Supplement to The Delphos Herald • September 2012

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2 – The Delphos Herald • Fall Home Improvement • September 2012

ARA — Preparing for Jack Frost’s arrival can send a shiver down any homeowner’s spine. A long to-do list for getting your home ready can feel overwhelming, leaving you wondering where you’ll find the time and resources. But, with some optimism, easy tips and access to a few rental tools, you can winterize your home in just one weekend, leaving plenty of time to enjoy autumn’s splendor.

is the time to


roses and delicate perennials so that they are protected. The harsh winter elements can take a major toll on decking, so it’s important to protect it. With a little time and effort, your deck will make it through winter unscathed and ready for outdoor fun in spring. To keep the structure’s integrity intact and wood looking beautiful, clean and seal your deck before winter arrives. Start by renting a pressure washer A trained rental associate will give you guidance on safe and efficient operation of the pressure washer. After you clean your deck, let it dry completely and then apply paint or sealant. Weak trees and dead branches can break and fall during winter, possibly damaging your home, your car, a utility line, or worse. Be a responsible homeowner and cut weak or dead branches in the fall so you don’t have to worry. A chainsaw is the easiest way to deal

Winterize your deck

Cold temperatures cause grass and other plants in your landscape to go dormant. Spend a few hours preparing your lawn for beautiful greenery next year. Start by aerating. Renting an aerator is a cost-effective and efficient way to reduce thatch and provide extra space in the soil for water and oxygen to reach the roots. After aerating, spread a quality winter fertilizer to give your grass the nutrients it needs to grow strong. If you live in an area with harsh winters, remember to cover

Prepare your lawn and landscaping

Trim your trees

with dead branches and will take much less time than hand sawing. You can rent a chainsaw to cut the wood into small logs or pieces for disposing of properly. Chippers can also be rented for grinding up the wood and using it for mulch in the spring. When temperatures drop, the small leaks in windows and doors become apparent. Avoid a chilly house and high energy bills by caulking your windows and weather stripping doors. Weather stripping is cheap and easy. Apply the adhesive strip between the door

Seal windows and doors

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and frame for a tight seal that limits the amount of air that enters or exits when the door is closed. Caulking windows is a simple process as well when you have a caulk gun. If you need a tall ladder to reach second story windows, consider renting it since you’ll likely use it infrequently. While you have the ladder, clean your gutters of leaves and other debris that can cause backups and ice dams. All you need is one weekend to prepare your home and yard for the cold weather ahead. Plus you’ll get to enjoy the crisp See WINTERIZE page 6



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September 2012 • The Delphos Herald • Fall Home Improvement – 3

for a ship-shape home can drive anyone crazy. In fact, in a recent study, men list having too many items cluttering up the shower as their No. 1 bathroom pet peeve. And with 60 percent of Americans sharing a shower area with a spouse or significant other, clutter can build up fast. So how can you de-clutter the shower? Try a new stainless steel shower caddy or grab bar with integrated shelf to organize shower necessities, helping to keep the shower area neat and tidy no matter how many people use it. “In addition to pet peeves in the shower, our research showed that more than one-third of homeowners cited ‘leaving towels on the floor or on the kitchen sink’ as a top pet peeve,” says Tom Tylicki, senior product manager, Moen Accessories. Adding a new retractable towel ring is a great solution. The thoughtfully designed product offers the traditional benefit of a towel ring, with a retractable cord that expands out and effortlessly retracts back to its original position. The towel remains on the ring at all times, keeping the countertop and floor towel-free, making it the ideal solution for every bath, kitchen or laundry room. And to keep bath towels off the floor, adding additional towel bars, hooks or even a double

Shower Sanity

reality revealed in a recent Good Housekeeping magazine study is that the average homeowner spends roughly 19 hours a week cleaning. Wish you could reclaim some of those precious hours? Follow these simple, inexpensive kitchen and bath updates and your wish will be granted. Soon, these highly used rooms will look great and you’ll be able to spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying your ship-shape home.

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Outside or in, detecting a natural gas leak s easy. A leaking pipeline might make a hissing sound you can HEAR. Or, you might SEE blowing dirt, bubbling water or an unusual area of dead vegetation. The familiar rotten-egg-like odor you associate with natural gas is added to help you SMELL a leak from a gas line or appliance.
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4 – The Delphos Herald • Fall Home Improvement • September 2012

Update your decor this fall with the hottest colors of the season!
ARA — With the days getting shorter and the temperature dropping, fall is in full swing. That means it’s time to put away the patio furniture and spruce up your home with new seasonal items, colors and textures. Think that fall is all about traditional browns and oranges? Think again. The color experts at the nation’s leading spray paint manufacturer, curated a palette called Indigenous as part of its 2012 color trends, which includes hues that are perfect for the fall season. “There is a primal energy to this palette,” says Donna Schroeder, manager of Color + Design at Krylon. “As we look deeper into the forest, our search for connection brings us to an untouched and pure palette of greens and browns that please the environmentalist in us all.” This palette includes earthy shades of green, like Hunter, Citrus and Fern; as well as a warm, gray neutral called Pebble, and warm reddish accents, like Burgundy, that are great for seasonal decorating. Just because Halloween and Thanksgiving are the major holidays in fall, it doesn’t mean you should only deck your home with pumpkins, goblins or turkeys. There are plenty of ways to incorporate the look and feel of the season with textures, finishes and accent pieces. As the weather gets cooler, add colorful blankets and throws in different weaves to add interest to your existing furniture. Engage all your senses by incorporating scented candles throughout your home — fall staples like apple, caramel and cinnamon will make every room more warm and inviting. Don’t feel like you need to buy all new decor for the season. Spray paint is a simple and inexpensive way to update

Harvest Hues

Warming indoor accents

existing items you may already have around the house, like candlesticks, a serving tray or picture frames in the new fashionable colors. Once you have found the items that you want to makeover, lightly sand them to ensure a smooth surface. Next wipe down the surface to remove any dust or debris. Apply even coats of primer and then add the color of your choice. Not only will it dry to the touch in 10 minutes or less, but it will also deliver an exceptionally durable and smooth finish, leaving your painted items looking perfect. As a focal point in living rooms, the mantel is an ideal location to display your new beautiful fall creations. Adding lighted elements, like lanterns or candles, can also bring additional warmth to the room. Don’t have a mantel? Don’t worry — instead, your dining table can be made over to display your seasonal decor pieces. To protect the top from any scratches or stains, place a runner underneath

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6 19


September 2012 • The Delphos Herald • Fall Home Improvement – 5 your new tablescape. Burlap is a perfect choice for this time of year, helping you bring the look and feel of fall right into your dining room. Once your indoors are looking grand, focus on outdoor elements, such as the front porch, to create a welcoming feel for trick-or-treaters or holiday guests. Easily transform boring, clay pots with a few coats of spray paint; try one of the season’s richest colors, like Hunter Green, for a woodsy feel. Once dry, add mums in gold or purple and place them on your porch. Continue your makeover with a new door mat and wreath on your front door. Not only will you increase your home’s curb appeal, you’ll also show guests that they’re welcome in your home. Don’t wait until December to begin decorating for the season. Fall is the perfect time to make an impact and showcase your design style and vibrant new seasonal colors throughout any area of the house.

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6 – The Delphos Herald • Fall Home Improvement • September 2012
(Continued from page 2) autumn air while you get these quick and easy chores done. Many homeowners expect their heating costs to rise as cold weather creeps around the corner. Contrary to popular belief, there are ways to keep your energy costs (and your thermostat) low during the winter. “In colder climates, it’s important for homeowners to keep their residences warm and energy bills low by weatherizing,” says Vageesh Bakhshi, category manager at ShurTech Brands, LLC. “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that homeowners can usually save up to 20 percent of heating and cooling costs by properly sealing their homes. Weatherizing is a simple and affordable DIY project that can be completed in just one day, or even a weekend.” Weatherizing your house from top to bottom can help keep your family warm and toasty while saving money. Don’t be left in the cold — learn ways to properly prepare your home for whatever weather this winter may bring. The attic is often overlooked as a source of energy loss. Although insulated, the attic is a “big hole,” especially the attic stairway opening, which can allow cold air to enter
Years of reliable local service


Keeping the drafts out

the home, forcing you to turn up your heat. Combat the cold with an Attic Stairway Cover from Duck brand — they’re flexible and lightweight, easy to install and help prevent cold drafts from seeping into your home through the attic stairway opening. Repositionable for easy attic access, Duck brand Attic Stairway Covers are a musthave for the cold winter months, and can even help save energy all year round. Nooks and crannies are perfect for storing clothes and keepsakes, but they’re also where you occasionally find thinning wall insulation and holes, which are the main culprits of escaping heat — and dollars. To ensure your home is well-protected, cover and seal holes with a spray foam or foam board to block cold air. Also make sure to check all plumbing, ducts and electrical wiring areas that penetrate through walls, floors, ceilings and soffits over cabinets. These areas are likely to have air leaks that can be easily caulked to block any potential air infiltration. To keep your home warm and comfortable, it’s important to cover all your bases, and windows are no exception. Casements are a prime location for heat to seep out and cold to creep in, so keep your house warm

Combat the cold by sealing holes

Protect your home from the attic cold

Winterize windows for added warmth

and draft-free by weatherizing windows with products like Duck brand Roll-On Window Kits. Made of a clear shrink film, these window kits provide an added barrier between the winter chill and your home, and come with a pre-taped edge for easy installation. Once spring arrives, simply peel the film from your windows and discard. When old man winter comes knocking, block his entrance with a storm door. These durable doors are installed in front of

Fight strong winds with a storm door

the home’s access doors to protect against harsh weather, keeping your family warm and cozy. Storm doors increase the insulation of entrances by lowering the amount of air transferred with each entry and exit. When aligned well with the architecture of the home, they can add instant beauty and protection, while helping make your energy bill more appealing, too. By following these weatherization tips, you can rest assured that your home’s interior will be a little more protected from frightfully cold conditions.

33 37

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September 2012 • The Delphos Herald • Fall Home Improvement – 7

Want pristine outdoor spaces next year?
ARA — The cooling weather signals most homeowners to retire their lawn and garden equipment for the year. But before you stow away the rakes and hoes, remember that fall offers a unique opportunity for starting projects that can yield beautiful landscape results next year. You can save time and potentially money by doing a few simple projects now so when spring arrives, your yard reaches its full potential. Every year, a lot of time, money and effort is devoted to the pursuit of a beautiful and well-maintained home landscape. While a beautiful yard takes effort, there are ways you can better utilize the time, money and energy you spend on maintenance. Keep these tips in mind when tackling the landscape during the cooler months: 1. Rake and pick up leaves. If leaves are left scattered on the lawn, grass won’t grow as well in the spring. Don’t worry about removing leaves from plant beds, as they actually help insulate and feed plants during the winter months. 2. Take advantage of fall planting opportunities. Plant perennial flowers, ground covers, spring bulbs, trees and shrubs in early fall so they have time to establish strong and healthy roots. Some of the best sales on perennials are in the fall when greenhouses are trying to close out their inventories. 3. Mulch plant beds. It’s important to add a layer of organic mulch to plant beds, which helps roots get established before the ground freezes solid. Mulch also helps to retain soil moisture and prevent future weed growth. Don’t add mulch where iris rhizomes are planted because they are prone to rotting. 4. Maximize your equipment with accessories. Find accessories or attachments that enhance the equipment you already own, such as your all-terrain vehicle. For example, some snow plows can be used year round for landscaping projects as well as snow removal. a homeowner can easily level, spread or push dirt, gravel and snow anytime of the year. 5. Clean out rain gutters. Clogged gutters can cause water backups that can damage your roof in the fall, and possibly create ice dams in the winter. It’s wise to clean out rain gutters and make sure water flows away from walkways and driveways, which could ice over and become hazardous in the winter. 6. Winterize pipes. Shut off water to all outdoor spigots to prevent pipes from freezing. If you have a sprinkler system, blow out the lines so that sitting water doesn’t freeze and destroy the system. 7. Maintain your driveway. If you have a tar driveway, popular in the cities and suburbs, you might want to consider sealing it before the cold weather hits. Ice and snow can damage the surface and cause cracks to expand. If you live in a rural area, the maintenance of a gravel driveway may also be on your fall to-do list before the winter winds start to blow.

(continued from page 3) curved shower rod, provides the perfect spots to encourage users to hang their towels after use. “The Double Curved Shower Rod offers visual appeal, almost an additional six inches of elbow room in the shower and provides easily accessible space to hang your towels,” adds Tylicki.


at a close second, with 42 percent of the respondents surveyed, was “household members leaving food/ crumbs in the sink without washing it out.” Updating your kitchen faucet can make it easier to clean the sink area. Try a high-arc model with pullout spray functionality to reach every nook and cranny in the Clean and clerk sink, and make every last crumb the kitchen sink If towels aren’t the culprit, dirty disappear. Likewise, undermount dishes are. In fact, nearly 50 per- sinks which integrate seamlessly cent of respondents in a survey into a solid-surface countertop can about kitchen habits stated that help homeowners keep the sink “family members leaving dirty area clean, because crumbs can be Columbus;Reliable Plbg & a top wiped directly from the counter pots, pans, plates, etc.” wasHtg;A00238;3x6(b1) cause of tension.” And, coming in into the sink.


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8 – The Delphos Herald • Fall Home Improvement • September 2012

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