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Home improvement tips to upgrade your home

Zephyr Real Estate sponsored a seminar on home improvement tips presented by contractor, Warren Camp.  The following list gives tips on improving and upgrading your home.

Bolt / Seismic Upgrade Foundations:
A home inspection by a home inspector or a structural engineer should give you the preparatory information needed.

Earthquake:

  • Anchor tall cabinets to the walls with flexible anchoring components.  Additionally, there is a putty available to keep items on the shelves.
  • Strap water heaters top and bottom.  Put a piece of blocking against the wall to keep the heater from bouncing, or ‘walking’.
  • Know how to shut off the gas supply, keep a wrench next to the gas meter.

Protecting your home from Burglary:

  • motion-sensing lighting / barking-dog
  • dead bolt locks on the doors

Indoor air quality:

  • Have your gas-fired furnace checked, install a carbon monoxide detector, and make sure the detector has fresh batteries in it at all times.  Carbon monoxide from cracked gas-fired furnace chambers can kill.  The gas is odorless, and a detector is the only thing that will warn you of a leak.

Electrical:

  • Trip and reset circuit breakers at least once a year to prevent freezing of the switches.
  • Install ground fault interrupting outlets at wet locations such as kitchens, bathrooms, and garages, to protect against electrical shock.  These devices should be tripped and reset monthly to prevent freezing.

Garage doors:

  • Adjust or install auto-reverse mechanisms on doors

Smoke Detectors:

  • Test monthly to make sure they are in working order.

Fire Extinguishers:

  • Recharge yearly; the “full” indicator gauge could be broken.

Fireplaces:

  • Keep trees and foliage away from chimney flues, install spark arrestors, and keep chimney flues swept.

Roofing:

  • Keep gutters and downspouts cleaned out to prevent ponding or water back-up.
  • Make sure no blisters or breaks exist on the roof surface.
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