The Importance of Fall and Winter Preventative Maintenance

It’s that time of year again. The transition to Fall is always met with mixed emotions about the long days of summer dwindling to an end and the anticipation of foliage, football and sweater weather.  From a Home Maintenance perspective, it’s the most important time of year to assure your house is ready for the onset of winter and the frigid weather, snow and ice it brings with it.  But rest assured, Coda’s got you covered. We’ll take care of the hard stuff so you can relax and cozy up by your first fire of the season.

In this post we’re going to breakdown what we think are the most important routine maintenance items for the fall and why.  We know routine maintenance can often feel like a nagging chore and fall to the back of the list, so this should also express why we feel these items are so important (and with Coda, it won’t feel like a chore).

 Clean Gutters and Downspouts

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Gutters are designed to divert rainwater from your home and prevent serious issues that can be caused by water (see below).  In order for them to work properly it’s important that they are cleared of leaves, pine needles, shingle grit and other clogging debris.  Serious damage that can be caused when gutters are clogged and therefore not working properly are:

·      Foundation damage ·      Erosion and wash-out ·      Basement flooding

·      Peeling paint ·      Ice dams and roof damage ·      Rotting wood

·      Heaving driveways, stone walls and walkways ·      Mold

Some of this damage can be extremely costly and invasive to your home, so cleaning your gutters is a quick and affordable way to prevent serious and expensive issues.  

Blow out Irrigation 

This process involves removing water from your irrigation system to prevent it from freezing over the winter.  If you do not blow out your irrigation it will freeze and crack, likely ruining your system. 

Because your irrigation lines are buried throughout your yard, finding and repairing the cracks can be a disruptive and expensive process.

 

Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys  

Photo by Image Source/DigitalVision / Getty Images

Photo by Image Source/DigitalVision / Getty Images

This one is probably pretty self-explanatory but assuring your wood burning fireplaces are clean and functioning properly is imperative to preventing fire hazards and harmful gasses from entering your home.  If smoke and gasses are not venting properly through the chimney than they can escape back into the house, sometimes unnoticed, causing hazardous air quality issues. 

Fall Cleanup

A landscaper should complete a Fall Cleanup to remove fallen leaves, branches, debris etc from your property prior to winter. This is partially aesthetic but also important because debris up against your siding and decks will accelerate the deterioration of those materials. Leaves will also clog up drainage that is important for diverting snow melt runoff away from your house, such as window wells.

Servicing your heating system

In servicing your heating system we are cleaning its components to make the unit run more efficiently (which also extends it’s expected life), and inspecting it to catch any potential issues before they happen. We’ve dealt with our fair share of calls when systems fail on the coldest day of the year, leaving homeowners without heat in frigid weather, and sometimes the problem is as simple as a dirty filter. While this might seem like just a nuisance, loss of heat also exposes the house to some disastrous issues such as frozen and burst pipes. On top of that, system failures are common in extreme weather so subcontractors get swamped with calls and are much harder to get scheduled.

From a long term costs perspective, when your unit is not running at 100%, it is putting more strain on all components and leading to a quicker decline and failure of your system. With replacement costs that stretch into the $10,000+ per system (and an average of 3-5 systems per home), spending a few hundred dollars per system every year to maintain it is well worth the investment.

 

For information about how to sign up for these maintenance services or other routine preventative maintenance we recommend, give us a call at 888-969-2632!