Category Archives: Maintaning Your Home

Home Spring Cleaning and Organizing Tips

Cleaning SuppliesAlthough winter is still lingering around Burlington, spring is officially here and the temperatures should be getting warmer soon! One of the joys of the spring season is the spring cleaning of your home. That’s right! It’s time to wash everything and clean those hard-to-reach places..

As a Burlington realtor and a homeowner myself, I understand the importance of spring cleaning. Besides the obvious–it makes your home more appealing and enjoyable, it’s also very important for your health and mental well being. Although it can seem daunting at first, it can be a lot of fun if you break it down into manageable chunks. It’s only once a year! Here are some of my favourite spring cleaning tips. If you have some to share, just post it in your comments below..

First of all, do you have:
Anything in kitchen or bathroom that’s expired? get rid of it!
Anything in kitchen or bathroom that you never used and don’t plan to? get rid of it!
Anything remaining that needs organizing? get to that first.

Next you can tackle your:

Clothes – look at your winter clothing, what didn’t you wear at all? get rid of it – you probably wont be wearing it next year either. The items you did use, put them away.

Beds – inspect the mattresses, flip them, perhaps it’s time for new pillows?

Appliances – clean behind your fridge, stove, dishwasher. Microwave – don’t forget to wipe the inside. Vacuum the fridge coils, and clean the drain pan – your fridge will last longer.

Heating/Cooling – clean the main air filter and all the small air duct filters in each room

Ceiling Fans – wipe down the dust from the blades before you turn the fan on and spread all that dust everywhere

Windows and mirrors – clean your windows inside and outside, wash your blinds/drapes/curtains, shine that mirror

Floors – vacuum and wash your carpets, wash the floors, dust the ceiling corners etc..

Patio and fence – check their state, clean up your grill, clean up patio furniture, soon as the weather gets even nicer, you’ll be spending a lot of time here so you want to enjoy it

Getting the whole family to help would make this whole experience easier, make sure you include a task for everyone and throw in a reward at the end for getting the job done!

Dealing with Mould in Your Home

Black Mould on a Wall

Black mould growing on a wall

We spend a lot of time in our homes, and the state of our homes can have a direct impact on our health. That is why the “mould issue” should never be overlooked. Nobody wants to buy a home and then find out it has a mould issue. It can be time consuming and costly to fix, not to mention negative on your health. That’s why ever responsible Realtor should always represent their client’s best interest and ensure that the home they’re interested in is tested by a certified professional, for mould and air quality before signing the final papers.

Almost all homes, especially the older ones have a certain degree of mould inside. Basements are notorious for mould. Over the years the insulation weakens and allows for moisture to get in, creating the perfect environment for mould growth. Other times pluming leaks, heavy rain, melting of snow in spring, wet location, poor air circulation and moisture flow are the causes of this dangerous health hazard.

What is mould?

  • Mould is any fungus that grows on food or damp materials.
  • It can be black, white or almost any colour.
  • It often looks like a stain or smudge and it may smell musty.
  • It needs moisture and a material it can live on.

Effects of mould

As the mould grows it releases tiny little “spores” into the air. As we breath them in they can negatively impact our health. Some of the effects are:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Coughing and phlegm build-up
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Symptoms of asthma
  • Allergic reactions

Detecting mould

  • Most common places for mould to grow indoors are on window sills, fabrics, carpets, and walls in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry areas.
  • Look for stains or discolourations on floors, walls, window panes, fabrics, carpets and other indoor surfaces.
  • Also use your nose to identify if there is a musty, “earthy” odour.

Getting rid of mould

  • Clean the mouldy surface with water and dish detergent. There’s no need to use bleach.
  • Fix the underlying cause, whether due to water damage or excessive humidity.
  • When removing mould, you should wear proper protective equipment, including rubber gloves, eye protection and a dust mask.
  • You might consider hiring a professional if there is a large amount of mould or if the mould keeps coming back after you clean it. A large amount of mould is often also the result of a larger problem, such as a leak in the foundation or a major flood, which may require professional help to fix.

Home buyers! Rememebr to always hire a certified and licensed mould inspector to test for indoor air quality and mould before you sign the final papers. You can’t afford to gamble with your family’s health. For more information on mould, how to clean it and prevent it, visit Health Canada website.

Hire the Best Handyman for the Job

Handyman with the Woman

Choosing the right handyman for the job actually saves money and time.

A good, honest handyman can be hard to find. When doing home repair and renovations you want the right person for the job or else the job they do will have to be redone or won’t last. You don’t want to cheap out but you also don’t want to waste your time and money. Here are few important tips to consider when looking for the handyman for your next home improvement project.

Choose your plumber, then your fixtures
You wanna find out what brand of fixtures your plumber likes to work with and then choose those. The idea is, he’s already proficient and quick with installing the brands he likes. This will minimize the problems during install and will lower the time spent on the job.

Hire a qualified electrician
When it comes to electrical work you don’t want to take chances. Electrical issues can cause fires and even worse, shock somebody. The person you hire for electrical work has to be qualified and have a track record – else stay away. Look for signs like: light switches and outlets in strange places.

Ask your handyman for a guarantee
A good confident handyman will stand by his work and will offer you a longer guarantee. Steer clear of those who fail to give one or else you’ll be spending more time and money correcting issues or in worst case scenario redoing all the work again.

Shorten that repair visit
If you’re paying the handyman by the hour then this is important to consider. Cut the chat to lower the time handyman spent working and thus the money you dish out. Discuss all the details prior to work being started, on the phone or email. Also, clear all the obstacles where the work will be done and provide proper light so the handyman can see. Lastly, tell the handyman not to bother cleaning up as they won’t do a good job anyway but will only stall to charge more time.

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