Posts Tagged ‘home maintenance’

Spring Maintenance Tips to Prevent Costly Repairs

Spring has arrived and with it the age-old ritual of spring cleaning.  As we emerge from winter’s gloomy embrace, the sunlight and warmth highlights issues we have ignored throughout the colder months.  Time to shake off the doldrums and emerge from our winter cocoons.  Here are a few spring maintenance tips that will save you from costly repairs down the road.

  • Clear downspouts and gutters of leaves and debris.  Ensure that downspouts direct water away from your home’s foundation.  Repair any cracked, leaking, or insufficient drainage to maximize your gutter system’s efficiency and minimize water damage to your home’s foundation, basement, or crawl space.
  • Examine exterior trim for any exposed wood, loose nails, or worn caulking.  Address these problems before the spring rains come to prevent the wood from decomposing.
  • Your roof is arguably your home’s most valuable layer of protection against water damage.  Whether you have asphalt shingles or concrete tiles, inspect your roof each spring.  Look for loose shingles or tiles, damage to flashing, and insufficient caulking.  If necessary, do not hesitate to call a professional to complete these minor repairs before water damage becomes a major problem.
  • Replace HVAC filters.  Your HVAC system relies on a continues supply of fresh air.  Replacing dirty filters several times a year will ensure that your HVAC system is working at its maximum efficiency before the hot summer months arrive.
  • Clean your dryer vents.  Even though you routinely empty the dryer’s lint trap, not all lint gets trapped in it.  Some makes it way into the exterior venting pipes creating a significant fire hazard.  A plugged vent also causes your dryer to work harder and take longer to dry each load of clothes.
  • Clear your yard of debris.  The winter months with ice storms, high winds, and heavy snow can leave behind a lot of debris in our yards.  Branches, left over fall leaves, and dead plants can prevent essential sunlight and nutrients from reaching the roots of grass and bedding plants.

Keep in mind that spring rains often bring severe spring storms.  Make certain that your family has an updated emergency plan and that storm cellars and basements are easily accessible and ready to serve as a safe hideaway.

Tips to Keep You and Your Family Healthy this Winter

The winter is notorious for cold weather, football, and the winter cold or the infamous flu. While everyone is aware of how outside air can make you sick, most people are completely oblivious of the harmful pollutants floating around the average home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans spend about 90 percent of their time indoors, and this air can be two to five times more polluted than outside air. Surprisingly, inside air has been found to be up to 100 times more polluted than the air outside. While cold weather and football are staples of winter, you can use the following tips to increase your indoor air quality and stay healthier.

Enjoy Fresh Air

When the winter weather is nice and permits, opening a window is one of the best ways to allow fresh air in and get rid of the old air in your home. If you live in industrial areas with chemical plants, you can use trickle ventilation, which provides external air filtration.

Use Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizers are one of the top proven ways to help you stay healthy. When research was conducted at Children’s Hospital in Boston, 292 families were studied for five months. The families that used hand sanitizers had 59 percent fewer cases of stomach bugs than those who didn’t use sanitizers. As a result, it’s a great practice to keep sanitizers stashed in your purse, the kids’ backpacks, and briefcases.

Plant a Tree

The most natural air purifiers are plants. The NASA Clean Air Study suggests using at least one plant per 100 square feet of office space or home. By placing plants throughout your home, you have a safe and easy way to purify and clean your air. The use of indoor plants provides an excellent natural way of getting rid of harmful toxic agents, such as formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene, from your air. In addition to purifying your indoor air, plants will make your home or office look gorgeous.

Clean Your Home or Office

As simple as it may sound, cleaning your home or office will help you stay well during the winter. When you dust and vacuum frequently, you will significantly reduce the amount of pollen, dust mites, and mold circulating in your home. If left unattended, these pollutants can result in allergic reactions and cause other complications.

Change Your Air Conditioner Filters

It’s vital for you to change your air conditioning and furnace filters on a regular basis. You can also spray rubbing alcohol on your AC vents to sanitize the space. If you have a problem with mold growing on your vents, use a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide to kill it.

Air Purifier

A good air purifier will remove pollutants, reduce bad smells, and minimize the number of allergens in your home. Essentially, air purifiers are designed to help people with allergies, asthma and chemical pollutant sensitivities. A few of the top air purifier features are listed below:

  • Sensor technology that effectively monitors your air quality
  • Electrostatically charged dust collection grid that can be cleaned by wiping
  • Carbon filters that trap gas, odors and chemicals
  • High-efficiency HEPA filter that captures allergens and dust
  • Germicidal UV lamp that kills micro-organisms
  • Washable prefilter that makes your air purifier more effective
  • Photocatalytic oxidation filter that reduces bacteria, odors and chemicals
  • Air-cleaning negative ions that circulate through the space

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