It’s time to clean your yard 




As the cold weather starts to creep in, now is the time to prepare your yard for winte

As quickly as autumn weather arrives it seems to move aside for the blustery, cold days of winter. Winter can catch a person off guard, and the seasons are now less predictable than ever before.


It’s never too early to begin preparing your yard and outdoor living spaces for winter. Homeowners may be sad to bid farewell to the furniture and accessories of the fair-weather season, but time is of the essence when prepping for impending ice and snow.


Give cushions and structures a thorough cleaning and allow to dry completely. Cleaning items before storing them for the winter saves time and energy next year when it’s time once again to set up the yard for recreation. If anything is damaged beyond repair, discard it and look for replacements during end-of-season sales when savings can be had.


The more items you can store in a safe and secure location the better. Load the garage, basement or storage shed with outdoor gear. Leaving items exposes them to the elements, and such exposure can cause rust, wear and damage. Flower pots and lawn ornaments also can blow around in winter wind or collapse under the weight of the snow, so collect these items and store them for the winter. Take out patio umbrellas and put them in the shed. If something is too large to move indoors, such as a barbecue or a pool filter, cover it with a durable tarp and secure it with rope.


Depending on where you live, certain fruit trees, may need to be covered for the winter. Covering protects them from subfreezing temperatures and helps ensure they will rebound in the spring. Tropical plants should be moved indoors where they can thrive in a heated home. Do not rip out chrysanthemum plants. Contrary to popular belief, these are not annuals. They will rebloom year after year if allowed to do so.


Bring in or cover anything that may accumulate water, such as bird baths or kids’ toys. Water expands when frozen, and that means water trapped in any ceramic, glass or even plastic vessel can expand and cause the container to crack.

Piles of leaves not only can suffocate a lawn and cause discolouration, but also can be attractive homes for rodents and insects looking for a warm place to spend their winters. Keep your yard neat and clean to discourage wildlife from taking up residence near your home.


Invest in some burlap to lay down over planting beds. This helps to keep the ground from freezing over and minimize weeds for next season.


If you have a pond on your property, remove any weeds around it and fish out any leaves from the water. Leaves will decay in the water and build up ammonia levels that can harm fish. If the pond is small, cover it for the winter. Also, start cutting back on feeding outdoor fish. These aquatic animals’ bodies begin to prepare for winter by slowing down metabolism. Continuing to feed them can harm the fish when the temperature drops.


It’s wise to close the pool and cover it before leaves start to drop. Otherwise you will have a hard time keeping the water clean.


Now is a good time to plan where you want to put spring bulbs. Once you have mapped things out, get the bulbs in the ground. Bulbs are relatively inexpensive and will provide that first punch of colour when winter finally skips town.



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(NC)It might not be covered, so is your business at risk?


As a small business owner, you've likely poured so much of your heart and soul into your business that it almost seems like another member of your family. It's your livelihood, and it's your passion.


“Many people who work from home would receive some coverage from a standard home policy, but it's wise to make sure your business is fully protected,” says Ryan Michel, senior vice president and chief risk officer for Allstate Canada. “Having the right insurance coverage can be the key to your continued success, so you can keep focused on your business goals and not have to worry about whether or not you're fully protected.”

Here are some key things to consider when insuring your small business:


Property coverage: What if a fire damaged your business assets, tools and supplies? Some home insurance policies typically offer only limited coverage or in some cases, no coverage for business-related property.


Contents insurance: Some insurers cover up to a certain amount of home office equipment, but be aware that you may need additional coverage for certain items like computers.


Liability Coverage: No matter how careful you are, you may find yourself in a situation that could result in a lawsuit against you and your business. Make sure you have general liability insurance, which covers injury to clients or staff on the premises of your business. You'll also need professional liability to protect you against errors, omissions or negligence that may occur when performing professional services.


Business interruption insurance: If an incident results in the need to shut down your business temporarily, this insurance covers loss of earnings during that period. 


Employee coverage: Depending on the number of employees you have, as well as other factors, there may be additional insurance considerations to protect you in case a former employee files a groundless claim against your company.


Vehicle insurance: Do you use your car as a business vehicle? Are there additional drivers? That could affect your premium.


Critical illness insurance: This needs to be considered in case you (the owner) are diagnosed with a critical illness that affects your ability to run your business.


Data compromise insurance: You've implemented all the security measures you can to safeguard your data. This policy covers the legal and other costs that could arise in the event of a data breach.

In addition to the coverage described above, there may be even more business insurance options to consider. Allstate Canada recommends you speak with your insurance agent to help determine the best way to protect your small business and your home.


To assess your business insurance needs, speak to your insurance agent, or get more information online at




Here is some very good acvice when you move into your new home.  

Don’t tempt intruders – keep your new home safe with top of the line security measures.



If you need any more informaiton on tips when moving or if you are looking to sell or buy a home in Calgary


Call Lawrence today!

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