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newsletter July 2012


ToFixIt! Tips From Our Qualified Experts

July 25th, 2012

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The Monsoon season is here. During this wet season we get about 32% of our yearly rainfall. Thankfully, ours here in AZ is not as intense as those that occur in many other parts of the world. Why not be prepared today by taking preventative steps for emergencies that may occur in your home, business or even your car? There are many easy maintenance suggestions that can save you lots of money down the road for costly repairs that could have been prevented. Let the experts at ToFixIt offer you simple solutions that you can do today.

IN THIS ISSUE ; list-style-position: outside;margin: 0;padding: 0 0 0 10px;">
  • Clean screens make happy screens
  • Tips prior to hiring a moving company
  • Keep appliances in peak condition
  • Road trip this summer
Clean screens make happy screens

Often, when a homeowner tries to clean their screens, the idea is usually quickly discarded after the screens begin looking worse than when you began. You know, irregular lines where the hose sprayed, patchy & splotchy marks that will not come off. Living in the Arizona desert, there is often a huge demand for this service, and there is a way for the typical homeowner to at least clean their screens. Do you have dirty ugly screens and you want to make them look new again?

The answer is this:

  • First you get some liquid Tide with bleach alternative.
  • Put roughly 4 gallons of water in a 5 gallon bucket.
  • Next, add one capful of the aforementioned tide and mix.
  • You will also need a stack of terry towels. Terry towels can be purchased in bags of 25 very inexpensively at Costo, Wal-Mart, or in the car cleaning section of any auto parts chain (i.e., Checker Auto Parts, Auto Zone, etc). The towels will be getting quite dirty in most cases and if you opt to use towels that you use regularly in your home, be prepared to have dirt stains that may not come out.
  • A kitchen broom (probably not the one you would want to actually use in the kitchen again).
  • Next, stack all of your screens in the drive way laying down flat.
  • With some force, agitate the top screen with the broom, scrubbing it well, evenly spreading the soap and water mixture all over the screen.
  • Once the screen is covered in soap and has been vigorously scrubbed, dipping the broom as many times as necessary to saturate it, flip the top screen over (and notice that the soap mixture is draining down onto the screens underneath so that you won’t have to dip the broom as much for the subsequent screens).
  • Now repeat the scrubbing technique for the other side of the screen.
  • Once the screen has been coated and scrubbed well, hold the screen in both hands and gently (yet firmly) slap one flat edge of the screen on the ground, allowing a good amount of the suds to fall to the ground, probably looking quite dirty, the idea here is that you lifted the dirt off of the screen with the soap during the agitation process and now the majority, if not all, of the dirt is now inside the suds.
  • Slap the screen on the ground, you are removing quite a bit of the dirt just by sending the heavy suds down to the ground.

There will still be a large amount of suds on the screen, so you will now lean the screen against the garage door and systematically “flick” the screen (you know locker room style) with a clean, dry terry towel. You will be sending the remaining suds flying onto the garage door and the ground below the screen.

  • Zig and zag down the screen making sure that you are getting the bulk of the soap off, but understand you are only trying to get about 90-95% of the soap off this way. You will spend forever trying to get all of the soap off; besides, you want to have a little left for the final polish.
  • You will notice that the towel will get saturated in the corner that is doing the “flicking” and will begin to lose its effectiveness. Change “flicking corners” of the towel as necessary in order to maintain efficiency, and also to keep from leaving marks on the screen from heavily soiled corners.
  • Wipe down the screens frame, which is probably quite wet still. After wiping the frame, you may need to get a new towel, but if it is still reasonably dry, fold it in quarters, exposing the cleanest section of the towel as the wiping surface. Systematically wipe the entire screen for the final polish with a zig zag motion again, and notice that any water or suds that were on the screen will easily come right off in this stage.

The screens will look perfect after this 90% of the time. If not, they were probably very dirty or not scrubbed well enough, but a second time through will do the trick.

A few important notes:

  • Screens are pretty delicate by nature. You need to be sure to not slap them on the ground too hard, especially if the corners are made out of plastic.
  • When agitating the screen, be sure not to put too much pressure on the screen that results in pressure that wants to pull the screen out of the frame. This will cause the screens to look “saggy”.
  • Laying them flat on the driveway allows you to put a good amount of pressure on the screen as you scrub, without pushing the screen out of the frame. As the stack gets taller, you may notice that there is enough airspace to cause it to be possible to get the undesired effect of pulling the screen away from the frame. If that’s the case, make sure to decrease the size of the stack by breaking it into 2 or 3 stacks.

It should also be noted that this method will work only on “Bug” screens.

If you have “Sun Screens” or “Solar Screens” which usually cover the entire window and are made of much heavier screen material to shade the building’s interior like this:

  • You will need to do the same thing as far as cleaner and brooms go, but instead of “slapping” and “flicking” the screens, you will need to use a garden hose with a trigger that allows a “flat” or “fan” spray and rinse it off in straight line passes and allow them to dry well before re-installing them.
  • You may need to repeat the process numerous times for perfect results (Sun Screens usually hold a lot of dirt and cling quite vigorously to it), but it is possible.

Also, this method is for cleaning, and does not include the professional sealing process, but you will find that if you clean your screens every 6 months, you can achieve a similar result.
If your screen is rotting from the sun, getting saggy, and is quite liable to tear, should not be cleaned as it will only do more damage, and certainly will not improve its look or add any life.

Article submitted by: 5 Star Window Care
Call ToFixIt to find your local professionals at (602) 863-4948 or visit the website at: to learn more great tips about sunscreens.

Be sure to visit the Coupon/Promotion section for this newsletter to view a special discount offer.

Tips prior to hiring a moving company

This is typically one of the busiest times of year for moving companies. The kids are out of school for the summer making this a convenient time to make that move into a new home. Moving is considered by the expert's, one of the most stressful times in a person's life. Think and plan ahead. Here are some great suggestions from the experts. 

  1. Select your mover at least 3-4 weeks in advance. Plan ahead in the summer.
    • Check with the Better Business Bureau.
  2. When Interviewing for a prospective mover, ask questions.
    • If not listed, what is your business address; you need to know if you’re dealing with a real mover or a broker.
    • For most moves; local / interstate / international you must have the mover perform an onsite survey.
    • Beware if the company you call does not want to view your household goods or asks for money up front.
    • Do they have business insurance, workers compensation, property damage, etc.?
    • Ask what their policy is regarding damage to your household goods.
    • Do they offer additional valuation coverage?
    • Can they produce evidence of their coverage?
    • Ask what size of truck will be used for your move.
    • Will everything fit in one load?
    • Are there any additional charges you should know about like materials, service or travel charges?
  3. Beware of low, low rates.
  4. Beware of a sales rep. who does not ask questions?

    The more information you have, the easier it will be for you to make your decision. The more information the mover has, the better equipped they will be to perform your move in a timely and costly manner.

    Article submitted by Professional Movers. Call (602) 863-4948 or visit the website at:
    to schedule an appointment.
    Be sure to visit the Coupon/Promotion section for this newsletter to view a special discount offer

Keep appliances in peak condition

Hot, hot, hot. Heat stress affects you, your family, animals, plants and your appliances. Remember when the monsoons hit, dust can get everywhere and the humidity that comes with it can increase mold, mildew and odors in your home. Here are some tips to keep your appliances in peak condition and the nasty affects of this weather at bay. What are some of these benefits? When the appliances are working at their best, you save money on utility bills. Read more to learn more great tips to help save money on costly appliance repairs later down the road.

Your refrigerator, freezer and icemaker are working real hard. Help them out or they could be hardly working.

  • Vacuum the coils to increase airflow and keep internal heat down.
  • Change the water filters to reduce bacteria growth and assure the purest, best tasting water and ice.
  • Keep baking soda in the refrigerator to absorb odors.
  • Check the door seals/gaskets. If the gaskets are ripped or damaged, they need to be replaced.
  • Your disposer can use the old baking soda from your refrigerator to flush out odors. Use ice to clear out any deposits in the disposal.

Your air conditioner/heat pump also needs the filters replaced. That’ll keep some of that monsoon dust out of the house.

  • If you turn off your air conditioner, do not turn it back on right away. Wait at least 10 minutes to allow the refrigerant gas pressure in the system to equalize.
  • This extends your compressor’s lifespan.
  • In the event of a power outage, you really should turn the air conditioner off to avoid this scenario.

Your washer and dryer can benefit from your attention, as well.

  • You can prevent strange odors by running vinegar in your washer once a week. This is almost critical in the newer machines.
  • Make sure you stay on top of the lint in your dryer and the vent. Not only will the dryer perform more efficiently, but it may prevent potential fires caused by lint buildup.

Your dishwasher would also like some of that vinegar weekly.

  • It helps to clear out hard water deposits on the spray arms and it will smell better, too.
  • Don’t forget to clean its filters.
  • If your dishes are not getting clean enough, you have some options: If the kids are home, save on energy costs and give them something to do, make them hand wash the dishes.

Article submitted by: Accredited Appliance of Phoenix, Inc. Call (602) 863-4948 or visit the website at: to learn more tips or schedule an appointment.

Be sure to visit the Coupon/Promotion section for this newsletter to view a special discount offer


Road trip this summer

Have you checked your transmission lately? Did you know that your transmission has almost 1000 parts; therefore repairs can end up being costly. You might want to do a couple simple maintenance checks on it before you drive to that vacation destination this summer. After all, you should worry about your daily fun filled excursions, not the reliability of your automobile. Here are some easy tips to check your transmission.

  1. Check your transmission dipstick. See your manual to find out where it is located. The dipstick looks very much like the oil dipstick so make sure you are checking the right stick.
  2. When checking the transmission fluid:
    • Start your engine and put the vehicle in park. If you don’t have a Trannie dipstick that means the fluid level has to be checked by a mechanic.
    • Make sure the level is correct; if you have to replace some then check to make sure you are putting the manufacturer’s recommended fluid.
    • If the levels are too low or too high it can cause damage to your vehicle. Make sure you are checking the levels properly.
    • Check the color of the transmission fluid. You can do this by dripping some of it on a white piece of paper. If the fluid appears red then good deal; if it appears brownish then it’s time to get your transmission serviced.

We hope these tips help so you can have a trouble-free summer of driving. Article submitted by: Automatic Transmission Exchange

To learn more expert tips visit the website at:
or call ToFixIt at: 602-863-4948
Be sure to visit the Coupon/Promotion section for this newsletter to view a special discount offer.


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New company & category additions

The following companies have met the ToFixIt certification qualifications and have recently been added to the ToFixIt network.

Absolutely Automated Installations
Alarms, Security Systems
Home Theatre, HDTV Sales
(602) 507-4274
CarPro Auto Body & Paint
Auto Body Repair & Painting
(602) 889-9743
Ground Zero Restoration
Mold Prevention & Abatement
(602) 507-4260
Inderberg Construction
Contractor - Bathroom Remodeling
(602) 396-1671
RMP Construction
General Contractor - Room Additions & Remodeling
(602) 396-1680
The Springs of Scottsdale, LLC
Independent Senior Living Community
(602) 396-1684
Cactus Sunscreens
Screens-Sun Screens
Screen Door Replacement & Repair
(602) 889-9711
RedLine Windows
Glass & Mirror Repair
Sliding Glass Door Replacement
(602) 396-1682
Bill Ponath Law Offices, PLLC
Bankruptcy Attorney
(602) 889-9780
American Cabinet Refacing, LLC
Kitchen/Bath Cabinet Refacing
(602) 759-5435
Automatic Transmission Exchange, Inc.
Auto Transmission
(602) 707-6773
Great companies, honest work and fair prices. I know you'll love ToFixIt! as much as I do.

- Terri O.
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