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Don't Fall Behind on Home Maintenance

When it comes to home maintenance, an ounce of prevention is still worth at least a pound of cure. Doing some simple maintenance checks now will go a long way toward preventing costly home repairs later.

In the search for fertilizers focus on two main distinctions: fast-release fertilizers and a category that contains both slow-release and controlled-release fertilizers. The fast-release variety is typically found in forms like liquid, soluble crystals or granular fertilizers, which disperse the nutrients all at once. Slow-release and controlled-release fertilizers disperse their nutrients gradually, over a period of time. Slow-release fertilizers expel their nutrients in a less predictable manner than controlled-release. In slow-release fertilizers the release depends on the activity of organisms in the soil, while controlled-release fertilizers do exactly what their name implies-release the material at a specific rate over a specified period of time.

Here's the Dirty Dozen Autumn Maintenance Checkpoints:

  1. Rake debris away from the side of the house and other outbuildings
  2. Clean out gutters & check downspouts and roof penetrations for leaks
  3. Check & repair all exterior caulk
  4. Point any foundation, brick or stucco cracks and call a repair contractor, if necessary
  5. Clean out deck debris above joists and clean out under decks and porches
  6. Clean and clear away debris from around air conditioner compressor
  7. Trim away any limbs or shrubs that touch the house
  8. Inspect & replace any worn weather-stripping
  9. Examine septic system drain field for flooding or odor
  10. Drain & store hoses and clean & oil garden tools
  11. Inspect for cracks or holes in asphalt driveway and patch or reseal if needed
  12. Check crawlspace for broken heating ducts, mold, excess moisture or insects

Don't worry, you'll probably finish these basic checks in one weekend. If you find anything that needs fixing, you'll be glad you discovered it sooner than later.

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