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Screen Blog

Aug
21
2017

Is there a screen that protects from the harmful rays of the Sun?

Summer is most definitely upon us here in Florida, and so are some of the not so "fun in the sun" dangers of overexposure to the sun's harmful UV rays. Fortunately, for those of us who have discovered the benefits of retractable, motorized, and hideaway screens, we've learned how to beat the heat while enjoying the great outdoors…..and we're doing it in style! Is there a screen that protects from the Sun?

While some sun exposure is beneficial to your health by providing a natural source of Vitamin D to the body (which aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus - essential for healthy bones), over exposure to the sun is nothing to rest on your laurels about.

Dangers of overexposure to the sun (or Excessive Sun Exposure) include:

Deterioration of the skin, including premature aging and loss of elasticity.
Rashes, itchiness, and dryness.
Damage to the eyes.
Sunburn.
Skin cancer.

Thankfully, our screens cut the danger down by more than half! When not in use, your retractable screen disappears into its housing, offering an unobstructed view of the outdoors. You're in control with a retractable screen. You decide when you want it, simply sliding it where you want it to go and leaving it hidden from view when you choose.

Contact Michele's Hide-Away Screens for more information and a free quote

 

Jul
10
2017

3 ways to keep mosquitoes away other than screens.

If one were to make a list of subjects of conversation that any two people in Florida could have and completely agree on, mosquitoes would have to be at the very top of that list. This time of year is the absolute WORST time for mosquitoes, and for some reason this year they seem to be more prevalent than ever! Walk outdoors for just five minutes at any point of the day, and you're inevitably going to get bitten at least once. 3 ways to keep mosquitoes away.

While all owners of Michele's hideaway screens know that their motorized or retractable screen provides them with the best protection available against mosquitoes and every other pesky Florida pest, there's still the matter of having to be protected when you spend time outdoors.

Here are three quick and easy solutions to keeping mosquitoes away when you're outside the protection of your screen:

  1. Repellent Spray - spraying every inch of your skin and clothing with common mosquito repellent sprays is one way to protect yourself from mosquitoes. The upside is they may get close to you, but they won't bite the areas that are sprayed. The downside is that you have to spray every area of your skin and clothing to avoid being bitten. Recipes abound claiming to "naturally" repel mosquitoes, but while these may work for some, only chemical sprays containing DEET have any real, lasting effectiveness while outdoors.
  2. Mosquito Coils - as the name suggests, mosquito coils are a repelling incense in the shape of a spiral made from a chemical called pyrethrum powder. The coil produces a repelling smoke that typically lasts from 4 to 7 hours. The coils are pretty useful for repelling most mosquitoes in an immediate area where they are placed, but the smoke can cause some irritation to sensitive noses.
  3. Mosquito repelling plants - there are several plant breeds that mosquitoes tend to shy away from that assist with keeping these pesky bugs away while giving you a natural fragrance to enjoy outdoors. Among these plants are lavender, basil, pennyroyal, citronella grass and lemongrass.

A combination of the three of these methods might give you some days outdoors with fewer mosquitoes, so why not give them a try?

Jun
13
2017

What is a typical Florida Summer day like?

While there are several factors that go into determining a "typical" Florida Summer day, there are a few factors that we Floridians find predictable enough to count on every summer. Among these include elevated frequency of thunderstorms, a few completely rainy days, and a few more days of nothing but hot, hot heat! Sometimes, our news reports indicate a higher than usual likelihood of hurricanes, and depending on which Floridian you ask, that's something to either celebrate or worry about. What is a typical Florida Summer day like

Although we don't like to refer to it as a monsoon, particularly in the Summer months, the Florida peninsula experiences what other parts of the world would consider a monsoon weather pattern.

What this means for Florida is that instead of typical terms like "summer" and "winter," we have more of a "dry season" and a "rainy season" (in that order). Frequented by afternoon thunderstorms, summer or "rainy season" in Florida usually means we can count on rain nearly every day and usually around the same time every day.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service, approximately 1,800 thunderstorms are occurring at any given time, resulting in about 16-million thunderstorms each year. Most thunderstorms last about 30 minutes and are typically about 15 miles (24 km) in­ diameter. The two biggest threats associated with most thunderstorms are lightning and flash floods.

Three basic ingredients are required for a thunderstorm to form: moisture, rising unstable air (air that keeps rising when given a nudge), and a lifting mechanism to provide the "nudge."

The sun heats the surface of the earth, which warms the air above it. If this warm surface air is forced to rise—hills or mountains, or areas where warm/cold or wet/dry air bump together can cause rising motion—it will continue to rise as long as it weighs less and stays warmer than the air around it.

As the air rises, it transfers heat from the surface of the earth to the upper levels of the atmosphere (the process of convection). The water vapor it contains begins to cool, releases the heat, condenses and forms a cloud. The cloud eventually grows upward into areas where the temperature is below freezing.

As a storm rises into freezing air, different types of ice particles can be created from freezing liquid drops. The ice particles can grow by condensing vapor (like frost) and by collecting smaller liquid drops that haven't frozen yet (a state called "supercooled"). When two ice particles collide, they usually bounce off each other, but one particle can rip off a little bit of ice from the other one and grab some electric charge. Lots of these collisions build up big regions of electric charges to cause a bolt of lightning, which creates the sound waves we hear as thunder.

Virtually all summer rain storms are accompanied by thunder and lighting. No other part of the nation has more thunderstorm activity than Florida. In the western half of the peninsula in a typical year, there are over 80 days with thunder and lightning. Central Florida's frequency of summer thunderstorms equals that of the world's maximum thunderstorm areas: Lake Victoria region of equatorial Africa and the middle of the Amazon basin. The Amazon and East African areas maintain their frequency of thunderstorm activity throughout most of the year, whereas the number of thunderstorms in Florida drops off sharply in the fall and does not pick back up until spring.

Recently, there have been higher than usual drought conditions that have given Floridians good reason to celebrate a good thunderstorm, leading into what is predicted to be a higher than usual Hurricane season. If there's one thing you can count on in Florida, it's our ability to laugh at the weather's unpredictability.

Jun
05
2017

Remembering Gene Rank

gene rankWe are saddened to announce the sudden passing of our “weekend warrior” Gene Rank, who faithfully represented Michele’s Hide-Away Screens for many years at our Market of Marion exhibit. As one of the most dependable and enthusiastic members of our team and often being the very first contact with thousands of MHAS customers, Gene had just celebrated his 87th birthday on May 31st before being called home on Saturday, June 3rd. The Michele’s Hide-Away Screens family, along with all of his Market friends, will miss him and we wish to express our sincere condolences to Gene’s wife Barbara and the entire Rank family.

May
16
2017

How bad will the bugs be after the mild winter?

florida bugsYou may have loved this winter’s unusually warm weather, but guess what—so did many insects. The winter warmth (this was the sixth-warmest winter and second warmest February on record in the United States according to NOAA) was pure buggy bliss. Add a warm, wet spring to the mix, and 2017 is creating the perfect breeding ground for some of our least favorite insect pests, including ticks and mosquitoes.

“Most of the pest insects that we're dealing with are not migrating,” said Fredericks. “They have to find a way to make it through the winter. When it's a mild winter, they tend to do a little bit better.”

It's pretty straightforward: when the weather is milder, more insects survive the winter, which means there are more insects around to bite us and breed come springtime. Fredericks and his colleagues made their 2017 predictions based on the winter and spring weather coupled with predictions for the rest of spring and summer.

More adult mosquitoes live through a warm winter, and more of their larvae survive as well. And since mosquitoes breed in standing water, a wet spring gives them plenty of romantic enclaves to keep the population boom going. Moreover, warm weather speeds up a mosquito’s reproductive lifecycle—she can lay more eggs and have them hatch more quickly. If this is making you itchy, it should.

What should you do with this information?

“Do a self-assessment of your property of areas that could potentially breed mosquitoes,” said Fredericks. “You should look for anything that is going to hold water. A lot of people hear about flower pots and old tires, and sure, those are places where water can accumulate. But these mosquitoes can breed in the volume of water that can be held inside of bottle cap. It's time to be mindful debris and trash and children's toys. Make sure that rain gutters are clear and not clogged.”

Also, Fredericks recommends wearing any repellant that appears on the CDC approved the list, which includes DEET, Picaridin, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or (PMD) (which isn’t to be confused with the lemon of eucalyptus essential oil). And while dawn and dusk used to be the primetime biting period for mosquitos, newer species such as Aedes aegypti are day biters. As for ticks, donning repellant and covering up—light colored, long-sleeved pants and long shirts—is key in tick areas. That means woods and grassy areas, but even the wild edges of your  property can be perilous when you're out doing yard work.

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