Don’t Let Your Home End Up All Wet! WATCH OUT FOR LEAKY PIPES AND POOR DRAINAGE
Here we are once again — spring is only a few weeks away! February and March are months of transition. Temperatures are slowly climbing, and the days are getting incrementally longer. But these months are also a time of discovery. What do we mean by this? During the winter months, most homeowners don’t routinely check their outside taps. On top of that, they don’t conduct regular inspections of their plumbing system — including the pipes that run under and out of the house. As a result, when temperatures rise, homeowners start to discover leaks. They might only be a few drips, or they might be much more significant, but these are often signs that the pipes froze during the winter, then the ice expanded in the pipes. This is a major cause of ruptures. All it takes is one frigid night. Even during mild winters, pipes can freeze for just long enough to cause problems. In the months leading up to winter — and during winter — we try to remind people to make sure their outside taps are completely shut off, their hoses are flushed and stored, and their homes are heated just enough to keep the inside temperature above freezing. That last point is especially important while you are away from home — you don’t want to return from a trip to find your home flooded! If you’re going away, whether it’s for a day or an extended period of time, it’s always a good idea to set your thermostat at about 15 C. This temperature keeps your heating bill low — but keeps your home’s temperature high enough to prevent freezing.
If you do notice any leaky taps or pipes, don’t let them sit! These need to be taken care of before they get worse. As temperatures rise, it’s always a good idea to do a walk-around of your home. Look for leaks and signs of moisture where there shouldn’t be any. Telltale signs of moisture include water stains, mold, mildew, and wood rot.
Should you find anything, or you aren’t sure about what
you’re seeing, all you have to do is give us a call and we can send a technician out to help. As always, our plumbing technicians know exactly what to look for and can trace leaks (or signs of leaks) to their source in order to take care of them. Also on the topic of water, we want to remind homeowners, and all property owners, about the dangers of standing water. It can get really wet around the Lower Mainland in late winter and early spring, and that means moisture saturation. Water can pool around homes and foundations — and if this excess water can’t properly drain, it can cause a lot of damage. Some homes may need a drainage pump, if they don’t already have one. Oh — and don’t forget to clear out your gutters and downspouts! Gutters are incredibly easy to forget about. When they fill up with leaves and other gunk, they become useless. And when water cannot properly flow off of the roof, you may end up with water in your attic, which will eventually find its way into your home. That’s no fun. If you’re concerned about excess or improperly flowing water in or around your home, be sure to give us a ring. You know the drill! We’re standing by the phone, ready to take your call and ready to address any of your plumbing, drainage, and heating needs!
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Allergy-Friendly Valentines for Your Child’s Classmates Safe and Sweet
For many homeowners, the boiler is shrouded in mystery. It’s a complex but often efficient system designed to heat water for several different purposes, from hot baths and showers to heating the home itself. But when you mix water with, well, just about anything, you are left with a recipe for corrosion, mineral buildup, and leaks. Because of this, maintaining your home’s boiler is of paramount importance. When you skip maintenance, the boiler can be one of the most expensive systems to repair or replace. Here’s what you can do to keep your boiler in tip-top shape and ensure you don’t have to worry. The Annual Inspection It goes without saying, but a routine inspection of a boiler (as with any system in the home) will catch current and potential problems. Our patented Lewis MacLean inspections were specifically created to diagnose costly problems that your boiler may encounter in the future. We’re here to help keep your home’s system running at peak performance so you can avoid those huge bills later on. Regular Maintenance Sometimes our inspections will catch issues that need to be addressed. A part may need to be replaced, or a portion of the system may need cleaning. When it comes to boilers, because they cycle water through their system, they often do need some sort of maintenance — it just comes with the territory. If your boiler is behind on inspection or maintenance, there’s no better time than the present to schedule an inspection. An inspection is one of the best things you can do for your boiler — and your wallet. Just give us a call, and we’ll get you set up with one of our technicians. It’s that easy! HOW TO KEEP YOUR HOME’S BOILER RUNNING AT PEAK PERFORMANCE Boiled Over
For a parent of a child with allergies, every day can feel like a battle with food labels and ingredients
lists — and Valentine’s Day only exacerbates this fear.
Avoid the danger of an allergic reaction on Valentine’s Day by creating alternative, candy- free valentines that the whole class will enjoy! Get Creative This valentine idea taps into
your kids’ desire to create by using commonly found household items. Have your children draw pictures, create cards, mould tiny sculptures, or braid together
friendship bracelets to create one-of-a-kind gifts that will be safe for their classmates to enjoy. Kids can put their own effort into gift-giving, and their valentines will have a personal touch candy cannot replicate. Think Like a Kid If you’re looking for a creative valentine that will be safe for all your child’s friends to play with, check no further than the toy aisle of your local dollar store. While being mindful of latex allergies, you can purchase little toys that kids will love that won’t break your bank. Think bouncy balls, mini skateboards, Army men, yo-yos, puzzles, rubber ducks, hand-held games, markers, or bubbles. Adorn these little gifts with yarn, ribbons, or personalized tags, and slap on cute sayings to make them fit for the holiday. Finish off the masterpiece by having your kiddo sign their name on each valentine, and you’ve got a kid-approved Valentine’s Day favourite. Fancy Up Some Fruit If you’re worried about food allergies but still want to make a yummy treat, ask your child’s teacher for a list of students’ allergies, then just work around them. Fruits are usually a safe bet, but it’s best to double check. You could skewer strawberries and heart-shaped pieces of watermelon onto kabob sticks for a sweet and fun snack, or pass out goody bags with apples, bananas, and clementines. Offering a group snack that is allergy- friendly will keep your children and their friends safe and healthy, and it can also help children with allergies feel included in the festivities. As with all Valentine’s Day gifts, keep in mind that it’s not the item or money spent that means the most. It’s the thought behind each gift that makes receiving valentines the sweetest part.
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3 At-Home Remedies From the Spice Rack Add a Little Spice to Your Life
Spices can add much more than flavour and aroma to your favourite beverages and treats — they also come with a number of health benefits! When properly prepared, three spices in particular (well, two spices and one herb) can ease the symptoms of a variety of ailments. Take a look at some of these benefits.
or morning sickness? Raw ginger will likely do the trick! Like many spices, ginger’s use as a supplement goes back centuries.
People of Southeast Asia have long used it to ease common ailments. It’s tried and true. Peppermint You can use
Nutmeg This spice is more potent when it’s freshly grated, both in flavour and symptom reduction. If you don’t have whole nutmeg seeds, you can typically find them at specialty food stores. Not only does nutmeg complement many drinks
peppermint as an essential oil, drink it as a tea, or take a supplement capsule. Each form comes with its own benefits. As an essential oil, peppermint is great for treating colds — and we’re still in cold season. It’s also a mild decongestant, and it helps with coughs and a stuffed-up nose. It also eases sore throats and headaches. Rub one or two drops under your nose,
and desserts, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s been used to treat joint pain and arthritis. It even has antimicrobial properties, which is great for combating bad breath! Use it as a supplement in capsule form or simply sprinkle some freshly grated nutmeg on your next chai tea. Your achy joints will thank you. Ginger This root can help ease an upset stomach and manage nausea. You can safely ingest it raw, candied, as a supplement, in tea, or in baked goods. Ginger is most effective as a capsule supplement or just eaten raw, depending on what ails you. Nausea
on your temples, or over your sinuses and feel the relief wash over you! Furthermore, a study
published by The BMJ found that when administered as capsule, peppermint helped reduce the symptoms of IBS in a majority of patients.
SPICY SALMON TARTARE
1 8-ounce boneless, skinless salmon fillet 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 1/4 teaspoon lime zest 1/4 cup cucumber, seeded and finely diced 1 1/2 teaspoons jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced 1 1/2 teaspoons shallots, minced
3/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh chives, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons grape seed or vegetable oil Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Crackers or chips, for serving
AQUARIUS CHOCOLATE FEBRUARY LEAP ROSES YEAR
ARROW CUPID FLOWERS LOVE
DATE HEART PISCES VALENTINE
1. Place salmon in freezer for 20 minutes to make slicing easier. 2. Meanwhile, prepare other ingredients for mixing. 3. Thinly slice salmon into
When finished, you should have 1/8-inch cubes. 4. In a mixing bowl, combine salmon with all other ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. 5. Garnish with chips or crackers and serve.
sheets and cut sheets into strips and strips into cubes.
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23008 Fraser Highway Langley, BC V2Z 2V1 604-532-9625 www.lewismaclean.com
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Beat the Winter Drainage Blues! Candy-Free Valentines How to Keep Your Home’s Boiler Running at Peak Performance 3 At-Home Remedies Hiding in Your Kitchen Spicy Salmon Tartare Prepare for an Adventure in Lapland
Into the Arctic Circle If you’re eager for a new adventure in 2019, you’ll surely find it in Swedish Lapland. With trail systems that take you into the Arctic Circle, the northernmost region of Sweden is home to national parks, glaciers, reindeer, the beguiling midnight sun, and spectacular night skies.
ADVENTURE IN SWEDISH LAPLAND
Scandinavians cherish their public lands, and the trail systems are well taken care of. Hikers and backpackers can enjoy the stunning beauty in both late spring and summer, as well as a chance to see the midnight sun. Because of its far-north location, Swedish Lapland receives close to 24 hours of sunlight from June through early August. Between the boulder fields, mountains, and stunning glacial lakes, hiking here is a treat. While hiking, you may spot reindeer herds or lemmings (a small rodent similar to a hamster) racing around rocks. The Sami people have herded reindeer for thousands of years through this very land. In the summer, keep an eye out for blueberries, lingonberries, and the brightly coloured cloudberries. Because of the Arctic climate, weather conditions can change quickly from sunshine to rain and heavy fog, so it’s best to dress in layers and bring wind and rain protection if you plan to venture into the backcountry. The fantastic scenery of Swedish Lapland awaits you, no matter when you decide to take your trip. What are you waiting for?
Though winters are cold, one benefit of traveling to the region in this season is to catch a glimpse of the night sky. The northern lights are visible from a few remote locations like Abisko National Park, one of the first established national parks in Sweden. Traveling to Abisko is an adventure in and of itself. From Stockholm, the fastest option is to take one of only two airlines that fly into Kiruna, then travel by train to Abisko. Despite the challenge of getting there, adventure-seeking visitors from around the world arrive each winter to experience the Arctic beauty. Winter attractions include ice skating, snowshoeing, and the Scandinavian sauna (this last one is a must any time of the year). Befriend a Scandinavian and you might be treated to some pickled herring or even a princess cake, a raspberry-filled dessert covered in marzipan.
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