Pauline Hammerbeck

Pauline Hammerbeck

Stories by Pauline Hammerbeck

How to Build the Ultimate Indoor Fort

Feb 14, 2014

#FamilyGames is a series of fun winter challenges we created so that the entire family can play inside when it’s too cold to play outside. Our first game in the series was the Cotton Ball Medley. The next #FamilyGames challenge? Build the ultimate indoor fort! How to play You’ll need at least two players (but more […]

Read More

Let the #FamilyGames Begin! Fun Winter Challenges to Play at Home

Feb 07, 2014

#FamilyGames is a series of fun winter challenges we created so that the entire family can play inside when it’s too cold to play outside. Ready to test your strength, your precision and your focus? Gather up the family for a few simple games and see who takes home gold! Cotton Ball Medley – A Trio […]

Read More

Are Icicles a Sign of an Ice Dam?

Feb 06, 2014

Perhaps you saw them around the holidays: white or blue outdoor lights that simulate trickling icicles. Or greeting cards that depict houses with large icicles hanging from the gutters. While the frosty stalactites may look pretty, they may actually be a signal of trouble in your own home. Are icicles a sign that something is […]

Read More

How to Become an Official Storm Spotter

Feb 04, 2014

Have you ever wondered how the National Weather Service knows when a tornado touches down? Or how it determines a densely populated area is about to be flooded? Sure, the NWS has satellites, Doppler radar and a host of other highly advanced technologies at its disposal. But an essential, but often overlooked, element of weather reporting […]

Read More

Scary Home Features Explained: Should I Buy a House With a Septic System?

Jan 22, 2014

It’s a home feature that can make prospective buyers nervous: a septic tank. Part of a home’s wastewater system, a septic tank is found in households that aren’t served by municipal sewers. Instead, these standalone systems are designed to dispose of and treat the household’s wastewater independently. If you’re considering buying a home with a […]

Read More

Do Granite Countertops Emit Radon? (And Other Radon FAQs)

Jan 15, 2014

People love their granite countertops, though some now consider them too commonplace and prefer newer choices like quartz or quartzite. But there’s another reason some segue from granite. They worry that it will emit radon, a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of rocks and natural stones. So, are granite countertops a real risk? […]

Read More

How to Build a Better Fire in Your Fireplace

Jan 14, 2014

Historically, the hearth has marked the spot where we’ve gathered to cook, warm up or simply muse over the events of the day. And that tradition still burns bright in America. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reports that more than one-third of us use a fireplace, wood stove or similar fuel-burning device as a primary […]

Read More

What Do All Those Winter Watches and Warnings Mean?

Jan 07, 2014

For many people, snow is one of the best things about winter. What could be more fun than sledding and skiing in it, building snowmen out of it, or cozying up at home as flakes of it fall outside? However beautiful, though, it’s always important to stay on top of expected snowfalls and changing winter conditions […]

Read More

Resolve to Prepare: Back Up Important Documents for Emergencies

Dec 31, 2013

If last November’s Midwest tornado outbreak is still fresh in your mind, you might be considering a New Year’s resolution to be better prepared for a natural disaster in 2014. One way to do that is to organize and back up your vital documents. As the residents of Washington, Ill. know (site of the EF4-grade tornado that […]

Read More

Renovation Rundown: What Are the Steps in a Home Renovation?

Dec 18, 2013

Remodeling projects often provide juicy drama—think houses that gobble funds (“The Money Pit”), couples that fight (“The War of the Roses”), and projects that take forever (“Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House”). Of course, life doesn’t have to mimic art. A home renovation can run like a well-oiled machine. While not every renovation expert performs his work in […]

Read More