Posts made in December, 2014

Got A Wood Stove? What You Can Do With The Ashes

If you have a wood stove, you know firewood produces a lot of ashes. Instead of throwing these ashes out, you can use them for things like improving soil, making soap, de-skunking your pets, and more.

Improve Soil

The ash that is produced from a wood burning stove is a great fertilizer for your garden, as it has many nutrients, such as magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and calcium. If your soil is too acidic, ash decreases the acid level.

Spread ash generously across the soil, and work it in with a rake. You can also add one cup of ash to one bag of compost, spread one inch of the compost across the soil, and work it in using a rake.

De-Skunk Your Pets

If you have a pet that gets sprayed by a skunk, you can use ash to remove the smell. Simply rub the ash onto your pet’s coat generously, and it will neutralize the odor. Use your fingers to work it ih into the soil so it gets down to the skin. After a couple of hours, give your pet a bath to remove the ash.

Clean The Glass On The Stove

Put some ash into a bowl, and add enough water to form a paste. Dip a damp cloth or sponge in the paste, and rub onto the glass on your wood stove. Rub the paste gently, as it can be abrasive. When you are finished cleaning the glass, wipe over it again with a clean damp cloth to rinse off the ash.

Block Pests From Garden

If you are having problems with pests in your vegetable or flower garden, spread ash evenly around the beds. The ash repels the pests, such as snails and slugs, which can harm your plants.

Make Soap

You can also use ash from your wood stove to make soap. Put two cups of ashes in one gallon of water and let it soak for one hour to make lye. Pour the mixture into a large pot, mix in two tablespoons of animal fat, and then put on your stove to boil. When it starts boiling, remove it from the stove. As it cools down, it hardens and produces soap. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil while it is on the stove to make a more fragrant soap.

Plant Healthy Tomatoes

Tomatoes love calcium, and because ash has this nutrient, it can plump them up. Put 1/4 cup of ash in the hole when you are planting your tomatoes.

When you remove ash from your wood stove, store it in a fireproof container that is tightly sealed.

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How To Repair Cracks In Your Skylight’s Dome

If your skylight’s dome has become cracked, there is a strong possibility that the situation will become worse and that leaking may begin to occur. You don’t necessarily need to replace the dome if you take steps quickly and patch the existing cracks. As a result, your skylight will still allow sunlight into your home, but will not be at risk of becoming more damaged. The steps that outline how to complete this skylight repair are listed below.

Use These Items To Make The Repair

  • ladder
  • garden hose
  • dry cloth
  • silicone sealant
  • caulking gun
  • scissors
  • all weather repair tape
  • measuring tape

Locate The Cracks And Patch Them

Use a ladder to climb up onto the roof of your home. Rinse the skylight off with a garden hose. This will remove dirt and make it easy for you to see which areas are cracked. After locating the damaged areas, dry the dome’s surface with a clean cloth. Silicone sealant will fill the cracks and prevent moisture from entering.

Cut the tip off of the sealant and place the cartridge into a caulking gun. To release the trigger, pull out the plunger that is located at the back of the gun. Press the cartridge into place. Aim the tip of the sealant at the areas that are cracked. Press the trigger while applying a thin, even line of this product. The sealant may take a couple hours to dry.

Cover The Repaired Areas

Placing all weather repair tape over the areas that were just patched is a good idea to add further protection. Measure each repaired area and cut out corresponding pieces of tape. Peel the backing off of the tape and press each strip firmly onto the areas that were previously cracked. The tape will adhere to the dome’s surface, even when it is cold, rainy, or windy.

Continue To Check The Condition Of The Dome

Keep the dome clean by spraying it off when you notice that it is dirty from within your house. Inspect the dome each year for leaks or cracked sections. If any of the tape needs to be replaced, peel off the existing pieces and replace them. Doing all of these steps will lengthen the life of your dome and prevent extensive damage from occurring. If your dome does, however, become seriously damaged, it is important to hire a professional to assess the situation and install a new dome if it is necessary. 

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December 2014
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