Focus On Safety For Your Swimmers

It’s just plain hard to believe that swimming weather is right around the corner. In some states the temperatures are already warm enough for those who are die-hard swimmers! Are you building a new pool for summertime fun, or do you have one already? Either way, you are right to be concerned about safety when it comes to your swimmers. The statistics for drowning are pretty dramatic, as it ranks as the fifth most common cause of unintended death from injury in the United States. Of that number, children ages one to four have the highest drowning rates.

There are some things you can do to make sure that your children are not part of those tragic numbers. One of the most important things to do is to make sure children receive swimming instruction so they can be strong and confident swimmers. Follow these steps to add to the safety.

Set Simple Rules - Even if you’ve heard these rules before, they bear repeating.

  • Of course, children must understand that they must never swim by themselves.
  • An adult must always supervise the swim. Here’s the catch, though. It takes only a short couple of minutes for a child to drown. Adults who watch children at your home must understand that and watch children in the pool every minute. No going in the house to use the bathroom, to check something in the oven, or for any other reason. If an adult needs to leave the pool, the rule should be that kids get out of the pool. This could be a great time for snacks!
  • When there are many children swimming, you should have more than one adult supervising the fun. If there are several adults, it’s a good idea to designate one as the main observer. Don’t assume that somebody else is watching the children. In fact, it would be ok to get the designated watchers to wear a whistle around their necks.
  • Children should never be put in charge of watching over other children. Period.

Put Up A Pool Fence – The tranquil water looks totally safe for little ones. They’re just too inexperienced to equate water with possible danger. In addition, that pool just looks like it’s inviting a child to play! Protect little ones by installing a pool fence. Here are some things to consider when you make the choice of which fence to purchase.

  • Wooden fences may be attractive, but you can’t see through them, so they are not the best choice.
  • Wrought iron is a good choice. Not only are wrought iron fences gorgeous, but you can definitely see what’s on the other side. They are extremely durable, even though eventually you’ll need to paint them.
  • Vinyl mesh fences are a really good choice. There are no gaps through which little bodies can squeeze, and they can’t be climbed, partly because there are no footholds. An added bonus is that vinyl mesh fences can be removed. They are beautiful, too, as they are virtually transparent, so you can see the pool area through them.
  • No matter what type fence you select, make sure that you set it so the only reason you’re using it is to get to the pool, not to take out the trash, care for pets, or to get to another area of your property.
  • Be sure that pool gates have a secure lock on them that little fingers can’t open.

Of course, nothing is totally childproof but these ideas should give you years of safe swimming with the children who use your pool. Contact a company like Everlasting Fence for more information about pool fencing.

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Avoiding A Cold Nose And Frozen Toes During A Heating Outage With Two DIY Heaters

If there is one thing that will surprise you the most when the heating system stops working in your home it will be just how fast the temperature will start to drop. You can think you have the most well-insulated house ever, but without consistent heat, it will no doubt get cold pretty fast. While you are waiting for the heating and cooling expert to arrive, there is no reason for you to wander around your home with a cold nose and frozen toes. Here are a few genius ways to create your own temporary heat source.

The Terracotta Heater

Sounds strange enough, but you can use two terracotta pots of different sizes, a handful of tealight candles, and a few ceramic tiles to create an efficient heater that will heat a small room in just a short amount of time.

  1. Create two stacks of ceramic tiles, three or four high, with a gap between the two large enough to allow enough room for about four tealight candles.
  2. Light your tealight candles and place them directly between the two stacks of ceramic tile.
  3. Invert the smallest terracotta pot and place it directly over the lit candles, allowing the sides to rest on the two stacks of tile.
  4. Place a small piece of aluminum foil inside of the hole at the base of the first pot to block airflow.
  5. Invert the second, larger terracotta flower pot and place it directly over the first. It should also be sturdily resting on the two stacks of tile.

The Paint Can Heater

With a clean empty paint can, a roll of toilet paper, and an entire bottle of rubbing alcohol, you can build a mini fire pit that is clean burning and will provide a far amount of heat. Follow these simple steps to create your own.

  1. Clean and dry the empty metal paint can thoroughly.
  2. Remove the cardboard insert from the center of the toilet paper roll and insert it inside of the can completely. It will be a tight fit.
  3. Pour the contents of the bottle of alcohol into the can and watch the toilet paper readily accept all of the liquid.
  4. Use a long lighter to set the toilet paper on fire.

Because the toilet paper is acting as a wick and the alcohol burns consistently, your paint can fire pit will continue to provide heat for several hours. This can be enough to keep your hands warm and generate heat to fill a small space.

With a little creative thinking and the right materials, you can easily create a temporary heat solution. This form of heat may not be permanent, but will usually suffice while you are waiting for the heating repair specialist like one from Universal Enterprises Inc. to arrive.

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Household Hacks: Tips For Clearing A Clogged Drain

A slow drain can quickly become a huge annoyance when it becomes clogged and will not allow water to flow through the pipes. When you’re facing a clogged drain, you’re sure to want a fast and easy fix. Try the following methods to clear your drain quickly. If you find that these methods don’t do the trick, you should contact a reputable plumber for professional service.

Boiling Water

Clearing a clog in a drain doesn’t get any easier than this! As a first measure against a clog, simply boil a kettle of water, and slowly pour the hot water into the drain. Pour a small amount, allow the water to seep in, and then continue pouring. In many cases the super hot water will break up the debris that is causing the clog in your pipes. 

A Wire Hanger

A plain old wire hanger can become an excellent DIY plumbing tool in a pinch. All you have to do is unwind it so you have a straight piece of wire with a hook shape on the end. Insert the hook shaped end into the drain and slowly push it down into the pipe. The hook of the hanger can be used to pull out hair and other debris that commonly causes clogs. After you have pulled out as much stuff as you can find, run the hot water to help clear out what is left in the drain.

Rent a Power Drain Snake

A drain snake is a type of plumbing tool that you insert into your pipes to clear out clogs. Depending on the nature of the clog, it will either break up debris, or attach to the debris causing the clog so you can pull it out. Most large home improvement stores rent drain snakes for an affordable rate. 

Make Your Own Drain Cleaner

No need to drive to the store- you most likely have the ingredients needed to make an effective drain cleaner in your kitchen. Combine equal parts baking soda and vinegar, and then pour the mixture down your clogged drain. These chemicals react when combined, and will begin fizzing immediately, so don’t combine them until you are right next to the drain and ready to pour. For best results, leave the mixture in your pipes for at least a couple of hours, or overnight if possible. After the baking soda and vinegar has had enough time to dissolve the clog, run very hot water down your drain.

If your clog seems to be impervious to your DIY tricks, consider calling places like Armstrong Services Inc for professional assistance. 

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4 Reasons To Use Propane Heat Instead Of Electric Heat In Your New Home

If you are in the process of building a new home, one thing that you might be debating about is the type of heat to use. You might like the idea of electric heat, but you should know that there is one better option — propane heating. These are a few reasons to consider using propane heat in your home instead of electric.

1. Your Furnace Can Last Longer

Did you know that propane heaters can last far longer than electric heaters? A lot of people don’t know it, but one great way to save money in the long run is to invest in a propane heater that will last your family for years longer than an electric heater. You probably won’t have to deal with as many repair issues, either.

2. You Can Use It in an Emergency

One main reason to consider installing a propane heating system in your home is the fact that it can still be used in an emergency. If your power goes out due to a winter storm, for example, you don’t have to worry about you and your family going without heat.

3. Propane Is Cleaner

Propane is a cleaner and more environmentally-friendly option than electric heat. Plus, along with being a better choice for the environment, you don’t have to worry about as much of a mess; since it is released as a gas rather than as a liquid, propane doesn’t spill or leave a residue. This can be safer and cleaner and can allow you to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

4. It Gets Warmer

If you live in particularly cold temperatures or simply want to make sure that your home stays as warm and cozy during the winter as possible, then you should definitely consider the benefits of a propane furnace. Propane furnaces actually get much hotter than electric furnaces and operate in shorter intervals than electric heaters rather than releasing warm air over long periods of time. Not only will this help you save on your heating bill each winter, but you can also enjoy the benefits of a warm and toasty home.

As you can see, there are quite a few reasons why homeowners often choose propane furnaces rather than electric heat in their homes. If you’re in the process of building a new home, then you might find that a propane heater is your best option. Contact a company like Self Heating Cooling for more information.

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Special Considerations For Installation And Repairs On Composting Toilets

Because composting toilets require little to no plumbing, you are unlikely to need a plumber’s help for this kind of repair. However, composting toilets do need maintenance and an expert’s help to install them. If you decide that you want to replace your current toilet with a composting toilet, here is what you and your plumber need to do.

Relocate Your Toilet to an Outside Wall

If your current toilet is located on an inside wall in your home, the plumber will have to remove it, seal off the toilet stack, and relocate your toilet to an outside wall. A composting toilet empties waste immediately into a composting chamber located on the outside of your home, and there is no current design that will easily move the waste from an inside wall to a chamber underneath the outside wall.

Making Repairs to the Compost and Drainage Chambers

If you do not dig your chambers to the necessary and specified depths for your composting toilet, you will have problems with leaks as well as odors. It is the biggest reason for hiring a plumber to install the toilet and avoid these issues later. Not all composting toilets are the same, either, so save the instructions that come with your toilet.  It will help your plumber accurately install the toilet.

Fixing Flushing Problems

Many composting toilets rely on just a little water in the reserve tank to flush solid waste into the chamber below. If you cannot get the waste to go down by simply pouring a bucket of water into the toilet basin, then you might have an overflowing chamber. Your plumber can open up the chamber and use a camera scope to see what the blockage is about.

Maintenance Is Easy

Usually the only maintenance required for a composting toilet is cleansing the bowl inside your home and emptying out the “fresh” compost outside. If you garden a lot, you never have to buy fertilizer because of the frequency with which you clear the composting chamber. If you go on vacation, be sure to empty the toilet’s composting chamber before you leave and then you will not have to call a plumber when you return.

One Last Simple Fix

Either you or the plumber you hired to install your composting toilet will need to seal the base with plumber’s grade caulk. The caulk will keep any liquid waste from pooling around the base. It will also seal the composting odors from escaping through any cracks in the floor around the toilet.

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Creating Beauty Where None Existed Before: How You Can Make Chain Link Fencing More Attractive

Consumers who purchase and install chain link fencing do so because it is one of the least expensive fencing options. Even though it might keep everyone else out and off of your property, it provides little for privacy and adds almost nothing for decorative value. Here is how you can change the appearance of your chain link fence and add curbside appeal to your property.

Vinyl-Covered Chain Link Fencing

Rather than go with drab steel, consider spending the extra dollars on vinyl-covered chain link fencing. Several manufacturers, such as Elrod Fence Co, offer about one half dozen colors: forest green, brown, yellow, dark blue, white, etc. If you do not see a color you want, some manufacturers will also create a custom color of vinyl and wrap your chain link fence in it. This option is available from professional fence contractors, who can place your order for you and install it when it comes in.

Planting Vines or Climbing Roses

The open spaces in a chain link fence make it ideal for growing decorative, leafy vines or climbing roses, which naturally curl around and through the chain links. The real beauty behind choosing the roses is that you can select from several different colors of this popular climbing flower and have a virtual flower-built fence all around your property. It ends up looking like you have ringed your yard with perfectly manicured rose hedges rather than a chain link fence. Additionally, your neighbors cannot see everything you are doing in your yard when the vines or roses are so thick.

Using the Fence as a Seasonal Decoration Support

Now that you have a fence, you can decorate it for all of the holidays you love to celebrate. Lights and light strings of all kinds are easily strung over the top or woven through the chain links when you want to create a fun light display. Other lighted decorations, shiny ornaments and even favorite sports team items on display can take a boring, see-through chain link fence and make it more private and cheerier. 

The Original Beauty of a Chain Link Fence

Although you may not think there is much beauty in a chain link fence, there is. The original beauty of a chain link fence is that you can do whatever you want to it to make it your own. Whatever and however you want to decorate it ends and begins with your imagination. Create your own decorative ideas based off the ones listed above and make changes as often as you like. 

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Steps To Installing An Exterior Drain Tile

If you live in a flood-prone area, have a basement or otherwise want to keep your home safe from flooding, installing exterior drain tile, which is also known as a French drain, is a smart idea. Although you might have decided to install one of these drains to help protect your home, you could be unsure of the process of installation. Luckily, there are only a few steps involved. This is what you can expect if you are planning on having an exterior drain tile installed on your property soon.

Trench Digging

First of all, a trench will be dug around your home. During this process, any landscaping or sidewalk will need to be temporarily removed. The trench will be dug to the bottom of the footing and out to the drainage point and will be the future home of your new exterior drain tile.

Placing of Drain Tile

Obviously, once the trench around your home has been dug, the exterior drain tiles will need to be placed.

Pouring of Gravel

After the French drain has been put in its proper place and inspected for any potential problems, a layer of gravel will need to be laid on top. This gravel is designed to protect the French drain; basically, it’s an extra layer of protection in the event that the dirt on top is washed away.

Filter Fabric

Although it isn’t necessary, in many cases, filter fabric is laid on top of the layer of gravel. This fabric is designed to help keep large pieces of debris out of the way. Basically, it helps prevent large particles from passing into the pipe and causing clogs or other serious problems. This is important because these types of clogs can cause your drain to stop working, and there would be a lot of excavation necessary to unclog or replace the pipe. If your contractor isn’t planning on laying down filter fabric, this is something you should ask for.

Covering with Dirt

Finally, a thick layer of dirt will be placed on top of the filter fabric, gravel and French drain. The dirt should be laid thickly enough that you can plant flowers and shrubs, add a sidewalk or walkway and do anything else that you would normally do with your landscaping.

As you can see, the process of installing a French drain isn’t too complicated. This is what you can expect when your contractor like one from Rite-Way Waterproofing comes out to install your exterior drain tile.

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