It is mid October and it’s finally starting to feel like fall around these parts. I think we are all tired of breathing the smoky air for the last couple months. I am looking forward to some rain to clean up the air and end these fires. While we wait for those rains now is a perfect time to do some fall home maintenance items. Here is a list of five things to check out before the rains get here.
Gutter cleaning is one of our featured services. Can you recall the last time you had your gutters cleaned out? If not, then it’s been too long. If gutters are not cleaned out yearly then what is the purpose of having them in the first place? They can actually cause more damage than good if not cleaned out. Gutters serve a very important purpose, to divert water away from your home. Splashing water off of roof tops onto the ground can lead to expensive siding damage in the future. However, cleaning gutters is often neglected by homeowners, out of sight, out of mind. Without proper cleaning, gutters will fill up with dirt and leaves. This in turn plugs up downspouts and does not allow water to be removed. Heavy gutters eventually pull away from homes and create further damage. In a future blog I will be discussing if gutters are even necessary for a home.
It’s probably been a while since you have been on your roof. Most folks have never been on it. If your capable, and can safely walk around on it, then now is a good time to check your roof condition. The most important thing is to check for areas that may allow water into the home and create further damage. Many of the newer homes in Turlock are now using tile roofs. Over time these tiles can crack and break off. This allows water direct access into the attic of a home. Most areas where I have seen these break is along the roof ridges.
The other common roof material is composition shingles. Take a look at the condition of the shingles and have someone replace any that may be torn off. The material wears off over time due to weather conditions. If your roof is in the 25-30 year range, it may be a good time to have someone inspect the roof and give an estimate on remaining roof life. This will help your budget for an upcoming roof replacement instead of having it be a surprise. Lastly, any flashing used on the roof should be checked to make sure it is still diverting water away from critical areas. Flashing around any vent pipes should be checked as the tar or caulking most likely has cracked and is allowing water to run down the pipe. The nails that hold the flashing should probably have new tar applied as well to prevent water penetration. Roofs are often neglected since no one checks them often; however lack of maintenance can be costly to homeowners
A maintenance item that relates to both the items above is tree trimming. Trees are nice additions to any landscaping but they do add work for a yard. This is especially true during the fall when all the leaves come floating down. Gutters do not work so well when they are full of leaves. Cutting back overreaching limbs helps reduce the amount of leaves going into gutter systems. I recommend any tree branches which are reaching over homes to be trimmed back. Any branches actually touching homes or roofs should be eliminated as well. Branches which are touching homes sometimes trap leaves on the roof. The leaves break down and hold moisture on roofs causing damage to shingles in the long term. Call your local tree specialist for help with pruning and trimming your trees.
October is a perfect time to check the caulking and weather stripping around your home. Exterior caulking will split over time and allow water to get behind trim and siding. This of course leads to dry rot issues that can be costly to repair. A tube of caulking costs $5, pretty cheap insurance if you ask me. Make sure an exterior caulking is used. Cut out the old caulking before applying the new caulking and make sure there is no rain in the forecast before applying it.
Keeping the heat in and the cold out is the main purpose of weather stripping this time of year. Start off by checking the sweeps at the bottom of all the doors. They should be touching door thresholds. This area is one of the main culprits of energy loss in a home. Most door sweeps can be adjusted downwards or some thresholds can be adjusted upwards. Around the door frame is another area to be addressed. Newer door frames have a groove to insert weather stripping. Older doors do not have this ability. For these I recommend an exterior foam weather stripping that can be screwed to the door frame and pushed against the door face. These work very well and are worth the cost. Garage door bottom seals are always forgotten but can be easily replaced as well to keep cool air out of that area. This is especially important if the garage is used as a place to regularly to hang out. Lastly, some windows need sealing as well, especially if they are wood framed. Rolls of sticky foam can be purchased and applied to window frame edges so the window smashes the foam when closed.
Dryer Vent Cleaning
When was the last time the dryer vent piping was cleaned out in your home? Does it seem your clothes are taking longer to dry than they use to? It may be that your dryer vent pipes are clogged up! Did you know that a plugged dryer vent can lead to a fire hazard? Take a look at the picture below to see what is trapped in your dryer vent! Dryer vent cleaning is a service I have offered in the last couple of years as most folks never do it. Out of sight, out of mind as they say. Keeping the vent cleaned is another way of reducing your energy bill as your dryer will work more efficiently when drying your clothes. The lent screen in the machine itself should be cleaned out after every cycle. When it is not cleaned out the lent is forced into the piping system and over time you can see what happens. If it’s been a while since you have had this done, or it’s never been done, give me a call today and let’s get you scheduled!