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Dog Danger in the Garden!

With summer having arrived – enjoy it while you can! - a lot of us will be spending time in the garden.
It might mean watching the kids play, or doing essential summer gardening jobs, welcoming the grand children with a paddling pool and other fun activities.
And by your side will be your faithful friend or friends – dogs love the garden too but it can present many dangers to them.

The Doggy Dangers

There are many dangers in the garden that could cause injury to Fido;
  • Weed killers, slug pellets and fertilisers are all substances commonly used in the garden and although you may store them away, are they out of the reach of inquisitive canine noses? Small doses of these substances can be poisonous!
  • Plants, some bulbs and seeds, can also present issues for dogs. Not all plants are pet-friendly, with some parts of the plant being poisonous.
  • There are also some plants that can be irritating to dogs, just like they can be for us. A runny nose, irritated skin and gooey eyes are common in dogs when they come into contact with some plants.

Be Safe, Not Sorry

You want your garden to be a peaceful haven of tranquillity, full of colourful blooms and sunshine. And you want this for ALL the family, including your faithful canine companion.
To be safe, it means storing substances away from dogs or where they could access them. It also means knowing which plants cause your dog a problem, information available in this handy infographic guide. Take a look! This awesome infographic is from https://www.rattandirect.co.uk/.


Tips On Maintaining Commercial Plumbing

Plumbing maintenance is something that many landlords and tenants ignore, which can lead to large repair bills to get things in working order. Prevention is always better than the cure, so if you need some advice on maintaining your property, you can find plenty of useful plumbing-related tips online that you can take note of. Keeping on top of the plumbing maintenance will help to keep your costs down, as well as your tenants happy.

Stop Any Leaks

You often find that a leak can be a symptom of a more pressing problem, so it is important that you repair any leaks as soon as you find them. If your building does not employ a full-time maintenance engineer, then you can easily find commercial plumbers in Brisbane, or where ever you are located, using the internet to help fix any leaking pipes. Finding out the cause of a problem is an excellent way to save money in the long run, by preventing a catastrophe before it happens.

Check Your Water Pressure

Checking the water pressure is something that can be done on a regular basis as it does not take much time or effort. If the water comes out of your taps lacking gusto, then you may be able to fix this by turning up the pressure on the pump. Make sure that you do not turn the pressure up too high as this could significantly increase water consumption, as well as increase bills.

Take Care Of The Porcelain

Another way to help protect your plumbing system is to make sure that you take good care of your toilets. It is important to educate tenants to make sure that they only flush down the toilet what is necessary, human waste and toilet paper. When you start flushing things down the toilet, even liquids such as oils, you can create a blockage in your system which if not addressed could end up becoming rather smelly. Solid objects can also cause an obstruction, and if the toilet paper builds up, it could end blocking the pipes completely and backing up your toilets.

Check The Drains

As soon as it is reported that a drain is blocked, you should have it fixed as quickly as possible to prevent further issues from arising. Make sure that water can run freely down the drain and that it is not partially blocked, which will help to keep your plumbing in top condition. As with the toilet, make sure that you do not put any liquids down the drains which could create problems down the line.

Preventing Damp

If you have a plumbing issue which goes left unfixed, a build up of water can lead to damp in the building which can cost a substantial amount to fix. Damp can also create mould and mildew, which can have potentially harmful side effects on people, so it is critical that any issue is resolved quickly to make sure that your building remains safe for habitation or commercial use.

If you are in any doubt, you can have a professional perform a maintenance check on your plumbing to make sure that there are no problems on the horizon. After all, it is better to spend a little money now and fix a problem than ignore it for it to cost you ten times the amount down the line!


6 home hacks you need to try out

Want to know which home hacks you should try out? Then read on to discover our top recommendations, from things you can make to things you should look out for when you’re next shopping for your home.    
  1. Recycle and repurpose
Recycle and repurpose objects to give your home a fresh new look. The website for The Freecycle Network is a great place to start, with lots of items being given away for free in your area. Just log on to www.freecycle.org to find your local group, and see what items are in need of a new home. It’s a great way to inject some personality into your property with some quirky vintage or ‘nearly new’ finds. In addition, try architectural salvage yards, car boot sales, charity shops and local auction houses for items that are one of a kind. Look at objects a fresh and think about how you could repurpose them, from an industrial cable reel repurposed as a coffee table to antique chimney pots repurposed as garden features – the possibilities are endless.   

antique chimney pots

  1. Get crafty
There’s been a huge resurgence of interest in traditional crafts in recent years, and it’s time to join in if you haven’t already. From crochet to knitting and patchwork, to name but a few, crafts provide the perfect way to add some new accessories to your home. New curtains, cushions and quilts are all within your reach. Moreover, soft furnishings provide a great way to use up your stash of material, all those odds and ends you haven’t found a use for can be incorporated. You could even incorporate your vintage finds to give your home a unique style, from traditional floral designs to mid-century ‘atomic ‘fabrics, they’ll help set the tone of your home styling efforts.      
  1. Get ready, steady, paint
Painting is probably the most economical home hack at your fingertips. You could begin by using chalky paint to give furniture a shabby chic look. Alternatively, you could embrace special painting techniques such as stippling or rag rolling to give your home a whole new look.  
  1. Mirror or mirror on the wall
Maximise the light levels in your home by adding additional mirrors in strategic places, helping small spaces to seem larger. There are a plethora of affordable styles available on the high street from sizeable overmantel styles to smaller, decorative examples. Geometric art deco and mid-century sunburst designs are a firm favourite at the moment.     

  1. Ice at the ready
Ice machines, including ice makers and ice flakers, can transform your kitchen and will mean you’re always ready to cater for guests – even if they’re unexpected. From a fun slushy drink for your children to refreshments ‘on the rocks’ for the grown-ups, an ice machine is what you need. Ice machines will save you time and hassle when it comes to entertaining.
  1. Then there was light
Introduce a fun and practical element to your home with a remote control light bulb. You can introduce special lighting effects into your home, including a variety of colours – all at the touch of a button.
So there you have our top six home hacks that you need to try out, from hints and tips on things you can make and do, to the latest gadgets for your home. Get your next home improvement project underway, with our home hacks.     


Storing Things Safely In Your Garden

No matter what the size of your garden, it is handy to have a shed which gives you a place to store all manner of items, including tools, furniture, and maybe even bicycles. However, you will want to make sure that your shed is secure and you can find some excellent information on the safewise.com website on how you can secureyour shed properly. With just a little effort and investment, you can create a safe storage area for your garden and also deter any would-be burglars.

Purchase A Sturdy Shed

There are plenty of suppliers of garden sheds in the UK, so finding one will not be a problem. Whichever company you decide to purchase your shed from, make sure that you buy one that is sturdy with a strong frame around the door. The stronger your shed is, the less of an easy target it will be, and there are also other measures that you can take to keep your property safe.

Security Lights

An excellent addition to your garden’s security is to install a floodlight that has a motion sensor that will light up when movement is detected. The light does not have to be too bright as it will be a massive deterrent to any late night prowlers. The light is also handy for when you need to open the shed at night, and can be used as a source of light.

A Solid Lock

You should always keep your shed locked, and it is important to invest in a lock of high-quality. An average garden shed will come with one position where you can use a padlock, but you can also add some more if you wanted that extra piece of mind. If someone does steal from your shed and it was not locked, you may find that your house insurance may not cover your stolen items.

A Security Camera

Another excellent deterrent to stop thieves is to add CCTV to your home which can be done relatively cheaply. You can install one or two units that work using wireless technology, and with modern software and applications, you can check the stream using your computer or Smartphone. There are floodlight systems with motion detectors that also have built-in cameras, so you can purchase a complete system to keep your possessions safe and secure.

Do Not Advertise

Most thieves are opportunists, so if you present them with the possibility of stealing something of high value with ease, they will usually take it. If your garden shed has a window, install a net curtain, or even a non-transparent material, across it to prevent people from seeing what is inside when it is dark. Keep your shed door closed, and always keep it locked when you are not using it. Place stickers on the front of your property showing that a security system is being used, and also remain vigilant. By not presenting yourself as an easy target and investing a small amount in the safety and protection of your family, thieves may just pass you by and choose a much easier target.


Why You Can See Water Coming Out Of Your Boiler

If you are looking for a boiler for your home, you can get some excellent product reviews on the goodhousekeeping.com website to help you decide which model is best for your house. However, if you already have a boiler and you are experiencing problems with it leaking water, there are four main reasons as to why this may happen. Rather than going through the expense of a new boiler, you may be able to repair the problem which will cost a lot less than a whole new system.

Your Boiler

A Problem With The Pressure

It is very common for a boiler to have drips of water that come from the pressure outlet pipe which allows pressure to escape from it and prevent it from blowing up. Although it is common to have the occasional drip of water coming from this pipe, if you see water underneath the boiler on a daily basis, you may have a problem with the internal pressure of the boiler being too high. You will need to check the pressure gauge on the tank and take an accurate reading. If you are not qualified to work on your boiler, you will need to consult a specialist. You can type Worcester Bosch Boiler Repair in your internet browser, or whatever manufacturer your boiler is, and you will find some different companies that will be able to assist you with problems with your system.

Loose Joints

Another issue which can cause water to leak from your boiler and hot water system is loose joints. The biggest cause of loose joints is the climate, as the cooling down and warming up through the seasons can cause the metal to contract and expand, loosening the joints. Take a look at the blowdown valve making sure that it is not loose, and check all the other joints are secure. If you do find any issues, you will need to call your local service company to take a look at the problem for you.

Faulty Or Damaged Seals

Your boiler may also have worn or broken seals, which can also lead to water leaking out of it. As the water pump works, the water is pushed through the system, as well as also leaking out of the broken seals causing a puddle of water to build up. If you are experiencing this sort of issue, then you will have to replace the seals, as well as also potentially replacing the pump to solve the problem. Make sure that you fix the problem quickly as leaving it for a while could cause the problem to get bigger, causing more damage to your home and increasing the repair bill.

An Old Boiler

If your boiler has seen better days and is pretty old, you may find that the water tank can crack over time due to age and fatigue. The problem is the heating and cooling down of the system which over time can fatigue metals causing them to crack and allowing water to escape. When this problem occurs, you need to replace the whole unit, rather than attempt a repair, as it will be likely that it will fail again in the not too distant future.

Whenever you have any issues with your water boiler, do not take any chances at attempting to fix it yourself if you are not qualified. Have a registered engineer inspect and assess your boiler, and carry out any necessary repairs.


Fight back against hackers during the smart home revolution

Engineers and innovators everywhere are building new ways to make our lives at home less demanding, more efficient, and more secure. Smart home devices have created a new market that is growing at a mind-bending pace. Today, the average household has 10 connected smart devices. By 2022, experts believe the average household will eclipse 50 connected smart devices.

There are obvious benefits to this growth. Advancements in data bandwidth and technology now allow homeowners to manage their house from anywhere on the planet.By using a video doorbell camera and smartdoor lock, users can open, lock, and answer their front door all from a remote device, wherever they may be.
However, this also opens the door for unwanted intruders. More (digital) doors and locks for a homeowner create more (digital) opportunities for hackers to enter a home. Each smart home gadget in a household essentially functions as another door or window that can be broken into. Growth in the market of smart home devices has outpaced growth in the market of home security, creating a gap that thieves and intruders will happily exploit.
The threat can come from anywhere. Security specialists showed during a demonstration at an exhibit that they could take control of the lights of an entire office complex by hacking into a smart lightbulb in a single room of the building. That video doorbell and smart lock used to let in guests in? It can also be used by hackers to monitor activity in the house and break in while you’re away. 

In the meantime, there are simple ways to protect your home. While the security industry catches up with the advancements in smart home devices, you can use basic yet effectives methods to secure your home, family, and gadgets. Check out the accompanying infographic to see how you can protect yourself.

This is a guest post and infographic is by Joseph Mack from smart homeSAGE, a blog that analyzes the impact that smart home technology has on home life.


A Pluming DIY: How to Fix a Clogged Toilet

Clogged toilets can be a scary inconvenience, but in most cases, it’s an easy problem to fix. This process is less complex than replacing a toilet altogether or even fixing the components inside the tank. Clogs can happen suddenly when a user attempts to flush an object that’s too large, or they can build up over time and happen unexpectedly. Learn how to unclog a toilet with this quick tutorial.

Step 1: Shut off the water supply by turning the knob at the base of the tank where the plumbing connects to the wall. You should hear the water stop running; if you still hear it, tighten the knob. This will prevent the toilet from overflowing.

Step 2: Gently position the plunger at the base of the toilet bowl with the plunger centered over the opening. Press in gently to begin as the air in the plunger can cause the contents of the bowl to spray if you push in too vigorously.

Tip: Use a bell-shaped rubber plunger with an extension flange at the base. These may be a bit more expensive than the basic rubber domed shaped plungers, but they work better and are worth the cost.

Step 3: Maintain a constant position with the plunger to avoid breaking the seal over the toilet bowl opening. Press the plunger up and down quite vigorously for about 30 seconds.

Step 4: Check to see if the clog has cleared by taking the lid off the toilet tank and lifting the flapper valve. The water should flow down from the bowl into the pipes easily. If it does not, your toilet is still clogged. DO NOT FLUSH until you are certain the clog has cleared. Use the flapper valve until then.

Tip: If repeated plunging forces all the water out of the bowl and your toilet tank is empty, open up the water supply valve long enough to let the tank refill, then close it again. It’s important to keep water in the bowl to maintain pressure and indicate whether the clog has cleared.

Step 5: Continue plunging and testing (alternating between steps 3 and 4) until the clog is clear. You’ll know the clog is clear either when the blocked material in the bowl drains easily and rapidly. A slow-emptying bowl indicates that some blockage is likely still intact.

Step 6: Your toilet bowl should be empty when the clog is clear. You can turn the water supply back on and push the handle to refill the bowl, then flush again to test. Turn off the water supply to the tank after this test flush just in case the blockage hasn’t actually cleared. This will help prevent overflowing. If flushing does not proceed as normal, your toilet is still blocked.

Step 7: When plunging doesn’t work, you may need to use a plumbing snake or toilet auger to get the job done. You can also call a qualified local emergency plumbing company to diagnose the issue and fix your clogged toilet.

Author Bio:

Leo is the owner of Northridge-based plumbing company Rooters On-Time of Northridge. On his free time, he enjoys writing how-to articles and tutorials to help others.

Key Driveway Renovation Tips to Preparing Your New Driveway Makeover

Curb appeal is something all homeowners strive for, but achieving that look can be time-consuming, confusing, and just plain expensive if you don’t have an effective plan. One of the best places you can spend money where curb appeal is concerned is giving your driveway a makeover. By freshening it up, you’ll completely transform how your house looks. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few key driveway renovation tips that you can use for your driveway makeover. Let’s take a look. 

  1. Experiment with Different Materials

If you’re considering giving your driveway a makeover, it’s also recommended that you think about using different materials. Just because you have asphalt at the moment doesn’t mean you have to stick with it. Maybe you’re ready for a big change such as poured concrete or something even more intricate such as interlocking brick. Now is the time to check out the various materials and pick one that amps up your curb appeal and achieves the look you’re going for.

Additionally, it’s a good time to think about the layout and size of your driveway. Depending on where you live, regulations, and the by-laws, you may also be able to expand the size of your driveway. This could warrant a makeover right there! Perhaps, you’ve always dreamed of that circular driveway, or one that allows for more parking. Now is the time to think about the configuration and make your design changes before you begin any drive renovation.

  1. Sealing Your Driveway

If your driveway is still relatively new and isn't in really rough shape, then you're lucky because your options are less expensive as you can give it a pretty cheap and simple makeover. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you'll want to look into resealing the driveway. You can do this on your own or hire a professional to come in and do it for you. Keep in mind, that any cracks or holes must be fixed before you apply the sealant.

Why seal your driveway?

First of all, it will instantly improve the appearance of the asphalt. Because these sealants are a thick black material, it will bring it back to new condition as far as looks go. As an added bonus, it also helps to reduce cracking in the future, which will allow it to look good for a longer period of time. These sealants actually close the pores that are in driveways and prevent water from seeping in and causing damage.

  1. Keeping the Concrete?

If you happen to have a concrete driveway that has seen better days, but you’d really rather not change it, then there are ways you can get it back to new. One of the most unsightly things that can happen with concrete driveways is cracks. They can be quite small or rather large and deep. These cracks will age your entire exterior and give it a rundown feel.

While it would be great to avoid these cracks all together, unfortunately it's just not possible. Cracking occurs when the ground freezes then thaws. Obviously, if you are in a climate that experiences cold winters and hot summers, this will be extremely difficult on your driveway. The cracks usually start off small and just keep expanding from there.

One option to fix this is by placing a new layer of concrete on top of the old one. When doing this however you need to cover the entire driveway otherwise you’ll have patches of new concrete on old concrete. If you do want to just seal the holes with new concrete you could then work on painting over the driveway in one colour. This will help to even out the look and make it all one colour, hiding the new concrete and blending it in better.

  1. Resurfacing Asphalt

Another way in which you can give your driveway a makeover is to resurface the asphalt. During this process, a professional takes the top layer off your driveway and then replaces it with a brand-new layer. This is much faster, easier, and cheaper to do then ripping up the entire driveway and starting from scratch. What’s great is that you won’t see any patches and the driveway will be nice and level/even once again. It will look like a whole new driveway when the process is finished.

  1. Choosing to Re-Pave the Driveway
In the worst-case scenario, you’ll be looking at re-paving your driveway completely. Usually, this is reserved for driveways that are 20 years or older, have been sealed numerous times over the years, have large cracks, potholes, and are uneven. At this point, the driveway has basically reached its maximum lifespan. If you’re looking to repave your driveway, you need to start by:

Choose your new pavers and get them positioned and secured into place using a layer of concrete to push them into.


  • Pulling up the old pavers to make way for the new pavers.
  • Evening out the ground to ensure its level for the new pavers to be placed down.
  • Work out the square meterage you need to ensure you have enough pavers for the job.

It’s important to remember that you mustn’t drive on your driveway for a few days as this can create the pavers to become loose or move into awkward positions.

What If You Don’t Have Money For A Professional?

If you want to renovate your driveway but you don’t have the funds to bring in a professional here’s some things to think of:

  • Add flowerbeds beside the driveway to help give it colour and beauty throughout the year. The flowers should be those that are able to withstand different weather changes and be exposed to the elements. They should also be low to the ground growing (unlike roses) to ensure your car won’t get damaged if they get too big and rub against the car.
  • Depending on your driveway, you can also add a layer of smooth rocks or pebbles on top of the current driveway (if it’s dirt related) to give it more texture and appeal. Pebble driveways look great and are a cheaper alternative to hiring a professional.
  • Repaint the driveway if it’s a little outdated or if you want to upgrade the look and don’t have the money. Many people opt to repaint the driveway to help give it a more modern look without the expense attached.
Don’t Be Afraid to Step Outside the Box
When it comes to a driveway makeover the best advice is not to be afraid to step outside the box. Start by setting your budget, then think about what look you’re going for and the practicality. Before you know it, your new driveway will add the curb appeal and usefulness that you’ve long desired.

Jimmy Stanley
Jimmy Stanley founded PSI Paving in 2004. Their expert team of paving contractors are considered the best in the business. Honesty is a hallmark at PSI Paving, so you can rest assured that our team will take great care every step of the way to give you the outcome you want.