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Thu, 09 Apr 2020
While New Zealanders are spending more time at home than usual due to the Covid-19 lockdown, it can be important to create a balance between relaxation and activity. Too much downtime can be just as draining as being too busy! Getting a few chores over and done with is healthy for the mind and body, so that when everything returns to normal, you’re feeling good about what you’ve achieved.
Please note, during this time it’s advisable to steer clear of tasks that have an element of danger, such as clearing guttering or operating tools you are not familiar with. Emergency services need to remain available for work related to the Covid-19 crisis.
OK this is probably way down on the list of things you’d like to get done over lockdown, but smelly bins can harbour bacteria and cause neighbourly upsets. The job only takes around 30 minutes and once the bin is clean, the kids will feel a lot better about taking out the rubbish! Plan the job for the day of collection so that the bin is empty.
Tools needed: buckets of hot water, hose, broom or mop, scrubbing brush or dustpan brush, old newspaper, dishwashing liquid and/or disinfectant and/or strong essential oils
Choose a grassy spot if your cleaning products are biodegradable, otherwise, ensure that runoff will go down a drain. Use a layer of newspaper to soak up any liquid at the bottom of the bin. Scrunched newspaper can also be used as a scrubbing tool.
Fill a couple of buckets full of hot water and add some of your chosen cleaner. Pour into the bin and let it soak while you clean the outside of the bin. Fill a bucket with more hot water and cleaning product. Use this to dip your scrubbing brush into, and scrub down the outside of the bin, before hosing down to rinse. Open the bin up, where steam and soaking will have helped to loosen the scum, then agitate and scrub with the mop or broom.
Tip the bin over to empty, and repeat scrubbing if necessary. Hose the suds out and leave the bin on its side to air dry - preferably in the sun for natural anti-bacterial action.
Rather than having to eradicate a vermin infestation, it’s worth taking preventive measures to make your home impervious to rodents in the first place. During winter, rodents will seek out warm spots to make their nests, so now is the time to beat them to it!
The first step in rat-proofing or mouse proofing your home should be a thorough inspection. Inspect foundation all the way around the home. Any crack, gap or hole that is 10mm or larger needs to be repaired. Expanding foam, silicone sealant and wire mesh can be used to fill gaps. Check all doors, door frames, windows and window frames. Inspect the roof. Look at all utility entry points, which can make easy access points for rodents.
Inspect all foliage near the home. Any tree branches or hedges that touch or hang over the house should be cut back to prevent rodents from using them as pathways onto and into the house. Keep grass short and trim the base of hedges or bushes to expose soil beneath and eliminate rodent hiding spots.
Nearby tree trunks or pipes that run vertically up houses can be utilised by rats as direct access to the home. There are two methods that can help to prevent rats from climbing them, by making the surface resistant to grip.
1. Attach circular metal rodent guards around the tree or pipe.
2. Paint a 30cm band around the pipe at least 1 metre from the ground using high gloss clear paint.
Remove food and water sources when possible. Feed pets in the morning and remove any uneaten food immediately. Find and fix any leaking pipes or drains. Remove bird feeders if possible to eliminate the birdseed as a possible food source.
Clean up any rodent faeces and urine found during the inspection. Be sure to wear protective gloves and a respirator to avoid breathing in any faecal matter. Use a bleach solution to clean rodent nesting areas and entry points to get rid of any pheromones left behind that may attract future rodents.
Keeping your garage door clean and maintained isn't just good for smooth operation and looking smart in the neighbourhood, it's also beneficial for safety, longevity and to maintain the conditions of your warranty.
Using water and a soft brush or cloth, gently scrub the outside of the door. The job should be done frequently for best results, we suggest cleaning the garage door as often as you wash your car.
Now that autumn is truly creeping in, it won’t be long before fallen leaves begin to inundate every corner of your property. Now is a good time to clear any weeds that have flourished in summer and prepare paved areas for autumn leaves and winter rain. If you start with a cleared area, wind and water will have a better chance of washing away leaves and debris as they happen.
Move potted plants and sweep behind them, then clear their drainage holes from any blockages.
Weed between paved areas, along edges of paths and driveways and around the base of trees.
Use a water blaster to clean concrete and paving, or spray on a cleaning agent that will do the job for you.
Stack or store outdoor items like sun umbrellas and sports equipment, deflate paddling pools and make sure gardening tools are under cover.
Looking for more outdoor projects? Try these easy one-day landscaping ideas.