It's certainly been a roller coaster summer of weather here in Iron County and, astonishingly, we are now under a week away from the official beginning of fall!
With night temperatures due to temporarily drop into the low 40's early next week, and with colder days ahead, there's still going to be plenty of good weather to get those essential fall home maintenance tasks under way. But the clock is ticking.
So here are some great tips for the coming days:
Roofing - We have, of course, endured some very challenging weather conditions in Iron County at times during this summer, including damaging hail storms. So it's arguably even more imperative than usual to carry out a visual inspection of your roof, or hire a qualified and reputable local professional to do one for you. The last thing you need is an undiscovered leak.
Gutters/Downspouts - Make sure these are clear of debris that can cause overflow. Rainwater should also be discharging a few feet from the building perimeter to avoid possible foundation damage.
Sprinkler Systems - The first freeze cannot be too far away, so you're fast approaching the time to winterize your system. Use compressed air to blow any remaining water out of the pipes. If left alone it could freeze and cause a burst, which you'll not notice until you switch everything back on in the spring.
Heating - Our hot summers mean that heating systems almost become a distant memory by mid-September, but it won't be too long before we begin to switch from cool to heated air. Make sure your furnace filters are being replaced as recommended. A full system service right now avoids the potential issues of having problems during the holidays, with a home full of guests, right when it's also very difficult to obtain professional help.
Plumbing - Make sure any exposed pipes are properly insulated. Know where your home's water controls are if you ever need to switch off your supply.
Chimneys/Flues - Now's the time to get your chimney cleaned, if you have one, and to check for flue sealing.
Air Sealing - In summer, we are concerned with keeping cool air indoors and in fall and winter we focus on doing the same with heat. Air leakage from your interior is expensive and uses more fuel, so make sure doors and windows are properly sealed when closed.
Propane Levels - Now is the time to make sure your tank is ready for the winter. Some local propane suppliers offer payment plans to allow you to spread the cost, smoothing out the contours of expense in the coldest months of the year, which are on their way once again.
Ceiling Fans - When heating becomes necessary, it will also be the time to reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. Fans should turn clockwise at a low speed in winter to gently draw air up towards the ceiling and force it down and out towards the walls, avoiding the wind chill effect that's so welcome in summer.
Outdoor Lighting - It's possible that you have bulb failures that you've not spotted during the summer, so now is a great time to check these from the viewpoint of safety and security. Now is also a good moment to review how effective your external lighting is and to make upgrades while the weather's still good.
Fences/Decking - These can take a real battering from fall/winter weather so now is the time to be completing any maintenance/staining/painting tasks that ensure everything will emerge from the coming months in great shape.
Critters - Seal holes and gaps where they might seek entrance to your property. Like all of us, critters prefer to be indoors as it gets colder.
Trees/Shrubs - Pruning will help to avoid the possibility of falling branches in stormy conditions. Look for signs that trees/shrubs might be in need of treatment. These include thin/brown pines, dead branches and very early leaf color changes.
Concrete - Cracks that have appeared during the spring or summer are only likely to get worse when it freezes, so repair these areas asap.
Lawns/Mulch - Cool weather grass seeds should be sown very soon. Laying mulch around shrubs, flowers and bushes helps to protect them from the worst that fall and winter will almost inevitably throw at them.
Ice Melt - The first freeze can happen with little or no notice and we could be seeing snow quite soon too. So make sure you're stocked up with ice melt, rather than having to rush to the store in slippery conditions.
We hope that at least some of these tips will be useful. As always, please don't hesitate to contact us on 435-327-2090 if you have any questions concerning real estate.