Look for the signs of dead trees — such as a moldy trunk — and consider having a tree service cut these trees down. You should also remove any trees that are very tall and thin or that are otherwise more prone to breaking; otherwise, a particularly weak tree could fall on top of your home. Your local tree service can help you determine which trees should go and can talk to your about your options, such as moving weak trees to an area of your property where they cannot cause damage to your home. 2. Trim Your Branches Tree branches can cause more damage than you probably think during a serious storm. Make sure that any long branches are trimmed so that they cannot reach your home; otherwise, they could cause damage to your roof, your windows and other parts of your home. Also, look out for power lines, and have any branches that might affect these lines trimmed. Weak tree limbs should also be cut down in advance so that they are less likely to snap and break off during a hurricane. 3. Ensure Your Home is in Proper Condition Although it’s always smart to start with your trees, there are other improvements that you can make to help prevent them from damaging your home during hurricane season. For example, consider inspecting your roof and adding extra roofing nails to keep shingles secure; then, if a tree branch does hit your roof, it will be less likely to cause damage. As you can see, proper preparation before hurricane season can help prevent tree damage. By working with a local tree service and following these tips, you can help keep your home as safe as possible during these nasty storms. To learn more, contact a company like with any questions you...

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An Easy Way To Make Cheap Candle Lanterns

Posted by on Apr 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you would like to add lighting to your backyard without spending a fortune, you could make your own candle lanterns to hang. This option is not only affordable, but it is also easy to do. Homemade candle lanterns can be made from things you probably have on hand, and they are easy enough for anyone to make. While there are many different ways to make your own candle lanterns, here is a great idea if you are new to crafts. The materials you will need Making your own candle lanterns is easy and cheap if you make them with old tin cans. These can be old vegetable or soup cans, or any type of tin cans you have around the house. The other materials you will need are: A hammer and a nail Wire and pliers Spray paint Once you have these items, you can begin making your candle lanterns. How to make them The first thing you should do is clean the cans. You will need to remove the labels and glue from them. The easiest way to do this is to let the cans soak in hot, soapy water for a few hours. When you do this, the labels will easily come right off. Next, you will need to take the hammer and nail and begin hammering holes in the can to form a design. To do this, simply place the nail on the can and hit it with the hammer. You can make as many holes as you would like, and you can do this in a pattern, or you can simply make random holes in the can. Once you are done with this step, make two holes in the top of the can– one on each side. These holes are used to attach the wire, which will be the handle. The wire should be around 10 inches long, and you can place it through both ends and lock it in place with a pair of pliers. The final step will be painting the lanterns. You can use any color of paint you would like, and make sure you paint the inside and outside of each can. Once the cans dry, you can place small candles in them, hang them in your yard, and light them with a candle lighter. If you don’t have time to make your own candle lanterns, or if you think you would not be able to do this project, you could order some online. There are stores that sell cheap lanterns online, and you can pick from a wide variety of types, sizes, and...

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4 Ways To Greatly Improve The Exterior Of Your Home

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Whether you’re struggling to sell your home or just aren’t happy with your home’s look, it can be difficult to improve your home if you don’t know where to begin. The good news is that there are some steps that you can take to make the exterior of your home look amazing. Take a look at the following tips to learn more about what you can do.  Hire a Landscaping Team Taking care of your lawn can be a daunting task, especially if it’s been overgrown for a long time. With help from a professional landscaping team, you can take advantage of landscape design services to make sure your lawn looks as good as possible. You can also invest in regular maintenance services so that you never have to worry about weeds or overgrown grass again. You’ll be amazed at how different your home looks with a fresh lawn.  Purchase New Home Lighting Fixtures  The appearance of a home can be greatly changed with a change of lighting. You can experiment with different bulbs and lighting settings so that you get the look you’re after. You can also replace home lighting fixtures outside your home to completely change the style of your home. You may decide to go more rustic, contemporary, or classic, depending on your style preference. Many lighting fixtures are simple to install on your own, making for a fun project. Dress Up Your Porch Area If you have a dull porch area, this may be a big factor as to why your home doesn’t look as good as you want it to. If your porch is dressed up, it makes your home have more personality. Consider adding comfortable furniture as well as pillows and decor. This can make your home look more inviting and will give the front of your home a facelift.  Replace Your Front Door Your front door says a lot about your home’s style! If you have an old and worn-down door, it will also make your home look weathered. Consider replacing your front door so that you can add more style. You will also be more pleased when you enter your home each day, because you will appreciate its appearance. You can choose to install a new door on your own or hire a professional to do the work for you. Now is the time to make improvements to your home so that you’re happier and you increase your curb appeal! Consider implementing the above tips so that your home can benefit...

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Bed Bugs In A Home: What You Should Know

Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Do you seem to have itchy areas on your body each time you wake up? The itchiness may stem from bed bugs, especially if you are in the habit of doing a lot of traveling. Below, you will learn all you need to know about bed bugs, including how much it will cost to get your home exterminated to get rid of them. What Should a Homeowner Know About Bed Bugs? Bed bugs are parasitic insects that can reside in your mattress in the smallest spaces. They can also be found living in furniture like nightstands, headboards and other areas surrounding your bed. However, the pests are not only contained to the bedroom, as they can be found in other areas of your home as well. If you wake up each day with a lot of bites, it is a good sign that you have an infestation of bed bugs rather than only a few. An exterminator can visit your home to perform an inspection to determine where bed bugs are hiding and the best extermination method to get rid of them. The inspection may be carried out with the use of a dog that is able to sniff out where the pests are located. An exterminator may use one or multiple methods to exterminate your home depending on the severity of the infestation. A few treatment methods include: Freezing Spraying a pesticide Using heated steam Keep in mind that you may be asked to thoroughly declutter and clean your home before it is treated. More than one treatment may be necessary to completely remove the pests. It is important for you to also clean your mattress, bedding, curtains and underneath the cracks and cushions of your sofa for greater results. How Much Does It Cost an Exterminator to Get Rid of Bed Bugs? The initial inspection of your home can cost $600 or more, but some exterminators will do it for free. You can expect to pay an up to $900 for each room in your home that is treated. However, you should keep in mind that you will also have to pay for any additional treatments, such as if it is necessary for the exterminator to return to your home after the first visit. Contact an exterminating company like Greenleaf Organic Pest Management so they can treat your home and get rid of annoying bed bugs so you can stop...

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How To Get Rid Of Mice

Posted by on Mar 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

No matter how clean you keep your house on a regular basis, there is always a chance that it will succumb to a mice infestation. Fortunately, there are many things you can to do deal with these pests. This is especially true if you try to get rid of the mice as soon as you discover their presence. Here are a few tips that will help you get rid of the mice and rats living in your home. Feeding Sites The first thing you should do to get rid of mice is eliminate all possible feeding sites. If mice can’t find food within your home, they will either die or leave. You should take the time to identify all the human food sources in your home. These food sources should be kept in glass or metal containers. Don’t keep food in plastic or paper containers, as mice can make holes in these containers with their teeth. The lids on the containers should be as tight as possible. Trash cans should be sealed and resilient. You should never keep filled trash bags within your home at night. You should see a significant reduction of the mice population within your home after enforcing these measures, as one of the best ways to deal with a mice infestation is to starve them out. Entry Points To prevent the mice infestation from getting worse, you should eliminate all possible entry points within your home. You should strive to keep the counter tops, sinks, and kitchen floors as clean as possible. Inspect the counter tops and sinks for entry points. If you find any entry points, you should seal them immediately. Steel or concrete should be used to seal cracks, holes, and crevices. Look for open areas around dryer vents, pipes, and gas lines. Believe it or not, small mice can get through holes as small as pencil erasers. Therefore, you should not disregard such holes when looking for entry points to seal. Traps and Baits If you don’t have house pets or children, you should place snap traps around the house to kill mice. Ensure that you place these snap traps properly, as they can be dangerous for humans. Glue traps are also useful in trapping mice, but you must place them properly for them to be effective. You may want to use poison to exterminate the rodents in your home if you don’t want to deal with the messy job of disposing of rodents captured by traps. As you can see, there are many things you can do to get rid of mice in your home. Just follow the tips listed above, and your home will likely be free of rats in no time. For more information, or if these methods can’t solve your problem, contact a local pest control company like Godfather’s Exterminating...

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