Home Maintenance Tips

A roof

Roof Maintenance

Most all roofs can, and will develop leaks in them; and a simple home inspection won’t guarantee to find them all. Leaks normally start as very small crevices or cracks, without the homeowner’s knowledge. In the early stages of a leak only small amounts seep through the crack, this is not a sufficient amount to alert the homeowner as it doesn’t travel through all the layers of the ceiling.

It is recommended that you have your attic, and roof thoroughly checked twice a year for such leaks. The most common source of leaks is flashing as they are often overlooked when repairing/replacing the roof, so be sure to inspect your flashing from time to time.

A garage door

Garage door maintenance

When it comes to home maintenance, your garage door might not be at the top of your list or even on it at all! However regular maintenance could save you headaches down the line, and the following tips may help keep your garage door working properly for decades to come. Applying a solvent like WD_40 to the roller tracks, and latches should prevent them from sticking over time due to rust and corrosion. While you’re there examine each component and replace any bent or broken parts as needed. Also be sure to apply some lubricant to the garage door opener if it is operated by a chain or drive screw. Wooden garage doors should be sealed and painted on a regular basis, and DIY network suggest caulking all cracks. Also, check the weather sealant at the bottom of the door and if it is damaged, replace it before the rainy season.

About.com recommends adding garage door maintenance to your yearly maintenance schedule. Spring or autumn are perfect times to make a date with your garage door, in between the harsher weather periods.

Finally this is one I see homeowners forget a lot. Your HVAC system worked very hard last winter. Have it inspected and cleaned by a professional HVAC contractor and keep those filters changed for the spring and summer months as well.

Get it done and enjoy the spring!

Home Sellers where are you???

We need sellers!!! Now that spring is almost here and rates are very low buyers are out in force! I just put an offer for a home buyer that had 14 offers on it in one day! Ouch, talk about competition. So what can you do to get your home ready for the spring selling season? Gain some knowledge and gain an advantage with my ideas and the link (5 ways spring home sellers can gain an edge ) for a few more.

Here are some simple upgrades to increase your home’s value for my clients

You don’t have to spend $$$ thousands of dollars $$$ to add value to your home.

Change fixtures and hardware. This adds appeal and newness quite easily. If you’re selling your home a new mirror in the bathroom and new fixtures can make a huge difference. Upgrade sinks, showerheads and faucets to newer water conserving models in sleek finishes. Sorry folks but brass is dated and out! Make sure all light bulbs work! If wanting a remodel on a larger scale replace cabinets, windows and doors. New molding that’s been painted also really pops out.

Declutter. Clean and organize storage areas including the attic and garage. Look for Rubbermaid bins on sale, fill them up and stack neatly in the garage or a closet. You will be clean and ready to move. This is also an ideal tip before a showing your home to a prospective buyer. Each family should have their own bin and before a showing just quickly put everything that is out in. Believe it or not organization adds tremendous value. Keep kitchen and bathroom counters clear. Cleanliness gives your home more room and a newer feeling that a buyer will appreciate.

Replace appliances. From the stove, refrigerator, dishwasher to the washer and dryer (if leaving) upgrading appliances to newer energy efficient models adds instant value and convenience not to mention Earth friendly.

Spiff up landscaping. Ever hear of curb appeal? An ugly front yard can torpedo your home’s value. Add flowers to add color. A study was done on homes for sale in which red flowers were used on the front door step. These homes sold faster and were more appealing to the client. You can also add path lighting for style and safety. Dust off the exterior. Gutters, siding and windows are often forgotten. Clean them! Crud cutter is wonderful for cleaning off gutters and getting the grime off. Also, make sure everything is properly sealed and in good shape. It looks better and helps conserve energy.

The more you do prior to selling the less the buyers will ask for in an inspection. Preventative maintenance is one of your biggest selling advantages. If not it will become a costly nightmare. What you may have been able to do yourself now has to be done by contractors; as all receipts are needed with documentation in the middle of the selling process. Not to mention you are trying to meet deadlines and make the buyers happy so they don’t just completely walk away from the transaction.

Let me give you an example: I was helping a seller of mine prepare his rental house for putting on the market. I gave them a hand out sheet to go over and check all main components plus attics, crawl space, roof ect. Even with all my advice they did not feel it necessary to check the crawl space. Huge mistake on this one. There was standing water in the crawl space and even though he paid thousands of dollars to rectify the problem it didn’t matter the buyer’s walked. The repairs had to be done and documented then we had to disclose to a new buyer. He ended up coming down $5000 and paid at least $4000 in repairs. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!

Finally let my team assist you in the process and we will get your home SOLD, SOLD, SOLD!

 

Quote & Smoke~ Stay Safe!

            “The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch.” -Jim Rohn

 Smoke alarms are an important defense against injury or death in house fires. The National Fire Protection Association states that nearly two-thirds of home fire fatalities happen in homes with non-working or missing smoke detectors. Most building codes now require smoke detectors in all residential structures, which has resulted in a steep drop in fire- and smoke-related deaths. Homeowners should check with their local public safety office or fire department for specific information on these requirements.

Bright Idea
NOTE: Remember Washington state has mandated CO Carbon Dioxide detectors installed in all home at change of ownership
  • As in real estate, location is important! Smoke alarms should be in installed every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on each level of the home.
  • Alarms should be placed high on a wall or on the ceiling. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement. High, peaked ceilings have dead air space at the top; smoke alarms should be placed no closer than 3 feet from the highest point.
  • For areas close to the kitchen, use a detector with a hush button that can be used to silence nuisance alarms triggered by cooking smoke or steam. Alternatively, consider installing a photoelectric alarm, which is better at detecting smoldering fires (vs. flames) near the kitchen. Never remove the unit’s battery to stop or prevent nuisance alarms.
  • There are two primary types of smoke alarm technology: ionization and photoelectric. According to the National Fire Protection Association, ionization alarms are more responsive to flames, while photoelectric alarms are more sensitive to smoldering fires. For the most comprehensive protection, both types or a combination unit should be installed.
  • Test the alarm monthly. Put a reminder in your calendar to do this on the first or last day of the month, for example. The units have a test button that will sound the alarm for a brief time when pressed. Any alarm that fails to sound should have the battery replaced. If the test button fails with a new battery, replace the entire detector immediately. Monthly testing is also an ideal time to dust off the unit.
  • Replace the batteries at least once a year. A common rule of thumb is to do this when changing to or from Daylight Saving Time in fall and spring. Some alarms come with 10-year batteries; for these, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for battery replacement. Remember, a non-working alarm is no better than no alarm at all.
  • If the alarms are hard-wired to the home’s electrical system, make sure they are interconnected for maximum effectiveness – meaning that if one alarm is triggered, all of the others will sound as well. Any hard-wired alarms, interconnected or not, should be installed by a licensed electrician.
Thank you to local Pillar To Post Home Inspector for this great reminder and  information!
BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK… It’s not about what you get, it’s about what you give. Focus on giving your clients more and the rewards will follow.
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