April 2016

Home Money-Saving Tips from Boden.

blogDo you go through cycles where you spend money one day like it didn’t matter and, not too much further down the long, you start wondering how and where you can cut corners?  Most people have a lifetime pass on that particular merry-go-round.

Of course, the less time you spend riding it the less you’ll have to wonder where the money meant.  And while there are a million and one ways to cut your living expenses, here are five that are easy to adopt and really work.

We hope you find them useful:

  1. While they help your laundry feel soft and smell great, single use dryer sheets are not only wasteful but filled with potentially harmful chemicals. Instead, why not make your own. All you are some old towels and/or tee shirts.  Make sure they’re clean and you always have enough on hand for a week’s worth of laundry.  Take a couple of the cut up “sheets” to start, dip them in a mixture of distilled white vinegar and your favorite essential oil, store them in an air tight container, and pop one on the dryer as needed.
  1. Get a few more washes out of your bar soap by collecting the scraps, melting them over the stove, and pouring the mixture into bar molds. Let them dry and voila, brand new bars of soap!
  1. Stop buying costly flower vases and storage containers. Instead, thoroughly wash and dry mason jars, coffee cans, and other food storage containers, and use them for storing tool bits, pencils, crayons, and art brushes, or as a shabby-chic home for a bright bouquet of flowers.
  1. Why turn on the hose or fill the watering can to water your garden? Install a rain barrel below the eaves of your roof to collect run-off rain water. Just be sure to check that rain water collection is permitted in your area.
  1. You might be tempted to surround your central air conditioning unit with lush foliage to make it a little more visually appealing. However, such vegetation can reduce airflow and make your unit run less efficiently. Trim back shrubbery and remove weeds around your unit to reduce electrical consumption and lower your home cooling bill.

You know what else you can do to keep your AC costs under control.  Contact Boden Plumbing, Heating & Air today and request our annual preventative maintenance service.  By having this service performed once a year, you can look forward to fewer repairs, longer system lifespan, and lower utility costs.


The Do’s and Don’ts of Deck Maintenance.

Whether it’s a small extension of your home, or more like a sprawling oasis, a deck is a wonderful addition to any home. And yet just like all the rooms and mechanicals, it requires routine maintenance to ensure that it remains a safe and enjoyable place to just be.

Simply follow these Do’s and Don’ts for deck maintenance and you’re sure to get more years of enjoyment and greater pleasure for your trouble:

blogDO thoroughly clean your deck once a year. When the temps hit about 60-70 degrees and there is no rain in the forecast, use a roller or sprayer to apply a deck cleaning solution. While power washers are great way to wash of the gunk, they can also gouge the wood. Instead, use a garden hose on a hard-stream setting.

DO sand your deck before applying a sealant. When your deck is completely dry – which can take up to 48 hours – lightly sand the surface using a pole sander with 80-grit sandpaper. Then apply sealant to protect from warping and cracking. If you want a longer lasting seal, use a clear sealant.

DO inspect and clean your deck throughout the year. Regularly sweep puddles, leaves, branches, and debris off your deck to prevent scratches, mold and mildew growth, and water damage. Periodically, inspect the wood for cracks and soft spots, plus loose planks, railings, and nails.

DON’T use chlorine bleach on your deck.  Yes, chlorine bleach is one heck of a cleaner, but it can damage the wood and strip it of its natural sheen. Even oxygen bleach, which is a safer alternative, is still not recommended for certain wood species. Look for and use only a wood-approved deck cleaner.

DON’T mistake paint for sealant. If you want to change the color of your deck, first start by removing any paint with a sander or stripper. Things such as paint, varnish, or lacquer leave a film instead of penetrating the wood like a sealant. This can cause it to crack and peel in no time.

DON’T ignore pressure-treated wood. While it might resist insect infestation and rot, it does not resist sun and water damage. Clean and seal decking made with pressure treated planks just as you would with natural wood, but choose products made specifically for it.

DON’T use area rugs made from natural fibers. An outdoor area rug is a great way to protect your deck from scrapes and scratches while adding a little style, but natural fibers absorb moisture and promote mold and mildew. Opt for rugs made of recycled plastics instead.

Want to enjoy the whole outdoor experience even more?  Contact Boden Plumbing today and ask us about adding an outdoor gas connection and piping so you never have to worry about running out of charcoal or propane again.  That way, you can grill whatever you want, whenever you want.