Protecting Your Home from Storms

Protecting Your Home from Storms

Protecting your home during storms and extreme weather conditions should be a priority among homeowners, regardless of where you live. Storms, winter weather, and even unseasonably warm temperatures can wreak havoc on your home, potentially causing costly damage while also making those living there uncomfortable, possibly posing a risk to their health and well-being. There are some common-sense strategies that may be adopted regardless of your geographic locale, while also eliminating the need for pricey repairs later on

Keep the following in mind when preparing for storms or extreme conditions:

Snow and ice

When you think of winter storms, it is likely that snow and ice come to mind. The best defense against the cold days of winter is insulation. Even if your home was insulated fairly recently, it can still be helpful to check and enhance the insulation around your attic, ceilings, windows, crawl-spaces, and pipes. If you spot ice hanging from the gutters or eaves, it is possible that heat is escaping through your attic. Caulk gaps around windows and lay blankets or towels on the floor of the attic to curb this heat-loss.

Garage doors can get jammed up by ice and snow that gets packed into the mechanisms. The best way to prevent this is to concentrate on removing snow quickly from this area, before it has a chance to get packed in or turn to ice. This will also ensure that you can close the door tightly, keeping the whole home warmer. Never use a gas space heater inside the home during storms or power-outages as the toxic fumes can be dangerous for your family. Keep ample supplies on hand to tide you over until the storm has passed. This will eliminate the need to be out on dangerous, slippery roads for needed goods.

Wind and rain

If you live somewhere that is prone to high winds and torrential rain storms, it could be practical to consider some sort of safeguard such as outdoor rainscreen panels. These panels will put a protective barrier between your home and the driving rain outside. Another great idea is to implement California shutters on your home. These will keep flying debris from blowing into your windows, potentially breaking glass and causing subsequent water damage from rain. It is wise to keep trees pruned in your yard and on your property in the event of high winds. This will remove yet another hazard that could be blown into your home, damaging your belongings or injuring your loved ones. If you notice a line is down, never attempt to move or touch the line as it could be live. Instead, call the city or electric company for assistance.

When you see people preparing for hurricanes, they frequently use wide tape to cover their windows. While this will prevent glass from shattering, it won’t help the window from breaking. A rainscreen panel or storm shutter will be a more effective approach.

Lightning

Contrary to popular belief, lightning can strike twice in the same spot. Use care to protect your electronics from power surges during lightning storms and use fire precautions whenever possible.

Stay safe and keep your family comfortable with these storm suggestions. A bit of care and caution now can reduce the need for costly repairs after the storm has done its damage. Also, many of these tips will help conserve energy and could potentially lower the cost that many pay every month for utility bills. Get ready for storms before they hit, and keep supplies on hand to make the time spent inside a bit more comfortable and pleasant for the whole family!

This article was contributed on behalf of Wade Architectural Systems, your number one choice when looking for architectural Centria panels. Check out their website today and see how they can help you! 

Your Rights as a Tenant in Pittsburgh

Your Rights as a Tenant in Pittsburgh

Each state has a unique set of laws that govern the rights and responsibilities of tenants. Having an understanding of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant is a wise move before entering into a legal agreement with a landlord.

It is easy to forget that renting an apartment is more than a place to live, it is an actual binding contract between the landlord and the tenant. It is important to proceed with caution by reading the details of the lease to ensure that your rights are protected under the laws that govern the state of Pennsylvania.  Use common sense and create a verifiable paper trail protect your rights as a tenant. However, keep in mind that oral agreements are also legal in Pennsylvania but may be hard to prove in court.

Basic Tenants Rights

A tenant has certain rights under Pennsylvania law. Knowledge of your rights as a tenant can greatly increase your options should you run into problems with your landlord during the duration of the lease. Believe it or not, safety, cleanliness, and privacy are just a few of the rights afforded to you as a tenant. The lease should be written and provided to the tenant as proof of the tenant/landlord arrangement. In addition, the tenant has a right to dwell in the residence during the entire duration of the lease. Following the end of a lease and the vacating of the rental property, the landlord must return the deposit within 30 days.

Property Rights

The tenant has a right to peaceful possession of the property inhabited. A landlord can not harass a tenant by entering the rental unit without proper notice and without a valid reason. Appropriate reasons for entering a rental unit include emergencies, repairs, or showing the unit to rental prospects. Furthermore, a landlord cannot legally turn off utilities or change the locks.

Evictions

Pennsylvania law requires that a landlord goes to court in order to legally evict a tenant or recover any unpaid funds. Any landlord that attempts to evict a tenant without a court hearing is breaking the law. If you happen to find yourself in a position where you are forcibly being asked to leave, understand that before the landlord can evict you, he or she must notify you in writing with a “notice to vacate.” This notice must be given to the tenant prior to filing for eviction. Even after the court hearing has taken place both landlord and tenant have the right to appeal any initial court decisions. A landlord can not legally retaliate against a tenant that makes formal complaints or appeals a court decision.

Awareness of the tenant laws that govern the state you reside in can often be the difference between being taken advantage of or possessing the knowledge to handle your rental woes in a proactive manner. Tenants’ rights, just as well as landlords’ rights, are in place to protect both parties and to make sure that everyone benefits from the agreed upon legal terms.

 

The Importance of Keeping Your Children Active

The Importance of Keeping Your Children Active

Keeping active is relatively easy in the warmer months of spring and summer, as outdoor activities are abundant. Once the cold hits though, everyone’s stuck indoors, making it that much harder to ensure your children get the exercise and mental stimulation they need to stay healthy. Here are some ways you can keep your children active throughout the winter months and why it’s important.

Staying Healthy Through Physical Activity

The American Heart Association advises kids get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day. That could take the form of after-school sports, dance classes, walks, jogs and even just playing a game of neighborhood kickball in the street. Because being inactive as a kid means you are far more likely to be inactive as an adult, it’s imperative to kick start this way of thinking early on. The AHA says getting adequate physical activity — either outdoors or indoors — can help control weight, reduce blood pressure, raise good cholesterol, reduce the risk of diabetes and improve self-confidence and self-esteem. Kids who engage in regular physical activity also tend to have stronger muscles and bones, get better sleep and have a more positive outlook on life, says KidsHealth. With exercise comes the ability to achieve not just physical health but mental health as well. Children who are active have more chance of being motivated academically, successful in life, and alert to handle anything that may come their way.

Promoting Physical Activity

While it may seem like a chore to get your child off the couch in the winter, if you make the activity fun, they are more likely to get excited about something other than the latest video games and TV shows. As a role model for the children in your life, it helps to show by example. That means if you want your kid to take a brisk walk around the block, you should be leading the charge. Engage younger kids in a fun nature walk where you challenge yourselves to find all sorts of things, from leaves in all colors to creatures like caterpillars. If you can’t get outside due to the cold or snowy weather, promote indoor physical activity such as obstacle courses in the basement, jumping jacks and other fun exercises, or even visit an indoor playground to let your children get out their wiggles.

Get Them in on the Fun

In an age where you’re competing — almost futilely it seems — with electronic gadgets of all kinds, it’s important to keep the activities you choose fun and engaging. Play to their strengths and offer up a few options for them to select the ones that interest them the most. The Raising Children Network says kids who have good balance may like to do gymnastics, hit the playground, dance, climb, or go for bike rides, while kids who are skilled in hand-eye coordination may enjoy bowling, tennis, baseball, or Frisbee.

The next time you hear “I’m bored!” get them off the couch and doing something — anything — active to engage their mind and body.

Protein and Your Body

Protein and Your Body

Proteins are versatile, remarkable, and dynamic working molecules within our cells.  Without proteins, life would not exist.  The human body utilizes amino acids from protein to construct and maintain muscle and deliver fuel.  While physical activity sends a signal to the brain to build muscle proteins, it is critical that the body has access to high-quality protein to supply the essential amino acids to build that muscle.

Muscle protein synthesis begins with amino acids

Physical activity involves repetitive muscle contractions.  As muscles contract, they send signals to their individual cells, requesting more of the particular proteins needed for their activity.  For the 24 to 48 hours following moderately intensive exercise, muscles must meet the demand for new protein synthesis, as muscle cells are built.  During this time, muscles speed up their protein synthesis rate.  To meet this demand, it is crucial that the body have access to sufficient essential amino acids.  While some are derived from the recycling of proteins already in the body, new amino acids are needed within this critical window of time from quality protein in the diet.   Protein synthesis ramps up once the muscle receives essential amino acids.  Studies support the notion that essential amino acids delivered to muscle after exercise promote the tripling of protein synthesis for about an hour or two.

The rate of muscle protein synthesis declines after this time window.  It is for this reason that a complete protein, such as whey protein isolate, be available for muscles during this critical period of rebuilding.  This synergy between physical activity and essential amino acids is indispensable for muscle protein synthesis.

Diversity of protein functions

Amino acids link together in unique sequences to form long strands. The great variety of proteins in the body is made possible by the nearly infinite number of arrangements of the body’s 20 amino acids.  Each unique sequence and its structure make a wide variety of different proteins.  While some protein strands work in isolation, others group together to gain function.  One example, hemoglobin, consists of four associated proteins, each of which grasps iron within the red blood cells.  Each individual protein within the body performs a unique task in a particular cell or tissue type.  Proteins play roles as diverse as providing structure and movement, building hormones or enzymes, synthesizing enzymes, transporting substances, and maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance.

Protein deficiency

When the diet is in short supply of protein or a specific essential amino acid, protein synthesis is slowed while the body breaks down its own internal tissue protein.  This process serves to liberate amino acids for the body’s most critically important processes.  Without enough protein, the life-sustaining activities of the body slowly cease.  Consequent repercussions are compromised nutrient absorption, slower growth in children, diminished kidney and brain function, and debilitated immunity.

The human body has a remarkable capacity to build, regenerate, and maintain itself, given the right building blocks.  With a daily supply of amino acids to meet the critical threshold, the body can support its critical functions.  For athletes concerned about maintaining and building muscle mass, the functional role of protein is of vital importance.

Build or buy? How to get your dream home

Build or buy? How to get your dream home

When it comes to finding your dream home, there are many routes you can take. You may have already seen a property you like, however, if you’re struggling to find a home that suits your every need then new build homes in York or any other desirable location could be the answer.

No matter what you’re looking for – here’s how to get your dream home.

Buying a new build home

There are a number of advantages to buying a new build home. Once your chosen home is ready, you can move in straight away without having to factor in renovation or redecoration needs. In fact, many companies offering new build properties will allow you to have a say on the colour scheme, style, fittings and fixtures. Deposits on new build properties are often smaller than that of older houses which is a great help to those wishing to get a foot on the property ladder or downsize.

A hassle-free move

Building your own home can take a great deal longer than anticipated; it can also be a trying process. From investing in the services of plumbers, electricians, builders and planning permission – there are a number of factors to take into consideration.

Buying new is a lot easier, especially if you have little time or inclination for DIY. Apart from putting up a few shelves and pictures, you’ll hardly have to lift a finger.

Eco-friendly aspects

Both buying and building new is often a much more eco-friendly option than buying an older property. Most new builds are fitted with all the latest design innovations which can often save you money in the long run.

A new property is also less likely to be taxing on the environment as features such as triple glazed windows and cavity wall installation all help to make a new build extremely efficient.

A smarter choice

Opting for a new build property is a smart move in this day and age, especially if you’re looking for a quality home that is both affordable and stress-free. With an abundance of new homes in various locations throughout the UK and Wales, it’s now easier than ever to find a property that suits your requirements.

Bargain nights in with the girls

Bargain nights in with the girls

It’s not always easy to juggle a busy life with your family and to stay in touch with the friends you had before you had children, or even making time to see new friends without it always being a family affair. Though it can be great when you have a houseful of children and their parents, sometimes it’s nice to have some time with just you and your girlfriends.

For many women who are at home with young children, they may not be earning or not earning very much, so it might feel too self-indulgent to go out that often. This is why it’s a great idea to have some ideas for a cheap and cheerful night in with friends, instead of going out somewhere.

The internet is a real help in this situation – as it can provide on-tap entertainment, either for free or at a negligible cost. For instance, if you want to set up a bingo night at home, all you need to do is get your friends to bring their phone or tablet with them and you can all log in to the same bingo website and start playing. When you first sign up to play online bingo at Winner Bingo for example you’ll see there are plenty of promotions to take advantage of, and it’s good to time a bingo night with friends  around one of the big prize games. This can add to the excitement and party atmosphere when you’re playing with other people. It’s not just Winner where you’ll find big games; many of the other sites such as Bingo Fest and Bingo Hall will have special jackpot games on their schedules on a weekly or monthly basis. Playing online bingo is a great choice for a girls’ night as it gives you something to focus on while you chat and catch up with each other.

An old favourite for a cheap night in would be to get busy in the kitchen and cook a meal together. You don’t have to be a great cook and if you’re nervous about cooking for your friends, make life easier by asking people to bring a dish. Better if you coordinate this, though, otherwise you might end up with too many starters and no main course!

And if you feel like expressing yourselves, why not have a DIY karaoke night? With youtube, you can find almost any song you can think of in a karaoke version. However, if you’re getting your friends over for an evening of belting out 80s pop songs, it might be a better idea to book the kids in for a sleepover with the grandparents!

If you can make the effort to get together with the girls every now and then, you’ll really reap the benefits of maintaining those friendships. There’s a lot of strength and support that we can draw from our friends, and many of us have friendships that last a lifetime even though we only get to see each other now and then.

 

How You Can Get Rid of Rust from Your Home

How You Can Get Rid of Rust from Your Home

Rust can accumulate in a variety of places in your home. You may find rust on your pots and pans, on your sink fixtures, in your sink or bathtub, on your plumbing pipes, and even on a concrete wall. Rust is unsightly, and people typically want to get rid of it when it manifests anywhere in the home. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, certain commercial anti-rust products can be harmful if they are inhaled or ingested. This fact makes natural remedies seem more appealing than ever. Fortunately, there are several natural and effective methods for removing rust in the home. Most of these methods involve environmentally-friendly ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen cupboards.

Baking Soda Paste

To remove rust from a broad array of objects, you might apply baking soda. Baking soda is mildly abrasive, but it can generally be used on objects such as gardening shears, stainless steel sinks, and baking pans (as long as they do not come with a non-stick coating). The best way to apply baking soda to any surface is in the form of a paste. You can combine the baking soda with water to create a thick paste. Once you apply this paste to the rusted area, leave it on the surface for several minutes. Then you can use a small brush, such as a toothbrush, to gently scrub the surface with the paste.

White Vinegar Soak

White vinegar can also be effective in the fight against rust. This simple household vinegar can dissolve rust in a relatively short amount of time. If an object is small enough to place in a bucket or sink, try leaving it immersed in vinegar for an hour or two. If a rusted object is too large to fit in a sink or bucket, try spreading newspapers on the floor and positioning it there. You can pour vinegar onto its surface, or you can apply it generously to the surface with a sponge or rag. Once the object has soaked in vinegar for an hour or two, simply rub the rust off with a rag or sponge. If some rust still adheres to the surface, try applying more vinegar and scrubbing the surface gently with aluminum foil.

Lemon or Lime Juice and Salt

A fragrant way to eradicate rust is to use some salt and the juice of a lemon or lime. Distribute a layer of salt over the rusted surface, and then squeeze fresh lime or lemon juice on the salt. Allow this paste to sit for an hour or two, and then you can use the fruit rind to scrub rust away from the surface.

Potato Scrubber

By cutting a potato in half, you can create a quick and easy rust removal implement. Potatoes contain oxalic acid, which can be used to rid various surfaces of rust. The most efficient way to scrub off rust with a potato is to cut the potato in half, dip the inside part of the potato with ordinary dish soap or baking soda, and scrub the rusted surface. You may need to apply soap or baking soda a few times before rust is thoroughly removed.

Most individuals do not welcome the sight of rust in the home. A good way to prevent much rust from manifesting is to use superior steel products purchased from quality steel dealers. In some cases, rust cannot be prevented. Instead of using potentially harmful chemical products, you can utilize home remedies to get rid of rust.

This article was contributed on behalf of Texas Iron & Metal, your number one choice when looking for local steel dealers. Check out their website today and see how they can help you! 

Family Vacation Ideas

Family Vacation Ideas

Before you send the kids back to school, give them something to remember and boast about to their friends. Taking a family vacation can be challenging, amid busy schedules and tight budgets, but the benefits and the experience can make it worthwhile. There are some great family travel ideas that can not only provide a once-in-a-lifetime memory, but that can be cost-friendly as well

Exotic getaways and adventures

Visit a balmy and tropical locale, and book your stay in an area resort for an idyllic vacation that will long be remembered. There are some great beach-front resorts, such as fantastic spas along the Californian coast and the luxurious Villas Del Mar in the southern region of the state. Kids will enjoy the freedom and amenities that these resorts have to offer, and parents will appreciate the serene tranquility that these facilities can provide.

Weekend city shopping spree

If you are in the mood for something more urban, head to the city for a weekend of shopping. Hotels and inns in some major US locales may offer great rates for two and three night stays. This might be a great time to take teens to a concert or the theater, or to visit some unique retailers for back-to-school shopping trips. Look for weeknights to find the lowest rates at hotels, and if you pick an extended-stay type of hotel, you might get kitchen facilities among the amenities offered by some accommodations.

Cost-friendly camping trips

Camping is a popular favorite among families, and most kids enjoy the outdoor oriented activities that can accompany family camping adventures. You don’t need to travel far from home to find a campground that offers tent sites and cabin rentals for your family’s weekend. Look for resort-style campgrounds near a popular amusement or area attraction.

Camping can be a great idea for families as it can often be tailored to fit the vacation budget. By shopping and taking food, you can curb the travel costs related to eating-out. You will need little in terms of recreation, with most campgrounds offering on-site amenities that are included with the cost of renting space. Be sure to encourage the kids to save their spare change for the arcade or game room that family-friendly sites usually offer!

On-site amusements and indoor playgrounds

Any time a family can stay at an amusement park or indoor playground that offers an attached lodging option, this is a great family-friendly vacation destination. These may be a long car-ride from home, or might be something in the family’s own backyard. The time spent together, and the opportunity to spend a night away from home may be just the excursion that the whole family needs before school starts back up in the fall.

All-inclusive family vacations

Some resorts offer an all-inclusive type of getaway, and this is a great option for budget-conscious families. This is also found in cruises, and some of the shorter three to five day trips are often one of the cheapest ways to travel to exotic locations. Many ships offer amenities that are geared toward young travelers, including day camps, water parks, arcades, and outings.

There are numerous options that exist for families looking to get away from it all. Whether you are seeking a weekend retreat for you and your kids, or a summer vacation for the whole family, there are some great ways to travel that don’t have to cost an arm or a leg.

This article was contributed on behalf of Del Mar Escapes, your number one choice when looking for a great vacation in Mexico. Check out their page at www.delmarescapes.com/cabo-villa-rentals for more information! 

Reducing Accidents at Home

Reducing Accidents at Home

Many accidents inside and outside the home are preventable. First, look at who resides in the home. You may require different safety features for various ages. For instance, an elderly family member who moves into your home will need different types of safety elements than a toddler or small children. However, even homes without children or seniors should have certain accident prevention items in place

Elderly Accident Prevention

Senior individuals often suffer from mobility problems. They may not have the balance they used to, or be less flexible. One of the worst places for accidents for the elderly can be the bathroom, getting into or out of the shower or bathtub, or trying to get up from the toilet.

Grab bars in the shower or tub are a necessity for the elderly. This allows them a handle to grab onto to steady themselves as they step in or out of the tub. The grab bar should be long and wide enough for a person to hold on to tightly. It should also be at the correct height, neither too low nor too high.

Slip proof mats on the floor of the shower or bathtub are also needed. However, don’t forget right outside the shower. You’ll need a sturdy floor rug for the senior to step out onto so he or she doesn’t slip and fall.

Child Accident Prevention

Avoiding furniture with pointy edges, placing gates at the top and bottom of stairs, and baby-proofing kitchen and bathroom cabinets are a few of the items you must take care of before a newborn arrives.

Also, consider installing guards on your child’s bedroom windows, especially if the room is located on the second floor of the home. Don’t use blinds or drapes with long cords. The cords can wrap around their necks causing serious injury.

Put away ladders or stools once you’re finished using them. Children are curious and may climb these items resulting in a fall.

Make sure the play area outside has grass. Children will fall when playing, but soft grass is much better than hard concrete.

Adult Accident Prevention

Throw rugs provide dimension and a burst of color to a room, but they can also result in falls if they tend to slide. Install a rug runner under throw rugs to prevent them from sliding. In addition, avoid thick throw rugs. The thicker the rug, the increased chances someone may trip over it.

Place night lights in hallways and bathrooms. Get rid of clutter. This includes children’s toys scattered during the day. While it may seem redundant to put away toys every evening, you’re preventing a fall just waiting to happen.

Clutter isn’t only relegated inside the home. Accidents can occur outside when bikes or skateboards are left on the sidewalk. The garage is another area in which clutter can accumulate and cause unnecessary injury from falls. Pick up tools and materials and put them in the proper place in the garage. Install peg posts and have your children hang their bicycles, skateboards and other items on the garage wall. This helps to declutter the garage, provide extra room, and keeps falls and injuries to a minimum.

You can keep your family safe by reducing the chance of accidents and falls by following these tips. Affordable medical supplies can help you make your home a safer place.

This article was contributed on behalf of Heal Well Medical Supplies, your number one choice when looking for help with where to buy medical supplies in Houston. Check out their website today and see how they can help you! 

The Importance of Home Service

The Importance of Home Service

Frugal and savings seem to be the key words for consumers these days. While it is understandable that one would want to save as much money as possible, many are misinformed on ways to save, and as a result end up wasting money. When it comes to household systems and repairs, preventative maintenance is always a consumer’s best defense against high costs. Though it might seem a bit backwards to spend money as a method for saving it, maintenance contracts from various service providers can save on future repairs, emergency requests, and more.

Heating and Cooling Systems

Your heating and cooling systems essentially account for about half of your home’s energy costs each year. Therefore, making sure those systems are always functioning at their best can save you a great deal of money. A maintenance contract for your heating and cooling systems is generally a lot more affordable than the cost of major repairs and maintenance.

An HVAC company can provide annual service contracts for both your heating and cooling systems in the home. These service contracts will include things such as cleaning filters, coils, and other system parts to improve efficiency and may also include repairing or replacing minor issues within the system. These services can improve the overall efficiency of your system, detect issues before they become serious, and ensure that your system lasts for several years.

Plumbing Maintenance Plans

While minor issues can be handled with a simple plunger and some plumbing solutions, there is still a need to hire a plumbing professional on an annual basis. The plumbing system in your home is interconnected. Therefore, when something goes wrong in the bathroom, it is only a matter of time before it can spread throughout the entire home costing you hundreds of dollars to repair.

A preventative maintenance contract would assure that you don’t have to worry about issues such as the whole house flooding, clogged drains, septic issues, and more. A plumbing maintenance contract will include things such as pipe inspections, system flushing (i.e. hot water heater and septic tank), and well as other minor repairs and replacement services.

Electrical System Maintenance

Neglecting your electrical system can not only lead to high costs and repairs, but it can also be a grave risk to your safety and the integrity of your home. One overlooked electrical issue could start a fire or result in the need for an entire upgrade. Electrical maintenance contracts can help you to save money and protect your family and home from the potential dangers it can cause. Electrical maintenance services might include an annual energy audit, a thorough inspection of your home’s lighting and electrical system, fire and CO detector inspections, as well as minor repairs where necessary.

So as you can see, it pays to be proactive when it comes to the systems within your home. Your heating and cooling, plumbing, and electrical systems are essential to the daily function of most consumers, and therefore they should be serviced at least once per year. Not only does investing in a maintenance service contract provide you with additional savings, but it can also give you the peace of mind in knowing that your home, your personal belongings, and those you care about most are safe from harm’s way.