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Four Plants That Tolerate The Frost

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you live in an area where the frost tends to linger on and you love having color in your flowerbeds, consider using these plants. While these plants can’t withstand the touch of winter itself, they can stand tall during early and late frosts. To view these flowers as long as possible, plant them where they will receive the most light during the reduced daylight of winter. You should also grow these plants out of the reach of harsh winds, as excessive winds will dry them out. Violets These small plants feature dark green, heart-shaped leaves and purple, yellow or white blooms. Violets need to be planted in moist, well-drained soil with steady access to the sun. Ideally planted near trees, violets are self-seeding and spread rapidly. If you would like to control where the violets seed, try to remove the seedpod before the seeds spread. Surrounding them with a garden barrier also helps to keep violets from spreading unchecked. Snapdragons Snapdragons are available in almost every color imaginable and are shaped like a dragon’s jaws. These plants enjoy full sun with well-drained soil. Snapdragon plants may require staking to remain upright. Snapdragons also benefit from pruning. Pruning will help them bush out instead of becoming tall and spindly. Remove dying blooms regularly to help preserve the health of the plant. You can prune snapdragons back after their first display of blooms to enjoy their flowers twice per year. Primrose Primroses are available in an amazing array of color combinations. They feature a rosette of green leaves and hold their flowers above the foliage. These flowers prefer lightly shaded locations with well-drained soil. You should regularly remove dead leaves and blooms to ensure the health of the plant. Placing mulch around the base of primrose plants can help them retain moisture and ensure their health. Primroses can be propagated using cuttings, though these plants spread relatively easily on their own. Nemesia Nemesia is similar to a ground cover and its blooms are reminiscent of orchids. It comes in blue, white and purple and does well as an edging or border plant. Nemesia prefers soil that is rich in organic material, so amending the soil with a little compost before planting is best. Add a layer of mulch around the base of the plants – this will insulate the plant’s roots and protect them from temperature fluctuations. If your nemesia stops blooming, just prune the plant back and the blooms will return in no time.  Contact a local landscape company, like Superior Lawn and Landscape, for more...

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Win The War Against Dandelions

Posted by on Oct 30, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Dandelions have a tap root system and are considered perennials, making them hardy weeds that are difficult to get rid of altogether. If dandelions are taking over your lawn, the following tips will help you eliminate them. Spray Commercial Pesticides Apply a small amount of a commercial pesticide directly on the stem of each dandelion. If you are using a product that contains harsh chemicals, put on a pair of gloves before spraying the dandelions so that your skin is not exposed to them. Chemical weed killers can be harmful to other plants in your yard, so cover any other plants in the vicinity with plastic sheeting or a lightweight vinyl tarp before treating the weeds. The weed killer may take a couple days to kill the dandelions. Observe each one in order to determine when it is dead. When this occurs, they will be wilted and laying across your lawn. At this point, they will be easy to pull out of the ground. Simply grasp each one by the stem and pull it upwards. Smother Them Plants need sunlight and oxygen in order to grow. If you cover the dandelions, they will eventually die. Place a piece of cardboard or plastic sheeting over the dandelions. Weigh the covering down by placing a layer of mulch or grass clippings over it. The covered area will blend in better with the rest of your yard if you use a natural material such as one of these. Check the status of the dandelions in a couple days to ensure that they have died. While using this method, be careful not to cover healthy portions of your yard. If you do, the grass blades may be susceptible to damage. After all of the dandelions have been eliminated, water your lawn regularly to maintain its health. Improve The Soil Most weeds live in areas where the soil’s nutrient content is low. If you improve the quality of the soil in your yard, the conditions will not be favorable for the weeds. Mow your grass to kill dandelions that are already present. Apply a layer of composted material across your lawn. You can make your own compost by adding organic materials to a covered bin and stirring the contents on a regular basis. Some materials that work well to make compost are vegetable peels, fruit rinds, egg shells, coffee grounds, and wood chips. Once the material has decomposed and is a dark, rich color, it will be ready for use. This could take several weeks. If you don’t have extra time to make compost, purchase compost from a business that sells landscaping materials.  Once you have eliminated the dandelions, keep your property maintained so that it continues to look great and provide you with a pleasant area to spend time in. For more information, contact a weed control supplier in your...

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3 Tips For Purchasing The Right Sewing Machine For Your Needs

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in Uncategorized |

In today’s tough economy, many consumers are looking to tighten the purse strings in inventive ways. One of the best ways to do this is by making and repairing your own clothes. With that being said, the person doing the sewing is only as good as the sewing machine they use. Below you will find a few tips for finding the best new sewing machine to meet your every need. Always Buy from the Dealer While it may be tempting to head out to the first chain store you can find, your best bet is to buy your sewing machine straight from the dealership. The reason for this is that the employees at a chain store are there to sell a product, nine times out of ten they are going to have no idea how to thread the machine much less answer your questions. When you buy from the dealer, you are getting service as well, most dealers will offer repairs, and a warranty on your new machine should something happen. When searching for a new sewing machine, make sure to ask if the dealer has a trade-in or trade-up policy so that you can move up when needed. Try it on for Size As with anything else you buy today, it’s a good idea to sit down at the sewing machine and give it a whirl before making a concrete decision. When you go to find a sewing machine, take swatches or samples of your own to test the machine out on. Some things you should look for when testing the machine are: How smoothly it runs Whether it makes a lot of noise when in operation Whether the feed dogs have plenty of control If it has enough tension That the quality of the stitches is excellent There are many other things that you need to consider when you are looking to purchase a sewing machine; however, these should be topmost in your mind. Don’t Skimp on the Quality While it is tempting to go for the most inexpensive machine on the market, remember you get what you pay for. While you don’t have to have a machine with all the bells and whistles, you do want one that is made well and built to last. If you don’t look for the cheapest car when you are in the market for a new one, then you shouldn’t look for the cheapest sewing machine. A quality sewing machine can do a lot for a household in these tough economic times. From not skimping on quality to trying the machine on for size, following these tips will have you sewing along happily in no time at...

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Plumbing Concerns You Might Benefit From Having Addressed

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in Uncategorized |

A plumbing issue can be a source of panic for many homeowners that are not familiar with the steps needed to manage some of the more common plumbing problems that may arise. Knowing how to address some routine plumbing problems that can arise in your home will make you a much more capable homeowner when it comes to avoiding disruptions and damages due to plumbing failures.  How Can You Clean Your Garbage Disposal? As time passes, your garbage disposal can accumulate vast amounts of food and other particulate matter in it. These accumulations can cause foul odors to come out of the your sink, and they may also lead to clogs and slow draining. Fortunately, you can easily clean the garbage disposal. To do this, you should pour at least a cup of baking soda down the garbage disposal followed by a cup of vinegar. The fizzing action created by these two substances will help to loosen any stuck food or grease. Once the fizzing has subsided, you should pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to rinse away any materials that are still around the garbage disposal.  Are There Any Warning Signs That Your Sewer Line Has Developed A Leak? A damaged sewer line can be a critical form of damage that your home can sustain. This type of damage can result in vast quantities of water spilling, and this may contaminate the soil in the area. Sadly, these lines are difficult to determine if they are damaged because they are buried, but there are still a couple of warning signs that may alert you to this damage.  If you notice the floor of your basement suddenly developing cracks or becoming uneven, this may indicate that the sewer line below the floor has ruptured. When this problem develops with the sewer line below the soil in your yard, you may notice that the grass starts to brown, the soil seems to sink lower than the surrounding area or standing water in the area. Once these issues have been observed, you should contact a plumber as soon as possible to have the sewer line inspected to verify if this is the source of the damage.  Plumbing issues can cause you to experience a tremendous amount of stress for a variety of reasons. In particular, you may not know how to handle some routine maintenance and repairs that your system will need. Considering these answers for questions about cleaning your garbage disposal and how to tell if a sewer line has ruptured will make preventative major plumbing complications much easier.  For professional plumbing services, contact a company such as Hilmans...

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Decorating Your New Basement Egress Window For Fire Safety

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you’re planning to turn your basement into usable living space, an emergency egress window is likely to be part of your plans. These are large windows designed to be set into the wall of the basement and used as a means of escape in the event of a fire. It’s a great idea, but it does change the look of your house. It’s important that any new landscaping or decor doesn’t interfere with the window’s function. Here are some things that you need to think about when landscaping or decorating around your new basement egress window. Disguise it, but don’t block it. From the inside of the basement, that big new window looks like a blank canvas. From the outside, it looks like a big hole with a window in it. Your first instinct may be to fill it with plants. The well around an egress window is a good place for small planters, but keep in mind that someone trying to escape from the basement needs to be able to scramble out of the window well. Use small planters, so that they can easily be moved out of the way. Ceramic pots can shatter and cause injury. You can also use plastic planters. They won’t detract from the appearance of your plantings since a person standing at ground level won’t see the actual container. Decorate the opening, but don’t impair its function. Planters that sit directly on the floor of the window well must not interfere with the escape function. Test this by putting the empty pots in their new locations, then using the exit window. Does the window still open all the way? Is it easy to get past the planter and up the side of the exit? Everyone who uses the basement needs to be able to get out this way, so take age, size, and physical ability into consideration. Family members need to get out, but firefighters need to get in. An exit window isn’t just for people trying to get out. If someone is trapped in the basement, or if the main entrances to the upstairs are engulfed in flames, it may be the only way for firefighters to get in. Make their job easier and safer by following these tips. Don’t hide the window with tall shrubs — first responders often work in dark, smoky circumstances. You want them to be able to help your family right away. If the window is separated from a walkway by a fence or other barrier, make sure that there is a clear area next to it so that a rescuer has a place to stand. Keep the floor under the window free of furniture and other obstacles. If a child or other family member needs to climb on something to use the exit, place a low, sturdy table at one side of the window. This allows egress without creating a hazard for rescuers. For more information on how to add an egress window to your basement, consider contacting a professional like those at Property Service Agency...

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Decorating Your Living Room On A Shoestring Budget

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in Uncategorized |

When you are in your mid-twenties to mid-thirties, you are likely still working to find yourself and develop the life that you want. This often means that you do not have the glamorous, high-paying job that you imagined when you watched shows like Sex and the City or Gossip Girl where young women magically had all the money in the world to decorate their fabulously large apartments. While you may not live in the TV fantasy world you dreamed of, you can still have a fabulous and trendy apartment even if you are on a shoestring budget with a few DIY projects and creativity. You just need to get a little creative and get yourself a few ideas of how to get started. So get started and decorate the room where you will spend the most time, especially with guests, your living room.  Get Some Cheap Side Tables and Get to Work To get your living room as fabulous as possible, you need to pay close attention to the details. One of the details you should be sure you focus on is your living room side tables.  However, just because it is an important detail doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money on it. Go out to garage sales, estate sales, antique shops, or unfinished furniture shops and find yourself a few cheap side tables. Do not worry about chipped paint, faded finish, or even the color of the tables, just be sure they are sturdy and structurally what you want.  Then, head to a hardware store. You will need sandpaper, paint, brushes, and, if you really want to get creative, other supplies like painting sponges and stencils. When you get your cheap side tables and supplies home, start by sanding the side tables down. You can do this by hand or use a sander as long as you get the paint and stain off of the original table. After your table is prepped, you can start painting. You can do a solid color, put on a base color coat and sponge over with different colors to add texture, or add stenciling to create contrast. You can be as creative and artistic as you want to be.  Use Wooden Crates As Bookcases Another inexpensive way to decorate your living room and display your book collection is to use cheap wooden crates as bookcases. You can stack your crates easily and as tall as you want.  If you do not like the unfinished look of standard woods crates, you can get some spray paint and make your new bookcases look however you want. Black or white work well against neutral walls and look much like the more expensive bookcases you can buy in stores. And, if you do not have a lot of books, you can use crate shelves to hold framed photos, artwork, and other decorative pieces you want to keep in your living room.  Now that you have a few ideas of how to live the fab life on a limited budget, you can get to decorating your living room and the rest of your apartment as well. Just remember you need to get creative and have fun with...

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Packing Materials Best Suited For Fragile Items

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Uncategorized |

When moving, you know how easily fragile items will break if not packed properly. What you may not know is which supplies are best suited for securing your breakable items. For this reason, you want to gather information about the packing supplies moving companies use so that you know what materials are best for your particular job. Paper Types Most fragile items need to be wrapped in some type of paper. When you pack your own belongings, it is tempting to use newspaper because it is easy to find and you can stockpile it when you know a move is coming. However, for many fragile items, the ink used on newspapers can damage your belongings. To reduce damage, many moving companies use nonreactive paper made from recycled materials. What makes this paper different is that it does not contain any dyes, inks or acids that could damage paintings or fine china. Some companies refer to this paper as “bleached” packing paper and it comes in large thin sheets. Another option is corrugated paper, which has the same interior look as cardboard boxes. The difference is that this paper is thinner and flexible, which allows the packers to wrap items securely inside of boxes. Generally, it comes in rolls. Moving companies use this paper to cushion larger items like oil paintings so that they’re not damaged while being moved. Bubble Wrap Bubble wrap is another packing material that comes in several sizes. The smaller bubble wraps are better suited for fine china or other small decorative pieces. Many packers prefer to use this material along with packing paper, to help cushion items and to prevent shifting while your items are in boxes. The larger bubble wraps are usually used for sturdier items like TVs and computers. The size of bubbles acts as pillows and absorbs any movement. For items that need to go into crates, the packers may use a layer of bubble wrap in tandem with moving blankets to offer the highest level of protection for your breakable items. Bubble wrap also works well for added padding inside of the boxes to fill gaps. The fewer the gaps inside of a box, the less likely something will break, should the box get knocked into something like the side of the moving truck. Each company has their own methods for packing boxes, which is why you need to ask questions about the type of materials they use for fragile items. By taking some time to learn about the different packing materials, you can make sure the company that you choose will be able to prevent your fragile items from breaking. One company that might be able to help you is Midway Moving &...

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When Is It Absolutely Necessary To Change Your Locks?

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Is it time to change your locks? The signs are there if you pay attention. A well-made lock can last for a long, long time. A cheap lock will last you a long time too as long nobody tries to test it. Both of these types of locks will require a replacement at some point. Here’s how you can tell if it’s time. Look to See if the Lock is in Disrepair A lock that needs replacement will let you know. Look at yours. Does it just look worn out? Is there rust creeping around the edges of it? Is it absurdly dull and tarnished looking? Does it resist when you use the key? These are all signs of a worn lock. If you notice any of these things, then you need to replace the lock. Once a lock reaches this point, its integrity is completely compromised. A rusty, worn lock doesn’t require any real effort for someone to break. This goes for deadbolts as well as spring bolts in doorknobs.   There are many more reasons you may want to change out a lock or multiple locks in your home or business. Just make sure that you don’t swap the locks when a far cheaper, and quicker, rekeying will do. For example, if you lose a key or somebody moves out, you don’t have to change all the locks unless you specifically want to. You can rekey the cylinders and keep your functional locks. Reasons Beyond Disrepair Reasons beyond disrepair, when it’s essential that you replace the lock, usually have to do with damage. Break-ins – Even if a break in doesn’t succeed, you may need to change the lock. Brute force and tampering can weaken the lock or cause it not to work as it should. Even if it looks fine and works fine, you should consider replacing it. If you’re unsure, you can remove it and bring to a locksmith to see if it’s still okay to use. Accidents – Much like an attempted or successful break-in, accidents are a good reason to change out a lock. If somebody accidentally barrels into the door, or a small vehicle hits it, then it’s no different from someone applying brute force on purpose. Reasons Unassociated with Disrepair Reasons that have nothing to do with damage, wear, or tear often have to do with aesthetics and security. Aesthetics – You may want to upgrade your locks to match the overall look and feel of your house. This is especially nice after a renovation. Nice locks can improve the value of your home just a bit as well, simply by looking good and functional. Security upgrades – There is a whole world of locks, locking mechanisms, and modern locking technology that can go right on your door. You may want to upgrade from the locks you have to something a little more robust and secure. If you have cheap locks, then upgrading is a good option. But even if you have good locks, you may want to take it step further to something like a keyless entry lock. Yes, there are consumer-grade door locks that can read cards, fingerprints, or a sequence on a keypad. The Bottom Line on Changing Your Locks The bottom line is you either replace your locks because...

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Tips For Avoiding Frequent Air Conditioning Repairs

Posted by on May 24, 2015 in Uncategorized |

While some air conditioning problems will require the expertise of a professional contractor, others can be easily repaired or even prevented on a DIY basis. For instance, issues with energy efficiency and low output levels can typically be prevented through the use of the simple air conditioning repair tips outlined below. Tip #1: Change Or Clean Your Air Filter Each Time Your Energy Bill Arrives A dirty air filter can cause a variety of issues, including high energy bills and low air output levels. This is because when your air conditioner’s intake filter becomes excessively dirty, your AC unit will no longer be able to easily pull in air from around your home. This will cause the unit to consume more energy to try and keep the air circulating and will ultimately result in less cool air being produced as the unit continues to get less and less air from around your home. The best way to prevent these issues is to change or clean your air filter approximately once a month during the cooling season. The problem is, while many people are aware of the need to replace this filter, they will often forget to complete this basic maintenance while struggling to keep up with all of their other daily responsibilities. Learning to associate the need to change or clean this filter with the arrival of your monthly energy bill will help to ensure you never forget again. Tip #2: Clean Your Outdoor Condenser The First Time You Use Your AC Unit Each Year Plants, dirt, fallen leaves, and other debris can get stuck inside your outdoor compressor and result in your AC unit being unable to produce as much cold air as it once did. Over time, this debris may even cause serious damage that could result in costly repairs and maintenance. The good news is, these issues can often be prevented by cleaning this outdoor unit just once during each cooling season. The best time to complete this maintenance is the very first time you turn on the AC unit each year. When performing this annual maintenance, you will want to begin by pulling any weeds or trimming back any plants that have grown within a few feet of the unit. Next, you will need to treat the area with a weed control product in order to prevent them from returning later in the season. Once the area is free of weeds and other plants, you will need to wash down your outdoor compressor using a standard garden hose. While you may think that using a high powered hose attachment or pressure washer will do a better job of getting the unit clean, the truth is, this approach can actually damage the protective cage around the unit. Therefore, you should always resist the temptation to use anything other than a standard garden hose. Simply allow the water to run over the unit until the water runs clear. This is really all it takes to keep your outdoor unit free of damaging...

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3 Tips To Care For Your Aluminum Storefront

Posted by on Apr 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you want to be able to take good care of your aluminum storefront, you’ll need to learn some very important guidelines that will give you what you need. An aluminum storefront can be a great investment in your building, because it is durable and will last for years when in great condition. But if you want to be sure that you are able to keep the storefront clean, aesthetically appealing and efficient, you’ll need to follow these critical tips to guide you.  #1: Be Careful And Precise When Cleaning Your Aluminum Storefront Keeping your storefront clean will allow the metal to remain intact, without rusting and developing corrosion. Because of this, you must make sure that you give your storefront thorough cleanings using the proper techniques. Since your storefront is likely made of anodized metal, consider some of these tips: If the storefront is newly purchased, clean the metal as soon as you get it, in order to avoid discoloration and other problems from construction dirt Periodically, utilize a solvent on your aluminum storefront and leave it to air dry If your aluminum storefront is coated with difficult to remove stains and dirt, you can feel free to use power tools in order to loosen it Never use any acidic cleaners on your aluminum storefront when cleaning it #2: Purchase A Maintenance Plan For Your Storefront There are a variety of professionals who will be able to keep your storefront in working condition. Many of these contractors can sell you a plan that allows you to get routine cleaning, waxing, rust removal, sealant application and more. By paying for this maintenance in advance, you will be able to get a professionals’ assistance in keeping your storefront intact. Since this creates a first impression for anybody who visits your place of business, you’ll need to make sure that it is a quality first impression.  #3: Provide A Pressure Washing To Your Storefront Periodically In order to be sure that you are able to keep your storefront free of any discoloration or stain, you would do well to invest in a pressure washer. While routine cleaning will go a long way, a seasonal pressure washing will help with keeping your storefront clean and pristine. This, in turn, gives you the opportunity to retain a sense of professionalism and vibrancy with any design used on your storefront.  Keep these tips in mind, so that you are always able to get the most out of your aluminum storefront. Talk to a company like Glasshopper Schor Glass to learn more about caring for your aluminum...

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How To Move Garden And Lawn Equipment

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you’re moving your household, your garage or garden shed is probably last on your mind, and for many people it’s the final area of the home they pack—big mistake! Packing lawn and garden equipment can be time consuming, and these are valuable items that need proper attention. You may even have to get some items ready days or weeks in advance. Here are some tips for safely and efficiently moving your garden supplies. Mowers and Power Tools Your mowers and power tools (chain saws, weed whackers, etc.) should be tended to first, as many moving companies require they be drained of all combustible fluids, like oil and gasoline, before they can be moved. Some small engine shops that repair mowers will do this for you and certify that they are empty. Be sure to ask your moving company well in advance of the move if they will even take these items. If not, you need to either arrange for separate transport or sell them and buy new equipment later. If you own a rider mower or tractor, ask your moving company about that too. You may need to move it separately via a large equipment shipping company. If your grass needs to be cut right before your moving day, hire someone to do the last mow for you. Chemicals You won’t be able to take any combustible, flammable, or otherwise dangerous chemicals in the moving van. Try to use these items up, give them to neighbors, or take them to a municipal waste center that handles hazardous materials. This includes pesticides, herbicides, and the like—your moving company can provide you with a list. Tall Tools Your collection of tall garden tools may be just as expensive as your mower. First make sure they are clean and dry before packing them. Again, defer to your mover on how these should be moved. Some movers will wrap them in a blanket for you; others want you to pack them. If you need to pack tall tools, try using heavy-duty wardrobe-type boxes or create a taller box by using one large box to serve as a lid for another one. Hand Tools Like your tall garden tools, small hand tools should be thoroughly cleaned and wiped as well. The main issue in packing these is to make sure any sharp edges are covered. You can wrap individual tools in old towels and place them in a heavy box, taking care not to overload it. You can also put them in a garden pail and pack that inside a large box. If you have one of those pocket organizers that fits over a five-gallon bucket, use that to keep tools separated and protected. Pots While plastic pots can be stacked and boxed without much care, ceramic pots need to be packed just like any other household breakables. Stack several in a box with cardboard or bubble wrap in between each one. You can wrap your garden hose around any fragile pots for extra protection. If you are planning to move pots with plants in them, make sure the plants won’t be in the moving van long enough to kill them. Also, know that many states have very strict rules about moving plants, and some may forbid you taking them to your new...

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