It is best time of year, with the mild weather to take advantage to repair anything before the first frost. Below are the top 10 fall maintenance tips.
1 Clean out your gutters. Fall foliage can be beautiful but falling leaves can mean clogged gutters and downspouts. Neglected gutters can lead to rot problems as well as pest infestations while clogged gutters are one of the major causes of ice dams. To clean, simply remove all debris so that water can drain properly. Consider installing gutter guards to prevent additional debris from building up. A local gutter contractor should be able to offer advice on what gutter guard products work best in different areas.
2 Check for drafts around window and door frames. Windows are one of the biggest culprits where heat can escape and cold air can enter. One way to check this is by wetting your hand with water, if there’s a draft you will feel it. Then seal any drafts with interior caulk. If your windows are past their prime, consider replacing them with energy efficient double pane windows.
3 Storm Windows. Storm windows used to be the go-to method to winterize windows when all windows were single-pane. They don’t provide insulation, but they prevent air movement through single pane windows that are in good condition. Storm windows range from plastic sheets designed for one season’s use to plastic panels to high-quality, low-emissivity glass that reduce heat transmission.
4 Check your insulation. The climate in Minnesota plays a large role in heating and cooling our properties. An attic insulation contractor should understand how to properly install your attic system with insulation, air sealing and ventilation giving you a comfortable, healthy property. If you see exposed joists, you should call a professional to come and inspect your insulation. It is recommended that there is 12 inches of insulation regardless of climate. Insulation is an inexpensive way to keep your home energy efficient. Useful insulation can save up to 20% on heating and cooling.
5 Drain hot water heater. Manufacturers recommend draining your hot water heater once a year to help remove the sediment that builds up in the tank over time. You can improve your water heater’s efficiency by as much as 50 percent by draining sediment buildup from the water heater holding tank. Be careful, there will still be very hot water in the tank.
6 Detach all water lines. Start by disconnecting all garden hoses and draining the water that remains in faucets. Remove all the water that is in the sprinkler lines. If water is allowed to stay in the system, the water will freeze, expand and break some or all of the pipes. Drain outside faucets and remove all hoses.
7 Service your furnace. The changing season is the perfect time to check and change dirty furnace filters. Schedule an appointment for a fall furnace inspection and tuneup to help avoid a breakdown in the middle of a freeze. Your contractor will clean the furnace to remove dust that could interfere with its function, replace dirty filters, and ensure it’s not venting harmful fumes.
8 Fireplace/Gas fireplace. Fireplaces require annual inspections to prevent dangerous chimney fires. Animal nests or build up in your fireplace can be hazardous. It is a good time of year to stock up on new wood for the winter with enough to last through the season. For a gas fireplace, turn on and test gas fireplace. Clean the outside vent before you use your gas fireplace. Vents can get torn or partially blocked by leaves, spider webs and birds’ nests. You should make sure that your pilot light turns on when it is supposed to. It is extremely important for the glass to be as tight as possible. This prevents carbon monoxide from seeping into your home. If you have questions or are unsure contact a fireplace professional.
9 Prevent cold air from escaping. Weatherstripping your doors and windows will prevent cold air from entering your home or heat escaping and little critters from getting in. Mice need only a small gap to be able to sneak into your house. With colder weather coming, all of the little critters out there will be looking for warm places to make a home. Fill small holes and cover any larger gaps securely with heavy-duty hardware cloth to keep the wildlife outdoors.
10 Inspect Your Roof. Check your roof for signs of minor damage such as missing, broken, cracked, or curling shingles, as well as bare spots where the granular coating has worn off. Be sure to patch or replace your roof to prevent water damage. Be sure to make the necessary minor repairs now to prevent further damage. Newer shingles can last between 15-20 years. If your roof is reaching this age it is not a bad idea to have a roofing contractor inspect it for signs of damage. For extensive roof repairs, consider having a professional perform the work.
Call Stinson Services today for a free storm damage inspection 952-933-4510 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.