Despite unseasonably high temperatures in some areas of the county, days are getting shorter, pumpkin flavored coffees have made their debut, and there is a general feeling that fall is just around the corner. We think the change of season is a great time to consider your home maintenance. Building Services Group, our top "go-to" source for General Contracting Services in the DC area, shared the following tips on making sure your home is up to speed for colder weather:
1. Filters: a dirty filter has a huge impact on the efficiency of your air handler. It forces your unit to work harder, use more energy driving up utility bills and provide less product! It takes 5 minutes to replace your filter.
2. Smoke Detectors: although smoke detectors need to be checked regularly, it's more important now than ever. With the coming of the cold comes the use of fireplaces and indoor fire must always be respected. Most detectors have a test button- make sure the work!3. Drains- fallen leaves can quickly block a drain and cause them to overflow. The water has to go somewhere and often makes it inside and damages finishes and belongings. Clean exterior drains and check them regularly during the season.
4. Hose Bibs: disconnect and coil up hoses and bring them inside. While some new houses are equipped with freeze protected spigots, play it safe- turn the valves off that are usually located inside the home close to the area of exterior spigot. The line still has water trapped between inside valve and outside spigot so open the outside spigot to drain trapped water and shut it again.
5. Gutters: as leaves are falling they tend to want to collect in that perfect pocket...your gutters. Leaves in gutters can block downspouts, cause extreme weight on gutters and definite overflow. The weight can cause the gutter to pull off of your home and the overflow keeps water too close to your foundation for comfort.
6. Chimney: Santa hates getting dirty!! No seriously, soot can build on chimney walls which can be flammable. Also, it's been about a year since most of us have last used our fireplace- nice dry place for outdoor critters to potentially build a home causing a blockage and fire hazard. Have your chimneys inspected now.
7. Fertilize: tis the season to prep the lawn for next year! After your last cut of the season, fertilize! You'll appreciate when the last snow melts and all those nutrients are pushed to the awakening thirsty roots of your lawn.
8. Windows and Doors: make sure all seals are air tight to keep cold out and heat in. If you have a drafty window and aren't ready to replace just yet, go to your local hardware store and buy plastic insulation- it helps.
9. Irrigation: if you have a lawn sprinkler system, shut it down and have it blown out. Trapped water can freeze and burst lines causing costly spring repairs. Most reputable landscape companies can perform this winterization.
10. Do It: most important item of all! Consider all of those interior projects you've been putting off.....it's time.
Thanks for the great tips, BSG!
Live in DC, MD, or VA and could use a little help with any of the above? Call Building Services Group! We love them because they are professional, timely, and come in on budget. Plus, they do great work. We think those are all reasons why our clients love them too.
A recent office kitchen and residential bathroom by Building Services Group