How to keep your home free from termites

How to keep your home free from termites

You may be surprised at just how much damage to your property termites can cause. It may take time for the damage to be done but the problem with termites is that you do not always know they are around until the damage begins to show. This is why it’s so important to keep a check on termites and try and prevent them from invading your property.

One of the most important things you can do to keep termites away is have regular inspections carried out by a Lexington exterminator. This is especially important if you live in an area where there is a high incidence of termite infestation. Early identification of a termite problem can be a very important step in getting rid of the problem before too much damage is caused. There are also some actions you can take to make termite infestation less likely; let’s take a look at some of them.

termite traincredit

Eradicate warm and damp areas

Termites enjoy a warm and damp environment so you should not give them one. You should keep leaves and other debris away from the side of your home to prevent water from gathering. You should also ensure that gutters and drainpipes are intact and clear. This stops water from overflowing and leaking into your home. If you have crawlspaces in your home you need to make sure that air circulates so that moisture does not build up.

Detailed view of termitescredit

Keep wood away from your home

If you store wood outside of your home you should make sure that it is not stored close to the exterior walls of your property. You should also make sure that it is stored off the ground. This helps to prevent it becoming an access point for termites.

Door frame destroyed by termite infestationcredit

Make sure any possible entry points are filled in

You may be surprised at how easy it is for termites to gain entry to your home through cracks and gaps in the exterior. These potential access points can be tiny and pests will still get in. you need to examine the exterior of your home and identify any cracks that may be present. You then need to fill in the gaps to help prevent termites from getting in.

Remember that it is not always obvious if termites are present in and around your property; you may notice tell-tale signs such as termite tubes, but this is not always the case. This is why it’s so important to take preventative measures to try and stop a problem from occurring. If you pay attention to the tips we’ve provided you can hopefully ward off a termite infestation.

This isn’t a forgone conclusion though, and it’s always a good idea to have professional inspections carried out on a regular basis. If you have this work completed, you have the peace of mind of knowing that your home is free from the potential devastation that a termite infestation can cause.

[disclosure*]

Why opt for laminate flooring?

Bedroom with herringbone parquet laminate floor

It really doesn’t matter what type of project you’re working on, your choice of flooring is important. Choosing the wrong floor can ruin the overall look of a room.

The fact that the floor takes up so much space in a room means it’s neigh impossible for people to ignore or not notice. Therefore, if your flooring is shoddy, or doesn’t fit in with the overall style of a property, it will look terrible.

Fortunately, these days contractors and home-owners have plenty of choice. One of the best options is laminate flooring.

Whatever project you’re working on, this type of floor is ideal. Whether you want a stone, marble, wood or tile-effect floor you can find composite flooring with that finish and look.

Whatever colour, texture or finish you want, you can have it. These days, it’s even possible to buy black laminate flooring.

Some companies will even make you a custom floor. These can be quite expensive, but easy to order, and they can even be made at relatively short notice.

All you need to do is to take a very high-resolution photo of the surface you’re trying to recreate and send it off to the flooring firm. They then take that image, blow it up to the right size, and print it onto a composite wood surface. A transparent, hard finish is then applied to protect the image and make it hard-wearing. All you then have to do is lay it in exactly the same way you would any other laminate floor.

Black walnut laminated flooring in a dining room

Laminated flooring is durable

Modern production techniques and materials mean that you can now buy laminate flooring that’s highly durable. This is why laminate flooring can be used in any area of a home, and is suitable for use in commercial settings.

Naturally, you need to do your research and buy the right flooring for the environment in which you are laying it. In most countries, a grading system is used to help you to choose the right materials for the job. If you want to learn more about the different grades of laminate flooring, click here.

Laminate flooring in a kitchen

It can be laid over virtually any sub-floor

This type of flooring material is one of the most versatile available. It can be laid over most sub-floors. You can also lay it over underfloor heating.

However, the sub-floor does have to be perfectly flat to achieve a good result. Modern self-levelling compounds make it easy to create the necessary surface. These products only take a few minutes to lay, although they do take a few hours to cure and dry.

Patterned laminate flooring

It’s easy to install

One of the best things about this flooring material is that it’s extremely easy to put down. It isn’t necessary to hire a skilled carpenter. You can, with a little pre-planning, do it yourself. This, and the fact that the cost of the materials is so low in the first place, means that this is one of the most economical floor options currently available. Therefore, our advice is to look seriously at using laminate flooring for your next building or DIY project.

[disclosure*]

Autumn roofing maintenance tips

Autumn roofing maintenance tipscredit

The autumn is an ideal time of year to head up onto your roof and check what’s going on up there. In doing so, you can be alerted to any problems that are starting, and you can hire a local roofer to make repairs before the long, hard, and damaging winter approaches. The weather is ideal, it’s the right time to do some cleaning and maintenance, and you can rest easy during the rest of the year, knowing that your roof will be able to withstand the elements. So keep reading to learn about a few autumn roofing maintenance tips to get started.

Roof gutter with mesh litter guardcredit

Clean out the gutters

First, get into the gutters and downspouts surrounding your home and make sure that all of them are totally clear of debris. You may want to wait until the leaves have all fallen off of the trees so you can remove them as well before the winter hits. The key is to ensure that everything drains smoothly, without any obstructions. If you have to, install some gutter guards, as they’ll make this task much easier and save you time every year.

Wooden roof tilescredit

Check the roof’s covering

Next, head onto your roof with care so you can carefully inspect it to ensure that it will be able to withstand all of the harsh elements that will come its way when winter hits. For example, if your roof is tiled, check for any broken or cracked tiles, as these would need to be replaced before winter. On the other hand, if your roof is made of metal, look for any indications that the metal is warping, rusting or blistering, as those problems will also need to be addressed before winter. If you’ve inspected your roof and noted that a lot of the slates need to be replaced, or there’s a lot of damage throughout the entire roof, you may need to replace the whole thing.

Hole in a wooden roofcredit

Look for any signs of water damage

In addition to looking at your house’s roof from the outside, you also want to take a look at it from the inside. Look at the interior of the roof to search for any signs that there’s water damage anywhere. Small signs of this type of damage may be identified during this inspection, but because it is the autumn, you’ll be able to have them fixed right away, before the winter can cause further damage with its ice and snow. Remember, a small leak could turn disastrous once heavy rains or other harsh elements come into play.

Repairing roof flashingcredit

Inspect the chimney, pipes, and skylights

If you have any skylights, pipes, or a chimney on the roof of your home, you should also check any of the flashing that surrounds them to ensure that everything is in good enough condition to make it through the next few seasons.

With the tips above, you can make sure that your roof is in the best shape possible every year in the autumn. When the winter hits, you won’t need to worry at all about the integrity and strength of your roof, and you and your family will be protected from the elements.

[disclosure*]

Get yourself and your house ready for winter

Wintry streetcredit

There’s not much prep needed for summer – a few workouts, maybe a leg wax and a spray tan – the rest just takes care of itself. Winter, however, needs a bit of forethought and a lot of smarts if you want to avoid all the petty annoyances that the cold weather brings.

By following these clever tips, you can win at winter, hands down!

Boot pebble traycredit

Make a pebble boot and umbrella tray

This is genius – when you’re on your summer hols, select some attractive pebbles and carry them home. Get two or three cat litter trays and fill them with the pebbles, then use them to stick wet umbrellas and wellies in. The boots and brollies will drain without leaking all over your floor.

Domestic oil tankcredit

Order your heating oil while it’s still summer

Yes, winter’s a long way away, but if there’s one way of getting cheap home heating oil it’s to order it while the sun is shining. That way, you’ll get a great deal and you’ll feel all secure once the first frosts appear!

Car floor matscredit

Buy some spare car mats to help you get out of deep snow

If you’re in an area that actually gets good old fashioned deep snow, you’ll be familiar with getting stuck in it! The lack of traction for your car wheels will have led to many a late start, so keep a couple of spare car mats in your boot and when you’re stuck, place them in front of your wheels to give them something to grip.

Snow covered bikecredit

Make instant (well, almost) snow tyres for your bike

Another genius hack here. Not many people use their bikes in the snow because it’s hard to grip. Wrap cable ties around the wheels at 3-4cm intervals for that all-important traction.

Vacuum packing clothes for storagecredit

Vacuum-pack your summer clothes

This space-saving trick works all year round, of course, but there’s something significant about getting out the winter woollies in anticipation of the cold weather. You feel armed, somehow.

Wine bottles keeping boots uprightcredit

Use wine bottles to keep your boots upright

This might seem a bit obscure, but if your boots flop over while they’re drying (on your pebble trays), then once you haul them upright, they will start to develop cracks, which shortens their life and can let leaks in. Keep them standing proudly and they’ll last another winter.

Dog training padscredit

Switch to dog training mats for when it’s really cold

If you have a really small dog, or one who feels the cold, on some days even nipping out for a quick pee and poo is torture for them. Buy a few packs of puppy training mats for these occasions – you may need to remind them what they’re for – and you’ll have a happier dog.

Sausage dog tartan draught excluderscredit

Think about ways to retain and add heat to your home

This could be using bubble wrap to insulate windows, or getting the kids to make some draught excluders over the summer holidays. There’s also handy tricks like leaving the oven door open after you’ve finished to let some heat into the kitchen.

What are some of your great ideas for staying warm and comfortable over winter?

[disclosure*]

Boxing in pipes: How to remedy ugly plumbing

'Boxing in pipes: How to remedy ugly plumbing' blog post banner

Minimalist rectangular glass gas firecredit

No two ways about it, exposed pipes and plumbing gubbins are just plain ugly. The bathroom, cloakroom and kitchen will probably be the worst affected rooms, but it’s a potential eyesore in all areas of the house with radiators, boilers, sinks, loo’s, stoves & fires all requiring connection to services.

white toilet and shower roomcredit

Boxing it all in is a neat and cost effective solution with numerous advantages. The first and most obvious plus side is the cosmetic improvement to a space – clean, neat lines replacing the chaos that lies behind; Boxing in also has an obvious safety element – protecting the exposed gas and water pipes; and best of all, it can provide valuable shelving and storage spaces.

storage cupboard containing boxed in boilercredit

The boiler is a large area to box in – so add shelves and cupboard doors to provide the perfect home for linen & laundry; under-sink areas in the kitchen can be transformed into cleaning product stores… and bathroom pipe boxing can provide useful shelving for lotions and potions. With a bit of care & creativity, the actual reason for the boxing in becomes almost secondary!

bathroom with bold fish wallpapercredit

Wallpaper the boxing in or paint it the same colour as the wall to blend in and make it unobtrusive. No knobs or handles need spoil the look or get in the way either – use push latch or magnetic mechanisms to make everything neat & flush. You can completely disguise where possible too – for example, if it’s low level and only narrow, the boxing can actually be made to look like skirting boards.

Radiatior being boxed incredit

You can get the professionals in – or perhaps take it on as a DIY project. If you’re boxing in pipes yourself but aren’t confident with your carpentry skills try ready-made uPVC pipe covers . Companies such as Screw Fix or B&Q will have everything else you’ll need.

teak-panelled bathroomcredit

Just remember a few basic points: Use waterproof materials where appropriate – ceramic tiles, uPVC glue, silicon sealant and so on; ensure there’s some kind of access to stopcocks or important pipe joints; and allow appropriate spacing & ventilation as required.

blue tongue & groove panelling in loft bathroomcredit

Let your imagination flow and follow a few simple rules to achieve fabulous results – those ugly pipes will be a thing of the past!

[disclosure*]

The importance of wearing a hard hat

'The importance of wearing a hard had' blog post banner

Lego construction worker figurescredit

Every now and again, we get involved in DIY. Nothing heavy you understand. Perhaps a friend needs a hand repainting a room, changing their kitchen doors or demolishing a wall.

Our work also takes us to homes that are being refurbished and it’s clear that some people are far more skilled and adventurous than us. People will turn their hands to all kinds of things as a way to turn a shell into a home.

A lack of money is driving more people to do things themselves. Often they will sell or donate their old furniture to us as a way to raise funds or simply to make space for new furniture.

For the most part, things turn out well for these people. It’s amazing to see what people manage to do when they decide to learn new skills and carry out all kinds of home improvements themselves.

Sadly, every once in a while, things go array and unfortunately accidents happen. One such accident is prompting me to write this post. A friend of ours was knocked out when he was hit with the end of a scaffolding pole. It wasn’t a hard blow, no bones broken just a nasty bruise and a bit of a bump, but he still ended up in A&E being checked for concussion.

When I heard about the accident, it struck me that it wouldn’t have been serious if my friend had been wearing a hard hat. Of course, the accident could still have happened, but the consequences would not have been so serious. A hard hat would have absorbed more of the blow and potentially my friend would not have been knocked out and have needed to attend the hospital.

Golden retriever dogs wearing hard hat and saftey gogglescredit

Use the right safety equipment

When we work on a project or piece of furniture, we’re usually quite careful. We use gloves, safety glasses and wear a mask when sanding down furniture.

Over the years, the cost of safety equipment has fallen and these days, sites like Safetystock.co.uk sell to the public as well as professionals. On sites like this, it’s possible to buy industrial-quality safety equipment for a low price.

Man in a hard hat working under a wooden floorcredit

Keeping yourself safe while doing DIY

Staying safe while carrying out DIY is very much a matter of common sense, you just need to stop and think. It’s very important not to work with power tools when you’re tired, on medication, or after a night out when you’ve been drinking. Remember, it only takes a moment of inattention for an accident to occur and for someone to get seriously hurt.

It makes sense to wear gloves and safety glasses when using power tools. If you’re working in a confined space or somewhere where there are loose fixtures and fittings that could fall on your head, you need to wear a hard hat or helmet. Remember to protect your feet too. Wearing safety shoes is a wise precaution.

Next time you set out to do a DIY job in your home, stop and think about safety and take the necessary steps to keep you and your family safe.

[disclosure*]