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Fall is a wonderful time of year.  It signals cooler weather, beautiful leaf color, festive holidays and evenings snuggled around the fire.  But as beautiful as fall is, the changing temperature and weather conditions can wreak havoc on your home and property.  There are certain maintenance issues that need to be addressed to ensure that your home and property are prepared properly to face what Mother Nature has in store.

Below is a list of suggestions to help you prepare for fall and keep your

                                    home and property in tip- top shape.

 

Clean and Store Your Lawn Mower

 

If your lawn mower is allowed to sit for months with gas in its tank, the gas will begin to deteriorate.  This can cause damage to the engine parts. Fuel stabilizer will prevent this from happening.  Simply add stabilizer to your gas can to keep your spare gas in good condition over winter.  Also, top off your mower tank with the stabilized gas before you store it for winter. Run your mower for about five minutes or so to make sure that the stabilizer reaches the carburetor.

Another option is to run your lawn mower dry before you store it.

– Once your mower is cool, remove the spark plug and pour a capful of engine oil into the

spark plug hole.

 

– Pull the starter cord a couple of times to distribute the oil, this will keep pistons lubricated

to ensure an easy start come spring.

 

– Turn your mower on its side and clean out any accumulated grass and gunk from the

mower deck.

 

Remove Garden Hoses From Faucets

Remove your garden hoses from all outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and in the plumbing pipes just inside your exterior walls.  If freezing temperatures hit, that water could freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes. Make to do this early in fall so a sudden cold snap doesn’t sneak up on you. Also, turn off any shutoff valves on water supply lines that leading to exterior faucets. This way, you will guard against any minor leaks that could let water enter the faucet.

 

Drain Your Irrigation System.

Remember buried irrigation lines can freeze! So follow these four simple steps and your

system should have no trouble making it to the spring.

– Turn off water to system at main valve.

– Shut off automatic controller.

– Open drain valves to remove water

– Remove above ground sprinkler heads, shake out water out and replace them.

 

Seal Air Leaks

Purchase exterior caulk and make a journey around your home’s exterior. Seal up cracks between trim and siding, around window, door frames and where any pipes and wires enter your home. Preventing moisture from getting inside your walls is one of the most important fall maintenance jobs. You’ll also seal air leaks that waste energy.

Clean Gutters

Clogged gutters can sag and cause ice dams, that lead to expensive repairs. After leaves have fallen, clean your gutters. Remove leaves, twigs, and gunk and tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets. Replace damaged gutters. Your downspouts should extend at least 5 feet away from your house to prevent foundation problems.

Eyeball Your Roof

Inspect your roof.  Look for warning signs: Shingles that are buckled, cracked, or missing; rust spots on flashing. Any loose, damaged, or missing shingles should be replaced immediately. Black algae stains are just cosmetic, but masses of moss and lichen could signal roofing that’s decayed underneath.

 

Check Your Furnace!!!

Call Horne Heating and Air to schedule a SAFETY CHECK to ensure that your gas furnace does not have any carbon monoxide leaks and is safe to use.  Change your furnace filters, too. This is a job you should do every two months anyway, but if you haven’t, now’s the time.