November Home Maintenance Checklist

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Now that Thanksgiving is right around the corner, there are some tasks around the house that should be done so that your home is protected from the winter weather.

Weatherproofing – Locating and securing seal cracks in spaces that let heat out and cold air in can save homeowners five to 30 percent on energy bills each year. Do a thorough search around the windows, doors, baseboards and electrical outlets inside and outside and contact a professional to caulk or seal the areas.

Check fire alarms – The batteries in fire alarms should be replaced or tested twice a year. Dead batteries cause 24 percent of smoke alarm failures, so mark your calendars to get in the habit of checking them throughout the year.

Service the HVAC system – By making sure your heating system is running correctly, not only will your home stay warmer but you will save money on your energy bills. An HVAC expert typically costs $60-$85 an hour and can inspect and tune the system.

Rake dead leaves – Dead leaves will kill your lawn, so be sure to rake and remove them for removal. Lawn maintenance companies offer this service and will often aerate and reseed your lawn to prepare it for spring.

Clean patio furniture – By cleaning the outdoor furniture before it is packed away for the season, grime and build up will be easier to remove now than later.

Secure the home from pests – Like us, when animals are cold they want to find warmth and an attic is often a go-to place for rodents like rats and mice. Rodents like these only need openings as large as the size of a quarter to get in, so by securing and replacing damaged roof tiles and attic vents before snow falls, you may save yourself a larger hassle later.

Contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. if you are in need of referrals for any home service, if you are seeking information about your own home such as an appraisal, or if you are thinking of buying or selling a property – we are always happy to help!

Visit www.JeanGroesbeck.com or contact us at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com or call (360) 941-3734.

Taking Care of Large Appliances

Appliances

The large appliances in your home can be some of the most expensive items you own. Fortunately with a little light maintenance, you can prolong both the life of and quality of your appliances. This is specially important if you are thinking of selling your home in Anacortes.

The number one rule with any appliance, whether it be your washer and dryer or stove top, is to wipe up any spills as soon as they happen. However, since some appliances are used differently and more regularly than others, some require a little more attention on a more frequent basis.

Oven and Stovetop
After time, your oven will start exuding odors such as slight burning smells when turned on to preheat. When this happens, you can either utilize the self-cleaning feature that many ovens have, or wipe down the interior with a store-bought oven cleaner. When using a cleaner like this, you should absolutely wear rubber gloves and possibly a face mask as they possess very strong chemicals. To minimize oven residue, you can also purchase an oven liner that sits underneath the oven grates and catches any crumbs or spills that can easily be wiped off with soap and water.

Stovetops are some of the most-used areas in the kitchen, and have the potential to collect the most bacteria. Whether your stovetop has electric coils, gas burners, or a glass surface, crumbs and bacteria always have places to hide. If you have either coils or gas burners, be sure to remove them and wipe them, and the areas underneath them with soap and water. With glass stoves, check the seam that runs around the edge of the stove; it is a great area to collect crumbs and dust.

Microwave
Microwaves are one of the easiest things to clean, however are commonly one of the most ignored. To easily remove spills and crumbs, microwave a cup of water for 2-3 minutes, then allow it to sit for about 30 seconds once finished. The steam from the water will be absorbed into the food stains and will then only need to be wiped down with a damp cloth or sponge. To remove any odors, spray your cloth or sponge with vinegar or lemon juice to remove smells completely.

Refrigerator
Does anyone actually enjoy cleaning the refrigerator? This is one large appliance that can trap smells, hide bad food, and help us to ignore our food hoarding tendencies all at once- and this is just the inside of the beast.
Condenser coils, outside vents, and gaskets collect dust, pet hair, and anything else floating around. One can easily use a vacuum wand to remove loose debris, them simply wipe down with a damp cloth or paper towel. You might be surprised at how different your fridge looks!

Washer and Dryer
Lint and dust can build up in cracks and crevices of your washer and dryer and if left unattended, can eventually become a fire hazard. Wipe a dryer sheet (it picks up tons of dirt!) or cloth along the back of your washer and dryer to pick up any lint remains, hair or dust. Also wipe along the ledge inside the washer lid, as soap and dirt can build there as well. Once or twice each year, pull both appliances away from the wall to check that large dust bunnies haven’t begun inhabiting that area. You should also have your dryer vent cleaned yearly to prevent fire hazards and the overheating of dryer coils.

So remember, just a few minutes of your day will not only help your appliances stay clean but also extend their life. If you are thinking about selling your home in Anacortes, clean appliances will help add value to your home!

For more tips on adding value to your home, text, call or email us today! We will be happy to help you.

4 DIY Projects for a “Greener” Home 

Going “green” is gaining popularity every year. A high percentage of home builders and contractors are already building “green” and energy-efficient homes and expect to continue to do so in the future. Making your home “green” may actually make your home more appealing to potential buyers.  Did you know that home buyers are not only continuously interested in energy-efficient homes, or homes with “green” features, but they are also willing to pay more for them? Even if you’re not ready to sell your home this year, going “green” is environmentally conscious and at the same time it may also help you save money on your monthly energy bills!

 

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1. Bamboo flooring

Thinking about putting in a hardwood floor?  Consider bamboo instead.  Because bamboo grows much more quickly than wood, bamboo is an ecologically friendly alternative to hardwood flooring.  It is an affordable product that is still just as durable, natural, and beautiful as wood.  Furthermore, bamboo is slightly more resistant to water damage than hardwood.

2.  Low-flow toilets and faucet aerators

It may be time to remodel your bathrooms.  If so, a low-flow toilet is more environmentally friendly than a traditional toilet, and is also a great money saver.  It can save up to four gallons of water per flush!  Want to cut your water use in half?  Aerators for your water faucets are another water-saving product.  They also happen to be affordable and very easy to install.

3.  Zero-VOC paint

Did you know that the paint in your home may contain chemicals called Volatile Organic Compounds, and that these toxic VOC chemicals evaporate over time into the air you breathe as you watch TV in the den, or cook meals in kitchen?  Replace the paint on the walls of your home with low or zero-VOC paints, which can be found at almost any paint or home improvement store.

4.  LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs

You may not know this, but incandescent light bulbs actually put out a lot more heat than they do light.  LED and compact fluorescent bulbs are an easy fix.  They fit into incandescent sockets, they’re much more energy efficient, and they last about ten times longer.

What will you do with all the money you save from implementing these “green” improvements to your home?  Let us know in the comments!

If you’re interested in more tips for making your home “green” before you sell, call, text or email us anytime with any questions you have on selling your home in Anacortes, Whidbey Island or Skagit County. We’d love to talk with you.

(360) 941-3734

Info@JeanGroesbeck.com

809 7th St. Anacortes, WA 98221

809 7th St.
Anacortes, WA 98221

 

Is your home ready for winter?

Now that fall is officially here …. it is time to prepare your home for the winter months ahead. Sure it may seem like a drag but in the end it will help you lower your utility bills and keep your home in good shape for years to come! Here are some easy tips to winterize your home and protect the value of your house:

1. Check your home heating system – Consult a professional to make sure your system is clean and in good shape! Also make sure that all vents are opened an unblocked so that the heat can distribute evenly. Act soon… an inspection will be less expensive than having repairs later down the road.

2. Scan the roof of your home – Check for any signs of damaged shingles or cracks on the roof and repair them immediately. Also,check for any cracked seals around the chimney and vents.

3. Clean the gutters – If gutters are full of leaves and debris, water can back up and potentially cause damage to the roof and siding of the house.

Arvin cleaning the gutters in our office

4. Check for drafts – Caulking and weather-stripping any leaks around windows and doors will help you lower your heating bill this season.

5. Inspect the chimney – Consider having your chimney professionally inspected before the first cold night of the season. This will ensure that everyone at home will enjoy a cozy fire all season long.

6. Turn off exterior faucets- In cold weather water left in the pipes can freeze. Disconnect all garden hoses and drain the remaining water from the faucet. Avoid waking up in the middle of a cold night to a broken pipe.

Congratulations you are officially ready for winter!

Protect your investment…your home might be worth more than you think!

* If you would like to contact Arvin at Arvin’s Pressure Washing and Window Cleaning, please call (360) 941-6973*

If you have any real estate questions please contact Jean Groesbeck (360) 941-3734  Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com