Summer House Owner Tip: Don’t Pile Firewood Next to Your Exterior Wall

HouseLogic is one of our favorite publications. They offer great tips for finding, buying, owning and then selling your home. Over the summer, we’re going to try to post easy, breezy tips for you to consider. Nothing too taxing – just ideas to take on or small tasks to do while you enjoy the sun or an open window. All of the tips are from HouseLogic.

Today’s tip – g Firewood Next to Your Exterior Wall

Your fireplace is the highlight of your home. You love it. That’s why you keep your firewood right outside the back door, for easy access.

Oops. Storing firewood against your home’s exterior walls is akin to opening a B&B for termites.

In fact, “anything that creates a dark, climate-controlled area near the house will invite termites” and other pests into your home, Markanich says.

In one of the worst termite cases he’s seen, he found an enormous termite colony on an exterior wall in a bathroom, which got its foothold in a pile of bricks outside.

Twenty feet is a safe distance from home for firewood — and still not too far to go to fuel your awesome fireplace.

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Summer House Owner Tip: Don’t Over-Mulch

HouseLogic is one of our favorite publications. They offer great tips for finding, buying, owning and then selling your home. Over the summer, we’re going to try to post easy, breezy tips for you to consider. Nothing too taxing – just ideas to take on or small tasks to do while you enjoy the sun or an open window. All of the tips are from HouseLogic.

Today’s tip – Over-Mulching

Nothing feels closer to giving your home a hug than being elbow deep in a landscaping project. But when it comes to mulch (which is so great, for so many reasons), it turns out elbow deep is a little too much love.

A layer thicker than 3 inches can suffocate plants and prevent water from reaching roots, so spread thoughtfully.

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Summer House Owner Tip: Over-Sealing Countertops

HouseLogic is one of our favorite publications. They offer great tips for finding, buying, owning and then selling your home. Over the summer, we’re going to try to post easy, breezy tips for you to consider. Nothing too taxing – just ideas to take on or small tasks to do while you enjoy the sun or an open window. All of the tips are from HouseLogic.

Today’s tip – Over-Sealing Countertops

Take care of your countertop, but don’t smother the darn thing.

Applying sealant too frequently can create a cloudy or streaky appearance on surfaces like natural stone, concrete, butcher block, and glass, which typically only require occasional resealing to resist stains. (Quartz, laminates, and solid surfaces like Corian are best left sans-sealer.)

How to know it’s time to reseal? Drip some water on a high-use area of the countertop. If the water doesn’t remain beaded after 15 minutes, consider resealing.

But always defer to your manufacturer’s recommendations. Different materials can have different needs.

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Summer House Owner Tip: Learn the caulk talk

HouseLogic is one of our favorite publications. They offer great tips for finding, buying, owning and then selling your home. Over the summer, we’re going to try to post easy, breezy tips for you to consider. Nothing too taxing – just ideas to take on or small tasks to do while you enjoy the sun or an open window. All of the tips are from HouseLogic.

Today’s tip – There are multiple kids of caulk – they are not interchangeable

As a dutiful homeowner, when you see failing caulk, you fix it. But the term “caulk” is as broad as the word “glue.”

There’s kitchen and bath caulk, concrete caulk, gutter caulk, mortar caulk — and that’s just the tip of the caulk-berg. And just like you’d never fix broken pottery with a glue stick, you don’t want to pick the wrong caulk either.

Markanich sees plenty of damage done when the wrong caulk is used. Such as using silicone caulk (totally great on non-porous surfaces like bathtubs) on concrete or brick or other porous surfaces. It won’t adhere, and moisture can seep in, compromising the bond and the structure.

Before heading to the store, check an online buying guide to find the right match for the project you’re doing. Odds are there’s a specific caulk just for it.

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Summer House Owner Tip: Trees need room to grow

HouseLogic is one of our favorite publications. They offer great tips for finding, buying, owning and then selling your home. Over the summer, we’re going to try to post easy, breezy tips for you to consider. Nothing too taxing – just ideas to take on or small tasks to do while you enjoy the sun or an open window. All of the tips are from HouseLogic.

Today’s tip – Trees need room to grow

Kind of like adopting an adorable, tiny piglet on a whim, you’ve got to remember how a baby tree is going to grow, and what it’s going to require at maturity.

You probably don’t want a 70-pound pig digging up your daisies, and you definitely don’t want a tree root pushing through your driveway, sidewalk or — so much worse! — your foundation.

And watch out for evergreens. If planted too close to the house, they cast too much shade, encouraging mold growth, Binetti says.

Position trees according to its maximum height, crown size, and root spread. For perspective, even a small tree reaching less than 30 feet tall needs at least 6 feet of clearance from any exterior wall, according to the Arbor Day Foundation.

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Five tips to winning a real estate bidding war

Here are some great tips from our friends at Trulia

How To Win A Bidding War With Multiple Offers On a House

  1. Know what you can really afford
  2. Talk with the listing agent
  3. Propose a shorter closing
  4. Rent the house back to the sellers
  5. Submit an as is offer
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Summer House Owner Tip: Mirrors are not windows so don’t wash with window cleaner

HouseLogic is one of our favorite publications. They offer great tips for finding, buying, owning and then selling your home. Over the summer, we’re going to try to post easy, breezy tips for you to consider. Nothing too taxing – just ideas to take on or small tasks to do while you enjoy the sun or an open window. All of the tips are from HouseLogic.

Today’s tip – Mirrors are not windows

Your newfound house crush has you scrubbing and spritzing everything. Look at you being so lovingly domestic!

But be cautious with your mirrors. Spraying can lead to what’s ominously called “black edge” — created when a liquid seeps beneath the reflective backing and lifts it.

Instead, clean mirrors with a lint-free microfiber cloth, dampened with warm water — especially mirrors in expensive, installed items like vanities and closet doors.

Avoid the edges and dry immediately with a second cloth.

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Summer House Owner Tip: Ivy is poison

HouseLogic is one of our favorite publications. They offer great tips for finding, buying, owning and then selling your home. Over the summer, we’re going to try to post easy, breezy tips for you to consider. Nothing too taxing – just ideas to take on or small tasks to do while you enjoy the sun or an open window. All of the tips are from HouseLogic.

Today’s tip – Ivy will damage your walls

You’ve dreamed of living in an ivy-covered English cottage since childhood. Well, sorry for this, then:

“Anything that climbs on the house will damage it,” says Marianne Binetti, a speaker and author who leads garden tours around the world.

The horticulture expert made the mistake herself.

“It looked cool for a while, but it dug into the siding so even when we pulled it off, it left damage. And it climbed up the drain pipe and tore the gutter off the house,” she says.

By sending roots beneath siding and shingles, ivy enlarges tiny cracks in brick and wood, introducing entrances for moisture and insects, says Jay Markanich, a certified home inspector based in Bristow, Va.

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Summer House Owner Tip: Bleach is not for everything!

HouseLogic is one of our favorite publications. They offer great tips for finding, buying, owning and then selling your home. Over the summer, we’re going to try to post easy, breezy tips for you to consider. Nothing too taxing – just ideas to take on or small tasks to do while you enjoy the sun or an open window. All of the tips are from HouseLogic.

Today’s tip – Bleach is not a cure-all!

Bleach can:

  • Eat through the sealant on stone surfaces like granite
  • Discolor laminate and colored grout
  • Fade enamel and acrylic tubs
  • Dissolve vinyl and linseed-based flooring like linoleum
  • Corrode seals within the disposal

In addition, bleach kills mold on non-porous surfaces, but can feed future mold growth on absorbent and porous materials, like grout. Yep, whitening grout with bleach creates a mold feeding ground. Whoops.

Better options? Water and vinegar are all you need for most cleaning jobs. If you’ve got a heftier mold or mildew issue, apply a commercial anti-fungal product.

And to clean your disposal, just dump cold water and ice cubes down the hatch.

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What are you doing for the 4th of July? Here are some great place to see fireworks

grillThe July Fourth Holiday is here. Time for picnics and family. For many of us in Minnesota we’re out on the boat. Others are taking advantage of the many parks in the Twin Cities. The weather is just about perfect. This is what we shovel for in the winter – to fully appreciate the joy of summer and a few days off of work.

How do we all come together? Through the oohs and ahhs of fireworks! MinnPost posted a list of places and times to see fireworks throughout the Twin Cities. Check it out to find the one closest to you!

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