Get Ready for Winter! Here're the Top 5 Fall Home Maintenance Tips from Stephen Mercer|Buyer's Edge

Top 5 Tips - Fall Home Maintenance "To Do" Checklist

By Stephen Mercer, Exclusive Buyer's Agent with Buyer's Edge DC, MD, VA

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Probably the most important system heading into winter. Have a HVAC company check or tweak your system $50 - $100. You can change air filters every couple of months or longer with better quality filters.  If your HVAC includes a built-in dehumidifier make sure you or the service contractor changes that one as well. Radiant heat-radiators will have a circulating pump attached to the furnace- find the tiny oil cap and drop 10-15 drops of (3 in1 oil) to keep bearings lubricated. 

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Outdoor Faucets:  

Remove all garden hoses from outdoor faucets to stop water trapped within from freezing and causing an interior leak.  Extra precaution would be to turn off any shut-off valves feeding those exterior faucets.

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Lawn Mower:  

Store indoors for the winter if possible.  If you have a gas mower it is preferable to empty the gas.  If you can’t - add engine stabilizer to the remaining fuel in the tank and run for a few minutes to let the stabilizer reach the carburetor.  This will certainly help to get the mower to start come spring.

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Roof & Chimney:  

You may be able to evaluate the roof condition with binoculars from the ground.   You are looking for loose or missing shingles- they should be replaced immediately.   The crown at the top of the chimney should be intact and angled away from flue liner (orange) The chimney cap prevents birds and critters from making a home In your chimney- check it is clear of nesting birds.

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Ensure gutters are free of leaves and gunk as this will help prevent overflowing gutters during downpours – in freezing temperatures it will also help prevent ice damming- which occurs when gutters can’t drain and the standing water freezes- if the ice/snow is then allowed to build up it may make its way under the roof shingles causing damage to the interior once that ice melts. Check to see if your downspouts discharge water at least 6-8 feet away from your foundation - if not, add black pipe extensions and make sure the pipe flows downhill and away from the property.

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