Despite New Jersey having rather insignificant proportions (the land area is roughly 166 miles from north to south) in comparison to the rest of the country, the state undergoes daily variables of hot, cold, wet and dry weather conditions.
Annual precipitation in the Garden State ranges from approximately 43 to 47 inches, but the autumn months tend to be the driest. New Jersey’s dry fall months offer an opportune time to prepare the home for winter and keep up with regular, year-round maintenance.
Tip #1: Prune Trees
Thunderstorms throughout the Garden State are common, with 25 to 30 occurring each year. Whether rainstorms or snowstorms jostle the environment, tree branches can fall and serve as dangerous projectiles. Prevent tree branches from damaging the home by pruning them each autumn.
Dead tree branches can cause the worst destruction as these limbs break more readily and destroy the surrounding area. Indications of disease in trees include pine needles turning brown or dead branches. Homeowners can circumvent the DIY route by hiring arborists who pinpoint diseased trees and trim them.
Tip #2: Rake Leaves
The New Jersey scenery bursts with the crimson and yellow colors of autumn. No matter how beautiful the leaves appear, dry leaf accumulations can clog the gutters and storm drains, suffocate garden beds and pile up on the lawn—choking the turf. Fall leaves should be managed weekly.
Rake fallen leaves or mow them with a mower fitted with either standard or mulching blades. When left on the lawn, the crumbled leaf pieces improve soil quality. Composting the dry, raked leaves is a useful option to homeowners who look forward to nourishing the soil for summertime garden beds.
Tip #3: Clean Gutters
A dozen oak species thrive in the Garden State. Fallen acorns and dried leaves clog the gutter, making cleanings mandatory. Late fall is the ideal time to climb the ladder and wash out debris from the gutter. By this time, the leaves are drier, making them easier to remove.
A clean gutter in the autumn months prevents blockages that can contribute to the formation of ice dams during the freezing months of winter. If the idea of climbing a ladder to access the gutter is daunting, professional gutter cleaning services are willing to do the task.
Tip #4: Control Pests
New Jersey mice are as much a nuisance as vermin anywhere else. Like mice, rats and crickets look for a cozy nook as soon as the cool weather descends. Mice breed behind walls or under the floorboards. Vermin are known to chew electrical wires, which can start house fires.
Before fall weather hits, seal small holes around the property and prevent a pest infestation inside the home. Secure large gaps with hardwire cloth. Set mice traps. When efforts to eliminate the pests fail, consult a pest control service to rid the home of all unwanted critters.
Tip #5: Examine Stairs and Driveway
Inspect the outside set of stairs and driveway for signs of wear and tear. The upcoming New Jersey snowfalls and ice will cover these areas, making them unsafe to use or plow if they are in disrepair. Problems should be addressed in the autumn, before the icy weather strikes.
Tip #6: Empty Outdoor Hoses
Outdoor pipes can freeze and burst in the Garden State’s wintry weather. The best method to prevent such a catastrophe is to empty the garden hoses in the fall. Be sure to detach the hoses from the bibs. Take the precautionary step of shutting off the outdoor water valves, as well.
Tip #6: Apply Weatherstripping
Autumn is the perfect season to weatherstrip the frames around the home’s windows and doors. Add door sweeps for double protection. Cold, leaky air can severely tax the home’s heating system, making it work twice as hard to deliver warm air—while driving up energy costs for the homeowner.
Tip #7: Caulk Gaps
Along with weatherstripping the indoors, caulk gaps found along the home’s exterior. Cracks and gaps pose as significant problems, especially when moisture has the tendency to seep into the gaps and expand in freezing weather. Resolve air leaks and potential foundation damage with caulking.
Tip #8: Test the Furnace
Tune-up the furnace during the fall. The last thing a homeowner wants is a broken heater in the dead of a New Jersey winter. Hire a professional to inspect the unit well in advance of the throngs of homeowners who call for service in the midst of the chilly months.
Tip #9: Replace Batteries
Check the smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector for failing batteries. Replace batteries on these life-saving devices if necessary. A fire extinguisher with an upcoming expiration date should be replaced. Check the home for radon, as windows will be shut more often in winter.
Tip #10: Clean Vents
Static electricity increases in autumn’s cool, dry weather. Clean the lint buildup from dryer vents to prevent both a house fire and inefficient dryer functionality. Dryer vents can be cleaned by either a professional duct cleaning service or can be handled as a DIY task by homeowners.
Homeowners are advised to embark on the above fall home maintenance tips to adequately prepare for the New Jersey winter. While the Garden State’s precipitation levels can cause a host of structural problems, professional water damage restoration services, like ServiceMaster Restoration by Complete, are prepared to step in and take control.
ServiceMaster Restoration by Complete offers speedy water damage restoration services, arriving at a water-damaged home within one to two hours of the service call. Our emergency response is followed with a thorough water extraction and drying process. A subsequent reinstallation of furniture and cleaning of damaged areas complete our effective restoration process.
Bergen County, New Jersey, home and business owners rely on ServiceMaster Restoration by Complete to tackle any level of water damage. Specialists stand by 365 days a year to respond to water damage disasters.