Dickson Development wants to help you keep your home in tip-top shape. Check this page often for new tips and helpful maintenance reminders.
Take a Look Under the Hood
The exhaust hood filter is there to capture grease and grime.
If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned the filter above your stove top, there is a good chance it’s clogged, or at least a slimy, grimy mess.
The filter should be checked regularly for grease build up. The termination point of the duct at the outside should be checked to make sure the flapper is working properly and closed when the fan is not on.
How to clean an exhaust hood filter: Remove the filter and let it soak in boiling water with baking soda and a de-greasing dishwashing liquid. Let it air dry before putting it back in place.
5 Home Maintenance
Tips for Spring
Even the mildest winters can take a toll on your house.
Spring is the perfect time to take a good look both inside and outside of your house for items in need of repair or service. Visually inspect windows, chimneys and siding for cracks and other damage, and don’t wait until the first 90-degree day to discover your air conditioner isn’t working properly.
Air Conditioning: This is an ideal time to have your unit professionally serviced. Make sure the filters are changed, the hose connections are free of leaks, and the drain pans are draining.
Exterior Electric Outlets: How old are yours? Are they working? Are they on a working ground fault breaker? You don’t want to wait until your first big outdoor party to realize you can’t power up the sound system.
Exterior Hose Bibs: Your hose bibs, also known as spigots or shut-off valves, help to provide the water you need for landscaping, car washing, filling the baby pool, and so forth. If they froze during the winter, they will not only prevent use, but can also cause damage to your home.
Roof and Shingles: Inspect your roof and roof shingles after every winter. Look to see if any of the shingles blew off, and make sure the flashing is still intact.
Concrete Walks and Patios: Winter wear and tear can cause displacements and cracks in concrete, creating a hazard for trips and falls. An easy repair can prevent further damage and potential accidents.
Clean Your Dryer Vent Every Few Months
Before you do another load of wash, make sure you have cleaned your dryer vent too!
If it’s been more than a year, chances are good that your dryer vent needs some attention. Damp clothes are just one of the reasons. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, neglected dryers result in approximately 7,000 fires a year.
How If it’s been more can you play it safe? Empty the lint screen every single time you use the dryer, clean the vent every few months, and clean the moisture sensors (if you have them) with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol every few months as well. For more information, read the complete article from Consumer Reports: http://www.consumerreports.org/clothes-dryers/how-to-clean-your-dryer-vent/
Secure Your Handrails
When things get icy, your steps can get dicey.
Don’t wait for the next snowfall to check the handrails on the exterior of your house to make sure they are securely attached. And while you are at it, take a few extra minutes to check the handrails inside your home as well.
Give Your Masonry Chimney a Clean Sweep
Masonry fireplaces and chimneys are often the most neglected items in a home.
Masonry fireplaces and chimneys are made of brick, concrete block, stone, mortar, and other materials that are exposed to and adversely affected by the elements. When neglected, they can become potential and serious hazards, from fire to water damage.
Fortunately, with periodic maintenance, your masonry chimney can last a lifetime. If you can’t remember the last time you had your chimney checked, that’s a sure sign that it is time. “This is not a job for an amateur,” says Richard Dickson. “I strongly advise that you bring in a professional for most of the tips below.”
Dickson Development offers these 8 tips for a safe and healthy chimney.
- Check the top of the chimney to see if it is cracked and allowing water to get in. All cracks must be properly sealed.
- Pay careful attention to the part of the chimney above the roof line. This is often where you will find cracks and deteriorating surfaces.
- Take a good look at the roof flashing around the chimney to make sure that it is in good repair. Check for cracks or loose pieces.
- Examine your flue liners. Your chimney will have one or more (for the fireplace and possibly the furnace). These are usually made of clay. Be sure to have a professional examine the liners to make sure they are intact with no cracks or voids. If cracks are found, they should be repaired or the chimney relined.
- Be sure the ash dump is clean, if you have one for a fireplace. This would be either in the basement or on the outside, if the chimney is on the outside of the house. This is something you can do.
- Examine the firebox and smoke chamber of your fireplace for cracks.
- Evaluate the damper on the fireplace to make sure it is working properly.
- Investigate the piping. If the chimney is used for a furnace or hot water heater, the piping connecting the appliance to the chimney needs to be intact and connected properly.
Grab Some Grout. Protect Your Floor.
Take a peek at the grout and caulking around the ceramic tile in your bathrooms to be sure it’s intact.
A simple touch up can prevent water from penetrating beneath the tile. Over time, even water can damage the floor, the floor joists and the ceiling below.
Check the Humidifier Duct Work Once a Year
Experiencing dry air? Your humidifier may not be working at capacity.
If you have a humidifier tied to the duct work system in your home, make sure to check it once a year to see if it’s working properly and that the settings are correct.