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Worth Mentioning: Thoughts, Tips, Tricks & Seasonal Ideas

CHECK TUB CAULKING

2/26/2014

CHECK TUB CAULKING

Show us a water stain on a ceiling and, more often than not, it isn't a leaking roof ... it's a leaking bathroom fixture.

WHAT    Check the caulking in your kitchen and bathrooms. Don't just look for moldy or missing caulking; pull at it to see if the seal is good or if it's just sitting there.
WHEN    Once a year.
WHY      As inexpensive as it is, caulking is essential to maintain the normal life expectancy of tile bathtub and shower enclosures. It's equally important for the long life of laminated countertops and backsplashes. 

    The backing material behind the tile may be water-resistant, but it is not waterproof. The particleboard backing material for plastic-laminated countertops is even more prone to water damage. 

    The caulking may last for 10 or more years but because of poor surface preparation, poor tolerances and building movement, the seal rarely lasts that long.

HOW     The key to good caulking is good preparation. The surface must be clean and dry. This often requires lots of scraping and vacuuming. If it's damp behind the old caulking, wait until it dries. 

    Use a caulking gun and use caulking that can be cleaned up with water. Get the right kind of caulking by asking someone knowledgeable at a retail store. For best results. Cut the tip of the caulking tube at about a 30-degree angle and make the hole in the tip the same size as the gap you are about to fill. Push the gun away from you. This fills the gap and the trailing edge of the nozzle leaves a professional finish. Go for one continuous bead. Stopping and starting makes a mess.
TIPS
      When caulking a tub, fill it with water and stand in the tub. The weight of you and the water makes the tub settle a bit and opens up the joint to be caulked.
 
      After caulking, you can smooth the surface with a wet soapy finger, but don't push too hard.
 
      Some people use masking tape to make the job easier. If you do, be sure to pull the tape off immediately after caulking, and use the soapy-finger trick to smooth the edge.

Are You Aware of the Benefits of Energy Efficient Light Bulbs?

2/24/2014

Only 4 in 10 consumers know about the 2014 phase-out of 60- and 40-watt incandescent light bulbs.

That is according to the 2013 Osram Sylvania survey, the sixth annual “Sylvania Socket Survey” that explores people’s knowledge of and attitudes about energy-efficient lighting

Did you know that there is a Phase out mandated from the Government regarding the use of Incandescent Bulbs?  Back in 2007 Congress passed a bipartisan Energy Independence and Security's Act.  Among the provisions of this 800 page act was a phase-out of the familiar incandescent light bulb.  The goal is to push us to more energy efficient resources of CFL and LED type bulbs.

How much do you know about the difference in the two types?  There is a ton of information out there on the web that will help break down the specifics, but here is a couple of basic facts. 

  • CFL bulbs consume far less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 3-4 times longer
  • CFL bulbs produce a cool, blue tinged light, unlike the warm amber glow or tone of incandescent.
  • CFL bulbs do cost a little more than the incandescent bulb, but averaged over the life of the bulb it works out to less per hours of service. 
  • LED bulbs are even more efficient and longer lasting than the CFL bulbs
  • LED Bulbs have an average life estimate of over 25,000 hours of bulb life
  • LED bulbs are quicker on and have lower power with higher output. 
  • LED bulbs give off far less heat than both CFL and Incandescent bulbs. 
  • LED Bulbs can also be found in many colors. 
  • LED bulbs are again slightly higher in initial price, but deliver longer life. 

 

You should definitely start replacing bulbs as you can or need to.  One other item you should be aware of is there is a small amount of mercury content in a CFL.  This is important for two reasons.  The first is the Health risk, should a bulb break it has been reported that there is a mercury vapor release that should not be inhaled.  Also when cleaning up the broken glass from the bulb, mercury may be present on the glass, it is best to not handle it with bare hands.  The second issue is also regarding the mercury in bulbs that have failed; it would be required to dispose of the bulb through the proper means, not throwing into your personal garbage can, as that would contaminate the dump with additional mercury content. 

Personally, I have felt that LED bulbs are the way to go, less heat, more light, longer life and extremely durable.  To me this is a better bang for your buck if you are ready to start making some green choices. 

To help you find the right bulb for the applications around the house, they have an app for that!  I thought I would share.  Light Bulb Finder

I hope you will let me know if you have any questions about Green and your options when trying to be more energy efficient! 

2/15/2014

Easy Home Renovations for Romance All Year Long.

 

2013-Valentines-Day-decor-ArchitectureArtDesigns-4by Courtney Soinski

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, who says you have to celebrate love just one day out of the year?  Why not every other day, too?  It’s now a perfect time to add some romance to your home with some new decorating techniques.

We’ll show you how to transform your home into a romantic paradise where love never fades.   Here are some easy renovations for romance all year long:

  1. Romantic Furnishings.  Add luxury to a room with a chaise lounge or a four-poster bed.  With a bed with soft and silky sheets as the focal point of the room, it will radiate with elegance and romance.
  2. Soft Lighting.  When you want romance in your home, be sure to stay away from bright lights.  Lighting should be soft to give off the right vibe.  Try installing dimmer switches on lamps and chandeliers so you can easily adjust the brightness to match the room’s mood.
  3. Fireplaces & Candles.  The flickering flames from a fire bring out the romance in a room.  Fireplaces and candles create subtle light to both invigorate and relax the occupants.
  4. Sense of Touch.  Take advantage of your sense of touch through soft fabrics, bath curtains and the use of velvet or similar materials for upholstered chairs.  On lamps, opaque shades will give your skin a beautiful glow and soft, plush towels are a nice touch for a romantic atmosphere.
  5. Sense of Smell.  Enhance the overall mood in the room with the power of scent.  In every room of the house, use scented oils and candles while keeping a subtle smell that is not overpowering.   Add lovely aromas by placing fresh cut flowers around your home.
  6. Sense of Sight.  Captivate the sense of sight with lovely artwork of landscapes, sculptures, or still-life paintings.  Place delicate vases on dressers or a stack a poetry collection on a piece of furniture to enhance the romantic aura.
  7. Sense of Sound.  You can filter sound and keep noise levels down in your home’s romantic space by using curtains and soft, plush rugs.  Keep the television off or in another room to minimize noise.

Using these home decorating tips, you can create a romantic and elegant aura throughout your home this Valentine’s Day and all year long.  As you decorate your home, concentrate on captivating all the senses.  Sight, sound, touch, and smell should be used in soft and subtle ways to provide both luxury and tranquility.

Are You Liable? What You Need to Know About Homeowner Responsibilities.

2/11/2014

Are You Liable? What You Need to Know About Homeowner Responsibilities

Accidents happen. But if they happen on your property, are you liable for damages? Possibly. As a homeowner, you are obligated to keep your property safe and free from obvious risks.

Where your obligation ends and personal responsibility begins is ultimately up to the courts to decide. Limit your exposure to potential homeowner liability risks:

Keep Pathways Clear – Prevent slip and fall accidents by removing yard debris, ensuring adequately exterior lighting, repairing leaking downspouts, and keeping sidewalks clear.

Repair Building Exterior – Maintain the exterior of your home, securing any loose siding or shingles, repairing stairs and railings, and fixing loose pavers.

Check Contractor Coverage – Make sure contractors and trades carry their own liability and workers’ compensation insurance, as you are liable for any damage they cause.

Train and Contain Dogs – Enroll Rover in dog training classes to curb any aggressive tendencies and designate a special fenced area for dog only.

Maintain Trees – Cut back dead branches or remove dead trees to prevent them from falling on your neighbor’s house (or neighbor) during the next big windstorm.

Comply With Building Code – Make sure any required safety equipment, such as handrails, and smoke detectors, are in good repair and functioning properly.

Secure Pools and Hot Tubs – Practice pool safety! Keep gates locked so neighbors cannot access it when you are not around, always supervise children, and make sure lifesaving floatation devices are easily accessible.

Supervise Trampoline Use – Check the safety net and pads regularly to make sure they are in good working order.

Pledge to Go Paperless

1/30/2014

Pledge to Go Paperless

The New Year is an excellent time to reflect on your personal and business habits. This year, commit to a New Year's Resolution that only involves a small shift in habits, so it's more attainable and rewarding than the standard "Get in Shape" resolution promise.

Here are a few easy swaps you can make at home to help you keep your goal this year:

1. Ditch Disposable. It may not be practical for a large family to give up on all paper products in the kitchen, but aim to ditch just the paper towel habit. Microfiber or cotton cloths are just as effective and will dry quickly so you can reuse them often. Not ready to make the switch? Limit yourself or your family to cut your usage in half. Or check out a few tips before you begin.

2. Nix the Notes. If your family adheres to weekly chores, calendars, or to-do lists, try transitioning them to a more permanent location. This idea shows old cookie sheets painted with chalkboard paint to become a practical (and paperless) solution!

3. Online Organization. Most people have a stack of important mail that gets delivered each month - mortgage, utilities, car payments. Did you know that just about everything can be organized, managed, and paid online? And it's secure when you use the right tools. Get to know Evernote or learn how to choose the paperless billing option. You can send statements or payment notices to a dedicated email folder each month. And remember, resist the urge to print!This blog post offers a good look at a few ideas to get started.

 

 

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