Show Notes: Is Your Home in Trouble?
Have you been sitting by the fire, enjoying the winter lull in home maintenance? Get up, time to get ready for spring. This week we take a serious look around for some silent signs that your home is in trouble.
Thank you to our guest:
Jennifer Franz:: Energy Efficiency Expert
Disposing of Batteries Properly
Know your local laws when it comes to alkaline batteries. Alkaline, or manganese, batteries are used in flashlights, toys, remote controls and smoke alarms. They range in size from AAA to 9 volts. In many areas, you can dispose of them in your household trash. However, in California, it is illegal to dispose of them in the trash; instead, they go with household hazardous waste collection for special recycling.
But Did You Know:
9 volt batteries (the rectangular kind) should have their posts covered with a piece of electrical tape or duct tape or masking tape (any non-conductive tape) as they are a fire hazard – ironic since they are usually used in smoke alarms.
Have Parking Problems ?
Smart Garage Parking Aids
Help for parking large cars in small garages
If you have a large car and a small garage, parking can be a hassle. In addition, you may need to use your garage for storage, putting space at an even higher premium. Eliminate the stress of parking in your small garage by getting your car in the same spot every time with the help of some tools.
Parking Target Peel-N-Stick Parking Aid
As simple and inexpensive as this device is, it does exactly what it needs to. Just slowly pull up towards the stop and when your tire gently bumps into it you know you are in the right spot.
MAXSA Innovations 37356 Park Right Yellow Parking Mat
It’s inexpensive, easy to install, and comes in three different colors. The same considerations apply with this garage parking mat as the one above
Homebrite 77102 Park N Place
No more dents and scratches from hitting garage walls and other objects. The portable base utilizes a flexible rod with red light that flashes when contact is made with your car bumper. Perfect for hard to judge oversized SUVs and utility trucks.
Spring Cleaning For Your Air Conditioning System
Go with the Flow: Leaves, weeds and grass collect on the outdoor condenser unit during the fall and winter months, resulting in blocked air flow and reduced energy efficiency. Clearing debris will allow for unrestricted airflow to better cool the home and improve the systems efficiency, reducing operating costs, keeping the air clean, and increasing energy savings. In addition, changing standard air filters once a month (other types, such as pleated and HEPA filters, have longer life spans) is the single most important thing homeowners can do to prevent a system from working harder than it needs to, which saves homeowners money on electricity bills.
Keep Your Cool: It’s also important to ensure ductwork is clean and in good condition. Even if a homeowner keeps their air conditioning system clean, they might still be letting air – and dollars – escape. Adding easy-to-use blow-in insulation will reduce the amount of heat that flows from outdoors into the home, which will lower cooling costs and make the home more comfortable.
Set it and Forget it: Homeowners can get a jump start on the summer season by installing a smart thermostat, such as the Lennox iComfort S30. The iComfort S30 uses geofencing technology to save homeowners money on their energy bills. Its Smart Away Mode detects when a home’s occupants are away and automatically adjusts to an energy saving mode.
Signs it Could be Time to Replace
• Energy bills continue to rise
• Reduced levels of performance, causing inconsistent cooling
• Poor air quality and humidity are signs of an ineffective unit
• System requires frequent repairs, which will begin to account for a large portion of replacement costs
• System is more than 10 years old
Sharpen And Clean All Your Garden Equipment
Spring lawn care begins with cleaning rakes, hoes, spades, loppers and shears. Lawn and garden tools stored for winter without cleaning can be less than functional come spring.
Wipe all tools down with soap and water. A stiff brush can be used to clean stubborn, caked-on debris. Be sure to dry the tools thoroughly.
Clean loppers and shears/pruners with rubbing alcohol.
If the handles of your lawn tools are wooden, check for cracks and splinters. The wooden handles may need to be sanded and smoothed in order to prevent splintering throughout the spring and summer growing season. A fresh coat of paint to seal the wood can help as well. Choose a bright color such as red or yellow-bright colored handles are easier to see lying in the grass.
Silent Signs Your House Is In Trouble
Bulge In The Washing Machine Hose
What does it mean? The hose is ready to burst
What to do: Replace rubber hoses with braided stainless steel
Stains Around A Bath Fan
What it means: Condensation is forming in the duct
What to do: Investigate, insulate, and run the fan longer
Efflorescence in Chimney Brick
What it means: Too much moisture inside the chimney
What to do: Fix the crown or call an expert Chimney Sweep
Melted Grommets on the Water Heater
What it means: deadly gases may be entering your home
What to do: Get Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Decking Directly Under The Door
What it means: Rot could be wrecking your house
What to do: Divert the water away
The Water Meter Never Stops
What it means: You’ve got a leak
What to do: Look for the Leak
From the Family Handyman
Scratches On Composite Deck Railing?
Simple Tip To Make The Scratches Disappear
Use Polishing (also sometimes called ‘buffing’) compound to take care of light scuffs and blemishes in composite deck railings.
If there are scratches or heavier scuffing, use a rubbing compound first, which has a slightly more aggressive grit. While it’s hard to eliminate a deep scratch using compound, you can usually blend it in so it’s hardly visible. After working out scratches or heavy scuffing with rubbing compound, it may take a few rubs of polishing compound to match the sheen level of the railing. You can rub out the scuffs and scratches working the compounds by hand with a clean rag, though it is easier to use a buffing head on a random orbital sander or angle grinder.