Category Archives: Maintaning Your Home

Get Your Home Ready for Winter

As the temperatures drop and days get shorter – old man winter is right around the corner. Before you know it, snow and ice will be here. Sigh…

Extreme weather can put your home to the “test”. Getting ready now, will help protect your home from any potential problems and damage. Nobody wants to be without the heat in the middle of the winter, or get a burst water pipe. Or to find out their energy bills are super high, because the windows weren’t properly insulated.

Weatherproof windows

Here is a list of essentials to do around your house to ensure you’re ready for winter!

  1. Furnace – get your furnace inspected by a professional HVAC company, to make sure it’ll run smoothly and efficiently. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, get one! They will pay themselves off withing one winter season.
  2. Doors & Windows – preventing heat loss means your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard, which means you’ll use less energy. So take some time to check all doors and windows to make sure no gaps, air leaks, drafts, etc. Any home hardware store sells all kinds of weather sealants.
  3. Chimney – if you have a fireplace, and plan to use it, get a professional to check it and sweep it. Last thing you need is a chimney fire or a build up of carbon monoxide in your home.
  4. Gutters – clean out the gutters so there is no leaves or dirt in there. You want water and snow to be able to freely drain. Also, consider extending your downspouts about 5 feet away from your house – this helps prevent basement water damage.
  5. Roof – inspect the roof for any damaged shingles, or worn out caulking around the chimney and air vents. This helps prevent water damage and mold, as a result saving you from having to do big repairs in the future.
  6. Outdoor Water Taps – turn off outdoor water taps and faucets to prevent them from bursting when it gets really cold, because water can turn to ice and ice expands. Disconnect the garden hoses and drain any leftover water. Also drain your lawn irrigation system too.
  7. Insulate Pipes – save yourself money by insulating the pipes that are in unheated areas. Even then, by insulating a pipe you’re preventing heat loss, which helps cut down on energy costs.
  8. Snow Removal – now is the time to also test out your snow blower, get yourself some salt, and that shovel. You don’t want to be caught without one in the winter, because the demand for such products goes up and when that happens… price goes up too!
  9. Bushes and Trees – if you have any big bushes or large trees with branches getting too close to cable lines, power line, or your house. Consider trimming them to prevent power loss when the freezing rain makes those branches super heavy, and they break. You don’t want them coming down on your windows, or cables, causing property damage.
  10. Smoke Alarm – Lastly, test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re functioning properly.
  11. Ceiling Fans – by reversing your ceiling fans, your pushing air down.. and we all know hot air rises up so this will help you feel warmer.

Lori VanDinther, Burlington RE/MAX sales representative and a team leader, is a long time resident of Burlington and has been helping real estate buyers and sellers in Burlington, Oakville, Carlisle, Kilbride, Waterdown and surrounding areas for 23+ years!

Why Having A Clean Garage Is Important

Our garage is one part of the home that at some point, everyone has vowed to keep clean and organized. It also has a tendency to become the homes storage centre. As many of us can probably attest, it’s not uncommon to see cars parked in the driveway due to a cluttered garage filled with yard tools, bikes, toys etc. What many don’t realize is that an organized garage will not only look great, but it can help the resale value of your home down the road, should you choose to sell.

While organizing a garage will take some time and effort, it can be easily achieved with some quick fixes.  If you were ever thinking about having a garage sale, now might be the perfect time.  After all, they’re called “garage sales” for a reason.

The first recommendation would be to familiarize yourself with what exactly is in your garage.  Do you need the old newspapers in boxes from your last move?  Have the kids grown out of those bikes?  Will you ever use they dusty table saw in the back corner? Once you establish what it is you want to purge and what is you want to keep, you will be able to move on to the next step; organization.

Try to group your items into categories like: toys, seasonal, lawn care, automotive etc.  Once that has been established, you can decide how you want it organized.  Stores like Walmart, Home Depot and Canadian Tire offer many different storage products that are not only affordable, but customizable.  Consider placing shelving along the ceiling of the garage to open up floor space for your vehicles.  Storage bins are also a great idea. Consider defining a garbage and recycling area that is convenient and out of the way.  If you really want to take organization to the next level, consider a label maker so that you know exactly what everything is and where it is.

If during your clean-up you find that you have hazardous materials such as old paint cans, car batteries etc. that you need to dispose of, please visit the City of Burlington’s website at https://www.burlington.ca/en/services-for-you/garbage-and-recycling.asp to find out where and how to properly get rid of such materials.

When all is said and done, you will not only find your garage more accessible – when you’re ready to sell, it’s one last task you’ll be facing.

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!