Real Estate News

    • 10 Tips for Using a Generator Safely

      28 November 2022

      Whether it’s a hurricane, blizzard, Nor’easter or another variety of weather event, losing power for an extended period of time is not just an inconvenience—it can put your family’s well-being at risk.

      In light of this, many homeowners have opted to invest in a portable generator, a more affordable option than the whole-house variety. While a welcome addition to your home and emergency preparedness plan, a generator must be used properly in order to avoid risk. Be sure to keep the following ten tips in mind for safely operating a generator, courtesy of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). 

      1. Get to know your generator before you use it. Make sure your equipment is in good working order before starting it up. Do this well before a storm hits so that you are safely prepared for when you lose power.
      2. Thoroughly review the directions. Be sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions and review the owner’s manuals so that the equipment is operated safely. If you’ve misplaced your manual, you can probably find it online.
      3. Install a battery operated carbon monoxide detector in your home. This alarm will sound if it detects dangerous levels of carbon monoxide within your home. 
      4. Have the right fuel on hand. Use the type of fuel recommended by the generator manufacturer. According to OPEI, it is illegal to use any fuel with more than 10% ethanol in outdoor power equipment. While fresh fuel is always the best option, if you have to use fuel that’s been sitting in a gas can for more than 30 days, add fuel stabilizer to it. Store gas only in an approved container and away from heat sources.
      5. Ensure portable generators have plenty of ventilation. Generators should never be used in an enclosed area or placed inside a home, building or garage, even if the windows or doors are open. Place the generator outside and away from windows, doors and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to drift indoors.
      6. Keep the generator dry. Do not use a generator in wet conditions. Cover and vent a generator. Model-specific tents or generator covers can be found online for purchase and at home centers and hardware stores.
      7. Only add fuel to a cool generator. Before refueling, turn the generator off and let it cool down.
      8. Plug in safely. If you don’t yet have a transfer switch, you can use the outlets on the generator. It’s best to plug in appliances directly to the generator. If you must use an extension cord, it should be heavy-duty and designed for outdoor use. Make sure the cord is free of cuts, and the plug has all three prongs.
      9. Install a transfer switch. A transfer switch connects the generator to the circuit panel and lets you power hardwired appliances. Most transfer switches also help avoid overload by displaying wattage usage levels.
      10. Do not use the generator to “backfeed” power into your home electrical system. Trying to power your home’s electrical wiring by “backfeeding” – where you plug the generator into a wall outlet – is dangerous. You could hurt utility workers and neighbors served by the same transformer. Backfeeding bypasses built-in circuit protection devices, so you could damage your electronics or start an electrical fire.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 6 Ways to Tackle Termites

      28 November 2022

      Responsible for more than $5 billion worth of damage per year in the U.S., termites can quickly wreak havoc on your home. With the ability to feast on wood and other food sources 24 hours a day, it doesn’t take long for a small problem to turn into an infestation.  

      To make matters worse, structural damage due to termites is rarely covered by homeowners insurance. That’s why taking preventative measures is essential to protecting your home and your budget. Here are some tips for staving off a termite issue before it becomes a costly crisis:

      Be on the look-out. Termites aren't always easy to spot, as they are similar to the size of a pavement ant and pale in color. When looking around your home, keep an eye out for the telltale signs, such as mud tunnels coming up the slab or piers of your home or “pinholes” in the sheetrock or paneling. 

      Get rid of cardboard. If you've just moved in or have many deliveries a day, it's important to get rid of cardboard as soon as possible as termites love to chew on boxes. When it comes to storing items, choose plastic bins instead.

      Keep things tidy inside and out. Many homeowners make the mistake of leaving debris, such as leaves and soil build-up, around the base of the home. This serves as food for termites, so be sure to remove dead trees and stumps, consider a mulch alternative and remove piles of clutter inside, such as books, newspapers and magazines, which also serve as food for termites.

      Check the wood around your house. Take the time to check the wooden beams and exposed wood (including furniture) around your house. Press your thumb or fingers against exposed wood and if the wood crumbles, you probably have termites. If you catch it early, you can get rid of termites and stop the damage.

      Reduce moisture. Keep a watchful eye on your air conditioner or leaky pipes that could moisten the wood around them, inviting termites in for a meal. Fix any broken roof tiles that may allow in moisture, and ensure proper ventilation to reduce humidity and moisture levels.

      Have an annual inspection. One of the best ways to have peace of mind, and catch an infestation early, is to have an annual inspection by a pest management professional. Look for a termite warranty as well, which may cover any future damage and repairs due to termites.

      Source: Erlich Pest Control

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 6 Brain Foods You Need to Add to Your Diet

      28 November 2022

      Usually, our dietary choices are dictated by our waistlines in a seemingly endless quest to increase protein, cut carbs, eat more vegetables or whatever the latest trend for shedding pounds happens to be.

      One area of our bodies that we rarely associate with diet, however, is our brains. But the fact of the matter is, we can help our minds stay sharp and focused with a regular intake of certain foods. The health experts at marthastewart.com recommend the following:

      1. Leafy Green Vegetables. This is certainly not the first time you’ve been told to eat your greens and it probably won’t be the last. With a multitude of vitamins and health benefits, spinach, kale, arugula, parsley and romaine lettuces contain the nutrients lutein, vitamin K, nitrate, folate, alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene and kaempferol, which have all been associated with better brain health. Try to consume at least two-and-a-half cups of vegetables per day, making sure that one of those cups comes from leafy greens.
      2. Fatty Fish. Fish that contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids help your arteries function better and lower your cholesterol—both of which are important for brain function. Which varieties do the trick? Salmon, light tuna, cod and pollack, which also have low mercury levels.
      3. Walnuts. While there are many nuts that are good for your health, research says that walnuts are rich in an omega-3 fatty compound that leads to improved cognitive performance. 
      4. Coffee. Great news for coffee lovers! Turns out the beloved morning drink may also be good for your brain! According to research, increased caffeine consumption can lead to higher mental functioning, potentially reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. 
      5. Dark Berries. The dark shades found in blueberries and blackberries come from a plant chemical known as flavonoids, known to have a variety of health benefits, such as supporting memory retention. Try to get at least one cup of these dark berries per week.
      6.  Dark Chocolate. Saving the best for last, dark chocolate is also rich in brain-boosting flavonoids thanks to its high concentration of cacao. So treat yourself to an indulgent square each day and know that you’re doing something positive for your health.
      Map out your weekly meal plan with the above foods in mind so that you’re sure to get your share of brain-benefitting nutrients. Short on time? Throw some of the above into a smoothie, toss some walnuts in a salad or your morning oatmeal, or grab a tuna sandwich for lunch. With just a little focus, you’ll be able to eat these foods on the regular. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Healthy Winter Habits to Maintain Health

      25 November 2022

      (Family Features) Another cough and cold season calls for healthy preparation, and while there may not be a foolproof plan for escaping pesky germs, taking preventive steps and practicing self-care can help protect your health.
       
      You can catch a cold or flu any time of the year, but they seem more common during the cooler months.
       
      “As much as we all would love a quick cure for the common cold, unfortunately, that doesn't exist,” said Ian K. Smith, MD. “However, there are many options one can try to relieve cold and flu symptoms, including over-the-counter medications. These medications can provide fast and much-needed relief.”
       
      Reduce the chances you’ll contract a serious illness this cold season by following these tips from the experts at Mucinex:
       
      Make handwashing a priority. Preventive measures like washing your hands often can significantly lower your odds of getting sick. In fact, handwashing is such a powerful tool against germs that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compared it to a “do-it-yourself vaccine.” Wash regularly with soap and water for about 20 seconds, especially when handling food, caring for someone sick or after using the restroom.
       
      Make overall wellness a way of life. Adopting healthy everyday habits means your body is in better condition to fight off potential attacks by germs and combat an illness more effectively if you do get sick. A well-balanced diet that includes moderate portions from each of the major food groups can help ensure you’re getting the nutrition and nutrients your body needs. Staying physically active can help promote a stronger immune system. Getting enough sleep and making sure you’re drinking enough water can also ensure your body is ready for whatever the season brings.
       
      Stock up on necessary supplies. If you do get sick, the best place for you is at home, where you can nurse yourself back to health. That means having the essentials on hand, like over-the-counter medications to treat uncomfortable cold and flu symptoms. Be sure to check last year’s leftovers, as some may have expired. A shopping list to fight common cold and flu symptoms should include pain relievers, fever reducers, decongestants, antihistamines, throat lozenges and cough suppressants, as well as plenty of facial tissue, a working thermometer, humidifier and more. Also update your supply of hand sanitizer and disinfecting cleaners and sprays to protect family members in your home.
       
      Relieve bothersome symptoms. When you’re under the weather, treating your symptoms gives you a reprieve and lets your body rest so you can get back to feeling better. A cough is a common cold symptom, and relieving chest congestion that causes you to cough frequently can make a big difference. An option like Mucinex Extended-Release Bi-Layer Tablets, with the No. 1 pharmacist recommended expectorant, is clinically proven to relieve chest congestion and thin and loosen mucus to make your cough more productive for up to 12 hours. If symptoms persist, contact your health care professional.
       
      Do your part to prevent spreading germs. If you do get sick, know you can take steps to protect those around you. Simple acts like covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and using your elbow if you don’t have a tissue can be effective in preventing the spread of germs. It’s also important to wash your hands well and keep a distance from others to help prevent the spread of your illness.
       
      Find more advice for preventing illness and protecting yourself this cough and cold season at Mucinex.com.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 10 Tips for Using a Generator Safely

      25 November 2022

      Whether it’s a hurricane, blizzard, Nor’easter or another variety of weather event, losing power for an extended period of time is not just an inconvenience—it can put your family’s well-being at risk.

      In light of this, many homeowners have opted to invest in a portable generator, a more affordable option than the whole-house variety. While a welcome addition to your home and emergency preparedness plan, a generator must be used properly in order to avoid risk. Be sure to keep the following ten tips in mind for safely operating a generator, courtesy of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). 

      1. Get to know your generator before you use it. Make sure your equipment is in good working order before starting it up. Do this well before a storm hits so that you are safely prepared for when you lose power.
      2. Thoroughly review the directions. Be sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions and review the owner’s manuals so that the equipment is operated safely. If you’ve misplaced your manual, you can probably find it online.
      3. Install a battery operated carbon monoxide detector in your home. This alarm will sound if it detects dangerous levels of carbon monoxide within your home. 
      4. Have the right fuel on hand. Use the type of fuel recommended by the generator manufacturer. According to OPEI, it is illegal to use any fuel with more than 10% ethanol in outdoor power equipment. While fresh fuel is always the best option, if you have to use fuel that’s been sitting in a gas can for more than 30 days, add fuel stabilizer to it. Store gas only in an approved container and away from heat sources.
      5. Ensure portable generators have plenty of ventilation. Generators should never be used in an enclosed area or placed inside a home, building or garage, even if the windows or doors are open. Place the generator outside and away from windows, doors and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to drift indoors.
      6. Keep the generator dry. Do not use a generator in wet conditions. Cover and vent a generator. Model-specific tents or generator covers can be found online for purchase and at home centers and hardware stores.
      7. Only add fuel to a cool generator. Before refueling, turn the generator off and let it cool down.
      8. Plug in safely. If you don’t yet have a transfer switch, you can use the outlets on the generator. It’s best to plug in appliances directly to the generator. If you must use an extension cord, it should be heavy-duty and designed for outdoor use. Make sure the cord is free of cuts, and the plug has all three prongs.
      9. Install a transfer switch. A transfer switch connects the generator to the circuit panel and lets you power hardwired appliances. Most transfer switches also help avoid overload by displaying wattage usage levels.
      10. Do not use the generator to “backfeed” power into your home electrical system. Trying to power your home’s electrical wiring by “backfeeding” – where you plug the generator into a wall outlet – is dangerous. You could hurt utility workers and neighbors served by the same transformer. Backfeeding bypasses built-in circuit protection devices, so you could damage your electronics or start an electrical fire.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.