Home and Garden

Why You Should Consider Investing in a Cedar Gazebo

Home and Garden

Gazebos are interesting architectural structures that can add to the curb appeal of your landscape. Cedar shelters, in particular, can turn your outdoor space into a haven where you could spend quality time with your family and loved ones. As you check out the different types of gazebos, here are some concrete reasons you may want to invest in a cedar shade.

Cedar is weather-resistant

Cedar is commonly used in the crafting of outdoor furniture and roofing materials, and that is because of its durability, versatility and most importantly, weather resistance. If you love the rustic appearance of wood, then you can get your outdoor garden cedar gazebo without worrying about it rotting.

Cedar is also resistant to mildew. Therefore, you will not encounter mould problems even if you do not continually treat your structure with chemicals.

Cedar is warp-resistant

Even those who adore the natural beauty of wood tend to stay away from wooden structures for reasons related to warping. Fortunately, cedar is also warp-resistant, so you do not have to be anxious about your gazebo changing its appeal during the extremely cold or hot seasons. This type of wood is strong and sturdy, and its architectural qualities would leave you with a structure that can serve you seamlessly for years.

Cedar is environment-friendly

If your gazebo is made of cedar, then chemical treatments to keep mould and pest away will not be necessary. In short, your chemical-free structure will not pose risks to your loved ones, pets or even your organic garden.

Choosing a garden gazebo that is crafted for superior performance is ideal. While such a structure does not come cheap, you are assured that you get the worth of your money. Check out the different designs available and pick the gazebo that can spruce up the appearance and functionalities of your outdoors.

What to Know About Successful Estate Planning

Home and Garden

Many people don’t want to talk about anything related to estate planning, as they’re all aware that the subject touches on death and mortality. This topic is indeed difficult since it’s not easy to discuss how to distribute belongings after death and who should take care of the preparations.

The Importance

Financial planning and estate planning are important duties to perform when you’re healthy and mentally stable. It’s best to understand that this plan will eventually benefit family members after their loved one’s passing. After all, the loved ones of the deceased must have time to grieve and proper estate planning can help achieve it.

What You Should Know

There are many big and small business attorneys in Denver and other parts of Colorado who can help make your will and plan your estate well. Here are some tips they shared to ensure successful estate planning:

  • Draft a will to start estate planning. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with a simple one and add more detail with the help of your attorney.
  • Name an executor of your will and estate. This is important, as this person will take care of all aspects of the estate when you pass away. Choose someone you truly trust and also someone who you are sure is efficient enough to do a good job.
  • Many people shudder at the thought of making a living will, as this compels them to face the possibility of suffering a serious trauma or accident or any situation where they might not be in a position to communicate with their loved ones. Many court cases are a result of an absence of a living will, so make one as early as possible.
  • Update your will and communicate constantly with your family and friends on matters of your estate. Make a will and review the documents on a yearly basis to keep it updated. Changes occurring in your life, such as births, marriages and deaths can compel you to change the contents of your will, so review regularly.

A will is a legal document, but some problems might come up after you or your loved one is no longer in this world. It helps if you talk to your family and be aware of each other’s intentions regarding their respective estate. This will help if any issue were to arise after your passing.

Clean Your Furnace Filter in Easy Steps

Home and Garden

HVAC units have furnace filters that need frequent change, especially if you do not maintain them well regularly. If changing the filters is a tedious task, it is advisable to learn some steps to change the filter. This will also help you clean the filters and even replace them.

Steps to Change Furnace Filters

Websites such as allhoursplumbingslc.com recommend that you need to disconnect the fuel or power source before you work on the furnace. Read the maintenance service panel of your furnace and understand if you require any particular tools for changing the filters.

1. Look for the filter panel. You can lift this door off its holding hooks or unscrew it.

2. Check the filter. The filter is often near the blower motor. See if it is a disposable filter or needs to be cleaned or replaced. If it is a disposable filter, look for the size and model on the edge of the frame.

3. For filters that need cleaning, you can clean it with water. Make sure that no dust or dirt remains. Dry the filter properly before reinserting it into your furnace.

If it is a disposable filter, buy a replacement filter and slide it into place. Make sure that you follow the directions indicated in the proper direction of the airflow.

Learn to handle the furnace filters

Next time professional plumbers visit your home for furnace replacement in Utah or elsewhere, learn how to change the filters easily. Well cleaned filters will help your furnace function efficiently as the air flow will be open. This will also protect the respiratory health of you and your family.

The cleaned filters can filter out pathogens and harmful substances from the air in your interiors. An efficient filter will not only save you a lot of money but also decrease the risk of a fire in your home due to a clogged filter.

Check your filters regularly

Check your furnace filters at least once a month and clean the blockages thoroughly. This should be done especially during the winter when you might use the furnace more.

For Lasting Safety: Make Rain Gutters and Roofs Last a Long Time

Home and Garden

Like the roof of a home, rain gutters can be prone to damage due to wear and tear. But what’s good to know is that regular cleaning and maintenance can help keep them in tip-top shape. With regular maintenance and upkeep, a home’s roof and rain gutters are sure to last a long time. Double T. Inc discusses the importance of these parts to a home. The AAMA-certified company says that quality roofs and rain gutters can withstand harsh environments, especially when experts deal with the manufacturing and installation.

Here are some tips on how to extend the shelf life of a home’s roof and rain gutters.

Keep rain gutters clean

If debris is clogging a home’s rain gutters, it becomes more prone to damage due to blockage. So make sure to regularly clean rain gutters, especially if there are trees in the yard. During cleaning, check for nests and pests that could cause clogging as well. These are some of the usual problems that cause roof and rain gutter damage.

Repair breakage promptly

Fallen tree limbs can do serious damage to the roof and rain gutters. So make sure to do repairs promptly. Otherwise, broken branches can add up and the weight can cause the rain gutters to break and fall off. For any wear and tear during routine cleaning and checks, make sure to implement all rain gutter repairs to fix the problem before it becomes an even bigger expense.

Remove moss

Rule number one: a homeowner shouldn’t allow moss to foster in their homes. Moss acts like sponges, as they hide moisture. And moisture can bring more than just structural damage. It can also lead to mold growths and mildew that can cause health problems. So if there are any moss growths in the rain gutters and roofs, it is necessary to get rid of them immediately. Simply sweep off these home intruders with a broom, but for overgrown moss, it might be better to call the pros.

Routine is Key

To make a property last a lifetime, cleaning and maintenance should become a routine. This way, a homeowner can spot issues before they become problems. And by fixing them immediately, a homeowner can avoid spending more than intended.

Housekeeping Alert: Ways to Rid Your Home of Rats and Mice

Home and Garden

Voracious nocturnal pests that eat anything – that is perhaps the most accurate description of rodents in a homeowner’s perspective. In America, many integrated pest management programs focus on rodent extermination and exclusion.

The damage they can do to a household can be quite staggering. In terms of residential pest control here in Utah, exterminators will tell you dealing with these creatures should be a priority.

How do you pest-proof your home against rats and mice? You must get to know them first.

Rats and mice

Rats are large and are a major health risk because they harbor disease-carrying insects such as fleas and mites. They may also carry microorganisms, bacteria, and viruses harmful to humans in their bloodstream. Rats are notorious for their gnawing habits.

They chew on clothes, furniture, and even the beam of a house. When you hear scratching on the walls and ceiling, you are already harboring a colony of rodents. Rarely is one rat the only rat in the house.

Mice are smaller and like to hide in the nooks and crannies. If you track their droppings, then you are likely to find out where they probably nest. They will be chewing on wiring insulation and furniture right under your nose.

They are very sneaky and hardly leave any footprints. Like rats, they live in nests and reproduce rapidly.

Traps versus inclusion

The traditional approach to exterminating rodents is trapping them. There are traps that snap, and traps with sticky surfaces. Traps usually have baits for the creatures, and while they are effective, they only catch one at a time.

Many people frown at traps because of the manner the animals struggle before they expire. Some just do not believe they solve the infestation at all.

Meanwhile, exclusion is another approach—both an intervention and a preventive measure. Exclusion entails blocking entryways such as doors, windows, tiny openings where rats and mice can enter the house. This approach may be effective in preventing re-infestation once the problem is dealt with.

If an infestation is too large for you to handle, you should call for professional help. They can also tell you how to prevent them from coming back once driven away.

Preventing Water Damage in Your Home, As Early As Construction Stage

Home and Garden

Mold on the WallWhen summer arrives in British Columbia and the rest of Canada, many property owners emerge from hibernation not to enjoy the sun, but to repair water damage and remove molds. Of course, this is the best time to examine the property for defects and stop any water intrusion. Spring also reminds them about that leaky roof that has led to ceiling damage over the years. Construction defects can be hard to deal with, especially if they become visible many years down the line. Mold removal in Canada’s homes will be minimal if construction dealt with the following features.

1. Adequate Space Between Floor and Ground

Professor David Balmforth (formerly of the Institution of Civil Engineers) once suggested that all new buildings in Britain should be built at least one meter from the ground. This approach could also work in Canada as a supplement to conventional flood defense mechanisms.

2. Proper Ventilation in Attics and Crawl Spaces

Buildings that have poor ventilation in these areas constantly grapple with mold damage. You can counter this through bathroom fan venting. If there are water intrusion problems in the affected area, you may want to solve it to prevent mold exacerbation. However, the most reliable prevention is providing enough ventilation during construction.

3. Proper Installation of Building Envelope

When you talk of building envelope, you are primarily referring to exterior building materials. Poor installation of the envelope has cost many British Columbia property owners time and money in removing. The purpose of the Canadian Building Code is to prevent instances of buildings draining uncontrollably.

Mold damage claims are numerous across the country, and one leading cause of this knee-jerk reaction is poor construction practices. Remediation treatment is an expensive and lengthy process that may lead to interruptions. Be proactive by ensuring your property is built in complete adherence to existing regulations.

Bathtubs For the Elderly and People with Disabilities: Design Considerations

Home and Garden

Elderly on a relaxing safe bathtubCaring for an elderly or person with a disability can be very challenging. But, it is the responsibility of the caregivers to facilitate a comfortable life for them. Caregivers should attend to all their personal needs while giving them a sense of independence or freedom to move. This gives them the necessary self-confidence to keep them going.

Among other things, bathing is one aspect of life that needs to be done privately. One way to encourage independence at home is by getting a bathtub that will suit the user’s special needs. Here’s what you should look for in a tub.

Walk-in Tubs

One of the facilities you can provide for an elderly parent or relative with a disability is a suitable bathtub. These walk-in tubs from heavenlytubs.com, for example, are specifically designed to meet the needs of the elderly and people with disabilities. They come in various sizes and configurations. While they are made to suit people with mobility issues, everyone at home can use one too.

Safety and Accessibility

Regular bathtubs are not safe and accessible for the elderly and people with disabilities. This is why walk-in tubs are an ideal choice because they come with doors that can open outwards and inwards, providing safe and easy access to the user. Some tubs have doors large enough for a wheelchair to fit.

Another important thing to consider is the surface. The floor of the tub should be non-skid to avoid slipping and falling. Armrests and bars should also be within reach, stable, and non-slippery.

Ease of Use

Finally, the bathtub should be easy to use and intuitive. Ease of use is just as important as safety and accessibility, as it ensures that the user can bathe without needing help. Bathing should be private and intimate, so utilities should be easy to reach and use.

If you have an elderly or person with a disability to care for at home, it is wise to buy a tub that’s comfortable, safe, and accessible to suit various mobility issues. It may not be much, but being able to bathe on your own is an important matter for people living with so many restrictions.

Don’t Be the next Burglary Victim

Home and Garden

A burglary attempting to break into a houseAn alarming number of burglary cases are filed each day in the U.S. A new case happens every 15 seconds. In Chicago, burglary is more common than other types of property crime.

Everyone can be a victim. A burglary happens when you least expect it. However, you can do things to prevent this. First, know the common mistakes that make you the next potential victim.

1. Insufficient security and alarm systems.

Lawn signs and decals alone may or may not work, but if they fail, it would be best to have other security features. Thieves today are wiser, but they cannot outsmart you if you are prepared with surveillance cameras, motion detectors, and alarm systems in Chicago, Illinois.

2. Easy accessibility.

A burglar would grab any opportunity that comes his way. Leaving the doors and windows open provides easy access.

Poor lighting and an unmaintained landscape can hide intruders.

Locked doors and windows do not exempt your home from being a prospect, especially when it has poor lighting and overgrown greenery. Thick bushes make a good spot for hiding, and poor lighting also hides intruders.

3. An unoccupied home in a low traffic location.

Thieves find empty houses attractive above all because they make easy targets. The chances of not getting caught are exceptionally high when no one is at home. Based on statistics, around 60 percent of home break-ins happen in daylight when people are at work.

Prevent Burglary

Improving security features and installing monitored security systems at home are the best ways to protect the home from burglars. However, they can also fail you if you take some things for granted.

Always lock doors and windows at home and keep well-maintained landscape. Install powerful lights especially near entry points. Keeping valuables out of sight can also discourage thieves.

Thieves are getting smarter, and this should make every homeowner more vigilant. Make sure your home is safe from intruders and burglars.

Understanding and Dealing with HVAC Duct Leaks

Home and Garden

A HVAC technician on the job HVAC systems can’t heat up space efficiently without a series of ductwork. If these ducts leak heat or cold, they might present a host of problems. Take water heaters, for example. The primary heater takes care of the main job, and then the hot/warm water is transferred t to wherever it’s needed. Like air conditioners and furnaces, the duct/pipe work fulfills a critical role in keeping the entire system running.

Water heater repair professionals from firms like Expert Plumbing, Heating, Air and Electrical recommend that potential leaks be identified and fixed immediately. But first, you have to find the leaks.

On the Lookout

Water heaters leak in familiar places. Among the most common areas is the bottom. It’s also easy to determine whether there’s a leak: there’s a pool of water at the bottom of the heater, which shouldn’t happen at all. Aside from causing the water/electricity bill to increase, the leak is also a nuisance and can be a breeding ground for mold.

What if the leaks could be anywhere on the system? When looking for problems, it’s critical to turn off the water supply temporarily to avoid potential complications and unwanted mess. Afterward, it’s time to inspect the entire system. Look at every connection, nook and cranny: the pipes, valves, pumps, controls, and radiators for any semblance of mineral build up. If you see something that looks like hardened sediment anywhere, it might indicate a leak.

Going the DIY route still might not be enough. Calling in an expert to perform an inspection is not just a luxury, but a necessity. Professionals can provide a thorough diagnosis while documenting all issues and possible solutions. This can be helpful especially when negotiating the cost of mending leaks, or for determining whether the heater is due for a replacement.

Water heater leaks are nothing to ignore. A lot of things can go wrong and not just the power and water bill, either. If problems are quite apparent, calling in a professional helps immensely.

What Plumbers Would Like You to Know

Home and Garden

Male PlumberAs cliché as it may sound, it’s easy to ignore what’s already under our nose. One good example would be the pipes running through your walls. It’s the same pipes that bring in clean water when you’re going for a morning shower, washing the dishes, and flushing the toilet. That said, without proper maintenance, your pipes might not last as long as your home.

Be Alert

When asking a seasoned plumber, you would realize that nothing beats awareness when it comes to preventing plumbing problems. That said, you need to make sure that you keep an eye out for any possible plumbing problem. This would include leaking faucets, small water puddles, or ballooning of paint. Allhoursplumbingslc.com and other experts say that these signs could mean that you already have a leak somewhere along your walls.

Now, you also need to make sure that you ready your pipes for the winter season. Keep in mind that freezing temperatures can cause your pipe to become brittle and break down easily. A good way to deal with this is to have your pipes insulated once the temperature starts dropping.

Know Where the Valves Are

In case you do get a major leak and your basement starts flooding, you need to know where to go to turn off the main valve. This is something you have to do before making a call to any plumber. The shut-off valves that you need to be familiar with include the gas valve, the sewer valve, and the main water line valve.

Do Small Repairs

Not all plumbing problems warrant a call to a professional. In some cases, you can repair things on your own. For example, clogged drains and blocked toilet bowls are some of the problems you can solve on your own.

If you want to save on the services of a plumber, your best move is to make sure that you take care of your pipes and drains on a regular basis. Don’t make matter worse for your home and your pocket.