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Monthly Archives: February 2018

Removing Snow And Ice in Your Home

Shovelling Your Driveway

Slips and falls can be prevented when you keep your driveway and walkway clear of snow and ice. It is very crucial that you keep some safety tips in mind each time you shovel.

Know if you must not shovel – There are certain people who are prone to injuries if they shovel snow. If you have a history of cardiac problems, avoid doing this activity.

Dress appropriately – It can be tempting to just run out and remove the snow and ice on your walkway regardless of what you are wearing. If you dress the right clothing for this activity, injuries can be prevented. It is highly advised that you dress in layers – wear a head covering, a scarf, warm socks, and gloves. Moreover, wear waterproof booth with slip-resistant soles.

Use the right shovel – Make sure to use the shovel that fits your body size and your level of strength. Choose one that has a handle that is the right length for your height. If you use one that has short handle, you may be leaning forward more. This will put you the risk of a back injury. Most importantly, choose one that is very comfortable to use.

Be cautious with deep snow – You must remove the snow when the ground is lightly covered. This will reduce the accumulation of packed, heavy snow. Instead of lifting the snow, just push it. But if lifting it is necessary, do not overload the shovel. And when the snow is deep already, remove it in layers.

Always stay hydrated – When you go out to shovel, drink a bottle of water. After that, drink regularly so you don’t become dehydrated. Avoid overexerting as well. This means that you have to take breaks often. You can go indoors to warm up. And if you feel any pressure or pain in your chest, immediately call your doctor.

Removing Ice

Aside from paying attention to your footing, here are other safety tips when doing this activity.

Purchase the right chemical products – An efficient way of melting the ice is putting a layer of rock salt on icy areas. Be reminded though that rock salt can damage concrete and metal surfaces. This is also harmful to plants. Prior to using any ice melting products, you must carefully read the labels.

Remove icicles – You need to get rid of any hanging icicles from gutters and roof edges. This will prevent injuries to children if they fall.

Make Home Child Friendly

Stairs

The stairs in home is the first one you should inspect. The danger of being careless when using stairs needs no explanation. Even adults easily get injured when they go up and down the stairs recklessly. And the injuries from stair-related accidents are often serious. Here are some ways to make stairs safer.

· Adding a slip-proof matting on individual steps

· Adding a soft rubber mat on the exact spot where the stair ends on the bottom to reduce injury

Bathrooms

The danger in the bathroom is slipping. Young and old people can fall victim to the lack of friction caused by soapy wet tiles. But sometimes, there is no way around it. Bathroom tiles will get wet and slippery. Here’s what you can do.

· Place anti-slip plastic or rubber mats on the bathroom floor

· Change the tiles with anti-slip tiles through renovation

· Add some soft cushion on the corners of the sink and rubber cushion on the toilet seat to avoid injuries.

· Make sure that the soap is secured in the tray so it does not accidentally fall off and cause an accident.

Kitchen

The kitchen is the place where you cook your food, but it is not the place for children to be alone by themselves. Unfortunately, they do sometimes come to the kitchen and play with whatever they can find there including knives, forks, and other sharp objects.

· Make sure that the oven has child safety features so they can’t open it and come inside.

· Secure knives in high places so children can’t reach it.

Electrical outlets

Electricity is important for our modern society, but they are not supposed to come into contact with human skin because they can cause myriad injuries. Most adults know better than to poke their bare hands inside an electrical outlet, but not children. One of the common causes of child accidents is electrocution. So if you have children, make sure your electric outlets are safe.

· Installing power outlet covers help a lot in keeping your child safe especially if the outlet is not being used.

· Covering outlets with furniture so it is difficult to reach by children

· Renovating the house to transfer outlets higher beyond the reach of kids

Protect Home From Winter

Icicles hanging from a drainpipe on the exterior of a house

The winter season brings with it challenges that aren’t purely seasonal in nature; the holiday season comes with a heavy increase in foot traffic around the house as people spend a lot of time indoors. This double effect can combine to do some real damage to your beautiful hardwood floors if you aren’t prepared. Let’s take a quick look at how the changing season can harm your flooring and how you can prevent this from happening.

Common Winter Elemental Damages

Gap formation: The air that your air-conditioning systems will be circulating throughout your home in the winter season is much drier than the type of air that circulates during the summer months. The effect this has on wood is that it causes it to slightly lose its moisture content, leading to the creation of small gaps where planks meet. You shouldn’t worry too much about this, as it’s to be expected. Once temperatures warm up, they will absorb a bit of moisture and return to normal.

Scratches and scrapes: Mud, salt, dead leaves, dirt, and snow can all combine to create unsightly scratches and scrapes on your floors once they are unintentionally brought into the house on the bottoms of boots and shoes.

Rot: If left to lie untouched for long enough, some of these winter elements can make their way into your flooring, causing the wood to rot. This is to be avoided at all costs, as serious cases might make it necessary to seek professional services to repair.
What Can I Do to Avoid Them?

Maintain temperatures: What leads to the creation of gaps in your flooring is the changing temperature levels and humidity. A good way to counteract this effect is to maintain your thermostat settings at a constant even temperature, avoiding turning your heat up and down.

Clean up: Regularly sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming your floors prevents the build-up of sludge and leftover snow that might eventually lead to rot.

Take the shoes off: Simply taking off shoes and boots before coming indoors will go a long way in avoiding most of the winter-borne floor difficulties. Before they come indoors, have your family and friends take note!

Cover up: Rugs, carpets, and floor-mats are a great way to protect your floors, especially in high-traffic areas which experience the most stress. Unwanted elements simply won’t have the chance to get at your floors.

Exterior Wood Surfaces

You need your deck, log cabin, wood siding, or for that matter, any surface on your valuable property restored it is important to define exactly what you want done and then make sure you or the contractor know how to accomplish the task to meet your desired result. First, we need to define a few terms.

Restoration – The action of returning to a former owner, place, or condition. The act or process of returning something to its original condition by repairing it, by replacing it, cleaning it, etc.

Cleaning – Make (something or someone) free of dirt, marks, mess, especially washing, or brushing. The activity of removing the dirt from things and places.

Washing – To cleanse by or as if by the action of liquid (as water). To remove (as dirt) by rubbing or drenching with liquid.

Blasting – The shock wave of an explosion (in this case with water). A forcible stream of air, gas, or stream from an opening (in most cases water from a pressure washer).

Vandalism – Willful or malicious destruction or defacement of public or private property. Willful or IGNORANT destruction. ANY activity that is considered to be damaging or destroying something that was good.

Most people want their valuable home, deck, or other structure restored to a “like new” condition. Sometimes this can happen by cleaning but that is not the case with wood surfaces. The goal for wood surfaces is to restore it to a former condition as defined above. To do this let’s address the other processes that contractors use. Today you get different trades that state they work on decks or exterior wood surfaces but how are they performing their work? There is a trend toward using an extreme amount of chemicals to “soft wash” wood surfaces. What these contractors are actually doing in most cases is spraying a higher than recommended dilution of bleach which lightens the surface and initially “wows” you with the result. A couple of items with this process, BLEACH DOES NOT CLEAN it lightens and remediates mold and mildew. Soap and detergents clean. When these contractors bleach your wood with too strong of a solution it can hurt landscape and other surroundings. Applying too much bleach can result in leaving it IN the wood where it will dry the wood out and could cause it to prematurely decay. Applying too much bleach, too strong to wood surfaces can cause it to burn the wood and cause excess fuzziness to the wood. The contractors who are selling you this service are not selling restoration services, they are basically selling you snake oil and taking your money while damaging your property. See vandalism above! The next item regarding restoration of wood is that most of these surfaces have grayed from exposure to the sun. What happens is that these surface wood fibers that have grayed need to be removed with a light amount of pressure or brushing and rinsing. Many of these contractors who are just applying bleach are just lightening the color of these fibers and not removing them. What happens next is when you apply a sealer or stain to the surface it fails and becomes blotchy in appearance quickly. This is because that eventually these fibers begin to separate from the wood surface because it was not properly prepped for coating. All wood restoration contractors know that the optimal final appearance is determined by how well the prep work that goes into it.

There are other contractors who “pressure wash” your wood surfaces to “restore” them. While this may not be a bad method, it is not if it used as a tool to rinse with only. Matter of fact, wood surfaces used with the right product always require less than 1000psi and in most cases 600psi or less is all that is needed. Softwood species like cedar requires less pressure while hardwood species like mahogany or Ipe withstand higher pressure. Many homeowners think that the pressure washer “cleans and restores” surfaces. This is so wrong, just ask a neighbor that has ruined or damaged a surface using a pressure washer in this way. Let’s look at this closer, how does pressure clean? Too much pressure will damage and possibly destroy your valuable property. The restoration process uses cleaners, restorers, strippers, brighteners and so forth to do the actual work. Actually, the first step is to remove grayed wood fibers or strip an older coating. In these situations we use surfactants that help lift and remove the wood fibers or older coatings from the surface where they now just need to be lightly rinsed off with no damaging pressure. A good analogy would be cleaning your oven, when you apply an oven cleaner to the surfaces and allow to dwell for 20 minutes it is an easy wipe down and clean. If you did not use the oven cleaner, you would spend a lot of time using quite a bit of elbow grease to clean. When cleaning and restoring surfaces this procedure should still be used, use the right product and allow to dwell to make the job easier. It is so important to make sure you or your contractor is using more than just pressurized water. Pressurized water is basically blasting the surface and blasting wood surfaces will not restore anything.