Jack's of All Trades, Inc
Commercial & residential trades & handyman services
*** DISCLAIMER - THIS PAGE AND ANY INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE IS OFFERED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS A STEP-BY-STEP OR INSTRUCTION. IT IS ALWAYS RECOMMENDED TO CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY REPAIRS OR INSTALLATIONS ON YOUR OWN. JACK'S OF ALL TRADES, INC. WILL NOT BE LIABLE OR RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE EDUCATIONAL TIDBITS BEING USED FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN THEIR INTENDED PURPOSE.
We at Jack's of All Trades, Inc. would like to say "Thank you!" It is a pleasure to provide the above information to you for your personal education. As mentioned throughout this page, you should contact a professional - Jack's of All Trades, Inc. can be your professionals, it doesn't matter what is needed, we can assess the situation and work with you to make sure the job is done correctly... even if we can't do it, we can oversee it. Our skilled technicians have the knowledge and know-how to get the job done and we will do it in such a way as to maintain the value of your home and the safety of your family. Please contact us to find out more.
Anything electrical that smokes, is chard/burned, flickers abnormally, sparks or does anything out of the normal it needs to be addressed by a professional. Any and all of these conditions should be cause for great concern as they could lead to a fire. If an outlet or switch doesn't work, then you should contact a professional to investigate and repair the issue. DO NOT modify cords or outlets to fit, they are both designed the way they are with safety in mind - modification can nullify the safety integration.
If any issues are discovered during PM times, they need to be addressed right away. Leaking or broken gutters or downspouts will not direct water away from the home as designed. Again, water destroys homes and needs to be directed AWAY from the house. There are many products on the market that can seal and repair cracks and leaks, use the proper product for the proper application. Consult a professional when in doubt.
SHINGLES & SIDING
If you have damaged shingles or siding, they should be repaired as soon as possible because the envelop of the house is now compromised. The envelop of a home is designed to keep the elements outside where they belong and not allow them inside. If the envelop is compromised, then the outside can come in and cause more damage. Replace damaged or missing shingles with like shingles, repair or replace damaged or missing siding with like styles and materials. Contact a professional for the best options and advise.
WINDOWS & DOORS
If you have damaged windows or doors, there are a multitude of reasons to have them repaired immediately. From a compromised envelop to personal safety issues, these items keep weather and people out of the house. A broken window will let weather in and could be an invite to criminals. A door that doesn't close properly will have similar concerns. Help protect your family and belongings by getting any door and window damage repaired immediately.
Plumbing covers a wide range of items in your home, such as faucets, drains, toilets, water heaters, hose spigots (hose bibs), and more. If you see or suspect water being where it shouldn't be, a professional should be consulted (water destroys homes...we just can't say it enough) to find where the water is coming from and why. Hose bibs can freeze and burst in the winter if not properly drained or if the wrong kind is installed, you may not know it happened until you go to wash your car, turn on the water and water starts coming out BEHIND the siding, this is not only a waste of money but it can cause extensive damage to your home. Normal plumbing should be water coming out of a source (faucet, toilet tank, etc.) and going into a drain (sink drain, down the toilet upon flushing, etc.). Water should not be on the floor or wall, in a pipe is where it belongs.
HVAC SYSTEM / FURNACE / AIR CONDITIONING
This is a specialized system that should only be addressed by a professional (past changing the air filter monthly). There are sensitive parts, electricity, pressure, gas, and on and on. Bypassing safety devices create unsafe conditions and could lead up to disastrous results - fires, explosions, death, etc. There are many parts of these systems that can cause harm and even death. Basically, call a professional to take care of your system - some things that are generally considered emergencies are:
Call a professional when in doubt to assess if you actually have an emergency situation or not. Call a professional for any issues to get them scheduled to look at and repair, if needed.
OTHER REPAIR MAINTENANCE
While we could fill pages and pages with both Preventative & Repair Maintenance issues, we will sum up other things with this statements: If there is anything that is negatively affecting your home's value or your family's safety, it should be repaired or replaced depending on the case. A professional should always be consulted for any repairs to help maintain the home's value and your family's safety.
Let's start with preventative maintenance. When we talk about preventative maintenance we are talking about things that need to be done on at least a semi-regular basis to keep a home working well and as designed. Things will go sideways from time to time, and those types of things will be addressed below in REPAIR MAINTENANCE.
Did you know your gutters should be inspected and cleaned twice a year, on average? Yes, and when you, or someone you hire, are doing this there are several things you should be doing; looking for build up in the gutter, what is in the gutter, splits, cracks and signs of water not going where it should. This includes looking at the ground under the gutters and downspouts for signs of overrun or leaks where water can get into your home...water destroys homes (water made the Grand Canyon). You should also look for roof materials in the gutter, this can help get an idea of what's going on with your roof materials - lots of asphalt could mean shingle wear.
Tree branches rubbing against your house, roof, or any part of any structure, will cause multiple issues. Some issues are simple to deal with, such as painting wear spots. Others can be more difficult like when branches start tearing off shingles or siding. Most of these issues can easily be prevented by trimming branches, shrubs, and any plant life that can rub against the house. Also, plant life against the house attracts bugs and holds moisture against the building and remember... water destroys homes
While leaky faucets and/or toilets may not be causing other issues (they can) they cost money... wasted money just going down the drain - literally. Sometimes the fix is as simple as tightening a screw, sometimes you have to change the faucet or flush-valve. These types of repairs can be daunting but they aren't bad AND they can save from bigger repairs by letting them just continue to leak. Leaks under the sink or at the base of the toilet are a bit more serious and should be address as soon as they are found/noticed - but there will be more in the REPAIR MAINTENANCE below on this.
HVAC SYSTEM / FURNACE / AIR CONDITIONING
The only thing we can suggest to do yourself is change the air filter once a month. If there isn't one in the slot, call in a professional so the proper size and style can be determined... the old one may even be sucked up near the fan. The air filter needs to be changed regularly (again once a month) to maintain healthy indoor air quality (IAQ) and a properly & efficiently running air handler (or furnace) - which lowers bills and overall maintenance costs. Annual or semi-annual inspections and cleanings help prolong the life of your air handler. What ever system or type of system you have, it will fail at some point. Regular preventive maintenance can help by having a well kept system that is worth repairing versus a poorly kept system not worth repairing.
YARD SLOPE / DRAINAGE
We can't say this enough... water destroys homes. Your home was originally designed with proper yard slope / drainage to move water (rain, flooding, snow-melt, etc.) from near your home to away from your home. It may have been decades (or centuries) since your home was built, it may have been yesterday - what matters is that the yard and especially around the home that there are no locations for water to stand (or worse, drain TOWARDS the house). If you have spots that have standing water or that slope TOWARD the house, get those addressed and you will probably need a professional opinion for the scope of a job like this.
WINDOWS / DOORS
Maintaining weatherstripping and seals is one of the best way to keep the elements out and the comfort bills (heating & cooling) down. If you can see light through the door frame, new weatherstripping should be installed to keep that air from just moving in and out. If you have foggy windows, there is a good chance the glazing or seal isn't functional anymore, this will make a double-pane window equivalent to a single-pane window...less insulation factor and will allow air movement. The point is that you should be inspecting your windows and outer doors for proper sealing.
BUGS / HIVES / PESTS
Not only can these things cause injury and/or disease to homeowners and guests, they can get into the home and create issues from infestation to damaging the structure. Wood destroying organisms (WDO) such as termites and some ants will eat away load bearing structural members and can then cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair. As a PM walk around and look for hives, signs of bugs or pests (including rodents) around the home or in the yard near the house. Keep plants and other things that attract bugs and pests away from the house. People like plants and shrubs around the exterior of the home, so if you are going to plant them, work with a professional to maintain the proper space from the home and to get plants that repel or at least don't attract bugs and pests. Carefully get rid of any hives you find.
Cracks in drywall can be of concern, and when in doubt as to if the crack is of major or minor concern, get a professional to take a look. Cracks can be caused from poor installation, weather conditions, all the way up to foundation issues. Not everyone can tell what is causing cracking in drywall, it takes an eyes on look to get correct answers (or at least a highly educated evaluation). If it's determined that the cracking is from something minor, repairs are usually pretty simple and straight-forward. The two most common repairs are 1) patch and paint 2) remove and replace a section of drywall then patch and paint.
At Jack's of All Trades, Inc. we understand that home ownership can be daunting and sometimes, as a homeowner, it's unclear what to do or how to do it. As such, we are offering some educational information and "rules-of-thumb" for homeowners. Whether you are a first-time home owner or a seasoned owner, there is something contained in this page for both of you and everyone in-between.