Snow, wind, rain and ice can take a toll on your house during the fall and winter months. Fortunately, you can keep your Central New Jersey home in good condition simply by making the time for a little home maintenance and cleaning this fall. Taking care of these important chores will help you avoid costly repair or replacement bills in the spring.
Winterize Water-Based Systems
Outdoor pipes can freeze if even a small amount of water remains in them when temperatures drop. Drain water from your outdoor faucets and sprinkler system before cold weather arrives to avoid a plumbing emergency. Do you have a swimming pool? Winterization will extend the life of your pool, keeping it in good condition for years to come. If you use a pool service, winterization may be included in your yearly contract.
Remove Debris from Your Gutters
Leaves, sticks and debris tend build up in gutters over the course of a year. Unfortunately, clogged gutters can be a problem even if you don’t have any large trees on your property yet. Overflowing water from blocked gutters can make its way into your walls and ceilings, causing significant damage and increasing the risk of mold growth. Cleaning your gutters in the fall is a simple, inexpensive way to prevent expensive damage to your new home.
Reduce Your Risk of Injury or Illness Due to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and Fire
Carbon monoxide poisoning often occurs during the fall and winter months when people begin to turn on their heating systems. Fifty-thousand people visit emergency rooms every year due to carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can prevent poisoning by:
- Cleaning vents and flues every year
- Testing your carbon monoxide detector every month during heating season
- Turning off your car as soon as you enter your garage
- Setting up yearly service appointments for your heating system
- Not using generators, gas-powered equipment inside your home or within 20 feet of it
- Keeping boxes, papers and other flammable materials away from furnaces, hot water heaters
If your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are battery operated, change the batteries every six months.
Lower Your Utility Bills by Sealing Air Leaks
Caulk and weatherstripping can fall off after several years, allowing cold air to enter your home. Set aside an afternoon to inspect windows and doors and replace weatherstripping and caulk as needed. When you conduct your inspection, also look for gaps around pipes, wires, the foundation, vents and fans, and seal these areas too.
Prepare Your Deck, Patio or Porch for Fall and Winter Weather
Your outdoor furniture may be weatherproof, but it’s not a good idea to leave it outside during the fall and winter months. Snow and ice can damage furniture and cause it to fade or wear faster. When you’re not using furniture regularly, small creatures and insects may move in, building webs and nests under your chairs and tables or taking up residence in your grill.
Before you store your furniture remove debris and clean it thoroughly. Clean patios, porches and deck floors and rails with a mild cleaning solution once your remove the furniture. Examine railings and steps for signs of damage or loose or popped nails and screws and make needed repairs.
Organize Your Winter Equipment
If it snowed today, could you find your boots, snow shovels and antifreeze? Avoid frenzied, last-minute searches by organizing the things you’ll need for winter now. Locate shovels, antifreeze, scrapers, snow melt, snow blowers and other items and place them in a convenient location.
Do you develop cabin fever during the winter because your house just isn’t big enough? Discover Country Classics at Scotch Plains, a unique collection of just homes including 4 to 5 spacious bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, 1 to 2-car attached garages and full basements.
CDC: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention
HGTV: Are You Cleaning Your Outdoor Furniture the Right Way?