Your Next Home - August 2020

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FREE August 2020 Residential

your Next Home W E S T



Vacant Land

M I C H I G A N ■




Benzie, Manistee & Mason Counties

Let the Lighthouse Team work for you in 2020! 9673 N. Kings Point, Irons

3 Bedroom, 3 Bath Home with Walkout Basement and 2 Outbuildings on 1.66 Acres with 488ft of Little Manistee River Frontage!

Offered at $249,900

John A. Hanson • 231-510-5543 39 Arthur St, Manistee

3 Bedroom, 2 Bath Condo with New Paint, Garage and 40ft Boat Slip and Granite Countertops.

Offered at $189,900

Heather Barker • 231-510-5505


44 Magill St, Manistee

3 Bedroom, 1.5 Bath Renovated Home with New Roof, New Furnace, Wood Floors and New Appliances!

Offered at $139,800

Cheryl Staszczak • 248-805-3802 4605 Steffens Rd, Arcadia

4 Bedrooms, 3.5 Bath Custom Built Home with Full Basement on 4 Acres with attached Garage and Pole Barn.

Offered at $349,900

Lynda Beaton • 231-383-0404

Your Next Home • August 2020



Next Home W E S T


Benzie, Manistee & Mason Counties


Lighthouse Realty................................................................1 (Cover) Lighthouse Realty..............................................................................3 REALTOR Contact & Website Information.....................................4 Lighthouse Realty..............................................................................9 MOM Board of Realtors................................................................ 15 RJ II Associates, LLC....................................................................... 24


REDEEMED..................................................................................... 19


Somsel Lumber..................................................................................5 Carter Lumber................................................................................. 17


Northwoods Outdoor Stoves....................................................... 23


State Farm Insurance Agency....................................................... 21


Shelby State Bank.............................................................................7 Treadstone Residential Mortgage............................................... 11


Did You Know? The Value of Mulched Leaves..............................5 Types of Home Insulation and Where to Install Them.................6 Did You Know? Understanding R-Values.......................................7 Home Office Must-Haves............................................................. 8-9 Short Sale Versus Foreclosure...................................................... 10 How Families Can Cook Together as They Confront COVID-19.......12 Kitchen Safety Strategies for Home Chefs........................................13 5 Tips to Prepare for Window Replacement............................... 14 Woodcraft Encourages ‘Safety First’ in Project Planning.....16-17 Leaky Basements............................................................................ 18 Did You Know? Check Basement for Mold Issues..................... 19 How to Keep a Pet-Friendly Home Clean................................... 20 Did You Know? Mushrooms & Dogs........................................... 21 Get Ahead of Chimney Repair This Season................................ 22


Your Next Home • August 2020


2 Homes, Pole Barn and Detached Garage Main Home is a 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath Guest Home is adorable A-Frame Cottage All on 5 Acres!

OFFERED AT $699,000

Heather Barker (231) 510-5505


Casey Tennant (231) 233-7613

8368 Leecrest Blvd, Onekama

2 Bedrooms, 2 Baths on .8 Acres with a Creek! Huge Bonus Room with Kitchenette Cabinets Full Basement + Attached Garage

OFFERED AT $105,000 August 2020 • Your Next Home

12311 Lynn St., Bear Lake

361 Third St., Manistee

Renovated! Super Cute!! 2 Bedrooms, 1.5 Bath Home New paint, flooring, septic, roof, furnace and baths

Completely Refinished Duplex Both units are 2 Beds, 1 Bath Separate Utilities, Off Street Parking, Full Basement

OFFERED AT $130,000

OFFERED AT $114,900



Carter Lumber....................................... 231-757-9000

Lighthouse Realty Manistee.................. 231-398-3800 Heather Barker................................. 231-510-5505 Lynda Beaton.................................... 231-383-0404 Therran Ferguson............................. 231-510-1790 Leah Gannon.................................... 517-607-5347 Brenda Gauthier............................... 231-233-6378 Kerri Mackey..................................... 231-510-8380 Judianne Sibley............................... 231-239-1333 Casey Tennant.................................. 231-233-7613 Mason Oceana Manistee Board of Realtors...................

Northwoods Outdoor Stoves................. 231-946-5664 REEDEEMED.......................................... 231-887-4222 RJ II Associates, LLC............................... 231-887-4512

Shelby State Bank................................. 231-398-7905 Somsel Lumber..................................... 231-362-3103 State Farm Insurance Agency................ 231-723-9905

Treadstone Residential Mortgage......... 616-326-2201 4

Your Next Home • August 2020

Did You Know? THE VALUE OF MULCHED LEAVES Homeowners who don’t look forward to dusting off their rakes each fall might be happy to learn that mulching fallen leaves with a mower may be a healthier and less labor intensive way to confront a yard covered in leaves. For 20 years, turfgrass specialists at Michigan State University studied how lawns reacted to having ground up leaves left on the lawn and the results were overwhelmingly positive. Researchers found that tiny pieces of mulched leaves eventually sifted down through the turf and provided the lawn with essential nutrients. Mulched leaves also served to control future weed growth by covering up bare spots between turf plants. Such spots typically provided openings for weed seeds to germinate and ultimately infect lawns. In fact, researchers found that mulching leaves for just three years could produce a nearly 100 percent decrease in dandelion and crabgrass growth. Homeowners with mulching mowers that also have bags can even help their gardens by alternating using the mower with and without the bag on once leaves begin to fall. When mowing with the bag on, mulched leaves can then be used as mulch in landscape beds and vegetable gardens.


Somsel Lumber Company Kaleva August 2020 • Your Next Home



HOME When thinking about renovating their homes, homeowners may imagine changing wall colors, expanding room sizes or upgrading appliances and fixtures. However, unless people take inventory of the less glamourous components of the home, such as structure, plumbing, heating and cooling, and insulation, other improvements may be for naught. A home insulation project certainly doesn’t offer the wow factor of a kitchen remodel, but insulation serves a vital function in the house that helps keep people comfortable and reduces energy consumption. Insulation is typically placed in areas where air escapes, such as between the stud cavities inside the walls and in the attic, and serves to slow and reduce heat transfer. The U.S. Department of Energy says between 50 and 70 percent of the energy used in homes is for heating and cooling. By improving home insulation, homeowners can make their homes more comfortable, consistent and efficient. In fact, the ENERGY STAR program overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says homeowners stand to save an average of 15 percent on heating and cooling costs by adding proper insulation. To do so, homeowners can take a crash course in home insulation and find the products that fit their needs. BLANKET BATTS AND ROLLS Blanket batts and rolls typically are constructed with fiberglass, so proper safety gear, such as a mask and gloves, is needed when handling them. Installing this type of insulation is relatively easy since the materials are designed to fit the standard width between studs, rafters and floor joists. 6

Types of Home Insulation and Where to Install Them

LOOSE FILL Loose fill is usually made of fiberglass or cellulose (recycled paper fiber). It is blown or sprayed into place with pneumatic equipment, according to The Home Depot. Loose fill can be ideal for hard-to-reach areas in attics or inside wall cavities. It’s good for adding insulation to irregularly shaped areas. Since it requires special equipment, this is a job best left to professionals. SPRAYED FOAM Sprayed foam is just as the name implies, a foam made from polyurethane, polyisocyanurate, cementitious, or other materials that are applied by a spray container. DIYers who need only small applications can use canned products . Large quantities are pressure-sprayed by professionals. FOAM BOARD/RIGID FOAM PANELS Ideal for unfinished walls, such as basement or foundation walls, floors and ceilings, these are boards of polyurethane or polystyrene. Foam boards tend to reduce energy consumption more effectively than other types of insulation. Homeowners considering upgrading their insulation or amending existing insulation should do their homework on the type of insulation that will be most effective for their homes. Your Next Home • August 2020

Did You Know? UNDERSTANDING R-VALUES Insulation recommendations are based on certain factors that coordinate with regional climate zones to increase energy efficiency. These factors are known as R-values. The R in R-value stands for “resistance,” and refers to how certain products resist the flow of heat through walls, floors and ceilings. Products should reduce heat escape so heat is kept on the right side of the wall. In summer this means outdoors, in winter it means indoors. R-values relate not only to insulation, but also to walls, windows and other barriers. R-values also coordinate to the type, thickness and density of the material being used. The higher the R-value, the more resistant to heat the product is. The U.S. Department of Energy coordinates R-value to climate zones 1 through 7 (1: Tip of Florida; 7: Canadian border). A higher R-value is needed in Zone 7 and a lower R-value is necessary in Zone 1. Those embarking on home improvement projects that involve choosing between R-values are urged to speak with a professional or to visit the Department of Energy website ( to determine which R-Value is ideal for their homes.

August 2020 • Your Next Home


HOME Remote work has been around for many years, though it certainly picked up steam in 2020. In an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, in March 2020 government officials implemented stay-athome measures that mandated many working professionals to begin working from home. That transition occurred seemingly overnight, forcing men and women to find somewhere in their homes to work. As the dust settled and working professionals grew accustomed to working from home, many recognized the need to have an office in their homes. Various factors can make home offices more conducive to getting work done, and the following are some home office must-haves that can help people be more productive while working from home. LIGHTING Lighting is important in a home office. It’s easy to overlook natural light, especially for workers who previously worked in offices that did not have windows. But natural light can help save on energy costs and boost mood. In fact, natural light is a valued commodity for people used to working in office settings. A 2018 survey of more than 1,600 workers conducted by the human resources 8

Home Office Must-Haves

advisory firm Future Workplace found that access to natural light and views of the outdoors were the most sought after attribute of a workplace environment. In addition, 47 percent of workers surveyed admitted they felt tired or very tired from the absence of natural light or a window at their office. When designing their home offices, homeowners should keep this in mind and choose areas of their homes that get ample natural light during a typical workday. Additional lighting also will be necessary. Recessed lighting can give an office a sleek look, and lights that can dim can allow workers to adjust their lighting based on how much they need at any given point in the workday. QUIET Professionals forced to work at home when social distancing measures were implemented may not have had much quiet, especially for those with young children whose schools were closed. But when designing a home office, homeowners have Your Next Home • August 2020

the chance to make their offices more conducive to concentration. Soundproofing walls may not be necessary, but look for areas of the home that don’t get much foot traffic. Kitchens are very popular rooms in many homes, so try to locate your home office away from the kitchen. A spare bedroom upstairs may make for the most ideal home office setting if the home does not have a traditional den. Spare bedrooms come with doors, which can instantly create a sense of quiet when closed. A converted garage also can make for a useful home office, but make sure the room already has cooling and heating and, ideally, windows.

enough outlets to accommodate our increasingly connected lifestyles. But older homes may need some electrical updates before they can capably accommodate home offices. When updating your electrical, replace existing outlets and fixtures with energy-efficient LED fixtures, which save money and benefit the environment. Before updating the electrical, decide on how you want the office to be laid out so you can have outlets installed where your computer, devices and other items, like a printer and television, will be. This makes it easy to hide cords and give the office a clean, professional look.

ELECTRICAL OUTLETS Recently built homes tend to be equipped with

Home office capabilities became a big priority in 2020. Designing such spaces can be fun and easy.


Formally Linebacks Wine Tasting room, home features hard wood floors through out, jetted/Jacuzzi tub, cozy gas-log fireplace in the living room and a private courtyard you could transform into a beautiful flower garden. The store front can be used for a boutique, an art gallery, another wine tasting shop or anything you put your mind to. The living quarters are attached to the commercial space and allow easy access to the store or can be blocked off if you choose to rent.

Extraordinary Service In Every Price Range

August 2020 • Your Next Home

Kerri Mackey

Realtor (231) 510-8380 Mobile



Short Sale Versus Foreclosure

Shopping for real estate may require prospective buyers to learn a whole new language. Buyers may come across certain terms they don’t understand. Among the more common terms that first-time buyers may not fully understand are “short sale” and “foreclosure.” According to, short sales and foreclosure auctions are situations that occur when homeowners fall behind on payments and can no longer afford to live in a home. A short sale happens when a homeowner owes more on the mortgage balance than the market value of the property when the owner needs to sell. The homeowner can ask the mortgage lender to accept a lesser amount than the total mortgage owed — making the homeowner/seller “short” on paying the lender back. A foreclosure is a legal process that occurs when a borrower cannot make mortgage loan payments for a significant period of time. If the debt is not recouped, lenders will step in and take ownership of the property, putting it up for sale in a foreclosure auction. While these situations can be troublesome for the homeowner facing financial peril, distressed properties can be advantageous for buyers who oftentimes can buy homes at steep discounts. However, short sales and foreclosures are not without challenges. The real estate experts at Zillow say that foreclosures and short sales involve more layers than traditional transactions. Zillow offers that bank lenders historically can be slow at giving approval for mortgages to purchase short sale properties or even agreeing on an amount for the sale. As a result, buyers may miss out on other opportunities while waiting for short sales to 10

move along. Foreclosures carry their own hurdles. Buyers may not get a chance to even see a foreclosure property, nor be eligible to have it inspected, as foreclosed homes are typically sold “as-is” and at auction. The real estate agency Re/Max says buying a foreclosure typically is faster than buying a short sale, and an investor can buy a foreclosed home for below market value. But foreclosures cannot be contingent on the sale of another home, so a buyer must have funds in place and be ready to move quickly. Short sales are often initiated by homeowners looking to avoid foreclosure. As a result, short sale properties may be in decent condition. This may not be the case with a foreclosure. The American Society of Home Inspectors says foreclosed homes may have been neglected by having utilities turned off and no maintenance done on the home. Other homes may have been purposefully vandalized by the former owner or by squatters. Short sales and foreclosure properties are options for buyers who want to get the best price possible on a home and are willing to take some risks in their pursuits. Your Next Home • August 2020

I’m Stu and this is my dog Swarley. I was born and raised here in Manistee, and I am a Loan Officer with Treadstone Funding. Helping families live their best lives and secure financing for their dream home is my passion.

Stuart Wilson Loan Officer | NMLS 1778344


Homeownership is the single biggest way to build per-


sonal wealth, and it is one of the most important ways

we can strengthen our community. With that being said, there is no better time to buy a home or refinance your current home than this year! Interest rates are at their lowest point in history and home values are climbing, meaning your buying power is at an all-time high. I want to help my friends and family in Manistee take advantage of this power-house market, and I would be humbled by the opportunity to help you. We are the top rated residential mortgage company in Michigan because nobody works faster, smarter or harder than we do. August 2020 • Your Next Home

214 Fulton Street E, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Treadstone Funding propelled by Neighborhood Loans NMLS 222982



How Families Can Cook Together as They Confront COVID-19

Families are spending more time at home than ever before. Stay-at-home guidelines have led many parents to expand their culinary horizons, and time in the kitchen can be made more enjoyable by getting the whole family involved. As stay-at-home measures continued throughout spring, boredom was a common complaint among people of all ages. Families sticking out social distancing together can confront that boredom by working together to prepare delicious, homecooked meals. The following are some simple ways to get the whole family involved when the time comes to get dinner on the table. • Include young children. Younger children may not be able to cut, dice or chop, but that does not mean they can’t participate in nightly cooking sessions. Kids can stir, pour and, perhaps most importantly, shake. The Extension Nutrition Education Program at Purdue University notes that helping to prepare food can help children feel like they’re part of the family and even encourage them to make healthy choices. Each of those things can benefit children in the short- and long-term. Older kids can take on more responsibility when preparing meals, and teenagers can even tackle entire meals on their own if they so prefer. • Rotate the responsibility for choosing dishes. The family chef may be accustomed to choosing meals. But with stay-at-home measures in place and restrictions only slowly lifting, sharing that responsibility can be a great way to make everyone more excited about mealtime. Parents can still choose the majority of meals, 12

but let kids choose one or two meals per week. To prevent kids from always opting for less healthy fare like macaroni and cheese or pizza, establish certain rules. For example, note that each meal must include at least one fruit or vegetable, relaxing these rules as you see fit. This is a great way to teach kids about nutrition while also showing them how less nutritious fare like pizza can be made healthier by replacing toppings like pepperoni with freshly cut vegetables. • Expand your operation. In-person baking sessions with grandparents and large Sunday dinners with extended family members may not be possible in the era of social distancing. However, such traditions need not be abandoned entirely. Utilize video conferencing apps like Zoom to prepare foods together, with each family member whipping up their own meal or dessert. Items can then safely be dropped off at each other’s homes. Go the extra mile by keeping the video conference going as everyone sits down to indulge in a tasty meal. Cooking together can be a great family-friendly pastime as adults and children look for ways to spend quality time together while stay-at-home measures remain in place or are gradually relaxed. Your Next Home • August 2020


Kitchen Safety Strategies for Home Chefs

There are many benefits to cooking at home. Preparing meals at home enables people to have greater control over the ingredients they use, reducing the risk of allergic reactions or food intolerances. Cooking skills can be passed from parents to children at an early age, helping kids be more well-rounded as they age. Making meals at home also can be more cost-effective, as meals can be prepared at a fraction of the cost per person than similar meals purchased from restaurants. As important as knowing one’s way around a whole chicken or a pot roast can be, it’s equally important to be knowledgeable about overall kitchen safety. Kitchens may be the heart of the home, but they’re also potentially dangerous. Burns, fires and lacerations are some common kitchen injuries. But some simple kitchen safety techniques can make cooking at home less risky. • Wipe up spills. Avoid slips and falls by promptly mopping up spills. If you can’t clean it up immediately because of a boiling pot of sauce or a smoking oven, toss a dishrag into the spill to remind yourself to clean it when you have a free moment.

snuff out most fires. Baking soda also can stifle flames. If that doesn’t work, use a fire extinguisher or call the fire department. Never pour water on a grease fire, as doing so will only cause the flames to spread. Fires inside the oven can be put out by turning off the heat and leaving the door closed. • Cut out cuts. Dull knives can be more dangerous to use than sharp ones, so keep all knives sharpened. Use a slip-resistant cutting board and always cut away from the body and keep the fingers of the hand holding the food curled toward the palm. Store knives in a block rather than in a drawer. Exercise caution when using food processors or high-speed blenders, especially when cleaning the blades.

• Stay close to the action. Always remain in the kitchen while cooking. It can take mere minutes for a fire to start or some other emergency to occur.

• Banish burns. Use oven mitts to remove hot foods from the oven, the stovetop or the microwave. Don’t use fingers to test food temperatures. Also, let grease and cooking oil cool before moving it.

• Extinguish the fire. All fires need oxygen to burn. Placing a lid on a pan can

These are just a few of the many kitchen safety precautions to take when cooking at home.

August 2020 • Your Next Home



5 Tips to Prepare for Window Replacement

Winter is coming, and for millions of people who reside in areas of the country that see the mercury drop considerably between December and March, that means prioritizing staying warm. Inefficient or aging housing materials may compromise your ability to do just that. Drafts from doors, poorly protected attics and basements and aging windows may force heating systems to work extra hard to maintain interior temperatures. Replacing old windows can make a home quieter by blocking out exterior noises. Consumer Reports also notes that new windows are often easier to clean and maintain than older varieties. Many homeowners are interested in replacing their windows, but may not know where to start. These guidelines can help the process along. 1. Get several estimates. Ask for recommendations from neighbors or other people in your area on which companies they used to install their replacement windows. When you interview the prospects, ask several questions about how they go about installing the windows. Questions can include: • How long will the project take? • Will I need to remain home during the process? • Do you discard of old debris? • What is the protocol for installation during inclement weather? 2. Research permits. Most home renovation projects need to be approved by the local municipality. Go to the permit office and find out the requirements. Some window contractors will include securing permits in the 14

cost of the project. After the project is completed, an inspector will come by and ensure the work was done according to code. 3. Change up the appearance. Look at the type of hardware you have around the home and other fixtures. Choose windows that have locks or latches that can match those features for continuity of style. Think about choosing a different style or frame color of the window, or a different type of window to improve efficiency and function. 4. Research top window manufacturers. It’s tempting to purchase windows based on price alone, but replacement windows are often a decision that only has to be made once or twice for the life of the home. Invest in durable windows that will have staying power. Consumer Reports offers unbiased reviews on various window brands and can help homeowners make sound decisions. 5. Prepare for installation. Clear pathways, remove window treatments and disconnect window alarm systems. Plan for one to two days of installation, advises Andersen Windows and Doors. Keep pets and children away from work areas. Replacement windows can be a smart investment. New windows can improve the look of a home, reduce heating costs and can keep interior spaces comfortable. Your Next Home • August 2020

August 2020 • Your Next Home



Woodcraft Encourages ‘Safety First’ in Project Planning

(MS) — Make personal safety a top priority for home improvement and do-it-yourself projects. Think each project through carefully to be aware of which machines and tools will be needed and what protection is necessary to maintain a safe work environment. Then check out the many safety-related products at Woodcraft. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT “Keeping safe in the shop starts with some basic protection devices,” Jessica Douglas, Woodcraft Power Tool Sales Manager/Drop Ship Manager said. “With ears, eyes, lungs and hands all covered and some toolspecific safety items, like featherboards and pushsticks, you will be all set to work in your shop safely and have a good time, too.” Lungs/Face — The RZ Dust Mask 2.0 is constructed of moisture wicking, lightweight, breathable mesh that keeps the skin cool during any activity. The RZ F1 Standard Active Carbon Filter has an outer layer capable of trapping particulates down to 0.1 micron and an inner active carbon layer that is effective against fumes, odors, smoke, and organic material. A singlestrap system makes it easy to remove the mask quickly without interfering with other personal protective equipment. Eyes — Lightweight Sitecore and Fyxate Safety Glasses from Pyramex are ANSI Z87.1 certified — they offer UV ray protection up to 99 percent —and won’t shatter if something hits the lens. Sitecore Glasses feature a half frame that blends the breathability of a frameless design that offers an unobstructed line of vision with the durability of a full frame. Fyxate Glasses have a single 16

wraparound lens that is ideal for the shop or other dusty or windy environments. Glasses are dielectric to protect from electric arcs and scratch-resistant for sanding. Ears — SensGard ZEM Hearing Protection features a patented design that uses the mechanical energy of sound waves (not electronics) to minimize sound before it reaches the human ear. Rather than blocking sound like conventional hearing protection, the ZEM directs sound away from the ears. Noise reduction rated at 26bd blocks harmful noise by lowering the noise level but allows speech and other useful sounds to be heard with no distortion. At less than 2 ounces, the ZEM is comfortable for everyday use. Hands/Arms — The bright orange WoodRiver® GET-AGRIP TPR Pushstick is a safe solution to feeding material at the table saw, bandsaw, router table — anywhere you need to get a firm hold of your workpiece. A 123⁄4”-long handle keeps fingers far away from the blade or bit’s cutting edges. The MICROJIG GRR-RIPPER Basic Model Your Next Home • August 2020

GR-100 makes precise, ultrathin cuts at the table saw easy and safe. AIR FILTRATION & DUST EXTRACTION “One of the best safety tools in your arsenal is effective dust collection and/or air filtration,” Woodcraft Senior Product Manager Peter Collins said. “Whether working in a large designated work space, a small corner of the garage or even in the great outdoors, more now than ever it is important to minimize or eliminate exposure to hazards such as harmful dust.” The JET 3-Speed Air Filtration System cleans and circulates the air in a shop, filtering 98 percent to 99 percent of all particles, five microns in size, and 85 percent of particles one micron in size. Set the timer for two, four or eight hours, and the system will automatically shut down. This system can filter the air in a 20’ x 20’ x 8’ work area in under five minutes and a dozen times an hour.

Woodcraft carries a line of Festool® Dust Extractors like the CT 15 E HEPA Dust Extractor that can easily handle cleanup at a construction site, production shop or a home workshop. Move it to “the mess” with the wheel system or park it under a tool for exclusive use. The 15-liter (3.96 gallon) container volume allows plenty of dust, dirt or water to be picked up and contained over a long job without changing the bag. SAFE FINISHING AND GLUING Woodcraft Product Manager Kent Harpool offered this safety advice: “Always read the label on anything from the finish or glue group. Everything is there, from proper application to information important to your safety.” To learn more about these and other products, visit your local Woodcraft store, call (800) 535-4482 or visit www. You will also find safety articles and product videos on

At Carter Lumber in Ludington, we make the transition into a new home as painless as possible. We have years of experience helping new residents turn their new homes into the permanent home of their dreams.

For more information on how we can help you, visit us in-store or online.

Welcome to the neighborhood!

August 2020 • Your Next Home

From kitchen and bath designs to decking, we make the remodeling and building process easy. We’ve been rooted in the community for decades and are proud to welcome you to our beautiful lakeside community.


HOME Does water leak into your basement during a bad rain storm? Are your block walls insufficiently sealed? Do you need gutters? Is the slope of your yard allowing the rain to run right down your basement? There are many things that can factor into water getting into your basement. Here are a couple things that you can do to prevent this from happening. • Waterproofing paint to cover the block basement walls and help repel water from seeping in. • Watertite caulk to fill any gaps in the wall. -Make sure your walls are dry and clean before sealing with paint and caulk. • Add soil to the ground next to the house to create a slope that would push water away from the foundation of the house. • Install gutters -Add rain gutter extensions to drain water further away from your foundation. -The type of gutter used (aluminum, vinyl, etc) will depend on your local climate. -Use a leaf catch cover over the gutter to avoid your gutters clogging which could damage your gutters or cause water to overfill and fall onto your foundation. 18

Leaky Basements

• Install a sump pump to automatically drain water from your basement if it returns. • If you have window wells, consider putting a cover over them to keep water from pooling near your window. • If not already present, consider adding floor drains to help drain any water flowage from your basement. • Plastic Flooring risers can be added to allow room for water to move freely and drain underneath wood, vinyl, or other traditional flooring. • If you currently have water in your basement: -Use a combination of mops, squeegees, and buckets to collect and dispose of standing water in your basement -Use a dehumidifier to remove remaining water residue. • Ensure the dehumidifier is rated to the size of your basement. Your Next Home • August 2020

Did You Know? Basements may not be go-to hangouts during spring, summer and fall, when many homeowners spend more time on their patios and decks enjoying the great outdoors. But as winter approaches and the great outdoors becomes less welcoming, basements once again become popular places to relax and spend time with loved ones. That’s why fall is such an ideal time to address mold issues in a basement. According to WebMD, exposure to mold can irritate a person’s eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. That’s true whether a person is allergic to mold or not. Even people who are merely sensitive to mold can experience sneezing and runny nose, and some may even develop red eyes and skin rash if exposed to mold. Reactions are much more severe for people with mold allergies, who may experience shortness of breath or suffer from asthma attacks if exposed to mold. Molds require moisture to grow, and basements may provide ideal growing conditions for mold. Mold spores cannot grow without moisture, so dehumidifiers can help homeowners effectively reduce the risk of mold growth in their basements. WebMD advises homeowners keep indoor humidity levels, which can be measured with an inexpensive instrument known as a hygrometer, below 60 percent. In lieu of wall-to-wall carpeting in basements, install concrete floors and area rugs to make mold growth less likely. Basement floors also should be routinely inspected for leaks, as leaks can promote mold growth. Address leaks promptly if any are found.






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172 Memorial Dr. • Manistee (Next to Family Dollar) August 2020 • Your Next Home



How to Keep a Pet-Friendly Home Clean

Sixty-eight percent of American households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association. Canada’s Pet Wellness report indicates that approximately 35 percent of Canadian households have a dog, while 38 percent have a cat. Dogs, cats and other companion animals can be wonderful to have around, breathing energy into a family. Despite all of the advantages pets can bring, they tend to be a little messy. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to have a pet and maintain a clean home. Homeowners just need to take a few extra steps to help things along. • Manage pet fur. One of the persistent issues pet parents face is fur. Grooming the pet regularly (preferably outdoors) will help tame some of its fur. Covering sofas and other places where pets like to lounge with an old sheet can contain some of the fur where it can be shaken off outdoors and laundered frequently. • Upgrade your vacuum. You’ll need a vacuum with strong suction to pick up fur, dirt, dander, feathers, birdseed, and any of the other debris that can accumulate thanks to pets. A vacuum with a good brush action also can dig in deep to carpets and upholstery to really clean thoroughly, say the experts at House Beautiful. • Pause for paws at the door. Keep a small container of water by the front door. When returning from walks, dip the dog’s paws into the water and dry before entering the house. This keeps dirt (and salt in the winter) from being a nuisance. 20

• Get the right cleanser. Pet owners must contend with accidents. Look for an enzymatic cleanser that will treat stains and odors so that pets do not return to the soiled area again and again thinking this is an acceptable potty location, says Modern Dog magazine. Test an area of the carpet or floor being treated for colorfastness before applying. Address accidents promptly. • Choose the right upholstery. According to Martha Stewart Living, look for top-grain, semi-aniline leathers, as scratches are disguised on such pieces. In terms of fabric, microfiber or microsuede are better suited to pets because the fabric is tightly woven and may be more resistant to fur and soiling. • Launder pet items. Regularly wash bedding and other belongings that pets use. This will help tame indoor odors. • Keep nails neat. Clipping dog and cat and other small animals’ nails may help avoid scratches on furniture and floors. If you do not feel comfortable doing it, take the animal to a groomer. Pet owners can keep their homes clean regardless of how much dirt their pets track into the house. Your Next Home • August 2020

Did You Know? Dog owners often find that having a fenced-in space gives pets an opportunity to run around off-leash and enjoy time outdoors and can make it easier for pets to go out on bathroom breaks. Still, pet owners must recognize that inquisitive dogs can get into trouble even in seemingly safe yards. One potential danger is ingestion of potentially toxic mushrooms. It is essential for homeowners to check their yards for mushrooms all year long, but especially during wet springs and in the fall. Mushrooms can pop up overnight. Depending on the type of mushroom and the size of the dog, ingesting even a small amount can result in gastrointestinal distress or more dire circumstances, like liver failure. Certain mushrooms give off a fishy smell and they may entice dogs who are prone to indiscriminate eating. According to the animal care resource Preventative Vet, signs of mushroom toxicity include vomiting, salivating, yellowing of the skin and “whites of eyes,” coma, seizures, and loss of balance. Other dogs may experience diarrhea or refuse to eat. Any pet owner who has suspected a dog has eaten wild mushrooms should consult a veterinarian. Early treatment can help and prevent more serious organ damage or death. Pet owners who cannot trust their dogs unattended in the yard should bring their pups out on leashes or keep careful watch on them while they’re outdoors.

Give your home the protection it deserves. Your home is where you make some of your best memories, and that’s worth protecting.

Mary Sturdevant Ins Agcy Inc Mary Sturdevant, Agent

I’m here to help.


306 Parkdale Ave Manistee, MI 49660 Bus: 231-723-9905 August 2020 • Your Next Home



Get Ahead of Chimney Repair This Season

Woodburning fireplaces or fuel stoves can add warmth and ambiance to a home. These appliances are particularly coveted in the cooler months when people spend more time indoors. Maintenance is necessary in order for fireplaces and stoves to function safely, and that upkeep must include paying close attention to the functionality of the chimney. Chimneys are designed to last for decades. Cracks and spalling in brick chimneys are common concerns that can cause significant damage if left unchecked. Chimney maintenance involves more than cleaning the flue. Rather than running the risk of costly repairs, which can cost several thousand dollars, homeowners can take some simple steps to keep their chimneys in tip-top shape. Certain components of chimney maintenance are do-it-yourself tasks, while others may be better left to the professionals. • Start from the inside and ensure that dampers are working properly. When using fireplaces and other appliances, dampers need to be open to allow smoke to vent outside; otherwise, smoke will be trapped in the home and could lead to carbon monoxide buildup. Dampers need to be fixed or replaced if they are not operational. Replacement fireplace dampers should be snug and not have any gaps, states Vertical Chimney Care. • Conduct a visual inspection of the chimney to check for any cracks or spalling. Spalling is the wearing away of masonry due to water, weather and time. If enough of the material erodes, that erosion can adversely affect the structural integrity of the chimney. Some repairs can be made by patching up cracks or replacing missing bricks. Chimney tuckpointing is the process of repairing mortar.

chimney cap attaches to the flue liner, so outside dimensions should be taken to ensure the cap is the right size for the chimney.

• Think about waterproofing the chimney to prevent damage. A water sealant applied to the outside of the chimney can prevent moisture from breaking down the masonry.

• Have the chimney swept. Sweeping helps remove the soot and debris that clings to the inside of the flue, known as creosote. The amount of time the fireplace is used will determine how often the chimney must be cleaned. Generally speaking, the chimney liner needs to be cleaned if it has 1⁄8-inch or more of soot.

• Inspect and replace the chimney cap if it is worn out. A chimney cap is a contraption that sits atop the chimney to allow the smoke to vent while also preventing critters and water from going inside the flue, helping to extend the flue life. The

Regular inspection and maintenance can help keep a chimney working safely for decades. For those who do not like working at such an elevation, leave exterior chimney repair to a certified professional.


Your Next Home • August 2020

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Your Next Home • August 2020