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Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

October 13, 2014

Our fall home maintenance checklist will help you find areas where your home might need a little help before the cold weather starts becoming more pervasive.

  • Make sure your roof is in good shape.  Your roof is your home’s first line of defense. Wind combined with rapidly changing temperatures and humidity can wreak havoc on roofs.  Inspect your roof for damages, missing, or curled shingles, and replace them. Look for corroded flashings or leaky vents which can allow water into your home causing deterioration to your insulation, wood, drywall, and make your electrical and HVAC systems vulnerable.  Keystone Home Inspection can check your roof if you have any doubts about its condition.
  • Inspect Exterior Walls.  Peeling or blistering paint is a sign that the existing paint is failing.  It can no longer protect the siding of your home.  Left uncorrected, the siding or exterior of your home will deteriorate, leading to expensive repairs in the future.
  • Get your mind in your gutters.  After the leaves have fallen, clean our your gutters and flush the downspouts.  Clogged gutters are one of the major causes of ice dams and can lead to damaged exterior surfaces and water in your basement.  Once cleaned, inspect the joints, tighten brackets, and cover them over with mesh or have built-in leaf guards installed to keep them free from debris.
  • Prevent water pipes from bursting.  When water is left in the valves or pipes, and the temperature drops below freezing, ice will form and expand causing your pipes to burst.  To perform this small but huge money saving task, just turn all valves off to the exterior hose bibs.  Then run water until the pipes are empty.  You must make sure that all the water is drained from the pipes.  FYI: If you wrap the water pipes that run along the exterior walls with heating tape, you will not only keep those pipes from freezing, but you will save on your energy costs!
  • Seal up any cracks or holes.  Check your foundation, window, door and garage door frames for cracks and holes.  Openings in the structure can cause water to get in and freeze, resulting in larger cracks, mold build up and heat loss.  However, by using an inexpensive product, caulk, you can maintain your home's beauty and value and save money in the long run.
  • Walk your walks and driveway.  Damaged walkways, drives and steps are a hazard year round, but their dangers are compounded when the weather turns icy.  Fixing problems in the fall is critical to preventing little problems from becoming expensive headaches.  Look for cracks more than 1/8 inch wide, uneven sections and loose railings of steps.  Check for disintegration of asphalt or washed out materials on loose-fill paths. Clean out those cracks and repair them with a filler. For asphalt, seal with a commercial sealer.

Although there are many other items that you want to inspect your home for, these are a few of the more major items that, if taken care of up-front, will not become a headache for you later on.  Most of the tasks are small enough that the average do-it-yourselfer can handle.  However, if these tasks seem to be overwhelming or out of your realm of expertise, allow an experienced inspector identity any problems in the making.  Keystone Home Inspection will perform a thorough inspection and uncover repairs that are needed to fix small as well as major problems.  Many problems go undetected, costing the homeowner thousands of dollars to fix down the road.  You need a home inspection professional that knows what to look for and has your best interest at hand.

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