While Atlanta winters may be milder than those experienced “up north,” it is still important to do some routine maintenance around your home to prepare for the cooler temperatures. Some of these tasks will also help prevent water damage, fires, and mold growth as well. From top to bottom, here’s what we recommend.
Trim Tree Limbs
If any tree branches are growing too close to your house, get them trimmed before they can fall on your house and wreak havoc. While your homeowner’s insurance likely covers the damage they may cause, who wants to pay the deductible or deal with the repairs and downtime? Additionally, if you see kudzu growing on any trees, remove it as it can eventually kill a tree and cause it to fall.
Check Your Roof
Fall is a good time to check your roof for potential leaks or holes. If you find anything questionable, hire a roofer to come out and repair it for you. Also, look inside for any water damage that may have occurred from a damaged roof and repair that as well. (If you are concerned about potential mold growth, give us a call and we can take a look at it for you.)
Clean Your Gutters
Don’t wait until all the leaves have fallen to clean your gutters and downspouts. Do it now so your gutters are clean and don’t overflow when leaves do start falling, then again in early winter. Blocked or overflowing gutters are a huge source for water damage to your home.
Have your Chimney Inspected
If you have a wood-burning fireplace in your home, you should have the chimney inspected annually to make sure it is clean and will work properly. Many house fires start due to residue that builds up in chimneys, so a quick cleaning is well worth the effort to protect your home.
Examine Your Doors and Windows
Weatherstripping wears down over time. When it does, your windows and doors can start letting in water and cold air and letting out warm air. When water leaks in, it can cause damage to your walls, floors, and furniture and also create the perfect environment for mold to grow. It can also lead to higher than necessary heating bills. To avoid all these issues, replace aging weatherstripping to seal your house tight.
Get your Furnace Serviced
When it is time to turn on your heat, you want it to work properly, right? It is much better to get it serviced now – and uncover any issues while it is still warm outside – then to wait until you need it and discover it isn’t working properly. It is also a lot cheaper to schedule regular routine maintenance for your HVAC system than to pay for repairs or replace the whole system. At the same time, change out your filters too.
Disconnect Garden Hoses
As the temperatures start to drop, you will want to disconnect your hoses from outdoor faucets and turn off the water from the inside shutoff valve. Make sure you drain the line and the hoses first. Also remove any sprayers from them and coil the empty hoses up and store inside, if possible.
Survey the Outside of your Home
Take a few minutes to walk around your house to look at your siding and foundation. While you may not find anything amiss, if you do you can have the issue resolved before it becomes a big problem.
BONUS TIP: Save Your Pet Hair
Yes, we know that sounds weird on the surface. But if you have outdoor plants that you want to protect from squirrels or other critters, placing pet hair on these plants is a great way to keep these animals at bay. Dogs and cats tend to shed a lot in the early fall as their winter coats start coming in. Rather than throwing it away, save it in a plastic bag (far away from any heat sources) and add a little bit of it to your outdoor plants when you water them. Critters will give your plants a wide berth and go elsewhere to find a food source or bury their nuts.
Good home maintenance is one of the best ways to protect your largest investment and prevent any issues that require you to call us for help. And if you do have a water, fire or mold issue that needs to be checked or addressed, we are happy to help and return your home to its original condition. Enjoy the cooler weather!