Fall Home Maintenance Tips
The changing of the seasons means battening down the hatches and protecting your household from the outside elements.
Before the weather grows colder, it’s important to prepare for the fall and winter months to prevent damage to your new home.
Here are some helpful home maintenance steps you can take to preserve the value of your investment.
Gutters and Downspouts
o Clean gutters and downspouts frequently during the fall to prevent a build up of leaves and debris
• Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and pest infestations.
o Be sure water is not coming down behind the gutters and that all support brackets are secure.
o Ensure that water drains properly away from the house and doesn’t pool
• Pooling can cause damage to foundations, driveways and sidewalks.
Windows and Doors
o Change the summer screens to cold weather storm windows and doors
o Remove window air-conditioners, or put weather-proof covers on them.
o Inspect and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames
o Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to prevent drafts and lower heating bills.
o Replace the filter in your furnace
o Have a heating professional check your furnace to ensure optimal performance and to uncover any minor problems before the turn into costly repairs
o Keep your heating and cooling vents free from furniture and draperies.
o Install a programmable thermostat to save on heating bills.
o Be that all water pipes are well insulated to keep them from freezing and bursting
o Know how to locate and how to turn off the water shut-off valves in case pipes do freeze
• Check faucets for leaks
• Disconnect the garden hose and turn off the water to any outside faucets
Chimney and Fireplace
o Fireplaces that are used regularly during the season should have an annual cleaning to prevent chimney fires
o Test your fireplace flue and damper for a tight seal when closed
o Be sure attic insulation doesn’t cover vents in the eaves to prevent ice dams on the roof.
o Clear ridge vents and vents at the eaves of leaves and other debris
o Check and secure attic screen vents to prevent any unwanted guests
Landscape and Yardwork
o Although grass appears to stop growing in the fall, the roots are growing deeper to prepare for winter. Now is the best time to fertilize.
o Prune trees and shrubs after the leaves turn to encourage healthy growth in the spring
• Trim any tree limbs that are close to power lines or the roof of your house
Hey…no one ever said owning a home was easy. But, just think, when these chores are complete, you can sit back, sigh, and say, “This is my dream come true!”