Moving Forward from the Flood – Step 1

By Amy Eiduke, Communications Manager, Regional Support Center

On July 26, 2013 we, along with many of my neighbors, experienced an intense flood. By “intense” I mean nine feet of water in the basement, two feet in our garage and one foot in our family room. The devastation was great and we lost quite a bit; a car, furniture, holiday decorations, furnace, water heater, etc. Most upsetting were those personal items that can never be replaced – my wedding dress, family mementos, an antique pool table given down through the generations – those are the things that broke our hearts.

But 2014 begins a new year – a year of reconstruction! We were able to put our family room and garage back in order within a few months, but our basement is another story. We are just now beginning to rebuild.

Step 1 was to find materials that would survive massive amounts of water, if God forbid we were to flood again. Our first task was to tackle the floor. Carpet and hardwood were out and tile can be tricky when faced with a flood too. So instead, we went with a decorative metallic epoxy floor that looks more like a piece of art than a floor. The team we hired ground up the top layer of concrete, added a primer coat, then applied the colors we chose. After that they stood back and let the magic happen. Based on the slopes and movement of the concrete the color moved and mixed and created a one of a kind floor.

The best part of all, if we do get water again, all I will have to do is mop it up and the floor will still be intact. Next up after the holidays: The ceiling…if you have any water resistant ideas for the ceiling or walls let me know.

Clean Your Refrigerator Day Checklist

By Alicia Eisenbise, Social Media Specialist, Regional Support Center

Clean your fridge day

November 15th is “Clean Your Refrigerator Day.” If you’re like me, this probably doesn’t sound like a holiday you want to celebrate, but it is a reminder to get this chore out of the way before the holidays. The fridge is one of those places you visit multiple times a day, but rarely makes it to the chore list as much as it should.

If you’re selling your house, remember people look in, under and behind the fridge (eek!). So for refrigerator-cleaning-procrastinators, like myself, here is a checklist to break it down into easier tasks to tackle:

  1. Purge: Unplug the refrigerator, then empty out the contents and get rid of anything past its expiration date. Put everything perishable into coolers.
  2. Drawers: Remove the drawers and glass shelves set in the sink to soak with sudsy warm water. Let glass shelves get to room temperature before washing.
  3. Inside: Spray the sides, top, bottom and wire shelves with a multi-surface spray and wipe down. Use an older toothbrush to scrub the seals and seams.
  4. Under:  Slide a duster with a long handle under to remove dust and dirt.
  5. Behind: Don’t forget to pull out the refrigerator a bit to sweep and mop.
  6. Outside: If you have stainless steel, a little bit of distilled vinegar on a microfiber towel rubbed in the direction of the grain works best. For other surfaces, multi-surface cleaner and paper towels will suffice.

Now replace all the food, plug it back in and enjoy the rest of “Clean Your Refrigerator Day.” I think you deserve it.

*Additional trick: If you have a stubborn stains on a white fridge exterior or interior, then turn to magic erasers – they can be your best friend.

Smart Tips to Winterize Your Home

Tips to Winterize Your Home - Dream Blue Blog

Blogger: Lana Simon, Communications Specialist, Regional Support Center

Prepare Your Home Now Before Old Man Winter Arrives

As the temperature begins to drop and the leaves begin to fall, now is the time to prepare your home for winter. Changing seasons can mean wear and tear on your home, unless you plan ahead. Here are some tips to winterize your home the right way:

  • Clean gutters after leaves fall. Leaves and other debris that clog your rain gutters can cause leaks, so it is best to get to this chore as soon as possible after most of the autumn leaves have fallen. If your home is more than one story, hire a pro.
  • Repair roof and siding. If you see any damaged areas to your roof, siding or shingles, it is important to take care of the problem before winter storms come through.
  • Shut off outdoor faucets and roll hoses. Freezing temperatures can damage hoses and water pipes, so be sure to shut off faucets and empty hoses of water before the first big freeze.
  • Warm it up. Check working fireplaces for loose mortar and debris prior to getting cozy in front of the firelight. Get heating systems inspected and stock up on filters for timely changes throughout the season.
  • Put up storm windows and doors. Now is the time to install your storm windows or doors. These features can help conserve energy during cold months and protect your home from drafts. Plus, switching out the screens will help protect the mesh.
  • Don’t forget the driveway. Snow, ice and salt that come with the winter season can wreak havoc on driveways. Protect yours by caring for any cracks and holes before the freeze sets in.