As a home owner it seems there’s always something to worry about! Will the roof weather the storm? Are my windows efficiently keeping the elements out? Is the tree on the front lawn contributing to breaking up the driveway’s concrete?
Sometimes you may want to hearken back to the days when you rented an apartment and just needed to call the landlord when the bathroom faucet started to leak. But then again, pride of ownership trumps all. Taking care of your investment is the way this place you call home keeps you and your family safe while building equity.
Whereas we’ve often said you should check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at the beginning of every quarter to make sure they’re functioning, the home experts at Zillow.com offer a yearly home maintenance roster:
- Clean and organize your garage, basement or attic. This is a maintenance task that everyone dreads doing, but it feels so good once it’s done! Plus, you’ll most likely discover some forgotten treasures to either donate to charity or sell online.
- Wash windows and window screens and let the sunshine in! While this task is often done in the spring, you can do it any time of the year.
- Take on one major outdoor improvement project per year and schedule a day or two to complete it. For example, you might want to install a fence, refinish a large deck, patch up an asphalt or concrete driveway, or install raised garden beds.
- Clean out gutters, check under the eaves, remove trees or shrubbery that are encroaching on your home, and install wire grates in any holes to keep pests out.
Regardless of the climate in which you live, at least once a year you should inspect your home’s windows to make certain no caulking has become loose, so their integrity is not compromised.
Winterizing Your Pool
If you are a pool owner, you can add this task to the list. As much as you’ve loved the summer of backyard BBQs and those long, lazy Sundays lounging poolside, you may be dreading this annual task. And not just for the time it takes, it’s also because it signifies the end of pool season!
So, get yourself organized, enlist the help of the members of the family who are old enough, or perhaps ask a neighbor who enjoyed your pool this summer to lend a hand.
(A note about “winterization” and closing your pool for the season. Winter is a relative term depending on the climate in which you live. If you’re a Florida pool owner for example, you will get more months out of your pool season and are not necessarily in danger of your pipes freezing. You must still take the appropriate pool closing steps!)
Here are our Top Ten Tips to Protect Your Favorite Investment:
It is generally suggested that you close your pool as soon as the water temp is consistently below 65°. A week before you shut down for the season, add a phosphate remover. This will help keep algae at bay. If you shut your pool down before the water hits this temperature, you may still see some algae development.
Brush and Vacuum
This is the step that most people dislike the most, yet it is one of the most important ones. When you brush the sides and the floor of the pool, then you can skim the surface to remove any resulting debris. When this task is done, address the skimmer and pump baskets by cleaning those as well.
Your pool’s water level should be made approximately 4 to 6 inches below its normal height.
While you maintain this throughout the season, use your test kit to make certain you are within the alkaline levels recommended by your pool professional. If you are at all unsure, do not hesitate to contact them. Some pool supply companies will test your water when you bring a sample in to the store.
Once you’ve got the levels right you want to shock your pool to kill any residual bacteria, so it does not fester during the winter months. By shocking your pool you are adding enough chlorine or other chemicals to destroy the buildup of chloramines. (Chloramines form when the pool’s chlorine mixes with the ammonia in sweat, oils, and bodily fluids.) You should shock your pool after the last person has used it for the season and a few days before you close it.
Run your pump for a full cycle before backwashing and chemically cleaning your pool filter.
Protect those precious pipes from the harsh winter elements. You likely have a drain plug that allows water to run out. Drain: the heater, pump, and filter as well as any other pool equipment. Clean any grids and cartridges. Blow out any air remaining in the pump or filter with a shop vac.
Invest in a good cover, it will be worth every penny. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter to seal up your pool to keep your investment protected.
We still recommend checking the water chemistry routinely so you don’t get any surprises the next time you open your pool for business.
Inspect all floats and furniture for any necessary repairs. Dispose of anything damaged. When you store them clean and ready for the next season, it will facilitate opening your pool as everything will be ready to go!
If you live in a more southern state, your winter will likely not be as harsh, so you needn’t lower the water or drain the pipes, but don’t get fooled into thinking that because your climate is warmer, you can let the pool remain open and untended.
Take these same steps to ensure everything is clean and covered for the months your pool is not in use. Also, be certain to rinse, dry, deflate, and store any flotation devices so they do not collect rainwater and breed mosquitoes. You can still enjoy your outdoor space in your spa or by your fire pit for a few months to come!
Overall, the more time you put into ending the pool season makes for the less time you will have to expend to launch next year’s pool season.
We love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information.