Spring Home Maintenance Tips

Spring Maintenance Tips for Your Home When springtime rolls around, almost everyone thinks of cleaning. There’s nothing wrong with that, as we probably all need to do a little more cleaning,  but there’s something even more important to keep in mind: home maintenance. So, around the time you set your clocks ahead for daylight saving time and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, it’s wise to give your home a checkup as well. Keep the following tips from the Department of Housing and Urban Development  in mind as we transition into the spring season: Interior and appliances Check the basement and/or crawlspace for any signs of standing water or dripping. Pull your dryer out and clean the exhaust hose and vent, as lint found here is a common cause of house fires. Vacuum refrigerator/freezer coils for efficiency. Clean exhaust fan outlets and screens. Check all air filters and make any necessary replacements. Roof, siding, windows Check for damage to your roof and schedule a professional inspection, if necessary. Go into the attic. If there is visible moisture or discoloration, your roof might be leaking. Examine the paint on your siding and trim. If it is peeling, you may need new paint to protect against the elements. Check for leaks around window and door sills. Improving your seals can lower your energy bills. Yard and exterior Check for signs of rodents and other pests. Clean debris from gutters and downspouts, and make sure they are draining away from the home. Trim overhanging tree branches and shrubs. Remember, winter weather can cause significant damage that is easy to...

The Indoor Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

The leaves are already changing, the kids are back in school, and the holidays will be here in the blink of an eye. The cooler days and frosty nights of fall are a sign that winter is right around the corner, so it’s a good idea to look around your home and make any necessary repairs or changes now to avoid seasonal damage and/or expensive bills during the cold weather. This 10-step fall home maintenance checklist will help you protect your home against cool and wet fall and winter weather:  Inspect your fireplaces. Hiring a professional chimney sweep to inspect and/or sweep your chimney is the best idea. A professional will examine your fireplace and chimney flue for wear, corrosion, or damage, and will suggest any necessary cleaning or repairs. Double check your fire extinguishers. It is a good idea to have at least one fire extinguisher in your home. Check to be sure yours is in proper working order and have it refilled or replaced if it is not up to par. Click here for more information on how to select and use a fire extinguisher. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. You should test these at least twice per year and replace the batteries if necessary. Winter is an especially dangerous time for fires, especially in a home with a working fireplace. Seal windows, doors, and electrical outlets. Inspect all caulking and weather stripping around windows, doors, and entryways; replace or re-install if damaged or worn. Installing foam gaskets behind the wallplates of your electrical outlets will stop any additional heat from escaping your home. Examine heating,...

5 Ways to Prevent Ice Dams this Winter

Here in New Hampshire, the extreme weather conditions we experience throughout the winter season can expose your home to an entirely new set of risks, from extended power outages to trees and branches falling under the weight of heavy snow. One seasonal risk that can cause long-term damage to your property if left unnoticed is ice dams, so it’s important to understand what they are, how to prevent ice dams from forming, and whether your home insurance policy covers ice dam damage. What Are Ice Dams and How Do They Form? Ice dams typically form at the edge of your roof or gutters when ice accumulates in these areas. When these walls of ice form, they block water runoff from your roof which creates a pool of water that can ultimately flow underneath the shingles and leak into your home. Ice dams can cause significant damage to your roof, ceilings, walls, flooring, insulation and personal property, and several factors that can increase their odds of forming include snowstorms, consecutive days of freezing temperatures, and an improperly ventilated attic. Without proper ventilation, your attic will contain warmer areas where less snow will accumulate and begin to melt faster, regardless of how cold it is outside. How to Prevent Ice Dams Considering the damage they can cause to your home and personal property, it’s important to take precautions to prevent ice dams from forming. Use the five tips below to better understand the different short- and long-term actions you can take to help you prevent ice dams this winter. Reduce heat loss in your attic by increase the insulation, sealing and...