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Spring g n i r p S Sales

Homeowners should learn sump pump basics Water issues in a home are common and can result in many a sleepless night for homeowners. Leaks or damp conditions can lead to damage in a home and a large financial investment. Sump pumps are often part of an easy water management system. Due to high water tables or flood-prone areas, some homes are more susceptible to water infiltration. The type of soil under the home or even in the region also may contribute to water-entry issues in the home. Homeowners may find water accumulates in the basement or crawlspace, or other lowlying areas of the residence. A sump pump can be an effective means to removing water from the home. A sump pump is a device that pumps water out of the home to a place where it can drain properly. The pump is often placed in a sump pit, which is a hole dug into the lowest-lying point in a basement or crawl space. The pit is lined with gravel. Most sump pumps are submersible types, which means the motor and electronic components are housed

within a sealed, waterproof plastic shell. The submersible pump can be placed directly in the pit in the accumulated water. A pedestal pump is another type of sump pump that elevates the motor on a stick, keeping it out of the water. Because the motor isn’t contained, these pumps tend to be less expensive, but louder to use. Submersible pumps may not last as long as pedestal pumps simply because they spend a lot of time below water. Sump pumps can work in a few different ways. A common type uses a float that rests on the surface of the water, much like the float inside of a toilet tank. When the water rises to a certain level, the float rises as well, triggering the motor to turn on and expel the water. A pump with a pressure sensor works by having the water, which is heavier than air, trigger a sensor that will activate the motor. Inside of most sump pumps is an impeller, which looks like fan blades that spin the collected water and, through centrifugal force, pushes it into a dis-

One of the best things about the dawn of spring and the return of warmer weather is the chance to get out of the house and get some fresh air. For homeowners, this is the perfect opportunity to assess any damage the previous months did to yards and develop a plan restore properties. * Don’t jump the gun. The first warm day of spring might seem like a great time get out in the yard and get your hands dirty. But it’s best to wait until the grass has completely dried out before getting to work. Raking on wet grass increases the risk of tearing out grass, which can cause bald spots and the growth of weeds down the road. In addition, stepping on the grass while the ground is still wet can compact the soil, which can slow drainage and block the lawn’s roots from breathing. Patience should prevail with regard to mowing the lawn as well. A lawn’s roots will not start to grow until the average everyday temperature routinely reaches 40 F, so mowing too early is both unnecessary and potentially harmful to the lawn. When the temperatures regularly reach 50 F, then homeowners will likely start to see their lawns growing. * Remove debris that’s piled up. Debris has a tendency to infest a yard over the course of the winter months. Fallen branches, stones and even trash can accumulate in a yard, putting those who spend time in the yard at risk of injury once the warm weather returns. For instance, bits of twigs and pebbles that are blown across the yard during a windy winter can be embedded in the yard, making the yard less of a haven and more of a hazard. Once the grass is dry enough to walk on, walk around the property and remove any debris that’s piled up over the last few months.

* Employ a pre-emergent weed killer. Homeowners who routinely spend their summers agonizing over weeds throughout the yard should consider applying a pre-emergent weed killer around the beginning of spring. It’s important to do so around the end of March or early April, when the weeds have not yet had a chance to grow. When applying, follow the dosage instructions provided by the product’s manufacturer. Such instructions often recommend a second application right before summer begins. * Remove thatch. Once the grass has dried, you can begin to remove thatch that’s built up over the winter. Thatch is potentially very harmful to soil, blocking sunlight, air and moisture the soil needs to ensure a lawn looks lush and healthy. Thatch removal does not necessarily need to be an annual task. If thatch buildup is insignificant, then it can be done every other year. Just use a dethatching rake to make the job much easier. * Aerate, particularly if the yard is a heavy traffic area once the warm weather arrives. If your yard transforms into a child’s wonderland upon the arrival of spring and summer, you might want to revive the soil by aerating. When the yard gets heavy usage, it’s easy for soil to become compacted, which makes it hard for air and water to reach the lawn’s roots. That can eventually make for a less-than-appealing lawn. So if your yard is the place to be come the warmer months, aerate in the spring to loosen the soil and make it easier for the lawn to withstand the months ahead. No matter how harsh the winter months might have been, spring is a great time for homeowners to restore the property around their homes. SH122751

charge pipe. This pipe exits the house and usually drains far away from the foundation. The discharge pipe likely has a check valve that prevents water from seeping back through the pipe into the sump pump. Homeowners also can choose manual sump pumps. But, unlike automatic pumps, manual pumps require a person to turn the pump on and off. Due to the fact that sump pumps are electrical devices that work off of regular household current, it’s important to have a ground fault interruptor (GFI) installed at the outlet where the pump will be plugged. This way the power can be turned off should an electrical surge take place. Sump pumps can only be used where there are minor water problems in a home. Flooding or severe conditions may require alternative situations that are best handled by a professional service. SH112412

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Outdoor Activities Ideal for Spring Once winter has come and gone, adults and children alike are typically anxious to get outside and soak up some spring sun. Few things are as rejuvenating as those first few spring days, when the harsh winter weather is instantly forgotten and the smell of fresh grass is comfortably overwhelming. When saying “so long” to cabin fever this spring, consider the following outdoor activities that are sure to put a spring in your step. Golf Many golf courses re-open in the spring. Though some public courses stay open throughout the winter, the majority of courses do close once the weather becomes too unbearable for golfers to endure or too detrimental to the course’s landscape. Depending on how harsh the winter was and the forecast for spring, golf courses typically re-open their links as early as the first week of March. Even if your favorite course doesn’t open quickly enough, you can still dust off your swing with a visit to the local driving range. Fish Many fishermen feel like fishing season never ends, choosing to simply add another layer of clothing when the temperatures drop rather than pack it up and wait till spring. For the hobbyist, however, spring is typically a time to find a favorite fishing

hole and get back to business. How successful a fishing trip will be typically depends on a host of factors, including water temperature. Oftentimes, the local newspaper will list the water temperature of the area’s favorite fishing areas. Once nature decides to cooperate, get outside and enjoy the first catch of the season. Cycling P e r h a p s thanks to seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, cycling has grown increasingly popular stateside in the 21st century. Many communities have cycling groups for riders of varying skill levels, and such groups typically hit the pavement once the spring season arrives. When joining a group, be sure to join one that’s suited to your skill level. If cycling alone, be patient at the beginning and don’t stray too far. Remember, you’ll eventually need to turn around and start pedaling home. Join a Sports League Adults can relive the days of their youth by signing up to play

in a local sports league. Such leagues are often ideal for young singles, who can team up with fellow young people to play any number of sports, including softball, beach volleyball, basketball, and even the old standby of elementary school,

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kickball. Run Winter can test even the most devoted of runners. For those who simply can’t run in the throes of winter, when snow and ice cover the roadways, spring is the first chance to get back outdoors and run in the fresh air. Local road runner clubs are a great opportunity to meet fellow runners or learn of local competitions. When running, be sure to bring along some gear to keep you relatively dry should those inevitable spring showers arrive. TF115585


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Spring Sales  

Spring special showcasing some helpful spring information and deals.