Seasonal Upkeep for Residential Properties
Fall is the perfect time of year to start making interior and exterior inspections to your home, and implementing effective preventative maintenance to prepare your property for winter. It is strongly recommended to consult or hire a professional Indianapolis handyman or general contractor to provide the more intrusive and tedious projects, or ones that require the use of specialized or dangerous equipment; such as roofing repair, ladders, power tools, and more. Whether you choose to do most of your seasonal home maintenance on your own, or wish to outsource professional services, consider the following areas to start with:
Exterior Home Maintenance
Start outside by removing all furniture and cushions from your exterior patio and deck areas. Be sure to clean them and store them in a cool, dry place for the season. If you do not have room to store outdoor furniture, simply purchase furniture covers to protect them from winter elements. Next, locate all the garden and lawn hoses on your property and be sure to drain them completely. Roll them up and fix any kinks, and then store them inside as well. At this time, you may want to inspect the condition of your spigots, and make any necessary replacements. If your property has automatic sprinklers, be sure they are in good condition and prepped for snow and ice.
Since winter-time brings about large snow storms and harsh climates, it is important to take care of any trees touching or close-by your home. Trim them back, or secure them so they cannot break windows, damage siding, or cause interference with cables and utility lines. If there are large trees next to the area you park your cars, it is wise to have those trees trimmed or secured to protect your vehicles in the case of a fallen tree or branch. Also, inspect and clean out gutters, and check for loose roof shingles and siding. These diminish the quality of your home’s insulation and can lead to increased utility bills and energy costs. Attemept to rake the majority of fallen leaves and tree branches from your yard as well. Also, check the caulk around windows and doors. Have them repaired or replaced for better insulation and energy efficiency. Be sure to have your chimney cleaned and inspected as well. You may want to also consider having your concrete pavement sidewalks, or curbs sealed to prevent cracks from freezing water.
The next area to pay attention to is a big one. We’re talking about water leaks and foundation problems beneath the home. It may require professional plumbing service or diagnostics to accurately locate, asses, and diagnose a slab leak or underground water leak. An underground leak can be caused by cracked or corroded pipes, which can leak water beneath a home, and within its foundation. When this water freezes, it can break more plumbing pipes and lead to costly plumbing and structural damage repairs. Have a professional provide an inspection for water leaks, plumbing leaks, or underground slab leaks if you are concerned you may have one present in your home. Fixing any water leaks before freezing temperatures are upon us is highly recommended and vital for all homes and properties.
Interior Home Maintenance
Once you have completed the outdoor portion of seasonal home maintenance, it is time to get started indoors. Begin by inspecting all the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Change their batteries and test them to be sure they are operational. While you have the batteries out, go ahead and replace all flashlight batteries in the case of storm and weather emergencies. Don’t throw away batteries that still have partial use; instead, use them in items that are not as vital for safety and protection; like toys and remote controls. Also be sure to check your fire extinguisher and see that its re-charged and ready to go.
Next, replace all the light bulbs in your lamps and interior lighting. This is actually something that should be done for both indoor and outdoor preventative maintenance. Always recycle old light bulbs that contain mercury! Mercury is toxic to soil and other natural elements in our surrounding Eco-system.
Fall is also a good time for plumbing appliance maintenance. Be sure to service and flush your hot water heater and have it inspected for any needed parts-replacement or cleaning. Also, have your water softener serviced as well. The other appliance that needs to be serviced, cleaned, and inspected for winter preparation is your HVAC system. Remember, prevention is less expensive than repair.