STILLWATER – Many Oklahomans have a long list of things to do for spring cleaning, but the fall season is a great time for some home maintenance projects.
“Now that triple-digit heat is on the back burner, these home maintenance projects will help protect your home during the cold winter months,” said Gina Peek, Oklahoma housing and consumer specialist. State University Extension and Acting Associate Dean. “Tasks such as checking the roof for leaks, professionally cleaning the chimney and changing the air filters will help protect the integrity of your home. “
Check the roofs for loose or missing shingles. This is especially important with the high winds that accompany many severe thunderstorms in Oklahoma. Also check for leaks around vents, skylights and chimneys and make necessary repairs. Look for loose or missing mortar around the fireplace.
“It is a good idea to have your fireplace inspected and cleaned by a professional to remove soot, blockages and accumulated creosote from the lining of the chimney, hearth, smoke chamber and register,” he said. she declared. “Even if you don’t use your fireplace regularly, birds, squirrels, and other creatures can call your fireplace into your home, which can make it unsafe to use without removing debris accumulated during nesting.”
The fall season also means the leaves are falling. Although most end up on the ground, a home’s gutters and downspouts are sure to be clogged with leaves. As a result, rainwater overflows over the edge or stays in the gutters because they cannot drain. When the temperature drops below freezing, this water freezes and can cause an ice dam, which could damage the shingles and eventually cause leaks on the roof.
“It doesn’t take a long time to clean the leaves from your gutters,” Peek said. “If the leaves are dry, homeowners can use a leaf blower to speed up the removal process. Otherwise, take the time to remove the leaves by hand.
Make sure all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers are in good working order. Replace the batteries as needed. A simple tip to remember for checking these batteries is to do it when daylight saving time begins and ends. It ends on November 7 of this year, so set the clocks back an hour and change the batteries in all safety gear.
Here are some other quick and easy fall care tips:
• Remove window air conditioners or put waterproof covers on them.
• Check for leaking faucets and replace washers if necessary.
• Make sure the refrigerator door gaskets are airtight. Test them by closing the door on a sheet of paper. If you can easily remove the paper, the door may need to be adjusted or the gaskets replaced.
• Seal doors and windows against drafts. Heat can easily escape even small cracks in the space, which will ultimately cost more in heating bills.
• Have the heating unit serviced and change the filters.
• Inspect the house siding for holes and cracks and replace caulk if necessary.
• If a house has storm windows and screens, remove the screens and replace them with storm windows.
“These routine tasks will help ensure that your home is ready for the cold later in the year,” Peek said. “They will also help save energy, which is money in your pocket. “