You’ve heard of spring cleaning, but what about fall maintenance? As the weather turns cooler, it becomes extra important for homeowners to take some necessary steps to ensure their homes stay warm and secure through the fall and winter months. This is the best time of year to take action because the weather is cool enough to get things done, but not too cold where you’ve already begun to face problems.
There are several projects you can undertake to ensure the proper maintenance of your home. We’ve assembled some of the best tips for you to focus on so that you can maintain your home from top to bottom this fall and winter season.
#1 Your Roof
Our roofs take on a heavy load most winters. Having your roof inspected to make sure it can handle the upcoming weather will be a great way to have peace of mind and some security come that first big storm. One simple leak could severely impact the integrity of your home’s structure. You can visually inspect the roof yourself for any missing shingles or warping, but it’s best to have professionals come out and give it a good inspection and properly cleaned if needed.
#2 Gutters and Downspouts
The fall season is amazing for those beautiful colors the trees produce. What’s not so great is when they all fall down and leave a big fat mess. Cleaning out your gutters at the end of the season is an important piece of fall maintenance. You want to avoid pest problems and possible wood rot at all costs. You also want to make sure that water isn’t getting caught anywhere, or pooling in the ground (which can lead to foundation problems).
#3 Entry Points (Windows and Doors)
Save money on your energy bill by sealing any air leaks that can occur around entry points. You want to keep the cold air from creeping in and the hot air from getting out. You can go as far as hiring professionals to come and do an evaluation, or you can simply head down to a local hardware store and weatherstrip your windows and caulk any air leaks.
Your energy bill isn’t all that you should be worried about with entry points. Mice, squirrels, and other little critters will soon be looking to escape the cold. Make sure your house isn’t their first option.
#4 Outdoor Lighting
With the time change, it gets dark much earlier in the late fall and winter months. This is a good time to walk around the exterior of your home and check on all of your outdoor lighting. A well-lit house is a safe and secure house.
#5 Yard Maintenance
Other than raking up the leaves, one of the biggest things you’ll want to do around your yard is to check on any trees you may have with limbs getting uncomfortably close to your house or a nearby power line. One bad snow or wind storm can put you in a bad spot if you leave these to chance.
If you have a sprinkler system, now is a good time to turn them off and drain them so that they don’t freeze. You’ll also want to shut off your exterior faucets and drain any hoses you have outside as well so that you do not freeze and ruin your hose.
If you have patio furniture, it’s best to cover all of your pieces well or, if you can, bring them inside to make them last much longer. The cold weather can be very rough on your patio furniture and that may leave you shopping for a new set come spring.
#6 Heating Systems
If you have a fireplace with a chimney, it’s a good idea to have it inspected before you turn it on for the first time this season. Take a look at your furnace and HVAC systems to make sure they’re ready to go. Replace any necessary filters and if you can, clean out the ducts in your home to ensure your heating system is most efficient.
Also, if you have any window A/C units, make sure these are removed before the weather turns cold. These areas should be kept covered with proper insulation wrap to make sure there’s no unnecessary cold air sneaking in.
#7 Safety Checks
This is a great time to walk around the house and do a thorough check of all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace the batteries when needed. Take a look at all of your fire extinguishers. These do expire and should be replaced when out of date.
You also want to check on the safety of your exterior walkways, railings, staircases, and driveway. Imagine the snow and ice now and determine if any changes need to be made. Sturdy railings and a level driveway are best to help through these cold months.
#8 Prep Your Winter Supplies
Finally, we all know winter is coming. Beat the rush and begin to stock up on any emergency kits you might need, ice melt, or any replacements you might need for your snow shovels, ice scrapers, etc. Don’t be that person running out to the local hardware store the day before the storm.
What are some other home maintenance tips you would recommend? Tell us in the comments below!
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