Gluten Free Preppers

Five Things to Do When Your Roof Leaks

Adrienne Z. MilliganAs soon as you notice your roof is leaking – especially if the water is coming into the interior of your home – you are probably going to go into panic mode. While containing the water coming into the home is important, so is stopping the leak.

When asked what is the most important thing to remember when the roof leaks, roofer and owner of Value Roofing Brian Glasser stated, “Call a roofer and get a tarp on the roof immediately.”

Hopefully you are reading this before the roof leaks. If your roof is currently leaking, read on to learn what the pros suggest for getting the leak under control.

Make sure to collect the water from the roof leak to avoid damaging the interior and belongings.  Copyright Bigstock Photo

Five Things to do When Your Roof Leaks

1. Get a tarp on the roof immediately. This is to keep more rain and debris from coming into the attic and the interior of the home. If you are unable to get up on the roof, see if a neighbor or friend is willing to help.

2. Call three roofers and request quotes from each company. Hopefully, you know one or have had one referred to you. In the urgency of a leaky roof, be sure to take the time to find a qualified roofer. While you want to get the leak fixed as soon as possible, hiring a roofer who is not licensed, bonded, or insured (regulations and licensing requirements vary by state) could add to your roof problems and cost more in repairs later. Check reviews by other customers of each company online at the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

3. Does your roof have a valid warranty? If so, remember to let each roofing company know about the warranty when calling for a quote or to schedule the repair. Have the warranty documentation available for the roofer to verify the its status once at your home.

4. While waiting for the roofer to arrive, move as many items as possible away from the leaky area. This keeps your belongings from water damage. It also clears the area for the ceiling to be fixed if needed.

5. Contact your home owner’s or renter’s insurance to see if your policy covers structural damage as well as belongings from a roof leak. Not all insurance policies are the same. If you are renting, you will need to notify your landlord or property management company as soon as you notice the leak. You may need permission from the landlord before hiring the roofer to fix the damage.

Repairing a leak in your home's roof.  Copyright Bigstock Photo

If you anticipate a leak or think you may have one, I hope these five things will help you be prepared for a leak if one occurs. Roof leaks can cause serious damage. If you think there is a leak, protect your home and investment by calling a roofer today.

Five Ways to Prolong the Life of Your HVAC Unit

Adrienne Z. MilliganIf you are like me, I tend to remember my furnace only when the weather turns cold. Once it gets turned off for the summer, I forget all about it. Having forgotten about it come summer, then I remember how I did not change the filter or maintenance before turning it off. I hope these five ways will help you – and me – prolong the life of the HVAC units in our homes and businesses.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) units can be costly to repair. Having to replace your unit more often than needed adds even greater costs. Who wants to spend that kind of money repairing the HVAC unit again and again? I know I do not. I also do not want to have to replace the HVAC unit before the anticipated time projected by the warranty or average life of a unit. Do you?

HVAC filters can get extremely dirty if not cleaned regularly. Copyright Bigstock Photo

Here are Five Ways to Prolong the Life of Your HVAC Unit

1. Keep storage, clutter, and dust clear of the unit. Air flow around the furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner is needed to keep the unit cooler. Keeping the area dust-free keeps vents from becoming over clogged.

2. Clean or replace the filters as needed. Window air conditioning units typically have a filter which is easy to clean and reuse. Furnace filters need to be replaced – at least quarterly, if not monthly. Most hardware or home improvement stores carry these filters. Look on your filter before going to the store for the correct size. (Take a pic of your filter size on your smart phone for easier recall when at the store.) Filters are usually available in regular or hypoallergenic options.

Take a picture of the filter with size showing on your phone. Copyright Adrienne Z. Milligan

3. If the weather is not severe, keep thermostat set a couple of degrees higher or lower. This saves the unit from working too hard and reduces the power bill. A sweatshirt or slippers may be all you need to keep warm with a reduced temperature in the home. (Individuals with serious health issues and infants may need to have the temperature a little warmer or cooler. If unsure, please consult your medical professional.)

4. Service your HVAC unit semi-annually. Just like a car, HVAC units need a tune-up to keep functioning their best. According to Jay Ellis of Halo Heating and Cooling, “Semiannual tune ups will extend the life of the HVAC unit, improve energy bills, reduce repairs and diagnostic cost.”

5. Know where your HVAC unit warranty paperwork is and what it covers. Some warranties will not remain valid if proper maintenance is not completed per manufacturer requirements.

Save energy and money by adjusting your thermostat a couple of degrees. Copyright Bigstock Photo

While some of these five ways may seem overly simple, each one can contribute to a longer life of your HVAC unit. A longer lasting HVAC unit saves you money from unnecessary repairs or replacement.

Schedule the Reminders in Your Online Calendar or Planner

Add a recurring reminder to your smart phone’s calendar of the needed semiannual HVAC unit servicing. This is a great way to keep your reminders at your fingertips.

As you work through the above five ways to prolong the life of your HVAC unit, I hope you will have success in reducing your HVAC costs.

Share How You Save with Your HVAC Unit

What are some other ways you have saved money with your HVAC unit? I would love to hear your answers in the comments below!

Five Ways to Save Money on HVAC Repair or Replacement

Adrienne Z. MilliganWhen it is winter, we expect our furnace to heat our homes. When the heat hits in the summer months, and if we have air conditioning, we hope it works when the temperature goes up.

How often do you think about your heating and cooling equipment? Do you know how often it needs to be maintained? Does your air conditioning or furnace need to be replaced?

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems can be expensive to replace. Sometimes the cost to repair your unit can be high. There are things you can do prevent or reduce the cost of an HVAC system repair or replacement.

Technician Checking Air Conditioner

Here are Five Ways to Save Money on Your HVAC System

1. Do research on different brands and models before purchasing. Compare the features between models, what you currently have versus what you want to get, as well as what is available for your area. Some of the larger home improvement stores offer on-site assistance and contract with third-party companies for installations and repairs. Write down a list of questions you think of, options you might want, and concerns.

2. Get three quotes from three different HVAC company in writing. Ask the questions you made in number one when speaking with each HVAC specialist. Be sure to inquire about equipment cost, installation fee, and other charges you may incur. Ask now so you are prepared later. This will help you budget for the installation. Read online reviews about each company and check their standings with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

3. Are you looking to replace or upgrade your HVAC unit? If you currently only have a furnace and a new one is needed, will you replace or upgrade? Do you want to upgrade to a higher quality and more energy efficient furnace? Or would you rather spend more to include a heat pump for the added benefit of Air Conditioning? (Certain areas of the country are better suited for heat pumps. Heat pumps may or may not work with your current HVAC setup.)

4. Do you need to replace your unit or just have it serviced? Sometimes the HVAC unit needs to be serviced, not replaced. When speaking to the HVAC specialists in number two, be as specific as you can with the problems your equipment is experiencing. Help them help you by telling them of any noises or other things you have noticed.

5. Have HVAC unit serviced twice a year. According to Jay Ellis of Halo Heating and Cooling, “Have the unit serviced twice a year in the Spring and Fall. This keeps the customer’s warranty on the HVAC valid.”

Residential Central Air Conditioning Unit

An easy way to remember to schedule your HVAC unit service appointment is to create a reminder on your smart phone calendar. Use the repeat option so the reminders happen year after year. Be sure to keep your HVAC warranty papers in a fire proof box.

Saving money is always a good thing. Keeping your HVAC unit serviced and working properly will have you save money, reduce repairs, and hopefully prolong a replacement.

Five Ways to Save Money on Your Roof

Adrienne Z. MilliganMost people, myself included, want to save money. Sometimes it feels like there are parts of life where saving money is just not feasible. When it comes to home improvement repairs and projects, do you try to save money? Somehow saving money can be construed as being cheap or using lesser quality materials.

Is this always the case? I don’t think so.

When it comes to home repair and improvement projects, I want to save on costs without sacrificing quality or not doing everything which needs to be done. It is possible to do both.

A hammer and nails are a small part of a roof repair or replacement.
Photo by Bigstock Photo.

Here are five ways to save money on the roof without breaking the bank account:

1. Know what you want for your roof before calling for estimates. Are you wanting to replace your roof or just repair it? Do you need a repair due to a leak in the ceiling, tree damage, or gutter problems? Take a look at your roof from outside to see if you can spot other issues before you call. If you are unsure if it needs a full replacement, write it down as your first question. Visit your local home improvement store to see if they offer on-site design assistance. Ask what services they may provide, look at roof material options, and price ranges. If a neighbor or friend recently had their roof replaced or repaired, ask which roofer they used and if they would refer them to you.

2. Always get a written estimate before giving your approval for any work to be started. A good rule of thumb is to obtain estimates from three different companies. These three separate bids are important as projected costs may differ greatly. One contractor may include items the other two have listed as additional costs beyond the initial repair or replacement quote. Be sure you remember to ask the questions on the list you made in number one.

3. Ask if the roofer is licensed, bonded, and insured per your state’s regulations. Check the Better Business Bureau for reviews to see how if other customers approved of roofer’s professionalism and work. Reading reviews about a home improvement contractor is more important than the reviews many of us read on the newest book or gadget we’ve found online. Your roof protects your home – including you, others living with you, and your possessions – so be sure you know about the company you are considering hiring.

4. If you change your mind, talk to the roofer as soon as possible. Please do not wait until the job fully underway (or done) to ask for a different color, material, or if extra items can be added. Roofers normally have to purchase the materials for your roof so they will have the materials when the job starts. When you change your mind mid-stream, you will cost yourself and the roofer a lot of money – maybe thousands of dollars. Sit down with the roofer and ask your questions before signing the go-ahead to begin.

5. When asked how customers can save from overspending on their roof, owner and roofer of Value Roofing. Brian Glasser said, “Always check the warranty. A good warranty can save you money in the long run.” Did you know you can have a warranty on your roof? Does your current roof have a warranty? Make sure you find out exactly what the warranty does and does not cover.

Quality, reliability, service, and a warranty are all important for roof repairs and replacements.
Photo by Bigstock Photo.

Take the few extra minutes to do the above research when planning your next roof repair or replacement. The time you spend now to make sure you will get what you are paying for may save you money in the future.

Protect your roof and your bank account by doing research before hiring a roofer.
Photo by Bigstock Photo.

It is possible to save money when having installation or repair work done on your roof.