Silver Creek Valley Luxury Homes Care Center -
Fall Home Care Tips from Shiela-Marie's Top Home Care Advisors
An accumulation of leaves and dirt on your roof can lead to a buildup of water or ice and roof leakage. Clogged gutters cause water to flow down the side of your house, which can lead to foundation leaks.
Remove all debris from your roof and unclog your gutters. Test the gutters once they're cleaned to make sure that water flows through them and away from your house. If your gutters are really clogged, consider installing gutter guards, which prevent this problem from occurring.
Before the wind howls and your windows rattle and let in cold air is the time to check and secure them. Look for and repair or replace loose weather stripping on stationary windows and cracked and peeling caulking on those windows that move. Also, replace any cracked window glass, as damaged windows will let in air and moisture and may completely break if hit by strong winds or driving rain.
The hose bibs (spigots) on the outside of your home are a common source of broken pipes and water damage. Failure to remove hoses and turn off your hose bibs can result in the water pipes in the walls of your home freezing and breaking. Prevent the potentially disastrous effects of this occurring by removing all hoses, draining and storing them. Then shut off the water to the spigot at the interior valve and drain the spigot completely.
Plants surrounding your home, such as large shrubs and trees, require pruning before winter winds hit. Without some vegetation thinning, you risk the possibility of tree limbs falling on your roof and shrubbery scratching your windows and siding or paint. Prune out no more than 30 percent of tree limbs and shrubbery. Remove tree branches that are crossing or ailing, and prune shrubs so the foliage is at least 1 foot from the side of the house.
Some cracks around windows and doors are large enough to see with the eye. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests pinpointing smaller leaks by holding a lit incense stick next to windows and doors on a windy day. If the smoke stream makes a horizontal path, you've located an air leak that should be sealed.
Before rain and snow cause excessive moisture to hit your roof and end up at the base of your home, check that downspouts point away from your foundation and emit water at least six feet away. One especially effective way to ensure this is to attach flexible piping to your downspouts that route water to a designated area, such as a rain garden or French drain.
Further protect your home's foundation by sloping the soil that is adjacent to the house so that the water flows away.
Now that you know the top exterior home maintenance tasks to complete before winter weather hits, you can successfully batten down the hatches.