DIY Carpet Cleaning [Guest Post]

Carpet CleaningIf you launch a search on carpet cleaning a myriad of offers are poured onto you. No matter where you reside, there is absolutely always a suitable, professional company around the block, ready to meet all your expectations. But is it really so? I have wondered about it a lot. Not that it is important, but still it annoys me. That relentless promotion of the best equipment, best cleaning products, and lowest prices. What? Is everyone in the industry that good and that cheap? I sincerely doubt it. How about DIY carpet cleaning?

It is undeniable that a carpet requires good maintenance in order to keep its luster and fresh looks. As a big financial investment in your home it is economically reasonable to take care for your carpeting. Having your carpet cleaned by a professional company can be costly. Moreover, if you get a sloppy service, you may find your home ruined. The advantage when hiring a professional is that you will save time and get their experience and professional equipment. But the question still remains open. Can’t you do it by yourself?

There is a lot of information about DIY carpet cleaning on the Internet – from equipment you might need to different home made cleaning solutions. If you choose to do your carpet cleaning by yourself you could save lots of money and use only natural cleaning products. But there is the downside of possible damages caused by inappropriate use of rented cleaning machines for example. But still I think the effort is worthwhile.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Methods

Currently there are two widespread methods to deep clean your carpet – dry and steam cleaning. Dry carpet cleaning consists of three parts. First you have to sprinkle powder detergent on the floor. You wait for 15 minutes so the powder gets absorbed into the carpet. Then using a special buffer with rotating heads you go over the carpet. The final step of the process is vacuuming. As you vacuum the powder along with the accumulated dirt is removed. The single best thing about DIY carpet dry cleaning is that there is very low moisture involved and almost no drying time required.

The most popular method today is called most of the times steam carpet cleaning which in fact is a misnomer. Actually hot water with diluted cleaning solution is used, not steam. It is a good idea to vacuum the surface before you start deep cleaning it. The process starts with hot water and diluted cleaning solution being forced into the carpet under high pressure. In the process water is mixed with dirt and grime, as well as bacteria and germs are eliminated. Then the water is extracted with wet vacuum machine. You have to be extra careful when performing the water extraction and assure that the carpet is dry. Otherwise, it might lead to mold growth.

DIY Cleaning

DIY Carpet Cleaning Solutions

There are three widespread non professional ingredients that might be used successfully to maintain your carpeting:
Baking soda: it makes a great carpet cleaning solution. It gets rid of many types of stains and is also very useful in removing unpleasant odours. The baking soda is best sprinkled on the surface and then rubbed with hot water into the fabrics. After you scrub the area with a brush allow the solution to remain in the carpet for a while. Then vacuum the excess. Rinse the carpet and vacuum dry the carpet afterwards.
Ammonia: you should be careful when cleaning your carpets. Open your windows and ventilate the area well. Mix a solution according to the directions on the ammonia bottle and apply it to the area. After that rinse with a clean cloth with mixture of water and vinegar.
Vinegar: this maybe the most under utilized cleaning solution. It is very helpful in cases of bad and unpleasant smells. Vinegar also removes stains effectively. It is natural, non toxic and readily available. It is usually mixed in proportion of one part vinegar to 10 parts of hot water.
I hope that this will help you to successfully perform a DIY carpet cleaning process. Be careful! Good luck!

Robert Damon freelances for a London cleaning company. They provide full home care.


Why a Conservatory makes Perfect Sense [Guest Post]

If you’re considering adding a conservatory to your home then read on to discover why it makes perfect sense. If your home seems increasingly smaller as the family get bigger and the demands of modern life take over – with everyone needing more space – then an individually tailored conservatory could be the answer to all your prayers. By choosing to add a bespoke conservatory to your home it can be built-to-purpose to exact specifications to meet your functional requirements and blend easily with the existing character and structure of your house. Your new conservatory will give you the space you need to accommodate a growing family, providing a new room where you can relax, study or socialise. And all without the headache of moving house!

 

Not only does a conservatory offer the immediate benefit of additional space, but it also provides a great solution to linking your home with your garden. Relaxing in your new room, you can take advantage of the shelter of an indoor environment whilst throwing your doors open to the garden and world beyond. Invite friends over, pop the kettle on or open that bottle of wine and take the time to appreciate the wonderful garden you have invested so much time and care in.

Suit your needs with a Conservatory

A conservatory can be individually tailored to suit your specific needs depending on what you want to use the extra space for. There are many reasons why people choose to build a conservatory and popular uses for conservatories include a studio or home office, a playroom, a dining room or living room or even a greenhouse! Think about what you want to use the extra space with and then your plans can be drawn up accordingly enabling you to get even more out of your current home. With more people having the opportunity to work from home a conservatory can make the ideal office environment away from the rest of the house with good natural light and the advantage of opening on to the garden for those much needed breaks. With the right blinds and furnishings you can create

a multi-purpose studio for work and play. Speaking of which, if the kids toys are getting out of hand and seem to be scattered all over the house a conservatory can be the perfect solution, providing a safe environment in which to play and making the ideal toy storage room. Or maybe your idea of ‘play’ would be more tailored towards the adults with a darts board or pool table – the choice is yours.

So many Options

For families who eat in the kitchen or have just one main living area, a conservatory can be the ideal way to separate living spaces, especially for those fitted with bi-folding doors. By using your conservatory as a dining room you instantly have the ideal space for both family meals and dinner parties. Conservatories make great breakfast rooms, especially when they’re positioned to take advantage of the morning sunlight. Also, with access in and out to the garden, it’s much easier to keep the rest of the house tidy is you’re entertaining in a conservatory.

 

And, if you’re not struggling for space in the house but are a keen horticulturist looking for the ideal environment in which to tend plants and herbs then your conservatory could act as a greenhouse. Maybe you’re not so green-fingered but the thought of a range of different plants really appeals to you? There are many extremely realistic artificial plants that look incredible when displayed in a conservatory, creating a little outside garden inside. Real or artificial, the advantage of plants in a conservatory is they are not exposed to outside elements, so can flourish and thrive.

Make Space to enjoy Life!

So, a conservatory makes perfect sense because it offers so much flexibility. Whether you simply want an additional living room in which to relax or you have more ambitious ideas, you can design it to reflect your individual style and suit your specific needs. With bi-folding doors that can be opened out onto your garden you can make the best of both worlds in your new living space. So, if you’re considering a conservatory, we’d strongly recommend you put your plans into action – get a conservatory and add space and value to your home – perfect!


Choosing Doors – 5 Door Styles

DoorsAccording to Merriam-Webster.com, a door is defined as “a usually swinging or sliding barrier by which an entry is closed and opened”. Doors allow access within structures and a passage to the outside. Doors serve as architectural elements in most structures as well as provide security, conceal spaces, prohibit air and sound and allow light to enter a room. There are many door types for both interior and exterior specific purposes.

Screen Door:
One type of exterior door is the screen door which hangs on the outside of solid exterior doors. The interior solid door opens and the screen door gives way for the air to flow through while preventing pests and any substances from entering the room during warm weather.

Slab Doors:
Slab doors are designed from a rectangular piece of metal, wood or composite materials, which are available in various standard dimensions. It can be sold without hardware or hinges. A slab door can be inset panels with the same projection as the outside frame with the edges of the panel cut at an angle. It can also be flush with no raised or recessed surfaces. Also slab doors can be recessed or flat panel with lower than the outside frame.

Pocket Door:
Pocket doors are commonly used in tiny rooms where there is a premium or contemporary spaces to open up a floor plan and give “no door” illusion. These types of door are made of solid or glass which is usually used as interior doors. Some pocket doors are used as certain sliding glass patio doors. Large wood or metal pocket doors are seen in commercial and loft residential spaces functioned as exterior doors.

Sliding Patio Door:
A Sliding patio door is a panel door that glides horizontally in lower and upper tracks. It consists of two to four large glass panels. This type of patio door is commonly used for easy access going out to a patio, pool or any outdoor spaces. Each panel used on rollers for ease of operation. There are modern sliding glass patio doors that are made with low energy consumption and double-pane glass. There are even manufactured with argon gas injected between the panes to increase energy insulation and efficiency.

Bi-fold and Bypass Doors:
Bi-fold and bypass doors are space-saving coverings. These types of door are made from hinged leaves that glide along an upper track, which folds onto one another when open. Bi-fold doors can be opened to one side and can be folded back to each side in the center opening. While the Bypass doors also consist of 2 rigid doors that are louvered, flush, flat panel or even mirrored. Both doors are designed primarily for utility rooms, closets and other small storage areas that cannot accommodate a traditional hinged door.


Brighten Up Your Home With A Mirror [Guest Post]

MirrorsAs well as their obvious reflective ability for checking out your appearance, mirrors can be also be used in the home to create an illusion of light and space, whilst also adding a focal point to your room and having highly decorative abilities.

If your room feels like it needs brightening up and some energy adding to it, rather than investing time and money into redecorating the entire room, you might consider adding a well-positioned mirror. The right mirror, in the right place can transform a room.

Available space – The first thing you need to consider is where a mirror could go in your room. This may mean moving existing items such as artwork, clocks or photographs, or you may already have a clear wall that would be ideal for a nice large mirror. Consider focal points such as over a fireplace, at the end of a hallway, behind a bed and so forth. Once you have the ideal space, this will help you determine the size of the mirror you can opt for, as to brighten a room with your mirror you need as large a mirror as the décor of your room can take. It may be that wall space is limited and so a freestanding mirror is your only option.

Time of day – Think about the time of day that you will be using the room and consider whether any natural light comes into the room at this particular time of the day. If space permits, position a mirror so that the light shines on as much of the mirror surface as possible. The mirror will then bounce this natural light into the room, helping to brightening in the best way possible, with natural light. Using mirrors with bevels or multiple pieces of glass will help to maximize the spread of light, reflecting the rays back at various angles.

Mirror design – Mirrors come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, designs and colours. Of course when considering the design of your mirror, you need one that compliments the design style of your room, though still bear in mind that the purpose of the mirror is to lift and brighten the décor. Dark coloured, thick and heavy frames should therefore be avoided. Instead opt for fine frames finished in white, silver or light colours, so that as much glass can been as possible. Better, select a glass framed mirror so that the mirror retains style but you also gain maximum reflective quality.

Position of lights – It may be that your room has limited natural light, or that your primary use of the room is at night and you are therefore reliant on artificial lighting to illuminate the space. In order to use artificial lighting to help brighten your home, you should position lights so that they point towards the corners of the room at the ceiling, this will help to lift and open the room. Much like with natural light you should take note of where the light falls within the room and position a mirror to pick up and reflect the light back out into the room. Do not shine a light directly into a mirror as this will reflect a dazzling light straight back out and will be blinding to anyone nearby. Likewise a picture uplighter under a mirror does not brighten a room, in fact it has the opposite effect as it focuses the light in that one place, drawing the room in to that focal point.

By following these simple steps, a mirror is therefore a great way to help brighten your home. It is relatively inexpensive, can have terrific aesthetic qualities and the additional light can give the illusion of additional space.
Author Bio:Jo Betts – interior design enthusiast and professional, who loves sharing her thoughts and knowledge about design. Jo also owns an online mirror store:

Exclusive Mirrors is a specialist online shop that sells just mirrors. With over ten years experience they consider themselves to be experts in the mirrors industry.

All of the views and opinions within this article are those of the Author Jo Betts.


Keep Your Home Pest-Free Without Using Pesticides

Pests are a huge problem! Be it insects or vermin, these parasites usually hide inside your home without you knowing it until you see them crawl out from nowhere. And one of the most obvious ways to get rid of them is by using pesticides.

These kind of chemicals are applied all over the home and the substances are mostly lethal to any pest that goes near them, especially when they eat them. Using them in a room would be a sure fire way to wipe out all the insects or vermin inside of it.

Pesticides are cheap, easy to use, and can guarantee the annihilation of pests in your house. Its only downfall, though, is that it is also harmful to children, adults and pets in the home. Most people who have certain conditions like asthma are more sensitive to these dangerous types of chemicals, making pesticides more of a risk than a method of eliminating pests.

Therefore you need to prevent the pests from infesting your home without making this potentially hazardous risk? There are a lot of things that can be done and we are going to discuss them below:

Make it hard for them to get into your home
Don’t wait for them to get inside your living area. Stop the problem before it happens and there are a number of ways to do this, using simple tips.

Certain insects prefer to live in dark places. These areas in your house need to be properly sealed in the corners and the smallest of holes. Fix broken windows, doors, and walls that have holes since they can serve as the pests’ entry ways. If there are leaks in your drainage or piping system, have them fixed immediately. Insects like mosquitoes like areas where there is dirty water.

Clean up the place
It is obvious that a clean house is less prone to infestation by vermin and pests. Since they normally live in dirty parts, cleaning your home decreases the chances of pests living with you. If there is already an infestation living in your home then having a tidy up would reduce the pests in it inhabiting the area.

If there are filthy parts of your property, clean all of it and dispose of your rubbish hygienically – ensure it is properly sealed and placed away from your house.

Keep an eye out
Always keep searching for clues of pests and don’t just stop after you think you have done all that you can. Keep your home tidy and pest-free every day of the year. A spotless house today that is dirty next week won’t make any difference to a nearby pest. When they discover an area in your house that they are comfortable living in, all that hard work will have gone to waste.

Toilets, baths and all washing areas need to be free from grime and moss. Check your house for damages or broken areas regularly. If you came from a trip outdoors, check your things or packages for pests before bringing them indoors.

These are just a few of the many ways you can stop pests from infesting your home. As you see, even without the use of pesticides, you can have a pest-free place.


How To Keep Your Roof Protected From Potential Wind Damage

RoofingKeeping your roof is secure from potential damage from wind is very important to making sure that the rest of your house is safe. Roof can easily get damaged if they are not correctly maintained, however this can be a lot of effort and also be quite costly in repairing. Ensure that your roof is properly secured by  following our expert advice, with things that you might have missed.

Types of roof

The different types of roofing provide a specific type of protection. And thinking of this,  it is greatly advised that the roof tiles are the right ones to keep your house protected  from even the most vicious of winds to stop any expensive repairs from a London roofing company. Roofing materials such as asphalt are common roofing types that can handle high winds, but metal roofs are a bit more expensive and offer better wind protection. Roofing tiles are also a good option for reducing the risk of damage, but if they are not properly installed then loose tiles can cause damage not only to your roof but the area surrounding it.

Surrounding Nature

Any unstable trees that surround your property need to be properly assessed, especially the ones that are tall enough to cause damage to your roof and have fragile branches. If they can reach, then a strong wind could knock them over and potentially puncture a hole into your roof, causing some serious damage to your roof and this could lead to your attic or the interior of your property suffering because of it.

Heavy Rain

If the wind is accompanied by heavy rain then moisture can seep in through cracks or missing roof tiles. Patch up any work that needs doing before it’s too late and hire a professional if necessary. It’s worth paying a little to get your roof fixed before it causes more damage and potential harm to your home and family.

Safe and secure guttering is also a necessity to avoiding damage when a strong wind comes along with heavy rain. This is why it is worth checking the stability of your guttering when you are looking at the rest of your roof. The correct type of drainage allows the flow of water to be directed away from your home without building up onto your roof, so various water resistant materials will be more affordable in the long term as it will last for longer without needing unnecessary repairs.

Regular Checks

Regular checks around your roof and the guttering will put you in the best position possible to keep you safely protected from the worst of weathers. The small amount of time taken to properly maintain your roof will benefit you in the long term, so use the sunny days of summer as an excuse to get outside and check that your roof is properly prepared for the worst of weathers.

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How To Choose The Right Blinds For Your Bathroom Window

From looking good to splash backs and moisture, window blinds need a cautious balance of pragmatism and elegance. Roller blinds are some of the most popular choices and are particularly useful for providing toughness without surrendering on the style and other materials. Furthermore, they are seen as flexible so that they can be specifically decorated around certain themes, with easy options for cleaning and adjusting. They allow you to be as private as you want, whilst still having the option to let in the maximum amount of sunlight quickly and with ease. When partaking in a home improvement project and considering the right kind of roller blinds, it is worth thinking about some straightforward advice and things to remember:

The Choice

It is argued that the most ideal roller blinds require a certain type of material that resists water and can be cleaned with simplicity. A wide number of manufacturers create fabrics and synthetic mixes that are designed to be quickly and efficiently cleaned. Other blinds can be made from UPVC fabrics that can be sprayed clean, and will resist a build up of moisture. A number of blinds can also be preserved to defend against any type of damage from sunlight, whilst still providing the warmth inside of the bathroom.

The Colours

The theme of a bathroom is just as important when thinking about the aesthetic value, and blinds can contribute and adapt around your desired theme Some of the most conventional examples involve light pastels and primary colours. Some of the simplest of designs and schemes can carry across the room to work beautifully with the wallpaper. Extra bright colours can really set the mood of a bathroom, with earthy shades and primal colours can work to make the room stand out from any other.

The Decoration

If you are looking to make a bathroom child friendly then blinds are an ideal way to do this. A bathroom can be created to provide a unique place for children via pictured and carefully decorated blinds. A common theme for blinds in the bathroom consist of rubber ducks or fish, to be merged with a similar type of wallpaper and bathroom curtain.

The Safety

Maintenance of roller blinds created with water resistant materials do not usually need much maintenance. There will be times where it will be worth maintained them with treatment to prevent any mildew from appearing. If you do want to make your bathroom child friendly, then ensure that there are not any loose cords or strings from the blinds that can be easily reached by children. As well as being a health hazard, they can turn other objects surrounding the area into health hazards, including electrical equipment and sharp bathroom items which are usually out of reach.