The Inspector Newsletter
June 2015: Summer Home Maintenance
Maintenance Matters

Maintenance Matters

It’s Time to De-winterize Your Sprinkler System

Summer is here, and that means sunshine — and dryer conditions for your lawn and landscape plants. If you didn’t de-winterize your sprinkler system in the spring, then now is the time. Here’s how:

Note in the picture, the positioning of the two green handles (red arrows) and the two screws (green arrows). This tells us this system has been winterized. The water to the sprinkler system was shut off inside the house, and the two handles and the two screws were then positioned as seen in this picture. This positioning allows the sprinkler system to drain.

To de-winterize the system, the two green handles would be positioned where they are in direct alignment with the pipe on which they are located. The two screws would be positioned (where the flathead screwdriver fits) perpendicular to the handle it is closest to. Then, of course, the water would be turned on from inside the house and the timers reset per your wishes.

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Did You Know?

Do You Have Vines Growing on Your House?

To some people, ivies and flowering vines crawling up a house add beauty and sense of nostalgia. But at what price to the home’s structure?

Some vines, like wisteria and climbing hydrangea, are woody vines, which can become heavy on your home’s siding, fence or other lightweight structures. Others have growths like suction cups that attach to the house, trapping moisture and causing rot conditions for wood siding. The problem with growing vines on stucco siding is that when the vines are pulled off, they’ll take paint and chunks of stucco with them. And, on houses with aluminum or vinyl siding, vines can grow up under the siding, creating openings for moisture and pests. Furthermore, the invasive roots of ivy and other types of creeping plants can cause considerable damage to a house.

Brick siding in good condition will likely handle ivy, but for weakened brick, creeping vines can widen existing cracks and allow water inside. If you’ve decided you definitely want to grow vines on your brick home, be careful what type of vine you choose. English ivy and others are so invasive that they are banned in some areas. Do some research and choose vines that are less invasive and won’t threaten neighboring trees and houses.

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The balloon-framed house was developed in Chicago in 1833. How did balloon framing get its name?

Be the first to answer correctly and win a $10 Starbucks gift card. Submit your answer to your local GPI inspector to find out if you’ve won.

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