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Are gutters that important?

Gutters. It’s quite amazing how this part of the roof that’s usually not given any attention is actually one of the most important parts of the house. Overlooked but necessary, it’s like the house’s plumbing system. Like plumbing systems, it of course needs to be cleaned regularly and properly for it to be functioning well. Additionally, good buyers would inspect plumbing systems and gutters to ensure they’re getting the right bang for their buck.

Good gutters vs Bad gutters

Good gutter systems will most likely not be on the ads when one is advertising a house. In fact, adding that will make the seller sound really desperate. That is because good, functional gutters are expected to be present when selling a house. Having good gutter systems may not increase the value of the house. However, bad gutters will really gut and disappoint the buyer. It will lower the property’s value.

Good gutter systems are like spies; a good spy blends in with the surroundings, unnoticed, but will do a lot of work and give you the information you need. A bad spy is noticeable and gets captured easily, becoming a huge liability instead of an asset.

Good gutters give your roof and even other parts of your home, like your walls or your garden, protection from the rainwater flowing down. On the other hand, bad gutters are simply harbingers of negative things to the house.

What do bad gutters actually do?

Clogged gutters will slow down or even stop the flow of water from the roof, making it stay there and damaging the roof. As chemistry says, water is the universal solvent. Anything that stays in water for too long will eventually dissolve, and that applies even to metals. Not only will you need to spend money and time to unclog your gutter, you will need the same or even more to repair your roof as well.

Broken gutters are also bad for your house, maybe even worse than clogged gutters. They make water flow to areas that they’re not supposed to flow to. They may flow to the foundations of the house, to the walls, or to areas in your house that are made of wood. They might flow to your garden and wreck it, or cause a puddle that stays for a long time, giving insects that need a breeding ground a home.

See all of that? A property with bad gutters is a bad property.

Summary

To reiterate, good gutters are unnoticeable yet do good work in protecting the house. They don’t raise the price of your property because a good property is expected to have a good gutter. A gutter is not a selling point, it’s a necessity.

On the other hand, bad gutters are one of the reasons why a property will have its value lowered. They will affect an appraiser’s rating on your property. Even without appraisers, good buyers that check a house will definitely include the gutters in their checklists. Bad gutters will bring more expenses, and will definitely devalue the property. That’s the reason why you should get your gutters checked by professional gutter cleaners. Get your gutters cleaned and/or repaired, and get the most out of your property now!

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The E-waste problem

This is a problem that is continually increasing as the years go by. Electronic waste – everyone wants the latest phone, the biggest TV, the smartest ipad, the fastest computer, the best remote control toys …. And so it goes on. So what do we do with the “old” ones, the “outdated” equipment?

A huge percentage of them will be sent to landfill. In Australia, household electronic waste is increasing at a rate which is three times the general waste increase. And this will keep on increasing. Only about 1 percent of TVs, or 10 percent of computers are recycled in Australia. A lot of consumers are keeping their old devices, thinking they might need them some time in the future.

A survey of 1000 people in Australia’s main cities indicates that about one third of them take e-waste to an appropriate designated collection site, and a quarter of them put their e-waste in their household rubbish bin, most likely ending up in landfill. Unfortunately those 1000 people surveyed are not representative of the general population. The proportions of people in the general population who recycle are significantly lower.

There are toxic chemicals in this e-waste, such as mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium. Obviously this contamination is deleterious to the health of the land, the animals, and the people, and is likely to go on increasing.

Some basic, sensible options for unwanted electronic equipment, include donating or selling unwanted applicances, toys, ipads etc; see if you can repair them before throwing them out; and recycle – recycle – recycle! The website for Clean Up Australia will help you find a recycler in your vicinity. Look at the National TV & Computer Recycling Scheme website for more instructions on how you can dispose of your computers and tvs. The Mobile Muster is the best way to deal with your phones. Check them out.

Nearly all the electronic components can be recycled. As well as glass and plastic, devices contain metals including cobalt, tin, antimony, and precious metals platinum, gold, silver are also able to be retrieved. In fact a tonne of circuit boards can yield more gold than 100 tonnes of unprocessed gold ore.

If you have checked out all the websites, and come to the conclusion that it is too difficult for you to decide what to do with your e-waste, don’t just give up and throw it in the bin. Contact a reputable e waste rubbish removal company. Not only do they deal with old furniture and white goods, or garden rubbish and broken down vehicles, they know precisely what to do with electronic waste.

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Leather Upholstery or Cloth Upholstery – they need different treatment

When you buy a sofa, or other furniture, you make a decision between leather or cloth upholstery. People have their own reasons for their choices, and there is no right or wrong choice. They both have advantages and shortcomings regarding their comfort, strength and appearance.

To start with, there are some suggestions to help you keep your sofa looking good. Don’t place your sofa where it would receive direct sunlight. This will cause it to fade more quickly. Don’t place it close to a heat source. Don’t sit on the backrest or armrest. They are not made for sitting upon. Move the cushions around so that they will wear evenly, and give them a “plump up” every so often so that the padding does not settle.

A brand new sofa may feel firmer, and different to the sofa you tested in the store. The store sofa would have had many people sitting on it. The new sofa will need time to adapt to your family life.

Whichever type of sofa you choose, cloth or leather, remember that they are quite different when it comes to cleaning them. Cloth sofas require cleaning regularly to keep them looking good. They are resistant to scratches, which may affect leather sofas, but they show wear after time, and natural materials, such as cotton, deteriorate easily. Also they stain more easily. Stains must be washed out immediately. And it is recommended that your sofas should be cleaned 3 or 4 times a year to counteract the sweat, oils, and bodily secretions from humans and pets.

For general cleaning of cloth upholstery, make a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts warm water, with a teaspoonful of dishwash detergent, in a spray bottle. Always shake before use, then spray on stains or spots, saturating them. Dab the area with a damp cloth – microfibre is best – and towel dry. For best results, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which will be on a tag attached to the sofa.

A cleaning solution for a cloth sofa should NOT be used on a leather sofa. Leather needs more regular maintenance, as it can crack over time. A recommended regime would be to wipe the leather often with a slightly damp, clean cloth, or at least monthly, which will help maintain its flexibility. Don’t let the leather become wet. Use a dry cloth to dust the sofa on a weekly basis. Spills should be dealt with quickly. Dab with paper towel or absorbent cloth.

As with the cloth sofa, leather can be affected by high levels of sweat and bodily secretions, especially from people who are using some medications. The best way to deal with that is frequent cleaning with leather cleaner, followed by a leather protector. These can be purchased at the supermarket.

However, the safest way to keep your furniture in tip top condition, is to use a professional sofa and couch cleaning service. Knowing all the details of the users, the expert can use the correct methods to ensure that your sofa is properly cleaned.

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High Pressure Cleaning versus the Soft Wash Process

Every day your home and property fight a battle. It’s a battle between it and the elements. The sun’s rays, rain, wind-blown dust, animals, insects, mould and mildew … they all team up against your house exterior, your roof, your decks and patios, your driveway and all other exterior surfaces on your property.

And the things is, the elements will always will. Eventually. How long that ‘eventually’ turns out to be is based on the maintenance and cleaning efforts that you put into your property.

You can get down on your hands and knees and scrub, scrub, scrub away the dirt and moss and all the other contaminants, but what you’ll end up with are sore hands, knees and back, and only a half done job.

To do it right, you need some help.

And one of the things that can really help you is a high pressure water jet.

That water coming from these jets are at pressures exceeding 200 times the atmospheric pressure. What this means is that the water droplets are so tiny and so fast that they hit the ground with the force of tiny chisels and pick-axes, thousands of tiny chisels each second picking away at the dirt and whatever other contaminants are on your surface.

But the problem is this: some surfaces can’t handle that type of scouring pressure. Things like painted wood, or shingles, or other less durable surfaces.

Soft Wash Process – an alternative option.

The soft wash process still uses water, but only as a rinse. The grunt work of breaking down the dirt is done by environmentally friendly chemicals. Then, once that is done, the water rinse just washes everything away. It is a far less abrasive way of removing the dirt.

High-pressure washing still has its place; for those surfaces such as brick, pavers, stone and concrete that are more durable, using the high-pressure cleaning jets is a great, quick, clean and easy way of cleaning your surface. But for softer surfaces, like wooden fences, the roof, house sidings, asphalt shingles, wooden decks and stucco, a soft wash process will produce the same results but with less damage to the surface itself.

Are there health benefits to using the Soft Wash process?

The soft wash process is a bit better at killing bacteria, fungus and algae, which can cause all sorts of health problems in people that particularly experience breathing issues. So, using the soft wash process for surfaces overrun with mould, grime and moss, would be beneficial.

Can I DIY, or bring in the professionals?

It is easier to do high pressure cleaning yourself than the soft wash process, as you can easily rent the pressure jets from the local hardware store, but don’t expect as good a result as you would if you brought in the professionals. Professional high pressure cleaning experts have professional high pressure cleaning equipment, which are more powerful than the equipment you can buy or rent at your local store.

As for the soft wash process, the chemicals required need to be at the proper ratios to ensure a proper cleaning solution. Handling such chemicals are best left to the people who do it professionally.

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Why choose Seamless Gutters?

Basically, seamless gutters are the best choice. They have a big advantage over seamed gutters, the main point being that sectional (seamed) gutters, as the name suggests, must be joined together to reach the size required for your building. And where there are joins, there are likely to be leaks.

Also debris from the roof or overhanging trees can be swept down from the roof in a heavy rain, and that will build up at the joins, resulting in possibly blocked gutters.  Seamed gutters can be an eyesore.

Over time degradation and decay of the guttering will occur. What if they are sold in 6 metre lengths, and your building requires 14 metres of guttering. There you have 2 joins, without counting the corner joins.

There are none of these problems with a seamless gutter. The gutter is prepared on site, by a contractor who fashions your made-to-measure gutter from a continuous length of steel or aluminium, or if you prefer, zinc or copper. The only join is at the corners.

Seamless gutters are efficient because of their perfect fit. This can only be beneficial, and not only in the appearance of your home. The contractor can design the most efficient means of dealing with the water that will land on your roof. There will be no weak areas, no debris build-up, and certainly much less maintenance than other types of guttering.

This makes the initial cost of the guttering more expensive, needing the guttering machine and operator to attend your site. However the benefits (quality, longevity) of a seamless gutter over time outweigh the initial cost.

You can order guttering in many standard colours, or it can be easily painted to match your home’s colour scheme. In some instances the guttering can be supplied with a baked-on enamel finish which lasts many years and looks like new forever.

Now that you are aware of guttering, have a look at your neighbouring houses, and be particularly mindful of the appearance of the gutters. In a new neighbourhood, probably most will have seamless guttering, but maybe you will find one or two that chose “the other sort”.

That will help you make the decision that you will need to top off your pride and joy with seamless gutters.

If you still aren’t convinced about the advantages of seamless guttering, get along to a Home Show, find a roofing contractor, search with Google, and ask an expert.

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How’s your garage?

Is it stuffed? Do you use your garage for the purpose of storing the stuff you don’t want in your house? Everyone has rubbish. Usually the dirty rubbish gets put into the bin and your council picks it up and gets rid of it But the clean rubbish …. Maybe we will need it some time in the future. Don’t get rid of it yet. We may need that bubble wrap, that old cupboard, that three-legged chair, so put it in the garage for the time being.

But the garage has another purpose. Number 1 purpose is to provide under cover parking for your motor vehicle. Number 2 purpose is to provide storage for such things as garden tools, mowers, ladders, bikes, boogey boards, beach umbrellas, and other things that are used at particular times of the year, but not necessarily every day or even every week. 

So it seems that even if you have a big garage, the items needing to the kept there keep multiplying so that they fill up every available space. The clothes dryer broke down … get a new one, put the old one in the garage. The kid has outgrown his bike … his toys … his bed …..put them in the garage.

Does your resident handyman like to work on his projects in the garage? And is there a lot of detritus created by said projects? Of course there is. But does said detritus stay in the garage until the next time? Of course it does. Eventually things get to breaking point and the wife says in a sweet voice, “Honey, Huunnee, Will you CLEAN UP THE GARAGE”.

So a few weeks later, when you can’t find the mower, it’s in the back there somewhere, you have to do something about the stuff in the garage.

Get serious. Sort it out into KEEP, DONATE and THROW categories. Then sort out the KEEPERS so that similar items can be stored together. This makes it easier to find things. Get hold of some of those crates that are readily available at the big hardwares or reject shops, and small items can go in there. Label the boxes so you can find the things again. Bigger items can be stored on shelves, or hung from hooks. Carefully assess the space in the garage, so there is going to be enough room for the car to open its doors. Then you may consider enclosed storage cabinets, workshop type benches with peg boards for tools, etc.  It all depends on forward planning.

And if you need help with the DONATE and THROW categories, look around for a reliable rubbish remover, who can pick it all up and dispense it in the appropriate directions. Have a tour through the rest of the house, because if you’re going to use a rubbish remover, maybe there are other things that can go along at the same time. The old clothes in the back of the wardrobe that were tossed in there a few years ago. The old blankets you don’t need any more because the new quilts do the job exceedingly well. There must be heaps of things that can be culled while you are about it.

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What Is the Purpose of Pruning your Trees?

Basically, the main reason why pruning is important is because it keeps the plants and trees (and our other leafy friends) healthy for a long period of time. They can take care of themselves so long as there’s a sufficient source of water and sunlight. However, once their growth gets affected by unnecessary branches here and there, that’s when they need help.

Another reason why tree pruning is done is to make the plants and trees bloom further. In fact, a lot of people prune to get more from them, like more flowers or more fruits. There are also some who want more leaves, especially if the plant has a lot of health benefits.

Nevertheless, regardless of the reason, the point is, you don’t or shouldn’t prune for no reason at all. If you prune just for the sake of pruning, you are just ruining or, worse, killing them. Pruning is a process that is a bit risky as it could harm the plant or tree, so do it only when it’s needed. And don’t overdo it!

How to Prune Properly

You don’t have to have commendable pruning skills if the plants and trees that will be pruned are small. However, large trees, specifically, are more complex and need more care, so you have to know how to deal with them to avoid damaging them. In general, though, here are some tips on how to prune properly:

1. Don’t Prune During the Growing Season

The growing season is when the plants and trees undergo drastic changes, and the last thing that you should do is interfere. There’s a limited source of water during this time, so they are weak. Wait until the growing season ends before you prune them. They will be healthy by that time.

2. Be Careful When Cutting Off Tree Branches

When cutting off tree branches, you have to make sure that you cut on the part that is not too near the trunk. Not doing this could cause damage to the bark and could infect the tree, and that’s inconvenient to deal with. If you want your pruning to go smoothly, be careful when cutting off branches.

3. Leave the Large Branches Alone

If you cut off large branches by yourself, you might do it the wrong way, resulting in infections. Keep in mind that when you cut off branches, you are wounding the tree and creating an opening where infectious organisms could come in. This is especially important to note if you haven’t dealt with large branches before. Leave the task to the experts.

4. Use Sharp Tools

When doing activities that involve cutting, it’s important that you use sharp tools. This is a no-brainer because, obviously, if you use unsharpened tools, pruning will be a bit of a struggle. More than that, the area that will be cut will look bad and might even get prone to diseases, which are both damaging. That said, choose the right tools!

5. Let the Experts Do the Pruning for You

Generally speaking, pruning isn’t an easy task. If you don’t want to cause damages, there are a lot of factors to consider, and those factors depend on the tree or plant that will be pruned. You have to do some research beforehand and do the pruning several times to get the hang of it. If you don’t want to do that, then let the experts do the pruning for you!

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