The Professional Choice

A companion overview to the popular "Ask Mr. Handyman" radio program airing on Christian Talk Radio, KCRO 660AM Saturdays @ 9:30AM.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Keep the Chill OUT!

Did you know that a 1/8 inch gap under your door can lead to the same heat loss—and higher energy bills as you’d get if a 3 inch hole was drilled into the side of your home? If the gap is large enough bugs and critters may even seek the comfort of your home this winter though this opening.

To check to see if your threshold or bottom door weather stripping is functioning properly hold a burning candle or incense stick next to the bottom of the door during a windy day to see if the flame or smoke diverts indicating the wind is getting through. If so, it is time to take some action.

Adjustable type door thresholds need periodic adjusting, and will require replacement weather-stripping every couple of years.  They take some trial and error in adjusting it to the correct position so be patient. The trick is to make very small movements up towards the bottom of the door.

A door shoe is the type of rubber weather-stripping mounted on the underside of the door. It will require the removal of the door to replace. Most door shoe products sell for under $30 but could save you hundreds over the life of the item.

Door sweeps mount either on the inside or the outside of the door, at the bottom edge, and provides a seal as the door closes or sweeps closed. Door sweeps usually sell for under $20.00.

Weather-stripping along the sides and top of the door should also be checked with the candle method and replaced if needed. There are many different styles and types, but not all of them are effective. Check to see if an exact replacement type is available for your door.

Mr. Handyman can install weather-stripping to close those gaps and increase the energy efficiency of your exterior doors.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October Home Maintenance Tasks to complete during this wonderful weather!

Here is a quick check-off list for the most common maintenance tasks to accomplish in October.

After each use detach hoses in case of freezing temperatures.

If you want to keep them, remove all paints, caulks and liquid materials from garage or garden sheds.

Inspect weatherstripping around doors and windows and repair or replace if necessary. The time to caulk around windows and doors is NOW!

Set thermostats and automatic sprinklers for winter.

Clean gutters after all the leaves have fallen. Consider a gutter protection system to never clean them again! Make sure downspout extensions are securely attached and direct the water at least 4-6 ft away from the home. 90% of the ice damming damage was caused by a clogged-up gutter.

Clean and seal your wooden deck. Freezing temperatures do the most damage to your deck.

Seal the cracks in your driveway to prevent damage.

Clean and change the wick in your whole-house humidifier.

These are just some of the maintenance tasks a homeowner should complete to prepare for the winter weather. Why not take advantage of this beautiful warm weather to get them done while you can?