Handyman Services

How to Insulate Your Home This Winter

How to Insulate Your Home This Winter

How To Insulate Your Home This Winter Ok, the bad news first. There’s a good chance that you’ll be paying more to keep your home warm this winter than ever before. Earlier this month NPR released a report on the rising costs of winter fuels. According to the latest study conducted by Jeff Brady, The Energy Information Administration projects gas bills will rise more than 20 percent. Your overall bill will depend on where you live. The agency reports that an entire winter’s worth of natural gas heating for the average home will be $635. “Temperatures this winter, based on the most recent forecast of heating degree days (from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), are expected to be much colder than last winter east of the Rocky Mountains, with the Northeast and Midwest 17 percent colder and the South 18 percent colder. … In the West, temperatures are forecast to be about 2 percent warmer than last winter.” Insulation: The Key to Combatting Old Man Winter The good news is, you can take proactive measures to prevent the cold temperatures outside from invading your home interior. Below is a list of areas to focus on. Walls There are essentially three components to a wall: 1) The outer layer which is often material like vinyl siding or brick, 2) The inner layer which is drywall or plaster, and 3) The middle section that is filled with wall insulation. These areas should be inspected annually for damaged areas where air or water can leak. Windows & Doors The areas around windows and doors are notorious for allowing small drafts in the house. Drafts are created from tiny shifts in the framework over time. The window and doorframes may need to be resealed. Attic There are numerous issues that can occur in the attic area. The primary issue is proper ventilation. Air needs to pass through the attic to keep it dry and free from humidity and moisture. If cold air is trapped in the attic, it can keep the entire house cool and which causes your heating system to work hard and become less efficient. Another central issue is the attic insulation. Regardless of what type of insulation is in your attic, it will become worn out and need to be replaced. A healthy blanket of insulation of your attic will keep drafts and low temperatures out of the...

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Home or Building Preventative Maintenance

Home or Building Preventative Maintenance

Home Preventative Maintenance for Winter Winter is coming, make sure the maintenance on your house or building is up to par to withstand the cold weather. When the weather gets cold, things tend to break in old homes or buildings. That’s why it is important to do preventative maintenance before something big happens and makes the winter just that much more difficult to bear. Here are five preventative check ups to do during the autumn months. Inspect Your Roof Make sure your roof is ready to withstand snow and ice this winter. Many times, old houses have shingles that are curled up and ready to break. If that’s the case, then it is likely the roof also has leaks and cracks scattered throughout the area. To ensure your roof doesn’t become more damaged with the harsh winter conditions, be prepared to have the shingles and cracks fixed before the first snowfall. Check Your Pipes Old pipes run rampant throughout bustling cities which can become a disaster story in the winter. When the cold weather comes, old pipes freeze up and burst leaving homes and buildings without and water potentially for weeks. This can be a terrifying and life threatening experience for everyone involved. To avoid such a catastrophe, check your pipes before the cold front comes. Make sure they are up to code and they are able to withstand ice. Also, be sure to turn off and drain all outside spigots to prevent any possible pipe bursts. Clean the Gutters Autumn colors come and go fast leaving tons of leaves scattered throughout outside nooks and crannies. This can be one of the most beautiful times of the year, but it is also a big clean up time too. Once the majority of the leaves have fallen, clean out the roof gutters to allow for smooth drainage throughout the chilly months. Have the HVAC System Cleaned HVAC systems can get dirty and grime-filled during the months they aren’t in use. In order to get the most out of an HVAC system in the winter it is important to clean it out. Although you might consider cleaning it out by yourself, HVAC systems can be difficult and tedious to clean so it is recommended that you hire a specialist if you aren’t well versed with heating and cooling systems. Weather strip the Windows The winter months can make heating bills sky-high...

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End of Summer Handyman Jobs

End of Summer Handyman Jobs

Handyman Jobs for End of Summer Many handyman tasks arise regardless of the season, time of day, or day of the week. We pride ourselves at Zia on being ready for what you need, when you need it. Still, planning a regular maintenance schedule for your home or business can take some of the surprises out of your building’s needs. You can move yourself a little closer to predictability by taking on some scheduled handyman jobs for the end of the summer.   Clean the Windows Windows get dirty quickly and easily, and you should plan to clean them regularly. By the end of the summer, though, you face concerns beyond smudges and smears. The spring and summer seasons bring a collection of pollen, dust, and other allergens and irritants that collect on your window sills, on the caulking and edging, and other places where they can linger. To keep your family or your work team comfortable, you should get these cleaned off as you head into the fall. In addition, this provides a good time and opportunity to check for any leaks around the edges of your windows. When you close the windows, you should make sure that the treated air, be it warm or cool, stays inside the building. Checking for leaks can help ensure you remain energy efficient, and can save you substantially on your energy costs as winter approaches.   Clearing the Ducts Similarly, your duct work can collect many of these materials over the course of a long spring and summer. Your HVAC filters should trap much of it, but this creates its own problems in reducing the efficiency of your heating and central air conditioning. As more irritants collect in the ducts, the unit has to work harder to push air through—and eventually, the filters become less effective. When you schedule regular maintenance going into the fall, you head off some of these problems before they can take hold. You save money in energy costs and in potential repair costs by staying ahead of them. In the meantime, you keep the air you breathe comfortable and healthy for those sharing the space with you.   Furnace Maintenance Finally, you want to plan for maintenance testing and any work to be done on your furnace itself. The end of summer is not when you typically worry about your ability to heat the home or...

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General Handyman Services in a Specialized World

General Handyman Services in a Specialized World

General Handyman Services in a Specialized World We live in a world increasingly run by specialists. What once was a defensive lineman in football has now become a weakside 4-3 defensive end on run downs. A doctor is now a pediatric pulmonary specialist, and home repair service people are now plumbers, electricians, drywall installers, and a plethora of other specific individuals. While the world has become more complex in every industry, though, there is still a place for a single entity who can handle many different needs. General handyman services can provide a breadth of assistance that meets most building needs you will experience.   Murphy’s Law Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. This pessimistic rule of thumb operates universally, but perhaps nowhere more consistently than in building maintenance. One day it may be an electrical short, and another it could be a plumbing leak. The one thing you can always count on is that your building will need someone to perform various kinds of repairs over time. And if you use a different specific service provider for every type of problem, it soon becomes a game of repair whack-a-mole. As soon as you finish working on one repair, a new, different need comes up. This can make building operations both more confusing and more costly. This is where the value of a general repair service comes in. You can have one provider with a broad-based experience serve most of your needs. You may still need a specialist for bigger issues, but your everyday concerns should not require every specialist in the area to visit. A collapsed roof requires a roofer; an experienced handyman can take care of a leak.   Consolidating Services In addition to not having to work with multiple vendors, using a consolidated handyman service allows you to take advantage of a single service call for multiple building needs. It also allows you to schedule maintenance with the same provider as will be taking care of most of your repair needs, thus letting your provider become intimately familiar with the building and what to expect. You can save time and money, and have efficient service calls for most of what you have to have done.   Keep Your Building Working Rolling maintenance and repair work under the same service umbrella makes sense for most of what you need. As buildings age, small issues start...

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Three Common Maintenance Concerns

Three Common Maintenance Concerns

Three Common Maintenance Concerns Your home or workplace has a structure that is built to last. Helping it fulfill that promise, though, requires you to perform maintenance work over time. This can seem like a hassle that never ends, particularly if you address building issues only when problems arise. Performing regular maintenance on your structure can help you keep things going well, so you do not lose time and money when the building inevitably turns for the worse. In particular, the systems that move elements through your building should be regularly checked and serviced to ensure everything is running smoothly.   Managing Your HVAC Your HVAC system keeps your building temperature comfortable for you and your employees. But it also does much more. It moves the air through your building, and filters to keep that air clean. To work efficiently and keep you breathing properly, you need to clean the air ducts and change the filters regularly. Put it off for too long, and you will find seasonal allergies acting up, asthma and other breathing issues aggravated, and general health among your workforce compromised. Your maintenance should include sweeping out the vents to clear out dust and debris; disinfecting vent surfaces to remove harmful bacteria; and changing filters to both eliminate trapped pollutants and keep air flowing freely through them.   Plumbing Concerns Most people only think about their plumbing when there is a problem: a clogged pipe, a leak, or a flood. Unfortunately, the bigger the problem, the more expansive and expensive the solution required. People dread visits from the plumber not because plumbing is inherently problematic, but rather because most only engage with the plumber when disaster strikes. Regular plumbing maintenance starts with inspections. Your maintenance team will look at the pipes, faucets, and connections for signs of wear or leaks. A trained eye will often catch early warning signs of hard water damage or pipe decay, and help you implement a plan to keep everything working properly and avert larger issues that may otherwise arise down the road.   Electrical Issues We rely more every year on electrical equipment and computers. While this allows us to work harder, faster, and more efficiently, it also leaves us helpless when electrical failures strike. Surges and shorts wreak havoc on every business function, and cost businesses millions of dollars each year in lost work and damage. Your building maintenance...

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Take Care of Lead Abatement

Take Care of Lead Abatement

Take Care of Lead Abatement Now! If your building was built before 1978, there is a good chance that you have lead paint concerns. If that is the case, any flaking or scratching of paint in these can create health hazards for you and anyone visiting your business. Unfortunately, this also means simply removing or repainting your walls does not solve the problem—and can even make it worse. You need to work with a certified lead paint abatement specialist to remove this hazard from your structure. Fortunately, Zia Building Maintenance provides professional abatement services for your building.   Inspection The first step in any lead paint abatement process is an inspection. A certified professional looks at your building and analyzes the paint used and the condition it is in. This then allows us to determine what the best abatement method may be. In some cases, removal and replacement of the paint or the structure is not the only or even the best method. We inspect your property carefully and provide recommendations to safely eliminate the hazards that lead paint creates.   Enclosure and Encapsulation Enclosure works by covering a lead paint-coated surface with a special cover or paneling. Rather than removing the paint itself, it simply eliminates the exposure of that paint to the air and the building inhabitants. This may be effective, depending on the structure of your building and the amount of contact you have with the surfaces being enclosed. Encapsulation is similar, but rather than enclosing the surface, it uses a special coating to seal in the lead paint. This can be a relatively inexpensive way to treat the problem under the right circumstances. Again, if the hazard comes from people or objects rubbing against a lead paint surface, this is not the most effective means of providing lead paint abatement.   Removal and Replacement In many cases, covering up or enclosing lead paint creates an incomplete solution. Two more invasive means of lead paint abatement can create a more permanent and effective result. Lead paint removal involves coating lead paint-covered surfaces with chemicals that keep it wet through the removal process. This reduces the amount of dust in the air and thus the hazards that linger after the work is done. Still, furniture must be removed and surfaces covered, and the entire area must be cleaned as part of the service. Finally, in some cases...

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