Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

home-guttersA Green Fall Maintenance Checklist For Your Home

Just like spring cleaning, you really should get your home ready for the winter.

Here are a couple of projects that you will want to get accomplished although the weather is still nice out (or if you happen to be in the North, before the snow falls).

These projects will save energy, button up your home and prevent costly problems later on. Also included are a couple of projects that everybody thinks they should do, but you may not have too!

1. Caulk. Caulk is your friend. This could be the least high-priced way to plug leaks. It also prevents damage to wood and masonry where water has already been let in. Outside, you must get rid of the loose and/or wet materials and let the area dry out. Then use an exterior grade caulk to fix any outdoor issues.

2. Roof Drainage. You have to make sure that your gutters get a thorough cleaning in the fall. It is very important to not forget about cleaning out the S-shaped fitting under your gutter. That tends to get missed. Nonetheless, it can cause complications later on if it’s clogged.

home-office-closet-workspace3. Moisture Control. You ought to maintain a 30 to 50 percent relative humidity inside your home with a portable central system. If you aren’t, there are usually two culprits causing this: stagnant water and/or mineral deposits.

First, turn off your system and check the sponge pad. If it has calcium deposits, it is time to make a change. If the filter is clogged with deposits, scrub it using a 1-to-4 remedy of vinegar and water. To remove stagnant bacteria breeding water, use a 50-50 solution of bleach and water.

4. Air quality. Most of our properties are built tightly to save energy. Nevertheless, our homes might be so closed up that you can smell last night’s dinner for days! Changing air filters will help with odors, dust, mold spores, and pet dander.

5. Drain your water lines. In the North, you are guaranteed it will get cold enough to bust a copper pipe or even shatter plastic. In the South, you never know what weird weather will hit. How frequently do we hear about how towns shut down due to the fact they got an inch of snow?

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How to Create a Child-friendly Home

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

How to Make Your Home Child-Friendly

Babies and toddlers are a source of joy and happiness to a household, but they are very prone to accidents. They are at a phase where they can walk around and explore, but they not really aware of dangers around them.

That is why it is the responsibility of their parents or guardians to make sure that the homes toddler and babies live in are safe and child-friendly.

Here we will look into some of the common accident areas in the home and discuss how you can make them safer for your kids.

stairs-child-safetyStairs

The stairs is the first one you should inspect. The danger of being careless when using stairs needs no explanation.

Even adults easily get injured when they go up and down the stairs recklessly. And the injuries from stair-related accidents are often serious.

Here are some ways to make stairs safer.

· Adding a slip-proof matting on individual steps

· Adding a soft rubber mat on the exact spot where the stair ends on the bottom to reduce injury

· Teaching children stair safety

· Putting a non-slip grip on the stair handles

baby-proofing-your-homeElectrical outlets

Electricity is important for our modern society, but they are not supposed to come into contact with human skin because they can cause myriad injuries.

Most adults know better than to poke their bare hands inside an electrical outlet, but not children.

One of the common causes of child accidents is electrocution. So if you have children, make sure your electric outlets are safe.

· Installing power outlet covers help a lot in keeping your child safe especially if the outlet is not being used.

· Covering outlets with furniture so it is difficult to reach by children

· Renovating the house to transfer outlets higher beyond the reach of kids

Bathrooms

The danger in the bathroom is slipping. Young and old people can fall victim to the lack of friction caused by soapy wet tiles. But sometimes, there is no way around it. Bathroom tiles will get wet and slippery. Here’s what you can do.

· Place anti-slip plastic or rubber mats on the bathroom floor

· Change the tiles with anti-slip tiles through renovation

· Add some soft cushion on the corners of the sink and rubber cushion on the toilet seat to avoid injuries.

· Make sure that the soap is secured in the tray so it does not accidentally fall off and cause an accident.

Kitchen

The kitchen is the place where you cook your food, but it is not the place for children to be alone by themselves. Unfortunately, they do sometimes come to the kitchen and play with whatever they can find there including knives, forks, and other sharp objects.

· Make sure that the oven has child safety features so they can’t open it and come inside.

· Secure knives in high places so children can’t reach it.

Cabinets, Shelves, Corners of Tables and Posts

Children love to explore because for them everything is new, an adventure, but the cabinets and shelves are not places for them to try to climb.

Make sure the cabinets and shelves are secured by the wall behind so they won’t fall down in case a child does climb up on them. The corners of tables and chairs as well should have cushions in case a child hits his or her head.

By child-proofing your home, you can rest assured that your children can enjoy growing up without getting into accidents, which can put their lives in danger.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michelle_Lamoste/2031388

Safeguard Your Home when on Vacation

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

outdoor-lighting-home-securityHow to Keep Your Home Safe While You Are on Vacation

No one wants to worry about their home while on vacation. Here are some tips to help keep your house safe from burglars while you are enjoying your holiday.

Don’t Advertise

It’s only natural to want to share your vacation plans with others. But sharing them on social media is a bad idea. Once it’s out there, you have no control over where the information ends up. Your plans could end up in the hands of thieves. And they’ll know that they have lots of time to do a thorough job of clearing your home of all your valuables.

Likewise, sharing photos and updates on social media isn’t a good idea either. I’ll admit, I was guilty of this. It’s hard to not share photos and exciting stories about the fun things you’re experiencing. But wait until you get home to share your vacation online.

Lock it Up

Lock up valuables and documents in an immobile safe, bank safety deposit box or leave them with a trusted friend or family member. For Example:

Tablets and Laptops
Important documents (Social Security Cards, birth certificates, spare credit cards, password lists, etc.)
Keys to your home, office, car, etc.
Expensive jewelry and electronic devices
Firearms and ammunition

A portable, fireproof safe is fine for protecting valuables from fire. But it won’t stop a thief from walking off with it. If you use portable safes, leave them with a friend/family member while you’re away.

Make Your Home Look Occupied

Put your mail and newspaper on hold or ask someone to pick them up for you. If you’re gone for more than a week, have someone mow your lawn in the summer. (If it’s winter, ask someone to shovel your driveway after a snowfall and leave footprints going to and from your door.) Don’t leave your garbage bins by the road. Ask someone to put them out and bring them in or skip it altogether.

Put a few indoor lights (in various rooms) on timers. Don’t use just one light; it’s a dead giveaway that you’re not home. And don’t have the lights all go on and off at the same time. Try to set them up so they switch on and off at the same times that you would switch them on/off when you are home.

Put outdoor lights on timers, too. Or hook them up with light sensors so they’ll go on at dusk and off at dawn.

Put your radio or TV on a timer so that there is noise in your home now and then. If you have a home phone, turn off the ringer so that thieves won’t hear your phone ring, and ring, and ring…

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Gas vs Charcoal – What’s the Best Grill?

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

gas-grills-true-valueGas Vs Charcoal Grill – Which Is a Better Grill For You?

When it comes to cooking and enjoying a great tasting meal, grilling has always been one of our top choices of cooking method. It does not only cook our food in a flavorful way, but it’s also a great bonding activity for everyone to enjoy.

So now you are thinking of buying your own grill, but there’s a whole range to consider from electric, pellet grills and even hardwood cooking. It’s just so confusing!

However, the most commonly debatable and widely used among all kinds of cooking grills are whether to use charcoal or gas grills. So here I will be focusing on that aspect.

In choosing what kind of cooking grills to use, convenience and flavor usually compromises each other. The more convenient a grill is, the lesser flavor the food tastes.

So if it’s just a matter of having the most convenience, electric grill has always been the top choice, however, it won’t give you the grilling satisfaction as most would in terms of actual cooking experience and taste.

kamado-grillWhile hardwood fire can give you the best smoky flavor to your food, it is also the hardest to deal with. Hence, charcoal or gas grills have always been in between and considered by average grill enthusiasts.

Charcoal Versus Gas

I’ll get to the point and be blunt to say that generally, gas grills are better choice than charcoal grills. There are just more benefits when you use them that you won’t be able to get from using charcoal grills.

Here are the following reasons:

Taste

In terms of taste, charcoal grills undeniably give you flavorful meals, which has always been their claimed advantage over gas grills. The aroma it can provide from heating charcoals has become its edge. However, smoky flavor can still be achieved as the drippings of the food when evaporated, coat the food you’re grilling.

This process is the reason for giving a flavorful characteristic of grilled taste to your food. A process that does not rely on the use of charcoal. Not to mention lately, grill manufacturers have also produced “Flavorizer bars” which then create a radiant heat which charcoal naturally generates.

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Get Ready for the 4th of July!

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

fourth-of-july-american-flagGet Ready for the July 4th Celebration with Party Supplies, Decorations and American Flags at Martens Reedsburg True Value!

Annin Nylon Replacement U.S. Flag, 3 x 5-Ft.

ANNIN FLAGMAKERS model # 002450R item # 535763
SALE $15.99

Online price. In-store price & availability may vary.

U.S. Flags & Accessories: 20% Off Online Only

Stop by Martens True Value Hardware to Check out our Value-Priced Selection of American Flags.. Just in time for Independence Day!

barbeque-grillsGet the Grill of Your Dreams at Reedsburg True Value before the July Fourth grilling begins!

From the casual weekend griller to the year-round enthusiast, True Value has the grills and smokers that will satisfy your quest for fire.

Deliver your best grilling performance with quality gas, charcoal, electric or infrared grills from leading brands. Or step up to the versatility of a Kamado charcoal grill.

outdoor-patio-furniture-dining-setOutdoor Patio Furniture Available at Reedsburg True Value Hardware

Watch the fireworks in style relaxing on your new patio furniture and get inspired to dine and relax in style.

Create your backyard retreat from our beautiful styles — all durably made of aluminum, steel, cast-iron or resin.

In sizes to fit every space: decks, patios or space-challenged balcony. At prices to fit every budget.

Plus adirondack chairs, garden benches, patio tables & patio umbrellas.

Shop Early for Best Prices and Selection… Stop by Martens True Value in Reedsburg Today!

 

The Health Benefits of Gardening

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

The Many Health Benefits of Gardening

Spring is in the air. And when spring is on the horizon, many of us are aching to get out and plant a garden.

In the interim, there are a lot of garden shows and seeds that we can buy to plan our ultimate garden outside. Spring is such a hopeful time of year.

But did you know that gardening had a lot of health benefits too. When we are out in nature to garden, we get to commune with nature and we get to feel so much better about ourselves and about life in general. Many times, our problems just melt away, and we release a lot of feel good endorphins.

But there are more benefits than this even. In this article I will outline some of these benefits of gardening in more detail so that you can also get urge to start planning your garden earlier this year than ever.

So, without further ado, here are the known benefits of gardening.

• When you plant your seeds in the ground and watch them grow, you have a sense of achievement and accomplishment. This can help you to feel better and more motivated.

• You will weed out negative thoughts. As you are weeding your garden, you can think of your negative thoughts just like weeds that you can get rid of. And as you pull out your weeds, imagine weeding your negative thoughts one at a time. This will help you feel better overall and less depressed.

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Bounce House Party Planning

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

bounce-house-inflatable-rentalPlanning a Bounce House Party

The kids will be jumping with anticipation for the party when they receive bounce house invitations! From fill-ins to professionally printed invitations, you are sure to find a great option to accommodate any budget. Invitation designer, SanLori offers fill-in bounce house invitations and matching fill-in thank you notes with festive balloon accents. They also offer an adorable die-cut version that is cut in the shape of an actual bounce house!

You can personalize this die-cut invite using your ink jet or laser printer or have the invitations professionally printed by an online invitation store. You will be sure to set the celebratory tone with these bounce house invitations!

hello kitty-bounce-houseMany companies offer to rent bounce houses and slides that can be set up in your yard, and many even offer their own venue that includes multiple bounce structures all in one place! Depending on the children’s age and ability level, you can rent a basic bounce house or bounce slide, and the older kids would surely “jump” at the chance to use a bouncy obstacle course! If the weather is warm, also think about renting a “slip n’ slide” water slide to cool the kids off from the summer heat!

Decorate your house or the party room with colorful balloons and streamers to continue the happy, bouncy theme. For party favors, hand out colorful stickers, bouncy balls, and fun colored or patterned socks that the kids can use when they’re playing in the bounce houses!

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Fun Valentines Day Family Activities

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

valentineFun Family Activities For Valentines Day

February 14th is a day that many people look forward to, no matter what their age. Valentines’ Day is a day to show your love to one another, whether it be romantic, friendly, or family love. I’m sure you all have memories of Valentines’ Day with those whom you love, and if you have a family of your own it should not be any different. Your family can spend Valentines’ Day together through fun activities that show how much you love each other.

In order to get your children in the mood of Valentines’ Day, you can have them wear red and pink clothes that they already have. You can help them decorate their outfits with belts and hearts and ribbons. You can even paint your daughter’s nails with red and pink polish. Sew in heart button slips. Just cut hearts and slit them the same size as the slits of your outfit and the buttons will be in place with hearts surrounding them.

chocolate-valentines-dayLove letters are not only used for those who are courting each other, but they can also be used for family members. You can leave them in different places like mirrors, cupboards, or in their bags.

You can also leave roses and chocolates along with it. It will be their first valentine for that day, and they will surely appreciate the effort you put into making them feel loved. Your family will know that they will always have at least one valentine every year, and that will be you. You will always have them to be your Valentine too.

breakfastAt breakfast, you can make a special Valentines’ Day breakfast for your family. You can cut out hearts and place them on the table setting along with ribbons and flowers. The breakfast can be made up of heart-shaped foods like pancakes or waffles or even French toast. You can use a mold or you can cut them into hearts with a cookie cutter or freestyle it with a knife.

If you make lunch for your children and/or spouse, you can make their lunch a little bit more special today by cutting their sandwich into a heart shape with a large cookie cutter and serving heart-shaped sugar cookies. You can also leave a bit more of dessert as well with chocolates kisses and other sweets.

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Top Christmas Holiday Cleaning Tips

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

true-value-hardware-holiday-safety-tipsTop Cleaning Hacks for the Christmas Season

As the Christmas season approaches, you may be thinking about getting your house perfectly clean ready for your family and friends to visit. We’d all love to have professional household staff to keep our homes looking amazing, but sometimes this isn’t possible.

Whether you’re simply hosting Christmas lunch or are having guests stay with you for an extended period of time, you’ll want your home to look its best. But this time of year is busy, and expensive. So, if you’re short on time and cash, here are some great DIY tips to quickly and cheaply clean your house for Christmas.

bathroom remodeling tips by Martens Reedsburg True ValueBathrooms
Showers and baths

Get rid of lime scale with just two ingredients by combining white vinegar and dish soap in a spray bottle. Apply liberally to the shower or bath and then wipe. You’ll see the area become sparkling white and clean before your eyes.

Walls

You might have noticed that bathroom walls get very dusty very easily. If you’ve noticed, your guests certainly will. It can be hard to get this ‘fluff’ off with a cloth, and can risk ruining your paint. A great alternative is to keep a duster or hand-held hoover near your bathroom to collect dust off the walls, sink and any other area necessary.

Mirrors

A unlikely solution to dirty mirrors is black tea. The tannic acid in the tea is great for getting rid of streaky marks and water splash, so brew some tea and use a lint-free cloth to wipe over your mirror. You’ll see the results in seconds.

Toilets

One way to ensure your bathroom stays fresh throughout any guests’ stay is using DIY toilet ‘pods’. Combine baking soda, vinegar and tea tree oil and place the mixture in an ice cube tray in the freezer. Then just drop these in throughout the holidays, give it a little scrub with the toilet brush, and it’s like new. Alka Seltzer tablets also make a quick alternative.

kitchen-cleaning-holiday-tipsThe kitchen
Sinks

Citrus and baking soda is a fail-safe cleaner for any sink area, including stainless steel. Make a bowl of baking soda and simply dip a halved lemon or lime in it, then get scrubbing.

Pots and pans

If you want to get your pots and pans gleaming after cooking Christmas dinner, look to your fruit bowl! Place some apple peel in the pans you want to clean with water and simmer for half an hour. Once done, the pan will be a breeze to clean, even if it had a grease build up before.

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Find The Spirit of Christmas

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

christmas-tree-decoratingFind The Spirit of Christmas That You Once Had

Every year the Christmas season comes earlier. It used to be that we put up our outside Christmas lights on the last weekend of November. Shortly after, we gradually transformed the inside of our house with Christmas decorations. This culminated with the purchase of a real pine tree, which we decorated shortly before Christmas, at times as late as Christmas Eve. The earliest that we went to get our tree was a couple of weeks before Christmas.

Nowadays the stores are putting out Christmas decorations and beginning to play Christmas music in late October, prior to Halloween, something that was unheard of in the past. The lengthening of the Christmas season is definitely a marketing construction designed to extend the shopping spree that Christmas has become.

Unfortunately I find myself overwhelmed with the long duration of Christmas and I find it difficult to really enjoy Christmas the way that I used to. Between the hectic chores of shopping for gifts, finishing work projects and meeting family obligations it is getting increasingly difficult to sit back, relax and enjoy the season.

Often the times reserved for Christmas family celebrations, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, involve last-minute shopping, cooking, cleaning, gift wrapping and traveling and therefore they become a blur of hurried stress.

christmas-spirit-tree-lightsMore and more I have found that my personal Christmas, those few moments of complete peace and contentment, fall outside of family gatherings and official Christmas events that I must attend. Sometimes it happens while I am driving around in my car looking at Christmas light displays and listening to Christmas music. It may come during an impromptu visit to a friend’s house or when someone unexpectedly drops in on me. Often it happens in the middle of a concert or Christmas pageant at my local church. Almost always it happens spontaneously.

But what if that moment does not arrive on its own? Are there ways to create that special Christmas moment and rekindle the Christmas spirit that seems to be lacking in a lot of people’s lives nowadays? Yes there is! Here are just a few suggestions of things that have worked for me to bring back the Christmas feeling that I had in my youth:

- Spend time with someone who might be feeling lonely, such as a widow or widower, or someone whose family lives far away. Go for a coffee or even dinner or bring some baking to their home and spend some time with them. This will not only provide them with some much-needed company but you will undoubtedly be giving yourself a taste of the real Christmas spirit that you were seeking.

christmas-cookies-gingerbread- Buy a couple of bags of groceries for the local food bank or for a personal friend. One Christmas I did this and I made an amazing discovery. As I walked the aisles and chose items especially with my friend in mind and according to her tastes, not mine, I experienced the purest joy that I felt that entire Christmas.

- Visit a local greenhouse where festive plants are on display and don’t be in a rush. Just calmly stroll along and pause to take in all of the sights and aromas.

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Gift Ideas for the Handyman

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Four Hardware Store Gifts for the Handyman

When it comes to gifts for the handyman in the family, it can be difficult to find something that they want or need. Fortunately, a visit to the local hardware store is often all that is needed to find some inspiration for gift giving. The following are some gift ideas to consider when shopping for the handyman in your life:

multi-toolMulti-Tool

One great present for the handyman is a quality multi-tool that includes a variety of tools in one simple configuration.

There are a variety of multi-tools on the market that include anything from a few basic screwdrivers and pliers to wire cutters, scissors, knives, files, bit drivers, and more. They provide almost every instrument that a person who enjoys fixing things could possibly need, making it an ideal present.

They range in price, from an affordable twenty dollars to hundreds of dollars. Consider investing in a quality multi-tool, as they can last for decades when cared for properly.

led-work-lightLED Work Light

A quality work light is another useful gift idea. Many times, work takes place after dark, and regular halogen bulbs do not always provide adequate lighting. Additionally, halogen bulbs can be a burn hazard when adjusted by hand.

A portable LED work light is a solution to this problem. They are cool to the touch and will not overheat a workspace. A quick trip to the hardware store can easily provide different sizes and prices of LED work lights for you to choose.

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Ten Tips for Outdoor Holiday Lighting

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

outdoor-holiday-lighting-ledOutdoor Holiday Lighting Tips

Outdoor holiday lighting is truly exciting. Getting those holiday lights on your outdoor property can really help you get deeper into the Christmas spirit.

Installing and using outdoor lights however are far different than with indoor ones. Here are some important tips to take note of to keep your holiday lighting installation and use both safe and enjoyable.

* Never use plain staples or nails for installing your decorative lights. These could cut through the wire and cause fraying. This in turn could endanger you and your property. As much as possible, settle for plastic clips that you can easily use on eaves, gutters and railings. If you really must use staples, make sure that they are the insulated type and that you do not cut through the wire.

led-outdoor-lights-snowflakes* Never use indoor lights outdoors. Use only holiday lights that are specifically meant to be used for the outdoors. You should also strictly stick to manufacturer instructions on how to use your Christmas lights.

* Carefully check your outdoor holiday lighting even if newly bought. You shouldn’t just keep an eye out for busted bulbs. You should also check for frayed wires, exposed wires or broken connecting sockets.

* All lighting sockets should be wrapped with electrical tape. This will ensure that there is no gap in between connections. The electrical tape can also ensure that water cannot get into the connecting points.

* You cannot just connect as many lights as you want. You also have to be careful with using limited extension wires for too many lights. You could cause a circuit overload that could lead to power failure. Light makers usually have safety guidelines on the number of lights that can be connected.

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