When it comes to protecting your home and protecting your family members, there are a lot of things you need to do. It can be difficult to know where to start. But thinking about specific things you can do to protect your family members’ health at home will represent an important step forward.
One of the biggest problems that your home can have that can affect your health is mold. Mold is especially likely to develop in areas of your home where it is moist—like bathrooms and even certain areas of your kitchen.
There are a variety of things you can do to prevent mold from growing and spreading. Make sure you have good ventilation in your bathrooms and that your family members actively use those ventilators. Also, make sure that you have good air circulation. This can help ensure that damp air does not rest in the same place for long periods.
Additionally, make sure that you do not have any areas of your home where water is often left sitting. Check areas of your bathroom like the corners around the outside of your bathtub for still water. If you find any problem spots, figure out what’s causing the stagnant water to collect and prevent against it.
When it comes to harming your health, pest infestations can make a huge difference. Pests bring with them different problems and diseases. If the pests themselves were ever to bite you or your family members, you could have serious serious problems. Cleaning your home and removing odors will help you prevent rodent issues in the future.
If you live in an older home, your home could have been painted with paint that had harmful materials in it that have since been banned. Of these materials, some types of older paint and even tile or certain types of flooring contain asbestos.
Asbestos is a material composed of small fibers that can become trapped in the lungs if they become airborne. Being careful to test your paint or tile before ripping it out will help you prevent painful repercussions for your health.
Figuring out how to care for your family is difficult enough. Making sure your house stays in great shape too only adds to everything. Starting with the above things will help you get off to a great start.
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How to tackle deep-cleaning tasks around the house
(BPT) - You know it must be done, but you just don't want to. It's been on the to-do list for far too long. You may try to ignore it, dodge it or even cover it up. It's your mess nemesis — your least-favorite cleaning task — and you dread having to tackle it.
Not all cleaning is equal
While some people enjoy cleaning more than others, everyone can agree that not all cleaning tasks are created equal. In fact, 88% of American adults have a least-favorite cleaning task, according to a new survey from the makers of home cleaning brand CLR (pronounced "clear"). When asked to liken their least-favorite cleaning task to a person, 33% of Americans said it's like a scam caller. When asked to choose between activities, almost half (43%) would rather go to the dentist than handle their least-favorite cleaning task.
Cleaning during quarantine
Considering the extra time people are spending at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, messes are more frequent and can quickly become bothersome. The frequency of cleaning has increased for most Americans over the past several months, but Americans are, understandably, split on their level of cleaning productivity during this time: 53% have tackled a cleaning task they've been avoiding for years during the pandemic and 42% have avoided at least one cleaning task during the pandemic.
Tips for conquering a mess nemesis
Whether it's soap scum, mildew, rust, stinks, stains or spills, it's time to show your mess nemesis you mean business. Follow these tips to get the job done right:
1) Set a date: It's easy to keep avoiding tasks you loathe, so set a time for when you plan to focus on cleaning and be specific. For example, at 10 a.m. Saturday you're finally giving the boot to that lime and calcium buildup on the shower door. Put on some cleaning clothes, play some motivational music and focus on getting the job done once and for all.
2) Stock ample supplies: Stock necessities, such as sponges, scrubbers and rags, before diving into any cleaning mission. Having the right supplies for the specific job makes tasks simpler. Use proper cleaning formulations for your task, such as the CLR line that has products designed to get rid of the grime in areas of the home, from the kitchen and bathroom to the patio, garage and beyond.
3) Follow directions and use safer products: Always follow the directions on any product to ensure you get the results you want without making the mess worse or damaging the items. Use products that clean effectively without unnecessary use of harsh chemicals. Look for products approved by the EPA Safer Choice Program, meaning they’re recognized as a safer alternative to traditional cleaning options that rely on the use of harsh chemicals to be effective, such as bleach.
4) Rally the troops: Whether it's a big mess that requires multiple sets of hands or a tough mess that requires a few people strategizing, help can make a big difference. Even if you need to focus on the mess nemesis while other people handle regular household chores, this can keep things moving forward thanks to teamwork. Get your partner, spouse, kids or roommates in on the action.
6 ways to improve the time you spend at home
(BPT) - After spending so much time at home in 2020, you might be running out of ideas to keep yourself entertained. If you find yourself with extra time on your hands, you’re not alone. Many people are looking for new ways to improve the time they spend at home. Follow these tips to revamp your space and enhance the time you spend at home.
1. De-clutter to cultivate calm
Make your home your happy place away from the hectic world. Target the hot spots for mess and get organized to regain peace of mind. Do a bedroom makeover to create a space more conducive to sleeping. Whatever you decide, your body and mind will thank you.
2. Binge a new podcast
Though they’ve been around for years, podcasts continue to grow in popularity. While you’re spending time at home, they can make you feel like you’re part of a fascinating conversation. Search for a subject or topic you’ve always wanted to learn about and dive in. And if you’re looking for a device with the latest technology to help you stay informed, check out LG’s newest smartphones --Wing, Velvet or K92.
3. Watch something out of your comfort zone
Sure, you could turn on another season of your favorite show, but why not try something completely different? Choose a topic you don’t know enough about and turn on a documentary. Or choose a show or film from a genre you don’t typically follow and see what all the hype is about. To help you stick with your new favorite, LG’s OLED TVs deliver the pinnacle of picture quality and offer access to the most popular streaming sites so you’ll have a vast library of content to explore.
4. Up your work-from-home game
If you’re working from home, you might be getting tired of sitting at the kitchen table or lounging on the couch. Make your work setup official by finding a designated office space within your home. Customize your space to help with productivity — like swapping your small laptop screen with an LG UltraFine Monitor for easier multitasking and an unencumbered view.
5. Increase your cleaning efficiency
Since you’re spending more time at home, you’re likely spending more time doing mundane chores. Get your cleaning done better and faster by boosting your laundry room setup. With a style-forward design that takes up half the space of a typical washer and dryer, the LG WashTower gives you the freedom to reinvent your laundry space. You'll have room for more storage, a pet wash station, or even a new desk set-up for work or hobbies.
6. Do nothing
When you’ve run out of activities, work and chores, there’s nothing wrong with just letting yourself be. Many people don’t take enough time to decompress and recharge. Take advantage of some downtime to de-stress and relax.
Small and simple actions can help make the time you spend at home more enjoyable. Follow these tips to get the most out of your downtime.
Discover Nature-Inspired Paint Trends for a Calming Home
(Family Features) When it comes to home design, color can change everything. From understated, clean hues and calming neutrals to soft greens and mid-tone colors with artistic qualities, a whole new style is just brush strokes away. With the right color palette, you can transform your space to highlight contemporary trends while creating your desired ambiance.
These curated Clark+Kensington color palettes, showcasing on-trend looks for 2021, are heavily inspired by nature and natural materials like raw cotton, linen, wood tones and soft, peaceful greens. The colors invite the best of the outdoors inside so you can design a personal refuge where you’re free to relax and unwind.
Each of these three collections, assembled by the experts at Ace Hardware, can help conjure a sense of calm and offer inspiration so you can thoughtfully incorporate color into your home.
Any color in these palettes can be selected and ordered from the comfort of your home online using in-store pickup, curbside pickup or delivery from your local store. Start with color samples to test your colors on your walls in different locations and under different lighting then order your gallons and painting supplies when you’re ready to complete your project. Find more inspiration and all the supplies you need to transform your space with paint at acehardware.com.SOURCE:
At some point, most homeowners will find themselves in the middle of a home improvement project. It might be because they're trying to build equity in the home to prepare to sell or refinance their mortgage, or it could just be the desire to make their home suit them better. Whatever the reason, there are some improvements that can really pay off when it comes to improving the value of the home.
A Large Master Bedroom
Having a master suite in the home is usually something of a given these days, but not all suites are the same. The ideal master suite features a comfortably sized room, a walk-in closet, and a comfortable adjoined bathroom. Keep in mind that bigger isn't always better when it comes to creating the most value here. Upscale master suite renovations don't have a high return on investment, so if that's your main reason for renovating, you're best sticking with minor upgrades like replacing the full bath with a walk-in shower. On the other hand, if ROI isn't the only reason for renovating and you intend to enjoy the end result, feel free to go more upscale. Just remember you won't be seeing the returns you might expect.
A Modern Kitchen
People tend to spend a lot of time in kitchens. Upgrading your kitchen to be more modern can be a good way to improve your home's value. Minor upgrades will get you a better ROI than major remodels will, so again it's important to consider the purpose of your renovation. Minor upgrades include things like replacing cabinet and sink hardware, refinishing the cabinets, and replacing appliances can do a lot to transform your kitchen. In addition to giving your kitchen a more updated look, new appliances tend to be more energy efficient. You should see a corresponding change on your energy bills afterward.
Replacing Your Roof
Roofs last a long time, so you don't need to replace them often, but eventually there will come a time when a roof replacement is a good idea or even necessary. You may find yourself needing to replace your roof if it's been on your home for about 15–20 years, especially if it's become weathered. This isn't a project you want to undertake unless you need to, but if you do it can be a good opportunity to improve your home's value. There are a lot of different options for materials to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. Spending more on roofing materials can be a good choice over the long term. More expensive materials tend to be more durable and last longer, which can really help your money go further in the long run.
Curb appeal matters when selling your home. It's what gives buyers a good first impression of the property. The higher the curb appeal, the higher the value of the property. Even if you aren't selling right now, it feels good to come home to a property that has an attractive exterior. You may not think about your home's siding very often, but it can make a difference in your home's curb appeal. If you choose to replace your siding, there are different materials to choose from. Your choice will impact the return on your investment, so you'll want to balance that with the pros and cons of the different material options.
Updating the Bathroom
Like the kitchen, the bathroom is another room in your house you can often rely on to improve your home's value with a remodel. And like other improvement projects, if you want to get the best value for your money and maximize your ROI, your best bet is to go with minor upgrades rather than a full overhaul. You might consider making minor upgrades such as replacing the shower head, replacing the vanity, and upgrading the lighting. This can give the bathroom a more updated, new look that is brighter and more pleasant to be in.
Your landscaping will greatly contribute to your home's curb appeal. It can also have a strong impact on how much you enjoy your yard. It's more pleasant to be in a yard that has been well kept and is neat and orderly than one that has been allowed to grow beyond its boundaries. Avoid the temptation to solely focus on landscaping the front yard. Buyers will look at the backyard, and you'll probably be spending time in it as well, so it's best to pay attention to both.
Replacing the Entry Door
For a much smaller project that still improves curb appeal, try replacing your entry door. Your front door is one of the first things buyers will see, making it an important part of making a good first impression. This relatively simple project can have a huge impact on how welcoming your home is. A steel door offers the best return and can help improve the security of the property. You can boost the welcoming appearance of your home by choosing one with narrow windows on either side that help open up the home and look beautiful at the same time.
Adding a Wood Deck
Decks can add a great deal of appeal to a home, and wood decks can offer you a good ROI. If you have the space to accommodate one, you should consider adding a wood deck to your property. While they can be expensive to add, and proper maintenance will be essential, you should end up recouping a lot of the cost of building it when you sell. Decks offer great opportunities to entertain guests or enjoy some personal relaxation time. Especially with the recent emphasis on gathering outside, having a space to do that will appeal to many buyers.
Home improvement projects are not all created equal in terms of the value they can add to a home, not to mention the return on investment they offer. If you're trying to build equity in your home, your best bet is to focus on projects that will give you the best return on your investment. This will help you get the best value out of your money and maximize your profits when it's time to sell the house.
Read this next: How to Change Up Your Home’s Exterior Design
Most people have driven around in neighborhoods and found that one house that really stands out (in a good way). Whether it's the unique landscaping, the fresh coat of paint, or the quality of the materials, there's something about the exterior design that sets it apart from the rest. If you want your home to be the one that stands out, here are some suggestions you can use to get started.
Give It a New Paint Job
Painting your home's exterior is a relatively simple way to make a major change to how your home looks. To get started, pressure wash your house. Painting works best on clean surfaces. Identify and repair any damaged surfaces. Once you've done that, remove any existing paint that's chipped or loose. Then you'll need to caulk the trim and prime any stains or wood knots. Protect areas you don't want covered in paint such as doors, windows, and lights. Then you'll add one to two coats of your chosen paint color. Keep in mind that you may need to start with a primer, depending on how the color you've chosen compares to the existing paint. Paint the trim and doors, if that's included in your project.
Replacing your existing roof with a metal roof is another way to give your home a unique look. Metal roofs are often made at least in part of recycled materials and are recyclable when their life as a roof ends. They can reflect the sun's heat, making them energy efficient when it comes to cooling your home. They tend to be both durable and fireproof. They're also incredibly long-lasting, depending on the material used. Replacing a roof is expensive, so unless you've got a lot of cash to burn on a new roof before you need one, this is one exterior design project that might be better left until you need a new roof.
If your exterior walls are looking a little shabby, consider replacing the siding. There are lots of different siding materials to choose from, each with their pros and cons. You'll also have different colors and textures to choose from. Finding an option that will give you the look you want to achieve shouldn't be too difficult. Be aware that which material will work best may be somewhat dependent on where you live, so take that into consideration. You'll also want to make sure you understand the best way to maintain your chosen siding so you can be sure to keep it in good condition.
Doors With Windows
Sometimes you don't need to do crazy big things to give your exterior design a face lift. Just changing the front door can be enough to make a noticable difference. If your front door doesn't have windows, consider swapping it out for one that does. This can be a great way to brighten up your entrance way to your home using natural light, and give your exterior a more stylish, classy look. If the extra natural light entering your home causes you concern because of UV light, no need to worry. Low-E glass entry doors minimize UV light that enters your home. You'll be able to enjoy the beauty of the glass and natural light without so much of the UV light entering your home.
Most of these changes are great for during the day, but may not have as much of an impact at night. Getting new lighting for your house, on the other hand, can make your house really shine at night. Lighting your house well can make your property safer for those walking up to it. It can also deter criminals from targeting your house. You can also use lighting to add a more personal touch to your house. Jellyfish lighting is a permanent lighting system that blends in with your home and can be controlled through an app on your phone. You can then customize it with different colors to celebrate holidays, your favorite sports team, or whatever else strikes your fancy.
Try a New Trim Color
Painting the entirety of your home's exterior is a pretty big project. If that's more than you want to take on, consider tackling just your trim instead. Changing the color of your trim can have either a subtle impact, or a rather stark one. The level of impact will depend on the color you choose and how it looks in comparison to the color of the rest of your house. Trim that is more similar in color to the siding color will have a more subtle impact than trim that is more contrasting.
Change Your Landscaping
Changes to the house itself aren't the only thing worth considering. Your landscaping can have a significant impact on how your house is presented to the world. Whether you choose to have a grass lawn, artificial turf, or xeriscaped yard, there are a lot of fun, creative options you can use to personalize your front yard. You also might consider redoing your front walkway. Concrete may be the most commonly used material for sidewalks and walkways, but there are some alternative walkway materials you can use that make your home more unique and stand out.
Add New Plant Life
Speaking of landscaping options, adding new plant life is another great way to change up your home's exterior design. You can use trees and shrubbery to frame your house. Keep them neatly trimmed to ensure that they, and your property, look their best. Add a variety of flowers and other plants of different colors and heights to give your property more color and depth. The possibilities here are nearly endless. Just keep in mind the overall balance of the property to ensure you have an optimal result.
Whether you're preparing your home to sell or just want to change things up, making improvements and changes to your home's exterior design can really boost your curb appeal. While far from an exclusive list, these suggestions can provide you with some ideas for how to get started. You'll be on your way to making your house the one that really stands out.
Prepping your home and family for winter is important—particularly if you live in a northern climate. While you are busy getting your holiday plans in order, you might forget to take care of certain parts of your home. Particularly, areas that—if left unattended would result in significant property damage.
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources you can find online to help you get ready for winter. While you may not have to do all of these, you should look objectively at your home and make a personalized checklist to get it done before the snow rolls in.
One of the first things you should do before it gets cold is thoroughly inspect your heating and air conditioning systems. Many professionals recommend switching out air filters at least yearly—especially before winter. You should also inspect these systems (or hire a professional to do it) if you notice any problems. There are several reasons for this.
First, having clogged filters and poor technology will drive up the cost of your energy bills. This is a result of your HVAC system having to work harder while offering sub-par heating and cooling results. If you want to make sure you have a pleasant winter, get your HVAC system checked out.
Sweep Your Fireplace
If you have a fireplace, you are going to want to clean that as well. Because people use their fireplace most often during the winter, you might not think to clean it until it will cause problems for you. For instance, heat escapes through a fireplace chimney if you don’t maintain it well. This costs you money and wastes precious heat.
The most dangerous result of an unkempt fireplace can do the opposite—it can fill your home with smoke and potentially suffocate you if you aren’t careful. If you don’t use your fireplace often, you might be able to get away with not doing this one.
Cleaning your gutters is a nasty but essential chore. If you live somewhere that is temperate with vibrant trees and heavy snow, this should be a priority for you. Leaves, rainwater, and other things can get lodged in your gutters, which can cause poor irrigation and potentially break them once the snow falls. Make sure your gutters are clean of leaves and other debris.
Though rain gutters are often forgotten, maintaining them can prevent your home from flooding and save you a load of money. Getting it done early will keep it from becoming more dangerous and less icy, too.
Vacuum Carpets and Upholstery
Not everything that you need to clean and prepare for is outside. You should also make sure to vacuum your carpets and clean your furniture. While this is not an issue of home damage, taking care of your property can make your inside more pleasant to stay in once it is colder.
By vacuuming regularly, you can protect your carpet from mold and mildew damage. You can also eliminate food products, hair, and other mischievous things that get stuck in your floor. Taking care of your furniture will also eliminate unwanted odors and improve your home’s livability.
Fill in the Cracks
One huge problem many people face is basement flooding. While you can eliminate some of the risk by cleaning out your gutters and properly irrigating water downhill, you also should fill in cracks in your home’s foundation as soon as possible.
Window cracks and door cracks can let cold drafts of air into your home. In the coldest places, drafts can be horrendous and dangerous to your home’s integrity. If you notice drafts invest in weatherstripping and caulking for your windows and doors. These practices will keep your home warm and happy.
Declutter Your Storage
There is a reason there is “spring cleaning” after a long winter. During the cold months, people find that they are more willing to have clutter in their home. If you develop a mountain of clutter over the course of one season, you might need a system to declutter your home. Starting in the fall can save you some grief in spring.
The best way to declutter is to have a system. Start with an area in your living room, for example, and spend an hour or two there. As you gradually work a little bit each day, you will find cleaning can be enjoyable—not overwhelming.
One of the most important areas of your home to clean and prepare is your garage. Garages tend to be a place where people stick things if they do not have room elsewhere. Because of this, they can be cluttered and potentially dangerous to walk through.
Start by sorting your items into different piles: the needs and the junk. Once you do that, the difficult part comes up: how do you organize this stuff? Luckily, there are plenty of shelf options, storage units, and organizers you can look for to break up your items and keep them organized.
Deep Clean the Kitchen
The kitchen is potentially the most-used room in your home. Family gatherings are also frequent because of the holidays happening during fall and winter. Because of this, giving your kitchen a true deep clean can be a huge benefit. But what is the difference between keeping your kitchen clean and deep cleaning?
The intensity and variety of ways to clean the kitchen sets a deep clean apart. Make sure your oven gets cleaned, sweep behind the refrigerator and stove tops (you will need to move them), sterilize all the counters, sort everything in your refrigerator. These chores will make your kitchen feel better to cook in.
Cleaning your home will keep you happier and less stressed in your own home. While you may not have to do all of these, if you find at least one or two of them to accomplish, you will feel more rewarded and relaxed later.
Whether you decide to organize your kitchen, garage, or fireplace, you should always feel safe in your home. The winter months can be hard if you are not prepared. But this list can give you the guidelines to start based on your home situation.
Read this next: How to Finally Complete the Renovation You’ve Always Wanted
You never know when disaster might strike your area. Even if you live in an area with relatively low threats, your home may still catch on fire, or there might be excessive rain that causes flooding. It is incredibly important to prepare for an emergency so that when the emergency arises, you can move forward with confidence and not get crushed by the panic of not being prepared. Creating a disaster plan for your home can help protect you and your loved ones in time of crisis.
Create 72 Hour Kits
72-hour kits are kits that have all the essentials needed for 72 hours, which include food, water, clothing, and toiletries. 72-hour kits need to be updated regularly and you need to have one for every member of your family so that everyone is taken care of in case of an emergency. For example, if you create a 72-hour kit but don’t need it until five years later, the food may not be good, the clothes might be too small, and the toiletries might have expired. You want to cycle through the materials in your 72-hour kit so that they are usable when a disaster strikes.
Have an Escape Plan
You also want to create an escape plan for your family. For example, in the event of a fire, you want a fire escape route for every single person in your home and a meeting point that’s a safe distance from the house where all of you are to meet up. You will also want to have an emergency contact where you could go if your house were compromised. This may be having established arrangements with a relative who lives an hour away from your family. Besides creating an escape plan, you also want to make sure that you practice it with every member of your family on a regular basis. Keeping the escape plan fresh will help them remember during a time of crisis.
Keep Bug Out Packs
If you know your family may be in danger of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or a wildfire, but you haven’t yet been told to evacuate, it is a good idea to keep bags ready in case you need to flee at a moment’s notice. These packs are like 72-hour kits, but they contain other important things instead of just necessities. This may include passports and social security cards, an emergency stash of cash, your laptop and other necessary electronics, and your wallet. You want to keep these “bug out” bags in easy reach so that if you are asked to leave your home, you have everything you need.
Invest in a Generator
Other disasters may not require you to leave your home. For example, in the event of a blackout, your house isn’t in immediate danger, so you don’t have to leave it, but it may not be the most comfortable place to stay at if all the electricity is gone. For this reason, it is important to invest in a generator. There are many kinds of generators, from portable ones to large whole home standby generators which run on different fuels, from propane to natural gas. You will need to purchase the fuel as well, but fuel can be very economical. For example, propane tanks come in a variety of sizes, so find the one that fits your needs. Having a generator will give you and your family peace of mind that in the event of a power outage, you will still have power for the necessary appliances and lights.
Create an Emergency Fund
As part of your disaster plan, you should create an emergency fund that is easily accessible during an emergency. This fund should be at least three times the amount of your monthly expenses so that you have a bit of a cushion to fall on if you cannot pay your expenses due to an emergency such as the loss of a job, or an unexpected move. Part of your emergency fund should be a cash reserve in case you cannot access the bank or the electricity to your online bank account for a while.
Purchase Homeowners’ Insurance
You also want to protect your belongings. You won’t be able to bring everything with you if you have to leave unexpectedly in the middle of the night, and if your house catches on fire or is struck by a flood, you won’t be able to save everything. For this reason, it’s important to purchase homeowner’s insurance. Homeowners’ insurance protects your home and your belongings from damage. It is a reassurance that your home (which is a big investment) will be protected in the event of an emergency.
Create a Support Network
It is also important to create a support network around you for times of disaster. This support network should be utilized not just in times of disaster, but it should be in place so that if a disaster were to strike, you and your family would have somewhere to turn. This could be, as mentioned earlier, a relative who lives close by whose house you can crash at. This could also be a coworker or a close family friend who reaches out to you and helps you and your family in any way that you need during an emergency.
Know Which Disasters to Plan For
Depending on where you live, you won’t need to plan for all disasters. If you live in the Seattle area, for example, you probably won’t have to worry about tornadoes, but will have to worry about flooding. If you live in the Midwest, however, you will have to worry about tornadoes. You can’t plan for every emergency, but you can create a plan for the specific disasters of your area.
Emergency preparedness means that you and your family should be prepared for whatever disasters may strike. Creating a plan involves many steps, but the reassurance and confidence that comes from having one makes it worth it.
Read this next: Flood Recovery Tips to Get You Back on Your Feet
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