The air filter in your air conditioning unit keeps dust and debris out of your AC system. When your AC filter gets clogged, dust and dirt can get into the air conditioner itself, causing wear and tear on the parts. Over time, your system may fail requiring expensive repairs or even replacement. The clogged filter also prevents enough air from flowing through the system to keep it working properly, which translates into higher electric bills. Your filter should be cleaned or replaced regularly. However, because the filter is often too low to reach easily, seniors often forgo this important chore! We at The Homestead Advantage will take care of it for you!
Window screens can get punctured or torn, but as long as the frame is in good shape repairs are easy and can be done in a few minutes. THA can help you inspect your screens and get them repaired if needed.
Over time, the handles, knobs, racks and other home hardware can loosen, causing a dangerous condition. If you reach for a handle that is loose, you can fall! All home hardware should be tested and tightened regularly.
Having a fire sprinkler system installed in your building is one of the best ways to ensure your property and everyone inside are protected in the event of a fire. We hope that you will never have to use your sprinkler system, but should a fire start it is important that your sprinklers work correctly. Most sprinkler systems will never need to be replaced, but checking them once or twice a year is always a good idea. You should take time to inspect all of the sprinkler heads throughout your building. The main thing you should be checking for are any signs of damaged or leaking heads. Ensure that nothing is being hung from any of your sprinkler heads, and if any of them appear to be broken you should have them repaired immediately.
Wood decks and concrete or paver patios need regular inspection! Without proper care, wood decks become weathered and eroded. Moisture on any outdoor surface encourages mold and mildew which cause stains and a slippery surface! Slips on slippery outdoor patios are common! Keep your decks and patios clean and save yourself an expensive medical or hospital bill!
Bits of food and liquids often bypass garbage bin liners leading to foul odors and providing an attraction to bugs and rodents. To prevent these odors and an expensive call to an exterminator, clean your garbage bin regularly!
Siding on your home can become dirty and moldy resulting in decreased home value and water intrusion or damage. Likewise, dirty windows are unsightly! Pressure washing and window cleaning need to be done correctly to prevent further damage. THA is happy to arrange for pressure washing and window cleaning from reputable tradesmen!
The purpose of a range hood filter is to collect grease, so if it’s doing its job correctly, it’s going to look and feel greasy. Over time, the filter may become so blocked with grease that it is no longer effective. This filter needs to be cleaned regularly to protect against grease fires and keep the air in the kitchen fresh.
Garage doors need regular maintenance to prevent malfunctions which can not only be expensive to repair, but also dangerous. Moving parts can rust when they become wet and can also deteriorate over time. All the hardware, including the springs and tracks, need to be lubricate regularly with silicone spray. This is one chore THA includes in our regular maintenance schedule.
Make sure your fire extinguisher is appropriate for your room, is not expired and does not appear damaged.
Replace or service any fire extinguisher if you find:
• The extinguisher is damaged, e.g. hose or nozzle is cracked, ripped or blocked.
• If the handle is wobbly or broken.
• The pressure gauge needle is outside of the green zone. (This means the extinguisher will need servicing immediately).
• Locking pin is missing or anti-tamper seal is broken.
• Appropriate labeling and operating instructions are missing.
Regular garage maintenance is important! Clutter in the garage tends to grow and expand until it fills all the space in the garage. An organized garage is important to let you access the things you need easily without risk of falling as you navigate misplaced boxes or equipment. THA will be happy to help you with this important chore!
Weather stripping on doors and windows prevent air leaks and water leaks into your home! Over time, weather stripping deteriorates from age, friction and exposure to the elements and subsequently loses its effectiveness. If your air conditioner is working too hard, your electric bill is going up or you notice water on the floor after a storm, deteriorated weather stripping could be the cause. Check these barriers often and replace them when needed.
Wood siding comes in many forms, including several types of boards, shingles, and sheets. Home siding should be inspected regularly and repaired if damaged to prevent water intrusion into your home and the need for costly repairs.
Many home appliances have water hoses connecting them to the water supply or drainage system. These hoses can, over time, become damaged or cracked and start leaking. Make sure to check your hoses regularly and replace them with steel-braided lines if needed. Remember to check the connections to the appliances as well which can loosen over time. A leak into your home is not only expensive but can lead to wet floors and falls!
Chimneys need to be inspected regularly to be sure they are not blocked or damaged! Creosite buildups, birds nests and other damage can result in chimney fires! These inspections are best one by a chimney expert! THA can help you find a reputable service and monitor the work!
Regular refrigerator maintenance involves vacuuming the condenser coils on the back or the bottom to clear out the dust and gunk about twice a year. Those coils are critical to pushing heat out, so removing the dust and dirt will make it more efficient at keeping the inside of the refrigerator cold. An inefficient refrigerator will cost more money to run.
Air vents, heat vents and return vents can collect dust and grime, causing a block to air flow. This, on turn, can cause the AC unit to freeze or work inefficiently. Regular vacuuming of these vents should be done to prevent more expensive problems.
Good home ventilation can protect your health and save you money at the doctor’s office. Poor ventilation can cause buildup of air pollutants and mold which can contribute to asthma and other respiratory problems. Poor ventilation can also cause humidity to build up causing mold and other home damage. To keep air quality optimal, pollutants must be exhausted, indoor air must be replaced by fresh outside air, and moisture must be controlled. AC filters need to be changed regularly—sometimes as often as once a month.
Window wells keep soil away from windows and allow light and air into the basement. They should be equipped with drains, necessary for keeping the well clear of water and free of bacterial growth. Without the protection of a cover, a window well can quickly collect debris, dirt, gravel and other unsightly materials. This detritus also can clog the drains, especially after heavy rainfall. Clean debris from your window well regularly.
Leaks cost money! A leaky faucet or toilet can waste 50-400 liters per day, depending on the size of the leak. To check for leaks in your home, first you need to determine whether you’re wasting water, then identify the source of the leak. Toilets are one of the biggest but often the most inconspicuous water-wasters. Approximately 20% of all toilets leak. To check if your toilet is a water-waster, remove the toilet tank lid and place a few drops of food coloring in the tank water. Wait at least 15 minutes, then check the bowl. If color shows in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Consult the guide below to help pinpoint the cause of a leak.
Gutters and downspouts are installed along a roof’s edge to capture and direct runoff away from your home. A clogged or damaged gutter often fails to move water away from the structure efficiently and can lead to puddling, leakage and even structural damage. A gutter filled with debris can fall resulting in expensive replacement! Inspect your gutters at least twice a year (or more frequently if damage is suspected or nearby trees lose enough leaves to potentially clog up the gutter or downspout). Arrange for gutter cleaning as needed.
Roof damage can occur from age, falling tree limbs, hail or other causes. Any damage that results in even a small hole, can result in leaks into your home which can cause wood rot, mold, termite infestation and more! These leaks are sometimes not discovered until significant damage has occurred. Be sure to check your roof regularly from the ground, and have a more thorough inspection done by a roofer regularly.
Garbage disposals need to be evaluated and cleaned regularly to prevent clogs, jams, blockages, odors and costly plumbing bills. Cleaning your garbage disposal can help prevent and remove foul odors, and some cleaning methods can also help keep the kitchen drains clear. When the kitchen sink starts giving off bad smells, it’s a sure sign that the garbage disposal and drains could use some cleaning. Regular cleaning can keep the garbage disposal clean and free of smells.
Hard water contains lots of minerals like calcium and magnesium. These minerals are not harmful to drink, but they do keep clothes from getting clean enough, can cause unsightly build up on you fixtures and over time can build up inside pipes and cause damage. Water softeners prevent these problems. The type of water softener, size of the brine tank, water hardness and household water usage all determine how much salt you need and how often you’ll need to replenish your softener’s salt supply. Make sure your softener has enough salt at all times. We will be happy to check your softener regularly and make sure it stays filled!
Central air conditioners have a drain line that must remain open to prevent water leaking into your home. This line drains condensation from the air handler to the outside. This drain should be cleaned frequently!
The water heater in your home needs regular attention. New tankless models are less worrisome and just need regular cleaning. However, those with tanks need more attention. With time, water heater sludge accumulates at the bottom of a tank as minerals, sediment and other deposits settle in the water. Flushing out these deposits prolongs the heater’s life and prevents malfunctions, such as cold bursts of water. Water heater tanks should be flushed periodically. Let us help you keep a good schedule for maintenance!
Cracked or missing grout or caulk is not only unsightly, but can also cause water incursion behind the tile which can lead to wood rot, mold or other problems. Inspect your grout and caulk often and repair damaged areas promptly.
A faucet aerator adds air to the water flow and creates a consistent, straight stream. If the aerator gets clogged with mineral deposits leading to a poor or erratic water stream and low flow. The aerator should be checked an cleaned on a regular basis.
Soil and mulch buildup around your home can result in water intrusion! Likewise, plantings around your home may grow to a point that your irrigation heads splash off them and onto your home which also can result in water intrusion! Regular evaluation can prevent long-term damage! Regular inspections are part of The Homestead Advantage maintenance plans!
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are two of the most important devices attached to an all-encompassing home security system. Both devices can be lifesaving, but only if they are working! Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps to warn that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away. Other alarms should have the battery replaced twice a year. Most units have a “reset” button so you can test them regularly. Unfortunately, most of these detectors are too high to reach without a ladder, making these tests difficult for seniors (and inconvenient for everyone else). We at THA will test your alarms regularly to help you feel safe in your home!
Ground-fault circuit-interrupters, or GFCI outlets are safety devices that help protect you from electric shock. It may not be obvious if they are installed incorrectly or fail. Therefore, it’s best to test them regularly to prevent a dangerous shock.
The current in a home electric system can kill! . Even changing a light bulb without unplugging the lamp can be hazardous because coming in contact with the “hot”, “energized” or “live” part of the socket could kill a person. Power cords on electrical appliances that are moved frequently, such as vacuum cleaners or power tools, can become easily damaged either at the plug or along the cord. Damaged and ungrounded power cords pose serious hazards to users of the appliance including electrical shock and risk of fire. Electric cords should be inspected regularly and repaired if damaged.
Electric receptacles (outlets) need to be evaluated on a regular basis. Over time, wires can loosen which could potentially cause arcing, heat buildup and possibly a fire. Have someone check your outlets regularly and if you see any sparks, get the unit evaluated immediately. REMEMBER: always turn off a light or electric appliance before you unplug it!
A garage door auto reverse is a safety feature preventing the door from closing on an obstacle, whether it be a box, person or pet! It works when either the motor senses resistance to closure, or the infrared sensors on either side of the garage opening is blocked. The garage auto-reverse should be checked regularly!
Outdoor lighting, besides being decorative, keeps your home safe. Many of these lights have bulbs that are difficult to access. Outdoor lighting should be inspected regularly and spent bulbs changed frequently. Outdoor light fixtures should be cleaned regularly.
The Temperature Pressure Relief valve in a water heater prevents pressure overload from either heat or pressure which might result in an explosion! Check the valve regularly for leaks that can be caused by corrosion or blockage from mineral build up!
A ceiling fan can stop working properly for a variety of reasons. We help you to deal with a fan that doesn’t work at all because it isn’t receiving electrical power as well as on to other types of fan problems, such as wobbling, humming, and failure to turn properly. Every once in a while we have the chance of walking into a home with super dirty ceiling fans. If your fans are this dirty, they can be intimidating to clean. After all, if you use a duster, you are going to knock all that dust onto the floor or your furniture. Not to worry, we will help you to cleaning them without dirtying the rest of the room.