Keeping the Story Alive with New Upholstery

Keeping the Story Alive with New Upholstery

Mistakes That Bring The Bed Bugs Home With You

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When you’re on vacation, there is a risk that you will bring bed bugs home with you. Even five-star hotels are not immune to this problem. Luckily, there are mistakes some vacationers make that significantly increase their odds of bringing bed bugs home and if you avoid these mistakes, you will not need to call an exterminator. Not Heading to the Bathroom Immediately place your luggage in the bathroom, since this is the place you are the least likely to find bed bugs. Then, you can perform an inspection for blood stains, bed bug carcasses or even live bed bugs. Not Checking Under the Right Objects Lift and look underneath furniture and other items in the room. Make sure to lift the mattress in your room to make sure bed bugs aren’t hiding underneath. If there is a rug, check underneath. Look at the crevices behind the baseboards. Also, if there are any pictures, check behind them. Not Inspecting Your Luggage Always look at your luggage before you leave the hotel room. Bed bugs commonly hitch rides on clothing. Travel to a laundry room and toss all of your clothes into the washing machines. Unpack your luggage in a garage and inspect your clothing and other belongings to make sure that you did not miss any bed bugs. As soon as possible, take off and launder the clothes you are wearing. Not Using a Mattress Encasement Bring a mattress encasement with you. These are products that will cover the mattress so that any bed bugs hiding within will not be able to escape and bite you. The encasement should have a zipper that seals the bed bugs inside. Not only will the bed bugs not bite you, but they will eventually die. Not Cleaning Your Living Space Keep your home tidy and free from clutter, especially in living spaces. For example, if there is room in a storage shed, place more belongings there. Each hiding place in a living space will attract bed bugs. Bringing Home Used Furniture Consider not purchasing used furniture if you frequent a second hand shop or antique shop on your vacation, since some pieces have hidden bed bugs. If you feel the need to, inspect the piece thoroughly and clean it as well as possible to eliminate any hiding bed bugs. Despite your best efforts, if you still bring bed bugs into your home, you will want to contact bed bug exterminators. These pests are notoriously difficult to eliminate and will need the best treatment options available....

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Tips To Help Ensure Your Emergency Lighting System Functions Correctly

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The interior of your building requires a complex system of lighting to ensure that everyone inside is able to clearly see. Unfortunately, power outages and disasters can strike, and it is important for you to ensure that people inside the building are able to see well enough to safely exit the building. To this end, emergency lighting can be an excellent option, but if you are not familiar with these systems, you may benefit from following these couple of tips to ensure that these lights activate when you need them the most: Create An Emergency Lighting Test Schedule Ideally, you would want to perform a comprehensive test on this lighting system at least once a month to ensure that it is working properly, and you will want to thoroughly document this testing because if someone is injured you may not be liable if you can prove you were taken reasonable precautions. When you are doing this inspection, turn off every light in the building and activate the emergency lights. Walk through the entire building and mark down any lights that are not functioning correctly.  Often, these lights may be malfunctioning due to dust accumulations or loose connections. After you have turned the lights back on, dust and check the connections on any lights that were not functioning correctly. If these steps fail to fix the problem, you should contact a professional electrician to determine the source of the problem.  Ensure Each Light Is Protected From Power Surges Many building owners fail to appreciate the threat that power surges can pose to their emergency lighting systems. However, an electrical surge can destroy these systems because while they operate on batteries, they are still connected to your building’s power grid.  To ensure that a lightning strike or some other power surge does not destroy this lighting system, you will need to either install a whole building surge suppression system or install these devices for each emergency light. While this may seem like an unnecessary expense given the low likelihood of a power surge occurring, the liability concerns make this investment more than worth it. If the lights in the building go out and your lighting system fails to work, you may be liable for any injuries that occur as people exit the building.  Installing an emergency lighting system is an important step for ensuring the safety of those inside your structure. By following the tips of testing your system at least once a month and protecting the lights from power surges, you should find yourself in a stronger position to ensure that power failures do not pose a risk to those inside your building. Contact a company such as A-1 Fire Protection LLC to learn...

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Drought-Friendly Lawn Maintenance

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There are severe water shortages in many parts of the country, and improper lawn maintenance can be a significant drain on municipal water supplies. While lawns can waste resources and damage the environment, they don’t have to. When properly managed, a residential lawn composed of balanced soil and the right species of grass can be functional and attractive while conserving natural resources. Managing the Soil Soil management is an important part of any lawn maintenance program, including lawns in drought-prone areas. Healthy soil allows plants’ root systems to grow and develop, and strong roots help keep plants alive during times of drought. Thatch, compaction, soil composition and poor pH can all have damaging effects on the health of your soil. However, practices such as aerating, de-thatching, liming and composting can help provide ideal growing conditions. Water Conservation A primary reason why lawns are vilified during droughts is that some homeowners waste a substantial amount of water keeping them green. Managing water usage can dramatically reduce a healthy lawn’s water needs. By installing an automatic irrigation system, you can maximize efficiency by only watering your grass and not the driveway. With a timer, you can customize your irrigation program to your needs, your climate, grass species and soil type. Grasses That Tolerate Drought By choosing drought-tolerant grass, you’ll use less water than with other turf species. These grasses can withstand long periods without water, and their characteristics have been enhanced through selective breeding. The most drought-tolerant species are buffalograss, fescue and bluegrass, but any grass is only as good as the soil in which it’s planted. Before planting new grass, have your soil tested for proper pH and other attributes. Alternatives to Lawns If you live in an area severely stricken by drought, it may be best to not start a new lawn at all. There are many ways to provide ground cover and interesting texture that require little to no supplemental watering. Xeriscaping is a popular landscaping method that uses plants requiring little water, which may be appealing to those in drought situations. Many parts of the United States are in the midst of severe water shortages, and lawn maintenance is one of the first industries affected in a drought. By managing your soil, conserving water, choosing drought tolerant grasses, or considering a landscaping method such as Xeriscape, you can have an attractive yard while conserving water and helping the environment.  To learn more, visit a website...

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How To Give Your Master Bedroom An Elegant Look

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Are you moving into a brand new house or are you simply redecorating your present master bedroom? Either way, if you have chosen an elegant mood, here are some ideas that might inspire you to create something lovely and unique. Borrow From Your Living Room – If you have an elegant living room, you will probably be able to get some great ideas by just walking into the room to assess what you have done to make it special. Consider the installation of a formal chandelier. Italian glass, crystal or porcelain would all be incredible. An impressive touch would be to select a chandelier with small lamp shades on it.  Selecting original oil or water color paintings that you place in heavy gold frames would definitely add formality to your room. Even children’s artwork that has been framed with the right mat and a gorgeous frame would be stunning. Enhance the art with sconces that will add soft lighting.  Select The Flooring – Of course, even the flooring you select will help to add formality and elegance to your bedroom. Carpet would be lovely in your formal bedroom. Carpet is affordable and because of state-of-the-art technology, it is now easier to maintain. If you have allergies, even allergen-free carpets are available.  Marble or tile would also be fabulous. However, if you want something truly unique, consider selecting concrete which you or a professional artist can faux paint. You can give the concrete the appearance of marble or tile and save some money. In addition, consider selecting the look of an intricate Oriental rug. For added warmth, consider adding smaller area rugs placed in strategic places, like under a side table or at the foot of the bed. Choose The Window Treatments – Besides adding beauty to your master bedroom, you’ll want a treatment that lets in the sunshine or leaves your room completely dark. Wooden shutters would be absolutely beautiful, especially if you choose a rich wood. Dark brown or eggshell white or soft caramel would both be wonderful choices and they would all go with anything else you select for your decor. Another great choice would be to select drapes made of fabrics like damask, polished cotton, silk or taffeta. If you want something very unique, consider a subtle stripe paired with a floral valance, or vice versa. Another consideration is to select a design that allows the cloth to pool on the floor. Think about choosing hardware that will complement the light fixtures you selected. Enjoy creating an elegant look in your master bedroom. For more ideas, look...

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Why You Need To Be Diligent About Cleaning Your Gutters

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If you own a home, you are responsible for the maintenance to keep everything working properly. Part of this maintenance is keeping your gutters clean. If you currently do not clean out your gutters twice a year, it can lead to many problems, which are listed below. Pests You may end up with an infestation of mosquitoes, or even worse, termites, if you have faulty gutters. These pests need water to live, and it will not take long for them to find it near your home. Mosquitoes can cause disease, such as malaria and dengue fever. If your roof is damaged enough to cause even small holes, mice can get through them easily. They are first attracted to the water, and once they are on your roof, they will look around for a way into your attic. Mice can eat through the installation in your attic as well as chew through electrical wires and any personal items you have stored up there. Roof Damage Gutters are placed along the edge of your roof, and if they are clogged, the water lies right up against the roof, which can cause it to rot. If the water continues to rise, it will flow under the shingles, and then pressed the water against the plywood, which is the foundation for your roof. If not take care of, this plywood will rot, causing not only damage but also water in your attic. Cracked Foundation When the water falls to the ground next to your foundation due to faulty gutters, it will cause the soil underneath the foundation to settle in that area. When this happens, the foundation can crack. Walk around the foundation and inspect it closely. Besides seeing cracks, you may notice the floor inside your basement slopes or is uneven, or you may notice cracks inside the basement on the walls and floors. Basement When water runs down the side of your home to your foundation, it can leak through the foundation wall. If this happens, the water goes directly into your basement. If you do not have a basement, it will go into the crawl space under your home. You may not notice water immediately in your basement, but if you see mold and mildew growing on the walls and ceilings, a musty smell, rust on the fuse boxes, or wetness on the walls, you need to investigate. These problems can be expensive to repair, so take time to clean your gutters twice a year. A good time to do it is at the beginning of spring to remove any debris that may have collected during the winter weather, and then again at the end of fall to remove leaves and other debris that may have built up. Talk to a company like Conifer Gutter Service for more...

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Troubleshooting Frequent Issues With The Fire-Tube Designed Boiler

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The fire-tube designed boiler was a common staple in older businesses and homes because it was quite efficient at producing both hot water and heat with various type of fuel from wood fire and coal to natural gas and propane. If you have one of the outdated boilers in your home or business, when something goes wrong it can be almost as bad as trying to diagnose a dinosaur, because the design is a concept that is now unfamiliar to most average people. Here are a few of the most common problems the fire-tube boiler can have and your guide to either making repairs on your own or getting in touch with a professional who can.  Problem: No steam is being released through the steam release valve. Solution: The steam that is release from this valve is what essentially heats your home. If you have no steam, you have no heat. Therefore, you will have to get the problem addressed right away. This could be related to lost water in the tank, but may also be a clog in the steam release valve. If you suspect the release valve is clogged, it is crucial that you open the pressure release and cut fuel or power to the boiler until a professional arrives. Otherwise, a lot of pressure could build up in the tank, which will be a safety concern. Problem: The water coming from the fire-tube boiler is only barely warm. Solution: Low water temperature from the boiler usually means that one of more heating elements inside of the pressure vessel tank are damaged or not working. You will likely have to have a contractor come out and take a look to determine which one is faulty. Problem: Pilot light will not stay lit for more than a few seconds. Solution: If your boiler has a standing pilot light in the fire box, not staying lit is usually a sign that the flame is not getting enough oxygen. Thoroughly clean the area of any dust, dirt, or debris that could be blocking airflow.  Problem: Pressure release valve will not close. Solution: With outdated versions of the fire-tube boiler still hanging around after a lot of years, it is not uncommon for some of the most basic parts to see signs of damage. If you have a pressure release valve that is stuck in the on position, it is likely that it will have to be replaced. Remove the connecting power source from the unit and make sure the pilot light is out before calling a contractor. When you become a little more familiar with boiler repair issues that the fire-tube boiler can have, you will be better equipped to handle an issue when it comes up. Remember, however, if you are ever in doubt or do not feel comfortable tackling a problem on your own, a heating contractor will have the experience necessary to help you...

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Proper Placement Of Interior Light Fixtures: 4 Tips

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Finding the perfect lighting for your home may come easily to you, but what about proper placement of these light fixtures. Proper placement such as how high and where in the room your light fixture should be placed is very important, not just for looks, but for safety concerns as well. See below for tips on the proper placement of your lighting in different rooms and areas of your home. 1. Kitchen Over The Table. When putting a light fixture over the table, you should measure your table and subtract 12 inches. This will give you the length that your light fixture should be. It shouldn’t be any wider than this measurement. This is to prevent your family and guests from bumping their heads on the edge of your light fixture. There should be between 28 and 32 inches of space between the top of your table and the bottom of your light fixture. Again, this is to prevent anyone from bumping their heads and will help give the room plenty of light. You can use a large hanging pendant light, chandelier, or ceiling fan over your kitchen table. Kitchen Island Or Breakfast Bar. Lighting in this area needs proper placement, again to prevent anyone from hitting their heads. These lights should be at least 28 and 34 inches above the counter and at least 72 inches off of the floor. You want your lights high enough so that they aren’t in your eye-line. Kitchen island/breakfast bar lighting can be anything from one to three pendant lights, to a long pendant chandelier.   2. Foyer The placement of your foyer light depends on the height of your foyer. For single story homes, your light should be between 80 and 84 inches off of the floor. For two story homes, your light should be no lower than your second story floor. For second story homes that have a window, place your light fixture in the center of that window so it can be viewed from outside. Foyer lighting can be hanging pendant lights, chandeliers or flush mount ceiling lights. Use something bold, as this is the first thing you see when you walk in the door.  3. Bathroom You can have multiple lights in your bathroom. A light along with your ventilation fan can be flush mounted and centered in the room or near the shower. You can also have wall sconce lighting or pendant lights. These lights are more for looks, rather than to provide the room with light. They can be placed 60 inches off of the floor and placed 28 inches apart, on either side of your bathroom mirror. You can also use flush mount vanity lighting above your bathroom mirror. 4. Bedroom Bedroom lights can be hung either in the center of the room or above your bed. Your light should be at least 7 feet off of the floor. If above the bed, you should have at least six inches of room in between your head and the bottom of the light fixture when kneeling on the bed. Bedroom light fixtures can be anything from a ceiling fan to pendant lighting to a romantic chandelier.  When shopping for home lighting fixtures, be sure to ask yourself how the room is being used, consider the space you have...

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Three Ways To Make The Most Of Your Lawn Sprinkler

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When you live in a hot, dry climate, it’s important to make sure that your lawn gets the moisture that it needs. A lawn sprinkler system allows you to spray water throughout your yard within just a few minutes. Use the following guide to learn how to use your sprinkler system as efficiently as you possibly can: Don’t Accidentally Over Saturate Your Lawn One of the biggest problems that arise from having a lawn sprinkler system is a homeowner forgetting that they have turned the system on. The system will continue to spray water onto the lawn until you remember to turn it off, which could lead to your lawn drowning and dying. There are timers that you can install on the system to keep this situation from occurring. You can set when you want the system to start spraying water and when you want it to stop. Ensure Sprinkler Heads Are Positioned Properly There are some sprinkler systems that have adjustable sprinkler heads. You want to be sure that the heads are positioned in such a way that your lawn is the only thing being sprayed by the water. To check to ensure that the heads are properly positioned, set the timer on the sprinkler system to start to spray at a specific time. Stand on the edge of your lawn roughly one minute before the system is set to start spraying. When the water starts spraying, look at the sprinkler heads and see where each head is spraying. Make a note of any heads that need to be repositioned and when the system stops spraying, reposition the heads accordingly. Check to Ensure the Heads Are Not Damaged There are times when sprinkler heads can become damaged by lawn mowers, children, or even animals. It is best to check the sprinkler heads every few weeks to ensure that they are not damaged. To check to see if a head is damaged, you can look at them closely with your naked eye and look to see if there is any noticeable damage. If a head is damaged, you can simply use a wrench to remove it from the system and replace it with a head that is not broken. A sprinkler system will allow you to provide your dry lawn with the hydration it needs to stay as healthy and strong as possible on even the hottest of days. There are water restrictions in some jurisdictions from time to time and the sprinkler system installation can be a great way to ensure that water is evenly spread throughout your yard, even when you can only use a limited amount of it at a...

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How To Install Solar Horizontal Blinds On Your Home Windows

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Summer will soon be here and people will want to find ways to keep their house cool without running up a high energy bill. An inexpensive way to keep a house cool is to install solar blinds on southern, eastern, and western facing windows. The solar blinds help keep your rooms cool by blocking the sun’s warm rays from entering into a room through a window – which also helps to reduce your energy costs during the summer time. Here is how to hang horizontal blinds using inside mounting brackets. You Will Need: Philips Screwdriver Marking Pencil Measuring Tape Toggle Bolts Plastic Expansion Anchors Install Inside Mounting Brackets Inside mounting brackets are used to attach the solar blinds completely within the window frame to give your blinds a sleek and thin appearance. You need to make sure you have at least ¾” of space between the window frame and window for the inside mounting brackets to fit properly. Measure 2 ½” in from each end at the top of window frame and mark the spots with your pencil – these are the spots where you are going to mount your two brackets onto the window frame. Place the two brackets on the underside of the top of the window frame and screw them in.  If you have wood frames, you can simply screw the brackets into place. If you are screwing the mounts into plaster, drywall, or some other building material, you may have to use plastic expansion anchors or toggle bolts to hold the screws in place.  Mount Blinds on Bracket The headrail is at the top of the blind and it holds the mechanical parts used to open and close the blinds. The headrail has clips on the top side that slide onto the brackets and lock into position. You slide the headrail on to the mounting brackets by lifting up on the bottom end of the headrail and sliding the top part over the arm of the brackets – when you hear a “click,” you know you’ve got in on right.   Install the adjustment wand to open and close the slats on the blinds by attaching it to a clip hanging from the headrail – the clip is located on the opposite side of the pull cord on the blind. Pull up and down on the pull cord to make sure the blinds rise up and down to make sure everything works well. Child Safety If you have small children living or visiting your house, you may want to make sure that the pull cord for the blind is kept out of reach to prevent an accident. You can bundle up the cord until it is out of reach of small children and attach a clothes pin or a paper clamp to hold the cord it in place. For more information about blinds styles and installation, contact a company like Brandt’s Interiors &...

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Repair And Repaint Your Seamless Gutters So That They Complement Your Home

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After having the outside of your home repainted, repair your seamless gutters and add a fresh coat of paint to them. Once finished, your gutter system will complement the way that your home looks and give it a fresh appearance.  Use The Following Items sandpaper (low and fine grit) hand sander epoxy sealant caulking gun water hose soapy water scrub brush ladder drop cloth paintbrush paint roller exterior paint bucket Sand Rusted Spots  If you have galvanized steel gutters, they may have rusted in some areas. Remove the rust by rubbing a hand sander over them. Attach a piece of low-grit paper to the sander to begin removing the spots. Once the surface of the steel feels smooth, lightly go over it with fine grit paper. Rinse the entire gutter system off with a garden hose. If any dirt stains are on the steel, use a scrub brush and soapy water to remove them. Wait for the gutter system to dry. Seal Cracks If some sections of the gutter system are cracked, repair them with epoxy sealant. Epoxy sealant is waterproof and easy to apply. Open the tube and place it in a caulking gun with the opening facing the tip of the gun. Squeeze the trigger and aim it at the areas you are repairing. Use a thin, even line of sealant for each one. The sealant will take a couple hours to dry. Paint The Gutter System Place a drop cloth under and around the gutter system. Apply exterior paint to the gutters with straight, even strokes. Use a small brush to cover any small details. A roller or standard paintbrush can be used to cover the rest. Move your ladder along the side of your home as you complete the project. Carry the paint up in a bucket so that it is easy to handle. After the paint dries, add an additional coat if the gutter system needs more coverage. Once you are finished painting, your home will look well taken-care-of, and the freshly painted gutters will help your home look newer. Keep Your Gutters Maintained Clean out your gutter system regularly to prevent damage in the future. Removing leaves and spraying off the inside and outside with a garden hose will keep it working the proper way. By taking good care of your gutter system, you won’t have to repaint any areas for several years. For more information, speak with experts like Rainbow Gutter...

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