5 Points to Consider When Cleaning Your Gutters

Cleaning gutters is a big job and it’s no wondering many people neglect it year after year. Most of us dread this annual or semi-annual chore. It’s dirty, disgusting, hard work, not to mention dangerous. One wrong move and you could be spending the day in the emergency room – or worse. If you’re a homeowner it pays to know how to do this job as safely as possible. We developed a five point guide to cleaning your gutters safely and efficiently, the same way the professionals do.

Rust

The first point isn’t about the tools of the trade for cleaning gutters; it’s about what happens if you don’t clean them. In many cases they will rust out. Standing water leaves, and dirt in many types of gutters will cause rust holes. These will have to be repaired and eventually the whole gutter system will have to be replaced. Prevention goes a long way. Cleaning or, better yet, using aluminum or plastic gutters will prevent rust. A thin coat of zinc will also prevent rusting.

Ladders

It should go without saying that your ladder should be sturdy. You’ll want to use a four legged ladder (three legged orchard ladders are definitely not a good choice), preferably aluminum or fiberglass. Wooden ladders tend to be less stable than these other options, although if the ground around your home is exceptionally flat, a wooden ladder might be OK.

For a single story home, a taller stepladder is an excellent choice. A strong, wide shelf is also a good thing to have, since you can use this for a bucket to hold the debris you’re cleaning out of your gutters.

Before you get up on any ladder, make sure that it’s stable, any fasteners are secure and the hinges are locked firmly in place. If necessary, place a piece of plywood underneath the ladder for added stability. Better still, have someone else there to hold the ladder and keep it stable. Keep three limbs on the ladder at all times so that you don’t lose your balance – forgetting this is what leads to the majority of gutter cleaning injuries.

The Right Tools for the Job

Heavy duty work gloves help keep your hands clean while you’re dealing with all of the decaying leaves and other muck that ends up in your gutters. Gloves will also protect your hands from sharp edges, bee and wasp stings and anything else you might come across while cleaning out your gutters.

A scoop is also a good tool to have. You can find plastic gutter scoops at nearly any hardware store and they can save you a lot of time and trouble. They’re usually only a few dollars and would be a bargain at twice the price.  A garden trawl will also work in pinch.

Check the Downspouts

Before you finish, use a hose to spray out the gutters and check to see if the water is draining properly through your downspouts. If not, you’ll need to clear whatever is clogging it. These clogs can usually be cleared by tapping on the side of the downspout and giving it another flushing out with the hose – repeat as necessary.

Avoiding Cleaning Your Gutters In The First Place

Cleaning out the gutters is a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, if you install a high quality gutter guard, you won’t need to clean them as much! A micromesh guard like Gutter Glove can protect your gutters by keeping out leaves, dirt and other debris, which means you may never have to face this dirty and dangerous job again.

Carpet Tiles – All You Need to Know

carpet tilesCarpet tiles are a modern alternative to traditional carpet rolls. They may be listed as modular carpet, or carpet squares, but their overall design is generally the same. Each individual square is installed on its own and this carpet has its own unique set of pros and cons associated with it.

Carpet tiles are becoming a popular choice for both residential and commercial flooring. They are found in airports, schools, and even the rooms of a home. Since you don’t have to struggle with a traditional roll of carpet, you can use them in more confined spaces. You can even set them in rooms that aren’t an even size with ease.

These Tiles Come in Different Styles and Colors

As you look at carpet tiles, you’ll notice they aren’t all the same. Each of these tiles has variable sizes, shapes, fibers, and types associated with it. That means you can mix and match these items as needed for your business. Traditionally, these tiles are backed so that they can be installed easily on any surface you’re looking to install them on. This is usually options like fiberglass, urethane, woven polypropylene and even recycled vinyl. When you consider any tile, you’ll want to look at the backing and how well it will hold up in the room it will be used in.

The backing may also be designed to simply peel and stick, or it might require glue. While both styles work in a do it yourself setting, you’ll want to consider that the application of glue will extend the amount of time it will take to install these carpet tiles.

How to Choose Carpet Tiles

When you choose the carpet tiles for a room, think about the big picture. You don’t want to think about a single tile and how it will look. Think about the finished floor and how it will look with the layout and design of the space. You might find that one individual style or design will appear significantly different from another. Your goal is to take the time to make sure that you have the right tile size, color, and even pattern in a room before you even start to lay it.

In addition to the visual considerations, also look at the warranty associated with the tile. You’ll want to make sure you are fully covered beyond the safety aspect of it. Make sure there is a warranty in place for concerns like curling, buckling, and even shrinking. That way if something does happen, you’ll have a warranty to back you up so that you can get the tiles replaced.

The Pros of Using Carpet Tiles

When you look at carpet tiles, you’ll find that there are definitely some benefits that are associated with using them. They include:

  • The simplest installation available, often with do it yourself kits available.
  • Little prep work is required, as you can install these tiles over most other types of flooring.
  • They are simple to clean and care for. Just remove a damaged tile and swap it out for a new one.
  • There is the ability to be more creative and to design a room according to your unique needs.

Cons of Using Carpet Tiles

While the majority of the things to consider are good, you will encounter some cons when using carpet tiles.

  • The seams in this type of carpeting tend to be visible.
  • They do not do well in areas with moisture, mildew, and mold are problems.
  • They are often more expensive than traditional carpet rolls.

Where Should You Install Carpet

Carpet tiles can be used in most rooms of the home. Some spaces just have a few additional benefits.

Take for example, the basement. If you ever have a floor or want an easy to clean and install tile, then carpet tiles are the best choice. You can remove them if the area floods and this will save you time and money. More importantly, when things dry out, you can also quickly reinstall it.

Screened porches are a transitional room from the outdoors to inside of your home. Carpet tiles can be used to give the comfort of the indoors, while having a durable option that will work in most cases. They can install on a deck and if they become too worn, you can replace an individual square, rather than having to carpet the entire space all over again.

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits that are associated with carpet tiles. Take a moment to consider the right approach for your home and choose a color, pattern, and design that will meet your needs.

Our personal experience with carpet tiles started with samples from Best Carpet Value (www.bestcarpetvalue.com)

Redecorating Ideas to Rejuvenate Your Home’s Interior

Does your house’s interior look drab or boring? If your answer is yes, then your house needs a bit of rejuvenation and redecorating to enhance its appearance. Luckily, we have a list of things below that you can do to your house to accomplish this task.

Change Paint Colors of the Walls and Trim

Repaint the walls and trim with new paint and new colors! This will brighten your interior and could even make you feel like you are living in a new house. You must take the right enough time to match the paints, though, as you do not want them to clash with each other or the furnishings.

Do not just depend on the small paint samples from the home store to make your decision. You can now buy small containers of the paint to try on a wall in a place that is out of view. This way you know what each color looks like after it is on the wall and trim.

Add Colorful Throw Rugs

Colorful throw rugs brighten up carpeting that has seen better days. You can use the rugs to cover stains and worn spots. These come in a wide range of prices, colors, patterns, sizes and shapes. It is surprising what a big difference this makes in the house.

Of course, if you have a large enough budget to work with you could replace all your carpeting, but it is nice to know that throw rugs provide a cheaper alternative solution for worn carpeting. You would need to choose the carpet and have a professional install it for you. This is an expensive way to freshen up the appearance of the carpeting.

Don’t Forget the Kitchen

You use the kitchen on a daily basis cooking food for your family. The cabinets and cabinet doors most likely are starting to show the wear and tear. Repaint or re-stain the cabinets and shelves, whichever is your preference. If you need to, you can purchase new cabinet doors to match the cabinets. These doors also may need a coat of paint or stain depending on the look you are going for in your kitchen. Attach the new doors when the paint or stain dries. Add new knobs if necessary. Easy fix for a rundown kitchen.

 

Choosing Perfect Window Treatments

window-treatmentsWhen redecorating a room, most of the thought goes into carpeting, wall coverings, and furniture, but often window treatments aren’t given much thought. Window treatments should be given the same amount of weight as any other decorating decision because they can make or break the entire decorating scheme.

When faced with the many options available for windows, such as drapes, panels, or blinds, not to mention and untold number of fabrics, patterns, etc. making a choice may seem a bit intimidating. It doesn’t have to be however, there are a few guidelines that can help ensure that you choose the perfect window treatments to top off your new décor.

Consider the purpose of the room

There is a common misconception that window treatments should be matching throughout the house; disregard that completely. Because different rooms are used for different purposes, each should have its own style of window dressing. A family room, for example, is generally where people will be watching television so draperies that deaden outside noise are often a good choice. For bedrooms, often a blind or shade to keep out light and offer some privacy is in order, but they can be topped with an aesthetically pleasing sheer or panel to soften the look.

What is the window’s main purpose?

If it truly has no purpose other than to let in light, your choices for window coverings are almost endless, but if it is accessed frequently to let in a breeze or for its wonderful view, you will need to choose more carefully. Roller shades or blinds are a good bet for a window that has to be functional as well as pretty. They can also be topped with a sheer panel or simply a valance to add some color.

Is privacy an issue?

For bedrooms, bathrooms, or any room that can easily be seen into by a close neighbor, privacy should play an important role in your choice of window treatments. There are many stylish blinds that are every bit as pleasing to the eye as curtains and will allow you your privacy. Blinds are often a good choice for large windows as well because they can be opened to allow light in or closed for privacy or to insulate against heat or cold.

Consider your curtains as a frame for the perfect picture

Window dressings are the icing on the cake. Choose shades and patterns that will accent your newly decorated room and show it to its best advantage. Choosing a pattern that complements your walls and upholstery will bring out the best of everything in the room.

There is certainly more to choosing window coverings than what is mentioned here, but these guidelines can help you get started. Many people (myself included) like to change the curtains with the season. For summertime, a light, breezy sheer makes everything seem cheerful while heavier drapes or curtains in the winter will keep things feeling warm and welcoming. As with any decorating, window dressings are limited only by your own specific tastes and your imagination.

Tips to Give Your Home a Designer Look on a Budget

designer-bedroomDesigners don’t have a set of rules that they use. While they understand colors and patterns, they aren’t pigeonholed with a few ideas. Instead, they look at the size of the room and begin to design a room based on the potential it has. Here are some of the tricks they use when designing the homes of the rich that you can incorporate while sticking to your budget.

The first thing to remember is that rooms need breathing room. When you walk into a room, have a few places for seating and fill empty space with objects of interest. A room with a couple of couches and a handful of unique statues and vases will have more of an impact that a room littered with items.

Another trick that designers will tell you is to pick an item to be the central focus of the room. This is something that you want people to instantly look at when they walk in. Once you’ve determined that item, incorporate wall colors, flooring and patterns in the room around it. This can also reduce the amount of time spent trying to find shades and styles of paint and flooring. That item should also be place towards the front of the room when people enter.

As you are setting up your room, know the right height to hang artwork. Don’t just toss something up and say it looks good. The mid-line of any piece of art should be approx. 57”. This is the average height of the human eye. This brings a room together and gives it a professional feeling.

Rugs are another item that can make or break a room. When you have a rug, furniture should be placed on it so there is 12” – 18” of surface on all edges of the furniture. This gives it a natural look. The rug should also accent the rest of the room and not command attention. Otherwise, visitors may end up focusing on a floor that needs to be vacuumed when they walk in.

If you follow these tips, you can have a home that looks like a top home designer came in and helped you to redecorate your home. All without the hefty price tag that they often come with.