Ponderosa...At Home

Seasonal changes definitely take place in Northern California! And along with that comes certain maintenance chores that are specific to the weather. Here are some great tips to keep your living and outdoor space in tip-top shape all year long.

Get to mowing. Did you know that you should mow your leaves instead of raking them during the winter? The cut-up leaves will fall among your grass blades and help nourish the lawn during the cooler months.

Spring is the best time to fertilize your lawn so it keeps looking great throughout the summer months.

Keeping it clean. Remember to replace and clean filters in your home once a month!  You’ll also need to check and clean your dryer vent, air conditioner and ceiling fans.

Safety first. Change smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries twice a year (a good rule of thumb – replace the batteries when the time changes in the fall and the spring). Inspect your fire extinguisher at the same time to make sure it’s working properly.

Tree-trimming time. Late winter is the ideal time to prune your trees and shrubs. Your plants have lain dormant and prepared for spring growth. A trimming will encourage their bloom.

Flip the switch. Make sure your ceiling fan blades are reversed during the cold months to help circulate hot air into a room. And here’s more great news – you’ll save money with this helpful tip due to increased energy efficiency. Flip the switch back in the warmer months to ensure the circulation of cool air.

Chim – Chimney. Now’s the time to have a professional chimney sweep clean out your fireplace. Getting rid of soot buildup during the cold months is more than just a matter of cleanliness. A deep clean of the chimney might prevent fire.

No gutter trouble. Clean your gutters so that leaves and debris don’t result in a clog! You’ll also want to clean your drain pipes and position them to drain away from your home. Put this on your schedule every spring and fall.

Another purpose for curtains. They’re not just for shade! Layer your window décor to make your home even warmer during the winter. Cotton flannel or curtains made of insulation material will do the trick.

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It’s Finally Fall

September 26, 2014

You’ll soon need to prepare for cooler weather in NorCal! Here are some fall maintenance tips to keep your home and garden in tip-top shape.

Get to work! Having clean gutters makes all the difference to ensure that water is diverted off of your home’s exterior and foundation walls. Clogged drainage systems can lead to major damage, so once the leaves start to fall, it’s time to call a landscaper – or grab the ladder and get to work.

Fall fire safety. It’s that time of year to replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Vacuum the systems with a soft brush to remove dust and press the test button to test the detectors. It’s also a great time to check for damage and replace fire extinguishers. Replace these units every six years, and keep one in the kitchen and on each floor of the home. Here’s how to check a fire extinguisher:

  • Check that the indicator on the pressure gauge is charged
  • Make sure the lock pin is intact
  • Inspect the discharge nozzle for clogs

Staying dry. Remember to clean the space under and behind the dryer, where lint can build up. Also clean the vent and exhaust duct periodically to prevent fires and to keep your dryer running smoothly. It’s especially important to clean the lint trap after every load. Hopefully you’ll even find a lost sock or two!

Love your yard in fall. Don’t neglect your landscaping during fall. Fix dead patches in your lawn by laying sod and planting perennial flowers that will blossom in cold weather. You’ll need to adjust the height of your lawn mower to its normal height. Care for your patio by packing up and storing patio furniture as the weather cools down.

Stay warm and enjoy a fun-filled fall in the Bay Area!

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While temperatures are high in Northern California, there are some great ways to beat the heat this summer. Here are five simple tips to help you keep cool and enjoy the rest of this warm season.

  • Get fit! Exercise in the early morning or early evening to prevent heat-related illnesses.
  • Be cool as a cucumber. Stick a hot-water bottle in the freezer to create an ice pack that will keep you from overheating while sleeping.
  • Ease up on the hot water. Take showers with cool or tepid water temperature.
  • Turn down the lights in your home. Not only will dimming your lights help to save on your electric bill, it will also keep indoor temps cooler.
  • Stay refreshed! Keep a spray bottle in the refrigerator to mist your face after spending time outdoors.


We hope you are enjoying your summer and find these cooling tips to be useful!

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Spring is almost over, so it’s time to pull out your maintenance checklist and prepare your home to transition summer.  Here are 6 tips to get you started to keep your home in tip-top shape this season.

1. Did you know that the U.S. Fire Administration reports over 15,000 dryer fires each year? Remember to give your dryer vent a thorough cleaning this summer using a vent-cleaning brush kit. It’s more effective than using your household vacuum cleaner.

2. It’s time to clean the exterior glass of your home! Wash your windows this summer so you can enjoy crystal clear views all year long.

3. You’re going to want to spend plenty of time in your backyard – so help promote healthy lawn and garden growth by planning a watering schedule.

4. Grab a ladder because it’s time to clean your gutters! Prevent water damage to your home by washing out the built-up debris that can collect during the cooler months.

5. Just like resetting your clocks for daylight saving time, you’ll want to reverse the direction of your ceiling fan blades for the summer to circulate cooler air and save money this season.

6. You’ll have plenty of outdoor gatherings to prepare for – so don’t forget to give your grill a deep cleaning.

Happy summer!

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