Go Green by Painting Your Bldg Roof White | Mumbai News ...

MUMBAI: The state government wants to promote 'cool roofs' to conserve energy. A 'cool roof' is one treated with a coating to reduce the amount of absorbed solar radiation and heat. In general, these coatings are white or light-coloured.

The term is also used to describe roof tiles that show similar properties. Research suggests that such roofs are more reflective that the conventional ones. Conventional roofs (dark-coloured roofs) absorb heat instead of reflecting it.

This raises the temperature of the roof during hot weather. The heat is also transmitted to the living quarters below, forcing many to switch on air conditioners. By reflecting heat, a cool roof significantly minimizes such heat transfer, leading to savings on your AC bill.

This, in turn, reduces carbon emissions and helps in promoting a cooler and a greener planet. The state environment department has tied up with Dr Jayant Sathaye, a director with the International Energy Group of the renowned California-based and renowned Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. that has published research papers.

Valsa Nair Singh, secretary, environment department, said, "Models used in Delhi and Hyderabad, where the concept has already been introduced, are being examined." In Delhi, the government has modified building norms to make "cool roofs" a mandatory norm in new buildings. On completion of the ongoing study, the state urban development (UD) department could be asked to check the feasibility of similarly introducing similar changes in development control norms.

To promote the concept, Delhi first introduced the concept in government buildings. The US was the first to endorse the concept. With President Barack Obama advocating it strongly, the concept has gained tremendous ground within the States and is now trending in other developed and developing countries.

Rebates in taxes were offered to popularize the concept in some parts of the US. To bring down carbon emissions and slow down global warming effects, the state has been promoting use of green and environment-friendly building construction materials. Interestingly, the California research laboratory had also suggested use of light-coloured pavement tiles to reduce carbon emissions.

However, state officials said that this was not being considered at this stage. Download The Times of India News App for Latest City .

Quinn Group Cement and Quarry Business in Merger Talks ...
The Quinn Group cement and quarrying business is in talks to merge with part of the Belfast-based Lagan group.Quinn Building Products and the Lagan Cement Group have signed a memorandum of understanding that may lead to a joint venture between the two.The firms employ about 570 people in a variety of locations across Ireland.If the venture goes ahead it will be the second largest cement supplier in Ireland behind Irish Cement, which is owned by the multinational CRH.Quinn Building Products supplies cement, concrete, roof tiles and other quarry products from plants at Ballyconnell in County Cavan and Derrylin in County Fermanagh.Other Quinn manufacturing businesses which make insulating products and tarmac are not part of the proposed deal.The Lagan Cement Group supplies similar products from a large cement plant at Kinnegad in County Meath. It also has a facility in Cork under the Healy Brothers brand.In Northern Ireland, it operates from Ballystockart quarry, Glengormley, Whitemountain quarry and Temple quarry. It also has a facility in the Netherlands.The Lagan Sand business is not part of the proposed deal.Commenting on the proposal the chief executive of Quinn Manufacturing Group, Paul O'Brien and his counterpart at Lagan Cement Group, Jude Lagan, said: "By combining two stable Irish businesses the proposed joint venture will create a sustainable independent cement manufacturer that can continue to support its customers on a competitive basis."The joint venture discussions are likely to take up to three months to complete and any proposal would be subject to approval by the Republic of Ireland's Competition Authority.The Quinn business is controlled by a consortium of international banks after it was placed into receivership in 2011. The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), the Irish state-owned bank, owns 24.9% of it. The group was formerly owned by the bankrupt ex-billionaire Sean Quinn.The Lagan Group is owned by Kevin Lagan, one of Northern Ireland's wealthiest businessmen.
Teen 'tried to Kill Cop' in Bristol Riots
A 17-year-old boy has been charged with the attempted murder of a police officer following riots in Bristol.He has also been accused of violent disorder and criminal damage following disturbances in the city's central Stokes Croft area.Several other people have also been charged by police, including a 15-year-old girl who is accused of committing violent disorder.Stephen Carroll, 32, from Bristol, has been charged with assaulting a police officer and criminal damage.Joseph Foster, 20, of no fixed address, has been charged with having an article with intent to destroy or damage property and threats to destroy or damage property and remanded in custody until a court hearing on May 11.James Hutton, 40, of Bristol, has been charged with violent disorder and released on police bail for a further hearing on June 3.Thursday's disturbance saw running skirmishes spill out from Stokes Croft towards the Cabot Circus shopping centre.Around 400 people were involved in demonstrations that saw walls knocked down and roof tiles torn off and thrown as missiles.Protesters also lit fires, set up barricades in the road and daubed graffiti throughout the area.Avon and Somerset Police said several officers suffered head, neck, back and leg injuries, and required hospital treatment after being pelted with bottles, rocks and other missiles.It follows disturbances in Stokes Croft a week earlier that saw a branch of Tesco Metro, which has been subject of a campaign to prevent its recent opening, attacked.The retail giant condemned the trouble and said the latest violence showed it was "not an anti-Tesco protest".The disturbances, which eyewitnesses said began at about 1am, happened after a peaceful demonstration earlier in the evening.Police said officers moved in to "contain a group of protesters" who were wearing masks and throwing bottles.The force said neighbourhood officers were "actively engaging" with what was a peaceful gathering earlier in the evening outside the squat known as the Telepathic Heights.But support was called in after a number of people put on masks and began throwing bottles at police.There were then clashes between police and protesters, leaving people hurt on both sides.Assistant Chief Constable Rod Hansen said: "We will always respect the right of any individual or group to take part in a peaceful protest, and events earlier in the evening were, indeed, good natured."But when disorder occurs, we have a duty to the wider community to do everything we can to calm the situation and restore order."
Sri Lanka Bomber Queued at Hotel Buffet then Unleashed Devastation
The suicide bomber waited patiently in a queue for the Easter Sunday breakfast buffet at Sri Lanka's Cinnamon Grand hotel before setting off explosives strapped to his back.Carrying a plate, the man, who had registered at the hotel the night before as Mohamed Azzam Mohamed, was just about to be served when he set off his devastating strike in the packed restaurant, a manager at the Sri Lankan hotel said.There was utter chaos, said the manager, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity as he is not allowed to speak for the company.The Taprobane restaurant at the hotel was having one of its busiest days of the year for the Easter holiday weekend. It was 8:30 am and it was busy. It was families, the manager told AFP.He came up to the top of the queue and set off the blast, he added.One of our managers who was welcoming guests was among those killed instantly.The bomber also died. Parts of his body were found intact by police and taken away.Other hotel officials told how the bomber, a Sri Lankan, checked in giving an address that turned out to be false, saying he was in the city for business. Two other hotels, the Shangri-La and the Kingsbury, were hit at about the same time, along with three churches packed with worshippers attending Easter Sunday services.The blast at St Anthony's Shrine, an historic Catholic Church, was so powerful that it blew out much of the roof, leaving roof tiles, glass and splintered wood littering the floor that was strewn with bodies.Authorities have not said who staged the attacks. But all suffered major casualties and damage. Many of the 35 foreigners killed in the blasts were at the hotels, officials said. Shock, grief and mourning There was utter chaos, but we rushed all the injured to hospital in a very short time, the Cinnamon Grand manager said.About 20 people were seriously wounded and we sent them to the National Hospital.The hotel is close to the Sri Lankan prime minister's official residence and Special Task Force commandos were quickly at the scene.At the Shangri-La, witnesses said they heard two loud blasts and that staff reported some people had been killed. But details of the toll were not immediately given.An AFP photographer saw extensive damage in the second floor restaurant at the hotel, with windows blown out and electrical wires hanging from the ceiling.The Shangri-La said in a statment that the bomb hit at approximately 9:00 am local time at its Table One restaurant.We are deeply saddened and shocked by the incident and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the casualties and those who have been affected, it said.Our immediate priority is to look after the safety and wellbeing of all involved. A Shangri-La crisis management team has been activated to provide all necessary support.The Kingsbury is also one of Colombo's most expensive hotels, positioned near the city's World Trade Center.The toll there was not known.In a statement on its Facebook page, the hotel said: On behalf of the entire Kingsbury team we share in the shock, grief and mourning of our entire nation in the aftermath of the recent attack.Medical evacuation and treatment of the injured guests and employees were handled immediately. The hotel said it had been "isolated" for further safety checks.
The Perfect Trip: Kerala, India
From coconut palm-lined coasts and rolling hills of tea to elephant and tiger reserves, travelling in this slender Indian state is as easy as a glide through its backwaters.Travelling in Kerala is as easy and rewarding as a glide through its backwaters. From coconut palm-lined coasts and rolling hills of tea to elephant and tiger reserves, this slender state has a lot to offer.Kovalam: Best for beachesAll good Indianstories start with a queen. In the princely days before Independence, Kovalamsstory starred a quiet fishing beach, an unassuming maharani (queen) who foundthe area pleasing and a clifftop palace built for her to while away themonsoon. Years later, locals followed the queens lead, with picnics, andhippies werent far behind. Now paths run through palm-tree groves toguesthouses, beachfront restaurants serve up the morning haul andbeach-umbrella wallahs offer shade and lounge chairs.Hawa Beach, near the candy-stripe lighthouse on the headland, may be theliveliest. Here, little boys slurp ice lollies from the ice-cream rickshaw,toddlers sit in their underwear at the waters edge and teenage girls dressedin salwar kameezes (traditional outfits of tunic and trousers) hold hands inthe water, giggling and shrieking with every wave. Further down the beach, twobest friends sit apart from their software engineer colleagues playing cricket,sifting the sand through their hands as they talk about their new husbands andtheir lives back in Trivandrum.JeffyPaulose, one of Kovalams lifeguards, points to the fully clothed beachgoers ininch-deep water nearby: We Indians dont study swimming in school, so everyonestays close to shore, he says. The beach here has such a communal feel thatlifesaving quickly becomes a group activity. One person starts flailing, saysJeffy with a good-natured chortle. We go to help, then everyone comes to help,and then everyones flailing.Kovalam is also a working beach town with an ancient fishing culture. At PoovarBeach, which is located a mile or two from Hawa, lights from hundreds of boatsblink on the horizon at dawn, while men hike up their lunghis (garments similarto sarongs) to sit and wait for the work to come in. When the colourfullystriped boats arrive, teams of men pull them in, along with the gargantuannets, singing as they do so. Everything from catching, hauling, cooking andselling fish here involves the whole family; most people start young, learningfrom their parents, and continue the job for life.Itsdifficult to imagine just how close these families are to the sea. However, youcan see it on the faces of elderly men who, too old to work, still come toPoovar each morning, just to be near the water.Further informationGet started with toeatLocal families makethe trip to Trivandrum for Ariya Nivaas, which serves an exquisite vegetarianthali an all-you-can-eat meal with rice and several small dishes, sides andsoups to go with it in simple surrounds (thalis 80p; Aristo Junction,Manorama Road; 00 91 471 2330 789).Where to stayThe traditional cottages at Surya Samudra have teak four-posters, modernbath gardens and heaps of charm, and are set in expansive gardens. Many ofthem overlook the resorts crescent beach regarded as the best patch of sandin Kovalam (doubles from 195).Alappuzha: Best for backwatersOn a quiet night, the joints in the rice barge houseboats bamboo framecreak with the current and a crowd of stars shines on the upper deck. Every nowand then the waves lap a little faster on the side of the boat as fishermen ina dugout canoe pass by. Wind blows through the palm and banana trees onshore,tapping and clicking the leaves together, while the sound of chanting floatsover from a far-off Hindu temple.Keralans never used these rice barges as houseboats much less those withluxury bedrooms and personal chefs. Known as kettuvallams, the traditionalbarges were first built to bring rice and spices to Kochi via 560 miles ofinterconnected backwater rivers, canals and lagoons. Roads made them obsolete,but visitors later realised what a nice ride they were.A lot has changed here, but women still wash dishes and laundry by the watersedge then hang the wet clothes over twig fences to dry. Kids still play in thewater and farmers herd ducklings to feed in paddy fields. Men punt small boatsweighed down with cargo or anchor them and dive for mussels. And toddytappers glide along the water early each morning to palm trees along theshore, which they milk for sap used to make Keralas favourite traditionaldrink: palm wine.Biju Puthenpurayal has tapped palm wine the aforementioned toddy for 20years. Tapping requires a machete, a deer bone, a clay pot and lots of skill all while at the top of a palm tree. Toddys good for you, he says, so Ihave some every day. Even kids drink it just a tiny bit with dried fruit.Biju taps his trees in the morning and takes the product to the governmentshops; the wine, which tastes vaguely of coconut and bread, gets stronger asthe day wears on. Its a good living, but he never knows what kind of yield hesgoing to get: Each tree behaves a little differently just like humanbeings.Further informationBrowse backwaterroutes and a history of the Alappuzha area at to eatAt the RaheemResidency, a charming heritage hotel on Alappuzhas beach, rooftop restaurant Chakara serves up subtly spiced dishes that combineKeralan and European flavours (mains from 9).Where to stayMuthoots houseboats have comfortable rooms that feel like they could be on land if itwerent for the 360-degree water views through their wide, open windows. Someboats have upper-storey lounges that catch the breeze as they meander along(from 205).Kochi:Best for historyWhen I was young,there was no-one here in Jew Town who wasnt a Jew, says Reema Roby Salem who,with her husband Gumliel, is among the 10 remaining Jews in Kochis historicneighbourhood the aforementioned Jew Town, tucked away in the Fort Kochidistrict. Now, its like Non-Jew Town! she laughs.Once hometo three synagogues and thousands of Jewish people, Jew Town will likely vanishafter its mostly elderly residents pass away. First the population was hit hardby Portuguese persecution in the 16th century, then many fled to Israel in1948. As Gumliel explains, The birth of Israel was the death of Jew Town.However,Keralas coast has had a strong Jewish community since at least the first century,and probably earlier. The maharajas, explains Reema Auntie, were very goodto the Jews. The rajas and their predecessors were good to a lot of people:this stretch of coast has welcomed traders and refugees for millennia, sincethe times when places had names like Mesopotamia and people went crazy forKeralas spices, which seemed exotic, aphrodisiacal and, for the Egyptians,suitable for mummification. In any given century, the region teemed withtraders from around the world Arabs, Romans, Moors, Chinese and Portuguese,among others. The stories they brought home, of street bazaars overflowing withspices, silk and gold, made this coast world-famous. Warehouses, forts andmansions in styles borrowed from traders and settlers home countries werebuilt to hold it all in, while imports like Chinese fishing nets, modified bythe Portuguese, took their place on Kochis riverfront.Kochi is nolonger an international trading post of exotic goods and traders from farawaylands, but the air remains thick with history and the smells of cardamom,pepper and ginger for sale in the spice shops that still line the streets. TheEuropean-era bungalows, with their terracotta roof tiles, and butter-yellow ormint-green faades, are still there, as are the waterfront spice warehouses, StFrancis CSI Church (Indias oldest European church), Paradesi Synagogue andMattancherry Palace. And as the sun goes down on River Road, fishermen tidy uptheir Chinese nets, coconut wallahs serve up the sweet water from their carts,kids play with pinwheels and women in bright saris sit on park benches aftertheir work is done, just as they have for centuries.Further informationFor moreinformation, see and cochin.org. Read about the history of Jewishpeople in Kerala at to eatThe Old Courtyarddoes fine pasta and fish dishes, its catches coming from the Chinese fishingnets down the road (mains from 4).Where to staySet in a restored19th-century shipbuilding facility and full of colonial antiques andreproductions, The Brunton Boatyard Hotel is Kochis best place to stay fortime travel. Rooms, some with tall antique four-poster beds, overlook theharbour and pool and have balconies from which to imagine ancient sea journeys(from 328).Munnar: Best for teaIn Munnar, the palmtrees, sunny paddy fields and lazily flowing waters of Keralas plains give wayto rushing waterfalls, mountain forests and moody weather. Roads are lined withpendulous white flowers known as angels trumpets, and tall trees draped invines and mist host Malabar squirrels. The overlapping hills of teaplantations, which seem to go on forever, are covered in an electric-greencarpet of bushes that look like fluffy clouds.Munnarproduces about 10 per cent of the countrys tea, often served black, itsflavour subtle and nuanced. The British made this area a summer retreat beforerecognising its suitability for tea production due to its weather, elevationand terrain (hills must slant at 45 degrees, among other things). With Tamilworkers, the British broke through the forest to plant tea and lay a mountainrail line. More than 100 years later, most plantations are run by the KananDevan Hills Plantations Company, a co-operative owned by 12,000 worker-shareholdersincluding Lilly Pushpam, a tea plucker.We drink a lot of tea here, Lilly says. Its so cold, you have to! Herfamilys single-room apartment is in a long row of houses, each a differentshade of purple. Like many tea workers here, Lillys family is Tamil, and shestarted working when she was just 12. Plucking involves removing only the budsand top two leaves of the tree. We like to harvest with our hands, she says,but we have to use the shears, which wears our shoulders out.Her bestfriend, Maria Packiam, who works at the neighbourhood crche, objects: Pluckingis the best work! You get water, electrical, medical, childcare! The two laughand bicker before Lilly serves the tea, sweet and served in little glasses,which everyone savours for a few minutes before getting back to work.Further informationFind tea, spicesand history at to eatThe restaurant at Blackberry Hills, along Bison Valley Road in Pothamedu, has Keralan and North Indiandishes served with phulka the traditional Keralan roti (mains from 2).Where to stayThe Windermere Estate is a family-owned cardamom plantation perfectly situated for trekking.Little paths wind through its gardens, and most of the large rooms and cottageshave balconies overlooking the Chithirapuram valley (from 98).Wayanad: Best for wildlifeWhen a sambar deerthinks its about to be killed by a tiger, it makes a piercing noise between ashriek and a burp. But this deer is frozen as she stares at the Royal Bengalslinking past dry shrubs nearby. Shes lucky: the tiger is licking his chops,which means hes just eaten, and is now only looking for a spot to take a nap.RoyalBengal tigers are endangered and many people visit Indias wildlife reserveswithout spotting one. Yet their numbers here have been steadily climbing sincethe Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve was created in 1986. The sanctuary spills acrossKerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, and has been relatively successful inpreserving the areas many endangered creatures.Nilgiricomprises six protected areas, from the forests of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary,with its teak, sandalwood and eucalyptus groves, to the dry meadows of itsKarnatakan neighbour, Bandipur National Park. Its common to see peacocks,families of spotted deer and gray langurs, wild boar, monitor lizards, greymongooses, kaleidoscopically coloured birds, and some of the reservesthousands of elephants.Tiger andleopard sightings are for the lucky, and only one black panther has beenspotted. The reserve was designed to create a sustainable equilibrium betweenthe flora, fauna and local population, and more than a million people live inthis area.NBKuttappan Sudesan, an ornithologist and guide in Bandipur, grew up in anindigenous community in Tamil Nadus Mudumalai National Park. When I was aboy, he says, my friends and I used to kill birds and eat them. Wed settraps made with sticks. As he grew older, learning about wildlife became moreinteresting. A director at a wildlife camp I went to said we cant livewithout birds theyre essential to our ecosystem and something changed inme. I just couldnt kill them anymore.He canreplicate the calls of many birds, but the tiger is his favourite animal: Iveseen 68, he says. The population is increasing nicely. The reserve isworking.Further informationFor information onwildlife and indigenous peoples, see is good for information on Bandipur and Nagarhole.Where to eatAt the Tranquil resort, Western and Keralan dishes, and coffee, are served buffet-style.Where to stayThe Tree House at Tranquil hastrunks growing through it, birdsong all around, engrossing treetop views fromits wraparound balcony and all the amenities. Regular rooms have homey touchesand a communal porch for comparing the days animal sightings (Tree House 249,doubles from 192). The article 'The perfect trip: Kerala' was published in partnership with Lonely Planet Magazine.
At Least 12 Killed in Deadly Explosion at Cypriot Naval Base
MARI, CYPRUS Dozens of containers of gunpowder seized years ago from an Iranian cargo ship exploded on Cyprus main naval base Monday in a massive blast that killed 12 people, wounded 62 and wrecked a major power station, causing extensive blackouts. The head of the island nations navy, Commodore Andreas Ioannides, was killed and its defence minister and military chief resigned. Ioannides son claimed top officials had repeatedly ignored his fathers warnings that the gunpowder was stored unsafely. Defence ministry officials would not comment on the allegation. A Cypriot official said right after the blast that a brush fire had ignited more than 90 containers confiscated in 2009 from a ship heading from Iran to Syria. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, later said that the fire may have started inside one of the containers. The gunpowder was seized after the United Nations said the Cypriot-flagged M/V Monchegorsk was breaching a ban on Iranian arms exports. Iran has frequently been accused of smuggling arms and munitions through Syria to anti-Israeli militants in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The blast knocked out the islands main power station, causing widespread power cuts throughout the day. The Electricity Authority said the station wont immediately come back online. A police and military statement said base commander Lambros Lambrou was also among the dead, along with four Navy personnel and six firefighters. Bodies covered with white sheets lay scattered on a charred hillside near the Evangelos Florakis Naval Base on the Mediterranean islands southern coast, while ambulances ferried the injured to hospitals in Larnaca and Limassol. Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said investigators had ruled out sabotage as a cause for the blast, but wouldnt elaborate. He said there was no risk of further blasts, and experts will be called from abroad to help police and national guard investigators determine the cause of the explosion. Greece sent 10 military experts to assist with the investigation. Cyprus House Speaker Yiannakis Omirou, who visited the scene of the blast, told the Associated Press officials there informed him that all containers had blown up in the explosion. With criticism mounting over how the material had been handled and stored, Defence Minister Costas Papacostas and the countrys top military official, National Guard chief Brig. Gen. Petros Tsalikides, resigned over the incident. Asked about reports that the base commander had expressed fears over the safety of the gunpowders storage area, Stefanou said officials convened a meeting last week at the Defence Ministry to discuss the matter followed by an on-site inspection of the storage area. He said certain decisions were made but werent implemented in time to prevent the incident. Ioannides son said his father and other navy officers had repeatedly warned their superiors that the containers were unsafe, and those warnings were ignored. Speaking on state television CyBC, Nicholas Ioannides said the containers had become warped because they had remained exposed to the elements since they were seized. He said his father had sought to have the containers either disposed of or transferred to a safer location. Nicos Asprou, the community leader of the village of Mari, about a mile from the base, said the community was unaware that gunpowder had been stored in the base. Asprou said safety procedures had not been followed, and that storage conditions on the base had proved to be completely unacceptable. The blast tore off roof tiles and shattered window panes from many homes and businesses in Mari, where one person was injured, Asprou said. The government spokesman, Stefanou, said that by Monday afternoon, 50 of the 62 people injured had been treated and released from hospitals. Two of those still hospitalized had suffered serious injuries Stefanou said the government has declared a three-day mourning period with all flags at public buildings flying at half staff.
Tesla Reveals Pricing for Solar Roof As Order Books Open
Tesla on Thursday started taking orders for its newest energy product, glass roof tiles incorporating solar panels.Tesla has four different designs for the roof tiles, which the company calls Solar Roof tiles, though only two are available for order at present. Tesla is taking a $1,000 deposit and hopes to start the first installations in June.Pricing will vary depending on where you live (due to subsidies on offer) and the design of your house. In general, you can expect the Solar Roof tiles to cost between $30 and $45 per square foot. (The pricing calculator can be found here.)Thats quite pricey compared to conventional roof costs which can cost as low as $5 per square foot depending on the materials, but Tesla points out that you dont have to deck out your entire roof in solar panels for the system to be effective. Tesla will sell the glass tiles minus the solar panels for about $11 per square foot to provide a seamless look for your roof.Tesla also points out that the price of a completed Solar Roof is closer in cost to a conventional roof with solar panels installed. And with the free energy generated, theres the potential to pay off the roof completely, assuming you plan to stay put for the next couple of decades.The cost of adding a Tesla Powerwall battery to the system is an additional $7,000. Teslas prices include the cost of installation.First announced last fall, the Solar Roof is the third and final step of Teslas overarching plan to become a vertically integrated energy company offering end-to-end clean energy products.Ideally, you would use the roof tiles to generate electricity from the sun, with this electricity then stored in a Tesla Powerwall for later use in your home or Tesla electric car. The roof tiles were originally to be marketed by SolarCity which Tesla acquired shortly after last falls reveal.Tesla is offering a lifetime warranty on the tiles, while the tiles' power-generating ability has a 30-year warranty.
Keep Rodents and Pests Out of Your Home This Winter: a Room-by-Room Guide
Dont you just love escaping the icy cold of winter and getting cozy in your house? Surprise! So do rodents and other pests. While you might think summer would be peak pest season, it turns out that creepy, crawly creatures seek shelter from the elements in winter, just like us.According to the National Pest Management Association, mice and rats invade about 21 million homes each winter, and they can squeeze in an opening the size ofget thisa dime. And thats not even considering numerous other skitteringfriends such as termites, ants, and spiders.But there are measures you can take to prevent your home from becoming the pests party pad. Weve rounded up some helpful room-by-room advice to help you keep rodents and other pests out this winter.As you might imagine, the kitchen is typically the room singled out by pest control professionals as having the highest risk of a pest problem, says Nancy Troyano, entomologist for the family of pest control brands that includeEhrlich,Western Exterminator,andPresto-X.Here are some common-sense stepsto take to hinder insects or rodents from invading:Finally,Cynthia Mannes, vice president of public affairs for theNational Pest Management Association, reminds you not to overlook pet bowls. Rather than leave pet food sitting out all day, remove and clean bowls after mealtime and wipe up any spilled food or water around them.Attics are a favorite room of rodents, and its easy to see why: They are dark, secluded, and dry, with plenty of places to nest. To help keep them out, check the condition of your roof tiles and attic vents and replace any that are damaged or missing, recommends Troyano.Dont forget to check again once or twice inthe winter, especially if your area has experienced strong winds.To make the attic environment as unwelcoming to rodents as possible, ditch the cardboard boxes and store your keepsakesin sealed plastic binstheyre more difficult for rodents to chew through, Mannes says.Rodents love the garage almost as much as the attic. In fact, Mannes says, one of their preferred hideouts is under acar hood, where its nice and warm. As you might imagine, vehicles can also serve as a source of food thats left behind: french fries, crackers, etc. Theyre not picky!Whats even more disconcerting is the abundance of wiring available for their gnawing pleasure. Mannes says rodents spend nearly 3% of their time each day just gnawing on objects like wires.Frequently check under the hood of your car(s) for gnawed materials, frayed wires, nests, and droppings, which will alert you to an unwanted visitor. (Yes, they can live in there even when you are driving.)Keep all items on shelves, rather than directly on the ground. Transferfood items like pet kibble or warehouse club vats of snacks to plastic containers. Check around doors for gaps and seal any opening that is larger than a quarter of an inch, Troyano says.To keep birds, bats, and squirrelsfrom making homes in your chimney flue, install a suitably sized chimney cap that sits right on top of your chimney, says Troyano. Expect to pay about $350, including installation. And store your firewood at least 20 feet from the foundation of the home.Rodents often make their nests in wood piles and easily gain inside access if the stack is too close to the house, cautions Mannes.Crack repair is key: Identify and repair any openings in the foundation, as well as around utility pipe entryways. Keep an eye out for a damaged dryer vent hose as well asother vents.When sealing up cracks and holes in the homes foundation, its vital to choose the right materialsto fill these entry points.We suggest homeowners use a silicone-based caulk for smaller openings and fine-grade steel wool for larger gaps, as the rough fiber found in steel wool is a deterrent for rodents,Mannes says.Bird feeders dont just ensure a steady food supply to birds in the cold weather. Mice are alsoattracted to bird food, including seeds and discarded hulls, Troyano says. Make sure you regularly clean up seeds and debrissurrounding bird feeders.Also secure trash cans with tight-fitting lids, and stop leaks around pipes and drains to help deter cockroaches, ants, and other insects that are attracted to moisture.Yes, your winter to-do list just got longer, but ensuring rodents and critters will keep their creepy paws off your precious house is well worth it.The post Keep Rodents and Pests Out of Your Home This Winter: A Room-by-Room Guide appeared first on Real Estate News & Advice |
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