Turn, Turn, Turn

October 23, 2013
Tips for homeowners to prepare for the changing seasons

102513_turn-turn-turnThe Fall Maryland Home and Garden Show at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, which ended last Sunday, featured more than 300 expert exhibitors, along with Cari Cucksey (star of HGTV’s “Cash and Cari”) and Gabe Vinas (expert pumpkin sculptor on the Food Network’s “Halloween Wars”). To help homeowners prepare for the changing seasons, exhibitors offered expert advice on preparing both home and garden for fall and winter.

Heating and Ventilation
Jonathan Pac, Perry Hall Heating and Air Conditioning
Airflow is critical to the proper operation of your heat pump. Clear large amounts of snow away from and off of the unit. Watch for and cut overgrown weeds or grasses near your outdoor unit. The air filter should be cleaned or replaced every month during heating season.

Roofing
Wayne C. Roland Jr., Roland Slate Service Co. Inc.
Have your roof inspected by a professional on an annual basis to check for leaks or minor damages that could potentially lead to future roofing issues. Make sure your snow guards are securely attached to the roof decking and in good condition to prevent snow from damaging gutters or causing injury.

Pools
Bob Spero, Maryland Pools Inc.
The water level should be reduced and pipes should be drained of water and plugged to prevent freezing. The fall is a great time to consider renovating or improving your pool. Prices will likely be lower, and the work probably will be completed faster than in the spring.

Chimneys
Ted Beinert, Ace of Diamonds Chimney Sweep
Get the fireplace and chimney swept before your first fire to ensure good drafting and to prevent blockages that could be a fire hazard. Have your mechanical equipment cleaned to ensure safe venting and to prevent a carbon-monoxide problem. Installing a good chimney cap will prevent damage from winter weather.

Floors and Carpets
Nick Schweitzer, Next Day Floors
Take your shoes off! Tracking in snow, ice and salt can be a real carpet killer. Always use dry carpet cleaners — sprays are not good for carpets. Use a microfiber mop and non-oil-based products to clean factory-sealed hardwoods.

Landscaping
Carmen Chlada, Porter Tree and Landscaping
Fall is a great time to fertilize trees, shrubs and perennials; the fertilizer will go directly to the root system. Cleaning your flower beds is very important. Insects and spores that cause disease can hide out in debris over the winter and cause headaches in the spring.

Gutters
Vanessa Thebaud, Gutter Helmet Systems
September is a great time to clean the debris that’s just waiting to be the foundation for a clog when the leaves start to fall. Grab a hand spade or garden hose and remove the junk. Hop on your ladder and trim those overhanging limbs back at least three feet from your roofline. This will limit gutter debris, and it reduces the likelihood of winter storms sending branches crashing into your gutters.

Organization
Josh Kiernan, Closet America
Fall is a great time to reduce the clutter in your home. Use the website catalogchoice.org to opt out of catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, phone books and circulars. Keep a recycling bin, shredder and an “action” folder in one area of your home to quickly file mail each day. Scan your important documents instead of filling up filing cabinets.

This article was produced with the assistance of Himmelrich PR.

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