The changing of the seasons is often a sign for many people to get out and tackle things in and around the home. Because the calendar and seasons remain the same each year, it makes sense that many homeowners will use things like the fall equinox as a built-in reminder to take care of things like changing your smoke alarm batteries. So while you’re out getting your home ready for the autumn season, make use of these five maintenance tips to ensure you’re covering all areas.
Clean Your Gutters/Install Guards
Gutters are an important part of your home’s exterior. They help direct water away from your roof’s edge, and keep build up water from spilling onto things like your front porch, deck, or patio. Unfortunately, gutters tend to get clogged up frequently by things like falling leaves and pine needles, which means they need to be cleaned out on a regular basis to function properly.
Late fall is one of the best times of year to tackle this job. Cleaning now removes the leaves that collect during the earlier part of season, and helps ensure that your gutters will be clear to handle things like melting snow in a few more months.
If you live in an area that sees a lot of falling leaves, or you live in an area surrounded by pine trees, which shed their needles all year long, you may want to take the time to install a gutter guard. A gutter guard prevents leaves and needles from building up, while still letting water pass through. They’re fairly easy to install, and can help prevent blocked gutters in the future.
Check Your Roof
Before your head into winter, where snow will be piling up on your roof, take the time to check your shingles for signs of need repair. Roofs may sometime leak for a while before the water finds its way into your living area, so it’s a good idea to check your roof a few times a year for things like:
- Broken or cracked shingles
- Missing shingles
- Shingles that are lifting or curling at the edges
- Missing or broken flashing
- Excessive amounts of granules in your gutters
If you’re not comfortable checking our your roof thoroughly from above, scan it as well as you can from the ground, then go into your attic and check for signs of moisture infiltration on the underside of your roof deck. Look for water stains, mold, or mildew, which can indicate that your roof has begun to leak.
Take care of any issues now to avoid a more serious problem during the winter.
While you aren’t using your HVAC system to heat or cool your home during the fall months, this is a great time of year to have it serviced and cleaned. Yearly HVAC service can help your unit run more efficiently, saving your money on your monthly energy bills. It can also help to diagnose potential problems before your system fails during the coldest months of the year.
While you’ve having your HVAC system serviced, have your ducts cleaned and sealed as well; leaky or dirty duct-work can account for as much as 20% of the energy you use to heat and cool your home flying right out the door. Get your HVAC serviced now to ensure it’s working perfectly when you need it later.
Seal Your Air Gap
In addition to leaky ducts, another areayour could be losing a lot of energy from is the air gap around your windows and doors. According to studies done by the state of Maryland, poor air seal can account for a loss of as much as 40% of the energy you use to heat your home during the winter. This makes fall the prefect time of year to check for air gaps and seal them up if necessary.
To check your windows and doors for a poor air seal, wait for windy day, then light a stick of incense. Hold the incense near each window and door; if the smoke begins to drift and blow, you have an air gap. Seal this up with exterior silicone caulk to make your home airtight before winter.
Have Your Chimney Cleaned
A lot of people like to supplement their heating systems in the winter with a wood burning fireplace or stove. And while this is a beautiful and effective way to add some extra warmth to your living areas, it can also produce a buildup of creosote on the inside of your chimney and flue. Over time, this can cause your chimney to stop drawing as efficiently. It can also become a serious fire hazard if your wood isn’t burning hot enough, or your burn material that gives off a lot of sparks.
Having your chimney cleaned in the fall means that you can use your wood burning fireplace or stove safety during the colder winter months. And while you’re having your chimney cleaned, be sure to have it inspected as well to endure there no additional problems that should be corrected.
Take Care of Your Home
The changing of the seasons is a great time to take care of many things in and around your home. Make sure that your home is ready for the coming winter by following these five maintenance tips. And if you find that your home needs even more work to get it into its ideal condition, or you want to make some bigger changes, be sure to give Bianco Renovations a call. Our expert team can help you take care of areas both big and small to ensure your home is in perfect condition. Call today to get started.