Thursday, May 25, 2017

Making Your Garden Pet Friendly

Do you like the idea of keeping pets at home? Are you a little concerned about ensuring they stay safe in your garden? Then you’ve come to the right place. Today, I’m going to offer some tips and advice that all my readers can use. My family has kept animals ever since I can remember, and they have always made us happy. With all that in mind, take a read through this article and put the ideas into action before you bring an animal home. If you do that, you won’t have to worry about them escaping or causing any trouble. Also, try to purchase your pets from rescue centers if you have one in your hometown.


Ensure you have a secure fence in place

Before you do anything else, you need to go around your garden checking your fence. Dogs and cats can fit through the smallest gaps, and you won’t want your animal to disappear. If you notice any areas of concern, just make sure you sort them out before buying your pet. The last thing you need is for your dog to get into the neighbors garden and make a mess. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out what will happen if your cat managed to get near a fish pond. Of course, it’s possible that you might overlook some insecure areas of the fence.However, you should just try to do your best.


Build outdoor houses for your animals

The summertime is upon us, and most animals wear a thick coat. So, it makes sense for you to create outdoor houses so pets can stay cool. That is the case regardless of whether you’re getting dogs, cats, or something different. Chickens are popular at the moment because they’re fascinating creatures. If you choose to have an animal like that in your backyard, make sure you use automatic chicken door solutions. The last thing you want is for them to become too hot and uncomfortable in the sunshine. The same goes for dog kennels. Ensure the animal can get in and out as it sees fit.


Make sure you create a shaded area

Most importantly of all, you need to create a shaded area in your garden. That is where your animals can go when the sun becomes too hot. It’s sensible to keep their outdoor water bowls in the same location to ensure it doesn’t get too warm. You can make a shaded section of your garden by planting a large tree or erecting a shed. That could also give you a space in which you can keep all your animal food, etc. Dogs love chilling out in the shade on a hot day. So, make sure you give them the opportunity.


If you put all those tips into action, your new family pets should have a happy life. Of course, it’s sensible to keep animals inside your home for the first couple of weeks. That is because they need to get used to their new surroundings. Also, that will increase the chances of them finding their way back if they ever escape or get lost. That is especially true if you’re planning to buy a cat.

Hairstyles - Wigs and Fashion

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

Hey neighbors!!

There has been a lot of thought and talk about hairstyles and such around our home lately.  We have four daughters, age 16 and up, that still live at home.  Each one has their own thoughts on hairstyles and fashion.

My youngest at 16, is the most adventurous when it comes hair styles and the colors she likes to wear.  She presently has side-swept bangs and loves to put the back up in a messy bun.  Her colors are almost always bright and colorful.  She is also interested in learning how to style hair.  Our hairdresser has suggested that she check into purchasing wigs and mannequin heads to practice on.  I know she would love styling and then of course wearing a wig.


Do any of my neighbors here ever wear wigs?  At Divatress you can choose from long, silky, wigs to short curly wigs.  It used to be quite common for women to have more than one wig and change then them out occasionally for a different look.  I remember my mother owned a couple.  They are of course commonly used for costumes, and another large use of wigs is for women and men who have experienced hair loss.  Hair loss can be attributed to aging or medication and medical treatments.  Many wigs today look so natural, you would have a hard time telling it was a wig, unless you knew the person well and knew what they had a wig on.  Wigs allow people with hair loss to feel more like they used to.

Purchasing a wig whether long, straight, or curly, gives you an opportunity to experiment with a different look.  For those who don't need a full wig, you can find partial wigs, as well as a plethora of hair pieces.  I was unaware until recently, that you can purchase buns.  I knew about ponytails and braids, but not buns.  would you consider a wig or other hair piece?

Have an opinion on wigs?  Leave a comment.  We love to hear from you.


Do Your Children Know How To Share?

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As a parent, there are many characteristics that you want your children to have when they grow up. Many of these are based on what tends to work in a polite society. You want your children to be able to fit in well enough that they don’t have any problems, and this can be tricky to get just right. Something that all parents would agree on is that your children being able to share is quite an important quality which is worth encouraging. But knowing how to make sure your children do this is another matter altogether. In this article, we are going to look at some of the essential things that you can do to ensure that your child learns how to share as well as they can. Let’s have a look and see what can be done in that regard.


Strategies For Sharing

On many occasions, you as a parent will find that you need to come up with specific strategies for a particular situation. Part of this is the parental skill of being able to think on your feet. Whatever it is that your children are having trouble sharing, try to get to the bottom of why that might be. If it is a toy, is it possible that one of your children feels left out in some more profound way? Remember too that your responses will need to change depending on how old the children are. Even teenagers might struggle with sharing sometimes, and you might need to respond differently here. If they are struggling over a CD, sometimes the best course of action is to make a copy with Nationwide Disc rather than deal with their sharing problems. It all depends on the situation at hand, and before long you will find that you have a number of strategies for sharing up your sleeve.


The Idea Of Fairness

Basically what this all stems from is the notion of being fair, and being treated fairly in return. If you can instill in your children this sense of fairness, of social justice on an everyday level, then they will be much more likely to understand the importance of, and the logic behind, the notion of sharing. This will mean they are more likely to share - but you might still get problems. If you do, it could be that they are simply acting out, despite the fact that they understand. When that happens, your best course of action might be punishment or discipline of some kind, depending on your parenting style and what you believe.


The End Of Selfishness


Many children are selfish when they are young, and this is what leads to non sharing. But you will find that the vast majority of children do shed this selfishness as time goes on. Indeed, it is unlikely that many children will retain it into adulthood. What this means for you as a parent is that you should try not to worry. In all likelihood, all will be fine in due course. As a final thought you do need to teach your children that life is not always fair. Sometimes someone else gets more than you or something different then what you received and that is just the way life is.

The Typing Coach Review


The Typing Coach

Hey neighbors!!

This will be my last review for the TOS Crew.  Life has just become too busy for me to stay on top of these reviews.  This review is for The Typing Coach.  We received access to The Typing Coach OnlineTyping Course.  I figured this would help my daughter increase her speed on the computer, as well as help her type with less errors.  She has a site of her own where she posts interviews of SG artists and I figured this course would be a benefit to her.

The Typing Coach

This is a one year subscription course.  The cost is only $17 per person for a year.  Multiple students can use the course, so it is perfect for the homeschool family who has more than one student in the age range to learn typing.  The course is designed to run approx. 10 weeks, with one lesson a week.  Obviously, you can adapt this to fit your schedule, and your child's learning experience.  They give you the ability to go over a lesson again, as many times as needed if necessary.

The course is a combined approach of audio, video and written instructions.  Your child will be using all three modes to learn.  The course will teach you/your child to type without constantly looking at the screen or written page, and then looking at the keyboard.  You will learn to sit properly and how to position your fingers over the keyboard, just like in the typing class I took in school years ago.  They say by the end of the course, you should be typing ten words per minute, and that if you continue working on it, your speed will increase.  Throughout the course there are timed and proficiency tests, that will show you your/your child's improvement.  It is suggested that students 12 years and up should be able to work through the course on their own with little assistance.

I also like that they include a slower paced learning lessons for younger children.  This allows them to learn at an easier pace, and enjoy the learning experience.  So whatever age your new typists is, they can learn through using The Typing Coach.

The lesson plan is:
Course Introduction
Slower Paced Lessons (for the younger ones)
The Practice and Testing Center
Before & After Snapshot
Having Good Posture
Home Row
Top Row
Bottom Row
Shift Keys
Evaluating Your Skills
Typing Practices
Number Row
Serious Practicing
Final Assessment
Conclusion
There is a printable PDF section, where you can print off the worksheets needed for the course.  They also have progress charts, learning check sheets and rewards that can be printed off.  There are extra videos included to enhance learning.

I actually started the course to see how it worked.  I listened to the introduction and began the first typing lesson on the Home Row.  It definitely brought back memories of typing class.  You learn the proper way to sit, and of course where your fingers should be placed on the home row of keys.  I even practiced hitting the right keys without looking, and realized I may need to take the course myself.

You can find The Typing Coach on Twitter.
Be sure to check out what other members of the TOS Crew had to say about their experience with The Typing Coach.

The Typing Coach Online Typing Course {The Typing Coach Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Thin Stix Review


The Pencil Grip, Inc

Hey neighbors!!

Here is our most recent TOS review, the Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors.  These are a set of solid tempera paint stix from The Pencil Grip, Inc.  This amazing design, allows for mess free creativity.  It is basically a soft, solid paint pen that allows your child to paint with much less mess and fuss than using a jar of paint with a paint brush.

Thin Stix by KwikStix

The Thin Stix, Kwik Stix set I received for review is a set of six, that actually look like markers.  They do not color like markers though, they actually paint.  They have caps, like markers, and are a convenient size for children.  They are not fine point, as the idea is to paint, not write, yet they are not so wide a child could not do slightly detailed work.  They will not work for fine drawing or coloring.  As they use the Paint Stix, they simply twist the bottom to move the paint up.  This set of six, comes with black, brown, blue, green, red and yellow.  When applied to paper it almost looks like soft crayon, but it is paint, and dries fairly quickly.  It dries within 90 seconds.  This means less smearing, and less clean-up.  The Kwik Stix are non-toxic, so are safe for your children to use. The paint does not crack or peel.

The Thin Stix make it so easy for your child to create art work, and they give you a lot less to clean up.    You wont't need paint, brushes, bowls, water and a cover-up of some type for your child, they can just use the Kwik Stix like markers or crayons, yet they have a paint texture and finish when they are done.  It is said to work on paper, cardboard, canvas and wood.  The caps must be put back on after use so the paint does not dry out.


Thin Stix by KwikStix

The Thin Stix, Kwik Stix are available in other colors and different packages.  They have neon, metallic, or classic, and a few different kits.  One kit comes with glitter and another includes a 20 ft. roll of paper.  One pack comes with 24 different colors.  On a side note, these are perfect for trips.  Your child can still do artwork, and all you need to pack is this set of Thin Stix, as well as something to paint on.  You do not need to pack a whole paint set and all the accessories.


My daughter said this was a nice way to experiment with paint.  The only drawback she brought up was you don't have different size tips to work with like you would with paint brushes.

You can find Thin Stix online at Amazon, just click the link above.  If you prefer to see them first, you can find them at Toys-R-Us.  This is one of those products that are worth the investment, due to the less mess and less clean-up time.  Add a pack to your homeschool art kit.

Take a moment to follow them on their social media:
Be sure to click on the banner below to see what other TOS Crew members had to say about the Thin Stix 6pk.
No Mess Art with Thin Stix Classic Colors {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Interior Design: Using Light Wisely

From Wikimedia

As you probably know, lighting can have a huge effect on the overall appearance of an interior, and this is something you should be thinking about in every space of your home. Whether it’s ambient and background lighting, task lighting for isolated areas, or accent lighting to highlight certain features, you can always tweak the atmosphere of a room with the right application of lighting. If you’re planning an interior makeover any time soon, here are some tips for getting the most out of lighting…
Start with the Dining Room
Lighting is among the most important aspects of the dining room. You should aim to keep it subtle, yet eye-catching. Overhead, bright lights, excluding chandeliers, can be very inappropriate, and really suck the relaxed vibe out of your next dinner party. However, even with aesthetically appealing chandeliers, you should fit a dimmer switch so you can play with the ambiance as you like. The best alternative to glaring, overhead lights is probably wall lights. Setting wall sconces into a mirror creates a wonderful, reflective effect, and spreads a low, warming glow over the walls. Just bear in mind that these should always be installed by a pro.
Be Careful With your Application of Downlighting
Downlighting is something that most people will either love or hate. It can be very helpful and conducive to good interior décor, but only if it’s applied in the right way. When you’re chewing over how to select LED round panels / downlighters, it’s very important that you consider the wattage and output if you want to get the best effect possible. The soft, understated glow that irradiates from downlighters can be great for adding ambience to dining areas and entryways.
Don’t Neglect Spotlights!
Spotlights be an easy way to turn key décor pieces and bits of architectural detail into features and focal points. They can also add an interesting frill to a room when used in the corners, where you usually wouldn’t see any light. Having installed a light here, you can install two different switches, ensuring that the ceiling lights you have can be controlled through a different circuit. Just make sure you’re not going overboard after seeing a few gorgeous pictures of good spotlight application. A tight cluster of spotlights on one area of the ceiling isn’t all that glamorous, and can feel excessive unless you’re mitigating this saturation with a dimmer or something similar.
Have a Mix

Just as you should be mixing up scale and proportion when you’re laying out a room, you should also be aiming for a balanced mix of lighting in a given space. This is where small table lamps, and wall and picture lights can come in extremely handy. Indirect lighting can also be a great way to accent little nooks of a given room. You can use LEDs to light the underside of a footed bathtub, or strips in the corners of bookshelves to highlight whatever you’ve got stored there. Whatever your overarching vision is, don’t become too focussed on just one or two bits of lighting.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Children & Confidence: A Parent’s Guide To Boosting That Characteristic

As a loving parent, you have many wishes for your children. First and foremost, you want them to grow up to be healthy and happy. Quite frankly, self-confidence is a trait that will influence both aspects. Therefore, it’s one where you must do everything in your power to encourage positive results.
 
A confident child won’t only see huge short-term benefits. In truth, it’s a trait that could put them on the pathway for a far brighter future too. So what can you do to actively boost the chances of imparting a sense of confidence into your son or daughter? Let’s take a closer look.

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  • Try to help your child look his/her best. We learn to appreciate the importance of appearances at a very early age, especially as it changes the way people react. Kids grow out of clothes very quickly, so you won’t want to pay through the nose for the latest trends. Check out these The Children’s Place coupons to remove the financial strain. Most importantly, though, you should teach your child to take pride in their appearance. The fact they’ll be taking a positive approach to life should work wonders. It does not have to cost a lot to look neat and clean. Thrift stores are a great way to find good clothing at lower prices.
 
  • Always praise your child when they do something well. This can range from normal schoolwork to encouraging a blossoming talent for music, sport. or even a character trait they show. Every child has something that makes them special. Celebrating those will soon lead to far greater levels of self-confidence. Better still, that encouragement should give them the best chance of utilizing those talents to their full potential. That’s something all parents should crave.

Person, Human, Child, Girl, Guitar, Music, Nature, Out
  • Learn to embrace differences. Growing up with a disability, different home situation, or quirk can be difficult. However, teaching your child to accept and love those special qualities is key to encouraging confidence. If a child can become immune to potential damage, their chances of ever facing major confidence problems will fall. Moreover, those lessons will usually encourage them to accept and appreciate other people.
 
  • Show them that they are loved. Juggling parenthood with other life commitments isn’t easy, but showing that passion is the key. You could take things to another level by getting a pet as that unconditional love is great for kids. Nevertheless, this cannot be used as a substitute for being there yourself. Taking an interest in homework assignments, extracurricular activities and general life is key. If a child doesn’t feel appreciated by their own family, who will provide those emotional needs?
 
Let your children make mistakes. The pressure put on children by parents is one of the main reasons they quit sports and other hobbies. Those sentiments can ring true in other aspects of life too. Ultimately, if a child is scared of the repercussions, they won’t risk failure. While avoiding risk taking is important in matters relating to safety, it shouldn’t stop life progress. A child that isn’t afraid to fail will always have a great chance of long-term success. And that determination is another huge quality in itself.

If you have some other encouragements to help build a child's confidence, please share them with our other neighbors in the comments below.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Neighbor Disagreements: The Most Common (And How To Defuse Them)

You can’t choose your neighbors - which is a little strange when you think about it. You make this huge purchase - the biggest you will ever make - but it could leave you living next door to people you just don’t get on with. It’s bizarre when you think about it!

Hopefully, you have been lucky enough to live in an area where you and your neighbors are on good terms. You have hit the jackpot for sure, but it might not always remain that way. The change could come because you move, or because someone else moves onto your street and disturbs the calm, friendly atmosphere. In those scenarios, it’s best to know which flashpoints you’re going to need to avoid…

1) Building Work


There comes a time when a home needs some work done to it. It might be essential maintenance like foundation repair or dealing with drainage issues, or it could be a cosmetic change like building an extension. Either way, the same problem emerges: there’s noisy work going on, and the neighbors aren’t happy.

This is somewhat understandable. It’s disruptive having building work in your street, especially if you’re next door and have to put up with the noise. That’s why if you ever have work done, it’s a good idea to give your neighbors fair warning and apologize for any potential disruption. A small gift will go a long way to smoothing any frowns, too!

2) Parking

Parking is a source of tension that is a constant threat for many neighborhoods, even when everyone has off-road drives. The issues are usually based around people being inconsiderate; parking across others’ driveways, blocking each other in, or sometimes outright parking in an area they shouldn’t be using.

If you find yourself on the receiving end of this, it’s tempting to go and give the perpetrator a piece of your mind. This will rarely result in a good response. Instead, be gentle and polite, explain the issues they are causing, and ask them to desist. If they don’t, then you might have to escalate to involving the local authorities.

3) Noise


There are two schools of thought when it comes to neighborhood noise, and they tend to constantly butt up against one another. One argument is that it’s their house and they are entitled to do whatever they want with it. The other argument says that’s not the case and they have a responsibility to the neighborhood not to cause constant disturbance.

If it’s an isolated case (such as a party for a birthday) then it’s probably best just to let it go. If it’s a constant issue however, then you can try and discuss it in person - but it might not make much difference if they are of the first vein of thought. Again, rather than delving into long, protracted arguments, it’s often far more efficient to just raise the problem with the local authorities and ask them to deal with it. They might even be able to help while you remain anonymous, so there’s no risk of any arguments with neighbors.

What sort of problems have you run into? Be sure to share in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 19, 2017

6 Ideal Gifts for New Mothers

When a baby is born, the focus is often all on the baby. Sometimes, people forget that a new mother needs some TLC too. The first few weeks getting used to parenthood can be a challenge and gifts, both practical and fun, can make it an awful lot easier. So, here are some ideas on what to get for first time mothers after giving birth.

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Food
A new mother doesn’t just need to eat for herself; if she’s breastfeeding, the baby will rely on getting nutrition from her too. The ironic part is, although she needs to eat regularly, she won’t have the time or energy to cook. Dropping off some meals that she can freeze and use when she needs to will be a big weight off her mind.

Flowers
It may seem like a small gesture, but a bunch of flowers can really do a new mother good. You can’t go wrong with long stem roses. Her home will be surrounded by baby clothes, nappies, bottles, blankets and more. Having said that, a beautiful bunch of flowers will not only brighten the home up, but they’ll be a reminder that people are thinking of her as well.

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A Good Moisturiser
Giving birth will exhaust any new mother. The amount of fluid lost throughout the process will leave skin feeling dry and once home from the hospital, new mothers may feel like they need a good pamper session. A good moisturiser and body cream could do her skin wonders so take a look at the top moisturisers for new mothers.

Bottled Water
A newborn baby will take a lot out of you, including some of your hydration. It’s important for new mothers to stay hydrated for their sakes and their baby’s. Many new mothers complain of headaches because they forget to drink more water after giving birth. Whether you stock the fridge with bottles of water or buy her, her own refillable bottle to keep at her side, it will trigger her memory.

Housework
New mothers often worry about how they’ll get all their chores done. There’s a simple answer – they won’t. It’s often impossible to attend to a newborn and get all the housework done at the same time, especially while still recovering from giving birth. Having people around who are willing to do the dishes, washing and run the vacuum around is a godsend.

Offer to Babysit
A mother may not want to part with her baby for a while, but the time will come where she feels she needs to re-join the adult world, if only for an hour. It may mean allowing her to pop to the shop or go get herself a haircut. She may just want a meal out with her partner or to take a nice long soak in the bath. Whatever she chooses to do, the time you can give her away from the baby will mean she gets to push the reset button and return refreshed.
Whatever you choose to give to a new mother, if it’s her you’ve thought about, you can be sure she’ll be grateful.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Summer, Grilling, and Parties

Hey neighbors!

Summer is finally here, I think.  Do you have any plans for the summer that include getting together with friends and family?  Maybe you are going to have a Memorial Day or 4th of July party, or an outdoor birthday party, or just a big old family get together.  If you are planning to spend time outside with family friends and food, you need to plan ahead, at least a little.  Make sure you have everything you need to make an enjoyable day for everyone.


One thing to consider is where will everyone sit?  Make sure you have several different options if you can.  Some people will prefer lawn chairs, while others might like patio chairs with cushions.  I personally enjoy a sturdy rocking chair.  You will also need to have picnic tables or folding tables to hold the food and for everyone to eat.  You could set up several smaller tables, or us the long tables all in a row.  If there will be children you will need to consider where they will eat.  Perhaps you could use small children's tables or spread some blankets on the ground.



A big question is where will you be grilling the food.  Do you already own a decent sized grill?  Have you ever tried the pellet grills?  You can find out more about these types of grills here.  They have varying size cooking space, so be sure to pick the one that suits your needs.  You may opt for a gas grill or the old standby of a charcoal grill.  Everyone enjoys a good grilled hamburger or steak!




You will definitely need to have plans to entertain everyone while they are waiting to eat.  Some people may prefer to chit chat while sitting around, but be sure to prepare some activities too, especially if children are involved.  Tetherball, volleyball and badminton all make great, summertime, games.  Maybe some of your guests would enjoy a game of croquet if you have room to set up a course.  Children would probably enjoy a good water-balloon or squirt gun battle.  Something simple like blowing bubbles together could also be fun.  Just be sure to warn other parents to bring a change of clothes for their children.




Don't be afraid to ask people to bring a covered side dish or dessert.  This will cut down on your prep time, and you can concentrate on grilling the meat and entertaining your guests.  If you plan ahead you will truly enjoy a summer filled with family and friends.  If you already have all of this in place the party or get together will go smoothly and be much easier for you.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Home Repairs And Upgrades You Can Attempt On Your Own


In the pursuit to keep our homes looking as beautiful and professionally built as possible, sometimes taking a few home repair steps is necessary. It makes sense to keep little repairs taken care of because that prevents you having to tackle bigger problems. Keeping an eye on the condition of your house once a month will help you figure out what issues to tackle first, and which ones to call professionals for.

Sometimes though, there’s no need to worry about hiring a professional. Sometimes, you can save money fixing the issues yourself. With the right tools, you can become a regular DIY Joe and gain a deeper understanding of the construction of your property in the process.

Toilet Lever

If your toilet is struggling to flush, the lever inside the back basin could be loose. Open the lid and identify the screw that’s holding the lever up. Use an adjustable wrench to tighten it and fix the problem. Toilet levers are one of those little intricacies in your plumbing setup that you probably don’t think about, but on a daily basis, especially if you have a family, it could be used more frequently than you’d originally assume. These things usually last a while, but making sure that this isn’t the first reason your toilet isn’t flushing could help you prevent a costly handyman call-out charge.

Levelling Tables

Tables, over time, are sure to become uneven/unbalanced by the sheer amount of use they get. If it’s not level, you’ll find it knocks back and forth with an annoying ‘thud’ sound. Wood wears down, and in humid environments can become tighter. In order to fix this, flip the table over and attach wooden feed or thin blocks of wood to make sure that the table is level from all angles. Ensure that you have the correct angle using a digital angle finder, to best find the angles of your table in those hard to reach and read scenarios.

Unclog Drains

It’s inevitable you’re going to encounter a clogged drain once in awhile. Through no fault of your own, debris can accumulate in the drain and overflow your toilet, which is never a pleasant experience. You’re going to need a plunger to remedy this. Make sure you give it a good few strong plunges before you call out the plumber. You’re likely to unclog the problem using force alone. Just be sure to wash your hands afterward.

Leaky Pipes

You’re also likely to encounter leaky pipes in your time as a homeowner. In fact, it’s guaranteed. If you call a plumber every time this happens you’re likely to never move up the property ladder. First, assess where the leak is dripping and place a container underneath it to collect the water. Next, switch off the main water valve in your house. This might be in your garage, or it might be right next to your sink.

If there’s a loose washer causing the leak, tighten it with a wrench or replace it entirely. For holes in the piping, it might be easy to replace the piece of pipe. If the pipe is clogged, there’s a likelihood you’re going to need a professional. Be sure to keep the water mains off until the issue is fixed to prevent adding to the problem. Water issues are tricky because incorrectly handled, they can cause water damage to your property.

Be pre-emptively smart about these issues and you’ll be sure to avoid a nasty growth in problems. Plus if you complete them well, you’ll certainly feel good at accomplishing the necessary repair.