Fall to-do list for your home, car and boat

Saturday, September 1, 2018by  PEMCO Insurance

red fall leaves in roof gutters.You know it's about time to replace the shorts and tees in your dresser with jeans and sweaters. But did you know your home and car need a few "out with the old" changes, too?

We asked our Claims adjusters for their top 10 get-ready-for-fall tips. They came up with these weather-smart ideas – plus five bonus tips for your boat, too.

For your home

  1. Disconnect your garden hose and protect the faucet with a foam cover. If it has an indoor valve, turn it off and open the faucet to drain any trapped water.
  2. Clean gutters to prevent ice damming. During rapid snowmelt, plugged gutters could cause water to seep back into the roof (causing leaks) or overflow near the foundation, causing leaks and settling.
  3. Clear debris out of drains at the bottom of driveways and exterior stairwells. (Keep checking until your neighborhood trees have fully shed their leaves.)
  4. Wrap pipes in unheated spaces (think garages and workshops).
  5. Get your furnace serviced and chimneys professionally cleaned before the heating season kicks into high gear.

For your car

  1. Check your antifreeze (with a tester available at auto parts stores) to see the temperature at which your protection ends. A 50:50 mixture of antifreeze and water is best, but you may have less than that if you've been topping off with plain water.
  2. Get your battery tested if it's more than three years old. Clean corrosion from posts and cables.
  3. Make sure your car has winter-ready tires. Think all-weather, snow or studded depending on when and where you drive.
  4. Replace wiper blades. They're only good for one year.
  5. Carry an emergency kit that includes gloves, a water-resistant blanket, warm clothes, nonperishable food and water, sand or cat litter (traction if you get stuck), ice scraper, flashlight, tire chains, jumper cables and washer fluid. And your gas tank? Until spring, live by the "half tank" rule (never allowing your gas gauge to dip below that), so you won't have to worry about running out of gas if a weather-snarled commute leaves you stuck on the freeway for hours.

For your boat

  1. Change all fluids, and watch for metal shavings. If you have an outdrive, look for discolored outdrive fluids. If you find either, take your boat to a repair shop.
  2. Drain everything, including the freshwater pump, block, manifolds, tanks, hoses, etc. Close seacocks and clean the bilge.
  3. Flush the engine and disconnect the battery. Replace zinc anodes as necessary.
  4. Don't seal cabins so they're airtight, which invites mold and mildew. Instead, crack the door or window slightly so air can circulate.
  5. Lube and pack your trailer's wheel bearings and check the tires for air.

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