Improving Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

Modern homes are sealed to keep out drafts. Unfortunately, that means that they keep indoor  toxins in. That is, the air in your home may be more polluted than the air outside. Since we spend more time indoors than our ancestors did, it can endanger our health. Fortunately, keeping healthy indoor air requires only a few simple steps.

 

Maintain your furnace

Do you have a forced warm air furnace? Then you have at least one air filter to maintain. You should at least get filters that block lint, household dust, mold spores, pollen, and smoke. Speaking of smoke, if you smoke, stop. Tobacco smoke dirties indoor air the way it dirties you lungs. Also, be careful about fireplaces, candles, and incense.

Some filters also block bacteria and viruses. Be careful with those, however. The pores are so tiny that they can keep adequate air from returning to the furnace. Put in a new filter at least every three months, the virus-blocking ones even more often. And keep an eye on it. Change it when it’s dirty, not according to the calendar.

 

Use a humidifier

In the winter, the air in our homes can be dryer than a desert. Overly dry air dries out our bodies. We can get chapped lips, itchy skin, and a dry sore throat.

Static electricity more easily builds up. We get a shock when we get close to something metal. Static cling makes our clothes stick to already uncomfortable skin. Unfortunately, dry air feels cooler. But if we turn up the thermostat, we only dry the air even more. Not only that, but air that’s too dry can harm our furniture and the structure of the house.

In the summer time, your air conditioner acts as a dehumidifier to keep your home from getting too moist. But in the winter, you need a humidifier to add moisture. You can get one to attach to your furnace or smaller room humidifiers of three different basic designs.

 

Open windows and doors

Indoor air becomes stale if it isn’t exchanged for outside air. Even modern sealed homes allow some outside air to enter and drive out the stale air. But perhaps not enough.

Even in the coldest parts of winter or the hottest parts of summer, opening doors and windows from time to time helps indoor air quality. Of course, you needn’t keep them open for very long. In extreme temperatures, normal coming and going might exchange enough air.

In moderate temperatures, when you don’t need to run either the furnace or the air conditioner, leave windows open longer.

 

Use houseplants

Most people probably choose houseplants for their beauty. Most people know that plants breath in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. So houseplants keep indoor air from becoming stale.

Less well known, at least some houseplants can remove common air pollutants such as formaldehyde and benzine.

 

Control dust

Now here’s where improving indoor air quality requires some extra effort. Your air filter traps dust, but it’s better to keep it out of the air in the first place. Regular vacuuming and dusting surfaces like end tables keeps the air cleaner.

 

Eliminate volatile organic compounds

Modern sealed buildings lead to so-called sick building syndrome. People who live and work in sick buildings suffer a variety of allergy symptoms. These come not from the sealing of the building, but from volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Certain solids and liquids––thousands of products in all––emit these possibly toxic gases.

Some VOCs come from new carpeting or furniture. Most of them come from products for cleaning, disinfecting, or, ironically, air fresheners. Cosmetics, dry-cleaned clothes, bug-killers, paint, and various hobby products also emit VOCs.

If a product––bleach, for example––stinks, you’re smelling a VOC. The stench indicates a toxic chemical.

Unfortunately, in our sealed buildings, VOCs linger in the air long after we’ve finished using the products that emit them. Concentrations of VOCs are higher indoors than out, regardless of whether the building is in an urban area with bad air or out in the countryside. Indoor air may have twice or even ten times the concentration as outdoor air.

Houseplants and air filters remove some of these pollutants, but it’s better not to turn them loose in the house in the first place.

If you paint, look for a low VOC paint. Alternatively, keep the window open. Put a box fan in the window to blow outside.
Whenever possible, buy new furniture or carpets when you can keep windows open and use an exhaust fan.
Don’t use bleach or other toxic products indoors.
Prefer cleaning supplies that do not contain VOCs.
Don’t use air fresheners.

 

Check for radon

Radon is a radioactive gas, which can cause cancer. It occurs naturally in soil. The interior of your house probably has lower air pressure than the soil. So it can act like a vacuum cleaner, sucking air from the soil.

Well water, too, can have high levels of radon. Running the water releases radon into the air.

Your house probably has some radon in it. If any part of your home is below ground, it has more than it would otherwise. Since you can’t see or smell radon, you can’t know if you have a dangerous level of it without testing. You can either buy a radon detection kit or have a contractor perform the test.

Consumer Reports counsels not to believe manufacturers’ claims that air purifiers take radon from the air. If a test shows a problem, have a contractor install a radon-reducing system for your  house.

 

About the author: David Guion is founder and editor of the respected blog Sustaining Our World. A retired librarian, he served for three years on a university sustainability committee.

How to Maintain a Healthy Garden – 7 Useful Tips

If you are a nature lover like me, then why not create a beautiful garden in your backyard, especially if you have the space for gardening? A garden not just uplifts the aesthetic appeal of the house but also gives you your own zen area to relax. Gardening is a hobby you need to develop as there is a lot of work involved to maintain a beautiful garden. We have discussed a few tips below to help you keep it clean and healthy.

1. Learn Thoroughly About the Plants You Choose

Each plant has different sunlight, nutrients, and water requirements. You cannot water all the plants equally and a few plants may need extreme sunlight whereas others may die if exposed to extreme sunlight. Do thorough research about all the plants you choose for your backyard to make sure you are taking the best care of them.

2. Maintain Proper Spacing

Make sure to maintain adequate distance between the plants as the roots need space to spread. If plants are placed in a crowded manner then the plants will grow poorly as they would compete for water, nutrients, and light.

3. Prune the Damaged Limbs Timely

It is essential to prune the damaged parts of the plant. If not, the plant will divert all its energy and most nutrients to the damaged part in order to salvage it which may affect the health of the entire plant. A wounded limb is also prone to disease that may spread to the entire plant. Make clean cuts that heal rapidly.

4. Use Fertilizers Carefully

It is obvious that you will have to use fertilizers in order to give your plants the essential nutrients, but then you need to be careful about choosing the right fertilizer for your plants. All your plants may need different nutrient combinations to grow better, and using the wrong fertilizer can burn the roots. To avoid these, get a soil test done by a local agency to get the information about nutrient levels and the soil so you know your next steps.

5. Fence Your Garden

An open backyard without a fence is never a good idea as critters, strays and even wild animals like deers can be attracted by the plants you are growing and soil your entire garden. Especially young plants are more prone to danger if not protected from these animals, hence fence your entire garden using metal fencing material to protect it from all large animals and small critters.

6. Treat for Bugs and Insects

Keep checking your plants for any infestation as insect damage is common in plants and if not treated can spread to other plants. There are chemical sprays available for different types of bugs and insects, consult an expert before you use any of those on your affected plants.

7. Keep it Clean and Tidy

An untidy garden will promote the growth of insects and germs, hence occasionally clean the garden to save your plants and also create a beautiful-looking garden for you to enjoy.

Plants are essential parts of our ecosystem and the more we can plant trees, the lesser our carbon footprint will be. Hence consider taking up gardening as your new hobby as it is not just good for you but the entire planet.

Dealing With a Clogged Drain Should You Resolve the Issue Yourself or Hire a Professional?

Dealing with a clogged drain can be a hassle, but it’s a task that’s always best performed as soon as possible after the issue arises. Clear pipes are important not just to the home’s plumbing, but to the health of its inhabitants. Read on to find out when to attempt a DIY repair and when to call a professional.

Clogged Toilets

Plungers are available at just about every hardware store for a reason. They’re helpful tools for resolving minor clogs, especially in toilets. When using the plunger, make sure it is locked to the drain with a perfect seal and try plunging it at least a dozen times. If this doesn’t work, it might be time to call a plumber. Homeowners can check out maplewoodplumbing.com to find out about one local company that can help.

Minor Clogs Close to the Surface

If there’s a bit of hair stuck near the opening of the drain, a home drain auger might be able to get it out. These devices aren’t as strong as the tools used by professionals, though, so they may not be able to get past the blockage. If homeowners can’t remove the blockage using a drain snake, they should call a plumber. Professional plumbers have access to better, stronger equipment, and it’s often motorized to provide faster results.

Multiple Drains Are Clogged

If multiple drains in the home are clogged, backing up, or running slowly, there’s little homeowners can do about it by themselves. Don’t bother with DIY fixes. The blockage is almost definitely too far down. A plumber with high-tech equipment and professional training will be able to locate and resolve it quickly, but DIY methods for removing it will likely prove ineffective and frustrating.

Built-Up Soap or Grease

If there’s soap built up in a bathroom drain or grease in a kitchen drain, homeowners may be able to remove it themselves by pouring boiling water down the sink. Try pouring it in three stages to give the water time to work through the clog, or use baking soda and vinegar before pouring in the boiling water to maximize its effectiveness. If that doesn’t work, or if it works for a little while but the clog comes back, call a plumber.

Repeated Clogs

Even if one of the DIY methods mentioned above works perfectly the first time, they aren’t fool-proof, and they don’t address the underlying plumbing problems. If one or more drains keep backing up, call a plumber to inspect the home’s plumbing system. He or she may be able to suggest ways to prevent future issues.

What About Chemical Drain Cleaners?

Homeowners may be tempted to use chemical drain cleaners to resolve their plumbing issues, but they shouldn’t give in to the temptation. They’re bad for the home’s plumbing, residents’ health, and the environment. In houses with septic systems, using chemical drain cleaners can even cause the system to stop working entirely.

If baking soda and vinegar, boiling water, plungers, and home drain augers don’t resolve the clog, a chemical drain cleaner won’t either. All it will do is cause homeowners more problems.

The Bottom Line

Minor clogs can sometimes be resolved at home using common tools and products like baking soda, vinegar, and plungers. Serious clogs that can’t be broken up, keep coming back, or affect multiple drains are best handled by professionals.

Effective Ways on How to Detect a Hidden Leak In Your Plumbing

Water leaks can result in major problems in your property, especially when it’s left unnoticed. Hidden water leaks can cost you hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars yearly! This is because, in addition to your water bills rising, the water damage costs increase the more you leave the leaks to become a more serious issue.

That’s why you need to monitor your plumbing and watch out for any signs for hidden leaks you can repair immediately. Read on as I show you the different ways you can detect hidden leaks in the plumbing.

How to Detect Hidden Leaks In the Plumbing

You don’t need to be an absolute expert in your plumbing to know if you have a hidden leak. Watch out for these signs that indicate hidden leaks so you can head to a plumber Brisbane to have it repaired immediately!

1. Monitor the Water Meter and Bills

The best way to tell if there are any water leaks is to check your water meter. Switch off all the water in the house, shutting off all faucets and ensuring no appliance is running. Watch the meter and see if it changes. 

If it changes, then there is a quick-moving leak. If not, check back after two hours, and when you notice changes, it indicates a slow leak.

Check your water bills as well, as a rising water bill despite having similar washing habits can indicate a leak. Compare previous water bills and see if there is a steady increase. You can also check your water usage to see if it looks like the household has been using even more water lately even without changing anything.

2. Check the Faucets

The source of water leaks can come from your faucets, usually coming from worn rubber washes. Check if there are any leaks from the faucet, or if you can, open it up and see if you see anything wrong. Fortunately, you can easily replace and repair faucet parts yourself with the proper knowledge and equipment you can find from hardware stores. 

3. Detect Water Leaks From the Toilet

Another culprit is the toilet, and a leak one can waste hundreds of gallons of water! Check if there’s a leak by adding a few drops of food coloring to its tank. You can also use dye tabs from the hardware store.

Allow the coloring to saturate the water, waiting for half an hour without flushing. If colors come through the tank and to your toilet bowl, there may be a leak.

Furthermore, your toilet may have a leak if you have to jiggle its handle to avoid the toilet from running. There may be an issue with the chain sticking and/or flush bar.

4. Visual Inspections

You can perform a visual inspection of your home beyond your usual appliances, faucets, and toilet. Leaks that come from plumbing inside your walls or ceiling go unnoticed usually and only repaired when it’s too late. You can stop these leaks with simple regular visual inspections. 

Check the walls and ceiling of all the rooms. If there are unusual discolorations or staining, there might be a leak. Also watch out for any mold or strange dips form the walls or ceiling, which is also a cause from water leaking.

5. Underground and Exterior Water Leaks

Outdoor and underground water leaks are costly to repair, so watch out if some areas of your yard are softer or darker than the rest, or unusual water flow from the driveway. If one area stays wet despite dry spells or puddles that look out of place, this indicates underground leaks.

6. It’s Common Sense!

Besides the tips mentioned above, you can also check other parts of your home. You should be more vigilant if you have a home that’s over 25 years old. The plumbing system is already on the declining stage of its life expectancy by that time. 

Regularly check the backs of your cabinets, as well as under basins if there are any foul smells or mold, which indicate leaks. Check the connections of your water heater, pumps, washing machine, dishwashers, and other appliances for discoloration or oxidation, another sign of slow leaking.

Wrapping It Up

When you detect water leaks early, you can save a lot of money and prevent disaster at home! Fortunately, it isn’t that difficult to detect leaking, whether hidden or not. You simply need knowledge and time to monitor your water and plumbing performance. 

I hope that these ways to detect hidden leaks in the plumbing helped you out! Don’t wait any longer and take a look at your plumbing and water flow to see if your home may have hidden leaks.

Would you like to ask any questions or share your knowledge of hidden water leaks? Share it in the comments section below, all your thoughts are much appreciated!

How to Practice Sustainability when Working From Home

If you’re among those who are learning to work from home all of a sudden, then all of your normal routines have probably flown out the window. You may be eating different types of foods, trying to keep your kids entertained, educated, and fed while you work remotely, and trying to manage your mental and physical health.

One thing that can easily get neglected as you change routines, though, is sustainability. We can’t forget that in addition to living in a world experiencing a pandemic, we’re also still battling climate change and its disastrous consequences.

So how can you find balance? How can you stay sustainable, safe, and productive when working from home? Here are some tips to get you started.

Before You Stock the Shelves with Sustainable Food, Make Sure Your Kids Aren’t Allergic!

With grocery stores experiencing shortages, your normal options for feeding your family might not be accessible. If you’re trying to stock your shelves with sustainable food, you might be looking at new products and meal solutions for feeding a house full of people three meals a day.

It’s important to remember, though, before you add a bunch of new sustainable food to your shelves, to check for allergens that might affect your family. About 7.6% of children have a food allergy in the United States, and some of them experience severe reactions. Not only are allergic reactions to food very scary, but medical care can be more difficult to access during a pandemic.

Healthy food is important for wellness in your household, but so is safety. Research products before you buy them and keep an eye out for the eight most common allergens that affect children. You don’t want to buy a bunch of food only to find your family can’t eat it. That’s not sustainable at all!

Support Companies That Are Sustainable and Socially Responsible

Companies are facing enormous challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many small businesses are unlikely to survive the sudden loss of income caused by social distancing.

In these desperate times, it’s more important than ever to support businesses that practice effective corporate social responsibility and commit to sustainability. Without support from consumers, they may not be able to bounce back once things start to return to normal.

Show your support by shopping from your favorite sustainable businesses online or buy gift cards for future use. You can also help by encouraging friends and families to shop from these kinds of businesses as well.

Every Work Space Needs Plants – Just Make Sure Your Watering Practices Are Sustainable

Working from home can be tough, especially when you’re not used to it. One of the ways you can make your workspace and home brighter is by adding some sustainable decorations, like plants. Plants can help improve your mood and can even spice up your meals if you choose edible varieties.

With that said, it’s important to make sure that you’re caring for your plants sustainably, both indoors and out. Reducing your dependency on the hose and tap to water your plants is a smart solution for you and the planet. Consider putting up a rain barrel or even just a few small containers outside for collecting water that you can use to keep your plants happy and healthy.

Consider Practicing an Eco-Sabbath

If you’re feeling helpless about practicing sustainability, then it can really help to regain some sense of control, even if just for a day (or an hour). An eco-Sabbath is a predefined period of time where you avoid using resources. This includes anything that runs on electricity (and electricity, period), cooking (which uses energy), and purchasing.

Eco-Sabbaths might not be realistic for your family, but they can be a great way to pause and reflect while reducing your impact at least a little bit. Try a short Sabbath at first and work your way up to a day-long Sabbath once a week. It’s an opportunity not only to use fewer resources, but to read, write, and spend time with your family while shutting out electronics and other distractions.

Sustainability, Uncertainty, and a New Way of Life

The pandemic has upended life as we know it, and there’s a lot of uncertainty in our world right now. That doesn’t mean you have to give up on sustainability, though. Think of the wins—you’re probably driving less, eating out less, and spending less by working from home—all of which helps the environment. The economic impact may be devastating, but the silver lining might be a more sustainable world for a little while.

Ideas to Embrace Nature and Go Solar!

The world’s revolutionizing and solar energy is helping us all to adopt an environmentally friendly life! With coal and water under the threat of extinction and electricity bills surging up higher, the sun is actually a God sent blessing for the world. It’s freely available and is inexhaustible (Bless the Sun!). The experts have utilized this free energy wisely enough and harnessed it to gift us solar powered products and gadgets.

The solar powered gadgets are nothing short of magic in our lives today. You can utilize them for long and don’t even have to worry about paying the bill for the same. And if we add to the benefits, you can actually be paid by the State (in some places) if you own solar panels in your property! So, isn’t solar energy a great inclusion in our lives? And we could actually benefit from it more if we utilize its different ways in our day to day life!

Ø A list of best solar powered devices for your regular lifestyle!

Gone are the days when solar energy was looked upon hesitantly and people used to shy away using the same. Today, you’ll see almost everything utilizing solar power and operating excellently everywhere. Below, we have listed some tips which can bring that magic of the power of the sun to your daily domestic life better and cut down your electricity charges too.

o Solar panels — There are lots of cheap solar panels available in Melbourne via Wattsup Solar and Electrical, which provides you economical options that last for decades. These can be easily put up on your roofs and you can cut down your electricity bill to an admirable all-time low. And as said above, you may even get paid for the amount of energy you conserve through your panels.

o Solar water heaters — Most people nowadays complain about the high usage of electricity and gas used to heat their water. With solar heaters, you can consume hot water in a chilled climate and wouldn’t need to stress about the hike in your bills because of it.

o Solar charger —Mobile chargers are a must for everyone today! You just couldn’t function without smartphones, and your phones require chargers to operate. You can skip to solar chargers which would really make your life a lot easier. Carry it anywhere, without worrying about the plugs or sockets — simply charge them throughout the day under the sun and fill the battery of your device through them during the night.

o Solar oven — Cooking is a daily chore in almost all households. And most of us carry out this task through stoves and ovens which are either fuelled or run through electricity. While solar ovens are an excellent investment. They work similarly as the electrical one but don’t cost you a hefty bill.

o Solar lights — Yes, we are even fortunate enough to have solar lights in our life. These are a great alternative to the electrical ones, as they provide better brightness and last longer, along with reducing your utility bills.

These are some excellent gadgets listed especially for easier domestic usage. They utilize maximum solar energy to make your life easier. Now, can you imagine the long list of benefits you can enjoy once you adopt them in your regular lifestyle?

6 Ways Industrial LED Lighting Cuts Energy Costs and Consumption Today

There should be no denying that, as time goes by, humanity, in general, becomes more aware of the environmental issues and looks for new ways to remedy the problems that are causing them. That is, by all means, commendable. However, it should be pointed out that, while our gaze is set for the future, we are missing an opportunity to solve a lot of problems here and now.

Take for instance lighting that, according to recent estimation, makes up for 15% of worldwide energy consumption and 5% of global greenhouse gas emission. And all that because a huge number of existing businesses and entire industries are still relying on legacy lighting systems. Let us take a look at some of the ways this situation can be changed by a simple transition to more contemporary industrial LED lighting. 

More light produced by less energy

When we think about the incentives the business world could have for the transition to energy-efficient LED lighting systems, we can’t think of a better argument than the simple fact that industrial LED bulbs are simply brighter or, in other words, produce more light. For instance, while a good old incandescent bulb requires as much as 40 watts to produce 450 lumens, LED bulbs are producing the same output with no more than 6-9 watts.

Translate these numbers to vast industrial facilities and huge office spaces, and you will only begin to realize how much power we are wasting with dated lighting systems.

Incredible efficiency per fixture

This can be considered to be the other side of the same coin but it is still worth mentioning that, although the lumen output of LED lights is constantly high, their efficiency per fixture often goes off the charts. Just how efficient they can get? Well, according to the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, that efficiency can go as high as 80% or 90% more than conventional lighting systems. Of course, you can’t expect the numbers to constantly be that high but smart selection of fixtures can take your business quite far.

LED light is better focused

So, as we can see, LED lights are far brighter and more efficient than their obsolete incandescent counterpart. But, that’s only the beginning of the story. When you are trying to lighten up a factory hall or an office space, your goal is to allow your employees to perform their tasks with optimal efficiency and without too much eyestrain. It is good to know then that the LED light solutions, like the ones produced by BUCK Lighting from Serbia, are not only efficient, but are also incredibly focused and human-centric. That means that the watts you are investing in lighting won’t be used for lighting up the walls, but utilized where they are needed the most.    

LED lights are designed for smart controls

Traditional HPS fixtures sometimes take a lot of time to heat up and reach the full output. Unlike them, LED lights are capable of reaching the optimal lumen output as soon as they are turned on. That makes them a far more suitable companion for smart controls and IoT-managed performance.

Take for instance occupancy and daylight harvesting sensors. If your lighting system takes too much time to warm up, both these technologies are made somewhat obsolete. Sure, the differences may look insignificant at first glance, but after endless cycles of ons and offs, the wastes tend to pile up in the long run.

Low maintenance costs

One of the common complaints the critics like to point out in regards to LED lights is their supposedly high up-front price. This claim could not be further from the truth. Not only has the price of LED fixtures seen considerable drops over the last decade, but the very bulbs themselves last up to 25 times longer than their incandescent counterparts. All these numbers mean that the upfront price of LED lighting systems more than pays off in the long run.

Also, such a long lifespan effectively cuts the maintenance costs to a negligible price. The amount you would invest in new bulbs and maintenance crew can, thus, be invested in other energy-efficient upgrades.

New opportunities for branding and governmental rebates

Although this mention is not primarily concerned with the efficiency of the very LED lighting systems, it can’t be denied that the global business and political climate is making huge steps in the eco-friendly direction. Because of that, making your business more sustainable can open the doors for some pretty exciting branding opportunities and even governmental rebates. Much like in the previous examples, the money you are going to receive can be later spent on making additional energy-efficient upgrades within your company.

We hope these few arguments we have presented above gave you an idea of just how important the introduction of LED lights can be for the future of your business. Putting aside the environmental angle that is only going to become more relevant as time goes by, LED light systems simply make more financial sense than their obsolete incandescent alternative. In a business climate like this, every opportunity to make your business leaner and more efficient should, by all means, be used.

Landscaping Supplies You Need To Create a Beautiful Garden

A beautiful backyard not only makes your house look more welcoming and homely, but it also increases the property value. Some professional landscapers have all the landscaping supplies and equipment to work in your backyard. You can hire professional landscapers, or if you so choose, you can also work in your backyard. If you want the latter option, you may need to make a list of all the landscaping supplies you will need in the process of making a garden. Not only that, but you will also have to order all the necessary tools and equipment. Do remember that some of the materials may be hard to source, or may not be available locally.

Here Are Some of The Necessary Landscaping Supplies That You Need for The Task.

Soil

This is a no-brainer. You need to select a soil that will be good for the plants you are going to plant. Not only that, but the soil should also be compatible with the existing soil in your backyard. You may think that all soils are the same, but they are not. There are different varieties of soil; some are more porous than others. Some even contain toxins. You need to choose carefully. If you can try and smell the soil, if you smell anything rusty or funny, then you should know that the soil will likely damage your backyard and plants. Also, you should check for the soil texture. Good soil will not have any or few stones in it and also will not contain any clumps. When you lay a new soil over the existing soil, make sure that you mixed the soils.

You also need an excellent fertilizer that can replenish the existing soil if it lacks nutrients.

Gravel

Now you can use this to provide support for the paving, or you can use this to decorate your garden and create some contrast with the greenery. Gravels are mostly used in different sizes when they are to be used for paving purposes. When gravel is used for decoration, people tend to opt for similar sized and shapes to create uniformity. Also, you need gravel when it comes to landscaping because if you have a gravel runway in your backyard, you can use heavy cars and trucks without causing any damage to the grass and the soil.

There is yet another use for this landscaping supply. Gravel helps in draining the water from the grass and soil, which means, you will not face the problem of stagnant water and the growth of flies and mosquitoes around your house.

Mulch

Mulch is used as a form of a coating or to finish the landscaping project. Mulch traps in moisture within the soil, to keep the grass and the plants hydrated. Also, it means that you do not have to water the plants and the grass too often. 

Weed is a big problem when it comes to your backyards. There is one way to tackle weed, you can use mulch. Yes, mulch cover is a great way to keep weeds from growing in your backyard!

Sand

No landscaping supplies can be complete without sand. The types of sand that you can get depend entirely on your region. You can find various kinds of colored sand, which also differ in their sizes and texture. What sand you are supposed to use entirely depends on what you are going to use that sand for? Are you going to use it for creating your kid’s sandpit, or are you going to use it for paving?

Conclusion

Landscapers mainly use clean river washed sands that are not contaminated to create standouts, but if you are going to use for paving, you need to use a type of sand that contains a large amount of clay in it to create a good stable base.

Now that you know what supplies you need to create a garden, you should hurry up and source these materials!

Best Tips for Placing Furniture In The Right Place

One of the best things about living in Toronto, other than its quality of life is the condominium life.

That’s right, the city is renown for curbing urban sprawl by mixing housing lots with apartment buildings at a distance from the city center. This resulted in the construction of lofts, condominiums, and apartments.

Apart from being the cultural and business capital of Canada, Toronto is a renowned international center for finance, business, culture, and arts. The Canadian metropolis is a prominent center for television & motion picture production, theatre, and music. It boasts numerous museums and galleries, festivals and public events, entertainment districts, national historic sites, and sports activities.

In addition, the city attracts more than 43 million tourists each year thanks to the CN Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere. Toronto is home to Canada’s major broadcast networks, media outlets, businesses, and financial institutions.

It is no wonder that the city attracts people from Canada and all over the world.

Torontonians have been buying all sorts of homes throughout the city’s modern history and condos are no stranger. Thanks to robust sales from ad placements of Toronto Condos, the city’s real-estate market has seen robust growth since 1988.

Now, let us move on to living in Condos in Toronto.

Condo living comes in many kinds. A lot of Torontonians went minimalist but maximalism is making a return. Condos aren’t as big as houses hence furniture placement in condos should focus more on movement and ease of living over aesthetics (but it doesn’t mean the condo should look bad). In fact, let us look at these top tips to help condo owners bring out the best in their furniture layout.

1. Form after function

An important factor in arranging any room is understanding the layout as well as reflecting upon how to use the living space. An example would be sofa placement. Two sofas facing each other does look good, but if the sofa is in front of the TV and is needed for watching it, then such an idea isn’t good.

In short, condo residents must determine what should be within an arm’s reach, how much room is needed, and how much space should be between each furniture item.

2. Allow room for flow

For the die-hard interior design enthusiast, an empty room is an ideal canvas to work upon, a blank slate giving a free hand in getting creative. Once the furniture arrives in, residents can arrange it any way they want and even get creative.

But for the impulsive buyer and maximalist lover, this can start feeling overwhelming.

Well, not everyone wants to be a minimalist but allowing room for movement is the best thing to do. Allowing up to three feet of walking space at least between furnishings.

3. Never underestimate the power of balance

Regardless of whether residents love symmetry in design or not, they must understand that balance is important in any living space. They can achieve it by visually counteracting a large piece of furniture with two small furniture items or placing a hanging pendant by a tall floor lamp.

Getting colors and patterns done right in the balance game will help bring the Zen in the condo in no time at all.

4. Never forget in creating a zoning process

In an open-plan space, residents can use their furniture arrangements in creating cozy rooms. They can also designate specific areas for specific use as a separate area for work in a bedroom and a separate zone on the TV shelf for a gaming console.

Placing a rug under a pair of sofas or a group of chairs creates a conversation zone. Likewise, placing a captivating chandelier over a table creates a unique dining area and turning a sofa with its back to the rest of the room indicates a living room.

5. Do not make a seat feel lonely

A cozy armchair is a cozy armchair but there is something odd if it just hangs there lonely. No one is just going to sit on it only. It needs a cushion on it, a surface or a table to accompany it, which can host a cup of coffee, a glass of soda, a laptop, phone or a tablet.

It also needs some light (a lamp or bearing near a window). In fact, a buddy chair is needed too as it is helpful in creating a company of two people sitting and chatting together.

6. There is no need for stacking everything against the wall

You heard it, and it should not come to any resident as a surprise. Small rooms can, however, be treated as an exemption. Even if there is a party in the condo, there is no need to push all the furniture up against the wall.

For example, giving a sofa at least 11 or 12 inches of breathing space can create the illusion of a space that is large and airy.

7. Have a clear vista

When residents wish to increase the sense of space, they must understand the importance of keeping the eyeliners clear across a room. This does not mean being frugally minimalist (because it will be boring and not fun).

Rather, it means paying special attention to things placed in front of windows and those placed in front of room entrances. Other than that, it is fair to play with the height of furnishings.

8. Look for focus

Does every room need a huge lamp, a beautiful work of art or some peculiar wallpaper? It is, however, important to arrange the furniture in a way to make the best use of what the condo has. The furniture must be arranged in such that it gives both residents and visitors a beautiful view of the town from the window, keeping it low to showcase period paneling or both.

9. Do not hesitate in experimenting

Among the best things a room can have, furniture is one of them. A lot of people often get accustomed to one layout and convince themselves that it is the only thing that works well. However, moving a chair, shifting a sofa or changing the bed’s orientation is more than enough to give the condo a fresh new breath of life.

10. No need to be rigid with your condo’s layout

Residents can read all handbooks they like on home improvement, can read all catalogs and can see what others have done. But they do not necessarily need to gobble them all up because they can break those rules with creativity to add the missing sparks that make their home beautiful.

They should let their imagination expand so they can make their condo look great and feel welcoming. Hence, experimenting with the layout is one of the best things to do when placing furniture in the condo.

5 Top Tips to Fix a Broken Water Pipe Outside

Fixing the water pipe outside is a fairly simple task that you can handle on your own and on a budget. Now, there are various methods to do so but the quickest and simplest method of doing so is to use a so-called C-clamp. For this to work, you need to handle two fairly simple preparatory tasks and handle several simple materials and tools. Here’s how you can get this done.

1. Turn off the water

The first thing you need to do in order to fix a broken water pipe is to turn off the water. For this, you need to find either the valve controlling the flow of water to that particular area or the main water valve. Either way, shutting off the main water valve is a simpler solution and a safer choice. Still, for this to work, you have to figure out where the valve in question actually is. Fortunately, even if you don’t know its location, finding the main water shutoff valve is a fairly simple task.

2. Drain the pipe

Just because the valve is off, this doesn’t mean that the pipe is not completely empty. So, turn on the tap or fixture that’s connected to the problem and wait until all the water comes out. This won’t take long and it can make your job so much easier. The key lies in knowing your home’s plumbing or just visually tracking the pipe through your property.

 

3. Place a piece of rubber over the area

Once the water is off, you need to seal the area of the leak. One way to do so is to place a piece of rubber over the area where the pipe is leaking. Keep in mind that these rubber pieces are quite inexpensive and you can even use an item like an old heater hose. This is something that you can find even on a junkyard and, due to the importance of this piece in the overall repair, it’s definitely worth your while to have one ready.

4. Put some pressure on the rubber

The next thing you need to do is fixate the piece of rubber and the simplest way to do so is to pressurize the rubber over the area with a suitable item. In this particular scenario, even a block of wood can be of use. Now, the problem with this lies in the balance, seeing as how the round pipe won’t allow you to put pressure all along the pipe. Instead, you’ll be able to pressure a narrow area, which, if done properly, should be enough.

5. Get a C-clamp

The most efficient way to handle this situation is to install a C-clamp around the damaged area. Ideally, you wouldn’t remove anything described above but would rather find a C-clamp that’s wide enough to surround the pipe, the gasket material and the block of wood in question. Ideally, you would look for the best plumbing services in your area but it’s quite reassuring to know that you can do a lot even on your own. Still, like with any other DIY project the results are never guaranteed.

In conclusion

The very last thing you need to take into consideration is the fact that fixing a broken water pipe doesn’t require too much plumbing experience, sophisticated tools or expensive materials. All you need is a rubber piece, a block of wood, a C-clamp and some tape. The majority of these items are something that every household already possesses, which means that you won’t have to go out of the way in order to prepare your inventory. Still, it’s always easier and more reliable to look for professional help.