Archive for May 2017

Watch that People Food

Watch that People Food

It can be hard to resist your dog’s sad eyes when he or she is begging for a taste of your food, but it will be better for him in the long run if you
deny him the treat. Some human food is loaded with fat, grease, and spices that can cause dogs to have upset stomachs, bloating, and gas.
It can even lead to pancreatitis.

Other foods are seriously dangerous, including alcoholic beverages, caffeine, chocolate, fat trimmings, raisins and grapes, chicken and turkey bones, onions, macadamia nuts, salt, and sugar.  These foods can cause serious health problems and even be toxic.
If you can’t resist the urge to treat your dog from the table, try offering vegetables, such as broccoli and  carrots. But your better course of action is to stop the begging altogether. Do not reward your pet with human food. You can also feed your dog at the same time you eat, but in a different part of the house. Finally, you can get a toy to offer your dog when he begins to beg for food.

Lawn Care Mistakes

Lawn Care Mistakes

Having a healthy green lawn can be a source of pride to any homeowner. It can also be a frustrating process if you are having trouble keeping your grass green and lush. There are a few common mistakes that homeowners make when caring for their lawns. Avoid these pitfalls to help make the job easier.

Cutting Grass Too Short
If you want your lawn to look as good as a golf course, resist the temptation to cut it too short. Golf courses use a special type of grass that responds  well to a short cutting height. But most lawns require more water and put more stress on the grass when cut too short. Your best bet is to cut only to about three inches and no shorter. With this length, the grass holds moisture and can resist disease better.

Too Much Fertilizer
Putting down too much fertilizer does not make for a healthier lawn. Grass can only absorb so much fertilizer before it starts to become stressed. Excess fertilizer is washed from your lawn and can flow down your street into waterways, becoming a pollutant. Most agricultural experts recommend applying fertilizer in June, August,  and October. Excessive fertilizing in the early spring can cause grass to grow too quickly, resulting in a plant with a weak root structure that is hard to maintain.

Too Much Water
Most people are concerned about not watering their lawns enough, but more damage comes from over-watering than under-watering. Too much water results in shallow roots and a weak plant. In general, most grass needs about one inch of watering a week.

Did You Know: National Parks

Did You Know: National Parks

The United States National Park System was created by President Woodrow Wilson on August 25, 1916, 44 years after the establishment of Yellowstone in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant.

}} There are 401 areas comprising the national park system, covering more than 84 million acres in every state,the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

}} The largest national park in the United States is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska at 13.2 million acres.

}} Four national park sites have a waterway named Green River running through them: in the west, the Green River flows through Dinosaur National Monument, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and the Canyonlands National Park. In the east, a different Green River passes through Mammoth Cave National Park.

}} The deepest national park is not the Grand Canyon, but Kings Canyon in California with a depth of 8,200 feet.

Soil Control Saves You Money and Time

Soil Control Saves You Money and Time

All through the year we track various soils into our homes. Not only that, pollutants from car exhaust, pollens, pet and human dander, and just plain old dirt can damage decorative surfaces in your home including carpet, tile, wood, upholstery and fabrics. Soil control is an important part of keeping your home clean and healthy. You can control soil by limiting the entrance and buildup of contaminants in your indoor environment.

Keep Outside Contaminates Outside

The best way to control soil indoors is to prevent its entry. They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; it takes 12 times more effort, time and money to remove soil as it does to prevent it from entering a structure.  Remember that whatever is outside tends to come in, so consider the following:

• Keep walkways, steps and porches clean and free of dirt, mold, moss and algae.

• Maintain garage floors in order to prevent oil, road grime and other contaminants from accumulating and being tracked indoors.

• Place doormats both outside and inside the entrances to your home.

• Outdoor mats should be a water resistant, synthetic, non-absorbent fiber such as olefin or polypropylene, textured to scrape heavier soils off your shoes. Avoid natural fibers which tend to degrade, mold and rot creating a new soil source.

• Inside doormats should be absorbent like nylon, cotton or wool. Vacuum and wash it periodically to remove built-up soils.

• Remove shoes when you come indoors, but don’t make the mistake of going barefoot all the time. The skin of our feet contains natural oils that attach to carpet and attract soil. Instead, wear clean house shoes, socks or slippers indoors.

Some Dirt Starts Inside

There are also sources of soiling that originate indoors. Normal daily activities generate a variety of dust and residues that settle on just about every surface. Keep the following in mind to keep your home clean:

• Cooking produces oily deposits that can bond to floors and carpet, attracting dust and soil. Kitchen vent hoods remove odors and filter out
oils and moisture too.

• Humans shed millions of skin cells every day. The more people and pets there are in the home, the more dead skin, body oils, perspiration and debris accumulate in carpets, furnishings and air ducts.

• Gas and oil-fired heating systems also produce carbon pollution. Even candles can contribute to soiling of carpets and furnishings.

• Use vent fans when showering. Bathroom vent fans exhaust excess moisture outside and help prevent condensation on surfaces. Dust sticks to moisture and creates a residual film on surfaces. This film can become a breeding ground for bacteria and surface mold.

• Vacuuming is the most effective way to maintain your carpets. 74-79% of soil in carpet is dry, particulate soil that can be removed by vacuuming.You should also vacuum your upholstered furniture, drapery and blinds for the same reasons.

• When you dust your furniture, do so gently, preferably with a duster attachment on your vacuum cleaner. If you use a duster, go slow and allow dust to settle for an hour or so and vacuum the floor last. Your carpet can last a long, long time if properly cared for.

Annual professional cleaning is recommended in most homes. Busy homes with children and pets require cleaning twice a year
or more depending on lifestyle. Don’t wait until your carpets, rugs and upholstery look dirty to have them cleaned; by the time fibers have reached a visibly soiled state they are already damaged. Unfortunately, cleaning cannot repair the damage caused by excessive soiling.

Call Hansen Steam Way to schedule your next cleaning or for more expert advice.