Cracks In Your Walls: Should You Be Worried?

Cracks In Your Walls: Should You Be Worried?

Once a building reaches a certain age, it’s normal for cracks to appear in the walls. This is the result of the building slowly shifting over time. 

If you’ve noticed cracks appearing in your home’s walls, it may not necessarily be a sign that your home is about to collapse. In fact, most cracks are harmless. However, you may want to keep an eye on them so that you know when to take action.

When should you worry about cracks?

Small hairline cracks are usually nothing to worry about. You’re free to still seal them up if you don’t like the look of them, however nothing bad will happen if you leave them alone.

If cracks are growing noticeably longer or wider, you may want to show some concern. Cracks can become an issue once they become a quarter inch wide. If cracks are running the entire length of your wall, you may also want to get them checked out. 

What are the concerns regarding larger cracks?

Larger cracks could be a concern for various reasons – some of which are listed below:

They could be letting rainwater in

Large cracks around windows and door frames could start to let rainwater come in. Keep an eye on them when it’s raining to see if any water is coming in. If so, you’ll want to get the crack repaired to prevent issues like water damage and mold

They could be letting heat out

A large crack could be allowing heat to escape your home (and possibly letting cold drafts in). In the winter, this could result in your home becoming cooler faster, which may result in you reaching for the thermostat more regularly. All in all, it could be increasing your energy bills. Run you hand over the crack on a windy day to see if you can feel a draft – if you can feel air coming in, you may want to seek repairs immediately.

They could be letting critters in

Cracks can let in various critters from spiders to cockroaches. Even rodents may be able to get in – if you can fit a pencil into the crack, it’s large enough for a small mouse to squeeze through. If you’ve noticed pests in your home such as mice or cockroaches, it could be worth looking for the best pest control company in your area to help eliminate the problem. Once this is dealt with, you should then go about sealing up any large cracks to avoid future critters getting in. 

They could be a sign of structural weakness

Most worrying of all –  large cracks could be a sign of structural weakness within your home. If not repaired, the wall could one day collapse. It’s worth organizing a home inspection to find out if there are structural problems. Issues like subsidence could be to blame – it may be a case of repairing your home’s foundations.

They could bring down the value of your home

If you’re planning on selling your home in the near future, it could also be worth repairing those cracks. Visible cracks will make your home less appealing to buyers due to all the above concerns – agents may price your home lower as a result. By fixing these cracks, you can make your home more appealing and increase its value. 

What’s the best way to repair cracks?

Small cracks can usually be patched up oneself. It may be a simple case of pouring a filler substance into the crack such as caulk. When doing this it’s worth using a putty knife to widen the crack first. Then apply the filler and tape over the crack before painting over it to conceal it.

When it comes to larger cracks, you may want to consult an expert – there’s likely to be more work necessary than simply filling the crack. It could be important to first tackle the source of these cracks such as repairing foundations. You can then focus on repairing the crack in the wall.

There are professionals out there that can assess the cracks in your walls and repair them for you. If you’ve got larger cracks, consider hiring one of these professionals. You can then be sure that the problem will be dealt with correctly – you don’t want to patch up a crack yourself only for it to reappear in a couple months.

Six Tips On Preparing Your Bathroom For Winter

Six Tips On Preparing Your Bathroom For Winter

When you think of preparing your home for winter, your bathroom probably isn’t the first place to spring to mind. That’s understandable but doing a little work now could make your life a lot easier when winter really sets in. Here are some tips to help.

Deep clean your drains

Winter is the toughest time of the year for drains. That means it’s a good idea to get them in the best possible condition before the cold weather sets in. You have at least three drains in a regular bathroom. Give all of them a good, deep clean.  

This is one time when you might want to reach for a chemical cleaner straight off. They aren’t great for the environment but they will clean your pipes really thoroughly. This will reduce the likelihood of them needing to be replaced early. For the rest of the winter, you should probably be fine with more gentle cleaners like dish soap, baking soda, vinegar, and hot water.

If you’re not using them already, you might want to pop some drain sticks down your sink and tub/shower. These help to dissolve any solids which do manage to slide down your drain. Likewise, plug protectors are also a really good idea.

Think about heating

Whatever system you use for heating water, get it double-checked before winter really kicks in. Then keep a close eye on it over the course of the winter. If you have a radiator in your bathroom, make sure you bleed it early on. Then, again, keep an eye on it so you are always quick to pick up if it needs bleeding again. Consider putting silver foil behind it to reflect extra heat back into the room.

Think about whether you need, or would just like, some form of extra heating in your bathroom. Remember that bathrooms can get pretty chilly during the winter, especially in the mornings. In the old days, you often just had to live with this because most bathroom heating had to be hardwired.  

Now, however, you can get a much wider range of plugin heaters suitable for use in bathrooms. What’s more, increasing numbers of them are “smart”. Smart heaters are great for all kinds of reasons. In bathrooms, the main benefit is that you can activate them remotely.  

So, for example, if you need to make a trip to the bathroom before the heating goes on, you can switch your smart heater on before you even get up. By the time you’ve walked to the bathroom, the heater should at least have taken the edge off the cold. For extra coziness, at some bathroom-appropriate mats to protect your feet from cold floors.

Check your window seal

Bathroom windows have a tough life. Not only do they have to cope with different temperatures both outside and inside but they also have to cope with humidity. This means that they can end up needing maintenance, repair, or even replacement long before other windows in the house do.

The most common weak point is the sealant between the glass and the frame. You can generally fix this just by retouching it. If the sealant is really damaged, then you may need to get in a professional to replace it completely or, in the worst case, replace the window.  

This might not be what you want to hear with temperatures dropping. It is, however, far better to deal with any issues now than to leave them until the cold weather really starts to bite. This is particularly important if you’re going to be relying on your bathroom window for ventilation.

Think about ventilation

It’s really important to make sure that your bathroom gets enough fresh air in winter. If it doesn’t then the humidity could start to become a real problem. In particular, you could find yourself having to deal with mold. This can be a serious health hazard. The easiest way to do this is just to make a point of opening your bathroom window from time to time.

If you don’t have a bathroom window then look at your current ventilation solution and make sure that it’s in good shape for the winter. In particular, remember that vents generally only work effectively if they’re clean. Again, check this as soon as you can so that, if necessary, you can take action before winter really strikes.

Declutter and restock

If you still have spring and summer products then now is the time to get rid of them. If you really want or need to keep them then move them into an off-season storage location. As a rule of thumb, anything which has been opened needs to go.  

This is particularly important for makeup, sun protection, and bug-repellant. Expired makeup can actually be bad for you. Sun protection and bug-repellant just won’t work the way they should. It can, however, be a good idea to hold on to medical products such as lyclear cream. These can be useful even in winter.

Once you’ve cleared out your bathroom, you can use the space you’ve created to restock with winter-appropriate products. This is your chance to make sure that you’re well-prepared for the inevitable winter colds. Just as importantly, it’s your chance to stock up on moisturizing products.  

Winter weather can be hugely drying on your skin (as can heating). Your face and hands are particularly exposed so look for deals on facial moisturizer, lip balm, and hand cream and stock up. This is a good opportunity for you to give your bathroom storage a deep clean and general reorganization.

Consider switching out your light bulbs

This is really a bonus tip but it’s still worth considering. For many people, winter is challenging both mentally and physically. Installing color-changing LED light bulbs can make bath/shower time a bit more fun. This can go a long way towards helping people to cope with the “winter blues”.

On a similar note, if you don’t already have a radio in your bathroom, then now’s a good time to get one. Music is also great for helping people to feel more cheerful even in tough times like winter.

How to Host the Perfect Dinner Party

How to Host the Perfect Dinner Party

If you plan to host a dinner party, you may or may not be aware of how stressful it can be. If this is your first dinner party, then don’t be fooled. There is a lot of time and preparation that needs to go into the organization of such an event if you want it to run without a hitch. If you want our dinner party to wow everyone invited, make sure the night is fun and relaxed for everyone, and most of all, you want to make it look as if you have not been stressed out at all, then you need to take a look at the tips below:

The Guests

The first thing you need to do is decide who is coming. The more people you invite, the more difficult it will be. If this is your first dinner party, it is probably best to play it safe and invite around four to six guests. Remember you will all be sitting around the dinner table, so it is probably a good idea to invite people who know each other and already have that rapport. Then you could add one or two extras. You are basically considering the flow of conversation, so think about people who are naturally talkative too. When it comes to creating the invites, then up to a month beforehand is a good shout. This gives everyone a chance to clear their diaries. Ensure you consider any dietary requirements here, so ask the question.   

The Menu

So, you know the dietary requirements of everyone, now it’s time to start preparing what you are going to cook. You are going to want to wow everyone, so lots of time to practice is a must. Going for Tapas or meals you have cooked before may be an idea if this whole process is new to you. However, you can always find excellent recipes like how to roast a cornish hen. For the dessert, ensure you make this around two days before the big day. 

Drinks

Red wines, white wines, rose, beers, and ciders, you are also going to want a few soft drinks for anyone you need a rest from alcohol. Think about wines that accompany the food you are making and buy those. Guests generally tend to bring bottles of wine they like with them, so that makes it a little easier.

Start the Preparations Early

You will want to consider the aesthetic and the atmosphere you want to create. Perhaps think about music in the background. You could create a suitable playlist. Then think about the table and candles, and other decor. Make sure you have enough tableware and cutlery for everyone, plus a couple of spares. You could plan a seated table to ensure everyone is in the best position. Think about anything extra such as special garnishes, tools, plates, dishes, etc. Make a list of all the things you need before you go out to buy it. It is probably best to buy the extra things, including the alcohol before you think about buying the food. The food should be bought a couple of days, maximum, before the event to ensure freshness and quality. Flowers for the table should be bough last, perhaps the day before the event or even that morning, if you’re brave. Another thing to ensure is that you have a bag of ice, which always comes in handy.

The Day Before the Event

This is when you need to give your house a thorough clean, especially the dining room and the closest toilet. You should start preparing the food too, anything that can be done now, do it, wrap and refrigerate. Remember to pick up any flowers you want for your table. It may be an idea to begin preparing the table too. That evening take all the rubbish out, so you have clear bins and wash all dishes and ensure that the dishwasher is totally empty. All these little things will make your life a lot easier on the big day.

On the Day

If you haven’t already done so, lay the table, that is your first job. Then set up the kitchen, cutting boards, and knives on display ready to be used. Ensure you have all the dishes out that you will need. Set up a snack station for your guests when they arrive. Don’t forget to get dressed, and it may be an idea to wear an apron in the kitchen. Remember, you are only human. Give yourself a break, weather any storm, and make sure everyone has something to drink.

The Dos And Don’ts Of Organizing A Secret Party

The Dos And Don’ts Of Organizing A Secret Party

Secret parties are a big thing right now. Many businesses choose to use them in their marketing, but you don’t have to run a business to enjoy the fun that organizing a secret party – or attending one – can bring you. In fact, a secret party can be used for any occasion and makes the event something that everyone will be talking about. 

 Organizing a secret party is something that more and more people are keen to try. It’s an exciting adventure to attend one, so organizing one must be even more fun. However, there are lots of considerations to think about before going ahead if you want it to be a success. Here are some of the dos and don’ts for you to get started with.

Do Have A Backup Venue

Anything can happen when your party is a secret one, so having a second (and perhaps even third) venue in mind can make a big difference. Since it is a secret, changing venues at the last minute will not inconvenience any of your guests, and it means that the party can go on even if there is a problem with the venue you initially chose. 

Do Choose A Date In Advance 

Although the venue can potentially change at the last minute, the date can’t. Once you have told people to keep a date free for a secret, surprise event, that’s what they’ll do – suddenly changing things will mean that many won’t be able to attend (especially if it’s close to the date of the party) and some will become annoyed about the change and decide it’s just not worth it. Once you have a date, stick to it and ensure all those who need to know are told in plenty of time. 

Do Serve Food And Drink

A secret party might sound like a lot of fun, but your guests aren’t going to be particularly happy if there is no food and drink or if you charge them for it once they arrive. Remember, if you take away the secret element of the party, everything else stays the same. So if you would typically find a recipe for lemon cake and bake it to serve, or you would hire in caterers, or you would order pizza for everyone, this is what you’ll still need to do. 

Don’t Tell Anyone Who Doesn’t Need To Know 

It may seem obvious, but in order to keep a secret party actually a secret, the fewer people who know, the better. So only tell those who definitely need to know. If you want to ensure that even these few people keep your secret safe, you can create an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) so that they can’t tell anyone what’s happening without serious consequences. 

Don’t Give Away Too Much At Once 

When you are trying to create excitement around a secret party, you need to release teasers and snippets of information slowly. Too much all at once, and you’ll destroy the atmosphere of mystery building up around what you are planning. It’s a fine line to balance on, but you need to give people enough information to get them interested in what will happen, but not so much that they don’t want to find out more. 

The Recipe to a Healthy and Strong Body

The Recipe to a Healthy and Strong Body

Health is one of the most important things in life, and it’s also something that we often take for granted. However, staying healthy can be difficult if you don’t know what to do. That’s why we’ve put together this blog post on three things you should look after the most to stay healthy! We’ll discuss how to get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet, and keep your immune system strong so that you’re never sick again!

#1 The importance of sleep (and how to get enough of it)

The first thing you should look after the most is your sleep. Getting enough quality sleep can be difficult, and many people don’t take it seriously when they’re young, but if you want to stay healthy, then this is one of the things that you need to do.

If possible, try not to use electronic devices right before bedtime because they emit blue light, making it harder for our brains to produce melatonin (the hormone responsible for making us feel tired). Your sleep posture also has a lot to do with how much you actually rest, so if you feel like you can’t sleep comfortably because of a sore back, consider calling up some chiropractic services to help you out!

#2 How to eat a balanced diet

You’ve probably heard this one before, but eating a balanced diet is extremely important if you want to stay healthy. As we mentioned earlier, your immune system relies on how well-rested and relaxed you are, so make sure that when it’s time for lunch or dinner, you eat three main meals with at least two snacks in between them! If possible, try not to skip breakfast because our bodies usually go longer without food during the night than they do during the day. 

Although there isn’t necessarily a ‘perfect’ meal plan out there (because everyone is different), most people can benefit from having some lean protein, including eggs every morning as well as vegetables such as carrots and spinach, throughout the rest of their day. Lastly, make sure that you don’t drink too much alcohol or eat lots of junk food because these things will only damage your body in the long run. For example, drinking excessively can lead to liver disease, while eating a lot of unhealthy snacks is known to cause cardiovascular problems.

#3 How to strengthen your immune system

The third thing you should look after the most is your immune system. If you want to stay healthy, then it’s important that this part of our body functions properly, but sometimes we might need some extra help in order for this to happen. For example, eating lots of vegetables can decrease your chances of getting sick while taking zinc tablets (which are often found in health stores) or other multivitamins may also improve how well-rested and relaxed you feel – especially if you struggle; with anxiety or insomnia! 

Finally, drinking water throughout each day will keep all of your organs working at their best, so make sure that when it comes time for lunch or dinner, try having a tall glass instead because hydration always helps! Staying healthy requires effort on your part, but if you follow these simple steps, then it won’t be difficult at all!

Ready To Relocate? Tips For A Seamless Move

Ready To Relocate? Tips For A Seamless Move

Are you ready to relocate? If so, you may be approaching your moving date with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. It’s common to feel stressed when preparing to move house, but there are ways to simplify the process. Here are some top tips for a seamless move.

Call in the pros

One of the best ways to avoid stress when planning a relocation is to enlist the help of experts. Removal firms have expertise and experience in transporting belongings and executing logistical operations and they can help you get organized and save you time and effort. Whether you’re moving around the corner, or you’re looking for a company that specializes in long distance moving, it’s beneficial to call in the pros. Ask for recommendations, get quotes, compare prices and services and make sure the firm is reputable and reliable. It’s an excellent idea to see if your neighbors, friends or relatives have any advice, as it’s reassuring to book a company based on reviews you can trust. 

Give yourself time

A lack of time can make the process of moving house a hundred times more stressful. If you’ve got an endless to-do list and no time to get through it, it’s natural to feel like you’re swimming against the tide. Try to give yourself as much time as possible and write a list of tasks to complete before you move. Start packing items you won’t need or use before the move in advance and cross off any jobs you can do ahead of your relocation date, for example, redirecting your mail and contacting utility providers. 

Label your boxes

It may be tempting to fill boxes with whatever you can find when you’re packing up your possessions and you want to finish the job as quickly as possible. The trouble is that you have to unpack your stuff at the other end. If you’ve got boxes filled with miscellaneous items, you don’t know what is in each box, or there are things from different rooms in every crate, it will take you a lot longer to get organized. Organize your belongings, pack similar items together and label your boxes so that you know what is in them and where they are going in your new home. If you have a box marked ‘kitchen’ and ‘plates and bowls’ you can start filling your kitchen cupboards as soon as the truck has been unloaded. 

Pack a bag of essentials

Moving can be exhausting. If you’ve been running up and down the stairs all day and ferrying boxes around, the last thing you need is to be scurrying around trying to find your pajamas, toothbrush and mugs for a cup of tea or coffee before bed. Pack a bag of first night essentials to enable you to relax and enjoy an early night on moving day.

Pack A Bag Of Essentials - Ready To Relocate? Tips For A Seamless Move

Are you counting down the days until you move house? Moving is exciting, but it can sometimes be stressful. If you’re looking to execute a seamless move, take these tips on board. Give yourself time, write a to-do list, book a reliable removals firm, label every box and pack a bag of essentials for the first night.