What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

Jay's 2017 Fall/Winter Maintenance Recommendations

It's that time of year again, and time to get ready for the seasons ahead, so these are

Jay's 2017 Fall/Winter Maintenance Recommendations

While not intended to be exhaustive, and you may have things you personally like to take care of, you might consider the following!

* Winterize the exterior hose bib valves.  Turn off the interior valves, open the exterior bibs and loosen the little cap beside the interior valve to break the vacuum and let water drain out.

Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Replace batteries that are old. 

*  Spruce up any exterior caulking.  Be sure to use the right caulk for the right application!  Caulking is the cheapest and easiest energy saver.  Don't apply it if the temperature is under 50F and be sure it dries before it freezes.

Boilers - check the safety relief valve.

*  Furnace - if you have a maintenance contract with a licensed company have it taken care of.  Oil furnaces should be checked for back puffing. 

*  Clean moss on the roof.  Use something that does not kill the plants and shrubbery below!

*  Clean gutters of debris.  If you live near trees consider the solid gutter covers and eliminate the chore!

Place sticky cricket catchers in the garage and basement!  This is their time of year to come inside.

*  Septic system - pump the tank if it's time.  If you have two fields be sure to divert the valve to send effluent to the unused side.

*  Check the chimney for creosote and clean if needed.  Repair any damage.

*  Improve the foundation drainage as necessary.

Test GFI receptacles.  Test AFCI circuit breakers.

*  Check the garage door reversing mechanism.  Put your foot through the photo-eye plane to see if the door reverses.

Gas water heater - drain some water from the bottom to remove any sludge build up.

*  Open crawl space vents.  Check the insulation under the floor, if any.

*  Dryer - clean behind the appliance and where the exhaust vent tubing enters the wall.  Outdoors check the vent flap and clean as needed.

Private water system - pump air into the pressure tank if pressure is weak.

Sprinkler system - if you are unable, have your maintenance company come by to blow the water out of the lines and disconnect connections where needed.

*  Kitchen - clean dust from under or behind the fridge; clean the range hood and clean the exhaust fan filter screens; clean the disposal - vinegar and baking soda work well, followed by grinding lemon peels.

This is by no means a complete list, but it will serve you well.

Preparation is everything.  One of the best mottoes ever written is "Be Prepared."  Sound advice.

My recommendation:  be regular and diligent!  In the long run, maintenance costs about 1% of the value of the house.  If you pay attention to the small stuff the big things will take care of themselves.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 25 commentsJay Markanich • September 16 2017 11:49AM
Jay's 2017 Fall/Winter Maintenance Recommendations
share
It's that time of year again, and time to get ready for the seasons ahead, so these are Jay's 2017 Fall/Winter Maintenance Recommendations While not intended to be exhaustive, and you may have things you personally like to take care of, you might… more
True Or False - You Don't Need A Home Inspection On New Construction?
share
True or false - you don't need a home inspection on new construction? So, what do you think? This is what you hear from the builder or builder's Realtor: --> We only employ the best subcontractors to work on your house. --> We have a… more
Doing More Than The Client Expects. The Slight Edge Business Model.
share
Doing more than the client expects. The slight edge business model. What is your business model? Do you create a slight edge? I think exceeding expectation is an important business model. Or should be. Clients have expectations in every business… more
Why This Hose Bib Shut-Off Valve Replacement Is Incorrect
share
Why this hose bib shut-off valve replacement is incorrect. Apparently the old hose bib shut-off valve in this house broke and needed replacement. It's always best to have a professional do such work, or, if one is capable of doing one's own work, at… more
Warning - Sarcasm To Follow. Is This A Pro Job Or Not?
share
Warning- sarcasm to follow. Is this a pro job or not? To be truthful, I saw the brick work from the parking lot and knew it would be a thermal camera issue inside. Is it a pro job? Probably not. What happened? Likely the front hose bib was not… more
When Staircases Are Lemons
share
When staircases are lemons. From my Oxford Dictionary of English - Lemon - informal - an unsatisfactory or feeble person or thing. In this 21 year old townhouse, three levels, when walking up and down the staircases, all of them, that is ALL OF THEM… more
The Walls Were Wet In The Middle But Not At The Bottom? Why?
share
The walls were wet in the middle but not at the bottom? Why? And that was the question. I couldn't answer it! I only knew what I found. During the thermal image sweep of this condo I found walls and ceilings wet, but only on the lower level. The… more
A Flat Roof Must Provide A Way For Water To Go
share
A flat roof must provide a way for water to go. If not, water sits, and finds any small opening it can. Since we know gravity works, if water can go down, it will. On a flat roof surface, that means eventual destruction. This is a 17 year old EPDM… more
Thermal Imaging Art
share
Thermal imaging art. Thermal imaging can check a lot of things. It can be a precursor check for electrical issues. Heating and air conditioning can be evaluated. Roof and plumbing leaks are a given. And the best way (the only way inside walls)… more
When Any Upper Level Is Hot Insulation Is Almost Always The Reason
share
When any upper level is hot insulation is almost always the reason. And why else wouldn't it be? It could be that the air conditioning does not reach or blow hard enough into the upper level. But that air pressure is an easy check. When air is… more