November 5, 2017 marks the end of Daylight Saving Time for 2017.
Changing our clocks to “Spring Forward in the Spring & Fall Back in the Fall” has become part of the fabric of our lives. Did you know that this concept of capitalizing on daylight is credited to Benjamin Franklin who suggested it in 1784? During World War I it was implemented in the U.S. but abandoned in 1919 due to its unpopularity. While some local areas continued to observe it, its observation did not return nationwide until World War II. After the war cities and states were allowed to observe Daylight Saving Time as they wished. However, this presented a burden for national commerce and ultimately in 1966 Congress passed the Uniform Time Act which stipulated that Daylight Saving Time would begin on the last Sunday of April and extend through the last Sunday of October. Congress amended this law in 2007 to start Daylight Saving Time on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November.
Parts of Arizona and Hawaii remain on standard time year-round.
While you adjust your clock to fit the season, we suggest you also consider synchronizing your household maintenance calendar so that you remember routine tasks that are often overlooked until a problem is evident. Based on years of selling houses and counseling our clients about attentive care for their homes here are our suggestions:
- Clean your rain gutters to make sure that water can drain freely. If your downspouts are not connected to a below-grade drainage system, this is a good time to install temporary extensions for the season being careful to avoid trip hazards. Fluctuations of moisture to the soil create pressure on the foundation, so controlling drainage is an important part of good home maintenance. It’s also a good idea to inspect your gutters to make sure that they have not rusted through and that the seams are caulked.
- Clean or change your furnace filter so that your furnace is able to operate at maximum efficiency. Vacuum the registers and cold air returns to minimize dust particles in your home. 3. Walk around your home and check to make sure your attic and foundation vents are secure and that any openings around hoses/cords are properly sealed. Unsealed openings provide easy access for rodents who are unwelcome roommates!
- Check your smoke detector batteries. There are two types of smoke detectors. The ionization models appear to be preferred for rooms where a fire may occur due to flames, while photoelectric models appear to be better for rooms where a fire may occur due to smoldering materials that burn more slowly. As you are changing your batteries you may wish to consider the type of smoke detector that is best suited for the particular location. Keep in mind current state requirements implemented in July 2015:
- All old smoke detectors that are solely powered by batteries must be replaced with those that contain a sealed battery that is rated to last 10 years
- All smoke alarms powered by 120 VAC or battery must have a label showing the date of installation and manufacture The location of smoke detectors is an important consideration. California’s Health and Safety Code requires that there be a centrally located smoke detector outside of each sleeping area. Additionally for homes that have been remodeled since August 14, 1992, where the cost of the remodeling exceeds $1,000 and for which a permit is required, a smoke detector is required in each bedroom and centrally located in a hallway outside the bedroom.
- Have you installed a carbon monoxide detector? Effective July 1, 2011 the California Health and Safety Code required that a carbon monoxide detector be installed in all single family residences that have fossil fuel burning furnaces, appliances or a fireplace, or homes that have an attached garage.
- Don’t forget to pay your property taxes! The first installment is due on November 1st, and becomes delinquent if not postmarked prior to 5:00 p.m. on December 10th. A stiff penalty of 10% of the payment is imposed for late payment! Some new homeowners may not have received a bill, but the County does not consider this an excuse for non-payment. The amount due is posted on their website.
- This year we are adding an item to our “maintenance list”. After witnessing the devastation of the fires in the North Bay we are recommending that you check on your emergency preparedness plan and supplies. (See earlier blog post dated October 27, 2017) One item on that list is to get to know your neighbors, and what a great time of year to do that as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches!
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to be referred to our trusted vendors who can help you with your home maintenance items. We love hearing from you!