Fall Maintenance Checklist for NYC Area Property Owners
With cooler weather approaching, it’s the perfect time to catch up on home or building maintenance before the weather gets too cold. Fall is a time for more than raking leaves. Use this fall maintenance checklist to reduce energy costs and extend the life of your property.
Interior Fall Maintenance Tasks
- Service heating and cooling systems and replace the filters. Test the heating system before temperatures drop. Also, check the filters every other month, changing them as needed. If you haven’t had your ductwork cleaned within the past 2-3 years, consider doing it now to prevent restricted airflow.
- Service the hot water heater or boiler. Drain the heaters, remove sediment, and check pressure valves.
- Call a professional chimney sweep to clean the fireplace, chimney and exterior vents. Also, check the seal on the flue, which should be tight.
- Clean dryer vents to reduce fire hazards and to keep your dryer running like it should. You can call a professional or look online for tips on cleaning it yourself (like this video here).
- Insulate and seal the attic. A drafty attic can send energy bills sky-high during the winter. Check each room for drafts or uneven temperatures, and look for gaps and cracks in the attic. Consider hiring a professional to check your insulation levels.
- Check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Test these life-saving devices to make sure they’ll work when needed. If you haven’t already installed hard-wired devices, take a few minutes to replace the batteries.
- Review your insurance policies to make sure you have the right coverage. Any changes or improvements you’ve made to your property, your contents, or even ownership should be reviewed with your insurance partner (or call us for a free, no-obligation review) to ensure you have the best coverage for your situation.
Exterior Fall Maintenance Tasks
- Clean out those gutters periodically throughout the fall. If leaves and sediment sit too long in your gutters and downspouts, it can significantly reduce the life of your gutters. Plus, clogged gutters can lead to water damage, roof damage, ice dams and other issues.
- Check out the roof. Your roof plays a critical role in protecting your home from winter weather, and a damaged roof can lead to leaks and costly water damage. Look for missing or damaged shingles, and inspect the flashing and seals around vents, skylights and other protrusions.
- Turn off the sprinkler system. Turn off the water, and drain any remaining water in the lines. Insulate any pipes or valves that are above ground. Remember to turn off any timers to avoid breaking your system.
- Close off crawl space vents before cold weather arrives, which will help lower heating costs.
- Check doors and windows. If you find drafts, seal any gaps with caulk or weather stripping. Now is also the time to install storm windows and doors if you have them.
- Inspect your sidewalks. Property owners are responsible for maintaining sidewalks on their property. Avoid violations by making necessary repairs, such as sealing cracks. You may be eligible for help from the Department of Parks and Recreation sidewalk repair program. Details of that program can be found here. Check out our in-depth article on sidewalk maintenance and requirements here.
- Examine your property for loose tree branches or low-hanging limbs. If the tree is on city property and poses an immediate risk that requires attention, dial 311 to report the problem to the Department of Parks and Recreation or submit an online service request.
- Protect your outdoor air conditioning units with winter covers to help prevent damage from snow and ice.
- Protect outdoor pipes and faucets.Unless you have freeze-proof faucets, turn off the water to outside faucets and add covers to protect against frigid temperatures. Drain the lines to prevent freezing, and drain and store any hoses.
For a free review of your current insurance policy, contact our office at 877-576-5200.
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