Two things might give you pause when considering whether to allow your pet to swim in your outdoor swimming pool: safety and maintenance concerns. Will your dog damage any parts of the pool? Is it a secure environment for them to enjoy without you needing to watch their every move?
Fortunately, there are some small tips to bear in mind when it comes to making your swimming pool pet-friendly.
Consider a pre-swim routine
Just like you wouldn’t let young kids swim without inflatable armbands or applying a little sunscreen first, you should think about developing a pre-swim routine with your dog. Your furry friend might be tempted to jump into the pool at first sight, but their excess fur will soon become a nightmare for your filtering system.
Give your dog a quick wash with your hose before letting them jump into the pool. This will help rid them of any excess hair or dirt, leaving your pool as clean as possible. Teach them a command, such as “okay”, that they must hear to know that they are allowed inside the pool.
Risk assessment for potential damage
Could your pet cause any damage by using your pool? If you own a fiberglass or cement-lined pool, there’s no chance they can cause any damage.
Vinyl-lined pools are a little more exposed to your dog’s nails. If your dog is not a very confident swimmer, their scratching against the walls or stairs could cause some damage to the vinyl. A dog-safe pool liner will do the trick here.
Installing special stairs for your pet, or a stationary float for them to relax on, can help calm them down inside the pool.
The importance of stairs
As you would expect, dogs are incapable of using the vertical, metal stairs that humans use to get in and out of a pool. It is vital that they have an easier method of access, usually via stairs that gradually allow access through a shallow end of the pool.
You could also consider installing a few specialist dog ladders around the pool to give them an easy option to leave the pool if they need to.
Safety comes first!
Last but not least, you should always consider the general safety of your pet around the pool. Can they definitely swim? If not, consider using a dog life jacket. Dogs might be natural swimmers, but always check that they are comfortable being inside the pool.
Also, the chlorinated water used in pools is generally safe, but be vigilant in checking your pet’s skin for any signs of irritation and give them a rinse after a pool session.
Finally, ensure that your dog does not start drinking the pool water. They will be fine if they ingest a little, but help them to avoid lapping it up like a drink. The chlorine could cause gastrointestinal issues, or some even worse problems if large amounts are consumed.
Enjoy making your pool a safer environment for your pets! Adding a few installations and training them to behave sensibly around the pool will help you make sure your whole family has a summer of fun.
July may be coming to an end, but the summer is still goin' hard this year! We learned that we've been considered one of the best agents in the Chandler area, and we have 2 more articles written by our awesome friends at Happy Writers Co. about home security tips for frequent travelers and making your pool pet-friendly. Feel free to comment below on what you do for home safety and how you keep your pool pet-friendly for your fur babies!
Home Security Tips for Frequent Traveler
The feeling of getting away and exploring the great beyond is exhilarating, but it can also cause anxiety. Home break-ins are one of the most feared crimes in the U.S., and many worry about their homes being broken into when unoccupied. Fortunately, there are many ways that your home can be protected when you’re away, and if you travel frequently, the following tips may prevent serious loss or stop a home invasion entirely.
Make Your Home Look Occupied
Scouting out your home and surroundings is usually the first step burglars take before deciding whether or not to make your home a target. The Bureau of Justice reported that 72 percent of home burglaries occurred when no one was home, and more home invasions take place during the day than at night. A few indications of an empty or rarely occupied home are an overgrown lawn, a full mailbox, dark interior lighting, closing your blinds (when you usually keep them open), or no car in the driveway.
Recruit Friends, Family, or Neighbors to House Sit
Developing a list of trustworthy friends, family members, or neighbors that can watch your home while you’re away is one of the best ways to protect your residence. House sitters are also helpful in maintaining your dwelling while you’re away and can manage plants, pets, trash, or trash cans. In addition, house sitters that can drop in, be in your home at various times throughout the day, or even better, stay the night will deter home invaders. At the very least, letting neighbors know when you’re away will keep caring eyes on your home, and any disturbances or suspicious activity can be acted on quickly.
Set up a Few Security Protocols
Frequent travelers should seriously consider adopting a full-fledged home monitoring service that provides cameras, active monitoring, sensors, and more. Either way, putting up an alarm unit and a camera (whether or not it actually works) is a good crime deterrent. A few other home protection add-ons to consider are motion lights, disconnecting your garage door, removing any extra spare keys from your home’s exterior, and installing a video doorbell that allows you to see who is coming to your door and engage with them via intercom. Doing so will enable you to speak to people who come to the door even if you aren’t home. Waiting to post travel photos until you return home, not checking in on social media, and keeping your travel plans under wraps are also proactive ways to prevent theft while you’re away.
Critical Forget-Me-Nots to do Before Every Trip
Remembering to prep your home for your departure is another task to add to your to-do list, but making sure to unplug unnecessary electrical items, clean up your yard, close windows, lock doors, check your water heater, and make sure that your home is winterized if you are leaving during cold weather will prevent long-term damage. Performing simple home health checks will ensure that you’re able to focus on your adventures when you travel and increase the likelihood that there are no unpleasant surprises upon your return.
Thank you to our friends over at Happy Writers Co. for giving us another insightful and very useful blog about keeping cool without A/C during a heat wave. What other methods do you use to keep yourself cool during the summer when your A/C goes out? Let us know!
Our hot summer days are quickly moving from mere discomfort to a public safety issue. The world is getting warmer, and U.S. cities are projected to become significantly hotter by 2050. Unfortunately, air conditioners (AC) and even electricity are subject to failure under extreme heat. Following the tips below will help you create a much-needed backup plan versus counting on AC only to keep you cool 24/7 during heatwaves and extreme weather conditions.
Purchase Portable Fans
Investing in portable electric and battery-powered fans before heat waves occur is highly recommended. Fans can be used to create a cross breeze when coupled with open windows. If achievable, ceiling fans should also be installed in as many rooms as possible in your home.
Turn Off Your Lights
Minimizing the use of electricity in your home will help to keep room temperatures low. Turning off lights, refraining from using your stove, and avoiding using anything electric that generates excessive heat will better cool your residence even without AC.
Scout Out Cool Spots in Your Hometown
Venting your home of heat that builds up and getting outside is a great way to cool off. During extreme heat waves, many local municipalities set up cooling centers for people who may not have working air conditioners. Check your local county’s website for more information on where these centers are located. Anywhere near the water will also be much cooler than your home, so spending the day by a pool, lake, or on the beach will help you stay refreshed during a heatwave.
Create an Action Plan Before the Next Heatwave
Preparing to deal with extreme heat before it happens is the best way to stay safe during a severe heatwave. Putting together an action plan, checking emergency equipment, and ensuring that your home can withstand excess heat is critical. Installing windows and sunshades that seal your home will help to keep cool air in and hot air outside. Adding or updating insulation will also help your home stay comfortable even if your AC fails.
Learn to Identify and Treat Heat-Related Illnesses
Knowing what the symptoms of heat illness are enables you to act quickly if you or a loved one experiences them. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can lead to severe medical conditions and should be taken seriously. Monitoring your own health and the wellbeing of those around you will help to keep loved ones safe during heat waves that are beginning to become more common across the globe.
We've said it time and time again, we truly do care about our community and we are always looking for ways to give back. Thankfully we've teamed up with 2 different organizations to help them out with their needs! We're excited to be sharing what we're currently doing and we hope that we can get the rest of the community to help out.
We are beyond thankful for everyone's support a few weeks ago when we hosted Teeing off for Tiffany! When one of us gets knocked down, we all put in our efforts to bring them back up. This golf event was the perfect definition of what team effort truly means. We spent countless hours preparing for a fun and meaningful event, and before we knew it, the tournament was already here! It was a beautiful day outside, we sold out of tickets, sold plenty of raffle and auction items, and we all had a blast. Check out the pictures from the event down below!
Not only did we do this event to help one of our own out, we also did it to raise awareness of colon cancer. You can read more about Tiffany's story here. AZ Family reached out to Tiffany to talk about her experience and the one thing she emphasized was going to the doctor's office to get your annual check ups done. We all know check ups are important but we tend to put them on the back burner, especially if we feel healthy, active, and fit. Unfortunately cancer has no boundaries and it can be hidden for years before it starts to show up, and that was another point Tiffany made about her experience with battling colon cancer. We can feel like we are on top of the world with our health, but we truly don't know what's going on until we make an appointment with a doctor to make sure our bodies are doing well.
Tiffany's strength throughout her entire journey has shown all of us that despite having unforeseen obstacles thrown our way, you have to find a way to fight back and not let tough situations get the best of you. Even while going through chemo and surgery, Tiffany was still striving in real estate and she set up a whole new level of standards for all of us. There truly is no excuse for anyone to not try and fight whatever battles they are going through because we have living proof that it is possible to get through the hardships of life.
The entire DW team is very grateful to have someone like Tiffany be a part of our lives, both inside and outside of work. We are also very grateful to know that Tiffany is one step closer to remission and continues to be the bad ass woman that she is. We all look up to you Tiffany, you have shown everyone what real strength and perseverance is. We are so happy to have you back in action with us!
Happy Wednesday everyone! We have a fun event we would love to share with you all. Saturday May 8th we will be hosting our first ever golf tournament! You might be asking yourself, why is the Darwin Wall team hosting a golf tournament?? Well, as many of you know, we work with a bunch of inspiring and amazing realtors but unfortunately, one of our own is battling cancer. Tiffany Le Doux was recently diagnosed with colon cancer and is currently going through chemo and overall treatment. We hate that one of our own is having to deal with this, but Tiffany is a bad ass woman who will fight hard and will never give up! As a team, we fully support Tiffany to the best of our ability, so we decided it would be it would be fun to host a golf tournament to help her cover medical costs and other necessary expenses to help her win the battle against cancer.
Teeing off for Tiffany will take place at the Springfield Golf Course in Chandler, AZ. One way to help out is by gathering 4 people to play in the tournament. It's $400 per foursome but you get range balls, lunch, and the green fee covered with the overall total. Check in begins at 6:15am and the tee off starts at 7am. Another way to help out is by donating or giving a raffle item for us to raffle away during the tournament. We truly hope and expect for this to be a great turnout! The weather should be nice, we'll all be gathering for a great cause, and we simply want to have fun while supporting one of our own. If you would like to donate a raffle item, please reach out to any of us on the team. You can also donate by clicking here. We can't wait to see everyone on May 8th and we will continue to fight with Tiffany as she continues to go through her treatment so she can hopefully go into remission soon!
Happy Friday everyone! Who's ready to enjoy the weekend??
We definitely are, but we also wanted to share with you another awesome article written by our friends over at Happy Writers Co. Just like buying a home, adopting a dog can be exciting but nerve wracking. Having a furry companion has plenty of benefits, but how do we know we are ready to adopt a dog? Take a look at a few different reasons on whether or not you're ready to bring a new family member to your household!
In case you didn't know, we also have dog bandanas for your 4 legged friends! Check out this good boy Gus rockin' one of our bandanas! If you are considering adopting a dog, here are a few local organizations that have dogs up for adoption who need loving homes.
Arizona Humane Society
Halo Animal Rescue
Arizona Small Dog Rescue
Am I Ready to Adopt A Dog?
Choosing to adopt a rescue dog is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make! It might feel as if you are ready to commit to bringing home a new member of the family, but there are some honest questions you need to ask yourself before making your final choice.
One reason alone is not usually enough to consider adopting a dog. For example, even if you want to adopt a dog to give it a new, loving home, that is not necessarily enough. Of course it is a great reason to adopt a dog, but you also need to make sure that you will be capable of giving your new dog a loving home at all times.
How can you know if you are ready to provide a loving home for a dog that needs one? Here are some of the main questions to ask yourself and your family before adopting a dog:
Do you have the time to devote to training an adopted dog?
Many adopted dogs come with the need for intensive training. Some might have been raised in dysfunctional families, or have gone through other traumatic experiences which make them fearful of humans or other dogs. These dogs will need plenty of care and attention, so it would not be wise to consider adopting a dog if you are going to be out of the home very often.
Is your job going to cause any issues?
Does your job require you to work long hours away from home? Do you have a history of being posted to other locations on a whim? These situations aren’t going to mix well with a new, adopted dog that needs your love and attention.
If you decide that you are adopting a dog but are going to be working away from home for more than 4-6 hours per day, ensure someone else is available to give your dog a walk and check up on them.
Is your home environment right for the dog?
First off, if you rent from a landlord, you must be told in writing that dogs can be allowed in your home. This way, you can avoid any major problems with your dog being allowed in your home after you have made the decision to adopt.
Also, remember that large and outdoorsy breeds like Border Collies or Greyhounds are not well-suited for apartments. Some breeds of dog need hours of exercise each day, so do your research carefully before committing.
Do you have previous experience owning a dog?
Whether you have owned one yourself or have owned one as a child with your parents, it is a good building block to have owned a dog before. This will have you better prepared for the potential challenges of adopting a dog from a rescue center.
Lastly, and most importantly… is everyone in my household ready to take this on?
You should ensure that yourself and everybody you live with is completely on board with the decision to adopt a dog. This is a major commitment, and the questions in this article are only a handful of the ones you should consider before extending your home to a new, four-legged member of the family!
Jack Vale is a writer from Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with K9 Sport Sack, the top retailer for dog backpack carriers.
Happy Friday! Real estate in Arizona is a huge sellers market right now. Prepping your home is one of the biggest benefits you could give yourself because it helps add value to your home. You want to make sure your home is in tip top shape and ready to be shown to plenty of potential buyers. Our good friends over at Happy Writers Co. helped us come up with some awesome tips for getting your home ready to sell!
4 DIY Home Inspections to Do Every Year
Developing the eye and increasing your knowledge around home inspections can save anyone who owns, is planning to buy, or who is selling a world of trouble and headaches in the long run. One of the most important things to remember when inspecting a home on your own is to take your time and record notes or pictures if possible. Logging as many details as you can about the home is beneficial information that future inspectors or home segment specialists can learn from. Everything from stuck windows or doors to sloping floors, stained walls, and slow drains should be noted. Out of the magnitude of inspections that should be completed regularly, here are four inspections that can be done on your own every year.
Look for Wear and Tear on Roofing
Repairing a roof and full roof replacements can cost as much as $30,000, and pricing varies depending on materials and the scope of work needed. Whatever the roofing issue may be, spending the time and money on roofing fixes is a hassle. Going into any sale with eyes wide open regarding roofing needs will help future homeowners plan and negotiate property costs, and homeowners will be able to use the information gained to have an educated conversation with roofing companies.
Using scaffolding or a ladder to safely access the roof is best. Once safe access has been established, assessing the current condition of shingles, missing shingles, and doing penetration testing to check for disparities will quickly reveal any leaks, holes, or weak points that need to be fixed. Homeowners should also do their own assessment and research before hiring an inspector or service provider. The information will help owners and sellers compare services and discuss issues with housing experts.
Be Sure to Check Gutter Systems
While your scaffolding or ladder is out and readily available, ensure to thoroughly check outdoor gutter systems. Keep an eye out for wear and tear, and you may have to unclog areas if they are cluttered to get a better look. Don't forget a hose when inspecting. Water should be run through the gutter to make sure that they are working correctly and that downspouts are not obstructed.
Clogged gutters can cause foundational issues because water can collect around the foundation of your home and seep into unwanted areas, which can then cause rot and mold. If you see water collecting around the house, be sure to make a note. It could be a simple clog, or gutters may need to be upgraded.
Windows Tell a Big Part of the Home’s Story
Make sure to pay attention to the windows and check for cracking, broken glass, gaps, and stripping as you walk through the property. Windows with cracks or crevices can let in heat and cold, which will drive up heating and cooling costs. Gaps are also an open door for bugs and critters to make it into the estate. Openings and stuck windows and doors can also be a sign of foundational issues.
Also, ensure that windows can open and close properly. A common reason why this function fails is because there is a buildup of dust, dirt, debris, or loose/damaged hardware. If windows are getting up there in age, then it could be time to replace them, and this is an essential detail to note.
Don't Forget About the Siding
The side of a home might be one of the last things on your mind, but it can be one of the more extensive home fixes on a property. Poor siding opens up homes to a wide variety of weather-related susceptibilities that decrease the home's value and let moisture in. Houses that are not appropriately insulated also have trouble retaining a consistent temperature, which can impact your finances.
When inspecting siding, check for rotting, discoloration, rust, exposed nails, moisture damage, and damage around joints and seams. Keep in mind that damaged siding may not necessarily be due to wear and tear but improper installation. This means that even if the home or siding is new, a thorough inspection is still needed. Water damage is the typical result when siding is not connected correctly, and damage may not show itself inside the home but still impact the home's structure.
A Thorough Inspection Delivers Peace of Mind
Taking your time and looking for the story homes tell through walls, windows, drains, and all of the other elements that make up a property provides peace of mind in the end. Knowing what the tell-tale signs of significant damage look like will help prospective buyers skip over properties that may not be worth pursuing, or strengthen dialogue with home professionals as a seller or homeowner.
3 Value-Boosting Upgrades for Your Current Fence
Who knew that Robert Frost knew so much about the value of fences when he spouted the everlasting truth, "Good fences make good neighbors" in his famous poem "Mending Wall." Quality fencing makes a significant difference in every component of home life, impacts relationships with neighbors, and is a must-have, especially for homeowners with pets and children. Apart from the physical and more practical elements, fencing can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing at the same time, and upgrading this part of your home exterior can add value to your home in the long run.
Natural Barriers Are Trending
The default white picket fence now has competition since the arrival of the natural barrier. Using trees, shrubs, vines, and many other landscaping architecture options to line your property is often a more cost-efficient approach to marking your property line. Live fences can consist of 100% plant life, or plants can be weaved with fencing materials. Not only are natural barriers visually stunning, they also provide ecological diversity and support local ecosystems by increasing habitats for bees, and other critical insects that need a home.
An additional value-add to natural barriers is that they last considerably longer than manufactured fencing and are resistant to termites and fungal attacks. The greenery that lines your property can also double as a garden and produce fruits and vegetables. If you're looking for a more clear-cut boundary, then inosculating or grafting branches in a criss-cross pattern, so that they grow concurrently will give your live fence a more definitive look.
Defining Property Lines Doesn't Mean Views Have to be Obstructed
Another trend taking properties by storm is low fencing that doesn't obstruct the home's view. This fence type is the perfect fit for highlighting the architecture of a home, and drawing a clean property boundary will be a delight to neighbors as well. A good neighbor fence can be built in multiple sizes and is a shared feature, which means that collaborating with neighbors is part of the building process. Both sides are pleasing to the eye with this type of fence, and costs are split evenly between neighbors.
Going with a good neighbor fence and a lower fence line works to add value to your neighboring properties, which in turn benefits you. Another bold style that can be considered is combining plant life with a traditional good neighbor fence line. This would include using some traditional fencing along with shrubs, trees, or bushes to break up the fence line and make it more creative.
Make it Automatic
Installing an automatic gate on your property instantly improves security by restricting pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Homeowners can easily control who can access their property from inside their home and screen visitors. Gates can also be opened from inside of a vehicle and help to protect pets and children. Automatic gates make a significant difference in larger properties and help to increase privacy. This heavy layer of protection for your home also boosts your property value and can even reduce insurance premiums.
An automatic gate's convenience component is one of the most attractive reasons to have this feature automated, but various safety elements transcend its practicality. Inclement weather or a late-night arrival can make it very uncomfortable and unsafe to open up your gate for visitors or people living in your home. Having a secure way to operate your property's entrance no matter the weather or time of day offers many homeowners peace of mind.
Choosing the Right Fence For You
There are many styles and raw materials to choose from when deciding on the fence that will stand the test of time, look appealing in contrast to your property and be an all-around perfect fit. The wide variety of fencing materials available offers homeowners a collection of styles and looks that will end up being one of the first style elements people see when visiting your home. Starting with functionality and quality is the first step. Whether you decide to install a traditional, natural, vinyl, or wrought iron fence and add an automatic gate, putting your design hat on will help you choose the right style that makes your property stand out.
We want to kick off the start to 2021 by thanking our website sponsors! We truly appreciate the partnership our sponsors have given us throughout the years. We love being able to help other local businesses, whether that's through our website or simply giving a shout out through social media. With that being said, we want to individually thank each of our sponsors, who knows, you might find yourself getting in contact with them because of us. ;)
The darwin Wall Team. Assisting Arizona Home buyers and Sellers in the East Valley.