Posts Tagged ‘home maintenance’

9 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Your Home

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

9 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamIs your Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton area home making you sick? If you find yourself experiencing a variety of symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, a cough that won’t go away, constant sneezing, chronic sore throat, frequent headaches, shortness of breath or asthma, the culprit may be the air in your home.

Indoor air pollution can be caused by a long list of things, including:

  • Smoke, especially tobacco products used indoors
  • Other burning items, such as candles, incense, wood-burning fireplace, gas stove
  • Heating or cooling systems.
  • Off-gassing from building materials (new carpets, new cabinets made of pressed wood, etc.) and other industrial chemicals, such as radon, formaldehyde, fire-retardants, and the like
  • Household chemicals of various types (cleaning supplies, paint, air fresheners, etc.)
  • Personal products such as hair spray, scented soaps, etc.
  • High humidity
  • Poor circulation of fresh air
  • Mould, mildew and dust mites

Winter, when our houses are closed up tight, makes the situation worse. Luckily, there are many things we can do to improve the quality of the air and our health without resorting to camping in the open air in the backyard

1.  No smoking in the house!

2.  Keep your house clean.

  • Vacuum often.
    Choose a vacuum cleaner with strong suction, rotating brushes and a HEPA filter to get rid of all sorts of nasty things. Clean your floors and also walls, carpet edges, draperies or blinds, and upholstered furniture at least once a week. Vacuum mattresses every couple of months.
  • Damp mop the floors after vacuuming.
    Use a microfiber cloth and plain water to pick up dust that the vacuum did not capture. Furniture, baseboards, interior doors and cabinets can also be cleaned of dust using just a damp microfiber cloth.
  • Put a large floor mat at every door and have people remove their shoes to keep outside dirt and chemicals from coming in.
  • Consider getting rid of the carpet in your home (a haven for dirt and dust mites). Replace it with natural materials like solid wood, bamboo or cork. Avoid vinyl floor coverings due to their carcinogenic properties.
  • Launder bed coverings and pillows frequently, especially if you have pets in your home.
  • Clean often or replace filters in your furnace, humidifiers and portable air conditioners. Also clean bathroom and kitchen vents.

3. Store household chemicals, such as paint, solvents, glues and pesticides, outside the home.

Items such as these emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are harmful to people and the environment. There’s a reason containers for these products come with the warning to use only in a well-ventilated area.

4.  Banish artificial fragrances from your home.

Pine, lemon and flowery scents in cleaners, laundry products and plug-in air fresheners may smell pleasant, but those things are loaded with nasty chemicals that can make you sick. Gases emitted by these products contain VOCs and petroleum derivatives that have been determined to be hazardous and toxic. Instead, look for fragrance-free products. Use natural cleaning products, such as baking soda and vinegar. Stop using aerosol sprays such as deodorants, hair sprays, furniture polish, and air fresheners. Use sliced lemons or vanilla extract dabbed on light bulbs or your furnace filter for a lovely natural smell.

5.  Stop household mould.

Mould occurs in areas prone to high moisture such as kitchens and bathrooms. Use exhaust fans and a dehumidifier to keep the humidity down and the air moving. Keep a healthy level of humidity in your home of 30-50%. Repair any plumbing leaks. If you spot mould on surfaces, treat it and remove it while it’s small and manageable. This article from The Family Handyman tells you how.

6.  Invest in an air purifier.

High-quality air purifiers remove dust, dust mites, pet dander, pollen, smoke and other allergens, as well as cooking odors. Some may even remove VOCs. Read what Consumer Reports has to say about these machines.

7.  Increase ventilation in your home.

Fling open all the windows? Sure, if the outside air is fresh – or if it’s not the middle of an Alberta winter! During Alberta’s other seasons, consider using “trickle ventilation”, a special window screen with extra filters that allows fresh air in while filtering out pollutants from both outside and inside the home. Use air conditioning in the summer, if you have it in your home, to move the air and remove mold-causing moisture. Run ceiling fans all year-round for more air-moving experience. Make sure that fuel-burning furnaces, fireplaces, heaters, range tops and the like are vented to the outside well away from windows and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) intakes.

9 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam8.  Improve air quality with house plants.

Best air-filtering plants, according to a study done by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America:

Bonus:  These plants are among the easiest house plants to grow, even for those without a green thumb!

9.  Test for radon.

This cancer-causing radioactive gas is colorless and odorless. It is produced through the natural decay of uranium found in soil. It gets into homes moving up from the ground through cracks in the home’s foundation. Granite countertops might also be a problem. Read Health Canada’s article on testing for radon.

Do you have other ideas to improve home air quality? Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

What To Do After Hail Damage From a Storm

Friday, July 31st, 2015
What to do after hail damage from a storm

What To Do After Hail Damage From a Storm | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

Did you know that the worst hailstorms in the world occur in the corridor in Alberta between Edmonton and Calgary? 

While hail storms do not happen frequently in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region, they can cause significant damage to both your home and your vehicle. With hail that can reach the size of golf balls falling from the sky, it is not uncommon for hail to break windows, dent cars and damage the siding on your home.

“If you experience damage from a hail storm, call your insurance company immediately. All of the details of the storm and the damage caused will be fresh in your mind,” says Achiel Goossens, Senior Manager of Auto Claims with Aviva Canada.

If you have any questions about the claim process, talk to your insurance broker or insurer. They will be able to guide through the claim process. But, here are some important tips that everyone should follow if they experience damage from a hail storm:

1. Take photos: Photos are your proof that damage occurred. It will also validate your claim and move the claim process along quicker.

2. Record all details: Take note of all the specifics of the hail storm. Write down the time, location, and date of the storm and make note of all the damage that occurred to your home or vehicle.

3. File immediately: File your property damage claim as close to the event as possible. It is easier to file a claim when all the details are fresh in your mind, allowing you to complete the claim process quickly and efficiently.

Following these three easy steps will make your auto or property damage claim significantly easier. No one wants to experience damage from a hail storm, but knowing how to file a claim properly will make the process smoother and ensure that things go back to normal.

More information is available from your insurance broker or at avivacanada.com.

I’m happy to help you answer any home related questions.  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

(Content of this article courtesy of www.newscanada.com)

How to Improve Your Spruce Grove Home’s Indoor Air Quality

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

How to Improve Your Spruce Grove Home's Indoor Air Quality | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThe quality of the air in our homes in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region is something we tend to notice more at this time of year when doors and windows are shut tight against winter’s blast.

When we think of air quality we often think of air pollution from cars and factories or smog, haze and ozone. But the air we breathe can be contaminated where we live and work as well.

Find out from an experienced HVAC contractor who is well versed in the movement and control of heat, air, and moisture in buildings. This type of technician will also diagnose and resolve any indoor air quality issues.

For example, to find out whether the air in your home may be affecting your family’s respiratory system, ask yourself the following HVAC questions:

• Does anyone in your household suffer from asthma, allergies or respiratory problems?
• Do their symptoms appear to be worse when they are at home or in specific places at home?
• Has your home undergone significant changes such as the replacement of windows, a complete renovation of the basement, or an addition in the last few years?
• Do you notice excessive window condensation in winter, or is your basement damp or musty in the summer?
• Do you feel the need to use air fresheners or scented candles on a regular basis to keep your home feeling fresh?
• Do you find that odours linger in your home?
• Do you notice stains, spotting or dampness on walls or excessive dust on floors?
• Do visitors to your home suffer from allergic reactions?
• Do pets live in your home?

If you answered yes to more than 2 or 3 of these questions, then ask for a diagnosis to resolve the underlying issues. There are many things that you can do on your own, but there are items that should be left to a qualified professional. Usually, air quality improvements require a systematic and integrated approach – it is unlikely that any one measure solves all problems – and HRAI contractors (members of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada) have the training and experience to help you find the most cost effective ways to ensure the air you breathe is as healthy as possible.

In the Consumer Tips section of www.hrai.ca, take a look at the simple things you can do to improve the air quality in your home. The website also has a contractor locator to help you find a local professional.

If you are trying to sell your home, be aware that one of the first things potential buyers will notice is the smell and the quality of the air so it’s worth working to improve it.  I’m happy to help!  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

(Content of this article courtesy of www.newscanada.com)

Smartphone Apps for DIYers 2.0

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Smartphone Apps for DIYers 2.0 | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWay back in June 2011 I posted a blog article about smartphone apps for do-it-yourself home owners in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region.  Three and a half years are a lifetime in tech terms but surprisingly, most of the apps I described in the article are not only still available but are even better than before.

Everybody who has a smartphone knows there are 1000s of apps out there for every possible topic. Where to find the best ones for DIYers? Start with LifeHacker’s article How to Make Your Smartphone the Most Important Tool in Your Toolbox. Then, take a look at these great articles that review the latest and greatest apps.

Home Improvement

Better Homes & Gardens: Don’t DIY Without These 9 Apps
Bob Vila: 5 Top Tool Apps for Your iPhone
Popular Mechanics: The 10 Best Apps for DIYers
Tom’s Guide: 10 Best Home Improvement and DIY Apps
Top 13 Best Android Apps for DIY Projects and Home Remodel Repair

Home Décor

Chatelaine: Six Must-have Smartphone Apps for Home Decorating and Renos
Huffington Post: 21 iPhone, iPad and Android Apps for Decorating, Home Repair, DIY and Crafts
Remodelista: The 12 Best Apps for Remodelers

Gardening and Landscaping

Best Android Apps for Gardening and Landscaping
Best Landscape Design Apps – iPad, iPhone & Android
The Dirt Farmer: 20 Smartphone Apps for the Plant Lover
NY Times: 20 Smartphone Apps for the Home and Garden
Top 5 Gardening and Landscaping iPhone Apps

Let me know what you think of these apps. Better yet, let me know if you find a great app that isn’t on any of these lists and I’ll happily share it with everybody else! Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Winter Energy Saving Tips for Your Spruce Grove Home

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Winter Energy Saving Tips for Your Spruce Grove Home | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

For most of us in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region, winter means a spike in our power and gas bills as we use more energy to heat and light our homes. Check out the tips below to save some money and help the planet.

 

Save Power

  • Install timers and power-saver cords for automobile block heaters and interior car heaters.
  • Adjust lighting timers as daylight hours decrease and then increase throughout the winter.
  • Incandescent light bulbs are being phased out this year. Replace them now with the newer more energy-efficient CFL and LED bulbs.
  • Yes, we need more light during the winter, but light up just the spaces you are using. Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
  • Run appliances at out-of-peak hours, such as late at night, and turn off everything when not in use.
  • Think low-tech solutions. For example, use a clothesline for drying some clothing items instead of your dryer. This has many advantages: saves power and money; better for many garments; adds moisture to your home.

Your Home Heating System

  • Get a qualified contractor to check the heating system to make sure it’s operating at optimum efficiency.
  • Check air supply vents and return air vents to make sure air is circulating freely. Keep furniture and appliances away from vents, and plan to have your furnace ducts professionally cleaned late in each summer.
  • Clean your furnace filter regularly – at least once per month – and replace every 3 months. Doing this can save you up to 5% on heating costs. Did you know you can install a special alarm on your furnace that will let you know when it is time to change your filter? These alarms will make a whistling sound when they sense that the filters are dirty.
  • Turn down the thermostat at night and during the day when you are away by up to 4 degrees C. Every 1 degree C. set back can save up to 2% in energy costs!
  • Keep that thermostat turned down a degree or two and bring out the sweaters and blankets.
  • Consider installing a programmable thermostat to make those set-backs automatic.
  • The new high-efficiency furnaces can save mega bucks! But if you’re not ready to replace your furnace, at least consider a tune-up which can save 3-10% on your heating bill.
  • Avoid heating uninsulated spaces such as the garage or cold storage room. Check doors leading to these spaces and replace with insulated doors if necessary.
  • Close doors and air supply registers in unused rooms.
  • Reverse your ceiling fans in winter to circulate warm air down.
  • Take advantage of whatever natural heat there may be by opening draperies during the day on south-facing windows and closing them at night.

Keep the Heat in Your Home

  • Have your home’s insulation assessed to determine if you need to add to it. Proper insulation will save money in heating costs during the winter and keep your home cooler in summer. DIY tip: Measure the thickness of your attic insulation. If there is less than R-22 (7 inches of fibreglass or rock wool or 6 inches of cellulose) you’ll benefit by adding more. Also, consider installing some roof vents and inlets to improve ventilation.
  • Look for dirty spots in your insulation. These may be signs of air leaks which can be repaired by stapling sheets of plastic over the holes and caulking the edge of the plastic.
  • Place clear plastic sheeting on your windows sometime in the fall to keep out the cold air and prevent warm air from escaping for very little cost. Use weather stripping on doors and windows and seals on exterior wall outlets. Put caulking on window and door frames, and seal around vents and cable or wire wall entries.
  • Did you replace your carpets with laminate and hardwood and now the floors are cold? Oops. Put down an area rug to add a little warmth and cut down on noise.
  • If you have a fireplace, make sure the damper is closed when the fireplace is not in use to prevent warm inside air from escaping up the chimney. Check the seal on the flue damper and make it good and tight. Tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warm air into the room will also help preserve the warmth.
  • Not exactly insulation, but something else to warm up your home. Moist air is warmer than dry air so add humidity to your home with portable humidifiers or an attachment to your heating system, as well as an aquarium and houseplants.
  • Keep the doors (interior and exterior) to your attached garage closed as much as possible. This keeps your garage warmer and also lets less cold air into the house.
  • If you have an unfinished basement, heat could be escaping along the joist cavities. Insulate the walls for major savings in money and comfort.
  • Even though window blinds and shutters are more fashionable at the moment, quilted curtains and insulated draperies keep your home warmer.
  • Plant some trees in your yard in the spring! Besides beautifying your yard, they’ll protect your home from winter wind and summer sun, as well as helping the environment by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.

Want even more tips on this topic? Read my previous blog article “Winter Isn’t for Wimps!

Looking for a great energy-efficient home? Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

 

The DIY Guide to Replacing Your Broken Bathroom Faucet in Just Six Easy Steps

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

The DIY Guide to Replacing Your Broken Bathroom Faucet | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamIf you own Parkland County real estate or a home in the Stony Plain, Spruce Grove or Edmonton area, you’re probably familiar with a whole host of around-the-house handyman strategies for completing minor repairs. One type of repair that many homeowners overlook is replacing a bathroom faucet. Bathroom faucets can and do break, and knowing how to replace a broken bathroom faucet can save you the time, effort and money it would take to hire a handyman for the job. Here’s how you can replace a broken bathroom faucet in six easy steps.

Step #1: Finding a Replacement

First, examine the sink. After removing the faucet attachment, you’ll see several openings. Look at the openings, and check to see how far apart they are. Bathroom faucets might have two handles that spread apart, or they might be a single unit. Knowing the configuration of your sink will enable you to select the correct replacement faucet.

When choosing a replacement faucet, it’s important to keep in mind that not all faucets are created equal. Faucets costing less than $100 are often made from chrome-plated plastic parts, and they have valves and seals that wear out quickly. These faucets might be able to withstand light usage, but they will not last over the long term. Faucets that cost $100 or more usually use a firm brass body. This kind of faucet is leak-resistant and does not break easily. A number of faucets come with lifetime warranties – opting for one such faucet is a great way to avoid further expenses down the road. A good sink replacement can add value to a Spruce Grove real estate property.

Step #2: Reviewing the Instructions

Every faucet has a unique set of instructions, and they range from highly detailed and useful to minimal and maddening. Read the instructions thoroughly, and ensure you have all the necessary tools and components to do the job. Make sure you review any and all diagrams and appendices to ensure you have a good mental picture of what it is you’ll be doing.

Step #3: Prepare the Workspace

Next, remove all the objects from under the sink. Fetch a portable lamp and shine it underneath the sink. Under the sink, you will see two supply lines that come out of the wall and reach up to the faucet. Turn off both these valves by twisting clockwise. Once the valves have been turned off, it is safe to loosen the tube nut and to lift the tubes out of the valves. Additionally, there will be one, two or three large nuts holding the faucet in place. Use a basin wrench to remove them.

Step #4: Lift the Old Faucet Up and Out

Lift the old faucet out of the sink, and examine the tubes to see if they have been damaged. If there is damage to the tubes, you will need to replace them. You can find plastic tubes, as well as end fittings and nuts, at your local hardware store. Ensure the new plastic tubes are the same length as the old ones.

Before installing the new faucet, be sure to clean the area. You can dissolve hard water deposits using an acid-based cleaner or vinegar.

Step #5: Installing the New Faucet

When installing the new faucet, check to see if the faucet base has a soft gasket. The soft gasket seals the base and prevents water seepage. If there is no such gasket, you can create one using plumber’s putty. Stick the putty around the base and start tightening the large nuts. Some of the plumber’s putty may squeeze out onto the faucet – if this occurs, you can remove it using rubbing alcohol

Step #6: Attaching New Tubes to the Faucet

Attach the new tubes to the faucet before installing the sink. Then assemble the new faucet and slip it through the hole in the sink. Then, simply tighten the nuts below the sink, and voila! Your Edmonton property has a beautiful new faucet. Before you use this new faucet, be sure to turn on the valves underneath the sink and ensure all the nuts are tight. Check for leaks when you run the water, and tighten connections as necessary.

***For even more help, see the YouTube video from RONA “How to Install or Replace a Bathroom Faucet“.

Repairing bathroom faucets and completing other repairs at your Stony Plain real estate properties or Parkland County acreages doesn’t have to be a challenge. With a little bit of knowledge and the right tools, you can carry out minor repairs throughout your home and feel confident in your ability to care for your property.

For more great information and to discover all that Edmonton real estate and Edmonton acreages have to offer, please get in touch with me today.  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Five Tips to Keep in Mind when Replacing the Windows on Your Edmonton-Area House or Condo

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Five Tips to Keep in Mind When Replacing the Windows | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamAfter the purchase of a house in Spruce Grove, Parkland County, Stony Plain and the entire Edmonton region, there could be, for one reason or the other, the need to replace its windows. It is always advisable to keep in mind the tips below when replacing windows.

Decide Whether Or Not the Process Will Be Done By a Professional

The success of any window replacement project depends on the type of window chosen and the quality of workmanship used during the replacement. A buyer can use metallic or wooden windows for replacement. Using a reputable installation company gives the owner an assurance of getting quality services. It is advisable to use a company that offers a warranty on parts and labour in addition to the products themselves. If you as a homeowner plan to replace the window yourself, be absolutely sure that you’re capable of the task before attempting it.

Consider the Amount of Time That The New Windows Should Serve

Where a replacement is meant to increase the house value during resale, the priorities may be different than for those who simply want to fix cracked or chipped glass. Energy saving, ease of maintenance and beauty are the most common upgrade considerations. With vinyl windows, homeowners can get back about 71 percent of their investment. Where this replacement is for the owner’s benefit, it’s important to consider warranties and repairs, quality and durability, design and appearance, ordering and installation, price, and energy efficiency. In short: the price of the window itself isn’t the total cost.

Narrow Your Options on Warranties

Whether the warranty covers broken seals and air leaks, or labour and glass breakage, it is advisable to determine how long this coverage will last. Get these warranties from a reputable company and determine the course of action should this company go out of business. The company has to carry liability insurance and must be licensed to work within the locality of the house. Most importantly, ascertain whether or not these warranties are transferable to the next homeowner.

Carry Out Proper Prior Preparation

It is important to prepare before the replacement process begins. Apart from being sure of the cost, it’s advisable that homeowners remove blinds and curtains from these windows. They should also alert their alarm company and create enough working space around the windows to ensure that the process is done efficiently and fast.

Try To Make the Entire Process Fun

The project will only be fun if the result will bring comfort, a sense of security and beauty. Decisions about the price and energy efficiency should be made with everyone’s comfort in mind.

These tips will also be applicable to anyone with Parkland County acreages, as well as Edmonton acreages. Several years after construction, there may be a need to replace windows; hopefully, the above tips are useful.

Comments or questions are always welcome.  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

 

“How much money should I plan to spend on home maintenance?”

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

“How much money should I plan to spend on home maintenance?” | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWhether you own your Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton area home for months or decades, there will come a time when you will need to sell it. Wise home owners know that the value in their property, and their enjoyment of their home, can slide in a hurry if maintenance and repairs are neglected. What’s more, failing to deal with problems as they occur may result in much bigger, more expensive and more urgent repairs later on. That little patch of damp showing up on the ceiling today could lead to a major and expensive whole roof re-do in a few months.

Home maintenance and repair falls into two categories:

Minor ongoing repairs: Basic everyday upkeep includes replacing burnt-out light bulbs, oiling squeaky hinges on doors, tightening loose cabinet handles, repairing leaky faucets or slow drains, changing the furnace filter, patching the driveway, and a long list of things that need to be done to keep your property in show home condition. These pesky things are easy to ignore, but potential buyers will be unlikely to offer top dollar for a property with many small but visible faults.

Major once in a while repairs: The second kind of repair is needed when essential systems break down or wear out, sometimes without warning and at inconvenient times: the furnace quits, the sewer backs up, the hot water tank leaks, roof shingles wear out and no longer keep water from entering the house, wooden window frames rot out, the springs in your automatic garage door give out, and so on. If you live in your home long enough, you will probably experience all of these situations and others, and these items are often expensive to fix.

So, how do you go about budgeting for everything that will eventually need to be repaired or replaced in, on or around your home?

There are several methods to do this, but all involve setting aside a certain amount of money every year.

1. The 1% Rule. Reserve each year one per cent of the purchase price of your home (or the appraised value of your home as per your annual property tax assessment). Home valued at $350,000? Budget for maintenance costs of $3,500 annually. Maybe you won’t need to spend that much every year, but you’ll be glad you saved the excess year over year when the big catastrophic expenses hit.

2. The Square Foot Rule. Every year set aside $1 per square foot of finished space in your home. 1,200 square foot bungalow with finished basement? Budget for about $2,000 to $2,500 per year. You may also want to take into account the square footage of a garage, garden shed and the like.

3. The Systems Approach. More complicated but possibly more accurate than the previous two suggestions, this method is based on the 7 systems found in each home: outside structure, roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical, heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC), drainage/landscaping. Consider all the minor maintenance and major repairs that could be done on each system and calculate an annualized amount for each. Luckily, this work has already been done by Romana King in her article “The Ultimate Home Maintenance Guide”, published in the magazine Money Sense. Her conclusion is that, depending on the size and age of your home, you should plan to budget $900 to $2,500 per year for basic maintenance, and an additional $3,500 to $7,300 for big items. This means annual cost of upkeep could range from $4,500 to $10,000 per year.

No matter how you calculate it, looking after your home can be costly. If you take care of minor repairs as they’re needed and plan ahead for the inevitable replacement of systems, costs will be spread out throughout the time you own your home. You’ll be able to enjoy your lovely home without worrying that the roof will, literally, fall in, and when it comes time to sell, your well-maintained home will return a good price.

Whether you’re looking to buy a pristine new home with nothing to do but move in, or you’re a handyman looking for a fixer-upper, I can help! Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Do You Know How (and When) to Inspect Your Own Roof?

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Do You Know How (and When) to Inspect Your Own Roof? | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamIf you own your own home in Parkland County, Stony Plain, Spruce Grove, or the Edmonton region, it’s to your benefit to know how and when to inspect your own roof. Whether your Spruce Grove real estate property is new or old, inspecting your own roof can save you money and extend the life of the roof. Your Stony Plain real estate agent would surely agree that it’s easier than ever for homeowners to inspect their own roofs. Here is how you can find out how and when to inspect your own roof if you own some Parkland County real estate.

Tips on How to Inspect Your Own Roof

Inspecting your own roof involves so much more than just climbing up there and glancing around. Inspecting your roof depends on checking out specific issues. For starters, inspect the flashings on the roof; these are metal pieces that cover the roof plane’s interruptions. It’s best to fix damaged flashings immediately, since snow can get into the interior. If the roof has wood shingles, check for indications of dry rot. If one-third of your shingles have dry rot, it’s time to replace the entire roof! If your Edmonton acreage’s roof is high-end and has clay or asbestos shingles, then you can inspect them without having to get on the roof. Just stay on the ground, use binoculars, and look for signs of chipping and missing pieces.

Tips on Easy Fixes for Roof Problems

If the problem with your roof is relatively simple, you can handle it yourself on your own Edmonton real estate property. For instance, loose shingles can be easily repaired by simply hammering in the popped nails. You can even replace both caulk flashing and shingles. $24 or so will get you a bundle of shingles, while roofing caulk costs around $6. You should set aside half a day for work on the roof. If repairs are more complicated, you’ll need to get in touch with professional roof repair companies.

Tips on When to Inspect Your Roof

Parkland County acreages boast some nice properties, and, sometimes, roof inspections should be done more frequently than just once a year. The rule of thumb is yearly or twice a year, but if there have been extreme weather situations (such as snowstorms or wind storms), you should check the roof more frequently. It’s recommended that a homeowner checks his roof after every severe snow or windstorm. Checking your roof more frequently can lead to spotting damage earlier, which makes it less costly to fix.

Now you know exactly how and when to inspect your own roof. It is not necessary to have someone do the job for you if you’re a homeowner. Inspecting your roof really has a lot to do with being proactive, and this can and will save you money in the long run.

I am always available to answer any roof-related questions you may think of. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

5 Easy Ways to Cut Your Heating Bill This Winter

Friday, February 21st, 2014

5 Easy Ways to Cut Your Heating Bill This Winter | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWhen it comes to the winter season in Alberta, some definite certainties are snow, ice, and freezing cold temperatures. But just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean it has to be cold inside. While the elements can make it more challenging to keep warm in a cost-effective way, there are things that homeowners in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region can do to lessen the amount they pay to heat their homes. Here’s a list of five easy ways for homeowners to cut their heating bills this winter.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Homeowners with Spruce Grove real estate or Stony Plain real estate—or consumers interested in the region—can help to lessen their home heating bills by heading over to their nearest home improvement store and picking up programmable thermostats. Once the thermostat is installed, homeowners will be able to program the units to bring the temperature down a few notches when their homes are unoccupied or when people are sleeping. By keeping things nice and toasty only when homes are occupied, homeowners can take a little bit of the sting out of their next home heating bill.

Get a Furnace Tune-up

An annual furnace tune-up performed by a certified professional will keep furnaces working optimally. When furnaces are working properly and efficiently, the end result will be savings on the home heating front for homeowners with Parkland County real estate. Routine maintenance will also lower the odds of system failure at the worst possible time.

Remember Furnace Filter Maintenance

Homeowners with Edmonton acreages should, in addition to having their furnaces professionally serviced, be sure to either replace or clean their furnace filters as per the frequency recommended in manuals that came with their units. Failing to do this will compromise the efficiency of the equipment and lead to higher heating bills. Some filters can be cleaned and reused while others need to be thrown out and replaced. It’s up to homeowners to determine which type they have.

Insulate Against the Cold

Improperly insulated homes will cost more to keep warm, since furnaces will have to work harder to compensate. Whether independently or with the help of contractors, homeowners with Edmonton real estate should insulate any areas requiring insulation. Key areas where heat can escape homes include attics, walls, and crawl spaces. Once their homes have been properly insulated, homeowners will find not only that their residences are cozier, but also that their heating bills are lower than usual.

Seal the Leaks

Homeowners with Parkland County acreages would probably be surprised to learn how much cold air can enter their residences through cracks and gaps. Fortunately, they can pick up some sealant solutions sold at home improvement stores to seal out the cold air. Areas to watch out for include doorways, window frames, and duct work.

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean that homeowners have to settle for chilly climates inside their homes. Following the aforementioned tips will help to keep homes warm and reduce heating bills.

I am always willing to answer any home-related questions you might have! Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Barry Twynam, Realty Executives Leading
#1 14 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta, T7X 3X3
Tel: 780-962-9696 Cell: 780-910-9669 Fax: 780-962-9699
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