Lisa Schade

Broker, BS, CDPE, SFR

Preparing Your Home for the Cooler Months

 


This year is certainly flying by, and with the fall just a month away, it’s a great time to start prepping your home before warm weather turns to cooler temperatures. From water leaks to the chimney, it’s better to be ready for the cold season…before it hits.

Here, State Farm offers up some pre-fall maintenance tips for your home:

Check all window and door locks for proper operation

• Windows that can be opened by breaking the glass and unlocking them, are less effective deterrents to criminals. Check with the hardware store for window lock alternatives.

• All exterior doors should have deadbolt locks.


Make sure there are working nightlights at the top and bottom of all stairs

Other safety ideas for stairs:

• Tile and painted wood or concrete stairs can be slippery when wet or when a person's shoes are wet. Resurface the treads with slip-resistant strips near the stair nosing.

• All stairs of at least three risers should have a handrail.

• Do not store items on the stairs.


Have a heating professional check your heating system every year

• Woodburning stove connector pipes and chimneys should be inspected by a certified chimney sweep at least annually.


Replace your furnace filter

• Furnace filters need to be replaced frequently to allow your heating and cooling systems to operate properly.


Run all gas-powered lawn equipment until the fuel tank is empty

• By doing this, you are removing flammable liquid storage from your garage. At the same time, make sure you aren't storing dirty, oily rags in a pile. They can ignite spontaneously.

Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the flues and check your fireplace damper

• Soot and creosote, which build up inside the chimney, can ignite when a fire is lit in the fireplace.


Remove bird nests from chimney flues and outdoor electrical fixtures

• Bird nests on top of light fixtures are a fire hazard. Bird nests in chimney flues can prevent a proper venting of combustion gases and can catch fire from sparks. You should exercise great caution when working on your roof or consider hiring a qualified professional to take care of any work that needs to be done.


Make sure the caulking around doors and windows is adequate to reduce heat/cooling loss

• Check glazing for loose or missing putty or glazing compound. This will also help reduce water damage to the windows and door frames.

• Make sure that the caulking around your bathroom fixtures is adequate to prevent water from seeping into the sub-flooring

• Check for cracked or missing caulk around the base of your toilet, bath tub, and bathroom cabinets. Properly sealing gaps between your bathroom fixtures and flooring material can prevent damage.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

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