Avoiding These Fall Chores can Cause Catastrophic Consequences

BY Rachel Cagle
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"Late summer/​early fall is the right time to get your yard and house in order because come winter, small problems can turn into expensive nightmares, says Consumer Reports. 'A little bit of preventive maintenance now will help you avoid big hassles in the future,' says John Galeotafiore, who oversees CR’s testing of outdoor power equipment and other home gear."

"Once the winter freeze-​thaw cycle kicks in, a tiny leak in your roof can turn into a crevasse — and a $10,000-plus repair job. Clogged gutters and dribbling spigots can also do a lot of damage, so take advantage of the cooler weather to do home and yard repairs and spruce-ups."

"Fallen leaves can kill grass when they’re matted down by snow. Leaf piles can also attract rodents. But using leaf bags means work, and waste if they go into a landfill."

"Leaks in a roof can eventually damage the wood sheathing and rafters below your shingles, leading to thousands of dollars in repairs. Use binoculars to spot cracked, curled or missing shingles safely from the ground. Consider having a roofing pro check flashing around chimneys, skylights and roof valleys for leaks, and the rubber boots near vents for cracks that can let moisture seep in."

"Gutters stuffed with leaves, pine needles and other debris can let water spill over the side, pool around your home’s foundation, and seep inside. Water that freezes in gutters can force snow and ice into roof shingles, causing damage and leaks. Consider a gutter-​guard system to keep debris out. Make sure that gutter drains extend five feet from the house and that soil slopes away from the foundation one inch per foot for six feet or more."

"A wood-​burning fireplace or stove may be cozy, but creosote buildup can impede the flow of smoke and cause chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Even unused chimneys can develop cracks that weaken the structure. If your chimney hasn’t had a recent inspection, now’s the time."

Homeowners may not know the risks associated with putting off these chores. Luckily, they're already considering paying for landscaping work, lawn services, gutter cleaning and/​or replacement services and a new roof within the next year, according to AudienceSCAN. But those percentages aren't high enough. Last year, ads that got Homeowners to take action included direct mail ads/​coupons, TV commercials, email ads and ads in both print and digital newspapers.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on landscaping/​lawn services, roofing/​siding contractors and gutter companies, as well as lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.