Blog :: 10-2017

Halloween For Home Sellers

 

 

The doorbell to your home is used more on October 31st than potentially any other day of the year. It’s Halloween and there’s arguably no holiday where home plays a bigger role.

Sure, other holidays have traditions, but none encourage families to get out and actually walk around their neighborhoods going door-to-door. This is a perfect opportunity to meet new neighbors and spread the word that your home is on the market! Leave a lasting impression with tasteful lights, decorations, and of course, candy for the kids. It’s a night where we literally open our doors to others and make preparations to give regardless of who steps to our front door - something we should probably do more often.

We hope this year you'll be dazzled by the decorations and charmed by the children’s (and the dog’s) costumes, and we hope it brings a little joy to your heart as you think of all that home means…even on the scariest night of the year.

Here’s to Halloween and all the things that make a house a home.

If you have pictures of your home from Halloweens past or present, share them with us on Instagram by tagging them with @SignatureVTHomes

Improve the safety of your home drinking water

Your tap water is probably not as clean as you think. 

We all know that water is essential for survival and maintaining health, but if you're drinking straight out of the tap, there are some things you should be aware of. When you drink tap water, especially municipal water, there are loads of additives, including beneficial minerals (like magnesium), and harmful contaminants like lead, mercury, pesticides and trace amounts of prescription medications. It can be a witches' cauldron of potentially harmful unknowns. One common misconception is that boiling tap water will remove all trace substances; it will kill off any living organisms, but it won't actually remove any contaminants in the process. However, there are some options to mitigate your exposure. 

You may be wondering how the water from your tap could possibly be so dirty. Well, simply put, it has most likely traveled several miles, through pipes which can pass along lead, chlorine, ammonia etc. before finally arriving to your home. The problem is, we may not know exactly which contaminants are present in our water. The Environmental Working Group investigated the nation's drinking water supply over the course of 3 years and found that 85% of the population's water contained more than 300 contaminants, more than half of which are not regulated by the EPA. 

Now, you may be thinking bottled water is the holy grail at this point. Unfortunately, that is not necessarily the case. In fact, bottled water is also not regulated by the EPA and there are no studies proving that it's any safer than the water from your tap! Not to mention the resources that are used to produce and transport the water, and the contaminants leached from the plastic bottle itself into the water. 

Some of the most common water chemicals & contaminants...

1. Fluoride

Adding fluoride to drinking water is a process that began back in the 1940’s to help reduce tooth decay. It sounds like a noble cause but fluoride is a neurotoxin and an endocrine disruptor. It can harm the thyroid gland and calcify the pineal gland. Fluoride is toxic, and several countries have banned the practice of adding it to water. 

2. Chlorine

 Chlorine is known to be a sanitizing agent, and has been added to drinking water as a purification technique, despite not being completely safe. Chlorine  bonds with water, including the water in your gut, to produce poisonous hydrochloric acid. Long term effects include memory loss and impaired balance.

3. Lead

Corroded pipes can release up to ten times the allowable amount of lead into the water. Lead is extremely toxic, especially to children and can cause developmental issues, stunted growth and even brain damage.

4. Mercury

Mercury is a naturally occurring element, which does not mean that it's safe. It can find its way into our water supply as a byproduct of mining practices. Unfortunately, it is an extremely efficient traveler and transfers easily from wind to water. Mercury exposure can cause brain damage, blindness, nerve damage, muscle loss and a host of other conditions.

5. Prescription Medications

If you're drinking public water, you are ingesting trace amounts of hormones, antibiotics and other prescription medications. When wastewater is treated, most contaminants are cleared, but the process cannot remove all excreted substances. Although levels are low, the risk of ingesting trace prescriptions over the course of a lifetime are unknown.

Now that we've gone over the gloom and doom, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

If you don't already have a home water filtration system, you may want to look into one. There are several options depending on your budget and your level of concern. You can go as far as to install a whole-house filtration system, or you can go the more minimally invasive route and invest in an individual drinking water and shower filter unit. 

For drinking water, you have a few options:

You can choose an undercounter unit that will be tucked away and do a great job at filtering out contaminants. There is some installation required, and the initial cost may be slightly off putting, but there are other options.

- You could opt for a countertop filter which uses water pressure to force the filtration process and results in healthier, better tasting water. These require minimal installation, little space and are cost effective.

- Lastly, you could opt for a water pitcher filter which is great if you're low on counter space, and working within a budget. These fit easily in your refrigerator and are very simple to use. 

When it comes to showering, there are a few things to consider:

Your skin is incredibly absorbent, which means any of those nasty water chemicals can enter your bloodstream. Now, you could install a shower water filter which will help mitigate exposure. These are cost effective and simple to put into place. If that isn't an option, try to reduce the time spent in the shower and reduce the temperature of the water so that pores don't absorb as much. 

Your morning shower should not include daily exposure to chlorine, carcinogens and vaporized chemical contaminants being absorbed into your skin and breathed into your lungs. Without a shower filter, it does.

We hope this information is useful to you! Investing in a water filtration system of some sort is a good idea whether you live in an area with town water, or if you use well water. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Essential Oils To Keep Your Home Clean, Safe & Smelling Great

 

If you've ever visited our office, you'll know right away that we love essential oils! Not only are they a healthy way to give your home a nice scent, but they are also extremely effective sanitizing agents as well!

 

There are tons of cleaning products on the market today. Most of which have an ingredient list that can't be pronounced. If you're concerned about keeping your home both clean and safe, we'd highly suggest throwing some essential oils in the mix! They may seem like a bit of an investment at first, but a little bit goes a LONG way. You'll likely even save money over time. 

 

The 10 must have essential oils for your home are below. Enjoy!

 

 

1. Lemon

Not only does lemon smell clean, it's also a powerhouse filled with anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. You can use it to de-grease, sanitize your kitchen, clean flooring, deodorize and even combine with olive oil (10 drops lemon oil with 1/2 cup olive oil) to create a wood/leather polish!

2. Tea Tree 

Tea tree is another great oil to keep on hand. It fights germs, bacteria, viruses and bugs. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle with water and put an end to pesky insects. Bonus - this combination also makes a great daily shower spray!

3. Rosemary

With antibacterial and antiseptic properties, rosemary is a wonderful addition to any dish soap or laundry detergent. Combine a few drops with peppermint oil in a diffuser for a refreshing blend to keep you focused. 

4. Wild Orange

It's no surprise that many common household cleaners are lemon or orange scented. Let's get back to the basics and use the oil itself to keep our homes clean (and free of toxic chemicals!). Orange oil is an excellent de-greaser - mix 10 drops with 1/4 cup castile soap  and you've got yourself a powerful stovetop and counter cleaner. The scent is unbeatable, too!

5. Lavender

One of the most popular oils, lavender is naturally antibacterial and incredibly soothing. To make a beautiful linen spray, combine 5 TB vodka with 20 drops lavender oil and 2 cups of water in a shaker bottle. Sweet dreams!

6. Eucalyptus

Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your next load of laundry - your clothes will smell wonderful and your washer will stay nice and clean as well! A powerful natural germicide, eucalyptus is a great oil to use in the kitchen, bathroom, and anywhere mildew or mold might be found. 

7. Peppermint

Peppermint is an excellent oil to rid your home of spiders, ants and other pesky insects! Mix 10-15 drops of peppermint oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray the mix along crevices and anywhere pests like to congregate. As a bonus, the cool, invigorating scent will leave your home smelling fresh and clean!

 

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