Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Fall is a great time to work on your home.  The weather is still nice enough to get out and do things, but cool enough to work on a few of these really important tasks.  You can always hire pros, but there is also all sorts of helpful resources you can find online through resources like YouTube.  While this isn't an exhaustive list, it will at least give you some ideas of some important things to consider when preparing your home for the long, cold winter months that will be coming before you know it!  So, let's get started:

  1. Clean those gutters and downspouts especially if you don't have gutter guards. Make sure all drainage areas are unblocked byleaves and debris. Having leaves, twigs and other trash in your gutters can cause water to get into your home and cause a lot of damage.

  2. Check your trim around the house.  You can use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. If you find holds caulk them to provide a good seal around these spots that will allow cold air and moisture in the house.  If it hasn't been done in a while, you might have to completely replace the wood.

  3. Fall is a great time to paint the exterior of your home.  With lower humidity and cooler (not yet cold) temperatures this is a great time to tackle the painting projects.

  4. With all the hail we got this year it's a great time to inspect your roof.  Better yet, hire a licensed professional to examine your roof for wear and tear. If the shingles are curling, buckling or crackling, replace them. If youhave a lot of damage, it's time to replace the entire roof. Also, check the flashingaround skylights, pipes and chimneys. If you have any leaks or gaps, heavy snow and ice will find its way in.

  5. While it's a little early yet you definitely want to be ready to prevent your exterior water pipes from bursting when the weather gets below freezing.  Not only should you disconnect your hoses but you should also turn off the valves to the exterior hose bibs. Run the water until the pipes are empty. Make sure all the water is drained from the pipes.  If you have water in these pipes they can freeze up, damage the pipes and flood your home!

  6. If you are fortunate enough to have a wood-burning fireplace - now is a good time to get it inspected, cleaned and repaired to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

  7. Wrapping water pipes that run along exterior walls with heating tape will save energy and prevent them from freezing.  

  8. Replace your furnace filters.  This will give you a more efficient system and lower your heating bills.  It's a really good idea to contact a licensed heating contractor to inspect and service your gas heater or furnace to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning as well as making sure your furnace is running most efficiently.

  9. Check the attic to make sure the insulation is installed properly and that you have enough insulation.  Having the right amount of insulation in your home keeps it nice and warm

  10. Colorado has some of the most extreme shifts in  temperature and even humidity.  Between this and normal wear and tear can cause window seals to crack and shrink. Check your windows and doors inside and out for leaks and drafts which is one of the biggest culprits for big heating bills. Caulk cracks or install weatherstripping around windows and doors, including the garage door. Replace screenswith storm windows and hey, why your at it clean those windows if you haven't already.  

  11. Fall is the perfect time to divide or move perennials. Remove dead annuals and mulch hardy perennials. Annuals typically die when temperatures drop below freezing, but perennials often appear as though they too have bitten the bullet. That's because their top growth dies back, although in most cases the root ball is hardy enough to survive even extreme temperatures, especially if it's covered with a layer of mulch. The best time to mulch perennials is after the first hard freeze. Just make sure you don't cover the crown or center of the plant, because that can lead to rot.

  12. Clean your garden tools before storing for the winter.  Maintaining these tools will not only make them last longer, but when your spring fever hits, you'll be ready.

  13. Trim the dead branches out of your trees to prevent them from coming down and causing even more damage in a winter storm.  Ash trees are having a lot of issues in the Greeley and Northern Colorado area.  It might be a good idea to have a professional look at them.

  14. Make sure you rake up the thick layers of leaves that fall on your lawn. Big clumps of leaves get wet and can compact to the point where they suffocate the grass.  This can cause all sorts of problems like insect infestation and plant diseases.  It's a good idea to routinely rake or blow them off the lawn or, better yet,use a mulching mower to shred them into fine pieces. If you rake your leaves - use them! Put the raked leaves in the compost pile or use as a mulch. Whatever you do, don't waste fallen leaves because they're an excellent source of nutrients and organic matter. You can also add them to flower beds to put a winter blanket on your garden.

  15. Fall is a good time to aerate your lawn; it will allow moisture and nutrients to getinto the roots. When you're done, spread fertilizer then grass seed. This will be the ideal time to sow cool-season grasses such as fescue and rye - it will give them the opportunity to germinate and develop a good root system before freezing temperatures arrive. It's also the right time to fertilize turf grasses, preferably with slow-release, all-natural fertilizer. When given adequate nutrients, turf grasses have the ability to store food in the form ofcarbohydrates during the winter months. That will mean a better-looking lawn come spring.

  16. Pests love attics because they are full of nice warm insulation for nesting, and they offer easy access to the rest of the house. With gable vents that lead into the attic it is a good idea to install a screen behind them to keep those critters out. Even after closing off those entryways, pests can still find a way in. The firstplace to check for any unwanted guests is under the kitchen cupboards and appliances.

  17. Here is something that is very important! Please put fresh batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. These are very important detectors to have in a home. A smoke alarmcan save lives in a house fire. If you don't have these in your home yet, get a carbon monoxide detector. A carbon monoxide detector can also save livesif a home has oil or gas-burning appliances, like a furnace or water heater.  Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless byproduct of burning oil or natural gas, and it can be deadly. For just a few dollars, a carbon monoxide detector will soundan alarm if the levels get too high. Always install carbon monoxide detectors according to manufacturer's instructions. Generally they should be installed near each potential source of carbonmonoxide, and within ear shot of the living and sleeping areas.


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Phone: 970-381-8388
Dated: August 31st 2017
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