Steps to Take If Your Home Is Damaged by Wildfire Smoke and Ash

Anyone who has been through a wildfire can attest that the smoke and ash can be incredibly damaging to your home and your health. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of dealing with wildfire damage, you can take a few steps to minimize the damage and protect your family.

  1. Air Out Your Home by Opening Windows and Doors

If your home is damaged by wildfire smoke and ash, it is important to air it out as soon as possible. Open all windows and doors to let fresh air in and help clear the smoke and ash from your home. You may also want to use fans to help circulate the air and speed up the process. If possible, stay outside while you air out your home to avoid inhaling the smoke and ash.

  1. Remove Ash and Soot from All Surfaces Using a Vacuum Cleaner and Damp Cloth

As anyone who has dealt with wildfire smoke and ash knows, the aftermath can be just as damaging as the fire itself. Smoke and ash can quickly coat surfaces, leaving a difficult film to remove. In addition, the tiny particles can easily become embedded in fabrics, making them next to impossible to clean. However, there are some steps that you can take to remove smoke and ash from your home. First, use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to remove as much debris as possible. Then, dampen cloths with warm water and use them to wipe down all surfaces. Professional carpet cleaning is also highly recommended to ensure that all harmful chemicals. 

  1. Document The Damage with Photos and Videos

The fires can cause extensive property damage, and the smoke and ash produced can also pose a serious threat to health. If your home is exposed to wildfire smoke and ash, it is important to document the damage with photos and videos. This will provide valuable evidence if you need to claim with your insurance company.

  1. Call Your Insurance Company as Soon as Possible

Wildfires can cause extensive damage to homes and properties. If your home is damaged by wildfire smoke and ash, it’s important to call your insurance company as soon as possible. Doing so will help ensure you receive the coverage you need to repair or replace any damaged items. It’s also a good idea to take pictures or videos of the damage, as this can help document your claim. In some cases, it may even be possible to receive reimbursement for temporary lodging expenses if your home is uninhabitable due to fire damage.

Conclusion

Wildfires can cause a lot of damage to your home and property. If your home is damaged by wildfire smoke and ash, it is important to take immediate action to protect your health and safety. Be sure to ventilate your home and clean all surfaces that have been exposed to smoke and ash. It is important to monitor your health closely for any signs of respiratory problems or other health concerns. Taking these steps can help minimize the damage caused by wildfire smoke and ash.

Top 5 Home Staging Tips for a Quick Sale

Introduction

The home staging process can be challenging, but it is worth it. These five easy tips will help you get your house ready for a fast sale.

  1. Clear all Clutter

No one wants a cluttered, unorganized home. Make sure you remove all the clutter from your space and organize any items that need to stay. You want buyers to be able to imagine themselves there and not stress about how they will make their mess fit in with yours. It is also a plus to have buyers think that they can make your house their own. The more they can imagine themselves in the space and their clutter fitting in, the more likely they will buy it.

  1. Clean

You need to clean whether you are selling your home or not, everyone wants a clean, presentable home, and an active buyer is always better than one who is thinking about moving! Get busy cleaning! You want your space to feel inviting. Make sure every room has clean carpets and is spic and span, but keep in mind that you might be listing a home that has been lived in for some time.

  1. If you have hardwood floors, buff them up.

Have you heard of spring in a bottle? Well, it is called buffing out hardwood floors. If you want to get your floors that shiny, buff them with a buffer. You can see results almost immediately from this simple step. One can also use it on other hard-surfaced floors like slate or stone. Start buffing ASAP before it gets too cold, and let it dry between each pass.

  1. Make Your Home Look like You’ve Been There for Years

It is a great tip to make your home look like you have been there for years and have never thought about selling: Make sure each room feels like a space that has been lived in for some time. Replace worn, broken, or non-functioning light fixtures. Do the same thing with your appliances. Look at what you have and replace what needs replacing. Add some plants and flowers, change your bathroom rugs and towels, or add new throw pillows. Make the space feel like it has been your home for a while.

  1. Play with lighting and mirrors.

Everyone wants their home to look bigger and more spacious. Use more mirrors, mirrored tiles on the backs of bookshelves, use candle holders with tall candles, and play with lighting. You can make a small room look bigger by switching from overhead lighting to hanging lanterns or string lights.

Conclusion

Getting your home staged is probably one of the most important steps you can take as a homeowner. It is so essential that if you are not organized and have clutter, it makes it harder for potential buyers to envision themselves in your space. So even if your home isn’t ready to move into on day one, get started and organize everything today.

Hidden Problems That Will Lower Your Home’s Value

Home value is at the core of every buyer and seller transaction, so you mustn’t overlook any hidden problems that may lower your home’s value. Although most hidden problems can be easily detected by anyone who knows what to look for, some are more subtle than others. For example, if one of the walls in your house has an obvious hole where a window used to be, it probably doesn’t show up in photos unless someone takes a close-up picture of the wall. The following hidden problems will lower your home’s value:

1) Water Damage from Flooding or Hurricane Damage

A flood or hurricane can damage your walls and cause water stains on drywall. Even if the damage isn’t severe enough to require repairs, buyers might see these signs as major flaws. They could also lead them to question whether they would have been able to buy this house had it not been flooded.

2) Stained Carpeting

Like stained drywall, stained carpeting often leads buyers to believe that something must be wrong with the rest of the house. Buyers and sellers pay attention to carpets because they’re usually among the first things a homeowner does to make their house appealing to potential buyers. If the carpet appears badly soiled, buyers may assume that the entire house must be unsanitary. Regular carpet cleaning is important to keep carpeting from looking worn and keep stains away. 

3) Cracked Walls

Walls near windows and doors tend to be weaker than those farther away. This means that they are easier to break through and crack. Over time, cracks can worsen until the building structure begins to fail and collapse. A cracked foundation can also raise doubts about whether the foundation of the neighboring property was damaged during construction. In other words, cracking in the walls makes them less attractive.

4) Chipped Paint & Graffiti

Paint chips off when there’s moisture trapped behind it–and if there is water leakage in the immediate area, paint chips very quickly. When you apply new paint over old, peeling paint, the result looks messy and out of place. Worse yet, all imperfections can give buyers the impression that the rest of the house wasn’t well cared for. People aren’t blind to graffiti; it’s simply another reminder of poor maintenance practices.

5) Mold/Mildew Growth

If mold grows in your ceiling, it will appear like a brownish stain or a dark, fuzzy growth. It can grow in places where light penetrates the plaster and drywall layers. It can also grow in damp areas such as bathrooms or attics.

6) Scratches & Nicks

Just as rust leaves marks on metal, nails and screws leave scratches on the surface of wood structures. These nicks and scratches could indicate that the builder didn’t care much for detail, and they will likely be noticed by buyers even if there weren’t any visible blemishes before the sale. However, many small holes around doorways and along baseboards give the overall impression of disrepair.

A home with some problems needs repair before the sell-by date to attract qualified buyers. Fixing up a few issues shouldn’t take a long time. Make certain that the work performed meets current standards. This includes checking with local codes and insurance requirements before proceeding. Also, remember that small defects are more noticeable, but they don’t necessarily add value to a house. Finally, be careful about what information you reveal regarding your home’s history. It may provide an unfair advantage to competitors who don’t disclose their troubles

How to Plan Your Next Exterior Painting Project

Are you considering painting the exterior of your home? If so, it’s important to plan the project carefully. Before you start painting, there are a few things to consider, such as the weather, the type of paint you will use, and how long the project will take. This blog post will discuss everything you need to know about planning an exterior painting project!

1) Envision the final product.

Before you get started, it’s important to think about what you want the result to look like. Painting your home is a big project, and it will take several days, so you’ll need to decide on a color before getting started. You may find inspiration in magazines or in your home. If you’ve lived in your house for a while, your memory of what your home once looked like may be enough to inspire you.

2) Prepare the exterior surfaces.

If you are painting the exterior of your home, it’s essential to prepare the surfaces properly. This includes removing plants and any objects that might be in the way. You will also want to check for loose or peeling paint. If there is loose paint, you should scrape it off before repainting. Pressure washing is also a good idea. A power washing service can safely and effectively remove dirt, dust, and mildew to prepare exterior surfaces.

3) Planning and preparation.

With your final color in mind, you will need to plan and prepare before actually beginning the painting project. You will likely have to purchase the paint you want to use, so take a trip to your local home improvement store. If it’s not an option where you live, try searching online for stores near you. It’s also a good idea to rent the paint equipment you need, such as a sprayer. Be sure to map out how many coats of paint you will need and whether or not the entire exterior needs it. If there is peeling or loose paint, be sure to scrape it off first!

4) Use a primer.

If there are any bare spots where the previous paint has chipped away, you should use a primer before repainting. You can find different types of primer depending on your project’s needs. Ask an associate at your local home improvement store to recommend one that works best for your specific situation. Be sure to follow the instructions on the container closely when applying the primer. Ask a home improvement store associate about their recommendations if you aren’t sure what type of paint to use.

5) Watch out for potential hazards.

Don’t forget about safety when preparing for your exterior painting project. The paint you will use may contain harmful chemicals, so make sure you wear protective clothing and eyewear during the process. Wash or change any clothes that got covered in paint before entering the house again, as well. If you are using a sprayer, make sure you are in a well-ventilated area away from open windows.

6) The final steps.

Before you get started, make sure to measure the space to determine how much paint you will need. Once you begin, apply one coat of paint at a time and allow it to dry before moving on to the next coat. If you are using a sprayer, you can do several coats at once. Make sure always to read the instructions on the paint container before beginning.

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5 Habits of Responsible Homeowners

responsible home ownership

A home is one of the most important investments you can make for yourself, and it’s up to you to ensure you always protect and make responsible decisions for it. If you’re inexperienced or new to the world of owning a home, these are five habits of responsible homeowners that are worth noting.

Maintaining Homeowner’s Insurance

Your home is an asset that has an immense amount of value, and it only makes sense that you protect it from potential dangers such as natural disasters, fires, structural issues, natural wear and tear, and more. Carrying insurance and avoiding lapses is the key to avoiding surprise expenses that you might not be able to afford in an unexpected manner.

Keeping a Safety Net Fund

Regardless of how financially stable they are, responsible homeowners always keep a safety net fund on standby. With this type of backup account, you can rest assured that you’re better equipped to handle the sudden loss of employment, sickness, a remodel, an uninsured problem with your home or property, and more. There are plenty of resources online that can help get you started on the right track for building a safety net fund.

Securely Storing Important Documents and Paperwork

Simply put, owning a home comes with a lot of paperwork. Over time, you’ll notice that legal documents, home repair invoices, property tax paperwork, and other documents will begin piling up, and you’ll need a place you can safely store them for safekeeping. For this purpose, it’s a good idea to consider a personal safe or secured filing cabinet. Try to find a device that is both water and fireproof, and consider making copies of the stored documents to avoid losing the originals if something ever happens to them.

Keeping an Efficient, Eco-Friendly Home

Responsible homeowners tend to place an emphasis on efficiency and resource management, and they do it in a number of ways. Most commonly, they purchase appliances and opt for fixtures that conserve energy/water, and they aren’t afraid to even section off areas of their homes during excessively warm or cold months to minimize energy consumption.

Maintaining their Homes

Lastly and arguably most importantly, responsible homeowners maintain their homes and pay close attention to upkeep. A home cannot remain sturdy or efficient if you turn the other cheek when mishaps crop up that can’t fix themselves. Don’t forget to have your home inspected once every 1-2 years for potential issues, and stay ahead of developing problems before they become too overwhelming to handle.

Keeping up with cleaning tasks is also important. Clean carpets, floors, walls and, fixtures are essential to maintain the value and appearance of one’s home. 

Ways to Reduce Toxin Levels in Your Home

 Simple Ways to Lower Your Home’s Toxin Levels

A clean home can help you in more ways than one. It’s especially important to regularly sanitize your house when you have children. Despite popular belief, you don’t have to choose between saving money and keeping your house clean.

When you have pets and small children running around, the last thing you want to do is clean with toxic chemicals. They can irritate their skin or be harmful if they accidentally ingest them. Using a natural approach can make a huge difference in your home and your health. Here’s a list of ways to clean and also reduce toxins in your home.

Dust often.

When you allow dust to collect, you have a greater chance of irritating your allergy symptoms. Since dust is a combination of ingredients like lead and even pesticides, remove it from as many surfaces as possible. If you can, consider replacing older carpeting to get rid of buildup. You should also vacuum and clean the attached bag every use.

Repeat this twice every week. Wipe your countertops and other surfaces at least twice weekly. You can even make your own dusting solution with olive oil, vinegar, and water.

Keep a shoe-free house.

Taking your shoes off before you enter your home means you won’t track outside toxins and debris indoors. Think about how many toxins are in the street, on the sidewalks, and even on your lawn. The same applies to your house guests. If it helps, provide socks and house shoes for your family and guests so they’re comfortable in your home.

Be aware of the products you are using.

Cleaning and pest control products can often contain toxic chemicals. Learn to read labels and identify ingredients that might be harmful. If you hire professional services, be sure that they use non-toxic products to perform their services. A professional carpet cleaner should employ green carpet cleaning methods. Pest control companies also should have non-poisonous methods available.

Add some plants.

Did you know that house plants can improve the air quality in your home? While plants go through photosynthesis, they absorb the toxins and carbon dioxide from the air and replace them with clean oxygen. So, you can beautify your home and make it easier to breathe by adding gerbera daisies, bamboo palm, and peace lilies.

Regularly clean your AC filters.

When you run your air conditioning system with a dirty filter, the toxins recirculate through the air. To keep the air in your home clean, you should make sure your AC filter is changed at least every three months. Change them more often in warmer months. You can also invest in a reusable filter and clean it on the same cycle.

When it comes to eliminating toxins in your home, it can be simpler than you think. Easy tasks like not wearing street shoes indoors, changing your air filters, and dusting on a regular basis will keep your home clean for you and your family. Eventually, you’ll enjoy cleaning to protect the health of your family.

 

5 Deal Breakers When Buying a Home

Buying a home is a considerable investment, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. The process of finding the perfect property and negotiating the best deal can be exciting! But there are some things you should never overlook when buying a home, no matter how much you love the place. This blog post will talk about five dealbreakers to keep in mind when purchasing a home.

Young family dissappointed at high interest mortgage rate in ban

  1. The heating and cooling system is outdated

Even if you love the layout of a house, it could be hard to live in the property if there’s no heating or cooling. Maybe the heating system isn’t working at all, which means you’d need to invest in expensive repairs. Or perhaps the heating works but not the air conditioning—that would make summer unpleasantly hot.

Taking time to explore heating and cooling solutions and calculating the costs of potential maintenance and repairs is key to making an informed decision about a home. Consult with a professional at https://mbheatingandair.com/ac-repair-woodland-hills-ca/

  1. Water damage is visible in the walls

This one might sound obvious, but it can be easy to miss when you’re busy imagining what the house will be like when it’s yours.

Being aware of any signs of water damage can be a big deal regarding safety and overall value. And depending on the age and condition of your potential home, you might need to take out an offer no matter how much you love it if there are obvious signs that its structure isn’t as strong as it could be.

  1. The ventilation systems are outdated

If the ventilation systems are old, they might currently be using more energy than necessary. Most likely, you’ll need to replace them before making your final decision.

You should also check for signs of ventilation problems. If there are problems with ventilation, it can cause additional damage to other parts of the house due to humidity and insufficient air circulation.

  1. The electrical wiring is not up to code

A home inspection will help you identify if the electrical wiring in a home is up to code. However, even without a full-scale inspection, you should pay attention and ask for information about it during your first meeting with the seller. If something doesn’t seem right, listen to your intuition and look for more information about the house before you make a purchase.

  1. The building needs extensive renovations

Would you instead invest in an extensive renovation project before moving in, or would you prefer to find a home that doesn’t need so many repairs? Before making an offer on your dream place, it’s crucial that you are aware of future costs and that you can see a clear plan for how to deal with those costs. If the list of repairs is going to be too long and too costly, it might not be worth making an offer no matter how much you love the property.

When buying a home, you should never neglect ventilation systems, electrical wiring, water damage in the walls, or ventilation problems. Make sure to ask for information about these five dealbreakers during your first meeting with the seller, and trust your intuition when something doesn’t seem right!

5 Important Things to Do Before Putting Your Home on the Market

So you have decided to move out, and now you are getting ready to sell your home. The next thing is to find a reliable real estate agent to assist you through the process. You have prepared all the necessary documents and hired an advocate to represent you in the house sale. However, before you put your home on the market, it’s essential to do a few important things if you want to increase the chances of selling your home quickly.

  1. Spruce Up the Curb Appeal

Imagine that you are a buyer and stand outside your house. Pay attention to the front door, the lawn, and entryway, and ask yourself if you would be willing to purchase the home if you were the buyer. If you don’t like your home’s curb appearance, then start improving it right away. Fix any cracks on the entryway, enhance your lawn by planting beautiful flowers, weeding the garden, and mowing it.

 

  1. Deep Clean Your Home

Ensure that you thoroughly clean your home before putting it on the market. You want to keep the home in pristine condition to give it a good impression. Clean the flooring, kitchen counters, cabinets, and wardrobes. Also, buy air filters to keep the entire home clean and clean all the carpets to improve indoor air quality and increase the chances of selling your home faster.

 

  1. Declutter Your Home

You would be shocked at the many belongings you accumulated over the years. You need to start decluttering your home a few weeks or months before listing your home. Clear out the basement, closets, and attics and throw away or sell things you no longer use. It’s vital that you don’t have too much clutter and that the rooms seem open and expansive. Remember to take down your family photos so that the buyer can imagine their own families in the house.

 

  1. Ensure That Everything is Functional

Imagine the buyer walking around the house, and they flick your dining room switch, and nothing happens. That’s a turn-off already for the buyer because the focus shifts from the house to why the light isn’t working. Buyers turn on showers, check locks, and flush toilets to ensure that things are in order. Therefore, make sure that the plumbing, electric, and other systems in your home are functional before putting your home on the market. Perform plumbing, HVAC, structural and electrical inspections

 

  1. Paint Your Home

A fresh coat of paint can make your home look more appealing. If you are operating on a budget, you can focus on painting a few rooms. Also, address damp issues before painting and fix any chips or peeling paint and holes left from nails in your walls.

 

These tricks will help to sell your home successfully. The guideline will ensure that everything in the house looks attractive to potential buyers. It’s also essential to choose a reliable real estate agent to help sell your home faster and at an attractive price.

9 Ways to Boost Your Curb Appeal

8 Ways to Boost Your Curb Appeal
Your home’s curb appeal will evoke various emotions in your family, friends, and neighbors. It also triggers a particular emotional response to a prospective customer looking to buy your home. Improving your curb appeal not only improves your home’s appearance but also increases its value.

Improving your curb appeal will play an integral role in enhancing your home’s first impression. This way, neighbors or prospective buyers can tell about your aesthetic sense and responsibility. That said, here are some ways to improve your curb appeal.

Painting
One of the easiest and cost-effective ways of improving tour curb appeal is by giving your exterior walls a new paint coat. However, you should be careful with your color selection and check if there are any requirements from the homeowners association in your area. It would help if you worked with a color that complements your landscape or roof color. Repainting your walls improves not only your appeal but also the general look and feel of your home.

Mow Your Lawn
Your lawn is an essential part of your front yard and will have a significant impact on your curb appeal. If you have a lawn, then make sure to mow and manicure it. Make sure to water it constantly and apply fertilizer for nourished and healthy grass.

Landscaping
You may also consider hiring landscaping services and concentrate on your overall exterior design. Landscaping will focus on your exterior layout and vegetation. It includes adding flowers, shrubs, and lawns to create an outstanding landscape design. The landscapers evaluate your home and determine the best practices to improve your curb appeal.

Clean Exterior Surfaces 

There are several exterior surfaces that you might not have thought about cleaning for a long time. Cleaning your siding, roof, driveway, and fences will boost your curb appeal easily. Power wash the driveway and siding. Soft washing might be a better option for your roof and fence.

Front Door Improvement
Most visitors will first see your front door, which calls for you to make necessary improvements. You can choose to wash it, repaint it or replace it with another design that brings the essence of your exterior design. You can go for a design that speaks elegance or material resistant to scratches.

Trim Bushes and Trees
Trees and shrubs can add a natural appeal or negatively impact when overgrown and appear shoddy. Prune overgrown tree branches and trim your hedges to prevent overshadowing your yard or blocking sunlight.

Add Lighting
You can also add custom lights to your house or surrounding trees to illuminate your home at night. Adding outdoor lights will help bring the best out of your home’s exterior features for an enhanced curb appeal. Consider adding solar-powered lights in your garden and driveway for improved visibility and aesthetics.

Upgrade Your Garage Door
Your garage door plays a vital role in your home’s fascia. Make a few touches to your garage, such as repainting or adding new features. You can opt for a new garage door with improved functionality and one that is aesthetically pleasing.

Eliminate Yard Junk
Remove everything from your yard that seems old or out of place. Thus, walk around your porch and yard to eliminate old lawnmowers, swings, furniture, and dried bushes. You can choose to recycle some or toss them out in the trash.

 

Mistakes That Decrease Your Home’s Value

 

You may have been told that anything that you do to improve your home can increase its value. However, that isn’t true. There are things that you can do that will actually reduce the value of your home.

Choosing the Wrong Color

Painting the exterior of your home can enhance its look. However, you need to carefully select the color. You need to choose a color that fits in with your own home as well as the rest of the homes in the neighborhood. The right color helps enhance the curb appeal.

An In-Ground Pool

Many people believe that they can increase the value of their home by adding a pool to it. However, it is important to remember that not every homeowner wants an in-ground pool. That is why an in-ground pool may actually decrease its value.

If you really want a pool, then there is nothing wrong with adding one. However, it is important to remember that you may invest a lot more than you ultimately end up getting back.

Not Keeping Up With Routine Cleaning Tasks

You might be surprised at how neglecting cleaning tasks can decrease the value of your home. For example, if you don’t maintain your floors properly, the damage done by dirt and grime can be permanent. This especially applies to carpets and rugs. Hire rug cleaning experts to come to clean your carpets and fine rugs on a regular basis.

Garage Conversion

Garage conversions are popular because they allow you to get extra space in your home. You can convert your garage space into an additional bedroom or a studio. You can also use it as a recreational room. However, most people who are looking for a home want to have a place to park their car. That is why you can decrease the value of your home if you convert your garage into something else.

If you need the extra space, then it is a good idea for you to hire someone who can add to your home. They can add extra space and leave your garage intact.

Not Taking Care of Your HVAC System

Your air conditioning system is something that you need to pay a lot of attention to. It requires regular maintenance. If you skip maintenance, then it will not be able to function at its peak. You may also end up paying a lot more for your power bill. Additionally, you can lower the value of your home.

Not Replacing Old Appliances

Your appliances are not designed to last forever. You should pay attention to how your appliances look. If they are old and outdated, then it is time for you to get new ones.

Old appliances reduce the value of your home and turn off potential buyers. They know that if the appliances are old, then they will have to replace all of them when they move in. People do not want to have to buy new appliances after they have spent a lot of money on appliances