Linda Raymond Real Estate Blog, Fairfield, Westport & More

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Fire! Are You Guilty of Leaving Your Home at Risk?

Raise your hand if the last time you had your dryer vent cleaned was… never!  I would be raising my hand if it weren’t for the call I finally made last week.

Does your dryer take too long to get a load of towels dry, or even require more than one cycle?  Is there more lint around the lint filter compartment than there used to be?  If you go outside and look at the vent while the dryer is on, are the flaps barely open?  Any of these signs can mean that your dryer vent is long past due for a cleaning!

Firesaft Chimney Service

After seeing excessive loose lint around the lint filter, I began to worry that more lint must be collecting somewhere else behind the scenes. I started thinking this was a fire waiting to happen. Our dryer is upstairs near the bedrooms which made me especially concerned about fire risk. So I called Firesafe Chimney Service to ask if they clean dryer vents, and sure enough, this is one of their standard services. So they came out the next day to take a look.

Tom Butkier, the business owner and licensed servicer for the company was on the job.  Firesafe Chimney ServiceFirst, he checked the hose attachment behind the dryer, and then cleaned the lint from the dryer hose to the wall. He removed a good amount of lint there. Next, he turned the dryer onto the air-fluff setting to send air circulating outward and went to check the vent outside.  He Tom Butkier of Firesafe Chimney Serviceclimbed up with a ladder and took the vent cover off to look inside. To my disbelief, not only was the vent jam-packed with a trash-bag full of lint, there was also an entire old bird’s nest in there!  Clogged Dryer VentIt’s amazing that any air was venting through the system at all!

According to the U.S. Fire Administration,

  • 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
  • Failure to clean the dryer (34 percent) is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires.
  • More home clothes dryer fires occur in the fall and winter months, peaking in January.

It is recommended by the USFA and FEMA to clean your lint filter after every dryer use and to have your dryer vent ductwork cleaned every year.  Lint Alert Pro

Tom also told me about an excellent wifi-enabled product now available that can alert you via an app on your phone and also send an alert to Firesafe Chimney when your dryer venting is showing signs of being clogged. It can also send alerts for dangers from your washing machine.  This is a key tool for added safety and peace of mind, especially for anyone with rental properties or vacation homes. Simply contact Firesafe Chimney to find out more, then just order it, plug it in, and download the app!

And now that ‘after shot’ I’m sure you’ve been waiting for- Here it is, a spic-and-span dryer duct!Clean Dryer Vent

So, if it’s been more than a year… (or 10!) since you’ve had your dryer ductwork cleaned, and assuming you do laundry, I suggest you wait no longer. Free your dryer ducts from the debris accumulation that’s sure to be stuck in there, and eliminate this fire risk from your home.

Give Tom at Firesafe Chimney a call to clean your dryer vents and your chimney as well, (203) 270-9400 and tell him Linda sent you. You’ll be happy you did! 🙂

Tom Butkier of Firesafe Chimney

For questions about this article, properties, or any real estate needs, feel free to send me a note using the form below, and I will get right back to you. 

 

 

 

 

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Homeowner Use of Social Media: Lifeline or Liability?

Most of us use social media networks like Facebook as a convenient go-to tool for fun, entertainment, communication, sharing, advice and recommendations.  And it’s a great way to get some instant gratification for all of these things.    Buyers Browse Facebook

But most of us also know there can be a dark side to these perks. We’ve all heard about the folks who’ve shared embarassing moments and pictures online that they’ve since regretted.  Once it’s out there on the web, it’s likely to always be out there on the web… somewhere.

Well, if you are a homeowner seeking advice or recommendations for repairs to your home, remember the point above.  If you illustrate a leak in your dining room ceiling in a photograph on the world wide web, remember that it will still be out there when you ultimately decide to sell your home.  Not that there is any harm done here.  However, if you present an important issue with your house online such as a leak, or a mold problem, etc., be sure to disclose it when you sell.   In Connecticut the Department of Consumer Protection requires sellers to complete a residential property disclosure report for potential buyers or pay a penalty of $500 at closing.

Buyers are excited, curious, nervous and saavy people… as well as frequent users of the internet. They might just be browsing your social networks.  If your leaky ceiling issue is disclosed on Facebook, but not on the required property disclosure when you sell, you could heading for trouble.  If you try to conceal an existing issue with your house, there is risk for liability.

So think about what you post online when it comes to your home repairs, and remember what you posted when it’s time to sell your house.  If the problem has been repaired, that’s great, your buyers will be happy to know about it!

Feel free to contact me any time with questions about buying or selling a home!   -Linda

 


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Dust and Pet Allergies? You Better Clean Your HVAC System!

I moved into my house 10 years ago and was wondering if getting all the dust and dirt out of the air ducts right out of the gate would be a good idea.  I always had allergies to dust and animals, and the previous owners had a cat.   After finding cat hair in the refrigerator, I figured there must be plenty in the air ducts!

But the days turned into months…. and 10 years later I’ve been thinking that cleaning my HVAC system is surely well past-due.   Then just as I was about to take action, I heard someone say that duct cleaning can actually loosen dust and make air quality worse.  I wanted to do whatever was likely to keep my surrounding air clean while spending as little money possible.  This article from House Logic had some helpful information that allowed me to be more comfortable with my decision to hold off again.

DUCTS

However, after several lousy nights of interrupted sleep due to clogged sinuses, I had to do something!

Air vent returns Before & After cleaning

Air vent returns Before & After cleaning

So I started by taking a quick look at the air vents and returns and the air filter even though it had been changed two month prior.  I was appauled by what I saw!  Filthy returns and a black air filter! No wonder dust was accumulating daily on every surface!  So I immediately changed the air filter and got on a ladder with my vacuum. What a difference this made!  Without cleaning my air ducts, the surfaces actually stayed clean, the air was cleaner, the furnace surely was running much more efficiently and as you may have expected, I had a great night’s sleep!

Feel free to comment or ask a question below.


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Remember the New Law for Smoke and CO Detectors

If you are in the process of buying or selling real estate, remember that the new law in support of adequate smoke and carbon dioxide detectors went into effect January 1st this year.

CO detector

smoke detector

Sellers will be required to provide an affidavit confirming that the required working detectors have been installed or pay the buyer $250 at closing. Here is a brochure explaining the regulation as well as the exact language of the new law.

Although the attorneys handle the affidavit during the closing process, it is best for the parties to be proactive.  If you are the seller, put the required detectors in place when you put your house on the market.  If you are the buyer, make sure your inspector looks for the detectors and includes his findings and recommendations in his report.  If there are missing detectors, ask that they be installed during your inspection contingency period so that there is no misunderstanding about it as the closing approaches and the attorneys raise the issue.

This way all the necessary detection devices will be in place, and there will be no delay in having a completed affidavit in time for your closing!

-Linda

Contact me any time with your real estate questions and for help with your plans.
203-912-4440, Linda.Raymond@raveis.com