Senior Home Improvement Upgrades and Services

Improving a Senior’s Life Starts in the Home

As healthcare improves and seniors are able to enjoy an enhanced quality of life, it becomes more popular for this age group to stay in their homes as long as possible. senior at homeLiving at home helps them stay more comfortable in their own house, avoids the stress of moving, and prevents the need for paying for assisted living or another form of intensive care. Instead, make sure your senior family member or friend has access to everything they need to facilitate life in their current residence. Performing some in-home upgrades and outsourcing a couple of services can be helpful to help keep them happy and healthy in their home in the foreseeable future.

Enlist in Services:

Depending on how much assistance is needed, a senior home care service can do wonders. An overnight caregiver can even help you avoid putting your senior loved one in a nursing home. In less intensive cases, a senior helper could help with walking a pet, providing transportation to run errands or go to the doctor, or simply checking in once a week and assist where needed. Seniors Helping Seniors is a great senior care service that provides companionship and other small household chores as needed. This service offers the additional benefit of employing seniors to do the caregiving. This makes it less awkward for seniors to receive help. It also helps bring some social activity and companionship to their daily lives.

House cleaning and lawn maintenance services can additionally be a great help with daily chores. Even if you aren’t a gardener, having someone regularly mow the grass can prevent a day of hard work. A house cleaning or maid service can stop in weekly, biweekly, or monthly to do a thorough vacuuming, dusting, and scrubbing. Home maintenance tasks are some of the most strenuous parts of a senior’s day, so it is well worth investing in some help.

Aside from employing help, see what services your community has to offer. Often, church groups or healthcare organizations have some extra help for seniors at no charge. This includes cooking nutritious meals, having social get-togethers, or offering transportation to church or doctor visits. For instance, hospitals may offer programs where doctors will attend daily walks with seniors. This allows them to get some exercise while having a doctor nearby in case of emergencies. Some cities also offer senior citizen centers with similar services and activities.

Home Improvements:

1)      Have alarm systems around the house. This means installing a security alarm (seniors are often common targets for theft) that automatically calls an emergencyadt medical alert service center for help. Other popular safety devices include portable medical alerts, which could be worn as a necklace or placed around the house. When a senior falls, faints, or is feeling severe pain, they can easily get help with the push of a button. ADT  has a range of products for both medical alert and home safety alarm systems.

2)      Install new doorknobs. As we age, our grip often grows week, making simple tasks like opening jars and turning doorknobs increasingly difficult. Some people add gripping devices to knobs to make them easier to grasp and turn. Another great solution is to replace a standard doorknob with the lever-style handles. These are easily pushed down as you push a door forwards or pull it towards you.level door knob

3)      Reduce clutter. Clutter makes it difficult to find things, creates tripping hazards, and is practically asking for someone to stub a toe. Instead of leaving things on the floor, add some shelving or standalone cupboards to hold items that are usually strewn around rooms. It can be difficult to ask someone to part with what you see as junk, so consider moving older items to the attic. They will be safe and out of the way.

4)      Add carpeting. Wood floors are slippery and harsh on the joints. Rugs can move around and are sometimes tripping hazards – especially when a foot gets caught under the edge. Instead, install carpet around the house as you see fit. It is cushioning, comfortable, and traps allergens found in the air (which is why regular cleanings are helpful). As a bonus, carpet keeps the floor warmer in the wintertime.

5)      Walk-in showers and bathtubs. Walk-in tubs make taking a relaxing bath easy. Likewise, installing glass shower doors makes it easy to get in and out of a shower.walkin tub These upgrades can be a little bit pricey, but they are well worth the investment when it is time to sell the house. They make it look more elegant and modern while adding some functionality.

6)      Prepare for emergency maintenance. As always, something is bound to go wrong in the house from time to time. It may be a leaky pipe, lightning striking, or a failing air conditioning unit. In these cases, make sure that your senior family member has a list of emergency numbers on the refrigerator. It prevents them from having to do the research in a panicky situation and will provide for fast assistance. Make sure you do your research and gather a list of reputable services that will not take advance of an elder person. Also, find businesses that run 24/7 for emergencies.

Overall, outsourcing some monthly maintenance services and adding some key features to a senior’s home can greatly improve their quality of life. For many, staying in their residence as long as possible means living a longer, happier life. Talk to your senior family member to see which of these options best suit their lifestyle and needs. Then, research ways you can add meaning and fun to their life with the resources offered in their surrounding community.

Options for Home Window Security

As you gear up to replace your home windows, you are likely feeling overwhelmed by all the options: different colors, different designs, various window frames, energy efficient options, and more.  Well, why not throw one more variable into the mix and also consider how these replacement windows for your home will help with home security?

Different window manufacturers will offer different options and some options are less about the window and more about the surrounding structure.  However, we recommend you consider the following items as you plan for replacing your windows.

Reinforced Glass

One way to keep people out of your home is purchasing replacement windows for your home with reinforced glass.  This glass is much more difficult to break and could act as a sufficient deterrent for the majority of criminals.  It is also great for general home safety as they are less likely to break during household accidents. 

Window Locks

With any replacement window for your home that you are considering for your home, take the time to review the built in safety features.  The vast majority of windows on the market are designed to lock with their frame.  Make sure you are comfortable with the locking mechanism and ask your contractor about additional locks or other options.

Security Bars, Are they Needed?

One option that may be a bit of overkill depending on your area are security bars. Unless you are deep in a city known for break-ins most people who would be shopping for window installation in Philadelphia and are concerned about safety will most likely opt for a secure brand of window such as Renewal by Andersen instead of having unsightly bars installed. Safety and Security window film is a great option to put over a sturdy window that is more appealing to the eye.

Alarm System

Finally, if you are looking to get an alarm system or already have one, check with the company to make sure they have sensors that work with the type of windows you are considering.

Take care of your lawn the right way

St_Augustine_lawnDon’t let your lawn go unattended this summer. Here are some tips on how to effectively take care of one of the first impressions your home can make.

Make sure to mow, and mow regularly. Keeping your grass low makes it easier for you to walk through and more appealing to the eye. Mowing once or twice a week works best to keep it in shape for any season. You want your grass to be trimmed for ease of access and to appeal to the neighbors.

Spot cleaning is also important. It seems obvious, but pick up any disposal you see on your lawn. Make sure your kids know not to make a mess, and be sure to invest in ensuring weeds don’t run your hard work into the ground. Weeds will be what destroy all your hard work, and any garbage will do nothing but stress certain spots of grass.

Seeding your grass will introduce new plants to your lawn and ensure your grass comes back happy and healthy. It will also ensure you have bright, green grass that will be the envy of all of your neighbors every time.

While investing, ensure you have a cleaning service for any pet waste disposal to ensure your lawn stays in pristine condition while you let your puppy and kids run out and play.

Also, don’t forget to water your grass. The best lawns can stand the heat, cold, droughts, foot traffic and other stressors, but water and fertilizer ensure that they are strong enough to be able to do that. Grass needs to be tough in order to get through the heat.

All lawns will need a bit of fertilizer in early spring when the grass begins to recover from the winter and months and green up. It will also ensure that the grass grows back faster in the new season.

Knowledge is Power When it Comes to Your Pipes

Knowing what types of pipes your home uses is important for diagnosing issues and being able to provide your local plumber with the most accurate information. For instance, many plumbers in Charlottesville Virginia are finding clay pipes in older homes. Homeowners could avoid issues associated with this outdated material by replacing them ASAP, as they will inevitably crack or be penetrated by roots. Using newer, durable materials is a key way to prevent plumbing issues in the near future.

What Types of Pipes Should You Use?

There are 2 main types of pipes- metal or plastic. Each has its own set of benefits. In general, metal pipes are more durable but more expensive. Plastic is often a great alternative for cold water or interior plumbing, which does not require the strength and resistance to corrosion of an underground or main line.

Types of Metal Pipes:

  • Copper- This expensive but reliable option has been used for years. It is able to withstand in high temperatures and difficult to break.
  • Galvanized steel- After 30 to 40 years, galvanized pipes will need to be replaced. Like copper, they are also resistant to corrosion and rust. Copper, however, is still the more durable choice.

Types of Plastic Pipes:

  • PB, PVC, PEX, and ABS are all types of plastic pipes that are inexpensive. However, most of these are not tolerant of heat and break or leak easily.
  • HDPE- Like metal pipes, high density polyethylene pipes are highly resistant to corrosion and rust. They are a versatile choice.

Talk to a plumber about which type of pipe will be the most logical choice for your replacement. Functionality, price, durability, and local building codes are all factors that you will need to consider, and it’s almost essential to contact a plumbing company to make the final call. Educating yourself can help you go with the most cost-effective option to stay within your budget.

Why a Carpet Cleaning Service is Essential for Pet Owners

dog tracks on carpetIf you own one well behaved dog or cat you may not be in the same situation as our family, but with 3 dogs and 2 cats a lot of cleaning goes on in our home, and it’s worth every bit. On one day we have to deal with paw prints on the furniture and on carpets. The next time you turn around the puppy has an accident on the carpeting. We have even had our dog spill 3 glasses of wine off the coffee table at once chasing a ball. These are all on top of the regular build-up of dirt, and pet hair that makes is have to vacuum almost daily. But like I said, these things are all worth it to us because of how much we care for our pet.

How we Get our Carpets Truly Clean

Just because we have all this happening around our home doesn’t mean we have to live with all this dirt, pet hair and stains forever. While we do spend a good deal of time cleaning we also have what we like to refer to as our “secret weapon” when dealing with cleaning with our pets. When a big stain happens or the dirt builds up despite our best attempts to vacuum all the time, we bring Chem-Dry in to help. Hopefully there is a location near you but they have the same philosophy of providing green cleaning services in your home, you can go to to get a general feel for the company if you are in the market for a great carpet cleaner. They are the secret weapon because they are the only carpet cleaners we have found who do such a thorough cleaning in a way that is green without chemicals that might harm our pets. We have never trusted most cleaning solutions due to the harmful ingredients in them.

Help with Pet Urine Removal

before and after pet stain removal service from Chem-Dry in JacksonvilleWhen it comes to removing pet urine, they are our saviors because these unsanitary stains are the ones we worry about the most. We understand the importance of not only having a clean appearing home but a healthy environment for both ourselves and animals. Chem-Dry helps us accomplish this goal. You can read a little more about their pet urine removal process which they call P.U.R.T here.

If you have pets, do yourself a favor and have your home cleaned professionally once every 6 months or so. There is a lot of pet hair, dander, and dirt that goes unseen and falls deep within your carpeting, rugs, and even furniture. But even though you cant see these things they should still be cleaned to have a healthy home for you and your family.

Manage Fall’s Leaves for a Healthier Lawn

If you don’t know already, my lawn in planted in zoysia – a warm-weather grass. And that means my lawn is starting to brown and getting ready to take a winter’s nap. So you might think that I can take a break from lawn care until spring returns and my lawn greens up again. But that isn’t the case at all. When it comes to lawn care, November’s more important than you think.

Even though many lawns in Virginia Beach and throughout the region are going dormant, they still need protection from things that could do them harm. It’s an important time to cut your lawn to a proper, short length; to clean up sticks and debris; to fertilize and amend your soil. If you’re not able to take care of all of that work on your own, now is a good time to give my neighborhood lawn care company, Grounds Guys, a call.

For now, I want to talk about managing your leaves – that’s something pretty much anyone can do. Local trees are dropping plenty of leaves right about now. There are some places in your yard where it’s ideal to let those leaves sit, decompose, and nourish the ground underneath. The lawn isn’t one of those places. Leaves – especially wet clumps of them – can bury your lawn and press it flat. A buried lawn won’t get the nourishing light it needs. Flattened lawns are susceptible to mold.

You might be thinking that raking leaves is the best practice for your lawn, but that isn’t true either. Raking away leaves takes away a great potential source of nutrients. What you want to do is give your lawn the best of both worlds: the nourishment offered by decomposing leaves and free access to air, water, and light.

The solution is simple: Let the leaves remain on your lawn when you mow. Rather than bagging the leaves – and sending them to landfill where they’ll do no good – mulch the leaves into small pieces. These mulched leaves will sink down to the soil, providing nutrients while letting the grass breathe. It’s better for your lawn and less effort for you – a lawn care win-win.

Hopefully you know better than to mow your grass when it’s damp. That’s even more true when you’re also dealing with wet, heavy leaves. For properly, more finely-chopped chopped mulch – and less wear and tear on your mower – wait until the leaves are dry.

My zoysia has already stopped growing, but the last of the leaves have yet to fall. Soon I’ll be out to mow my lawn – not to cut it, but to chop up the leaves. My yard might not look quite as well-manicured as my neighbors’ leaf-free lawns, but come next spring, all of those dead leaves will provide a the foundation for a lawn that my neighbors will envy.

Things You Should Never Flush:

When in Doubt, Use the Trash Can

Sometimes flushing seems like the easiest alternative to getting rid of waste, especially if you’re standing closer to the toilet than to the trashcan. In the kitchen, dumping things into the garbage disposal is often the go to choice. You can dump any liquids down your sink to avoid messes in your trash can and smells, right? Wrong. The truth is, there are many items that are better kept in the trashcan to avoid plumbing and drain cleaning issues.

In the Sink

The most common problematic substance that people dump down their garbage disposals is grease. When you fry bacon in a pan, you probably let the pan sit in the sink with soapy water gathering inside. The next time you do the dishes, it’s easy to slosh the water out of the pan and clean it. However, this grease that you now spilled down the drain will coat the pipes and could eventually lead to blockage or break the disposal. Instead, wipe your pans out with a paper towel and throw it in the trash. If you are worried about odor, take the trash out right away! It is far more convenient than calling a plumber.

In Your Toilet

Paper towels are a big culprit in clogged toilets. People assume that just because they get softer and soggy in water, they will eventually break down. This is not entirely true. Think about all of the commercials you have seen that advertise the strength of paper towels. If one sheet can wipe up a puddle of water or sauce in one swipe, it most definitely will not deteriorate in a cup of water. Instead, the soggy mess will pile up somewhere on its way to the sewer and cause a blockage.

Some other common items that people flush are cotton swabs and baby wipes (or moist towelettes). Again, people assume that just because they get mushy when wet, they will completely dissolve. Like paper towels, these items will clog up drains. Worst of all, if you flush them repeatedly they will stick together in the same spot and cause a blockage quickly.

Call a Plumber

If you are finding this information out after the fact, you are probably in some sort of plumbing crises. Remember to follow the preceding rules and take care of water you send down a pipe. However, if it’s too late, there are plenty of professional plumbers near you that can help you out when you are in a pinch. For instanceMr. Rooter provides 24 plumbing emergency service to cities like Minneapolis, St. Paul, and more. With some quick online searches, you can find a plumber in your area that can quickly help with your needs.

If you aren’t sure if you can flush something- look it up! You might be surprised by some items that you aren’t supposed to put in your toilet or garbage disposal. The time it takes to do a search is much less than the hassle you will have to go through to find and call a professional.

How to Spot Mold

Water damage to a home can cause you a lot of issues in your home and it needs to be something that you fix immediately. Flooding from a bad storm or even a burst pipe can total your home and you will be in a big need of restoration services. Sometimes you may have a small flooding issue and this can cause a bad case of mold in your home. Mold damage can be very harmful to your health and it is important that if mold is spot that you clean or replace the surfaces that contain the mold. Mold can become air bourn particles and breathed into your body and make you really sick. This is why you should always be on the lookout for mold damage. There are many different signs of mold damage in your home and I wanted to share some ideas on how to locate or know the warning signs that mold exists in your residence.

Allergic Reaction

If you are having a severe allergic reaction that you gained from living in your home then this is a sure sign that there may be mold growing in your home. The major symptoms of mold allergy include nasal congestion, sore eyes, and sneezing. If these symptoms worsen when you are at your home then you know there is a good chance that there is a mold issue.

Mold Smell

If you have had a small leak behind a wall or under you flooring then the mold will grow in an area that is not visible and the only way you can detect it is by its smell. Mold has a very distinctive smell and you can notice it very easily. If you are smelling mold then you should take a small piece of floor or walling out and inspect the back of it to see if there are mold signs.

Besides the visible signs of mold these are the two best ways of noticing the invisible mold. These are the two ways that I found my mold issue in my home in Virginia. I immediately contacted Metropolitan Contractors who has the best results with mold damage Fairfax VA has to offer. They were able to remove all of the sheet rock that was infected and replaced it with clean sheet rock and when the project was finished it hadn’t seen like there ever any issue.

HVAC System Troubles in Woburn MA

We live in Woburn MA and the weather can change pretty drastically here. This past week, the weather started to turn. We began transitioning from extreme cold temperatures to a slightly warmer climate. With this change I went to switch over my HVAC system from heating to cooling. I have a digital thermostat with our heating unit on the inside of our home and the cooling unit on the outside. When I switched the thermostat mode over from heat to air conditioning I noticed that the fan on the inside unit cam on yet, the fan on the outside unit didn’t come on.

Air Conditioning Repair Stoneham MAAt first, I attempted to fix the issue myself. The weather was cool enough that day that I didn’t need to run the A/C as long as I kept some windows open. So I left the thermostat alone for the night, hoping it was only a minor glitch. When I woke up in the morning a cold front had come through so I went to switch the system back to heat. The heating unit came on fine, but I noticed even though the thermostat was set to 68 degrees my home was reading a temperature of 76. In a last effort I tried replacing the batteries in my thermostat yet that didn’t seem to help.

Not knowing what to do next I went to the internet and searched for “HVAC repair Woburn MA.” I came across the Aire Serv of Reading site. After seeing all of the positive testimonials on their site I decided to give them a call. I spoke with a woman who was warm, friendly, and very helpful.

I told her I wasn’t sure what was wrong with my heating and air conditioning unit but I was concerned about costs since money is tight around our household. She assured me that with Aire Serv of Reading they diagnose the problem and give me a price quote before starting any work. In addition, I was assured that Aire Serv of Reading charged by the job, not by the hour. So the price I was quoted was the price I paid.

If you live in Woburn, Stoneham, Reading, or North Reading MA and having issues with your home’s HVAC system, call Aire Serv Reading for any and all heating and air conditioning repairs.

Find a Great Appliance Repair Company in Brooklyn

If you’re looking for a company to do appliance repair here in Brooklyn, you’re going to want to check for three vital signs. These signs apply to service businesses of any kind, and they indicate how much your prospective hires will be willing and able to meet your needs. We all know that having a broken appliance can be really inconvenient. Having a stand-by list of companies that comply with your “vital signs” checklist can come in handy when you want to get that oven, washer, or refrigerator working as quickly as possible.

Sign One: Proper Experience
Some appliance repair technicians in Brooklyn are naturals – born to do the job. But for the most part, you’ll want to stick with technicians who have at least a year of experience. And if the job is more complex than average – a commercial installation, for example – you’ll want more experience than that. This isn’t to say that a newer company or younger technician won’t be up to the challenge. But when you want to put your dollars on a reliable horse, experience should figure prominently in your calculations.

Sign Two: Strong Customer-Orientation

Experience is just one aspect of having the right credentials for the job, and proper licensing and insurance are two other keys. Bu there is something to be said for a quality that’s harder to quantify, and that’s customer-orientation. Is the technician a good communicator? Does he seem trustworthy or quick to respond to your needs? Put it to the test. Simply call or email your repairman and ask for a quote. The way they respond will tell you a lot about the way they operate.

Sign Three: Solid Reputation

Of the three vital signs, a quality reputation is the hardest to achieve. A reputation can only be built, not bought; building a good one requires years of consistently high-quality work. So when you find a Brooklyn appliance repair company that meets this benchmark, you’ve probably just found a winner. When you see an overwhelming number of rave online reviews about a company, you can bet your bottom dollar that this is one that you can trust with your business.

Using these three vital signs, you can easily and swiftly identify the right service to hire for all your appliance repair needs – you’ll never again have to tolerate service that’s less than the best.