How to Prep Your Backyard as a Neighborhood Hangout for Your Kids This Summer

If you live in a close-knit community, your backyard is probably the go-to place for your kiddo and their friends in the summertime. However, you can better prep your backyard for summertime fun with the following how-to ideas.

Keep it Classic

Classic for a kid’s backyard means a playground with swings, slides, and a sandbox and/or hanging bars. Most kids love these traditional play places, so invest in one that will stand the test of time. Thick, wooden, weather-treated playgrounds are best, but classic steel playgrounds work well in a pinch. Just make sure you dig proper holes to hold the beams in place.

Build an Awesome, Deluxe Clubhouse

Clubhouses can be bought for a hefty price, or you can build your own. Get the kids involved in the blueprints and the actual build. It could be a great bonding experience, and your youngsters wind up with an awesome clubhouse/playhouse that they can proudly show off to their neighborhood friends. Include a picnic area, some organizers for books and snacks, and maybe a battery-powered radio for passing the time with those pop hits they love.

Summertime = Fun with Water

Summer equals heat and that usually means water to combat those sweltering temperatures. You can snag splash pads for a good price at most toy or retail stores. Or, you could make your own with a tarp, some suds, and a hose. Slick it down and let those kiddos take a run at a DIY slip-and-slide. There are also water balloons that makes for super-fun backyard battles with friends and family.

Provide Shade, Chilled Snacks and Drinks, and Comfortable Hangout Spots

In the summertime heat, kids and adults alike can get overheated in a heartbeat. Ergo, you need some backyard hangout spots with plenty of shade. So, bring out an ice-filled cooler of snacks and beverages (bottled water is a must), and furnish your backyard with hammocks or lounge chairs under the shade trees. If your backyard is limited on natural shade, build your own with a square of mesh and some poles in the ground. Or, consider building wooden gazebos to combat the heat and give everyone a shady, pleasant place to relax outdoors.

5 Ways Leaks Can Ruin Your Home Investment

Water is one of natures most powerful solvents. It can breakdown a myriad of substances including rock. What kind of damage can it cause to the internal elements of the home? That really depends on the extent of the leak.

Compromising Wooden Structure

Water can soften wooden structures to the consistency of a sponge. This means the property can suffer as the structural integrity is decreased. Because some leaks will continue for years without the homeowner realizing, the damage can easily escalate. By the time you realize a surface drooping, it’s already too late. You will need to make repairs.

Rotting Away the Drywall

Not all drywall damage is apparent from a leak. In fact, it’s quite possible to suffer extensive damage inside the wall without a visible sign. This leads to an excessively fragile wall as well as promoting mold and mildew issues. The slightest bump could punch a relatively large hole even from something soft like a pillow.

Poor Air Quality

Air quality is vastly important, especially if you plan on selling the property. A lot of people suffer from asthma attacks thanks to spores in the atmosphere. Mold and mildew in the basement in Cleveland, Ohio, for instance, can lead to poor air quality. This makes the property more difficult to live in for some and more difficult to sell later.

Eating Away at the Foundation

Leaks from the roof can lead to cracks and damage in the foundation. This is because water travels through a myriad of pathways within the house. Once water freezes, it slowly widens even the smallest fissures of cement and concrete. If it’s not caught in time, problems in the foundation can easily lead to costly future repairs.

Damage to Flooring

Mold and mildew can also accumulate under the carpets, padding and even hardwood flooring in the home. This is why waterproofing is so important for a property: water is insidious. Before you realize there is a problem, an entire section of floor is compromised. At which point, you may need to invest in even more costly repairs. The last thing you want is to sink into the floor of the bathroom because water rotted the floorboards.

Whether it’s a leak caused by bad pipes or nature wreaking havoc in the neighborhood, water can cause a lot of damage to a property. Don’t let your investment be broken down from the inside. Waterproof as much of the property you can before water robs you of its resale value.

mold and mildew in basement cleveland ohio

Simple Steps To Keep Your Roof In Good Condition

Most homeowners know how expensive replacing a roof is. That’s why an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure when it comes to caring for your roof. Luckily, there are key things you can do as a homeowner to maintain your roof and prevent its early deterioration. In fact, there are simple steps that you can follow that will keep your roof in good condition and allow you to periodically monitor the condition of your roof.

Remove Foliage

It’s a good practice to remove loose tree branches, twigs, and other debris once they begin to collect on your roof. When foliage and debris are left to sit on your roof for a long period of time the condition of your roof begins to deteriorate. Make it a habit to check your roof for loose branches and debris, particularly as the season’s change and leaves and other foliage start to accumulate. If you don’t make this simple task a habit you may have to start looking for roofing contractors vancouver to replace your roof.

Inspect Your Roof Periodically

Periodically, you need to get up on your roof to closely inspect its condition. Do you see broken or missing pieces of shingle? Are there any areas that are in disrepair and could use some attention? Take your time and assess the condition of your roof. Once you’ve done that, replace shingles and patch any areas that need it. This will keep you from having to replace an entire roof by catching issues before they become progressively worse.

Use Chemicals to Remove Moss & Mold

Another area of concern when it comes to your roof is the growth of moss and mold. Neither are good for your roof and can quickly deteriorate its condition. Fortunately, if you do find signs of both, you can buy a chemical spray to treat any area of your roof that has begun to mold and accrue the growth of moss.

If you take care of your roof it will last a long time. This is good news because it can be quite costly to replace a roof. Follow your routine maintenance. Keep your roof free and clear of debris. Replace shingles and address other areas of concern as needed.  Treat mold and moss growth as well. If you make a habit of consistently maintaining your roof it will continue to serve its purpose for many years.

Painting Strategies for Treated Wood

Wood pieces that are used in residential and commercial environments stand out because workers implement practical and effective paint procedures to make the gains very appealing. Paint is a highly valuable solution that should be used during typical projects that involve pressure treated wood and other kinds of wood materials, as it provides a layer of protection and gives the foundation a glossy appearance. If you don’t fully understand how to paint wood in a professional manner, you can make the process easier by following a few strategic steps.


Invest in Proper Supplies

Painting is a long and challenging task that requires precision and patience because simple problems can quickly develop into complicated issues. The best way to avoid problems along the way is by investing in proper paint supplies that suit a specific project. For example, if you’re going to buy big slabs of wood, you’ll need long paint rollers that can cover a large portion of the foundation. These tools will help you paint distant spots with ease when other areas are drying. Traditional brushes that have narrow bristles will be needed if you’re going to paint wood slabs that surround the wood that’s already painted. You’ll need proper wood measurements in this situation so that you can pick brushes that can successfully access various nooks and crannies.


Consider the Weather

Severe weather can ruin or delay a paint project, so you must always consider the conditions in your area before implementing any painting procedures. By using a weather app, you can easily determine the best day for a paint project, as most weather tools highlight temperatures, storms, and patterns that impact communities, neighborhoods, business districts, and counties.

If you need to enhance a dull piece of wood, paint is a practical and effective solution since it makes the material stronger and stylish. However, in order to paint wood in a professional manner, you must use proper tools that suit the project requirements. You’ll also need to consider the weather because harsh temperatures and rainstorms can impact or delay various paint routines that involve wood.

Buying the Appeal of a Business’s Services Based on Its Own Hype

Today’s competitive business world is no place for humility or modesty.  Businesses have to convince their targeted audiences that they are the best if they want to survive.

When you want to find the best provider of waterproofing, mud jacking, and other foundation repair solutions, you may only want to consider those who are not afraid to advertise their own appeal.  You may draw comfort from the fact that the company has the confidence and tenacity to recognize the advantages of the services that it offers the public.

Learning Why a Company is Better

Despite being drawn to a business that admits its own prowess and appeal, you still might want to know specifically why it outdoes its competitors. What puts it ahead of others that offer the same kind of services in the marketplace?

You can find out the fine details of the business’s top quality performance by going online and reading about how it identifies its own perks.  For example, it openly acknowledges that it has the experience that customers look for and want when they hire contractors for these kinds of home repairs.  People do not want novices trudging around in their crawlspaces and basements.  They want contractors who have performed this type of work day in and day out and know what it takes to improve the base structure of the house.

They also want to do business with a company that is not afraid of innovation and the newest technology.  While there is a certain level of charm in doing things the old-fashioned way, these businesses realize that technology is the way to go when it comes to serving customers.  The business welcomes and utilizes the newest innovations in its everyday operations for your convenience and peace of mind.

Finally, you want to do business with a company that puts people first.  The contractors are everyday homeowners just like you.  They also have families that they must care for and protect.  They realize how important it is to you to have a house that is free from water leaks and seepage that can compromise the health and safety of your family.

These advantages can make any company confident in its own reputation and level of service.  You can reassure yourself of your choice in contractor services by going online and reading about how the company touts its own appeal to its targeted audience.

Keeping Your Food and Beverages Chilled with Prompt Attention

beverage coolersModern appliances like refrigerators, freezers, and  are built to last for years. Even so, yours might break down without any notice, forcing you to decide if you want to buy a new replacement or have the one that you own right now repaired.

If you opt for inspection, servicing, and same-day refrigerator repair NYC dwellers like you might wonder where you can find the best company to handle these complex tasks for you.  You can hire a professional repair contractor and find out more about the services and costs by going online today.

Regular Services

The company makes available its full staff of professionally trained repairmen and women everyday during the business week.  From Monday through Friday, you can call anytime during the workday to request assistance with a fridge, freezer, or cooler that is no longer working normally.

The repair professional will arrive to your home or business promptly to assess the appliance’s condition and determine what is wrong with it.  Once he or she has diagnosed the issue, the contractor can tell you what needs to be fixed, what parts are needed for the repairs, how long the repairs will take, and how much you can expect to pay for it.

If you agree with the assessment, you can then sign off on the repairs, which will begin right away at your convenience.  Many fixes can be done in a single day.  More complex repairs might require another day’s time.  If the part is not in stock at the company’s warehouse, you may need to give the contractor a few days until it can be delivered.

Emergency Services

What happens when your appliance breaks down on the weekends or holidays or even during the overnight hours?  Do you have to wait until the next business day to call for help?

As you can see on the website, the company offers 24/7, 365 days a year help with all of your fridge, freezer, and cooler repairs.  Even if your fridge goes out on Christmas, you can still call the company to have the broken appliance fixed.  Contractors from the business are always on call and ready to assist you and others who live in the NYC area.

You rely on your appliances to keep your food and drinks chilled or frozen.  You can keep them in good condition by hiring professional services to repair them.

Improve the Quality of the Air You Breathe

Quality of the Air You BreatheAllergens and mold can lurk in the home and cause people to feel sick and fatigued all year long. Extra dusting and vacuuming does not seem to help. These respiratory irritants are most likely still thriving within your venting system, bringing down the quality of the air you breathe inside.

Resolving Sensitivities to Allergens

Having family members that are always sniffling and suffering mild to severe allergy symptoms might signal a problem inside the home. Carpeting and drapes always tend to get the blame, when the real culprit in harboring allergens could be the venting system for your heat and air conditioning unit. You will know if most symptoms go away within a few days of having the vents thoroughly cleaned.

Reduce Possibilities of Mold

Mold is an issue in many parts of the country. All it takes is a little water condensation, darkness and humidity for you to have a real growing problem on your hands. You should have your vents cleaned more often if this tends to be a problem in the area you reside.

Eliminate Pet and Smoking Odors

Controlling household odors can be a hard task if there are pets and smokers inside. Pet dander and hair can get in the air, run through the heating and cooling vents. There will always be a certain amount that sticks to the inner walls and you then have a constant pet odor you cannot seem top get rid of. The same thing happens with cigarette smoke. That same brown substance that coats the walls will end up on the walls of the vents. A good frequent cleaning is needed if you have either one of these issues and struggle with lingering odors.

Check the Venting System for Needed Repairs

It is a the perfect time to check your venting system for integrity and wear while they are being cleaned. Have any worn out portions replaced. The more sound the venting is, the lower your energy costs will be.

How Often Should Vents Get Cleaned?

The vents for your heating and air conditioning should be every two to five years, depending on the situation. If you have members of the house that are suffering allergy symptoms, it is better to have the vents cleaned every two years.

Contact HVAC specialists like for complete ductwork cleaning Yorktown VA.

Choosing the Right Moisturizer for You

Right MoisturizerWhen it comes to beauty care and general skin moisturizing, it isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. To get the right product you first need to understand your skin’s needs. If you are interested in swapping or starting a new moisturizer, here are some items to consider.

Consider Your Skin Tone

If you notice that your face is always shiny then you likely have oily skin. If your skin if often dry then obviously you have dry skin. If you get a bit of both, it’s called combination skin. Keep this in mind when looking at products.

Close Your Eyes and Forget the Price

The most expensive product on the market is not necessarily the best product on the market for you. Sure, it may do all of the things that the advertising campaign says that it will, but if it isn’t suited to your skin then it won’t work. Focus on what works for you, not the most expensive.

Remember the Weather

Have you noticed that your sky is drier during the colder months and you get more breakouts during the hot season? When choosing a moisturizer, take into consideration the climate in which you will be wearing it.

Keep It as Natural as Possible

There is only so much that a moisturizer can do. Remember that you aren’t buying a product to make you look younger. Instead, focus on products which are made from natural ingredients that will better nourish your skin, like the ones available on the Groupon Coupons page for Birchbox.

Steer Away From Fragrance

A pleasant smelling face is a lovely idea until you realize that it’s all you will be able to smell. Avoid moisturizers with included fragrances and instead opt for something natural that your nose will more easily adjust to.


If you spend any time outdoors, then it is essential that your moisturizer includes a sunscreen. Try and find the most powerful one you can find which also fits your moisturising needs.

Finding the right moisturizer for you isn’t a difficult task, you just need to know the basics as described here.

Staging for an Open House


Open houses can be just as fun as they are stressful. If you organize yourself you can get through the process without feeling overly stressed. There are a few steps you can take to keep yourself on task. Start early. As soon as you decide your house is going to be sold start planning and prioritizing what all will need to be done to present your house. This is an important step. You will need to revisit this step often to make adjustments. As you are planning you will want to look at the market and try to determine what niche your house will appeal to and then decorate accordingly. A good rule of thumb is to try to look at your house as a property. Cutting this emotional attachment will help you make the hard decision.

Once your plan is in place, start the bigger projects. Getting them done and out of the way will allow you time to deal with issues if they are to come up. This is when you do the deep cleaning. Get the grime off the shower wall or doors. Pay attention to grout. Fix anything that is broken, patch holes and paint. Declutter and depersonalize the entire house. This is where the emotional detachment helps.

It is time to decorate. Each room will need special attention. As each room is done you need to keep in mind “less is better.” You want to remove big furniture items. The more open the rooms look the larger they look. Use slipcover to update old furniture or torn up furniture. Try to arrange the living room to give it a focal point.

The kitchen need to be kept clean and uncluttered. Keep the countertops cleared off and the refrigerator doors clear of magnets. The bathroom is much like the kitchen. You want the countertop cleaned off. Keep all toiletries out of sight. Replace the shower curtain and towels with new ones and keep them presentable. The bedroom needs to be decorated in a unisex decor. The bedding need to look nice and new. Get rid of the clutter, no extra beds, desk etc etc. The lawn will need constant attention. Keep it well manicured based on the season. If an appropriate season powerwash siding and deck. Replace your welcome mat and paint front door.

The day of the open house it is time to put the on the final touches.

Set out vases of fresh flowers, they create a nice smell and color to the rooms. Open up the curtains on all the windows. Adding the natural light will brighter the house. The brighter the house the happier the house feels. Keep the temperature comfortable. Serve food and drinks. Base what you serve on the season. Make sure you safeguard your valuables and prescriptions. Lock them away during the open house.

Finally, it is time to make yourself presentable. Making sure you are dressed appropriately is important. You ultimately represent your home. If you need new clothes or other items for staging the house, the best way to save money is to shop online. You more likely to find better sales and there are websites that provide discounts. is one such site. These websites offer these discounts for various merchants. Merchants that are both online and brick and mortar.

Tips For Buying a Car for a Teenager


Just yesterday you were waiting for her to get off the bus and now it’s time to buy a car. For most parents, it’s a pretty scary thought. Follow these recommendations from the professionals and you’ll have a new set of keys in hand in no time.

Assuming your teenager has already had driver’s education and is knows the rules of the road, it’s presumably safe to make the first car purchase. So often, it’s not a question of if the teen will have an accident, but when. One thing that’s not taught in driver’s education courses are step by step instruction on what to do when there’s an accident. Adrenaline will be flowing and quite possibly injuries will be sustained, but carefully review these steps with your new driver.

Heading to a car lot is as exciting as getting ready for senior prom. With a Groupon coupon in hand, your daughter heads to the hair salon to prepare for a night of memories. Before heading to the car lot, have a checklist in hand. What’s your maximum budget? Is your teen responsible for gas, insurance and car payments? What’s the maximum age and mileage of the car that you’re comfortable with? Zero in on a few makes and models before heading out. Often the dealers won’t allow someone under 18 to test drive, so it may well be up to the parent.

Finally, with keys in hand, make sure your teen understands that driving is a privilege, not a right. It comes with huge responsibilities. Will they have to maintain a certain grade point average or part time job? What are the curfew restrictions? Each of these items needs to be addressed and agreed upon before the keys are handed over. Take a deep breath and let the enjoy the ride.