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Light Control For Blinds: FAQs

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Uncategorized |

There are plenty of reasons to buy new blinds for your home. Aesthetic concerns, attempts to make your home more modern, and controlling the lighting situation in your home are all noble reasons to change up your window blinds situation. When it comes to controlling the lighting situation in your home, there might be a number of questions you have about this phenomenon. This brief guide will serve to answer just a few of those questions. Why Should You Use Blinds For Light Control? Perhaps the primary reason you should invest in blinds as a form of light control is just that: it is an investment. Utilizing blinds as a form of light control is energy-efficient. Not only are you helping the environment by curtailing your use of electricity as a form of lighting source, but you’re also cutting down on your monthly utility bills. One of the most efficient types of using blinds as a source of light control is referred to as “daylight harvesting.” This process revolves around how and when you will employ the use of your blinds to bring in the optimal amount of light that you prefer into your home. Where You Should You Locate The Blinds? The answer to this question depends largely on the contingencies of your home and what sort of lighting configuration is even possible. For example, apartments in a densely-populated urban area that have south-facing light sources aren’t able to harvest the amount of light that an open ranch house is able to. For those houses with an optimal lighting situation, like the aforementioned ranch house, it is recommended that you keep blinds on both the easterly and westerly windows to block the sun when it rises, and you can raise the blinds accordingly through the day; or, if you wish, simply open them first thing in the morning to allow the maximal amount of light enter your home. Should You Use Filters Or Black Out Light? Black-out light blinds work by simply blocking as much light as they possibly can when they are pulled down. Sometimes, an attachable dark fabric can be placed onto blinds in order to give them a black out effect. Blinds that filter lights, on the other hand, are much less stringent about the amount of light they allow into your home when pulled. With some light-filter blinds, you can adjust them to allow the amount of light you desire into your home. Check out the site for more...

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Potentially Fatal Tree Diseases for Your Tuliptree

Posted by on Apr 12, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The tuliptree has contrasting small, tulip-like flowers that grow on a massive, furrowed tree. Glossy leaves that highlight the flowers turn bright golden in fall, which makes the tuliptree a beautiful addition to any property regardless of season. Proper tuliptree care requires monitoring the tree for potentially hazardous tree diseases and calling in a tree care service for help. Verticillium Wilt Verticillium wilt symptoms begin in late fall and resemble rapid dieback throughout the tree. The leaves can look scorched around the edges before browning and falling from the tree. Branches can also wither and die off. If left untreated, the fungus behind the wilt disease can cause the tree to have slower regrowth during the next spring season. Severe wilt will continue to spread throughout the tree, systematically killing off leaves and branches. Eventually, the tree’s regrowth in the spring will stall and the tree will no longer be salvageable. You would have to call in a tree removal service, such as is offered at http://brownstormservice.net/, to ensure that the tree and any trace of disease are fully removed. Call in a tree care service early in the wilt infection for the best chance of saving the tree. The tree care service can use a soil fumigant around the tree to prevent the fungus from thriving there and spreading up into the tree. Make sure the tree remains properly fertilized and hydrated. This combination approach can help the tree fight off the wilt. Canker Disease Canker disease actually refers to several types of fungal or bacterial infections that can strike a tuliptree with similar symptoms. The defining feature is deep, open wounds in the bark that resemble a canker sore on a human. The center of the canker is typically far darker than the rest of the bark and can start to ooze a smelly, sap-like substance. The canker diseases tend to be worst on trees that have prior damage or are unhealthy due to poor watering or fertilization. If the cankers are restricted to certain branches, a tree trimming service can cut away the affected branches and potentially stop the spread. In some cases, a fungicide can be used to help control the canker disease. Make sure you call in a tree care service for proper diagnosis rather than trying to treat the problem yourself. Different types of canker can look extremely similar but have vastly different origins and treatment requirements. For example, treating a bacterial canker with fungicide isn’t going to get you very far towards saving your tree. Cankers that have greatly infected the trunk can prove fatal to the tree as the heartwood continues to deteriorate. A tree removal service will need to remove the tree to prevent the disease from spreading to other trees on your...

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Removing Pesky Rust Stains From Concrete

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Rust is a common occurrence when you’re dealing with things like tools, vehicles, and lawn equipment getting wet. Over time, this rust can stain and even penetrate concrete surfaces such as the floor of your garage, driveway, and sidewalks. It might appear as if the rust is here to stay, but there are some things you can do to remove it and return your property back to its original glory.    Prep The Surface An integral step to removing rust is to loosen as much of it as you can before you clean. Use a metal-bristled brush to scrub away as much rust as you can. The rust particles should loosen and you can sweep or vacuum them away. This will make the cleaning process a lot easier. You should also rake or sweep away any leaves and debris before you clean. Make sure the area is clear and dry before you begin the cleaning process. Natural Options If you prefer not to use store-bought chemicals specially designed to combat rust, there are some all natural alternatives you can try. Depending on the severity of the rust stain, these solutions do a good job of getting the surface clean. Try applying pure lemon juice or vinegar directly to the stain. These items are highly acidic and will help dissolve the rust away. Let it sit on the stain for a few minutes and then scrub it away. Rinse the surface with cold water, and you should now have a rust-free surface. Pay close attention to nearby plants so you don’t expose them to the lemon juice or vinegar since it can be harmful to plant life. Chemical Cleaners If the rust stain on your concrete is especially large or stubborn, you may need to resort to a more powerful cleaning solution. These types of cleaners contain a solution called oxalic acid, which can help loosen and remove the rust quite effectively. When using a chemical-based cleaner, be sure to wear heavy duty gloves and face protection so you don’t breathe in the fumes that this type of material produces. Make sure you work in a well-ventilated area and keep children and pets away while you work. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully so that you can be sure the rust will be removed properly. No matter which method of cleaning your concrete you choose, with a bit of effort and some elbow grease, you can return your concrete surfaces to their original condition.  For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those...

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3 Interesting Ways To Use Granite In The Kitchen

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When it comes to kitchens, granite is the go to choice. It is the most popular natural surface for countertops in kitchens across America. It’s sturdy, durable, and easy to maintain. Qualities which make it a great choice for busy kitchens. Granite is also a beautiful material that is available in a variety of colors and patterns. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, granite is also a very versatile material that can be used in many different ways.  Waterfall Granite For many, a granite countertop simply consists of a slab of granite that sits atop lower cabinets. However, there are many interesting design features that can be incorporated in the countertop’s design. One feature is a waterfall. A waterfall granite countertop is one where the granite is continued over the side of the counter on at least one side of the slab. This is a great way to show the beauty of the granite. Waterfall granite is a unique way to add a modern touch without sacrificing clean lines.  Honed Granite One complaint that some have about granite is it’s high shine. For those who want a matte finish, honed granite is the perfect choice. Honed granite differs from traditional granite in that the polishing process ends before buffing, which leaves this type of granite less shiny. The downside is that it does have to be resealed more often than fully polished and buff granite. The matte finish makes it ideal for casual or vintage style kitchens. Another benefit of honed granite is that it often lacks the speckled appearance of regular granite. The subtle shifts of color in honed granite are something that appeals to those who are looking for unique ways to use granite in the kitchen.  Play With Shape Another one of granite’s many benefits is that it can be shaped to fit nearly any space and purpose. Granite can work around uniquely shaped sinks and other kitchen features. Granite countertops can also end in curved edges. Granite can also be allowed to jut outwards from the underlying cabinets. This allows for more space directly underneath the countertop. The benefit of this is that an overhanging granite countertop can be used as a seating space. Simply placing stools or chairs underneath can create a wonderful area for friends and family to sit and gather. Granite is a very versatile material that will likely stay popular in kitchens for years to come. Those who are looking for interesting ways to use granite should consider a waterfall countertop, honed granite options, and even playing with the shape of the granite. Contact a company like GranBrazil Inc for more...

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Tips To Help You Get A Good Deal When Ordering Last Minute Flowers

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in Uncategorized |

With most things, you’ll tend to get the best deal when you plan in advance.  Flowers are no different, since you may find that they are priced substantially higher if you need them the same day.  However, there are a few things you can do to get last minute flowers that won’t break the bank.  Use this information to learn more about how to drive down the price of the flowers you need right away. Use The Power Of Group Buying One of the first places you should look when you need to get last minute flowers at an affordable price is with online websites that cater to groups.  These sites are able to obtain the best possible prices by harnessing the power of the group.  You may be pleasantly surprised to find that the deals for flowers are substantially cheaper than what you would have paid if you attempted to buy them on your own. You can find websites that cater to group spending by inputting a query such as “group buying websites” into a search engine.  Once the results have been generated, be sure to compare and contrast the various deals before making your purchase.  Also, be sure to check for any “deal of the day” bargains.  If it’s close to a holiday, these special deals may be for florists, and can often help you save big. Use Your Own Vase Using your own vase is another great way for you to get affordable flowers at the last minute.  Instead of paying for the vases that are offered by the florist, use a vase or container that you already have at your house. This is especially true if you’re planning to hand deliver the flowers.  You can request that the flowers simply be cut and ready for you to pick up.  No need for expensive packaging or boxes, and you’re able to save on courier fees. Keep in mind that if you don’t have any traditional vases in your home, you can create a makeshift vase that is beautiful and heartfelt.  Consider adorning a mason jar with ribbons and glitter, or even an old, plastic Chinese food container that you paint and write the recipient’s name on. Getting the flowers you need at the last minute doesn’t have to empty out your wallet.  When you need flowers in a hurry, use these tips so you can get them without spending so much of your cash. Contact a company, such as Charlotte County Flowers, for more information....

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Making Decorative Crosses For Your Home

Posted by on Dec 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you would like to display more crosses around your home, there are a lot of different styles you can purchase. This allows you to fix things up a bit and have plenty of variety around your home. If you like the idea of adding a personal touch to some of those decorative crosses, then you can even make some of them yourself, This is also a nice way for you to do some craft projects with your kids if you choose. This article will provide you with instructions on how you can make a couple types of decorative crosses to display around your home and yard. Make a concrete mosaic cross If you would like to put a concrete mosaic cross in the yard, you can make one yourself with just a few supplies. These supplies include: A cross shaped cake pan A bag of fast drying cement Pieces of flat broken glass Water A stir stick A bucket Put some cement in the bucket and add a small amount of water at a time. Stir the mix with the stick until you end up with the consistency of cake batter. Pour the mixture into the cake pan. Once the mix comes up to the top of the pan, pick it up about an inch and let it go. This will flatten out the cement and make sure the bubbles are out. Take the pieces of glass and put them in place on the surface of the cement. You can make any design you want. When you put the pieces of glass in place, push down very lightly so they go into the mix without sinking too far down. Let the concrete dry for a few days before removing the cross. Once it’s done, you can display it where you want. Make a wood and lace cross A wood and lace cross would make a good addition to a feminine room in your home. To make this type of cross, you need the following supplies: A foot long piece of wood that’s two inches wide Two four inch long pieces of wood that are also two inches wide A glue gun Strings of lace in the design and colors of your choosing Scissors Glue the shorter pieces of wood onto the larger piece to create a cross shape. Cut the lace and glue it along the cross. You can make it full and fluffy or you can keep it simple with just a little bit of lace. Once it’s done, you can hang it in your...

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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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