Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc

Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 6/12/2016

If you are like most homeowners, you rarely thinking of the plumbing in your home unless there is a problem: you turn on a faucet, or flush a toilet and expect it to work properly without giving your “pipes” a second thought. However, homeowners, family members or guests may be using your plumbing system incorrectly, even if you are not aware. Misuse of the systems can result in an expenditure of time and money and a messy situation to repair. Locate The Water Shut-Off Make sure that you and all household members know where to locate the water shut off valve. In the event of a broken pipe, overflowing toilet or in the case of an emergency, it is vital to be able to shut off the flow of water immediately. Using The Plumbing System As A Trash Can Are you guilty of rinsing plates off in the sink without first scraping the scraps in the garbage can? If you do not have a garbage disposal unit, food should not enter the drain where it can accumulate and clog pipes. To avoid problems, remove food residue before rinsing and add a sink drainer to the drain cover to catch food items that make their way into the sink. Misuse Of Drain Cleaner When water backs up in the sink or tub, do you immediate reach for a bottle of drain cleaner? Wrong – while the most common solution for sluggish drains is a dose of drain cleaner, it often takes multiple uses to clean the line. Repeated use of caustic drain cleaners can damage pipes and are harmful to the environment. Before you attempt to clean a clogged drain with toxic chemicals, try a plunger or auger. If you resort to using drain cleaner: read the instructions and never use the same type of drain cleaner in a kitchen sink as you would use in a clogged toilet situation. Putting Grease Down The Drain Even if you use a garbage disposal, you should be aware that grease damages drains. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that up to 50 percent of all clogged drains are due to oil, grease and fat build-up in drain pipes. If you pour hot grease down the drain, it will coat the walls of the pipe as it cools. To avoid the problem of grease accumulation, always put hot grease in a container to cool and then dispose of properly. Avoid Toilet Clogs Avoid clogging up your toilets by remembering that once flushed, all materials must pass through a three-inch drainpipe that connects to your septic system or main city sewer system. Avoid dumping food, cat litter or paper towels in the commode. Talk to your kids and other family members about what is and what is not appropriate to dispose of in the toilet. Sanitary napkins, tampons, and disposable diapers should never be flushed. Provide an airtight waste can in each bathroom for disposal of items that should not go down the drain. Damage To Pipes In The Wall Stop and think before you start a home remodeling project: there are a lot of pipes hidden behind your home’s walls. Drilling into a wall to hang a photo or install a bookshelf might cause serious damage to the pipe that was hidden inside the wall. A simple little hole can cause a major leak. Always hang artwork, shelves or towel racks by placing the hanger into the studs of your wall. Use a stud finder before you tackle small home repair or remodeling projects to avoid a major plumbing disaster. If you are contemplating a major remodeling project near or around pipes or plumbing, it is prudent to enlist the services of a professional plumber. Too Much Weight On Plumbing Fixtures Avoid hanging a shower caddy on your showerhead to hold shampoos, soaps, and lotions. Too many heavy items places undo stress on the showerhead and plumbing fixtures that are not designed to be weight-bearing. Your home’s plumbing system is an important part of how your household functions. While it is easy to take our plumbing for granted, when it’s working properly, the savvy homeowner knows that with proper care and maintenance you can keep your pipes and sewer system in excellent condition for years to come.

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Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 1/10/2016

No matter how sturdy a home is, sooner or later maintenance will be required. When this happens, you will have the choice to do some of this maintenance work yourself, or you could opt to utilize a home repair service to do it for you. This largely depends on how much experience you have in repairing things in your home. For example, hanging a picture on the wall does not take too much knowledge and expertise, as all you would need is a good drill and a little bit of know-how. On the other hand, if you need some major plumbing repairs, then you are better off finding a reputable plumber to do the job for you. When it comes to painting, it really does depend on whether you have some experience and know-how, and how much you enjoy doing it. For some people, painting can be extremely therapeutic. They will gladly paint every room in their home without any fuss. For others, painting a wall can seem like an extremely messy job, and in most cases, it will be a job badly done. In a situation like this, you are better off using a professional painter. One of the best ways to find a good quality home repair service is by going on the internet, as this allows you to quickly find a specialized repair service within your area with just a few clicks of your mouse. In addition, you are also able to do a little research on the repair service beforehand. If you would like a local referral I keep a list of professionals. Please call or email me for more information.

Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 2/10/2013

According to recent statistics, one in five people suffer from allergy and asthma symptoms. If you are one of these people, chances are that you've had an allergy attack in your home, with no clear definable cause as to what exactly set your symptoms in motion. Reducing the amount of allergens in your living space is not only beneficial from a cleanliness perspective, but in cleaning your home of potential allergens, you decrease the chances of having another spontaneous attack in your home. Floors - If you live in a home with hardwood floors, then consider yourself lucky. They attract much less dust than carpeting, and are much easier to clean and maintain. If you are in a carpeted home, then consider upgrading your vacuum to one that touts itself as being able to remove microscopic particles and allergens from the carpet. An upgrade in vacuums will usually work wonders for a house with allergy sufferers. Plush toys - Whether they belong to your pet or your child, plush toys are often overlooked as potential carriers of allergens. Make sure you wash them thoroughly on a regular basis. The same is true for pet bedding. Create an (almost) allergy-free room - Designate a room in your home to be the go-to place if you need a break from allergy symptoms. Use your bedroom if possible. Purchase allergen covers and casings for your bedding, keep pets from entering the room, and clean the room more often than you do the rest of the house. Curtains - Drapes, while being an attractive addition to the home, can collect dust, pollen, and mold spores. If you plan to add drapes to your windows, or refuse to give up the drapes you have, be prepared to give them the attention they'll need to keep them dust and allergen-free. Air - If you live in a home with central air, be sure to replace your air filters regularly. Keep your windows closed on days that seem to be giving you trouble, and keep your air setting on recirculate. This will ensure that the air in your home is constantly being scrubbed of potential allergy triggers.

Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 12/2/2012

In order for your home to maintain value and to continually look in good condition, it is important that you maintain it on a regular basis. However, to ensure that you get the best quality maintenance, it is important that you find the right type of service to fix up homes. There is the choice of doing it yourself, but remember that while small jobs can be easy, when it comes to more complex maintenance work, you are better off using a professional service, because this in turn will ensure that you do get the right results once your home has been maintained. Maintaining a home can range from keeping the roof in good condition so that it does not leak during those rainy seasons, to replacing your windows so that you keep your home insulated from the heat and cold, which in turn can save you a lot of money on energy bills. Of course, there are also those intricate jobs such as plumbing, replacing the floor, and unblocking the drain. By finding a reputable service that can fix up homes, you can feel comfortable knowing that you can use them over the years, because as they begin to maintain one area of your home, there will always be something else that will pop up later down the road. Therefore, take your time to do a good amount of research on one of these services, which can easily be done by going on the Internet. The reason for this is because many of these maintenance services now have an online presence, so you will be able to get a good idea of exactly what they offer and get an idea of what they are charging for that service.

Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 10/7/2012

Just because winter is approaching doesn't mean you have to put off home projects. In fact, while some projects are better done during the summer, there are a select few that are best done while the weather is taking a turn for the chilly. Here's a few ideas to help get you started. Caulking your windows and doors - Fall provides you with a unique opportunity to find the drafty spots in your home, and rectify them before a harsh winter hits. Caulk adheres to surfaces best around 45 to 50 degrees, and with the temperature falling to the 40's and 50's in the fall, you'll find yourself being about to feel out which rooms are drafty and need some attention. Properly caulked windows and doors will save you a boatload in utility costs, not to mention the obvious benefit of keeping your house comfortable in what is sure to be a tough winter. Evaluating your attic insulation - Now would also be a good time to check up on your insulation, and consider whether or not it would be in your best interests to replace your existing insulation.  Improperly insulated attics can wreak havoc on your utility bills, and unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware of the kind of insulation at work in their attics. Energystar's website has a comprehensive guide for what kind of insulation your home should have, as well as a brief guide explaining the classifications of insulation, and why certain kinds are preferred over others depending on the climate you happen to find yourself in. Guarding against fall pests - Due to decaying vegetation and falling temperatures, some insect populations experience a population explosion during fall weather.  After this population boom, and the temperatures drop, these insects will do anything they can to find shelter, including wiggling right into your home.  Luckily, by practicing fall lawn maintenance regularly, you can avoid the brunt of this onslaught.  Bugs LOVE dead leaves.  It serves as not only a food source for them, but due to the decay of vegetation raiding the ground temperature, it also serves as a shelter from the colder temperatures.  By staying vigilant and keeping your yard free of debris, it will also keep your home from being overrun with pests. Pave your driveway - Because repaving your driveway is one of those projects that is notoriously put off time and time-again, this is just a friendly reminder to consider this project before the cold weather prevents you from doing so.  A fresh, smooth driveway will make snow removal much easier in the dead of winter, not to mention the aesthetic appeal it can convey.  If this is one of those home projects that you were planning on doing this year, just keep in mind; time is running out.