Tag: healthy

Foods That May Help Fight Cancer

People concerned about their cancer risk may find that switching their diets can do a world of good. Certain foods may reduce cancer risk, according to various cancer experts, including the MD Anderson Cancer Center. In addition, some foods might increase a person’s risk of developing cancer. Knowing what to put on the table come breakfast, lunch and dinner can go a long way toward reducing one’s cancer risk. Some foods show cancer-fighting properties, although it is impossible to currently say one food or another can actually stop cancer from developing. Studies have shown that diets filled with colorful fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of developing cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Cancer Research UK points out that some foods, such as red meat and salt-preserved foods, can increase a person’s risk of developing some cancers, while vegetables, fruits and foods high in fiber have the opposite effect. A comprehensive review of thousands of studies on physical activity, diet and weight conducted for the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research found that plant-based foods are the best at fighting cancer. Broccoli, berries and garlic showed some of the strongest tendencies to prevent cancer. According to research associates at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a variety of chemicals from plants known as phytochemicals protect cells from harmful compounds in food and in the environment. Phytochemicals prevent cell damage and mutations. When making their grocery lists, people who want to eat healthy and lower their cancer risk can include as many of these foods as possible.

Garlic

Studies suggest that garlic can reduce the incidence of stomach cancer by attacking bacteria associated with some ulcers and belly cancers. Sulfur compounds in the food may stimulate the immune system’s natural defenses against cancer and could reduce inflammation and tumor growth.

Broccoli

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage and kale contain glucosinolates. These are phytochemicals that produce protective enzymes that activate in the intestines. One particular compound, sulforaphane, is strongest and found in broccoli. Protective properties are highest in raw or steamed broccoli.

Blueberries

Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize the unstable compounds, called free radicals, that can damage cells and lead to cancer.

Tomatoes

The red, rich coloring of tomatoes comes from lycopene. In laboratory tests, lycopene has stopped cancer cells, including breast, lung, and endometrial cancers, from growing. Researchers speculate that lycopene protects cells from damage that could lead to cancer by boosting the immune system.

Homemade Pie Crust Made Easy + Turkey Vegetable Pot Pie Recipe

Pot pie makes for a delicious meal, especially when home cooks go the extra mile and prepare homemade pie crust. Some may be intimidated by the idea of making their own pie crusts, but the following recipe for “Turkey Vegetable Pot Pie with Whole-Wheat Crust” from Michelle Dudash’s “Clean Eating for Busy Families” (Fair Winds) simplifies that process, ensuring a fun and easy time cooking and, ultimately, a delicious meal.

Turkey Vegetable Pot Pie with Whole-Wheat Crust (Serves 6)

For the crust:

1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup corn oil
1/3 cup orange juice

For the filling:

1 carton condensed cream of chicken soup (organic preferred)
1/2 cup low-fat milk
11/4 pound boneless, skinless turkey breast, thinly sliced into bite-size pieces
1 cup thinly sliced carrots (or frozen sliced carrots, thawed)
1 cup leeks, quartered lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise, using white and pale green parts only
3/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons dried herbes de
Provence (or 1/2 teaspoon each thyme, rosemary and basil)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

To make the crust: Combine flours and salt in a medium bowl. Pour in oil and orange juice and stir until moistened. Press dough to flatten and chill.
To make the filling: Blend soup and 1/2 cup of milk in a large bowl. Mix in the remaining ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Divide dough into 2 balls, one slightly larger than the other. Roll the larger ball between 2 large sheets of waxed paper until it is 1/8-inch-thick or until it fits in the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan. Remove the top sheet of waxed paper. Turn dough over and carefully place in the pie pan, removing remaining piece of waxed paper. Press out any bubbles and patch holes with scraps of dough. Pour filling into the prepared pan. Roll remaining dough and lay it on top. Cut any excess dough hanging from the edges and crimp the crust between your thumb and forefinger to seal. Cut a heart into the center to allow steam to escape.

Place the pie on a sheet pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until center of crust becomes golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the pie’s center reaches 165 F, covering browned edges only with foil about halfway through cooking. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting.

How to Cool Your Home Without Breaking the Bank

Mother Nature is consistently inconsistent these days, when 30-degree Mondays might be followed by 60-degree Tuesdays. Fickle weather is often accompanied by large fluctuations in temperature, strong storms and unseasonable conditions, making it difficult for homeowners to maintain comfort levels in their homes.

As a result of fluctuating temperatures, home heating and cooling systems have been heavily taxed. Growing reliance on HVAC systems has also driven up energy bills, as moderate weather synonymous with spring has given way to more days of extreme heat or extreme cold. As summer approaches once again, reducing cooling costs is a priority for many homeowners. The following are a few ways to cool your home’s interior without causing a spike in your energy bill.

· Reduce sun exposure. Much of the hot air inside of a home can be attributed to sunlight exposure throughout the day. Walls and windows on the south and west sides of a home will bear the brunt of the sun’s rays, so close shades and drapes on this side of the house to maximize coolness. Shades and curtains can save you up to 7 percent on your bills and lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees. Homeowners also may want to think about installing a retractable awning on areas of the house that get a lot of sun. Planting shade trees is another way to naturally cool down hot sides of the house.

· Draw more air into the attic. Hot air rises, and in the summertime hot air can get trapped beneath the roof in the attic and eaves of a home. While an attic should have vents, homeowners can speed up the exchange of hot air with a simple trick. Open up a window on a shady side of the home, and then open the attic door or take out the access panel and place a box fan inside to blow air up into the attic. This will disperse the hot air and help force it out through the vents.

· Use fans productively. Using box fans to suck cool night air in from east- and north-facing windows and to push out hot air from west- and south-facing windows is another way to increase circulation through a home. Running fans may be less costly than turning on air conditioners. Also, set ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise. This will pull cooler air up from the floor and create a wind-chill effect.

· Switch to LED or CFL bulbs. Ninety percent of the energy used for incandescent bulbs is emitted as heat. This not only wastes electricity but also can make conditions hotter inside a home. Switch to cooler, more efficient light bulbs.

· Reduce humidity levels. Humidity makes hot temperatures feel even hotter. Clean laundry, take showers and run the dishwasher at night or early in the morning before the day heats up. Don’t forget to vent bathrooms and kitchens by turning on exhaust fans when water is in use.

· Rely on a programmable thermostat. Setting a thermostat to adjust the air conditioning system automatically means homeowners can keep the temperature raised when they’re not home and then have it lowered shortly before they arrive home. The thermostat also can adjust temperatures for day and night use.

· Keep doors closed. Do not cool rooms that are unused. Maximize the cool air in lived-in spaces by blocking off rooms that do not need to be cooler.

· Invest in more insulation. Insulation does not just keep homes warmer in the cold weather. Insulation also prevents hot air from infiltrating living spaces while keeping cooler air where it’s needed. Sealant around windows and doors also will prevent unnecessary air exchange.

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Avoid Aches & Pains When Gardening

People who have not spent much time in a garden may not consider this rewarding hobby much of a threat to their health. But as veteran gardeners can attest, gardening can contribute to nagging aches and pains that can force even the most ardent green-thumbers indoors.

Gardening is a physical activity that, despite its peaceful nature, can be demanding on the body. Thankfully, there are several ways that gardening enthusiasts can prevent the aches and pains that can sometimes pop up after long days in the garden.

· Use ergonomic gardening tools. Ergonomic gardening tools are designed to prevent the types of aches, pains and injuries that can cut gardeners’ seasons short. Gardening injuries can affect any area of the body, but injuries or aches and pains affecting the back, wrists and hands are among the most common physical problems gardeners endure. Look for ergonomic tools that reduce the strain on these areas of the body. Even arthritis sufferers who love to garden may find that ergonomic tools make it possible for them to spend more time in their gardens without increasing their risk for injury.

· Alternate tasks. Repetitive-strain injuries can affect gardeners who spend long periods of time performing the same activity in their gardens. By alternating tasks during gardening sessions, gardeners can reduce their risk of suffering repetitive strain injuries. Alternate tasks not just on muscle groups worked, but also level of difficulty. Remember to include some simple jobs even on busy gardening days so the body gets a break.

· Take frequent breaks. Frequent breaks can help combat the stiffness and muscle aches that may not appear until gardeners finish their gardening sessions. Breaks help to alleviate muscles or joints that can become overtaxed when gardening for long, uninterrupted periods of time. When leaning down or working on your hands and knees, stand up to take breaks every 20 minutes or the moment aches and pains start to make their presence felt.

· Maintain good posture. Back injuries have a tendency to linger, which can keep gardeners indoors and out of their gardens. When gardening, maintain good posture to prevent back injuries. Gardening back braces can protect the back by providing support and making it easier for gardeners to maintain their posture. Tool pouches attached to gardening stools or chairs also can be less taxing on the back than gardening belts tied around the waist.

Gardening might not be a contact sport, but it can cause pain if gardeners do not take steps to prevent the onset of muscle aches and strains when spending time in their gardens.

How to Sneak Fruits & Vegetables Into Any Recipe

Fruits and vegetables are the building blocks of a healthy diet. But many people do not eat the recommended number of servings of produce.That’s especially true among growing children, who can benefit greatly from the vitamins and nutrients fruits and vegetables provide.

According to the latest data from the NPD Group, a market research firm, Americans eat a little more than half a cup of fruit and a cup of vegetables per day. This is less than half of what the government recommends. The data is similar in Canada, where researchers at Concordia University found that Canadian adults ages 30 to 60, especially those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, aren’t consuming the daily recommended levels of fruits and vegetables.

Anyone who eats roughly 2,000 calories per day should strive to consume between two to three cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit per day. Produce helps to fight disease because it contains healthy antioxidants, fiber, minerals and vitamins. Eating four cups per day may seem difficult, but there are many ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into everyday recipes.


* Substitute pureed fruit, like figs, pears and apples, for oil in recipes for cakes and cookies. This will ensure the baked goods are moist but with a lot less fat.

* Add fresh berries or raisins to breakfast cereals and oatmeal.

* Add cauliflower or squash to boiled potatoes before mashing them to increase the nutritional punch and flavor of mashed potatoes.

* Blend fruits and vegetables to create smoothies for breakfast or lunch on the go.

* Bake hearty muffins or breads with sweet potato or carrots in the batter.

* Mix stewed tomatoes in with your broth soup base to make a vegetable or chicken soup even more nutritious.

* Opt for vegetables piled high atop a slice of pizza in lieu of meats or extra cheese.

* Divide your dinner plate into quadrants, filling half of the plate with vegetables, one quarter with meat and the remainder with a whole grain.

* Replace lettuce on a sandwich or burger with a fresh leaf of spinach. While you’re dressing your sandwich, add a slice of tomato, too.

* Substitute fresh vegetables and fruit slices for chips when serving dips and salsas. Kale chips are growing in popularity.

* Give children a cup of sliced grapes with their lunches as a refreshing and healthy snack.

* Shred vegetables into a hearty “slaw” and top it with a vinaigrette or a typical mayonnaise-based dressing.

* Blend other vegetables into your pasta sauce.

* Use vegetables instead of pasta in traditional dishes. Layer eggplant slices to make a lasagna. Or use a spiral slicer to slice zucchini or carrots when making homemade noodles.

* Fruit salad is often a refreshing snack or dessert. Having fruit already diced in a large bowl makes it more convenient to eat and possibly more enticing to children.

* Make a vegetable roll-up, filling pizza dough with broccoli or spinach and shredded cheese.

* Mix together an avocado, 1/4 cup of cocoa powder and 1/4 cup honey to create a healthy alternative to chocolate pudding.

* Use pureed vegetables to thicken cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese recipes.

* Shred vegetables and add them to beaten eggs for omelets or scrambles. LS148384

Holiday Hosting How-To: Party Pointers from 3 of Napa’s Premier Winemakers

The holiday season is about to hit full swing. This special time of year is synonymous with many things, including gatherings with family and friends.

Each year, holiday hosts face the challenge of setting their seasonal soirées apart from all the other parties guests attend between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Such a challenge is nothing three of Napa Valley’s top winemakers haven’t faced before. Each year, Chimney Rock Winery’s Elizabeth Vianna, Markham Vineyard’s Kimberlee Nicholls and Rutherford Hill’s Marisa Taylor play host to family and friends and each have their own unique take on holiday hosting.

Break free from first-time jitters

It’s common to feel pressure when hosting a holiday get-together for the first time. Many families have traditions that date back several decades, so being tasked with carrying on those traditions can sometimes be daunting. But Taylor, a wine country native and veteran host, notes that honoring family traditions while simultaneously creating a festive and fun atmosphere is nothing to be afraid of.

“People are sometimes intimidated by holiday entertaining,” says Taylor, whose Rutherford Hill Merlot has long been a benchmark for Napa Valley varietals. “But the truth is, just a few small touches can create an ambiance that elevates the whole experience. I think it even makes the food and wine taste better!”

Taylor incorporates family history with her own unique hosting touches by bringing out vintage family photos and heirlooms that guests can pass around her stylishly decorated dinner table.

Let new traditions take root

Another way for hosts to set their holiday parties apart from the masses is to try something new at the dinner table. Each year, Vianna, who presides over the production of the popular Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignons, hosts a special kind of dinner for friends who help her get through the often exhausting harvest season. Dubbed “Friendsgiving,” the celebration takes place at the end of autumn harvest season and includes friends, family and colleagues who contributed to another successful harvest. Vianna even encourages “Friendsgiving” guests to bring a postcard from somewhere around the world to use as a dinner table place card. This simple, yet creative idea inspires interesting conversation at Vianna’s holiday table, and hosts can incorporate their own creative touches to make their parties more memorable and enjoyable. For example, each year, Nicholls, whose award-winning varietals at Markham include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, assembles a graceful tablescape using marble and wood serving trays, vintage tablecloths and a tiered cake stand to create an elegant display guests won’t soon forget.

The more the merrier

Family always make the holiday dinner guest list, but Nicholls notes that holiday hosting is about opening our homes to people, whether those people share our last names or not. Inviting some fresh faces can stimulate engaging conversation and lift the spirits of someone who might not be able to make it home for the holidays.

“I’ve been known to invite people I meet at Markham winery who might not have anywhere else to go for the holidays,” says Nicholls. “Somehow there’s always enough food.”

To enjoy a Napa Valley holiday of your own, Chimney Rock, Markham and Rutherford Hill wineries are offering a chance for two lucky winners to visit Napa Valley complete with airfare, lodging, behind-the-scenes vineyard tours, VIP lunches with scenic views overlooking the Valley and even the chance to blend your own Merlot. Visit the Napa Valley

Holiday Pinterest page at www.pinterest.com/NVHoliday for more information. TF161832

Choose Lighter Fare This Thanksgiving

Statistics indicate the average Thanksgiving dinner exceeds 3,000 calories. That is more calories than a person should eat in an entire day, much less a single meal. Many people admit to indulging on bigger portions and more fattening foods come the holiday season, but choosing some lighter fare this Thanksgiving can make the meal healthier without sacrificing taste.

Although there are staples of Thanksgiving dinner, many low-calorie foods can be included to make the meal healthier. The following are a few healthy substitutions or alterations holiday hosts can make when preparing their Thanksgiving feasts.


* Trim down the turkey. Play up the main course with aromatic seasonings or unexpected flavors. Use garlic, olive oil and basil to add a boost of flavor to turkey without having to rely on butter or salt. Marinate the bird with lemon juice and citrus marmalade for a sweet, yet pungent flavor. Consider omitting the bread stuffing and making a stew of roasted root vegetables instead.

* Opt for turkey breast. White meat of a turkey tends to have less fat and calories than the darker cuts. Serve turkey breasts only, which will not only cut down on calories, but also on the amount of time needed to cook the meal.

* Make homemade cranberry sauce. Taking the time to make your own cranberry sauce means you can control the ingredients. Cut down on the amount of sugar used in the recipe or substitute it with honey or molasses.

* Reduce the number of courses. Thanksgiving dinner often features multiple courses. Extra courses can be expensive, but such massive spreads also lead many people to overeat. Stick to two or three courses, and chances are guests will not miss the extra food.

* Choose whole-grain breads. Sliced whole-grain breads or rolls paired with an olive tapenade will be flavorful and such breads are healthier than white bread and butter.

* Flavor vegetables with herbs. Vegetables grilled or sauteed with fresh herbs may be so flavorful they will not need added dressings that tend to be rich or cream- or butter-based. Have a wide variety of vegetable side dishes available so guests can fill up on healthier fare rather than more calorie-dense items.

* Serve only low- or no-calorie drinks. Beverages can add a substantial amount of calories to Thanksgiving meals. Give guests the option of sparkling water or even diluted cider so they’re not filling up on sugary sodas or other high-calorie beverages.

* Serve fresh fruit for dessert. Create a fresh fruit salad that can be served in lieu of fatty cakes and pastries.

* Include other activities. Do not make the meal the centerpiece of the celebration. Plan activities, such as a game of football in the yard or a walk around the neighborhood. This places a smaller emphasis on eating while giving guests the opportunity to burn off some of their meal.

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Recycle Yard Waste Into Valuable Compost

Composting may be a person’s first foray into an eco-friendly lifestyle. Compost is a nutrient-rich natural fertilizer that some people refer to as “black gold.” It can be made from most types of lawn and garden waste as well as some discarded items from the kitchen.

Many people have renewed interest in composting because they understand the environmental ramifications of over-reliance on chemical fertilizers. Ground water may become contaminated and certain fertilizers may have adverse effects on wildlife. Compost, a living organism of sorts, comprised of beneficial bacteria, insect life and nutrients for plants, is on the other side of the plant food spectrum. Because it can be generated for little to no cost, compost is not only environmentally responsible but economical as well.

A home landscape can provide a wealth of material to use in a compost heap or bin. Rather than putting fallen leaves or lawn clippings to the curb or in the trash, they can be turned into beneficial material to help keep your garden self-sustained.

To begin, you will first need to determine the composting method that will work for you. Compost can be generated from a pile of material placed in an out-of-the-way corner of the yard or be created in a specially designed, expensive compost bin. Many homeowners fall in between these two methods with their compost systems. Most create their own bins from wood and chicken wire or even use a trash container to contain the compost.

Once the container or pile location is established, it is time to start the compost recipe. In order to function optimally, compost should have an abundance of aerobic bacteria, which will compost the waste quickly. Aerobic bacteria need oxygen and a certain amount of moisture to survive. Therefore, it is important to include materials in the compost that will achieve these conditions. Composters frequently refer to “greens” and “browns” in a compost mix. Greens are fresh leaves and grass clippings and kitchen scraps. These materials will have an abundance of moisture as well as nitrogen. Browns are older, dried out plant material and wood. The browns help create air cushions in the compost that facilitate aeration and also contain carbon. Without aeration, the compost will compact down too quickly, which could slow down the decomposition process. This may result in a foul odor.

Avoid the use of bones, meat or cheese in a compost bin. This will only attract scavengers and may rot faster than it can be decomposed by the bacteria. Also, avoid pet waste or any lawn trimmings that have been treated with pesticides.

Turning the compost will help keep it aerated and will also distribute the bacteria. This can help speed along the composting process. Avoid adding weeds to juvenile compost because it may not be hot enough to kill the seeds and then you’ll be stuck with weeds in the compost — and wherever you place that compost.

Moisture is essential to the compost. Each time you add new material to the compost bin, dampen it. It should be moist but not dripping. Adding a balance between greens and browns should help regulate the moisture level as well. Remember, during warmer months, the compost may dry out more, so you will need to be on top of the moisture levels.

The composting process works best at temperatures between 120 and 150 F. The compost will generate its own heat as matter is broken down. However, the heat of warm months can speed up the process. Novice composters may want to begin their composting in the summer as a first attempt.

Hot composting piles can be turned into soil fertilizer in as little as 8 to 10 weeks. Therefore, plan your composting start date accordingly. Soon after you may have a naturally sustainable garden that produces material enough to continually feed your existing compost pile.


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How to Spur Kids’ Interest in the Arts

Art can enrich the lives of people young and old, male and female. The arts can introduce adults and children to different cultures and traditions, while also helping them to develop more fully as human beings.

While some may feel the benefits of the arts cannot be measured, the nonprofit organization Americans for the Arts notes that kids who are involved in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement than kids who are not involved in the arts. And though mathematics and science may not be the first thing people associate with the arts, kids involved in the arts are four times more likely to participate in math and science fairs than kids who are not involved in the arts.

Parents can do a lot to make art a bigger part of their kids’ lives. The following are some simple ways parents can bring more art into their kids’ lives, courtesy of Americans for the Arts.

· Join in the fun. Parents can make art more fun for kids by playing music around the house and singing and dancing alongside their youngsters. In addition, read a book to or with your children and join in when they pursue other artistic endeavors, such as drawing or painting.

· Find local events. Many school districts have slashed their arts budgets in recent years, but parents can still find local arts events for kids in their communities. Peruse the local newspaper and other community-based periodicals for cultural events for kids. Support local theater groups by attending performances with your children and explaining to them that the performers live in the community just like they do.

· Pitch in with local arts organizations. Local arts organizations typically rely on donations and volunteers to support their programs. Parents who want to instill a love of the arts in their children can help local organizations’ fundraising efforts and even volunteer their time if the opportunity presents itself. If possible, take kids along when volunteering so they can get some firsthand experience with the arts.

· Encourage kids’ artistic pursuits. Some kids may decide to pursue artistic endeavors on their own, and parents can encourage such pursuits. Celebrate kids’ participation in arts-based activities in school and in the community, recognizing their hard work in the same way you would acknowledge their successes in the classroom and in sports.

The arts can benefit youngsters in various ways, but it’s often up to parents to instill a love of the arts in their children.


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Home Improvement Projects for Your Fall To-Do List

Homeowners know that maintaining a home can be a year-round job. No home is immune to wear and tear, and homeowners who want to protect their real estate investments should try to stay two steps ahead to ensure their homes do not succumb to the elements or become outdated and unappealing to prospective buyers.

Fall has become a season that’s synonymous with home improvement, but homeowners need not wait until the leaves begin changing colors to start planning their next projects. The following are a few items homeowners can add to their fall home improvement to-do lists.

Roof inspection

Less precipitation tends to fall during the warmer months than during the late fall and winter. As a result, homeowners may not be aware of leaky roofs until autumn has come and gone. But waiting until winter to inspect the roof can prove disastrous, as weather conditions will not be conducive to inspection and increased precipitation may result in potentially costly damage. Leaky roofs can be easily identified by looking for water stains on interior ceilings. Once you see a stain, you can climb onto the roof to identify the location of the leak and fix it before winter rains and snowfall turn the problem into something much larger. Inspect your ceilings for signs of leaking after a strong rainfall, and then address any leaks immediately.

Gutter cleaning

While some homeowners prefer to delay their gutter cleaning projects until late fall, those whose homes are surrounded by trees may need to schedule two such projects. Gutters clogged with leaves and other debris can cause serious roof damage, and that damage can extend all the way inside a home. In addition, clogged gutters make great nesting areas for insects or critters. Always stand on a ladder when cleaning gutters, wearing gloves to remove items by hand and dropping leaves and debris into a trash can below. Standing on the roof and leaning over gutters greatly increases your risk of injury. If the gutters are clear when you first examine them in early fall, you can wait until later in the season to give them a complete and thorough cleaning. Once you have finished clearing the gutters, you can use a hose to run water through them and the downspouts to confirm everything is functioning properly.

Window and doorway inspection

Before temperatures start dropping once again, homeowners will want to inspect their windows and doorways for leaks. Over time, cracks can develop around windows and doorways, and while such cracks are rarely noticeable when the weather outside is warm, they can be quite obvious and very costly if they remain unsealed come the start of winter. Cold air can enter a home through cracks around windows and doorways, and many homeowners who don’t suspect leaks may respond by turning up the thermostats in their homes. That can prove quite expensive over a full winter. Choose a windy autumn day to place a hand by windows and external doorways in your home to see if you can feel drafts. If you can, seal these cracks as soon as possible.

Patio cleanup

Patios are popular hangouts during spring and summer, and that can result in a lot of wear and tear. Once you store patio furniture for the winter, inspect your entire patio to determine if it needs any refurbishing. While certain patio projects may be best left for spring, you can still clean any stained areas around the grill and look for cracks in the sidewalk that need to be addressed.

Preparing for fall home improvement projects ahead of time can help homeowners complete projects in a timely manner and ensures they won’t be forced to brave the winter elements when refurbishing their homes.


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