How to Maintain a Pool?

It is the summer season and our pools are open for some fun splash and entertainment. Summer is the time for family and friends get-togethers, barbecues, yard games, and of course, pool fun. Many people would love to have a pool, but they get discouraged with the maintenance part of it. Maintaining a pool does not have to be a painful job if you do it right from the beginning. Follow these tips on how to maintain a pool.

Of course, the easiest way is always to hire a pool professional to handle the job, but if your budget does not permit, it becomes a Do it Yourself job, and you must learn to do the best job you can, to maintain your pool properly. This will not only create a safe and healthy pool environment for your family and guests, but learning to look at other areas of inspection will prolong the life of your pool as well.

The most important issue is to prevent bacteria in the water. For this, you have to sterilize the water by using a chlorine product. You can buy this in the form of tablets that you will feed via a container that is usually located near the filter system and pump. You can find the necessary products to maintain your pool at a pool store or home improvement center.

It is important that you prevent algae from forming. Algae loves moist environments and a pool is perfect for it. To prevent algae you must use a product that acts as an inhibitor and treat the water with it. You do this step by pouring the liquid in the water, but near the skimmer intake that way the pump will spread it to all the necessary areas.

A pool must be shocked every couple of weeks. As people bathe, they release waste from their bodies in the form of natural oils, dead skin cells … all this accumulates in the water. You can purchase a product to shock the water at a pool dealership and apply it to the water via your distribution container, near the pump and filter system. The amount of product to use will depend on the size of your pool. Read the instructions carefully. Usually this product comes in a powder form and it dissolves easily into the water.

Test your water regularly to make sure that you have the proper ph balance. You can do this by buying a test kit at your local pool store. Some pool maintenance companies offer services to test your water if you bring a sample, but you will be charged for the service.

Another important area is the physical equipment of the pool. You should cover your pool with a cover made for the appropriate season, to maintain its durability. Also, inspect your pool regularly for any wear and tear and cracks that may be developing. Inspect your pump and filtration system as well. Learn to know the sounds of your pool. If you hear an unfamiliar noise in the equipment, get it checked as soon as you can. It is also important that you clean your filter and that you monitor the pressure gauge from time to time, just to make sure that everything is running efficiently. It is advisable to replace your pump at least every seven to eight years.

If this seems like a lot of work to you, once you keep things in order, it is just a matter of monitoring and listening for sounds of distress, while inspecting your pool from time to time, and performing the necessary water treatments. If it still sounds like too much work, then maybe the best thing for you is to hire the service of a pool professional to do the job for you. You should not procrastinate in having a clean and safe pool environment.

How To Get Rid Of Birds?

In researching the topic of how to get rid of birds I also conducted my own test. In my back yard I hung a very small mobile from a tree. The mobile was red white and blue and twisted when the wind blew. (Very Shiny) The ornament worked for quite a while, but since it hung in the same place all the time; the birds figured out in a few days that it wasn’t a threat. My next step is to move it around every other day.

My family used to live out in the country near quite a few orchards. Every year in the spring time the orchards would shine with bright sliver reflective tape. These tapes were placed in selected trees throughout the orchard. These were used for many years while we lived in the area. Not knowing the workers I was not able to ask them if the tape worked, but since they used them every year I would say that they must have.

I have also known people who have tried the “Bird of Prey” method where they would have a wooden painted Owl, Hawk or other threatening Bird or even a Snake in the yard to scare off the birds. I found that this method did work for a while also – but it is good to move it around from time to time. If you find one where the Head moves around or even bobs it is more effective.

There are many different methods used to get rid of birds. I have not found any that were fool proof or have worked 100% of the time.

Electronic devices that feature bird distress sounds or sounds from Birds of Prey have been known to work for some people. You need to be careful which product you choose of this kind. In many cases you may need to identify the type of bird that is causing the problem. The electronic “squawk boxes” are usually species specific. Netting has been an alternate way to keep birds from causing a lot of damage and there is also a type of gel repellant that you can get that is non toxic. You can spread the gel wherever the birds roost. The birds don’t like the sticky goo. You can get it in gallon containers that will cover 120 square feet. It is fairly inexpensive.

On a commercial level you might want to use Bird Spikes. Bird Spikes prevent bird roosting and the dirty droppings associated with it. There is also something called a Bird Buffer that emits a mist that repels birds. These Bird Buffers have been used successfully by businesses that have a lot of food crumbs that keep the birds coming back for food. One last method that I know of would be a trap that allows the birds to fly in but they cant get out. The airport in Seattle has one of these. They trap the birds and then relocate them.

Birds can be a problem. Depending on the scale of the problem you are having, some of these suggestions may prove to be an answer.

When searching the internet for answers try to be sure you are gathering good information. There are a lot of comments from people that will harm the birds and that can be caustic to the environment and to other animals. These methods that I have suggested will not harm the birds or any other animal. It would be a shame to poison our dogs and cats trying to get rid of birds.

A good website that is very informative and can also give you some great ideas and has a customer service line that will take your questions is Absolute Bird Control.

How To Get Rid Of Snails In The Garden

Snails are a common garden pest that love to eat young plants, making it hard to maintain a flourishing vegetable or flower garden. There are many ways to get rid of them. Killing them by getting rid of their protective mucous membranes is one way. This can be done several ways. Shards of glass, eggshells, and broken pieces of pottery all cut into their skin, causing the mucous to ooze until they die of dehydration. Placing a jar tipped over ground level at night with a couple inches of beer will attract the snails. Once they get inside, the yeast in the beer will go to work on removing the mucous from their skin, and they will drown. Another method is to lay a board near your garden. They will climb onto it at night, and in the morning you can dispose of them as you please. Coffee has been known to kill snails by accelerating their heart rate, causing them to die from heart attacks. This can be done by sprinkling leftover coffee grounds around your garden. There is an iron phosphate based poison on the market called “Sluggo.” It will not dissolve in the rain, and is effective at killing snails without harming your plants. Other snail killing pesticides use a chemical compound called metaldehyde, and this can kill dogs, cats, and other small animals, so it is not recommended. Snails also like shade. Things left in your yard, such as piles of debris and sticks, are a favorite hiding place for snails. Removing them from your yard or away from your garden should discourage snail activity in your garden. Another method not discussed is using them for food. Snails are a popular dish in restaurants over in Europe, and if cooked thoroughly in a frying pan, at least 161 degrees fahrenheit to kill the bacteria, some find that they taste good with salt.

Snails come from all over the world, and they are a type of mollusk called gastropod mollusks. A mollusk is an animal in the mollusca family. They are invertebrates, and typically have a shell which encloses their soft tissue. Most snails live in aquatic environments, but the ones we are concerned with are land dwellers. Some people are opposed to killing animals, even pests, so let your conscience be your guide. Simply removing the snails is not always an effective solution because they can always come back. It’s up to the individual. A lot of times, snails can be discouraged from coming into the area of your garden in the first place by simply removing anything that would attract them, such as shady objects of any kind. Probably the most humane way to kill snails is by using one of the chemical based pesticides like “Sluggo” to get rid of them. Some people choose to keep snails as pets or for research. This might be a creative way to remove the problem critters from your garden. Just be sure to tape the lid shut on the container you’re keeping them in. They can easily escape by using the momentum granted to them by their mucous membranes. Snails have extremely muscular exoskeletons. The best thing you can do is to take some preventative measures like using some mild repellents that will discourage snails from coming into your garden, as well as not leaving anything for them to congregate under. If you only have a handful, just removing them and placing them back in their natural habitat, such as by lakes and rivers, might be the best of all possible solutions. Even if you have no natural lakes near your home, a man made lake might do just as well. Just don’t put them in the water, as we are referring to the land dwelling type of snails. All in all, just getting a few out of the way will help to ensure that your young plants keep growing as they’re supposed to. Don’t worry if you miss one or two, because after a few days it will show up again. Checking the soil for eggs is also a good idea, as many snails are asexual, meaning they can reproduce by themselves. The less harm done to the snails and the garden, the better.

How To Hand Wash Clothes?

Billions of people all over the world wake up in the morning and get dressed. Wearing clothes is not a strange concept; in fact it is an activity that nearly every individual from any part of the world takes place in daily. At the end of the day when people take off their clothing they find it is necessary to wash the clothes in order to remove any dirt or body oils that have made their way into the clothing. Repeatedly washing the clothing in a washing machine has a drastic effect on the life line of the fabrics. Washing the clothes by hand is an easy alternative that can be practiced that will not only clean the fabrics just as good, but also have a less drastic impact on the clothing’s strength. Some individuals may have never considered washing their clothing by hand because they have a washing machine. In case of emergency, if the machine ever breaks down, it is a smart idea to know just how to wash the clothing by hand.

Washing your clothes is a relatively easy task that can be performed in your homes bathtub, sink, or even a large bucket. After filling the designated wash spot with water, add around one quarter cup of detergent to the water. If the detergent is a liquid detergent, simply pour it into the water. The movement of the fabrics will serve the purpose of mixing the detergent enough so it will not remain in one spot. If the detergent is a powder, it is recommended to dilute the detergent in the wash tub before adding the clothing. To dilute the detergent, simply pour it in and use your hand or a mixing stick to stir up the water until no detergent particles are visible. The temperature of the water depends on the recommendations of the detergent or the fabrics. Some clothing requires cold water to clean, while some simply does not specify. If you prefer to use a warmer temperature, feel free to do so as long as there is no rule restricting warm water use. Some individuals find warm water more useful for cleaning their clothing, but extremely hot temperatures may cause minor scalding on your hands.

If you are using bleach to clean your whites, add about one quarter cup of bleach to the water and use gloves to protect your hands from the chemicals. It is very important to pre-treat heavy stains with laundry detergent or a stain removing product. When you wash the clothing, separate all of the white clothes, dark colored clothes, and light colored clothes each into their own groups. This is to ensure that no article of clothing is stained by another article of a different color.

The next step in washing your clothes is to add each garment one by one. Gently knead the clothing by hand in the water for a minute or two. Kneading of clothing is similar to the process of kneading bread. Repeat this step for each garment that needs washed. After all the clothing has been kneaded thoroughly, drain the water from the sink, bathtub, or bucket. Using a running faucet, gently place the clothing under the water and run your hands around the fabric in order to remove soap that remains.

After all of the soap has been washed out of the fabrics, gently squeeze each garment before hanging it to dry. The dry time of the clothes depends primarily on the thickness of the fabric and the temperature of the area it is drying. If you prefer to hang the clothing outside on a clothes line, this will generally be the quickest time, assuming it is a sunny day. If you decide to hang the clothing to dry inside, make sure the items are hanging over a bathtub or a bucket, as water will continue to drip out of the fabrics until they are fully dry.

Washing the clothing by hand is just as good of a cleaning process as using a machine. The process of washing the fabrics also takes less time, although the drying process can be longer. If you do not want to hang dry the clothing, feel free to place the clothing in a drying machine.