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General Article

Wood Fence Enemies and How to Combat Them

Wood Fence Enemies and How to Combat Them

The beauty of a well-made wood fence is quite a sight. However, if left to the rigors of nature, a beautifully built wood fence can become a haven for pests and parasites that can destroy your hard work.

The most notorious wood-destroying offenders come in the form of carpenter bees, termites and carpenter ants. These three species of insects are bent on using your wood fencing as their personal stomping grounds, and if not dealt with, they will have their way. In order to keep your wood fence safe, you will need to know how to identify these pests and protect your fence from an invasion.

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees create nests and lay eggs in different wooden structures, especially those that have been neglected and exposed to the weather. This makes wood fencing a preferred nesting spot for carpenter bees.

Carpenter bees are fairly large. They are similar in appearance to bumblebees, but can be distinguished by their solid black abdomen, which has a greenish-purple sheen. The appearance of carpenter bees is quite intimidating, but it is important to note that the males cannot bite or sting, while females will only sting when they are handled directly.

Carpenter bees damage wood fences by boring holes deep into the wood. They do this to create breeding chambers for laying their eggs. These holes can be spotted by their size, which is about the size of a dime. One hole is not enough to cause any significant damage to your wood fence, but when it becomes more densely populated, the wood will begin to weaken and become vulnerable to damage from other pests.

In order to control an outbreak of carpenter bees, take measures to seal up any burrowed holes that you see. This can be done by using a liquid sealant to fill in the hole, and then covering the entrance with wood putty or steel wool. Pesticides can be used in cases where carpenter bee nesting is extreme.

Termites

Termites are another threat to the security of your fencing materials. There are several kinds of termites, each with different characteristics and behavior:

Damp wood termites. Damp wood termites are more prone to feeding from stumps and dead limbs of trees. These termites love wooded areas with a constant supply of moisture.

Subterranean termites. These are smaller in size than damp wood termites. They usually appear to be grayish-white and are around three-sixteenths of an inch long.

Dry wood termites. Dry wood termites are the kinds of termites that can cause a lot of damage to movable wooden objects like furniture, as they require no contact with soil to live. And unlike the damp wood termite, they feast on un-decayed wood with low moisture.

There are several ways to treat a termite infestation. One way to use a liquid termite treatment that kills or repels the insects. Another is to use termite baits. These work by spreading small amounts of pesticides through the worker class. Borate termite treatment is applied directly to the wood like a coat of paint. One of the best methods against the dry wood termite is to use fumigation. This is an efficient method of stopping termites that are hard to spot.

Carpenter Ants

The next biggest threat to your wood fence is the carpenter ant. These pests nest in moist wood, such as rotting trees, tree roots, stumps, and logs. Carpenter ants are known for establishing “satellite” nests away from their parent nests. These nests do not require moisture, and they can be found in insulation, doors and wood. The workers move between the satellite colony and the parent colony. In late summer, the queens and males may appear winged and emerge from the satellite colonies. They can invade structures in late winter and early spring from their satellite nests.

To keep carpenter ants from infesting, it is important to keep moisture content low. Any moisture damaged wood will have to go, or you risk a carpenter ant infestation. Firewood should be stored in a garage or shed to keep it dry and provide air circulation. Tree and shrub stumps and roots should be removed, as should low overhanging branches.

~Ben Anton, 2010…

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Roofing

Make The Most Of Your Plumbing Projects

When you invest some time and learn how to work on your homes plumbing, it will really show. It shows you care about your home and keeping it up. People see this and admire it a lot. Like anything else, you can always increase your knowledge on the subject. Here are some smart tips and tricks to hone your plumbing skills.

If your pipes freeze, turn on the water from the faucet nearest them to let water out when they start to thaw. This will relive some of the pressure, and could prevent cracks from appearing.

Avoid paying the plumber until he finishes the job. You may have to put money down before they start working, but avoid paying the total amount until it’s done. You will feel better paying the bill when you are completely satisfied with the job.

Toilet discs and odor removers should never be used in your toilet. The rubber parts of your system can be damaged by the chemicals contained in these tablets and stop functioning.

If the water in your toilet is low along with the toilet being clogged, pour some extra water in the bowl to make the plunger effective again. The water should go down, and you can pour another bucket of water if the toilet is still clogged.

If you have well water and discover orange or pink discoloration on your bathtub or sink, you probably have iron in your water supply. This can be remedied by using a water softener which can be purchased at a shop, or a company can pay a visit to your home and handle the situation for you.

Use baking soda and one cup of vinegar per month to keep the bathtub drain clear and running well. The combination will cause a chemical reaction, so just place a cloth or other object over the drain after pouring. Wait for a bit, then flush with boiling water. This method clears out soap scum buildup and accumulated hair that gets caught in the pipes.

If the hose that leads to your kitchen sink has not been maintained or installed properly, you may notice that water is constantly draining to the dishwasher. The hose connecting the sink the the dishwasher should be at an uphill angle and then downhill to prevent the water from mixing.

Don’t skimp on quality when it’s time to replace that shower head. People often times incorrectly believe that it’s alright to buy a cheap shower head. Cheap shower heads are not well-made and are very likely to break. Buying a cheap shower head will end up costing you more money over the long-term.

You may have already had the tools and the time, but now you have a new set of knowledge and a few additional tips to use on your plumbing network! This is wonderful! The tips in the article were brought together to help you with your plumbing problems and keep you informed about plumbing issues. Plumbing is an area where the learning never stops. You may have even found a new “regular” or favorite idea for your plumbing jobs.…

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Homeservice Club

Save A Fortune With These Plumbing Tips

Having good plumbing is very important to having a safe and healthy home. There may be times, though, when your plumbing system needs work and you can’t afford to call a professional, or you don’t have time to sit at home and wait for one. This article provides some fantastic tips for maintaining and fixing your home plumbing.

When it gets very cold, your pipes may freeze. If it does, relieve the pressure in the pipe by turning on the tap so the water can be released as the pipe thaws. Doing so provides pressure relief, and might spare you the damage of a burst pipe.

If something is wrong with the disposal in your sink, avoid the temptation to stick your hand in there to fix it. Garbage disposals are not healthy places for hands to be, even if they are not running. You can look online to find the diagram for the disposal that you have.

Never put fat, grease, or oils into your drain. They can clog your drains once they cool down. As an owner of a garbage disposal, this is important because the blades will stop working if they have fat on them. Throw away oils nowhere near the sink.

If your house uses well water and you start to see orange or pink stains in your tub and other water fixtures, you have too much iron in your water. You can combat this by using a water softener. You can either purchase it at a store, or hire a company to come to your house to set it up for you.

Don’t treat your toilet like a garbage can if you want to avoid a lot of potential plumbing problems. For example, don’t flush sanitary pads or diapers down your toilet. These items can clog the pipes. Also, be conservative in your use of toilet paper.

If you need to buy a pipe cleaner to unclog your pipes, it is best to find one that is enzyme based. These cleaners turn the sludge into a liquid using natural bacteria, and then the liquid flows out of the pipes. The most highly recommended pipe cleaners are enzyme cleaners.

Clean your dryer’s lint trap. This will save a ton of trouble for you, it will also prevent fires. Search the lint trap to see if there are any tears or holes, this helps to prevent lint from getting into the pipes, which can cause clogs and many other problems.

Cleaning the aerator will fix low water pressure issues that are caused from sediment buildup. Take the aerator apart and clean it with a brush and some vinegar. Finally, rinse off the aerator, put it back together and then reattach it to your faucet. If the problem was caused by a dirty aerator, cleaning it will increase the pressure.

As indicated by this article, there are many ways to maintain and repair your plumbing system. Practice the tips you read about. Learning how to deal with your plumbing system saves you time and money since you can take care of most maintenance and emergencies without the aid of a plumber.…

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Home Service Club Warranty Reviews

Get Educated About Hvac With These Simple To Follow Tips

It’s important to efficiently heat and cool your home. Because of this, it is vital that your HVAC system be kept in good working condition. If you have a poor HVAC, you will be costing yourself a lot of money. Following is some great advice to aid you in keeping your HVAC working well.

Before calling anyone to repair your system, know what system you have. Know the model and brand and find it’s maintenance history, if possible. This will help you give the new contractor the necessary information.

Think about what improvements you want made before picking an HVAC contractor. You might not be able to get a price quote unless you let the contractor see your current system first. If you can’t explain changes you’ve made, the process will be even more difficult. So, know this information in advance.

To make sure your condenser fan works properly, keep the fan blades and the coils clean. The power to the unit should be removed before you begin any maintenance, even cleaning. In addition, be sure to get rid of any leaves or other debris that may have accumulated on the outside condenser.

Your HVAC system could suffer when trees begin dropping their leaves. The grill on the fan can become cluttered with debris, which will cause a serious operating deficiency. The fan must stay clear in order to function, and if it gets blocked, you will have to contend with problems.

A shady spot is always a good choice for the placement of your outdoor compressor. When it draws in air for cooling, it will be more efficient because it will not need to work as hard to cool down the air.

Turn off your outdoor condenser when it’s getting cold. The unit will become damaged if you do not take care of it. This will allow your system to work well every year, and that saves you quite a bit on making repairs.

Try to have your HVAC system looked at every year, because regular maintenance will go a long way in energy efficiency. During this service visit, they will inspect the motor of the system, oil the moving parts and check the freon levels in the system. These few simple things will help your system to run at its peak performance.

Turn your AC off if no one is at home. This will save you money on your energy bills. If the A/C is on when you’re gone, it’ll be working hard constantly.

Research and check the reputation of companies before hiring them. Inquire with the BBB and look elsewhere for other reviews from customers. Doing these things beforehand will allow you to make a smart decision.

There are plenty of online tools, such as sizing calculators, which can help you find the best unit to cool your home. If you get a unit that is too large, it will cost a lot in energy costs. You can look online or do other research to get information from HVAC system manufacturers and sellers in order to determine the best unit size for your needs.

This article has given you some excellent basics on keeping your HVAC system maintained correctly. Follow regular maintenance procedures in order to avoid malfunctions. These tips will keep your home comfortable year-round.…

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General Article

How to Make Your Office Space Conducive For Working by Investing in Window Blinds

How to Make Your Office Space Conducive For Working by Investing in Window Blinds

Do you own your own business? Are you considering renting a new office space? If so, then you should think about finding a place with natural sunlight and having it decorated with a set of window blinds. Why, you ask? Well, offices should also be considered to be the company’s home base and natural lighting can affect the efficiency of your workers.

Take it from my experience. When I started my own business a year and a half ago, I had been using my basement as my working space. I often felt tired and sluggish, most of the time I had no clue what time it was. Not being able to see the sun has affected my productivity. Well that did not last long, I decided to hunt for a new office that had windows with natural lighting. 

It was difficult at first. Most of the rent were expensive and pre-owned. The latter ones were often empty. The bad part about this is that I would have to pay a huge sum and pay for extra for redecorating. Thanks to a realtor friend of mine, I was able to find a cheap office. It wasn’t too shabby and it only needed a few adjustments. What I did was to go to outlets and find discounted desks and chairs, as well as cheap window blinds and cabinets. Unfortunately, the old paint job and rundown carpet was enough to distract my staff. It even caused simple accidents! Do you want this for your new office? 

Having your own office space means that you should develop the place. You might not realize it but a well-lit and pleasing environment may affect your employees’ productivity. If they see that the place is rundown, it may make them feel lazy and distracted. Have a new paint job or have window blinds installed. This will also help with regards to weather conditions. If there is no protection against the sun, heat may penetrate the windows and create an uncomfortable climate within the workplace. …

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General Article

How to Install a Wood Privacy Fence

How to Install a Wood Privacy Fence

There is no fencing material that has the natural beauty of real wood. Most people assume that a wood fence requires yearly maintenance and that it will not last very long. But that is certainly not the case. If a wood fence is installed properly there is actually very little maintenance and the fence can last for many, many years.

The key to longevity for any wood fence are the fence posts themselves. Never use a wood post for a wood fence. Wood posts (both cedar and treated) that are in contact with the ground can rot out in less than five years depending on soil conditions. Treated wood posts may also twist and warp as the posts dry out over time. A galvanized steel post will never rot or twist. It will last a lifetime. When installing a steel post be sure to use one that can be covered to look like wood. With a steel post that is covered the fence will look like wood and but will have the durability of steel.

People often think that a steel post is too expensive. A steel post can in fact cost less than a wood post. A wood post will use more concrete than a steel post does. The hole for a fence post should be three times the diameter of the post itself. This means that a wood 4 x 4 post requires a hole that is 12 inches in diameter while a steel post needs only a 6 inch diameter hole. And, the hole needs to go below the frost-line which can be up to four feet deep. A wood post should also have gravel below the concrete to allow for water drainage. When the cost of the post, the concrete and the gravel is added together the total price of a wood post may be more than that of a steel post. And then of course there is the additional labor of digging a bigger hole and disposing of all that dirt.

For dog-eared wood privacy fences the tops of the posts should be about six inches below the top the fence itself. A post that is 7′ 6″ tall is the correct length for this type of fence. For a fence that will have a top rail, or picture frame, the top of the post should be 6 feet out of the ground. For this type of fence an eight foot post is required.

To begin the fence installation, lay out a string line and mark the hole locations. In most cases the posts should be on eight foot centers or less. In high wind areas six foot centers may be necessary. The diameter of the hole for a fence post is recommended to be 3 times larger than the diameter of the post itself. Make sure that the hole goes down below the frost-line. The frost-line can vary anywhere from 0″ to 48″ depending on location. All fence posts should be set in concrete. Fill the hole with concrete that has the consistency of thick oatmeal. Slide the post down into the concrete making sure that the post is plumb. Fence posts are normally set two feet deep into the concrete. A string line can be used to insure that the posts are at the correct height. Or, the posts can be set high and then cut to the correct height after the concrete has set.

Once the concrete has set, the stringers can be attached. Cedar stringers are preferable. Cedar stringers will more closely match the look of the fence boards and make for a more uniform looking fence. Treated stringers are not recommended as they have a tendency to twist as they dry. The stringers are attached directly to the sides of the posts without any brackets required. Usually only two stringers are needed. The bottom stringer is often installed about a foot up from the ground. The top stringer is installed at very the top of the post. In high wind areas three stringers are recommended.

When all the stringers have been installed it is time to attach the fence pickets. Cedar fence pickets should be as thick as possible. Try to avoid the thin pickets that are sold at the big box stores. They may cost less but in the long run they are not worth it. Thin pickets will cup and warp over time. It also helps if the pickets are rough sided rather than smooth. Rough cedar will accept stain and/or preservative much more readily than smooth wood will.

Attach the pickets with ceramic coated or stainless steel screws. There is no need to have a wood privacy fence with black stain lines going down from each of the screws. Use …

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Homeserve

Want To Decorate Your House? We Can Help

If you want to make repairs to your home, but do not have much experience, you are not alone. With a measure of research and insight, you will find many ways to improve your home. This article is one of many resources designed to help you reach your interior design goals.

A good tip for those interested in interior design is to invest in good art. You might not ever care about art, but you will be surprised at the outcome when you put it in. A painting can inspire the decorating for the rest of the room.

Choosing the correct color scheme for your room is very important. Educate yourself on which color palettes and design schemes are the most versatile and which are more difficult to complement. It is also important to stay away from using several bold colors in a single room.

A great interior design tip is to include different patterns and/or textures into whatever room you are designing. Varying textures create interest and depth in a room, while patterns provide a contrast to smooth pieces such as wood furniture or window glass. If you are designing a room to look more contemporary, patterns and textures are a must.

When you are decorating a wall with artwork, you should hang it at the level of your eye for the best effect. If the art is hung too low or too high, your room might look off-balance and disorganized.

Remember to take your child into account when you’re fixing up their home. Keep in mind that a child does not see a room in the same way that you see it. It’s important to use furniture and items that are made for a child’s height and easy to access with their small hands. Your first priority should be eliminating hazards. Then, you can focus on functionality.

Pay close attention to the little details. Even little things can add interest to your design, and can make the space feel more like it is “yours.” For example, instead of changing your decor on a large scale, like replacing your floor or purchasing new furniture, you can change fixtures, cabinet hardware and window treatment to project a unified theme.

Do not rush when it comes to painting a room in your home. When you rush you might end up hating what you choose. Get a number of paint samples, apply them to your wall, and wait a few days. Your samples might look different in some other light. By doing this, you may realize that a certain color you liked before doesn’t have the same appeal now.

Now that you possess great ideas on how to go about interior designing, you will want to ask other people what they think about your ideas. When sharing your ideas with others, they can help you understand if you are on track before you start your designing. After that, you will be ready to get started right away on the home you have always wanted.…