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Repairing Hardwood Flooring Damage Caused By Your Dog

If your dog lives indoors with you, you may have find it comical when he or she gets excited and does the ‘boot, scoot and boogie’ run across the wood flooring. However, you may have also found that your dog’s nails have scratched your hardwood flooring. Check out these tips about how to repair your wood flooring after many games of fetch across it, too many running fits or one too many potty training accidents.

Repairing Scratches

If your hardwood flooring has a thick coat of polyurethane on it, the scratches made by your dog’s nails may only be superficial. If you have a small area of scratches, using a stain marker or color putty stick for covering them may be your best option. You can find stain markers and putty sticks for wood flooring at most home improvement stores.

For larger areas of scratches that are deeper, sanding the floor is best. Lightly sanding the areas that are scratched until they have a smooth finish is your first step. Once you have finished sanding, you will need to stain the floor and reapply a fresh coat of polyurethane sealant. Remember that matching your stain and polyurethane sealant to your floor’s existing color can be challenging. For this reason, starting out with a lighter stain and applying it until you reach the same shade is the best way to go. To prevent scratches from damaging your floor again, you might consider having your vet apply nails caps to your dog’s nails. Nail caps are soft plastic caps that are glued onto the nail and can help protect your wood flooring from further damage when your dog is playing on it.

Taking Out Potty Accident Stains

Most every dog owner has experienced cleaning up after their dog’s potty accidents. However, when a dog urinates, or otherwise, on your hardwood flooring, it can cause irreparable moisture damage that sports a terrible odor. If you have a stain from urine or feces that is light in color, you can sand it out, apply wood bleach and reapply stain and sealant. However, darker stains can indicate the moisture has gone deep and caused severe damage. Darker stains on hardwood flooring will mean the boards need to be removed and replaced. Also, darker stains are usually the ones that smell the worst. Keeping your dog on a schedule for feeding and potty times can help you reduce potty accidents on your wood flooring in the future that can be expensive to repair.

Protecting your hardwood flooring from damage is important to avoid it becoming an eye-sore in your home and causing your property value to decrease. Making repairs when scratches and stains are small is best to avoid them from becoming bigger and more costly.

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Should You Convert Your Basement To An In-Law Unit?

If you’ve recently purchased a home with an unfinished basement, you and your spouse may be faced with several options — leaving the basement as-is and using it for storage, creating a family rec room or “man cave,” or investing in a total remodel to install a separate living unit for your parents or in-laws. With more and more Americans entering the “sandwich generation,” caring for aging parents and minor children at the same time, having what is essentially an assisted-living unit in your home can be a financially sound idea for some. Read on for some of the factors you’ll want to consider when deciding to invest in an in-law unit.

Are the lifestyle and financial benefits of an in-law unit worthwhile?

Having your parent living in your home — but with a separate kitchen, bathing, and sleeping area to ensure privacy — can provide a number of lifestyle benefits. Your parent may be able to provide child care services or even cook for the entire family on a busy night. You’ll be able to easily and conveniently transport your parent to doctor’s appointments, ensure he or she is eating and sleeping enough, and feel like a more cohesive family unit.

The cost to fashion an unfinished basement into a legal separate living unit will likely be in the $30,000 to $50,000 range. Meanwhile, residence at an assisted living facility can run around $42,000 per year (with regular 4 percent increases), meaning that your basement remodel will essentially have paid for itself if your parent lives with you for more than a year. Depending upon your parent’s financial situation, he or she may opt to carve out the cost of this remodel in his or her will, ensuring that you’ll be fully repaid upon your parent’s death, or even pay you fair market value rental rates for residing in your home.

Will you want (or be able) to rent this unit out?

If your plans to move in a parent fall through, or if your parent quickly needs more care than you can provide on your own, you may be able to generate some regular income by renting out this unit to tenants who simply need a place to eat and sleep or who can provide caregiving services to your parent. However, if the idea of opening up your home to strangers makes you uncomfortable, you may want to reconsider the remodel. At some point, particularly after your children move out and your parents pass away, living in a home with two separate living units may prove more expensive and time-consuming than you wish. 

If you have more questions about basement remodeling, contact a company like Property Service Agency LLC.

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Traditional Vs. Tankless Water Heaters

When shopping for new hot water tanks, you will quickly discover that your choices are not limited to just a traditional water heater. Tankless water heaters are designed to provide your home with hot water without the need for a tank. To help you make the right choice for your home, it is important to understand the differences between each. 

Upfront Cost

There is a significant difference in the upfront cost of the water heaters. A traditional electric water heater starts at $400, while the starting cost for the tankless heater is $1,800. It is important to note that the cost of installation increases the upfront cost of the heater. 

Energy Efficiency

Even though a traditional water heater is less expensive than a tankless heater, it can cost more to operate it over a period of time than the tankless. Tankless water heaters operate by heating water as you need it, which means there is no need to keep a tank of water in reserve heated. 

By contrast, a traditional water heater holds gallons of water in reserve and energy is constantly needed to keep the water heated. As a result, your energy bills can be higher. Over the long run, the cost of the tankless water heater can be recouped through energy bill savings. 

Lifespan

Regardless of whether you select a gas or electric water heater, the unit usually lasts between 10 to 15 years. Most of the parts are irreplaceable, so if it requires repair, it is likely that the heater will need to be replaced completely. 

A tankless water heater has a life expectancy that extends to more than 20 years. Unlike the traditional heater, the tankless heater has parts that are removable, which makes it easier to perform repairs. 

Storage

One of the main advantages to having a tankless water heater is that it does not take up much space and can be easily installed in small spaces. It can even be installed outside on the wall. 

The traditional water heater requires a dedicated space within your home. It cannot be installed outside of the home. You also have to be careful about the placement because if the tank starts to leak, the hot water within can be dangerous to people. 

If you are still unsure whether a tankless or traditional water heater is best for you, consult with a retailer or plumber. You can learn additional differences of each type of heater so you can make the decision that is best for your home. 

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Easily Update Your Kitchen Cabinets to Make Your Kitchen Appear More Spacious

If you have a small kitchen that feels cramped but do not have a ton of money to remodel it, consider updating the look of the kitchen on your own. The following guide walks you through a simple way to make your kitchen look bigger than it is by making a few simple changes to the kitchen cabinets.

Remove the Doors

The first thing you want to do is remove all of the doors on the kitchen cabinets that hang above your countertops. The cabinet doors can make the space look very tiny, and once you remove them, the room will instantly open up. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the cabinet doors to the cabinets. Make sure that you also use the screwdriver to remove the hinges that are mounted on the cabinets.

Fill the Holes

Next, there will be holes where the hinges were screwed into the sides of the cabinets. Without the cabinet doors, everyone will be able to see right into your cabinets, so you need to fill the holes so that they are not noticeable. Use a small paintbrush to carefully fill the holes with wood filler to hide them from sight. You will then need to use a piece of sandpaper to lightly sand the areas so that they are smooth and level with the rest of the cabinets.

Paint the Interior of the Cabinets

Next, you want to paint the interior of the cabinets a light paint color. You want to be sure that the color is eye catching and unique. Use a paintbrush to paint every inch of the interior of the cabinets. Allow the paint to dry fully before you continue.

Paint the Exterior of the Cabinets

Next, you want to paint the exterior of the cabinets with a light-colored acrylic paint. Light cabinets make a room feel bigger than it really is. White, ivory, or even a light grey color can make your kitchen look bigger. Be sure that you use a primer on the cabinets first to ensure that the paint sticks well to the surface. Allow the primer to dry overnight and then add the actual paint color you want to use.

Once you have finished painting and the paint has had a few days to dry, you can place your plates and glasses back into the cabinets. You should instantly notice a difference in the way the space looks. Contact a representative from a company like Stone Forest Kitchen & Bath Center for further ideas.

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Two Easy Ways To Improve Your Furnace

There are so many things that could be slowing down the airflow of your furnace. Before you call an HVAC contractor there are a few tests you should run first. You might be able to fix the problem completely, or at least temporarily improve the functionality of your system. This article explains a few things you can do on your own, that might greatly increase the airflow and effectiveness of your furnace. These repairs are cheap and don’t require any tools except a vacuum and a screwdriver. 

Clean the Furnace Filter

Located in a small door on the front or side of the furnace, is the filter compartment. This for can be easily popped up without any tools. Pull the filter out and inspect it. If there is a plethora of dust built up in between the ridges, you should just replace it completely. Filters are affordable and available at most home improvement stores. If the filter does not look dirty at all, just continue to use it. However, before you put if back in the compartment, look inside and see if there is dust or dirt clogging. Vacuum out any dirt, as it could be blocking airflow. 

Clean the Air Registers

Next, you should clean the air registers. To do this, you need to take them off the wall, even if you dust them on a regular basis. It is important to clean the backside of the registers every once in a while. When you use a feather duster on air registers, it can push the dirty into the vents, where it gets recirculated into the ducts. Clean between the individual vents to remove any blockage. When you take the registers of the wall, you will probably notice dust build up along the ridge of the drywall. Clean this out as well and inspect deep inside your ducts to see if there are any obstructions or clogs. If there are no visible obstructions, you can reattach your registers and see if it improve the airflow.

If you do notice any clogs deep inside your ducts, you should immediately call an HVAC or dust specialist (such as one from Arnie’s Dependable Appliance Repair). They have the necessary tools and training to clean deep within the ducts.

These simple checks could help solve your problem. As you can see, the problem often has nothing to do with the actual operation of the furnace. So, run these tests before you start shopping for furnaces.

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3 Tips for Removing the Odor and Stain of Pet Urine in Your Carpet

If you have a pet that is notorious for urinating on your carpet, then you likely deal with pet stains quite often. If you’re worried about your carpet getting ruined, here are 3 excellent tips for removing the odor and stain of your pet’s urine from your carpet. 

Clean the Urine Up Promptly 

Perhaps the most important part of cleaning your pet’s urine stains in your carpet is to clean them up immediately. As soon as you see that your dog has had an accident, let it know that what it did is not okay and then jump into action cleaning the stain. The sooner you clean up the mess, the less likely it is to stain your carpet and leave a vile odor behind. Also, because it is so important to clean up the pet urine right away, it is best to leave your pet outside or keep it off of the carpet when you are away from home. 

Use Peroxide to Clean Up the Mess 

Right when you notice that your pet has had an accident, use peroxide to clean it up. Simply pour the peroxide over the entire area where you pet urinated, and then dab it up with a towel. The peroxide will break down the elements that make up the urine, allowing you to remove the stain from your carpet. If you want to help remove the odor as well, you can use a homemade citrus cleaner that uses lemons and water. The combination of these two will do a great job of cleaning almost any fresh pet urine stain on your carpet. 

Use Vinegar and Baking Soda For Old Urine Stains 

If you aren’t home when your pet has an accident, or if you don’t notice it right away for some reason or another, you can still successfully remove the stain. In order to do this, you will want to use a combination of vinegar and baking soda. You will use about 2 cups of vinegar, 4 tablespoons of baking soda, and about 2 cups of water to water down the solution a bit. Pour this solution into a spray bottle and spray a generous amount over the entire stained area. You will then scrub the area with a wash rag and dry it with a towel. The vinegar is great for breaking down the old pet stain, and the baking soda is a great odor remover and blocker. 

If you have stubborn stains that just won’t come out, contact a representative from a pet odor removal service like Chem Dry Springfield.

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