4 Seasons of Home Ownership: Fall

By: Danny Lipford
new brick house

Mike and Nicole Dumas’s new home.

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Mike and Nicole Dumas

Homeowners Mike and Nicole Dumas

We revisited the 4 Seasons of Homeownership as we took on the fall checklist with first-time homeowners Mike and Nicole Dumas.

Aside from the pruned shrubbery in the front, the new gutters in the back, and the rain barrels that double as planters, there weren’t a lot of changes that you can see. But, all the little chores we did will make a difference in the comfort, efficiency and longevity of their home for years to come.

Check out Tackling Fall Maintenance and Weatherization Chores for more info.

Newly installed gutters and downspouts.

Newly installed gutters and downspouts.

Installing Gutters and Downspouts

One of the first items on the Top 10 Must-Do list is cleaning and inspecting the gutters, but Mike and Nicole didn’t have any gutters, which was causing erosion in their backyard. So, Allen and Mike got to work on installing some gutters.

They started by finding the center point for the back wall of the house and installed the mounting brackets. They mark the fall from the center to the outer edges with a chalk line. For ideal drainage there should be about one inch of fall for every 20 feet.

Do-it-yourself gutters come in 10-foot sections, which are seamed together with a special bracket and sealant. Allen completed one half of the seam on the ground before they hung each piece by driving the long screws attached to each bracket into the facia board of the house. Then, the next piece slips into the seaming bracket and the process repeats. At either end of the house, Allen slipped a cap over the end of the gutter and crimped it in place.

Finally, they installed the downspouts and added GutterBrush gutter guards to keep the leaves out of the new gutters. But rather than dumping all of that water on the ground, they funneled it into rain barrels that doubled as planters.

Watch Gutter Maintenance Tips for more info.

rain barrel

Rain barrels that double as planters catch the water from the downspouts.

Draining the Water Heater

water heater

Draining the water heater removes sediment build-up.

Draining your water heater once a year removes sediment from the tank that can cause it to work harder and cost more to use. Mike and Nicole had never drained a water heater before, so we walked them through the process step by step.

After turning off the power to the water heater, we hooked a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and rain it outside on the ground. Next, we opened the drain valve where the hose was attached and flipped the pressure relief valve on top of the tank by pulling up on it. The water in the tank drained out of the hose. Once the tank was empty, we opened the cold water valve for a few minutes to flush out the last remaining sediment.

After closing the drain valve and pressure relief valve, we allowed the tank to fill back up with clean water before restoring power to the water heater.

Watch How to Drain a Water Heater for more info.

door seal

A triple draft seal keeps cold air from entering under the door.

Simple Weatherizing Chores

Older homes often need to have the weatherstrip replaced. But even that doesn’t protect a gap at the bottom of a door. For that, the ideal solution is a triple draft seal which slips over the bottom of the door with a friction fit to block outside air from entering your home.

During the cold winter months, windows, doors and even electrical sockets can become sources of drafts in your home. Duck Brand has a line of weatherization products, from weatherstripping and socket sealers to roll-on window insulation film, that are inexpensive and easy to install.

Watch How to Replace Worn Weatherstripping Around Doors for more info.

Other Tips from This Episode

884-ss-tip-painting-cabinet-edges-150x125

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Tip for Painting Edges of Cabinet Doors and Drawers

Here’s a tip for using cardboard egg cartons when painting cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Watch video.

Cordless blower

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Dewalt Cordless Electric Brushless Blower

The Dewalt Cordless Electric Brushless Blower runs off a 20-volt battery, so it’s lightweight, powerful and easy to control. It is available at The Home Depot. Watch video.

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4 Seasons of Home Ownership: Fall