Pages Navigation Menu

home and yard maintenance

Home and Yard Maintenance

Heading To College: What To Pack

Posted by on Sep 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Heading To College: What To Pack

Around the fall, many students start their journey to college. For many of these teenagers, they have never had to move, making it difficult to understand the task ahead of them. For a lot of them, they will be moving into a small space that only allows for very little. In fact, the average dorm room only measures about 228 square feet. If your teen is planning on living with a roommate like most do, then you will want to divide the footage by 2. This leaves very little room for most teenager’s belongings. Before you begin the process of moving your teen into their dorm room, here are some tips to help.  Pack for the Season A lot of college students will be headed back for fall break or the next holiday. This means, they will have an opportunity to come home and gather some of the items they have found they needed. When packing clothing, it is important to take only what is needed. There is no reason to take the entire wardrobe. Packing just for the season will help narrow down the selection. Depending on the climate, you may want to add a few pieces for the next season in case it comes in a little early. It is always a good idea to check the average temperatures in the city your teen will be living in to get a good idea of what the climate will be like.  School Supplies A lot of parents will start to buy school supplies a little early in hopes to catch a good deal. When it comes to moving your teen into college, you don’t get the same school supply list you would get in primary school. It is best to purchase school supplies when you arrive at the school so you do not have to worry about packing and unpacking them. Check out the area around the school to see what stores are available to shop at.  Communicate with the Roommate A good tip for deciding what should go and what should stay is to get on the same page with the roommate. Most college students will be rooming with someone. You don’t want to take a bunch of stuff your teen won’t even need. Make sure they have communicated with their roommate and figured out who is going to bring what. There is no reason for two TVs, refrigerators, or even microwaves. These items can take up a lot of space. For more moving tips, contact a local moving company, like Home To Home...

read more

The Truth Behind Six Common Geothermal Heat Myths

Posted by on Aug 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Truth Behind Six Common Geothermal Heat Myths

If you’ve been looking at alternative heating options for your home to break away from the fuel-burning furnace, you might have thought about investing in a geothermal heat pump. Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding heat pump use that often discourage potential new users. Understanding the truth behind these myths might help you determine if a geothermal heat pump is right for your needs. Here’s a look at some common misconceptions and what you should really know about them. Myth: Geothermal systems aren’t renewable – they use electricity. Truth: While a geothermal system does rely on a small amount of electricity for the pump, the amount used is minimal in comparison to the amount of heat it’s transferring. And it uses far less electricity than a standard electric furnace. Myth: You need a large yard to install a geothermal system. Truth: Although horizontal loops require a good amount of ground area for the pipes to be run, some properties actually benefit from the use of vertical pipes instead. In that case, the amount of ground surface required is minimal, because the pipes are all installed vertically in the ground instead of spreading them out across the property. Myth: Geothermal pumps are noisy. Truth: Geothermal pumps can actually be quieter than a standard furnace in some installations. And, there’s no large compressor unit outside that can annoy your neighbors. Myth: Geothermal systems only offer heat. Truth: Geothermal systems are great for heating your home, because they can draw heat from the earth and transfer it to your house. That doesn’t mean that heat is all they do, though. You can also use your geothermal pump system to draw heat out of your house for cooling in the summer. That means you won’t need a secondary system for cooling. Myth: Geothermal systems are unsafe because they carry refrigerant in the pipes underground. Truth: Most geothermal systems rely on water in the pipe system underground. Water flows through the lines from a reservoir or your home’s water supply. Myth: Geothermal systems consume a lot of water, so they aren’t good in areas with water restrictions. Truth: Geothermal systems don’t consume water at all. Many heat systems are closed loop systems, so the water simply flows in a complete cycle of sealed pipes. If your heat pump is drawing water from a reservoir, that water cycles through the system and then returns to the reservoir, consuming no water at all. If you have more questions, speak to local heating contractors for...

read more

The Truth Behind 4 Common Mold Myths

Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Truth Behind 4 Common Mold Myths

Mold is a common problem in households across Canada. Specifically, mold tends to form in areas of high moisture or humidity. Certain types of mold can also cause respiratory problems. Any time you find mold in your home or even on your property, it’s a good idea to address it by contacting a remediation company. In the meantime, avoid falling for any of these common myths about mold. Myth 1: Bleach Kills Mold and Keeps it From Returning Many people think that simply dousing a moldy surface with bleach and scrubbing it away will take care of the problem for good, but this isn’t often true. Generally, bleach can be used to remove mold from non-porous surfaces, but this isn’t usually the case for surfaces that are even remotely porous, such as wood. Plus, using bleach comes with its own inherent health and environmental risks, since bleach is a very strong chemical. Myth 2: You Can Handle a Mold Problem Yourself Another myth to be careful about falling for is that you can always handle a mold problem in your home without the help of a professional. While small areas of surface mold may be able to be cleaned on one’s own, this will not address the long-term problem because it doesn’t address the cause of the mold. The only safe way to get rid of a mold problem for good is to have a professional determine the type of mold, remedy it, and repair the cause. Myth 3: It’s Possible to Get Rid of 100% of Mold Believe it or not, mold is all around you. It’s found in spores that float throughout the air you breathe, even though you can’t always see it. As such, it’s impossible to get rid of all mold entirely. In fact, mold is a natural part of the environment and only becomes a potential problem when it begins to accumulate in larger quantities within an enclosed space. Therefore, if a mold company promises to completely eradicate the mold in your home, you may want to take this promise with a grain of salt. Myth 4: All Mold is Hazardous to Your Health Finally, understand that not all mold is dangerous to your health. In reality, only a few types of mold are known to cause infection and health problems in humans (with toxic “black mold” being among the most common types)–and even these molds are most dangerous to those who already have health respiratory problems, such as asthma or allergies. If you have a mold issue, keep these things in mind and hire a removal company like Advanced Cleaning &...

read more

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Terrazzo Flooring

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Terrazzo Flooring

Terrazzo flooring is made up of ground up particles of marble, quartz, or granite that are then combined with a polymer that hardens into a smooth, flat surface, making terrazzo ideal for flooring applications. Since terrazzo flooring is so unique in its construction, it provides a number of different advantages and disadvantages when compared to other types of flooring materials. Understanding the pros and cons of terrazzo flooring can help you decide whether or not terrazzo flooring is the right fit for your home and contact a local flooring professional, like those at Chinook Upholstery Draperies & Flooring Ltd, for more information. The Advantages of Terrazzo Flooring Aesthetic Appeal: Terrazzo flooring is completely unique in its appearance, as every terrazzo floor is made with a different amount or ratio of marble, quartz, and granite. Additionally, specific designs can be easily put into terrazzo flooring, allowing you to match the appearance of your floor to your desires very easily. Durability: Terrazzo flooring is extremely durable. The polymer that is used to bind together the bits of stones is similar to concrete, which allows for your floor to withstand a great deal of traffic. This means that over time, even in high traffic areas, your floors will not fade or wear away, a definite advantage over less durable types of flooring that may need to be refinished, like carpeting or hardwood. Easy Maintenance: Because the surface of terrazzo flooring is sealed and completely flat, it is extremely easy to clean, and very hard for chemicals and other substances to stain your floor. You can clean terrazzo flooring with a wide variety of commercial cleaners without having to worry about damaging the material itself. The Disadvantages of Terrazzo Flooring Cost: The initial cost of terrazzo flooring is quite high, far exceeding other types of flooring like tile or hardwood. This means that terrazzo flooring may not be the best option for every homeowner. However, it is important to note that terrazzo flooring will save you money over time, as it is extremely durable and will not need to be repaired or refinished like other types of materials. Long Installation: Terrazzo floors require the pouring of various layers of bases, polymers, and mixtures to correctly form your floors. This installation process is quite complex, which increases both your installation costs and the amount of time that it takes until your floors are ready, which can be a major drawback for homeowners looking to quickly replace their floors. Comfort: In the winter, terrazzo flooring can be quite uncomfortable to walk on, as it does not retain heat very easily. While this can be easily combatted through the strategic use of carpeting, this makes terrazzo flooring less ideal in colder...

read more

Three Ways To Get Clean Water In Areas With Poor Water Quality

Posted by on Jun 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Ways To Get Clean Water In Areas With Poor Water Quality

If your home is in a rural area, it is likely that you do not have water services. Many rural homes rely on wells and other water sources to get the water they need. In some areas, the water quality is not the best; these areas need something more than a water filtration system to get clean water to use in the home. This can be a well treatment system, as well include sources like rain collection. Here are some ways to get clean water in areas with poor water quality: 1. Salt Water Distillation System For Areas With Little Fresh Water In some areas, fresh water may not be available. In many coastal areas, the water may be brackish that is a mixture or salt water and fresh water. This water cannot be cleaned using a conventional filtration system. To solve the problem of salt water, distillation systems can be used to remove the salt and other contaminants from the water. 2. Rain Collection And Cisterns For Areas With Poor Ground Water Sources Rainwater can be another great source of water if you do not have a well that can provide you water all year. The rainwater can be collected in cisterns and then processed and used for the water needs of your home. This is something that can be done in areas that have dry seasons where well water can dry up. With the addition of filtration, you can use rainwater collection systems for water supply if you do not have a reliable water well on your property. 3. Well Water Treatment Systems For Areas With Ground Water Pollutants The quality of groundwater may not always be the best in some areas. Some homeowners have to deal with things like alkalinity and heavy metals. These are problems that cannot easily be resolved with a common home filtration system. Instead of a filtration system, you may need to have a complete well water system. This complete water purification system treats you well water before it goes to your home. If you live in an area that has very poor groundwater quality, this is a type of system that you may need to have installed. These are some things that can be done to get clean water in areas that have poor water quality. If you need a solution for better water quality for your home, contact water filtration service (such as Holmes Ecowater) to get the help you need installing the right system for your...

read more

Before The Flood: How To Protect Your Home

Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you fear that a flood might be coming your way, then you are probably worried about the damage that will be done to your home and your possessions. Even if you have made the decision to evacuate the area with your family, you probably want to do what you can to protect your property. Luckily, following a few steps before a potential flood can help reduce the possible damage, so take these steps to try to protect the things that you care about. Protect Important Documents First and foremost, make sure that important documents are protected. Scan copies of all of your essential paperwork, and load them to an online server. If you are unable to move your original copies to a safe location, put them in plastic zip-top bags, then store them in a waterproof safe or other waterproof container, and put them on a top shelf in your home. Lift Items Off of the Floor Lift as many items off of the floor as possible. You can use bricks or concrete cinder blocks to elevate your washing machine, dryer, stove, refrigerator and other appliances. Furniture can be elevated off of the floor with wooden crates or cinder blocks. Items should be moved to countertops and shelves whenever possible. Clean Your Gutters Clean gutters can help carry water away from your home and can help reduce the chance of flooding. Use a long handle, such as the handle off of a broom or rake, and use it to get rid of any leaves or other debris that might be clogging up your gutters. Also, make sure that your downspouts are clear and ready for periods of heavy rain. Disconnect Electricity As you probably already know, water and electricity do not mix. Consider disconnecting the power supply to your home; this can help prevent electrical fires and major damage to your home’s wiring. Stash your refrigerator and freezer with as much ice as possible, and keep the doors tightly shut to help protect your food supply in the meantime. Find a Good Restoration Company Don’t wait until after the flood to find a good water restoration company. Now is the time to find a reputable company that you can call if a tragedy strikes and causes damage to your home.  It can be terrifying to know that your home is at risk of being flooded, but knowing about the risk ahead of time can help you prepare. Although it can be impossible to fully prepare for one of these disasters, taking these steps can help you protect the things that are most important to...

read more

Using Extra Crown Molding To Hang Your Hat Or Coat On

Posted by on Apr 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Throughout any home project, there is bound to be some materials left over. If you’re having crown molding installed, you might notice some end pieces that are too small to use for the project but too big to actually throw out. When you see this, grab the piece and create an attached hat/coat hook for your mudroom or any other entryway. Follow these steps, and you’ll have a beautiful piece to hang on your wall in just a couple hours.   Step 1: Grab Some Supplies and Tools In addition to the scrap piece of crown molding, pick up these supplies and tools: a tape measure pencil a circular saw medium-grit sandpaper your choice of paint a medium paintbrush a drill a small drill bit cabinet knobs (your choice of amount and color) a self-adhesive picture-hanging kit Step 2: Measure, Cut and Sand the Crown Molding Use the tape measure to find the width of the wall that you want your coat hanger to reside. Mark this distance on the scrap piece of crown molding with the pencil. Cut the line on the crown molding with the circular saw. Sand the ends of the crown molding with the sandpaper until you get a smooth surface. Step 3: Paint the Crown Molding Use the medium-size paintbrush to paint the crown molding. You only need to paint the front and edge. Step 4: Mark and Drill the Holes Use the tape measure and pencil to place evenly-space dots on the crown molding. Choose to center the dots in the middle of the piece, or place them a little lower to show off more of the crown molding’s design. Place the small drill bit into the drill and make small holes into the crown molding on the dots. Make sure that you have a small hole all the way through the piece. Step 5: Attach the Knobs Insert the screw section of the cabinet knobs through the back of the crown molding into the hole you just drilled. Then screw the knobs onto the piece that’s sticking out of the front side. Step 6: Hang the Unit on the Wall Follow the directions on the package of self-adhesive picture hangers to attach your new piece to the wall. Move your piece to any wall that makes sense in your home. Additionally, change the color of the crown molding anytime you want by simply unscrewing the knobs and repainting the piece. Ask your interior designer for other ideas to use scrap pieces of crown molding in your...

read more

How To Humanely Deter Wild Animals From Your Vegetable Garden

Posted by on Mar 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are a gardener, you no doubt know the frustration of planting a garden of vegetables only to have a host of little critters eat the spoil of your labors. While you may be tempted to use lethal force to reclaim your veggie patch, there are a number of ways you can combat critter takeover without putting your four-legged friends in a pie. Fencing Ringing your garden space with a fence can help keep wild animals out of your vegetables. The type of fence you will need depends on what animals you are trying to deter.    Deer: Some deer can jump up to 12 feet high, so you may need to erect a special fence to keep the deer population at bay. One option is to erect a fence that the deer cannot see through. Not only will they not be able to see your fresh vegetables, they won’t be able to see to land on the garden side of your fence.   Rabbits: Rabbits are notorious for being able to jump, tunnel, squeeze, or chew their way out of nearly anything. To keep rabbits out of your garden, the best fencing to consider is chicken wire. To discourage rabbits from burrowing under your fence, you will need to form a lip about 6 inches wide along one side of the chicken wire. Place the wire so that the lip is toward the ground and points away from your garden; bury the lip end of the fence about 6 inches deep. Natural deterrents There are a number of natural ways to discourage four legged creatures from invading your garden. These include, but are not limited to Peppermint: Some animals, including squirrels and mice, dislike the smell of peppermint. You can either plant peppermint in your garden, or scatter cotton balls scented with peppermint oil around your garden.     Herbs and poisonous plants: Rabbits don’t like the scent of lavender or catnip; likewise, deer and rabbits will steer clear of plants that are poisonous, such as foxglove. You may want to consider planting these deterrents along problem areas of your garden. Ensure that any plants that are poisonous to humans are clearly marked to avoid mixing them with your vegetables.   Pets: While you certainly wouldn’t want your pets to harm the wild animals hanging out by your garden hoping for a nibble, wild animals will sometimes avoid areas that carry the scent of cats or dogs.   Deterring your four-legged friends from your vegetable patch may not be easy, but there are ways to keep creatures out of your garden so that you can plant your vegetables and eat them too. And you don’t have to harm the little critters in the process. For assistance, talk to a professional like Wildlife...

read more

How To Safely Install Fiberglass Insulation When You Have Kids

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Fiberglass insulation continues to be one of the most common types of insulation in Canadian homes, and it works well in most settings. However, it does have one major downfall, and that is its tendency to cause irritation to skin, eyes and noses. Tiny particles of fiberglass can break loose and work their way into the body, causing itching and trouble breathing. To protect yourself from fiberglass insulation, you should wear gloves, a face mark, and clothes that you plan to throw away while you apply it. If you have kids in the home, you need to take a few extra precautions to avoid exposing them to the fiberglass. Leave the fiberglass in its plastic casing until you have it in the attic. It can be tempting to unwrap the insulation before carrying it into the attic, but this is not safe. You may leave fiberglass particles on the rug, and your child may come into contact with them while playing on the floor. Some fiberglass insulation comes in packaging that does not quite cover all of it. If you purchase this type, set the roll on a sheet rather than directly on the floor in your home, so you don’t leave any fiberglass behind. Have someone watch your children in another room, far from the attic entrance, while you install fiberglass. If you access your attic through  a trap door, chances are good that little pieces of fiberglass will be raining down as you’re working up there to unroll the insulation. Make sure your kids are far from the attic entrance, so they don’t inhale these particles. Place a sheet under the attic entrance to catch the particles as they fall. Roll up the sheet and discard it when you’re done. Dispose of any extra fiberglass in your outside trash can. Fiberglass insulation looks soft and fluffy. Kids will be tempted to play with it and touch it, maybe even if you tell them it’s dangerous. To prevent exposure, discard your leftover insulation outside, and don’t let your kids play outside unsupervised until you know it’s gone or that they cannot reach it. You should also dispose of any fiberglass-laden clothing, face masks or sheets outside. Adding extra fiberglass insulation to your home is a great way to keep it warmer and more comfortable for your family. Make sure, however, that you apply the insulation as safely as possible. If your kids are old enough to understand what you’re doing, explain to them the hazards of fiberglass insulation, so they are not as tempted to get in your way or play with the soft-looking material. If you have any questions about safe insulation handling or if you require any help to install it, don’t hesitate to call a company like Reitzel Insulation Professionals for...

read more

Three Transformations For The Same Kitchen, From Blinds To Countertops

Posted by on Feb 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If your kitchen doesn’t thrill you like it once did, or if you want to give it a fresh face for the spring, there are some quick and easy ways to augment the style of the space. Some simple modifications to the basic elements of your room can go a long way in transforming the style of your kitchen, from blinds to countertops. Three different directions to take your kitchen include: Southern Charm Give your kitchen a welcoming aura with a bit of southern charm. Bring in comfortable seating and eye-catching objects to create an atmosphere of quaintness and curiosity. Mix up textures and patterns in the space, but be sure to let as much light in as possible. Try these tips, too: Add flair to your countertop with a brightly colored, patterned back-splash. Ceramic and laminate will have the most southern charm. Use full, fluffy window treatments to give a welcoming look to your space. Let the sun shine through the space with versatile venetian blinds, and add ambient lighting as needed to achieve a bright, sunny spot. Give cabinets a white-wash paint treatment, or choose another bright, vibrant color. Buy decorative knobs and drawer-pulls from home improvement retailers. Very Victorian A Victorian style gives the kitchen a rich, warm look that is particularly cozy during family gatherings and festive occasions. Creating a Victorian styled room often involves stepping back in time, and re-purposing or purchasing vintage items for the space. Try these other suggestions also: Accent your countertop with a solid colored or mirrored tile back-splash. If you are not replacing countertops and want to save money, consider self-adhesive ceramic or laminate tiles. Consider hanging long drapes on the sides of the window in a textured damask or flocked velvet for a Victorian look. Buy drapes four to eight-inches longer than needed, and allow the fabric to pool on the floor. This will make the windows seem taller, and the room bigger. Use vertical or venetian blinds in conjunction with your window treatments and drapes to allow for privacy and to dim the room, as needed. Dark wood is very natural in a Victorian styled home. Accent the cabinetry with brass hardware or add ceramic knobs, available widely. Modern Minimalist If you want to transform your kitchen and make it more efficient and organized, consider a modern approach. Get rid of clutter and keep appliances, tools, or other items out of sight. This all lends to the clean, modern look of the space. Some other ways to achieve a modern-style kitchen include: Complement the countertop with a tin or stainless steel back-splash. You can buy tiles that stick to the wall, just be sure that the surface is clean and dry first. Keep window treatments simple with paper shades or roll-up blinds. Use a light color to accent the light colored features of the room. Find great deals and expansive selections of budget-friendly blinds online. Remove the doors and paint cabinetry white. This gives the room a clean, bright look. Don’t feel stuck by your kitchen’s inherent characteristics. Give it a quick and easy makeover, utilizing practical components, such as budget blinds (from outlets such as Blinds 2000 Manufacturing Ltd) and discounted accent items. You may be surprised by how motivated you become to spend time in the...

read more