​PREPPING YOUR HOME FOR THE WEATHER CHANGE

Fall is a good time to care of major and minor repairs around the house. As the weather cools off and mild temps work their way in, tasks seem bearable and the time is right before major weather patterns sit in. Take a look below for our seasonal list of home repairs and edits to keep your home safe and warm this winter.

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FALL HOME REPAIR CHECKLIST

Clean your Gutters
Potential issues:
Clogged Gutters
Holes & Gaps
Missing Downspout
Worn out Screens

As Fall is hurricane season in the south, this is at the top of the list because it is of most importance to make sure water is flowing quickly and smoothly through your gutters during heavy rains. Clogged gutters can create big problems for your home. It’s important to clean your gutters then cover with (or replace old) mesh guards.

Inspect your Roof
Potential Issues:
Leaks
Missing Shingles
Flashing around Vents

Check for cracks, gaps, holes or missing shingles. Check for damage to the metal flashing around vents and chimneys. Heavy rains and high winds can cause major damage and everyday wear and tear can cause minor damage. Whether we’ve had a season of strong storms or not, every Fall is a good time to check your roof for disrepair.

Fix Drafts
Potential Issues:
Cracks or gaps in door frames or window frames
Cracks or gaps in the baseboards
Cracks or gaps in the attic or crawlspace

Inspect doors, windows, floors, baseboards, attics and crawlspaces for drafts. Try the hand test or the smoke test. On a cold day with the heat on inside your home, place your hand around the edges of all doors, windows, air vents and fans. If you feel cold air with your hands, you may have an air leak. You can also use the hand test to detect leaks around electrical outlets. For the smoke test, on a windy day shut all windows, doors and shut off all appliances. Hold a lit match or incense stick near areas where you think there may be a potential leak. Fix leaks before the air gets much colder by sealing cracks and gaps with caulk or weather stripping.


Freshen Filters
Potential Issues:
Clogged Filters
Torn Filters

Clogged air/furnace filters affect the air you breathe in your home, adding to allergies or breathing problems as well as keep your home from maintaining a steady and comfortable temperature, costing money on your utility bill. Disposable filters can be vacuumed once before disposal and foam filters can be vacuumed and kept, unless damaged. Be sure to use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. For metal filters remove and wash with hard water. Disposable filters need to be replaced every 3 months.

Inspect your Chimney
Potential Issues:
Flue Blockages
Damaged Damper
Creosote Accumulation
Loose or Broken Joints

Though not as common in the south, many houses do have chimneys. Even unused chimneys need to be inspected. Especially if you don’t have a chimney cap, check your flue for blockages such as birds, bird nests or debris. Open and close the flue to ensure the damper is functioning properly and not broken. Check for loose or broken joints. Creosote is a flammable by-product of burning wood. If allowed to accumulate, it could cause a fire in your home. Inspect for creosote by shining a flashlight up the flue and look for deposits 1/8 an inch thick or bigger. Have a chimney sweep come out and clean your chimney if necessary.

Clear Walkways
Potential Issues:
Loose Stones or Broken Bricks
Debris or Branches in Walkway
Loose or Broken Hand Rails
Blocked Steps

Snow isn’t very often a problem down south, so icy walkways are of less concern (though still so during certain weather events) but there are other obstructions that can cause trips or falls coming into your home.  Be sure to sweep walkways and steps now that leaves are falling and storms blow branches and debris in your lawn. Check stone/brick walkways for loose stones or bricks and repair where needed. Remove all unnecessary items from your steps and stairway that could be trip hazards- plants, disheveled rugs or décor items. Lastly and most importantly, make sure all hand railings on your steps are secure and in place. 

If you have any repairs you need done by a professional, please check our preferred network list for the best contractor for the job, or please call me at 843-343-4792 for personal recommendations.

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