Safety Tips for Shoveling Snow

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Most people love winter season, but one thing which everyone hates about winters is the snow menace. Shoveling snow is probably the most hated activity of the winter months that poses significant health risks. Snow shoveling is a daunting task and the overexertion caused by this activity can sometimes lead to health complications and even death. This demanding task puts pressure on the heart and can cause heart attack; especially at low temperatures, when blood vessels contract and the heart pumps faster to get blood to the extremities. Besides heart attack, there are various other problems that a person can face because of shoveling snow. Due to the repetitive lifting of heavy weight snow, one may put strain on the muscles and back. In order to avoid such complications, one needs to take preventive measures to stay safe.

Before you plan to shovel snow, you must consider your health condition. In case you have heart condition or back problem, you must certainly avoid snow shoveling. Even otherwise, do not jeopardize your health and check with your doctor if you are fit to shovel snow. Apart from health condition, also consider your physical condition. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle or are out of shape, you must proceed with caution. Before you start this physically challenging activity, you must stretch and warm-up like you would do before a strenuous activity. You must also drink some water to remain hydrated.

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In case you are planning to shovel snow yourself, there are few simple things that you need to keep in mind. Foremost, avoid lifting snow-filled shovel as much as possible because it can be strenuous; instead try to push off the snow from the driveways, sidewalks or walkways. However, if it unavoidable and you do have to lift snow then you must face the direction in which you are lifting, but avoid twisting. On feeling sore or fatigued, you must stop shoveling for few minutes, take some rest and then start again. You must avoid over-exhausting yourself at all costs to avoid risk of heart attack. If it is extremely cold and you begin to feel its effects, stop shoveling and take rest, go inside for a while.

There are certain snow shoveling safety tips that you must always follow, such as you must never shovel immediately after you wake up. Lying down all night leads to build-up of fluid in the disc and a minor accident like fall increases risk of slipped disc injury. Dress in layers to keep yourself warm, and you can shed off layers as you become warm. Make sure to wear slip resistant boots and eye gear. In order to keep snow from sticking to the shovel, you can spray or rub some lubricant on it. It is advisable to keep the load lighter and take frequent breaks. Once you have cleared the snow, spread some rock salt to avoid icing.

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In case you have a snow thrower, ensure to follow all the safety guidelines to avoid injuries. Even after shutting off, the augur blades can continue to rotate and one can reach into the snow thrower and suffer injuries. In such cases, people tend to break fingers or damage tendons, while some injuries are worst and can result in maiming or amputations. Hence, whether you shovel snow manually or with the help of high-powered snow thrower, be careful and take measures to avoid accidents or injuries.

Safety First!!!

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Safety Tips for the DIY

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Do-it-yourself or DIY is an effective way of saving money that more and more people are using for various home improvement tasks. However, while doing the job, accidents can occur that can sometimes be serious or even fatal. Although people undertake DIY home renovation project for saving money, but an unfortunate accident can make him/her incur heavy medical expenses. Hence, to avoid such unpleasant circumstances, it is advisable that people should take appropriate precautions to minimize the risk of injury or danger.

If you are planning to undertake a DIY task, take appropriate safety measures to avoid occurrence of accident. It is generally recommended to take advice from a person who has already done similar DIY task, as he/ she can provide useful tips & guidelines to do the job safely. The person can also inform about various precautionary measures that you need to take in order to avoid any mishap.

Safety tips may vary from one task to another; however there are certain precautionary measures that you should always take, irrespective of the kind of job undertaken. First and foremost, always keep a first aid kit handy and well within your reach at the time of doing a DIY task. The kit must be well stocked with mild anesthetic, sterile gauge pads, antibiotic cream, adhesive bandages, scissors, gloves and other essentials.

Furthermore, be practical about your attire; wear sturdy clothing, gloves, and work boots. Avoid clothing with long, loose sleeves as there are chances of them getting caught in-between the moving parts of tools. You should also avoid wearing flip-flops, shorts, watches, and bracelets while executing a DIY task. Make sure to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from dust and debris. Additionally, you should also wear dust mask to avoid inhalation of dust and fibers, which can be hazardous. If you are using loud power tools, always wear earplugs to prevent damages to your ears.

Most of the DIY enthusiasts get injured because of not using the right tool in the right manner. To avoid this, make sure that you have the right tools for the job, along with the information to use it appropriately. Before using any equipment, read all the instructions carefully and follow them diligently to avoid any accident. Ensure that the blades, drill bits and cutters are sharp because dull tools tend to bind, which can be dangerous. When using power tools, do a thorough inspection and check for cracked or broken casing, and frayed power cord. In addition, make sure that the safety guards are intact. Always unplug the tool before adjusting or servicing it, and also when you are not using it. At all times, keep the tools away from the reach of children and pets.

If you are working in a group, maintain safe distance from co-workers to ensure that you do not hit them with your tool or bump into them. Once you complete the job, always clear up the workspace, so that there are no debris, nails or other dangerous material left, which can lead to accident or injury.

Along with following a systematic approach; if you adhere to these simple tips while doing a DIY task, then you can easily reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

Safety First!!!

Copyright © 2010

Basement flooring options

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Choosing the right flooring for your home is vital, but selecting right ‘basement flooring’ is all the more important. When it comes to selecting the appropriate flooring for your basement, it is important to take into consideration all the challenges, especially that of moisture and flooding. Basements generally have high moisture content, which can actually damage the installed flooring. Hence, before you choose any basement flooring option, you need to figure out an alternative for the problem of moisture.

Other than this many basements face the problem of flooding, and there are very few flooring options that can withstand the damages caused by it. Hence, it is advisable to eliminate this problem before you spend money on installing your basement floor.

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Basements are generally used for the purpose of storage, hence are not accessed too frequently; though some homeowners also use it for other purposes. The use of basement is an important factor in deciding the right flooring option. If your basement is relegated to a storage area only, then you can select concrete flooring. It is the most common flooring option chosen by many homeowners because of its high durability. Concrete can easily withstand a lot of pressure and last for a lifetime. Though it is inexpensive compared to other flooring options, it lacks the aesthetic value. To overcome this, you can add thick carpeting over it, only if the basement is dry and has no moisture or flooding problem. Carpets are available in different sizes, colors, designs and patterns, which soften the look of the concrete floor basement.

If your basement is not merely a store room, then you can use ceramic tiles for flooring. A good alternative to concrete flooring; ceramic tiles are available in an assortment of colors and can make your basement aesthetically appealing. Moreover, tiles are resistant to moisture, thereby solving the problem of moisture as well.

Tiles are highly durable and easy to install, and can be done so without professional guidance. Another great option is laminate flooring, which beautifully imitates the hardwood flooring. The biggest advantage of using laminate flooring is its sound-resisting capability. This helps in reducing the noise coming from the basement, especially if you are using it as a game room or a ‘mini-theater’. Only precaution that you need to take is to use a high grade laminate that can withstand the traffic as well as moisture in the basement.

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You can even opt for engineered flooring which is made up of three to five layers of hardwood. Despite the layered construction, it is thin and you can add extra insulation if you want. It also offers higher resistance to moisture and traffic. Apart from this, you can even use rubber or foam mats. These mats are resistant to moisture and also have noise insulating capability which makes these a good choice for busy basements with high traffic and activity.

Hence, depending upon the use of the basement and budget, you can choose amongst any of these flooring options.

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Removing Mold From Your Attic

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What are Molds?

Mildew and molds are fungi – simple microscopic organisms that thrive anywhere there is a moist environment. Molds are a necessary part of the environment; without them, leaves would not decay and aspects of soil enrichment could not take place. It is their ability to destroy organic materials, however, that makes mold a problem for people – in our homes and in our bodies.

A common issue bothering many homeowners these days is mold and mildew problems in the attic. These problems are caused due to various reasons, which need to be dealt with immediately. Some of the reasons that can lead to mold problem include excess moisture, poor attic ventilation and roof leakage. Moisture, which is a leading cause for mold problem, can also lead to other difficulties as well, such as, it can make the building material to crack, rot, warp and stain.

If appropriate measures are not taken in time and the mold sets in, it can lead to serious health problems as well. Some of the health problems that can be caused due to mold include respiratory problems, allergy, and skin, eye & throat irritation. Continuous exposure to mold can even be fatal as it can cause cancer. In order to avoid these problems, it is very important to remove mold at the earliest.

In case you are also experiencing the mold problem, be it white, green, black or any other color mold, fix it as soon as possible. However, do not commit the same mistakes that most homeowners do; removing mold on their own. You should leave this job for mold remediation contractors. These professionals are licensed by the state to tackle the mold problem in an efficient manner.

Foremost, the mold remediation contractors ascertain the reason behind mold problem; which more often than not is moisture. Once the source of moisture is fixed, they subsequently strive to remove mold. Irrespective of whether the mold is black, white or green, the mold remediation steps are same; starting with sealing off the area. The area is sealed off with plastic sheeting and tape, which help to keep the mold spores contained in the attic. This prevents mold from spreading throughout the house and worsening the situation.

Next step is to ‘wet vacuum’, which sucks up water from all the water soaked surfaces and also cleans mold. Dry vacuum is always avoided because it launches mold spores in the air, instead of removing it. The molds which are not removed by wet vacuum are killed with the help of an approved fungicide; which can either be applied through a sprayer or fogger. Many people have the misunderstanding that bleach can kill or keep away mold; however it is not effective method.

Once the mold is killed, it is time to clean up the area thoroughly. Mold remediation contractors generally prefer HEPA vacuum for scrubbing, scraping and cleaning up dust and debris. They may sometimes even ask you to remove furniture, building material or any other thing that is contaminated by molds. Before disposing it, the contaminated material should be sealed in plastic bags and subsequently labeled. Lastly, dry out the attic with the help of dehumidifiers or fans. It is essential to dry the area completely to avoid mold from resurfacing again. Once done, the restoration work can be done.

If there is mold in your attic and you do not want to risk serious structural and aesthetic damages to your home, along with health damages to yourself; remove mold from your attic as soon as possible.

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