Category: Housekeeping

Importance of Planning Landscape for Your Property

Did you know landscaping can really make a lot of difference to look and vibe of your house? Attractive trees, shrubs, turf, and plants can add beauty as well as value to your property. And if you see the practical benefit of a planned landscape, it also helps in providing natural wind, proper drainage, and weather screening.

For many house owners looking to upgrade their property, a well-planned landscape design around the house is the solution. Here’s why designing the landscape for your property is important:

Getting rid of unwanted pests in your landscaping project●     Enhancing Curb Appeal

When you drive around the neighborhood, you might have noticed how some houses look very attractive than others. In most of the cases, it’s the landscaping- the way they manage their garden, sitting, and lighting around the house. If you also dream of having such an amazing looking house, then planning a landscape design is the first step.

●     Conserving Local Ecosystem

Besides improving your curb appeal, proper landscape designing can also help in preserving the local resources. When you add plants and trees near to your house, it can impact the surrounding by preventing soil erosion and cleaning the air and attracting different varieties of birds around your area and promotes a well balanced natural ecosystem.

●     Increasing Property’s Value

A good landscape design not only adds beauty and comfort but also increase the overall worth of your house. The real estate buyers place an attractive price on well-maintained properties and with trees and plants in your garden can directly add more value to the house. In case you are looking for the good resale value of your house, remember that landscape planning can add more value than the interior renovations.

●     Entertaining Play Area

Another great advantage of having a well-designed landscape is the comfort and relax environment outside your house. Adding pathways, light, trees, hardscaping, and plants to your house, you can spend time with your family and enjoy small games and do other entertaining things.

Landscaping Tips For Pest Control

While this was all about the benefits of landscape designing for your properly, another thing that you may not be aware of maintenance and landscaping is that it also minimizes the insect activity. How? Let’s understand how can it make different in pest activity. Landscaping can often give insects an optimal environment with moisture and food for growth and reproduction. The longer they stay around unnoticed, greater the possibility of them finding their way into your house.

●     Selecting the Right Plants

Choosing the right plants and trees for your property is important to keep the insects away. For example, try not to add plants that can attract ants, aphids and other plant-feeding insects. It would better to take advice from professional landscaper about the plants that can attract pest problems in the area.

●     Trim The Overgrown

Trees with large branches and leaves can provide secure space for insects in your yard. For squirrels, rodents, and raccoons, branches act as highways into your property and can cause the ruckus. Make sure you cut the dead limbs, remove dry leaves especially the ones close to the roofs. Keep leaves rakes, debris removed, grass moved from the outdoor yard.

●     Mulching

Mulching helps in retaining moisture in the soil which is also good for keeping plants hydrated. The organic mulch is great for plants growth, but they provide space for many insects such as ants, termites, earwigs, centipedes, and rats. Therefore, to avoid feeding thirsty insects, try to keep the mulch almost 5 to 6 inches away from the foundation of your house. Also, remove all the old mulch from your yard. You can also learn more about how to mulch properly and save your yard from the infestation of bugs by using dried cedar mulch.

Water features in your landscape design can attract pests●     Water Features

Pests and plants both need water to grow and survive, but try to avoid overwatering. Make sure you check the sprinklers and don’t let water around the building foundation as it will lead to the collection of moisture attracting more bugs around that area. Direct all the rainwater and downspouts into the proper drainage system. If there is a fountain or other water feature in your yard, always keep it well maintained so that they do not become a breeding area for the insects. Clean the plant trays, contains and bird baths after the heavy rainfall.  A good drainage system will prevent water pooling and keeping away the unwanted insects around the house.

●     Set up The Buffer Area

Many insects including ants, cockroaches, centipedes, and also mice can access the building by climbing up the branches of trees, climbers and shrubs around you. To prevent this from happening, install approximately 2-3 foot wide gravel boundary around your house that will act as a barrier and will discourage crawling insects from getting close to the walls of your building.

●     Hire Professionals

Finally getting help from a professional pest control service team can take away all your worries. New York pest control exterminators offer customized pest control treatments for all types of properties. From early inspection to the identification of the threats, they will create the complete control strategy with regular monitoring.

While small bugs have always been a natural part of every garden and help in battling other pests, some of the insects can be troublesome and can damage your greenhouse, garden, and home. The landscaping techniques will give you the necessary protection again many mite pests. For more active measures you can take help from professional landscaper and exterminators for the selection and up keeping of all the elements of the landscape design and terminating the problem causing pests in your area.

Turning your old rocky, barren yard into a lush green space with pretty plants can provide you with a lot more than a good impression. If done well, landscaping can keep all the nasty intruders away from your property and let you enjoy the outdoor at peace.

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Effective Maintenance of your Household Appliances

We all know that in order to get the most and best service from your appliances, you need to maintain them accordingly. Without proper maintenance, you’ll have to deal with the numerous repairs from time to time.

This doesn’t have to cost you any money. All you need is to set aside some time to go through all your appliances. This is to better ensure they are in good conditions at all times.

You can do this twice a month if you wish.

Things to do to maintain your appliances

There are a few things you can do to keep your appliances in better shape. These things include what to do and what not to do.

  1. Overload

This is one thing a lot of people don’t understand. To some, the more clothes they are able to fit into one wash the better. Well, this is overloading your washing machine which causes a lot of damage. With too much laundry the washing machine struggles to agitate/spin which may destroy the motor and belts.

Overloading your washerThe best way to better utilize your washing machine is by first understanding with overloading, you are neither saving on water nor energy. You are rather destroying your appliance which will translate to expensive repairs or an even more expensive replacement.

So, ensure to avoid overloading no matter what your reasons may be.

  1. Cleaning refrigerator coils

Over time, your refrigerator may get clogged up with foreign substances which may cause it to stop working as needed. Since the coils are very important, you need to take a rag and wipe off any debris on the coils regularly.

If the debris is not taken care of, the refrigerator is forced to work twice as hard thus consuming too much energy and may end up heating up the motor. This will leave your refrigerator too worn out and it might stop working altogether.

Also, remember to check on the rubber found around the door to ensure the fridge is always airtight.

  1. Reduce appliance usage

I know you must be wondering why would I not use my appliances for the work they are intended for. Well, with this you just need to make the smallest changes. Don’t go all out and decide not to use your appliances. By just reducing the number of times you open your refrigerator, preheating the oven just before use and turning off after is a great start.

Remember that the more you use your appliances the more they wear out and require repairs and replacements.

  1. Clean your oven regularly

Your oven will always be filled with oils and food particles. This means you have to make it a habit to constantly wipe down the interior of your oven. However, some ovens are self-cleaning so to be safe avoid using chemicals to avoid destroying the inside appearance of your oven.

At the same time take to your stove and clean it thoroughly. Use a small brush to get into the burner and clean it well to ensure maximum efficiency.

Remember to make this a daily practice to ensure the dirt does not build up.

  1. Clean out your dishwasher

Despite the fact that your dishwasher is used to clean your dirty utensils, you still have to clean it too. If your dishwasher uses filters to trap food particles, then you should make it a point to remove the food particles once in a while to allow for a more efficient dishwasher. However, you can reduce the times you do this by rinsing your utensils before placing them into the dishwasher.

  1. Saving on energy

When it comes to electricity, there are a lot of appliances that use it to function. This means the electricity bill may shoot up if used incorrectly. When dealing with appliances like TV and computers, you find that we leave them on even for times when we are not using them. Whether they have a standby period set or not the appliances still draw on too much energy.

reducing electric billsKeeping in mind the fact that you need to save the energy being wasted, you will be sure to always turn off all the appliances you are not using. This will help your appliances last longer and serve you better. Remember the more you use them the more they wear and tear.

  1. Dryers

After every load of laundry, it is important to empty the lint trap and also clean the exhaust vents. This is to ensure that there is enough clean air circulation and the dryer is working at its best to ensure your clothes are dry as required.

It is also important to clean inside and also the outside of your dryers to ensure no dirt particles get clogged up in the vents.

It is also important to note that you should make maintaining your household chores a family thing. This is to ensure that your kids understand the importance of what you do and appreciate that the washing machine and fridge doors are not for their amusement. It also helps the kids gain a sense of responsibility.

When cleaning, make sure that all your appliances are not connected to electricity. This is to help avoid any unwanted accidents. Also, make sure to go through the instruction manual that comes with the appliances. This is to see whether there are any specifications on how to handle the appliances when cleaning them.

Maintenance is something that you can easily do on a regular basis. It will help you avoid experiences of faulty and inefficient appliances.

However, if any of your appliances fail, you should go for appliance repairs by professionals. This will save you a lot of time mainly because professionals don’t have time to beat around the bush. They will diagnose your problem accurately and recommend the next cause of action.

With professionals, you can be sure that your appliance will come back better than it went in. Always remember to maintain the appliances for peak efficiency and your full satisfaction.

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Five Uses For An Old Toothbrush

Dentists recommend replacing a toothbrush every three months. Replacing the old with the new leaves an old toothbrush that still has life left in it when used in one of these five ways. First, place the old toothbrush (bristles down) in a ½ cup of antiseptic mouthwash to soak for five minutes or longer to disinfect it. Remove toothbrush from mouthwash soak, let dry and place with cleaning supplies for later use in one of these five ways:

Old toothbrushes are usually considered trash#1 Scrub Stove Burners And Control Knobs

A toothbrush gets into all the little crevices around the stove burners and control knobs that a sponge or dishcloth can’t quite reach. Dip a stiff toothbrush into soapy dishwater or spray with favorite kitchen cleaner and the toothbrush will scrub away all the caked-on, splattered-on food particles that collect on these areas of a stove top.

#2 Remove Mineral Deposits From Coffeemaker And Kitchen Faucets

Coffeemakers and around the base of kitchen sink faucets are two areas that develop mineral deposits and stains from hard water. An old toothbrush will easily remove these built up deposits and stains. Make a mixture of one-half white vinegar and one-half water, dip the old toothbrush in the vinegar mixture and scrub away the mineral deposits and hard water stains from coffeemakers, sink faucets or any other kitchen surface.

#3 Laundry Stain Removal

A little elbow grease is sometimes needed to remove those tough stains like grass and blood from the laundry. A little laundry pre-treatment spray and an old toothbrush will remove even the toughest laundry stain. Turn the garment inside out, spray the backside of the stain and scrub the fabric with the old toothbrush, then launder the garment as usual.

#4 Grout Cleaner

The grout between a tiled surface will need an occasional intense scrubbing, but the intense scrubbing times can be prolonged with the use of an old toothbrush. The grout on often used surfaces can be kept looking cleaner longer by spraying a cleaner on the grout and doing a quick scrub with an old toothbrush.

Around the bathroom sink and faucets on a tiled vanity top, tile grout on the floor in front of the bathroom sink, commode and shower are the grout areas that begin to look bad first. A regular spray of cleaner and quickly scrub with an old toothbrush will keep these grout areas looking clean between intense scrubbing times.

#5 Remove Hair Care Product Buildup

The hair care products used in hair clings to combs and brushes and builds up between the comb teeth and brush bristles. Remove loose hair from combs and brushes, then place in the bathroom sink to soak for a few minutes in warm, soapy water. Remove combs and brushes from the water and scrub away the hair care product buildup with an old toothbrush.

A three-month-old toothbrush still has a lot of uses left in it. Use an old toothbrush in the kitchen to scrub the stovetop surface and remove mineral deposits from the coffeemaker and sink faucet. In the laundry room, an old toothbrush aids in stain removal. In the bathroom, an old toothbrush helps keep grout clean and removes hair care product buildup from combs and brushes. Toss the old toothbrush after a recycling use or run through a dishwasher or washing machine cycle to be used again.

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