Maintenance & Repair

10 Home Maintenance Tips for this Fall Season

10 Home Maintenance Tips for this Fall Season

desert_house_imageEach season your home goes through changes in temperatures, weather conditions, aging, and of course human abuse! In order to keep all your components of your home running smoothly, and to avoid costly repairs later, it's helpful to conduct seasonal maintenance actions each season. As the summer continues, this is a perfect time to prepare for fall.

1.) Examine your roof/gutters/downspouts for debris: Your roof is often forgotten about because it is not at eye level to give you a subtle reminder every time you walk past it. Clear leaves, dirt, and pine needles from gutters and examine downspouts for damage or loose pieces. Check the flashing around your chimney and any openings in the roof, such as skylights for leaking problems.

2.) Examine the grounds of your property: Before the grass is covered with snow, or it is too cold to venture outside, check walkways for cracks and loose paver material. Fix walkway and entryway areas before slippery weather can cause a tripping or falling accident.

3.) Change the filters in your home: If you have a central air conditioning system, change the air filter regularly. If you have a window air conditioning unit, remove from the window or place a waterproof cover over it to prevent damage. Change filters in stove vents, clothes dryers and room fans if applicable. Clean air filters will keep your family healthier in the fall months.

4.) Still have leaky faucets? Repair them now: Before the temperatures start to dip low, examine leaky faucets in the kitchen, bathrooms, and utility room locations. Most likely the time and money spent now to fix will be less than a broken pipe in the dead of winter!

5.) Prepare your fireplace: For some people they use their fireplace more than their central heater in the fall and winter months. Discard old ashes and ensure the damper is open to allow air to freely move through the chimney. If the air is becoming cold, close back the damper after cleaning. Check the damper handle and springs to ensure the flue is operating correctly. Hire a professional chimney sweep if needed.

Flat Roof Repair and Maintenace Tips

Repairing flat roofs can be a lot more challenging than repairing slant or pitched roofs. house-southwestern

You can avoid bulk of repairs if you take some precautionary steps such as regularly inspect your flat roof for cracks, flashing and other types of damage.

How Flat Roofs are Built

The basic material used for constructing flat roofs is asphalt. A series of asphalt roll roofing strips or asphalt building paper is initially mopped with hot asphalt liquid. A layer of pulverized stone or preferably gravel is uniformly strewn on the hot asphalt to create the abrasive surface.

Flat roofs are usually constructed by building professionals as the required equipment is very expensive.

How to Seal Coat a Roof

When it comes to coating wooden or shingled roofs, exterior acrylic latex primer and paint provide sufficient coverage for long-term durability. However, if you want to seal coat a metallic roof, you'll need to use an elastomeric roof coating or you will begin to see oxidation and chipping over time.

Before you apply it, you should know the proper preparation and application directions that will ensure a durable, attractive coating and help prevent injuries due to falls.

1 Access the roof using an extension ladder.

2 Remove tree limbs, acorns, leaves, pine cones and other debris from the rooftop, using a broom.

3 Wash the surface of the roof, using a pressure washer to avoid problems with adhesion. Allow the roof to dry completely.

4 Fill the five-gallon bucket halfway with elastomeric paint.

5 Scale the ladder with the roller in hand. Lay the roller on the roof and descend the ladder. Scale the ladder with the five-gallon bucket in hand.

6 Apply the coating to the roof using the roller. Start at the far edge of the roof, and work moving backwards toward the ladder to avoid becoming trapped by wet elastomeric.

To read the full article go to: How to Seal Coat a Roof |

Always consult a professional before attempting any home maintenance job. For supplies and more information about roof coating talk to Carlos Robles, the Paint Department Manager, at Grant Road Lumber. Give him a call today at (520) 795-4160 or stop by the hardware store at 2543 E. Grant Road.

Spring-time Maintenance for Swamp Coolers

house3When you do maintenance in the spring, you will concentrate on the dry portions of the swamp cooler first. You do not want to add water to the sump pump until you are positive the cold weather is gone. You should avoid connecting the water lines until the weather is going to remain favorable.

To perform spring maintenance you should start by turning off the circuit breaker for the swamp cooler. Once this has been done you will remove the sides and replace the cooler pads that are inside. While you are looking at the internal areas of the cooler you should remove any dust that has settled inside the area.

Despite not hooking up the sump pump you should remove it and make sure that there is no mud or debris down in the area where it sits. Mud will stop the pump from working correctly.

The drip-tubes should be firmly connected and the V-belt should be checked, as well. You should make sure the blower fan is working and that it is able to move freely. If your fan has oil fittings you should oil it at this time.

Connect the water lines now and wait for the pump to fill. You should allow the water to fill and close. The float valve should stop just shy of an inch below the over-flow valve. When the swamp cooler shuts down the water will drain to the pump. If you have issues with over-flowing you can bend the float-arm down some and check it a second time to make sure the problem has been fixed. On the other hand, if there is not enough water you can bend the float arm upwards.

From there you put the side panels back on and your swamp cooler care is done for the spring. The key is to make sure you will be ready for the summer.

To read the full article Proper Swamp Cooler Care, go to

Always consult a professional before attempting any at home maintenance yourself. For questions or concerns, talk to Rob Scott at Handyman Connection. Give him a call and set an appointment to get your swamp cooler ready for the season.

For the month of April, Handyman Connection is offering $40 off a 'Home Scan'. This is normally a $75 value. A 'Home Scan' is a preventative maintenance walk through of your home that is even more important now because of the harsh freezing from the winter. Don't miss this chance to save! Call today (520) 797-0800

Flush With Savings

Tucson Water’s Residential Toilet Rebate Program


Toilet flushing accounts for one of the largest uses of water in a household. Nearly 25% of our indoor daily water usage comes from flushing. By replacing older toilets with newer, more efficient ones you can help to conserve our water supplies.

The older standard toilets used to require anywhere from 3.5 gallons to 7 gallons of water to operate. However, new low-flow toilets require about 1.3 gallons of water or less to operate. With the engineering of a larger 3” flush valve, the High Efficiency Toilets (HET) are able to function without the use of so much water and about clean the bowl about 80% faster.

The City of Tucson Water Department is offering a rebate to anyone who changes from a toilet manufactured before 1991 to a HET.

Tucson Water offers customers rebates of one-half the price of a new HET toilet, up to $120 per unit for residential ($200 maximum per household) and $100 for multifamily and commercial customers. Only fixtures purchased after July 7, 2008, qualify for a rebate. To ensure that new toilets both save water and are effective at flushing, only HET models certified by the EPA WaterSense program will be eligible for rebates.

 For more information Tucson Water’s Residential Toilet Rebate Program click here.

For other questions or to purchase your new High Efficiency Toilet today call Mark at Benjamin Supply at (520) 777-7000.