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Prevent Water and Rain Damage

2019 is going to be a terrible year for rain damage. This summer’s going to be unusually wet and rainy, according to ye olde Farmer’s Almanac. The unusually large amount of rain is going to raise the risk of basement floods and other water-related damage. So make sure you’re ready to deal with the unthinkable when it happens by following these easy tips to avoiding interior rain damage.

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Spot the Leak Early with a Water Sensor

Water sensors won’t prevent flooding, but they will help you limit the damage once it starts. Water sensors (or detectors) are incredibly handy devices that will alert you (with either an alarm or a message sent over wi-fi) to the presence of water within a specified area. This is extremely useful for laundry rooms, bathrooms, or any area that may be prone to leaks. If you can stop a leak, Odd Job can handle the clean-up.

Compare different water sensors here.

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Get Rid of Water with a Sump Pump

Sump Pumps are pumps that sit in a low hole or well beneath your basement. When water flows into this well, either slowly and naturally from the earth surrounding your house, or quickly during a rain storm, the pump draws the water away using a series of pipes. Without a sump pump, water can easily collect beneath your home or in your basement, causing structural damage that is incredibly expense to repair.

Backflow schematic from Mainline Backflow Products

Prevent Gross Rain Damage with a Backflow Valve

Flood waters can contain more than just water. When the storm waters rise, they carry debris with them, which can lead to clogged sewer lines and — well, you know what flows through sewers. With nowhere else to go, this sewage can back up into your home and cause smelly, even dangerous damage. A backflow (or backwater) valve automatically closes if there’s a back-up, preventing your home from being deluged with detritus.

Is it too late and now you’ve got water damage to repair? Contact Odd Job! We can help clean up after disaster strikes.

Build a Catio

How to Build a Catio

Learn how to Build a Catio for your feline friends, and let them enjoy the outdoors safely!

Whether you DIY, or let a handyman handle it for you, Catios are a fun way to let your cats lie in the sun and watch the birdies, without worrying about the dangers of your urban environment. Your furry pals will be safe from disease, cars, or predators, and the local wildlife will be safe from them.

Catios are a win/win for everyone, and they’re a fun project to take on as the weekends grow warmer and longer.

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Step 1: Where to Build a Catio

The location of your catio is very important. Does it provide enough shade? Will your cats be properly stimulated by the surroundings? Will this be a standalone structure that your cats will need to be carried into, or will it provide access to your home?

Another concern is whether the ground will be level where you build it. Flat ground will be much easier than trying to compensate for an uneven floor. We recommend that you build on an already existing deck or porch.

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Step 2: Gather Your Materials

A typical catio requires:

  • wire
  • a floor
  • wood shelving for platforms
  • a roof

The bulk of the catio structure is made of wire attached to a wooden or metal frame. The wire should be strong and sturdy enough to withstand the curiosity of a cat, but still thin enough to be easy to install. Utility Fencing is a good option.

 
 
 
 
 
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#catio is complete! Merlin is a happy kitty!

A post shared by Jessica Scarfuto (@jessicascarfuto) on

If you build your catio on your deck or porch, then you don’t need to worry about a floor — it’s built-in. Otherwise, you need a good, flat floor to enclose the structure and make things safer for your kitty.

Platforms will provide your cat with ways to jump and run around, and also good high places to snooze or bird-watch.

The roof should be solid to keep out rain and other debris. The type of roof you choose depends on your own skill (or access to skilled handymen 😉 ). You can use regular roof shingles, like the kind that your own home uses, or polycarbonate corrugated roofing panels.

 
 
 
 
 
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Stop bugging us….we are birdwatching. #catio #catsofinstagram #cats_of_instagram #orangecat #orangekitty #sbike #monty #rubyeyeskraftwerks

A post shared by Rubyeyes Kraftwerks (@rubyeyes.kraftwerks) on

Step 3: Build!

We’re not going to go in-depth with regards to the various catio construction techniques here, but only provide a rough guide.

Catio Spaces is a website dedicated to detailed catio plans, and can give you the nitty gritty details for each catio design. We think you need to know this, though: don’t skimp on the materials , design, or time. This is a fun DIY activity to use your intimate knowledge of your cat’s personality to build a unique, bespoke outdoor experience for them. Don’t build a catio yourself if it’s just to save money. Only plan to build if you plan to build it well.

Step 4: Accessorize

Like we said: this is a uniquely built space for your uniquely built cat. Make sure you fill the space with all of your cat’s favorite toys. Think big: the catio will provide the room for unique features that aren’t feasible indoors.

You may also want to include a litterbox, but avoid putting food bowls outside: they may attract critters you don’t want getting inside.

And if you ever need any help with your weekend projects, don’t forget that you can always contact your friendly, local handyman: email us here, or get an estimate.

If you liked this article, make sure you sign up for our email newsletter, or follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

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Maintain Your Deck: 4 Tips

After you’ve done the hard work of replacing your deck boards, sanding, power washing, and then staining your deck, you’ll want to maintain your deck’s new youthful appearance, don’t you? So here are 4 quick Deck tips that will keep you barbecuing and lounging in the sun for months without worry.

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Maintain Your Deck with a Thorough Cleaning

Your first step to maintain your deck is to give it a good deep clean about once a year. This will prolong the life of the wood.

You can scrub a good deck cleaning solution into the wood with a coarse brush. Then, follow that up with a good rinse using a high-pressure hose or pressure washer.

Use the pressure washer, sparingly, though. Incorrect usage of these washers can damage the wood. Get some pressure washing tips at Family Handyman.

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Don’t Use Chlorine Bleach on Your Deck

There are numerous deck cleaning solutions available, from the specially formulated to all-natural concoctions. None of them, however, contain chlorine bleach. This is because bleach can strip the natural colour off of the wood, and damage its internal structure. So if you want your deck to look newer longer, stay from away from the stuff.

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Perform Light Deck Cleaning Regularly

Your job isn’t done after the big, thorough wash. You need to clean your deck regularly of the small bits of dirt and grime that can build up and damage your deck overtime. Things like leaves, tree branches and twigs, or puddles of rain water or snow can cause lasting damage if they’re not removed regularly. And this includes the off-season, too: winter can be the most damaging time for a deck.

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Check For Deck Rot at Least Once a Year

Check your deck supports and ledger for signs of wood rot (the ledger is the part of the deck that attaches to your house). You can check for rot by pushing a flathead screwdriver into the wood. If you can get the screwdriver to penetrate about half a centimeter or more into the wood, you might have rot. Get your deck inspected by a professional, ASAP! Deck rot can lead to a collapse if left unchecked.

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When Things Fall Apart

Even with regular maintenance, a deck will still suffer light wear and tear. But don’t worry, because there’s always your friendly neighborhood Odd Job Handyman to help you sand and stain, replace old boards, and repair your deck stairs. Click here for all of the different ways we can help you maintain your deck: Deck Maintenance Services.

Ask us for an estimate today, and be ready to love your deck this summer.

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How to find a local handyman

How to Find a Local Handyman

Do you need to find a local handyman to tackle your small repair jobs? Here are 4 ways you can find a local handyman for your odd jobs.

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Check Homestars.com

The Odd-Job-approved method is to visit Homestars.com. They’re a Toronto-based handyman, repairs, and home services network. And we don’t recommend them just because Odd Job Handyman has won the “Best of” award for Toronto for 3 years running! They connect you with the most appropriate service provider for your task and to-do list, so you don’t have to spend hours looking through Google or the Yellow Pages.

Search Facebook for a Toronto handyman

Check out the Reviews on Facebook

If you want to find a good handyman, why not ask your friends? Any reputable business is going to have a page on Facebook. Facebook offers customers a way to review and recommend local home service providers, so this is a great way to feel out a company before you contact them.

Search Google for local handyman companies

Find Google Reviews

Like Facebook, Google gives you reviews of handymen, and it’s more helpful when you’re searching locally. But beware! A lot of competing companies can post bogus reviews to try to steal clients away from reputable services. You can read our guide to avoiding fake reviews here.

Ask your friends for handyman recommendations

Ask Your IRL Friends

It might be a little analog, but the best way to find a trustworthy handyman is to ask your friends.

But we warned: your neighbour’s coworker’s cousin might know a guy who’ll do it for cash, but they might not be licensed or insured.

Protect yourself: always ask if your handyman is insured. A branded truck and uniform wouldn’t be a deal-breaker, either.

Of course, you can always make it easy: contact Odd Job and get a free online estimate. We’ll handle all of your home repair needs, including art hanging, drywall repair, deck staining, light fixture installation. See everything we do on our services page.