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Desktop to Rooftop Home Maintenance Reminders

C.W. Orangeman has a wonderful personal assistant - this "Girl Friday" can do it all! She is the office manager, secretary, bookkeeper, telephone operator, gopher and domestic engineer. She emails the CarterWorx Newsletter every week on - of course - Friday! This will give you a weekly reminder to complete a home maintenance task which will help you keep your home healthy and happy. There will also be answers from Tim to readers' home maintenance questions as well as comments from readers and customers alike. If you would like to receive the CarterWorx Newsletter from Girl Friday, please subscribe and you'll be sure to get the next edition.

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 Home Maintenance Reminders:

Here's an example of Girl Friday's reminder:

CarterWorx, LLC
Take care of your home and it will take care of you!
Friday's Reminder from Girl Friday

Let's start getting prepared for the change of seasons -
Check the attic.

As I write this reminder, I am in Wisconsin visiting family, and it's getting chilly here! This is reminder to me that, yes - Autumn is coming and it will soon be chilly in Maryland too. While the weather is not too hot or too cold, let's take the next few weeks to check on all those tasks that will keep your house warm and cozy when Mother Nature decides that winter is on the way.

This weekend, look into your attic space. Some attics are fully equipped with flooring and made for storage, but most are not. Most attics are just a crawl space above your living area which is really meant only for insulation and the pipes and electrical wires that keep the rest of your house running smoothly. Those ceilings were never meant to carry heavy loads of storage...or beware! (This will surely be a topic for another time.)

1. Without using any extra lighting, peek into the attic space and make note of where there is light coming in. Attics are supposed to have ventilation so you should be able to see some light. Vents are usually located at the lower edge of the roof (the soffit) and the highest part of the roof (the ridge). What you do NOT want is larger holes that may allow animals to enter and use your attic as their winter home.

2. With additional lighting, and from your place on the ladder or step, look around to see if the insulation is in place. Workmen are notorious for removing insulation to attend to HVAC, plumbing or electrical problems but not replacing it when their work is complete. If you must enter the attic to explore, PLEASE take the proper precautions by placing pieces of plywood across the ceiling joists to walk on so that you will not fall through your ceiling!

3. Look for water streaks. Look at the plywood above your head, but also look on the white PVC plumbing pipes and the bathroom exhaust vents where they penetrate the roof. If you see any water marks, that is an indication that there is a leak somewhere and warrants further investigation by a professional.

If any of these items raises some concern, don't hesitate to employ professional guidance and assistance. Don't wait until the winter weather causes more damage or inconvenience while repairs are being made.

Ask Tim...
Follow up from last week -

"Some home HVAC units are equipped with electrostatic filters. How are those cleaned and how often? The best advice I can find is to rinse them in a tub of soapy water and then thoroughly rinse with clear water, letting them dry before reinstalling them. (They were in place before we moved here, and there aren't any instructions around.)"

Electrostatic filters are best cleaned and serviced by following the manufacturer’s directions. Some say to use a special solution to clean the filter grid while others say to just rinse them off. Some manufacturers recommend servicing every 3 months while others say it can be done once a year. Lots of variations with these. Stick with the manufacturers recommendations so you do not void the warranty. Without specific instructions from the manufacturer, your choice is the best way to clean them.

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Laurel, MD

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