Fall Maintenance Tips for your San Diego Home
Leaving summer behind can be bittersweet, but not for the reason you might think.
The change in seasons is a great time to catch up on your home’s maintenance!
If you don’t look forward to doing a bit of work now, then consider the alternatives: If you don’t check on your roof and it has a leak, then you might spend a fortune replacing the roof and all the interior damage. If you don’t seal your doors and windows, then your electric bill might be higher once you crank up the heater. The possibilities are grim but not hopeless.
Where do you start? What can you do?
Following these fall maintenance tips for your San Diego home can prevent costly emergency repairs.
Roof and Gutters
Examine shingles, chimneys, etc.
Checking for broken and missing shingles isn’t the easiest chore to do but it can save you many headaches down the line. Just one roof leak could damage your attic, crawlspace, ceilings, and insulation. More often than not, you won’t notice interior water damage until it’s too late, making the nightmare even worse to handle.
Although bad shingles are usually responsible for the majority of roof leaks, you should also check any pipes, chimneys, skylights, and any other place where water could get inside your house. Inspecting and repairing your roof before experiencing any leaks is the best prevention.
If you’re not sure what constitutes roof damage or if you need repairs, contact a roofing company before it’s too late. It’s sometimes easier and cheaper to prevent a problem than fix one.
Clean gutters and downspouts.
If your gutters and downspouts are clogged with leaves, twigs, and other debris, then rainwater that hits your roof has no place to go. Water that collects on your roof can cause wood rot and stress on your shingles, especially if the shingles already have problems. Your gutters and downspouts should allow water to freely flow off your roof.
While you clean your gutters and downspouts, you should examine them for holes. They’re meant to carry water from your house. A gutter with a gaping hole will probably drop water down the side of your house, which could cause future issues. Sagging gutters could also prove problematic since they won’t be close enough to the roof to catch water. Replace damaged gutters and downspouts now to avoid a mess later. Not only will you protect your home but you’ll increase its curb appeal with a simple refresh.
Check and reposition downspouts if necessary
Water from your gutters travels through your downspouts and to the ground. If they appear fine, then you should make sure your downspouts point away from your house. You don’t want runoff accumulating near your house. The water around your home’s perimeter can damage your foundation and attract pests like termites, which is a huge problem you don’t want to encounter.
Exterior Doors and Windows
Clean doors and windows
Now is a good time to clean your doors and windows. Washing grass, dirt, and whatever else is caked on them can make your home seem fresher. Plus you’ll be able to examine them better.
Check the sealing
You probably don’t want your HVAC unit cooling or, depending on the temperature, heating your neighborhood. You also probably want to keep ants, mosquitoes, and other pests out of your home. Caulking around your windows and applying weather stripping around doors can reduce your electric bill and the number of bugs that can get inside.
Maintain your exterior doors
You should fill in any cracks in your exterior doors and then paint them to further protect them. A new coat could improve the look of your home, even if you don’t paint the entire house.
HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) Unit
Change your unit’s filter
Ideally, your HVAC unit filter should be changed every month. However, life sometimes gets in the way and this simple chore gets ignored. A dirty filter can cause your system to work harder than it should. If it works too hard for too long, it could fail when you need it most.
Dirty filters can also get moldy and allow dirt to enter your system. Your air ducts could get filthy, requiring you to hire someone to clean those. A grimy ventilation system could make you and your family sick or exacerbate existing conditions. Changing your HVAC filter is an easy way to keep them healthy.
Test the thermostat
Use your thermostat to see if it properly works. Some thermostats operate on battery power so you might want to change the batteries now.
Set up your annual tune-up
Routine HVAC maintenance can improve its performance and extend its life. Forgoing a tune-up because you think it’s running fine could prove disastrous. Would you rather spend a little money to have a professional check it out or pay to have it replaced?
Remove temporary air conditioners
If you have a window air conditioning unit that requires you to keep a window open, then you might want to remove it until the temperatures heat up again. If you need air conditioning during the fall and winter, you can wrap the exterior of the unit with insulation to keep out any cold air.
Lawn and Yard
Trim your trees and shrubs
Keeping your landscape neatly trimmed can prevent falling debris from harming your home, vehicles, and people. Split limbs in a severe storm can be missiles that fly through windows or worse.
You should also make sure branches and leaves do not touch your house. Ants, termites, and other insects can enter your home on a branch that makes contact with your home’s exterior wall. You should get rid of as many entrances as possible to keep them out for good.
Dispose of yard debris
You probably shouldn’t toss tree debris off your roof and leave it on your lawn. Dead leaves can get mold and mildew. They can kill your grass. Raking them up and trashing them fosters a healthy environment for you and your family. Your lawn will appreciate it, too.
Mulch your plants
Mulch keeps your plants warm. If your area has never experienced frigid temperatures, the next winter could change all of that. You can keep your beautiful flowers and bushes safe when you lay mulch around the base of each plant. Plus, new mulch can spruce up the landscape.
Assess your lawn
If your lawn has any dead patches, then you can fertilize it before winter kicks in. Doing it early in the fall can give your grass enough time to rejuvenate.
Clean and store your lawnmower
Depending on the weather, you probably won’t need to cut our lawn for a while. Cleaning your lawnmower can keep it performing properly and stop the spread of lawn diseases. You should also empty its fuel tank since it will be in storage for some time.
You can shut off your exterior faucets and remove your lawn hoses. Removing a water source close to your house can deter bugs from visiting.
Ensuring your outdoor areas are lit increases your home’s security. If you or someone in your family works late hours, you should make it safe for them when they return home. Not replacing lights after they burn out doesn’t help anyone except the ones who threaten you and your family.
Porches, Patios, Etc.
Look for damage
Since you’ll be working outside, take the time to examine your porch, patio, sidewalk, and deck for wear and tear. Climate changes can make a minor crack worse. Now is as good a time as any to fix trouble spots.
Store outdoor gear
Patio furniture, grilling equipment, and anything else that you won’t be using this winter can be placed someplace safe like a shed, garage, or self-storage facility.
Take care of your pool/hot tub
San Diego winters aren’t usually snowy affairs. They do provide residents with chilly temperatures that make it too cold to swim. You should clean, drain, and cover your pool. If you hire a pool cleaning service, you can ask them to take care of this job for you.
Interior Windows, Vents, and Walls
Seal and clean them
As with your exterior doors and windows, caulk and weather stripping can seal your home’s air leaks. Take care of your vents, too. Cleaning them removes harmful dirt and dust that could turn into mold, especially if you use your heating system during a cold winter. Plus, clearing the airflow can help your HVAC unit run better.
Speaking of vents, don’t forget your dryer vent. Regularly cleaning it can help your dryer run more efficiently and present one less fire hazard.
Inspect window frames
If your windows have wooden frames, then you should examine them for swelling, rotting, or warping. Those are signs that moisture is trapped within.
Check walls and ceiling for cracks
No one really wants to deal with cracks in their walls or ceiling. However, those problems, no matter how small, will not go away on their own. They could even get worse.
Attic and Basement
Look for moisture
Spotting signs that water has infiltrated your home can be stressful. Regardless, you should check to see if water has gotten in and caused rot, mold, or mildew. If you find a leak, have it filled. If you see any damage, take care of it sooner rather than later. Rot, mold, and mildew can harm your home’s structure and your family’s well-being while rendering your basement useless as a storage space.
You can also check your water heater and boiler. It’s vital to look for water damage wherever there could be water in your home. Even if they’re operating normally, they could cause damage and you wouldn’t know unless you gave them a once-over.
Look for animals
If you don’t spend any time in your attic or basement, then you might not know about your new roommate. Rodents, roaches, and other animals could be making your home theirs. They don’t belong in your home no matter how cute your children think they are.
Inspect attic insulation
Insulation helps regulate your home’s temperature. If you’re already in your attic checking for leaks, then scan your insulation. Replacing bad insulation can keep your home warmer during the approaching winter.
If you have a fireplace or wood stove, then you should perform a thorough examination. You should try to get rid of any potential fire hazards before disaster strikes. You should check your flue for debris like nests. Anything that does not belong should be cleaned out.
Fire safety is essential. If you’re not up to the task, then hire a professional who can make sure everything is in top-notch condition. You might regret skipping fireplace and chimney maintenance if a tragedy occurs.
Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Use this opportunity to test your detectors and change their batteries. Although some detectors let us know when their batteries are losing their charge, you should take the initiative to shield your family from harm.
Test fire extinguishers
If you don’t have at least one fire extinguisher in your home, then you should look into getting one. You might never need one but what can happen if you do but don’t have one? If you do have a fire extinguisher, then make sure the pressure and lock pins look good.
Let Us Help You
One recent report found that 43% of homeowners have postponed home maintenance because of the unsteady economy. Maintenance prices have risen. So have repair costs. Even if you can not afford to have a specialist come out to help you, you can perform a lot of preventative measures.
Since we are based in San Diego, we know the pressures local homeowners face. Your San Diego home is more than an investment. It’s a place where you and your family and friends can laugh, cry, celebrate, and relax.
Although we can’t service your air conditioner or fix your roof, we can offer you different storage options. Move Central Movers & Storage should be the one solution you think of if you ever need a place to store your outdoor belongings.
Contact us with any questions you have.