Green Ways to Clean your Bathroom

Why go green?

Harmful Risks of Using Toxic Cleaning Products

Household cleaning manufacturers are required to inform consumers of the harmful effects of short term exposure to certain chemicals they produce. They are not, however, required to notify the consumer of the dangers of long-term exposure to a particular agent.

When you clean your home with a cleaning product, small particles linger in the air long after you have put that spray bottle away, and you breathe in those particles. Chemicals are also absorbed into the body through the skin if you don’t use protective gloves while cleaning.  Many toxic cleaning products contain chemicals that irritate the lungs. Worse still, many contain carcinogens that could cause cancer.

Our bodies aren’t the only vessels in danger of being harmed by harmful chemicals; toxic cleaning products that are flushed down the drain are hazardous to the aqueous ecosystem too! If you can get the same results by using a non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning product, why not switch out you cleaning cabinet and enjoy the health benefits of fewer toxins in your home and environment?

Non-toxic cleaning products

One of the most commonly used cleaning agents over the years is chlorine bleach. It is favoured because it kills germs on contact and combats mildew, but it is also very toxic. The bathroom is an area where both germs and mildew thrive, so naturally, bathroom cleaning products that contain bleach are not in short supply. With the introduction of non-toxic cleaning products to the market, it’s easier to pick up these eco-friendly cleaners and decrease the level of toxicity in your home. However, there are also other homemade alternatives that provide the same kind of germ and mildew killing properties that both toxic and non-toxic cleaners do. Good examples of these are hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and vinegar.

Ammonia is another household chemical that should be substituted with a non-toxic cleaning product. Undiluted ammonia is an irritant to the eyes and to the respiratory system. Ammonia is used in many cleaning products because of its ability to cut through grease. The one place that grease builds up in the bathroom is the shower.

A green alternative to keeping your shower or bathtub grease-free without using ammonia is by selecting a non-toxic cleaning product like baking soda.  Baking soda naturally causes grease to dissolve in water. Its gentle property makes it safe to use in any kind of surface in your bathroom. By default, using baking soda as a non-toxic cleaning product will keep your bathroom squeaky clean without the use of harsh ammonia.

A great and green way to get rid of stains in your bathroom is by using a mixture of lemon juice and alum powder.

Overall Benefits of Green-cleaning your bathroom

Besides the benefit of a cleaner environment, using green cleaning products in your bathroom, and home in general, is a great way to save money. By using everyday ingredients that are usually lying around in your home, or are inexpensive at your local store, you can eliminate many of the higher priced items that may prove detrimental to your health in the long run. You don’t only pay for buying toxic products at the cash register; you also pay when you have to seek medical treatment for ailments caused by those toxins!

So wherever possible, switch to a healthier alternative by choosing eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products for your everyday bathroom cleaning.

Bathroom Remodeling, Know Your Options

Bathroom remodeling not only adds beauty and enjoyment to any kind of home, it also increases the value of your home when you wish to sell your house in the future. Bathroom remodeling is probably the most popular project for home improvement because it yields the highest return of investments. Moreover, homeowners can enjoy their relaxing bathroom from the time they remodel until they decide on selling the house.

However, the extent of your bathroom remodeling project will all depend on your budget. If you have a large amount of money to spare, you can break down everything and start designing your bathroom from scratch. On the other hand, you can also remodel your bathroom even with a small budget by installing new light fixtures, matching accessories and bathroom furniture. 

For large-budgeted bathroom remodeling projects, you can go beyond your dream bathroom by expanding the area and separating the toilet from the bath area. You can even add spa treatments, bathtubs, water jets and other more expensive bathroom add-ons that you wish to install. If you have no idea where to start and what items to add, you can always look at a home-improvement magazine and check out the latest bathroom trends.

Designs, Accessories and Furniture

When you decide to start a bathroom remodeling project, it is best to organize your goals before shopping for materials. Decide on what items you want to replace, add or take away from the bath area. Consider refinishing existing items such as bathtub, shower, sinks and toilet or renewing the tiles, tub and shower enclosure to give a new look to your bathroom even with little investment. 

If you don’t have the money to hire an architect or contractor for your bathroom remodeling, you can do the work yourself by focusing on simple things that can give a dramatic change to the bathroom. For instance, add a vanity mirror or a shelf on one way and display small items, such as perfume bottles, soaps, bath salts, spa accessories and other items you wish to display.

Focus on your walls, ceiling and tiles because these three items can greatly influence the outcome of your project. Mix and match the colors by using pastel, earthy, contemporary or traditional colors that could fit your taste. Be aware that whatever items, equipments and furniture you wish to add to your bathroom should add warmth and relaxation to the room. The designs of your bathroom remodeling plan, if executed the proper way, can result in a beautiful and comfortable bath and toilet area that adds value to your home. 

DIY Roof Leaks and Repairs

Like many things in life, roof leaks and repairs begin with three basic steps. Everything else that must be done in order to repair your roof begins with these three steps.

Not all roof repairs will require the skills and talents of an expert. At the same time it is important to remember that your roof has a vital function to protect the building it covers. Therefore, it is sometimes a wise investment to actually pay a professional to get the job done.

So, if you must, for whatever reason, do the job yourself it should come down to these three steps:

Discover the root of the problem.

Not all damage to the actual roof is found at the location of the leak. While the leak may be problematic you must find the actual source of the damage before you make repairs. Otherwise you are simply putting a band aid over a bleeding wound without at all addressing whatever it is that is causing the bleeding.

In other words the leak will return again and again unless you discover the actual cause of the leak instead of just throwing a patch of some sort over the leak location and a fresh coat of paint on the other side.

Determine what action will be necessary. Once you’ve identified the problem you will have to figure out what steps are needed in order to correct the problem. Do you need an entire new roof, will a repair kit work, is the problem isolated? There are an endless number of questions, each of which could result in a different type of roof repair project.

Do the work.

Getting the job done is the important part. Once you’ve decided what that job needs to be you must purchase the materials and study the steps involved in getting the job done. If the work involved is beyond your level of skill or well outside of your comfort zone or if you have health problems that make roof work hazardous please consider hiring a professional in order to make the repairs.

Otherwise, doing the labor yourself can save a great deal of money when done properly.

These are the very basic steps for roof repair. The reason they are so basic is that there are so many different types of roof and leak repair jobs that can be performed it is nearly impossible to offer a once size fits all solution for every roofing repair job that may need to be performed. Once you make the decision to do the work yourself you should devote some time and attention to studying the specific roofing problem you will be fixing and remember to explore all your options and make sure you have identified the problem(s) you want to repair before you begin.

Weekend Project: A Homemade Chicken Coop

The wonderful thing about the nice outdated garden-variety chicken coop is always that it’s not at all high-tech and will not need a high-priced grasp builder to construct. You will discover the strategies and components in all gardening centres and hardware mega-stores, along with the options alone can be found all over the inter-net for a fair expense – if you sense it is necessary to buy a person else’s concepts. You may need to buy some specific equipment, most especially to deal with the cutting and sanding necessary. We have a go-to source, Home Tool Helper, which we find really useful for sourcing suitable products.

Chicken Coop Plans

Considering printed photographs of chicken coop ideas is normally plenty of, since you by now know approximately what format the framework should get, however the critical thing is to develop the coop by yourself for your specific specifications.

Chicken coop kits with every one of the development components integrated are available almost everywhere, naturally, but you will find that they may be built to accommodate only an optimum of a few chicks; this can make them far as well high-priced to buy if you’re looking at building a substantial a single.

How Many Chickens

The volume of chickens you would like to breed is actually an essential factor. Each chicken needs a minimum 4 square ft for comfort and ease, so for just 3 birds you’re looking at a 12 square foot enclosure. Naturally, the more area you’ll be able to pay for them, the healthier and happier your birds is going to be. A bigger area will suggest they squabble much less, will get more exercising and, believe it or not, succumb to less ailments and illnesses.

If you are planning to run only a pair of chicks you may nicely take into account buying a kit on-line; this construction will find the money for no protection versus predators, but it is a minimum of moveable, which means you’ll be able to shift it around your section for far better feeding patches.

Predators are the Number One Concern

This concern of predators is a vital one particular. If you are new for the game, you may not bear in mind that chicken wire is really little or no use towards dogs, raccoons, opossums, foxes and skunks. Your greatest approach is just to use chicken wire for that bottom with the cage to help keep pests from digging beneath it; an invader cannot get the necessary leverage, and can swiftly turn out to be discouraged. Use a heavier gauge wire mesh for that sides and top rated of one’s coop.

Bird Health and Safety

Here’s an important suggestion if you are creating your individual chicken coop. Certain building resources could be hazardous to equally your birds and their eggs; for instance, timber that is been pressure-treated for protection towards termites and rot can – and probably will – harbour traces of arsenic.

Be wary, also, of utilizing lead-based paint. The bottom line is something the hen ingests can stop up in her eggs, and obviously the danger to wellness from a feeding blunder in any sort may be serious.

Make sure every part of the structure is well finished. The last thing you want after going to all this trouble is for some harm to come to your birds. Make neat cuts and spend time ensuring there joins are good and strong. Get yourself something like a palm sander and tidy up all the rough edges so there is no change of things catching

Raccoons

It’s good to notice right here the challenge that is peculiar towards the raccoon. When you have this minor fellow with your neighbourhood, it could possibly be a good idea to padlock your coop. The raccoon’s a cunning character, and if he’s experienced at chicken-killing he will don’t have any trouble shooting a slide-bolt or hasp.

But when your strategy your coop to consider account with the birds’ room-to-move specifications, with each other with regional predatory threats, you’ll possess a large amount of entertaining “farming” your individual eggs.

Snow Plow or Electric Snow Shovel

If you live in a climate that has all four seasons like I do, or even a climate that just has one and that one is winter, you spend a lot of time shoveling snow from your driveway and sidewalks every winter season.  Shoveling snow can be back breaking, exhausting work, and when the snow falls, it can fall for days, sometimes weeks on end, making snow removal very tiresome.

To make the task of shoveling snow easier, you can hire a snow plow service, but that can be expensive.  For moderate levels of snow, a snow blower or electric snow shovel are good options to clear your own driveway of snow, especially if your driveway is not too long.  Or you can buy a snow plow attachment for your own vehicle and clear your own driveway of snow, and even make some money by plowing the snow for your neighbors.

Whatever you plan to do to shovel snow, take care not to over extend yourself shoveling snow.  People die every year because they are not used to the level of exercise that is needed when shoveling a driveway with a manual shovel.

Electric Snow Shovels

Electric snow shovels are a good tool to have on hand for moderate snowfalls.  Electric snow shovels throw the snow, allowing you to clear your walkway, sidewalks, and driveway in a much faster amount of time than a manual shovel.  Electric snow shovels are small, so they are good for smaller spaces, and areas that you need to turn around quickly to clear the snow out.

Electric snow shovels do not take a lot of storage space, not too much more than a traditional snow shovel making them a good tool for cottages, condominiums, and apartments.

Electric Snow Shovel

Snow Blowers Move More Snow

Snow blowers clear a wider and larger area more quickly of snow than an electric snow shovel.  A snow blower blows the cleared snow through a shoot further than most electric snow shovels, and works better in situations where you have a heavy snowfall.

Snow blowers also handle well in a driveway that already has snow piled up from previous snow plowing or blowing and will continue to clear the area of snow and pile it up on top of the previous piles.

Snow blowers do need more storage space than an electric snow shovel, so they are best if you have a shed or garage to put your show blower in.

Snow Blowers

Plowing the Snow Yourself

The easiest way to clear your driveway quickly is with a snow plow.  Snow plows work best in areas that get regular heavy snowfalls each winter for an extended period of time.  You can buy a plow attachment for your vehicle, or you can hire a snow plow service.

If you buy a snow plow attachment for your own truck or vehicle, practice driving it in a parking lot where there is a lot of room before you go in and out of narrow driveways.  No need to plow right into your own or neighbor’s house.

Especially if you live on a farm, or in a rural area, a snow plow or a combination snow plow and another shovel are your best bet.  Snow plows, snow blowers and snow shovels can be purchased on eBay both new and used from reliable eBay sellers.  You can get parts for your snow plow also.  eBay sellers are rated by how many sales they have had and their feedback, so you can check other people’s experience before you buy on eBay.

You may find that a seller is right in your local area, and you can pick up the snow plow right from their store.

As to shoveling your own driveway by hand, I recommend saving the manual shovel for small jobs like clearing your front steps, and leaving the big jobs to your electric snow machines.

Electric Lawn Raker

There are some great pieces of equipment for making lawns look great. The rotary mower is one and for creating healthy grass the mulching lawn mower is another. GardenEaze have a post showing some great options to combine mulching with mowing. In this post however we are going to look at another option for creating healthy lawns, raking. Raking should be done as often as is necessary, but there is no doubt that it is both time consuming and tiring. For this reason we introduce electric lawn rakers.

Why Electric Lawn Rakers?

Onto the topic at hand. A stunning and lush green lawn is something that many a gardener strives for; not only does it look great and impress the neighbours, it makes a garden a nice relaxing place to be. And yet achieving that pristine putting green lawn can be so difficult.

The secret to achieving your dream lawn lies in the maintenance of its health, and one of many important facets of this is known as scarifying. This refers to the removal of dead grass (or thatch), moss and other debris from the surface of a lawn, allowing air, water and nutrients to access the grass roots and ensure it remains in good health.

Scarifying

Scarifying can be undertaken with a traditional hand rake; however, the more serious gardener (and those with medium to large lawns) will find great benefit in an electric lawn raker. These machines are designed to make the raking of lawns an easy task that doesn’t break the back, whilst also ensuring a consistent and good quality job is carried out.

There are a number of good quality electric lawn rakers on the market today, manufactured by household names such as Flymo and Bosch. They offer numerous useful features such as adjustable cutting heights (for different levels of raking and scarifying), collection boxes and in some cases interchangeable aerator cassettes. As with most garden machinery, there are some excellent budget and mid-range options available, along with a few more higher priced models for the more discerning buyer.

Features of Electric Lawn Rakers

Electric lawn rakers have a variety of different components which will affect their quality in terms of durability and ease of use. Naturally, the more you spend the higher quality machine you will have – but what are the main features to look out for? In brief, some of the most important things to look out for when buying a scarifier are the motor, storage facility, blades and depth adjustment. These product features will be looked at in more detail below.

As the electric motor is the element that drives the whole machine, it is clearly of prime importance. The average motor capacity of an electric lawn raker will range between 600 watts and 1500 watts; beyond this capacity you will be looking at the more expensive petrol alternative. The electric rakers are generally sufficient for domestic use, even with larger gardens (do look out for cable length though!). Clearly, a more powerful electric motor means the machine is more durable and capable; you can choose your raker depending on the size of your garden and the specific needs you have.

Another important feature is the blades, tines or claws which are used. As this component will be collecting the debris and waste, it needs to be sufficiently durable and long lasting. The blades or tines are of varying quality, the more expensive machines boasting hardened steel or stainless steel blades for an effective and long life.

The drum of a lawn raker is the cylindrical component which houses the blades or claws. These are often detachable and can be replaced, depending on the machine in question. The drum is most significant when you purchase an electric lawn scarifier and aerator. These machines come with two interchangeable drums, one for scarifying and one for aerating the lawn.

Finally, the storage capacity of an electric lawn raker can make a big difference in terms of ease of use (depending on the size of your garden). Storage will generally range between 30 – 60 litres, the larger storage units needing to be emptied less frequently. The unit itself can come in the form of either a plastic box or a material bag, both or which are equally capable depending on the user’s preference.

Manufacturers of the Electric Lawn Raker

There are a number of manufacturers of electric lawn rakers, all offering varying levels of quality and features. Some of the manufactures are household names, whereas others are less well known. The main manufactures are Flymo, Bosch, Draper, Black & Decker and Al-Ko. They will be discussed in more detail below.

For the more affordable domestic lawn raker, Flymo and Black & Decker have the greatest offering. People are comfortable purchasing these well known brands as they know that despite the more affordable price tags, they do provide reliable products for day to day use. Both Flymo and Black & Decker offer a competitively priced electric lawn raker at around the £70 mark – if you are looking for simple domestic use on an average sized garden either of these products are a safe bet (both are listed on the where to buy page of this website).

The more mid-range lawn rakers are produced by Draper and Bosch. These rakers are a step above their Flymo / Black & Decker counterparts, offering more powerful components and a range of useful additional features. Coming in at roughly $140 for a mid-range product, these rakers are still affordable and make sense if you are a committed gardener who wants regular use. Draper offer a scarifier and lawn aerator with an $140 price tag which is particularly good value considering its versatility and multifunctional design.

Finally, the premium end of the market is provided for by a lesser known company called Al_Ko. This is a German company who specialise in the production of high quality petrol and electric garden machinery, in particular garden rakers. They offer a range of electric garden rakers which cost between £150 and £300. Needless to say, their products are of an extremely high quality offering more power, durability and control than the cheaper alternatives.

In Summary

With summer on it’s way, now is undoubtedly the time to be investing in an electric lawn raker. There are currently some fantastic deals to be found online, there is something for every budget.

Maintaining a lawn can be a tricky task, and an electric lawn raker will provide you with the helping hand you need to keep it in pristine condition over the coming months..

Laser Line Level – Let’s Talk Straight

With a laser line level, you are getting more than an ordinary level. In other words, it is more than a stick with a bubble in the middle. The level has a laser that creates a virtual chalk line on your walls and other surfaces. This virtual chalk line makes creating a layout, design and other projects easier. The laser line level has very versatile and can help you with complete various tasks.

A laser line level can be used for outdoor, indoor and DIY projects. Most general contractors swear by a laser line level. Air conditioning repairmen use it daily to help fix units. You can use a laser line level to hang up your picture frames or plants. If you are installing new cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom, a laser line level is an essential tool to have. No one wants slanted cabinets.

Laser levels come in different grades. For example, you can get a level that fits into your pocket. On the other hand, some are so big that you have to carry them around in a protective case. The right size level depends on the project you are undertaking.

What to look for in a Laser Line level?

You can find a line laser that comes with different mounts and casings. Line lasers have different ways of telling you that you are not level. Some of them change colors. Some of them use noises to indicate you are not level. It is best to find the right laser level that works for your project and for you. Here are the main features you should look at when choosing a laser line level.

Construction

If you are construction worker or a general contractor, you need a laser level that is sturdy and very durable. You will be hauling it around to various sites. Your level needs to withstand the usual wear and tear. Your best option is to go with laser levels that are constructed from hard plastic and come with protective casings. These line levels have a minimum of 10 hours of battery life. That is important for job sites that do not have a reliable source of electricity. Most laser levels have an average of 12 hours of battery life. You can use simple AA or AAA batteries. It depends on what model you buy.

The next consideration should be on the mounting and stabilizing equipment. You can find a laser level that comes with a tripod. The tripod provides pinpoint precision. Some line lasers come with suction cups attached to the back. Wall-edge mounts are another options. Each option has a set of pros and cons. You should buy laser levels that come with more than one mounting option.

Performance

Laser line levels are more than your standard lasers. Laser levels have perfect precision. They project a displace that has a long range visibility. The best laser levels have a minimum range of 30 feet.  Laser levels have an accuracy of a quarter of an inch in this range. However, this can be altered based on visibility and other extraneous factors, such as pollutants and dust.

Customer Support

If you are construction worker, you know that a good warranty on tools is essential. If you are a DIY person, you will not be saving money if you have to keep buying the same tools over and over because something went wrong. That is why it is always best to have a warranty for your line laser levels. You can get a warranty that lasts a year or three years. Even if you buy the best quality laser line level, you need to have a warranty.

Construction sites are crazy. Anything can fall on and damage your laser level. If you are a novice at DIY projects, a warranty will be your best friend so do not be afraid to take advantage of your warranty or a hotline for support on how to use the laser properly.

You should always be aware of your options when you purchase a new tool.

Laser line levels are nifty tools that you can use for large or small construction projects. It is easy to use for a DIY, and it is convenient and time efficient for a professional.  Line laser levels offer you assistance in creating beauty within your home and yard.