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26 Jun

How to Host/ Attend a Post-Quarantine Summer BBQ

With the Provincial and Federal Government greenlighting phase 2 and the social distancing rules getting a little more relaxed, it can get confusing on what’s allowed and what’s not. July is next week and BBQ season is just starting so, how do we wade through the rules around BBQs. In this post, I am going to help guide you through navigating how to plan a safe BBQ and what you can do to keep others safewhen you are attending. A pandemic still happening and certain people are still vulnerable.

What is a Post-Quarantine BBQ, and Why Do I Need to Prepare?

A post-quarantine BBQ is a safe and clean space to reunite with friends and family after spending time in quarantine. Family bubbles have been lifted to 10 people andlook to soon be expanding to more soon. But do you have someone in your bubble that has a history of getting too close to people or doesn’t see boundaries around food? Do you have family members who love to hug but you don’t know how to say ‘Sorry maybe next time’? That’s okay because I know plenty of families who have people who play similar roles. Trying to figure out what everyone is used to doing and preparing for how to talk to them about personalspace boundaries can be a challenging thing to doespecially when you haven’t seen this person in a longtime.

At the same time someone is opening their home upand they know the risk they are taking that someonecould have COVID-19 without showing symptoms.Being a guest (yes, I know we are outside but the riskis still there) is a responsibility that must be takenseriously. There are steps you can take to keepyourself and the people around you safe.

BBQ image

Plus, now isthe time to reinvent yourself as a guest. Were you the type that left just before people starting cleaning up? Were you the guest that would leave their plates whereby Unknown Author is licensed under they last left them just happening to ‘forget’ about it? You now can change old habits into new ones.

How to Host

Hosting a BBQ was easy. You could set it up any way that you wanted and ask people to bring things if they (you) wanted to. Now you must make sure that you and your guests are following the social distancing guidelines that are currently in place. When hosting a BBQ, research your areas' current rules on BBQs and visitors. Different regions and cities have different rules so make sure you aren’t accidentally breaking them. Currently, in Ontario, we are allowed to have up to ten people who we can interact with within the 2-metre mark.

Filling a few hours with fun activities everyone will enjoy will keep everyone's minds from the social distancing. Games like water balloon fights, three-legged races, charades can all be played in a large space where you can keep contact to a minimum but also keeping the distancing.

BBQ Party

When it comes to food you have several options. You can ask you, guests, to bring their food from home while you make the main BBQ dish you plate up on behalf of everyone. This way your guests don’t have to worry about the food they haven’t seen prepared and it’s easier on you when you are preparing /cleaning up (plus your guests get their dishes back that same night!)


Speaking of dishes, if drinks are going to be a factor at your BBQ or backyard party run out to the dollar store or Walmart to get cups where you can write or scratch people's names onto a label. That way people aren’t getting drinks mixed up and catching something that hasn’t been showing yet.


When hosting a gathering with your family and friends being clear with your expectations might be a hard conversation to have. My recommendation is to send out a detailed invitation to your guests outlining all the guidelines you wish for them to follow. This also lets you add different BBQ options, RSVPs and a line that says when the party is expected to end. Hosting a backyard get-together isn’t supposed to be stressful. It’s a time to see people you haven’t seen in months without having to look at a screen. No one is expecting the world from you quite yet.


How to Attend

Being a guest is a chance to unwind and hang out with your friends. However, during these trying times, guests might need to start putting in a little more effort. How can you be a better guest? How can I be a better guest? Think about your party habits. Help your host out by offering to wipe things down or to pick up garbage throughout the day. Did you bring your young kids with you? Don’t let them just let them loose. Go over the social distancing rules with them and how they must remember to keep their hands to themselves. Bringing your hand sanitizer is a might be a good idea. Let’s you know for a fact that your kid (or spouse) has got clean hands.

Family BBQ

Have you noticed that you are one of the last to leave? Have you noticed the hosts having secret side conversations even though it’s just you and them? Knowing when it’s time to leave is key when trying to limit the amount of exposure you are putting yourself in.

Setting time boundaries lets your guests know when you expect them out of your home ensures that you have plenty of time to clean up including sanitizing everything. You still want to have a good time but keeping your visit short limits the amount of time, you are spreading your germs around another person's home.


Check out these other tips to help you plan out a great backyard party.


10 Tips and Reminders for Social Distancing and Summer BBQs

  1. Bring your sides from home and bring your garbage home with you.
  2. Bring extra hand sanitizer so you have peace of mind about your hands and how clean they are.
  3. Make up detailed invitations or a Facebook group where you can give your guests the information and expectations they need.
  4. Keep games active, spacious but still fun (water balloon fights, horseshoes, that game that you throw a bean bag into a hole).
  5. Pre-portion anything that’s coming off the grill before your guests get to it. Keeps the cross-contamination to a minimum and makes sure everyone gets an equal share.
  6. If you are the one at the BBQ, section off the area in front of it if you are able too. Keeps people back and lets the BBQ master do what they need to do.
  7. If you, your spouse, or children aren’t feeling well – stay home. Just stay home. If you can put off not seeing them for this long, a few more days shouldn’t be the end of the world.
  8. Keep everyone outside and limit the number of people coming in and out of your home. Bathroom trips, people who need to breastfeed their children and the owners of the home should be the few people that might need to go inside but it’s July and the weather is nice out! You’ve spent two months inside why would you want to go back in?
  9. If you are within walking/biking distance of the BBQ or backyard party do it. If you must drive, make sure that you are not blocking any bike lanes or blocking anyone’s driveway.
  10. Keep relaxed. No one is expecting you to roll out the red carpet and pop open the expensive wine (unless that’s the type of party and in that case, I want an invite).

This is a time to see people you haven’t seen in a while. A time to see your mother since you don’t have a ‘quarantine’ excuse anymore. We can still salvage this summer. We can still do it.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to check out summer home maintenance projects for your home!

author

by Hannah Charlton

Hannah just graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Conestoga College. She is deaf and relies on lipreading. She is obsessed with Harry Potter, Outlander and documentaries about true crime, politics and current events.

23 Jun

What is Gutter Care?

Introduction


In this post, we’ll dive into what it means to keep your gutters healthy, a few tips n’ tricks on how to keep them tidy and provide examples of gutter guards solutions that solve your gutter problems.


What is Gutter Care?

Gutter Care is the maintenance done to your eavestroughs, soffits, fascia, flashing and roof usually on a bi-monthly, -weekly, -annually, basis depending on the task and time of year. The state of your gutters affects you and your family’s life more than you would think.

Eavestroughs

Think of our eavestroughs as if they were the arteries of your house. Water needs to freely drain from the roof every time it rains or snows. Eavestroughs usually run the perimeter of our roofs that allows rain/snow to flow down safely.

Clogged gutters cause flooding in attics and if it does not flow away from the house it could cause foundation problems. The soil that meets against the foundation gets soft causing cracks from within that cannot be seen from the exterior. Repairs like these can cost thousands of dollars, that is if you catch it in time. The eavestroughs are visible from the ground and are attached to the fascia. Downspouts are attached at the corners to funnel the water away from the foundation. The eavestroughs are attached to the fascia of the roofline keeping the water away from exposed wood.

Fascia

The fascia board is mounted where the roof meets the outer walls of the house. Located under the rafter tails, the fascia adds a finished look to the exterior of your home. Having this in place keeps pests like bats, birds and small animals from getting into your home. One of the most common problems with the fascia is since they are made from wood, they tend to rot. Repair on the fascia can be upwards to $8,000 (the spot is complicated to get at).

Soffits

So, what is the difference between soffits and the fascia? Your soffits are the underbelly of your gutters. They are that decorative piece that hides the a/c vent system from the outside. Like Fascia’s they typically are made of wood, aluminum and vinyl but as well as fibre cement and steel. Aluminum & fibre cement has become one of the most popular materials used in the industry today. The aluminum lasts longer but they can rust & be expensive to replace (5G’s expensive).

Flashing

Okay, I know what you were thinking when I mentioned this before so no it’s not that. You can’t do that. When I say flashing, I’m talking about the shiny metal brackets that waterproof the seams of various things. Windows, chimneys, walls, vent pips, to make these more durable and to keep out mould from spreading inside if it were to happen.

The Role of the Roof

The roof is an important structural part of the gutter system. Over time old stains turn into algae, lichens & moss.

These organisms eat away at shingles by eating away at organic materials if shingles hold moisture for a long period growing into moss.

Why is Gutter Care Important?

Keeping our gutters and roofs clean is a key part of our family’s health – more than we realize. Keeping our system clean keep mould out of the air that we breath when we walk in and out every day. Bird feces, mould spores, and other bacteria could get through open spaces without anyone knowing and could create asthma or other raspatory issues. Diseases like histoplasmosis have been known to develop from lung infections. The Public Health Agency of Canada reports the histoplasmosis is the most common infection caused by fungi in North America but rarely gets reported.

Ontario has reported 7.5 cases of histoplasmosis each year. Protect your family by keeping your gutters clean & maintained.

# Tips and Reminders for Gutter Care

Check out these tips & tricks to make Gutter Care easier & convenient.

  1. If you discover mildew or mould on your soffits, use a soft brush or broom and a bleach/water cleaning solution to help clean it.
  2. Periodically check for bee, hornet or wasp nests. If you are not comfortable or unable to get up a ladder or if the nest was too big to handle, please call a professional.
  3. If you are installing your vinyl fascia yourself, give yourself an extra inch or so, so you can overlap at the joints.
  4. If you are unable to use a ladder, installing gutter guards can keep the number of times you need to clean to a minimum.
  5. When measuring any replacement materials – measure twice cut once so you aren’t having to buy more.

Protect your family by keeping your gutter system clean and debris free.

If you are noticing you need a good gutter cleaning, fill out an estimate and our team will reach out to you about a free no-obligation quote that’s valid up to a year.

author

by Hannah Charlton

Hannah just graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Conestoga College. She is deaf and relies on lipreading. She is obsessed with Harry Potter, Outlander and documentaries about true crime, politics and current events.

18 Jun

This is for All the Dads Out There…We See You

This is dedicated to the people who have dedicated themselves to making this world better for their kids.


What does being a dad mean? A dad is someone who supported you when you struggling through school. A dad is a person you call at midnight because you’re lost on the side of the road and you have no idea where you are. A dad is a person that understands you a little bit differently than anyone else.

Father’s Day is coming up this Sunday and we want to dedicate this week to the people who have fought for us when we couldn’t fight for ourselves. Are you still looking for that perfect Father’s Day gift? Buying a gift for my dad has always tricky, wondering if he’ll like the gift or not 𑁋 but I’ve learned a trick or two over the years when it comes to his favourite go-to stores*.

My dad’s go-to stores are Home Depot, Canadian Tire, and Lowes.
I swear, he can spend endless hours browsing through the latest items on sale, especially if it's camping gear. I remember watching my dad trying to rip a microwave off of the display because it wasn’t in stock and he HAD to have that one! Some may call it stubborn; he calls it being particular about what he likes. When it comes to Father’s Day, If your father figure is anything like mine – a gift card seems to be the safest option. This way your dad can pick out whatever he loves. And believe me, he deserves it. I remember every road trip; my dad would let us listen to Nickelback on repeat. Yes... you read that right, Nickelback. The whole way.

Merchandise from their College/University
Half of the reason I decided to go to my college was because it was the same school my dad went to. It was important to me that we could connect through our different school experiences. I had classes in the same rooms he sat in all those years ago. Something as simple as a sweater or a mug could mean the world to your father figure. I will never forget the look on my dad’s face when he pulled out that matching sweater with our respective programs and the year’s we graduated on it.

Home Service Solutions


The one thing my dad always had was that never-ending renovation/to-do list. My brother’s and I would place a bet on how long each project would take, compared to how long our dad said it would take. So far, the upstairs hallway is going on 5 years 4 months and 3 days longer than he said it would take him. Take something off your father’s list this summer. Gift him a new driveway by getting it sealed professionally. Surprise him with clean gutters or gutter guards so he never has to climb up a ladder again.

For this Father’s Day – we want to thank all the dads that have stepped up. These thanks are for all of the single-parents playing both roles, the step-dads, the god-fathers, the step-in dads, the uncles, the grandads, the adopted-dad, and the big brothers & sisters.

Check out our previous blog post about sealing your fate with your driveway!

author

by Hannah Charlton

Hannah just graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Conestoga College. She is deaf and relies on lipreading. She is obsessed with Harry Potter, Outlander and documentaries about true crime, politics and current events.

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