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Wayne Robinson

Wayne Robinson
101 Quakertown Ave.  Pennsburg  PA 18073
Phone:  267-481-4811
Office:  215-679-9797
Cell:  267-481-4811
Fax:  267-354-6936

My Blog

A 10-Step Winter Preparedness Checklist for Drivers

December 14, 2015 1:57 am

From just-above-freezing temps to record snowfall, there’s no shortage of wild weather when it comes to winter. Before the season sets in, it’s important to assess your vehicle and prepare it for the months ahead, say the experts at the Car Care Council. This includes:
 
• Checking the battery and charging system for optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries;
 
• Checking the antifreeze. As a general rule of thumb, clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system every two years;
 
• Checking that heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid;
 
• Checking the tire tread depth and tire pressure. If snow and ice are a problem in your area, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly;
 
• Checking the oil and filter and be diligent about changing them at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate. Check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time;
 
• Checking engine performance before winter sets in. Winter magnifies existing problems such as hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling;
 
• Checking the brakes. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item;
 
• Checking the exhaust system for carbon online casino monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed;
 
• Checking to see that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed. During winter, drivers should keep their vehicle’s gas tank at least half-full to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing;
 
• Checking the tire pressure of the spare in the trunk and stocking an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, blanket, extra clothes, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication.

Source: Car Care Council 

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Ready, Set, Glow: 10 Tips for Bright, Beautiful Holiday Displays

December 14, 2015 1:57 am

To say holiday displays have gone extreme is an understatement. (“The Great Christmas Light Fight,” anyone?) But holiday lights don’t have to be over-the-top to have an impact—in fact, just a few professional-grade tricks are all it takes to create a sparkling, festive display.

1. Use LED lights. They burn at a lower temperature and use nearly 90 percent less energy than incandescent lights, making them a safer and more efficient option.

2. Choose a theme. Whether you prefer traditional or a more colorful, contemporary approach, keep your theme consistent to create an attractive and cohesive look.

3. Be unique. Be true to yourself in your design. Find something that speaks to your style and make that the focus of your display.

4. Use a timer. Timers are great investments that save energy and hassle. Set your timer to come on about 30 minutes before sunset and to go off between 11 p.m. and midnight.

5. Select a shade. LED lights come in two shades of white: traditional warm white and cool white. Both create a dazzling holiday look.

6. Don't over-do it. You can create a car-stopping display (without becoming the Griswolds) by adding eye-catching elements like character figures or animation lighting.

7. Use daytime décor. Since lights don't read well during the day, add daytime décor, such as greenery of character figures, to keep your home looking festive all day long.

8. Never use outdated products. Test all your lighting products before installation to confirm that all are in good working order. Replace any questionable or worn bulb or light strand.

9. Highlight the features. Outline a distinct roof line or windows with lights, drape an archway with a lit garland, or light the pathway to your home's door.

10. Don't forget the backyard. Decorate a small area in your backyard to create a holiday focus through your windows.

Source: Christmas Décor, Inc.

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4 Ways to Cut Kitchen Clutter

December 14, 2015 1:57 am

(BPT) - The kitchen may be the heart of the home, but it's also home to a lot of clutter. Resolve to bring order to your kitchen once and for all with these tips, courtesy of the experts at Moen.

1. You don't need a large pantry or countless cupboards and drawers to find the perfect spot for all your stuff. If you have blank space on the walls, consider adding a few open shelves. They provide plenty of storage while keeping everyday dishes and staples, like the coffee canister or cookie jar, within easy reach.

2. The biggest pain point for homeowners is a lack of counter space. Instead of adding to the chaos, designate a specific "drop zone" for items that find their way into the kitchen each day, like mail, paperwork or electronics.

3. Extend the "everything in its place" mentality to another kitchen staple: the dishtowel. Instead of leaving it in a damp heap on the counter, install a towel bar, towel ring or hook to the side of a cabinet or island to create a spot for it to hang. Not only will it free up space, but like in the bathroom or powder room, you'll always know where to look for it when you need it.

4. If you have a pantry, go beyond simple shelves to make this area work better—and smarter—for you. Pullout baskets and shallow drawers will ensure your pantry offers a proper place for everything. Curved cradles can turn an ordinary shelf into a beverage storage center, allowing you to store wine, water or soda bottles on their sides. And instead of wasting the space on the back of the door, install a slim, vertical storage system to provide a spot for plastic wrap, aluminum foil and other awkward-sized kitchen must-haves.

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Helping Hands: Volunteers Number in the Millions

December 11, 2015 1:54 am

Ever house-sat for your neighbor? You may be one of the 138 million Americans who volunteered informally on behalf of a neighbor in the last year, whether by house-sitting, babysitting or shopping, according to a recent report by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC).

Many are performing neighborly acts of kindness beyond the block, as well. According to the report, 62.8 million Americans volunteered through an organization in the last year, totaling 7.96 billion hours worth an estimated $184 billion.

Who volunteers most? Gen Xers lead the pack at a rate of nearly 30 percent, followed by millennials at just over 20 percent. The Silent Generation leads when it comes to volunteer hours—over 100 hours on average, followed by baby boomers at 81 hours.

“We are calling on Americans to volunteer in their communities, and to invite their friends and families to join them,” says Wendy Spencer, CEO of the CNCS. “Volunteers enrich our communities and keep our nation strong. Service also connects us with our neighbors and provides a chance to use our skills for the common good.  There are so many ways we can make a difference for those in need, during the holiday season and throughout the entire year.”

Source: CNCS

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6 Tips for Homeowners to Weather a Wet Winter

December 11, 2015 1:54 am

Warmer winters aren’t always better. With this season on track to be warmer (and wetter) than average, homeowners should prepare now for the potential of extreme precipitation, says Peter Duncanson, director of Disaster Restoration System Development at ServiceMaster Restore.

“When it comes to winter weather, it pays to be prepared for the worst,” says Duncanson. “Although many areas across the country experienced mild temperatures this fall, preparing now is vital, as excessive precipitation combined with freezing or near-freezing temperatures can cause significant damage overnight.” 

Duncanson advises:

• Reviewing your insurance policy closely and paying attention to specifics on what is and is not covered under the agreement

• Clearing rain gutters, repairing roof leaks and cutting away tree branches that could fall on the home

• Keeping gutters and downspouts free of debris and making sure water is flowing several feet away from the foundation

• Checking for cracks or small holes in the foundation where water can seep in—even a few inches of water from melted snow or excessive rain can cause interior water damage to carpet, drywall, wood floors and even your home’s structure

• Covering exposed outdoor water faucets to prevent freezing

• Leaving cabinet doors under sinks open to help circulate air and prevent frozen pipes during extreme temperatures

Source: ServiceMaster

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Selling or Not, Remodeling Boosts Homeowner Happiness

December 11, 2015 1:54 am

Homeowners preparing to sell often make home improvements both big and small to garner top dollar from buyers—but those same projects can also be beneficial to homeowners remaining in their homes, according to the National Association of REALTORS® recent Remodeling Impact Report. In fact, the report states nearly 65 percent of homeowners experienced increased enjoyment in their homes after completing a remodeling project.

And when it comes to resale, kitchen and bathroom renovations, hardwood flooring refinishes, insulation upgrades, new wood flooring and converted basements rank high among REALTORS® cited in the report, as well as new roofing, new vinyl siding and new vinyl windows.

For homeowners staying put, projects that bring the most happiness include fiber-cement siding, new fiberglass or steel-front doors, new roofing and new garage doors.

"Remodeling projects can greatly improve both the value of and satisfaction with one's home, which are great things no matter the reason for a project," says Judy Mozen, president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. "This report highlights the best projects to consider in either situation and showcases just how much of a difference a good and professional remodel can make in real numbers.”

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

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5 Travel Trends to Watch in 2016

December 10, 2015 1:51 am

From in-flight tablet holders to “space bins,” travelers will see many an innovation in the coming year, according to a recent report by Cheapflights.com. Trends to watch include:

• Extreme long-haul flights, thanks to declining oil prices. Emirates will launch a 17-hour, 35-minute fight from Dubai to Panama City starting in February, and Singapore Airlines has plans for a 19-hour flight from Singapore to New York beginning in 2018.

• Airplane design changes, such as charging pads, tablet holders and extra wide seats. There has been a flurry of patents set to re-engineer passenger seating and cabin configurations, as well.

• Tracking technology for unaccompanied minors so parents can see where their children are at any given moment. Child-free zones will also come into play.

• “Space bins” that offer more space than the traditional overhead compartment. Alaska Airlines is leading the pack, putting “space bins” into service by 2017.

• Supersonic flying, with the goal of traveling from New York to London in just 90 minutes. Initiatives by Airbus, Lockheed Martin and up-and-comer Skreemr are all underway.

Source: Cheapflights.com

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A Picture of Household Debt in America

December 10, 2015 1:51 am

Household debt—including mortgages, credit cards, student and auto loans—has reached $11.9 trillion, a sign of progress for the economy, according to a recent report by NerdWallet (www.nerdwallet.com). Though many connote debt with a negative financial situation, certain kinds can be beneficial to building credit, including mortgages and auto loans.

“It's alarming that household debt is on the rise, but it's also important to recognize that not all debt is created equal," says Sean McQuay, credit card associate at NerdWallet. “Under the right circumstances, mortgage, student and auto loan debt can be helpful in building a bright financial future. That said, it's critical for Americans to understand their debt and recognize that certain types of debt are unnecessarily costly.”

Mortgage debt owed by the average household totals $165,892, according to the report. Credit card debt owed by the average household totals $15,355; student loan debt owed by the average household totals $47,712; auto loan debt owed by the average household totals $26,530.

The report also finds the average household is paying $6,658 in interest, which equals approximately 9 percent of the average household income ($75,591).

Source: NerdWallet

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Is Your Roof Reindeer-Ready?

December 10, 2015 1:51 am

The holidays are fast approaching! Amid the gift-giving, gathering with loved ones and decorating, the season serves as an important reminder for homeowners to make their roofs “reindeer-ready,” or review their roofs.

To do that, the experts at the Metal Roofing Alliance advise completing the following 10 checks, which can be done without a ladder:

1. For homes with asphalt shingles, look for black areas indicating cracking shingles.

2. For homes with shake or shingles, look for pieces that are curled upward, split, broken off or missing.

3. For homes with slate roofs, look for black areas that indicate slate is missing.

4. Look for heavy wear around the valleys, the areas where water runs off the roof into the gutters.

5. Look at the materials around the chimney and vent pipes and check for cracks, gaps and missing or fractured caulking.

6. Check eave overhangs for water damage.

7. Use binoculars to check around the chimney, trim and other flashings for signs of cracks, shingles that are coming up off the roof and general wear.

8. Conduct an interior inspection for stained or discolored ceilings, which most likely indicates roof problems.

9. Check your gutters for asphalt shingle granules.  Lots of granules mean less coverage on your roof. 

10. Remove branches, twigs and leaves from gutters and clear out down spouts to allow for snow and ice run off.

Source: Metal Roofing Alliance

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Caregivers: 5 Signs of Declining Financial Capability

December 9, 2015 1:51 am

(Family Features)—If you've been entrusted to assist an elderly relative, you may struggle with knowing when it's time to take on a greater role. It is likely that at some point your loved ones' financial capability will be challenged as they age, making it more difficult to competently handle money-related matters on their own.

To best gauge their level of need, Ted Beck, president and CEO of the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), recommends watching for the following signs:

1. Is the aging person taking longer to complete financial tasks? Does he or she struggle with everyday efforts like preparing bills for mailing, reconciling bank statements or organizing paperwork?

2. Is the person missing key details in financial documents? Are bills piling up and has he or she missed a payment? Is he or she able to prioritize his or her regular responsibilities?

3. Is your aging relative experiencing problems with everyday arithmetic? Maybe you recently went out to dinner with mom and dad, and while paying, they took an inordinate amount of time to calculate the appropriate tip.

4. Have you noticed a decreased understanding of financial concepts with your loved ones? Are they having increased difficulty comprehending health care matters like deductibles, or are they having a hard time understanding the bank statements they receive?

5. Are they having new difficulty identifying investment risks? Are they able to minimize the risks in potential investments? Did they recently fall victim to fraud or a scam because they could not spot the liabilities?

For both parties, approaching these discussions with candor and an open mind is critical, adds Beck.

"Especially if you're accustomed to handling money matters privately, learning to talk more candidly about your finances may be uncomfortable," says Beck. "However, allowing trusted individuals to take a closer look at your accounts can help you establish a realistic plan for the future, and help flag any potential concerns."

Source: NEFE

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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