Home Maintenance

Tips on How to Extend the Usefulness of Your Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is a practical choice for rooms with heavy foot traffic. It is very durable although you need to clean and maintain it properly to make it last for years.

Luxury vinyl flooring offers a number of benefits to homeowners. For one, it is easier on the feet due to its slip-resistant quality. Vinyl flooring can also help in reducing the noise in a room. It also comes in a wide variety of designs and colors, allowing you to match it with any decor.

vinyl flooring

To maximize the lifespan of your vinyl flooring, here are some maintenance tips that you may want to remember:

Use doormats  

A doormat can keep dirt and chemicals out of your vinyl flooring. Collected grit and dusts can remove the finish from the floor in the long run. Chemicals from asphalt that stick to your shoes can also cause damage and discoloration, especially to cheap vinyl flooring.

Use the recommended cleaning tools

Generally, luxury vinyl flooring doesn’t need wax for cleaning. Warm water and detergent can be enough to do the job. Dampen a sponge or a map with the water-detergent mixture and wipe the floor to loosen the dust and dirt. Make sure to rinse the floor with clean water to avoid leaving any residue. Moreover, do not use abrasives as they can leave scratch marks on the material.

Never drench your vinyl

Be careful when using water to clean your vinyl flooring. Water from an excessively wet sponge or mop may seep into the flooring’s cracks and seams. This can damage the glue bond that secures the vinyl in place, causing it to loosen or curl in the corners.

Put protective covering on the feet of your furniture and appliances

The weight of large items such as tables and refrigerators can put a permanent dent on your vinyl flooring. Avoid this by fitting each of your heavy furniture and appliances with protective coverings. You can purchase these at your local home-improvement and hardware stores.

Whether it is a cheap vinyl flooring or the higher quality variety, the key to keeping your floor in excellent shape is to maintain its cleanliness. Remove any spot of dirt before it settles in. Sweep the floor regularly. Make it a habit to run a soft broom across the floor every evening. Doing all these things will ensure that your vinyl flooring stays looking as good as new for a very long time.

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Home Improvement

3 Simple Bamboo Garden Fence Design Ideas for Your Backyard

How can you feel likaboboranacerca1381721me you are on vacation when you are at home? It is simple. Turn your backyard into a place filled with culture and comfort. Constructing a garden is a great first step because it will give your backyard some purpose and visual appeal. To truly create a garden you can be proud of, you have to make it unique. How can this be done? Add bamboo! Bamboo is a very stylish type of grass that is strong enough to use as a barrier for safety and privacy. It represents culture and spirituality. Although it looks unsuitable in most environments, these three simple bamboo garden fence design ideas for your backyard should inspire you to use it to your advantage.

Boost your garden’s tropical theme.

If you live in an environment that sustains tropical plants – for example, palm trees – and you want to make use of the warm environment, a bamboo fence will add a touch of paradise to your backyard garden. The presence of bamboo will uphold your garden’s natural and exotic appeal. You might be able to cancel your expensive trip to Hawaii. You brought Hawaii to your yard!

Use it as a divider.

There is no rule that says your bamboo fence can’t do more than act as a barrier. To add an artistic aspect to your garden, a short fence could be placed as a divider. Of course, this idea is not meant to protect your garden. It is meant to add an artistic element to your garden design. A four-foot-long handcrafted fence would be a great idea if you need a way to make your backyard seem larger.

Use it for your Japanese Garden.

If you ever install a Japanese garden, the addition of bamboo would be the perfect finishing touch. Japanese gardens are incredibly popular because of their peaceful nature. Like all gardens, however, they need to be protected. A bamboo fence would be the picture-perfect barrier to safeguard your plants and preserve your garden’s serenity. A chain link fence just would not look right, would it?

Whether you want to install the fence yourself or hire a professional landscaper, your bamboo fence will impress your guests and keep you feeling like you are in paradise at home. If you decide to enhance your property, use these three bamboo garden fence design ideas for inspiration.

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Home Improvement

Paver Repair Tips

paver repair

Time and again, several areas around commercial properties and private residences require paver repair tasks. Such repair works and procedures help maintain the structural veracity of paved surfaces for their continued use. Areas that require regular paver repairs are such as driveways, hallways, patios, and garden paths. Even if the base is solid, erosion and natural settling will always occur under the pavers leading to depressions or low spots. Repairing driveway or patio pavers is simple and requires no sophisticated tools. It is a task one can complete alone without having to hire expert services. The following tips explain how you can do the repair in a few minutes or hours.

How to Repair it yourself

1. Remove the sunken or depressed pavers from the sidewalk. Use a pry bar or any other suitable tool to lift two corners of the paver and use your hands to lift it out. Place the removed pavers aside and in safe place to avoid any injuries.

2. Estimate the amount of sand needed to make the sidewalk level again. To achieve this, use a level to measure the length of the sunken area. Measure the height of the sunken area, as well as, the height of the available pavers. Get the appropriate materials to fill the area.

3. Evenly spread a layer of coarse sand in the sunken area until it gets to the needed height and levels with the sand underneath the undisturbed pavers. Firm the sand by tamping and add more sand until it levels with others.

4. Place the new pavers back into place and gently tap them down few times with a rubber mallet. Ensure that all placed pavers are leveled and pause regularly to check the pavers not to align out of the driveway. Unleveled pavers should be tapped until they take the appropriate position.

5. Place fine sand over the whole work area after you have replaced all the damaged pavers. Use a push broom to sweep the sand around the area and pack it between the paver’s crevices. The sand holds the pavers in position and connects them to limit their chances of sinking again.

6. Sprinkle water over the entire area, place more sand and sweep again.

By following the above procedure, you not only help save money, but also make your home tidy. The repair is simple and takes less time depending on the number of pavers to be replaced. Repairing pavers should always be given priority because they have lots of practical and aesthetic value when they are in the right form.

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Real Estate

Monaco Property Prices on the Rise

High wealth investors seeking luxury real estate without the burden of capital gains tax, look to Monaco. The Principality offers much in terms of quality of life, in addition to exemption from income and real property taxes. Reforms imposed on Paris residents in 2012, of up to 75 per cent of total gains, has driven many new residents to the Principality, as French citizens perform an economic protest in response to what has been articulated as unfair taxation of the rich.

Monaco Property Prices

If luxury surroundings are said to be worth their weight in gold, the Principality certainly fulfills this promise. The median price for Monaco real estate per square metre is presently USD $57,600 to $63,700, or USD $5,350 to $5,920 per square foot. In 2013, the escalation of property prices in Monaco was double to quadruple that of other real estate markets globally. At present, suggest real estate analysts, USD $1 million buys about 16 square meters in a prime district, and this is moderate in terms of accommodation and resale value.

monacoIn 2013, investors were paying up to €70,000 per square meter. New build options offering luminous spatial arrangements and added amenities are in hot demand for this reason, as older Monaco properties often share similar spatial constraints as that of Paris. While no luxury is too much of an expense so to speak, property buyers are making concessions to remain in the historical part of the city, and it is paying off in resale.

Buildings located in the centre are older. If renovation or rehabilitation of an apartment or villa is in order, it may be listed at a fraction of the cost of new construction housing. Understanding Monaco real estate prices is fairly simple: premium and luxury properties are subject to predictable upward price inflation.

Hidden Property Costs

Property purchases weighted with additional costs and a commission rate of per cent is normal in the region. Buyers should beware that all Monaco property agents assess administrative fees to processing of conveyances and property title.

Most Monaco real estate transactions carry a 6 per cent fee base, with additional major costs in utility bills. Electricity service costs from €400 per month in Monaco. The offset is that there are not property taxes. Parking costs approximately €250-300 per month, which is surprisingly inexpensive relative to neighbouring markets. After one year in Monaco, UK citizens may apply for a Carte de Sejour; the official Surete Publique document given to long-term residents.

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Home Maintenance

How To Remove Mold With Ammomia

Many homeowners begin to panic just at the sight of mold in their homes and understandably so. Mold is not only detrimental to your health, it can also devalue your home and wreak havoc on your peace of mind. Fortunately, there is a way to fight back and effectively kill mold– ammonia.


When using ammonia to remove mold, be sure to not mix the solution with bleach. Combined, ammonia and bleach create a highly toxic substance that can off gas and be inhaled.


For small areas of mold, ones less than 2 ft x 2 ft, removal with ammonia is possible. The steps below work best on non-porous surfaces such as tile, porcelain, glass, plastic and fiberglass resin. For porous materials like wood or drywall, the optimal solution is to remove the infected area and replace it.

1)      Start by preparing the infected room or area. This means placing plastic wrap over top of nearby objects (possessions, walls, floors and ceilings) to avoid infecting other areas of your home. You also want to wear protective eye wear, latex gloves and a breathing mask. A HEPA approved breathing mask is highly recommended.

2)      Next you want to create a half and half solution of water and clean ammonia. It is important to use clear ammonia instead of cloudy ammonia which may contain soaps that will decrease the effectiveness of the solution.

3)      Once you have your solution ready, use a spray bottle to dampen the moldy area. Let the solution sit for a for at least one hour so that it can penetrate the mold.

NOTE: Do not wet a sponge or towel with your solution and wipe the mold while it is dry. This can result in mold spores becoming airborne where they will rest and grow on other surfaces. Also, do not open a window if it is windy out and do not use a fan to get rid of the ammonia smell. Incoming air an pick up any mold spores that have not been dampened and move them to other areas.

4)      Next you will take a sponge or towel (one that you can discard afterwards) and gently wipe away the surface mold. After the surface mold is removed, spray the infected area again and let it sit for another minute.

5)      Lightly scrub the area to remove any mold residue or remaining spores.

6)      To help remove the smell left behind from the ammonia, you can use a simple baking soda and water solution (1 table spoon baking soda to 1 cup water) and repeat the steps above. Alternatively, you can use grapefruit seed extract mixed with water (10 drops GSE to 1 cup water) and repeat the steps above. Both products are great deodorizers.



Your cleanup process should be handled with as much care and attention to detail as your removal process. This is to prevent mold from settling elsewhere in your home where it can grow all over again.

1)      Using a HEPA filtered vacuum, vacuum the plastic wrap and surrounding areas where the mold was. This is to attempt to remove any lose mold spores that went airborne during the removal process.

2)      Once vacuuming is complete, fold up the plastic wraps that were used during removal and discard them by placing them in a sealed garbage bag.

NOTE: Do not carry the plastic wrap out of your home. In the event that loose mold spores were left behind, you may be transporting them to other areas of your home where they can rest and grow.

3)      Discard your latex gloves and breathing mask along with the plastic wrap. Your safety goggles can be re-used if necessary but be sure to thoroughly clean them. You can use the same solution you prepared earlier to do this.

4)      Once the entire plastic wrap has been removed, use your HEPA filtered vacuum once more to give the surrounding area on more vacuum as a precaution.


Mold can be very dangerous to one’s health. This is why you must take every precaution when dealing with cleanup and removal. Those who suffer from illness of any kind should not take on such a project as your risk for mold related health problems can be greatly increased.


This how to guide should not be used to clean or remove large mold infestations. When in doubt, you should consult a professional mold inspector who will test the mold and tell you if you are dealing with a toxic species or not.


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Home Decorating

Useful Tips When Purchasing Hand Made Oriental Rugs


Hand made Oriental rugs have been around for thousands of years, some historical evidence shows that these rugs have been used since the 4th or 5th century BC. Hand made Oriental rugs are known for their unique beauty and natural charm. These high quality rugs made of wool and dyes are not cheap, but the good thing is they are very durable, so they can be an investment that you can inherit to your children because the value of these rugs will increase as it ages.

Since these hand-made Oriental rugs are not cheap, you have to be very careful when you’re purchasing them, especially if you have little knowledge about them. The real Oriental rugs are masterpiece with high value, but there are lots of fake rugs in the market nowadays which obviously have much much less value than the real one.

The first thing you should do when you’re in the market looking for hand knotted oriental rugs is to go to a reputed dealer that already run their business for a number of years. If possible, go online to look for some customer feedback, a reputed dealer usually has a website that you can visit before you actually go to their store. If you prefer to buy in an online store you should really checkout their credibility before you actually make your order.

These days there are a lot of “out of business sales” that offer rugs with very cheap prices. These are usually fraudulent sales conducted by cheaters selling fake products.

Hand made Oriental rugs are classy item, you cannot put them in the same class as machine made rugs, they are not just regular carpets to cover your floor, they are a true piece of art.

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Home Improvement

Hiring a Professional Gutter Cleaning Company Vs. Doing It Yourself

A fall tradition - cleaning the gutters of leaves. Here, we see them clogging the gutters of a traditional home. Could be used for advertising/clean up articles/etc. Narrow DOFThe process of cleaning your gutters yourself is not only hard work, but requires special knowledge and equipment to get the job done properly. First a trowel is needed to remove any large debris in your gutters, such as sticks and leaves, and then placed into a bucket or large trash bag for removal. To ensure that it is thoroughly cleaned and cleared, a hose with a gutter cleaning attachment should also be run from the opposite end of the downspout.

If this sounds like too much work, you may be thinking a heavy rainstorm will take care of the issue and flush everything out, or that the problem will just simply go away. Trust us, leaving your clogged gutters alone is something you do not want to do! In the winter, clogged gutters can cause ice dams, in which the water will pool and leak into your home. At any point during the year, you could experience landscape damage, wood damage or even worse, foundation damage. Not only will you find yourself with an expensive problem on your hands, but your property value has now decreased.

gutter cleaning home boxIf you’ve noticed clogged gutters around your home, you can’t afford to wait. Calling in a professional to take care of things will make sure the job gets done right the first time and protect your home from any major issues. A professional gutter cleaning company will be able to clear out your clutter gutters quickly and efficiently, and can often offer other services such as gutter replacement or algae/black film removal. Calling in a pro means you don’t have to climb a ladder and risk injury either, providing you with further peace of mind.

American Painting & Window Cleaning has been providing gutter cleaning services for more than 25 years. They also offer year-round services to prevent clogging, poor drainage, and damage to your home. They proudly service residential and commercial clients throughout Fairfield and New Haven counties in cities such as Darien, New Canaan, Westport, Orange, and Woodbridge. Call 866-854-3688 or contact them online for a free estimate or to schedule an appointment.

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Home Maintenance

Advantages of Hiring a Window Cleaning Company


There really isn’t a more functional and appealing part of any home or office than the windows. When windows are sparkling clean, they provide curb appeal, let the sunshine in, provide mood boosting views of the outdoors. When they’re dirty, they detract from the overall appearance of the home or office, both inside and out. While a lot of homeowners consider tackling window cleaning themselves, that’s usually as far as it gets; the “considering” stages. Why? Because it’s a tough and dirty job. Sure, a professional window washing service may not seem like the cheapest way to go compared to doing it yourself, but if you consider the advantages of hiring a window cleaning company, it’s well worth paying for. Besides the fact that it’s a dirty, unsatisfying job, the following are other good reasons to go with a pro.

Do You Really Want to Spend Your Free Time Washing Your Windows?
Even though there are die hard, weekend do it your selfers out there that’s idea of a fun weekend is working in the shop and cleaning gutters and windows, most of us would rather be doing something completely different with our time. Worse, if we do decide to save money by washing the windows ourselves, we end up rushing through the process, making cleaning the windows a big waste of time. Professional window cleaning professionals get paid to do the job none of us really wants to do.

Better Results
Have you ever had your car detailed? If you have, remember how the detailer magically brought back that showroom sparkle to your car? Well, having your windows professionally cleaned can have the same effect. Just about anybody can wash their own windows, but what they don’t have is the specialty cleaning solutions, equipment (extension poles, squeegees, ladders, etc.) and years of experience and special cleaning techniques that professional window cleaning services have.

Extends the Life of Your Windows
Debris and dirt can actually cause irreversible damage to your windows over time, etching marks into the glass, causing scratches. Over time dirt can cause the glass to distort, making them difficult to see out of; one of the many reasons that you should hire a window cleaning service. Professional window washers use specially developed cleaning solutions and high powered tools to wash windows.

Curb Appeal
Nothing can boost the curb appeal of your home faster (and cheaper) than having clean windows. If your windows are dirty you can kiss curb appeal goodbye. It’s almost as bad as an unkempt yard. Whether you’re trying to impress your neighbors or sell your home, you should do yourself a favor and have your windows professionally cleaned. This simple household maintenance task can make a huge difference when it comes to the curb appeal of your home.

Bottom line, professional window cleaners CT have the special tools and experience necessary to provide you with beautiful, clean, smudge free, streak free windows. Your windows will look beautiful and make your home look more inviting, well worth the low cost of hiring a professional window cleaning service.

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