Don’t sweat summer, check out these cool tips.

June is National Home Safety Month! Home Safety Checklist The Home Safety Council dedicates the month of June “Home Safety Month” to educate and empower both families and businesses to take actions that will make homes safe Things you need to have a safe home: Deadbolt locks and heavy-duty strike plates Outdoor security lighting that is timer or motion-detector controlled Carbon monoxide alarms & smoke detectors on every level or your home Bright lights over stairs and steps and on landings Handrails on both sides of the stairs and steps Window treatments free of dangling cords if small children are present Baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs, if babies or toddlers live in or visit your home Fresh Fire extinguisher A ladder for climbing instead of a stool or furniture Childproof safety latches on cabinets that contain cleaning materials Electrical outlets that are fitted with ground-fault circuit interrupters Individual shut-off valves for each gas appliance List of emergency numbers located prominently near the phone Grab bars within easy reach in each tub and shower stall Anti-scald shower/tub water controls Hot water heater set at or below 120 degrees F to prevent burns Up-to-date first-aid kit Fire-escape ladder (if bedrooms are above main levels) A fence around your pool and/or spa with a locking gate A shed with a lock for storing your lawn equipment, gasoline, pesticides, and pool and/or spa chemicals Did your home pass the test? Call ANDY ONCALL® for all your maintenance, repair, and remodeling needs. Cold weather can take a toll on any home, but here are some tips to get your home back in shape. Clean the walkway – pressure wash the walkway and replace any damaged pavers or bricks or fill concrete cracks with a masonry filler. Clean the gutters – clean leaves and debris from your gutters and look for any leaks in your gutters or downspouts the next time it rains. Clean the deck – use a deck brush or power washer plus deck-cleaning solution to remove mold, dirt, and mildew. If the finish is worn, you will want to reseal it in a few days after it has had time to dry. Repair the siding – inspect for any damaged pieces or post-winter rot, then use a nylon scrub brush or power washer plus an all-purpose cleaner to remove dirt and mold from vinyl, aluminum, or engineered wood...

Brace yourselves, Winter is coming!

Do You Have Drafty Windows? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, reducing drafts in a home can result in energy savings that range between 5 and 30 percent per year. Here are some quick and easy DIY fixes for drafty windows that can make a big difference in both your comfort level and your heating bills. First, you will need to identify the problem. Use a candle and slowly move it around the window frame. At any point where the flame bends or flickers use a small sticky note to mark the spot so you can come back and seal it. Solutions for every budget: Draft Snake: purchase or make a draft snake to prevent warm air from escaping or cold air from entering around window sills and under doors. Bubble Wrap: If you don’t need to open a window all winter, use bubble wrap to seal it. You can buy bubble wrap by the roll and cut it to fit any window. Use double-sided tape to keep the plastic in place. Caulk: Window caulking is one of the first lines of defense against cold air, but it can develop cracks or gaps over time. Seal small cracks by adding a new layer of caulk or by adding rope caulk, which can be molded into the cracks. If there are large gaps or cracks, remove the old caulk and replace it. Weatherstripping: Repair, replace, or add weatherstripping around windows and doors. Choose from self-stick rubber weatherstripping, sold in rolls; felt weatherstripping, sold in sheets; V-seal weather stripping, sold in both plastic and spring-metal versions; or expandable spray foam weatherstripping, sold in aerosol cans. Plastic Insulation: Apply plastic shrink film to the indoor window frame with double-sided tape, then heat the plastic with a blow dryer to shrink the film and remove wrinkles. Insulated Window Treatments: Seasonally swap out your lightweight curtains for insulating window treatments. Opt for heavy draperies or layered curtains; honeycomb shades, which trap air between layers of fabric to provide insulation; or Roman shades. Interior Storm Windows: As an alternative to storm windows, Plexiglass or clear acrylic panels can be secured with screws in the corners of the window frame. Andy’s Helpful Tips! Winter Home Maintenance Reminders: During the winter months especially, there are numerous items in your home that need to be maintained. Below is a list of the most common winter maintenance items which should be checked...

Fall is here again!

Fall Fire Safety Tips As summer turns to fall, it’s a good idea to refresh your memory on fall fire safety tips. Some safety tips are the same regardless of the time of year, but many safety concerns are seasonal, particularly those that involve keeping your home warm. General Safety: Change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors every fall and spring when changing the clocks for Daylight Savings Time. Also, verify that all fire extinguishers are fully charged and in working order when you adjust the clocks each season. Home Heating: Verify that everything you need to keep your home warm throughout fall and winter is in good working order before you experience the first cold snap of the season. Making sure your heating devices and/or systems are in good working order is an important part of learning some fall fire safety tips. Many things can go wrong with heating equipment during the spring and summer months. Family Fire Safety: Teach your kids how to respond in the event of a fire. Make sure young children know how to dial 911. Establish and practice a fire escape plan with your family that includes a designated meeting area outside the home. Practice stop, drop and roll with your children so they learn how to escape beneath a fire. Teach everyone in your family multiple ways to escape from every room in the event of a fire. Make sure everyone in your family knows how to use a fire extinguisher. There is nothing more important than the safety of your family. Everyone in your home needs to know how to behave responsibly to reduce the likelihood of experiencing a fire. However, because fires can start at any time without warning, it is also very important that the members of your household know how to react in the event of a fire. It’s a good idea to review fire prevention and safety tips with your family every fall, and several other times throughout the year. Andy’s Helpful Tips! Fall Home Maintenance Reminders: Porch and Deck Check the supports, stairs, and railings on porches and decks. Make sure the handrails can support someone slipping on snow or ice. Exterior Maintenance Check foundation for cracks and caulk around the areas where masonry meets siding, where pipes or wires enter the house, and around the windows and door frames to prevent heat from escaping. Inspect your...

Summer is in swing!

5 Summer Home Improvement Projects As warmer weather approaches, there are many improvements you can make to your home for the summer season. From outdoor to indoor, these renovations will make your home more enjoyable this summer while also adding value. Storm Doors – Summer is known for its humid weather and thunderstorms. Protect your doors from the elements this summer by installing brand new storm doors. It’s also a great way to bring natural summer light into your home. Install Energy Efficient Windows – Does your electric bill skyrocket every summer because of air conditioning costs? By installing new energy efficient windows, you can conserve energy by keeping heat in or out of the house. Adding new windows can also add decor and style to your home. Remodel Your Bathroom – The one room everyone enters when they visit your home in the summer is the bathroom. If you’re tired of the outdated tile and style in your bathroom it’s time for a change. Improving your bathroom also adds value to your home. By remodeling this summer, your bath will be ready for the fall and upcoming holiday season. Paint a Room – Painting a room is fun and easy to do indoors by yourself or with your family. Choose a brand new color or just update the old one. By refreshing the paint in your home, you receive a 112% return on your investment. Spruce up Your Backyard – Nothing defines summer more than outdoor barbecues and campfires. Add a new patio set and fire pit to your backyard this summer or remodel your deck. The fun can last into the fall. Home Safety Checklist Deadbolt locks and heavy-duty strike plates Outdoor security lighting that is timer or motion detector controlled Carbon monoxide alarms & smoke detectors on every level or your home Window treatments free of dangling cords if small children are present Fire extinguisher Childproof safety latches on cabinets that contain cleaning materials Electrical outlets that are fitted with ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI outlets) Individual shut-off valves for each gas appliance List of emergency numbers located prominently near the phone Grab bars within easy reach in each tub and shower stall Anti-scald shower/tub water controls Up-to-date first-aid kit Fire-escape ladder (if bedrooms are above main levels) Improve energy efficiency! The summer season generally means hot days and higher electricity costs, but there are ways in which we can still make our lives a little more...

Spring has sprung!

Spring is almost here and now is the perfect time to get a jump on some home improvement projects. This post is chock-full of tips, a helpful maintenance checklist, and ideas on how to add value to your home, or just improve the enjoyment of your home! Home Improvement Tips Build a Deck Decks not only allow you to fully enjoy the sun, but they can serve as additional living space providing you with a great place to dine and socialize. A pressure treated wood deck can withstand all sorts of weather and last for years with proper maintenance. Maintain or Update your Siding While you were keeping warm inside your home all winter the exterior of your home was enduring the winter’s harsh temperatures and intense weather conditions. These may have caused cracks or leaks in your siding. Have your siding inspected to determine if you have any major damage that may need repair or replacement. If all is good with the inspection, then a good pressure washing may be all you need. Repair your Roof Snowfall can take a toll on your roof and you may have suffered damage such as moisture seeping in between the cracks and creases. Have your roof inspected by a professional and repair any damage that is found to prevent curling, peeling, or disintegration of the shingles. Update your Kitchen Cabinets Spruce up your kitchen cabinets with new knobs and pulls and add crown molding to give your cabinets a new look at a low cost. Update your Rain Gutters Without rain gutters, our homes are defenseless against raging rain storms. the water from rain could erode the soil around your foundation, splash dirt onto the side of your home, and leak into the basement causing internal damage to your home. Gutters are a definite must for any home and covers help to cut the maintenance to a minimum. Don’t have the time or you are unsure how to complete an update/repair? Call ANDY ONCALL™! Andy’s Helpful Tips With Spring, comes SPRING cleaning. Here are a few everyday items that can do the trick. Vinegar (white or apple cider) Eliminate paint odors: Place a bowl or two of vinegar in a freshly painted room to dispel the odor. Clean drains—and the pipes they’re attached to—by pouring vinegar down them. After 30 minutes, flush with cold water. Corn Starch Carpets and rugs: Clean grease...

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