Show MenuHide Menu

Preparing For Home Repairs And Maintenance

February 10, 2014

Before jumping to any major home repair project, it is necessary to make sure that the whole undertaking will be cost-effective and worthwhile. Nothing maintains the value of your house, after all, than a good and timely remodeling or repair.

A good place to start is to look for a reliable home repair service in St. Paul who can give you competitively priced rates for repairs and remodeling. If you have minor works such as window repair in St. Paul or you wish to repair a ceramic tile installed in your St. Paul home, then it is also possible to find companies or contractors who are willing to do minor repairs for a reasonable price.

Home repairs should not be super expensive and painful to your wallet if you and your family prepare for it and allot a percentage of your budget to fixing minor repairs at home and maintaining it. The best way to do this is to have a continuous and systematic house maintenance program.

A good house maintenance program is a plan that covers the whole house and not just objects found in it, like your appliances, or furniture. When you set aside budget for repair and maintenance, include projected costs for repairing the roof, walls, flooring, kitchen pipes, and the likes.

But how much money exactly are we talking about when it comes to covering the whole house? Well, a realistic estimate would be around $2,000 to $4,000 in cash. This budget should be available to cover emergency repairs and large occasional expenses. It might be bothersome to always worry about setting small amounts for this repair fund, so what you could do is set up a separate online savings or credit union account. To this, you can put in some money from every paycheck so that you do not have to end up paying steep credit card interest for a major bill. If you for any other reason end up taking from this account or you had a big expense that came up, replenish the account so that you can always be prepared for any costly and untimely repairs at home.
Another important part of a house maintenance program is having a stable, and reliable team of skilled handymen to back you up and help you whenever repairs are needed in your home. You get to pick your team based on recommendations of friends, family or neighbors or based from your own research about their company. Get a handyman or general contractor who can handle a broad range of jobs. Ask that person and your friends for the names of an electrician, plumber, carpenter and painter. Also, it is better to start with the minor repairs if it is your first time to work with your handyman. This can ensure that before you get them for the big projects, you can see how they work and if you are satisfied with the way they handle repairs.

Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/

Stages Of House Building – Introduction

February 8, 2014

House building is among the most common of human activity. History tells us that at the beginning of days, man used to subsist in natural caves. This was later substituted with caves curved from natural stone, owing to population growth and diminishing of these natural houses. The curved cave was also not a lasting solution as the natural stone for curving kept reducing and man needed a shelter they could easily shape to better accommodate their families as well as wares property and activities. Then came screened houses, with the screen (wall and roof) made out of natural vegetation and mud. This evolution has continued to the modern day when there more artificial materials than natural ones. Designs are more elaborate and natural hurdles have been almost always very easily overcome.

There are various distinct stages of construction of houses, and although they differ from one type of building to another, the function is almost always similar. These can be broken down into the following;

· Preliminaries
· Foundation
· Fabric / Frame
· Roofing
· Shutters
· Fittings and Fixtures
· Finishes
· Services
· External Works

Though not entirely, this categorization has been done in a logical manner, like happens during the actual process of construction. This may however be done in a different way whereby more than one activities can be done concurrently, whether starting or ending at the same time or overlapping one another. In this case, one activity starts while another is in progress. This is however not possible with all activities. A good example is foundation and fabric. As we will see, the foundation carries the fabric. In this way, the foundation has to be complete for its fabric to be assembled. Other activities must be done concurrently as they are interdependent. An example is conduiting for services like electricity and fabric construction.

This integration of different activities in the building process offers an opportunity for saving on construction time as well as avoiding incidences of repetitive work and duplication of efforts. Taking the previous example of conduiting and fabric construction, if a slab is being cast of in-situ concrete (Concrete laid in wet form on site) conduits for services are easily laid before the concrete is laid. This makes the conduits to be safely secured in place forming a neat work as opposed to running services on the surface. The alternative would be to chase (cut) channels on the concrete slab, a strenuous and dangerous task as it may weaken the slab.

In our ensuing articles, we look at each of the categories, what it entails and their roles to the finished building.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6060585

Natural Cleaning – Benefits Of Baking Soda

February 7, 2014

Baking soda is one of the staples of natural house cleaners. No home should be without at least one packet of it. Even if you don’t use it for cleaning, baking soda is good for so many other things.

First of all, what is baking soda? It is the common name for sodium bicarbonate, although it can also be called bicarbonate of soda. Chemically speaking, the formula for it is NaHCO3 and it appears as a white powder that is mildly alkaline. It is important to distinguish sodium bicarbonate from sodium carbonate: the latter is known as washing soda, which also has a range of uses ranging from being the foaming agent in toothpaste to cleaning up bones for display in museums or trophy cabinets. Washing soda is another commonly used natural cleaning product, as it is excellent for softening water, removing grease and oil from cloth, and for descaling appliance such as coffee machines. It is chemically related to washing soda, obviously, as it is a by-product of producing washing soda – which in itself is either a by-product of common table salt or is produced from soda ash obtained by burning certain types of seaweed.

The alkaline properties of baking soda make it an important addition to not just the cleaning cupboard but to the first aid kit. The venom in bee stings is acidic, so it neutralizes the acid and relieves the effects of the sting. The alkalinity also means that it in water is a sure-fire method of settling an acid stomach. It may not taste brilliant but it works. If you find you are using it to settle an upset acidic stomach too often, then it would be best to look for the root cause, however.

However, because it is only a mild alkali, it does not damage the skin – it is less alkaline than soap and much less alkaline than other cleaning products such as chlorine bleach. This makes it excellent for use as a cleaning product, as the skin can stand prolonged contact with that.

And baking soda is very good as a general home cleaner of nearly everything. As it is mildly abrasive and adds to the surfactant power of water (water’s ability to wet and float dirt away from where you don’t want the dirt to be), it is able to get things clean and sparkling but without scratching and scouring. It is readily soluble in water, which means it is easy to rinse away after it has done the job of cleaning. And if a little baking soda does dry on, the fun way to remove it is to spray a little vinegar onto it – it foams and fizzes as the baking soda reacts with the acid. It is suitable for cleaning whiteware such as refrigerators, ovens and microwaves, benchtops, basins and baths, toilets, and even your teeth. It is not so suitable for cleaning glass, however.

Baking soda is also used, obviously, in cooking. While most people these days use self-raising flour or baking powder, it is possible to make your own baking powder from baking soda, or just use baking soda with the right ingredients. When it reacts with an acid, it releases lots of bubbles of carbon dioxide, which makes dough or batter rise and puff up. To make your own baking powder, mix one third of a teaspoon of baking soda with half a teaspoon of citric acid or tartaric acid per cup of flour. Or else just make your scones or cake with something acidic in the batter, such as yoghurt or even a teaspoon of vinegar. Don’t use too much baking soda – no more than one third of a teaspoon per cup – or else the resulting baking tastes a little metallic.

Baking soda also makes a fun and safe introduction to chemistry for children – even preschoolers. Children can safely react it with acids such as vinegar or lemon juice without any risk (you don’t need special clothing or safety goggles to do this). Another fun science project with baking soda for children is to use the purple liquid left after boiling red cabbage as “litmus liquid” – baking soda turns the liquid bluish, while acids make it go pink/magenta. Hours (well, quarter of an hour for small children!) of fun.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4963244

Natural And Non-Toxic House Cleaning Products

February 6, 2014

There are thousands of house cleaning products that populate the shelves in your favorite stores. Some product sure sounds promising when it comes to removing stains, killing off bacteria and everything that you want in a cleaning product. But does it really protect your home and family away from the harmful stuffs? While most products do their job description majority of them contain strong chemical substances that can be bad for you and your family’s health.

Nature never runs out of safe and effective solutions so it’s better to switch el natural to remedy your home cleaning problems.


Vinegar is considered as the all- purpose cleaner because it basically cleans, disinfects and deodorizes. Use pure vinegar or mix them with water if you want to clean toilets, sink, bathtub and the like. Mix vinegar with water depending on your how much you need them. You can use it in the bathroom and other areas in the house for mopping the floor, scrubbing the tiles and removing water stains, etc. It’s also great as a natural fabric softener especially to a family member with sensitive skin.

Lemon Juice

Another natural and this time a fragrant house cleaning remedy. Use lemon to remove stains, soap scum and even hard water buildup. Combine the lemon juice with vinegar or baking soda to achieve a pasty mix. Scrub the stains and dirty surface with the paste and you’ll see good results. Don’t throw the used lemons instead you can store it in the fridge or mix it with the dish washing soap.

Baking Soda

The usefulness of baking soda isn’t only limited as a home cleaner because it is also used in most commercial abrasive cleaners in the market. It’s an excellent deodorizer like lemon so you can also store an open box of baking soda in the fridge to absorb the bad odor circulating inside.


Another versatile house cleaning fix that you can use is borax. Is your china becoming dull? Place your china in a sink full of water and add half cup of borax in it. Wash and dry to restore its shine. You can also use it in cleaning your aluminum pots and pans. Not only has that it also helped kill fleas. All you need to do is sprinkle your carpet with borax and leave it for a few hours then remove it by using a vacuum.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5133596

Natural Cleaning Products Vs Green Cleaners

February 5, 2014

Did you know that there is a difference between Green Cleaning Products and Natural Cleaning Supplies?

In fact, the differences can make a big impact on chemically sensitive people and even to people who have slight sensitivities to chemicals. Why is this? Well it is actually because of what exactly green products are and why they are considered “green.” Because green living is really taking on a lot of momentum these days, many companies are doing their best to capitalize off of these consumers looking for a healthier, safer alternative to the products they are currently using. There are certification programs for green cleaners, but they are private companies so there really are not standardized regulations to call your product “green.”

There are some ingredients that you can look out for, however:

Ammonia – found in glass cleaners, floor or bathroom cleaners. Poisonous when swallowed and a big irritant to the skin or when inhaled.

Diethylene Glycol – found in glass and bathroom cleaners. Poisonous when swallowed and irritating to the lungs.

Chlorine Bleach – found in a variety of cleaners or by itself. Very irritating to eyes and skin and is an environmental hazard.

Triclosan – found in antibacterial cleaners and thought to be contributing to antibiotic resistant bacteria.

DEA and TEA – found in many products and used as preservatives. When combined with nitrosomes can produce carcinogens.

Petroleum based ingredients – all kinds of cleaners. These are products that are no friend to the environment.

Fragrance – air freshener and almost all cleaners. usually contains phthalates used to stabilize synthetic scents and a known carcinogen. Fragrance is frequent cause of allergens in products.

1,4-dioxane – found in dish washing and other household cleaners. Has been found to be a cancer causing ingredient.

Formaldehyde – found in a variety of cleaners. It is a known carcinogen

Many “green” cleaning products actually contain some of the ingredients above. Many products are labeled as being green, just because they are safer compared to the other traditional products in that category. Some people even discredit Green Seal for their licensing practices, saying that they aren’t stringent enough with their licensing requirements. They have their own licensing guidelines and of course, many of us would prefer those guidelines to be stricter. You must keep in mind that there is a wide spectrum of “green.” One other widely respected licensing organization that is picking up a lot of momentum is the EPA’s own program called Design for the Environment (DfE). These companies are recognized as taking alternative manufacturing routes to create effective products while being safe for us and the environment.

So how do all natural products differ from green products? Well, they are all natural!!! Natural cleaning products are produced from all naturally occurring, easily replenished, ingredients. These products are completely biodegradable and 100% non-toxic. You can be completely sure that you are taking the safe route with a natural cleaning product. Why even risk it with a “green” product when you basically have to be a chemist to understand how green the product really is.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2947933

Natural Stone Damage – 10 Tips on What to Avoid With Cleaning & Maintenance

February 4, 2014

Natural Stone includes granite, marble, onyx, travertine, soapstone, sandstone, quartzite, slate and limestone. There are many other types of natural stone, but not as commonly used.

It is imperative to know the exact type of stone that is to be maintained. Stone is natural and may have adverse reactions to certain cleaning chemicals and procedures. Most stones are also natural alkalis and so are dirt and soil; therefore, stone and dirt are attracted to each other which often makes cleaning very difficult. This makes the proper selection of cleaning procedures and chemicals for stone very complex.

1. Don’t use cleaning products on or near your natural stone unless the label specifies that it is safe on natural marble or natural stone (cultured marble is man-made, and it’s basically a plastic material). This includes glass cleaner to clean the mirror over a marble vanity top, or a liquid toilet bowl cleaner when the toilet is set on a marble floor.

2. Don’t clean your natural stone with a solution of vinegar and water. Vinegar is highly acidic and will damage the stone.

3. Don’t clean your natural stone using a solution of water with a commercially available cleaner, unless its label specifically indicates that it is safe to use on natural stone.

4. Don’t use powder cleaners, cream cleansers, generic soap film removers, generic mildew stain removers or harsh disinfectants on your natural stone.

5. Don’t leave spills, especially orange juice, lemonade, wine, vinegar, liquors, tomato sauce, yogurt, salad dressing, perfume, after shave, etc. Wipe up these types of spills right away, even if the natural stone has been sealed.

6. Don’t use standard floor wax or other topical shine agents on your natural stone. It will only take away from the natural beauty of the stone and could lead to more costly and constant maintenance. If you want a shine to your stone, have your stone professionally polished.

7. Don’t apply sealers to natural stone that has not been professionally cleaned. The sealers will trap in dirt and debris that may damage your stone over time. Also, do not use sealers that are not specifically noted safe for natural stone. If incorrect sealers are used, scuffing and peeling can also occur.

8. Don’t place drinking glasses, plants, china, silver or hot items directly on any natural stone surface. Scratching, etching and other types of damage may occur.

9. Don’t damp mop or wipe your natural stone with a cloth right after installation or grouting. While you may not cause any real damage, fine powder most likely left on the surface will be trapped in the water and may leave ugly and hard-to-remove streaks all over its surface.

10. Don’t use any type of green or brown scouring pad on your natural stone. The presence of silicon carbide grits in them will scratch even the toughest granite.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1506021

How To Make A Natural Cleaning Product That Kills Mold

February 3, 2014

Mold is a fungus that can invade a home in any area where moisture accumulates. Humidity, water leaks, condensation and liquid spills provide an environment where molds can develop in as little as 24 hours and become a threat to the surface they grow on as well as human health. Homeowners who want to avoid using chemical compounds to remove this organism can make a natural cleaning product instead.

The biocide chemicals typically used to eradicate this fungus can be just as harmful to users and household surfaces as they are to the mold itself. The biggest challenges include eliminating stains and odor. Using bleach may effectively remove stains but the user must wear a mask while cleaning and the bleach is likely to result in irreparable surface damage.

Individuals who inhale the spores usually develop an allergic reaction as the immune system reacts to the foreign particles in the system. Symptoms include sneezing, wheezing, coughing, sore throat, itchy nose and watery eyes. Some molds produce dangerous mycotoxins that can damage internal organs, cause mental impairment and lead to cancer. Someone with a suppressed immune system can develop deadly infections in the lungs, sinuses or digestive tract.

A simple solution of equal parts white vinegar and water is an organic mixture that simultaneously kills the mold and disinfects any type of surface. Spray directly on the affected area and repeat as necessary until clean. The solution has a strong smell when first applied but dissipates as it dries and eliminates any foul odors.

Tea tree oil is another organic ingredient that has the ability to kill spores and remove odor. Mix two teaspoons with two cups of water in a spray bottle. Apply daily until the area is clean. This mixture has a clean scent and is an effective deodorizing agent.

Twenty drops of grapefruit seed extract mixed with two cups of water is another organic solution that safely removes mold. Users can spray the affected area daily until the surface is clean without worrying about damage to carpet, fabrics, drywall or wood.

Molds pose a big enough threat without introducing harmful chemicals to the environment and making the situation worse. Using natural cleaning products to eliminate this damaging and dangerous fungus is better for the environment as well as the home’s occupants. With a few simple ingredients, homeowners can stop further growth and eliminate the health problems associated with mold.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7383744

Why Should I Use Green Cleaning Products?

November 9, 2013

These days many individuals are asking themselves; “Why should I make use of green cleansing items?” It might feel like it is simply another fad or fad yet lots of people in the cleaning sector and others entailed with the environment-friendly sensation believe that this is just the start of a social change away from the chemicals we utilize in our day-to-day lives. Traditional cleaning brokers contaminate our lungs with carcinogens, storm the durability of our invulnerable system, and subject us to unneeded physical anxiety. They are also slow to biodegrade, usually continuing to be existing in the planet’s dirt and atmosphere for generations. Why after that should we be servants to the advertising power of the cleaning producers these days that have made us think that we need chemicals to cleanse?

Toxicity: The facts …

o A 15 year research in Oregon, comparing women that didn’t function outside the home with females who did, discovered a 54 % greater fatality rate from cancer cells in the females who worked from house. The research recommended that persistent direct exposure to cleansing items played a job. (The Seventh Generation Guide to a Toxin Free Home).

o EPA studies of human exposure to air toxins indicate that in the house air degrees of a lot of pollutions could be 2-5 times, and periodically, greater than 100 times above exterior levels. Cleansing items and many others house products are among the root causes (Environmental Protection Agency-EPA).

o Approximately 85,000 chemicals are in usage today. According to the Breast Cancer Fund, full toxicological screening process data is available for just 7 % of these chemicals, and even more compared to 90 % have never been examined for their impacts on human health. (Breast Cancer Fund).

o Household cleansing items rate amongst the most poisonous everyday substances to which individuals are subjected … most chemical substance brands are not risk-free. Some particularly poisonous house cleaners feature ammonia, chlorine bleach, aerosol propellants, detergents, oil distillates and toluene. Many of these materials not only hurt the skin; they likewise provide off dangerous fumes that impact the person making use of the product and every person else. Signs from ‘the influenza’ to problems have been connected with items we utilize to cleanse our furniture, bathrooms and clothing, as well as air fresheners to keep our washrooms smelling enjoyable (Raymond Francis, M. Sc., Never Be Sick Again).

Making your residence much safer for your family members … Use naturally obtained, biodegradable non-toxic cleansing items. These items have actually proven to clean simply as well otherwise much better than standard cleansing items without the adverse effects related to the usage of dangerous chemical cleaning experts. A few of the major non-toxic cleaning products which are conveniently available feature: Simple Green, Green Works, Melaleuca, and even some house made products. Look for a later article detailing some green cleansing item dishes!

Some ideas to make your home more secure …

1)Open the glass and obtain a lot of fresh air circulation.
2)Be especially cautious of antibacterial cleaning services, all-purpose cleaners, paints, blemishes, aerosol sprays, and air fresheners.
3)Instead use all normally based non-toxic cleaning experts.
4)Fill your house with houseplants to aid wash your air.
5)Avoid the following chemicals: alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), ammonia, antibacterials, butyl cellosolve, chlorine bleach, diethanolamine, fragrance, phosphates, sodium hydroxide, salt lauryl sulfate.
6)Look for products that are naturally degradable.
7)Manufacturers that offer an abundance of information on their products Simply by changing your chemical, harmful cleansing items over to green, naturally degradable items you can conveniently make your residence safer for your family and animals. So exactly what are you awaiting? Go Green!

Three Organic Cleaning services a Maid Solution Utilizes

November 5, 2013

While chemical cleaning items are a superabundant in supermarkets throughout the country, there are lots of harmful side impacts that can come along with using them. An increasing number of people are approaching all-natural and risk-free cleaning products to decontaminate and disinfect their house. In addition, these items cost upcoming to absolutely nothing and could be located in nearly everyone’s residence.

Among the most prominent natural cleaning items is vinegar. This tangy and strong smelling liquid is the most effective versatile cleaner out there, and could be utilized for a large variety of cleansing features. Among the very best aspects of vinegar is that it not only sanitizes the location, but it additionally gets rid of odor. Because it is very acidic, it could liquefy hard elements like soap residue and mold. Vinegar can be used as an all-natural material softener, and is particularly valuable for those that are allergic to store gotten conditioners.

Another exceptional all-natural cleaning service is cooking soda. While its most popular use in the residence is for ventilating refrigerators, it can be placed anywhere to aid neutralize solid, unwanted smells. Baking soda could likewise be made use of as a severe cleaner for trouble areas in washrooms and kitchens. Numerous Houston house maid solution employees go for this over poisonous chemical cleaning experts any type of day.

Last but not least, lemons are another great facial cleanser thanks to their strong acidic degrees. Its most popular usage is for beaming copper and brass components in the residence, but it could also be used on difficult and greasy areas in the kitchen and washroom. Lemons likewise make for a fantastic all-natural deodorizer, and will certainly leave any space reeking citrusy and pleasant.

Contrasting Natural and Commercial Cleaning Supplies

November 1, 2013

Industrial cleansing materials often get the boot in washing publications when it comes to cleaning. Comparably, the distinction in between using organic and industrial cleaning options is the time and effort called for to scrub, having a tidy environment-friendly feeling, and the protection of our health. Organic cleaning may not be preferable for every person, yet it’s excellent to understand the distinctions for natural and commercial cleansing items.

Going natural will certainly usually require needing to apply a cleaner, standing by a time period to allow it take in, rubbing, then duplicating the process up until the task is done. Numerous industrial cleaners don’t constantly need these prolonged periods of time, or if they do they do not call for as much scrubbing up as could be called for if you were to use organic cleansing solutions. Going natural frequently calls for that you spend time making inserts and remedies to tackle your cleansing chores.

The perk of organic cleaning products is that you could typically purchase large volumes of them, like Vinegar for instance, at a fairly inexpensive that will last you for months. Most commercial cleaners might not last as long, the expense may be much more pricey, and there are side-effects and potential health risks they can develop. When utilizing your cleaning services, with all-natural cleaning products you will not have to fret about health hazards or side-effects. It ought to be recognized though that simply since an item could be all-natural does not in any kind of way mean that it is a mild cleaning remedy. By this, I imply that an organic cleansing remedy may guarantee better health, but it may not ensure the complete safety of particular family belongings. In the methods you could induce damages to your fabrics with commercial cleansing materials, you can do the same with natural ones too; lemon as an example can vanish fabric, hydrogen peroxide could create unwanted lightening to carpet if made use of to get rid of a stain, and salt can rust metal and create long-term wet areas. So it’s constantly encouraged to be cautious when utilizing any type of cleansing option, period.

Many individuals discover undesired side effects to their health and wellness when using business cleansing products. Sensitive responses, headaches, and breathing issues are all top side-effects for some individuals when utilizing industrial cleansing products. There are various issues linked with commercial cleansing items such as air pollution, water pollution, ecological and health hazards.

Heaps of various cleansing products with harmful chemicals are being released every year and position even more of a threat to our setting. This is commonly one of the primary factors that all-natural cleaning products are liked over business ones.

On the whole, commercial and natural cleaning products have their cons and pros. Depending on your inclination, your personal circumstance, and the time you can commit to house cleansing, organic cleansing options could or could not be the best course for you. However, if you prefer organic over business and have the time to embed making your very own remedies, then you will certainly have the ability to appreciate the perks that all-natural cleansing needs to provide you and your household.