This is a simple five-step process for fall home maintenance. No this is not a long list of items of recommended home maintenance items that you know will never get done. At Fresh Start, we know that your time is precious and we want to cut through all of the typical. To give you the most important items to address in your fall home maintenance. These simple five steps will help your home be healthy, warm and hopefully more economical. In addition, these items will also help protect your home from the common water damage issues that face homeowners during the fall and winter seasons.
Most homes within the Kansas City area have an insufficient amount of insulation. Even many new homes have an attic insulation depth of only 10-15 inches. The Department of Energy recommends an attic insulation depth of 15 to 25 inches for the Kansas City area. R-Value is a rating of insulation quality. So, the depth of 15-inches is an R-38 rating. The higher the number the greater the number of insulation benefits. At FreshStart, we provide insulation services at all depth levels requested by the homeowner. However, our customers see the greatest benefits from the higher R-60+ rating that 20 to 25 inches of blown-in insulation provide. Therefore, we recommend the higher end of the Department of Energy’s recommended range.
Gutters are another very important maintenance item on the exterior of your home. We see multiple water damage issues stem from gutters being clogged, improperly sloped, leaking, not properly extended or an inadequate size. Gutters are an inexpensive item to repair and are vital to the overall function of moving water from the foundation of a property.
Your roof being sealed and tight is a big deal during winter snowfalls and ice buildups. Last year our company did a number of water damage and mold remediation jobs that were caused by leaking roofs and ice dams. Nothing puts your roof to the test like the weight of heavy snow and ice!
The primary objective to winterizing your pipes is to prevent water damage to your home. Freezing temperatures can cause any trapped water in the water lines and burst in the wall causing serious water damage. The process is simple to winterize your exterior faucets. You simply locate all interior shut off valves for exterior faucets and turn them off. Once completed, remove all water hoses to storage and open exterior water faucet until any water is expelled and then shut off. Insulated exterior faucets with covers are not necessary if the water line is shut off, but still can be used upon your own discretion. In the Kansas City area, we do not recommend using the insulting covers alone without shutting off the waterline.
The fall is one of the most important times to service your HVAC system with bi-annual maintenance by your HVAC contractor. One of the most important steps in home maintenance is servicing the HVAC system. At no other time of year like winter do you and your family spend more time indoors? In addition, the winter is ample time for illnesses. Poor indoor air quality can cause or exasperate all kinds of illnesses from the common cold to more serious health issues. We highly recommend vent cleaning with antimicrobial treatment in the Fall, as the heat from the furnace can cause any mold in the lines to be exasperated. In addition, we also recommend a professional-grade air filter that uses antimicrobial treated materials to filter the air like the PerfectFit Filter.
Caulking is a very inexpensive home maintenance item that can literally save you hundreds. When I was a maintenance supervisor for commercial and residential real estate, gap inspections and caulking was something that we did twice per year. Our repair budget dropped significantly when we began this process as we were able to spot problem areas and be proactive versus reactive with our building’s maintenance.