How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs At Home

Get Rid of Bedbugs Once and For All!

Discover how to get rid of bed bugs at home effectively. Get rid of bed bugs at home permanently. Learn how to prevent a re-infestation by these tiny parasites from ever occurring again.

“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” is not an appropriate lullaby to kiss the kids goodnight anymore, since these parasites have made a dramatic come back as recently as the mid 90’s after they were almost completely eradicated in the 40’s. At the time DDT was legally used to exterminate cockroaches and many other pests and soon after vacuum cleaners were introduced.

Bed bugs had been confined to developing countries for the time being, but recently they spread across the developed world due to a number of factors like neglect in favor of other pest treatments, resistance to insecticides, ineffective treatment methods and traveling. Bed bugs are opportunistic parasites that will gladly hitch hike in a suitcase and follow their hosts to infest new countries and their inhabitants, hence their success.

Inspecting For Bugs

Bed Bugs are also difficult to spot at first, not until the human host has already been bitten and decided to inspect his/her surrounding to find the culprit do most people even realize what is happening. Bed bugs are oval shaped and flat for easier access to crevices and nooks, usually hiding in the tufts and seams of bedding, head rests, buttons, head boards, edges of carpets and anywhere near where the host sleeps like skirting boards, bed side tables and inside chests of drawers.

They have an ability to infiltrate under wall paper, bed frame hollows, smoke detectors and generally anywhere near their source of food big enough to hide them.

Apart from human transport, bed bugs can be also carried with birds and bats and once established they congregate near their source of food. Apart from red bite rushes anywhere on the body, clues of their presence are their molting outer skeleton shells, tiny fecal droppings and eggs.

Bed bug are attracted to their victims by carbon monoxide and heat and will congregate near them but will also wander around to other rooms in search of food sources. Their flat oval shape makes them adapted for hiding in crevices, staying there in daytime to crawl out at night to feed on their hosts.

Once you’ve completed your own home inspection and their presence has been established, you can start the 2 phase elimination process described below or find out how to get rid of bed bugs at home naturally.

Phase 1 – Remove, Clean, Tidy Up, Vacuum Thoroughly!

This phase is very important in order to remove as many nymphs, eggs and organic debris as possible.

Remove all personal items including laptops, phones, teddy bears, cushions, pillows, blankets. Then vacuum them thoroughly and seal them in plastic bags for few days to check for missed bugs or newly hatched eggs.

Empty dressers, bed side tables and chest of drawers, move them from their place and deep vacuum corners and the inside of cabinets with a nozzle. Go to your sofa and mattress, remove them and vacuum with special attention to seams, tufts, skirts and under the cushions.

Check the box springs for infestation. If there is one, you may have to dispose of the mattress. Dismantle the bed frame and check in the hollow of the metal frame or between the component edges if it is a wooden frame. Vacuum and vacuum again.

Empty your wardrobe and clean it as for the chest of drawers. Since garments cannot be treated with insecticides, machine wash them at a temperature higher than 120*F because adults, nymphs and eggs are all killed within minutes above this temperature. Repeat the process for curtains.

Once you cleaned all the individual parts of the room, furniture,mattresses, textiles, fabrics and upholstery, you can move onto the rest of the room. Vacuum the carpet religiously especially along skirting boards, along the frame of furniture, rails, corners, wall cracks and all visible surfaces and crevices where the parasites may be hiding.

Do the same in all of the rooms of your house that has carpeting or fabrics like your living room. Bedbugs don’t just live in the bedroom.

Next, seal cracks in walls and wall paper with plaster, silicone or acrylic filler to prevent future infestations. In order to expose more bed bugs from their hiding places, you may want to use a flashlight. Finally, remove the vacuum bag and seal it is a plastic bag before disposal. Thorough cleaning and vacuuming is the foundation key to get rid of bed bugs at home.

Phase 2 – Life Cycle And Treatments

life cycle of a bedbugThe life cycle of bed bugs lasts up to 1 year and is divided in 6 stages. Only the last stage is the adult reproductive stage, while the others are immature stages that start with the egg stage followed by a nymph stage with 3 successive molts before the adult stage.

Adults are 4/5 mm long and all bed bugs stages are surprisingly resistant to low and high temperatures. They can survive many days in temperatures below 0* but will die if the temperature is higher than 47 Celsius or 120 F, so anything short of prolonged freezing temperatures or heat won’t kill them.

The treatments available focus on breaking the bug life cycle and are targeted at all life cycle stages repeatedly, either by killing them directly or by interfering with IGR ( Insect Growth Regulator). It’s too bad they weren’t more like a mosquito and you could just use one of the best bug zappers on them 🙁

Chemical treatments like sprays or dust should be applied at least 3 times 10 days apart to be sure of success. In fact, bed bugs feed sparingly few weeks apart, so re-treatment is necessary for complete elimination. Unlike with fleas where foggers are successful, with bed bugs such treatment produce the opposite effect, the bugs will scatter around making it even more difficult to exterminate them.

Pyrethroid, Malathion and Dichlorvos are commonly used for mattresses, sofas, cushions and upholstery, cabinets and chests with particular attention to seams and tufts, However, some bed bug populations have developed a phenomenal resistance to these agents and there is growing concern as to how to find a more effective way to kill them.

Another solution may be an IGR (Insect Growth Regulator) based treatment.

There are also mattress cases on the market that completely seal the mattress and prevent any escape from it. They must be kept for 1 year or so to make sure to break the whole life cycle of the bed bugs by starving them and stop the infestation spreading. If the infestation is severe, you may need to dispose of the mattress, but If it is not too advanced, you may decide to use sprays and dusts to kill the unwanted guests.

Prevention After The Infestation

There is a sound and chemical free way of dealing with bed bugs. If you have already experienced the trauma of an infestation you are already in a better position NOT to underestimate the resilience and adaptability of this successful bug. Wherever and whenever you travel, be wary of where you sleep and of your luggage. Here below there is a prevention check list to help you understand howto  get rid of bed bugs in Pheonix or wherever, even at home and the trauma and disruption that these tiny creatures can do to your life.

  • Always check your hotel mattress and headboards when traveling
  • Do not drop your luggage on the floor but keep it off it
  • Keep a vigilant eye on public transport seats
  • Check for bugs in new furniture delivered from warehouses
  • Avoid buying second hand furniture or bedding
  • Carry a mini flash light to inspect the bed area
  • Back home from a trip, inspect your luggage and vacuum clean it
  • You may want to use a pocket spray can for mattresses and luggage when traveling
  • Use a sticky bed bug trap

Getting Rid of BedBugs Through Cleaning

  • Vacuum the furnishings, including mattress, box spring, headboard, couch and other possible infested areas such as wooden doors and floors every other day.
  • When you are cleaning the furniture, dismantle the bed frames and other furniture so that you can be sure that you can get to all of the bugs when cleaning.
  • You should also dry-scrub the mattress and carpets with a stiff brush to dislodge any bedbugs and their eggs that may not have been suctioned with the vacuum.
  • When you’ve finished vacuuming, immediately remove the bag from the vacuum cleaner, seal it in a plastic bag and take it out to the trash can.
  • Bedbugs sometimes hide in wood piles, paper trash bins, and other areas with debris around your house, so it’s a good idea to go around the house and remove any of these possible housing sites.
  • Remove any unnecessary clutter from around the house and keep it tidy. This will reduce their hiding spaces and increase the effectiveness of the cleaning process, making getting rid of bedbugs a lot easier.
  • Sometimes, it is a good idea to throw away mattress or box springs that are heavily infested with bedbugs.
  • An alternative to throwing away mattresses that may still be in good condition is to get a bed bug proof mattress encasement, which helps protect the mattress from infestation.

Kill Bed Bugs Using Heat

small bed bugLike many living pests, you can also get rid of bedbugs and their eggs by using heat. Most bedbugs can be killed at temperatures of 97°F to 99°F, but you get better results if you heat things up to 120°F.

Here are some ways on how you can kill bedbugs with heat:

  • To get rid of bedbugs, wash your bedding and clothing in hot water and then drying them in the dryer with the hot setting.
  • The same dryer can also be used to kill bedbugs that might be hiding in toys, stuffed animals, shoes, backpacks and other items. Place the items in the dryer and then set for 10 to 20 minutes on a medium to high heat setting.
  • For large item like luggage, try PackTite, a portable electronic heat treatment device guaranteed to kill bed bugs in all its life stages. (above 120°F)
  • Similarly, you can also take items that you suspect have bedbugs and place them into a black garbage bag, leaving them outside in direct sunlight for 2 to 3 days.
  • You can also shop for a bed bug steamer or regular steam cleaner to kill bedbugs. They are quite effective in getting rid of bedbugs, however it is advisable to use one that has dry vapor steam when steaming your mattresses otherwise you may end up with other problems such as mold or mildew growing, as well as dust mites allergies.

Getting Rid of BedBugs With Chemicals

Another way to get rid of bedbugs is to use inorganic agents like silica Aerogel or Diatomaceous Earth which dehydrates and kills the bedbugs.

There are also aerosol sprays that can be used for bedbug removal. Among the more popular brands includes Bedlam Insecticide and STERI-FAB bed bug spray which effectively get rid of bedbugs with lasting residual performance.

Exterminate BedBugs With Professional Exterminators

Getting rid of bedbugs will unquestionably be a long-winded and demanding task. If you feel that you do not have the time or the energy to execute the extermination well on your own, it is advisable to hire a bed bug exterminator who have invested in the knowledge, training and equipment to do the job well and guarantee the success of the extermination operation.

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The Best Cordless Drills – Which One Is Right For You?

When Buying The Best Cordless Drill – What Questions Should I Ask?

When it comes to browsing through the best cordless drills available today, even a knowledgeable buyer may have several questions. After all, the choices have become almost overwhelming.

I think the first cordless tool I owned was over twenty years ago. It was fat, heavy and I think 6 or 7 volts. You charged it for a few hours and could work with it for 10 minutes or so. It was a Craftsman; don’t remember the price… and I was proud of it !

Today, many of the top power tool manufacturers have cordless drills ranging from 10.8 to 36 volts. The now older battery technology is still sold, but at cheaper prices. The new technology, because it is vastly improved does come with a higher price tag.

So, we want to buy a new cordless drill. What should we think about, how do we make an informed buying decision?

Let’s discuss for a moment what type of projects you encounter.

Do you attempt extreme repairs or complicated DIY projects? Are your needs just for occasional home repairs? Do you work with soft materials such as pine, plastic or drywall? Does your “to do” list include hard, tough or brittle items such as various metals, oak, ceramics and concrete? Are you in a contracting profession where your tools are your livelihood?

Answer these questions and we are ready to take a look at the specifications of some of the cordless drills. We also want to read several written reviews pertaining to the best cordless drills that you may put on your list. Remember this point; the more reviews the better. There may be some negativity surrounding any product. I do not let this bother me unless all of the bad comments point to the same issue. Then I steer clear! We have too many good choices to fool around with sub standard equipment.

OK, let’s talk a bit about the drills.

One thing is now certain in my mind. Lithium-ion battery power is the ticket. This source of power provides easier, faster and less fatigue when drilling, screwing, grinding, polishing and any other task you may tackle. Even though these drills cost a little more they are now very affordable. They have more torque and are much lighter. The cycle life of the battery is up to 3 times longer than it’s predecessors. The advances have really been phenomenal.

If you work on soft to medium materials, do a lot of small home projects and repairs, you will probably be very happy with a 12 volt lithium-ion drill. A few of the “major brands” such as Dewalt, Makita, Milwaukee and Bosch have tough, high performance products in this voltage category. If you are an avid do-it-yourself advocate or a contractor I would skip the voltages between 12 and 18 volt drills. At this stage a ½ inch chuck is a necessity also. Some contractors, when making a list of the best cordless drills they want to consider, may set their goals somewhat higher. A 24 volt or even a 36 volt drill may be needed to conquer their projects.

Many “features” are standard on cordless drills but you may want to check different brands to see what they offer. One simple feature that has been omitted on several drills is a tool holder for your screwdriver bits. This confuses me as every drill I have ever owned (quite a few) has held the bits. That is a major “must have” in my opinion. You can buy an add-on of this feature though.

What brands provide us with the top tools today? Honestly, that is a tough one. I have studied and tested many by class (voltage) and all have performed admirably for the tasks I gave them. Some seemed to have a bit more power while others took a little longer to charge. There were a few features I liked that were not present on all drills. Make sure your pick has 2 batteries and a keyless chuck. After that most features are a preference.

The bottom line? After thinking about your projects, make you a list. After studying features, reviews and specs you are ready to make an educated choice from the best cordless drills the market has to offer.

Some Of The Best 12 Volt Cordless Drills

These 12 volt drills are small in stature but large in performance. The manufacturer”s have packed solid power and run-time into an extremely lightweight cordless drill. These are perfect for a homeowner or a craftsman that has different needs. I have multiple drills. A smaller one comes in handy, especially in tight spots or for overhead drilling.

Best 12 Volt Cordless Drills

The Most Popular Choice – The 18 Volt Cordless Drill

Why, might you ask, have the 18 volt cordless drills become so popular?

Like most items we buy, there are pros and cons to cordless drills. The 18 volt category of drills is no exception. These tools are more expensive and heavier than our previously discussed 12 volt models, some as much as 2 to 3 pounds heavier. During a long workday this may cause some fatigue. The prices are higher, but now very affordable. The upside of the larger 18 volt drills is very worthy of discussion. I have personally used several drills in this class and have talked to others that have done likewise. We all agree that the 18 volt cordless drill is one of the most versatile and important tools we own.

Good cordless drills generally last for several years. If you have not replaced an old one or are looking to be a first time buyer you will be pleasantly surprised with the new technology.

After all, if someone had told you a while back that there were cordless drills on the market that had 250% more runtime, weighed 40 to 50% less than previous models and had more power, would you believe it?

I didn’t until I tested one. I was immediately impressed and bought a new one a couple of days later. The newer technology is called Lithium-ion. You can read more about it on Drillpressor.com. It is the best advancement in drills since they were invented. In this writers opinion it has made the even the larger tools usable by women and men alike. Even though we are calling them larger, they are ergonomically designed for comfort and smaller hands. They are significantly smaller than their predecessors.

At our house, we are avid cordless drill users. We use them inside and out, for automotive and home repairs. We own 4 cordless drills and make use of all of them. One, a small 12 volt, belongs to my wife. But rest assured, if she encounters a job where a little more power is needed she grabs one of the 18 volt drills and goes to work.

I came home from a job one day and she was in the basement drilling holes in the concrete wall for shelving. She had the 18 volt Makita drill and had just finished installing several anchors. I was proud of her. Actually, I love the fact that she will tackle home chores, it gives me a chance to go to the golf course!

Browsing the internet can be time consuming. I would suggest you try Amazon .com if you have an interest in any tools. They have a huge assortment and delivery is usually in just 2 days.

Bottom line? It’s nice to have a small 10.8 or 12 volt drill as an extra. But if you want to purchase one good drill then an 18 volt would be your best bet. Unless you work in tight spaces or use your drill very sparingly, the slightly larger and more powerful 18 volt cordless drill will handle all of your projects.

Top Notch 18 Volt Cordless Drills

To find the Best Cordless Drills in the 18 volt category, check these out below…

18 Volt Cordless Drills

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Top 10 Problems Home Inspectors Find

My Home Inspection Head Start Guide

When you get your home inspected, any problems that are found mean that you have to fix them and get another inspection, at a greater cost to you. You can prepare to avoid that second inspection by learning what home inspectors consider to be the ten problems they most frequently find.

A short prelude is to recognize that of the ten items, four relate directly to water and its damaging effects. It is then important that keeping water out should be at the forefront of the homeowner’s consideration when it comes to home maintenance and repair.

1) Surface Drainage –

This problem is the most frequently cited problem that homeowners face. It is the back up or slower than standard drainage of surface water, and it is responsible for the number one household malady – water in the basement.

2) Electrical Wiring –

This common problem is the result of insufficient overload protection, insufficient electrical supply and home wired connections, which are potentially dangerous to occupants.

3) Roof –

This ailment is the result of degraded or damaged shingles, which causes roof leakage. Flashing that was improperly installed can also be a problem.

4) Heating –

This category includes such items as a defective, non functioning thermostat, chimney blockage, and an unsafe venting of exhaust away from the home. Make sure you change your furnace filters before the inspection, and if time and finances allow, get it properly cleaned and looked over by a professional. Then include the receipt as “proof” of both maintenance and that there are no problems the new owner needs to worry about.

5) Overall Maintenance –

This is where various areas of easy to repair items accumulate, such as makeshift fixes for wiring or plumbing, broken fixtures, cracked and peeling painted surfaces, wood flooring or carpeting that hasn’t been maintained and degraded masonry. Everything should look clean and sharp, so do some paint touch up if that’s what’s required.

6) Structural Issues –

This category covers damage sustained by load bearing, structural components, such as the foundation, floor joists, rafters and trusses, support beams, headers around doors and windows, and much more.

7) Plumbing –

Plumbing problems rank high when it comes to issues of the home. This includes the presence of old and outdated materials, defective or damaged fixtures, problems with the septic system or sewer lines, and so forth. Although the two main rooms these problems occur, the kitchen and bathroom, you still need to be looking through the entire property. Including the water pipes that come up to the house.

8) Exterior-

Problems with the exterior of the home, such as for doors, windows and outer surfaces, allow atmospheric heat and humidity penetration, although they do not have much of an impact on the overall structure. Caulking and weather striping are the usual suspects when it comes to issues of the exterior.

9) Ventilation-

It is frequently the case that individuals will over seal their home in an effort to have a more efficient air system. This results in the excessive build up of moisture, however, leading to rotting of structural elements. The most common areas are again, the basement and the attic. Make sure trusses are dry and there are no water damage stains or other problems.

10) Miscellaneous-

This catchall category covers cosmetic issues that were not cited enough to gain its own category.

 

The results of the survey are dependent upon the age of the home and the area it is located in. Homes in the desert do not have as strict regulations on rain protection than in Chicago for example. Home inspection in Tulsa would be more strict than a smaller town like Wagoner. For the homeowner, it is important to go through the home and review various sections of the home in relation to these categories. They should avoid any self repairs if their skill level is not considered to be up to standards, especially when it comes to wiring and plumbing.

Fix what you can before the inspection, and you may avoid having to do the same procedure twice.

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What Are the Types Of Mold in Your Home?

Types Of Mold

mold infographicDid you know that there are literally thousands of molds that have been identified by scientists so far to date? And even though many have been scientifically classified, we really don’t always know which are good or bad. Some are dangerous while others can actually be helpful.

But one thing we do know, it’s not fun to have mold or mildew growing in your home. Even if they are not dangerous, the staining that mold causes can also cause a lot of money in order to get rid of the mold and then repair the damage it caused. The last thing you want to do is start ripping out walls or replacing carpets due to mold.

But of course the first thing is the safety of your family. That’s why I have started this article by quickly explaining which mold are which and what the differences are as far as how safe they are.

The most common types of mold are those that lurk in our homes are:

Alternaria – Alternaria is an allergenic usually found in soil, plants and in homes around window frames. When inhaled the airborne allergen can cause asthma, hay fever and many other common allergy symptoms.

Cladosporium – Cladosporium is a black or dark green powdery fungus that is found both indoors and outdoors. It grows on dead plants and food. It can also be found in some air ducts. The fungi can become airborne and cause asthma, hay fever, skin rashes and nail fungus.

Penicillium – Penicillium is one of the most common molds found in homes. It’s found in soil, food, rotting food and dust that can accumulate in the air. Penicillium can cause allergies, infections and even serious health problems in some people.

Memnoniella – Memnoniella is a fungus generally found on wood, paper and cotton. Most often it can be found where the toxic fungi known as stachybotrys is lurking. Because it is associated with the toxic fungi, memnoniella is considered dangerous.

Mucor – Mucor is a fungus that is generally found in animal feces, soil and dust accumulated in the home. Mucor is considered a minor allergen, but people with a weak immune system may develop a lung infection when exposed to the fungi.

Stachybotrys – Stachybotrys is a black mold that is known as a toxin. This dangerous fungus can be found where moisture lurks in the home. Stachybotrys can cause serious health problems such as headaches, asthma, respiratory infections, memory loss and even death in infants.

While the above are only a few of the many types of mold that are dangerous to our body’s health, not all are bad. Some molds have been used in medicines while others are even edible. It’s just a matter of knowing which is which and keeping them from doing any damage to your home.

Black Mold and Mildew

Did you know that there is a difference between toxic black mold and mildew? While both are a type of fungus (mold), mildew is not generally toxic, but it can cause allergy problems in some people. Toxic mold (aka toxic black mold) however, can be quite serious and when left undisturbed it can cause a wide arrange of health problems.

Yet despite their differences, both types of mold and mildew should never be left undisturbed for obvious health reasons and I honestly don’t know anyone who loves looking at a nasty fungus problem. And speaking of looking at them, the first thing you need to do is find them.

That means doing a comprehensive home inspection including any areas that no one normally uses like the basement and your attic. Check crawl spaces, places that have pipes that may be leaking, anywhere that is dark or damp.

However, before you run out and buy a mold and mildew remover or hire a professional for mold removal, you should keep in mind that black Mold is a toxin that requires special attention. A simple cleaner will not kill this type of fungus. You need to purchase a product that is designed for toxic mold.

While mildew is generally not dangerous, it’s a good idea that you wear protection when cleaning any fungus. You’ll need a pair of rubber gloves, goggles and a paper (surgical) mask for the job.

Both types of fungus rely on moisture. To minimize growth, repair and seal any leaks before you try to clean up the mold, even between tiles in your bathroom. Otherwise the mold will be back within a few weeks.

Keep things dry to prevent future fungal growth. Wipe down walls after bathing or showering, run exhaust fans and open windows when possible.

Don’t try to do it yourself when materical contaminate with toxic molds are more than 10 square feet. Instead, hire a professional black mold removal company to get the job done safely. If you’re worried about your budget, talk to your insurance company to see if the costs are covered. If not, find out if your city or county offers help for homes that have been invaded by mold.

If you can, invest in an exhaust fan for the laundry room, bathroom and kitchen. If you can’t afford to do so, consider investing in a few dehumidifiers to help reduce the moisture in your home.

Keep in mind that you cannot remove all mold from your home. There are literally hundreds of thousands of different molds that live among us and it is impossible not to have some of those molds inside of our home.

Don’t try to salvage anything that has been contaminated by black mold. It’s almost impossible to save wallpaper, drywall, paperwork and other delicate items. If it’s replaceable and non-salvageable, seal it in a plastic bag and throw it away.

And finally, don’t ignore the problem. It’s not going to go away and when black mold and mildew get out of hand, there’s no stopping it. At the very least, you may have to spend hundreds of dollars repair your home and at worst, you could end up losing your home or your life to the toxic mold. Black mold is nothing to play around with.

Always be prepared because your and your family’s good health could very well depend on it.

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Folding and Extension Ladders Make Your Life Easier

Articulating, Folding, And Extension Ladders… All in One Ladder System!

At some point every home is going to need a little maintenance or repair work done to it.   Whether it is the usual household maintenance like cleaning out the gutters or repair work like fixing a pipe, there is usually something that needs to be done. That is why it is important to have all the proper equipment on hand for when those situations arise, and one important piece of equipment to have is a multi purpose ladder.

Werner MT-22I personally think having a multi purpose ladder should be a requirement in every home because lets face it, not all ladders are created equally. I have purchased a few ladders in my day because I needed a specific ladder for a specific job, and then later realized I needed a different ladder for a different job. Had I purchased a multi purpose ladder from the beginning, I would have saved myself some time and money.

Currently I own a multipurpose ladder that folds, can be an extension ladder and can even be articulated into various shapes to hold planking for standing on.  Best of all I paid about 200 to 300 dollars for it 15 years ago and it still works like brand new today.  Now that is a bargain in my opinion!

To help those of you who may want to know a bit more about multipurpose ladders,  the main benefit of these ladders is its ability to “morph” into many different other types of ladders just by reconfiguring its flex points.  In other words, depending on how you bend the sections of the framing, it can be set up in a variety of different configurations such as a scaffold, straight ladder, step ladder, and extension ladder, just to name a few. It is extremely versatile and durable allowing you the ability to use it for any job inside or outside of your home.

Most multi purpose ladders have about a 300 pound weight capacity and have a variety of heights ranging anywhere from 7 ft to 21ft.  Now imagine how many separate ladders you would have to purchase to do all the jobs around your home, whether it is a small step ladder to hang a picture or clean your blinds, an extension ladder to get on top of the roof, or a ladder needed on a stairway.

Not only is that a lot of ladders, then you run into this issue of where to store them all. Generally speaking, the multi purpose ladder can be folded down for easy storage.  Better yet, if you buy an aluminum made foldable ladder, its very light weight and can be hung by a few hooks in your garage or multipurpose room.

I also want to mention that having the proper ladder for each situation is not only an issue of functionality, but it is also a matter of safety.  Thousands of people are injured every year due to improper use of a ladder.  Two common situations that cause people to fall of a ladder is that they extend themselves past the edge of the ladder or they stand on the very top of the ladder because it is not tall enough.

It is hard to predict what kind of ladder you may need around the home for future projects so instead of making what you have work and risking potential injury, it is best to invest in a more versatile ladder.  So before you start that next project on the house, do yourself a favor and invest in a multi use ladder to ensure that from that project going forward you will always have the right ladder for the job.

I did a little digging on Amazon for you and have a couple of very highly rated ladders listed below for you to check out.  Both of these have free shipping (which is awesome because of the weight) and they both are reasonbly inexpensive.   The first one is about $315 and the second is just a shade under $200.    I don’t think you can go wrong with either one, although the Werner seems to be the more popular of the two…most likely because of price.

Little Giant 10102LGW Ladder System

Werner MT-22 Telescoping Multi-Ladder

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Metal Buildings – Steel Construction

The MANY Benefits of Metal Buildings

Metal buildings are commonly used for many purposes. Steel is often the most commonly used material in the construction of these buildings forming both the interior support structure and in many cases metal siding as well. Metal roofing is almost always used.

A metal building can have many uses such as creating storage space in agricultural or commercial environments but also in private homes. Offices and even some living spaces can also be constructed from steel.

Metal buildings have been in frequent use for around a century with their popularity increasing dramatically in the late 1940’s and 1950’s. This was due to the end of the Second World War causing the supply of steel to increase considerably allowing it to be used more freely in the commercial markets.

Designs

Metal building construction can take a variety of forms. Two of the most commonly seen designs are the ‘straight-walled’ or ‘arched’ varieties. These two terms describe the appearance of the exterior structure.

The arched structure is often used in large agricultural buildings whereas the straight walled design which will provide a greater total amount of useable storage space is often seen in industrial buildings, factories or other commercial projects where metal storage buildings are often found. Metal building manufacturers will be able to advise which specific design will best suit your needs.

The interior structure will often be referred to as either ‘multiple span’ or ‘clear span’.  The difference here is that a clear span design will have no supports to strengthen the structure taking up space in the interior of the building.

This is achieved by using very large beams which support the weight of the building which are placed high up in the internal structure and therefore do not cause any kind of obstructions at ground level. This design is used where the interior of the building needs to consist of one large open space. Steel metal buildings using a multiple span design will have columns or some other form of supporting feature occupying some of the available interior space.

These designs will very often be more economical than the clear span options but the supports are likely to become obstructions where large vehicles or other sizeable objects need to be kept in a metal storage building. The type of interior structure used will therefore very much depend on the primary use of the building. The roofs on these buildings will often be produced from steel corrugated roofing material whether the metal roofs are arched, pitched or flat in design.

 

Benefits

All designs of steel metal buildings have considerable strengths when compared to other building materials that could be used. Steel is in general a strong (especially where corrugated metal is used) and resilient material and so will often require only minimal maintenance. It is non-combustible and so desirable in many industrial or hazardous environments where fire risks may be higher than normal. These kinds of buildings can be constructed more quickly than most others and yet will still be of very high quality. Steel is also resistant to the destructive forces of termites and other insects which could cause serious damage to wood or other building materials. A further benefit is the flooring is usually concrete, another material that is weather resistant.

Smaller metal buildings are becoming increasingly popular choices for use in private steel homes.  A metal shed or carport can now be easily constructed using DIY metal building kits purchased from a metal building manufacturer or from many online stores. Metal garage buildings have also been used widely for a number of years as an alternative to traditional brick built garages. All of these structures are commonly produced from steel along with the many other types of metal buildings for sale which are designed for private homeowners.

If you are not comfortable erecting the structure yourself then there is a wide range of prefabricated metal buildings also available. These can be delivered to your home after being constructed by the manufacturer and transported to you. A huge range of sizes are available which should cater for the needs of most private citizens installing the buildings at home whether as pre engineered metal buildings or DIY projects. Many metal building prices for smaller structures are less than $5000 with the vast majority under $10,000.

With the usage of steel roofing materials also very popular it is now often sensible to construct an entire building from metal whether it is going to be used for commercial or private purposes. The many DIY construction packages now available make these metal buildings an even more attractive and economical option especially for homeowners and small businesses.

There are of course many professional construction, installation and maintenance services also available that will deal with metal buildings of any size.

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All about Roofs & Roof Trusses

What is a roof?

Yeah, I get that you know what a roof most likely is, but do you really know all the terminology and different sorts that are around? After all, a roof is a very large design aspect of any house.

And lets face it, some roofs are amazing while others can be a real eye sore.

So especially if you’re building your home from scratch, it’s really important to understand how different roofing styles can impact the overall design of your home‘s exterior.

A roof is a structure found on the upper of buildings. It’s shape can vary, from a steep V shaped gable, to flat, to semi-spherical to abstract.

The most common roofs found worldwide, however, are gabled, as they are the cheapest to build and most effective at repelling rain.

Roofs are one of the most important constructions know to human beings. They protect us (and our possessions) from wind, rain, snow and hail, and keep heat in our houses when it’s cold outside.

They have been used and built for millenia by humans (and indeed some animals) all over the world.

Roofs often have three layers: the innermost layer is the frame, commonly constructed from wood or metal. This provides support for the surface of the roof.

Next is an insulation layer, commonly of waterproof material, to act as a seal between the inner and outer layers of a roof (although some older building may not have this layer).

Finally, the outer layer is the layer to which the elements are exposed, common materials for this include slate, tiles, sheet metal (commonly lead, corrugated iron or copper) or, in older buildings, thatch.

Styles of roofs

Roofs can be found worldwide in many different styles, some of which are listed here…

Gabled Roofs:

The classic upside-down V shaped roof, found on many buildings worldwide. In more complicated forms, gabled roofs can have more gables protruding out of the main gable, commonly with a window on them. The Dutch gable is also a famous piece of architecture, where a protruding gable has an ornate shape around it.

A crow-stepped gable features the “stairs” up the side of each gable found commonly in northern Europe. Gabled roofs are cheap and easy to build, structurally reliable, and are great for shedding rain and weather.

Gabled roofs also use the simplest roof trusses.

Outshot and Lean-to Roofs:

A lean to roof is the roof of an “extension” style roof sloping down from the main building on to a protruding sub room. If the roof slopes directly from the roof of a main building onto the lean-to roof, it can be described as having a “catslide”.

Hip Roofs:

Hip roofs are commonly found on bungalows or other small structures, and are extremely common in America as part of the classic “4-square” style.

They are similar to simple gabled roofs except that the two would-be vertical sides of the building are tilted inwards.

On square buildings, they are tilted inwards so far that the roofs represents a four-sided pyramid, sometimes referred to as a pyramidal roof.

Hip roofs have great advantage over gabled roofs as they require much less bracing against the wind, they are in fact self bracing.

The fact that they are far more streamlined only enhances this effect. A downside of a hip roof is the restricted attic space.

Mansard Roofs:

Of French origin, a Mansard roof has two gradients on it: an initial shallow gradient, and then an immediate change to a steeper gradient towards the end of the roof.

However, a Mansard roof may sometimes have a flat top as the first gradient, then a steep gradient around the edges, resulting in an upside-down tray shape to the roof.

The mansard style was popularized in France in the 1600s, and then gained extreme popularity in America, with many iconic houses and buildings boasting a mansard roof.

These sorts of roofs are perfect for a roof restoration as they are expensive to build and are not often found in newer homes.

Gambrel Roofs:

As a gabled roof, but with the two longest sides in a mansard style.

Flat Roofs:

The distinctive flat roofs found in warmer, dryer areas of the world, where the need to shed rain is at a minimum. Classic flat Roofed cities include Jerusalem.

Flat roofed homes can, however, become extremely hot in sunny weather, some methods to induce cooling of the house include covering with thin sheets of asbestos, and pouring water over the roof.

Special sun-reflective paints are also available, roofs coated with such are known as ‘cool roofs’.

Roof Truss Design

The shape of the roof is most houses all depends on the shape and style of the Roof Truss Design. A roof truss provides support and stability to the roof and evenly distributes the weight of the roof away from the exterior walls.

A Roof Truss is generally made of wood for residential use and steel in commercial use. They are generally triangular in shape because this provides the best stability and support. There is no other shape that can withstand the same amount of tension or compression load.

If you are building your home from scratch and are in the process of deciding what style of roof to have, you should take careful consideration in your decision.

A Roof Truss should definitely not be chosen on looks alone as there are more important factors that need to be considered such as; the stresses that the building may encounter, the size of the open plan and weather conditions.

The majority of home builders order roof trusses from Roof Truss Manufacturers because is very labor intensive, so it is generally a lot cheaper and more time consuming to order prefabricated roof trusses.

Sometimes the roof truss may have to be built on site if delivery is a problem or the design is a specific type or size that is not readily available.

Creating a Roof Truss Design

The start of a Roof Truss Design starts with a sketch which in normally done by an architect. The sketch of the ceiling is drafted first then the roof truss is drawn in showing how the truss will support the walls and roof of the structure that is to be supported.

Feature Roof Trusses

Feature trusses also referred to as Oak Trusses or Bolted Trusses can add a beautiful feature to any room. They are generally hand crafted and add an outstanding centerpiece to new or existing homes.

They are extremely aesthetically pleasing and can create open and spacious feeling to any room and they can be designed to suit architectural character of the property.

So there you have it, a quick introduction to the different style roofs.

So which one is your favorite?

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Landscape Maintenance – What You NEED To Know!!!

Great Landscape Maintenance Takes Time

Maintaining the landscaping on your property can be a bit of a nightmare if you don’t know what to do or how to do it. Let’s face it, to do the job correctly you need the right kind of tools and equipment. Plus, you need some basic knowledge of pruning and plant care.

When we took on the responsibility of a house and a pool sitting on almost an acre of land, we had no idea how difficult yard work would be.

Difficult? Translate that into hard work frequently done during the hot days of summer.

We didn’t know how to take care of our trees and shrubs, and we didn’t have the right kind of equipment. To top it off, we let it go too long before we took effective action. That said, we’ve learned a lot and love our home and property!

I hope you will enjoy learning from our mistakes because our journey in landscape maintenance is still a work in progress. Enjoy my photos of our landscaping and home.

The First Year – Learn the Lay of the Land

Just before we moved into our new home, the previous owner took us through the property to show us what was there. I made notes so I could remember the names of shrubs and trees and their locations. I highly recommend this if possible.

We discovered there is a cherry tree, already quite large. There were two pear trees, a plum tree, and two apple trees, all producing more fruit than we knew what to do with.

We also had several Rhododendrons, azaleas, burning bushes, lilac bushes, forsythia, and some I still can’t identify.

A large tree on the side yard is a Linden tree. The Linden flowers are used to brew a tea and are known for the medicinal properties.

We also have very large spruce trees, several varieties of pine trees, maple trees, hemlock trees, and hickory trees.

The previous owners had put a lot of thought into the landscaping, and I hoped we would be able to keep it up.

We followed all the rules that first year. It was a time of discovery. Every season brought new joy as we watched each shrub unfold its beauty. It was so nice having a mature landscape, with everything in its place.

It was truly delightful to discover some new plant or tree displaying its glory.

We performed the basics of cutting, mowing and weeding to keep things looking nice. For awhile, all was well. Drought conditions were in full swing when we moved in so it took some time for the landscape to recover.

When the recovery period was over, plant life began to flourish.

That’s when we began to get ourselves into trouble.

Tips – Some Do’s and Don’ts

After living in several homes throughout my life, I’ve learned one crucial point about landscaping. What is it?

Don’t tear out, cut down, or uproot anything unless you know for sure what it is!

Unless you are a horticulture pro, it is best to leave the landscaping alone for the first year, with the exception of mowing and pulling weeds. If you don’t, you run the risk of destroying the landscaping.

Some of the dangers…

  • *Pruning at the wrong time of year can ruin the chances of spring blooms.
  • *Uprooting “weeds” that turn out to be the new spring bulbs and perennials.
  • *Digging in seemingly empty flower beds uproots bulbs and displaces perennials.
  • *Pruning improperly can ruin the lines of a beautiful tree or damage the tree.

Some good ideas on learning what’s growing in your yard…

  • *Walk your yard, every inch. Mowing is a good way to learn the lay of the land.
  • *Examine the plantings to see their condition and try to identify them.
  • *Check with neighbors to discover what’s growing in your yard.
  • *Go through the four seasons to see how your house looks before beginning new landscaping projects or making major changes.

A Selection of Common Landscaping Shrubs

This is a list of shrubs that make up our landscape. There are more, but I don’t know all the names. Some of these were familiar to me when we moved in. Others I have come to learn since our move many years ago.

Of course we all know the type of plantings in a yard depends on where you live. When we lived in Florida, we were introduced to a variety of tropical and sub-tropical plants we were unfamiliar with. Another new learning experience! We were helped a lot by a friendly landscaper, this is his website,  vancouvertreeservices.ca that vacationed in Florida during the winter months. So I can’t say we didn’t have help.

These listed here are common varieties of shrubs found in the United States. Before you plant, check with local nurseries to see what they’re selling or check a planting guide to see if these plants will thrive in your locale.

  • Forsythia
  • Lilacs
  • Burning Bush
  • Azalea
  • Rhododendron
  • Barberry
  • Juniper
  • Yew
  • Hemlock
  • Honeysuckle
  • Arborvitae
  • Cinquefoil

Identify by flower or leaf…

  • Forsythia blooms in the Spring on old growth, so don’t prune until after flowering.
  • Rhododendrons bloom profusely on old growth providing a showy plant for spring.
  • Snowball Bush blooms in late spring with loads of showy snowballs.
  • Honeysuckle is one of my favorites!
  • Weigela blooms in late spring or early summer. Hummingbirds love it!
  • Barberry is beautiful, but has thorns and grows out of control if not pruned.
  • Lilacs are so fragrant and pretty! Prune after blooming.

Flowers! Groundcovers!

After all the hard work of maintaining shrubbery and trees, it is refreshing to have something simple to manage like flowers or groundcovers! I particularly enjoy some lovely perennials in my few flower beds. I even adore the blooming weeds!

My rule is: “if it blooms, it can stay”. Otherwise it’s liable to get chopped down, dug up, or mowed. The photo here is of a groundcover called “vinca”.

Annuals usually find themselves nicely arranged in a lovely pot or not so lovely pot I can bring inside when the weather gets cold. I hate spending all that money on flowers that get killed at the first sign of cold.

So I try to bring in as many as I can, placing them on boot trays so when I water them, they don’t leak all over the place. I am quite pleased that several have weathered the winter season quite nicely!

Flowering Plants

  • Columbines come in a variety of colors and reseed themselves each season.
  • Daylilies are hardy and multiply like crazy!
  • Bleeding hearts prefer some shade, and come back each season.
  • The white bleeding heart is rather rare I’ve been told.
  • Hostas are hardy, prefer shade, and have a tall lavender flower.
  • Dainty violas are favorites. These grow wild each spring forming a beautiful ground cover.

Poison Ivy

A lot of people have no idea what poison ivy looks like. In fact I was one of the blissfully ignorant until a neighbor came up to me one day and commented that I must not be allergic to poison ivy. I asked what did he mean because I didn’t know we even had poison ivy. He laughed and said my dogs were rolling in it frequently, then I was hugging them. He and his wife were extremely allergic so were amazed when I seemed unfazed.

That all changed when we moved into our home. We have tons of the stuff growing everywhere! It grows up the side of our spruce trees, pine trees, fruit trees, and along the ground mixed in with Virginia Creeper.

Not only do we have poison ivy, but poison oak as well. You will know them by their three leaves. If a plant has a three leaf formation, assume the worst and don’t touch it.

I finally met my match a few years ago when I foolishly decided to prune back a rather large poison ivy vine i.e. shrub growing next to the house behind the rhododendron.

I cut and sliced and DID NOT WEAR PROTECTIVE GEAR. Since I had never had an allergic reaction, I assumed I never would. I ended up with a good case of poison ivy rash that just about drove me crazy with the itching!

So don’t touch the poison ivy unless you wear gloves and long sleeves, long pants, and shoes. Clean all tools and handles on carts etc., anything you touch while contaminated. I took this photo to help you make the identification!

Fruit Trees – Fruit AND Flowers!

We are fortunate to have several varieties of fruit trees on our property. They have produced well, and the blooms in the spring are sweet-smelling and beautiful! I’ve learned to dry the fruit, make jelly, and share with friends.

We have a large white cherry which faithfully produces a bounty of white cherries each year. These are a favorite of the local birds and squirrels, meaning we have to rush to get any before they do.

Another favorite is a pear tree. It is rather old, but produces the best pears. Unfortunately, we lost another variety of pear last year due to some sort of blight.

An Empire apple tree is next on the list. It too is very overgrown, but it produces a bounty of apples and beautiful blooms in the spring. We have removed some low growing branches to make mowing easier.

Fruit trees require regular pruning if you do it right. We have always had the philosophy of leaving well enough alone, which is our problem. One year my husband decided to prune one of our apple trees, but he pruned the branches from the middle. The idea was to encourage new growth. The next year the plan was to trim the sides.

Unfortunately, the snow settled heavily in the middle of the tree during the winter, causing it to split down the main trunk. In the spring it bloomed profusely and even had tiny apples starting to grow, but sadly there was no way to save it. We had to take it down.

We have made a practice of not spraying our trees, and suffered the consequences of pests, particularly ants. However we are pleased we do not have to worry about chemical contamination of our fruit.

So there you have it, a good starting tutorial on Landscaping Maintenance. I hope this personal account can help you a bit. If you still have more specific questions, feel free to ask.

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Best Steam Mop for Tile and Grout

What’s the Best Steam Mop for Tile and Grout in 2019?

It is no longer necessary to use a dingy mop with dirty water to clean a floor, as manufacturers have designed some pretty amazing cleaning equipment that allows you to take care of the mess without any stress or fuss.

Steam mops are the best thing since vacuum cleaners, as it allows you to take care of other types of floor surfaces without having to get down on your knees and scrub.

The hot steam penetrates even the toughest dirt, making it that much easier to remove the dirt and grime without damaging the floor. There are some pretty neat designs on the market, and these are known to tackle tiles and grout head-on.

Best Hard Floor Steam Mop under $100

Bissell PowerfreshBissell Powerfresh Steam Mop:

There are many reasons why this Bissell steam mop is at the top of the list, and customer satisfaction is only one of them. This mop seems like it has super powers, as there is now way that something this lightweight can pack such a good cleaning punch, yet it does.

The steam infiltrates the dirt and grime on a whole new level, and nothing can escape its path of sanitation. This mop is a great for those who have some trouble with allergens and bacteria, as it takes care of things on a microscopic level.

The added bonus of using a steam mop such as this one is that there is hardly any need to chemicals, as the steam penetrates and loosens the dirt. Using a steam mop ensures that the environment remains safe a germ-free for the whole family, and is a wonderful addition to households that have pets.

Floors that often provide a bit of a challenge when it comes to cleaning, are tiled floors, as the grouting often holds on to the dirt and requires some intense scrubbing before it lets it go. The steam action sorts this out in no time at all, making cleaning one of the preferred chores in the household.

Best Steam Mop for Pet Hair on Tile

Bissell Powerfresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop: 

A bit of an upgrade to the previous model is this one, that pays special attention to those pesky pet hairs that tend to accumulate on a daily basis.

Using a steam mop in an area where the pets are known to frequent, will also ensure that dander and dirt from outside are taken care of in minutes.

This is perfect for family members or visitors that have a hard time with allergies and general sensitivity. Having the furry friends indoors can also lead to a bit of a lingering odor that is quite tough to get rid of.

The steam mop counteracts this nicely by ensuring it tackles any smells on hard surfaces such as floors and furniture, which will improve the overall smell in your house.

The best part of having a steam mop in a pet environment has to be the fact that all these things can be achieved without having to fuss about chemicals, as the steam takes care of everything.

Fastest Heating Tile Floor Steam Mop

Hoover Steam Scrub Pro Steam MopHoover Steam Scrub Pro Steam Mop:

There is something about Hoover that just makes it an obvious choice for those who want to have a great quality product at a super price, and this model is no different. Steam mops are just terrific when it comes to sanitizing hard floors, as they are able to penetrate the dirt on a microscopic level, thanks to the heat and pressure. This allows you to clean seemingly tough stains with little to no effort at all.

And yes, this may seem like a “Hover vs Bissell” kind of article, and I guess it is to a point. They are both incredible machines. But I also agree there are other great brands too. So you ca check out the Hoover vs Shark article here, or look through Tina for Home Design to get more ideas on which cleaner fits your purpose and budget.

This mop is also ideal for those moments where you don’t have a lot of time for cleaning, as it takes very little time to heat up.

And added benefit of using a steam mop instead of just the regular type is that the steam can take care of even the trickiest areas, such as the grout between tiles.

This tends to be a bit of a dirt trap, is the bane of any good housekeeper’s existence. Steam is the ultimate friend for those who wish to have a clean house that is sanitized and odorless.

Whether you are a stay-at-home parent who has decided to take care of the cleaning as well, or you simply take care of it after work, getting it done in the quickest amount of time possible is usually the top requirement on the list. Having a mop that takes care of all these and still provides a deep clean makes it worth the investment.

The price on many of these items are quite reasonable, allowing you to have a high standard of cleaning without necessarily having to pay the accompanying price.

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The Best Roofing Material For Every Budget

There are many choices in roofing materials used on homes today. Deciding on the roof that is right for you will depend on a number of factors, including the type of roof you currently have, location of your home, climate zone, desired architectural look, maintenance, and cost.

20 Questions To Ask A Roofing Contractor

Before you get started on any new roof or repairs it is prudent to interview several roofing contractors and collect estimates. Experience counts. It’s best to work with experienced, reliable, honest professionals. Ask the following:

  1. How long have you been a licensed roofing contractor and what’s your state license number? Verify this before considering any roofing contractor’s services.
  2. How long has the company has been doing business under their current name?
  3. Are they bonded?
  4. Has the company declared bankruptcy within the past five years?
  5. Will they provide business references from within the past year?
  6. What terms of payment are anticipated?
  7. How many employees will be assigned to your roofing project?
  8. Will the foreman be on site? Are the employees working on this project employees of the roofing contractor?
  9. What type of roofing system does the roofing contractor recommend? Will it require a complete roof tear-off?
  10. What details can you provide regarding the roofing materials?
  11. Is the warranty guaranteed?
  12. What type of ventilation system does the proposed roofing system have?
  13. What is the best system for this area’s climate?
  14. Is the new proposed roofing system Energy Star Compliant, with an initial reflectance of at least 65%?
  15. Does the proposed roofing system meet the ASHRAE 90.1 standard for Federal Tax deduction eligibility?
  16. What sort of maintenance will be necessary with the new roof?
  17. Are there prevalent problems that occur with this type of roof?
  18. How will the contractor handle any problems over the life of the roof?
  19. What is the life expectancy of the proposed roof?
  20. What benefits does this roofing system provide?

A new roof installation is a major investment. Move forward only when you are satisfied with the answers to the above questions. Or if youre still unsure, take a look at this company https://legacyusa.com/areas/ as an example of what I am talking about.

Wood Roofs: Shakes and Shingles

  • Cedar shakes provide a traditional look with reliable, modern durability. They are a good choice for historic homes or homes in new developments with high appearance standards. Cedar shakes are an environmentally friendly option also.
  • The life expectancy of cedar shakes is up to 30 years, if quality materials are used.
  • A potential concern with cedar shakes is that many communities will require pressure-treated, fire retardant shakes, which lowers the fire hazard but increases the cost of the materials.
  • Composition shingles are widely used on homes in the United States. These are made of an organic or fiberglass base, then saturated with asphalt and coated with minerals on one side to resist weathering.
  • Fiberglass shingles are more flexible and stronger than organic shingles. Both shingles come in a wide variety of colors.
  • The life expectancy of composition shingles ranges from 20 to 30 years. Most manufacturers will cover a composition roof under warranty, if a certified roofer installed it.
  • Dimensional shingles are very similar to composition shingles, but are thicker, and can be used to create a better shadow line for each course of shingles. Dimensional shingles also have a much better lifespan, with an expectancy of up to 40 years.

Clay And Concrete Tiles

  • Clay tile is usually used in the traditional Spanish look. But, clay is now available in several other patterns. Tile is a very durable material and is able to withstand some of the harshest elements such as hail, wind, and fire. There is one drawback to tiles, however: their weight. They require certain structural standards for the frame and decking of the roof.
  • They have a great life expectancy of 40 to 50 years.
  • Tiles may need to be predrilled and nailed if you have a steep pitch roof, or even supported by metal brackets, all of which could increase the cost associated with this type of roofing system. Most tile manufacturers offer a minimum of a 50 year limited warranty on their products.
  • Concrete tile has essentially all of the benefits of clay tile. Concrete tiles also have the advantage of being available in a greater number of styles including traditional clay and slate.

Metal In areas where forests, moss, or heavy precipitation are present, metal roofs are a great solution for a new roof. Usually made of steel, aluminum or copper, metal roofs offer some of the best protection for your home. Metal roofs withstand high winds, shed snow and rain very effectively, and are fire resistant. Metal roofs are very lightweight, weighing about one quarter of the weight of tile roofs and nearly half as much as asphalt shingles. Metal roofing is generally more expensive than asphalt roofing, but cheaper than tile or slate roofing.

When properly installed a metal roof will usually last as long as the house with manufacturer warranties of 50 years.

Slate And Synthetic Slate A slate roof is the most expensive roofing material on the market. It is also the most durable and one of the more attractive solutions. Slate is cut from slabs of stone. The roof tiles are most commonly grey but do occur in a variety of subtle color variations. Slate roofs regularly last over 100 years.

Slate roofs require little maintenance, are resistant to mold and insects, and are fire damage. Slate is a heavy roofing material and can only be used on roofs that are properly supported for such weight. Most residential homes will require additional materials and labor to increase the roofs strength. Quality workmanship is a must for these types of roofs.

Synthetic slate tiles are another option. They are made from a mixture of slate dust and glass fiber resin, or a combination of cement and fiber. Synthetic slate isn’t as brittle as real slate, and it offers many of the same protective qualities.

Environmentally Friendly Roofing Materials Green roofs are on the rise in popularity. They are energy efficient and earth friendly.

A green roof covers the traditional roof with vegetation that provides many benefits to the structure and the environment.

A green roof will have a number of layers; a soil layer, and layers for drainage and waterproofing, with the vegetation layer on top.

The roof may have an irrigation system installed for maintenance of the plants.

There are a number of advantages to having a green roof:

  • It reduces much of the heat from the roofs surface.
  • It’s a good sound insulator.
  • It reduces the amount of pollutants that run off with rainwater from roofs.
  • It retains much of the water in the soil and the plants will actually absorb some of the pollutants, purifying the water before it leaves the roof.
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