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Nov 20 2017

Profile Image of M.K. Tenney

Preparing Your Home for Winter – The House Plan Shop

Filed under Seasonal

Snow ShovelFirst thing to do?  Why make a list, of course. Psychologists have determined that making a list relieves stress as it allows one to focus on the tasks at hand. A list will allow you to prioritize and delegate responsibilities. Plus, it just feels good when you get to check off completed items. Here are some things to consider for your list.

 

Cover or Store – Protect your outdoor accessories and equipment like lawn furniture, grill, pool, hoses, air conditioner, lawn equipment, bicycles and toys. Don’t forget to turn the water off to outside spigots. Remove window fans and lower the storm windows.

 

Clean or Fix – Check out window caulking, gutters, downspouts, and chimney. Make sure your heating system is in order and reprogram thermostats and dusk to dawn lights if necessary.  Service the snow blower and emergency generator.

 

Collect or Purchase – Locate or replace snow shovels, ice scrapers, ice melt, hats, boots, and gloves. Stock up on emergency supplies like flashlights and batteries, candles, blankets and remember wood for the fireplace.

 

Once you have completed your checklist, snuggle in and enjoy the holidays or a long winter’s nap or you can begin to ponder and organize a list to get ready for spring.

 

Have a safe and happy holiday season with these helpful tips.

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Dec 18 2015

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Snow Shoveling Safety Tips – The House Plan Shop

Filed under Safety,Seasonal

Snow ShovelingWhile the physically fit may consider shoveling snow as just another workout, it can be problematic for others. Many people associate back problems and sore muscles with shoveling the driveway and sidewalk, but there are other risks as well. For example, heart attack rates are elevated during the winter months and these heart attacks are often the result of shoveling snow. When it snows this winter, follow these safety tips to maintain your health and avoid injury.

 

  • Avoid shoveling right after waking up in the morning. Slipped disc injuries are more likely to occur in the morning due to the build-up of fluid disc from lying down all night.
  • Be sure to stay hydrated while you work and continue drinking water after you’re done shoveling snow for the day.
  • Spend 5-10 minutes stretching before you head outdoors to shovel snow. This will help prevent sore muscles later.
  • Wear gloves, hat, etc. to cover your extremities. Also, wear layers of clothing and shed the layers when necessary to prevent overheating.
  • Wear sturdy boots with a rubber sole to prevent slipping and falling.
  • Take frequent breaks while you work. If you become fatigued, put down the shovel and go inside to rest.
  •  When possible, avoid lifting a snow-filled shovel. Instead, it is safer to push the snow off your driveway and sidewalks. If you must lift the snow, be sure to face the direction you are lifting and twist as little as possible.
  • Spray or rub your shovel with lubricant such as cooking spray or WD40 to help prevent snow from sticking to the shovel. The lighter the load, the better for your body.
  • Check with your doctor if you believe shoveling snow might present a health hazard, especially if you have a heart condition.

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Apr 14 2015

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Safety Tips for your Yard

Fenced PoolWith warmer weather on the way, many of us will be spending more time in our yards, buts sometimes we get so busy that it is hard to keep up on everything around the house especially around the yard. Don’t let an unexpected danger ruin your backyard fun this spring or summer. Take just a moment to review these tips for keeping your yard safe for everyone.

 

  1. Keep the grill 10 feet away from the house and other objects.
  2. Never leave an unattended fire in the fire pit or grill.
  3. Install a fence around pools and hot tubs.
  4. Make sure no one swims alone in pool.
  5. Wear protective goggles and ear protection when using outdoor machinery.
  6. Let the mower engine cool before refueling.
  7. Keep children inside when grass is being mowed.
  8. Put ladders away after use.
  9. Keep chemicals and garden tools away from children’s reach.
  10. Tighten and cover bolts on play equipment.
  11. Anchor trampolines and play sets.
  12. Seal wooden decks and porches.

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Nov 05 2014

Profile Image of M.K. Tenney

Winterize your Car with these Hints

Filed under Seasonal,The Garage

Car BatteryAs the weather begins to get colder, it’s time to get your car ready for winter. By preparing now, you can keep your vehicle running efficiently and safely and hopefully avoid a roadside breakdown in the cold. Here are some tips to get you started:

 

Fluids – Have all fluids checked and replaced if necessary. Don’t forget the oil, coolant, brake fluid, windshield fluid and gasoline. Yes, gasoline. Keep your tank full to prevent moisture from freezing in the lines. Also, when unexpected weather hits and you are delayed in traffic, you won’t have to worry about running on empty.

Wiper Blades – Weather ages blades quickly and they tear easily in freezing temperatures, so start out the season with new ones.

Battery – Cold weather reduces the cranking amperage of the battery. Have it tested, serviced and replaced if more than 4 years old.

Tires – Of course cold sloppy freezing weather brings traction problems so check those tire treads and replace tires if necessary. The cold can also reduce the pressure so check often for proper inflation and don’t forget the spare.

Floor Mats – Tracking snow and salt into your car’s interior can ruin carpeting so make sure you have some good all-weather mats in place.

Emergency Kit – Items you may want to include are flares, boots, gloves, shovel, blanket, ice scraper, flashlight, rock salt or kitty litter for traction. Also have emergency numbers and insurance information handy and maybe some spare change, just in case

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Sep 15 2014

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Preparing your Home and Yard for Fall

Fall LeavesThe official start of fall is fast approaching and winter won’t be too far behind. Get your home and yard ready for fall and winter with this handy checklist:

  • Hire a professional to inspect your furnace and make sure your heating system is working properly.
  • Inspect you chimney for cracks and any debris that may have accumulated in the flue.
  • Clean and covered or store patio furniture.
  • Fertilize the lawn and winterize your lawn mower.
  • Rake leaves.
  • Clean gutters and clear them of debris before winter weather arrives.
  • Hang holiday lights. It is easier to do and more enjoyable while the weather is still nice.
  • Harvest the rest of the produce from your vegetable garden.
  • Plant/move trees and shrubs.
  • Mulch trees and shrubs to protect them from harsh winter weather.
  • Drain and store hoses. Turn off outdoor faucets.

Buy winter supplies such as snow shovels, ice melt, and ice scrapers.

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