Keep Your Home Safe With Proper Heating and Cooling

Your property represents a major investment of time and resources. Whether it’s your home, office, or rental, you want to protect your property and maintain its value for as long as possible. A properly functioning heating and cooling system is essential for maintaining a consistent temperature within a building. One of the major risks any building owner needs to remember is that fluctuating temperatures can result in long-term and major damage to a structure.

In the summer, excessive heat can cause the wooden portion of a building to swell and warp. This can result in uneven flooring, jammed doors, or broken fixtures. Wood naturally expands in high temperatures, and when this occurs repeatedly to an extreme extent it may become permanently misshapen. Furthermore, the misshaping can cause the jambs around doors and winds to become crooked. An efficient heating and cooling system will regulate the indoor temperature and maintain it at a safe level for these essential building components.

In contrast, excessive cold can be just as destructive. Extreme cold can cause cracking in a home’s pipes and plumbing due to freezing water. The most important step to take to prevent this is winterizing your pipes. This process involves adding extra insulation to your metal pipes. However, it is also important to make sure that your property’s HVAC equipment is fully functioning, especially if you spend extended periods away from the building. A single burst pipe in the winter can cause major damage if not caught quickly.

The third major danger is related more to moisture than temperature. Most heating and cooling systems are also incorporated into a larger ventilation network. This HVAC equipment works to improve the air quality within a building as well as prevent extreme levels of moisture from accumulating. Damp areas become hotspots for mold growth and rot. Overtime this can lead to significant damage to the structure of a building. Unquestionably, high levels of mold can be dangerous, resulting in serious respiratory issues, especially for the young and the elderly. These damp spots also make it easier for wood-boring insects like termites, ants, and beetles to get into your property.

A well-maintained and effective HVAC unit can prevent all of these issues. However, these units require their own maintenance and upkeep, so it is important to find a local and trusted professional to service your systems. In the long run, spending money now on the best service will protect your investment and ensure that its value remains high for a long time.

How to Properly Maintain Your Ponds

Knowing how to properly maintain your ponds could mean the difference between having healthy fish or sick fish. A pond that contains fish needs to be treated carefully, especially due to the fact that you have to clean the pond as regularly as possible.

Learning how to maintain your ponds is simple when you remember these all-important steps:

Protect your fish. If you have any fish in your pond, they need to be removed safely and carefully before you can begin cleaning. When removing the fish, make sure to use water from the existing pond in order to fill up the holding tank. This will keep the fish in an environment that they are used to. It is also important to oxygenate both the new and old pond (if you are changing ponds completely) before moving the fish, preferably 24 hours in advance.
Adding new water. If you need to add new water to your pond, you will first need to treat it. The treating of this water will include introducing it to a starter bacteria, oxygen supplement and Biokick. This will help to prepare the water for the fish. It is important to remember that the water needs to be exposed to these three elements for at least a day before you can add your fish into the new pond.
Getting rid of chlorine. Municipal water has traces of chlorine in it, which is harmful to your fish and to the foliage within your pond. It is necessary to get rid of the chlorine completely. Unfortunately, this is not possible if you are only using the three abovementioned supplements. Instead, you can also use a holding tank and place the water inside it. This water can be kept in the tank for over a week which should get rid of all of the existing chlorine. If the tank is exposed to sunlight and you pump air into the tank, you could get rid of all the chlorine within 24 hours.
Clean out the debris. During the cleaning process, you should make sure to get rid of any debris or foreign objects that are in the pond. Remember to remove the fish first before doing this! There are a variety of different cleaning tools that you can use so as to get rid of the debris. If it is natural debris, you can place it in your garden to decompose. Any foreign objects, however, should be thrown away in the appropriate manner. If you are using a pond vacuum cleaner like the Oase Pondvac, you will be able to clean out foreign objects quicker and safer. You can even use the Pondvac with the fish inside the pond, provided that you keep the suction nozzle away from the fish.
Put in new plants. Once your pond is clean, it is a good idea to add some new plants. Plants are natural bio-filters which will absorb harmful substances like nitrates and ammonia. It will also introduce healthy substances back into the water like oxygen which fish need for survival.
Once the pond is clean, you can take the new water from the pond and place it into the holding tank. This will make it easier for the fish to get used to the new water temperature – which will hopefully prevent any deaths! Fish are more sensitive to the environment than you might think and, even if you do follow the pond maintenance rules, it is not guaranteed that they will all survive.

Home Improvement Tips That Make Your Efforts Easier

Is there an aspect of your house that you’re not happy with? Do your bathrooms look dull and dated? Does your kitchen lack style? If so, it may be time to take on a home improvement project. In this article, you’ll get some great suggestions on what you should do when improving your home. When it comes to home improvement, the lowest bidder for your project will not always translate to be the one who does the best work. Many times, a quote that is too good to be true is just that, due to poor work quality or hidden costs. Be sure to check with any agencies that provide feedback about contractors before hiring them. When it comes to home improvement, consider adding extra insulation to your home to assist with your cooling costs in the summer and heating costs in the winter. This will save you money as well as keep you and your family more comfortable. The two best ways to insulate are to add weather strips to your doors and ensure that your attic is lined. When it comes to home improvement, think twice about decorating the walls of your house in anything extreme such as a wild color or print. A potential buyer may get a bad impression by seeing a house decorated in a way that is distasteful to them. They may choose to look elsewhere, if they do not want to put in the work to redecorate. Don’t overlook landscaping when looking to home improvements projects. The lawn in the front of the home is the very first thing that people will see; if it looks good, the entire house seems impressive. Keep your grass cut and neat, and you may even want to plant some shrubs to make your lawn look even better. Investing in your own drain snake can be a wise investment to save you money over the years. One of the biggest advantages is the lower frequency with which you need to purchase drain cleaners. Drain snakes are not for the completely inexperienced, so you may want to have a plumber show you how to use it the first time. Drains and pipes come in different sizes, so buy the right drain snake for the job to minimize damage occurring. Homeowners undertaking major renovation work on high-value homes should engage an architect. While their services are expensive, architects make back their cost on large, complex projects. They help homeowners manage complex jobs involving multiple contractors and sub-contractors and have the aesthetic sensibilities which can preserve and increase the market value of an expensive home. For the budget-minded homeowner working on a plumbing home improvement project, plastic PVC piping makes an entirely suitable substitute for expensive copper piping. PVC has been extensively tested and used for years without danger or failure. It is easy to work with and highly durable. The money saved by using PVC can be applied to more visible, usable home improvements. When your home improvement or renovation project is big enough, you will likely be working with a general contractor, who will have sub-contractors working for him in turn. If problems arise on the job, your general contractor may blame his subs. As the homeowner, you are the boss. Be sympathetic but firm in reminding the general contractor that he is ultimately responsible for his subs’ work. If you are re-painting a small space, such as an undersized bedroom or living room, make use of light colors. Lighter colors on the walls will reflect more light, making the room feel brighter and larger. Also, consider using two shades of the same color in stripes, which can make the room feel longer or taller. If you are renovating a small space, and you have the ability, install larger windows. Even if you cannot expand the window size, use a style of window that has more glass than wooden frame. More glass in the window will mean it lets in more natural light, which makes a small room seem much brighter and larger. Rather than replacing the tile in your home’s bathroom or kitchen, consider re-grouting. In many cases, it is the build-up of dirt, grime and even oil, that is making your tile look old and dated. Scrub it clean, then scrape out the old grout for a quick way to refresh the room. Before you start painting a room, it is best to know about how much paint you need. Measure the length of the walls in the room you plan to paint and add them together. Next, measure the height of the room. Multiply the height by the length. The square foot of the room is the answer you get. One gallon of paint will generally cover 350 square feet. If you have an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool, invest the extra money to build a secure, gated fence around the perimeter of the pool. This will increase the value of your home, but its most important function is to prevent children or pets from wandering too close to the pool and risking accidental falls or drowning. If you are looking to replace your flooring with hardwood, consider using bamboo. Bamboo flooring has become a popular choice among homeowners because of its many advantages. Bamboo is environmentally friendly. It is exceptionally durable, and it is naturally tolerant of changes in temperature so it is highly resistant to warping. Bamboo is one of the best choices in flooring materials today. If you have repairs that need to be done on your apartment, and your landlord is not doing them, you can withhold your rent. While you do not have to pay rent for those months, you do have to place the money in an escrow account and write a certified letter to your landlord explaining why. If there’s something you don’t like about your house, don’t just learn to live with it! Take action! Many home improvement projects can be done with minimal work and cost, and now that you’ve read this article, you’ll be able to pull them off yourself. Decide what needs fixing, and get to work. Challenges Experienced With Basement Flooring You will have the choice of installing any type of flooring that you prefer for your house basement. Cork flooring is one such option and there are many challenges faced regardless of what you have settled for. Never take anything for granted but handle the basement flooring exercise with the seriousness it deserves. A few and minor things that you will overlook might turn up to be the biggest blunder of your life to haunt you forever. As any homeowner will tell you, there is no other challenging section of the house to install flooring than the basement. Many houses have used concrete for their basement floors because it is durable. Unfortunately, it is very porous thus allowing a lot of water and moisture to penetrate through. With time, this weakens the house foundation putting it under the risk of collapsing. That will be a very challenging aspect when choosing the right floor for your basement since most of the materials are porous but at different levels. This will be even more frustrating when the rain season sets in and flooding occurs. It is then that you will realize the flooring you have is not the best choice you made. You are supposed to address this matter well on time especially if you have ever experienced the problem at one time or another. Yes it’s a challenge with basement flooring but you don’t have to sit down and watch without seeking a remedy. You can dig up a proper drainage system or grade the site such that rain water does not get to enter the basement. The location of the house against the direction of flooding water will be vital to watch out for when building the house. It will help prevent a disaster from happening well on time. Flooding happens unexpectedly so you have to be well prepared for such eventualities well aware that disaster can strike any time. Another challenge that you might face with basement flooring is bumpy surface. The surface is supposed to be level but things will not be easy if it defies that principle. Take personal effort to flatten the surface using cement and never think of installing flooring when the surface is not level. You will experience multiple problems most of which you will be unable to deal with yet it’s something you can handle effectively. Naturally, basements have truncated ceiling heights which will be complicated further after installing the flooring. This is inevitable but you need to observe the thickness of the flooring not to compromise on the height too much. There are height prescriptions given by construction codes which must be observed for the basement. All in all, you will have to select a basement flooring option that meets your needs in the best way. Never take chances when you know that the flooring you choose will have huge implications on your future usage of the basement. Guidelines for Cork Flooring Installation You should not start installing cork floors without enough information and knowledge of how it should be done. You might end up messing a lot when you do cork flooring installation from a point of ignorance. The following guideline should help you a lot in getting that accomplished in a hassle-free manner. It has the dos and don’ts that will help you navigate through the complicated installation process with ease. For cork floors, you are strongly advised against carrying out repairs once the old one is damaged. The best thing to do is install a completely new floor over the existing one. It will be more convenient and cheaper as compared to repairing. Prior to the actual installation, the cork tiles must be kept inside the room for at least three days which helps them to acclimatize easily to the indoor environment. This will be the right time for you to carry out a thorough inspection of the tiles in making sure they are of the right size, color as well as note any flaws. With that basic information at your fingertips, you can embark on installing the floor by following this step-by-step guideline. Begin the cork flooring installation by planning out the new floor that you are to install. You can take the actual measurements of the room and come up with a sketch on a piece of paper. That should be able to give you a rough idea of what is expected and how to go about the whole process. Come up with as many impressions as possible which will give you a pool of options to have a look at. After that, proceed to prepare the old floor in anticipation of the new flooring. You can sand the concrete to fill any gaping holes and cracks, clean it and ensure it is completely dry. When the working space is ready, mark out the layout lines as captured in the sketch and apply adhesive appropriately. You can then lay down the tiles but after the adhesive has taken enough time to dry. Don’t rush over anything as patience pays. If the tiles are not fitting well, trim them using a jig but not too much of the material. The general idea is to have the corks fitting in well to the marked out areas. You can sand to fill out any holes left open and apply proper finishing product. This will be important for adhesive purposes thus it has to be the favorite. Your cork flooring installation will be complete and ready to enjoy your new floor. If your rooms are big, you should complete one section at a time even though it might take a lot of time. You don’t have to rush into completing the whole room at a go then end up frustrated. It calls for precision and keenness to details for your cork floor to be installed flawlessly.

Tips To Maintain Curtains

Interior designing is one of the major concerns of homeowners since everyone wants to have a comfortable and relaxing home. That is why more and more homeowners purchase items to cater to their needs, from couches, tables, closets, drawers and lighting fixtures. These items can help make houses become more functional and more appealing. Aside from these items, curtains are also essential for your homes.

Curtains can improve the looks of your house since they come in different colours, patterns and designs. Apart from improving house aesthetics, curtains also provide protection for your house. This is possible since they can prevent the rain, snow and dirt from entering your house. With these amazing features, homeowners can easily improve their houses and make it more appealing. However, it is also essential to maintain these curtains. To help you properly maintain curtains, listed below are some tips.

Weekly cleaning

Dirt particularly builds up in curtains since curtains prevent them from entering your house. Therefore, it is essential that you clean your curtains weekly. For light curtains, you can simply shake it to get rid of dust and dirt. As for heavy curtains, making use of vacuum cleaners is best. You can simply make use of the brush attachment of your vacuum.

Wash curtains

Getting rid of dust can help reduce dirt. However, if you wish to fully eliminate dust, you need to wash the curtains. Before washing curtains, remove hard items that are attached to the curtains. You also need to make use of mild detergent since some detergents can ruin the curtain’s colours and fibre.

Dry curtains

After washing curtains, it is essential that you dry them. But, keep in mind that you must not over dry them since it can result in wrinkles. Thus, dry curtains slightly then iron them to dry the curtains properly.

Hire cleaners

In case that you have huge and heavy curtains, the most ideal option is to hire cleaners. These cleaners can easily get rid of dirt and stains on your curtains. Experts can also make sure that your curtains are properly dried to avoid nasty wrinkles that can affect their look because they have vast experience.

With these tips, homeowners can be sure that they can maintain their curtains properly and efficiently. These tips can also help them reduce costs due to wrong maintenance or perhaps negligence. Hence, they can make their houses better and more appealing.

The Best Way to Make Your Duvet Covers Last Longer

When buying duvet covers, you are under the impression that your product will last for years to come. A few months down the line, you are disappointed to notice the seams are starting to fray, maybe the colours are starting to fade or the cover becomes patchy, making it impossible to use on your bed.

The best way to make your duvet covers last longer is to take extra care in how you treat them. One of the most important things you will learn is that changing the bedding on a regular basis will reduce the risk of your bedding wearing out. It’s a good idea to have three sets, one on the bed, one in the wash and one ready to go onto the bed, this way you can rotate the bedding with ease and ensure that each week you change the bedding to help it last that bit longer.

Another good option to help your duvet covers last that bit longer and reduce the amount of wear you put on them is to consider placing a flat sheet between your duvet and your bottom sheet. So essentially when you go to bed at night, you are sleeping between two sheets with your duvet on the top. This reduces how much the duvet is worn and can help it last for many years, keeping it in good condition.

As you have probably noticed when shopping around for duvet covers, these come in a variety of different materials from luxurious high quality Egyptian cotton to affordable poly-cotton blends. Each one has its own care instructions, which is why it’s so important to read the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on washing temperatures, tumble drying and more.

It’s always recommended that duvet covers thrive for longer when they are allowed to dry naturally outdoors. Wherever possible put your bedding on an outside washing line to dry rather than relying on a tumble dryer. If you do use a tumble dryer, don’t dry out the material completely as this will cause creases which are impossible to iron out and you have already noticed that to get a crisp and beautiful bed, you want a smooth cover that looks spectacular when you walk into the room.

In order to help your duvet cover live for years, you will want to iron it before folding it and placing it in a dry storage until you are ready to use it. Don’t rely on bathroom cupboards as storage for your bedding, with the heat in the bathroom these items can become musky to the smell, making them exceptionally unwelcome when you put them on your bed.

The good news is that even the cheapest bedding can be made to last longer if you take the time and dedication to care for it properly. As mentioned, try have three sets at all times, it will make it much easier to swap them around, ensuring you always have a clean set to put onto the bed.

Duvet covers should be removed and new ones placed at least once per week, you may want to change your bedding twice per week during the hotter summer periods. Pillow cases should be changed every couple of days, along with your sheets.

Ensure when you purchase any bedding, whether online or in store that you are aware of what material they are made of. When they arrive, always wash and dry the bedding before putting it on the bed for the first time. Always iron your bedding for a smoother and sleeker finish.