Time to get Winterized!

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Certain home maintenance tasks should be completed each season to prevent structural damage, save energy, and keep all your home's systems running properly.

Although our winters in the south are much less extreme than in other regions, winterizing our homes is still a very important task, no matter where you live.


1. GET YOUR HEATING SYSTEM IN ORDER 

Schedule your fall HVAC checkup, for a heating tune-up.  Make sure your HVAC professional checks all electrical connections, lubricates any moving parts if necessary, and inspects the condensate drain and trap.


2. CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS

Debris in your gutters can easily divert water onto the roof or siding, setting the stage for mold & rot, and dramatically shortening the lifespan of shingles and paint.  Now is the perfect time to inspect and clean your gutters, as the leaves are dropping.


3. PUT AWAY LAWN AND GARDEN EQUIPMENT

Pick up anything in the yard that could be damaged by cold or ice, such as garden tools, hoses & nozzles, patio furniture and accessories.


4. TRIM BACK VEGETATION

Here in the south, we have a wide variety of plants that grow year round.  It's important to keep an eye on whether they're encroaching on the roof and walls.  Trim trees so that branches don't hang over the roof, and keep heavy, dense growth away from siding.  A good rule of thumb is to trim back bushes and shrubs so there's enough room to walk easily between plantings and your house.


5. PICK UP A PAINT BRUSH

Fall is a great time to paint your home's exterior if necessary.  Also, it's the perfect time for sealing all surfaces before winter's moisture has a chance to do damage.  


6. CHECK WEATHERSTRIPPING AND CAULK

Open all your exterior doors and check the weatherstripping.  If yours is crumbly or has gaps, replace it.  Inspect windows and doors for any gaps between the trim and exterior siding that allow air to penetrate from the outside; these gaps should be caulked.


7. KEEP RODENTS OUT

Let’s face it: Southern rodents are about as inclined towards cold weather as southern humans, and as soon as the weather turns chilly, many homeowners are aghast to hear the distant pitter-patter of little paws in the house. There are many ways to keep furry friends from taking up residence in your home, but the best and most effective approach is a preventative one. Starting in early fall, comb the exterior and interior of the house, looking for any possible entry point for pests. Pay special attention to any areas where pipes, wires, or ductwork enters the house, and eliminate space around them with close-fitting wire mesh, caulk, rodent-proof spray foam, or steel wool. Remember: Mice can get though a hole the size of a dime.


8. CHECK YOUR INSULATION

Your home looses heat trough the attic. Add insulation to protect against heat loss. There should be about a foot of insulation in the attic, so if you can see your 10 inch ceiling joists, it’s time to get more.


9. REVERSE CEILING FANS

instead of pulling hot air up, like in the summer, reverse your fans to blow the hot air back into circulations, cutting energy costs.


10. GET YOUR CHIMNEY INSPECTED (that is, if you have one)

Before you start roasting chestnuts on an open fire, have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean your chimney. Thousands of fires each winter originate in chimneys. A chimney sweep can check the structure of your flue and remove any combustibles or obstructions in your chimney. For more information on finding a chimney sweep, visit the Chimney Safety Institute of America’s website at csia.org.


Spending a few hours hours here & there on a few home maintenance tasks to prepare for the winter months, will help you spot problems quickly and prevent costly repairs.

What do you do to winterize your home?  Any tips?


Until next time...

Much love.

"Porchin" aka Porch Time.

Yes.  I said "Porchin".  If you live in the south, you should know all about "Porchin", aka Porch Time... and just in case you don't, it's time to learn.


There's something to be said about southerners and our porches...  they are definitely a necessity. 

If the kitchen is the heart of our home, the porch is it's soul.  Inside the house is where the tasks of daily living (that seems to always grow), get checked off the list.  Porchin' is how we are able to return to those things that really matter.

exterior porch

A porch is where time slows down.  It's our escape from the hustle & bustle of life. 

Exterior Back Porch

It's where we can sit with friends & family and catch up & reminisce.

Exterior Wrap Around Porch

It's where we can sip on & enjoy a cold glass of sweet ice tea, a hot cup of coffee, or even something a bit stronger;)

Porch

It's where sunrises & sunsets can be watched. 

Porch

It's where the breeze can be felt, and where our worries & troubles from the day can melt away.


With the holiday season quickly approaching, and your "to do" list growing every day... don't forget to take a little porch time for yourself!  I promise a little "Porchin" is all you'll need to stay stress free.

Until Next time...

Much love.

To Be FORTIFIED or Certified

Part Two:  Benefits, Savings, & Incentives of being FORTIFIED 

Now, that you know the fundamental pros of your home being FORTIFIED vs only Certified...   I have even more good stuff to tell you about!


Save $$$$

Insurance companies give discounts for FORTIFIED constructed homes.

Throughout Mobile and Baldwin County, insurance companies give specific construction discounts between 20-50%, for FORTIFIED building.  On January 1st, 2018, these discounts are set to go state-wide.  Find out more about Alabama's State Wide Mitigation Discounts for FORTIFIED Construction here, SmartHomeAmerica


Strengthen Alabama Homes program

Have you Heard?

FORTIFIED is not only for new construction!

Visit Strengthen Alabama Program for more info:

You read that correctly.  For Mobile & Baldwin County existing home owners, SAH provides grants for residential wind mitigation.  The grant provided with this program is 100% of the mitigation up to $10,000.00.  Be sure to check out Strengthen Alabama Homes Program to learn more!


Quick recap: TO BE FORTIFIED

1. FORTIFIED is an extra layer of protection for not only your home, but also for the personal well being of the Home Owners.

2. FORTIFIED construction will instantly raise your property's value.

3. FORTIFIED means potential for a huge savings from insurance companies.

4. Existing homes have the oppurtunity to become FORTIFIED through a grant funded by the insurance industry in Alabama.


That's a wrap!  Until next time~ much love                         

 #loperconstruction #islandtime #fortifiedconstruction

Source: https://disastersafety.org/fortified/

To be FORTIFIED or Certified?

Part One:  What is FORTIFIED?

First, let's begin with Certified.  When building a new home, upon final inspection you will receive a certification stating that your home meets all standard building codes specific to your state's requirements. These basic, minimal building codes are intended for life safety, only.

FORTIFIED, means not only are the standard building codes met, but a layer of protection has been added to ensure that your home is built to the highest standards.  

Keeping life safety, your home, and your home's posessions as safe as possible, is what being FORTIFIED is all about.


Do you know?

FORTIFIED, of course!


A study led by the

University of Alabama and coauthored by the University of Mississippi & Auburn University, shows that a FORTIFIED designation increases a property's value by 7%.


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FORTIFIED Levels

There are three different levels of FORTIFIED designations.  Bronze, Silver, & Gold.  Visit DisasterSafety to learn more.

Did you know that 50% of waste & debris left behind after a severe storm or other disaster is from construction and/or construction materials?  By reconizing the natural disasters common to your specific demographic area, the design and build of your home should be constructed to withstand the natural surrounding habitat and be consistent with floodplains.


Up Next...  

Part Two:  Benefits, Savings, & Incentives of being FORTIFIED 

New Green Energy Home Product to be Released Soon...

I came across this new product "SolarGaps".  SolarGaps
The estimated release date of SolarGaps, available for purchase is, October 2017. 

Solar blind technology that generates green energy for your home & reduces your energy bill...  I think the concept sounds great!  

What do you think?  Is this a "green" investment you would be willing to try?

Let me know your thoughts!

#loperconstruction #islandtime #greenliving