Archive for September, 2011

Your Fall Maintenance List!

September 1, 2011

Fall is just around the corner.  I must say that Marty and I are extremely excited for cooler temperatures, the gorgeous colors that dawn the community, and the start of school.  So I thought that we could talk a little about how to prepare your home for the new season.

For those of you that know me, I’m very big on to-do lists.  Every day, I start my day by making an activity list so that I can prioritize my time appropriately.  Hopefully, you will find this list is helpful as you ready your home for Fall.  I found this list on Kiplinger.com.

  1. Tune up your heating system.  You can have a technician inspect your  furnace or heat pump to ensure that the system is in working order fairly inexpensively.  Doing so will ensure that your system is performing at the manufacturer-rated efficiency.  The inspection also measures carbon monoxide leakage, so if you have a family it is simply another fail safe.  Most notably, though, it allows you to reduce your chances of having to wait in line on the coldest day of the year.
  2. Buy a programmable thermostat, or check the settings if you already have one.  Make sure the settings are no higher than 70 degrees when you’re at home and no more than 62 degrees when you’re away or at work.  According to Energy Star, an average user can save around $180 annually on heating and cooling bills with a minimal investment of between $50 and $100.
  3. Check your roof.  Look for damaged, loose or missing shingles that could leak during a winter (or fall) storm.  Check and repair breaks in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys as well.  If your roof is flat and surfaced, rake or blow off fall leaves, do not sweep off the surfacing.
  4. Make sure that your windows and doors are caulked.  If the gap is bigger than the width of a nickel, you should reapply exterior caulk.  Be sure to check window glazing putty, too.  Add weatherstripping as needed around doors; be sure that you cannot see any daylight from inside your home.
  5. Clean the gutters.  If your gutters are full of debris, water can back up against the house or damage roofing and other elements of your home.
  6. Try to divert water.  Add extensions to downspouts so water runs at least three or four feet away from the foundation.  These downspouts can be found at many hardware or home improvement stores.
  7. Turn off exterior faucets.  Often, undrained water that freezes in pipes will expand and that can lead to your pipes bursting.  Start by disconnecting all garden hoses and draining all of the water that is still in the faucets.  If you don’t have frost proof faucets (many houses built before 1995 do not), turn off the shut-off valve inside our home.
  8. Trim your landscaping.  Clear the area at least one foot away from exterior walls, rake out all of the debris out of corners and away from your foundation.  Cut back tree limbs growing within about 5 feet of the house, or worse scrubbing the house or roof.  You will create better ventilation, help dry out surfaces and prevent decay or damage.
  9. Have your lawn-irrigation system professionally drained.
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