Some of you homeowners are still working on spring cleaning, some of you are getting ready for the upcoming holidays, and some of you are getting your home ready to sell. No matter what you’re working on this year, it’s important to practice ladder safety. According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission reports, there are 164,000 ladder injuries each year. The number of incidents rises around the holiday season each year, but no matter what time of year it is, and no matter what you’re working on (cleaning gutters, washing windows, changing light bulbs, etc.) it’s important for you and your family to be safe when working on ladders. Here are some safety tips from Werner, one of the world’s leading ladder manufacturers to help keep you safe this year!
It’s very important to choose the right ladder for the job. If you’re trying to replace a light fixture on the ceiling, maybe you only need a 6-foot step ladder; if you’re cleaning out second floor gutters, you will need an extension ladder or a specialty ladder that bends to a 90-degree angle to get at a hard-to-reach place in a stairwell, according to Inman News. Ladder manufacturers make different styles of ladders so that, no matter what job you’re doing, the ladder you’re working on will keep you stable and productive (climbing or standing). Choosing the wrong ladder for the job could easily end in a trip to the emergency room, so make the right choice!
The length of the ladder you choose depends on the height of the job you’re doing. One important guideline for ladder safety is to never stand above the fourth rung from the top of an extension ladder or the third rung from the top of a stepladder. So, the ladder you’re using for the job needs to extend a certain distance beyond the area you’re working on; experts advise that “if using a stepladder to get on a roof, the ladder must extend 3 feet beyond the roofline. If an extension ladder is leaned against a gutter or roof line, it must extend 1 foot above the roofline.”
Use common sense when working on a ladder. It seems like pretty simple advice, but the truth is that many of the ladder injuries reported each year were preventable. Make sure you’re using your ladder the way it should be used.
Ladders should be set up on a firm foundation.
Tennis shoes or other shoes with non-slip soles are the best to wear when working on ladders.
Your body should be centered on the ladder and be sure to keep your waist between the rails while maintaining a firm grip on the ladder.
Don’t over reach or lean to one side.
Climb and descend facing the ladder by moving one step at a time and firmly setting one foot before moving the other.
If you need to move a ladder, climb down before repositioning it
For high work, have one person hold the ladder at the bottom while the other one performs the task.
To read the full article on ladder safety from Inman News, click here.
A pre-inspection is when you are going to list your home for sale, but inspect your home before putting it on the market. This way you know about and can fix issues that arise before listing. A home inspector will check everything from the outside to the inside of your home checking the mechanicals, electrical system, plumbing, and more. The buyer who purchases your home will most likely do a home inspection and have that as a contingency when they write an offer on your home. Letting the buyers see the pre-inspection and the items you remedied could give the buyer peace of mind before they even write an offer.
A pre-inspection can be great for selling your home, but it also has it’s bad side. Know the pros and cons of a pre-inspection before you decide for yourself…
Allows you to know potential “deal killer” defects with your home so you can fix it
Allows you to provide peace of mind to potential buyers by showing them the pre-inspection report and things you have fixed (if any were needed)
Can improve the likelihood of the sale of your home to close on time by avoiding time consuming repairs and inspections
Improves chances of passing the buyer’s home inspection
You might discover a bigger, larger, more expensive issue with your home than you were prepared for. The buyer would likely find these issues anyway.
Once you or your real estate agent become aware of an issue with your home, you must disclose it to the potential buyer
Cash out of pocket before even selling your home is never ideal, but you can always adjust the price of your home accordingly
Even if you fix issues on your pre-inspection report, a buyer may come back with more things their home inspector found that they want fixed
Before you decide to do a pre-inspection, think about the pros and cons. Sometimes it is worth it to inspect your home before listing it. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense for your situation. Talk to your real estate agent about doing a pre-inspection, get their opinion on whether or not it could help the sale of your home go faster and smoother.
As you go about your annual spring cleaning rituals, take a few additional steps to save money on energy bills, improve your home’s appearance and ward off big-ticket repairs later.
Here are 10 tips for you to help prepare your home for warmer months and keep it in top shape..
Inspect the AC: For about $75 to $200, a technician will tune up your cooling system and make sure you don’t spend the first hot weekend of the year with an out-of-commission air conditioner. Dirty filters make your air conditioner work harder, increasing energy costs and possibly damaging your equipment. Check them monthly and replace them as needed!
Clean Out The Gutters: Gutter cleaning generally costs $90 to $225 for a 2,000 square-foot home.
Repair Your Roof: An easy way to inspect the roof to find damage is to use a pair of binoculars. If need be, hire a handyman or a roofer to repair any missing shingles or other damages. Make sure to clean out roof drains to avoid damaging the roof and causing leaks.
Pressure Wash Your Home: Clean your home’s exterior to remove accumulated dirt, mold and stains from the siding, deck, sidewalks, driveway, garage floor, fences, and lawn furniture. You can rent a pressure washer or hire someone to help.
Wash The Windows
Prepare To Mow: A dull lawn mower blade doesn’t slice, but instead tears grass leaving it vulnerable to disease, sun damage, and insects. A blade typically needs sharpening once or twice a year, or more often depending on how big your yard is.
Lose The Lint: Make sure to clean your clothes dryer’s lint trap before every use. A clogged vent can reduce your dryer’s efficiency and create a fire hazard.
Put The Temperature on Autopilot: For an initial investment of $50 to $150 dollars for a programmable thermostat, you can save about $180 annually on cooling and heating bills. Set the hold feature for a constant, efficient temperature when you’re away for the weekend or on vacation.
Caulk The Cracks: If the gap around a door or a window is wider than a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. Add weatherstripping around doors, making sure that you cant see any daylight from the inside of your home.
Repair Sidewalks and Driveways: Fix any breakdown in concrete or asphalt before it worsens. You can patch or fill surface cracks, chips or flaking concrete yourself using cement repair products. For deeper cracks, call a professional. To increase the longevity of your driveway, have asphalt resealed every two to five years, depending on climate and wear patterns. Have concrete resealed every one to three years.
Home improvement projects often call for risky practices. We
always preach safety first, but we don’t always practice what we preach. Home Tips recently wrote an article passing along some tips for those of you tackling home improvement projects this Spring.
Accidents can happen. You need to be especially careful when you are working at heights; with power tools or sharp blades; with heavy, awkward, or toxic materials; or with electricity and natural gas. It isn’t worth it to do your own home improvements if you run a high risk of injuring yourself.
1. Tackle only those tasks that you feel safe handling.
2. Keep a tidy work area. Keeping a tidy work area helps you to avoid creating your own hazards. Don’t allow power cords to tangle. Pick up and properly store power tools, sharp tools. or dangerous materials that might cause injury. Pull all nails from old lumber.
3. Keep tools and supplies away from the reach of small children.
4. Dress for safety. Don’t work in flip-flops and shorts. Sturdy clothing, work boots, and gloves will protect you. Wear safety glasses when you use power tools, hammers, or other striking or cutting tools. If you are going to be working beneath construction, get a hard hat.
5. When using a ladder, position it on a flat, firm surface. As you climb or reach, keep your weight centered. Do not lean on one side, keep your hips between the rails and never stand on the top two rungs. When using the extension ladder to reach the roof, extend at least two rungs about the eaves this way you can hold on to the ladder as you step onto the roof.
6. Don’t go up on the roof in bad weather.
7. Equip your garage or workshop and your home with fire extinguishers. Every home should have two working fire extinguishers. Be sure they are large enough to handle home fires; they need to be rated a minimum size of “2A10BC” on the label. Periodically check them to make sure they are fully charged.
8. Protect yourself against exposure to hazardous chemicals and materials. Many varnishes, solvents, preservatives, adhesives, and other products used to accomplish projects contain hazardous ingredients. Pay attention to all label warnings, including instructions about proper ventilation.
9. Dust and fibers can be hazardous to breathe. When sanding wood, wear a dust mask. Never sand, scrape, or dislodge surfaces that you suspect contain asbestos; doing so can put highly hazardous fibers into the air.
10. Always keep a good first-aid kit on hand.
For more information and safety tips read the original article here.
October 13, 2012: Robertsville Volunteer Fire Co. is holding an Open House on Fire Prevention from 10a – 2p. Location: 94 Route 520
October 19, 2012: This is the entry deadline for the Freehold Soil Conservation District annual photo contest open to adults (over age 18). Entry forms and rules may be found at http://www.freeholdscd.org under Events.
There are so many options for remodeling, revamping, updating, and upgrading your home, but how do you know which projects are worth it? Should you invest in adding more bedrooms, or would your money be better spent revamping the kitchen? Here we break town the top 5 home remodeling projects that will really pay off.
Kitchen– The biggest concern for many home buyers is the kitchen. This room can make it or break it when you’re trying to sell your home. Go for bigger, more open designs that offer lots of counter space, storage space, and elbow room. Also, if you can afford to update your appliances, do! The refrigerator and the stove are the biggest, and arguably most important, appliances in your kitchen, so start with those.
Bathroom– Second only to the kitchen, the bathrooms are the most important rooms in your home to consider remodeling; this is especially true for the master bath-it should exude luxury and relaxation. If your home currently has just one bathroom, it would be wise to consider adding a second one to increase the value of your home and to make it more appealing to buyers. Thinking about having to share one bathroom amongst everyone in the house can be a major turn off for many potential buyers.
Replace the windows – Although replacing windows in your home can be a pricey investment, it is certainly one that will pay off in the end. New windows will not only improve the look of your home and enhance curb appeal, but they can also help to lower energy costs, which is a definite plus in the eyes of a potential homebuyer (and its good for you while you’re waiting to sell).
Replace the siding – Vinyl siding has become somewhat outdated, and it is important for you to know that it is not the only option when it comes to replacing exterior of your home. Fiber cement siding, clapboard siding, and siding that resembles brick, stone or wood are just some of the alternatives. As with new windows, new siding enhances curb appeal and has been shown to help a home sell faster.
Reserve space for a home office – More and more people are finding ways of working from home, so a home office is an appealing addition for many potential homebuyers. And, for homebuyers who work outside the home, the home office can be converted into a nursery, a sunroom, or serve many other purposes. The flexibility and option of having this extra room is a real kicker for many buyers today.