Nothing Fine about Fine Print: A Guide to Reading Your Warranty

When it comes to reading the fine print in a warranty, there are three types of people.

1. The Rebel. The Rebel will open up a new product and quickly toss the warranty back in the box or quite possibly, straight out the window. Rebels throw caution to the wind and say “Warranty? I don’t need no stinking warranty.” They shun the very thought of reading the fine print because they don’t think that it will come in handy when they need it. Fine print doesn’t get a second glance.

 2. The Overachiever. The Overachiever loves soaking up all the dry, legal terms and conditions. They open a new product and read the instructions cover-to-cover, then curl up with a mug of hot chocolate and dive into the warranty. Legalese is their second language and they swim in a sea of fine print.

3. The Scaredy Cat. The Scaredy Cat opens a new product and is filled with dread at the sight of the warranty staring up at them from the bottom of the box. The warranty intimidates them because they know it’s confusing and dull. To the Scaredy Cat, a warranty is like a long, boring homework assignment that will cost them money if they fail to turn it in.

So, if you have ever felt like a rebel or a scaredy cat, or if you have ever looked at a warranty and thought, “There is no way I’m going to read that.” this post is for you. We have gathered a list of what to look for when you read a warranty. These are the key points to read and understand so that the next time you voyage through a forest of fine print, it will be a walk in the park.

•    What Does it Cover? It may seem obvious, but it is crucial to find out exactly what your warranty covers. Some warranties only cover moving parts, others cover parts and the labor required to fix it, and others cover everything except for accidental physical damage. The point is, at a minimum, you need to know what is covered.

•    Who Does it Cover? While you may be the current owner, there is a possibility that you aren’t covered under warranty. If your warranty is “limited” and you did not buy the product directly from the retailer or manufacturer, the warranty may not transfer to you at all. For example, Chrysler’s 2007 “lifetime” warranty boasted that it would remain in effect for as long as the owner lived. However, the guarantee was only good for the first owner, and once the car was sold, all bets were off.

•    When Does it Expire? Expiration dates are critical for warranties and if you look closely, you will probably find this information right in the title. Some examples include “90-day limited warranty” or “4 Year Extended Warranty”.

•    What will they do to correct a problem? It’s important to know what the retailer or manufacturer will do if your product breaks down. Will they repair it, replace it or simply provide technical support over the phone? If you need to ship the product back to them, who pays for shipping and handling? These are important questions to ask.

•    What about other damages? If the product breaks and causes damage to other items in your home (such as your kitchen counters, walls or floors) will the company cover the damage? This is especially important for homeowners who have invested money into their homes. If your dishwasher breaks and causes water damage to your beautiful new hard woods floors, you need to know if the additional damage is covered by your warranty as well.

•    What do I have to do to keep the warranty in effect? Be sure to look for any indication that you are required to perform scheduled maintenance on your product. This will likely include, installing and using the product according to directions, connecting the product to a power supply of sufficient voltage, replacing blown fuses and repairing loose connections or defects in the house wiring. If you’ve owned an air conditioner for thirty years and have never changed the filter, your warranty might be void. In the words of Ricky Ricardo: “You’ve got some ‘splaining to do.”

Make it your goal to answer these questions when you read through your warranty and you’ll feel much more in control if your product breaks down. If you measure your warranty against this list and you’re not satisfied, you may want to consider an extended service contract from a third party provider.

Reprinted with permission from

Should You Consider Installing Leafguards?

LeafguardsYour house probably has gutters installed and you likely know that they’re used to help funnel water off the roof and into a predetermined path. But do you understand why this is?

Water can be incredibly corrosive — just one look at the Grand Canyon and you can understand just how much water can destroy a land mass. Keeping your landscaping protected from erosion is just one reason why homes have gutters. When they’re working correctly, they keep rain from settling just outside your home’s foundation. However, when there’s a clog and rain can’t freely flow through the system, you could have a problem with sitting, stagnant water. When it sits for a long time, it can eventually seep in through your home’s foundation.

What Do Leaf Guards Do?

Leaf guards do exactly what you would expect — they keep twigs, leaves and other small pieces of debris from clogging up the gutters. The next time you see your neighbor up on a ladder, scooping out handfuls of decaying matter, realize that it’s mostly leaves he’s scooping out. These leaves can eventually cause a clog, which then causes water problems. This is why many homeowners choose to install leaf guards when their home needs gutter replacement or gutter repair, especially if they live in an area with a lot of large trees.

Click here for a quick video explaining how leafguards work.

Types Of Leaf Guards

There are two types of guards, sloped and mesh systems. The sloped system has a hood that covers the gutters with a small opening. This opening allows rain to run through, but it is too small to allow in sticks and leaves. The mesh system has a strainer installed directly on top of the opening. The holes in the strainer keep out any debris. Mesh is decidedly more popular than the sloped hoods, mostly because it can handle heavy rains. The sloped styles can quickly become overwhelmed and rainwater will just run over the side instead of being funneled down.

Why Install Guards During A Gutter Repair Or Gutter Replacement?

Leaf guards can be installed at any time, but many people choose to have them installed when they’re already working on their gutters, either during a gutter repair or a gutter replacement. Doing this at the same time means that your gutter repair company will be able to do the work for you, saving you from having to spend hours up on a ladder.

Another major reason to have a gutter replacement company complete this job is that they’ll be able to ensure that it’s done right. If the slope is off, you could have problems with water coming into your home or causing erosion problems during heavy rains.

Water may be necessary but that doesn’t mean you want to have it in your house! If your home doesn’t have gutters, talk to a gutter replacement company about having them installed on your home. But if you do have them and you hate the thought of spending your precious weekend time cleaning them out, consider adding a leaf guard system and buy yourself some extra free time!

Gearing up for Autumn

AutumnHouseFall is such a wonderful season. The air is crisp, families stock up on school supplies and the trees become vibrant with color. Fall is often a welcomed relief from the heat, when we can all slip back into our normal routines after the busy summer season. With our beach chairs and sunscreen stored for next June, it’s time to start thinking about fall projects for around the home. We have listed some project ideas in this blog that range from very easy to moderate. Enjoy!

1. Bring the warm air down. Difficulty level: Very Easy

If you’re looking for a great way to make your home a little warmer without messing with the thermostat, we have a solution. If you remember back to third grade science class, you may recall that warm air rises. So, clean your ceiling fans and then reverse their direction so they push warm air down. It’s an easy project that will leave your home a little warmer this fall and it might even save you a buck or two!

2. Start a compost pile. Difficulty level: Very Easy

If you start your compost pile now, you’ll be a happy gardener by springtime! Start by gathering leaves and garden debris and then add organic kitchen garbage all autumn long!

3. Get your furnace checked. Difficulty level: Easy

Look for companies that offer fall discounts and make sure your furnace is in prime condition before the coldest part of the year!

4. Hire a chimney sweep. Difficulty level: Easy

Even if you don’t plan on using your fireplace very much this winter, you should take the time to hire a chimney sweep. You never know what animals have decided to make your chimney their new home. We’ve heard of everything from birds to raccoons! Besides, Santa deserves a freshly swept chimney this December.

5. Fill in the cracks. Difficulty level: Medium

You may not realize it, but your home loses heat through small cracks and gaps in your home. Purchase a tube of caulk and/or weather stripping. Apply as needed to doorframes, window jams, and areas in your garage. Spending a few hours on this project will save your heating bill this fall and winter.

6. Clean the gutters. Difficulty level: Moderate

Be sure to spend some time cleaning your gutters this Fall. This project is important because extra debris and heavy rains can actually cause damage to your gutters. Use a small shovel or broom to push and scrape the debris down and out and then use a hose to spray them down. While this somewhat time-intensive project is a little messy, it’s relatively inexpensive and can save you from purchasing all new gutters!

Reprinted with permission from

Useful ‘How To’ Video Links

Each month we are including some helpful video links along with your monthly maintenance reminders. Here is an ongoing compilation of the links for your convenience!


Cleaning your range hood filters
Dryer Maintenance
Dryer Troubleshooting
Garbage Disposal
Washing Machine
Water Heater


Testing your AFCI’s
Testing your GFCI’s


How to weatherstrip a door
How to inspect for termites
How to repair cracks in stucco
How to repair exterior siding
How to Buy Leaf Guards for a Gutter
How to Maintain Your Garage Door
Ensure proper drainage away from your foundation


Changing your furnace filter


Removing tough carpet stains


Irrigation Tips and Water Conservation
How to Fertilize Trees



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