Labor Day is over and the cooler temperatures of fall are fast approaching. Just for your information, there are only 108 shopping days left until Christmas! But before we get ahead of ourselves, and as we break out the recipes for homemade pumpkin pie, spiced lattes and dad’s best chili, there are likely some things that need attention around your Northeast Tennessee home.
Home ownership is truly a blessing but it is also a huge responsibility. Homes need maintenance and upkeep to keep them in top condition. This is for your safety and comfort as well as maintaining your property’s value and appearance. Here are some valuable tips for preparing your home for the fall and winter seasons.
Clean the Gutters
We live in a truly beautiful area close to many forests and natural areas, and that means trees – lots of trees. Gutters can fill up quickly with leaves and debris, preventing them from channeling water away from your home. Overflowing gutters allow water to fall and accumulate against your home’s foundation, which can cause expensive damage over time. Clear out all gutters and downspouts now, and you may need to do it again after fall leaves have finished their celebratory death dance to the ground. If you are not able to climb safely, a local landscaping or handman professional can perform this service.
Inspect the Roof
Harsh summer sun and heat can take its toll on your roof, even in east TN. And the coming colder and wetter weather can pose the risk for moisture penetration or ice dams. Take a close look at your roof and note any missing or damaged shingles, flashing or other components. A roofing professional can offer a more thorough inspection, including any air or water leaks that need repaired before the weather worsens.
Inspect the Plumbing
Closely examine all the plumbing of your home before freezing weather makes things more complicated. Look for leaks or condensation and repair any issues now before they become worse. Be sure your hot water heater is functioning properly and emitting no strange noises. Check washer hoses and drain lines and every sink for loose fittings or fixtures and make repairs or replace items as necessary. Remove outdoor water hoses, disconnect sprinkler hoses and insulate outdoor fixtures to prevent freezing. This can be much more affordable than repairing water damage later. The Tri-Cities of Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol, and the surrounding communities, have many plumbing professionals that can provide an inspection or repairs.
Inspect the HVAC
If you think your HVAC ran hard this summer, just wait until harsh winter weather arrives. The time to inspect your HVAC is now, when temperatures are moderate. Clear away all grass clippings, leaves and other debris from outside units and ensure they have proper drainage and airflow. Replace filters monthly for the best airflow and HVAC operation. This may also be a great time to consider cleaning out the ducts of your HVAC system. Many area HVAC professionals offer this service as well as other inspections and repairs.
Clean & Inspect the Fireplace
All operational fireplaces should be inspected once every year, and the time leading up to fall before they will be used is usually the best. A fireplace professional can clean and inspect your fireplace’s essential components to ensure safe and clean operation all season long. Even if you use gas logs, you should make sure the ventilation is adequate and your gas system is functioning properly. Fill gas tanks now to avoid the winter rush or running out during a cold spell.
Close the Pool
This is a sad but necessary chore for east Tennessee pool owners. Cleaning the pool, treating the water and covering the pool are only a few of the major tasks necessary to close your pool. Store away all toys and equipment and secure access to your pool for safety. Local Northeast TN pool professionals can offer tips for closing your pool and they also offer this service to save you valuable time and effort.
Review Your Safety Plan
Increased use of heat, fireplaces and just spending more time indoors make it imperative to review your safety plan and how to use vital pieces of equipment. Establish a gathering place outdoors in the event of a fire and make sure all family members know it. Review the best evacuation routes from your home. Teach everyone to use fire extinguishers and review their location. Replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them. Run a test on your home’s security system, including all entrance alarms and connections to any monitoring service. Home security professionals in the area can offer sound advice on keeping your family and property safe.
Prepare Landscaping for Cooler Temperatures
Some seasonal outdoor landscaping elements may need protection from wetter weather and cooler temperatures. Bring inside any delicate plants or cover them as appropriate. Give your lawn a final mow and clear away clippings to prepare for fall leaves. This makes raking them up easier. Service your lawn and garden equipment before storing them away for winter. Landscaping professionals across our area can advise you on what plants need protecting and how to do it.
Search 1-Find for Local Northeast TN Service Providers
Whew! That sounds like quite a bit of work. Many of these chores local homeowners can do themselves. But when you need professional assistance, the 1-Find network of service providers is ready to perform numerous tasks. Locate possible providers and check their recommendations from other local clients to help you create a short list. Then contact each provider for estimates or with your questions.
Sit back and enjoy your coffee, tea or pie and let Northeast Tennessee’s army of skilled service providers help prepare your home for fall and winter. Be sure to leave them a favorable rating and recommendation online for providing exceptional service and value.