21Mar/160

How to Treat Your Home for Termites

Termites can be a major threat to your home’s value and safety. A single breed of
termite causes over 100 million dollars in damage each year alone to homes in the United States. Homeowners are often unaware that they have a termite infestation until significant damage has already been done. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reverse any damage caused by termites and prevent any future damage from taking place.

Signs of Trouble

Signs of termite activity vary depending on what species of termite is present.
Swarming termites tend to shed their wings, often leaving them in spider webs or on window sills. Drywood termites eat across wood grain, leaving droppings behind, while subterranean termites eat along wood grain and leave dirt in their wake. You can test for the presence of subterranean termites by tapping on wood in your home, which will sound hollow if termites have been active. The presence of any type of termite is bad news, so if you suspect you have them you should contact an extermination service.

Inspection and Treatment

A termite control specialist will conduct a thorough inspection of your property to determine if you have a termite infestation. If the inspector finds evidence of termite activity, he or she will help you explore your options for moving forward.
Some companies charge flat fees for their services, no matter what the circumstances are. Ideally, however, you should find a company that determines the termite treatment cost based upon the structure of your home and the type of termites that are present.
There are three main types of house foundations: floating slab foundations,crawl spaces, and monolithic post tension slab foundations. Each type of foundation has different weaknesses through which termites can access the property. A treatment product is placed at these entry points using one of seven types of methods. The best termite control product available is low in toxicity compared to other treatments, but is also more effective and longer-lasting. When termites use the treated entry points, they carry the product back to their colonies with them, eventually exterminating themselves and the other inhabitants of their colonies.

Ongoing Maintenance

Termite control treatments tend to fade away over time. When selecting a pest control company, you should choose one that will offer you a warranty for several years after the initial treatments. This way, you can get annual preventative maintenance treatments or treat any re-infestations that may occur. You should also repair any damage that the termites have caused to your home. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may either perform the repairs yourself or hire a contractor to do them. Performing these repairs will restore or even improve your home value.

Take Back Your House

Exterminate the pests and take back your home. Termites can do some major damage, but in the hands of the right company you can eradicate the existing colonies and stop any future colonies in their tracks. When your method of termite control treatment is specifically selected to meet your home’s needs, you can be certain of reaching a satisfying outcome.

21Mar/160

A Well-Maintained Cooling Unit Key to Riding out a Heat

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” may seem like an easy way to save money, but not in the long run when it comes to your air conditioning unit. During mild weather, it’s natural for the condition of an AC system to be “out of sight, out of mind.” However, it’s an unpleasant surprise when the air conditioning unit doesn’t work during a heat wave. That’s why it’s important to regularly maintain your unit. Regular AC repair benefits include cooling down your home at a moment’s notice and optimizing comfort during an unpleasant heat wave.
Air conditioning units are among the most expensive replacements in your home. The equipment can cost as much as $2,000. The price of professional and certified installation is several thousand dollars as well. With all these upfront expenses for an AC unit, you may feel hesitant to pay additional money for a regularly scheduled maintenance plan. However, regular preventative services lead to fewer repairs, improved efficiency and longer lifespan of your AC unit. Even though a home warranty usually covers an air conditioning unit, often the policy still requires the homeowner properly maintain the AC unit.

Finding a Low-Maintenance AC Unit

Air conditioning units vary in brand, size, and design. The ideal size of an AC unit depends on the size of your home. Bigger doesn’t always mean better. For example, a cooling unit that is too big for a home frequently starts up and shuts down. This puts unnecessary stress on your unit. Likewise, a cooling system that’s too small for the home constantly works to maintain a comfortable temperature, speeding up the wear and tear on your unit. Licensed technicians can help identify the ideal AC unit size for your home and ensure proper installation for maximum energy efficiency and low maintenance.

AC Repair Benefits of Regularly Scheduled Maintenance

A home warranty is known to cover repair or replacement of an air conditioner; however, it often comes with stipulations. Homeowners are responsible for properly maintaining the cooling system. In addition, a home warranty may restrict certain repairs or require homeowners to meet a deductible before covering the cost of repairs. An AC service plan from a company with licensed technicians keeps your unit maintained and operating efficiently with regular cleanings. This preventive maintenance helps with keeping much of the cooling system’s original efficiency. In addition, many service plans offer discounts for major repairs to the cooling system.
When considering an AC service plan, make sure that the maintenance includes the guidelines recommended by US.
Department of Energy:

  • Routinely replacing filters. Clogged or dirty filters decrease the efficiency in yourunit. It’s a good idea to replace them once a month and as much as twice a monthwhen your AC is running constantly like during the hot summer months.
  • Check the evaporator coil: Dirt in the evaporator coil can diminish theeffectiveness of the unit to absorb heat.
  • Clear up air duct pipes: Blockage like debris or insects can build up in theductwork pipes of your home, affecting the indoor air quality. That is why it’s highlyrecommended to get your air duct pipes professionally cleaned by a licensed technician.
3Mar/160

Common Architectural Themes in Native American Décor

When you think of architecture you typically think of the way something is designed and built. That is to say, you are really thinking in terms of the structure. Actually, this is something that often gets a bit skewed when speaking of Native American décor because everything used in terms of decorative features are somehow a part of the whole. In other words, without the pottery in that adobe-style brick building you wouldn’t get the complete picture. Therefore, all design elements within and without are a vital part of the structural whole.

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Royalty free photo

Commonalities in Materials and Color

Back in the early days, Native Americans used natural fruit and vegetable dyes along with a number of minerals to achieve the colors they wanted for their designs. Today, this would be one of the only ‘synthetic’ aspects to most architectural décor as modern Native Americans still use wood, stone and pelts for much of the actual structural elements. No, not as in pelt huts that their ancestors used but pelts that function both as a wall hanging or floor covering and to add a layer of insulation to keep the cold at bay.

You will notice that most colors are warm and earthy but there is also the added bit of red and turquoise that gives an added dimension to the otherwise muted tones. No matter what tribe you are talking about, Native American architecture is usually comprised of natural elements and earthy colors as the base.

Common Elements in Furniture

Here again, furniture within Native American architectural design will be fashioned from natural materials such as hard wood and stone. The fabric coverings are typically organic, 100% cotton or fur from the pelts that are so famous among Native American tribes. These no longer symbolize being the great hunter warrior but they still have a great deal of value in the tradition that they carry forward. True Native American homes are typically built from clay or stone but you will see housing projects being built on reservations around the country that are more modern in structure.

Decorative Accessories Completing the Theme

Getting back to natural materials, even the pictures, wall hangings and decorative accessories throughout the home are made with all natural materials. Consider for a moment making a dream catcher that are so trendy and so very meaningful and you will see that it is best to use real feathers as opposed to man-made feathers. Beads can be made from stone and/or semi-precious gems and the beaded straps hanging down are generally made from rawhide.

If you had to sum up Native American architecture and décor in just a few words, one of those words would be natural. You could probably safely add the term earthy to that description but what is most prevalent is the fact that this particular style of architecture is steeped in a tradition dating back much, much further than the earliest settlers from abroad. Use natural wood, minerals, skins and feathers and you will have the most common elements to be found.