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Common Homeowner Mistakes to Avoid In the Fall

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Fri, Oct 14, 2016

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Alan's Factory Outlet regular style metal carport with gravel driveway to protect your vehicle from snow, ice, hail or falling branches.

Each season has its own to-do list for homeowners. The to-do list for fall is full of tasks that help to prepare your home for the cold weather months. Homeowners tend to make some common mistakes as they go about their home maintenance in the fall. Take a look at a few of these mistakes and what to do to avoid them yourself.

Ignoring the Condition of Your Gutters

It's easy to ignore your gutters because they're located several feet above your head! But gutters that are full of leaves, sticks, pinecones, and other debris prevent the free movement of water. The water trapped in your gutters may find its way into your attic or damage your roof. Cleaning your gutters in the fall allows rain or melting snow to travel through your gutters, into the downspout, and away from your home.

Overlooking the Condition of Your Chimney

If you have a chimney, you may already be thinking about sitting in front of the fireplace, watching logs crackle and burn. You may not be thinking about the condition of your chimney, though. A chimney needs to be cleaned once a year. This is to prevent creosote from forming on the inside of a chimney, creating a blockage that can lead to a fire. Plus, a buildup of creosote doesn't allow carbon monoxide to float up out of the chimney. Instead, the carbon monoxide travels into the home, causing headaches, dizziness, or even death for the people inside. Get a professional chimney sweep to evaluate the condition of your chimney this fall.

Not Tending to Your Driveway or Walkways

Another common mistake of homeowners is overlooking cracks and holes in their driveway or walkways. Of course, these cracks are unsightly, but they can also grow worse over the winter months. When water flows into these cracks, it can freeze and cause the asphalt or cement to break even more. That's why it's a good idea to go to your local home improvement store and get the materials you need to fill in those cracks before the cold weather arrives.

Pressure-Washing Your Home

Some owners go out and rent a pressure-washer with the intention of making their home look its best throughout the fall. Unfortunately, pressure-washing can do a lot of damage to your home's exterior. By definition, a pressure-washer shoots a powerful stream of water at your home that can put holes in window screens and remove paint. Plus, if this water gets behind vinyl siding, it can cause mold growth. If you want to spruce up the exterior of your home, try getting a cleaning solution made for a home's exterior. It can be applied to walls with a garden sprayer and rinsed with a normal garden hose. You can use a broom to remove stains on your siding. If you don't feel comfortable getting up on a ladder to apply the cleaning solution, seek the help of professionals who clean the exteriors of houses.

Leaving Your Garden Hose Hooked to Your Outside Faucet

This is a simple situation to fix, but many longtime homeowners simply forget to do it. Unhooking your hose from the outside spigot, wrapping it up, and putting it in storage is an important item on the fall to-do list. I have a place in my shed where I keep my garden hose until springtime arrives. When a hose is left attached to the outside faucet over the cold weather months, any water that is left inside the hose can freeze. This not only ruins a hose, but the hose doesn't allow water to drain from the spigot. Water can freeze in there and cause a crack in the pipe that goes into your home. When the weather warms up again, you could have water leaking into your home. Spending a few minutes tending to your garden hose can save you a lot of trouble.

Finish up that to-do list and get on with enjoying all of the pleasures of the fall season. Thanks for reading! - Alan

Topics: homeowner mistakes to avoid in fall

 

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