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Front Page - Friday, September 13, 2019

Home maintenance tips to be ready for winter

Even though the days are still rather warm in the Chattanooga area, fall is just around the corner. It’s a perfect time to tackle some of those maintenance projects in your home. Regular home maintenance and repairs can save you money and keep your home looking sharp year-round.

Tackle these easy fall maintenance projects to keep your home comfortable and running smoothly inside and out.

Take care of your trees

Avoid falling branches during the winter storms ahead by inspecting your yard for problem areas. Trees go dormant as cool weather approaches, so now is the best time to prune trees in your yard and remove dead tree limbs. To identify dead limbs, look for branches with leaves that change their color earlier than expected or evergreens that turn brown.

Carefully examine your home exterior

Make sure your outdoor steps are in good condition and can handle any ice or the occasional snow. Also, look for general wear and tear around your window frames and doors. If needed, add weather-stripping to keep warm air in and cooler air out during the winter months.

Inspect heating systems

Replace your furnace filter for optimal usage of your heating system during the winter months. A qualified heating professional can inspect your home ducts and heating equipment to prolong the life of your system. If you have a fireplace or chimney, schedule an annual cleaning to prevent chimney fires.

Minimize winter water woes

Pipes can freeze or burst during winter. Make sure you know how to locate the water shut-off valve in your home in the event of a deep freeze. Insulate your outdoor pipes and don’t forget to drain outdoor water hoses and store them in a dry place to increase their longevity.

Since it’s unlikely you’ll use your outdoor sprinklers during the winter months, drain them or turn them off to prevent damage to your system.

Clean gutters and downpours

Debris, leaves and twigs can build up and clog up your gutters and downpours. Without a regular clean up, your home is susceptible to interior or exterior water damage and pest infestation. Also, inspect the debris in your gutters, and if you notice grit from the asphalt roof shingles on your home, it might be a sign of roof damage.

For a list of professionals who can help you tackle your home maintenance and repairs this fall, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at www.HBAGC.net.