Hello everyone and Happy July 4th! Our offices will be closed on 7/3/2014.
We will re-open the office at 8 am on 7/8/2014.
We will still be answering emergency calls!
For emergencies, please call 865-771-4085 and leave a message. Someone will return your call shortly.
After a long cold winter (like the one we just had) everyone is excited to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Most people will be making spring or summer vacation plans and scheduling get-together social events. Some may be working on landscaping or building a new deck.
Before you get too busy with all these exciting activities, here are a few DIY spring maintenance items worth checking out around your home. Each item shouldn’t take much time and your wallet will benefit as you do some small maintenance that could save you a lot of money later on.
Take a few moments out of one of your days to do a walk around your home/property and check on these things:
- Gutters – did you get around to cleaning them out in the fall? If not, you may want to make time to get them cleaned. Clogged gutters can lead to a multitude of costly repairs later on – such as foundation damage, fascia rot, mold growth and excessive erosion around the base of your home. If you are unable to clean your gutters safely on your own, hire a professional to clean them out for you. If you are tired of cleaning your gutters often (or paying someone to do it for you) consider installing a good gutter protection product.
- Look at your yard – Take into consideration the lay of your land and consider if the hard rains/storms have washed away parts of your lawn soil in places. If this has occurred, rain water will begin to settle in those areas and can cause further erosion to occur. If you notice the land pitting near your home’s foundation, it is important to redirect the water and raise the soil level to prevent foundation damage. If you are unsure how to do so, please contact a professional. Standing water can also present a breeding area for insects like mosquitoes.
- Roof – Examine your roof either from the ground or by climbing up a ladder. Has the rough long winter caused any visible signs of wear such as cracked, damaged, pitted, or missing shingles. If so, starting a roof budget is a great idea to have your roof repaired or replaced. The hot summer months can do further damage to worn or heavily weathered roof and its shingles. Flashing around chimneys and boots around pipes should be checked by a professional roofer.
- Firewood – Remove any firewood stored near the home. Firewood should never be stacked directly against a home’s exterior and should be stored several feet away from the home. If you have firewood near or leaning against your home make plans now to move it.
- Check your window and door frames/seals – if existing caulk has weathered poorly, consider re-caulking. If the wooden frames are cracked or show signs of rot, these areas will produce further damage as the summer months progress. Address these areas soon.
- Faucets and hoses – check outside hoses and exterior faucets for freeze damage. Dispose of busted hoses and replace. If everything appears to be working fine, consider replacing the small inexpensive rubber seal between the faucet and hose. This will help ensure a good seal and prevent leakages.
- Heating & Air system – Be sure to check on your heating & cooling system. If it is not time to replace your unit, it is a good idea to have your coils cleaned by a professional. Clean coils operate more efficiently and prolong the life of your unit. We offer a Spring/Fall maintenance at LukesGC that includes cleaning coils, cleaning blower housing, squirrel cage & blades, clearing drain lines, checking your refrigerant charge, and lubricating motors (if necessary), and checking electrical connections.
As always, if you are not able to do any of these items yourself as a DIY project, please feel free to contact us Mon-Fri 8-5pm at 865-771-4085 or call 865-200-9627 for emergencies.
Lukes GC Earns Esteemed 2013 Angie’s List Super Service Award
Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service
Lukes GC has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the consumer review service in 2013.
“We are extremely excited to receive this esteemed award from Angie’s List. We want to thank all of our customers for giving us excellent reviews. Our goal is to establish relationships with our customers and provide the best quality work for an affordable rate.”
“Only about 5 percent of the companies Lukes GC competes with in Knoxville are able to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a mark of consistently great customer service.”
Angie’s List Super Service Award 2013 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, have a fully complete profile, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.
Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2013 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.
Angie’s List helps consumers have happy transactions with local service professionals in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to healthcare. More than 2 million paid households use Angie’s List to gain access to local ratings, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List Magazine and the Angie’s List complaint resolution service.
A very important part of home maintenance is maintaining energy efficiency. One of the most overlooked way homeowners lose energy is right through their roof. When thinking about winterizing our homes, many people consider the common areas like doors, windows, and other obviously drafty areas. It is important that we do not overlook our attic spaces as well.
Even if you do not have an attic access that allows you to use your attic area for storage, your attic should be still be accessible. Even in older homes, there should be a peep-hole access cut away in the ceiling of at least one room. If you haven’t been in your attic space lately, now may be a good time to climb up there and take a look around. Maintenance inspection points are as follows:
- Venting – Every roof should have a venting system installed. If you have gable vents (vents on the sides of your home where the hot air escapes) ensure that these are not blocked by stored items or boxes. Some gable vents have a fanned system that turns on automatically to blow out the warm air. If you have this type of fan, ensure it is functioning properly (not burnt out or unplugged). If you do not feel safe checking by yourself, please consult a professional.
- This would be a good time to look for evidence of small rodents also. If found, treat the area appropriately for removal.
- Insulation – attic insulation types and ratings vary from home to home, but the code requirement remains the same. The rating of insulation is characterized by an R-##. The higher the # is that follows the R, the higher your insulation factor is. Attic insulation in Knoxville should be a minimum of R-30 (old requirement – used in older homes) up to the new requirement of R-38. The type of insulation used is determined by the type of structure (finished, unfinished, or vaulted) and the desired insulation factor you are trying to achieve.
- Insulation types include: Blanket (rolled or batts), Loose fill and Blown-in, and Sprayed Foam and Foam-in-place. You may find any of these types or more than one in your attic space.
- Insulation should be visible in an unfinished attic on the “floor” of the attic between the rafters. The insulation should not be mashed down or compacted in any way.
- If your attic is partially finished (for storage access) spray foam or foam-in-place should have been used on the floors around walls and filling in larger cracks where heat could escape the living quarters of your home. Insulation should also be used on the walls between the studs. This area maybe covered or uncovered depending on the level of “finish” in your attic space. Also, all knee walls (vertical walls with attic space directly behind them) should be sealed and insulated.
If you have been advised or already know that you have blown in or loose fill insulation in your attics space, take a ruler or measuring tape with you as you go to inspect. There are 3 common types of blown in or loose fill insulation that could be installed. Fiberglass, cellulose, or rock wool. If you have cellulose blown in insulation, you should have approximately 9″ of insulation covering the entire “flooring” area of your attic. 9″ of this type of insulation provides an R factor of R-32.4. 8″ only provides an R factor of R-28.8. To meet Knoxville code, the depth should be 10.6″ to meet the R-38 factor. If you have cellulose blown in insulation, you should have a minimum or 14-17″ of insulation on the “floor” of the attic to achieve the R-38 factor. If you have rock wool blown in insulation, you need 11.5-13″ of insulation to achieve R-29 to R-33 factor.
Once you have determined if this DIY project is for you, purchase the insulation needed at a home improvement store and determine a day to do this project. If you are unsure this DIY project is for you personally to complete, please call a professional.
For assistance installing more insulation, inspecting your current insulation factor or for questions, feel free to call us at 865-200-9627 for more information.