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Leaf-Peeping Day Trips from Vancouver


As we roll into October,  splashes of orange,  red, and yellow are dotting the tree lines across British Columbia.  The crisp autumn air only adds to the excitement of the season and the anticipation of holiday gatherings and newly fallen snow. 

Although seasonal color decorates the landscape around Vancouver from mid-September to early November, the peak of this annual display occurs in October. That means it’s time to plan your leaf-peeping trips to witness the spectacular fall color the Vancouver area has to offer.

But, first, a little science to make your road trip conversations even more entertaining.

Why do leaves change color in the fall?

The initial impetus for autumn color is the changing photoperiod, or length of daylight, in the area. Daylight hours shorten, triggering the deciduous trees of Canada to begin shutting down for their winter dormancy.

During this waning process, a cork-like layer forms where the stem of the leaf meets a branch, stopping water and nutrients from reaching the leaf itself. In turn, the green chlorophyll in the leaf dies, revealing underlying pigments.

Road trip fun fact: Red Maple leaves are so vibrantly red due to sugars reacting with proteins to make anthocyanin, a purplish red pigment that turns grapes purple and apples red. The more sugar the leaf is storing, the redder it is.

Now, here are some of the best places to be awe-inspired by fall foliage in and around Vancouver, along with more road trip conversation starters.

Mt. Currie

Venturing 99 miles from Vancouver and driving through the Pemberton Valley, you’ll find Mt. Currie,  which provides fantastic views of mountains, rivers, and valleys cutting through the wilderness. Yellow is the showstopper here, and the Mt. Currie Trail offers even better views on foot.

Road trip fun fact: The Pemberton Valley is well-known for its seed potatoes, and the valley is potato virus free.

Merritt to Ashcroft

The 270-kilometer stretch between Merritt and Ashcroft takes you through the interior of British Columbia and offers many opportunities for stops along the way, like Logan Lake for a picnic or the Highland Valley Copper Mine not far from Ashcroft.

Uplifting fun fact: Over 18,000 hectares of mined land in British Columbia have been returned to their natural state.

Tofino

Tofino is a small fishing town located on the west side of Vancouver Island. Located about 180 miles from Vancouver, it’s a great overnight or weekend trip any time of year, however, the area shines in autumn with magnificent fall color. 

Now’s the time to plan your road trip to see the amazing fall foliage in British Columbia before the leaves fall and Old Man Winter has you shoveling snow.

Cold, hard fact: With winter comes a greater risk of slips and falls.

So,  stair safety first!  Installing GripStrips non-slip treads on your outside stairs,  ramps, and wooden walkways will help protect you and your family from injury. If you’re searching for what to put on outside steps to prevent slipping, GripStrips for stairs are the ultimate in slip and fall prevention.


Stair Safety Ideas for Seniors

As a senior, there may come a time when you begin to have trouble using stairs, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stop using them altogether. However, once you’ve become aware that you are having difficulty with stairs, you will notice that you encounter them everywhere.

Falls are the most common cause of injury to seniors due to a variety of reasons, including reduced vision, weakness, and loss of balance. Also, an inactive lifestyle may contribute to your loss of confidence on the stairs, as well as environmental factors like poor lighting, defective handrails, and substandard tread surfaces.

It’s extremely important to find a medical alert device with fall detection, but here are some ways that you can make any stairs safer for seniors.

Safety Tips

Let There Be Light

Of all the areas of your home, the stairs should have the amplest illumination. You can install something like a stair lighting kit or use low-glare overhead lighting to make sure each step is completely visible. Ensure that light switches are placed at both at the bottom and top of the stairs.

Clear the Deck

Loose rugs are a major tripping hazard and shouldn’t be used anywhere in your home, especially at the bottom or top of stairways. Also, always remove objects such as shoes or books, and make sure that landings don’t include furnishings that block the path.

Hold On

Handrails (on both sides of the stairwell if possible) should be installed once climbing and descending stairs becomes difficult. Position rails at elbow height and ensure that they are attached securely to posts and walls. 

Stay Current with Your Vision Care

Making sure that your vision prescription is current will help you avoid unnecessary falls. All the good lighting in the world won’t cancel out poor vision. If you have poor far vision, always wear your glasses when using the stairs, and remove reading glasses before using them. Adjust the position of your glasses with each entrance to the stairway.

Proper Footwear

Quality footwear is extremely important for seniors, especially when using the stairs. Shoes with low heels and slip-resistant soles are recommended.

Tread Lightly

If your stairs are made of a smooth surface non-slip treads can help ensure proper footing and improve the visibility of each stair edge.  GripStrips are a perfect solution.  Our anti-slip treads are tough, long lasting and come in 3 sizes and 4 colors so colors can be alternated on each step.  They are easy to install with just a screwdriver and won’t peel or rip.  GripStrips out perform traditional tape solutions and look great.  GripStrip® it for safer stairs in less than a minute.

Get Your Home Ready for Fall

It might seem premature to begin readying your home for cold weather, but you’ll be surprised at just how quickly the warm days fade into chilly evenings. Fall will be upon us before you know it, and it’s a good idea to plan ahead to ensure that your home is as cozy and safe as possible by the time the seasons change. Let’s take a look at a few tips to help get your home ready for fall!

1. Have the Heating Checked Out

One of the first things you should do when preparing your house for the transition from summer to autumn is to have your heating system serviced. This is true even if you didn’t encounter any specific issues last year. These kinds of systems are complex and require careful maintenance to stay in good shape and run well, so schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling professional and have them make sure that everything is in order.

2. Check the Porch Railings

One very important item to check before fall arrives is your porch safety railing. It is far too easy to let this particular step slip your mind, however, keep in mind that icy sidewalks are not too far in the future. If you’ve ever grabbed for a railing as your feet slip from under you, you’ll understand why this slip and fall prevention tip is vital for the colder months. Take the time to make sure the railing is still firmly secured and is in good working order. If it isn’t, have it repaired as soon as possible.

3. Check for Drafts

It’s easy to ignore drafts during the summer. As long as the AC is working, you’re likely to notice a bit of stray air. That minor annoyance can turn into a serious issue once cold weather arrives, however, and you find yourself turning the heat up higher and higher just to maintain a stable temperature. Avoid that astronomical energy bill altogether by checking for cracks or other issues that are allowing air into your home. Look around windows, for example, as well as under doors and around outside walls.

4. Get the Warm Bedding Out

Okay, this isn’t exactly the most practical tip, but it’s always a good idea to have clean bedding ready to go. That’s especially true once the nights go from “pleasantly cool” to “uncomfortably chilly”. Stay cozy inside with warm, clean bedding! Start pulling it out now so that you aren’t rushing to wash things once it starts to get cold outside.

5. Install GripStrips

I mentioned the importance of checking your safety railings, but sometimes that’s not enough. Take slip and fall prevention seriously and consider non-slip treads for your stairs. GripStrips are an affordable anti-slip stair treads that are very easy to install. Each GripStrip is pre-punched and slotted so there is no drilling required. They are tough, long-lasting, weather-resistant and can provide a bit more traction when moving in wet shoes. They’re also great for everyday use as strips to put on outside steps to prevent slipping. GripStrips for stairs can help keep you and your family safe this fall.

Are you ready for fall to arrive? Get started on your weatherproofing early and have your home ready to go before the leaves begin to turn!

EASY DIY: GRIPSTRIPS!

Sunny weekends are best when you can find a nice balance between getting things done, and relaxing with some down time. If you’re looking to cross something off your to-do list that won’t take you all day, installing GripStrips is the perfect project.

How easy are GripStrips to install? Installation takes minutes, and all you need is a clean stair surface, a Phillips head screwdriver, and the correct size GripStrip! No drill required – just place the screws towards the outer rim of the pre-slotted holes, and tighten them down. Once it’s nice and tight, go back and loosen each screw a quarter of a turn. This last step allows the wood to expand and contract as needed with hot and cold weather, without altering the safety or efficacy of the strip. Make sure to use all the screws provided!

Placement is up to you; we recommend laying the strip down an inch or two from the front edge of the step. If you have wider steps or want extra grip, you can install two GripStrips per step.

Make sure you choose the correct size for your steps – if you have a smaller space, we recommend going with our smallest size (12 x 2). We don’t recommend cutting the strips down yourself, as this effect the pre-drilled holes in the strip and possibly create issues with durability.

GripStrips are designed for wood steps, and the screws that come included in the your set are specific to wooden surfaces. However, you can GripStrips on concrete or metal – you’ll just need to purchase the correct screws at your local hardware store, and pre-drill holes in the concrete or metal surface prior to installation.

So there you have it! Minutes to install, and lasts for years. Check out our online inventory on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com, or find us at your local retailer.

STAIR CARE

Wooden stairs or boardwalks in your backyard look amazing – keep them looking great and lasting longer with a little bit of TLC! One of the drawbacks to using wood as your main material for exterior stairs is the wear and tear than can happen over time due to weather exposure. But, there are a few things you can do to help keep your wood in great shape:

Replace The Rot

See a rotten spot? Don’t repair it – replace it. And the sooner, the better. Take the whole step out, even if only a small portion is showing signs of rot. Then make sure to use treated wood as its replacement, and use a sealant or paint to give it an extra layer of protection.

De-Flake and Re-Paint

Don’t put off repainting when your paint starts flaking. Just make sure to completely scrape off any old paint and give it a good sanding before you put on a fresh coat of exterior paint. Also a good excuse to brighten up the colour scheme? Think outside the creams and browns and imagine what your steps would look like in a fun green, yellow or red colour!

Fill In The Cracks

You may find cracks appearing in your wood steps – this is from expansion and contraction due to changing weather conditions. When you see a crack appear, carefully remove any loose wood and fill the crack with wood filler. This will allow the wood to do its expansion-contraction thing without further damage, and prevent moisture from getting in and causing rot.

Break The Mould

Finding mould or mildew on your stairs? First, find the water source and fix that – it’s likely a leak in a gutter or down spout. Once you’ve remedied the source of the water, you can use a fungicide on the wood to get rid of the mould. Rinse the stairs, let them dry completely, and then … you guessed it! Paint or seal to boost protection.

Get A Grip

Add some extra grip to your stairs with GripStrips, available in several different sizes and colours to suit every step. Easy to install with a screwdriver, these handy strips out-perform traditional grip-tapes and look great. Check us out on amazon.com and amazon.ca!

INSTANT IMPROVEMENT

MARCH 12, 2019
Investing in your home has both short- and long-term benefits, but value-rich home improvement isn’t always about a huge kitchen reno or new bathroom reveal.
In fact, more Canadians are leaving the massive projects to the reality stars at HGTV and successfully tackling more practical projects in real life.
According to a recent CIBC poll, basic maintenance and landscaping were two most common areas for home improvement projects by Canadian homeowners in 2018, with 45 per cent of Canadians decided take on smaller projects and focus more on everyday wear-and-tear issues. Some chose to take on the work themselves while others decided to hire a contractor but the trend is clear: Bigger is not always better, and smaller projects can give a lot of bang for their buck.
“Staying on top of maintenance and repairs may not be as exciting as remodelling your kitchen, but these smaller projects can go a long way to brighten up your home and save you money down the road,” said Edward Penner, Executive Vice-President at CIBC Personal and Small Business Banking.
“Canadians continue to see the value of investing in their homes, but they’re taking a very practical approach by focusing on lower-cost projects this year. No matter how big or small the project, your first step is to figure out what’s needed, what you can afford and how you’re going to pay for it so you can enjoy your space without the worry of overspending and unnecessary debt.”
We agree. Small fixes can make a huge difference, which is why we created GripStrips – and why we strive to keep adding a variety of colours and sizes to our product lines while keeping the price tag affordable.
So add GripStrips to your DIY list this spring! Buy online at amazon.ca or amazon.com, or in stores at participating retailers. Happy Gripping!