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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!

MAY-DAY! EXPLORE YVR

APRIL 24, 2019
The weather is brightening up and it’s time to make some plans! May we suggest a few fun, family-friendly events happening around the Lower Mainland happing this May? If you get to any of these events, tag us on Facebook @GripStripProducts or Instagram @gripstrip_products to share the smiles!

All-Month Long: Farmer's Markets

You’ve been patiently waiting all winter for your favourite weekend pass-time: The Farmer’s Market! You’re wait is officially over because the outdoor markets open up all over Greater Vancouver at the beginning of May – pack your cloth bags and go hunting for amazing produce, artisanal products and a lot of fun! To find the market closest to you, a simple Google search will give you all the details you need.

May The Fourth (Be With You)

Star Wars fans, this one’s for you: May the Fourth Family Night is a special family-friendly Star Wars-themed evening of activities, games and live demonstrations at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. Dress up as your fave character (or not, totally up to you) and head to the Space Centre from 6:30 to 9 PM. Tickets: $20 per adult, $18 per child (aged 18 and under).

May 4 & 5: Playland Opening Weekend!

Be the first ones inside Playland’s gates this season! Park is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends, starting May 4.

May 10: Richmond Night Market

The much-loved Richmond Night Market is NOT your average market! It’s actually the largest market of its kind in North America with hundreds of vendors and thousands of visitors each night. If you haven’t gone, this is your year. The Asian market is at 8351 River Road in Richmond and totally worth any kind of drive to get there. It’s open from 7 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays and holiday Mondays. Tickets are $4.25 for everyone over the age of 10 and under the age of 60.

May 12: Mother's Day Tea & Plant Sale

Nothing says Mother’s Day like a day at the nursery! Amp it up and take Mom to the London Heritage Farm, a 1890’s historic site featuring a farmhouse, tea house, beautiful gardens – and on Mother’s Day, a great plant sale!

May 14 - 22: Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair

It’s everyone’s favourite urban rodeo! Put on yer boots for this four-day cowboy and cowgirl event complete with bucking broncos, a midway, carnival rides and live entertainment.

May 19: Spot Prawn Festival at Fisherman's Wharf

Who doesn’t love a fresh prawn? Taste delicious food, watch expert cooking demos and take home a few pounds of fresh-from-the-ocean spot prawns to kick off the season at the one-day Spot Prawn Festival at Fishermen’s Wharf, not far from Granville Island.

May 23 - 25: Surrey International Children's Festival

Three days of art workshops, storytelling, live performances, great food … it’s a child’s dream! The three-day Surrey International Children’s Festival kicks off May 23 at the Surrey Arts Centre and Bear Creek Park (King George Boulevard and 88th Avenue).

WINTRY WEATHER

North America plunges into deep freeze!

Here on the west coast, the weather is gorgeously sunny but a little on the chilly side. We’re not complaining though … this week, the entire centre of North America is plunging into a deep freeze. According to weather reports across the US, more than 75 per cent of Americans will experience below-freezing temperatures this week. Temps in some Central Canadian provinces and central US states will drop lower than the North and South poles! Now THAT’s cold.

So, we want to make sure all our customers across the continent stay and warm through the cold snap! Here are a few tips:

Avoid unnecessary trips to the grocery store or other errands that can wait. This is a great time to dig to the back of your pantry and ask Alexa what to make out of those random ingredients you have stashed away! Roads are icy and let’s be honest – it’s a lot of work to get all bundled up for those pesky errands, and just not worth the frostbite or car trouble.

If you can swing it, get your work done from warmth and comfort of your home office. You can even download a time-tracker app to keep an honest account of your work hours from home.

Alas, it may not be possible to ride out the cold snap at home, so if you must go out, layer, layer, layer! The key is stay warm, but not hot. If you sweat, you’re wet, and if you’re wet, you’re asking for trouble. Unzip a layer if you’re feeling a little too warm. Don’t forget to cover your head, nose, fingers and toes, as these areas lose heat quickly and are most susceptible to frostbite.

If you got ahead of the game and put down some Gripstrips on your steps before the big freeze of 2019, well done! If not … it’s not too late! When things defrost to more comfortable winter temps, get out there and Gripstrip those front or back stairs to your home or business to avoid slips and falls thanks to frost and ice. There are lots of options for size and colour available on Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, or these local retailers.