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Ask the Experts

| Canyon Country Magazine | May 16, 2017

Plumbing

If a sink is clogged, are there any home remedies you suggest, such as Drano?

We’ve found a few easy steps to keep those drain lines flowing free. Read the following suggestions.

Install a disposal that suits your family’s needs. The smallest one is probably not the best fit for a multiple member family.
Turn on the water and put just a handful of food in at a time. Listen for the disposal to change its sound as food is broken up before adding more. Do not pack food in your disposal.
On a monthly basis, put a tray of ice and a small amount of lemon juice into the disposal and run it to keep blades sharp and disposal clean and smelling fresh.
Never dispose of stringy vegetables or pack pasta in the disposal.

Never use drain cleaners for stoppage in the line. It will only waste your money and can be dangerous to your plumbing system and the plumber repairing it.

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What is the most common plumbing problem, and how can a homeowner minimize the chance of it occurring?

The most common problem we see is kitchen drain stoppage, which is mostly caused by the garbage disposal being used improperly or the homeowner having the wrong size of unit.

The key to using a disposal is water. We find most people don’t use enough water with the disposal and let it run long enough to completely break up the food. Plumbing systems were designed to carry waste that has already been digested or degraded, and although a disposal is a useful tool, much care should be taken in breaking down the food completely so it washes away with water.

Hallway Plumbing
26352 Ruether Ave., Santa Clarita        CSL#962937
661-702-9988
Hallwayplumbing.com

Watches

What is the best way to store an antique/heirloom watch?

Try a standard watch box. Watches should be stored separately from one another to avoid wear caused by friction. Keep automatic watches on winders. Or consider repurposing a cigar case. And put extra valuable watches in a safe.
Does the presence of gems on your watch or watchband affect the value?

If a collectible watch is set with “after market” gems, then yes, it does affect the value. If the gems are set by the factory, then a watch is worth more than those added after the fact.
Vintage Watch Shop & Service Repair Center
18364 1/2 Soledad Canyon Rd.
Canyon Country, CA 91387
661-388-5982

Real Estate

What is curb appeal?

It’s that first impression you get when you drive up to a home that makes it stand out. Curb appeal is critical when selling. I have had buyers decide not to even go in to see a home because of the lack of curb appeal. Paint the exterior, upgrade the front door, put in a fence, manicure the lawn, trees and add plants and flowers. Make the home feel alive and inviting. Every time I sell a home for a client I bring in my gardener and pay to have them clean up the front of the home by trimming bushes and adding plants, flowers and mulch before I have my photographer take high resolution pictures for my virtual tour. Most buyers want the same impression they get when their friends and family first see their new home. It gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment and helps validate their home choice.

Which areas of Canyon Country are the hottest right now?

Right now Canyon Country 1 and 2 are selling fast. Mainly because these are areas with prices for first-time buyers that generally have no Mello Roos and no HOA. These homes are selling between $400- $500K and you get a community with great schools, parks and dining. Last week I put over seven offers on homes in this area alone. Right now I have too many buyers and there are not enough homes on the market for the demand. The last two homes I sold in the area had offers the first day for over the asking price. If someone wants to sell at this time, I can have their home sold before they even start packing.

Craig Martin
Realty One Group
661-361-6843

Pest Control

What can homeowners do to minimize the chance of getting a rat infestation on their properties?

Here in the SCV we have a very healthy Roof Rat population. They are always a threat, and at all times of the year. Homeowners can do a lot to prevent rats from entering the house, including:
Take a flashlight and a ladder and walk around the exterior of the home to look for any open areas.
Look especially at all the vents, and most importantly, the AC line! We find this is almost always the main access point for rats in the attic.
Carefully use a ladder to access the roofline, using a flashlight to see up and under any roof returns or dark corners for signs of rodents (e.g., droppings or black rub marks).
Identify any overhanging trees and other bushes and shrubs that touch the roof or obscure any vents. Rats love to climb the trees, jump on the roof and, once there, they can chew through wood and stucco to get inside.
It is best to not leave dog food out overnight. Also pick up the dog poo with increased frequency, and try to maintain the dog area better.
If the attic is overwhelmed with rat droppings and other debris, consider having the insulation replaced, or at least cleaned up and sanitized.
Consult a professional for any assistance in this endeavor.

Is there a “season” for bugs, such as ants?

The summer months are prime time for ants, especially July and August. Argentine Ant colonies are very large — up to a million ants, at their peak. In the winter months the colonies are smaller so they do not need as many resources, such as water, but in the summer they need a lot of water in order to survive. They have a hard time finding enough outside, so that is why you find them entering the house, mostly looking for water. The fix is simple for a professional. It can be done with a non-invasive ant bait inside and a perimeter treatment that establishes a barrier.

Joseph Wilson
All Pro Pest Control, Inc.
661-298-2200

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