Maintain Your Home to Reduce Expenses
Many of us have learned the hard way, that if we don’t keep our cars, tools, and other things we rely on in good working order, then we end up spending money unnecessarily on repairs. The same is true in regard to our houses, both inside and out. The cost of NOT doing home maintenance can be steep. That, it’s always much easier to be proactive than it is to wait until something breaks down.
One typical time to get busy is autumn. If you haven’t had to be responsible for a house before, you can find plenty of early winter home maintenance tips online, at the library, at a local extension office, home maintenance chain stores, or in bookstores. Check with your neighbors. Some of the areas you should be concerned with are:
· Roofs and gutters
· Fireplaces and chimneys
· Decks and patios
· Shutters and siding
· Drafty doors and windows
Early winter or fall is not the only time to inspect these aspects of your house. It’s a good idea to take a good look at everything at least twice a year. Additionally, if you notice problems at times in between; fix them right away. It will save you money later. By the way, you’ll find free home maintenance tips in the same places listed above.
As you travel through various neighborhoods, it’s easy to spot the houses whose owners haven’t listed any early winter home maintenance tips. They often have peeling paint, stained concrete, rotting wood decks and stairs, and overgrown yards. All too often it’s probably because they just got behind and have found out the hard way the cost of NOT doing home maintenance. If you possibly can avoid it, don’t let yourself get caught in this trap. Make it your habit to take care of problems before they happen.
If you let any of these deteriorate, you’ll soon learn about the cost of NOT doing home maintenance.
Some Specific Areas
With fuel costs on the rise, it’s a real plus to have a fireplace to help heat your home. They’re also very cozy and conjure up pictures of a good book and a cup of hot cocoa. You may not see these benefits listed on your list of free home maintenance tips, but you know how much you ‘d miss them if you couldn’t build a fire. Make sure your fireplace and chimney is always clean, and you’ll be ready for any sudden storm. Taking care of your fireplace is a great way to avoid the cost of NOT doing home maintenance.
All of this may sound like just too much work. This is when it’s time to think of old sayings like, “It’s better to be safe than sorry”, and avoid the cost of NOT doing home maintenance.
Fireplaces and chimneys are especially important to keep functioning well. The cost of NOT doing home maintenance on your fireplaces can be more than just money; it can be lives. Any of your early winter home maintenance tips will remind you to get those chimneys cleaned before you start building cold weather fires. You should also thoroughly clean the layers of soot that collect just inside the fireplace itself (# 690 Fuller Brush Fullpower Fireplace Cleaner).
One more specific area to maintain is any surface made from wood. The most common instance is a deck, but you may also have stairs, railings, or porches that fall into this category. In your early winter home maintenance tips, you’re sure to learn that it’s important to routinely clean any outdoor wood that you have (# 570 Fuller Brush Pressure Washer Deck Wash).
It’s more than likely that you have some areas in and around your home that are made from concrete. These may include basements, garages, patios, driveways, and sidewalks. In addition to sustaining cracks that will grow if not fixed, concrete can absorb dirt and stains. Again, consult your free home maintenance tips for advice on how to fix any damage. You should also clean these areas to avoid major build-up through the years (# 747 Fuller Brush Concrete Cleaner).
Wood can rot and fade, so performing maintenance, such as cleaning, painting, and repairs in a timely manner will keep you ahead of the curve. This information is something else that should be on your list of free home maintenance tips.
If you spend a few dollars and some elbow grease now on property upkeep, you’ll avoid the cost of NOT doing home maintenance. Everyone is busy these days and time seems to fly by. It’s easy to put off your chores, but before you know it, six months or a year has gone by. You can avoid this happening to you by making a checklist and posting it where you’ll have to look at it. As you do each task, mark the date that you completed it and it will be easy to see when it’s time to repeat it.
How To Get The Right Flooring For Your House
Everyone dreams of living in a beautiful house. You’re often bewildered with different decorating ideas once you have the house. It’s a good idea to start at the basics. Good flooring forms the foundation of any decorating theme. It’s vital to get the flooring. One aspect is selecting the right materials.
The various rooms in your house may need a different kind of flooring. You have to pick the flooring depending on the use for the room, your lifestyle and your finances. Before you get floored by the number of choices available in the market, it’s a good idea to know what youre looking for:
The location of your house is an important ingredient in your purchase decision. Do you live in a cold or warm climate? Do you have flooding or fires near your area? Studying these factors will help you make the right decision. Here’s an example. Knowing that your house is situated in a moist area will give you a wide choice of flooring to choose from. You should probably pick material that will not rot away like granite, stone or marble. If you live in colder climes, then you can use a carpet or plain linoleum for the kitchen.
Your house should reflect your style and tastes. Do you like contemporary designs or a more traditional look? A hardwood flooring goes with almost any interior decorating idea if your budget allows it. Bamboo floors or laminated floors are a cheaper option. Youll find it easy to clean a laminated floor as a good wipe will take care of it. You don’t have to use oil or excessively scrub it.
Check the foundation
You need to check the foundation of the house before you buy the flooring You will want your flooring to remain stable and firm and not cracked or chipped. Fix the foundation of any defects. Only then will the new flooring look good. , if there is going to be quite a lot of family traffic you will want to ensure that it is resistant to tear and wear.
This is one room in your house that is most neglected. The right flooring can change this room completely. You will end up doing repairs pretty often as it will crack if your concrete flooring is unprotected. Moisture can be disastrous for your garage flooring. Well laid out flooring can be a pleasure to look at. Further, you will want your garage to be clean and safe.
It’s always best to stay within your budget but look for quality material. , if youre looking for a good discount go to a materials wholesaler.. They usually sell in bulk so you get to save in the bargain. Remember, don’t count the pennies as compromising on quality can cost you later when you need to spend on repairs. Do you homework prior to going to a hardware store as you need to know what youre looking for.
You can take your pick amongst various materials for your flooring. Let’s take a look at some popular flooring options:
a. Hardwood floors- These are ideal for most homes but these floors are sensitive to climatic conditions. Wood tends to contract and expand depending upon the weather. They are also prone to water damage and require maintenance.
b. Marmoleum- This is made from material that is organic. As an environmentally friendly option this is easy to take care of. Not only is it durable but it is comfortable and warm to walk on.
c. Bamboo flooring- This is one of the most durable in the market today. It looks good and comes in different designs. Your rooms will look beautiful and elegant. Bamboo flooring can be dyed to look like wood. This is environmentally friendly and is commonly found in nature.
d. Rubber flooring- If you are into sports or if you have a toddler at home who is just learning to walk, then rubber flooring is ideal for you. This reduces the pressure on your knees and heels. If you fall on rubber flooring, you will not get hurt. Interlocking rubber tiles are easy to assemble on the floor.
Picking the right flooring is very important. You can use different kinds of flooring for different rooms. A children’s room can have a rubber floor while you can pick wood for the main living room. By customizing the flooring, you get the right fit. Any room requires a good floor to act as a foundation to the rest of the decor. Keep your interior design in mind, while selecting the right flooring. The design should not clash with the floor. Keep your house elegant and beautiful and most importantly let it reflect your unique style and personality.
Get A House Electrical Examination From An Electrical expert If you are thinking about moving and want to do things right, you should have a certified electrical contractor check out the home for electrical problems prior to you think about purchasing. It is great advice to hire a home inspector for a general home inspection and a certified electrical expert to go out and look over the house and check it for any problems or flaws. These individuals are skilled to check out the home and discover any issues that might trigger you difficulty after you acquire it. A home inspector will have a look at almost everything to do with the house, even the electric. The home inspector will check the home for all general problems that are in need of repair or being changed. A home inspector will also check the electrical to see if it will pass inspection or not. If a house has old wiring that could be a danger and requires updating, then the house inspector will most likely stop working the electric for the home. You will need a licensed electrical contractor intense into the home of take care of any electrical problems that was stopped working by the house inspector. If you buy a house some home loan companies request that you have a home inspector come out and do an examination on the residential or commercial property, now days. The electric is a major part of the home and its operation so working with a certified electrical contractor to tell you about your electric is very important. When you acquire a house you do not want any costly electrical surprises occur. It readies to understand whatever upfront so you understand what you are handling before you purchase the home. When you go to buy a house you need to know that the house is safe and exactly what issues are incorrect with the home. An electrician can answer your issues and help you to make a better choice about the home. There are many problems that can go wrong with the electric in a home. If you do choose to purchase a home you might want to ensure that all of the electrical system is safe for that house. The receptacles and switches for the home should be changed to insure safety. This is a good location to begin to stop electrical problems prior to they take place. Have your light components examined to make sure they are safe. If you have truly old light fixtures begin changing them one at a time. Having a electrical evaluation by your electrician can assist you to make a sensible decision about the house you purchase. Doing all of these things will help to guarantee that you have a much safer home for you and your family. Employing an electrical contractor to have a look at your house and to correct electrical issues in the house is a great investment and loan well spent. It is great guidance to employ a home inspector for a basic home evaluation and a certified electrician to go out and look over the home and examine it for any issues or flaws. If a house has old wiring that could be a threat and needs updating, then the home inspector will most likely fail the electrical for the house. You will require a certified electrician intense in to the house to take care of any electrical issues that was failed by the home inspector. When you go to purchase a house you want to know that the house is safe and exactly what problems are wrong with the house. Hiring an electrician to examine out your home and to remedy electrical issues in the home is a great investment and money well invested.
Deciding to remodel your kitchen is one of the best investments you can make. The kitchen is where people spend most of their waking hours while at home. It is where they cook, eat, and gather with the family. It is also where they talk and share ideas about the latest trends and fashions. Consequently, it is not surprising that the kitchen would be on the top of the list of home improvement projects. Having an up to date, modern kitchen, allows people not only to function better with new cabinets and appliances, but also enables them to feel that they are indeed living in modern society.
Kitchen remodeling however can be a disruptive and very messy home improvement project. And the length of the disruption can take as long as a month or more, even when well planned out.
To mitigate the disruption of a kitchen renovation project, planning is absolutely essential. The first item to consider is whether you will do it yourself, or hire a general contractor. Regardless of what route, a homeowner needs to first sketch out some kitchen remodeling ideas to ensure the kitchen design and costs will meet their targeted functional requirements and budget. , if a general contractor is to be hired these initial sketches will be helpful in communicating your kitchen remodeling ideas and plans.
.During the planning phase, the homeowner should identify the main objectives of the future kitchen. They should research the latest products on the market including: cabinets, countertops, appliances, and flooring. If the kitchen is more than 5 years old, there are a lot of new products to choose from. Silestone is quickly surpassing Granite and Corian, as the premier countertop surface as it is extremely hard, elegant in appearance, and comes in many colors. For cabinets, the trend appears to be towards lighter colors as they help the appearance of enlarging a room and lightening. In regards to appliances, the Stainless Steel look appears to be in. And for wood, flooring or vinyl is the trend. Tile looks nice, however, it can be unforgiving in a room where things tend to get dropped. In addition, if there is no radiant heating planned for the floor, tile has the tendency to feel cold on the feet.
It is also important to consider any structural changes to the existing kitchen area. Is a new kitchen island desired, or will doorways or walls need to be moved or installed?
When developing your kitchen remodeling plan, it is important to note that professional kitchen designers like to think of a triangle when starting a new kitchen design. The three points of the triangle include the Sink, Refrigerator, and Stove. Make sure your sketches consider this, as it will ensure a good functional kitchen. Also, consider adequate walking areas and space for an eating area, such as a table or center island, with applicable space included for chairs. I would suggest that the walking areas be wide enough for two people to walk through at the same time.
The sketches should also include dimensions, as these will be needed when meeting with the general contractor or kitchen designer. Consider where the existing outlets and power for the stove are, and assess if additional outlets will be needed or old outlets relocated.
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The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), the multi-stakeholder group committed to market-based solutions for the recycling and landfill diversion of carpet, held its 12th Annual Conference recently in Seattle, Washington. In attendance were multiple CRI member carpet manufacturers as well as representatives from CARE’s more than 450 members, including carpet retailers and distributors, collectors, sorters and recyclers and government and non-government organizations. As in past years, the CARE Annual Conference offers a valuable opportunity for anyone involved or interested in the landfill diversion of post-consumer carpet to network, listen to presentations from the manufacturing and recycling industries and discuss challenges to and opportunities in carpet recycling. Among this year’s highlights of the conference: the naming of a new CARE board chairman, Person of the Year and Recycler of the Year as well as recognition for several Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) member manufacturers as CARE Sustaining Members for their consistent support of carpet recycling, sustainability and CARE.
Brendan McSheehy, vice president of innovation, sustainability and intellectual property for CRI member manufacturer Universal Fibers was elected chairman of the CARE board. McSheehy has served on CARE’s board of directors since 2006, previously as vice chair and treasurer. He has been with Bristol, Virginia-based Universal Fibers for more than 24 years. About his new role, McSheehy said, “CARE has set ambitious goals and objectives and I hope to offer the leadership necessary to put credible mechanisms in place to reach our mission.”
Also during this year’s conference, CRI member companies were recognized as CARE Sustaining Partners for their years of commitment and work furthering sustainability and carpet recycling. Honored were: Aquafil USA, Beaulieu Group, InterfaceFLOR, J+J Flooring Group, Masland Contract, Milliken & Company, The Mohawk Group, Shaw Industries, Tandus/Centiva and Universal Fibers.
Thomas Holland, a CARE board member and founder of Texas Carpet and Construction Recycling (TCR), of Grapevine, Texas, was awarded CARE’s Person of the Year. CARE’s Recycler of the Year award was given to Wellman Plastics Recycling (WPR), based in Johnsonville, South Carolina.
CARE Executive Director Bob Peoples expressed pride in this year’s winners, saying, “Our organization is making huge strides because of the influence of individuals and organizations like Thomas Holland and Wellman Plastics Recycling.” Peoples also reported that preliminary numbers indicate that 438 million pounds of post-consumer carpet were diverted from landfills in 2013. That number represents a 25 percent increase from 2012. Peoples emphasized the 438 million is a preliminary number, as the final report is undergoing additional review and will be released as soon as it is complete. Over CARE’s history recyclers have kept more than 3 billion pounds of old carpet out of America’s landfills.
“The Carpet and Rug Institute is extremely proud of the progress the carpet industry and the recycling community have made in keeping carpet out of landfills and finding voluntary, market-based solutions for that diverted material,” said CRI President Joe Yarbrough. ” By working together, we will continue to expand what can be done.”
Spring came in with a wave of warm weather here in the Carpet Capital of the World, and with it a few sniffles and sneezes. It’s a beautiful time of year, but can be quite annoying for anyone suffering from asthma or allergies. The return of seasonal allergies has also brought back the voices who say having carpet aggravates asthma and allergy symptoms. The Carpet and Rug Institute is familiar with this argument – it has been around for a while. On behalf of CRI, I feel the need to point people to the significant body of research that dispels the notion that carpet is bad for asthma and allergy sufferers: Airmid Healthgroup of Ireland conducted a study that showed, “effectively cleaned carpets can trap allergens and other particles, resulting in fewer particles escaping into the air.” Airmid performed the study for CRI member carpet manufacturer Shaw Industries. Read more on Airmid’s study.
A study on childhood asthma study from 2005, known as the Inner-City Asthma Study, concluded that there was no difference in symptom improvement or allergen levels in carpeted homes vs. uncarpeted homes. Read more on the Inner-City Asthma Study.
A 15-year Swedish study found there to be no link between the use of carpet and incidents of asthma or allergy. The study also found that when carpet usage in Sweden decreased by 70%, allergic reactions increased by 30%. Read more on the Swedish carpet study.
Researcher and toxicology expert Dr. Mitch Sauerhoff, reviewed a number of scientific studies and concluded that the literature on carpet and asthma or allergies confirms that children and adults living with carpet do not have an increased incidence of asthma or allergy. Read more on Carpet, Asthma and Allergies – Myth or Reality.
As Airmid’s study indicates, effectively cleaned carpet is the best way to combat allergies and raise indoor air quality. CRI holds the best strategy for effectively cleaning carpet is: Regularly vacuuming with a CRI Seal of Approval-certified vacuum.
Professionally deep clean your carpet every 12-18 months.
Regular vacuuming and professional cleaning might sound simple, but nothing keeps carpet clean and free of allergens quite like this 1-2 punch. Visit our website for more tips on keeping your home free of asthma and allergies.- Paul
Here at The Carpet and Rug Institute, we love talking about the benefits of carpet and rugs. We also love it when others talk about those benefits too. CleanLink.com recently shared an article titled 10 Benefits of Carpet by Doyle Bloss, a marketing and brand manager at the carpet cleaning equipment manufacturer Hydramaster. Here are his top ten benefits of carpet: Appearance Carpet adds to the décor by using color, patterns, and pile heights. Carpet can create the image you want in your home or business. Style With the hundreds of patterns, cuts, and colors, there are literally thousands of possibilities to “fulfill” the style statement. Insulation Carpet can help save energy as it is an important contributor to the insulation of the indoor environment. Carpet insulates floors and provides a psychological feeling of warmth. Learn more about how carpet makes rooms feel warmer. Feel Try curling up in front of the fireplace on a hard surface floor. Carpet feels soft and is easier on feet. It also gives an overall “softer” feel to the home.Acoustics Several studies find that carpets absorb sound and carpets with the proper cushion further enhance this ability. Learn more about carpet and acoustics. Safety Invariably, slip-and-fall accidents occur on hard surface floors more often than on carpeted floors. Learn more about how carpet can reduce slip-and-fall accidents. Cost savings Carpet usually costs less over time than hard surface flooring to purchase, clean, and maintain. Learn more about the best ways to clean your carpet.Health Carpet traps allergens, dust, and other contaminants, holding them until they can be properly removed through vacuuming and professional cleaning. Learn more about carpet and health. Easier to maintain Carpeting is less labor intensive to clean and maintain than hard surface flooring and, as mentioned earlier, can cost less to maintain. Learn more about maintaining carpet with the help of CRI’s Seal of Approval program. Sustainable New technologies have been introduced allowing old carpet to be recycled into new carpet or other products. Learn more about carpet’s sustainability. Thanks to Doyle Bloss for outlining many of the benefits of carpet. Feel like we missed one? Tell us what you like about carpet in the comments below! – Paul
Spring is probably the best time to have your carpet
professionally cleaned, as we’ve recently covered on the CRI Blog. However, if
you’re considering purchasing new carpet for your home, spring can also be a
good time to install new carpet.So you start shopping, find the perfect carpet for your
home and you can’t wait to get it installed.
There are a few steps you still need to take before you take steps on
your new carpet.The Carpet and Rug Institute offers these tips on
preparing your home for carpet installation.Here are the tips:Remove all breakable items from
area being carpeted and detach and store wiring from TVs, computers, and other
Determine who will remove and
dispose of the existing carpet and cushion. Check for recycling options in your area.
Think about carpet placement. Ask
that the carpet seams be placed in less visible areas, but don’t expect seams
to be invisible.
Understand that carpet installed
over a separate cushion must be power stretched to prevent bubbling and
Insist that the installer follow
the instructions from the carpet manufacturer and/or those set forth in the CRI Installation Standard.
Vacuum the old carpet before it
is removed to keep any dust and particles from becoming airborne. Vacuum the
bare floors (or have your installer do this) before they put down the new
carpet and pad.
Having carpet installed in your home is a big project, and following these
steps will allow the installation to go smoothly so you can begin enjoying your
beautiful new carpet.- Paul
“Clean facilities are not just a cost. They generate revenue,” ISSA’s video says.
A clean facility doesn’t just mean a facility that looks clean. A new study shows that a clean facility contributes to the health of the people who work there.
ISSA, the worldwide cleaning association, released an informative video about the impact a clean facility has on employees’ health. In this new season with higher levels of pollen and allergies, it is extremely important to keep facilities clean for employees’ health.
It’s easy to understand that sick employees miss work, and that costs businesses money. However, ISSA gives a by-the-numbers look at how important a clean facility can be to the health of your employees and business.
According to ISSA, the average worker in the U.S. misses 7.7 days per year, which in turn costs businesses around $226 billion per year. Clean facilities reduce chances of employees catching a cold or the flu by 80%.
These are just a few of the facts that ISSA presents in their video on the importance of cleaning for health.
In terms of carpet, a regular schedule of vacuuming and periodic professional deep cleaning will remove many allergens and other particulates that can cause allergies and other negative health effects. CRI’s Seal of Approval program certifies carpet cleaning solutions, service providers, and equipment, including vacuums, to help you take better care of your facility’s carpet. By using an SOA-approved vacuum and service provider you will remove a majority of the dirt and allergens in your facility and thereby limit their effects on employees.
The health of your business is benefited by the health of your employees and the easiest way to ensure both is by keeping your facility, especially carpet, clean.
Thanks to ISSA for creating this video encouraging clean and healthy facilities.