It seems Northwest Arkansas was made for Autumn, and it is by far the most beautiful season in our area! The foliage is breathtakingly beautiful throughout our little area in the Ozarks, the temperatures are finally tolerable, and the smell of pumpkin & apple spice fill the air in every home store!
Season changes call for annual seasonal home maintenance tasks. The EJ Johnson Group wants to make those tasks as easy as possible by providing tips, tricks, and task reminders throughout the year. By following us on Facebook and reading our monthly e-newsletters, you're guaranteed to be up to date on all seasonal home maintenance information!
Whether you are a seasoned homeowner or a new homeowner, this short to-do list is a great way to ensure your home remains in 'tip-top' shape!
#1. Trim Your Trees
While NWA is not known for snow accumulation, we are known for wind & ice storms that have grossly damaged many homes, throughout our area, in the past. Before the cold hits, trim yours trees and shrubs! Dead branches or limbs could be damaging to your home in the event of a winter storm.
#2. Check Window Seals
An improperly sealed window will not only let in a draft but also allows moisture to get in. Avoid these issues by checking to be sure your window seals are sealing as they should, to keep the cold & moisture out!
#3. Check Exterior Lighting
Be sure exterior lights that are near walkways and the front door are working properly. In the fall and winter months it not only starts to gets dark earlier, but there is more likely to be water or snow to slip you up if you can't see your feet! Exterior lighting is also a safety issue, as a poorly lit front porch makes it more difficult to accurately identify visitors.
#4. Drain Maintenance
Call a trusted plumber to clear your drains, or handle it yourself. It is important to do this prior to the holiday season, as your pipes are used more and are also at risk of freezing. When the temperatures get below freezing, it's important to remember to allow faucets (especially those along an exterior wall) to slowly drip to avoid freezing and bursting.
#5 RPZ Valve
Freezing temperatures can cause cracks to outdoor faucets, pipe bursts, and irreparable cracks on Reduced Pressure Zone Assembly (RPZ) back flow devices. Disconnect and store outdoor hoses, and cover outside faucets for the winter with an insulated enclosure that can be found at a hardware store.
#6. Change Out Your Furnace Filter
Grab your current filter and run to the store! Use the that filter to be sure you get the right sized new filter, and replace. This way you have clean air circulating once you start that heater!
#7. Locate your shut off valve prior to any potential emergencies
The valve stops the flow of water and is usually located outside near the water line entering your home within a few feet of the water meter. If you are unable to locate the valve, contact the builder or a plumber for assistance.
#8. Clean your Dryer Vent.
#9. Remove and store garden hoses.
When the weather turns cold and stays cold, your first step towards winterizing your exterior faucets is to remove all attached hoses, drain them and store them away. If you have a sloped yard or driveway, you can simply lay the hose out straight and let the water drain out. Any water sitting inside the hose could freeze and damage the material.