Ready to hunker down for winter? Not so fast. Now’s the time to tackle a few chores that will help your house and yard ride out the cold season ahead. Here are a few to check off your to-do list.
Clean the gutters
Gutters and downspouts direct rainwater away from your house. That keeps water from pooling around the foundation and leaking into the basement, or freezing in the gutters at the roof line and causing damaging ice dams.
But those gutters and downspouts can’t do their job if they’re clogged with leaves and other debris.
After the trees have finished shedding their leaves, get up on a ladder and clean that stuff out. Plug the top of the downspout with a rag first to keep debris from going down the spout, and wear heavy gloves to protect your hands.
Reader’s Digest Association’s “1001 Do-It-Yourself Hints & Tips” recommends removing the debris with a plastic sand shovel or garden trowel, or you can fashion a scoop from a plastic milk jug. Dump the debris into a bucket instead of pushing it over the lip of the gutter to avoid dirtying the siding, the book suggests.
When the gutter is clean, run some water into it from a garden hose. Clear a clogged downspout with a plumber’s snake or a blast from the hose, working from the bottom up so you don’t compact the clog.
Read more at: http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/home/sc-home-fall-chores-20121117,0,947494.story
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Once the winter freeze-and-thaw cycle kicks in, a tiny leak in your roof can turn into a crevasse—and a $10,000-plus repair job. Clogged gutters and dribbling spigots can also do a lot of damage. So take advantage of the cooler weather to do home and yard repairs and spruce-ups. The following tips can save you thousands of dollars in repair costs.
Does maintainance add value to your home? Contact the appraisers at www.scappraisals.com for your value questions
Get some leaf relief
Fallen leaves can kill grass when they’re matted down by snow. Leaf piles can also attract rodents. But using leaf bags means work and waste if they go into a landfill.
What to do: Don’t overlook your mower’s mulching mode. Ground-up leaves feed your lawn and save money. You might need to make a few passes to slice the leaves small enough to decay. (See Consumer Reports’ lawn mower Ratings and recommendations.)
What you save: Along with saving the cost of leaf bags (Americans spend millions of dollars a year on them), you sidestep the stooping and bending of raking and bagging.
Read more at: http://homes.yahoo.com/news/outdoor-chores-that-will-pay-you-back.html
With all the rapture about interest rate cuts – now equalling 0.75 per cent over the last two months – spare a thought for older Australians.
Already a third of over 50s say they can’t afford their home repair bills, according to a national survey, and with every dent to their savings, things get worse.
Australia’s over 50s are facing a combined repair bill of $5.57 billion to fix more than 17 million defects in their homes.
The most common issues reported in research by insurance provider Apia were leaking taps (41%), trees that need to be trimmed for safety reasons (39%), cracks in walls (38%), insect or vermin infestations (33%), and blocked drains (27%). Nearly half (43%) of the survey’s respondents said they didn’t have the skills to fix the problems around their home.
For readers in the US and Canada there are non-profit groups that may be able help. Contact the appraisers at www.scappraisals.com for questions. Don’t forget Habitat for Humanity, local churches and senior centers!
read more at: http://smh.domain.com.au/blogs/talking-property/seniors-struggling-to-maintain-homes-20120605-1ztik.html