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It’s time for fall cleanup, maintenance

The calendar says it’s now fall. Sometimes the weather agrees, and sometimes it seems like it’s still summer. That means it’s time for some fall cleanup and maintenance work.

Here are some things to check to get your house ready for colder weather.

Schedule fall HVAC maintenance. According to Angie’s List, “the majority of emergency service calls answered by heating specialists result from improper maintenance.” Have a professional do a fall furnace inspection and tuneup, and replace furnace filters.

Measure attic insulation. If you can see joists, you’ll need to add more.

Check for drafts and air leaks. An easy way to do this is to light a stick of incense or a candle, then move it around the perimeter of windows and doors. If there’s a draft, it will pull the flame or smoke toward itself. Seal these spots with weather stripping or caulk.

Make sure plumbing lines are insulated. Pipes that run on exterior walls or through your garage may need to be wrapped in insulation to keep them from freezing. It’s much easier and safer to do this on a sunny fall day, rather than waiting until winter sets in and pipes have frozen.

Clean up leaves and clear out gutters. Blocked gutters can send rain or snow runoff right into your basement. While you’re up there, inspect your roof to see if you need to seal joins or replace any shingles.

Inspect your deck. Tighten bolts, and replace those that are missing or rusted. Also look for boards that may be broken or rotten. Remove any leaves or debris that might make the deck surface slick and unsafe when it rains or snows.

Inspect your garage door. Make sure everything is running smoothly. Lubricate moving parts, tighten bolts and screws in hardware, adjust springs and cables, and check the safety sensors and opener gears.

If see something during your fall cleanup that you suspect may bigger problem, such as a loose deck or leaking plumbing, please call AmeriSpec at 402-393-3696 in Omaha or 402-483-2010 in Lincoln. Or send us an email. We can answer your questions, or come out and inspect the problem to see if more serious repairs are needed.

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