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Home Inspections in Oakland County MI & Surrounding areas

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December Newsletter

It is hard to believe 2015 is coming to a close. It is hard to believe it is winter, given the warm weather we've been having. Even though winter has been slow


to come, it will come. And so will the holidays. Take time to enjoy this time of year. Take time to make it safe and healthy! In this month's newsletter we revisit our report on how long the appliances and mechanicals in your home are supposed to last, some key safety practices for holiday entertaining, and some fun facts about Christmas we bet you never knew!


Good to Know

Life Expectancy of Home Components

Wondering how long your garage door opener is supposed to last? Is it possible you need to replace your microwave or replace the siding on your house already? The National Association of Home Builders and Bank of America have published the "Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components" to guide homeowners in the care and maintenance of their homes.

About 30% of the 124 million homes in the U.S. were built before 1960. The longevity of anything depends on the quality of the materials, quality of manufacturing, quality of installation, the level of maintenance and intensity of use. The findings of this study are helpful to know when purchasing or upgrading your home. For instance, linoleum lasts only 25 years at best, while a wood floor will last a lifetime. If that new home you're considering has linoleum floors that are 22 years old, are you prepared to make upgrades in the next few years?

Download the study from our website here>>. It's an easy read and good to know!

Holiday Entertaining and Safety

Did you know unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S.? This Christmas season follow these few simple guidelines to keep the home fires burning in the fireplace, only!

  1. Keep an eye on the stove and oven. Make sure everything is turned off before leaving the house, too!
  2. Every time you use the oven or set something to cook/bake, use the oven timer as a reminder to take out the food and turn off the oven or burner!
  3. If you have smokers in the house, provide plenty of ashtrays and check them frequently. Douse cigarette butts with water before throwing them in the trash.
  4. Keep matches and lighters out of sight and out of reach of children.
  5. Keep candles out of reach of children. Burn candles in firesafe trays or containers. Keep candles away from curtains, greenery, lampshades or other flammable materials. Always put out candles when you go to bed or leave the house.
  6. Test your smoke alarms.
  7. Review your fire escape route and plans. Make sure your guests know the fire escape plan.


Winter To Do, Household Maintenance

This is the warmest December we've had in a while here in Michigan. We've all had a little extra time to get those outdoor home maintenance chores finished, and hanging the Christmas lights was a breeze! But the cold and snow are sure to come so it's time to look indoors. There are plenty of things you can do to keep your house in tip top shape during the winter.

1. Organize household paperwork. If you don't already have a location for all the appliance manuals, warranty paperwork and contractor contacts now is a good time to centralize and organize that paperwork. Centralize all files in one location, toss out any obsolete manuals, check use and care guides for regular maintenance schedules.

2. Tighten up. Walk from room to room with your screw driver and tighten any loose knobs, table legs, door hinges and handles. All those annoying jiggly or squeaky things you've been meaning to address.

3. Inventory your belongings and update your homeowners insurance. Grab a copy of your homeowner's insurance policy, your digital camera and a notebook. Photograph and log all your audio visual equipment, appliances, jewelry, entertainment systems, furniture, musical instruments, artwork and anything else of value in your home. Send the list to your insurance agent to make sure these items are covered in your policy.

4. Check plumbing and water insulation. If you have any exterior pipes make sure they are properly insulated against freezing. Put a blanket around your water heater to improve its efficiency.

5. Change the filter in the furnace. Every 30 days. Now that all the windows are closed it's more important than ever to keep interior air as clean as possible.

If you find any jobs that require a professional check our list of preferred contractors here>>

Christmas Facts


  • On average an American family will send out 28 Christmas cards and receive 28 Christmas cards
  • Spoiled leftover account for nearly 400,000 cases of post Christmas illnesses
  • In 2005 Forbes named Santa Claus (Age 1,651) the richest man in the world with a net worth of "infinity"
  • Xmas doesn't remove Christ from Christmas - in 1100 Christianity was spelled Xianity and X became a symbolic syllable for Christ


Lessons from a Snowman:


  • Wearing white is always in style - even after Labor Day.
  • Getting outside in the winter is good for your health.
  • It's fun just to hang out in your front yard.
  • We're all made up of mostly water.
  • Accessories don't have to be expensive.
  • Don't get too much sun!
  • If you're a little bottom heavy - hey, that's okay!
  • You know you've made it when they write a song about you.
  • If you look down and can't see your feet - you're probably not very active.
  • Sometimes sweating too much can have disastrous results.


Have a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday Season and Happy New Year! From Sterling Home Services

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