It's Time to Get Ready for Fall
Delta Media Group
Fall is the perfect time of the year to do seasonal maintenance to keep your home running smoothly. Checking these items off your must-do list now will save you money and frustration later.
- Seal the leaks.
Check around windows and doors for cracks that leak air. According to the U.S. Department of Energy Research, leaks can increase your heating bill by up to 10 percent. Seal the leaks with caulk or weather stripping as needed.
- Schedule heating equipment inspections.
Call an HVAC professional to give your furnace an annual cleaning and tune-up. Doing this can increase the efficiency and safety of your furnace.
- Test the generator.
Instead of waiting for the winter's first power outage, take your emergency generator for a test run now. Make sure you have extra fuel stored away.
- Inspect your home's exterior.
A damaged exterior lets in water and pests. Check your siding for cracks, curling, dents, looseness, bowing, and decay. Make sure your masonry veneer isn't cracking or flaking, and your stucco is free from cracks.
- Clean the gutters.
Although it's among the most common home maintenance tips, this one has greater benefits than you might imagine. Blocked gutters can cause leaks on your roof and in your basement as well as damage your exterior. Scoop leaves, dirt, and other debris from the gutters then spray them clean. As you clean, check for leaks and rust. Make sure your downspouts are directed away from your home.
- Check your roof.
Damage to your roof puts your home at risk for leaks. Use binoculars or climb onto the roof to inspect for missing, damaged, curled, or loose shingles. Look the ridge shingles over for wind damage. The metal flashing in the roof valleys and around protrusions such as vents should be free from curling and damage.
- Inspect your walkways.
Damaged driveways, sidewalks, and steps worsen when exposed to freezing temperatures and pose a hazard in icy conditions. Repair cracks wider than 1/8th inch, smooth uneven areas, and tighten loose railings.
- Prevent frozen pipes.
Adding insulation to pipes in unheated areas is one of those simple home maintenance tips that can save you a lot of trouble and expense. Outdoors, put your garden hoses in storage and, if your outdoor faucets aren't frost-free, turn off your outdoor water supply and drain the faucets. Drain your irrigation system to prevent burst pipes and damaged sprinkler heads.
- Measure your foundation drainage.
The ground around your foundation should slope away from your home at an angle of 6 inches down over 10 feet. This protects your foundation from water damage.
- Get the lawn and garden ready.
If you spot any tree limbs that could fall or hit power lines during a windstorm, cut them back. Also, trim shrubbery and perennials as recommended for the species. Rake up leaves and either compost them or use them as mulch. Alternatively, check if your city offers a removal service.