Fall is on its way here in Texas, which means it’s time to get home maintenance done before the rainy and colder days begin. If you don’t act now, you may be on the hook for a costly water damage disaster that you could otherwise avoid. With summer weather making it easier to start work around the house, here are eight fall home maintenance tips to keep in mind to prepare your property for winter.
#1) Maintain your property’s bushes and trees
Depending on how much foliage there is in your yard, you may need to do some trimming and removal to avoid infiltration into your home. Summer is a fertile period for vegetative growth, so when the seasons change, you’ll see roots digging into your home, falling limbs during winter storms, and excessive leaves and debris clogging your gutters/drains.
#2) Rake or mulch your yard
An excess of fallen leaves on the ground encourages spring mold and mildew growth once rain and snow begin. Remove this debris entirely or use a mulching blade on your mower to provide nutrition for next year’s growth. For bonus points, you can take your leaves to the compost pile and use them for fertilization in your garden.
#3) Clear the gutters and downspouts
Falling leaves, sticks, and other debris can clog your gutters, causing water damage from pooling water and improper drainage. Carefully remove debris during the fall months and considering installing gutter guards to prevent this debris from entering your gutters in the first place.
#4) Seal all gaps and openings
Every gap and opening in your home presents an opportunity for water damage, mold growth, and the potential of pests entering your home. Mice only need a few inches of a hole to squeeze through, and water only needs a tiny weep hole to infiltrate for months afterward. To avoid this, use weatherstripping and liberal applications of caulk/cement to keep unwanted stuff out!
#5) Inspect the condition of walkways, porches, and railways
Depending on where you live, your yard’s walkways, railways, and porches can be dangerous when the snow melts to ice or debris impedes movement. Try to imagine which entranceways and walkways that most people use for your home and install structures that will ensure that no one slips or falls due to your negligence.
#6) Shut off all exterior hoses and faucets
Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your home leading to flooding damage. To prevent your pipes from freezing, turn off the water to exterior hoses and faucets, as well as make sure that everything hose or connection is drained to prevent them from freezing.
#7) Inspect safety devices
Be sure to check off the following safety devices before fall hits:
- Test all smoke detectors
- Test all carbon monoxide detectors
- Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher(s)to ensure that they are functional.
- Have a professional test your home for radon and resolve any issues fixed before the coming winter months.
#8) Remove air-conditioning units
If your home uses AC in the summer, these units should always be removed before the fall. If you are required to leave them in by a landlord, you can cover the exterior part of it with insulating wrap and weatherproof any gaps to keep the cold air out of your home.
Choose ServiceMaster Advantage for Professional Water Damage Cleanup
ServiceMaster Advantage is available 24/7/365 and at your service to respond to home emergencies and water damage cleanup. From extracting excess water before it develops into the mold, addressing lingering mildew odors, and more, our experienced technicians will handle every aspect of the process to have your home restored as soon as possible. Call us to schedule your water damage cleanup by ServiceMaster Advantage today!