Ah! Smell that crisp autumn air! Now that summer is over, and the leaves are falling, our minds turn to the coming winter. That means it’s time for annual fall maintenance on your York County area home. Taking the time and effort now can save you big headaches in a few months. It can also help sustain the value of your property.
It’s becoming an accepted practice to use the time change from daylight savings time to standard time to change the batteries in your home alarms. This includes smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and any other safety devices. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher(s) and replace them if need be.
This is a good time to check your home for the presence of radon. With the cooler weather, the windows are kept closed, and radon is more likely to build up. The Environmental Protection Agency says any reading of 4 or higher is hazardous. You should hire a qualified contractor to remedy the situation.
Rake those fallen leaves. You might think they look nice as a covering for the yard, but if they stay over the winter, covered with ice and snow, they can have a detrimental effect on the spring growth of your lawn. The easiest way is to use a lightweight rake, and those handled leaf scoops to bag them. Be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands!
After the leaves have fallen, it’s time to clean your gutters and downspouts. It’s important to clear any clogs that might make water back up and freeze. This can cause damage, not only to the gutters, but also your roof and siding. If you’re not prepared with the proper ladders and equipment, hire a professional. Safety first!
Take a walk around the house, both inside and out, checking the roof, siding, and foundation for cracks or damage. These should be repaired before the snow and ice set in. Any gaps or holes need to be repaired to prevent critters from coming in. Also, check walkways and the driveway for places that could become a walking hazard during the winter. Repair where necessary.
Check your winter equipment and supplies. Do you have a stove or fireplace? You don’t want to be collecting wood in the middle of a blizzard. Stock up now. You also want to have shovels, ice scrapers, and maybe and old broom on hand, as well as plenty of salt or other de-icers. If you have a snow blower, see that it’s in good repair. You might as well check the antifreeze and window washer fluid in your car, too. There should be a well-stocked first aid kit for the home and the car.
Now that you don’t have to water lawns anymore, it’s time to shut off the outside faucets. This will help protect your water pipes from freezing. It’s best to drain hoses and store them indoors.
Take care of your appliances. First of all, remove any window AC units, clean, and store them. Clean dryer vents, and clean or change furnace filters. Vacuum refrigerator coils. Clean and degrease the range hood and filter.
Finally, check doors and windows for places that may require weather stripping. If there’s a draft at the base of the doors, add door sweeps. These simple techniques of keeping heat in and cold air out can significantly lower your energy bills.
An internet search will yield many more maintenance tips for this fall. Let us know if you’re interested in listing or buying a home in the York County area. The Jim Powers Team of local Realtors® is here for you from start to end. Visit our website to learn more, then contact us or give us a call at 717- 417- 4111.