3 Tips For Deep Cleaning Your Vinyl Blinds

Posted by on November 23, 2016 in Blog, Home & Garden | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Deep Cleaning Your Vinyl Blinds

If you have vinyl blinds that need a good deep cleaning, there are certain things that you can do to clean them as successfully as possible. This article will discuss 3 tips for deep cleaning your vinyl blinds.  Soak Them In Your Tub An effective way to deep clean your blinds is going to be to take them all down and one by one place them inside of your tub to soak. You will simply want to fill the tub with warm water and add some dish soap. This is going to help to break down all of the buildup on your blinds before you ever even touch them. Once you have allowed the blinds to soak for an hour or so, you will then use a wash cloth or scrubbing brush to remove anything that is still stuck onto your vinyl blinds. Once you are done, you can simply dry them off, hang them up, and then repeat the process with all of the other blinds in your home.  Take Them Outside And Hose Them Off  If your blinds are exceptionally dirty, then it may be better for you to take them outside to clean them. Doing this allows you to use your hose on them, and potentially use a pressurized nozzle on them that allows you to spray off dirt, bug guts, and other stains. Because you don’t want your blinds to be damaged while they are being cleaned outside, you are going to want to make sure that you place them inside of something that won’t scratch them, such as a kiddie pool. You will also want to make sure that you don’t put too much pressure on them using your hose nozzle, because this could cause them to become bent and/or broken.  Use A Dusting Spray When They are Clean  Once your vinyl blinds are completely clean, you are going to want to carefully dry them off using a towel. When your blinds have dried off all of the way, you will then want to spray them with a dusting spray. This is a spray that is going to help stop dust and dirt from sticking to your blinds. This effectively keeps them cleaner for a longer period of time. This is incredibly beneficial for you because it means that you aren’t going to have to take them down and deep clean them as often as you would otherwise have to.  For more information on caring for blinds, contact a company like House Of...

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3 Reasons To Buy New Windows Before The Winter

Posted by on November 23, 2016 in Blog, Home & Garden | Comments Off on 3 Reasons To Buy New Windows Before The Winter

Many people put off buying new windows for their homes, but if you haven’t replaced your windows in years, it might be a good idea to replace them before the temperatures plunge too much this winter. Even though it can be a costly investment, there are a few reasons why you might want to consider doing so. 1. Reduce Your Heating Bills This Winter So many people dread paying their heating bills during the winter. If you are worried about the cost of replacing your windows, you should know that you can get some of that money right back in savings on your heating bill. New windows can help keep your home properly sealed against the cold wind and temperatures during the winter, which means that your heating system will not have to work so hard to keep your home nice and warm. Over time, you might be surprised by how much you can save on your heating bills because of your new windows. You can also save money on your cooling bills when the spring and summer months roll around, too. In addition to keeping your heating and cooling bills down, it’s a good way to keep your family more comfortable, too. 2. Get a Tax Credit Did you know that you could be eligible for a tax credit if you install new windows in your home before December 31, 2016? This means that now is a great time to install windows if you are planning on doing so sometime in the near future anyway. When you do, make sure that you keep all of your receipts and turn them into your tax preparation professional. 3. Make Your Home Look Great for the Holidays Older windows can be a real eyesore and can make your home look old and outdated, even if you have taken great care of it otherwise. If you are planning on decorating your home for the holidays, or if you are going to be inviting people over to your home for the holiday season, you probably want it to look its best. Luckily, installing new windows is a great way to make the outside of the home looks as polished as possible. As you can see, now is a great time to buy new windows for your home, if you have not already. consider talking to a window installation professional like http://kcglassinc.com/ to get a price quote for installing all new windows in your...

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4 Smart Strategies For Protecting Home Interiors From Damaging UV Rays

Posted by on October 27, 2016 in Blog, Home & Garden | Comments Off on 4 Smart Strategies For Protecting Home Interiors From Damaging UV Rays

If you’re like most homeowners, you want your furniture, wall art, paint, and flooring to remain in the best possible shape for as long as possible. One of the best ways to preserve home interiors is to ensure that damaging UV rays are kept at a minimum. However, no one wants to live in a darkened cave, which is why homes have windows. Following are four smart strategies designed to keep harmful UV rays from prematurely fading or discoloring your furnishings, floor, and art.  Blackout Linings If you like the look of long, formal drapes in your living room, consider having your drapes fitted with blackout linings. A good blackout lining allows homeowners to use the material of their choice when making drapery selections. These linings come in a variety of thicknesses and strengths for different locations. For instance, you’ll need much stronger UV protection in a south-facing window than you would for its counterpart on the opposite end of the home. For areas that don’t need maximum UV protection, you can always opt for draperies with thermal backing. If you live in a hot desert climate and need as much protection as you can get, a combination of blackout lining and thermal-backed drapes provides ultimate UV blockage.  UV-Resistant Fabric Like clothing, curtains are also available in UV-resistant fabric, including classic materials for curtains such as cotton and linen. These can be excellent choices for kitchen and bedroom windows where you don’t want the fuss of liners or screens. You can also purchase sprays at local home and garden retailers designed to add a layer of UV protection to your curtains, but keep in mind that you’ll have to reapply these sprays frequently for continued maximum efficiency.  UV-Resistant Blinds and Shades  These provide an excellent alternative to windows that aren’t suitable for formal draperies. Although any blinds or shades will successfully block out some of the sun’s damaging UV rays, those treated with UV protectorates do a far better job. They also allow you to use the curtains of your choice in your window treatments rather than switching to those with built-in UV blockers in the fabric. Keep these blinds and shades pulled down between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, when UV rays are at their strongest.  UV-Resistant Window Film  If you’re the type who loves letting the sun shine in certain rooms of the home, UV-resistant window tints may be just what you need. One of the major benefits of UV-resistant window tinting is that it requires no effort on your part, such as remembering to pull down shades or close curtains or drapes.     ...

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Tomato, Tomahto? Tips And Tricks For Growing Tomatoes

Posted by on September 29, 2016 in Blog, Home & Garden | Comments Off on Tomato, Tomahto? Tips And Tricks For Growing Tomatoes

A delicious fruit, tomatoes are famously good for growing yourself due to their ease of growth and the (relatively) small size of their plants. But being relatively easy to grow doesn’t mean that you can just plunk a few seeds into some soil, pour some water on it, and automatically reap red, juicy tomatoes right off the bat – as with many hobbies, things that seem simple are rarely as easy as they may appear. So if you’re looking to grow your own tomatoes but have never done it before, then here are a few tips and tricks to get you garden-fresh fruits in no time. Let There Be Light Tomatoes want full sun, all the time (or, rather, for around two-thirds of the day), so putting them in your kitchen window probably isn’t the best move. While the ideal place for tomatoes is outside, as that way they’ll catch the sun’s rays no matter where it is in the sky, if you don’t have the room for a backyard garden, you’ll want to invest in a plant light. These portable little lamps simulate the sun’s rays and should be placed no more than a few inches from your little seedlings (so that your tomato stalks grow stocky, not spindly). You’ll want to adjust the light as your seedlings grow to keep it a few inches from the plant at all times, but the result will be strong, hearty tomato plants that can fully support the growing fruit. Water Like You Mean It As much as tomatoes like sun and heat, they like water even better – so water your plants regularly. Missing a day or a week and then overwatering will lead to cracked fruit (and possibly even fruit with blossom rot on their ends) with little flavor. When you’re watering, ensure that you water deep – tomato plants have deep roots – and avoid getting the water on the leaves. Though you may think that watering the leaves is a good way to keep them hydrated, it will actually just waterlog them, leading to fewer tomatoes and an overall unhealthy plant. Trim the Small Leaves Those small leaves that grow in the juncture between the stalk and an off-shooting branch won’t grow you any fruit, but they do take up essential nutrients that your tomatoes need to both survive and thrive. Taking a few seconds to prune off those tiny leaves will not only make your plant look better, but also help to conserve nutrients so that your tomatoes get everything that they need. For more information, contact local professionals like Wild Geese...

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Why Does Your Peach Tree Have Few Or No Peaches?

Posted by on September 2, 2016 in Blog, Home & Garden | Comments Off on Why Does Your Peach Tree Have Few Or No Peaches?

If you have a peach tree in your yard, then, of course, you want it to bear delicious fruit. So it can be frustrating when fall arrives and there are only a few — if any — peaches on the tree. There are a number of reasons why your peach tree may not be giving you enough fruit. Here’s a look: It’s too old or too young. Peach trees don’t typically start producing fruit until they’re about three to four years old. The first few years, they may only produce a few peaches. So if your tree is relatively young, you might just need to be patient and wait for its production to pick up. The problem could also be that your tree is too old. Most only produce fruit for about 12 years. If you think your tree is too old, replacing it may be your best bet. You need a pollinating partner. Most peach trees are self-pollinating, which means the pollen from that same tree can be used to fertilize the ovum within the flower and produce a fruit. However, there are some peach varieties, like the J.H. Hale peach, which need to be pollinated by another tree of a different variety in order to produce fruit. Other peach varieties produce some, but not a lot, of fruit without a partner. If you only have one peach tree and it’s not producing peaches, planting a second peach tree may give it a pollinating partner and increase your fruit production. You haven’t pruned it properly. Peach trees should be pruned each spring before the buds appear. This gets rid of the old, non-productive branches so that the newer branches have more resources left. If you have not pruned your tree, its water and nutrients may simply be spread too thin for it to produce a lot of peaches. Pruning the tree too late in the season after buds have already appeared can also harm production. Have a landscaping professional come prune your tree each spring, and you’ll likely see an increase in production. If you choose to prune the tree yourself, remember to focus on removing the older, woodier branches and leaving the new, green branches behind. It needs more water. Peach trees need plenty of water in order to make big, juicy peaches. The younger the tree, the more shallow its room system. So younger trees need even more water than older ones since they can’t extract water from deep down in the soil. Try watering your tree whenever the soil around it starts to feel dry. Apply the water directly to the soil rather than spraying the tree. You don’t want to get the branches wet, as this can increase the chances of a fungal infection. If your peach tree is still not producing after you address the issues on this list, talk to a tree care company like A-1 Expert Tree Service for more...

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3 Regular Maintenance Tasks For Your Driveway Sliding Gate

Posted by on August 7, 2016 in Blog, Home & Garden | Comments Off on 3 Regular Maintenance Tasks For Your Driveway Sliding Gate

Your driveway sliding gate is great for improving curb appeal and protecting your family. However, if you want it to continue looking good and if you want to keep it working properly, it is important to maintain it regularly. These are three routine maintenance tasks that you should be doing often to keep your driveway sliding gate in tip-top shape. 1. Clean it Up First of all, you will probably want to wash your driveway sliding gate on a regular basis to keep it looking good. It only makes sense that it can get dirty from dirt, dust, pollen and more, but spraying off your sliding gate with a water hose on a frequent basis should be enough to get rid of most of this debris. Periodically, you may want to use either a pressure washer or a brush and a bucket of soapy water for a more thorough clean. Then, you can improve the way that your gate looks when you and your guests approach your home, and you can prevent stains or corrosion that can be caused by debris, too. 2. Lubricate Moving Parts The moving parts on your driveway sliding gate opener should be well-lubricated so that they can do their job properly without getting hung up and without becoming worn out prematurely. After cleaning your driveway sliding gate, use a spray-on lubricant to thoroughly grease all of the moving parts. 3. Take Pest Control Measures Another thing that many people don’t think about is the way that pests, such as insects, can have an impact on driveway sliding gates. It is obviously not abnormal to see insects and other pests on and around your driveway sliding gate, but these pests can cause more of a problem than you might think. For example, a spiderweb can cause a short-circuit, and ant hills can put pressure on your driveway sliding gate’s moving parts and cause problems. To help prevent these issues, consider using an outdoor pest spray on and around your gate to help keep these pests at bay. Along with preventing problems with the sliding gate, this can also help prevent you from having to come in contact with pests when you are around your gate. As you can see, there are a few regular maintenance tasks that you should be doing when it comes to your driveway sliding gate. As long as you do these three things on a regular basis, you should be able to keep your gate in its best possible condition for a long time to come. Contact a company like Perimeter Security Systems for more...

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Interested In Growing Trees Of High Value? 3 Reasons To Look Into Chestnut Trees

Posted by on July 19, 2016 in Blog, Home & Garden | Comments Off on Interested In Growing Trees Of High Value? 3 Reasons To Look Into Chestnut Trees

Most people use their home for shelter and safety. But, some people transform their home into something that provides even more, such as income from a rental basement or as a food producer. Growing trees into maturity will increase the value of the house, but this does not give you continuous returns. It is possible to grow trees that produce fruit or nuts, which you can then benefit from in several ways. Although your options are vast, you should look into chestnut trees for a few convincing reasons. Hybrid as an Option Chestnut trees used to dominate the land, but this all came to an end with a blight on these beauties. This is the time in which they are being revived and grown all throughout America again. It is an opportunity for you to become a part of this movement that has become possible due to a hybrid variation. Its newfound resistances now allow it to thrive in landscaping without constantly worrying about problems. Great Retail Value While you might not want to make a business out of growing profitable trees on your property, this does not mean you should stray away from making any kind of money from growing them. With the retail price of chestnuts being around $5 per pound, you can expect local farmers’ markets to charge a little more. If you were to get a spot at one of these markets or partner up with an existing merchant, you could make some easy money. Growing several trees will only increase your earning potential with selling chestnuts. Healthy Eating Roasted chestnuts are quite a thing during the holidays. As with most nuts, they are a healthy food. Some key points include helping with your digestive health by giving you lots of the daily fiber you need. Additional benefits come from manganese, copper, and B vitamins that all have different effects. Although these nuts are most known in their roasted form, they have plenty of other cooking uses. If you love baking, you can turn them into flour to give baked goods such as cakes and breads a whole different flavor. Liking the taste of chestnuts is not a requirement to enjoy the benefits of growing them in your backyard. But, if you do, you will have lots of fun finding various ways to use chestnuts once they start producing. Getting professional help in the beginning will ensure proper planting and spacing, so contact tree planting services in your area when you’re ready to...

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Five Steps To Preparing Your House For Termite Tenting

Posted by on June 23, 2016 in Blog, Home & Garden | Comments Off on Five Steps To Preparing Your House For Termite Tenting

If you’ve never had your house treated for termites before, preparing your home for the treatment can be a bit stressful. But if you start well in advance and prepare thoroughly before the treatment goes forward, you can reduce the stress and ensure that nothing gets overlooked. Check with your pest control professional for information on what to expect on treatment day and use these five steps to make sure all your belongings are ready for the treatment. 1. Identify everything that will have to be bagged Since termite tenting involves the use of chemicals, it’s recommended that you place certain items in bags before the treatment to prevent chemicals from infiltrating them. These items include not only food items but also any items that will be consumed, such as medications. Inventory all the items in your house that fall under any of these categories and aren’t sealed (i.e. they came in a non-airtight box) or don’t still have the manufacturer’s seal: Foods  Pet foods Medications Dental hygiene items Anything else that will be consumed 2. Bag things up on a schedule Of course you can’t bag all your food up a week in advance or you’ll be eating out of bags all week, unnecessarily increasing your stress level. However, you can start bagging up some things early; for example, things that you aren’t going to use before the termite treatment can be bagged up now. Make up a schedule that delineates when you’ll bag each group of items, ending with the food you plan to eat the morning before the tenting. Then follow your schedule, carefully encasing the groups of items in plastic bags, sealing them, and then double-bagging them and sealing them again for good measure. 3. Identify and make plans for everything that will have to be removed In addition to yourself and your family, you’ll need to get out everything in your house that’s alive (other than the termites, of course). This includes your furry pets, any reptiles and fish, birds, and even your kid’s ant farm as well as all house plants (not the fake ones, though. They’ll be fine as long as they aren’t alive to begin with). If you have pets you may want to consider staying at a pet-friendly hotel with them or sending them to a boarding kennel, unless you have a relative or neighbor whose house they can stay at until it’s safe to go back. 4. Open doors, close windows, and turn everything off Make sure everything is turned off before you leave, even small things like pilot lights. In addition, you’ll need to make sure all doors are opened between rooms (not the outside doors) to allow circulation and make sure outside windows are closed. Use these three steps to thoroughly prepare for your upcoming termite treatment. Be sure to create a master checklist so you can visually assure yourself that everything is taken care of before you leave for the hotel....

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Tips For Being Able To Sleep Successfully On An Airplane

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Blog, Home & Garden | Comments Off on Tips For Being Able To Sleep Successfully On An Airplane

When you’re packing for a flight, a travel pillow is a must-have item — especially if you hope to catch some shut-eye at some point on the airplane. With a travel pillow around your neck, you don’t have to worry about straining your neck muscles as you attempt to hold a comfortable position for sleeping. Once you’ve adjusted your seat belt for comfort, placed the travel pillow around your neck and are ready for some rest, there are a number of strategies you can adopt to increase your likelihood of sleeping soundly. Here are some ideas. Put Your Earbuds In Traveling with earbuds can dramatically increase your ability to sleep on an airplane. Some passengers favor listening to relaxing music, whether it’s sounds from nature or simply something from the easy listening genre. Even if you don’t have anything to listen to, donning your earbuds can be useful. They’ll partially block some of the noise in the airplane cabin, while also sending a message to those around you that you don’t wish to be disturbed — with your earbuds in place and your eyes closed, flight attendants and fellow passengers aren’t likely to talk to you. Get The Right Refreshments Be conscious about what refreshments you enjoy before you plan to drift off to sleep. Substances with caffeine, such as coffee and soda, are best to avoid as they can make you feel less drowsy. Some travelers opt for decaffeinated tea; chamomile, if it’s available, is known for helping people get to sleep. (You can always play it safe and pack a bag of chamomile tea in your carry-on bag and simply ask for some hot water.) Think twice about eating the provided snacks on the plane. In many cases, they’re salty, and it can be easy to focus on the salt making you thirsty, which isn’t conducive to drifting off to sleep. Ask For A Blanket Many flights are equipped with blankets, so make sure that you ask for one as soon as you board the plane and get settled in your seat. The use of a blanket can not only provide warmth for your arms and legs if it’s cool on the airplane, but also help you feel cozy to help you drift off to sleep. Some passengers will even pull the blanket over their heads to block out the light, which also sends a clear message that you don’t wish to be disturbed. Companies like Space Sleeper Pillow also offer products to help you sleep while...

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Stone Counter Stain Guide

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Blog, Home & Garden | Comments Off on Stone Counter Stain Guide

A stone countertop is an attractive and durable addition to any kitchen, but taking care of it can be a concern. Stone is a large investment, so it makes sense that you want it to last a lifetime. Knowing the tricks to preventing stains and keeping the countertop clean are keys to a gorgeous countertop. The following guide can help. Do stone countertops need any type of treatment? Your counter should have been sealed at the time of installation. Most suppliers or installers apply several layers of a durable stone sealer. You can verify the counter was sealed by dribbling water on it – if the water beads up then the countertop is sealed; if it soaks in, the counter needs a sealant application. The counter will also need periodic resealing. As soon as you notice water beginning to soak in instead of bead, either have a technician apply sealant or purchase a do-it-yourself stone sealant kit and apply it yourself. How can stains be removed? No matter how careful you are, eventually you will end up with a stain. Common stains like coffee, tea, juice, or wine can typically be removed with a soft cloth soaked in ammonia or hydrogen peroxide. Soap scum that is too difficult to rinse off can also be cleaned with this solution. What about more severe stains? Ammonia and peroxide may not remove all stains. For more stubborn stains, mix whiting powder with water to form a paste. Soak a couple of sheets of cheesecloth in the paste and lay them over the stain, using the cheesecloth as a poultice. Leave the poultice in place for a couple of days, changing it out if it becomes discolored. Check often and remove the poultice once the stained area has lightened to the color of the surrounding counter. Reseal afterward. Is there a way to renew dull counters? If the counters just appear to have an overall layer of grime that won’t come off, or if they seem scratched and dull, you need to invest in a superfine steel wool. You can then buff the counters lightly with the steel wool to remove the small scratches that are dulling the surface and catching dirt. You will need to reseal the countertops after this treatment. If you have more questions about caring for your stone countertops, contact a company like Artisan Granite & Marble in your area. They can help you fix many issues that can affect your...

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