Monday, June 24, 2013

Helping Your Houseplants Enjoy Summer


As the weather warms up, consider giving your houseplants a vacation outdoors this year. With a little care, your houseplants can thrive on your patio, balcony, or deck. Most houseplants enjoy warm temperatures. If you expect nighttime temperatures to fall below 40 degrees, plan on bringing your plants indoors. Until the nights stay warm, continue to move them outside during the day and inside at night.

Houseplants generally do not like direct sunlight. They will usually get enough reflected light by being outdoors even when they are in the shade all day. Being outdoors will dry out your houseplants more quickly, so be sure to water more frequently. They should be fed a liquid fertilizer on a regular basis. Be prepared to re-pot some of your houseplants when you finally do need to bring them back in for the winter. They usually will grow larger and need larger pots after the warm summer months.


Image courtesy of hyena reality -

Monday, June 17, 2013

Backyard Safety


The sounds of summer always include children playing outdoors. To ensure that your children will be safe as they enjoy their summer vacation, use this checklist to inspect your backyard swing set and play equipment.

- Are the bolts tight? Be sure to tighten all bolts before your children use the equipment.

- Do the ends of the bolts have safety caps on them? Children can be seriously injured from a puncture by an uncapped bolt. Most hardware stores sell replacements caps.

- Are handrails rusted or loose? Tighten all handrails and ensure that there are no loose or sharp edges. Any other metal parts should be checked for rust and rough spots. They should be filed down and recoated before children use the equipment.

- Are there any rough spots on the wood? Most manufacturers recommend that the wood on wooden play sets be stained every year to extend the life of the unit and to prevent splinters from forming.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic /


Monday, June 10, 2013

Fragrance Free

According to a Danish study of allergens, after nickel, fragrances were the second most common cause of allergic contact dermatitis, which is inflamed skin. Over the last decade, fragrance sensitivities in dermatitis patients have increased up to 13 percent. These substances can also cause allergic reactions when inhaled. If you are sensitive to these substances, you can help alleviate your exposure. Experts recommend looking for fragrance-free products, double-rinsing all detergents, avoiding fabric softeners, and avoiding perfumes, colognes, aftershaves, fingernail-care products, and hairspray.
We at Pfeiffer's can also do a Fragrance-Free cleaning at your request. Be sure to let us know at the time of scheduling so we can make sure our Carpet Care Technician is notified.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici -

Monday, June 3, 2013

Don't Skip That Sunscreen!

It's no secret that we Washingtonians don't see the sun very often... and when we do, it's hard not to be out and enjoying every minute of it! Next time you go out, just take a few extra minutes to apply some sunscreen. 

There is nothing more you can do to prevent melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, than to use sunscreen every time you go into the sun. You might imagine that people who have survived melanoma would be extra careful. But a new study by researchers at Yale University’s School of Medicine reveals that more than 25 percent of melanoma survivors never use sunscreen when heading outdoors.

Everyone should limit exposure to the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) light. This means putting sunscreen on every time you go out, staying in the shade as much as possible, wearing protective clothing and a hat, and avoiding tanning salons.

The good news of the study is that over one-third of melanoma survivors always wore sunscreen. Other studies have revealed that only about 17 percent of Americans wear sunscreen all the time. The researchers believe that better education of the melanoma survivors increases the rate at which they use sunscreen.

With almost 77,000 cases of melanoma diagnosed each year in the United States, it is critically important for everyone to understand the risks of sun exposure. An estimated 9,500 American will die of the disease this year. But with better education about basic precautions, that number could be reduced significantly.