How many people actually maintain their lawn equipment and store them properly before the winter season hits. In this article, I will show you how to perform some common routine maintenance on your gas powered mowers, weed trimmers and spreaders to insure they will operate properly for next spring.
Fill the gas tank on your mower just enough to complete the last mowing. Afterwards, run the mower until it runs out of gas. If gasoline is left in the tank all winter, it turns stale and collects water droplets from condensation. If to much gas is in the tank to run out, you can drain it or worst case, purchase some fuel stabilizer from your local auto parts store and add the recommended amount to your tank.
Next, clean grass clippings from the underside and on top of the mower deck. Drain the oil and remove the spark plug. Pour in a teaspoon of oil, crank the engine a few times to work it in and return the plug. Lubricate all moving parts, tighten loose screws and store the mower in a safe place. You should also clean and replace the air filter and add a new spark plug for your lawnmower as well.
Now is a good time to take the blade to a shop to be sharpened to avoid the spring rush.
Edgers and Trimmers
Clean off grass and other debris from your edger and line trimmer. Like your mower, run them until they’re out of gas (if they’re gas-powered) and disconnect the spark plug. Clean off any dirt and debris from your edger. Lubricate all moving parts and tighten any loose screws. Store it in a safe place until next spring.
If you have the new 4 cycle trimmer, follow the same procedure as your mower. Drain the oil and remove the spark plug. Pour in a teaspoon of oil, crank the engine a few times to work it in and return the plug.
After you fertilize the lawn in the fall, prepare your spreader for storage. Simply clean the spreader with a hose and spray off any remaining fertilizer particles, being sure to clean out the hopper and underneath the spreader. Wash your spreader with hot water to dissolve any caked-on material. When you’re done, wipe off excess water and let the spreader air dry. Next, oil bearings and any other sliding or rotating metal parts. On metal spreaders, wipe a thin coat of oil on the bottom of discharge ports.
If your basement or garage floor gets wet during the winter, raise the equipment onto a small platform made from boards or a sheet of 1/2-inch plywood laid over several lengths of 2×4.
During the hot Texas summer heat waves, all our hard work from the spring can go right out the window on our lawn and landscapes. Extra care needs to be done in order to keep the plants in our landscapes alive during the summer and especially during a heat wave. Here are some tips to keep your plants healthy and help them survive a heat wave.
Water, of course, is essential to keep your plants alive. If you are used to watering once a week, you will need to increase that to twice, and possible three times a week.
Note that young plants and trees that were planted during the spring will need extra care.… Read the rest
Ok, being green isn’t always fun, it can be an inconvenience; and so can trying to save money. Unfortunately both of these things need doing and now is the time to start.
Fortunately, the two items often go together quite nicely, sooo if you feel like you should be saving more, and you would like to help the environment too, try these tips and kill 2 birds with one stone, so to speak.
Be Cooler With Your Heating
Learn to be smarter with your heating. Turning down your thermostat is the easiest way to start, but also consider turning radiators down or off in rooms you rarely use, and shut the doors to keep the heat in.… Read the rest
The recent bathroom trend has been to go for the modern look; incorporating stylish travertine or granite tiles, with an unusually shaped bathtub and a walk in shower. However, modern bathroom designs don’t suit every property and owners of period buildings have to take a different approach. Victorian themed bathrooms are becoming increasingly popular and are a great way to add a touch of class and individuality to your room. But how can you create such a look?
An ornamental sink
Sinks tend to be the focal point of any bathroom and people are naturally drawn to them due to the fact that a mirror is usually hung right above.… Read the rest
The number one question I get during home inspections is “How is the Foundation”. I decided to write this post to help people understand the North Texas area conditions regarding foundations. Movement in the foundation can be caused by many factors, the most common reason is differential soil movement. In the North Texas area many homes are sitting on top of expansive clay soils. Another term for this type of soil is “Sponge Soil”, increasing in volume in moisture gain and decreasing in moisture loss. When this volume increases or decreases in a uniformed matter all around the home, problems may not develop.… Read the rest
If you have fuel burning appliances in your home, you owe it to your family to have CO detectors installed. Carbon monoxide detectors are great devices to use when fuel-burning appliances are used in the home. They can be very useful for keeping watch on the CO levels in the home.
Carbon monoxide (CO) can be a sneaky killer, it’s colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that forms from incomplete combustion of fuels, such as natural or liquefied petroleum gas, oil, wood or coal.
• 170 people on average in the United States die every year from CO produced by non-automotive consumer products.… Read the rest
MOST HOMEOWNERS DON’T REALLY UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT THE INSULATION IS NEEDED TO GIVE YOU COMFORT AND REDUCE THOSE ENERGY BILLS IN YOUR HOME. BELOW IS SOME SIMPLE INFO ON INSULATION.
HOW INSULATION WORKS
You need insulation in your home to provide resistance to heat flow. The more heat flow resistance your insulation provides, the lower your heating and cooling costs.
Heat flows naturally from a warmer to a cooler space. In the winter, this heat flow moves directly from all heated living spaces to adjacent unheated garages, basements, and even to the outdoors. Heat flow can also move indirectly through interior floors, walls and ceilings wherever there is a difference in temperature.… Read the rest
With Winter around the corner, now is probably a good time to get that fireplace in shape for this season of sitting by the fire with a good book, spouse or significant other.
Even with our mild winters here in the Dallas Fort Worth area, the Chimney Safety Institute recommends that homeowners who light fires in their fireplaces three or more times a week during the heating season should have their chimneys inspected and cleaned once a year.
If unseasoned wood is burned in the fireplace, twice-a-year cleaning and inspection may be necessary, because unseasoned wood usually burns at a lower temperature than seasoned wood, causing more smoke and therefore more creosote.… Read the rest
I’ve listened to some outrageous claims from window replacement companies. The usual sales tactic is how much return on your investment by replacing your windows you’ll get. The fact of the matter is the new windows could take anywhere from 13 to 20 years to receive your investment back. Unfortunately, a lot of consumers believe the window company’s claims. I hear this myth repeated many times while doing home inspections throughout the Dallas and Fort Worth areas.
Don’t get me wrong, new windows can be a very good thing, but it miffs me just a bit that a vast amount of dealers in the market try to hype the return to make it sound as if your investment will be recouped in no time at all.… Read the rest
10 Easy Ways to Save Energy in Your Home
Most people don’t know how easy it is to make their homes run on less energy, and here at Leahy’s Inspections, we want to change that. Drastic reductions in heating, cooling and electricity costs can be accomplished through very simple changes, most of which homeowners can do themselves. Of course, for homeowners who want their homes to take advantage of the most up-to-date knowledge and systems in home energy-efficiency, Home inspector energy auditors can perform in-depth testing to find the best energy solutions for your particular home.
Why make your home more energy efficient?… Read the rest
Just another example of why you should get a home inspection prior to spending your hard earned money on your dream home. As you can see by the picture, a shoddy repair job would have given a few clues something wasn’t right. As a buyer of a house, what would you have done next?
Part of my passion as a Dallas and Fort Worth area home inspector is to get to the bottom of little things that others wouldn’t think to observe. My first move was to look at different areas located around this particular area, ie, laundry room, bathroom, etc.… Read the rest