Autumn has arrived, cooler temperatures are settling in, leaves are changing beautiful colors and the pumpkin spice scent in the air ushers out the warm summer days on the water. This is the time when Central Oregonians should prepare their homes for the changing seasons by performing a few simple maintenance items to help keep them warm, dry and also protect their investment.
October is the time to have irrigation winterized before the deep freeze settles in. Sprinklers are not buried far enough to avoid freezing in the winter and if they freeze while full of water, they break. It’s highly recommended to hire a professional landscaper for this task, who will use air pressure to force the water out of the sprinkler pipes.
It’s also the ideal time to make sure all garden hoses are disconnected from outdoor faucets. Leaving them attached or pressurized with water during a freeze could lead to a serious water issue inside a home.
Keep the Cold Out
Everyone loves to cozy up indoors while it’s cold outside, but nothing is worse than heating a home and feeling a cold breeze coming in from an air leak. One of the best ways to keep the cold out is to make sure the home is sealed up as tight as possible.
This is a very DIY-friendly task and can be handled in a few ways. First, do a visual inspection to see if there is daylight visible through cracks in doorways, around windows or any other holes in the interior walls. Another way to accomplish this is by walking around the house with a stick of smoking incense, bringing it close to all possible leaks. The smoke will make the location of the “wind” obvious. Seal these leaks with appropriate weather stripping or caulking.
Summer months filled with wildfire smoke and dust can be especially hard on HVAC air filters. Contact a local HVAC specialist to have the system serviced. They will inspect and clean the units, change the air filter and suggest any recommended repairs. This helps increase indoor air quality and can extend the life of the heating and cooling system all while reducing energy costs to keep the home comfortable.
Contact a local roofing company to inspect and assess the roof—usually a free service—which will provide a realistic estimate of the life of the roof and indicate any trouble areas that need immediate attention. It’s better to be preemptive than to discover a leaking roof.
The changing leaves are beautiful in the trees, but after the first few windy days they end up in the gutters. Gutters get clogged from leaves, dust and roofing debris. Even though it is the high desert, there is still enough rain and melting snow to cause issues if they aren’t cleaned out and flowing properly. This is a DIY-possible project, however, many times they are in high and precarious places, which would warrant calling a professional.