Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall Forward - Part 2: Winter Proofing your Home

Hope everyone enjoyed the official start of Fall. The recent cool nights (and the Christmas decorations some local stores already have on display!) remind us that Winter is on the way. Now, is a great time to think about ways to weatherproof your home. Investing a little money now will make your home more comfortable when old man Winter comes knocking and can also save lots of money on your heating bills.

Last week, we were helping one of our clients in an older home come up with an action plan for winter. One of the first things we noticed was that that their upper window sashes had slid down and inch or so, instead of staying up where they were designed to be. This was an easy fix for our handyman, and while there, he sealed a few gaps around window frames with caulking and replaced the cracked weatherstripping around their doors. He also inspected their basement and applied fresh mortar to a couple of small cracks.

Finally, he took a look in their attic and found that they had adequate R-30 insulation in most areas. However, he did see a spot that had no insulation at all. It was in an area that we believe had previously been under a roof leak, as there was a 5 gallon bucket in the middle of the area that had no insulation. Since our client had just gotten a new roof, our handyman simply added some new insulation to that spot. Further, since our client didn't want that bucket, we added it to our growing collection of things in our shop that we might need one day. Buckets are one thing, but I don't think we will ever find a home for that 19" Zenith television, circa 1985, that yours truly couldn't give away and didn't want to throw in the dumpster.

Did you know that household fires are more common in the winter? Fall is the perfect time for replacing batteries in all of your fire alarms.

Bill Boyd

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fall Forward - Part 1: Painting and Gutters

As our company embarked on an early morning gutter repair project a few days ago, I wondered if I should have worn a jacket. The cool crisp air reminded me that Fall is quickly approaching. Schools are back in session, football is a frequent topic of conversation around Nashville, and it won't be long until the leaves change from green to shades of yellow, orange, and red. Thinking of these bright colors reminds me that the mild weather we are now experiencing is a perfect time to do exterior painting. And when those leaves start falling, many of them will end up in your gutters.

In Tennessee, exterior house paint has to stand up to extreme conditions, from snowy winter days to spring showers to 100+ degree heat and the bright summer sun. If it's been a few years since your house was last painted, or if you aren't sure when your house was last painted, you may be taking a chance by postponing repainting. Paint that is peeling or wearing off will quickly allow wood rot to begin, and other materials can suffer when paint comes off. Wait another season or two and you may have to replace wood trim or make other repairs in addition to investing in a new paint job. With sufficient prep work and high quality paint applied by professionals, a quality exterior paint job can last for several years, lowering your maintenance costs and saving you money in the long run. Painting is also one of the best ways to upgrade your home's curb appeal. Now, while we are enjoying lots of clear mild days, is a great time to do exterior painting in our area.

We would be glad to come out and take a look at the condition of the paint on your home. While there with a ladder, we can also quickly check the condition of your gutters and downspouts. At the home we repaired on that recent chilly morning, in just a couple of hours, we re-secured several of their gutter sections and reattached gutter extensions with rivets. These inexpensive repairs, along with a simple gutter cleaning in a few weeks, will go a long way in protecting our client's biggest investment.

Watch for our next post on roofing and some other items that may need attention before Winter.

Don't Forget: Estimates are Free. Neglect is Expensive.

Bill Boyd