Sweater weather is coming, the leaves are turning from green to yellow to red, and that slight chill in the air means it’s time to share our quarterly maintenance tips with you. Ensure that your home is ready for the fall season by following our tips below.
*The photo above is courtesy of the winner of our 2019 Fall Photo Contest, Brent & Natalie Flaten. Be sure to enter the 2020 Fall Photo Contest by submitting your photo on our Facebook page or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, entries must be submitted by November 13, 2020.*
INTERIOR FALL MAINTENANCE TIPS
- Monitor the relative humidity in your home with a hygrometer; you should maintain 35 to 40 percent. This can be controlled by using your exhaust fans, air conditioning and dehumidifier
- Shut down your air conditioner once you’ve used it for the last time this fall season. Go to your main breaker box and turn the air conditioning breaker off.
- Check furnace operation prior to the first cold spell.
- Inspect and add silicone, if necessary, around bath tub drain and faucets where they meet the fiberglass module.
- Seal grout lines of all ceramic tiles. A simple grout sealer applied with an artist’s paintbrush tends to be the best method.
- Test your smoke/carbon monoxide detector and vacuum the outside of the units to clean them.
- Inspect and change your furnace filter per manufacturing recommendations.
- Check fireplace operation. Gas fireplaces with pilot lights should be relit following manufacturers instructions. Those without pilot lights can be turned on at the control. Gas fireplaces should be cleaned and inspected by a qualified service technician at the beginning of each heating season.
- If your home’s exterior doors are equipped with adjustable thresholds, they may be adjusted up with a screwdriver to tighten the fit of the door. In the spring, adjust down.
- Check the PVC ring under your sinks. This ring is located directly above the PVC trap. Verify that these round rings are hand tight so that water will not leak.
- Keep your exterior lights on for safety during the evening.
EXTERIOR FALL MAINTENANCE TIPS
- After leaves have fallen clean gutters, downspouts and window wells. Confirm that downspout extensions or splash-blocks are in place to carry roof water away from the foundation.
- Drain and winterize landscaping sprinkler systems. Disconnect all hoses from exterior faucets and turn valves (located in basement) to the off position to prevent freezing. Store garden hose equipment for the winter.
- Mow lawn before first snow fall, then apply fall or starter fertilizer.
- Wash exterior concrete: garage floor, sidewalk, driveway and stoops. Once dry, caulk any cracks or expansion joints in the concrete slab with a concrete grade caulk.
- Seal all treated wood on decks, porches, and railings.
- Inspect exterior wood surfaces for cracking/peeling paint. Sand, prime and paint as needed to prevent water damage.
- Verify that the sump pump extension is installed on the home’s exterior.
- Inspect caulk around exterior penetrations. If any of the caulk is cracked or weathered, remove existing caulk and re-caulk using a clear silicone caulk to prevent water entry.
- Inspect vent pipes to ensure they are clear of obstruction.
- Check backfilling around the foundation of your home. If there is settling, it will need to be filled in. Maintain a positive slope away from your foundation. Re-seed the filled in areas with grass seed and water daily until established.
- Do not use salt or ice removers on concrete; they will cause pitting and/or spalling. We recommend using sand for traction.
Always remember, if you do not feel confident in performing any of these duties, please contact a professional to assist you. And don’t forget to send us your best seasonal photos for our Fall Photo Contest and you’ll be entered for your chance to win $100 cash!