Home and Garden

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.

Have an Urgent Plumbing Problem? Call a Plumber

Home and Garden

Plumber Pumping a Clogged SinkThe house is a complex system where every equipment or element is important. If one of these elements get damaged or destroyed, it could affect the house. For example, the plumbing system is essential for the everyday life of the residents.

However, when there is a leak in the bathroom or the sink in the wee hours, you might feel a need to call a plumber. Calling an emergency plumber in Orem is one of the first things you might have in mind. However, during an emergency, you should inspect the problem first before calling an experienced plumber.

Inspect the Leak or Damage

It’s pivotal to assess where the leak is. When you do this, inspect the source of the leak and the extent of the damage. In this way, you can immediately tell the plumber later.

Try to Manage the Situation

Though there are emergency plumbing services, not all states and cities have this. When there is no one to call and it’s an urgent problem, try to manage the situation first. Turn off the main for your water, so the area will not be flooded. If the area is in your basement, make sure that your water main is turned off to prevent serious damage and fungal growth.

Call the Plumber

Many plumbers offer emergency plumbing services. They are trained and committed to providing quality services. They also have the knowledge to deal with any piping problem effectively. It is important to have the phone number of the company in case you might need it.

Sometimes you assume that you can do a leak on your own, but sometimes only a plumber can do the job. When your faucet or shower won’t work or has a big leak that needs to be addressed immediately, calling a plumber can surely solve the problem.

Eliminate the Ant Menace in Your Home

Home and Garden

antsAnts are quite an industrious bunch. They run a tight and orderly colony in a manner  that astounds the scientific community. In fact, some of the scientists marvel at the ability of such small creatures to lead such an extraordinary life.

Each day, workers comb their immediate surroundings in search for food before ferrying it back to the colony with a religious zeal. While such organization is admirable in the outdoors, it can be devastating if happening inside your home.

If you notice an ant infestation, you need to take swift action to remedy the situation.

Feed the ants

While this might seem counterproductive, it boils down to the kind of food you leave out for the ants. Rather, than going out in search of the colony, you can have the ants destroy it for you. If house ants invade your home, leave out a mixture of part borax and three parts powdered sugar.

Borax is toxic and kills any termite that ingests it while the sugar serves as bait. Ants are unable to differentiate between the two and will judiciously ferry the poison back to their colony, killing it off.

In the case of carpenter ants, just locate their nest and douse it with food grade diatomaceous earth for pest control.

Call an expert

In cases of a large-scale ant invasion, it is time to call in the big guns for a lasting solution. In areas with large termite mounds nearby, you might suffer recurrent attacks. As such, you need a better strategy to deal with the menace.

Other than getting rid of the ants, a termite exterminator firm in Salt Lake City can help you ant-proof the home. They can recommend ways to treat the wooden bits in the home and seal off any entrances that allow ants into the home.

Ants pose a significant risk to your home, and as such, you should make every effort to eradicate them. These useful pointers can help you deal with such an infestation painlessly.

What Type of Swimming Pool Is for You?

Home and Garden

A worker installing tiles on the bottom of a swimming pool There is a good chance that if you have a house and a large yard space, you’ve probably thought of hiring a pool construction company in Salt Lake City, Utah. Swimming pools can be expensive, but Dolphin Pools & Spas says that it is also great for family fun, parties, and morning exercise.

However, choosing the right type of pool is usually the hardest part. You have to think about things like your budget, space, and maintenance. Here are the pros and cons of both in-ground and above ground pools that can help you decide.

In-ground pools

Pros
In-ground pools are the best if you are looking for something more permanent and of higher quality. The materials used to build this kind of pool include concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass.

These pools are very sturdy, which makes them easier to customize, especially if you hire a professional pool builder for the job. In-ground pools also have the size advantage that is the best for people with big families, pool parties, and even exercise.

Cons
In-ground pools are expensive. Aside from this, there’s a lot of maintenance involved that could cost you more in the end. This is due to feeders, pumps, and the underground pipe system that in-ground pools require. This pool is also permanent and is difficult to change or remove once built.

Above ground pools

Pros
Above ground pools are inexpensive and can be a lot of fun to build if you are handy with tools. The average pricing with builders for above ground pools go for about $1,000 or less. Maintenance is easy too, because you do not have to worry about any underground pipes and drains. Above ground pools also do not require that much space either.

Cons
The only real problem with this kind of pool is it is very hard to find a builder for it. You might have to be handy with tools and build one yourself. Cheap pools often equate to cheap quality as well, so you really need to be wary when you see pool builders offering to build this below $100.

Deciding on what kind of pool to build boils down to your preferences, budget, and backyard space. It hinges on whether you are ready more for something permanent and of high quality or something that is cost effective and easy to maintain.