Archive | January, 2014

How to Eliminate a Bed Bug Infestation

30 Jan

How to Eliminate a Bed Bug Infestation

Bed bugs are among the most common pests you can find at home. They can hide in your mattresses, clothing, furniture, and even cracks on the walls. They create a mess, usually leaving black spots on furniture and sometimes even a musty odor.

When you search for a possible bed bug infestation, some of the signs you need to look for are bites on your body, bugs crawling on anything, and blood spots in your bedding.

If you discover bed bugs in your home, how do you deal with the infestation? Here are a few tips:

  • Vacuum every day. Turn and move your furniture, mattress, and bedding when you vacuum your house to ensure you don’t miss a spot. Vacuuming will help remove these pests, as well as the dirt they leave behind.
  • Wash your clothes and bed linens. This will kill off all the bed bugs that where stuck inside. It is best to wash your linens in hot water, as bed bugs are easily killed in extreme temperatures.
  • Seal cracks in walls, floors, and ceilings. Bed bugs can come in through these entryways, so avoid further infestation by blocking their way.
  • Inspect old furniture. Second hand furniture may offer a huge savings, but you run the risk that it may already be infested with bed bugs. Before letting second hand furniture into your home, inspect it thoroughly first.
  • Scrub your mattress. In addition to cleaning your bedding, also clean your bed mattress directly. Scrub off bed bugs and their dirt and eggs by using a tough brush and reliable detergent. Let it dry under the sun.
  • Pull your mattress away from the wall. Bed bugs may be crawling in walls and accessing your bed that way. As long as it won’t damage your furniture, you may also place each bed leg in a container filled with water, which will make it harder for the bugs to climb up.
  • Hire a pest control service. If the infestation reaches a point where it is no longer tolerable or controllable, call the experts in to eradicate them thoroughly for you.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

INTEGRIS Third Age Life Center Offers Diabetes Seminar in Oklahoma City

28 Jan

INTEGRIS Third Age Life Center Offers Diabetes Seminar in Oklahoma City

Among the most common illnesses in the modern world today is diabetes. This condition arises when there is a high level of blood sugar in the body. Diabetes can be a disease with alarming complications.

When one has diabetes, he or she commonly experiences kidney and dental problems as well as skin complications. Others have complications involving their eyes and even their hearts.

To help the residents of Oklahoma City understand the nature of diabetes, including its cause and effects, the INTEGRIS Third Age Life Center will be offering a seminar to all interested. Understanding Diabetes is a five-part seminar held on the first Friday of the month, featuring various aspects of diabetes management as well as other vital information.

INTEGRIS Third Age Life Center is a resource center in Oklahoma City which aims to provide support to all senior citizens living within the greater Oklahoma City area.

Understanding Diabetes will be held every first Friday of the month from February to June between the times of 9 am to 10:30 am at the INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center.Admission is free, but those who wish to join the seminar will need to pre-register in advance.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Effective Ways to Soundproof Your Home

27 Jan

Effective Ways to Soundproof Your Home

As our population continues to increase, space becomes more and more limited, and houses and buildings are constructed in more consolidated areas. One of the downfalls of this is that is can be annoying and disturbing to your peace and quiet if you have to deal with hearing your next door neighbor’s music on a regular basis or even their conversations.  So, how do you protect your home against noise pollution?

A soundproof home or room can provide a calm and quiet atmosphere that offers an escape from the activity of the rest of the world. It can provide protection against loud music outside your home and even against noise in certain parts of your house, such as humming from the laundry room or the sound of dishes in the kitchen.

Here are several ways to soundproof your room:

  1. Soundproof your floors. It can be done by adding rugs or carpet. If you have floors that are made of hardwood or tile and you do not want to change them, cover them with thick rugs in various places to reduce sound. Carpeting absorbs sound and reduces noise from bouncing off bare floors. You can even purchase special soundproofing mats to place beneath your carpet to make your floors even more soundproof.
  2. Soundproof your windows. The windows in your home will allow noise pollution to enter your room easily if they are not installed properly. Hang some heavy, sound-blocking curtains or add acoustical caulking around the window frames.
  3. Install remote control soundproof curtains on each wall of the bedroom. This will give your bedroom an elegant ambience and at the same time keep out noise. The curtains can be neatly tied in the corners of the room during the day when noise is not a problem.
  4. Use egg cartons. Use the large cardboard egg cartoons found at your local grocery store for the best results. Spray paint them with a color you like and attach them to the walls by using a staple gun. Attach them tightly against each other, so there is no space between them for sound to come through. Hide them behind panelled curtains if you don’t like the way they look.  This is most commonly used for music rooms to prevent sound from passing through the walls to other parts of the house.

Working and sleeping well in a noisy environment can be an impossible task. By implementing the simple techniques above, you can effectively soundproof your room inexpensively and easily.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Five Ways to Unclog A Sink

23 Jan

Five Ways to Unclog A Sink

Dealing with a clogged sink can be very inconvenient, and every homeowner usually encounters the dilemma at some point. A clogged sink can happen for many reasons, but it is usually due to the accumulation of things that go down the drain, such as hair, food, soap scum, and other debris. Fortunately, in most instances, it is not necessary to call a plumber to come fix a drain clog because you can do it yourself. Here are some useful tips for how to easily unclog your sink:

  1. Use a plunger. A toilet plunger and a sink plunger are two different things, so be sure you use the latter. Partially fill the sink with water, place the plunger completely over the drain, and start plunging away. Check to see if the water starts draining and keep repeating the process until it does.
  2. Pour boiling water into the drain. The hot temperature will force hair, soap, and other debris down the pipes and eliminate the clog. Do not do this is you have PVC piping, however, because boiling water can crack porcelain.
  3. Use vinegar and baking soda. Mix one cup of baking soda with one cup of vinegar and pour it down the drain. Wait for about five minutes and then turn on the warm water to push down any remaining residue and ensure that the drain is unclogged.
  4. Use a closet auger or plumbing snake for stubborn clogs. Each has a short drain cable inside a metal tube that is bent at the end. Remove the sink stopper first and then extend the snake cable into the drain. Continue to extend the cable a few inches until you feel the clog. Tighten the snake’s screen and turn the snake handle until the clog has been worked through.
  5. Take preventative measures. Do not throw chunks of food down the sink. Make sure to remove all food from your dishes before placing them in the sink. Avoid pouring oil and grease down your sink as well.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Edmond Public Schools and Fine Arts Institute of Edmond Offer Art Program to Elementary Schools

21 Jan

Edmond Public Schools and Fine Arts Institute of Edmond Offer Art Program to Elementary Schools

Enhancing creativity is one way of helping students improve themselves both mentally and emotionally. When children explore different kinds of art, not only are they enjoying the colors and the value of their output, but they are also learning excellent skills and creative thinking.

Many public elementary schools in Edmond do not have formal art classes until the fifth grade. To provide art classes to lower elementary years, the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond is partnering with Edmond Public Schools to launch a program called Art in Schools. It is an additional class offered to third and fourth graders in eight elementary schools, where kids will learn more about art from a professional artist.

Art in Schools is a creative program that helps promote art awareness among students and helps them to develop their creative skills. According to Executive Director Shannon Price of the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond, children who participate in the arts are more motivated and confident and have higher scores on their exams.

Many private organizations have also offered their support through donations. Monetary donations are being used to buy art supplies and compensate elementary school art teachers.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Tips On Choosing the Best Painting for Your Home

20 Jan

Tips On Choosing the Best Painting for Your Home

Purchasing the perfect paintings for your home can be an exciting investment and a source of enjoyment for years to come. It is a wonderful way to make your home look interesting and refined. But, you want to select the painting well, so that it will complement the rest of the room.

Consider the following things before buying a painting for your home:

  1. The painting should match the color of your walls. If your walls are light colors, consider buying a painting with bright or vivid colors. On the other hand, if your walls are a stronger color, your painting should contain colors that fall within that same general color range. You can also try to contrast colors as long as they look good together.
  2. Consider the style of the room. Whether you have a contemporary space or a traditional, classic space will influence what type of artwork you should place in the room. You may want to choose an abstract art painting if you have a contemporary modern design, while a Renaissance-style oil painting canvas would be great for a traditional home.
  3. Examine the space where you are thinking to hang your artwork. A lot of homeowners choose to hang their paintings over the fireplace, over the couch, or on other focal walls in the living room. Choose a painting size that fits your space well. Artwork that is too large for the space tends to appear odd and overwhelms the viewer. For instance, if large paintings are to be hung over a sofa, the artwork should not exceed the length of the couch.
  4. Decide on framing. The frame should be something that matches the art itself, but also the color of the furniture in your room if possible. If you can’t find a frame that matches your furniture, opt for a painting without a frame. Choosing the wrong frame can detract from overall look of the room.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes in Your Home

16 Jan

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes in Your Home

During the winter months, when temperatures are below freezing, many homeowners become concerned about their pipes freezing. Frozen pipes can cause a series of problems, including no heat or hot water and the possibility of the pipes bursting, which is very expensive to repair.

Frozen water pipes prevent water from travelling from your main water source to your faucets because ice builds up inside and blocks the flow of water. Pressure slowly starts to build between the frozen area and closed faucet, and when the pressure increases to a high enough point, it becomes more than the pipe can bear, and it bursts.

Here are some tips and methods of prevention to avoid frozen pipes in the winter:

  1. Inspect all plumbing supply pipes in your house and determine which pipes may be vulnerable to freezing. Pipes that are exposed to the outdoors or pipes running through unheated crawlspaces or basements are pipes that are most at risk. Also look for areas where cold air can enter your home, such as ventilation ducts and pipes serving outdoor spigots.
  2. Keep the thermostat at a steady temperature both during the day and night. An increased electric bill is always better than paying thousands to get your house refitted with new pipes.
  3. Turn your water faucets on with a slow drip. Increase the slow drip if you notice that it has ceased, so you can keep water flowing and prevent it from freezing in your pipes. Always remember that the faucets should be allowed to drip as long as temperatures are below the freezing mark. Let all faucets drip, including showerheads and bathtub faucets.
  4. Place insulation around your pipes before the cold season comes. You can use heat tape or fiberglass. Heat tape is one of the most effective ways to protect your pipes from the freezing cold. Following the manufacturer’s installation and operating instructions, wind the tape in a spiral pattern around the pipes to protect them.
  5. Create heat circulation by keeping closet doors open. This will allow heat to get to pipes located under sinks or on the other side of walls.

Following these tips can help save your pipes and guarantee you peace of mind and safety all winter.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031