Essential Home Care Tips
Home Care Helpful Tips
Above Ground Pools Essential Care
When you get to spring will be time to undergo the task of opening your above ground swimming pool. Planning will make your job a whole lot easier. There is nothing worse than realizing you’re short one bag of shock when you are in the middle of prepping the pool. So first, you need to make a list of chemicals that are needed.
The needs will vary depending on the type of pool you own. Therefore will talk about it in general. You should always refer to your pool and pump instructions for additional information.
Things you will likely need are liquid or powder shock, bromine, chlorine powder or tablets, sanitizing cartridge for the cartridge filters, pH increase or decrease and a test kit to test the chemical levels.
Do not take off just yet and run to the local pool supply store for chemicals. Stop and take a few minutes to check out all of your hoses, skimmer baskets, clamps, gaskets and O-rings.
If any of the parts look like they might need to be replaced, take them with you to the pool supply store. It is a lot easier to match replacement parts if you have the old part with you.
Now that you have the easy part finished, it is time to begin the fun. The first thing required taking the cover off. You will want to enlist help for this because you want to avoid getting any top water into the pool water. In an above-ground pool, you should siphon the water off with a hose.
To get a good siphon started, hook up the hose to the spigot and put the other end of the hose into the top water. Turn the hose on for a minute to fill it. Next crimp the hose a foot or two away from the faucet, and with your other hand, disconnect the hose from the spigot. Position the hose at a downspout drain to discharge then let go of the crimp. The water will reverse and start to drain.
Once you have the water cleared, use a leaf rake to remove as many leaves and twigs as possible. Next, remove your cover weights or springs. At this time a few people positioned around the pool will help to keep the cover out of the water.
Try to fold your cover like a blanket keeping the crud in the middle then remove the cover. You need to scrub the cover thoroughly so it is dry for summer storage.
Now it is time to attach all the pump hoses. Remember to lube plugs, fittings, valves, and o-rings with petroleum jelly. Also, be sure to remove any freeze plugs that were used to cover the hose openings. You will most likely need to add water to the pool. It needs to be filled to the skimmer halfway point.
At this point, you should start re-circulating the water and check for any leaks around the pump and hoses. Once your pool is leaky and drip-free, skim off as much floating debris as you can with your skimmer net. Open all your valves to flood the hoses and prime the pool pump.
Most manufacturers recommend constant recirculation of the pool water for at least three days. Any crud and debris on the sides and bottom of the pool will need to be scrubbed off. Use the broom attachment of your pool vacuum for this.
After all, the debris has been removed and the pool has been scrubbed, check your filter for cleaning. Some pumps have removable filters; others are back-flushed, so clean as directed. Once the filter is cleaned, you can now super shock the water as per your manufacturer’s instructions.
If you start with green water, you will need a lot more shock. It may take a few days of recirculation to clear the water. Once the water has cleared, test your water or take a sample to your pool supply store and have it analysed. Adjust the water as required and keep the recirculation going. All that is now left to do now is to wait for the water to warm up so you can start enjoying your pool.
Bedroom Care – Add Warmth With An Oriental Rug
When it comes to the bedroom we all know that bedding and accents are important, but a key area of bedroom design that is often overlooked is the flooring. Many people have wall-to-wall carpet in their bedroom and, therefore think that they are “stuck” with that color or design.
The truth is that you can jazz up your flooring by simply laying a carpet on top of your wall-to-wall carpet.
Beautiful and durable, oriental rugs can add warmth and charm to almost any bedroom. This type of rug goes with many bedroom design styles, romantic, Victorian, shabby chic, Tuscan, Morrocan, oriental and many more.
Oriental rugs come in many different designs and colors so you should be able to find one that suits your bedroom décor. You can buy them in different sizes so you can add a splash of color and elegance to any part of the bedroom. You can buy them in a variety of price ranges as well, but as with anything else, the more you spend the better quality your rug will be.
A real oriental rug is hand tied – that’s right each piece of wool is tied onto the backing by hand. These rugs are really works of art, and you might think they are fragile but they are actually quite durable. I have been to many antique auctions where rugs that were over 100 years old have survived to look almost as good as when they were made.
When selecting an oriental carpet for your bedroom, you should only look at carpets that are 100% wool as these will be the best quality. To determine if the carpet you are looking at is hand or machine made there are a few things to take into consideration.
First off it’s good to be able to compare two rugs – one you know is machine made and one you know is hand made. Look at the backs – the hand made rug will be much more colorful than the machine made.
The machine made rug will have an overall stitch pattern across the back and you won’t see any knots, since only hand made rugs are knotted. Another thing to look at is the fringe. On a handmade rug, the fringe is made up of the wrap strings from the end of the rug, on a machine made it is simply sewn on.
When selecting your oriental rug, make sure to choose colors that go with the colors in your bedroom. If you are placing the rug over wall to wall carpeting, it is best to choose smaller throw rugs that you can use as splashes of color around the room and avoid putting furniture on them unless you buy a large rug that covers almost the entire room.
What if you love the look of oriental rugs but don’t want to put them on the floor? Why not try using one as a wall hanging? You can use it to jazz up a large boring wall or hang it behind the bed in lieu of a headboard.
No matter how you use them, oriental rugs add warmth and character to your bedroom or any room in the house!
Controlling Dust Mites in Your Home
My guess is that you don’t know much about dust mites except they are small, unseen creatures that disgust you. Perhaps someone in your household is allergic to them. Here is some background information on dust mites and how you can work to control them in your house.
Dust mites don’t live in your air ducts, although most people tend to focus there when attempting to remove them. They live in soft places, prefer higher humidity and release a protein that causes an allergic reaction for many people.
If you don’t have any reactions to dust mite proteins then reducing your exposure may not be a priority for you but these basic treatment steps should still be taken to reduce their presence in your home and affect your life.
If you need the motivation to do some of these steps you can see pictures of dust mites by doing a google search. They’re gross enough to scare anyone into a rapid cleaning spree.
1. Dust and vacuum your house on a regular basis. The more dirt you have, the more dust mites you have.
2. Use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity levels in your home as they prefer high humid environments (anything over 70%)
3. Wash your family’s bedding in hot water at least twice monthly, preferably weekly.
4. Get machine washable plush toys if you have children, the fabric harbors dust mites.
If you have someone allergic to dust mites these are more intense combat steps to take:
1. Do your best to eliminate all cloth surfaces as they tend to harbor these creatures
2. Replace your carpets with wood or laminate flooring
3. Remove fabric covered furniture and switch to wood or plastic pieces
4. Wrap your mattress, pillows and box springs in zippered covers that are dust proof and allergen proof.
You probably won’t completely eliminate dust mites, but you can go a long way toward reducing their numbers by maintaining a clean healthy living environment. Your family will thank you for it.
Removing Linoleum Tips
When it comes time to get new flooring you can save money by removing the old flooring yourself but if you have old linoleum on your floors you might be in for quite a challenge. Depending on how old the linoleum is and the type of adhesive that was used it can be extremely difficult to get up.
First of all, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to just remove the linoleum and adhesive all at once. The surface under the linoleum and the damage you might cause it needs to be considered – especially if that surface is wood. Concrete floors can take a lot more in the way of rough treatment.
The type of scraper you use has a lot to do with your success as well as the damage to the floor underneath. Many people use paint scrapers but those with a razor blade are usually more efficient. Be prepared to break some blades it if the adhesive is hard, and you’re working on concrete.
Try cutting the linoleum into strips or sections instead of removing the whole chunk at once. This will make it easier to get an edge to pry up. Of course, the linoleum probably won’t come up in nice neat sections so be prepared to deal with a lot of left over backing and glue that is still attached to your floor.
One way to deal with those remnants that just won’t come up is to apply some kind of solvent or remover. A popular brand is Krud Kutter, which appears to work very well from the customer feedback comments. Follow directions on the label of whatever product you employ, and wear gloves to protect your hands. Do a small section at a time, and then move to the next one.
Another technique is to use boiling water and pour it directly on the backing and adhesive. Let it soak and then scrape up. If you don’t want to use water, you can try to heat up the glue with a hair dryer or heat gun. Pick a very inconspicuous area, such as behind a door, to try it.
Heat the adhesive with the hair dryer and scrape it up with a straight-blade scraper (like a stiff putty knife with a beveled edge). Move the scraper in the direction of the grain of the wood if you are uncovering a hardwood floor.
Have a pan or some other container handy to drop the scrapings into – one that is unlikely to either melt or ignite when coming in contact with hot materials. Be very careful if you are using a heat gun as this can easily damage the floor underneath if it is wood.
If worse comes to worst and you are left with some stubborn adhesive on the floors, it might be time to sand. Of course, if your floors are wood and you plan to refinish them you would need to sand anyway, but during this step, you must be careful not to damage the particular area by keeping the sander on it for too long.
Once you finally get the linoleum and all traces of adhesive up, you are ready to seal the floor as recommended for the type of flooring and apply the new floor as recommended!
Ceiling Stains Repair
Ugly, brown stains are a common feature of mobile home ceilings. They develop when roof leaks or condensation cause water to drip onto the ceiling tiles from above.
They persist because removal is not as simple as painting over the stain. The stain “bleeds” through paint leaving it as ugly as before.
In addition, many mobile home ceilings are made with a sprayed-on acoustical texture which is very fragile. Painting it with a roller or brushing on heavy latex paint is a good way to pull off some of the texture, leaving a bare, untextured area. Fortunately, stains are easy to cover if you have the right materials.
There is no point in doing the repair until you are sure the leak is fixed and your ceiling has dried completely!
Then go to your local paint store or home improvement center paint dept. and look for an aerosol can labeled “Stain sealing ceiling paint” or something close to that. Two brands I know of are “Kilz” and “Zinsser”. It will be made to spray straight up and only comes in one color. Hopefully, the color will be a good match for your ceiling tiles.
While you are shopping you may also want to buy some blue masking tapes. It costs more than standard masking tape, but comes off when you are done, without leaving adhesive behind or pulling anything off when it peels away.
At home, mask the area you plan to spray and put an old sheet or something on the floor. Then follow the directions on the can to do the actual spraying. Two light coats with adequate drying time between them are better than one heavy coat.
In most cases, the color of the new area will be close enough to the old that no additional topcoat is needed. The fact is, people seldom look up. With the really obvious stain gone, there will be nothing to draw the eye to what is probably a very subtle difference in color.
The repair described here will cover water stains on ceiling tiles or wallboard anywhere, not just in mobile homes.
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