FILTERS: Don't forget to change your furnace filters. For those of you who have the large media filter, you can purchase replacements at CD Jones in Pueblo, (719) 545-1633 or online at Amazon. They need to be changed about every 12 months, depending on how much the furnace is used. The standard 1" filters should be changed each month of use. Failure to change your filter can damage your furnace and void your 8 year parts warranty. It can also allow build up of mold and fungus inside the home. A clean filter means a clean home.
HOSE BIB: Always remove your garden hose from the hose bib in the winter, otherwise water will not flow from inside the bib and it WILL freeze and break. The hose bib has a washer located at the end of a 12" long pipe located inside the faucet. It can be easily changed by removing the handle and pulling it out. There will always be excess water flow after you shut off the water, so do not over tighten the handle, as this will compress and damage the washer.
STUCCO: Try not to hammer nails into your garage walls or let the exterior doors slam. This can crack the stucco, especially on a new home. I do as much as I can to mitigate stucco cracks, but it's a concrete product and will get hairline cracks. These will not damage the home and are only cosmetic in nature. If you decide to paint your stucco, use an elastomeric paint, which stretches over most stucco cracks.
SEPTIC SYSTEMS: For those with Septic systems, you need to have the tank pumped. The amount of time between pumping varies, depending on how many people are using the home. I pump my tank about once every 5 years, but large families should pump every other year. Use a non filler type laundry detergent. Tide and Cheer, etc produce a lot of suds, which can damage the leach field over time. I use Amway Sa8 detergent, which can be purchased over the internet. Do not flush anything that will not bio degrade, such as Tampons or Qtips, etc. They can float to the top of the tank and plug up the leach field. Do not put grease, paint, or harsh chemicals down the sinks, because they kill the bacteria which eats the solid mass. The over the counter boxes of tank aids are a waste of money. If you need to locate your leach field or tank, you can contact the Pueblo County Health Department and they will send you a map of your system. They also have more detailed information available about the types of trees or bushes that can be planted near your leach field. Do not drive across your leach field. This can break the plastic infiltrators used to distribute the waste water.
CONCRETE: Concrete drive control joints should be sealed with a concrete caulk that can be purchased at Home Depot or Lowe's. You do not need to fill the joint, just seal the crack so water does not get under the slab and cause the ground to freeze and/or sink under the slab. Hairline cracking is common in concrete so don't panic if you get a couple. I compact my backfill, but when the foundation is new, I can only compact to about 92 to 95% without breaking the foundation. You can still get a 5% to 8% drop if you leave your hose bib on or don't clean out your gutters, etc.. FURNANCE: The newer electronic controlled furnaces have a built in fuse which protects the mother board from electric surges. Make sure you have a couple replacements available in case they blow out. No fuse or electric, means no heat. The more "green" energy that is hooked up to our power grid, the more surges and brown outs you can expect, so be ready. Almost all of your electronics will be affected and a whole house surge protector is a good idea.
LANDSCAPING: Install your sprinkler system valve box at least 8 to 10 feet away from the foundation. When a valve breaks, this will allow for the water to flow away from the home. If it's too close, the excess water can damage the foundation or even flood your basement. Do not plant anything, especially grass, within 5' of the foundation. Remember, that a small 1 gallon tree will eventually grow into a 20' monster, so plan accordingly.
Many warranties go beyond the first year, so if something breaks, call us to be sure so you don't waste money on an unnessary service call.
Information regarding almost all of the products I have installed over the years can be found at the manufacturer's web sites. If you have any questions or issues regarding your home, please feel free to email or call me anytime.
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