5 Entry Points For Rodents In Your Home

rodents
Rats getting into your home? You need to find out how. Once you do, you can seal the areas shut and put an end to rat infestations. It’s important to fully inspect your property – every single inch of it – to find every rodent entry hole there is.

But, how do you find the areas? You do a very careful inspection. You look at every tiny nook and cranny. And you read up on rat signs, like brown grease marks at entry points and droppings. Often, entry holes aren’t where you may expect them, and you might have to crawl into some tight spots or get digging.

Check the Attic

Look for signs of rat damage in your attic, like droppings, trails in the insulation, burrows, chewed wires, tunnels, chewed wood, brown grease, nests, and chewed insulation on your pipes. This will give you a clue as to how many rats there may be and where they’re moving around. If you can figure that out, you can use electronic rat repellent from Pest Free Australia to get rid of the rats.

Check Crawlspace Vents

Rats can easily squeeze through crawlspace vents to gain access to your home. These are the vents that you can find on the outside of your house, close to the bottom of the siding. While not all properties have these vents, if yours does, you should check for damage to the screens and other parts of the vents. Remember that rats, as well as mice, can squeeze into the tiniest of holes.

Consider Rat Ladders

Take a careful look around the outside of your property for anything a rat can use as a ladder to gain access, such as large trees, trellises, vines or shrubs touching your house. Home inspectors refer to these things as rat ladders since rats can easily climb up them into an opening in your roof.

Don’t Forget the Bird Blocking Vents

Bird blocking vents are the small openings you’ll find around the roof that allow air into your attic system but are supposed to prevent pests like rodents and birds getting into your home. There’s usually a small mesh screen over the holes to prevent any unwanted access. If a screen becomes damaged, it can be easy entry for rats.

Check the Furnace Ducts in Your Garage

The duct work around furnaces isn’t always sealed properly. This is a warm, cosy areas for rodents. Check the sides and rear of the furnace for any gaps, as well as for gaps around plumbing holes that go through the wall and into your garage.

If you do find signs of rodent activity in your home, it’s time to call in the experts. If you have a cat, sure, it might kill a rodent or two, but it’s not going to help seal off crawl spaces, patch holes, or cut back foliage touching your house.

Trained professionals know how to find the holes and seal them to prevent rodents entering your house, clean our any damaged materials and also sanitise the area.

Don’t Forget These Home Maintenance Repairs

If a homeowner has the mentality that they will just fix things around their home when they break, they are likely to spend a lot of unnecessary money. Additionally, they are going to have to endure a lot of uncomfortable situations. If you do regular maintenance on your home, you will save money, time, and energy. You be able to keep your home in the best working order possible, which will ensure your own comfort and the comfort of your family.

It is important to clean window weep holes on a regular basis. If you live in an area that receives a lot of rain, you will likely have to do this more often than others. Most sliding windows have small holes that are at the bottom of the window frame. These holes can become plugged because of dirt, insects, and debris. If they are not cleaned regularly, water will pool in the channel and eventually spill into the house. This leads to a lot of unnecessary messes. It could even lead to rotting wood and other more serious problems.

It is important to perform regular maintenance on the entire HVAC system in the home. You may want to pay closer attention to the heating system as winter arrives and closer attention to the air-conditioning system as summer approaches. If you notice major repairs that need to be done, you may opt to hire a professional HVAC repair Fairfax VA company. If simple maintenance is all that is needed, you can use the owner’s manuals or even information you find online to do things like change filters.

It is good to regularly inspect the appliances in your kitchen. Also, look at your washing machine and dryer, water filtration system, and other machinery or appliances you may have in your home. Make sure that the appliances are cleaned regularly. When they are free of dust and grime, they will work better. Get to know the way each appliance works and learn how to do simple repairs on your own. Doing regular maintenance on these appliances is going to extend their life. Also, it is going to ensure that you do not deal with the frustration of having the wash machine break on a day when you have a bunch of loads of laundry to do.

Regular home maintenance goes a long way in saving you money. It also keeps you and your family comfortable.

To DIY or Not to DIY – Should You Hire a Plumber?

Do-it-yourself projects can be all sorts of fun in addition to being a learning experience.  However, there are times when the objective of gaining direct-hand know how and saving on cost just does not compensate for the possibility of improperly fixing an appliance or causing even more issues to arise around your home.

Getting your hands dirty can be a good thing, but in certain scenarios it is much better to avoid frustration altogether and hire a professional.  When should you throw in the towel and call in an expert though?  Here are three considerations for you when it comes time to think about calling in a plumber for your home projects:

What is Your Proficiency at Plumbing?

You may feel that you are able to handle just about any plumbing problem, but it is prudent to take a step back and objectively think if you really are capable of fixing a plumbing issue with precision.  Let us reiterate that last part.  Although clearing simple blockages and tightening a leaky faucet might not lead to catastrophe; installing appliances and correcting pipe work if not done correctly could lead to serious damage to the interior of your home, especially over time.  We all know that do-it-yourself instructions can be found online for any task, but what is not mentioned frequently are all the tips and tricks professional plumbers have learned from their experience in the trade that could save you a whole lot of hassle and cents later.

Do you Have the Right Tools?

Repairing a plumbing problem in your home is the hardest and longest the first time you go through teaching yourself how to do it.  This is made even more so if you do not have the right plumbing tools.  Having the right tools for the type of job you want done should be a major deciding factor in whether you want to hire a professional or not.  Another point includes this – do you even know what tools you would need?  If you are in question about these things, perhaps doing it yourself might not be the right way to go, at least not this time.

Also, by the time you purchase the needed tools for the work, it may have been more cost and time effective to have simply called in an expert.

Can You Avoid Getting Hurt?

Medical bills are no joke in today’s economy.  This factor is even more compounded when an injury occurs that could have been definitively avoided.  As much as credence can be given to taking the risks of learning a new set of skills that could serve you for a lifetime, there is also wisdom in knowing when that risk might be too much.

Water leaks can cause considerable damage to floors and the structure of a house.  Depending on how capable you are at assessing the extent of the problem, you may find yourself unexpectedly falling through rickety wood or having electrical cords get much too close to conductive water.  If your home project calls for expertise that would be in line with home renovation, you may want to consider a professional before jumping into DIY.

Completing your own “do-it-yourself” project can have massive satisfaction for those who fancy being handy with tools.  However, if you have concerns or feel unconfident in what home plumbing project lies ahead, calling out a professional plumber can truly save in many ways.  For more information on plumbing for consumers and finding a professional, be sure to check out theplumbinginfo.com.  There, you will find lots of tips, eco-friendly suggestions, and item reviews.

5 Reasons To Get Your Carpets Cleaned Now

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What To Consider When Buying Benchtops

benchtop
When it comes to decorating a kitchen area, the benchtops can give it that crowning finish that can turn your home into a show home. In this modern age that we live in, there is a lot of choices when it comes to choosing a material for your benchtops, each having its good and bad points. There are some critical factors that you should consider before you make your investment, and ensure that you shop around and look at all of the available options that are open to you.

What Is Your Maximum Budget?

The amount of budget that you have available for your benchtops will play a big part in the overall finish of your kitchen, but there are ways that you can stretch your budget a little bit further. Look for sales both online and in store and you can see a selection of timber benchtops in Melbourne at Market Timbers, and make sure that you shop around and compare prices to get the best deal possible.

How Much Hassle Do You Want?

You will need to decide on a material for your benchtops that is going to be suitable for the amount of maintenance that you wish to give it, and some materials will require a lot more maintenance than others. Some wood finishes will need to be sanded and oiled on a regular basis, maybe once a year, to keep them looking in top condition. You can get a metal finish that you may think will be a lovely finish, but the reality of keeping it shiny and clear of smudges and marks can be frustrating.

The Different Materials Available

As well as each having different properties and requiring different levels of maintenance, you will also see that the prices between materials can vary quite drastically. The more refinement the material requires, the higher the price will be. Some of the different materials that you can use are;

  • A Wide Variety of Timber Benchtops – Bamboo, American & European Oak, Spotted Gum, Grey Ironbark
  • Polished Concrete
  • Stainless Steel
  • Granite
  • Porcelain
  • Marble
  • Quartz
  • Laminate

Whatever type of material you prefer, you will need to shop around to find a supplier that can offer it at a price that you can afford. If you already have someone that can install it for you, it may be worthwhile asking them if they have trade contacts to get it a bit cheaper for you.

Do Your Research

Although you may want to have a specific material in your home for aesthetic reasons, sit down and research all of the options that are available to you and make a list of the ones that fall within your budget. You can then compare the good and bad points of each, and you can find all of the information that you need on various references online that compare the different materials between each other. You can then choose between the available materials that you can afford and select the most suitable, as well as practical, finish for your new kitchen.

Switch Up Your Mealtimes…For Good!

We’ve noticed a change in meal times, with it becoming more of a necessity rather than an event for the family. Growing up, family meal times were always very important, but with society now being so fast paced and technology being rife, for a large majority, meal times with the family are few and far between or an item to tick off the ever growing list of day to day tasks.

It appears Ceramictopia may have found a solution. The founder went on a mission to try to reinject fun back into meal time and focussed on the current dinnerware products. They have since created a unique and original concept, being the first company in the world to combine the plate and mug. Individually the products create a scene but together they form an entire story and they really do make you smile every time you look at them.
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Delving deeper into this and to find out where the idea stemmed from, Giles Moore, founder and CEO of Ceramictopia, said “The idea stemmed from my brother having fun in an arts and crafts café with various paints, plates and mugs. For fun, he created a Giraffe that went across the two items, and at that moment, a lightbulb went off in my head and I knew I had to bring this to the market”.

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The company, Ceramictopia, are working with various artists from around the world to create unique and individual designs that have their own distinctive personality, inspired by a memory, a dream, or a human experience. For the Ceramic and Glassware ranges, the designs are focused on animals, sports and landmarks, and for the Paper products, they are focusing on seasonal events such as Halloween, Bonfire night, Christmas, New Year as well as big sporting events such as the Superbowl.

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We are very excited to see this company launch. What a great way to add some fun into dinner times. They are running a Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds for the tooling, so they can create the products on mass scale. Please do make sure you check out there Kickstarter Campaign and back them because this is one of those products we need in this world. cornu6
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As Giles says, “It’s time to remove the boring dinnerware and introduce Ceramictopia, where your personality can shine through”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Ceramictopia:

Ceramictopia, a new Sheffield start up, is the first company to combine and create a story using every day dinnerware. Established in the UK using only English products, Ceramictopia is looking to work with artists around the globe to create unique and original designs for dinnerware, to reinject fun back into meal times. All designs are available on ceramic, glass or paper and are based on a memory, dream or an experience. Ceramictopia are launching a Kickstarter Campaign to produce the tooling for the artwork so the products can be mass produced. Go to ceramictopia.com for more information and to back our Kickstarter Campaign. (Press Kit)

 

Why You Should Be Flexible When House Hunting

House hunting can be an incredibly stressful, nerve wracking and difficult time of any adult’s life. From getting your foot on the property ladder, to downsizing from your current property and even securing a bank loan, with so many added pressures on top of your day-to-day, house hunting is one extra-unwanted stress. So what if you could alleviate some of these pressures and take a slightly different approach? In fact, being flexible is key when it comes to property purchasing. Not only could you discover your dream home in a completely different state, but you might also be surprised when it comes to the range of housing options and sizes available on the US market at the moment. So don’t let the stresses of house hunting get you down, read on to find out why you should be prepared to think outside of the box when viewing potential properties.

 

Your home is your castle

When it comes to property hunting, chances are you know what you’d like to buy in an ideal world but your budget might not stretch that far. Variable rates on bank loans and soaring real estate prices are a depressing reality when it comes to house hunting, however, it is thanks to the range and size of properties on the market that will enable even the most fussy of buyers to discover perfection where they least expected it. There’s no reason to give up your dream of owning your ideal property, so why not consider smaller alternatives if your budget just won’t stretch that far? Studio apartments offer hidden potential and luxury living space at the fraction of the cost of a one or two bedroom apartment. While security and practicality come at the fraction of the cost of a house if you consider owning a condo. If you are struggling to know where to start your search, then Boston condos for sale has a range of properties and options available in their portfolio. So don’t despair – there’s a castle awaiting you, no matter your budget.

 

Take time before signing

Do be sure to subject your new property to any essential checks and maintenance work before signing or agreeing on a rental lease – especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Yes, you might be anxious to move in, but it’s important to be flexible and ensure that these works are carried out – or else they could cost you in the long term. After all, the hard work is now over, so just be patient.

 

Enjoy the experience

Even if you are anxious or short on time when it comes to finding your next property, there’s no reason not to enjoy the experience. By being more flexible and open to new ideas, you will open your mind and potentially end up with a house you’d never have considered before. Therefore, take your time and do not rush the process. Make sure you approach the situation with an open mind and consider everything it has to offer you.

 

7 Signs It Is Time For HVAC Repair

Staying comfortable inside your own home is tough when the temperature outside is extreme. Whether it is too hot or too cold, a reliable HVAC system will keep any building at a reasonable temperature. Before the summer or winter, homeowners should take the time to ensure their air conditioner is fully operational. It is better to fix it before the next big season rolls around. Here are some of the most common symptoms of a failing HVAC system.

1. Weird Sounds

When your AC first kicks on, you expect it to make a noise. While it is running, it should produce a slight hum that should not really be noticeable. However, if you start noticing weird noises, such as the sound of metal clanking against something, then a larger issue needs to be addressed. It is possible a certain component has come loose that needs to be put back into place. These noises could also be indicators there is a pest inside the system that needs to be removed.

2. Moisture Around HVAC Unit

There are a couple different explanations for why moisture is forming around a unit. First, it could be a sign that the unit is unable to adequately drain condensation. When it is just water, the unit needs to be repaired immediately or else mold can form around the premises. However, the other explanation is that refrigerant is leaking. Without refrigerant, an AC unit cannot properly cool a house. This also requires immediate attention because refrigerant is not safe to handle without the proper equipment.

3. Uncomfortable Inside

In the event you turn the system on and do not notice a change, it is a sign something is wrong. There are a few actions you can take initially. First, make sure you replace the air filter. These typically need to be swapped out once every three months or so. Next, you want to perform a visual inspection around the outside unit of the HVAC system. If leaves or branches have accumulated on top of the unit, then remove those because those items can impede functionality.

Next, you want to check all the air ducts inside the building. Sometimes people place furniture or other items directly in front of a duct, and this prevents air from circulating properly. In the event you have tried all this and there are still problems, then you need to call a professional for immediate HVAC repair in Philadelphia.

4. Awful Smells

Most of the time, bad smells coming from an AC unit means there is a leak somewhere in the system. The water is causing mold to develop, leading to a musty smell inside the building. However, there have been instances of homeowners smelling gas or the scent of something burning. In this scenario, it is preferable to vacate the premises immediately and contact a professional right away to address the problem.

5. Ice on the AC Unit

In some parts of the country, it is not uncommon to see ice forming on outdoor AC units. Sometimes the ice forms inside the system on coils. This is likely due to air being unable to circulate adequately. The reason why it is not circulating can either be due to broken fans or a blockage.

6. Problems With the Thermostat

A broken thermostat leads to a lot of issues. For starters, the HVAC system may not turn on according to the schedule you set. Uneven temperature throughout a building may also lead to the thermostat not working the way it should.

7. Increasing Electric Bills

Sometimes everything seems perfectly fine with an HVAC system. However, you know something is wrong when the electric bill comes at the end of the month. If it is during a time of year when you use the HVAC system often, then you can expect an increase to an extent. Once you have a good idea of how much more you pay to use the AC, you know when a bill is simply too high. At this point, you need to hire an electrician, so you can save money in the long run.

Maintaining an HVAC system and fixing problems as soon as they arise are the simplest steps to get the most out of the unit. Be comfortable all year long by having professionals take care of your air conditioner and heater.

Home Clean Home: How To Clean Your House Effortlessly

For most of us, doing household chores is just like having a cavity filled at the dentist’s- it’s important, yet abaolutely dreadful! We can’t deny the fact, though, that this is an inevitable aspect in maintaining a livable and healthy home.

Of course, there are the basics like cooking and doing the laundry; but the ones most dreaded involve cleaning and maintaining the entire house-one room after the other. Special attention should be given to cleaning certain parts of the house-like the kitchen, where accumulation of dirt and grime may adversely affect food preparation, and in the bathroom where falls may occur due to slippery tiles. All of these an be prevented by thorough and routine house cleaning.

But what if your daily work schedule- plus the fatigue after the daily grind- doesn’t give you enough time to clean the house? This is when a house cleaning service comes to save the day. It not only provides you the thorough cleaning that you want, but also saves you the gruelling physical challenge of tidying up your abode.

Once reserved for the rich, house cleaning services are now as common as your neighborhood laundromat. They are specialists in house cleaning, as they carry the proper equipment for any type of room or job.  Moreover, they have a wide array of detergents or cleaning agents, with health and environmental safety in mind.  Checklists are provided so you can choose what to include in the service- whether it be it scrubbing the toilet squeaky clean, or just a quick freshening up of the bedroom.

Rates are reasonable depending on the type of cleaning job and the areas included. Make sure to have every detail on paper, so your expectations are met. Personal and house security should also be carefully discussed with the house cleaning company and crew.

Overall, getting a house cleaning service is certainly one good option in keeping your house clean without the effort and time consumption that personally doing it entails. After all, who wouldn’t want to have extra time with the family, and then finally come home to a nice and clean house?

How To Keep Your Summer House Safe From Intruders

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Many people choose to have lovely summer houses in their gardens. The old-fashioned shed that is used to house the lawnmower and gardening tools is not a much grander affair for people who want to make better use of their outside spaces. No matter what kind of structure you have in your garden, you still need to consider the right security provisions, just the way you would with your home.

Thieves tend to favour targeting a garden summer house, as they’re often less protected and easier to break into without them being disturbed. What’s more, these buildings are used for a wide range of purposes these days, which means their contents may be attractive to burglars.

Summer House Security

You should think about your summer house’s security the way you would with your home’s security measures. A good lock is the bare minimum security measure, and you need to execute a certain amount of discipline to ensure that the summer house is locked up at night. If you have valuable contents in your summer house, you may want to consider putting an alarm in the building.

What’s more, sensors and door contacts can be added to the burglar alarm system and also isolated so that they can be set off even before the summer house is broken into.

You may also want to consider a CCTV system where you can position at least one camera on your summer house.

Even if you think there is nothing attractive or enticing in your building to worry about, summer houses are still attractive to intruders. If you keep tools and ladders in your outhouse, they can be used by intruders to gain access to your main house.

Summer House Security Checklist

Use this checklist to keep your summer house safe from intruders:

  • Make sure you put all items away and lock the windows and doors at night.
  • Install reliable locks on all the windows and doors.
  • Add the summer house to your home burglar alarm system and the CCTV system.
  • Install curtains or blinds on the windows so that your possessions are not visible through doors and windows.
  • Make sure the roofing materials are secure as that is an easy way to get into the summer house, too.
  • Install motion sensor security lighting that will be triggered by heat or movement.
  • If it is practical to do so, remove all valuable items to your main house at night.
  • Make sure access to your garden is as secure as possible by locking all gates and making sure that there are no gaps in hedges and fences around your perimeter.
  • Think about installing a lockable cupboard or even a safe in the summer house to store valuable items.
  • Lock up expensive items like bikes where possible, and secure them to something that cannot be moved.
  • Consider putting gravel around the summer house and on paths that lead to it to alert you to the sound of someone getting in.

 

Use these tips to make sure your summer house is safe and secure from break-ins.