Sunday, March 11 marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time for 2018.
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.
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:
1. Clean your rain gutters to make sure that water can drain freely. As you are cleaning your gutters, check the seams to make sure they aren’t leaking and re-seal them as needed. This is also a good time to make sure that downspouts are property connected to the gutters and if you have a below-grade drainage system, make sure they are properly positioned to allow water to flow into the pipes. If your downspouts are not connected to a below-grade drainage system, consider installing temporary extensions are installed. Fluctuations of moisture to the soil create pressure on the foundation, so controlling drainage is an important part of good home maintenance.
2. Check your sump pump to make sure that it is properly connected to a power source. Some homeowners with sump pumps don’t give moisture under the house a thought relying on the pump to do its job. Just recently we were reviewing a home on behalf of a buyer and the sump pump was wired into a switched outlet. Unfortunately the switch was inadvertently turned off, and the home was damaged by an accumulation of water under the home.
3. 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.
4. 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. (See earlier post on rats, and you’ll know why this is important!)
5. 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.
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.
As you are changing your batteries you may wish to consider the type of smoke detector that is best suited for the particular location, and you might want to consider the current state requirements, effective July 1, 2015, for smoke detector compliance:
- 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
6. 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.
7. Check all your faucets & under your sinks for leaksThis is a good time to check under your sinks and outside to see if any of your faucets or pipes are leaking. Not only does this help with water conservation, but an undetected leak can cause costly property damage over time.
8. Don’t forget to pay your property taxes! The second installment was due on February 1st and becomes delinquent if not received by 5:00 p.m. or postmarked by April 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.
9. Check on your emergency preparedness supplies The natural disasters of the past year – fires/floods and earthquakes are reminders of the importance of having emergency preparedness supplies on hand. Review our earlier post on this topic, including a recommended list of supplies and an emergency preparedness plan.
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!