May 2019

May 2019

HHP Construction Specifications
The Heritage Home Program, and the Cleveland Restoration Society, outlines standards that all exterior projects are held to. The Heritage Home Program takes these standards seriously in order to ensure that the best materials and practices are used by all contractors who work with homeowners in the program. Below are a few examples of the quality of work required when estimates are submitted and projects are reviewed. For a complete list – including carpentry, masonry, windows and doors, garage repairs, and more- check out our General Specifications, which can be found at

Type of Construction
HHP Specifications at a Glance
The contractor is responsible for:

  • Contacting the municipality to find out which jobs require a permit
  • Securing all necessary permits prior to beginning any work subsidized with Heritage Home Loan Program funds
  •  Scheduling and being present for all necessary inspections.
It is ultimately the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure all permits are pulled.
The contractor should verify all measurements and quantities in the field.
Do not install concrete when air temperatures are below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or when such temperatures can reasonably be expected within three days following the completion of work.
When installing an asphalt driveway, dig out, remove existing driveway, and haul away debris. Apply a herbicide to any vegetation in driveway prior to installing base.
When removing aluminum siding, carefully remove the siding from all areas, taking care to not damage the original wooden shingles, siding, and trim underneath.
Do not discard any fixtures or hardware without approval from the owner or CRS.
Roofing, Gutters, and Insulation
Colors and materials must be approved by the homeowner and CRS.
Insulation should be done before repair or replacement of siding and after the installation of any mechanical in the exterior walls.
When repairing or replacing a roof: sweep off and properly dispose of all dirt and debris from roof deck. Clean gutters of any roofing debris. Check for any projecting nails and drive in.
Install a layer of 30# felt over the deck; lap all seams at least two inches. Install Ice and Water shield to all eaves and valleys. Ice guard should extend up from gutter board 6 feet.
Where wood has been exposed to the weather remove all gray and oxidized wood to produce a clean, sound surface.
Open-flame torches, sandblasting, and water blasting are not allowed.
When preparing other wood surfaces for painting, remove all loose, alligatored, or damaged paint to the sound substrate using sharp drag scrapers, heat plates, heat guns, followed by hand sanding, or mechanical sanders equipped with HEPA vacuums.
Do not paint when the temperature is or will be below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, when rain or cooler weather appears likely, or on surfaces that are not completely dry.
Interested in learning more? Reach out to the Heritage staff with all additional questions. Contact information may be found at the bottom of the newsletter.
Homeowner Best Practices
Choosing a contractor can be intimidating. The Heritage Home Program wants to make picking the right contractor for your projects as painless as possible. That’s why we created the Homeowner Best Practices sheet, covering topics such as what to ask contractors, how to communicate with your contractor, what contracts should include, and contractor don’ts.
For a high quality printable version of the above Homeowner Best Practices sheet, please check here. If you would like print outs of this sheet to stock in your town hall, community center, or to otherwise pass out to homeowners, let us know and we would be happy to bring you a stack!
April 2019

April 2019

Preservation and Sustainability: A Dynamic Duo

April 22nd is Earth Day! Did you know preservation and sustainability go hand-in-hand? As preservation focuses on the restoration and reuse of existing structures, resource and material consumption are reduced. Not only does this result in less waste in landfills, it also requires less energy to restore buildings than it does to demolish them and construct new ones. The facts are startling:
  • In the United States, 43% of carbon emissions and 39% of total energy use is a result of the construction and operation of buildings. The environmental impact is even greater when the greenhouse gas emissions associated with manufacturing building materials and products are considered.
  • If the US continues its current trends of development, by the year 2030 approximately one-third of the nation’s building stock will have been demolished and rebuilt – for a total of 82 billion square feet. The energy consumption that requires would be enough to power the 37 million residents of the state of California for an entire decade.
  • 2/3 of all non-industrial solid waste in the US comes from building-related construction and demolition debris. The average demolition yields 155 lbs. of waste per square foot, and new construction yields 3.9 lbs. of waste per square foot of building area.
Clearly, current construction patterns are not working. A second option must be considered – preserving existing historic structures.
Can historic buildings be energy efficient? Dispelling myths:
Over the past few decades, many strides have been made to develop “high performance” or “green” buildings. While these advancements have been enormous, they have largely – and erroneously – been seen as exclusive to new construction. However, considering the environmental costs of new construction, erecting “green” buildings from the ground up is not as effective as upgrading historic structures. Not only can historic buildings be updated with modern, energy efficient features and systems, they are also by nature more environmentally friendly. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy states that commercial buildings constructed before 1920 use less energy per square foot than buildings from any other decade until 2000 – and even then, buildings from the 2000s only use 424 BTUs fewer of energy consumption per year than their pre-1920s counterparts.
The statistics may be surprising – but there is a straightforward explanation. Many historic buildings were designed with passive systems, before the widespread use of electric lighting and powered heating and cooling. Thus, these structures were made to take advantage of ventilation, solar orientation, and natural daylight by design – characteristics that are again being forefronted in 21st century “sustainable” construction. Further, the materials used to create these historic structures such as concrete, wood, glass, and steel, are more durable than their modern competitors.
How can the Heritage Home Program help?
Though the merits of historic buildings cannot be overstated, many recent advancements are undeniable in their effectiveness, including modern heating and cooling systems, and alternative energy forays such a solar power. That’s why the Heritage Home Program supports updating such systems in historic homes. You don’t have to take our word for it – the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation also allow for modern amenities to be implemented in historic buildings. With this in mind, the Heritage Home Program can help ensure your home is energy efficient – saving both the planet and your wallet. Some examples include:
  • Site Visits: Free, thirty-minute site visits are available for homeowners in participating communities in homes that are fifty years or older. Our construction specialist is able to come out to your home and discuss ideas for how to make your house more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
  • Technical Assistance: The HHP staff can match you with qualified contractors in your area to upgrade your existing systems or install alternative energy products, review estimates from contractors, and discuss what updates might be right for you and your home.
  • Heritage Home Loan: The Heritage Home loan can be used to fund the replacement and insulation of modern heating, cooling, and electrical systems. From updated furnaces to solar panels, we can do it all!
  • Window Repair Resources: Though often-perpetuated, the idea that new windows are more effective than original windows is a myth. In fact, replacement windows only last an average of 10-20 years, whereas with the correct maintenance, original windows can survive indefinitely. Window repair and rehabilitation reduces the disposal of original windows into landfills, and is more environmentally effective than manufacturing new windows. Furthermore, the vinyl materials most new windows are constructed with, are neither biodegradable nor easily recycled; vinyl is infamously considered to be a “red” material by green building standards. Additionally, adding storm windows, caulking, and using weatherstrips can make original windows as energy efficient as new replacements. Want more information on how to restore your home’s windows? CRS is hosting a wood window presentation in April and HHP is hosting two window repair workshops in June. Please contact us for more information, or check the calendar on our website for the full schedule of events.
Whether you want solar panels on your roof or a new boiler in your basement, the Heritage Home Program is here to help. Give us a call at (216) 426-3116, or shoot us an email at hhp@heritagehomeprogram – we are looking forward to hearing from you! You can also check out our website,, for more information about the program, or to schedule a site visit online. There are so many ways to renovate existing buildings to maximize energy performance – get started today!
Don’t Be Fooled this April!
April Fool’s Day may have passed – but house maintenance is no joke! Check out our alternatives for some common problems that trick homeowners, as adapted from the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation:
Don’t fool yourself by…
Try this instead!
Replacing in-tact historic wood features with fresh wood.
Repairing existing wood features when possible, & only replacing when damaged.
Using high-pressure systems, such as sandblasting or high-pressure water, to clean metal features of home.
Using minimally abrasive methods – hand scraping and a wire brush for hard metals, and non-corrosive chemical methods for soft metals.
Removing paint from masonry and wood that would have historically been painted, or painting masonry or wood that would not have originally been painted.
Identifying and preserving features in a way that maintains whether or not they were originally painted.
Painting your home’s exterior in modern colors.
Using your home’s style and era to determine the proper colors to paint your home.
March 2019

March 2019

March Home Madness

The winter can do a number on your home, and as March comes in with its hints of the nicer weather to come, it can be a great time to start planning home projects. Before you jump into a new bathroom or painting project, there are smaller things that you can do to make sure your home is in top shape before making big changes!

A great way to keep track of your projects can be a bracket! As each project gets completed, the incomplete one it is paired with gets moved to the next bracket until all the projects are done! The winner at the end of this bracket? You and your home! Your now well-maintained home will be ready for any spring and summer projects you’ve got planned.

What will be on the Heritage Home Program’s March bracket? Take a look and see!

Check roof: A roof has an important job all winter: keeping everyone inside warm and dry! So as it gets warmer, check your roof for cracks, holes, curling, splits, and broken and crumbling pieces. Keep an eye on parts that are under trees or that branches touch the roof as branches and animals may have damaged part of the roof.
Check windows: After a long (or short) winter, check your windows and doors for wear and tear. Look at the weatherstripping on the exterior for gaps or cracks, check the movement for any sticky spots, and look at the frames and sills for rot. The window sill is sometimes a place that water can end up sitting during snow and storms, and can rot, leaving moisture a way to get inside the home.
Check A/C: Checking your furnace before the winter comes is a good idea. Another good idea is checking your air conditioning unit/system before the summer hits. It’s better to know that your A/C unit needs work when it is 30 degrees out rather than 80 degrees.
Check chimney: Winter storms can push and knock your chimney around. Check to see if the chimney is leaning, and that the flashing isn’t peeling or completely gone.
Check mortar: As buildings shift and expand and contract throughout the year, mortar may crack. Check any mortar for cracks and look for any mortar that is missing or deteriorating.
Caulking: Things contract in the cold and expand in the heat, and cracks, gaps, and splits around your home are no different. During the mid-point of the year, when gaps are not too narrow and not too wide, is the best time to caulk it up! Caulking at this time minimizes the contracting and expanding the caulk will have to do throughout the year. Look over your home to see if there are any spots that could use a bit of caulk, or some touch ups.
Check driveway: Quick freezes and thaws can wreak havoc on asphalt and concrete, and add to that ice build-up and the all-important snow plow, and your driveway (and sidewalks) take a beating throughout the winter. Check for cracks that can be tripping hazards, and bring water in that can damage them.
Check gutters: It’s not just leaf and debris build-up that can be damaging to your gutters and downspouts. An icy or wet winter can mean that your gutters have been holding a lot of weight and could have been pushed by ice. As the snow thaws (or gets warmer, since we haven’t had much snow) it can be a good time to check your gutters and downspouts to make sure that they are securely fastened and in good shape.
Inspect porch: Winter snow, ice and storms can damage a porch or deck. Check your porch for a sagging ceiling, loose sections, and rot. Check the posts to make sure they have not been damaged by ice and snow build-up and are still firmly in the ground and footing.
Clean/brush siding: If you like to give your car a good wash after a long winter, wash your house too! Siding takes a beating throughout the year, and can sometimes use a good cleaning, or even brushing, to loosen some of the dirt that may have piled on – and can make any stains more visible, which is a good thing. If you have stains on your siding, that can be a sign of a moisture problem which can come from the siding or even the roof.
Check for rotten wood: Snow and water are not wood’s best friends, and if you’ve had a wet and snowy winter, check around your home for any rotten wood. Rotten wood leaves openings for moisture and insects to enter the home, and can affect the stability of your home. Be sure to check areas that see the most moisture carefully, such as areas around gutters and downspouts, around windows, and wood low to the ground.
Check for damaged paint: Winters can be dreadful for a beautiful paint job, and before spring comes and the sun shows the beautiful home off, check the paint to see if there are any worrisome spots. Peeling, flaking, cracking, and discoloration are all paint issues to keep your eyes open for.
Inspect foundation: Snow and ice piles up outside during the winter, and that means there is a lot of moisture pushing up against your home. Check your foundation inside and out for cracks and bulges that can be a sign of a larger problem.

Inspect surrounding trees: Trees covered in snow make a picture perfect winter, but the biting cold and heavy snow can damage trees, which can lead to damage to your home. Winter storms can leave broken branches waiting for the right moment to drop on an unsuspecting rooftop. As it gets warmer, look for broken branches and leaning limbs or trunks.

Look over fences and walls: Fences or stone walls surrounding a property can take a beating with snow being piled up against it during the winter or winter storms pushing it over. Don’t forget to check that gates are still operational as well. They can be just as easily damaged in a storm.

Check for insects/birds/animals: Your warm home and garage can be a haven in the cold months for little creatures. Check for insects, birds, and animals that may have found warmth in attic vents, soffits, eaves, basements, and garages. A little opening like a hole or slightly open window can be all a creature needs to invite itself in.

What will be on your bracket this month?

February 2019

February 2019

Little Ways to Show Love to Your Home

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, love is in the air. February is the perfect time to reflect on all the important relationships in your life – include your relationship with your house! Whether you’re enjoying the honeymoon stage as a new homeowner, or a long-time resident looking to bring the magic back, show your house a little extra TLC this winter with our quick tips:

1.)    Make sure that your home has working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Remember to test the detectors once per month, and change the batteries at least once per year. Though they are simple acts, they are potentially life-saving!
2.)    Keep your house and your family healthy by regularly replacing your HVAC filters. While you should replace the filters quarterly, check them monthly to ensure they are not clogged with dirt, dust, or other debris. Not only will you improve the air quality in your home, you’ll also lower your energy bill and extend the life of your HVAC systems!
3.)    Don’t forget your garage! Make sure everything is in working condition by lubricating your garage door hinges and rollers.

4.)    Remember to clear snow from all external vents and meters. While shoveling may not be your winter activity of choice, it is worth enduring the cold and taking a few extra minutes to ensure vents are free of snow – obstructed vents can force deadly carbon monoxide back into your home.

5.)    Get down and dirty with your refrigerator – by cleaning its grille and coils! Using a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush or a coil brush, remove grime which builds up over time and blocks air flow, ultimately burning out the refrigerator’s cooling mechanism. Make sure your fridge is unplugged first, of course!

6.)    The refrigerator is not the only thing that needs to be cleaned regularly! Other often-neglected appliances to clean include the filter in your range hood, your dryer vent, your bathroom fan exhaust grille, all household drains, and your garbage disposal. Proactive cleaning helps ensure that blockages won’t be a danger to your loved ones or to your home. 

7.)    Protect your home and family by expecting the unexpected, especially during the cold, snowy weather that comprises a Cleveland winter. Keep emergency supplies readily accessible, including flashlights, blankets, and canned food. Never use fires or space heaters to warm your home or cook your food.

8.)    Check your home for recalled appliances. One important recall to look out for are the once-popular Federal Pacific with Stab-Lok circuit breakers, which are prone to shorts and other malfunctions. Your electric panel – along with your outlets – should never feel hot to the touch!
9.)    Snow, rain, and ice may be an inevitable part of winter – but you can keep your house protected! Regularly check your basement and attic for leaks, especially during snows and after thaws. Fix problem areas as you see them – don’t let little leaks be the source of major stress and expense!
10.)   Brighten up your home with a fresh coat of paint. The Heritage Home Program staff can provide free color consultations to help you find historically-accurate colors that can make your house sparkle! As part of this service, HHP staff create personalized color palettes that fit the style and time period of your house, along with your personal color tastes and preferences. Call today to schedule an appointment!
11.)   Treat your home – and yourself – to a free site visit with our construction specialist. There’s always more to discover about your house, and our construction specialist is happy to answer any questions you might have, help find ways to fix problems, and give suggestions about making your space more livable to improve your relationship with your home – and, in turn, your life!
December 2018

December 2018

Fire Safety and The Holidays

Spark warm holiday memories with our fireplace safety tips!

From roasting chestnuts à la Mel Tormé to conspiring in a winter wonderland, one would be hard-pressed to name a more paradigmatic, archetypal holiday tradition than snuggling up with loved ones around a blazing hearth. There are few things quite as quintessential – and perhaps none as cozy – as gathering with friends and family around a fireplace, be it roaring with flames or barely glowing with embers. For Clevelanders, the love affair with fire around the holiday season comes as no surprise. As the nights grow colder, fires can serve as a welcomed break from the long, dark nights of the winter months, and an inviting excuse for an evening in. However, while fireplaces are a handsome addition to holiday festivities – the role of precaution in their usage cannot be overstated.

To ensure your holiday celebrations go off without a hitch, the HHP staff has assembled a list of the top fireplace safety tips for you to utilize this winter:


1.) A fireplace is not a furnace! Do not use the fireplace as a primary source of heat for the house, and do not have a fire burning for more than five consecutive hours.

2.) Always make sure that the fire is completely out before leaving the house or retiring for the evening. Be mindful that the coals can remain hot for up to three days after extinguishing a fire.
3.) Every house – regardless of whether or not it contains a fireplace – should have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors present on every level of the home, especially near the bedrooms. Make sure to check the detectors monthly and to change the batteries at least one per year! Additionally, every home should have a multi-purpose fire extinguisher easily accessible.
4.) Does your home have a chronic draft? Make sure that the damper or flue is closed when the fireplace is not in use! A closed flue will stop your heat – and your money – from escaping out of your chimney. Keep the flue open, however, anytime there is a fire burning, or if hot ashes and embers are burning – this can be checked by looking in the chimney with a flashlight and a mirror.
5.) Check that the chimney is clear by lighting a match within the fireplace and blowing it out. If the smoke does not travel up the chimney and exit the home, there is a blockage present and you should contact a professional chimney sweep.
6.) Only burn dry, cured, well-aged wood – hardwoods such as sugar maple, beech, white oak, and hickory burn longest. Using more porous woods, such as spruce and white pine, requires more wood to be added to the fire more often.
7.) Use artificial log starters sparingly. They should only be used to begin a fire, as they burn hot and unevenly; there should only be one log starter in the fire at all times, and an artificial log should never be added to a fire that is already burning. As log starters burn hotter than wood, using multiple may cause the metal within the fireplace to melt! To prevent flare-ups, never poke an artificial log.
8.) Refrain from burning holiday refuse, including giftwrap, packaging, bows, and boxes, as they may release toxins and chemicals into the home, which compromises air quality and corrodes the fireplace vent and chimney. Holiday greenery should not be burned, as it produces smoke and soot, which builds-up inside the chimney, forcing carbon monoxide into the home.
9.) Always open the glass fireplace doors when a fire is burning! The doors are intended to keep the draft out when the fireplace is not in use rather than as safety doors. When exposed to heat the glass may shatter or cause a severe burn risk. Bear in mind that the glass may remain hot even after the fire is out!
10.) Only burn a few logs at a time, starting small and slowly adding more wood as the fire grows hotter. Fires that are burned too hot may overheat the wall or roofing materials and crack or melt the chimney.
11.) To safely put out a fire, spread out the logs with a wrought-iron fireplace poker and use a fireplace shovel to bury the logs. Apply a thin layer of baking soda to extinguish any remaining embers. Once the fire is out, dispose of the ashes in a metal container with a metal lid – preferably steel, which should be kept on a concrete surface outside of the home and away from all combustible materials. Do leave an inch of ash in the fireplace, however – it will act an insulator, allowing future coals to heat up more quickly and retain heat longer! Remember that embers can remain hot for as many as three days after a fire, and to open the damper when shoveling ashes.
12.) Have a professional chimney sweep give the chimney and hearth a deep clean annually – if you burn less than 3 cords of wood per year – or biannually if you burn 3 or more. This will deter creosote buildup, a sticky, highly flammable organic material which is released when wood is burned, lingering in chimneys. The chimney sweep will also clean out soot – though it appears easy to brush off, soot gradually accumulates in layers, making it challenging to remove, which blocks the fireplace.
Even if it is not due for a cleaning, the chimney and hearth should be examined by a professional at least once per calendar year. While a chimney may look clean, it is difficult to determine whether or not animal nests, organic material, or other blockages are present, which may prevent smoke from escaping and force carbon monoxide into the home. Similarly, the removal of any tree limbs that encroach upon the chimney is necessary to safely use one’s fireplace. As a precautionary measure, it is recommended that a chimney cap be installed at the top of the chimney. The cap provides a number of benefits, including the prevention of water and other elements from entering the home and causing water damage, and reducing downdrafts. Further, a chimney cap with mesh thwarts animals from getting trapped or nesting in the chimney. Caps contain side vents to facilitate smoke escaping, and are often combined with a spark arrestor, an aptly-named piece which halts the emission of flammable debris, such as embers and sparks. When choosing a cap, give preference to stainless steel over a galvanized metal cap, which may rust more easily. A chimney sweep will be able to provide the cap, which ranges in price from $50 – $200. Additionally, a chimney sweep should be called to check for cracks in the structure of the chimney, loose bricks, and missing mortar before the first fire of the season. The chimney liner should be surveyed for any signs of deterioration and the damper should be inspected, as poor-sealing dampers allow for heat loss in the home.
While fire safety and fireplace care may seem overwhelming, it does not have to be! The staff of the Heritage Home Program encourages you to call with any question you might have. If you are concerned about the stability or usability of your chimney, fireplace, or their internal mechanisms, please contact the HHP staff to schedule a site visit. The Heritage Home Program maintains an extensive contractor database – if you would like a chimney sweep, repair referral, or are interested in installing a chimney cap, the HHP staff would be happy to point you to a reputable contractor in the area. Though the Heritage Home loan cannot be used to install a new fireplace, funding is available to repair fireplaces and chimneys already in existence. We hope you have very merry holidays, and we would love to make them just a bit more bright!
November 2018

November 2018

Working with Contractors

Hiring contractors can be a bit intimidating for homeowners so we are here to help!

 How do we find the best contractor? How do we know when to pay them for the work? What goes into a contract? Are they using the right methods/materials for my home? 

These questions and more come up when homeowners are planning projects for their home. They want to be sure that their home will be taken care of by a contractor that knows what they are doing and will complete the project correctly and safely. To have the best experience with a contractor working on a home, homeowners should make sure to have clear contracts that include the payment schedule, a detailed list of materials, information about warranties, daily clean-up procedures, and post the necessary permits on-site. Homeowners should ask contractors about the insurance they carry, what projects like theirs the contractor has completed, and call the references. Both the homeowners and the contractors need to be transparent in what work is going to be done and the cost. If there is a change in the contract, a written change order is needed.

Through the Heritage Home Program we can assist homeowners in reviewing contractor bids and estimates, give recommendations on repair and guidance on materials, supplies, and resources. The Heritage Home Loan includes a third-party review of the quality of the project and assists homeowners in communications with their contractors. In the contracts drawn up through the Heritage Home Loan, we require contractors to create a daily checklist for tidying up, ensure the use of drop cloths on carpet and furniture when painting, and that the contractors fully clean the site after the project is completed. 
We have a two-page “Hiring a Contractor” information sheet with tips and advice for homeowners and a one-page “Contractor Best Practices” information sheet available for your homeowners. 
Just ask and we can send the information your way! 

June 2018

June 2018

Common Household Dangers: Federal Pacific Breaker Box

From the 1950s to the 1980s, Federal Pacific installed millions of “Stab-Lok” breaker boxes in homes throughout the U.S.  Through the years, they gained a reputation for not tripping when overloaded and were known to be the cause of many house fires. 
A New Jersey State Court ruled that the Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Company “violated the Consumer Fraud Act because FPE knowingly and purposefully distributed circuit breakers which were not tested to meet UL standards…”
If you have a Federal Pacific Stab-Lok breaker box, it is recommended by virtually all electricians that it be replaced immediately.
May 2018

May 2018

Mitigating Water Damage

Now that Spring is finally here we can walk around our houses, assess what work needs to get done, and plan our Summer gardens.  
We have a few tips on maintenance items that should be taken care of before the summer storms roll in, that will further protect your home throughout the year.  
  • Gutter Cleaning. Gutters should be cleaned twice a year, in the Spring and in the Fall.  Now is the time to get the twigs, leaves, and winter debris out of your gutters.  That way you don’t have to worry about how your gutters handle the heavy Summer storms.  
  • Grading.  As you begin cleaning out your gardens for the Summer, be sure to take a look at the way the ground is sloping.  If your garden bed is sloping towards your house it is time to dig in and grade away from the house.  This will protect your foundation from an onslaught of water.  
  • Plant Placement.  When planning out your garden, it is a good rule to keep shrubbery and plants at least a foot and a half to two feet away from the foundation of the home.  Plants and shrubbery hold in moisture when they are positioned to close to the house.  This will cause moisture to build up on the siding, causing mold and mildew to form- eventually leading to damage to your siding.  
  • For further assistance with water mitigation or other maintenance issues, feel free to contact the Heritage Home Program to schedule a free site visit! To schedule, call the Heritage Home Program at 216-426-3116.
April 2018

April 2018

Getting Your Porch Spring-Ready

It may not feel like it’s Spring – but we’re all itching to use our beloved outdoor spaces! 
Here are a few simple tips to transition your porch from winter to warmer months. Proper maintenance and care will help to keep these       
character-defining features in pristine condition.
  • Completely empty the porch. Sweep and lightly mop or hose the floor surfaces to remove salt and other residue from the porch floor.
  • Remember to keep plants elevated above the wood deck, allowing water to flow along the porch grade and into the yard. Eliminate opportunities for water to sit under the pots and deteriorate floor boards.
  • Remove all screens and wash windows on enclosed porches to brighten up the space.
  • For assistance in assessing structural repairs or other maintenance issues, feel free to contact the Heritage Home Program to schedule a free site visit! 
February 2018

February 2018

Do's and Don'ts of Salting

Photo Credit: Dan Keck,, Creative Commons
DON’T use common rock salt (sodium chloride) or products containing calcium chloride as they will destroy masonry.
DON’T use fertilizers sometimes sold as de-icing or traction agents; chemicals from them will degrade concrete.

DON’T allow residue of de-icing product to accumulate.
DON’T put any de-icing product whatsoever on concrete less than six months old.
DO use magnesium chloride based melting agents; they are the least damaging to masonry, vegetation, and the environment.
DO use sand to help provide better traction on icy areas.
DO shovel as much snow and ice away as possible before applying a de-icing agent; apply it sparingly and in areas with only the most foot traffic.
DO as ice melts, shovel it away along with the residue of melting agents.