Top 5 Fall Home Maintenance and Safety Tips
The weather is cooling quickly in Nebraska and things around the house need to be up to date before any inclement weather rolls in.
As summer begins to wind down, it’s time to start thinking about the fall. Not just Husker football season, Vala's Pumpkin Patch and haunted houses, but getting our homes ready for the transition to the cooler months and the certainty of inclement weather ahead. Not only will these tips help keep your home more energy-efficient, but they can also actually keep your home safe and secure.
Lawn and Garden Tool Maintenance
After you’ve given your lawn its last mow of the season, it’s a good time to drain any remaining fuel and give your lawnmower good wash. This applies to any other gas-powered lawn equipment you may have used over the summer, too. Leaving gas inside of these machines could break down the mechanics especially after months of not being used. You should also be mindful of your sprinkler systems, drain them if necessary, and any garden hoses, which should be kept indoors during colder months. Hose bibs that are still connected have the potential to burst when the temperatures dip. If you need assistance draining your sprinkler system or hoses, we recommend calling an area professional.
Trim Branches, Bushes, and Other Foliage Around Your Home
Spring and summer help the trees and bushes around our homes thrive and grow but during fall and winter it’s important to look for any overhanging tree branches that may pose a threat to your roof, gutters or siding. If they hang over roof lines they could cause potential damage, not only from inclement weather should they fall, but it creates a foliage bridge for the critters in the trees. As the weather gets colder those critters are going to look for places to keep them warm, like your chimney or attic, so be sure to trim back any overhanging branches near your home. Take a look at your shrubbery and give them a trim if they intrude on walkways or exterior doors. When the seasons change, so does the amount of daylight we have and you want to make sure nothing could potentially be hiding after dark. Don't risk injury or harm, call a local arborist if you need any additional help.
Exterior Maintenance and Repairs
Check your weather stripping around doors and windows and replace or repair where necessary. These little open areas can allow cold air in and warm air out which will increase your heating bills. This applies to caulk around windows and doors as well. While you’re checking the seals, also make sure your windows are free of cracks. The Nebraska Human Society has reported an increase in bat activity in Nebraska. They are recommending homeowners stay vigilant and do their part to keep bats out of homes.
Furnace, Fireplace, and Chimney Inspection
Those in the heating and air conditioning industry recommend having your HVAC system inspected twice a year. Right before you turn your air conditioner on and again right before you turn your heat on. HVAC professionals also recommend having your system looked at after significant storm. This would also be a great time to have your chimney and fireplace checked. According to the latest statistics available, there are over 25,000 Chimney Fires per year in the US that are responsible for over 125 million dollars in property damage. Making sure that your flue is opening properly and your chimney is clear of soot can help prevent a potential fire. Another place that should be cleared out periodically is your dryer vent. Get into the habit of clearing out your dryer vent every couple of months to also prevent a fire in your dryer from the built-up lint. Local fire departmens in Omaha and Lincoln remind homeowners of the flamability of dryer lint. Homeowners can clean out the dryer vent themselves or call a professinoal.
Typically, it’s recommended to change out the batteries in our smoke alarms when we adjust our clocks for the time change. The other thing that may need to be swapped out is the smoke alarm itself. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, we should replace our actual smoke alarm every 10 years. The manufacture date can be found on the underside of the smoke alarm. It's a simple step that may save your family.
Home maintenance is essential to keep your investment looking gorgeous. By taking the time each season to do these necessary steps, you can keep also ensure to keep your home safe and cozy for your family for years to come.