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Filling In Mouse Access Points In Your Concrete Foundation

Posted by on 2:58 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Filling In Mouse Access Points In Your Concrete Foundation

If you notice mice in your home, then these rodents are likely getting into your residence through small openings. Cracks and holes in the foundation are common entry points for mice, so inspect the edge of your home carefully for the openings. If you find them, then you will need to close them up carefully to keep more rodents from moving into your house. Keep reading to learn how to close both small and large holes in a way that they are rodent proof. Small Holes If you notice small cracks and holes across your foundation, then you will need to identify the spaces that mice can fit through. Mice have extremely flexible spinal vertebrae and joints that can squeeze into small spaces. A mouse’s skull is not flexible though, and any space that is smaller than the head cannot be used as an access point. Typically, a mouse can slip its head through a hole that is about as big around as a dime. Look for spaces that are about this big.  Fill in the small holes when you find them and use a material that cannot be chewed through. Mice can chew through paper, plastic, caulk, insulation, and a variety of other materials you may use to fill in a foundation opening. They cannot chew through metal though, so a metal fill material can be used successfully to close mouse access points. There are two types of fillers that are ideal: steel and copper mesh. Copper mesh is a better choice than steel though, because it resists corrosion when exposed to the elements.  Purchase a spool or roll of copper mesh from your local home store. Cut off small pieces of the mesh and use your hands to roll the pieces into balls. Shove the balls into the openings until they can no longer be filled with the mesh.  Large Openings Large openings can also be filled with copper mesh material, but the copper is more likely to fall out of the spaces. Also, while mice cannot chew through the metal, they can pull it out if they are highly motivated. This is more likely to happen when filling in large areas with mesh, because they are harder to pack tightly with the material. For larger holes, it is wise to fill them in with concrete. Masonry patching materials can work well to make the repairs. Opt for fast drying hydraulic cement to make the fixes. This material can be mixed and spread just like regular cement. Epoxy fillers made for masonry repair work can also be used to fix the openings. Just make sure that you use a wire brush or another tool to release loose concrete before making your repairs. If you still keep having problems with rodent infestations, contact a professional at a company like Greenleaf Organic Pest...

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Beautiful Foundation Ideas For A Flagstone Patio

Posted by on 2:34 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Beautiful Foundation Ideas For A Flagstone Patio

Your patio is more than a space for barbecuing. The patio should serve as the hub of your outdoor life—a transitional space between outside and in. Flagstone is a prime material for your patio because of its durability and beauty. What’s more, it’s a relatively easy stone for contractors to work with because of its flat shape and thin nature. Design a patio foundation constructed out of attractive flagstone. Patio Location Your first consideration is where the patio is going. You have two big choices: adjacent to the house or a little ways away. The design of your home and yard largely decides the locale, but you should also consider what you’ll be using the patio for. Adjacent to the house makes sense if you’ll be traveling between the kitchen and patio a lot. A destination patio might make sense if you’re planning on constructing an outdoor kitchen or using the space more for lounging than dining. Likewise, consider how you can make use of natural shade. For example, if you have large trees in your yard, you may want part of your patio to be in their shadow. Finally, think about the view from the patio. Do you want it to be of your home or of the vista? Flagstone Color Much of your patio’s color palette is driven by your choice in flagstone color. Flagstone comes in many color and gradient variations based on its source. For example, flagstone quarried in the Northwest comes from sandstone, which typically gives it a warmer base. On the other hand, flagstone quarried in the Central Plains features cool shades of blue, gray and brown. The Landscaping Network suggests using your surroundings as inspiration for flagstone coloration. Look at not only at the landscape but also your house and other hardscaping. For a cohesive effect, look especially into flagstone quarried in your area since it’s likely to feature the coloration natural to your locale. Paving Pattern Another big design consideration is how the contractors lay the flagstone. Cuts of the stone range from perfect squares to free-form shapes. The most formal look comes from square or rectangle cuts laid in a uniform pattern. However, you can get a little more visual interest by selecting a random rectangle pattern, which consists of perfect rectangles in varying sizes. The most casual pattern is a true random constructed from flagstone left in its natural shape. Contractors piece together the flags into an asymmetrical patterning. However, you can choose flags of more uniform size to create a little order in your flooring. Alternatively, consider crazy paving, which consists of small flags left in their natural shape. The finished look is very organic and natural. Talk to a company like Pebble Junction, Inc. for more ideas and to pick out flagstone that will suit your backyard. Once you have the location and flagstone flooring laid out, outfit your patio to complement your outdoor...

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Purchasing A New Tank? How To Properly Cycle Your Tank Before Adding Fish

Posted by on 12:51 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Purchasing A New Tank? How To Properly Cycle Your Tank Before Adding Fish

A great deal of people, especially those new to the fish keeping hobby, believe that it’s perfectly fine to add a large number of fish to an aquarium after it’s been set up a day or so. However, this is not the case at all. If you don’t want to kill a slew of fish because of a condition called “new tank syndrome,” you have to cycle your tank. The cycling process can take up to 2 months. Establishing a healthy aquarium is not a quick process. Following is how to properly cycle your tank before adding fish.  Fish or Fishless Cycling In the hobby, there are two main ways of cycling a tank. The first involves using one or two starter fish that will introduce ammonia to start the cycle. In this method, it is understood that the fish will probably die. Because it is cruel to the starter fish who suffer unnecessarily, many conscientious hobbyists do what is called fishless cycling. In this process, ammonia is added to the tank by adding drops of liquid ammonia or by introducing something that will decay and produce ammonia. This could be anything from a piece of shrimp to ordinary fish food. The Nitrogen Cycle To cycle a tank and make it healthy for fish, you have to establish the nitrogen cycle within the tank. Before you start the process, you should fully set up your tank and purchase an aquarium test kit that tests for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. While you’re waiting for your tank to cycle, add a little bit of ammonia to the tank each day. You also have to test your water with the test kit each day.  Cycling a tank is something like a science experiment. You will test the water and record the results each day. So what are you looking for? You’re looking for evidence that your tank has grown the bacteria that will safely remove ammonia and waste produced by your fish once you get them.  When you first start testing, you will notice that the ammonia keeps raising unchecked. Eventually though, you will see a dip in ammonia and a rise in nitrites, the bacteria that breaks down ammonia. Since nitrites are harmful to your fish, you have to wait for one more type of bacteria to grow. This bacteria will eliminate the nitrites. When your tank is fully cycled, your test will show 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and the presence of nitrates.  After you get the readings mentioned above, it’s safe to add fish. However, you can’t add a whole bunch of fish right away. Add a few fish at a time, and wait a couple of weeks for the tank to balance out the amount of bacteria necessary to keep them alive. For more information, contact companies like Neptune’s Tropical...

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Three Things To Consider As You Select LED Lights For Your Backyard

Posted by on 12:56 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Things To Consider As You Select LED Lights For Your Backyard

Adding lighting to your outdoor space can help to make it more enjoyable year-round. You won’t have to worry about low visibility in the evening hours anymore if you install outdoor LED lights to accent your landscape. Before you choose any lighting fixtures, though, you should know how to find the right ones. Here are a few features you need to evaluate. Look For Some Key Safety Features Any lights you install in your yard need to be safe. As you start evaluating fixtures, look for ones that are durably constructed for outdoor use. Make sure the fixture is sealed tightly so that it cannot be tampered with nor be exposed to water or dirt contamination. In addition, the fixtures should have no sharp edges. Make sure that the fixture itself is waterproofed so that you don’t have to worry about rainwater or other hazards because that moisture can corrode the housing and the fixture inside. Consider The Fixture’s Core Function Think about what type of LED lamp the fixtures will support. Is it a common size or one that will be hard to come by when it burns out? The more standard the size, the easier it will be to replace it if necessary. You should also consider whether or not it supports different wattages and accessories so that you can really personalize the installation. Look for adjustable brackets, solar panel accommodations, and any other features that may help you with your lighting. Find The One That Looks The Part Once you have narrowed down your choices based on the core functional features, it’s time to think about the aesthetics of the units themselves. Think about the architectural style of the house and any yard features that you’ll be putting lights around. Make sure that the lighting style you choose blends well with those features. You may find that a variety of different fixture styles are best for meeting your needs, but with so many different designs, colors, structures, and light types, you’re sure to be able to find things that will create the cohesive appearance you’re looking for. No matter what kind of lighting you’re looking to add to your yard, taking the time to carefully evaluate your options is important. Not only will it help ensure that you’re getting fixtures you can maintain and use over the long-term, it also helps you to create the look you’ve always wanted from your backyard space. Don’t let poor lighting or mismatched light fixtures detract from the beauty of your backyard. For more information, contact Outdoor Accents or a similar...

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Answers to Your Questions on Reverse-Osmosis Filtration

Posted by on 8:28 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Answers to Your Questions on Reverse-Osmosis Filtration

Reverse-osmosis systems purify the water in your home by forcing the water through a semi-permeable membrane that removes even the smallest of impurities. This results in pure, great-tasting water. Most systems are for the whole house, although there are reverse-osmosis systems designed for use on single taps. If you are considering water purification, the following guide can help you better understand how this system works. Are there multiple filters in a reverse-osmosis system? Most modern systems use sediment filter to remove small particles, a carbon filter to remove organic particles, and finally the reverse-osmosis filter to remove dissolved solids like lead. When there are three filters, with water passing through the tight reverse-osmosis filter last, your reverse-osmosis filter is less likely to get clogged, and it will last longer. Can reverse-osmosis systems remove chlorine from water? If you are concerned about chlorine, either for your own health or for that of your pets, rest assured that the combination of the carbon filter and the tight reverse-osmosis filter removes nearly all chlorine and chloramines from the water. This will render it safe for use in fish tanks, where chlorinated water can be a concern. Are reverse-osmosis systems water efficient? The short answer is no, not all systems are efficient. Due to the filtration system, some water will be sent down the drains instead of to the tap. Fortunately, you can get systems with water-catchment options that recirculate the water through the system instead of allowing it to go to waste. There are also systems that reroute the excess water to a holding tank that is hooked to faucets that don’t require purified water, such as outdoor irrigation spigots. Can you use reverse osmosis in tandem with a water softener? This is common practice in areas with very hard water. Most water softeners are designed to remove calcium and lime, which can quickly clog the finer filters found in a reverse-osmosis system. By combining the two, you will have soft water that is also very pure, which makes it very suitable for drinking. What are the basic maintenance needs of these systems? General system cleaning and filter changes are the main needs of the system. During a general cleaning, the system is taken apart and flushed by your treatment professional. They will also check the condition of the filters at this time and change them as needed. How often filters require changing depends on your water impurities and use patterns. Generally, most of the filters in the system can last a few years, although the carbon filter may require more frequent changing. For more help, contact a water-softening and water-purification company in your...

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Use Christmas Lights, Foam Bowls, and Other Supplies to Create Decorative Centerpieces

Posted by on 8:46 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Use Christmas Lights, Foam Bowls, and Other Supplies to Create Decorative Centerpieces

If you are going to be hosting a barbecue for several hours outside on your home’s property for you and some of your co-workers, add allure to your patio and increase lighting with some homemade centerpieces. The following instructions will teach you how to make these unique decorations that can be displayed across tabletops or placed on any other flat surface. Materials strings of Christmas lights (battery operated) foam bowls staples staple gun artificial flowers and foliage scissors glue sticks glue gun balloons (translucent or light colors) light sticks batteries Add Lights, Flowers, and Foliage to the Base of Each Centerpiece Wrap strings of Christmas lights that are battery operated and from a company such as River City Lights around each foam bowl’s exterior. Use staples and a staple gun to secure the light strings to the foam. Select artificial flowers and foliage that will complement other decor on your property’s patio. Trim each item’s stem with a pair of scissors if desired. Either tuck the remaining part of each stem underneath a part of one of the light strands or apply glue to each item being adding before pressing it against one of the foam bases. Continue adding plants to the foam until you are satisfied with the appearance of each one.  Insert Light Sticks in Balloons and Secure Them Activate enough light sticks so that there will be one for each centerpiece. Blow up a balloon that is translucent or a light color and push a light stick through the neck of it before securing it with a knot. Add the remaining light sticks to any other balloons that you have chosen to add to the centerpieces. Add a line of glue around the bottom of a balloon before pressing it into one of the decorated, foam bowls. Secure the remaining balloons in the same manner. Wait for the glue to dry before picking up the completed decorations. Arrange the Centerpieces on the Patio Purchase additional batteries, light sticks, and balloons so that you can add more lighting to the outdoor area if any of the original centerpieces stop working before the barbecue is over. Place the centerpieces that you have created in the middle of tables, across railings, or on any other flat surface on the patio where guests will be spending time. The centerpieces will increase the beauty of your outdoor patio and will provide soft lighting that can be enjoyed throughout the barbecue...

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How Are Perennial, Biennial And Annual Wildflowers Different?

Posted by on 3:34 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Are Perennial, Biennial And Annual Wildflowers Different?

Sowing wildflower seeds is a great way to add color and beauty to your yard or garden. Many types of wildflowers produce bursts of gorgeous blooms within only a few weeks. There are three different types that wildflowers are categorized in. Wildflowers can be perennial, biennial or annual plants. These are the ways that each type of wildflower is different. Perennials  Once perennial wildflowers are established, they will return year after year with beautiful blooms. Perennial seeds can be planted in summer, fall or late winter so that there is plenty of time for roots to get established in the ground before the next spring growing season. Perennial wildflower seeds may not produce blooms until the second year. During the first season after planting, you may only see the green plants and leaves come up instead of the flowers. Some examples of perennial wildflowers (in warm climates) include California Poppy, Blue Sage, Texas Bluebonnet and Sweet Alyssum. Biennials  Biennial wildflowers usually grow for two years. The first year you will most likely see the plants have grown and then the blooms will be visible during the second year. However, biennial wildflowers may also reseed and continue to come up even after the second year. It is best to plant biennial wildflower seeds in the spring so they can grow and become strong and ready to bloom in the second year. Black-eyed Susans, Hollyhocks and Sweet Williams are biennials. Annuals  Annual wildflowers grow for only one season. It is best to plant them in early spring so they can be enjoyed throughout the summer. Annuals can also be started indoors as seeds in the winter, and then the plants can be planted outside in the spring.  Annual wildflower seeds are popular because they tend to produce a large amount of bright, vibrant blooms. There are many different types of annual wildflowers to choose from including African Daisies, Baby Blue Eyes, Blazing Stars, Calendulas and Bachelor’s Buttons. When planting wildflower seed, it is best to keep the soil well-irrigated until the plants have been established. This will ensure the seeds do not dry out and get a good start at developing into healthy plants. Some wildflowers do best in full sun; however, others thrive in full or partial shade. Be sure to follow the planting guide on your wildflower seed packets to determine which area of your land is best for planting each different kind of wildflower...

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Three Tips To Help You Get The Most From Your Investment In Furniture

Posted by on 2:53 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Tips To Help You Get The Most From Your Investment In Furniture

Buying furniture for your house can be a major investment, and it should not be surprising that many people may be unsure of what they should do to get the most from their investments in these items. If you are looking to buy furniture, there are a few tips you should follow to help you make smart choices when it comes to buying and caring for furniture. Opt For Ergonomic Furniture It can be easy for individuals to develop bad habits when it comes to posture. These habits can cause a person to experience a number of problems ranging from general soreness to chronic debilitating conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. To help minimize these risks, you should consider ergonomic furniture. This furniture is designed in a manner that will help to promote good posture, and while it may be more costly than traditionally designed furniture, the health benefits may far outweigh any added expenses. Clean The Furniture And Protect It Against Wear One of the most effective ways of keeping your furniture in good condition is to make sure that you are regularly cleaning it. For upholstered furniture, you should vacuum it on a weekly basis and arrange for it to be professionally steam-cleaned on a yearly basis. Those who fail to keep their furniture clean will likely find that dirt and dust can reduce the vibrancy of the colors of the upholstery, which can cause the furniture to appear dull and severely worn. Leather furniture will require slightly more intensive care. In addition to still needing to be vacuumed regularly, leather also needs to be treated with moisturizers and sealants to prevent it from becoming excessively dry and brittle. Avoid Placing Furniture Too Close To Windows It can be common for individuals to put chairs and couches near windows so that those sitting in them can enjoy a view of the outside. Yet, the high-energy rays from the sun can be very damaging to leather and cloth because it can have a bleaching effect as well as dry the oils that are found in leather. As a result, homeowners are generally advised to avoid placing expensive or irreplaceable pieces of furniture near windows that allow large amounts of sunlight to enter. If you are unwilling to move the furniture away from the windows, you might need to consider investing in window tints to help keep your furniture safe from this easily overlooked source of serious wear and tear. Contact a used furniture dealer for more...

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4 Common Issues With Plumbing

Posted by on 10:12 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Common Issues With Plumbing

Plumbing problems can be quite irritating. They can range from anything from low water pressure to main line issues. Throughout the course of this brief article, you will learn of a few common potential plumbing issues from which your home might be suffering. Low Water Pressure Low water pressure is generally an easy problem to locate. If you notice that your spouts and faucets are not producing as much water as they generally do, then you might have a problem with low water pressure. For example, if you’re in the shower, and you’re not receiving the same amount of water or feel it hitting as “hard” as you normally would, then you most likely have a problem with low water pressure. The causes of low water pressure are usually ones that involve the source of your water, so either your city’s water system or your well system. Frozen Pipes During the frigid months of winter, your pipes can be subject to freezing. If not treated properly, your pipes can crack or even burst, which can set you back a fair amount in plumbing costs when it comes to fixing them. In order to keep your pipes from freezing, it is highly recommended that you invest in pipe insulation for these cold months. They will ensure that your pipes won’t freeze, or at the very least will play a salient role in ensuring that they won’t freeze. If your pipes do freeze, it’s recommended that you turn off your water main and contact the services of a professional plumber right away. Main Line A main line issue can be quite damaging for your pocketbook and plumbing system as a whole. Signs of a mainline issue include toilets overflowing and backing up further into your plumbing system, which means that you may find toilet water emerging from your sinks and showers. Main line issues are serious problems and generally require the touch of a professional plumber in order to adequately fix the problem. Sewer Line Issues Problems like tree roots knocking your sewer lines out of alignment can cause serious issues for your plumbing system. In addition, if you have a septic tank, issues like your drain field overflowing are deeply linked to your plumbing system and should be addressed as soon as possible. Hopefully, this brief guide has given you some idea of how to address the issue of problems revolving around your plumbing system. Contact a company like Hilmans Plumbing for more information....

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3 Tips To Help You Get The Best Materials For Your Woodworking Projects

Posted by on 9:59 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips To Help You Get The Best Materials For Your Woodworking Projects

If you like to do woodworking as a hobby or have projects and repairs to do around your home, you probably want to have quality lumber materials. There are the common materials that you can get from the hardware store, as well as specialty products like hard-to-find wood. If you want to have the best materials to complete projects around your home, here are some tips that might help you: 1. Contact Tree Services To Get Waste From Tree Removal There are many trees that get removed from private property because they have become a danger to property and people. Often these are species that have valuable lumber that cannot be bought commercially. If you are looking for materials like ash, elm, walnut or pecan, contact a tree service and ask them if they have any interesting jobs. If you want to haul the materials off yourself, they will often let you have it free of cost because it saves them from extra work disposing of the waste. Sometimes homeowners may also keep waste to save on disposal costs, so you may want to talk with them too. 2. Look For Waste Materials From Remodeling And Demolition Projects Remodeling of older buildings often involves demolition of wood materials, which can be valuable wood. With old barns, homes and factories, old growth plank flooring and wood beams are often removed. If you know where any of these projects are, talk with the contractor about removing the timber materials from the demolition. If they do not recycle the material, they may let you have it for free. You can also get it for a small fee if they sell the reclaimed materials, which is becoming a more common practice. 3. Contact A Specialty Lumber Supply Service For Hard-To-Find Lumber Materials If you cannot find the material you want for a specific project, there are also specialty services that have different wood materials. These lumber suppliers can have a variety of different woods from different sources and provide you with the materials you are looking for. Sometimes this can be a great resource to find lumber that is no longer commercial available. These are some tips that may help you get the best materials you need for your woodworking projects. If you need wood for your next project, contact a tree service, like Tree Sculptors, and talk with them about getting extra materials from jobs or removing trees from your own property to turn into usable...

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