When the last of summer’s heat is a faint memory and you’re pulling out your hoodies more than your shorts, it’s time to tackle a few simple chores. They’ll make winter more pleasant and prevent some nasty surprises next spring. This fall checklist helps! If you have any questions, contact our office at 413.475.7283 or Complete our online quote form today!
#1 Clean and Stow Your Mower – In a mower that sits for months with gas in its tank, the gas will slowly deteriorate, which can damage internal engine parts. Fuel stabilizer prevents gas from degrading. Add stabilizer to your gasoline to help keep spare gas in good condition over the winter.
#2 Remove Garden Hoses from Faucets – Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and in the plumbing pipes just inside your exterior walls. If freezing temps hit, that water could freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes.
#3 Drain Your Sprinkler System – Even buried irrigation lines can freeze, leading to busted pipes and broken sprinkler heads.
- Turn off the water to the system at the main valve.
- Shut off the automatic controller.
- Open drain valves to remove water from the system.
- Remove any above-ground sprinkler heads and shake the water out of them, then replace.
#4 Seal Air Leaks – Grab a couple of tubes of color-matched exterior caulk and make a trip around your home’s exterior, sealing cracks between trim and siding, around window and door frames, and where pipes and wires enter your house. Preventing moisture from getting inside your walls is one of the least expensive — and most important — of your fall maintenance jobs. You’ll also seal air leaks that waste energy.
#5 Degunk Your Gutters – Clogged rain gutters can cause ice dams, which can lead to expensive repairs. After the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove leaves, twigs, and gunk. Make sure gutters aren’t sagging and trapping water; tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets. Replace any worn or damaged gutters and downspouts.
#6 Eyeball Your Roof – Look for warning signs: shingles that are buckled, cracked, or missing; rust spots on flashing. Replace any loose, damaged, or missing shingles immediately.
#7 Direct Your Drainage – Take a close look at the soil around your foundation and make sure it slopes away from your house at least six vertical inches over 10 feet. That way, you’ll keep water from soaking the soils around your foundation, which could lead to cracks and leaks.
#8 Check Your Furnace – Schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling pro to get your heating system checked and tuned up for the coming heating season. Change your furnace filters, too. This is a job you should do every two months.
#9 Prune Plants – Late fall is the best time to prune plants and trees — when the summer growth cycle is over. Your goal is to keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from your house so moisture won’t drip onto roofing and siding, and to prevent damage to your house exterior during high winds.
#10 Give Your Fireplace a Once-Over – To make sure your fireplace is safe, grab a flashlight and look up inside your fireplace flue to make sure the damper opens and closes properly. Open the damper and look up into the flue to make sure it’s free of birds’ nests, branches and leaves, or other obstructions. You should see daylight at the top of the chimney. Check the firebox for cracked or missing bricks and mortar. If you spot any damage, order a professional fireplace and chimney inspection.
Speak with one of our agents to update and make sure you have the right coverage for your needs. Encharter Insurance is an independent insurance agent meaning we can provide coverage from many insurance carriers so you receive the home insurance for your budget and needs! You can reach us at (413) 475-7283 or online at https://encharter.com/personal-insurance/auto-insurance/.
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