Maintenance

Cooler temperatures are on their way and this is a great time to make sure animals and pests don’t seek refuge from the chill in your home. Here at DogGoneHandy we have a soft spot for most furry beasts.  However, uninvited guests can cause a headache in home repairs.  Squirrels, raccoons, possums, rats and skunks love to find a warm and dry spot to spend some time. You want to make sure it’s not at the expense of your home. Wildlife is just that, wild! Their rules regarding what to eat (woodwork and trim) and where to relieve themselves (anywhere) can wear out a welcome fast. To...
Maintenance Questions to ask when buying a new home Not too many things can top the excitement of buying a new home.  However you want to try and minimize the number of surprises that can accompany that initial excitement. By asking some important questions, you are educating yourself about your new investment. Here are few things to inquire about as you are proceeding in the home purchase.  Has there ever been a bust pipe or water damage? A broken pipe isn’t rare and generally can be fixed by a good handyman. Water damage is generally the tell tale sign of a pipe failure and a good...
Wood rot seems to be a growing epidemic in homes and something we see a lot here at DogGoneHandy. Some of the rot can be traced to poor maintenance habits by homeowners, some to poor building practices by the trades and, believe it or not, some to the lumber companies. If you want to prevent wood rot, you need to keep it dry. Wood rot is simply different fungi that are consuming the wood. The fungi need water to live. You keep wood dry by keeping it painted and sealed. It's also a great idea to keep it above horizontal masonry or concrete surfaces by at least 2 inches. Test. Before you...
Are your dishes not coming out of your dishwasher sparkling? Household appliances like clothes and dishwashers need some maintenance to perform to their peak. Here are a few doggone easy tips to a cleaner and more efficient machine. White vinegar is a handy and cost effective cleaning agent. Take out the dishwasher racks, spray down the interior including the ceiling with vinegar. Don’t forget any top-mounted sprayers. While the racks are out, give the base of the main drain a good spray. You may want to use a toothbrush to clean in between the holes in the drain. The rubber seals around the...
Atlanta isn’t known as HOTlanta for nothing. The heat can be intense here and air conditioning units run overtime. To keep your home’s unit running efficiently and effectively, try a few of these easy tips. The best time to service an air conditioner is before it's actually needed. Change the filter monthly. Other than the regular filter, there are additional ones that can be used, but check with an air-conditioning maintenance person first. You can get a cap from a hardware store to put on the end of your air-conditioning drain. After capping it, find the end of the drain outside and use a...
As far as stovetops and ranges go, a commercial style appliance is the first choice for many serious home cooks.  In addition to keeping it looking sleek, proper cleaning is key to maintaining its functionality. The more you put off cleaning an appliance, like the dreaded oven, the more the grime builds up. But keeping it clean is critical from an aesthetic and a practical standpoint. Without proper maintenance, fuel ports and hood vents can clog and ovens can smoke. Remove the grates and any griddles, as well as the burner heads and caps. Using a non-abrasive sponge, wash them well...
We've got a cold snap heading to Atlanta and that means it is time to think about draining your outdoor hose spigots. In most cases, this is fairly straight forward and can be accomplished by following these simple steps:Locate the faucets on the outside of the house.Go inside the house and find the corresponding cut off valve - an example is pictured. Typically there is one valve for each faucet located just inside the basement or crawl space, but sometimes you might have to follow the pipes until you find the valve.Turn the cut off valve(s) off by turning clockwise.Go outside the house and...
Winter is coming. Freezing temperature can mean large utility bills and a huge waste of energy if your home isn’t insulated properly. Adding insulation to your walls and attic isn’t hard and it can pay off immediately in energy and cost savings. Here are some great tips that will show you fast and easy ways to insulate your home right. Manufacturers now produce batts with higher fiberglass densities, so you can buy 3-1/2-in.-thick batts with R-11, R-13 or R-15 thermal resistance values. The higher the number, the better the insulation. The high-density R-15 batts are best, but they cost...
Fall is the perfect time to take care of the little things that can make a big difference for you and your home. Most of the tasks listed below are well with-in the average person's ability. But even if you choose to have a professional handle them, it's worth the expense. Your roof's drainage system annually diverts thousands of gallons of water from your house's exterior and foundation walls. That's why it is so important to keep this system flowing smoothly. Clogged gutters can lead to damaged exterior surfaces and to water in your basement. They are also more prone to rust and...
Flooding from washing machines happens far more often than you think. In fact, washing machine floods hold a prominent place in the “Top 10” list of homeowner’s insurance claims.Even if you’ve already switched out your rubber hoses for “no-burst” braided hoses you may want to think about installing a washing machine valve shutoff kit. This will put concerns of a  machine’s water valve, drain hose or pump's failure, and resulting damage, to rest.  When the floor-mounted sensor detects puddling, it instantly shuts off the water valve. The unit installs in less than 30 minutes...

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