Sneezing's Greetings

For many Americans, spring equals allergies. Itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, congestion—it’s enough to make you want to skip the season altogether. But with these five steps from DIY Network, you can help reduce allergens in your home and find a brief respite.

Remove Clutter

Less stuff means fewer places for allergens to linger.

Clean the Air

A well-ventilated house is your first line of defense. Use HEPA filters in your air conditioning system, maintain the humidity at about 50 percent and keep your windows closed when pollen counts are highest in the early morning and between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Clean the Bathroom

Mold tends to gather there.

Reduce Dust-generators

Fabrics and carpeting create dust by breaking down fibers. Swap carpets out for washable throw rugs.

Make Smart Landscaping Decisions

Avoid planting trees such as maple, birch and ash, which have allergenic particles that can trigger discomfort.

Spring Things

Spring is a great time to do a quick tune-up of your home. Before things get busy for the summer, take a moment to make sure your home is humming along. Here’s a quick checklist of fixes to make now to save you time and money later.


- Check seals around windows, doors, and bathtubs

- Drain your water heater

- Check and fix leaky faucets

- Replace your HVAC filters

- Clean out your dryer vent

- Replace batteries in smoke detectors

- Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher

- Check basement walls for moisture or mold

- Vacuum refrigerator contender coils


- Inspect the roof

- Clean the gutters

- Wash window exteriors and check screens for repairs 

- Check driveway and walk for repairs 

- Inspect deck and patio for warped, molded, or splintered boards

- Trim bushes and trees, or any vegetation near an air conditioning unit in particular

- Remove leaves and other debris from the lawn

- Patch up your home's paint job

- Look for cracks or weak spots along the lower section of the exterior

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly on Mold

Mold removal can be tricky—and expensive if it requires a specialist. HGTV offers some advice about the cost of mold remediation for your home, and what steps to take.

The Good News

If the area of infestation is small, you can typically take care of it yourself. A small investment in cleaning supplies is all it will cost. First, clean up the water and eliminate the source of excess moisture. It’s important to remove mold with a biocide and disinfectant, rather than with bleach. Be sure to open windows and wear gloves, eye protection, and a facemask. Then allow the affected area to dry.

The Bad News

Remediation cost for larger areas of mold will be greater, but it will ensure further damage is not done. The cost of inspection by a specialist averages $500 to $6,000 moldepending on the entire scope of the infestation. Remember to consider some type of protection from the mold when purchasing insurance. If a problem should arise, your insurance will help offset at least part of the cost of mold removal.

Tales from the Twins

This month we started preparing for graduation! We took pictures in our cap and gowns last weekend and are getting ready for the upcoming celebrations. They have announced that our graduation is at the Pavilion which is a cool idea, but we were both secretly hoping for a drive-through graduation. I was looking forward to decorating the truck and riding in the back. T-minus 46 days until June 13th! It's also birthday/holiday season in our household. We celebrated our niece's third birthday this week, and our birthday is in just two weeks. We also celebrate my parent's 20th anniversary and Mother's day in two weeks.

~ Carson (& Kenzie)

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