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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Is Your Home Ready for Fall?


5 Top Items on Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Fall’s gently tumbling leaves seem so peaceful, they can also be a wake-up call that winter's coming. Now’s the time to take care of some important home maintenance. Use this list as a guideline to get your home ready for the cold weather ahead.


By doing these projects now, you can avoid some costly repairs and feel confident that you’ll be warm and comfortable when the cold weather arrives.

1. Get Your Heating System Humming

You don’t want to wake up on the coldest morning to find you have no heat. Schedule a furnace checkup now. An expert technician will make sure everything is running properly and that your system meets the manufacturer’s rated efficiency. The checkup will also measure carbon monoxide leakage.


2. Prevent Gutter Gridlock

Leaves, twigs and other debris can clog gutters, causing water to back up and flow into your house. Save yourself from this expensive repair by cleaning the gutters after your leaves have fallen. Tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets, and replace any worn sections. Check that your downspouts extend at least five feet away from the foundation. If not, you can buy inexpensive extensions and attach them.


 

3. Take a Caulk Walk

Walk around the exterior of your home and check it for air tightness. Carefully look for cracks, which can be the source of air leaks, energy loss and money down the drain. An inexpensive tube of caulk can help prevent energy loss and also help prevent moisture from getting inside the walls of your home. Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting or electrical wiring comes through walls or floors.


Most Common Source of Air Leaks

Dropped ceilings
Recessed lights
Attic entrance
Sill plates
Water and furnace flues
All ducts
Door and window frames
Chimney flashing
Outlets and switches
Plumbing and utility access
Critter entrances

4. Get a Look at the Roof

You don’t need to get up on the roof to spot trouble areas. Stay on the ground and use binoculars to look for buckled, cracked or missing shingles. If you find any, replace them right away. Examine the flashing and look for any rust spots, which could expose your home to damaging leaks. The good news is you can clean, prime and seal the rust fairly easily yourself. Also, if you spot large areas of moss, your roof may be rotting underneath. Call a roofing professional rather than trying to tackle it yourself.


5. Clean Out the Chimney


Looking forward to a cozy fire? Better make sure your fireplace, chimney and vents are clean first. A good cleaning by a professional chimney sweep can help prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide buildup. Some DIY measures you can take include keeping the fireplace damper flue tightly closed when not in use and sealing seal air leaks with fire-resistant materials like sheet metal or sheetrock.


Get these projects knocked out and your home will be warm and cozy for winter. Then head to the store and load up on hot chocolate and some good books.


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