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Friday, July 26 2019
10 Things Nobody Tells You About West Virgina

10 Things Nobody Tells You About West Virginia

 Barbara Noe Kennedy | 

PHOTO:McLennan- Snowshoe

The state does indeed live up to its official motto: Wild and Wonderful.

West Virginia has long gotten a bad rap that isn’t worth repeating here. What’s lesser known is the fact that the Mountain State absolutely has a lot going for it. Yes, it’s landscape is beautifully rugged country, but, scenery aside, West Virginia offers many unexpected sights and experiences. Here are some of the best that people should be talking about.

01_WestVirginia__ShepherdstownTheatre_1.) The Wedding Gift. CATF. 2016

PHOTO:Seth Freeman

1 OF 10

A World-Famous Festival Showcases America’s Newest Plays

Shepherdstown is a cute little college town founded in 1730 on the Potomac River, making it West Virginia’s oldest town. But for more than 25 years, theater-aficionados have swarmed here every July to catch the premieres of six cutting-edge plays at the world-famous Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University. Written by the likes of David Mamet and Sam Shepherd, and featuring veteran actors from New York and Washington, D.C., they all tackle challenging, provocative, and powerful themes that make you think.

INSIDER TIPYou can also partake during the festival in stage readings, breakfasts, lectures, discussions, and behind-the-scene activities with actors.


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PHOTO:Travel Berkeley Springs


2 OF 10

George Washington Took to the Waters of the Nation’s Oldest Spa Town

You might not guess the Father of our Nation to be a spa kind of guy, but G.W. enjoyed taking to the waters as much as the next guy and gal. An outdoor stone bathtub at Berkeley Springs State Park in Berkeley Springs represents the experience he would have had: an outdoor rock pool beneath the pines. It is, needless to say, the world’s only monument to presidential bathing.

INSIDER TIPConsidered America’s first spa town, Berkeley Springs continues to serve as a spa resort. At the state park, you can soak in 74-degree waters from Cacapon Mountain in a private bath at the 19th-century Roman bathhouse. The town also has more modern venues, including the full-service Atasia Spa.

03_WestVirginia__GaulerRiverRafting_3.) 08_Sum_Gauley_Rafts_WELD11_RT_CMYK

PHOTO:West Virginia Tourism Office

3 OF 10

It Has One of the World’s Wildest, Most Famous Whitewater Rivers

The Gauley nearly always makes the world’s best lists of whitewater-rafting rivers. Why wouldn’t it, with its 25-mile stretch of Class V+ waves and huge drops? It has five legendary rapids—aka the Big Five—the most harrowing of which is Pillow Rock Rapid, plunging 30 feet into the “Toilet Bowl” then rushing around Volkswagen Rock at the bottom. Many agree it’s among the best 10 seconds of whitewater anywhere on Earth.

INSIDER TIPEvery fall, the Summersville dam is released, offering extreme water flow on the Gauley—and the best single-day rafting trip in America—for six weekends straight.

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PHOTO:Dynamic Photography/Shutterstock

4 OF 10

A Luxury Resort Harbors a Nuclear Fallout in Case of Armageddon

The historic Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs may have a reputation for wining and dining and relaxing the world’s presidents, royalty, celebrities, and industrialists, but it also harbors a Cold War secret. A new wing was added beginning in 1958 in the guise of a conference center, which part of it was used as such. And that’s the oddest part of all this: for 30 years, thousands of people walked in and out of what was essentially a fortified bunker, never noticing the fact that there was an unusually large number of microphones, or a disproportionate number of bathrooms, most of them for men. The fascinating tour, open only to hotel guests, shows you how in the worst-case scenario of a nuclear fallout, Congress Members and their staff would have been rushed to this super secure, fortified hideaway to maintain national power. Thankfully, it was never used.

05_WestVirginia__BlackwaterFalls5.) 14755214457_d62e15b468_o

PHOTO:Nathan Jones/Flickr

5 OF 10

Amber-Tinted Waters Grace a Mountain Waterfall

You may expect mountain waterfalls to be clear and pure, but the water tumbling over spectacular Blackwater Falls looks more like a frothy cappuccino; pretty in an Italian café sort of way. The unusual color comes from the tannic acid of hemlock and red spruce needles. It’s especially spectacular in winter, when the water freezes, creating dazzling spires of ice.

INSIDER TIPYou’ll have to hike in to see the falls. The Lindy Point trail is the most direct, taking you to a scenic overlook. The most popular is the 10.5-mile Blackwater Canyon Trail, following a converted rail trail.

Book a Hotel

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PHOTO:Snowshoe Mountain

6 OF 10

Its Most Famous Ski Resort Is Upside-Down

At Snowshoe, famed for its 180 inches of annual snowfall, you can roll out of bed and be on the slopes immediately. That’s because the bustling resort sprawls not at the base of Cheat Mountain, but on top, where you sleep, eat, shop, and rent your ski gear (if need be). From there, with 60 trails beckoning, you hit the slopes with little ado and ride the lifts back up the mountain. The best thing? The après-ski sunsets; taking in undulating snowcapped peaks is breathtaking.

INSIDER TIPThere are lots of fun activities at Snowshoe that don’t concern skiing. You can snowmobile and go tubing, and in summer, hike, bike, fly fish, and golf. Though the most magical experience in any season is no doubt taking a Polaris RZR through a mystical spruce forest to a cozy backcountry hut where a gourmet dinner awaits.

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PHOTO:Thomas Dwyer(CC BY-NC 2.0)/Flickr

7 OF 10

The Civil War Kicked Off at Harpers Ferry

John Brown was a fiery abolitionist who schemed many things, the most blatant of which was his attack in October 1859 on the U.S. Armory in Harpers Ferry. His intent? To seize the weapons and use them to liberate enslaved people in the South. The foray resulted in a standoff with the Marines—and his subsequent capture and hanging for treason. The Armory’s fire engine and guard house where he and his cohorts barricaded themselves is now a small museum commemorating Brown’s last stand, while park rangers at the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park offer fascinating dives into the story. Some say John Brown’s raid of 1859 kicked off the Civil War.

INSIDER TIPIf you truly want to see the freakier side of things, stroll past the John Brown Wax Museum on High Street, which has a wide-eyed visage of Brown in the window. Kitschy, life-size dioramas inside retell the John Brown tale.

08_WestVirginia__BlenkoGlassCompany_8.) Glassapalooza2

PHOTO:Blenko Glass Company

8 OF 10

A Historic Glass Company Is Still Making Glass

Admiring the stained-glass windows of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC or Reims Cathedral in France, you might be surprised to learn they only were made possible thanks to Blenko Glass Company in Milton, West Virginia—a company that, in a state where hundreds of glass-making companies reigned a century ago, is still making mold-blown glass. The Air Force Academy Chapel in Colorado, the Navy Academy Chapel in Annapolis, the Washington Cathedral in Washington, D.C. (including the famous “Space” window), and thousands of other public and private institutions around the globe feature Blenko Glass. You can take a tour of the factory and watch glassmakers turn molten glass into gorgeous pitchers, vases, and bowls.

09_WestVirginia__AnchoredHikingtrail_9.) Aerial Fins High-Res

PHOTO:NROCKS Outdoor Adventures

9 OF 10

A Trail Is So Steep It Requires Fixed Anchors to Negotiate

Italians invented via ferratas during World War I—you know, those climbing routes up mountains accessed via steel cables, ladders, and anchors. They’ve since become a popular adventure, notably in the Alps…and West Virginia. At Nelson Mountain, a rock feature near Seneca Rocks, you can climb a trail of fixed anchors ascending more than 1,000 feet in one of the world’s most harrowing—and perfectly safe—hikes. Rest assured, you don’t need superhero skills to enjoy the day.

10_WestVirginia__CranberryGlades_10.) CranberryGlades2

PHOTO:West Virginia Tourism Office

10 OF 10

Ice-age Plants Dating Back Thousands of Years Still Thrive in the Wild

If you ever wondered what it was like to live during the Ice Age, all you need to do is wander the boardwalk at Cranberry Glades. Hovering over spongy peat moss extending as far as the eye can see, you’ll enter a realm of unique relict foliage—that is, all that remains from a time when ice sheets covered the region more than 10,000 years ago. A quirky microclimate preserves these cold-climate plants, including two insect-eating plants—sundews and pitcher plants—as well as cranberries, skunk cabbages, and sphagnum mosses. What you won’t find? The mastodons that once wandered here.

Posted by: J Allman AT 01:34 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 22 2019
Discovery Channel Travel program films episode in Lewisburg, WV

The Lewisburg-White Sulphur Springs area played host last week to Nick Kessler and Brian Fulmer, a pair of teachers who spend their summers tooling through small town America in a 1968 drop-top Cadillac. At each stop on their tour, the two buddies sample the local food, lodging and adventures, and craft the result into an episode of their “Road Trip Masters” television show on the Discovery Channel.

“We try to highlight something special about each town we visit,” Fulmer told The Register-Herald shortly after filming in Lewisburg concluded Wednesday afternoon. “We want to give our viewers a broad sense of what’s going on in an area.”

Kessler added, “We’re educators. We’re here to instruct our viewers in much the same way we instruct our students, hoping they surpass us with their own experiences.”

The duo gets a kick out of feedback from the show’s fans — many of whom have taken to the road to see for themselves one or more of the towns the “Road Trip Masters” have visited.

Enjoying the small town experience comes naturally to Fulmer and Kessler, both of whom grew up in similar environs.

“It’s who we are,” Fulmer said. “We try to capture each town we visit exactly as it is, just as anyone coming into town would find it.”

The show is unscripted, Kessler emphasized.

“We want to give you a taste of where to stay, what to eat and where to go when you visit that town,” he said. “We incorporate humor, but nothing that would jeopardize the reputation of the location.”

Fulmer agreed, saying, “We’re not out for drama — staging fights for the camera or anything. And in September, we’ll be back in the classroom. Traveling refreshes you; it gets you out of the daily grind.”

While Kessler’s family accompanies him on the show’s road trips, often working on the production, Fulmer’s wife — who, he says, is nonetheless “a big fan of the show” — prefers to remain at home, tending to their “high-energy” young sons amid a support system of family and friends.

“It’s hard to live out of a suitcase,” Fulmer acknowledged.

While in Lewisburg and White Sulphur, Kessler and Fulmer visited the Greenbrier River Trail, Free Spirit Adventures, the General Lewis Inn, The Greenbrier resort, Greenbrier Outfitters, the French Goat restaurant and Lost World Caverns.

Throughout their adventures connected to the now-three-year-old show, Kessler and Fulmer said they’ve had a string of positive encounters in every town they have visited.

“So far, we’ve met genuine, nice people,” Kessler said. “Whatever you want to call it — West Virginia hospitality, Kentucky hospitality, Maryland hospitality — there are so many good people in the United States.”

Fulmer spoke about what a “clean, nice town” Lewisburg is, and Kessler noted that while he was aware the town was sprucing up for its late week judging in conjunction with the America in Bloom program, he could tell no major overhaul had been necessary.

“First impressions are lasting impressions,” Kessler said. “We know this town looks like it did when we arrived all the time. Everybody’s prideful of this town. And there’s tons to do here. You can’t fit everything in.”

Both men said they value the relationships and friendships they’ve formed in the course of filming “Road Trip Masters.”

One person they are sure not to forget from their time in Lewisburg is Valerie Pritt. Communications manager for the Greenbrier County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), Pritt accompanied the show’s crew every step of the way, making sure they had what they needed to fulfill their mission.

Kessler credited Pritt and the CVB with “lining up the cool shots” that would show off the area to best advantage on the television program. He said once a target town has been tentatively selected for filming, the production company reaches out to local tourism officials to gauge interest in having the TV show shoot an episode there.

The Greenbrier County CVB was enthusiastically receptive to the pitch.

CVB executive director Kara Dense said, after being contacted by the show, she sorted through the options available for the shoot and sent information out to the production company. Once a deal was struck, Pritt attended to the details.

“Valerie was our key person,” Dense said. “She reached out to all our partners to coordinate scheduling. That was a bit of a challenge; this is a busy time of year for all of them.”

Dense said Fulmer and Kessler and their team “were great to work with.”

“What’s great with this show is that it’s on the Discovery Channel, which a lot of families watch, and it’s also streaming on Amazon Prime and will reach a lot of people there,” she said, noting that on the streaming service, the program will reach the growing number of people who’ve “cut the cable” at home.

“We look forward to getting information out to those people and letting them see what a great area this is to visit,” she said.

By steering the production company to unique activities, such as guided tours of The Greenbrier’s now-decommissioned Cold War era bunker, Dense said the CVB hopes to maximize the episode’s appeal to families and couples seeking new adventures.

“Many people, even local people, aren’t aware that the bunker tours are open to nonguests,” she said. “In fact, it’s one of the most asked-about attractions in inquiries made to the CVB.”

The new season of “Road Trip Masters” will premiere on the Discovery Channel around April 20, and Dense is thrilled with the timing.

“For the show to be broadcast in April, when people are planning vacations or weekend getaways, that is ideal for visitor impact here,” she said. “We hope we’ll be able to do a big media splash around the air date.”

Source: The Register-Herald by Tina Alvey   Photo by Jenny Harnish The Register-Herald

Posted by: J Allman AT 01:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 11 2019
19 Vital Home Maintenance Tasks & Savings Tips To Do For Summer

19 Vital Home Maintenance Tasks & Savings Tips To Do For Summer

So the weather is heating up and so is your home. The increasing temperatures can put stress on your home & garden, as well as your bills.

Here are 19 things to do immediately that will reduce the various costs of your home over the long haul. You can read about them and click any of the links provided for more information.

1. Check The Insulation in Your Attic – And Install More If Needed.

Important: proper insulation keeps your home warmer in the winter but also cooler in the summer!

If you have an unfinished attic, pop your head up there and take a look around. You should see insulation up there between the beams, and there should be at least six inches of it everywhere (more if you live in the northern part of the United States).

If there’s inadequate insulation up there – or the insulation you have appears to be damaged – install new insulation. Here’s a great guide from the Department of Energy on attic insulation, including specifics on how much you should have depending on where you live. Many states offer financial incentives, up to a 75% refund for instance, to encourage homeowners to better insulate their homes.

2. Pay Your Mortgage On Time? Utilize Congress's Newly Passed "E.R.R." Program To Cut Your Mortgage Down

Still unknown to many is a brilliant Government Program called the Enhanced Relief Refinance Program (E.R.R.) that could benefit millions of Americans and reduce their payments by as much as $3,252 per year! You could bet the banks aren't too thrilled about losing all that profit and might secretly hope homeowners don't find out before time runs out.

So while the banks happily wait for this program to end, the Government is making a final push and urging homeowners to take advantage. This program is currently active but could be shut down at any given time in 2019. But the good news is that once you're in, you're in. If lowering your payments, paying off your mortgage faster, and even taking some cash out would help you, it's vital you act now and see if you could qualify for E.R.R. or a better rate in today's marketplace.

URGENT: So many homeowners could still benefit today, but sadly, many perceive E.R.R. to be too good to be true. Remember, E.R.R. is a free program and there's absolutely NO COST to see if you qualify and this can save you $271 every month on your mortgage bills.

3. Automate Your Thermostat & HVAC system

One of the easiest things you can do to instantly start saving money on your heating and cooling bills is to get an automated thermostat. These smart thermostats will learn when you are home and make sure the home is at a comfortable setting during those hours so you're not cooling the house when no one is around to enjoy it. They also learn when you're going to be home so they can adjust the temperature before you step in the door to ensure your house is always comfortable!

Last year I replaced all of the thermostats in my house with the Nest learning thermostat. It learns your schedule to keep your home comfortable when you are home. Nests’ are pricey, but according to the Nest website, some energy companies will give you a $249 Nest Thermostat free when you sign up for some of their plans. Definitely check with your utility provider to see what you can get from them.

4. Check Outlets & Power Cords

Electrical appliances are the 4th leading cause of fires in the home and many can be prevented by a simple check of the health of your cords and outlets.

All you have to do is walk around your home and inspect your cords, outlets and surge protectors. Make sure the cords are not frayed, especially paying attention to where they have to bend. Confirm there are not burn marks around any outlets and spend a minute or so with each outlet and surge protector listening for any zips or zaps. Replace any that do.

This is also a good opportunity to unplug any electrical devices that you don't regularly use and may be leaching electricity and costing you money (especially those that have those big black wall-wart transformers -- those are notorious for drawing power when the device they supply power to are off: you should be able to tell if the transformer feels warm to the touch).

5. Save On Monthly House-Related Bills & More!

Is maintaining the health of your house-related expenses as important as maintaining the house itself? We think "yes", so we've curated a short list of some of our favorite online offers for homeowners.

Full disclosure: This section of tips is sponsored, and allows us to keep writing and sharing helpful content with homeowners like you. If you do decide to take advantage of the following items, Home Garden Pro Tips may receive compensation. We've hand-picked and verified the offers to be relevant to our readers, but if you're not into that sort of thing, feel free to skip right along!

a. You May Qualify to Save Over $400 on Car Insurance. A really great money saving tactic homeowners can use is to bundle insurance plans. Many providers offer steep discounts for consolidating policies! One of the easiest tools for lowering rates is a fast and free price comparison courtesy of this Car Insurance Discount Calculator. Our partners there take a look at rates in your area, compare them to national providers and help you quickly find the lowest rates with just a few clicks.

b. Never Pay Out-of-Pocket For Home Repairs Again. Homeowners know better than anybody: if it can go wrong it will go wrong. When purchasing new construction, buyers are often given an option to purchase a home warranty that covers home repairs on everything from microwaves to roofs. What many people don't know is that almost any homeowner is eligible to get a home warranty for their existing homes. Think of it as insurance for the things that break all the time in your home.

d. Get Out of Tax Debt, Fast! For anyone with more than $5,000 in tax debt, this debt relief program may reduce the amount of money owed. The program can resolve debt without a loan, and many have become debt free in 24 – 48 months by using this one strategy. Those with over $5,000 or more in tax debt can click here to see if they qualify for reduced payments.

6. "Childproof" Your Outlets Even If You Don't Have Kids

Sticking a simple child proof plug into your electrical outlets could save you 5% on your energy bill this year. Who knew that doing something to protect your kids could also protect your bank account!

My first home which was built in 1999 had this next problem. The inside outlets located on the exterior walls were like mini vacuums when it came to transferring air from the inside to the outside.

If you have an older home or a poorly constructed home you’ve probably got the same problem.

Electrical outlet boxes typically don’t have any insulation behind them, creating what is basically a hole in your wall. On a windy day take some incense or a match and put it in front of an outlet (one without a plug in it of course) and see if you can see air movement. In my situation I noticed this during the winter when I felt a cold breeze coming through the outlets.

If you have an older home, the exterior walls may be poorly insulated. And when you have poorly insulated walls, the holes that your outlets are in can be areas where the outside cold/heat can enter your home.

A simple solution to this is to install child-proof outlet plugs in any unused outlet on an exterior wall. This will close the gaps and reduce the amount of air that can leak through. This trick costs less than $20 at your local hardware store and can save you hundreds a year!

Your mileage may vary on how effective plugging your outlets are, but it can be especially beneficial in older households with poor insulation. Think of air (a fluid) as water. If you stuck your home underwater, you'd want to plug up all the places where you found a leak!

7. Use WD-40 For EVERYTHING!

You already use WD-40 to loosen bolts and stop squeaking hinges, but did you know it could do these other amazing things around your house?

1. Waterproof your shoes and boots - WD-40 works by displacing water (WD stands for Water Displacement) so it can be a great waterproofer in a pinch if it's wet or snowy out!

2. Keep squirrels away from bird feeders - spray around your bird feeder and enjoy watching those pesky squirrels slip and slide right off (warning: the result is hilarious)

3. Get rid of sticky fingers - WD-40 dissolves tough sticky and gluey materials with ease

4. Remove floor scuff marks and oil spots - if mopping is not doing the trick, try WD-40 to remove tough scuffs and stains

5. Clean the toilet - remove lime stains from the toilet bowl by spraying in some WD-40, then just scrub with a toilet brush and flush

8. Change ALL Your Air Filters

Replace the air filter(s) in your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system, to keep it running more efficiently.

Old filters have reduced air flow forcing your equipment to work harder. This causes parts like fans and blowers to wear faster, especially after a cold winter. A $10 filter can save you thousands on repair costs!

9. Clean Your Refrigerator Coils!

You can eliminate more than 70 percent of service calls with this simple cleaning step. Skip this chore and you’ll be contributing to your appliance repair technician’s retirement fund. Not to mention handing over $5 to $10 a month extra to your utility company because the fridge isn’t running efficiently.

Do it twice a year or more often if you have shedding pets. Their fur clogs up the coils fast.

Condenser coils are located on the back of the fridge or across the bottom. These coils cool and condense the refrigerant. When the coils are clogged with dirt and dust, they can’t efficiently release heat. The result is your compressor works harder and longer than it was designed to, using more energy and shortening the life of your fridge.

Clean the coils with a coil cleaning brush and vacuum. A coil cleaning brush does a thorough job and will easily pay for itself. The refrigerator coil brush is bendable to fit in tight areas. They can be used for cleaning your dehumidifier and air conditioner coils too.

10. Check for Air Leaks Around Windows

Want to save some real money on the energy bill? Make sure your home is shut tight by running a simple candle test.

Take a look at all places in your home where two different materials meet as well as external facing doors and windows. Hold a lit candle and slowly move it around the window frame to see if the flame follows a draft. A simple helping of caulk around these leaks could save you 5-15% on your heating and cooling costs.

You can even use weather sealing tape around windows instead of caulk, but the finished product will rely heavily on your ability to tape cleanly.

11. Shop Bulk and Save Big

Many people never even bother to look at some of the larger packages of nonperishable items – they think it’s just too much. Try looking at the cost per unit of all of the sizes and choose the one that’s the best deal. Check for coupons and coupon codes for items you go through a lot of. There are many coupon sites out there with updated daily deals on hundreds of items. Simply search for what you need (and don’t buy what you don’t need, even if it’s on sale!) and if a good enough coupon presents itself, buy it in bulk.

Spread out over months and over a lot of items (think of all of the nonperishables in your home, from salt and sugar to soap and shampoo – food is just the beginning), this can add up to a lot of trimmed wallet fat.

12. Leverage Your On-Time Utility Bill Payments to Instantly Raise Your Credit Scores With This Free Tool

Got lots of bills for home utilities and telecom? Pay them on time? If so, a new tool built by Experian® called Experian Boost™ lets you get extra credit for the bills you’re already paying to actually raise your credit scores. Until now, all those payments you were making had zero impact on your credit. This tool is totally free, and no credit card is required!

In addition to instantly improving your credit scores, Experian® Boost™ also gives you access to track and view your credit scores. You’ll be able to see all the factors that impact your FICO® score, visualize your progress over time, and receive customized alerts when your scores change. You may be able to raise your credit scores in a matter of minutes, so don’t delay! See what Experian® Boost™ can do for you today.

13. Save Money on New Windows, and Benefit from Greater Energy Efficiency

Many people opt to replace old drafty windows at home with new energy-efficient ones. Replacing old windows can also lower your utility bill by 40% per month and increase your home’s curb appeal.

You may also qualify to save $100s in seasonal discounts from manufacturers like Pella, Champion, and Andersen. Make sure you find the best price you can get by shopping around to compare pricing from local professionals.

14. Gutter Cleaning So Important

Leaky & clogged gutters could cost you tens of thousands of dollars!

Gutters are an integral piece of your home’s well being. They serve to control the flow of rainwater to protect your roof, walls, foundation and landscape.

But when neglected, experts say gutters can turn from a necessity to a nightmare. A gutter clogged with leaves, sticks and other debris can cause a leaky roof or water damage to the interior or exterior of your home. Contractors say gunked-up gutters also make nice homes for pests, rodents, mold and honeycombs from bee infestations.

Although cleaning gutters is a task most homeowners can do themselves, it can be dangerous work. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, falls from ladders sent more than 240,000 Americans to hospital emergency rooms in 2009 (the most recent year available).

During a cleaning, a professional should remove of all debris from the roof, gutters and downspouts, while checking and repairing any loose gutter spikes. The cost of gutter cleaning ranges from $75 to $225 for an average home, depending on the length of gutters, height of the home and scope of work. Most companies charge a flat fee per foot of gutter, but the cost can go up depending on the complexity of the work.

15. Use Colored Dye to Check for Toilet Leaks

Water leaking from your toilet tank will not only cost you money when it comes to your utility bill, but it can also cause water damage to your bathroom floor and premature wear of your toilet’s internal workings.

To check if your tank is leaking drop some food coloring in the water tank and check an hour later. If the bowl shows signs of coloring (like turns pink if you use red dye) you have a bad flapper.

If you find that your toilet is leaking from the tank to the bowl, the flapper needs to be replaced. Grab yourself a new flapper kit from Lowe's or Home Depot and check out YouTube for some great instructional videos!

16. Clean Out Your Dryer Lint Vent

Corral those lint bunnies. Those deceptively harmless looking little fluffs love to snuggle down in your dryer vents and lint traps. Before you know it, they multiply like, well, rabbits. Dryer lint is extremely flammable if you let it build up in the vents. You can hire someone to do this for you, or you can do it yourself and buy a vacuum attachment made specifically for cleaning out dryer vents.

Chances are this task has not been done in years. It's okay! You know what you have to do, and you'll feel better and more safe once it's done. This will not only save you money, it will protect you, your family, and your valuables.

17. Maintain Your Sump Pump

Most sump pumps are equipped with water level or flood alarms, usually battery powered, that alert you if the pump isn't working properly and water is backing up. More sophisticated systems can notify your alarm company or call your cell phone if the water starts to rise. Fortunately, this shouldn't happen often. Sump pumps on the whole are quite reliable. But as with any other important piece of equipment, regular maintenance is always a good idea. Spend a few minutes every couple of months, when heavy rains are forecast and in early spring to ensure reliable sump pump operation. Basic sump pump maintenance is usually as simple as doing these few jobs.

  • Make sure the pump is plugged in to a working ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet and the cord is in good shape. In damp areas, GFCI ­breakers may trip, effectively shutting off the sump pump. Check in on your sump pump periodically so you can reset the GFCI if necessary.
  • Ensure the pump itself is standing upright. Vibrations during operation can cause it to fall or tilt onto one side. This can jam the float arm so it can't activate the pump.
  • Periodically pour a bucket of water into the pit to make sure the pump starts automatically and the water drains quickly once the pump is on. If the pump doesn't start, have it serviced.
  • Physically remove a submersible pump from the pit and clean the grate on the bottom. The sucking action of the pump can pull small stones into the grate, blocking the inlet or damaging the pump over time.
  • Ensure the outlet pipes are tightly joined together and draining out at least 20 feet (6 meters) away from your foundation.
  • Make sure the vent hole in the discharge pipe is clear.

18. Water Heater Flushing - So Hot Right Now

Regularly flushing out your water heater is an important task. Getting rid of the gunk and mineral deposits that accumulate will help your hot water heater run more efficiently as well as prolong its life, saving you money in the long run.

Depending on your model, aim to flush your water heater every one to three years. Really, the job is so easy, it wouldn’t be a bother to do it at least once a year.

However, if your heater is old and has never been flushed, it may be better to call a professional to get advice specific to your situation. On the same note, if you're not comfortable with the follow steps, always err on the side of caution.

  1. Turn the knob on your water heater’s thermostat to “Off”
  2. Turn off the gas line or electricity to the unit.
  3. Turn off the cold water supply (usually a blue knob similar to an outdoor hose spigot).
  4. Important: turn on a hot water tap in a sink or tub. This prevents a vacuum from forming in the system while draining the tank.
  5. Connect a garden hose to the drainage spigot. Then turn on the spigot and drain the entire tank.
  6. Once drained, turn back on the cold water supply to flush the tank. Look for water coming out the hose to be clear and free of sediment.

That's it! Simple right? Once completed, just follow the steps in reverse order to get the system back up and running.

19. Replace Your Inefficient Bulbs With LEDs

If you’ve never updated the lightbulbs in your home, consider switching to LEDs. These bulbs are about four times more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and last for many years. One tip: When comparing bulbs, use the lumens number to compare bulbs, not the equivalent wattages. Lumens indicate the actual amount of light emitted by the bulb.

Remember also that under normal usage (four hours a day) and average electrical rates ($0.12 per kilowatt hour), replacing a 60-watt bulb with a 14-watt LED saves about $0.66 per month. Now multiply that by all the bulbs in your house to see how much you’ll save every month. Even switching just the five most-used light bulbs in your home could save you upwards of $40 a year on your electric bill.

Source Vital Home Maintenance by Marie Laurent

Posted by: J Allman AT 02:19 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, July 07 2019
10 Steps to Buying a Home This Summer

10 Steps To Buying A Home This Summer 

·        If you are thinking of buying a home, you may not know where to start.

·        Here is a simple list of 10 steps that you will go through to purchase a home.

·        Make sure to ask your REALTOR at Greenbrier Real Estate Service for details about each step and what else may be required in your       area!

10 Steps to Buying a Home This Summer [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Contact your proefessional REALTOR at Greenbrier Real Estate Service in Lewisburg, WV when looking to buy your next home.  304 645 2255  

Greenbrier Real Estate Service                                                                                                                                                        1047 Washington St. E                                                                                                                                                                          Lewisburg, WV 24901

Gregory E Allman, Broker 

Posted by: J Allman AT 03:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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    Greg E. Allman
    Greg Allman Group
    Greenbrier Real Estate Service
    1047 Washington St. East
    Lewisburg, West Virginia 24901
    Office: (304) 645-2255
    Direct Dial: (304) 646-1500



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