5 Easy Maintenance Tips for Lawn Mower Care

Regular lawn mower maintenance is an essential task in order to ensure your mower lasts you many years to come. Keeping up on just a few quick and easy tasks will increase the lifetime of your lawn mower and ensure peak performance. Most lawn mower maintenance can be done on your own and cost little to no money so it is a no-brainer to heed the advice that follows!

Sharpen the Blade
Making sure that that the mower blade on your lawn mower is sharpened regularly is a simple task and will ensure that your grass is cut evenly. You can either do this yourself if you are comfortable with it or take it into a lawn mower repair shop to have it done for a small fee. According to towayshomeowner.com, if you intend on doing this yourself it is a good idea to disconnect the spark plug wire to avoid the mower potentially turning on.

Clean the Undercarriage
If you are not regularly cleaning the deck or undercarriage of your mower, it is likely to be caked with dirt and old cut up grass. According to angieslist.com, neglecting this simple step can result in the clogging of the mower shoot. Other potential issues that can arrise from this are the corrosion of the mower or the spread of plant disease around your lawn.

Again, it is advised to remove the spark plug wire and/or empty the gas tank before starting this task. Once you have ensured it is safe to continue, use a brush or garden hose to remove any stuck on debris from the undercarriage.

Empty the Gas Tank At End of the Growing Season
According to thisoldhouse.com, unused gas left in the tank at the end of the growing season can result in rust due to the gas gumming up during the colder winter months. Running the mower until it no longer starts or draining the tank ensures that your mower will function as good as you left it come spring!

Change the Spark Plug
Changing the spark plug on your lawn mower once a year will ensure that it continues to start easy and runs at peak efficiency. To do this, make sure the spark plug wire is disconnected and then remove the old spark plug with a pair of pliers or spark plug wrench if necessary. Replace with the new spark plug and then reconnect the spark plug wire.

Clean and/or Repair the Air Filter
Running your lawn mower with a dirty air filter can result in reduced running efficiency and ends up costing you money as your mower burns through gas faster. It is a good idea to replace the filter once or twice a year, whenever it looks dirty, to avoid these issues and ensure top performance.

Keeping up on your lawn mower’s maintence by following doing these simple task will save you money over the course of years in avoided repairs and decreased performance due to suboptimal efficiency. Taking just a little time out of your day, a couple times throughout the grass growing season, is all it takes!

7 Tips for Electrical Safety

Electricity is integrated into almost every part of our lives, and using it without putting in safety measures could lead to damage and severe self-harm. Every year, thousands of people do not use proper procedures when dealing with their electricity at home. When you don’t know how to properly use electricity safely in your home, it can result in some severe injuries and electrical fires that could quickly take down an entire home. By learning and following the below tips on electrical safety, you can easily prevent any injuries and fires from happening.
Getting acquainted with your home electrical panel is of utmost importance. Essentially, the panel is like one giant light switch with smaller switches within it that control the electricity that goes out into your home. It has a main breaker that controls the panel and smaller switches control each room in the home. If some of the breakers trips, you can turn them off and on to reset them so they can go on working properly, however, if it trips again immediately you could potentially have an electrical problem that could cause a fire. Simply have an electrician come out for a consultation to see what is going on!
Grounding your older appliances will protect you from electric shock, injury, or fire. This means that you connect appliances to an electrical neutral so that the breaker automatically trips of there is any type of fault.
If by some unfortunate circumstance an electrical fire should happen, remember not to throw fire on it. Water conducts electricity and would only end up making the fire worse. Remember to instead always use a fire extinguisher to put out an electrical fire.
Always use extension cords the way they are supposed to be used. First, make sure it is the appropriate size for what it is connecting, never connect extensions cords to each other and never put them across doorways or under carpets as it can cause a fire.
Switches and outlets can come loose from the stud in the wall. Any face plates that are warm when touched means that there are existing electrical issues too. If there are existing issues coupled with a loose stud could result in a fire happening and catching on quickly.
Immediately take appliances out of a plug if they are working incorrectly or are causing sparks. If you are cleaning or repairing an appliance, always unplug it to avoid shock. Always cut the power to the outlets before making repairs or investigating anything at all.
Never hire an electrician that isn’t both qualified and licensed. Working with electricity can be dangerous so use someone who is qualified and trained to work with it to avoid any injury or damages.
Electricity is a tricky business! It can be dangerous to work with it, but putting forth these safety procedures can keep you and your home safe!

 

3 Things You Should do to Your Crawlspace Before Winter

Preparing your crawl space for the Winter season isn’t only about keeping it warm. You also need to ensure that moisture doesn’t leak in. This means constantly checking for leaks and making sure everything is airtight. Important components to your home’s functionality is present in the crawl space, so maintaining this part of the home is paramount in keeping your house comfortable.

1. Clean Drains

After the Fall season your drains may be full of leaves. It is important to keep the drains clean in the Winter season. If there is not a clear way for the water to run it will run into your crawl space.

Adding additional drains around the home is a great way to reroute water traffic. Using slanted concrete slabs with drains in the middle is also a good way to keep water out of your crawl space. Simply position the slab outside the doorway to your crawl space. Water that pools up outside the door will flow down the drain instead of under your door.

2. Insulate your Pipes

This is a necessity. You don’t want your pipes to burst during the Winter season. You’ll have to crawl under the house to make repairs during the coldest, wettest time of the year.

There are lots of options when it comes to insulating a crawl space. However, experts recommend foam spray to citizens of Buffalo, NY, one of the coldest cities in the United States.

To maximum heart retention in your crawl space you should use several types of insulation. Place fiberglass insulation between as many boards as possible and staple it in. Use foam spray insulation in all the corners, cracks, and crevices. You can also use foam spray as a sealant around the edges of your fiberglass insulation.

As for the pipes, special insulation is made for pipes. Polyethylene pipe insulation is the best product to purchase to wrap your pipes with. Alternatively, you can use fiber glass insulation and wrap it with plastic wrap and electrical tape to keep it secure.

3. Install a heat source

This may seem pointless after considering no one will be spending time in your crawl space; however, since heat rises, the entire home will benefit from heaters under the floor.

Heavy duty heaters, which are specifically made for crawl spaces, are available for purchase. However, it is pointless to use a heater in the crawl space if it is poorly insulated.

Don’t wait Another day

Winter is upon us, so don’t wait another day to insulate your crawl space. It can save money on your electric bill and prevent the need to replace or thaw pipes.

5 Facts About Direct Mail Marketing

Contrary to popular belief, the digital age has not killed direct mail marketing. In fact, this traditional form of advertising has seen a sort of resurgence in both popularity and effectiveness as of late because of the onslaught of digital advertising messages people are flooded with on a daily basis. The oversaturation digital advertising, whether they be through personal emails, Facebook Messenger, or video sales letters only magnifies the obvious advertising need of the day, namely get creative with your marketing tactics or maybe even better, go old school with them.

If you are doing what everyone else is doing, you are going to get what everyone else is getting. How can you make your business stand out above the rest, despite the fact that almost every form of online advertising today is connecting itself with an algorithmic coldness that makes numbers predictable but leaves the audience feeling unloved?

Direct mail marketing can give you that personalized touch that seems to be missing in today’s cold-hearted digital marketing landscape.

Not so long ago, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), analyzed data pairing response rates between direct mail and email. The stats showed that direct mail receives a higher response rate than does email marketing, 4.4% vs .12% to be exact. This is an amazing fact that puts the “direct mail is dead” belief in the vaults of urban legend.

The following set of facts further illustrate why direct mail is not only far from dead, but actually thriving despite the current marketing belief that if you are not advertising online, you are not marketing at all.

1 – Over 70% of people still like receiving mail offers. This can be attributed to the sense of tangible value direct mail offers appear to provide. In the past, most offers received in the mail were thrown out no sooner than they were picked up. Today, they are swiped away with one click of a mouse or a tap on the screen. What’s the difference? The sense of touch seems to bring backs some human quality that is missing in today’s Internet reality and could be the reason why people still like to see something in their inbox, even if it is just another one of those offers again. At least, they can still pick it up and throw it away with their own hands.

2 – Over 40% of people who receive some form of direct mail advertising visit the website of that company after viewing it. This only goes to show how direct mail marketing can complement online digital marketing strategies. As was stated before, everyone these days seems to be doing some form of advertising online and the one factor they are looking to establish is credibility. When a person receives an actual piece of mail from a company, they feel that the company actually exists – that it is real – and so are more likely to go online and visit their site to see what they have to offer.

3 – 36% of millennials under the age of 30 like receiving something in the mail. Why would anyone who grew up in the digital age of paperless mail enjoy receiving actual mail? It is pretty obvious. Because it is something new to them. As this specific demographic is poised to wield an impressive $1.4 trillion in spending power by 2020, it makes sense as a business or marketer to send them offers they are only happy to receive. At least, happier to receive more than the digital counterpart which they view as “traditional” and “boring”.

4 – Direct mail creates more emotional triggers for purchasing. A study done by the Postal Service Inspector General’s office (OIG) has proven that direct mail ads were more effective than online ads in 8 out of 9 psychological and emotional categories proven to induced a buying response. Simply stated, direct mail ads encourage consumers to take action more so than digital ads and that too the actions most marketers want them to take – purchasing ones!

5 – Marketers spent over $45 billion on direct mail last year. This statistic is not surprising as it is backed up by the fact that stellar ROI’s were produced from such mailings. In particular, catalogs have really gained ground as of late and even as far back as 2 years ago (2016) over 100 million adults in the United States made a catalog purchase of some sort and that trend has only risen since then. As long as people are buying, it makes sense for both online and offline marketers to keep mailing.

Actually, direct mail marketing is not making a comeback because it was really never dead. The attention over the last decade just switched to digital forms of advertisement instead. Direct mail continues to produce higher response rates than email marketing, engages the prospect better, and generates more sales than many of the online advertising methods do. Not too bad for something that was supposed to be dead.

5 Reasons Football Players Crossover in Rugby

When looking at the sports of rugby and American football, it is easy to see parallels. To the layman, the shape of the ball, the physicality of the competition and scoring play similarities can seem strikingly alike. That said, it is easy to understand why players would transition from one sport to the other.
Because these sports are similar, rule differences can be picked up pretty quickly. If an athlete can’t have the career they would like in football, rugby provides another option. In American football, the goal is to take the ball across the opponent’s goal line or kick it through their goalposts to score points. In rugby, points are scored by placing the ball on the opponents touch line, or by kicking it through their goal posts as well. With the general purpose of the game being so alike, making the switch to rugby seems like a natural fit.
The biggest concern with football and its longevity moving forward is concussions. Frequent high-impact plays are producing an alarming number of head injuries. Rugby has shown less potential for these injuries. An athlete looking to prolong their career may want to make the switch from football to rugby. In fact, some National Football League, NFL, insiders want the league to do away with facemasks claiming it would cut down on head injuries.
Another reason for possible transition, is a football player’s potential to excel. In many cases, football players begin training at a very early age and are some of the best conditioned athletes in the world. Even football players who may not make active professional rosters often have the ability to translate to other athletic endeavors. Switching sports isn’t entirely one sided. There have been several rugby players who have tried their hand at American football. The latest being Jordan Mailata, who was drafted by the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles in April.
The popularity of these sports varies depending on what part of the world you live in. In the United States rugby takes a back seat. Internationally rugby can be more popular. The United Kingdom and Australia are two good examples of this. That said, an athlete moving from the United States to another country may have no other choice than to pursue other options.
Another reason football players may want to pursue rugby is that the game is still so new in the States. Players can get in on the ground floor to help develop and steer the US version of the sport for future generations. They can also compete on the world stage as a part of the Summer Olympics. That is a perk that America football just cannot match.
Regardless of the reason, football players are slowly moving toward rugby. Both games have plenty to offer athletes looking to partake in contact sports. It is important to weigh the pros and cons to decide what is the best option for a given athlete.

5 Habits to Protect Your Privacy Online

More people are becoming highly concerned about their privacy in a world that is rapidly growing with online technology. Nowadays, we’re not sure whether or not if our private details have any kind of safeguarding. That’s said, here are five basic ways you can protect your privacy while online.

1. Social media 
It’s very tempting to log on to these sites or applications and fill out forms with all of our personal information. We have to keep in mind that the more information we share the more someone has. Your goal here is to not fill out a social media profile in its entirety. For any applications or software that you have signed up, it’s best to keep your profile barren.

2. Social security numbers 
Providing your social security number can be a big privacy issue and you should lead with caution. If you are filling in information for a bank or credit bureau, then that’s is okay. However, you should always be skeptical when anyone online wants a social security number or a portion of it to verify your identity. However, for other apps constantly asking for your birthday, address and social security number, may be setting you up for identity theft.

3. Passcodes 
You should have a firm bulletproof passcode on all of your electronic devices. It doesn’t matter if you have a household of family members or not, your laptop can easily be stolen or become lost. You should also install applications that can locate your device when you misplace it. All of your devices should have anti malware software.

4. Browsing 
When you are surfing the Internet, it is a good idea to turn on private browsing. This protects you when you are on your computer and you don’t want people seeing what you are searching on. This setting can be found on any major web browser on the market. It will automatically delete temporary Internet files and cookies along with your browsing history after you shut down the window.

5. Google Alert 
It is very wise to setup a Google alert for your name or even family members. This will certainly give you an immediate result of what is happening regarding your personal name online. You are basically telling Google to look for your name or any other information and send you a direct alert.

Our privacy is everything and with all of the new technology coming at us from new companies it best to develop a habit of protecting yourself. Take caution in giving out your entire life in a profile.

These are just a few things you can do on your own. You can protect yourself and your computer even more with a VPN or other security software. It is better to be safe than sorry.

7 Whitewater Rafting Safety Tips You Should Know

Whitewater rafting is an experience you will never forget. This outdoor recreational activity has become extremely popular over the recent years. If you are on vacation or have decided to enjoy a day on the water, you are guaranteed to have an adventure while whitewater rafting. If you are a newbie or an experienced rafter following these 7 safety tips are key to keeping yourself out of harms way while still enjoying rafting.
One of the first rules of whitewater rafting is: wear a life jacket. In order to be completely safe, the life jacket must be worn perfectly. The jacket must fit correctly, and not too loose. A good way to check the fit of the jacket is, it must be snug and not able to be pulled off. All of the buckles will need to be fastened.
Another safety precautions is to wear a helmet. A helmet is part of the protective gear that you should never forget. You can use your helmet for kayaking, and other water sports as well.
A third safety tip is to listen to your river guide. They are trained professionals who will keep you safe while still having an enjoyable rafting encounter. Your guide will give hold a safety meeting before getting into the raft. Be sure to listen closely, they will thoroughly explain the commands.
Another whitewater rafting safety tip is wear the appropriate clothing. No open toe shoes, or bare feet. You can wear water shoes or an old pair of tennis shoes. Be aware of the climate when picking your clothing. If is a colder month, a wet suit would be best.
One more safety tip is to pay attention. If you are rafting and notice a fellow rafter in need of assistance, help them. There could be an incident where someone falls into the water. One reach of your hand is a simple task to will help someone in need.
An additional safety tip for whitewater rafting is to stay calm. Keep yourself in the raft by follow the commands. Most likely the current will be rapid, take a breath and remember a calm rafter is a safe rafter. Panicking will only put yourself and others in danger.
The last safety tip is to hold the paddle correctly. The guide will inform you of the proper technique. All rafters should be in-sync while paddling; this will ensure an effective whitewater rafting adventure.
Following these 7 safety tips are essential for any whitewater-rafting trip. Being safe is the key for an overall enjoyable experience. For a newbie or an experienced rafter listening to the guide, along with wearing the proper gear, and paying attention will keep you safe.

The Best 5 Tips To Maintain Your Dentures

Dentures are used by thousands of people, and more are getting them every year. However, how are you supposed to maintain them to keep them like new? Below are the top five best tips that will help you maintain your dentures in the best possible fashion.

  1. Don’t Step On Them
    Dentures are a great way to keep your mouth functioning normally when your teeth have been taken out. However, with dentures, you need to actually make it a priority to handle them with the utmost caution. Therefore, do not step on them in the middle of the night if they fell off your nightstand. Keeping your dentures in a safe place every day will only ensure the longevity of the dentures as well as help you maintain them better.
  2. Clean Regularly
    Dentures always go without saying that they have to be cleaned. It might be a little annoying; however, if you want to make sure your dentures are maintained to a quality standard, you will need to clean them daily, if not multiple times throughout the day.
  3. Talk With A Dentist
    Dentures can be painful if they are not fitted correctly to your mouth. As days go by, your body will start to change on its own. This is a great reason to make sure to stay in touch with your dentist. They will help you keep the maintenance of the dentures, as well as your mouth for years to come.
  4. Eat Healthily
    While most think you can eat anything with dentures, they, in fact, are incorrect. Sometimes eating can be difficult with dentures, however, there are foods that are easier to eat with dentures, and that is healthy food. Yes, corn on the cob can be a little difficult; however, if it is cut off the cob, you can still enjoy the tasty veggies. Another reason to eat healthier is that healthy food will keep your gums from gathering bacteria as well as your body. Eating healthier will help your denture maintain themselves because you are taking care of your body first.
  5. Use The Mirror
    Every time most people put dentures in, they use a mirror. However, there is more to the mirror than you might have thought. While inspecting your dentures on a daily basis and cleaning them, it is a good idea to use the mirror and look into your mouth from time to time where the dentures lay. You can check to see if your gums are irritated or if there are sores starting to form. If this is the case, contact your local dentist right away, and give your dentures a break until your mouth is healthy again.In conclusion, maintaining your dentures is essential for your health and your mouth. Keeping them in a safe place, cleaning them daily, eating healthy, talking to your dentist, and using the mirror, will ensure the longevity and maintenance of your dentures. Therefore, take the time to maintain your dentures; you will not regret it in the future.

 

5 Signs You Need To Visit a Personal Injury Lawyer

Sustaining severe injuries can be a stressful and complicated experience. Bodily injuries often come with medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering and the fear that your life won’t be normal again. When these injuries are as a result of negligence from another person, you may be eligible for monetary compensation. In some situations, however, you will require engaging a personal injury attorney to get the compensation you deserve. Here are some instances where a lawyer is indispensable.

 

After Sustaining Serious or Permanent Injuries

Any injury that affects your ability to attend to your daily activities makes you eligible to file for compensation. Whether your injuries were as a result of a work-related accident, medical negligence or a car crash, you need to hire a seasoned personal injury lawyer to pursue all the available forms of compensation. Your attorney will also calculate and give you an accurate estimation of the payments you deserve to receive.

 

When Liability isn’t Clear

When several people are involved in an accident, it becomes quite difficult to pinpoint the party who’s responsible for your injuries. In such a situation, things can become even more complicated, and you might be implicated as partially or entirely at fault, which is where an attorney comes in handy. They will protect you against counter and cross-claims from the other involved parties.
When the Insurance Company Denies Payment

Sometimes, insurance companies could fail to make a fair settlement or even entirely decline to make an offer. In such a scenario, it would be in your best interest to engage the services of a personal injury lawyer before contacting the other party’s insurance company. This is because insurance companies may trick you into accepting an insufficient settlement or grill you with questions that will make you misstate facts or admit to liability. For this reason, you should have a lawyer by your side that can help you negotiate a favorable settlement and prevent you from incriminating yourself.
If Your Health Deteriorated Even After Treatment

While not all injuries can heal completely, doctors and nurses must provide a certain level of care to their patients. Failure to do so might cause the patient’s health to deteriorate. Such a patient may also suffer unnecessary pain, sustain more injuries or die due to medical malpractice. If this has occurred to you, it’s imperative that you file for compensation. Such cases are always complex because they require testimonies from medical experts. It is, therefore, essential to leave such matters to an attorney specializing in medical malpractice.

The Liable Party doesn’t Have Auto Insurance

When you are involved in an auto accident, and you’re not at fault, you rely on the liable party’s insurance to cover the damages on your vehicle and to get compensation for your injuries. However, there are cases where people drive their cars without the necessary auto insurance coverage despite the strict traffic laws. When this is the case, you will need a personal injury attorney to file a lawsuit on your behalf especially if you can’t come into an agreement with the liable party.

When a person suffers injuries that affect their day-to-day lives, they are entitled to compensation from the responsible party. Proving liability, however, is not always a walk in the park and this is where personal injury attorneys come in handy. These professionals help injury victims to fight for their rights to compensation, which goes a long way in recompensing them for lost wages, medical bills as well as pain and suffering.

How to Keep Your HVAC System Energy Efficient This Fall

Summer is coming to a close and crisp, cool air is nipping at your face. Everywhere you look, leaves are becoming bright hues of yellow, red and orange. As you sip your pumpkin spice latte, thinking about that perfect Halloween costume, you should also give some thought to your HVAC system. Following a long summer, your HVAC is due for a checkup and some routine maintenance. In this article, you will learn how to ensure that your HVAC system remains energy efficient this fall.

The most important part of HVAC maintenance is to clean or replace your filters regularly. If your HVAC filter is not clean, it will not function correctly. Your system’s airflow will become restricted, causing decreased energy performance and substandard air quality inside your home. In fact, you should check your filters monthly and change them no less than every three months.

You will also want to check all floor registers and vents. Make sure you can open and close all of them, and that they will stay in the position they are set too. If any vents or registers are missing or rusty, replace them immediately. Use your vacuum to clean pollen and dust from all vents and registers. Make sure your vents and registers are free from obstructions to allow for proper airflow.

Another thing to take into account is your home’s insulation. Check the seals on your doors and windows. Replace damaged seals. If necessary, cover your windows with plastic sheeting. If your home has a crawlspace or attic, it might be necessary to install additional insulation in these areas.

If you have them, carefully check any outside units. The area surrounding them needs to be kept clean. Keep the area free of grass clippings, leaves, dirt, branches, and other debris. Such materials can block the intake area or reduce airflow, which results in inferior HVAC performance.

Consider your thermostat. First, if you have the old, dial thermostat, think about upgrading it. Both smart thermostats and programmable thermostats are inexpensive gadgets that will allow you to save money on your heating costs. That’s because these devices let you regulate your HVAC system to warm your home when you are there and reduce the temperature when no one is home.

Finally, run a sound check on your HVAC system. Turn off all televisions, radios, appliances, fans, etc. to eliminate all sounds from your home. Power up your HVAC system and listen for odd sounds such as banging, screeching or loud pops. Take note of any unusual smells too. These are indications that your system should be looked over by a professional technician.

As you can see, routine maintenance of your HVAC is simple and doesn’t take much time. A well-maintained system will ensure efficiency throughout the fall and beyond.