Marianne Avila - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty



Posted by Marianne Avila on 10/4/2020

Photo by Roman Koval from Pexels

It’s common to experience seasonal allergies with the passing of the months, but did you know that indoor allergens can aggravate your allergies and asthma symptoms as well? Many people choose to stay inside when the pollen and mold levels are high. However, they could be doing more harm than good if they haven’t taken steps to improve their indoor air quality at home.

1. Replace Furnace Filters

When the cooler weather settles in, you’ll likely be cranking the heat in your home to stay comfortable. Unfortunately, common allergens like pet dander and dust can hide in your air ducts. Using a high-efficiency furnace filter can reduce the overall amount of harmful allergens that circulate throughout your home during the fall and winter months.

2. Change Your Bedding

Dust mites are often found living in pillows, sheets, mattresses, carpeting and other furniture around the home. To prevent dust-mites from getting too comfortable in your home, invest in allergen-proof covers to encase your mattress, box springs and pillows. Additionally, washing your bedding in hot water at least once a week can help to deter dust mites.

3. Keep It Clean

Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter can help to reduce indoor allergens like dust mites and pet dander with ease. If you suffer from allergies, it can also be helpful to dust surfaces throughout the home with an electrostatic or microfiber cloth several times each week as well. Homes with wall-to-wall carpeting can also cause allergies to flare up because they trap common irritants easily. Hardwood is preferred for those who suffer from asthma or other chronic allergies.

4. Monitor Humidity

Winter weather conditions often result in dry air that can aggravate your symptoms. Utilizing a humidifier can help to prevent dryness, but if not used properly, they can also encourage mold growth if not monitored properly. The CDC recommends that homeowners keep indoor humidity below 50 percent to reduce mold growth and dust mites.

5. Care for Pets

Pets typically spend more time indoors during the winter, just like their owners. But a variety of allergens can be found in pet saliva and dander, and no breed is totally allergy-free. However, bathing your pets more frequently during the winter can help to reduce many of these allergens and keep everyone in the home feeling better.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marianne Avila on 6/9/2019

When you own a home, you take over the landlord responsibilities of maintaining the property. That means you change out the lightbulbs and call the plumber when the drain plugs. Twice a year you faithfully check the smoke detectors and replace their batteries. You even take care of the lawn or hire a professional landscaping service to do it for you. But a few areas need regular attention of which you may be unaware. These sneaky tasks, when left undone, can end up costing a wad of cash down the line.

Schedule service for these items into your life:

  • Gutters and downspouts: Because you can't see into them, you tend to forget that a gutter is just a long trough. In the Fall it fills with leaves and debris that need clearing out so that it can do its job—moving water off your roof and away from your foundation. When the gutters become blocked, water piles up endangering your roof and eaves with water damage. If the water freezes, it may cause an ice dam that will further damage your roof. Debris left in the gutter clogs the drains too, so water can't drain away from the roof. If it overflows and falls near the foundation, the extra water and potential ice can wreak havoc with your home's support structure.
  • Roofs after a storm: If you live in an area prone to thunderstorms or tornados, the resultant hail and wind can damage your roof even if you can't see it. Hail hits the composite shingles causing divots not visible from the ground. If the divots are deep, or if an area gets hit more than once, your roof develops holes that cause leaks. The wind lifts the shingles away from the roof deck. If the shingle bends, it becomes weak and eventually breaks off. At least once a year, and particularly after a major storm, have your roof inspected. Any certified roofer can do this for you, but if you see granules from your roofing tile on the ground, call your insurance adjuster to see if you need a new roof.
  • Water heater: In addition to periodically checking water lines and the thermostat, your water heater needs the sediment drained from the bottom of the tank. Simple to do for standard water heaters, connect a hose to the fixture at the bottom of the tank and drain out some of the water—perhaps five gallons. The sediment resting at the bottom will flow out with the water, and your tank will be more efficient for the next year.
  • Air conditioning condensers: If your A/C is outside, weeds and vines may grow into the fins, blocking the airflow and causing the unit to overhead. Keep all plants and debris away from the unit. Protect if from animals too as shedding animal hairs can clog the grate. On the inside, change the filter monthly for best results and to keep your ducts free from dust and lint.

Owning a home is a wonderful responsibility to take seriously so that your forever home lasts you forever. If you are not able to carry out these inspections yourself, seek the assistance of certified contractors to help you.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marianne Avila on 2/14/2016

Smoke detectors save lives. Many people may be lulled into a false sense of security thinking they have smoke detectors in their home. Smoke detectors that are not installed or maintained properly are not safe. Here are a few tips on what you need to know about buying, installing, and maintaining your smoke detectors: What should I buy? The National Burn Institute recommends only buying smoke alarms tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). You will also want to make sure the smoke detector has a battery backup. Smoke detectors that don't work in a power outage are no good. Consider buying a combination smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector, they may be more expensive, but well worth the money. There are two main types of smoke alarms, which are categorized by the type of smoke detection sensor used in the alarm. They are ionization and photoelectric. Ionization smoke detectors Ionization detectors respond quickly to flaming fires with smaller combustion particles. They contain a chamber with two plates that generate a small, continuous electric current. When smoke enters the ionization chamber, the smoke particles disrupt the current flow, which triggers the alarm. Photoelectric smoke detectors Photoelectric detectors respond more quickly to smoldering fires. They use a light beam and light receptor. When smoke is present between the light and receptor, the photocell sensor triggers the alarm. Combination smoke detectors The best smoke alarms can sense both types of fires (flaming and smoldering). For the highest degree of safety and preparedness, there are combination smoke alarms also that combine ionization and photoelectric detectors into one unit, called dual sensor smoke alarms. Check with your local fire department to see what kind of detector they recommend. Installation and Maintenance Smoke detectors should be installed on each floor, outside of every bedroom and sleeping area and near any air vents. Detectors should also be installed high on walls or on ceilings because smoke rises. Avoid installing detectors near windows, doors or where there are openings where smoke can escape. Check with your local fire department for specific regulations on the placement of detectors. Smoke detectors have a lifespan of about seven to 10 years, and it's important to replace old detectors according to the model's recommendations. Test your alarm’s batteries monthly and remember to replace all batteries at least once a year. Clean and vacuum the grill of your detector to get rid of dust and debris. Other maintenance includes a monthly testing of the alarm and cleaning with a vacuum hose about once every month.





Posted by Marianne Avila on 9/8/2013

It seems everyone has an opinion on the best way to wash hardwood floors. Some say soap and water, others polish, or wax. It can all be very confusing. These tips will help you have your hardwoods happily gleaming in no time. In order to know how to clean your floors you will first need to determine the finish. In other words, you will need to know how your wood floor is sealed. It is the finish, not the wood type that determines how you clean and care for the floor. Surface-sealed floors: If your hardwoods are newer they are most likely sealed with urethane, polyurethane or polyacrylic. These floors are the easiest to clean. All they need is a sweep, a quick mop and just like that you are done! Penetrating-seal-treated and oil-treated floors: Another type of common hardwood floor is a penetrating seal or oil finish. These soak into the wood grain and harden. This type of floor can be difficult to maintain, these floors must be be protected with liquid or paste wax. Lacquered, varnished, shellacked and untreated floors: Another fussy floor to deal with, these floors need to be protected with liquid or paste wax. They are not as resistant to moisture, spills and wear and tear. If you don't know what kind of finish you have rub your finger across the floor. If no smudge appears, the floor is surface sealed. If you do create a smudge, the floor has been treated with a penetrating seal, oil finish, shellac, varnish or lacquer, and then waxed.







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