31. May 2011 12:52
When is the last time you paid attention to your gutters? If you’re like many homeowners, you ignore them
until something goes wrong. But a little routine maintenance can prevent costly problems like these:
• Clogging. Gutters are designed to catch falling water and debris and redirect it from your house and the foundation. But they can’t do their job when they get clogged up with leaves, branches, and those mysterious things like toys and shoes that were launched upward. You should plan to clean out your gutters once a year (twice if you have a lot of nearby trees). Remove all the debris and then hose them out to get rid of the remaining dirt that could block drainage.
• Sagging or loose gutters. When the fasteners become loose or deteriorated, your gutters will pull away from the house’s façade. It’s a very cheap fix—as opposed to replacing the gutters later. Just get up on the ladder and replace the worn hangers and fasteners.
• Leaking. When gutters leak, the water seeps down to your home’s interior and exterior walls and around the foundation, where it saturates the ground and can cause foundation cracks, erode the landscape, and even warp the doorways and floors. When you notice a leak, even a small one, take the time to patch it up so you can avoid long-term—and costly damage to your home. You can also invest in seamless gutters.
Take a walk around the outside of your house once in awhile, particularly after a rain, to inspect your gutters. Check the foundations and the walls of the house to see if they’re experiencing any damage that could come from faulty gutters. And if you suspect a problem, don’t wait. Spend time now on gutter maintenance or spend money later on fixing your house!
16. November 2010 10:49
The temperature is dropping as winter approaches. You can make your home comfortable and energy efficient
by following these simple steps.
1. Inspect your roof. Reseal flashings to prevent leaks, and replace loose or cracked shingles or tiles.
2. Seal the exterior. Recaulk around your doors, windows, and plumbing to block potential drafts.
3. Shut the vents. If you have vents in your foundation to remove summer’s humidity and moisture from your home’s interior, close those vents before they let in the cold temperatures.
4. Replace cracked windows. Avoid further damage and prevent drafts by installing new windows before winter.
5. Safely store products prone to freezing. Products like paint, cleaners, and gardening materials that could be affected by cold temperatures should be moved to a warmer storage space for the winter. Be sure to check the labels before bringing anything into your home that might create a hazard.
6. Do a draft inspection. Cold air can sneak in through even the tiniest cracks. Look for light seeping through cracks in walls and doors. Hold a lighter near windows to see if wind is blowing through. Patch up those drafty spots with weatherstripping.
7. Check your fireplace. Have your chimney professionally cleaned and inspected. Check the seals around the fireplace doors. If you don’t have airtight doors on your fireplace, consider installing them to increase the efficiency and keep out drafts when the fireplace is not in use.
8. Have your gas appliances inspected. Schedule a visit from your gas company or heating company to check any appliances that run on propane or natural gas to make sure they are in good order.
9. Check your detectors. Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they are working properly.
10. Tune up your heating system. Before you’re relying heavily on your heating system, have your service provider give it a good cleaning and tune-up to ensure your safety and comfort through those cold days and nights.
11. Install humidifiers. When you’re closed in tight for the winter, the air is dryer than normal. Set up your humidifiers with clean filters and check their water supply.
A little time spent before the winter hits will guarantee a season of comfort and joy!