BEGINNING OF THE FALL FRENZY
End of summer brings opportunity to help your home shine through the winter. As we’re enjoying the sizzling summer weather, it’s difficult to believe that fall, winter, and the beginning of school are right around the corner, so before the weather grows colder it’s important to prepare for the winter months to prevent costly damage to the largest investment in your life. YOUR HOME!
Below are the fall preventative home maintenance steps that every homeowner should consider.
Roof, Gutters, and Downspouts
__ Clean your roof and check for any damage on the roof surface, valley’s, flashings, and vent covers. It is not recommended to pressure wash your roof due to potential damage.
__ Clean gutters and downspouts frequently throughout fall to prevent build up of leaves and other debris. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and pest infestations, not to mention ruined gutters.
__ Be sure water is not coming down behind gutters and that all support brackets are securely in place.
__ Ensure that water drains properly away from the structure and doesn’t pool. Pooling can cause damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways.
Siding, Windows, and Doors
__ Clean and check your siding for unsealed gaps and damage. Make sure all gaps and holes are sealed that should be sealed. You want to keep obvious vents open and functioning to allow proper air flow and venting.
__ Change summer screens to cool weather storm windows and doors.
__ Inspect and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames.
__ Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to prevent drafts and to lower heating bills.
__ Replace the filter in your furnace.
__ Consider having a heating professional check your heating system to ensure optimal performance and discover minor problems before they turn into costly major repairs.
__ Clean your ducts to better your heating system’s efficiency as well as to reduce household dust and to provide relief to those with respiratory problems.
__ To prevent pipes freezing and bursting, ensure that the pipes are well insulated inside and out. Pipes in unconditioned spaces will freeze if not properly protected
__ Know how to locate and turn off the water shut-off valve in case pipes do freeze. Most newer homes have this in the garage and older homes generally pre-1975 will be under the home or at the meter.
Chimney and Fireplace
__ Call a professional in to inspect and clean your chimney. Fireplaces that are regularly used during the season should have an annual cleaning to prevent dangerous chimney fires.
__ Test your fireplace flue for a tight seal when closed. Look for white colorations known as efflorescence. This is a sign that moisture is entering the chimney flue and masonry.
__ Be sure attic insulation doesn’t cover vents in the eaves to prevent proper ventilation in the attic which will encourage mold growth.
__ Be sure ridge vents and vents at eaves are free of plants and debris. This will help avoid pest intrusion.
__ Check bird and rodent screens for attic vents to prevent any unwanted guests.
Landscape and Yardwork
__ Although grass appears to stop growing in the fall, the roots are actually growing deeper to prepare for winter. Now is the best time to fertilize and reseed your lawn.
__ Prune your trees and shrubs after the leaves turn to encourage healthy growth.
__ Trim any tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines or the roof and structure of your house. This can also help discourage pest intrusion.
It’s also a good plan to check all out buildings like sheds, gazebo’s, and animal shelters to help them shine through the winter as well. There are several good products available to help with your projects and we encourage you to do some research into those products that match whatever the project is. There are also professionals available to help with whatever you’re not comfortable doing yourself. Remember, BE SAFE and have a great fall season!
Some information referenced from Homeadvisor.com