1st American Management Company’s maintenance team offers tips & tricks to ready your home for all seasons

1st American Management Company’s maintenance team offers tips & tricks to ready your home for all seasons

A home is not only a place to live; it is often a family’s largest investment and asset. That means keeping it in tip-top shape is important for both comfort and security as well as an ongoing effort that changes with the seasons.

The seasons in Northwest Indiana can bring almost any kind of weather you can imagine. Stormy springs, scorching summers, breezy falls, and freezing winters – the best and worst of each are all on display, and they all have unique impacts on your home. 1st American Management Company’s team of maintenance technicians offers insight on how to stay ready for all seasons.

“You need to prepare for the extremes because in Northwest Indiana, there are very large swings in the temperature,” said 1st American Management Company technician, Tom Carr. “We had quite a few calls about broken water pipes, and that’s because of people not turning the water off to their outdoor spigots or not turning the heat on in vacant rooms.”

A burst pipe can happen quickly and without much warning, so taking stock of your spigots when you see temperatures start to dip in the fall is a must – especially if you plan to take a trip.

“The pipes will freeze and burst in the wall,” Carr said. “If you’re vacationing or wintering someplace else when that happens, you’re going to flood your home. If you’re around, you’ll have to turn off the water to the entire house until someone can come out and fix the problem. That means no toilets, no bathing, no dishes, and no water to drink.”

Winter is also hard on any home’s gutters, where thawing snow coupled with quick refreezes can cause them damage. Those damaged gutters can quickly lead to damaged walls, roofs, and siding – and costly repairs.

“Your house is going to be snowed on, it’s going to drain, and it’s going to refreeze,” Carr said. “As that cycle repeats, if your gutters are clogged with leaves, needles, and small branches, they’re going to retain all that water and freeze. Maybe the gutters will fall off because they’re too heavy, or maybe the water will start creeping underneath the shingles, or find its way into your house down the wall.”

Sometimes the early warning signs of potential water damage or other issues escape notice during a family’s day-to-day routines. 1st American Management Company's Jason Ruge, advocates for regular inspections at least twice a year, in order to help catch a problem before it becomes a full-scale disaster.

“Even something as simple as a visual inspection, inside and out, is important,” said Ruge. “That can be done before winter and at the start of spring. Just walk around your home and look for anything unusual. Every part of the home needs to be in working order, and if it’s not, you have to address it. If you wait until something’s broken, you’re going to be paying for costly repairs instead of minor maintenance costs.”

Other steps are not necessarily about preventing damage but are simple ways to find savings in the margins season-by-season. 1st American Management Company's Chris Brown, gave one example – plugging up the less obvious holes in your walls.

“There’s a lot of savings you can find in preparing for different seasons,” Brown said. “Some of that comes through energy costs. You can do little things like take your outside outlet covers off and put gaskets behind the plate to stop air from coming in or out.”

Another easy tip is to get ahead of the curve on furnace, water heater, and air conditioning (AC) maintenance. Homeowners often leave those critical appliances unmaintained until they stop working.

“Whether it is servicing the furnace, A/C, or hot water heater, you have to make sure everything is up to par before the season gets here,” Brown said.  “You don’t want to be waiting in the cold while the problem is taken care of.”

Carr stressed that it is essential for homeowners to take a proactive role in their home’s maintenance, a few simple chores before each season go a long way to keeping it looking great and running smoothly for years to come.

“Understand your home; inspect it and be critical,” Brown said. “If you see something and you’re a DIY person, then get after it. If not, call in a professional.”

To learn more about 1st American Management Company, visit 1stpropertymanagers.com.