As fall introduces itself to the year 2011, it brings with it football, school days, cooler weather and…home improvement? Home improvement efforts shouldn’t always wait until you’re faced with an emergency repair situation. In fact, you can prevent emergencies by conducting your own home inspection. Just like cars, homes need to be maintained and prepped for new seasons. Regular upkeep can lengthen the lives of elements around your home, and help them to better serve you and your family. Waiting until winter to check gutters blocked with snow or replace insulation could be extremely inconvenient and costly. Get ahead of the game by touring your own house for small home improvements in three main areas: yard landscaping, gutter cleaning and insulation.
This is one “home improvement” project that may not be as dreadful as it sounds. When the once beautiful and vibrant leaves fall to the ground, they aren’t as attractive as when they were attached to sprawling branches. Depending on the size and number of trees in your yard, the leaves can really pile up. If you have kids, enlist their help. Have them rake the leaves into large piles—watching them leap and bound into the rustling mounds can create lasting memories (bring a camera!). Once the children tire, work together to scoop the leaves into yard waste bags. Some stores even sell holiday or season themed bags in the shape of pumpkins and other characters that you can display in front of your home once they’re filled. Be sure to disconnect garden hoses and shut off water from pipes that may freeze.
Gutter cleaning is a fall home improvement task that often gets overlooked. Gutters clogged with mud, leaves and debris will block water flow, causing it to spill over and onto the ground. This can leak into the foundation, causing it severe damage. Water backed up against the house can also harm roofing, siding and wood trim as well as cause leaks and ice dams. Point gutters away from foundation and walkways. If they don’t reach far enough, extensions can be added to downspouts. You should probably inspect the gutters two or three times during the fall, depending on the vegetation surrounding them.
Check insulation before it gets too cold. Temperatures can drop rapidly, and without proper protection, your home could become an ice box. Even in the fall, your body will often be able to feel the difference in areas where insulation is poor. Check the attic, crawl spaces and pipes. If wood beams are still visible, you probably don’t have enough insulation. If this is the case, contact your home improvement specialist to add more. Aside from keeping us warm, proper insulation can raise energy efficiency and decrease costs and carbon footprint.
Welcome autumn weather with open arms, and winter, too. By making small home improvement inspections you’ll find peace of mind in knowing your home can stand up to what any weather brings. For the surprises, Handyman Connection will be there. In the meantime, enjoy the changing seasons—and maybe some football, too.