By Chad Taylor
I cannot tell you how excited I am that fall is here! This is my time of year. As a Realtor, you might think I would prefer the spring or summer when the market is really cranking. Please don’t get me wrong: I like it then, too. I am just a holiday guy at heart. From Halloween, right on through to Thanksgiving and Christmas (and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa).
But let’s not get too caught up in the holidays yet. As we prepare for family to visit and great memories to be made, let us also prepare our home for the changing of the seasons. So much of the repairs that I negotiate when a home sells are preventable. A little deferred maintenance goes a long way.
Before the temperatures plummet, contact a licensed HVAC company to clean and service your furnace and humidifier/humidistat. Not only will they insure that it is operating properly, they should also check to make sure that is sealed properly and not leaking any carbon dioxide into your home. CO2 can cause illness or, God forbid, death — so please service your furnace annually. Most companies will offer a package deal if you sign up for and A/C and furnace plan, FYI. Home buyers will almost always request that corroded furnaces be cleaned and repaired when called out on a property inspection.
Clogged gutters are almost always the culprit when water intrusion takes place in a home’s basement. When gutters or downspouts are clogged, the water just over flows and falls right next to the foundation wall. If proper grading or sloping of the ground cover around the home does not exist, typically the water will find its way into the home.
Gutter cleaning can be a messy job yet is much easier than cleaning water out of your basement. It only takes a few hours, a ladder and a hose — or you can hire it out. Whatever your strategy, please do not avoid this very necessary job. I speak from experience. One winter, while living in my first home, it started raining and then quickly transitioned to sleet and freezing rain. Little did I know (because I didn’t inspect them every other week like I should) that my gutters were packed with leaves. As my wife Leah and I were sitting by the fire, we started to hear water splashing on our front porch. I looked out the window and saw water pouring over my gutters. Long story short, I stood on a ladder in the rain pouring bucket’s full of hot water into my gutters for about an hour until I got them thawed enough to pull out the leaves. Lesson learned the hard way.
I mentioned a fire earlier which brings me to my final suggestion. Regularly scheduled chimney cleanings and inspections. How often you ask? It depends on how you use your fireplace and how often. If you are a die-hard wood fire burner, you should have your chimney cleaned every year for sure and probably inspected by a licensed chimney sweep. If you live in an older home and have not had your chimney lined with a metal liner yet, you should certainly have your chimney inspected. Most of the older homes were built with a brick chimney containing an internal clay tile flue. Over the years, due to moisture, settling, and usage, these clay tiles develop gaps in between the tiles where the mortar has deteriorated. These gaps allow for gases to escape back into the home or for creosote and soot to build up which can cause a flue fire. Even if you only burn gas logs, the gases that I mentioned earlier can cause problems if allowed to re-enter your home through voids in the tiles. Kind of like forest fires, “Only you can prevent flue fires.”
We have partnered with some great service providers who are offering a discount to our clients for some of these preventative services — check out the video below for more:
NP Heating & Cooling
Offering $79.95 Furnace Clean and Tune-up
Shain Carpet Cleaning
Offering 10% off Carpet Cleaning
Beerman Lawn & Landspace
Offering 10% off Leaf Clean-Up AND
1/2 off your first mow when you sign up for 4 consecutive mow services
Offering $99.00 for 200 lineal feet of gutter cleaning
This weekly sponsored column is written by Chad Taylor of the Taylor-Made Team and Keller Williams Realty Key Partners, LLC. The Taylor-Made Team consistently performs in the top 3 percent of Realtors in the Heartland MLS. Please submit follow-up questions in the comments section or via email. You can find out more about the Taylor-Made Team on its website. And always feel free to call at 913-825-7540.