Keep ‘Em Fresh!

Fresh is always best, right? And that’s especially true of something special and valuable in your home — fresh, cut flowers.

Flowers make a great gift and everyone enjoys them. What’s frustrating is how quickly they begin to wilt and look tired and… then they look more like weeds than flowers.

There are a lot of tips and tricks you can try to keep flowers fresh longer. No scientific evidence, but easy things you can try at home.

You know those little packets of powder that comes with fresh cut flowers? The little packet your florist includes for free? It’s basically sugar – so if you don’t have some of those packets, just dump in a tablespoon or so of white sugar. The powdered sugar variety might be best since it will dissolve easier in water. Even cut flowers need a little nourishment, and who doesn’t like sugar?

Keeping the water acidic is also a tip some pros endorse. Acidity is vital to plant growth, so adding an ounce or two of white vinegar might make those flowers look their best longer.

The Clorox company recommends ¼ teaspoon of bleach for each vase of flowers, saying the bleach disinfects and keeps the water clear and free of that smelly slime we all experience after a few days on the counter.

Another way to make flowers look better longer is kind of cheating. Some florists say to use hairspray on the underside of the petals and leaves. Obviously, this keeps them from drooping too much.

No matter which tip, trick or urban legend you use for your flowers, the best advice is simple: Change the water in the vase daily, and enjoy those fresh, cut flowers as long as you can!

Removing Rust from Driveways

While the flooring in a home is what many look at and judge cleanliness on, the same could be said for areas outside the home. Especially the driveway.

A nice, clean and neat driveway, swept free of dust and debris, is noticed by everyone. So is one that has ugly rust stains. Especially when moisture has spread rust stains down the drive.

If you have rust stains on your driveway, you might wonder… What causes them? Driveways are typically concrete or asphalt, neither of which should rust, right?

Wrong!

Rust can develop from residues, such as those deposited on your driveway from your vehicle, from lawn care products and more. Also, the construction of your driveway, especially if concrete, contributes to rust stains. The rebar in the concrete can be close to the surface and rust can develop. There could be particles in asphalt that will rust as well.

No matter the cause, what you should be concerned with is prevention and, of course, removal of rust stains. Preventing them is difficult. Keeping everything clean is the first step, so rust doesn’t develop at all.

Steps to removal

For smaller rust stains, a little lemon juice or vinegar often does the trick. Apply when the affected areas are in the shade, or do it in the evening, because the sun will dry everything out too quickly. Work in the juice or vinegar with a brush. Rinse away any residues and reapply if you see some improvement.

If that doesn’t work, it’s time to get more aggressive. Visit your local hardware store and purchase a rust stain removal product and follow the directions. Be sure to note any precautions such as respiratory and contact issues.

And if that doesn’t work, it’s time to get really serious. At that same hardware store, you can purchase a stronger product, such as muriatic acid, and apply to the rust stains. But you must be very careful with strong acids as they can burn your skin and much worse. Also remember that stronger acids can damage the actual driveway material so be careful how you apply it and how long it dwells on the surface. Some have found that stronger acids negatively affect asphalt driveways. Be careful!

What’s best? Calling your cleaning pros, who know all about rust stains and how to remove them. Do the right thing. Give them a ring.

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Toilet Tank Leaks, What You Need To Know!

According to the American Water Works Association (AWWA), toilets are responsible for approximately 27 percent of the water used in homes on a daily basis. The amount of water used by toilets is only increased when there is a leak. A leaking toilet tank can result in an incredible loss of water every minute it has not been stopped. It oftentimes goes undetected until a leak test has been conducted.

Continue reading “Toilet Tank Leaks, What You Need To Know!”

How to Prepare Your Home Office During the COVID-19 Outbreak

As the current situation with COVID-19 developing and spreading fast, more and more companies are opting for their employees to work from home so they can comply with the social distancing protocol to help in the battle of spreading the virus. The virus is spreading through people so social distancing is a measure that governments implement to try and slow the virus down and make sure it’s under control.

Continue reading “How to Prepare Your Home Office During the COVID-19 Outbreak”

Hurricane Shutters: What You Need To Know

There are several types of products that qualify as “shutter” protection for your home. Each option meets current Florida Building Code standards, and will also satisfy insurance requirements. They fall into one of the following categories:

  • Manually Installed Aluminum Hurricane Panels
  • Manually Installed Clear Polycarbonate Hurricane Panels
  • Accordion Hurricane Shutters
  • Bahama Hurricane Shutters
  • Colonial Hurricane Shutters
  • Electric or Motorized Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters
  • Manual and Electric Roll-Down Hurricane Screens
  • Hurricane Fabric
  • Impact Resistant Hurricane Windows and Doors

Because each application has Florida Building Code approval, your choice should be based on your lifestyle and which product best fits the specific opening. You should consult with a professional licensed building contractor to determine what the best option is for an opening. Each application needs to be installed according to Florida Building Code specifications to meet the requirements of protection, which will satisfy local building codes and your insurance company.

Manually Installed Aluminum Hurricane Panels

This style is often what is thought of when someone hears the phrase “hurricane shutters”. Aluminum hurricane panels are made from light-weight corrugated aluminum is very strong and can be installed vertically or horizontally to meet the needs of the opening. These panels are put up when there is threat of a storm, and taken down after.

The panels are measured and cut to cover the opening, and can be affixed to the house with a track or secured directly to the structure. The window will be completely covered when installed, and you can’t see out of the window once they are in place.

This is generally the least expensive type of shutter protection. The panels are lightweight, making them easy to carry, but can be awkward when installing over large openings. You will also need a place to store the panels when they are not in use.

Manually Installed Clear Polycarbonate Hurricane Panels

This style is similar to aluminum hurricane panels, but the corrugated panel is a clear polycarbonate. The main benefit of the polycarbonate material is that light can get through the opening, and you can see the conditions outside.

Like aluminum hurricane panels, they are lightweight and strong and can be installed vertically or horizontally to meet the needs of the opening. These panels are put up when there is threat of a storm, and taken down after.

The panels are measured and cut to cover the opening, and can be affixed to the house with a track or secured directly to the structure. The window will be completely covered when installed, and you will be able to see out of the window once they are in place.

The panels are lightweight, making them easy to carry, but can be awkward when installing over large openings. You will also need a place to store the panels when they are not in use.

Accordion Hurricane Shutters

Accordion hurricane shutters will protect windows, sliding glass doors or enclose entire balconies or lanais. They are also a good option for opening that may be hard to secure, such as a rounded window, aquarium type window or corner-meet non-impact sliding glass doors.

They are made from a lightweight aluminum and installed into tracks on the top and bottom that guide the movement of the shutters as well as hold them in place. The top track holds a wheel carriage that adds to ease of movement. These are manually operated.

They are easy to open and close in almost every application. Once the interconnected aluminum panels are closed and locked, your protection is in place. You will not be able to see out of the opening, and light will not pass through.

Accordion hurricane shutters need to be maintained by lubricating and cleaning annually. You won’t need to worry about storage as they are left in place retracted when not in use.

Bahama Hurricane Shutters

Bahama hurricane shutters might just look like decorative shutters that typify the look and feel of a tropical home, however when they are made of material strong enough to withstand hurricane force winds, and installed to meet current building code standards, they serve as viable protection for your home.

They are always in place, and can be lowered and latched with relative ease in the event of a storm. While extended, they can also serve as shade for any opening.

The style is not well-suited for every architectural style. It simply doesn’t work for many homes. There are also some limitations on the maximum size that they are considered to be effective, such as a door.

Colonial Hurricane Shutters

Colonial hurricane shutters are also permanently affixed to the structure, and considered “decorative”. Like Bahama hurricane shutters, when they are made of material strong enough to withstand hurricane force winds, and installed to meet current building code standards, they serve as viable protection for your home. They can also be easily closed in the event of a storm.

Like Bahama hurricane shutters, the style is not well-suited for every architectural style. It simply doesn’t work for many homes. There are also some limitations on the maximum size that they are considered to be effective.

Electric or Motorized Roll-Down Hurricane Shutters

Electric or motorized roll-down hurricane shutters might very well be considered to be the most convenient shutter option. Just a flip of a switch and your protection is in place. In some cases, you can also operate the shutter manually if there is a loss of power.

Electric or motorized roll-down shutters are a popular solution for lanai area of a home. They can be installed to easily enclose the entire lanai. Some people like the ability to leave patio furniture in place during a storm, which is easy to do with this shutter option. They also come in handy for everyday use by adding noise reduction, security and privacy when they are down.

They are always in place, affixed to the top of the opening and contained in a small box. This may be a deterrent to homeowners who don’t want to have this housing visible, especially on the front of the home.

Manual and Electric Roll-Down Hurricane Screens

Manual and electric roll-down hurricane screens are newer to the market, but most manufacturers have obtained Florida Building Code approval through stringent testing. The screen will stop flying debris from impacting your opening during a storm. These must be installed by a certified professional contractor.

They function much like a composite electric, motorized or manual roll-down shutter with a noted exception that you can have full visibility from the inside to the outside. The screen itself is a very dense, tightly woven material that not only withstands the force of hurricane winds of 130 mph, but also repels water in the same way that a composite shutter would.

They are a great solution for protection in large or unusually configured areas. They deploy with relative ease, and have the added benefit of use for privacy, shade and rain protection during mild storms.

Hurricane Fabric

Hurricane fabric is also called hurricane netting or hurricane curtains depending on the manufacturer. The function and installation is basically the same as long as it meets the same Florida Building Code approval requirements.

Hurricane fabric is a PVC coated woven fabric panel that has been tested and approved to block wind, rain and flying debris. You can see through the fabric from the inside, and it is also a great solution for protection in large or unusually configured areas.

The fabric comes in a variety of colors. It can be affixed to the structure of your home with straps, buckles (such as around columns) and grommets (such as around a window area). All methods of installation allow for easy access to exit your home quickly.

Impact Resistant Hurricane Windows and Doors

Impact resistant hurricane windows and doors are not considered “shutters”. They are an alternative to shutters that offer full-time protection against the elements, intruders, UV rays and noise. This is generally going to be the most expensive option in hurricane protection.

The benefit of total home replacement of windows and doors with impact resistant products is that you never have to think about it again. Once installed by a qualified, licensed professional your protection is in place 24-7-365.

If your windows and doors need to be replaced, you might give serious consideration to replacing them with impact resistant hurricane windows and doors. The cost of replacing a window or door with a non-impact product and then adding a shutter to meet current codes is very close to replacing the opening with an impact product.

The bottom line…

You have a spectrum of options ranging from the least expensive shutter panels to replacing your windows and doors with impact resistant hurricane windows and doors. So how do you determine what is best for you?

Consider this:

Typically the least expensive option will be the most labor intensive and conversely, the most expensive options will be the most worry-free. So when narrowing your budget vs. expense, consider this:

The front of your home generally has the highest priority aesthetically. You want protection in place that doesn’t detract from the architecture.

The back of your home will take the next level of priority, and typically will be the most expensive area to protect due to the fact that you generally see the most glass in the back. Most people want to preserve the view, and possibly enclose the lanai to be able to leave furniture out at all times. You can generally save a great deal on the back of the home with shutters vs. impact-resistant doors and windows.

The sides of your home usually are the last priority because they rally aren’t seen by you and sometimes, not even your neighbor. Although they can’t be seen, it is still vital to protect the openings as they are vulnerable.

The least expensive hurricane panels might be a good option. You can always upgrade in the future to a more expensive shutter option, or choose to replace the windows with an impact product.

Ultimately…

You want to make sure that you choose products that fit your lifestyle, and hire a qualified contractor for the installation.

If your commercial or residential property has been damaged by strong winds or a big storm, there is a series of steps you should follow to mitigate the damage and get help right away.

  • Contact the Regency DRT team for a damage assessment. If you have insurance, you must act quickly to minimize any damage to your property as required by your policy.
  • Call your insurance company to report the damages and review your policy and coverage. (Keep in mind Regency DRT does not advise or make recommendations on your insurance coverage.) We do work with all insurance companies to assist you in working with the insurance adjuster.
  • Report safety hazards especially downed power lines.
  • Stay away from areas that are flooding as the water could be charged with an electrical current. There is also the possibility of potential dangers under the water like any nails or other sharp objects.

Act Fast!

When your house has been water damaged, there is no time to lounge around and wait for a good time to start the cleanup process. We at Regency DRT have more than twenty years of experience to handle every type of water damage dilemma you might face. Some of the services we provide include water extraction and pump-outs, complete structural drying, dehumidification, mold and sewage remediation, water damage cleanup due to frozen pipes and broken pipes, and off-site personal property cleaning.

Please contact us for more information on how we can help you. Even if you aren’t interested in our services at this time, we are happy to offer any advice and information on how to recover from water damage.

 

 

24/7 Emergency And Professional Storm Damage Cleanup And Restoration – Call (888) 221-5791!

 

How Does Your Smoke Detector Work?

Have you ever looked up at your smoke alarm and thought, “I wonder how that works?” Well the simple answer is, “With cunning ingenuity”. The first thing to understand is that there are two basic smoke alarm designs. The first and the most commonly used design is nuclear powered and is known as an ionization smoke detector, these require little space are cheap and are more common than the other type of detector, which is the photoelectric smoke detector.

Continue reading “How Does Your Smoke Detector Work?”

Detergents, Soaps and More (What’s the Difference?)

 

Detergents, Soaps and More

When it comes to your home, you usually have two prime, important goals in mind: Keep your home clean and keep your home healthy. Family is important to you.

To do that, it takes a lot of thought. Not about your cleaning technique… but about the products you choose to do the cleaning.

When you wander the cleaning supply aisle at your favorite department or big-box store, the options are endless. The list of ingredients is long and the descriptive words are confusing. While a scientist working in a laboratory knows what those ingredients are, it’s not your fault that they mystify you.

What do you really need to know? The basics. Here they are. Continue reading “Detergents, Soaps and More (What’s the Difference?)”

Closet Cleaning & Organizing

Although traditionally a spring cleaning chore, cleaning and organizing a closet can be done any time of year.
And no, keeping the door shut isn’t the best solution to a messy, disorganized closet, although it may give you moments of sanity that quickly disappear when you venture inside for that favorite pair of pants you haven’t seen in months.
Here are a few quick tips on cleaning and organizing your closet. Continue reading “Closet Cleaning & Organizing”

Avoiding Wood Deck Woes

Avoiding Wood Deck Woes

Wood decks can be beautiful things, add value and enjoyment to your home. Unless they are ignored or neglected, of course.

Like any surface in your home, a wood deck needs some special care. While a lower-cost alternative to pavers, concrete and other hard surface materials, wood decks are very attractive, especially if you chose a color tone that matches your home and is one you enjoy.

But after a year or two, aging happens and dirt and grime accumulates. Stains as well. You start to wonder what you can do to bring back to life the deck you admired so much. Continue reading “Avoiding Wood Deck Woes”