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Essential Home Maintenance for Your Windows

Winter is a great time to give some attention to your windows. In the long run it will save you time and money.  Lubricating the track and the frame where the sash slides ensures that the window functions properly.  Along with your garage vehicle door hinges, this should be part of your yearly maintenance.  Lubricating your windows, whether they are sliders, casements, or tilt-in single or double hung, is a straightforward task that most homeowners can accomplish.  The following are steps you can take to get the job done in no time:

  • Mix a simple solution of 1.5 cups of vinegar, 1 tsp of baby shampoo into about a gallon of hot water in a portable plastic container.
  • Lift the window sash as you usually do to open the window.  If your windows have this feature, tilt single- and double-hung windows inward, or slide casement windows open to allow you better access to the tracks and the inner liner or frame where the sash slides open and closed.
  • Wipe the tracks and window frame with a dry cloth to remove loose dust, dirt and debris or use a vacuum if there is a lot of debris.
  • Use a damp cloth dipped in the solution to clean away any mildew, mold, or heavy dirt buildup.
  • Rinse with clean water and dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Use a spray silicone lubricant to spray onto a dry rag or cloth.  Wipe the lubricant onto the window’s track and along the jamb liner where the sash slides open and closed.  Try and keep from spraying lubricant directly onto the vinyl window. It can leave a permanent mark that you cannot remove.  Spraying directly onto the vinyl can also leave a greasy mess that is difficult to clean and ironically attracts more dirt.
  • Return the window sash to its original position.  If you used the tilt out feature you will have to tilt it back in before closing the window.  Open and close the window several times to distribute the lubricant evenly.

That’s it!  I assure you that this is time and energy well-spent.  Not only will this allow you to easily open windows to allow fresh air in and save money on air conditioning costs, it will help to ensure that when the time comes to sell your home, they won’t show up as a defect in your buyer’s Home Inspection Report.

#windows #windowcleaning #homemaintenance #windowmaintenance #windowlubricating

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We Cover All of the Bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

Are you running your home AC during the winter months?

So the cold weather is here… kinda.  Even though we have officially entered winter, there are plenty of winter days here in Oklahoma that will tempt us to turn on the air conditioner.  If it is sunny and 60 outside, chances are it’s heating up well over 75 in your home and that can lead to us feeling a little stuffy.   Add to that some holiday cooking, and we can see that thermostat moving quickly to the 80s.  What to do?

Well, back in the day, I know it might be hard to believe, but we would actually open the windows.  That’s right kids!  We opened the windows.  I know that sounds snarky but I really think people have forgotten about this option, much to the enjoyment of your neighborhood HVAC professional.  Also, today’s homes are not really designed for this.  In the early 20th century, homes were built with lots of windows and often had a “whole-house fan” that people would run, with the windows open, to keep everyone reasonably cool.  I’m always happy to tell buyers about this feature when we come across a functional unit.

So, even though we don’t have as many windows, I’m recommending using them next time your home gets stuffy this winter; for the following reasons:

  1. Compressors are designed to run in hot weather.  They are lubricated with summer grade oil.  When you start your AC in the winter you are putting a terrible strain on the compressor and likely shortening its life.  I know you don’t want to buy another AC unit this spring.
  2. Windows left shut and not operated year after year, lose their lubrication, and when I open them at inspections, the springs often do not operate.  The next time you sell a home, you are probably going to be asked to fix that.  Using them frequently will keep them functional or at least remind you to lubricate them occasionally.
  3. Using your windows instead of your AC saves you money — immediately.  Open a couple of windows, and turn your fan to “on” at the thermostat.  It will circulate the stale air, introduce new fresh air, and cool down your home.  It will take a little longer, but you avoid risk of damage to the compressor.  Also, it is a lot cheaper to run a fan than a compressor.

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

Oklahoma Earthquakes: Part 3

wallcrack

If you have lived in Oklahoma for at least a decade, you probably consider yourself somewhat of an expert on severe weather and tornadoes.

Now that we are arguably the earthquake capitol of the planet, we need to become experts on another way mother earth lets us know who’s boss.

As spring approaches and we spend more time outside (hopefully!), we need to be on the lookout for changes in our homes that may need to be addressed before they become bigger, more expensive problems.

Here is a list that FEMA has put out of things to check as you move in and around your home.

1. Check The External House Structure:

• Survey all portions of your house to see if any part collapsed or sustained damage.

• Check to see if the house shifted on its foundation, or fell away from the foundation in any place.

• Check to see if the house is noticeably leaning, or looks tilted from a distance.

• Look for severe cracks or openings, especially around outdoor steps or porches.

• If inside the house, check to see if you are experiencing seriously increased vibrations from passing trucks and buses.

• Look for cracks in external walls. Check to see if existing cracks in the walls are getting bigger.

• Check to see if mortars are separating from the blocks.

• Look for sink holes or large divots in the ground next to the foundation.

2. Check The Chimneys:

• Look for cracks between the chimney and the exterior wall or the roof.

• Look for cracks in the liner.

• Check to see if there is unexplained debris in the fireplace.

3. Check Utilities:

• Check to see if power lines to your house are noticeably sagging.

• Check to see if hot water heater is leaning or tilted.

• Check to see if all the water connections, dry-pipes, toilets, faucets are secure.

4. Check the Inside Of the House:

• Check to see if doors and windows are harder to open, and if doors do not shut properly.

• Check to see if the roof is leaking. Look for water damage to the ceiling.

• Check to see if the furnace has shifted in any way, and if ducts and exhaust pipes are connected and undamaged.

• If inside the house, check to see if you are experiencing unexplained draftiness. Look for cracks in the walls, poorly aligned window frames, and loosened exterior siding. They can all let in breezes.

• Check to see if the floor is separated from walls or stairwells inside the house.

• Look for cracks between walls and built-in fixtures such as lights, cupboards or bookcases.

• Look for gaps around plumbing pipes that exit the foundation wall.

Aron Ralston pointed this fact out in his book Between a Rock and a Hard Place years ago.  Everything in our environment is moving.  Some things move quickly, and some move very slowly, but everything is moving.

The ground beneath us is moving much more quickly these days, so be on the lookout for problems that may compromise your homes well being.

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

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