• Austin Dyer, home inspector

Fall is here. Don’t fall behind on your home care.

Updated: Oct 25

With the start of fall many people get excited for the many pumpkin flavored items hitting stores and the corn mazes and a relieve from the heat of summer. But what everyone should get excited for is an amazing opportunity to catch up on all the home care that they have neglected over the fun months of summer.

Here are 10 tips to make sure your home can make it through the changing of the season.

  • Get Your HVAC System Serviced

With the temperatures beginning to fall, it is time to stop using your A/C and time to start heating your home. Covering you’re A/C unit for winter can help protect it against the harsh weather of winter. Having your furnace serviced can help prolong the life of the unit, not to mention no one wants to go to turn on their furnace when it is 10 degrees outside, to only find out that it is not functioning. It is also a great idea to get a few replacement filters and the correct buss fuse for your furnace for the future.

  • Clean Your Gutters

With fall comes leaves. Making sure your gutters are clear of any and all debris. This will help prevent water damage in the future. When gutters get plugged up it causes the water to overflow and pour out where it is not supposed to. This can cause water to damage decks, siding, and foundations. While cleaning your gutters also take a look at your roof, look for damaged shingles and chimney and look for cracks in the caulking around windows.

  • Fix all cracks

Go around your house and try to locate cracks in the caulking around trim, windows, and concrete. These cracks that seem small now but can grow over the course of winter and can cause major issues. Fill these cracks with a good quality sealant to help prevent moisture from getting into it and making it worse. Water is the main enemy of all homes, so don’t let it get in anywhere.

  • Disconnect All Water Hoses and drain exterior pipes

When the temperature goes below freezing it will freeze all water that is left in pipes and hoses. This can cause those to burst/break. Drain all the hoses and have a lawn company or if you are able to yourself, blow out your sprinkler system. Hoses are easy to replace but replacing a sprinkler system is not easy and isn’t cheap.

  • Have Fire Place/Chimney Serviced and Cleaned

As with the furnace, when it starts to get colder people tend to huddle around the fireplace. Make sure that it is in working condition and that the chimney inspected and cleaned. This is especially important if you have a wood burning fireplace, the chimney can get extremely dirty with soot and can cause fires if not cleaned.

  • Get Snow Removal Equipment Ready

It might be the perfect weather outside now but for most areas the snow is coming. Get snow shovels, and snow removal equipment ready for when the first big storm hits. Using rock salt is a staple of winter now-a-days but did you know that it is what is causing the spalling on your concrete? The sodium chloride will freeze at 25 degrees, so even though it melts the ice it will refreeze quickly on cold nights. Concrete has many pores where that water can get into and freeze. This causes the small pieces of concrete to break away. Try looking for alternatives to rock salt with sodium chloride such as Calcium Magnesium Acetate.

  • Slope Ground Away from House

This tip kind of continues with cleaning gutters and the damage water can do to a house. Make sure that all dirt/ground is sloped away from the house. You do not want melting snow to sit next the house. This again can cause leaking into basements and damage to the foundation when the snow starts to melt.

  • Reverse Fans

Most fans have a reverse fan switch on them or on the remote. Doing this will cause the fan to push the hot air down. It works great for rooms that have tall ceilings because hot air rises meaning most of your heat from your furnace and fire place is going to where no one is. Having a fan push that hot air back down will help you become more efficient with how you are warming your house. During summer have the fan rotate counter clockwise to create a wind effect which cools you down. But during winter have the fan rotate clockwise to have the cold air pulled up and hot air pushed down.

  • Check for Drafts

Checking for drafts in the house will greatly improve your home efficiency and save you a few dollars in the future. Close windows and doors and then use a lighter next to the door/window. If the flame flickers or moves then there is most likely a draft. This can also be done with a piece of paper or tissue. Look into replacing seals and caulking around the windows and doors to help prevent the warm air from escaping. Heavy curtains can also help with drafty windows. You are not trying to heat the outside.

  • Cleaning isn’t just for Spring

Everyone goes in to a frantic clean during spring, but who’s to say that fall cannot be just as good of time. It’s time to put away all the summer furniture and toys. While storing items try to clean/organize yourself. Make things that could be necessary in fall and winter (winter clothing, snow shovel, flashlight, blankets, batteries, etc.…) easily accessible for emergencies and everyday use. While doing that maybe take some time to dust and do a thorough cleaning of the house. You are going to be spending more time in the house now that it is getting darker faster and colder.

Fall is an amazing time of the year, but be sure that you prepare your home and yourself for when the frigid temperatures arrive. By preparing your home for these changes, it can save you money and headaches further in the future.

#fall #homeefficiency #homeinspection #homecare

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