9/16/2010

Fall Home Check Up Guide with Photos

Fall Fix-Ups Checklist for your Home Provided by BHG with additional Notes by: Scotty, Scotts Contracting Green Builder - Renewable Energy Distributor / Installer




The secret to a secure and comfortable home is regular maintenance. From cleaning gutters to fireplace safety, we discuss it all in a list of must-dos for fall.


In many existences: Preventive Maintenance will save you $money$ before costly repairs are needed. Scotts Contracting is available to assist you in your Home Projects-Large or Small.
Gutter


Clear the Gutters

Falling leaves and evergreen needles can block downspouts and cause rainwater to overflow gutters. Depending on where you live, the coming of winter can mean clogged gutters. This can cause ice dams, which push water under shingles and into your house. Clean gutters after most of the leaves have fallen, and do so by removing the debris with a plastic scoop or with a special curved wand attached to your garden hose. To keep gutters clear for next fall, install mesh or perforated leaf shields. In addition to cleaning gutters, you might need to install insulation in the attic or apply heat tape along the roof edge above the gutters to prevent ice dams.

Additional Note by Scotty: If the Water is not flowing towards the downspouts for any number of reasons this will create a backup of water and debris. The added weight could also dislodge the Gutter and Downspouts from the house. Sometimes the Gutter is completely falls off or the weight creates a sag in the gutter. This in turn creates more of a Blockage Dam with more weight added with each form of Precipitation and added Debris. Both causing damage that could effect more than the Gutters and Downspouts. Since the Gutter attaches to the Fascia of the Home it can be effected also. The Fascia Area / Board of Homes if the First Stop in Attic Infiltration from the Elements.

Gutter



Inspect Your Gutters

If you live in an area where the winters are full of ice and snow, ensure that gutters are securely attached to the house before winter hits. Check for any loose gutter spikes (8-inch-long nails that secure gutters to the eaves) and replace them with gutter screws, which hold better. Simply remove any loose spikes and drill gutter screws into the same hole.
Rarely is a Gutter Fix this simple mainly because
  • the Gutter Spike which has a diameter of 3/8inch (the Diameter of a Pencil) has generally created a bigger hole than the average screw can be screwed into with any holding power.
  • Many times the gutter screw was not properly installed: Through the Fascia Board and Into the Rafter Tails of the Roofing System. Without the additional strength of the Screws or Nails penetrating the Rafter Tails adequate Strength Loads will not meet the Load Requirements for severe Snow and Ice Loads.
  1. Fix:
  • Remove Nail and Hanger
  • Fill Hole with Silicone-In both the Gutter and Fascia Board. This will stop any water and air filtration into the Soffitt Area of Your Home.
  • Move Gutter Hanger to Correct Location and Install with 2 ½ in or 3 in Screws. ( Ensuring that the Screw Penetrates into the Rafter Tails of the Roofing System.
Apply caulk


Caulk the Cracks

Caulk can help keep out dirt, moisture, sound, and radon gas, and it can improve the general appearance of your home. Caulk before painting for a more finished look. Caulk where masonry meets siding, where pipes or wires enter the house, around window and door frames, and at corner joints formed by siding.


Roof



Check the Roof

Inspecting the roof twice a year should become a routine. From the ground, use binoculars to look for missing, loose, or damaged shingles. Then note any leaks from inside, which might include checking your attic. Fall is a good time to replace missing shingles, cement down curled edges, and recaulk where plumbing stacks, cable brackets, or antennae penetrate the roof. If you're hesitant about scaling the heights, hire a reputable roofer.
Home Exterior

Clean Up Your Exterior

Wash your home's exterior and windows to start fresh for fall and prevent the growth of mold and mildew that feed on dirt. Make the task easy by renting a pressure washer for $50-$100 per day. Find out exactly how much pressure the washer will exert and whether the surface you plan to wash can withstand it.

Note: While washing your exterior is a Good time to visually inspect for any areas in need of additional attention. Also by Cleaning the Exterior of your home will remove any debris that will attract more debris build-up over the Winter Months.

Insulating Attic Floors


Insulate and Ventilate

Attic Insulation and Attic Energy Solutions (Prior Green Blog Post)

-Attic Insulation-


I've put a little information to help assist in explaining 'Attic Insulation for a Home'. I take a whole house approach to improve a Home's Energy Reduction Needs. The Attic Area and Attic insulation being just one area.


In the old days we just blew the insulation into the attic. Now, I suggest that any
  • Air Infiltration areas be resolved before adding insulation- Stop the Air (Hot or Cold) From Entering or Leaving a Home.

    • This includes: proper attic ventilation, ceiling protrusions(Light Boxes / Ceiling Fan), access points, mechanical and electric points, Attic Knee Walls, Obtrusions, etc
    • Adding Radiant Barriers for Existing Buildings-in a nutshell this bounces the Exterior Temperature back outside.
    • Attached to the Underneath Side of Existing Rafters
    • Option 1:Double Reflective R-Values range from R-3.7 to R-17
    • Attic Add Insulation to meet Suggested Guidelines

    • When used in conjunction with a Radiant Barrier-Cost of Insulation is reduced and thickness / weight of insulation is reduced.




    • When we come over to perform an estimate. We will inspect for the above mentioned problem areas. Discuss the various solutions. Next, I'll determine the Materials and Labor Needed to Complete and Fix the Areas Quoted in the Project. I'll then submit a Project Proposal that will discuss project in detail. Answer any Questions, Explain Procedures, etc.







    Looking forward to meeting you and discussing the ways I can help with Lowering your Energy Bills.






Apply shrink wrap, Use a blow dryer to shrink plastic

Weather-Strip Doors and Windows
Part of your fall buttoning-up should be checking your home's moving parts. Your goal is to have draft-free windows and doors, and you do that by maintaining or upgrading your weather stripping. All sorts of do-it-yourself materials are available: felt strips, metal-back strips, self-stick foam, and plastic channels. The idea is to ensure that your windows and doors are snug but still operative.
CFL


Change Outdoor Light bulbs

If you've got an entry light that's out, replace it before the cold weather sets in. Also, consider changing out your existing incandescent light bulbs with high-efficiency compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) that use less energy and can save you money. (Estimated Change of 20 Light Bulbs to LED is 10% Savings on Electric Bills)
Wrap foam around pipe


Protect Your Plumbing

Even if your pipes have never frozen before, it could happen this winter after you simply lower the thermostat a few degrees or fix a dripping faucet. Inspect the hot and cold supply lines as well as exposed pipes that run along exterior walls in an unheated basement or crawlspace. One way to safeguard them is to wrap electric heat tape around them, but keep in mind that the tape won't work during power outages. You can also wrap pipes with fiberglass insulation or ready-made pipe jackets.
Fireplace

Fireplace Safety

To many homeowners, fall and winter are seasons to curl up before a cozy fireplace or stove. You can avoid dangers such as chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning by putting safety before snuggling. Here are some tips from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA):
-- Have your chimney checked every year to ensure both your chimney system and venting systems are working properly and safely.
-- Burn only well-seasoned hardwoods to reduce buildup of creosote, a flammable compound.
-- Install a chimney cap to keep out debris and to prevent birds and animals from nesting.
-- Install a carbon monoxide detector to warn you if harmful gases are entering your home -- a blocked or damaged chimney can cause this.
-- Have your chimney waterproofed to prevent long-term corrosion and masonry damage. Avoid rebuilding old chimneys by replacing damaged clay liners with stainless-steel chimney liner pipes.

Scotts Contracting is available for all the above mentioned home repairs and maintenance needs. Scotty provides detailed free Green Estimates for each and every job quote he provides. scottscontracting@gmail.com or use the following link
 
Click Here to email Scotty for a Free Green Estimate for your Next Project

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