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Home Maintenance Tips for September

Whew! The dog days of summer are nearly over. Soon we’ll be firing up the outdoor fireplaces and firepits and wearing warm sweaters. Before the leaves turn their vibrant reds, golds, and oranges, let’s tackle a few tasks that can prevent cold weather breakdowns.

But first, if you haven’t already done so, take your furnace for a test drive to ensure everything is in proper working order. HVAC technicians get busy in the fall, and their schedules fill up. So don’t wait to find out your furnace needs some TLC.

  • Check walkways for cracks or loose pavers. Cracks and loose pavers can create trip hazards during the freeze-thaw cycles of winter. If water seeps under the walkway through a crack or under a paver that’s loose, it can freeze. Water expands when it freezes and can expand enough to displace a paver or a portion of your walkway.

    Seal cracks in walkways with epoxy, which you can buy at home hardware stores. For pavers, lift the loose paver out, level the ground (fill with sand if needed) and replace the paver. You may need to do this a few times to get the paver level. Fill the spaces between the surrounding pavers with additional sand to prevent any additional movement.
  • Does your siding need some TLC? Heat and humidity can encourage mold and mildew growth on your siding, so it might be time for a good ole pressure washing. While you’re at it, look for cracks and deteriorating caulk. This task is a weekend project if you decide to DIY it.

    First, you can rent a pressure washer for almost any equipment rental business in the area. Be sure to use an appropriate cleaner for your siding with the presser washer. Use care when operating a pressure washer because the pressure means business.

    Now that your siding is clean and dry, inspect the siding for cracks and any caulk that might need to be replaced. You may need to get on a ladder to do a full inspection, so be careful. Or you may be able to use a drone or long selfie stick and your phone’s camera to snap photos of high and hard to reach places. Fill cracks and re-caulk as needed. Or, call a pro to knock it out for you.
  • Check your window seals. All double- or triple-pane windows have a tight seal around their perimeters that separates the individual panes of glass and traps inert gas between them. If your windows are frequently foggy, it’s likely that a seal has failed.

    Contact the windows’ manufacturer to see if you can cash in on your windows’ warranty; many companies will cover failed seals for a decade or longer. If your windows are no longer under warranty, or your warranty doesn’t cover a total replacement, check out a professional window defogging company. These pros will reseal the window’s perimeter and replace the gas between the panes.

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