As summer comes to an end and fall begins to arrive, it's always imperative to make sure your home is in great shape for the cold winter months ahead. Rather than have a number of costly repairs awaiting them as spring begins to arrive, most homeowners try to ensure that a number of seasonal maintenance needs are met each season.
If you are looking to get a jump on cold weather repairs and save money at the same time, here are some of the most important tips to prep your home for the fall.
Clean your gutters and drainage pipes.
If there is one part of a home that is often overlooked, it's the gutters. Because they are located far above eye-level, homeowners spend little if any time examining them for damage or clogs.
However, when this is the case, the results can often be detrimental. If the guttering is clogged, even light rain can produce gallon after gallon of water pouring over the front of the gutters.
When this happens, the results can lead to damage to the home's foundation, and in some cases, water may leak into the home's basement. Indoor and outdoor damage can be the result, leading to various repairs that can run into several thousands of dollars.
Along with the guttering, drainage pipes should also be checked to make sure they are not clogged with any debris. If they are, they should be cleaned out or even replaced if they are damaged.
Remove All Outdoor Hoses
In areas where the temperatures fall below freezing, it's very important to remove all outdoor hoses before they cause severe damage.
When these hoses are left outside in the winter, the water that remains inside them will freeze. In situations where the hose has remained attached to the wall, water can also be trapped inside the wall, leading to cracking.
Along with this, the leftover water may also freeze while inside the pipes, leading to pipes that may crack.
When this is the case, not only will the pipes need to be replaced, but the interior and exterior walls may also need to be replaced, since the majority of these pipes are located inside walls within the basement.
Insulate outdoor pipes to prevent damage
Along with removing all outdoor hoses, it's also very important to insulate outdoor pipes to prevent damage due to the cold weather. This can be done with a variety of methods, such as foam pipe insulation or pipe insulation tape, which can be a very convenient option.
For pipes that are left uncovered throughout fall and winter, the results will almost always be damaged pipes that will cost many hundreds of dollars to replace.
Prepare Your Fireplace
When cold weather arrives, most people cannot wait to put some logs in the fireplace and build a warm, beautiful fire. However, before that first flame appears, it's vital to give the fireplace a thorough inspection. For starters, make sure the damper is open so that air will be able to flow freely through the chimney.
Also, have the chimney cleaned by professionals, who can also check for any damage such as loose bricks or hard-to-find buildups of creosote. If you've got old ashes, make sure they are gathered up and discarded so that they do not accidentally catch fire. To make sure the flue is operating correctly, take a few minutes to check the damper handles and springs. If there are any problems, make sure these are replaced as soon as possible.
Seasonal Outdoor Furniture
If you have a patio or deck with outdoor furniture on it, be sure you take some time to give it a good cleaning before you put it away for the winter. Since you probably spent several hundred dollars on the furniture, also look for any damage that may need to be fixed.
To make sure your furniture will be very clean and ready to go when warm weather arrives, use a power washer on the furniture and cushions. When you get finished with this and are ready to store your furniture, make sure it's dry and is stored in a place that will also stay dry over the winter.
While there are numerous tasks that must be done prior to the arrival of fall, the above tasks are some of the most important. Whether you are checking outdoor hoses for leaks, cleaning out your fireplace to make it safer, or cleaning up your chairs and tables to make them look like new, these tips will make everything much easier once spring arrives yet again.
If you find yourself in need of plumbing services within the East Baton Rouge Parish, LA area, please contact Cajun Maintenance at (225) 372-2444 today.