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Best Easter Basket Fillers For All Ages 2017

Easter egg hunts are very typical, and affordable activities for the Easter holiday, but Easter baskets are more exciting and personalized. If you are bringing the kids to a community or church Easter egg hunt, consider making them their own basket. Some people even make a hunt out of the finding of the baskets. Each child’s basket has their name on it and has to swear secrecy they won’t tell someone if they’ve found out where theirs is hidden. If you have children far apart in age, consider having the younger kids hunt for eggs and the older kids receive a basket.

1. Spring/Summer Themed Items

For children who just endured a long winter, Spring and Summer items are the best way to celebrate new life and growth with the coming season. Sunglasses, flip flops, and outdoor and beach toys are great items that can be easily modified to any age for them to enjoy.

2. Books

Books are another item that can be personalized to each child. Journals, how-to draw, short stories, biographies, and best sellers and award winners are great choices for the Easter basket. You can fluff up the Easter basket even further by getting bookmarks, reading lights, and filling a mug with hot chocolate accessories for rainy days.

3. Tools

Empowering children by giving them tools are an awesome consideration for the Easter basket. Young children can receive play tool and older children, real tools. If you don’t care too much for this idea, you can get them something they can create and have the same effect.

4. Paintable Ceramics or Suncatchers

What child or teen doesn’t love creating art and its therapeutic benefits. For less than five dollars you can find a kit or the items needed to give them a neat craft project.

5. Water Bottle

Water bottles are appropriate for all ages and easy to find different designs and colors. Those with built-in ice chambers are nice. You can fill the inside with single serve drink mixes such as Gatorade and Crystal Light. It’s something the kids will enjoy, but also encourages them to stay hydrated and healthy.

6. Movie Tickets

Going to the movies is so special these days. Putting two pair of tickets in your child’s Easter basket and letting him choose who gets to go with him/her is like giving them an experience rather than stuff.

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Caring For Your Home’s Foundation

The foundation of your home is everything. It’s the base of your entire home. Repairs can cost as little as 500.00, go as high as 10,000.00, and average 4,000.00. Don’t find yourself in a money pit situation by knowing what to look for, and how to maintain your foundation with these 3 considerations.

Consider Exposing Your Foundation

Because material that is right up to your home’s foundation, like a flower bed or just ground with grass seed on top of it, it encourages the holding of moisture near your foundation. This also encourages ground dwelling creatures and bugs to access your home more than if you had your foundation exposed. Exposing your foundation is more healthy for it, allows it to breathe, and there are ways for you to hide it or make it more attractive if you consider it an unappealing option. What is important is that your home maintains its resale value and integrity while you’re living in it. 6 inches of exposed foundation is the minimum amount for adequate breathing.

Water The Foundation In Times If Drought

Yes, it’s true. Most foundation problems are caused by too much moisture causing movement and damage, contracting and expanding. The opposite has its place in reality as well, a foundation that is too dry can also cause damage. During droughts, the surrounding trees and plants will suck up moisture from the ground, including the moisture in your home’s walls and foundation. Too much moisture or not enough moisture can cause movement and damage. This type of damage is hard to detect. The best thing you can do it times of drought is to actually water the home’s exposed foundation as if you would your grass. If you have any questions or concerns about either condition, consult a professional service for an expert opinion such as a licensed home inspector.

Carefully Inspect and Repair Roof and Gutters as Needed

The most important thing to maintaining a healthy foundation is repairing cracks and leaks before they cause considerable and costly damage to your home. Potential issues are from sitting snow and ice on the roof and gutters not performing their job of bringing water away from the home. The added weight on the roof of too much ice and snow, either melting or sitting, can be too much weight to bear on the walls, and further, the foundation. Falling rain, and melting ice and snow should travel through the gutters and at least 6 feet away from the home’s foundation. Inspect the roof and gutters monthly and after storms to catch any damages early. Another inspection necessary to the process of protecting the foundation is getting your plumbing inspected because leaks here can damage the foundation as well.

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Sounds Coming From Your Roof?

Are you hearing sounds coming from your walls or roof? Most of the time, the cause will be nothing too serious and can be easily remedied on your own. Here are common sounds that you might be hearing above you, in your roof or attic.

Popping

Hearing your roof “pop” or “crack” is common and not necessarily something to worry about. This usually happens around winter time, at night as the temperature cools. The most common reason for the popping is because the house’s components are contracting and expanding. It’s usually not serious or a reason to believe there is undue pressure on the house. If you’ve recently added an addition to the home, it will take time for the structure to settle. To be sure there’s nothing serious going on you can further examine the exterior of the roof to make sure there is no puckering or the gutters aren’t protruding from where they should be. Removing excess ice or snow will alleviate some of the noise. To further prevent the noises from becoming bothersome you can re-insulate your roof to buffer some of the change in temperature causing the popping.

Squirrels Running

If you are hearing squirrels running across your home and dropping nuts down the sides, you first have to be sure that they aren’t doing more on that roof. The worst case scenario would be that they are dwelling inside your attic. In this case you can either trap them yourself with supplies from the hardware store or hire a professional. The attic needs to be decontaminated, the insulation replaced, and any holes they’ve been entering filled afterward. If you trap them yourself, you need only drive 10 minutes from your home and safely release them. Be careful because they will bite and scratch if they come in close proximity to you. The next possible worst scenario would be that the squirrels outside are eating rotting would attached to your home. This, however, is easier to deal with. Replace the rotting wood and experience relief from the squirrels. Your local animal control facility can further assist you with questions or services. Squirrels can cause considerable damage to your home and should be addressed immediately.

Nuts Falling

In addition to squirrels are nuts falling from their little hands or trees overhanging your home. Consider trimming or removing trees that hang over the home to provide safety against the falling nuts, squirrel, and potential damage caused by storm.

Bats and Birds Nesting

The first sign of bats and birds nesting will probably be noises within the walls or above you, the roof or attic. Inspect the outside of your home to find out where they’ve gotten inside or if you are only hearing a nest that’s attached to the outside of the home somewhere. Your local wildlife agency can assist you in removal of nests or tell you how you can safely do the same. Be sure you aren’t tampering with any wildlife that is protected by law in your city or state. Once the animals are relocated, you can evaluate the damage done, decontaminate, and board up any points of entry. Chimneys are very common points of entry and it’s helpful to top your chimney with a chimney topper product meant to keep larger animals out.

Prevent Unwanted Critters From Dwelling In Your Home

 

It’s recommended that you inspect your roof monthly and after storms to look for damage before it escalates into a costlier repair. While you inspect the roof from every angle, you should also look at the entire exterior of the home including under porches and around gutters. These are common nesting places for stray cats, birds, and other animals. Take note of any areas that look like there might be animals dwelling, such as where there is materials gathered or an opening animals might be inside. Also take note of any areas you think might be a potential dwelling place so you can take next steps to prevent the critters from being attracted to it.

Seal Openings

Use appropriate materials to seal any openings around the exterior of the home. Be sure to inspect interior rooms that evidence of animal dwelling can also be found such as the attic and basement. Any cracks, broken windows, or leaks should be addressed immediately. The chimney is also a common point of entry for animals to get inside and dwell. Chimney topper products make a great investment and usually deter all the larger creatures.

Eliminate Food Sources

Animals love to get inside garbage cans and pet food bowls, so buying tight fitting garbage can lids are a must. Clean up your pet food as soon as your pet is finished eating. You can also purchase bowls with lids for feeding, and be sure to keep any perishable pet and human food items stored in the garage in airtight containers as well.

If the creatures that are currently dwelling in your home or are attracted to your home are feeding on bugs that have entered the home, you need to first address the bug issue. If you decide to use pesticide or chemical means to rid yourself of them, be sure to try the least toxic products first and go from there. The State Wildlife Agency can help you determine which threats are most common in your area or state. This can help you further prepare for infestation and prevention. Common critters that damage homes are bats, birds, rats, raccoons, rodents, skunks, snakes, and squirrels. Common bugs are termites, carpenter ants, bees, wasps, and anything that nests.

It’s important to keep the interior of your home, mainly the kitchen as clean as possible so that the bug’s food source is also scarce.

Before You Attack

Before you attack an infestation on your own, be sure your aware of any ordinances protecting the species threatening your home. If you choose to use a home-use product, read and follow all instructions potential risks involved.

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4 Reasons to Have a Chimney Inspection for Leaks

Chimneys are a great addition to any home, but they require equally as much maintenance as any other aspect of your home’s exterior. Especially when you have a fake chimney, you have to keep it well maintained to avoid leaks and irreparable damage. Listed here are four signs that you may want to get leaking chimney repair. Cracked or missing mortar When your walls are built of brick or stone, mortar is that filler that sits between them and helps to hold and bond it all together.
When the mortar starts to chip, to crack, or only comes out of the wall, you might have a problem that can be fixed with Leaking Chimney Repair. When the chimney leaks, the bricks, and stone absorb the water that makes them more porous; as they become more porous, the mortar stops sticking and holding the parts together. Damage to chimney crown The chimney crown is a cement layer that sits at the top of the chimney to keep water from getting inside or pooling around the chimney. When there is any damage to the crown, such as cracks or missing parts, water is more likely to enter into the chimney or to soak into the surrounding materials. With chimney inspection and repair, the crown can be checked, fixed, or replaced as necessary. Rusty chase cover.

The chase cover is an essential component of any chimney to keep objects, such as leaves, bugs, and birds, from falling into the chimney. It is also a diverter of water. A chimney leak repair service will always check the chase cover when they inspect your chimney. When the chase cover is missing or rusty or damaged in any way, it is better to have it replaced so as to avoid leaks and other complications.

Chimney Leaks – 5 Ways to Prevent Your Chimney From Leaking Water

Chimney leaks are a common problem that can often be avoided with proper maintenance and upkeep. By making sure to take care of issues before an actual hole starts you will protect your home from potential costly damage. There are several ways that a chimney can become susceptible to chimney leaks.

common_masonry_chimney_leak_fixesCheck The Flashing

Every spring you should check the flashing around your chimney.

Check The Water Seal

After you make your repairs or have someone do the repairs for you, use a hose or bucket to wet the chimney.

Check Your Crown

The piece that is placed at the top of your chimney around the flue is referred to as the head.

Check The Interior

Look down the inside of your chimney flue using a bright light. You are looking for obstructions and soot or creosote buildup.

Install A Flue Cap

These caps are designed to protect the opening in your flue. Properly installed they can help prevent water, debris or animals from causing chimney leaks.

The Roof Leak Turned Out To Be A Chimney Leak

If you have ever had water coming into your home from the ceiling, it is natural to think it is coming from the roof. However, there are a bunch of places that it could be coming from and the first thing you need to understand is how water travels in your home.

It’s easy to think the problem causing a leak in your ceiling is something that is right above the dripping; or sometimes the gushing.

It’s because water has a tendency to run along beams until it is thick enough to drip. That dripping, over time, is what causes the damage to the ceiling, which is generally made of drywall.

Only hiring someone who specializes in these types of repairs and who has the equipment and know-how as to what to look for can you hope to find the real cause of the leak.

Over time water erodes the mortar that is used to hold the bricks or stones together. It doesn’t take a huge opening for water to enter into the chimney and run down rafters into other areas of your home and cause a problem.