Annemarie Torcivia - RE/MAX  Trinity



Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 10/2/2017

Essential oils are catching on as a natural way to spruce up your home. However, many people are unaware of the full array of uses for essential oils in the household.

In this article, we’ll cover some of those uses that you may not have heard of, and give you some tips on which essential oils are the best to use.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are the result of distilling large amounts of herbs, spices, or other plant-based materials. There are dozens of essential oils commercially available and they all emit strong aromas that can be used in multiple ways.

When buying oils, it’s important to check the labels to make sure you are buying 100% pure essential oils. Many companies dilute their oils in a carrier oil such as olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil. While this isn’t inherently bad, it does probably mean you’re getting less for your dollar due to being diluted.

Aside from smelling nice, essential oils are often used for aromatherapy and other medicinal uses. However, be aware that they are not intended as a treatment for any medical condition.

Similarly, some oils might cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. So, be careful when spraying them in the air or using them on your skin if you think you might be allergic to a certain oil.

Which oils are best for use around the home?

There are dozens or even hundreds of essential oils that have various scents and uses. However, some are more pleasant and suitable for the home than others.

The main essentials that serve a number of uses around the home are:

  • Lavender

  • Lemon

  • Tea Tree

  • Peppermint

  • Pine

  • Lemongrass

  • Patchouli

  • Bergamot

  • Eucalyptus

  • Tangerine

There are various kits available online that include some or all of the oils listed above, or you can buy them individually from retailers.

Household uses for essential oils

There are many uses for essential oils around the home. They include:

  • Used as an air freshener with an oil diffuser. These diffusers humidify the air while diffusing the oil into the room, resulting in a pleasant aroma.

  • Mixed with water or alcohol to make a fabric spray. You can find several formulas for creating a fabric spray. However, the easiest way to quickly freshen up the sofa or carpet is to mix 10% oil to 90% water or ethanol and put the mixture into a spray bottle.

  • As a natural cleaning product. Lemon, lime, lavender, and peppermint all make great additions to a homemade cleaning solution. Diluted with water and vinegar, many essential oils can be used to freshen up a countertop or scrub a sink.

  • Spruce up your clean laundry/linen. You can put a couple of drops of lavender onto a damp washcloth and put this in your dryer with your clothes to give them a nice fragrance. This works particularly well if you use unscented laundry detergent. However, be sure not to go overboard--essential oils are strong and some can cause skin irritation.

  • Refrigerator deodorant. The best way to get rid of the smell of a refrigerator is to give it a thorough cleaning. But afterward, help keep it smelling clean longer by putting several drops of lemongrass into a small bowl with baking soda. Stir the baking soda on occasion to release the lemongrass fragrance.




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Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 5/15/2017

It's many homeowners' worst fear to come home to a water disaster in their home. Water damage can cost thousands to repair and will include a lengthy process in order to adhere to safety standards, potentially disrupting your home life for weeks. In this article we'll give you tips on how to avoid water damage and what to do when you discover it.

Water damage vs. flood damage

Many people are unaware of the difference between water damage and flood damage. Water damage can occur when you have plumbing issues such as a leaking pipe or overflowing bath tub. Flood damage, on the other hand, is defined by FEMA as an "overflow of inland or tidal waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters," or even mudflow. Flood damage tends to be the more costly and the more dangerous of the two, as it puts home inhabitants at serious health risk. Part of the stipulation in differing between the two types of damage is insurance coverage; water damage is often covered by homeowner's insurance whereas flood damage is not.

Avoiding water damage

To avoid costly and time-consuming repairs, follow these steps to prevent water damage from occurring in your home:
  • Keep your gutters clean to avoid backups and drainage issues
  • divert rain water away from your house with downspouts
  • Disconnect hoses and turn off their water supply when temperatures drop to freezing overnight
  • Don't leave water using appliances running while you are away from home for extended periods of time
  • Keep up with maintenance on your dishwasher, washing machine, toilets, and tubs
  • Turn off your water main when you go away on vacations
  • Check the water pressure to your home. High water pressure can be nice in the shower, but pressures too high can cause your plumbing to fail
  • Check regularly for leaks. Some water damage may go unnoticed for weeks or months, which subjects you to another danger: mold

What to do if you have water damage in your home

If it's too late for prevention and you've discovered water damage in your home there are several steps you'll need to take to ensure the safety of your home.
  • Turn off electronics in the affected area. If possible switch off power to whole the whole section of your home at the circuit breaker. This first step is to ensure your own safety. Once you've turned off power to all potentially dangerous electronics, you can move on to the next step.
  • Remove electronics and other perishable items from the area. If you remove the items soon enough you might be able to salvage them by drying them out.
  • Soak up the bulk of the water. You can do this the old fashion way by using towels and buckets. Or you can use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck up the water from rugs, carpets, and other surfaces.
  • Dry the area completely. To avoid mold, use fans and a dehumidifier to fully dry out the area.
  • Disinfect. Spray the area to remove any bacteria that may have accumulated due to moisture.
  • Contact the professionals. A contractor will be able to tell you the full extent of the damage and whether any serious repairs will need to me made.