For homeowners, each season brings its own unique set of challenges and maintenance tasks, and prevention is always easier and less expensive than repairing something that’s broken. As fall approaches, consider protecting your home by taking the time to assess and address any issues in the following areas:
Insulation from the cold. As the weather gets colder, poor insulation can be both uncomfortable and expensive, as your furnace or heating system struggles to produce more heated air faster than it leaves your home. Make necessary repairs where possible, and consider installing heavy drapes over windows that you know may cause a draft.
Ventilation. If you have an indoor fireplace, clear out the ash and make sure the chimney is clear – consider hiring a professional for this task so it is performed correctly. Check air ducts for dust and other debris, and change air filters to keep your family healthier as cold season approaches. Now is also a good time to clear the dust out of your clothes dryer exhaust duct and the space beneath the dryer.
Water pipes. Just as you need to check your home for insulation problems, you also need to check caulking around sinks and tubs to prevent leakage. Furthermore, if you’ve been noticing a dripping faucet, now is the time to deal with it! Fixing a leak now will be much easier than repairing a broken pipe that froze. Your water heater may also need attention, especially if your water is hard, as mineral deposits will accumulate over time, blocking water flow.
Clean the gutters. Check for and clear out leaves, nests and other debris that have accumulated and could clog the gutter, and remember to continue to do so as the autumn leaves fall, especially if your home is surrounded by trees.
Fire safety. As temperatures fall, the risk of a house fire rises for homeowners across the country. Check for and eliminate hazards such as frayed wires, loose outlets, and overloaded extension cords, and have your furnace inspected by a professional. Inspect your smoke detectors and make sure you have a functional fire extinguisher accessible and ready to use, just in case.
Lawn and garden care. Depending on your home and climate, maintaining your yard area could be minimal or quite extensive. Make sure that exterior water pipes are insulated to prevent freezing as overnight temperatures drop, and drain irrigation systems if necessary. If you are putting away gas-operated lawn equipment for the colder months, make sure to ensure that any gas in the tank is depleted.
As you prepare your home for the fall, don’t forget to review your homeowner’s insurance so that you know exactly what you’re covered for in the event of a seasonal mishap. An agent from McElhinny Insurance Agency can sit down with you to review your policy and ensure that it meets the needs of your household. We’re local to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and are familiar with its seasonal challenges. Contact us to review your policy and explore your options as fall approaches.