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Article Index
Little Gardeners in Elora and Fergus
Fergus and Elora: Home Improvement With Doors
Expanding Your Closet Space
Cold Weather Fun for kids in Salem
Building an Ice Rink in Elora
Fergus and Elora Shed Appeal
Santa Claus Parade
Space Saver Makeovers for Houses & Condos
Warm Up Your Entry Way This Winter
Take your Winter Garden from Drab to Fab
Drive Up Your Curb Appeal
Luxury for Less
Improving Your Home’s Air Quality
Elora Canada Day Parade and Soap Box Derby

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July, Elora Canada Day Parade and Soap Box Derby
Elora Canada Day Parade

The only tip I have for this month is to have a Happy Canada Day! Click here for some great shots of the Elora Canada Day Parade and Soap Box Derby.

In the mean time if you have any questions call or text me at 519-400-5301 or email me at [email protected]

June, Fergus and Elora Shed Appeal

Fergus and Elora Shed Appeal

Garden sheds are found all over the Elora and Fergus countryside. It is important to know that garden sheds are no longer just a dumping place for tools and flower pots. Their appeal has provided a focal point for the garden itself. These days a shed can help beautify your garden, become an attractive place to relax, and bring some backyard appeal to your home. So whether you plan to add a shed or upgrade your present one, here are some steps to assist you:

You can never do enough planning. When building a new shed the most important thing to consider is its location. Make sure it’s not going to block plants from the sun, it isn’t in a spot that collects a lot of water, it’s not intruding on any high traffic areas of the yard, and its situated in an area that maximizes privacy.

The next to think about is the size of your shed. Its size will be based on what you’ll be using it for. Are you going to use it to store large items like a ride-on mower or swimming pool pump? If so, ensure your shed is adequately sized, with double doors and ramp for easy access. Check with the Centre Welligton municipal office to ensure that the size and position of your shed meets all regulations.

Even the most ordinary garden shed in Elora, Fergus or anywhere in Centre Wellington can be transformed with a little paint and simple decor. No matter what your shed is made of, get a rustic look by painting it in a muted earth tone, and adding barn door hinges. If quaint and cozy is more your cup of tea, paint the shed in a light colour, complemented with darker shutters and window boxes. Go bold for the door with a dramatic colour like red or violet.

Create a fancier, Victorian style shed with an octagonal window or arched glass insert in the door and complete the look with a little gingerbread trim. Or, let your garden shed reflect your hobbies, such as sailing or fishing, with Cape Cod colours complemented with hanging fishing nets, oars, or lobster traps.

The final touches to your shed should make it more visually appealing and comfortable. For extra appeal create a stone pathway to the front door of your Elora or Fergus shed and spray-paint an old chair to sit out front. For added comfort, include a bench with cushions or a rocking chair for the days you want to sit in your garden and enjoy a good book. These features will dress it up and add charm to your backyard in the Fergus and Elora area, which is already bursting with character.

Elora and Fergus are no stranger to artists and creativity and you could stamp your own personal artwork on to your shed both inside and out. It’ll be like your little home away from home.

May, Little Gardeners in Elora and Fergus

Little Gardeners in Elora and Fergus

Creating a Children’s Garden

Some of the most beautiful gardens in the country can be found in Elora and Fergus. There are lots of us who love to garden so why not pass that enjoyment on to our children. Most kids love to dig in the dirt and play with water. You can use their natural curiosity to create a beautiful – and potentially edible – children’s garden. Creating a children’s garden is a great way for kids to build self-confidence, feel a sense of pride in their accomplishments, and practice patience, while enhancing your home’s value and curb appeal at the same time. Here are a few ways you can get your kids involved:

Stake out an area of your garden for your child and encourage a sense of ownership. A couple of large pots or an old sandbox on a balcony or patio can create the same impact. Provide your child with tools of the trade. A plastic garden spade, a small watering can, gardening gloves, and plant markers are a must.

Take your child to the nursery garden to choose seeds. Fast-growing plants will hold their interest: zinnias and “mammoth” sunflowers add dramatic colours and grow to over 3 metres in height. Black-eyed Susans are a great flower choice as they are relatively self-sufficient and have bright yellow flowers that attract butterflies, bees, and birds, which will surely indulge your little gardener’s curiosity. Plant vegetables such as cucumbers, radishes, potatoes, carrots, spinach, and zucchini, which all sprout fairly quickly, are relatively easy to grow, and add greenery to your garden. Bright red cherry tomatoes are a particularly good option for planting in pots on a balcony or patio. Growing vegetables together should encourage the little ones to eat healthy too.

When the seeds are planted and marked it’s time to water and indulge your child’s interest in worms, bugs and the nature of things. A terrific way of keeping plants insect-free is to attract frogs or toads to the garden. Providing a water source is a good start. If you don’t have a garden pond, a shallow bowl with a large stone or log is a good alternative.

A boulder rock with the child’s name marked on it is a great way to make the small space feel special. A tiny well-placed gnome or fairy that peeks behind flowers and vegetables adds a sense of enchantment. When interest wanes, construct a funny scarecrow or set out a birdbath and enjoy the spectacle and sound of our feathered friends.

Gardening is a great way to convert a picky little eater. When it’s time to harvest your veggies from the kiddie garden, have a picnic lunch surrounded by the natural beauty of Elora, Fergus and Guelph. Relax with your children and enjoy. They will be proud of what they have accomplished and you can all enjoy eating the fruits of their labour.

April, Fergus and Elora: Home Improvement With Doors

Fergus and Elora: Home Improvement With Doors

It doesn’t matter whether you live in Elora, Fergus, Belwood or Arthur. You can improve your home’s interior with doors that are fashionable but practical.

Adding new interior doors is an inexpensive way to give your home an updated makeover. While doors can provide privacy, control noise, and manage heating and air conditioning flow, with the right hardware, doors can also enhance your home’s decor.

Whether you’re replacing an existing door in your Elora or Fergus home, or adding a new one to create a quiet spot for reading, doing homework, or just sitting with friends, you need to consider how you want the space to work and interact with adjoining rooms. For instance when adding doors to smaller rooms, you might consider options that include bi-fold, sliding and pocket doors to minimize the space needed by a regular hinged door. French doors, which can open into or out of a room, let you retain the light and open look, while also adding architectural interest. If you feel doors interfere with the flow of your home, pocket doors which slide into the adjacent wall, preserve flow while also adding the option for privacy.

There are doors available for every budget and design, from rustic tongue and groove to contemporary panel styles. Materials in wood and MDF are the most popular and can be painted to match any colour scheme. Glass and mirrored doors reflect light and space, and the former can be frosted for privacy. If you want to consider an environmentally friendly source of material, bamboo has gained considerable attention because it is a hardy, durable product from a renewable resource.

Whatever interior door you choose, make sure that it maintains a design consist with the other doors in your home. For example, French doors can be complemented by panelled doors in bedrooms and hallways. Replacement doors should have the same measurements as the old doors and for new doors, measure the width of the doorway at the top, middle and bottom and use the smallest measurement to determine the size of door required. Accent it with hardware that reflects the door’s design and enhances your home’s decor.

If your doors are looking tired or are out of step with your decorating tastes, update them and be amazed at the difference they can make in your Elora or Fergus home.

March, Expanding Your Closet Space

Expanding Your Closet Space

Whether you have a huge walk-in closet in a newer subdivision in Centre Wellington or a tiny reach-in closet in an older historic home in Elora, Fergus or Salem, rooting through wrinkled piles of clothes every morning isn’t a good way to start your day. There is only one word that can turn storage space that’s cramping your style into something liberating.


Go through everything in your closet and get rid of anything you don’t wear. Be relentless. If you haven’t worn something in the past two years then you aren’t likely to, so give it to charity. That way someone else will get some use from it and you will free up some space!

Store your off-season stuff.

Put your off-season clothes into airtight storage containers and stow them on a shelf, under your bed, or in your storage room, laundry room or attic. If you happen to have a closet in another part of the house that isn’t being used, then store those extra clothes in that closet.

What’s Your Objective?

Understand what needs to go in your closet. Lots of shoes? Long dresses? Work shirts and pants? You can design for your needs by using rods and shelves set at different heights:

  • Rods hung at 64″ (162 cm) are good for floor-length gowns, robes and coats.

  • 38″- 42″ (96 – 107 cm) accommodates shirts, jackets and folded pants.

  • Rods at 54″ (137 cm) work for shorter dresses and pants hung by the cuff.

  • Double your hanging space by using a rod that can be hooked directly onto the one above.


Use every inch of available space. Add a shelf just below the ceiling to store extra blankets. Put hooks onto any open wall space. Install a shoe rack on the back of the closet door. Use roll-out storage boxes on the floor.

Instead of using closet drawers where you can only see the top layer of clothing, install wire baskets or see-through plastic bins. Stack sweaters and t-shirts on open shelves piled 3-4 high so you can pull out the bottom item without knocking over the whole pile.

Keep the floor tidy and your shoes protected. Build in cubbyholes, slanted shelving, or use clear plastic boxes. Pocket-style shoe racks or canvas shoe “shelves” suspended from a rod are good options for quick and easy installation.

Always use good hangers. Wood, padded or sturdy plastic hangers help keep the shape of your clothes. Avoid wire hangers – they do horrible things to shoulders and get tangled easily. Whether you live, in Elora, Fergus, Belwood, Salem or Arthur you should be able to recycle wire hangers at your favorite dry cleaner.


Customized closet systems can also be helpful. You can do it yourself with a range of available options including expandable systems that don’t require cutting or installation tools. You can also work with a professional who specializes in closets. These services can be pricey, so be specific about what you want and shop around.

February, Cold Weather Fun for Kids in Salem

Cold Weather Fun for Kids in Salem

Cold Weather Fun for Kids in Salem

I’m giving you these tips so you can have some fun with your children or grandchildren on those boring cold days when you’ve run out of things to do. Let’s face it you can only throw so many snowballs before your fingers and toes start to freeze. I specify Salem because that just happens to be where my grandchildren live. You could of course do this in Elora, Fergus, Belwood, Alma, Arthur, or anywhere else in Centre Wellington that you happened to find yourself with bored children. As far as that goes you could even do this in Guelph, Kitchener or Waterloo. Let’s face it. It’s just tough with kids in the winter wherever you happen to live.

No matter how many movies, video games or toys the kids have, you’re going to hear these two little words sooner or later. “I’m bored!” So what are you going to do to keep your kids and the grandkids happy when they’re stuck indoors? All it takes is a little imagination!

Bottle-bowling. Find a soft-textured ball to use as a bowling ball. Place some pillows against the wall at the end of a hallway. Line up some empty plastic water or pop bottles a metre in front of the pillows and you have an instant bowling alley. Letting the kids keep score can be great practice for counting too.

Camping trip, anyone? Ask the kids if they’d like to go on a camping trip without leaving home. You’ll need some grass (a green blanket or towels), a tent (a sheet or blanket placed over two chairs), and a few pieces of bristol board for the kids to cut out trees, flowers, or a campfire. A few stuffed animals placed around the campsite will help set the scene.

Little bakers. Mix up some gingerbread dough and let the little ones use different shaped cookie cutters to make cookies. Once cooled, they could decorate them with colourful icing and candies (messy but fun and yummy). The good new is you get to eat the leftovers.

Shadow-drawing. Get a roll of plain brown paper and have each child lie on it, and then trace their outline. Once cut out, they’ll enjoy drawing in their own features, or creating a funny character that will have them chuckling.

Make your own book. Ask the kids to make up a story that they have to write down and illustrate with paint or markers. Use binders to keep all their stories together so you can enjoy reading them in years to come. A great keepsake.

Future film-makers. Pull out some dress-up clothes, charge up the video camera and get the kids to make a movie. They can act out scenes from their favourite movies, or just run with their own ideas. Next stop, Hollywood!

Storytime. Having everyone curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows to listen to a story is one of the coziest of winter pastimes – and best of all, no batteries required!

January, Building an Ice Rink in Elora

Building An Ice Rink in Elora

Home Ice Advantage: How to Make a Backyard Ice Rink

1.Envision where your new ice rink will be, ensuring it’s on the flattest area possible. Hammer 4 stakes into the ground for each corner (as a rule of thumb, the rink’s length should be at least twice the size of its width).

2.Use 5 x 20cm boards to attach to stakes and build entire perimeter.

3.Use a tarp or a large sheet of vapour barrier to insert in rink area and staple to inside boards.

4.In a cold temperature, fill rink with 5cm depth of water.

5.Place another tarp or covering across top of rink, ensuring it does not touch water, and tie down. This will prevent leaves, branches or debris from falling in while water freezes.

6.Let water freeze at least three days before stepping on rink.

7.Remove cover, and enjoy your new backyard rink. Game on!

December 2012, Santa Claus ParadeSanta Claus Parade

Santa Claus Parade

The only tip I have for this month is to have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday! Click here for some great shots of the Elora Santa Claus parade.

In the mean time if you have any questions call me at 519-843-1365 or 1-866-343-6825 or email me at [email protected]

November, Space Saver Makeovers for Houses & Condos

Space Saver Makeovers for Houses & Condos

Some of the historic homes in the Elora, Salem and Fergus area are a little short on cupboard space. Are you constantly misplacing household items like your screwdriver or broom? If so, perhaps your household needs a little re-organizing. Whether your home is in historic Elora, Fergus or Salem, or a cottage in Belwood or perhaps even in a spacious single home in Alma or Arthur, it doesn’t matter. The truth is we can all benefit from a periodic check-in to see if we are making the best use of our space.

For house owners in the Elora, Fergus, Arthur, Alma, Belwood and Salem area…

Take a peek inside many Centre Wellington garages and chances are you won’t see a car. Garages and basements often become a dumping ground for all the things we rarely use. Here are five quick ways to makeover your garage and/or basement:

Clear the clutter! Have a yard sale, sell your unused goods online, or donate items to your local charity.

Add tall utility shelving to free up floor space, keeping any hazardous cleaning, garden, and automotive supplies out of reach of children by placing them on the top shelves.

Store lesser used items on utility shelving in plastic storage containers with lids to keep out dust and moisture. Use bigger bins on casters for more frequently used items and roll them out of the way, such as under a worktable.

Clear off your workbench and use a wall or pegboard to hang frequently used tools and store the rest in a tool chest. Use jars or plastic bins for storing and organizing smaller items like nails, screws, and nuts.

Hang skis, bikes, brooms, shovels, wheelbarrows and other unwieldy sport, garden, and household items off purpose-built wall hooks or in specialty containers to keep them free from damage.

For Elora Fergus and area condo owners…

Even in the smallest of condominium units in Fergus and Elora, there is often under-utilized space. Here are a few ways to help you optimize it:

Transfer your music collection to a digital format and sell your space-hogging records and CDs.

Keep out-of-season clothes and spare linens in vacuum-sealed storage bags under the bed. Use hooks for bathrobes, clothes, purses, or even jewellery.

Use decorative baskets for small items like magazines, hats, scarves, mittens, and children’s toys to keep things neat and organized.

Open or floating shelving will create the illusion of space while providing stylish storage for household and decorative items.

Invest in multi-functional furniture versus individual pieces which can take up valuable floor space. For example, a padded ottoman can be used as coffee table, storage space, and extra seating.

In the mean time if you have any questions call me at 519-843-1365 or 1-866-343-6825 or email me at [email protected]

October, Warm Up Your Entry Way This Winter

Make an Entrance: Warm Up Your Entryway This Winter

Winter. It’s a time of crisp air, gently falling snow, and piles of coats, slushy boots and soggy mittens in your front hall. This season, whether you live in Elora, Fergus, Belwood, Salem, Arthur, or Alma, make your entryway organized and inviting. Here’s how:

Make first impressions count. Give your door a fresh coat of glossy paint, and put down a new doormat. Hang a nice winter wreath or plant an evergreen in a sturdy urn.

Store your stuff out of sight. If you don’t have enough closet space, add storage by hiding a garment rack behind a curtain, using an armoire, installing a coat tree or hall stand, or by trying one of these storage ideas:

  • A bench with built-in storage holds your stuff and offers a convenient spot to sit down and put your boots on.

  • A small bookshelf with labeled baskets is good for storing small items.

  • A chest of drawers can make your front hall look more like a furnished room, and it gives you a surface for photos, a lamp or incoming mail.

Stay in season. Move non-winter items to a different part of your Centre Wellington home. Leave some extra space and extra hangers for your guests’ coats.

Tame your shoes. Set a limit to how many pairs each person can keep by the door, and install a shoe rack to keep footwear organized. Avoid putting boots on a mat that doesn’t drain ? they won’t dry properly and the leather will get damaged. A perforated tray with a mat underneath will let your footwear drip-dry.

Hook it. Heavy-duty hooks keep backpacks, scarves, purses and coats off the floor. Hang them at a height where kids can reach them to make it easy for them to put away their things.

Make a place for your misplaceables. How much time do you spend hunting for keys, sunglasses, cell phones and dog leashes? Dedicate a basket or bowl to these important items by the front door, and you’ll never have to search under the couch cushions again.

Design idea 1: Install a hook and small shelf for each person, and stencil their name on the wall beside it.

Design idea 2: Hang an ornate frame and fill the blank space in the middle with small, pretty key hooks.

Floor décor. Offer a warm welcome with a soft, washable rug that doesn’t show dirt easily. Put a mat outside, too; wiping your feet before you go in will mean less muck and less cleaning.

Don’t forget to decorate. Paint your entryway a striking colour, hang a graceful mirror, incorporate family photos or a favourite piece of art, add a table lamp and an accessory or two. Make it welcoming and beautiful. After all, it’s the first place people see when they come into your home.

In the mean time if you have any questions call me at 519-843-1365 or 1-866-343-6825 or email me at [email protected]

September, Take your Winter Garden from Drab to Fab

Take your Winter Garden from Drab to Fab

The one thing that there isn’t any shortage of in the Elora and Fergus area is gardens. People come from all over southern Ontario just to view the fabulous gardens in Elora, Fergus and Salem. A garden is our little piece of paradise, a place to appreciate nature in its changing seasons, and winter is no exception. With a little planning you can go outside and enjoy the fresh air and exhilaration of your garden right through the winter.

Create colour by incorporating some evergreens into your garden setting, including pine, fir and holly. Leave tall grasses or plants untrimmed as they’ll look sensational dusted with snow, especially red dogwood. Add more visual interest with bright bird houses, bird baths and statuary. Elora and Fergus condo owners with balconies can create a mini garden: put winter kale and branches in a planter and surround with your favourite green boughs, which can last up to three months.

Sit outside on your garden furniture and soak up some sun out of the wind. By treating and protecting your wood or metal furniture it can be left outdoors so you have a front row seat to winter’s wonder. Take the chill off the air with an overhead patio heater, which will keep you warm and comfortable and also provide light for nighttime. A fire pit adds an extra glow, especially when you sit around it with your favourite people toasting marshmallows, or sipping cups of hot chocolate.

Winter lighting adds an extra dimension to your garden or balcony. Solar lights provide a soft glow to a snowy Elora Gorge or Grand River landscape, or simply wrap a small tree or bush with a string of white LED mini lights. Lights add an element of wonder to dark winter nights.

Too tired to go outside after a long day at work? A hot tub in your garden is a perfect place to unwind and wash your troubles away, or to soothe aching muscles after shoveling mountains of snow from the driveway. Picture yourself immersed in hot bubbling water as snowflakes fall around you.

Taking time to sit and relax is good for you, and the quiet serenity of a winter garden in the Elora and Fergus area is perfect for reflection or meditating. Take your camera outside and capture the sights of winter at Elora Gorge or the Grand River in Fergus in all their wonder. Snow has a way of making everything look magical so don’t miss out on the special experience of being out and about in your own winter wonderland.

In the mean time if you have any questions call me at 519-843-1365 or 1-866-343-6825 or email me at [email protected]

August, Drive Up Your Curb Appeal

Drive Up Your Curb Appeal

Is your Elora, Fergus, Arthur, Alma, Belwood or Salem home being hindered by a bland driveway, or an eyesore of a walkway? If so, it might be time to kick start your curb appeal with a few upgrades. From repairing to repaving, a little attention to your home’s entryway can go a long way when it comes to wowing visitors, not to mention potential home buyers.

Revitalize with Repairs

The easiest way to enhance your walkway and driveway is with some simple repairs and resurfacing. Repair cracks with rubberized asphalt crack filler or pourable grout. When dry, pour water over the surface to ensure it is angled in such a way that the water runs off, as standing water is the most common cause of cracks. Once complete, coat with an appropriate sealer and your driveway will look like new again.

Pave the Way to Wow

An asphalt driveway is relatively inexpensive and is less prone to cracks and heaving than concrete. Add eye-appeal to an asphalt driveway by lining it with a row of trees, shrubs or other greenery, or by adding a decorative lamp post for aesthetic appeal day and night.. Alternatively, a brick or cobblestone driveway costs more, but can add a lot of elegance to your home’s entryway.

Go for Gravel

If paving isn’t in your plans, adding crushed gravel to a dirt driveway is always an option. Gravel is great for bringing definition to your driveway, especially if you change its contour by adding an inviting curve. For a more formal appearance consider coloured gravel: blue-grey, red or white. Edge a small stone gravel driveway with bricks for a finished look.

Talk with Your Walkway

If the entryway to your front door could speak, it should say “welcome”. Transform it with stained or stamped concrete pavers, stone, flagstones or brick. A curved walkway provides a natural, meandering feeling while a straight one is more directional. Embellish a short straight walkway with a row of bricks or pavers on either side and soften with groundcover overflowing the edges or line with low lying, attractive plants.

Neat and Tidy Gets Noticed

No room for a driveway or walkway renovation in your budget? Keep things looking good by removing unsightly weeds. Trim grass edges for a neat, cared-for appearance. A couple of large pots, overflowing with bright flowers leading up to your front door creates a pleasing, welcoming feature.

Curb appeal is paramount for showcasing not only your Elora, Fergus and area property’s individuality, but to tell prospective buyers that your home is as well-maintained inside as it is outside.

In the mean time if you have any questions call me at 519-843-1365 or 1-866-343-6825 or email me at [email protected]

July, Luxury for Less

Luxury for Less

Just because you are on a budget, doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style in your home especially in the Fergus and Elora area where style is everything. If it’s time to refresh your décor but you don’t think you have the necessary funds, think again. Here are a few ways you can add a touch of luxury to any room of your home without breaking the bank:

Start with the walls

No room of your Centre Wellington are home can ever feel luxurious if the paintwork is shabby or wallpaper looks dull or weathered. A new coat of paint or wallpaper is the fastest, and easiest way to a fresh new look. If painting, consider a suede, satin or cashmere finish in a neutral colour for a look of elegance. If wallpapering, consider rich colours, textures or traditional patterns. Use good quality products for best results.

Liven up the living room

Add an instant touch of lavishness with one or two large cushions in rich embroidered fabric, velvet or faux fur. Add warmth to your wood floors with a shag rug for modern décor, Turkish or Oriental style for more traditional tastes. No need to splurge on new lamps, simply update the shades with linen or silk-like material. Give a favourite piece of furniture a makeover with updated sleek metal hardware or repaint with an attractive gloss paint.

Beautify bedrooms & bathrooms

Buy beautiful bed linen when it is on sale. Billowy comforters or duvets with plenty of plump pillows make the whole room look luxurious and inviting. A plush rug for stepping in and out of bed gives a sumptuous start and end to your day. Add plenty of thick fresh towels and large pillar candles in the bathroom to set a pampered scene. Invest in light switch dimmers to create the ambiance you desire.

Get chic in the kitchen

Freshen up cabinetry with new paint or modern hardware and update lighting fixtures. Buy a beautiful tablecloth or table runner and top it off with a potted orchid in an attractive pot. Rather than using every day chipped or stained mugs, treat yourself to a couple of fine china tea cups from a thrift store or good quality coffee mugs for your favourite brew. Then sit back, enjoy tea for two with a friend, and truly savour the moment.

In the mean time if you have any questions call me at 519-843-1365 or 1-866-343-6825 or email me at [email protected]

June, Improving Your Home’s Air Quality

A Breath of Fresh Air: Improving Your Home’s Air Quality

Is the air in your Centre Wellington home making you sick? It can be as innocuous as a persistent cough, rash or headache. But, for the very young, the elderly and those with respiratory disease, the effects of indoor air contamination can be far more serious. The very air you breathe could be affecting the comfort and health of your family. Recognizing the symptoms of poor air quality is the first step toward fixing the problem. Bad air can be the cause any of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Cold or flu symptoms such as coughing, congestion and sneezing

  • Redness or irritation of the eyes

  • Irritation of the nose or throat

  • Dry, chapped or irritated skin

  • Allergies

  • Asthma attacks

Your Elora or Fergus home may have bad air if you or your family continuously experience any of these indicators, primarily when spending time at home.

In some cases the cause is obvious. Cigarette smoke and pet dander, particularly in poorly ventilated areas, are common culprits. But in many cases, the source is hard to identify. You may be able to locate the source by centring your attention in rooms where symptoms are more severe. Your basement is a good place to start, as basements are breeding grounds for mould, another leading cause of poor air quality. Look for damp areas, mould and mildew and dust accumulation. Is there a musty smell in the air? Is drywall, carpet or drapery stained or discoloured? Chemical fumes from a recent renovation or fumes from an attached garage or workshop could also be to blame.

Every home in Centre Wellington should have a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is an odourless gas caused by combustion sources like gas appliances, wood stoves/fireplaces and automobiles. Initial warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include sore throat, dizziness, headache and sleepiness – prolonged exposure can be fatal. Carbon monoxide detectors are available commercially and are required by law in some Canadian districts.

Solving the problem can be as easy as removing the source. Mould can be destroyed by cleansing the area with a mixture of one part chlorine bleach to four parts water. Wash the area thoroughly and let it stand for about 15 minutes before rinsing. To avoid recurrence, ensure that the affected area remains free of moisture. Contaminated carpet, underlay and furniture should be removed and discarded.

Routinely change furnace and air conditioner filters and keep your home clean and dust free. When removing the source is not possible or proves ineffective, there are other measures you can take:

  • Improve ventilation in affected rooms

  • Humid air can cause and exacerbate air quality. Consider purchasing a dehumidifier

  • An air filtration system can be installed in the home

When symptoms are severe it is best to rely on a professional. Hire an environmental consulting company to analyze the air in your home, identify the cause and recommend a solution.

In the mean time if you have any questions call me at 519-843-1365 or 1-866-343-6825 or email me at [email protected]