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8 Easy Fall Maintenance Tips [INFOGRAPHIC]

With the changing of the seasons and school back in session, you may have some extra time to take care of things around the house. Now is the time to make sure your systems and appliances are ready for the season change. Check these fall maintenance tips off your list!

 

1) ROOF

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. Look for any dips or sags, which may indicate a problem with the wood underneath your roof shingles. If the roof is more than 20 years old, you may want to schedule an inspection with a professional roofing contractor.

 

2) CHIMNEY

While you’re taking care of your roof, check your chimney. Don’t make the mistake of trying to fire up your fireplace without cleaning your chimney first. Dirt, debris, and even bird’s nests can become wedged in your chimney, preventing it from venting properly. This can be incredibly dangerous if not properly addressed, but a thorough cleaning will keep you safe.

 

3) FURNACE

Preventative maintenance is especially crucial for your home’s heating system. Fall is a great time to have your furnace checked and tuned up if necessary. Don’t wait for extreme temperatures to arrive due to service companies being slammed with emergency calls. Between tune-ups you can keep your system performing optimally by cleaning and/or replacing air filters.

 

4) ATTIC INSULATION

Checking insulation will have a major effect on heating and cooling during the winter. Make sure the insulation is thick and is leveled evenly all the way across the attic to keep hot air inside. If this happens, a home could end up with ice dams – which occur when a roof is too hot in the middle, melting the snow, only to have it refreeze down near the gutters.

 

5) WATER HEATER

First thing you should do is flush your water heater. Water heaters build up sediment in the bottom and should be flushed. If left un-flushed, the heat source can cook the sediment into a heavy brick of minerals and deposits. It not only diminishes the volume of water your tank can hold, but if heavy enough it will cause the tank to leak.

 

6) GARAGE

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. You can also put weather stripping along the bottom of your garage door to trap in heat and keep small animals outside.

 

7) WINDOWS & DOORS

Save some energy around the house! According to the U.S. Department of Energy, all those little cracks around your windows and doors can add up to 10% of your heating bill. Go through your home and open windows to ensure the seal and caulking around the window frame is in good condition. Think of adding heavier drapery around windows that are extra drafty to help block some air infiltration.

8) GUTTERS

This is one that you should save for last, as you’ll want to make sure all or most of the leaves have fallen. If you clean your gutters too early, then they’ll just fill back up with leaves and debris so wait as long as possible before cleaning them of all leaves and debris. Clogged gutters are one of the number one causes of ice dams and can cause very expensive damages.

8 Ways To Keep Your Home From Looking Dated

Everyone should embrace the style of their current era. Following interior design trends may help your home get up to modern standards, but come time to sell, the trends of 2016 can date your home. Sometimes, no matter how much money and time you invest in decorating your home, the style you once liked isn’t so desirable to potential buyers. Just by simply keeping your home decor neutral and palatable for other people’s tastes and preferences, you can avoid your home from looking out of date. Follow some of these interior design tips below to see how you can keep your home appealing for years to come.

1) MAINTAIN HARDWOOD FLOORS

There are many reasons to love hardwood floors. They are timeless because of their charming appeal and ability to go with any wall color. Not only are they stylistically a good way to keep your home from looking dated, but by maintaining your hardwood floors through refinishing, you’re can ensure they’re long-lasting and freshen up the look. It’s safe to say hardwood floors will be a desirable feature for years to come, making your home seem elegant and classic.

2) UPGRADE TO STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES

Stainless steel appliances are universal in taste and also another neutral finish for your kitchen. Any color backdrop looks good with a stainless steel accent. They are also one of the first things buyers will look at in determining if a house is dated. Stainless steel has long been associated with durability, high-end fixtures, and a modern appearance. Upgrade your kitchen to stainless steel, and you won’t go back.

3) PICK A SUBTLE KITCHEN BACKSPLASH

Kitchen backsplash trends change as frequently as this year’s interior paint colors. From 4×4 glazed tiles to mosaic tiles to subway tiles, you’ve probably seen it all. Right now, it seems most people like a small rectangular backsplash. These shapes are seen in matte finishes, iridescent and/or glass finishes and in typical glazed ceramics, and of course, marble, travertine, etc. We prefer something that is more subtle, so sticking to those neutral colors and shapes are important. When picking your backsplash, choose something that won’t scream “that’s so 2010” when you’re selling your home in 2020.

4) INSTALL WHITE CABINETRY

White cabinets stand the tests of time because the color is clean and fresh, and when it comes to your kitchen, those classic words are ideal when describing your space. It allows you to have options when choosing other colors and finishes for your kitchen, while maintaining a budget.

5) USE MARBLE

Elegance and sophistication has always been associated with marble. The use of marble dates back to ancient civilizations, and it’s still valued today as much as it was thousands of years ago. Whether it’s flooring, counters, backsplash, or furniture, marble fixtures are a truly tasteful finish with unrivaled beauty.

 

6) THINK MINIMAL

The cleaner your look, the less likely it is to go out of fashion. If you stick to that statement with any update, the more timeless it will be, rather than trendy. Minimalism is one of the design trends that just never gets old. The simplicity of minimalism makes it easy to incorporate into a number of other styles and trends. Minimalist style classic and classy, as it emphasizes different types of interior décor.

7) ENTERTAIN WITH FUNCTIONAL INDOOR/OUTDOOR SPACE

As much as people love an updated interior, they love an outdoor space just as much. When you’re entertaining for family dinners, cookouts, parties, and other warm weather activities, you want an area outside where people can gather. Building a deck or patio off your kitchen or family room allows for your guests to seamlessly walk through both your indoor and outdoor space. Outdoor spaces don’t date themselves as much as indoor areas, as long as you keep up routine maintenance.

8) FINISH WITH A FLEXIBLE COLOR THEME

Pick a base color palette that allows for some flexibility as the trends change, such as a neutral theme. Whether you love gray and white, or cream and dark stone, a neutral palette will help establish a base to build off of. Once you settle on a preference, sticking to that constant color theme will help people feel a sense of consistency. By keeping your paint job fresh and neutral, this is the simplest and cheapest way to keep tour home from looking too dated.