A Guide to Fall Home Maintenance
Each season brings new maintenance tasks that homeowners must complete in order to keep their homes in good condition as the weather changes. Fall is an especially important time to stay on top of your home maintenance, as it precedes the harshest season of the year: winter. The freezing temperatures and inclement weather that winter brings can do a number on your home if you aren’t careful, and trying to tackle home repairs in such unfavorable conditions is never a fun task. As such, it’s important to stay on top of home maintenance while the weather is still mild. This helpful guide to fall home maintenance will ensure your home is ready to stand up to the colder weather that lies ahead.
Upgrade Your Insulation
If you can’t remember the last time your insulation was upgraded or notice that your energy bill is through the roof and that your rooms are drafty, it might be time for an upgrade. A well-insulated home is important during any season of the year, as this means your home will remain at a comfortable temperature without causing your temperature control system to kick into overdrive. However, one could argue that winter is the most important time for good insulation.
In addition to preventing all the residents in your home from turning into human popsicles by keeping warm air inside, good insulation also plays an extremely important role in preventing damage to your home. Without proper attic insulation, snow and ice that accumulates on the roof can start to melt as heat escapes through the roof. Once the snow melts, it will start to slide down before eventually refreezing at the cold edge of the roof. Eventually, this melting and refreezing process will cause a ridge known as an ice dam to form at the edge of the roof. This dam will prevent water from running off the roof and cause a pool of water to form in the middle of the roof.
In addition to putting added pressure on the roof, which may cause it to collapse, the stagnant water may lead to mold outbreaks, leaks, and other types of roof damage. To avoid having to replace your roof during the season when you need it most, it’s important to upgrade your insulation during the fall.
Clean Your Gutters Regularly
During the fall, leaves, twigs, and other debris begin to fall from trees at a rapid rate. As a result, such debris can land in your gutters and cause them to become clogged. When gutters become clogged, they can’t accomplish their important purpose of streamlining water away from your home’s foundation. As a result, costly foundation issues can occur, as pooled water may cause your home to sink or rot. In addition, clogged gutters can also cause ice dams to form, which—as we have already discussed—can cause extensive damage to the roof.
Sealcoat Your Driveway
If your driveway isn’t properly sealcoated, sleet, snow, and freezing temperatures can cause it to crack and fracture. To avoid costly driveway damage, one of the best preventative maintenance measures you can take is to get your driveway sealcoated. Sealcoating refers to applying a protective coating to your driveway’s surface to prevent damage from water, oil, sun rays, and other harmful elements.
Fall is one of the best times to sealcoat your driveway, as the coating can only properly cure when temperatures are between 50 and 85 degrees. Plus, the chances of rain and high humidity levels are far lower than they are during the spring or summer. As such, it’s a good idea to sealcoat your driveway during the fall when the weather is milder. That way, you won’t have to take on an expensive, tedious driveway repair project as soon as spring rolls around.
Remove and Drain Hoses
Another important fall home maintenance task is to remove your garden hoses from their faucets and drain them. If you leave hoses attached to faucets during the colder months of the year, the water inside them could back up into the pipes inside your home’s exterior walls and freeze. Upon freezing, the water will expand, which can cause the faucet and pipes to crack.
In addition to disconnecting the hoses, it’s also a good idea to drain the hoses and store them in a safe area, such as in a shed or garage, to prevent them from getting damaged during the winter. Because sudden cold spurts can occur at any time during the fall, it’s important to conduct this maintenance task earlier in the season.
Get Your Heating System in Check
After many months of relying on your air conditioner, it’s finally time for your heating system to shine. During the fall and winter, it’s important to make sure your heating system is working properly to avoid spending the next few months shivering in the cold. To prepare your heating system for the chilly months ahead, first replace the filter in your furnace. If you have a ducted heating system, you should also clean the ductwork to increase the efficiency of the system and prevent any pollutants that have accumulated inside of them from being blown around your home—especially if your home’s residents have asthma or experience severe seasonal allergies.
Inspect and Clean Your Chimney
If you have a fireplace and plan on utilizing it to warm your house during the colder months of the year, it’s important to get your chimney properly inspected and cleaned. Over time, burning fires cause residue from creosote and soot to build up inside the chimney. If the residue gets too thick, the embers and heat from the fire can cause the inside of the chimney to catch on fire. To eliminate this fire hazard, performing periodic chimney cleanings is essential. Ultimately, homeowners can prevent house fires by simply taking the time to properly clean their chimneys.
In addition to making sure your chimney is clean, you should also get it checked to ensure its flue has a tight seal when closed. If it doesn’t, cold air will be able to enter your home, and you’ll have a hard time keeping it warm.
If you’re ready to start preparing your home for the colder months ahead, Paragon Protection is here to help. We offer numerous insulation installation services, including fiberglass insulation, cellulose insulation, mineral wool insulation, and even spray foam roofing systems in Crystal Lake and the greater Chicago area. In addition, we offer sealcoating services to keep your driveway in top shape during the winter. To learn more about our top-quality services, contact us today.