With fall just around the corner, the clocks rolling back, and holidays approaching,this is the time to think about doing some maintenance to your home to ensure it is ready for the winter season. These maintenance tips will help you keep your home safe, warm, and comfortable in the coming months and also help you make your home more marketable if you are in the market to sell.
Wash and Weatherize - Pressure washing your home will help to remove mold and mildew that has developed over the warm months and will help to extend the life of your paint job. Ensure that you are working with a professional who won't damage your exterior finishes. Once the exterior dries replace any damaged wood trim and siding and re-caulk any gaps that have developed to protect the envelope from moisture and air infiltration.
Gutters - Once all of the leaves have fallen, get your gutters and downspouts clean. This will allow water to properly drain from the roof and prevent damage to overhangs and roof eaves. Ensure that water is directed away from your foundation and that splash blocks and or drain lines are installed. Ground water management is key to a dry and healthy home.
Windows & Doors - Check all windows and doors for proper operation and weatherization. Replace any worn or defective weatherstripping, cracked or rotted mouldings or thresholds. Keeping moisture and cold air out of your home will help to reduce winter heating bills.
Heating & Air Systems - Have a professional HVAC contractor inspect your heating and air system for proper performance. Ensure that air handler, and combustion chambers, if you have a gas furnace, are clean in good working order and properly vented. Install clean filters and seal any loose connections in ductwork or around returns. A leaky system will increase energy usage and will affect comfort. Have your thermostat upgraded or re-programmed to maintain the comfort level you like and to reduce energy cost.
Water Heater - Have your water heaters burner inspected and check all pressure relief valves for proper operation. If your water heater hasn't been drained in a while get this done to keep residue from building up in the tank. If you have a gas water heater, ensure that the unit is properly vented to prevent back drafting of any carbon monoxide.
Smoke and Carbon Dioxide Detectors - Safety is key to a happy home so check all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors for proper operation. Replacing batteries when time rolls back and rolls forward is a good way to ensure detectors are functioning properly. Test all detectors for sound/noise delivery and ensure they are securely connected.
Electrical - Check all light switches and outlets for proper operation. Ensure that all wall outlets are properly secured and not loose or moving within the wall when a cord is plugged in unplugged. Replace old light bulbs with new LED bulbs where you can to reduce energy consumption. Test all ground fault interrupter circuits (GFICs) for proper operation. Replace any that are defective right away.
Fireplaces - With cooler temperatures come increased fireplace use. Have your entire fireplace unit inspected and cleaned to minimize fire hazards. Replace any damaged firebox brick or materials and ensure that fire damper is operating properly and can be secured open to prevent smoke and dangerous gasses from entering the home.
Maintaining your home on a regular basis will help your home maintain its value, ensures comfort and safety, and extends the life of your home and its systems. Always rely on a professional to service your home and have a safe and wonderful fall and holiday season.