Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lighting a water heater pilot light

It was so windy last night that the pilot light on our boiler was blown out from the downdraft of wind through the flue.  It occurred to me that this still happens to many homeowners that have older systems, whether it’s a forced air furnace, a boiler for hot water heat or an older style water heater.

It’s important to know how to re-light the pilot light on these appliances so that you don’t find yourself in a situation that might feel like an emergency but can easily be accomplished by the average homeowner.

If you're interested in learning more about how to take care of your home and you live in the Metro Denver area, visit .

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

5 things to do when it’s raining…

It happens to be raining today in Denver, Colorado and it reminds me that this is the perfect time to do some quick visual checks of the outside of your home and make a list of some items you might need  to take care of once the rain stops.

For several of these items you’ll need to get out the umbrella or put on a raincoat but it’s well worth it. So let’s start by taking a walk around the outside of the house to see where all that water is going.
1.  Check your gutters.  Is water flowing over the side?  Do you have leaks behind the gutter?  Do you have leaks at seams along the gutters? 

2.  Check your downspouts.  Is water flowing out? Are the extensions in good shape?  Where is the water flowing to?

3.  Check the area around the house and foundation.  Is it damp?  Is water pooling next to the foundation?
Now it’s time to go inside, don’t forget to bring the ladder.

4.  Set up the ladder and take a look inside your attic.  Does it smell damp? Can you see water dripping down any of the pipes or vents that go through the roof? Do you see stains on the roofing materials?  Is there any evidence of rust on metal pieces?

5.  Check all of your windows?  Is there water leaking past any of them?  Can you feel cold air? Is there condensation between the panes of glass?

My next post will tell what these problems mean and some tips on how to fix them. 

You can learn more about maintaining your home by taking classes at Workshop for Women .  Our next home maintenance class is scheduled for this Saturday, October 16th at 1:00 pm.  Check out our calendar

Friday, October 1, 2010

10 Tips to make your next painting job a breeze!

10 Tips to make your next painting job a breeze!

These tips are provide by Kathy Fiebig of Minor Details Denver. Visit her website for a list of services she offers.
  1. Remove as many things from the room as possible prior to doing the prep work.
  2. Cover EVERYTHING! The one spot you miss is where you will spill
  3. Use good drop cloths. Light weight canvas is the best material and available at your local home improvement store (sheets don't absorb paint and shower curtains are too slippery and will not stay in place).
  4. Use good paint. The better the paint the better the finish. If your budget permits consider going to a paint store such as Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams. If you're on a smaller budget consider using the Behr brand.
  5. Buy a good brush. Buy a Purdy or Wooster brand brush. A $2 brush does a $2 job.
  6. Research gloss levels before you buy paint. Flat is the most forgiving and easiest to work with. Anything with gloss requires extra care when "cutting in" the edges.
  7. Don't rush your color selection. Buy a sample, put in on the wall and live with it for a while.  But trust your first instinct, too. If you loved it immediately it's usually right.
  8. Match the 'nap' of your roller cover to your wall texture. 
  9. Use a tinted primer to save time and money when making drastic changes in color.
  10. Ask questions at the store if you're not sure. Consider going to a specialty paint store if you're new to painting, the employees are usually happy to give you guidance for your project.