Spring has sprung, even if we haven’t yet!

Home Maintenance Tips With the wet & snowy winter we have had we really need to take time this spring to check out our home for potential issues.  Here are some great DIY Home Maintenance Tips: Exterior Walls & Windows: As winter weather melts away, you may notice a build-up of dirt, mold, and other stains to the exterior of your home; be sure to power wash this sediment away to avoid corrosion and other permanent damage. Spring is the perfect time to reapply any exterior caulking around windows and weather-stripping to doors, as these openings tend to be the biggest air conditioning guzzlers. Roof & Gutters: Cleaning your gutters after winter is crucial. Clogs caused by built up sediment can prevent proper drainage, forcing heavy rains back on your home and leaving you at risk for flooding. As you clean the gutters, be sure to check for leaks in the roof. Replace or repair any broken or missing shingles; storms and floods will find their way through these cracks and cause major water damage to your home. Chances are that during this cold winter, your fireplace was put to good use. As part of roof maintenance, get a chimney sweep or inspection. The buildup of residue called creosote, which is highly flammable, can cause a house fire when you least expect it. A/C System: First, give your cooling system a test run to make sure it works. Do not wait until the warm weather arrives to discover your A/C is out of commission. Examine the hose connections for leaks. It is best to check this early on in the case that there is a leak, so you can have a professional come fix the problem before warm weather hits. Don’t have the time or you are unsure how to complete an update/repair? Call ANDY ONCALL! ANDY’s Helpful Tips! With Spring, comes SPRING cleaning.  Below are a few everyday items that can do the trick. Garbage Disposal: Ice or baking soda and vinegar do a great job of scouring away any gunky buildup. Oven: If there is a spill in the oven, pour salt on the spill to soak it up. When the oven is cool, wipe with a damp sponge. Stainless-Steel Surfaces & Sinks: Buff a scuffed stainless-steel sink with club soda, then wipe dry with another clean cloth. Drains: Clean drains—and the pipes they are attached to—by pouring...
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Winter Tips!

Saving energy through DIY pipe insulation It is not always difficult to do projects at home – this includes when you are trying to save money, as well. One DIY home project you can do to save some cash is to insulate pipes, which can improve water temperatures, and it isn’t even difficult, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Insulating pipes that send hot water through the home actually does more than you would think. According to the DOE, it can increase the temperature anywhere in your house between 2 and 4 degrees. This can allow you to drop the water temperature setting and decrease the time you wait for the water to get hot. Any hot water pipe that can be reached should be insulated. Pipes that are less than 3 feet away from the water heater’s entrance are an absolute must to insulate. The cold water pipes in that area should be covered as well, as it could make a significant difference. The DOE noted that there are two main types of insulation common for pipes. One is simple fiberglass strips. All you, the homeowner, would have to do is to tape them around the pipes. The second is pipe sleeves, typically made of polyethylene or neoprene. These can be attached by just pushing them face-down on the pipes, and tying them off with wire or tape every 12 to 24 inches. It’s important to note that gas water heaters need special insulation instructions, the DOE added. The flue needs to be clear, so it is important to ensure that there is no insulation within six inches of it. In cases were that is impossible, used fiberglass wrap that is more than one-inch thick and has no facing on it should be used. When securing it, wire is the best option. ANDY’s Helpful Tips! Winter Home Maintenance Reminders: During the winter months especially, there are numerous items in your home that need to be maintained. Below is a list of the most common winter maintenance items which should be checked each season. Winterize outside sprinklers, hoses and faucets Have your lawn-irrigation system professionally drained Check the water hoses on the washer, refrigerator icemaker, and dishwasher for cracks and bubbles Store firewood at least 30 feet away from your home Reverse your ceiling fans so that they are rotating in a clockwise direction once you have...
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Fall Maintenance Tips for Home Sellers

With spring cleaning far behind, and summer fun all but over, it is time to start fall home maintenance, especially if you are thinking about selling. Consider making these home improvements to boost your chance of a sale. Ensure you have adequate outdoor lighting. It won’t be long, and the days will be considerably shorter, which means buyers will need a well-lit path to your front door.If you install the seasonal storm doors and windows make sure they are in good working condition. If they need repair or should be replaced, now is the time to take that step.Pressure wash the exterior of your home – including the windows. As the leaves fall from the trees, your home will become more exposed to the scrutinizing eyes of potential buyers; so, make sure it’s appealing from the curb.Clean out the gutters and downspouts keeping them clear of debris. This will also show that you care for your home.Add weather stripping to doors and windows if needed; the time to address a cold draft or air leak is before the bitter cold sets in.Walk around the exterior of your home paying close attention to areas that may need to be caulked (places like windows, doors, joints, corners or anywhere something protrudes from the wall/roof). Caulking is best done before the temperatures get too cool.Check your HVAC system. Also make sure your furnace has a new filter and have the system checked out by a professional. A buyer will be asking for this to be done during a home inspection anyhow, so it is best to discover any problems early on.A roof inspection may seem overkill, but harsh winter winds and heavy snow can take a toll on your home. It is important to take care of any damage now to avoid repairs during the cold winter months. These fall home maintenance tips are quick, easy, and affordable. Do not have the time or you are unsure how to maintain and perform the proper repairs and/or maintenance? Call ANDY ONCALL®! ANDY’s Helpful Tips! Home Safety Home safety is an important part of preventative home maintenance. In case of an emergency, all adults in your household should know where the following controls are located and how to turn them off: Heating fuel (gas) main shutoffMain electrical fuse/breaker boxMain water shutoffWater shutoff valve for each toilet and sink in your home and your washing...
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Organizing Room-by-Room

Spring fever has arrived! Spring brings warmer weather, longer daylight hours, and a need for Spring cleaning. After being cooped up all Winter we have a desire for openness and air. One of the easiest ways to obtain this in our home is through organization. Kitchen: Countertops; they should only hold things that are used on a daily basis. Create a permenant spot for everything else, including appliances.Personal Items; to prevent the room from becoming a dumping ground try this rule: By dinnertime, the kitchen must be clear of all personal items. Mudroom: Create an Outbox; locate by the door so you can easily grab library books, DVDs, or outgoing mail on your way out.A Place for Everything; whether it’s a dedicated room or a stretch of wall inside the door, create a place for all the things that need to go no further into the house (i.e., coats, boots, mail, keys, etc.). Family Room: Control the Extras; limit yourself to no more than two issues of a magazine and keep only movies, games, music and books that you use and that realistically fit on your shelves. Bedroom: Look Below the Bed; clear plastic containers are great for seasonal clothing, linens, and shoes. Also keeping them dust free while allowing you to see what’s in them.Final Resting Place; dresser tops, bedside tables, and chairs can quickly become towers of stuff in need of a home. Track the things that stack up over a week and create permenant places to keep them in the room. Bathroom: Let It Go; scan your linen closet and medicine cabinet at least once a month and toss expired or unused products. Andy’s Helpful Tips Spring Home Maintenance Reminders: It is not recommended to delay or ignore regular home maintenance. Keeping your house well maintained can affect the overall value of your home. Check cement for cracks. Temperature changes can implement cracks. Simple cement caulk can mend smaller cracks.Use sealants to protect decks, porches, railings and fences from the blistering sun and heat. This also improves their appearance.Clear outdoor drains of debris.Inspect roof for wear and tear.Inspect basement and crawlspaces for water damage.Check and maintain indoor/outdoor plumbing. Extreme temperatures can cause leaks.Install ceiling fans to circulate cooler air and help reduce AC costs.Service AC unitCoolant levels should be checked.Evaluate insulation within your home and replace if necessary.Clean clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper, and space under...
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Winter Maintenance Reminders

Home maintenance can be a real chore for anyone, but there is no avoiding the fact; what you don’t maintain now, can drain your wallet later. During the winter months especially, there are numerous items in your home that need to be maintained. Below is a list of the most common winter maintenance items which should be checked each season. Clean out gutters and downspouts Change furnace filters Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl space and attic Caulk and weather-strip around windows and doors Reverse your ceiling fans so that they are rotating in a clockwise direction once you have turned on your heat Check the water hoses on the clothes washer, refrigerator icemaker, and dishwasher for cracks and bubbles Clean kitchen exhaust hoods and filters Check the attic for adequate ventilation Check your roof for damaged, loose, or missing shingles; as well as, breaks in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys Have your fireplace professionally cleaned, check your chimney for loose or missing mortar, and make sure your damper closes tightly Winterize outside sprinklers, hoses and faucets Have your lawn-irrigation system professionally drained Store firewood at least 30 feet away from your home Check outdoor lighting fixtures, replace bulbs Install storm doors and windows Maintain your heating unit/furnace and seal your ducts Make sure all electrical holiday decorations have tight connections These are just a few of the items that most homeowners should maintain during the winter months. If you need assistance or just don’t have the time to get the job done, contact ANDY ONCALL®! Andy’s Helpful Tips! Uses for everyday home items: Coffee Filter Clean windows and mirrors using a filter including your car windows. Coffee Grounds “Fridge freshener”: Put dry grounds into an old margarine tub with holes poked in the lid. Place the tub in the refrigerator to absorb odors. Odor-eliminator: Keep grounds in a can near the sink. Rub a small amount over your hands after peeling onions, chopping garlic or handling fish to get rid of the odor. Powdered Lemon or Orange Drink Try using it as a dishwasher stain remover: To remove rust from the inside walls, pour 1/4 cup powdered lemon or orange drink (which contains citric acid or citric acid crystals) into the detergent cup and then run a regular cycle. Repeat as necessary. Toothpaste (regular white paste) Clean chrome: Shine sink fixtures (rub over faucets with...
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