Fall to-do list: Protect your home and our climate

Fall to-do list: Protect your home and our climate

Moisture can contribute to allergies or asthma and also cause structural damage in a home’s walls, attic, foundation and exterior. In an average year, 22,000 gallons of rainfall will hit a 1,000 square foot roof in our region. With that amount of moisture, water management is essential.

Practicing a little maintenance and fixing problems, before the rainy season sets in, can lengthen the life of the materials that make up your home.

More natural resources are contained in buildings than in the products that we use day-to-day. Wood, iron and steel, non-ferrous metals, chemicals, plastic, cement and lime and glass are the building blocks of our homes. And it burns a lot of natural gas, oil and coal to manufacture these materials.

Maximize these last few weeks of great weather to do a little good around your home. If you rent, you can still help conserve the materials in the buildings and keep your family healthy by taking a few steps of maintenance and by informing the property owner of problems early.

Fall to-do list:

Foundations. Ensure that landscaping drains water away from foundations. Regularly caulk areas where cement slabs sit next to the foundation. Clear debris from gutters and downspouts in the spring and fall and replace parts that have rusted or fallen off. Make sure that downspouts drain water at least 6 feet way from a basement and 2 feet away from a slab or crawl space. Place a plastic vapor cover over dirt in a crawl space.

Moisture from interior sources. Always use fans while taking a shower or in the kitchen while cooking, ensure that the dryer vent sends moisture outside, open windows and doors when the weather is warm and dry, allow space between walls and furniture for ventilation, have HVAC systems regularly serviced and repaired for proper air circulation.

Leaks. Regularly check pipes to refrigerator, hot water heater, faucets and drains under sinks and laundry spigots. Look for leaks on roof, attic, behind gutters, and around windows and doors. When mold appears. Utilize fans or dehumidifiers and immediately remove carpets, drapes or furniture that has mold before it escalates. Professionals can also be called to clean mold.