Checking Your Roof 

After a storm you should always check your roof for missing shingles, missing rain caps on furnace and water heater vent stacks, and natural gas appliances that require vents. You don't necessarily have to climb on your roof to check these out; using binoculars works just as well and is much safer. Make a habit of looking up at your roof whenever you approach your house, either from the front or back yards. This way you will notice immediately if something is wrong.

 Furnaces are expensive and a missing rain cap on the vent stack can shorten the life of the heat exchanger by more than half. Note that not all pipes sticking up on your roof need rain caps, some of them are plumbing vent pipes.

We encourage you to look at your roof as you are driving up to your house, since you can get a good view of the roof that way.

Grandparents Day

 Gaze into Your Dog's Eyes


  A new study shows that puppy love is real. When you gaze into the eyes of your puppy (or dog), you know you are communicating with your pet. Now, a new study shows that you and your dog are communicating chemically as well.

  Japanese studies found that when a dog stares at its human, levels of a hormone called oxytocin rise.

  The oxytocin, know as the "love hormone" for its role in parent-child bonding, encourages the human to gaze longer, which further increases the oxytocin in the dog, creating a feedback loop of happiness and connection.

  A paper by Miho Nagasawa, a post doctural fellow at Jichi Medical University, says, "Dogs and humans can communicate very naturally, and they can be friends in a natural way."

  In one study published in Science, when humans and their dogs were left alone for 30 minutes, dogs who gazed longer had extra oxytocin in their urine.

  The same test was tried on wolves and their handlers. For them there was no gazing and no extra oxytocin.

electrical house note

Inspectors May Find Some Flaws in "Perfect" Home

A home inspection can spare you from surprises after you buy. After crunching the numbers, searching your favorite neighborhoods, and weighing the pros and cons of each property you've seen, you've chosen a house that seems like the perfect fit for you. While it may be "perfect" when it comes to location, price, or features, it's now time for you to find out about the home's imperfections before you hand over your hard-earned cash.

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 Housenotes Cover

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Home Maintenance March 2015