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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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Getting Your Windows Ready For Summer

Posted by on 3:23 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Getting Your Windows Ready For Summer

Summer is just around the corner, and in most of the country that means it’s time to focus on keeping the inside of your house cool and comfortable while outside temperatures rise. Running your air conditioner uses electricity and costs money. There are other things you can do to keep your home cool that will be easier on the environment and on your budget. Your windows may be letting in heat and letting cool air escape from your home. By making a few small changes to your home’s windows you can prevent heat from coming in and cool air from leaving. Here are some things you can do to get your windows ready for the summer. Energy-Efficient Windows: One way to keep your home cooler in the summer is to install new windows. Installing new windows can be an expensive proposition but can save you money in the long run. Newer windows have features available such as low-e reflective coatings to reflect some of the sun’s rays. When you are looking for new windows, be sure to check the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). The SHGC measures how much of the sun’s heat is allowed through the window. A lower SHGC is beneficial in almost every part of the country, and in warmer climates such as Florida, it is the most important thing to look for in new windows. Install UV blinds or curtains: If you don’t have the money to invest in new windows, you can still keep UV rays from entering your home. Consider installing UV protective blinds or curtains on your windows, and keep them fully closed during the times of day when the sun is shining directly through the windows. A good set of UV protective blinds on a window can reduce heat gain through that window by as much as 45 percent. Contact a professional at a company like Brandt’s Interiors & Workroom to learn more about what blinds would best serve your home. Reflective Window Films: Window films prevent heat from coming through the windows by reflecting UV rays. Unlike curtains and blinds, window films allow you to enjoy the view from your window while still preventing heat from entering. Window films are available in a huge range of UV and heat reflectiveness. Some window films block as much as 72 percent of the sun’s heat and can reduce cooling bills by 50 percent! If you don’t want reflective coatings on all of your windows, focus on windows that face south or east, as those windows are subject to the most sunlight. Weatherstripping: If there are small cracks around your windows, they will let cool air out and warm air in during the summer months. Check for cracks or gaps around your windows, and seal them with caulking or weatherstripping. With some attention to your home’s windows, you can reduce your energy bill and give your air conditioner a break during the hot summer...

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4 Plants You Shouldn’t Have In Your Yard

Posted by on 1:03 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When you start designing your backyard and adding different plants and flowers, you will probably want to add as many plants as you can find. Unfortunately, there are some plant varieties that you shouldn’t have in your yard. This includes plants that are unstable, are troublesome, spread of diseases, or are toxic and can cause rashes. Here are some plants to avoid adding to your yard’s landscape. Sweet Autumn Clematis This may seem like a beautiful plant to have in your yard, especially when it starts to bloom to show clouds of florals along the rapidly-growing vines. It isn’t until the second or third season that you will start seeing the problem with this plant. This plant can reseed on its own, which lets it spread everywhere. Before you had the vines going up an arbor, but now they are attaching to the side of your home, spreading out along the lawn and killing other plants, and are dangerously close to your rose bushes. It is hard to control the growth, which does not make this an ideal choice. White Ash Trees The male species of white ash trees is a terrible choice if anyone in your family suffers from allergies. While white ash trees give a very interesting look to your landscape, they also contain a lot of allergens. This type of tree, particularly with the male plants, contains a lot of pollen in all the tiny blooms that grow off the branches. With just a little wind, the blooms and pollen are everywhere. It can be hard to escape them and anyone with allergies will be miserable. Tansy When it comes to toxic plants, the tansy is one of the worst. If anyone ingests any part of the tansy plant, they could experience extreme illness. It is toxic to people and animals, so your small children, family pets, livestock, and nearby animals are all at risk. If anyone but a responsible adult will be in your backyard, it is best to avoid planting this one. Ginkgo Biloba Ginkgo biloba trees provide natural herbal remedies, but they are another plant that is bad to have if you have allergy sufferers in your home. The female trees put you most at risk, but it’s not because of the pollen. The danger here is the fruit that comes from the female ginkgo biloba trees. The fruit from this tree falls on its own and frequently during growing seasons. It can be messy and spread around, causing allergy symptoms for anyone who is nearby. For more information about plants for your yard, visit websites...

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Think You Don’t Have The Room For Nice Landscaping? Think Again!

Posted by on 10:49 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you would love to have a pretty back yard, but think it is too small for anything more than a few plants right against the fence, it is time to think again. Even the smallest yard can be designed to look wonderfully landscaped. Consider these tricks, and use them to create the look and feel you want. Color Bright, warm colors draw attention. To make a small yard look bigger, you need to keep the attention on the entryway and perimeters. Plant reds, oranges and yellows along fences and at the base of the house. Be sure to put in a few clusters at the entryways to the yard too. This will make the inner area become more of a background. It won’t register as much, making the perimeter the focus so the area seems larger. Height Use fences and walls to their full advantage. Do not just plant at the base of them, but up the sides too. Use hanging planters or shelves to get plants off the ground. Hang something that hangs down, like ivy, from the top of the wall to pull the eyes down instead of in toward the middle. Create a Focal Point A focal point attracts the senses. When your eyes are trained on a specific spot, the rest of the yard becomes background, and the small size is not noticed. Use brightly-colored and large-leafed plants to attract the eyes. You can also use a bird bath, small fountain or bistro set in addition to the plants to create a lovely area that draws attention. Use the Outer Landscaping If there is landscaping on the other side of your fence. Try to incorporate it into your design. For example, if your neighbors have some bushes or small trees planted in their yard you can see from yours, try to plant one on your side of the fence too. If you feel these items will not fit in your yard, try to use the same colors or textures in yours instead. This will give the illusion that your yard extends to include the other yard. Make the most of your small space, the way you would a small room in your home. Adding a mirror or two to the back wall of the house, and the fence can also make the area look larger. You may not be able to have all the flowers you would like, but you can have a yard that looks great that you enjoy spending time in with a bit of special landscape designing. For more information, contact Cumberland Valley Tree Service & Landscaping or a similar...

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