A well-maintained house is a welcoming home, a shelter from the everyday problems and our very own island of solitude. Take good care of your house and it will take good care of you – neglect it, and you’ll have more headaches than you care for. You don’t need to put in all that much work into keeping your house in optimal condition, but you’ll still need to put some effort and money into various little seasonal maintenance projects if you want to save yourself a host of problems in the long term. Here are a few of the most important tasks that will help you prepare your home for the upcoming fall and winter.
Check Your Roof And Gutters. Make All Necessary Repairs
Over time, residential homes require gutter cleaning because of debris buildup. The most common debris found in gutters are leaves, sticks, bird nests, toys, garbage, construction materials and pieces of roofing that has become dislodged. This debris causes rain water and snow melt to back up and flow over the edge of the gutters. Over time, gutter overflow can lead to basement flooding, foundation damage, and siding damage. It can also cause the gutters to sag, rot and rust.
Check for Mold In Basements And Crawlspaces
The musty smell of a moldy basement is not only unpleasant, but can lead to serious health issues. If you think you have mold growing in your basement, educate yourself on the risks of mold in your environment and the best way to eradicate it. While most molds are not toxic in and of themselves, some molds may produce components called mycotoxins that may affect individuals with compromised respiratory or other health issues, suggests the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC.
Drains And Pipes
One of the most crucial aspects of home maintenance is drain upkeep. When drains and water pipes fail to work properly, it's impossible to cook, clean or do much of anything. Therefore, it's important to care for your water pipes and know when to call for home drain maintenance. Additionally, it helps to know the worst from the best types of home water pipes, how they can be identified and maintained and when and if they should be repaired or replaced. Read More
Windows And Doors
You can buy the best windows in the world, but they will not perform well if they are not insulated or installed properly. The area around the window and the old weight boxes need to be filled with the right type of insulation so cold air doesn’t blow around your new windows. Insulation is a two-step process: utilizing the right kind of insulation for certain parts of the window frame and weight boxes and the other part is the sealant. Some contractors will use cheap latex caulking rather than the insulation. This is bad. Caulk is used for sealing, not insulating. The best way to insulate weight boxes is to use fiberglass insulation. Many contractors will cheap out to keep the price and labor costs down and not insulate weight pockets at all. A good installer will also make sure not to use too much to allow for natural movement of the house independently from the window. ALL products expand, contract and thus move, so ignoring this will be a problem.
You can use weatherstripping in your home to seal air leaks around movable building components, such as doors or operable windows. For stationary components, caulk is the appropriate material for filling cracks and gaps. Before applying weatherstripping in an existing home, you will need to detect the air leaks and assess your ventilation needs to ensure adequate indoor air quality. Energy.Gov
Clean Up Your Garden
During the fall, the leaves from the trees in your garden will tend to make a mess, but they can be very useful as a natural fertilizer, so crush them up and spread them out over the soil. If you are installing any plants in the fall, it is better to wait for the frost before covering the soil with crushed leaves or other types of mulch. Of course, fall is a good time to think about planting evergreens – maybe a nice little Christmas Tree in preparation for the Holidays, but be sure to apply plenty of anti-transpirants to keep your tree in top shape. Read More