Ponderosa...At Home

Spring has sprung and now that we’re all firmly into the new season, it’s time to go beyond the annual spring cleaning with some seasonal home maintenance tips.

Winter weather means cold mornings, rainy nights and falling leaves, but now that the sun is shining it’s time to make sure your roof survived all that wear and tear. Check your roof for any signs of damage, look for cracks or missing shingles. If you came across any leaks during the rainy months, now is the perfect time to fix them while the weather cooperates.

Next up is the gutters. These pipelines face the same elements as your roof, so it’s important to keep them clean and unclogged. Check for loose or leaky portions and be aware that improper drainage can cause water to leak into the little nooks and crannies of your home.

An important part of general maintenance is to examine and check your chimney. The winter months are when it’s most in use, so have the flue inspected and the interior cleaned because you don’t want to be inhaling the remnants of winter throughout the year.

Lastly, it’s time to clean your decks, driveways and other exterior surfaces. No need to go overboard with a power washer, just make sure to thouroughly clean each surface specifically for its material. A wooden deck has different needs than a cement driveway, so make sure the tools and products you use will help increase the life of these outdoor areas.

Now that you’re home is back in tip-top shape, enjoy the beautiful days and warm weather the sunshine state will bring. Happy spring!

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Winter Maintenance Tips

January 23, 2017

With a new year comes new home care and maintenance tips here at Ponderosa Homes! With all this California rain, we found some helpful tips to keep your sanctuary safe from this winter weather.

There’s no better time to sip on hot chocolate and get cozy around the fireplace, but make sure to clean and inspect the chimney for any signs of damage. Take a flashlight and safely look inside, you’ll want to make sure there are no obstructions in the chute and that there isn’t a buildup of debris along the interior. Afterwards, sweep up the floor and remove any leftover ash from previous use. You never know what good old St. Nick could have left behind!

Pro-tip: ash is a natural source of calcium and nutrients for plants, so feel free to sprinkle some on your flower beds and watch your garden morph into spring.

It can be hard to leave nature at the door, especially when you’re on the go. After a few holiday parties and friendly gatherings, your carpets could need a little TLC – get them deep cleaned and see what a difference it makes just in time for allergy season.

It’s always important to clean your gutters and drains – in rainy weather they get backed up, so stay consistent and your home will thank you later. Same goes for rooftop checks to make sure there aren’t any leaks. As our state recovers from the drought, you’ll want to make sure your home doesn’t have to recover from the rain.

Lastly, enjoy your beautiful home and get started making more memories with your loved ones, the season isn’t over yet.

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Fall Maintenance Tips

November 4, 2016

It’s time to fall back! As the days get shorter and we start spending more time at home, it is important to make sure that your house is in great shape. Here are some fall maintenance tips to get you started. 

Fall leaves may look beautiful, but it is important to make sure that you don’t let them clog your gutters. Plan on cleaning your gutters this season to prevent any damage during rainstorms. 

Make sure your roof is in tip-top shape. The changing season brings more moisture and wind that can cause leaks and other pesky issues. Proactively get ahead of any problems by checking your roof’s condition soon.

Stay warm! As it gets cooler, it is important to have proper sealing and insulation to keep your home from losing heat. Check for air leaks from windows and doors by moving your hand around the frame. If you sense any draft, you can use weather stripping or caulk to create a seal. 

The holidays are just around the corner, and you will be busy before you know it, so don’t delay on checking on the condition of your home. Happy Fall! 

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Happy spring, Northern California! We’re looking forward to longer days and great weather! It’s important to keep your home running smoothly this season, so here are some spring maintenance tips to help you out.

It’s that time of the year to get all of your heavy cleaning out of the way, including dusting ceiling fans, vacuuming upholstery, washing cabinets and walls, flipping and cleaning mattresses and shampooing carpets.

Don’t forget to change your batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. A great way to remember is to do so when the time changes twice a year. 

Having good indoor air quality flowing throughout your home is really important – and spring is the perfect time to improve your indoor space. By changing your air conditioning and air purifier filters, you can help create a healthier breathing environment for your family. 

Get your outdoor furniture ready for the spring and summertime parties you’re going to have with your family, friends and neighbors. Clean cushions with a mild detergent and hose down tables.This is also a great time to perform any maintenance on your grill and remove any grease residue that may be lingering.

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You may not think weather preparedness is necessary when you live in Northern California but, with El Nino approaching this winter, it’s a good idea to start thinking about ways to protect your home. Here are some helpful tips:

 

  • Look into and purchase flood insurance before the storms start. If you already have a policy, call your broker or insurance company to ensure your property is properly covered for damages.

 

  • Inspect various parts of your property including your home’s gutters, roof and yard. Clear debris from gutters, check the roof for cracks and holes and secure outdoor furniture or move indoors to minimize the risk of injury from strong winds.

 

  • Secure plants, vegetation and trees in your yard to lessen the risk of injury from air-born objects due to strong winds.

 

  • Have a plan and prepare an emergency kit with the essentials that your family may need during a storm. Make sure to have flashlights with extra batteries, a first aid kit, canned food, packaged food items, blankets and warm sweaters in your kit.

 

  • Receive updates on your phone by installing apps from the Weather Channel and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).

 

  • Make copies of important documents and store in a safe deposit box or safely stored elsewhere outside your home.

 

  • Create a list of contact numbers for emergency services, family members in/outside of the area and the power company.

 

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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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