Fall means a trend towards crisp fall air and the inevitable path to winter in Hampton Roads. As homeowners we need to make sure we get a head start on planning ahead for the colder fall and winter months. Your house will thank you! The fact is, proactive and preventative maintenance is essential to preserving the value of your home. According to Houselogic.com your home could lose 10% of its value if regular maintenance is skipped. Regular, routine maintenance enhances curb appeal, ensures safety, and prevents neglected upkeep from turning into costly major repairs.
Check your heating system
Don’t wait until temperatures drop down into the low 40s before realizing your HVAC needs maintenance or doesn’t work! As we stress at our Home Buyer Seminars, ideally you are under an annual contract with a favorite HVAC service company for seasonal checkups. But if not, schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling pro to get your heating system checked and tuned up for the coming heating season. Costs generally run $50-$100 for a checkup, but it’s small price to pay to prevent feeling cool air when you’re looking to warm up. Also, vacuum your air vents and swap out your filters (which we recommend doing 4-6 times per year).
Tune up your fireplace
In preparation for cozying up to the gas fireplace in your Family Room, have a qualified technician service the appliance, including having the airways of both the pilot and main burners cleaned to ensure they are operating correctly. Also, replace the batteries in your smoke detectors!
Seal and save
While the the temperates are still moderate, grab a couple of tubes of color-matched exterior caulk ($5 for a 12-oz. tube) and make a journey around your home’s exterior, sealing up cracks between trim and siding, around window and door frames, and where pipes and wires enter your house. Preventing moisture from getting inside your walls is one of the least expensive, and most important, of your fall maintenance jobs. You’ll also prevent warm interior air from leaking outside, reducing your energy bill when the temperatures dip!
Check your roof
Look for warning signs: shingles that are buckled, cracked, or missing; rust spots on flashing. Any loose, damaged, or missing shingles should be replaced immediately. Black algae stains are just cosmetic, but masses of moss and lichen could signal roofing that’s decayed underneath. Call in a pro roofer for a $50-$100 evaluation. A plumbing vent stack usually is flashed with a rubber collar, called a boot, that may crack or loosen over time. They’ll wear out before your roof does, so make sure they’re in good shape. A pro roofer will charge $75 to $150 to replace a boot, depending on how steep your roof is.
During the fall, your lawn is getting ready to go dormant for the winter. Roots do actually continue to grow during the winter, so fertilizing and power seeding during this period is vital for a healthy, dense, and lush lawn in the spring.
These are just a few of the many things you can do for fall maintenance! For an exhaustive list, check out: http://www.bobvila.com/articles/1499-fall-home-maintenance-checklist/#.Vk3TKt-rQ2I