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Fall is here! Local home maintenance expert says focus on these 4 things

Generic house, housing
Posted at 7:06 AM, Sep 24, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - It's official. Fall is here and the temperatures are starting to reflect it.

Richard Styles, a home maintenance expert at Taylor's Do It Center's Marina Shores location, says it's the perfect time to get your house ready for the colder months.

The focus, he says, should be on four areas: gutters, smoke detectors, lawn and air filters.

For gutters, Styles suggests cleaning them out now because a full gutter can trap water and if temperatures fall below freezing, ice can form. The heavy weight can rip a gutter off the side of a home, leading to a costly repair.

Also, make sure smoke detectors around the home are working. Replace the batteries to ensure your family has the best chance to escape should a fire break out.

Depending on the type of grass you have making up your lawn, Styles says now might be the perfect time to get seeds in the ground. Fescues and other cool-season grasses should start growing quickly, he says, and would be ready when temperatures warm up again. Warm-weather grasses, on the other hand, should be left alone or overseeded with winter rye to help with color.

"If you went to try to grow Bermuda grass this time of year, it's not going to happen. Bermuda is going to be dormant now in about three weeks," he said. "It's not going to progress like the fescues."

The fourth point of focus should be air filters.

Styles suggests replacing every 30-90 days depending on how dirty yours get. Make sure to not only have the right size, but the right type depending on if your system is considered low-flow or high-flow.

If you're unsure, ask an expert at the store, but also keep in mind there's a chance your filter won't be in-stock.

Styles says because materials in home air filters are also found in N95 masks used during COVID-19, there's a shortage nationwide.

"If you have a filter and we can't find your size appropriate for your system, then take a vacuum and vacuum it out because something in there as a filter is better than nothing," he suggests.

It's all about staying ahead of the game. Get your home ready now because it won't be long before winter has arrived.