Tips for Homeowners
Protecting your home from unnecessary damages and expensive repairs, means being aware of how structurally sound the components of your home are. As your home ages, it becomes even more important to recognize structural weaknesses and weather damages. Below is a checklist, for every homeowner to utilize in order to maintain an energy efficient and structurally sound home. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us to obtain your free on site consultation.
Protecting your Your Roof
1. Determine the age of your roof- A roof that is 10 years or older, is the perfect breeding ground for unnecessary damages and high energy costs. Even if there are not visible signs of wear and tear, it is important to have a free maintenance and weather damage consultation. To insure that your roof always protects you and your family, upkeep is essential. Older roofs welcome weaknesses, that can eventually allow rain and other external elements a path into your home.
2. To recognize wind damage: Look for shingles in your driveway, yard and surrounding streets.
3. To recognize hail damage: Look for an excessive amount of washed shingle granules, and inspect metal vents and pipes, on your roof, for dents visible from the ground (binoculars can be helpful).
Your Home’s Foundation
1. Be aware of the type of the environmental surroundings your home is in-The combination of the soil, climate and the make up of the terrain (near to a water source, on a hill, or on flat terrain), that surround your home are important factors that indicate how your home is settling.
2.Be aware of sticking windows and doors- Regardless of whether or not your home is showing any other signs of foundation problems, sticking windows and doors are major indicators that are easily identifiable. It is important to take action to avoid, preventable damages that require expensive and invasive repairs.
3. Look for cracks in the exterior brick- When looking for cracks on the outside of your home, focus on the corners of your home as well as any supporting pillars. Small cracks, in individual bricks do not indicate foundations problems, and these cracks may have even existed prior to that brick becoming a part of your home. The cracks that pose large problems, are the cracks that extend through multiple connected bricks. Small to medium cracks need to be carefully watched, if the crack continues to extend then it is very likely that you have a foundation problem. Your home is constantly settling, and doing yearly walks around your home and carefully watching existing cracks are good practices in the prevention of foundation problems.
4. Look for cracks above interior door jams and in interior corners- Once cracks begin to present themselves on the inside of your home, your foundation has already begun deteriorating. Interior cracks not only indicate major foundation problems, but they are also energy deficient. Interior cracks are a route for conditioned air to escape and a means for outside, hot or cold, air and water to enter. In addition, unwelcome pests now have a way to find themselves into your home.
1. Count soffit vents, located under the eave- You should have one soffit vent to every ten linear feet.
2. Count attic vents- 90% of the roofs in The Metroplex have deficient ventilation systems, and a deficient ventilation system produces high energy output and energy costs. In two story homes, this is especially important, as the temperatures of your attic can exceed 125 degrees in Summer months. Hot attic air that is not properly ventilated, will heat the surrounding the walls, rooms and affect the overall temperature of your home.
3. In one story or split level homes- Check if you have access to your attic from the garage. In order to keep your home 10-25% cooler in the Summer months, crack your garage door three inches from the ground and completely open the attic door. The attic and garage not only store additional belongings, they also store temperatures that can exceed 125 degrees. The heat from your attic and garage, heat surrounding walls and ultimately heat the rest of your home. Although we still recommend installing an efficient ventilation system, this method will create a cross draft that is free to you. This method will reduce your attic and garage’s scorching temperatures, while saving you money on your energy bills.
Energy Saving Tips
In addition to having efficient ventilation systems, there are several other methods you can do to keep your home warm in the cold months and cool in the hot months.
1. Windows- Installing new windows every 10-15 years is a good rule of thumb to follow. There are many energy efficient options for windows that do not allow the transfer of external heat or Winter’s cold into your home.
2. Applying a tint to untreated windows- This assists in blocking sunlight, ultimately blocking the production of excess heat. Tints do not detract from your home’s curb appeal, and are not visible to passersby.
3. Maintaining the caulking of your windows- This prevents your home’s conditioned air from escaping. In order to ensure year round low energy costs, it is best to check your window’s caulking before Season changes.
4. Applying weather stripping to all entrances/exits to your home- This prohibits conditioned air from exiting the confines of your home.