Category Archives: Home Improvement

4 Silent Hazards Lurking in Your Home

Men wearing protective suits

Men wearing protective suitsHomeowners do their best to make sure that their houses are as safe as possible for the whole family. What many people don’t realize, however, is that sometimes, the most dangerous threats to their wellbeing aren’t visible. Here are four silent killers that may be lurking in your home without your knowledge.

1. Radon exposure

Barring tobacco, radon is the most feared causes of lung cancer. In fact, this colorless and odorless gas is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. It’s the reason you should conduct radon testing in your Salt Lake City home.

2. Carbon monoxide inhalation

Like radon, carbon monoxide has no odor. Therefore, none of your loved ones gets a warning before they become very sick. It’s a silent killer that takes away hundreds of lives in the country. A quick solution to the problem is making sure that your home is well ventilated. Additionally, get a specialist to service your furnace and any other appliances that use fuel.

3. Lead contamination

Lead is a highly toxic metal that leads to serious health problems if you’re exposed to it. Victims exhibit problems with mental development, nerve disorders, and other serious health issues. Be wary of using lead-based paints at home. Replace lead pipes too, and test your drinking water for this material before consuming it.

4. Wrongful storage of pesticides

While pesticides are incredibly effective in keeping insects, fleas, ticks, weeds, roaches and other little nuisances at bay, they can also pose unprecedented dangers to your family. Pesticides are a leading cause of all child poisonings reported every year. Be sure to store them out of reach of your kids.

While it’s hardly possible to make your house free of all hazards, it pays to be as vigilant as possible in case you miss something. Make sure that you do not just focus on the dangers that are easily visible, but the unseen ones as well.

3 Common Mistakes That Homeowners Do with Their Dryers

Man reaching for clothes inside dryerDryers nowadays have a lot of sophisticated features that make homeowners’ lives a lot easier. However, several consumers are making basic mistakes that affect how they function. Although there are a lot of dryer repair services in Millcreek, it’s always important to know how you can properly maintain your dryer to ensure that it’ll last for years. Here are some of the most common mistakes that people do with their dryers.

Neglecting to prepare clothes for drying

You have to check the pockets thoroughly for any coins or pens. Most of these things may leak on your clothes and can destroy their color. You should also be extra careful with sharp objects such as paper clips because this might damage the inside of the dryer.

Not sorting the clothes

Don’t just push everything in the dryer. You have to sort your clothes the same way that you do when you wash them. Don’t dry sweaters with rough fabric such as jeans, as this could cause some pilling. Also, a black cotton shirt may shrink if you choose high heat, so it’s better to dry it in cooler temperature.

Neglecting to take care of the vent pipe

You always have to check your dryer vent pipe if there is an accumulation of lint. Any lint build-up can affect the airflow and your dryer’s efficiency and may even cause dryer fires. Experts recommend cleaning the dryer vent pipes every 6 to 12 months or depending on how often you use it.

These are just some of the most common mistakes that you have to avoid to maintain your dryer. Keep in mind that properly maintaining your appliances is important if you want to make them last longer.

Pest-Proofing Homes or Offices: What You Need to Do

Mid-section of pest exterminator

Mid-section of pest exterminatorEveryone, whether residential or commercial property owners, is at risk of experiencing pest infestation. After all, there are hundreds and hundreds of these insects in the State of Oklahoma. This doesn’t mean that you should just let them take over your home or business.

There are plenty of things you can do to pest-proof your home. One of these is to come up with a prevention and control plan as early as now. gives some helpful advice regarding this matter.

Getting to know the pests better

To even have the chance to rid your property of pests, you first need to determine whether you share your living or working environment with them. And for this, having at least a basic knowledge of the most common kinds found in the Sooner State is essential. Cockroaches, ants, stinging wasps, termites, mosquitoes, flies, and spiders are just some of the many others.

These creatures may be small in size, but the damage that they can bring is too big to overlook. Not only can they render your property unlivable; they can also bring serious health risks. These are enough reasons you want them out – and for good.

Pest control done the right way

Cleanliness and sanitation play major roles in keeping these pests from taking over a house or commercial establishment. Your practices and habits, such as proper garbage disposal, food storage, ensuring the sink stays clear at all times, and in general, just good maintenance habits can already make a difference.

However, these aren’t fool-proof, which means your house or place of business can still attract these unwanted tenants. In this case, the best thing to do is to enlist the services of a professional pest control firm. With their knowledge of these annoying, even health-hazardous creatures, coupled with the innovative technology they use, you can, once and for all, pest-proof your property.

Refinancing a Mortgage: Is It the Right Time to Do It?

Refinance mortgagePeople who have existing home loans see refinancing as a means to reduce their monthly obligation to pay off what they owe. To do that successfully, however, there are things you have to consider and think about first. Here are some of them:

Establish your future goals

To find out whether refinancing is a right move, you must establish a clear goal ahead. Most homeowners who are planning to refinance their mortgage in Utah are good at considering and weighing their homeownership goals.

For you to commit to this deal fully, you have to be firm about what your plans are for your home. If you want to leave or move out after completing the payment, refinancing is not a good direction for you to even consider.

Review your credit score

A borrower’s credit history is one of the most important criteria mortgage lenders look at. The higher your credit score is, the better your chances of getting faster approval is too. If you’re wondering as to how you could improve your credit, you can do the following:

· Reduce and pay off your debts,

· Avoid applying for other payables,

· Pay your monthly obligations on time, and

· Stay away from risky investments.

Learn to compare rates

Most borrowers commit a major mistake of not looking enough at their options. In fact, many people just settle for their first inquiry without even making an effort of asking around. Although this may often require a lot of work and time, you must understand that by only making a comparison will you be able to determine which among the lenders can provide the best deal and program for you.

Be a smart property owner and learn what steps you could use to your advantage. Always consider looking at the pros and cons of each action you take because by only doing this can you come up with the best decision.

How One Bed Bug Can Re-Infest Your Whole House

Close-up shot of bed bug

Close-up shot of bed bugBedbugs are making a comeback and there are three reasons. The first is widespread international travel. Next is the bug’s resistance to chemicals. The third is the ability of the female bedbug to super-breed. Read on to learn why some bed bugs exterminator companies such as A1 Exterminators in Salt Lake City use heat treatment to fight these bugs.

“Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite” is a saying said to children all over the globe as their parent’s tuck them in. For decades it was nothing more than a vestige of the past when large families shared a room or two between them and sanitation was minimal.

Now bedbugs are on the rise again and they’re becoming immune to the insecticides used against them.

Bedbugs Can Have Thousands of Babies

Researchers from the University of Sheffield have discovered that just one female bedbug can repopulate an entire colony. This means that if one is missed when the property is treated, another infestation will occur. They looked at DNA from insects in various infested homes and found that all the bugs originated from one mother, or from just a few mothers.

This is concerning because the rise in international travel has led to more jet-setters bringing bedbugs home in their suitcases, fueling the epidemic. The insecticides used don’t hold the same punch they did before. A higher level of tolerance has created a new breed of ‘super-bedbug’.

Heat Treatment for Bedbugs

Heat treatment could be the best solution in this case.  Pressurized steam is applied to all areas of the infestation, including crevices, furniture, bedding and soft furnishings. Bedbugs cannot hide from a heat treatment and it will kill them at any stage, including the eggs. Insecticide treatment relies on the bugs coming out and walking over the sprayed area. With heat treatment, if the whole area is treated, this isn’t necessary.

Some people prefer heat treatment as an environmentally friendly, chemical-free option when used in isolation. It is a way to kill bedbugs without the problem of chemical resistance.  Some companies use the combination of both heat and insecticide for maximum effectiveness.

Bedbugs are on the rise thanks to the popularity of the foreign holiday and the super-speed at which female bedbugs can breed. They are evolving against the insecticides used to kill them. Thankfully, heat treatment kills bugs instantly, even in hard to reach places and regardless of their stage of development.

How to Care for Your Home Appliances Effectively

Kitchen and living room of loft apartmentEvolving technology is responsible for the introduction of a wide array of electronics in the market. In fact, electronics account for a considerable chunk the average American home. For instance, furnishing your kitchen with budget appliances is likely to set you back about $5,000.

Mid-range appliances are likely to tally up to $50,000; while a high one kitchen goes for at least $100,000. With such kind of investment in the kitchen alone, it is clear that furnishing a home is a costly affair. As such, you need to take extra measure to safeguard your investment from damages.

Have a professional installation

While most appliances require little or no expertise during installation, some call for a particular set of skills. Installing a dishwasher, a washing machine, or a water heater often requires specialized skills. You should never take chances with appliances that connect to both your electrical and plumbing system.

One small oversight could have you sitting in a dark and flooding house while facing the risk of electrocution. Not to mention the risk of suffering irreparable damage to your newly purchased expensive appliance.

Don’t let the under $200 installation fee cause you to incur losses that could add up to tens of thousands of dollars and endanger your health.

Schedule regular servicing and inspection

With proper use and maintenance, most home appliances can serve you for up to a decade or more. The key to having them live out their lifespan is adequate maintenance. A regular check by a professional can save you a considerable amount of pain and loss.

Appliances the use running water are especially susceptible to wear and tear. The condition of water in your region plays a significant role in their degradation. Hard water often causes a mineral build-up that leads them to operate ineffectively or cause them to malfunction.

Rather than take a chance with your investments, you can opt to install a water softener in your Utah home.

Many people overlook the need to keep their home appliances in excellent shape, which leads them to break down or operate inefficiently. With the help of a professional, you can keep them in great shape and save some money.

Turn Your Home Into a Daily Paradise with These 2 Secrets

Home with a backdoor pool and hot tubAt the mention of paradise, most people think of vacations in exotic locations that have beaches and copious amount of sunshine. Unfortunately, statistics indicate that less than 40 percent of the American population goes on vacation each year.

If you belong to the larger community, it means that you spend most of your time at home. While you can do nothing to change the weather, you can seek the help of a reputable furnace repair service in Utah such as Whipple Service Champions and create an ideal living atmosphere in your home.

Keep those runaway bills in check

If your home is under a mortgage, the high cost of the monthly repayments may be driving you up to the walls. In most cases, hefty rebates might put a considerable lift on your spirit. But still, skyrocketing utility bills only serve to compound your misery.

While you may not be in a position to do much about the house payments, you have total control of your utility bills. If the power bills are off the charts, it may be time to examine at the home’s heating system. Broken furnaces or leaking heating ducts cause your system to operate inefficiently.

This leads to an increase in your power consumption.

Seek out a heating expert

In extreme temperatures, your air conditioning unit stands between you and the freezing cold or the sweltering heat. As such, you may have to run it on a continuous basis. A faulty system only leads you to incur an arm and leg in gas or electricity bills.

With an efficient system, you can create the ideal home atmosphere that suits your needs without incurring a sizeable dent in your wallet. It means you can make use of every room in the house, which creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the home.

At the end of a long day, you can look forward to a warm and luxurious shower, before curling up with your favorite book or catching up with the family.

By keeping your living space at the right temperature regardless of the weather, you can create a welcoming atmosphere that transforms your home into a paradise.

Hacks for a New Year of Lush and Healthy Garden Growth

Lawn mower cutting grassA beautiful lawn has strong and lush grass, healthy ornamental plants, blooming flowers, and thriving shrubbery. It takes proper lawn care practices for lawns to reach the level of perfection you wish to attain. Never underestimate the needs of your yard.

You have to work hard or employ someone to attend to the lawn to ensure healthy turf and plant growth. What are some of the things requiring your attention?

Taking out weeds

Yard weed control in Utah is central to comprehensive lawn care programs. Troublesome weeds are equipped with the efficient reproductive system. You have to know how to prevent them from producing seeds if you are to succeed at all.

Perennial weeds thrive because they can still grow unless you yank out every single part of the plant from the soil. Knowing about how weeds grow is the first step towards eliminating them from the yard. The root systems of many weeds grow extensively underground.

You think you have removed the culprit already, but the roots are just sitting dormant underground, and given the chance, the plant grows back again. Aside from knowing how to remove the root system underground, you need to know how to prevent them from taking root in the first place.

Disease control

Plants are prone to not only pests but also diseases, of which many amateur gardeners are unaware. Customized solutions are best and professional assessment of the situation is the best option for you.

Otherwise, the disease might spread to other plants, and it will leave you with a dead, brown lawn.

Maintenance tips

When spring arrives, you will have a handful of things to do, so it is best to prepare now. You best start lawn mowing and growing in early spring. Get the tools ready, learn about proper cutting techniques, and perhaps consider buying fresh grass.

If you cannot devote the required time, hire efficient lawn care professionals. They can help you with weed and disease control, and lend capable hands to proper lawn maintenance.

3 Plants You May Have on Your Balcony

Mexican balcony with planters

Mexican balcony with plantersContainers allow the gardener to enjoy a versatility that encourages creativity in design. From moving your pots around for a short-term display to permanent fixtures on your balcony, planting in a container adds depth and dimension to your garden. Just ask Authentic Provence.

In Tuscan, people often plant plants in clay planters to brighten dull spots and to soften corners. Since they are portable, they allow the user to change plant design to suit seasons, events and so forth.

However, despite them having so many advantages, they can also end up messing your garden if you plant the wrong kind of flower in them. That said, read on to learn about the suitable plants for clay planters.

Coreopsis Tinctoria

This plant could grow up to four feet and spread up to two feet. The flowers have a reddish-brown disk giving rise to yellow rays. Coreopsis is easy to grow and tolerates shade although it does better under the sun. The seeds can grow indoors and take between six and eight days to germinate.

As a pro tip, remove deadheads on time to discourage self-seeding. You can combine this flower with purple basil or euphorbia.

Impatiens ​Walleriana

Commonly known as Busy Lizzy, this plant is excellent for balconies without much sunshine. It grows and spreads up to two feet. It blooms in different colors including pink, rose, lilac, and white, hence the name.

Like Coreopsis, busy Lizzy is easy to grow even in moist atmospheres as long as the soil is fertile and drains well. The plant does well in all seasons.

Skimmia Japonica

Skimmia japonica is commonly known as the Japanese Skimmia. It can grow up to four feet tall and spread up to five feet. It is a low-maintenance hedge plant with showy fruits and a white bloom. It may scorch in the full-fledged sun, so only take it out when the sun is not glaring.

The male form of the plant is leafy and evergreen with beautiful red buds in winter and pinkish flowers in the spring.

When choosing your flower, also consult to find the size of pot that will allow it to flourish. Borrow from the design of your house to pick the color and design of the container so that it complements rather than disrupt.

How to Teach Your Kids to Keep the Bathroom Clean

modern bathroom interiorDo you spend a lot of time cleaning your house, not to mention the bathroom, and keeping things in order? With children at home, it’s so easy to see dirty clothes on the floor or hear someone yell for his or her towel or a roll of tissue. What can you do? Here are some simple solutions:

Install cabinets in the bathroom.

This is the solution for your bathroom supplies. You can get some RTA bathroom cabinets where you can put all cleaning materials, including shampoos, soaps, tissue papers, and trash bags. You can also store some towels in it, so you don’t hear the children screaming for their forgotten towels every time. Having an area where to store things can teach kids the value of putting items in their proper places.

Have a hamper of dirty clothes in the bathroom.

If you have a spacious bathroom, it would be best to keep a hamper of dirty clothes in there. This way, children (and adults), who have the habit of leaving their dirty clothes inside can easily find where to put them. If your bathroom is not large enough, you can strategically position the hamper just outside the door. This can be a reminder for anyone exiting the bathroom to check if they have left some clothes in the bathroom.

Involve your kids in bathroom clean-up days.

As children get older, they can help with the household chores. Introducing them on how to keep the bathroom spic-and-span can be included in the first and basic lessons about cleanliness. This way, should they go away to a boarding school or college, you do not have to worry about them having a dirty room.

With the right and positive encouragement, children who are introduced early to the value of cleanliness will not forget it even when they grow older.