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Time For Fall/Winter Maintenance Recommendations

It's that time of year again, and time to get ready for the seasons ahead so these are

Jay's Fall/Winter Maintenance Recommendations.

While not intended to be exhaustive, and you may have things you personally like to take care of, you might consider the following!

* 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 smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Replace batteries that are old. 

*  Spruce up any exterior caulking.  Be sure to use the right caulk for the right application!  Caulking is the cheapest and easiest energy saver.  Don't apply it if the temperature is under 50F and be sure it dries before it freezes.

Boilers - check the safety relief valve.

*  Furnace - if you have a maintenance contract with a licensed company have it taken care of.  Oil furnaces should be checked for back puffing. 

*  Clean moss on the roof.  Use something that does not kill the plants and shrubbery below!

*  Clean gutters of debris.  If you live near trees consider the solid gutter covers and eliminate the chore!

Place sticky cricket catchers in the garage and basement!  This is their time of year to come inside.

*  Septic system - pump the tank if it's time.  If you have two fields be sure to divert the valve to send effluent to the unused side.

*  Check the chimney for creosote and clean if needed.  Repair any damage.

*  Improve the foundation drainage as necessary.

Test GFI receptacles.  Test AFCI circuit breakers.

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

Gas water heater - drain some water from the bottom to remove any sludge build up.

*  Open crawl space vents.  Check the insulation under the floor, if any.

*  Dryer - clean behind the appliance and where the exhaust vent tubing enters the wall.  Outdoors check the vent flap and clean as needed.

Private water system - pump air into the pressure tank if pressure is weak.

Sprinkler system - if you are unable, have your maintenance company come by to blow the water out of the lines and disconnect connections where needed.

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

This is by no means a complete list, but it will serve you well.

Preparation is everything.  One of the best mottoes ever written is "Be Prepared."  Sound advice.

My recommendation:  be regular and diligent!  In the long run, maintenance costs about 1% of the value of the house.  If you pay attention to the small stuff 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 11 commentsJay Markanich • September 13 2016 02:21AM

Comments

What a great list, Jay.  I can't believe how quickly the days are passing and how it's dark so much earlier now.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 4 years ago

Well, it's true Debbie.  Raise your hands and say, "I believe!"

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Jay Markanich Quit adding to my honey do list 

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Nothing like staying on top of things! It will cost you later...

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 4 years ago

Don - you look dressed for the Honey Do list.  Your wife called and she's ecstatic with all the additions to your list.  There is a bunch to do, Honey Bunch.

Fred - maintenance - noun - to keep in an appropriate condition, operation, or force; keep unimpaired.  Yep, saves money later!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Hi Jay - Thanks for the exhaustive - and exhausting - list of things we all ought to be doing in the coming weeks. I hope Mary doesn't see this list.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) almost 4 years ago

What is Mary's number, Dick?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Great list!  Welcome back.  I missed your posts.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) almost 4 years ago

Thanks.  I had a bad flu, Stephen, that bottomed out as pneumonia.  It was diagnosed as "mild," but I assure you I was not walking around, and could hardly lift my head.   But had I known all I had to do was go to Chelsea's apartment to immediately feel better I'd have done it a long time ago!

My doctor told me not to touch anyone.  So I would NOT have hugged a little girl outside Chelsea's apartment had I the chance.

(Meaning from personal experience I question the "pneumonia" cover up...  there is something else going on.)

Gee, did that come off as sarcastic? 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

This is excellent advice to share. We always recommend an annual service contract for the heating and air conditioning equipment.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) almost 4 years ago

Thanks Roy.  I publish this every year.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

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