What’s the best part of kicking off the holidays?
Well, if you ask Katrina…it’s the turkey.
And, as a parent? I love it too, if not for different reasons.
Having a family-owned business like ours means we don’t spend as much time together in leisure as we’d like. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and those get togethers in between? Those are precious times where, with everyone enjoying a meal at the same table, it makes the long hours worth it.
What does this have to do with home maintenance?
Imagine you’ve spent all week prepping for this beautiful day to wake up without a working furnace, or a brand new waterfall that’s sprung from the roof.
“A host is like a general, calamities reveal their genius.”
So the saying goes.
But if you’ve ever had your oven go out with a half-cooked turkey inside…I’m betting you’d rather have a smooth holiday dinner than a genius award for McGyvering together a dinner!
So let’s talk about making your winter and your holiday hosting more “all is calm” with this all-important word:
Use some of these autumn afternoons to your advantage and get your home prepped for the winter ahead. Here are 5 easy fall maintenance tips for preventing major problems this season.
#1. Clear Gutter Debris
The longer you go between gutter cleaning- the more difficult it gets. Wet leaves become heavy, clogging gutters and creating spot leaks that lead to rot.
Let’s make sure your roof sheds snow and ice melt by cleaning out gutter build up now.
How? Set up a ladder and a hose to get started.
Scoop out any buildup and make sure to clear out any leaves that have accumulated. Rinse your gutters and downspouts with a hose to clear up any buildup you may have missed.
While you’re up there, take a look at your roof and gutter system as a whole. Are you seeing any cracks, missing shingles, or general signs of wear. Not sure if it’s time to schedule a remodel? Schedule a consult call today to begin protecting your home over the season. Using drones, we can look into your roof as a whole and give you a good idea on when you might need to have updates made.
#2. Preventing Fires With A Clean Chimney
There are more than 25,000 chimney fires in the United States every year. Let’s make sure your home and hunting cabin are safe from these statistics.
If your wood burning chimney has:
- ⅛ an inch of buildup on the walls
- A black damper, (the box that seals your fireplace shut)
- Not been inspected in the last year
Then it’s time to get it cleaned.
The smoke from wood burning chimneys produces creosote. The tar like substance is the leading cause of chimney fires. The down side about this maintenance task? It’s difficult to remove without a professional.
Another fact you might not know? Even gas fire chimneys need to be cleaned every year, otherwise, they pose a risk for carbon monoxide leaks. You won’t see any soot or creosote buildup, instead be on the lookout for bird’s nests, leaves, and other debris that might be blocking ventilation.
Have a gas fireplace? While you’re checking the chimney, do a quick test on your CO2 detectors to make sure they’re fully functioning.
#3. Check Your Siding for Signs of Wear
Your house’s siding is its armor. It’s a protective barrier against sun and storms- but it takes a beating protecting your home.
Come winter, damaged siding leads to increased heating and cooling costs. Catching siding damage before the cold months is key, making fall the perfect time for siding maintenance.
You should wash your siding once a year with a hose, hose, scrub brush, and mild soap or detergent.
Here’s a quick video with helpful tips on how to best clean your siding:
While you’re cleaning your siding, look for cracks or breaks in it. Take note of any spots that appear loose or detached.
If you’re unsure whether or not you’ve detected siding damage, we can help! Let our team assess and repair your siding before water damage interrupts your family dinner.
#4. Winterize Your Yard
Most homeowners think “Rake the Leaves” when it comes to fall yard maintenance. I love the bright color of newly fallen leaves in the yard, but bagging them up isn’t the only thing you should take care of before the snow flies.
Here are some easy yard maintenance checks to prepare your lawn for the winter:
1. Trim the Trees and Shrubs
Trimming trees and shrubs back from your house will help prevent roof and siding damage. And as a bonus? Giving them a good clip will encourage lush, fresh growth for the spring.
2. Fertilize the Lawn
Fall is the ideal time to fertilize your lawn. Giving your lawn the nutrients it needs to winter will help keep it strong during the cold months. How? Roots experience exponential growth during fall. Fertilizer keeps them fed for hibernation.
3. Keep Up With That Mowing!
Your lawn’s growth slows as the temperature changes, but don’t skip out on keeping it at the best height for winter. If your grass gets above 3”, give it a clip. You may need to mow right up until snowfall!
#5. Examine Your Roof
Let’s talk about your home’s most important piece: Your Roof. Fall roof maintenance is crucial to protecting your house over the winter.
Remember earlier when we mentioned how important siding is to keeping your home safe? Your roof is even more important!
External signs of roof damage include cracks and discoloration. Internally, if you notice any peeling paint or signs of water damage on the inside…it could be your roof.
When we cozy into our homes during the winter, we’re at a greater risk for indoor illnesses. (Want to know more? Here’s our take on building related illness here). Let’s make sure we keep your family safe and dry.
The Perfect Pennsylvania Winter
Great holidays start with great preparation.
Unsure of something you discovered during your home’s fall maintenance? Give us a call at 570-345-0406. We’d be happy to come out and take a look.
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