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Is Your Garage Door Going Bad?

Posted by Anna Granger on May 2, 2016

Garage doors are expensive things. That means that, when most people invest in a good garage door, they expect it to last for many years. Unfortunately, however, garage doors don’t always last for as long as their owners would prefer. And, even if they do last for several years, no garage door can last forever. That is why it is important to pay attention to your garage door and to know the warning signs that it’s going bad and that a replacement is impending. When you catch the signs early, you can start saving up for a new garage door so that you won’t be left without one in the near future. Opening and Closing Problems One of the first warning signs that your garage door is going bad is typically that the door stops opening and/or closing easily and properly. These problems can start off small, with stuttering or a delay when you attempt to open or close your door, and, if not fixed, they will usually lead to a door that doesn’t open and/or close at all. This problem could be due to your garage door opener, so try changing its batteries first of all. If that doesn’t work, then your problem may be due to a broken garage door spring, which you will need to replace, or, if the problem is beyond repair, you will need to replace your entire garage door. Loose Cables Every garage door has cables at the top that appear to be...

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Insects That Infest Longleaf Pine – And How To Save The Tree

Posted by Anna Granger on Apr 5, 2016

Longleaf pines grow in sandy or clay soil, can live for hundreds of years, and feature distinctive, twisting segments of long needles. The longleaf pine was once plentiful in the United States but has since dwindled in numbers. If you have a longleaf pine on your property, taking care of the tree can help preserve one of the nation’s most beautiful tree types. Taking care of your tree includes monitoring the longleaf pine for signs of insect infestations that can cause harm to the tree. Here are a couple of the insects that can infest a longleaf pine. Black Turpentine Beetles Black turpentine beetles are brownish red to black insects that burrow through the bark and feed on the healthy tree tissue inside. The beetles tend to target areas of bark that were already damaged or the roots of the tree. If the beetles remain localized around injury sites, the overall damage to the tree won’t be severe. But extensive root damage or trunk damage can result in tree mortality. How can you tell if your longleaf pine has a black turpentine beetle infestation? The areas where the beetles are eating through the bark will both kick up some dust and create a sap leak. If your tree is in the early throes of infestation, call in a tree service company to see what they can do. They may be able to apply an insecticide to help evict the bugs. The combination of the insecticide and the tree’s natural...

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3 Tips To Help Your Yard Transition From Winter To Spring

Posted by Anna Granger on Mar 3, 2016

If you really want your yard to look great this summer, you need to take care of your lawn during the transition from winter to spring. Here are three things you can do during that transition period that will help your yard thrive come summer. Rake Your Yard Once the snow has melted and the days have started to become warmer, it is time to rake your yard again. There are two different reasons why raking your yard  in the spring in important. First, it allows you to remove any leaves that you didn’t get last fall. Leaves tend to continue to fall throughout the winter, and this is a great chance to get them out of the way before you mow your yard for the first time this year.  Second, raking your lawn in the spring allows you to break up any thatch that has built up. Thatch is created when the clippings from your yard build up and form a cover between your grass and the ground. When the thatch in your yard gets too thick, it can prevent nutrients from getting to your grass and prevent your grass from thriving. Check For Compacted Areas After you have raked your yard, you need to check for any areas where the grass and soil has become extremely compacted. This usually happens near areas where there is a lot of traffic. If you have any areas like this in your yard, you need to aerate those areas. This will...

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4 Tricks To Solve Wet Basement Problems

Posted by Anna Granger on Feb 2, 2016

Solving wet basement issues is a priority if you are to preserve the structural integrity of your foundation and protect the overall resale value of your home. Not only can seeping water turn your basement into a damp, smelly space, but it can also encourage pests to infest your home and even cause mold concerns. In this article, you will learn practical steps you can take to ensure that your basement stays dry. Repair footing drains Typically, most homes have a footing drain built into the basement floor to drain water away from the foundation. If the drain pipes are clogged, you will usually notice water seeping into the basement at the seams where the foundation walls meet the floor. To fix this problem, you need to unclog the footing drain to relieve hydrostatic pressure that is pushing water into your basement. Look for a cleanout pipe capped a few inches above the basement floor, which should give you access to the footing drains. Next, insert a garden hose into the cleanout pipe and flush any debris in the piping to allow water to freely flow away from your foundation. If this doesn’t do the trick, call in a plumber to dislodge any debris in the drains with an augur. Plug gaps in the basement wall Sometimes, the source of your basement moisture is a hole or crack around plumbing pipes in your basement. Carefully check for any water dribbling from the basement walls and seal them using hydraulic...

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3 Key Differences Between Using Sodium And Potassium Chloride For Water Softening

Posted by Anna Granger on Jan 7, 2016

One of the most common questions people ask about their water softener is whether or not potassium chloride can be used in a system that’s been using sodium chloride, and vice versa. The fact of the matter is that the answer is almost always yes, but there are subtle differences between the two chemicals with respect to water softening. Here are some key differences between the two.  Cost For many customers, the decision on whether to buy potassium chloride or sodium chloride comes down to cost. Potassium chloride will almost always cost more than sodium chloride, in fact, the average price of a bag of sodium chloride was $6 while the price of a bag of potassium chloride was around $27. This cost gap widens even further when you consider that a water softener system will require more potassium to run properly than if it were using sodium. When switching from sodium to potassium for your water softener, it’s often recommended to bump up the salt dosage by 10%. The advantage here, then, clearly goes to sodium chloride.  Health One group of people that could benefit from using potassium chloride in their water softeners are those looking to cut down on sodium intake, since potassium chloride is 99.9% sodium free in most cases. This can be a big help when it seems like you’ve exhausted all options when it comes to cutting sodium out of your diet, especially since there are around 28 mg of sodium in an 8...

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Fun, Festive Projects For Your Leftover Fabric And Remnants

Posted by Anna Granger on Dec 14, 2015

If you hate discarding or wasting the leftover fabric and remnant material from your holiday sewing projects, don’t dismay. There are some clever and cute ideas that make good use of your extra fabric, and some may even inspire you to pick up a couple fat quarters from the fabric store to complete these great gifts right away! Some holiday projects, perfect for fabric remnants or fat quarters, include these ideas: Wintry wreath. Spend a couple bucks on a foam wreath ring and use your leftover fabric to create a unique accent that you will use year after year. Start out by cutting the fabric in squares that are around two-inches by two-inches, and try to make your squares as uniform as possible. If the fabric tends to fray, use pinking shears around the edges to prevent it from unraveling. Next, use a very small crochet hook or a large knitting needle to press the center of the square into the foam of the ring. This causes the fabric to create a blossom-shape. Repeat this process over the entire ring until covered, making each blossom close enough to the next to cover the foam ring. Finish with a piece of wire to hang your creation, and add a bow if desired.           Kitchen accessories. It is easy to make some useful kitchen gifts out of leftover fabric, and depending on how much material you have, you may create placemats, coasters, or napkins for someone special this holiday....

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Setting up Your Birdbath

There are many types of birdbaths, and a birdbath can be a traditional concrete bowl and pedestal or can be as simple as a shallow bowl on a concrete slab.

Cleaning a Birdbath

Birds will be more attracted to a birdbath that is clean and has clean, fresh water. You can clean your birdbath with a simple mixture of bleach and water.

Heating a Birdbath

If you are planning to keep a birdbath in a cold climate during the winter, you will need a heater. You can easily add a heater to an existing birdbath.