Americans are disinfecting their homes and converting garage spaces

The way people design their homes is being influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic which has forced them to spend more time indoors, and those new trends could stay with us for years to come. Examples include garage spaces getting more attention, while cleanliness is also a major factor, according to the America At Home Study […]

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5 Ways to Take Care of Your Home During Winter

Cover Your Outdoor Furniture (the Cheap Way!)

No space to bring outdoor furniture inside in bad weather? Make sure to keep them covered during the winter months. But instead of buying pricey furniture covers, protect lawn chairs and tables by covering them with large plastic bags. If you have metal deck furniture, apply a bit of petroleum jelly to areas where they've been known to rust to prevent them from rusting during the winter—and beyond.

Skip the Rock Salt

Icy sidewalk? Throw cat litter down instead of rock salt. It won’t harm your grass, stain your clothes, or hurt the environment, but it will provide plenty of traction for safe walking and driving.

Guard Outdoor Light Bulbs 

Lightbulb with petroleum jelly

While you have that petroleum jelly out, apply a thin layer to the threads of all your outdoor light bulbs. It will prevent them from rusting and make them much easier to replace when they blow out.

How to Get Rid of Drafts

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a well sealed home can be up to 20 percent more energy efficient. Most leaks occur in the basement or attic—look where you feel a draft or around wiring holes, plumbing vents, ducts, and basement rim joints. You’ll be able to seal lots of leaks with a simple caulking gun, but for instructions on how to plug larger holes, check out these tutorials from EnergyStar.gov.

Clean a Fireplace With Cola

Try an old masonry trick to brighten up soot-stained brick. Mix a can of cola with 3½ fluid ounces all-purpose household cleaner and 3 ½ quarts water in a bucket. Sponge onto sooty brick and leave for 15 minutes. Loosen the soot by scrubbing with a stiff-bristled brush. Sponge with clean water. For a stronger solution, add more cola.

What are your favorite tips of taking care of your home in the winter? Share them with us in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Who Knew?

8 Tips for a No-Drip Paint Job

Keep your doorways and wall corners safe from drips!

Painted Fence, Un-Painted Grass

If you’ve ever painted a fence, you know that the task can be onerous, and you can end up dripping paint all over your lawn. Protect the grass by placing an old dustpan under the section you’re working on. It will catch spills and help prevent you from picking up pieces of dirt and grass on your paintbrush. If you don’t want paint splatters on your dust pan, cover it with newspaper first.

Drip-Free Doors

Painting doors? Avoid getting paint on the hinges by coating them lightly with petroleum jelly before you start. It’s easier to protect the rounded corners than when using painter's tape, and it wipes right off!

Hammer and Nail Drips Away

Maybe we’re just messy painters, but when we paint a room, we find that the interior rim around the paint can is never big enough to catch the paint that has slopped over the edge—eventually it fills up and runs down the side of the can. To solve this problem, we make several holes in the bottom of the rim with a small nail and hammer. Now the paint drips back into the can rather than running down the side.

Paintbrush Pointer

For your next paint job, prevent drips and messes with this great trick: Stick a magnet against the inside of a clean metal can. When you’re not using the paintbrush, attach it to the magnet (with bristles facedown) until you’re ready to use it again. Paint will drip into the bucket, not on your floor!

Rubber Band Trick

To keep your paint can and your workspace as clean as possible, wrap a rubber band around the height of the open can. The band should sit over the opening, so you can dab the paint-filled brush on the rubber to wipe away excess paint.

Milk Jug Paintbrush Holder

Finally tackling that room that needs to be repainted? Create your own drip-free paintbrush holder with a plastic milk jug. Cut a hole in the side large enough to fit your paintbrush, and you’re ready to go! The handle will allow you to easily carry it around the room and up and down ladders without making a mess.

Styrofoam Plate Drip Catcher

When painting a room directly from the can, it’s nearly impossible to keep paint from dripping down the side. So instead of stopping the drips, catch them! To easiest way? Affix a paper or Styrofoam plate to the bottom of the can with some glue or duct tape. That way, it go with the can wherever you move it, and you can just tear them off when you’re done painting.

Tennis Ball Drip Cup

To catch drips while you paint, try this makeshift drip cup: Cut a tennis ball in half and slice a thin slot in the bottom bowl of one half. Then slide your brush handle through the slot so the bristles stick out of the open side. A small paper plate or cup works, too.

Aluminum Foil Fix

Before you begin that big painting project, cover doorknobs, drawer pulls, and any other small object you’re worried about catching spills with aluminum foil. The foil easily molds to any shape and comes off when you’re done.

 

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