4 Insanely Cool And Cheap Tricks To Staying Cool This Summer

Whether your home AC isn’t working at all or it just isn’t the greatest at cooling, you need to figure out a way to stay comfortable. Whatever the case may be, if you need to stay cool, here are four awesome and cheap ways to do it:

1. Cool Your Pulse Points.

Whether you run cold water over your wrists or use a cold cloth to place on the nape of your neck, targeting your pulse points will help cool your entire body. The pulse points are where the blood is closet to your skin. This process works by applying cool or cold water to the pulse points on various parts of your body, which then cools the blood. That cooler blood then begins to travel throughout the body and lower your overall body temperature.

2. Create an Old-Fashioned “Swamp Cooler.”

To do this, you’ll need to get a bed sheet and dampen it with cold water. You then just need to hang it in front of an open window in the home. When the hot air from outside comes in through the window, it passes through the sheet and creates a nice and refreshing stream of cool air as the water evaporates

3.  Make a Rice Sock.

If you aren’t too fond of straight-up ice to cool off with, you may want to try rice. Get a tube sock and fill it with ice. Tie it on the end. Put in the freezer for several hours and take it out and use it as needed. Unlike ice, the rice won’t melt. Unlike a bag of frozen peas, the rice won’t get all mushy once thawed. Instead, rice forms to the body, which makes it a perfect way to get some sleep at night when the AC is out or on a particularly hot, humid night.

4. Freeze Your Bed Sheets.

If the old-fashioned swamp cooler doesn’t work, you can also freeze your bed sheets at bedtime and sleep on them. Roughly 15 minutes before bed, put your sheets in the freezer. Take them out right before you go to lay down to get the most benefits from this tactic. Keep in mind, this method is not going to last all night long, but it will last long enough to help you doze off.

If you’re suffering in the hot weather because you think your AC isn’t cooling adequately or the AC went out on you, call professional HVAC services as soon as possible.

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Why Gutter Guards Can Be A Wise Investment

Cleaning and maintaining your gutters protects your roof and home from water damages that can be costly to fix. Installing gutter guards as an additional measure makes the job of maintaining them easier. By helping to keep your gutters free of debris, gutter guards can save you money on expensive home repairs, and offer safety and health benefits for your family as well.

Blocked gutters can:

  • Cause basement flooding

  • Damage your home’s roof

  • Damage ceilings, walls, and floors inside your home

  • Damage your home’s contents

  • Create a fire risk

  • Give squirrels, mice, bees, and insects, like spiders and mosquitoes, a home were they can live and thrive

  • Offer a place where birds, such as sparrows, pigeons, and starlings, can nest

How Gutters Become Blocked

Fallen leaves, small twigs, pine needles, shingle granules, and dirt that wash or blow off the roof can end up in your gutters. If you live in a wet climate, moss can build up or condensation can occur that mixes with dirt to form what looks like mud. This sludge blocks gutters and can cause corrosive damage. Often, you won’t know there is a problem until damage occurs, as you can’t always see that gutters are blocked from where you stand on the ground.

How Blocked Gutters Cause Damage

When gutters become blocked, rainwater and water from melting snow can’t drain. This can lead to water in the gutters backing up and overflowing, which can cause water problems inside your home or drainage problems around your home’s foundation. Water that has no where to go during heavy rainstorms can run down behind siding and flashing, get under the roof, seep into ceiling and wall cavities, and eventually rot wood eaves.

How Gutter Guards Save You Money

A gutter guard or gutter mesh installed over the gutter can help prevent overflow problems from occurring by keeping debris out but still letting water in. This helps prevent gutters from becoming blocked and causing damage to your home.

Gutter guards save you money by:

  • Requiring fewer gutter cleanings each year, especially if your home is surrounded by trees

  • Preventing gutters from rusting and needing replacement

  • Keeping your home insurance premiums from rising if you need to submit a claim for damages caused by blocked gutters

  • Preventing insects and other pests that can spread diseases to humans from making a home there

  • Preventing leaks and excess moisture from entering your home and causing health-threatening mold and mildew to grow

Although gutter guards can help prevent costly problems, they aren’t 100 percent foolproof.

Additional preventive measures you can take to protect your home include:

  • Cleaning the gutters and gutter guards at least once a year

  • Inspecting your roof for torn, cracked, worn, or broken shingles

  • Trimming back tree branches that hang over your rooftop and gutters

  • Clearing away leaves, grass clippings, and debris that have collected at the bottom of downspouts

  • Installing gutter heating caps or cables, or gutter heat tape to melt snow and ice, preventing accumulation in the gutters

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3 Tips For The Process Of Locating Well Water

Having a well in your backyard can be an excellent way to add aesthetic and financial value to your property. Further, you will be able to enjoy fresh water when you need it, which is beneficial for your health, while also allowing you to save money on purchasing water. However, a lot of decision making goes into building a well. Conducting thorough analysis to locate well water is one of the biggest hurdles that must be crossed. As you reach out to a licensed and insured company to help you in that regard, consider some of the following information laid out in this guide. 

#1: Understand That The Rocks Are Key

Though you may not be a geological expert, understanding the importance of the rock formations on your property is especially important. The reason for this is that the first step a contractor will take is to map out the various positions of the rocks on your property. From there, they will assess the amount of potential ground water that you might have hiding within those various rock structures, both above the ground level and beneath it. 

#2: Know The Various Water Location Methods

When you hire a company to locate well water, you will need to gain an appreciation of the process that they undergo. These experts use a variety of tools in order to make the right decisions on water location, prior to drilling. For instance, electric seismic tools are highly sophisticated, and used to study the water activity beneath the surface. Some hydrologists will dig small holes in the ground, in order to assess the best locations of water based on the geological reaction to digging those holes. 

#3: Learn The Factors That Lead To Successful Drilling

There are a number of factors that well specialists look into when figuring the best locations to drill. For instance, the conditions of the subsurface may make one spot more suitable or hazardous. The proximity to vegetation could prove beneficial or can be a sign that pests may find their way into the water supply. It may also be found that vegetation is taking up most of the available water for nutrients. By gaining an understanding of these factors, you will have a better shot of engaging your well specialist in pertinent conversation while making the decisions on where to drill your well.

Take these tips into consideration so that you are able to get the best well for your money. 

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Window Styles For Your Living Room

Windows are a significant aspect of your home’s design.  They allow the natural light into your rooms, and they serve as a visual focal point for the décor. Windows in the living room also help define its style. As you get ready to replace the windows in your home, choose the window style that best matches your living room.

Single-Hung and Double-Hung Windows

Chances are the windows you’re replacing are either single-hung or double-hung. With single-hung windows, the top pane of glass remain stationary while the bottom slides up and down. With double-hung windows, both panes can open. These windows are excellent for ventilation in tight spaces as they don’t protrude into the room.

Casement Windows

If you like to open up your living room to the outdoors, casement windows are a likely option. As you turn a crank, the window opens up on its hinge. Typically casement windows open outward. Similar to this is the awning window, which is hinged at the top. This allows you to open the window from the left, right or bottom.

Bay Window

Bay windows are a classic for the living room. As Better Homes and Gardens points out, bay windows highlight beautiful views, create alcoves for seating and let the sun shine in.  A bump out bay window is a perfect way to expand your living room space without taking on a big construction overhaul.

Picture Window

If you have a beautiful view outside your living room, but don’t want to install bay windows, consider a picture window instead. A picture window is simply a large pane of stationary glass. You can have several large picture windows installed to transform your living room with a wall of glass.

Transom Window

Transom windows are narrow panes of glass typically hung up high. They’re often hinged to open at the top. Transom windows work well as a ventilation option for a wall of windows. However, they’re also commonly found above entry doors.

Window Materials

Choosing replacement windows doesn’t end with the style. Most windows come in one of four materials:

  • Wood: Wood can be stained or painted to match any color palette. Wood is a natural insulator.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass is strong and low-maintenance. Paintable fiberglass resembles wood.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl is very durable and low-maintenance. Vinyl offers energy efficiency. These windows usually come in white or neutral colors.
  • Aluminum: Light and strong, aluminum windows are durable and low-maintenance. Aluminum also conducts heat, making these windows energy efficient.

Do you want to highlight the view in your home? Is it more important that windows offer natural ventilation and insulation? Select the style and material of window that best serves your lifestyle. To learn more about windows, visit a website http://www.newjerseywindow.com.

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3 Tips for Using a Jigsaw to Cut through Rebar

If you need to use a tool that can cut through rebar, the jigsaw is what you need. It isn’t too expensive to purchase, but is also available by renting it from a tool rental company. With the right blades, it can cut right through the metal. Here are some tips for using a jigsaw if you’re new to it.

Wear Protective Gear

The first thing you must do before using a jigsaw or any other type of handheld power tool is to wear protective gear. At the very least, you should wear a sturdy pair of gloves to protect your hands and fingers as well as eye protection. It is also a good idea to wear pants and long sleeves, and a mask over your nose and mouth. When you are cutting rebar with a saw, some pieces might fly and can cut your arm or dust can get inhaled. It is better to wear as much protective gear as you can.

Get the Jigsaw into Position

Now that you are protected, you can start getting the jigsaw tool into position. Make sure you are using metal cutting blades to cut through rebar. There will be a metal base on the jigsaw that is called a shoe. The tip of the shoe will rest on the material you intend to cut. This part should be facing the area you are cutting, but not toward you. Mark the cut line on your material before beginning. Now find the part of the cut line you are going to use the jigsaw on and put the shoe on that point. Make sure the blade is just next to the part where you intend to make the cut.

Make Your Cuts

With the jigsaw into position on the rebar, hold the grip and turn it on by pressing the power button. You will now start making the cuts on the material. When making cuts with a jigsaw, you want to use gentle pressure. If you try to force the blade, it could get damaged and you will need to replace it. The motor and blade should do the cutting for you, so just glide it across the material gently. The blade of the jigsaw will be moving in an up-and-down motion and goes fast so be very careful to move it forward away from you and not backward toward you.

If you feel that the blade is going to snap, remove the jigsaw immediately and hold it away from you. That blade is moving very fast and could injure you if you’re too close to it when it snaps. If you are trying to cut material with a finished side, the front side of the material should be pointing down. For assistance, talk to a professional like Hanover Concrete Company.

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Hide Your Unsightly Backyard Features With A Lattice Fence

A beautiful backyard can be marred by the presence of an exposed air conditioner unit, cable wires, gas or an electric meter.  Fortunately, there is an easy solution to hide these outdoor necessities without breaking the bank.  This article outlines how to use lattice panels to build a fence around your unsightly outdoor features.

Materials Needed

  • Tape measure
  • 4×8 feet vinyl or wood lattice panels
  • 8 feet tall posts
  • Post hole digger
  • 40 pound bags of cement
  • Cement mixer or wheelbarrow
  • Nail gun
  • Deck nails
  • Circular saw (optional)

Installation Process

Before leaving for the hardware store, make sure to carefully measure the area to be enclosed.  Write down the height, width, and depth of the area.  At the hardware store, purchase the appropriate number of panels and posts.

Remember that the area still needs to be accessible.  Leave enough room so that a utility worker can read your meter and you can perform maintenance on your AC unit.  Also, before digging any holes, contact your utility companies so that they could come and mark any underground wires.

Use your post hole digger and dig 8-inch round holes.  The holes need to be 3 feet deep to provide stability for the 8 feet tall posts.  You need to strategically place the posts according to how much space you want in between the posts.  If the post holes are 7 1/2 feet apart, then you won’t need to cut the lattice panels to size and you can shave some time off the installation.

Prepare the cement mix according to the directions on the package.  Use a cement mixer or a wheelbarrow to mix the water and cement.  You will need to mix one 40 pound bag of cement per hole.  Stir well to eliminate any clumps.  When it’s time to pour the cement, ask a friend to hold the posts and make sure that the posts are straight and even.  Let the cement dry for 24 hours.

If needed, cut the lattice panels to size using the circular saw.  Then, with the nail gun, nail the lattice panels to the posts so that they are flush against the outside of the posts.  Place nails at 7 inch intervals 

Tips

Don’t just use any fencing material.  Lattice fencing is ideal because it allows for air flow required around the AC unit.  Allow for 1.5 to 2 feet in space between the a/c unit and the fence.

Use your lattice fence as a trellis and plant climbing vines on it.  Morning glory and Clematis are two great choices and will add colorful interest to your landscaping.

Consider the pros and cons of wood versus vinyl lattice.  Vinyl is more durable and weather resistant but comes in limited color choices.  Wood is paintable but needs to be stained and treated to withstand the outdoor elements. For more tips, contact a residential landscaping company.

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Spring Is Here! Make Your Backyard More Colorful

Now that spring is here, you can open those windows and enjoy spending time outside. To make your time outside more enjoyable for you, add some color to it by coloring your concrete patio, and planting a nice flower garden.

Color Your Patio

If you have a patio, it is a great place to spend some time relaxing with your family. If it looks boring to you, there are things you can do to dress it up a little. If the concrete is a plain color, you can change the color of it to brighten it up. If you want a big change, use a color stain on it. You can purchase this stain at most home supply stores, and apply it yourself by following the directions on the packaging. Once it dries and cures, the color will look natural.

If you want a more subtle change, use a translucent acrylic stain on the patio. It gives your concrete a light translucent color. When you are finished, you should put a clear sealant on the patio to hold the color in.You can purchase this sealant at the home supply store, and in most cases you will brush it on.

If you are putting in a new patio, talk with the contractor about adding color to the concrete before they pour it.

Plant a Garden

As you are sitting on your patio, it can be relaxing to sit back and look at beautiful and colorful flowers. You can create a flower garden in any size you wish. Choose an area that gets sun throughout the day.

Use a shovel to remove the grass until you only see soil. Use a tiller or a rake to break up the soil, and then put about two inches of compost over the soil, and work it in. Compost gives the soil nutrients so the flowers will be healthy.

Put an edging around the flowerbed to not only make it look nice but to keep out weeds. This edging could be decorative rocks. You can also purchase steel edging at a home supply store that is pushed into the ground around the bed. This type of edging is not seen but it works great at blocking the weeds.

When you finish, head to your favorite garden center, and choose your flowers. Talk with the garden center employee if you are not sure what flowers will grow best in your yard. When you get home, decide where you want to put the flowers. Remove each one from the pot, and dig a hole in the soil the size of the root ball. Place the flower into the hole, and fill the hole around the flower back in with the soil you removed. When you are finished, water the entire flower garden well.

If you need help coloring your concrete, contact a concrete contractor to do the job for you. If you are having problems with the flowerbed, you can hire a landscape contractor like Ray’s Four Seasons Sun Rooms to teach you how to plant and care for your flowers, as well as help you design the bed.

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