Thursday, 17 November 2011

Is your home ready for fall?

Unfortunately, the sunny beautiful summer days have come to an end – it is now time for the temperature to drop and leaves to change their colours as fall has come to reign. Surely enough, you are ready to embrace the cooler and rainy climate with a wardrobe change – but is your home ready for the colder seasons?
Everybody knows that with each season your home goes through many changes: temperatures, weather conditions, aging, and of course human use. In order to avoid costly repairs down the road, it’s very important to conduct seasonal maintenance. Here are some helpful tips to help you get started.
 1)    Examine your roof. Just because it’s not at eye level, doesn’t mean it’s not important to check up on. Clear all the leaves, dirt, pine needles from the gutters. Examine for any damage, loose pieces, or openings around skylights for leaking problems.
 2)    Examine the ground. Before the snow covers the ground, check your walkways and driveway for cracks or loose paver material. Try to fix them before the icy weather to avoid tripping or falling accidents.
3)    Check the filters in your home. Change your air filter regularly if you have a central air conditioning system. If you have a window air-conditioner, remove it and seal it with a waterproof cover to prevent damage. Don’t forget to change filters in stove vents, clothes dryers, and room fans (if applicable). Clean air filter will keep your family healthier in the fall months! 
4)    Check for leaky faucets. Examine leaky faucets in the kitchen, bathrooms, and utility room locations – and fix any damages right away. It’s much cheaper to fix a leak rather than a broken pipe in the freezing winter! 
5)    Prepare your fireplace. Fall in winter are the perfect seasons for a cozy fireplace in the home. Make sure to discard old ashes and ensure the damper is open to allow air to freely move through the chimney. If the air is becoming cold, close back the camper after cleaning. Check the damper handle and springs to ensure the flue is operating correctly. Hire a professional chimney sweep if needed, and enjoy the cozy evenings by the fireplace!
6)    Drain your hot water heater. Now is the perfect time to drain your water heater to make sure there is no rust developing in the tank. If your water tank is extremely old or is rusting, considering a new one will be more efficient and cost-effective than repairing it.
7)    Check windows and doors for drafts. Ensure the seal and caulking around window frames and doors are in good condition. If it’s your style, adding heavier drapery will block off some air infiltration.
8)    Clean and store seasonal outdoor furniture. Power wash outdoor furniture and cushions, and once dry store them in dry area to prevent cracking and fading. When next spring comes along next year, you will be glad that they’re stored well taken care of and are ready to use!
9)    Have garden power tools serviced. Sharpen the blades of your lawn mower, trimmer and other tools and get the fluids recapped off. Now is a great time to shop for new garden tools – it’s the end of the season, you will find GREAT deals!
10)  Check home safety devices. Replace batteries and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and recharge fire extinguishers.
Make sure to do these things for your home – your home will thank you, and you will be glad to have prevented major costly repairs down the road! Now you can start thinking about getting ready for the next holidays instead!