SIEDC

Local investors announce OCECO acquisition and expansion

20170807_113105

President & CEO Mike Ruhe and Manufacturing & Marketing Manager Keith Ricker

Total investment to exceed $2.5 million

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 10, 2017 – Investors announced this week the purchase of OCECO Inc., located in the Airport Industrial Park in Tiffin, as well as plans to expand the business. The new owners have purchased the business, and are in the process to purchase the real estate, as well as invest in new equipment. They also plan on adding six new employees to the existing workforce.

President and CEO Mike Ruhe sees room for growth in the business: “We have identified opportunities to expand sales, and we are very impressed with the employees; they know we need to grow and they are ready.”

Founded in 1921, OCECO is a fabricator of high quality safety equipment for flammable liquid storage and wastewater gas disposal systems. They supply airports and energy companies like Marathon and Exxon Mobile and also do a large amount of business with municipalities, food production, and factory farms. Key products include fittings, flame arrestors and gas purification systems. They operate out of a 38,000 square foot facility in the Airport Industrial Park and have nine employees.

Seneca County Commission President Mike Kerschner is pleased to see the company grow: “OCECO has been a presence in the community for many years. It’s great to see new investment breathing new life into an existing company.”

The purchase of OCECO has been in development for more than a year, and the new owners are working with several banks, SIEDC, and other partners to obtain funding and receive assistance with export promotion and energy efficiency incentives. Previous owner Dick Borer, who purchased the company from Pettibone, worked diligently in finding new leadership to keep the business in Tiffin, and will be assisting with the transition.

About OCECO
OCECO – originally an abbreviation of Oil Conservation Engineering Company – was started in Cleveland, Ohio in 1921, and was the first supplier of a complete line of venting and tank fitting equipment.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Tiffin and Seneca County win $220,000 for road improvement

20170629_151509.jpgGrant supports $1M commercial access project

TIFFIN, OHIO – July 5, 2017 – The City of Tiffin has been granted $220,000 through the Ohio Department of Transportation Jobs and Commerce for an improvement project on US 224; a 25 percent match with the city for a project totaling $1 million. It will provide access to a 60-acre site for potential commercial development annexed by the city earlier this year.

The grant is the first received by the Seneca County Transportation Improvement District (TID) created by Seneca County Commissioners in September 2015. “The district was put in place with the future of the county in mind,” Commissioner Shayne Thomas, head of the county’s transportation sub-committee, said. “This project is the first of many for which we plan to secure TID funding.”

Last year, Tiffin, Fostoria and Seneca County representatives collaborated to update and reprioritize the county’s Transportation Improvement Plan. Originally created in 2001, the plan was revised with a clear focus on key projects throughout the county. The revision was approved by all groups, as well as the TID Committee, composed of engineers, elected officials, and economic development organizations from each jurisdiction.

Charlene Watkins, Executive Director of Seneca Regional Planning Commission Executive Director commended the partnership between Seneca County organizations in securing the grant. “The foundation is in place and all parties are working to implement the plan,” she said. “We appreciate SIEDC’s work with different entities to gather information and submit the application, as well as the involvement of State Representative Bill Reineke and State Senator Dave Burke, and everyone else who had a hand in the process.”

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Tiffin U., Heidelberg partner to offer tuition discount program

Tuition Discount_flyer_v2Incentive would benefit SIEDC, Chamber member organizations

<Joint press release issued by Tiffin University and Heidelberg University.>

Employees who work for organizations or companies that are members of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services or Seneca Industrial & Economic Development Corp. soon will have an incentive to pursue higher education in Tiffin.

Tiffin University and Heidelberg University are partnering to offer a tuition discount of up to $200 for graduate and undergraduate coursework for students who are employees of Chamber or SIEDC members.

The employees would be required to meet the academic requirements, be accepted for admission at Heidelberg or Tiffin University, and enroll in courses, according to a joint statement by Jeremy Marinis, vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at TU, and Doug Kellar, vice president for Enrollment Management at Heidelberg.

At Heidelberg, a $200 per-credit-hour discount can be applied to all undergraduate degree programs and Master of Business Administration degree courses. Tiffin University is offering a $200 per-credit-hour discount for Tiffin campus undergrad programs and a $100 per-credit-hour discount for graduate degree programs, online and off-campus bachelor’s degree programs.

The tuition discount will remain in place until students graduate, transfer or withdraw. The agreement takes effect in May.

The tuition discount partnership is another in a growing number of ways Heidelberg and Tiffin University are partnering together to elevate both institutions and the community. HU and TU come together every August for the Around the Town event to introduce new students to local businesses and organizations they will encounter during their time in Tiffin. The schools have partnered on job fairs, international events and community service projects, most recently joining efforts to collect food for the Salvation Army in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The partnership was announced during SIEDC’s annual meeting Thursday (March 23). Additional information about eligibility and other requirements is available on the Tiffin University website at www.tiffin.edu/local-benefit or the Heidelberg website at www.heidelberg.edu/community-discount.

Tiffin University President Lillian Schumacher:
“Tiffin University has always been committed to providing an affordable, professionally focused education, and is so glad to be partnering with Heidelberg and our local community. We believe this partnership and discount will help expand learning opportunities to the Tiffin community.”

Heidelberg University President Robert Huntington:
“This partnership is a win for everyone involved. We are pleased to provide greater access to high-quality education and strong professional preparation for the members of our community, and we’re happy that we can share that goal with our friends at Tiffin University.”

David Zak, President and CEO, Seneca Industrial & Economic Development Corp.:
“A well-educated workforce provides a strong foundation for economic success, which is a great boost to SIEDC’s economic development efforts. This partnership and offer of reduced tuition will be a great incentive in our ongoing efforts as we recruit new businesses to Tiffin and Seneca County and help established businesses expand.”

John Detwiler, president and CEO of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce:
“Our member organizations are appreciative of our two local higher education institutions stepping forward with this offer for their employees,” Detwiler said. “This tuition discount partnership is yet another resource available locally and a terrific way that local employers can invest in their workforce.”

Seneca County projects total $108M in 2016

SIEDC announces new community branding and downtown programs

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 23, 2017 – The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation held its Annual Meeting Thursday night, recapping the successes of 2016 and expanding on its direction for 2017.

In 2016, SIEDC recorded 129 development projects throughout Seneca County, creating 227 new jobs and a total investment of $108 million. This earned the county a ranking of 10th in the nation among 576 communities of similar size for the second time in three years.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is excited about the momentum: “Tiffin is gaining attention as a community that welcomes new businesses and creates an environment where established businesses can confidently expand.” Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerschner agrees. “Each year we are seeing more development and expansion in all sectors throughout the County,” he said.

As part of further community promotion efforts, it was announced that Upward, an Ohio-based branding firm, has been chosen to create a community brand through a partnership between SIEDC, the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services, the City of Tiffin, and Seneca County. The firm was unanimously chosen from a pool of seven applicants by a steering committee of stakeholders. Details are expected to be finalized in the next few weeks.

“We are excited to solidify a recognizable identity for our community,” Chamber President John Detwiler said. “The time is right for a new community brand, one that unifies all of its unique parts.”

It was also announced that the Downtown Tiffin Main Street program, administered by SIEDC, was nationally accredited as a Main Street Community after an intensive review process. In December 2016, Tiffin became an Ohio Main Street Community through Heritage Ohio, recognized at the state level.

Finally, plans were also made public for a new city-funded downtown Alley Improvement Plan, in partnership with SIEDC’s downtown program. The new initiative will focus on the beautification of alleys with an aim toward improving pedestrian walkability. Improvements will be decided on a project by project basis and could include decorative asphalt, planters, seating, improved lighting and, in some cases, removable bollards closing the alley to vehicle traffic. The first project will be the alley across from the Ritz Theater, connecting South Washington St. to City Lot 3. Utility and design work has already begun and the project is slated for completion in 2018.

Mayor Montz believes the program will improve pedestrian safety and downtown accessibility. “With all of the exciting revitalization happening downtown we are seeing more foot traffic and a need for pedestrian-friendly alleyways to connect our parking lots to the main streets downtown,” he said.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

County workforce plan is made public

workforce-picPublic-private collaboration to implement plan in 2017

View the complete plan here.

TIFFIN, OHIO – December 23, 2016 – After four months of collaborative effort, a group of more than fifty stakeholders announces they have completed a new strategic plan for workforce development in Seneca County. Six committees have been formed to work on the 18 identified strategies in 2017. The plan is available to the public at www.senecasuccess.com.

Facilitated by Terra State Community College, the planning process was started after a local study done by Heidelberg University student Mark Linsalata revealed that 70 percent of Seneca County companies could not find all of the workers they needed and that half of those companies were not able to expand because of that issue.

State Representative Bill Reineke, who serves on the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board, kicked off the event. “This is one of the most critical issues facing our economy and the businesses that make it run. I am passionate about workforce issues and am really pleased with the large-scale cooperation here among educators, businesses, and workforce and economic development.”

Seneca County Commissioner Holly Stacy also participated and looks forward to what the group can accomplish together. “I appreciate this initiative, and I believe we will make some real progress in addressing critical workforce issues for all of Seneca County.”

Representatives from the education sector include several area public and private K12 districts (Bridges, Calvert, Hopewell-Loudon, Old Fort, Seneca East, Tiffin), Vanguard-Sentinel, NCOESC, Heidelberg and Tiffin Universities. Participating businesses include Alvada Construction, American Fine Sinter, Arnold Machine, Autumnwood, Ballreich’s, Clouse Construction, Croghan Colonial Bank, Fifth-Third Bank, Mennel Milling, Mercy Health, ProMedica, Pyramid Recruiting, Quick Tab II, Roppe Corporation, St. Francis, Surge Staffing, Taiho Corporation, Toledo Molding & Die, US Bank, and Webster Industries. More people are being asked to participate and invited to the committees.

Old Fort Local Schools Superintendent Steve Anway, who is helping co-chair the Education Committee with Tiffin City Schools’ Pat Smith, praised the effort: “I am proud of the work we’ve done and the plan we’ve put together. I look forward to getting to work on the plan in January.” The group will be working on strengthening career awareness, job shadowing, financial and workplace literacy, as well as preparing students for careers.

Kerrie Carte, Planning & Development Coordinator for WSOS Community Action, is chairing the Training & Placement Committee, and is excited about next year. “Our key focus for 2017 will be working to better align adult training programs with the needs of the business community. We also hope to work on specialized job fairs and support for veterans.”

Ron Schumacher, Director of Facilities and Support Operations for Mercy Health in Tiffin, is co-chairing the Community Services Committee with Tiffin-Seneca United Way’s Pat DeMonte. “We hope to join the effort to make progress on some of the ‘big-picture’ challenges including combating the drug epidemic, addressing mental health issues, and getting the word out about available community services.”

The overall planning effort is co-led by the Seneca County Department of Job & Family Services, Terra State Community College, and SIEDC. The six committees will begin work in January, with a Workforce Summit–to celebrate the successes of the year and plan for the next–to take place on November 30, 2017.

If anyone in the public has interest in becoming involved, they may contact Carol Kern at Job & Family Services at (419) 447-5011 x322 or  Carol.Owen@jfs.ohio.gov, Beth Hannam at 419.559.2237 or bhannam@terra.edu, or David Zak with SIEDC at 419.912.1150 or zak@senecacounty.org.

Seneca County Manufacturing Showcase success for students, local businesses

SCMS_logoThe first ever Seneca County Manufacturing Showcase was held at Heidelberg University today, giving 750 high-school students from 12 schools a chance to explore different skills valued in the workplace, specifically in manufacturing.

Fourteen local manufacturers led students through six different skill sets. The kids learned about team building, lean practices, employability, supply chain, machine trades and electrical trades/mechanical engineering/automation through interactive booths staffed by local companies.

Spearheading the coordination of the event was Carol Kern of the Seneca Department of Job and Family Services. Kern was pleased with the outcome of the event,”It’s exciting to see the students so engaged,” she said. “Hopefully they enjoyed the activities and learned a lot about career opportunities in Seneca County.”

Chase Eikenbary of Regional Growth Partnership/JobsOhio stressed the importance of introducing students to career skills early. “October is manufacturing month in Ohio, and it means great things for not only the manufacturing companies in the state but for the pipeline of our future workforce; our students,” she said. “Manufacturing careers are in high demand, provide excellent salaries, and allow employees to work in a high tech, growing industry. Students today were shown how they can become successful adults in their own communities with thriving career options.”

Fostoria Economic Development Corporation President Renee Smith agreed. “Manufacturing is a huge economic component of Seneca County, and it is the largest employer. It is essential that we continue to expose students to the career possibilities with our local companies,” she said.

Nearly 100 volunteers, including teachers from participating school districts, guided students through the planned activities. Tiffin City Schools Business Teacher Stacey Geiger said the event was rewarding as an educator. “It is exciting to see students engaged with Seneca County employers and using the knowledge that I incorporate in my classrooms,” she said.

Carl Pastorella, Human Resources Manager at Toledo Molding and Die, Inc. manning a booth centered around employability, was impressed with the students’ enthusiasm and knowledge. “The students we met got very involved in the activities we were presenting,” he said. “Our intent is to make sure they are prepared to get out and interview for jobs in future, and they already seem to be on the right track.”

Seneca County is also fortunate to have great relationships with state officials who are passionate about workforce development and how it pertains to our young people.

State Representative Bill Reineke, a Fostoria native and Tiffin resident, spoke to the students about the importance of manufacturing and their local community:

Ryan Burgess, Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, also addressed the students, introducing them to Ohio Means Jobs and the tools the program provides for job seekers:

Check out some of the pictures from the event:

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Jazzin’ Tiffin adds grilling, bourbon

Jazzin Tiffin 2016 PosterThe 8th Annual Jazzin’ Tiffin Festival, set for September 10 on Frost Parkway in Tiffin, has some new additions this year. In addition to great jazz music, local vendors and beer and wine, local “celebrities” will be grilling and a Marker’s Mark representative will be serving up bourbon and commemorative Tiffin glass shot glasses.

New this year, local faces including Mayor Aaron Montz, Tiffin University President Lillian Schumacher and Heidelberg University President Rob Huntington, will be “celebrity servers” in the grilling area from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Mike Pinkston of the Empire at 138 will be grilling bratwurst with peppers and onions.

Maker’s Mark representative and Tiffin-native Joe Roszman will be running a bourbon tent within the beer garden, which will include the entire festival and vending area this year. Along with bourbon, there will be original Tiffin glass shot glasses engraved with the Jazzin’ Tiffin logo that can be dipped in the Maker’s Mark wax. There are only 200 of these unique souvenirs.

The festival begins at 3 p.m. on September 10.

Local leaders launch INSIGHT blitz

Outreach campaign aims to connect with 1,000 businesses

INSIGHT logoTIFFIN, OHIO – June 24, 2016 – The INSIGHT Consortium, a group of local and regional nonprofit business service providers, announced today that they are starting an intensive outreach effort to connect Tiffin, Fostoria, and Seneca County businesses with resources to help them grow and expand. The first phase of the effort is scheduled to run through the end of 2017.

Established at the end of 2014, the INSIGHT Consortium is made up of the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Fostoria Economic Development Corp. (FEDC), the Seneca County Department of Job & Family Services, Terra State Community College, Sentinel Career Center, the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce of Visitors Services, Regional Growth Partnership, the Northwest Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the Seneca Regional Planning Commission. The mission of the group is to work together to reach more businesses with more resources, and they meet monthly.

The program’s name comes from the main types of resources it seeks to provide (Information, New Business, Space, Investment, Government, Hiring, Training), and the group has identified more than 200 free or subsidized financing, grant, tax credit, consulting and other services that are available. What they want to do is make more Seneca County companies aware of those resources and help them take advantage of them.

The 2016-17 outreach blitz will be conducted by a team of more than 25 individuals, including the INSIGHT consortium members, as well as members of the Tiffin Downtown Main Street program, professional outreach firm COACT Associates, as well as a university intern. All information gathered will remain confidential within the respective agencies. Aggregate data and trends will be used for program development, planning, and policy.

Carol Owen Kern, Business Services Liaison with the Seneca County Department of Job & Family Services and a founding member of the consortium, is glad to see the group move forward with the blitz: “Seneca County JFS and Ohio Means Jobs have dedicated significant resources to helping companies recruit the workers they need, and this will help us all reach more businesses with our services.”

Beth Hannam, Manager of Business and Industry Training with Terra State Community College, likes the aggressive approach, “All of us on the INSIGHT team are excited about meeting the needs of more and more companies in Seneca County and about connecting businesses with hundreds of resources that are available. It’s truly win-win,” Beth Hannam said.

John Detwiler, President of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services, is pleased with the INSIGHT blitz: “Supporting our local businesses is our first priority, and this helps us reach more of them. It complements and supports the work we’ve been doing through the Industrial Management and Safety Councils, our partnership with the Small Business Development Center, our networking and business events, and member discounts.”

Fostoria Economic Development Corporation President Renee Smith expressed similar support: “Business retention and expansion is a key focus of ours, as most of the new jobs and investment comes from existing companies. INSIGHT provides me and Fostoria area companies better access to more resources, which is really beneficial.”

SIEDC President & CEO David Zak also thanked people for their support: “I appreciate the entire INSIGHT consortium for their passion for local businesses and support of this program. I also want to thank the Regional Growth Partnership for providing additional team members through their relationship with COACT, the City of Tiffin for supplying an intern, and AEP supporting us the initiative through Local Economic Assistance Program (LEAP) grant.”

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at http://www.senecasuccess.com.

 

Superior Credit Union named 7th best-performing credit union in US

superior greenS&P Global Market Intelligence recently released its ranking of the 50 best-performing credit unions of 2015, naming Superior Credit Union number seven in the nation, the only Ohio-based credit union to make the list.

The rankings were decided using five core financial performance metrics: member growth, net charge offs as a percentage of average loans, efficiency ratio, asset quality, and market growth. The credit union is ranked in impressive company, as only one other credit union in the top ten had assets of less than $2 billion. Up from $572 million at year end, Superior’s current asset size is $590 million.

“Superior is proud to be recognized as one of the safest and best performing credit unions in the country,” said Phil Buell, CEO. “To be recognized nationally, is a testament to our volunteers, employees, and members, who collaboratively provide our community with consumer-friendly financial solutions.”

Superior acquired the Southeast Financial Credit Union branches in Fostoria and Tiffin at he beginning of 2016, expanding their customer base by 7,000 members and $60 million in deposits.

“We’re excited to have this opportunity to bring our seasoned products and services to our new members in Seneca County,” Buell said at the time of the transition. “We feel strongly that the acquisition will be a win-win for all concerned.”

Branch Manager Tricia Reinhard elaborated: “We originally invested into Tiffin because we feel that it is a city that is growing more everyday, and a lot of us are from the area and want to give back to the community, what it has given to us and more if possible. I have worked in the Fostoria and Tiffin branches for 11 years, and I am very happy to see our Credit Union going back to the way it was when I first started working here – which is getting more involved and supportive with our community and the things happening in it. I am very grateful to Superior for all that they have done for the community and for our members, and look forward to seeing how we can help with building an even better City of Tiffin!”

Superior is involved with a number of local organizations, including Rotary, the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Servies, SIEDC and Relay for Life. They are currently planning an open house including food, games, prizes, jump houses and more, all to benefit the American Cancer Society through Team Superior.

Read more about the ranking here.

About Superior Credit Union
Superior Credit Union, headquartered in Lima, Ohio, is a full-service member-owned financial cooperative that serves members in 17 Northwest Ohio counties. Superior CU currently has 12 office locations serving over 62,000 members. With assets of over $590 million, the credit union provides consumer and mortgage loans, brokerage services, insurance services, checking and savings accounts, and small business services and loans.

“Building Doctors” Will Be Making Rounds in Tiffin July 21 and 22, 2016

Ohio History ConnectionPress release from Ohio History Connection.

This program is a partnership between SIEDC, Tiffin Historic Trust and Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services.

(COLUMBUS, OH)— The Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp., the Tiffin Historic Trust and the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center will sponsor a Building Doctor Clinic for old-building owners in Tiffin, Ohio on July 21 and 22, 2016.

The clinic features Building Doctors Justin Cook and Richard Jarvis of the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. It begins with a free seminar on Thursday evening, July 21, from 7-9 p.m. at the Tiffin–Seneca Public Library’s Frost Kalnow Room at 77 Jefferson Street in Tiffin. The seminar is open to the public and will feature guidelines for renovation projects and ways to solve some of the most common problems of buildings dating from 1800 to 1955.

On Friday, July 22 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., the Building Doctors will visit pre-1955 buildings within five miles of Tiffin, advising owners on specific technical problems by appointment. The “doctors” examine all kinds of older buildings. Some of the things that typically call for an on-site examination include persistent peeling paint or flaking plaster, a wet basement or deteriorating masonry and plans for additions.

Justin Cook, Technical Preservation Services Manager for the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office, has a bachelor’s degree in classics from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in historic preservation from the University of Vermont, with post-baccalaureate studies in History and Urban and Regional Planning. He reviews applications for federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits.

Richard Jarvis is Technical Preservation Services Manager for the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. He holds a master’s degree in Conservation Studies (Historic Buildings) from The University of York (UK), a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from High Point University and an associate’s degree in Architectural Technology from Guilford Technical Community College. He reviews applications for federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits.

The seminar and on-site consultations with the Building Doctors are free with advance registration. To register, visit www.building-doctor.org or call 800.499.2470 or 614.298.2000. You can also contact Amy Reinhart at 419.447.3831.

The Building Doctor program is made possible in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. Each clinic is also made possible by support from local cosponsors.

The Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office

The Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office is Ohio’s official historic preservation agency. It identifies historic places in Ohio, nominates properties to the National Register of Historic Places, reviews federally-assisted projects for effects on historic, architectural, and archaeological resources in Ohio, consults on conservation of older buildings and sites and offers educational programs and publications.

Ohio Historical Society is now Ohio History Connection
On May 24, 2014, the Ohio Historical Society changed its name to the Ohio History Connection. Established in 1885, this nonprofit organization provides a wide array of statewide services and programs related to collecting, preserving and interpreting Ohio’s history, archaeology and natural history through more than 50 sites and museums across Ohio, including its flagship museum, the Ohio History Center in Columbus. For more information about programs and events, call 800.686.6124 or go online at www.ohiohistory.org.

Prescriptions from the Building Doctors:

Do’s:

  1. Check your roof and attic or upper stories for leaks at least every six months. Look for separations, bulges, cracks, and signs of moisture. It’s important to check your roof regularly. A sound roof is the key to preventing many problems which can occur below.
  1. Inspect your gutters and downspouts during a hard rain to see that they’re working properly. Keep them clean and free of leaves and obstructions which may clog them. Make sure water from downspouts is directed away from the foundation.
  1. Open your basement windows in the dry season to let air circulate. Feel basement walls for dampness. A musty odor indicates a high moisture level in the basement. Check for proper ventilation and dehumidification. Be certain that air circulates freely and isn’t blocked by materials stored against the wall.
  1. Look for loose or damaged siding. Note any areas of paint failure. Check gaps between boards. Gaps smaller than a quarter-inch will help ventilate the wall cavity; larger gaps may admit rainwater.
  1. Caulk gaps where window and door frames meet masonry or wood openings to prevent water from entering wall cavities of frame buildings or masonry of bearing-wall structures.
  1. Examine painted surfaces for signs of peeling, cracking and alligatoring. Look for clues to original painting techniques and colors. A common way to examine hidden layers of paint is to carefully sand a small area in a location where it would not have weathered or been in direct sunlight, exposing the individual layers.
  1. Assess the condition of all exterior features, particularly those of significance, such as porches, brackets and other decorative trim.
  1. Attend the Building Doctor Clinic.

Don’ts:

  1. Don’t use abrasive methods to clean brick or masonry. They can cause irreparable harm. Sandblasting, for example, removes the hard outer surface of the brick, exposing its softer core to the elements, and damages other kinds of masonry and wood, too. Avoid all techniques for cleaning masonry or wood that involves blasting or high pressure.
  1. Don’t use water-repellent coatings on masonry. They can trap moisture inside instead of letting it pass freely in and out as it normally would. When trapped moisture freezes, it expands, often forcing the surface of the brick or stone to flake or spall.
  1. Never seal basement windows shut. You’ll trap moist air inside and prevent proper air circulation, which can lead to a damp basement.
  1. Don’t plant bushes or vegetation close to the foundation. They prevent sunlight from reaching the ground, allowing moisture to accumulate there.
  1. Don’t use blown-in insulation unless you install a vapor barrier, too. Without the vapor barrier, moisture can accumulate, saturating the insulation and damaging your wall.
  1. Don’t leave unused gas pipes connected or live ends uncapped. Have gas lines professionally inspected. You can prevent a tragedy and save yourself a great deal of money.
  1. Don’t allow bare wires to remain exposed. Have old wiring professionally inspected.
  1. Don’t forget to give your building a thorough check-up every six months to ensure that it has a clean bill of health.