Fall Cleanup Pays Off

fall maintenance lineup

The nights are getting crisp and the leaves are beginning to turn. Fall in Pennsylvania is upon us and it’s time to get tuned up and ready for winter before it’s too late. After combing the internet, I am bringing you the best tips to get your home in tip top shape and ready to winter the storms coming our way in a few short months.

Yard

Drain gasoline from your lawn equipment (mowers, weed whackers, hedge clippers, etc) and give them all a good wash before putting them in storage. Have your snow blower serviced and bring the shovels into the garage and get them ready for use. Purchase ice melt before the big rush when the first snow hits.

Rake up leaves, seed pods, debris and prep your lawn for the next year. Aerate, fertilize and reseed your lawn, as the fall is the best time to revitalize your lawn for the spring. It is also the best time to prune shrubs, plants and trees when the summer growth has come to an end. Keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from your home so melting snow won’t leak onto roofing or siding. Trimming branches will also help to prevent structural damage in the event of falling limbs during high winds.

Service the snow blower, bring out the snow shovels and purchase ice melt. It’s always best to be prepared ahead of the storm. Drain gasoline and oil from your lawn mower and weedeater. Wash and move to storage to add years of life to your equipment.

Exterior

If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove, creosote buildup in the flue can cause a fire and should be cleaned and inspected every year to insure it is in good working order.

Your roof should also be inspected for any loose or missing shingles as well as branches that may have fallen over the roof. This is also a good time to clean gutters and downspouts and check for clogs and any gutters that may have come unattached from the roof.

Take a walk around the foundation and look for soil that may have washed away and could potentially cause leaks into the basement. Be sure soil doesn’t touch your siding.

Roll up hoses and winterize sprinkler systems so they do not burst.

Wash windows and look for any areas that may need resealed or replaced. Check for any loose shutters or siding issues that need repaired.

Interior

Have your HVAC unit serviced and tuned by a pro to insure there are no issues and it is in great working condition when the first cold streak blows in. Clogged air filters can impact the efficiency of your heating system and can cause damage to your system. Changing your air filters on both your HVAC until as well as your humidifier can insure your system is running properly. You can consider an annual maintenance contract to ensure you get the best rates.

Be on the lookout for exposed water pipes that are not properly shielded from the elements. Frozen/burst pipes can wreak havoc and cause a giant mess. Be sure to insulate exposed pipes to prevent major damage.

Drain your hot water heater to remove clogged sediment – it will also improve your hot water heater efficiency by 50 percent with this one simple improvement.

Maureen Hughes is the Lead Listing Specialist of The Wayne Megill Real Estate Team of Keller Williams Brandywine Valley in West Chester. For buyer or seller representation, or for more perspective on the local and national real estate market, please email maureenhughes@kw.com and visit The Wayne Megill Team site at http://www.waynemegillteam

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