There are many things you can do to improve the health of your home and minimize or avoid incurring repair bills.  Our Pittsburgh and Monroeville area is exposed to all sorts of extreme weather conditions ranging from freezing winters to incredibly hot and humid summers.  Often we stay indoors where the temperature remains relatively comfy at around 68 to 78 degrees (+/-) while the outside can vary dramatically.  Your roof, doors and windows must handle a summer heat index of over 120 degrees as well as a winter cold index of -10.  That’s a 130 degrees in difference!  We hope these maintenance tips help you make your home last longer and run more comfortable and efficient.  Should you need help with anything roof, door, window, or other repair related then please contact us.

Winterize Outdoor Faucets

Water expands when it freezes and can cause major damage to pipes.  Make sure you don’t have any in your outdoor faucets.  Disconnect all hoses from faucets and shut off the water supply going to your homes outside.  After turning everything off, open your outside faucets to make sure no water is coming out.  When empty, turn them off for the winter.

Redirect Water Away from Foundation

Any water that pockets around your foundation can become a  very expensive repair item down the road.  There is an old “tip” phrase to help you prevent water from collecting around your home.  We often tell our customers to “think like a drip!”.  Think about rain and melting snow water coming down from your roof or following the path of least resistance on the ground.  Spend a few bucks in downspout extensions and direct the water further away from your home.  Be sure that the ground around your home has a pitch angled away from your house so that the water never gets a chance to sit around the foundation.  Take a walk around your home and think like a drip!

Winterize Your Heating Components

Pittsburgh area furnaces go into overtime during our winter storms so help them by changing all furnace filters at least once a year.  If you notice your filters are very dirty then do it more frequently.  Check all of your air registers and make sure most of them remain open.  Ideally you should have 75% or more remain open.  Both of these things allow your heater to have to deal with much less resistance, extending its life.

Tidy Up Your Decks

Don’t let leafs and other debris accumulate on your decks as this may be a good spot for vermin or termites to begin nesting.  Give it a good power wash before winter and spend some time evaluating wooden boards to make sure everything is firm.  Be sure to check for rot and puddling as you do this.  If you notice any issues, take care of them quick.  Decks take a beating from your foot traffic as well as the weather so the earlier issues are addressed the longer they will be around.

Inspect Roof for Damage

We recommend you do a thorough visual inspection before each season.  Look for any spots that have warped shingles, broken shingles, or heavy discoloration.  This may be a sign that something is happening under the main roof membrane.  Its easier to replace a small area than an entire roof so be proactive on this.  Also, we don’t recommend climbing up ladders.  If you want a thorough inspection then hire someone to do this.

Look for Ice Dams During Winter

If you have a lot of snow sitting on your gutters you may be susceptible to ice dams.  This happens when the snow on top of clogged gutters doesn’t allow melted water to escape, thus it builds a dam and puddles water on the edges of your roof.  This may be a sign that either your gutters are blocked, full of debris or inadequate.

Run Water Through Unused Fixtures

Many homes have bathroom fixtures that don’t get a lot of usage until the guests come.  Run water through the sinks and toilets that aren’t regularly used.  Grime and other thick substance may start to build up in pipes so water circulation is important.  Make it a habit to run some water through those fixtures.

Take care of Leaky Windows and Doors

There are very affordable and effective seal strips you can buy to minimize heat transfer if you’re on a tight budget.  You will save in energy costs and experience more comfort by doing this.  If you do notice that the seals around your doors and windows have withered then your best bet is to replace it.

Lastly, Hire a Good Handyman/woman

We encourage all homeowners to find and retain a good handyman/woman!  Just like you get an annual health checkup so should your home. Get someone to do an annual home health inspection and point out any potential trouble spots.  As a home repair company we have seen numerous issues that ended up costing home owners thousands of dollars when in fact they could have been quickly taken care of for tenth of the cost.

A quick annual home review doesn’t need to take a ton of time and it will save you headaches way down the road.  If you do need help with windows, decks, roofs, siding or anything else then please call us at 724-728-0988.  We are happy to give you a free estimate!

Call our two locations Beaver Valley 724-728-0988 – or – Monroeville 412-373-0414 if your home needs help.

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