There are certain seasonal rituals that we go through every year that can help us get the most comfort and enjoyment out of our homes. And while none of these things are rocket science, it's good to be reminded of them before it's too late. Here's a look at five essential fall maintenance tips for your Connecticut Home
1. Disconnect Garden Hoses and Drain Sprinkler System
If you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to remove any garden hoses from outdoor faucets before we get a hard freeze. Burst water pipes can do a whole lot of damage. Not only will you need to replace the plumbing, but you also may be looking at drywall and carpeting damage, too. If have outdoor vegetation that still needs watering, disconnect the hose after each use. It only takes a minute and can save you a lot of heartache and trouble (not to mention money). It's also a good idea to turn off and drain your sprinkler system so that you don't run the risk of broken pipes and sprinkler heads. If you have an older system you may want to hire someone to blow out the pipes. It's not that expensive—and much less costly than replacing the system.
2. Clean Out Your Gutters
This may not be anyone’s favorite job but it can keep your gutters from clogging, which can cause ice dams and cause significant damage to your gutters. The other thing that can happen if your gutters freeze is that when snow or ice on your roof melts occasionally, it can run off onto your doorstep and create a really dangerous situation. By the way, make sure your downspouts are directed away from your foundation. You might even want to add downspout extensions that you can pick up for $10 to $20.
3. Give Your Roof A Glance
While you’re checking your gutters, check on the condition of your roof. Look for the normal warning signs of roof problems such as shingles that are missing or cracked. If you see rust spots on the flashing you may want to have the flashing checked to be sure water can’t work its way in. If you see lichen or moss build-up, you’ll probably want to have a roofer check things out because that could be a sign of decay under the shingles.
4. Service Your Furnace
Don’t wait until the first really cold day to have your furnace serviced. If you do, you’ll probably have to wait in line for an appointment. Instead, schedule an appointment with an HVAC professional early so that you won’t have to deal with the possibility of a furnace that’s not fully functional (or one that won’t kick on when it should). Preventative maintenance isn’t all that expensive (rarely over $100) and is a lot more convenient and comfortable than dealing with an ice-cold house. And change your furnace filters monthly (or use 3-month filters). It’s cheap insurance! Checking your furnace is just one of those “boring” things that can make sure your home is safe and comfortable.
5. Check Out Your Fireplace
There’s nothing quite like a warm and friendly fire in the fireplace on a cold winter night. Of course, there’s not much worse than a fireplace that backs up and fills your house with smoke (or worse, yet, causes a fire). Use a flashlight to check out the inside of your fireplace flue and to make sure the damper opens and closes properly. Make sure the flue is free of obstructions (such as birds’ nests, or branches and leaves). You’ll also want to check your firebox to make sure there are no cracks or missing bricks/mortar. It’s worth having your fireplace inspected and serviced every few years just to be safe. By the way, if you don’t have a fireplace in your CT home and think you might enjoy one, here’s a helpful article about how to pick the right one for your home.
[Read More: Winter Maintenance Tips]