Fall DIY Maintenance Tips
Another fall in Mountlake Terrace means lots of change for local households. In addition to the back to the school rush, extracurricular activities and holiday-related get-togethers, home maintenance concerns are a top priority (at least they should be). Preparing for the long Washington winter is something that every homeowner needs to address as it’s the one change area residents have no control over. Ensuring that your home is ready for the ice and snow is one of the smartest things that you can do for your household. In addition to annual HVAC maintenance, performing a DIY “winterizing” of your home will help keep damage (and repairs) to a minimum. We compiled a list of essential maintenance procedures that should keep your household safe and comfortable throughout the winter.
Check the Home Exterior
Walk the perimeter of your home and check the walls and windows for cracks, split wood or peeling paint. Regardless of the construction material, it is important to repair all the minor cracks and splits before the winter. Freezing temperatures will only exacerbate the damage. Peeling or blistering paint is a sign that the paint film is weak and no longer protecting the wall. This should also be taken care of before the winter weather is able to damage the paint further. Caulk any visible cracks around windows to help save energy and keep away drafts.
Clean the Gutters
It’s always a good idea to clean your gutters twice before the winter. Getting rid of all the debris that collected over the summer will help ensure the water from the fall rains are distributed evenly. A blocked gutter will overflow and the resulting deluge can damage the area directly underneath. You will want to clear out the gutters again after the leaves have fallen in your yard. Clogged gutters are the main cause of ice dams, which can create costly damage to your roof. Clear out all the gutters and down pouts and then flush out the remaining debris with a hose. Also check for loose brackets or damaged components; tighten and replace any area that comprises its efficiency.
Inspect the Roof
The Washington winters can wreak havoc on a roof. It is essential that your roof is free from damage to protect your home from the destructive ice and snow. Give your roof a thorough inspection to check for any damage that may have occurred over the summer. Check for loose or damaged shingles, tears or openings made by animals and any uneven areas that may have been damaged by hail. Also check the condition of exhaust pipes, outer areas and places where the roof connects to the walls.
Keep your air conditioner in top shape during the winter by covering it – or removing it from the window. Some window units can be easily removed. A portable window unit should be stored in a safe, dry area and securely covered. If you own a typical HVAC system, consider covering your outdoor condenser. The condenser is the large outdoor component of your air conditioning. It is generally dome-shaped and consists of the compressor, cooling fins and fan. It is important to keep the condenser safe from the elements during the winter. Consider buying a condenser cover or creating a shelter to keep the weather and organic debris from damaging the components.
Prepare the Deck
The winter can be brutal for homes that have a deck addition. It’s easy to neglect this part of your home, especially when the weather changes and families begin to spend less time outside. Cover the outdoor furniture and store it away if possible. Make sure that barbecues and grills are covered – and bring in any plants that won’t make it through the colder temperatures. Thoroughly clean the deck and check for any cracks or areas that need repairs.
Inside the Home
You will also want to add these maintenance procedures to your list:
- Reverse the Ceiling Fans
- Clean the Furnace Filter
- Schedule Professional Maintenance (on furnace and fireplace)
Blue Flame is your trusted source for professional fall maintenance. Call us when you need to schedule a tune-up for your furnace, heat pump or water heater. When you make us a part of your annual fall maintenance program, you won’t have to worry about your heating system failing during the coldest months of the year – when you need it most. Over 70% of all HVAC repairs can be prevented with proper maintenance. Call us today to schedule service at 206-388-5667 and help keep your heating unit running at top efficiency!