Day: September 10, 2016
Property is a great investment, but what you need to remember is that your property will require regular maintenance if it is to hold its value. Kitchens, bathrooms and other internal fixtures and fittings will all need replacing every ten years or so, depending on the level of wear and tear. These tasks are tedious enough, but do not forget that there are also plenty of external maintenance jobs to be done on a regular basis.
Roofs do not last forever. Nor do windows. External timber should be painted and repaired every three years or so and you are advised to check the fabric of your home, specifically the roof, at least once a year. Working at ground floor level is not too difficult, but there are safety issues to contend with once you need to work at height. You may need safety accessories and specialist equipment, so bear this in mind.
Here are some useful tips for homeowners who have exterior maintenance jobs to do on their property.
Gutters should be cleaned out every fall. Leaves from nearby trees will drift into your gutters and cause a blockage in no time. Blocked gutters lead to standing water, and once the temperature falls, this water will turn into ice. Hanging icicles look pretty, but they can be dangerous. Imagine how painful it would be if an icicle fell from the room and hit you on the head. Do not let this happen to you!
To clean gutters and give the roof a check, all you need is a ladder. However, be careful when positioning a ladder. Make sure the ladder is firmly sited on a secure footing. Do not pitch the ladder too steeply, or it could topple over. It is sensible to ask someone to hold the ladder while you climb up, as this should prevent the ladder moving. Once you are up the ladder, don’t lean sideways, as you will probably fall off.
Roofs need inspecting at least once a year. You can do this safely from ground level if you use a pair of binoculars, but if you do need to climb on to the roof, do not take any silly risks. Always use a roof ladder, as roofs can be slippery. If you are not good at height, don’t even attempt to climb on to the roof. Instead, pay a roofing contractor to carry out any maintenance tasks. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Garden equipment should be serviced once a year. Always empty gasoline powered equipment before storing items away for winter. It is also sensible to remove any gasoline cans to prevent fires.
Home maintenance is time consuming, but you cannot put these jobs off forever. To avoid forgetting anything important, make a list of jobs, and when they need doing. Put them into your electronic calendar and that way you will receive a handy reminder in good time.
With the cold weather of late fall and winter almost here, many of us are looking for ways to keep our homes heated and comfortable throughout the season without using an excessive amount of energy. Obvious ideas like checking and adding insulation, upgrading the heating system, and sealing doors and windows come to mind, but what are some other things you can do to keep your energy bill minimal while keeping the entire household warm and comfy?
Perhaps the best way to save money during the winter is to switch to fire-based heating systems like wood burning stoves or fireplaces. Of course, other than the cost of the wood and transporting it, the heat you get from a fire is pretty much free, and it can stay burning from the morning straight into the night. Furthermore, if you have an axe or a chainsaw and the might to get the job done, you can easily chop your own wood for even more cost savings.
If fire-based heating is not an option in some of the rooms in your home, at least try not to use the older space heaters and wall-mounted heaters that are typically huge energy hogs. Unfortunately, many homes are still equipped with less-than-efficient central heating systems., which not only consume an inordinate amount of electricity, but also contribute to indoor air pollution due to the collection of dust and fibers in the venting systems, which also presents the hassle of having to clean and maintain all of the necessary filters.
Now that you’ve abandoned the heaters that have been jacking up your bill for so long, head to your local hardware store or look online for some of the most energy efficient modern models you can find. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference upgrading your heaters can make when you’re examining your utility bill at the end of the month.
One common mistake made in the winter is to heat the entire house, even though only a few rooms are actually being used. It might create a slight inconvenience because you’ll have to wait for the other rooms to warm up when you do decide to use them, but this is a minor annoyance when you consider how much energy can be saved by leaving those rooms without heating while they’re uninhabited. For example, there’s no reason to have the bathroom and bedroom heaters running when everybody is in the living room.
Most of us underestimate the human body’s ability to generate and retain body heat when equipped with something as simple as a thick blanket or jacket. Insulate yourself with robes, hoodies, blankets, scarfs, hats, and other accessories that will keep you from having to heat the home to 70 degrees just to feel comfortable. Instead, you’ll be able to bring the temperature to only 55-65 degrees and you’ll still feel much warmer than it is outside on most winter days.
In closing, once you’ve started heeding all of the above tips, it’s also a good idea to go ahead and research the cost of heating in your home based on the energy ratings of your heaters and heating system. Depending on your current knowledge and the components used in your heating system, you might need to consult with an energy specialist to get an accurate assessment of how much you’re paying to heat each square foot of your home.