What to Expect from 2022's Housing Market

The Michigan real estate market is no exception, especially after such an unpredictable year that 2021 was. Of course, no one can predict with 100% accuracy what is to come this year. However, we can make some guesses based-off the information that realtors all over provide. Remember, housing market predictions can only give you an idea of what to expect if you buy or sell a house this year. Don’t let them dictate your housing decisions – only your personal situation and finances should do that.

Housing Market Forecast

Experts are predicting that after 2021 there will be a post-pandemic rebound in 2021. This would involve steady mortgage rates, job recoveries, and the law of supply and demand working together to get home sales rolling. In 2020, there were so many unknowns of the pandemic that caused many home buyers and sellers to feel uneasy about making the big move. However, this time has allowed real estate agents to adapt to the ways they can respect social distancing guidelines when needed.

Due to the low inventory on the market and the excessive number of buyers trying to enter it, experts believe that low mortgage rates and the rise of remote workers with flexible schedules will keep home sales booming in 2021. Home sales and the prices for which they are sold are likely to be higher in 2021 as opposed to last year.

Several Buyers will Enter the Market

Buyer traffic in the market has been consistently stable over the past few months. Often time there are more buyers than sellers which has created a very competitive market to be in. This is a great sign for sellers. Millennials are also reaching the point in their life where they are having to make the decision of continuing to rent or becoming a homeowner. Due to rent prices rising it is becoming increasingly affordable for them to choose taking on a mortgage payment.

Not Enough Homes will be Listed for Sale

Experts predict that low inventory will continue throughout the year, which will make it a great time for sellers. This trend will result in homes selling quicker at a higher price. Therefore, it is more important than ever for buyers to have a real estate agent they can trust to get them the quickest access to homes one they’re on the market. Buyers will have to work a little harder to find their dream home.

What Does This Mean for Home Buyers?

If the experts are right it is going to be a very competitive market this year, so buyers are going to have to bring their A game when they are ready to start looking for a home. In order to make sure that you are prepared for the heavy competition as a buyer make sure that you have a pre-approval ready when you start looking at homes and a real estate agent that you can trust!

What Does This Mean for Home Sellers?

With many motivated buyers on the market and the existing low inventory this will create the perfect opportunity for sellers to get multiple high-priced offers on their homes. Due to this low inventory, there will also be a low number of sellers for you to compete with. We have no doubt that a trusted real estate agent will be able to provide you with the knowledge and experience in your market and will be able to guide you to reach top dollar for your home. As a seller in 2022 you should have no problem selling your home!

May 5, 2022

Resurfacing Counter Tops

Resurfacing Counter Tops

 

A nice countertop can really make your kitchen stand out. Unfortunately, your counters tend to get a lot of use over their lifetime and can really start to show that wear as they age. Conventional wisdom often suggests that when your counters start to stand out because of their stains or damage then it’s likely time to start thinking about new countertops. That can be a really big expense, though… which is why you might be better off considering resurfacing your countertops first.

 

 

As the name suggests, resurfacing your countertops provides a new top surface for the countertop that can provide it with a new lease on life. Depending on your reasoning for redoing your countertops and the condition they’re in, there are a few different ways that you can go about resurfacing them. Let’s take a look at some of the options that are available to you to see if resurfacing is a better option for you than replacing your countertops completely.

 

Improving the Aesthetic

One reason that you might be considering new countertops is that you want to change the look or general aesthetic of your counters. This might be because the countertops don’t really match other decorative aspects of the kitchen, or because various stains, scratches, and blemishes have made them rather unappealing. Regardless of the reason, there are a few options available for this. The most popular of these options are countertop paints and epoxy resurfacing. Bear in mind that this isn’t just a matter of slapping a layer of paint on the countertop and calling it a day; these paints and epoxies fill in small cracks and other damage, seal the countertop, and provide you with a hardened final surface that is resistant to damage and staining.

If that sounds like a little bit more of a project than you’re wanting to take on and you’d just prefer your countertops to have some more protection against future scratches and stains, there are options for that too. The most common treatment of this type comes in the form of countertop films. These functionally work similar to contact paper, but they bond better and provide a better layer of protection than you’d get from using regular contact papers. They also have the advantage of letting you cover only sections of the countertop if you’re trying to establish things like dedicated prep areas or a space by the sink for glassware to air dry.

 

Repairing Surface Damage

If the damage to your countertops is more severe than surface scratches, there are a few different ways that you can fix the issue while resurfacing. Some counter epoxies are designed to fill in larger areas of damage, providing you with a beautiful and uniform surface once all the epoxy has cured. Filler compounds can also be used; you sand the filler once It’s dried and then apply epoxy or countertop paints as part of the final finish.

Another option, especially if you have stone or granite countertops that have cracks in them, is to have a concrete skim coat applied as a resurfacing material. While this won’t provide you the same longevity as installing full concrete counters, it will patch the damage effectively and give you a rock-hard countertop surface to boot. This can be especially effective if you were looking for a way to shake up the look of your kitchen as well.

 

Resurfacing Your Countertops

Think resurfacing your countertops solve will your counter problems? That’s great! We can help you find a countertop pro in your area that can help you find the resurfacing solution that best meets your needs. Do you think that you have bigger problems and need a full replacement? We can help you find an installer to aid with that as well.

Posted in Home Maintenance
April 26, 2022

Do You Need Flood Insurance

 

Insurance is a great thing to have when the unexpected occurs. Unfortunately, it’s very rare to find a policy that covers every possible thing that might happen to your home; some incidents such as natural disasters typically require separate policies that cover the specific damages that can occur when these sorts of things happen. A good example of this is flood insurance, which isn’t included in most homeowners’ policies, but is still a popular coverage option.

 

 

When looking at insurance options, you may find yourself asking whether or not you need flood insurance. It’s one of those policies where if you really do need it then it’s practically a must-have, but if you’re unlikely to ever actually use it then it is somewhat of an unnecessary expense. To help you answer the question of whether you actually need flood insurance, let’s look at the coverage it provides and the circumstances in which it’s all but essential.

 

What Is Flood Insurance?

As the name implies, flood insurance is an insurance policy that provides coverage in the event of a flood. That is a bit of an oversimplification of the coverage that the insurance provides, though, and it can lead some people to not get flood coverage when they actually live in an area that needs it. Flood insurance provides coverage in the event of a flood, yes, but more specifically it provides coverage to help you recover in the event of flood damage.

This may seem like it means pretty much the same thing, but the difference can be significant. While flooding obviously produces flood damage, there are multiple ways that flooding can occur that need to be covered. Prolonged periods of heavy rainfall can produce floods, but flooding can also occur with severe storms, tornadoes, or hurricanes. Flood insurance may also cover some damage caused by events that are related to flooding, even if the flood waters don’t directly cause it, such as flooding resulting in a sewer backing up and similar incidents.

 

Do You Need Flood Coverage?

In areas that are prone to flooding, you’ll likely be required to buy flood insurance as a condition of your mortgage before you can take out a loan to buy a home. This is especially true if you buy your home with an FHA loan or other government-backed mortgage and live in what’s known as a “flood hazard area.” These are parts of the country where there is a significant risk of high flood waters on a regular or semi-regular basis. Even if your mortgage doesn’t specifically require flood insurance, if you live in such an area, you really need to pick up a policy because it’s more than likely that you’ll eventually experience some amount of flooding.

Even if you don’t live in a flood hazard area, though, some parts of the country are more prone to flooding than others. If you’re likely to experience large spring or summer storms, live near a coast where hurricanes or tropical storms might hit, or even just buy a home in an area that’s known to occasionally get heavy rains that are slow to drain due to clay or other deposits in the soil, then you might still have a not-insignificant flood risk. Provided that the coverage is affordable, having flood insurance in any of these areas might make recovery a lot easier if you end up finding yourself on the wrong end of a major weather event that results in significant flooding around your home.

 

Finding Your Policy

If you live in an area where flood insurance is required, or at least highly recommended, you might find yourself wondering where you can get the best deal on flood coverage. The Sedlarik Group can help you with that!

Posted in Home Maintenance
April 14, 2022

Should I skip A Home Inspection

When buying a new home, there’s a lot more that goes into the process than just signing some forms and picking up the keys. One of the big steps that you’ll typically take is getting a home inspection to identify any potential issues with the property. While this is common, most of the time it’s not actually required; while lenders will generally insist on an appraisal of the home, this isn’t a full inspection. So does that mean you can skip getting an actual home inspection as a part of the home-buying process?

 

 

Technically, yes. Unless you live in an area where home inspections are legally required, you don’t have to get a home inspection before purchase. Should you skip a home inspection? Absolutely not. Having your home inspected serves a much greater purpose than just determining its value, and waiving the option to get an inspection done before purchase could set you up for a lot of trouble (and out-of-pocket expense) down the road.

 

What Is a Home Inspection?

Unlike an appraisal, which just examines a home to determine its value, a home inspection digs deeper and actually looks into the condition of the home and its components. While the exact coverage of the inspection can change depending on where you live, the type of home being inspected, and the scope of the inspection you’re having done, the goal of the inspection is to determine the condition of the house. This will ensure that the home is livable, and will also serve to highlight any repairs to the property that might be necessary.

At the end of the inspection, you’ll be presented with an inspection report. Your inspection report will likely include items such as the condition of the roof, the windows, its plumbing and wiring, and other key issues with the property. This report will help you to make decisions about the house and can help you to budget in necessary repairs or upgrades when finalizing the amount of your home loan as well.

 

Why You Need an Inspection

There are a few reasons why you’ll want to be sure to get a home inspection. The biggest is to make sure that the home is actually in the condition that you think it is before buying it, so you avoid getting into the home and then having to sink in a lot of money into repairs after the fact. The home inspection can also help you to prioritize repair and upgrade plans, highlighting the areas that you need to focus on first. By getting a home inspection, you should be able to avoid a lot of the surprises that can sometimes come with a new home.

It’s important to note that some sellers might push for you to waive the home inspection process or at least limit it in scope. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they have something to hide; in many cases this occurs when the seller is also looking to buy another property and is waiting on the property that they’re selling to close. Home inspections may take a little time to schedule and complete, which can slow down closing. Still, the importance of a home inspection is great enough that you shouldn’t waive your inspection even if the seller wants you to do so.

 

Posted in Home Maintenance
April 11, 2022

Getting Your Vertical Garden Ready For Spring

When you don’t have a lot of space or open ground around your home, planting a garden might seem impossible. After all, plants need room to grow and soil to grow in, don’t they? While this is true, there is more than one way to get a garden growing. If you have limited outdoor space or don’t have room for a large garden plot, one option is to set up a vertical garden instead.

 

 

While not every garden plant is feasible for a vertical garden, you might be surprised at all of the things that you can grow vertically. Of course, you’ll first have to get your vertical garden set up and ready for spring planting. You have a lot of options with how you do this, so let’s take a moment to cover the essentials of what your vertical garden should have.

 

Choosing a Garden Location

The first thing that you need to take into account is exactly where you’re going to locate your vertical garden. Your options may be limited depending on where you live, but if you choose a suboptimal location, then you’re going to have a hard time getting your garden to grow. At a minimum, you’re likely going to want a location that gets direct sunlight for at least part of the day, and a full 6 to 8 hours of sunlight will probably be required for most plants. If you have specific fruits or vegetables in mind already, do a bit of research into their sun requirements to help determine exactly what you’ll need. A southern-facing view may help you to get the sunlight that your plants need.

Access to water is also important. While you can always water your vertical garden by hand, it can save you a lot of effort if the garden is located in a spot that will get watered when it rains. Having access to the ground soil may be beneficial as well, though it isn’t a hard requirement; if you live in an apartment or otherwise plan on establishing your garden on a balcony or other location that doesn’t have open soil, you can always create your own growing environment with containers.

 

Establishing a Garden Framework

Once you have a location, your garden is going to need a growth framework so that it can actually start growing upward. Trellises, wire cages, tripods, and even fences can all make solid support structures so long as they are sturdy and able to be secured. These can be attached to the exterior of your home or other buildings, connected to balcony railings, or even secured into the ground. The method of securing your framework isn’t that important. What is important is that it’s secured well enough to be able to stand the weight of growing plants and eventual fruits or vegetables.

With the support structures in place, it’s time to prepare your soil. If planting directly into the ground, you’ll need to till the soil and add compost or other nutrients. If setting up containers, choose a soil or potting medium that will encourage root growth to help ensure that your plants are secure as they start to grow up. The weight of the soil and the eventual fruits or vegetables will help to keep the containers in place, so you don’t have to worry as much about securing them as you do your supports.

 

Growing Your Vertical Garden

Once you’ve got your vertical garden set up, you can plant a variety of beans, peas, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, and even melons and pumpkins vertically. You’ll likely need to tie down the vines early on and provide support for the fruits and vegetables as they grow, but the work will be worth it. The Sedlarik Group can help you find assistance with this as well. 

 

Posted in Home Maintenance
March 10, 2022

Protecting Your Landscape

Protecting Your Landscape 

With the time getting ready to change and the days getting longer, there are a lot of reminders that spring is right around the corner. Unfortunately for your outdoor plants, it might not be quite close enough to save them from a few more chilly nights. Depending on where you live, you may still have to deal with the occasional frost or overnight freeze for at least another month or possibly longer. This can cause significant problems for a lot of plants, and can really set back your landscaping and gardening plans if you wait until the danger of freezing is completely gone before putting things out.

 

 

Fortunately, there are a few different ways that you can protect your plants from late-season chills. While the specific methods you use will depend on where you live, the types of plants you have, and how low the temperature is supposed to drop, you should be able to find something to give your plants the protection they need. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

 

Protecting Roots and Leaves

You’ve likely seen people covering up plants with sheets and other materials when a frost or a freeze is expected, but you might find yourself wondering if that actually works. Turns out, it does! Frost affects the top layer of exposed plant material and soil, so by covering your plants with towels, sheets, or even spare cloth or plastic, you can create a layer of protection between the fragile plant material and the frost. Cloth and plastic bags or similar items can work as well, just so long as you’re careful about not damaging the plants in the process.

Just because you’ve protected the stems and leaves from frost doesn’t mean that your plants are completely safe, though. Low temperatures can also damage roots, especially in times of prolonged cold. Putting mulch, towels, and other materials on the ground around your plants can help to protect against this by adding insulation that will keep the soil a bit warmer for longer. Since freezes typically don’t last too long heading into spring, even a little bit of extra insulation can make a big difference.

 

Providing Additional Heat

In some cases, you may need to provide additional heat to protect your plants against cool mornings or seasonally low temperatures as well. For potted plants this is easy, as you can simply bring the plants inside or place them in warmer areas like a closed garage. For in-ground plants, though, a bit more work is required.

It’s possible to buy or build small greenhouse enclosures that can cover outdoor plants and protect them from low temperatures. These enclosures may be as simple as sheet plastic supported by wire or plastic bottles with the bottoms cut out. Regardless of their construction, heat from the sun will increase the local temperature within the greenhouse unit and give your outdoor plants the little boost of heat that they need to thrive until temperatures start to rise again.

 

Landscape Planning

Putting some extra work into planning your landscaping can also go a long way toward protecting your plants from frosts and freezes. Choosing outdoor plants that are hardier against the cold will help to provide this protection, and a gradual rollout of new plants that’s staged from hardier to less hardy will keep your exterior looking vibrant without adding plants that will suffer from the cold. If you aren’t sure which plants to choose or how to time the rollout of new plants, there should be landscaping experts in your area that can help.

 

 

Posted in Home Maintenance
March 7, 2022

Do's And Dont's Of Home Trends

There are a number of trends in home decoration that you’ve likely seen come and go over the years. Some of them look pretty nice and create something of a timeless look, while others… well, it’s pretty easy to understand why they’re only temporary trends. Like them or hate them, though, following home trends can sometimes have a positive impact on the value of your home if you’re looking to sell. That is, of course, if you strike while the iron is hot.

 

 

But what if you’re not actually looking to sell at the moment and just like the way that a trend looks? Will going all-in on some big trend hurt your home’s value down the line if you do decide to sell later? This could be a legitimate concern depending on the trend. After all, even if you’re on the market and don’t manage to sell right away, you could find that going too far with certain trends will bite you before you find a buyer.

 

Home Trend Dos

There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with following home trends, either to bump up the value of your home in the current market or just because you like the look of them. If you’re thinking of making some changes around the house because of a current trend, here are a few things to think about:

  • Evaluate the cost of a trend before jumping all in; some are surprisingly cost effective, while others will give you a bit of sticker shock
  • Keep an eye on trending paint colors and the “hot colors” that paint manufacturers announce every year to stay ahead of color trends, so that your home can stay trendy without you having to pay a premium for trendy colors
  • Pick and choose the trends you want to follow, and take only the parts that you like if you’re not committed to the entirety of a trend

Don’t be afraid to make some changes and upgrades in trendy styles, but don’t go overboard with it. This is especially true if you’re just looking to make some trendy home improvements before you sell your home.

 

Home Trend Don’ts

Some trends can really bring up the value of your home if you catch them at the peak of their popularity, but if you aren’t that lucky, then they can cost you money in the end. These are the trends that you should avoid unless you really like them. Here are a few things to look out for when considering home trends:

  • Avoid trends that require major structural changes or construction merely for aesthetic purposes
  • The overuse of bright, bold colors occasionally comes into fashion but will almost certainly go out just as quickly
  • Unless it’s just a minor expense, stay away from trends that you just don’t “get” because there’s a decent chance that you’ll implement it incorrectly or miss the height of its popularity and not even realize it
  • Even if it’s popular, watch out for trends that will be difficult for future homeowners to undo; potential buyers might see your trendy changes and start wondering how much it will cost to change them, and that could potentially spoil the sale

Basically, trends can be fun. Think twice about them though if they’re going to be too expensive, create too many headaches for future homeowners, or are likely to come across as garish or ugly.

 

Cashing In on Home Trends

If you do want to make some home improvements or other changes to follow certain trends, it’s important that you find the right pro for the job. Whether you need an interior designer, a painter, or even a plumber to help you follow a new fountain trend, you don’t want to pay more than you have to. 

Posted in Home Maintenance
Feb. 23, 2022

Maintaining your Heating and Cooling

 

Your HVAC system works hard throughout the year to make sure that your home stays comfortable. During the chilly months of winter, it pumps hot air through the home to keep things toasty and warm. Once summer rolls around, cool air circulates to keep things from getting too hot within the home. When it’s operating at its best, you likely barely notice that it’s doing anything at all; the climate of your home remains so consistent that all of your HVAC system’s hard work just seems to happen in the background. Could it be even better, though?

 

 

There are usually things that you can do to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system even more, helping it to run better while also saving you some money on your heating and cooling costs. The specifics of how you accomplish this depend largely on your home’s layout and the sort of HVAC system that you have, but there are generally at least a few improvements that you can make. Here are some suggestions to help you head in the right direction so you can get more from your system.

 

Optimizing Air Flow

One big thing that you can do to get more from your HVAC system is to make sure that the airflow for your system is unobstructed. There are a few ways that you can do this. Periodically check your vents and vacuum or clean them as necessary to make sure that there aren’t any obstructions or dirt deposits in them. Check your cold air return to ensure that there isn’t any furniture or other large items blocking the free flow of air and that proper clearances are being observed. Check your filters to ensure that they’re clean, or install an electrostatic filter that you can buy once and then periodically wash to keep it in peak operating condition. Basically, the goal here is to make sure that there isn’t anything that’s going to interfere with the flow of air through your HVAC system.

 

Assisting Your HVAC System

Once you’ve got air flowing without issue, there are other things that you can do to make sure that your HVAC system isn’t working harder than it has to in order to keep your home comfortable. Consider installing a new thermostat, especially a smart thermostat that uses multiple sensors around the home to check temperatures in different locations, to ensure that the entire house is comfortable. A house fan installed in the attic can also be beneficial during certain times of the year, helping to control the buildup of hot air and making the house easier to heat and cool overall.

Another big thing that you can do to help your HVAC system is to inspect your windows and search for signs of damage or leaks. If your windows are letting air leak freely into or out of your home, your HVAC system will have to work that much harder to keep the temperature where you want it, because outside temperatures will have a much greater effect on what things are like inside. While damaged windows are often easy to spot, be sure to periodically check for breezes or other signs of air leaks while the HVAC system is off to make sure that you don’t have any unwanted air exchanges going on.

 

HVAC Maintenance

Nobody wants to have to call out an HVAC technician on an emergency call because their system has gone out, especially during the coldest part of winter or the heat of the summer months. To help avoid this, periodic maintenance of your HVAC system is essential. Fortunately, many HVAC pros offer seasonal or yearly inspection services to keep your system in top shape throughout the year.

 

Posted in Home Maintenance
Feb. 8, 2022

Ice Free Windows

Keeping Your Windows Free Of Frost

When temperatures drop in winter, it’s not uncommon to see ice and snow outside and maybe even a little bit of frost on the outside of your windows and storm doors. Occasionally, though, you might notice a bit of ice building up on the inside of your windows as well. It’s easy to overlook this as just a sign that the temperature has really dropped outside, but that can be a mistake.

 

Ice appearing on the inside of your windows is usually a sign that there is something going wrong in or around your windows. At best this can drive up your heating costs during the winter, sometimes significantly. At worst, you might be looking at leaks or other damage that could lead to significant repairs down the road. So if you notice ice on the inside of your windows, it’s important that you take action sooner rather than later.

 

Ice Inside Your Windows

When ice appears on your window interior, it’s typically a sign that moisture is condensing on the glass and then freezing as a result of cold air making it through the window barrier. This can occur in a few ways, including cracks or gaps in the window frame or damage to the window itself. The cold air cools down the window glass, making it cold enough for the water in the air to condense and freeze on the glass surface.

This can be problematic if the air leak is a result of cracks in the glass or window frame, as ice can build up within the crack as well. As the ice expands, the crack itself can widen. Multiple freezes over the course of the winter can cause increasingly worse damage, resulting in larger cracks or leaks by the time that spring rolls around.

 

Addressing the Root Cause

There are a few different ways that you can treat the problems that cause ice to appear on the inside of your windows. If you can’t find any signs of damage on or around your windows, it’s possible that the icy buildup is simply a result of your home’s humidity being too high and the windows themselves not being sufficient to keep all the cold air out. If this is the case, you can usually get rid of the ice by using a dehumidifier to reduce your home’s humidity or using home exhaust fans to circulate humid air out of the home. This will prevent ice from building up and potentially causing problems in the future.

If you do find potential gaps or cracks on or around the window, try sealing them with caulk to keep cold air from making its way inside. The caulk can be removed once warmer temperatures come around so that the window will be functional. Applying thermal plastic sheeting or other barriers over the windows may also help to control your icing issue since it will keep humid air in the house from coming in contact with the cold glass of your window. Other solutions such as putting towels or other cloth barriers in place over potential cracks or placing a small space heater near windows that have icing problems may also work. It’s worth noting that none of these are permanent solutions, though they may help you to avoid damage until better solutions can be enacted.

 

Fixing Your Ice Problem

In the end, the only way to really fix a problem with ice forming on the inside of your windows is to repair the problem. This could take the form of making repairs to your window frame, replacing cracked or broken glass in the window, or replacing the entire window itself. Regardless of which solution best fits your need, We can help you find a window installer to get the job done.

Posted in Home Maintenance
Feb. 4, 2022

Frost Free Faucets

 

Frost Free Faucets 

Depending on where you live, this may be the time of year when you keep watching the mercury drop lower and lower as weather patterns come and go. Cold winter temperatures can be difficult for people and pets to deal with, but they can also be an issue as far as your home is concerned. Freezing pipes and faucets can be major hassles that cost a significant amount to repair, especially as they often require emergency service calls that cost extra. This is part of the reason that so much emphasis is placed on freeze prevention during the winter.

 

 

One thing that can make a big difference in the freeze safety of your home is the use of frost-free faucets on your home’s exterior. As the name implies, these faucets are designed to make it much more difficult for them to freeze and potentially crack or leak as a result of cold weather. If you aren’t sure whether your home has frost-free faucets installed and you think that you might need them, read on for more information.

 

What Are Frost-Free Faucets?

As the name suggests, frost-free faucets (which are also called freeze-proof faucets by some) are exterior faucets that are designed to prevent freezing around the valve and within the spigot itself. They do this by using a longer faucet neck and slightly different valve angle to place the shutoff valve of the faucet inside the house instead of outside, ensuring that the valve is in a warmer environment when the temperature drops and therefore the likelihood of freezing is significantly reduced. This protects the valve from freezing damage, but also provides additional benefits as well.

Because the valve is inside of your home, the spigot itself remains dry while the water is turned off. This eliminates one of the other major issues with freezing, damage to the spigot itself that can cause leaks. Since there isn’t any water in or near the spigot, there’s no water available to freeze and expand within the spigot and no way for the increasing internal pressure to cause cracks. It’s worth noting that having a hose connected during the winter can still cause water to be held within it, though, so disconnecting your hoses before cold weather moves in is still important when using frost-free faucets.

 

Frost-Free Faucets on Your Home

There are a few ways to tell if you have frost-free faucets already installed on your home. One way is to look at the orientation of the faucet itself; if it tilts upward at an angle, it’s likely not a frost-free model. Frost-free faucets have a longer screw mechanism that run the length of the faucet neck, so the faucet and valve control are almost certainly going to be situated straight out from your home and perpendicular to the wall.

Another key feature of frost-free faucets is that the neck of the faucet goes into the wall instead of simply being connected to a pipe coming out of the wall. While they may have mounting hardware that helps to hold the faucet in place against the wall, upon closer inspection you will likely be able to tell that the faucet and the “pipe” going into the wall are all part of a single piece of material. Standard faucets will have a separate pipe that will be obvious upon inspection.

 

Proper installation is important for frost-free faucets since even a small leak during installation can increase the chances of freezing during cold weather significantly. As a result, it’s generally recommended that you bring in a plumber so that the new faucets are installed professionally. If you aren’t sure which plumber in your area is the best for the job, we can help! 

Posted in Home Maintenance
Jan. 31, 2022

Home Drainage

 

 

Drainage problems can be a major issue for homeowners. Not only does poor drainage cause standing water in your yard, but it can also lead to leaks and foundation problems with your house depending on where the water collects. As if that wasn’t bad enough, landscaping and lawn upkeep become a lot harder when your yard doesn’t drain well. Is there anything that can be done for these problems?

 

Fortunately, yes. There are actually a few different ways to treat drainage issues in your yard, and this is a great time to undertake a project to correct them. By taking action now, you can avoid problems that might arise from heavy spring rains. The exact solution to your drainage issues will depend on the cause of your problem, so here are a few different options to consider.

 

Grading Issues

One common cause of problems with drainage is inconsistent grading in your yard. This can cause problems if your home is at the bottom of a big slope across your yard, but it can also be an issue if the grading is inconsistent and as a result has one or more low spots in the yard. Water flows along the soil wherever the grade leads, so this can cause it to collect around your home or in low areas which can then become swampy and overgrown.

Regrading your yard can be done either with specialized tools that scrape soil from higher areas into lower ones, or by bringing in additional soil to completely change the grade. Each method has its advantages, with redistribution being favored when there are both high and low areas in your yard, and the addition of new soil being best when you need to change an otherwise mostly good grade. Once the regrading is finished you can seed the graded area and have grass growing by the time spring arrives.

 

Soil Penetration

Another big problem with drainage comes when water simply can’t penetrate down into the soil in time to be absorbed. This is especially problematic because you end up with way too much water in the areas where water collects but the soil in other areas might not get enough. Sometimes this is because the soil has too much clay in its composition so it’s difficult for water to penetrate, and sometimes it’s a result of other issues such as thick thatch. In some cases, it’s even just a matter of the soil being too compacted by traffic and time. Regardless of the cause, though, there are solutions.

Clay-heavy soil is the most work-intensive to correct, but the solution is also pretty simple. You simply need to break up the clay and add soil or sand into the mix to make it easier to drain. Sometimes this is as easy as adding a few holes in the clay-heavy area and mixing it together, especially if the clay is in a relatively small area. In some instances, though, you may need to do some tilling or other heavy mixing to break up larger clay beds.

Other issues can be fixed by using a dethatcher on your lawn to break up the thatch buildup or running tools over the ground that punch small holes to break up overly compacted topsoil. Dethatching and aerating the soil like this are often done together, as the loosening of soil is good for the growing grass as well even if it wasn’t excessively compacted.

 

Fix Your Drainage Problems

Correcting drainage issues can be a big job, but your yard and your home’s foundation will thank you. If you’re in need of a landscaping pro to get the job done, The Sedlarik Group can help with that!! 

Posted in Home Maintenance