Pages Navigation Menu

The Wonderful Comforter: Take a Nap

Guide To Bridging And Mushing Issues In Water Softeners

Posted by on Aug 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Guide To Bridging And Mushing Issues In Water Softeners

Proper maintenance of a water softener is a requirement if you want to ensure that your unit is working correctly. Salt systems are prone to salt issues that can affect softening quality and ability. Fortunately, by understanding these issues, you can avoid them completely or at least quickly fix the problem if one does occur. The following guide can help. Bridging and Mushing The first issue, salt bridging, occurs when salt forms a crust instead of dissolving into the brine tank of the softener. This creates an empty space between the salt crust and the water beneath, which means the water is able to pass through the softener without coming in contact with the salt and being softened. Mushing is similar to bridging, except that the salt gathers at the bottom of the brine tank beneath the water instead of dissolving. This is more of a salt sludge than a crust. This sludge not only prevents the softening process, it can also cause blockages in the tank that lead to mechanical difficulties. Prevention tips Fortunately, there are simple ways to prevent both bridges and mushing. Use high-quality salt. Avoid rock salt, which contains impurities that can speed the formation of a bridge or mush. Evaporated salt is the purest option, so it is the least likely salt type to cause issues inside the softener. Fill the tank appropriately. Overfilling increases the chances of the salt dissolving poorly. Your softener should have a fill line or specific indicator of some sort for the salt level. Refer to the owner’s manual if necessary. Watch for condensation. Humidity around the softener can cause condensation to develop inside brine tank, which increases the chances of the formation of a salt crust and eventual bridge. If you notice condensation in the brine tank, consider using a dehumidifier. Perform routine cleanings. Each manufacturer has specific instructions for flushing out the resin bed and the frequency that it should be done. Generally, a softener cleaner should be poured through the brine tank about twice a year, and then run a manual regeneration cycle as directed in the manual. Then, clean the valves by removing them and washing them in hot water to remove any salt or mineral buildup. Fixing Issues For bridging, the fix is simple. Press down on the salt bridge with a clean item, such as a sturdy wooden spoon, and break it up. Mushing requires that the softener is completely drained and that all the old salt and the sludge beneath it is removed. Any residue will then need to be cleaned out of the brine tank before fresh salt is placed back into it. For more help, contact Johnson Water Conditioning or a similar...

read more

2 Ways To Avoid Weeds In Your Garden

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Ways To Avoid Weeds In Your Garden

If you are just starting out with your first garden, you may be wanting to completely avoid the weed battle that you know is coming. There are some things that you can do that will help you do that.  Invest in Heavy Black Plastic One thing that you can do is to get some heavy black plastic to lay down on your garden after you have prepared the soil. You can get this from any home improvement or garden store. What you want to do is to cover your entire garden with this black plastic, before you plant anything. Cut the plastic so that it is larger than your garden, and then you can set up a border to help anchor the plastic down. Then once you know where you are going to plant things, you cut an X in the plastic that is just big enough for the root ball of the plant to fit in or big enough for the plant to grow, if you are planting seeds. That will give weeds less of a chance to get a foothold in your garden. An added benefit to the black plastic is that it can help hold moisture in the soil longer. It will also absorb the sun and heat up the ground, which can help protect the roots and plants. Generally, this plastic should last for a couple of years.  Get Some Mulch Something else you are going to want to do is get some mulch and lay down a heavy layer. Get more than you think that you are going to need so that you make sure that you get plenty of coverage. You can actually lay this down right on the black plastic. If you are planting seeds instead of seedlings, you may want to wait for a few days to give the seeds time to germinate before you put the mulch down so that the seedlings don’t have to fight through the mulch to reach the sun. Mulch can also help to keep moisture in the soil and by the roots. If you are in a drought-prone area, you may want to put down a little more mulch because it may be able to help you cut down on waterings.  When you are planning your first garden, you would much rather have plants than weeds show up. Doing a few things can help you avoid weeds as much as possible. Visit http://snydersweedcontrol.com/ for more...

read more

Creative Ways to Store Your Garden Tools in Small Spaces

Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Creative Ways to Store Your Garden Tools in Small Spaces

You’ve found your perfect tiny home, and it has the perfect tiny yard. You have dreams of intensive gardening and vertical walls of lettuce, but you have one problem. All that work takes tools, and you have nowhere to store your rakes, shovels, hoes, and pruners—unless you get creative.   Make a Tool Bouquet Buy a shiny metal garbage can and dress it up with lovely magnetic flowers. If you can’t find magnets you like, buy a sheet of magnet material from the craft store, gather some pictures from your favorite magazines, glue the pictures on the magnets, and cut the magnets out. Voila! Custom pretties for your trash can. Once you have dressed up your trash can, remove the lid and place your long tools inside, business side up, as if you are arranging flowers. This is a perfect accent piece for the corner of your living room, bedroom, or some other area where they won’t be exposed to the weather. One advantage of this arrangement is that it forces you to keep your tools clean, since you don’t want muddy tools in your house for all your friends to see. Plus, the magnets can be removed easily if you ever have to use the trash can for its intended purpose. Turn Your Tools into Art If you have country decor, garden tools make amazing art pieces. For example, hang long tools above your curtains or hang a lovely large poster of sunflowers on your wall and then hang the tools around it like a makeshift frame. For hand tools, hang some five-by-seven-inch framed garden photos on your wall and then hang your tools between and around them when they are not needed. Alternatively, you can just place your hand tools casually on furniture or bookshelves as display objects. A cute idea is to use an old 16- or 20-inch bicycle wheel to hang garden tools from the ceiling like a giant wind chime. Hide Them Away in Unusual Places If you don’t like the idea of having your garden tools out in the open, you can find spots to hide them, even in the smallest spaces. If the space under your furniture is all taken, there are alternatives. Put handy plastic removable hooks on the inside of your closet doors and hang them there. Use a metal magazine holder mounted inside your kitchen cabinet doors to stash hand tools. An over-the-door hanger rack on the back of your bedroom door can hold all your long tools and a bag full of hand tools, and the tools can be covered handily with a pretty curtain hung on a cafe rod. The space between your refrigerator and cabinets can be utilized with a custom-built rollout pegboard wall to hold all your tools, and toe-kick drawers under your kitchen cabinets are another possible solution for smaller tools. Of course, if you have enough space, a simple solution is to buy a lovely, sturdy outdoor garden cabinet or benches for stashing your tools. Whatever your space limitations, there are creative and fun ways to store all those garden essentials. Call your local carpenter, contractor, or interior designer to find out what creative solutions they may be able to provide, or call a company that provides storage, such as Palmisano Ralph Movers, if...

read more

3 Types Of Outdoor Lighting To Include Outside Your Home

Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Types Of Outdoor Lighting To Include Outside Your Home

If you are in the process of landscaping and otherwise designing the exterior portion of your home and property, than one thing that you will want to include is outdoor lighting. This article will discuss 3 specific types of outdoor lighting to include outside of your home.  Walkway Lighting A place outdoors where lights are always appropriate is along your walkways. This can be the walkways either in your front or backyard. It also doesn’t matter if the walkway is made of cement, rocks, wood chips, sand, etc., because the lights will help to light up the path. You can choose lights that are close to the ground, and put off the amount of light that you would like. You can also have them set up so that they are either on all of the time or turn on only when their sensors are activated by motion.  Gazebo Lighting If you have a gazebo located in your backyard, this is a wonderful location for you to spend your time. It is great for relaxing, eating, reading, or whatever else you would like to do. However, one problem that you may run into with a gazebo is that it isn’t functional for you after dark. Thankfully, there is an easy fix for this. All you need to do is have lighting installed inside of your gazebo. These lights can be on the same electric panel as the rest of your yard lights, making the setup easier for you. These lights will do an excellent job of giving the gazebo light whenever it is dark and will allow you to get even more use out of your gazebo.  Stair Lighting One type of lighting that is unique and fun is lighting in your stairs. These lights can go in your patio stairs or any other stairs that you may have outside of your home. These lights are actually installed into each of your stairs, lighting up each step. This is not only a great type of lighting to have installed because it looks super cool, but it also makes going up and down your stairs in the dark much safer. You can have the lights set on a control panel that allows you to choose how bright or how dim they are, as well as what color they are. Also, because these lights are installed within the actual stairs, weathering and sun damage isn’t going to be an issue for...

read more

Landscaping Your Home? Consider These 3 Eco-Friendly Materials You Can Use

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Landscaping Your Home? Consider These 3 Eco-Friendly Materials You Can Use

With more people looking to go green in the way they live their daily lives, it can even extend to materials that they use for landscaping their home. Instead of using brand new materials for landscaping, here are 3 options that are more environmentally friendly at your disposal. Sand Made From Recycled Glass A popular landscaping material you should consider is sand made from recycled glass. You may have heard of it being used in sand traps at golf courses, but you can use it anywhere that you need regular sand. This includes sand needed for a foundation under walkways or step stones. The material is made by pulverizing glass until it has a consistency that is similar to sand. It doesn’t have sharp or jagged pieces in it due to how the glass is crushed. It is an affordable and safe choice that puts old glass bottles to good use. Mulch Using mulch is a great way to reduce the amount of weeds that grow in a garden, and improve the ground’s moisture levels. Mulch contains many types of eco-friendly materials. Old milk jugs and plastic juice containers can be turned into tiny pieces in mulch. Old tree leaves can be collected during each fall to create a temporary organic mulch that needs replacement each year. Old grass clippings can also be collected while cutting the lawn. Mixing them with leaves will create a great compost that you can use as a mulch. If you have the space for a compost container, you can use it to recycle all of the organic waste in your home. Not only will it reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills, but using organic materials as compost will improve the moisture retention of the soil. You also won’t need to use chemicals to fertilize the soil as well. By including mulch into your landscaping, it will improve the appearance and health of all your plants. Landscape Edging Made With Recycled Materials Using edging material is a great way to prevent grass and plants from growing into places that you do not want them. It also will make a distinct line where plants and flowers should be, which makes a yard look neat and well maintained. Consider purchasing a landscape edging material that is made out of recycled plastic, such as old milk jugs. Even though the edging is made with recycled material, it is just as strong as a material made with new plastic. If you need help purchasing any of these materials, reach out to a local mulching contractor (such as one from Mulch Masters) for...

read more

Three Ways To Beat Sensitive Skin At The Fabric Or Yarn Store

Posted by on Apr 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Ways To Beat Sensitive Skin At The Fabric Or Yarn Store

If you like to sew or knit and have been diagnosed with a skin condition that makes you super-sensitive to what you wear, you may be looking at changing the fabrics that you wear or the yarn that you use to give your skin a break. However, if you’re not used to choosing based on skin sensitivity, you might not know what to look for because some fabrics and yarns feel super smooth while still posing a problem for your skin. Here are three ways to beat that skin sensitivity when you choose your fabrics or yarn.    Go for Natural Materials… Natural materials are likely to be best for your skin because they tend not to be too rough, plus they tend to be breathable fabrics. Look for organic cotton and silk fabrics, and organic cotton yarn. Synthetic fabrics are often not very breathable, rather rough in many cases, and are often used in tight clothing, which is not good for sensitive skin. …Except Wool Wool is a special case. Much of the wool out there, both fabric and yarn, is rough and known for causing rashes in even people with non-sensitive skin. Until you get a better handle on how your skin reacts to natural fabrics, avoid wool. If you think your skin can handle some, look for merino or cashmere, which tend to be very soft and not as irritating. Note that two mechanisms are at play when dealing with rashes from wool. One is a simple sensitivity — the wool is rough enough to be scratchy. The other is a lanolin allergy, which is not very common but still possible. If you react to even the very soft wools like merino, you may want to get tested for a lanolin allergy, though it’s still possible that your skin is so sensitive that you’re just going to react to any wool, lanolin or not.   Wash the Fabrics Well Two issues to look out for with natural fabrics and yarns are chemical preservatives and buildup of laundry detergents. In the case of the detergent buildup, using a sensitive-skin, fragrance-free detergent will help reduce the chances of that buildup aggravating your skin condition. As for the preservatives, treat new fabric like new clothes and wash the fabric before sewing. If you’re knitting, remember to block the garment fully before wearing. (If you’re new to knitting, blocking includes washing.) If you want more advice for choosing smooth, soft fabrics and yarns that won’t set off your skin, talk to the people who run your local fabric store. They will likely have a lot of knowledge about how fabrics react with skin and detergents that you’ll get a good idea of what in the store you can...

read more

Tips For Preventing Common Plumbing Issues

Posted by on Mar 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Preventing Common Plumbing Issues

A residential plumbing system can be an extremely complicated feature of the house. Not surprisingly, this can make these systems especially vulnerable to develop a number of problems and issues. As a result, you should strive to become as informed as possible about this part of your house to make sure that you minimize the risks of some common problems. To this end, you can use these plumbing tips to make sure that your home’s plumbing is in working condition. Clean The Aerators To maximize the efficiency of your plumbing fixtures, it is common for aerators to be installed to mix air with the water. This can help increase the pressure of the water coming out of the fixture while also requiring less water. Typically, these devices are made using a small screen that can create air bubbles as water passes through. Unfortunately, it is possible for mineral accumulations to form, which may restrict the flow of water. Avoiding this problem will require you to unscrew the aerator and clean it by soaking it in vinegar for several hours. The vinegar will loosen the substances, which can allow you to easily remove these deposits by rinsing with water. The frequency with which you will need to do this maintenance will vary based on the amount of minerals in your home’s tap water. Houses with hard water will likely need to have this done more frequently. Have Your Pipes Insulated Homeowners often assume that the only step necessary for preventing their pipes from freezing is to leave the faucets dripping. While this can help reduce the chances that your pipes freeze, it may not be completely effective if you have uninsulated pipes. As a result, you should make it a point to have a contractor install insulation on your pipes. At a minimum, you should have the pipes next to exterior walls insulated as these pipes will be the most exposed to harsh winter temperatures. In addition to preventing pipes from freezing, insulation can also help with the overall efficiency of your plumbing. This is because the insulation will prevent your hot water from losing heat or your cold water from gaining heat while coursing through your home’s pipes.  By making sure to clean any aerators with vinegar and installing insulation on your pipes, you can keep your plumbing safe from routine hazards. For more advice on how to keep your plumbing operational, talk to plumbing contractors in your...

read more

Can You Kill Bed Bugs By Freezing Them?

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can You Kill Bed Bugs By Freezing Them?

At this time of year when the temperatures outside start to fall below freezing in many areas of the country, some people may find themselves wondering if it’s possible to freeze bed bugs to death. Knowing the answer to this question can help you get control of your bed bugs and help you rid your home of these invasive insects. Can you kill bed bugs by freezing them? Yes, bed bugs can be frozen to death, provided the temperature remains low enough for long enough. To freeze bed bugs, you’ll need to place them in temperatures of 0 degrees Fahrenheit (or lower) for 4 days or longer. To do this, start by placing bedbug-infested items (clothing, pillows, etc) into sealable plastic baggies. Next, put these baggies into a freezer set at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. If your home’s freezer doesn’t give the internal temperature of the appliance, use a thermometer to track the temperature. If the item you’re freezing is very bulky, it could require extra time. The core of the item, whatever the item is, needs to stay at a temperature below zero in order for this method to be effective. Can you put the bed bugs outside to freeze them? Some sources say yes, however, the trouble with this method is that the temperatures outside are rarely low enough for long enough. Sunshine, humidity and other uncontrollable factors can cause temperature fluctuations that would prolong the life of the bed bugs, leaving you believing that the bed bugs are dead when they’re actually not. If you do try to put bed bugs outside in sub-zero weather for 4 days, you’ll need to monitor outdoor temperature carefully. If the temperature rises above 0 degrees, the counter will need to start over. Be careful not to store anything outside that could possibly be damaged by moisture if condensation should form on the inside of the bag. Keep the item (or items) out of the sun and away from structures that retain heat (like the side of your home). In reality, freezing bed bugs has some limitations that should be considered when deciding whether or not to use this method of bed bug control. Not every infected item may fit in your freezer, and putting items outdoors can result in damage to the item without resulting in dead bed bugs. The best way to kill the bed bugs in your home is to contact a reputable pest control company in your...

read more

The Greatest Risks You’ll Face When Removing A Tree

Posted by on Jan 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Greatest Risks You’ll Face When Removing A Tree

Regardless of the size of the tree that you are removing, there is always a risk that the tree will fall and will strike you, potentially causing an injury. To stay safe, you must understand the inherent dangers that you may face when you cut the tree down. Becoming Injured Without A Partner Work with several partners. If the tree falls on you, you could become trapped and someone will need to seek out help. Also, your partner may notice that the tree is falling before you notice. When removing a tree with multiple partners, one partner can use a strap to control the direction that the tree falls as you cut the tree down. A Weak Or Broken Branch Giving Way The tree might have a weak or broken branch that may fall unexpectedly when removing the tree, which can cause an injury. Do not use a dead or weakened branch for support. Dead branches do not have leaves, often have bark that is peeling off and might have a large amount of fungi growing on them. A Sudden Swarm Of Poisonous Insects Inspect the tree to make sure that it does not contain poisonous insects. Work gloves and protective gear will protect you from biting insects. A sudden swarm of bees could cause you to lose your balance and fall. If the tree does have an infestation, consider hiring a pest control specialist to remove the pests before removing the tree. The Tree Falling In An Unexpected Direction Trees have a tendency to fall in an unexpected direction. Dead and dying trees are the most likely to fall in a surprising direction, which is why trees are best removed long before they are dying. Always wear a helmet with a face shield when cutting down a tree to protect yourself. When the tree is very large, it will need to be cut into smaller sections to make it easier to remove it. When only a small portion of the tree remains, it will be easier to control when the remainder is cut down. A Tree That Must Be Removed By A Professional Some trees are simply too dangerous to not be removed by a professional. The safest way to remove a tree is to secure it with a crane. However, the crane requires special training to operate. Therefore, if you do not believe it is safe to remove your tree, hire a professional who specializes in tree...

read more

How To Identify Plumbing Leaks

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Identify Plumbing Leaks

If you suspect that you have a plumbing leak, then you should handle it as quickly as possible. However, you might not know exactly where to start. To help you out with that, here are some pointers: How to Find a Leak or Blockage The first step is figuring out exactly where you should look. If you suspect that you have a leak, it might be because your house has low water pressure. This can be an excellent way to pinpoint a leak, especially if the water pressure is only low in specific parts of the house. For instance, if you have low water pressure in one sink, but nothing else is affected. then you can safely conclude that there is something wrong with the section of pipe leading to that sink. You can also assume that the leak or blockage is after any forks in the plumbing that lead to other outlets. This can be very helpful if you have multiple water outlets in a room, such as a bathroom, which likely has a sink, a toilet, and maybe even a shower. In many cases, all of these will draw on the same line of plumbing. If only part of the plumbing in a room is affected, then you can narrow down the location of the problem to that room. However, you might not be able to immediately access the leak in question. How to Handle a Leak or Blockage Once you have identified the section of the plumbing that is giving you problems, you will need to figure out how to fix the plumbing and clean up any damage. If you can easily access the pipes in question (particularly if the pipes are below a sink and easy to reach), then you can fix the leak on your own. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to hire a professional if you cannot easily reach the exact pipes yourself. At this point, one of the most important things that you will need to do is clean up any mold and water damage. To handle mold, you will need to make sure that you have proper protection, including clothing that covers your skin, gloves, and a respirator. To deal with water damage, you will need to remove as much moisture as possible, and then assess whether or not you need to hire a professional for repairs. The longer that you wait to get rid of pooling water, the more damage that will ensue. If you can’t resolve the problem on your own, contact a plumbing business, such as Hilmans...

read more