Labor Day Weekend is here! And with it comes preparations and beginning of fall chores around the home. Here are a few quick tips to help get you started:
Clean your gutters and check for damage - water from an overflowing or broken gutter can erode the ground underneath your home's foundation, causing extensive cracking and sinking. Downspouts should go to underground drainage pipes or lead away from your home – and work properly. If the downspout simply dumps water at the base of your home, you’re probably doing more damage than not having gutters at all. You'll want to clean gutters again when all leaves are down in late fall, but checking them out now will save you time later (and it wont be as cold!) This is probably one of the most important tips we could give you.
Get faucet covers out of storage or buy at the store – Have ready to install as cold weather approaches. These are cheap, but effective means of preventing freezing pipes.
Check out your windows - Check for cracked paint along window sills, and if so, repair it! If you don't have time to repair, at least go around and paint primer on those cracks to minimize water penetration. Water sitting all winter between old paint and wood surfaces will cause dry rot and create much larger problems later.
This short YouTube video from our friends over at DIY Network is terrific for tips on sealing up windows for winter. Take a look!
Change out filters in your heating system – those vents have been collecting dust all summer! Also, you may consider having your heating system serviced. Do it before it gets cold, rather than waiting without heat for a day or two for the repair technician.
Vacuum out vents and heating ducts in the house – a perfect place for dust pollutants, and not to mention illnesses when you turn on heat the first time.
Have a fireplace? You may need to clean your chimney – the folks over at eHow.com have a great little do-it-yourself test that may help determine if you need a cleaning or not. Go to it here: http://www.ehow.com/facts_4928823_how-often-should-clean-chimney.html
Get a programmable thermostat!! If you don’t have one of these, you are wasting money – simple as that. Set timer for only those hours you are at home and awake, and you’ll notice the difference on your heating bill.
Paint indoor rooms in September – if you are planning on painting a room or two, it will be too cold in later months to keep windows open for ventilation.
Repair and paint your stairs and deck – scrape, sand prime and paint weathered spots. If you’re handy, repair any damages prior to painting, or get someone to help.
Inspect your home – walk around it, carefully examining details. Bring a small ladder to look up on ledges and hard to see places. Takes notes as you go, and work out a plan to get those items fixed.
Tackle any landscaping projects now – from splitting and transplanting perennials to pruning shrubs and trees. This gives them a little time to re-establish prior to the dry air in winter.
In Conclusion… there are so many potential chores you can do around your home that it can seem overwhelming, and even discouraging. And we’ve only included a small sampling on this list. Just start by making your own list. Prioritize it by the most critical items that must be done, and start there. Enlist family and friends where you can, and you’ll be crossing off items from your list in no time. Peace of mind on a cold winter day is a good thing!
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