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Moonworks' Home Improvement Blog

Be Prepared: Spring Showers Can Turn Into Fierce Storms

Sometimes April showers bring May flowers — but they’re just as likely to cause serious damage to your roof and landscaping. If you’re not sure whether your home is ready for the onslaught, make sure you understand what’s at stake and what you can do to optimize your odds for a happier spring (and summer).

Heavy Rains Mean Roof Repairs

You’ve no doubt seen bits of dark-colored grit in your gutters from time to time. Those specks are granules that have worn off of your asphalt shingles. This is a normal phenomenon that occurs over time as the elements rub against the shingles to cause erosion. Rain, of course, is a leading cause of shingle erosion — and when the spring storms gather, the process can get speeded up dramatically. Take a close look at your gutters — and your shingles — after the next rainstorm to see whether you’ve got a . . .

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4 Things to Consider Before Hiring Roofers

“It’s just a roof” can be a very misleading notion when it comes time to perform much-needed work on shingles, tiles, flashing or other components. Taking the time to search for fully qualified roofers can save you a great deal of money and frustration down the road. Here are four considerations to keep in mind when deciding who should work on your roof.

1. Roofing Requires Skill and Experience

Too many things can go wrong even on a “simple” roof repair, to trust the job to an unqualified individual (including yourself). For instance, shingles must be overhung and aligned perfectly, with the requisite five inches of exposure, or they won’t last long — and depending on the slop of your roof, you may be well advised to go with some other product entirely when installing a new roof. Inaccurate nailing, venting, or flashing can create serious problems with the roof over time. . . .

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Gutter Cleaning: Best Way to Evict Unwanted Gutter Guests

There are plenty of sound reasons for regular gutter cleaning, from preventing ice dams to maintaining a neater, more attractive home exterior. But one reason in particular should jump out at you if you suffer from pest problems: When you keep your gutters clean, you’ll have fewer of these unwanted guests taking up residence on your property. Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between pests and gutter debris.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="250"]Gutter cleaning Organic debris is like a welcome mat to pests.[/caption]

Who’s Up There, and Why?

Gutters attract all kinds of junk in the course of their work diverting rainwater from your roof to your downspout. This debris may range from specks of dust to larger pieces of organic matter, such as leaves and twigs. The latter are especially troublesome, and not only because solid matter is so good at blocking . . .

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3 Vital Lessons from a Home Improvement Noob

The decision to undertake a larger home improvement project is never an easy one. Your life will be disrupted, you will have to raid your bank account and you can never be sure you’ll get the quality workmanship you hope for.

There is so much more that can go wrong. If hiring builders, how do you know you’ve chosen an honest builder who will complete the job with due diligence, and not just do a half-baked job?

Home improvement

If you’re new at this, your predicament can be even worse. For a noob, decision-making can be a nerve-wracking time. Ultimately you know you’ll have to live with the choices you make and all that responsibility will lie with you.

However, once you have your mind set on proceeding with the work, there are a few things you should always keep . . .

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4 Things Homeowners Should Know About Energy Reviews

If you’ve been hearing talk about energy reviews, you may be wondering exactly what goes into one of these evaluations, what kinds of changes you might need to make to reduce energy consumption, or whether the effort is even worth it for your budget’s bottom line. A skillfully performed review can reveal things you never knew about your home’s energy efficiency, allowing you to make the right corrections for optimal savings on your monthly utility bills. Here are four things every homeowner should know about this useful procedure.

1. Why Energy Reviews Matter

An energy review, also known as an energy audit or energy assessment, is a top-to-bottom evaluation of how much value you’re receiving from your home’s heating, cooling, and electrical systems. Many homes burn more energy than they should due to inefficient lighting, inadequate insulation, air leaks and drafts, outmoded HVAC systems, and other issues that may go undetected for . . .

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How to Keep Your Home From Turning Into a Money Pit

The “money pit” — a home that looks like a winner but eventually comes down with expensive problem after expensive problem — is every homeowner’s nightmare. Fortunately, you can keep your home from developing budget-busting problems by taking a few wise precautions and making some minor repairs. Let’s look at some examples.

Plumbing Issues

A plumbing problem doesn’t always make itself evident until you lose water pressure or major flooding occurs in your home, by which point you’ve bought yourself major repairs or renovations. Preventive maintenance can help detect small plumbing issues before they can turn into large ones. In the spring months, for instance, you’re well advised to have your sewer line inspected for possible cracks or blockages in the making. Periodic inspections of the pipes and lines within your home enable you to correct small leaks or other component failures before they lead to serious water damage, termite infestation, and . . .

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Mowing, Raking, Weeding, and Rain Water Harvesting

Warmer weather means greener weather for homeowners across the U.S. Lawns go from sparse to lush to overgrown as grass tangles with weeds for supremacy, flowers bloom in garden lots and pots, and trees and shrubs fill out to the point where they demand pruning. But none of this can happen without water — which is why rain water harvesting just might prove your secret weapon in the battle for a beautiful home.

Mowing the lawn or weeding the garden is nobody’s idea of fun, but they make all the difference between being the envy of the neighborhood and receiving nasty letters from your homeowners’ association. Raking up those piles of cut grass can be a hassle too, but it’s important — not only for aesthetic reasons, but also because fleas and ticks love to breed in them. While you’re huffing and puffing away at these activities, think about the exercise . . .

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Getting Started with Rain Water Harvesting

“Water, water everywhere,” begins the famous quote — and there is indeed water everywhere, in the form of rain. But whether your part of the country receives regular downpours or just the occasional treasured trickle, you can get the most of that atmospheric bounty through the simple technique of rain water harvesting. Let’s look at why you should bother — and how to get started.

Benefits of Rain Water Harvesting

You may be thinking, “Why do I want to collect rain water? I can get all the water I need out of my tap.” That’s true, you can — but you’ll pay for it. Think about the volume of water you use every day for everything from washing the car to washing the dog, from watering the plants to watering yourself in the shower. All those gallons can either come from the water company for a price, or you can grab them . . .

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Increase Your Home’s Value with New Roofing

Whether you plan on moving into a new house or making the transition from owning to renting, you want to make sure you get top dollar for your current residence. In many cases, that means investing in necessary home improvements that will boost the property’s sale value — including improvements to your roof. Let’s examine how and why new roofing can make all the difference between a fast-lucrative home sale and a slow, ultimately disappointing one.

Cosmetic Questions

The term “curb appeal” applies far beyond eye-level impressions. Your home’s exterior must look as fresh, new, and well cared-for as possible, both in the listing photo and in real life. Of course you’re probably already thinking about the basics of exterior home staging, such as mowing the lawn, revitalizing the flowers in the window boxes, and applying a bright, cheery new coat of paint to the porch. But have you scrutinized your roof . . .

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3 Things Every Homeowner Needs to Know About Gutter Cleaning

Keeping your gutters clean can help you get many more years of life out them. But like most other household choices, it can also prove hazardous if you do it wrong — and not doing it at all can actually be hazardous to your home as well. Here are three things to keep in mind when cleaning those gutters.

1. Your Life Depends on Your Ladder

The greatest danger in gutter cleaning stems from inadequate ladders and improper ladder usage. Use a fiberglass or aluminum ladder, since wooden ladders can deteriorate over time. Have a second person on hand to steady the ladder and watch out for your safety. Keep one hand and both feet on the ladder for maximum stability. If uneven soil seems to be unbalancing the ladder, try placing a sturdy, flat board underneath it.

 

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="200"]Gutter cleaning You’ll be glad . . .

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