Useful Homeowner Guide


Although we’ve heard it many times, nothing could be truer than the old cliché “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Preventative maintenance is the best way to keep your house in great shape. It also reduces the risk of unexpected repairs and improves the odds of selling your house at fair market value, when the time comes.  If you need any referrals for the below-mentioned services, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

~ When you are exploring your new home, familiarize yourself with where the water, gas and water meters are located. In most newer homes they are outside and you don’t have to deal with the meter reader, but in some homes they are inside.

~ Find out where the main water valve is located – it’s usually right beside the water meter. You need to know where it is if you have any plumbing repairs. If there’s an emergency such as a burst pipe, you may need to shut it off in a hurry.

~ Extend the life and efficiency of your HVAC system by scheduling an annual service. A contractor will ensure that components such as the heat exchangers are operating properly, and that the refrigerant is at its optimum level. Filters should be checked regularly and replaced at least every 3 months. Replacement filters are available through most hardware stores.

~ Your fireplace, chimney and fluke should be inspected and cleaned annually. An inspector will check the fluke for soot build-up, and inspect the fireplace for obstructions or loose or cracked firebrick. Always keep your damper closed when not using your fireplace, to stop heat from escaping up the chimney.

~ Don’t forget to change the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home twice a year.

~ While regular duct cleaning is probably unnecessary for most homeowners, in new homes or houses that have undergone extensive renovations, there could be enough drywall dust and other material in the ducts that a good cleaning is required.

~ Windows and doors can expand & contract due to changes in temperature and moisture levels. Caulking should be checked periodically, and replaced if it has hardened or cracked. Regular caulking around windows, doors and sills helps prevent moisture penetration.

~ Your new electric or gas appliances come with instruction manuals. You should review the manufacturer’s manuals for proper operation and maintenance of all appliances. Make sure you fill out and mail all warranty cards for your appliances.

~ If your home is in an area prone to wood destroying insects (termites, etc.), have the home inspected annually by a licensed specialist.

~ It is important to keep gutters and downspouts free of leaves and debris. Inspect them routinely and remove any blockage and ensure downspouts are positioned properly to drain the water at least five feet away from the foundation. Also, make sure that the soil grade is sloping away from the home. Failure to keep gutters free from obstruction, or improper sloping away from the home, may result in water infiltration into your home.