Reasons Why a House is Cool in Winter With the Furnace Running all of the Time

Reasons Why a House is Cool in Winter With the Furnace Running all of the TimeThere can be a number of reasons why a house is cool in winter with the furnace running all of the time. The fundamental reason it is running more often is that it cannot meet the needs of your home to heat it properly. It can be due to a furnace not sized properly. In other words, it was sized too small for the home. Furnace suppliers typically will assess your home based on square footage and whether it is a two story home or a single story home.  They assume that it has standard insulation and will install a furnace that meets these requirements. The furnace provider can actually make a mistake and size it to small for the home in an effort to save money for the consumer, however they know this will be a problem later on and seldom take this approach.

Other Reasons Why a House is Cool in Winter With the Furnace Running all of the Time

A poorly insulated home will leak heat like a sieve. Poor insulation in the ceiling and the walls means that you are losing a lot of heat that the furnace must replace. The colder it is outside, the more heat that is lost and the furnace must run more often.

The same applies to your windows. Fifty years ago single pane windows were popular. Later on companies added double pane windows to improve the insulating value of these windows. They then added argon between the windows which is an inert gas that conducts heat much less than even normal air. Well insulated homes have these types of windows and sometimes even triple pane windows. Also insulation around the windows is much better and more thoroughly installed.

Doors also allow the heat to escape. If your door does not meet proper standards in terms of heat loss then you could be losing a great deal of heat this way as well. Make sure there is also adequate weather stripping around the doors to prevent heat loss.

These are the main areas to look at to prevent heat loss, reduce your furnaces running time and save you money which is what this web site is all about.

Consumers can also insulate outlets that are on walls that face the eternal part of your home. Typically, there is no insulation behind these outlets. Keep your windows closed. Your furnace has a fresh air intake. Have your home tested for tightness? This involves pressurizing your home and examining where air can escape. Plugging these areas will also help to reduce the heat loss. Some governments will help pay for these services to promote energy reduction.

For more information about Reasons Why a House is Cool in Winter With the Furnace Running all of the Time and ways to save money click here.


Removing Dark Stains from Your Roof

Consumers living in areas with lots of moisture and little sun will sometimes find black algae growing on the shingles of their roof. It can turn a beautiful roof into an ugly stained roof that just does not look great even in the hot sun. Once it starts it just continues to spread leaving an unsightly mess on your roof. Fortunately, there is a way for Removing Dark Stains from Your Roof.

Removing Dark Stains from Your Roof

The first step is to remove any debris that may have collected on your roof. This includes moss that may have built up in areas where there is a great deal of shade. The best way to remove this debris is to use your garden hose and spray water on the area at an angle from about three feet away. Consumers must be careful to not dislodge granules from the shingles. Once all of the moss is removed, apply an oxygen bleach mixture to the areas needing treatment.

The best time to apply the oxygen bleach mixture is on a cloudy day. You need to keep the area wet for at least 45 minutes which can be difficult in full sunlight. Mix the oxygen bleach with water following the instructions provided.

Consumers should start in a small area that is inconspicuous to make sure that this solution will work on the algae on your roof. Once you have confirmed that it does the job f getting rid of the algae and it has not harmed your roof, apply the solution to the rest of the roof where the algae can be seen. You will notice a remarkable improvement in most cases.

Consumers may have to hire a professional roofer to go up on the roof to apply the solution. Avoid ladders of all kinds if you are afraid of heights or unstable on a ladder or being on a roof.


Should You Replace or Paint Your Vinyl Siding

Should You Replace or Paint Your Vinyl SidingVinyl siding is an extremely popular material that is used all over the country to cover the walls of homes. In many cases, brick will be used on the front of the home and vinyl will be used on the other three walls. It is very durable and retains its color for many years. Just the same, the colors do fade after many years and home owners who want their home to look great must make a decision. Should You Replace or Paint Your Vinyl Siding?

Assuming that the vinyl is still in good shape physically, i.e. no holes or broken pieces, consumers can definitely consider painting the vinyl. If you do have to make repairs i.e. add a new strip of vinyl, it will be virtually impossible to match the colors. Your vinyl will have faded and changed color over the years so it is not possible to obtain an exact match. Painting becomes a very desirable solution. Although we always encourage consumers to obtain quotes for both scenarios, to confirm that it is less expensive to paint than replace, we feel that painting is less expensive and it is something you can do yourself.

Should You Replace or Paint Your Vinyl Siding – Steps to Follow

  • Complete Repairs – remove and replace any broken or cracked pieces.
  • Clean the surface of the vinyl from a build up of dirt and chalky substance that may have built up over the years.
  • Remove any mold from the siding especially under the eaves.
  • Ensure you have a dry day with low humidity and light or no wind, especially if you will use a sprayer to paint the vinyl to avoid paint drift onto other surfaces.
  • Use paint as close to the original color as you can. Avoid darker colors. Vinyl absorbs heat especially with dark colors and will expand and contract a great deal causing the vinyl to overheat and possibly warp.
  • Use paint that is specifically made for vinyl siding. This paint is made to stretch and contract with the vinyl as it heats and cools.
  • Spray painting works the best, however brush or roller painting works well especially on corners etc.
  • Allow the paint to completely dry before applying a second coat.
  • Follow the instructions of the manufacturer to ensure that your paint application will last many years.

For more maintenance related posts, click here.


Retire early – Mid course corrections – Save money now

We were actually thinking of writing this post for a retirement blog that we also run,(you can find it here), but then we thought that the idea of saving money fits well with this blog. The idea is to reduce expenses by doing a lot of your own maintenance and renovations around your home. If you can save even more money, you can retire early, take a trip or buy a new car. The main message is that you have far more flexibility about the decisions you can make. Retire early – mid course corrections is all about what changes you can make in your lifestyle to spend less and save for the future, whatever it is.

If you do retire early, life is going to throw curve balls at you which will or should cause you to re-evaluate what you need to do to keep your retirement as pleasant as possible. You may need to have money for unexpected expenses later in life which will cause these mid course corrections.

Retire early – Mid course corrections

This is a lost of mid course corrections that many people can consider. If you have others that make sense to add, let us know by leaving a comment. Pick and choose those that make sense for your family and your personal situation. Here is the list that we have so far along with the percentage of people who indicated they were interested in this area:

  • Make healthier food and exercise choices to save money later: 91%
  • Cut back on daily expenses: 90%
  • Reduce everyday leisure: 82%
  • Limit or cut back on donations to charities: 77%
  • Volunteer more and give monetary donations less: 75%
  • Work part-time in retirement: 75%
  • Downsize to a smaller home: 75%
  • Reduce or eliminate financial support to children: 70%
  • Purchase long-term care insurance: 68%
  • Move to a less expensive area: 67%
  • Postpone taking Social Security: 64% (though 60% said they’d “take Social Security as early as they can” — puzzling)
  • Develop a hobby into an income source: 62%
  • Reduce financial support to parents or in-laws: 59%
  • Take a housemate or become a housemate: 28%
  • Rent a room or part of my home on a short-term basis: 27%
  • Turn my car into a source of income: 24%

Whether it is renting out part of your home through AirBNB, VRBO or using your car to run an Urber business, there are many ways to earn a little extra income. Some people will start hobbies that they can turn into a small business.

Many will work online from home on various blogs like this one to earn extra income. It can be very emotional and difficult, but cutting support to your kids or to your parents, might be a big change or mid course direction to make.

Cutting back on daily expenses covers all sorts of areas. This could mean doing your own repairs and renovations as well as limiting or decreasing your entertainment expenses.

Notice that throughout this post that we do not say stop these areas. Instead we use words like reduce, cutting back and doing things that will help you spend less money and live more carefully.

Make a personal list that can help you achieve your own objectives for saving money and perhaps retire early as well. It will be worth it in the long run.

 


Duct Cleaning Scam or Not

How many calls do you get every month for duct cleaning services? We receive at least one per week and we just hang up on these guys. However there may be situations where you should consider having your ducts cleaned. But should you have one of these companies clean your ducts? Lets first talk about whether you need to have your ducts cleaned in the first place, then how to deal with these callers. Most ducts do not look like the one in the picture. If yours does, then definitely have have your ducts cleaned. We suggest that you check your ducts first and then make a decision.

Do You need Duct Cleaning

If you keep your home spotless, do not have pets and have not had any major renovation work completed around your home, you may not need duct cleaning. Any time you do renovations, dust is generated. If the AC or the heating system is running, this dust will be drawn into the duct system, onto the heating system elements and the cooling coils. Some will be captured by your filter but not all.

Another situation where duct cleaning is needed is when you move into a brand new home. We had ours cleaned and they found dust of course, but also cigarette butts, coke cans and cigarette packs.

Consumers who have pets may also need to have their ducts cleaned from time to time. Hair and dander is drawn into the system and adheres to metal surfaces.

Dealing with Duct Cleaning Calls

While many of these companies may be legitimate, some are not. Many will offer a great deal over the phone, however when they arrive at your home, they will try to up sell you on additional services or based on the size of your heating system.

Ask for references, review web sites, read reviews as part of your decision process. Avoid agreeing to duct cleaning services over the phone without doing some investigation first.

In addition verify what they will actually clean. All ducts both cold air return and heating ducts, vents, grilles, heating and AC components should be on the list. If they are going to open the furnace compartment, they should know what they are doing. Verify credentials before you allow them into your home.

While duct cleaning may be needed, consumers can save themselves a lot of money by keeping their homes spotless and avoiding dust and pollen from entering the home. for more information on keeping your furnace running efficiently, click here.


Sell Recycled Materials from Renovations

sell recycled materials from renovationsMost consumers throw out all of the materials that they remove from their homes during renovations. Any leftover new materials go the same route. In fact all of the renovation shows on TV make a big deal of wreaking everything as they remove the old shelves, cupboards, sinks, faucets and toilets to prepare the space. They take sledge hammers to everything and it all goes out in one of those big trash bins or in a bagster like the one shown here. However if you are careful you can sell recycled materials from renovations. At the very least the material is being reused. You might even make some money from the old items.

Sell Recycled Materials from Renovations

Not everything can be recycled or sold to someone else. Sometimes the only way to remove something is to take a sledge hammer to it. But many items, if carefully removed can be reused or even resold.

Kitchen cupboards make great storage areas in your garage or in the basement. You just need to remove them carefully. Faucets that are being removed and in working order can be sold. Many people look for used materials to reuse them in cottages etc.

One time I sold a used toilet for $10 to a guy who was renting an apartment and somehow had broke his toilet. For $10, he was able to replace the broken toilet with mine. It was in good shape, very clean and in working order. Much better than have it take up space in a landfill spot somewhere.

Many items are just beyond recycling. Carpets for example are usually quite warn down and possibly dirty. Tiles are usually broken as they are being removed. Mirrors can sometimes be removed without damaging them. Light fixtures are another favorite item to be considered for recycling if they are removed carefully.

Window blinds are often custom made to fit a certain size of window. They can be difficult to get rid of. However we offered some blinds for free one time on a free advertising page. They were picked up almost immediately by a family who ran a boys school and needed blinds for the windows. They did not need an exact match.

Summary

Before you take the sledge hammer to your old stuff take a moment to consider whether the item you are about to demolish can be reused or even sold at a bargain price. It can be a win win situation. The buyer saves some money and you the seller makes a little bit to help pay for the renovation work you are doing.

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The do’s and don’ts of Shopping at a Wholesale Price Club

Should you pay the membership at one of the wholesale price club like Costco, Sams club or BJ’s? It really depends on your shopping habits, how much you will purchase and whether you can find better prices elsewhere. Consumers who have time to do some comparison shopping will often find better prices for various items at other stores when they are on sale or on special. Buying those items at other stores will save you money. The return policies at price clubs is extraordinary. Service is top notch and prices on average are very competitive. But should you join wholesale price clubs to save money?

The do’s and don’ts of shopping at a wholesale price club

Each family will have different needs however the following can be considered general guidelines which may or may not apply when making a decision to purchase items at a wholesale price club:

  • Buying in bulk means you need to have storage areas
  • Can you use all of the bulk items within a reasonable period of time
  • Can you use items before the expiry date
  • Purchases of goods on sale or on special at other stores may save you money
  • Do you return many items, it is easier at wholesale price clubs
  • Large families can generally benefit more
  • Will the rewards pay for the membership fee

If you can answer yes to many of these questions, then belonging to one of the wholesale price club might be the right answer for you.

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Keep your Lawn Healthy over Winter

Keep your Lawn Healthy over WinterMost consumers and homeowners do not realize how important it is to complete proper fall cleanup to maintain their lawns and gardens. After the colder weather in the fall sets in most plants begin to go into their dormancy phase. Trees lose their leaves and annuals die off. Fall cleanup is often the furthest thing from everyone’s mind during this time frame. And yet if you want to keep your lawn healthy over winter, there are a number of things to do that will keep it looking great year after year. Thanksgiving and the holidays are just around the corner.

Keep your Lawn Healthy over Winter

Actually ensuring that your lawn and gardens are properly prepared for the winter and spring will ensure you have a healthy lawn in the coming year. Leaves left to rot on the grass can often kill the grass underneath as well as provide a home for small rodents. Small rodents will build burrows through the longer grass leaving a mess in your lawn. This occurs when a lawn is left too long just before winter sets in.

Lack of proper fertilizer that strengthens the root system can make all of your plants vulnerable to damage from a dry winter or spring.

Fall cleanup prices offered by landscaping companies will depend on the lawn clean up services actually performed. The following is a brief fall clean up checklist that consumers and home owners may consider.

Keep your Lawn Healthy over Winter – Fall Clean Up Checklist

• Trim Lawn to proper length to discourage small rodents
• Apply fertilizer to promote proper root growth
• Remove all leaves and other debris from the lawn and gardens
• Remove all dead annuals
• Remove dead or broken branches from shrubs and trees
• Clean out eaves troughing
• Install protective burlap wraps on shrubs if needed
• Additional services as required

This checklist should not be considered a complete list. Every home owner may have specific tasks that that they may want considered, which can be included in a packaged clean up cost estimate or quoted separately.

Competitive Pricing

Many consumers will consider doing some or all of the work themselves. Other priorities often get in the way of getting this work completed and suddenly they find that it is too late to do most of the fall cleanup themselves. Home owners can request a competitive pricing estimate today for leaf cleanup, lawn and garden fall preparation. Once they have the cost estimate, they can make a decision to have all or part of the work completed.

One phone call can save you a great deal of time. One phone call will ensure that your lawn and gardens will be properly prepared for the winter months. Your lawn and gardens will also look neat and tidy as well through out the winter months. We also offer lawn mowing services, lawn seeding, mulching, edging of gardens and lawns, trimming services for lawns as well as shrubs and trees, bush planting or removal and tree pruning. Give us a call today for a competitive estimate for any of these lawn care services.


Baby Boomer Renovation Boom

Baby Boomer Renovation BoomBaby boomers are retiring in droves. So much so that there is only one person available to take a vacant job for every two available. With so many people retiring, it is creating new opportunities for many people of all ages. Some baby boomers want to pursue other careers. Others want to relax and enjoy life. All baby boomers need to prepare their homes for retirement and aging related issues. These issue can be generalized into three main areas. Steps that make it difficult for people to navigate their homes. Bathrooms that are difficult to use. The third item is the effort needed to continue to use your own home and maintain it in a comfortable manner. We will discuss each of these in a little more detail.

Baby Boomer Renovation Boom

Steps – Whether it is walking up steps to get into your home, or to go upstairs to the second floor to your bedroom. As we age, it is harder and harder to get up those stairs. Solutions include:

  • Install ramps
  • Install automated stair climbers
  • Downsize and move

Each person needs to make their own decision when it is best for them. In all cases it is going to cost some money, however in the long run, your life will get easier.

Bathrooms – can be slippery and tubs can be difficult to get into. Many people install walk in showers or new tubs that have a door to allow you to walk into. Add a chair to sit on while using the sink etc.

Maintenance – of your home is so important to maintain the value in your home and to avoid more serious problems of a home that is not well maintained. Replace windows as needed, paint inside and outside as needed, hire a cleaner to help maintain your home.

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Residential Property Management Services Explained

Consumers require residential property management services for a variety of reasons. Some buy rental properties and need management of the property. Other consumers will be absent from their homes for an extended period. Even if you leave for a three-week vacation, someone should be looking after your home for you. We will review these issues and others in the following post.

Residential Property Insurance Requirements

Many homeowners just close their doors and leave for their vacation. They are very excited about getting away. Many do not give a seconds thought about looking after their home. Many insurance companies have specific requirements about vacant homes. The requirements depends on the company, the time of year, where you live and your heating system. They may want checks on your home every day. Call your residential insurance company to confirm your requirements to maintain insurance on your home. Even condominium owners need to do this.

Temporary Absence Management

Many residential property management services companies will offer services to home owners in this situation. They can check your home for water leaks, power outages, heating system failures and break-ins. Have them check your home and report back to you after every visit. You will need a report especially if you need to make a claim to your insurance company. They want to know that someone is checking your home.

Extended Absence

If you are going to be away for a long period of time, it is important to arrange for residential property management services. They will check for water leaks, heating system malfunction, complete landscape management, snow removal and even water the plants. Consumers can arrange for all of the services they need. They can leave with confidence that their home is looked after.

Rental Residential Property Management Services

Many consumers purchase rental properties as investments. Some consumers will manage their own properties. Others do not want to deal with tenants or some of the problems that arise. This is where residential property management services can put your mind at ease. Some of the services that are included are:

  • Tenant selection and approval
  • Rent check collection
  • Deposit to bank accounts
  • Property management services
  • Property repairs
  • Regular monthly reporting

Property management covers all of the things that most consumers take for granted about maintaining a home. This area of services may include the following depending on the building type:

  • Cutting the lawn
  • Hedges and shrub maintenance
  • Maintain watering system
  • Routine repairs to appliances
  • Painting and cleaning after tenants leave
  • Management of special projects e.g. window replacement etc.

Summary

Regardless of the residential property management services that are required, there is a property management solution. Make a list of the services that will be needed for your situation. Decide the time frame involved. Call your insurance company to confirm their minimum requirements. Make sure that you will receive appropriate documentation from the residential property management company if you will need it to make an insurance claim.


Baby Boomer Building Boom

Baby boomers are retiring in droves. I just read this morning that there are more baby boomers older than 65 than there are people under the age of 14 in this country. In addition there is only one applicant for every two jobs that are being vacated by baby boomers retiring from the work force. This is putting a lot of pressure on business and government, however that issue is a topic for another post. In this article we wanted to focus on the baby boomer building boom and what consumers over the age of 65 should focus on in their homes to allow them to age comfortably in place. After all most people want to do just that. They are not ready to move or downsize and in many cases it is just cheaper to stay where you are.

However there are some things that need to be done to their homes to make it more comfortable to stay in their home as they age. We will cover three major areas that we all need to pay attention to.

Baby Boomer Building Boom

Steps – get rid of those steps or at least find away so that you climb less steps every day. A number of things come to mind that are relatively inexpensive and yet will make life a lot easier:

  • Build ramps at appropriate locations
  • Install stair lifts to the second floor
  • Move bedrooms onto the main level
  • Add an addition to the home with no stairs
  • Hire people to do the house cleaning and other work that involves steps

Bathroom – Slips and falls in the bathroom are a major accident source for many seniors. Wet floors can be slippery, we tend to be less steady on our feet and our eyesight is not as good as it used to be.

  • Install Grab Bars in showers and tubs
  • Convert tub to a walk in
  • Add grab bars everywhere to give you something to hold on to
  • Use a walker or a cane, don’t be too proud

Remove Tripping Points – A rug, a one step stair, a bed too high etc are all places that can cause trips and falls. Combine grab bars with removing all items that could cause a trip or a fall to make it safer around your home:

  • Install grab bars
  • Remove throw rugs
  • De-clutter your home
  • Survey your home for all potential trip points

 

 


Inexpensive Lawn Care

Everyone loves a beautiful yard, with Rich green grass in the weeds.  Many people either do not know how to achieve this result or feel they have to spend a great deal of money to have a really nice lawn. Consumers all over North America know that keeping the lawn well-maintained will ensure that it looks great but it also keeps weeds away.  Weeds will overtake the lawn particularly if the grass is not healthy or not very thick. The reverse is also true, a healthy lawn will prevent weeds from taking hold and will even prevent them from growing to start with.

Inexpensive lawn care

The following are steps that every homeowner can take to have a great-looking lawn without spending very much money. It may take a few more hours of your time but it is definitely worthwhile and will ensure that you don’t spend a lot of money either.

Here are the steps for inexpensive lawn care :

  • Fertilize your lawn four times a year
  • Water your lawn on a regular basis
  • Use weedkiller twice a year
  • Apply spot we killer as needed
  • Apply grass seed to thicken up the lawn to thicken up the lawn
  • Pull all larger weeds by hand once a week
  • Mow the lawn as often as needed but maintain grass height at 1 1/2 inches to provide good cover

Homeowners who follow these simple steps will have a great-looking lawn which will be inexpensive to maintain. You will also be the envy of the neighborhood.

 

 

 


Inexpensive Weed Management

inexpensive weed managementAre you tired of dealing with weeds in your lawn? There is a time tested way to reduce and eliminate them, but it does take some work! For inexpensive weed management in a nutshell keep your lawn really healthy. Apply fertilizer at the appropriate times. Thicken with grass seed at least once per year. Make sure it has sufficient water. Spot spray with weed killer as needed. Finally pick the larger weeds by using a tool that will remove the weed and the root as well. Some weeds can be easily pulled out root and all just by grabbing them around the stalk and pulling. Others like dandelions have to be cut off several inches below the ground and then pulled out. The writer uses a small chisel to cut the root about 2 inches below ground level and then pull the plant and root out. They come out quite easily this way and will not grow back. Dandelions are the easiest to deal with. They are large, easily seen and are easy to pull out using the method mentioned.

A healthy lawn mentioned in this way will deter the weeds and make your job much easier to control weeds growing in your lawn. The grass will be thick and will have a fighting chance against all of the weeds that begin growing all of the time.

Inexpensive weed management

The above steps are relatively easy to do and do not cost a great deal of money. It can get very expensive if you allow the weeds to overtake your the grass in your lawn. Once this happens there is not many alternatives. You can kill all of the weed by spraying, but then often your left with very thin grass or less. You have to be careful when you spray to avoid damaging other plants as well as people walking on a newly sprayed lawn.

One of our neighbors let his lawn go. Never watered it and never did anything about the weeds. Once this happened, all he could do is replace the lawn. He still has not replace his lawn. It is simply too expensive for home. He took another approach.

He added grass seed all over the yard and then topped it off with top soil. Just enough to cover the seedlings and allow them to begin growing. A much less expensive approach, but one that takes much longer for the lawn to recover.

He could also remove what was left of the sod and all of the weeds. Then he spread several truck loads of top soil on the lawn and fertilized it. The next step involved applying new sod all over his yard and watering it for many days to avoid the hot sun killing the new grass before it had a chance to establish itself. We are confident that it cost him well over a thousand dollars for his new lawn.

Spending a few dollars and a few hours a week could have saved him a great deal of money. That’s the main message of this post. Saving money by doing some of your own work and maintaining your property, in this case the lawn. But many people are less concerned about the savings they might achieve vs. the instant repair that laying new sod will provide.

For more saving money ideas, click here. Consumers can put a little work into their homes and yards and save thousands of dollars.

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Stopping Dresser Drawers Falling

dresser drawers fallingA wall strap, an L bracket, screws through the backboard of the dresser all could have prevented this accident. Kids will be kids. They love to climb and they will whenever they get the chance. If the dresser is top heavy either because of the child climbing on extended drawers or the contents, it is going to fall over. No matter how many times you tell them they will climb. Stopping dresser drawers falling is actually quite easy. You just need to take the time to properly secure them. It does not even cost that much either.

Stopping Dresser Drawers Falling

There are several ways to secure the cabinet so that it will not fall over. One way is to securely attach a cord to the wall and to the back of the dresser. Make sure you screw a strong hook into a stud and not just into the drywall. A screw will easily pull out of the drywall. Same goes for the back of the dresser.

Some people like to use L brackets which work really well. The cabinet cannot be moved at all once installed.

Another approach is to use long screws through the backboard of the dresser into the wall. Again make sure the screws are screwed into the studs and not just into the drywall. Most people will use a stud finder to help them locate the studs behind the drywall. Usually they run vertically up the wall.

 

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Secure Dresser to Wall

If you have young children, they are going to climb wherever they can. Dresser drawers are ideal for climbing. Just pull out the bottom drawer and start climbing. You know they are going to do it regardless of how many times you tell them not to. Secure dresser to wall using a variety of devices such as clamps, screws, chord,  etc. Just make sure that what happened in the picture in this post does not happen with your child underneath. While the dresser may not be that heavy, it can choke a child if it falls on his neck. Go and fix this right now if you have young children!

Secure dresser to Wall

There are various ways to do this. The better manufacturers will provide you with instructions and the screws and clips needed to complete the job. If you do not have screws etc, you will need to do this your self.

First locate the studs in the wall using a stud finder. Many people have them now so you should be able to borrow one from a neighbor, friend or family member. Next position the dresser in the location you want it to be and remove the top drawer. Screw large screws, at least 2 inches in length through the back of the dresser into the wall at the locations where you found the studs.

Another approach is to screw L brackets to the wall and also into the dresser. This takes a little more time, however if done properly is much stronger than just screws through the back of the dresser.

Another approach is to attach a strong chord to the wall at one of the stud locations. The other end can be attached to the dresser. Make sure it is securely attached and will not break or give way from the attachment device.


How to Caulk Baseboards

How to Caulk BaseboardsEver wonder how professionals make their baseboards look so great? No cracks or dark lines along the wall where the baseboards meet the wall. It is actually quite easy once you know the tricks that the professionals use to caulk baseboards. Use high quality paint-able caulking to fill the cracks before you paint the walls or the baseboards. When you cut the tip off the caulking tube, keep it small so that a minimum of caulk is applied. Using continuous pressure, run the tip of the tube along the joint filling the crack as you go. Remember that less is better, You can always add more later if needed. At this point the crack is filled, but it still may look a little rough and unfinished.

How to Caulk Baseboards – Smoothing

How to Caulk BaseboardsThe last step is to smooth the caulking with your finger. We like to keep our finger wet with a little bit of water. Run your finger along the crack filled with caulking to leave a smooth surface that fills the crack between the wall and baseboard. If you need more caulking in some areas because the crack was too large or you did not add enough caulking in the first place, just add more and repeat the smoothing process.

I like to have a paper towel handy to clean my finger of excess caulking. Wet your finger each time to deliver a smoother joint and decrease the amount of caulking material that adheres to your finger.

Let the caulking dry for 24 hours and then paint as needed. You will have a very professional looking joint as a result.

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How to Stop Mildew Forming in Showers

how to stop mildew forming in showersWe are confident that almost all consumers have had to contend with mildew forming in showers. Mildew or mold is a common problem for many consumers and once it takes hold, it is very difficult to remove it. In our next post we will discuss how to remove it. However for our first post about we thought we would focus on how to stop mildew forming in showers in the first place. Mold or mildew needs two things to live and grow. Moisture which is obviously a problem in the shower and bathroom area. the second thing is food, such as soap, oils and skin cells from our bodies and other products we may use. There are easy methods to control mildew growth.

How to Stop Mildew Forming in Showers

Let’s first deal with the moisture issue. Consumers should always use a fan when running the shower. If you do not have a shower fan, like us, leave the shower door open when not in use. Air circulation will absorb the moisture and dry out the shower. Secondly always squeegee the tiles, door or curtain after you shower. You want to remove as much of the moisture and soap as possible from the walls etc.

Using a squeegee also removes the food that the mildew needs to live. But that is definitely not enough. At least every two weeks consumers should  clean the walls, door or curtains to remove all soap buildup and other material. Washing with vinegar is one of the best ways to clean the tiles etc.

We had mildew forming on our ceiling like the one in the picture. Once we started leaving the door to the shower open it stopped forming. We then sanded the ceiling and repainted the ceiling with a mold resistance paint.  So far it has lasted a year without more mold or mildew forming. Remember moisture and food. That is what you need to control to keep mildew from forming.

 

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How to Remove Mildew From Tiles in Showers

Our last post discussed how to prevent mildew and mold forming in bathrooms on shower tiles. This focuses on how to remove mildew from tiles in showers once it has formed. The first recommendation is to keep your shower clean and dry if you want to avoid mildew and mold in the first place. Once it has formed, you will need strong cleaners to remove the stains. There are many products on the market. Some work, some do not. We are not recommending any one particular product. Vinegar works well as does bleach, however you need lots of ventilation and protective gloves. Be careful of your clothes as well to avoid stains from the bleach.

Remove Mildew From Tiles in Showers

This picture clearly shows lots of mold on the grout. Consumers need to remove all soap scum, calcium stains etc from the tiles. It is going to take some time and elbow grease to remove the stains. Using bleach or vinegar, spray the tiles, let it soak for awhile and then scrub the tiles. Wash with water. Repeat the process until the tiles are clean.

The soap scum on the grout is much more difficult to remove. Scrubbing and application of vinegar will remove the surface material. If the grout was not sealed in the first place, the soap scum will come off. A high pressure steam cleaner can be used to clean the grout as well. This works well although again your need to use a lot of elbow grease to clean the grout.

The worst case solution is to use a grout removal tool to get all of the grout material out of the joints. Re grout the joints and seal the grout joints.

Once you have your shower tiles nice and clean follow the steps outlined in the previous post to prevent further damage from mold and mildew. Keep your shower walls dry and clean your shower every two weeks.


How to Remove Old Kitchen Floor Ceramic Tile

Tiles have been very popular in many homes over the past several decades. New owners or even current owners sometimes feel the need to change them. They might have become chipped or cracked or they just are ready for a change. Remove old kitchen floor ceramic tiles, bathroom tiles or hallway tiles are much the same. You need to use the right tools and practice safety precautions in all cases.

There are many ways to remove tiles. The method you use really depends on the situation. You may want to take extra care to avoid damaging surrounding walls, cupboards, etc. The tile may be easy to remove in some situations. In others you may need to almost use a jack hammer to remove the tile. We will cover some of the basics for safety and removal of tiles in this post.

Safely Remove Old Kitchen Floor Ceramic Tiles

Broken tile splinters and has lots of sharp edges. Pieces will break off and may even fly into the air. For these reasons we suggest that you wear safety shoes with steel toes. Leather gloves should be worn to protect your hands and safety glasses should be worn to protect your eyes. Saving money by doing it yourself is great as long as you do not suffer needless injuries.

Before you begin, remove any furniture and items that could be damaged by the broken tiles. You may want to consider covering some items with an old blanket if you are unable to remove the item from the area.

Tools to Remove Old Kitchen Floor Ceramic Tiles

The tools you will use to remove ceramic tiles really depends on the situation. Some are easy to remove, while others are very difficult due to the concrete used. Location and work space can be an issue. For example bathrooms do not have a lot of space to work in and around kitchen cupboards is also difficult.

Begin with a strong chisel with a wide blade at an edge to test how difficult it will be. If they come off easy keep going. You may have to graduate to an electric jack hammer with a flexible blade designed specifically for tile removal. These work well, however take your time to avoid damaging the floor underneath and surrounding walls and cupboards.

The pictures above demonstrate the two examples  discussed in this post.


Do you Lose Power with Solar Panels Installed

Do you Lose Power with Solar Panels InstalledMost consumers automatically assume that they will have electrical power, even if the electrical grid fails. Do you Lose Power with Solar Panels Installed? The quick answer is that it really depends on your installation and whether you have battery back up or not. Before you spend any money on solar panels, consumers need to review their objectives and decide what features are most important to them vs. their budget. Do they want emergency power that automatically switches on for them in a power failure.? Or do they just need to save energy costs and use solar power all of the time.

There can be large differences in each installation and the associated cost of these systems.

Many consumers are interested in saving money by having solar power system. Their system will generate electricity during the day and feed it back into the grid. This will not only save them money but it will also generate income for them whenever they generate enough to feed into the grid.

When the power grid fails, the solar power system also shuts off. This is necessary to protect repairmen and avoid electrocution. As a result the homeowner is also without power in this situation!

Do you Lose Power with Solar Panels Installed

Most consumers do not install batteries with their solar power system. There is an approximate 30% additional cost to install battery backup. Anyone who really needs backup power for medical or business needs will take this option.

When the power grid fails, the solar power system will disconnect from the grid and continue generating power to feed the batteries. They in turn feed the homes electrical requirements. Something to consider when you make decision to purchase a solar power system.

For more posts about solar power, costs and benefits, click here.


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