Archive for September, 2014

6 Fall Lawn Care Secrets

Posted on: September 26th, 2014 | No Comments

Fall lawn care basics. In the fall, lawn care is tricky. Temperatures are beginning to descend. Days are becoming shorter. Soon the trees will be covered in fiery coats, and then they will shed their leaves onto the lush green grass you took so much time to care for over the hot summer months. As winter nears, your lawn will go dormant and may even become covered in a blanket of snow. These seasonal changes require an increased awareness. Improper fall lawn care could result in rotted roots, insect infestations, and other problems that delight pesky spring garden gnomes.

 

Here is our complete list of the six fall lawn care secrets the garden gnomes don’t want you to know – shh!

  • Fertilization will boost spring growth. Many proud yard owners don’t realize that grass roots keep growing during the winter months, even if your yard is snow-covered. Fertilization in the fall provides additional nutrients that supply a boost to your lawn until the snow melts and spring arrives.
  • Power seeding increases turf density, reducing insect and weed damage. Want thicker grass? Power seeding in your fall lawn care routine increases turf density. Not only does this mean your grass will come in less patchy next year, it also reduces the space for nasty weeds and detrimental insects to take hold. Be careful not to overseed, as this could harm your turf in the long run. Professional fall lawn care teams can measure the right amount for your lawn’s needs.
  • Lawn aeration counters summer lawn traffic. All of those football games and grilling parties in the yard really condensed the grass. Aeration counters grass compaction and increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients reaching the roots.
  • Raking/blowing leaves off the lawn once per week increases its health. Autumn leaves may dress up the trees and even decorate a yard in fallen color, but the leaves can actually prevent sunlight from reaching your grass and shrubs. No sunlight means that your lawn greens can’t build up the food it needs to remain healthy through the winter.
  • Fall is the best time to discover pest problems and take preventative steps for spring. Grubs and other insects can destroy roots, not to mention eat certain shrubs outright. Analyzing your yard and treating it for pests is crucial to fall lawn care and gives your lawn a head start for the spring. And since certain chemicals may be applied to treat your yard, what better time than the chilly fall to have to keep your family off of it?
  • Winterizing shrubs/trees prevents moisture loss and accidents. Maintaining your lawn also means maintaining the other components of your yard, as the system works together. Note that certain evergreens experience extreme loss of moisture in the fall and winter. To help prevent this dehydration and keep your yard healthy, you can apply a special oil to trunks. In addition, trim back limbs that overhang your house and walkways. When covered in snow or potentially frozen and brittle, they could break off and fall onto/around your house which could end in costly repairs.

Keeping your yard healthy and pest-free starts with fall lawn care. Power seeding, aerating, fertilizing, and other practices will ensure a healthier and more aesthetically-pleasing lawn in the spring. This is especially important if you are looking to sell your house, as both the interior and exterior will be extensively checked for problems. Not to mention it will need to look its best!

 

If you are concerned about pests or other problems that might come up in the exterior checklist of a house inspection, take the first step by hiring Inspect-it 1st. Their quality inspection services will help give you peace of mind about the state and safety of your home.

8 Tips for Household Dust Control

Posted on: September 16th, 2014 | No Comments

Older woman practicing dust control in her home. When you were little, your parents might have warned you to beware of dust bunnies. And as you grew older, you thought that they were exaggerating to inspire you to be tidier and follow their cleaning rules for dust control. But the truth is that dust can be the vehicle for much nastier critters and chemicals than bunnies.

 

Depending on the age and state of your home, dust can carry asbestos, crumbling flecks of lead paint, or dozens of other harmful chemicals that are released from new furniture, cleaners, etc. In addition, dust may include dander, animal fur, and many allergen-causing agents. So allowing dust to just sit around and form “bunnies” that jump back into the air when disturbed can be quite as detrimental to your health as your parents originally suggested.

 

Instead of growing a “fluffle” of dust bunnies, crack down with these 8 tips for household dust control:

 

 

1. Simplify to decrease surface area.
Fewer surfaces means fewer places for dust to accumulate. Minimize knick-knacks, furniture, and other household items that don’t serve a purpose (other than as a home for dust bunnies).

 

2. Rearrange furniture.

Dust mites (and dust in general) cling to upholstered fabrics very easily. Upholstered furniture should be avoided in bedrooms and wherever else possible, so rearranged those pieces into the living room decor. Vacuum them along with your carpets to improve surface dust control.

 

3. Keep floors clear.

If you have kids or keep projects spread out across the floors of your homes (toys, puzzles, blankets, magazines, etc.), those items are gathering the dust that would otherwise be caught in the carpet and sucked up by the vacuum. Keeping your floor clear makes it easier to vacuum for optimal dust control.

 

4. Organize closets/shelves.
Closets, pantries, and shelves are huge dust collectors. Dust migrates and gets caught in corners and lurks behind shelved items waiting to stir up into the air when the items are shifted or removed. Just like the rest of your home, simplify what is displayed and stored in this way so that cleaning is easier and more effective.

 

5. Remove your shoes.
Dust control starts when you enter the door, dragging in debris and chemicals in the dust on your clothes and shoes. One option for preventing the spread of outside dust inside your home is by removing your shoes outside or by the front door.

 

6. Isolate pet toys and beds.
Pet toys and beds are horrible dust magnets. They get tossed around the carpets, forgotten in corners, and dragged through dirt on a daily basis. Eliminate finding dust bunnies where only your pet should be by running these items through a laundry cycle and isolating them when not in use (ie stored in a closed cupboard).

 

7. Wash linens regularly.
Dust falls onto made and disheveled beds and collects on the linens you sleep in each night. Improve your household dust control by washing bedding regularly. Even bedding in guest rooms that aren’t being used should be washed, especially prior to guests arriving.

 

8. Vacuum and clean surfaces weekly.
This tip for dust control seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, it’s tough to remember to clean before the dust gets noticeable or out of control. Mark your calendar with a sticker or note to remind yourself that it’s time to clean! Don’t forget areas like plant leaves and fans/lighting fixtures.
Dust bunnies are an unwanted collection of critters in every household. From mites to harsh chemicals and annoying allergens, dust can be a serious danger to your health. The eight steps listed above for maintaining dust control reduce the risk of health problems from dust and help keep your entire home clean and safe.

 

 

Keeping your home safe doesn’t stop here. There are many simple home maintenance tasks for both the interior and exterior of your house that can be accessed through Inspect-It 1st. The inspection professionals at Inspect-It 1st are dedicated to helping you fix potential home dangers and keeping your home comfortable, whether you are buying, selling, or just maintaining your home.

Our home inspection company's history began in 1991 with the establishment of American Home Inspection. Over the course of the following seven years, a home inspection business prototype was developed that could be implemented anywhere in the United States. Our founders believed they had a unique methodology of providing homebuyers and sellers with consistent, professional and unbiased home inspections.

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