Summer is coming to a close and fall is fast approaching. Fall is a beautiful time of the year. It’s usually not too hot, not too cold, it’s just right. On top of that, it’s a great time for families to get together and have some final cookouts before the cold weather sets in. You told yourself all summer, “I’m going to get to all that house work when it’s not so hot out.” Well, now’s the time to do it! We are going to go over some of the fall home check ups you can perform to get your house ready for the winter.
Fall is a great time to think about cleaning and inspecting your gutters. Falling leaves and needles can cause your gutters to become clogged. Once winter comes, if your gutters are clogged it will create ice dams that will push water under your shingles in your home. The best time to start cleaning your gutters is after most of the leaves have already fallen for the year. You can purchase special scoops that fit on your garden hose that will help you clean them. To keep away from clogged gutters in the future, think about installing mesh or leaf shields. They will block leaves from entering your gutters and clogging them. While you’re doing the cleaning, you may want to consider doing some gutter inspection. Especially if you live in an area that experience heavy snow or ice. Check for loose gutters spikes and replace them with gutter screws. Gutter screws will hold better and help support the weight of any snowfall that may occur. If you don’t feel comfortable going up and doing this yourself, think about hiring a professional cleaning company to come do the work for you.
Yearly Roof Inspection
Fall is also a great time to do one of your yearly roof checks. Inspecting your roof should become a routine you perform twice a year. From the ground, you can use binoculars or get on your roof to look for loose or missing shingles. Also, take note to any leaks that are occurring in your home. Now is a great time to replace shingles, fix curled edges and caulk anywhere that is penetrating your roof. Again, some people don’t feel comfortable going up and doing this type of work themselves. If you choose to hire someone to work on your gutters, mention something to them about your roof work. A lot of companies provide both of these services.
Washing your homes exterior is another maintenance task that should be done in the fall. When you pressure wash your home you help eliminate the growth of mold and mildew that feed off of dirt. You can either purchase a pressure washer or hire a professional cleaning company to do this for you. Keep in mind that if you choose to do it yourself, you can actually damage your siding if you’re not careful.
Check Your Pipes
You may say to yourself, “my plumbing has never frozen before; I’m not going to worry about it.” You may be getting yourself into some trouble. You should inspect the hot and cold supply lines as well as exposed pipes that run along exterior walls like the ones typically used in a unheated basement. One way to safeguard these pipes is to wrap them in electrical heat tape. This tape will not work during power outages though. You can also wrap pipes in fiberglass insulation or pipe jackets. I assure you that taking the time to do this is much better than having a frozen or busted pipe.
Fall and winter are the best times for sitting by your fireplace and relaxing. Fireplaces can be dangerous though if not treated properly. You can avoid disasters such as chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning by simply putting safety before anything else. You should have your chimney inspected at least once a year to ensure your chimney and venting systems are working properly. You should also only burn proper hardwoods to reduce the build up of creosote. Creosote is a flammable compound that leads to chimney fires. Every homeowner with a chimney might want to have their chimneys waterproofed. This will prevent long term erosion and masonry damage. Another good thing to have is a carbon monoxide detector. In the event that your chimney has become blocked or damaged, it may release carbon monoxide into your home. With a carbon monoxide detector you will be notified of this and could save you and your family.
Now you have a good idea of some things you can do before the winter months arrive. It may seem like a lot, but taking the time to fix these issues will save you both time and money in the future. For those of you who simply don’t have the time to do these things yourself; you may want to look into hiring someone to do them for you. Here at ASJ, we can take care of all the services we talked about. Consider giving us a call for all your residential services if you reside in South Central PA or Northern Maryland.