It’s that time again – to say goodbye to the hot days of summer and hello to the cooler days of fall. Of course, with the changing of the seasons comes a new list of home maintenance items to prepare the exterior of your home for the colder weather ahead. We’ve put together an easy-to-follow, Fall Maintenance Checklist to protect your home and save you money on utility bills during the frigid months to follow.
1. Inspect Roof – Check your roof for loose, missing or damaged shingles and inspect flashing around vent stacks and chimneys for damage. Nail down loose shingles and replace missing or damaged ones; repair damaged flashing, to prevent your roof from leaking.If your home has a flat, asphalted and pebbled roof it is important to remove leaves and pine needles that trap in moisture. Be careful not to displace the pebbles during the debris removing process – this will expose the asphalt to destructive sun rays.*If you are not one for heights you may want to hire a local, roofing professional to inspect and make necessary repairs. Be sure the contractor is licensed and insured before allowing him/her on your roof. We would recommend calling Brian Pierce Roofing if you need some assistance.
2. Clean Gutters – Remove all debris from your gutters to allow rain and snow melt to freely flow through the gutters and into the down spouts. Clogged gutters will cause water to flow over the gutters and run down the siding/stucco and trim, which could cause the water to remain near the home’s foundation. This can lead to expensive foundational and water damage repairs. Furthermore, water that remains in the gutters can create corrosive rust that demands gutter replacement; and trapped water that freezes in the gutter can create ice dams – which also damage gutters and roofing and cause expensive repairs. Brian Pierce Roofing can also help you with your gutter projects.
3. Prevent Ice Dams – Inadequate insulation, ventilation and air leaks in your home’s attic can cause ice dams to form at the roof line. When this happens, melted water backs up and drains back into your home. Consider hiring a home-energy auditor to perform a blower test on your home, to identify where air leaks are occurring. This small investment will not only save you from water damage caused by ice dams, but will identify where you need to add insulation, weather stripping and caulking to improve your home’s energy performance.
4. Caulk and Add Weather Stripping – Using silicone caulk, caulk exterior cracks around windows and doors, as well as around wires and pipes that enter the home to eliminate drafts. Small rodents will try to escape the cold by squeezing through the small spaces were wires and pipes enter your home. By stuffing steel wool into these areas, and caulking around them, you will hopefully keep the critters out. Add weather stripping around doors to eliminate drafts and entry points for small rodents.
5. Inspect Outside Structure – Inspect the outside structure of your home for peeling paint, wood rot, and cracks or gaps in your foundation. Replace rotted wood siding and decking. Paint or stain, and seal siding and decking as needed. Fill and seal gaps in foundation to prevent water from seeping into them, freezing and causing larger cracks. Examine railings to ensure they are strong and secure and repair/replace if needed. A great company to call for help with your paint projects is K Rand Painting.
6. Seal Cracks In Concrete Sidewalks & Driveway – To prevent the expansion of concrete cracks and erosion repair sidewalk and driveway cracks.
7. Divert Water – Add downspout extensions to gutter drains to ensure that water is draining at least 3 feet away from your home.
8. Turn Off Faucets & Disconnect Hoses – Water remaining in pipes can freeze, expand and burst. Begin by disconnecting hoses so water will drain from the faucets. If your home does not have frost-proof faucets you should turn off the shut-off valve inside your home. Drain hoses and store them inside.
9. Drain lawn irrigation system – Draining your lawn irrigation system keeps the sprinkler pipes from freezing and cracking. Most lawn care services provide this “blow out” service at a reasonable cost. We would recommend Green Scapes Landscaping.
10. Relax – Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labors. Plan one more family BBQ in the backyard before the snowflakes start falling!
Enjoy the cooler weather while completing your fall maintenance list and rest assured that your efforts will keep your home in peak condition during the fall and winter months ahead. In the next blog we’ll share a checklist for preparing the interior of your home for Fall. Stay tuned for more easy-to-follow tips!
If you need any help, or recommendations for trusted professionals for these tasks, please give us a call 719-494-0932. Let us know, in the comments below, how this list helped you! And be sure to LIKE us on Facebook and add us to your circle on Google+ for more tips and resources for your home.
Solid Rock Custom Homes has been building and remodeling homes throughout beautiful, Colorado Springs, Colorado (El Paso, Teller and Douglas counties) since 1995. If we can assist you with any of your home building or remodeling needs please contact us at 719-494-0932, or at www.SolidRockCustomHomes.com.