Thursday will be the first official day of Fall, so we thought now would be a great time to offer some useful tips to help you prepare your home for the changing weather conditions and temperatures we'll be seeing in the coming weeks.
Roofs - A pair of binoculars is invaluable when it comes to making an inspection of the general condition of your roof. You should look for obvious signs of missing shingles/tiles, cracks or other damage, as well as the integrity of flashings around vents, chimneys etc. Remember that even very, very minor leakages or damage can be utterly catastrophic when the really bad weather arrives, so don't hesitate to seek professional guidance if you have any doubts over the condition of the roof.
Gutters/downpipes - It's vital to make an annual inspection of your gutters to ensure that nothing is going to get in the way of rainwater run-off as the wetter months draw near. Inadequate drainage can damage your foundations, so also make sure that water is drained away from downpipes in such a manner as not to send the water straight down to foundation level.
Heating systems - We're fast approaching the time of year when your annual heating system check should have been done. These are quite complex systems and can be vulnerable to a variety of problems, the vast majority of which can be avoided by simply undertaking annual maintenance by a qualified professional. If you heat using gas, safety considerations are arguably even more critical, to avoid leakages etc. Although safety should be your primary concern, an annual check-up will also help to ensure that everything is operating in tip-top fashion, to maximize system efficiency and, of course, to save you money.
Air leakage - While we're on the subject of making energy savings, poorly sealed windows and doors can make a sizeable dent in your wallet, by allowing expensive hot air to leak to the outside of the building skin. Use of weather stripping and appropriate sealants will more than pay for themselves by keeping heat working efficiently for you.
Fireplaces - Just as with an "artificial" heating system, if you're lucky enough to own a lovely fireplace, then an annual maintenance regime is equally essential and is getting to the point of being overdue if not carried out before Fall approaches. A professional chimney sweep is by far the best option here, to cover all bases, including flue cleaning/blockage clearance etc.
Faucets/sprinkler systems/general plumbing - It gets pretty cold in the Albuquerque area at nights as fall continues, sometimes dipping well below freezing point, so be prepared by closing off valves that serve outside faucets, then open to drain. If you have no shut off valve, consider purchasing an appropriate insulated cover for your faucet. Sprinkler systems will require the correct manufacturer maintenance regime, so make sure that information is to hand, or source it online, so you can make the appropriate preparations. Also look for any obvious areas of vulnerability to freezing in your overall plumbing set up.
Walkways/drives - Repair damage to these areas now to avoid potentially nasty consquences when it begins to freeze. If moisture seeps through even small fracture lines, it will expand when frozen and cause a lot of damage.
Humidifiers - Not perhaps the most obvious fall/winter maintenance item, but useful to stop wood items from cracking etc. in the very dry internal atmosphere that the coming months will present.
Ceiling fans - Perhaps the simplest fall home tip, but also one of the most overlooked too. Don't forget to reverse your ceiling fan direction to force warm air down.
Decks/fencing - Right now is a perfect time to restain if needed.
Snow removal items - If it's likely to snow where you live, make sure you're stocked up with salt and that your snow removal tools are ready. The first fall of snow usually catches us by surprise, so be prepared.
We hope you find at least some of these tips a great reminder. Please don't hesitate to contact us today if you need further guidance on any aspect of real estate.