The first time you turn on an exterior faucet after the cold winter months can be a big surprise. And not in the “oh this is so cool” kinda way….
Take a few minutes and take a look at each exterior faucet – don’t forget that one on the side of the house you never use!. Slowly turn on each one, and check for leaks. If possible, have someone inside near the faucet listening for any signs of a leak within the wall or floor as the water is turned on. A burst pipe due to cold weather will sometimes leak inside your home rather than out, and many a flooded basement has occurred during the first spring use of an exterior faucet!
Check the condition of the siding behind and around the faucet. Paint or caulk if needed, to prevent further water damage this summer.
A stem leak from the faucet valve, or a bad washer on the end of your hose can cause water to spray back onto the home. You don’t want this water to damage siding, or worse, get inside the home!
A new 5c washer on the end of your garden hose can be a great investment.… Read more...
I know – it’s still winter, and spring is almost a month away.
But around here (Kansas), we seem to have just skipped right over winter weather, with temps in the 50s and 60s more often than below freezing! This makes me wonder, how early is the warmer weather to arrive this year? Are we in for an overly warm summer?
With warmer temperatures in mind… here’s this month’s simple step to help you save money on home repairs:
Tip #2: Schedule a spring A/C service appointment now!
In a previous blog post I went into quite a bit of detail on how to maintain, clean and service your air conditioning unit. However, there are a few steps I feel should be left to a professional. Even though it does cost a bit to have your unit professionally serviced, ultimately this is money well spent. Consider it an investment, one that pays you back in dividends of lower utility bills and a longer lifespan of your air conditioner.
There are two main reasons I suggest you contact a professional HVAC contractor to schedule your spring A/C clean-and-check now, while it’s still cold:
1 – Avoid the busy summer rush: late winter is typically is a fairly slow time of year for HVAC professionals, and if you contact them now (before the rest of the customers in your area start calling for service) you may just get a lower rate!… Read more...
One of my goals for 2017 is to share at least one simple, action-oriented tip with readers of this blog every month – steps that can make maintaining your home easier, and save you money, by helping you avoid repairs.
The following is something I’ve been doing for years. While I can’t PROVE that it’s saved me money or headaches, I’m pretty sure it has!
Tip #1: Every time you clean your toilet, turn the water valve off.
At first glance, this tip may seem odd. It certainly received a rather odd look from my wife, Tracy, when I shared this idea with her.
Before I dive into the details…please allow me to share a brief story. It relates to the topic at hand, and it will explain why I share this tip:
Over the years, I’ve dealt with many clogged toilets. Who hasn’t? Many years ago, I found myself having to deal with a toilet that was just about to run over, and as I reached down to shut the water off to stop the water fill and prevent the mess, I found that the valve was stuck. It would not budge, no matter how hard I tried to turn the valve. … Read more...
I’m a firm believer in starting with WHY.
Often the “why” we do something is more important than the “how”. If we have a strong enough reason why, we’ll figure out how!
Unfortunately, when it comes to proper heating system maintenance, the “why” can be a bit scary. If a furnace is not venting properly, if the fireplace chimney is blocked, or if one of many other items is not operating properly as the cold weather approaches, the end result could be carbon monoxide poisoning. And… it could be fatal.
Sorry to be so negative right up front, but this is vitally important for your family’s safety. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.”
So…what to do? Glad you asked!
First step – if you have a gas-fired appliance of any type (furnace, water heater, clothes dryer, fireplace, refrigerator – yeah, that one surprised me too… although not very common, there ARE gas-fired refrigerators!), a wood-burning fireplace, or an attached garage – you simply MUST have a carbon monoxide detector installed.… Read more...
With apologies and appropriate credit to Monty Python, I thought I’d try something different for this post. In this video I share a quick story about a small repair project here at the Emery household. I learned a valuable lesson once again, one that I’ve learned many times in the past. A little effort can go a long way!