No More Garbage Garage
No more garbage in your garage with these tips on how to organize your house and garage before this winter!
Thank you for tuning in to clean up your garage! And check in next week for more cool tips!
“No More Garbage Garage” Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers aired October 24, 2020.
Missed our live show? Don’t worry! Because we have a podcast of the show. It’s the same thing we aired on the radio, but ready for you whenever and wherever you are! Check it out here.
Operation Garage Shipshape 12 ways to keep your garage squared away during winter
Take some time to get your garage in order this winter. Follow these tips to get organized and make sure your garage is ready for winter—it will make winter a whole lot easier.
Rotate Seasonal Items
Before winter even starts take some time to push summer items such as the lawn mower, garden tools and hoses to the back of the garage, and winter items such as shovels and salt to a spot that’s easier to get to. You can also move sports gear such as soccer and basketballs to the back and sleds and skis forward.
Check the Snowblower
Make sure your snowblower is ready for battle. It’s easier to fix any problems now than it will be when you have 10 inches of fresh snow on the ground and can’t get the snowblower to start! You’ll also need to move it to a spot in the garage where you can easily get it out without moving the car.
Create A Drop Zone
If you have an attached garage, set up a drop zone near the entrance to your home so you don’t track mud, snow and ice through the house. Set up a spot for boots and items such as wet mittens, scarves, hats and coats.
Keep a Squeegee Handy
Need a squeegee in a hurry? Take a piece of pipe insulation and use a couple cable ties to fasten it to the back of a garden rake. Works like a charm, and you don’t even have to take it off to use the rake.
Set Up Wall Storage
Feel like your garage needs an organizational revamp? Don’t forget to use your garage walls to your advantage. Install racks to hang sports equipment such as skis and sleds, and to keep shovels from falling over.
It’s best to not let fluids such as paint; weed killer and wood stain spend the winter in an unheated garage. If you live in an area where it get really cold, consider moving these liquids from the garage to the basement, out of the reach of children and pets, of course.
If you spend a lot of time in the garage during the winter, consider installing a heating unit or adding insulation to the space. You can also help keep cold air out by adding some weather stripping to the doors and windows.
Check the Garage Door
Make sure your garage door and opener is running properly. Lubricate moving metal parts and check the door regularly for signs of ice buildup.
Garage Floor Dam
Garage floors are puddle prone: springtime floods, melting ice from tires, you name it. You can keep that water away from your tools and toys with a dam made of expanding foam. It sticks, it’s waterproof, and you can walk or drive over it without damaging it. And come summer, it’ll scrape right off.
Add Floor Mats
Garage floors can get slippery fast and that’s when injuries happen. Add some non-slip floor mats to areas of the garage floor that see heavy foot traffic to help prevent slips and falls.
Get Ready for Ice and Snow
Make sure you’re stocked up on salt for the sidewalk and driveway, and that your shovels are ready to go. You’ll also want to move ice scrapers to the car. Put all supplies in a place that’s easy to get to.
Germs, Be Gone! 7 Simple Renovations To Coronavirus-Proof Your Home
As much as we all wish we could go back to a time when social distancing was a foreign concept and masks were just something you wore with a Halloween costume, it’s clear by now that COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere. At least, not anytime soon.
One consequence of the pandemic is that our collective concern over cleanliness remains at an all-time high. A recent survey found that 47% of Americans are pining to upgrade their bathrooms during the pandemic, and 44% want to redesign the kitchen.
The study was conducted by the New York City–based Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, and according to Adrianne Russell, its showroom manager, the kitchen and bathroom are “two rooms where a lot can be done for hygiene.”
Fortunately, there are lots of simple swaps and upgrades that can make your home into a sanctuary and provide peace of mind. Here are a few ideas on how to enhance your home and reduce the transfer of germs during the era of COVID-19.
Install touchless faucets
This isn’t just a feature for public bathrooms anymore. Installing a touchless faucet is a quick and easy project that you can take on in your own home.
“No handles or knobs means less surfaces touched and less of a chance of cross-contamination occurring after hand-washing or handling messy foods,” Russell says.
Touchless faucets aren’t just for the bathroom: You can install one in the kitchen—or even a utility sink.
Switch to automatic soap dispensers
After you’ve upgraded to a new contact-free faucet, why not take the cleanliness to the next level?
“Since the best way to fight germs is hand-washing, homeowners may also want to consider installing sensor-operated soap dispensers,” Russell says.
“Like touchless faucets, touchless dispensers also help eliminate most surface contact during the hand-washing process,” she says.
You can opt for a sleek, commercial-grade dispenser that requires some installation, or choose a battery-operated stand-alone model if you’re on a budget.
Upgrade to a bidet or touchless toilet
Worried about another toilet paper shortage? Install a bidet in your bathroom. No toilet paper, no problem!
“During the pandemic, toilets with integrated bidet functionality soared in popularity,” Russell says. “They are a hygienic alternative to toilet paper, using water-jet cleaning.”
You can purchase a stand-alone bidet or a bidet toilet-seat attachment that works with your current toilet. You can also purchase a smart toilet with or without a built-in bidet.
Many smart toilets come fully equipped with digital controls, touchless flushing, and Bluetooth connectivity, plus self-cleaning features to relieve you of your toilet-scrubbing duties.
“Some options may also include special cleaning solutions, hydrophobic or hydrophilic glazes, advanced flushing technology, and specially designed rims,” Russell says.
Use smart lighting for touchless illumination
Think of how often you touch the light switches around your house—then think of how many germs could be lurking there.
“One of the dirtiest surfaces in a home are light switches, with homeowners having to touch them multiple times a day, every day,” Russell says.
Switching to a smart lighting system can help reduce the transmission of germs. You control the lights from your phone, and with a smart system, you can control the lighting even when you’re away. This not only helps with home security, but also cuts down on your energy costs.
Eliminate contact with smart door locks
Just like light switches, door locks can be a breeding ground for germs as people go in and out of the house.
Digital keypad and smart door locks (e.g., the Google Nest Smart Lock with Nest Connect) can help reduce human surface contact, Russell says. Their features often include keyless options, voice activation, and biometric identifiers.
Take it outside year-round with space heaters
In some parts of the country, outdoor hangouts have traditionally been limited to the summer months. But keeping your activities outside doesn’t have to be out of reach, even on cooler days—and it can help minimize the risk of transmitting the virus. The solution? Pick up an outdoor patio heater, for as little as $100.
“Heaters are great if you want to have guests on your patio,” says Suzi Dailey, a Realtor® with One Luxe by Realty One Group International. “I think heater sales are going to go through the roof.”
Try a sanitizing closet on for size
These days, it’s not just the Roomba that’s helping us keep our homes clean. From hands-free trashcans to refrigerators with sensors for touchless opening, tech tools and gadgets are making it easier than ever to keep our homes clean.
One product that has exploded in popularity in recent months, according to John Romito, founder and licensed real estate agent at Heart & Home Real Estate, is sanitizing closets, which use ultraviolet light to sanitize garments.
“The technology has been very popular among retail clothing stores, to minimize the spread of pathogens after people try on or return apparel,” he says. “It’s now being purchased for home use.”
You can even recruit help from robots to turn your mudroom into a disinfection station where you and your guests can thoroughly sanitize each time you enter.
Clean, Safe, and Hot: Fall Gas Fireplace Maintenance
Before starting your fireplace this season, keep these maintenance measures in mind;
Gas fireplaces are always giving back, asking for very little in return. If you have one, two or more gas fireplaces in your home, you’re familiar with the liberating feeling of simply touching a remote control to start a warm and glowing fire. It’s especially gratifying in the dead of winter after a date with your snow shovel – and those days are coming.
Convenience is one of the great benefits of gas fireplaces and inserts. And unlike wood-burning fireplaces, there’s no ash to clean up or chimney to sweep with a gas fireplace. That being said, we have a few simple gas fireplace maintenance tips that will keep your gas fireplace operating at its very best.
Keep your gas fireplace burning its best by running through this comprehensive checklist this fall.
Before starting, make sure the fireplace and glass is completely cool.
- Turn the gas valve off.
- Remove the decorative front from the fireplace.
Fireplaces, stoves, and inserts should have a safety barrier screen to protect you from coming into contact with the hot glass.
Carefully remove the glass assembly by following the instructions in the fireplace owner’s manual. If the glass is held in place by spring latches, the latches should move smoothly without binding; if it is not, consult your dealer. Lay the glass on a soft, level surface.
Clean the glass
Inspect the glass for scratches, which can cause the glass to lose strength and could lead to glass breakage during heat up and cool down times. If the glass is scratched or damaged in any way, do not use the fireplace until new glass has been installed.
Wipe down both sides of the glass with a soft cloth and a cleaner specified for fireplace glass, like Stove Bright® or Rutland White-Off. Never use abrasive cleaners or cloths, as these can scratch the glass
Inspect the gasketing on the glass assembly. If it appears worn or damaged it may need to be replaced, as it provides the seal between the glass assembly and the combustion chamber of the fireplace to keep the byproduct of combustion, like carbon monoxide, from entering the home.
Clean the inside of the firebox
Remove any dirt or dust from inside the firebox or logs using a soft paintbrush or vacuum.
Inspect the inside of the firebox
While your fireplace is disassembled, inspect it for signs of rust, flaking, or soot, and check the pilot assembly for any signs of soot or impedance of flame to ignite the burner.
If you see any rust or flaking, lightly sand the affected area and repaint the entire firebox with the appropriate paint. Paint carefully and protect the area surrounding the fireplace to prevent overspray.
Clean the outside of the firebox
Using a vacuum and soft cloth, clean the base and valve cavity area (being careful not to dislodge wiring) to remove dust. This will help reduce odors in the fall during the first fire.
Reassemble the fireplace
Put the glass back on the fireplace, turn the gas valve back on and reinstall the front. As fireplaces produce high temperatures, ensure furniture and other combustible materials are kept a safe distance away from the appliance.
Check the outside vent
Check the vent to ensure it is free of nests, leaves, grass clippings or other debris. (Note: your fireplace vent can be on the side of your home or on the roof.)
Check your carbon monoxide detector
Make sure your carbon monoxide detector is in place and functioning. It should be positioned four to five feet above the floor or near the ceiling, but not directly over the fireplace.
Check the burner ignition
When you turn on the fireplace, the burner should light smoothly and without delay. If the burner does not light smoothly, consult your fireplace manufacturer’s support phone line.
Consider a comprehensive annual inspection by a certified fireplace technician. If you prefer, they will be happy to perform all the cleaning and maintenance steps listed above as well.
Please Don’t Hit The Wall
No more bumping walls with your car
Do you have a small garage, large vehicle, a new driver, or maybe you’re chronically in a hurry? If any of these are true, you may have either bumped the wall or scuffed a bumper with the garage door when it came down. Both are frustrating and cause extra, unnecessary repair work. These parking helpers are inexpensive, easy to install, and will save you repair headaches in the future.
Start with the least expensive option: the tennis ball that hangs from the ceiling. Pull your car into its safe spot, take measurements (from the front of the garage to the point of contact on the windshield, from the side wall to the point of contact on the windshield), and pull your car back out. Install an eye hook in the ceiling from your measurements and hang the string with the tennis ball attached, leave some extra so you can make adjustments once the ball is in place and voila, parking assistance!
Parking mat helps you park safely and easily and prevent damage to your vehicle and your garage. Go over the first bump to park against a built in curb. Included anti-skid tape prevents mat from moving. Reflective tape provides high visibility. Built-in drip tray prevents water, snow or dirt from falling onto the floor. One size fits all passenger vehicles. Great for boats and RVs. Includes 1 mat.
The STKR Parking Sensor is Designed to take the guess work out of parking your car in tight garage spaces. It features adjustable, ultrasonic range-finding technology. Simply mount the sensor unit in front of your vehicle at bumper level, then mount the signal light in a position easily viewed from the driver’s seat. Lastly, park your vehicle exactly where you want it and press the set button. That’s it! Next time the driver approaches the Parking Sensor, they will see a green light indicating that it is safe to proceed, then a yellow light warning to slow down, and finally a red light when the chosen stopping point is reached. The STKR Parking Sensor eliminates the dents and dings from garage “fender benders” and allows you to safely close the garage door every time. Easy to install with the included double sided tape and Velcro, and adjustable between 6 inches and 6 feet. Runs on 4 AA batteries (not included).
For the gadget geeks, there’s the laser parking assist. There is an almost unlimited selection for laser parking assists, but what is wonderful about some of these is that they work with your garage opener system. While you don’t need to have an automatic garage door opener for most of them, it is a nice feature if your garage door opener is newer. The systems work by pointing a laser light from the ceiling of your garage to a sensor that is attached to your dashboard or directing a bright laser light to a location you determine is your safe parking spot. Most systems don’t need to be hardwired in but do need access to an outlet.
The wall bumper is less of a parking aid, more of a save your car door/garage wall product. You could use it to help park if you want to estimate by letting your mirror line up with the edge of it, but it’s not quite as accurate as some of the other options. For those super tight garages that leave little room to open your door and shimmy out sideways, this is a great little product. Open your door to a rubber stop instead of making continuous dings in your drywall or scratching the edge of your car door. Simple enough to install, some require screws, some have double sided tape.
~ Thank you~
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Thank you to our Technical Support:
- Danny Bringer – Chief Engineer
- Carol “Remodeling Babe” Carey – Executive Producer
- Sam Reed – Associate Producer
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