When it comes to fall, you want to reserve the frights for holiday fun and not home emergencies. That’s why here at Savvi, we put together this checklist of fall home maintenance tasks expert homeowners complete, so you can keep your home – and any trick-and-treating guests – safe from unfortunate surprises.
Whisk away unwanted twigs
Banish trees and shrubs for touching your home, especially those rubbing against your roof. Plants help uninvited pests reach and enter your home, and trees can rip up your shingles and clog your gutters, leading to leaks. Cut away unwanted branches and consider calling a professional to check the integrity of your roof before winter arrives.
Swap out your screens
Hang on to that summer warmth by removing screen doors and windows. This simple task will help your house retain more heat from the sun (free of charge), and if you have single-pane windows, swapping out your screens for storm windows can also increase your home's heat efficiency. That way, you'll be nice and roasty, toasty warm when the temperatures start to dip.
Make your gutter and downspout dirt disappear
We can hear your moaning - and not in a Frankenstein's monster kind of way. Unfortunately, you need to clean your gutters and downspouts to prevent water damage to your roof, siding, and even your home's interior. Do it yourself with flexible "wands," high-pressure nozzles, and even robots! (Just make sure to avoid a nasty - and painful - ladder accident, or call a professional who can make all the leaves and dirt disappear, just like magic.)
Get back to your cracks (and fix them)
Since winter is coming, you'll need to fix those cracked driveways and walkways now. If you leave these issues for the cold months, water can seep into your concrete area, freeze, thaw, and eventually expand, creating a frighteningly costly display. Asphalt driveways tend to be more resilient to this type of cracking but are prone to frost heave (when moisture in the soil freezes and thaws, causing your asphalt to buckle).
You can repair your driveway with a scraper, leaf blower, filler rope (for big cracks), and caulking. Of course, calling a professional also gets your driveway magically repaired!
Save your hose (and your home)
As you remember from high school science class, water expands when it transforms from a liquid to a solid, so you'll want to make sure your garden hose doesn't become a victim. Remove all hoses from all faucets, drain them, and then wrap them up for next spring. Turn off all outdoor water, too, so your pipes don't get too big for their britches.
Prep your lawn mower
Before your lawnmower hibernates for the winter, it needs a bit of work. Take out your mower's manual (you kept it, right?) and read the instructions. Some manufacturers suggest adding a stabilizer to your gas and a capful of engine oil, then running the mower for a bit. Others suggest replacing the spark plugs, running the engine dry, or even changing the oil out completely.
You also might want to check your blade to make sure it's not dull, and if it is, replace it. Once you complete the necessary maintenance, roll that mower away until you spring ahead next year.
Carve out some time for your emergency equipment
Prevent a true nightmare by checking the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon dioxide monitors every month to make sure they're working properly. Keep extra batteries on hand to avoid disconnecting your detectors for any length of time, and also, inspect your fire extinguisher to make sure it's properly maintained. Though you might pretend to be a firefighter for Halloween, you'll want to make sure you don't need a real one on the scene anytime soon.
At Savvi, we take that seriously. We know that undetected fires can destroy a home in minutes. Being alerted to a fire before you smell the smoke is critical, so you and your family can escape safely. Our detectors are equipped with an 85dBm alarm and send alerts to your smart phone and our 24/7 monitoring center for rapid action from first responders.
Secure your foundation
To prevent water from expanding and cracking your home's foundation during the winter months, check the land around your foundation to make sure water drains away from the house. The land should be sloping down at least six inches per every 10 feet. Also, make sure dirt or soil isn't touching your siding. If it is, that dreaded word everyone hates to hear – moisture – might infiltrate and create water damage, so call a home pro to explore ways to save your home from drainage and soil issues.
Savvi Insurance Group, Inc., based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is committed to helping families and individuals prevent losses, stay safe, and protect the people and things they love. We do that by providing our customers with our cutting-edge smart home security system along with a suite of services and benefits designed to proactively predict and prevent losses from happening in the first place.
We then back that up with comprehensive, modernized insurance protection and concierge-style claims handling, at prices that recognize and reward the benefits of a smarter, better protected home.
Originally published on vipHomeLink.com