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Monday, Oct. 3rd 2016

Fall Preparations for Your Home

Preparations For Fall/Winter 2016

  • Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts.  Your roof’s drainage system annually diverts thousands of gallons of water from your home’s exterior and foundation walls.  It is important to keep this system flowing smoothly.  Clogged gutters can lead to damaged exterior surfaces and water in your basement. They are also more prone to rust and corrosion.  Before the leaves fall, have your gutters cleaned, then covered with mesh guards to keep debris from returning.
  • Seal gaps & cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping and caulk.  Weather-stripping is easily the most cost-effective way to rein in heating and cooling costs.  Weather-stripping reduces drafts and keeps your home more comfortable year-round.  Because it can deteriorate over time it is important to inspect it periodically.  While you’re at it, also check for missing or damaged caulk around windows, doors and entry points for electrical, cable, phone, gas and so on.  Seal any gaps with a suitable colored caulk.
  • Inspect your roof for damaged or curled shingles, corroded flashing or leaky vents.  Stop problems this fall before ice and winter winds turn them from annoyances into disasters.  Contact The Inspection Company at 816-746-0003.  Our highly trained Inspectors will gladly inspect your roof!  
  • Fall is a good time to repair damaged sidewalks, driveways and steps to prevent hazardous conditions. When icy weather hits the Kansas City area dangers of damaged walks, drives and stairs are compounded and can become expensive.  Look for cracks more than 1/8-inch wide, uneven sections and loose railings on steps.  Check for washed-out materials on loose-fill paths and disintegration of asphalt. 
  • Winterize your outdoor faucets and irrigation systems.  Be sure to call The Inspection Company for winterizing your home, sprinkler system, pools and hot tubs today!
  • Clean or replace  your dirty furnace filters monthly.  Furnace filters trap dust that would otherwise be deposited on  your furniture, woodwork, etc.  Clogged filters make it harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature and can seriously increase your utility bills.  It’s a good idea to have your heating system inspected by a professional.  Watch for noisy belts, poor performance or erratic behavior. Be sure to schedule your appointment in early fall to avoid the rush and uncomfortable temperatures.
  • Check fireplaces and flue for damage and hazards.  Contacting a reputable chimney sweep to inspect and clean for creosote buildup, blockages such as bird nests and making sure the mechanical components are working properly.
  • Wood stoves are making a comeback and add to the cozy atmosphere and warmth of  your home. Regular inspections are needed to ensure that these devices don’t become a safety hazard. A reputable chimney sweep can also inspect the wood stove, body, legs, stovepipe, flooring and installation to ensure proper functioning. 
  • A word on gas problems.  If  you have a gas-fired room heater, have it inspected by a professional. Perform any routine maintenance recommended by the maker.  Keep the gas heater in good shape is both a safety and a cost issue.  Improperly maintained heaters can spew poisons into the air or could be costing you more to operate.  Have a professional check these devices annually.
  • General Cleanup.  Keep a clear space around heaters, furnaces and other heat-producing appliances at all times.  Get rid of old newspapers and leftover hazardous household chemicals.  You may check with the State or local Environmental Protection Agency about the proper way to discard dangerous chemicals. Be sure to store flammable materials and poisons in approved, clearly labeled containers.
  • Smoke and CO detectors.  Install smoke detectors on every floor of your home, including the basement. Replace the batteries in each smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detector.  Test the detectors by pressing the test button or hold a make source (blown-out candle) near the unit.
  • Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher rated for all fire types (look for an A-B-C rating on the label).  Keep one near the kitchen, it’s a great idea to have one per floor as well.  Annually, check the indicator on the pressure gauge to make sure the extinguisher is charged.  Make certain that the lock pin is intact and firmly in place, and check that the discharge nozzle is not clogged.  Clean the extinguisher and check it for dents, scratches, and corrosion.  Replace if the damage is severe.  Fire extinguishers 6 years or older should be replaced.  Mark the date of purchase with a permanent marker.
  • Fire escape plans.  Every bedroom, including basement bedrooms, should have 2 exit paths.  Make sure windows aren’t blocked by furniture or other items.  Ideally, each upper-floor bedroom should have a rope ladder near the window for emergency exits.  Annually review what to do in case of fire, and arrange a safe meeting place for everyone away from the house.

Contact The Inspection Company at 816-746-0003 for help on any of the above items this fall. 


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