Tag: Home tips

Seven Ways to Reduce Humidity in Your Home

The experts at Andersen Windows + Doors  stopped by the Coldwell Banker YouTube channel to provide simple, yet effective ways to reduce humidity in your home. If your windows are covered in ice, you might assume this is a window problem, but it often is a moist air management problem. This video from Andersen Windows + Doors will help you understand condensation – and what you can do to minimize condensation on your windows. By reducing humidity in your home, you can prevent condensation build-up on your windows during the colder months.

Five Fire Hazards You Should Watch Out for During the Holiday Season + Every Day

(source: Home Advisor)

As it gets colder outside, we make the inside of our homes and offices warmer, resulting in an increase chance of fires from various possible hazards. In addition to space heaters and personal warmers, which are a common fire hazard, here are other common causes of fire.

 

 Candles

 

Candles
(source: Sortra.com)

Are you a candle fanatic unable to leave a store without bringing home nice-smelling goodies? Even if your candle consumption is on the moderate end, you probably burn at least one or two candles to set the holiday mood with fir tree or peppermint scents. But even one candle can cause a fire. Follow these tips to stay safe:

  • Never leave candles unattended, especially container-less pillar candles.
  • Don’t use real candles outside where wind and wild animals can easily knock them over – opt for flameless candles for your porch and walkway.
  • Place candles where children and pets can’t reach them and make sure that any flammable objects (lamp shades, Christmas trees, décor, etc.) are at least a foot away.

 

Fireplaces

Fireplaces

(source: Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.)

Fireplaces have a tendency to gather people – not only because they are warm and toasty, but because there’s something magical about having friends and family converse over the flaming logs. Whether you have an indoor fire place, an outdoor one or a fire pit that you use for bonfires – be sure to follow the safety rules to avoid fires:

  • Perform annual chimney inspection and sweep to remove creosote buildup.
  • Never use flammable liquids, such as gasoline or kerosene, to start a fire.
  • Keep firewood on a safe distance from the fire.
  • Use the spark guard for indoor fireplaces
  • Don’t leave fire unattended and always extinguish it completely before going to bed.

 

Ovens, Ranges and Small Appliances

Ovens

(source: My Domaine)

For some people, holiday season means visiting family and friends and getting a taste of every turkey and deviled eggs in the neighborhood. But someone has to cook all this food! So if you plan on spending a great deal of time rotating between the stove and the sink, keep in mind these cooking safety tips:

  • Don’t leave your stove alone for more than 5 minutes.
  • Promptly clean any spills before they get caked onto the cooktop, as food remains can catch fire.
  • Do your best to stay organized and focused: don’t leave towels, wooden utensils or recipe books next to the burners.
  • Use timers to prevent your meals from burning and phone alarms to remind you there’s something cooking.
  • Never use oven or cooktop for domestic heating purposes.
  • Be careful with turkey fryers and grills – don’t use them indoors, in a garage or around flammable surfaces.

Five Tips for Protecting a Home from Water Hazards

There’s no need yet to acquire an ark, but water certainly has become a bigger menace in many parts of the country. Even storms that don’t escalate into the next Katrina or Sandy can still destroy basements, foundations, roofs, and interiors that once seemed immune to heavy rains.

To prevent damage and avoid large out-of-pocket expenses, home owners should stay on top of maintenance and repair needs. The average water damage insurance claim between 2008 and 2012 for a worst-case flood totaled more than $38,000, according to National Flood Insurance Program data.

These are key steps home owners should consider to protect their property from the ravages of water.

  1. Block Water From Entry Points:
    • Roof shingles that are missing or damaged need to be replaced. Curling shingles can allow water to leak in, and rusty nails or cupping shingles may indicate damage.
    • Gutters and downspouts that are too narrow, aren’t cleaned periodically, or aren’t pitched properly may permit water to come too close to a house, seep in, and damage the foundation, according to Wayne Owczarzak, owner of Mr. Handyman in Wheaton, Ill.
    • Windows and doors with broken glazing will likely allow in water and should be repaired or replaced.
    • Foundations, basement floors, and walls with cracks are additional sources of water entering from the ground, says Owczarzak. White haze, baseboard warping, and paint cracking are all warning signs.
  2. Put in a Second Line of Defense:
    • Sump pumps collect water and send it away. Because they operate electrically, a home owner may want to consider purchasing a generator in case power goes out during a storm. Pumps need to be cleaned periodically so silt from yard waste doesn’t settle, says Randon Gregory with Ram Jack, a foundation repair company in Ada, Okla.
    • French drains collect water along the perimeter of a home and direct it to a sump pump. Exterior waterproofing offers even more protection.
    • Interior drain tiles direct water that gets in to a drainage system under the floor, which pumps it out.
    • Boilers and furnaces should be elevated to keep from being flooded, says builder Jeffrey Collé of East Hampton, N.Y.
    • Window wells should drain properly and be accessible for debris removal. Precut plywood to cover window glazing is useful for hurricane-prone areas.
    • Alarm systems in your home can connect to a computer, the Internet, or a mobile device to warn you of impending disaster. ConnectSense, for example, makes sensors that monitor water and temperature extremes.

Help Protect Your Home Against Extreme Weather

Whether you are purchasing a home or looking to best take care of your current home, I thought House Logic offered some great ways to help protect your home.

roof image

1- With warmer weather, consider a lighter roof (darker roofs can be 50-100 degrees warmer)

2- Prepare for power outages, by installing a standby generator

View more at the original post here.

Cold Weather Tips for your Family and Home

It may be fall, but these cold days and freezing nights can be hard on your house and family. Below are some tips to keep you, your pet(s) and your house warm and safe now and throughout the winter season.

– Replace your furnace filters. Clean furnace filters will improve air flow and efficiency and lower your utility costs.

 Place a mat or rug and boot trays next to entries. This will help keep hardwood floors and carpets from becoming damaged from the winter snow, mud and salt.

Inspect your fireplace. Have the fireplace chimney and flue inspected each year by a professional and cleaned if needed.

Use pet friendly salt. Whether you have a pet or your neighbors do, pet safe ice melt is best to keep all safe (regular salt burns their paw pads).

Dog boots. Just as these cold temps are tough on us, they are tough on animals. When outside (briefly and quickly), your dog should be wearing boots to prevent frostbite. Pawz dog boots work great. 

Pets are to be safe and warm inside – and away from the garage. Avoid antifreeze poisoning. Antifreeze is a deadly poison. It has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Coolants and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife and people.

– Winterize. Make sure to winterize your home, if it will be vacant, to prevent damage.