Hello everyone! Has cool weather arrived in your area yet?

Surprisingly, it has in North Central Texas. We don’t usually get successive cool days and/or rain until November. It would seem that fall has arrived a little early this year. Temperatures for the last several weeks have been in the 60’s and 70’s (which is cool compared to the 90’s and 100’s we had in July and August). We have also had a great deal of rain, which is a welcome relief.

My family has recovered from the wedding and keeping the grand children for a week. We are now preparing for the arrival of a new little Morton (my husband's niece is due in November). We are also preparing our home for the upcoming holidays as well as celebrating the many fall birthdays in our family. Great times, but a little hard on the budget!

I hope the weather in your area is seasonably pleasant. Thank you for taking your valuable time to read this newsletter.

Shelly Morton

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Organizing Your Home Maintenance Projects

If you’re a home owner, then you know that good home maintenance is necessary to protect this valuable asset. Maintaining your home properly not only makes it more pleasant for you and your family, but it will also keep your property value up in the event you need to sell your home. You are also more likely to sell your home quickly if routine maintenance is kept up. Your neighbors will also be pleased! It’ a win-win-win proposition!

Fall is a great time to tackle some of those outside chores that you put off during the heat of summer. However, with the upcoming holiday season to prepare for, many people often let home maintenance slide. Don’t let that happen to you!

One of the ways to keep on top of those house maintenance "To-Do’s" is to tackle them monthly. Use the month-by-month suggestions below to stay on top of maintenance.

January--Home Improvement Files Review your home improvement files. Review warranties and product manuals. Note service reminders on your calendar. Throw out any product manuals or warranties that are of date or belong to items you no longer own. Make files for any new items you may have acquired over the last year.

February--Energy Audit You may be wasting energy as well as money. Schedule an energy audit with your utility companies. Call and shop around for better rates with competing companies. Repair leaks, caulk/replace windows and insulate for better energy efficiency.

March--Check for water/moisture problems Moisture in your garage, attic, crawl space and other areas of your home can damage your home. You home can loose market value because repairs are not made. Many potential buyers can also be turned off wondering what else hasn’t been taken care of. Check for moisture and water. If you’re not handy, call a plumber to repair leaks. Mold and mildew can build quickly and can present health hazards to you and your family and pets.

April--Gutters Fall leaves and debris can clog gutters. Water damage can result from gutters that don’t function or function properly. Collect leaves and other debris and put them in a compost pile for your garden. Flush out the gutters and downspouts with a garden hose.

May--Windows & Screens Sunny weather will be more enjoyable with clean windows and screens. Wash windows inside and out. A simple vinegar/water solution works well. Use a micro fiber cloth or paper towels that don’t leave a lint trail. Remove screens and lay them flat. Scrub with a soft bristle brush. Rinse and dry before re-hanging.

June--AC & Patio Check your AC unit and clean it or have a professional check it in preparation for summer’s hot weather. Spruce up the patio for summer parties. Purchase, clean, repair or replace outdoor furniture, cushions and umbrellas. Inspect your grill and repair or replace as needed. Clean the grill and wash the patio down to remove dirt and debris.

July--Paint Now is a great time to paint. The warm weather allows paint to dry quickly. Be sure to clean and prepare the surface properly before painting and use a good primer. Check with your local paint supplier for tips for a professional look. Use a good quality paint. It costs more, but lasts longer and you can go longer between paint jobs.

August--Major Appliances If the "Dog Days of Summer" are driving you inside more, use this time to clean your major appliances. Vacuum under and around your refrigerator. Use a narrow nozzle to clean the condenser coils. Check the owner’s manual for cleaning tips and recommendations. Vacuum behind the washer and dryer. Clean the range hood.

September--Heating System Get ready for cold weather. Check the filters, pilot lights and burners or call a professional to do it for you. Remove all dust from vents and baseboard heaters and cold-air returns.

October--Windows & Entry Minimize energy loss in cold weather. Inspect weather stripping around entry doors and windows. Repair or replace weather stripping or doors/windows if needed.

November--Holiday Preparations Deep clean your stove early this month to get ready for holiday food preparations. Organize kitchen storage areas, pantry, drawers and other areas of your kitchen. You’ll have less stress later in the holiday season.

December--Take a Break It’s the holidays. Take this month off and rest. No need to add maintenance to this time of year. Besides, if you worked a little every month prior to December, you should be in great shape!

Happy Holidays!

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