7 Apartment Winter Maintenance Tips for Renters

Winter always seems to sneak up on us, year after year. Because most climates experience the most dramatic change in weather during the colder months, it’s important to understand what apartment winter maintenance or preparatory tasks you’ll be responsible for at your rental property.

While some tasks fall on the shoulders of your landlord or property manager, there are certain steps you can take as a renter to ensure a safe and comfortable winter at home.

1. Check in with your landlord or property manager

Before the winter hits, touch base with your landlord if you’re unclear on what are tenant responsibilities and what are landlord responsibilities. Who’s responsible for removing snow and ice at the property, and what are the expectations?

Some states have local snow and ice removal regulations regarding public sidewalks or other public areas. Discuss acceptable de-icing measures to make sure you aren’t causing damage to any surfaces.

thermostat

2. Test out the heat

While it’s your landlord’s responsibility to have heating and cooling systems serviced regularly, it’s helpful to turn on the heat a bit early for a short period of time to make sure everything is functioning properly.

It’s always better to learn about any issues ahead of time instead of discovering a winter maintenance problem in your apartment when the cold temperatures set in.

3. Avoid unwanted guests

Cooler weather and more precipitation means bugs, rodents and other pests are looking for a warm place to call home. An easy way to attract unwanted pests is by providing them with a food source, so be sure to take a few preventative steps, especially now that many of us are cooking at home more than ever before.

Store your dry, perishable food items inside air-tight containers that pests can’t chew through. Try to take trash containing food scraps out as soon as possible instead of letting it sit. Aim to wipe down countertops at least once each day to get rid of crumbs and food remnants.

4. Prevent frozen pipes

Be sure to follow all of your landlord’s instructions to avoid frozen or burst pipes due to cold weather. Most landlords or property managers will provide guidance on temperature levels and other preventative measures to avoid this issue.

If you’re leaving on vacation or will otherwise be away from your rental for a period of time this winter, give your landlord a heads up and ask if they want you to set the temperature at a certain point or leave a couple of faucets on a slow drip.

woman with blanket and coffee

5. Stay warm and save money

Of course, you want to be comfortable in your own home, but keeping a few things in mind when it comes to turning on the heat can have a dramatic impact on your monthly bill. Experts say you can save up to 10 percent on your yearly heating expenses by turning down the thermostat just 7-10 degrees for approximately eight hours per day, like while you’re at work or while you’re sleeping.

Ceiling fans are an excellent tool to help distribute heat evenly. Many models have a switch that forces blades to spin clockwise, which will push warm air down into a room.

6. Be prepared for emergencies

If you live in an area where winter weather and storms are a frequent occurrence, it’s wise to make sure you’re prepared ahead of time for any worst-case scenarios. Sign up for weather and emergency alert systems to stay informed about any potentially threatening storms and actions should take. In general, stay indoors during major storms and avoid road travel until it is safe to do so.

7. Notify your landlord of any issues as soon as possible

Common winter issues like ice dams, frozen pipes or issues with the heating system can quickly spiral out of control. It’s important to keep tabs on your home and alert your landlord of any potential issues as soon as possible so they can be taken care of as quickly as possible.

Winter is coming

Whether you’re dreading winter or it’s your favorite season, taking the time to prepare your apartment for winter maintenance will help set you up for success as a renter. Come to a clear and established understanding of what your responsibilities are and what your landlord is responsible for, and make sure to hold up your end of the bargain.

The post 7 Apartment Winter Maintenance Tips for Renters appeared first on Apartment Living Tips – Apartment Tips from ApartmentGuide.com.

Source: apartmentguide.com

9 Surprising Windex Uses (Aside From Cleaning Glass)

Vinegar isn’t the only super performer in your kitchen.

Windex — that simple $3 spray you keep under your sink — can be used to clean the interior of your car, to detail jewelry and even to unstick zippers.

Your store shelves probably carry several varieties of Windex, so if you’re cleaning fabric, stick with the clear version, and if you’re using it for a car, use the Windex Ammonia-free Glass Cleaner.

Aside from those suggestions, any of the Windex variations will do the job.

Here are 9 surprisingly effective uses for that familiar blue (or sometimes clear) bottle.

1. Moving Large Pieces of Furniture

Los Angeles-based interior designer John Linden uses Windex to slide large items that are stuck or too heavy to move.

“All we need to do is to spritz some in front of the objects we want to move before pushing the item,” Linden says. He’s then able to easily move that piece of furniture to its place.

As long as you use the ammonia-free version of Windex, you can use it on any type of flooring, including hardwood.

2. Cleaning Carpets and Upholstered Furniture

You thought Windex only worked on glass? Linden says he’ll often spray Windex onto small stains, leaving it for 20 minutes to soak. Then he wipes right off the furniture.

Make sure to use the clear formula for this, as the blue formula may leave its own stains.

3. Insect Repellant

The smell of ammonia is strongly disliked by many insects, says Andrew Barker, founder of Homeowner Costs. As a result, Barker suggests spraying Windex by open windows and doors to keep bugs at bay.

4. Clean Your Car

Windex is also a great cleanser for cars, says Deidre Fisher, owner of Simply Bliss Cleaning in Salt Lake City, Utah. Use it on window and mirror smudges, on dashboards, the steering wheel and any plastic and leather surface.

It’s also great for cleaning the screens and dials. “I just recommend spraying the cloth first and not the electronics directly,” Fisher says.

5. Washing Makeup Brushes

Makeup artist and lifestyle blogger Kerrin Jackson has been using Windex to clean her brushes and airbrush parts for more than a decade.

“They make light work of breaking down the alcohol-based makeups and heavy-duty body makeup products that can sometimes be stubborn and difficult to clean from the inner workings of the airbrush parts,” Jackson says.

6. De-greasing Your Kitchen

Use Windex on your exhaust fans and range hoods in your kitchen, suggests Diana Rodriguez-Zaba, president of ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba, a cleaning company in Chicago.

Rodriguez-Zaba suggests spraying Windex on the surfaces and letting it stand for 5-10 minutes, then wiping it clean and rinsing with water to remove any remaining chemical residue.

7. Cleaning Your TV Screen

Got a dusty TV? Dust is usually very prevalent on televisions because everyone is scared to clean them. But spray some Windex on a soft cloth and you’re good to go, says Abe Navas, general manager of Emily’s Maids, a house cleaning service in Dallas.

8. Removing Stains From Clothing

It works well for red wine, tomato sauce, ketchup and more, says Jen Stark, founder of Happy DIY Home, a gardening and home improvement blog.

“You can lightly spray the stain with Windex and let it sit for 15 minutes, as long as the clothing item isn’t a delicate silk,” Stark said. “Get a clean cloth and blot at the stain before rinsing it in cold water.”

Follow this by washing the clothing as recommended. Make sure you use clear Windex for this task.

9. Cleaning Patio Furniture and Outdoor Surfaces

Benjamin Nguyen, owner of Full Color Cleaners, says he uses Windex to clean his patio furniture, making it look as good as new. It will clean everything from the furniture to outdoor surfaces, including brick.

For this task, go the extra mile and snag the Windex Outdoor Concentrated Cleaner, which is a 32 oz. spray bottle that attaches onto a hose ($27.66). Spray onto your aluminum siding, your brick, your windows — and with this tool, you won’t even need a ladder to do it.

Danielle Braff is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

How To Get Rid of Weevils: Tips To Purge These Pantry Pests

weevilsBackiris / Getty Images

It happens to the best of us: You aspire to bake some cookies, reach for the flour, and then realize it’s moving.

Welcome to weevils, tiny pests that can infiltrate a host of food products like rice, flour, and other grains. And unless you watch out, they may take over your entire pantry!

So, in case you have your own close encounter one day, here’s more info on what weevils are, whether or not they’re dangerous, and how to get rid of weevils and keep them at bay.

What are weevils?

Weevils are a group of beetles that are distinguished by their elongated snouts. Although they’re most often found noshing on food products, they sometimes also feed on clothing in your closet or furniture.

While there’s a crazy number of weevil species in the world—more than 95,000!— only three species are pests of household stored foods, according to Scott Lingren, an entomologist and owner of Venus Pest Co. The three you’re likely see in your home: the granary weevil, rice weevil, and maize weevil.

He says these weevil species lay their eggs in corn, wheat, oats, barley, or other grains. A single larva will develop and pupate within a six-week period. New adults that emerge from the grain kernel will mate and seek out more grain kernels to lay eggs in, continuing the cycle. Adults live for about six months.

The good news: Weevils don’t bite. The bad news: gross!

Odds are high that a weevil-ridden batch of flour is pretty much ruined, unless you enjoy eating these little critters. And even if your food is in bags or packages, that doesn’t mean it’s safe.

“Their chewing mouthparts can penetrate plastic and cardboard packaging, which will enable them to spread the infestation,” says Dave Lofquist, technical training manager for Arrow Exterminators. And they can spread fast.

“The adults can live for many months and are capable of wandering a good distance from the original infested item,” he explains.

How do weevils get into your house?

In most cases, you’re probably unwittingly bringing the weevils home with you from the grocery store.

“Most infestations found in homes arise from grains that are already infested when purchased from the store,” Lingren says. “In our experience in pest control, we have found that birdseed or bulk grains are the most common sources of infestation.”

Weevils can be found in all parts of the country because they are found in stored products, and those products are shipped all over the country. And you might not even be able to see them.

“Weevils’ egg, larvae, and pupal stages all occur within the grain, which makes detection difficult,” Lofquist says.

So, what if you (gulp) accidentally eat some weevils? The good news is they’re not harmful to humans, even if the gross-out factor is significant. And unfortunately, the chances that you have unwittingly ingested them at some point in your life are unappetizingly high. (Just consider it a bit of extra protein.)

How to get rid of weevils

Insecticide isn’t recommended for control of weevil infestations in home pantries, but preventing and eliminating them is fairly simple. Here are some tips:

  • Store grains safely. Experts agree the best way to keep weevils out of your food is to store your grains in sealed glass containers with tight-fighting lids instead of the bags and boxes in which they’re sold. Clear containers are a great option as they let you see more clearly if any weevils are in there. Always inspect your grains before using them.
  • Clean up spills. Even if you don’t see any weevils, clean up any spilled grains immediately. Weevils may be lurking in there, and you don’t want them spreading.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. If you find weevils in one product, go through your pantry and look for signs of infestations in other foods. Throw out any food that has signs. If you have unaffected grains, place them in sealed containers. Any remaining adults outside of these containers will have no food source and die on their own within a few days.
  • Forget the freeze. Some people suggest freezing food to kill weevils, which may work, but there will still be weevil eggs in your food that may hatch later on. And a bunch of dead weevils.

The post How To Get Rid of Weevils: Tips To Purge These Pantry Pests appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Source: realtor.com