Always Home Blog
Words of advice from our service providers
- Make sure to use your alarm system when you are n town. Not only are you more likely to have a burglary in season but you need to exercise the system to ensure it is working properly.
- Check your water temperature. We recommend when away to turn down your water heater temperature. Now is the time to reset. We recommend 120 degrees, which will provide water warm enough for a comfortable shower or washing dishes but not burning hot.
- If you haven't cleaned your dryer vents in years now is the time. Not only will your dryer work more efficiently but you will reduce the chance of a vent fire.
- Check your washing machine hose and refrigerator water line for leaks. These two areas account for the majority of water leaks in a home.
- Change out the air filters. Even though you may not have been in the home they have still been working. We recommend every 3 months and even more frequently if you have pets.
- House smelling a little musty? Want to freshen it up? Place an air freshener in your air intake duct in your central HVAC system right behind your air filter. Remove the air filter. If there is no ledge to place the freshener, screw in a hook, insert the freshener in a stocking or old pantie hose and hang from the hook. Your air throughout the house will be fresh as a daisy.
Always Home is deeply involved in storm preparedness.
We have a Storm Watch program that handles the putting up and taking down of your hurricane shutters in advance of a hurricane warning. One lesson we have learned is that it is mandatory to perform a comprehensive inventory and practice installation before your home is fully prepared. Our experience has shown that 80% of homes (including new construction) have deficiencies. Shutters missing or don't fit, hardware missing and bolts that do not align with insert holes. The major box stores no longer stock the necessary bolts and tools that you will require to install your shutters. There is a solution - Always Home.
If you would like us to assume responsibility for this service give us a call. Visit our web site for important information on preparing for a storm. www.gotoalwayshome.com
Basic Preparedness Tips - Don't neglect these simply steps
Know where to go.
If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.
Put together a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate
If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.
Make a family emergency communication plan.
Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications.To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word "alerts."
Preparing Your Home ... It's a necessity
Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.
Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
Hurricane Watch ... Conditions possible within 48 hours
Steps to Take:
Review your evacuation route(s) & listen to local officials.
Review the items in your disaster supply kit; and add items to meet the household needs for children, parents, individuals with disabilities or other access and functional needs or pets.
Hurricane Warning ... Conditions are expected within 36 hours
Steps to take:
Follow evacuation orders from local officials, if given. Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
Follow the hurricane timeline preparedness checklist, depending on when the storm is
anticipated to hit and the impact that is projected for your location.
What To Do When a Hurricane is 6 Hours Away
If you're not in an area that is recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or where you are and let friends and family know where you are.
Close storm shutters, and stay away from windows. Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
Do Dishwasher Duty
Once a week, shake baking soda on a damp sponge and wipe around the machine's edges to remove stuck-on food or stains.
To clean the inside, run an empty cycle with Dishwasher Magic, a product designed to kill bacteria like E.coli. "During cold and flu season, add a quarter-cup of bleach to the regular dish cycle to kill bacteria," says Brian McCarthy. The dishes will be safe and sanitized after the rinse cycle is finished.
One of the advantages of Always Home membership is your access to our concierge desk.
What a bargain at $55/year! Call or email Monday through Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm with your requests. It's no surprise that housekeeping is our #1 request. We have a cadre of third party service providers on call to address your needs.
Remember it normally takes two weeks in season and one week off season to schedule a quality cleaning service without paying a premium. If you're on a regular periodic Valerie McCarthy, President program its much easier to make minor changes. Here are some cleaning tips you will find both useful and amusing.
Give us a call.
1. Sanitize Your Sponges
Sponges gross me out. I just feel like they are perfect for harboring millions of germs. I do like the sponges with the rough side for scrubbing out hard- to-clean pots and pans, but end up throwing them out before their life cycle is over. What a waste!
Instead, put them in the microwave for a couple of minutes and watch as the microbes sizzle away. 2 minutes and it will kill 99% of germs!
2. Kitchen Cabinet Gunk Removal
Have you taken a close look at your cabinet doors lately, especially around the handles? You'd be surprised at how much gunk can accum
ulate over time. To be honest, I'm not sure that I've ever given my cabinet doors a good scrub. Yikes! This cabinet cleaner only requires 2 ingredients, and you probably already have them right in the cabinet that needs to be cleaned.
1 part vegetable oil 2 parts baking soda
Mix together with a spoon and go crazy! I like to use my fingers when I use baking soda, because I feel like I can really work the fine grains of baking soda into the surface best that way. But you can certainly use a cloth or a sponge if you prefer to keep your hands mess-free.
3. Clean Small Toys
I've never thought to wash anything in my washing machine other than clothes, but I suppose a laundry bag can make it possible to clean so much more, including small Lego pieces! You could also use this concept in the dishwasher.
4. Cooking Sheet Cleaner
I actually have a few cookie sheets that look just like that - gross! They seem to rust and get grimy really fast. I just cover them with foil before doing any actual baking. Is it time for a cleaning? I think so. Not only does this cookie sheet only require two ingredients but there's also no scrubbing required! Just let it sit and do its job while you tackle other things. Here re the 4 steps.
Sprinkle baking soda Sprinkle hydrogen peroxide
Wait 2 hours Wash it off
5. Clean Fan Blades With A Pillowcase
If you're anything like me, you have about a dozen extra pillowcases lying around in a spare closet. Wait, is that just me? Use one to slide onto the blades of your ceiling fans, and then wipe the blades off inside the case. No more dust in your face! So quick and easy, too.
Season Special $55 ... regularly $99
Always Home services are provided exclusively to its members. For less than $5/month you can call or email our concierge desk and request a one-time service or add any number our services to meet your home management needs. Membership also entitles you to discounts with our Preferred Vendors and Contractors and many merchants around town. All our vendors are background checked and meet "Best Practices" in their service category.
Membership entitles you to:
Always Home's Services:
Absentee Homeowner, Seasonal Rental, Annual Rental,Home Inspections, Construction Management
Gold Key Service Provider Discounts - 10% OFF or more
Lawn Maintenance, Lawn pest control, Pool/spa care, Household pest control, HVAC maintenance, Plumbing maintenance, Housekeeping, and a whole lot more
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