Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fall Back: Fall Maintenance Tips for Your Home

Halloween is over and it's time to nest.  Don't forget to "fall back" this weekend.  Daylight savings time begins November 7, so don't forget to set your clocks back an hour.  I love that extra hour on Sunday morning!  Before you know it, we'll be in the cold days of winter.  So now is the perfect time to take measures to ensure that you and your house are going to get through the coming winter snug as a bedbug in New York City.

 •Check all window and door locks for proper operation

•Check your home for water leaks

•Review your fire escape plan with your family

•Make sure there are working nightlights at the top and bottom of all stairs

•Have a heating professional check your heating system every year

•Protect your home from frozen pipes

•Replace your furnace filter

•Run all gas-powered lawn equipment until the fuel is gone

•Test your emergency generator

•Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the flues and check your fireplace damper

•Remove bird nests from chimney flues and outdoor electrical fixtures

•Inspect and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

•Make sure the caulking around doors and windows is adequate to reduce heat/cooling loss

•Make sure that the caulking around your bathroom fixtures is adequate to prevent water from seeping into the sub-flooring

Additionally, it's a great idea to inspect the caulk joints at your exterior siding, windows and doors.  Caulk joints tend to shrink and separate over time, which can allow water entry and facilitate wood rot around windows, doors and framing.  And wood rot leads to termites.  And we hate termites.

Also, check masonry mortar joints at brick work on the exterior, especially if you have an old home.  The masonry mortar joints between bricks can crumble and fall out between the bricks, particularly on an exterior brick chimney.  A qualified contractor can assess and repair exterior caulking and mortar re-pointing issues for you.

Finally, now is a great time to have an assessment done regarding your home's energy efficiency.  My friend and past client, Don Liotta, owner of Outside the Box Home Solutions is one of the few contractors in Georgia that is an Energy Star Home Performance accredited contractor. They can perform a home energy audit to diagnose how you can improve the energy performance of your home and potentially slash energy bills.  Don's website is which will explain in detail how he may be able to save you $$ on your energy bill.  Plus, Federal tax credits are now available for energy efficient improvements made to your home of 30% of the cost up to $1500 (see energy star website..

Warm and cozy-- "That's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, I like it "(K.C. and the Sunshine Band for those of you   born after 1965 and don't get the reference).  Happy Fall, Y'all.

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