The Best Ways to Improve Your Air Quality and Ward off the Coronavirus

The coronavirus and its nasty attack on the lungs is on everyone’s minds. And, as we take increasingly careful measures to keep ourselves safe by staying home, many of us are thinking about ways we can improve the air quality within our walls. While there is no evidence that better indoor air quality can aid in the fight against the coronavirus, we know that poor air quality can exacerbate asthma and allergies and potentially worsen the conditions for people afflicted with the coronavirus. And, “Air pollution can boost levels of inflammation in the lungs, making patients more vulnerable to other infections,” said Cleveland.com.

Here are several things you can do to improve the air quality in your home now.

Change your air filters

Do you change the air filters in your home every 30 days? That’s what many filter companies recommend. If it’s been a while, go ahead and order yourself some filters. And get the good ones. 

“Quality air filters improve your indoor air by eliminating more contaminant particles like pollutants and allergens, as well as keeping dust build-up down; more than standard filters can,” said HVAC.com. “A good quality air filter can also improve the efficiency of your HVAC equipment through contaminant reduction.”

Get an air purifier

“Air purifiers usually consist of a filter, or multiple filters, and a fan that sucks in and circulates air,” said Good Housekeeping. “As air moves through the filter, pollutants and particles are captured and the clean air is pushed back out into the living space.”

There are other reasons to consider air purifiers. “Beyond respiratory concerns, there’s also growing evidence that simple in-room purifiers can clean air enough to boost cognitive development and academic performance,” said Curbed. “A remarkable study was conducted in LA after the Aliso Canyon methane gas leak, where plug-in air purifiers were installed in businesses and schools within a five-mile radius of the gas facility as part of the mitigation process. These were larger, industrial-sized units that run about $700, but just adding them to school classrooms improved test scores, the study authors say—the equivalent of cutting class size by a third. This alone seems like an excellent argument for putting at least one purifier in the same room as your child’s brain.”

Get some plants

Certain kinds of plants can help you purify the air and lower your stress level. According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, which was designed to find ways to clean the air in sealed space stations, plants can be effective to absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen into the air, and remove pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene,” said Yahoo. “These chemicals can cause irritation to the skin, ears, eyes, nose, and throat, as well as some cancers, according to the EPA. The study suggests that at least one plant per 100 square feet can effectively clean the air.”

NASA picked several plants for their detoxification qualities, including: The snake plant, which can “release oxygen at night;” peace lily, which “produces fragrant flowers all summer long, and effectively removes ammonia, formaldehyde, trichlorobenzene, and benzene from the air;” bamboo palm, a “fast-growing houseplant” that will “add moisture to the air in the dry winter months and… thrives in indirect sunlight;” and parlor palm, which is “perfect for new plant parents” because it “requires minimal maintenance.”

Get a salt lamp

Not only do they bring a bit of sparkle and nature into your space, but Himalayan salt lamps are also thought to potentially have healing properties. “Combined with a light source inside the lamps, the chunks of salt produce negative ions, which yield positive effects on indoor air,” said The Jerusalem Post. “Placing a Himalayan salt lamp in every room of the home can reap several health and environmental benefits.”

Keep the house clean

“Vacuuming and dusting and cleaning surfaces more regularly to remove dust, particulates and other lung irritants, as well as prevent the spread of coronavirus,” said Cleveland.com.

Message me if your thinking about selling your Fort Collins or Loveland home at m.me/EdPowersRealEstate

Ed Powers Real Estate 970-690-3113 ed@EdPowersRealEstate.com www.EdPowersRealEstate.com

Family Home Improvement Projects You Can Do During the Quarantine

Things You Can Do to Help Your Property Appraise

All this quarantining making you want to fix up the house you’re stuck in? You are not alone. Despite the stay-at-home orders, the parking lot of our local Lowe’s is still packed every day! 

The good news is, you can order just about anything you need, and with all that family togetherness, you’ve got the manpower to get some stuff done. Here are some great projects to take on while the family is hunkering down together. 

Do your backsplash

Tiling a backsplash seems like it would be a complicated project, but it’s actually relatively easy, even for novices. Little kids can get involved, too, since there are so many different tasks involved, from measuring all the way to grouting. 

“If more involved renovations are on your to-do list, let the adults handle the removal of the old unit first,” said Home Jobs By Mom. “Then allow the kids to get creative with the new backsplash. If you’ve decided on a multi-colored mosaic backsplash, for example, the kids can work together to assemble the tiles on a sheet. This diy home improvement project not only replete with artistic flair but can be completed by one child or through family teamwork. If you think they are up for it, they can even assist in tile placement and grouting.”

Paint

Painting is one of the easiest and most affordable updates you can make to your home and it’s perfect as a family project. Be sure to lay down a drop cloth if you’re letting your kids paint with you, and take a little time first to show them some basic pointers so you don’t end up with drips. 

Paint the fence 

If your fence has seen better days, gather the fam and get some sun while you perk it up. “Have kids grab a brush and paint that picket fence white again, or update privacy fences with a color that matches or compliments your home,” said Quicken Loans.

Bring a piece of furniture to life

Have a tired old table, sideboard, or bookcase? Order some paint and splash on a pop of color to bring it to life. You can make an old piece feel brand new, and you’ll have the added benefit of feeling proud every time you walk past it.

Redo your kitchen cabinets

We’re not gonna lie. This is a doozy of a project to take on without professional training and extreme patience and diligence. But, you’ve definitely got the time on your hands now, so why not give those dingy cabinets a makeover. 

It’s not easy to get a smooth finish, even with a professional sprayer, so it’s probably best to keep the paintbrushes out of the little ones’ hands unless they’re painting an area that is not going to be easily seem—like the back of the cabinet boxes or underside of shelves. They’ll probably have fun with the sanding block, though, or can be assigned the job of wiping down the finishes after they’ve been sanded. They don’t need to know what a tedious job this is; If you package it right, they’ll think it’s a privilege!

Once you figured out who’s doing what, use some professional tips to get a pro quality look. “You don’t need to spray to get a smooth finish,” painting contractor John Dee told This Old House. “He often brush-paints cabinets anyway because it gives him more control and avoids the risk of paint spray ending up where it’s not wanted. (Surface prep is the same whether you spray or brush.) Brushing is time-consuming, he warns, and could take up to a couple of weeks to complete. But the result is a durable, glass-smooth finish that’s the equal of anything from a spray gun. ‘You just need to use the best materials and take the time to sand and do the brushwork right,’” he said.

Create a garden

“Creating a garden is a low-key renovation project for the whole family. It’s also combining science and art for a great learning experience,” said Isley’s Home Service. “Starting a garden helps your kids develop an appreciation and understanding of nature. And in this age of video games and smartphones, that’s a good thing. Find some decorative plants or even plant seeds for the front and/or backyards. Being able to eat what you grow always has an impact so go ahead, work together and have some fun.”

Build a playhouse

This is obviously a more involved DIY project, so maybe you don’t tackle this one unless someone in the family has some carpentry skills. If you do move forward, however, you can create something special that will hold lifelong memories for the kids. 

“They’ll have so much fun building something that is specifically for them to play in and they’ll learn a lot about carpentry along the way,” said Italian cabinet manufacturer, Aran Cucine. “Young children are obviously not be suited for dangerous tasks such as sawing lumber, but they’ll be able to help with measuring, painting and hammering with supervision.”

Message me if your thinking about selling your Fort Collins or Loveland home at m.me/EdPowersRealEstate

Ed Powers Real Estate 970-690-3113 ed@EdPowersRealEstate.com www.EdPowersRealEstate.com

Selling Your Home in Winter

There are plenty of notable advantages when selling a home during the colder months.

People often say that trying to sell a home in winter is a lot more challenging than selling the same home in summer; but the thing is, there are plenty of notable advantages when selling a home during the colder months. For instance, there would be fewer available homes in the market plus people make new home purchases year-round, so there is no shortage of buyers. Selling in winter also means that you can showcase your home’s family-friendly atmosphere and cosy charm a lot better. Below are some tips on how you can achieve this.

A Welcoming Entryway

Your front door is the first part of your home that prospective buyers would see so how welcoming it looks plays a huge part on making a positive first impression. Christmas lights, a wreath, or a garland lends a beautiful touch. Plant urns with lots of festive greenery and tuck in some silver ball ornaments, boughs of holy and pine, and add some gold, red, or green ribbon for a very chic and cosy look.

Make the Good First Impression Last

It only takes the first 10-15 minutes to make a lasting good impression. Make it a point to ensure that the home has heat on when you have a scheduled viewing (very important for unoccupied homes). You’d want someone to feel at home and want your home to be theirs!

Create A Warm Ambiance

Light candles, have bowls of potpourri in main rooms (vanilla and cookie scents are a safe bet). A pot of simmering cider on the stove is particularly great on very cold days.

Don’t Forget to Protect the Floors

Wet and snowy boots won’t do your carpets and floors any favour. Make sure that you have a rubber mat by the main door plus a couple of comfy house slippers for prospective buyers to slip into. It will also make them feel more welcome so win-win!

Use the Fireplace

Whether you have a wood burning fireplace or a gas one, a glowing warm hearth is always a nice touch when you have a viewing.

Decorate for the Holidays

A common mistake of people selling their property in winter is not decorating for the holidays. Have some poisenttias all over the house, add pine garlands to mantels and banisters, and put up a Christmas tree or a menorah. It will invoke a positive emotional response for most people.

Don’t Forget the Exterior

Just because the outside is likely to be covered in snow does not mean that you can forget about it. Washing siding and paintwork with soapy water when it is not too cold can make a world of difference, more so because winter’s dim days can highlight grime as though it is under a spotlight.

Manage the Foliage

Trim tree branches and shrubs so they don’t end up obstructing entrances and walkways. Pruning trees and shrubs won’t hurt them and will make shoveling snow easier. Remember that if a visitor slips or hurts himself or herself on your not-so-well-maintained property, you’ll be held liable; so get to tending to your home and make it as attractive and as safe as possible to potential buyers.

Message me if your thinking about selling your Fort Collins or Loveland home at m.me/EdPowersRealEstate

Ed Powers Real Estate 970-690-3113 ed@EdPowersRealEstate.com www.EdPowersRealEstate.com

Eight Ways To Improve Curb Appeal

Whether you plan to stay in your home for years or put it on the market soon, there are dozens of ways to increase your home’s value. Upgrading the kitchen, adding decks, and making the living area more spacious add to the value of your home by thousands and bring enjoyment for you at the same time. There are other smaller ways to increase your home’s value. One important way is by increasing curb appeal. What does your home look like to a passerby? Following are 8 ideas for increasing your home’s curb appeal.

1. Spruce Up the Front Door

Your home’s front door is like a welcoming smile. Make sure yours is bright and attractive. If it’s in terrible condition, consider replacing it. Otherwise, a fresh coat of paint in a color that compliments your home will do. Polish or replace the doorknob and hardware. A metal kick plate at the bottom will do wonders to cover pet scratches and other damage.

2. Install Outdoor Lighting

Use low-voltage lighting to accent landscaping, the house, or sidewalk. This will also add to safety and security. Don’t worry if you can’t use lights that require wiring. Solar fixtures are available that will do the job.

3. Rejuvenate Your Lawn

Bald spots and weeds on your lawn are an eyesore for your entire property. Make an investment in getting yours up to par. Make sure your grass type is appropriate for where you live. Learn when and how to fertilize, water, and weed it properly. Keep your lawn mowed, raked and edged. If you live in a dry area consider drought-tolerant landscaping.

4. Container Gardens and Flower Beds

Flower beds and container gardens are a wonderful way to brighten curb appeal. If you already have flower beds, get them in shape by pulling weeds, pruning, and mulching. Buy your container gardens ready-made or create your own. Be sure to use plants that will thrive where you live, and consider the amount of sun or shade they will get.

5. Mailbox Makeover

A mailbox makeover is a quick and affordable way to add curb appeal. Choose a hanging dropbox that compliments your home’s trim work. If it sits on a post, give the box and the post a fresh coat of paint. Purchase attractive and visible lettering for the name and street number. Consider surrounding the mailbox with a flower bed.

6. Add Shutters and Accent Trim

Shutters and trim add a touch of subtle beauty to your home’s exterior. If you already have shutters, make sure they don’t have peeling paint. A color change for shutters and trim can revive a tired-looking exterior. If you are adding new shutters, look for shutters made of durable material such as PVC resins or polyurethane. Use durable, low-maintenance trim details.

7. Replace Gutters and Downspouts

Nothing shouts neglect more than an old rusting gutter system. Newer systems are available made of snap-fit vinyl that can be put together easily with simple tools. Another option is to invest some money into a copper system for really dynamite curb appeal.

8. Upgrade the Driveway and Walkway

Cracks in concrete driveways and walkways with vegetation growing through can ruin your home’s curb appeal. Fortunately, this problem is easily fixed with crack refill and driveway sealant. Stained concrete can be cleaned and repainted. If you have a dirt driveway, holes and washouts are unsightly and inconvenient. A load of fresh gravel will keep your driveway looking neat for a long time.