Tips for Homeowners

Valuable Tips for Homeowners!

Here are some sundry tips for maintaining your home. Stop by to see what you can learn to avoid or to handle potentially costly (or just annoying!) situations in and around your home.

Tip #1 
AVOID FROZEN SEWER LINES!
With the cold night time temperatures and lack of snow cover on the ground, many homes are experiencing frozen water and sewer pipes. Insulating water pipes and leaving the faucet dripping if the pipes are not in a heated area can help prevent a freeze. If you’re gone for an extended period of time, turn off your pump if you’re on a well or if you’re on Parkville’s system, they can provide a temporary curb shut off at no cost. We recommend people leave some heat on in the home or totally winterize the house if heating is not an option.

TIP #2 
SAVE ENERGY: CAULK & WEATHERSTRIP 
Install caulking or weataherstripping around windows and doors. Your home may have small openings around doors and windows that allow for heat loss. Caulking and weatherstripping can reduce energy loss and protect your home from moisture damage. Also, install strom windows and strom doors (with screens for spring and summer use) can reduce eneregy usage.

Tip #3
SAVE MONEY AND HEAT - MONITOR YOUR FORCED AIR HEATING SYSTEM 
Be sure to replace the filters often to maintain an adequate and clean air flow and in turn reduce energy costs. Keep registers and vents free of dust, dirt and other blockages. If you have rooms that are not used often, keep their registers and doors closed.

Tip #4: 
ICE DAMS NEED TO GO!
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings and insulation. Should this occur it is necessary to remove the snow and ice from the roof and at a minimum create channels thru the ice dam to allow the water to drain.

Tip #5: 
Ice Dams Part 2 - HOW TO GET RID OF THEM! 
As a follow up to the tip on ice dams, a reader called me to relate their success in filling nylon stockings with sidewalk melting salt and laying them perpendicular to the eave of their roof on the ice dam. The salt melted thru the ice creating a channel to release the water. It is recommended to remove the salt once the channel is opened.

Tip #6 
SAVE MONEY BY CLEANING OR REPLACING YOUR FURNACE FILTER
Your furnace filter should be checked once a month and replaced or cleaned as needed. Some filters are reusable and are supposed to be taken out, washed with a hose and re-inserted. A dirty filter can lower the efficiency of your heating system, increase heating costs and even cause fires.

 Tip #7 
SPRING CHORES
Check for damage to your roof. Winter's snow, ice, and wind can wreak havoc on your roof. Inspect it for missing or broken shingles -- using a pair of binoculars will keep you off a ladder! As the shingles age, the fine grains of stone get washed and worn off the surface. After 15 or 20 years, even the best shingles may need to be replaced.

Tip #8 
RECYCLE 
Mucking out the accumulation of “stuff” has become a spring ritual. If you can’t sell it, consider recycling it before trashing it. Our landfill recycles paper, cardboard, magazines, phone books, glass, plastic, appliances, tires, steel and aluminum. Electronic equipment can be recycled at the landfill in Summit County. The Advocates (486-3530) collect used cellphones either to refurbish for victim assistance or to recycle as a fund raiser.

Tip #9
ELECTRICAL SAFETY

Check all electrical outlets for loose-fitting plugs as they are an indication of a worn out receptacle. Worn receptacles should be replaced as they can cause overheating and fires. Also check electrical outlets and switches to be sure they work properly. If any switches, outlets or receptacles do not work, have a qualified electrician determine the problem and fix it to avoid fires inside the walls of your home.