Uncategorized October 12, 2012

Fall Maintenance

Here are some helpful hints to get your home ready for Fall and Winter. 

Stabilize the mower/other gas powered yard tools- 

If your mower sits for months at a time, gas can deteriorate and damage internal engine parts. Purchase fuel stabilizer (about $10) and add to gasoline powered engines that will be hibernating for the winter. 

Bring in garden hoses- 

Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up just inside the faucets. If this water freezes it can expand and cause a break or crack. 

Shut down the sprinkler system- 

Even buried sprinkler lines can crack. Turn off the main valve, shut off the controller, open drain valves. *If you dont have drain valves, a professional ($50-$150) can be hired to blow out the pipes with compressed air. 

Seal outside- 

Seal the outside of your home with caulk ($10). This is includes: between trim and siding, window and door frames, and where pipes and wires penetrate the home. 

Clear your gutters- 
Clear your rain gutters from debris and leaves that have gathered over the past few months. Clogged gutters can freeze and cause moisture damage. 

Direct drainage- 

Direct drainage away from your home. Having sloped drainage away from the home will keep the soil from soaking around the foundation. 

Trim plants and bushes- 
Trim plants and bushes to help keep moisture away from the home. Generally you want a 3 foot border from trees, plants and bushes. You'll also want to have at least a 1 foot border around the foundation. 

Tune up the furnace- 

Schedule an appointment with a local professional ($75-$100) to make sure your furnace is running properly and efficiently and free of carbon monoxide leaks. The money spent could save you hundreds and prevent a freezing cold house in the middle of Winter if it goes out. This is also a good time to clear our air ducts and change your furnace filter.

Check your fireplace – 

Look inside your fireplace and make sure the damper is functioning properly. Make sure its free of debris. Check for cracking and any unusual signs of damage. 

Check batteries in smoke & carbon dioxide detectors and replace as needed ($5-$10)

Change the direction of fans. This helps create an upward draft and redistributes the warm air.