You can feel it in the air – it’s fall in Big Bear. As we get into the cold weather season the days start getting shorter and the nights are getting colder. It’s time to perform some routine maintenance to avoid major problems and to keep your Big Bear home operating more efficiently. Here’s a fall season checklist to help you with the most common home maintenance issues:
Heating System – Replace the filter and consider hiring a qualified professional to service the heating system.
Air Vents/Registers – Adjust registers to switch from cooling to heating. Remember that warm air rises- adjust to release the warm air closer to the floor and the main level of the home.
Water Heater – Have a qualified professional service the unit along with the heating system. If you plan on leaving for the season turn the thermostat to “Vacation”.
Rain Gutters – Clean gutters regularly during the fall season to prevent excessive build-up of leaves and debris that can clog the gutters and cause standing water to freeze and misalign the gutters causing further problems.
Roof – Inspect the roof for any missing shingles or damage. Any tree branches or tall bushes in contact with the roof should be trimmed. Remove any leaves as they may cause ice dams and damage the shingles.
Chimney – Inspect the chimney for cracks or damage to the cap and flashings. Remove any bird nests or insect infestation.
Exterior Trim and Windows – Check for deterioration, holes, missing paint and missing or broken glass. Repair any problems and apply weather stripping as needed.
Exterior Grade – Check that the ground slopes away from the foundation to drain any water away from the foundation. Also check to make sure that the siding is not in contact with the earth. There should be a gap where the foundation is visible between the siding and the earth.
Exterior Water Supply – Close the shutoff for any exterior hose connections to prevent freezing and possible pipe breaks. Turn off the water supply and drain the pipes if you will be away for extended periods of time.
Hoses – Remove all exterior hoses from the water supply to prevent freezing and store them away.
Clothes Dryer Vent – Clean the lint from the dryer vent and make sure that all connections are properly attached. The dryer vent should be discharging on the exterior of the house.
Bathtubs/Showers – Check that all tiles, tubs, and enclosures are properly caulked and attached to prevent water from seeping behind the tiles.
Fireplace – Check the flue, damper, and firebox. If you haven’t done it recently, consider hiring a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote and to inspect the inside of the chimney for any damage or cracks.
Sprinkler System – Drain and blow out all underground water lines to prevent them from freezing and damaging the system.
Hot tub – Have the hot tub serviced and winterized for the season. Make sure the cover closes tightly to keep the heat in.
Snow-blower/Shovel – Service your snow-blower and/or make sure that your snow shovel is functional. Make arrangements for a snow plow professional to plow the driveway after snow storms.
Driveway/Sidewalks/Walks/Steps – Inspect the driveway/sidewalks/walks for cracks, raised sections, and missing pieces and repair any safety hazards.
Trees/Shrubs/Vegetation – Trim trees and shrubs from getting too close to the house and consider having a tree surgeon cutting away any tree deadwood to keep the trees healthy.
Patio equipment – Remove/cover the patio tables and chairs to protect them from the winter elements.
Attic – Inspect attic for adequate insulation and add additional insulation if necessary for comfort.
Smoke alarms, Carbon Monoxide detectors, and Fire extinguishers – Replace all batteries and check that all levels and gauges are in the correct positions and none have expired.
Big Bear homes require a little more attention than properties in lower elevations – but living in paradise is definitely worth it. The more preventative maintenance steps you take now, the less you will ultimately spend on repairs in the future.
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