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Halo’s Andy Barresse, Dave Faulkner and Rose Marie Iskowitz

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Home Safe

How to be Proactive—Rather than Reactive—in Caring for Your Home

You make appointments for annual physicals for your family. You take your car to your mechanic for servicing. So, you understand that regular check-ups are key to preventing more major issues in the future. But what about your home? 

Costly repairs resulting from preventable situations are every homeowner’s nightmare. Andy Barresse, owner of Halo Home Maintenance in Somerville and a contractor for about four decades, has seen homeowners’ anguish and launched a franchise—Halo Home Maintenance—to do something about it. 

Here’s how it works: Each season, a Halo maintenance expert arrives with a 50-point checklist to inspect homes for potential problems. “We do things like check the wear-and-tear of gutters, roof and siding, check the electrical outlets, pull out stoves and refrigerators to clean coils, clean dryer vents, check for fire hazards and insects, and show homeowners where to shut off the water if there is a leak,” he says. 

While the experts inspect the property, they also clean—everything from the gutters and windows to power washing the house. If a problem is found, Halo will fix it at a reduced rate or Barresse will give homeowners referrals to trusted licensed professionals like plumbers and electricians who he has worked with over the years.

“We keep homes running safely and efficiently and looking their best,” says Rose Marie Iskowitz, co-owner. “When people buy a home, they get it inspected, move in and many don’t do anything for ten to 20 years—until things start to fall apart.”

Consider: Your window and door insulation eventually disintegrates, caulking around bathtubs wear, fire extinguishers expire, batteries in smoke detectors die and lint builds up in dryer vents, causing a potential fire hazard (a situation made even worse if you have expired extinguishers). “One of the leading causes of fires in New Jersey is from dryer vents that get clogged from not being cleaned out,” Barresse says. “They get full of flammable things like lint, money, crayons and wrappers. Also, when the dryer is not venting properly, you run the risk of having gas come into your home. Since your dryer will not run as efficiently, your clothes will take longer to dry and your utility bills will be more expensive.”

Safety is a concern for the experts at Halo, who check for invisible hazards. “You cannot smell carbon monoxide gas; every house should have a working carbon monoxide detector,” Barresse says. “In one home I inspected, the vent to the furnace was dislodged from the hot water. The residents reported smelling rotten eggs, but it was gas.”

Other maintenance can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars down the road. For example, Barresse notes the importance of properly cleaning gutters. “We spend all day cleaning the leaves and making sure all the seams are sealed properly so that the water runs away from your house and doesn’t rot your soffits,” he says. 

What about your attic and basement? Halo inspects for insects and animals that can cause damage. “Do you see stains on your walls? Only a third of the time is this from water. The other two-thirds is from mice. We inspect so you can call an exterminator before they burrow and get into your walls and ceilings,” he says.

Halo also is licensed in mold remediation. “If you are on the maintenance program and we find mold in your house, we will take care of it at a far lesser cost,” Barresse says.

Iskowitz is also a client. “My husband and I are not handy or have a lot of time, so this service gives us peace of mind,” she says. “One of the things that I love most is when Halo comes out in the spring and power washes the green mildew off my home exterior, deck and walkways and does a Windex rinse on the windows. It just freshens everything up.” 

“A number of clients use us to care for vacant vacation homes or rental properties,” Barresse says. “That gives everyone peace of mind. It makes landlords and their renters very happy.” 

If you are getting ready to list your house for sale, Halo can help get it ready for market. “Instead of doing the four seasons plan, we can come out and do all of the items on the list in a couple of days and get your house ready to be shown,” Barresse says. “We also will identify potential issues that you can correct before the inspector comes and notes it on the inspection report, possibly jeopardizing the entire sale.”

See the 50-point home maintenance list at Halo Home Maintenance at

Costly repairs resulting from preventable situations are every homeowner’s nightmare.

One of the leading causes of fires is clogged dryer vents.

  • Halo’s Andy Barresse, Dave Faulkner and Rose Marie Iskowitz
  • Halo’s Andy Barresse, Dave Faulkner and Rose Marie Iskowitz

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