Show Notes: The End of Summer is Near!
The end of summer is upon us!
You don’t want to hear it, I’m sure. But it’s important to prepare your home properly!
Looking ahead to the end of summer now can help you enjoy the moments during the fall and winter!
The End of Summer is Near – Maybe!
6 Home Maintenance Tasks You Should Tackle in August
The dog days of summer are barking and Labor Day is just around the bend, signaling the end of yet another epic season in the sun. But before you give your flamingo pool float one last hurrah, take a break with some home maintenance prep for the changing season ahead.
We know what you’re thinking: It’s still summer, and you’re being a buzzkill! Why worry now about what you can do next month? Well, as it turns out, some home maintenance tasks are best tackled in August, before temperatures start dipping.
1. Check your washing machine connections
With the kids home from school and loads of sweaty garments to clean, your washing machine has likely taken a major beating this summer. With all that extra use, be sure to check that the water supply
2. Prune dead wood from your lawn and garden
Now’s the time to tidy up your perennials and clear those unsightly dead twigs and branches, according to Tony Smith, president of Nursery Enterprises in Rexburg, ID.
Not only will you have a more attractive yard, but “by cleaning them out this summer, you’ll create a clean slate—and next summer you’ll have a better grasp in understanding your plants’ health.” Smith says.
3. Clear your gutters
Grab a ladder and shimmy up to the roof to inspect your gutters and drains, taking care to wear proper hand and eye protection. A simple garden trowel is effective for clearing most debris.
4. Deal with wasps, mosquitoes, and other insects
Wasp activity peaks in late summer; these insects become more aggressive and likely to sting in, you guessed it, August. So you’ll want to spray for wasps and eliminate them, pronto.
DIY: “The first step to eliminating a wasp nest is to identify where the colony lives,” says Dave Patterson, owner of Tactix Pest Control in Boise, ID. “Scan your lawn, looking for activity close to the ground. Once you find where the wasps are coming and going, apply wasp treatment to the entrance. Repeat this step every few days until you no longer see any activity.”
Patterson also recommends patrolling your property for stagnant water, which can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
“First, drain any areas that are holding water—this step alone should significantly cut down on mosquito activity,” he says. This means birdbaths, planters, or any other places where rainfall might have accumulated. “For further prevention, invest in forms of mosquito repellant like citronella candles, mosquito traps, and bug zappers.”
Finally, check the seals around your home, including doors, windows, and dryer vents. Caulk or expanding sealants should be more than enough to seal most openings, according to Patterson.
5. Clean your natural stone
“After a summer filled with nonstop grilling fests, family gatherings, and just general outdoor fun and wear and tear, it’s important to properly clean natural stone around your home—whether it’s outdoor granite countertops, stone walkways, or patios—to prevent food, dirt, and oil stains from setting in and leaving permanent marks,” says James Freeman, chief operating officer of Colonial Marble & Granite.
DIY: Start by dusting off stone surfaces, because abrasive materials such as dirt or sand (carried home from weekend getaways) can cause damage. Avoid using harsh cleaning products on natural stone; instead, choose a gentle cleanser with a neutral pH (preferably without soap, which causes streaks and film) and a soft cloth. For a longer-lasting finish and better protection against stains and grime, consider applying a water-based penetrating sealer.
6. Get your furnace prepped for winter
“When residential furnaces fail, they typically do so during the coldest days of the year, which is why it’s important to have these systems inspected in August before temperatures drop,” says Michael Petri, owner of Petri Plumbing & Heating, in New York City. “An annual tune-up and inspection can help homeowners save money, maintain comfort, and ensure safety when units are turned on for the first time in several months.”
Palo Alto Festival of the Arts
Dates: Saturday, 8/24 & Sunday, 8/25
The gorgeous University Avenue becomes a fine art street fair with over 300 different vendors showing, and selling, their crafts to all. This is one of the best SF Bay Area events in August and always is a great way to spend a few days in the later part of the month.
This two day event usually draws around 175,000 people and includes both food and wine booths for you to enjoy. There are also musicians and other entertainers in case you want to take a break and just relax for a while.
Don’t miss out on one of the largest SF Bay Area events in August. It starts at 10 am and ends at 6 pm each day
Chocolate & Chalk Art Fair
Date: Saturday, 8/24
Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto is home to this fair which is a treat for your eyes and for your taste buds. Starting at 10 am and ending at 5 pm, you can get your fill of delicious chocolate treats, the chance to enjoy live music, get your face painted and, of course, learn how to do street chalk art. There is even a contest where you can win cash and prizes for the best chalk art.
This is a great event for kids of all ages since there are bouncy castles, and balloon twisters for the youngsters. It’s also one of the great SF Bay Area events in August
A Great Place to Get Earthquake Information is the California Earthquake Authority.
We spoke with Glenn Pomeroy, the CEO of the California Earthquake Authority t discuss earthquake grants and rates.
- CEA has expanded its CEA Brace + Bolt program to offer more CEA policyholders a grant of up to $3,000 toward the cost of a seismic retrofit to help them strengthen older houses and make them less vulnerable to earthquake damage. Details are available at https://www.ceabracebolt.com/.
- CEA policyholders who participate in this program and complete a code-compliant seismic retrofit are then eligible for a discount of up to 25 percent on their CEA earthquake insurance premium. Details are available at https://www.earthquakeauthority.com/California-Earthquake-Insurance-Policies/Earthquake-Insurance-Policy-Premium-Discounts.
- Some CEA policyholders are seeing their premiums change as a result of a CEA rate change that was implemented July 1. CEA’s rates are based on the best available scientific information about earthquake risks. Details are available at https://www.earthquakeauthority.com/California-Earthquake-Insurance-Policies/Premium-Changes.
- Check out earthquakeauthority.com to learn more!
4 Ways to Rewild Your Garden
Learn how to transform your yard into a sanctuary for birds, bees, and other little critters.
Consciously choosing to ‘rewild’ your garden is a responsible thing to do, not a negligent one, and you can do this by making a few key changes:
1) Make a pond. It doesn’t have to be big; you can use a mixing bowl. His own pond measures 50cm (20 inches) x 90cm (35 in):
If you don’t want to make a pond, then at least provide a source of water, perhaps in the form of a bird bath or fountain. Animals are attracted to the sound of running water, and it prevents it from going stagnant.
2) Decorate your concrete. There’s always room for something to grow, whether it’s squeezing hedges and bushes along the sides of your driveway or planting ivy that can climb up the side of a house. After looking at some beautiful urban gardens in Bologna last week, I’ve discovered the power of large plant-filled pots, and how effective they are at creating a sense of lush greenery.
3) Stop mowing your lawn. An act of true rebellion in today’s era of obsessively perfect lawn-scaping, quitting the mower can result in a wildflower meadow in your own yard.
“If lawns are old and not weedkillered to death, they are full of different species of grass and herbs, many of which ‘flower’ as beautifully as flowers.
4) Plant less. Wait more. Many zealous gardeners buy expensive native perennials in an effort to make their space more natural and friendly to wildlife, but this can also be achieved for considerably less money and effort by waiting a year or two. Your garden will rewild itself naturally, and many of the flowers and trees that sprout will be more well-suited to your soil than an introduced species.
As long as the butterflies, cardinals, honeybees, mourning doves, and chipmunks continue to frequent it, you can’t be too far off the mark.
6 Winter Home Maintenance Projects You Should do in the Middle of Summer (Yes, Really!)
To avoid these and other household problems, we gathered insights from the pros to bring you a checklist of winter maintenance-musts—things you should do right now, smack dab in the middle of summer, even if it feels like it makes no sense.
So put down that icy Moscow mule and make sure your house is in tiptop shape by the time the weather turns cold. You’ll thank us later!
- Check the roof and gutters
Remodeling expert Cristina Miguelez of Fixr has an easy way for people to check if their roof is still in good shape: Start with the gutters.
“Check to see if there are excessive amounts of granules in your gutters, as these can indicate an issue with your roof,” she explains. “Also, look for missing roof shingles or water stains on the underside of your attic, as this can indicate a need for roof repair.”
It’s also important to clean out your gutters regularly—both after the winter season and during the summer and fall. Clean out leaves and debris that may be clogging the water runoff, to avoid incurring damage to the sides of your home.
Once cleared out, it’s also a good idea to inspect the gutters themselves for any damage that might be problematic during the next storm.
- Clean the windows
While this might seem purely aesthetic, dirt left on windows can cause more damage than you think, warns Tod Colbert, founder of Wisconsin-based Weather Tight.
“Window washing doesn’t just make your home look better and let the sunshine in,” Colbert says. “Neglecting to wash your windows regularly can cause your windows to wear out and break down faster.” And that’s not a problem you want to discover when temps dip below freezing.
- Repair the deck and clear vents
Decks and outdoor fixtures take a beating during spring storms, making summer virtually the only time to give them the TLC they need.
Look for any exposed wiring in outdoor fixtures, and examine the deck itself for structural damage. You should also be on the lookout for anything that might be building a home in your outdoor space.
“Inspect your decks and porches carefully for termites and other pests,” warns Stephanie Cooper of Top Cleaners.
Then take a moment and check any exterior vents for blockage. Take advantage of the warmer weather to do a full inspection, treating problems as they arise.
“Make sure vents and exhausts are not dented or closed off,” Colbert says. “Check your dryer vents and clean them out—dryer fires are a real concern, so make sure these lines are clear and lint-free.”
- Give your exterior a fresh coat of paint
Keep in mind that repainting and staining don’t just make your home look nice—they also protect your home’s natural features from the wear and tear of rain and snow. And if you have any exterior surfaces that need a refresh, the hot and dry days of summer will be your best chance to get the job done.
“Staining your decks and fences should be done during the summer, because it takes several days of warm weather to dry out the wood completely,” says associate broker Amber Ketchum of Coldwell Banker Bain in Seattle. “Exterior painting is the same as staining decks—you do not want rain. You also don’t want overly hot weather, so this can be a delicate balance, but warm weather is best so that you can give the paint time to dry.”
- Air out the house
Even if you’ve had the windows occasionally open, it’s still a good idea to take advantage of the warm weather to air out your house completely and clean large fabric items.
“Sunlight is great when it comes to naturally straightening the fibers of different household items and furniture—not to mention any molds or mildew,” Cooper says.
Mattresses, rugs, couch cushions, and bedding—these are all items you can clean and dry in the sun, Cooper says. And while you can certainly clean your couch any day of the year, the hot summer sun offers a fast and natural way to dry heavy layers of fabric that might otherwise accumulate mold.
“All mattresses should be taken outside to air out for at least half a day, and vacuum them afterward,” she says.
Give everything else a thorough wash and let them dry in the sun for a fresh, natural clean that rids your home of any leftover odors.
- Trim the trees
If you live in an area with lots of trees, summer is the ideal time to make sure none is at risk of falling down on your home or power lines.
“Utility companies generally do their part to make sure that the main lines are clear of debris and trees,” Colbert explains, “but you may be responsible for any line coming directly into your house.”
If you don’t feel comfortable removing hazardous trees or branches yourself, hire a professional to trim them for you. It’ll cost anywhere from $75 to $1,000 depending on the size of the job.
“You will certainly kick yourself if you neglect to maintain the trees and find yourself in the dark without heat because a wayward branch takes down your power line,” Colbert cautions.
Welcome to our New Affiliate – KLAM – AM 1450
Welcome to Cordova, Alaska
Situated in the southeastern end of Prince William Sound, near the mouth of the Copper River the Alaskan City of Cordova is quickly emerging as one of America’s best places to live, work, play, and visit.
Are You Starting Your Christmas Shopping Early? Do You Need a Unique Gift?
If you have a friend or relative that has everything and is impossible to shop for, we have some help for you! I can almost guarantee you this gift is as unique, as it is useful!
Your Derrière Deserves This Fancy Toilet Paper Embossed with Peaches
The idea of fancy toilet paper might sound a little unnecessary and over the top. But once you step into the world of fancy toilet paper—sorry, luxury bath tissue—you’ll never look back. Introducing: Peach Goods, the luxury bath tissue that’s taking the subscription world by storm.
At first glance, Peach luxury bath tissue might seem like a millennial trap. Every square is embossed with pastel peaches and its delicate packaging is fit for a photo shoot. But there’s a lot more to this product than meets the eye. Peach bath tissue is made in America and is sustainably crafted from natural and organic materials. It boasts the four Ps: It’s plush, premium, plant-based, and three-ply. There’s no chlorine, BPAs, plastic packaging, or other toxic chemicals to be found anywhere.
“It seems though every aspect of modern life has been examined, optimized, fine-tuned. So why is it that our most private moments are paid so little attention?” Aaron Doades, Peach Goods founder and CEO, writes on the company’s website. “We work with natural ingredients and American manufacturers to deliver a product that makes us proud. Our soft, durable bath tissue is made in America out of virgin fiber, without a chemical in sight. The result is an organic, 100% sustainable product.”
Peach Goods believes a little softness can go a long way and practices what it preaches. The company donates 10% of the profits from every sale to Safe Horizon, an organization that supports survivors of domestic abuse, child abuse, and human trafficking.
Once you sign up for a Peach subscription, thanks to monthly delivery, you’ll never be without a roll again. You can get 8 rolls for $24, 16 rolls for $34, or 24 rolls for $44. Plus, if you’re traveling, the Peach concierge will send product to your destination, so you really never have to be without it.
Got Wood Rot? Here is How to Repair It!
Wood Epoxy Repairs as Easy as 1-2-3
When dry wood makes contact with moisture or condensation in unventilated areas, there is a good chance that wood decay will occur. Common sources include faulty plumbing, leaky downspouts and rain leaks. The decomposition of wood is not a sudden occurrence; rather, the damage is gradual and remains inconspicuous until the final stages.
Your first reaction might be to replace the wood. But, have you considered restoring the wood instead? Replacing wood can be an expensive and time-consuming project. Depending on how far the fungus has spread, it could be impossible to replace the wood.
One of the effects of wood decay is the growth of fungus, which spread quickly and destroys the wood. Cutting out rotted areas is one possibility. However, this process might not remove all of the infected areas. Unless the fungus is removed completely, the rotting will continue until floor break or doors fall.
There is a do-it-yourself alternative to replacing wood: repairing damaged areas with epoxy. Most repairs can be completed in a few hours and can be simple to follow once you learn the process. Based on the extent of repairs needed, the tools you need include a drill, hammer, chisel, putty knife, chemical-resistant gloves, wood files and rasps. In addition to epoxy that is available at the local home improvement store, you will also need 80 and 120 grits sandpaper, wood consolidant and a small squeeze bottle.
Generally, this step-by-step process works best for cosmetic repairs. If there are structural concerns with a rotted wood area, a special type of epoxy is required.
There are three easy steps in the process of using liquid and putty-like epoxy material. With this process, you will be able to:
- Stop the progression of fungi and wood decay
• Restore damaged wood
• Add a layer of protection to your investment for many years
Step One: Investigate, Clean and Prep Area to be Restored
The first thing you want to do is investigate the area where the rot is occurring. Probe the surrounding area where the wood is damaged with a screwdriver. If the wood is soft and easily penetrated, it is rotten and should be reinforced with epoxy.
Once you have located the cause, begin removing the rotted wood. Strip off old paint with caution since it could contain lead. Use a lead-safe paint removal technique. Using a chisel or screwdriver, gouge out the rotted wood.
Next, use the drill to make several 1/4” holes around the area to be repaired. The holes are necessary so that moisture can escape and have a reservoir for the epoxy consolidant that is applied later to soak into water-damaged areas. Separate approximately one-inch apart and drill without going through the wood. If you make a mistake and drill through the wood, use painter’s putty or oil clay to plug the hole.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing the epoxy consolidant. Squeeze the mixture into each hole and onto the wood surface. Use a small disposable brush to begin working the consolidant into the wood. Continue until the wood is completely saturated.
Cover the area with a loose-fitting plastic tent to protect it from outside elements. Drying usually takes about one week, but dries quicker on dry, sunny days. However, you do not have to wait one week before you can begin using the epoxy filler. You can mix the filler and work in the first layer with a putty knife, which is discussed more in step two.
Step Two: Apply and Shape Epoxy to Area
Now, you are ready to mix the epoxy, fill the wood cavity and shape the wood area. Take a golf ball sized portion of the epoxy wood filler parts A and B, and mix both with a putty knife. The mixture should be blended after two or three minutes. Using the putty knife, fill the wood cavity with the epoxy filler. Press the epoxy hard in the areas to get a secure bond and to make sure all voids are filled.
Heat accelerates the hardening process of the epoxy; you have a 30 minute window in a 70 degree environment. Work in a shaded area to mix and apply the epoxy since coolness slows down the hardening process. A spotlight or hair dryer works well to speed up the hardening if necessary.
TIP: Make sure you label lids and mixing sticks to keep unwanted materials separate. For instance, if you put the lid from part A onto part B’s container, it will become glued. Always start with mixing boards and clean containers to avoid unwanted reactions. Contaminating new epoxy with an old mixture will decrease your working time.
Make sure you have on chemical-resistant rubber gloves to protect your hands. Overfill the wood area with the epoxy mixture and shape it using your fingers. Overfilling will ensure that there is enough to shape.
Use a scrap piece of wood to pat the epoxy as it is being shaped. Do not worry about making a perfect shape and add more filler if necessary. If the weather is warm, the epoxy will firm up in approximately three to four hours. The area might need to harden overnight in cooler weather.
Work in a well-ventilated area when using epoxy solvents.
Step Three: Smooth and Add Finishing Touch
The final step in repairing the wood area with epoxy is smoothing. You are ready to smooth out the area in a more defined shape and add a finishing touch. Test the epoxy with your fingernail. If you cannot make a dent, it is hard enough to file. Hardened epoxy is pliable for shaping and sanding with regular woodworking tools.
Rough out the contour with a plane or coarse rasp. This removes large quantities of material before you begin refining the shape. If you accidentally remove too much at once, you can add an extra layer of epoxy and repeat step two. Use the surrounding wood shape as a guide. Begin working on the details once the shape emerges. Generally, you may need half-round, round or flat wood files based on the shape you want to recreate.
Fine tune the area and smooth the epoxy with sandpaper once the shape you have the exact shape. Protect yourself with eye gear and a dust mask while sanding. Afterward, vacuum excess dust from the area and brush a primer over the epoxy. Spread primer the surrounding area of bare wood. Seal joints with polyurethane caulk in between separate parts before the final coat is applied.
Usually, you will need two coats of top-quality acrylic paint to finish the repair. Inspect the area periodically and add more caulk or paint as necessary. With a good paint job, your wood epoxy repair might outlast surrounding wood that was not treated.
Sunsetter Recalls Vinyl Covers for Motorized Awnings Due to Impact and Fall Hazards – One Death Reported
Vinyl covers for SunSetter Motorized Awnings have been recalled because if a powered awning is activated while the cover is secured with bungee tie-downs, when the cover is removed, the awning can open unexpectedly with enough force to strike a consumer standing in the awning’s path, causing them to fall and suffer death or serious injury.
~ Thank you~
A very special thank you to all of our callers! We live to answer your questions, so keep them coming!
Thank you to our Technical Support:
- Danny Bringer – Chief Engineer
- Carol “Remodeling Babe” Carey – Executive Producer
- Sam Reed – Associate Producer
- Rico Figliolini – Digital Master
Thank you for tuning in to make the most of these last wonderful days of summer! And check in next week for more cool tips!
“The End of Summer is Near!” Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers aired August 20, 2019.
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.