Winter Tips and Tricks!

Safety Tips for Portable Electric Heaters As the cold air begins to set in, many will pull out the handy space heater. Maybe you work in a chilly office, your furnace or HVAC is out, or want to keep the thermostat turned down while warming the room you occupy. For these and other scenarios, a portable electric-powered space heater sure comes in handy. One of the most important things to remember is that electric-powered portables are the only unvented space heater safe to use indoors. This is because they do not fill your living space with undesirable combustion products like carbon monoxide, which can be generated by liquid-fueled heaters. However, their compact size and convenience come with a tradeoff: Extra diligence and careful operation are required to prevent fires, injuries and property damage. Three feet from the heat – The most significant risk is placing heaters too close to combustible materials like bedding, furniture, drapes, carpets or clothing. Blocking the release of heat could overheat the motor, switch or wires and cause a fire. Likewise, be aware of what is above and around the heater. You don’t want something to fall on it. Be the adult in the room – Kids and pets are particularly vulnerable to injuries or damage caused by a portable heater. Because they are unpredictable, you want to keep a kid-free and pet-free zone around the space heater. For these and other reasons, never leave a working portable heater unattended. It is also advised that you turn off a portable heater before going to sleep or leaving the room or house. Plug into safety – Electrical fires can be avoided with the right precautions. NEVER plug heaters into extension cords or power strips! This puts too much resistance on the power draw, raising the temperature at the plug. Use with caution and confidence – It is important to remember a space heater’s limitations. Nevertheless, when operated properly, a plug-in portable heater can be a prized appliance in a pinch. It is also important to note they should never be used as a primary or permanent source of heat. 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 Clean out gutters...

The Most Rewarding Fall Home Improvement Projects!

Fall is the season for spending your weekends enjoying the autumn air and scenery whether it be — apple-picking, hayrides, or pumpkin patches. While beautiful, fall is also the perfect time to tackle those home improvement projects and to-do lists we put off during the summer. So what’s on your list? Below is a list of home improvement projects that give you more bang for your buck. Paint the front door (ROI: 80% – 140%) A freshly painted front door helps your home stand out from the block, and it can be finished in less than an afternoon. Exterior painting should be done at a time when the temps are at least 50 degrees or so and aren’t dipping below the 40s at night. Refresh (or repair) the deck (ROI: 80% – 120%) A deck is only as good as its condition. If the wood is splintering, the finish faded, or the rails shaky, call in the experts. Enhance the exterior (ROI: 60% – 100%) If your exterior paint job is in decent shape, a few touch-ups could suffice. But for those with chipping paint or a 1970s color scheme? Call the pros immediately. Replace or repair your roof (ROI: 50% – 110%) A new roof can be basic or with details that enhance curb appeal, but its main value comes from instilling confidence that it is functionally sound. And that is invaluable. Power-wash the exterior (ROI: 40% – 110%) The ROI for this project can vary based on just how dirty your home was before the wash. If the home was merely a little dirty, the ROI may not be as great as it is for one that will look almost new after the wash. If your home falls into the latter category, it can be worth it to hire a pro. Window Replacement (ROI: 50% – 80%) Windows can be hit-or-miss investments, mainly because they are expensive to replace and almost invisible to buyers. Clean the gutters (ROI: Priceless) Here, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A mere 30 minutes of routine rain gutter maintenance could prevent thousands of dollars in damage to the foundation of a home. Don’t have the time or you are unsure how to maintain and/or make the proper repairs? Call ANDY ONCALL©! Fall Fire Safety Tips As summer turns to fall, it’s a good idea to refresh your...

Summer time, and the livin’ is easy!

ANDY OnCall ® makes projects, repairs & maintenance easy & hassle free. When you need a home repair, simply contact ANDY OnCall ®, and we will send a skilled craftsman for a FREE Estimate. 7 Summer Home Projects You Should Be Doing Now It’s hard to believe, but summer is almost here. There are plenty of easy home improvement projects you can take on that will increase your home’s value, make it look better, and get things ready for the upcoming fall and winter seasons. Summer is a great time to work on your home because the weather is warm, which makes doing most of these chores a breeze. You can finish some of these projects in less than an hour, while others will require a bigger time commitment, depending on your home’s features. Start at the top of the list for the easier, quicker fixes and work your way down. Clean the gutters. If your home sits under a pollinating tree, then your gutters might have brown or yellow stains dripping down the sides from the spring’s pollination cycle. But even if it doesn’t, leaves may have accumulated, which not only clog gutters, but can cause stains as well. Now is a great time to scrub your gutters down because the weather is warm and they’ll stay relatively clean until the fall. Clean exterior lights. Have you ever cleaned out the dead bugs from your home’s exterior lights? Many people don’t think to do this, but those bugs add up. They not only look gross, but they also dim the quality of the light. This is an easy chore that will give your home a bright, clean look. Fix concrete cracks. If you have a concrete driveway, patio, or path, you know that the winter months can be brutal on these areas. The constant freezing and melting, as well as the salt you throw down, all contribute to cracks. If left unattended, these cracks will get wider with each successive winter season. If the crack is small, buy concrete caulk. Simply clean out the crack (a pressure washer works great for this) and apply the caulk. If the crack is large, then you’ll need to apply concrete patch. Caulk the exterior. Caulk not only helps protect the exterior of your home from the elements, but it also helps keep it air-tight, which means lower monthly utility bills for you. Exterior caulking should be...

It’s spring in Marietta!

Spring is here, and we at ANDY OnCall ® want to provide you with tips on how to improve home quality and retain housing market value. Whether you’re looking to keep your home cost efficient or boost resale value, routine maintenance and small repairs around the house will ensure that your property stays in top notch condition. Check outside water hoses and faucets. Checking your outdoor faucets and hoses for freeze damage should be done each year. Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, your pipe running inside the home could be damaged and will need to be replaced. While you’re checking the faucets, check your hoses for dry rot. Inspect your concrete. Once the weather starts to warm-up you should inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. All exterior slabs, except for pool decks, should drain away from the home’s foundation. If you find cracks, you can fill them with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, you should power-wash and then seal the concrete around your home. Examine the roof’s shingles. When the weather turns nice you should bust out your ladder and examine the shingles on your roof to see if any were lost or damaged during the winter. If your home has an older roof covering, you may need to start a budget for replacement. Any shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose, or are missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights, and chimneys need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer. Check the gutters. Check the gutters to see if they are loose or leaky. Improper drainage can lead to water in your basement or crawl space. Make sure your downspouts drain away from the foundation of your home and are free and clear of any debris. Don’t have the time or you are unsure how to maintain and/or make the proper repairs? Call ANDY ONCALL©! Andy’s Helpful Tips Spring cleaning coupled with home improvement projects can give your home the makeover it deserves while making it run more smoothly and efficiently, thus saving you money. Here is a great spring home improvement project that can really save you money in the long-run. Apply a water-repellent seal to your deck. As we all know, spring is rainy season and...

Who’s ready for fall?

Fall is right around the corner! According to our calendars the first day of Fall arrives on September 22, which means we need to get our homes ready for the upcoming cooler months. This is a great time to tackle home projects and to-do lists. So what’s on your list? Below is a reminder of some of the basic home maintenance tasks we should review at least once a year, if not more. Call a professional to inspect and clean your chimney. Fireplaces that are regularly used during the season should have an annual cleaning to prevent dangerous chimney fires. Test your fireplace flue for a tight seal when closed. Check fireplace damper. Remove bird nests from chimney flues and outdoor electrical fixtures. Clean gutters and downspouts frequently throughout fall to prevent build up of leaves and other debris. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and pest infestations, not to mention ruined gutters. Be sure water is not coming down behind gutters and that all support brackets are securely in place. Ensure that water drains properly and doesn’t pool. Pooling can cause damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways. If you live in a region that uses portable fans and air conditions throughout your home, now is a great time to start dismantling them and storing them for the Winter. This can be done at a gradual pace, by taking down air conditioning units and fans as the temperatures outside start to cool. Start with items in the most unused rooms such as a second bedroom or office and began preparing them for the upcoming Fall season. Replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check fire extinguishers and review fire escape plan with your family. Clean dryer vents and exhaust vents. Tile and painted wood or concrete stairs can be slippery when wet or when a person’s shoes are wet. Resurface the treads with slip-resistant strips near the stair nosing. Test your emergency generator. Run all gas-powered lawn equipment until the fuel is gone. Don’t have the time or you are unsure how to maintain and/or make the proper repairs? Call ANDY ONCALL©! Andy’s Helpful Tips 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 shutoff Main...

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