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How To Reduce Bird And Window Collisions

Bird and window collisions may have been a major source of avian mortality according to the Audubon Society. One primary cause for such bird strikes that resulted in avian mortality is reflection on windows. Startled or confused birds may have mistaken the window reflection as the real blue sky, made a dash for cover and killed themselves instead when they flew into glass windows or doors.

What are the reasons that cause the birds to fly into the windows?

There is often a pattern behind frequent bird strikes or birds and windows collisions. Such bird strikes may be repeatedly happening to the same windows of your house and perhaps only during certain periods of the year such as their breeding season. Hence, sometimes you may only need to tack up a temporary cover – a piece of netting, cloth or solid material on the outside of your windows to deter the birds and break their silly habit.

It might also be the position of water source or hanging plants you have by your windows that may be causing such frequent bird strikes. Thus, simply remove these sources to deter the bird strikes. Observing and paying attention to the bird behaviors is crucial to discover their suicidal pattern before you decide the best solution to avoid bird and window collisions. Besides the ones mentioned above, here are some other reasons and more ways to help you reduce bird and window collisions in your home:

Reduce window reflection

Windows that always reflect the sky, clouds or trees have a high tendency to give birds the mistaken impression that they are flying into open air resulting in injuries or death. If your home has such windows, you may wish to place a shade cloth or a screen over such windows to prevent more tragedies from happening. Window shade cloth is actually a piece of plastic mesh that allows you to still be able to see through your window of the view outside, yet prevent the windows from having reflections. Otherwise, if your windows have shades or blinds, turn them such that they are closed slightly to reduce reflection. White shears will also work at reducing reflection while allowing you to be able to see through the windows.

Use window shades to block ‘through-house’ line of sight

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If your home has windows that are oriented such that there is a clear view through your house to another window on the opposite side looking to the outside of your house, you may potentially have a bird and window collision hazardous spot. This ‘through-house’ line of sight to the outdoors may be seen as a flight path for the birds. You can simply change this potential flight path by putting up window shades on the windows to break the open view or the impression that the bird can fly right through. If you already have window shades, just lower the shades on the opposing window and you will not see any more window strikes.

Window decals

There are many different window decals now in the market that are easy to apply to your windows which will help to prevent bird and window collision. The most common ones are those in the outline of a hawk silhouette or spider web. These may be effective but some people are still skeptical if such static images really do make a difference in reducing such bird strikes.

If you are one of the skeptics, you may want to make non-static, swinging hawk silhouette by hanging a paper hawk silhouette (easily printable from online websites) then tie it with clear fishing line to a suction cup from the top of the window exterior. As the hawk simulation swings in the wind, it may deter smaller birds from striking your windows.

Similar to window decals pasted to the windows exterior, some home users prefer to purchase transparent film that allow ample natural light to pass through into the house yet will help to reduce the reflectivity of the window exteriors and transparency of the windows.

How To Take Care Of Your Honeycomb Shades

Honeycomb shades tend to provide a home with a sweeter appearance that is different from other shades or blinds in the market. They are also much more pleasing to the eye as compared to curtains. Honeycomb shades (or cellular shades) are made up of two or more layers of materials that are joined at the pleats to form ‘cellular’, honey comb or bee-hive-like compartments. These cells or compartments help to provide insulation by trapping air. Hence, honeycomb blinds are famous for being the highest energy-efficient shades for any window treatment.

In addition to providing insulation, the honeycomb shades are also well-known for their sound-absorbent properties. Though high on its functional capabilities and aesthetically appealing, you may be hesitant to get a set of honeycomb shades for your home due to cleaning and caring concerns. With the following simple tips, hopefully you will realize that cleaning and caring for the honeycomb shades is actually much simpler nowadays.

Feather duster, hair dryer and vacuum

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You will only need a feather duster and a hair dryer with a cool setting for all the daily simple care of your honeycomb shades. With these two simple tools in hand, you will be able to remove the major bulk of dust, pet dandruff, pollen, cobwebs that may have landed on your honeycomb shades.

Simply use the feather duster to gently brush the dirt away or hold the hair dryer at an angle to let the cool gushes of wind do all the work for you. You may also use the hose of your vacuum cleaner with the weakest suction power activated to remove the dust that may have accumulated on your honeycomb shades. Do note that the mouth of the hair dryer should not come in direct or close contact with the fabric of the honeycomb shades. This is to prevent any accidental caught up of the fabric by the hair dryer’s motor that may result in a tear or burn. Similarly, you should always remember to use the weakest suction power of your vacuum cleaner so as to reduce potential damage to your honeycomb shades.

Fingerprints and stains

On the other hand, fingerprints and stains may require fast and careful cleaning procedures as soon as you noticed them before they have time to set on your honeycomb shades. More often than not, honeycomb shade manufacturers or retailers will include manuals or guides that explain the cleaning products suitable for use with their fabrics. Some may even provide free samples of the cleaning products that will be compatible with the fabrics of their honeycomb shades to remove such stains or fingerprints.

Alternatively, you may wish to make your own cleaning agent to remove any fingerprints or stains on your honeycomb shades. First, mix a very small amount of weak clothes washing detergent or dish soap with lots of water. This is because the use of strong detergent can damage your honeycomb shades. Next, find a not-so-visible spot on your honeycomb shades and clean it with the cleaning agent that you created. Then, remove the cleaning agent as fast as possible with a damp towel.

If you see a mark being left behind after cleaning, you will need to mix an even weaker cleaning agent before you proceed with the major cleaning. If you do not see any mark being left behind, this means your cleaning agent works and you are ready to move on to the more visible spots to remove them. Repeat the process of removing the stained spots with your cleaning agent and quickly remove any cleaning solution with your damp towel, until you have removed all the dirt, stains, fingerprints and grime. Stop immediately when you noticed that your honeycomb shades are clean as leaving soap on the fabric longer than necessary may result in damaging them instead.

Ongoing care

As the saying goes – “Prevention is better than cure”, you should clean your honeycomb shades on a regular basis instead of waiting till they are in dire states. Vacuum or dust your honeycomb shades every time you vacuum your home too. Use a micro fiber cloth to give it a gentle weekly wipe and remove stains immediately. With ongoing care, your honeycomb shades will always look good as new for many years to come!

What Are The Benefits That Motorized Shades Bring To Homeowners?

Day in, day out, for 365 days a year, the sun will rise and set. As the sun rises, your home will be bathed in natural light from the sun, depending on the position of your house as well as the location and designs of your windows. Each season, your home will be bathed in the natural sunlight at different angles, different times of the day. Thus, having motorized shades will bring you and your home many benefits.

Maximized views

As such, motorized shades will help to capture fleeting stunning vistas and make the most of the views from your home with effortless, precise control of the amount of natural light entering your home. The convenient, quick operation of motorized shade can make a huge difference between you being able to catch a beautiful sunrise or sunset or missing them.

Convenience

Using motorized shades, you do not need to physically or manually adjust the level of your window shades to control the level of incoming natural light in a room. It may be an easy task to raise or lower a shade manually but if the shades are heavy or large or more than one, you or your family member will end up missing the nice views due to inconvenience. The remote control device that comes with motorized shades will give you and your family more ease and control at the simple touch of a button. You can even opt to install a computerized system to adjust the lighting level according to the amount of sunlight exposure received by the windows.

Energy conservation

The amount of accumulated heat from the sunlight entering your home every day can be a major burden on your air conditioning and eventually your electricity or energy bills. With motorized shades, your home can get savings of up to 30% off your energy bills every year. This is because you can preset timers to block sunlight at appropriate timings of the day thus automatically reducing heat from accumulating and affecting your air conditioning. In addition, there is no need for you to remember every day to lower your shades before you leave the house.

Sun protection

When the sun gets overpowering at times, it may result in brightness, glare and heat gain in your home. The sun’s rays will also result in the fading of furniture, crack artwork and warp flooring in your home. With a simple push of the button on the remote control for the motorized shades or using preset timers, the valuable interior of your home will be better protected.

Security

The preset timers for the motorized shades to raise or lower your shades at predetermined time intervals can also work as a security measure. Timer lights can help to discourage burglary while you are away from home thus acting as a form of additional protection.

Design and aesthetic benefits

With motorized shades, issues such as unsightly control cords that used to accompany having multiple manual shades, having cords tangled up with furnishings, having pools of cords on the floor causing potential life-endangering hazards and affecting the room’s aesthetic will be eliminated. Your home will be left with unobstructed views both on the outside and the inside.

With motorized shades, the location of the shades will not be limited by the ability to adjust the shades or to be close to the ground. There is more flexibility to locate and manage the window shades of your home in accordance to your interior design requirements. As the motorized shades can be installed directly inside the window, dust accumulation will be reduced, cleaning of shades will eliminated and your home will have neater window design.

How to select motorized shades

When selecting the motorized shade for your windows, bear in mind the motor design, location and size of the shades. Your motorized shades should blend into the design and décor of your home. They should not be causing an eye sore affecting the overall visual appeal of your windows and eventually your home. Besides selecting motorized shades that will help you to beautify your home, remember to check out the warranty period, maintenance and customer support provided for the long term caring of the motorized shades before your purchase.

Cleaning Your Blinds And Shades To Protect Their Service Lifespan

Dusting and cleaning blinds and shades is a chore that is hard to ignore. Ideally, it is not hard to clean these items and it can only take you around thirty minutes to ensure your peace of mind. Window treatments at Grace Allen’s look fantastic and once fitted, you need to learn a few cleaning tricks to keep them looking as good as new as the years pass by. Here is how to make sure that all these types of window treatments look their best.

Vertical blinds

Vertical Blinds

You may clean vertical blind louvers by simply vacuuming them using the right upholstery attachment. For more thorough cleaning, you may clean selected fabrics using a washing machine or using your hands. Contact the site from which you bought the vertical blinds for clearer and more detailed instructions as regards their care and maintenance.

Venetian blinds

Simply dust these with a dry or slightly damp cloth. Applying too much pressure on the slats may damage them by bending them. Given a situation, whereby the venetian blinds are too dirty, household detergents that are not too harsh may come in handy.

Roman blinds

Use an upholstery tool to vacuum them. Additionally, you may dry clean them leaving out the blackout blinds whilst following the instructions outlined on the label. When detaching the blinds from their respective head rails, pay keen attention to the manner in which the cords are attached to them and the rods, as well as the bottom bar. You may proceed to dry clean the fabric after this.

Wood weaves, wood Venetian and wood illusion blinds

Be sure to clean woods venetian blinds using only clean, lint free or a cloth that is not too damp. A similar treatment applies to wood illusions blinds, only that you have to pay keen attention to the slats so that they do not bend. Dirty wood illusion blinds may be cleaned using a household cleaned detergent that is not too harsh on them. Simply vacuum wood weave blinds with the brush attachment.

Pleated blinds

Use a clean duster that is dry when cleaning these. Note that pressing too hard on the pleated blinds damages them. To blow debris off the back of your roof blinds, use a hair dryer and then vacuum properly.

Shutters

Fact is, regular cleaning keeps shutters looking great throughout the year. Cleaning them does not take up too much of your time. A simple wipe with a clean, dry clothe will definitely work for you. All your curtains, on the other hand, ought to be dry-cleaned. However, some fabrics may shrink, therefore it is advisable to keep dry cleaning on the minimum and instead opt for regular cleaning with effective upholstery attachments from a vacuum cleaner. Never press the hems or even the side seams since this tends to damage your curtains.

Roller shades

Nowadays, these are available in a wide array of fabrics as well as textures. All you need here is the soft brush of your vacuum with a little energy on your part. Vinyl roller shades are best cleaned using a cloth that is well wrung or preferably a sponge that has been dipped in a dishwashing detergent that is relatively mild. Work from the bottom and climb your way upwards until you are done with the entire shade body. Alternatively, you may give them a dingy bath by dipping them in your bathtub full of water with mild washing soap. Clean them on both sides with a soft brush after which you can rinse and leave them to dry.