Diy Methods To Save On Utilities Getting Rid Of Pigeons Is Necessary For Healthy Living Where To Shop The Best Bed Spread And Comforters Patio Attachments And Benefits Why You Should Avoid Fiberglass Drywall Tape Like The Plague

If your utility bill is out of control, you need to consider ways to tame the beast. There are plenty of do it yourself [DIY] ways to save on utilities.

DIY Methods to Save on Utilities

Utility costs for heating, cooling and electricity are near record highs.

Worse, they are expected to rise fairly dramatically over the next few years. Since you will live in a residence for the rest of your life, making small changes to save money on utilities will save you tens of thousands of dollars, if not more. Here are some areas to check out and fix to start saving some bucks.

Leaks and drafts from the interior of your home to the exterior can easily double your utility bill. There are a couple of obvious areas to check out such as windows, frames around doors, fireplaces and entrances to attics. Less obvious spots to check include gaps around electric outlets, mail slots, pipes, spaces around baseboards and gaps around air conditioners where the interface with the exterior. If you find gaps, caulking can often take care of the problem or you can pursue a weekend DIY repair.

Insulation in a home can be a real problem when it comes to utilities. Since I hope to avoid getting sued, let me just suggest builders tend to use the minimum amount and grade of insulation required by regulations when building homes. If you live in a tract home, this may be all the more true.

If you seal the areas where you have drafts, but the heater or air conditioner is still turning on every few minutes, insulation may be a problem. Inspecting insulation isn’t the easiest or most comfortable task. The easiest method is to first climb into the attic and see if there is any exposed insulation. Unfortunately, the grade of insulation in the ceiling may not match the grade in the walls.

To check the walls, the best bet is to find a small are where you might have a hole. Closets are typical spots. If you have kids, look for areas where a doorknob has punched through a wall. If none of these are available, you can remove a small surface area in a closet. Once done, determine if the entire area is filled with insulation as well as the R grade of your insulation. Compare it to recommended grades in your area. You can then patch the area and nobody will be the wiser. If all else fails, get a thermal inspection for a professional.

Most people are not going to need to blow out their insulation. Doing so will help, but sealing a home will go a long way to cutting your utility costs. With this in mind, give your home the once over.

Pigeons have lived together with human beings for thousands of years. Some pigeons carried posts to help our ancestors and most of them dropped diseases for us to suffer.

Human diseases and health risks associated with pigeon droppings are Histoplasmosis, Cryptococcosis and Psittacosis.

Histoplasmosis, an infection caused by a fungus, Histoplasma capsulatum, may cause high fever, blood abnormality, pneumonia and even death in some cases. The disease primarily affects the lungs. People with weakened immune systems are generally more at risk of developing this disease. The fungus grows in pigeon droppings and soils throughout the world. It enters human bodies through air while breathing and a high in-take may cause infection. The symptoms of histoplasmosis may be fatigue, fever, minor influenza, blood abnormalities, dry coughs and chest pains though in many cases it does not show any. Central Illinois have experienced outbreaks of histoplasmosis.

Accumulated pigeon droppings are the most important source of Cryptococcosis, another fungal disease caused by Cryptococcus neoformans. Immune compromised persons, especially those with HIV infection run at high risk from this disease. Initial pulmonary infection is usually asymptomatic and most patients surrender to disseminated infection. It begins with a lung infection and spreads to other areas of the body, particularly in the CNS or the central nervous system. Skin eruptions and ulcers with lumps just under the skin are also characteristics of this disease. A high in-take of that airborne yeast cells in human bodies through air while breathing causes this infection. A cost-effective Cryptococcosis prevention strategy is yet to be developed.

Psittacosis is an infection caused by intracellular bacterium Chlamydia psittaci that affects parrots, pigeons and other birds. Dry and airborne droppings of affected birds infect human beings. Manifestations of this disease may range from asymptomatic infection to systemic illness with severe pneumonia. Fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a dry cough are some symptoms of this disease in human beings. Most Psittacosis in human beings results from exposure to pet infected birds. It spreads when a person inhales the organism, vaporized from respiratory secretions or dried feces of infected birds or bird bites, mouth-to-beak contact, and through handling of infected birds. Even brief exposures can lead to symptomatic infection. Man to man, transmission of this bacterium is rare, but not impossible.

In any case, the infected person should immediately consult a doctor.

As the age-old proverb goes ‘prevention is better than cure’, it is always advisable to get rid of pigeons. Killing is a common method, employed for pigeon control. However, scientific research has shown that in most cases the number increase beyond the pre-cull figure within weeks. If the food supply remains constant, pigeons will breed four-six times a year on an average. On the other hand, reduction in food supply may drop the number accordingly. It may work to some effect if the city council and general people work hand in hand as a pigeon deterrent by keeping the food sources far away from them. It is now high time to act for Pigeon Removal.

Throughout the course of our lives, we will spend about 1/3 of our time sleeping. But even with that knowledge, most of us settle for substandard conditions when it comes to our bed. Think about it – when was the last time you treated yourself with a new bed spread or comforter? If you are like most people, the answer is clearly too long. In this article, we’ll tell you where to shop for the best bed spread and comforters so that you can break your current nocturnal doldrums.

One of the best places to shop for bed spreads and comforters is at Bed Bath & Beyond. This store carries a wide array of bed spreads and comforters that are sure to turn your next nights sleep into a magnificent one. They offer hundreds of bed spreads in several contemporary colors and designs. In addition, they have bed spreads to fit any temperature and preference, offering classic comfort in cotton, silk, and micro suede. As for comforters, Bed Bath & Beyond offers an amazing selection of down and flannel comforters that will keep you comfortable the whole night through. If you want the best bed spread and comforters, this is one store that you absolutely have to check out.

Target is another place to shop for the best bed spread and comforters. Target offers hundreds of different designs that boast wonderful colors, and the best feature of all may just be the price. The bed spreads and comforters at Target can all be found at very nice deals, and chances are good that there is a Target in your area.

J.C. Penney represents another solid option when choosing bed spreads and comforters. This store is very good for those who are on a budget, as J.C. Penney regularly runs deep discounts on their bedding products. They also carry a large selection of bed spreads and comforters that may require a whole day just to sort out! If you have a good idea of what you are looking for in a bed spread or comforter, you can bet J.C. Penney probably carries it.

One last recommendation if you are shopping for the best bed spread and comforters would be to check out L.L. Bean. This company carries very casual colors and designs, but they feel oh so comfortable. While this line of bed spreads and comforters will probably not appeal to those people looking for something fancy, the warmth and look of these items will be very appealing to most anyone else.

We hope that you now have a better idea about where to shop the best bed spread and comforters around. Whether you are looking for top of the line silk with a higher price tag, or you prefer the coziness of flannel and down at just the right price, the shops mentioned above should be just the ticket. Welcome to the world of amazing sleep – you may never look at bedding the same again!

A patio is an outdoor place adjoining a house, which is often used for recreation. It is usually roofless and is paved. The base of the patio is formed of layers of sand and cement. On top of this base, the concrete and stone slabs are placed.

Since patio is an open space without any roof, it becomes difficult to enjoy yourself in the patio during rains and during hot temperatures. Thus, to enjoy all types of weather outside, a patio awning is essential. The patio awning gives your protection from adverse weather conditions. With the help of this shade, you can enjoy the patio anytime you want to without having to worry about getting wet, or the harmful UV rays.

The patio awning provides you the ideal way to have meals outside, under the shade. Under the protective awning canvas, you can enjoy meals with your family and friends. A patio awning is cheaper compared to a pool and a gazebo. The patio awning comes in different sizes, fabrics and colors to suit the style of your patio.

The patio gazebo is the ideal way of making your patio look more attractive and cozy. They are available in various shapes, sizes, materials and qualities. It is important to locate the place on the patio where to position the patio gazebo. If you have a small or a mid-size patio, then it is best to place it in the corner. In this way it will be out of the place and yet noticeable.

If you have a large patio, you can easily place the patio gazebo in any place you like according to the design. Being placed in the middle of the patio with the other patio furniture surrounding it can highlight the patio gazebo. The patio gazebo can be installed by bolting them to the surface. You can even cut postholes, place the poles and then cement the posts into the ground. The method of installing a gazebo on the patio depends totally on the design and the weight of the gazebo.

Certain metal or wrought iron gazebos do not require digging of the base to install it. They are simply placed on top of the patio and are freestanding. It is advisable to buy a heavy gazebo that will be freestanding to avoid it from being blown away with winds.

The truth is, it has its place, but – please! not on your drywall


Yes, my view of this is controversial. And I have my (good) reasons.

Actually, people who use fiberglass tape instead of paper tape for drywall taping are helping me make a living.

As a drywall finisher and a plaster repair specialist, I have made thousands of dollars over the years repairing drywall seams taped with fiberglass. Thanks, folks.

What happens? Drywall seams need a RIGID tape to stay closed. Especially over butt joints, the fiberglass taped seam will wiggle ever so slightly some time down the road after finishing, and presto! a hairline crack develops right down the middle of the joint.

The tape isn’t broken. It’s just that the drywall mud overcoat is not rigid enough – tough enough – to add the strength necessary to permanently secure the joint.

How do I know this? Well, for one thing, I have noticed that the long, recessed drywall seams tend to stay taped better. With those seams, the mud overcoat is thicker because it is filling the valley where the tapered edges of the drywall come together. You get some extra toughness.

I understand the allure of fiberglass tape. Slap it down on that crack and mud ‘er up. No blisters, etc. So easy and comfortable, especially for the novice taper. And every do-it-yourself website and magazine article promotes it.

Yes, it is harder to learn to use paper tape properly. For the newcomer to drywall taping, there are issues of laying the mud on evenly, wiping the tape down properly, avoiding humps on the butt joints, and so on.

These are learnable skills, and they pay big dividends after the job is finished and painted. Nothing is more irritating to the customer or homeowner living in his new home/addition than to see cracks developing in his new walls or ceilings.

As I said in the beginning, there IS a place for fiberglass tape. First of all, it the tape of choice for plasterboard seams under veneer plaster. This is what it was developed for in the first place. It works very well in this setting, because veneer plaster is far harder and tougher than drywall compound.

But, there is a place where fiberglass tape can help in the drywall trade, and that is in the repair end of the business. Around doors and windows, cracks in the drywall are common. A little extra movement in the framing there and you get these unsightly defects.

When I repair such cracks, I want some extra insurance. What I will do is use short pieces of fiberglass tape – maybe three inches long or so – and place them in a bed of mud ACROSS the crack and parallel to each other. I wipe out the excess mud, just as I would with paper tape.

When this first layer of tape is hard, then I lay down a line of paper tape right across the fiberglass and centered on the underlying crack. Now I have double insurance: the glass for lateral strength and the paper to keep it tight to the surface. This usually takes care of such cracks, or any cracks you are particularly concerned about. (Don’t forget two or more topping coats.)

I do the same operation or a variant of it on bad plaster cracks.

One last point. I’ve emphasized toughness of the compound you use. For that reason, I like “hot mud”, a setting type joint compound more like plaster for strength. If you are unsure of yourself and your speed, it would be good to use hot mud with a longer setting time, like an hour or 90 minutes. Mix small batches and don’t forget to wash your tools and pans well between batches.

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