Thursday, September 29th, 2022 by Shauna Parsons
Autumn is a great time for crafts, outdoor activities and all things pumpkin spice. But it’s also a great time to address some home maintenance items to keep your home functioning well. As we enjoy the cool, crisp autumn days and get ready for winter, here are some things to do to keep your home running properly.
· Clean, or possibly replace, your gutters and downspouts.
o Its important to make sure that water is running away from your home’s foundation, so it doesn’t settle against the foundation, finding ways to get in. This is especially important during the winter freeze thaw cycles of the south and the big spring rains. After the leaves have fallen, make sure your roof water containment and disbursement system is moving water away from your home’s foundation.
· Fix the cracks in your sidewalk and driveway
o Water that gets into the cracks in your concrete slabs and against your foundation walls can produce problems during the winter as the water that is settling under the concrete slabs freezes and thaws, causing voids, settling and/or heaving. Fill these cracks with caulk or for slabs that have already settled and have gaps too large to seal with caulk, have them lifted and sealed by a professional.
· Address outside items that don’t like the cold
o Walk around the exterior and address anything that doesn’t do well in freezing temperatures. Bring in potted plants, wash and store outdoor furniture, drain and store hoses and shut off outdoor faucets.
· Check windows and doors
o Check each exterior door and window to ensure it closes well and check the weatherstripping to see if it needs to be updated. This is a great thing to do on a warm autumn day, as you can wash each window and then close them up and make sure they are tight for the winter. It’s a very satisfying project. If you find some windows or doors in an area of your home that don’t open or close well, consider having a professional take a look to see if the foundation or supporting structure is settling.
· Safety Equipment Maintenance and Checks
o Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This is also a great time to check all your safety equipment like fire extinguishers, fire escapes, generator, flashlights, tornado shelter. If you have children, an autumn safety review is a great way to make sure your kids know what to do in the event of fire, earthquake, and tornado. Have them help with the safety equipment checks, do some drills and then reward them for their involvement with pizza.
· Check furnace, oil/gas, and ducts
o Have your HVAC contractor check for furnace to make sure its ready for winter, or at a minimum run it yourself before it gets cold. Check your ducts and clean if needed. Check your oil/gas tank and have it filled if needed – set up with auto fill with the oil company so you never have to worry about that again. If you use a chimney, have that checked as well.
After you’re done, grab yourself a cup of an autumn inspired drink like hot spiced cider, Pumpkin Spice Latte or hot chocolate and it enjoy it knowing your home is winter ready. Now to start on that Christmas shopping list…
Need help evaluating sinking concrete or stuck windows as mentions above? We can help. Call Southeast at 1-910-299-0198.