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Home Improvement for Home Protection and Security

Safety is a prime concern of all homeowners. The reported incidents of break-ins have increased due to worsening economic conditions. Thieves and burglars are now using state-of-the-art technology and smarter techniques to break into houses. These attacks have caused anxiety and stress for many families.

Straight Facts about Burglaries

Contrary to what people know, most burglaries happen at daytime. Thieves take advantage when the house is empty after the owners have left for work and school. People are very complacent during daytime thinking that no one would do a crime in broad daylight. A house is also not randomly targeted. There is a selection process where the thief studies a house’s layout and security before doing a break-in. They observe the daily activities of the household and their neighbors to decide the best time to break in. The usual items targeted during a burglary are cash, jewelry, guns, watches, laptop computers, and electronic gadgets. These items are easy to carry out of the house.

How a House Becomes a Target

A house can be selected as a target if a thief sees one or any of these signs:

  • Tall hedges – Thieves use these hedges as cover during a break-in.
  • Small toys in the backyard – The presence of small toys scattered in the backyard or garage informs a burglar that vulnerable targets live inside the house.
  • Poorly lit garage and back doors – Garage and back doors are an ideal point of entry for thieves especially when it is not sufficiently lit. This invites night break-ins.
  • Stuffed mailboxes – Stuffed letters and piled boxes indicate that a homeowner is in a long-term vacation.

Increasing Home Security

There are ways to minimize security risk. It starts with installing a strong security system around the house. It also includes reinforcing potential entry points such as windows and doors. Here are some home improvement tips to increase home security.

Doors and Locks – Exterior doors should use Grade-1 locks to resist twisting, prying, and lock-picking. A quality deadbolt lock prevents any channel-lock pliers from shearing off lock cylinder pins. A sturdy door knob-in-lock uses a dead latch mechanism that prevents thin materials from slipping the lock. Always use a solid core or metal door for all entry points.

Sliding Glass Doors – Sliding glass doors are vulnerable to break-in if the latch mechanism is tampered or faulty. Inserting wooden dowels or charley bars can prevent a forceful entry. A slide can also be lifted from its track. Rollers should always be properly adjusted and in good condition.

Windows – Thieves can use stairways, trees, fences, roofs, and balconies to reach upper floor windows. These should always be closed before leaving a room or the house. Windows must be equipped with secondary blocking locks and devices.

Natural and DIY Home Improvement: 10 All-Natural Environment-Friendly House Paints

Old Fashioned Milk Paint

Milk paint, as the name implies, is made from milk and comes in powder form. Simply mix it with water and a pigment and you can start painting. While it works best on porous surfaces, such as bare wood and raw masonry, you can use it to cover metal and glass by stirring Old Fashioned Milk Paint Extra-Bond into a first coat. It smells like milk too.

Yolo Colorhouse

You Only Live Once so indulge yourself with a natural paint that’s eco-friendly right down to the 70% recycled plastic container. Yolo paints are free of hazardous air pollutants, ozone-depleting compounds, and formaldehyde. That makes them very low odor and great for people with sensitive allergies. You can pick from 92 different hues.

Harmony by Sherwin-Williams

Technologically sophisticated natural paint that works in tandem with the air to keep a room smelling fresh all the time. Not only is the paint itself free from odors, but it also acts like a carbon filter, soaking up strong scents from pets, cooking, and smoke. Say goodbye to those cries of “What’s that smell?”

Green Planet Paints

Green Planet paints are natural because they’re made from soy, not acrylic or latex. Take your pick from eggshell, flat, or semi-gloss finish, and up to 120 all-natural colors.

Anna Sova Healthy Paint

Healthy Paint is made from 90% food-grade ingredients. It also meets California’s Prop 65 standards, which means it contains none of the chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects. That makes it a particularly excellent choice for any toddler’s room.

Auro USA Paints

Expect to emit a powerful aura in rooms painted with natural Auro USA paints. They’re made from 99% natural raw materials, contain no petrochemicals, and are manufactured using sustainable practices. Multiple varieties cater to both indoor and outdoor surfaces. It’s also biodegradable, in case you ever need to discard leftover amounts.

Safecoat Paint

So safe that doctors recommend them to people with supersensitive allergies. The paints are regularly used in schools, hospitals, and nursing home facilities. Several unique blends are available for wood, wallboard, and metal. None of the varieties include harmful ingredients like formaldehyde, ammonia, or heavy metals, and there are no added fragrances.

Bioshield Clay Paints

Clay is the main ingredient to this natural indoor paint. Its earthy colors and gritty texture lend any room a classic Southwestern feel. Apply it to drywall, plaster, and masonry. You can even ditch the dehumidifier, because clay paints regulate indoor moisture levels and reduce moldy odors.

Make It Yourself

Feeling a bit of DIY? How about making your very own natural paint? Like most DIY projects, it’s cheaper than buying. One popular recipe calls for flour, water, clay, and mica, but you’ll find an abundance of other recipes online. Sample a few and find one that works best for you. Once you do, you’ll have a great paint to rely on.

 

 

DIY Home Improvement: The Guide to Natural Pest Control

Living in the city can have its perks especially if you work in the city. However, the city also comes with its share of pests. Mice, roaches, bed bugs, and other dreaded pests are not just limited to the countryside. While we can pay a pest exterminator hundreds of dollars to douse dangerous poisons in your house, there are actually natural and non-toxic as well as economically priced solutions found in the house.

Rats and Mice Hate Peppermint

You thought peppermint is only an ingredient in herbal teas, breath-freshening gums, and toothpaste? Rats and mice find it unbearable and will quickly scurry for the hills.

What You Need and What to Do:

  • Spray Bottle
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Fill your spray bottle with 1?4 cup of water and 40 drops of peppermint oil. Shake.
  • Spray liberally along baseboards and rear interior edges of kitchen cabinets, particularly beneath the sink.
  • Locate entry points and fill each with a cotton ball soaked in the oil.
  • For safety, wear thick gloves.

Cockroaches Hate Spice

Cockroaches hate spicy Tabasco sauce. So if you own a restaurant, every table holds the answer to roach problems in the kitchen.

What You Need and What to Do:

  • Spray Bottle
  • Tabasco Sauce
  • Protective Eye Wear
  • Combine five tablespoons of Tabasco and a 1/4 cup of water in your spray bottle. (Tabasco may need further dilution to flow through the nozzle of a small spray bottle.)
  • Judiciously spray along baseboards, beneath radiators, and near doors. Don’t spray willy-nilly; its scent is undesirable for living quarters.
  • For safety, protective eyewear is important.

Bedbugs and Broken Glass

Bedbugs are notorious for being extremely difficulty to eradicate. They’re impervious to most insecticides. Effectively removing them takes a somewhat aggressive approach. Enter diatomaceous earth. When bedbugs crawl across this gritty powder made from the fossilized skeletal remains of ancient marine life, their bodies are sliced open and drained of vital fluids.

What You Need and What to Do:

  • Diatomaceous Earth (get food-grade variety, which is free of stabilizers and chemicals)
  • Spoon
  • Powder Brush
  • Protective Eye Wear
  • Respirator Mask (a disposable one is sufficient)
  • Spoon out a thin layer of diatomaceous earth at the base of your bed, along baseboards, in the crevices between floorboards, and at the interior edges of bookshelves and cabinet drawers.
  • Use your powder brush to spread the layer even thinner. This step is crucial. If the layer is too heavy, these crafty fiends will venture around it.
  • Patience. It may take up to a week to kill off the bedbugs.
  • For safety, accidental eye exposure or inhalation may cause irritation, so wear protective eyewear and a respirator mask.

Other Useful Advice

  • To prevent pests from the outside or other apartments entry to your home, patch up entry points with expanding foam sealant.
  • Roaches and mice also thrive in filthy environments so keep your home environment clean.