Sixty percent all homes in the U.S. have at least one fireplace, which means there are a lot of chimneys that need to be maintained and repaired at one time or another. If you have a Washington DC home that has a chimney, it’s safe to assume you want to reduce the need for repairs as much as possible, especially during the cooler months when you’re more likely to be using your fireplace. Fortunately, there are some things you can to reduce your need for costly or unexpected chimney repairs.
Get Your Chimney Inspected Annually
Chimneys have it rough from both sides. On the inside, the flue is regularly exposed to high temperatures and creosote deposits. Oh the outside, mortar and masonry can be worn away from exposure to wind, rain, and snow. If you schedule annual inspections in the spring, summer, or early fall, you’ll be less likely to experience problems when your fireplace is being used most.
Have Your Chimney Professionally Cleaned
Chimneys should be professionally cleaned when there’s about an eighth of an inch of creosote built up, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends annual cleanings by chimney professionals to minimize fire risks and maintain optimal functioning. Regular cleanings can also help prevent odor problems that sometimes develop in the hotter months when your fireplace isn’t being used.
Invest in a Chimney Cap
It only stands to reason that chimney repairs are more likely to involve a lot of work if there is accumulated debris and internal damage from rain, snow, sleet, and other stuff that tends to get inside. The solution is to have a chimney cap installed. If you have one with mesh, you’ll also be keeping animals out. If you already have a chimney cap, make sure it’s regularly checked as well so it can replaced or repaired if it’s damaged. Another chimney investment worth considering is to have it waterproofed to create an added layer of protection.
The type of chimney repair Washington DC chimney professionals provide is less likely to be a strain on your budget when attention is needed if you are proactive with maintaining your chimney. It can be just as helpful to clean your fireplace periodically, even in the months when it’s not being used. Lastly, if you have a steep-sloping roof, having a cricket (an added roofline ridge) installed can divert water away from your chimney.
If you own or manage a commercial building, then one of your concerns is every day maintenance and repairs. Each day, there is the potential for something new to go wrong and you have to be ready for that. There are also those daily maintenance chores that need to be done to keep your building in top condition. Before you can maintain your building, you have to be sure that you have plenty of the right supplies on hand.
You should always have plenty of basic custodial supplies on hand to make sure you are able to do daily cleaning tasks. These would include glass cleaner, the proper cleaner for your metal restroom vanity tops, paper towels and anything else you need for daily cleaning. You should keep a running inventory of how much you use each month and make sure to order the right amount of replacement materials when needed.
In a general maintenance role, you would not be expected to make major repairs. But you should be prepared to do tasks such as replacing light bulbs, repairing panes of glass, basic wall repairs and ceiling tile replacement for suspended ceilings. You should have a regular route you walk once a week where you look for repairs that need to be made and then get them done.
The restrooms regularly need new paper products, and the break room needs napkins. Throughout the entire building you will find basic supplies that the building management is responsible for renewing regularly. You want to stay up on basic supplies because your tenants may start to get creative if you run out and that is something you do not want.
Maintenance tasks for a commercial building are important in many ways. Without regular maintenance, the building will fall into disrepair and your tenants will complain. Regular maintenance is also a service your tenants expect you to fulfill, which makes it important to keeping tenants happy and paying rent.
Normally people think about their house falling apart when the foundation is cracked, but the truth is that the first signs are small and unexpected. They are so small that most people don’t even notice them until it’s too late. If you are noticing any of these problems, then you may want to consider checking the foundation.
Believe it or not, a cracked foundation can affect your door. Have you noticed that your door is refusing to close or that it won’t latch? Sometimes this is the fault of the floor itself or the wood swelling from extra moisture in the air. Other times, this is because the foundation has moved and the frame isn’t where it should be. Cracked foundation repair might be an option if you can’t find any other reason for the door refusing to close.
Floor and Wall Cracks
Your entire house relies on the foundation for stability. When it moves, everything else moves with it. This movement can result in small cracks appearing throughout your house. While these cracks can occur from other issues, foundation problems will often create cracks around doors, windows and areas where walls meet ceilings. If you notice consistent cracking around all of these areas, then you will want to investigate the problem to see if it’s the foundation or something else creating the cracks.
Much like with the door, foundation issues can also cause problems with your windows. You will notice that windows that used to slide and lock effortlessly will now have problems. They either won’t move or will only move with great effort. They may also not lay properly in their frames and will instead have large gaps near the bottom. As with the other issues, this could be the cause of some other problem, but keep your foundation in mind if nothing else seems to resolve the issue with your windows.
Cracked foundations cause many symptoms around your home. Many people unintentionally ignore these problems because they don’t know how serious they can be. If you are facing one or several of these unexpected issues and nothing else resolves them, then the foundation might be at fault.
The Tinned Food Safe
Traditional hiding places for small amounts of money or valuables have always been the tea caddy or biscuit tin, two of the first places a burglar will investigate. A screw top metal safe that looks identical to a well known brand of baked beans or tomato soup can mingle with others on the shelf and go unnoticed. An alternative is to wrap items in foil and hide them in the freezer.
The Hollow Book
A mini safe that is disguised as a book can easily sit with others on a shelf and the more untidy the books are arranged, the less noticeable it will be. A small wall safe hidden in a recess at the back of a book shelf can be disguised by surrounding it with books. Choose titles that complement your reading taste or assuming that a burglar might have a sense of humour opt for a series on Raffles, the gentleman thief.
The Pot Plant
Hiding a waterproof container in the soil of a pot plant is ideal for small quantities of cash or credit cards. Similarly, the position of a safe set beneath floor level can be disguised by placing the heaviest ceramic pot available on top. Don’t forget to keep the plants watered as dead foliage is sure to make an observant burglar suspicious. Placing valuables in a watertight tin and burying them in the garden is another method, but remember to mark the spot.
The Cuddly Toy
Take inspiration from the vintage film noir classic, “The Night Of The Hunter” starring Robert Mitchum and hide a wad of money inside a doll or cuddly toy. Burglars inevitably head for expensive electrical gadgets, overlooking inexpensive early learning toys. Alternatively, disguise a small safe with the exterior of a doll’s house or place it at the bottom of a large toy box.
The False Seat
A popular place for hiding money in days of old was inside a mattress. Today, a cleverly constructed recess beneath the seat of an armchair or sofa can easily accommodate a small safe. Another hiding place could be behind a supposedly immoveable plinth at the base of a cupboard. It takes only a little imagination to think of how to disguise a safe as a household item, relying on a burglar’s haste to prevent it being discovered. However, for expert advice on the most effective way to disguise your home safe, contact Secure Safe.