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Summer Home Care

by Scott Zeller
 

Summer Home Maintenance Guide

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Homeowner beware: Summer does not mean vacation when it comes to your house. It’s easy to put off regular home maintenance during these long, lazy days of summer. But a little bit of effort now can save you a lot of time — and money — down the road. Here are five must-dos for summer home maintenance.

 

 

 

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The following is a guest post by William Dukes

Homeowner beware: Summer does not mean vacation when it comes to your house. It’s easy to put off regular home maintenance during these long, lazy days of summer. But a little bit of effort now can save you a lot of time — and money — down the road. Here are five must-dos for summer home maintenance.


LAWN CARE

Summer lawn care basics are the same, no matter where you live. Mow regularly, Water deeply and keep an eye out for pests and diseases. Those tasks and a little weeding should keep your lawn green and lush. Different kinds of grasses, whether warm-season or cool-season, need different amounts of water and mowing heights. Lawns in warmer, humid areas are more prone to fungal diseases. A good rule of thumb to ward off fungal diseases such as brown patch is to water early in the morning. It allows the water to seep into the roots and the soil, but the remaining water droplets will evaporate during the daytime heat.

This is also the time to trim your bushes and shrubs. Before you start removing all the dead and damaged branches, make sure you have the right tools, and you know how to cut at the right angle. Improper pruning can stress the shrubs.

HVAC

Most people sleep better when the room is cool. Science shows adults sleep best when the room is between 60 and 67 degrees at night. Keeping your bedroom cool is just one reason why you need to keep your HVAC in tiptop shape. Don’t wait until something malfunctions. Have an HVAC technician make regular maintenance visits. The technician will not only keep things running smoothly but can often tell you if you have a major repair or even a replacement on the horizon. Regular HVAC visits save you money and often give you time to budget for a replacement. It also prevents you from tossing and turning through a sweaty summer night.

INSPECT/REPAIR HOME EXTERIOR

Take a slow walk around your house and pay special attention to the exterior. Is the siding cracked? What condition is the paint in? Is there any apparent damage? Now’s the time to get things fixed. A little bit of damage to your siding can be a DIY project that’s easy to do. Summer is the time to touch up paint, or power wash your home’s exterior and driveway and take care of any projects before the winter weather gets in the way.

SEAL WINDOWS

A significant amount of your home’s energy loss happens around your windows and doors, making your home more expensive to cool in the summer and heat in the winter. Summer is a great time to seal and caulk your windows, and any other small holes that you might find. Take a close look near your kitchen exhaust fan or fireplace flues. Summer is also a great time to replace your windows with more energy-efficient models. Window replacement is pricey, but it will save your home a lot of energy loss and make it easier to keep the temperature comfortable.

OUTDOOR COOKERS

A summertime backyard cookout is peak American. Whether you have a gas grill, a charcoal grill, a smoker, or any other outdoor cooker, you can increase their efficiency and lower your risk of food poisoning by cleaning them. For gas grills, turn on the grill and let it heat up for about 20 minutes, then turn off the gas and scrub the grill with a barbecue brush. For a charcoal grill, remove the grill and scour it with a metal brush, or even a ball of aluminum foil and get the ash, rust, and gunk off of it. Remove and empty the ash can and wipe out any debris on the bottom of the grill. But you don’t want to aggressively scrub a smoker. The oily, smoky coating is important in the low and slow cooking process. You’ll want to remove the ash and grease regularly and be sure not to disturb the smoker’s seasoning.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to keep your home running smoothly during the summer months, and repair any damage that may have happened over the cold months. Remember, maintenance and minor repairs are always less of a headache than major repairs and replacement!

William Dukes is a freelance writer and home decorator. He spends most of his time landscaping and fixing up and flipping old houses. He and his wife enjoy home DIY projects and recently built a new barn for their ranch.

 

Sam is the Marketing Coordinator for Coldwell Banker Real Estate. He is Jersey born and bred, and currently resides in Roseland, NJ. He is an avid reader, loves Games of Thrones and is a New York Yankees die-hard.

You can follow him on Twitter @World_Shalom

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Water Saving Upgrades

by Scott Zeller
 

314

 

Simple Water-Saving Bathroom Upgrades

 

Read about the three simple bathroom upgrades that have a positive impact on your wallet and the world.

Guest post by Katy Caballeros 

Between the toilet, shower, and sink, your bathroom accounts for nearly 60% of your home’s water usage. With water scarcity estimated to affect 2/3 for the global population by 2025, water costs are bound increase. Make a water-saving change and an investment in the future, without sacrificing performance. Read about the three simple bathroom upgrades that have a positive impact on your wallet and the world.

1. Install a Low-Flow Faucet Aerator

Although a sink doesn’t seem to use as much water as the shower or toilet, it can pour out around 3 gallons of water per minute (gpm). Those extra gallons add up, especially if occasionally forget to turn off the sink while you shave or brush your teeth. By installing a low-flow faucet aerator on your bathroom sink, you can cut your water waste in half, reducing it by as much as 1,400 gallons per year. Purchasing an aerator for your sink is one of the cheapest conservation renos, with aerators available for as little as $1.

2. Switch Out Your Showerhead

It’s easy to waste water in the shower—many of us use the shower to relax or perhaps leave the water running as we wait for it to warm. While taking shorter showers can definitely help with water conservation, new energy-efficient showerheads can help reduce water waste without sacrificing enjoyment.

WaterSense labeled products are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help save water and are worth consideration as you search for the right products for your home. Showerheads labeled “low flow” are another option for your bathroom reno, as they deliver 2.5 gpm instead of the wasteful 5 gpm of older showerheads.

Newer models, like Evolve’s showerheads, have features like smart home technology, which conserve water and reduce energy use. Here’s how it works: instead of wasting water as you wait for the shower to warm, this technology automatically reduces the water flow to a trickle when it reaches 95 degrees. When you’re ready to shower, you pull on the showerhead’s built in lever and the flow returns to normal. No more letting energy-burning hot water flow down the drain. They estimated this showerhead technology can save homeowners 2-6 gallons of water per shower!

3. Replace Your Old Toilet

The toilet is the most water-wasteful piece of plumbing in most homes. Nearly 1/3 of a household’s total water consumption is flushed down the toilet. They can use as much as 7 gallons per flush! Luckily, toilet technology has come a long way in the past few decades. Newer energy-saving models can reduce water waste up to 67%. There are three main types of water efficient toilets:

  1. Low Flow Toilets
  2. Duel Flush Toilets
  3. Pressure Assist Toilets

Some toilets use a combination of low flow, duel flush, and pressure assist to create a conservation-friendly commode. Low flow toilets are designed to use significantly less water than older models, whereas duel flush toilets customize each flush for either solid or liquid waste. Pressure-assist toilets use an air cartridge to push water from the tank, which means using as little as one gallon per flush. With thousands of gallons a year in water savings at stake, a toilet reno is a must for water-conscious homeowners.

HomeAdvisor surveyed homeowners and found that replacing a toilet cost an average of $377. Compare that to savings up to $2,200 over its lifespan, and that’s more than a 580% return on investment.

Luckily, with innovations in water-saving technology, it’s easy to drastically cut back on water consumption without sacrificing performance. And, compared to other home updates, purchasing and installing water-saving products is relatively cheap and promise big savings on your water and energy bills. Whether you’re conserving water for your wallet, the environment, or state regulations upgrading bathroom fixtures can make a positive impact.

 

Katy Caballeros is a freelance writer who enjoys scheming eclectic home design ideas for her apartment. She can usually be found with a book and bottle of ginger beer on the weekends.

References
http://www.homeadvisor.com/r/8-water-saving-home-renos/#.Wbs63ciGNPY
https://www.consumerreports.org/home-improvement/elegant-water-saving-bathroom-fixtures/
http://thinkevolve.com/products/showerstart-tsv/
http://globalriskinsights.com/2016/12/economic-cost-global-water-scarcity/
https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/ideas-for-the-bathroom-water-use/view-all/

Sharon is the Manager of Product and Content Marketing for Coldwell Banker Real Estate, LLC. She lives in New Jersey and holds a BA from Syracuse University. She loves pun-ny jokes, true crime documentaries, podcasts and she can watch adorable videos of puppies and babies all day!

 

Lawn Maintenance

by Scott Zeller

Thought this would be helpful.

HGTV.COM
 
The home and garden experts at HGTV.com share easy tips for creating and maintaining a beautiful lawn.
 

Summer Maintenance Projects

by Scott Zeller

279

 

Most Important Summer Home Maintenance Projects

 

Being proactive when it comes to your home’s maintenance can save you time and money! Focus on maintaining these 5 areas.

With the bright sunlight and warm temperatures that accompany summer, you may be spending more time outside — and you may be noticing areas of your home’s exterior that need repair. But there’s more reason to tackle your home maintenance projects this summer than simply cosmetic appearance. Maintaining your home will prevent major leaks and damage that may eventually require professional help, usually when its most expensive and inconvenient for you.

Being proactive when it comes to your home’s maintenance can save you time and money, and it makes sense to do it when you’re more likely to be outdoors in the comfortable summer months. Here are five areas of your house that are most important to keep updated.

  1. Windows

Start by cleaning the exterior of your windows with hot soapy water and a sponge or squeegee. If you’ll need a ladder, make sure to review safety guidelines.

While you’re washing, inspect each window pane for cracks. Double or triple glazed windows with damaged seals or cracks may need to be replaced. Think back: Have your windows had excessive condensation inside through the winter and spring? That’s another sign that the seal might have been compromised and that your window might need to be replaced.

You’ll also want to inspect caulking and weatherstripping around your windows. Recaulk any spots where the caulk is loose or chipping away, or consider applying new caulk for a tight seal. Summer is a perfect time to do this because the warm temperatures and low humidity will help the caulk set perfectly.

Finally, wash window screens and replace any screens that have rips or holes. 

  1. Roof

Visually inspect your roof every summer for missing or broken shingles, shakes and panels. Again, if you’ll be using a ladder and climbing up to your roof, make sure you follow safety guidelines. If you have any concerns about using a ladder or moving around on your roof, or if you’re unsteady on your feet, call your roofing company. Most roofers will make inspections and do basic maintenance for you.

While you’re up on your roof, you’ll also want to check flashing and seals around vents, chimneys and skylights. Apply caulk around any areas that haven’t been re-sealed in the past year.

Algae and moss can plague even new and well-maintained roofs. Apply a moss killer designed for roofs or install zinc strips that can help keep algae and moss from taking hold.

Your gutters should be cleaned and checked for holes or other damage. Look for water stains around your gutters and downspouts that indicate a problem.

  1. Exterior

     

Check high and low over your exterior and look for holes, gaps and cracks in your siding. It’s less expensive to replace siding that is just starting to deteriorate than to wait until it’s broken down completely and impacted your home’s structure, insulation and inside walls.

While you’re walking around your home, look for any signs of pests. Termites and carpenter ants can be devastating to your home’s structure, while ants and wasps can be a nuisance and cause minor damage to your home’s exterior. Check vents and crawl-space access doors to make sure rodents and other wildlife can’t get in.

  1. Foundation

Check your foundation for any cracks and signs that there has been a leak, such as water stains. Any small cracks can be repaired, but larger cracks should be inspected by a pro. Once you repair small cracks, re-seal the foundation with a good waterproof masonry sealer.

Pull out any larger plants growing close to your home that might impact the foundation. Besides the risks of roots growing into your foundation, watering plants close to your home can cause water to pool around the foundation and lead to damage.

  1. Heating and Cooling

You’re going to want to make sure your air conditioning is ready for the heat ahead, so replace filters and remove and clean your unit’s fan and condenser. Make sure you turn off power to the unit before you tackle any work.

At the same time, your furnace should be checked and readied for use again at summer’s end. Vacuum out the burner and blower cavities, and vacuum and brush the blower blades. Change the filter so the furnace is all ready to go when it’s time to turn it on again.

Your home is a big investment, and it’s important to keep it in good “health.” Spend some of your summer days inspecting and making minor repairs and you’ll reduce your chances of needing a big repair later.


YOUR "Z TEAM" TIP OF THE DAY! "Stay Warm Without Huge Energy Bills"

by Scott Zeller

YOUR "Z TEAM" TIP OF THE DAY!

"Stay Warm Without Huge Energy Bills"

Baby, it's cold outside! Take a look at these 10 great tips from The Simple Dollar to stay warm & cozy inside your home without breaking the bank!


YOUR "Z TEAM" TIP OF THE DAY! "A Better Looking Return Air Grille"

by Scott Zeller

YOUR "Z TEAM" TIP OF THE DAY!

"A Better Looking Return Air Grille"

Some home improvements are not actual necessities, but they sure do make a big difference in the overall look of your living spaces! Take a look at this quick update from The Friendly Home that adds some style to what would normally be a boring, overlooked area of your home.


Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

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Murfreesboro TN 37129
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Business: 615-893-1130
Fax: 615-893-3246

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