Whether you own your home or rent, the consistent upkeep of certain features and systems of your home will help to preserve its value and prevent some avoidable costs and damage. All of which can translate to more money in your pocket!
Maintenance in the fall is essential since it’s sandwiched between the hot days of summer and winter’s cold wet weather. Now is a good time to look at your calendar and schedule some must-do projects over the next couple of weeks.
#1 – FP/Chimney
Important safety musts before building fires when the cooler air hits:
Hire a professional to inspect and clean your chimney.
Check to make sure the damper works properly. Close the damper when not in use, but don’t forget to open it before lighting a fire.
Examine for loose bricks and mortar and get it repointed. The earlier you catch this, the better. You want to avoid water damage and rebuilding a new chimney.
Cap or screen the top to keep out rodents and birds seeking refuge.
Buy firewood but store it away from the exterior of your home (it can attract rodents!).
Consider installing a gas fireplace if you have a gas line nearby. More natural-looking logs and ease of use make them ideal for many homeowners.
2 – Furnace & Ducts
Get your heating system in top shape now before you start cranking up the heat.
Hire a HVAC professional to inspect and clean your furnace.
Stock up on furnace filters and change or clean them monthly depending on which type you use. Dirty filters make it more difficult for your HVAC system to work efficiently and will also limit the amount of dust, lint, airborne molds that go through your system.
Drain air conditioning pipes and turn off its shut-off valve if you have one. Your HVAC professional may do this for you.
Hire a professional to inspect air ducts for leaks in their joints; and have them cleaned if necessary.
Ducts in cold spaces such as attics or crawl spaces should be insulated.
Keep your home toasty warm:
Buy a programmable thermostat that allows you to set temperatures lower when you’re not at home or sleeping. You’ll save money!
3 – Prepare for Power Failures
Always be prepared to weather any storm:
Buy and store flashlights, batteries, candles, and matches in easy-to-reach locations. Get those battery-operated candles too if you’re worried about matches and small children!
Keep extra water bottles, nonperishable food (for pets too!), blankets and necessary medications on hand.
Find the phone numbers for your utility companies and put in your phone’s contact list and any alert apps/text services that your community provides.
Bonus Tip! Gutters:
- Clean out gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris. Depending on where you live, you may have to clean your gutters several times in the fall.
- Blocked gutters can cause water damage to your home at any time. But in the winter, blocked gutters will trap water that can possibly freeze, causing gutters to detach from your home.
- Make sure your gutters are directed so that they drain as far away from the house as possible and on a downslope. Check on this regularly during rainstorms to prevent major water damage.
Let me know if you have any questions or if you need any suggestions for vendors that could help get your list of to-do’s done.
I believe that with Information, Preparation, and Strategy, you can achieve great success. Let me show you how!
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