Maintaining your Greenwich, CT area home can sometimes feel like a full time job. For this reason it’s worth the effort to understand the latest trends that can help make your property function better for you. Today’s advancements, such as residential property management and healthy building products, can ease the burdens of home maintenance and make your home safer. Following are a few to keep an eye on.

Healthier Living Spaces

Health and wellness continues to be a priority for many. This sustained movement is extending into our home building products and furnishings. People want nontoxic materials when building, renovating or decorating. At Duffy Home Solutions our renovation and property management teams are using floor stain, flooring materials, grout, weather sealant and other home building materials that are made without harmful chemicals. In addition we’re installing more and more water and air purification systems to reduce the amount of toxins from entering the house.

Residential Property Management

Managing a home is becoming more and more challenging as our lives get busier. Regular home maintenance requires identifying, vetting, and scheduling multiple trades. Residential property management takes these tasks off the homeowners’ plate by providing one point of contact for all home maintenance needs. At Duffy Home Solutions we’ve managed properties for years in Greenwich, CT. In this time we’ve established strong relationships with area trades. When you’re signed up for our property management program you simply make one call for any issue such as HVAC repair, a leaking faucet, power washing, painting, etc. 

Climate Proofing Homes

The effects of climate change are beginning to dictate how homes are built and renovated. In the Greenwich, CT area we have hotter temperatures, more frequent and stronger storms and continued erosion around the shore. Some of the steps that are being taken to climate proof homes include planting trees that shade the house, installing functional window shutters, stronger roofs that will sustain heavier wind and rainfall, and installing stronger, more resilient windows. 

Custom Features Becoming Commonplace

Features of the home that once required a custom order during a renovation or new home build are now more easily available and affordable, as they become standard features. For example our property management team is seeing more soft close drawers on pre-made kitchen cabinetry – a feature that was once reserved for custom work. Elevators are being installed on a more regular basis. And a range of cabinet sizes and organizational features in cabinets and closets are becoming more commonplace. 

Increased Focus on Outdoor Spaces

More and more homeowners want their homes to provide an escape from the hectic pace of work and life responsibilities. When at home (not in the home office) people want spaces they can use to relax, unwind and spend quality time with family. As a result our property management team is building more expansive patios and decks. Folding panel doors are bringing indoor and outdoor spaces together. And we’re seeing more extensive outdoor kitchens, theaters, and dining spaces. 

More Efficient Use of Free Time

Using time more efficiently can help free up a few hours to enjoy life. Although we do see a continued uptick in DIY projects, many homeowners are seeing the value of outsourcing even the simplest of home maintenance tasks. At Duffy Home solutions our property management team changes plenty of light bulbs, stores patio furniture, adjusts door hinges, tests and replaces smoke detector batteries, and more. We recently came over to a client’s house to let their dog out when they were running late. This kind of support is critical to helping homeowners maintain a better work life balance. 

In Conclusion

Home maintenance and remodeling trends will always evolve. Keeping up with today’s advancements and techniques can help home life safer, more enjoyable, and more efficient. At Duffy Home Solutions we know that keeping up with this kind of work is not always the easiest thing to do. That’s why our property management team will be there for you no matter what project you need help with.

29
May
How to Best Handle Spring & Summer Outdoor Maintenance

The spring and summer seasons are upon us. This means finally being able to enjoy your outdoor spaces. The Greenwich, CT area is seeing warm weather and it’s time to relax on the patio or take a dip in the pool. But before you mix that margarita, you’ll want to make sure your maintenance tasks are taken care of. At Duffy Home Solutions our residential property management team is busy power washing patios, repairing pool surfaces and cleaning gutters, among other home maintenance tasks. Here are a few items that typically require attention this time of year. 

Cleaning Patio Furniture

Teak, wickerand metal outdoor furniture gets dingy with mildew and dirt over the winter. Take care when washing these surfaces. A mild cleaner and scrub brush will be all that’s needed to clean them properly. Dish soap and water is typically sufficient, however if you have stubborn residue you can use environmentally friendly cleaners that can be purchased at a garden center. Scrub gently at first and increase the pressure as needed. You can also carefully power wash teak furniture to bring it back to looking brand new.

The Duffy Home Solutions property management team handles furniture cleaning. We take it a step further for our clients by taking away all outdoor patio cushions in the fall. We clean andstore them in a dry space and bring them back fresh in the spring.

Window Washing

If you plan to wash your windows yourself, consider purchasing a squeegee. This tool will make the job a lot easier and help ensure a professional level of clean. Make sure, however, to purchase a few extra blades. They tend to get cracked or nicked and this can cause streaking. When our property management team’s professional window cleaning crewuses squeegees they change out the blade frequently. This ensures a beautiful result for every window.   

Power Washing

Patio stone, driveways, siding, and decking can develop a coating of dirt and mildew over the winter. Power washing can be an excellent way to bring these surfaces back to life. This tool, however, is extremely powerful. It can take paint off of a car, break windows, or put holes in brick surfaces when not used properly. If you plan to handle power washing yourself, there are a few things to keep in mind. Always wear eye protection and long pants, make sure you use the right settings for the type of material you are washing, and avoid using the power washer while on a ladder. 

Repairing Pool Surfaces

Over time the weather in Greenwich, CT wares on pool surfaces. Fluctuating temperatures, ice, hot sun, and wind can cause tile, plaster and vinyl to degrade over time. Repairing pool surfaces is typically a job for a professional pool repairman. Our property management team includes pool repair specialist that can bring a pool back to life to be enjoyed for years to come. If it’s early in the season we will drain the pool and make any necessary repairs. If the pool is in use and you don’t want to drain it, we can provide underwater plaster repair of small cracks or chips.

Pest Control

Spring and summer brings bugs and insects. One of the first steps in helping to reduce the chance of being overrun by ants, spiders, wasps, cockroaches, and so on, is to conduct a thorough house cleaning. Some of these critters like warm moist places so make sure to remove clutter around the outside and inside the home. If you already have a problem, reach out to our property management team. Our pest specialist can remove bugs and insects and take thorough steps to ensure they don’t return.

Exterior Painting

This is one of those jobs that’s often best handled by the professionals. It’s a big job and often requires high ladder work. Bringing in a property management team to paint the exterior of your home will give you more time to enjoy your outdoor spaces. The painting teams at Duffy Home Solutions will clean the exterior thoroughly, sand and scrape and then apply finish to trim and siding. There’s nothing like a fresh paint job to make the house look beautiful for the summer. 

Gutter Cleaning

The changing seasons in Greenwich, CT brings falling leaves and tree debris that ends up in gutters. Spring is a good time to clean gutters. When left unattended they can get clogged. When this happened they overflow and can backup under shingles and cause serious moisture issues. If you’re not comfortable on a ladder have a professional handle the job. 

Taking care of spring and summer outdoor maintenance pays off big when it comes time to enjoying your outdoor spaces. When it comes to the tricky home maintenance tasks, bring in the help of a Greenwich, CT residential property maintenance team. You’ll feel better when things are taken care of the right way.

04
May
Q&A: Understanding Residential Property Management

We put together the following Q&A with John Duffy from Duffy Home Solutions in Greenwich, CT to help you better understand how residential property management works. Right now it’s springtime and the busy season for home maintenance is upon us. We thought this would be a good time to discuss the benefits that come along with having a dedicated partner to handle the wide range of home maintenance needs. 

Q: What is residential Property Management?

A: Property management is a program that homeowners enroll in that provides year round home maintenance and repair coverage. When you enroll in the program you have a single point of contact for all repairs, maintenance and emergencies, 24/7 365 days a year. This means you can call us at any time and we’ll send one of our experienced professionals over to handle jobs such as fixing a leaky faucet, yearly pool opening, or refinishing your basement. 

You pay a nominal fixed monthly fee, which gives you access to the service. Your home repair or emergency will then be responded to and handled immediately. For major repairs we will obtain multiple competitive bids from our pre-vetted roster of qualified service providers. 

At Duffy Home Solutions we’ve been in the business of home improvement in Greenwich, CT for over 25 years. Our employees are full-time professional journeymen. As a result, when you enroll in our property management program you’ll be confident that a skilled professional is handling the job – no matter what type of project it is. 

Q: What’s the difference between Property Management and a Handyman?

A: A handyman typically handles small, relatively simple jobs around the house. Using a handyman for specialized, highly skilled work, however, is not typically recommended. 

DHS employees are full-time professional journeymen that are skilled in precision home repair projects. When it comes to home maintenance projects such as installing a new pool pump, building custom cabinetry, or maintaining your HVAC system, you always want to be employing experienced, skilled specialists that are licensed in their specific trades. In these instances, we obtain multiple competitive bids from our pre-vetted roster of service professionals.

Homeowners know that maintaining a home requires a wide range of professionals. Finding and scheduling ones you trust is challenging. When you’re a client of DHS we will assess your specific project need and provide the appropriate solution with prompt and professional customer service. 

Q: Whom do I call when I have an issue?

A: We are your single point of contact. Certain yearly maintenance will automatically be taken care of depending on your homes specific requirements. These types of projects may include pool opening and closing, pool cleaning, setting up patio furniture, gutter cleaning, yearly HVAC cleaning and servicing, etc. When additional needs come up we pride ourselves on our expeditious response to client requests. 

Q: Can you do indoor work when nobody is home?

A: We will assign a single key holder to your account. If indoor maintenance is required when you are not home, your key holder will come over to let the tradesperson in. This way you have a trusted contact to take care of it, and you won’t have to work around someone else’s schedule to get things done around the house. 

Q: What are some other examples of the types of maintenance that is provided?

A: When we say no job is too big or too small we mean it. Property management covers virtually anything that you can think of regarding the repair and maintenance of your home. We even get calls from our clients from time to time with trivial non-repair issues  – they may have left the house and cannot remember if they turned off the stove or they are running behind on their way home and call us to stop by and let the dog out.  We are always happy to help!

Some other examples of small or miscellaneous projects would include changing light bulbs, stringing holiday lights, adjusting hinges, or installing a pet door. And since we employ highly skilled local Greenwich, CT area trades and craftsmen, we can also help you install a new pool, fix wet basement issues and finish the space, build a new home addition or renovate your kitchen and/or bathroom. 

At Duffy Home Solutions we started out as luxury custom homebuilders and renovation specialists. Being a custom home contractor requires pulling the full range of trades together. This is how we’ve vetted the tradespeople that we hire for our property management program. The same professionals that help build the finest custom homes in Greenwich, CT and Fairfield County are the pros that will be maintaining your home. 

Q: Is residential property management only for luxury homes?

A: No. Everyone has maintenance needs. At Duffy Home Solutions we maintain a range of property types. It comes down to convenience. We provide a level of service that helps you eliminate the time consuming calling and scheduling required to keep up with your property. This allows you to focus on more important things, like spending time with your fa

27
Mar
HOW TO HANDLE RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT AMIDST CORONAVIRUS

This is an unusual time for us all. Like many you’re probably trying to figure out how to juggle family, work, and home tasks. Although some projects can be put on hold, certain home maintenance needs will require attention. Many New York City residents are coming to their second homes in Greenwich, CT to avoid the city. As a result we’re seeing an uptick in demand for properties that need to be ready for full time occupancy. So how should you approach residential property management during this time? Following are some ideas on how to keep your family and your home maintenance professionals healthy.

Maintenance Project Types

At Duffy Home Solutions we provide residential property management services. As a result we dispatch the full range of home maintenance professionals. During this time of year in Greenwich, CT we are starting to handle outdoor work, such as spring-cleaning, masonry, and pool installs and openings. These workers pose lower health risk than others that need to be indoors. Indoor projects, of course, still require attention. When it comes to AC maintenance, appliance repair and plumbing issues, you’ll want to take additional care.  

Communication

If you plan to have workers on your property it’s important to maintain close, remote communication with your property management company to ensure certain protocol can be implemented. You should feel comfortable asking questions and providing any guidelines that you feel are necessary to maintain the health of your family. In addition you may need to let your management team know when you want certain work to be done. And always inform crews before hand if you have someone in the house that is showing signs of sickness.

Taking The Necessary Health Precautions

At Duffy Home Solutions we are taking a range of precautions daily. Before dispatching a handyman, HVAC repair professional or landscape crew to someone’s house we ensure that nobody has fever, cough or shortness of breath. We instruct our crews to handle only the tools and equipment needed to accomplish the job. In addition our crew will regularly be using hand sanitizer, thoroughly washing hands, and avoiding contact with mouth, eyes and nose. We also employ facemasks and booties to cover footwear. 

The New England Journal of Medicine states that coronaviruses do not survive well on clothing surfaces. As a result it is unlikely that a worker would carry the virus on their clothes into a home. 

Maintaining Social Distancing

We are social animals and it’s instinctual to reach out and shake someone’s hand when they arrive up at your home. During this time, however, skip the handshake, and maintain six feet of distance to work crew. In some instances you may be more comfortable leaving instructions with your property management company that allows them to enter the home on their own. 

At Duffy Home Solutions our residential property management services are set up well for this type of situation. You have one point of contact for all of your home maintenance needs. And your management contact will have key access to allow workers into the home if needed. If it makes you more comfortable we can let the tradesman into the home even if you are there. This way you can avoid any potential contact.  And we can work closely with you to establish schedules that you’re comfortable with. 

Home Office Considerations

Many Greenwich residents are now working from home. As a result a home office space needs to be fully functional. For those using weekend homes, dedicated offices may not be in place. And of course the kids are home now full time. This all leads to more usage of equipment and appliances as well as special requirements that may need maintenance and/or setup. Your property management company can help you establish a comfortable workspace.

Planning for Spring Maintenance

It’s spring and so there are likely several projects that need to be completed. And of course things always come up unexpectedly. To help make the process easier during this stressful time, our property management team can tackle all of your spring maintenance needs. These may include AC tune-up and cleaning, spring yard cleanup, roof repair, wet basement issues, driveway repair, gutter cleaning, etc. 

In Conclusion

Making smart decisions when it comes to social distancing can make all the difference in this unique situation. Our Greenwich, CT residential property management team will do our part to help keep you and your family healthy. Eventually we’ll get through this and we’ll do it by working together.  

26
Feb
Repairing and Replacing Doors and Windows

Doors and windows are constantly being opened and closed, and sometimes not so gracefully. Wear and tear can lead to issues. Some are minor, such as squeaking or misalignment. Some problems, however, can lead to water infiltration or loss of warm or cool air. At Duffy Home Solutions our residential property management team has repaired and replaced numerous doors and windows in and around the Greenwich, CT area. Home renovation can be an excellent time to replace windows and doors, but sometimes you just need a quick fix. Let’s take a look at some of the more common issues. 

Door Squeaking and Misalignment

If your doors are making squeaking noises, the solution may be as easy as applying WD40 to the hinges. If noise persists, and you’re also experiencing rattling and/or the door is not opening and closing smoothly, then you may need to tighten and/or adjust the hinges to realign them. These are the types of jobs that a property management company can help with. 

Drafty Doors and Windows

Door and window parts break down over time, particularly in the Greenwich, CT climate. Homes are subject to ever changing conditions such as heat, cold, snow, ice and rain across all seasons. Door weather stripping can degrade and come off. Doors can also become misaligned, allowing gaps at the bottom that let air in. Window sashes, gaskets and weather stripping can shrink and degrade and older window glazing can break down and fall off. 

If you’re conducting a home renovation, this is a great time to have your property management team install new, energy efficient windows and exterior doors. Making an investment in high quality products will make all the difference here. If you’re just looking to repair a single drafty door or window, call your residential property management team. For short term fixes they can replace glazing and weather stripping or make adjustments to the door to eliminate gaps. 

Fixing a Sticky Door

Interior or exterior doors can become stuck, making it a challenge to open and close them. One of the main causes of a stuck door is summertime humidity. The wooden door absorbs moisture and swells. Fixing this issue starts by identifying where the door is getting stuck. If the point of contact is the door jam, your property management team may shave just a bit off with a hand planner. Sometimes the door hinge mortise’s may need to be deepened to pull the door away from the jam a bit. 

When planning wood from a door, it’s important not to remove too much. The wood will shrink back in the wintertime. Also, to help avoid moisture from getting into the door again, any unfinished wood surfaces should be painted – including the top and bottom of the door. Sometimes it’s just more efficient to replace a stuck door. Just make sure all sides are sealed with paint before the door is hung. 

Window Condensation

Several issues can cause window condensation. If you’ve just built a new renovation or home addition the space may be too air tight. This can be good for keeping warm and cool air in, but the downside is lack of ventilation. Warm, humid air from cooking or showers can cause condensation on the inside of windows when the moist air hits the cold glass in the wintertime. If homes are too tight, trapped moisture, in places other than on windowpanes, can cause mold. Home ventilation systems can help circulate the air and eliminate the issue. 

If condensation if building up inside multi-pane windows, you likely have a broken seal. If the windows are relatively new they may be covered under warranty. If they are older windows they’ll likely need to be replaced. Check with your residential property management company to help assess and repair any moisture issues. 

In conclusion

The ever changing and harsh climate of Greenwich, CT can make even high quality windows and doors function improperly over time. Duffy Home Solutions provides year round residential property management services. For jobs large and small we’ll bring in a skilled handyman or experienced local tradesman to help get the problem fixed. 

31
Jan
BUILDING THE ULTIMATE HOME GYM

Exercising at home comes with a range of benefits. It’s convenient, private, and allows you to remain close to your family while working out. As a busy Greenwich, CT area resident you know time can be hard to come by. Building a home gym is one way to ensure you’ll have a dedicated space for your workouts. Doing it right means more than just throwing an exercise bike in the corner of the study. The following tips can help you plan out the space.

The Space

The first step is to determine where your home gym will be located. If you’re building a new custom home, renovating, or building an addition, now is a good time to factor in the room you’ll need. For these types of jobs you’ll want a professional organization familiar with the Greenwich, CT area permitting process and someone that can handle the project from start to finish. At Duffy Home Solutions our property management services range from full custom home building and renovation, to ongoing home maintenance programs. 

If you’re using an existing room you can still build it out to function well for effective workouts. Make sure to remove clutter and clear out any distractions that may sidetrack your workout. For news spaces, work closely with your residential property management company to ensure that the room is built out to your specifications. 

Lighting

One of the first things to consider should be lighting. Light helps you feel energized and alert. Natural sunlight is ideal. If possible, make sure there are plenty of windows and doors to let the light pour in. If you’re using a finished basement or renovating one, and natural light is harder to come by, work with your property management company to design a lighting scheme that keeps the space bright and provides even light throughout. 

Flooring

When choosing flooring for your home gym you’ll want to consider traction, shock absorption, and durability. Hard or slippery surfaces like concrete or hardwood can lead to injury. Rubber flooring, or large rubber pads, is an excellent choice. Vinyl, indoor outdoor carpet, cork, or even artificial turf are also good materials. Rubber mats, or large interlocking rubber tiles can be used if you don’t plan to replace existing hard flooring. 

Beyond the Equipment

Every home gym workout routine requires different equipment. In addition to the big items, such as stationary bikes and weights, you’ll want to have a few key elements that encourage a positive workout. Mirrors help create the illusion of a larger space. They also help you see the position of your body during workouts such as yoga and weight training. Fans help keep you cool and keep the air moving. Plants boost oxygen levels. And air purifiers remove pollutants from the air.

Finishing a Basement

The basement can be an excellent space for building a home gym. Finishing a basement, however, starts with the help of a professional that understands how to handle complex home renovations. A residential property management company will bring in the right trades to ensure your space is setup the right way. 

The fist thing to consider when finishing a basement is moisture. Water issues typically start on the outside of the home. Work with your property management company to ensure that water is not running towards the house and up against the foundation during rainstorms and when snow melts. This can happen when the yard is sloped towards the home and/or rainwater is being drained from gutters improperly. 

If you have slope issues you may need to regrade the yard to ensure water is flowing away from the foundation. You’ll also want to ensure that french drains are in place. This type of drainage consists of pipes buried up against the perimeter of the foundation. The pipes have holes at the top that collect water. The water is then redirected away from the house. 

Trench drains can also be very effective. If water is running down the driveway towards the house, for example, you can install a trench drain to catch and redirect it.

Another consideration with a finished basement will be natural light. Walkout basements often have doors and windows, however this feature is typically realized when the land slopes down on one side of the house. If your land does not provide these natural contours, consider adding egress windows. Your property management company will dig out from the foundation to open up a portion large enough to fit a window or two. Retaining walls will be built several feet back from the foundation to hold the earth. Egress windows also provide a point of exit, which is important for any finished room in the house. 

In Conclusion

Having a dedicated space to workout in your Greenwich, CT area home will help remove barriers when it comes time to get moving. With the help of a residential property management company you can outfit an existing space, renovate, or build a new addition to create the ultimate home gym to your specifications. Designing and planning the space ahead of time will go along way towards creating a comfortable environment that you’ll want to spend time in.  Duffy Home Solutions can help you every step of the way.

23
Dec
INSTALLING A NEW HEATING SYSTEM; WHAT TO KNOW

Installing a new heating system can seem like a daunting task. Whether your existing system is being replaced, or you are building a new home in the Greenwich CT area, a wide range of options exist, from furnaces to heat pumps. So where do you start? We recommend discussing the issue with a residential property management professional before making any final decisions. The following information, however, will help you get a handle on the options that are available. At Duffy Home Solutions our property management services include heating system consultations as well as installation and ongoing maintenance. 

Boilers

Many people refer to their heating unit as a furnace – even though it may actually be a boiler. They are two markedly different systems, however. Boilers work by employing hydronics to heat water. A circulator pump distributes the hot water though pipes that lead to baseboards, radiators or radiant floor tubing. Boilers can use natural gas, heating oil, electricity or propane as fuel. 

Furnaces

Furnaces heat air that is moved though ductwork and distributed to each room. Cooler air is drawn into the system then heated by the furnace. It is then redistributed as warm air throughout the house. Furnaces operate by using electricity, oil, propane or natural gas. Air can be filtered as it circulates through the ductwork to remove allergens and pollutants. 

Hydro Air

Hydro air systems combine boilers with air handlers to turn hot water into warm air. This is a good system for homes with central air conditioning because it allows for the heat and AC to run through ductwork. Hydro air systems are typically more efficient and they provide a dryer heat. 

How to Choose a System 

Choosing among the major heating systems can be tricky, but it comes down to your specific needs and comfort levels. Before making a choice, consult with a residential property management company. In the meantime consider the following pros and cons of each. 

Boiler Pros and Cons

Quiet operation is one of the most significant pros of installing a boiler. They don’t employ hot air blowing though ductwork, which can be noisy at times. They’re also more efficient and provide more consistent, even heat. And boilers require less maintenance because they have fewer parts that need regular attention, such as filters. 

The cons of boilers include the speed of which the equipment can change the temperature of a room. Hot air from a furnace heats a room faster. Boilers are also harder to convert and harder to install. And they pose a potential leaking hazard, as water will be running through pipes throughout the home. 

Pros and Cons of a Furnace

The most significant pro of a furnace is cost. They are considerably less expensive than boilers, primarily because they are more common. They can be up to half the price of boilers. Other pros include ease of installation and the reduced risk of frozen pipes and water leaks. 

The primary con of a furnace is efficiency. Heating air requires more fuel than heating water. Other significant cons include poor air quality, noisier operation, and poor heat consistency. 

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are becoming more and more popular. One of the biggest draws is that they have the ability to provide heat and air conditioning. When it’s cold outside there is still heat energy present. The equipment extracts this heat and moves it into the living space. The same principle applies for cooling. 

The main pro of a heat pump is efficiency. They are very efficient, and require less maintenance and running costs. The main cons include high upfront costs, complicated installation and questionable performance in very cold temperatures.

In Summary

Several factors come into play when deciding which heating system is right for your Greenwich area home. It can be easy to get overwhelmed. Using a residential property management company can be a big help right from the start. At Duffy Home Solutions we employ only experienced, knowledgeable heating and air conditioning professionals. We’ll walk you through the process from start to finish so that you feel comfortable with the choice that you make.

31
Oct
WINTER MAINTENANCE ISSUES THAT REQUIRE RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT HELP

Winter is fast approaching. When harsh weather hits, maintenance issues are typically not far behind in homes across Fairfield County, CT. Homeowners can handle some of these tasks themselves; however, others require the experience of a residential property management professional. Here are a few of the more common winter maintenance challenges, and how they can be fixed. 

Ice Dams

An ice dam occurs when warm air escapes from the roof and melts the snow. Water running down the roof surface refreezes as it hits the colder edges. As a result a thick band of ice builds up. Ice dams can be a major problem if not addressed. Water can eventually back up and be pushed under shingles, causing infiltration into the home.

The short term fix when dealing with ice dams is to remove resting snow from the roof. Homeowners can handle this with a roof rake, or this can be a good job for a handyman. Getting at the root of the issue, however, will require the expertise of a residential property management professional. Ice dams are typically caused when poor insulation allows hot air to escape. Bring an expert in to repair or install new insulation and/or ventilation as needed. 

Garage Door issues

Garage doors are made of metal components that can become compromised when exposed to cold temperatures. Metal contracts in the cold, which can cause springs, and other parts, to break more easily. Lubricant can also dry up after time. Without proper lubricant, excess friction and wear can occur. To help avoid garage door issues, have your handyman regularly lubricate the metal tracks, springs and hinges. If an issue does occur, your property management company can replace parts as needed. 

Frozen Pipes

Chances are you’ve experienced frozen pipes if you’re a homeowner. Pipes often freeze during extended cold spells when temperatures reach sub 20 degrees for several days. This can lead to big problems. Water expands when frozen, leading to cracked pipes. When thawed, water can be released through the compromised areas and flood interior spaces. Flood damage can be very costly. 

Frozen pipes typically occur to plumbing that runs along an exterior wall. These spaces are naturally more exposed to the cold. To solve for this you may need to better insulate behind the pipes, as well as wrap the pipe itself in insulation. When extreme cold spells are forecasted, it’s always a good idea to keep the heat a little bit higher than normal overnight.  

Fireplace Repair

Moisture is a major offender when it comes to chimney damage and problems can occur in the winter months. Any moisture issues within the chimney can cause cracking as water expands and contracts during freezing and thawing. Moisture typically enters the chimney through deteriorated mortar, a broken or missing crown, a damaged chimney cap, or damaged flashing. Yearly winter maintenance inspections should help identify damage. If issues do occur, however, this is a job best handled by a professional. 

Heating System Breakdowns

In Greenwich, CT and surrounding Fairfield County, your heating system will run for approximately seven months out of the year and it will run non stop, day and night, for about five of those months. This puts constant ware on your heating equipment. Furnace breakdowns can be expensive and can leave you without heat for a period of time. To help eliminate major breakdowns you should have your furnace inspected and serviced every year. Cleaning and tuning up the equipment will extend its life and help things run more efficiently. 

In Conclusion

Greenwich, CT winters can be brutal on homes. Luckily the residential property management professionals at Duffy Home Solutions are a quick phone call away. Our programs cover all of your maintenance needs – from furnace repair to deck staining to changing light bulbs. No issue is too big or too small. As we await the start of winter, now is a good time to plan for coverage. 

26
Sep
DEALING WITH CLOGGED PLUMBING FROM HARD WATER IN GREENWICH, CT

Hard water can be an issue in Greenwich, CT and surrounding Fairfield County towns, particularly in mid country Greenwich. As a local home maintenance company we get a lot of calls regarding clogged plumbing and other issues that range from difficult to clean tubs to fading laundry. There are several factors to consider when dealing with hard water. The following will help you determine how to manage the problem.

What is Hard Water?

Rain starts off as soft water. It becomes hard as it travels thought the ground and into water systems. Along the way it picks up minerals. Calcium and magnesium are two primary minerals that are to blame for certain plumbing issues, but hard water can also contain lime, chalk, and others deposits. 

Why is Greenwich, CT Known for Hard Water?

Mid Country Greenwich, in our experience, seems to be an area where there is a high concentration of underground minerals. Our home maintenance professionals have had a higher concentration of service visits to this particular region of the town. The geological conditions of the ground, and the fact that many in this area are on wells, are contributing factors. 

Problems Resulting from Hard Water

Mineral rich water can lead to a host of household issues. One of the most serious problems can be clogged plumbing. Mineral deposit buildup can restrict water flow. It can also clog water heaters, dishwashers and other equipment, and cause low flow in showers and sinks. 

This is not only inconvenient it can also be lead to big expenses. Appliance lifespan can be shortened, and unclogging plumbing can be a timely job. Reaching out to a residential property maintenance company before the issue gets too severe can help you save in the long run. 

When hard water settles on bathtubs, toilets and sinks it can leave visible mineral scale deposits. This film can be very hard to clean off and can be unsightly.  Other issues include dingy laundry, hard to clean hair, and skin irritation.

Heavy metal and/or bacteria can also occur in household water supplies that run on wells. Ingesting these deposits can lead to serious health problems if not dealt with. At Duffy Home Solutions our water experts can test your water as a first step to determine the condition of your water supply. 

How To Solve The Problem of Hard Water

The most common fix is to install a water softener system. The softener removes minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron and manganese and replaces them with sodium ions in a process called ion exchange. Softener tanks contain negatively charged media that pulls in positive charged minerals as water passed through. The collected water that contains hard minerals is eventually flushed out of the system. 

To determine the type of system you’ll need, a property management company can bring in a water treatment professional to first analyze your water conditions. This will allow them to determine the size and type of water softener equipment to install. During the analysis process it’s always a good idea to test for bacteria and heavy metals as well. If there is an issue you’ll want to consider a water filtration system. Whole house systems can continually filter the entire water supply to the home.

How to Clean Stubborn Deposits

If you have hard water you likely have tubs, toilets and sinks with mineral deposit buildup. This residue is not easily removed.  One way to clean these areas is with vinegar. Soak a rag in white vinegar and place the rag over the affected area. Let it sit for one hour. This should loosen the minerals. You can then scrub with a sponge. 

In Conclusion

For residents of Greenwich, CT and surrounding Fairfield County towns, hard water can be a persistent issue. The good news is that it can be dealt with. To make sure you achieve the appropriate resolution have your property management service bring in a water treatment professional. They will test the water and make sure that you have the right equipment for your specific needs. 

26
Sep
Residential Property Management in Greenwich, CT

Maintaining a home in Greenwich, CT is a year round effort involving a wide range of seasonal and yearly tasks. If you’ve moved from an apartment in New York City to Greenwich, the contrast in responsibilities can be overwhelming. Property upkeep is no less daunting for those that have owned property in the suburbs for years. Fairfield County, CT provides a range of unique maintenance challenges. Oftentimes homeowners look to property management services to help stay on top of things. 

HVAC Needs

Homes in New England towns like Greenwich are constantly subject to harsh heat and cold. As a result your HVAC system is in high demand almost year round. High temperatures in the summer can require your AC to run constantly, and cold winters put strain on furnaces. Conducting yearly inspections and cleaning of your HVAC system is essential to avoiding large mechanical issues. These checkups also help keep the equipment running at peak efficiency. 

When you hire a residential property management company, such as Duffy Home Solutions, we will schedule AC and Furnace maintenance with trusted local HVAC professionals. In fact, our home maintenance company can help maintain your entire property year round. 

Water and Waterfront Issues

Greenwich waterfront properties have a unique set of maintenance needs. High water tables can lead to basement, yard and driveway flooding. And wind and rain coming off the Long Island Sound can constantly barrage your exterior. The roof, siding, doors, driveway, and deck all wear faster as a result of these conditions. Your home maintenance service can provide regular inspections, repairs, and upkeep. Typical tasks include painting, roofing repair and replacement, wet basement repair, drainage modifications, rust remediation, etc. 

Even if your home is not located directly on the water, the Greenwich, CT climate is still a bear on home exteriors. All of the issues mentioned above typically require attention, just not as frequently. 

Permitting

If you’re planning to remodel or build a pool or addition in Greenwich, CT you’ll want to first consider the permitting requirements. They can be complicated. The property management professionals at Duffy Home Solutions provide full renovation services. We are highly experienced with area regulations and can navigate the entire permitting and building process. 

Building in Greenwich comes with some unique challenges. Oftentimes builders encounter issues such as ledge, high water tables, wetlands, footprint restrictions, etc. Having a professional on your side that knows the local permitting process can help make the project run faster and smoother. 

Maintaining a Second Home 

Many properties in Greenwich, CT are second homes for full time Manhattan residents. Having a trusted source to help with sustained upkeep is critical in this case. Larger tasks may include yard and garden maintenance, plowing, pool cleaning, and repairs. Smaller tasks can include opening and closing the house, dusting, light bulb replacement, etc. When you have a trusted maintenance professional on your side you’ll feel confident that things will be well cared for, and that the home will be in perfect condition when you arrive. 

In conclusion, keeping up with maintenance in Fairfield County, CT can be a challenge, but support from a Greenwich property management company can make all the difference. At Duffy Home Solutions we provide year round maintenance support for virtually any task, large or small. We manage and schedule trades as needed, all of which are experienced, local professionals. And you’ll have one point of contact for issues and questions. Your primary contact will also be responsible for letting trades into the house when needed. The end result is peace of mind and more time to enjoy your property.

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