Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Soffit Vent Cleaning

The past few weeks in Orland Park and Tinley Park I've noticed some very dirty venting (if not completely blocked) - best if cleaned... Cleaning Soffit Venting

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Recurring Wall Cracks

I had three clients last week from Mokena, New Lenox and Frankfort ask me about wall and ceiling cracks. Why do they occur, is it a structural problem, is it the paint, why do they keep coming back.... These are typical questions home owners ask repeatedly.  My neighbor and a very resourceful handyman use "Goodbye Cracks" (from the makers of "Goof Off") and both of them swear by it. This product was also acknowledged by The Family Handyman Magazine (February 2012 p. 54). I'm told that this product has to used and applied according to directions otherwise, it will not work and you will be disappointed with the results. It's not expensive and worth a try.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sump Backups

Storms during the Spring knock out electrical power and we are quickly faced with the possibility of overflowing sump pits in basements and crawlspaces. I have seen it hundreds of times and most recently in Frankfort and Orland Park. It's amazing how many home owners have not installed a backup system given the risk of damage to any home system, component and personal property. Generators are the best but few home owners can afford them. Next, is the water pressure backup system. It's more expensive than battery systems but there is no electricity involved. You never have to worry about a battery draining to the point where it becomes useless. Domestic water is used to drain the pit and the principle is based on the Venturi effect. The diagram below (provided by Gardian) illustrates how it works. 

Finally, is the battery backup. It's not might as reliable as a generator or the water pressure backup but it is better than no backup at all. I have linked an old article and diagram about a simple battery installation from The Family Handyman (June 2003 p.14)... Battery Backup for Sump Pump

Monday, May 18, 2015

Keep Cool

It's time to clean the air conditioning system. If you don't, your system will be inefficient and components will work harder. Keep Cool (The Family Handyman, April 20015 p.105) shows you how and the process is not complicated nor will it take too long.

Keep Cool - Maintenance for your AC system

Monday, May 4, 2015

Soffit and Roof Vent Air Flow

I have seen a number of attics lately with blocked air flow - especially in the area of Frankfort, Orland Park and Joliet area. Can't explain why... Anyway, I thought the following diagram (The Family Handyman, November 2003 p.13) might be useful...

Soffit and Roof Vent Air Flow

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Window Sash Repairs

I've had a few clients call and ask about completing general window repairs. I found this article from the October 2010 (p.14) issue of the The Family Handyman magazine (invaluable and highly recommended...). Window sashes don't always work as intended and ultimately the need repairs. Replacing the hardware is often all that is needed. Hope this is helpful..

Fix a Broken Window Jamb Liner

Monday, May 26, 2014

Time to clean the Air Conditioner

The Family Handyman is a terrific resource of how-to's and home repairs. This month the publication contains an article for cleaning and maintaining the air conditioner...

AC Maintenance

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Energy Efficient Windows

This is the time of year when home owners replace widows and I uploaded an article by Fine Home Building that might help. Its a bit technical but informative.

Understanding Energy Efficient Windows

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What my clients think.....

Here's the most recent client feedback survey results.... I'm pretty satisfied with a cumulative rating of 4.96 out of 5.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Light Bulbs Confusion

I was at a big box store recently and decided to restock some light bulbs. Boy, have things changed. I decided to post a few explanations and differences of all the light bulbs available today. Click the link below...

About Light Bulbs

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Got odors?

Everyone has them but what to do about them... This article From The Family Handyman (March 2014 p.20) may help.  What's Your Odor?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tankless Water Heaters

Ther'es been a lot of discussion recently about tankless water heater. They're here, so you might as well start the education process. The ASHI Reporter has published a nice article that you will enjoy.

 ASHI Reporter (8/2013) " Tankless Water Heaters"

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Driveway repairs

I've been seeing many driveways of late that need some maintenance so I thought I would post the following information from The Family Handyman magazine: Driveway Makeover

Monday, May 27, 2013

Screen Door Repair

It's the time of year (well, by the calendar anyway) when screens begin to get a lot of use and ultimately, they will need repairs. Here's a nice "how-to"from the Family Handyman (5/2012)...

Window and Door Screen Replacement

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Noisy Garage Door Fixes

Spring cleaning is in order for the next few weeks. Yard waste, debris on roofs and over-stuffed garages need your attention. Is fixing the noisy garage door on your to-do list? Here's a few ideas that may help.....   Noisy Garage Door Fixes

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Power Outage? Be prepared...

The Spring weather brings warmer temperatures and sometimes a thunderstorm that leaves us without electrical power. It's a helpless feeling but there are a few simple things you can do to make the situation less intrusive...   Power Outage? Be Prepared

Monday, March 18, 2013

How Long Will It last?

Here's a nice article about how long some systems and components are expected to last as well as some costs. Included is furnace, boiler, water heater (please don't call it a "Hot" water heater... hot water does not have to be heated for this application), windows, roof, electrical service and air conditioning. Enjoy...  How Long Will It Last?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Flashing Deck Ledger Boards

For every 100 decks I inspect 99 of then do NOT have flashing at the ledger board. I admit that ledger board rot is not frequent but the time and cost of installing flashing vs. the time and cost of replacing a damaged ledger is no comparison. Flashing the ledger board is a must. Open the PDF below...

Ledger Board Flashing

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Garage Door Maintenance

Here's a great article from Family Handyman regarding...   Garage Door Maintenance. The home owners from a few recent inspections in Hinsdale and Downers Grove surely needed this information.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Door Confusion

Is your door right handed or left handed? No kidding, there is a difference.

click to enlarge

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Recessed Lighting

Lately, I 've been seeing a lot of poorly insulated and unsafe recesses lighting. These light fixtures should contain an Underwriters' Laboratory label containing an "IC" rating if installed in a ceiling containing insulation. The "IC" stands for "Insulation Contact". Uninformed consumers increase their chances of a fire because of the excessive heat build up if a non-IC fixture is used. The following link to Capri Lighting offers a easy to understand explanation (IC and nonIC ratings).

Also, if insulation is moved away from a non-IC rated fixture then there is a void in the insulation blanket. This could be a significant heat loss (or heat gain) which obviously affects energy efficiency and increases utility costs. Fomo Products offers a "Recessed Lighting Cover" to solve this problem.

Click to enlarge

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Foreclosure v. Short Sale

Here's a nice little comparison that can help you distinguish between a foreclosure and a short sale (thanks Tom)

click to enlarge