Family * Travel * Food

4 Tips for Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is a useful method for cleaning outdoor surfaces at your home or business, but it can be difficult to learn how to use appropriately. Here are four tips for pressure washing. 

1. Do It Yourself versus Hiring a Professional

There are professional cleaning companies available that you can hire to do pressure washing for you if you so choose. For example, if you live in South Carolina you could search online for something like pressure washing Greenville SC to seek out a professional. If this is the route you take, you should just need to explain the surfaces you need cleaned, get a price quote and let the professionals take it from there. If, on the other hand, you decide to do the pressure washing yourself, you'll need to get the right equipment, make sure your surfaces can be pressure washed and learn how to safely pressure wash a surface.

2. Which Surfaces Can Be Pressure Washed

Only certain surfaces can be safely pressure washed. Roofs and other more easily damaged or delicate surfaces must be cleaned using alternative methods, such as soft washing, due to the risk of compromising the structure with the high power of pressure washing. Decks, pavement and solid walls, made of materials like concrete and hardwood, can be power washed quite easily. Siding may be pressure washable, but that depends entirely on the type of material the siding is made of. Vinyl and clapboard siding are probably fine to pressure wash, but if your siding is aluminum or if it's painted it's best to avoid pressure washing.

3. Equipment Options

The first decision to make when weighing your equipment options is whether to purchase your own or rent equipment. This will largely depend on how often you think you'll need to use it and whether you're willing to store and perform upkeep on it. There are pressure washers that are battery powered, gas powered and electric. Each type should effectively use any standard nozzle you need. Nozzles range from very low pressure to very high pressure, so your choice of nozzle will depend on the surface you need to clean, how big the surface is and the type or amount of grime you need to remove.

4. Safety

Safety is imperative to using pressure washers. Always begin by reading the manual and keep it handy to refer back to as needed. Prep the area by covering or removing openings like vents or windows and electrical outlets and equipment. Clear away any tripping hazards and use an extension for your nozzle rather than climbing a ladder. Keep your hands out of the pressurized water stream and safely sequester all non-washers, including pets and children, from the area being washed. Make sure you wear protective clothing such as gloves, boots, googles and noise-cancelling headphones.

Pressure washing can be done safely by an amateur, but if you choose to do it yourself rather than hiring a professional, you must do your research before making any purchases. Once you complete your research and purchases, make sure you read all directions to use the equipment and study and practice how to use the equipment before you attempt to actually wash your surfaces.


Color is Key When Picking Doors

Door color completely alters the atmosphere of a home. Internal glazed doors will outlive even most the durable and long lasting of interior design trends. Color needs to be carefully considered when choosing doors. Doors can be painted in the future, but it is often more hassle than it is worth. 

Set the Mood

The internal doors are going to outlive the paint or wallpaper. Color comes down to more than personal tastes. Colors can calm or excite. A home is a place to relax, but it is also a place to entertain. 

Colors on the cool spectrum, such as blues and purples relax. Warm colors, such as reds and oranges, excite. 

Neutral colors impact the overall mood of the home too. Sleek blacks and greys are very modern, but can lead to small and dark spaces feeling oppressive and claustrophobic. Whites stand out against any interior but can help open space. 

Natural Wood

Natural wood finishes remain a popular choice. Doors see many interior design fads before they need replacement. Natural wood will match most of these. Darker and lighter woods are available, plus there’s dark or light stains. A lighter wood isn’t going to stand out in the same way as a brilliant white door. 


Glazing adds another layer of options to pick from. Even the smallest and darkest of spaces can have dark with the right amount of glazing. Internal glazed doors allow natural sunlight to travel from room to room, further changing the atmosphere. Sunlight is a mood booster that works with both relaxing and entertaining. 

Unfinished Doors
If you have the space and the patience, unfinished doors are a consideration. The advantage of unfinished doors is you can have them any color you want. The disadvantage is you have to paint them yourself or have the additional expense of hiring someone to do it for you. 

Unfinished doors cannot simply be hung up. They need to be painted first. They need to be laid flat to paint, otherwise the paint drips. Painting doors is very consuming in both time and space. 

Painting doors yourself means you can tone down brilliant whites by adding a barely-there touch of blue, pink or magnolia. They would need to be entirely stripped down and repainted if brilliant white walls ever come back into fashion. Something even a little off-white looks dirty when up against brilliant white walls. 

Door color goes beyond tastes. Colors impact moods. A high anxiety household will want to stick to cooler colors. Colors affect the overall atmosphere of a home. An oppressive atmosphere can be altered by the use of color. Internal doors are going to see more than one interior change. Buying doors to match the current interior is going to be wildly inappropriate a few years down the line when styles change. The lightest house becomes oppressive when out-dated. Internal doors are one of the simplest ways to change a home’s energy, but the color needs to be carefully considered. 

Ideas Online For Making Treadmills Quiet

Finding time to work out with the chaos of today's busy schedules can be a challenge. A majority of people spend their days in sedentary positions making a fitness regimen critical for their health and wellness. Equipment like a treadmill being readily available at home provides convenience and flexibility with exercise times. Unfortunately, if you live in an apartment or with other people, the noise produced by a treadmill can be an annoyance and a disruption to their lifestyle. Don't allow this to hinder you from your routine. Instead, take the necessary steps to silence your treadmill.

Tips To Make Treadmills Quiet

Working out is crucial for overall health and well-being, particularly with most of our time spent sitting at a computer. Going to a gym is not always feasible, so people are bringing exercise equipment such as treadmills into their homes. The problem with a treadmill is the potential for noise pollution, upsetting neighbors, or those living in the house. Fortunately, soundproofing a treadmill can resolve this issue. Read here to find out how to effectively use your treadmill upstairs.

  • Placement of a treadmill mat: The impact from running on the deck produces a majority of the sound aside from the machine's belt and the motor. Among the best techniques to eliminate the pounding of the impact is by way of insulation. Using an insulation consisting of a foam mat with appropriate thickness acts as a cushion. You'll want to research for a budget-friendly brand. These provide longevity for your treadmill, not to mention the protection your legs receive from the harm vibrations risk.
  • Belt lubrication: Regularly lubricating the treadmill belt is an excellent way to keep it soundproof. Not only does the machine make loud noises during your workout when the belt is neglected, but it causes the unit to deteriorate quickly. Maintenance should be done approximately every three months with cleaning between the belt and deck before using the oil. The cleaning eliminates all the loose debris.
  • Obtain isolation pads: The creation of these pads was specific to reducing the sound treadmills make as your feet make contact with the deck and the overall vibrations. The impact can be annoying, particularly when you live in a condo or apartment community. The pads help with soundproofing. Placement of the pads will be under each of the treadmill's corners. Make sure to check customer reviews, feedback, and complaints before buying a brand. Not all are effective. Quality is essential in maintaining your treadmill

  • Place the equipment on carpeting if possible: Amplification of noise will happen if the placement of the equipment is on a hardwood, tile, or concrete floor. If this is all you have, take the unit to a porch or in the garage. It would be a wise investment to purchase thick carpeting remnants to put under the treadmill as a means to absorb the energy and vibrations when you live in an apartment or condo. Another option would be to place it on the balcony over a rug.
  • Bearings could need replacing: If after the lubricating process, the treadmill is still loud, there could be issues with the bearings and roller. They may need replacing. Accessing to repair can be challenging with the bearings and rollers connected. If this is the cause of the problem, you have the option of attempting the change yourself or having a technician take care of it.
  • Service the machine: It's easy to neglect to service the unit when you have a lot happening. Some people forget. But regular maintenance is crucial to keep the equipment functioning optimally. It needs to have the motor cleaned, the belts lubricated, and the belts tightened consistently. These basic services will ensure longevity and save from costly repairs.


Working out on a treadmill is an ideal way to stay active, remain healthy, and get fit. The exercise can present a problem for those around you because of the sound level produced with impact, the motor, and any technical difficulties that develop. It would be best if you soundproofed the machine to keep your exercise routine peaceful. If soundproofing is not enough, you can try a quieter treadmill. Check out some of the good brands at

The equipment is always going to make some form of sound when you run or even if you walk. But a machine that has a quieter design offers features including more silent motors, tracking with padding to absorb impact, and frames with strong, rigid manufacturing. Quiet doesn't mean zero noise; it only indicates that there is less loudness than what a traditional treadmill will give you.

If you live in a condo or apartment, it may be a good idea to speak to the neighbors surrounding your unit after you have done the soundproofing to see how effective it is. And then you can make an educated decision as far as purchasing a quieter system.

 photo 7636c3fb-e8d9-4b07-af6b-f1ca33a15bfe_zps9lbkp4mn.png

Things We Are Learning About Plumbing And Bathroom Renovations

You may recall from a few months ago that I wrote about some issues that popped up in our house concerning some plumbing leaks. It turned out that every time we got one thing fixed, another leak would pop up. To say that having water issues is stressful is quite an understatement. We had our plumber come through to assess our situation, and his quote was astronomical. Thankfully my husband remembered that our AC guy also installs water heaters and offers plumbing services.
Photo by Sam Hetterich on Unsplash.
Our water heater installation including re-piping, and some other minor repairs came in at $500 less than what the plumber was charging. We couldn't believe how much more that initial quote was for LESS work. So lesson #1 is no matter how much you trust someone to do the job, it's okay to shop around.

We had to have one of the bathrooms gutted so that the pipes could be exposed to pinpoint more leaks. There was so much debris and trash involved after the demolition process. Thankfully our job was a lot smaller than most, otherwise we would have to research dumpster rental prices. We also had half of another bathroom demoed, so we have a lot to get replaced and repaired.

It's way too expensive to do it all in one shot, so we have been buying items like tile, paint, drywall, faucets, and light fixtures and storing them in our utility storage room. We will wait until we have the work scheduled to arrange for getting the big items like tub, vanity, and toilet delivered. While it's inconvenient to not have the full use of 2 out of 3 bathrooms, it could definitely be worse. We are going to get one bathroom completely done before we move onto the next. We are all trying to stay positive and patient throughout this process.

Have you done any similar renovations recently? Please tell me what you did to not lose your mind. HA! Thanks for stopping by today.

Wood Smarts: How to Find the Right Table Saw

Attempting to find the best table saw can be a little overwhelming at first, which is okay. There are a lot of options out there, making this choice that much harder. The following guide will help you find the kind of table saw that you need.

Know Your Saws

The first thing you should know is that there are three main categories of table saws. The first category is the cabinet saw, which is considered the largest of the bunch. Of course, this table saw is normally the most expensive, but it comes with several perks like a heavy cast iron table. The precision on these tables is admirable, and their durability is impressive.

The contractor's saw is the second category you should remember. This is a portable saw that can be taken to your job site if needed. The price is reasonable, and it comes with several noteworthy features such as a belt-driven blade, making continuous cutting quite dependable -- search online before you make any purchase by reading some portable table saw reviews to help you understand the benefits of owning a portable table saw.

The last category to consider is the hybrid saw. Some hybrids come with a cast iron main table, which increases accuracy while others are constructed with lighter materials such as aluminum. This makes hybrids versatile. This is perfect for those who need a little bit of both.

Understand the Voltage

You need to know your voltage requirements and how much power you can actually handle. Cabinet saws use 220-volts, which usually means that you do not have to worry about the saw slowing down on you during heavy jobs.

Hybrids can be switched between 110-volts to 220-volts while contractors normally stick to 110-volts.

You want to stick to 110-volts if you travel a lot or if you are not sure that you are going to have access to enough power to ensure that the 220-volt cabinet saw works efficiently.

A Good Fence

Knowing the kind of table saw you are going to get and if you have enough power to work the tool are just some of the factors you have to consider. You also have to ensure that your table saw's fence is accurate, which will make your job easier.

You do not want a fence that bends because it can be dangerous to you. Fences that are not as stable as they should be may cause the wood to bind with the blade's metal, which can lead to those jolting kickbacks.

One of the most effective types of fences is called the T-style fence. The reason most enthusiasts like the T-style fence is because of its construction.

It normally comes with a heavy bar, though sometimes it comes with a square tube that is locked on the front of the tool. The fence can be easily adjusted, and it is quite wide. The fence's locking mechanism is one of the best, making it pretty dependable.

This is just one example. In the end, you just want to make sure that your fence is as sturdy as possible when choosing your table saw.

Consider Dust Collection

You know that woodwork leads to dust, so making sure that your table saw comes with a collection system is important. Most cabinet saws come with a dust collection system, but this does not apply to other types of saws.

For example, contractor's saws do not normally have a dust collecting system because these tools are made to be used outside. Naturally, the saw dust does not need to be collected since it will just end up falling to the ground.

Angles Perfected

The next thing you want to pay attention to is the miter gauge. This aspect of your table saw needs to be sturdy but also adjustable when needed.

You need to make sure that the miter gauge does not move when locked in place, or you will not cut good angles. Be sure to glide the miter gauge before purchasing to make sure that it glides smoothly. This ensures that your cuts remain accurate.

These are just some of the things to look for besides good safety features. Some of the most important safety features you want for the table saw is blade guards and anti-kickback technology. Hopefully, the tips in this guide help you find the tool that fits your needs

 photo 7636c3fb-e8d9-4b07-af6b-f1ca33a15bfe_zps9lbkp4mn.png

My Water Bill Was Sky High And Here Is Why

Last year we noticed a HUGE spike in our water and sewer bills. Unfortunately, we get billed separately for each service since they are from two different companies. Let's back up to 5 years ago. Our bills ran us about $60-$70. Last year it starting going into the $100-$150 range which seemed like a lot. Then suddenly it went all the way to a whopping $250 for the water and $300 for sewer. That was for ONE month per service. We knew something was wrong for sure. We had a licensed plumber come in and determine that we had a water pressure problem from the meter. Basically, way too much water was surging into our home and that wore out our plumbing fixtures. So not matter how often we changed out the toilet tank parts or washers in the faucets, they would blow out from the high water pressure.

This lead to the rubber parts causing leaks, which added to the high water bills. We ended up having a water pressure regulator installed a couple feet away from the city water meter and it took the pressure down from over 100 psi to below 70 where it should be. The plumber pointed out the fact that they meter was "spinning" 24/7 which meant water was being used non-stop, even if were weren't actually using it. 😑 Even after getting the regulator installed, we still had to get all new toilet parts replaced to make the meter stop spinning. Needless to say, it was a costly visit that took 5 hours to complete.

Thankfully our city water and sewer companies worked with us to adjust our bills since we proved we had the leaks fixed. Although it wasn't a super big amount they took off, we were still grateful to get some sort of discount. We saw a big price difference already on the first bill after the repairs were made, at around $100. I got the latest bill yesterday and we are now back in the $55 range. This makes me so happy! I think about how much we overpaid in the last year and it makes my head hurt. Oh well, glad we have it fixed and can have a little peace of mind now.

One thing about home ownership is that you will forever have work and projects going on. It is so important to stay on top of things when you see your bills go up unusually high. Have you had any homeowner debacles or projects lately?

3 Home Improvements That Up Your Home’s Value and Reduce Your Premium

Your home is your source of shelter, your sanctuary from the world, and a huge source of pride. It’s a no-brainer that you care deeply about protecting it, and look to homeowners insurance to help. If you’re planning on making some updates to your abode, consider home improvements that might also qualify you for insurance discounts. Not only will you be increasing the value of your home, but you’ll likely be making your residence safer. Spending some money up front on smart home improvements can save you money down the line in the form of lowered homeowners insurance premiums.

Jumping into renovations that could lower insurance premiums is a bit like putting the cart before the horse. At the top of the to-do list is finding the best homeowners insurance for your needs in terms of both coverage and cost. Only after you’re sure that your policy is right for your situation should you start to consider aligning your home improvements with factors that reduce your premiums.

Read on to learn more about three valuable home improvements, as well as a few that could end up costing more money in the long run.

Strengthen Your Roof
Asphalt shingles seem to be the default roofing material, but their condition can degrade over time when exposed to inclement weather. According to The Family Man, insurance companies often offer significant discounts—even up to 45 percent—for investment in stronger materials. Don’t assume anything before chatting with your insurance agent, but be sure to ask about materials discounts if you’re planning any renovations. Metal and other heavy-duty roofing materials cost more up front, but could earn you discounts and hold up better over time.

Install or Improve Home Security
It’s never a bad thing to feel like you have eyes in the back of your head when it comes to your house, especially for added security when you’re away. Your insurance company will view your house as more of a risk if it has spotty security and lacks basic safety measures. The Insurance Information Institute suggests that improving your home security systems can potentially decrease your homeowners insurance as follows:

   • Smoke detector, burglar alarm, or deadbolt locks (5 percent)
   • Sprinkler system and fire/burglar alarm that alerts authorities (15-20 percent)

Modernize Heating, Electrical, and Plumbing
Do you use modern appliances in your home? Water heater malfunction is one of the most common causes for filing a water damage claim, and comes with an average cost of $4,400. In a similar vein, half of washing machine-related water damage claims come from faulty water supply hoses. The average cost for these repairs is over $6,000 based on the same set of data from the Insurance Journal. While it can be daunting to envision appraising and updating systems like plumbing, heating, and electrical, it’s important for your safety and for the safety of your home. Since the repairs tend to be costly if something does go awry, it’s beneficial to anticipate and head off these problems ahead of time by keeping your systems updated and well-maintained.

There is one bright spot. As the National Association of Insurance Commissioners points out, optimizing these systems to be disaster-proof can potentially earn you a discount on your future premiums. Before you embark on any modifications, talk to your insurance provider.

Conditions That Could Set You Back
Just like streamlining your home can knock money off your insurance premium, certain factors can increase it. Risk associated with pets and swimming pools could bump up your premium, so it’s worthwhile investigating before you decide to adopt a large dog or put in a pool. Where you live also influences your rates, including living in a place known for having conditions that produce natural disasters.

Your best bet is checking in with your homeowners insurance company if you’re planning on making any changes to your home as they could affect your rates one way or another.


I would love to punch some people on HGTV

I just wanted to share some random thoughts that come to mind while I'm watching my favorite shows on HGTV...
  • I really can't stand when they show a married couple reenact their morning routine in a small bathroom. Do people really brush their hair or teeth at the same exact time each morning and bump into each other like that? We don't. Our master bathroom in my home is smaller than some bathrooms in hotels, but we never complain.
  • Couples that can't agree on colors, finishes or anything for that matter. They have heated on-air arguments and someone ends up in fake tears. 
  • When they have over-the-top expectations for an itty bitty budget. 
  • When people have a budget of over a million dollars and end up buying a 1,200 square foot home. 
  • Why do the men have to get inside the tub? I would be so embarrassed if my husband did something like that on camera. Sadly, he probably would.
  • I do LOVE when the host shows a house that has everything a couple is looking for-- all custom features, open and over-sized spaces, gourmet kitchen, dream back yard and everything else only to burst their bubble when the sales price is revealed. It ends up being like $400K over budget, Hehehe!
  • There is always going to be that one woman who freaks out because there's a dead bug on the ground. C'mon man, it's DEAD! 
  •  People and the whole "open floor plan" thing. I don't really get it. When I'm in the kitchen cooking, I don't want to be bothered. I don't need to see my family or guests while I'm in there. It's my "me time" and I don't need anyone talking to me during that time. 

The Man Room

We recently did a little home improvement project in Dwayne’s Man Room. Yeah, I let him have a room all to himself. I say he is lucky. I would have otherwise turned it into a playroom. I really wanted to get some new bathroom furniture, a bedding set or repaint the kitchen but the Man Room project won.

So the Man Room project was to replace the old carpet with new flooring and we opted to go the frugal way by doing the work ourselves. We went with a higher end vinyl tile (self-sticking) since the base of the floor is concrete. Dwayne let William help with the rolling of the first few tiles. Don't laugh at the rolling pin, I did say we were doing things frugally!
When the boy started doing wild things like this it was time to send him upstairs to his sisters. Things started to get rather sticky (literally) It took us about 7 hours since we had to cut all the detailed edges and corners. Those were the moments I wanted to jump out the window. I could not wait to be DONE!
We were both is so much pain we could not believe it. Your boy Dwayne behaved like the usual fool and I did have to say a few (dozen) choice words. Let's just say he likes to try some really dumb things instead of doing it the proper way and I have to get on him. Thankfully we made it through and it came out really beautiful~ besides his wall art. His favorite stuffed bass. People always ask him if he caught it. He tells them "Sho nuff, caught it at an estate sale!".
I am kind of jealous now. I think this color is so nice with his custard colored walls.

Now we are thinking about the next project.... Who knows what the next Shelly & Dwayne adventure will be!

Shelly, Mom Files

House projects suck

Well I was hoping to have something nice to post but unfortunately it's not going to work out that way. We were planning to have a very relaxing and uncomplicated weekend. The biggest task we planned was to replace the threshold of our front door. When Dwayne removed the old one we found that we had rotten wood in a variety of places. This has made a 30 minute project turn into an all day event and will be continued tomorrow. I have been into the hardware store (I dare not say the name before I get reprimanded by the husband) three times today already. Looks like some pain relief meds will be in order for us tonight. This is one of those days I wished I lived in a fully maintained apartment! I chose not to post pictures cause it's just too ugly to show anyone. Hope everyone else is having a great weekend!
Blogger Template Created For Mom Files All Rights Reserved