Home Improvement

What You Should Know About Fire Safety Precautions and Preventative Measures

What You Should Know About Fire Safety Precautions and Preventative Measures  by Dr. Victor Marchione

Did you know that people who are 85 and older are five times more likely than younger people to die in a fire? At least, that's according to a recent statistic that was posted on the FireSafety.gov web site.

There are many reasons why seniors are at an increased risk for death or injury in a fire. Seniors' reflexes may be slower due to age and/or medical conditions. Seniors are also more likely to have a "lag" in their response time. Difficulties with vision and/or hearing could also contribute to a delayed response to fire. Many medications have a sedative affect and could hamper decision-making abilities during a crisis such as a fire.

Living Alone Increases Risk
Another common risk factor when it comes to seniors and fire is living alone. Without someone else around, seniors living by themselves don't have any help when it comes to preventing and reacting to situations that can cause fires to start, such as cooking and accidents.

One of the most common causes of house fires-smoking-is also a particular hazard for seniors. Unsafe use of cigarettes and other smoking materials could ignite surrounding materials and spread quickly if no immediate action is taken.

Here's another common risk factor: improperly used or maintained heating equipment. If you have a wood-burning stove, make sure that a professional technician tests the equipment on a regular basis.

If you use a space heater, follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding fire safety. Don't use your heater near flammable materials or leave the heater on full-blast when you aren't around to keep an eye on it.

Wiring in older homes could also be a fire hazard. Many seniors live in dwellings where the wiring is outdated and unsafe. A short in a wire could spark a fire that will quickly spread through combustible materials within the walls of your home. If you can afford it, hire a licensed electrician to rewire any troublesome spots in your home. It may be unnecessary to rewire the entire house, and the cost may be cheaper than you expected.

Candle-safety Guidelines
- Don't burn candles right next to each other, or near doors or windows where a draft may blow them over, or on a surface that may catch fire or melt from the heat
- Keep the candle's wick trimmed to about one-quarter of an inch
- Light a candle in an area that is far from flammable materials, such as drapes, bedding, furniture, paper or wallpaper
- Make sure that a burning candle can't be reached by children or pets
- Never leave a room with a candle still burning
- Only burn a candle that is in a sturdy, non-flammable base

One of the best preventative measures that you can take against fires is to install a working fire alarm on every floor in your home. Install an alarm in your bedroom, where you will hear it even if you're sleeping-and don't forget to put one in the basement. It's a good idea to install fire alarms away from doors or windows, where air drafts can hamper their performance and detection of smoke.

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Article Source: http://www.articlesphere.com/Article/What-You-Should-Know-About-Fire-Safety-Precautions-and-Preventative-Measures/267363

Natural Insect Killers That Eliminate House Fly Infestation

Natural Insect Killers That Eliminate House Fly InfestationNatural Insect Killers That Eliminate House Fly Infestation by Karen Winton

Flies are usually one fourth inch in length, is striped and is either gray or black in color. Though they do not bite, they are filthy and carry a lot of diseases. Thus, if you notice a lot of flies in your residence, you have to solve the house fly infestation problem. Of course, you can use a commercial fruit fly trap but that is usually toxic to pets. You're better off with natural insect killers that will get rid of those irritating creatures and not harm your darling pets.

A recommended step you can perform in order to eliminate those flies is to place some jam or something sweet and sticky inside narrow necked bottles so that those insects will enter into the bottles because of being attracted to the sweetness, and then, they won't be able to escape. Make at least 2 of these solutions and place one in the kitchen and near the door or near a window if there are a lot of flies in your house. This will really get rid of house fly infestation.

You can also insect sprays that are natural. One of the most common ingredients of most DIY natural insect killers is 2 tablespoons of dishwashing soap. Mix that with about four cups of H20 and then, place that solution in a spray bottle. You can use that as a natural kind of insecticide or pesticide. It is best combined with the fruit fly trap mentioned above (the bottles with jam to trap the flies) to speed up fly elimination.

If you see a lot of flies in your home, that may mean there's a lot of filth or garbage in the house. If you have unwashed dishes in the sink, those will lead to house fly infestation. If the garbage can is left uncovered, for sure, those insects plus some other types e.g. roaches will swarm to the house, which is something you would not want, right? If you want to prevent having the need to put a fruit fly trap in your dwelling place, observe cleanliness at all times. Wipe any morsel off the dining table. Take the trash out at least twice a week. Make sure your house smells clean and fresh e.g. clean the toilet at least once per week, use some air freshener in the kitchen and even in your bedroom - make sure your pets are not in the room when you use an air freshener as it can also be toxic.

Other natural insect killers or deterrents that can help solve house fly infestation problems include: planting some basil or mint by your door as flies do not like the smell of those herbs; cleaning your backyard or front yard from time to time (a clean yard usually means less flies and lesser flies will be inclined to enter your home); among others.

Karen Winton is not happy about insects in the home. Get rid of flies naturally. Read: Eliminate Fruit Flies. Need a permanent solution to stink bug infestation? Follow advices from: Stink Bug Control.

Article Source: http://www.articlesphere.com/Article/Natural-Insect-Killers-That-Eliminate-House-Fly-Infestation/267923

Clearing Your Home of Clutter With No Stress

Clearing Your Home of Clutter With No StressClearing Your Home of Clutter With No Stress  by Heidi DeCoux

Do you have clutter you wish you could get rid of but are frightened may one day again be needed?

As a professional organizer, the two questions I get asked most frequently as it pertains to "how to clear clutter" are:

- "How do I figure out what to get rid of?"
- "How do I know I won't need that item again?"

Today I am going to reveal a formula for deciding what to keep, what to get rid of and where to start.

What to Put in the Keep Pile:

Only keep items that are useful or meaningful.

Useful = items you are currently using or know that you will be using them in
the near future.

A bookcase is useful, however, if it is currently collecting dust in your basement or garage, it is not useful. Sell it on Craigslist and trust that when you need a bookshelf in the future, there will be one available for you.

Why not pocket the money for your used bookshelf and then buy a new used bookshelf when you actually need it?
Meaningful = memorabilia

If you tend to keep too much memorabilia, use this simple three-step process.

1. Lay all of your memorabilia out and select the top 10 items you treasure most.

2. Honor your memories by beautifully displaying these 10 items. For example, frame a special t-shirt and hang it on the wall. Or, create a shadow box of special jewelry, news clippings, and other small items.

3. Get a single, large rubber bin for each member of your household. Label each bin, for example: "Jane's Memorabilia".
Select additional "favorite" pieces of memorabilia and put them in your bin.

Leave some space, because all new memorabilia items that you decide to keep need to go into your bin or be displayed. If your bin is full, you will need to let go of something to make space in your bin for the new item.

Have each member of your household follow the same plan.

Then, bless someone else by donating or selling all of the remaining items.

What to Put in the Get Rid Of Pile:

Get rid of everything in your home that is not meaningful or useful.

How do you know whether you'll need that item again!? You don't!

You only know that you don't need right now.

What you must believe is that the item will be available to you when you need it.

Trust the market place. It's as eager as you are to exchange stuff. If you ever need that item again, you can easily find a substitute on Craigslist, eBay, or one of the many online free markets.

Let's say you get rid of a bookcase you're not using by selling it on Craigslist for $40. Then a year later you have a need for a bookcase.
Within a week or two you will be able to find one; you know this because yours sold in about the same time.

Most likely you will find a bookcase that better suits your needs than the one you sold a year ago.

Plus, you had the $40 in your pocket for a whole year - instead of a dusty unused bookcase.

An important part of this how to clear clutter process is trusting that what you need will be available to you when you need it so you can let go of your clutter and create space in your life for the things and people you love.

Where to Get Start:

Make a list of areas that you want organized, then chose the area you use the most.

Start clearing clutter that is obviously garbage or recycling. To help keep yourself from getting distracted, put on your favorite song and give yourself a goal of having all garbage and recycling cleared from the area before the song ends.

Don't touch anything else, just focus on removing garbage and recycling before your favorite song ends.
Next, set out four large bins or create four spaces using blankets or sheets.

Label each bin or blank as follows: To Donate, To Sell, To Leave (which is for items that belong in a different area), To Organize (which is for items that are staying in this area).

Set a timer for one hour, put on your favorite sound track and start sorting items into the four bins or locations.

After an hour, take a short break and then repeat the process. Keep repeating until all items have been sorted into those four categories.

If you find yourself getting stuck because you are not sure which category a particular item goes into, set that item aside and come back to it.

It is best to keep moving. At the end of the day or the beginning of the next day, go through the pile of items that you set aside and make a decision on which category to put each of them in.

That is the formula on how to begin clearing clutter.

Now it's time to organize the items that are staying in the area. Start by assessing the area and the items.

You may want to hire a professional organizer to help with this part of the project.

To find a qualified organizer in your area, checkout the following associations:

Residential Professional Organizer in the US = NAPO
Residential Professional Organizer in Canada = POC
Business Professional Organizer in the US or Canada = IABO

If you are a planning on being a DIY'er, here are five questions to ask yourself:

1. What purpose(s) do I want this area to serve?

2. Based on the purposes this room serves, what would be the most efficient layout? For example, in a kitchen you don't want to put all of the most used items in one spot because people will be tripping over each other to access them.

3. How can I maximize this space?

4. How you could I walls to maximize space and to keep items easily accessible and off the floor?

5. What systems can I put in place to keep this area organized. For example, if it is a mail area, put a shredder and recycling bin in the area to make sorting your mail easy.

Let the answers to these questions guide your organizational process.

This de-cluttering formula which will work for almost every area of your home and office.

Don't panic if you get stuck while organizing paperwork and other belongings. Call in a professional organizer. They can help you get your project completed in as little as a couple of hours!

Heidi DeCoux is a professional organizer specializing in organizing paperwork and an expert on how to clear clutter. To get a FREE Home Organization e-Solutions Kit, which features the audio class: The Fast and Easy Way to Get Organized and Stay Organized Forever, visit http://www.ClearSimpleLiving.com.

Article Source: http://www.articlesphere.com/Article/Clearing-Your-Home-of-Clutter-With-No-Stress/268006

Three Factors To Consider When Choosing Garden Lights

Three Factors To Consider When Choosing Garden Lights by Iain Jenkins

Anyone who would pass by a house with a front lawn that is mainly just covered with Bermuda grass might not really appreciate the overall beauty of the real estate property. On the other hand, a house that features a lush garden full of blossoming flowers will instantly captivate the attention of passersby. A garden definitely adds a touch of elegance to any house.

For anyone who has a small garden in front of his home, it's nice to take some time to make it more beautiful. Gardening is a great hobby. One can work hard to make his home really stand out from his neighbors' houses through improving not just the architecture of his house but also the improvements there is on his property. A garden is one such improvement on one's property which can really add not just a touch of beauty to the property but will also have an impact on its market value, therefore increasing its selling price in case the homeowner decides to sell his property.

A garden is bound to be the frontline of attraction of one's home because passersby can easily marvel at its beauty. However, this is basically only true in the morning when the sun shines on the garden. When the sun sets, the garden becomes just a part of the darkness of the night. It is for this reason that any homeowner with a garden on his front lawn should purchase garden lights for the garden.

People mostly appreciate what they can see. A beautiful garden might be reduced to nothing but just an ordinary part of a real estate property at night when it is not visible to passersby. However, garden lights can help maintain the beauty that a garden has by illuminating it so that passersby can still see and appreciate the garden even at night.

There are basically three important factors one should consider when choosing garden lights to purchase to put in their garden.

The first factor is the location where one plans to put them. There are gardens which are quite very big especially if the front lawn is very spacious. In this case, garden lights can be placed on strategic locations to keep a well distributed illumination on the garden. Exterior floodlights are great for such a purpose. These can be placed on the ground with enough spacing between them in order to give them full coverage of the spacious garden. There are times when a garden is close to a wall. For this one, a set of exterior wall lights is appropriate to illuminate the entire garden. This will not only keep the garden well lighted but will also introduce a calming effect as the exterior wall lights complement the wall that is near the garden.

Aside from the strategic location, another important factor that will help in choosing garden lights is the intended coverage of the lights. Exterior floodlights generally have smaller areas that they can illuminate. However, the good thing about this are the areas it keeps lighted has a very strong concentration of light which can give a nice focusing effect. The light that becomes dimmer away from the focal point of the exterior floodlights adds a touch of magnificence to the overall aura of the garden. In contrast, exterior wall lights can illuminate a wider area especially if they are placed high enough above the ground. While a single exterior wall light may lack in light intensity on the area it keeps illuminated, they can be utilised together to solve this problem.

Finally, the cost is important in choosing garden lights. This is actually a toss up between exterior floodlights and exterior wall lights. The former needs to be placed in strategic locations in quite a big number to compensate for their lack of illumination coverage. On the other hand, the latter must compensate for its less light intensity by having a lot of them installed on walls near the garden.

In any case, either exterior wall lights or exterior floodlights are great to provide proper illumination to one's garden at night. These garden lights are definitely worth the money one pays for them.

Iain Jenkins writes articles for Luma Lighting, an online provider of lights for homes and gardens. Based in the UK, Luma Lighting feature a range of exterior wall lights for houses, from solar, battery and wired garden lights for decoration and parties, as well as exterior floodlights that are motion detected using PIR sensors for security, or can be switched on and off as required. Luma Lighting offers free delivery on all of their items on orders over 90 pounds.

Article Source: http://www.articlesphere.com/Article/Three-Factors-To-Consider-When-Choosing-Garden-Lights/268437

Preventing Water Damage In The Home

Preventing Water Damage In The Home by Kevin Germain

Prevention is the key for many of the failures we see in our lives. With a little bit of maintenance and upkeep house hold problems can be prevented. Water damage is one culprit that can be avoided with regular care. How do you know when that little puddle in front of the refrigerator is more than just one of the kids spilling water on the floor? Here is a checklist to follow in your home to prevent the need for water restoration.

Utility Spaces

- Supply Lines: Regularly check the lines coming and going from washing machines. Hoses should be checked every six months and replaced when wear is evident. Most often hoses have a life expectancy of about three to five years.

- Water Heater: They are a big culprit for water damage in homes. All water heaters should be installed in the lowest level of your home. This will help to minimize damage if it should develop a leak. Also look for rust and wear. Around the time you start to see this occur is also around the time you should replace the water heater.

- Sump Pumps: The last thing you want is for a sump pump to fail in your home. Regular maintenance and a backup power supply can help eliminate the worry surrounding yours.

- Tubs: A big culprit for leaks around a tub is inefficient caulk. Caulk is something that needs to be replaced at the first signs of visible wear. Another area within the tub that can be an issue is broken supply lines and pipes. If the floor or wall becomes soft a leaking pipe can be to blame. Have a plumber out to evaluate your situation. It might not be a bad time to have them replace the supply lines into the tub/shower, toilet and sinks.

- Sinks: Not only can supply lines start to leak overtime so can the connector pipes. If you spot a small leak it is probably time to look at the drain pipes and resealing them.

- Toilets: Supply lines and wax seals are the biggest issues to perform routine maintenance on to prevent the need for water restoration. Leaks from the toilets caused major issues in our foreclosed home. So much so that we had to replace the tile and carpet in the rooms adjoining the bathroom.


- Dishwashers: You will need to periodically check underneath the sink for leaks. This is where the water supply connects the dishwasher to the water supply. Also you can look for leaks around the dishwasher that could be coming from the seals on the dishwasher. Other ways that leaks can be noticed besides visually seeing the water is to look for discoloration around the cabinets and floor surrounding the area.

- Refrigerator: Most of the time refrigerators are fine. If you have an ice maker or water dispenser hooked to the refrigerator you will have to be more diligent in checking hoses and connections in and out of the refrigerator.

- Sinks: The kitchen sink needs to be periodically caulked and pipes checked. Slow leaks can be caught early and prevent bigger messes for homeowners.

If you do find a leak occurring in your home the best option is to first shut the water supply off to the house. This will give you time to look into and resolve the issue without further water damage being done within you home. If the damage is overwhelming call your insurance company for advice on professionals you can turn to for your water restoration needs. Prevention is the key in helping to eliminate large problems from happening but of course nothing is ever fool proof. Being prepared encase of an issue is the smartest way homeowners can deal with any water damage issues.

If you have enjoyed this article from Kevin Germain at CPS please visit http://www.gomaher.com/remediation_water_extraction.php today where you will find useful information on water restoration.

Article Source: http://www.articlesphere.com/Article/Preventing-Water-Damage-In-The-Home/269293

Maintaining Your Sump Pump

Maintaining Your Sump PumpMaintaining Your Sump Pump by Kevin Germain

Where do you store things that treasured such as holiday paraphernalia, off season clothes, toys, sports equipment and all of life's accumulated stuff? The basement is the area in most people's homes that stores the goods that are important but not needed on a daily basis. So when a sump pump fails and water damage occurs how do you start the cleanup to repair your space and belongings? How can you protect yourself from sump pump failure in the future? This article will look into way to clean up and prevent future water damage due to sump pump failure.

Prevention is the key in any catastrophe. Was there something that could have been done sooner to prevent the issue from occurring in the first place? Regular maintenance to your sump pump can help prevent failure. One way to do this is to check for built up debris in the pump. This can happen when small toys or debris are left to sit and hinder the float device in the sump pump from working. The float needs to be tested frequently as it took can wear out without the help of kid toys and debris. The float allows the pump to start and stop as needed. It is essential that the float is in proper working order for the sump pump to continue working as it should.

Regular cleaning of the weep hole is also encouraged in order to keep the pump functioning normally. You can clean the weep hole using tooth picks or a small tool to remove excess debris. Whatever you do be careful not to break anything inside the weep hole as this will hinder the function of the pump.

The impeller is a small filter that can easily be clogged with debris. If you hear a whining noise this is the first thing you check. It might just need a good cleaning however you will need to check and make sure the impeller has a good connection to the pump. Most impellers are connected with blots.

The water in the sump pump can become stagnant causing a foul odor to be emitted. By filling the basin with a bleach and water mixture. Doing this and filling the basin will cause the pump to cycle and help eliminate any odor. Another great idea in preventing sump pump failure is a backup power supply that kicks on automatically if the power fails. This is an expensive option but will be paid for during the first storm and power outage.

What do you do if your sump pump fails and you are looking at a basement full of water damage? The first thing that needs to be accomplished is fixing the pump. Make sure you unplug electrical devices. Once the water is being pumped out evaluate the damage. If it is minimal bring the damaged items into a dry space and turn a fan on them. However, if the damage is significant you will want to call in the professionals. Water damage can be worsened if not properly dealt with. The last thing you want to be handling after a sump pump failure is mold remediation so make sure the water is cleaned up properly the first time.

If you have enjoyed this article from Kevin Germain at CPS please visit http://www.gomaher.com/remediation_water_extraction.php today where you will find useful information on water damage.

Article Source: http://www.articlesphere.com/Article/Maintaining-Your-Sump-Pump/269311

A Lesson On Vacuuming 

A Lesson On VacuumingA Lesson On Vacuuming  by Kevin Germain

My vacuum is one of my most prized belongings. The kids are not allowed to use it and my husband well he is as bad as the kids so no. I selfishly leave the vacuum chore for strictly me. I feel like this is really the part of the house that I have complete control over, maintaining the carpet. I am a stain removal queen and think of the carpet cleaners as friends. The carpet was the one home renovation I wanted and had to budget for when we moved in. Carpet is not cheap, actually there are very few inexpensive floor covering now a days so I plan to make it last forever.

My cleaning rituals are like everyone else's. We farm out daily duties to each of the kids such as emptying trash cans and the dishwasher. Every other day I vacuum the entire house. This takes about twenty minutes but after I am done the whole house feels cleaner. I also am able to look for a treat stains that have occurred without my knowledge. This is super helpful because they have not set in so I can still remove them without having to call the professional carpet cleaners in.

Once a week our home is put through the deep clean ringer. My children are in charge of dusting and picking up their rooms and closets. My husband and I take on mopping the floors and laundry. While my husband is tackling items in the garage that have meandered out of their spots I vacuum the wall to wall carpet. I take time to do the areas next to the walls and baseboards with the crevice tool. This removes any build up that has occurred and then once all the dust is gone from the baseboards the kids have fun spraying and washing them with cleanser.

When vacuuming I break the rooms up into sections. I find it is easier to do a thorough job when I can concentrate on one smaller area instead of worrying about the entire room all at the same time. It also allows my focus to be within the area really looking to see if dirt is building up or a stain has appeared. The entrance to the living room directly next to the front door is the biggest problem area. This area needs regular maintenance to prevent any type of build up to occur. I often put the vacuum on low and turn the rotating brush off in this area to get a tight suction allowing sand to be pulled deep from the carpet.

Other areas that require special care are in front of places people sit and places that we walk all the time, such as hallways. What I do for these areas is vacuum in different directions. This causes the pile to be moved differently and helps loosen the dirt to the surface. Traditional horizontal and vertical vacuum techniques should be switched up with a crisscross pattern often to keep the carpet pile fresh.

Professional carpet cleaners will tell you that your carpets should be cleaned twice a year. Going into the holiday season in mid October and again in mid April is the most common times to have carpets cleaned. I however feel that with regular vacuuming, maintenance and prevention that your carpets can be professional cleaned once a year and still maintain their original look and feel. I love a throw placed by all exits and entrances. Prevention is the most important step you can take in maintaining a spot free carpet.

If you have enjoyed this article from Kevin Germain at CPS please visit http://www.truecleaning.com/carpet.asp today where you will find useful information on professional carpet cleaners.

Article Source: http://www.articlesphere.com/Article/A-Lesson-On-Vacuuming/269312

How To Choose Cost Effective Modern Lights For Your Home

How To Choose Cost Effective Modern Lights For Your HomeHow To Choose Cost Effective Modern Lights For Your Home  by Iain Jenkins

Choosing the right cost effective modern lighting fixture to install in homes is of the essence. Keep home interior stylish and well-lit without compromising budget with modern lights.

Know The Various Styles Of Modern Lights Available In The Market Today

Contrary to popular belief, style is actually crucial to how long it is going to last and how much energy it can consume. While many contemporary wall lights look stylish, some of them can still consume a lot of energy.

Home owners should blur the lines between style and energy consumption. When choosing for the best, still keep energy consumption in mind as well.

Modern lights with minimal accessories are more affordable than those with intricate designs crafted from upscale materials. It is also important to consider the style that will suit the home's interior design and over all theme. Some lighting designs make rooms look dreary. Some make rooms look more spacious.

Determine The Right Size Of Lights That Will Work Best In Homes

The cost of lights is usually directly proportional to the size. You can also cut down the cost if you opt for the size that can illuminate a whole room. Some lighting fixtures may be small but they work in lighting up a big room so you won't have to purchase more cabinet lighting for accent or contemporary wall lights.

Check The Color Of Light It Emits

Modern lights are not only used to lighten up a room but also to improve room ambience and to make a house look more inviting. A lot of people buy lighting fixture without a thought to the color of the light and then change their mind and buy another set of lighting fixture again. It is costly, not to mention time consuming.

Make it a point to check the color of the light and how it will illuminate your room. Before buying a whole set, buy one to test how it works in the color of your walls or the interior design.

The color also depends on the usual weather in your area. If you live in tropical areas, using lights with a strong glare is not a good idea. It makes the room warmer so you might eventually find yourself installing more air conditioning units.

Choose Modern Energy Saving Lights

Much has been said about the benefits of modern lighting fixtures these days. A lot of styles and types of lights have been made more efficient so that home owners can cut down energy consumption. Initially, these lights are more expensive than your standard incandescent bulb. But you will soon find out that it is more cost effective because it does not use up energy like your old inefficient lighting fixtures.

LED lights are preferred by a lot of smart and vigilant buyers due to their efficiency. Reports say that LED lights consume up to 80% less energy than their incandescent counterparts so they are some of your best options. Furthermore LED lights are more eco friendly and renewable. They do not contain mercury contaminants. That said, these lights can be disposed and recycled safely.

Opt For Multi Purpose Lights

That brand of cabinet lighting might also work as a room lighting fixture because it emits such a bright glare. Those contemporary wall lights might have been equipped with motion sensors that can detect movements for security purposes. If you want to save a bit more money, try looking for all in one bulbs.

Go For More Durable Lights

The modern lights might look attractive and it might function in more than ways than one but can it last for a long time? The worst mistake you can make when choosing lighting fixtures is disregarding the durability of the product. Since you are trying to cut down on costs, you should look for a product that can last for a long time.

Thankfully, a lot of eco friendly and energy efficient lights these days are quite durable. LED light is an example. It is known for its ability to last decades longer than incandescent lights. Even with zero maintenance, you can expect these lights to last for a long time.

Iain Jenkins writes articles for Luma Lighting, an online provider of indoor and outdoor lights for homes and properties. Luma lighting have a very wide range of modern lights including LED strips, fluorescent lights, spotlights for lighting specific focal points inside the and cabinet lighting. They also feature a very wide range of contemporary wall lights that would suit any room around the house, available in many different styles and finishes.

Article Source: http://www.articlesphere.com/Article/How-To-Choose-Cost-Effective-Modern-Lights-For-Your-Home/270265

Fixing Water Leaks and Water Leak Detection

Fixing Water Leaks and Water Leak Detection by Marianne B. Conway

Fixing Water Leaks

For help and information on leaks, bursts, burst mains, water pressure and other water or sewerage related problems your water supplier should have a dedicated emergency line.

If the leak is inside your house, then you should call a plumber. It will be your or your landlord’s responsibility to fix this. You should turn the water supply off at the mains to prevent further damage.

If the leak is from your water meter or between your house and the boundary of your property (your service pipe) you are usually responsible for repairing it. You will need to hire a contractor to find out where the link is then carry out the repair. Your water supplier should be able to provide you with a list of contractors.

After the pipe has been repaired most water companies should reimburse you with a one off payment towards the repair on receipt of the invoice. There will usually be maximum amount payable and certain conditions, for example, that the repairs were carried out within 30 days of finding out about the leak.

If the leak is outside the property boundary then you should contact your water supplier to arrange repairs.

Dripping Taps

A dripping tap can be an annoyance as well as a waste of water, a waste of energy if it is a hot tap, and can leave nasty stains on your bath or sink. It is also easier to fix than you might think, often just a replacement washer is needed, and by doing it yourself, you could save on expensive plumbing costs.

You'll need a spanner, a flathead and crosshead screwdriver, a cloth and some wire wool, washers
There are a few different types of taps:

- Taps that turn on and off with a quarter of a turn - ceramic discs inside a replaceable cartridge.
- Taps that take several turns - rubber sealing washers, different sizes depending on whether they are basin or bath taps.
- Mixer taps - often small washers.

As different taps will have different size washers, it is worth checking which one you need first and taking the old one in as an example or buying a selection so that you are sure you will have the correct size.

You will need to turn of the water supply to the tap, this will either be by turning the supply off completely - usually under or near the kitchen sink - or if the supply pipe to the tap has an isolating valve, you can turn the water off here by turning the valve ball will a screwdriver. Once done, you should open the tap up fully to check the water is off. A trickle of water may come out but that should be all.

Take off the screw handle. Depending on what type of tap it is you can either just:

- Pull it off.
- Unscrew the screw from under the hot or cold indicator disc and then pull it off.
- Undo the small screw set in its underside - if an old style tap.

Once the handle is removed, you should now see the stem of the tap with a brass nut holding it in place. Unscrew this buy turning it anti clockwise with a spanner, then lift out the tap stem.

The washer is on the bottom of this piece, you need to prise it off and clean any corrosion or scale off the stem with wire wool and a cloth before putting a new washer, the same size back on. You may be able to just push it back on, or it may be held on by a small nut.

Reassemble the tap correctly and turn on your water supply. You should have fixed the dripping tap and saved yourself some money.

Marianne B. Conway
Water Leak Detection Water Leak Detection Equipment

Article Source: http://www.articlesphere.com/Article/Fixing-Water-Leaks-and-Water-Leak-Detection/338550

The Difference Between Insured and Bonded Contractors

The Difference Between Insured and Bonded ContractorsThe Difference Between Insured and Bonded Contractors  by Leeanne Kunnert

When hiring a contractor there is a big difference between contractors that are insured, a contractor that is bonded or one that is both insured and bonded. Exactly what are those differences and how do they affect you as a homeowner?

When a contractor is bonded and insured it offers an incentive for homeowners to hire them over a contractor that is not. Reputable home improvement specialists purchase bonds and insurance to protect consumers they work for while offering recourse in case something should go wrong.

A contractor's bond offers protection to consumers against contractors failure to complete the job as the contract states, doesn't pay for the proper permits or other financial obligations and such. In order for a contractor to become bonded they must pay a premium to a surety bonding company. Once the premium is paid by the contractor they are given a bond number and certification that confirms the surety company has agreed to provide protection to the consumer against several different issues that can arise from contractor error.

If you as a consumer feel that the work completed by the contractor is subpar or if materials and subcontractors aren't paid they can contact the surety company direct to submit a claim. The state and municipality where you reside will determine the bonding requirements contractors must meet to ensure they have the proper contractor bond. Be sure to research these requirements before you hire a contractor to do work within your home or business.

A contractor that states they are licensed to perform work is different than those that are bonded. Two types of insurance commonly associated with contractors in the construction industry: liability insurance and workers compensation.

Liability insurance protects against property damage that occurs because of work that is performed by the contractor. It does not however cover issues related to poor quality workmanship. Those issues are covered under a contractor's bond. This is why hiring a contractor that is both insured and bonded is important to protecting you as a consumer.

Workers compensation insurance is purchased by contractors to project against workers lost wages and medical services when they are hurt on the job. The families of the worker are also compensation benefits through workers comp insurance in the event of a death that occurs while at work. This is important insurance to look for as a homeowner when hiring a contractor to avoid being financially responsible for injuries that occur on your property while contracted work is being done.

To protect against any wrong doing on the part of the contractor be it intentional or unintentional it is important for homeowners to require contractors working for them to be both insured and bonded.

Construction Bonding Specialists, LLC are dedicated Surety Bond Professionals that are aligned with several Treasury Listed and AMBest Rated Surety markets which allows them to assist with virtually all Bid, Performance and Payment, Financial Guarantee and Supply bond needs. Find out more information at http://www.bondingspecialist.com.

Article Source: http://www.articlesphere.com/Article/The-Difference-Between-Insured-and-Bonded-Contractors/398322