Defend Against Spring Allergies

10966539_sIt’s finally spring, and birds are chirping, flowers blooming, noses clogging and heads aching. As Mother Nature turns out in full bloom, so do many peoples’ allergies. Some people suffer from seasonal allergies, while others are plagued by allergies all year. In any case, it is important to know what allergens your body responds negatively to and how to reduce them.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Allergens

You are just as likely to have allergens inside your home as outside your home. While outdoor allergens like pollen, ragweed and cedar can cause sniffling and watery eyes, so can dust mites, dander and pet allergens in your home. If you find you suffer more from outdoor allergies, there isn’t too much that can be done except to take allergy medication. If you suffer from indoor allergies, however, the allergens triggering your symptoms can be removed.

Take matters into your own hands and clean your home in a logical order. First, wash and launder all clothes, bed sheets and towels, since these items can collect, transport and drop all kinds of allergens. Next, be sure to clean any surface where dust may have built up, including ceiling fans, countertops, and furniture and air vents. Finally, clean your floors by vacuuming, sweeping and mopping — allergens will have fallen to the floor as you cleaned the rest of the house.

Dealing With Pets

Pet dander can also be a big problem for allergy sufferers. Dogs, cats and even birds have different kinds of dander that people may be allergic to. Many people suffer from these allergies so greatly that they are forced to give up their pets. Usually taking an allergy medication can help, but reducing the amount of pet hair in your home and keeping pet beds and furniture clean can also be effective.

Regular Deep Cleanings

Even the best of vacuums leave behind some allergens. Your bed is full of dust mites, and the odds are that your air ducts are full of dust too. Regular deep cleanings for your carpets, mattresses and air ducts will help reduce the number of allergens in your home and make it a little easier to breathe. Dalworth offers deep carpet and tile cleaning, air duct cleaning, mattress cleaning and even a special allergen-reducing solution, leaving your home fresher and your sinuses clear.

Using area rugs to protect your flooring

6248874_sArea rugs are a beautiful way to complement the natural look of hardwood flooring, polished concrete or tile, and to provide a cozy place to gather as a family. Area rugs can also help protect your floors from stains and everyday wear-and-tear.

You should, however, consider how your rugs will impact your new floors. After investing in hardwood flooring or tile and pricey area rugs, it’s important to remember to maintain your rugs in a way that keeps your flooring protected. These four tips will help make sure that your area rugs protect your flooring without causing any unintentional damage.

Invest in a high-quality rug pad.

Rug pads are used to absorb shock from foot traffic and everyday wear-and-tear. These pads are inexpensive and can help extend the life of both your flooring and your area rugs. Some rug pads are made from materials like rubber and foam that can be vulnerable to tears and cause discoloration. Choose mats made from high-quality vinyl and foam to avoid any potential damage. Some mats also may have adhesives that can cause serious damage to your flooring. Non-slip rug pads will keep rugs from moving across the floor, so there’s really no need to use messy glues to keep rugs in place.

Move your rugs around from time to time. 

One of the only disadvantages of using area rugs on hardwood flooring is that they could result in uneven coloring. Over time, sunlight lightens the exposed areas of your flooring while the rug prevents covered areas from changing. Moving your rugs around occasionally can help you prevent any lines from forming on your floor that aren’t a part of its unique natural grain.

Regular maintenance will protect your floors and your rugs.  

Dirt and other stains trapped in the fibers of your rug could stain your flooring, so it’s important to ensure that your rugs and your hardwoods are kept in good condition. Regular vacuuming and cleaning will extend the life of your area rugs and help you protect your flooring investment. Consider a professional cleaning once a year to keep your rugs looking beautiful.

Strategically place area and accent rugs.

Area rugs should make a space look balanced and tie decor elements together, but they should be well placed to avoid damage to your flooring and rugs. Any bunching or rippling can damage the rug, so make sure that you measure your space and choose the right size. Area rugs in the living room should be large enough to comfortably accommodate all four legs of a coffee table and line up nicely with the furniture in the room. Use small accent rugs in your entryways to prevent dirt and water from the outdoors from damaging your floors.

Area rugs can provide protection against the elements and everyday wear-and-tear, but improper care could result in costly repairs and damage to the flooring underneath them. By placing your rugs appropriately and routinely cleaning them, you can be sure that your flooring will be in great condition for years to come.

Finding Your Perfect Carpet At Dalworth

Choosing the right carpet for your home goes beyond just picking a color to match your decor. You’ll need to choose the right fabric and style to perfectly complement your walls and furniture, and to provide the level of comfort you need.

Before you head out to purchase your new flooring, it’s important to understand the different types of carpet available, and what sellers mean when they describe carpeting using terms like “frieze” and “Saxony plush.” At Dalworth Fine Flooring, we offer these five different types of carpet, each suited for different decorative themes and lifestyles.

Traditional Patterns

Patterned carpeting used different heights of loops and cuts to create an interesting visual look. Patterned carpeting can add both a unique touch and a hint of added texture to a room. As a bonus, these carpets can typically withstand high amounts of foot traffic and continue to look as good as the day they were installed.

Berber Carpeting

Berber carpet has been a popular choice for people of all aesthetic preferences and walks of life for years. Many types of Berber carpet are extremely durable and stain-resistant, but still maintain their softness. Berber can be purchased both in natural and synthetic fibers, meaning buyers can choose the perfect combination of softness and durability to fit their lifestyle. Berber carpet is also known for providing an upscale touch to any room without overwhelming any existing design elements.

Textured Plush Carpeting

There’s no carpeting more versatile than textured plush. Textured plush carpets are perfect for any space, from the entryway to the kids’ bedrooms. This carpeting is soft without being overly forgiving, and can stand up to everyday wear and tear. Textured plush carpeting is also typically available in a number of styles and colors, meaning it’s easy to choose carpeting for your entire home.

Frieze (Shag) Carpeting

if you’re looking for the best possible combination of comfort and durability, frieze carpet is the right choice. Each fiber of frieze carpeting is loosely twisted, meaning it’s very resistant to stains, footprints, and other damage. Frieze carpeting is also extremely low-maintenance, and provides a warm and cushy surface during colder months.

Saxony Plush Carpeting

Saxony plush carpets add a luxurious touch to any room, and are the softest carpets available. The fibers of Saxony plush carpets stand straight up, creating a traditional look that’s also extremely comfortable. Because Saxony carpeting can be vulnerable to staining and impressions, it’s best used in lower-traffic areas of a home, like the bedroom.

Knowing the differences in the types of carpet available will help you make the right choice for your floors, your budget, and your family. If you’re still not sure which carpet would be best for your home, a flooring expert at Dalworth Fine Floors can help you find the perfect fit.

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.