By Chad Taylor
Well, it seems like it may be that time of the year at long last. When I took our dog out to go potty this morning, the crisp air was a welcoming change that fall has finally arrive. It was also a reminder that it is time for me to do some preventative maintenance on my own home. There have been times in the past when I have waited too late to address some of these items, so please learn from my mistakes. Here are some of suggestions to prepare for the beautiful Fall weather.
- 1. Service your HVAC. To ensure that your heating and cooling system has a long life, you should service both the heating and cooling annually. Most major HVAC companies offer a package deal where you schedule both cleanings in advance. I would strongly suggest this method. If you have older mechanicals, it is also imperative that a licensed professional keep you abreast of the overall health of your system. Old furnace heat exchangers can develop cracks in them which will in turn release carbon monoxide into your home. For this reason, a carbon monoxide detector is never a bad idea.
- 2. Clean your gutters. Several years ago, I was out on a step ladder in a sleet/freezing rain storm dumping hot water onto my gutters to melt the ice that had formed around huge clumps of leaves. I do believe that I received an “I told you so” for that one from Leah. Because most water infiltration in a homes basement is caused by poorly maintained gutters and downspouts, it is imperative to keep them clean throughout the Fall. Clean gutters can also help to prevent ice dams during our snowy months. We typically refer Noonshine Windows and Doors for gutter cleaning. I like to schedule them every 30 days for gutter cleaning starting in September.
- 3. Check your sump pump. If you have a sump pump, double check the battery back up (if applicable) and double check the floater valve to ensure that it will operate when we receive heavy fall rains. After a really dry summer, sump pumps can fail do to inactivity. And the soil around your home may have pulled away a little due to the dry weather as well allowing water to get right next to the foundation walls.
- 4. Schedule your sprinkler system winterization. Pretty self explanatory here. You really don’t want any of your sprinkler system to freeze up in the winter. Most companies get really booked up for this service, so schedule it way ahead of time.
- 5. Trim your trees. If you have mature trees in your yard, it is a best practice to have them trimmed every year. Some homeowners due it less often due to cost, however, it only takes on big fallen limb to hit your home to teach you that being proactive with your trees is the way to go. Make sure whoever you hire has an arborist on staff to ensure that your trees will be trimmed back properly. Again, learn from my mistakes. At my first house, the previous owners had all the trees trimmed back and because they hired someone on the cheap, all of our trees died and we had to have them all cut down. A heart breaker for sure. It is worth investing the money in a reputable company. Trust me.
If you have any other questions about home maintenance, feel free to reach out to our team via email. We are here to help.
This weekly sponsored column is written by Chad Taylor of the Taylor-Made Team and Keller Williams Realty Key Partners, LLC. The Taylor-Made Team consistently performs in the top 3 percent of Realtors in the Heartland MLS. Please submit follow-up questions in the comments section or via email. You can find out more about the Taylor-Made Team on its website. And always feel free to call at 913-825-7540.