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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Home Security Checklist

It never hurts to have a refresher course. ;)

  1. Turn the telephone and answering machine volume down when you go out so burglars can’t hear that no one’s home.
  2. Don’t leave notes for family or friends outside your home.
  3. Don’t leave tools or ladders lying around your yard since impulse burglars can use them to gain access into your home.
  4. Install sensor lights at all outside entrances.
  5. Remove any shrubs or trees next to your home that could hide a potential burglar from sight.
  6. Install a monitored security system, and make sure all members of your household know how to use it.
  7. Install deadbolt locks on your outside doors and make sure all door hinges are on the inside.
  8. Lock garage doors and sliding glass doors every night and whenever you are away from home.
  9. Don’t hide keys outside your home, such as in your mailbox, under doormats or above doorways. Burglars usually know where they are.
  10. If you’re planning to go away, either have your mail picked up by a trusted neighbor or have your local post office stop delivery until you get back. You’ll also want to cancel any other regular deliveries such as newspapers.
  11. Tell relatives or neighbors when you’ll be back and let them know where you can be reached in an emergency.
  12. When you buy a new appliance such as a TV or computer, destroy the box or hide it in your trash so others won’t know you have something new and valuable inside. 
  13. Videotape, photograph and keep a written register of all your valuables and their serial numbers.
  14.  Store valuable documents such as insurance policies and wills in a safety deposit box.
  15. Program emergency contact numbers into your phone memory and clearly label them so it will be easy to dial them in an emergency.
  16. Every six months or so, inspect your home as if you’ve been locked out without your keys. How would you get in? Examine any weak spots and realize that if you can get inside, so could someone else.
  17. Check to see if there’s an active Neighborhood Watch association in your community. This program helps keep you updated on problems in your neighborhood, and gets more people to help watch and protect your home and family. If there is no active Neighborhood Watch group in your community, contact your local law enforcement agency to find out how you

Weatherproofing Your Windows

Step 1

Cut metal or vinyl v-strips to fit in the sash channels.

Cut them long enough to extend at least 1 inch beyond the sash ends when the window is closed. Cut vinyl with scissors; cut metal with tin snips.

Step 2

Remove the adhesive backing and stick the vinyl in place.

Tack metal strips in place, driving the tacks flush so that the window sash will not snag on them. Flare out the open ends of the metal V-channels with a putty knife to create a tight seal with the sash.

 Step 3

Wipe down the underside of the bottom sash with a damp rag and wait for it to dry;then attach self-adhesive closed-cell vinyl foam to the edges of the underside. The surface must be at least 50 degrees for self-adhesive strips to stick.

 Step 4

Seal the gap where the top sash meets the bottom sash.

For double-hung windows, raise the bottom sash completely to the top, and then lower the upper sash a couple of inches. This reveals the lower rail, which is normally hidden. Seal with V-channel weather stripping. If the top sash is stationary, tack tubular gasket to the outside of the lower sash so that it compresses slightly against the top sash when the window is locked shut.

Step 5

Apply paintable caulk around both the interior and exterior window trim. Smooth with a wet finger.


January Home Tasks

January Home Tasks

Happy New Year.  I hope you had wonderful holiday season.  Now it’s time to return to reality. :)

Now is a good time to review home tasks for the month of January:

  •     Organize your home improvement files. Review warranties and product manuals to check on recommended maintenance for furnaces, equipment, appliances and tools. Mark your calendar to track scheduled upkeep and service.
  •     Inspect furniture, cabinets and vanities for loose knobs, pulls and hinges. Tighten or repair as necessary. Lubricate squeaky door hinges with lightweight machine oil. Free sticky doors by trimming edges or shimming hinges with thin pieces of cardboard.
  •      Fix squeaks in floors and stairs by applying weight to the area (having a partner stand on it works) and driving an 8d or 12d galvanized finish nail through the flooring into a floor joist or stringer. If you have access to the floor from underneath, glue and screw backs to the floor or treads and to the joist or stringer.
  •     Look for bargains on discontinued appliances and tools. Before buying, make sure that warranties are valid.
  •    Make a room-by-room inventory of everything in your house. In the event of fire, flood or other disaster, it will be important in filing an insurance claim. Photographs or video of your possessions can also be helpful.
  •    Don’t close vents to crawl spaces. If you live where pipes can freeze and the floor becomes very cold, insulate pipes and under the floor. Vents play an important role in controlling condensation beneath a house.
  •    Double-check insulation around exterior pipes that are exposed to freezing weather to be certain that water cannot seep under the insulation.

Here’s to a very prosperous 2013!



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