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Free Tip Friday – May 5th, 2017

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….

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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!

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Check the condition of the siding behind and around the faucet.  Paint or caulk if needed, to prevent further water damage this summer.

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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!  

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A new 5c washer on the end of your garden hose can be a great investment.Read more...

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Save Money on Home Repair With This One Simple Step

 

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...

How to save $1K or more this winter

As a kid, I always loved those “spot the difference” pics in the newspaper and HighLights magazine (dating myself a bit there, huh?). Here’s one for you that might seem simple at first; but be careful, it might not jump out at you. Can you spot the difference?

Hose BeforeHose After

OK – this one takes a bit, but if you focus right below the faucet, and squint just right, you’ll begin to see a thousand dollar invoice from a restoration or repair company in your area.  I know – you think that’s just a hose attached to a faucet, but if that hose stays connected this winter, the water in the hose and faucet likely will freeze. If that happens, and the pipe breaks inside the wall of your home, and you happen to not be there when it does – yep, that might just be a thousand dollars (or more!) flying out of your pocket.  And have you ever noticed?  These kind of things always happen at the worst time. Right when you “really don’t need this!”

This one’s easy – remember the photo without the hose attached, and make sure your home looks the same, BEFORE the first freeze this winter!… Read more...