Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Preventing Disposal Calamity

A couple we know just moved into their first home.  It's a great home for them.  It's a townhome which is in good shape and doesn't need any repairs right now.  But, there's maintenance that I realized comes with anyone's home.  And a few little things came to my attention that I thought I'd post about.

1) Sink Disposals...  The second week we were in our home we had to have a repairman come check on it.  A piece of silverware happened to be stuck in it unbeknownst to us.  We hadn't used it, but when we had we knew that it didn't work.  I spoke with the repairman and his first piece of advice was to get a strainer for both sinks.  I knew what he was talking about because I'd been using them for several years in my kitchen sinks.  
I know that the point of a disposal is to be able to "dispose" of food, but disposals are known for being temperamental.

2) Contact Paper...  A few weeks ago, I helped a friend by cleaning out everything underneath her kitchen sink.  She is a busy lady and has a very full plate.  So, I set to work.  As I pulled everything out, I realized that something had spilled on the bottom of her sink cupboard.  It had warped the board in spots.  The soapy substance had formed a crust on a large portion of the board.  I scrubbed away and got it all off.  I ran to the dollar tree and picked up two placemats and a covering for the bottom of the cupboard and a few baskets to organize everything.  Dollar Tree didn't have any contact paper which is what I'd really wanted.  Contact paper or foam (not the holely kind) is very helpful to line kitchen cupboards with for a couple of reasons.  First, kitchen sinks can have issues (my sink at our old house had an ongoing leak problem for a while) and they can leak all over the bottom of the cupboard. Cupboards aren't made the way they used to be with real wood.  Particle board and MDF warp very easily.  Second, other liquids can spill under sinks like dish soap and other cleansers.  In the case of my friend, it wasn't water that caused the problem, but some kind of dish soap.  The other cupboard that often gets into trouble is the one with glasses.  They often have a little water left on them after being in the dishwasher.  That water can drip down onto the cupboard surface and cause a problem over time.  Contact paper is a solution to this dilemma!

3) Caulk...  Whether you move in the spring or fall, caulk is helpful around doors and windows.  Caulk helps with insulating your home.  I use a plastic bag to protect my finger and small, resealable tubes of caulk rather than a caulk gun.  It's so much easier to manage the tubes.  They are more expensive overall, but the caulk just squirts out of the gun so fast.  You can find it in the painting department at any hardware store.  I usually get tub and tile or kitchen and bath because it's more water resistant than the door and window kind.  

4) Weatherproofing your deck...   I have found that where we live I have to weatherproof my deck every year.  The rain and snow gives our deck a run for the money.  The cans say you only have to do it every 5 or 10 years.  But, I do it each year.  I use a deck wash and spray it down.  Then 5 minutes later wash off the deck wash.  A day later, I use a deck pad to apply the stain to the deck.  I use a neutral stain that deepens in color with each application.  Honestly, I am relieved not to have a wooden deck at our new house, because I waited each summer for 3 days of sun (and no rain) in which I could do this task.  

5) Perennials...  Whenever possible, I plant perennials.  Perennials come back year after year.  So, they're less expensive than annuals in the long run.  Annuals are beautiful, but they only last one summer.  The annuals that I like are zinnias (which thankfully a good friend has given me the past 2 years) and sunflowers, which grow great from seeds.  

So, those are my random thoughts this afternoon about house things...

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