Beat The Heat And Win Back Your Home

It’s definitely getting hotter and it’s becoming harder to spend your time indoors. However, we can’t ignore the nightmare that is the muggy, musty house forever. What we can do, however, is beat it. Here’s how you prepare your home for the worst that summer has to bring and make it into that cool retreat from the heat that we all need. Just a few habits and additions can make the home a much more pleasant place to survive the heat.

Fan, Keys, Mirror, House, Indoors

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We spring clean for a reason

If there’s anything that’s worse than a home that’s too hot, it’s a home that’s hot, humid, and dusty. Dust isn’t just unpleasant and an allergen. It also makes it a lot harder to control the airflow of the home. It builds in vents and air conditioning units, make them less effective and efficient, driving up the costs. Go for a thorough spring clean of the home and try to stay on top of dust as much as possible. It’s a lot easier to both control dust and to circulate air by decluttering the home, as well. If there’s any furniture you can spare for the moment, move it into storage so you have more spacious, airy rooms that are easy to clean and cool.

Keep the outdoors to the outdoors

Your first thought when summer rolls around might be to let the sunlight in and throw the windows open. However, if you’re cooling the interior, that’s only going to invite hot air in. Solar heating also plays a massive role in increasing the temperature of the room. Use fans as a more energy efficient method of circulation in the room you’re using and close that window, using sun blockers to keep the heat out without completely darkening the room. Don’t neglect the heat that builds in the attic that can get upwards of 150 degrees in the evening. Seal it up by using isotherm insulation and making sure that you don’t have any leaks by way of cracked or missing roof tiles. In the evening, if it’s cooler outside, then you crack open the window and use a window fan to cool the house down.

Remember, energy equals heat

If there’s any reason to get more energy efficient, it’s to make the home a lot more comfortable. Every appliance you keep on when you’re not using it is just adding more unnecessary heat. This effect is in full force in the kitchen most of all. Extractors are well and good, but there are other ways to use less energy when cooking and thus create less heat. For one, you can cook outside. But you can also use a microwave or toaster oven instead of a full-sized oven or use the refrigerator to defrost frozen goods instead of the microwave.

Remember, working to make the home easier to cool isn’t just going to make summer a lot more bearable. It’s going to help you drive down the costs of controlling the environment of your home. Save your money alongside your sanity by following the tips above.

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4 Forgotten Areas Of Your Home That Are Crying Out To Be Cleaned

We all strive to keep our homes as clean as possible. Normally, this means giving it a good little clean as often as we can. However, our ‘good little clean’ might not be making our homes as clean as we think. Most of the time, we just clean the parts of our house that are most visible to other people and us. You know what I’m talking about, the surfaces that are visibly dusty and the floors that are clearly dirty. Rarely will we go that extra mile and clean parts of our home that aren’t as easily visible.

As a result, we end up with a much dirtier home than we think. Now, you may be thinking, why does this matter? If we can’t see the dirt that obviously, surely we can just keep on ignoring it, right? Well, the problem is, sooner or later all the lack of cleaning will add up. You can only ignore something for so long before it starts forcing itself upon you and making you take notice.

All those areas of your home that you neglect will become dirtier and messier to the point where they become a huge problem. Then, you have to deal with the stress of cleaning up the problem, which will be a lot harder that it would if you just dealt with it in the first place.

Today, we’re going to look at some of these forgotten areas in your home that are crying out to be cleaned. Read some of the advice, and you’ll know how to deal with the problems before they get out of control.

Black Shower Head Switched on

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Shower/Bathroom

The first area of your home is the shower/bathroom. I’ve grouped two things together here because not everyone has a shower, but they still neglect the same sort of area in their home. You see, people with a shower will not clean it as properly as needed. In fact, most people rarely clean their shower and the area around their shower at all. I’m mainly talking about the walls near your shower or anywhere that gets splashed by water. If you don’t have a shower, then I’m just talking about areas in your bathroom that get splashed, and you neglect to clean.

Why do we neglect to clean wet areas? Mainly because they’re wet, so they don’t look dirty at all. There’s no visible dirt, what’s the worst that can happen? Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your home. Fail to clean wet areas, and it will lead to mould forming. Then, you no longer have clean walls, but horrible black mould appears that can be harmful to your health as well as looking ugly. To make matters worse, the mould is really hard to clean completely. It’s an almost impossible task for a regular person like you or I, you’d need to get a professional in.

Mould is particularly problematic for people with tiled walls in their bathroom. This is because it gets in the grout between each tile, making it even harder to clean. If you keep forgetting about this area of your home, then you’re just asking for problems. So, what you need to do is prevent mould from occurring. It’s so so so so incredibly easy to do this, honestly. Getting rid of mould is so difficult, but preventing it couldn’t be simpler. All you have to do is dry any areas of your bathroom/shower that have been sprayed with water. Get a cloth and clean the wetness so no water is left and the surface is dry. You can even get some bathroom sprays that help kill germs which may be useful too. When the surfaces are dry, this means there are no conditions for mould spores to grow. I won’t get too scientific here, but mould grows when there are damp conditions, hence excessive growth in shower/bathroom areas. Anyway, science lesson over, add this to your cleaning checklist and prevent the spread of mould in your home.

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Gutters

Our gutters are often one of the most forgotten areas of our home. The simple fact is, we don’t pay them much attention at all. They sit up on our roof, and we rarely glance up there to take a look at the situation. Not only that, but they can be difficult to look at and check too. You need to get on a ladder, and it’s all pretty stressful.

So, we choose to ignore them and never clean them. Why is this a problem? Well, gutters can get clogged up full of so much debris and junk it’s not even funny. Birds can try and make nests in your gutters and bring up leaves and sticks which stay there and cause blockages. Plus, moss and weeds can grow in the gutters too, which again can cause blockages. Then, when these blockages get worse and worse, they end up causing major problems for your home drainage system. As a result, you may need to get a plumber in to sort things out, which can cost a lot of money.

All of this can be avoided if you just paid your gutters more attention. You don’t need to head out on your ladder every day, or even every week! This is something that can be done once a month or once every two months. Plus, if you’re not keen on cleaning the gutters as you’re scared of heights or just worried you’ll do things wrong and hurt yourself, there are services you can pay for. There’s no excuse, you need to stop neglecting your gutters before they become a massive problem. Also, if you keep them nice and clean, it will make the outside of your house look a lot better too. It’s a massive win-win situation for you.

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Skirting Boards

If you didn’t know, a skirting board is that little piece of wood at the bottom of your walls that runs all the way along it. A lot of people don’t even know this has a name, or what the purpose of it is. For many, it’s purely a decorative thing, but it’s also mainly used to protect the wall. Unfortunately, it’s an area of our home we forget about a lot when cleaning. This is because we don’t tend to really think about it at all. Like I said, most people don’t even know this area has a name!

The issue is, this is also an area of your home that’s prone to a lot of dirt and muck. If you fail to clean your skirting board, it can almost become unrecognizable. It will be absolutely filthy, which makes the rooms in your home look less clean than they are. Due to their location right at the base of a wall, skirting boards are magnets for dust, grime, and general debris. When left uncleaned, this dirt can properly set it and become so hard to clean. A cleaning job that should take a few minutes will take a few hours if you’re not careful.

So, you need to get on your hands and knees and start cleaning your skirting boards more often. My tip is to do this whenever you’re hoovering. You can even use a hoover attachment to clean up some dust from the skirting boards too. This way, you keep them clean and don’t let them get out of hand. The dirtier they get, the harder they are to clean, and the more they deteriorate too.

Door Knob, Metal, Close, Input, Door Handle, Old, Door

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Door Handles

The fourth, and final, area of your home crying out for a clean is the door handles. Think about how many dirty hands will touch your door handles every single day. Now, think about how many times you actually clean them. Scary, right?

I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure there are more germs on our hands than anywhere else on our body. So, if everyone is manhandling the door handles and they never get cleaned, it means our houses are just infested with germs. For the sake of personal hygiene, you should clean your door handles as much as possible. It really doesn’t take a lot of effort at all. You just need some antibacterial spray and a cloth to wipe them with. That’s all you need to do, and you’ll have a much cleaner and more hygienic home.

In fact, while we’re at it, you may as well throw light switches into the mix too. Again, they’re always touched and turned grubby by fingerprints, yet they’re rarely cleaned. The same rules apply here, get some spray and wipe them clean.

On that not, we’re at the end of this post. You can now see some of the forgotten areas of your home that are crying out to be cleaned. It’s not enough to simple clean everywhere that people can see. You’ll just create the illusion of a clean house when the reality is that your home is still quite filthy. Clean these forgotten areas too, and you’ll finally have a properly clean home.

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Investing In The Future of Your Home

What do we mean by the future of your property? Well, hardly anyone lives in the same house their entire life. At some point, most of us decide to make a move, and that means selling the property, hopefully for the highest price possible. If we’re lucky, it’ll be a fast sale to avoid the typical, ifs, erms and buts from buyers.

House Insurance, Protect, Home, Care, Safe, Hands

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The question is, how do we guarantee this type of future for your home. Well, you need to start preparing for it right now.

Annual Inspections

You should make sure you are expecting all sensitive areas of your home such as the roof. The roof is a crucial area to inspect because it’s open to the elements and it’s an area that you probably hardly ever look at yourself. According to http://www.triumphroofing.net/roofing/roof-inspection-services/ if you get your roof inspected regularly, you can avoid expensive repair costs because you’ll catch an issue before it gets worse. Of course, the roof isn’t the only area of your home that needs regularly inspecting.

You should also arrange for someone to come around once a year and check out your heating system. If you don’t do this, it’s highly likely at some point it will break down and catch you completely off guard. Essentially, that’s going to leave you with a nasty, expensive repair or replacement and it might make itself known just before you’re about to put the property on the market.

Upgrades

A house is like any other product. Eventually, it will fall out of style. That’s why you need to make changes to the home to make sure that it still looks like every buyer’s dream. One of the areas that you should pay particular close attention to is the kitchen. The kitchen is one of the first areas that home-buyers look at and ideally, you should be think about building a completely fitted kitchen with everything a buyer could want. Do this, and you’ll make your home a very attractive purchase indeed. You can have a look at some kitchen renovation ideas on http://www.housebeautiful.com/home-remodeling/renovation/.

Holiday House, Summer House, Home, Country House

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Maintenance

When you live in the house, you might not worry about the little breakages and damages that will almost certainly occur over the years. For instance, there might be scratches on the marble floor, marks on the walls and other issues. However, you should fix these as they crop up. Otherwise, when it does come time to sell you’ll be in a mad rush to get everything fixed in time.

Tech Treats

Last but not least, you may want to think about purchasing new tech for your home. It’s always a smart idea to make your house look like the home of the future as this is exactly what new buyers want to invest in. For instance, right now home smart controls are very popular, and they may even cause buyers to make bigger offers on your home. You can find out more about smart home controls on https://www.loxone.com/enen/smart-home/.

I hope you take this advice and start investing in the future of your property today.

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Inferno Info! Preventing Home Fires

There is always something we need to do to our home to make it better. While we think about improving our home or making it more stylish, we very rarely think about the safety aspect of our homes. There are so many little problems that are potential fire hazards that it’s probably easier for most of us to not think about it. But there are some simple things to do that can cut down the chances of getting a fire at home…

burning, fire, flame

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Candles

Between 2009 and 2013, on average there were 25 candle fires per day in the US. Although that doesn’t sound like much, it totaled 86 deaths, 127 injuries, and $374 million in damaged property. So make sure you do the following:

  1.    Keep candles 12 inches away from anything that could burn.
  2.    Use candle holders that are sturdy.
  3.    Blow out all the candles before leaving a room or going to bed.
  4.    Don’t use candles in the bedroom.

Cooking

Hopefully, everyone has some common sense when it comes to cooking, but here are some tips.

  1.    Wear close fitted clothing while cooking.
  2.    Don’t leave food unattended.
  3.    If you get a grease fire, smother the fire in a pan. DON’T put it out with water.

Dryers & Washing Machines

Washers and dryers catch fire because of a failure to clean them.

  1.    Don’t overload the dryer.
  2.    Clean the lint filter after every use, and don’t use the dryer without one.
  3.    Don’t restrict the air exhaust pipe and make sure the outdoor vent flap is open while the dryer is on.

If You Have A Fire…

Firstly, don’t try and be a hero. Call the fire department as soon as you can, but make sure that you get to safety. As fires are such a common hazard, the best idea is to have a plan in mind should this ever occur. Know all your escape routes from your home blindfolded because you won’t be able to see when there is thick smoke. Stay low, and get out as quick as you can because you may only have seconds. Staying as low as possible means you will get the most oxygen out of the air.

After The Fire…

Once the fire has been put out, you will need to stay somewhere else. In the meantime, if you have updated your insurance policy, you will have to put in a claim for all the items damaged. If there are parts of the home that haven’t been damaged, you can hire a restoration company to start the cleanup. There are companies like Pro Restoration who specialize in clearing up homes after house fires and help to restore your property. Once your home is back to its former glory, it’s time to take notes of what potential hazards there are, and minimize them as much as you can.

Preventing a fire is very much about common sense as it is about safety, and in your home, you need to make sure that you are sensible by not obstructing doors, cooking safely, and generally being vigilant.

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