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17 Divinity St
Bristol, CT, 06010
United States

8605895155

Since 1975, O'Donnell Bros has been providing greater Bristol and Central Connecticut with residential and commercial remodeling solutions. We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, doors, gutters, downspouts and so much more. We look forward to helping you with all your remodeling needs. 

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Articles

O'Donnell Bros President, Bob O'Donnell, is a regular contributor to The Bristol Press. Read his home improvement articles here.

 

Filtering by Tag: house clean

Get Your House Ready for Warmer Weather with These Cleaning Tips

Chelsea O'Donnell

A pre-summer cleanup is a dreaded task for many people, but I think it’s a great opportunity to go through your home and look for any small problems or maintenance issues that can cause you headaches in the future. I also use it as a time to sort through closets and storage to donate clothes, sports equipment, and tools that I haven’t used in awhile. But when it comes to cleaning, there are a few places around the house that might get missed in your more regularly scheduled tidying up. Here’s a list to help you tackle this tough project:

Windows: You might give the insides a friendly wipe down all through the year, but cleaning the outside of your windows is a smart job to tackle now, especially if you live near the road or a high traffic area. Getting to second-floor windows might take some work on a ladder, so use caution and take your time.

Wood Floors: If you’re vacuuming and mopping your floors every week, this cleaning routine might be doing them more harm than good. Wood needs to be conditioned in order to help it retain its normal levels of moisture. Nix the wet washing and try applying a wax sealant every few months to keep them looking shiny and new. There are different types of waxes depending on the kind of wood you’re dealing with, so pop into a home improvement store and ask for some advice before tackling the job.

Cabinets: From afar they probably look clean, but they are most likely splattered with cooking oil, tomato sauce, and all those yummy soups and stews you’ve been whipping up all winter. Use a cabinet cream to remove all the built-up gunk while conditioning the wood at the same time.

Countertops: Have you notice stains on your granite? This is a surefire sign that they aren’t sealed properly. When you have them installed, make sure they are treated with a sealant a few times, and then make it a once a year project. If water or liquid forms a bead on the surface of the counter, you’re good to go.

The Grill: If you left your barbecue covered in last summer’s gunk, it’s going to need some TLC before you fire it up. Brew up a few pots of cheap coffee and put it into a large, shallow, plastic tub. Drop your grill grates in for an hour and rinse them clean for a good as new finish. Be careful about putting the grill or a firepit too close to the house, the heat will melt your siding and the accident won’t be covered under warranty.

The Yard: If you haven't started on your lawn yet, it’s time to get going. Dethatching is the first step and it’s probably the most important, so don’t skip it or you’ll be looking at dead grass all season long. Once the lawn is prepped, use a fertilizer to give it the nutrients it needs and then apply a herbicide to stop the weeds. There are several products on the market that combine pre-emergent weed control with fertilizer, which will save you both time and money.

The Roof: I am seeing black stains on roofs all over town. Did you know that it’s algae? In addition to being unsightly, mold and mildew can eat away at asphalt shingles, voiding the warranty and causing potential damage and leaks. Now is a great time to get the roof cleaned which can be done by a professional, or as a DIY project. Cleaning solutions can be picked up at the hardware store, applied using a pump sprayer and rinsed with the garden hose. If you’re not comfortable on a ladder, call a pro to handle the job.

Bob O’Donnell is the owner of O’Donnell Bros. Inc., a Bristol-based home improvement company established in 1975. Email your questions for Bob to info@odonnellbros.com with the subject line “Ask the Pro.” All questions may be considered for publication. To contact Bob for your remodeling needs, call O’Donnell Bros. Inc. at (860) 589-5155 or visit http://www.odonnellbros.com. Advice is for guidance only.

Get Prepped for Autumn with These Trusty At-Home Hacks

Chelsea O'Donnell

With autumn coming fast, now is a great time to tackle the at-home projects that you may have ignored while enjoying the summer sun. Here are a bunch of my favorite fall hacks to get your property ready for the change in temperature.

After dozens of summer barbecues, your grill might be looking a bit worse for wear. Cleaning a grill can be a messy and tedious job, but did you know that you can get rid of almost all those baked on food particles with a simple coffee soak? That’s right, just brew up a few pots of the cheap stuff and put it into a large, shallow, plastic tub. Drop your grill grates into the tub of joe for an hour and then rinse clean for a good as new finish.

With all the humidity we experienced over the summer, you may have noticed black, streaky stains on your roof. While it may be just cosmetic today, leaving mold and mildew to grow can lift your shingles, allowing for melting ice and snow to get in and cause leaks. Hire a pro to give your roof a good cleaning to ensure any unsightly stains don’t grow into a bigger, much more expensive problem.

Remove any window air conditioning units and inspect all windows for damage or potential air leakage. It’s better to get leaky windows repaired now than wait you have to combat the deep freeze by cranking up the thermostat.

Get your fireplace ready for use with a professional inspection and clean. Stock up on firewood before the cold, wet weather begins and make sure you store it safely in a dry place away from your house. Remember, woodpiles are a breeding ground for termites, you would love nothing more than to feast on your home.

Fix up your flowerbeds by clearing out any dead or dying plants and give the soil a good aeration. Then spread a thick layer of mulch over the beds to help keep the temperature even through the winter freeze. If you’re planting bulbs, I like to use evergreen branches to keep the ground a bit warmer and give the bulbs some protection from the snow. If you enjoy vegetables, keep some poly spun garden fabric handy to lay over your boxes after the fall harvest.

Lock in a reliable plowing professional. Most people wait until the first snow and then panic because they can’t get out of their driveway and can’t find anyone to do the job in a pinch. Start calling around now to get quotes and book in a professional who is reliable and can get the job done quickly.

What are your favorite ways to get ready for the colder weather? I’d love to share your ideas. Send me a message on Facebook.

Bob O’Donnell is the owner of O’Donnell Bros. Inc., a Bristol-based home improvement company established in 1975. To contact Bob for your remodeling needs, call O’Donnell Bros. Inc. at (860) 589-5155 or visit http://www.odonnellbros.com. Advice is for guidance only.