Break the Mold – Banish Mold With These Basic Home Maintenance Steps

What if you could break the mold on mold? You can! The key to controlling mold is preventing it from arriving in the first place. We’ve all heard horror stories about mold-infested homes that have had to be completely gutted. Obviously, if your home is already infested to this point, these basic steps will be too little, too late. But for the rest of us, paying attention to drips, leaks, and condensation can make a huge difference.

Why pay attention to drips, leaks, and condensation? Because water is mold’s best friend. If you can control the water, you have the upper hand in your battle against mold. Keep in mind that mold spores are everywhere. All they need to set up a colony is water and a food source. When mold spores find a water source, they thrive and grow, eating the surface material that it has landed on whether it be paint, drywall, carpet, material, insulation, or wallpaper. Since you can’t rid your home of its building materials and furnishings, and since you’ll never be able to eradicate mold spores, your only practical choice is to control the water on which mold flourishes.

Controlling Drips

Let’s take a methodical approach and start with controlling drips. Even if you don’t consider yourself handy around the house, fixing drips is one of the easiest do-it-yourself jobs you’ll find. Go room-by-room through your house and examine all water sources for drips. This includes faucets, shower heads, hose bibs – anywhere water comes out. Repair any drips that you find. This may require a quick trip to the hardware store for replacement aerators, washers, or other plumbing items.

Controlling Leaks

Leaks are similar to drips. While drips typically come from faucets, drips come from cracked pipes, worn out lines, loose hose connecters, poorly sealed plumbing components, cracked windows, and other broken or damaged parts. This time, instead of going room-by-room in search of water, start at the top and work your way down. Start with the roof and work your way down to the basement in search of water leaks.

Look for stained ceilings and walls, wet carpets below windows, water damage around appliances as clues that a leak may be present. While you’re at it, make sure to check drip pans, condensate reservoirs, and other water collection devices and empty any collected water. Depending on the nature of the leak, the repair may require professional help. For example, if your roof is leaking, you may need to hire a roofer to repair the leak. On the other hand, if the refrigerator is leaking because of a small hole in the icemaker’s water line, you may be able to replace the water line on your own.

Controlling Condensation

Condensation, which is moisture in the air, often forms in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. It also forms on walls and windows in poorly ventilated homes under certain conditions. It can also form in between the panes of double-paned windows. One of the easiest ways to control most condensation problems is through ventilation systems. Your home may have an adequate ventilation system in place that is no longer doing its job efficiently due to a clog or it may not have a decent system in place at all. For example, dryer vents can become clogged with lint which can lead to problems exhausting moist air out of the home when drying your clothes. Unclogging the vent can solve this problem. On the other hand, you may need to install an exhaust vent in your kitchen or bathroom if your home is not currently equipped with these crucial devices. Once installed, make sure to use them to remove moist air from these areas after showering or cooking.

Home Maintenance – Dryer & Toilet

If you have a dryer with a duct that constantly gets clogged by lint, a number of issues could be the cause. For instance, a flexible plastic duct is a notorious lint trapper and is actually designed for attachment to bathroom fans. If your duct is made of this material, swap it out for aluminum dryer duct instead and avoid a fire hazard.

Poor routing also adds to the problem. Bends cause friction which creates resistance to the dryer’s exhaust stream. Avoid 90-dcgree elbows which are akin to adding 5-ft of duct. Because of building codes, keep the length at 25ft. max when straight; shorten this when taking into account friction causing bends and elbows.

Be sure to inspect the cap located at the end of the dryer duct as clogs here will restrict air flow and cause blockages. By sealing the vent cap with copper mesh or sheet aluminum you can keep rodents from nesting inside a poorly fitted vent cap.

Ultimately, for keeping a dryer vent clear nothing beats minimizing lint altogether. Avoid overloading the dryer as the friction created by clothes rubbing together produces lint. Reducing load size, therefore, minimizes friction. Use fabric softener which will reduce shedding and enough detergent to allow for lint to be rinsed away in the wash cycle.

Home maintenance calls for us to be ever vigilant on potential issues to avoid costly repairs. An area which you can do this is with the bathroom’s most important fixture – the toilet. If the toilet begins to make noises or to vibrate after flushing look for the following causes:

1. Since the toilet used to function normally, you can be sure that something has worn out or become maladjusted. This problem may be caused when water supplied through the stop-valve fixture is either reduced or increased. Be sure that no one has messed with this valve.

2. A water-pressure reducing valve may be out of sync or may need to be rebuilt. This can only be possible if the house uses municipal water.

3. A water hammer arrestor can malfunction becoming waterlogged. If the arrestor you have relies on an air pocket only to cushion pressurized water, you’ll have to replace it when it becomes waterlogged, unlike pressurized arrestors that can be changed.

Spring Home Maintenance Tips

Well it is spring time! How is your home doing? This is a great time to take a day and check the health of your home. Winter time in the northwest can be hard on your home because of all the rain and wind so it’s a good idea to check things out before small things can become big problems. Here are some things to check out.

Outside your Home:

* Inspect all of the siding and trim.

* Check and remove any moss, it can add excessive moisture and cause rot

* Check for rot on all of the siding and trim. You can use a screwdriver and lightly probe the wood to see if it is rotten

* Check all of the caulking and siding for deterioration or cracks

* If your windows are newer, check the weep holes and make sure they are clear (weep holes are small rectangular holes at the bottom of your windows on the outside….not all windows have them) They allow any water caught in the window track to drain.

* Check the condition of the paint. Is it time for a paint job?

* Inspect and clean out your gutters. If you have splash blocks under the downspouts make sure they are in place. If you don’t have them, go buy some!

* Make sure there is no standing water or low spots where water can sit up against the foundation.

* Inspect the roof. You can use binoculars if you don’t want to get up on the roof. Clean any moss. You might want to think twice before using a pressure washer. They can sometimes cause more damage that its worth. Also, look at all of the metal flashing around the chimney, plumbing vents, skylights, etc.

* If you have a wood burning fireplace, you may want to get the chimney inspected and cleaned

* Look for any exterior cracks or holes and seal them up with caulking.

* Check the foundation for any cracks or movement

* Check the screens in your foundation to see if any need to be replaced. That’s how critters get in an make a home of your crawlspace

* Make sure your crawlspace access fits tight and is in good shape.

* Peak in the crawl space and make sure you don’t have any water in there.

* See if any insulation has dropped down in the crawl space

* Check to see if the vapor barrier in the crawl space is in good condition and in place. (that’s the plastic on the ground under your house)

* Cut back any plant material from touching your house. This can deteriorate siding and trim.

* Check all of your exterior spigots for any leaks and make sure they work. Make sure the hole where the spigot comes out is sealed with calking. If it’s a nice day and you don’t mind getting wet, turn the spigot on and try and stop the water flow with your thumb or hand. If you can, you might have a broken pipe. Call a plumber….

* Check and see if there are any pipes coming out of the house near the water heater or garage. Make sure they are unobstructed. This is probably a pressure relief pipe from the water heater.

* Make sure your dryer vent and flapper is clean and unobstructed

Inside the home:

* Clean your furnace filters and consider having your furnace serviced by a qualified professional.

* Clean all of your smoke detectors. Take the cover off and clean the dust. Replace the battery

* Check for leaks under all the sinks and toilets

* Clean all of the exhaust fan grills and blades

* Check your water heater for any deterioration or leaks

* Clean your refrigerator! Clean any drain holes and the drip pan. Vacuum the condenser coils in the back

* Inspect all of the grout and caulking around sinks, tubs and toilets.

* Inspect and clean your dryer vent.

* Make sure the metal pipe is not kinked when you push it back in!

* Check for leaks at your clothes washer and make sure the drain pipe coming out of the back is secured where it goes into the drain whole.

* Check your electrical panel. Trip the breakers to make sure they work properly

* Clean your window tracks. If you have newer vinyl windows, you can even take out the sliding portion of the window and it makes cleaning a lot easier. Tracks can also be removed at that point

* If your windows don’t slide very well, consider spraying the tracks with a silicone spray.

Proper home maintenance is very important and it should be done on a regular basis. By taking care of your home you ensure that you and your family protect your investment and have a comfortable, safe place to live for years to come.

Home Maintenance Checklist for Fall and Winter

This morning, we were surprised to find seven inches of fresh snow. It is much too early for all of this, and my heart rate is still coming down from the struggle of finding hats, snowpants, and matching mittens for each of my children before sending them out the door for school. As much as I would like to deny it, winter is on its way.

Here is a checklist of fall and winter home maintenance tasks to prepare your home (and your family) for the colder temperatures ahead.


Scrape peeling paint, and apply touch up paint to your siding, trim, and fences.

Check the condition of your deck and apply a waterproofing sealer if necessary.

Check weatherstripping on doors. Repair.

Check caulk on windows. Repair.

Clean and store patio furniture.

Clean and store bicycles, tricycles, and outdoor toys.

Wash all windows, inside and out.

Remove, clean, and store summertime screens.

Install storm windows and doors.

Check roof for damaged or missing shingles or problems with flashing. Repair.

Clear gutters and inspect downspouts.

Check sidewalks and driveways for cracks or other damage. Repair.

Locate your snow removal tools: snow shovel, plows, and snow blowers. Make sure they are ready to go.

Lawn and Garden:

Blow out sprinkler systems and winterize or insulate exterior faucets and water lines.

Drain and store garden hoses.

Fertilize and reseed your lawn.

Prune trees and shrubs.

Remove annuals.

Cut back perennials.

Rake leaves.


Schedule a cleaning and inspection of your heating system.

Inspect your fireplace and chimney. Call a professional chimney sweep if necessary.

Perform seasonal maintenance on your hot water heater.

Schedule a professional carpet cleaning.

Clean and inspect dryer hoses and exterior dryer vents.

Change furnace filter, and plan to change your filter every month during the winter. Monthly filter changes can really help reduce energy costs.

Check your air ducts. Call a duct cleaning service if it has been a few years since your ducts have been professionally cleaned. If you have been changing your furnace filter frequently and your ducts have been cleaned recently, simply take off the register covers and vacuum inside.

Switch to warmer bedding. Replace cotton sheets with flannels. Add warmer layers to beds.

Make sure your family members are outfitted with everything they need for the cold winter months: Gloves, hats, boots, snowpants, warm socks, and coats.

Check the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors.

Check your fire extinguishers.

Talk about family safety plans and escape routes. Review your “meeting place” in the event of a home fire to ensure that everyone knows what to do and where to go.

Inspect your attic to make sure it is getting cool, fresh air and that there is no evidence of condensation.

Check attic fans.

Prepare your home for a power outage. Check the batteries in your flashlights and make sure they are easily accessible. Also, make sure to have a supply of nonperishable foods, a manual can opener, and a traditional corded phone or cell phone available.


Make sure your tires are adequate for the winter weather in your area.

Check your car battery.

Check antifreeze levels.

Make sure you have extra windshield wiper fluid in your car, as well as a brush and ice scraper, blanket, jumper cables, and first aid kit. If you live in an area where you expect extreme winter conditions, you will also want to keep a tow rope, shovel, and a bag of sand or kitty litter to help your tires gain traction on icy roads.

4 Easy Home Maintenance Tips

Home maintenance can be a breeze, if you know how to get by with some creative tools and a lot of common sense. You don’t need an advanced degree in do-it-yourself-ism too. The one thing you should remember is that preventive measures are always the best and the cheapest forms of maintaining your domicile. Here are some of the most unique but logical maintenance tips we could find.

1. Keep a can of WD40 and a roll of painter’s tape (blue tape) always. If something in your home is supposed to move but wouldn’t then a spray from the WD40 can ought to do the trick. On the other hand, if something is moving that is not supposed to, then securing it with some strips of painters tape will be of great help.

Although you can use any form of adhesive strip (like duct tape, plastic tape, electrical tape, etc.) painter’s tape is better because it does not leave any form of glue residue and is easy to apply as it is easy to remove. However, try to make sure that you keep the applied adhesive strip some place inconspicuous.

2. Polish your natural wood furniture, doors, walls and floors once in a while. A once a month cleaning would be ideal. Fortunately, there are now wood polish products that you can use that speeds up the cleaning process. If the wood surfaces have been painted, wipe clean with a cleaning solution made from 20 parts water and 1 part dishwashing liquid soap. Use the anti-bacterial variety if you want.

3. Speaking of dishwashing liquid soap, try to store up on these as much as possible. Incredibly, you will not need a whole range of strong chemical solutions if you have dishwashing liquid soap. When combined with the proper amounts of water, this dishwashing solution can be used as a rug cleaner, jewelry cleaner, kitchen floor wipe and as a bathroom cleanser.

4. Maintain a monthly, seasonal and yearly cleaning schedule. Air conditioner grills, ovens, coffeemakers, humidifiers and outdoor cooking appliances would benefit from monthly cleanings. Replace furnace filters and clear your kitchen exhaust hood seasonally. Don’t forget window washing and gutter cleaning as well.

Test your carbon monoxide detectors about twice a year. Vacuum dry the condenser coils of your refrigeration unit once a year. Replace the batteries of your home’s smoke detectors annually too. At the same time, you might also want to check or replace (or buy) a fire extinguisher tank.

Why Log Home Maintenance Is So IMPORTANT!

Why Should I care about Log Home Maintenance?
We visit many log homes throughout the year. One thing you start to notice is the lack of maintenance on most of these homes. This can be disheartening for most customers when they ask for a proposal on maintenance and receive a proposal for the restoration of their log home because the existing finish was beyond maintainable condition. The truth of the matter is that this could have been avoided if proper maintenance was performed consistently.

The average maintenance cost is around $2,500 – $3,000 bi-annually. Sometimes this price is lower and sometimes it can be higher it just depends on how the log home finish and sealants weathered over the past couple of years. Some owners may find themselves needing maintenance every year on select hotspots around the home in order to keep the stain performing to its fullest.

What is Log Home Maintenance?
Log home maintenance is the overall upkeep on a log shell to ensure there is proper protection from damaging UV radiation, water damage, air infiltration, and insect and rodent intrusion. Maintenance also ensures the log cabin looks the way it did the first day it was finished.

One part of maintenance that really helps to extend the life of stains and sealants is a yearly wash of your log home. This removes any surface contaminants such as dust, pollen, bird feces, and insect remains (webs, egg sacs, skeletons, etc.) that will wear the finish prematurely. Washing the home is also a good time to locate any areas of failed caulking or chinking and provide an overall assessment of the condition of the log home stain to get an idea of what walls or areas need a maintenance coat of stain.

A good way to assess the condition of a log home finish is to wait for the building to dry after being washed. Once dry you must understand what type of log home stain is on your building. If you have an oil based stain you should be looking at the knots and checks on the walls. These areas will turn blonde when the finish is wearing off and this indicates that you should apply one to two maintenance coats of stain. Some oil based stains now offer a clear maintenance coat and this is the better route to take but it only works if the stain is not worn to bare wood.

If you have a waterborne latex based stain on your building you should be looking at the glossiness of the finish. Once the finish is dull you should apply a clear maintenance coat to these areas.

When caulking or chinking is failed or failing around the building you should mark these spots out and remove the bad areas of caulking or chinking with a knife or razor. This will allow the area behind the sealant to properly dry out since moisture was most likely the reason the sealant is not adhering to the logs. Once dry apply backer rod to the log joint and apply caulk or chink to the area making sure to match the existing caulking or chinking line. This should be done before applying the maintenance coat of stain unless you have white chinking.

And of course a good window washing should always go with your maintenance!

Essentials to Know About Home Maintenance and Its Cost

Aside from being one of life’s essentials, your home can be an investment of a lifetime. Though this structure can bring everyday life of the family the needed protection and comfort that even extends to other great benefits such as entertainment, relaxation and even luxury; many still overlook the importance of home maintenance. Keep in mind that homeownership does not end at purchasing a New York house but extends to caring for and managing the property to enjoy maximized beauty, functionality, coziness, as well as great return by resale time. So whether you are in Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, or Manhattan know and implement the fundamentals of home maintenance and its cost and reap the rewards.

There can never be two houses that are entirely the same-considering not only construction and design but also the requirements and preferences of different homeowners and families. Thus, there are various ways to go about home repair and maintenance and there would always be a difference in costs from one house to another.

Home Maintenance… Why?

Though the answer is obvious, many still do not understand the full extent of the risks that they are exposing their homes and families to by not sticking religiously to home maintenance. Other than helping the fast deterioration of the house and its components, thus decreasing the possible life that your house will last and its livability, not keeping homes in good working condition also poses emergency repairs that are often costly and huge, as well as health and safety hazards to the household.

Home Maintenance Checklist

To keep your homes in good working condition all throughout the year, here is list of crucial areas that should become a part of your bi-annual property evaluation and home maintenance:

Roofing and gutters
Chimneys and fireplaces
HVAC systems – Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning
Plumbing fixtures
Windows, doors and sidings
Foundation and walls
Safety equipment – fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, etc.

Home Maintenance Cost

Home maintenance cost, each year, for average homes range from 1% to 3% of the overall value of the house and still changes depending on the age of the house. As the age of the structure increases, so does the home maintenance cost.

Having a good idea on how much to budget for maintenance is important. Aside from scheduled cleaning, replacements and tune-ups; it is also important to leave an allowance for unexpected repairs. Unexpected repairs are inevitable and getting caught off-hand can get you into financial trouble.

How to Save on Home Maintenance Cost

As they all would say, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure and this is what home maintenance is all about. To avoid an overstated expense, creating a checklist and religiously sticking to it is important. This schedule should include weekly, monthly, bi-annual and yearly chores and tasks. Aside from lined-up tasks, make a regular evaluation of the property and house to know if any area is needing attention. The best way to save on home repair and maintenance cost is to avoid the aggravation of whatever damage.

Eugene Makeev uses his skills and expertise to help homeowners in Brooklyn, Long Island, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island avoid the common remodeling New York pitfalls by matching their needs with prescreened Home Remodeling Contractors.

Home Maintenance Cost

Having your very own home can be an investment of a lifetime but managing it is not a piece of cake. Homeownership entails expenses that starts by the time of purchase and continues on to keep the property always in good condition. Being responsible and consistently keeping up with home maintenance cost will let you enjoy maximized comfort, appeal and functionality each and everyday; and a good payback by resale time.

No two houses are exactly alike making their needs and attributes different. With this, how much you pay to keep your New York home livable and working for your family will not be the same with another homeowner. To guide you on this matter, this article lays out crucial questions that will help you understand home maintenance cost with insights ideal whether you are in Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, or Manhattan.

Why allot a budget on home maintenance cost?

Though this should already be an A-B-C for homeowners, many still overlook the importance of maintaining their homes. Basically, your house and everything in it ages. This and its constant use will eventually take their toll resulting to lowered efficiency. If your home is not properly maintained, inefficiency will cause a decrease in the quality of living for your family and damages to your house and property. Left unattended, these damages can balloon and cause more related problems. Thus, not budgeting on home maintenance cost is one of the most unsound financial decisions you could ever make.

How much does home maintenance cost?

It is said that for a median house, expect to spend about 1% to 3% of its overall value every year for upkeep and this figure also changes depending on the age of the house. As your home increases in age, so should your home maintenance cost.

Knowing precisely how much to budget for home maintenance cost is not an easy task. Other than scheduled maintenance, there would also be unexpected repair issues that might arise any time of the year. For every repair and maintenance project, the actual cost will depend on factors like the quality of materials to be used, size and scope of the project, and whether you will DIY or acquire qualified help from a contractor. There are also free online tools that give estimates, but the actual cost would still differ from this so to be on safe financial grounds, use these estimates as guide but still add extra to your budget to cover unanticipated expenses.

How to save on home maintenance cost?

Probably the simplest but highly effective way to save on home maintenance cost creating a home maintenance checklist. Indicate weekly, monthly and annual chores and tasks. Religiously stick to scheduled repairs, cleanings and tune-ups as per your manufacturers’ advice. It would also be beneficial that you conduct regular inspection of everything in your home and property. Spotting problem areas and attending to them earlier will prevent them from snowballing into serious and more expensive damages. Another money saving tip to live by is to resist the temptation of improving the look but sacrificing functionality. Prioritization is key to avoid a busted home maintenance cost budget.

Eugene Makeev uses his skills and expertise to help home owners in Brooklyn, Long Island, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island avoid pitfalls by matching their needs with prescreened

Home Maintenance Software

Home maintenance software schedule duties and helps people to keep track of their inventories. Most people store emergency items. The home maintenance software helps in maintaining a clear, detailed and up-to-date list of all the items in the house and makes shopping more comfortable. Maintenance software is a tool providing full-featured maintenance solution that includes work order tracking, preventive maintenance, predictive maintenance, asset management, procedure libraries, inventory tracking, purchasing, scheduling, and service requests.

Through home maintenance software, people can enter all the data about household items into spreadsheet databases, which in turn can become a part of usual shopping program. When any of the essential items run out of stock, the software notifies them to the user. Using home maintenance software, people can keep track and make sure that their cleaning items such as glass cleaners, laundry detergent, dishwasher fluid, and several essential items do not run out of stock. The home maintenance software not only tracks scheduled maintenance of mechanical systems in the home but also checks for the total maintenance costs for any work performed and the vendor warranties.

Home maintenance software is a very helpful tool for real estate investors. Some people lease their property to make profit. For such people, the home maintenance software is an essential one. Because, they can make sure their appliances in the rented home are working properly, and can schedule regular check up on the conditions of their homes and equipments.

Home maintenance software packages are easily available in the market. This software can be even bought from the Internet. There are many online websites offering easy to use software and they also provide free trial versions. You can download these packages from the Internet with no trouble as they will perform well in almost all the platforms. Before selecting the suitable software, be cautious enough to make sure that the package matches with all your necessities.

Maintenance Software [] provides detailed information on Maintenance Software, Maintenance Management Software, Fleet Maintenance Software, Preventative Maintenance Software and more. Maintenance Software is affiliated with Facility Maintenance Management Software

Developing A Home Maintenance Plan

We all know we should take our car in to have the oil changed every three thousand miles or so, and that we should go to our doctor yearly for our annual check up, but what about your home? Do you have a maintenance plan? In this article we will talk about how to create a home maintenance plan and just how important it is to not only have one, but also how important it is to follow it.

Let’s start with an example. Say you notice that some of the wood around the windows of your house is peeling. You decided you would let it go since it isn’t that bad. You go about your usual business and a couple of months later you decide you better go scrape and paint the wood. When you get to the wood you notice that the wood has rotted, and the job just became a major task of replacing the wood.

Let’s look at one more scenario. You notice walking in one day, in the rain, that the gutters are overflowing and probably need to be cleaned and you make a mental note that when it stops raining you will clean the gutters. The problem is you forgot to clean the gutters and the next time it rains you are in your basement, and notice water coming in. This delayed maintenance just turned into a major repair because all of the water that was overflowing your gutters was being placed right next to your foundation. In these two examples we can see how deferring the maintenance on your home can turn into bigger and more costly repairs.

So, what could you have done differently? By developing and following a home maintenance schedule tailored to your homes needs you could have prevented these major repairs from being needed. So, what is the best way to develop a home maintenance plan? It is usually best to create a plan developed according to the seasons. Below is a list of items to make sure you have on your list.

Inspect and clean your gutters four times a year.
Check your furnace filter every three months (minimum).
Inspect and test your smoke alarms every six months.
Operate all water shut off valves twice a year.
Inspect your water heater twice a year.
Check the grade of your yard twice a year.
Inspect for peeling paint or rotted wood twice a year.
Have your furnace professionally cleaned annually.
Have your air conditioner professionally cleaned annually.
Inspect and test your carbon monoxide detectors twice a year.
Inspect all concrete surfaces for cracks and trip hazards twice a year.
Inspect all guardrails and handrails twice a year.
Inspect all caulking twice a year.
Check for deteriorated siding twice a year.
Inspect your roof twice a year.
Inspect your foundation twice a year.
Have your chimneys cleaned annually.
Have your fireplace and chimney inspected annually.

Some of the items above you may not feel comfortable doing, and you should never perform a task you feel is a safety hazard. Some of these things you may want to hire a professional to perform. This is a basic guideline of things to inspect, and develop a home maintenance plan, but by no means is this everything that may need to be included on your list. Every house is different and may have different things that need to be on your list. It doesn’t matter how well of a list you put together or how well you perform the tasks on your home maintenance schedule, if you don’t make sure to set aside the time needed to perform the maintenance items you identified that need servicing during your inspections.