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Home Maintenance

Getting Your Home Ready for Spring

April 15, 2016 | By | No Comments

Spring cleaning is a rite of passage for many Canadians after the winter months.  While the past winter gave us plenty of reasons to somewhat maintain our properties, both inside the home and the yard for those of you who have one, there are still many things you can do to spruce up your home. Here are a few ways you can hit the ground running when the season changes from winter to spring in 2016:

1.       Windows: Despite the warmer than normal temperatures, windows and the sills and casings that go with them still do experience hardships in the winter.  Be sure to pay special attention to them, either by hiring a local window cleaner or safely making your way onto a ladder and doing it yourself. Dirt and dust can wreak havoc on your windows if left untreated. Do yourself a favour and make them shine – if for no other reason then to have the best possible view of beautiful spring and summer days to come.

2.       Your winter clothes: Is there a better feeling than storing away your winter clothes for another year? Those jackets and sweaters can safely make their way to your basement, garage or wherever they make their journey to hibernate until needed again next winter. Ensuring they are thoroughly cleaned before doing so will save you a trip to the malls to replace them as they can retain their colours or help keep any stains that may have made their way on them at bay.

3.       Fixtures & Vents: Your furnace still was working hard this winter and, because of that, your vents and air returns need to be rid of any excess dust or dander that may have accumulated.  This is a great time to break out your duster and remove all remnants of the winter from your light fixtures as well.  Seeing as they get the most use from November – early March, giving them a little attention will make sure they’re in great shape all-year round.

4.       Your lawn & landscaping: While many people look to declutter the interior of their home during spring cleaning, what they could also get a head start on during this process is making their exterior beautiful as soon as possible.  Especially if your home has a four legged family member in it, your lawn is an area that could use some cleaning as well.  Throw in a branch trim here and a lawn aeration there, and you’re on your way to having the inside and outside of your home ready for spring with these quick tips.

Smoke Detector Maintenance

March 18, 2016 | By | No Comments

Protecting you and your loved ones can be as simple as learning how to regularly maintain your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. While many of you have carbon monoxide detectors that plug directly into your electrical outlets, battery powered smoke detectors need to be cared in the same way you would your cell phone or tablet.

First and foremost, ensuring battery life is critical and can be the difference between saving your home and yourself should a fire occur. The most common smoke detectors have 9 Volt batteries which rely on the user to understand how to install this type of battery. The snap-mechanism inside your detector will line up with the end of the 9 Volt battery. You’ll know it is in place when you hear a “click” sound once fastened.

Should your smoke detector need regular batteries to operate, those batteries need to be checked once a month to ensure they’re in working order. It’s easy to set the batteries and continue your regular daily activities, but setting a monthly reminder to check your batteries should become a regular monthly ritual in your household.

Also, cleaning of the detector is an absolute MUST! It’s recommended that a thorough cleaning of the unit take place once every 6 months. A good way to remind yourself is to use the end of February/early March and the end of August/early September as guidelines. Why this 6-month breakdown you ask? Well, the shortened month gives you a great baseline date to set for one cleaning, while “back to school” preparations can also include ensuring your smoke detectors are clean and ready to go along with your child’s wardrobe and books.

Finally, the lifecycle of a smoke detector falls right around 10 years. How long have you been in your home? Do you remember when your smoke detector was installed? If the answer to those questions is in that 10-year ballpark range, you should be in the process of making arrangements to have your detector replaced. After all, while having a beautiful home in a great neighbourhood is important, ensuring the safety of the unit (as well as the people and pets inside) is vital to having peace of mind as you go about your daily routine.

For more information on smoke alarms, please visit: http://www.whitby.ca/en/residents/smokealarms.asp

4 Winter Maintenance Tips

December 10, 2015 | By | No Comments

Now that winter has arrived with a fury, it’s time to remember a few tips to keep you and your home ready for the change in climate.

1. Make sure all of your heating sources are in optimal working condition. From your furnace to stove, it’s important that the elements in your home that keep you and your loved ones cozy and comfortable are in great shape to keep doing so. Your fireplace and chimney should also be cleaned. Hiring a chimney cleaner is a safe and affordable way to remove buildup which could cause issues in the future.

2. Be sure to keep clearing snow and ice from your driveway and walkways. An often ignored aspect of winter is also protecting your roof from excess snow buildup. Snow can wreak havoc if you let it, so be sure to proactively keep its effect at bay.

3. Since you’ll be spending more time indoors during the winter, make sure your air filters are cleaned or changed out as needed. Also, remove your indoor screens as this allows for more air to circulate around the inside of the window. This reduces the chances of mold developing due to excess moisture.

4. Your plumbing needs to be in working order. Be sure to insulate exposed pipe to reduce chance of freezing and ensure all shut-off valves are working properly.

These tips not only will help you get through the winter months, they’ll also keep your home protected and maintain its value. Costly repairs come spring are the last thing you’ll want to deal with. You’ll want to use some of those dollars to enjoy the outdoors once the spring weather returns.

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