Tag Archives: cleaning

Home maintenance for October

October means it’s about to get cold and brings with it lots of homeowner tasks. Among other things, remember to:

  • Check the roof for loose, cracked or missing shingles.
  • Trim tree limbs away from the roof and windows.
  • Check weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows and repair or replace as necessary.
  • Store paints, caulks and liquid materials in warmer areas or remove from unheated areas and sheds.
  • Detach and store hoses.
  • Clean gutters after most of the leaves have fallen and make sure downspouts and gutter extensions are in good repair.
  • Set thermostats and automatic sprinklers for winter.
  • Reverse fan blades for winter settings.
  • Ensure that gauges on home fire extinguishers indicate a full charge. Replace if necessary.

Cleaning burners on electric stoves

The burners on an electric range get dirty with caked-on messes, often after a single use. The best way to keep your burners clean is to clean them after every use. Messes are much easier to remove when they are fresh. Make sure the burners have sufficiently cooled before attempting to clean. Use a kitchen towel to wipe the cool burners clean of any spills after use. Rubbing alcohol will remove caked-on messes and sanitize. For more difficult messes, soak a kitchen towel with rubbing alcohol and set it on top of the stain for an hour or two. This will soften the mess and make it easier to wipe away. For a detailed, soap-and-soda approach to clean the burners, see this Ehow article.

Home Maintenance Tips for Summer

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.

Post holidays floor care

After all the holiday traffic your hardwood floors and carpets may be looking a little worse for the wear. Maintaining good hardwood floor care is not an easy task, but with these doityourself.com tips, you will be able to remove stains, polish, and keep your hardwood floor looking new. The site also has a good carpet cleaning article to help you clean, remove stains and extend the life of your carpets.

VIDEO: When to Service your Gas Fireplace!

At a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island, I discovered a gas fireplace clearly due for servicing and cleaning. When you begin to see a white, brown or black film beginning to present on the glass front of the fireplace, that’s your first sign that the appliance is due for servicing. As the video explains, it is highly recommended that you hire a professional to do so because if it’s not done properly, you risk carbon monoxide entering the home and soot byproducts outlining the ceiling and wall studs in the home. Manufacturers typically advise servicing annually.

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.

Don’t pressure wash your roof!

Exposed fiberglass underlayment and granular loss were noted at a recent home inspection in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island.  This was likely caused by someone pressure washing moss off the roof system.  The issue is that moss has rhizomes, or roots, that imbed into the roof coverings.  When mechanically removed, they take with them the asphalt and granules from the roof coverings, exposing the underlying fiberglass mat, and rendering the roof system compromised.  I strongly recommend against the practice of pressure washing as I’ve seen too many roofs destroyed by this practice.  Treating your roof on a semi-annual basis with zinc granules is advised to help prevent moss growth.  If the growth is pronounced, treatment more often will help speed the process, but it will take time.  Personally, I like a perfect roof, so I treat my new roof four (4) times annually with zinc granules readily available at all hardware stores.  Some homeowners prefer Tide with bleach, others say baking soda works.  Treat, don’t pressure wash!

VIDEO: Gas Fireplace Cleaning…NOT a DIY!

This video explains why it’s important to have your gas fireplace professionally serviced by a qualified contractor. If you clean the glass front and don’t properly seal the front, you risk combustion byproducts entering the home- which results in CO (carbon monoxide) entering the home- together with combustion byproducts “sooting,” or “ghosting,” your interior walls and ceilings (you’ll see the studs in the walls and ceilings outlined in black and need to repaint). So, this is best left to the professionals for safety and cosmetic reasons. Continue reading

Post-holidays Floor Care

After all the holiday traffic your hardwood floors and carpets may be looking a little worse for the wear. Maintaining good hardwood floor care is not an easy task, but with these doityourself.com tips, you will be able to remove stains, polish, and keep your hardwood floor looking new. The site also has a good carpet cleaning article to help you clean, remove stains and extend the life of your carpets.

How to Clean a Garbage Disposal

During the holidays we not only feed our family and friends more, but, typically, most of us feed our garbage disposal a lot more holiday food, too. Ehow.com says, “Anyone with a garbage disposal knows that some pretty funky odors can lurk down in the inner depths of its jaws. However, a garbage disposal may not seem like the easiest thing to clean, as liquids pour right through and powders just can’t get the greasy odors with a good scrub. If you would rather not stick your whole arm into your garbage disposal, but want to keep it clean, a few simple tricks will do the job.”