Tips for Maintaining Our Car

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Our car is already eight years old and has almost 62,000 miles on it. The car is still in good shape. Over the years, we have not had any issues with it. Overall I can say that it has been a pretty good car. One of the most important things to keep your car in good shape is constant maintenance and upkeep. Changing the oil and filter on a regular basis is the most important issue. My hubby and I are do-it-yourselfers so we change the oil and filter ourselves. When my hubby got sick, I took over that job and many others.

It was just a few days ago when we bought new tires.  They really were not in bad shape but with winter and snow coming, we thought the extra traction would help.  When I went to the parking lot after the tire changed, the car would not start because the battery was dead.  The store was closing but the mechanic was still there to help me get my car started. That was when he suggested to me that I needed to have a new battery also.

Since we had not changed the battery of the car since we bought it, we decided that would be the next thing that needed to be upgraded. Now, I feel safe that it will not quit working on me while I am driving in the middle of nowhere, especially during the winter. Here are a few more tips for maintaining your car. Like any other mechanical thing, your car works better when treated with tender loving care.

Should You Drink the Water From Your Tap?

You may have heard that it’s necessary to drink eight medium glasses of water each day. This is actually only a guideline; some people need more fluids and others need less. It’s also worth noting that you do not have to stick to just drinking water; milk and juices also count towards the fluid intake. That being said, there are still plenty of benefits to be had from drinking water on a regular basis.

But, is it really a good idea to drink the water which comes straight from the tap in your home? Should you drink bottled water instead? Or, is there a better option?

Why drinking tap water may not be a good idea

The water that comes from your tap is obtained from underground, or from lakes and reservoirs, by the water company. They then use chemicals, including chlorine, to treat the water. After treatment, the water is sent along pipes to homes. Along the way, it often gathers items such as dirt and other pollutants. You can see that if you drink tap water, you can also be drinking other substances that you really do not want to.

Bottled water is not a good alternative

You may think that bottled water is safer to drink than tap water, but often this is not actually the case. An additional problem with bottled water is that it’s bad for the environment. The bottles often end up being dumped into landfill sites, or into the ocean. It also takes three times as much water to make a bottle as it does to fill it.

The benefits of filtering water

The best option, if you want clean, fresh and healthy water to drink, is to filter the water which comes straight from your tap. A water cooler filter chills the water which passes through it and removes all of the contaminants that are present.

Water filters use two different types of filtration. Physical filtration removes particles such as dirt from the water. Chemical filtration removes any additives that are present. After the filtration process is complete, you are left with clean and fresh water to drink.

There are plenty of filtration solutions when it comes to filtering the water in your home. You can opt to use a counter top water filter. This type of system is one of the most affordable options as there is no plumbing required. If you want to save space on your counter top, you can have a filtration system fitted under your sink. This is more costly, as it needs to be fitted by a plumber, but you are able to filter more water at once.

You can drink water straight from the tap, but it may not taste good, and it could upset your stomach, depending on what additives are present. It’s a far better idea to use a water filter to remove chemicals and dirt, so you are left with pure water to drink.

What is an Epoxy Coating?

While epoxy coatings aren’t a common product for the usual DIY handyman, they are very important in many other sorts of professional industries.

The term epoxy coating actually refers to a broad range of compounds, from fluoropolymer coatings like Teflon to fusion bonded epoxy powder coatings. Really, you’ll need a crash course in chemistry to understand the nuances between them all. Without going into too much complex detail, here is a quick primer on epoxy coatings and what they’re used for.

What is an epoxy coating?

To get back to the original question, here is a quick explanation of what epoxy coatings actually are. Epoxy is a synthetic resin that is created by blending 2 separate ingredients (the resin and the hardener) that react together to create a durable solid. Often, the resin and hardener are both liquids, but some variations on this procedure use a combination of powder and liquid.

So an epoxy coating is just one way of applying an epoxy material over a surface. Since you are working with liquids or powders, it can be a very efficient way of treating large or irregular surfaces (like floors or machined parts). Liquids tend to have an advantage as the reaction that solidifies the material is automatic and doesn’t require added heat, like some of the powder-based compounds.

Products that use this 2-part reaction are used in adhesives as well as surface coatings, but that’s another topic altogether.

What are they used for?

To say that epoxy coatings are used to protect surfaces is a little vague and there are actually a variety of reasons or purposes involved.

The basic use for any sort of epoxy treatment is to increase durability and add strength to a surface, be it floors, counter tops, work surfaces or even the walls.

One of the great features about creating a protective layer with epoxy is that you can reapply it after damage or when it simply starts to wear down. That can be a huge boon for industrial areas where there is a lot of wear and impact from machinery over time, and a new surface treatment is far cheaper than actually rebuilding.

Aside from general protection, epoxies can create a surface with different qualities that the original materials lack. Because they are applied after construction in many cases, it means you can change surfaces when your needs change rather than just when space is being built.

Floor treatments can be used to reduce static in areas that will be used with delicate electronics, or a gritty surface can be created to make a floor non-slip for safety. Surfaces can become water-proof, fire resistant or even rubberized for impact resistance.

Though epoxy coating tends to be a practice that you see in the larger industry, there are some applications for the general homeowner. Treating garage or basement floors is one example, to fix cracked surfaces or to improve water-proofing. Kitchen counters is another spot where an epoxy treatment may be a good idea.

When to Call a Professional to Help with the Lighting in your Home

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Many of us think that we can always deal with problems in the home. How difficult can it be? With some problems, such as fixing leaky taps or unblocking a drain, this is a good attitude to have. It’s not always a good idea to take care of issues yourself though; especially when electricity is involved. It’s worth remembering that electricity can kill. Even if the worst does not happen, you can still get an electric shock. You always need to be careful with electricity.

That is not to say that you cannot do some electrical work yourself; especially if you have some experience. There are times when you can attempt a task, and times when it’s best to call a Sydney electrician for help.

Electrical jobs that you can do yourself

If a circuit breaker trips in your home, this is simply a case of switching it back on again. You should not need to call a professional. However, if the breaker trips on a few occasions, this could be a sign of an underlying problem. You should have an inspection carried out by an electrician.

Changing a light bulb is also something you can do for yourself. Remember that the electricity needs to be switched off before you change the bulb, and that you should only use bulbs with the recommended wattage.

You may also want to attempt to install new light fittings yourself. However, if it’s a complicated installation, or you do not feel confident, it’s worth getting professional help.

When to speak to a qualified electrician

There is absolutely nothing to stop you speaking to an electrician about even simple electrical jobs in your home. If you feel safer doing so, that is fine.

You should definitely hire an electrician if you smell burning. You should also call on a professional if you have a big lighting job to complete, or if you need your home wiring upgraded. Remember that electricity is dangerous, so you should not take any risks.

Hiring an electrician

It’s a good idea to find an electrician in the area, as soon as you move into a new home. This means that you have time to do your research before your need for an electrician becomes urgent. This is especially useful if you ever need emergency electrical help. You are more likely to be able to get an electrician to come to you if you already have an established relationship with them.

Always make sure that an electrician is fully licensed and insured. Look for independent reviews online; to see how reliable they are. It’s also a good idea to ask neighbors which electrician they use. Put together all your research to help you make a final decision.

There is no reason why you cannot do some electrical work yourself if you take proper precautions. Switch off the electricity, wear protective gloves and eyewear and use a non-contact voltage detector, to make sure there is no electricity present before you start. If you do not feel confident, or the job is complicated, hire a professional electrician, to complete the work.

Ways to Maximize Your Storage Space in an Apartment

          

     How to make the most of space in your apartment

If you live in a relatively small apartment, it may seem as though you never have enough space. You can end up feeling claustrophobic, as well as being tired of constantly tripping over, or banging into things. If your tendency is to like a lot of stuff around you, this can be an even bigger issue.

If you feel as though lack of space is creating a real problem in your apartment, or even if you would just really like to have a bit more room, you should find these five tips useful.

     De-clutter on a regular basis

One of the best ways to create more space is to have fewer things; that is a fact you cannot escape. This tip is especially useful for all those people we mentioned earlier, who feel comfortable when surrounded by lots of familiar things. The most important thing to remember about this tip is that it’s only going to work well if you are ruthless. Do you actually need to keep an item if you never use it?

When you are planning to declutter you need some boxes with labels that might include:

  • To keep
  • To throw away (you can use two boxes for this if you need a separate one for items that can be recycled).
  • To donate to charity.
  • To sell.

Once you have all items sorted into boxes all you have to do is dispose of the things you are not keeping.

     Make use of the walls

<span>Dolor sit amet</span>If floor space is limited in your apartment, then it may be a good idea to use the free space on your walls. There are plenty of wall storage solutions to choose from, including a vertical bike rack, wall hooks and shelving. These solutions do not have to cost a lot of money. In fact, you may even want to think about creating your own set of shelves.

     Create zones

A haphazard apartment tends to look a lot more cramped than one which is well organised. It’s a good idea to create zones in your home for this reason. If you have children you should think about allocating them a place to play. If you work from home you should at try and keep a least part of a room as an office.

     Use storage crates and boxes

One of the best things about storage crates and boxes is that you can stack them; this means that they take up less floor space. You may also be able to store them under tables, making use of space that would not be used otherwise. You can also use this type of storage as a room feature, if you want to get creative with colour.

     Consider curtains instead of doors

Doors on cupboards and wardrobes can take up a fair amount of space; and you also have to account for the fact that you need extra space to open them. If you want to resolve this issue then it’s a good idea to use material, in a curtain effect, rather than doors.
As you can see, you do not have to put up with a lack of space in your apartment. Try one or more of our tips and you should be able to gain at least some valuable space.

What Happens to my Belongings if I Don’t Pay Self-Storage Fees?

The idea of self-storage is simple. You pay a monthly fee, and are given access to a secure storage space where you can store any extra stuff you have around the house.

Of course, that convenience only lasts as long as you continue to pay the cost of the rental space. You may wonder what will happen to all of your things if you don’t pay the fees. For example, here is what would happen at one particular facility. The Lockup self-storage, to use as a pretty typical example. You can check their website at thelockupselfstorage.com.au.

There is no single answer as every self-storage facility will have its own terms and conditions when it comes to the contract between itself and you. So you should read the fine print before you make any agreement if this is a concern.

The first point to make is how long will your facility hold onto your stuff before taking action. Generally, they don’t start selling your things the day after a missed payment, so find out what your grace period is. It’s typical to have a month or longer before anything happens.

After that, the facility owner will probably start trying to sell your belongings to recoup their loss from the missed fees. They will have to give you notice that this is happening, so you may have a final chance to step in and settle the account. Opening up the unit to sell the contents as a single lot through an auction is a common method for this, with entire TV shows dedicated to the process. Depending on what is in the unit, a facility owner may sell in any way they wish, selling individual items (like appliances, electronics or furniture) to different parties in order to get the best return.

Anything that is not considered sellable, like old clothes or various personal items, may be disposed of as trash or even donated to local charity thrift shops. Really, the items become property of the facility and they can do whatever they want with them.

Once your belongings have been sold off, you have no more rights to them whatsoever. You can’t make any claims about value or damages once the situation has gotten to this point. That’s what the earlier notice and grace period are for.

While this is a fairly standard scenario, every facility will have its own policy. They may wait longer before selling, or give you a much shorter grace period after you go into arrears on your account. Some may prefer to take legal action to get their money before going on to sell your belongings, which would result in a further repercussions for you.

On a somewhat related note, you might want to know what happens to your belongings if there is a problem at the unit. Again, read the fine print to find out specifically. Most facilities do not carry insurance that protects your goods. You can talk to your residential insurance broker about extending your policy to include the items stored at the unit. Most plans will allow for this arrangement.

Is There a Difference Between Bottled and Filtered Water?

Is bottled water different to household water that has been filtered?

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If you own a building that is used as a business premises, or is home to an organization, you will want to make sure that you can provide clean drinking water for the people who use the building on a regular basis. You may decide to do this by offering bottled water to them. Is this really the best solution?

You may be aware of the problems that can arise if water is drunk straight from the tap, and think that bottled water is a safer and cleaner alternative. We are going to look at why this is not necessarily the case. We are also going to consider why filtering your water supply is a better solution.

Why bottled water is not better than tap water

You may be interested to learn that there is no guarantee that the water people drink from a bottle is any safer and cleaner than the water they drink from a tap. As you may be aware, tap water can be contaminated with dirt, chemicals and other additives. The same can be said for bottled water.

The other downside of bottled water is that the bottles are not good for the environment. Many of them end up in landfill or even floating in the ocean. You can see that it’s not necessarily a good idea to provide bottled water for people to drink. Filtering the water that is supplied to the building is a better option. We are going to look at why this is the case.

Why should you filter water instead of buying bottles?

If you filter the water that comes into your building, you can ensure that it’s safe and tasty to drink. It’s also affordable, compared to purchasing bottled water, if you consider ongoing costs. You can find drinking water fountains for sale online and have them fitted in your building. You may also want to consider other water filtering options; it’s important to research products carefully.

Water filtration systems can make use of physical filtration and chemical filtration. Physical filtration uses a membrane to capture unwanted contaminants and remove them from the water. Chemical filtration removes contaminants from the water and leaves it in a clean and fresh condition. This means that you are certain of providing people with an effective supply of drinking water.

If you need to provide water to people who use your building you want to make sure that it’s safe to drink. You also want to provide people with a drink that tastes good. It may be tempting to just buy in some bottled water, but as you can see this is not proven to be the best water to drink, and you may also be damaging the environment.

If you want to provide the best possible water for people to drink, you should filter the water that comes from the tap. There are plenty of different water filtration solutions on the market so you should be able to find one that fits with your budget.