Wood decks can be beautiful things, add value and enjoyment to your home. Unless they are ignored or neglected, of course.

Like any surface in your home, a wood deck needs some special care. While a lower-cost alternative to pavers, concrete and other hard surface materials, wood decks are very attractive, especially if you chose a color tone that matches your home and is one you enjoy.

But after a year or two, aging happens and dirt and grime accumulates. Stains as well. You start to wonder what you can do to bring back to life the deck you admired so much.

You can do quite a bit, actually. Just take a few minutes out of your busy schedule and put to practice these short, easy steps to revitalize your deck.

Wood deck maintenance tips

The fi...

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It’s that time of year when you start planning for family and friends to visit and, since you are hospitable, you start thinking of all the delicious meals, snacks and beverages you will serve them when they arrive.

Despite the very best attempts of you and your guests to keep things on the plate, in the bowl, in the glass and on the spoon or fork, the inevitable happens: Food or drinks spill, and for some reason they always spill on the carpet. Usually white carpet.

There is no need to panic, but there is a need to gather your thoughts, keep your cool and not overreact to the situation. That is difficult when you witness a full glass of merlot splashing onto your white, wool rug in the middle of the living room.

Your first reactio...

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DID YOU KNOW that choosing a wool carpet or rug for your home is both good news… and sometimes bad?

The good news is choosing wool, which is a high quality fiber but not really that popular because of the higher price, means your carpet or rug will last longer, look better and retain value.

The bad news is choosing wool means you won’t see as much dirt on it, and so you may not vacuum or clean it that often — which means your nice, wool carpet or rug may prematurely wear out.

Why is that?

Most consumers base their cleaning frequencies on appearance. That can be dangerous for any carpet or rug, or any surface, for that matter. With wool, the physical makeup of the fiber has the characteristic of hiding dirt, especially ...

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Humidity reactivates odors. Drink spills, pet stains, soil from shoes– they all have odor causing bacteria. They linger in your carpet, rugs, and upholstery until they are treated..

Urine problems have alkaline crystals that eventually dry up after several months. But when a humid day kicks in, you’ll smell the odor again. The odors can linger for years.What happens when you spill a drink like coffee? Sugars are embedded in the fibers. Tannin and dyes in the drink bond to the fibers as well.Misting a good spot cleaner on the stain and wiping with an absorbent cloth helps. But the stain REALLY needs to be treated.I suggest you purchase a small Bissell type spot machine available at most department stores. But remember, the s...

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Taking care of cleaning chores around the house is something homeowners have been doing since houses were invented. Not much thought goes into it other than it just needs done.

However, some specialized tasks, such as removing a spot from a carpet, getting rid of an irritating pet odor from the family dog or trying to find the best cleaning solution for those tough jobs can actually end up causing more harm than good.

Spot/Stain removal

When we find a stain on the carpet, there are two things we tend to do. The first is to put wayyyyyy too much cleaning solution on the spot, saturating it and even getting the padding wet. This just spreads the spot and causes problems in the future. The second is we tend to scrub way too long and way too...

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