04 PM | 05 Jun

Are You Thinking of Building? Understand the Different Bricks

Wall made of bricks

Brick is the most recognised construction material worldwide. This is a hard kiln-baked block that comes in various shapes and sizes. Bricks are conventionally red, but nowadays there are different colours available to suit different landscapes.

Depending on the manufacturing process, there are various types of bricks for sale in NSW that you will come across. Each suits a specific area of construction, and you might end up using all of them in the same project. Here are some types of bricks you will use.

Common Bricks

Used in basic constructions, this porous brick is the cheapest type in the market but might not be as durable or attractive as other options. Builders typically use common bricks in supports and interior filling.

If the bricks are in places exposed to weather elements, you might need an exterior sealer to protect your building from water leaching.

Face Bricks

These have a similar density and weight to the common brick but will absorb less water and are less prone to cracking in extreme weather than the latter

Face bricks have a neat cut and finish and hence feature an attractive face for use in building exteriors. Compared with ordinary bricks, face bricks will cost a little more.

Pavers

These look like common bricks, but they are baked at far higher temperatures than other bricks. The high temperature results in very dense bricks that withstand harsh weather conditions exceptionally well.

Pavers are typically larger compared with other bricks and are hence used on flat surfaces, such as driveways and patios. To minimise frost heave issues, pavers are set in sand instead of mortar.

Bricks are the oldest construction materials for a reason. They are incredibly durable and, compared with other materials, less expensive. From the categories mentioned above, you are sure to find the best type to suit virtually all parts of your construction.

06 PM | 04 Jun

3 Simple Maintenance Tips for Outdoor Furniture

Living room in a garden

A garden complements your house and provides private space for gardening hobbies, to entertain the kids, for parties and to relax. At some stage, you’ll need to choose outdoor furniture to make the most of your outdoor area. Whether you find a great sale of outdoor garden benches, buy second hand or find some old deck chairs in the shed. You’ll need to maintain them, so they withstand the sun and rain. Here are some tips to keep your garden furniture in good shape:

1. Regular cleaning.

Outdoor home furniture is exposed to many destructive agents. General wear and tear is quicker due to exposure to harsh weather, bugs and garden birds and animals. For a home near the sea, metallic benches can easily become corroded by the salty moisture from the sea water. To prevent a build-up of dirt or moisture, regular cleaning is easy and doesn’t take time. For plastic outdoor seats, a wipe with a wet cloth and washing detergent is fine. Leaving the item in the open will dry it quickly.

2. Check for repairs.

If your furniture has been in storage, check for any potential repairs before putting them out for your next garden party. For metallic chairs and tables, ensure any signs of rust are brushed off and an anti-corrosion paint or wax paste is applied to protect it from future rusting. Furthermore, regular maintenance stops the damage before it becomes worse and more expensive to fix.

3. Buy custom furniture covers.

Also, consider buying protective accessories such as custom furniture covers. A good quality design will fit around the furniture snugly, so you don’t have to worry about them blowing away. Covering your furniture when not in use not only provides protection; covers come in a variety of colours and materials to blend with the surroundings of your home.

For home and real estate developers, a well-kept outdoor garden adds value to the property. It also makes living conditions more enjoyable.

01 AM | 18 May

Cool Temperatures: How They Benefit Your Sleep and Health

Woman sleeping comfortably

A cool bedroom does more than just improve the quality of your sleep; it can also improve how your body stores fat. Research suggests that it can help with the growth of brown fat, a special type of fat that can help you lose weight by burning calories. Brown fats are completely different from white fats, as they don’t bulge. They’re also extremely small and are found under the skin.

Activate Brown Fat

Brown fats are also known as good fats, as they can lower your white fat as well as your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. They can also do wonders for your heart by lowering your cholesterol and stabilizing your blood glucose level.

Studies suggest that exposing your body and skin to cool temperatures can help activate brown fat. According to an article from CBS News, this type of fat can work even with slightly lower temperatures, about 70F. You may also grow brown fat by exposing yourself to colder temperatures for a few weeks.

Lower Your Room Temperature

If you want to take advantage of the benefits of brown fat, you may want to lower your room temperature when sleeping. This is why AC installation experts in Salt Lake City suggest having a cooling unit that is efficient and of the proper size. While you can use a programmable temperature to boost comfort, you need to make sure that your AC is working properly.

Find the Best Temperature for You

It is also good to know that cool sleeping areas can be beneficial if you have insomnia. Cool rooms promote sleepiness by lowering your core temperature. Comfort varies from person to person so you may want to experiment with different temperatures to discover what works best for you. It also pays to invest in quality mattress and pillows.

If you’re having a problem in keeping your bedroom cool, there may be something wrong with your air filters or unit. If you tried changing the filters and still see no improvement, get in touch with an AC expert. Your unit might need repairs or a replacement.

05 AM | 30 Apr

The Different Styles of Doors for Walk-In Bath Tubs

Elderly woman in a bath tub

Walk-in bathtubs were specifically designed to make it easy for the elderly and handicapped to take a bath. Due to their design, they tend to take up less space than the traditional ones. Some even include a chair height seat to increase comfort.

Elderly bathtubs have a door included in their design to make it easy for people to walk out and safe to walk in. The doors vary in design, and it is up to you to choose the most suitable one for your bathroom. The different designs include the following:

Outward Swinging Door

A walk-in bathtub whose door swings outside comes with numerous benefits. Many health institutions prefer this type of door because it allows for the quick removal of a person in the case of an emergency.

Slide in Bathtub Door

The door relies on a door track that comes fitted with a locking mechanism to open and close. While this design is more recent, it doesn’t attract a hefty price. This tub also allows for the emergency removal of an individual without having to drain the water first.

Inward Swinging Door

A bathtub with this type of door is ideal for people with small bathrooms. It also has the advantage of being cheap and aesthetically appealing. Due to its restrictive nature when it comes to the emergency removal of an individual, a tub with an inward swinging door is suitable for home use only.

Walk-in bathtubs are a worthy investment for they are safe and comfortable, and they offer hydrotherapy. When choosing a bathtub, always make it a point to know the quantity of water it holds as compared to your water heater. In addition, consider the size of your bathroom when choosing the right door type.

01 AM | 28 Apr

The Health Benefits of Swimming Laps Daily

fiberglass swimming pools

Swimming has always been considered as one of the best cardiovascular exercises. It is not only fun and enjoyable but also low impact, which means there’s no strain on the bones, joints and muscles.

Athletes, for instance, swim laps to stay in shape, boost lung capacity or even help themselves recover from injuries. Whether you’re a serious swimmer or one who’s just fond of staying in the water, one great thing to do is to have a lap pool installed on your property. This way, you’ll get to enjoy the following health benefits every day right in your own sanctuary.

Full body workout

Swimming laps is an efficient way to get a full body workout. Each kick, push and pull you do is like a resistance exercise for different parts of your body, including your shoulders, arms, hips, legs, core and back. Even just a few laps daily can help you build muscles and take you a step closer to your fitness goals.

Lap swimming is ideal for people of all ages, especially since you can customize your routine to fit your goals or to address just a particular muscle group. For example, if you’re healing from a rotator cuff injury, you can still swim and do kick board exercises. Meanwhile, if you have knee injuries, you can strap on a pull buoy and still do some laps.

Working at your own pace

Having your own pool to do your laps can help you assess your swimming workouts better. Unlike in a public pool where you have to compete for space with other guests, you can swim laps at your own pace, whenever you want, in your home pool. You can easily measure your progress, including the number of laps you can do in three minutes, your lap time intervals, number of strokes and distance per stroke, among others. This, in turn, will help you perform your sets better, thus achieve your goals faster.

Stress reliever

Instead of heading out for drinks at the end of a stressful day at work, you have the healthier option of swimming to release stress and tension. Swimming is known as a ‘feel good’ exercise for a reason—it not only loosens up your body and mind but it also helps you feel good about yourself.

Bodies of water are also known to have a calming effect. The good thing is you don’t need to live near the beach to enjoy that. You can have your own pool in your home, where you can plunge and melt your stresses away.

It’s also worth noting that having a pool at home makes it more welcoming and inviting to have friends over. You’ll obviously be spending more time with your loved ones at home when you have a place to relax, bond and share more fun memories together.

01 AM | 27 Apr

Luxurious Bedding without the Hefty Price Tag? It Does Exist

bamboo bedding and sheet

The drive to live an ecologically friendly lifestyle has grown stronger in the past years. This increased awareness has driven both manufacturers and consumers to find the best in sustainable and renewable materials, with bamboo being a popular choice.

The use of bamboo is highly sustainable, as it’s easy to grow and grows quickly in most conditions. Items made out of bamboo are quite sturdy as well, making this material a crowd favorite, especially when it comes to fabric. If you’re looking for breathable and comfortable bedding, here are some pointers for finding the best bamboo sheets for you

Check for shrinkage.

Although fabrics are generally pre-shrunk before sewing, some shrinkage can be expected depending on the type of weave and combination of materials. In general, as long as you wash your bamboo sheets in cold water and choose to line dry or lightly tumble dry them, the chance of fabric shrinking is minimal.

Choose your blend.

Most 100% pure bamboo sheets are softer than those that have cotton blends. It has better antibacterial properties, too. However, sheets with a cotton blend are tougher than those without. Do consider that the lifespan of the material, as it can be managed with proper care anyway.

Mind the weave.

An alternative to getting a bamboo-cotton blend is to check how your sheets are woven. Sateen weaves are silky-soft, but are the most delicate type of bamboo sheet. These will require a bit more care so they last longer. Twill is not as soft, but it’s sturdier than sateen. It’s important to check that sheets in twill weave are pre-shrunk.

More than just being an eco-friendly option, bamboo sheets are comfortable. Bamboo as a material is equally high-quality as silk, but at a lower price point. It’s also much easier to clean and maintain. If you want something smooth as silk but not as fussy to maintain, why not give bamboo a try?

09 AM | 23 Mar

Save Money and Energy With These Water Heater Tweaks

a plumber checking the water heater

According to the Department of Energy, heating water alone accounts for about 18% of the average household bill. That makes it the second largest energy expense, behind cooling and heating.

Expert Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical talks about how getting water heater repair at Eagle Mountain and some other tweaks can lead to substantial savings.

Repair Maintenance

Today’s water heaters are designed to require little or no upkeep, but there are still things you can do to extend your equipment’s service life. Lift the pressure-relief valve’s lever and let it snap back. It should let out a gush of water into the drainpipe. If it doesn’t work as it should, try replacing the valve.

You should also drain the water heater at least twice a year to remove collected sediment that may cause a build-up of rust.

Fix Leaky Faucets

Leaky faucets are notorious for spiking up water bills. It’s easy to ignore them, especially if you’re only seeing continuous droplets, but the effect on your bills could be substantial. Consider this, a faucet with 60 drips per minute is equal to 3,153 gallons of water per year.

It’s even a bigger problem if the water is heated because you’ll be wasting both the water and electricity.

Upgrade

Water heaters usually last up to 12 years, so if your unit has been around for two decades, it’s high time to get an upgrade. New models in the market are more energy-efficient and can significantly lower your utility bills for a long period.

Heating a home is not cheap, and so is heating water. If you’ve changed your usage habits to cut your home’s heating costs, and your utility bills continue to be above what you expect, repairing your unit may just solve the problem. If all else fails, definitely consider a replacement.

01 AM | 21 Mar

How to Control Cutworms and Armyworms on Your Lawn

Sprinklers watering the grass

Armyworms and cutworms are the larvae of various species of night-flying moths. These immature moths love feeding on young plants and turfgrass leaves and stems, often causing brown patches and dead spots on the lawn. Here are tips on how to control armyworms and cutworms infestations.

Cultural control

Good cultural practices can help a healthy lawn withstand a moderate armyworm or cutworm infestation. Cultural practices that can help control the caterpillars include:

– Proper fertilization and watering schedules – These minimize the appearance of caterpillar feeding damage to the grass. Healthy grass can also outgrow moderate injury by the caterpillars. However, an overly maintained yard can encourage adult female moths to lay their eggs on your grass. Consult a lawn care service provider in Utah about the appropriate way to keep your plants healthy without attracting moths.

– Scouting – In early spring, scout for moths moving to your turfgrass. Talk to a lawn care professional about useful moth monitoring and sampling tools. In the summer, monitor for caterpillars with the soap flushing method.

– Regular mowing and clipping collection – Adult moths lay their eggs on overgrown grass. Daily mowing and discarding of the collected clippings a safe distance away can help remove the eggs from the lawn and prevent re-infestation.

– Predation – Several birds and parasitic wasps and flies love feeding on caterpillars. Facilitate this predation to reduce armyworm and cutworm populations.

Insecticidal control

Cutworms and armyworms’ damage in turfgrass is usually erratic. Accordingly, preventative pesticide treatments are typically unnecessary. However, when cultural practices and natural enemies are not sufficient or effective, insecticide applications may be warranted. Consider spot treatments using reduced-risk insecticides instead of blanket applications of broad-spectrum products.

Although adult cutworms and armyworms do no damage to lawns, their caterpillars can be significantly destructive.  Implement integrated pest management strategies to reduce caterpillar feeding and potential damage to plants. Use recommended insecticides to control moths and their larvae when chemical control becomes necessary.

01 PM | 16 Mar

How to Protect Your Rain Gutters During the Winter Season

Guy cleaning gutter

Winter has finally arrived in Utah, which means that we have to take preventive measures to keep all of our equipment in mint condition. The snow and ice can easily damage your rain gutters, which is why you should call rain gutter contractors in Utah such as dtiutah.com as soon as possible.

Have them fix any type of damage on it and follow these tips.

Clean Your Rain Gutters

If you have not cleaned your rain gutters before winter, then now is a good time to do so. Choose a time when the snow is not falling, and the rain is not pouring. This is a dangerous task though, so make sure to call a professional contractor to do the work for you.

They would know how to deal with pests and damage that might be present on your gutters.

Install Gutter Guards

Have a professional install a gutter guard as these can prevent snow from blocking your rain gutters. These things can also prevent damage caused by heavy snow or rainfall.

Remember, if you are having a hard time installing your gutter guards, make sure to call your local contractors and have them handle it.

Inspect your Home

When your rain gutter has damage on them, it can sometimes become evident in certain parts of your home. Check your home’s siding, foundation, and fascia for any signs of water damage.

If there are any leakages or holes present on them, then it might be time to call a professional in and have them repair the damages.

Make Use of your Ice and Water Barriers

Ice and water barriers can help prevent extra moisture on your rain gutters. Moisture can easily damage your gutters, which is why installing an ice and water membrane can help extend its lifespan.

Most homes already have an ice and water membrane installed underneath their roof’s shingle, but if your house or roof is an old one, then go ahead and have it replaced immediately.

Preventing snow and rain from damaging your gutters early will help you save immensely. Follow these tips and call your contractor today!

01 PM | 16 Mar

Advantages of Solar Pool Heating Systems

a pool

For dedicated swimmers, there is the comfort and convenience of swimming in your own heated pool. Of course, a heated pool will have the additional cost of heating. However, even this issue can be overcome. Solar heating is an ideal option for heating home pools. Low operating cost, low maintenance and durability are just a few advantages of a solar pool heating system.

The following are the advantages of a solar heated pool:

Low operation costs

Since it converts the heat from the sun, there is no fuel to burn. The water heats itself.

Long lifespan

The lifespan of a solar water heating system is upwards of ten years. There is only the initial investment ‒ the solar heater pays for itself within two to three years due to the savings on energy costs.

Low maintenance

The system has few moving parts. It basically allows a flow of water through the heater and back to the pool. With almost no maintenance, no support personnel need be called out on a regular basis. The solar heating panels are durable, and since there is no moving part, these only need to be inspected yearly for leaks or signs of rust. Damage from severe weather is the worst that can happen to the heating elements, so it is wise to give some protection if a storm is forecast.

Save the environment

With no fuel to burn and no grid power used, solar panels have a minimal environmental impact. Put simply, the sun’s rays hit the solar panel’s collector which converts the light into heat. The heat is then transferred to the swimming pool water.

A heated pool allows the owner to swim for more days in the year, extending the swim season from early spring and up to late autumn. Additionally, the heated water is kinder to joints and limbs, and the users can enjoy their swim for longer stretches of time.