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Do Your September "Home Maintenance Duty"


Autumn officialy begins on September 22, 2013 at 4:44 PM EDT and the days are getting shorter. It's time for fall "home maintenance duty" to prepare your home for cooler weather. Don't wait until winter is here.

Add weather-stripping to doors and windows
Weather-stripping can be plastic, foam, felt or metal; its job is to seal small gaps, keeping moisture and cold air outside where they belong. Look around your doors and windows: Is the weather- stripping torn or missing? This can become expensive if ignored.

Check storm windows
If you have storm windows that are cracked or dirty, repair and clean them now — prior to autumn installation.

Insulation speculation
This is a good time to check the condition of insulation and see if you need more, especially if you live in an older home.

Check Gutters
Do a quick visual check to make sure gutters are clear

Caulk exterior
Think of caulk as weather-stripping in a tube. Any gap on the
Outside of your home can be a candidate for caulking. Look at
corners, windows, doors, areas where masonry joins siding, or places where vents and other objects protrude from walls. Carefully read manufacturer's directions to make sure the caulk you buy will work where you plan to use it, and don't forget to purchase a caulking gun. Early fall is a good time for this task because caulk becomes difficult to apply when the temperature falls.

Clean dryer vent
This is another one of those tasks that should be on your to-do list every six months. Scoot your clothes dryer away from the wall, unplug it, and vacuum behind it. (If it's a gas dryer, turn off the gas supply to the dryer at the appliance shutoff valve.) Unhook the tube that leads to the vent and clear as much lint from the tube as you can. Grab a shop vacuum, go outside, and tackle the outside dryer vent as well.

Inspect your roof and chimney
Look for broken or missing shingles, missing or damaged flashing and seals around vent pipes and chimneys, and damage to boards along the eaves. Also peer down your chimney with a flashlight to make sure no animals have set up house in it. If you can't get on your roof, perform this inspection with a ladder around the perimeter. Pay close attention to valleys and flashings — many leaks originate in these spots. Some patches and roofing cement now can prevent thousands of dollars of water damage later in the winter.

Got wood?
If you have a wood stove, it's not too early to lay in a supply of firewood. Though most of us buy whatever's local, bear in mind that soft woods like fir and cedar burn faster and create hazardous creosote in the chimney, thus requiring more system maintenance and more wood. Wood dries best when it's protected from rain and has air circulating around it, so under the roof of a wall-less carport would be an ideal wood storage spot.




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