Archive for March, 2011

Great place to live, see my audio/slide presentation below. Whatever you’re looking for, we have it. This is part one. Take a look, and come back for part 2

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Check List of Spring Outdoor Maintenance for Homeowners

Start at the top-the roof.
There is on need to climb. Just get a good pair of field glasses and take a look. Check for missing shingles, debris around the chimney and for loose gutters.

Check the siding for gaps of caulking that came off, peeling or blistering paint, tree branches too close to the siding, and trim or call a professional. Mildew can be power washed off and make the siding look like a fresh paint job. Power wash before painting for better adhesion.
Repair loose siding now to save from having additional repair work later. Check the gutters for debris from last fall’s tree droppings, and for loose gutters caused by winter ice dams.

Check caulking and trim. If paint is pealing, repair now.

Now is a good time to look for any cracks before growing plants hide them. While you’re at it, check to see that the ground sloops away from the house and not toward it. This could save you $$$ by preventing water from coming into the basement when we get a heavy summer rain.

Clean up fallen tree twigs and any other wood lying around before termites find out about them and decide your house will be the next place to visit. See my website for more detailed information about termites.

Check the trees around your property, to see if any branches look dead, have no sign of growth, and check to see if you have an insect infestation. Carpenter ants will also make their home in live trees. Termites look for dead wood, like your house framing. Call a professional inspector at least once every few years, just to be sure. They can save you plenty if they find something.

For a more detailed list please see Mr. Jay’s list

Fire Safety

According to, 85% of fire deaths occur in the home.

These are the leading causes.

Kitchen fires.

One third of all fires in houses are related to cooking. In my house, we always unplug the coffee maker and toaster when not in use. If we’re not at home and there’s a malfunction in one of these units, which are under cabinets, a fire could start. Grease from cooking is another problem. Oil or grease can reach high temperatures when heated, and could ignite under the right conditions. When this happened to me, I just put a lid on the pot, shut the flame off and let it die. The one thing you never want to do with an oil or grease fire is to use water to put it out. The hot oil will quickly bring the water to a boil and will make matters worse by spreading the fire.

Smoking in bed.

“Smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths in the United States.” Quote taken from

Thankfully, more folks are quitting and hopefully the number of deaths will come down. So to avoid this, just smoke outside or quit.

Heating equipment.

When most people think of heating equipment, they think of the main furnace, but what about hot water heaters and clothes dryers? Recently, I cleaned out my clothes dryer vent. It was loaded with lint. This should be done periodically. I was surprised at what I saw. It could ignite a fire under the right conditions. There was such a fire on my block a few years back, so I’m writing from experience. I’ve posted on my website some pictures of a clothes dryer vent that was dangerously heavy with lint.

Read more about it online at my blog. See

You may not believe what you see. More important is what you don’t see. (what’s inside your vent)

There’s just so much I can write here, so for more detailed information please log on to and read up on preventing fires in your home. You may also log on to my website for additional information. Look on the left hand side of my website for informational links.

Great Kills Parks

A new park is born, for a slide presentation click here Great Kills Park
Great for the 3-8 year olds and their grandparents.

For more information about this area, Annadale, Eltingville, and Great Kills, please visit my web sitewhere you can take a video walking tour. Just scroll down on the left side for the links.
Also more information on buying and selling your home.