Too early to think about old man winter? Sadly, this late summer heat wave will not last forever! Here are a few quick things for homeowners, property managers and landlords to focus on before the cold weather rolls in:
- Start with the basics, but the one perhaps most critical: the smoke alarm. Last night I inadvertently “tested” mine while roasting tomatoes for a bit too long. Good news: it works. Bad news: my hearing is just getting back to normal.
- Carbon monoxide is a big deal. It’s deadly and silent and ever winter we hear nightmare stories about it. Don’t be a statistic. Get the sensors, and check this site out for a product that does easy detection: carbon monoxide in a can*. With this, you simply spray a bit into a carbon monoxide detector, and it should sound off. No sound? Toss the detector and replace it. Manufacturers recommend replacing them every five years. While this could be ploy to get us all to buy more stuff, it is not a risk I am willing to take.
- Vents and chimneys. We all have them. Some, like a chimney on a well-kept older home, look great. Others, like the vents that stick out of the side of a house or building, can in colder temps look like an overheating R2D2 on steroids as they pump out steam and smoke. Anything around a vent needs to be removed, like leaves or vines. Finally the space around the pipe that leads into the property needs to be sealed. We always inspect the seal that piping passes through. Remember, it has to be tight to work right!
- Draining outside faucets. It’s a bit early, but make a note on your calendar to do this one, as it is the one thing that always gets forgotten. We always advocate turning the water off within the property and opening the outside faucet for draining. This way, when spring arrives and you gleefully go outside to water the new plants there are no surprises…and there is no risk of bursting a leak and having the backyard turn into a skating rink over the winter.
- We have a new (and VERY cool) tool for anyone that owns or manages a property. Imagine your house texting your phone when there is a leak. Seem too good to be true? The Winters Home Monitoring App is amazing, and instead of frantically reacting to a crisis it puts the control back in your very capable hands. I love this system for a few reasons:
- Leaks cause mucho damage and that equals money. The Winters Home Monitoring App lets you know within minutes of a problem, and will text you so that you can shut off the water source until help can be there.
- Let workers into your property and see them live on video. Let them solve the problem, leaving you to arrive home and focus on dinner and the contents of your DVR
- Lock yourself out? Most likely you will never forget your smart phone. Log in and open your own doors in seconds!
- Check on your kids and pets. Perhaps even check in on the nanny, housekeeper…or that annoying houseguest to see if they really are stealing your sports page.
Check out the video demonstration of the Winters Home Monitoring App on our site at http://www.wintershomeservices.com/.
At Winters Home Services, we use a checklist that has always come in handy. Give us a call today at (617) 776-5950 to receive your copy!
Sorry for the winter warning… and enjoy the bonus summer days this weekend!
*to learn more about carbon monoxide in a can, visit the manufacturer’s site at http://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/71058465?CS_010=71058465&item=71058465&CS_003=7867724&src=pla&cid=PLA-Google-PLA+-+Test.