Understanding the Effects of Hard Water

Are you using hard water in your home? Here are some things you need to know. Keep reading!

Photo: Christine Sheldon Design

Depending on where you live, there’s a good chance that the water flowing through your pipes is packed with minerals, which is known as hard water. Such water can have a number of detrimental effects on your health, skin and other areas of your life as well. Besides seeking out water treatment services, you should also know the full scope of the harmful impact mineral-laced water can have on your life.

Your Physical Health

The mineral content of hard water can prove detrimental to your organs if you ingest it. Those who have high blood pressure or heart disease despite dieting and exercising might be able to link their health to drinking and cooking with hard water. There’s also the potential for hard water to lead to reproductive failure, as well as certain types of cancer. None of this is mentioned to scare you, just to give you a firm understanding of just how much harm hard water can do to your body.

Photo: Tiffany Eastman Interiors, LLC

Your Skin & Hair

Your skin most certainly won’t look its best if you’re showering or bathing with hard water. Your skin can become dry and flaky from washing and rinsing with hard water, and it can even flare up any skin conditions you might already have, such as eczema. You might also be under the impression that the skin products you use aren’t effective if you have hard water. This is because those products don’t rinse off as well as they should under hard water. Under such circumstances, you’ll want to invest in a water softener to take the best care of your skin.

As for your hair, washing and rinsing with hard water can leave your hair feeling weak and dry, no matter if you use the best shampoos and conditioners. What’s more is your scalp can become dry and itchy. Do you dye your hair? If so, hard water can drain your hair of its color.

Photo: Pickell Architecture

Your Appliances

Another effect of hard water is harming appliances such as your washer, dishwasher and hot water heater. It’s the sediment that wears away at your appliances, causing them to break down faster than necessary. Also, your plumbing fixtures and pipes can also be harmed by the presence of hard water, and you might have more clogs in your pipes because of the sediment in the water running through those pipes. If you’re in the market for new appliances, do yourself a favor and check to see if you have hot water; otherwise, that new appliance might not last nearly as long as it should.

Photo: RLH Studio

Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Those increased energy bills you’ve been getting might be linked to hard water. Over time, the minerals in hard water can start to collect in your hot water heater, breaking down its overall efficiency. That inefficiency can lead to your water heater working harder than it needs to, which results in higher energy bills.

If you don’t know whether you have hard water, have it tested by a professional. Having your water treated could do wonders for multiple areas of your life.

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Backyard Upgrades That Will Tempt Your Kids to Go Outside to Play

Here are some fun backyard updates that will get your kids playing outside all day long!

Photo: OPal LLC

When you were young and on summer break from school, you probably spent hours riding bikes around the neighborhood with your buddies, hanging out at the local community pool and building forts in your backyard. Now that you’re a parent, you might be dismayed to realize your kids would rather defeat bad guys in video games and text their BFFs on their smartphones than play outside.

If this scenario sounds all too familiar, go take an honest look at your backyard. If it’s not exactly beckoning kiddos to come out and play, it might be time to make some upgrades to entice your children to get off the couch and out into the fresh air. With this in mind, check out the following ideas:

Photo: Via Houzz

Add some Lighting

If the temperatures during the day are simply too hot for the kids to comfortably play outside, then make your backyard safe for nighttime activities by adding lighting. For example, you can purchase strands of globe lights and string them from your patio posts to a tree or two. To keep little ones safe when they are running around in the twilight, install pathway lights to light up walkways and garden areas. Once your yard is more well lit, invite your kiddos to join you for a game of cards or a board game under the stars, or host a nighttime ice cream sundae party at your outside table complete with plenty of gooey toppings and sprinkles.

Photo: Via Houzz

Spring for a Trampoline

If your kids have been begging you for a trampoline and you are comfortable with the idea, you can make their jumping dreams come true by investing in one. Nationwide offers some helpful tips on the best spot for a trampoline in the yard; for example, find a clear and flat area that is away from clotheslines, fences and trees and place it on a cushioned surface like flat grass or an area that you cover with bark or sand. Review some basic safety rules with your kids and advise them to go easy on the fancy gymnastics moves.

Buy a Bunch of Crafts

If you are hesitant to let your kids go all out with arts and crafts inside the house due to paint and glitter spilling all over, then let them channel their inner artists out at a picnic table. Take them shopping in person or online and let them choose some crafts that they’d like to try; Etsy has a ton of really fun options including the glass magnet kit and the unicorn kit. You could also buy a plain DIY cornhole game and then take your kids to the local craft store to buy paints, stickers and more to decorate the gameboards however they want. Once the cornhole game is completely painted, stickered and sequined, challenge your kids to some friendly competitions.

Photo: Via Houzz

Outdoor Games and Equipment

You can also ask your kids what games and/or equipment would entice them to go outside. If they have asked for a swing set and you have money in the budget, spring for a basic metal one like you might have had when you were younger or a spendier wooden version. Other ideas include a badminton set, chalk paint for creating huge hopscotch boards on the grass and the old fashioned but oh-so-fun slip and slides.

Fortunately, it is probably easier than you think to entice your kids to go outside and play. By investing in some basic lighting and allowing nighttime games, to buying some special outdoor equipment or some basic craft kits, your kids will soon be requesting to go outside, instead of asking if you know what happened to the remote.

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