Tips For Plumbing When It Comes To Home Maintenance

Plumbing problems are not something you want to be dealing with, yet they do tend to happen from time to time. It’s important to know what to do in these situations to ensure you’re fixing the issues at hand and keeping an eye on all aspects of it to check for any early signs of trouble. Here are some tips for plumbing when it comes to home maintenance.

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Check For Any Dripping Pipes

As a regular maintenance job at home, it’s a good idea to be checking the pipes every so often. It doesn’t take long to take a look at your taps and underneath the sinks to check if anything is leaking or looks like it has leaked in the past and has dried up. All these could be signs of a problem with your plumbing, and you want to address it as soon as it’s been discovered. Water can really have an effect on the structure of anything over time, and if it’s something that has been leaking for a while, it could cause further damage to your property if you’re not careful. Check for any dripping pipes on a regular basis and ensure you’re doing it every month or so. It’s something that will only take a couple of minutes to quickly look over, and it’s a good idea to regularly maintain any pipes using products to keep them clear.

Get A Plumber For Any Serious Concerns

For any serious concerns that you might have to do with your plumbing, it’s a good idea to get it sorted by a professional. There are some jobs around the home that you don’t want to test your amateur DIY skills in and unless you have professional experience, then taking apart plumbing appliances is not something you should be doing. Get a plumber in for any serious problems that you’re having, and they’ll be qualified to deal with the task, however big or small it may be. It’s one of those situations where you just need to pay to get it fixed.

Have Spare Parts 

Spare parts are something that is worth having available to you, just in case, there might be things that you do that a plumber might advise if they can’t come out straight away. Whether it’s to do with flanges or anything that can help stop leaks or put a temporary hold on them. Spare parts are always good to have lying around the home as they might come in useful at some point. 

Use Drain Unblockers Regularly

If you’re someone who has to deal with a lot of hair going down the drain or you’re one to wash bits of food down the kitchen sink, it’s worth getting some drain unblockers that you can put down the drains regularly. This will help to keep them clear as these products will have chemicals that can dissolve hair or food debris.
Keep up with the plumbing at home by being wary of what’s going on under your sinks and ensuring you get professionals out when it’s needed.

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Ensuring Safety In A New Home

Whenever you move into a new home, you always want to make sure that it is going to be as safe as possible to live there. This is something that you might find requires a lot of attention and care, and it is definitely the kind of thing you are going to want to be careful about, especially if you are worried for the wellbeing and safety of you and your family. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the things you can do to ensure that your new home is as safe for everyone as possible. As long as you follow these steps, you shouldn’t have to worry about your family’s safety in the new home.

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Gas Safety

One of the most important early checks that you need to make in a new home is the gas safety. This is something which can easily cause a lot of problems if you are not careful, and the last thing you want is to be in this kind of trouble in a new home. The first thing to do is to call out a gas engineer who can check over the safety of all of your home. That will include a safety check of the gas boiler, if there is one, as well as all of the pipes and gas ball valves. You can find out more on gas ball valves here and see why it is so important that they are checked by a professional when you move into a new home. If there is anything wrong with any of the gas equipment, you are going to have to have that dealt with as soon as possible, ideally before you even move into the home.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is one of the biggest concerns that you will have in any home, and it is something that you are going to want to think about if you are keen on keeping your family and yourself as safe as possible. The trouble with carbon monoxide is that it is odourless, colourless, and dangerous. It can easily kill you in a matter of minutes, and even when it doesn’t it can cause a lot of internal health problems still. You need to ensure that there is a working carbon monoxide detector in the home before you even move in, or get one as soon as possible. If there isn’t one, you never know whether there might be carbon monoxide in the home causing you health problems.

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Electrics
At the same time, make sure that you call someone in to have a look at your electrics. You never know what could be wrong with the electrics in a new home, and it’s something that you are going to want to think about if you are keen on making the home as safe as possible. As long as you have it checked over by a professional, you should be okay, so make sure that you are having this done as soon as possible.

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Avoid Home Disasters With This Top Advice

When you buy a home, you suddenly realise that this is the biggest purchase you might ever make in your lifetime. Sure, you might move on from one home to the next. But initially, a property is a big expense. Once you buy your home, it doesn’t stop there. You may want to decorate it, maintain it, and you may need to make some renovations. However, home ownership means that those costs or potential problems never stop. With that in mind, here are some of the ways you can avoid potential home disasters. Simple things can make a big difference, especially financially.      

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Don’t be left in the cold

As winter is fast approaching once more, your thoughts may have turned to your current heating system. The last thing anyone wants is to be left with no heating on the coldest day of the year. However, as your system may not have been used for some time, it’s vital to have it checked out to avoid any potential issues during the next few months. A professional will be able to predict if there are any lingering issues, giving you the opportunity to rectify it at a lesser cost. 

Avoid electrical disasters

The problem with our electrical system is that there is an abundance of things that could go wrong. Mostly ones that you can’t predict. Blackouts might occur during bad weather. Perhaps fuses blow up with electrical surges. You may even have put the wrong light bulbs into fittings. While electrical disasters can never be something you are prepared for, there are options to think about, just in case. If disaster does strike, you are ready and waiting to resolve them as soon as possible. 

Keep tabs on roofing after bad weather

Bad weather is inevitable during the winter months. With the wind and heavy storms looming there is no surprise that your roof can take the brunt of it. It’s always worth keeping tabs to ensure that no slates or rivets have come loose. If you can take a closer look. Depending on the type of roof you have, it may need specialists to help fix the issues. Companies like RPS Metal Roofing, for example, can help with metal roof incidents, whereas other building merchant providers might be able to help with slate or other materials that have been used. Getting the specialists in will ensure no leaks begin to take place causing further damage to your home. Water damage can cause damp and mould build up within the walls. All of which can be started with a leaky roof. 

Prepare for the colder weather ahead

It’s bound to get colder as each day passes during winter. So it’s essential to avoid any possible disasters that could occur due to the cold weather. One, in particular, would be to protect your pipework. Water pipes leaving and entering your home can freeze during the colder months. Once they begin to thaw, they can suddenly burst to cause you huge leaks and issues. Protecting those pipes with a foam surround is an excellent way to avoid your pipes freezing in the first place. You may also want to consider doing those annual DIY jobs like clearing the gutters. Wet weather can hit hard and blocked gutters could cause further damage if not taken care of. 

Let’s hope this has inspired you to prepare and avoid those disasters that could occur. 

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Making Your Living Space as Safe as Possible at All Times

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We all want to be as safe as possible in our homes. This isn’t all too surprising. These spaces are our safe havens – spots where we can let our hair down, kick back and relax. They’re the places we feel most vulnerable. We want to be able to rest in them without concerns for our overall safety and wellbeing. This particularly goes for now, when the coronavirus has forced many of us into our own homes all day, every day. But what can you do to make your home a safe space for you and anyone else who lives with you? Here are a few ideas and suggestions to help you along the way!

Tips for Everyone

There are certain tips that everyone should follow, as they can protect everyone’s safety and wellbeing. One is to make sure that your home has smoke detectors fitted and that they are all checked regularly. If batteries need to be replaced, replace them immediately. Carbon monoxide detectors are another good idea, as this gas is deadly but has no smell or taste, so can’t easily be identified as other gases may be. In a similar vein, making use of radon detectors and Radon Systems Maintenance is also a good idea. Make sure that you wipe down any items you may bring in from outside – such as food shopping – as the coronavirus that’s currently plaguing the world can live on surfaces for extended periods of time. Deep cleaning your house regularly can also help to keep you safe.

Living with Kids

If you live with kids, there are a few extra safety measures you might want to undertake to maintain their safety. They don’t have as much safety awareness as we do and you have to remove as many potential risks as possible to protect them within your home. If you have blinds in your windows, make sure the pulls and ties are wound around a safety clip, out of the reach of little ones. Store medication, cleaning products and anything else that’s potentially toxic in locked cupboards well out of reach. You may also want to consider child proof cupboard locks on other cabinets and doors so they can’t access food or other items without you knowing. Make sure you only have child and pet friendly house plants or plants in your garden. Ensure that the perimeters of your garden are completely sealed and that you have a lock on access points such as gates if they’re going to be playing outside. Stair gates are a good addition to your home if you have young children. If you have large furniture, such as bookshelves, make sure they’re properly fixed to your walls so they can’t tip over. These steps are simple to implement but can save lives.

These are just a few different pieces of advice. It may seem a lot to consider, but once you’ve implemented the necessary safety systems and have got into a routine of habit, they won’t take as much time or effort as you may initially think!

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Ready To Try Minimalism?

The concept of minimalism often refers to the idea that ‘less is more.’ 

But it has a deeper meaning at the base of it all. This is about making a conscious decision, reducing clutter, and only having essentials. Placing items in a space in a specific way to focus and amplify them. It has also been said that minimalism in the home can offer us less mental clarity too, as it only allows you to concentrate on what is right in front of you. 

In the early days, you might consider minimalism complicated. Because it can feel limited, but it actually doesn’t have to be that way. You can create a minimalist design with ease. 

One of the first things that you will do is declutter the room that you intend to have more minimal. 

Donating, selling, or throwing things in the trash that you just don’t need to use or not.

When it comes to minimalism in interior design, there are a few simple theories.

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Function over form

When you are moving to more minimalist interior design, this has to be done with a function at the forefront of your mind. Making your space functional and easy to use should be the first step. This means investing in smart storage, getting rid of things that don’t really add any value to the room.

Design Points

Details will count more in a minimalist interior than you might think. Because there is less ‘stuff’ in general, people are free to really absorb intricate details of the furniture that you do choose. 

Everything in sight from your couch to your carpet should convey a message. For example, if you find joy in grey and yellow, try to incorporate that in the colours. If you find that hammered metals and luxury velvet cushions make you happy, then work with those. It is always prudent to opt for quality items when you have less in your home. So when you are looking for high-quality carpets, you go to somewhere like Carpet To Go, and if you have blinds fitted, you go to a specialist for that. Quality counts.

Color

Most minimalist interiors will have white or cream as a base because they bring a lot of light and air into a room. They also look visually pleasing. And can accommodate a wide range of other color pallets. 

Minimalism really means order, and this rings true for the color palette too. If you have unconnected colors in your rooms, it will create some visual clutter, which is harmful. In fact, visual clutter can be as toxic as physical clutter.

Choose a color that makes you feel happy and inspire some sort of emotion. Much of the colour palette that you choose will be dependent on the style of the room. For an office, you might want something that is creatively charged and bright, for a bedroom something more relaxing like blue or green.

Personality

Don’t be afraid to add your personality in terms of artwork and sculptures. They will often be able to stand alone because they have less clutter detracting from them. Which makes them more eye-catching, and in an even better investment.

Minimalism is about simplicity. Making sure that everything has a purpose, choosing death with it is relevant to you, and even simplifying your storage to make sure it’s easy to maintain.

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Easing Stress, Anxiety and Sadness While on Lockdown

The COVID-19 outbreak has taken a huge toll on all of us. Take a look at this post in which we reflected on the death toll and economic impact as well as providing our post-partisan take on the government’s handling of the pandemic. These are uncertain times for all of us. And when uncertainty arises, anxiety is often quick to follow. The pandemic and subsequent lockdown have, quite understandably, precipitated spikes in anxiety and depression throughout the world. Still, as you grapple with the “new normal” it’s important to remember that you are not powerless. You can take control of your mental health and improve your psychological wellbeing by being proactive. 

Image by 6689062 via Pixabay

Here’s how…

Take control of your finances

Your household budget is a balance sheet of income and expenditure. You’ve likely taken a drop in income. But that doesn’t mean that you’re powerless to counteract it by addressing your expenditure. The best place to start is the kitchen. Get used to eating more wholefoods (especially fruits and veggies). Buy fresh when you can. Buy tinned, dried or frozen when you can’t. As you get used to batch cooking and meal planning you’ll be amazed by how much less you spend on food.

Don’t forget about your bills, either. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you need to pay over the odds for your utilities, home or auto insurance. Start running some price comparisons now or investigate local providers and you might just be amazed by what you can save. What’s more, if you’re no longer using your car, you don’t necessarily have to go to the expense of insuring it

Make time for yourself

You’re likely sharing your home with the whole family. As a result, it’s likely feeling a whole lot smaller. It can feel as though everyone is getting under your feet, and inevitably cabin fever may set in. This is why it’s so vital that you (and everyone else in the household) make time for yourself. Remember that you still can, and should go outside to get some fresh air. Take a walk, sit in the park and read a book for an hour. Play some video games or watch a movie by yourself if it helps you unwind but be wary of spending all day in front of a screen. 

Make time for yourself and you’ll return to your family happier and better adjusted with more perspective on your problems. 

Eat more plants, and less of everything else

Fruits, veggies, grains and pulses are packed with nutrients and phytochemicals to keep your body in tip top shape and your immune system ready for battle. However, studies suggest that a vegetarian diet also helps to boost your mood and reduce stress. Not to mention saving you money. So load up on plant based foods and steer clear of anything processed where possible.

Exercise in whatever way works best for you

Finally, exercise can be a tremendous boon when trying to stay positive and alleviate stress. Exercise floods the brain with endorphins- the body’s feel good chemicals. Furthermore, the idea of wowing people with the new, leaner and healthier you once the lockdown is lifted can be a powerful motivator. 

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Simple Tips to Transitioning to Working-from-Home

If you’re one of the many office workers who have recently transitioned from working in an office to now working remotely from home, you might be pulling your hair out trying to figure out exactly how to make the environment work best for you. 

Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-macbook-pro-near-iphone-and-apple-magic-keyboard-2528116/

Working from the comfort of your own home has huge pros, and a few cons. The lack of social interaction can be rough, and learning how to navigate meetings and face-to-face discussions via Skype or Zoom can make even the most introverted person wishing to be in the same room as their coworkers. 

One of the ways to reduce that stress though is to make sure that your home office environment is a welcoming place, thoroughly equipped to make your job easier to perform. If you haven’t already, now is the time to consider a dual monitor system. Whether you’re working on spreadsheets, going over a project with coworkers over the phone, or switching between two websites to compare, having two monitors greatly increases productivity. According to a survey performed by Jon Peddie Research, a second monitor increases your average output by 20 to 30 percent. 

Next, let’s talk about docking your laptop. If you’re accustomed to working on a larger monitor, and suddenly only have your laptop, you can consider docking your laptop. This will save on the cost of an entirely new computer, but allow you to use a larger or second monitor, as well as a traditional more ergonomic keyboard and mouse. For short amounts of time, a laptop can be a great machine to work on, but having a docking station is key in making sure your work station is a comfortable place to work. Not all laptop docking stations are made equally, though. If you’d like a thorough breakdown of some of the best options on the market in 2020, check out this review here

Finally, let’s address that persnickety video conference issue. 

Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/turned-on-macbook-3205403/

When you set up your video camera and microphone to hold meetings with coworkers or potential clients, take these tips into consideration:

  • Angle the video so that viewers are not looking up at your chin or into your nose. Have a straight-facing camera, or slightly higher than eye level.
  • Even though you’re at home, make sure your area looks professional. That means clear out any clutter from behind you that can be seen.
  • Consider the lighting. Lighting from behind is going to put a shadow on your face, so have your lighting in front or to the side of you. This could be as simple as changing the location of where you sit so that you’re using natural light from a window 
  • Use the mute button. Large conference calls can get noisy. Touch-to-talk can make a meeting much easier to deal with when several people are in attendance. 

If you’re new to working from home, it can be a stretch, but well worth it in the long-run. You may need to remind kids and family members that while you are at home, you do need to focus on work during specific hours. This can greatly decrease interruptions and have you focused and productive throughout your workday.

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Why Stainless Steel Is The Choice For Commercial Sinks?

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When buying a sink for commercial purposes you need to give a greater level of contemplation to the decision you make. After all, a commercial sink is likely to be used a lot more frequently than one that is found in the home. Therefore the need for high levels of quality and durability are evident if you wish to benefit from a sink that is going to withstand excessive use and last for a long period of time. 

Your main area of concern should be regarding what type of material the sink is made from. In general, the main options at your disposal include; stainless steel, cast iron, glass, granite, stone, plastic, marble, ceramic, and terrazzo. Nonetheless, despite the vast selection, when it comes to commercial sinks stainless steel is the clear winner.

One of the main reasons why commercial stainless steel sinks, strainers, and sanitary tubing are the first choice for businesses is because of their low price tag. In comparison to most of the materials mentioned, you will find that stainless steel sinks are cheaper in cost. This is obviously particularly important when dealing with commercial use as businesses aim to keep their costs as minimised as possible. 

Aside from this, you will fail to find another sink with the vast levels of durability that stainless steel offers. This is extremely beneficial if you own a business, such as a restaurant, whereby the sink is going to be used non-stop throughout the majority of the day. You need not worry if you accidentally chuck pots and pans in the sink whilst in a rush. Your sink won’t chip or dent. If that wasn’t good enough, stainless steel is also stain-resistant too. Thus, you can rest assured you won’t need to experience the hassle of a repair or replacement anytime soon. 

In addition to this, commercial stainless steel sinks are really easy to maintain. You don’t need to buy any special cleaning products nor do you need to embark on extensive upkeep. This is especially advantageous when dealing with commercial sinks as it is unlikely you will have the time to spend time cleaning excessively. 

And let’s not ignore the aesthetic beauty of a stainless steel sink in your commercial kitchen. There is a wealth of different sink styles available in this material. Nonetheless, they all share the same qualities of looking sleek and shiny. Not only this, but they are easily matched with other commercial kitchen appliances and with the decor of the kitchen too.

Before concluding, there are different types of commercial stainless steel sinks available. You can differentiate based on obvious qualities, such as size. However, in order to reap the gains of the highest quality sink, you need to look for a higher percentage of nickel and chromium in the steel. Thus, seek a sink with either 18-8 or 20-10 printed on the product information.

If you are looking to purchase a sink for commercial purposes then look no further than one made from stainless steel. Not only are commercial stainless steel sinks affordable, but they are also highly durable, easy to maintain, pleasing on the eye, and versatile too.

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Hacks To Save On Your Auto Insurance

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What is auto insurance?

Auto insurance is essentially a contract that offers protection if you have an accident or your car is stolen. You pay a set premium, and then your insurance company will pay out your losses, as stated in the policy. Auto insurance offers coverage for liability, for example, if you injure others or their property. You’ll also get coverage for medical expenses, for instance, the expense of treating any injuries you sustain. Auto insurance also covers costs associated with damage to your own vehicle or theft. Of course, there are plenty of different auto insurance policies out there, and not all are the same price. To save money on your auto insurance, try the following hacks.

1. Improve your credit rating 

Many auto insurance companies will check your credit rating to determine which kind of policy they can offer you. Supposedly, auto insurance providers view an excellent credit rating as an indication of a responsible person, who is not a risk to insure. Now, this may not be the case in all circumstances; however, improving your credit rating is one way to get yourself a good auto insurance deal. There are a few sites online where you can check your credit rating for free.

2. Look for discounts 

Some Auto Insurance providers offer discounts under certain circumstances, so when you’re looking to bag yourself a good deal, it’s useful to know which discounts are available. Low mileage discounts are available for drivers who habitually keep their mileage average or below average, so if this is you, it’s worth checking if you qualify. Another discount available is a ‘multi-policy discount,’ meaning that you will pay less if you buy another policy from the same provider. The second policy could be life insurance or home insurance, for instance.

3. Compare costs

It’s impossible to save money unless you compare prices first. You might be tempted to renew your current auto insurance policy, but if you don’t shop around, you could be missing out on a better policy elsewhere. There are several handy price comparison websites online which will allow you to suss out the best deals!

4. Increase your deductibles

When you are looking for auto insurance, you can generally pick a deductible that suits you. A deductible means the amount of money it will cost you to get your insurance provider to payout ( if your vehicle is stolen or you’re in an accident). Usually, deductibles range from around $250 to $1500. If you put your deductible up, then you’ll benefit from paying a lower premium.
With plenty of motoring costs to pay out for, you’ll be glad to keep your auto insurance costs down. While you’re at it, look at other ways you can save money on your car expenses. One thing you can do is to use apps like ‘Gas Buddy’ to check the price of fuel stops nearby. When you check the app beforehand, you can find out the cheapest deals and drive on if you’re not happy with the price!

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Going Biophilic: Making Your Office Pop with Nature

A trend in office design caters to workers’ well-being and the need for a better connection to their environment, and that is biophilic design. With this movement, designers are integrating nature and other natural elements into spaces that would otherwise feel cold and less conducive to productivity and interaction. It’s been proven by studies that the way a workplace is set up can greatly impact how efficient work is done.

You might be wondering how you can adopt this trend into your own space. Here are some neat ways to do so:

  • Install a green wall

Stress and fatigue are more greatly increased in office spaces that look completely urbanized and have no semblance of nature in them whatsoever. A manageable way to combat this is to install a fixture that even aesthetically creates a natural atmosphere, even if it isn’t legitimately a tree from the forest.

For instance, artificial green walls are produced in Malaysia to bring the benefits of plants and flora without the same need for upkeep (like direct sunlight and consistent watering). The mental relief that comes from seeing the presence of nature is properly triggered in mind, even if artificial greenery is used. As the imagery is curated, the brain perceives more natural elements and immediately creates a positive response.

  • Let in some natural light

One of the core elements in biophilic design is making use of natural light. Psychologically, people tend to feel tenser when there is limited access to natural light sources. Simply keeping a wide window without thick curtains or panels covering them can provide that relief to employees.

In areas that don’t have window access or see staff working at night, natural light can be generally simulated by using light fixtures that are warmer and less harsh. With the right set-up, this can even end up harnessing more creativity and collaboration than a space that is too dim and filled with harsh, cool tones. Letting in some sun also helps to make a space feel less cramped and makes way for shadows and such that produce more feelings of ease, contributing to an uptick of performance.

  • Mimic nature in your furniture set-up

While incorporating plants into your office space is the surefire way to go, you can also sustain this environment by mimicking the flow of nature with the way you set up your furniture. Even if you don’t overhaul everything to incorporate wood and stone elements, you can simply arrange your spaces in a way that feels more natural instead of completely structured and manmade.

This style can be seen in a lot of open working spaces, and you can still achieve it even if you need to create departmental partitions and closed areas for meetings. Incorporating patterns with intertwined movement and using placements that feel more organic can effectively simulate nature’s growth in workers’ subconscious, without sacrificing any cohesion in the workplace.

Try these design suggestions in your own office. You can watch the space bloom into a solid investment in productivity and employee satisfaction.

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