Posts Tagged ‘cleaning’

Add Value to Your Home with Spring Cleaning

It may be surprising, but a clean and decluttered home can have a huge impact on a potential buyer’s impression of the home and help them envision it as their own. In addition, a clean home improves your mood and helps you feel more productive.

Clean Up the Yard

You never get a second chance to make a great first impression, so make the most of your home’s first impression by cleaning up the yard.

  1. Clear away fall and winter debris such as fallen branches and leaves; pick up and put away toys and other items that are not lawn ornaments.
  2. Be sure that all walkways are clear and easy to navigate along.
    • If you have broken or misaligned steps, consider hiring a professional to fix them.
  3. Clean the gutters, or hire a professional the clean them; when gutters are clogged, they can overflow and cause water damage to the exterior of your home. If they overflow into a window, the water damage can extend into the interior, as well.
  4. Treat your lawn to a spa day: feed it, weed it, give it moss treatment, and mow it on a dry day. When you know it’s going to rain, or shortly after rain, apply fertilizers for best results.

Clean Up the Exterior Walls of the House

Over the course of a year, a lot of dirt, muck, and grit can collect on the exterior walls of a home—not to mention moss, mold, and mildew growth along brick walls.

  1. On a warm, dry day, wash away the dirt on the exterior walls of your home. Take care not to damage any surfaces, let water get underneath the siding, or dislodge any bricks.
  2. If it looks like there is water damage on the outside of your home, call a professional.
  3. Take the chance to clean the outside of your windows as well, and check for any damage to them. Cracked panes should be replaced and peeling windowsills should be tended to, as well.
    • Peeling windowsills are a great opportunity (after removing the old paint) to repaint them with a refreshing new color. Not sure what color to pick? Our Painting Joy Into Your Home: How Colors Influence Your Mood blog post can give you an idea on what might be the best color, depending on what effect you want to achieve.
    • Once you’re back inside, wipe the inside of the windows down and clear away any cobwebs.

Clean Up the Garden

If you have a garden with clearly defined borders, be sure to freshen those borders up. In addition, give your garden some attention and care:

  1. Fork the soil around plants to introduce fresh air and reveal any pests or weeds
  2. Remove weeds and other unwanted plants
  3. Add mulch to control additional weeds or refresh existing mulch
  4. Check to see if any bricks or stones have become misaligned and realign them
  5. To help your plants grow and add nutrients to the soil, add compost or other organic matter

If you don’t have a garden but would like to increase the curb appeal of your home by adding some plants, try adding flower pots or hanging plants outside!

  1. Check that the flowers and plants won’t be at risk of dying from a last frost before adding the pots or hanging plants outdoors.
  2. If you want to grow the plants from seeds, consider starting them indoors to avoid losing them to hungry birds or animals before they’ve had the chance to sprout. Otherwise, pick potted flowers and plants you like from your local garden center.
  3. Arrange the potted flowers and hanging plants how you like: on your front porch, flanking your front door, along your walkway, or even in your back garden. The options are endless!

Last but not least, if you have a fence, inspect it for any damage.

  1. Ensure that all gates are properly attached and that locks function smoothly.
  2. Fill in any holes animals may have dug underneath the fence. If you have a dog that keeps digging a hole to escape, bury a toy, or pursuing some other destructive behavior, you may want to check with your local dog academy to see whether training can correct the behavior.
  3. Check for loose boards, rusted wires, damaged bricks or stones, etc. and repair the fence accordingly. If you don’t know how to maintain your fence and find that a section has decayed, call a professional.
  4. If you want to give your yard a fresh look, consider painting your fence a new color, adding flowers along the boundaries, or adding climbing plants to transform your fence into a garden wonderland. Check with your local garden center first on which climbing plants would be best.
    • Beware: climbing plants require a certain amount of maintenance and care to keep them from becoming unruly and overtaking your yard. If they attach to a tree, they can cause serious damage.

5 Ways to Stop Pests This Spring

Spring is right around the corner, and with the warmer weather come bugs and pests of all kinds. Let Howard Hanna help you to pest-proof your home this spring with these suggestions.

Keep lids on trash cans. Food attracts insects and other pests, so as you go through your checklist of spring cleaning tasks, make sure this one is at the top of the list. Examine your outdoor trash cans to ensure that lids are tight fitting. You may also want to consider using garbage bags because it adds an extra layer of protection against creepy crawlers.

Keep your kitchen clean and tidy. Food is like a gourmet bug buffet, making the kitchen and pantry a hotspot. Use glass, plastic or sealable containers for storing products such as cereal. Remember, even random crumbs leftover from last night’s dinner may be enough to attract pests. Take out the trash frequently and promptly, and don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter!

Screen your windows. With the warmer weather, it’s nice to open the windows and have the fresh air flowing! But, your window can be a door welcoming bugs into your home. Inspect your windows and doors to ensure that they’re in good working order. Then, fix any rips or tears that could let pests inside. If you have a patio door, invest in a sliding screen to make it harder for the bugs to come in and make your home theirs, too.

Don’t forget your lawn! Take a tour of your front and back yards to see where problem areas might be. First, clean gutters as they can become a breeding ground for bugs. Second, trim hedges which, if left unkempt, can become a highway for pests to travel easily from outdoors to indoors. Third, clean and tidy up your lawn! Move firewood away from the home, and pick up fallen fruits or nuts.

Check the exterior. Bugs can sneak into the home via openings or cracks and holes in the foundation. Look for any problem areas, and seal any cracks that you may find. By doing this, you’ll prevent them from getting in through the exterior. You may also want to do this check multiple times a year.

Incorporate these recommendations into your spring cleaning routine, and you’ll keep the bugs at bay this year and in the future!

5 Ways to Stop Pests This Spring

Spring is right around the corner, and with the warmer weather come bugs and pests of all kinds. Let Nothnagle Realtors help you to pest-proof your home this spring with these suggestions.

Keep lids on trash cans. Food attracts insects and other pests, so as you go through your checklist of spring cleaning tasks, make sure this one is at the top of the list. Examine your outdoor trash cans to ensure that lids are tight fitting. You may also want to consider using garbage bags because it adds an extra layer of protection against creepy crawlers.

Keep your kitchen clean and tidy. Food is like a gourmet bug buffet, making the kitchen and pantry a hotspot. Use glass, plastic or sealable containers for storing products such as cereal. Remember, even random crumbs leftover from last night’s dinner may be enough to attract pests. Take out the trash frequently and promptly, and don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter!

Screen your windows. With the warmer weather, it’s nice to open the windows and have the fresh air flowing! But, your window can be a door welcoming bugs into your home. Inspect your windows and doors to ensure that they’re in good working order. Then, fix any rips or tears that could let pests inside. If you have a patio door, invest in a sliding screen to make it harder for the bugs to come in and make your home theirs, too.

Don’t forget your lawn! Take a tour of your front and back yards to see where problem areas might be. First, clean gutters as they can become a breeding ground for bugs. Second, trim hedges which, if left unkempt, can become a highway for pests to travel easily from outdoors to indoors. Third, clean and tidy up your lawn! Move firewood away from the home, and pick up fallen fruits or nuts.

Check the exterior. Bugs can sneak into the home via openings or cracks and holes in the foundation. Look for any problem areas, and seal any cracks that you may find. By doing this, you’ll prevent them from getting in through the exterior. You may also want to do this check multiple times a year.

Incorporate these recommendations into your spring cleaning routine, and you’ll keep the bugs at bay this year and in the future!

Spring into Cleaning… Even if it Feels like Winter, still.

Cleaning suppliesThe brief break in winter weather this week seems like a cruel joke when snow is forecast for this weekend.  Will Rochester ever actually experience the Spring season?  But, even if it doesn’t feel like Spring, it’s the right time of year for SPRING CLEANING!  And who knows, maybe Spring really is just around the corner so don’t miss out on the nice weather and get your cleaning done now.

  • Clean Windows: Let the sunshine in! For a quicker and more effective method, use rubber-edged squeegees.  Dampen the squeegee and draw it down the window from top to bottom.  Once the snow finally stops, get the windows professionally washed for a more in-depth cleaning.  Some contractors will also offer gutter cleaning services.  For more information on reputable window cleaners, visit our Home Services Page.
  • Dust Lightbulbs: Wipe away winter’s grime – unscrew the lightbulbs and gently wipe them with a moistened microfiber cloth (avoid getting the metal base wet). To clean the bulbs in recessed fixtures, use a telescoping lamb’s wool duster.
  • Banish Stains: After all the indulgent winter holidays and long list of dinner guests, it might be time to clean tablecloths and other household fabrics from stains. Martha Stewart Living has an incredible chart listing common stains and how to remove them.
  • Dust & Reset Ceiling Fans: With the warm weather approaching, you’ll soon want to use your ceiling fans. If you haven’t been using them in the winter, take a damp rag and dust the blades.  If you have been using them, change the direction of the fans: the standard counterclockwise direction provides a breeze in warmer months while the clockwise direction creates an upward draft redistributing the warm air in cold weather.
  • Tidy the Fridge: Sometimes the fridge turns into a black hole where food items go and are never seen again. If your fridge is packed to the brim, break this task into steps.  First, take the time to do a thorough purge of all expired and questionable items.  Make a habit of throwing out old food once a week; then, every few months, wash the interior—shelves, drawers, etc.
  • Attend Overlooked Surfaces: Once a year, make a habit of giving all the surfaces in your home a thorough scrubbing. Wash your baseboards, door frames, and walls with a sponge and a squirt of dishwashing liquid mixed in a bucket of warm water. Don’t stop there… move your sofa and roll up area rugs, then vacuum the floors.

6 Things To Do When Moving into a New House

As any new home owner knows, there are more than 6 things to do when moving in to a new home.  But here is a list of 6 things that might slip you’re mind when compared to other more prominent ‘to do” tasks.  If you need assistant from professional contractors, let our Home Services Department recommend trusted, local on our list!

1. Change the lockBoxes-colors!

Think about all the people who you have given keys to your apartment or former house.  Truth is, you don’t really know how many people have keys to that home you just bought.  The best way to ensure the safety of yourself and your family is to change all the locks.  You can do this yourself or call a locksmith.

If you need a locksmith, call Home Services for a recommendation and free quote: 1-866-295-MOVE

2. Steam clean those carpets

Do this before you even think about moving in your furniture.  Once your furniture has been set up this will be a trickier task.  Cleaning the carpets is like giving them a clean slate and your home a fresh new start.  It’s the best way to eliminate dirt, stains, and allergens that have accumulated in the fabric of the carpet.  If you don’t have access to a steam cleaner, hire a professional.

If you need a carpet cleaning service, call Home Services for a recommendation and free quote: 1-866-295-MOVE

3. Wipe out all cabinets and closets

Now that you’ve cleaned those carpets and moved in your furniture, it’s time to unpack those boxes.  But before you organize your kitchen ware, arrange your clothes in the closet, or stock the bathrooms, you’ll want to give all the surfaces a thorough cleaning using a non-toxic cleaner; also, consider replacing contact paper if applicable.

If you need a residential cleaning, call Home Services for a recommendation and free quote: 1-866-295-MOVE

4. Acquaint yourself with the circuit breaker

Take the time to figure out which fuses control what parts of your home so that you’re not caught unawares if the power goes out.  Make sure to label them accordingly – enlist the help of a family member or friend to confirm the locations powered by each switch.

5. Verify your safety devices work

Check the batteries in all the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Verify the devices are correctly installed, at least one per floor.

6. Exterminate the vermin

No one likes a freeloader! If your new home came with ‘pets’ you didn’t foresee, evict those pests that aren’t paying rent.  For DIY methods, you can buy poison packets, traps, and bait specifically targeted for the vermin you’re trying to remove.  However, if you have small children or pets, be extremely careful with where you place those devices.

If you need a professional to assist with pest extermination, call Home Services for a recommendation and free quote: 1-866-295-MOVE