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Maintenance

Maintaining your home properly during the winter months can save you a lot of money on repairs in the long run. Most of the things that are necessary you can do yourself, but even if you have to hire a service to help you, the investment will soon pay itself back. There isn’t a lot of effort required on your part but it can make a significant difference between a cold nightmare and cozy winter nights. 

Insulate your home

Let’s get the bigger investments out of the way at the very beginning. Spending more money on insulating your walls and water pipes might seem too expensive and not at all a budget-friendly solution, but it’s quite the opposite. With proper insulation, warmth will be trapped indoors for longer and you’ll be able to save money on heating. Also, insulated pipes are a smart investment since you’ll be protecting them from freezing and breaking, which will prevent major discomfort and additional expenses on repairs and replacement. 

Replace the filters regularly

During winter, you will use your furnace more often, which means that the filters will get dirty a lot faster. In order to avoid damage and stuffy air, make sure to replace your furnace filters every once in a while. Also, you can clean your regular filters with green cleaning agent and tap water yourself. On the similar note, consider installing the best air purifier for mold, so that you can prevent winter moisture and humidity from damaging your home. 

5 Smart and Budget Friendly Winter Home Maintenance Tips

Source: tandthomes.co

Keep the outdoors winter-proof

Let’s not forget about your outdoor furniture and garden tools. If you don’t take care of these appropriately, they can get damaged so badly that you’ll have to replace all of them as soon as spring comes. This is not a cheap replacement either, so make sure to store all your outdoor furniture and tools in the garage where they won’t get wet, frozen and rusty. In case you don’t have a garage, think about covering these with waterproof sheets and similar. The same goes for any kind of machines that you might own, but remember to drain them of oil before doing anything else.

Remember to clean up

As soon as the snow falls or ice starts to form, make sure to get your shovels and other winter equipment out to deal with this. Removing the snow away from your home as well as ice dams that might form will significantly minimize any potential danger to the proper maintenance of your home. Also, don’t forget to clear every vent and pipe from snow and ice in order to avoid unwanted mishaps that would cost you a lot of money later on.

5 Smart and Budget Friendly Winter Home Maintenance Tips

Source: treesurgerycostadelsol.com

Prevent ice formation

Apart from raking the roof and clearing out your vents and pipes from snow and ice, you should pay attention to your exterior water sources. In that respect, make sure to turn off all the faucets outdoors and drain the garden hoses. Also, it’s essential to turn off the garden watering system. Ice can form on the tree branches in your yard as well, so make sure to prune these and remove any ice and snow as soon as it shows up to be completely safe.

Before you find yourself in an unfavorable situation, make sure to check whether everything is fully prepared for winter months. This means checking whether all water and heating systems are in a working order as well as stocking up on the necessary winter essentials and tools. Also, establish a regular cleaning routine so that your gutters are always free of leaves, sticks and snow buildup. Of course, direct the water downpour away from your house’s foundation. With just a little bit of your time every day, winter will be nice, comfortable, story-like and most importantly, free of all unforeseen expenses and repairs.

A house fire is probably many people’s worst fear, and not just because it can destroy a lifetime of valuable possessions but also because it can actually be life-threatening. Moreover, as dangerous as the flames are, it’s actually the smoke that is more likely to make you pass out and suffocate. All in all, it’s safe to say that fire and smoke is not something that should be taken lightly. With that in mind, here are a few ways to protect your home from these hazards.

What to do if your house catches on fire?

Knowing what to do in case of fire can save both your life and your house. So, needless to say, if you can extinguish the fire, do it. If you cannot, you need to get to safety before smoke fills your house, and you need to call for help. Now, if there already is some smoke and you can’t exactly run out in seconds, you should crawl your way out, as smoke tends to go upwards.

Fireman

How to prevent fires?

Of course, prevention is always better than cure, so it’s essential that you do everything you can in order to prevent fire. For starters, you should test your fire alarms at least once a month, and you should make sure to replace the battery as well. You should replace the battery once a year, even if the alarms only activated when you were testing them. After all, you don’t want them to malfunction when you need them the most.

Next, don’t let a small fire grown into a bigger one if you can stop it right away. Getting a fire extinguisher before you need it gives you a chance to learn how to use it. Even if you never actually need to use it, it can still give you peace of mind knowing that you have it. So, get at least two for your home, and one smaller extinguisher for your vehicle.

Also, you should come up with a safety plan, especially if you have kids. Most of us have gone through fire drills in school, but not many people organize such drills at home. So, come up with the best plan in case of fire, and make sure your kids are well familiar with it. The plan should include the safest route out of the home, what to do when the alarm goes off, and where to meet in case you get separated. Practice this together until everybody gets it right, and repeat the drill at least twice a year so nobody forgets it.

What are the health risks?

Besides damaging your property, fire and smoke can also cause some serious health problems. Believe it or not, the smoke can actually linger in your home for weeks after the fire. Not to mention how difficult soot can be to remove. Some of the possible health issues include bronchitis and other respiratory issues, skin problems, eye irritation, and in some cases, smoke can even lead to cancer, stroke, heart attack, and long-term problems for infants.

The reason why fire and smoke can be so dangerous is because of the things they melt. Many items, like carpets, fabrics, wool products, and plastics, release harmful chemicals when burned – these chemicals are what causes all the serious damage. This is also why home restorations after a home fire should always be done by professionals.

To sum up, fire in a home can be extremely dangerous, and besides destroying your property, it can cause some serious health problems as well. This is why you should do everything you can to prevent fires when possible and extinguish them quickly if possible. By being well-prepared, you would have one less thing to worry about, and your family would feel much more comfortable in your home.

 

This is a guest post by Jack Kewell.

Apart from being incredibly stylish, shutters are among the most practical ways to protect your windows and yourself. Say goodbye to tangled curtains and tedious processes of taking them off, washing them and then having to hang them up again. Not only are shutters easy to use, but they also protect your windows from stains and various cooking smells. Many people are reluctant to embark on the adventure of buying shutters due to ignorance on how easy the maintenance process actually is. This is where we come in to make your life easier and persuade you to make the right choice.

Dusting slats

In order to keep them tidy, you just need to dust the louvres or panels using a microfibre cloth or even a feather duster. Just manipulate the position of the slats to flat and you’ll be able to reach both sides well. It’s important to keep your shutters away from water, especially if they’re made of wood as this is not the best combination. You can also use tiny vacuum cleaners instead of cloths if it’s more your cup of tea.

Wiping more serious stains

The amount of dust or dirt on your shutters depends greatly on the room you put them in. They can catch more dust if they’re in a room with a fireplace or even become greasy if placed in a kitchen. Regardless of how careful you are, grease gathers on surfaces simply via air and there’s nothing you can do about it. Luckily, the cleaning process doesn’t get any more complicated than dusting. Simply use a damp, not wet, cloth and wipe the surfaces.

Opening and closing

It’s important to obey the instructions in order to keep your shutters functional. Never pull the panels open by using the rod for tilting. It can cause serious damage. Instead, tilt the louvres and use the stile to tug them open. There are some variations on the matter. For instance, archtop shutters can close only in the up position. If you try to close them otherwise, they will break. However, if you stick to the instructions, there should be no harm done.

Tightening and loosening louvres

Louvres can become loose over time and they may not be able to stay in the position you’d want them in. This surely isn’t the time to call for outside help. You just need an appropriate screwdriver to tighten shutter panels on both sides and your shutters will be as good as new. You can also loosen them in case they are too difficult to move.

Paint scratches

The probability of the paint getting scratched is very high, unfortunately, especially if there is a lot of human interaction in the close proximity of the shutters in the room. It simply happens sometimes, but it’s nothing to stress too much about. It is a custom to get some extra paint during the installation of the shutters, if this is not offered, you can and should always ask for extra paint in case scratches occur. After that, you just need a small foam brush and a bit of paint to mask it and it will be undetectable.

Basically, this is all you need to know about the maintenance. You must admit it’s super smooth. Of course, there’s always a chance of a malfunction that requires a bit more savvy and tools other than a screwdriver, but that’s when professional help comes in, just like with anything else in the house. So, go ahead and take that leap of buying shutters, you’ll get rid of tedious chores and be able to enrich your room design, as well.

The smell and the sight of freshly cut neat grass is a paradise for any homeowner’s senses. It’s not an exaggeration. If you are a fan of minimal landscaping approach, then a simple lawn will do the trick. The fans of lavish landscaping, stop here, this is not a place for you. You reader, who is redoing your lawn for the first time, there are some, mind you, easy things you can do. In order for you to have a great overview of what is needed to keep your backyard and front yard grass under control, we compiled some elementary tips. Let’s start.

Following lawn care tips and mowing regularly

The colours of grass

First step to consider is, of course, the type of grass. Since you’ll be growing from scratch, you will need to consider pros and cons for every grass type. One of the things beginners need to know is to determine the region they live in and buy the grass they feel would fit nicely into their lawn. Some of the types of grass that “enjoy” cooler climate are: Bluegrass, Fine fescue, Perennial ryegrass, & Tall fescue. On the other side, there are those who fall into the category of “warmer” grasses. People in this region should opt for either one of these: Zoysia, Centipede, Bahia, Common Bermuda, & Hybrid Bermuda. Keep in mind the function of your lawn. If you plan on having family activities, then you need a more resistant type so that it doesn’t wear or tear to fast. Kentucky bluegrass, for example, is a great choice for “active” lawns. It is durable and it can self mend.

From soil sprout thee, I command!

This is a really important step, so think carefully how to approach it. Setting the soil is the key component for a successful grass growth. Don’t forget to test the soil. You can get a soil test kit from local experts (cheaper) or you can have them do the gathering of samples. It might take some time to get through this step, but it will save you a lot of money in the long run. You’ll know exactly what to spend on and how much. Next thing you need to take care of is weeds. You need to make a thorough inspection and banish every single trace of it. This process often includes stripping the land of the top surface, usually six inches (roughly 15 centimetres) will do the trick.  Then it’s time to fertilise the ground. Naturally, there isn’t one way to do this, so inform yourself of different composting techniques.

Preparing the perfect soil for your lawn

The best haircut

One thing you should never ever do is cut your grass the shortest you can. Why? It can stress out the grass and make it weaker. Basically, you’ll end up destroying all the effort you put into it. It’s way better to cut it often and a bit longer.

We are great believers in doing everything with your own two hands, so that you can feel the process. However, when it comes to maintenance tips, cut your losses (literally) and use a lawn mower. Why? Go through these advantages and find out:

  • Ease of use – You can have many benefits starting from accommodations to attachments, if you choose ride on lawn mowers. But one of the most important advantages is ease of use. Especially If you cannot strain your body to push things or stand for long. You can drive it like a car sitting comfortably while cutting the grass as per requirement. It is not just that these mowers reduce your physical strength, but these mowers also help you to cut the grasses in an even manner.
  • Easy to start – The ride on lawn mowers are started like a car. Therefore, you do not have to use your body strength to pull chord to start your lawn mowers.
  • Sun shade design – You may be sensitive to sun exposure and so, you feel really exhausted while choosing push lawn mowers under sun. These models can come with sun shade designs where you can rest and relax.
  • Work with precision – If you have ride on lawn mowers, you can cut large trees and shrubs with ease and precision on the first pass. They also come with several attachments which collect the fallen leaves of the trees and turn them into manure through their grinding features.

Apart from the above-mentioned features, you also need to keep comfort features in mind when purchasing ride on lawn mowers. A few important comfort features found in these lawn mowers are:

  • Cup holder
  • Lumbar support
  • Rubber foot pads
  • High back seat
  • Extended leg room
  • Armrests

ride on lawn mowers

The fountain of life

Again, depending on the region you are in, i.e. the amount of rainwater your soil can receive, you will need to water your lawn in order to keep a steady grass grow. What also plays an important role is the soil type. Not every grass requires the same amount of water. Don’t over-do it but also, if you don’t water it regularly it will wither. At the very beginning, be sure to water your grass on a daily basis. As for the watering schedule, the best time to do it is in the morning. Doing it in the evening just won’t cut it, since you will be left with mildew and fungus.

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These are just some basic tips. There are even some special grasses that require special watering schedule or a very particular soil type in order to succeed. Take into consideration what you read here and always go a step further with your research.

Owning wood furniture means that you have to dedicate some time and effort to keep it clean and well-maintained. But, wood is used so that your furniture pieces can last for generations to come, if you make sure to get the dirt off and wax it regularly to keep the structure intact.

Keep Dusting Simple and Easy

Unless you dust your furniture every week, it will become harder to get it off afterwards, because the buildup can scratch your surface and some airborne particles can cause permanent damage as well. Though, depending on your furniture you need to choose the right dusting tool so that you do not cause any damage yourself.

Wood does not age well

After time your furniture will get worn out, and if you do not apply the right type of wax or oil, you will soon notice dulls and cracking. But, thankfully, it is not a hard thing to do on your own, and all you must look into is getting the right brand for the wood in your furniture. Moreover, if you want to update the color, you can get special mixtures to help revive it. Though, color change is inevitable, and you should leave it alone for some time to see if it is going to affect it or not.

Keep Away From All-purpose Cleaners

When it is time to clean wood pieces, try to avoid using all-purpose cleaners because they can contain chemicals which might cause damage. On the other hand, you need to stay away from water as much as possible, as it can really ruin the wood in your furniture. Though, if you run into a tough spot, make sure to use only a little bit and to dab it gently, so that you apply as little pressure as possible. Afterwards, make sure to dry it immediately with a soft clean cloth so that you do not leave any spots behind.

Fixing Up Minor Damages

It will be inevitable that your furniture suffers some scratches, but, it does not mean that you cannot fix some of the damages. Either using paste wax or a specified pen, you can correct minor visible scratches. But, if it is a deeper one, going well into the wood, you will have to use some kind of wood filler that will make the deep cut disappear. The secret to making most of the scratches vanish without much effort is to apply the fixing solution in layers rather that in one go.

Make Sure To Keep Furniture Away From Direct Sunlight

It is best to use some kind of curtains in your home that will block out most of the harmful rays of the Sun, because sunlight can potentially fade out the color of your furniture. Furthermore, if you leave any kind of accessories on your furniture, you will notice dark spots left behind after a long hot day. In order to avoid something like that happening, use cover cloths as well, because that way you will ensure a long life for your wood furniture.

Taking care of your furniture can be an easy task once you come up with a routine that will be simple to follow, however you have to stay consistent and you will have to make sure to pay attention to the small details. On the other hand, reacting quickly to any kind of damage done to your wood pieces can be evened out, but only if you stay vigilant with proper maintenance. Keep in mind that good care of your furniture will make it last longer.