Nancy Whitehouse-Bain - RE/MAX Property Promotions



Posted by Nancy Whitehouse-Bain on 2/6/2017

Old New England homes are rich in history and character. The style of many modern houses in the region is heavily influenced by English colonial homes of the early 1700s. It was in colonial times when lead pigment was first used. By the 1920s lead paint usage was at its peak. The paint was strong, it covered a lot of surface area, and it made vibrant colors, all very appealing to home homeowners at the time. The health hazards of lead paint are many. Although, unlike other home hazards like fire or carbon monoxide, they reveal themselves slowly over many years, making them especially dangerous for children. According to WebMD, high levels of lead paint exposure can cause the following:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Kidney damage
  • Behavior and learning problems, such as hyperactivity
  • Slowed growth
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Hearing problems
  • Headaches
  • Bone marrow problems
Scary stuff, right? But don't panic... Here's what you need to know about detecting and eliminating lead paint in your home. If your house was built before 1978, there's a chance it has lead paint. It was in 1978 that the federal government banned the consumer use of lead paints. Since usage reached its peak in the 1920s, the older your house the higher the likelihood of it having lead paint. This puts old New England homes at greater risk. To test for lead paint you should seek out a licensed inspector. Most state websites have resources for locating an inspector near you (mass.gov for example). Inspection can cost anywhere from $150-$400 and will depend on the size of your home, rates in your area, and other factors. Once tested, you will be given options and a risk assessment and can then decide how you'd like to proceed. Some ill-advised homeowners take the situation into their own hands, scraping paint and mopping up the dust. This is exactly what NOT to do. Dispersing all of those lead particles into the air will contaminate your home and yard, seeping into the ground outside. Many people share anecdotal stories about removing lead paint themselves, insisting, "I did it myself and I'm still alive." It's important to remember, however, that those who are truly at risk are the children who will grow up in that house facing longterm exposure to lead. Young children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning for three reasons:
  1. Toddlers tend to put objects into their mouths such as paint chips or other objects that may have traces of lead. This causes a high level of lead absorption
  2. Children's bodies are developing rapidly and absorb lead faster than adults
  3. They can spend decades in a home, developing the symptoms listed above that can then become chronic, lifelong illnesses
To completely remove the lead from your home you'll need to seek out a lead abatement contractor. View the Lead Safe List for your area to find contractors and receive quotes. If you have attempted to remove lead yourself, or performed recent renovations that may have dispersed lead paint and are worried that your children may have been exposed you should bring them to their pediatrician. Testing for high levels of lead can be detected by a simple blood test.  





Posted by Nancy Whitehouse-Bain on 1/23/2017

Kids, since they are naturally curious, require special measures to ensure their safety. Whether this is your first child, or your fifth, everyone can use a refresher course about kid’s safety in the home. By being vigilant and following a few simple rules, you can help ensure that your kids stay safe in their own home. Cover it Up Those seemingly benign electrical outlets might not seem like they are out of the ordinary to you, but to your child, they might as well be magical. They seem to beg to have something, anything, poked into them. In order to protect you child from being shocked, or even electrocuted, invest in a couple packages of outlet covers. It is best to keep a few around since they tend to get misplaced when they are removed. Just be sure to keep loose outlet covers out of the reach of small children who still put things in their mouths. They can be a choking hazard. Gate it Up Baby gates, as they are commonly known, are also called safety gates. Unlike the ones popular in the past, these safety accessories no longer feature triangular shaped openings. Instead, many of them are made of a mesh pattern covering that eliminates the ability of the child to put their head through the opening. While safety gates are often used to block the ability of the child to go up or down a set of stairs, they can be used for much more. You can keep your child in a particular room while you are busy with chores. Conversely, you can also keep your child from accessing a particular room by placing a safety gate at the opening. These days, safety gates come in a variety of different widths, with many of them able to accommodate a range of openings. In addition, there are also many options when it comes to the latches that open the gate. This allows people with limited mobility to choose the gates that enable them to easily open them. Safety Latches Latches will keep your child out of the drawers and cabinets where you store your pots and pans, as well as any hazardous materials.  They help to keep your child safe while still allowing accessibility to the tools you need to complete your daily chores. Today, you can find many different tools and resources to keep your kids safe in your home. After all, you want your home to be a source of comfort for them.  





Posted by Nancy Whitehouse-Bain on 1/9/2017

It's many homeowners' worst fear to come home to a water disaster in their home. Water damage can cost thousands to repair and will include a lengthy process in order to adhere to safety standards, potentially disrupting your home life for weeks. In this article we'll give you tips on how to avoid water damage and what to do when you discover it.

Water damage vs. flood damage

Many people are unaware of the difference between water damage and flood damage. Water damage can occur when you have plumbing issues such as a leaking pipe or overflowing bath tub. Flood damage, on the other hand, is defined by FEMA as an "overflow of inland or tidal waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters," or even mudflow. Flood damage tends to be the more costly and the more dangerous of the two, as it puts home inhabitants at serious health risk. Part of the stipulation in differing between the two types of damage is insurance coverage; water damage is often covered by homeowner's insurance whereas flood damage is not.

Avoiding water damage

To avoid costly and time-consuming repairs, follow these steps to prevent water damage from occurring in your home:
  • Keep your gutters clean to avoid backups and drainage issues
  • divert rain water away from your house with downspouts
  • Disconnect hoses and turn off their water supply when temperatures drop to freezing overnight
  • Don't leave water using appliances running while you are away from home for extended periods of time
  • Keep up with maintenance on your dishwasher, washing machine, toilets, and tubs
  • Turn off your water main when you go away on vacations
  • Check the water pressure to your home. High water pressure can be nice in the shower, but pressures too high can cause your plumbing to fail
  • Check regularly for leaks. Some water damage may go unnoticed for weeks or months, which subjects you to another danger: mold

What to do if you have water damage in your home

If it's too late for prevention and you've discovered water damage in your home there are several steps you'll need to take to ensure the safety of your home.
  • Turn off electronics in the affected area. If possible switch off power to whole the whole section of your home at the circuit breaker. This first step is to ensure your own safety. Once you've turned off power to all potentially dangerous electronics, you can move on to the next step.
  • Remove electronics and other perishable items from the area. If you remove the items soon enough you might be able to salvage them by drying them out.
  • Soak up the bulk of the water. You can do this the old fashion way by using towels and buckets. Or you can use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck up the water from rugs, carpets, and other surfaces.
  • Dry the area completely. To avoid mold, use fans and a dehumidifier to fully dry out the area.
  • Disinfect. Spray the area to remove any bacteria that may have accumulated due to moisture.
  • Contact the professionals. A contractor will be able to tell you the full extent of the damage and whether any serious repairs will need to me made.
 





Posted by Nancy Whitehouse-Bain on 10/24/2016

If you are a new homeowner and haven't changed your locks yet, then you should strongly consider doing so as soon as possible.  You  have no way of knowing who holds keys to your new home.  Thankfully, there are really cheap ways to go about accomplishing this.  Hiring a locksmith to come into your home and change the locks can be expensive, but is an option if you are pressed for time.  However, you can take your locks to a local locksmith shop and have them changed for a fraction of the price. If you have different keys for different doors, you can use this as an opportunity to make all of your locks match.  Additionally, you can choose to purchase knobs and deadbolts that suit your decorative flair a little more.  Sets can be ordered online, or through your local hardware store.  Styles like egg-shaped bronze, handle pulls, oil-rubbed bronze, and riverwind doorknobs can add a touch of personality to what can ordinarily be a home fixture easily looked past. After refitting your home with new locks, be sure to pay attention to the placement of your new keys.  Wait until you get to know your neighbors a little better before you leave a spare key with them.  Until you become a part of the neighborhood, keep a spare key handy, but hidden.  Hideaway rocks, potted plants, and magnets can all be employed as a good hiding place, provided they aren't too conspicuous-looking.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Nancy Whitehouse-Bain on 9/12/2016

Once you've lived in your home for a while it's easy to become relaxed on security. Maybe it's because you live in a safe neighborhood, or maybe you just have a habit of not locking doors. Regardless of the reason, practicing good security can pay off in a huge way protecting yourself, your family, and your belongings from harm. In this article, we're going to cover some home security basics that you might be forgetting and help you build a habit of taking care of them. Read on to learn some tips for security at home.

Safety hazards

Some of the most common safety hazards to your home are completely preventable. Hazards like fire and carbon monoxide are both easily averted by safe practices when it comes to cooking, electronics, and using open flames of any kind. Follow these tips to protect yourself from fire:
  • Install fire and CO detectors throughout your home. Set a reminder in your calendar to check the batteries yearly or however long is recommended on the detector.
  • Make sure your family knows basic cooking an electronics safety such as how to properly use ovens, microwaves, and power outlets.
  • Teach your family the proper use of fire extinguishers and have a fire safety week at your home where you cover the aforementioned topics, as well as how to evacuate the house in case of a fire.

Burglary

According to the FBI, break-ins are the number one most common threat to a home. There is a break-in every 15 seconds in America. Follow these tips to prevent break-ins at your home:
  • Don't leave spare keys outside your home or on your porch. Similarly, don't leave spare keys on or in your vehicle.
  • Make sure your doors and windows lock properly. Burglars will often move past a home if they cannot easily enter through the front or back doors. Installing a deadbolt will add to the integrity of your doors.
  • Don't keep valuable items like laptops, televisions, or expensive sound systems in plain sight from the road.
  • Change the locks when you move into a new home and keep track of the number of key copies that are made.
  • Keep a fireproof, waterproof, heavy safe in your home with important or dangerous items stored inside. This includes jewelry, important documents, and firearms & ammunition.
  • Get to know your neighbors and agree to keep an eye on one another's homes, especially when one of you is away. Install motion sensor lights and find out if your neighbor uses them. Similarly, have them pick up your mail when you're away so it doesn't seem obvious that your house is empty.

The Role of the internet and technology

Technology can be a useful tool in making your home safer or it can be an easy way to advertise that you are vulnerable to a break-in. Follow these tips when it comes to technology-related security:
  • Don't post pictures of valuable items on social media
  • Don't advertise to your social media "friends" when you are going away. This could be an invitation to break in.
  • Installing a security system or even some dummy cameras and alarms can be a great deterrent.
  • Use encrypted cloud storage to keep your data safe. That includes copies of birth certificates, social security cards, family photos, wills, and more.
 







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