Preventative Maintenance is the key to keeping your home in tip-top shape. Like us on Facebook to receive Jim's Maintenance Tip's on your Facebook news feed. Protect your investment with proper maintenance.
Happy New Year!!! Now that 2014 is here, get a good start on the things you need, and would like to get done in and around your home. With the current temperatures the way they have been, this is a great time to check your homes efficiency values, including attic insulation, door and window seals. Keep the cold temperatures outside where they belong. Small changes to your homes insulation values can save you considerable money during the frigid winter months, as well as the super hot summer months. Low cost items that you can pick up at your local hardware store, are things like replacement door seals for your exterior doors, window gaskets or plastic window seal kits, if you have older single pane glass, foam gaskets for electrical outlets and switches. Any areas that are cold and you can feel a draft, should be an area of concern. If you have and use a fire place, confirm the damper is working correctly and that you prime the flue before lighting a fire. With these temperatures, cold air will sit in the flue, and if not primed before lighting, will cause smoke back up in your home. There have been quite a few inspections that have been done, were there was plenty of insulation in the attic space, but it was not distributed correctly. It is very important to have the correct thickness as well as correctly covered areas. You wouldn’t believe how much heat loss in the winter, and cooling loss in the summer there is from incorrect R rating and distribution in the attic space. Check your local area to see what the recommended R ratings are. Be safe and Best Wishes for the New Year.
Winter is officially here, Burr!!. Dangerous conditions can be had on the road, as well as at your home. As I have mentioned in an earlier post, be aware of your surrounding’s at home. Understand all the systems that keep your home running safe. Confirm all yard items have been stored for the season. If your home is equipped with a buried propane tank in your yard, keep the fill connection area free of snow build up, to assist your gas supplier in finding it for refills. Older homes were not equipped with freeze valve shut off’s to the exterior water supply, so be sure to shut theses valves off from the inside of you home if you haven’t already. You certainly don’t want to spend your holiday season dealing with broken water pipes. Pay close attention to areas in your home that you may not heat, such as basement or sub basement spaces. Areas below the ground level generally stay in the fifties. Basement areas above ground can get as cold as outside if not heated in some way. If your home is equipped with a heat pump unit with an exterior coil, be sure to keep all obstructions from that area, including snow and ice. Snow build up may cause the unit to over work it’s self which can lead to failure. Insure other vents are clear as well, such as high efficiently gas heating systems that have fresh air intake and exhaust pipes. Fan driven gas hot water heater vents as well. These pipes are generally found on the side of the home, not the roof, unless vented thru a flue system. In the event of an electrical outage, small gas powered generators are often used. Protect you and your family by following the manufactures instructions, and under No circumstances ever use these units in any part of an enclosed section of your home. Including garages or under decks. These units should be used in such a way, that exhaust discharge can never find its way in to your home. Using stoves to heat your home can be just as dangerous. Use proper ventilation when cooking. If not supplied, purchase smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they are equipped with fresh batteries. Purchase battery operated lights and lamps, and use in place of candles for light. Keep yourself safe by allowing Mother Nature to melt the snow and ice on exterior surfaces that you can’t reach by hand. NO Ladders to the roof. Have a Happy And Safe Holiday.
Winter is right around the corner. With winter climates coming fast, it’s time to winterize your home. Don’t be left in the cold. Test and confirm heating system function. If system uses propane or oil, confirm tank’s reserves. (Have filled or set up auto fill if needed). Prepare your home’s exterior water supply, by discounting hoses from the hose bibs and storing in a shed or basement. Turn the water supply feeds off from inside the house and leave the outside valve’s open to keep from freezing. Check the attic space to confirm the distribution of insulation is adequate. (Add more if needed). Make sure all gutters are clear of debris and not holding water. If left blocked, there is a chance the gutters will freeze and put stress on the connections, which can cause them to come loose and pull away from the roof. Install or adjust storm windows if supplied with home. Store any exterior yard equipment, such as furniture, toys and anything that would create a hazard if left out, and covered by snow. Winterize exterior pools as needed. Make available, snow shovels and ice melting supplies in a convenient area. Be smart by staying safe while completing these items.
The HOT! ones are here. With the record high heat index, protect yourself and your family by insuring that your Homes Air condition system is working at it's peak performance. One of the main reasons for poor performance is dirty air system filters. These clogged filters will put strain on an already hard working system trying to keep up with outside temperatures. Change filters when needed for proper air flow. The outside unit should also be clear of any obstructions, and free from any debris or build up. Be sure to have plenty of room around the outside unit for proper airflow and heat distribution. Stay cool.
RAIN ALERT !! One of the most common home inspection defects is wood rot. Caused primarily from water damage. With the recent rain events we have had in the last week or so, be sure to keep your home and it's components protected by insuring positive water flow through your homes gutter and down spout systems. It doesn't take much to clog or divert water flow through the system. Be smart and enlist the services of a professional before attempting to walk on a roof, or climb tall ladders.