Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Preventing Water Damage and Leak$

To diminish the possibility of water damage to your home

1)  Check for leaks by periodically inspecting the following areas around:
  • refrigerator (ice maker malfunctions)
  • dishwasher
  • water heaters
  • sinks (watch for a drip, drip, drip)
  • toilets
  • ceilings (roof leaks)
  • yard (water lines)
Check for any discolored flooring or spots on the ceiling which may indicate a slow leak.  Soft spots , warped flooring or warm spots may indicate a slow or intermittent leak that has damaged the underlying flooring.

2)  Pay attention to your water bill.  Even a small drip can consume a gallon of water an hour!

3)  Use steel braided hoses for the washing machine which reduces the chance of them breaking as they age.  These cost more initially but if you've ever had one break you know how much you'll save in the long run.  Think of it as insurance!

4)  If you have pipes that are exposed to the outside walls and live in an area where temps drop below freezing-insulate your pipes to prevent a problem!

5)  Vacationing?  Turn off the water supply to the washing machine, ice maker, toilets, sinks in the event of unexpected issues.  Have a friend or family member regularly check your home...just in case!

If you have a leak:

We once had a ceiling leak that started as a small brown spot the size of a silver dollar.  We called the DAY we notice it.  By the time the adjuster came it covered about half the ceiling.  Before they repaired it water was streaming in through the damaged area and eventually ruined 4 rooms.  Photo documentation saves us a lot of hassle with our insurance agent.

1)  Turn off the water source if you can safely do so (remember water conducts electricity)

2)  Call your insurance agent as soon as possible.  Call back if you don't get prompt service.

3) Don't be afraid to fight for what you need.  We needed a tarp and it wasn't covered!  We argued that the expense to the damaged roof would more than exceed the cost of the tarp and our agent agreed.  Luckily for us (and them) they tarped us 2 days before it rained 6 inches in a 2 hour period!    My bathroom would have ended up in my basement with that amount of rain!

4)  Don't do any major clean up, start repairs or throw items away until you've met with the adjustor and they  have inspected the property.

5)  Take photographs

6)  Relax:  Stuff can be repaired or replaced!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Flo$$ your Teeth

I admit I am addicted to flossing my teeth!  SO much so that I have embarrassed my children because of it!  If you don't floss regularly, you may not understand my addiction...but flossing has so many health benefits some practitioners say it is the BEST thing you can do for your health.  Sounds Crazy, right?

I am lifting this article VERBATIM from the following website in the hopes you'll start flossing!

Add flossing to your daily dental routine and you’ll experience a cleaner, healthier smile. Most people either forget about flossing or put it low on their list of priorities because they are unaware of the importance or unsure how to do it correctly. But flossing helps clean the gaps between your teeth so that you're less likely to get gum infections or cavities from bacteria build-up. And with improved dental health, you may avoid the large bills that come with expensive dental procedures.

What is dental floss?

Dental floss is a tool you should use daily to remove food and bacteria build-up from in-between your teeth. Floss, which is commonly made out of plastic or nylon, is a thin thread that you place between your teeth and pull in order to clean the gaps. As you pull on the thread, you should remove food and debris.

Types of dental floss

The dental care aisle is filled with many types of floss. You can get most of them at your local supermarket or drugstore. Although each kind of dental floss uses some type of thread or ribbon, there are differences in materials and packaging.
Some floss is made out of dental ribbon rather than out of plastic or nylon string. Ribbon floss is smoother and more comfortable than traditional floss. For example, if your gums ache or bleed when you floss your teeth, you might want to try ribbon floss instead.
Automatic flossers are an option if you have a hard time perfecting your flossing technique or find flossing uncomfortable. When you turn the flosser on and touch it against your teeth, it uses a nylon filament to clean the spaces between your teeth for you.
You and your dentist can easily find one that best suits you or your family’s needs.

Benefits of using dental floss

Brushing cleans the surface of your teeth. You need to floss in order to clean out the gaps between your teeth, where bacteria often reside. If you don't floss, you're more likely to have plaque build-up, which can lead to cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can be a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, and a high body mass index. In addition, bacteria can cause bad breath and having food or debris between your teeth can make them look less clean or white. Thus, flossing can help improve the appearance of your mouth as well as your dental hygiene and overall health.

How often should you floss?

It's more important to take your time and floss correctly than it is to floss often. If you floss several times a day, but do it quickly, you'll miss a lot of the bacteria and debris you need to clean out. This defeats the purpose of flossing. It's far better to floss only once a day and do it slowly so that you clean your entire mouth.
Of course, it's still important to floss regularly; if you don't floss at least once a day, you won't reap all the benefits.

Dental floss for braces

If you or your child currently wears braces, flossing is even more important. Food and bacteria can easily lodge underneath braces and cause permanent damage to teeth. However, you have to be careful when flossing so that you don't damage your braces.
Always use waxed flossing products if you have braces. Unwaxed products have less of a slippery surface and are therefore more likely to get caught or tangled in your braces. If enough floss gets tangled, it can pull a brace out of alignment or even break it.
There's a specific technique you should use when flossing your braces. If your children have braces, you may need to help them with it, as it requires a bit of coordination. Start with the teeth at one side of your mouth. Carefully thread the floss underneath the wire and between two teeth, then gently pull up and down. When you have flossed these two teeth, remove the floss from under the brace wire and throw it away. Repeat this procedure on the next two teeth. It may take a long time to floss using this method, but it’s the best one to use because it reduces the risk of breaking your braces.

Dental floss facts

  • Dental floss was invented in 1815 by a New Orleans dentist who advised his patients to use thin thread to clean between their teeth.
  • Johnson and Johnson patented dental floss in 1898; at the time, it was made out of silk.
  • Manufacturers began to use nylon instead of silk in the 1940s.
  • Some people falsely believe that you can't floss if you're pregnant, nursing, or wearing braces. In reality, there's a technique and material for everybody who wants to floss their teeth. Talk to your dentist about proper flossing techniques if you have any concerns.
Remember, flossing your teeth daily helps improve your general as well as your dental health.