Tip

Timber Home Living - - Contents -

5 Fall Main­te­nance Tips

TIS THE SEA­SON for brisk days, blaz­ing fo­liage, hot ap­ple cider and cozy­ing up to the fire­place. It’s also time to make sure your home is as ready to en­joy the fruits of fall as you are. Be­fore you kick back and en­joy au­tumn’s splen­dor, take a few hours to en­sure your tim­ber home is in tip-top shape. Here’s what to look for:

1. ROOF.

Most roof is­sues oc­cur be­fore any­one at ground level no­tices, but if you pay at­ten­tion, you can stop dam­age in its tracks. Look for:

Shin­gles that are buck­ling, crack­ing, curl­ing or blis­ter­ing. (This in­di­cates the end of the shin­gles’ life span).

Loose roof­ing ma­te­rial or ex­posed flash­ing around chim­neys and vents.

Ex­ces­sive amounts of asphalt gran­ules in your gut­ters. (Gran­ules pro­vide added pro­tec­tion and will de­tach nat­u­rally over time. But if you see a build up of them in your gut­ters, the shin­gles are prob­a­bly too worn to work.)

If you see signs that your roof may be com­pro­mised, a pro­fes­sional roof­ing con­trac­tor is well worth the money to make the nec­es­sary re­pairs. And it should go with­out say­ing to keep your gut­ters and down­spouts clear of leaves and de­bris.

2. HVAC SYS­TEM. 3. WIN­DOWS.

Sum­mer’s heat and hu­mid­ity can wreak havoc on your home’s sealants, es­pe­cially around win­dows and doors. For­tu­nately, if you stay on top of it, touch­ing up sealants can be sim­ple. Start by vis­ually in­spect­ing all your win­dows and doors, and re­pair any loose or dam­aged frames. In­stall weather strip­ping or caulk­ing around them to pre­vent drafts and to lower heat­ing bills.

4. PLUMB­ING.

No­body wants to deal with burst pipes and flood­ing in the dead of win­ter. To pre­vent them from freez­ing, fall is the time to en­sure that your pipes are well in­su­lated. Also, when the first frost ap­proaches, make sure to turn off your hose bibs and drain out­side spig­ots so those wa­ter lines don’t freeze up.

5. CHIM­NEYS.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est data from the Chim­ney Safety In­sti­tute of Amer­ica and the U.S. Safety Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Com­mis­sion, an av­er­age of 22,300 fires are started by dirty chim­neys each year, re­sult­ing in hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars in dam­age and loss of life. It’s vi­tal to in­spect each wood-burn­ing fire­place chim­ney in your home, and, if you use your fire­place fre­quently, have it pro­fes­sion­ally cleaned so cre­osote buildup doesn’t catch fire. Test your flue for a tight seal to pre­vent un­nec­es­sary en­ergy loss.

First and fore­most, fall is the time to re­place the fil­ter in your fur­nace so it func­tions to its fullest dur­ing the cold win­ter to come. While you’re at it, clean your ducts to im­prove your sys­tem’s overall ef­fi­ciency, as well as to re­duce house­hold dust and al­ler­gens. Fi­nally, con­sider hir­ing a ser­vice pro­fes­sional to give your heat­ing sys­tem a check-up, so you can fix any mi­nor is­sues be­fore they be­come ma­jor (and pricey) re­pairs.

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