Central Oregonians love this time of year. The temps have cooled but are still comfortable for outdoor activities, with less-crowded trails and waterways. In between all of those rounds of golf, bike rides and hikes, taking care of fall home maintenance items will allow homeowners to enjoy fewer troubles in the winter months, while lowering utility costs and possibly avoiding expensive repair bills.
- Adobe Stock
Protect Landscape Irrigation
Leaves turning colors and falling off trees are indications that it's time to have your irrigation system winterized. Sprinklers are not buried far enough to avoid freezing in the winter, and if they freeze while full of water, they break. Water must be forced out with air pressure. It's highly recommended to hire a professional landscaping company to perform this task, but schedule a spot now, as they get very busy this time of year. Don't forget to drain, disconnect and store garden hoses as well.
Service the Furnace
Fall, especially after the smoke-filled skies recently, is a good time to have an HVAC company inspect, clean and change air filters. This keeps energy costs down while extending the life of the system and helps to improve indoor air quality.
Seal the Cracks
Air leaks near doors, windows and other openings account for a high percentage of heating costs due to a loss of warm air. Seal these areas with weather stripping or caulk, which will leave the home feeling more comfortable and reduce heating costs.
Gutters can become filled with dirt, leaves and other debris, limiting water flow. Standing water is an indication that gutters may not be sloped properly. A pro can help ensure the gutters are sloped properly and are clear to keep water running off of the roof and away from the home.
Ice Dam Prevention
For those new to colder climates, here's a quick explanation of ice dams and how to deal with them. Ice dams form on snow-covered roofs during freezing and thawing cycles. Warm air escaping from inside the home moves through the attic, heats the roof and melts the snow from below. This melted snow, or now water, flows down the roof under the snow pack, until it reaches the eaves that are freezing in temperature and causes the water to freeze. This creates a literal dam of ice which allows water behind it to pool up over the heated attic space. Standing water on top of the roof finds its way into the home, damaging walls, ceilings and insulation, and can cause many thousands of dollars in repairs. A professional can help add insulation, seal warm air leaks and create proper ventilation in your home—all maintenance items that can prevent ice dams. Regularly removing all of the snow from the roof will also prevent the ice dams, as well.