With fall right around the corner, it’s a great time to take care of some home maintenance issues to ensure that your home stays in great shape and is prepared for the cold winter months. Check out these fall maintenance tips so your home weathers the winter well and you protect your asset.
Inspect & Clean Heating Systems
With cooler weather approaching, it makes sense to optimize your heating system. A qualified heating specialist can inspect your system and ensure that everything is working as it should. They can also perform any necessary maintenance or spot small problems, before they become big problems.
Clean heating vents, ducts and filters improve airflow. The cost of heating isn’t getting any less expensive, so why waste money on inefficiency?
Also consider having your chimney cleaned annually and if you have a wood burning stove, have it inspected and cleaned, too. Dirty chimneys can cause fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Don’t forget to clean your dryer exhaust duct while you’re at it. A clogged duct causes the dryer to work less efficiently and is a fire hazard.
Inspect & Clean Roof & Gutters
If you’re not comfortable with heights, hiring a contractor to inspect your roof annually may be a good idea. Qualified inspectors detect and correct minor issues before they become major problems. They look for problems such as damaged shingles, broken seals, and missing or damaged flashing that protects your home from moisture.
A reputable local roofing contractor will also clear away debris from the rooftop and gutters and ensure that water flows away from the foundation. Scheduled roof maintenance will help you get the maximum useful life out of your home’s roof, which can lead to big cost savings down the road.
Seal Up The Gaps
Gaps around doors and windows waste energy and lower your comfort level. Because temperature changes often cause caulking to deteriorate, an annual fall inspection is an excellent time to replace any damaged caulk around windows and door frames to minimize heat loss.
Weather stripping is simple to install, reduces energy consumption, and prevents drafts. Weatherproofing your home also prevents water from entering your home, which can cause mold and mildew issues.
Clean Up Yard & Equipment
Besides the obvious yard needs, such as raking up leaves and taking care of your lawn, you’ll also want to prune back bushes and trees so they cannot damage your home during a winter storm. In addition, consider splitting any perennials and use leaves to mulch around the plants after the first freeze. Allow the center of the plant to peek out of the mulch for air circulation.
Fall is also an excellent time to fertilize your lawn with a slow release organic product. Aerate your grass first so moisture and nutrients penetrate to the roots. If your grass has a few bald spots, the fall is also a good time to spread a little seed. Cover it lightly with soil, and keep it moist until it takes root.
Don’t forget to prepare your garden equipment for storage. Drain the fuel from gas-powered equipment and clean off dirt and debris. In addition, move your shovel or snow blower to a handy location so that you’re not scrambling to find them after the first snow storm.
Clean and cover your deck furniture and barbeque grills, too.
Attic & Basement Inspection
Before storm season, take a few minutes to check the attic and basement. Unchecked moisture or an insect infestation can cause significant damage over the winter months.
Check to make sure that the attic is dry. If you detect humidity or see moisture, you made need to check the insulation and vapor barrier. If your home has a finished attic, look carefully for water damage. It could indicate a leaky roof.
Basement moisture is equally important to avoid. A wet basement often indicates a leaky pipe, foundation issues or the need for a sump pump. Many times, you can repair minor problems yourself. However, major issues are best left to the pros.
Fall is a great time to check your safety equipment in your home. Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and inspect your fire extinguisher to ensure it’s charged.
Once you take care of these few things around your home, you’ll be ready to nestle in and enjoy the cooler weather. You’ll know your home is in tip-top shape and ready to survive whatever Mother Nature brings your way.