Jay's School of Inspectology - Fall/Winter Seasonal Chores List

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

It's that time of year again.  Fall and winter provide excellent opportunities to do some sprucing up and getting ready for the season ahead.  So, once again, it's time for: 

Jay's List!

Specifically, the Fall/Winter Seasonal Chores List.  You have to do it anyway, so this gift is for you.

It seems like every year I will be driving home and hear on the news that it will get below freezing during the night.  That's the time I usually realize I have not gotten ready for fall or winter.  My hose bibs immediately spring to mind.  (It's good to be on top of things like I am...) 

Note:  Obviously this is long past true for some of the country.  My list is pretty complete, though likely not totally complete.  No one ever knows everything.  But, I thought it would be helpful to share some of it with you.

* Winterize the exterior hose bib valves. Turn off the interior valves, open the exterior bibs and loose the little cap beside the interior valve to break the vacuum and let water drain out.

* Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Replace the batteries if that has not been done in a while.  If your detectors are older than 10 years of age, replace the entire mechanism.

* Spruce up any disastrous exterior caulking. Be sure to use the right caulk for the right application! Caulking is the cheapest and easiest energy saver.  Be sure the caulk is fully dried before it freezes at night.  Never paint or apply caulk if the temperature is less than 50F.

* Boilers - check the safety relief valve.

* Steam Boilers - Each month, flush the blow-off valve on the low-water cutoff; test the water feed valves.

* Furnace - replace (or clean) the filters monthly; oil the fans or circulators; manipulate the duct dampers or register covers to divert more hot air downstairs and less up (do not close off air completely to any level or room). Oil furnaces should be checked for back puffing. Ideally, all furnaces should have annual maintenance examinations by a licensed professional.

* Clean moss on the roof - be sure to use something that does not kill the grass or garden shrubbery. I understand from northwesterners that after cleaning a pile of laundry detergent along the ridge of the roof will wash down during rains and help clean completely.

* Clean gutters of debris. If your house is near many trees, solid gutter covers are highly recommended.  This is important not only in the fall, but the spring too.

* Place sticky cricket catchers in the basement and garage.

* Septic system - pump the tank if it is time. If you have two fields this is a good time to divert to the unused field.

* Check your chimneys for creosote and sweep if needed.  Repair any damage.

* Improve foundation drainage as necessary.

* Test GFI outlets. 

* Test AFCI breakers.

* Check the garage door reversing mechanism.  Put your foot through the photo eye plane and see if the door reverses.

* Gas water heater - drain some water from the bottom valve to remove sediment.

* Open crawl space vents.

* Dryer - clean behind the dryer and the dryer mechanism itself, clean what is possible of the vent inside the wall and check the vent flap outside for lint.

* Private water system - pump air into the tank if the pump turns on often.

* Sprinkler system - if you cannot do it yourself, have your maintenance company by to blow the water out of the lines, disconnecting things where necessary, so that only air is left inside.  You don't want your tubing breaking underground over the winter.

* Kitchen - clean dust from behind or under the fridge; clean the range hood fan and clean or replace vent screens; clean disposal (vinegar and baking soda work well, followed by lemon peels).

This is by no means a complete list, but it will serve you well. It works for me!

Preparation is everything. As a guy associated with the Boy Scouts for a long time, I can tell you it is good to "be prepared...!" That may be one of the best mottoes ever written.

My recommendation: Be regular and have foresight! Home maintenance, in the long run, costs about 1% of the value of a home per year. Pay attention to the small stuff, and the big things will take care of themselves.



Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Re-Blogged 9 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Anne M. Costello 10/04/2011 01:07 AM
  2. Chris Smith 10/04/2011 06:35 AM
  3. Dale Samples 10/05/2011 11:25 AM
  4. Rosalie Evans 10/09/2011 04:32 AM
  5. K.C. McLaughlin 10/09/2011 08:20 AM
  6. Wallace S. Gibson, CPM 10/09/2011 08:24 AM
  7. Christine Hooks 10/09/2011 08:56 AM
  8. Bonnie Vaughan 10/09/2011 11:25 AM
  9. Maureen McCabe 10/14/2011 10:36 AM
Topic:
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Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
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Professional Home Inspectors
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Tags:
fall maintenance
winter maintenance
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Ambassador
3,671,830
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey, Jay!  I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.   Have a great Sunday!

Oct 09, 2011 05:16 AM #24
Rainmaker
571,618
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Jay, Jay, Jay !!   How can I do all this stuff and still watch the Lions !?!?!   LOL  Well done !

Oct 09, 2011 06:07 AM #25
Rainmaker
1,828,188
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

R&L - they are!  All of them get a seasonal chores list for all four seasons.  I combined two for this post.

Thanks Rosalie.  I hope they can all use it, no matter where they are in the country.

Grrrrathiath Pat!  Always fun to make that coveted list!

Hey, Bill - I'm glad this year is presenting you with a reason to watch!  How about avoiding Sunday and Monday and doing the list Saturday?

 

Oct 09, 2011 06:25 AM #26
Rainmaker
261,271
Kim & Kristine Halverson
www.LiveWorkSiliconBeach.com, Santa Monica Real Estate :) - Santa Monica, CA
Realtors

Love this post!  It's true preventive maintenance will cost less.

Oct 09, 2011 07:06 AM #27
Rainmaker
1,828,188
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks K&K.  I will have another one in the spring/summer!  Everyone should have something there that applies to their house.

Oct 09, 2011 07:27 AM #28
Ambassador
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Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Jay, you forgot two of the most important things on this fantastic list.

Coordinate with the maid

Coordinate with the maintenance guy

Oct 09, 2011 03:15 PM #29
Ambassador
711,569
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change
Jay, I'd add pressure washing to this list. Sometimes people let it go so long, that the sidewalks grow mossy in the shade, really creating a slip hazard. Plus it just looks so much nicer :)
Oct 09, 2011 04:17 PM #30
Rainmaker
1,828,188
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Silly me Andrea.  That certainly would not occur to me as I am both of those people!  But it's true, I coordinate well with me.

Karen - maybe the sidewalks but NOTHING else!!  And IF you do the sidewalks, the nozzle should be no closer than 12" and the spray no smaller than 17 degrees.  No kidding...

Most people think pressure washing is just spraying water, and believe me, it is not!  There are practices behind it!

Please read this before you clean your deck:    http://activerain.com/blogsview/1745251/never-pressure-wash-a-deck-

Oct 09, 2011 08:50 PM #31
Rainmaker
680,694
Cynthia Larsen
Cotati, CA
Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA

This is a great list, Jay. When can you get here? I'm available most afternoons this week to help you show you where everything is. The temperature rarely dips below 32 degrees here, so winterizing isn't usually necessary.

Oct 10, 2011 05:03 AM #32
Rainmaker
1,828,188
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I'll be right there Cynthia.  If you don't have to winterize, you should fallerize.

Oct 10, 2011 09:09 AM #33
Rainer
639,083
Carl Winters
Canyon Lake, TX

Jay: A good reminder for all of us. Time to get over to my 93 year old mother's house and check her smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

C&C

Oct 10, 2011 09:18 AM #34
Rainmaker
1,828,188
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Good idea C&C.  Did you see these:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/2194501/-where-should-i-put-a-carbon-monoxide-detector-
http://activerain.com/blogsview/2186875/really-you-should-replace-smoke-detectors-

Also, glad you enjoyed the list!

Oct 10, 2011 09:30 AM #35
Rainmaker
643,374
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas

Hi Jay,

This is a great list!  Funny though, some of the things that need doing in your part of the country we don't have to deal with here in the west (at least in Northern CA) like boilers and cracking sprinkler hoses.

Oct 11, 2011 07:26 PM #36
Rainmaker
1,828,188
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Sure, DeeDee, I tell the same thing to my clients.  Some things on the list won't apply, but some will!

Oct 11, 2011 09:15 PM #37
Rainmaker
528,044
Jon Quist
REALTY EXECUTIVES TUCSON ELITE - Tucson, AZ
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

Ah, yes, Mr.Jay is always good for timely as well as very detailed and quite specific posts that are always on target. Probably why I am a subscriber already.

Oct 14, 2011 10:39 AM #38
Rainmaker
1,828,188
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Jon!  And you should know, Jay is my nickname.  My legal name is Jon, spelled correctly like you do.

Oct 14, 2011 10:40 AM #39
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Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

I am way behind here but this is a great post on fall a checklist I did put this on my fan page on facebook  with your face on it hope you don't mind ..Fantastic tips ! I forgot to comment here; so here I am

HelpfulHannah

Oct 15, 2011 05:00 AM #40
Rainmaker
1,828,188
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Hannah, for everything!  So, get on it and let us all know when you're done.

Oct 15, 2011 05:04 AM #41
Rainer
37,141
Jayson Holland
Listings.com - Denver, CO
Jay Holland

Great list Jay, Thanks!

Oct 26, 2011 06:49 AM #42
Rainmaker
1,828,188
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

You're welcome Jayson, and I hope you can use it!

Oct 26, 2011 12:02 PM #43
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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