Environmentally-Friendly Spring Cleaning Hacks

15802871_sAs temperatures warm and the grass begins to turn green, it’s clear to see that spring has sprung. With the season’s longer days and extended sunlight, cleaning is a great, productive way to spend those extra hours. This year, before you grab your gloves and mop, consider some of the environmentally friendly “life hacks” below.

Degrease your oven: Soy sauce is a great way to tackle grease that’s accumulated on your oven hood, tea kettle and backsplash. Be sure to rinse any areas you’ve already doused with soy sauce to remove any sodium-laden residue on your stove.

Remove lime scale buildup: Combine two tablespoons of salt and a teaspoon of vinegar to get rid of lime scale buildup from the outside of your kettle. Fill your kettle with vinegar and let it sit overnight to thoroughly clean the inside.

Disinfect your cutting board: Cut a lemon in half, top it with salt, and scrub your kitchen cutting boards. The acidic mixture will help kill bacteria. Rinse off your cutting board with water once you’ve thoroughly scrubbed. This tactic works best with plastic cutting boards.

Polish wood furniture: Pour one teaspoon of olive oil and a quarter cup of lemon juice into an empty jam jar. Put the lid back on and shake. Find an old stray sock to dust with and you’ve got the perfect wood cleaner!

Clean your microwave: Remove caked-on, crusty food from your microwave with a lemon, a microwave-safe bowl and a dry towel. Pour a half cup of water into the bowl, slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the water. Set the bowl inside the microwave and turn the microwave on high power for three minutes, boiling the liquid. Let the boiling water stand for five minutes; the steam trapped inside will help loosen the hardened gunk. After five minutes, wipe the microwave clean.

By following some of these simple spring cleaning hacks, you can not only “go green” during your cleaning this year, but you can also ensure your home is as clean as possible. Be sure to call Dalworth during your spring cleaning this year to get the best deals on professional carpet cleaning. 

How To Protect Your Home From Outdoor Pests

7171650_sIf you’ve ever had outdoor pests in your home before, you know how terrifying and unsightly they can be. Bugs can bite or sting your family, and they often carry and spread diseases. Other allergens, such as dirt and mildew, not only make your home filthy; they can be harmful for your family’s respiratory health, especially if they suffer from asthma or allergies. 

So how to protect your home from outdoor pests? Simply follow these easy steps. 

Find pest passageways: Outdoor pests can enter your home through openings in your walls, windows, doors and foundation. With a flashlight and a mirror, examine every square foot of your house. Be sure to check for gaps surrounding gas, plumbing and AC lines, phone and TV cables and exhaust vents. Torn screens and worn-out weather stripping are also typical culprits. If you see light peeking through from anywhere outdoors, you can be sure outdoor critters can enter your house via those gaps or holes.

Remove possible passageways: Once you’ve located pest entry points in your home, you will need to seal the cracks and gaps. For openings that are smaller than ¼ in. wide, you can use an acrylic latex caulk, which is cheap, can be painted and is easy to apply. However, for gaps wider than ¼ inch wide, polyurethane caulk should be used. This caulk is gooier and can be harder to use than acrylic caulk, so it’s important to smooth out any imperfections. A rag and a bottle of mineral spirits are good to have nearby when applying caulk. For gaps that appear too large to fill with caulk, expanding foam is a good solution.

Reduce moisture near passageways: In order to survive, insects and other critters need access to life-sustaining moisture. If you remove excess moisture from potential entry points, such as the foundation and soil areas around your home, critters will be less likely to gravitate toward those places. Make sure downspouts are turned away from your home, aerate your lawn so water does not build up, trim bushes and trees and correct and leaks or drips around your house. 

By following these simple steps, you can keep critters, insects and other outdoor allergens out of your home. If dirt and mildew have already made their way into your home, it’s important to have your carpet and flooring cleaned regularly — at least once a year. If your floors could use a professional cleaning, call Dalworth and be sure to check out the current cleaning specials.

How To Care For Your Concrete Garage Floor

18456130_sMost people don’t pay much attention to the concrete floors in their garage. But with the correct care and maintenance, your well-maintained garage floors can increase your home’s value and last a long time. Below are a few steps you can take to ensure your concrete garage floor is kept in tip-top shape.

Use nonabrasive cleaning solutions. Your garage floor is bound to get some spills during its lifetime, whether they involve automotive oil, paint, household chemicals or insecticides. Since your concrete garage floors are porous, absorbent surfaces, the products you use to clean them can be potentially damaging. Be sure to check package labels carefully to ensure there are no abrasive components in your cleaning supplies, which can disintegrate your concrete.

Seal your flooring. Prior to its first winter, concrete flooring should be covered with a quality sealant. When applying sealant, be sure your concrete is completely dry. The sealant can either be applied using a paint roller or an approved pump sprayer. By sealing your flooring completely, you can help to minimize the amount of moisture that reaches the concrete, which could damage your floors.

Repair cracks in your floor. Over time, your garage floor may develop cracks, whether because of poor construction joints or because the soil underneath your home has settled. Most surface cracks can be repaired with an epoxy or polyurethane-based component. Before beginning repair, it’s important to clean all areas surrounding the crack and to clean out any large cracks with a high-pressure hose. If you have cracks that need to be filled, be sure to read up online on how to do so properly.

Garage flooring may seem like a low-maintenance part of your home, but when kept up properly, it can boost the resale value of your home significantly. If you have additional questions about the concrete flooring in your garage or any other flooring in your home, contact Dalworth.

 

Things To Know Before Installing Wood Floors

12454894_sAdding wood flooring can spruce up your home and create a more modern, updated look. Not only will wood flooring improve the look of your home, it can increase its value as well, which can when crucial when the time comes to sell.

But it’s also important to choose something you’ll love while you’re still living in your home, and with so many different options, picking just the right wood flooring for your home can seem overwhelming. However, if you know what to look for when the time comes to install wood flooring in your home, you can make an informed decision.

Wood floor Species

No matter what the style of your home, there is a unique wood that will fit perfectly. Wood flooring today comes in more than 50 species, you can choose the exact color, hardness and price of your floor. Darker oak and cherry woods will create a more classic look, while lighter hickory and maple have only recently become popular and will add a modern touch.

Wood floor patterns

When designing your hardwood floors, you will be able to choose from dozens of individual flooring patterns. Before you set out to purchase your flooring, determine which pattern will work best in your space, whether it be a graphic design like herringbone or a more traditional picture frame pattern. Be sure to ask your installer for an in depth description of each wood pattern.

Wood floor inlays

If you’re looking to add even more customization to your flooring, inlays may be a good option for you. Inlays are decorative flooring patterns that you can insert into your wood floors. Generally, inlays are made of a contrasting wood color and are great way to add personality to your home’s flooring. 

If you’re considering wood floors for your home in the DFW area, be sure to check out Dalworth. With thousands of flooring choices and a number of new flooring sales, Dalworth has exactly what you want for your home and your wallet.

 

5 creative & beautiful decorative concrete looks

One of the hottest trends in flooring today is decorative concrete. Because of this material’s versatility, homeowners can achieve a customized look that is unique to their home without blowing their budget. Decorative concrete is a practical option for any room of the home, especially if you’re looking to add a distinctive look.

If you’re considering decorative concrete, take a look at these 5 options that would look beautiful in any space.

1. Go natural with a hardwood look

At first glance, this floor looks like it’s made from rustic hardwoods. In reality, it’s concrete that has been refinished and stamped to achieve this texture and finish. Unlike hardwoods, decorative concrete stamped to look like wood doesn’t involve cutting down any trees, and is significantly less expensive.

2. Luxe for less

This flooring also has a deceptive look. Stained and stenciled to resemble luxurious marble, this example proves that decorative concrete fits in with sophisticated spaces. If marble tile isn’t in your budget, seek out patterns that you like and consult with Dalworth Fine Floors on recreating them in your own home.

3. Decorative driveways

Decorative concrete isn’t just for inside the home. Your outdoor spaces, including patios and driveways, could probably use a little updating. In this example, the simple yet elegant concrete design adds significant curb appeal and is durable enough to handle the wear and tear from your vehicles.

4. The look of tile

Decorative concrete doesn’t have to be mundane, and this example proves it. These vividly patterned tiles make an aesthetically pleasing addition to any room. Using a stencil, technicians can etch and paint most patterns into the concrete foundation that lies beneath your current flooring.

5. A work of art…on the floor?

Stenciling isn’t just used to create patterns in decorative concrete. Your flooring can easily become a work of art using a large stencil that fits into your home’s overall aesthetic. Even though it’s on the floor, this design will quickly become a stunning focal point in any room. Choose a symbol or image that holds meaning to your family – it will quickly become the topic of conversation every time someone visits your home.

If you haven’t considered decorative concrete before, these options should give you a little incentive. This inexpensive, eco-friendly option allows homeowners to customize their flooring more than ever before. As a bonus, it’s also easy to clean and won’t need costly refinishing like other flooring materials.

6 clever DIY cleaning tips

4221228_sFor most people, cleaning is a chore that they’d just rather not have to do. Unfortunately, the dishes pile up and the carpets need to be vacuumed, and most of us don’t have the budget to hire a full-time housekeeper. Since you can’t get around cleaning your home, it’s best to work smart instead of hard.

You probably have a wealth of handy cleaning tips and tricks that have been passed down through generations, but there’s always a way to make household chores a little easier. Add these six clever tips into your routine to free up a little extra time for the things you enjoy.

1. Make your own cleaning supplies

Cleaning supplies are expensive, and many contain chemicals that are harmful for people and pets. DIY cleaning supplies are easy to make and cost much less than the sprays and potions at the supermarket. Baking soda and distilled vinegar can clean most things in the home, including smelly garbage disposals, dirty countertops, and even laundry.

2. Use a squeegee to remove pet hair

Pet hair is a serious nemesis for those of us that love our furry friends, and it ends up all over the carpet and sofa no matter how many times you tell Fluffy to stay down. Grab a squeegee and a spray bottle filled with water to pick up the hair in short order. Spritz the carpet with water, and use the squeegee to pull the hair from the carpet with ease. Once you’ve squeegeed the entire floor, use a vacuum to pick everything up.

3. Store supplies where you use them

Instead of lugging around a bucket of cleaning supplies around the house, store cleaning supplies in the rooms where you use them. If you only use the Scrubbing Bubbles and toilet cleaner in the bathroom, stow it under the sink where it’s easily accessible. Don’t forget to store a roll of paper towels, dusting cloths, and other supplies there, too.

4. Create an at-home “lost and found”

Instead of picking up your kids’ shoes, toys, and books every time you find them strewn across the living room, enlist their help! Use laundry hampers to create a “lost and found” in the mudroom or an empty closet. Label each hamper, and return items that you pick up each day to the basket to keep your home clean and help your kids develop responsibility.

5. Repurpose items for cleaning

Don’t go out to the store to buy dust rags. Every time a mismatched sock ends up in the dryer, use it for dusting the baseboards. Fraying towels and old t-shirts can be repurposed for everything from washing the car to polishing silver. Newspaper can also be used as an effective replacement for cleaning glass – it may actually leave less streaks than paper towels, and it’s free!

6. Enlist professional help

If you’re too busy to clean, there’s no reason to stress yourself out. Leave the bigger tasks, like steaming the drapes or removing stains from the carpet, to the professionals. These services are inexpensive compared to replacing the flooring or upholstery once they’ve been neglected, and will help you focus on more important things, like relaxing or spending time with the family.

Sure, cleaning isn’t fun, but it doesn’t have to be the worst part of your week. Round up the family, crank up some energetic music, and put these clever cleaning tips to good use. With all the time you’ve saved, enjoy an activity together as a family – you’ve earned it!

5 things homeowners need to know about hardwood floors

Hardwood flooring is a valuable addition to any home. The rich, natural colors and textures add a beautiful and timeless complement to the rest of your home’s decor, and will likely last for the life of the home with proper care. That proper care, though, is essential to keeping your hardwood floors beautiful and in good shape for the long haul.

Before you take invest in hardwood flooring, you’ve got to know what you’re getting into. This list of 5 things all homeowners need to know before buying hardwood floors will help you make an informed decision.

1. Choosing a species.

The natural patterns in hardwood flooring are what makes it unique. Each species of wood brings its own patterns, textures, and benefits when you’re considering hardwood flooring. Wood is rated for its hardness by the Janka Hardness Rating System, and the higher the number, the harder the wood. Soft woods like pine are vulnerable to damage and staining, while harder woods like maple, ash, and hickory are more durable.

2. Take a look at the finish

Hardwood flooring is finished with a coating that seals out contaminants and protects the wood. If you want the grain of your flooring to be highly visible, you’ll want to choose a clear glaze that resists yellowing over time, like water and oil based surface finishes. Oil and wax-based finishes are called “penetrating sealants” because they penetrate the wood and fill its pores with the protectant. A flooring expert at Dalworth Fine Floors can help you determine which finish is best for your home.

3. Choosing solid hardwoods vs. engineered woods

There are two major options when searching for hardwood flooring – solid woods, and engineered woods. Solid woods are the “old school,” option, and may be sanded and refinished many times to keep them looking beautiful for decades. Engineered woods are created from several layers of wood that are fused together for strength and durability, but they can’t be refinished as much as solid hardwoods.

Check out our resident expert, Ed The Flooring Guy, as he explains the difference between solid and engineered wood:

4. Regular care and cleaning techniques

If you’ve had a carpeted home, you probably haven’t noticed much dust on the floor. Hardwood flooring is susceptible to dust, but it is easy to clear away. Purchase an inexpensive dust mop with a microfiber cloth to keep the dust at bay. Depending on the finish, your hardwood flooring may also need gentle cleaners that don’t damage its protective layers every time you sweep and mop.

5. Wear & tear

Over the years, your hardwood flooring will likely dull with daily wear and tear. Scratches, stains, and other imperfections can be buffed away and cleaned with a hardwood restoration service. You likely won’t need to restore your flooring for several years if you take care of it properly, but if you do, Dalworth Cleaning can restore it to its original luster and beauty.

Hardwood flooring is a major investment, but it will pay large dividends in both the beauty of your space and the value of your home. Knowing what to expect when searching for hardwood flooring helps you choose the right materials and finish for your home. If you’re ready to take the plunge, visit our Dalworth Fine Floors showroom for a wide selection of the best hardwood flooring on the market.

How To Find The Perfect Carpet For Your Home

12730669_s (1)Carpet can warm any room and create a more welcoming look for your home. However, day-to-day wear and tear can take its toll on your carpet and you will likely want to replace it every 5 to 15 years — or until you decide to replace that shaggy green carpet that came with your home. When that time comes, how will you know what to look for to find the quality carpet you want?

Find your fiber. How your carpet looks and performs will depend on the fiber you choose. Typically the fiber content is listed on a specification sheet on the back of the carpet sample, but it’s important to note that carpets fall within one of five basic categories: wool, nylon, olefin, polyester or acrylic.

Accounting for only 3% of carpet sales, wool is considered the “top of the line.” Nylon makes up 50% of carpet sales and is known to be extremely durable and stain-resistant. Olefin is a great option for berbers, and is usually used in commercial settings. Polyester’s not quite as resilient as nylon, but does have good color retention and soil resistance. Finally, acrylic provides the look and feel of wool without the high cost.

Choose your look. All carpets fall into one of three subcategories of carpet: loop-pile carpet, cut-pile carpet or cut-loop carpet. Generally, as a carpet’s pile height increases, the carpet becomes softer. Loop-pile carpets tend to wear better and are ideal for high-traffic areas. Cut-pile carpets typically have a nicer look and feel, but aren’t quite as durable as loop piles. Finally, cut-loop pile carpets are perfect for stairways, family rooms and less formal dining rooms.

Pick the perfect pad. How comfortable your carpet feels depends mostly on the padding you choose. When you purchase new carpet, you will also be asked to pick padding. Prime urethane pads are usually the least expensive padding, because they may compress after installation. The most dense, resilient padding is natural- and synthetic-fiber padding. Bonded or rebounded pads are a great compromise and are the most common padding for homes.

If you are looking to install new carpet in your home, call Dalworth. Once you’ve chosen the perfect carpet for your home, it’s important to have your carpet cleaned at least once a year — or every six to nine months if you smoke, have pets or have kids. Be sure to check out Dalworth’s website for ongoing cleaning specials.

Spring Cleaning Hacks From Your Kitchen

11235089_sNobody likes spring cleaning, but it’s something that everyone can benefit from. Throughout the year it’s easy to accumulate junk and ignore some of the crevices that need cleaning the most in your home. But spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a dreaded annual event.

By utilizing some common kitchen staples that you likely already have, you can make this year’s decluttering a piece of cake.

Clean your bathroom with a lemon. Toxic cleaning products can be dangerous to your and your family’s health. However, if you’ve got white vinegar, baking soda and a lemon on hand, you can create your own natural cleaning solution. To wipe away water stains, cut a lemon in half and rub it over any fixtures that have been plagued with water stains. To tackle the tub or sink, sprinkle baking soda over any dirty surfaces and spray white vinegar from a spray bottle over the baking soda. Scrub and enjoy a clean sink and tub!

Use Coke to clean your toilet. The toilet has long been the most hated household object to clean. If you’re looking to rid your toilet of limescale and other stains, look no further than your fridge. Simply pour Coke around the rim of the toilet, making sure to flow over the stains, and let it sit for an hour minimum. After an hour, scrub if necessary and flush.

Scrub cast iron with coarse salt. Cast iron skillets often get neglected when it comes to spring cleaning, and over months of use, gunk can build up on your skillet. By scrubbing your cast iron skillets with coarse salt and a soft sponge, you will be amazed how quickly your skillet becomes clean again. Because salt is a natural abrasive, it absorbs oil and removes bits of food from the skillet while keeping the pan’s seasoning preserved. When you are done scrubbing, simply rinse salt away and wipe the skillet dry.

For more simple spring cleaning hacks, stay tuned. If you are in the Dalllas area and preparing for your spring cleaning now, be sure to call Dalworth Clean to discover a number of carpet and floor cleaning specials.

5 rug trends to incorporate into your home

Choosing the right area rug for your living room, dining room, or entry way is an essential part of your home’s decor. Even if you keep the design in your home relatively simple, a rug can help you display the season’s trends alongside your most cherished pieces.

Whatever your style, an area rug will add both comfort and cohesiveness in an inexpensive way. If you’re looking for a new rug, consider incorporating one of these 5 trends as a fresh and practical update.

1. A work of art

This patterned rug is a sophisticated addition to a simple space. The geometric elements create a beautiful and artistic focal point in the room, without overwhelming its other elements. Use a rug like this to fill a large empty space, especially if the carpet beneath is vulnerable to spills and stains.

2. Incorporate accent colors

The accent colors in your room are what makes the decor interesting, especially against a neutral palette. Use an area rug to tie together accents and make a room really come together. In this example, multiple shades of blue combine for a look that is both sophisticated and calm.

3. Go bright!

Rugs can be both practical and beautiful, especially if you incorporate a pop of bold color. This look works best in a room with dark colors, especially earthtones like brown and grey. Like in this example, keep accents in the room simple to make sure the focus is on your stunning new rug.

4. Experiment with texture

Rugs in natural colors are common, but an interesting texture can make them truly unique. In this example, warm colors and the cushy texture make this an inviting addition to a child’s room, reading nook, or other cozy space. As a bonus, the texture may also hide everyday dirt in between vacuuming.

5. Keep it traditional

Nothing adds luxury like an opulent, traditional rug. This example, though, is crafted from materials that are pet-friendly, easier to maintain, and often less expensive than Oriental rugs. Look for a colorful option that complements your decor with an interesting design.

Finding a great area rug is easy, especially if you’re looking at Dalworth Fine Flooring. Our wide selection of rugs is sure to suit any taste, and any budget. When you’re searching for the perfect area rug, don’t forget to stop by our extensive showroom for all the biggest trends at the best prices.