If you have kids, you probably already know the time has come for back to school shopping, new books, and lots of homework. Since the kids are back at school and you have (hopefully) some extra time, it's the perfect opportunity to ensure your systems and appliances are ready for the changing season. Take a look at the recommended maintenance tasks we have below:
Outside Maintenance Tasks
School starting means that fall will be here before you know it, bringing cooler fall temperatures. With those temperatures come rain, sleet, and hail, which can cause an unprepared home a lot of damage. Here are a few things you can do to make sure the outside of your home is ready for fall:
Repair Roof Shingles
The first thing to do while preparing for fall weather is to check and see if your roof is ready for the colder weather. Curled, missing, or loose shingles can let rain and moisture into your home and cause water damage. You should also make sure that the vents on your roof are sealed properly. If you see any signs of water damage, it's best to call a contractor to see how expansive the damage is and what you can do to fix it. You don't want to find out your roof is weak in the middle of a snowstorm!
You can purchase home warranty plans that cover limited roof leak repair, however, you do have to maintain the roof to get any claims covered.
Clean Out Gutters
If your gutters are full of dead leaves, debris, and dirt, they may not have enough room for water to flow easily through them to a downspout. As temperatures begin freezing this excess water can be pushed up into your roof, freeze, and cause cracks and leaks.
You'll want to use your garage more as the temperatures get colder and you'll store your vehicles inside. Lubricate your garage door's springs, chain and joints. Make sure that the batteries for your garage door opener and garage door motor are replaced and check your user's manual to see if there are any specific things you should be doing to keep your garage door in top shape. You can also put weather-stripping along the bottom of your garage door to trap in heat and keep small animals from coming inside. All of Landmark's home warranty plans cover garage door openers, but do not cover garage doors themselves.
Inside Maintenance Tasks
The inside of your home is just as important as the outside of your house when preparing for fall. These are some of our recommended maintenance tasks for inside your home:
Flush water heater
Water heaters build up sediment in the bottom and should be flushed every 6 months to make sure they last for their intended lifespan. If left un-flushed, the heat source can "bake" the sediment into a large mineral deposit. It not only diminishes the volume of water your tank can hold but if heavy enough it will cause the tank to leak. Many home warranties do not cover water heater sediment build-up, but Landmark Home Warranty does. Make sure to look at the terms and limits of water heater coverage by downloading a brochure here. You can learn how to flush your water heater in this article.
Change furnace filter and get a tune-up
As fall temperatures drop, you'll be wanting to turn on your furnace. Make sure your furnace is ready for the task by cleaning or replacing the furnace filter, and by getting a HVAC tune-up. If you have a home warranty through Landmark, you can get a furnace tune-up for the price of a service call. Tune-ups without home warranty plans can cost at least a hundred dollars. Cleaning or replacing your furnace's filter will help your furnace last longer, since it doesn't have to work as hard to push air through a dirty filter. Learn how to clean or replace your furnace filters with our step-by-step and visual article.
Vacuum Fridge's Evaporative Coils
The worst thing that can happen on a school night is having your fridge stop working. To combat that, during the school day when you don't have the kids searching for snacks vacuum the dust and dirt from the condenser coils. You should also wipe down the refrigerator's shelves and sides.
Clean Your Oven
Carefully pull your oven out and clean the sides, back, and floor underneath the unit. You can find other ideas for maintenance at our blog on Extending Your Oven's Lifespan.
Finally, you know that you have to cook more in the fall, but what about cleaning more dishes? You'll have larger amounts of dishes as you cook more warm foods, so make sure your dishwasher is up for the task. Clean and maintain your dishwasher using these tips. Proper maintenance is important for a dishwasher to be covered by a home warranty plan.
If you're interested in getting your systems and appliances repaired or replaced for a small $60-$100 service call fee, check out our home warranty plans, or learn more about home warranties on our main page.