Written by Mercedes Hayes

Looking at allrepparttar beautiful full-color glossy photos of log home in magazines gives us an idealized vision ofrepparttar 137860 perfect wooden house. Like a supermodel, we can't imagine wrinkles and imperfections, but like any natural product, log walls are full of traits that are an integral part of their character.

CHECKING: The new visitor to any log home is invariably struck byrepparttar 137861 cracks inrepparttar 137862 logs, sometimes stretching for several feet. Initially they might look alarming, but these cracks, or checks, are a natural process that occurs overrepparttar 137863 first few years when logs are still drying and reaching equilibrium withrepparttar 137864 environment. In no way do they weakenrepparttar 137865 integrity of your log wall.

When trees are cut down, there is naturally still some moisture left inrepparttar 137866 cells, especially whenrepparttar 137867 tree is cut down live. These logs are called "green" and will settle many inches if used right away to build a house. Some manufacturers let their logs dry naturally air dried while others putrepparttar 137868 logs in a kiln and bake them for 30-45 days, which removes 80-85% ofrepparttar 137869 moisture. However, they can't go any farther without doing damage torepparttar 137870 wood, sorepparttar 137871 logs dry naturally forrepparttar 137872 next few years, and this process can create checks inrepparttar 137873 wood to relieverepparttar 137874 pressure. However,repparttar 137875 heartwood closest torepparttar 137876 center ofrepparttar 137877 tree is so hard thatrepparttar 137878 checks will not go beyondrepparttar 137879 center ofrepparttar 137880 log. As a result, you will not seerepparttar 137881 checks go allrepparttar 137882 way through.

SETTLING: As you may already suspect, there is a relationship between moisture content and settling of your log walls. No, settling does not have to be a "dirty word". As long as your builder knows how to deal withrepparttar 137883 settling and make provisions forrepparttar 137884 windows, doors, plumbing, and interior walls, your house can settle many inches and still age comfortably. Any log home will come with about a 2" gap above allrepparttar 137885 doors and windows, which will need to be filled with insulation. The builder will cut a vertical groove inrepparttar 137886 frame and affix nails torepparttar 137887 windows and doors that will slide downrepparttar 137888 groove asrepparttar 137889 building settles, so nothing gets crushed. Most kiln-dried homes will only settle a couple of inches overall, and much of that will occur duringrepparttar 137890 construction phase.

KNOTS: Depending onrepparttar 137891 species of wood used in your log home, some logs have more knots than others, just as some trees have more limbs than others. The more interestingrepparttar 137892 knot,repparttar 137893 more likely your builder will place it at eye level, since each knot is truly unique. However, don't be surprised ifrepparttar 137894 knots ooze sap onrepparttar 137895 sunny exterior walls of your house. Evenrepparttar 137896 sealant won't stoprepparttar 137897 sap from working its way out. This will not happen onrepparttar 137898 inside ofrepparttar 137899 house, or onrepparttar 137900 shady side. It only happens whenrepparttar 137901 sun is beating down onrepparttar 137902 logs and heating them up inrepparttar 137903 summer time.

How to control Ants Without Poison

Written by Marilyn Pokorney

REQUIREMENTS FOR REPRINT: You have permission to publish this article free of charge in your e-zine, newsletter, ebook, print publication or on your website ONLY if it remains unchanged and you includerepparttar copyright and author information (Resource Box) atrepparttar 137792 end. You may not use this article in any unsolicited commercial email (spam).

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Words: 433 Copyright: 2005 Marilyn Pokorney

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Ants are pests inrepparttar 137796 house. Inrepparttar 137797 home common ants aren't harmful but they are a nuisance.

There are many natural repellants which can be used to discourage ants from kitchen counters, pantries, and other areas where food lures them in.

As a first step try to preventrepparttar 137798 ants from enteringrepparttar 137799 house.

Use less chemical fertilizers and pesticides inrepparttar 137800 lawn and gardens. These cause an imbalance inrepparttar 137801 biological makeup ofrepparttar 137802 soil. Stressed soil and plants attract ants.

Many species of ants like to drink honeydew from aphids. If good control of aphids in plants and gardens near houses is exercised, ants will be less numerous. Ants seem to dislike spearmint, tansy, and pennyroyal. Plant these nearrepparttar 137803 house to keep ants away. Sweet fern is particularly dislike by red ants.

A simple recipe to repel ants can be made by adding to an eight ounce bottle of mild liquid soap one ounce each of citronella, pennyroyal, peppermint, cinnamon, rose and tea oil. Mix together and add three tablespoons to two cups of water. Spray where ants are enteringrepparttar 137804 house. Thisrepparttar 137805 formula can be used to wash down counters inrepparttar 137806 kitchen but only use one-half tablespoon to two cups of water.

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