fall maintenance

Fall Maintenance

As we are approaching the autumn season, home owners will have the exterior maintenance tasks coming up. Now I know working in the yard or doing other projects is not priority during football season. However, did you know we have a free annual maintenance check list. Yes. We give this to home owners to help guide them along the way to keep up with these tasks.

For example, during the fall we have the raking of the leaves which everyone is used too. But did you think of your outside water faucet? Or what about checking around the foundation for potential leaks and cracks. While you are cleaning the leaves out of the gutters, that may be a great time to have gutter guards installed. Additionally, maybe inspect the roof and flashing around the vents. Did you ever think about the exterior lighting? Adding lights in the garden can help with the frost so it does not kill your vegetables. Also if you have a pond with fish or little fountain now is the time to clean that out before we head into winter.

As you can see, these are just a few of some those items that we need to put on our to do list for the fall season. And Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair is here to help you. We can assist in many items for your exterior maintenance. For a free check list email or call our office anytime. 352-437-5300 or pascoremodel@gmail.com

 

Sample check list below:

1.Roof: Check the roof and around vents, skylights, and chimneys for leaks. Repair as necessary.

2. Attic: If there is no ridge vent, keep gable vents open year-round to ensure proper ventilation.

3. Gutters: Clean the gutters and drain pipes so leaves won’t clog them and be sure they drain away from the house. (Fall: In cold-climate areas) Drain outside faucets.

4. Fireplace: Clean the fireplace of ashes. (Fall) Check the chimney for loose or missing mortar. Have the chimney professionally cleaned. Make sure the damper closes tightly. (Spring) Leave the damper open for improved ventilation if the home is not air-conditioned.

5. Filters: Remember to clean or replace filters once a month, or as needed. Check and clean the dryer vent, air conditioner, stove hood, and room fans. Keep heating and cooling vents clean and free from furniture and draperies.

6. Safety Equipment: Ensure that all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers are in good working order. Replace batteries in appropriate devices as needed, or at least twice each year.

7. Air Conditioner: (Fall: In cold-climate areas) Remove window air-conditioners, or put weatherproof covers on them.

8. Refrigerator: Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a dollar bill. If you can pull the bill out easily, the latch may need to be adjusted or the seal may need to be replaced. In addition, if you have a coil-back refrigerator, vacuum the coils at least twice each year. Your refrigerator will run more efficiently with clean coils. Also, stock up! A full refrigerator uses less energy than an empty one.

9. Faucets: Check for leaky faucets in the kitchen and bathroom(s). Replace washers as necessary.

10. Windows and Doors: Seal drafty doors and windows. If you added up all of the small cracks where heating and cooling escapes from a home, it would be the same as having a window open. Replace seals as needed.

11. Storm Windows and Screens: (Fall) Take down screens (if removable type) and replace with storm windows. (Spring) Remove, clean, and store storm windows (if removable). Check and patch all door and window screens. Put screens up (if removable type).

12. Siding and Paint: Look for cracks and holes in house siding or paint. Replace caulk if necessary. A carpet knife can work well for cutting away old caulking from house siding. Slice down alongside it from both directions with the hook-like blade, then use the knife to lift out the old caulk bead intact.

13. Check all baseboards and flooring with slab grade homes. This could be a sign of moisture intrustion.

14. Heating System: (Fall) Have the heating system serviced. Change filters.

15. Hot Water Heater: (Fall) Drain the hot water heater. Remove sediment from the bottom of the tank.

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Handyman, carpenter, plumber, electrical

Handyman Repairs

Have you ever wondered about the term “Handyman?” A handyman is typically a person that can dabble in alot of repairs. For example, they may have some knowledge of roofing, electrical, plumbing and minor carpentry.  They probably will do those odd exterior maintenance tasks such as power washing and raking leaves. However, is the handyman really handy or are they an oaf.

Depending upon your locality government in Florida, a lot of registered businesses are not handyman entrepreneurs. They are usually contractors and have a handyman division. Only one place in Florida, can you be a licensed handyman and that is Cape Coral Florida. Other counties may allow a handyman occupational license. This means “Joe The Handyman” is registered as a business for that county, for tax purposes. Not for the fact of being a licensed, registered company to perform repairs and alterations to a home. For example Pasco County, you can have a specialty contractor for carpentry. That license can be reciprocated to other counties such as Pinellas, Hernando, Citrus and Polk Counties. Or you can have a county Builder, GC or Residential Contractor or State Certified company. Either way depending upon how the business gets licensed and insured and bonded then they can perform the work, legally.

So, the next time you are looking to have company perform the a task in your home. Make sure they are properly licensed, insured, bonded and skilled to do that task. Ask for references. Any reputable company will provide an insurance certificate for you. And ask about the warranties. Remember if something does not sound right to you as the consumer, then it probably is not.

At Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair, LLC we are Specialty Licensed Contractor for Carpentry, in Pasco County. We are in the process of reciprocating our license to Pinellas, Hernando, Citrus, Polk and Sumter Counties to expand our client base. We offer a Full 2 Year Warranty and never compromise on materials or labor. For more information on our divisions and services, please go to; www.pascoremodel.com or call our office anytime at 352-437-5300.

#RoofLeak, Roof Leaks, Moisture Intrusion

Moisture Intrusion

This weeks blog is about Moisture Intrusion and inspecting.  Since we are about to enter the rain season here in Tampa Florida this I felt would be a great source of information
Moisture intrusion can be the cause of building defects, as well as health ailments for the building’s occupants. Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair, LLC have an understanding of how moisture may enter a building, and where problem areas commonly occur. This is mainly true about older homes such as the ones along the beach area of Largo Florida.
Some common moisture-related problems include:
  • structural wood decay;
  • high indoor humidity and resulting condensation;
  • expansive soil, which may crack the foundation through changes in volume, or softened soil, which may lose its ability to support an overlying structure;
  • undermined foundations;
  • metal corrosion;
  • ice dams; and
  • mold growth.  Mold can only grow in the presence of high levels of moisture. People who suffer from the following conditions can be seriously (even fatally) harmed if exposed to elevated levels of airborne mold spores:
    • asthma;
    • allergies;
    • lung disease; and/or
    • compromised immune systems.

Note:  People who do not suffer from these ailments may still be harmed by elevated levels of airborne mold spores.

How does moisture get into the house?

Moisture or water vapor moves into a house in the following ways:

  • air infiltration. Air movement accounts for more than 98% of all water vapor movement in building cavities. Air naturally moves from high-pressure areas to lower ones by the easiest path possible, such as a hole or crack in the building envelope. Moisture transfer by air currents is very fast (in the range of several hundred cubic feet of air per minute). Replacement air will infiltrate through the building envelope unless unintended air paths are carefully and permanently sealed;
  • by diffusion through building material. Most building materials slow moisture diffusion, to a large degree, although they never stop it completely;
  • leaks from roof;
  • plumbing leaks;
  • flooding, which can be caused by seepage from runoff or rising groundwater; it may be seasonal or catastrophic; and
  • human activities, including bathing, cooking, dish-washing and washing clothes. Indoor plants, too, may be a significant source of high levels of humidity.
Climate Zones
 
In the northern U.S., moisture vapor problems are driven primarily by high indoor relative humidity levels, combined with low outdoor temperatures during the winter. In the southern U.S. (especially the southeast), the problem is largely driven by high outdoor humidity and low indoor temperatures during summer months. Mixed climates are exposed to both conditions and can experience both types of problems. Humid climates, in general, will be more of a problem than dry climates. Wind-driven rain is the main cause of leaks through the building envelope.

Inspectors can check for moisture intrusion in the following areas:

Roofs

A roof leak may lead to the growth of visible mold colonies in the attic that can grow unnoticed. Roof penetrations increase the likelihood of water leaks due to failed gaskets, sealants and flashing. The number of roof penetrations may be reduced by a variety of technologies and strategies, including:

  • consolidation of vent stacks below the roof;
  • exhaust fan caps routed through walls instead of the roof;
  • high-efficiency combustion appliances, which can be sidewall-vented;
  • electrically powered H.V.A.C. equipment and hot water heaters that do not require flue; and
  • adequate flashing. Oftentimes, inspectors discover missing, incorrectly installed or corroded flashing pipes.

Plumbing

  • Distribution pipes and plumbing fixtures can be the source of large amounts of moisture intrusion. If the wall is moist and/or discolored, then moisture damage is already in progress. Most plumbing is hidden in the walls, so serious problems can begin unnoticed.
  • One of the most important means of moisture management in the bathroom is the exhaust fan. A non-functioning exhaust fan overloads the bathroom with damp air. If the exhaust fan doesn’t turn on automatically when the bathroom is in use, consider recommending switching the wiring or switch. The lack of an exhaust fan should be called out in the inspection report. The fan should vent into the exterior, not into the attic.
  • The bathroom sink, in particular, is a common source of moisture intrusion and damage. Although overflow drains can prevent the spillage of water onto the floor, they can become corroded and allow water to enter the cabinet.
  • Use a moisture meter to check for elevated moisture levels in the sub-floor around the toilet and tub.
  • Bathroom windows need to perform properly in a wide range of humidity and temperature conditions. Check to see if there are any obvious breaks in the weatherstripping and seals. Are there are stains or flaking on the painted surfaces?
  • Check showers and bathtubs. Is the caulking is cracked, stiff or loose in spots? Are there cracked tiles or missing grout that may channel water to vulnerable areas? If some water remains in the bathtub after draining, it may be a warning sign of possible structural weakening and settlement in the floor beneath the tub.

Utility Room

  • The water heater tank should be clean and rust-free.
  • The area around the water softener tank should be clean and dry.
  • Check that all through-the-wall penetrations for fuel lines, ducts, and electrical systems of heating system are well-sealed. All ducts should be clean and dust-free. Inspect the air supply registers in the house for dust accumulation.
  • Filters, supply lines, exterior wall penetrations, vents, duct work and drainage of the cooling system must all be in good working order to avoid moisture problems.

Attic

  • Look for stains or discolorations at all roof penetrations. Chimneys, plumbing vents and skylight wells are common places where moisture may pass through the roof. Any such locations must be inspected for wetness, a musty smell and/or visible signs of mold.
  • Are there areas of the insulation that appear unusually thin?
  • Rust or corrosion around recessed lights are signs of a potential electrical hazard.
Foundations

Model building codes typically require damp-proofing of foundation walls. The damp-proofing shall be applied from the top of the footing to the finished grade. Parging of foundation walls should be damp-proofed in one of the following ways:
  • bituminous coating;
  • 3 pounds per square yard of acrylic modified cement;
  • 1/8-inch coat of surface-bonding cement; or
  • any material permitted for water-proofing.
In summary, moisture can enter a building in a number of different ways. High levels of moisture can cause building defects and health ailments.
If you like to know more about this subject feel free to contact us anytime at 352-437-5300 or email; pascoremodel@gmail.com