How Healthy is Your Carpet?

Our last post discussed some of the health risks associated with using cleaning products and chemicals in your home. You need to be careful what type of products you purchase to care for your home in order to protect the health of your family. But what about other materials and items in the home? Do others pose health risks as well?

One area of the home that can cause health issues is the carpet. The carpet in a home is subject to constant wear and tear and exposure to germs, bacteria and toxins from the bottom of shoes, dust settling to the ground and animals in homes with pets.

Everything that reaches the surface of carpet is trapped there permanently until removed by a vacuum or a professional carpet cleaning service able to eliminate dirt that is deep and below the surface of the carpet.

But in the meantime, various bacteria and dirt builds up in the floor meaning it is very unhealthy during that time. This leaves the question, how healthy is your carpet and what can be done about it?

WHAT’S IN YOUR CARPET?

DUST MITES

You carpet is warm and humid at times. This makes it the perfect living space for dust mites and other allergens. Dust mites love humid places and dust mites feed on dead skin cells from humans. As our skin sheds it falls to the carpet where dust mites can then feast on it before breeding and multiplying in your home.

PET DANDER

If you live with a pet, there will be various oils and pet dander the animal secretes and sheds from its body. All of this will eventually settle into the carpet where it will be trapped in your home. If possible, try to create comfortable spaces for your pet in rooms that do not have carpet in order to reduce the amount of pet dander in carpet.

TOXINS

The bottoms of our shoes contain several types of manmade and organic toxins and compounds that can be harmful to our health. The bottoms of our shoes bring toxins from pavement and cement as well as germs and bacteria from public restrooms and other public places into our home where the toxins then rub off into the carpet.

HOW TO ENJOY HEALTHY CARPET?

Your carpet can be healthier if you institute a few techniques:

  • Remove shoes before entering your home so that none of the toxins and bacteria on the bottoms of the shoes reach the carpet or interior of your home.
  • Don’t allow pets in rooms with carpet and instead create a bed or comfortable area for them in tile rooms or rooms with hardwood floor.
  • Vacuum heavier traffic areas one time each day and other areas at least 2-3 times each week at a minimum.
  • Schedule deep carpet cleaning to remove the germs and toxins below the surface of the carpet. We use Chem-Dry near us. Here is their website: chemdrybexarco.com

Follow these tips and it will help to reduce the amount of toxins in your home’s carpet and create a healthier home for you and your family to enjoy!

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Health Risks of Cleaning Products

cleaning products

Maintaining cleanliness in your home and office premises is of utmost importance. It is not only to keep the place clean and away from germs but also to maintain healthy surroundings. But the products that you use for cleaning can be dangerous for your family and can even affect brain development in children.

Hence it is not only significant to keep your house ‘clean’ but also ‘green’ by using quality cleaning products. You should always look for labelled products and then invest in those which are certified and safe from all sorts of health hazards. Here are some of the health risks which these cleaning products can cause

Respiratory irritation: The cleaners contain some artificial components which give them sweet smell but contain powerful solvents which can cause respiratory irritation and can even cause lung cancer. The artificial smelling agents which we eventually smell are not a healthier choice for our lungs. Ammonia is one of those artificial components and is really harmful for elderly people with breathing problems and people suffering from asthma.

Damage to liver and kidney: Some cleaners contain butoxyethanol which can cause sore throat when inhaled. If the quantum of this component is high then it can also lead to diseases pertaining to pulmonary arteries and severe damage to liver and kidney. Window cleaners especially have this component because of its high cleaning properties.

Skin rashes: You must already be aware as to how chlorine can cause severe tanning and also lead to rashes on your body. Since chlorine is present in almost all the water sources to prevent the water from bacteria, it can cause chronic and acute health risks. It can damage your skin and also act as respiratory irritant. So before putting chlorine while bleaching the clothes, think twice. Use chlorine free and oxygen rick bleach powder so that you can protect your family from these acute risks.

Cancer or hormone disruption: Many all-purpose cleaners contain such agents which can cause problems like cancer and hormone disruption. One of the compounds is believed to reduce sperm counts in men. These harmful and toxic ingredients in the products are inhaled and thus get mixed up with the blood which harms the entire structure of the body. It has been concluded by many researches that one-third of substances used for increasing the fragrance of the product are toxic.

Eyes Burning and choking: Acidic commode cleaner, drain cleaners and kitchen grime cleaners can cause burning sensation in eyes and skin and if ingested then they can choke your throat and oesophagus like no other. They contain toxic substances which cause indoor pollution and are thus harmful for you and your family.

This proves that cleaning agents which we believe and assume are safe are dangerously toxic. So switch to eco-friendly cleaning products as there are wide array of products in which you invest to keep your home sparkling and sweet smelling. You can use diluted vinegar instead of using artificial cleaning agents and search for other home-made cleaning solutions which are safer and more natural.

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Types of Caulk

 

You will need to use caulk for several different types of home repair projects.

There are several types of caulk available for purchase and you want to be sure to use the right kind for the particular project you are completing.

You will also need to purchase a caulk gun before you will be able to use the various caulks from this post. You can purchase a caulk gun at your local hardware store or online. It is a must-have tool for amateur handymen and DIY enthusiasts and it isn’t very expensive to buy a new model.

Here is a list of some of the various options for caulk:

PAINTERS CAULK

This is arguably the most common caulk used for general home repair purposes. The caulk is made of acrylic latex. You use this caulk to cover small holes in drywall or on wood. You spread the caulk onto the surface and then let it dry in 1 hour. You can then wipe away the excess and paint over the caulk.

VINYL LATEX

This a more durable latex caulk good for use outdoors. The caulk is as easy to clean up as latex and will typically last much longer.

TILE SEALANT

This type of caulk is perfect for tile floors and bathtubs and showers. You spread the caulk directly over the tiles and the grout and then wash away the excess after it dries and settles.

PURE SILICONE

We recommend this type of caulk for showers and bathtubs. This caulk creates an extremely tight seal and is mold-resistant. You cannot use this caulk on wood or drywall though and it is difficult to clean up when you are done with the project.

MORTAR REPAIR

This caulk is used for concrete and pavement repair. You squeeze mortar caulk into cracks and gaps in pavement and concrete for a fresh seal. The caulk is flexible and durable for outdoor use.

FIREPROOF CAULK

We recommend this caulk for use around plumbing and electrical wires. Apply this caulk to woodwork frames and interior construction frames to prevent flames from occurring near or around insulation and wood construction.

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Leave these 5 Home Repair Projects for Professionals

roofer

Yes. This is a DIY home repair blog. But even we admit that some repairs and projects are better left for professional services. In the end, you want the job done right. Even more important, you want the job done safe.

In order to ensure this happens, there are some home repair projects we recommend you hire a professional for:

Exterminator

If you have an infestation in your home, we recommend you hire a professional California exterminator. This is because the chemicals necessary to eliminate insects in and around your home are often very toxic. These chemicals need to be used carefully and ideally by someone with the proper training and years of experience to ensure they’re applied correctly and safely. The chemicals are neither safe to touch nor breathe in for too long.

The other reason is some of the insects themselves are dangerous. This includes bees and hornets. Some hornet and bee attacks can be deadly if you do not handle the situation properly.

Electrician

This is pretty straightforward. Electricity is extremely dangerous and shouldn’t be messed around with unless you are 100% certain you know what you are doing. If you have any doubt, we recommend you hire an electrician in California. The cost saving of doing the job yourself won’t come close to covering hospital bills if you are electrocuted during the project.

Roofer

You need to be very careful when working on a roof. You will have limited balance and one false move can lead to a very serious injury. The other reason to hire a professional roofing company is to ensure your roof is insured by your home insurance provider. If something happens and your provider discovers you did not hire a professional for the repair of the roof, the odds are the damage will not be covered.

Carpet Installer

If you just bought new carpet you know it is not cheap. Don’t you want to be positive it is installed correct to get the most out of your investment? If carpet is installed wrong it will deteriorate quickly and often leads to carpet bubbling and frays. The same theory applies to hiring a professional carpet cleaner in California.

Your carpet is simply too expensive not to ensure it receives professional installation and routine cleaning from a local company. Amazing Care Chem-Dry explains why hiring a professional carpet cleaner is so important.

HVAC

Your furnace requires annual maintenance checks and routine repairs in order to ensure it performs at its best and is safe for your home. If your furnace produces dangerous gases it can be very bad for you and your family. A furnace is a major investment that needs routine audits from professionals in order to ensure it functions correctly and safely in your home.

It’s OK to hire a professional for some home repair projects. We hire professionals for our home all the time! The more projects you complete on your own the more money you have to hire companies for some of the services we listed above.

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How to Use a Chainsaw

chainsaw

A chainsaw is a great tool. You can use one for cutting down trees in your yard and trimming branches and other outdoor projects. The downside of chainsaws is that they’re very dangerous tool. You need to know the proper way to use a chainsaw to be 100% safe at all times. Learn how to use a chainsaw and maintain one in this helpful post from ODC Home Care Services:

Before you ever turn on your chainsaw you should read the manual from the beginning to the end. The tool is complicated and you will want to understand all its features. Because of the dangers involved in using a chainsaw, you want to be sure you understand all its features.

You should always follow the safety recommendations from the manufacturer. If you have questions the manual doesn’t answer, visit the manufacturer’s website for more information on how to use they’re model of chainsaw.

You need to wear the proper clothing and safety gear when using a chainsaw too. This includes safety goggles, ear covers, long pants, gloves, steel-toe boots and a hard hat if possible. There will be debris from the wood flying around and you don’t want it in your eyes or striking you in the process of cutting down a tree.

To start a chainsaw with a cold engine, lay it on flat ground. Then push the chain brake forward until it engages. Pull the choke control out to the “ON” position and press the decompression valve a couple of times. Then press the primer bulb four to six times.

Place your left hand on the main handle and then place your right foot in the rear handle for stability and support. Now pull the cord one or two times and push the choke in. Pull the cord again then squeeze the throttle quickly to disengage the high idle of the chainsaw. To stop the chainsaw, just turn “OFF” the ignition switch near the rear.

For cutting with the chainsaw, grab the front or top handle with your left hand and the rear handle with your right hand and lift the chainsaw. Get in position with your legs spread apart for stability and pull back the chain brake. Then press the throttle to start the saw. The chainsaw will cut best when the engine is running at full power.

You want to cut using the backend of the saw and not the front. If you cut with the front end of the saw, kickback can occur and that is very dangerous. Safety comes first at all times when using a chainsaw.

You want to cut at waist level. Never cut with the saw above your shoulders. Don’t cut to close to the ground either. This can also cause kickback. You should also position yourself to the side of chainsaw when using it. Don’t stand directly over the blade.

You can cut upward or downward with a chainsaw depending on your current needs.

You should regularly maintain your chainsaw. Inspect the bar often and clean it. Check the air filter often too and clean and replace it if necessary. Also ensure the throttle and chain brake work correct.

If the saw needs to be sharpened, disconnect it from the chainsaw first. You should sharpen the blade regularly for the chainsaw to perform at its best. You will need to replace the blade entirely after you have owned the chainsaw for awhile.

We hope this post provided the information you needed to understand how to use a chainsaw. Good luck and please be careful!

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Tips to Ensuring an Organized and Clean Kitchen Countertop

The kitchen countertop is one of the key features in your kitchen space and is mostly used when preparing food. If you have kids, this is the place they are most likely to sit as they do their homework or just watch you as you prepare the food. It may also serve as a place where you guys gather for entertaining during weekends.

You realize that it serves more than just one function hence the need to ensure it’s always clean and well organized for aesthetics and your family’s health as well. Here are tips that will help you ensure a functional, clean and well organized kitchen countertop.

Refinish your Kitchen Countertops

The more you use your kitchen countertops, the more they wear and start looking old. It doesn’t matter if you’ll use the best cleaning products available, understand that a worn and old looking countertop cannot come back to life again. You don’t have to worry about replacing your countertop since you can consider a cheaper option of refinishing it. The cost of refinishing your countertop will depend on the type of finish used but it will cost you less that replacing the entire countertop.

Know your Countertop Material

It’s always important to understand what material you’re dealing with so that you can be sure of the best solutions that will effectively clean the countertop. There are different cleaning solutions each designed to work on a specific material. Most cleaning solutions might work with a glass countertop but this might not be the case with laminate countertops and ceramic tile countertops. There are precautions to be observed when cleaning these materials as well.

Come up with a Maintenance Schedule

No matter the material of your countertop, you need to maintain and take care of its look and cleanliness on a regular basis. Come up with a maintenance schedule that will help you clean your kitchen countertop regularly and deep clean it at least once every month

Consider using Natural Solutions

If possible, use natural cleaning solutions rather than commercial solutions. This will ensure a clean kitchen environment that will also protect your family’s health. You can prepare your own cleaning solutions using essential oils, vinegar and baking soda.

Don’t allow spills to settle

As much as you’ll always want not to spill anything on your countertop, understand that spills are bound to happen. The problem is not spilling that food or liquid on your countertop. The main problem is allowing the spills to sit. Always clean up all spills promptly.

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