September 2014 - Winterize your home

September 2014 - Hammer Home News
Happy September folks!

We are all back to work, kids are back in school (thank goodness!) and we are all beginning to get ready for that winter weather we so dread at this time of year. With those harsh winters we have experienced over the last few years, it seems like the best topic to share with you in this month’s newsletter is all about how to get your home ready for the winter season. Below you will find a breakdown of various topics and areas of your home to consider reviewing and preparing for the cold. This list was compiled from a great website, The DIY Network www.diynetwork.com, for all those do-it-yourselfers out there, check it out!

Winterizing your home!

Home Exterior
  • Regularly clean gutters and downspouts. Make sure all drainage areas are unblocked by leaves and debris. Consider installing gutter guards to make the job a lot easier.
  • Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Use caulk to fill the holes or completely replace the wood.
  • Lower humidity and cooler (not yet cold) temperatures make fall a good time to paint the exterior of your home.
  • Inspect your roof, or hire a licensed professional to examine your roof for wear and tear. If the shingles are curling, buckling or crackling, replace them. If you have a lot of damage, it's time to replace the entire roof. Also, check the flashing around skylights, pipes and chimneys. If you have any leaks or gaps, heavy snow and ice will find its way in.
  • To prevent exterior water pipes from bursting when the weather gets below freezing, turn off the valves to the exterior hose bibs. Run the water until the pipes are empty. Make sure all the water is drained from the pipes, if not; the water can freeze up and damage the pipes.
Keeping Warm
  • Have your wood-burning fireplace inspected, cleaned and repaired to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Wrap water pipes that run along exterior walls with heating tape. It will save energy and prevent them from freezing
  • Clean and replace filters in your furnace or heating system. Contact a licensed heating contractor to inspect and service your gas heater or furnace to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Your local utility company will often provide this service for free.
  • If you use a hot water system for heating, drain the expansion tank, check the water pressure, and bleed your radiators.
  • Check the attic to make sure the insulation is installed properly. The vapor barrier on insulation should face down toward the living space. If it is installed incorrectly (with the vapor barrier facing up) then the insulation will trap moisture causing possible water problems. Cut slits in the vapor barrier to allow moisture to escape. To install attic insulation, unroll the insulation with the paper side out. Install small pieces of insulation between the joists on the attic floor. Be careful not to step between the joists.
Doors and Windows
  • The change in temperature and humidity and normal wear and tear can cause window seals to crack and shrink. Check your windows and doors inside and out for leaks and drafts.
  • Caulk cracks or install weather stripping around windows and doors, including the garage door. Replace screens with storm windows and clean them if needed.
Gardens
  • Fall is the perfect time to divide or move perennials. Remove dead annuals and mulch hardy perennials. Annuals typically die when temperatures drop below freezing. But perennials often appear as though they too have bitten the bullet. That's because their top growth dies back, although in most cases the root ball is hardy enough to survive even extreme temperatures, especially if it's covered with a layer of mulch.
  • The best time to mulch perennials is after the first hard freeze. Just make sure you don't cover the crown or center of the plant, because that can lead to rot.
  • Clean garden tools before storing for the winter.
  • Trim dead branches out the trees to prevent them from coming down and causing damage in a winter storm.
Lawn Care
  • Rake up the thick layers of leaves that settle on lawn surfaces. Large leaves in particular, especially when they get wet, can compact to the point where they suffocate the grass below and lead to all kinds of insect and disease problems. So it's a good idea to routinely rake or blow them off the lawn or, better yet, use a mulching mower to shred them into fine pieces
  • Put the raked leaves in the compost pile or use as a mulch. Whatever you do, don't waste fallen leaves because they're an excellent source of nutrients and organic matter. You can also add them to flower beds to put a winter blanket on your garden.
  • Fall is a good time to aerate your lawn; it will allow moisture and nutrients to get into the roots. When you're done, spread fertilizer then grass seed.
  • This will be the ideal time to sow cool-season grasses such as fescue and rye - it will give them the opportunity to germinate and develop a good root system before freezing temperatures arrive. It's also the right time to fertilize turf grasses, preferably with slow-release, all-natural fertilizer. When given adequate nutrients, turf grasses have the ability to store food in the form of carbohydrates during the winter months. That will mean a better-looking lawn come spring.
Attic Pest Control
  • Pests love attics because they are full of nice warm insulation for nesting, and they offer easy access to the rest of the house. With gable vents that lead into the attic it is a good idea to install a screen behind them to keep those critters out.
  • Even after closing off those entryways, pests can still find a way in. The first place to check for any unwanted guests is under the kitchen cupboards and appliances.
Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
  • Each fall, check carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms and put in fresh batteries. These are very important detectors to have in a home. A smoke alarm can save lives in a house fire. A carbon monoxide detector can also save lives if a home has oil or gas-burning appliances, like a furnace or water heater.
  • Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless byproduct of burning oil or natural gas, and it can be deadly. For just a few dollars, a carbon monoxide detector will sound an alarm if the levels get too high.
  • Always install carbon monoxide detectors according to manufacturer's instructions. Generally they should be installed near each potential source of carbon monoxide, and within ear shot of the living and sleeping areas.
In the meantime, as the market gets hot again for the Fall, if you or someone you know are looking for a great Realtor with a smart team, please feel free to refer my services, it is always appreciated and such a large compliment, thank you!

Sincerely,


Rachel

 



Average sales for Ottawa in August

Ottawa, September 4, 2014 - Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,203 residential properties in August through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 1,216 in August 2013, a decrease of 1.1 per cent. The five-year average for August is 1,199.

“As usual, we are seeing a typical end-of-summer slowdown, especially in comparison to July’s record sales,” says Randy Oickle, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “Although sales numbers are down slightly since last year, August’s sales are slightly higher than the five-year average, and continue to be on par with year-to-date sales compared to last year.”


Read More...

Feature Listings
29 Windbrook Crescent

Welcome to 29 Windbrook, a four bedroom, four bathroom home in Bridlewood. This home has been meticulously maintained by its original owners. Impressive solid oak hardwood spiral stairs greet you at the front entrance. Main level has gleaming hardwood floors with a charming wood burning fireplace in the family room.

Read More...
 
22 Peary Way

Welcome to 22 Peary Way, a 3 bedroom and 2 bathroom multi-level townhome. Easy to care for tiled entry way and lower level stairs. Good sized living room with hardwood floors and views of your low maintenance, private interlocked backyard.

Read More...
 
3054 Fairlea Crescent

Welcome to 3054 Fairlea Crescent, a three bedroom, two bathroom condominium townhome with no carpets! Well maintained hardwood floors on the main level. Bright kitchen with large windows and plenty of cabinet space. All appliances included. Formal dining room, great for entertaining.

Read More...
 
6716 Jeanne D'arc Blvd  Unit a

Welcome to this sweet two bedroom two bathroom condo, steps from public transit, shopping, schools and walking distance to the Ottawa river path.

Read More...
 
736 Nakina Way

Welcome to 736 Nakina Way, a generously sized 3 bedroom and 3 bathroom Richcraft Carlisle LE, built in 2007, that shows like a true model home.

Read More...
 
1386 Chartrand Avenue

Welcome to 1386 Chartrand Avenue in Orleans, conveniently located close to Place d'Orleans, the 174 and public transit. This charming three bedroom and two bathroom bungalow has been converted to a two bedroom home with oversized master bedroom.

Read More...
 


This Month's Trivia Question:
 
Which one of my current listings is located the furthest East of the city?

The first five individuals to respond correctly will win a $10.00 gift card to Starbucks.

Email your answers to 
rachel@rachelhammer.com
.

Only one winner per household will be awarded a gift card and all previous winners must wait a minimum of 30 days before being able to win this trivia question.

Thank you and good luck!

 

 
Last Month's Trivia Question:
 
How many listings do I currently have on my website that are under $200K?

The Answer was: There were 2 listed under $200K.

Congratulations to: Steven B., Jason G., Joe N. and Kayden W. were the first to correctly answer last month and win a $10.00 gift card to Starbucks.
 
 

Rachel Hammer, Broker
www.rachelhammer.com


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Our mailing address is: 1749 Woodward Drive, Ottawa ON K2C 0P9

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Hammer & Associates Brokerage · 4 - 3101 Strandherd Drive · Ottawa, Ontario K2G 4R9 · Canada

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Rachel Hammer
 
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613-369-8314
info@rachelhammer.com
We were first-time homebuyers and feel that the Rachel Hammer Team was incredible from start to finish. We were looking for a house to purchase for ourselves and our newborn son, but weren’t in a rush. We never felt pressure to buy and the whole team was more than accommodating with our situation.
• Amanda & Joe