Preventative Fall Maintenance
Home Ideas Magazine - September 2011
The children have gone back to school, professional football is back on Monday nights and the summer’s heat wave is behind us – all signs that the fall season has finally arrived. Taking on some preventative home maintenance projects now will help keep you and your family cozy during the days and nights ahead and will even help safeguard your home investment.
Here are a few areas of your home to pay special attention to in the next couple of months:
- Check Roof Insulation - Heat rises, causing heat from your home to escape through any vulnerable areas of the roof. The most efficient way to stop that loss is by installing ceiling and roof insulation. The R-value of insulation refers to the ability of the material to resist the passage of heat. For example, a fiberglass bat or blanket 9 ½ to 10 inches thick has an R-value of approximately 30. You can raise that number to 38 simply by adding two or three more inches of fiberglass.
- Check for Gaps in Your Home’s Exterior - Heated air also can escape from gaps that develop where building materials meet. Inspect areas where building materials may have pulled apart and caulk or seal any gaps that have formed. Check places where exterior siding meets windows and doors, around roof and foundation lines, around chimneys and where pipes protrude through walls or roofs.
- Inspect Your Heating System - Consider replacing an older or inefficient heating unit with a gas or oil furnace or a heat pump with a high efficiency rating. If your system already is efficient, be sure to inspect and clean it regularly. Be sure that filters are clean and that you change them monthly. A timer model thermostat that can turn the heat down while you sleep or when no one is at home can help you save money.
- Examine Windows - Ensure that your storm windows and doors are effectively keeping warm air in and cold air out. Look for any cracks around glass, sashes and window frames. Apply adhesive foam weather strips to the top and bottom window rails or nail felt weather stripping where window sashes and frames make contact. If you live in a home built in the last 15 years or so, you likely have double or triple-paned windows and low-emissivity (Low-E) glass. Both these products increase your energy efficiency and can lower your energy bills.
- Don’t Forget To Clean Gutters and Downspouts - Gutters and downspouts are easy traps for leaves and pine needles, and squirrels often use them to store food. Be sure to clean gutters thoroughly, and pay special attention to elbows and bends in the downspouts. Keep hangers fastened securely and plug any holes and cracks. Touch up any sections showing signs of rust with rustproof paint.
Performing routine home maintenance is essential and well worth the time and effort to keep energy bills low, protect your investment, keep your family safe and prolong the life of your home.
For more tips on home maintenance, go to HBASiouxEmpire.com or www.nahb.org/forconsumers.