Fall Maintenance Tips10/14/2017
As the weather outside continues to remind us, summer is in the past. You may be considering some repairs around the house to prepare it for the cold months of winter. On that note, I've compiled a list of fall maintenance ideas to help you get started!
Gutters and downspouts
Check to make sure they are working properly.
Fireplace and flue
Repair cracks, and crumbling mortar. Check and replace gasket on woodstove if necessary.
Inspect exterior caulking, and repair if necessary.
Storm windows and doors
Check for any cracked or broken glass. Tighten or repair loose or damaged frames and repaint if necessary. Replace broken, worn, or missing hardware; tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers, and check for broken or missing glazing.
Inspect and repair stripping around windows and doors.
Hot-water heating system
Lubricate pump and motor; bleed air from radiators or convectors.
Forced warm-air heating system
Vacuum heat exchanger surfaces; clean and lubricate blower blades and motor; check fan belt tension and adjust if necessary.
Clean burners and ports.
Lubricate fan and motor bearings.
Clean heat sensor, contact points, and contacts; check accuracy and replace if necessary.
Clean and lubricate hinges, rollers, and tracks; tighten screws.
Check grading for proper slope away from foundation wall.
Trim back all tree limbs and vegetation away from roof.
For steam heating, check shut-off valve for leaks and drain lower water cut-off per manufacturer's instructions.
Inspect roof surface, flashing, and eaves; repair if necessary.
Each year, fires kill more Americans than any other natural disaster. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 80% of fire deaths occur in residences. While no home can ever be completely fireproof, there are many steps you can take to greatly reduce the risk of fire for your family and your home:
- Smoke detectors are the most important part of your home fire safety! Make sure your home has smoke detectors at least in every bedroom, and test them frequently.
- Use appliances wisely. Overheating, unusual smells, shorts and sparks are all warning signs that an appliance needs to be shut off and either repaired or replaced. Unplug appliances when not in use.
- Never overload circuits or extension cords. Don't place cords or wires under rugs, over nails, or in high traffic areas.
- Portable heaters need at least three feet of space from any combustible materials.
- Fireplaces should be used with fire screens, and chimneys should have annual cleanings.
- Have at least two fire extinguishers in your home, with one in a designated place in the kitchen. Cooking fires are the leading cause of both home fires and home fire injuries in the U.S.
- Extinguish candles before going to bed or when leaving a room.
- If smoking indoors, always use an ashtray and exercise caution. Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths in the U.S.
- Properly inspect and maintain your home's heating system. Poorly maintained heating systems cause many fires.
- Consider the installation of a home sprinkler system. Such systems are now much more affordable and greatly diminish the risk of fire injuries.
These are just a few ways that you can make your home a safer place from fire. More information can be found on the U.S. Fire Administration's website, www.usfa.fema.gov, or by contacting your local fire department. I hope you've found this list helpful. If you're doing any repairs or preventative maintenance that requires the help of professionals, I'd be happy to give you some referrals. I'm also available to answer any of your real estate or home owning questions. You can also find more tips for homeowners on my website! Call if I can be of help to you.