June 2006 HomeHints eNews Volume 2 Issue 6
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June 2006 Volume 2 Issue 6

Tips
Safety - Young Children Can Strangle in Window Covering Cords

From 1991 to 2000, the Consumer Products Safety Commission received reports of 160 strangulations of young children involving cords on window blinds: 140 strangulations involved the outer pull cords, and 20 involved the inner cords that run through the blind slats. As a result the window covering industry redesigned window blinds. If you have horizontal window blinds dating from 2001 or earlier and children less than 18 months old, evaluate whether your blinds are safe by visiting the CPSC site.

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Real Estate Professionals - Good Reasons to Hire One.

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions and commitments most people make in their lifetime. With the median price of a home at more than $200,000 in most areas, having professional help seems not only reasonable, but essential. It makes good financial sense to u se an experienced professional (a specialist in their field) who will guide you through the sometimes bewildering process to help you get the most value and least risk for your home investment. More on the types of knowledge and services a real estate professional can provide Here.

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Real Wood Flooring - Is it For You?

How much does it cost? How much maintenance is required? What is involved in replacing existing flooring with real wood? What kind of finishes are available? You can find the answers to these and many more questions as well as "Design a Room" and "Find a Professional or Product" features at the National Wood Flooring Association website.

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Roofs - Minor Repairs

You felt a drip and discovered your roof is leaking. You think you might want to fix it yourself and save a little money. Should you try to do so? We don't recommend that you try roofing repairs. Climbing a roof is hazardous. We recommend you call a professional. But, if you're just dead set on trying to DYI - and if it is a minor leak and you are fairly handy, agile, coordinated and fit enough to get on your roof - and the roof is not too steep - here are some considerations.

What is "too steep?" Roof pitch or slope is a measure of the incline of a roof.So what is too steep? That's an individual decision for you to make on a roof with a pitch or slope less than 6. A pitch or slope of 6 means that the roof rises 6" for every 12" it runs and is written as 6/12. A roof slope of 6/12 is equal to a 26.5 degree angle - more that this is too dangerous for an amateur - don't try it!!

Your local full service hardware store should be able help you to decide if you should try to repair your own roof. They should be able to give you a step by step approach, an explanation of materials needed and techniques used. We still think the best bet is to call a professional. Proceed at your own risk.

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Storm Warning - Garage Doors

After the disastrous storms of last year people everywhere are concerned about what they can do to prevent and minimize storm damage to their homes. One often forgotten item in their planning is the garage door. High winds from hurricanes and tornadoes can damage garage doors or even blow them in. If wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage. Bob Vila has some good thoughts and tips for you to consider about replacing or reinforcing garage doors in an article here

News
Chip Off the Old Block?

Everything related to building homes these days costs more - especially labor and lumber. Concrete literally has been the foundation of building for centuries. It has also been used for mostly utilitarian basics such as patios and driveways. Seeking lower costs and greater efficiency, architects and builders are finding traditional and new concrete materials useful and energy efficient alternatives to wood-frame construction. For instance the old standby, cinder blocks or concrete blocks, now called Concrete Masonry Units (CMUs). Concrete blocks are thermally and acoustically efficient as well as fire, moisture and insect resistant. "If you want permanence, security, resistance to fire, wind and insects, you ought to consider concrete masonry," says Robb Jolly of the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA). He adds, "Concrete masonry has a life that extends into the hundreds of years. It is still one of the most environmentally friendly products on the marketplace." Read about several innovative concrete materials that can help homebuilders reduce costs, save time, increase durability, and lower energy demands. Also learn how concrete systems such as Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) and precast walls can be an efficient alternative to traditional construction methods.

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Fast Fact
Lightning

Billions of volts of natural static electricity, thought to be caused by ice formation in clouds, produce the gigantic electrical sparks that we call lightning. Each second there are about 100 lightning strikes to the Earth's surface. Lightning kills about 24,000 people world-wide and injures another 240,000 or so each year. A lightning bolt generates temperatures up to five times hotter than the sun's surface. The nearby air expands rapidly causing the thunder that can be heard as far as 12 miles away. Lightning is approximately one kilometer distant for every three seconds (or one mile for every five seconds). Lightning strikes are about two to three miles long on average and carry a 100 million Volt, 10000 Amp wallop!A lightning bolt is only about one to two inches in diameter it looks larger because the light is so bright.

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