Archive for March, 2011

My Frigidaire self cleaning oven has been sprayed with Easy-Off oven cleaner.Can I do a self-clean after that?

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

I have a Frigidaire self cleaning oven that has been sprayed by accident with Easy-Off heavy duty oven cleaner. I wiped and rinsed as much as I could. I was wondering how dangerous is it to use the self cleaning feature again after this?

Turn the oven on to a normal baking temperature and let it preheat. If it smells badly, turn off the oven and open the oven door. Open a window in the house for ventilation. Oven cleaner will release toxic fumes if heated. Allow the oven to cool and wipe, wipe, wipe with a clean cloth or sponge with plain water.

Why Replace Your Windows?

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

You know how your heart skips a beat every time the heating bill comes in the middle of winter? Or when your air conditioning has been running full blast, all summer, and your electric bill arrives?

What can you do to prevent utility bill shock? Your first, best bet is to replace your old windows.

Of course, if rising energy costs are not a concern for you (and your heart) there are other great reasons to replace the windows in your house:

  • Comfort: New windows can eliminate cold drafts or excessive heat in your home.
  • Security: Windows and doors are the most insecure parts of any home. Windows made today have heavier frames, durable locking systems, and stronger mounting methods for glass.
  • Maintenance: Today, with tilt-in, sliding or rotating sashes, windows can be cleaned easier and don’t need new paint on a regular basis.
  • Home Value: Replacement windows can beautify a home and will add value when it’s time to sell.

If you have an older home and it still has the original windows, you could be missing out on all the modern technological advances that have come along in home window design. Most new windows have a double or triple pane – which means there are two or more sections of glass in the window, with air space in between – but there are many styles to choose from:

  • Double-hung Windows – are the most common windows available today. Either the top or bottom half of the window opens up. They open by sliding the bottom half of the window up or sliding the top half down. Because only half of the window area can be open at one time, they provide less ventilation than casement style windows. Windows made today use a spring balance mechanism to allow the halves of the window to slide easily.
  • Single-hung Windows – are similar to double-hung windows but only the bottom half of the window sash opens. Both single and double-hung windows are readily available, which can keep costs down. Both do not have the best energy efficiency ratings because the sashes slide across the weather-stripping, rather than pressing into it like a casement window.
  • Casement Windows – usually swing outward, on pivot devices, and are usually operated with a hand crank. They provide great ventilation because both sections of the window open up. They seal tighter when closed because they press up against the frame, rather than slide across it. And casement windows can be cleaned entirely from the indoors.
  • Awning windows – are hinged on the top or bottom rather than on the side and they can swing in or they can swing out. Since the sash presses against the frame, they seal out air effectively. They provide a more contemporary look and can even be left open when it’s raining.
  • Bay & Bow windows – are projected windows with multiple panes. Bay windows are polygonal and Bow windows come out in a semi-circle. Bay windows usually have at least three sections and Bow windows start with at least four sections. They can provide more space in a room and can also improve a view.
  • Sliding windows – have sashes that move horizontally. There are single and double sliding windows, where either only one or both of the sashes slide respectively. These windows are generally less expensive and fairly easy to clean.
  • Fixed-Frame windows – do not open, which means they do not allow any ventilation or cleaning from indoors, but they are sealed to prevent any air flow. They are relatively inexpensive and can come in nearly any size.
  • Rotating windows – pivot on a central point from either the top or the sides. They allow great ventilation because the entire window area is completely open. It’s easy to clean rotating windows because the exterior surface can spin inside. With a reflective coating on the glass, the windows can be used to reflect heat out in summer or in during the winter.

Many replacement windows now come in a variety of materials, depending on your needs. It’s important to consider your climate when choosing window materials. Areas with harsher winters, with extensive humidity and moisture, and with constant heat can affect the materials in replacement windows:

  • Wooden Windows – are not a common replacement material but are sometimes used to meet local neighborhood restrictions or aesthetic reasons (a wooden window is still the best looking window on the market.) They can be painted, stained, and varnished to any taste. With the right glass, wooden windows have excellent energy efficiency ratings. They require more maintenance and can shrink, swell, fade, and crack. The can also be expensive, depending on the type of wood.
  • Vinyl Windows – are a competitively priced way to improve the look of a home. They can be made to fit nearly any window opening, don’t need paint, and will not shrink or swell. The frame size cannot be too large because the windows are flexible. Depending on the manufacturer, vinyl windows do not always have the best insulation values and do not stand up well to excessive heat in warmer climates.
  • Aluminum Windows – can be easily shaped for a variety of window sizes. They are very strong and durable. They are lightweight, inexpensive, and easily maintained. However, aluminum conducts heat easily, making them less energy efficient. They are also vulnerable to condensation, which can lead to mold issues. But a thermal insulation can help with the energy efficiency and the “sweating” problem.
  • Fiberglass Windows – are strong and have great insulation values, but can be much more expensive. They are low maintenance and will not shrink or swell. They are strong enough to support nearly any size window and will not fade or corrode.

No matter which replacement window style or material you go with, talk to a professional about the requirements and location needs of your home. New windows can add beauty, energy efficiency, comfort, and security to any home and you want to make sure they’re installed right. Keep in mind you’ll have several decisions to make beyond styles and materials. Consider the price levels. Will you go with high-end, middle of the market, or inexpensive replacements? Some other options to consider: warranties, type of glass, reputation of the window manufacturers, and the quality and efficiency of the replacement windows. is standing ready to help you find a window replacement contractor. Save time and money by receiving free bids from a network of quality window experts.

Good luck!

Timothy Clark

Cooking Lesson: Seasoning Cast Iron Like the Pros

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

In the days before we had non-stick cookware, we had the next best thing – seasoned cast iron cookware. While non-stick cookware has certainly outdone cast iron cookware in the non-stick category, cast iron pots and pans are still favored by many chefs, including the professionals because of their durability and ability to retain flavor.

But, if you’re not lucky enough to have a hand-me-down from Grandma, you may find yourself confused about how to become a cast iron chef. Have no fear – you can learn to season cast iron cookware with the pros and keep them in great shape for years to come.

Seasoning New Cast Iron Cookware

The process is actually quite simple. When done correctly, your pans will last a long time and may even become your own hand-me -downs in the future.

1. Heat your oven to 300 degrees.

2. Coat the pan with lard or grease. (Be sure that you do not use vegetable oil or commercial cooking sprays. While they may seem easier, they will not only cause your cookware to be seasoned incorrectly, but they will also leave a sticky film on the outside of the cookware that is impossible to remove.)

3. Place the pan in the oven on the middle rack and allow it to bake for 15 minutes.

4. Remove the pan and pour out any excess grease or lard.

5. Put the pan back into the oven and bake for another two hours.

6. Repeat as needed

Many cast iron enthusiasts will swear upon repeating the seasoning process several times before ever using the cookware the first time. Each time you season the cookware, the seasoning bond becomes stronger. Many people will recommend that the first few times the cookware is used it should be used to cook greasy foods (bacon, fatty meats, etc.) to again strengthen the seasoning bond.

Re-seasoning Cookware

If you find that you seasoned the pan improperly the first time, or if food starts to stick to the pan after a period of time in use, you may want to re-season the cookware.

1. Wash the cookware thoroughly with a steel wool pad (doing this while the pan is warm and still safe to touch is best).

2. Make sure the pan is fully dry (use a towel if needed).

3. Follow the seasoning steps above to re-season the pan.

Cleaning Your Cast Iron Cookware

To make your cookware last the test of time, be sure to take proper care of it. Remember the creed of every enthusiast of cast iron – no soap and no steel wool. Soap and steel wool will cause a breakdown in the seasoning bond and should not be used to clean your cookware on a regular basis. If you’re baffled at this moment, have no fear. Cleaning cast iron cookware is a breeze.

1. You’ll need to rinse your cookware while it is still hot. If food is stuck to it, then scrape the pan or pot as needed.

That’s it! Remember not to store food in your cast iron cookware because it may attach a metallic flavor to the food. In addition, store your pans with the lids off to prevent moisture from accumulating and rusting from occurring.

Now that you know the ins and outs to cast iron cookware, you can start creating your own family heirloom – as well as some great food!

Mike Lansing spends his free time cooking for family and friends, as well as serving as a contributing editor for


Digeus Inc Launched New Registry Repair Utility for Windows Vista

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Windows registry is one of the most vital components of the PC. It stores information about Windows system and all application programs installed on the computer. Whenever user works with computer, uses Internet or runs any application the registry is changed. Windows Registry is always under the threat of potentially dangerous records left in the registry behind by deleted programs and utilities. All corrupted registry entries can damage Windows registry and dramatically slow down performance even of the newest computer.

“Our goal is to provide our customers with the best software services that will help users to keep their PCs performing at top speed,” said John Fister, senior president and chief software architect at Digeus, Inc. “Thus we have developed Registry Cleaner that can provide users with an expert help when they perform diagnostics or try to optimize the most vital parts of their PCs.”

With Digeus Registry Cleaner even newbie computer user can perform complex operations on Windows registry optimization by himself without having to upgrade hardware. Digeus Registry Cleaner is designed to scan, optimize, clean and repair the Windows registry quickly and easily.

Digeus Registry Cleaner quickly identifies invalid references, corrupted DLLs, orphaned startup programs and invalid system records within the registry.

The product has seen many technological improvements. Below, there are some of the advancements that make it stand out:

Digeus Registry Cleaner scans, locates, cleans and optimizes the following registry entries:

  • Missing shared Dlls, unused file extensions, files and folders that no longer point to the correct objects;
  • Invalid application paths, start-up programs or missing shortcut references that take time when startup or shutdown PC;
  • Invalid ActiveX & COM that no longer point to the correct controls;
  • Invalid installer references that are no longer used or have been moved.

Other significant advancement of Digeus Registry Cleaner is its wide range of Windows supported platforms. Digeus Registry Cleaner for Windows Vista supports Windows 95/98/ME/NT/XP/2000/2003.

Pricing and Availability

Digeus Registry Cleaner runs under all versions of Microsoft Windows and costs $17,99 (USD) for a single-user license. Further information on Digeus Registry Cleaner as well as a free trial copy are available free of charge from

About Digeus Inc, 2008

Digeus Inc was founded in 2008 by John Fister. The goal of the company is to develop products for the users of Windows platforms. The company’s consumer product portfolio includes:

  • “SnapIt”, a tool for taking windows screen captures,
  • “Online TV Player”, a tool for watching broadcasted TV/ Radio stations,
  • “Image Resizer”, a tool for batch image size conversion, and
  • “Registry Cleaner”, a software project for optimization and diagnostics of PCs.
  • “Junk File Remover”, an utility used for cleaning up disk space by deleting unused junk files
  • “Privacy Protection”, a software project for removing all “privacy” tracks left on your computer
  • “Jet Email Extractor”, an utility used for bulk email extraction from news groups


Please, let us know if you have any questions or would like any additional information on “Digeus Registry Cleaner”.

A free registration key is available upon request to all editors considering a review.

Product page:
Company web-site:

Albany, NY 12205, USA

Katherine Poll

Air Pollution – Your House May Be Harming Your Family

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Kitchen cabinets, furniture, perfume, even candles and air fresheners – they can all contribute to the air pollution in our homes.

Dr. Bernard Hamel, former Director for the Institute for Environmental Studies at Drexil University, estimates that the levels of potentially deadly toxins in the average American home may be five times greater than the level of toxic pollutants found in the dirtiest city air.

Indoor air pollution poses a far greater risk to our health than outdoor pollution. Exposure to tobacco smoke, structural materials, mold, and even simple household dust can make us sick.

Biological contaminants such as mold and mildew allow disease-carrying pollutants to reproduce and spread their spores throughout the air. Toxic chemicals found in air fresheners, as well as average cleaning and grooming supplies can also be hazardous when build-up occurs in poorly ventilated rooms. Even the glue that holds 90% of today’s furniture together contains formaldehyde, which may cause nausea, headaches, lethargy and breathing problems in some people.

Another concern is lead paint, asbestos and radon, which were used in most homes, built before the 1980’s. Odorless, colorless and tasteless, these are all substances that are impossible to detect without proper testing.

When trying to safeguard your home against indoor pollution, follow these simple tips:

-Use pump bottles for cleaning supplies instead of spray cans. They spray less fumes and are easier to direct.

-Add more ventilation, or simply open your doors and windows more often to help air out the indoor pollution.

-Hire environmental testers to check for things like radon, lead and asbestos.

-Use “green” cleaning products. They’re cheaper and easy to make. Try these recipes for some common household cleaning jobs:

All Purpose Cleaner:
-1 qt. warm water
-1 tsp. liquid hand soap
-1/4 tsp. lemon juice

Works well on floors, countertops, rugs and upholstery

Oven Cleaner:
Cover grime with baking soda. Spray with water until wet, keeping dry for 3-4 hours. Let sit overnight. In the morning wipe clean with clear water.

Furniture Polish:
-1 pt. mineral oil
-1 tsp. lemon juice

Caustic household cleaners and chemicals ma be the #1 source of acute human exposure to toxic substances, according to research done by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. They make us sick and they damage the environment. When you have to use a caustic substance around your home, remember two important tips:

-Know how to use them properly: Always use caustic chemicals and cleaners in a well-ventilated area. Use an air mask if possible.

-Know how to dispose of them properly: Improper disposal of household cleaners, paints and other chemicals is the main source of toxic pollution in the United States today.

Follow these tips when getting rid of your household chemicals:

-Never pour any hazard household substance down the drain.

-Keep original containers for ingredient lists and storage.

-Take lids off paint and let dry prior to disposing.

-Take all chemical containers to your local hazardous waste site for disposal.

Matthew Hick

About Concrete Paving And Sealing

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

About Concrete Paving

Concrete Pavers are made by pouring a mixture of concrete and some type of coloring agent into a mold of some shape and allowing it to set. Concrete pavers are a popular outdoor flooring surface. With modern technology, rough grey concrete pavers are a thing of the past, and many are produced with a sophisticated look similar to come types of natural stone.

Sealing Concrete Paving

Concrete paving is very porous, and stains easily. It’s high porosity makes it particularly prone to salt efflorescence. All concrete paving should be sealed to keep it looking good for a long period of time.

To maintain the look, breathe-ability and slip resistance of the surface, it is important to use a high quality, invisible impregnating sealer. Dry-Treat impregnating sealers are safe and suitable for outdoor and indoor surfaces, and for residential or high traffic commercial surfaces

About Brick

Brick is a man-made building material made from baked clay that has been used for over 5000 years. Bricks are also made from a mixture of lime and very fine sand that are hardened in stream at a high pressure.

Sealing Brick

Brick is hard and dense, but quite porous and easily penetrated by water oil, although the amount of porosity varies depending on the particular type of clay, baking methods etc.
To maintain the look and protect brick paving from oil staining, water ingress and salt attack, it is important to use a high quality, invisible impregnating sealer. This is especially so for brick paving in entertaining areas or where there is a problem with salt efflorescence.
Dry-Treat impregnating sealers are safe and suitable for outdoor and indoor surfaces, and for residential or high traffic commercial surfaces.

About Bluestone

American bluestone is a high quality, dense sandstone, quarried around New York and Pennsylvania, and commercially known as Pennsylvania bluestone. It is very popular as a building and architectural stone.

Australian bluestone or basalt is a dense, hard wearing stone, generally a deep blue grey, and is a grand and popular paving stone. Bluestone was used in the interior of the new Melbourne Cricket Ground, and sealed with Dry-Treat’s ENHANCE-PLUS and STAIN PROOF.

British dolerite is mainly used to make jewelry and small knickknacks. About 80 of the stones at Stonehenge are dolerite.

Sealing Bluestone

Bluestone may be a dense stone, but it is still porous – you only need to leave a tablespoon of water on a floor tile for 30 minutes or so to find a deep stain. It is important to seal bluestone if you want it to continue to look good for a long period of time.

To maintain the look and slip resistance of the bluestone, it is important to use a high quality, invisible impregnating sealer. Dry-Treat impregnating sealers are safe and suitable to seal bluestone surfaces of all types – from wall cladding to floors, outdoors and in, residential and high traffic commercial.

About Granite

Granite is an igneous rock formed by the slow cooling of molten liquid rock. It is made up of crystals of quartz and feldspar, and sometimes mica and hornblende. Granite is a tough, hard wearing and versatile stone, available in a wide array of mottled colors, from whites to blacks and just about every other color.

Finished to a high polish it is the most popular stone for kitchen bench tops, and with a honed or even rough hewn finish is popular for wall cladding and flooring – both residential and commercial.

Sealing Granite

Granite is dense, but quite porous – you only need to leave a tablespoon of water on a floor tile for 30 minutes or so to find a deep stain. It is important to seal granite to keep it looking good for a long period of time.

To maintain the look and slip resistance of the granite, it is important to use a high quality, invisible impregnating sealer. Dry-Treat impregnating sealers are safe and suitable to seal granite surfaces of all types – from wall cladding to floors, outdoors and in, residential and high traffic commercial.

About Limestone

Limestone is a sedimentary soft rock that consists of mainly calcium carbonate. In its pure state it is white but it may be colored by other materials. Limestone is formed either from accumulation of animal shells in a calcium carbonate cementing matrix or by crystallization from solution.

Sealing Limestone

All limestone is highly porous – a tablespoon of water on a limestone surface will be absorbed in seconds, although it does vary in porosity from piece to piece. Porosity is also affected by its finish – highly polished limestone is a little harder to penetrate than limestone with a honed (matt) finish.
Due to its high porosity it is particularly important for limestone to be sealed with a high quality impregnating sealer which will not affect its slip resistance or look. Limestone is used both outdoors and indoors, and Dry-Treat’s premium impregnating sealers will seal limestone equally well in either.

About Marble

Marble is a limestone that has been changed under intense heat and pressure and is composed of calcium carbonate. The most common mineral of this composition is calcite.

Sealing Marble

Although marble is a dense stone, water and oil will penetrate marble given sufficient time. Porosity is also affected by its finish – highly polished marble is a little harder to penetrate than marble with a honed (matt) finish.
To preserve its looks, breathe-ability and slip resistance, it is important for marble to be sealed with a high quality, high penetration, invisible impregnating sealer. Dry-Treat impregnating sealers are suitable for all marble surfaces, indoors and out, from kitchen counter tops to marble floor tiles or wall cladding.

About Sandstone

Sandstone is a sedimentary rock formed from debris deposited of silica granules by wind or water and consolidated with amorphous silica or calcium carbonate cementing matrix, often in conjunction with aluminum or iron oxide, which contributes yellow, orange or brown coloration.

Sealing Sandstone

Sandstone is very porous and one of the softest types of stone. Water and oil absorb into sandstone within seconds and, over a longer period, water and especially water with salt can do severe damage to the surface. All sandstone must be sealed to help keep it intact, free of salt efflorescence and looking good.

To maintain the look, breathe-ability and slip resistance of the sandstone, it is important to use a high quality, invisible impregnating sealer. Topical sealers will trap moisture in the stone which can damage it in time. Dry-Treat impregnating sealers are safe and suitable to seal sandstone surfaces of all types – from wall cladding to floors, outdoors and in, residential and high traffic commercial.

About Slate

Slate is a fine-grained, homogeneous, metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low grade regional metamorphism. Slate is mainly composed of quartz and muscovite or illite, often along with biotite, chlorite, hematite, and pyrite along with, less frequently, apatite, graphite, kaolin, magnetite, tourmaline, or zircon.

Sealing Slate

Slate is quite dense, but it is still highly porous – a tablespoon of water left on the slate for about 30 minutes will leave a deep mark. Slate should be sealed to keep it looking good for a long period of time.

Topical sealers (glossy plastic coating over the top of the slate) are still used on slate, but these older style sealers can trap moisture in the stone and make the surface very slippery when wet. Plus, when a topical sealer wears in higher traffic areas, the entire surface has to be stripped and re-sealed,

To provide premium protection from oil and water-based stains, maintain the look and slip resistance of the slate and prevent damaging moisture from being trapped within the stone, it is important to seal slate with a high quality, invisible, fully breathe-able impregnating sealer.

About Terracotta / Saltillo

From the Italian for ‘baked earth”, refined clay is partially dried and cast, molded, or hand worked into a desired shape, then fired for hardness. When unglazed, the material is very porous. Glazed terracotta can vary from relatively water proof to partially porous. Terracotta / Saltillo is a good value surface material and quite hard wearing though not as dense or tough as most types of stone.
The unglazed color after firing can vary widely depending on the amount of and type of mineral/metal particles in the clay, from orange, orangish red, to brownish orange color and even yellows, grays and pinks.

Sealing Terracotta / Saltillo

Terracotta is usually quite porous and very prone to staining and to water ingress. All terracotta should be sealed for protection.
To maintain the look, breath ability and slip resistance of terracotta, it is important to use a high quality, invisible impregnating sealer. Dry-Treat impregnating sealers are safe and suitable for outdoor and indoor surfaces, and for residential or high traffic commercial surfaces.

About Travertine

Travertine is a sedimentary rock. When pure, travertine is quite white, but usually it at least partially patterned and colored in shades from light yellows to browns, from impurities in the stone. Travertine is also full of pits. These can be left or filled with a suitable color-matched putty.

Travertine is typically formed from mineral deposits (usually calcite) in mineral springs or hot springs, or streams saturated with calcium carbonate. When it is very porous, Travertine is known as calcareous ‘tuff’.

Sealing Travertine

All travertine is highly porous – a tablespoon of water on a travertine surface will be absorbed in seconds, although it does vary in porosity from piece to piece. Porosity is also affected by its finish – highly polished travertine with all the holes filled is less porous than travertine with a honed (matt) finish.

Due to its high porosity it is particularly important for travertine to be sealed with a high quality impregnating sealer which will not affect its slip resistance or look. It is very difficult to seal travertine against acid attack. Travertine is used both outdoors and indoors, and Dry-Treat’s premium impregnating sealers will seal travertine equally well in either.

About Polished Porcelain

Porcelain is pressed dust i.e. the raw materials are ground, mixed and moistened and literally pressed into the desired shape using tremendous force, creating a ceramic tile with a very low absorption level and high mechanical strength and chemical resistance. Vitrified / vitreous tiles are usually very hard for liquids to penetrate, but polished porcelain usually stains and absorbs water quite easily.

Even with dense vitrified tiles, it is always a good idea to seal tile grout, as this is usually the easiest pathway for water to get in and cause damage – in the shower for example. Once water gets underneath tiles, it is often free to move through concrete floors, brick and mortar walls and to rot wooden structures.

Sealing Polished Porcelain

Polished Porcelain is usually prone to staining and to water ingress. All polished porcelain should be sealed for protection. Polished porcelain tiles usually arrive with some type of wax coating (which protects it during shipping) – this wax coating must be thoroughly cleaned off prior to sealing.

To maintain the look, breath ability and slip resistance of polished porcelain, it is important to use a high quality, invisible impregnating sealer. Dry-Treat impregnating sealers are safe and suitable for outdoor and indoor surfaces, and for residential or high traffic commercial surfaces.

The Dry-Treat Difference

Dry-Treat’s impregnating sealers are technologically different from commonly available silicone, teflon and siloxane impregnators. Our specially engineered molecules penetrate deeper into porous materials and bond permanently inside the pores, without blocking them.

Dry-Treat impregnating sealers stand up to cleaning chemicals, traffic, sunlight, and even commercial cleaning techniques such as high pressure hosing. We back our technology with written performance warranties of up to 20 years, when the sealers are applied by a Dry-Treat Accredited Applicator.

Greg Schurrer

Advantages Of UPVC Replacement Windows And Doors

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Fitting upvc replacement windows and doors can often halve heat loss, practically eliminate condensation and often noticeably reduces noise from outside. The latter is often the primary reason for installing replacement windows and doors in busy inner city locations, as are the security benefits that come with properly installed units with multiple in-built locking systems. It is one of the most popular home improvement projects carried out on older properties.

Timber framed windows are naturally susceptible to rotting over time and regular maintenance is essential. This usually involves sanding down surfaces, patching any imperfections and then painting with a good quality exterior undercoat and then gloss. All in all quite a bit of work and not an inexpensive job, even for the keen DIY person. In contrast upvc surfaces require very little maintenance and even that is usually only a question of cleaning materials and soft cloths.

UPVC double glazing may not always spring to mind as the most aesthetically appealing solution. However, the range of modern styles of double glazed unit is now fairly broad. Exterior doors and porches often feature stain glass windows for example. While aluminium or hardwood frames might be considered an alternative, UPVC is generally a better insulator than either of these choices. Since it does not rot or biologically decompose, upvc is ideal for window and door replacement. Resistant to weathering, it has low maintenance requirements, is tough and yet can be recycled.

Of course for older styles of property aluminium frames may be preferred. However it always makes sense to check carefully for any local planning issues that may impose restrictions on this type of property – best not invest in new upvc replacement windows and doors, just to find that you have run foul of local planning regulations! This applies equally to adding a conservatory to increase available floorspace and add that wonderful open-air feeling when the French doors can be opened on to a patio when the weather allows. Conservatories require careful planning and overseeing, particularly in ensuring that foundations are properly laid.

Timber frames are the most expensive choice but if your home is a listed building, they are often the only choice for replacement windows or doors. A variety of hardwoods are available, though the range of choices seems to be diminishing as upvc becomes ever more popular. Hardwood frames are not as durable as UPVC or aluminium and generally a thicker frame is required to provide the equivalent strength of upvc or aluminium and reduce the likelihood of warping. After typically 5 years a timber frame will need to be re-painted with the attendant sanding, priming, painting and the house reeking of paint for days.

UPVC windows or doors are durable, easy to maintain and provide the best level of insulation – while improving the look and value of properties. The latter is these days an important consideration and buyers look favourably upon properties that have already had this work done, knowing they will not have to put up with the mess when having it done themselves. The usual colour for UPVC is white but there are now a wide range of other options, including wood grain effects. Most double glazing companies offer a range of colours and styles. We would recommend you selecting internally glazed units with internal beading, this is the most secure design in our opinion. Always check what locking systems are going to be fitted – Yale is considered to be among the most secure. Modern multi-point locking mechanisms provide a formidable barrier for even an experienced burglar.

UPVC systems are generally multi-chambered with internal gaskets to ensure watertight sealing. They all feature some form of reinforcement, usually an aluminium or steel box section. Double glazing with aluminium frames has become less popular as upvc has found its way into the market. While aluminium frames are strong and almost burglar proof, they do not have the same high insulation properties as upvc. Since the pay-back is much longer with the more expensive aluminium systems, their market share has diminished in recent years. The side effect of this is that the choice of finishes and the number of experienced installers has also diminished because of this.

If you are on a budget and the structure of your windows is essentially sound, then secondary double glazing is a less expensive option. This involves fitting a matching window to the inside of the existing frame. Care must be taken to ensure no dampness is present when this secondary unit is put into position. This procedure is not only less expensive but much easier to install as no external ladders or scaffolding is required. It will however rarely match the sound insulation that a new double glazed unit would provide.

Approximately 60% of heat loss from a home is through standard windows. Installation of double glazing reduces heat loss substantially, consequently reduces bills for heating – 10% off heating bills are often achieved. There is also a ‘Green” spin-off, in that households burn less fuel and this plays a part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Hopefully the advantages of UPVC replacement windows and doors over the alternative types of home improvement have been adequately outlined above.

Adrian Jones

Gourmet Cooking Stores – Tips To Delight Your Mom On Mother’s Day

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Remember the last Mother’s Day when Dad did the barbeque. It must have been fun. But then, at the end of the celebration your Mom smiled, thanked everybody and got busy cleaning the mess! Her special day went in veins doing all that extra cleaning job and adding to her toil!

Father’s often love to put up the barbeque to help a day’s meal; and Mom’s, though they appreciate it, are made to do loads of extra work in place of the promised relaxation. Some families, who are smart enough to foresee the problem, move out to the nearby restaurant and waste hours together in waiting.

Gourmet cooking stores read through the problem and have come up with quite interesting solutions.

These stores allow guests to join in like a family and prepare the meals for their family using all fresh ingredients. They are given explicit instructions and are allowed close examination. Hence, you are able to prepare a nutritious & delicious meal for the family. You can carry it back home and freeze it. While serving, just heat it in the oven and serve it fresh and fragrant. It can also be packed in various sizes to suit one’s individual needs. The dishes you can prepare enlist a good long variety, to name a few:

i. Coconut Shrimp
ii. Caribbean Pork Roast
iii. Pasta Dishes

This sort of arrangement calls for some prior planning, but once you are determined to do it, it shall certainly be a boon for the family during the special occasions. Such as the Mother’s Day – it shall extremely lessen her cleaning job within no cooking utensils. Also while cooking she does not have to rush fetching things from all around the kitchen and gathering the ingredients.

Yet, if you want to become a hero still, after the gourmet cooked meal, try pitching in with all the family and clean up the mess after the meal. Let your Mom sit back and relax, and indeed enjoy the big day.

Gourmet cooking might not be as inexpensive. Still as compared to the six servings at your choicest restaurant (until & unless it’s McDonald’s) this would be far easier. Above all, it would give your mother a feel of your thoughtfulness, love and affection. Also, cooking at the gourmet store with your brother and father who are almost kitchen impaired could be great fun and collect some moments to remember for ever.

There are several gourmet cooking stores with varied names. Find one near your place. For this simply, punch in the keywords – Meal Preparation Centers – on the search engines on internet. And what next, plan a grand meal for all special family occasions like Father’s Day, Mother’s Day or other holidays or birthdays. These meals are surely a good idea for the nights when you want to just laze around and remain hassle-free.

Abhishek Agarwal

Why not Just Use Bleach?

Sunday, March 13th, 2011


Chlorine bleach has been used as a general germicide for many years.  In fact, some state health departments still recommend it as a sanitizer and disinfectant.  Chlorine bleach is also much cheaper per gallon than hospital-grade disinfectant cleaners.  With all this going for it, why doesn’t everyone use it?


   Here are some facts you should consider before adding bleach to your arsenal of maintenance products:




   Chlorine is a strong oxidizing agent.  In recent tests, chlorine bleach was exposed to samples of commercial-grade copper, cold rolled steel, and alu-minum.  The copper samples dis-colored in three hours and showed green corrosion in 24 hours.  Aluminum showed signs of corrosion within 24 hours, and on the surface of cold rolled steel rust formed within 30 minutes.


Some grades of stainless steel also can be damaged from the use of products containing chlorine.  A process known as “hydrogen embrittlement” may occur as the chlorine bleach attacks the stainless steel,trapping hydrogen gas in the pores of the metal.  Over time, the hydrogen can be released, resulting in weakened metal.  It is especially damaging to welded joints.




   The American Concrete Insti-tute also cautions that sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach) will slowly disintegrate concrete and portland-based mortars or grout.




   Finally, many floorcare product manufacturers will not stand be-hind the performance of their floor polishes if they are main-tained with chlorine bleach.


Worker Safety – Chlo-rine is a strong irritant to human tissue. Violent reactions also can occur when chlorine bleach is mixed with amines.  The reaction of chlorine and bowl cleaners containing hydrochloric acid can release deadly chlorine gas.  Every housekeeper’s nightmare is a vision of the “new guy” keeled over, head first into a toilet bowl, after adding a little bleach to help the acid bowl cleaner brighten a little better.




   Shelf Life – In just a short shipping and storage time,an industrial concentration of 12 percent can fall to 7 to 10 per-cent. Efficacy – Chlorine bleach works best in a slightly acid to neutral pH range.  Alkaline soils must be removed prior to using the bleach to prevent the chlo-rine from losing effectiveness.  In other words, the surface must be clean if the chlorine (hypochlor-ite) is to have any significant effect.  The only way you can be assured of killing organisms you want to control is to experiment with different ages/concentra-tions of the product and test the surfaces after use.




   Cleaning Ability – Com-pared to modern disinfectant cleaners, chlorine bleach does not compare in cleaning ability.  If you are trying to clean and control germs simultaneously, consider one of the newer form-ula disinfectant detergents.  With dilution rates as low as 1:256, proven efficacy, longer shelf life, and a less-corrosive nature, you might find the new disinfectant detergents are much better bargains than chlorine bleach.

Hydrogen peroxide + citrus cleaner= Germicidal all purpose cleaner!


 Check it out:


Kevin Hensey

What can I use on the bottom of a self cleaning oven?

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

I just purchased a new self cleaning oven and it has warnings everywhere not to use foil on the bottom. I always used foil on my old oven and never had any problems. Are these warnings just there for dummies who would leave the foil in while using the self cleaning feature, or do the elements themselves get hotter during preheat then my old one? Are there products out there that can withstand the heat of being on the oven floor? Thanks

You can find oven liners at home stores, like Bed Bath & Beyond, and online.

My thought on the aluminium foil warning is that most people simply line the oven and never replace the foil. Over time, the drippings can cook onto the foil and the foil can fail and start a fire.

Check the manual of your new oven and ensure that you can use an oven liner. If you’re not sure, call the manufacturer’s customer service number.