Tip of the Week
Storms and wet weather not only impact our life’s activities, they can also have a disastrous effect on our homes, both inside and out. New technologies and products that help homeowners manage the damaging effects of weather with reduced stress are in high demand.
Your sump pump is calling
There are few things more devastating than water damage from flooding, which is a top worry of homeowners. New smarter systems not only pump large volumes of water, but alert homeowners, in minutes, about rising water levels and power outages. For example, a microprocessor-controlled system called Sump Minder monitors conditions in a basement and connects to a standard phone line.
“The homeowner can program up to three different phone numbers. When the system is activated, they will receive a phone call from the sump pump about conditions in the basement, no matter where they are,” said Duane Johnson, president of WAYNE Water Systems.
Decks that endure
Homeowners can also feel more secure when dark clouds are looming with a deck that has beauty and character, but performs far beyond wood. New “capped” composites feature decking with an extra layer of protection.
Fix ups after winter’s fury
Take a peek under your front door jamb and you may see how harsh weather has deteriorated the wood or caused gaps that can raise your energy bills. “That is just one area of your home that may be compromised, which is why a tube of caulk can become your best friend,” said Jason Ringling, director of marketing at Red Devil Inc.
No matter what type of weather or wet conditions you are dealing with, there are solutions on the market today to help win the battle against Mother Nature and keep your home safe from damage, both inside and out.
Does your yard get too much water? Installing permeable pavers, which are great for patios or driveways, can help manage the excess water while expanding your outdoor living space. When storm water is not adequately absorbed into the ground, it can create home-selling problems.
People are moving toward much more casual and interactive living, said Elissa Morgante, principal at Morgante Wilson Architects in Chicago. This translates into making all rooms in the home inviting and multifunctional, to foster togetherness in comfortable spaces that will actually be used. Practicality and individuality will dominate next year, with upholstery expected to bring presence and sophistication while still delivering all-day comfort.
Compact plants that are perfect for today’s smaller gardens and a growing trend. A little trick to easily finding a plant that is more compact is to look for the words little, dwarf, baby, patio, knee-high or tiny in the variety name. Then read the tags or description to get the actual size of the mature plant. Hint: if a plant tag or description says it’s perfect for cut flowers, then expect it to be the opposite of compact because long stems are needs for most cut flowers.
- National Garden Bureau
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Home Help: New home innovations help consumers weather the storm
Tip of the Week