The yearly, frenzied bout of spring cleaning is long over. The hectic schedule of summer activities and social events is winding down. And, now, it’s about time to kick back and enjoy the crisp fall air, the fireplace, the toasted marshmallows, and the long evenings at home.
Well, not just yet. There still remain some important home maintenance tasks you should complete this fall in [market city].
You really should take care of these maintenance tasks now before winter hits hard. If you wait too long, harsh weather and busy contractors may make it even tougher to get these tasks done. Let’s take a look at several areas in your home that deserve a little attention this fall.
Even though the weather is still mild, one of the first home maintenance tasks you should complete this fall in Independence, is to thoroughly check out your furnace and heating system – for both efficiency and safety reasons. Late August is probably the best time to make sure of your furnace’s optimal functioning.
The very first step is to replace the filter. And then a good second step is to clean ducts where you can (though this may require the services of a professional). Another recommended part of heating-system maintenance is to call in a professional to go over your system to ensure optimal, as well as safe, performance. It’s better to catch small problems now before they turn into larger costly – and cold – ones later on.
Vacant Property Tip: While you don’t necessarily need heat in a vacant house, if you have water systems turned on or you have steam heat, make sure to get everything winterized or keep the heat on to prevent freezing pipes.
Fireplace and Chimneys
Another important maintenance task is making sure your fireplace and chimney don’t present any safety hazards. You do want to enjoy that crackling fire with some peace of mind, don’t you?
Creosote build-up can present a grave safety hazard that can be the source of a devastating fire. If you’re not sure how to inspect for and then clean creosote build-up, you should probably use the services of an experienced chimney sweep.
We just learned this one at one of our houses. We were getting the chimney swept to make sure it was safe. There were a whole bunch of baby birds in there and they were a protected bird. So we had to wait till the babies flew the coup so to speak, before we could clean and seal it so that no more birds can get in. We have had similar problems with bats in attics. So as it gets colder, and critters look for places to get warm or to have their babies, take some time to look for ways that critters can get in. Seal up the gaps, holes and cracks, to keep them out.
While they are technically inside your house, water-supply lines in exterior walls can be susceptible to freezing during cold snaps. Just a little effort now can prevent hugely inconvenient and messy problems in the heart of winter.
So let’s say the water lines for your kitchen sink are under the sink on an exterior wall (which is often the case). There are two things you can do, both of them fairly easy and inexpensive. Simply wrapping these supply lines with insulation designed for this purpose will be a definite freeze-prevention step. Even better would be to wrap those lines, if you have a convenient electrical outlet nearby, with heat tape.
Gutters and Downspouts
Most of us rake up fall’s fallen leaves in the yard, but sometimes we forget about the gutters and downspouts till the heavy rains of the following spring. And over the long haul, that can be a costly oversight.
Clogged gutters and downspouts will cause water to back up and run down behind the gutters and onto the fascia board, leading to rot and eventual replacement. So before the fall rainy season hits, make sure your gutters and downspouts are free of debris and draining properly.
Of all home maintenance tasks, you should complete this fall in Independence, checking the roof is the one most often neglected. But it shouldn’t be.
Violent winter winds, heavy snow, and freezing rain can force water into places on your roof (even uphill) where it would normally never get. Fall, then, is the time to check your roof for broken or missing shingles or tiles. If you do detect any problems, it may be a good idea to call in a roofing contractor.
Brush & Dead Branches
We all love the green in the summer but consider. Ivy and other vine-type plants should not be attached to trees as this could choke out the tree and kill it. Likewise, it should not be climbing up your brick or concrete walls as this can compromise the structure, and let water in leading to cracks and crumbling.
Also, there are a lot of newly dead trees in our area at the end of the summer, so look up. Do you have dead branches or entire dead trees hanging over your property? These could fall and harm your property or people on your property. It may be time to trim a few branches or hire an expert to remove the dead tree.
Prepare for Snow Now
If you shovel or plow your own snow, make sure you have a shovel that works and that your snow blower is serviced and ready to go. There is nothing worse than getting a bunch of snow and heading out first thing in the am to clear the drive only to find the blower won’t start and the shovel is MIA. And if you use a service, make sure you touch base now rather than finding out that they are no longer in business when that first large snowfall hits.
This is a short 8-task maintenance list to help you take care of your Independence home. We have an even more in-depth list from Buildium, for those that have rental property or who own vacant property. And if you have rental property or vacant property that is looking for a little worse for wear and you don’t want to maintain it any longer, give us a shout.
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