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Old Orange Tree Care: How Can You Extend The Fruit-Bearing Years Of Your Tree?

Posted by on 10:12 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Old Orange Tree Care: How Can You Extend The Fruit-Bearing Years Of Your Tree?

If your orange tree is over 50 years of age, you may wonder if it’s capable of yielding anymore fruit. Most orange trees can produce fruit for 50 years or more. With the right care, some trees can live as long as a 100 years or more and still bear fruit. Two of the things you might inadvertently do to harm your tree is prune it incorrectly or at the wrong time. Both issues might damage your tree and keep it from yielding any more fruit. Here are some thing you can do to help extend the fruit-bearing years of your old orange tree. When Should You Prune an Older Orange Tree? As with all older trees, pruning your aging orange tree too often can harm it. You should prune your citrus tree every five to 10 years, between February and April. Pruning removes crisscrossed and diseased branches and limbs that prevent sunlight and oxygen from nourishing the tree.  If you don’t remember when you last pruned your orange tree, it’s a good idea that you have an arborist examine it. An arborist is a tree service specialist who treats all types of trees for disease, over-pruning, insects, and a host of other issues. The specialist will generally assess the orange tree’s bark to see if it’s healthy, as well as check the formation of the tree’s limbs and branches. Limbs and branches that rub against each as they grow out can create wounds that attract disease-causing pests and organisms. Overgrown branches can also cause physical damage to your home’s structure and landscape. To extend the life of your elder tree and protect your property, it’s important that you correct these issues immediately.  After pruning the tree, it’s time to take additional steps to help it produce fruit. What Can You Do to Help Your Tree Bear Fruit? Placing a coating of latex paint on the bark of the tree helps ward off rot, insects and disease. The bark is also vulnerable to sun damage, which may inhibit the tree’s growth and stability. Coating the trunk of the tree with paint protects it from the sun and other types of problems.  Here’s what you do: Purchase a 1-quart can of oil-free, white latex paint from your local home and gardening store. Don’t use any paints that say “enamel.” Enamel paint can damage the tree’s bark. Pour the paint into a large container, then add 1 quart of water to it. You want to dilute the paint with equal amounts of water. Use a wide paint brush to coat the tree’s trunk. Be sure to cover the base of the tree with the paint. Add a second coat of paint to the first coat after it dries.  Retouch the paint if it begins to fade over time. If you don’t feel comfortable painting the tree, contact an arborist for assistance. If you need additional help with your old orange tree, consult with a tree service provider today. You can also visit websites like...

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How To Prevent Cigarette Butts From Accumulating In Your Parking Lot

Posted by on 9:52 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Prevent Cigarette Butts From Accumulating In Your Parking Lot

As you already know, your parking lot is the first thing that people see when they arrive at your place of business. This means that you want to make a good impression when people first pull in, which can be tough to do if your parking lot is dirty. Unfortunately, you might deal with litter that can make your parking lot look less than fresh, clean and professional, including cigarette butts. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to help prevent cigarette butts from accumulating in your parking area. Clean it Regularly  Cleaning your parking lot regularly or hiring a street sweeper to come out and do it is important. Not only will this help prevent the cigarette butts from piling up, but it can prevent people from tossing them out in the first place. If a smoker sees cigarette butts all over your parking lot, he or she might not think much about tossing yet another cigarette butt on the ground. Responsible smokers, on the other hand, may be a lot less likely to toss out a cigarette butt if they don’t see others in your parking area. Contact a sweeping business, such as Armstrong Sweeping Inc/ASI, for more information.  Make Ashtrays Convenient If an ashtray is convenient, there is a good chance that a smoker will use it rather than tossing their cigarette butt on the ground. Make sure that you have ashtrays near any benches or other seating, near the entrances to your building and in other convenient areas outside of your business. Make sure that they are sufficiently sized for the number of people who frequent your business, and make sure that they are easy to see and access to encourage use. Post Signs Remind people that littering in your parking area is unacceptable by posting signs. You can even have signs custom-made and can add a blurb about cigarette butts. Many people do not even think about the fact that tossing out cigarette butts is littering, but reminding them that it is and that you would prefer that they not do it on your property can help. As you can see, you do not have to sit and deal with people tossing cigarette butts in your parking lot without doing anything about it. If you want to keep your parking lot looking great by preventing littering — even of something as small and simple as cigarette butts — following these three tips can help....

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The Nitty Gritty On Soapstone Countertops

Posted by on 11:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Nitty Gritty On Soapstone Countertops

Many homeowners immediately go with granite when it comes to countertop material. Granite certainly is a beautiful and durable countertop choice. However, soapstone is an equally beautiful but less common countertop selection. As you plan your kitchen remodel – or brand new kitchen – consider the unique beauty that soapstone offers. Beauty of Soapstone Soapstone is quarried in Brazil, Finland and China in the same manner of granite. Its main components are mineral talc, magnesium and dolomite. The talc is responsible for its soft appearance – and warm touch, relative to other stones. Soapstone used for countertops contains high percentages of quartz, which gives the material its hard surface. Natural soapstone typically starts light gray with veining but eventually becomes a rich gray over time. Fun fact – soapstone is actually similar to marble in being ideal for rolling out pastry dough. Matching Soapstone Soapstone is a classic countertop material for farmhouse kitchens. Any edging is possible, but a bullnose or beveled edge looks charming in such a country kitchen. The rich color makes an attractive foil to sunny kitchen colors. However, as Better Homes and Gardens points out, the gray/black of soapstone is a natural counterpoint to white cabinetry. This kind of pairing is chic enough for a mod kitchen, so consider a crisp, eased edge for the countertop. Soapstone Maintenance Soapstone requires even less maintenance than granite, which needs periodic resealing. After having the countertop installed, you should rub it with mineral oil every week or so to enhance the beauty of the marbling. In the event of a rare scratch, the soapstone can be gently sanded. An application of mineral oil is necessary after this procedure. Otherwise, it’s simply a matter of washing soapstone with a soft cloth and gentle cleanser, same as you would any other countertop material. Protecting Soapstone The mineral talc in soapstone does make it a little softer than granite. As such, you’ll want to avoid cutting directly on the countertop. Likewise, try to minimize dropping hard items directly on the surface as it can chip. However, soapstone is also non-porous, which means it’s naturally impervious to bacteria. This also means it’s not susceptible to staining. Therefore, don’t use any harsh cleansers on the surface – it’s unnecessary, and it can leave scratches. (You can always buff these out, though.) Finally, the quartz in soapstone makes it hard enough that it’s relatively impervious to heat. Therefore, you can place a hot pan directly on your soapstone countertop. Soapstone is a beautiful complement for any style of kitchen. To learn more, visit a website...

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It’s Those Little Things: Details That Can Keep Your Home Cool And Your Electric Bill Low

Posted by on 7:02 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on It’s Those Little Things: Details That Can Keep Your Home Cool And Your Electric Bill Low

If you have just moved to an area where air conditioning is a necessity during summer, you’re no doubt discovering that finding that right balance between staying comfortable and keeping your bills low is not the easiest task in the world. The recent southwestern heat wave made it clear that you can’t always try to tough it out on hot days — sometimes it’s just too hot — but that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of huge power bills. In addition to the conventional advice to keep blinds closed and dress appropriately, there are some little details that can make a big difference in how much you spend on those bills. Blind Slat Rotation This first tip may sound very obvious to people who are used to blocking light out, but if you’ve never really had to deal with this before — or you’re just not used to using mini-blinds — it can be a detail that you easily miss. If your windows have horizontal mini-blinds, rotate the slats so that light is blocked from coming in. This is different from merely rotating the blinds closed. When you rotate the slats, you have the option to rotate them so that light can still stream in a bit or so that the slats form a barrier to block incoming light. When you rotate them, the slats should be positioned so that they point down toward the outside of the house. Any sunlight hitting the windows would hit the slats and be blocked. If the slats point down toward the inside of the house, a little light can still get through, and that will heat up the inside of the room a little more. On a very hot day, that little bit can make a real difference. Strong Smells Cut down on the strong-smelling foods, perfumes, and air fresheners in hot weather. If you cook something that smells very strong, for example, the smell could become intense enough to make it difficult to put up with. NBC News reports that this is a real phenomenon, especially in humid weather. Strong smells can increase your bill or decrease your comfort in two ways. One is that you may have to open windows to get rid of the smell (for example, if you’re in an older apartment that doesn’t have an adequately strong range hood in the kitchen), which of course lets hot air in, heats up your place, and makes you feel worse. The other is that you could end up feeling hotter just because the smell makes the room seem stuffier and more sultry, which could lead you to set the air conditioning thermostat to a colder temperature, thus increasing your bills. An Extra Degree or Two Conventional wisdom places the optimal temperature for staying comfortable and conserving energy at about 78 degrees Fahrenheit. However, Consumer Reports notes that setting the thermostat another degree higher can save you 2 percent on your bill (and another degree higher saves another 2 percent, and so on). Try upping the temperature on the thermostat to 80 or 81 and see if that is still comfortable for you. Suffer a Little It’s not really pleasant to come home to a stuffy, hot home that hasn’t had the air conditioning on, but you’ll save...

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Decorative And Architectural Custom Fiberglass Adds Flair To Your Construction Project

Posted by on 4:44 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Decorative And Architectural Custom Fiberglass Adds Flair To Your Construction Project

Custom fiberglass has many applications. Fiberglass is a reinforced polymer that can be molded to meet the needs of almost any project. Whether you are trying to create a decorative element for the outside of a building, or looking for architectural support made from fiberglass, the options for custom fiberglass are endless. You can use it to create a sign, fountain, fence, or decorative piece for your yard or walkway. Using Decorative Fiberglass Outside Fiberglass used as a decoration tool is effective for many reasons. The design is only limited by the creative nature of the designer, and the benefits of using this type of material outside are many. Fiberglass is highly adaptable, and lightweight, making it easy to install fiberglass art pieces without worrying about the integrity of the underlying wall. Fiberglass does not erode, and is not susceptible to damage caused by insect infestations. While it’s possible to paint fiberglass, it is not necessary as fiberglass isn’t going to chip or peel. You can have your custom fiberglass created with additives that will prevent fading, or add strength to the final product you want created. Fiberglass as an Architectural Feature of a Building Fiberglass can be molded into just about any shape, and this makes fiberglass a great material to use both inside and out when creating a unique space. Fiberglass is low maintenance because it doesn’t rust, and it is rarely destroyed by harsh weather conditions. You can enhance the properties of fiberglass used outdoors with flame retardant additives to create a product that is difficult to destroy. Whether you want to create intricate archways, unique designs around windows, or a large structural support for your building, how you utilize customized fiberglass is up to you. It is a product that offers great flexibility, and you get good value for your money when you consider the strength, versatility, and overall beauty of designs made out of fiberglass. When you have a building idea in mind, it’s important to bring your ideas to a fiberglass fabrication company who can help make your ideas into a reality. With some tweaking of your design, and discussion on how you want the fiberglass to function, your building and the designs both inside and out can be enhanced through the use of decorative fiberglass. While it may take time to work over your design to make sure it is viable, you can create the building of your dreams through the use of decorate and architectural fiberglass. To learn more, contact a fiberglass manufacturing company like C F Maier...

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3 Ways To Ensure A Fruitful Garden

Posted by on 10:17 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways To Ensure A Fruitful Garden

When planting a garden, unfortunately, you can’t just throw some seeds down into the soil and then enjoy the fruits of your garden come harvest time. Creating a fruitful garden that is healthy and productive takes a bit of work. There are a few easy things that you can do to ensure that you have a garden that grows plentifully and will yield you great rewards.  Use The Right Topsoil  Your garden needs the right nutrients to grow, and if the soil doesn’t have the right pH level or has an inadequate amount of nutrients, your garden will fail. Before you begin, you need to test the soil in which you want to grow. Soil test kits can be purchased at your local home and garden store. Your soil should have a pH level of between 5.0 and 6.2 for best growing conditions. It also needs to have a certain percentage of calcium, magnesium, potassium and other nutrients. If you test your soil and find it’s not up to these standards, you will need to purchase topsoil that has all the properties you need for successful growth.  Plant Properly In order for your garden to flourish, your plants need to be planted in the right soil depth as well as have enough room to grow so that they don’t crowd each other out and take up too much sunlight, nutrients and water. When you plant, ensure that you plant small seeds, like carrots, about 1 inch deep.  Your larger seeds should be planted at a depth of about 2 inches. You should leave plenty of room in between each seed for proper growth.  Prevent and Control Weeds Weeds overcrowd your garden, consume valuable nutrients and cause the items in your garden to be shaded, losing out on sunlight. Therefore, it is important to prevent and control weeds. To prevent weeds, you can till your garden and then set down newspaper or dried grass surrounding the plants after they’ve been planted. This will make it more difficult for weeds to grow. To control weeds, you need to ensure that you remove weeds at the root to prevent them from growing back. You can also pour boiling hot water directly on the weed’s root to kill it.  Keep these few things in mind as you are planting and caring for your garden in order to make sure that your garden doesn’t fail to grow and to ensure that you have plenty to harvest come end of growing season. Click here to learn more about this...

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Saving Personal Items From A Household Flood

Posted by on 9:40 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Saving Personal Items From A Household Flood

The flood waters are gone and you’re left with a home full of soggy personal effects. It’s time to sort through everything to see what can be saved. Here is what you need to understand about the impact of the flood water on your items and how to save as much as you can. The Flood Water Source is the Primary Concern Flood water may be contaminated with a variety of organic materials, some of which can make you ill. Depending on where the water came from, personal items may need to be disinfected before being used again. To help decide what can be saved and what can’t, water damage cleanup companies categorize flood water in one of three ways. Category 1 (“Clean Water”) – This water contains very few harmful contaminates and will come from sources such as a broken water supply line. Items soaked with this water can generally be rinsed off and dried thoroughly to be safe enough to use. Category 2 (“Grey Water”) – This water has enough organic material in it to cause illness if you should swallow it. An example of this water is from an overflowing toilet with no solid waste in it. Items soaked with this water need to be rinsed thoroughly, then disinfected before being safe to use. Category 3 (“Black Water”) – This water has harmful levels of microorganisms in it and will likely make you ill if you swallow it. This would be water that comes into your house from a backed up city sewer line. Items soaked with this water would likely not survive the rigorous disinfecting needed to make the item safe for use. Any attempts to save these items requires the help of a water cleanup service. The water contamination level changes as the water sits and becomes stagnant. Category 1 water can become category 2 in a few days if allowed to sit. How Long An Item is Soaked is The Second Concern The longer an items stays in the water, the harder it will be to recover. Items such as carpets, draperies and upholstered furniture left in the water longer than 24 hours have an increased risk of developing mold and mildew. This makes the items even more difficult to clean so the mold and mildew doesn’t return. Items made of wood, paper or cardboard will swell as they continue to sit in water. Drying the items will help, but they won’t return to their pre-flood state once completely dried. Get as many of your personal items out of the water to a dry area as soon as you can. Once dried, you’ll have an easier time determining if an item can be salvaged or must be thrown away. Specific Item Recovery Tips Non-porous items, such as metal cookware and glasses, can be washed, rinsed off and dried to be safe to use. Electronic items, such as televisions and computers may be salvaged if allowed to dry thoroughly before attempting to turn them on.  Turn them upside down on a surface to drain water out of them and let dry before turning on. Important papers should be dried enough to copy or photograph them, then throw away the originals. Try drying out photos by placing them between sheets of paper towel and putting...

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4 Things To Do Before Installing A New Fence

Posted by on 9:33 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things To Do Before Installing A New Fence

Installing a new fence surrounding your property is probably ideal if the older fence is no longer holding up as it once used to. You may also desire better privacy than your current fence provides or better curb appeal. Installing a fence can be easy work, but here are four things you must do before starting the process: Talk to Your Neighbors: If you are wanting to install a new fence, you are probably going to have to get your neighbors involved if the fence will also be a part of their property. If the idea is yours, you should have the wood posts facing your side of the home, which is a great incentive for the neighbors to agree to you installing a new fence. Don’t forget to also come up with a contract with who will pay for what. It should be in writing that the installation was agreed upon, in case the neighbors attempt to complain about it in the future.  Check Fencing Codes: Every city will have different codes on fence installation. The one area you need to check is how far the fence posts must be posted into the ground. For example, some areas will require that it is 2 feet deep in the ground while others will require it to be 4 feet in the ground.  Have Land Surveyed: Before installing the fence have your land surveyed. The surveyor will establish correct property lines which could possibly differ from where the original fence was installed in the past. This is another way to ensure that neighbors cannot fight you on the legality on the fence installation, as well.  Choose the Right Fence: Finally, you want to be sure that you install the right fence for your needs. Of course, you are also going to need to negotiate on fence type with your neighbors, but you need to have a clear goal in mind to discuss with them. For example, if you are looking for more privacy, then a chain link fence is out of the question. If you are looking for curb appeal and to blend into the landscaping, then a wood fence may be the right choice for you. Be sure to consider all options so you know what fencing types you are comfortable with. ​When you do these four things before installing a new fence, you can be sure that the process is done as successfully as possible.  ...

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3 Ways To Help Your Home Retain Heat

Posted by on 9:24 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways To Help Your Home Retain Heat

Heat leaks out of your home in some cases as fast as your furnace can produce it. The more heat that leaks out of your home, the harder and longer your furnace has to work to heat it back up again. Not only will helping your home retain heat help to keep your heating costs down, it will also help to reduce the need to repair or replace your furnace. Anything you can do to improve your home’s insulation envelope can protect your wallet.  Use Window Film Windows trap a layer of gas between the panes of glass to isolate the outside pane from the inside pane. When the outside wind cools your window, the gas in between will stop some of the heat from your home from passing through to the outside world, but it will not stop all of it. On the other hand, if you use a reflective window film, you can reflect some of the heat back into your home. In this way, you can reduce your heating costs by up to 25%. The same window film can also reduce your cooling costs by 23%.  Check Your Door Trim Outside doors should have a lining of weather-stripping along the door trim. This weather stripping will prevent heat from leaking around the edges of the door. Unfortunately, daily use, changes in the temperature, or objects scraping across the door trim can damage the weather stripping. Run a stick of incense along your door when it is shut. If air leaking around the door disturbs the smoke from the incense, you need to replace your weather stripping.  Use an Area Rug If you have a lot of wood or tile floors in your home, they will do little to insulate your home. Using area rugs will help to insulate your floor. Not only will this make it more comfortable to walk across the floors in your home, it will help to prevent cold air from your crawl space from leaking into your home.  The fixes described above are little things that can make a big difference in your home’s insulation envelope. If you want to keep your cooling costs down but don’t feel like you have the money available to make a big change, then you should start with at least one of the small changes described above. You can make the other changes as you have the money available to make them. Contact a heating service in your area for more...

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Three Questions To Ask When Hiring A Paving Contractor

Posted by on 3:28 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Questions To Ask When Hiring A Paving Contractor

When your driveway is cracked and otherwise worn out, you essentially have two choices — you can attempt to seal the cracks with a sealing set or you can hire a paving contractor to tear up your driveway and get the job done right. The former choice is a stop-gap measure that won’t last long, while the latter should be able to last at least 20 years. It’s beneficial to research some paving companies that service your community and then develop a list of potential candidates. When you call each contractor to get a price estimate and see how soon the job could be completed, it’s also beneficial to gauge each contractor’s answers to these three questions. Could You Give Me Some Addresses For Other Jobs You’ve Done? For a paving contractor, completed driveway jobs are the contractor’s resume. As such, any reputable organization should be happy to present you with some addresses for other jobs. Try to get some addresses for recent jobs as well as those done several years ago; for the latter group, you’ll be able to evaluate how well the asphalt is holding up. Once you have this list, you can take a little time to drive past these homes and check the quality of each job. If you like what you see, it’s a reason to move forward with hiring the contractor. What Steps Will You Take To Protect My Lawn? Any time heavy equipment is working on your driveway, there’s a risk of some minimal damage to the vegetation on either side of the working area. When you ask this question, it’s ideal to find a conscientious contractor who will give you an honest answer — it’s possible for some asphalt spray to land on the grass but to minimize this risk, the contractor will place tarps or other protective material along the edges of the grass. The contractor should also tell you of a plan to cover any shrubs or plants growing nearby. How Comprehensive Is Your Warranty? Any reputable paving company will offer you a comprehensive warranty in writing before the job begins. It’s useful to go over the specifics before you hire the contractor. The warranty should be two-fold, covering the driveway work and the labor. This means that if the driveway’s new asphalt fails prematurely for any reason, the labor to redo the job will be covered by the contractor. This full warranty will give you the peace of mind that the contractor stands by his or her...

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