6 Ways Routine Maintenance Saves Big Later

6 Ways Routine Maintenance Saves Big Later

May is National Home Improvement Month. It’s a great time to give your home some much needed TLC. Your home is your happy place, where you escape, make memories and relax. It’s also most likely your biggest financial asset. It deserves the same kind of loving attention you give your family, friends, and pets. By taking care of your property on a regular basis, you can save yourself time and money down the road. Routine property maintenance also increases your home’s resale value.

Save Money Now!

Routine maintenance is good for your wallet. It’s estimated that every dollar of deferred maintenance results in $4 in future repairs. You can avoid large-scale repair jobs if you catch manageable issues before they go south. If damage is left undetected and things get out of hand, costs can skyrocket quickly. For example, the cost to replace a gutter system averages around $1,100. A new roof can cost around $8,700 and can go much higher depending on area and material. New siding can cost well over $10,000 depending on the size of your home. To avoid hefty expenditures, it’s important to stay on top of routine maintenance. 

Here are some common areas of your home where maintenance efforts now can really pay off.

1. Roof

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements, including rain, wind, hail, snow, and ice. Having your roof inspected on a regular basis keeps you ahead of the game. Addressing minor maintenance issues before they get out of control will save you thousands on costly repairs later. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends getting a roof inspection at least twice a year after the hottest and coldest seasons and after any major storm or weather event. 

2. Siding

Your siding endures the brunt of damage from the elements. It is always on the front-line fighting mother nature. Routine maintenance mitigates future damage before it occurs. Cracks and holes in your siding can cause energy leaks and skyrocketing electric bills. Damage can also lead to moisture problems and mold growth, which can lead to the interior of your home.

3. Gutters

Without proper maintenance, gutters can become blocked, causing massive damage to your property and huge headaches for homeowners. Clogged gutters can cause structural damage in the foundation, roof damage, leaks, and ice dams. Gutters should be cleaned and inspected two times every year. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional to do the job, consistency is key. It’s recommended to do this every spring and fall.

4. HVAC

It’s important to have your system checked to ensure it’s working properly. Also make sure to change your filter on a regular basis. Home Advisor suggests cleaning or replacing your filter every single month. Replacing your air filters regularly not only extends the life of your HVAC system, it can also lower your energy consumption by up to 15%, which means you pay less each month and less over time.

5. Plumbing Lines

With plumbing lines, out of site should not mean out of mind. Unchecked lines can lead to backups, leaks and major damage over time. Check your sinks and tub drains for debris and clean your faucets and shower heads to remove mineral buildup. Also, don’t forget to change filters, replenish salt in water softeners, flush your hot water heater and clean your garbage disposal. It’s recommended to do this every six months. Quarterly is even better.

6. Safety Systems

It’s important to remember to check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors every six months and replace the batteries immediately if they become low. These life-saving devices cannot do their job of protecting you, your family and your home if they’re not functioning properly. Put reminders on your calendar every spring and fall with the beginning and ending of daylight savings time for an easy reminder. 

Routine Maintenance Schedule

As our lives get busier, it’s easy to forget about maintenance tasks. Be sure to schedule them in!

About Home Repair

At Home Repair, we offer a 360° Care Club Maintenance Program with four levels of care to choose from. As a licensed general contractor with over 25 years of experience, our expertise is unrivaled. Damaged? Destroyed? Just Tired? Give us a call today at 1-877-RED-HOUSE to learn more.

Tips to Be Prepared for Hurricane Season

Home Repair, LLC Shares Hurricane Preparedness Tips During Hurricane Preparedness Week

Last Updated: May 1, 2022

It’s National Hurricane Preparedness Week! It’s time to get ready for Hurricane Season in the Atlantic Basin which runs from June 1 to November 30 each year.  Check out these great tips from the National Weather Service to help you determine your personal hurricane risk, find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, review/update insurance policies, prepare your home and business and gather emergency supplies. If you live in hurricane-prone areas, now is a good time to get ready.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), hurricanes have caused eight of the ten costliest disasters ever in U.S. history. Just a few inches of water and/or strong winds can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Throughout the season, forecasters watch hurricanes as they develop hundreds of miles off the coast. While we may be alerted that a hurricane is coming, often, we don’t know the impact it will have on a community until well after landfall. To ensure the safety of you and your family, don’t wait until it’s too late to prepare; know your zone.

1. Determine Your Risk

The threats from hurricanes to you and your family can vary widely depending on where you live. It’s not just those along the coast that can experience significant, life-threatening impacts. Evaluate what you need to do to protect your home and family now, before the first storm of the season even forms.

2. Develop An Evacuation Plan

Take some time to create or edit your hurricane evacuation plan. The first thing you need to do is find out if you live in a storm surge hurricane evacuation zone or if you’re in a home that would be unsafe during a hurricane. If you are, figure out where you’d go and how you’d get there if told to evacuate. You do not need to travel hundreds of miles. Identify someone, perhaps a friend or relative who doesn’t live in an evacuation zone or unsafe home, and coordinate with them to use their home as your evacuation destination. Be sure to account for your pets, as most local shelters do not permit them. Put the plan in writing and/ or type it up and save it online and back it up on the cloud. 

Zones by State

3. Assemble Emergency Supplies

Just having enough supplies to make it through a hurricane isn’t enough. You need plenty to make it through what could be a LONG recovery period too. Water and electricity could be out for a week or more. Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family for a MINIMUM of three days. Also make sure you have extra cash, a battery-powered radio, flashlights, and a portable crank or solar powered USB charger to charge your cell phone.

4. Review Your Insurance Policies

Call your insurance agent and ask for an insurance checkup to make sure you have enough homeowners insurance to repair or even replace your home. The same goes if you own a business. Ensure you’re adequately covered and understand exclusions. Many states have increased deductibles for hurricanes and not all hurricane related losses are covered under traditional policies. And remember, standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, you’ll need a separate policy for flooding. Flood insurance ensures that consumers have adequate financial protection against the devastating effects of flooding, without having to rely on post-disaster loans (usually paid back with interest) or emergency assistance. Act now as flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period. Learn more about FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If you rent, make sure to review your renter’s insurance policy as well. These are also important to protect your belongings. Ensure that your insurance policies are printed and saved online and backed up on the cloud so they’re easily accessible when you need them. It’s also a good idea to create a Home Inventory List and/or Business Inventory List, and include your major belongings along with photographs in the instance you ever need to file a claim.

5. Prepare Your Property

There’s a lot you can do around your home to help protect it from hurricane winds. Take action now before hurricane season begins. Have the proper plywood, steel or aluminum panels to board up the windows and doors. Remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the home, so it must be able to withstand high winds.

6. Help Your Neighbors Plan Ahead

Many people rely on their neighbors after a disaster, but there are also many ways you can help your neighbors before a hurricane approaches. Learn about all the different actions your community can take to prepare and recover from the hazards associated with hurricanes.

7. Complete Your Written/Typed Plan

The time to prepare for a hurricane is now, before the season begins on June 1. Having a written plan will take the guesswork out of what you need to do to protect you, your family, and your property. It’s important to be prepared. And by written, we mean typed, backed up on the cloud, and emailed to your family and friends that need to be informed.

8. Download Local & National Weather Alert Apps

Sign up for local alerts on your phone. Visit Ready.Gov Alerts and learn how to search for local alerts and weather apps that are relevant for hazards that affect your area. Download the FEMA app for disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips. Sign up now so you’re prepared when the weather gets worse.

Be Prepared.

At Home Repair, LLC, we have definitely witnessed our share of hurricanes over the last 30 years. Being prepared is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property. We proudly serve property owners in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. It’s important to know your risk level and zone, even in areas where hurricanes aren’t common. Previous hurricanes including Sandy, Irene and Agnes have proven that the effects can spread to areas inland, including statewide power outages and costly property damage. Together, we can do our best to be prepared and mitigate risk.

#HurricanePrep #HurricaneStrong #HurricaneSafety 

5 Tips to Prepare for Tornado Season

5 Tips to Prepare for Tornado Season

Last Updated: March 24, 2022

It’s Tornado Awareness Month! Tornadoes are among the most destructive, costly, and unpredictable natural hazards. Spring is considered tornado season for much of the U.S., but tornadoes can occur any time of the year, and can also be spawned by hurricanes passing through. On average, 1,200 tornadoes, some with wind speeds as high as 300 mph, occur annually throughout the U.S. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), the 2021 season saw 1,376 tornado reports. Tornadoes and related storms result in approximately $17 billion worth of damage across the U.S. on average each year.

Tornadoes Can Happen Anywhere!

You may be familiar with the terms “Tornado Alley” and “Dixie Alley”, areas in the Great Plains and Deep South that get hit year after year with a high number of tornadoes. It’s important to remember that tornadoes can happen and have been reported in all fifty states! 

In Maryland, the most common time of year for tornadoes to occur is April through November, and averages about 10 per year. Tornadoes occur most frequently April through June in Pennsylvania, averaging 16 tornadoes per year. New Jersey averages around 4 tornadoes a year, with higher occurrences between July-November. Virginia averages 18 tornadoes a year, with more tornadoes from April through September. It’s important to remember that tornadoes can happen at any time of year and any time of day.

What to Do Before a Tornado

Although there is nothing anyone can do to prevent them, there are plenty of things you can do to prepare.

Tips to Be Prepared for Tornado & Storm Season

  1. Develop an Emergency Plan: Develop your emergency plan, communication plan, know the warning signs and how to monitor tornado watches and warnings.  
  2. Check Your Insurance Policy: Ensure you have adequate coverage and read the fine print at least once a year so you fully understand your policy, deductibles, and exclusions. 
  3. Monitor & Download Local and National Weather Apps and Alerts: Set up Wireless Emergency Alerts on your mobile phone. Ensure you have easy access to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV for the warning information. Public Warning Sirens are used in many towns to warn people of tornadoes. Know the difference between tornado watches and warnings.
  4. Routine Maintenance: Get routine roof and exterior inspections to ensure your property, roofing and structural elements are sound and secure.
  5. Vetted Contractors: Have a list of preferred contractors available, including a general contractor, roofing contractor, electrician, plumber, and a water/flood remediation company.

It’s very difficult to see a tornado unless it forms a condensation funnel made up of water droplets, dust and debris. Coming on with little notice and deadly winds, tornadoes can be among the most destructive of all storms.

Know the Difference Between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning

5 Tips to Prepare for Tornado Season

A Tornado Watch is issued when a tornado is possible. A Tornado Warning happens when a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon. Take shelter immediately! 

What to Do After a Tornado

  1. Don’t enter the property until the emergency personnel has given the go-ahead. Check the people around you for injuries.
  2. Check the utility lines and appliances for damage. If you smell gas, open the windows and turn off the main valve. Don’t turn on lights or appliances until the gas has dissipated. Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines. Be aware of leaking gas pipes or fuel tanks nearby.  
  3. Before you start trying to clean up, take photos and video footage of your home, business, and belongings for your insurance claim. 
  4. Contact an expert, licensed contractor for a free inspection and damage assessment. professionally restore your property. Check out our article, 9 Tips to Choose a Quality Contractor
  5. Call your insurance agent to open an insurance claim. 

Rating Tornadoes

The Enhanced Fujita Scale or EF Scale below assigns a ‘rating’ based on estimated wind speeds and related damage. Given our technology today, reporting provides amazing accuracy and details. National Weather Service meteorologists can also estimate a tornado’s peak gust based on assessments of the damage left behind. 

5 Tips to Prepare for Tornado Season

Tornado Stats By State

Check out NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) for your historic storm information.   

Maryland 

New Jersey

Pennsylvania

Virginia

Storm Damage? Contact Home Repair, LLC For a Free Inspection!

As a licensed general contractor with over 30 years of experience, we provide property damage restoration, storm damage repairs, roofing and construction after major storm events. Although tornadoes provide us with the least amount of warning, knowing what to do is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your property. Home Repair LLC proudly serves homeowners, businesses and commercial properties in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. 

10 Reasons to Go Solar

10 Reasons to Go Solar

Solar panel roofing is a hot topic right now, and there’s never been a better time to go solar! Demand for solar is high throughout the U.S. It provides a plethora of benefits for your pocketbook and the planet. Installation costs are at an all-time low, with many financing options available. We currently have major tax incentives that offset installation costs. Solar technology, panel aesthetics and design have grown leaps and bounds in the last decade. Solar energy is a clean, inexpensive, renewable power source. Solar panels are designed to harness the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity. Scholars and scientists predict that the sun’s energy will be the largest source of electricity by 2050. Whether you’d like to switch to solar for economic, environmental, personal reasons, or all of the above, there are many benefits of installing a solar system.

1. Say Goodbye to Crazy Electric Bills

One of the main reasons property owners are opting for solar is to save big on monthly utility bills. The typical household in the U.S. spends more than $2,000 a year on energy bills, with the biggest share of energy use in electricity. Even if you don’t produce 100% of the energy you consume, solar still cuts a major dent in your utility bills. As utility rates continue to rise, your savings from going solar will continue to grow each year. With Solar Panel Roofing, you can easily produce free power from the sun and eliminate your monthly electric usage charges from your local utility. (The utility companies always charge a base service charge, no matter what.)

2. Affordable Installation Costs & Flexible Financing Options

The cost of solar has come down enormously in the last decade! There’s never been a better time to go solar. Installation ranges in cost depending on a number of factors, including the size of the system, the location and the type of equipment you want. For example, the price of a 6-kW system is around $13,000, after applying the 26% solar tax credit. That’s almost a 80% decrease from what it was 10 years ago. Solar panel roofing systems are now much more affordable and come with a variety of financing options available. Since solar energy is essentially free, the system also pays for itself and saves you massive money on your electricity bills!

3. Major Tax Advantages

In order to encourage more consumers to go solar, the federal government offers great tax incentives. By having a solar roofing system installed, you receive a tax credit for your home or business. You could be eligible for a 26% tax credit for your home or a 30% tax credit for your business!

4. Increase Your Property Value

Solar roofing is increasingly becoming a major incentive when it comes to increasing your property value. Solar pays for itself by increasing the value of your home. A Zillow study found that homes with solar panels sold for 4.1% more on average than similar homes without solar power. Based on median-valued homes, going solar adds an extra $9,274 to the property value of an average home. The affordability makes it more attractive for buyers. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy and National Energy Laboratory (NREL) also found that homes with solar panels boast a much higher price tag. 

According to a CNBC report, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland offer the highest solar premiums in the country! In New Jersey, homes with solar panels can sell for nearly 10% more than non-solar homes. That is a profit of $32,281 for the median-valued home. Pennsylvania follows at 5%, and Maryland at 4%.

5. Increase Your Curb Appeal

Worried about what the panels will look like? This is one of the top inquiries we receive. We have great news for you! Solar panels are no longer the ugly duckling of renewable energy. Solar panel design and installation processes have come a long way. With a variety of options, today’s panels integrate seamlessly with the design and aesthetic of your home. 

6. Guaranteed Performance

Solar panel manufacturers include a 20- to 25-year warranty (also known as a performance guarantee) with their solar panels. The industry standard guarantees 80% performance after 25 years. The real lifespan of solar panels is much longer – your solar panels will likely generate a decent amount of electricity 30-40 years down the line.

7. Extends Roof Lifespan

Solar panels extend the life of your roof by protecting it from elements including rain, snow and debris. The panels also make your home more energy-efficient in the summer because the hot sun isn’t directly beating down on the roof directly, keeping your home temperature lower and lightening the effort and workload on your HVAC system. 

8. Low Maintenance

Solar systems are easy to maintain, extremely durable and don’t require maintenance for several years. Once installed, you can expect reliable service from a licensed professional. All Home Repair solar systems come with a 25-year warranty. You can feel safe knowing your roof is covered for a long time.  

9. Protect The Environment

Saving energy is an obvious win-win. Installing solar power systems is a step forward for a cleaner environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the electric sector accounts for 25% of America’s carbon emissions. Lower your carbon footprint and gain peace of mind from knowing you’re helping the environment. A typical residential solar panel system will eliminate three to four TONS of carbon emissions each year, the equivalent to planting over 100 trees annually. By installing a solar system, you’ll be taking advantage of an eco-friendly way to make your property more energy efficient.

10. Create More Jobs

Going solar contributes to jobs, which helps boost the economy. Employment of solar installers is projected to grow 52% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. According to The Solar Foundation’s annual Solar Job Census, the solar industry in 2020 employed over a quarter-million people

Make a Difference Today. Contact the Experts at Home Repair.

As a licensed general contractor with over 30 years of experience, our expert team at Home Repair is committed to providing you with a solid array of solar options and financing to fit your goals and budget. We carry industry-leading accreditations and provide expert workmanship. Generate your own electricity and step into a clean, green future.

Flood Safety Month: Preparedness Tips Before, During & After a Flood

Flood Safety Month: Preparedness Tips Before, During & After a Flood

Last Updated: March 3, 2022

It’s Flood Safety Awareness Month! Flooding accounts for 90% of all natural disasters in the U.S., and can cause more damage than any other weather-related or storm event. Nearly every day, flooding happens somewhere in the country. It’s important to be aware of what to do before, during and after a flood!

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in Pennsylvania and the most frequent natural hazard in New Jersey, destroying thousands of homes and businesses and costing billions of dollars each year. Only 3% of Virginians have flood insurance, although Virginia officials estimate that 1 inch of water in a home can cause upwards of $25,000 in damages. According to Maryland officials, there is no such thing as a “flood proof” area; any area can flood, even high ground.  

According to the NOAA, flooding is one of the most damaging types of natural disasters in the U.S.. NOAA’s recent analysis of major disasters since 1980 found that inland flooding accounted for $150 billion in damage during major disasters. 

It’s important to be prepared, no matter where you live. 

FLOOD PREPAREDNESS

1. Know Your Risk

Find out whether your home and/or business is in a flood-prone or high-risk area with FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center. Last June, the first-ever public evaluation of flood risk by First Street Foundation, a research and technology nonprofit, found that that federal maps underestimate the number of homes and businesses in significant flood danger by 67%. You can also get a second opinion and find out your flood risk score at www.FloodFactor.com.   

2. Create A Plan

Ensure that you have an evacuation and emergency readiness plan and communicate it with family, friends, staff and your business associates. Check out FEMA’s Family Communication Plan and the FEMA Business Plan

3. Business Continuity Plan

If you’re a business owner, it’s important that your company is prepared and ready with a plan to communicate, streamline operations and manage workflow in the event of a major storm or weather event. More than 40% of businesses never reopen after a disaster, 25% will close after a year, and 75% without a business continuity plan will fail, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Don’t be a statistic! 

4. Get Flood Insurance

If it can rain, it can flood. Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Standard insurance policies do not cover flooding. Flood coverage is provided by the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program. Flood insurance takes 30 days to take effect, so it’s important to have it before you need it.

5. Gather Emergency Supplies

Create an emergency kit including battery or solar-operated radio, flashlights, extra batteries, first aid kit, food and water, cash and credit cards, medications, and pet supplies. Check out FEMA’s recommended supplies checklist.

6. Know the Difference Between a Flash Flood Warning and a Flash Flood Watch

A Flash Flood Warning occurs when flooding is currently happening or is going to happen soon. Take immediate action! A Flash Flood Watch happens when a flood is possible. It’s important to follow news from your local weather apps, stations and local officials. 

Flood Warning vs Flood Watch

7. Protect Your Home and/or Business

Know where your valves are if you need to turn off gas, water and electricity. Disconnect appliances and equipment. Store valuables and important documents in a waterproof safe. If you live in an area that has a high flood risk, elevate the water heater, furnace and electric panel. Seal basement walls with waterproofing compounds. As a preventative measure, you may want to install “check valves” to mitigate flood water from backing up into your drains. You can also use stoppers or large corks as a last resort to plug tubs and showers.  

8. Evacuate If Necessary

If you need to leave, do so well in advance. It takes six inches of fast-moving flood water to sweep an adult off of their feet. Just 12-18 inches can sweep away most vehicles in floodwaters.  Avoid driving or walking across flooded roads if there’s heavy rains. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common flood deaths occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous floodwater. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

When flooded turn around don't drown

9. Stay Informed

Follow updates your local officials. Visit Ready.Gov Alerts and check out local weather updates and alerts. The FEMA app includes safety tips and alerts.  

10. After the Flood

  1. When it’s safe and cleared by local officials and emergency management personnel, you can return to assess. Make sure the power is off. Remember, floodwaters can contain harmful bacteria and contaminants. Wear protective gear including gloves, masks and waterproof boots. 
  2. Before you cleanup, take photos and/or video footage of your property, as well as your belongings. This will help support your insurance claim. 
  3. Get in touch with a licensed restoration contractor to professionally manage the cleanup. This is essential to ensure dry-out and water removal processes are performed to industry standards, protect your property, and to prevent further damage and mold. 
  4. Contact your insurance agent to get started with your insurance claim. 

About Home Repair, LLC

With over 30 years of experience, Home Repair LLC is a licensed general contractor providing water and storm damage restoration services throughout Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Our mission is to help you get your property restored better than before. We provide the highest level of expertise, integrity, value, and service every step of the way.

Top 10 Property Maintenance Tips

Top 10 Property Maintenance Tips

For many of us, our home is one of our largest investments. To keep it in the best shape possible, it’s so important to take the time to maintain it. Your roofing, siding, and gutters undergo substantial wear and tear from severe weather including hail, wind, water damage, snow and ice, sun exposure and moisture buildup. Routine maintenance can help you avoid major issues and protect your home’s value.  

It’s estimated that every dollar of deferred maintenance results in $4 in future repairs. Pinpointing and repairing damaged areas before they can escalate into major problems will save you from costly repairs down the road.  

Conducting routine maintenance will ensure longevity and structural integrity, not to mention, a sound structure protects you from the elements. Take a moment and think about the condition of the exterior of your home, what comes to mind? Are there cracks in your siding? Do you have damaged shingles? Are you unsure? If you can’t remember the last time you scheduled an inspection for your roofing, siding, and gutters, now is the time to do so. Keeping up with scheduled maintenance tasks will help you avoid future headaches and hassle down the road.

Roof Maintenance

The roof is often the most vulnerable part of your property as it’s your first line of defense against the elements. Constantly being exposed to extreme weather conditions can cause serious problems that decrease its performance, quality and efficiency. Having routine roof inspections performed by a licensed contractor will save you tens of thousands of dollars down the road.

Our Home Repair Inspectors examine your roof for loose or missing shingles, damage, cracks, dents, protrusions, and wear and tear. We remove any debris that could accumulate or collect water, leading to water damage. If you’re unsure of your roof’s condition, get a property inspection from a licensed, certified general contractor. Our expert, Haag accredited team is trained to safely inspect roofing systems, flashing and joints for potential weak spots and damage. 

According to Home Advisor’s True Cost Guide, the average cost to repair an existing roof is $949 and $8,348 to install a new roof. This cost will vary based on the size of your roof and the material used.

Siding Maintenance

Siding doesn’t just enhance curb appeal, it also provides important protection against rain, snow, harsh winds and pests. Damaged siding can lead to increased energy costs and cause interior moisture that leads to water intrusion, leaks and mold growth. Check for damage, holes or cracks. Even small holes and cracks can cause serious interior damage if left unchecked. 

According to Home Advisor’s True Cost Guide, the average property owner pays $772 to repair existing siding. The average cost to install new siding is $10,601. This price varies depending on the size of your property and the materials used. Cleaning and maintaining your siding on a regular basis will help extend its life and the protection it provides for your home.

Gutter Maintenance

It’s a simple task, yet often neglected. Regularly cleaning out your gutters is an important part of your routine home maintenance routine. If your gutters are not functioning properly, the debris build-up will cause extensive damage to your home. Clogged gutters can lead to leaks, ice dams, damage and even foundation problems. Maintain your gutters by making sure that they are free from leaves, twigs and debris to ensure that water is draining properly and away from your home. 

According to Home Advisor’s True Cost Guide, the average cost to repair gutters is $362. The average cost to install a new gutter system is $1,066. 

It’s important to have your gutters inspected and cleared at least twice a year to prevent any blockages due to debris. Keep your gutters in excellent condition at all times to extend the life of your roof and siding.  

Cost Estimates – Repair vs. Replacement

Check out this calculator from Home Advisor calculator to get a rough estimate on costs for repair vs. replacement for your next project!

Home Maintenance Checklist: Top 10

  1. Roof Inspection: The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends getting a roof inspection at least twice a year: once after the coldest weather (January), and once after the hottest weather(July/Aug). It is also recommended to get an inspection after any major storm or weather event.  
  2. Siding Inspection: This should be done at least annually along with your roofing inspection by a licensed, general contractor. 
  3. Gutter Cleaning: Whether you hire a professional or take on the task yourself, your gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year, ideally in early spring and early fall.
  4. Air Vents: Check that indoor and outdoor air vents are clear and not blocked. Vacuum heat registers and heat vents.
  5. HVAC: Routinely change out your HVAC/furnace filter to remove any build-up of dust and pollen and ensure your home’s temperature regulation system is working efficiently.  
  6. Water Softener & Heater: Check the water softener and replenish salt if necessary. Flush out hot water from the water heater to remove accumulated sediment.
  7. Clean Drains & Faucet Heads: Inspect sink and tub drains for debris; unclog if necessary. Clean your faucet heads to remove mineral deposits.
  8. Equipment Safety: Test smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors. 
  9. Electrical: Inspect electrical cords for wear and tear.
  10. Garbage Disposal: Clean out your garbage disposal by grinding ice cubes, then flushing with hot water and baking soda.

Damaged, Destroyed, Or Just Tired...We’ll Get It Back to Beautiful!

At Home Repair, you deserve the best! As a licensed general contractor with over 30 years of experience, our expert team provides a range of services including property and roofing inspections, reroofs, roof repairs, new roof installations, storm damage restoration, siding, gutters, windows and more! It’s important to get routine inspections to ensure your property is structurally sound and ready for any season. Routine repairs and maintenance will help lengthen the lifespan of your home and protect you from the elements. Whether you’re in need of a new roof or siding due to old age, routine wear and tear, or severe storm damage, we restore your property to the beautiful home it once was. Contact us for a free inspection!

5 Ways to Boost Curb Appeal

5 Ways to Boost Curb Appeal

It’s National Home Improvement Month! Spring is the perfect time to boost your resale value, whether you’re staying for years or selling in the near future. Your home’s curb appeal plays a pivotal role in setting your home apart from other properties in the neighborhood. 

Your home’s exterior is what others see, and you want to create a strong, lasting first impression to your guests or potential buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors of Home Buyers and Sellers, buyers who used the internet to search for a home increased to an all-time high of 97%. It’s important to make sure those photos look amazing, before you put your house on the market. Major selling points include updated roofing and exteriors. The more a seller has completed, the more attractive the property becomes.

Here are a few property maintenance tips to enhance your curb appeal and increase the value of your home! 

1. Update Your Roof

The condition of your roof is one of the first things buyers will consider when considering your home. Keeping your roof in good condition is considered a basic part of home maintenance, and a very important one!  A roof usually needs to be replaced every 20-25 years, depending on storms, weather, and material. Routine maintenance will also help heating and cooling systems operate more efficiently and prevents leaks in the roof that can lead to water damage.

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report, a new roof increases home resale value by a national average of nearly $16,000! The survey also revealed that homeowners who have new roofing installed can expect to recover a majority of the costs. Updating your roof is one of the best things you can do to increase your home’s curb appeal. If you’re unsure of your roof’s condition, it’s important to get a property inspection from a licensed, certified general contractor.

2. Upgrade Your Siding

Siding doesn’t just make your home look attractive, it can also strengthen its structure by providing protection against weather, the elements, and pests. Damaged siding can lead to increased energy costs and cause interior moisture that leads to water intrusion, leaks and mold growth. A dirty exterior is something that shouldn’t be ignored. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report, vinyl, metal, brick, or wood are easy to clean, long-lasting, and durable. Upgrade your siding to enhance curb appeal, increase value and attract buyers. 

3. Clean Your Gutters

Gutters help channel rainwater, snow, and other moisture away from your home to reduce the chances of leaks, water intrusion and mold and mildew from forming. Old, dirty, or clogged gutters can take a toll on your property’s exterior. Make sure your gutters are free from debris and are able to adequately drain. A clean and functioning gutter system is important to enhance curb appeal and maintain overall condition.

4. Install New Windows

Windows play a huge part in the appearance of a home. If your windows are old and drafty, it may be time to replace them. Air leaks in your windows can make your heating and cooling bills 25% more expensive. Installing energy-efficient windows can offer more insulation to the interior setting and even block out noise from the outside. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report, homeowners can recover the majority of the remodeling cost of new windows. Adding new windows will allow the outside of the home to appear more modern and boost the property value of your home.

5. Paint The Front Door

The front door is the focal point of your home, so it’s important that it’s kept looking new and bright. Painting your front door is a simple, easy, and inexpensive way to change the look of your whole house and increase curb appeal. Pick a bold color that stands out, but make sure to match it with the rest of the colors on your house. Your entry is the first thing that people see. 

Home Repair: Back to Beautiful

At Home Repair, we have over 30 years of experience providing expert roof repairs and replacements, siding, gutters, windows, exteriors, and more. We help restore your property, “Back To Beautiful”. With our app, you can select different colors, siding, and roofing on a custom interactive 3D model of your home! Choose from a variety of colors, materials, and manufacturer products before making your final decision. As a licensed general contractor, we believe in integrity in action and total customer satisfaction. It’s at the core of our values and it’s evident in our work. From the inspection phase to the selection process to the build, we are with you every step of the way. 

Real Estate Agents! Did you know? We have a Real Estate Referral Rewards Program at Home Repair! We work with licensed real estate agents throughout Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia and help your clients with important and restoration work including roofing, siding, and gutters. Whether you’re helping a homeowner buy, sell, or just boost their curb appeal, we’ve got you covered! 

Property Maintenance Tips Through Winter

Property Maintenance Tips Through Winter Home Repair, LLC

Last Updated: January 25, 2021

You might think that maintenance projects, especially those that involve the exterior of your property, are best left to be tackled during warmer months. But you might be surprised to learn that winter can be one of the smartest seasons for you to pursue those pesky repairs on your home or commercial property!

When you’re vigilant about maintaining the integrity of your property both inside and out, the peace of mind you gain is priceless. Catching minor problems now can save you tens of thousands of dollars in the long-run! And it’s also worth noting that insurance policies frequently do not cover repairs resulting from wear and tear.

According to the most recent data from the Insurance Information Institute (III), in 2019, there was over $2.1 billion in insured losses due to winter storms alone! You could wait until the weather is more favorable, but if your home is showing signs of wear and tear now, is that really something you want to gamble on waiting to fix?

While DIY might be the way to go for updating that dingy paint in your master bedroom with something more refreshing, or even replacing the cabinets as part your kitchen remodel, these types of maintenance projects are best addressed by licensed, accredited professionals to confirm whether there is a problem that needs a solution.

Here are four major areas you should focus your attention on this winter: 9

1. Roof

Do you know how much weight your roof is designed to support? How about the grade of its incline? During the winter months, snow and ice can wreak havoc on roofs that aren’t equipped to handle it. Think those missing, damaged, or warped shingles aren’t too big of a big deal? Think again! When your roof is vulnerable, so is the very foundation of your home or business. If water seeps in through the roof, it can leak down the interior walls of your home, making its way to the foundation where it can compromise the structure of your home. Severe weather can impair the longevity of of your roof by up to 50%! When properly installed, a new roof can last from 20 to 25 years. You’ll want to be sure it’s regularly inspected by a professional that is well-equipped and trained to safely inspect roofs to examine the state of shingles, flashing and joints for potential weak spots and damage.

2. Gutters, Downspouts and Drains

To continue keeping that roof in tip-top shape, you’ll also need to consider the state of your gutters, downspouts and drains. If you see debris such as leaves and twigs caught in your gutters, or if you have trees close to your home, there could be clogs restricting proper drainage. During winter months, these blockages can lead to backed up ice and snow, and ice dams can develop that will cause water to back up into your roof, and even pull gutters off the house from the excess weight. You’ll want to be sure that gutters and downspouts are properly fastened to your home, and that downspouts are extending away from the house at an appropriate distance to prevent flooding and water damage to the foundation. There are even ways of heating these areas to prevent snow and ice accumulation, and a licensed professional can assess your situation to let you know if this is possible for your property.  

3. Seal Windows, Doors and Cracks

Many people are surprised at how much energy and money they lose through leaks in windows, doors and cracks in their homes. This is one of the simplest and high-impact maintenance jobs you can do. The EPA estimates that a knowledgeable contractor can cost-effectively seal air leaks in attics, foundations, and around windows and doors for a 25% reduction in total air loss. How can you be sure your home isn’t leaking? First, check the weather stripping around windows and doorframes for drafts to see if it needs to be replaced outside. It may need to be caulked inside to keep heat from escaping and frigid air from blowing in. If you have wooden window or door frames, you’ll want to check for signs of rot or decay that would need to be replaced. Inspect windows for cracks, broken glass, or gaps, and fog between glass panes. And you can even replace your screen doors with storm doors and window screens with storm windows throughout the harsh winter months.

4. Siding

Does your vinyl, metal, brick, stucco or wood siding have cracks, chips, dents, or entire sections missing? It might seem that these are only cosmetic issues, but these issues go far beyond simple curb appeal. When snow and humidity get blown into these vulnerable areas in high winds, water can freeze and expand, causing even more damage where you can’t easily see it, or even leak down the insides of your walls, again compromising the foundation. Luckily, if these types of vulnerabilities are caught early, they can often be repaired quickly and simply, preventing very expensive and extensive repairs down the line. Even replacing larger sections of siding can save you thousands of dollars in the long run as you avoid mold accumulation and severe water damage from affecting walls and the foundation.

Don't Delay. Contact the Experts.

Do you suspect that your home or commercial property might be overdue for an inspection? Are there obvious signs of wear and tear or damage that you’ve been hoping would go away? You can avoid huge headaches down the road by getting an inspection from a licensed professional.

At Home Repair, we have over 30 years of experience in expert property inspections and repairs of roofing, siding, gutters, windows, exteriors, and more. With offices in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia, we’re well acquainted with cold winters, blizzards, snow, ice and windstorms and the extensive damage and weather-related insurance claims that can result.   

8 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bills & Increase Curb Appeal

Home Repair | Construction & Restoration Experts

It’s National Energy Awareness Month! Did you know that almost half of most energy dollars are spent on heating and cooling costs? According to ENERGY STAR®, the typical household in the U.S. spends more than $2,000 a year on energy bills, with the biggest share of energy use in heating and cooling. Here are a few property maintenance tips to reduce your energy consumption and save you money!   

1. Upgrade Your Roof

Did you know your roofing system plays a large role in reducing your energy bills? Your roof is most likely something you don’t think about until there’s a problem such as storm damage, or perhaps a red flag during a home inspection. The best time to ramp up your roof’s performance is during a reroof. Installing a new roof or repairing an existing one can help lower your energy bills considerably and extend the overall lifespan. In the interim, routine maintenance and inspections are key to ensure your roof is up to par.  Many roofing experts agree that  20-25 years is the standard lifespan of a roof. If you’re unsure of your roof’s condition, it’s important to get a property inspection from a licensed, certified general contractor. Routine inspections provide extremely important information to protect your home and provide massive energy savings.

2. Install Adequate Insulation

Having proper roof insulation is essential to ensure that your home is energy efficient and greatly reduces energy bills. The insulation in your attic creates an important barrier. This barrier provides protection and reduces the amount of thermal transfer between the temperature in your attic (whether hot or cold, depending on the season), and the air in your home. If you’re not ready for a new roof, you can start by getting an expert inspection of your insulation. Our accredited team conducts comprehensive property inspections that include your home’s interior, attic and crawl spaces to ensure that you have adequate insulation.

3. Ensure Proper Ventilation

Proper ventilation increases roof life span and greatly enhances your energy savings. Ventilation protects your roofing system by preventing the attic temperatures from getting too high in the summer months. A hot attic decreases shingle life and damages your roof decking. That excess hot air also seeps into the house, skyrocketing your air-conditioning bills. Ventilation stops this money-gobbling, inefficient air flow in its tracks. Properly installed intake vents and exhaust vents provide essential circulation. Cool air enters the intake vents. As it warms, it rises to the top of the attic and then exits through the exhaust vents. Our expert inspectors assess your existing ventilation system before a reroofing project to enhance your roofing system performance and lifespan and ensure energy savings.

4. Select Energy Efficient Roofing

Darker roofing systems attract more heat, causing the issues outlined above. There are a variety of newer roofing materials on the market today that are energy efficient and ENERGY STAR approved. Our accredited experts at Home Repair help you select the right roofing system for your property. A radiant barrier is another energy-saving option that can help reduce heat transfer from the roof to the attic. It’s a coating that helps reflect the heat away from the attic, reducing your energy bill.  

5. Inspect Your Siding

Inefficient or damaged siding can be a real problem when it comes to energy loss. Energy-efficient siding works through the use of stronger insulation to help you rely less on heating and cooling inside your home. Efficient siding ensures that your home’s indoor temperature remains more moderate, lowering your energy bills. If your siding is damaged, tearing away from the home, poorly installed or inadequately insulated, you are most likely experiencing air leakage and an increase in your energy costs. Energy-efficient siding helps reduce your energy costs and typically requires little maintenance. Vinyl, metal, brick, or wood are easy to clean, long-lasting and strong.

6. Install Energy Efficient Windows

If your windows are older, it may be time to replace them with new, energy-efficient models. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafty windows can account for 25% of your energy bill by letting heat or cool air out. It’s like throwing money out the window, literally! About 20% of unwanted external air enters homes through openings in your windows. This forces your heating and cooling systems to work harder to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. If your home has single-pane windows, consider replacing them with double-pane windows that have a high-performance glass. You can also upgrade to storm windows which can reduce heat loss through windows by 25 to 50%. That’s a lot of savings!

7. Upgrade and Weather Strip Your Doors

Did you know that you can save energy by upgrading your home’s exterior doors? When they are damaged, cracked, or loose in their frames, outdoor air begins to leak in, causing your heating or cooling system to work overtime and spike your energy bill. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that sealing air leaks on a drafty house can save you up 30% on heating and cooling each year. If you’ve tried to repair your door, but still have drafts, consider replacing your doors for an energy efficient model. A tighter fit and improved weather stripping can create a secure seal that reduces air leakage around the edges. Weather stripping is one of the simplest and least expensive ways to upgrade your doors and increase energy efficiency. It seals air leaks and reduces energy loss. According to ENERGYSTAR, improved core materials such as fiberglass, wood cladding and steel with polyurethane foam core are the most energy-efficient door materials available.

8. Upgrade Your Appliances

You can save a whole lot of money on your electric bills by ensuring you have upgraded home appliances. Not only will they look more aesthetically appealing and add to your overall home value, they greatly reduce your energy bill. According to ENERGYSTAR, outdated appliances can skyrocket your energy bills. The refrigerator, if outdated, is the biggest culprit of consumption, followed by inefficient dryers. Water heaters are the third largest energy user in the home, behind heating and cooling. Lighting accounts for about 13% of your overall energy bill. Don’t forget to use energy efficient bulbs and turn off the lights when not in use.

Damaged, Destroyed, Or Just Tired...We’ll Get It Back to Beautiful!

As a licensed general contractor with over 30 years of experience, our expert team at Home Repair provides a range of services including property and roofing inspections, reroofs, roof repairs, storm damage restoration, siding, gutters, windows and more! We carry industry-leading accreditations and provide expert workmanship. Whether your home is damaged, destroyed, or just tired, we get it back to beautiful. 

National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month

You can never be too prepared for storms, and it’s National Preparedness Month! It’s a great time to hone those plans and get informed. As the saying goes, life is what happens to us while we’re busy making other plans. As we’ve already witnessed, 2020 has brought an increase in hail, wind, thunderstorms, tornadoes and even derechos across the northeast. With COVID-19, it’s even more imperative to stay ahead of the game.

PREPAREDNESS IS KEY

1. Storms Don’t Wait. Create Your Emergency Plan

If you haven’t already done so, create your Emergency Plan. Determine how you’ll communicate with family before, during, and after a storm or weather event. Ensure that your plan that is updated per the latest CDC guidelines surrounding the coronavirus. Communicate the plan with your family and/or staff members and ensure that everyone is informed. If you live near the coast, determine your shelter and evacuation plans. If you’re a business owner, ensure that your employees, vendors and key personnel have copies of your Business Continuity Plan.

2. Gather Supplies

Be sure you have supplies on hand and build your Readiness Kit. Include enough water, food and necessities in case of a power outage. Check out FEMA’s recommended supplies checklist.

3. Understand Your Insurance Policy, Coverage & Deductibles

When is a good time to review your insurance coverage? Now. Know the risk of disasters in your area and what supplemental coverage and policies you may need. Contact your agent if you have questions. Every year, many homeowners realize they’ve purchased inadequate policies and by then, it’s too late. For instance, standard homeowners policies don’t cover flooding. Flood coverage is provided by the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program and takes 30 days to take effect. Business owners should also review their policies and ensure adequate coverage is in place. 

STORM PREPAREDNESS TIPS

Property Preparedness

To mitigate the effects of storm damage, weather and the seasons, it’s important to ensure your property is well maintained. 

  1. Get Routine Property Inspections from a Licensed General Contractor. A comprehensive inspection should include your roofing, siding, exterior structures, gutters, downspouts, fascia and soffits, windows and doors. Often, property owners are not even aware that they have damage. 
  2. Trim Trees & Shrubs. Dead tree limbs can cause severe damage to your home and windows in a storm. 
  3. Clean Your Gutters Regularly. This simple chore can help mitigate water damage to your roofing, siding and foundations. 
  4. Secure Exterior Structures. Ensure that exterior elements such as fences, sheds, and screened enclosures are properly secured to prevent them from being lifted by heavy winds and becoming flying objects in a storm.
  5. Protect & Strengthen Critical Areas. Your roof, windows, siding, doors and garage doors are all susceptible to extreme wind damage in a storm. Ensure that you have the appropriate supplies on hand during storm season such as shutters or plywood. Remember, the garage door is the most vulnerable part of the home, so it must be able to withstand heavy winds. 

Thunderstorm Preparedness: When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Thunderstorms can include powerful winds over 50 mph, along with the potential for lightning, hail, tornadoes, and flash floods. Be prepared! Ensure that you have an annual property maintenance plan in place. Know the difference between a Thunderstorm Watch and Thunderstorm Warning and what to do in each scenario. The best defense against thunderstorms is to stay inside a shelter or sturdy building. If indoors, avoid running water or using landline phones. Electricity can travel through plumbing and phone lines. Listen to authorities and weather forecasts for information on whether it is safe to go outside and alerts for potential flash flooding.

Lightning Preparedness

When possible, avoid the threat when you can. If thunderstorms are expected, cancel or postpone outdoor activities. If you get stuck in a storm, find a sturdy building or stay in a hard-topped vehicle. When inside, stay away from windows and doors. Avoid touching anything plugged in. Lightning can travel through a building’s plumbing during a thunderstorm. Avoid contact with water, including washing dishes and showering.

Hail Storm Preparedness

As our CEO explained last year on a national media tour discussing 6 Mistakes to Avoid After a Storm, it only takes a wind speed of as little as 58 mph or hail the size of a quarter to cause severe property damage. According to a study by Aon, hail-related insured losses between 2000 and 2019 averaged between $8 billion to $14 billion a year. That’s a lot of damage! Don’t wait until it’s too late! Be sure to get your property inspected if you think you may have damage. Over 50% of hail claims were made over a year after the hail storm took place, because homeowners did not get their roofs inspected. Remember, state statutes vary to file a claim. And hail damage often goes undetected. 

Tornado Preparedness

Tornadoes and related storms resulted in approximately $19.5 billion worth of damage across the U.S. in 2019, according to a report by Accuweather. Understand the difference between a Tornado Watch and Tornado Warning, and what to do in each scenario. It’s important to know the warning signs of a tornado, as you may not receive an official alert. Remember, a tornado’s friends often include hail and lightning, along with the devastating winds than can knock down power lines. For safety, ensure you’re in a sturdy building. During the storm, stay in a small, interior, windowless room, preferably on the lowest level or in the basement. If you have access to a storm shelter or safe room, use it. 

Flood Preparedness: Turn Around, Don't Drown®

Annually, flooding causes more deaths than any other hazard related to thunderstorms. Know the difference between a Flash Flood Emergency and a Flash Flood Warning and what to do in each scenario. Floods can occur in every single U.S. state. Turn around, don’t drown! The most common flood deaths occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous floodwaters. As little as 12 inches of moving floodwater can be enough to make a small vehicle float and carry it away. Just 2 feet of rushing water can sweep away large vehicles, including SUVs and pickup trucks. A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over a full-grown adult. 

Storm Surge Preparedness

A not so well-known fact is that storm surge is one of the greatest threats to life and property after a storm. Surge can be caused by all types of storms including thunderstorms, tropical storms, tropical cyclones, hurricanes, Nor’easters and even winter storms. Many areas along the East Coast are particularly vulnerable, even several miles inland from the coastline! If you live in a storm surge evacuation zone, it’s important to know your route and take speedy action. If an evacuation is ordered, don’t delay. Storm surge can cutoff evacuation routes. Even if your area is not affected by storm surge, remember there are other dangerous hazards to watch out for including downed power lines, water and sewage problems, trees and debris blocking the roads. Downed electrical wires can pose a dire risk of electrocution. Stay safe and remember, what you can’t see can hurt you.

Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane Season in the Atlantic Basin runs from June 1 to November 30 each year. Know the difference between a Hurricane Watch and Hurricane Warning and what to do in each scenario. Preparedness is key! If you’re in a hurricane prone area, know your communication plan, evacuation plan, and be sure to have supplies, food, water, cash, and fuel on hand. Hurricanes can cause major damage including storm surge, wind damage, and flooding. Even areas inland are affected by related storms and potential power outages. According to the Congressional Budget Office, hurricane winds and storm-related flooding cause an annual economic loss of $34 billion to households. 

Stay Informed: Monitor Weather Apps

It’s important to download relevant weather apps now, so you’re prepared when you need to be! The FEMA app includes weather alerts, safety tips and disaster resources. Visit Ready.Gov Alerts and learn how to search for local alerts and weather apps that are relevant for hazards that affect your area.  

Home Repair: Your Calm After the Storm

As we all know, storm damage is devastating. Whether it’s from wind, hail, heavy rains, floods, tornado or hurricanes, Home Repair, LLC is here to help. As a licensed general contractor with over 30 years of experience, we specialize in roofing, construction, exterior repairs, storm damage restoration, and everything in between. We offer free inspections and expert consultations. We proudly utilize the best materials and latest technology to provide the most advanced level of service to our customers.