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A Homeowner’s Fall Checklist

A Homeowner’s Fall Checklist

When the weather starts to cool down after a long summer of hot days, it's mother nature's way of telling you that it's time to get ready for winter weather. By tackling a few fall chores around your home, you can ensure that you won't encounter any nasty surprises during the months of November through February. By looking for air leaks, inspecting your roof and completing other tasks on your fall checkup list, you'll be prepared for the drop in temperature. 

Sealing Any Air Leaks 

One of the first tasks that you may want to do is to purchase a tube of exterior caulk that matches the color of your home. Take a walk around the exterior area and look for any air leaks. Typically, you'll find these around door frames and windows and in areas where wires or pipes enter your home. Seal up any air leaks so that moisture can't get in. By doing this type of maintenance, you'll also save on energy costs. You definitely don't want to unintentionally lose heat in areas where air can leak out. 

Check Your Gutters 

After leaves have fallen off of the trees around the perimeter of your home, it's time to remove them from your gutters. Cleaning out twigs and leaves will ensure that clogging doesn't occur. You will also want to make sure that your gutters aren't trapping any water or sagging. If you find any gutters in this condition, tighten the gutter hangers as well as the downspout brackets. If your gutters are overly worn or damaged, you may want to replace them. 

Inspect Your Roof 

It's a good idea to periodically inspect your roof for any problems. If the roof on your home is steep, it's best to use binoculars so that you stay safe. If you see any shingles that are cracked, buckled or missing, it's probably time to look into replacing them, especially any shingles that are damaged, loose or missing. Also, be sure to check for any rust spots on your flashing. This could eventually wear through and cause a leak, which could lead to disastrous results. 

Changing Filters And Cleaning Ducts 

You'll also want to make sure that your furnace filters are changed. If you haven't tackled this job before, it's a good time to start. Vacuum and wipe any radiators, heating grates or baseboard heaters. Also, it is important to clean out your dryer vent. If you have any buildup of dryer lint, it can become a serious problem and potentially start a fire if any static electricity is introduced. It's always wise to unplug your dryer before you clean the vent. You can take a vacuum cleaner attachment and clean the hose if it looks like it's needed. 

Pruning Your Plants 

When late fall rolls around, it's also a good time to prune your trees and plants. This is usually done when the summer growth cycle ends. Your mission is to chop off any branches or limbs that are intruding on the outside of your house. If you have any limbs that are close, cut them back by at least 3 feet. This ensures that moisture won't accumulate on any branches and fall onto your siding or roof. By taking care of this task, it will help prevent damage that can occur when storms and high winds emerge. 

Directing Your Outside Drainage 

Water is an enemy that can easily invade your home if you don't have a proper area of drainage to move it away from your foundation. Examine the soil around your house and see if it slopes down away from your home. It's best if you have a drop of six vertical inches for every 10 feet. By using these parameters for your drainage, it will help keep water from pooling around your foundation. When water isn't cleared away, it has a tendency to find small cracks or fissures that it can enter, which will start to cause damage. 

Insulating Any Exposed Water Pipes 

If you have any outdoor pipes, make sure that all water is flushed out of them. If they are exposed, you may want to insulate them with tubular pipe sleeves, fiberglass insulation or foil. If you decide to go the route of using material that contains fiberglass. It's important to wear protective clothing so that your skin stays safe. Always be sure to clean your pipes before you apply any insulating wrap. You should cover the complete surface of the pipe to ensure that it stays safe from outside elements. 

Have Your Furnace Checked By A Professional 

You definitely don't want to get caught in the middle of winter with a furnace that's not acting right. By having a professional from a company like Fogel Services inspect your furnace or another heating system, it ensures that your home is ready to battle outside elements when the temperature starts to drop. A business like this has the knowledge, expertise, and ability to perform an inspection. They can also provide maintenance so that your heating unit is running smoothly. 

While you can do many of the tasks on this list by yourself, by utilizing a heating expert like Fogel Services, you'll have peace of mind that the job is getting done correctly. Why risk having your heat go out in the middle of winter? Contact an expert who has the knowledge and experience to complete the task fast.