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As we prepare for the winter season with recipes for holidays feasts and shopping for holiday gifts, it is important to remember to protect your most valuable possession - Your Home. To add to your ongoing Honey-Do List of House Maintenance, here is a maintenance checklist for getting your home ready for the winter months:

Interior  

  • Check ceiling and surfaces around windows for evidence of moisture
  • Check caulking around showers, bathtubs, sinks, and toilet base
  • Check all stairs and railings for any loose members
  • Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Know the location of all gas shut-off valves


Electrical -

  • Periodically check for exposed wiring and cable, and replace as necessary
  • Trip circuit breaker and ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to ensure proper function
  • Learn location of electrical service panels and label each circuit
  • If fuses blow, circuit breakers trip frequently, contact a licensed electrician for repairs


Heating and Cooling 

  • Clean or change furnace filters (this should be done every 3 months)
  • Lubricate fan and motor bearings (only where indicated) and listen for unusual noises
  • For broiler systems, check water level and shut-off valve for leaks
  • Have system serviced annually prior to the start of the season


Doors and Windows 

  • Check for loose or missing glazing putty or worn weather stripping
  • Check caulking for deterioration at the openings and joints between dissimilar materials (i.e. wood and masonry)
  • Check for broken glass and damaged or missing screens


Plumbing -

  • Check all faucets, hose bibs, and supply valves for leakage
  • Check for evidence of leaks around and under sinks, showers, toilets, and tubs
  • Check lawn sprinkler system for leaky valves and exposed lines
  • Have the septic tank cleaned every 2 years
  • Have the well water checked for quality
  • Check the main water shut-off valve for operation and leakage 


Foundation and Exterior - 

  • Check foundation walls and floors for cracking, heaving, spalling, deterioration
  • Check chimney for loose, deteriorated, or missing mortar or bricks
  • Check basement and crawlspace for moisture or leaks
  • Check all wood surfaces, decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings for deterioration


Roof - 

  • Check for any missing, loose or damaged shingles, open seams, blisters, or bald area on flat roofs
  • Clean gutters, strainers, and downspouts; trim back tree limbs and vegetation
  • Check the attic for any evidence of leaks
  • Check flashing, fascia and soffits for deterioration or damage


If you need some resources for locating your Honey Do Specialists when you're own Honey-Wont-Do, Contact me 


 

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel HillDurhamCarrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website at www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is Chapel Hill & Durham's EXCLUSIVE member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price pointsMasha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

Home Maintenance Checklist

by LC for Masha Halpern

The Year-Round Home Maintenance Checklist

Spring/Fall

  • To prevent leaks around flashing, skylights and damaged shingles, check the roof and chimney every spring and fall.
  • Keep insects and their nests at bay by looking in vents, chimneys and louvers and promptly removing any nests you find.
  • Gutters and downspouts should be checked for leaks and debris.
  • Look for new cracks and/or deterioration in driveways, walkways, patios and foundation.
  • Get rid of debris around heating and cooling units and the base of your home.
  • Check both your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Grab a partner and pull that refrigerator away from the wall! It's time to clean the coils in the back of the unit.

Fall

  • Caulking and weather stripping around doors and windows need to be checked.
  • If applicable, take down window units or place a protective weatherproof cover on.
  • It's itchy and messy, but take the time to check insulation and replace or add as needed. Also check proper ventilation - you'll be glad you did in the extreme weather months!

Quarterly

  • Head outside to inspect your home's siding for warping/rotting or other damage.
  • Trim shrubbery growing around walls.
  • If you have door or window screens, patch holes or replace if necessary.
  • Clean or replace A/C and furnace filters.
  • Look for leaks in both interior and exterior faucets and replace/add insulation if needed.
  • Make a trip to the attic with that handy flashlight and check for leaks and wildlife (birds, squirrels, raccoons, bats - none of them are welcome).
  • After wet weather hits, head down to the basement and look for signs of dampness and leaks.
  • Inspect all toilets, sinks, and the dishwasher and fridge for leaks.
  • Wiring and plugs in the home should be checked for wear and tear and replaced as needed.

Annually

  • Maintain grading slope away from the foundation walls of the home.
  • Have the heating system and heat pump serviced.
  • Inspect the water heater for leaks and drain to eliminate sediment. 

 

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Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel HillDurhamCarrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website atwww.TheSmartMoveTeam.com  for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is Chapel Hill & Durham's EXCLUSIVE  member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price pointsMasha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

Is It Time for a New Roof?

by Masha Halpern

How do you know when it’s time to replace your roof in Chapel Hill, NC?   There are three main reasons for replacing roof shingles: the age of the roof, weather damage, and previously improperly installed roofing.

Start by taking the life expectancy of the type of shingle you currently have then subtracting for age, weathering and weather-related damage to see how many more years you may be able to get out of your roof before needing to replace it.

Roof shingles generally are supposed to last at least twenty years.  Some shingle manufacturers have products that last twenty-five or more years.  Take your standard twenty-year product and subtract the age of your current roof.  If you’re in a newer home, or you are the original owners of your home this is an easy number to get.  If there have been previous owners, or you are otherwise unable to determine the age of the roof, you will have to estimate.

Next, inspect for any physical evidence of damage.  Do your shingles show curling, severe hail damage, cracked flashing or sealer around vents and fireplace flues?  How about brittle shingles due to a southerly exposure?  What about damaged or rotting eves?  The condition of your current roof has a drastic impact on its remaining life expectancy.

Lastly, let’s not forget the obvious.  If your roof is leaking you can skip the process above.  A leak trumps everything else.  You’re going to need some repairs at a minimum, potentially much more.  Keep in mind even newer roofs, if improperly installed, can leak or lose shingles in gusting wind.  Have leaks checked out immediately.

Estimate how much time your home has with your current roof and if you are concerned you’re near the end of its life expectancy, speak only with qualified, experienced, licensed contractors when considering having work done.  You may even weigh the pros and cons of doing the job yourself.  Whatever your decision, don’t wait until you have that first leak.  At that point your repair bill , pardon the pun, is likely to go through the roof!

 

 

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Preparing Your Home For Winter

by Masha Halpern

Is your your home getting the winter blues? As the colder weather approaches, home owners in North Carolina can do the following maintenance checks to ensure their properties are ready for the winter months.

  • Check the weather stripping along your door and door frame to ensure there are no gaps that can let cold air seep into your home. Also, you may want to add weather stripping or caulk to your windows to prevent any drafts and wasting energy.
  • If you have a fireplace, be sure to sweep out those chimneys. The National Fire Protection Association advises home owners to sweep out the chimney at least once a year to help prevent house fires.
  • Schedule a service for your furnaces at least once a year too. It’ll cost roughly about $100 and can help avoid costly repairs later or a malfunction of carbon monoxide pumping into the home, which can be deadly.
  • Prevent frozen pipes, by using heating tape to wrap any exposed pipes on the home’s exterior and turning off the water as well as draining any water remaining inside the valves.
  • Don't forget the roof! An properly maintained roof is the best weatherproofing you can get and it will greatly reduce your heat costs. Here’s what you should be checking for:
  • All gutters should be fastened securely to the roof
  • Look to make sure the roof is not missing any shingles, tiles, slates or nails
  • Look for any warped or darker areas on the roof
  • If you’ve noticed any problems with the roof, it’s time to call a roofing professional to take a look and assess what needs to be done.

These are practical and affordable tips that will not only keep your your home more safe and comfy in the holidays, but over the long run could improve the resale value of your home.

 

 

 

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Choosing A Pest Control Service

by Masha Halpern

Summer has finally arrived in Chapel Hill but so has the bugs! If you are a homeowner who has these uninvited guests they can be controlled. Household pests can be eliminated through a combination of preventive measures, including proper sanitation and over-the-counter pesticides. However, some pest infestations may be extensive or a particular pest may be difficult to control, requiring pest control services. While many household pests are merely a nuisance, some can cause serious damage to our homes or property and other pose dangers such as bites, stings and transmit disease-causing agents. Choosing a pest control company is a serious matter, you want someone who is honest, dependable, state-certified, and who has the proper training and expertise to use the pesticides safely in your home. Below are some tips to help you in your search to find a professional in your area.

• Select a company based on their reputation, time in the community and willingness to answer your questions. They should give you written material that describes the problem they propose to treat and how they propose to treat it including what chemicals will be used and in what amounts.

• Pest control companies differ in their guarantees so be sure to Inquire on the specifics. If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing prevention and management are necessary.

• While the cost is an important factor, it is important to not base your decison on price alone. An advertisement in the phone book or the "deal of the week". Be cautious of unsolicited sales pitches and never select treatment just because your neighbor's property is being treated or because there is "leftover spray from another job." Get references and check them. 

• Make sure you receive a written estimate detailing how much will they charge to do an inspection to determine the extent of your problem, outline the services they would perform.

• Ask how long it will take to solve your pest problem, and how often the company will return to do more work or to track results. Ask the company what other measures they can take to manage the pest problems, or what you can do to reduce future pest problems.

Choosing a quality
pest control company is an important decision. You want the company to get rid of the pests but you also want to keep your North Carolina home safe.  Do not be pressured by a sales person or a company to sign a contract immediately or to pay in advance, take your time to make a sound decision. The key to any decision is having confidence in the company you chose.

 

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Photo of Masha Halpern - Boutique Real Estate Real Estate
Masha Halpern - Boutique Real Estate
Keller Williams Realty
101 Cosgrove Avenue, Suite 200
Chapel Hill NC 27514
Direct 919-951-1780
Toll Free 877-478-4669
Fax: 919-928-9030




Masha Halpern of Keller Williams Realty provides real estate services in the Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina area including real estate services for buyer, sellers and those relocating to the surrounding areas of Apex, Bahama,Cary, Efland, Hillsborough, Holly Springs, Mebane, Raleigh, and Wake Forest. Search for homes in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham or the surrounding communities.  Request a market analysis for your North Carolina property.  I list and sell residential real estate, investment property, vacant land, lots for sale in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina area.

Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina real estate and homes for sale in North Carolina - Masha Halpern & The Smart Move Team