Tag Archives: DIY

Lukes GC Earns Esteemed 2015 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Lukes GC Earns Esteemed 2015 Angie’s List Super Service Award

2015 Super Service award low res

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 local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2015.

 

“We are honored to accept this prestigious award for the 3rd year in a row. We take our relationship with Angie’s List seriously and appreciate the opportunity to be listed.”

 

“Only about 5 percent of the Home Improvement companies in Knoxville, TN have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”

 

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2015 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, 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.

 

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Angie’s List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than three million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie’s List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

Extend the life of your HVAC system

One of the simplest and inexpensive tips we can provide to increase efficiency & extend the life expectancy of your HVAC unit is to change your filter.

Many people only think of changing the filter when the unit is not working properly  😦

Extend the life of your existing unit and possibly prevent extensive repairs or replacement by changing your filter today!

Dirty filters clog the air flow of your HVAC system.
Dirty filters clog the air flow of your HVAC system.

It only takes a few dollars and a few moments, then you can get on with your weekend  🙂

Have a happy Summer Saturday everyone!

DIY Spring Maintenance – Part 1

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.

Spring Flowers
Spring Flowers

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.

DIY Fall Maintenance Tip #3

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:

  1. 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.
  2. This would be a good time to look for evidence of small rodents also. If found, treat the area appropriately for removal.
  3. 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.

DIY – Fall Home Maintenance Tip #1

Autumn Leaves

Fall is a lovely time of year. The temperatures are mild and the scenery around us is beautiful as the leaves change colors and dance in autumn breezes slightly blowing. It’s a time for photography and capturing our families in front of gorgeous backdrops. It is also a time of maintenance for homeowners.

Unfortunately for homeowners though, trees planted near our homes can drop their leaves into our gutters. This is why a good gutter cleaning is important this time of the year.  Gutters are a very important part of home maintenance.

Leaves clogging Gutter
Leaves clogging Gutter

Many Homeowners don’t realize the significance that gutters provide for protecting their home. Unfortunately, gutters are one of the most neglected parts of home maintenance. Improperly installed gutters and/or gutters that have been neglected can cause serious damage to our homes over a period of time.

Leaves from trees can clog up downspouts.
Leaves from trees can clog up a downspout.

Gutters help keep water away from our home’s foundation. Often times, crawlspace and basement water damage can come from one or more clogged downspout or from not properly directly water flow away from homes. Also gutters can back-flow causing rot to your soffit and fascia. In some cases, a clogged gutter system can cause interior damage as well. Any time water gets trapped between walls, crawlspaces, & basements, it gives opportunity for structural rot and increases the likelihood of mold developing.

Debris from leaves falling on your roof can clog your gutters.
Debris from leaves falling on your roof can clog your gutters.

Installing a good gutter protection/guard product is highly recommended, but beware before purchasing one of these types of products. Not all gutter protection/guard systems are created equal. Some products can cause more harm than good.

If you do not have an existing gutter protection product installed, cleaning your gutters out manually is a necessary part of homeownership.

DIY – Cleaning Gutters

Gather the tools you will need before you begin. Below is a list of suggested tools and materials you may need, but may not be all-inclusive for your needs:

  • Gloves – protect your hands. Gutters can have sharp edges
  • A ladder tall enough to reach your gutters. Common height needed is 20′.
  • Shoes with good traction tread
  • Long sleeve shirt – protect your arms from sharp edges
  • (Optional) Water hose with high pressure adapter connected to end.
  • a small garden shovel
  1. Begin by wearing protective clothing and gloves.
  2. Place your ladder on a level surface (very important). Test ladder to ensure that is does not rock or move from side to side or front to back.
  3. Climb ladder to appropriate height to reach gutters easily. (While cleaning gutters, it is important to remember not to “over-reach”.  You will be climbing up and down the ladder frequently to move the ladder and adjust your position for reaching. Over-reaching could lead to a dangerous fall.
  4. Using the small garden shovel or your hands, reach into gutter and scoop out the fallen leaves and debris.
  5. When you have cleared the section within your reach, climb down and move your ladder to the next section of guttering. Repeat steps 2-4.
  6. When you reach the end of your guttering, you will see the opening to your downspout. Clean out the downspout from the top as far as your hand will safely reach. (Remember not to over-reach and be aware of sharp edges.) If you have small gutters and downspouts (less than 5″) it is not recommended to reach into your downspout opening.
  7. If you are using the optional water hose with high pressure adapter connected, spray the hose directly into the downspout. This should “flush” out additional debris that you are unable to reach with your hands.

This can be a time-consuming process depending on the size of your home. Plan on spending an entire day completing this DIY project. If you are unsure that you will be able to safely do this project on your own, please contact a professional.

As a Home Improvement business, we currently have a gutter cleaning special for the month of October. For more information, please call 865-200-9627.