With the commencement of school arrives the proverbial four month to do list.  It is just the way it is.  We must get our calendar in order and our life organized at least through December!  Whether your schedule includes school activities and sporting events for one or more (grand) children or includes work commitments, vacations or volunteer schedules or ALL of the above; as responsible homeowners we must include Austin custom home maintenance on our fall calendar!

There happen to be many tips and preventative maintenance ideas available on the internet.  Whether you are a do it yourself-er or hire the maintenance work done or a little of both, we have compiled a list of the top most important items “to do” this fall.

1.    Chimney and Fireplaces – although Austin is a temperate weather city, fireplaces indoors and out add to the ambiance of a quiet evening or an evening of entertainment.  Call a professional to inspect and clean your chimney(s) in order to prevent hazardous chimney fires.  Also, check your flue for a tight seal when closed in order to prevent a breeze.

2.    Gutters and downspouts.  Clean and keep these free from a buildup of leaves and debris.  Neglected gutters can cause roof and wood trim damage, and pest invasion.  Verify that water is not coming down behind gutters and that the support brackets are secure.  Ensure that water drains properly to avoid foundation, drive or walkway damage.

3.    Windows and Doors.  Inspect to ensure there are no drafts around windows and doors.  Applying caulk, new weather stripping or glazing putty to enhance the seal can help with lower heating bills.

4.    Heating Systems.  Have a technician inspect your furnace to ensure the system is clean and in good condition allowing it to run at maximum efficiency.  Replace all filters and consider cleaning out the ducts.

5.    Plumbing.  A few days in the winter, even Austin homeowners must be prepared for temperatures that will freeze or cause pipes to burst.  Insulate exposed pipes and those on outside walls. Foam covers for outside faucets are a must to have on hand. Make sure you disconnect your water hoses and drain all faucets.

6.    Landscape.  Prune trees and shrubs after they turn to ensure healthy spring growth.  Fertilize your lawn, as roots actually grow deeper to prepare for winter.  Trim back all trees from house or roof to create an environment for better ventilation that will encourage surfaces to dry out.

If you are a Sterling Custom Home owner, we would be happy to recommend service technicians for your fall “to do” list needs.