Do you enjoy watching birds visit your hard during the spring, summer, and fall? Not all birds fly south for the winter and with a little preparation, you can attract visits from your fine feathered friends all year long: even in the cold months! According to the experts at Cole’s Wild Bird Products it’s easy to to encourage birds to seek sustenance and shelter in your backyard this winter. Here’s where to begin.Figuring out feeders
Start by taking an inventory of your existing bird feeders. Inspect each for damage and replace if necessary. Consider adding new bird feeders to attract even more birds and allow for fewer trips to refill them during especially cold and stormy days. It’s also smart to stock up on high-energy bird feed so you’re ready to go when the first flakes fall.
Different species of birds not only prefer different types of feed, they prefer different types of feeders. Consider providing a variety of feeder types to increase the diversity of your avian visitors. This step is key to attracting birds in winter.
A tube feeder is a “must-have,” since these all-purpose feeders keep seed dry while allowing a wide variety of birds to feed. Specialty wire-mesh tube feeders, designed for birds that cling, can easily dispense tiny, oil-rich niger seeds and other specialty feed. Mesh feeders allow birds like woodpeckers to grasp the side of the feeder while selecting food. These feeders also prevent larger birds from hogging the feed.
If you want an easy-to-use, one-size-fits-most feeder, select a bowl style with a protective dome that can be raised and lowered to thwart large birds and squirrels from getting to the feed while helping to protect seed from rain and snow. Easy to hang and fill, bowl feeders accommodate any seed, suet or even chopped fruit. Also, be sure to include at least one suet cage in your feeder array since suet provides a critical source of energy for birds in cold weather.Clean to prevent disease
When feeding birds in winter, a necessary chore is to clean out any residue before filling with fresh seed. Unfortunately, some feeders are hard to scrub out, but Cole’s tube feeders have a built in “quick-clean” feature. Just push a button and the bottom pops off for easy access to the inside. Use soapy water and a bottlebrush to scrub, then rinse with cool water. This ensures that mold or mildew aren’t present and helps prevent disease.Select top quality feed
The key to feeding birds in winter is in the type of bird feed you purchase. Make sure you choose feed with high nutritional value! You may not realize that some commercial birdfeed is treated to prevent spoilage or packed with cheap “filler” seeds. Offering top-quality feed means less waste and ensures an increase in birds at your feeders.
Your seed choices should provide birds with the biggest energy boost possible. Sunflower is a great seed option for feeding birds in winter because it’s rich in oil. These types of seeds attract birds and provide plenty of energy. Cole’s Oil Sunflower is the highest-grade black oil sunflower seed, at over 99% pure! Peanuts are another high-energy option. Choose hulled varieties that are whole – and more nutritious than peanut pieces.
And don’t forget high-fat foods, like suet, the solid fat rendered from beef, or vegetables. These types of foods preserve energy to help birds maintain their increased metabolic rate during winter. Or, try a suet-seed mix like Nutberry Suet Blend, an energy-packed, powerhouse feed mix of premium fruits, preferred nuts, suet kibbles and whole kernel sunflower meats.Provide water and shelter
Birds need fresh water, especially in cold weather. Choose a heated birdbath and place it in a sheltered spot for safe access. And since birds may unwisely choose the coldest days to take a bath, consider placing a few rocks inside to discourage bathing, while still allowing birds room to drink.
Birds also appreciate warm, dry shelter from wet, snowy conditions. Offering well-insulated nest boxes will provide them with a cozy place to harbor.
Preparing for birds now will enable you to continue to enjoy them throughout the winter. Birds will benefit from your extra-special care! These tips should make feeding birds in winter easy and efficient.
From Source Article: moneypit.com
Smell something burning? It might be that electrocuted rat in your basement that the home inspector found. Yuck! Check out these 12 terrible DIY don’ts, courtesy of the American Society of Home Inspectors.
Photos provided by the following home inspector members of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors:“Ooh Honey, Look How Industrial-Chic This Handle Is, I Love It!” Daniel Land, Land Made Home Inspections, Bethel, CT Sweet Dreams…Zzzzz. Jason Gingery, Viewpoint Inspections, Santa Cruz, CA The Next Big Thing! Matt Leahy, The Edge Home Inspections, Tucson, AZ Head-Heated Boot Rack. Lawrence Transue, Integrity Inspection Service, Easton, PA Rats for Dinner. Barry Wong,Building Specs LLC, Kailua, HI Risky Business… Mark Dolph,Northeastern Independent Home Inspections, Inc., Roaring Brook Township, PA Red Alert! & When All Else Fails, Use Nails. Matthew Steger, WIN Home Inspection, Lancaster, PA WOW! Hydronic Heat? Charles Ryan, Precision Property Inspection, Chicago, IL Let’s Deflect the Water…And Grow Some Weeds. Randy West, Professional Building Consultants, Roseville, CA Waste Not, Want Not. David Grudzinski Advantage Home Inspections, Cranston, RI
Want to make sure your next home doesn’t end up in this series? Then make sure your next home inspector is a member of ASHI!
From Source Article: moneypit.com
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Jeff in Illinois on the line who’s dealing with how to ventilate an attic. What can we do for you today?
JEFF: Yeah, I should vent a little bit, because I had to insulate that attic up there.
JEFF: Yeah. So, you know, it’s an old addition and when they built it, they covered the old gable up. And so when I went up there to insulate this spring, I had to kind of cut a hole through the old gable end to get into the addition. And so my question is: do I need to – should I keep cutting away at that or do I – how do I properly vent that? I don’t want to cut the whole thing out, because I suppose there’s some support there.
TOM: OK. So they – basically, when you added the addition, they added it onto the gable end of the old roof. So when you go up in the attic, you kind of see the old roof structure and the old gable end where the vent used to be, correct?
JEFF: Right. In fact – and I couldn’t get through there. I mean there was – the vent was too small for me to get through to get into the addition to insulate.
TOM: Oh, so there wasn’t even any access in there to insulate. They didn’t insulate when they built the addition?
JEFF: They did. They did insulate but how they actually got it in there, I don’t know. I couldn’t get to it, I know that.
TOM: The answer to your question is that you want to basically treat each space separately in terms of ventilation. And the best way to ventilate an attic is – actually no longer do we consider gable vents to be the best type of ventilation. The best type of ventilation – a continuous ridge vent that goes down the peak of the roof, matched with soffit vents at the overhang. So this way, we take air in down low, we run it up under the roof sheathing and exit it at the ridge. And that cycle will repeat 24-7, 365.
JEFF: Yeah. The only problem is there’s no soffits in this house.
TOM: Alright. So if you did want to ventilate an attic, you could use a type of vent called a drip-edge vent, which would require a little bit of carpentry. You’d have to extend or actually reshingle the bottom layer of shingles at the edge. But the drip-edge vent actually extends that roof line by about 2 inches and creates a continuous soffit.
And if you go to AirVent.com – that’s the website for the CertainTeed air-vent companies – I know they’ve got a good diagram of one right there. So that’s the way to improve that.
Now, if you can’t do that or you don’t want to do that, for all the obvious reasons, and maybe you’re not seeing that you have a big ventilation problem right now, then I guess what I would suggest to you is to put in the ridge vents, since that’s something that you can always do, and then couple that with as many other roof vents as you can.
Jeff, thanks so much for calling 888-MONEY-PIT.
From Source Article: moneypit.com