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Pool Safety Guidelines

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Keep your loved ones safe this summer. It’s that time of the year again where the sun is out and the pool becomes all the more inviting. However, while the pool is an ultimate source of summertime relaxation, accidents can and do happen. The best way to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones while beating the heat is to follow some general rules and guidelines. Your community pool might have its own set of pool rules to follow that you should have read and become familiar with. Here are some common pool rules and regulations that you should keep in mind when going for a refreshing swim. Children should be kept under adult supervision at all times. Unfortunately, over 200 young children drown in backyard swimming pools each year, according to the American Red Cross. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear a floatation device when going for a dip such as a lifejacket. If your children do not know how to swim, enroll them in swimming lessons. Rules and safe behaviors should also be enforced. These rules can be as simple as “no running” or “swim with a buddy.” Nobody should ever swim alone. If there is no lifeguard on duty, you should always swim responsibly and safely. In the event of an emergency, make sure everyone knows how to handle the situation. Water safety, first aid and CPR courses could save a life one day. Simply having safety equipment nearby the pool is also valuable preparation. It should be noted, however, that safety equipment should never be handled or tampered with unless there is an emergency. Teach your children how to handle an emergency if one were to ever occur. A good idea would be to have an “alarm bell” of sorts that they could ring or sound to quickly signal for help. Cleanliness of the pool is also important. Proper chemical levels, circulation, and filtration will minimize the risk of earaches, rashes, or other diseases that can be more serious. If you notice your community pool isn’t as clean as it should be, please let your property manager know as soon as possible. The pool in your home or community is meant to be enjoyed. Kick back in the sun and unwind in the water, but do so safely.   Sources: Home Pool Safety – American Red Cross Pool Safety Guidelines –...

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Mosquito Control and Zika Prevention

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Preventing Zika In Your Own Backyard With the recent flood of news concerning the spread of a mosquito-borne illness, homeowners may be interested in combating these pests even more so than ever. Bug repellant and special outdoor candles may work to temporarily suppress mosquitos in the area and save you from some irritating bites. However, homeowners might be interested in a less temporary and more effective method for removing these annoyances from any outdoor activities. The mosquito has long been a source of spreading disease. From malaria and dengue to West Nile and the more recent Zika virus, mosquitos have been quite the bother. Nearly 700 million people contract a mosquito borne illness each year around the world. This figure results in over one million deaths, all from something as common as getting bit by a mosquito. Fortunately, in the U.S., we don’t necessarily have to worry as much about contracting serious illnesses from these insects as other parts of the world due to advances in medicine. However, with Zika creating a wave of paranoia in the media, should we be afraid? Disease symptoms are typically mild and the disease itself is usually characterized by a short-lasting self-limiting fever-like illness of 4-7 days without severe complications, according to a factsheet from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. There have been no associated fatalities and a low hospitalization rate to boot. So, why should we worry about the disease? Well, there is no vaccine or specific prophylactic treatment as of this time. Zika can also lead to microcephaly in fetuses and newborns from mothers who have been exposed to the virus during pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Microcephaly is a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected due to improper brain development. The best way to prevent infection is to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Use mosquito repellant and do your best to remove mosquito breeding sites. It doesn’t take much water for mosquitos to breed (about the size of a bottle cap) but ridding your property of large areas of standing water will help. Removing open containers that hold stagnant water, such as flower plates and pots, as regularly as possible will also help eliminate more chances for breeding. Homeowners interested in a more surefire way of killing off mosquitos can look into aerial spraying with insecticides. Spraying can be done a multitude of ways, from on back of a truck, through a home “sprinkler” system, or even through a device similar to a leaf blower. Automated mosquito misting systems work much like a home sprinkler system. This works to kill mosquitos around pools, patios, and porches. The system is set to spray at a pre-set time of the day. Maintenance is easy and each system is custom designed for your home. Mosquito suppression treatment involves professionals coming to your yard to spray the solution, concentrating on specific areas to ensure mosquitos will no longer want to venture into your yard. Typically, these sprays will do no harm to plants, animals, or your loved ones. They target mosquitos as well as other nearby insects that could also be a nuisance. Dugas Pest Control, our local pest control service, uses a solution that does not include chemicals that will affect the growth of your...

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Beware of Boxwood Blight – Keep Healthy Boxwoods

Posted by on May 24, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Boxwood Disease Spread by Fungus Boxwoods are ornamental shrubs found throughout the U.S. They’re popular because they stay green year round and don’t appeal to deer. Alarmingly, a new species of boxwood blight (the fungus Cylindrocladium buxicola) was discovered in the U.S. and several other countries in late 2011. While it is indistinguishable from two other types of relatively benign boxwood blight, this third species is aggressive and deadly, and it threatens to remove all boxwoods from our landscapes unless contained. There is currently no remedy for the Cylindrocladium fungus, except extreme heat—daily temperatures above 95 degrees Fahrenheit will slow it down or kill it. Fungicides have no effect. The US Department of Agriculture has allocated more than $500,000 for research to cure boxwood blight. Until a remedy is found, homeowners can slow the spread of the disease by detecting it early and using proper eradication procedures. Early detection is especially important since the fungus life cycle can be as swift as seven days from infection to propagating new spores. Early signs of Cylindrocladium infection are round, brown spots on leaves or lesions on the leaf tip. In advanced stages, leaves drop off and the bare branches show black cankers. If you have boxwoods on your property, inspect them regularly during the growing season—at least once a week. If your boxwoods show any signs of distress, you should take the following steps:   Contact the agricultural extension center for testing. Testing is important since all boxwood blight species look alike. If tests confirm that Cylindrocladium is the culprit, begin removing diseased plants immediately and notify the association manager or a board member as soon as possible. Always wear gloves when handling diseased plants, fallen leaves and plant debris. Be careful not to touch healthy boxwoods or parts of garden tools that may come in contact with them. Wash the gloves and tools thoroughly or use disposable gloves. Remove infected plants and dead leaves carefully and thoroughly. Fungus on fallen leaves can survive for as long as five years, so removing all debris is essential. Double bag all debris and seal the bags or, if possible, burn or bury diseased plants and debris. Do not combine infected plant debris with other yard waste for pickup or disposal, and do not use it in compost systems. After removing infected plants, vacuum porches, decks, walkways, flagstones and other hard surfaces adjacent to diseased boxwoods. Replace your diseased boxwoods with alternative plants for the five years following a Cylindrocladium infection. Ask your landscaper or nursery staff for substitutes that are not in the boxwood family. If you opt for new boxwoods, plant them as far from the infected areas as possible.   It should be noted that no reported cases of Boxwood Blight have yet turned up in Louisiana since its discovery in the US in 2011. However, the disease has more recently been confirmed in landscapes in Georgia and Alabama. Awareness is the best way to prevent the spread of Boxwood Blight. Due to how easily the disease is spread among boxwoods, it is imperative that proper procedure is taken in order to eliminate a Boxwood Blight outbreak before it occurs.   Additional Sources: Louisiana Plant Pathology – Boxwood Blight LSU Ag Center Boxwood Blight a New Disease for Connecticut and the US...

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Affordable Energy Solutions

Posted by on May 24, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Affordable Energy Solutions (From GNO Property Management Newsletter Volume 2 Issue 1) Electric and gas utility bills can be impacted in a number of ways. Up to 55% of a utility bill is related to air conditioning and heating costs. These costs can actually be reduced without a major investment by following some helpful tips addressed in this article. From personal experience, I have addressed problems in my own home. Homeowners can take note of any problems they might need to work out and, in turn, can end up saving 30% on utility bills. This also leads to a much more comfortable living space after any issues are addressed. Most homeowners might not even consider how airtight their house is. A common problem in homes is that outside air can enter the house. Likewise, conditioned air (inside the house) can end up leaving. “Mystery air leakage areas” can be right under our noses and end up impacting our utility bills more than we would wish. Vents are typical areas that may leak air. This can range from bathroom vents, range hood vents, dryer vents, etc. Each of these vents is supposed to have operating dampers that open and close as the units are turned on and off. In past experience, I have found that many dryer vent dampers might not open or close properly. They might even be clogged, broken, or non-existing. However, bathroom vents should have dampers. If these dampers do not work properly, they become a source of outside air infiltration. This will allow for up to 200 CFM of conditioned air to leave when the air conditioning unit is not running. To put things into perspective, a ton of air conditioning is rated at 400 CFM, meaning half could leave the house. Aside from vents, another mystery air leakage area that homeowners may find are fireplace dampers. It is important to note that even when a fireplace damper is closed shut, you can still have 10-20% leakage to the outside. Fireplace dampers are one of the most misunderstood air infiltration areas in the house. Obviously, it needs to be open when burning wood or using gas logs, otherwise it should be closed. This can lead to problems in the winter when the fireplace damper may be left open for an extended period. The heating system will end up pumping in hot air to be lost up the stack of the fireplace. Additionally, cold air from outside will be sucked into the house. Many people may not close the damper if they use the fireplace regularly. This can cause a huge spike in utility bills during colder months. A quick solution to this leakage area is as simple as cutting a piece of foam board the size of the damper opening. The foam board can be cut rectangular or round in shape, depending on the damper, and pushed into place from the bottom of the fire box. This should only be done when you don’t plan to use the fireplace. If you wish to use the fireplace, simply remove the foam board. This is especially effective during months when you would not use the fireplace, such as summer months. Leakage losses can be reduced to zero through this simple, yet effective method. Homeowners can also search online for...

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Newsletter Volume 2 Issue 1 – April/May/June 2016

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Newsletter Volume 2 Issue 1 Volume 2 Issue 1 – GNO Property Management, LLC News You Can Use This issue of the newsletter covers homeowner commitments, affordable energy solutions, as well as an award for 5940 Magazine Street Condominiums. We would like to thank Theresa Eschete, Magnificent Mailboxes, An Edge Above, Charles E. Sutton, Team Waste, Dugas Pest Control, Dufrazier Services, LLC., Metropolitan Building Services, and Care Chiropractic for making this issue of the newsletter...

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Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 2 – June/July/August 2015

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 2 Volume 1 Issue 2 This issue of the newsletter covers hurricane preparation, protecting your home, how to reach others when disaster strikes, and a bounty of information that readers will find helpful during the hurricane season. A special thanks to Neely’s Pizzeria, Tiger Do-All, Lang’s Electric, Inc., and Dugas Pest Control for helping to make this newsletter possible.

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Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 1 – March/April/May 2015

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 1 Volume 1 Issue 1 This newsletter covers what HOA residents are saying, reserve studies and engineering reports, yard safety, as well as other helpful articles based on managed communities. A special thanks to Vista Solar, Team Waste, Charlie Rick Construction, Tiger Do-All, Roto-Rooter, and Expressions By Nature for helping make this newsletter possible.

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Newsletters

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

  April/May/June 2016 Newsletter Vol. 2 Issue 1 June/July/August 2015 Newsletter Vol. 1 Issue 2 March/April/May 2015 Newsletter Vol. 1 Issue...

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Get Your Home Ready For The Winter

Posted by on Nov 6, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Cold weather will come knocking at our doors before we know it as winter is right around the corner. Here are some helpful hints to get you ready for a more comfortable and less energy-consuming winter. Weather-stripping and caulking can help reduce energy waste during colder months when your heater is keeping you warm. You can essentially end up throwing away 10-15 percent of your heating bill if your home isn’t properly sealed. To make sure you are all sealed up, check around doors and windows for potential drafts. If you notice any holes or cracks, be sure to weather-strip or caulk them in order to keep heat in. If you come to the conclusion that your windows are presenting too much of a leak, it may be time to replace them. By replacing your windows, you will reduce energy costs. However, it should also be noted that replacing windows can be quite expensive. The reduced energy costs will take some time to add up but if you can afford it, new windows will be worth it in the long run. If you have a working fireplace in your home, close the damper if you aren’t using it. This is a very simple and quick way to cut back on energy costs instead of losing heat through the opening. Another factor that should be looked upon when gearing up for cold weather is your insulation, particularly in your attic. Without proper insulation, your attic can lead to much of your homes heat being lost. It’s possible that your home may not have insulation in your attic altogether. If it doesn’t, it’s a good idea to get it insulated. Heat rises so without that insulation, heat will be lost through your walls and ceiling. If you haven’t yet done so, you should always have your heating system checked out before winter hits. Routine maintenance inspections will ensure that your system is in proper working order and will save you a headache (as well as a cold home) if things aren’t working when they should be. If your system is getting old, think about upgrading to a newer model. Lastly, to most efficiently keep energy consumption from getting out of hand, always remember to set your thermostat to a lower temperature when you leave your home or when it isn’t needed. It takes less energy to warm up a cooled home than it does to keep constant heat maintained.   Source: Consumer Energy...

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How to Tell If It’s Time for Roof Replacement

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Here are several warning signs to look for if your roof is getting old. In the New Orleans area, rainfall is as common as the potholes in our streets. Many homeowners may spot leaks in their ceiling during heavy downpours that would lead them to call in a roofer. Certain factors may only require simple roof repair. However, other variables will require a bit more attention and even roof replacement. Before getting your hands full with a new roof, consider these helpful tips: First and foremost, homeowners should have an idea about the age of their roof. According to Angieslist, the average roof lifespan is about 20-25 years. Homeowners should also be familiar with the state of their roof. For example, was an old roof removed, is there only one layer of shingles, and how is the ventilation of your roof? If the shingles on your roof are curling, buckling, or even crumbling this may be a sign that a new roof is in order. If you notice this, it may mean that your shingles are on their last breath of life. Heavy weather could also end up removing shingles entirely. If you notice shingles go missing, you should contact a roofer to see about patching your roof up. This could end up leading to further problems if it isn’t handled. While cleaning the gutters, another thing to keep in mind are shingle granules. Roofs will tend to lose more shingle granules at the end of their lifespan. When the shingles on your roof start to deteriorate, they break up into what may appear to be a coarse sandy material. You may even notice granules around your yard or landscaping. A sure sign that homeowners may need a new roof is if they are up in their attic and notice daylight coming through the roof boards. A roofer should definitely be contacted at this point. You may also notice signs of water inside your attic after a rainstorm. Replacing your roof can be an expensive endeavor. Make sure you take these precautions when reaching out to a roofer. There may be instances where your roof can be fixed without needing to replace it altogether. However, if your roof is well over a couple of decades old, it might be time to start considering a replacement.   Sources:  Angieslist Gutter...

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