Ah, fall time. Trees are changing and shedding their leaves, the chimneys start to burn, trick or treaters chiming the doorbell, and who can forget, the crisp cold air. We all know it; we all love it. But let this season be spooky for the right reasons and not your haunting to-do list you’ve been putting off.
As beautiful it is to see the trees transition into their fall colors and use the leaves as endless jumping piles- it’s not so beautiful when they start to clog up your gutters. This is a great time to take a good look at your home and ask, how can I help maintain you strong and prep you for the wintertime? The following are a few things I would start off with:
- Rips in the screen door or window screens
- A fence with sagging or missing pickets
- A cluttered, disorganized garage
- A dripping kitchen or bathroom faucet
- Shelving you’ve never gotten around to installing
- Holes or gouges in the drywall
- A faulty smoke detector that needs replacing
- A grimy backsplash that has long needed replacing
- A television or other appliance that’s been waiting to be hooked up
- The shower door that isn’t closing properly
- Peeling paint in the bathroom or laundry room
Now, if you found one or more of these on your list do not fret, we all do it! Something as small as a rip on the screen door doesn’t feel urgent – until the hole gets bigger- you encounter crawly or flying insects more often than not- and no matter how high you turn your heat on you somehow still catch that cold draft. The good news is Handyman Matters strives to give you piece of mind. We have packages that are created to optimize the Craftsman’s time at your house to tackle most/ if not all of your home improvement projects. Give your local Handyman Matters office (475-209-9700) a call for a consultation with a friendly TEAM Coordinator who will listen carefully to you in order to be able advice you as to how we can best meet your needs. And of course, the conversation comes with no obligation to book our service.
Ask about our Half Day / Full Day Packages
It’s amazing just how many small repairs and problems can be addressed in a single 4-hour period. In just half a day, it can feel as if your home has undergone an entire facelift.
Have some bigger monsters to tackle? An 8-hour day with our Craftsman’s time will spook those monsters away.
PREP IN 10
Check all door frames and windows for gaps. A great rule of thumb is if your credit card can fit, so can the draft! Using silicone caulk (all weather) is a great way to seal those unwanted drafts from sneaking in.
Not all fans may have it, but there is a reverse switch that is there as the season changes. Have your fan run counterclockwise during summer to blow cool air straight down. During the winter, your fan should run at a low speed in a clockwise direction which pushes air upwards – pushing the warm air that naturally rises back down.
Take steps to prevent dangerous ice dams by checking your drains, roof, gutters. Check for any warped shingles and replace as needed to prevent a leak from forming.
Look at your gutters and downspouts- check they are properly fastened and not loose or sagging.
Having clogged gutters is a big cause of ice dams. Clearing gutters of any debris or leaves will prevent any flooding or water damage. Downspouts should be at least 5 feet away from the house.
Consider installing gutter guards to prevent additional build up.
Insulate the most susceptible to freezing- anything near outer walls or in crawl spaces. You can use anything from thermostatically controlled heat cables to pre-slit polyethylene insulation.
Disconnect garden hoses and shut off and drain water from pipes leading to any outside faucets.
Know where your emergency water shut off valve is located.
Cover any foundation vents with foam block, cardboard, or anything that will block draft.
Snow covering a broken or loose step can lead to a very dangerous situation. Cover your behind by checking for any loose steps or loose handrails.
In the event of a power outage you want to be as prepared as possible. Consider purchasing a portable power generator and getting familiar with it before hand to ensure safety.
It is important to have it cleaned by a chimney sweep. They can then check for any debris and cracks that can become a fire hazard.
There will be a lot of salt, mud, and snow trekking its way into your house. Create a mudroom to leave any wet jackets, hats, mittens, gloves, and boots.
10. Inspect Outdoor Lighting
Adequate lighting helps maintain the safety of all that are on the property. Maintain the safety of your home by checking all light fixtures are working. Consider including motion sensor lighting.
How to Prep Your Home for Winter
As the morning air gets crisp and Asters and Morning Glories stare back at us, we fully feel Autumn amongst us.
Fall is a great time to start thinking about your home maintenance and taking steps in protecting your investment.
It’s easy to say “I don’t need it done now” but more often than not, that same issue comes back to us marked URGENT.
Here are some helpful tips in maintaining your home in tip top shape ready to face the winter weather.
Paint, Caulk, Seal
- Check all trimming on the home
- Prevent any rots by keeping all house trimmings caulked and painted
- Check your home for any air leaks (older windows, door frames, house frame)
- Use weather stripping to reduce drafts.
According to EnergyStar, sealing leaks can improve the overall quality of your home and help to fix many common problems, such as:
- Reduce noise from outside
- Better humidity control
- Lessen pollen, dust and insects from entering home
- Lower chance for ice dams on the roof/eves in snowy climates
Kill the Mold
- Check for mold around the house: common areas is anywhere where there is condensation
- (windows, doors, water softener tanks, well pressure tanks, bathtubs, toilet thanks, and bathroom ceilings)
- Clear these areas and treat with spray that prevent mold growth
Clean out Gutters and Down Spouts
- This is a good time to have your mind on the gutters!
- Clean gutters allow snow and ice water to drain away adequately: this prevents any unwanted water from getting into the home or causing issues around the foundation
- Check your drainage: make sure water is moving away from the home. Add downspout extenders if necessary.
- Prevent ice dams by raking snow off your roof and installing heat cables
- Disconnect all hosepipes
- Cover outside faucets with insulating foam covers.
- Check for any cracks and repair
- Make sure handrail is sturdy
- Spray an ice repellent solution on steps and walks before freezing weather arrives
Check your home’s heating and air conditioning system
- It is important to keep up with your system as maintaining it will save you a lot down the line
- Check for disconnected ducts
- Before it becomes too cold, check and change your filters: clogged air filters make the furnace work harder and ultimately increase your energy costs
- Find an HVAC contractor to better inspect
- Make sure your furnace starts when you turn up the thermostat. If you have a gas furnace, vacuum up any signs of ash or fine debris.
- Cover or remove any window air conditioners.
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- With the cold air comes electrical heaters and furnaces: it is super important to make sure all smoke detectors are working and have good batteries.
- If you do not already have one, invest in a carbon monoxide detector: your furnace and water heater are most likely the source of monoxide
Prevent Pipes from Freezing
- Prevent frozen pipes bursting by insulating near your windows, doors, and areas that are unheated
Check your Fan
- During the summer, your ceiling fan should go counterclockwise direction as it pushes the wind down causing a wind-chill effect
- During the winter, your ceiling fan should go clockwise direction as it pushes the air up creating a gentle updraft causing recirculating heat to go down
Don’t wait to get started on your to-do list this season. For more information about recommended winter maintenance,
or to find expert handyman services, visit our website or contact us today. Stay safe with your local Handyman Matters Team!