What happens when an exterior faucet drips in Minnesota in the Winter? You get an Ice Dome. Two things you want to make sure of is that faucets ar completely shut off and that you don't leave garden hoses hooked up. It is important that the anti frost valve is allowed to drain properly to prevent damage to the faucet
Most of us will agree that the key to a great looking deck is to keep it maintained. That may mean staining it every couple of years. Most people can handle the process by themselves, but have a hard time finding the time, the right approach and the right products
Summer is here, and most of us and our neighbors are outside planting, trimming and preparing the patios and deck for cookouts. We're also taking time for evening strolls through the neighborhood. Looking around at what your neighbors are up to may result in a desire to improve your home's curb appeal.
We all put a lot of time and hard work into your yard during the summer. It’s late fall and you have taken the time to get things ready for winter. You know the drill: make sure your plans are all well watered before the ground freezes. Move house plans indoors. Clean up the flower beds, remove, cut back, mulch…etc.
Here we are, the end of October. Summer is over and we need to start thinking about preparing for winter. Below are some recommended home maintenance tips you should consider before the snow starts to fly.
This is an example of one way not to repair a crumbling porch. Over time the elements got to the outer later of this porch brickwork. Mortar and bricks became loose and fell out. What the home owner did was to provide bracing to keep addotionam courses of block from falling out.
The number one culprit for causing water penetration into the basement of a house is rain gutter downspouts discharging rain water right alongside the foundation. All downspouts should discharge the water at least five feet or more from the foundation.
It’s Summer, and if you haven’t noticed yet, we have had a few storms. Once a storm has passed and it is safe to go outside, make a careful inspection of the exterior of your home and repair any minor damage that may have occurred.
Leaving garden hoses connected to external water faucets can result in frozen and possibly split water lines. At this home inspection in Rochester MN, I came across two hose faucets that had garden hoses attached to them. These hose faucets are the Anti Freeze/Anti Siphon type and are designed not to freeze...provided you remove the garden hoses.
At a recent home inspection I came across an opening in the side of a home that was housing a bee hive. This video clearly shows why you should always make sure that openings in the exterior of your home are sealed. These bees get into the wall and displace the insulation as they build their colonies. My recommendation to the new home owner was to have these bees exterminated, removed, and then to have the insulation replaced... Oh, and to make sure that all openings in the home's exterior are sealed.
In the attached video you will see a deck that has had years of neglect and deferred maintenance. As a result, there are many issues that need attention.
What does your home have that can improve its first impression and it’s energy efficiency? It’s on the front of your home and sits directly in front of your main entrance. I’m talking about your storm doors. Storm doors play an important role in your homes curb appeal and energy efficiency. They can beautify and prevent drafts.
If your driveway, sidewalk or patio has a large area of concrete that has settled unevenly and now has a pitch towards your home foundation and threatens to flow rain water towards the basement, you may have a candidate for mudjacking.
Your Rochester MN Home Inspector recommends staining your deck as one of the best ways to protect your investment from the elements, It will be easier to maintain and look better longer
Here’s another good reason you should make sure all exterior openings are sealed. I usually discuss with my clients the importance of making sure that all exterior openings are sealed so that moisture and insects can not infiltrate.
Quite often during a home inspection I will note a gap between the concrete driveway and the garage slab on the inspection report. Taking the time to fill the gap will be worth the effort. Excess water under the slab will cause the slab to raise in the winter as the ground freezes. The gap can be closed using a filler/backer rod and a self leveling sealant filler material.
The first step is to clean the gap, blowing away all dust and debris. If there is any depth to the void you will need to fill it with a filler material, sometimes called backer rod, or backer rope. This is typically a closed cell synthetic material that looks like one of those float noodles that the kids use in the pool. But a size that is slightly wider than the opening you are trying to fill. Your local Rochester, or Southeastern MN building materials store will have these materials.
Next, force the backing materials into the opening using a putty knife until you have about ¾-1 inch below the concrete surface. The backer rod material will support the filler sealant and will expand and contract as the seasons change. It also provides a surface that will not stick to the filler sealant. If the filler sealant is attached to three surfaces, it may not expand and contract properly and pull away from the concrete.
After the backer rod is installed, add the self leveling concrete filler or urethane type caulk. This material will fill the void and is self leveling. This material is designed to adhere well to concrete and will expand and contract with the seasons. Always follow the manufacturers directions for installation and cure time. Proper installation will give you a great result that will keep the gap filled for years to come.
Energy leakage and water damage are a constant threat to homeowners. Simple caulking and insulating of leaks and openings can help to reduce energy loss by up to a third.
A yearly inspection of the windows in your home can insure that the weather stripping has not been damaged and is functioning properly. We all know how hard the wind can blow in our Southeastern MN winters.
Woodpeckers are great at reducing the bug population. The problem with these birds is that they peck at wood to find bugs beneath the surface of woos, and sometimes the wood they peck at is your cedar siding.
Renewing the finish of rusty wrought iron railings can be easy and a fairly simple do it yourself project to complete. Here in Southeastern Minnesota the weather can be harsh causing many wrought iron railings to rust after years of exposure to the elements.