Tag Archives: home maintenance

January home tips

January is a good time to inspect furniture, cabinets and vanities for loose knobs, pulls and hinges. Tighten or repair as necessary.

Tighten screws on drawers, doors, and furniture.

Lubricate squeaky door hinges with lightweight machine oil.

Free sticky doors by trimming edges or shimming hinges with thin pieces of cardboard.

Check the house and make a list of minor household repairs needed.

Make a list of broken electrical face plates, missing pulls or knobs, locks that need lubrication, and spots that need caulking around sinks and tubs. Go to the home improvement store and buy everything you need to make all of your repairs at once.

Some Hints for June Home Maintenance

  • Check central air-conditioning units according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Replace filters in forced-air systems. Clean debris from outside condensers or heat pump units.
  • Reset thermostats and automatic sprinkler systems.
  • Wash windows, inside and out (try a solution of three tablespoons non-sudsy ammonia to a gallon of water). To prevent streaking, don’t work in direct sunlight.
  • Clean and inspect gutters. Ensure clips, straps and spikes are tight. Flush debris from downspouts with hose. Make sure downspouts and splash blocks direct water at least three feet away from the foundation.
  • Clean mineral deposits from faucet aerators and shower heads by soaking parts in white vinegar and scrubbing with an old toothbrush.
  • Dust ceiling fan blades.
  • Coat outdoor metal patio furniture with auto polish.
  • If appropriate, have swimming pools cleaned. Inspect and service pool liners and filters.

January Home Hints

January is a good time to inspect furniture, cabinets and vanities for loose knobs, pulls and hinges. Tighten or repair as necessary. Tighten screws on drawers, doors, and furniture. Lubricate squeaky door hinges with lightweight machine oil. Free sticky doors by trimming edges or shimming hinges with thin pieces of cardboard. Check the house and make a list of minor household repairs needed. Make a list of broken electrical face plates, missing pulls or knobs, locks that need lubrication, and spots that need caulking around sinks and tubs. Go to the home improvement store and buy everything you need to make all of your repairs at once!

Get moss off your roof!

Moss growth on roof surfaces should be discouraged.  I see it all the time when inspecting homes in the Pacific Northwest and call it out on most Home Inspection Reports.  The effects of moss on roofs can be devastating, even after a relatively short period of time and allowing it to grow can be an expensive mistake.  In fact, most insurance companies will require the removal of moss from roofs.

The problem is that moss will attack and can ruin a composition roof.  It can also create dams, causing water to run sideways under your shingles causing a leak.  Another issue is that moss can grow under the bottom edge of your shingles thereby pushing the shingles upward, breaking their seals, and rendering the roof more vulnerable to wind damage and wind driven rain.  Moss also soaks up water and keeps your roof wet; and, as we all know when most things stay wet for a long period of time, they eventually break down.

Moss has root-like structures called rhizomes which are sent out and embedded into the roofing materials to anchor the moss to the roof.  These rhizomes, or roots, supply nutrients for moss (similar to tree roots), but in so anchoring to the roof surface they dislodge the protective granules from the roof surface  and expose the roof to further attack by more moss!  Left completely unchecked, moss can penetrate all the way through the roofing materials , deteriorating the shingles and obviously rendering the roof surface very vulnerable to leaks.

Moss should be removed quickly before it overtakes your roof to extend the useful life of your roof coverings.   Here’s a YouTube Video I created addressing why moss should be removed from your roof surfaces.  Please watch the video, Like It, and share or re-blog at will!

June Home Maintenance

Some Hints for June Home Maintenance

  • Check central air-conditioning units according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Replace filters in forced-air systems. Clean debris from outside condensers or heat pump units.
  • Reset thermostats and automatic sprinkler systems.
  • Wash windows, inside and out (try a solution of three tablespoons non-sudsy ammonia to a gallon of water). To prevent streaking, don’t work in direct sunlight.
  • Clean and inspect gutters. Ensure clips, straps and spikes are tight. Flush debris from downspouts with hose. Make sure downspouts and splash blocks direct water at least three feet away from the foundation.
  • Clean mineral deposits from faucet aerators and shower heads by soaking parts in white vinegar and scrubbing with an old toothbrush.
  • Dust ceiling fan blades.
  • Coat outdoor metal patio furniture with auto polish.
  • If appropriate, have swimming pools cleaned. Inspect and service pool liners and filters.

Mastering Home Repairs

“To fix myself OR hire a contractor?” This question occurs often in my household.  Below is a great article with some helpful tips for DIYs and for finding contractors.

Thinking of trying some Do-it-Yourself (DIY) work around your home? There’s a lot you can do to save time and aggravation, not to mention money, by doing the job yourself. If you are a seasoned DIYer, you will know the basics of what to do, how to do it and what you will need to get it done. But if you are a beginner, how will you know what to do and how to do it? What tools will you need? Which projects should you attempt first? Yahoo Real Estate has a useful article to help answer these and many more questions, as well as some suggestions for finding a contractor if the DIY approach is not for you.

Thanks for reading my post!

August gardening to-do list

About.com Gardening says, “For many gardeners the month of August begins the downhill slide into off season. Warm climate gardeners have a second chance, but some don’t have a second wind after summer’s heat. Your garden is hardier than you think and there are plenty of gardening tasks for August that will keep your flower and vegetable gardens going longer, as well as opportunities to get a head start on next year’s garden plans.” Here’s a Garden To-Do List for the sultry month of August.

Chasing roof leaks?

Roof Help.com says, “There can be many reasons for a leak. Leaks can be the result of poor roof system installation, mechanical damage such as dropped screwdrivers or knives, plugged roof drains, roofing material failure, HVAC problems; the list goes on. The source of a leak can be quite distant from where it actually shows up…Chasing a leak isn’t always as easy as it would appear to be. When trying to locate a leak, use the following guidelines to assist you.”

Summer Home Maintenance Tips

Here’s some great information about Home Maintenance that can go a long way to ensuring a clean home inspection.

ManageMyLife.com has some suggestions for home maintenance:

  • Kitchen, bathroom: Check under your sinks for signs of leaks from supply pipes and waste pipes. Also check for rust on the bottom of enameled steel sinks and water damage to the countertop.
  • Structure and exterior: Check your home’s exterior wood for paint or wood stain needs.
  • Vinyl siding: Assess vinyl siding for cleaning needs. It requires less maintenance than most other sidings, but it still needs occasional cleaning.
  • Plumbing: Getting cold showers? The sediment in your water heater might be lowering your water temperature and the amount of available water. Flush sediment from your water heater.
  • Electrical: Inspect your outdoor electric wiring. While you’re outdoors during warm weather, take a few moments to inspect your outdoor electric outlets, lighting and wiring.

For more complete details and step-by-step guides see the article.

Roofs: Minor Repairs

Your roof leaks. You want to try repairs. Climbing a roof is hazardous. We recommend you call a professional. But, if you just have to try to DYI, AND if it is a minor leak AND you are fairly handy, agile, coordinated AND fit enough to get on your roof AND the roof is not too steep here are some considerations. Roof pitch or slope is a measure of the incline of a roof. So what is too steep? That’s a decision for you to make on a roof with a pitch LESS than 6. A pitch or slope of 6 means that the roof rises 6″ for every 12″ inward towards the peak (written as 6/12). A roof slope of 6/12 is equal to a 26.5 degree angle. More than this is too dangerous for an amateur DON’T try it!! Your local full service hardware store should be able help you to decide if you should try to repair your own roof. They should be able to give you a step by step approach, an explanation of materials needed and techniques used. We still think the best bet is to call a professional. Proceed at your own risk.