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By: Kevin Ahern on October 13th, 2015

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Quick Tip Guide to Fall Maintenance

Residential

Fall is upon us! Now that the weather is cooling down and the nights are growing longer, it’s time to perform some of the standard maintenance that comes along with these changes in temperature and daylight. Performing autumn home maintenance bit by bit over the next several weeks will help ensure that your home is secure, safe and warm when winter finally arrives.

Roof

Now is the time to ensure your roof is ready for another wet Connecticut fall and winter. There are multiple ways that you can prepare your roof and avoid leaks this fall.

  • Clean your gutters. Gutters are one of the most critical water drainage systems your home has. As snow and rain runs off the roof, that water collects in the gutters. If your gutters are clogged, this can cause roof leaks and ice dams. Clean out your gutters to remove all leaves, twigs and bird nests. Check for leaks along the seams in your gutters. If your gutters are in bad shape, they may need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Inspect your attic. Check the attic for water stains on the underside of the roof. If you do see water stains, try not to panic. This could be an old inactive leak. If you have a moisture meter, use it to measure the moisture in the stained wood. If the wood is dry, your roof is likely fine. If it's wet, it's time to get your roof repaired.

Furnace

Change the filter in your furnace, then turn on the unit to test its performance. If you haven’t had your ducts checked for leaks in a while, now is the time to have a trusted HVAC professional assess the status of your home's ducts.

Pest Control

Once the temperature outside starts to drop, mice will start seeking shelter indoors. Use a galvanized steel mesh to cover all the small openings in your home. Check the vents in the roof and all other places where the pipes enter your home from the outside. Galvanized mesh is useful because it can be bent to fit around nearly any opening, and can be applied with nails or a staple gun.

Outdoor Lighting

With the nights growing longer all the time, your home’s outdoor lighting system may become very important in the near future. Check every light bulb and power switch to ensure that your lights are working. Have old, malfunctioning lights replaced with energy-efficient LED lights.

While you’re out there, check your outdoor outlets to ensure they’re GFCI protected. If your outlets are old and offer no GFCI protection, have them replaced before it’s time to put up Christmas decorations.

Plumbing

Now is the time of year when you can start worrying about hard freezes and bursting pipes. Pipe insulation can help protect your home’s plumbing from the harshest weather. You can make your job easier by purchasing the self-adhesive, form-fitting pipe insulation.

Chimney Care

Are you planning on using your fireplace at the holidays? If so, now is the time to have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional. Creosote buildup and defects inside chimneys can cause devastating chimney fires.

If during all this maintenance you realize it’s time to install a new roof, make roof repairs, install new gutters or make any other dramatic changes to your home, contact Litchfield Builders. We’re proud to service the residents of New Haven and the surrounding area.Request a free construction consultation