The Positive And Negative Sides Of Having Residential Electrical Remodel

Electrical Panel or Load Center

An electrical panel is also called a load center. It is a metal electrical service box that accepts the main power to the home and distributes electrical current to the various circuits within the home. The distribution of power to the various circuits are protected from over-current by the use of circuit breakers or fuses.

Once you open the door to the panel you can access all the circuit breakers or fuses. Usually one of these panels feeds all the circuits in the home but there may be a situation where there is another “sub-panel” serving a dedicated area like a new kitchen.

 

How to Wire a Residential Load Center

A residential load center is composed of a series of center panels or breaker boxes, each of which carries around 200 amps. You can learn how to wire your own residential load center with these simple steps. Be sure to take all necessary safety measures to protect yourself from accidents while performing this procedure. Below are the materials that you need along with the instructions on how to wire a residential load center.

Step 1-Turn Off the Power

The first thing you will need to do is switch off the main power source of your home. Locate the main circuit breaker of your house and turn off all of the circuit breakers to make sure that there is no power running in your house while you are installing the load center. For added security, wear a pair of insulated gloves and see to it that the surface that you are standing on is not wet.

Step 2-Connect Cables to Top of Box

Connect the power cables used for incoming power to the top of the box if they are not yet connected to this location. Using a screwdriver, make sure to tighten the power cable clamp so that they are securely in place.

Step 3-Strip Wires

Strip the sheath of the cable wires down to about one inch. Use your utility knife to strip the sheath off the wire. Strip the wire such that you can see the bare metal inside the wire.

Step 4-Place Striped Wires in Terminal Blocks

Place the wires striped with black and red into the terminal blocks. The blocks can be located on the two main bus bars found at the top middle portion of your panel on top of each of the bus bars. Using a torque wrench, tighten the lugs found on the blocks. Consult your local code to determine how many pounds of blocks to use. Usually, you should use around 200 to 250 pounds for this.

Step 5-Place White Striped Wire in Terminal Block

Take the white-striped wire inside the terminal block found on the neutral bur bar. This can be found to the side of the main bus bars. Use a torque wrench to tighten the lug again. Make sure the lug is fully secure.

Step 6-Place Ground Wire on Neutral Bus Bar

Place the ground wire inside a block located on the neutral bus bar. Use a screwdriver to tighten the screw. Consult your local code again to see if you will need to install a ground bus bar. If so, you will need to purchase a separate ground bus bar and install it separately as well. If you look at the unit, you might see a space allocated for this. The ground bus bar panel should be placed in this area. Simply screw it in place before utilizing it.

Step 7-Turn On Power

You can now turn the power back on from your house’s main power source.

 

 

Common Electrical Problems in Service Panels

Regardless of whether you own your home or rent, being able to recognize problems with your electrical panel is an important skill. You should never attempt to repair or troubleshoot electrical problems yourself (beyond resetting a breaker or replacing a fuse) because the potential for death or serious injury is high.

Here are the most common electrical panel problems you might encounter:

  1. Overcrowding

If your home is new or has been extensively remodeled within the last ten years or so, it is probably equipped with a 200-amp electrical panel. A 200-amp panel is large enough to accommodate the power needs of the average family home.

Smaller homes and those built prior to the 1990s likely have a 100-amp service panel. Depending on your individual power use, this might be sufficient, but for the average family, 100 amps simply isn’t enough.

Electrical panels that provide only 100 amps of power are at the highest risk of overcrowding. Not sure what an overcrowded panel looks like? Check for these signs:

  • The panel looks messy. There are no blank spots for additional circuits to be added in the future, and wires are crossed and tangled rather than neatly fastened inside the panel.
  • You spot double-tapped breakers. With a couple of exceptions, circuit breakers should have one wire connected to them. Two wires connected to the same breaker create a double-tapped breaker (and a code violation). These wire connections are more likely to loosen over time, which can cause electrical arcs and fires.
  1. Insufficient capacity

Electrical panels are rated to handle a discrete amount of electricity. When the panel is too small for the house and the power requirements of its inhabitants, you’ll start to notice problems such as power surges and flickering lights.

Here are some additional signs of a too-small panel:

  • The panel and/or the surrounding wall is warm to the touch. Overloaded wires and circuits put out quite a bit of energy in the form of heat, so a warm or hot panel is an indicator that the power load on the panel is too great.
  • Circuit breakers trip often. A circuit breaker that trips every once in a while usually isn’t cause for serious concern. When the same breaker trips on a regular basis, however, or the breaker trips immediately after being reset, call an electrician.
  1. Corrosion

Electricity and water don’t mix, so have an electrician investigate any signs of rust, water damage, or other forms of corrosion (such as discoloration) in the main service panel.

 

 

What is the difference between a loadcenter and panelboard?

There is no difference as far as UL and the NEC are concerned. Eaton offers “loadcenters” as we call them which are panelboards that are targeted to the residential markets and are consider a lower cost version of a panelboard for that market. Typically the loadcenter has plug in type breakers that are required compared to panelboards that allow for bolt on breakers… A panelboard is typically used in a commercial or industrial application. Panelboards have a can, interior and trim. The can is installed at rough in and the interior later. Loadcenters are limited to 240V or less and max at 400A. all these consideration come into play and unless the specs have specific requirements that define the panelboard further, A loadcenter or panelboard as we define it can be offer if it meets the application and spec.

 

Ground Fault

A particular type of short circuit, a “ground-fault,” occurs if a hot wire comes in contact with a ground wire or a metal wall box or touches wood framing members. Ground faults can be especially dangerous when they occur in areas with high levels of moisture, such as kitchens or bathrooms, or in outdoor locations. A ground fault carries a definite risk of shock.

There are steps you can take to identify and fix a ground fault, but also essential steps you should take to prevent one from occurring in the first place. For example, in areas where direct contact with the ground or water is possible, building codes may require that outlets be protected with GFCIs (ground-fault circuit interrupters).

As with hard shorts, a ground fault causes an instant reduction in resistance and an immediate increase in electrical flow. This causes the internal mechanism of the circuit breaker to heat up and trip. As with hard shorts, if a ground fault is present, the circuit breaker may trip again immediately after you reset it.

Why Hire An Exterminator For Your Pest Problems

How to Exterminate Bed Bugs at Home Yourself

Where do bed bugs come from?

Bed bugs most notoriously hitch rides on luggage, but traveling isn’t the only way to pick them up. They can easily be carried into the house on secondhand furniture, clothing, boxes, and pillows, so inspect such items very carefully. Encasement products like Good Housekeeping Seal holder AllerEase mattress protector can also prevent bugs that do make it inside from hunkering down in crevices.

What are bed bugs attracted to?

Whether you have a messy home or a neat home, bed bugs only care that their food source, a.k.a. people, are nearby. Luckily, there’s no evidence they transmit diseases as they feed. The real threat: itchy, red bites, which are the first sign of an infestation.

 

Do-it-yourself Bed Bug Control

You may have to follow these steps more than once to kill all the bugs and their eggs

  • Identify the Problem , Identify the pest Extension agents can identify the pest at no cost to you. They are trained in pest control and know your local area.
  • If an extension agent or other expert says the pest is a bed bug, notify your landlord if you live in an apartment. The units near yours should be inspected..Check the housing codes and laws in your area.
  • Inspect all areas that may have bed bugs, plus surrounding living spaces, to find out the extent of infestation.

Develop a Strategy

  • Make a schedule for completing the steps below. Be sure to include any personal plans, such as vacations.
  • Keep records through the whole process. Note the dates and exact locations where pests are found. This will help you track progress and better know where to target your work.
  • Keep checking for at least a year after you’re done to make sure all the bed bugs are gone.

Prepare for Treatment

Preparing for treatment is very important; it will make it easier to monitor for bed bugs that haven’t been eliminated. This preparation should be completed whether you are doing the treatment yourself or hiring a professional.

 

Bed Bug Inspection Check List

The Mattress and Box Spring

Check the mattress thoroughly, paying close attention to seams and tufts along the edges. Flip the mattress over and inspect the bottom carefully as well. Pay particular attention to any rips in the fabric. View the fabric on the bottom of the box spring and shine a flashlight to verify that bed bugs have not penetrated the interior of the box spring.

Bed Frame and Head and Foot Boards

Remove the mattress and box frame from the bed frame and shine a flashlight all along every potential hiding place on the bed frame. Remember bed bugs can slip into a crack a business card can fit into.

Other Furniture: Desks, Chairs, Dressers, etc

Take out all drawers and cushions from surrounding furniture. Check all seams and crevices carefully with a flashlight. Take your time and inspect it thoroughly. Bed Bugs are commonly found in these areas in an infested room.

Walls and Carpet

Inspect the surrounding walls by removing electrical switch plates and any wall hangings. Check under tack strips and behind baseboards where ever possible. Shine light into cracks in plaster and seams along wall paper.

Electronics and Other Applicances

Unfortunately electronics and appliances provide a perfect hiding spot for bed bugs. Check them closely with a flashlight and magnifying glass as well. Remove them when possible

 

Preparing a Room for Bed Bug Treatment

Before you begin your own bed bug treatment, you will need to prepare the room or rooms where bed bugs have been found, in addition to rooms that share walls with the infested rooms. Remove any items in the room that you absolutely cannot treat or that have already been treated. Cover items that will be removed from the room in plastic bags before moving to the next room to prevent any unseen bed bug from infesting another room. Remove any paintings or art from the walls. Be sure to thoroughly check any item that is removed from the room to prevent bed bugs from being transferred from room to room.

If you have a mattress that is heavily infested, we recommend covering it with a bed bug proof mattress cover or bed bug mattress encasement before moving. You will also need to cover your box spring with a box spring encasement. If your mattress needs to be disposed of and replaced, be sure to cover the mattress with plastic before disposing to protect sanitation workers. Labeling a mattress or covering with “Bed Bugs” is also helpful. Infested sheets, linens, and garments should be washed and then dried in a household dryer on high heat (over 120 degrees F), as the heat will kill bed bugs. Any garments that cannot be washed may need to be dry-cleaned or discarded as insecticides cannot be used on these materials. If stuffed animals, books, or soft toys are infested, place those items in an air-tight bin along with vapor strips to kill the bed bugs.

 

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Vacuum

Suck those babies up with a strong vacuum cleaner and a powerful hose attachment. You should probably vacuum at least every few days while battling an infestation. Be thorough and use the vacuum on the mattress, bedding, and soft furniture, like sofas and cushy chairs.

Steam Cleaning

For places the vacuum can’t reach, steam cleaning is an option. The heat will kill the bedbugs and eggs, and they will die when exposed to temperatures exceeding 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Follow the steam cleaner’s instructions carefully to avoid damaging your furniture.

Washing All Clothes and Bedding

Check your labels to make sure the fabrics can tolerate hot water and tumble drying. Then wash everything that’s been exposed to these critters. The combination of hot water and dryer heat will help kill off the colony.

Silica Gel

The little packets you find in food products and shoe boxes to keep the contents dry could also help kill off insects. To use them, grind up the beads and spread the powder around the source areas. If you’ve got kids or pets, you may want to avoid this technique, as direct exposure and silica inhalation is harmful. Instead, opt for baking soda, which has a similar effect.

Rubbing Alcohol

Pour it in a spray bottle and spritz away. The alcohol will kill bugs on contact.

Scented Dryer Sheets

The smell from the dryer sheets can repel the insects and even encourage them to seek out other spots to inhabit. However, this solution is likely best used as a temporary one, because they’ll just find a more hospitable place in your home to hang out.

Hair Dryer

If you’re in a hurry to get to sleep and you don’t have days to wait for these other solutions to take effect, blast your hair dryer over the affected areas. The heat will kill the bugs and allow you to go to sleep without having to worry about being someone’s dinner.

Stiff Brush

Run a stiff brush along the mattress seams. This will dislodge any clinging bed bugs and eggs that resist the suction of a vacuum cleaner.

Double-sided Tape

Wrap this along the circumference of the bedposts along the floor. That way, as bugs try to climb up into bed with you, they’ll get stuck at base camp. Make sure you don’t sabotage your efforts by dragging blankets across the floor. If you neglect to keep blankets, pillows, and clothing off the floor, then don’t be surprised if the more enterprising bugs hitch a ride.

Baking Soda

You already know that baking soda absorbs moisture in the refrigerator, but did you know that it also sucks moisture out of bed bugs’ bodies? To use this powder, spread it wherever find bugs, including cracks and crevices. Be sure to vacuum and reapply every few days.

Diatomaceous Earth

This product is a miracle against all types of bugs, including fleas. It’s made from naturally occurring sedimentary rock that’s crumbled into a fine powder. To use it successfully, spread it all over the floor and in cracks and crevices. It can take up to 10 days to work, but the fine powder has tiny shards that kill insects.

We don’t suggest putting it on your mattress, as tempting as it may sound. The reason is that those shards, though microscopic, can get into your lungs and cause damage.

Ceiling Fans Installation Step By Step

How to Choose the Right Ceiling Fan

Selecting the right ceiling fan isn’t just about choosing the right color and style. There are some key factors that you must consider your decision in order to get the maximum efficiency and enjoyment from your fan.

Decide where you want to install the fan. Most fans are placed in the center of the room, allowing smooth air flow throughout the room. However, larger rooms may be better suited for 2 fans for optimal air flow. For safety reasons, do not install a fan over a bed

Room Size

30″ ceiling fan for rooms up to 8′ x 10′ (small bedrooms, walk-in closets, smaller kitchens)

42″ ceiling fan for rooms up to 12′ x 12′ (medium bedrooms, kitchens, small recreation areas)

52″ ceiling fan for rooms up to 18′ x 20′ (large bedrooms, family rooms, great rooms, dining rooms)

Ceiling Height

Low ceiling: Hugger mount or traditional- mount without down rod

Standard 8′ ceiling: traditional- mount with down rod

9′ or Higher ceiling: Extended down rod

Sloped ceiling: Extended down rod

You will need to check the floor to ceiling height of the blades. Make sure you take into account the distance that the fan hangs from the ceiling.

For safety, a minimum height of 7’-9’ is recommended. If your fan does not meet the 7’ recommendation, you can look into a low-ceiling mount. Building codes in your area may require this.

For optimum air circulation it is most efficient to have the fan blade 8′ to 9′ above the floor. For higher ceilings see the chart for recommended down rod length.

 

Install or Replace a Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans are a great way to keep your home comfortable year-round. Learn how to replace an existing fan or light fixture with a new ceiling fan.

Ceiling Fan Installation Considerations

The ceiling fan you install should be the right size for the room:

Rooms that measure about 75 square feet need a fan with a 29- to 36-inch blade diameter.

For rooms measuring 76 to 144 square feet, choose a fan with a blade diameter of 36 to 42 inches.

If the room size is 144 to 225 square feet, select a fan with a 44-inch blade diameter.

For rooms that are 225 to 400 square feet, use a fan with a blade diameter of 50 to 54 inches.

When installed, the fan blade tips should be at least 30 inches from the walls and other obstructions. The bottom edges of the blades should be at least 7 feet above the floor. Once you select a fan, check the included documentation for any additional requirements for blade clearance or ceiling height.

Turn off power to the existing fan or light at the main fuse or circuit box and use a circuit tester to verify the power is off. Place the wall switches to the fixtures in the off position.

Remove the fan motor screws and disposable shipping blocks. Save the screws — you’ll use them later to secure the blade arms to the motor. In some fan kits, these screws are packaged with the other fan installation hardware.

 

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE ON HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT CEILING FAN

CHOOSE THE APPROPRIATE RATING FOR YOUR LOCATION

Is this fan going indoors or outdoors? There are 3 different ratings to consider:

Indoor Rated: Rated only for indoor use, cannot withstand moisture or direct water exposure.

Damp Rated: Rated for mild Outdoor use and indoor use; Can withstand heat and cool moisture, such as desert heat or cool mist or fog. CANNOT withstand direct rain or hose exposure.

Wet Rated: Rated for Outdoor use and can withstand Direct Water Exposure like Rain or cleaning with a hose; You can also use WET Rated fans for DAMP or INDOOR Locations, but not the other way around

CHOOSE THE RIGHT BLADE SPAN

You want to choose the proportional blade span for the space. Below is a good starting point, keep in mind that if the room is very large, you may want to consider using two fans instead of one.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT DROP

Measure the height from the ceiling to the floor of where you plan on installing your fan. The chart below will give you a good reference guide as to which downrod you should choose. Keep in mind that some homeowners may choose a slightly different drop for preferred “visual” reasons.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT FINISH

There are 3 main finishes/colors for ceiling fan motors. Most fans will come in 3 different options that fall in the category of; silver, brown, and white. There are different variations of these

 

How to Buy a Ceiling Fan – A Four-Step Guide

Determine Ceiling Fan Location – Indoor or Outdoor Ceiling Fan?

There are three types of ceiling fans: indoor, damp-listed, and wet-listed ceiling fans. Here’s how to determine which one you need based on where it will be installed

Indoor Ceiling Fans

Do you need a ceiling fan for your living room, kitchen, or bedroom? Then you’ll need an indoor ceiling fan. All ceiling fans can be used indoors, which means they might not be marked as indoor fans so you’re free to shop and browse the entire selection of ceiling fans

Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Designed for outdoor use in spaces such as patios and porches, outdoor ceiling fans are weather-resistant fans that can withstand exposure to the elements.

Damp Listed Ceiling Fans

A damp-listed ceiling fan is recommended for outdoor areas that are covered but not directly exposed to water. Examples include covered porches and covered patios, since these areas are completely protected from water.

Wet Listed Ceiling Fans

If you have an outdoor area directly exposed to water, look for a wet-listed ceiling fan to avoid weather damage. Examples of outdoor areas that require wet-listed fans include uncovered gazebos, open-air patios, and open-air decks.

 

Tips for Selecting the Perfect Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans have several key benefits:

Energy savings. Ceiling fans can give your hard-working (and energy-sucking) AC a break.

Year-round use. Ceiling fans aren’t just for summer. They can help circulate warm air in the winter as well.

Perfect home accents. Today’s ceiling fans use a wide variety of materials, which makes for some interesting looks.

Functionality. In addition to circulating the air, ceiling fans with light provide extra utility

Make sure your fan comes with the ability to switch directions. You want your fan to push air down in the summer and up in the winter (to keep warm air circulating).

Consider your room’s dimensions. If you have a medium-sized room (about 15′ x 15′), choose a 42″ fan. If your room is larger than that, then a 52″ fan will likely push enough air

Pay attention to ceiling height. Fan blades need to be at least 7 feet off the floor and 8 feet to 9 feet might even be better. If you need to get close to the ceiling, consider a “hugger fan.”

Understand how you want to control your ceiling fan. You can install a regular wall switch for some ceili

ng fans. For others, you might have remotes or wall controls that control speed, dim the light, and even reverse direction.

How To Get Rid Of Ants With Ant Repellents

How to Get Rid of Ants in Your House and Yard

Put an end to most ant problems with inexpensive products from the home center or hardware store, and save the expense of hiring an exterminator.

How to Identify Ants

Start by identifying the type of ant in your house so you can find out how to get rid of ants, their nesting habits and have a better idea of where they’re living (they may be nesting outdoors). Take a close-up photo of the ant and send it to your local university extension service (enter your state’s name and “university extension service” into any online search engine). The extension service will tell you the type of ant you’re dealing with and where it nests. They may give you fact sheets about the ant species and maybe even some advice on getting rid of that particular ant species

How to Find Ant Nests

Sometimes the solution to an ant problem is getting rid of their nest. If you’re dealing with carpenter ants, which can do structural damage to your house, it’s vital that you wipe them out ASAP. Finding the nest may not be easy and takes some detective work. Ants generally prefer damp areas, such as framing or flooring that’s soft and spongy from a plumbing or roof leak. How to get rid of ants begins by looking for areas with water damage. Attics, bathrooms and exterior walls are obvious candidates. Cut small holes in water-damaged walls to track down the ant nest. (You’re going to have to repair the walls anyway.) When you find the nest, spray it with an insecticide that contains bifenthrin, permethrin or deltamethrin (look on the label). Ortho’s Home Defense Max is one brand. Be sure to fix the water leak and replace damaged wood. If you can’t track down the nest, hire a pest control service. Pros spend about 80 percent of their time hunting down nests. Their fees start at about $150, but tough cases with multiple treatments can cost $400 or more. Image courtesy of Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota

Ant Removal: Determine the Best Ant Bait

When you see an ant, your first impulse is probably to step on it. But don’t. You’ll kill it, but for every ant you see, there may be hundreds more hiding in the house. The ones you see are scout ants, foraging for food to take back to the colony. Use these scouts to wipe out the entire colony. Prebait ants in areas you’ve previously seen them. Ants’ tastes change during the year. They usually prefer protein in the spring and sweets or fatty/oily foods in the summer. Set out sugar or honey, fried food and peanut butter, then see which food attracts ants. Use whichever food they prefer for bait and a DIY way to get rid of ants. Once you know what the ants like, buy and set out toxic ant bait that’s geared to their taste. Look on the bait package for words like “controls both sweet and grease eating ants.” Stop ants from coming in the house by using this ‘outdoor ant bait (Amazon)’ around your yard.

Ant Removal: Erase Ant Trails

Where you see one ant, you’re bound to see others. That’s because ants leave a scented trail that other ants follow. Sweeping or mopping isn’t enough to eliminate the scent. Instead, mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts water in a spray bottle for a safe way to get rid of ants in the home, then spray wherever you’ve seen ants in the past. This will stop outdoor nesting ants that entered the house to forage for food (ants that come inside are not necessarily trying to establish a nest). Vinegar and water won’t stop ants that are already nesting indoors. You’ll need to kill them with ant bait

 

How to Find an Ant Nest: Common Places Where Ants Hide

The Kitchen

Curious about how to find an ant nest? If you really want to nip your ant problem in the bud, then you might want to start looking for them in the kitchen. This is the most likely place in your house where an ant problem will begin.

The Bathroom

As often as your bathroom gets used, chances are that there’s a buildup of excess water and moisture in your washroom. Naturally, ants are attracted to water. In case you didn’t know, that means ants will be racing to lap up the pooled water and accidental leaks in your restroom. For those of you who want to stop and colonies in their tracks, be sure to clean up any spilled water after taking a shower or a bath.

Pet Food and Water Bowls

Attention: your pet food and water bowls are no longer safe from ant invasions. Since ant colonies are so intelligent, they’ll be able to find any leftover food that you have around your house, including pet food. Whenever your cat or dog leaves their chow in their bowl, you can add a bit of petroleum jelly to it.

Inside Walls

Can ants live in walls? The answer is yes. When it comes to ant control, inspecting the inside of your walls for ant invasions should be one of your first priorities. You might be surprised to find out that damaged or cracked walls provide the perfect crawlspace for ant colonies to populate and nest. Although certain ant species prefer to build outside colonies, inside walls give them the chance to find more sources of food while still remaining inside of your home

The Bedroom

Are common household pests giving you a headache-and-a-half? We’re here to help. Similar to other forms of house pests, ants can thrive both indoors and outdoors. This is especially true in houses that have efficient sources of food for them. Of course, the bedroom is the most ideal place for ants to find crumbs from movie nights and bedside morning breakfasts

 

How Do I Get Rid of Ants in My House Naturally?

Because ants are easily attracted to so many items in your home, many homeowners wonder if these pesky small insects will actually be repelled by using natural ingredients that you can easily found at home? Let’s find out!

Ants hate the scent of coffee grounds

People usually discard their coffee grounds and wash them with soap and water. But before you decide to throw them out, we suggest you to saving them for practical uses you may not even know before. Coffee grounds can be used to ward crawling pesky pest like ants!

Did you know? Ants really don’t like the strong smell and texture of your coffee grounds. Sprinkle the used coffee grounds in the place where you commonly see ants crawling, such as cupboards, pantry table or near to your pet food bowl. This natural ant repellent can be also applicable in the outdoor, such as your garden area

Ants hate the scent of cinnamons

From apple pie to toast bread, cinnamons are the perfect additional sweetener to your favourite breakfast. But who would have thought if ground cinnamon is often regarded as an effective DIY ant control option.

 

tips to get rid of ants for good

Getting rid of ants is often a difficult task that takes time away from doing things you love. Whether its a reoccurring disturbance in your home or a new issue, there are a few things you can do to keep ants away. Read on to learn some simple tricks to keep the pests away from your food.

Finding the Trails

Figuring to where the ants are coming from is the very first in determining how big your ant problem is. Most people find their problem areas to be near the kitchen, or anywhere that food is present. Start out by investigating the problem areas in your home, whether it be your trash can or that one cabinet that holds your sugary treats.

Eliminating the Source

You may have tried this already, but removing any easy to reach food items that might be attracting pests will help reduce the likelihood of an infestation. Open fruit baskets and candy jars are an easy target for ants to get to. You may want to invest in higher quality Tupperware or food storage systems that make it difficult for any pests to get to. There are many food storage tricks you can learn to finally get rid of ants for good.

Finding the Colony

If a simple, easy to make at home solution isn’t enough to keep ants away, you may want to search further and find where exactly they’re coming from. Purchasing pesticides that ants don’t read as poison can help ensure the solution makes its way back to the colony. This solution might take a bit longer than spraying down a surface, but it has been proven to remove ant problems permanently.

Getting Rid of Ants

Ants are pesky insects that can find many ways to enter your home and infiltrate your kitchen. Getting rid of ants can be a difficult task but the steps above will make the process easier.

 

How to Get Rid of Ants:Home Remedies That Do the Trick

Let’s face it, ants in your house can be a big nuisance. It’s not only frustrating to have ants running around, but a colony of ants can actually cause a lot of damage as well. It is pretty unhygienic to have ants inside your home. Some ant varieties like Fire and Harvester can even bite humans. Carpenter ants, on the other hand, are known to damage building materials. Ants inside the house certainly contaminate the food. They carry bacteria which they can transfer to food or an open wound. Ants have a diverse family; they are around 12,000 different varieties of ants. We all hate how ants enter our houses, especially in summers. They live in our house like they own it; well there are some ways that may help to get rid of the ants; one of them is to keep your house absolutely clean. We suggest some amazing home remedies that you’d need right now to ensure there are no ants in your house. Here’s how to get rid of ants

Chalk

One of the home remedies to get rid of ants is to use chalk. Chalk contains calcium carbonate, which helps in keeping ants away. Spray some powdered chalk in the areas that are the entry points of ants or draw a line of chalk at the entrance. In order to keep ants of your house, draw chalk lines so that these bugs don’t enter. While it not clear as to why this line stops the ants from coming inside, but it is surely effective. Make sure you make the line in a way that is out of reach of any child in the house

Lemons

Squeeze a lemon or place lemon peels in places from where the ants enter. You can also wash your floors with water that has a little lemon juice added to it. Ants apparently don’t like the smell of lemon juice so they will keep away. Anything sour and bitter may keep the ants away, but any sugar is ants’ best friend. So ensure you do not keep anything sweet that may attract the ants in some way or the other. Keep your kitchen slab absolutely clean and place the peels right there.

Pepper

Ants are pretty fond of sugar but they hate pepper. Sprinkle pepper at the areas from where ants enter your house. This is will help getting rid of ants. Cayenne pepper or black pepper are hated by ants. You can also make a solution of pepper and water and spray it near the entrant areas. The pepper wouldn’t kill the ants but definitely deter them from returning to your house. Make sure you clean the area where you want to spray the pepper solution.

Salt

Spreading salt near nooks and corners from where ants enter the house will help keeping ants away. Table salt is one of the best and the cheapest ways to get rid of ants naturally. Use ordinary table salt not health boosting rock salt. All you need to do is to boil water and add a large amount of salt to it, stirring it until dissolves. Pour into a spray bottle and spray where you think ants tend to enter from

A Close Look At Plastic Surgery

Finding the right plastic surgeon for you

Plastic surgery has come a long way in the decades since it first became popular. Not only have plastic surgery techniques advanced in sophistication and safety, but both men and women have also become much more comfortable with the idea of enhancing their appearance via plastic surgery.

Finding the right plastic surgeon for you

The truth of the matter is that there is no “one size fits all” practice or surgeon. Even if you’re getting the exact same breast implants as your neighbor, you may find that her surgeon may not feel like the right fit for you, and that’s okay. Plastic surgery can be a fantastic and positive experience, and potentially life-changing, so remember not to rush the process. It’s also a very individualized experience, so what makes sense for your neighbor may not make sense for you. Experienced surgeons understand this and will not pressure you into making a decision or rush you into a procedure before you’re ready.

Look for board certification in plastic surgery

Any plastic surgeon who ends up on your short list should be board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). In fact, before you go through the process of scheduling a consultation, you’ll want to check to see if the surgeon in question has the proper credentials.

Study the surgeon’s style and approach

In addition to training and medical knowledge, cosmetic plastic surgery requires some artistry as well. Because every woman’s body is unique, the “best” plastic surgeon for a breast augmentation for example is much more likely to be one whose style of work is in line with your aesthetic goals and who can tailor a treatment to your unique situation to meet those goals. This is one reason why you can’t just search a phrase like “the best plastic surgeons near me” on the internet and choose the top result

Vet the facility

An accredited and accommodating facility is another important thing to look for when choosing a plastic surgeon. Because cosmetic plastic surgeries can generally happen outside of the hospital, it’s especially important to ensure that the facility your procedure will take place in is held to the highest standards of safety, quality and patient care.

 

How to Find the Best Plastic Surgeon?

Picking a plastic surgeon to perform plastic surgery is an important decision. A good way to find a plastic surgeon is by hearing about others experiences with the surgeon through reviews or word of mouth.  Choose a physician that is board certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Experience with your desired procedure is also very important. Ask the doctor how many times they have performed the procedure. It is helpful to look at the physicians before and after photos and talk with patients from the practice that have had the surgery.

I would start by looking at board certification and then visiting couple in your area and see if they are able to answer your questions, address your concerns, and instill confidence and trust. Check out their reviews, photos and how supportive their staff is during the consultation process. Ultimately, you will have to make your own decision on which surgeon to move forward with

Each person’s expectations associated with their plastic surgeon can be different. Typically, patients want a surgeon who is personable and professional. It is important that you feel comfortable under your surgeon’s care, and that you feel that you surgeon always has your best interest in mind. It is always recommendable that you consult a few physicians before committing to a surgeon, no matter how big or small your procedure may be. In this way, you can find the perfect match and can feel confident in your surgeon’s abilities

 

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT FACIAL PLASTIC SURGEON FOR YOU

Announcer: Health information from experts supported by research. From University of Utah Health

Interviewer: So you’ve decided to get some cosmetic surgery done. How do you know that your surgeon is really the right surgeon for you? We’re here with Dr. Cori Agarwal. She is an associate professor of plastic surgery at University of Utah Health.

Dr. Agarwal: I think there are a number of factors. I think you want to make sure someone has good experience and that they have good results, and it’s hard to do that as a consumer when you’re looking at multiple websites and comparing them. I think it’s very hard to tell who’s actually qualified. And so we look towards board certification as something that you need to look towards and ask your doctor about

Interviewer: I mean, the results must be kind of important in making a decision, but the actual board certification, what kinds of things should people be looking for? Is there like a certain gold stamp of approval for “These are the best surgeons”?

Dr. Agarwal: Well, it doesn’t guarantee you’re going to have an excellent result or an excellent surgeon, but it definitely . . . by being board certified in a recognized board, you know that these surgeons have had a basic training, a certain number of years of surgery, and graduated from an accredited medical school, and gone through safety training, and taken oral boards and written boards. It’s very rigorous to be board certified in plastic surgery and board certified in facial plastic surgery.

 

Helpful Tips On How To Find A Good Plastic Surgeon

Once you have decided to get plastic surgery, the next most plausible step to take is finding someone to perform the procedure. The plastic surgeon you select can be the difference between a botched surgery and the body of your dreams. Choosing a qualified surgeon is not easy and you may very well be struggling to figure out how to find a good plastic surgeon. That’s why we are sharing the top 5 things you should look for during your search for the best plastic surgeon for your needs.

Find A Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

When you are going in for surgery, you want to make sure an expert is performing the procedure. The top plastic surgeons will be board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This means they have completed at least six to eight years of surgical training in general and plastic surgery. Plus, they are keeping on top of industry standards with ongoing education and training.

Before and After Results From The Plastic Surgeon

The best plastic surgeons have a trail of results and raving patients to show for their work. Typically, the plastic surgeon will have a before and after section on their website that you can look at. Always take the time to browse through all of the photos, especially the results for any specific procedure you are seeking.

A Plastic Surgeon With Experience

When you are looking to get a specific surgery, take the time to find the top plastic surgeon for your desired procedure. Many plastic surgeons may be trained to perform your chosen surgery, but you want someone who is an expert. It is a good idea to look into how many times they have successfully conducted the operation and how long they have been carrying it out.

Good Communication With A Plastic Surgeon

Your level of comfort and trust with a plastic surgeon is more important than you might think. Evaluating the communication between you and the plastic surgery team is an important step in the decision process. A great way to get a feel for them is by scheduling a virtual or in-person consultation. During this appointment, you are able to ask questions and gauge if this is someone you feel comfortable with performing your surgery.

 

How to Choose the Best Plastic Surgeon

The decision to finally start the journey towards achieving the look you desire can be equal parts exciting and nerve-racking. Cosmetic surgery is a major decision that has the potential to be very rewarding, but your results largely depend on the ability of your plastic surgeon to interpret what you envision for the outcome and make it a reality. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you understand what to look for in a cosmetic surgeon

Board certified, or bust. A superior level of training and experience is often communicated through accreditation by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). When your plastic surgeon is board certified, you can find comfort in knowing he or she has been vetted and tested by one of the most respected medical specialty boards in the nation.

Check out their credentials. Along with their accreditation status, research your prospective surgeon’s professional memberships, hospital affiliations, and recognitions. Active participation in national organizations like the ABPS, as well as employment with local hospitals, can convey the ability to stay up-to-date with best practices in plastic surgery.

Read online reviews. Learn about the experiences of previous patients to assess his or her reputation and satisfaction rates

Look at before-and-after photos of similar patients who have undergone your procedure of interest. Try to assess whether the results achieved align with your expectations and hopes for the outcome

Tips To Find The Best Hardwood Flooring

How to Choose & Install Hardwood Floors: A Complete Guide

The choice of flooring is one of the most basic yet important decisions a homeowner has to make when undertaking a renovation, as it underpins everything else. While there are plenty of different options, from carpet to terrazzo, one material is the acknowledged standard: hardwood

But not all hardwood flooring is created equal, and selecting a product isn’t simply a matter of choosing a preferred color. A range of other factors can have an impact on both aesthetics and performance.

Select Solid or Engineered Flooring

Traditionally, hardwood flooring came in thick planks of solid timber. Today, solid hardwood is still widely available, but many companies also offer engineered flooring—planks made with a thinner top layer of hardwood, bonded to other layers designed to prevent the floor from shifting during expansion and contraction cycles. “All wood moves in three directions: There’s tangential, radial, and longitudinal movement,” says Jones. “With engineered products, you’re creating opposing forces within the board to try to restrict the natural movement of the wood.”

Choose Prefinished or Site Finish

Hardwood planks can be purchased with a raw face that gets finished by a professional after installation, or prefinished, which arrives with the stain and topcoat already applied. The advantage of prefinished wood is that “you know exactly what you’re getting,” says Caroll, noting that once you select a product, you’ll have an exact sample to use in coordinating your home’s color palette and choosing other design elements, such as textiles, wall coverings, and cabinetry. Prefinished flooring also takes less time to install, because there’s no need to apply color or sealant. “When you choose to do a site finish,” he adds, “you’re rolling the dice a little bit, and relying on the skills of the flooring contractor to get it right.”

Choose the Type of Finish

There’s a whole spectrum of finishing products, says Jones, from penetrating oil to oil-like hybrids to site-finish polyurethanes to prefinished UV-cured urethane finishes. But to simplify, most finishes fall into one of two categories: oil or polyurethane

 

Designers’ Top Tips for Finding Your Ideal Hardwood Flooring

When choosing the perfect wood floor for your home, think like a designer. Consider style, maintenance, and budget before you commit to any one type of hardwood. With so many colors and materials to choose from, you may find it challenging to make a selection. To help you narrow down your options, we at Kerrie Kelly Design Lab spoke to other expert interior designers about how they choose the optimal hardwood floor for their clients’ spaces.

Consider Your Lifestyle

When choosing a hardwood floor, consider style, personal preference, lifestyle, and the home’s construction. At Kerrie Kelly, we often tour a client’s home before any renovation or design work begins so we can see firsthand how the family interacts with the materials and elements in their home. Our team frequently notices things even the client doesn’t, like the family’s tendency to keep shoes on in the home or how often the dog runs down the hall after the kids.

Think about Lifestyle

For homes with a high level of wear and tear, such as those with kids and pets, homeowners should choose a durable variety of wood. The harder the wood, the better it will resist dings, dents, and scratches. Oak, maple, and cherry have a high level of hardness, while pine, mahogany, and chestnut are softer and more prone to damage

Think about Color

When it comes to color, Cole advises clients to take inspiration from their environment and surroundings. An airy and bright setting like a bungalow in a sunny desert town calls for a different look than the sleek and moody atmosphere of a city apartment. “If you live in Palm Desert, you might lean toward lighter hardwoods. Alternatively, darker hardwood flooring would be appropriate for living in the city in a high-rise,” she says

When to choose dark colors: As Cole points out, the wood finish that’s right for you is subjective. It depends on personal preference as well as overall style. However, if you just can’t decide, you can’t go wrong with the versatile look of a dark wood floor. “If you are going for a timeless look, a darker wood tone will always be applicable,” says designer Kia Weatherspoon, president of D.C.-based Determined by Design

 

THIS IS HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST HARDWOOD FLOORING FOR ANY HOME

FIRST, THE PROS AND CONS OF HARWOOD FLOORING

Hardwood is a natural, long-lasting choice for home flooring. Still, it comes with maintenance responsibilities. Before you do anything else, it’s crucial to consider the pros and cons of installing wood floors in your home

HARDWOOD IS DURABLE… AS LONG AS YOU DON’T OVEREXPOSE IT TO WATER.

While hardwood floors are durable and can withstand spills and stains with proper treatment, they are especially prone to water damage (kind of like the wicked witch of the west); this makes them a risky candidate for areas like your bathroom, kitchen, and entryways. Installing hardwood in rooms where they are exposed to liquid will lead to damage.

IT IS EASY TO REFINISH, BUT NOT SO EASY TO INSTALL.

Most people will tell you it is easy to refinish hardwood floors, as long as you can stay off of them for a few days. Even so, it is difficult to install them, even for experienced DIYers. So, in the beginning, be prepared to hire a professional for the installation. At the very least, consider

IT IS CONSIDERED A WISE INVESTMENT.

The homeowners’ paradigm is that hardwood flooring will increase the value of your property. Most homebuyer’s jump at the idea of purchasing a home with hardwood floors — in many cases, even when carpet covers the original wood flooring. So, in the long run, the initial investment is probably worthwhile

HARDWOOD FLOORING ISN’T LIKELY TO GO OUT OF STYLE.

Hardwood floors are timeless in the decor world; it was considered a luxury interior decoration asset as early as the 1600s and is popular still today. If you choose hardwood, your floors are likely to stay in style as long as your home stands. According to GentlemanZone Magazine, hardwood stands for luxury and fine taste. It is the warm and shiny glaze of wood that noblemen love to this very day.

 

Choosing Hardwood Flooring

hardwood—just the word evokes images of charm, richness, and classic looks. Wood floors last a lifetime and gain “character” with age

Board Widths. Select from narrow strips (less than three inches), wider planks (more than three inches), parquet squares, and—a new option—squares and rectangles. The traditional choice, strips give the illusion of more space, while planks impart a rustic look. Parquet floors, with the distinctive geometric design, suit formal spaces

Wood Species. Hardwood species vary in durability, grain patterns, and color. Oak, maple, and cherry are among the most common species due to their hardness. Exotic woods like mahogany, and Brazilian cherry aren’t as durable, but are prized for their striking appearance

Colors. Hardwoods run the gamut from blond to black, depending on species and finish

Textures. You can get hardwood floors that look shiny and new, or you can buy brand new wood that looks like an antique and adds timeworn character to your room Many manufacturers offer distressed and hand-scraped hardwoods that will disguise heavy use over the years and give the floor an appealing timeworn appearance from the moment it’s installed.

 

Types of wood flooring

From modern laminate to reclaimed hardwood, the warmth and texture of wooden floors – whether faux or the real deal – is a popular choice for homeowners.

Laminate flooring is a compressed fibreboard plank, covered with a photographic image of wood with a protective overlay.

Bevelled edges, a more varied set of images and embossed features, such as knots, will give a more natural look and texture, but they will cost more. Brands such as QuickStep and Pergo offer more premium options

High traffic areas that will need frequent cleaning, such as living rooms, studies and playrooms. Some products include a waterproof core, which manufacturers claim are suitable for bathrooms and kitchens. If you’re thinking of tackling these rooms, see our guides to planning a kitchen and planning a bathroom.

Each engineered wood floorboard consists of three or four layers of wood, glued together to create a plank around 14mm thick. It has a real-wood veneer of around 4mm thick on top, which means it can be sanded back and treated to restore the original finish if it becomes scuffed, worn or damaged.

Tips To Find Good Residential Painting

How to Find Legitimate House Painters Who’ll Do an Incredible Job

According to a Consumer Reports National Research Center survey of over 300 real estate professionals, selectively painting key rooms like the kitchen and bathroom can fetch 1-3% more on your home sale, while enhancing the exterior (including paint touch-ups) can add 2-5%

Aside from adding value, a new paint job freshens the outside and inside of the home, and makes the space feel clean, inviting, and like new. Fresh paint also fares better in listing photos and will hide any old imperfections

I Need Amazing House Painters. Where Do I Start?

The devil’s in the details, and bad painters could leave old, poisonous paint everywhere for your puppy or children to come across. They could do a sloppy job, get paint on your personal belongings, show up late or ghost the job altogether. The key is to find vetted house painters who are popular among people and professionals you trust

Hunt Down a Good House Painter Referral

First, try and get a referral from someone you know and trust. Bug friends and family for the names of painters they’ve used and loved. This is your best bet to get a great painter, as you can go and inspect the work in person and chat with your friend or family member about the quality of the job and level of service.

Harness the Power of the Internet

If you absolutely can’t find a good recommendation from anyone you know, the following are excellent resources for finding trusted professionals

 

HOW TO FIND A GOOD PAINTER

Painting your house on your own is a ton of work and can take up quite a bit of your time. It also requires expertise, as you’ll need to master at least basic painting skills in order to ensure you end up with a smooth finish. If you’re painting the exterior of your home or even just a single room, it’s worth hiring professional painters

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A GOOD PAINTER?

When you hire professional painters, you’ll ensure you get a flawless paint job in your home. But once you’ve decided to hire professional painters, how do you make sure you find a good painter? We’ve put together a list of things you should look for when choosing professional painters

LOOK FOR GOOD REFERENCES

When it comes to hiring a painting company, the best source of information is your friends and family! Ask them for recommendations—if they have had a great experience with someone, they’ll be happy to share it with you, and they’ll definitely feel the same way if they’ve had a bad experience with someone.

MEET YOUR PAINTERS IN PERSON

Most painting companies do on-site estimates and you should probably avoid any company that will give you an estimate without seeing your home first. This gives you the chance to meet them in person and get a feel for how they work

ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS

When you meet the estimator in person, it’s your chance to dig a little deeper and learn more about them and the company in general. Ask as many questions as possible in order to get the information you need to make your decision.

 

Tip of the day: How to hire a painter

Meet the pros. Call in at least three different contractors for your job. (Friends and family are good reference sources.) And be home for the initial meeting with them. That way, you’ll know how much time each contractor took to assess the condition of your home. The longer he takes, the more realistic the estimate you’ll get. Even an experienced painter will need more than a quick walk around your house

State your expectations. The number of coats a painter applies isn’t the only factor in determining the quality—and price—of the project. Preparation is also key. If you want a surface that’s free of unevenness from past paint jobs, tell the contractors—and be prepared to pay extra. But if you can live with some imperfections, agree on what level of prep is acceptable and what isn’t

Get estimates. Seek a written estimate from each contractor. It should include a breakdown of labor, material costs, the number of coats of primer and paint, the brand and model of materials, and a detailed description of the amount of surface preparation that will be done

Check references and past work. Get a list of references from each contractor and call them to find about their experience with the pro. A history of positive references is a good sign. Also examine jobs the painters did several years ago to see how their work is holding up. Use recent projects to check the skill of their current crews.

Consider credentials. Before you hire someone, consider his credentials. Membership in a trade or local business group, for example, isn’t a guarantee of quality work, but it shows a level of commitment and reliability on his part. Also verify whether the pro has the appropriate license(s). (You’ll find the licensing information in your state at the Contractor’s License Reference Site. Also check with the Better Business Bureau, the attorney general’s office in your state, or a local consumer-affairs agency to learn whether the contractor has a history of unresolved complaints.

 

You’ve Decided to Hire a Painting Contractor. Now What?

Certain home improvement projects require a professional. Not many homeowners are ready to install their HVAC, pour a foundation, or build an addition. Other projects though, like painting, just seem to be begging for the do-it-yourselfer. After all, who isn’t capable of dabbing a brush into paint?

What Is a Painting Contractor?

A painting contractor can work as a sub, or sub-contractor, under a general contractor, or can hire itself out directly to the homeowner. Usually, the painting contractor is a relatively small operation, ranging from the one-man sole proprietor up to 20 or 30 painters working for a small company

How to Find One

Painting contractors tend to be local (as of yet, there are no nationally franchised paint contractors). While paint contractors concentrate on painting, some perform associated tasks such as plaster repairs, minor drywall work, trim and molding, and wallpapering.

What Would a Painting Contractor Do?

Most painting contractors will take on any kind of job, from merely painting your window trim to a full-house paint job

How to Talk to Him

Unlike conversing with an electrician, you do not need to know specialized lingo. Most house painting contractors are good at making things clear to the homeowner.

 

Tips to Making The Best Choice!

Choosing a painter can be a real challenge. The right painter can make your home look spectacular, a bad painter can be a complete disaster. Before hiring any painter, I always suggest looking for a referral that you trust. Take the time to speak with friends, family, even your local paint store. While online reviews can be helpful, they can also be misleading, or even fake. Here are 5 important tips you definitely should know about before choosing any painter!

How to they prepare the house before painting begins?

Painters will have different ways of preparing the exterior of a home that they will be painting. Will they be sanding down the house? Do you need paint or can you use a stain? Most importantly, how to you protect those who live there, so that no one will be breathing in the dust from the paint that has been removed? In an older home there might be lead in that dust, I certainly don’t want anyone to be breathing that in. Ask your painters what they do to capture the airborne particles. Painting is primarily about changing the color of your home, but your safety is just as important!

Do they tidy up as they go?

When you are painting the interior, professional painters should be mindful of the fact they are in someone’s home. This applies even if you’ve temporarily vacated it for redecoration. As such, they ought to keep mess to a minimum before, during, and after the paint job. I have found the cleaner they are, the more they care about your home and the better the job is once it’s done!

Do they bill for work they have not done?

You may not have the time to supervise the painters’ comings and goings. This means you need to trust them to get to work and stay for the contracted hours. It is so important to see them at work, and to have a detailed list of the work to be done

Are the paint cans labeled?

Always look to see if the paint cans are labeled. If the paint pots used are not labeled the painters might be using a different paint brand than what you contracted for. That could mean that the painters are using a cheaper line of paint. That’s fine if that is what you told them to do. But if you paid for premium paint or a specific brand, you’ll want to see it come out of the name brand paint can and onto your walls.

Learn How To Do Window Cleaning For Your Office

Window Cleaning Tips from a Pro

Two scrubbers are better than one

Use two different scrubbers—one for inside and one for outside—so you don’t carry pollutants and bird excrement inside

Liquid dish detergent rules

Any kitchen dish liquid cleans dirt and grease and leaves the glass slippery so your squeegee glides well. A 100-percent biodegradable soap will protect sensitive plants outside. Inside it will protect toddlers and pets who put their mouth on the windows or sills.

Vinegar works, too

If you prefer to use natural cleaning products, vinegar is a viable choice for cleaning windows. Vinegar (acetic acid) cuts grease and doesn’t streak which makes it ideal for cleaning glass. We recommend a solution of 50 percent white vinegar and 50 percent tap water.

Oh, oh, oh it’s magic

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser removes silicone caulk and water stains.

Dual-purpose paint can opener

A paint can opener is the perfect tool for popping out window screens.

 

The Best Way to Clean Windows, According to Our Cleaning Lab

Choose a dry, cloudy day.

“Do this job in the blazing sun and the cleaner will dry onto the hot windows before you get to wipe it off, leaving hard-to-remove streaks,” Forte says. If the weather won’t cooperate, start on the shady side of the house.

Remove dirt and dust first.

Before you get started, sweep dirt from the window frame with a brush or vacuum it up with your machine’s dusting attachment. This will prevent dirt from turning into a muddy mess when mixed with a cleaner. If your window screen looks especially grimy, pop it out and wash with hot, sudsy water and a soft brush, then rinse and let dry before putting it back

Pick the right cleaner — and spritz generously.

Don’t hold back on the spray, especially if your windows look extra dirty. “You need plenty of cleaner to dissolve and suspend the dirt so it can be completely wiped away — skimp and you’ll be seeing streaks,” Forte says

Use a microfiber cloth.

Some folks like drying panes with newspaper, but you’re better off reusable microfiber cloths. “They are super absorbent, washable, and leave the glass shiny and streak-free,” Forte says.

Skip the squeegee.

“Professional window cleaners swear by them, but you have to know how to use them right,” Forte says. “You squeegee down and where does the water go? On the floor.”

 

get sparkling windows inside and out without streaking with our expert tips

Invite the brightness back into your home with sparkling clean windows. From making your own window cleaning solution to the trusted old newspaper trick, there are plenty of ways to bring the shine back to your window panes. Never underestimate the power of clean windows to transform your rooms, making them light, bright and good for the soul.

Remove curtains and blinds

Start by taking down curtains and blinds. If you can, take the opportunity to give drapes a thorough wash or spritz with a fabric freshener like Febreze. Use a dry brush or dusting attachment on your vacuum to sweep away any dust or cobwebs from around the corners of the windows and the windowsills

What’s the best thing to clean windows with?

We recommend washing your windows with soapy water. Fill a bucket with a simple solution of washing-up liquid and warm water, but avoid creating too many soap suds as these will leave further marks if allowed to dry. Start washing windows using a non-abrasive sponge. Alternatively, try a specific window-cleaning fluid, but be careful that strong formulas don’t damage surrounding paintwork

How to cleaning windows without streaks – wipe off any excess cleaner

To remove soapy water from glass, use a clean squeegee to work from top to bottom in a reverse S pattern. Periodically wipe the squeegee blade on a clean rag to avoid smearing dirt around. Remove remaining water with a damp chamois or microfibre cloth and dry the windowsill. Avoid paper towels or cloths that might leave lint on the glass. For exterior upper-floor panes, it’s worth investing in a gadget with a U-shaped pole to avoid reaching out of top-floor windows!

Try traditional methods

If you prefer to make your own cleaning solutions, add two tablespoons of vinegar to a small bucket of warm water (this won’t kill bacteria, though). If your windows need tough love, add two tablespoons of household ammonia, but wear rubber gloves. Buffing your clean, dry glass with crumpled newspaper gives windows a sparkling finish.

 

Unusual Tips for Your Cleanest Windows Ever

Washing the windows can be a dreaded chore. If you’re using conventional cleaning products, removing those stubborn streaks from the interior and exterior of clear glass is especially tricky. Paper towel leaves behind fibers that gunk up the window and commer

Clean the frame first

A lot of grime can hide in the window tracks and frame, and when mixed with window cleaner, it may form an unsightly sludge that can drip onto the glass while cleaning. To remove the grit, use a toothbrush and a sprinkle of baking soda and vinegar to scrub inside the tracks, then wipe away any remaining residue with a wet rag.

Make your own soap

Skip the specialty products and make your own cleaning solution using a mix of water and dish soap, which is tough enough to cut through grime on especially dirty windows, like those in the kitchen, yet won’t leave a residue. Alternatively, vinegar can also be used as an effective cleaner.

Paper is bad news

Paper towels and newspapers are commonly misused as products for scrubbing and drying the glass—but they just break down and leave lint behind. Use a microfiber cloth (like these from Amazon) to do the job instead; it will grab dirt and dust and leave nothing behind.

Invest in a squeegee

The best way to ensure a streak-free shine is to make sure all the water and soap are removed from the window. Use a rubber-bladed squeegee tool to run over the glass from top to bottom to scrape away excess water

 

How to Clean Windows Like a Pro

Ideally, windows should be washed twice a year, but it’s a task most people don’t look forward to. Part of what makes DIY window cleaning such a chore is that homeowners insist on doing it with wadded-up paper towels or newspaper, spray cleaner, and a ton of elbow grease

“All that rubbing isn’t a good idea,” says Brent Weingard, owner of Expert Window Cleaners in New York City. “You’re just moving dirt around from one spot to another and putting a static charge on the glass, which attracts dust and dirt. As soon as you finish, the window looks dirty again.”

As Weingard demonstrates, it’s easier and more effective to clean windows like the pros do: with a squeegee and a few other readily available tools. The techniques aren’t complicated, he says, and the results may surprise you

Wash with a strip applicator (Picture Window)

Picture windows call for large tools. The long cloth head of a strip applicator soaks up a lot of soapy water and knocks dirt loose without scratching the glass. For a cleaning solution, Weingard uses

Wipe clean with a squeegee (Picture Window)

Starting at the top left, pull the squeegee over the soapy pane in a reverse-S pattern (left-handers would start at the top right). At the end of each stroke, wipe the squeegee’s blade clean with a lint-free rag. Cloth diapers or old linen napkins are perfect for this task

Must Choose The Best Colour To Interior Painting

HOW TO PREPARE WALLS FOR PAINTING

When it comes to ensuring that your paint project is a success, there is no more important place to start than room preparation, including cleaning, sanding and priming walls before painting. While not every surface will require multi-step preparation, we encourage you to thoroughly check surfaces prior to painting and take action where needed.

Cleaning Walls Before Painting

Clean walls are key in preparing a room for painting. While there is no best way to clean walls before painting, most walls can be washed using a sponge and warm water. For surfaces that have exposure to oil or grime, like kitchen walls, wash with a solution of water and grease-cutting detergent and follow up with clean water to remove any residual cleaning agent. Finish by wiping the walls with a damp cloth.

Removing Mildew

No matter which room you’re preparing to paint, make sure you address any mildew first. Never paint over mildew—it will grow through new paint, which will make subsequent cleaning and maintenance even more difficult.

 

Repair damaged areas:

Interior house painting means much more than cleaning a few walls and choosing a chic color. To get the results expected, you must find all the flaws before priming and painting your walls. Loose patches of old plaster and cracks around window and door frames are some of the most common problems you may observe when inspecting your walls. After removing the old plaster, prepare fresh plaster to repair those areas. As well, a good idea would be to fill the gaps around windows and doors with a flexible sealant.

Find “invisible” flaws: While some flaws are visible, others are not.

You can use a utility light to find the flaws that are less obvious. Hold the light close to the wall surface, moving it up and down. Circle any flaws you notice so that you can find and repair them later. After executing all the repairs, use sandpaper to smooth imperfections away.

Use lining paper:

Using lining paper implies additional work, and it usually doesn’t do much good. However, in specific situations, such as when walls have lots of fine cracks or large repair areas, covering them with lining paper can help you get a smooth, flawless base for paint.

Prime your walls:

If your walls are covered in a water-based paint, you can apply a fresh coat of paint over the old color. But if you intend to paint over a semi-gloss, gloss, or oil-based color, using a primer is imperative to end up with perfectly painted walls.

Use a special stain-blocking primer:

Although a regular primer can hide small imperfections, most products can’t cover certain marks, such as those left behind by water and permanent markers. These marks will bleed through your paint, even if you apply several coats. First, try to remove the stains; if they won’t go away, use a stain-blocking primer.

 

How to Prepare a Painting Kit

Before you begin a painting project, be prepared by putting together a “painting kit.”

  • A typical painting kit includes patching paste, a putty knife, a drop cloth, plastic gloves, paint thinner, primer and a paint can opener. Note: Do not open a paint can with a flathead screwdriver, as this can damage the lid.
  • Be sure to purchase plenty of painter’s masking tape, assorted paintbrushes and a paint roller and roller cover. It would also be helpful to add an extension bar to your kit. It will help you reach the ceiling and will allow you to stand away from the wall to prevent spatters of paint on your clothes.
  • The paint kit should include a paint pot and a roller tray with a disposable liner. If you plan to paint a large area, include a 5-gallon bucket with a screen grid for removing excess paint from the roller.
  • No paint kit would be complete without a multipurpose paint tool, which can be used to clean caulk, pull nails, clean roller covers, apply putty or glaze, scrape paint and drive nails. Finally, be sure the kit includes safety glasses to prevent paint spatters from getting in your eyes.
  • When selecting paintbrushes, choose nylon- or synthetic-bristle brushes for use with latex paint and natural-bristle brushes for oil-based paints, stains and varnishes. Paint-roller covers come in different naps and textures. Unless you plan to apply texture to the wall, use shorter naps for smooth surfaces and longer naps for textured surfaces.
  • Instead of dipping the paintbrush directly into the paint can, use a paint pot, which is wider than a standard paint can. When loading the brush, dip half the length of its bristles into the paint. Slap the brush against the side of the pot to remove excess paint, and remove the brush. Hold the brush up at an angle to hold the paint. As you apply the paint to the wall, the friction will draw paint from the brush.
  • Drill holes in the paint stick to help mix paint more thoroughly. To keep paint from drying in a half-empty can, fill any air space by dropping old golf balls into the can. A common problem known as “hatbanding” occurs when painters use a paintbrush for cutting in and a roller to apply the rest of the paint, thus producing a different texture along the ceiling and trim. To prevent hatbanding, roll the paint as close to the cut-in areas as possible.

 

DO PROFESSIONAL PAINTERS USE SPRAYERS?

It’s no secret that professional painters want to get their work done as quickly as possible, but without sacrificing the results. Often, a paint sprayer is a great way to do this. It just depends on the dynamics of a particular room or structure. If the room can be protected in such a way that no overspray will get on any surfaces, then a paint sprayer is a great option. This is often the case in new construction or if a house has been emptied for the painting. Also, exterior painting is often a great time to use a sprayer, since there are fewer concerns with overspray, and the surrounding areas can be more easily protected.

A paint sprayer is a good option for professionals, since it can apply paint to a large area more quickly. It also gives a beautiful, even coat. It isn’t always a great choice for do-it-yourselfers, however. First, the equipment can be too expensive for those who don’t use it every day like we do. Second, it takes skill and practice to get good at using it

 

Primer Tips

You don’t have to prime the entire wall when painting over previously painted wood paneling, but you should spot-prime with shellac-based primer to cover tannin stains or smoke damage. If you’re sensitive to VOCs and prefer a water-based product, check the label; some latex primers are formulated to block stains as well as shellac-based primers. Most primers contain white pigments, and if you’re painting your walls a dark color, it pays to tint the primer — that can make the difference between two and three topcoats. Ask the sales clerk to do this for you when you buy the primer.

Use Electrical Upgrades To Improve Your Electricity

Why Only An Electrician Should Upgrade Your Service Panel

Homes that do have a more modern service panel may need an upgrade. Homeowners may find an upgrade necessary when buying new appliances that put higher demands on the electrical system. An electrical panel has a lifespan of between 20 to 25 years. When homeowners start experiencing flickering lights and can feel heat coming the panel, it is time to call an electrician for an upgrade. In some situations, circuit breakers deteriorate to the point where they burn out. Waiting too long to replace an old system runs the risk of the electrical panel shutting down or possibly causing a house fire.

Having an electrician replace or rebuild your present electrical service panel will prevent many problems in the future. In most situations, a complete replacement will cost less than constantly making repairs. Homeowners need to check with their insurance company to learn about the requirements to reduce their premiums for making electrical upgrades. Typically, both utility bill reductions as well as insurance cost savings will easily justify the investment in a panel change out.

When upgrading to a modern service panel system, it may be necessary to have an electrician rewire the entire building to meet the increased electrical demands, replace ancient wiring and improve energy efficiency.

Electrical upgrades are governed by local building code regulations. Many electrical repairs, installations and repairs must be inspected and approved. Because of the skill and knowledge it takes to upgrade a service panel, only a licensed and experienced electrician can do it safely and efficiently.

 

Signs You Should Replace or Upgrade the Electrical Panel

There are a few instances where you’ll want to replace your electrical panel as soon as possible.

If you have any of the following electrical panels, contact an electrician right away to diagnose the situation:

Outdated Electrical Panels

Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) and Zinsco electrical panels were a very common choice from the 1950s to the 1980s. Unfortunately, as years passed, people started realizing that they weren’t functioning properly. Too often, the panels would fail to cut off power when there is a short circuit or too much current.

If your electrical panel does not properly trip when an electrical hazard is detected, a fire could start.

Outdated panels are any panels that are more than 30 years old. If you have an older panel, you may only have 60-amp electrical service as opposed to the 150 or 200-amp service of modern homes. Contact an electrician if your panel is over 20 years old.

Water Leak

If you experience a water leak near your electrical panel, keep away from the area and call an electrician immediately. If there is any evidence that the panel has been exposed to water (including rust stains or corrosion on the wiring), it will probably need to be replaced.

Underpowered Panel

Every electrical panel has a maximum power rating – which dictates the amount of space for breakers. The original fuse panels offered 60 amps of power which were followed by the standard breaker panels at 100 amps. The recommended amount for modern builds and upgrades is 200 amps. If you are planning on a remodeling project or adding on to your home, you may need to replace your panel entirely.

If you are experiencing frequently tripping breakers, speak with an electrician about adding more power.

Faulty Wiring

Poor installation can contribute to a number of problems that should be addressed in an electrical panel. Oversized breakers, circuits doubled-up on a single-pole breaker and wires crossing over the panel’s center are just a few problems that would require an update from an electrician.

Call an electrician right away if you notice:

  • Buzzing sounds
  • Smells of burning plastic or wires
  • Overheating of wall plates, outlet covers, cords and plugs
  • Sparks around any electrical item

Faulty Manufacturing

Some electrical panels were simply manufactured with defects – sometimes these defects weren’t evident immediately. You might even own a panel that is on the “should be replaced” list. Problems with these faulty panels include breakers failing to trip, breakers that fall out of place and non-standard designs (resulting in improper installation).

 

What Is a Breaker Panel?

Before we discuss how and why your electrical panel might not be working, let’s talk about the breaker panel itself. An electrical panel is the central point that connects the wires from outside to the wires inside your home and how your electric service provider provides electricity to your home. It’s often also called the main breaker box, the fuse box, a distribution panel, a load center and even a breaker panel. This is where you go when you need to flip the breakers off and on to get the power back on when you’ve tripped the breaker. It is usually located in the garage, on your home’s exterior or in a utility room, but can be anywhere in your home.

There are a few different types of panels: main breaker panels, main lug panels and transfer switches.

MAIN BREAKER PANELS

These panels have a main built-in breaker that can shut off all the power to your property. This double-pole circuit breaker both identifies the capacity of your panel’s circuits and protects those circuits from becoming overloaded.

MAIN LUG PANELS

Instead of having a main breaker, line wires go to lugs in these types of panels. Main lug panels have a separate shut-off system, which could be near the meter or connected to the main panel’s breaker. Having a disconnect near your meter allows firefighters to cut your power without needing to enter your living structure.

TRANSFER SWITCHES

If you need more than one circuit in a particular area, such as in a greenhouse or a workshop, you may want a sub-panel. Sub-panels typically don’t have their own disconnect and are generally powered from the main panel.

 

Appliances with High Electrical Demands

Also consider upgrading the present system if you hear hissing from the box, circuit breakers trip repeatedly or you have an old-fashioned fuse box rather than a panel box.

The best way to determine if you require an upgrade is to discuss the system with an electrician. Better yet, get the advice and a written estimate for the work from at least three electricians.

Upgrading electrical service means replacing the current panel box with a new larger one. The cost to upgrade to a 200-amp panel will be $2,000 to $3,000. The job is going to involve a licensed electrician, the utility company and a local building inspector, because you will need a building permit to have the work done.  Basically, the utility will cut the power to your home from outside to enable the electrician to safely make the switch. The electrician will reattach the wiring from the existing circuits to the new box. He will also add new circuits for the new appliances or the addition. He will ground the box by running a copper electrode from the box to a water pipe or a grounding electrode that is buried in the ground.

When the electrician is finished, the building inspector will check the work. If the electrical work passes, the utility company can reconnect the outside power lines. The utility company won’t reconnect the lines until the inspector signs off on the job. Be warned that the electrician or the building inspector may spot other problems with the electrical system once the job is under way. If the system does not meet the electrical code, the inspector will not allow the utility to reconnect the power lines until the problem is fixed. Sometimes the utility has to replace the cables that run from the utility pole to your house. You may be charged for this, so be sure to ask about this when you contact the utility about the upgrade.

It is important that you work with a qualified electrician. There are a number of different people involved, and you will be without power while the work is being completed, so make sure that you or your electrician has everyone on the same page.

Upgrading your electrical service can seem like an overwhelming task, but it is best to be sure your home can safely support the everyday electrical devices you need.

 

Can I Replace My Electrical Panel Myself?

We strongly advise against it. When handling an electrical panel, you’re dealing with high voltage levels of live energy. In other words, it’s an incredibly dangerous process in which a single mistake could lead to serious injury or even death. In addition, the process of changing an electrical panel is pretty complicated. If you’re replacing a breaker box, you’re probably installing new cables and an electrical meter as well. This is all to say that working inside of an electrical panel is dangerous and is best left to a professional and licensed electrician.

Working with an electrician not only guarantees a safe and successful experience, it also saves you the headache of figuring out if you need a permit and the following hassle of actually getting one. Electricians also know about building codes in your area, so that way your box is up to date on local regulations. The only time we would suggest working with your own electrical panel would be when inspecting it to decide whether it should be upgraded in the first place.