Robin V. Wish - Real Living Suburban Lifestyle Real Estate



Posted by Robin V. Wish on 1/18/2016

A bar of soap won't just keep you clean it can serve many more purposes! Here are some uses for soap to solve common household problems: Stop squeaky hinges by wedging moist soap between the doorframe and hinge, and work the door back and forth; also rub soap directly onto the hinge. No more squeaks in floorboards when you work a little moist soap into the cracks between the boards. Unstick a stubborn zipper by rubbing soap on both sides while closed, then unzip it and rub soap over the opened teeth. Solve sticky drawers by rubbing both sides and the underside with soap. To keep eyeglasses from steaming in cold weather, rub both sides of each lens with soapy fingers, and then polish. Have any of these tricks worked for you? Share more soapy tips below.  





Posted by Robin V. Wish on 1/4/2016

You can't see it. You can't smell it. You can't taste it. But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) reports 1 in 3 homes have potentially dangerous levels of radon. The Surgeon General's Office estimates that as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused each year by radon. Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas and is the second leading cause of lung cancer. If you are having a home inspection or you have lived in your home for a long time the US EPA, Surgeon General, American Lung Association, American Medical Association and National Safety Council all recommend you test for radon. Your home inspector can test for radon, or you can purchase a do-it-yourself test. If you have a well you will also want to make sure to test the water for radon. If your home has high concentrations of radon (over 4 pCi/L) you can mitigate the radon. You can find a list of certified radon mitigators here.    





Posted by Robin V. Wish on 12/28/2015

Old and dried out PointsetaAre you a plant killer?  If so, don't feel discouraged.  Many people looking to add a touch of green to their homes end up on the "most wanted" list.  Luckily for them (and perhaps you as well), plant killing isn't a crime.  Also, there are a few plants that can survive even the most neglectful of plant keepers.  If you think that keeping houseplants healthy is out of your league, then give these hardy friends a chance to shine in your home. Air Plants - Also known as Epiphytes, these plants derive most, if not all of the moisture and nutrients they need from the air.  They can be put almost anywhere in your home, and are virtually indestructible.  These plants don't even need soil.  At most, they'll need a light mist every few months. Succulents - These plants are known for their large, fleshy, unusual appearance.  A common misconception about Succulents is that they are cacti.  While it is true that most cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti.  They are relatively cheap to purchase, and once rooted, can be a beautiful addition to your home.  Given the abundance of varieties to choose from, odds are you'll be able to find a succulent that complements any home style. Aloe - Not only is aloe a succulent, it is one of only a few plants that can be kept for not only decorative purposes, but medicinal as well.  The gel in aloe vera plants has been used for skin irritations, such as cuts and burns.  The gel can also be processed into soaps. Jade - Jade is also a succulent, and can be a beautiful addition to your home.  Many jade plants are purchased as bonsai trees, and upkeep is minimal.  While not as hardy as the other plants on the list, this is a good plant to take a shot at after you've managed to keep a few air plants and hardier succulents alive. Golden Pothos - Not only is this plant incredibly hardy, it also qualifies as an "air scrubber", removing toxins from the air in your home.  Trimmings can easily be cultivated into plants, and the rate of growth can be incredibly fast.  Care should be taken to avoid ingestion by pets and children.





Posted by Robin V. Wish on 12/21/2015

Whether it be simply the preference of the homeowner, or an attempt at increasing home value, hardwood flooring is increasing in popularity.  Hardwood floors can add a touch of class to a smaller home, and make larger homes really show off their square footage in a way that carpeting cannot compete with. If you are considering outfitting your home with hardwoods, style and durability will be your two biggest categories to explore, after cost.  Some hardwood options, while stylish, lack the durability of others, and care would need to be taken in order to not wear out your new home addition prematurely.  Below, I'll list some of the more popular varieties of hardwood flooring options. Wide-Plank - Wide-plank flooring is quickly becoming one of the more popular options for people looking to add a touch of class to a room or home, without sacrificing their floor's durability.  This style of flooring gives you a wide variety of wood options and styles to choose from, but woods with complex grains are the preferred way to go.  Wider planks allow the natural beauty of woods like Hickory and Tigerwood a chance to shine. Reclaimed Pine - This eco-friendly option is also a popular favorite.  Perfect for homes that already possess a rustic flare, reclaimed pine flooring can add a touch of historical class to any home.  And because one of the primary sources of reclaimed pine flooring are historical buildings, this is an environmentally-friendly alternative to some of the more extravagant hardwood varieties, like Brazilian hardwoods, or teak.  Reclaimed pine is just one of many varieties of reclaimed wood, so shop around a little.  Almost all reclaimed hardwood options will add a touch of mature class to a home. Eucalyptus and Ebonized Hardwood - These varieties are extremely dark and elegant.  Best paired with contemporary homes. If you are partial to white furniture and decor, this variety will serve to complement your design style immensely. Red Oak - This variety of flooring is gaining a reputation for it's ability to successfully coordinate with any design style, as well as it's durability.  Red Oak is a fantastic choice for homes with children, as the durability of the wood will prevent most scuffs and dents that a high-traffic family would normally dish out on a less-resilient wood variety.  The lighter, warmer colors of the wood also serve to heighten the brightness and color of a room, which may be preferred in houses that don't get a lot of natural light. Brazilian Cherry - This variety is the classic "mosaic hardwood".  The natural variation in color from plank to plank is an eye-catching addition to any home, while the affordability factor is also an appeal.





Posted by Robin V. Wish on 12/7/2015

It is the time of year when we start to use the fireplace. A crackling fire is the picture of a cozy home but it can also be a home hazard. Keeping an eye on a few key items inside and out will make sure your wood-burning fireplace is safe and ready to go for the burning season.   Here is a checklist of things to look for on the outside of your fireplace:

  • A chimney cap; this keeps out rain, animals away and helps prevents hot embers from landing on the roof.
  • Bird’s nest or any type of debris buildup on the cap.
  • Tree limbs that hang above or near the chimney.
  • Crumbling and/or missing mortar and bricks.
  • A chimney that rises at least 2 feet above where it exits the roof.
  • A flue liner that is visible above the chimney crown.
  • The chimney is plumb and not leaning to one side or the other.
  • Roof flashing that is tight against the chimney.
Here is a checklist for the inside of your fireplace:
  • A flue damper that opens, closes, and seals properly.
  • Daylight can be seen through the flue, no combustible material such as animal nests or other foreign objects in the flue.
  • There are no cracked bricks or missing mortar in the fireplace surround, hearth, and firebox.
  • No moisture can be seen inside the firebox, which could mean a faulty cap.
If you spot any problems always call a licensed chimney professional or mason to remedy the problem. There is no hard and fast rule on how often to clean your fireplace but you will need to keep a keen eye to determine if it is time for a cleaning. Use your fireplace poker to scrape away some of the creosote from the fireplace lining. If the creosote buildup is is 1/8 of an inch, or more you should schedule a cleaning.




Tags: Fireplace Safety  
Categories: Help Around the House  




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