13Apr/170

How Often Should I Have My House Checked For Pests?

Written by: Quintin Bentley Crevling

The only sure fire way to protect your home from pests is to burn it down. If you don’t care to indulge in such extreme measures you will want to have a professional perform regular inspections of your home to check for signs of infestation. If you live in a densely populated community, or near the woods, you will most likely need to have your home checked for pests on a regular basis. There is no exact time interval between inspections so it is important to consider a few basic strategies to determine an appropriate time to check for pests, such as the environment you live, the history with infestations at that location, and the danger associated with the pest. You could click this link for suggestions about inspecting your home.

A large factor that determines how long you should wait to inspect your home is the environment you live, and the pests you have in the community. If you are in a residential suburb your biggest threat will most likely be a mouse that stumbles into your home or termites which can be infinitely more costly. If you have reason to believe that termites are in your home, you should have it inspected immediately. You should have your home checked once a year for termites if you do not believe there is an immediate threat. If you live in a large city you will most likely have to deal with cockroaches and big rats that get fat scavenging through dumpsters. Since cockroaches are much harder to exterminate you will want to have a bi-monthly inspection of your home to ensure their complete eradication.

If your home has a history of pest infestations then you should regularly inspect your property for signs of unwelcome wildlife. If you have had rodents in your home then you should properly patch up all entry points into your home and regularly inspect the entrances at least once a month. It doesn’t take long to inspect your home and it would be cost effective to nip a problem in the bud before it gets out of control. If you have a history of termites and bed bugs, which can be hard to completely exterminate you may want to have a professional come perform an inspection on your home every other month.

An infestation of some pests is more dangerous than others. A rat infestation provides both health and safety risks as they spread numerous diseases and create one of the largest fire hazards not attributed to human error by chewing through electric wires. If you don’t have a history of rodent infestations then you will only need to conduct inspections once a year just to be safe. There are other insects that pose a large risk to humans such as certain species of spiders. You will want to regularly inspect your home for these dangerous insects to avoid a potentially harmful interaction.

15Feb/171

Top Plumbing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

The best way to learn is by doing, right? For plumbing issues, however, you have to learn what not to do. That’s how first-time homeowners learn not to put potato peelings down the garbage disposal or not to leave the garden hose hooked up to the house in winter. We all make mistakes and hopefully, we all learn from them. For the professionals at Southern Air, plumbing repairs like these are par for the course.

Garbage Disposals

We’ve all done it; put too much of something down the garbage disposal. Potato peelings, melon rinds, even eggshells, if there are enough of them, can block the drain or the disposal itself. Depending on where the clog is, the repair may involve removing the trap beneath the disposal or even the disposal itself and cleaning it out. It’s smart to avoid putting fibrous foods in the disposal; these are most likely to cause a clog.

Hanging Things on Fixtures

Hang too much weight on the bathroom showerhead and it’s going to snap right off. This happens a lot when shower caddies are expected to hold full bottles of soap, shampoo, conditioner and more. Sure it’s nice to have the extra “shelves,” but your shower head is not designed to hold all that weight. Use the caddy to hold lighter objects, such as razors, bars of soap, loofahs, sponges, etc.

Toys Getting Flushed

If there are kids in the house, it’s a good bet at least one of them is going to flush a toy car, golf ball, Barbie or something worse down the toilet. All plumbers probably have a story or two about the weird objects they have fished out. You’ll have to have the toilet removed if it becomes lodged in the trap. It’s best to heed the warning not to use the plunger in this situation. You may just push the toy further into the waste and that’s when things get really messy. For the technicians at Southern Air, plumbing repairs of this type are common.

First Fill the Tank

If you are leaving for an extended trip, you may think to turn off the power and water to your water heater as a precaution against flooding or fires. If so, make sure to fill the tank completely before turning the power back on. If you don’t, you risk burning out the heating element. The same advice applies for new water heaters, too.

Building Materials

If you’ve just completed a home DIY project, you may think the sink is a good place to clean out your tools and flush away any leftover substances. It’s not. Building materials and filling pastes, even liquid compounds, can harden in your pipes and clog them completely. Donate leftover materials to Habitat for Humanity or another worthy cause. For pastes, liquids and other items with chemicals, contact your city garbage department. If they don’t take them, they should know another agency that does.

It’s almost a rite of passage for new homeowners to make these types of mistakes. When a drain cleaner just won’t do, and you need it fixed fast, call Southern Air for professional plumbing repair. For 24/7 emergencies, contact us at 318-703-3193.

25Jan/170

Why a Backyard Theater is a Great Idea that You have Never Thought Of

Movie nights are some of the most enjoyable things that you can do at home. They’re inexpensive, fun, and will let the whole gang bond on the cheap. But did you know that you can take your movie nights at home up a notch by having a backyard theater? All you need is to get one of the best outdoor projectors and you’re good to go!

Movie Under the Stars

Back in the olden days, drive-in theaters and outdoor cinemas were trendy and hip places to go to for date nights. Couples can snuggle up in their cars or lay down a picnic blanket and still get to see a fun flick without going to a cinema. A large screen on an open field shows a movie and you can enjoy a nice film under the stars. It’s a romantic thing, really, being able to enjoy a movie outside.

While there are still a few of these drive-in and outdoor theaters today, they’re not as big as they used to be. Actually, even actual theaters are struggling today with more and more people opting to go to the cinemas less and just stream the movies on their devices.

If you miss the golden days of outdoor theaters, why not recreate one right in your home? Anyone with a decent sized backyard can easily transform their space into their very own version of an outdoor theater that they can use anytime they feel like watching a movie under the stars.

Why You Should Turn Your Backyard into an Outdoor Theater

Turning your backyard into an outdoor theater will take some effort. However, it’s still one of the best ways to utilize the space. Why? Let’s count the ways:

 

  1. It can be your easy solution to having a home theater. This one is just more unique and it will solve your problem that you don’t have the space for it inside your home.

 

  1. It can add some boho vibe into your home. Imagine being able to turn your backyard into a fun boho paradise every movie night: cozy floor couches, blankets, and a few tents! It’ll surely be a fun way to dress up your backyard every once in a while!

 

  1. Your guests will love it! Want to up the ante on your backyard barbecue parties? A backyard theater can do the trick. Project a movie while you and your friends and loved ones enjoy some grilled meat and beers on summer evenings and you’ll be the best host there is.

What You Need for a Magical Backyard Theater

You might be worried how you can transform your backyard into a fun and exciting theater? Well, all you really need is one of the best outdoor projectors to get it done. Your space can be designed whichever way you wish, but an outdoor projector is a necessity you need to get.

You can’t just grab your home’s projector every time you wish to watch a movie under the stars because it’ll be a hassle to wire and they’re not designed to be used outdoors. That will be too risky, so keep your regular projector inside your home theater and get an outdoor projector right away. Once you have one, every other thing will be a breeze and you’ll be enjoying a movie in your backyard in no time.

23Jan/170

Common Electrical Problems You May Face at Your Home

In the modern day, we have become too much dependant on devices powered by electricity. We need electricity to run the refrigerator, we need it to keep ourselves cool during the summer, we need it to charge our mobile phones and do a lot more. Hence, it’s a must that the electrical systems are maintained properly.

However, you may face certain electrical problems in your home which may require professional supervision. It is therefore important that you keep your eyes open for the common problems and get in touch with an electrician Campbelltown, as soon as possible. Here are some common electrical problems that you, as a homeowner, may face on a regular basis.

Flickering light

Does the light flicker? Aren’t you getting clear, and bright light? There is probably something wrong with the electrical connection or the bulb does not sit on the socket properly. A quick tightening can help, if there is any problem with the bulb, however, if the problem persists, a professional needs to inspect the fixture as well as the connection.

Power surges

Increase in the power flow or sudden lighting can cause power surge in your home and result in overload. This condition causes the breaker circuit to go off and create a power outage. Appliances that are directly connected to the circuit may also get damaged due to power surge. This situation might frustrate you, since there is nothing you can do and only a trained electrician can install surge protectors within the circuit to ensure sudden increase in the electricity flow does not cause any trouble.

Faulty wiring

There are higher chances of faulty or redundant wiring if you live in an older house. Since older houses are not equipped with the kind of electrical support that we require today, you may have to get new electrical connections installed. This means a number of new and old wires run side-by-side. There may also be several unneeded wires running behind the wall. Such wire crowd lead to potential fire and shock hazards. Therefore, if you live in an old house or suspect several unneeded are present, get in touch with an experienced electrician and get the electrical system de-cluttered.

DIY Disasters

This is one of the most common problems homeowners face. Oftentimes, homeowners take upon DIY electrical projects without prior experience and mess up everything. Attempts to mend the electrical system without professional help, often leads to a complete black-out due to short circuit. Therefore, if you find anything wrong with the electrical system, it is best to call the professionals.

Keep a list of local electricians handy and get in touch whenever you find something wrong with the electrical system, to keep yourself and your home safe.

16Jan/170

The 5 Most Common Winter Plumbing Problems

While weather in most of Australia is temperate throughout the winter months, it does get cold in Sydney and suburbs like Sutherland Shire and sometimes it gets so very cold that it freezes and even snows! In 2015 the Sydney region of New South Wales received as much as 20 centimetres in parts in and around the city. If you are fretting the upcoming winter a few months down the road, it may be time to start thinking about the five most common winter plumbing problems. After all, the rest of the world has seen a bizarre winter for 2016-2017, what makes us think New South Wales will be any different? Be ready for these five common problems is all we can suggest!

1. Grease in Your Kitchen Pipes

It may not freeze this year and it may not snow, but cold weather congeals grease and when you put it down your sink, you can end up with a real mess. Clogged drains are perhaps one of the most common problems any home can experience and grease can clog it up faster than just about anything. However, don’t simply write-off a clogged drain to grease in the pipes.

2. Damage to Your Water Lines

In some parts of the world it isn’t uncommon to leave a faucet or two around the home running throughout the night when temperatures are going to go way down below freezing. This is because running water obviously doesn’t freeze as quickly as sitting water and you can be sure of one thing. Your pipes are full of water so they can freeze and burst! Don’t let them freeze because you will surely need a plumber to install new lines and that could be quite costly if you don’t quite know where the leak has sprung!

3. Interior Flooding from Burst Pipes

If pipes inside the exterior walls should happen to burst, you could be in for a good bit of flooding. This would necessitate turning off the water main, calling a plumber who would probably need to knock out a wall, repair or replace the pipe and then you’d need to fix the wall that was torn off. It is better to try to prevent this type of flooding, if at all possible, so call a Sutherland Shire local plumber to analyse and fix the issue before you do any further damage.

4. Water Heaters Failing

Oddly, you might wonder why water heaters tend to fail more in winter months than in summer months. Actually, it is typically because they were on their way out anyway but due to greater use they wear out faster. We use more warm water in cold months than in hot, so that extra wear and tear does a number on your water heater which only a plumber can help you with. If you are a DIYer you ‘might’ be able to get away with installing a new one, but it is far better to get a pro on the job before you cause more problems than you started out with.

5. Backed up Drains – Especially in Laundry Rooms

For a number of reasons, some drains and exterior pipes seem to clog and back up more easily than others. This is a common problem in laundry rooms because we have taken to washing our clothing in cold water to save on the cost of energy. Unfortunately, in the winter when the ground is frozen, you might find that your water doesn’t drain but comes back up and out the drain, flooding your laundry and adjacent rooms.

So there you have the five most common winter plumbing problems in Sutherland Shire, and in any other part of Australia that potentially experiences freezing temperatures in the winter. Want a good bit of advice? Have a plumber’s number on hand prior to the onset of frigid weather so that at the first problem, you can make that phone call.

 

13Jan/170

6 Tips for Selling Your Home Fast

It is not an unusual phenomenon to have a supply that outstrips demand in the property market. Instead, if you are selling your home, you need to find out how to sell fast in the midst of such stiff competition.

There are ways through which you can enhance the attractiveness of your home in addition to lowering the asking price when considering a quick house sale. Here are top six tips to not only generate interest but also get you the best price possible:

  • Stand out from the crowd – You will do well to make your home stand out by considering introduction of custom designs or additions like high-grade windows, landscaping or even a new roof. These are handy in improving home aesthetics while adding value to the home.

Any improvements on your property must be practical with designs and colors that are appealing to a wide audience. Further, they should also complement the home as well as the other amenities like building a patio or deck next to an outdoor swimming pool.

Even then, caution must be taken so that you do no over improve your home for sale. Remember, not all renovations will give you a good return. Thus, if you are going to invest in home improvements, be sure to do your research so that you put your money in things that are likely to give a good return.

  • Eliminate clutter – Removing clutter is a sure way of ensuring that you show potential buyers what the home will look like when they bring in their belongings. Thus, you may want to consider removing some of the furniture to make the room look bigger or simply put away personal items such as family photographs.

Where possible, you could get the help of a stager to help in ensuring better use of your space. Even then, be sure not to spend so much on stating costs especially if your ultimate goal is to make a profit from the sale of the home.

  • Sweeten the deal – Offering terms or things that are likely to sweeten the pot is a sure way of making your home more attractive to prospective buyers. For instance, you may offer buyers a couple of thousand dollars in credit on the closing costs.

Alternatively, you could entirely pay the closing costs effectively drawing the attention of potential buyers. Offering a transferable home warranty costing between $300 and $400 for a year’s policy to cover appliances that include refrigerators and air conditioners that fail. Other appliances and house gadgets may also be covered depending on the policy. With this, your home will be more attractive as potential buyers will be more at ease knowing they are covered against such problems.

  • Spruce up your curb appeal – Most sellers tend to overlook the curb appeal of the home they are selling. Interestingly, buyers first see the external appearance as well as how it blends into the surrounding neighbourhood. You can achieve this by giving your home a fresh coat of paint on the exterior while the lawn and bushes are well manicured. Keep in mind that in the property market, appearance is everything.

  • Get the home into a move in condition – The aesthetic appeal of your home is important hence the need to ensure that appliances, doors, plumbing fixtures as well as electrical fixtures comply with the building codes. This is crucial as it ensures the home is ready for moving in to give potential buyers an impression that it is the right place for them to move in and enjoy the new home as instead of having to fix things.

  • Get the pricing right – Whether you have renovated your home or even staged your home, it is important to ensure that you get the pricing right. The best way to achieve the right pricing is by consulting with an estate agent, reading newspapers and going online to see what similar homes within your locality are selling for. Most importantly, put yourself in the buyer’s position to determine if you would buy the home for the price you have set. You may ask neighbours, friends and even estate agents to tour the home and give you their opinion on the asking price you have set.

Well, selling your property in a crowded market requires a little more effort. Thus, be sure to do everything possible to get your home in the best shape in readiness for the market. With the tips discussed above, you can be sure to sell your house fast despite the stiff competition.

10Jan/170

Prepare Your Furnace for the Winter Months

If there is one thing you do not want to have happen, it’s hearing a click and then nothing else when you turn on your heater for the first time after the weather cools. It’s never a good idea to go into the colder months without checking your furnace first to make certain it’s in good operating condition. Should you neglect your heating unit prior to its busy season it might neglect you.

Check Your Filters First

Your first step in preparing your heater for its winter work is to check your air filters. This not only protects you and your family, it also protects your furnace. Clogged or dirty air filters make your furnace work harder in its efforts to maintain the set temperature in the house, which can eventually cause overheating and breakdown. It’s less expensive to replace your air filters regularly than deal with a heating repair bill, and the air inside your home will be much cleaner and healthier as well. Depending on your unit, you should change out your filters every 30 to 90 days.

Check Your Air Ducts and Vents Next

Checking your air ducts and vents should also be on your list as you get ready for the winter months. Filthy ducts defeat the purpose of clean air filters. As the heater’s fan pushes warm air through the air ducts and vents, it collects the dirt that has built up, and nothing clogs a filter quicker than that extra grime does. If you live in a humid climate, your air ducts and vents may have also grown mold during the summer, which is dangerous for your family once the spores are released into the air. This is why cleaning your air ducts and vents is the next step in your heater preparation.

Check Your Thermostat

This is a bit of a no-brainer, but after you’ve completed the first two steps, flip your thermostat from “cooler” to “heater,” set it at a temperature that will ensure your furnace turns on, and then turn it on. You should hear a click right away and your heater should activate shortly thereafter. If you don’t hear the click or your furnace doesn’t activate, you might have a problem with your thermostat. If your thermostat is older, it may be time for a replacement anyway, as it lacks the efficiency of a newer one.

Check Your Burners

While you are waiting for your furnace to ignite, watch the burners. Once they engage, the flames should be blue, much like the flames on your gas stove. If they are orange, or have too many orange streams in them, your burners are dirty. Shut down the unit and all power to it and clean the grime and soot that has collected on the burners over the years. You must also oil your furnace blower annually, as this is the part that pushes the warm air into your home. If you aren’t comfortable doing either of these pre-winter tasks, contact a professional HVAC company for help.

Preparing your furnace prior to the winter months will ensure that it operates efficiently and effectively in keeping your home’s interior warm. Make certain your family is happy and healthy this winter with pre-season heating maintenance.

3Jan/171

Online Shopping for Skilled Tradesmen-A New Approach to Home Improvement

If you have ever had some home improvement work done on your home, you know how hard it can be to get the project off the ground in its initial stages. You may have a clear vision of what it is that you want or need to do at your home but there is a large gap between your vision and practicality. This is when you may need to start looking for a professional to help bridge the divide. If you want to find a tradesman there are several ways that you can do this. Getting recommendations and referrals from homeowners and business owners has always been one of the easiest ways to go. The issue with referrals is that they are super subjective. One person’s idea of a stellar experience may be sub-par to you and vice-versa. Even if you get a 5-star recommendation from a trusted friend or family member, there is still no guarantee that you are going to have the same experience. If asking for referrals isn’t getting you anywhere or has only gotten you into bad experiences there is another way that you can tackle your search and it, like everything else these days, is online.

A New Approach to Home Improvement

With the prevalence of so much DIY TV, and home experts cropping up everywhere many people truly believe that they can take on projects that may be out of their true knowledge base. While you can search for ideas for home improvement online, there are times when the actual work should be taken care of by the professionals. Once you have your ideas and vision squared away you can now continue your online shopping-this time for your local tradesman.

Online Marketplaces

The number of online marketplaces for virtually all industries is growing at a rapid pace. You can think of these marketplaces as the middlemen for skilled trade. They provide a matching service for two parties that need each other. You need a tradesman, and the tradesman needs your business. The good news is that as a consumer you don’t have to assume any costs to utilize the services. Simply access the site online, enter in what it is that you need and you will be matched with tradesmen that are potential fits for the job. How does this all work exactly? You can literally enter in exactly what you are looking for, project details and scope of work, what you are willing to pay for the job and more. The tradesmen and other firms that have registered to have their businesses listed on these marketplace sites assume the costs of the matching service. In addition, most, if not all of these online marketplaces have strict requirements for individuals and companies wanting to showcase their business on their sites. Basically, there Is an extra layer of vetting that they need to go through to be on the marketplace site in the first place. You can be rest assured that if you do go this route you will be getting someone who is trustworthy and reliable.

28Dec/160

Cheap Ways to Make Your Room Look Expensive

We all have to live on budget; after paying for all the necessities such as food clothing, rent, etc. we are left with little money to upgrade the decor of your home. But does that mean you have to compromise with a bland decor this holiday season? Not at all! There are several cheap ways in which you can upgrade the look of your room and make it look expensive. Here are some of them.

1. Simple Styling for an Elegant Look

A cluttered and over accessorised space looks messy; clean up the clutter and introduce some items that rev up the overall ambience. Cleaning the clutter also means getting rid of golden or shiny from the place. Instead try including some silver, brushed nickel or metallic grey since they look classy and sophisticated. For instance, a cluster of silver frames look great on the chest of drawers or central piece. Retain pieces that have strong emotional ties.

2. Let Go of the Traditional Rugs and Carpets

Carpets hold dirt, absorb odours and get stained very easily. So let go of the old; instead choose vinyl flooring that look chic, easy to clean and are cheaper. Moreover, vinyl floorings are available in a variety of colours, patterns and textures, so you can introduce any colour or pattern to your room. Make your room look classy and expensive, without burning a hole in your pocket.

3. You Can Never Go Wrong with Flowers

Flowers are the best way to turn a boring space into something interesting and classy. No other type of ornamentation can do the magic that flowers can do. They bring the warmth of the nature inside the room, make it smell good and boost the overall ambience of the room. Moreover, flowers are available at cheap rates, especially the local and seasonal ones. For instance, you can quickly order flower delivery online in Melbourne or any other part in the world and get fresh and beautiful flowers delivered at your home. So you need not go out of the home or burn fuel to find the perfect item to liven up your home. Choose flowers that suit your budget and transform the space within minutes.

4. Include Some Form of Art

Another easy way to make your room expensive is to include a form of art into it. Whether it is a painting, tapestry or anything else; art can spruce up a space immediately. You can find art at the garage sales, sale at various art shops, etc.

Try out these ideas and make your room look expensive without spending too much of your hard earned money.

28Dec/160

How to Check Your Air Conditioner Before Calling for Service

Continuous usage puts your air conditioner under stress, which means the internal parts undergo wear and tear continuously; so you can find something wrong with the air conditioner all of a sudden. It is important to call the HVAC technicians immediately but there are a few things that you can do before the technicians arrive. Having some information handy will help the technicians carry out a smooth repair process. Here are some things you need to check before the HVAC technicians arrive.

1. Check the Power Supply to Your Home

If the air conditioner has stopped working all of a sudden, the first thing you need to do is check the power supply. Technicians often complain that they arrived at the site only to find that the specific house or the entire locality had no power supply. Low voltage might also lead to problems, so be sure that there is no problem with the power supply.

2. Check the Air Filters

In order to make sure the air conditioners work with full efficiency, the air filters need to be kept clean and replaced whenever required. Clogged air filters restrict smooth air flow thus affecting the system’s performance. If you find the AC not cooling well, check the air filters first. This is not a difficult job and you can do it easily without harming the system.

3. Have a Look at the Breaker Box

Oftentimes, the load increases on the circuit which makes the circuit breaker to trip. This cuts off the power supply to the system so it stops working. So if you find the air conditioner has stopped working, check the breaker box. If the circuit breaker has tripped, reset it and switch on the AC. If it trips again then there is problem with the Ac or with the electrical circuit. In such a case call the electrician as well as the HVAC technicians immediately.

4. Check the Condensation Pump and/or A/C Drain Line

Many air conditioners are provided with a water safety switch for safety reasons. The water safety switch stops the air conditioner from working if there is water leakage that can ruin ceilings or dampen the floor. So before calling the technicians, have a look at the water in a pan under the unit. If it is filled with water, just empty it and flush out the drain; the air conditioner might start working again.

So if you have just installed air conditioning in Brisbane this summer and find some problem, perform the above tasks before calling the HVAC technicians.