Posts by GNO

Summertime Energy Conservation Tips

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Summer can quickly become an expensive season in regards to your utility bills. Having some mindfulness of energy conservation can go a long way in helping to reduce your electricity bills, as well as your carbon footprint. Here are a few suggestions for you to take into action to increase your energy conservation efforts and beat the heat without breaking the bank. Grilling – Cooking meals outside will help save electricity. Use a charcoal or gas grill to cook up your favorite summertime feasts. Open the windows – Instead of cranking down the air conditioning on summer evenings, opt for fresh air instead. An inexpensive electric fan will circulate the air and save you from increased energy expenditures. Candles – Longer summer days will afford you more daylight. You can consider lighting candles as a supplement instead of turning on the lights. Be wary of any candles that you do light though and make sure you don’t leave any unattended, especially around pets and children. Modify AC when you’re not home – Adjust the thermostat when you’re not home. You don’t need to keep your house cold when nobody is there to appreciate the air conditioning. This can conserve a significant amount of energy, even if you just adjust the thermostat by a few degrees. Turn off electronics – Power down the television and computer to spend time with friends and family outdoors. Splash around in your community pool or have a potluck barbeque in your backyard. Take a walk or bike ride – If possible, choose to walk or bike to nearby stores and restaurants instead of driving. Early mornings and evenings are prime times for a stroll, as they won’t be as hot as during the middle of the day. Biking can actually keep you cool with the wind blowing. Cool shower or bath – Reduce your hot water heater usage by bathing in cooler water a few times a week. Limit water consumption – Water the lawn every other day at off-peak times. Use environmentally friendly disposable plate ware and utensils instead of running the dishwasher and spend a little less time in the shower. Please follow and like...

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Natural Ways to Keep Your Backyard Bug-Free

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Summer time is here which means barbeque parties, sleeping under the stars, and other outside activities become more routine. You and your loved ones will likely be spending more time playing out in the yard. Unfortunately, bothersome bugs can often ruin this outdoor fun. You could go down the path of chemical warfare and spray yourself as well as your lawn with bug repellants to combat these pests. However, there are natural alternatives that are environmentally friendly to your home if you don’t wish to spray chemicals all over your yard. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy a bug-free summer. Plants – Planting a simple garden can do wonders in keeping the bug count down. Garlic, radishes, marigolds, nasturtium, oregano, sage, rosemary, cilantro, and mint are easy to cultivate and can make the area in and around your garden uninviting to unwanted guests. These plants act as natural bug repellants. Water – Stagnate or standing water in your yard provides breeding grounds for mosquitos. All they need is a bottle cap’s worth of water to multiply. Empty used kiddy pools and fountains and clear out flower plates. Clean out your gutters of leaves and debris that might block rain. You could also fill in puddles with dirt to eliminate any chance at mosquitos breeding in your yard. For more on mosquito prevention, check here: http://www.gnoproperty.com/mosquito-control-and-zika-prevention/ Birds – Setting up a birdhouse in your yard is a great way to cut back on bugs. They will often make meals out of whatever bugs you might find bothersome. The birds will take care of a good portion of the pest control for you. Candles – Outdoor candles are popular among homeowners as a safe and easy way to keep bugs at bay while also letting you enjoy some nice scents that bugs find repugnant. Lighting – Many high-flying insects are drawn to light. Elevate a yellow bug light away from where you plan to spend the evening outdoors to easily draw bugs away from you. Of course, you should check to make sure any outdoor lighting complies with the rules of your community before setting this up. These tricks may not necessarily be as effective as pesticides to clear out those annoying bugs. However, if you prefer to go down the natural path, these are some dependable ways to enjoy your backyard bug-free. Please follow and like...

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Maintain Your Curb Appeal

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The curb appeal of your community depends on each resident maintaining his or her property as completely as possible. It is more than just making sure your garbage can isn’t left out longer than it’s supposed to be. Those who keep their homes and yards well maintained, the association thanks you for your efforts and good examples. Here are some things to keep an eye on so that your community doesn’t become an eye sore. Exterior paint – Paint is a surefire way to keep your property looking fresh, new and clean. It will also protect against corrosion, weathering and insects. If the paint on the exterior of your home is starting to peel or flake off, it may be time to look into a crisp and unblemished new coat. Landscaping – Landscaping is extremely important to every community’s curb appeal. Keep your grass mowed and your yards free of dead plants, branches, or leaves. You should also be keeping your shrubs properly pruned and your flowers well tended. Roofs – Please do your best to keep your roofs properly maintained and cleaned. However, roof maintenance can be a tricky and expensive endeavor. There are a few things to look for in order to tell when it’s time to replace your roof. Before getting your hands full with roof replacement, check out these helpful tips: http://www.gnoproperty.com/how-to-tell-its-time-for-roof-replacement/ Driveways and Sidewalks – Please remove weeds from sidewalk joints and debris from driveways and sidewalks. In New Orleans, sidewalks will always be cracking and shifting over the years. We recognize that it may be difficult to maintain a sidewalk without any cracks. We ask that you do what you can to repair cracks, pitted or flaking surfaces and other concrete problems to the best of your ability as they may (and probably will) occur. A pressure wash will also do wonders for the appearance of your driveways and sidewalks. Gutters and downspouts – Please remove leaves or debris that may clog up your gutters or downspouts to prevent any overflowing and flooding. Window boxes, awnings and decks – Please replace worn or damaged fixtures, check fitting for stability and paint all items as necessary. Follow these simple guidelines and your home won’t degrade into an eye sore but will blossom into eye candy. Thank you for helping to keep your community looking sharp. Please follow and like...

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Food Safety During a Power Outage

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Keep your food chilled when the lights go out. Power failures can be one of the most annoying and disabling occurrences in a community. Whether caused by summer storms, equipment failure, an overloaded regional grid or an animal disrupting a power line, electrical outages can be costly, uncomfortable and sometimes even dangerous. Residents can face many hazards when a power failure occurs. Power loss is usually without any warning. Unfortunately, refrigerated and frozen foods can end up spoiled if the power is out for too long. However, some food items can be salvaged if you’re prepared. In anticipation of a power failure: Have at least one or two coolers on hand, and at least one spare 5-pound bag of ice in the freezer. Know where to get bagged, block or dry ice quickly when you need it, particularly if you anticipate a long-term outage. (Caution: Dry ice is made from carbon dioxide, so it requires safe handling. Never breathe in its vapors or touch it with your bare hands.) According to the Food Safety Branch of Kentucky’s Department of Health, a 50-pound block of dry ice will keep a tightly packed, 18-cubic-foot freezer cool for up to two days. Have an instant food thermometer or appliance thermometer available to ensure your freezers, refrigerators and coolers are staying cool enough to store food safely. Arrange the refrigerator and freezer efficiently. Frozen food can last up to 48 hours in a full freezer if tightly packed. Refrigerated food will last up to four hours if there is room for air to circulate around items. When the electricity goes off: Avoid opening and closing the refrigerator unless absolutely necessary. Cook and use perishable food before using canned food. Check the temperature of refrigerated foods if the power is out for more than a few hours. Discard any food item than has been at 40° F or warmer for two or more hours. Exceptions include butter and margarine; hard cheeses like parmesan and Romano; some condiments like mustard, peanut butter, soy sauce, olives and vinegar-based salad dressing; and fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables. Check the temperature of frozen foods as well. While tightly packed freezer foods will stay frozen for many hours, some items that may have thawed can be refrozen if they still retain ice crystals or have remained at a temperature lower than 40°. Fruit and vegetable juices; breads, rolls and pie crusts; flour, cornmeal and nuts; meat and chicken; and prepared foods and casseroles can be refrozen safely if they have not been at 40° F or warmer for more than two hours. After the power comes back on, you may need to deodorize the refrigerator and freezer by washing surfaces with a solution of 2 tablespoons baking soda dissolved in a quart of warm water. Place an open box of baking soda inside the refrigerator to absorb any lingering odors. Since the appearance and odor of a food item isn’t an accurate indication of its safety after a power outage, use the 40° rule-of-thumb. And when in doubt, discard the food. While your power can go out any time, most power failures occur during the months with the most rain. But no matter when our community experiences an outage—and it inevitably will—knowing how to handle frozen and refrigerated foods can help us keep your food supplies safe until the lights come back on. Please follow and like...

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Pet Rules and Guidelines

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Many of our communities are proud to be pet-friendly, and we’re happy your furry family members are part of them. Of course, like any good neighbor, it’s important that these pets don’t create an unpleasant environment for everyone else. To avoid unnecessary disputes and potential rule violations, here are some guidelines owners should follow to ensure their four-legged friends continue to be a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Read the Rules: While your association might welcome pets, there are typically a few rules and requirements that need to be taken into consideration. Please check our website for the covenants and restrictions for your community or the association’s governing documents for more information. Service animals are exempt from the association’s pet requirements. However, please contact the board or manager to ask for an accommodation to keep a service animal. Proof of the service animal’s training or a doctor’s certification may also be required. “Each person with a disability who has a service dog, especially trained to aid such person or who obtains such a dog, shall be entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations as defined in R.S. 46:1952(2), and he shall not be required to pay extra compensation for such dog but shall be liable for any damage done to the premises or any person on the premises by such dog.” https://www.animallaw.info/statute/la-assistance-animal-assistance-animalguide-dog-laws Keep it Clean: No one wants to see, smell or accidentally step in the droppings that your dog left on the grassy common area. When your dog needs to go, be sure to properly dispose of it, preferably in a pet waste disposal can. Not only will this keep your community looking better, but it will help keep ground water clean and help prevent the spread of fecal-borne diseases. Quiet Down: Pets will be noisy from time to time. However, when loud barking or meowing becomes annoying to neighbors, it’s time to help your pet become less talkative. First, try to find out what causes your pets to get vocal: Do they get noisy when they’ve been alone and bored all day and need some playtime? Have they gone through a stressful change in environment recently? Are they suffering from health issues? Do they simply like saying “hello” to every squirrel, person or car that passes by? When you’ve identified the cause, take remedial actions such as confining them to an area where they feel calm while you’re away, removing or blocking as many stimuli as possible, exercising them more and spending more time with them. You can also take them to a professional or search online for tips on how to train your pets not to get too noisy. No Wandering: For the safety of your pets as well as all residents, please do not allow your pets to roam unattended outside. Along with helping protect your pets, leashing your dog is the law. Please follow and like...

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