The summer season is winding down, so it’s the perfect time to prepare for winter months. So we’ve compiled a convenient list of tips for homeowners to make sure your home is ready for colder weather.

  1. Check your faucets in and outside of the home for leaks and repair them. Waiting until the temperature drops could be more costly if a pipe breaks.
  2. Complete tasks that should be done during warmer months while you can. This includes interior painting and cleaning or replacing carpeting.
  3. Schedule a heating system check-up from a professional, who will also check for possible carbon monoxide leaks. Remember to change your filters every month, and clean your heating ducts and vents.
  4. Prevent drafts! Replace window seals and door weather stripping if needed to prevent heat from escaping in the winter.
  5. Inspect your roof and clean out gutters. Being proactive will help find any leaks in the roof and prevent damage from clogged gutters.
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Photo: The Angelique, Southern Living Plan
Pender County, NC remodeler Mark Johnson Custom Homes encourages you to take advantage of State Farm Insurance Company’s Seasonal Home Maintenance Tips available on their website. Below are their Winter Tips and for more information on these and more, click here!
  • Remove screens from windows and install storm windows
  • Clean out gutters and downspouts
  • Store firewood at least 30 feet away from your home
  • Familiarize responsible family members with the gas main valve and other appliance valves
  • Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper and space under the dryer
  • Make sure all electrical holiday decorations have tight connections
  • Check the attic for adequate ventilation
  • Clean the kitchen exhaust hood and air filter
  • Check the water hoses on the clothes washer, refrigerator icemaker and dishwasher for cracks and bubbles
  • Test all ground-fault-circuit-interrupter (GFCI) outlets

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FOG PipeWhen building your own new home, St. James Plantation, NC new home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes urges you to keep in mind the negative aspects of a garbage disposal. The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority is raising awareness to keep FOG (Fats, Oils, Grease) out of your garbage disposal should you decide to have one installed. In March of 2008, Raleigh, NC banned the installation of garbage disposals in new homes due to the accumulation of grease in sewer systems leading to sewage spills. Raleigh had previously been forced to spend millions annually to flush out the grease in its sewer system with water and chemicals.  

The picture on the right is a sewer (wastewater) pipe that has been clogged due to accumulated grease. Garbage disposals do not “dispose” of food scraps and grease; they merely shred the waste into smaller pieces. It can eventually build up and cause blockages and overflows.

Hardwood FloorsMark Johnson Custom Homes frequently installs pre-finished hardwood floors in their new homes in Brunswick County, NC. The quality of the homes we build are extremely important to us, and it is equally important that our clients know how to properly maintain them after closing. The Wood Floor Covering Association investigated the proper cleaning products, maintenance steps to follow and debunked several myths on how to take care of your hardwood floors. To read the complete article entitled “What Feeding Bears and Ruining Your Pre-Finished Hardwood Floors Has in Common,” click here.

Jacksonville, NC custom home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to pass along this valuable information regarding the prevention of water damage in your home.

  • Check for hidden leaks by turning off faucets, all water-using appliances, and not flushing toilets for one hour. Record the water meter reading. If the flow indicator (triangular or diamond-shaped rotating button) is spinning or the meter reading has changed while no water is being used, a leaking pipe may exist.
  • Know where the main water shut off valve is located in your home and check it frequently to make sure it is operational.
  • Disconnect garden hoses from all spigots before the start of winter.
  • Fill in any low spots around the house so water drains away from the foundation.
  • Inspect caulking around windows and doors and replace as needed where cracked or deteriorated.

For many more tips on detecting water damage and preventative measures, click here.

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SAFEJacksonville, NC home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes is among the 2008 winners of the National Association of Home Builders’ Safety Award for Excellence. Mark Johnson Custom Homes was recognized with the Single-Family Builder Safety Program Award, kept safety regulations at the forefront of their educational efforts and has maintained a workplace free from serious injuries for 41 consecutive months. “Safety is one the most important factors when considering the overall success of a project. If our trade partners and jobsite visitors don’t make it home in the same condition they arrived, we have failed them as managers,” said safety coordinator Kevin Johnson.