Is your home ready to welcome fall?
Updated: Sep 30, 2019
Pumpkin spice will soon invade. Can’t say I’m not ready for flannel and fall walks. Though I’m mentally there, my home needs a few touch ups as we transition from summer to autumn.
The experts at GlenRoss have created a 7-step guide for those of us who need a simplified how-to.
1. Clean your gutters. Grab a ladder and take a climb. If you notice the odor of decay, you’ve definitely got some work to do. Likely, you’ll find a layer of gunk that should lift or gently scrape loose. Pay particular attention to your downspouts. Leaves like to gather here, which can cause trouble with drainage. Downspouts can also be redirected at ground level to prevent slippery walking surfaces during the winter. Make sure your downspout slopes away from your house to keep water from pooling around your foundation.
2. Check caulking around your house. Caulking is a waterproof material used to seal joints or seams. You’ll want to focus on the areas where different home materials meet. This includes wood (both trim and siding), vinyl, stucco, stone, etc… Different materials contract at different rates. The caulk will prevent, or seal, cracks. This keeps moisture out which prevents wood rot and mold. GlenRoss recommends clear or white painters caulk.
3. Clean your dryer vent. You’ll most likely find the dryer exhaust on an exterior wall closest to the laundry area. Remove the screen and any matted lint inside. If you have a longer vent run, you may need to consider purchasing a dryer vent brush from your local hardware store to get the system fully clean. Don’t forget to the reinstall the screen. Mice and other critters often find their way inside through openings such as these. Yikes!
4. If you have a wood burning fire place, have your chimney professionally cleaned. If you have a direct vent fire place (gas logs sealed behind glass), check your pilot light for proper operation. Fire it up once to make sure everything is in working order. If it doesn’t work properly, contact a certified professional.
5. Replace batteries in smoke alarms or consider installing smoke detectors with ten year sealed batteries. If you go for the later option, continue to check your detectors regularly by sounding the “test” alarm. Regardless of suggested battery life, always mind a low battery alert. Similarly, you may need to have the charge on your home fire extinguisher checked. A trained professional (firefighter at a local station) will need to help with this. Fire extinguishers should be recharged immediately after each use and periodically throughout their lives.
6. Aerate, over seed, and fertilize your yard. Aeration punches small holes into the ground which allows for air, water, and nutrients to reach grass roots. Aerating your yard allows for better moisture retention (yard dries out less frequently), better durability under heavy wear and tear, and better growth.
7. When watering your yard and plants is no longer an option, disconnect your hose. Leaving it attached to the house during freezing temperatures can cause the frost-proof spigot to split. A split frost-proof won't noticeably leak until the spigot is used the next spring so it is easy to have an issue and not know about it.. Likewise, winterize any irrigation systems. Shut off the water supply while making sure the shut off valve is protected with insulation. Turn off your control timer and drain the pipes.
Transitioning your home takes a little work, but the reward is greater than a pumpkin latte. Preventing home damage is both money and time saving!