What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

Jay's School of Inspectology - Fall/Winter Seasonal Chores List

It's that time of year again.  Fall and winter provide excellent opportunities to do some sprucing up and getting ready for the season ahead.  So, once again, it's time for: 

Jay's List!

Specifically, the Fall/Winter Seasonal Chores List.  You have to do it anyway, so this gift is for you.

It seems like every year I will be driving home and hear on the news that it will get below freezing during the night.  That's the time I usually realize I have not gotten ready for fall or winter.  My hose bibs immediately spring to mind.  (It's good to be on top of things like I am...) 

Note:  Obviously this is long past true for some of the country.  My list is pretty complete, though likely not totally complete.  No one ever knows everything.  But, I thought it would be helpful to share some of it with you.

* Winterize the exterior hose bib valves. Turn off the interior valves, open the exterior bibs and loose the little cap beside the interior valve to break the vacuum and let water drain out.

* Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Replace the batteries if that has not been done in a while.  If your detectors are older than 10 years of age, replace the entire mechanism.

* Spruce up any disastrous exterior caulking. Be sure to use the right caulk for the right application! Caulking is the cheapest and easiest energy saver.  Be sure the caulk is fully dried before it freezes at night.  Never paint or apply caulk if the temperature is less than 50F.

* Boilers - check the safety relief valve.

* Steam Boilers - Each month, flush the blow-off valve on the low-water cutoff; test the water feed valves.

* Furnace - replace (or clean) the filters monthly; oil the fans or circulators; manipulate the duct dampers or register covers to divert more hot air downstairs and less up (do not close off air completely to any level or room). Oil furnaces should be checked for back puffing. Ideally, all furnaces should have annual maintenance examinations by a licensed professional.

* Clean moss on the roof - be sure to use something that does not kill the grass or garden shrubbery. I understand from northwesterners that after cleaning a pile of laundry detergent along the ridge of the roof will wash down during rains and help clean completely.

* Clean gutters of debris. If your house is near many trees, solid gutter covers are highly recommended.  This is important not only in the fall, but the spring too.

* Place sticky cricket catchers in the basement and garage.

* Septic system - pump the tank if it is time. If you have two fields this is a good time to divert to the unused field.

* Check your chimneys for creosote and sweep if needed.  Repair any damage.

* Improve foundation drainage as necessary.

* Test GFI outlets. 

* Test AFCI breakers.

* Check the garage door reversing mechanism.  Put your foot through the photo eye plane and see if the door reverses.

* Gas water heater - drain some water from the bottom valve to remove sediment.

* Open crawl space vents.

* Dryer - clean behind the dryer and the dryer mechanism itself, clean what is possible of the vent inside the wall and check the vent flap outside for lint.

* Private water system - pump air into the tank if the pump turns on often.

* Sprinkler system - if you cannot do it yourself, have your maintenance company by to blow the water out of the lines, disconnecting things where necessary, so that only air is left inside.  You don't want your tubing breaking underground over the winter.

* Kitchen - clean dust from behind or under the fridge; clean the range hood fan and clean or replace vent screens; clean disposal (vinegar and baking soda work well, followed by lemon peels).

This is by no means a complete list, but it will serve you well. It works for me!

Preparation is everything. As a guy associated with the Boy Scouts for a long time, I can tell you it is good to "be prepared...!" That may be one of the best mottoes ever written.

My recommendation: Be regular and have foresight! Home maintenance, in the long run, costs about 1% of the value of a home per year. Pay attention to the small stuff, and the big things will take care of themselves.



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 43 commentsJay Markanich • October 04 2011 06:55AM

Comments

Hi Jay,

Good starting list of what home owners need to do for the Fall season.

I hope there will be a lot of them reading this post.

Have a great day in Va.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) almost 9 years ago

Jay - always helpful to have a handy list for homeowners to check, so they don't feel as though they have overlooked anything.

Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) almost 9 years ago

Good morning Jay;  A very good list.  Thanks.  Stay warm.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) almost 9 years ago

A good checklist is always helpful and welcome! Snow is predicted for us by week's end...so it's a very timely checklist as well. Thanks!

Posted by Charlie Dresen, Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro (Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty) almost 9 years ago

Clint - reblog it and pass it around!

Carol - I don't know that this list is definitive, but it's a great start!

Ken - it's not too cold yet, but we had our heat on last night.  Bummer...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Charlie - I know, I may be late for a lot of the country!  Hope not too late!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Morning sir-although I agree you cannon list everything to be prepared for winter it seems you're off to a good start

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) almost 9 years ago

Jay - good morning and thanks putting out a good check list for folks to use as winter approaches.  It is hard to believe it is that time of the year again.

Posted by Barbara Hensley, Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas (RE/MAX Properties) almost 9 years ago

Good morning, Jay. Be regular. Does that mean I have to start eating my prunes every day, again...

Posted by Michael Thornton, Nashville Area - Photography & Videography (RadnorLake Video) almost 9 years ago

That is a good start James.  But every house is different!  I know there are houses on the prarie made of bales of hay.  I have no idea what to do there!

Barbara - I know, and I'm not looking forward to it either!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

If you are doing it every day, Michael, you can't start again.

But yes, for the benefit of those around you, be regular.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay: This list is a woonderful start to preparing for winter. It's more than loading up on soup. LOL. Suggest and reblog.

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) almost 9 years ago

Thanks Anne.  So get on it!  Call us all when you are done.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay, good list. Some I do......................some I need to

This is also the time I start to move the snow blower and shovels from the shed out back to there spot in the garage.

Enjoy the day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor-Homes for Sale- Easton Mass (New England Real Estate Center Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Good idea Don.  You have snow there?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Thanks Jay and I thought I had a free weekend,Buy the way I already got the snow blower ready.

Posted by Brad Gotham (Granite Peak Inspection, Inc. ) almost 9 years ago

Wow, Brad, that's early!  I did think this would be late for a few people!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay -- thanks for the list - I almost forgot about the Hot Water tank draining. Suggested

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) almost 9 years ago

Thanks Steven.  Most people don't!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Very good advice for home owners.

Enjoy the fall activities and be sure to have your camera in hand to capture the changing colors of the season.

IMG_5872 Life is good!

Dahlia Show at Brookside Gardens in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) almost 9 years ago

And, Roy, it appears the colors of fall are Redskin colors!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Hi Jay,

This is all great stuff you've listed here.  We need to do some of the items on your checklist ourselves.  Thanks so much for the reminder.  Bet your customers are happy to get this list too.

Posted by Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Christie's International Real Estate ) almost 9 years ago

This is a very good list of goodies to attend to Jay! Thanks for posting that! I like it so much I am going to reblog it for my friends and neighbors reading my blog! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend! :)

Posted by Rosalie Evans, The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale (Meritus Group Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Hey, Jay!  I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.   Have a great Sunday!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Jay, Jay, Jay !!   How can I do all this stuff and still watch the Lions !?!?!   LOL  Well done !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) almost 9 years ago

R&L - they are!  All of them get a seasonal chores list for all four seasons.  I combined two for this post.

Thanks Rosalie.  I hope they can all use it, no matter where they are in the country.

Grrrrathiath Pat!  Always fun to make that coveted list!

Hey, Bill - I'm glad this year is presenting you with a reason to watch!  How about avoiding Sunday and Monday and doing the list Saturday?

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Love this post!  It's true preventive maintenance will cost less.

Posted by Kim & Kristine Halverson, Sisters, Realtors (Compass) almost 9 years ago

Thanks K&K.  I will have another one in the spring/summer!  Everyone should have something there that applies to their house.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay, you forgot two of the most important things on this fantastic list.

Coordinate with the maid

Coordinate with the maintenance guy

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 9 years ago
Jay, I'd add pressure washing to this list. Sometimes people let it go so long, that the sidewalks grow mossy in the shade, really creating a slip hazard. Plus it just looks so much nicer :)
Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

Silly me Andrea.  That certainly would not occur to me as I am both of those people!  But it's true, I coordinate well with me.

Karen - maybe the sidewalks but NOTHING else!!  And IF you do the sidewalks, the nozzle should be no closer than 12" and the spray no smaller than 17 degrees.  No kidding...

Most people think pressure washing is just spraying water, and believe me, it is not!  There are practices behind it!

Please read this before you clean your deck:    http://activerain.com/blogsview/1745251/never-pressure-wash-a-deck-

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

This is a great list, Jay. When can you get here? I'm available most afternoons this week to help you show you where everything is. The temperature rarely dips below 32 degrees here, so winterizing isn't usually necessary.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA almost 9 years ago

I'll be right there Cynthia.  If you don't have to winterize, you should fallerize.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay: A good reminder for all of us. Time to get over to my 93 year old mother's house and check her smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

C&C

Posted by Carl Winters almost 9 years ago

Good idea C&C.  Did you see these:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/2194501/-where-should-i-put-a-carbon-monoxide-detector-
http://activerain.com/blogsview/2186875/really-you-should-replace-smoke-detectors-

Also, glad you enjoyed the list!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Hi Jay,

This is a great list!  Funny though, some of the things that need doing in your part of the country we don't have to deal with here in the west (at least in Northern CA) like boilers and cracking sprinkler hoses.

Posted by DeeDee Riley, Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas (Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA) almost 9 years ago

Sure, DeeDee, I tell the same thing to my clients.  Some things on the list won't apply, but some will!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Ah, yes, Mr.Jay is always good for timely as well as very detailed and quite specific posts that are always on target. Probably why I am a subscriber already.

Posted by Jon Quist, Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996 (REALTY EXECUTIVES ARIZONA TERRITORY) almost 9 years ago

Thanks Jon!  And you should know, Jay is my nickname.  My legal name is Jon, spelled correctly like you do.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

I am way behind here but this is a great post on fall a checklist I did put this on my fan page on facebook  with your face on it hope you don't mind ..Fantastic tips ! I forgot to comment here; so here I am

HelpfulHannah

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) almost 9 years ago

Thanks Hannah, for everything!  So, get on it and let us all know when you're done.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Great list Jay, Thanks!

Posted by Jayson Holland, Jay Holland (Listings.com) almost 9 years ago

You're welcome Jayson, and I hope you can use it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments