Maintaining Your Seattle Home’s Gutters this Winter

Maintaining Your Seattle Home's Gutters this Winter

We Seattle residents are accustomed to the rain, but every spring, it seems like the rain is incessant. Yes, the rain is necessary, but when you are walking out the front door and rain is pouring off the roof onto your recently styled hair, it is downright irritating. You need to make sure your gutters are in good condition! After a rather wild winter, your gutters may need a little repair and maintaining. The team at Greenwood Hardware has just what you need to keep the rain off!

  1. You need to stay on top of keeping those gutters cleaned out and free of debris. If leaves and pine needles clog up a downspout, the gutter will become heavy and possibly start to tear away from the roof. You also risk the gutter flooding and becoming essentially useless.
  2. Inspect the gutters periodically for small holes caused by rust and corrosion. If there are any holes, use a gutter repair to take care of them.
  3. Replace any damaged sections. If the area is fairly small, you can replace just the piece. If it is a large section, you may want to consider replacing the entire length to save yourself some trouble the following year.
  4. Replace any missing gutter supports. These can be purchased at Greenwood Hardware and will make your gutters sturdy and ready for a long, rainy spring.
  5. Install new screens or guards to help keep down the maintenance needed. Keeping leaves and other debris out of the gutters can save you a lot of trouble. Guards keep the big stuff out while allowing the water to flow into the gutter and down the downspout.

Don’t put off taking care of those gutters! You risk damaging more than just your hair. Your home’s foundation could be at risk if the water is allowed to pool on the ground. Head into Greenwood Hardware today and pick up your supplies. Come on in, or contact us today.

Seattle Homeowners: When Was the Last Time You Changed Your Furnace Filter?

Seattle Homeowners: When Was the Last Time You Changed Your Furnace Filter?We are in the home stretch of the winter season, but we still have a few more weeks of the cold temperatures. After a long winter, your furnace has probably gotten a pretty good workout. Your wallet has probably been stretched as well with heating costs. Did you know your furnace filters may be costing you more money on your electric bill than you really need to be paying? It is time to give your furnace filters a little inspection. You will find new filters at Greenwood Hardware.

To inspect your filters, follow these steps.

  1. Remove the cover of your furnace. This is typically fairly easy and does not require a screwdriver or other tools.
  2. The filter is usually on the side—the area may be labeled. Furnace models vary on filter location. You may need to use a screwdriver to open a door area where the blower motor is located.
  3. Remove the filter and hold it up to the light. Is it easy to see the light or is the light blocked? If you can’t see the light or the light is dim through the filter, it is time to change it out. If you have the foam type filters, you can use a vacuum to remove the dust.
  4. If you need to replace the filter, look at the cardboard frame to see what type and style of filter you will need.
  5. Insert the new filter into the proper area. Some filters will have directional arrows indicating which way you need to place the filter.
  6. Put the cover back on and that’s it!

Changing a filter is super easy and can make your furnace run more efficiently, which will save you money. Head into Greenwood Hardware to pick up your new furnace filter! Come on in, or contact us today.

How to Windproof Your Backyard Chicken Coop

How to Windproof Your Backyard Chicken Coop - Greenwood HardwareStrong winds are not uncommon in the greater Seattle area and outlying towns. It doesn’t take much to wreak havoc around your home! Sheds and homes are built to withstand the winds, but chicken coops are often overlooked. You won’t find out until it is too late that your coop could have used a little reinforcement before being left out in a windstorm unprotected. You will find all the materials you need to make your coop a little sturdier at Greenwood Hardware!

The type of wind-proofing you choose for your chicken coop will depend on the type of house you have. If you have one of the plastic houses, you don’t need to do much. However, you will want to place the coop in an area that isn’t in the direct path of the wind. If that is the only place available, set up a sheet of wood (make sure you attach it firmly to poles) and drill a few holes in the wind to let the wind through while still effectively blocking the majority of the wind power. Shrubs, fences and trees are all excellent wind blocks.

For wooden coops, you can add Plexiglas sheets along the side that is prone to wind gusts. Glass is also an option. Some people have found it helpful to recycle old windows or sliding glass doors for this very purpose! If that isn’t an option, you can use a tarp nailed or firmly fastened to the coop and remove it in the spring. Thick plastic sheeting will also work. However, you may need to replace the sheeting after a strong storm.

Your chickens will appreciate the extra protection from the wind. Chickens are pretty cold tolerant, but the wind is another matter. Bitterly cold winds tend to blow in rain or snow that can ultimately cause your chickens to get sick.

Chicken runs should also be somewhat wind-proofed to protect the chickens while they are out and about during the day. Head into Greenwood Hardware and pick up the things you need to make your coop a little more sturdy and comfortable for your chickens. Come on in, or contact us today.

8 Things to Do Today to Protect Your Seattle Home from Fire

8 Things to Do Today to Protect Your Seattle Home from Fire

With the cooler temperatures, it is time to kick on the furnaces and pull out the space heaters. For those who have fireplaces or woodstoves, you have probably already used them to heat your home. Home fires are very common in the winter months because of all the heating devices we use. The folks at Greenwood Hardware want you to be safe this winter! You can help make your home a little safer by doing the following:

  • Were you diligent in getting the chimney cleaned before your first fireplace fire? Hire a service or take care of sweeping the chimney yourself. It should be inspected for any damage or weak areas that will become pliant with the heat from the fire. Chimney fires are a leading cause of house fires during the winter.
  • Ensure you have a screen in good condition in front of the fireplace to keep logs from rolling out or sparks from shooting out and landing on the carpet or furniture.
  • Inspect your space heater before you ever plug it in. Make sure the cord is in good condition with no exposed wires. If you see any signs of damage, either have the cord fixed by a professional or invest in a new space heater.
  • Space heaters need to be used appropriately to prevent fire. They should be placed at least 3-feet away from walls, furniture and curtains. Make sure the cord is either taped down or run along the wall to avoid somebody tripping over it and knocking it to the ground.
  • Install smoke detectors in each room of the house. At a bare minimum, you need a smoke detector on each floor. Test your smoke detectors on a monthly basis.
  • Consider having hard-wired smoke detectors installed by an electrician. The detectors are wired directly into your home’s main electric and are all interconnected. When one alarm is sounded, they will all go off.
  • Draw up an escape plan and post it for your family. Practice your fire escape plan at least once a month.
  • Invest in window ladders that can be used in an emergency. The ladders are compact and rolled out in the event somebody needs to escape a second-floor window.

Be safe this winter and make sure your home is ready! You can find batteries and smoke detectors at your local Greenwood Hardware to help make your home a little safer for your family. Come on in, or contact us today.

Dog Blog: Maggie

Here is Maggie.  She had to make one final stop at the hardware store as she is flying out to live in England, TODAY!  She did not want to leave the store.  She told mom that she could just stay here while they moved to England.  Cutie Patootie!