Creepy Crawlers: How to Eliminate Pests in Your Home This Summer

Creepy Crawlers How to Eliminate Pests in Your Home This Summer

The weather is warming up outside, which means that insects and other creepy crawlers will be coming out of hibernation soon. And they are all going to be looking for places to provide them with food, water, and shelter. So houses all over the country will become rapidly infested with them if they aren’t prepared. Luckily, when this happens, there are three ways to eliminate the pests quickly and safely.

Store Food Properly

Proper food storage habits will help keep pests at bay by making the place unappealing to them. All food must be put away in containers that seal shut. And nothing should ever be left out at night that they could snack on. That means, dirty dishes and leftovers all have to be cleaned up before heading to bed.

Keep Things Dry

Most pests can’t endure hot, dry conditions because they need a steady supply of water to drink. So naturally, they tend to congregate around areas that are damp and wet. That is why one of the easiest ways to deter them is to remove as much moisture as possible in the house. This can be done by fixing all of the drips and leaks and removing any sources of water that might be tempting to them. All the sinks in the house should be towel dried in between use. And water dishes for the pets have to be put away at night too.

Remove Trash and Clean

According to Allrid Pest Management, homes with an excess amount of trash and debris make the perfect environment for pests to live in. And the pests will end up spreading to all of the surrounding houses, which perpetuates the problem. That means, even if someone has an immaculate house, they can still end up getting an infestation of pests because they have a dirty neighbor. So the best thing to do in this situation is to report the problematic house to the local authorities to ensure that it gets cleaned up quickly. Then, the neighbors who live in the vicinity need to have their houses treated as well.

Everyone needs to participate in these pest-deterring procedures for them to be effective. That way, the sources of food, water, and shelter are all taken away, which makes the area uninhabitable for the creepy crawlers. But remember, those who already have a severe infestation may need to call in a professional pest control company if these procedures aren’t enough.

 

DIY Home Energy Audit

You might think that improving your home’s energy efficiency requires a significant investment in new high-tech windows, solar panels for your roof or even overhauling your HVAC system. Although it’s true that making any of those big investments can have a significant impact on your home’s energy consumption, little changes can make just as much of a difference. For example, it’s estimated that the United States spends more than $300 billion a year on energy that is wasted because of drafty doors and windows. A few nickels’ worth of caulk might be all that’s needed to solve the problem for your home. There are countless issues around your home that could be costing you a lot on your energy bill when taken all together, and many of them can be easy to fix.

Checking on all of these potential trouble spots on a regular basis can make a huge difference on your energy bills. You can and should hire a professional to perform a home energy audit every so often. However, you also can perform a do-it-yourself energy audit on a regular basis to catch many of the most common and easily fixed issues before they require professional intervention. Yet with so many potential trouble spots in your home that require attention, it can be easy to overlook some of them. The following checklist details some of the most common areas where energy efficiency can be improved around the home. Following it can help you perform a DIY home energy audit and ultimately result in major savings on your energy bill.

 

DIY Home Energy Audit Checklist

Checklist: DIY Home Energy Audit created by Mendel Plumbing and Heating

Moisture Mishaps: 5 Ways to Prevent Wood Rot in Your Home

Moisture Mishaps: 5 Ways to Prevent Wood Rot in Your Home

Excess moisture in your home may be more of a threat than you realize. It soaks easily into wood, and can be the start of wood rot. Wood rot in your home’s frame can lead to structural weakness and eventual collapse. Moist, rotten wood can also draw termites or form a breeding ground for mold and fungus, which pose health hazards. But wood can last a lifetime if it’s kept dry. Here are some ways to prevent wood rot on your next repair or project.

1. Apply Primer

It’s always a good idea to protect exterior-facing wood against moisture by adding primer. Use oil-based primers made for exterior surfaces, as they tend to penetrate better and last much longer than water or even latex primers. Be sure to paint both sides and edges, including the ends. If you’re trying to cover up existing water damage, apply a couple of coats of alkyd primer instead.

2. Gutter Maintenance

For critical points like eaves and gutter installation, use two coats of primer. Gutters can trap water as debris builds up and pose a greater risk; if the wood that supports them rots away, gutters can pull loose, and you’ll end paying for new gutters on top of replacing the wood. Make sure to keep them clear of things like leaves. Some gutters have guards on them that let water filter through to be redirected while keeping other debris separate and easier to remove.

3. Angled Surfaces

Whether you’re building or repairing eaves, roofing, hand rails, decks, or any external structure, try to slope them slightly away from the central structure so that they tend to shed water. Water can be easily trapped and pooled or redirected by flat surfaces, raised edges, crannies, or rotting leaves. Be sure you consider how to best avoid this.

4. Use Plugs

Every screw or nail you use could be allowing moisture into the interior wood, no matter how tight it seems to be. Whenever you’re doing exterior work, try to use nails or screws with galvanized or stainless seals that form a water-tight seal around the head. Alternatively, you could slightly countersink them and fill the hole with all-weather caulk, sealants, or wood glue before painting or covering. Caulk should also be used on any cracks and holes that have developed around doors, windows, vents, and so forth to avoid seepage of water.

5. Rot-Resistant Woods

Some natural woods are actually very good at shedding water and resisting rot. These include woods like cedar, cypress, and teak that have their own natural oils. However, they can be needlessly expensive for ordinary repairs or interior framework. Generally, you’re safe using cheaper modern alternatives like chemical or pressure-treated wood.

When it comes to preventing rot and water damage, taking the easiest or cheapest way out will likely lead to expensive repairs later. Use these tips and you’ll have rot-resistant wood and sturdy construction for many years to come. Wood rot can cause terrible structural damage later on, so it’s always better to prevent it as much as possible.

Hiring A Window & Door Contractor

There are plenty of repairs and upgrades around the home that you can do yourself with a little practice and the right tools. Installing new windows or doors, however, is something that’s outside most do-it-yourselfers’ comfort zones. Hiring a professional contractor to handle the installation of new windows and doors in your home is essential for ensuring that the job is done properly, and your new windows and doors will fit well enough to prevent drafts and last for a long time. However, hiring the right contractor for the job can be a job in and of itself. Homeowners need to be aware of the signs that the contractors they have chosen are the right ones for their project.

Repairing or replacing doors and windows can be expensive, but not as expensive as it can be to live with the consequences of substandard work from an unqualified contractor. Improperly installed windows and doors can hurt your home’s energy efficiency, lead to costly repairs, and negatively impact the look and resale value of your home. Choosing the right contractor is more than a matter of choosing the lowest bid. Homeowners should consider numerous factors before making the decision to hire a contractor. If you’re considering hiring a professional contractor to install or repair windows or doors in your home, consult the following checklist to make sure you choose wisely and do your due diligence before and after the project. Doing so can ensure that your new windows and doors will last as long as you want them to and that your contractor won’t take advantage of you.

Checklist For Hiring A Window & Door Contractor created by Midwest Window & Door

Water Worries: How to Quickly Fix Leaky Pipes in Your Bathroom or Kitchen

Water Worries: How to Quickly Fix Leaky Pipes in Your Bathroom or Kitchen

If you notice that a faucet is leaking in the kitchen or bathroom, it is imperative that you take care of it as soon as possible. If allowed to linger, it could cause water damage throughout the house in addition to the water making that annoying sound as it falls from the pipe to the floor. What can you do to fix this issues in an affordable and timely manner?

Tighten Them First

It is possible that your pipes just need to be tightened with a wrench. In a matter of seconds, you could have the issue resolved permanently with the tools that you have in your home. If you aren’t sure how to tighten a pipe, you can watch a tutorial or have a friend or family member help you. Remember, you want to go to the right to tighten and to the left to loosen a pipe or any other object.

The Pipe May Need To Be Replaced

There may be a crack or fracture in the pipe that may be allowing water to leak out of it. Some companies, such as Clearwater Plumbing, realize that if that is the case, you need to replace the section where the leak is. Even if the problem is a minor one at the moment, it is important that you take care of it before winter as the cold temperatures could cause small cracks to become complete breaks in the pipe.

You May Be Able to Tape the Leak

The use of sealing tape may help stop a leak for a few hours or days. Ideally, you will then call a plumber to take care of the issue as the tape is no substitute for repairing or replacing a leaking pipe.

Check the Temperature in the Room

In some cases, your pipes may not be leaking at all. They could just be collecting condensation because the room is too hot or humid. To fix the issue, you may just need to find ways to improve air circulation as that will help to get rid of excess moisture in an easy and efficient way.

If the pipes in your bathroom or kitchen are leaking, there is probably a simple fix to resolve the issue. However, don’t hesitate to call a plumber if you aren’t sure what the problem is or if you have tried other remedies that haven’t worked. Regardless of how minor the problem may appear, it could lead to major issues in the future if not addressed quickly.