A Few Kitchen Cleaning Tips

kitchenA kitchen is considered by many as being the heart of the home. It is the place where meals are prepared and usually eaten and for these reasons it is important that it remains clean and hygienic. A kitchen needs to be kept clean in order to prevent and eliminate food-born diseases and it needs to look good and smell good at all times.

Saving time, energy and money

Gather your cleaning materials together and keep them within easy reach, as this will make your job easier and faster. Wear gloves to protect yourself against harsh chemicals. If you prefer there are many websites which offer recipes for home cleaning remedies which are able to protect the environment while saving money.

Prioritize which areas should be cleaned first. Generally these areas are the dirtiest. Once they have been attended to you are able to work on those other areas that require only a quick dusting or a wipe.

Starting from the top of the kitchen work down towards the floor. Dust high places first including light fixtures, on top of the refrigerator and on top of the kitchen cabinets. Next using a wet cloth and cleaning solution remove any accumulated grime from ornaments, handles, books and the like.

Move onto the sink next, rinsing it first in order to clear away any debris. Spray with a cleaning solution and leave to work for about 5 minutes. Scrub if necessary and rinse thoroughly with warm water. While the sink is ‘soaking’ move your attention to something else.

Tackling the microwave and stove requires a little more time and a little more energy. In order to ensure that your microwave is cleaned safely remove the glass plate and scrub the inside. Cleaning solutions for use inside microwaves need careful attention however, and any harsh chemicals should be avoided.

Remove the burners from your stove if possible and soak them in a cleaning solution along with any knobs. Using a gentle cleaner scrub the stove top, afterward using a clean wet cloth wipe off any residual cleaner. Clean, rinse and dry burners before replacing them.

Attend to small appliances next as well as the refrigerator. Perhaps because items within a refrigerator are kept out of site it is one item in a kitchen that is often left unattended. However it is necessary for the sake of good health that it is cleaned at least once a week. Old and expired foods should be eliminated and shelves should be washed down with a warm soapy solution. This will keep your refrigerator looking clean, smelling good, and clear of many germs.

Small kitchen appliances are often not easy to clean after use. One in particular is the food blender or processor. Cleaning entails removing the attachable parts and leaving them to soak in hot soapy water for a few minutes. Thereafter a gentle scrub will pry loose any food particles and leave your appliances looking clean and hygienic. If possible store small appliances behind doors in order to cut down on dust and grime.

The next items to be attended to are kitchen counters and kitchen cabinet doors. Using a wet cloth and cleaning solution is all it takes to remove grime, grease and dust. Finally the kitchen floor should be attended to. Vacuum any grit and dust and then mop in order to remove any grime or stains.

Daily chores

An important kitchen cleaning tip is: in your kitchen attend to spills and messes immediately. Prevention is the first step in keeping your kitchen clean and tidy. House cleaning does not have to be an unpleasant task; attending to cleaning on a daily basis will cut down on time and energy. Cleaning a kitchen does however need to be precise, thorough and consistent.

Don’t let dishes pile up, or stay dirty in the sink. It’s best to get into the habit of doing dishes after you eat. Before tackling dishes ensure that the sink is clean and once you have soaped and scrubbed ensure that you rinse them thoroughly. Employ an automated system when washing dishes; fill one section of the sink with hot soapy water and the other leave empty. Place clean soapy dishes in the empty sink for rinsing. When rinsed place dishes on the drainer to dry or using a clean dish towel dry immediately and put away.

Keep kitchen counters clean and clutter free. This will not only provide a sanitary work environment, but will also provide you more workspace. Wipe spills off floors, counter tops, stoves and appliances as they happen.

Merilee Paige is a House Speed Cleaning specialist. Visit Speed Cleaning Made Easy for more expert advice, kitchen cleaning tips, and many tips on how to quickly and efficiently, spotlessly clean your home.

 

Useful Home Care Floor Cleaning Tips

imagesFlooring, no matter what the material is, needs proper cleaning. Besides more appealing and healthier to the home residents, thoroughly cleaned floors also make the flooring more durable and last longer. Below are some basic cleaning tips on how to give good care of your floor.

1. Waxing is not required.

Instead of waxing, the key to maintain your floor clean and shiny is by sweeping and mopping it regularly. For floor mopping, you do not need special, costly cleaning solution. Warm water works well with all types of flooring while a solution of mild soap added to water works well with most types of flooring. The exception is for laminate floors which are not recommendable to be cleaned with detergents due to streaks they leave after the mopping. When mopping with soap, change the detergent solution with the new one when it starts to look dirty. The floor will be sticky and lose its shine if given too much soap or dirty water. Rinse the floor with clean water after detergent mopping. Avoid using scrub pads while cleaning tile floors made of ceramics since they are easily scratched.

2. Vinegar is a magic helper.

As we know beforehand, vinegar has many benefits which include giving your floor shiny and clean surface. Most of the time, vinegar is applicable for cleaning tile floors. Add a cup of vinegar into a gallon of water for homemade mopping solution. Besides cheap, this method also consumes less time since you do not have to give second rinse after vinegar mopping. Nevertheless, forget using vinegar if your tile flooring is made from stone. Vinegar is corrosive towards stone flooring material that it will easily damage the stone tile floors. Laminate floors and vinyl floors are safer to be cleaned with vinegar and other alkali products.

3. Always dust before mop.

Dusting or sweeping prior to mopping the floor is necessary for easier mopping. When dirt and grit are unswept, they will leave messier condition on the floor. Since mopping cannot lift dirt and grit, they will scatter around the floor giving dirtier spacer or even scratches everywhere. If you are not used to this method, make this as a habit. This is the best method for having a clean and shiny floor.

4. Clean grout effectively.

Old grout with heavy stains may need heavy duty cleaner along with special grout brush with stiff bristles. On tougher grout stains, use bleacher. For grout with mildew, use the solution of chlorine bleacher and water with 1:5 ratios. However, bleachers are only applicable for monochromatic grout in plain color. Pouring bleachers onto colored grout will make the color becoming dull, or worse, removed.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6487100

Carpet Cleaning Tips

carpetCarpet cleaning is something that every homeowner has to think about from time to time. If you want your carpets to look good and last longer, follow these 10 carpet cleaning tips

1. Vacuuming your carpet at least three or four times a week helps to removes the daily build up of dirt and dust. If you have pets and/or children, vacuuming help to maintain a healthy living environment.

2. Removing unwanted stains can be very awkward, time consumer and quite expensive. The best advice would be to get to that spot before it becomes a stain. Carpet cleaning is most effective right after a spill.

3. Always remember to blot a stain and not to rub it! The key to removing a stain is to blot it with a damp cloth. Rubbing a stain will only push it deeper into the carpet, causing long term damage to the carpet fibers. This will make it virtually impossible to remove.

4. Stain Removal Tip – If you have a paled colored carpet and to spill a red wine or a cup of coffee a useful tip is to boil your kettle and pour the boiled water onto the stain. This is will dilute the stain and make it much easier to absorb it a tea towel.

5. As part of the cleaning process, place a think cloth on the stain and weight it down with a heavy object. Leave the cloth on the stain over night to remove the most amount of liquid.

6. Never use heat to dry a wet patch caused by a stain. After cleaning a carpet do not use an iron or hair dryer to dry the area, this will only serve to seal the stain to your carpet.

7. If a damp cloth has not removed your stain, it may be time to use some type of mild cleaning detergents. Always test a small area of the stain to evaluate whether this will be effective or not. Using stronger detergents may bleach or damage the carpet fibres.

8. Detergent which hasn’t been dried correctly will attract unwanted dirt. The left over residue from cleaning your carpet will act like a magnet and your carpets will appear dirty soon after cleaning.

9. Eliminate the dirt before it enters your home. Direct prevention, like placing a door mat by your front door, makes a huge difference in keeping your carpet clean. Asking your family and friends to remove their shoes when they enter your room will effectively reduce the amount of dirt entering your home.

10. Hiring a professional steam cleaner every year will help to keep your carpet looking fresh and help to remove unwanted stains. Carpet in high traffic areas will benefit from more frequent professional carpet cleaning.

 

Best Landscape Using the Artificial Grass

Artificial-Grass-by-PoolHaving a nice landscape is surely one thing that many people love to have. Unfortunately, you will need to pay a lot of attention if you want to have the nice landscape in your house with the fresh looking green grass. This is one problem that many people are dealing with. Many of them do not have the time to take care of the landscape so that they prefer to use the help of the gardener, of course with the considerably expensive price. If you do not want to spend a lot of money on that kind of need, then you might want to simply call Agape Turf as one of the best artificial grass companies Scottsdale. They will be able to help you with this kind of problem.

For your consideration, having the artificial grass will give you a lot of benefits that you might never imagined before. The first one is that you will not need to spend a lot of money for the maintenance since the maintenance cost is really affordable. The second is because you will not need to mow your lawn since the artificial grass will not grow at all. The last but not least is that the artificial grass will make your landscape looks fresh and green all of the time, based on the type of artificial grass that you pick, of course. If you have decided to pick the artificial grass to make a nice looking and fresh landscape, then you will need the help of Agape Turf. That is because they offer you a lot of nice things that you will surely love from the artificial grass for your fresh looking landscape.

For the beginning, they will offer you a lot of nice looking artificial grass that you need for your landscape. If you want something fresh and green, they have the considerably short grass. If you are looking for something darker, they also have the darker and taller grass based on your need. As an addition to that, the softness of the grass is another thing that you can simply pick. That means, you can surely have the kind of grass that you want for your landscape. The next one is they will give you the overall image of the design that they will apply on your landscape. If you have chosen them to work on your landscape with their artificial grass, then they will give you the overall image of the result later on. This is something nice that you will surely love since with this kind of preview, you will be able to know the image of your landscape after the artificial grass has been applied. Therefore, if you think there are some parts that need to be replaced or changed, you can do that early before the plan is started.

The next one is the official license that they have for installing the artificial grass on your landscape. For your consideration, getting the licensed services is not something easy to do nowadays. That is because more and more people with this kind of skills and knowledge offer you the similar services. However, because many of them just do not have the license, then you cannot really count on the quality of the services that they will give to you. In short, the work of the licensed services will always be better than the work of those who do not have the license.

The last but not least that you will get from them is the best price deal. This one is something that many people love from the artificial grass services. For your information, the price of artificial grass installation is not cheap at all. However, there are some services that will give you the totally affordable price for the artificial grass that they install in your landscape and Agape Turf is one of those services. Therefore, you will not need to worry that much about your spending for the artificial grass. Even though you spend some decent amount of money, the price is worth the quality that you get and you will not be disappointed by their work. So, do you think this artificial grass will give you the best landscape ever?

Popular Floor Coverings

l fibre, and its solid nature makes it susceptible to moisture as well as extreme temperatures – which is why it’s not a great choice in bathrooms. You can sand or refinish the top surface should the need arise.

Engineered Hardwood Floorboards

Engineered hardwood floorboards are, instead of solid planks or wood, made up of many thinner layers which have been glued together. It is more resistant to moisture and extreme temperatures than solid hardwood floorboard.

Cork

Cork has long been a preferred material for flooring, due to it’s comfortable, warm and durable surface. The latest advances in cork manufacture have given rise to ReadyCork Vita, a cork that looks like wooden floorboards but is actually made from cork! For those wanting more of a traditional cork appearance, ReadyCork Ambient has a great range of tiles available.

Bamboo

Bamboo is the ecologically friendly alternative to hardwood flooring. Because bamboo plants grow so fast, they are more sustainable to harvest than hardwoods. Bamboo floors are easy to maintain and water resistant, coming in a range of different colours.

Laminate

Laminate flooring is similar in it’s make up to engineered hardwood floors – it is made up of a number of different layers all bonded together – this time by laminating. It can easily mimic wooden flooring and is very easy to install and remove. Laminate flooring is also cheaper in price than hardwood flooring.

Vinyl

Vinyl flooring is made up of fused PVC chips, and is highly durable. It’s low cost and low maintenance qualities can make it a great choice for walkways or kitchen areas – especially in busy offices. It has come a long way since the early versions of vinyl flooring that you may have seen getting about too!

The best way to figure out which flooring choice is right for your situation is to go into a store and really get a feel for all the different materials offered. Check out prices and types carefully. Once you’re done in store, head home and measure up your surfaces. Then simply visit a reputable online site instead of the brick and mortar storefront to get some great savings and home delivery on your new flooring!

 

Repairing Chipper Shredders

One of the downsides that come with chipper shredder ownership is the very real potential that the machine could break down on you. As with any mechanical device (just like cars and lawnmowers), chipper shredders can develop problems, which can make it very difficult to safely and efficiently use the machine.

By getting your chipper shredder serviced regularly, you can help to prevent breakdowns and the severe damage that unsafe equipment can cause. Luckily, much of the maintenance that a shredder must be exposed to can be undertaken by the homeowner, helping to save you money in the long run by not having to pay a service centre. The areas to keep an eye on are the blades, hopper, cables, wheels and the engine.

The chipper shredder is not cutting or mulching evenly
This is generally due to the blades becoming dull over time. You can save money even further here by removing the blades and giving them a good sharpen yourself -shredder blades are able to be sharpened a number of times before needing to be replaced. If your blades appear overly damaged, however, it is always recommended to replace them in case of injury.

The chipper shredder will not start
If your shredder is an electric model, it is always best to start by checking the cord. When electrical cables become damaged, they can actually short circuit your power supply if you are not careful. The cables can be replaced, but should only be done yourself if you have experience working with electricity.

If your chipper shredder runs on fuel, such as gas or petrol, however, you should check that there is plenty of fuel in the tank and that the machine’s oil levels are good. Quite often, homeowners leave their shredders to sit for long periods of time, so that the fuel goes stale, or they cannot remember the last time they filled it up, so that the fuel simply runs out.

The hopper and exit chutes rattle excessively or don’t flow smoothly
Stones and large pieces of timber that somehow find their way into your shredder can actually damage the hopper (entry chute) and the exit chute of the machine. You can purchase replacements parts from suppliers and replace them yourself by unscrewing the damaged chute and screwing in the new one.

Whilst the above problems can easily be fixed by the homeowner, if the issue your chipper shredder is experiencing is not listed you should take it to a professional service centre for a check up. There may be something more serious wrong with your machine and you should not tackle it yourself.

If you are fond of gardening then definitely you have Chippers Shredders and since it is a machine so need to repair some time. The author share his useful opinion that if some simple problem occur while operating chippers shredders that how you can try to resolve it before consulting a mechanic.

 

Buying Safe Riding Mowers

Really, you’re asking – is it really a big deal buying safe riding mowers? What do people actually die on mowers? Well, since you ask, the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there are about 100 people every year who die on their riding mowers. In fact, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you went to the CPSC website right now and looked for their recommendations on how to buy safe riding mowers.

But do let us look at a few of our own recommendations – for things that can actually kill you and for other things.

Well, for instance, how often do you consider how loud a mower is before you buy it? Certainly, you can be completely annoyed by those noise levels once you’ve bought your mower. But usually, this isn’t something you check out at the store. You need to check out how loud a mower is, for the hearing damage it is capable of causing. It should be a really good idea to look for a quiet mower, and then to use hearing protection on top of it.

Most riding mowers will give you the option to use one of three discharge modes. They’ll spew out grass clippings off the side, or they will give you the option to either mulch it or bag it. It’s usually a good idea to dispense with the side discharge mode. The motor can easily suck up a rock or something and eject it at high speed. It’s not safe.

Riding mowers should always have an automatic stop function, kind of the way jet skis and snowmobiles do. They call it a “seat shutoff switch” on a mower. Unfortunately, many people find this kind of kill switch a bit annoying. But you do have to remember that lawnmowers kill people every year. A function that completely stops the mower and the blades the moment someone is off the seat will absolutely save lives.

If you have a choice, you should always consider buying a step through design. Those are the safest. The thing is, that if you have a cramped mower that’s difficult to get on and off, you could accidentally knee some kind of switch into action and set things in motion that you don’t intend to.

Lawnmowers often come with weight kits. They’re supposed to make a lawnmower more stable. These are a good idea. Since the heavy cutting parts are usually on one end of the mower, the other end tends to be dangerously light. This could result in one end lifting up. Always consider buying something that’s weighted. In fact, a mower turning over is such a danger that they often provide seatbelts and roll bars.

 

Hardwood Flooring

When you buy hardwood flooring you can get them with a variety of finishes, including water-based finishes and oil-based finishes. An oil-based finish is usually more scuff and stain resistant. If the finish is acid-based urethane they are very durable but unfortunately they emit a very powerful fume. If you get hardwood flooring that is considered environmentally friendly and natural this base is generally mineral and plant but some could be wax based too. Another option that does not require additional treatment is pre-finished flooring.

Finishes for your hardwood flooring can be bought at most home improvement stores. One common oil-modified finished for your hardwood floor is polyurethane. When applying it to your hardwood floor it can take ten to fourteen hours to dry completely. A polyurethane finish is long lasting, tough, and recommended for areas that have high-traffic. It is also resistant to stains so if you have pets and children this type of finish may be a good choice. One finish that usually dries fast is an acid-curing finish. This type of flooring finish is appropriate for many different hardwood floors. Using an acid-based finish will add depth of color and sheen without giving the floor an unnatural yellow tint. You can get this finish in a semi-gloss, matte, or high-gloss. A high-gloss will add the most shine and luster while you will have just a slight gloss coating with a semi-gloss.

With the water-based finish for flooring, the water in the finish will evaporate as the finish dries. For the best results with water-based finishes it is recommended that you apply three or more coats for the best results. The one thing that homeowners like about water-based finishes is that will not change the natural wood color. They also give off no harsh fumes and the finish dries fast. The finishes that are considered environmentally friendly are also called green products. They will protect your floors and are non-toxic. One example of an environmentally friendly finish for hardwood flooring is a soy-based satin type finish. Another one is made using natural tung oil, which is also non-toxic and safe.

There are also some finishes for your hardwood flooring that comes in an application for touch-up work. They are usually available as a spray. When there is a spot that looks dull, or different from the rest of the floor you can use the spray touch-up application. They are recommended for helping to maintain the quality of your hardwood flooring finish. Most of the time, these finishes are used to change the color or the finish of your flooring or as a finish for new construction homes.

This article is penned by Lora Davis for FloorGem Services, Inc. If would like to have hardwood floor refinishing or want new floor installation then I recommend using the services of this company as they are undoubtedly among the best flooring companies in the Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia areas.

 

Cleaning Your Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Having clean, glossy-looking luxury vinyl flooring will make your home very attractive and beautiful. In order to keep that shine you will need to follow some cleaning techniques. There are many advantages with having this type of flooring, especially in your bathroom and kitchen. It is durable, cost-effective, easy to maintain, and comes in a variety of designs, patterns, and colors.

To help your luxury vinyl flooring look great you need to clean it regularly to get rid of the dust particles. Dust particles do stick to vinyl flooring so you need to remove it by sweeping it with a broom daily. You should avoid using your vacuum cleaner but if you decide to use one make sure that it does not have the beater bar. Having it on your vacuum can make scratches in your luxury vinyl flooring. If sweeping is not enough you should then mop the floor. When mopping the floor, to get the best results, you should use a neutral pH cleaner and water that is lukewarm. You could also use equal parts of lukewarm water and vinegar to mop the floor. This mixture will also help to eliminate any types of foul odors.

Most everyone will at one time have a difficult stain to clean, especially in the kitchen area. Greasy stains need special attention to remove them from your luxury vinyl flooring because if not there could be some damage inadvertently caused to the floor’s surface. Make sure that you do not use regular detergent on the floor as it could make the surface sticky and attract more dust. If you do use detergent make sure that it is a mild detergent such as dish washing liquid in a quart of water. If you have a stubborn stain wet the area with the solution of water and mild dish detergent or cleaning solution and leave it on overnight to soften up the stain. In the morning just wipe it up with a dry cotton cloth. You can add to a quart of warm water a spoonful of clear ammonia and clean up the stain. If you use this solution make sure that you thoroughly rinse the area to remove the thin film left behind on your luxury vinyl flooring from the ammonia.

If something gets spilled on your luxury vinyl flooring try to wipe it up immediately because if you wait it can become a stubborn stain. After cleaning the spill rinse the area and dry it with a clean cloth. If the polish is damaged after wiping up the spill use a floor polish that the manufactures recommend.

 

Commercial Kitchen Floor Care Service

Not only should commercial kitchen floors be kept clean and sanitized but all floors of the restaurant should be done basically in the same way. There are many ways and tips for commercial kitchen floor care service. By the time that the staff in the back of the restaurant are finished with their shift their energy is low. If they are the ones that are closing the restaurant there are many extra things that have to be done so the restaurant is ready for next day’s business before the staff can clock out and go home. It is very important to remember in floor care service that restaurant floors have to be maintained hygienically maintained to not only protect the customers but to meet the necessary health regulations and codes.

Some of the tips for kitchen floor care service are:

• Make sure that all of the floor drains are not obstructed and working property because if not, the water used to clean the floors will just lay there until the drain is cleaned out and the water can run out it smoothly and unobstructed
• Typically in a restaurant the bathroom and kitchen floors are made of ceramic or quarry. To help decrease the possibility of a customer or kitchen staff along with maintaining proper sanitation.
• Before you handle any food, make sure that you wash your hands under hot water for a few second with some anti-bacterial soap. Use some soap and water and mop the floorings to help debris from becoming air borne, especially around the workstations or on equipment.
• Change and clean your buckets and mops on a daily basis to help decrease or prevent contaminants from being spread across the floors by a dirty mop. If both of these are not keep clean and sanitized it can become a health code problem.
• To move the moisture on the floors into the drains for quicker drying you should use a squeegee mop.
• At least once a week your floor care service routine should include buffing the floors using a one hundred seventy five rmp buffer. If it is necessary you could do this every day, especially grease, oil, or dirt that could have built up on the back kitchen floors.
• Every restaurant should make sure that the chemicals used to clean the floors, the extra mops, should be stored in the area where other supplies are kept. All of these things should be kept under the sink or in a secure location on shelves to make it harder for all the pests to get inside them.

This article is penned by Lora Davis for Sexton Complete Care. The company has more than 45 years experience providing professional flooring and interior maintenance without business interruption! If you are looking for restaurant hardwood flooring or restaurant floor maintenance and need the services of a Chicago hardwood flooring company then call upon the services of Sexton Complete Care.

 

How to Prepare for Winter

Winter is rapidly approaching in many parts of the world. With recent weather fluctuations, it can be difficult to determine just how good or bad of a winter we will have in any given year. This is can make preparing for the seasonal change a bit confusing, because you do not want to splurge on supplies that you may not need. At the same time, you do not want to be under prepared in the event that the winter is brutal and a blizzard warning sends residents into frenzy and clears store shelves. To be adequately prepared for winter, it does not require spending a lot of money. Most of the time, as long as you has the essentials on hand; you will be able to survive a winter storm, no matter how brutal.

Stocking up on Supplies

While it is important to have the basic food items on hand – such as water, canned goods as well as flashlights and candles, this article focuses more on what you should have on hand to help control the snow around your home.

· Salt – Having salt and a de-icing material around is a smart move. Once the snow begins to melt, the cold weather will turn the melted snow into ice, which will make navigating around your home dangerous. If you are elderly or disabled, it adds a double threat. Always be prepared throughout the winter with a couple bags of salt.

· Shovels– In order to remove snow from your driveway, sidewalk or porch, you will need to have a heavy-duty shovel on hand. Choose one that is easy for you to work with and is made of quality material. A shovel that is too heavy will be hard for you to operate and will put more strain on your body. One that is made of cheap materials will likely break halfway through the job and leave you exasperated. If you have a very long driveway, it is a good idea to invest in a snow thrower to make your job easier. They can be costly at first, but they usually offset themselves within the first two years of owning one.

Other items that you will want to have on hand include sand – a simple bag or two will do – in case you have trouble getting your car out of the driveway. In addition, ice scrapers should always be kept handy. With these essential tools, cleaning up after a storm will be a breeze.

 

10 Steps to Winterizing Your Underground Sprinkler System

Late fall is the time of year to prepare your lawn and sprinkler or irrigation system for the coming winter months. To avoid the damaging effects of frozen pipes and sprinkler heads, you can either prepare your sprinkler system yourself or hire a professional to winterize your system for you.

The extent that your system requires winterizing depends on what part of the country you live in. In warm areas, it may mean adjusting the timer or turning it to the off position. In cooler parts of the country, you may need to insulate your valves and anything above ground. In very cold climates, you need to do more. If you live in a climate that freezes, you need to turn off and drain your system or turn off and blow air through the valves and pipes.

Before you start to work on your sprinkler system, however, there are a few lawn maintenance issues to address. Because leaves smother your grass, rake up excess leaves. Late in the fall is a good time to fertilize your lawn, usually about a month before it typically freezes. Your lawn has been growing all summer and the dirt may be lacking nutrients it needs to green up when spring rolls around.

Finally, in most climates you will want to cut your grass short for the winter to give plenty of room for new grass growth in the spring. In lower, warmer elevations, go ahead and leave your grass longer as this will better keep moisture over the winter. Next, it is time to discuss your irrigation or sprinkler system.

The following 10 steps address systems in a cold zone prone to freezing:

    1. Locate the main water source to the irrigation system.
    1. Turn the water supply off to your sprinkler system before the first frost by locating the shut-off valve that controls water flowing to your system. This valve is generally in an underground box below the frost line or in a heated area. In Salt Lake City, for example, the frost line is 32″ so the valve would be below that level. A special tool, called a stop and waste key or curb key, is required. The keys are available at your local hardware store. Most valves are closed by turning the valve one-quarter of a turn to the right.
    1. Open all drains, including you backflow preventer assembly, and leave them open for a few hours to allow all water to escape.
    1. Remove your sprinkler heads so the water will drain from them and not freeze during the winter.
    1. Clean out any remaining water with an air compressor, charging it to 60 pounds per square inch (psi). Start by inserting the air hose into the nozzle of the drain valve located nearest the main water shut off and force out excess water with a short blast of air. Begin next with the zone furthest from the control. Activate one zone of your system at a time and leave it open as you rotate around blasting each with air, and closing it off before moving to a different zone.
    1. Replace all the sprinkler heads and close the backflow preventer valve. One note of caution here: metal pipes can tolerate up to 80 psi but flexible hosing requires much less pressure. Higher psi’s can actually damage flexible hosing. You will also want to avoid blowing the air through the back flow as hot air can damage it. Your irrigation maintenance expert will know how much air pressure is right for your system.
    1. In excessively cold climates, you may want to add a blanket of fiberglass, or at least an old blanket or towels covered by plastic over the valves and piping in you sprinkler control box.
    1. Turn off the power to timers and remove batteries after you have blown out the water from each zone and unplug power cords or turn off the power source through your breaker panel.
    1. Cover and apply foam insulation to above ground pipes.
  1. Now is also a good time to store your lawn mower and other gardening tools for the winter.

Sprinkler or irrigation systems in warmer climates that rarely or never freeze do not need this level of maintenance. Many systems have a “rain” or “off” mode that essentially shuts off water to the valves and retains all the programming information. If you are prone to freezing even once or twice, you need to drain your main valve and you may want to cover your water supply system located underground to prevent any remaining water from expanding and breaking pipes. In warm climates, you can also shut down power to the controller but this means you will need to reprogram you system early next spring. It is also a good idea to cover and insulate above ground pipes.

The best advice you can get on what your particular sprinkler or irrigation system needs is from your sprinkler maintenance professional. Once your system is prepared for the winter, you can relax and settle in for winter!

Jillynn Stevens, Ph.D. is a writer with a vast array of subject matter expertise. Along with publishing articles for large and small businesses, she researches, writes and publishes reports on various public policy issues.

 

The Benefits of Wooden Doors

Many of us already have some type of wooden door in our home, whether it is at the main entrance of the home or leading to the bedrooms. Wood has been the material of choice when it comes to doors since they were first invented. Of course, since then, the types of materials used have included metal, steel, and glass. However, wood still remains the material of choice when it comes to doors because it is sustainable.

Here are the benefits of wooden doors.

As I mentioned beforehand, wooden doors are sustainable. It is a natural product that is also renewable. When a door reaches the end of its lifespan, it can be refurbished or used to make something else. For example, it can be repurposed into a table top or a cupboard. It could also be recycled into paper products. The possibilities are endless because it is a natural product.

Wood offers you a quality material at a good value. Because it is a natural product, the manufacturing process is not so gruesome. Actually, less manufacturing time is required therefore the cost of this material is quite reasonable. Of course, this depends on the type and rarity of the wood that you choose.

Wooden doors are solid. That means that they are tough and can handle various weather conditions. This is obvious if you consider that wood comes from trees. Wood literally grows on trees (thought I’d just throw that in there). And where do trees grow? Outside. Therefore, they are subject to all types of weather conditions.

Wood is durable. It doesn’t require much maintenance, especially if it has been treated during the manufacturing stage. It can last for decades and remain in a good condition, provided you take care of it. It will also continue to be quite sturdy throughout its lifetime. If you do need to repair it, it is also easy to do so.

Wood can naturally regulate humidity. It is able to absorb moisture in damp conditions and it can release moisture in dry conditions. It has this ability simply because it is a natural material.

Wooden doors are reliable, durable and sustainable. They are hard wearing and will last you a lifetime if you take good care of them. You can have different designs carved onto them for a modern appearance or to make a bold statement. So the options available to you are endless.

Jad Doors is a family run business that was established in 1995. We are manufacturers of standard & custom made wooden doors, windows, skirtings & mouldings, garage doors. We are also stockists of superior quality door hardware.