Home Maintenance Tips

Seasonal and Monthly Items to Check Around Your Home

Here is a list of home maintenance tips. A few minutes of prevention, can save hours of repair. Be sure to check back periodically.

Spouting and Tiger Striping

Cleaning the tiger striping on spouting is a simple but tedious chore. You can't just spray it off. We recommend once or twice a year you spray the spouting with fantastik, let it soak a minute and wipe it off. A good method is to do about 6' at a time. It takes a little time but will look like new. Other products and applications like pressure washing can be used, but don't look as good as hand washing.

Foundation Settling

Spring is the time of year you need to make an inspection around your foundation grade. Especially in your new home... settlement may occur for several years depending on soil conditions and grade. It is very important that proper grades and water runoff is properly maintained to keep basement walls dry

Humidity in your home

Todays homes are so much tighter than older homes and moisture becomes trapped. Use of exhaust fans in baths and the kitchen is essential The colder it is outside the more likely you will have condensation on windows. Most of this can be controlled by monitoring the systems in your home. With a hi-efficiency HVAC system you may want to set fan to "ON" instead of "AUTO" I have found this will take care of most problems in really cold weather.... if your humidifier is properly set. For additional information a review with your HVAC provider may be a good option.

Some thermostats have humidiguages included. If yours does not, investing in a humidigauge can save many repair dollars. Too much humidity causes swelling in the wood products in your home, doors swelling and sticking etc. Mold is also another moisture item that can be avoided with careful monitoring. On the other side too little humidity results in drywall nailpops, doors drying and separating. Too little humidity is a disaster for painted wood trim.

Proper disposal of light bulbs

Some light bulbs contain mercury, which can have adverse health effects on a human. When your light bulb burns out and it's time to replace, it's important to properly dispose of the old bulb. Failure to do so can contaminate the environment or pose a health risk to people handling the bulb. If you break a bulb, it is very important to properly clean up the fragments to avoid contamination. We recommend this site: www.ehow.com for instructions.

Our recommendation for all light bulbs:
1. Wear gloves in case of breakage.
2. Save the original cardboard packaging if possible.
3. When the bulb burns out, return to original package. Place in a plastic bag.
4. Take to one of these businesses who will dispose and/or recycle used bulbs free of charge:
Lowes, Home Depot or Ikea.

Disconnecting Hoses From Outside Faucets

A common misconception is that Frost Free faucets do not need disconnected from hoses in freezing conditions. They must be disconnected to avoid frozen pipes! Frost Free means it protects disconnected faucets from freezing.

Dishwasher Residue

If you have noticed your new or old dishwasher is leaving a nasty film on dishes and in the dishwasher, don't blame the dishwasher. Last year soap manufacturers collaberated and changed the formulas to remove phosphates so we don't kill the fishes in the streams (who pours their dishwater in the streams)... anyhow.... there are rinses you can add to the rinse aid container. You can also add a packet of lemonaide koolaid to the cycle. Word is they are working to re-formulate the "recipe" to resolve this problem.

Concrete Sealing and Ice Melt Products

Snow melt products can put the finish on your concrete at risk. Even products that say they will not harm concrete. We recommend you thoroughly check out the reviews on a product before you use it. Also, regular sealing of your concrete is important to aid in the preservation of the finish. When your new driveway is poured it is typically sprayed with a curative. The sealant can not be applied until an appropriate curing time takes place. Your concrete finisher can give you these guidelines.

Condensation on windows

A common error is believing condensation on windows is a window problem. It is not. (exception-Pella windows with removable inside storm panel- another post!) Let me preface this.... if you have condensation between the thermopanes, your windows have gone bad and need looked at by the contractor, provider or manufacturer.
Condensation is the result of too much humidity in your in home caused by:
1. cooking without using fans
2. using baths and showers without fans
3. improper setting of humidiers or de-humidifiers
4. improper settings on HVAC system

Todays homes are so much tighter than older homes and moisture becomes trapped. The colder it is outside the more likely you will have condensation on windows. Most of this can be controlled by monitoring the systems in your home. With a hi-efficiency HVAC system you may want to set fan to "ON" instead of "AUTO" I have found this will take care of most problems in really cold weather, if your humidifier is properly set. For additional information a review with your HVAC provider is a good option.

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