In this series of articles, Ownersite Technologies looks at home maintenance by the seasons to see how each period in the year brings a new set of responsibilities for maintaining your home. These valuable tips are all part of the company’s unique online home maintenance and inventory system that can help you maximize your biggest investment.
As the days grow shorter and crisper, it means that the days of summer have passed and autumn is on its way. Much of the maintenance projects on your home during this time will really focus on preparing for the winter months that bring a host of volatile weather no matter what part of the country you live in – whether it’s heavy rain and flooding or snow and ice. What you do now in terms of taking care of your home will keep you cozy and comfortable until spring arrives while ensuring that your investment does not suffer from the inclement weather.
Preventative Maintenance for the Ultimate Weather Protection
Many of the tips listed below will help you prepare your home for the coming cold months, minimizing your energy consumption and preventing further damage that could result if certain parts of your home are left without any attention. Over the long-term, many of these suggested projects will save you money, irritation, and inconvenience as well as build further value.
- Weather-stripping and Caulking
To keep the bad weather and drafty air out and the warmth in, weather-stripping and caulking are two maintenance projects that are worth their weight in gold because they stretch the amount of energy needed to heat the house. After all, you don’t want your dollars escaping out the gaps and cracks. All weather-stripping that appears worn or torn should be replaced. Caulking also helps prevent the loss of warmth and keeps the insects out. Old caulking should be removed before adding any new material in order for it to be effective. These products are relatively cheap and do not require extensive home repair knowledge in order to do.
- Heating System
A heating system can be complicated and dangerous. Other than changing out your air and furnace filters as well as vacuuming forced air register and ductwork, the work should be left to a professional. They can inspect and clean the heating unit to keep you toasty during the frigid and damp months ahead. Cleaning all ducts in the home will remove all the dust that built up during the hot and dry months that can irritate those living in the house, especially those that have any respiratory or sinus problems.
If you use a wood-burning stove as a source of heat, you will also need to have a professional come out and look at the connector pipes to ensure it is in good working order.
Since your roof is your greatest shelter during storms, there are a number of issues to address before the bad weather arrives.
- Roof vents should be cleaned and checked to ensure that they are fully operational.
- Make sure that the roof, gutters, and downspouts are clear of leaves, branches, and other debris that can decrease their effectiveness when they are most needed. These mechanisms can get damaged due to the weight of debris, causing them to give way or do harm to the home because they cannot lead the water away.
- Any signs of loose or damaged shingles as well as other problem spots with other roofing materials must be addressed immediately because falling branches or debris will only exacerbate the problem when the bad weather starts. You will want to secure any loose roofing material, put down additional felt, or seal with tar. If you don’t feel that handy or have height phobias, it’s best to call a professional.
- Critter Patrol
Others are getting ready for the winter months so you want to ensure that birds, chipmunks, squirrels or bats do not decide to make your attic or basement their vacation destination of choice. Locate any entrance holes and seal them up. It may also require a visit from your local pest control company.
- Pipe Protection
In many parts of the country, frozen pipes can become a real problem in the winter months so it is important to take preventative measures before the cold snap sets in. Here’s what you can do:
- Insulate pipes in your home's crawl spaces and attic. Don’t be stingy with the insulation. The more insulation you use, the better chance you will have to not be hit with bursting pipes.
- Wrap pipes with heat tape or thermostatically-controlled heat cables. It is important to read all manufacturer installation and operation directions before you use these products.
- Identify any possible leaks and then seal these with caulk or insulation.
- Other Projects
Before you get ready to enjoy the fireplace during the holidays and dreary days, it is best to get the chimney and fireplace completely cleaned out. It is usually best to leave this job to the professionals. Also, remember to open the damper so that the smoke and ash can escape up through the chimney.
Use a power washer on the outside of the house to loosen sap, dirt, and debris from the siding to make way for what’s to come during the stormy season. It is important to not let the materials build each year because it will begin to shorten the life of your home’s beautiful appearance.
Get your gardening equipment ready for their hibernation by using up all fuel inside any of the gas-powered machines. At the same time, it is good to fertilize and re-seed your lawn. Look for any branches or tree limbs that appear to be getting too close to the roof or power lines because those are accidents waiting to happen during high winds or a storm. If you have roses or other greenery, it’s time to do some pruning so they can bloom again in the spring.
Your Partner in Maintenance Record-Keeping
Ownersite Technologies is making it their business to help you maximize the investment in your home through a valuable Web portal where you can record and track all types of information related to the maintenance and care of your home. Their low-cost site membership provides you with a helping hand that takes the tasking effort out of tracking your home maintenance records.
Home Ownersite provides an easy way to quickly set up a home maintenance schedule to keep your home looking like new. The more you put into the care of your home, the longer its original beauty will last. Not only will this improve the quality of your daily life, but proper maintenance and record-keeping will yield a desirable re-sale property and a tidy profit.