Spring Home Checklist: Your “Honey Do” list has arrived!

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Your “Honey Do” list has arrived! Below are some important and relatively easy home maintenance projects you can complete in a few weekends. Print this page out and hang it on the fridge and check them off as you go.

  1. Inspect your foundation: From outside your house (and inside if you have a basement) inspect your home’s foundation for cracks.
  2. Look in the Attic: Especially if it’s unfinished, the attic may be a place you rarely venture. However, like the basement, it says a lot about your house. Look for leaks, and signs of rodents or bugs. Also look for mold, which may appear as gray or black stains.
  3. Check the Gutters: No one wants to go out in a storm. But the next time a moderate rain blows through, throw on a slicker and take a quick walk around your house. Confirm that water is making it to the down spouts and not running off the sides or over the top of the gutter.
  4. Service the Air Conditioner: A spring check of the cooling equipment should be performed each year. Clean coils and maintained equipment run more efficiently and last longer.
  5. Use a Pressure Washer: While spring cleaning is going on inside – there is plenty to do outside as well. A pressure washer is a great way to remove algae, mold, dirt and other stains from a house with vinyl, aluminum or other engineered siding.
  6. Repair Cracks and Potholes: In cold climates, ice and snow do a number on sidewalks and driveways. Fill in or patch any defects that could lead to injury for you, a loved one or a passerby.
  7. Inspect Your Deck: Take a look under your deck and make sure there are no rotted boards or broken supports. This could be dangerous when you invite a big group over for a BBQ.
  8. Reset the Patio: Prevent stubbing your toe or tripping your mother-in-law by leveling out raised or sunken bricks. You will need paver sand, a trowel and a level.
  9. Sharpen your Lawn Tools: Grab a file and put a nice new edge on the blade of lawnmowers, hedge trimmers and other gardening instruments.
  10. Perform General Indoor Cleaning: Deep cleaning carpets and dusting hard to reach places can remove allergens and other irritants. A whole-home air cleaner also helps trap dust and allergens as they travel through the house.

Spring is a great time to enjoy the outdoor world!

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Spring is a great time to enjoy the outdoor world; hiking, biking and planting your gardens! Here are some great ideas on what to plant to invite wildlife into your yard.
http://www.nwf.org/How-to-Help/Garden-for-Wildlife/Gardening-Tips/How-to-Attract-Butterflies-to-Your-Garden.aspx

And don’t forget to check out these tips for attracting butterflies from the National Wildlife Federation.
http://www.nwf.org/pdf/Certified-Wildlife-Habitat/Attracting%20butterflies_1-13_sm.pdf

How is the air in your home?

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We tend to think of air pollution as an outdoor problem impacting mostly large cities – and we feel safe and protected inside our homes. However, a recent article by Consumer Affairs says that is far from the truth, especially in newer, tighter houses. Without improved ventilation, The American Lung Association warns that air pollution in the home can lead to asthma, infections and even cancer. http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/indoor-pollution-a-bigger-threat-in-winter-120414.html

Top 5 Ways to Weather Winter Storms

February started off with a winter storm that delivered hazardous driving conditions and frigid temperatures from Kansas to Michigan; dumping 20 inches of snow in some areas before setting its sights on the snow-weary Northeast, The Weather Channel reports.

The latest round of snow is a sure sign the 2015 Blizzard season is underway and homeowners need to prepare for even more winter weather in the coming weeks. Staying safe during a winter storm requires common sense as well as preparation.

Don’t Get Buried – Prepare Early

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Digging out after a winter storm is less stressful when families are prepared ahead of time.

While people rush to hardware and grocery stores after hearing a forecast for a winter storm, there is no need to wait until the last minute. It’s a good idea to pick up last-minute essentials such as food, but preparing for the winter storm season requires being ready for every snow event, not just the big one.

  1. Prepare for power failures: Stock up on batteries for flashlights and small lanterns. Also keep candles on hand as they provide light and some heat.
  2. Keep out the cold: Add insulation to water pipes to prevent freezing in a power outage. Increasing attic insulation and investing in new windows also helps keep warm air in and cold air out.
  3. Be ready to stay indoors: February often means spending increased time indoors. With the continued heating of the home, dry air can become a problem that leads to decreased comfort, health issues and damage to the home. Humidifiers are the most effective way to add moisture to a home’s air.
  4. Inspect your car: Maintaining tires and batteries are two of the best investments commuters can make in the winter. An engine that is slow to turnover is a major sign a battery is failing. However, a battery should be replaced or inspected after 3 years even if it appears to be working fine, according to Firestone. To check tire condition, use the penny test. Simply place a penny in the tread and if you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for a new set of all-season tires.
  5. Shop before the snow arrives: Even in northern parts of the country, homeowners often wait until a winter storm hits to check the snow blower or replace last year’s broken shovel. Purchasing or repairing these items early in the season can keep a family a step ahead when hazardous weather arrives, since stores struggle to keep these items on the shelf during a blizzard.

Winterizing a home and car can reduce the impact of the winter storms that are sure to continue throughout February. Don’t leave safety and comfort at the mercy of Mother Nature this year, prepare today.