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Two Signs That It’s Time To Clean Your Chimney

Posted by on 11:07 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Two Signs That It’s Time To Clean Your Chimney

If you have a chimney that you use during the cold seasons, it’s easy to let years go by without doing much more than throwing logs into it and lighting a fire.  However, just because your chimney appears to be working fine, it’s important that you don’t let this lull you into a false sense of security.  Dirty chimneys are dangerous because the buildup can cause a fire to start that could potentially damage your entire home.  Use this information to learn more about two signs that it’s time to have your chimney cleaned. Pay Attention To The Smells While it is common to smell smoke when you burn wood in your fireplace, there are other smells that could indicate that the device needs to be cleaned.  Paying attention to the smells that your chimney gives off is one of the key ways for you to determine if it needs a good chimney cleaning. When you burn wood in your fireplace, a certain amount of creosote begins to build up in the chute. Creosote is the natural by-product of the smoke, vapors, tar fog, and un-burned wood particles that rise up in your chimney.  It has a very strong odor, and can smell like freshly-laid asphalt or tar.  As this begins to build up in your chimney, you’ll find that you may even be able to smell it when the chimney is not burning wood, and the smell could spread throughout your home. Don’t ignore that scent.  Call in a professional chimney cleaner right away so they can clear away the creosote before it has a chance to accumulate even more. Your Fireplace Dumps Smoke Back In The Room Another sign that it’s time to clean your chimney occurs when you light a fire.  If you find that you have a great deal of smoke flooding the room, it’s time to get some professional assistance. There are a number of reasons why the smoke is flooding back into the room, rather than going up through the chimney.  It could be due to tar buildup, or it could mean that there is something obstructing the opening.  Whether this is leaves or even a bird’s nest, you won’t know until you get help from a chimney cleaning company. Heeding the signs of a dirty chimney is an important way for you to keep your family and belongings safe. If you notice these symptoms, take action right away so you can protect your home. Get more information about chimney cleaning by reading this...

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3 Things You Should Do Before Building A Fence On Your Property Line

Posted by on 8:11 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things You Should Do Before Building A Fence On Your Property Line

Adding a fence to your property line can be a great decision for any homeowner. It’s a nice way to separate your yard from your neighbors’ by providing a visual separation and by keeping your pets and kids contained on your side of the property. Before you decide to build a fence along the property line, however, there are a few steps that you should take to ensure that your project turns out just like it is supposed to. 1. Check with Your Homeowners Association First of all, if you live in an area with a homeowners association, it’s a good idea to talk to a contact from your HOA or to look over your paperwork before you start building your fence. Some HOAs have strict rules in place regarding fences. For example, you may have to opt for a certain fencing material or color if you want to avoid potential problems with your HOA. 2. Double-Check Your Property Boundaries You don’t want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars only to find that your fence is slightly on your neighbor’s property, do you? Unless you have had your land surveyed in recent months, it’s a good idea to have it done again. A good land surveyor can come out and make sure of your exact property line so that you will know where to place your fence. This can be a way better option than installing your fence, hoping for the best and then finding out that it’s technically on your neighbor’s property. 3. Talk to Your Neighbors It’s not a bad idea to talk to your neighbors about your fencing project. There is a chance that some of them are thinking about installing a fence as well. If this is the case, it can be nice to get together and decide on a common fencing material; then, the fence will go together when joined alongside one another and will provide a more cohesive — and potentially more secure — look and feel. This isn’t a necessity, but it can be a good choice if you want to stay on good terms with your neighbors and ensure that your fencing project turns out looking its best. If you are thinking about building a fence on your property line, there are a few things that you should take into consideration. Following these tips before getting started can be a smart choice. For more information about land surveying, contact a company such as Krause &...

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Wood Floor Seen Better Days? 3 Simple Steps To Restore The Beauty

Posted by on 1:20 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Wood Floor Seen Better Days? 3 Simple Steps To Restore The Beauty

Wood floors are a beautiful addition to any home. Unfortunately, without proper care they can wear out quickly. If the home you just bought has a wood floor that’s looking beat up, don’t worry. You won’t have to have it replaced. In just a few easy steps, you can bring back the beauty and luster of your wood floor.  Here are some step-by-step instructions to get your wood floor looking brand new again. Prep the Wood You’ll need to prep the wood before you start refinishing your floor. Prepping the wood will remove the layers of dirt, oil and old stain. The first thing you’ll need to do is remove the existing finish. The easiest way to do that is with an electric buffer – which you can rent from most home improvement centers. Once you have the buffer, replace the buffing pad with a sanding screen. The sanding screen will allow you to sand the entire floor and get it ready for the next step. When sanding the floor, it’s important that you sand in the same direction throughout the room. This will prevent scratches and uneven grain marks in the wood. Clean the Surface After you’re done sanding the wood, your floor will be left with a layer of dust. You’ll need to remove that before you can apply the final finish to your wood floor. First, vacuum the entire floor, including along the edges of the wall. Pay close attention to grooves and edges where dust particles can get stuck. Next, attach a soft rag to the end of a mop. You can use duct tape to secure the rag to the mop. Wipe the entire floor with the rag to remove residual dust left behind by the vacuum. You may need to switch to another rag if the first one gets too dirty. Apply the Finishing Touch Now that your floor has been prepped and cleaned, you’re ready to apply the finishing coat. Be sure to have a plan of action before you begin the application. Otherwise, you may end up painting yourself into a corner. The best way to apply the finishing coat is to begin in the corner farthest way from the door. When you start in the farthest corner, you’ll end up near the exit. For this portion of the project, you’ll need clear coat wood finish in the color of your choice, a foam roller and a paint pan. Fill the bottom of the pain pan with your wood finish. Carefully dip your foam roller in the pan to prevent splashes. Accidental splashes can lead to an uneven coverage on your floor. Roll the wood finish onto your floor in even lines, going with the grain. Allow the first coat to dry for several hours before you apply the second coat. For best results, allow the first coat to dry overnight before applying the second coat. You don’t have to replace your wood floor just because it’s showing signs of age. These simple instructions will help you restore your floors. If your wood floor has extensive damage – such as deep gouges or scratches, be sure to contact a flooring expert like one from Flooring Gallery. They’ll likely be able to repair the damage and restore your...

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Tips For Keeping Your Home’s Awning In Great Condition

Posted by on 4:04 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Keeping Your Home’s Awning In Great Condition

Awnings are common additions that can help to provide your family with ample amounts of shade during the blistering summer days and protection during rain storms. Also, a well-maintained awning can help to improve your home’s curb appeal and value. However, many homeowners make the critical mistake of failing to properly care for their aluminum awnings. In addition to making the awnings an eyesore, this error can also drastically reduce their lifespans. To avoid this outcome, you should follow these two awning care tips to keep your home in the best condition possible. Weatherproof The Awning The awning will be subjected to an intense amount of wear from the weather. As a result, it is critical for you to make sure that it is as protected as possible. For example, you will likely want to apply a waterproof sealant to help prevent corrosion. Also, the sun’s blistering rays can weaken the aluminum over time, and you will need to make sure that the waterproof sealant also reflects solar rays. To ensure that the awning stays protected from these hazards, you should apply this coating at least once every few years. While an inconvenient maintenance step, this type of work can save your awning from suffering these types of damages. Use Gentle Cleaning Solutions In addition to sealing the awning against the elements, you will also need to regularly clean it. Over time, algae, mildew and mosses may start growing on the awning. While this may seem harmless, these substances can strip away the sealant and cause major damage to the metal. Unfortunately, if you use a harsh cleaning solution, you may find that this also can weaken the protection being offered by the sealant. Avoiding this type of problem will require you to use a gentle cleaning solution. To this end, you can use a mixture of dish soap and water. The dish soap will be able to effectively loosen these substances, and you can remove them by rinsing the awning using a pressure washer. Maintaining your home’s awnings is important for preserving both the look and functionality of your home. However, it is an unfortunate fact that many homeowners may make errors in caring for this part of the house. Avoiding the mistakes of failing to properly waterproof the awning and using harsh cleaning solutions can help you to greatly prolong the life of your aluminum awning, which will help ensure you get the most from this investment in your home. Contact a company like Allied Awning for more...

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Understanding The Benefits Of French Drains

Posted by on 12:47 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Understanding The Benefits Of French Drains

French drains are a specialized type of drain that can be installed in your yard or in your home that allow for easy water drainage. If you have been having flooding issues in or around your home and have not been able to find a solution, installing a French drain may be the right step. Understanding how French drains work and what they can offer can help you decide if they are the right solution for your specific problem. How They Work French drains are made by taking a pipe with several small holes drilled into the top of it and then burying it in a gravel bed. Water will flow into the gravel bed, as it is at a lower elevation than the surrounding area, and then into the pipe, which will carry the water a safe distance away before letting it drain. Yard Flooding If the surface of your yard is becoming soggy or if there is a certain area in your yard that has become flooded, you can install a French drain to carry water away from it. The French drain should be installed on an area uphill or above the soggy area, running parallel to the area in question. This means that water flowing down into the affected area will be picked up by the French drain and carried a sufficient distance away to a sewer or another area with better drainage, allowing the affected area to dry out and repair. Basement Flooding If water is entering your basement, you can do two things. If your house is still under construction, you can install a French drain around the perimeter of your foundation’s footing. Once water enters the French drain, it is either carried a sufficient distance away and drained, or if there is not enough of a slope for this to occur, it can be carried into a basin inside your home and drained from there using a sump pump. However, if your house has been constructed already, it can be difficult to reach the foundation. If this is the case, a contractor can rip up the floor of your basement and install a French drain around the inside perimeter of your basement walls. The water can then be transported to a reservoir or basin where it can be pumped out of your home through the use of a sump pump, preventing water from entering your home. For more information, contact Rakeman Plumbing or a similar...

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The String Bead Incident: Personalize Your Dorm With Unique String Curtains

Posted by on 2:43 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The String Bead Incident: Personalize Your Dorm With Unique String Curtains

Personalizing your college dorm makes it feel more like home and allows your fellow students to learn something about your tastes and interests. You’re limited by the small size of most dorms, but there’s always room for a set of curtains since they don’t take up any floor space. One of the newest trends in drapes is the string curtain. Similar to the beaded curtains of the ’60s, string curtains are composed of long strands of thread, ribbon, or other material to make a panel. Here are some dorm room options for string curtains. Metal ball and metal lynx chain curtains. Not all string curtains are light and airy. Some are made of metal to give a modern, shiny texture to windows and doorways. They don’t collect dust, which makes them a good choice if you have allergies. They also won’t be ruined by spilled drinks or exploding ink pens. Metal ball curtains are made up of the same strands of silver beads used as light switch pulls on ceiling lamps. An entire panel of them gives a minimalist look to a room, and they make great room dividers. Metal lynx curtains are long chain strands available in gold, silver, and copper, and they make perfect curtains for gamers who like medieval style. Decorated bamboo bead curtains. If you want to bring some whimsy and color into your dorm, bamboo beaded curtains are a fun choice. Thin bamboo tubes are strung on wire to make a curtain. They are then decorated with one of a variety of designs. Beach scenes are popular themes, as are psychedelic, floral, and jungle animal designs. Painted bamboo curtains are less see-through than other types of string curtains, so they work well as privacy doors and room dividers. Acrylic bead curtains. Acrylic beads come in many colors, and they’re even available with flexible tops so you can mold them to fit in a curved doorway or window. Most acrylic beads aren’t strung onto thread but are directly attached to each strand on a bead curtain. This makes it easy to cut them to the length you want, since the beads won’t all slide off. Acrylic beads are shimmering and stunning. They catch the light and reflect it back in a magical way. You can buy ceiling drapes made of shiny acrylic beads, too. These are attached to the ceiling to form a swag under the light fixture. They make your room feel like a posh party is happening every time you turn on the light. Acrylic bead curtains offer no privacy, but they make perfect panels to hang behind your bed as a sparkly “headboard,” and you can even use them to make a canopy around your bed.  For more great ideas for decorating with drapery, bead or otherwise, check out websites...

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Proactive Prevention: Keeping Bedbugs At Bay

Posted by on 4:26 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Proactive Prevention: Keeping Bedbugs At Bay

Once bedbugs manage to get into your home, they can quickly multiply and move all throughout the house. While the only solution for a bedbug infestation is often professional removal from a pest control expert, there are a couple of things that you can do to prevent the nasty little bugs from ever taking hold in your home. Keep reading to learn two proactive ways to prevent bedbugs in your home. Don’t Bring Bedbugs Home After Traveling One of the most common ways that bedbugs are spread is through travel. When you’re traveling, you sleep in unfamiliar beds and your suitcase is exposed to everything where you’re staying. Bedbugs can easily hitch a ride into your home by hiding in clothing or elsewhere in your suitcase. The best way to make sure you don’t bring bedbugs home is to keep your suitcase (and anything else you traveled with) in your garage or outdoors until you can clean everything. Wash every article of clothing with hot water, and put all items through a full dryer cycle. Send dry-clean-only items directly to the dry cleaner immediately. Drop a couple of anti-pest strips (you can buy these at drugstores, hardware stores, or online) into your empty suitcase. Seal that suitcase in a large bag, and leave it there for at least several days so the anti-pest strips have time to kill any bedbugs that may be lingering inside. Protect Your Bed Bedbugs, true to their name, love to burrow into beds because there are so many places to hide. They often find their way into box springs and mattresses. You can prevent the bedbugs from gaining access to your bed with a simple encasement. Encasements are made for both box springs and mattresses. The main purpose of these encasements is to make the bed impossible for the bedbugs to penetrate. While the encasement does add a couple layers of material to the mattress and box spring, an encasement is designed to be thin enough to fit under sheets. When encasements are placed on both the box spring and the mattress, bedbugs simply can’t take hold of the bed, even if they may be present in the home. The two tips above are the most proactive ways to fight bedbugs, but there is another super-simple tip that can be helpful: Keep a clean home. This is overlooked sometimes due to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Be sure to vacuum carpets, mop floors, and keep the house as clean as possible overall to make your home inhospitable for bedbugs. If you suspect an infestation, call for help immediately. If you just survived an infestation, be sure to put the tips above into action right away. This will prevent a repeat of your unwelcome bedbug...

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Natural Ways To Enhance The Look Of Your Yard

Posted by on 9:48 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Natural Ways To Enhance The Look Of Your Yard

Adding and altering plants in your yard is a great way to change the look of your property. However, before you make any changes, you want to look into your options and choose the ones that allow you to enhance your yard. Use Bushes for a Border Bushes are great plants to use as borders, especially evergreens, which generally stay the same color throughout the year. When choosing bushes for a border, you want to consider their overall height, as well as any flowers or berries they produce. For example, Arborvitae is an evergreen that can be 8-20 feet tall and may get up to 15 feet wide. If you get this shrubbery while it is small, you must leave enough room for the plant to continue to grow. This bush also has yellow flowers when it blooms. On the other hand, you can choose a Bamboo palm, which can grow up to 20 feet in height, but it only grows to about 10 feet in width. This type of bush does not grow any flowers or berries, which makes it ideal as a privacy border that only requires routine trimmings to help manage the size of the plant. Create Shade with Trees Another way to enhance your yard is to add a shaded area. Trimming the lower branches off a large tree and adding seating underneath it is the easiest and fastest method for making a shaded spot. However, the process of creating the right shape does take patience and knowledge to do right. For example, if you remove the wrong branches from the tree, you could cause damage to your tree. In some situations, removing branches that are larger than 2-inches in diameter exposes the inner heartwood of the tree. When the heartwood is exposed, decay can set in and your tree could die. To avoid this, you have two options, one of which is to hire a tree service to inspect the tree. Then they can determine which branches you can remove without harming the tree. The other method is to plant a new tree and over the years have the tree service shape it for you. As the tree grows and is pruned, it will develop a specific shape, which allows you to customize your future shaded spot. For more information, contact a professional like those at McGinty Bros., Inc. Professional Lawn & Tree Care. Making some changes to existing plants or placing new plants into your yard gives you the opportunity to customize the way it looks. Many of these changes can help enhance the look of your property with natural foliage, which may better suit the design scheme that you have in...

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Talking Grass | What The Condition Of Your Lawn Could Tell You About Your Sprinkler System

Posted by on 7:35 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Talking Grass | What The Condition Of Your Lawn Could Tell You About Your Sprinkler System

The whole reason that most homeowners install a sprinkler system on their property is to keep their lawn and landscaping looking lush and healthy. However, if your sprinkler system is outdated, lush and healthy may be the last thing that you get from your grass. If you familiarize yourself with what would cause your lawn to look less than pristine, you can better understand what may be wrong with an outdated sprinkler system. Here are a few of the most common indicators that something is wrong with your grass and what it could be trying to tell you about the irrigation system on your property.  You Have Quite a Problem with Dull Grass Simply put, dull and dry grass blades is usually just an indicator that your lawn is not getting enough water. If you start to see that your lawn is looking dull and lifeless in spite of the sprinkler system that you have in place, it is time to take an assessment of water delivery intervals and make sure they are still happening the way you have your sprinkler system timed to do so. If this is not the issue, your grass could be getting too much of some type of water contaminant, such as chlorine that is commonly in city water supplies. This is common in old sprinkler systems without a filtration system, so you may need to have a professional come out and take a look.  Your Grass Is Showing Only Spots of Healthy Green   Spotted grass is never a good sign when you have a sprinkler system in place. It basically means that the irrigation of the property is not occurring in even quantities. This could be caused by faulty sprinkler heads, lack of water pressure, or even leaks in the water lines leading to the sprinklers beneath the ground. If you notice spotty green areas in your lawn, it is definitely time from some maintenance and sprinkler repair.  The Grass Appears to Wilt Quickly in the Sunlight A healthy blade of grass should stand tall and proud, soaking up the sun’s rays when it is shining. If the grass appears to be wilting in the sun instead, this is likely caused by either too much water application or a misconfigured timer that is watering your lawn at the wrong time of day, such as during periods of heavy sun. Checkout the timer settings and if this is not the issue, you could have a leak somewhere underground that will need to be checked out.  When the sprinkler system is working appropriately, it is one of the most critical elements of a healthy lawn. If you have issues with your system and your grass is begging for sprinkler repair, talk to a professional contractor for...

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5 Helpful Tips For Storing Musical Instruments In A Long-Term Storage Unit

Posted by on 10:56 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Helpful Tips For Storing Musical Instruments In A Long-Term Storage Unit

Renting a storage unit can be a fantastic way to gain access to more room for your belongings, but it’s crucial that you focus on how to keep the contents of the unit clean and in good condition while they’re packed away. If you’re planning on storing any musical instruments, it becomes even more important to keep the instruments in good shape. The following five tips can help you prepare your instruments and ensure that they can be tucked away without problems arising in the future. Give the Instruments a Deep Clean The first step to proper storage of any musical instruments is giving everything a thorough cleaning. This means removing finger buttons and other small parts before moving on to the actual cleaning. Using a gentle cleaning solution designed for use with instruments and a soft cloth will help remove debris and grime so that the instruments can be cleaned properly. Make Sure the Storage Unit Has Climate Control One of the best qualities when looking into different storage facilities is climate control. Modern facilities should already have this feature equipped in all their units, helping to prevent rust and other damage from occurring to your instruments due to changes in the temperature. Invest In Quality Instrument Cases Whether you’re storing a guitar, flute, or saxophone, it’s crucial that you make sure that you’re using a quality case. A sturdy instrument case can be expensive, but it can make all the difference in locking out moisture and debris that could damage the contents. Consider Using Shelving for Storing the Instruments Safely Keeping your instrument off the ground is important when using a storage unit, but it may not be an option if you’re renting a bare-bones unit. In order to keep the items elevated, look into adding some shelving in the unit. This will make your belongings easier to access and help to reduce the threat of damages. Insure the Value of Your Instruments Asking about insurance for the contents of your storage unit is important when storing any valuables. By securing insurance for the value of your instruments, you can feel confident renting a unit with your items safely tucked away. As you explore your options for storing items in a storage unit, it’s a good idea to look into what special steps you should take for storing musical instruments. With the knowledge above in mind, you’ll be able to rent a unit without the threat of damage to your belongings. For more questions, contact a company like Magnum Self...

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