Fall Home Maintanence
EXTERIOR FALL HOME MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
Summer has officially come to an end. The hours of sunshine are getting noticeably shorter and the leaves will begin to provide their colorful bouquet. Ahh fall, our thoughts turn to crisp cool days, hay rides, bonfires, apple cider and…seasonal home maintenance! This is an important part of home ownership that will maintain both your physical and financial well-being in the future.
The first step in fall home maintenance is to tour the exterior of your home with a critical eye toward any issues that will need professional attention. While not exhaustive, the following checklist will have your home buttoned up for the cold winds of winter that will being blowing into town soon.
REMOVE GARDEN HOSES FROM FAUCETS!
Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and in the plumbing pipes just inside your exterior walls. If freezing temps hit, that water could freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes. Make this an early fall priority so a sudden cold snap doesn’t sneak up and cause damage. Turn off any shutoff valves on water supply lines that lead to exterior faucets. That way, you’ll guard against minor leaks that may let water enter the faucet. While you’re at it, drain garden hoses and store them in a shed or garage.
DRAIN YOUR SPRINKLER SYSTEM!
Buried irrigation lines can freeze, leading to busted pipes and broken sprinkler heads.
· Turn off the water to the system at the main valve. Shut off the automatic controller.
· Open drain valves to remove water from the system.
· Remove any above-ground sprinkler heads and shake the water out of them, then replace.
If you don’t have drain valves, then hire an irrigation pro to blow out the systems pipes with compressed air. A pro is worth the charge to make sure the job is done right, and to ensure you don’t have busted pipes and sprinkler head repairs to make in the spring.
SEAL AIR LEAKS!
Using color matched, exterior caulk seal up cracks between trim and siding, around windows and doors and anywhere pipes, valves, or wires enter the house. This prevents moisture and cold air intrusion.
CHECK YOUR GUTTERS!
Clear your gutters of debris. Make sure they are not sagging or trapping water. Tighten the gutter hangers and downspout brackets. Your drainage should extend a minimum of 6 feet from your foundation to assist in preventing water intrusion.
LOOK AT YOUR ROOF!
This can be done from the ground with a pair of binoculars or possibly a close-up view from a ladder. The less you walk on the roof itself the better as this does cause wear and tear on the shingles and can be dangerous for you. Things to look for as warning signs:
· Cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing
· Shingles that are missing, buckling, curling or blistering
· Missing or damaged chimney cap
· Masses of moss or other growth that signal rot underneath
· Piles of grit in your gutters can signal roof wear
· Cracked vent boots
When in doubt contact a professional roofing company for an assessment.
CHECK YOUR FURNACE!
Schedule a maintenance and cleaning with your favorite HVAC professional prior to turning on your heating system and leave this to the professionals. The fee you will pay will be well worth it during the cold days of winter ahead
DOES YOUR CHIMNEY HAVE THE FLUE?
If you have a wood burning fireplace you will want to make sure you are stocked with a supply of good clean hardwoods. Avoid burning any creosote coated timbers as these can be hazardous to your health and your chimney. Chimneys should be checked yearly by a professional for maintenance and cleaning
AERATE THE YARD!
Aeration of your yard is typically recommended every other year. This will assist in maintaining a healthy lawn next year.
Cool fall days are the best time to prune trees and shrubs or oversee and lay sod. Check with your favorite arborist if you have concerns in this area.
As mentioned in several of the points above, you may wish to consult professional service providers for any of the tasks outlined. Maintenance and prevention are key in keeping your home and investment safe and secure.