House Talk Episode 2 – Professional Property Management for Second Home Owners with Dana of Home Fridays

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Karen:  Hi. This is Karen Malanga with Nest Bend Real Estate in another episode of House Talk. Today we’re fortunate to have Dana Carmichael visit us. She has a great company in Central Oregon called Home Fridays.

I am so thankful for Dana because we have so many second home buyers here in Central Oregon. They moved here, they purchased a home. They want to spend a little time here. They don’t really get that we have four seasons and winter can just wreak havoc on a home especially if you’re not having it looked after.

So Dana, can you explain a little bit about Home Fridays and how you help homeowners through the winter?

Dana: Yes, I can. Home Fridays provides services for the homeowners that are gone throughout the year. We provide weekly checks, inspecting the interior and the exterior of the home.

Winter is probably our biggest challenge of a season because of the temperature extremes and the storms and what happens with the storms. So things that we coordinate with our home to prepare it for winter is getting regular furnace checks, one in the fall and then putting foam vents on the house, measures to protect from a freezing pipe. We also recommend cleaning the gutters because once gutters get full of needles and snow, ice, they can get torn off. Some of this is preventative.

The last thing we look for in the fall is mice coming in. So if you’re gone from your house all winter, you could have a major mice catastrophe.

Karen: I have a client that had one of those. She took her husband on an RV trip to the south to be warm and came back and literally every single mattress, the mice were all over. She had to get a dumpster and they were in the walls. It was really bad.
I don’t want people to think that we have a lot of mice here in Central Oregon. We just have a few, but you certainly don’t want them in your house.

Dana: Or squirrels, squirrels down in Sunriver. Each area has their own issues. The biggest thing we worry about in the winter is any water damage that could occur if a pipe is frozen, if your furnace stopped working.

And again, Home Fridays prevents these things from happening because if your furnace breaks, we’re going to know within a week that it’s broken and get it repaired. And then in addition, I was going to talk about ice dams because that was something I didn’t know about until I moved to Central Oregon and I don’t know if you know about ice dams.

Karen: I know nothing about ice dams.

Dana: Okay. I’m going to share a little bit about ice dams. Any homeowner in Central Oregon should know about ice dams.

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Karen: Okay.

Dana: And they occur with the perfect storm that we had several from Thanksgiving through really New Year’s. You get significant snowfall. It accumulates on your roof and then temperature starts to meld during the day and freeze at night.

Rooflines that are in the shade, more often north facing, are more susceptible. A lot of the homes down in Sunriver have so many trees. These didn’t just occur on the north facing walls of the rooflines. What happens is the snow melts during the night, freezes at night and literally creates a dam and then the next day it melts more and water starts building up and building up.

Karen: Oh, wow.

Dana: And it can literally peel the ice building up from day to night, peel shingles away from the roof or just have water literally find a way into your house through some seam or opening because…

Karen: The water will find a way.

Dana: …the ice had melted off into the gutter.

Karen: Yeah.

Dana: So just to put it in perspective of our homes that we manage, we had 10 over that course of a period that we were able to catch earlier on and minimize damage.

Some of the homes had no damage at all. A couple of homeowners were there and caught them themselves over New Year’s. I think I had three in a row every day of water coming in the house.

Then what happens is we get a roofer up to break off the ice. If there is a problematic spot that’s going to continue to be, you can do some heat take on the roof line that actually physically melts where ice would build up. But for Central Oregon, we had so many and that’s not even all the homeowners that I don’t know.

Home Fridays is able to prevent the damage, the water damage in all of those homes because we were there so quickly after it happened. But if water kept melting for a month, you’d have a significant problem with your house and restoration issues.

Karen: Wow. I never knew about ice dams.

Dana: I know. So when we walk in the exterior of the house, we look for ice building up and spots and then we check interior walls and look for any spots that water might be leaking through and try to get the experts out to understand where the problem is, how to fix it and all that stuff.

Karen: I think that that’s a really good example of why it’s important to have someone like Home Fridays onboard when you do choose to have a second home in Central Oregon.

Dana: Exactly.

Karen: I think because we’re talking and it’s winter that this is probably the most prevalent thing that’s on people’s minds when they’re away like what’s the temperature dipping to?

Dana: Yeah.

Karen: And also things like keeping the cabinets open around the sinks or maybe even getting a home winter eyes if people aren’t going to be using the home the whole winter. I would imagine it’s challenging sometimes for you because you’re maintaining a home and then all of a sudden, people just pop in and you have to know their schedule as well probably.

Dana: Yeah. We do an excellent job of keeping a master calendar when people are coming and we prepped our homes, which is turning up the temperatures. Sometimes that’s the temperatures on their spas, closing the cabinets that were by the sinks and again that was to keep the pipes warm and any specifics that the homeowners want. We do a variety of services.

Karen: So if someone needs your help, which I’m sure someone does, what’s the best way to reach you, Dana?

Dana: Well, our website is really easy. It’s www.HomeFridays.com. We can also be reached at (541) 317-3088. It’s our office here in Bend and we service homes from Redmond down through Sunriver and Caldera, Crosswater.

Karen: Thank you so much for being here today.

Dana: Thank you, Karen.

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