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Fall Home Maintenance

There are several tasks involved in fall home maintenance that are the most critical. This article will address those tasks and provide advice for completing them.
My husband is the Quality Director for a residential homebuilder. He and his walk-through technicians provide advice and lists to new homeowners for maintaining a home year-round. Fall maintenance is one of the most important areas.

Weather stripping:

Weather stripping in some form is installed around every outside door and window, per building codes. Changes in temperature and humidity levels will cause doors and windows to expand and contract, and normal settling of a house will sometimes change the alignment of the windows and doors slightly, resulting in misalignment of the weather stripping. Over time, the weather stripping can also deteriorate from normal wear and natural elements, such as the summer heat. In the fall, it should be checked for deterioration and/or alignment and replaced, if necessary. This will give you the best seal possible before winter weather arrives, helping to keep cold air out and the heated air in. Weather stripping comes in many forms – check yours before you buy – and can be found at home improvement and hardware stores.

Furnace/Heat System:

Fall is a good time to check your furnace for proper operation. Turn your system to the heat function, just as you would when the weather becomes cold, and be sure it is heating properly. If you discover there is a problem, you can call a professional to address it before the cold weather arrives. If winter is upon you, and your furnace/heat system should go out, you might have to wait a few very cold days for a service person to arrive, as it will be one of the busiest times of the year for them.

Another tip with any furnace/heat & air system is to regularly check and replace the filters. The filter is one of the most important elements in the proper operation of the furnace. Be sure you know what kind of filters you have as each furnace accepts a certain size filter, and there are 30-day, 60-day and 90-day filters. There are also filters that you do not replace, but you simply remove them, hose them off, and put them back into the furnace unit.

Water Spigots

If you live in a climate that gets freezing or below freezing weather, even if it’s only for a few days during the winter, like here in the South, you run the risk of the water that remains in the pipe freezing, which can cause the pipe to burst due to lack of room to expand. A simple solution is to shut off the water to those faucets. Most outside faucets have a shut-off valve inside the home. The first step is to turn this valve to the off position, cutting off the water supply to the outside faucet. Next, turn the faucet on the outside hose bib fully on and run out any remaining water in the pipe. Leave the faucet in the “on” position, which will allow any water that might remain in the hose bib and pipe behind it the ability to expand, should it freeze. If you learn, in the fall, where the valves are located and how to winterize, you will know exactly what to do when freezing temperatures arrive.

Caulk:

Caulking is something my husband’s company recommends checking on a quarterly basis. Indoor caulk is used around tubs, along the tracks of glass shower doors, around faucets and in the seams of trim work (window trim, crown molding, door trim, baseboards, etc.). Outdoor caulk is used around outside trim work, some windows, sidelights, and some doors. The change in temperature, humidity, wear and normal settling will result in the caulk separating or cracking. Fall is a good time to check both indoor and outdoor caulk, and re-apply it, if necessary. Keeping up with the caulk maintenance also has its benefits, not just to have a nice appearance against the custom window treatment you have installed. Caulk serves the purpose of creating a seal, and it is very important to maintain the seal around wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. Outside, it creates a seal between trim work and the main structure of the home such as siding and brick. Maintaining the caulk will help avoid water damage to cabinets around sinks and baths, and assure a better seal between the outside and inside environment. by Lynnette

Winter Maintenance Chores: (DEC/JAN/FEB) | Summer Maintenance Chores: (JUNE/JULY/AUGUST)| Spring Maintenance Chores: (March/April/May)




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