At Handyman On Call our professionals strive to provide you with the home improvement updates that you've been dreaming of. Change isn't easy for anyone but is also necessary to create your dream space. Allow our experts to introduce that change with skilled roofing, waterproofing, painting, siding repair and other home improvement options that will wow your neighbors and guests.
While ants can actually help your yard by breaking down organic matter and aerating the soil, they can also be pests once they enter your home to look for food and water. Ants are the most frequent pests to enter the home. You can buy ant sprays and nebulizers to get rid of them, but these products can be detrimental to your health, and it is a hassle to cover your furniture and other objects before using them. These aerosols or sprays can be expensive. However, there is an alternative, and it can be done right at home. By using the following steps you can make your own homemade ant repellent.
Put 2 cups of distilled white vinegar in a large bowl. Vinegar contains natural compounds that can alter the smell that ants use to communicate. Ants rely on odor routes left by other ants to guide the members of the colony to sources of food in their home.
Add 4 tablespoons of cayenne pepper to the mixture. Cayenne pepper contains a potent substance called capsaicin that is an irritant to ants. Some commercial ant repellents contain capsaicin as an ingredient.
Add a cup of grated grapefruit, lemon and orange peels in the mixture. The peels of these citrus fruits contain a potent chemical called limonene that naturally repels ants. Limonene is added to many commercial chemical insecticides. The peeling can also improve the effects of the other ingredients in the mix.
Add two cloves of chopped garlic to the mixture. Apart from its strong odor, garlic contains an active ingredient called illicit that releases potent compounds that propel insects away. The addition of garlic to the mixture will also act as a preservative and increase the potency of the other ingredients.
Shake the ingredients together and carefully pour in a large spray bottle. Spray the areas of the house where the ants normally gather, such as kitchen corners, bathrooms, basement floors and any doorway in your room. Spray this mixture around your house once every 2 days.
Tips and warnings
The strong smell of this ant-repellent home will disappear in about 3 minutes after spraying. It is a safe solution that does not harm small children or pets.
There are various types of paints that withstand water, either a wet basement walls, storms or constant immersion. Find a paint that is water repellent or waterproof. The kind of paint you choose will depend on the type of work you’re doing and the surface on which you will apply. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for preparation and priming. Even the best paint does not look good if applied on a dirty or damp surface. Never apply the paint without proper ventilation and use a face mask to help with the fumes.
Exterior latex paints, enamel and oil are water repellent and designed to last several season and through storms. Varnish also creates a water resistant surface when applied correctly. Some exterior paints are formulated to particular climatic conditions. Latex paint is lower in volatile organic compounds (VOC) than paint that is oil based.
Masonry paint used on stucco, concrete and cement are latex-based or acrylic. Oil paints are not suitable for masonry surfaces. A coat of paint can help masonry waterproofing a basement leak if the surface is properly prepared; some situations require special waterproofing primer. If you are painting a concrete floor or deck, be sure to choose a recommended floor polish; they are made to endure repeated use and washings.
For surfaces that are frequently or constantly soaked you might consider using marine paint, also called coating or waterproofing. Marine paints are popular for use on metal surfaces and can form a protective coating that retards rust and corrosion.
If you are painting a wooden surface, you can consider products like varnish and lacquer finish. These mixtures of resin and solvent can be applied to untreated wood or wax, oil or stain for durability and gloss, and dry on the surface when the solvents evaporate. Applying varnish or lacquer is a more difficult process to apply than paint; you need to do your homework or get help from a professional.
Sometimes you can try to clean the entire house and still find that it does not smell as good as you’d like. If this has happened to you, worry no more. Here are some tips to help make your home smell fresh.
Try odor neutralizing agents to make your home smell fresh
There are some out of the ordinary odor neutralizers available today. An example is soda which has an incredible ability to absorb all sorts of odors.
Just put a small container of a little soda and a few drops of lemon juice in different corners of your home. Of course, be careful that they are out of reach for children.
Charcoal is another good option. It is very effective when it comes to neutralizing strong odors especially in places where there is a lot of moisture. To be effective, make sure to replace it with fresh coal often.
Water and white vinegar
To get rid of cooking odor, mix equal parts water and white vinegar into a bowl.
Then add some aromatic herbs or citrus peel. Leave it in the kitchen so it absorbs odors while cooking. This is also a good remedy for tobacco smoke and you can use it in any room.
Get your home to smell fresh
You should try using a home-made air purifier. All you have to do is add 15 drops of lavender or lemon oil to a spray bottle filled with water and shake to mix the ingredients well.
You can use this preparation to refresh any corner of your house. Homemade air fresheners are a good option to place near windows because the airflow will circulate in the room and improve the smell.
Flowers, a natural choice
Gardenia, geraniums and orchids can all be great floral choices to make your home smell better. Jasmine flowers are also very fragrant. Place them in a container of water to release their strong fragrance.
Try air cleaners at home
An air cleaner is one of the best ways to eliminate all sorts of odors and pollutants, such as viruses and bacteria. They are especially useful if you have pets because they will help keep your home clean and fragrant.
You can try natural vanilla flavor. Just add a few drops of vanilla to a cotton ball near the filter once every 6 hours.
A homemade pine air freshener is another option. To do this, cook three pine branches, two laurel leaves and a mushroom seed. To maintain the aroma longer you should keep it at low heat.
Orange air refresher: To make an orange air freshener, cut an orange open, scrape out the inside and fill it with coarse salt. Place this in a tight container and you will have a fantastic homemade air freshener.
Rosemary Air Freshener: To make this kind of air freshener, cook some rosemary leaves and lemon slices for one hour. Then add a few drops of vanilla extract to get a fresh scent which will last a few days.
Dried Flower Air Refresh: This air freshener consists of chopped rose petals, laurel leaves, eucalyptus, thyme and sage. You mix everything well and add them to bags. If you find that they lose their smell, just add a few drops of alcohol.
Do not forget to ventilate your home to make the house smell fresh
One of the key things you should not forget is ventilation. Try to vent out your home every morning. This is an important and simple step to take.
All you have to do is spend 10 minutes to refresh the air and remove any bad odors that are left.
Make sure you have a good flow of air to have the desired effect.
Water damage in a mobile home is an horrible experience financially and personally try to deal with. Along with personal items and collectibles that may have been lost, structural repairs caused by water damage can be costly and time consuming to fix. While prevention is always the best action to take, not all cases are controllable. There are some things you can do after the fact to repair water damage in your mobile home.
Call your agent
If you have Mobile home coverage or even renter insurance, contact your insurance company before taking any action for water damage in your home. Depending on the cause of water damage, your coverage can help with home repairs or refund of damaged or lost assets. Your agent will also provide advice for cleaning procedures that will not interfere with the investigations of any claim. If the damage is extensive, take photos for your personal reference.
Protect your valuables
Move personal and valuable items from the area with water damage. Immediately set clothes, furniture, fabrics and books out to dry. Use fans and dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process. If the water damage was recent, you should not have any issues drying your valuables and your protection; however, if your water has been sitting for a week or more, many of your items may be contaminated with mold spores and should be discarded if they are unable to be thoroughly cleaned. Do not use bleach or harmful chemicals to clean any organic material. Check with your agent or your local security department for safe chemicals and cleaning procedures.
Removing excess water is vital to restore space within your mobile home. Consider hiring a licensed professional to deal with water as well as killing any growth of mold that has produced due to the water damage. Put soggy or moldy materials in sturdy plastic trash bags to avoid contaminating the rest of the house as you haul it away. Start by pulling up the carpet and removing the waterlogged pad underneath. Remove damaged plaster and insulation. Do not attempt to reinstall old materials; instead, buy new items. Move furniture outside if possible and separate cushions and covers to allow maximum drying. Using a shop vac on the carpet is the easiest way to remove excess water from carpets and furniture. Never use the vacuum cleaner,
Repairs and restoration
It is important that each item is completely dry before proceeding with the restoration process. If the materials are still a bit wet, you will end up with a large mold colony that will result in costly repairs and cleaning. Install new insulation, drywall and carpet padding. Consider having your carpet professionally cleaned to prevent mold growth before reinstalling it. As everything is dry, repairs must move smoothly and can return to a normal state of life. Perform regular maintenance and repairs quickly to avoid future water problems.
Most home decor items are very popular among people. By changing a couple of things in your home, you can bring a big change into one’s personal space. Even a minute change in your interior design will make it feel new and refreshing. Decorating your home is one of the best ways to transform bored and tired looking rooms to a rejuvenating, healthy and happy atmosphere.
Home decoration involves several things like colors, furniture, fabrics and other accessories. For some people home decor can involve several thousands of dollars while it just takes some imagination to make grand changes.
Hiring a professional home decorator is always a great idea, but it involves a lot of money. A professional decorator will definitely bring a trendy and sporty look to your home and they are well aware of the latest trends. They have a very professional viewpoint compared to an amateur decorator, as they have both experience and talent. Decorators are able to transform your boring, non-happening place to an exciting place to hang out in.
One can also use home improvement software, which can give you a visual of how your new room will look. Most of the professional painters make use of home decor software as they provide accurate idea of the display of your home after improvement. This software also expands the vision of decorator as you can see the ideas on the screen of the computer.
Home decor is chosen according to the size of your home and you may need to buy or keep things away according to the size of your home. If the size of your home is very small then you need to go for a very simple and elegant home décor and you shouldn’t go to add additional decorative pieces and furniture.
Wooden pallets are convenient and often free sources of wood used. Many hardware stores and lumber stores routinely pull large amounts of wooden pallets, which can be reused in a variety of ways. The platforms are durable and usable for many types of furniture, including kitchen shelves. The dimensions of a wooden pallet made for a kitchen shelf ideal for an open-display to hold spices and cookbooks. You can easily make your own kitchen shelves with wooden pallets in an afternoon.
Lay the platform so that the side with the slats is facing up. This side will become the back of the kitchen shelves.
Slot two D ring hangers to an edge of the platform, along one of the short sides (the edge becomes the top of the platform, so that the rack wall hanging as a rectangle). Drill hooks in the platform with a drill fitted with a Phillips head bit, using the screws that come with the D rings. Place each D ring in two inches from the outer edge of the platform.
Flip the platform over. Balance it against the wall with the D-rings along the wall and at the top of the palette. There should be nine shelf openings in the front of the platform, between the four vertical and four horizontal slats.
Set a cordless drill with a 1/32 inch drill bit and drill two holes in the bottom edge of each of the ninth slat. Space the holes evenly between adjacent vertical slats. These holes will prevent the wood from splitting when you drive the nails on the shelves.
Drive a common 3-inch nail into each predrilled hole. Make the nails vertical and lead them to the bottom of each shelf. Hold your nails or other objects into place on each shelf opening when the platform is installed.
Sometimes a task at first glance is easy, like hanging an object on the wall of a room, but can become complicated if you’re not sure how. Hanging, for example, a large mirror can become a problem if you are not quite sure, because it can fall in when least expected and cause damage to the person who is looking at or passing in front of it.
For this reason, you should make sure that the systems for hanging heavy objects hold perfectly throughout, not just one time, but many years. For objects that are particularly heavy, such as murals or mirrors of large dimensions, can be hung in an effective, simple and durable way by using special fittings for hangings.
Types of Hardware
Such grips are metal and may even support up to ninety pounds of weight, and even more. They consist of two distinct parts. One goes into the wall and secures with four resistant screws and anchors. The other part has a projection which is screwed to the object with four screws. You must use two sets of hardware of this style, one on each side of the mirror or object you want to hang, and then engage the projection in the slot.
To perform this task, you need the help of another person in order to avoid accidents. If you want to get extra strength on the walls, it is necessary to use wall anchors. These can be of many types. Some are standard, that holds a lot of weight and are designed for hollow walls and false ceilings. They also can come in metal and chemicals that are the most resistant. For plaster walls, there are special bolts.
Conventional cleaning products are filled with toxic ingredients and endocrine disruptors. While we think they’ve done well by polishing every corner of the house, they leave harmful particles in the air that can harm our health. To avoid this, choose home-made or products with a minimal number of ingredients: baking soda, vinegar and lemon are your best allies!
Adopt depolluting plants for better air quality
Although the term “depolluting plant” is now debated within the scientific community, green plants are no less interesting for breathing in the interior spaces. We choose plants according to their aesthetics but also our ability to take care of them: Monster and Kallithea for those who have a true green thumb, Clorophytum and Areca for individuals who don’t need to be on an exact schedule for watering their plants or Cactus and succulent for distracted people who forget to water. Good vibrations guaranteed.
Spread cleansing essential oils
Essential oils have real concentrated benefits. They fight bacteria, purify and disinfect the air while leaving a pleasant scent. They are sprayed early in the morning to give a boost to the rooms or throughout the day in living rooms. If you’re just starting out, opt for classics like Ravensara or eucalyptus. For a double effect, take a look at citrus: in addition to being cleansed, essential oils of lemon or grapefruit boost our mood and our energy. Be sure to use essential oils with moderation and caution (many are not recommended in the presence of children or pregnant women).
Beware of volatile components in the decor
Plastics, paints, glues, varnishes, solvents and agglomerated panels contain in varying proportions volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which, when they accumulate in the air, are harmful to our health. Make sure that the brands you buy meet the environmental standards of manufacturing or favor second-hand purchases. Also, be sure to air the house every day, especially if it is new or recently renovated.
Ventilate the house every day
This is the most effective advice and the easiest to implement: open the windows one or more times a day to renew the air of the interior. Modern building materials allow such insulation that the exchange of air between indoor and outdoor is no longer as natural as it was a few years ago. Air quality is synonymous with quality of life and this simple gesture of everyday life can on its own improve the quality of the air you breathe at home.
When you live in a small house or apartment, you have to find creative ways to store items, all while maintaining a clean and tidy home. No need to spend a small fortune on specific items to store your belongings. A little imagination and creativity can make the difference between a room that offers plenty of storage space and is completely organized.
Use extra floor space under the tables of your home. You can stack boxes, books or any other object that fits under your tables. Purchase attractive and decorative fabrics and glue with hot glue to your tables to form a valance. Your guests will not realize that these attractive tables have a dual purpose, of course, unless you tell them.
Buy furniture containing drawers and doors dedicated to storage. Entertainment centers, bookcases and all those large pieces of furniture should include drawers or shelves for your storage needs. Furniture with doors ensures that your items will be well kept. Buy at your local discount stores and garage sales for deals on furniture.
The shelves are wonderful solutions for small rooms. Purchase and install shelves for all your small rooms. Place shelves on windows, behind cabinet doors or cover an entire wall with shelves. Place your objects on shelves in an orderly fashion to ensure you have an ordered environment in your room.
Under your bed there is a fair amount of floor space that isn’t typically used. Use this space to store objects. Manufacturers have created a variety of containers specifically created for the purpose of going under a bed. Shoes, sweaters and quilts can fit smoothly under the bed. For added storage benefits, raise your bed frame up and add a long skirt. The skirt will hide all stored objects under your bed.
The cabinets have the extra space that is rarely used. Move small pieces of furniture, such as a cabinet, inside your closet. Paste hooks to the walls of your closet and the inside of the door for hanging belts, ties and lingerie items. Save items you do not use on a daily basis for the upper shelves of your closet or in containers. When you’re considering a storage solution for your wardrobe, consider all the space you do not use and how you can use it.
Scratched or worn dining tables and chairs can be a valuable discovery at a garage sale. By refinishing and updating the surface, an old dining set can become great dining furniture. Before selling your current dining room furniture, consider resurfacing it and adding a modern look to the room without the cost of purchasing a new set.
Restoring is the process of washing, stripping and sanding furniture to apply a new paint finish. The tables and chairs can have a new darker or lighter shade than the previous stain or can be painted with a matte finish paint for a new style. For example, try to change a room with a tinge of cherry to a dramatic black or a bright white to add a more modern look to a room.
The dining chairs’ solid wood can be uncomfortable to sit. Adding padding to make them more comfortable seats and will also add a new style to the furniture. Purchase prefabricated padded seats at craft shops and stretch colorful fabric over the seat of the chair to keep the stuffing in place. Ensure the fabric at the bottom of the seat of the chair using fabric glue or staple gun.
A dining table does not have to be the same color as your chairs. Rooms with contrasting colors add drama and depth to a room. Try to combine bright white dining chairs with a deep black dining table. Vinyl chairs covered with purple or blue can also be combined well with tables in black or white. Mix and match different colored chairs in a set, like a red chair, blue, green and yellow with a wooden table to add a colorful mix in a dining room.
Faux finishes add depth and warmth to the walls of a room, but can also be applied to a dining table. Popular styles include dining sets aged styles that have a base color that breaks through the surface of an upper layer. For example, a deep bronze color can be displayed in the cracks of an old white finish. Buy a faux finishing kit made specifically for furniture, not to wall surfaces at a local home improvement store.