Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

Check out these monthly tips on maintenance for October!

by The Cincinnati Team

Here is what I read recently about younger home owners:

"Generally speaking, millennials are not known to be obsessive home DIYers. In fact, as a group, they tend to shy away from serious home maintenance," says Ed Padilla, the founder of the Association of Certified Handyman Professionals.

So maybe this idea of a monthly maintenance calendar would help you not have to spend so much money? Here is a link to Realtor.com for activities to do in the month of October.  https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/home-maintenance-checklist-october/‚Äč

GOOD LUCK! It is important to maintain your home! Call us if you need any service providers in the Greater Cincinnati area for the tough jobs! We have a list of who past clients used and liked. Thanks, Saralou 513-646-4819 or Mary 513-310-4448

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clean your washing machine

by The Cincinnati Team

Maybe you never considered that something that exists to clean would need to be cleaned regularly. Giving your machine a periodic clean-out using bleach and vinegar (in separate cycles!) helps to eliminate residue left behind by soaps, and improves the ability for your machine to clean your clothing thoroughly. A must-do if you’re sitting at home with a few hours to kill!

Getting your laundry back on track starts with just two items*:
• 1 quart of bleach (many tutorials went without the bleach step, if you’re concerned about using harsh agents in your laundry)
• 1 quart of white vinegar

* Some of you might be thinking: But wait, isn’t it dangerous to mix bleach and vinegar? The answer is yes, but we will not be mixing the two here. Read on …

Alternate option: Vinegar with baking soda will do a very good job of cleaning the inside of your washer and leave it smelling fresh, but I would suggest a couple of cups vinegar, rather than a whole quart.

Fill the empty washer with hot water, as if you’re doing a large load of laundry. Add the quart of bleach, and let the full machine run for one minute to mix up the bleach with the water. Open the top of the machine and let it sit, all bleach-y and full, for an hour. At the end of the hour, shut the cover and let the machine run a complete cycle. (The water will drain out all the bleach, so it won’t have a chance to mix with the vinegar.)

When it’s done, start again. This time, when you fill the washer with hot water, add the quart of white vinegar to the water and down the bleach channel and let the machine run for a minute to agitate the water and vinegar. After that minute, open the top of the machine and again, let the hot water sit in the basin for an hour before you let the cycle complete.

- See more at: http://blog.diynetwork.com/maderemade/2013/04/30/get-your-laundry-back-on-track/#sthash.hixqu3S6.dpuf

Get Ready for Cincinnati Winter

by The Cincinnati Team

 

Are You Ready For Winter?                                          

Winter is one of our favorite times of the year! It's often easy to overlook your home's needs with so much going on. Here is a simple checklist of items that can save you money through the winter:

  • Check for leaks and drafts around the house. Replace weather stripping and re-caulk around doors and windows. Drafty doors and windows will cool off the house and cost you money in heating bills.
  • Inspect your attic's insulation. Heat rises so adding good insulation can keep the heat from escaping.
  • Check your heating system. Sometimes something as easy as replacing your filter or having simple maintenance done can save on heating costs.

Consider changing from standard light bulbs to energy saving bulbs. Winter uses a lot of your electricity so even saving a little here and there will help.  Whether you live in a warm or cold climate, take this opportunity to inspect your home systems. You'll be money ahead in the long run!

How to Get Your House Ready for Fall

by The Cincinnati Team

Now that you have put the lawnmower away for the year and started raking the leaves, you know it is also a good time to get your house ready for the colder temperatures. A big part of getting your home ready for the fall is sealing up your home and checking to make sure that your heating equipment is in peak working order.

The best way to approach these tasks is to make checklist of everything that needs to be done – and why it needs to be done. Let’s examine the ways to help your heating system do its job and how to keep it working efficiently.

• First, see if there is anywhere in your house that there might be heat loss. Make sure to change out the screens in your windows with glass. Check all of the caulking and weather stripping around doors, windows, roof vents, etc.. If it is chipped, cracked, or missing, you will need to repair or replace it.
• Second, check the ductwork in your house. Openings between joints will keep your heating system from working as efficiently as it could. You can use duct tape to seal off any obvious gaps, even after you have closed or repaired them. If you need leaks fixed more thoroughly, call your local contractor who can perform a test on your house’s entire heating system.
• Check all of your heating vents for obstructions or debris. Moving furniture or carpeting away from the vents helps distribute the heated air better.

Now that you have taken steps to seal up you house, it is time to check your furnace for ways to keep it running efficiently. Besides providing warmth and comfort to people in your home, a properly tuned furnace will run more efficiently and use less energy – keeping your utility bills down.

• First, check your furnace filter. If it is dirty or you haven’t changed it recently, you will want to replace the filter in the air handling unit (connected to your furnace through a plenum). This will improve your furnace’s energy efficiency and help keep your indoor air clean. If you have a removable electronic filter, clean it by washing with a soapy solution and rinse it out. Dry it before putting it back in the air handling unit.
• Inspect the pilot flame in your furnace. The flame should be a bright blue with a slight shade of yellow on the tip. If you don’t see that, there may be incomplete combustion inside your furnace.  This should be checked immediately by a professional.

The last thing you should check is to make sure there is a constant flow of fresh air throughout your home. Sealing a home up too tightly can keep stale, untreated air inside. That's not healthy for anyone.

Be safe, warm, and comfortable this fall by taking these easy steps.

These tips are from RineAir Heating & Air Conditioning, who offer heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance and repair in the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area. You can check out their blog here.

Let us Light the Way...

by The Cincinnati Team

Duke Energy has set up a program to provide free compact florescent light bulbsCFK lightbulb - duke Energy(CFLs) to their customers.  Most of us in southwestern Ohio and southeastern Indiana will qualify. 

Why is Duke Energy doing this?  Last year, the company distributed over 10 million free bulbs to one million customers.  They estimate that that will save enough energy to provide power to over 45,000 homes.

It is thought that replacing one incandescent bulb with a CFL qualified, energy efficient lightbulb will save you about $30 over its lifetime. So if Duke Energy qualifies you to receive six CFLs, and you place them in the most frequently used locations, you can save $180 over the lifetime of the bulbs.  CFLs use 75 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer that standard light bulbs.

In light of the new federal energy efficiency standards that take effect this year, many retailers are already phasing out incandescent bulbs.  

Will I like these new bulbs?  CFL bulbs are available in a range of light colors, including warm (white to yellow) tones, that were not as available when first introduced. Some are encased in a cover to further diffuse the light and provide a similar shape to the bulbs you are replacing. If you are looking for a dimmable bulb, check the package to make sure you purchase a CFL with that feature.

Fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, and they should always be recycled at the end of their lifespan. Many retailers recycle CFLs for free. See www.epa.gov/cfl for more information.

How do I get my free bulbs?  Duke Energy customers can request free CFLs by going to www.duke-energy.com/freecflsnow or by calling 800-943-7585.  You will need either your billing number or your phone number that they have on file and the last four digits of the person responsible for billing.  So light the Way and Save some M-O-N-E-Y!

Home Maintenance Checklist for Cincinnati's Winter

by The Cincinnati Team
Winter is one of our favorite times of the year! It's often easy to overlook your home's needs with so much going on. Here is a simple checklist of items that can save you money through the winter.Cincinnati Home Maintenance in Winter
  • Clean gutters and downspouts to prevent ice dams.
  • Check for leaks and drafts around the house. Replace weather stripping and re-caulk around doors and windows. Drafty doors and windows will cool off the house and cost you money in heating bills.
  • Inspect your attic's insulation. Heat rises so adding good insulation can keep the heat from escaping.
  • Check your heating system. Sometimes something as easy as replacing your filter or having simple maintenance done can save on heating costs.
  • Consider changing from standard light bulbs to energy saving bulbs. Winter uses a lot of your electricity, so even saving a little here and there will help.

When you live in a cold climate, take this opportunity to inspect your home systems. You'll be money ahead in the long run!

Are you Getting Your Tax Credit for Energy Improvements?

by The Cincinnati Team

Although the $8,000 tax credit has expired for first time buyers, many folks are still eligible for another home-related tax credit that's available through the end of the year.

The American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009 provides homeowners a tax credit for select energy upgrades on existing homes.  Windows, doors, water heaters, insulation and other products are eligible.  The tax credit is equal to 30 percent of cost of eligible product, up to $1500 for all improvements combined during 2009 and 2010. 

Manufacturer certification statements are required to be eligible for the tax credit.  Be sure to gather those together in the next month so you will be ready to submit it with your tax return.  More information is available on the EnergyStar.gov website.

Are You Watering Your Foundation?

by The Cincinnati Team

Cincinnati isn't only facing a drought in wins by our sports teams!  The weather patterns have created a significant drought from lack of rain.  All you have to do is drive around and look at the brown yards and you know that all our trees and plants are in trouble.

For those of you who are watering and giving your vegetation 1" of water a week, you can expect to still have your trees, grass and plants next year.  For those of you who haven't, there is at least one place you need to start watering NOW!  Your foundation could be in trouble.

Who's to blame?  It's not who, it's what!  Clay soils are the culprit.  Most homes in the Cincinnati are built on clay soil.  Clay is an unique material to build on, because it is constantly expanding and contracting.  Along with the clay, your home is constantly expanding or contracting as well. As this happens, pressure is being put on the foundation walls and slab, potentially causing shifts in concrete and plumbing.  Common problems are water main breaks or sewer line cracks.

What are the warning signs that you have a problem at your house?Soil cracks

  • - Cracks in brick
  • - Sticking doors
  • - Sticking windows
  • - Gaps in the trim boards on the exterior
  • - Sheetrock or plaster cracks
  • - Gaps between the foundation and the soil.

You want to prevent these from happening by having as little structural movement as possible.  One way to do that is to water your foundation when we have extremely dry weather...like right now!

How do you water a foundation?  The best way is to place a soaker hose around the foundation, about 12-18" from the walls.  Soaker hoses are best because they assure that water will go directly into the ground.  You'll want to turn them on for 15-20 mintutes every two or three days right now.  This will cause the clay soil to expand and press against your foundation consistently.

Don't place the soaker hose directly against the foundation, because there is almost assuredly a gap there right now.  That could result in water going into your basement through either new cracks or by putting too much pressure on the foundation.Foundation problems

Consider this work as part of everyday home maintenance.  Once we start to get consistent rain again, you probably will not need to continue the watering regime. However, keep an eye out for the gaps between the soil and foundation in the future.

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

Syndication

Categories

Archives

                Preferred Group                                                Last modified: 8/28/17