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222035_13339775842012 Spring Home & Garden Guide

222035_13339775842012 Spring Home & Garden Guide

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Published by: CoolerAds on Apr 09, 2012
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 Moneysaver AdvertisingApril 10, 2012Moneysaver AdvertisingApril 10, 2012
 Home &GardenGuide
 Spring Spring
 S p r i n g
 Spruce Up Indoors And Out!Spruce Up Indoors And Out!
 Supplement to Moneysaver Shopping Guide and Shopping NewsSupplement to Moneysaver Shopping Guide and Shopping News
 Count on the professionals inside to help you with your spring home and garden projects!
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 Five Signs Y our  Roof Might Be  W earing Down
 Replacing a roof is acostly venture fewhomeowners look forwardto. According to Remodelingmagazine’s 2010-11 “Costvs. Value” report, thenational average cost of aroof replacement is nearly$22,000, a costly endeavor considering the tenuousnature of the economy.What’s more, homeownerswho choose more upscaleroofing materials can expectto spend almost $40,000 ontheir roofs. Such costs make it nosmall wonder that manyhomeowners fear thedreaded diagnosis that their home needs a new roof.While there’s littlehomeowners can do toreduce the cost of a roof replacement, there arewarning signs homeownerscan look for that mightindicate a roof replacementis on the horizon.they actually might indicatesignificant problems. Whenshingles buckle, that’stypically because hot air from the attic is forcing theshingles away from thehome. Buckling shinglesalso indicate that the roof ispoorly ventilated, which cantake years off the roof’s lifeexpectancy while driving uphome cooling costs alongthe way.
 3. Granule loss-
Granuleloss is typically a byproductof normal shingle wear andtear that results frominclement weather, such ashail. Older roofs mightexperience granule loss, butgranule loss can also occur on a new roof if a defectiveroofing product was used. Any granule loss, even if slight, should be addressed,as the side effects of granule loss include aweakened roof and leaking.If granule loss is notaddressed, theconsequences could besevere the next time astorm occurs.
 4. Mold-
Unlike thewarning signs alreadydiscussed, mold is notvisible on the outside of thehome. Instead, home- owners should look in theattic of a home to see if there is any mold growth. If there is, the roof is likelyleaking, and the health risksof mold growth in a homeare substantial. Mold is notnecessarily easy to detect,so a professional inspectionmight be in order if moldgrowth is suspected. If aprofessional determinesmold is, in fact, present,then the mold will need tobe removed and all options,including a roof replacement, must beconsidered to keep moldfrom coming back.
 5. Roof rot-
Perhaps themost discouraging sign ahomeowner can see on hisor her roof is roof rot. Roof rot appears when a roof isin considerable decay and,if not addressed, itsconsequences can stretchfar beyond the roof,damaging other parts of thehome thanks in large part towater getting through theroof. If roof rot is either notnoticed or just ignored, itwon’t take long for water toget through the roof andblaze a destructive paththrough the rest of thehome. Homeowners might fear a full roof replacementbecause of the costassociated with such aproject. But if ignored,problems with a roof couldeventually prove far morecostly than the price of replacing the roof.Recognition of these signscan help homeowners bemore financially preparedshould the day come whenthe roof needs to bereplaced.
 1. The presence of algae-
If the roof has lots of dark streaks and stainsclinging to it, that is likelyalgae, which can grow onthe roof for quite awhile. Algae does not necessarilydo any damage to a roof,but it does do somedamage to a home’sphysical appearance, asalgae on the roof is not verypleasing to the eye. Algae ismost often found on theroofs of homes located inclimates that have warm,humid summers. If algae isa problem on your roof,spray washing with amixture of water and bleachcan effectively remove it.
 2. Buckling shingles-
 Like algae, bucklingshingles are another unsightly problem on a roof.But buckling shingles aremore than just an eyesore,
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 How to PreventLawn Damage
 Many homeowners aspiretoward a pristine and lushlawn. For some a nice lawngives them feelings of pride.Others believe a perfectlawn enables them to havethe best-looking house inthe neighborhood. Manyhomeowners spend hoursoutdoors perfecting their lawns or spend a good dealof money hiringprofessionals to make their lawn more appealing. But just because a lawn looksgood now doesn’t mean itwill look good later. That’sbecause delicate grass canbe damaged by a number of different factors.
Grubs are notvery lawn-friendly. Grubsare actually the larval stageof different types of largebeetles. These worm-likecreatures feed on the rootsof grass and are able to killlarge sections of the lawn ina relatively short amount of time. It can sometimes bedifficult to discern whether grubs, drought or another other pest has damaged alawn. One way to check isto grab a portion of thedamaged lawn and attemptto peel it back. If it comesback easily like a piece of carpet, it’s likely grubs.Spotting grubs underneathis a sure sign these larvaeare killing the lawn. Using an insecticide for grub control in July can helpkill off grubs that starthatching in August throughSeptember. Grub eggs dowell in sunny patches of lawn that are well watered.More shade may deter them. There’s also theoption of letting the lawn godormant and not watering it,but you will be left with abrown, unappealing lawn.
 Pet Urine-
Pets can alsodamage a lawn. Pet urinecan create burnt patchesand significant discolorationon the lawn, particularly if the dog or cat uses onearea consistently as their potty zone. The best way to preventurine damage is to walkyour dog so that he or shewill not have free reign of the yard. However,sometimes dogs get out or stray cats and dogs visityour yard and relievethemselves without your knowledge. So this methodis not foolproof. Therefore,you should take addedaction to maintain a lushlawn. First, make sure that soiland lawn is in good healthby fertilizing and taking careof it properly. Second, water can dilute urine andneutralize its corrosiveproperties. Some havefound that diluted urine canoften act as a fertilizer tograss. You may havenoticed that the outside ringof a urine-burned spot isoften greener than thehealthy lawn. Try to dilutethe urine prior to 8 hourshaving elapsed for the besteffect.
 Burrowing animals-
 Moles and voles are amongthe more common lawndamage culprits. Voles aresmall rodents that resemblemice but have stouter bodies, shorter tails androunder heads. They feaston everything from bulbs,succulent roots, groundcover, and even deadanimals in their paths. Their burrows enable them tomove around relativelyundetected, typically untilthe damage has alreadybeen done. Moles, although theyhave a similar-soundingname, are not related tovoles and look verydifferent. They have acylindrical body shape withvelvety fur, very small or invisible ears and largepaws for digging. Molesoften feed on earthwormsand other smallinvertebrates found in thesoil. The burrows theycreate are essentially trapsfor the worms, who fall intothe burrows, where moleseasily access them. Molesoften stockpile worms for later consumption inunderground larders. Voles can be kept awaywith natural vole predators,such as cats, hawks, owlsand snakes. Mouse trapscan also capture voleswhen baited. You may alsodig sharp materials or chicken wire into your soilaround planting beds tomake it uncomfortable for voles and moles to tunnelthrough. Moles can also becontrolled with traps.Finding active mole tunnelswill help you place the trapseffectively to either kill or simply contain the mole.The live animal can berelocated to a site wherethey won’t cause trouble. Lawn damage can occur through a number of different factors. Finding outthe cause can help you findan effective treatment.Preventing lawn damageincludes cleaning up after pets, whose urine cancause discoloration in theyard.
 Did You Know?
 Ecoscaping is a growingtrend among homeownerswho want to take care of their lawns and landscapesbut want to do so in a waythat’s environmentallyfriendly. Integrating bothlandscape architecture andspatial planning withenvironmental science,ecoscaping is meant to helphomeowners create asustainable and eco-friendlylandscape design. It’snatural to assume thatecoscaping includes lookingfor ways to reduce relianceon chemical pesticides, butthere are many additionalways homeowners canembrace ecoscaping. Thisincludes removing or refusing to plant invasiveplants that are difficult tocontrol because they arefrom different ecosystemsand can threaten localwildlife and existing plants.Instead of choosing exoticplants that aren’t native tothe area, choose nativeplants that are accustomedto the local climate. Another way to embrace ecoscapingis to develop a plantingstrategy wherein plants areplanted in beneficialgrowing conditions that caneliminate the need for chemical fertilizers andexcessive watering.
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 Quick And Easy Ways To Update Your Kitchen
 (StatePoint) For manyfamilies, the kitchen is themost important room in thehouse, topping the list of rooms where they gather most. And it’s almost alwaysthe busiest room whenentertaining friends.But if your kitchen isoutmoded or looking justplain drab, some easy, cost- efficient updates can makeit more inviting, withoutundertaking a major remodeling job.
 - Wallpaper stylescome and go. And if your walls were papered morethan a few years ago, youare probably living with adesign that’s no longer infashion.For a timeless look, stripthe dated wallpaper andreplace it with a bright newcoat of paint. Be sure tochoose a color that nicelycomplements the floors,countertops and cabinets.For a modern take onwallpaper, look for mosaictile collections that show- case beautiful tiles andpatterns, providing texturefor any wall in your home.
 - Inconven- ience is a major factor witha full kitchen remodel. Butyou can update the overallappearance of the kitchenby redoing just thecountertops. For example, akitchen and bathroomremodeling company cantransform a kitchen in oneday by replacing your countertops with heat, coldand scratch resistant glassor granite.For an even moreelegant look, consider opt- ing for mosaic tiles, inspiredby traditional Italian glassmosaics.If you’re nervous aboutmaking such a drasticchange, fear not, newtechnologies are making iteasier for consumers tovisualize potential refurbish- ments. A new iPad app- lication, iGRANITE, for inst- ance, allows users to up- load a snapshot of their space, and change thecolors and textures of everysurface of the room. Moredetails about downloadingthe app can be found atwww.granitetransformations .com .
 - When is thelast time you replaced your kitchen appliances? Noappliance, however durable,will perform optimallyforever. It may be time toevaluate if your productsare really doing the job.Replacing major app- liances like stoves andrefrigerators might soundlike an expensive prospect,but outdated products arenot always as energy- efficient as newer models.Swapping these items willnot only give your kitchen asleek new look, they mightalso save you money onutilities in the long run. According to real estateexperts, kitchen up-datesoffer homeowners thehighest return on invest- ment than any other homeimprovement job. Sowhether you’re planning tosell your home, or simplybring it into the 21st century,you’d be wise to start withthe kitchen.
Spring Checklistfor Home andLawn Care
 (NewsUSA) - Whether you’re considering theresale value of your homeor are simply resigned todoing maintenance projectsto keep your house in goodcondition, your lawn andgarden could certainlybenefit from some TLC of the home- and lawn- improvement variety thisspring. The exterior of your housecommands most firstimpressions, and even mildwinters inflict seasonaldamage. If you don’t knowwhere to start, a home- improvement projectchecklist may help.Consider the followinglawn and gardenmaintenance tips fromhome and garden experts at
GTV and Martha- Stewart.com: * Remove piles of deadleaves from the lawn. Notonly will your grass growgreener, a clean lawn helpsmaximize fertilizers andpesticides. Don’t make themistake of fertilizing your grass too early though. Aprilis the general benchmark;any sooner might result inyellow spots and dried-outpatches of grass. * Check gutters for leaksand debris. Loose gutterscause improper drainage,so water can collect inbasements and crawlspaces. Downspouts shouldpoint away from thefoundation of the house andmust be clear of all debris. * Start a roof fund. It’s agood rule of thumb to checkyour roof for rotted, buckled,loose or missing shinglesafter winter becausesummer sun will onlyworsen the damage. Sinceroof maintenance is soexpensive, it’s also smart tostart a fund before you needit. * Remove piles of wood or debris stacked near thehome. Firewood should bekept far away from thefoundation,and stacked18 inches off the ground.These preventativemeasures help keep insectpests from exploring your home. * Don’t strain yourself, andstay hydrated. This might bethe first time you’ve doneany heavy lifting or spenthours in the sun for months.Remember to drink plentyof fluids, take breaks andstretch your muscles. * Call a professional toclean your AC unit.
eatingand cooling expertsrecommend an annualservicing since clean coilswork more efficiently. Whenthe summer’s blazing heatdrives you indoors, your family will appreciate havingan AC operating at peaklevels.
 Is Your HomeAir Conditioner Ready For SpringAnd Summer?
 (StatePoint) Tempera- tures are on the rise, butthat doesn’t mean your energy bill needs toincrease too. There are anumber of ways you cankeep your home cool andyour energy bills in checkthis season.Is your air conditioner operating optimally? If youhave a central air conditioning system, it’simportant to get it checkedby an
VAC/R profession- al. Do some comparisonshopping -- special dealsare easy to come by onseasonal preventativemaintenance. Be advised,however, that the exper- tise of 
VAC/R techni- cians can vary widely.Though the
VAC/Rindustry does not requiretechnicians to takemandatory competencytests, you can help ensurea job well done by optingfor a technician certifiedby North AmericanTechnician Excellence(NATE), the nation’slargest independent, non- profit certification body for 
VAC/R technicians.NATE-certified techniciansare qualified to properlyinstall and serviceequipment, whichtranslates to maximumhome comfort and energysavings.Once you know your air conditioning system isrunning efficiently, thereare several things you cando to keep energy bills toa minimum:• Keep air conditioner units clear of plants anddebris. Obstructing airflowwill reduce the unit’sefficiency.• Raise the thermostat.Each degree saves apercentage off your cooling energy bill.• Check air filters everycouple of weeks andchange them at least twiceduring the season, or asdirected by themanufacturer.• Review last year’senergy bills. If your coolingcosts are drastically higher this year, a qualified
VAC/R technician canhelp diagnose anyproblems.Don’t forget, even themost eco-friendly, high- efficiency products andappliances can wastemoney and energy if they’re not installed,serviced and maintainedproperly. By working withcertified technicians,homeowners can haveconfidence that their 
VAC/R equipment isdelivering on the energyefficiency promised.When scheduling an air conditioning check-up, besure to request a NATE- certified technician. To finda qualified local contractor who employs certifiedtechnicians, look for theNATE logo or go to
VACRAdvice.com.By making sure your air conditioning system isoperating efficiently and byadopting a few energy- friendly habits, you canmaintain a cool homewhile keeping energycosts down.

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