6 Ways to Keep Your Roof in Tip-Top Condition

roofingYour roof is one of the most important investments to make when building a new property, and though they typically have a long lifespan, the materials exposed to the elements can face damage throughout the year. Maintaining your roof is the simplest way to avoid expensive repair costs in the future.

Whether it’s summer, or the middle of winter, a bit of attention to the state of your roof can go a long way. The tips below can be actioned on any roof shape or design. Check out these top tips to keeping your roof in great condition all year round.

Keep gutters clean

One of the best ways to keep your roof in great condition is to maintain the gutters and drainpipes at all times. Autumn and winter can be especially damaging to neglected gutters, with leaves and debris quickly blocking them. A blocked gutter can cause water to back up and freeze in the winter, damaging the roof and the walls of your building. Hire a professional to clear the gutters to ensure no blockages occur throughout the year.

Hire a professional maintenance company

Cleaning and repairing a roof yourself can be dangerous, and can only lead to more costs later down the line if your roof suffers from further damage. Hiring a professional roof maintenance service is the safest and most effective way to keep your roof up to standard.

Prevent ice dams forming

This can happen when heat inside your home melts ice or snow on the roof, and causes it to run down to the edges. When it then refreezes, this creates a blockage that can cause leaks and damage to your interior walls. Keeping your attic cool and ventilated is the best way to prevent heat escaping out the roof.

Check the inside

Checking the inside of your roof via the loft is an important part of ensuring it’s in good condition. If the paint on your ceiling is raised or bubbling in areas, this could be a sign of water damage from your roof. Likewise, damp spots or dark or browning spots could be an indication that water if leaking through your roof.

Clean it

A clean roof will ensure any chance of damage is reduced. Moss and mould can be rife on the top of your roof, as it is often exposed to varying temperatures and moisture. Keeping your roof free of moss and any debris that falls onto it will reduce the likelihood of water being stored on the surface and causing damage to the structure. Always use a professional to ensure the job is done properly and safely.

Survey the surrounding area

One of the biggest causes of damage to your roof is surrounding structures and trees potentially falling on it. Be sure to trim back any trees on your property that have grown over the roof, eliminating the risk of a heavy branch falling on your roof and causing damage or blockages.


A How To Guide On Disposing Of A Pest Infested Mattress

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Empire Pest Control Ltd

 

Bed bugs have been on the increase lately, especially in larger cities, and can wreak havoc on even the most beautifully improved homes. This increased risk of bed bugs puts us more at risk of bites, and other health problems that are related to having an infestation in your home. Most people that suffer from a bed bug bite don’t have any reaction to it. But there are those that are incredibly allergic to them, which results in serious rashes and sometimes even blisters.

This is why it’s so important to control bed bug infestations when they occur. Bed bugs are resistant to a lot of pesticides, and may have been hidden in your home for a while before you’ve noticed their presence. Keeping up a consistent vacuuming regime will definitely help get rid of eggs and bugs hidden around your home, but what about if the bugs are hiding in your mattress?

Empire Pest Control have given us this great infographic on what to do if you find bed bugs in your mattress, and how to dispose of the mattress if you feel like you have no other choice.

The best treatment options for bed bugs is using heat. Bed bugs hate extreme temperatures, so exposing them to a lot of heat will kill them in every stage of life. A professional cleaning service will be able to offer you steam cleaning on your upholstery and household fabrics, which will get rid of the bed bugs effectively.

Bedding, pillow covers, duvets etc must be washed immediately, and then put on to tumble dry on a high heat. If you have delicate fabrics, such as silk, then have them professionally cleaned.

To treat a mattress properly, you must get the help of a professional pest controller. Empire Pest Control use heat treatment to kill bed bugs instantly. It’s a great non-toxic option that is safe for your whole family.


Moving Home Checklist – Reduce the Stress of Moving with these Steps

The common question of “how to move home?” is asked by many a house mover.

Simon Long Removals’ interactive timeline of how to move home documents the essential stage of planning involved throughout the entire home removals process, from 2 months before your move to the days following your home move.

Below you will find attached an infographic version of this interactive timeline, with the stage of a house move outlined as:

  • What to do 2 months before your home move
    • Researching removals companies
    • Spring cleaning your home
    • Organising all of your moving documentation
  • What to do 1 month before your home move
    • Booking your removal company
    • Ordering any packing materials
    • Emptying freezers & larders
    • Measuring furniture
    • Informing the relevant parties of an address change
  • What to do 2 weeks before your home move
    • Start packing
    • Arrange time off from work
    • Contact utility providers
  • What to do on the day of your home move
    • Get your kids and pets out of the house
    • Keep your survival box and all important documents in a safe place
    • Give the house a final check
  • What to do post home move
    • Unpack
    • Celebrate / Relax

moving home checklist

 


How to Build an Elegant and Expensive-Looking Garden with a Limited Budget

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Gardens can easily attract attention because they often sit in front of properties. This means they play a great role in boosting your home’s value as well as its appeal. Keeping your garden in top shape, however, requires time, effort and money. If you are on a tight budget, this can pose a big challenge.

Fortunately, you don’t always have to burn holes in your wallet just to build and maintain an expensive-looking garden. In case you are wondering how, these few tricks can give you a clearer idea.

Screening

If there is an area in your garden that requires extensive and expensive renovation, you can use screening as a temporary solution. Apart from that it hides the unpleasant areas of your garden, it also enhances privacy.

Screening doesn’t have to involve building additional fences and tall walls. In fact, plants can work just as great. Bamboo, for example, can add height and make you fee closer to nature. In case you are looking for planters and boxers, you can try boxwood. For additional height, try to choose containers that are tall and slender.

Build better storage

The more gardening tools you have, the messier your lawn looks. This is particularly true if you don’t have any decent storage built. Aside from being unattractive, such clutter can also render your garden looking cheap and neglected- even if you didn’t mean it that way.

 

Instead of keeping your tools just about every part of your garden, it’s a good idea to pick a dedicated space for them. There are tons of DIY storage you can do or, if budget permits, you can purchase one from your local shop. Just make sure that the storage you will be buying or building will make it easier for you to access your tools. You wouldn’t want a storage that’s really neat-looking but is a bit hard to get tools from.

Get synthetic grass

Getting an artificial lawn for your garden can take guts, especially if you’ve been used to natural grass for so long. You’ll have to deal with the installation costs and the side comments from your nosy neighbors.

Despite these adjustments, synthetic turf isn’t all that bad. In fact, it’s convenient, cost-efficient and friendly to the environment. It doesn’t require constant maintenance as well which means you can forget about mowing every weekend.

There are synthetic gardens perfect for urban areas so you won’t have to worry even if you live in the big cities. These gardens usually come drainage holes that can prevent water from accumulating in areas where it shouldn’t be. You also get to choose the shape and size of the blades so you can get natural looking grass for your garden all year.

Upcycle furniture

You don’t always have to spend a huge amount of cash just to make your garden look expensive. If you have old pieces of furniture, you can upcycle them to save money.

Old wooden table and chairs, for example, can be buffed, painted and polished to give them a new look and feel. You can even turn your kid’s old bicycle as a planter and place it near your garden’s entrance. You can also make a small pond using old tires. Broken benches can be turned into swings while your old drawers can be used to house your vegetable gardens.

 

The nice thing about upcycling is that there’s virtually no limit as to what you can create. You also have a lot of control in terms of design and color. You’ll be less likely to throw out valuable items, too.


Double Glazing vs Secondary Glazing

double-glazingChoosing the right windows for your home is more than just a matter of choosing the right size. With quality windows, you could massively reduce your energy bills through increased insulation, and you can also effectively block out outside noise when you’re relaxing at home.

The two most popular choices of windows are double glazing and secondary glazing: in this article we take a look at which one’s better.

Double Glazing

Double glazing is composed of two panes of glass with a gap in between them, creating a barrier that effectively insulates your home against the outside elements. The gap between the two panes can either be a vacuum, or is occasionally filled with inert gas such as Argon, which boosts the windows insulative properties.

Secondary Glazing

Secondary glazing is installed via a supplementary pane of glass that is installed on the inside of an existing single-glazed window. The gap between the two panes is therefore larger with secondary glazing, and the supplementary panel is detachable in some way in order to allow the user to open both windows and access the inside panes for cleaning.

So which is better?

Cost

Double glazing is the more expensive option, as it requires a new window and must be fitted professionally to ensure a secure fit. Secondary glazing is cheaper as it requires only one additional window pane and can infact be installed yourself, although a poor installation job will incur more costs to fix it later down the line, so this should only be attempted if you have experience in glass fitting.

Sound proofing

Secondary glazing is more effective at sound proofing your home against the outside noise as the larger gap between the two window panes creates a more effective sound barrier. Double glazing does reduce sound pollution, but not quite as effectively.

Energy efficiency


Double glazing is much more effective at insulating a property than secondary glazing due to the stable barrier the fixed gap between two window panes provides. Secondary glazing can be less effective because of the larger gap between window panes and the second pane being removable.

Planning permission

There are no planning permission regulations stopping you from having double glazing or secondary glazing. However, if you are in a listed building, there may be different rules that apply in order to maintain the building’s history. Check with your local planning authority if you are not sure.

Aesthetics

Your windows are a big part of your home’s exterior, so regardless of their efficiency, you’ll want them to look good. Double glazing will require a complete window replacement, so if you have a period property with a distinctive look, double glazing can damage the aesthetics of the building. Secondary glazing is a popular choice for this reason, as it isn’t visible from the outside.

 


High Quality Workwear for Home Improvement

Turning your hand to a little DIY is a highly rewarding task, but like many things in life, the better equipped you are, the easier the job is. This doesn’t just go for making sure you have the right tools for the project, it also goes for kitting yourself out with the correct, high-quality workwear clothing.

Besides saving all your own clothes and stopping them from getting damaged from paint splashes, tears and spills, there is also the safety aspect that expertly designed workwear clothing provides. High visibility jackets and high-vis trousers are a must if you’re doing any project near a busy road, and most workwear is waterproof, keeping you comfortable and more able to do a full day’s DIY, no matter what the weather throws at you. Whether you’re on a roof, trimming a hedge or painting a roadside fence, be sure you are safe. See and be seen.

The right footwear, like steel toecap boots, far out-perform the humble trainer, when it comes to dropping something like a heavy piece of timber on your foot. The correct footwear could save your toes from being crushed, and if you tread on a nail in trainers, it’s definitely a trip to hospital. Buying the right boots can mean waterproof, reinforced, chemical-resistant workwear for your feet, and real peace of mind. You don’t have to be a professional to benefit from all of these ideal safety features.

As for work trousers, there’s nothing handier than having all your tools within reach, in perfectly placed pockets. Designed to be exactly the right size, you can house mobiles, keys, tape measures, pencils for marking out, and more. Durable stitching and extra layers of reinforced material make them far more robust than your go-to pair of jeans. If you are looking for extra protection for the knees and knee joints, many work trousers offer helpful knee pad pockets. These really help on jobs like tiling and flooring, that are both demanding and stressful on the knees. Workwear clothing is often more robust and simply built for the job, with plenty of room to move. Also, garments are lined for warmth and made to withstand a tough day’s work.

Using appropriate workwear even extends to your hands, with hard wearing, durable gloves a must. Designed to protect fingers against abrasive surfaces, sharp or rusty objects and thorns or prickles hiding in the garden, the right gloves can save time, stop blisters, eliminate sores and make a tough day’s graft an easier, more manageable task.

There’s no doubt that whatever the DIY enthusiast has to tackle, the right work trousers and clothing will help you keep safe and comfortable all day long.


How to Build a Home Cinema

home-cinema

Home cinemas are the epitome of home entertainment. For film fans, sports fans or anyone who likes to be witness to a spectacle of the highest quality, not many things can beat the huge screen, crystal clear picture and immersive audio of the cinema experience. You may think that home cinemas are reserved exclusively for the mega-rich and megastars, but even though they are expensive, you can build yourself your own theatre for a price similar to that of a new hatchback.

Location

location

You will probably have the potential location of your new home cinema selected already. But if not, and you have more than one space to choose from, then there are some factors that need to be considered. The prospective room should be 20 feet long by 13 feet wide, and it should be situated in relative isolation from the rest of the home, so as not to disturb other people in the house.

Surround Sound

surround-sound

The go-to standard of home cinema audio is 7.1 surround sound. If you are unsure what the ‘7.1’ means, like a lot of people, then don’t worry: it means seven channel speakers and one subwoofer.

The channel speakers are situated as follows:

  • One left (left side of the screen)
  • One right (right side of the screen)
  • One centre (above or below the screen)
  • Two side surrounds (behind main row of seating, on the side walls)
  • Two rear surrounds (on the back wall)
  • The audio system should be pre-wired first, and unless you are a qualified electrical engineer yourself, you should contact a professional, qualified engineer to wire it for you.

Projector

projector

Without a projector, you might as well watch TV in your living room on a normal television. For best results, a HD projector should be used (ultra HD or 4K if you have money to burn). Purchase an HDMI cable that is long enough to reach the projector, in order for it to receive HD video, and a CAT5 control wire that allows you to control the projector with a radio frequency (RF) remote control. The difference between a radio frequency remote and a normal remote is that you don’t have to point the former at the projector to operate it.

Lighting

lighting

Lighting is important in any room, but in a room where the main purpose is watching TV, improper lighting can significantly hamper the experience. Recessed lighting is best for a cinema room, and by connecting the lights to an RF dimmer, you will be able to subtly change the lighting during whatever you’re watching, complementing the atmosphere and not distracting any of your ‘customers’. If you prefer, you can also set the lights to dim automatically when you press play.

This lighting requires some complex wiring, so it is important that you contact a professional, qualified engineer – unless you are one yourself!

Silver screen

silver-screen

As the most important part of the whole set up, the screen needs to be perfect. If we are going by the dimensions that we mentioned earlier, and the room is 20 feet long by 13 feet wide, then the ideal screen size is 110-120 inches. Proscenium is the perfect choice for the frame – it hides the left, right and center speakers, whilst all other speakers can also be hidden to provide a seamless, professional look.

The receiver, which connects to your speakers and the projector, is designed to accept content from a variety of devices:

  • Blu ray player
  • Games console
  • PC
  • Satellite TV feed
  • Seating

You need to be comfortable when sitting in front of the screen, so investing in top quality seating is worth the money. A cinema room that is 20 by 13 feet will comfortably house two rows of four seats, but it’s the type of seats that are in these rows that is most important. Leather recliners with cup holders on the armrests are the pinnacle of cinema seating, but be sure to elevate the back row so their view is not obscured.

Climate control

Even if your seats are as comfortable as possible, if the temperature in the room is not right, then you and your guests could get distracted and not enjoy the atmosphere or experience. Airway Air Conditioning can provide you with the perfect air conditioning unit from any of the world’s leading brands. It will be installed perfectly and efficiently, ensuring it is ready to go quickly and you can begin to enjoy your new theatre room.

The above points are a guide to the most important features of a home cinema. It comes down to your personal tastes, your property size and how many people you plan to invite over to use your new entertainment station.

For the optimum climate control for your cinema room, you need the optimum air conditioning unit. Airway Air Conditioning can provide state of the art equipment for domestic and commercial properties alike, with efficient and professional installation, as well as servicing and maintenance work. If you would like to know more, please get in touch with us today.