plano handyman

Is it Time to Upgrade your Home's Electrical Panel?

Of all the things in our home that need maintenance, we rarely think about the home’s electrical panel.

Did you know that some older homes are built with electrical panels that don’t even meet today’s building codes? Routine inspection of your electrical panel is key to avoid any issues or fire hazards. Also be on the lookout for any of these home electrical issues could signify its time to upgrade the electrical panel:


1.    You are remodeling, adding an addition to your home, or installing new appliances.

Any of these things – large remodeling project, home addition, or new large appliances – can consume large quantities of electricity that your current electrical panel may not be prepared to handle. In order to avoid tripping your circuit breakers on a routine basis, upgrade the panel to add amperage.

2.    You suspect electrical wiring issues throughout the home.

Did you know that faulty wiring is a leading cause of home fires in the US? It is important to have your electrical panel and the wiring throughout the home checked by a licensed Plano electrician. Warning signs include sparking or discolored outlets, flickering lights, dimming lights, and a burning smell that will not go away.

3.    You use a ton of extension cords and power strips.

In our day and age, we have tons of devices that we want to plug in; many times we want them all plugged into the same outlet, so we use a power strip or extension cords to do the job. When you notice an overabundance extra cords in your home, it’s a good idea to go ahead and update the panel to add circuits and outlets for efficiency.


If you haven’t had your electrical panel inspected in awhile, give Castle Doctor a call! Our team will come out and inspect the panel, and get you on a regular home maintenance schedule so that never have to worry about it again. Castle Doctor handles all your Plano home maintenance needs so you don’t have to!

Back to School Checklist: "Three Rs" of Home Maintenance

Back to school season is a great time for homeowners to do their own homework and assess any maintenance that needs to be done around the home.

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The American Society of Home Inspectors – the ASHI – recommends following three simple “Rs” of home maintenance to prevent more costly issues down the road and maintain home value:


1.    Replace

With summer comes heat, and heat can definitely take its toll on our homes in Plano – requiring certain items to be replaced more rapidly. Walk around your home and look for any loose caulk or warped boards that have pulled away from the home due to heat. And what about your air filters? Take this opportunity to replace filters and batteries you may have neglected to replace during the summer months.


2.    Repair

Fluctuations in temperature can wreck havoc on the exterior of your home, causing cracks in the foundation, masonry issues, roof damage, cracked walkways, and more. Take a close look at the exterior and interior of your home and examine for home maintenance issues. Repairing these issues now will prevent most costly Plano home maintenance repairs in the future.


3.    Remove

Back to school season is a great time to remove debris and overgrown shrubbery before the Fall season. Check for clogged gutters and remove debris accordingly. Trim back overgrown tree limbs that could cause issues if a storm blows through. Did you have some of your landscaping bite the dust during the summer? Remove any dead plants that may be causing an eyesore.


Need help with your back to school homework? Give Castle Doctor a call today for a free in-home consultation! You will love the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home is well maintained. And with 5 levels of membership available, it’s easy to find the level of maintenance that works for you. Proudly providing the best handyman service to Plano, Allen, Frisco, McKinney, Dallas, and the surrounding North Texas communities.  

Water Heater Tips & Tricks: Vacation Mode

If you are planning to be out of town for any extended period of time this summer, then Castle Doctor in Plano, Texas encourages you to put your water heater in vacation mode.


Why Should I Use My Water Heater’s Vacation Mode?


·      Energy Efficiency: If your home is equipped with a typical water storage-type water heater, then energy efficiency is the name of the game when it comes to using your vacation mode. A typical water heater already heats and then stores the water in the drum at around 60 degrees, mainly because it’s easier to heat 60 degree water to hot than it is to heat cold tap water. When going out of town for a vacation, you do not need your water heater to keep the water at 60 degrees – and waste energy in the process!

·      Cost Savings: If your water heater is not heating water you don’t need, then you are going to see a reduction in your energy costs.

·      Reduced Wear and Tear: Any appliance is subject to wear and tear, and with a water heater, with extended use comes possible corrosion and the build-up of minerals inside the pipes. Take advantage of opportunities of non-usage to reduce the need to call a Plano handyman.


How Do I Set My Water Heater’s Vacation Mode?

The method for setting vacation mode varies based on what type of water heater you have. It is always best to consult your water heater’s instruction manual, but as a general rule of thumb, use these guidelines:

·    Electric Water Heater: Use the temperature dial to turn the temperature all the way down to its lowest setting. Another option: turn it off completely at the circuit panel.

·    Natural Gas Water Heater: Locate the temperature dial and turn it to “vacation mode,” if that setting is available. If not, moving the dial to its lowest setting will provide efficiency while you are gone.

If you suspect a water heater issue or need other home maintenance in Plano, give Castle Doctor a call today for a free home consultation.

Get Your Home's Exterior Ready for Summer - Castle Doctor Plano

If you are anything like most North Texans, chances are you will be spending a good deal of time outdoors this summer. Swimming in the pool, lounging on your patio in the evening, grilling with friends and family, and more.


But what condition is the exterior of your home in?


During the winter months, most homeowners stay indoors and pay little attention to what is happening on the exterior of the home. Take advantage of this time before the heat of summer hits to inspect the exterior of your home for any issues that need to be addressed:


·       General Inspection: Take a good look at all sides of your home. You may notice different issues on different sides, given the material and the weather. Sun, heat, wind, rain, and other natural elements are known to wreck havoc on your home in different ways.

·       Fascia & Soffits: Fascia boards are the boards that run vertically facing down from the overhang and soffits run horizontal underneath the overhang. Inspect these boards for cracks, loose sections, or general deterioration.

·       Gutters & Downspouts: Now that the leaves have come in on the trees, clear the gutters and downpouts of any remaining debris or pollen that may be clogging the lines. It’s also important to check the condition of the gutters and whether or not they can hold the necessary amount of water to deflect water from the home.

·       Siding: Inspect siding for deterioration or loose parts that are no longer secure.

·       Brick: Look for cracks in the mortar that are there from age or from water/bug issues.

·       Windows: Inspect each window to see if new caulk is needed. Do any necessary repairs as soon as possible to prevent further damage and lower your energy bills.

·       Foundation: Walk around the home and look for any cracks in the foundation or signs of termites.

·       Outdoor spaces: Inspect all pergolas, arbors, and decks to make sure the wood is still in excellent condition. Re-stain the wood if necessary. Also, power wash patio spaces, blow off debris, etc.


Need help inspecting your home’s exterior or in search of a Plano repairman to make these repairs for you? Look no further than Castle Doctor: your one stop shop for handling all of your home’s maintenance needs – so that you don’t have to! 

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Spring Forward with These 5 Home Maintenance Tips

Can you believe Spring has almost sprung? Daylight Savings Time has begun, and Spring is just around the corner. As a homeowner, we can look at the bi-annual clock changes as a good time to handle home maintenance. But what to do? Here are a few tips on things to check now – and every time - you change the clocks:


1.     Change Batteries in Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors


There is nothing more irritating that waking in the middle of the night to a beeping smoke detector. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors bi-annually – with the time changes – in order to prevent this from happening, and more importantly, to keep them in good working condition.


2.     Seal Air Leaks


With the warmer weather coming, the last thing you want is a warm draft coming in through nooks and crannies, running up your electric bills. Have a professional locate air leaks and broken seals, and then seal those leaks with caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping.


3.     Rotate Ceiling Fan Blades


The Department of Energy recommends changing the direction your ceiling fan blades go, according to the time of year. In warmer months – as we are about to encounter – your blades should be rotating counterclockwise.


4.     Drain the Hot Water Heater


Sediment can build up in a water heater overtime, so it’s important to drain it periodically in order to prevent this build up from occurring.


5.     Change Air Filters


Air filters should really be changed every 3 months, but at the very least, use the clock change as your opportunity to change the filters – should you have forgotten. Remember, you have 2 sets of lungs in the home, one is the set in your body; the other is the HVAC system. And if it’s not properly maintained, it does affect the air quality you are breathing.


Need help performing these and other home maintenance in Plano? Give Castle Doctor a call today! With affordable monthly subscription plans, a Plano handyman is always just a call away. Our team prides itself on keeping major home issues at bay by maintaining your home at the highest level. 

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