"Fall Chores Start Outside"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, October 1, 2016

Following the political debate last Monday, we have all listened to hundreds of “opinions” regarding it, and I’ve heard enough. That’s all I’ll say on the subject this week except, you’re welcome.

Last week, I encouraged dads to begin their fall chores. Let’s think about what we might do to improve the family’s comfort as the chills move in. Take a walk around the house and yard. Do you see anything that needs attention? Step back to where you can view the roof. Are there any loose or missing shingles? Right now would be a good time to call a roofing contractor before high winds set in to make matters worse.

Perhaps you are able to make the roof repairs yourself so it’s time to make a list of items you’ll need.

The first thing on that list will be the name of someone to help because it is not a one-man job. Maybe a neighbor will be taking on a similar task and the two of you can work together. You may even be able to purchase the needed materials and save a few dollars on a volume purchase.

When you examine your roof, check to see if any vents have blown off. Look at the chimney cap, it may have loosened and needs replacement or repair. Remember squirrels and birds will be looking for spots to build nice, warm sleeping quarters. Fascia boards and gutters are other items to check while you’re climbing around.

After you check the roof, take a look at the eave troughs because they will need cleaning as soon as the leaves stop blowing around. If your gutters or downspouts get plugged and don’t get cleaned, the results could be very costly, especially if they fill with water. The water will gather under the shingles and freeze and later cause ceiling damage or worse.

As you stroll around the outside of your home, look at the windows. Did you notice a little curtain movement on a windy day? If so, they may need some sealant or caulking. Check the shutters. Have they come loose? Most of us have plastic, trim type. If they are working loose, mounting bolts can be purchased to secure them and you can usually color match the bolts. Take a look at your porch lights, you’ll need them on Halloween for sure for the trick and treating visitors.

Stroll down the driveway and look for cracks which should be filled before the freeze comes. You don’t want to seal them with water in them, so use an air tank and blow them out first. It’s time to kill the weeds that pop up between sidewalk spaces or around the base of the buildings. Look at the flower beds. Anything necessary to ensure perennials will return?

A tough job that needs doing this time of year is waxing the car or truck — or maybe both. Doing so can provide a great return because a good coat of wax protects the finish and reduces damage from salt and mud. And, of course, while working on vehicles: check the fluids and lube door hinges and hood brackets.

So much for the outside but when you head inside, check out the door. Doors can be a big problem because they let heat escape. Do you have weather stripping that has come loose? Don’t try to piece a repair spot, just replace it. The material is not expensive but lost heat due to its failure to seal will cost plenty. Be sure to change storm door inserts and window screens. You probably have other outside items to take care of: doing so now will be something you are grateful for after the weather turns bitter cold.

As I see it, I need to put down the pen and head outdoors with this list. Stay tuned, I’ll send an indoor list in a couple weeks.

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