Holiday Weekends are Great for Yard Sales!

One of the best times to have yard sales is over a long, holiday weekend. It sounds surprising, until you think about where people will be going over the 4th of July weekend in the U.S. Many people will be traveling back to their hometowns to visit family, others will be taking advantage of a beautiful weekend to go somewhere fun where they can relax and take part in a variety of activities, then settle in for a great fireworks display. Both of these groups offer an instant, new audience for your yard sale.

This weekend, the Ellwood City Area Arts, Crafts, Food & Entertainment Festival will give yard sales an added boost because of increased foot traffic all weekend long. If you live near any road leading into Ellwood City or near Ewing Park, hundreds of people will be walking by your home throughout the day. Why not take advantage of these visitors, already primed to shop, and host a multi-family yard sale?

MAKE YOUR YARD SALE ENTICING

There are several things you can do to make a spur-of-the-moment yard sale successful this weekend:

  • Put up plenty of signs with arrows pointing the way to your yard sale
  • Make some larger signs that highlight the most attractive items you’re offering. These include collectibles, furniture, tools, local memorabilia, anything patriotic, baby gear and bikes.
  • Ask your friends and neighbors to participate; the larger the sale, the more attractive it will be to potential shoppers
  • Don’t forget to put your address on some or all of  your signs (for those who rely on GPS for finding their way everywhere)
  • Display similar articles together. People looking for tools don’t want to have to pick through books, bikes and ballgowns to find the power tools saws. Instead, group all tools together, have an area that’s clearly defined for baby and children’s items, etc.
  • Don’t waste too much time schlepping participants’ items back and forth in your car. An EZ Move rental truck can help you move larger items (furniture, baby gear, area rugs, power tools, bikes, etc.) without having to make multiple trips.
  • Let the kids set up a lemonade stand or sell crafts they’ve made.
  • On Sunday, when everyone is heading out of the park at the close of the Festival, mark everything half price for quick, last chance sales.

Call 724-752-1310 to reserve a truck today (there’s a mileage discount Sunday thru Thursday!) and make some money from Ellwood City’s many Festival visitors this weekend!

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Five Reasons Why Poly Flooring is the Perfect Way to Upgrade Your Garage

Garage floors take a real beating from most homeowners. The concrete cracks over time and quickly becomes stained by oils, gasoline and more from cars and trucks. Most homeowners don’t think much about the appearance of their garage flooring until it’s time to sell their home, and then they’re dismayed to realize just how bad the concrete flooring looks. By then it may be too late to clean and patch the worn concrete. That’s why more homeowners every year are coating their concrete garage floors with a durable, poly coating that protects and beautifies.

All AmGuard products

American Guardian Protection offers an outstanding, spray-on poly elastomer coating that was originally developed for use on bed liners and heavy equipment, so you know it can stand up to just about anything you can dish out. This innovative product seals concrete floors and adds an extra layer of protection that’s attractive and lasts for years.

There are several benefits to coating your garage floor with liquid bed liner from American Guardian Protection:

  1. It’s durable. The poly elastomer coating will provide years of protection and will won’t stain or crack. You won’t have to worry about repairing crumbling concrete or trying to remove stains.
  2. It’s easy to install. You can paint on American Guardian’s poly flooring with a paint gun or paint brushes and let it cure over the weekend.
  3. It’s attractive. American Guardian Protection now offers their poly coating in black, antique white and sky blue so that you can choose the color that works best in your garage or workshop.
  4. It’s safe. If you install a poly floor by American Guardian Protection, you can choose a formula with grit, which will give the garage flooring a skid-free surface that provides traction and decreases the chances of someone slipping and falling on your floor.
  5. It’s easy care. All you have to do to clean your poly flooring is hose it down occasionally. It’s also waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about water seeping underneath the flooring and damaging the concrete underneath.

Ready to upgrade your concrete garage flooring to a durable, poly flooring? Call American Guardian Protection and ask for more information about how you can use our liquid bed liner to finish your garage flooring and add years of durability, safety and beauty to your garage in one easy application!

 

American Guardian Protection

724-752-4001

info@amguard.us

Prepping for Spring: 5 Indoor Chores to Get You Ready for Warmer Weather

The unusually warm weather and sunny skies this winter may have you looking forward to spring, but it’s still too early for most outside chores. Instead, focus on a few indoor chores that can brighten your home and get you ready for summer. The bonus? Your house will look and feel fresher.

Deep clean your kitchen. Pull out and clean behind your appliances, scrub off the counter tops and clean the front of your cabinets to get rid of any residue left by sticky hands. Clean out your pantry and fridge, tossing any expired products and organizing the rest.

Check the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. If you don’t have these, now is the time to purchase and install them.

Clean the window coverings. Wash the drapes and curtains or take them to the dry cleaners and clean off your window blinds. If you have windows that are framed by both sheers and heavy draperies, consider using just the sheers during the summer months for a breezy look that will let in more sunshine.

Switch to lighter bedding.  If you have the option, switch out your winter bedding for lighter, airier coverings. Replace flannel sheets and duvets for cotton sheets and gauzy throws.

Declutter. Less is more, particularly in rooms with lots of summer foot traffic. Do one room at a time and separate items into “throw out,” “store,” and “yard sale” groups. The bonus? When warmer weather and sunny skies arrive, you’ll have lots of stuff ready for a yard sale.

 

Christmas Safety Tips for Homeowners: Avoiding Holiday Hazards

It takes only seconds for faulty wiring to engulf a Christmas tree in flames.

The holidays are filled with all kinds of delights, from delicious delicacies and cookies to a brightly lit Christmas tree with shiny packages beneath it. But the holidays are also full of seasonal hazards that could ruin your celebrations. Make sure you’ve taken all the necessary precautions to prevent mishaps from minor to life-threatening this  year:

Christmas Lights

Before you decorate the outside of your house or drape your Christmas tree in twinkling lights, take the time to check every strand to make sure there are no frayed wires, cracked lights or loose connectors. If you have to replace any of the lights, unplug the strand before adding new bulbs.

26018910 - short circuit, burnt cable, on dark color background
An electrical fire can send your Christmas tree up in flames. Make sure all electrical wiring is safe.

Although it’s lovely to return to your brightly lit house after being out, it’s not a good idea to leave decorative lights on while the house is empty. You should also turn off the lights when you’re asleep. A smoldering electrical fire can quickly ignite your tree and presents and turn into a dangerous house fire.

Also be aware that the decorative electric candles that many people put in their windows can cause a fire, particularly if they use the older, traditional candelabra bulbs that get hot to the touch. If a curtain falls against one of these bulbs it can get hot enough to burn a hole in your window treatments or ignite them. If you can, replace older electric candles with newer, LED models that look just as good but don’t overheat.

Christmas Trees

Don’t purchase your Christmas tree too soon or buy one that’s been languishing for days or weeks before you take it home. The fresher the better – it will not only be safer and less likely to ignite, it will fill your home with a wonderful pine fragrance. Be sure you water your tree thoroughly and check it often. Christmas trees can soak up a lot of water, particularly during the first few days after you’ve set it up.

Do you own a cat? If so, make sure he knows that the Christmas tree is NOT a jungle gym. Many trees are knocked over by curious cats climbing them. A tree crashing to the ground will, at the very least, mean broken ornaments with sharp edges.

Extension Cords

If it takes more than one extension cord to connect your strands of lights, you need to either buy a single, longer extension cord or forego the decorating in that area. Always check your extension cords for loose plugs, frayed wires or other signs of damage.

Smoke Detectors

Be sure to check your smoke alarms. There are more house fires around the Christmas holidays than any other time of year. You don’t want to have to flee your house after a fire has been burning for any length of time. Prevent a possible tragedy by making sure your smoke detectors are working properly and do  few fire drills to make sure everyone knows the best route to get out of the house.

Packages & Holiday Decor

Most of us love decorating our homes for the holidays and putting beautifully wrapped presents under the tree, but beware of having too much clutter of any kind. Don’t put up your Christmas tree where it blocks a potential exit in case of emergencies. The same goes for packages – if they’ll be under the tree for a few days, make sure they’re pushed back far enough that they won’t be a tripping hazard for children and pets.

Your House

Never, ever leave your house unlocked during the holidays when you’re away. There is a spike in home robberies near Christmas because thieves know you’ll have lots of new presents just waiting for them. Also, if you use social media, don’t brag about the beautiful new television set, computer game or jewelry you are giving or receiving. Thieves troll the Internet looking for people who overshare information about expensive swag. They see this as an invitation to help themselves to your gifts.

Sidewalks & Driveways

There will be lots of visitors this time of year, and the sun sets early. Be sure your sidewalks are well lit so that guests don’t struggle to see their way to your front door. Also make sure the driveways and sidewalks are free of snow and ice. Once you’ve shoveled these areas, be sure to put down an ice melt product like Ice B’Gone Magic, an ice melting product that’s safe for pets and children. It will keep your sidewalks clear of snow and ice long after traditional rock salt has stopped working.

Candles

Whether it’s tapers on the mantle or a menorah on the table, never leave lit candles burning when there is no one to watch them. A stray breeze, an inquisitive pet or someone simply bumping the table as they walk past can all lead to your candles igniting the tablecloth, wrapping paper or whatever is close enough to act as a wick.

Pets

46093044 - male veterinarian examining great dane on cancer in vet clinic
A trip to the vet’s office with a sick dog isn’t a festive occasion for anyone.

Treat your pets kindly during the holidays and protect them from potential hazards. Even if your dog “never” gets up on the dining room chairs, an open box of chocolates left out may be too much temptation. You don’t want a late-night trip to the veterinarian’s office to get your dog’s stomach pumped. Avoid giving pets rich table scraps and foods they aren’t used to or they may end up with vomiting or diarrhea.

Many holiday plants, including poinsettias, can be poisonous to pets, so keep them out of the reach of inquisitive pets. Another hazard for pets can be candles that are placed on coffee tables or end tables. These are often at the perfect height for igniting a wagging tail or whiskers.

At Look At My Homes, we want you and your family to be safe and secure as you celebrate the season. If you have questions or concerns about the safety of your home, contact your local fire department or police department. They can point you in the right direction or provide you with more helpful information.

Safety tips for the holidays courtesy of Mr. B’s Lawn Care & Snow Removal in Ellwood City, PA. Mr. B’s can take care of all your home or business’ snow removal and ice prevention needs so that you can relax and enjoy the holidays.

Four Unusual Christmas Gifts Homeowners Will Love

It’s that time of year! Bells are ringing, children are making their wish lists and you are….stumped!  Someone you know has recently move into their new home and you want to give them something they’ll love for Christmas. You’ve thought about all the usual gifts people get when they have a new home, but you don’t want to duplicate something they already have. Or perhaps you aren’t sure what style or color they would most appreciate.

If you want to give your friends something they’ll truly appreciate and use, consider these unusual gifts for homeowners:

 

Homeowners Can Savor Meal Delivery Services

These have recently become very popular with millennials and anyone who has to work long hours, but they are also great housewarming gifts. Those first few months in a new house or apartment are always hectic. It’s difficult to find the time to go to the grocery store, run errands and prepare a healthy meal every night. Knowing that they can expect at least two nights a week where all the ingredients and the instructions for a home cooked will show up on their doorstep will give harried homeowners a great sense of relief – and they’re a fun way for homeowners to “test drive” their new kitchen! There are several good dinner kit companies out there, including Blue Apron and Hello Fresh.

 

 

snow-covered-house
They’ll enjoy it more if they don’t have to shovel it!

Snow Removal Saves Backs & Prevents Accidents

Sliding down the driveway on a sheet of ice or straining your back shoveling snow after a blizzard are two things homeowners hate. By giving your friends a gift certificate for snow removal, you’ll ensure that they can get in and out of their driveway with ease and won’t have to suffer from icy fingers and toes before getting their sidewalks cleared. Call a local snow removal company and ask about getting a residential snow removal contract. You’ll be everyone’s favorite Santa when they wake up to a clear sidewalk and driveway the morning after that record-breaking blizzard!

Lawn Care Service Means Less Work, More Play

If your friends love their new yard but hate the idea of mowing, weeding, planting and raking, a gift certificate for lawn care services is one of the best homeowners’ gifts they can receive. Contact a local lawn care service (Mr. B’s Lawn Care in Ellwood City, PA is one) and ask them to give you an estimate based on the size of the lawn, or simply get a gift card for a specific amount of money so that the homeowners can decide for themselves how often their lawn is mowed, whether it needs weed control, etc. When your friends are enjoying relaxing on their lush, green lawn or admiring their new flower garden, they’ll think of you fondly months after you gave them the gift.

Monogrammed Doormat For Welcoming Guests

If you’re on a budget, everyone needs a good doormat at their front door to soak up the dirt and grime from guests’ shoes so that those beautiful new floors won’t get dirty. Having one monogrammed adds a personal touch and gives the new owners pride of ownership – a monogrammed doormat says, “Yes, this is OUR house,” and does it with both beauty and function.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

Ice B’Gone Magic Clears Your Driveways & Sidewalks of Dangerous Ice & Snow

When the temperatures drop and we start thinking about the holidays, most of us think about how beautiful it will be when snow falls. While trees robed in winter white are beautiful and the sparkle of icicles can be enchanting, there is a down side to Mother Nature’s artistry. Ice and snow can create a hazardous condition on your property.

woman-falling-on-ice-and-snow
Prevent accidents by keeping your driveway and sidewalks clear of ice and snow with Ice B’Gone Magic

Don’t Let Anyone Get Hurt on Your Property This Winter

Homeowners should always be aware of the dangers of letting driveways, steps or sidewalks get covered in ice or snow. Just imagine how you’d feel if your grandmother slipped and fell on an iced-over step on Thanksgiving Day and ended up in the ER. Or what if the UPS delivery person fell because he had to navigate around snow covered sidewalks trying to deliver your latest online purchase? In either case, you’d feel terrible, but your homeowners’ insurance policy could take a hit as well.

Only your insurance agent can tell you if you’d be legally liable for injuries sustained if someone falls on your property, but if you let snow and ice build-up, you’re more likely to be at fault. And if it’s your grandmother, you’ll no doubt want to pay her medical bills regardless of the legal situation. But don’t feel badly after the fact – make sure you, your family and your guests are all protected from winter’s snow and ice by keeping your driveways, sidewalks and steps clear all season long.

Ice B’Gone Magic Makes Keeping Sidewalks Clear Easy

Keeping your property clear of ice and snow can be time-consuming and some of the traditional products used to keep surfaces clear can be difficult to use or dangerous to animals and children. Rock salt, the most popular granular ice melt, can cause skin irritation and even chemical burns. At Look At My Homes, we use Ice B’Gone Magic to keep the driveways, sidewalks and stairs clear of snow and ice. It’s safe for people and pets and does a better job than rock salt. What’s so special about Ice B’Gone Magic?

What’s So Special About Ice B’Gone Magic?

Ice B’Gone Magic begins as regular rock salt, but it becomes something much more when treated with Ice B’Gone Magic liquid, which transforms the traditional product into one that works better, lasts longer and costs less to use. Ice B’Gone Magic is also less corrosive than traditional rock salt, so it’s safe concrete and brick surfaces and is even safer for the environment!

Bag photoAdvantages of Ice B’Gone Magic Granular Formula:

  • Less corrosive than rock salt
  • Safe for people and pets
  • Works better and lasts longer, so you’ll use less of the product
  • No need to put down sand on driveways to improve traction
  • Works to temperatures as low as -35˚F
  • No residue left behind after ice and snow melts away
  • Ice B’Gone Magic won’t cause rust or damage doors, carpets or flooring
  • It’s safer to handle and won’t cause burning or irritation to the skin

Fortunately, it’s easy to get Ice B’Gone Magic for personal or business use in and around the Ellwood City, PA area. Just call Mr. B’s Lawn Care at 724-752-5551 or email admin@amguard.us to place your order. At just $15 plus tax for a 50-pound bag, you’ll be able to afford to keep your sidewalks and driveways clear and safe all season long!

 

Packing Your Moving Truck Efficiently

EZ Move has several moving trucks you can rent in order to move your furniture and belongings locally if you want to handle the move yourself. One of the most difficult challenges to moving your stuff yourself is that it’s hard to estimate how much truck you’ll need, and if you don’t pack things efficiently, you’ll be wasting a lot of space on the moving truck. It would be a shame to have to make two or more trips from your current residence to your new one when one trip could suffice. EZ Move has put together some great tips for properly packing your moving truck so that you’ll get the most from your truck rental:

Get the Biggest Items Out of the Way First

Large appliances, sofas, washing machines, etc. should be packed first and should be put at the very back of the truck (so that they are sitting directly behind the truck’s cab). Shove them clear back and put them in so that they’re upright. While it may be tempting to put a refrigerator in on its side, don’t. This can damage the internal parts. Also balance the items so that weight is distributed relatively evenly.

Pack the Longer Items Next

Longer items include mattresses, box springs, headboards, sofas and other furniture items. By pushing these to the walls on either side of the truck, you’ll save space and you can keep them upright so that they are less likely to break or fall over in transit.

Don’t Forget the Padding

Using blankets, dollies and other moving equipment will help protect your belongings during your move
Using blankets, dollies and other moving equipment will help protect your belongings during your move.

No matter how tightly packed your EZ Move truck will be, you’ll still want to put padding around wood furniture, glass and any sharp corners so that nothing gets scratched or damaged while you’re moving. A bonus is that placing heavy items on padding will make them easier to slide into and out of the truck.

Keep Pieces Together

Some items such as floor lamps, desks and bedframes should be disassembled so that they take up less space. A bedframe, for instance, would take up a large portion of the center of the truck if kept intact. Take it apart and you can put all the pieces along one wall. When you take these pieces apart, make sure you keep all the pieces together. Put nuts, bolts, screws, etc. in plastic bags, then tape them securely to larger pieces.

Consolidate When You Can

Skis? Floor lamps? These long, slender items can be rolled up inside a rug. Just tape the ends of the rug so that nothing slides out when you get to your new home. Can you nest bowls, boxes, and other items together? Wrap smaller items in towels or other linens? Great!

Boxed Items

Before you rent your EZ Move truck, be sure to box up all of the miscellaneous stuff like clothing, books, silverware, dishes, etc., wrapping fragile items in newspaper or bubble wrap. Stack the heavier ones on top of the large appliances and heavier furniture. Where you can tuck smaller boxes into empty spaces around or beneath what is already packed. You’ll want to put in the lighter weight boxes last so that they aren’t crushed by heavier ones.

If you can, stack the boxes in rows right up to the ceiling in order to maximize space. If there is space between the top of the boxes and the ceiling of the truck, stuff it will soft items that you need but that aren’t delicate. Trash bags filled with clothing, towels, sheets, curtains, etc. are ideal for this and will prevent your boxing from shifting too much in transit or falling down onto other items. If you’re using linens and other soft materials, put them in bags to protect them from dust and dirt.

Awkward Items

Some of your belongings such as boots, hangars and small appliances such as mixers can be tucked into any empty spaces remaining such as between the legs of a coffee table.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll minimize not only the amount of space you’ll need in your EZ Move moving truck, you’ll minimize your stress. Or, if you’d rather have the experts take care of packing the truck for you, contact EZ Move today at 724-752-5551 or visit the website at www.EZMove.org.