Helpful Tips for Homeowners – May 2017

  • Keep your cool! Remember to check your air conditioning unit early (if equipped).  Test the unit to ensure proper operation as soon as the temperature reaches a daily average of 10 degrees.  This will help avoid waiting until a hot day arrives to turn it on, only to discover that it isn’t working and your HVAC contractor is booked solid.  By inspecting the system before the temperatures start to heat up, you can be assured that when you do need to use it, it is functioning appropriately.  Both your furnace and air conditioner should have an annual inspection completed (preferably by the original contractor who installed it) to ensure that your equipment is being properly maintained and you do not void any warranties.  You can find the phone number of the original contractor conveniently located on the furnace.
  • The birds are returning back from their winter vacation and are looking for new spring accommodations!  Check all exterior vents, louvers, vent flaps and eaves troughs for nests that may be blocking vital air flow to and from your vents, and may stop water from properly draining out of eaves.  These tend to be prime areas for our feathered friends to be creating summer homes.  You may even notice flaps missing off of exhaust vent covers.  Birds have an uncanny ability to pick these off.  In such a case, it is recommended that you wait until the birds have left their temporary home, and then replace the vent cover immediately, and purchase a metal cage to stop the birds and other friends from being able to enter through these flaps.  Plastic cages are not recommended as they are easily damaged by our determined friends who can be very persistent!
  • If you want to wash away any of the winter grime left behind on your exterior brick and/or siding, try using a garden hose and a mild detergent solution.  Do not use a power washer as the high pressure may allow large volumes of water to flow in behind siding or through weeper holes and could result in water penetration, damage and/or discolour the exterior materials.
  • It’s time to turn on the exterior water faucets!  When doing so, check for any interior leakage at the shut off location (valve).  If you notice any water spraying, or dripping, this is a sign that water and/or condensation has been left in the pipes and frozen over the winter, causing a burst or break in the exterior line or a crack inside of the valve from improper winter shut down.  Please note that using the proper technique to shut off the water in the fall is part of regular home maintenance, and damage as a result of improper home maintenance is not covered under your new home warranty as this is not a defect in workmanship or materials.
  • Think Spring!  If you are already planning your landscaping, remember to map out both your live and hard goods on paper before you start to purchase and install materials. Research plant materials prior to purchasing them to see how large they grow, how much maintenance they will require, are they invasive “foundation root clingers”, what type of sun exposure they do best in etc…  Remember that landscaping should be installed to conform with the grading plan of your lot to ensure that water drains away from the foundation of your home.  It is also imperative that you hold off on completing any landscaping, building sheds, decks and fences, or installing pools or play structures until City engineers have approved the final grading of your lot. If you are unsure if your lot has been approved, feel free to contact a member of our Customer Care Team.

Contact Us:

Cook Homes Limited
169 Lexington Court, Unit B-1
Waterloo, ON N2J 4R3
(519) 746-6244 (phone)
(519) 746-4027 (fax)

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