Home Maintenance

Found 45 blog entries about Home Maintenance.

Having Problems with Mildew in Your Bathroom?

If your bathroom has problems with moisture, mildew and peeling paint, an exhaust fan is the best solution. You could have a fan installed in the ceiling or, if that's not practical, perhaps you can put a fan directly in an exterior wall. Reduce bathroom moisture problems by wiping down wet surfaces after a shower and removing wet towels. Keep the bathroom door open after a shower. Consider using a small fan to circulate air into the hall. You can also use a special paint that resists mildew and peeling. First, kill existing mildew with laundry bleach and water. Scrape away any loose paint, and sand the surfaces smooth. Spackle as needed. Then paint with Zinsser brand Perma-White Bathroom Wall and

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Living in the rainy and very wet Northwest can have a big impact on your home if your roof and gutter system is not in good condition.  Something as simple as bent flashing can result in water intrusion, so performing a regular check-up on your roof and gutters can help save a lot of heartache later, not to mention save you money. 

I could spend days talking about roofs and the various products available on the market today, but I am no expert -- so I will just cut to what I know and what I've learned from years as a real estate professional who has attended hundreds and hundreds of home inspections. 

Roof Replacements:  Most composite roofing material that is on homes today outside of a newer roof that has been put on in the past 5-10 years,

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If you have been considering renovating your Pacific Northwest home here in the Seattle area and wanting to capture the BEST financial return, look no further, because we've got the inside scoop from Remodeling Magazine which just published their annual cost-to-value breakdown for specific regions throughout the US.

I think the common misconception and I will admit, this was my belief as well, is that your highest return would come from a kitchen remodel....but to my surprise, kitchens came in at #4.   

Check out the Top 5 Seattle Renovations:

{#1} Adding Manufactured Stone Veneer | +144.6% Return -- Note: The average cost for this improvement is $8,412

{#2} Replace Garage Door | +141.2% Return -- Note: This improvement is #1 Nationwide

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Fires Related to Aluminum Wiring

Due to implications in numerous house fires, the once common practice of using aluminum wiring during the 1970's is no longer permitted in new installations in most jurisdictions. If your house has aluminum wiring you do not necessarily need to panic. Aluminum wiring can be just as safe as copper wire as long as it has been installed correctly. The concern with aluminum wiring is that it is very unforgiving if it has been installed incorrectly.

 

How Aluminum Wiring Reacts

Aluminum wiring expands when it warms up, and contracts then it cools down. Aluminum reacts differently than copper wire after several warm/cooling cycles. After each cycle aluminum tends to lose more of its tightness. This process is often…
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Insultation Installation

Before adding insulation to the basement walls or the crawl space foundation, and prior to refinishing a basement room, it is essential that you repair any leaks and solve any problems with dampness. Wait until it is thoroughly dry before you install the insulation, to be sure all problems have been eliminated. If you are unsure whether or not you have such a problem, tape a square-foot piece of plastic to the basement wall or floor. Leave it in place for a week. If condensation builds up under the plastic, you have a problem that needs to be solved.

Preparing The Basement

The causes of such condensation can be extensive. Some of the most common are leaks and cracks in the concrete, and seepage, condensation, or…
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Fire and The Home

A person's home is a very private piece of his or her existence. People have been known to struggle for their entire lives just to accumulate sufficient material riches and built comfortable shelters for themselves. We can experience a tremendous sense of loss if our homes have been razed to the ground by a fire. Fires know no bounds. We hear so much of this happening in the news. Small children and aged persons getting trapped inside while. Fire is a boon to mankind. But it needs to be controlled well in order to use it. People who makes use of fire, (that includes all of us), must know the nature of a fire, and how a fire can start. It is a fundamental rule to understand what we are dealing with. In order for us to use fire properly,…
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Be a Smart Shopper

Tips To Help You.  When you add up all the money that you can spend on home appliances and fixtures it becomes obvious that you need to spend wisely and carefully to keep costs under control. These items tend to be some of the larger ticket purchases around the home and lots of money can be wasted if buying isn't done properly.

One of the most important suggestions for buying appliances and fixtures the smart way is to decide before you begin shopping exactly how much money you wish to spend, or what will fit in your budget. Surprisingly, this is often not done until the customer is already in the store. Unfortunately, the heart often takes over when looking over the latest high-tech gadgets and features on the item being

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Note: These tips are only general guidelines. Since each situation is different, contact a professional if you have questions about a specific issue. 

Even though you may have a relatively new system, a regular check and maintenance is important. Both new and old forced warm air systems need some attention to help keep them running smoothly and efficiently during the season. With the sensitivity and complexity of modern controls, even small changes in a setting can have a significant detrimental effect on the function and life of a unit.  

  • To conserve energy during the active part of the day, it is best to set the thermostat at a reasonable comfort level and leave it alone rather than continuously adjusting it.
  • To further conserve fuel, install
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Heat naturally flows from a warmer area to a cooler one. It does this in only three ways:  conduction, where heat is transferred directly from mass to mass; convection, the movement of heated air from one space to another (hot air rises, heavier cool air sinks); and radiation, which simply means that any warm body gives off heat toward a cooler one The function of insulation is to minimize the radiation and convection transfer of heat with a minimum of solid conduction so that our homes stay warmer in cool weather and cooler in warm weather. In this section I discuss the merits and uses of various types of well-known insulations and inform you on how best to evaluate R- values. R stands for 'resistance to heat flow.' The greater the R-value, the

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When a Draft is a Good Thing

The draft problem with most fireplaces in tightly-built homes is that the fire lacks sufficient air for combustion unless a window is open. Sometimes this produces smoke indoors. Fireplaces in older homes didn't have this problem because leaks around windows, doors and framing provided plenty of air for combustion. A fireplace with an inadequate air supply can be dangerous. As a fire is starting or going out, it may back up dangerous carbon monoxide into your home. A fire with a strong draft can also interfere with the natural venting of a gas-fired water heater or furnace, causing a backdraft of combustion fumes into the home. Any gas-burning appliance vented by gravity up a chimney can have such a problem. One

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