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High Tech Pest Control: Is It For You?

Over the past 107 years, the pest control market has been invaded by new technology which includes electronic and ultrasonic pest repellents. Some of the earliest electronic pest control devices can be dated back to 1911 when the Popular Mechanics magazine ran an article showing a “fly trap” that used elements similar to modern bug zappers. The design implemented by two unnamed men from Denver, CO, was considered as too expensive for production and practical use. Later in 1932, the U.S. Patent Office approved a version of a bug zapper produced by William M. Frost. In 1934, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted what is claimed to be the first patent for a bug zapper to William F. Folmer and Harrison L Chapin as Patent No. 1,962,439. And in 1934, Dr. William Brodbeck Herms, a professor of parasitology at the University of California, introduced an electronic insect killer that later became the model for future bug zappers. For over 20 years, he worked on large commercial insect traps to protect California’s fruit industry.

Ultrasonic pest control devices are used to control rodents, insects, spiders, and other common household pests. Electronic pest control uses devices powered by electricity accompanied by high pitched sounds. Though popular on the retail market, such devices include differing opinions regarding their effectiveness. The EPA does not require the same level of effectiveness testing for electronic pest control as it does for chemical pest control products. Various studies have largely claimed such devices as ineffective and possibly harmful to humans and animals.

Yet, existing are numerous private studies claiming that ultrasonic pest control does effectively repel insects. Ultrasonic devices repel pests use sound waves to attack the auditory and nervous systems of pests causing them discomfort and driving them away. Using 110 decibels of sound pressure (waves), pests are repelled to give up their source of food, water, and shelter forcing them to seek another location. The very high pitched sound wave is said to be out of the hearing range of human beings, household pets, and farm animals. Controversial studies claim that harm is done to human hearing. In 2001, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) warned manufacturers that ultrasonic pest control devices sold in the U.S. must be backed by credible tests and evidence of effectiveness as a result of scientific research.

Since the mid-1930’s and subsequent decades, into the 21st century, the U.S. retail market has experienced an increase in electronic and ultrasonic bug repelling devices. Numerous bug zapper devices, successors to flyswatters, have inundated the commercial marketplace. Modern bug zappers operate on the early concept of light luring flying insects to an electrically charged device that contains a grid of wires. The flying insect goes into the unit and is subsequently zapped. People like the zapping sound but not every flying insect is attracted to a bug zapper so some devices include chemical sprays. Mosquitoes are not attracted to ultraviolet light commonly used by bug zappers. Some studies claim bug zappers are not effective, not hygienic, and unsafe around children. They should not be used near food preparation. Manufacturers will not claim their electronic or ultrasonic pest control device is 100% effective as the ultimate solution for pest control.

Fencing: A Beginners Guide to Residential Fences

Fences are good for property value, keeping children and pets safe, and keeping intruders off of your property. They are great for improving your property value and providing security for your family and home. If you are good with DIY home repair projects, you may be able to install a fence system without professional help. For the best return on your investment, leave the job to someone who is experienced with installing fence systems like a licensed fence installation company. Choose a fence style and type and gather estimates. Ensure the fence installation company can provide references and presents a valid contract with the terms of the job. Check on their license, business references, and their reputation.

 

Fence types:  The most common types of fence installed are wood and chain link fences. Each type of fence will require maintenance. Select the fence suited for your budget, home, and the climate where you reside. Some fence types will last for many years in any type of climate and others will not. Before your final purchase, do research to ensure the fence you have chosen is suited for your property, inclement weather, and check the warranty before you seal the deal.

 

Common fence materials:  Aluminum, wood, wrought iron, ornamental metal, vinyl (PVC), steel chain link, chain link vinyl coated, electric (invisible fence), bamboo and high tensile (farm), picket fence (vinyl and wood), deer fencing (plastic), and composite fencing material (engineered wood / vinyl).

 

Popular residential fence styles:   Privacy, picket, pool, deer, split rail, front yard (picket, wrought iron, chain link), backyard (privacy/stockade fence), and security. Fence materials and styles include a multitude of unique designs.

 

Fence terminology:  The list of fence terminology is long. Below are a few fence terms.

Aluminum, barbed wire, cedar batten boards, chain link, curved top, custom ornamental iron, decorative rings, extended top, finials, flat top, galvanized steel, gauge, good-neighbor fence, grade change, horizontal picket fence, lattice, pickets,

posts, post caps, prefabricated iron panels, press point, pressure-treated wood, privacy slats, rackable panels, rails, ranch style fence, razor ribbon, rot board, salt spray, scalloped cedar fence, shadow box, stain, steel chain link, stockade panel, treated pine, underpinning, vinyl coated, western red cedar, windscreen, wood grade, and wrought iron.

 

San Antonio Fence Pros.

 

Wood grade options:  Fence grade is similar to hardwood lumber grading with regard to cost and quality of the wood.

The top grade is clear grade which is free of defects and knots. It is more expensive than lower grade wood. #1 Grade is the second highest fence material grade which contains some knots but less than #2-grade. A # 2-grade wood is less than #1 with more knots and holes. # 3 grade is rough wood and less expensive than #1 and # 2-grade wood fence panel and posts.

 

Basic components of a wood privacy fence (stockade style):  Finials (ornamental caps), lattice, panels (boards), pickets, posts, stockade, rails (cap, bottom, top). Wood fence styles vary as much as the terminology that goes with it. There are many books about fences and materials used to construct them. Conduct online research, visit a local library, or visit some retail lumber and hardware stores to learn more about fence materials, hardware, tools, and terminology.

 

Parts of a chain link fence: Terminal post cap, rail end, rail end band, tension band, line post, fence tie, gate frame hinge, gate post hinge, gate fork latch, terminal post, tension bar, top rail, line post, bottom tension wire, and tension wire clip.

 

Beautiful Concrete: In All Shapes and Sizes

Concrete:  For increasing the value of your home, consider using concrete for sidewalks, driveways, and patios.  For property resale value, it lasts longer than other surface materials and provides a good return on investment.

Concrete is much better than a muddy driveway and walkway. A home’s appearance is appealing with concrete a driveway and sidewalks. Installing poured concrete costs approximately $6-$12 per square foot (sq. ft.). For curb appeal, use stamped concrete which costs $10-$15 per sq. ft. Concrete pavers: $13-$20 per sq. ft.

 

Concrete Patios:  To install a poured concrete patio, you should expect that, for just the concrete, the installation cost will be approximately $3 per sq. ft. and up to $8 per sq. ft. The additional expense may be added for geographical region, multiple levels, thickness, pattern, stains, coloring, size, and shape of the patio. A solid investment for any homeowner, concrete is a smooth durable surface that provides many years of use outlasting other types of patio surfaces. However, it does have its drawbacks. During the winter months, concrete can become a slippery surface. Over the years, due to harsh weather conditions, like ice and snow, and with repeated use of salt on the surface, concrete will eventually crack or flake.

 

Concrete Driveways:  If you live in a cold climate, nothing is nicer than a smooth driveway surface. Shoveling snow off of a concrete driveway is much easier than off of a gravel or dirt driveway. Concrete driveways are great for the smooth surface, the curb appeal, good return on investment, and long-lasting surface. Pouring concrete for a two-car driveway of 16 ft. wide by 38 ft. long, which is approximately 610 sq. ft., without excavation, slopes, curves, texturing, patterns, color or other embellishments, will cost about $3,100 which is about $5 per sq. ft. The cost is offset by curb appeal and years of enjoyment driving on a smooth concrete driveway. It is great to have a smooth driveway surface for a weekend yard sale.

 ColumbiaConcreteCo.com

Concrete Walkways and sidewalks:  Today, there is a lot that can be done with concrete walkways and sidewalks.  Homeowners still enjoy the use of a plain concrete sidewalk. Not just for kids anymore, people love to do sidewalk chalk art on the smooth concrete surface. Wouldn’t you rather walk on smooth concrete than on dirt or gravel? Now, sidewalks can have all types of patterns and colors added to them. It really adds to a home’s curb appeal and resale value. A smooth concrete surface is safer than dirt or gravel walkways. Depending upon the thickness, width, and length of the sidewalk or walkway, not including sloping, designs, coloring, texturing, a 200 linear foot by 4 ft. wide and 3-inch thickness, with rebar, wire mesh, and sand base, will cost approximately $9.53 per linear foot. If you want to upgrade with colors and embossing, add about $1.75 per foot. Depending on the region, climate, and market price fluctuations, the labor cost may increase per hour which adds to the overall installation cost.

Simple tips for low cost home improvements

5 easy home improvement projects that make the home feel new

Everyone wants to live in a comfortable household. But functionality is not enough. Homeowners want the aesthetics to be at the top mark. This can be done in multiple ways in order to make the home feel new. There are many homeowners that undergo several home improvement projects to get the things in good order. From getting the flooring changed to repainting the walls, there is a lot to focus upon.

Here are 5 major improvement projects that one can undergo to make the home feel new:

1. Flooring project

Changing the floors or the carpets can make the home feel new. Even though the project may consume time, and in most cases, a lot of money as well, making a few alterations and additions can pay you in the long run. New tiles can be placed with wooden texture. It will add more appeal to the overall look of the house. You can even add carpets with different textures that is consistent with the existing décor of the house to enhance the aesthetic appeal.

2. Paint the walls

Adding a new coat of paint can make your house feel fresher and new. It can upgrade the house completely. Repaint the walls whenever you are going through a renovation project. Add wallpaper, try different color combinations and experiment with new textures for a fresher appearance. There are many shades available in the market that can be tried in order. Apply the highest quality paint for the best look.

3. Redesign the kitchen

One of the best ways to add instant and more value to the house is by redesigning the kitchen. Upgrading the cabinets, counters, tiles and electrical appliances can change the feel of the house. It will even increase the value several notches higher. There are many kitchen designers that can boost the visual appearance. Kitchen projects are quite popular when it comes to home improvement projects so consider it as one of your priorities.

4. Have an eco-friendly design

If your budget allows you, then one important change to make in order to give a fresher and more modern look is to make the house more eco-friendly. The insulation and energy resources will not only increase the value of the house but it will also enhance the environment house. It brings in more and more positive changes. In the long run, it will even help you to save a great deal of money on the energy bills.

5. Make it greener

The feel of the house can be changed completely by bringing in plants. It gives a new look to the house and transforms the theme and culture of the house. It brings in fresh air and makes it greener. However, care must be taken when selecting the plants. Choose ones that suits the décor of the house and are easier to maintain. Purchase the plants after conducting some research about it but do consider adding more greenery in the house.