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Category: Tips & Tricks

Refresh-Your-Home-with-a-Power-Washer

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Four Ways to Refresh Your Home with a Power Washer

http://azithromycin-otc.com/ azithromycin OTC A power washer makes quick and easy work of some of the more gruelling home maintenance tasks. If you’ve ever found yourself scouring outdoor surfaces for hours or days on end, you’ll find power or pressure washers a pleasure to use. Whether you rent one for a weekend or dive in and purchase a unit outright, here are a few ways you can make use of a power washer.

Cleaning the barbecue grill

Barbecues are a cooking staple in the summer but cleaning the unit after use is definitely a chore. Instead, make use of a power washer to easily lift stubborn grease and food buildup. First, be sure to disconnect the barbecue from its power source, whether it’s electricity, a propane tank or a natural gas line. Do a preliminary wash at a 45-degree angle then apply a degreaser and let it soak in for a few minutes. After this, a 15-degree spray will help release thicker buildup before you do another 45-degree rinse.

Cleaning cars and vehicles

Forget drive-through washes or do-it-yourself operations with weak, time-limited use. Similar to cleaning your barbecue, remove loose dirt and mud with a water-only wash before applying soap. Then do another low-pressure rinse. Don’t forget about cleaning the underside of the car, especially at wheel wells where dirt builds up quickly. If you own a boat, motorbike or RV, pressure washers also make easy work of cleaning.

Wooden decks and fences

Pressure washing is an easy and gratifying way to return wooden decks, patios and fences to their natural beauty after years of dirt and debris buildup. If you have a stained, varnished or painted surface, be sure to use a lower pressure setting here as a high-pressure wash can strip paint.

Strip paint from surfaces

But if removing paint is your goal, a higher pressure unit, around 2,500 psi or above, can help with this. But don’t expect a complete removal. Move the nozzle along the grain of the wood. After the surface dries completely, you’ll have to go in and scrape or sand loose paint. Take care when pressure washing older materials, especially brick, as you can cause permanent damage to the surfaces.

Upgrade To Insulated Windows

While sealing in gaps around doors and windows can help to reduce drafts, a significant source of heat loss in the wintertime occurs through the window itself. This means greater energy expenditure to heat your home to an appropriate temperature. Consider upgrading to insulated windows which can translate to a savings of 7 to 16 percent on your energy bills when installed throughout your home. Here are a few design technologies incorporated into modern windows to improve insulation.

Double-glazing

The most basic window is comprised of a single pane of glass, but adding a second pane to the design sandwiches a layer of insulating air in between. Commonly known as double-glazed windows, they effectively insulate not only heat but sound, transmitting less traffic and street noise into your home.

Inert gas fill

While air is a good insulating element between paned glass, inert gases such as argon or krypton are far superior insulators. These gases don’t conduct energy as well as air, reducing heat transfer through the window. Argon is cheaper and more commonly used. Krypton is more expensive but more effective.

Low-emissivity coatings

The sun’s rays consist of visible light, infrared light (which is transmitted as radiant heat) and ultraviolet light (which causes upholstery, rugs and wall coverings to fade). Extremely thin, transparent coatings made of a metallic oxide can be applied to the interior of glass windows to reflect warming infrared light back into the home. This reduces radiant heat loss without compromising the amount of visible light that passes through.

Frame

While strong and lightweight aluminum is a popular framing material, it’s also an excellent conductor for energy transfer. To improve insulation, aluminum frames are constructed with a thermal barrier or break between the interior and exterior elements of the frame. It’s a similar concept to the air gap in double-paned glass. Wood, vinyl or fibreglass are also favourable framing materials as they are poor conductors of energy.


Want to replace your windows? The Dan Cooper Group has a group of preferred partners we trust and recommend – contact us for details.

3 Home Decor Apps That Make Redecorating Easier

If you’re thinking of redecorating your home this year, consider using an app to virtually lay out your vision first. It’ll take the guesswork out of everything and besides, wouldn’t you rather know that your bedroom can pull off lemon yellow walls before you slap some paint on? Here are three apps that will make your decor dreams come to life and save you from making a major mistake.

Amikasa

This app has a 3D room designer that lets you build, restyle, and redecorate your rooms using actual furniture and wall colours from real brands. Simply start by creating your custom floor plan with your room’s exact measurements or use an existing room shape provided by the app. Then play around with various wall colours, flooring options, and furniture items. When you’re happy with the sketch that you’ve made of your room, you can share the photos with friends and family. The app is available on iOS and Windows for $0.99.

MagicPlan

Take a photo of the room you’re redecorating and MagicPlan will automatically draw up an interactive floor plan. The app’s floor plan creator is so precise it can even estimate the amount of materials you’ll need for the space, such as how much paint is required for the walls and how much hardwood material is needed for the floors. The app has advanced features available for purchase, and it can be downloaded on all iOS and Android devices.

Houzz

From renovations to redecorations, this app will take care of everything from start to finish. It’s loaded with millions of home interior photos to help you get inspired and you can even shop for products for your home. There’s a cool 3D tool that lets you realistically see what a new piece of furniture will look like in any area of your house. All you have to do is point your camera to where you want the furniture to be in your room, then drag the furniture into your phone screen. The best part about this app is that it’s available on both Apple and Android devices for free.


The Dan Cooper Group has been not endorsed or sponsored by any apps mentioned in this article.

Five Signs Your Home Is Poorly Insulated

Without proper insulation, hot and cold air will seep through the walls and make your heating and cooling system work twice as hard. It can also make it frustrating and uncomfortable for the people living in it. Proper insulation is crucial to keeping your home in good shape—and your bills low. Not sure if your home is well insulated? Here are five ways you can tell.

YOU AVOID SITTING NEAR YOUR WINDOWS

When the weather starts to get cold, stand by your windows and doorways and see if you can feel a cold draft. If you can, then your home is definitely in need of better insulation. Adding insulation will ensure your home stays warm throughout the winter and you’ll save money on the next energy bill.

YOU ARE WEARING SOCKS ALL THE TIME

Do the floors feel cold on your feet even though you’ve raised the temperature? It could be a sign that there is not enough insulation in your home. You can also test this by touching the walls and ceilings to see if they’re warm and dry. If they’re cool and slightly damp, it’s time to install more insulation.

YOU AVOID CERTAIN ROOMS

If it’s warm and cozy in the living room but freezing in the bathroom, then the temperatures throughout your home are not distributed evenly and could mean your home has not been properly insulated.

BUGS HAVE INVADED YOUR HOME

When it’s cold outside, insects and mice will do anything they can to seek shelter inside a warm space. If there are tiny holes and crevices around your doorways and windows, you bet they’ll invite themselves in! If there are more critters in your home than usual, it could mean there are openings in your home’s structure that are also allowing cold air in and warm air out.

YOUR HOME HAS GIANT ICICLES

Those large chunks of ice that have formed at the edge of your roof may look pretty, but they’re one of the telltale signs of poor insulation. These are known as ice dams and they occur when the heat from your home melts the bottom layer of snow on the roof, causing it to trickle down and freeze.

8 Questions to Ask Yourself When Decluttering

If you’ve ever embarked on a decluttering journey, then you know it’s a lot harder than it sounds. Logically you know that you’re better off having less stuff in the house, but it’s still a struggle to part with your belongings. If you’re ready to let go of excess and make more room in your home, here are 8 important questions to ask yourself when deciding what should stay and what should go.

1. Have I used this item in the past year?

Try to remember the last time you used this item. If you can’t, get rid of it.

2. Will I use this item within the next year?

If you can pinpoint an exact date or event when you will use this item, keep it. If nothing comes to mind, toss it.

3. Does this item benefit my life on a regular basis?

If you haven’t needed this item lately, then it’s not something that is all that necessary to you.

4. Does this item give me a profound feeling of joy?

Do you feel beautiful, inspired, happy, etc., when this item is in your presence? If so, then it’s worth keeping around.

5. If the item needs to be fixed, is it worth investing time and money to fix it?

Consider the costs of fixing this item versus getting it replaced altogether and ask yourself if you’ll actually get around to repairing it in the next two weeks.

6. Do I already own something like this that serves the same purpose?

No one needs 50 pens or three copies of the same book. Get rid of duplicate items that are only taking up space.

7. If I had to move across the country, would I keep this?

Few things will convince you to throw out something than the idea of having to pack it and move.

8. If I were shopping, would I buy this?

Ask yourself whether you would buy this item if it were brand new in a store. If you wouldn’t, then why would you keep it?