Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Fall is the perfect time to take care of the little things that can make a big difference for you and your home. Most of the items listed below are well with-in the average person’s ability. But even if you choose to have a professional handle them, it’s worth the expense. You’ll save money — and maybe even your life.

  • Check for damage to your roof, and clean gutters and downspouts to keep debris from accumulating. This is especially important during the fall season to keep leaves from building up in gutters.
  • Keep flammable materials, including all lawn and power equipment, away from water heaters and wiring in the basement.
  • Insulate water pipes in areas exposed to cold temperatures, and turn up the thermostat during extra cold periods.
  • Check and repair caulking around doors and windows that show signs of deterioration.
  • Have your furnace cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified technician.
  • Check caulking around showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilet bases; and make repairs as needed.
  • Have your chimney cleaned and maintained annually by a professional.
  • Clean and/or replace your furnace filter.
  • Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct and space under the dryer. Remove all lint, dust, and pieces of material.
  • Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher accessible, filled and ready for operation.
  • Store firewood away from┬áhome to prevent infestations by termites and other insects

Spring Home Maintenance Tips

For most people, their home is their largest investment. Maintaining your residence can save thousands in the long run. Here is a helpful list of projects to complete this spring that will help maintain your home and its value.

Gutters and downspouts: Pull leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. Reattach gutters that have pulled away from the house. Run a hose on the roof and check for proper drainage. If leaks exist, dry the area and use caulking or epoxy to seal the leak.

Siding: Clean siding with a pressure washer to keep mold from growing. Check all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. If wood is showing through, sand the immediate area and apply a primer coat before painting. If paint is peeling, scrape loose paint and sand smooth before painting.

Exterior caulking: Inspect caulking and replace if deteriorating. Scrape out all of the eroding caulk and re-caulk needed area.

Window sills, door sills, and thresholds: Fill cracks, caulk edges, repaint or replace if necessary.

Window and door screens: Clean screening and check for holes to avoid room for bugs to climb in. Patch holes or replace the screen. Tighten or repair any loose or damaged frames and repaint. Replace broken, worn, or missing hardware. Wind can ruin screens and frames if they are allowed to flap and move so make sure they are securely fastened. Tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers.

Foundation: Check foundation walls, floors, concrete, and masonry for cracking, heaving, or deterioration. If a significant number of bricks are losing their mortar, call a foundation professional.

Roof: Inspect roof surface flashing, eaves, and soffits. Check flashings around all surface projections and sidewalls.

Deck and porches: Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings for loose members and deterioration. Open decks and wood fences need to be treated every 4-6 years, depending on how much exposure they get to sun and rain. If the stain doesn’t look like it should or water has turned some of the wood a dark grey, it’s time to treat your deck and fence.

Landscape: Cut back and trim all vegetation and overgrown bushes from structures. Limbs and leaves can cut into your home’s paint and force you to have that side of the house repainted. A little trimming can save a lot of money and time.

Sprinklers: Check lawn sprinkler system for leaky valves, exposed lines, and improperly working sprinkler heads. If there is an area of your yard that collects too much water or doesn’t get enough, run the sprinklers to figure out the problem. If it’s not something you can fix yourself, call a professional before your lawn needs the water.

Clean your dryer vent: Lint can escape your dryer vent and get stuck in the dryer trap. Cleaning out the dryer trap and vent can save you money by reducing dryer times. In addition to saving you money, it will also prevent house fires caused by clogged vents.

Fix cracks in walkways and driveways: Inspect driveway and walkways for cracks and loose particles in the structure. Cracks can be easily sealed before they become costly repairs and unsafe.

Touch up painted areas. Do a checkup on painted areas inside and outside of home for peeling or chipped paint areas. These touchups keep the home looking fresh and can protect the home from further damage.

Attic: Check your attic for proper ventilation and birds’ nests. Look for obstructions over vents, damaged soffit panels, roof flashing leaks and wet spots on insulation. Keeping a good airflow will save you when it comes to cooling costs.

Drainage: Low areas in the yard or next to the foundation should be filled with compacted soil.

New Technology Improves Installation

Each of our trucks now has a thermal imaging camera that will aid in the installation of the safest radon mitigation system. Each of our technicians has been trained on the proper usage of this high tech device.

The thermal imaging camera will be used in the following situations during installation of a radon mitigation system:

  1. To identify radiant heat lines buried in the floor, avoiding costly damage to them when we are coring through the floor
  2. To identify radiant heat lines buried in the floor when performing pre-mitigation diagnostics (PFE) testing and sub-slab grab sampling.
  3. To help identify mechanical, plumbing and electrical lines behind walls.
  4. During exterior exhaust installation, to help Identify structural members when attaching fasteners in order to provide the  strongest possible connection to the building.

The thermal imaging camera also aids in the design during an onsite consultation. During the initial onsite consultation, we will be able to identify the location of the structural member(s), so that the exact exterior exhaust location(s) can be located, helping our client understand the location and appearance of the radon reduction system. This step will help eliminate risk of unnecessary fire and/or water damage or excessive holes in the siding.

Usage of new technology, such as a thermal imaging camera, improves system performance and eliminates risks such as fire and water damage.

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This photo shows what we see when we use our thermal imaging camera to identify a radiant heat system. We can clearly see the location of the radiant heat lines so we can avoid drilling where they are located.