winter plumbing

3 Smart Winter Plumbing Preparations

Autumn is the time of year many people begin taking steps to winterize their homes in anticipation of freezing temperatures. Yet, the first freeze of the year often results in frozen pipes and expensive repairs. Homeowners can spare themselves the misery and expense if they make three smart winter plumbing preparations. Make sure to fix leaks, insulate pipes and protect outdoor faucets. Doing ensures one will enjoy the festive holiday season without the worry and expense of winter plumbing disasters.

Prepare Outdoor Faucets

Outdoor faucets are just as likely to freeze as exposed pipes. Despite this, people often forget garden hoses and outdoor faucets when winterizing their homes. Homeowners can spare themselves the expense of repairs by detaching and draining their water hoses, and storing them in a warm place. If possible, people should cut off the water supply to outdoor faucets before insulating them against freezing temperatures. Homeowners can use plastic and newspapers to protect their outdoor faucets, according to CNN.

Fix Leaks

A small plumbing leak seems like a minor inconvenience until temperatures drop below freezing. The reality is water spraying from a broken pipe affects a larger area and is more apt to cause extensive damage. Rather than wait, homeowners should inspect all exposed pipes inside and outside of their house. If pipes are insulated, check for any sign of moisture to discover hidden leaks. Fixing hidden leaks before the first freeze will save homeowners money and protect their homes against water damage.

Insulate Pipes

Chances are most homeowners insulated their home’s pipes last winter, but that’s no reason to assume old insulation will suffice. Check any existing insulation to make sure it will protect pipes during freezing temperatures. Don’t forget to make sure all exposed pipes are insulated, including those in the crawl space, attic and even the garage. For an extra layer of protection, Ready.com advises homeowners let faucets drip during freezing temperatures to help prevent the pipes from freezing.

Waiting to winterize one’s home until after the first freeze of the season is a recipe for disaster most homeowners will regret. Take the time to check for any possible leaks inside and outside of one’s home, insulate exposed pipes and protect outdoor faucets. These three simple winter plumbing steps will help prevent extensive damage to the house, protect the home against freezing temperatures and save homeowners a great deal of money.

 

 

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Accent Walls: Making a Powerful Statement in Any Room

Creating an accent wall in a room is one of the boldest and most powerful ways to make a unique design statement in your home. An accent wall adds elements of visual and sometimes even architectural interest to the room, and can be used to enhance an existing focal point or to create a new focal point in the room.

Enhancing An Existing Focal Point

To enhance an existing room focal point like a fireplace, the design added to the wall is placed around the fireplace, which draws the eye to that wall. Interest can be created with a contrasting color of paint, or by using a paint shade several shades darker than the rest of the room. Design elements like stripes or geometric shapes can also be painted on your wall to create an inspired look. Choose paint colors that are currently trending, by using design magazines or websites. Colors trending today include bright colors like turquoise and shades of tangerine orange.

Other existing focal points can be an oddly shaped window or a large bookcase that covers the wall. A window can be enhanced with drapes on either side, with the wall painted an interesting color. A bookcase or rows of shelves can feature accents like books, souvenirs from travels, statues, framed photographs, unique vases or pottery to draw the eye to your accent wall.

Other Ways To Create A Unique Accent Wall

Another interesting way to create an accent wall is to hang a large piece of artwork on the wall that almost covers it. Bright colors will attract the eye, as well as interesting themes of your chosen painting. Once you’ve hung the artwork, display pretty lighted sconces on either side of it or a light above it to highlight it. You can even paint a large wall mural on the wall or have one painted for you to create your accent wall.

Specialized painting techniques can also be used in fascinating ways to create an accent wall. Try using techniques that create a faux leather look, or the look of stone, wood, metal or brick for visual artistry. This can give your wall an interesting textured look, or can give it a weathered appearance.

Your Personality Shines Through Your Accent Wall

No matter what method you choose to fashion your accent wall, the most important thing is to let your personality shine in your creation. This helps you design a room that you’re proud of and will love spending time in. It also creates a room that you’ll love to show to others. Accent walls are a wonderful way to spice up any room and create visual interest, whether you choose subtle or bold accents.

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4 Uncommonly Known Winter Pests

Uncommon Winter Pests One: Field Crickets

Homeowners might get annoyed about hearing loud crickets outside a home, but it is worse when the insect is inside a home’s walls or hopping around on the kitchen floor. Field crickets hatch in the spring, but by late autumn, the insects are adults. This is a helpful insect because it devours spiders and flies, but no one wants these crickets inside their home in the winter. However, with a loss of habitat, field crickets do invade homes to find food, and the warm temperatures of a building will lead to the insects breeding. This insect can squeeze through tiny holes and crevices, so to prevent invasions, fill openings with caulking and nail down baseboards inside a home.

Uncommon Winter Pests Two: Smelly Skunks

Skunks are also losing habitat, making it difficult for the animal to find a place to stay warm in the winter. While a skunk will not hibernate, the animal does become less active and seeks a den to nest with other skunks. Skunks have a distinctive odor, and the spray from just one of these animals makes people feel ill. However, if one skunk finds a way to hide in a crawl space underneath a home, then others will follow the scent. To prevent skunk invasions, make sure to cover crawl spaces with mesh wire fencing, and if a skunk is near a home, then do not approach it to avoid being sprayed or receiving a bite.

Uncommon Winter Pests Three: Ladybugs

Ladybugs are actually a beetle that most individuals consider cute to look at because the insects are usually bright red with small black dots. There are also color variations of yellow, orange or brown, but these beetles can quickly become winter pests inside a building when homeowners do not take action. Ladybugs seek a place to nest and stay warm in the winter, leading to an attraction to brightly lit buildings. The typical time for swarms to fly in search of a warm area is in the late afternoon as the temperatures begin to drop in the winter. To prevent invasions, homeowners should turn off exterior lights in the late afternoon and close draperies to keep a building dark.

Uncommon Winter Pests Four: Snakes

Snakes are a cold-blooded reptile that seeks warmth in the winter by going deep into the soil or invading a building. Most snakes are not venomous, but homeowners do not want this reptile inside a home because larger ones have been known to capture family pets such as cats or dogs to constrict and consume for a meal. Prevent snake invasions by sealing holes and crevices around a building’s foundation and windows.

 

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Why Office Supplies are a Long Term Investment

When you buy quality office supplies, you can feel good knowing that they will last for a long time. The right office supplies can help you to be prepared to do a good job at work and can make life easier for employees and customers. It is important to have enough small everyday items in stock to make your business run smoothly, and you need quality large office items as well.

Pens and Paper
Although these small products may not seem like a long term investment, they really are. If you need to write down a client’s number or information for an employee, having paper and pen can make a big difference. You do not want to waste time or look inefficient in the eyes of your customers or employees, so be sure to have your office stationary stocked up.

Computers
When you do your work, you want to use products that you can rely on. Find computers that work fast, have plenty of power, and a lot of memory. Instead of buying the cheapest computer out there, be sure to find one that will be a good investment. A good computer will last for years and will help you to do your job with ease.

All-In-One Printers
When it comes to all-in-one printers, you want to be sure to have a quality option that will do everything you need it to. Look for a printer that has a fast printing speed. If you are going to be doing a lot of printing, be sure to find a machine that offers affordable per page printing options. Many new printers work with wireless options and can make your life much easier. Find the right printer for your business and enjoy the confidence that will come with it.

Office Furniture
The right office furniture will be aesthetically pleasing and functional. Since your office furniture is one of the first things that people will notice when they walk in, you want to be able to find items that show off your sense of style and that will give off a good first impression. When you buy well made furniture, you are making a long term investment that will pay off in the end.

By having the right office supplies, you can be sure to have good results. Be prepared and always have your supplies stocked up. Make sure that you have pens and paper, and make sure that machines like your copier and fax are working properly. The right electronics and furniture can make your business to be more successful too. When you have the right supplies, they will help your business for a long time to come.

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Beginner Fisherman: 4 Essential Equipment Items You Need

If you are a novice fisherman, you need to have a few important items to be able to start fishing like a professional. The right supplies will give you an advantage and will help you to be able to fish with ease. Before you get out on the water, make sure that you stock up on all of the right supplies.

Fishing Rod
The most important piece of equipment that you will have for your fishing excursion is your fishing rod. You can choose from many different types depending on where you are going to be fishing and the size of fish you are looking to catch. You should decide if you are going to want to fish with a spin-cast, spinning, bait cast, or fly fishing rod.

Tackle Box and Tackle
Tackle boxes and the tackle you put inside of them are very important. You want to make sure that you choose hooks, weights, and lures that will be right for the type of fishing that you plan on doing. There are many different types of tackle boxes, so you should be sure to find one that has enough room to hold all of your items. You should also find one that is going to be easy to carry around and that is going to be comfortable to use.

Fishing Cooler or Fishing Bags
A fishing cooler or bag will allow you to keep the fish you catch during your trip on ice. You can choose from different sizes depending on what you need. Look for coolers or fishing bags that are going to allow you to easily store your fish until you get home. You want to make sure that you find a cooler or bag that is going to be big enough for your needs. Also consider the weight of the cooler and remember that you are going to have to be carrying it back with fish inside of. You may want to go with a lightweight option instead of a bulky one.

Casting Net
If you are going to be throwing out a net to catch your own bait, be sure to have the best net for your needs. Choose a net that is the right mesh size and weight so that you can get bait that is going to help you catch the fish you want. Beginner fishermen may also want to bring along some extra bait just in case there is no fresh bait to be caught.

Fishing can be a fun sport if you have the right equipment. Be sure to have everything that you need upfront so that you can have the best experience possible.

 

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Long live the lungs: 3 Treatment Options for Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis occurs when the tissue in the lungs becomes scarred. The damaged tissue becomes stiff and thick and makes it difficult for the lungs to work properly. The condition is characterized by shortness of breath, tiredness, a dry cough and unexplained weight loss.

Airborne toxins, cancer treatments and medical conditions, such as pneumonia or rheumatoid arthritis, can cause pulmonary fibrosis to occur. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disease. However, treating the disease with the following options can help to prevent the condition from worsening and improve symptoms.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Because people who suffer from pulmonary fibrosis often experience breathlessness, participating in pulmonary rehabilitation can help to restore lung function. The rehabilitation consists of exercises that will help to condition and strengthen the lungs so a patient can function in their daily life without feeling breathless. Both breathing exercises and exercise training are part of pulmonary rehabilitation as well as techniques to reduce stress and anxiety.

As a part of rehabilitation, many doctors recommend lifestyle changes to patients such as managing their weight, quitting smoking and getting vaccinated to prevent influenza and pneumonia from occurring and worsening the condition.

Medications

Corticosteroids can be prescribed by a doctor to suppress the immune system, which will decrease inflammation in the lungs and make breathing easier. Acetylcysteine is often prescribed along with corticosteroids. Acetylcysteine is derived from a naturally occurring amino acid. Taken together they can help slow the progression of pulmonary fibrosis.

Pirfenidone is an anti-inflammatory that can also be prescribed to reduce inflammation in the lungs and improve breathing. Additionally, N-acetylcysteine is another popular option. It is an antioxidant that is taken by mouth several times a day and it can help to prevent lung damage.

Lung Transplantation

For younger patients who are no longer responding to other treatment options, a lung transplantation has been proven to improve lung function and quality of life. In one study, 79 percent of patients were still living one year after the surgery and 39 percent were still alive five years later. Patients must first be carefully evaluated before being placed on the transplant waiting list. They must prove that they have adhered to other treatments, are in good health, are at an ideal weight and have a support system in the form of family and friends.

Treatment options, such as pulmonary rehabilitation and medications, can be changed by a doctor as the disease progresses. Because pulmonary fibrosis is different from person to person, treatment plans should be individualized by each patient’s situation and disease stage. A medical doctor will be able to decide what options are best for each patient and if a lung transplantation is the best option for treating the disease.

 

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Everyday Brunch: 5 Reasons Why It’s the Best Meal of the Day

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, lunch is a mini-vacation from work, and dinner is time spent with people you care about. That’s all very nice, but something is missing: that little rogue meal called “brunch.” Brunch is the hybrid, the nonconformist, the, “I’m not gonna play by your stinkin’ rules,” meal, and that’s why we love it.

What makes brunch the best meal of the day?

1. You get to sleep in!

Some people leap out of bed at dawn with smiles on their faces and songs in their hearts. You are not those people. What they don’t seem to understand is that sleep is very, very important. Just ask the Huffington Post.

Brunch understands. Brunch wants you to stay snuggled away in dreamland just as long as you want. It will be there when you roll out of bed at ten, gorgeous and refreshed and ready to ease your way into the day.

2. Mimosas, mimosas, mimosas!

Ahh, that classic beverage of brunch: the mimosa. The drink equivalent of hiding a trashy novel behind your textbook, the mimosa blends healthy, wholesome orange juice with naughty, party-time champagne.

If you want to know how to make the “official” mimosa, turn to Wikipedia. If you just want to splash some o.j. and champagne in a glass and call it good, that’s okay, too. The bottom line is that only brunch will let you imbibe before noon with a wink instead of a moue.

3. Breakfast food. Lunch food,any food

Having brunch gives you the air of being among the leisured classes. Haggard, overworked people with “responsibilities” don’t have brunch. You, on the other hand, have time to relax, and float and enjoy. People who wear silk and linen and take their meals on the decks of yachts have brunch. You may not be quite there, but you can pretend!

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4 Great Ways to Save at the Gas Pump

One of the biggest expenses the average family has to pay for every week is gas. Unless you live in a city with public transportation, using an automobile is absolutely necessary to commute to work, buy groceries and do many other things. While gas prices may rise and fall seemingly at random, there are thankfully ways to consistently save at the pump. Below are four such strategies.

1. Check Your Tire Pressure

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, you should check your tire pressure once a month. Making sure your tires are properly inflated can increase your gas mileage by as much as 3.3 percent. This can create significant savings rather quickly.

Properly inflated tires are also far safer. Underinflated tires can lead to blow-outs. A blown-out tire can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. It’s a common cause of accidents.

2. Keep Your Tank Closer to Full

It may seem illogical. Most people may assume filling up more often may cause them to be less economical in regards to paying for gas. This is not true. What you may not know is that operating your vehicle on or near empty means your car is actually consuming more gas. This is due to the fact that when your tank is less full your car is running less efficiently.

A good rule of thumb is to fill up your car when you have a little less than half a tank. This is also far safer since you will be less likely to run out of gas while on the road.

3. Choose Your Gas Stations Strategically

Not every gas station charges the same for unleaded and premium fuel. One way to save is to try to choose gas stations that are charging less for gas. Many radio stations, websites and smart phone apps track the price of gas in cities and can alert residents of where to find the best deal on fuel.

There are also other factors you should be aware of. Certain states tend to have cheaper gas than others.According to Forbes, Ohio tends to have the cheapest in the country. This can be useful information if you are traveling. Freeway gas stations also tend to charge a premium for gas compared to others.

4. Drive Strategically

How you drive your car is also a big factor in regards to your fuel economy. Avoid idling. It wastes gas. If you need to wait at a fast food drive-through, for example, turn off your car until your food arrives. Also try to take routes that do not require constant stopping and starting. If free of traffic congestion, an interstate highway is likely to result in less fuel consumption than a city street with intersection after intersection.

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Person Centered Planning: Focusing on The Individual

When a family member is experiencing a chronic or serious disability or illness or when they are aging and may need extra support and services, person centered planning is often used to help. This is an approach to aid and care that puts the individual first and asks them directly about what they want and need in terms of help. It is the ideal way to deal with these often very difficult situations in care.

Each process will be customized in a different way, and that is why it is person centered. But in general, you will be able to use the following principles to help your loved one or the person in need when it comes to person centered planning.

1. It is important to make sure the individual is the focus of the plans.

At all times and at every point in the decision making process, the individual needs to be at the center. This will include decisions on when the planning will happen and how it will happen. If the person wants to return to certain decisions, that is their choice as well.

2. The individual also invites who they want to the planning and arrangements team.

The planning team will be integral to the success of this plan for your friend or loved one. It is they who will collectively arrange many of the decisions you make. Only the individual at the center of the planning can choose these individuals.

3. It is the team members who will find and improve a natural support system of treatments and individuals.

The team members will spread out to carry out the wishes of the individual. It should always be the individual who directs the projects and processes that the team members organize and arrange.

4. Both formal and informal options of support can be implemented.

The team members and individual should keep in mind that formal services, such as those from adult day caring services and hospitals can be used. But informal services like help from friends and family members can be employed as well.

5. The individual themselves will be able to talk freely about their wants, needs and overall preferences.

To help individuals talk about their own plans and implement ideas, desires and needs, the rest of the team members should ensure that the appropriate accommodations are made for them.

6. Lastly, if an individual needs additional help to make these critical decisions, they will get that help while remaining the center of the decision-making process.

Sometimes, individuals need to have close friends or relatives at their side to help them make a critical decision. This should also be accommodated, but these individuals should never take over the dialogue.

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A Backup Camera For Safety: Avoiding Collisions

Some would argue that one of the greatest inventions for automobiles is the backup camera or rearview camera. The average person doesn’t know that the death of a small boy, who was ran over on accident by his father, was partially responsible for why most modern rearview cameras exist.

The NHTSA has been working towards forcing automakers to make rearview cameras standard in every future automobile. According to the regulations, automakers have until 2018 to make this technology standard in all passenger vehicles that are sold in the United States.

When you consider the fact that these cameras save lives, it’s easy to understand how beneficial they are. However, until 2018, consumers must make a judgment call and decide if a rearview camera is right for their vehicles.

Avoiding Collisions with a Backup Camera

Rearview cameras make backing out of a parking spot, driveway or sidewalk much safer. They help to prevent collisions between vehicles and property. About one fourth of all vehicular collisions occur when a driver is backing up.

Over half of these collisions occur very close to your home. The sad news is that 75 percent of all of these collisions can be prevented, but most vehicles don’t have a rearview camera installed, so the driver is far more likely to be involved in an accident when backing up.

Rearview cameras can help to prevent a vehicle from colliding with curbs, bikes, children and other vehicles. The camera gives the driver an additional set of eyes, which lets him or her see where there is normally a blind spot.

How They Work

A typical backup camera, like the one you would find on a modern vehicle, is roughly the size of a nickel. It’s usually mounted on the exterior of a car or SUV. It provides a real-time video feed of the space behind a vehicle.

Many of the newest cameras actually have sensors, which alert the driver when the vehicle is getting too close to an object. A lot of cameras have technology that displays guidelines onto the screen that displays the digital video feed from the camera.

While these cameras are incredibly useful for everyday passenger vehicles, they’re also very useful for large commercial vehicles. The blind spot that the drivers of large bulldozers must deal with is huge.

A backup camera helps to bridge the gap and lets drivers see what they can only see with a camera mounted to the exterior of the vehicle.

The Pitfalls of Backup Cameras

There is no doubt that rearview cameras increase convenience and safety, but they can cause drivers to get tunnel vision, which can encourage the driver to not use data from the rearview and side mirrors.

Some backup cameras can cost $1,000 or more to have installed, so they can be cost prohibitive for some drivers. However, if the technology can save even one single life or collision, it can instantly pay for itself.