Tick, tock! 10 time-change tips to protect your Metro Detroit home investment

It’s that time, Metro Detroiters! Daylight Savings Time ended at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 5, 2017. Here are 10 timely tips for homeowners to protect your bungalow in Beverly Hills, ranch in Rochester, and split-level in Sylvan Lake:

1. Change your clocks, obviously

Your cable box and smart devices should adjust for “standard” time. You’ll still have to manually reset analog clocks and watches, older appliances and vehicle dashboards, etc. Remember, we “fall back” one hour this Sunday.

2. Change your batteries, more importantly

Be sure to replace 9-volt and other batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon-monoxide (CO) detectors. Use quality, brand-name batteries; this is not the time to skimp. And never use rechargeables in smoke detectors, etc., which can lose charge much sooner than standard kinds.

3. Replace furnace, single-room and whole-house humidifier filters

Higher-quality HEPA filters can not only extend the life of your furnace, they can keep you and your family members healthier; pets, too! It’s also a good idea to schedule your annual furnace, hot-water heater and water softener checks with a licensed technician now, before the holiday rush.

4. Clean those gutters

You may want to wait until all the leaves have fallen. Clogged gutters can cause water runoff and damage foundations; come wintertime, frozen gutters can create ice dams that may damage roofs. If gutters get too heavy from frozen sediment, they can even come apart from your house. Hire a licensed handyman in case you don’t trust yourself on a ladder.

5. Weatherproof windows and doors

If you have older, drafty doors or windows, you can keep your whole house warmer and save on your winter utility bills with some common sense. A quick trip to the hardware store and a single afternoon is all it takes.

6. Blow out your sprinklers

Past the first of November, most services are already booked solid, so you may need to call around if you have yet to schedule winter shut-off. Better hurry! Replacing damaged underground zones, lines and heads next spring can run into the hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Don’t delay any longer!

7. Know your last lawn pickups

Many cities and homeowner associations throughout Oakland County offer yard-waste pickup for free or low cost through mid- to late November. Realistically, you only have a few weekends left to mow, rake and prune before leaves turn to flakes. Brown-paper refuse bags may be in short supply; your city hall or HOA may still have bags for sale if stores are sold out.

8. Stock up on rock salt

It’s better to have at least one bag of premium rock salt at the ready before the first unexpected rain freezes over. Not all driveway and walkway salts are created equal; some melt icy cover better than others, while certain brands are safer for gardens and pets.

9. Get a head start on outdoor holiday decorations

No, you’re not crazy; yes, you saw at least one neighbor already stringing up Christmas lights around their house. This task is a ton easier when it’s 50 degrees outside, versus 15 (or minus 15). If you’re the festive type, you might want to start taking inventory of what outdoor holiday decor you have and what you need. Remember, most stores run out of lights and such by the beginning of December, so plan now!

10. Sweep those chimneys

It’s highly recommended that homeowners service chimneys, fireplaces and vents every other year, if not annually. At minimum, purchase a chimney sweeping/cleaning log to remove creosote and other deposits.

Yes, this may all seem like a lot, even daunting at first! But remember that for most of us, a home is the single biggest investment we’ll make in our lives. Whether you are in your “forever” home or plan to sell in a few years, you truly want to do everything in your power to protect your investment. Plus, taking these 10 preventative steps can and will save you money in the long run.

So, change those clocks, batteries, filters and more. Call a handyman if you need. Whether you hang your hat in West Bloomfield, Waterford or White Lake, you’ll want to protect your house and home from our otherwise lovely Michigan winter!

Time to change… addresses?

When you’re ready to buy or sell, let me personally guide you through the process in southeast Michigan. As a licensed REALTOR®, I service Birmingham, West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Royal Oak, Troy, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, and around Oakland County. Contact me or call me direct at (248) 470-0474. I will always make time for you, and my commitment to customer service never changes!

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