What to Do if You Have a Chimney Fire

Close up of a campfire

Smoke is supposed to go up the chimney, so you can enjoy a fireplace, but what happens if the chimney actually catches fire while you’re using it? Chimney fires are rare but they can happen. Learn the warning signs of a chimney fire.

How Does a Chimney Fire Start?

Flammable substances such as creosote can stick to the sides of the chimney during normal operation. It becomes dangerous when these substances build up, as they can become hot and even catch fire.

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Popular Rain Gutters for You to Consider

Raindrops on a window with surface tension

Gutters direct water away from the home, preventing water damage to the roof and foundation. Learn how to tell if you need gutters, then review popular gutter styles.

When a House Needs Gutters

If you live near Cincinnati, your home probably needs gutters. Homes in temperate climates where the roof only has a short overhang tend to need gutters because water remains in proximity with the home for longer than in arid climates, where it evaporates quickly. If your house is surrounded by concrete, you can skip the gutter, as concrete protects the foundation, but if you have a lawn, we wouldn’t recommend it.

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Five Factors Included in Roof Replacement Cost

Home Wireframe under construction

Home Advisor prices the average roof replacement at $7,336, but there are variables that affect the cost you’ll pay for a new roof. Explore five factors that affect every estimate for roof replacement, so you can understand the bids you receive, compare financing options, and get the work you need.

1. Time of Year

When demand is high, contractors can charge higher fees for their work. You can expect to pay premium fees during the busy season for roofers, which tends to run from summer into fall. If you’re looking to save money on roofing replacement and can afford to wait, you might get a better price in a shoulder season, such as late fall or spring.

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What to Expect from a Roof Inspection

Home under construction

Perhaps you know that Brandstetter’s KangaRoof offers roof inspections. But what you may not know is what happens during a roof inspection and how this ultimately protects your home. Learn the common factors our technicians check for during a roofing analysis, plus how often we recommend homeowners get this inspection.

Structural Integrity

This is where it all begins: is your roof structurally sound to protect your home? During this phase of the roof inspection, our technicians will check the state of the chimney, shingles, attic venting, and overall roofing planes. While you might be able to spot a couple of missing shingles from the ground, you’ll get better mileage by sending a professional onto the roof to check things out. Roofing damage compounds over time, so its better to fix minor issues as they arise than delay repair only to increase the final costs.

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Why Should You Clean Gutters in the Spring?

Gutter Guard on a roof

Spring is here, which means that it’s time to clean gutters. If you’re unsure why gutter cleaning is so important to spring home maintenance, let us tell you.

Why Cincinnati Homeowners Need Spring Gutter Cleaning

Cincinnati has seasonal climates: snowy winters, rainy springs, hot summers, and autumns where leaves shed (often clogging those very same gutters, which we recommend you clean in fall as well).
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Signs for Siding Repair Vs. Replacement

Vines climbing the siding of a home

Repair or replace: it’s one of the most common questions homeowners have when it comes to home repair. Learn the top signs of siding repair vs. siding replacement to budget for this common maintenance expense.

When You Need Siding Repair

  • Cracks and chips: Most of the time, siding with small cracks or chips can be repaired, rather than replaced. Even when one or two boards need to be replaced due to extensive damage, the fix is relatively fast and inexpensive.
  • Minor amounts of mold: If you can get all the mold quickly, before it has a chance to spread, repair usually works. There is one caveat, though: You must clear up the source of the mold or the problem will repeat.
  • Noticeable dents: Siding becomes dented when objects such as sticks or stones mar the surface. While you may choose to live with minor damage that can’t be seen unless you’re close to the house, siding dents are usually fixed by replacing the affected panels. It’s an easy repair.
  • Loose panels: Loose siding is generally easy to secure, making this a pretty simple fix in most cases.

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Three Tips to Guard Against Basement Flooding

Ocean waves pouring onto a chess board

Basement flooding can cause significant structural damage to your home, lead to mold or mildew problems in the house, and ruin your valuable belongings. Learn the best ways to prevent your basement from flooding to protect your family’s home and health.

Clean Gutters

Your gutters should be cleaned in the spring and the fall. If you bypass recommended cleaning, your basement could end up flooding. When gutters are clogged, rainwater cannot reach the downspouts. Instead, it will end up spilling over the flooded gutters and saturating the ground near the foundation. If the soil becomes saturated, water could seep in through cracks in the foundation and wet the basement. […]

What to Do if You Have a Leaky Skylight?

Antique wallpaper

If your skylight is leaking, you need to work fast to prevent damage to the home. Here are five steps to take if you notice your skylight is leaking.

1. Verify it’s a leak, not condensation

Condensation can be similar to a leak, but is harmless. Verify that it’s actually a leak, not condensation. Condensation is likely when it’s a humid environment and may be reduced by using a dehumidifier. […]

Tips for Preparing to Buy Your First Home

Keys in wooden house knick-knack

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. You’ll have a less stressful experience as a first-time homebuyer if you save early and educate yourself on what mortgage lenders are looking for, so you can make yourself a more attractive applicant. These tips will help you understand the home buying process and what it takes to get approved for your mortgage.

Review Mortgage Options

Before you can determine your out-of-pocket costs, you’ll want to know what type of loan you expect to qualify for. Traditional lenders want a down payment of up to 20 percent. The government has special mortgage loan programs for rural residents, veterans, and active duty military members. These programs allow you to buy a home with no down payment. […]

How to Close Your Fireplace for the Spring and Summer

Living room with fireplace

You hear a lot about how to prepare a fireplace for use in winter, but what about when winter is over? Find out the best way to close down a fireplace when the weather warms and you no longer need to use it.

Clean the Fireplace

When you don’t think you’ll have any more fires, clean the fireplace. Remove any wood that was not burned and have a bonfire or store it in a clean, dry place for next season. Sweep out ashes. Do this slowly, as ash can rise in the air if swept too vigorously. Cleaning ashes isn’t just tidying up, it actually protects the hearth from corrosion.

The last step in cleaning is to clean the fireplace grate, andirons, and tools. Fireplace grates are often coated with a protective product, so you never want to apply a chemical cleaner. These items can generally be wiped with a rag.

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