If your body is a temple, what does that make your home?
And homes, much like our bodies, require checkups and maintenance.
Early fall is a prime opportunity to do a little preventative maintenance to make sure your home is prepared for fall and winter weather.
AccuWeather.com’s winter forecast is predicting above average moisture and precipitation from October to April.
In an article on AccuWeather.com about the winter forecast, lead long-range forecaster Paul Pastelok, said the South and Gulf Coast could be looking at above-average winter rains, which will lead to colder than average temperatures.
“Severe weather is going to be a problem again this winter season,” Pastelok said.
“Last year, it was the second half of the winter season and more widespread.
“I think this year it’s going to be early on, late November and December, and more confined to the north-central Gulf Coast states, northern Florida and parts of the Southeast.”
Regardless of weather, it’s important to make sure your home doesn’t have any potential problems.
“If the homeowners would call and schedule a maintenance plan to have their home checked — some pipes sealed up and anything that needs to be touched up — we fix that,” said Randall Bobo, owner of Randall Bobo roofing in Greenhill.
“If you do that, then you won’t have to fix your roof every two or three years.”
For approximately $125 to $150, Bobo said a roofer can come in and do a check, reseal vents, check for problems on the roof and chimney and fix loose nails which can cause leaks.
A general maintenance checkup every year before winter can save homeowners from having to do serious work on their homes when bad weather does hit.
“People think, well we put a roof on and we’re good for 25 years, but you have to have maintain a roof just like you have to do maintenance on your car,” Bobo said. “Not as often, but it needs to be looked at.”
Gutters are a pain to clean, but keeping them free and making sure they are secure against the roof is important.
If gutters back up, water can flow under the shingles and rot your roof, Bobo said. That water can run down the walls and into the house.
“Gutters need to be cleaned every three to four months with a good gutter spring put in them,” Bobo said. “A good, high quality gutter spring, something that screws in, will stay there. That keeps all the large debris out. All that will get into your gutters is some gravel and little dirt.”
Now is also a good time to make sure windows aren’t leaking and have been sealed for winter.
Other areas to check out are chimneys if you have them.
Bobo said if you have a gas-burning fireplace, a little compressed air blown can clean the pilot light and make sure the gas burns clean.
A little bit of dust in the nozzle can keep you from getting the right amount of heat, he added.
For wood-burning fireplaces, hiring a professional to clean the chimney could be easier than doing it yourself. But if you are a do-it-yourselfer, there are kits available at home improvement stores.
Outside, if you are trying to keep your lawn fresh for the spring there are a few things you can do, or make sure you don’t do to keep your grass alive through winter.
Jason Hale, owner of Hale Lawncare in Tuscumbia, said the biggest thing is to apply a lawn pre-emergent to the dormant grass.
“Also keep leaves off of your lawn and make sure everything is edged up,” Hale said.
“The biggest thing over the wintertime is to keep your lawn clean. Anything you leave laying there, even though the grass is dormant, is not good for them.”
When spring arrives, reapply the pre-emergent, Hale said.
Hale said all grasses go dormant during the winter except for rye grass. If you want a green la
“If you’ve got Georgia or Bermuda grass, you can over seed ryegrass and have green grass through the wintertime,” Hale said. “That will build the turf under the Georgia or Bermuda and as the heat comes in the rye will die and the Georgia and Bermuda will come back in and you can have green grass year around.”
Bobo said if you are going to be away from your home for a while in the winter, it’s helpful to drain hot water heaters, put antifreeze in your toilet tank and flush a few times and pour some down the drains and then turn off the water.
He added freezing pipes still can be an issue in the South.
“I’ve had pipes freeze myself,” Bobo said. “I’ve lived here all my life, and I thought they probably weren’t going to freeze.
“I just didn’t get out there and wrap them. But, they will bust. Anything below 29 or 30 degrees, if the wind is hitting on it, you got a problem.”
To prevent pipes from bursting, it’s helps to wrap them using material found at most hardware stores.
Bobo said the other alternative is to not do anything, lay around the house and then have to call a plumber or roofer.
“Right now is the perfect time, I would say, to get what you’ve got to get done,” Bobo said. “Because I feel like in the next three to four weeks, we’re going to be seeing some winter weather here.”
Bobby Bozeman can be reached at 256-740-5722 or bobby.bozeman@TimesDaily.com.