TIPS TO KEEPING YOUR HOME HEALTHY AND SAFE: Take action today to prevent un-necessary future maintenance costs

1 DIRECT DOWNSPOUTS OUT AWAY FROM THE HOME.
All downspouts should be at least 8’away from the foundation wall. We see a lot of leaky basements as a result of downspouts draining next to the home.
2 CHECK YOUR SHINGLES ON A REGULAR BASIS
It is vital that the shingles remain in place to shed water. This is why you should check your roof every so often, especially after high winds. Even newer homes, have a tendency to loose shingles in high winds. Missing shingles = leaky roofs
3 DO NOT ALLOW A NEGATIVE SLOPE TO EXHIST AROUND YOUR HOME.
Soil settlement around a home is very common especially after new construction. It is critically important to add clay and top soil to the low areas so water moves away from the home, not into it.
4 INSTALL BATHROOM VENT FANS
The bathroom fan is one of the most neglected forms of household venting. It is important that the warm moist air created inside the home be properly vented outside. If this is not done or is done incorrectly it is likely that mold will eventually form somewhere in the vicinity of the bathroom. Check to make sure the air is not being vented into your attic where it will form frost and mold and rot.
5 CHECK YOUR FURNACE FILTERS REGULARLY
Even a new furnace will be inefficient if it cannot maintain a steady volume of fresh air. Blocked furnace filters and intakes will starve the combustion process and cost you money, not to mention the consequences to your health. Many newer furnaces will shut down if they do not have an adequate air exchange.
6. CHECK YOUR ATTIC INSULATION
Improper attic insulation causes many issues. One of the most common is blocked soffit vents. Too much insulation along the top of the wall blocks the free flow of fresh air which may cause frost inside the attic, large ice dams on the roof and eaves trough, mold growth, staining of ceilings and a leaks.
7. DON’T CHANGE THE ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
Electricity kills! If you are planning renovations and are obtaining a homeowners permit be sure you know what you are dealing with. One wrong connection could burn down your home. If you are unsure let the professionals do it for you.
8. BE CAREFUL WHEN REMOVING WALLS – THEY MAY BE STRUCTURAL
Taking out the wall between the kitchen and living room is a common practice. Before you decide to do this make sure you know if this is a structural component or not. Even if it is you may still be able to open it up if the proper steps are taken. Removing structural walls can compromise the integrity of your entire home if done incorrectly.
9. INSTALL A SUMP PUMP
The Midwest is quite flat as we all know. This creates the challenge of dealing with heavy runoff. We always suggest having a sump pump installed, just in case.
10. INSTALL A BACKWATER VALVE IN YOUR BASEMENT FLOOR DRAINS
A back water valve is an in-expensive device that may prevent your home from flooding when all your neighbours’ basements are getting drenched. Most new homes have a whole house check valve but many older homes are not protected. This valve only costs about $15 and is easily installed by the homeowner.

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