Monday, April 30, 2012

Smart home monitoring becoming mainstream

Do you have an elderly loved one who you can’t check on as often as you would like?  Are you aware of whether they are getting out of bed in the morning or if they are taking their medications regularly? If they have caregivers, are they performing their duties responsibly? We all worry when we cannot be there.  

Technology has advanced and made home monitoring a popular solution in residential elder care.  Many of the elder’s family and caregivers benefit from the varying elements of home monitoring such as: 

·         Doctors can monitor activity levels and verify medicine usage as well as perform many of the diagnostic tests regularly done in the doctor’s office via a home monitoring system.

·         You can have a peace of mind and be assured your loved one is mobile and performing their regular routines and be informed when they’re not.

·         The resident  themselves can be reminded to follow their routine.

Check out this article from  Sunday’s Chicago Tribune discussing smart home technology and how it can benefit the elderly in our community. Many devices already exist to aid those in need.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Time to come out of hibernation – Getting your home ready for spring!


 • Do a walk-a-round to inspect your siding, roof shingles and windows for excessive ware due to Old Man Winter. Repair any wood damage. Check the caulking. Re-caulk to keep moisture out and energy in.
• Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts for debris and damage before spring showers. Does drainage path lead away from foundation.
• Open crawl space vents for three seasons of the year to ventilate and reduce moisture built up over winter. Check for water trails into crawl space and repair.
• Chimneys experience the brutal effects of winter through expansion and contraction due to excessive heat, cold, moisture and dryness. Check exterior masonry for cracks, flashing at the junction with the roof, interior flue for rain cap and liner integrity.
• Clean the deck. Reseal after fully dry. Be very careful with pressure power washers. If used incorrectly can cause excessive ware to the wood surface. Synthetic surfaces then to manage better but still need cleaning.


 • Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Pushing the “test” button only tests the electrical connection from the battery. Replace any unit over seven years old. Dated label found typically on unit. The half-life of the radioactive element in the detector is about 8 years and therefore only about 50% effective at detecting smoke. CO detectors build up a residual level and often give false reading. • Adjust timers on lights and thermostats
• Clean air filters and circulate air throughout the house. Even leaving a bathroom fan on for a period of time will slowly provide some of the necessary air changes required. Inspect HVAC equipment to get ready for summer air conditioning season. You should only test the AC system when it has been over 60° overnight otherwise compressor damage may occur.
• Clean the fireplace and inspect the damper and visible flue for damage. Have professionally cleaned seasonally if used regularly.
• Flip mattresses and wash pillows. Deep clean carpets after spring mud traffic.
• Painting may be needed both on the exterior and interior. Fresh colors can often freshen up a room’s d├ęcor.

A licensed home inspector can be a valuable source for information, advice and a referral source for professional service providers. Architecturally Speaking can assist you in performing all the proper maintenance and inspections needed for you to enjoy your home year round. Give us a call at (847) 205-9844 and visit us on our website and Facebook page for our current promotions.

Visit our Website at or connect and follow us by “liking” us on Facebook at Facebook © Architecturally Speaking 2012