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September 30, 2016

Fall Maintenance Prepares Your Home for Colder Weather

The weather might not be “cool” yet, but compared to this summer’s brutal heat, it sure feels that way! Take advantage of these more moderate temps to check out some fall maintenance items and ensure your house is ready for the colder weather ahead.

Start outside, with your lawn and garden:

  • Drain fuel from gas-operated lawn equipment. Clean and stow all lawn equipment and summer gardening/landscaping tools.
  • Fertilize your lawn, reseed patchy areas and plant spring flowering bulbs.

Next, address your porch, deck and driveway:

  • Inspect porch and deck for any repair needs. Clean deck and apply sealer.
  • Cover and store patio furniture, grills, etc.
  • Empty dirt from flower pots.
  • Inspect driveway for cracks and repair with filler if needed. Apply commercial driveway sealer.

Also consider these items for your home’s exterior:

  • After leaves have fallen, clean gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters are a primary cause of ice dams and related damage.
  • Inspect roof for missing or loose shingles. Inspect paint for peeling or blistering.
  • Drain hoses and shut off outdoor water sources to prevent freezing and damage over the winter.
  • Caulk windows and weather strip doors to help keep heating bills down.
  • Check foundation for cracks.

And don’t forget these items inside your home:

  • Have heating system inspected. Change air filters and vacuum air ducts.
  • Insulate any pipes in unheated basement/crawl space or garage.
  • If you have an outdoor A/C-only unit (not a heat pump), cover the unit for winter. Remove and store any window A/C units.
  • Inspect and clean any fireplaces or wood-burning stoves.
  • Check windows for drafts or cracked panes.
  • Inspect attic and basement for signs of squirrels, mice, bats, etc. Seal any possible entrance holes. As the temperatures drop, these unwanted guests may try to come inside looking for a warm place to hang out.
  • Change smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries.

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