Category Archives: Seasonal Interior & Exterior Home Maintenance Tips

Your Fall Home’s Maintenance Check List-Don Of All Trades

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over. Keep your home warm  and running efficiently with our fall home maintenance checklist. It’s time to get your home ready  for winter.

Most of the tasks listed below are well with-in the average home owners ability. But if you decide on hiring a professional to take care of them, it’s worth the expense. You will save time, money and perhaps even your life.

Fall Home Maintenance Check-List
  • Roof Inspection
  • Chimney
  • Gutters
  • Doors & Windows
  • Exterior Hoses
  • Driveways & Walkways
  • Air-Conditioning Maintenance
  • Outdoor Furniture
  • Furnace Maintenance
  • Wood Burning Stove Maintenance
  • Smoke Detectors
  • General Clean Up
Roof Inspection

Make sure the roof is in good condition. Check for loose or missing tiles and for any cracks in the chimney. If you’ve been putting off the task replacing the shingles over the last few years, well now’s a good time to get them replaced. Hire a professional roofing contractor to patch up any gaps and replace shingles.

Chimney

Implementing a chimney maintenance plan is always critical for insuring the safety of your home and family. The function of a chimney is to carry dangerous fireplace, wood, oil or furnace and boiler gases safely out of your home.   Chimney fires are entirely preventable with proper care and cleaning. Inspect the exterior of the chimney for sings of damage. Have the flue inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney sweep.

Gutters

Check the gutter systems outside your home. Be mindful for any broken or leaking gutters, and repair them as soon possible. Clogged gutters can lead to damaged exterior surfaces and to water in your basement. Clear out any leaves and other debris that tend to collect over the summer and fall seasons and have them covered with mesh guards to keep debris from returning. Doing this will reduce the risks of leaks and blockages during freezing weather.

Doors and Windows

Fall is a great time to get out and  check the caulking around doors and windows. Proper caulking keeps moisture away and helps with drafts issues. Again caulking makes your home more efficient and helps prevent mold.

Drafts through your front doors don’t  seem as much of a problem in the summer months, but the truth is it can be.  If your weather strip allows a ¼” opening around a door, it’s like a hole in the wall that is 4” x 4”.  Drafts don’t seem as noticeable  the summer months  because the  air flows from cold to warm which is why it’s more noticeable in the winter season.

On that note,  the best course of action would be  replace the weather strip on your door. You can do this by going to your local building supply company and purchase a weather strip that is  similar to what is currently on your door.  If you don’t see one that is similar just buy a “universal” type and install it on the door frame.  Every little bit of money saved on the Electricity Bill is a good thing and you may be pleasantly surprised next summer when you notice a difference of savings  in your electricity  bill since your doors will seal better!

Exterior Hoses

Commonly Known as hose bibs or sill-cocks, the exterior faucet needs to have its water supply turned off inside the house, and you also need to drain water from it by opening up the exterior faucet. You may also want to consider an insulated cover for the hose bib. Your garden hoses should be disconnected from the sill cocks or outside faucets and drained if stored outside.

Driveway & Walkways

Damaged walkways, drives, and steps are a hazard year round, but their dangers are compounded when the weather turns icy. Fixing problems in the fall is also critical to preventing little problems from becoming expensive headaches.

Look for cracks more than 1/8-inch wide, uneven sections, and loose railings on steps. Check for disintegration of asphalt, or washed-out materials on loose-fill paths.

Most small jobs are well within the ability of a do-it-your self, but save major repairs for experienced hands.

Air-Conditioning Maintenance

Central Air conditioning systems : Take a hose with the spray head set to “jet” or the highest pressure you have and clean the fan blades and condensing coils of clear of debris and dirt. Left unprotected the condensing unit can be damaged by wet leaves and debris that contribute to rusting and freezing of internal components. Although these units are designed for outdoor use, covering them with a breathable waterproof cover made for that purpose will extending the life and efficient performance of the unit.

Outdoor Furniture

Any outdoor furniture and garden accessories, lighting, should be stored in a dry place such a shed or a garage. If you lack storage space and have the room, you may even use space in your basement to protect your items from the winter elements.

Furnace Maintenance

Fall is a perfect time to clean or replace your furnace filter. Reusable filters can be washed down and re installed. Disposable filters should be replaced with a new one. Dirty filters lower your HVAC system’s efficiency so it’s a good idea to change them accordingly.

Once a year, it’s a good idea to have your heating system inspected by a professional. To avoid the last-minute rush, consider scheduling this task in early fall, before the heating season begins.

Here are signs that you should have an inspection performed sooner:

Noisy Belts– Unusual screeches or whines may be a signal that belts connected to the blower motor are worn or damaged.

Poor Performance– A heating system that doesn’t seem to work as well as it once did could be a sign of various problems. Your heating ducts might be blocked, the burners might be misadjusted, or the blower motor could be on its last legs. One check you should be sure to conduct: Make sure your furnace filter is clean.

Erratic Behaviour– This could be caused by a faulty thermostat or a misadjusted furnace.

Wood Burning Stove Maintenance

Wood burning stoves are a great way to add atmosphere and warmth to your home. But regular inspections are needed to ensure that these devices don’t become a safety hazard. Here’s how to check them.

 Cracks in stovepipes attached to wood stoves can release toxic fumes into your home. Throughout the heating season, you should check for corrosion, holes, or loose joints. Clean the stovepipe, and then look for signs of deterioration or looseness. Replace stovepipe if necessary.

 Smoke Detectors

Test your smoke alarm monthly and clean it every 6 months.  Mark it on your calendar so that you don’t forget.  Things to remember when testing your smoke alarm:

  • Ensure that power is being transmitted to the alarm and that it will activate in the presence of smoke.
  • Test your smoke alarm by pressing the test button.
  • Even alarms with a pilot light that indicate power is being transmitted, should be tested regularly.
  • Battery-operated smoke alarms will warn you when batteries need replacing.   Despite this, make it a habit to change the batteries yearly.
  • When you’ve been away from home for a few days, check your alarm on your return to ensure it is working properly.
  • Remember, your smoke alarm can’t protect you if the batteries have been removed or a plug has been disconnected.
  • The lifespan of a typical smoke alarm is about 10 years, but some models last as little as 5 years.
  • To clean the alarm, open the cover and gently vacuum the interior of it.  Frequently, the alarm will sound while the unit is being cleaned.
General Clean Up

Rid your home of accumulations of old newspapers and leftover hazardous household chemicals. (Check with your local Municipal Hazardous Waste or Special Waste Agency about the proper way to discard dangerous chemicals.) Store flammable materials and poisons in approved, clearly labeled containers. Keep a clear space around heaters, furnaces, and other heat-producing appliances.

Have a question about your home improvement? Leave a comment below!

aframe sign photo shop flyer

See Also:

Don Of All Trades Helping Hands Building Trees of Hope Program

Helping Hands Buidling Trees Of Hope

Please donate to our Helping Hands Building Trees of Hope benefiting Herizon House

Every gift is a gift of hope. Your donations make a difference in the lives of women and children who are survivors of violence and abuse that are provided with a place of safety, support and hope at Herizon House women’s shelter.

You can help improve the lives of abused women and children in the  community. Please visit www.donofalltrades.ca community page to find out how you can make a difference.

Thanking Michelle Medeiros, Owner and Principal Designer of House Dreamer who made a contribution to our Helping Hands Building Trees of Hope Program.

hh-Michelle Medeiros

Welcome Spring-Exterior Home Maintenance Tips

 

 

As we say good bye to this past winter’s bitter cold that seemed like it would never end, nothing motivates homeowners more like sunny days and warmer weather.

Get a head start and welcome Spring with these great exterior home maintenance tips by Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services.

chimney_20070410_0110

 Chimney

Implementing a chimney maintenance plan is always critical for insuring the safety of your home and family. The function of a chimney is to carry dangerous fireplace, wood, oil or furnace and boiler gases safely out of your home.   Chimney fires are entirely preventable with proper care and cleaning. Inspect the exterior of the chimney for sings of damage. Have the flue inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney sweep.

gutters

 Downspouts  and Gutters

Routine gutter and downspout maintenance can save a homeowner on repair costs. Get prepared before the Spring Rains begin.  You will be amazed at how much debris has collected over such a short time. Clean out any leaves and tree branches that could cause an issue. Often, clogging occurs at the elbow in a drainage system, where the downspout connects to the gutter. This can be easily inspected by taking it off and looking for any debris that can cause it to clog.

 unnamed

Garden Hoses

An inspection of the outside hose faucets checking for any  signs of leaks is important, especially in colder climates where hoses have been left on the hose bib over the winter.  If the water supply pipe has frozen, the pipe can expand and crack. This pipe will leak and should be replaced a soon as possible by a certified plumber before costly water damage occurs.

caulking

Caulking

Spring is a great time to get out and  check the caulking around doors and windows. Proper caulking keeps moisture away and helps with drafts issues. Again caulking makes your home more efficient and helps prevent mold.

 

Cracked-Concrete

Walkways

Snow and cold can wreak havoc on your walkway. Take advantage of the warmer weather approaching to patch cracks and replace any loose bricks and pavers. Power washers are a great tool to clean out that embedded dirt, grime and stains in asphalt, concrete or stone.

aircond

Air-conditioning Units

Hire a qualified heating and cooling contractor to clean and service the outside unit of the air-conditioning system.  An annual maintenance service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels and work more efficiently.

Don

Mr. Don D’Orazio,  President/CEO Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services

Summary  By being pro active and executing home maintenance procedures inside and out once Spring comes around, you’ll be able to enjoy more outdoor activities with friends and family member this summer. Enjoy peace of mind by getting a head of the game before costly and timely repairs become an issue.

Do you take the time to prepare your house properly for spring?

Did we miss an important tip? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook Page.

If you live in Durham Region and are looking for a Home Improvement Service that can assist you will All of your Home Repairs at Affordable Rates, please get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you! Book a Complimentary Consultation or visit our website at www.donofalltrades.ca to find out more about our services.

10% discount card

 “Helping families get back to the important things in life!”     

Spring Special Savings Event going on  Right Now!  Save 10%

off your next home improvement project with Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services. Call to find out more.

 

 

Spring Home Maintenance Tips: Inside and Out

front porch

Now that winter has come and gone and you’re like most of us who welcomes Spring with open arms, keep in mind that this is the perfect opportunity to consider getting your home ready for spring.

Enjoy some helpful tips below on how to get  your home ahead of the game as the warmer weather approaches.

Indoor:

Furnace Maintenance:

filter
Spring is a perfect time to clean or replace your #furnace filter. Reusable filters can be washed down and re installed. Disposable filters should be replaced with a new one. Dirty filters lower your HVAC system’s efficiency so it’s a good idea to change them accordingly.

Air-conditioning Maintenance:

aircond

It’s a good idea to check your #air-conditioning system before the hot summer season approaches . You’ll be glad you did. Summer is high peak season for air conditioning installs and  service technicians which means you might be on a long waiting list. Why sweat it out? Be prepared and ready now so you can focus on enjoying the warmer weather without having to worry about repairs and maintenance.

Caulking:

caulking

Spring is a great time to get out and  check the #caulking around #doors and #windows. Proper caulking keeps #moisture away and helps with #drafts issues. Again caulking makes your home more efficient and helps prevent #mold.

Smoke Alarms:

smoke

Test your #smoke #alarm monthly and clean it every 6 months.  Mark it on your calendar so that you don’t forget.  Things to remember when testing your smoke alarm:

  • Ensure that power is being transmitted to the alarm and that it will activate in the presence of smoke.
  • Test your smoke alarm by pressing the test button.
  • Even alarms with a pilot light that indicate power is being transmitted, should be tested regularly.
  • Battery-operated smoke alarms will warn you when batteries need replacing.   Despite this, make it a habit to change the batteries yearly.
  • When you’ve been away from home for a few days, check your alarm on your return to ensure it is working properly.
  • Remember, your smoke alarm can’t protect you if the batteries have been removed or a plug has been disconnected.
  • The lifespan of a typical smoke alarm is about 10 years, but some models last as little as 5 years.
  • To clean the alarm, open the cover and gently vacuum the interior of it.  Frequently, the alarm will sound while the unit is being cleaned.

Outdoor Lighting:

lights

Change Outdoor Bulbs:

Take the time to safely clean  your outdoor #lighting fixtures and replace any burnt out# bulbs with energy-saving CFL replacements.

Restoring Luster To Your Front Door:

front doors

Your entrance is the first thing people see when they come by, so why not make your home stand out from the rest? Although painting your entire exterior would be a big to-do, giving just your door a new look is a doable DIY — and it packs a lot of punch. Put out a clean, new welcome mat — and make sure the doorbell works.

Repairing Your Walkways:

walkways

Nothing says curb appeal like an inviting walkway leading to your front porch. Redoing your walkway is an easy way to add value and clean up the appearance of your home. Snow and cold can wreak havoc on your walkway. Take advantage of the warmer weather approaching to patch cracks and replace any loose bricks and pavers. Power washers are a great tool to clean out that embedded dirt, grime and stains in asphalt, concrete or stone.

Planting Foliage and Shrubbery:

hanging baskets

Shrubs are one of the many  essentias to every garden. For starters, shrubs provide year-round interest. Many also have berries that are attractive to birds or flowers that draw butterflies. Because they have structure from season to season, shrubs can provide crucial shelter for wildlife during autumn and winter. And of course, shrubs supply beautiful foliage, wonderful bark texture, and amazing blooms, too. There are lots of shrubs to choose from — dwarf species to more mature sizes as well as different growth patterns and structures.

Drawing up a plan on where to place your plants before you plant is a great way to get an idea of how your shrubs and foliage design plan  is going to look. And if you don’t like it, you can easily change your plan around before you’ve already completed the job. Less work and headache. You can easily hide unattractive aspects of your home or yard for example air-conditioning units, by planting bushes or hedges around them. Don’t forget to add colour and curb appeal to your home all summer long  by adding hanging baskets and window boxes on your front porch.

Prune and Mulch:

pruning-bush

 

Pruning may be good for plants, but bad pruning can be tough on both the plant and your hands. Be sure you choose the right tool for the task, to avoid tearing and damaging a plant. Prune dead branches, trim back overgrown shrubbery and remove any obstructive plantings. Spreading mulch around trees, shrubs and flowers for a weed-free, well-kept look and can help minimize weeding.

Freshen Up  Outdoor Furniture:

paint

Today, we live in what seems to be a “disposable” society. Bring back your outdoor furniture by giving it a new, clean and fresh vibrant look.  Try spraying  a fresh coat of paint on furniture and replace the damaged cushions.  If you have the space, try filling  an empty spot on the porch or stoop with a modern bench or porch swing.

Keeping It Clean:

sweep

Winter may be gone but there are still reminders  of debris left over under that melted snow. Sweep the sidewalk and stoop, clear away cobwebs.

Cleaning Gutters:

gutters

Checking your downspouts and gutters can save you a lot of money and repair costs. Get a head of the game before the Spring Rains begin.  You may have a lot of collected debris. Clear out any tree limbs, leaves, branches and any other debris that could cause an issue. In a lot of cases, clogging occurs at the elbow in a drainage system, where the downspout connects to the gutter. Make sure to take time to take it off and inspect it for clogging. You’d be surprised what you’ll find inside!

bbq

Being pro active and executing home maintenance procedures inside and out once Spring comes around, you’ll be able to enjoy more outdoor activities with friends and family member this summer. Enjoy peace of mind by getting a head of the game before costly and timely repairs become an issue!

For more information or to post a comment : please visit our links below:

Website – http://www.donofalltrades.ca/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/donofalltrades.info

Twitter – https://twitter.com/donofalltrade

LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/donofalltrades

Getting the Exterior of your Home Ready for Winter

icecles

Just a few tips on how to keep your home’s exterior “winterize” for the upcoming winter months:

Things to do before the cold weather starts Outside the Home:

– Check the gutter systems outside your home. Be mindful for any broken or leaking gutters, and repair them as soon possible. Clear out any leaves and other debris that tend to collect over the summer and fall seasons. Doing this will reduce the risks of leaks and blockages during freezing weather.

– Insulate any water pipes in exposed places.

– Make sure the roof is in good condition. Check for loose or missing tiles and for any cracks in the chimney. If you’ve been putting off the task replacing the shingles over the last few years, well now’s a good time to get them replaced. Hire a professional roofing contractor to patch up any gaps and replace shingles.

– Central Air conditioning systems : Take a hose with the spray head set to “jet” or the highest pressure you have and clean the fan blades and condensing coils of clear of debris and dirt. Left unprotected the condensing unit can be damaged by wet leaves and debris that contribute to rusting and freezing of internal components. Although these units are designed for outdoor use, covering them with a breathable waterproof cover made for that purpose will extending the life and efficient performance of the unit.

– Exterior Faucets
Commonly Known as hose bibs or sill-cocks, the exterior faucet needs to have its water supply turned off inside the house, and you also need to drain water from it by opening up the exterior faucet. You may also want to consider an insulated cover for the hose bib. Your garden hoses should be disconnected from the sill cocks or outside faucets and drained if stored outside.

– Any outdoor furniture and garden accessories, lighting, should be stored in a dry place such a shed or a garage. If you lack storage space and have the room, you may even use space in your basement to protect your items from the winter elements.
For more information or to post a comment : please visit our links below:

Website – http://www.donofalltrades.ca/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/donofalltrades.info

Twitter – https://twitter.com/donofalltrade

LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/donofalltrades