Where Are You Losing Heat This Winter?

HGTV has captivated millions across North America. The network’s home improvement, design, and real estate shows give people an easily digestible way to learn about the processes of home buying and renovating.

A home improvement network star, Mike Holmes of the DIY Network series Holmes Makes it Right, shows homeowners where other inspectors and contractors have failed. In one episode, Holmes takes the homeowners outside in the middle of winter. There is snow piled on each roof in the neighborhood except that of the homeowner.

But, what does this mean? Holmes explains that snow piling on your roof is a good sign. It means that the heat is not escaping through your roof and melting the snow. It is normal for some melting to occur around ventilation and exhaust structures, but there shouldn’t be any bare patches on the roof.

Holmes then uses a modern technique known as infrared thermography to show the homeowners exactly how much heat they are losing. The results are astounding. Most of their home’s heat is rising into the attic, away from their home, and through the roof of the home.

For many, heat loss is a serious problem. As a homeowner, the best thing that you can do to ensure that you are not experiencing gross heat loss through your attic is to check your roof just after a fresh snow.

Additionally, you can request an energy audit from a professional. Many cities, counties and utility companies offer free energy audits to residents and customers. If heat loss is found, measures can be taken to ensure that your home is more energy-efficient.

The best way to prevent heat loss is through the use of insulation. Adding insulation in your home is a sound investment that is likely to pay for itself rapidly in the form of reduced utility bills. For many homes, small air leaks, open to uninsulated attic space, are a major source of heat loss. These leaks should be filled before adding new insulation to your attic space.

Another way to shield your home against heat loss is by keeping your roof structure in good shape. In addition to proper roof maintenance, when re-roofing your home an additional barrier of plywood sheeting can be added over an ice and water shield that covers your entire roof’s surface. These preventative measures help to protect your home against leaks and moisture.

Decorating Outdoors for the Holidays

Decorating outdoors for the holidays can be quite a challenge. It not only challenges your creative skills, but it also challenges your physical skills and poses a risk of injury if you fall off a ladder. When hanging lights and decorations outdoors, it’s important to keep yourself and your home safe.

No matter what part of the country you live in, everyone looks forward to the spirit of the holidays. Decorating the house with twinkling holiday lights and beautiful wreaths offers guests an inviting entrance to your home. Lining your roof with holiday lights jump starts the festive spirit, but it also creates the potential for personal injury and roof damage. Take a look at some helpful tips that will ensure a safe, holiday season for your family.

Power – Use a grounded, covered GFCI outdoor outlet that will shut down the circuit with an overload. Do not plug your lights into cords running under doors or out of windows, a definite fire hazard. If you don’t have an outdoor outlet, a professional electrician can install one to ensure your family’s safety and provide an outdoor outlet for future holidays.

Cords – If using extension cords, make sure they’re rated for outdoor use, and keep connections above ground, snow and water. To prevent tripping hazards, avoid running cords through high-traffic areas like walkways and driveways. If you have no choice, secure cords to the ground and keep excess cord length out of the way.

Ladders – When hanging lights around your roof, make sure your ladder is stable and tall enough to reach the area. Install lights with clips that attach to your gutters, siding and windows. Do not use nails, screws or staples to attach your lights. They can cause damage to siding, gutters and roof.

Lights – Outdoor lights should always be waterproof to prevent fire. Look for light strings with UL approval that meets industry standards for safety. Never use indoor holiday lights outdoors. If you want to light trees and shrubs, use mesh net lighting that drapes over branches like a blanket, so you don’t have to string the lights through limbs.

When decorating outdoors for the holidays, use caution and proper equipment to prevent injuries, damage to your house, and the risk of fires. If you need help with holiday lights or other things around the house, click here to find local resources in your area.

Simplify Your Experience

When looking at ways to simplify, consider starting with decorations. If your family purchases a Christmas tree, a living tree might be a good choice. Living trees can be purchased and planted ater the holidays are over. Or if you buy an artificial tree, it can be used over and over again. If you don’t have a place to plant a living tree but want the aunthenticity of a real tree, make sure to recycle your cut tree. When you put up ornaments, let the tree show. If some needles show after all the ornaments are hung, that’s okay. Not every branch needs to be glittering and sparkly. If you need more ornaments, consider making them from recycles materials. There are tons of Websites and library books with great ideas for ornaments, and if you remember to date your new ornaments you can look back and reminisce every year.

tree

Keep a Green Home

Most of us don’t think missing a few nights of sleep on a consistent basis is going to have any real serious side effects beyond being tired. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Sleep deprivation affects everything from our ability to concentrate to our overall mood and once it becomes chronic, more serious health problems often follow.

Fuzzy Thoughts

When you haven’t had enough sleep, just having a clear focused thought becomes difficult. When you are starved of the proper sleep nothing is crystal clear and many of your thoughts are fuzzy and unfocused . It becomes increasingly difficult to focus for any length of time. Imagine having to make a speech, or drive your child to school. Sleep deprivation could have a huge affect on your ability to do both of those things. In your haze, you could even walk through a sliding screen door.

Decreased Productivity

It’s hard to be effective and get a lot done when you’re tired. The simplest tasks take double the time to accomplish and our bodies drag. Unfortunately, when sleep deprivation becomes chronic, weight gain, diabetes, and a whole host of other serious disorders often follow. Often our jobs are driven by the need to be productive, imagine how much impact not getting enough sleep would have on a job that was very productivity driven. You might get fired because of your inability to perform at a certain level.

Less Immunity

Sleep deprivation can even affect our immunity. We are more prone to colds and other illnesses when we don’t get enough sleep. Our immune systems suffer when we are chronically tired, which means our bodies aren’t as equipt to handle illnesses. If you notice yourself catching colds more often, or find that they last longer than usual, sleep deprivation could be to blame.

Not getting enough sleep can be a serious matter if it happens enough. We can find ourselves unable to focus for long periods of time, more prone to sickness, and unable to be as productive as we usually are. Unfortunately, serious sicknesses like diabetes can plague us when sleep deprivation becomes chronic. Get your rest, your health depends on it and you deserve it.

Ways To Protect Children As They Play Outdoors

In the summertime, children love to get outside and run around in the summer sun. But parents know that children who are not protected from the dangers of summer can become ill. That is why it is important for parents to understand the various ways they can protect their children as they play outside. It only takes a few minutes to provide the kind of protection children need to stay healthy while enjoying the summer sunshine.

Protection From Bugs

Bugs are a big problem when it comes to outdoor summer play, but you can protect your children and your home from bugs with a few easy steps. Be sure that you give your children a good coating of bug spray before they head outside to protect them from getting bitten. Outdoor bug screens allow you to keep your insulated doors open, but keep the bugs from getting into your home. Reduce the presence of mosquitoes and other bugs by getting rid of puddles of standing water after rainstorms and burning citronella torches to keep bugs away.

The Sun

Your child may want to run outside and play right away, but you need to stop your little one and make sure they have the proper amount of sunscreen applied. You can buy sunscreen specifically made for children, and it is a necessity to apply sunscreen to the exposed skin of any child that plans on playing in the sunshine. Even if it is a cloudy summer day, the rays of the sun can still get through. That is why sunscreen is important whenever your child heads out to play during the summertime.

Hydration

Play time should stop a couple of times every hour to allow your children time to get hydrated. Avoid sugary drinks as they can do more harm than good in the summer sun, and insist that your children drink a glass of cold water a couple of times an hour while they are out playing.

Shade

You can buy an inexpensive yard tent at a department store and use that as a place where your children can go to get out of the sun. Encourage your children to avoid being exposed to the sun for hours at a time, and be sure that they take a break in the shade as often as possible.

Children enjoy summertime fun. But as a parent, it is your job to make sure that your children are safe whenever they are playing in the summer sun.

As a Working Mom

When your life is packed full caring for a spouse, children, housework, and a job, you are under tremendous stress. How do you set priorities? Who or what comes first? And who or what gets lost in the shuffle?
Surveys reveal that the activity that time-pressured women give up first is housekeeping. As many as 82 percent of these women said they had to change their standards for housekeeping, and 42 percent said that housekeeping is what gets put off.

mom

Another survey revealed that women who wrok outside the home get 20 to 25 minutes less sleep per night than their husbands. Mothers with children under three years of age do even worse, getting 45 to 50 minutes less sleep than their husbands. This means that a working mother may miss almost one whole night of sleep per week, which totals a whole month less sleep per year than the father.

mom2

Time for one’s self is rare. In spite of many new labor-saving devices, women have six fewer hours of leisure time per week than they did a decade ago. The lack of sleep and the resulting tiredness take their toll on women and their families. Yet many women carry on in their usual manner, cleaning, washing, caring, etc. The result? These women are overworked and underplayed.

Note: Image not mine.

Are You Doing Laundry Right?

You can get food laundering results if you sort clothes according to the following guidelines:

Separate colors and whites into different laundry loads. Intense colors (very bright or very dark) may bleed, especially when washed for the first time. They can tint white or light-colored clothes washed in the same load. A good guide is the maker’s care label.

Separate chlorine-bleachable light and white clothes from those that cannot be bleached if you intend to add chlorine bleach to the wash.

Dirty

Most wash loads do quite well in cold or warm water. Heavy soils on cotton respond better to a hot-water wash. Hot water may have an adverse effect on permanent-press garments. Check each garment’s care label.

Separate very dirty clothes that should be presoaked or washed in hot water from lightly soiled or temperature-sensitive items.

Separate sweatshirts, new towels, and products made from chenille yarn (all of which may tend to generate lint) from permanent press clothes and corduroys (which attract lint).

As you sort wash loads, remember to empty pockets and close zippers to prevent snagging. Next, check for troublesome stains that may have become set. Some stains won’t respond well to a presoak or laundry booster alone, and require special treatment before washing.

To keep socks from getting lost, place them at the bottom of the washing machine tub, wash them in a mesh bag, or use sock savers, plastic rings designed to lock pairs of socks together.

Do not overload your dryer. Always allow ample room for articles to tumble about freely. Placing too many items in a dryer can lengthen drying time and cause garments to wrinkle. Leaving clothes in the dryer’s drum after tumbling has stopped can also cause wrinkling.

To ensure optimum drying time, be sure to clean the dryer’s lint filter after each use.

Making A Wine Basket

Whether you’re looking for a gift for an employer, one for a retirement celebration or a special holiday, consider wine gift baskets. These are easy to make, or you can find a basic basket online that you can add personal items to so that it’s unique to the recipient.

When selecting the basket to use, you want something that has a strong base to support the bottles, glasses and other items that are used. Think about what the person enjoys and how much wine that person actually drinks. If a large amount isn’t consumed, then consider adding a few other treats, such as specialty candies and cookies, to give the basket a full appearance.

The wine that you add doesn’t have to be expensive. You could also use champagne if you’re looking for something a little more simple that has a flavorful taste. Items used to decorate the basket can often be found at inexpensive prices at dollar stores and craft stores. When you see ribbon and cellophane on sale, consider stocking up as you can use the ribbon to go around the basket and the cellophane to wrap everything together.

Gift basket liners could be made from tissue paper in a color that blends with the event. Consider red for Christmas or Valentine’s Day or gold for a retirement or anniversary. Shredded paper along the bottom of the basket or kitchen towels if the basket is for a housewarming can also be used.

After you have the lining in place, you can start adding the items that you want to give. Begin with the wine bottles as these will be the centerpiece of the basket. Add the other items along the side and in the front in what will appear to be a pyramid design. There are various gifts that can be included in the basket depending on what the person enjoys. A gift certificate to a spa can be included for those who need a bit of relaxation. You can also add specialty soaps and bath washes. Candles are a good idea as well. Another option is to make a basket with entertainment options, such as a DVD or a gift certificate to a movie theater.

Getting Your House Wired for New Fixtures

When you remodel your home, you may want to add new lighting fixtures. Working with electricity is dangerous, however, and may be way beyond what you are capable of handling. You also may be required by law and also your homeowners insurance company to have this work handled by professionals. When you are in the market to hire professionals like handymen or electrical contractors Jacksonville FL homeowners like you are advised to do your due research. You can get the details you need about the contractors’ qualifications and expertise today when you go online to the company’s website.

New Lighting Fixtures in Your Home

Adding new lighting fixtures to your home may require that some of the wiring be reworked. The power may need to be shut off and new wiring might need to be added.

When you go online, you can find out what kinds of lighting fixtures this company is capable of handling. For example, many people like to have recessed lighting in their living room, bedrooms, and in the bathrooms. The company can handle recessed lighting additions. You can see examples of its recessed lighting work when you go to the company’s website.

You also may want to have a ceiling fan put in your dining room or elsewhere in your house. Because the ceiling fan has lights that must turn on and off, the electrical wiring must be reworked and connected to the fan. You can have this job done safely and thoroughly when you hire electricians who have been trained for this specific job.

Code Compliance

Along with adding new fixtures to your home, you also may be convinced to hire professionals when you consider that all of the work you want to have done must meet local codes in your city and state. If it is not up to code, the work may not be insured by your insurance company. Likewise, you could face a fine from the city or state if something goes wrong and your house catches on fire.

When you go online, you can find out more about the code compliance programs that the company offers. You can have the work done safely and know that it will be insurable.

Electrical work sometimes goes into a remodel of your home. You can have any electrical work done safely and competently when you hire online contractors today.

Get Green Sleep

The same environment standards that apply to adult mattresses also apply to crib mattresses. Most commercial mattresses today include fire-retardant chemicals that have been linked to health issues. While most studies indicate that the safety afforded by treating the fabric with fire retardants outweighs the concerns of chemical exposure, no long-term tests have been done to support this statement. For an environmentally friendly option, consider a natural and organic mattress. Not only are beds made from these materials better for the environment, they can be better for babies when it comes to what they breathe and how well they sleep. Natural and organic bedding is made from natural rubber or latex and organic cotton or wool.

bedsheet

crib