Should You Toss Your Shower Curtain in Favour of Shower Glass Doors?

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The most attractive and functional modern bathrooms are all about great style blending perfectly with functionality. One of most homeowners pet peeves about their bathroom is how wet floors get after anyone has showered, however expensive or heavy the shower curtains are. And it’s not just an aesthetics issue either. A floor that is often (or continually) damp is far more likely to develop mould, mildew and even dangerous floorboard rot.

The Stylish Solution?

One solution to that problem that an increasing number of homeowners are opting for is to have glass shower doors professionally installed. As long as you make sure that the shower head is correctly positioned in relation to the new glass shower doors, wet floors are a thing of the past. Your installer can help you determine where the shower head should be located before the doors are installed.

Wet floors aside, glass shower doors are a beautiful addition to any bathroom. They match well with any décor because they simply disappear and blend in with their surroundings. Installing shower glass doors let you showcase the shower interior itself. That might sound a bit trivial, but given how many ceramic, porcelain and glass tile options are available today that are absolutely stunning it opens up the design possibilities considerably.

Aren’t Shower Glass Doors Very Expensive?

It’s quite true that shower glass doors do indeed call for an initial investment that is considerably higher than the one you might make in a new shower curtain. But many find it’s an investment that pays off. Nicer bathroom, drier bathroom, no more replacing worn shower curtains and a possible increase in the perceived value of their home should they ever decide to move are all benefits that make installing glass doors a more than justifiable expense.

Want another reason why the investment is a worthwhile one? Even if yours is a fabric shower curtain, you have to use a vinyl backer. A report complied by the Environmental Defense League and the Canadian Environmental Law Association in Canada recently alerted consumers to the hidden dangers of using vinyl shower curtains in their bathrooms.

The average vinyl shower curtain, the reports says, emits over 100 different toxic VOCs into the air for up to three months after it is hung new from the packet. You have probably smelt those chemicals yourself, it’s that “new shower curtain smell” that always hits you in the face when you first open the packaging. Its not so nice, but you probably never realized it could hurt you.

That smell the report says is a toxic soup of phthalates, organotins, toluene, xylene, ethylbenzene, methyl isobutyl ketone and a bunch of other rather nasty chemicals. These can cause headaches and nausea and even more worryingly permanent damage to the central nervous system.

But are Shower Glass Doors Safe?

Some people do worry that glass shower doors are not safe, especially if children use the bathroom. That is far from the case. Glass shower doors are crafted from tempered glass that is extremely difficult to break or even crack. In addition, the edges of glass shower doors are filed down to a smooth surface that presents no danger to anyone climbing in or out of your shower.

One final note: Finding a well trained professional to install your new shower glass doors is essential. There must be an adequate amount of ventilation above the doors to allow moisture to escape from the shower enclosure itself or you could end up with a mould and/or mildew problem down the line. And you also need to make sure that everything is properly aligned so that the ‘seal’ you want these doors to create really exists.

How Neglecting Your Attic Can Lead to Serious Water Damage and More

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While you may think of your attic as a storage space only, if you really think about it much at all, it can also be a place where water damage can cause all kinds of problems, problems that often go unseen until it is almost ‘too late’, especially if you, like many homeowners, rarely head up there at all.

Heat, cold, and moisture seeping through your roof can all meet in this single upper space. A simple regular inspection of it can alert you to damaging moisture problems and save you a lot of hassle and heartbreak. And yet still most water damage in an attic that eventually calls for water damage remediation occurs because telltale signs were ignored.

Common Sources of Attic Moisture

Every home generates moisture in the living areas that can find its way up into the attic. There are many sources of moisture in any home that can do just that, including these very common ones:

  • Ground moisture from a crawl space
    Green firewood stored inside
    An poorly vented clothes dryer
    Porrly vented bathrooms
    Poorly vented gas or kerosene heaters
    Humidifiers

And how does this moisture find its way up to the room at the top of the house? In any one of these ways (and more.)

  • Unsealed openings around lights, fans, plumbing vents or chimneys.
    Exhaust fans that vent into the attic, crawlspace or eaves.
    Through inadequate insulation behind the ceiling

How Attic Condensation Damages Your Home
Warm, moist air entering your attic on colder days can lead to three major kinds of problem that, if left unattended, can damage the attic or the home itself.

  • Warm air reaching a snow-covered roof causes snow melt to flow to the colder edge of the roof where it forms icicles or ice dams. Ice dams allow snow melt to enter the home’s interior.
  • Moisture on the attic’s interior leads to the growth of mould and mildew. Besides being unsightly, mold infestations are unhealthy and can spread into the walls, the floors and into all of your living areas.
  • Excess moisture in the attic can lead to wood rot on inside structures, including roof sheathing. Rot leads to premature failure of the roof and expensive repairs, and yes, quite possibly serious water damage.

Signs of Attic Condensation Problems

So you are going to do the right thing and head up to the attic to take a good look at what is really going on up there. That having been said though, just what is it that you should be looking for?

Icicles or ice dams on the roof during the winter are a sure sign of condensation problems. Other signs include dark stains over large areas of the wood surfaces, which indicate mould or mildew formation. If roofing nails that penetrate the sheathing show signs of rust, excess moisture has been present at some point at probably still is. And that warm, stuffy feeling? That is often another tell tale sign that there is too much moisture in the air.

Correcting Attic Moisture Problems
To begin to correct moisture issues in your attic, focus on the following:

  • Seal all openings and cracks from the living area into the attic.
    Ensure that fans vent to the outside of the home.
    Make sure insulation is not blocking airflow to leave soffits.
    Increase the amount of ceiling insulation to retain warmth in the home.
    Increase ventilation of the attic by adding passive vents or installing electric gable or roof fans.

If you are still in doubt and concerned that your attic is too damp call in a pro. It may be an extra expense but the problems that can occur if attic moisture issues are left unadresssed can be far more so.

Top 5 Reasons Toilets Leak..and What You Should Be Doing to Prevent Them

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Did you know that one of the top 10 most common plumbing problems professional plumbers are called out to fix is a leaky toilet? However, it’s a good job they are, as a leaky toilet can be a lot more than just a nuisance, it’s a serious plumbing issue that really should never be overlooked or ignored. And yet far too many homeowners do do just that.

The Cost of a Leaky Toilet

The biggest reason to never ignore a leaky toilet is that even a small leak can cause serious water damage. The water has to go somewhere and that somewhere is usually right into the floorboards. Left unchecked a slow leak (one that perhaps only happens when a toilet is flushed) can rot the floor away, or lead to mould and mildew at the very least. A ‘small’ problem can quickly become a big one. Worst case scenario? The floor becomes so compromised that the toilet becomes unsafe to use, lest it crash through the ceiling. And yes, that can happen.

This aside a toilet leak is also a money waster. A toilet that ‘only’ has a small leak can cost you $100 or more a year while also wasting water that everyone knows they should really be trying to conserve.

Top Five Reasons Toilets Leak

But why do toilets leak? Is there something you can do to prevent it, saving yourself the time and expense of a plumber’s visit? Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes and see:

Damaged washers, bolts, gaskets or feed: These essential parts do degrade naturally over time. Constant (and of course necessary) use wears them down and makes them susceptible to leaks. There are two big bolts that attach the tank to the bowl, as well as a gasket; if any of these parts are loose, below efficiency, or broken, water can leak out. Is a toilet part inspection the nicest task to add to your semi annual home maintenance checklist? Nope it’s not, but it is one that could save you a lot of heartache.
Corrosion: Corrosion occurs when there are a lot impurities or contaminants in the water, an adverse chemical reaction, or it can simply develop as the toilet itself ages. Over time, corrosion can build in your toilet assembly or piping and cause a toilet to leak.

Corrosion really is one of the most harmful things that can happen to your plumbing in general. It’s hard to deal with yourself though so a plumber should be called to check the health of your piping and other plumbing fixtures at least every couple of years or so to prevent serious complications.

Rusty piping: Rust also develops over time, is a direct result of corrosion. Since many of the parts of your toilet are submerged continually, rust will eventually break out over the metallic parts. Again, that professional check up should help.

Cracked tank or bowl: Since the tank and bowl both hold large amounts of water, it is crucial the whole toilet be replaced if cracks develop. A cracked tank or bowl not only wastes water, but it can cause a lot of water damage and may not even be safe to use.

Broken float valve: This part is the big plastic ball-like piece attached to the end of a metal rod in your tank. It is aptly named because it floats and rises as the water level rises, preventing the water’s supply line from overflowing. If this stops working, it can cause the toilet to overflow. If it’s working, but below efficiency, it can cause the water to run continuously, a real money waster.

Cool Ceramic Floor Tile Trends for 2016

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Like any other aspect of home decor there are certain trends that come and go in the world of ceramic tile, especially when it comes to those used for flooring. And while there is nothing to say that these trends should be followed slavishly just because some trendy designer wrote a piece in a glossy magazine about how cool they are, if you are considering installing new ceramic tile flooring they can serve as great inspiration. So, without further ado, here are some of the hottest trends in floor tile so far in 2016.

Mosaics from the Past

BG Trout shaped tiles and rock floor

Beautiful mosaic patterned tile can be traced all the way back to ancient Mesopotamia and they have been around ever since. Tile using these decorative motifs has gone in and out of fashion ever since, especially when used as kitchen or bathroom floor tile, and for 2016 it is back in a big way.

The shape of the tile used in mosaic tile flooring is important, with specialty shaped tiles such as ovals, triangles, hexagons, or marquis being very popular right now. Another trend is towards using a contrasting grout color (not forgetting to have the grout sealed upon installation to protect the color) for an even bigger impact.

Textured Tile

magnificent-ceramic-tile-that-looks-like-hardwood-with-white-tub-next-to-bathroom-and-planks

Textured ceramic tile, that is tile that is specifically designed to look like a material that it isn’t, has been growing in popularity for some time. This year however it is being heavily featured in interior design circles. Especially hot is the kind of ceramic tile flooring that mocks the appearance of hardwood.

Apart from the trend aspect of this kind of tile, there are plenty of other reasons to consider it. The most obvious perhaps is the cost factor. Ceramic tile is less expensive than a good quality hardwood and with the clever use of a complementary colored grout many of the products on the market are hard to tell apart from the real thing until you take a very close look at them.

Textured ceramic tile flooring is also easier to maintain than hardwood. A weekly once over with a mop and an annual cleaning is really all this durable tile needs, whereas hardwood needs a lot more TLC and is far more easily damaged. So this is one style choice that also makes a lot of practical sense as well. It can also be installed easily in a bathroom, where hardwood really cannot (unless you are a fan of mould and mildew)

Subway Tile with a Twist

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The bathroom is traditionally the perfect place for ceramic tile and subway look tile for both walls and floors has been around for a while. It has a retro appeal while still being modern looking so it’s not hard to see why. The trend this year however is to use a bigger tile than the traditional 3 x 6 option and use them in a vertical, rather than horizontal layout for an interesting new twist on a well loved classic.

Diagnosing – and Then Eliminating – the Cause of Stinky Air Conditioner Smells

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When you turn your air conditioner on you expect to feel it right away. What you do not expect is to smell it as well, and not in a good way. And yet it is indeed not unusual for air conditioners to give off strange smells. But what is causing them and how can you deal with them? Here is some basic information that should help you get started back on the road to a cool – but stink free – home.

What Causes Air Conditioner Smells?

There are several common causes of air conditioner smells. One of the most common is mould or mildew. Often, especially at the beginning of the summer, when an air conditioner has been idle all winter long, dirt and dust in the unit includes microscopic spores that have just been waiting for the right conditions to grow. Once the unit is turned on the cool, but damp, conditions that will then exist provide just that and, unseen because it is hidden inside the air conditioner, the mould and mildew grows releasing that common musty smell.

This is more than an issue of odour though. If mould is in your AC that means the spores are being circulated into the air. Once there they will seek out any damp spot in your home to call their own, which is how a larger mould issue can get started.

A dirty filter can also be a cause of air conditioner odours. Your system’s filter’s job is to pull odor-causing contaminants out of the air supply as it circulates. If you have not been changing your air filter on a regular basis, these captured contaminants are often circulated back into the air, not only causing odors but also decreasing the quality of the air itself.

Finally, occasionally the bad smells may not even be caused by a problem with the AC unit itself it is simply that as it works it is picking them up out of the air and recirculating them back into it, giving the illusion that the odors are coming from the air conditioner when in reality the problem lies elsewhere.

Fighting Air Conditioner Odours

Fortunately there are ways to fight stinky air conditioner smells that are relatively easy to implement:

Don’t Skip the Annual Check Up – There are lots of reasons that your air conditioner should be professionally serviced on an annual basis – preferably before it’s called ‘into action’ in the summer – and helping to eliminate odor causing problems is one of them. When the AC unit is cleaned as a part of such a service all of those dormant contaminants are removed before they can begin to cause a problem.

Change the Filter Regularly – Your air conditioner’s filter really does need to be changed on regular basis in order for the unit to function at its highest capacity anyway and certainly if you want to avoid an odor problem.

Make Some Changes Around the House – You can work to rid your home of those outside odors that your AC may be worsening by doing the following:

Always run extractor fans when cooking in the kitchen or when the bathroom is in use.

Vacuum, sweep and dust a little more often in order to reduce the amount of dust, dirt and other contaminants that can easily be ‘sucked up’ by your A/C unit

Consider purchasing an air purifier. These are relatively inexpensive gadgets that can remove 95-99% of all of the contaminants in the air in the room in which they are located, improving the overall air quality while also reducing the load on your air conditioner.

How To Get Rid Of Wasps And Enjoy The Summer Sting Free

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Wasp deterrent is something that you might not think of on a regular basis but now the temperatures have started to rise and they have begun  buzzing around you certainly will be giving the subject a little more careful consideration.

Wasps are some of the nastiest of the summer insects. Unlike bees who only sting when they feel threatened – because stinging someone will also kill them – wasps can sting as often as they like and they seem to take great delight in doing so.

So, the main question is how to get rid of wasps? A wasp deterrent plan has to include several elements if it is going to be successful – you need to find a way to try and keep wasps out of your home, preferably away from your property altogether, how to keep wasps away from you while you are enjoying the summer outside and then also how to deal with wasps if they do manage to make a nest near your home.

Maintaining a Wasp Free Garden

Gardeners want to attract bees, in fact they are essential visitors if you really want your flowers and trees to bloom. Wasps do nothing useful at all however so trying to keep them out of your garden is a good idea.

You cannot enclose your garden in a bubble of course and spending your day chasing after individual wasps with a fly swatter or a rolled up newspaper probably isn’t the way you want to spend your time either.

You can buy insect sprays for you plants at a garden center but some people (quite rightly perhaps) are concerned about the chemicals they contain, not only for the health of the plants but for the health of children and pets that might play in the garden too. They also do not want to accidentally kill those useful bees, whose numbers are dwindling alarmingly anyway.

There are some good, chemical free solutions you can try instead as a wasp deterrent outside. For example for some reason wasps of all kinds hate peppermint oil and will go out of their way to stay away from the smell. Adding a few drops of pure peppermint oil to a spray bottle of water can therefore be a very effective deterrent you can safely spray on plants, shrubs and all your outdoor furniture.

Wasps are also not big fans of spicy things so a mixture of any hot pepper – cayenne works very well though – and water can also be a great wasp deterrent that is still safe to use around kids, pets and plants.

Protecting Yourself

Because of their inherent mean streak wasps seem to like to attack humans for no very good reason at all unless you can find a way to convince them that stinging you will not be pleasant. There are a lot of wasp and insect sprays on the market designed for use on human skin but you do have to shop carefully as they are not all created equal.

Many of the wasp and insect repellent sprays on the market contain DEET, which is actually a pesticide. While these sprays are quite effective they are also full of chemicals, an idea that does not appeal to many people, especially when it comes to something they are going to spray or apply to their childrens’ skin.

Fortunately there are a growing number of organic products on the market that do a good job of keeping wasps and other nasties away using natural, rather than chemical ingredients, making use of essential oils like clove, eucalyptus and citronella, all things that wasps hate.

Dealing With the Nest

Wasps like to make nests and your garden (or worse still your home) can become their new home more quickly than you might imagine. Once a colony of these pesky critters  have located a place they like then they will work very hard to make it their new residence by quickly building a nest.

Once you have spotted a wasps nest – and they like gutters, window sills, the undersides of patio furniture and the corners of play equipment by the way – you have to be very careful about how you go about getting rid of it. Being chased by a hoarde of angry wasps is no fun!

Wasp nest removal is a two person job and it is best undertaken in the evening or at night when the wasps are sleeping. Make sure you wear thick clothing – with gloves – and once you have found a large box with a tight lid head out with a torch, some efficient wire cutters and a buddy.

The nest will be suspended from what looks like a strong string. This is the string you need to cut carefully and get the nest into the box immediately and then close the lid. This is why you will need two people!

Next, you need to make sure that all the live insects die before you dispose of the nest anywhere. The single most efficient way to do this is to freeze them to death. Put the box in the freezer for a day – that may sound like a long time but you have to make sure that they are dead before you remove the box and then dispose of the nest.

These are just a few ideas that you might want to keep in mind once the wasps wake up in your area. A little wasp deterrent planning can go a long way and it can certainly help prevent a painful surprise in the form of a nasty sting.

10 Clever Home Cleaning Uses for Coca-Cola You Need To Try

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Coca Cola is, without a doubt, the most recognizable soda in the world. No matter where you go, you can find that iconic red and white can on a cooler shelf someplace nearby. And while Coca Cola is a great, refreshing and even slightly addictive beverage its other unique properties mean that it can be used for a surprising number of other purposes as well. Some of these Coke cleaning hacks you’ll probably find to be rather amazing – even implausible – but yes, every one of them really do work. Here then are just ten home maintenance related reasons why you should always have a few extra cans or bottles of Coke on hand, even if you don’t even drink the stuff:

1) Clean Battery Terminals

Dirty terminals on a car battery can bring your vehicle to a grinding halt, even if the battery itself has plenty of life left in it. If you get into the habit of cleaning off those terminals with Coca Cola and a few Q Tips however you’ll keep those terminals clean and your car will keep on going for as long as its battery has juice.

2) Remove Limescale from Baths, Sinks and Toilet Bowls 

Photo: India.com

Limescale builds up over time on both plastic and porcelain sinks, even if you clean them fairly regularly. And it’s nasty, ugly, hard to shift stuff. If, however, you use Coca Cola to loosen the scales by rubbing it over them neat and leaving it to do its work for a couple off hours the limescale should then rinse away easily, leaving your tub and sinks shiny and clean. This trick also works wonders on lime-scaled toilet bowls and even kettles too.

3) Remove Gum from Almost Anything

Photo: San Antonio Carpet Cleaning

Chewing gum getting stuck on – or in – anything is no fun and if it has dried it’s super hard to remove. Or so you might think. Rather than trying to scrape it off ‘treat it’ with Coca Cola which will, thanks to its acidity, soften the gum to the point that it can be easily peeled away with a blunt knife or something similar without damaging the surface beneath.

4) Remove Burned on Food from Pots and Pans

Photo: Wonder Clean

It happens. You are cooking up a storm and while the food itself turns out OK the bottom of your pan/pot/griddle ends up covered in burned on food. You don’t want to scrub too hard and ruin the utensil but soaking it in soapy water really does not seem to be helping. Once again its Coca Cola to the rescue! Pour neat Coke into the still warm burnt utensil and let it sit for about an hour. This will allow you to remove all of the gunk with ease – and just a regular sponge – when that time is up.

5) Remove Tarnish from Copper

Photo: Pin Hacker

Copper is supposed to change color with age, it’s actually part of its appeal for some people, but it is not supposed to tarnish. However, very often it does. That tarnish can be removed however by gently polishing it off with Coke and a soft cloth, followed by a warm water rinse and a drying buff with a clean cloth.

6) Give Your Floors a Sparkling Shine

Photo: Rosco

Keeping tile and vinyl flooring clean can be quite chore and some floor cleaning products are far too harsh for regular use. Mopping your floors with a combination of three parts plain lukewarm water and one part Coke, followed by a plain water rinse is, surprisingly, one of the most effective, yet gentle, ways to get floors squeaky clean and shiny every time.

7) Cut Through Grime on Your Windows

Photo: Remedies and Herbs

Slacked off lately on your window cleaning? You may think you need a special window cleaner to restore the gleam to grimy windows but that is simply not the case. Because it contains a fairly high level of citric acid, Coca Cola works just like those lemony cleaning products and, when used to clean windows does an even better job. Just remember to finish off with a warm water rinse to remove any last traces of what is a rather sticky substance.

8) Remove Grease Stains From Fabric

Photo: Style Informer

Grease stains can be a real pain to try and remove from fabrics, especially delicate ones like chiffon or silk or hard to clean upholstery fabrics. Dabbing them with Coke before regular laundering shifts greasy stains like oil and gravy beautifully, without the need for harsh bleaches that could damage fibers and ruin your stuff. For upholstery stains treat the stain with Coke and then dab it – and the stain – away with water and a clean cloth.

9) Remove Marker Stains

Image: Pinterest

Your kid got a little too creative and somehow they – and their clothes – ended up covered in marker stains that you have no clue how to remove. In the case of the clothes treating the stains with straight Coke before laundering will do the trick and the kids.. a bubble bath and a loofah is probably called for.

10) Remove Rust
Photo: Wellness Report

Rust is tough stuff to shift, no matter how much money you spend on fancy rust removers. And scrubbing and scrubbing at metal surfaces in an attempt to remove rust can leave it scratched and dented. But, if you use Coca Cola? It’s a very different story. It can be used in the same way as your cleaner – wiped on, wiped off – or, if the item is small enough – soaking it in Coke for a few hours will do the trick too. This will even work on old coins, something collectors should love.

How to Transform an Ugly Bathroom with DIY Tile Painting

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A lot of us live with rather dreadful bathroom tiles – that is they are a horrible colour or have a very old fashioned or just plain ugly  pattern – because we are simply not that enamored of idea of ripping all the tiles off and starting from scratch. So we put up with a less than attractive bathroom. But, if you have a spare weekend and can use a paint brush then there is a quicker, cheaper alternative to re-tiling your entire bathroom – painting your bathroom tiles. Here’s how easily it done:

What you Will Need

A basic tile and grout cleaner
Wet & dry sandpaper
Rolls of masking tape
Paint brushes
Tile and laminate primer
Tile paint – in a more fetching shade

Urethane based clear topcoat 

How Its Done

Get started by cleaning the tiles carefully and thoroughly with the tile cleaner of your choice. After rinsing them all off  use the sandpaper – 240 grit works best – to “rough up” the tile surface a little (not too much though) Try to keep the sanding as even as possible across all of the tiles though, otherwise the final painted result could look rather lumpy and bumpy.

Next apply one even coat of primer to the tiles. Make your paint job as even and smooth as possible and watch out for stray drips and globs of paint. Remember to work the primer into the grout recesses. Let the primer dry for at least 6 hours before moving ahead.

Carefully apply your first coat of paint. What kind of paint should that be? According to the experts a latex based high to semi gloss is the best choice as its water resistance is excellent and it cleans relatively easy.

Careful painting really is the key when it comes to painting tiles the right way. The biggest mistakes people tend to make are failing to adequately clean the surface of the tiles before they begin and applying the paint in coats that are too thick, so take your time and correct any mistakes right away, while you still can. Try to keep you strokes as straight and even as possible and make sure you have plenty of light so that any mistakes can be spotted – and corrected – before everything starts to dry.

After applying the paint, allow two to three days for it to dry. Once the paint has dried, seal the tiles with several coats of clear, water-based urethane, something that will seal in the new color beautifully and add extra protection and longevity to your new bathroom look.

Not sure what tile painting could really do for your bathroom? Check out the gallery below to see some of the great results others have achieved as inspiration.

Home Craft Corner: Clever Eco Friendly Uses for Unwanted K Cups

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Instant, single cup coffee makers like the Keurig machines are hugely popular right now, both as a way to save time and a way to save money at the coffee shop. The little cups – usually referred to as K cups, no matter what brand you actually use – can be a bit of a problem though as they are not exactly very environmentally friendly. Sadly millions of them are ending up in the garbage (and therefore in landfills) every year and that fact is giving these convenient coffee makers a bit of a bad rap in ‘green’ circles.

You don’t have to throw all of those K cups away though. With a little bit of time and imagination they can be given a second life, and kept out of a landfill, in a number of different ways, which will help you feel a bit better about your love of your Keurig. Here are just a few ideas:

K Cups for Gardening

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One very practical use for used K cups is to use them as tiny planters for seedlings. The hole in the bottom means they drain away naturally in the same way as a standard plant pot and as, for example, the foundation of your own indoor or outdoor herb garden they can be very handy. Once the seeds begin to grow you could even choose to use them to create a hanging indoor garden!

K Cups for Organization

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Can anyone really ever have enough storage? For most of us the answer is no, not really. Clean out a few K cups though and you can add a little bit of efficient storage in minutes. All of those odd bobby pins, hair ties and clips that always seem to get lost so easily? A K cup can be a great place to store them. And they make great craft or office supply organizers too.

Getting Really Crafty with K Cups

If you have the time you can get even more creative with all of those used coffee pots. Give one of the ideas a try:

K Cup Garland Lights

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No doubt you have seen all of those great looking photos in glossy home and garden magazines that feature outdoor living spaces – porches, decks and patios – that are adorned by strings of twinkling fancy fairy lights. But why spend money on such things at the store when you can make them yourself using just a few dollar store supplies and those K cups you usually throw away?

What You’ll Need

A plain string of mini lights (most dollar stores carry them)
12 (or more) clean, empty K cups
Craft knife
Craft paint (optional)

How It’s Done

If you want a fancier look for your lights begin by using craft paint – spray paints work very well – to color the outside of the K cups. Cover as desired and set aside to dry.

Unwind the light string and working one by one poke a light bulb through the bottom of a K cup until all of the lights have ‘shades’. The K cups, if already used, will already have a small hole in the bottom, but as you will need to thread the small light bulb through you may need to make the hole a little larger in order to work the light bulb through. Hang as needed and enjoy.

Mock Bell Chimes

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Speaking of the outdoors, a little extra decoration rarely goes amiss either if you want to create a great outdoor living space. One way to do that easily is with these great looking mock bell chimes.

What You’ll Need

Clean, used K Cups
Metallic spray paint
Poster paints
Thin Ribbon
Colored duct tape

How It’s Done

Spray each K cup with metallic paint and set aside to dry. Once the first coat of paint has dried you can decorate each cup even further using poster paints to help you create a really unique looking decor piece.

Once everything is dry thread each cup onto a length of ribbon, knotting the ribbon after each one is threaded to keep the cup in place. Once you have threaded all the cups you want use the remaining ribbon to create a hanging loop, reinforcing it with a layer of colored duct tape for extra durability.

Do You Really Have a Roof Leak or Does the Problem Lie Elsewhere?

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Many homeowners believe they have a roof leak and think they know exactly where the water is coming in; usually because there’s a water mark on the ceiling or wall. But, did you know roof leaks and the cause of water damage are actually sometimes rather hard to diagnose? In fact, it may not be your roof leaking at all.

At times, determining the source of a water leak can be difficult. When there’s a stain on the ceiling, it’s a common misconception that the leak originates from directly above that ‘tell tale’ area. But, water travels. When there’s a leak present, water may be traveling down from another area of your home, dripping onto the ceiling, causing you to believe that’s the location of the leak. It’s best to have an experienced contractor get on your roof and into the attic to better determine where the leak is coming from.

There are other factors to consider as well. Water on your ceiling may be caused by of a variety of things. Regardless, a leak can cause serious issues inside your home.

Water pipes leaking or dripping

Plumbing pipes are often located in the attic of a home and may either be leaking or accumulating condensation, causing the water to drip. This happens quite often, leading to a misdiagnosed roof leak. A contractor should be able to spot this during and inspection and recommend the best course of remedial action.

Condensation inside your home

If your house is not properly ventilated – or insulated – condensation can build up and cause excess moisture problems all over the home, especially your attic.

Moisture in a crawl space can also be a factor. The moisture is invisible and eventually rises through the home, stopping at the roof deck, creating condensation. The use of a sump pump, pea gravel, and other products can help, but contact a professional to assist.
Clogged gutters and downspouts

If your gutters are clogged, water has nowhere to go but in! Gutters must be properly maintained so water (and ice in the winter) doesn’t back up with the debris.

Consider gutter guards to prevent buildup of debris in your gutters. Not a fan of gutter guards? Our best advice is to simply keep those gutters and downspouts cleaned. It’s best to check them every few months.

Ice dam damage

Walk the perimeter of your home to check for areas where ice may have built up this winter. When water from the ice and snow melts, it will more than likely leak right into your home. This doesn’t mean your shingles are bad. It simply means, as with clogged gutters, the water has nowhere to go but it in.

Whatever the cause of those telltale water marks though they should never be ignored. The water damage caused by water leaking anywhere in your home will only worsen and become harder to repair and remediate as time goes on.