Fall Home Maintenance

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Little cartoon house with tools floating around it.Although the weather we have been having seems more like summer, fall is here. This is a good time to do the fall maintenance chores. Home maintenance helps provide a healthy, safe environment for your family and protects a growing financial investment.

People often ask why the question should home maintenance be done regularly. There are several good answers to that question. It will help maintain the value of the property. A well-maintained home usually sells more readily and usually brings a higher price. A well-maintained house is more comfortable. It minimizes unexpected repairs and expenses. Doing small repairs can keep costs from becoming larger.

Home maintenance includes cleaning roof and gutters, cleaning or painting the outside wall surfaces, cleaning floors and walls, cleaning windows, vacuuming carpet, keeping sink and shower drains running freely, etc.

Before the weather grows colder it’s important to prepare for the winter months and to prevent costly damage later on. Below are the fall preventative maintenance suggestions that every homeowner should follow.

Gutters and Downspouts

  • Clean gutters and downspouts frequently throughout the fall to prevent build up and other debris. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems, pest infestations, wet basements, foundation damage, and many other expensive complications.
  • Be sure that water is not coming behind your gutters and that all support brackets are securely in place.
  • Check to ensure water drains properly and doesn’t pool, which are cause damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways.

Windows and Doors

  • Change your summer screens to cool weather storm windows and doors.
  • Inspect and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames.
  • Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to prevent drafts and lower heating bills.
  • Clean and lubricate garage door hinges, rollers, and tracks and be sure screws are tight.

Heating Systems

  • Replace the filter in your furnace.
  • Consider having a heating professional check your heating system to ensure top performance and discover minor problems before they turn into costly repairs.
  • Clean your ducts to better your heating system’s efficiency as well as to reduce household dust and to provide relief to those with respiratory problems. Also check for leakage especially around joints.
  • Clean your thermostat’s heat sensor, contact points, and contacts.
  • Lubricate hot water heater’s pump and motor.

Chimney and Fireplace

  • Call a professional in to inspect and clean your chimney. Fireplaces that are only used during the season should have an annual cleaning to prevent dangerous chimney fires.
  • Test your fireplace flue for a tight seal when closed.
  • Consider installing a carbon monoxide alarm near the fireplace and furnace.

Attic Ventilation

  • Be sure attic insulation doesn’t cover ventilation vents in the eases to prevent build up of ice dams on the roof.
  • Be sure ridge vents and vents are eaves are free of plants and debris.
  • Check bird and rodent screens for attic vents to prevent any unwanted guests.

Landscape and Yardwork

  • Although grass appears to stop growing in the fall, the roots are actually growing deeper to prepare for winter. Now is the best time to fertilize and reseed your lawn.
  • Prune your trees and shrubs after the leaves turn to encourage healthy growth in the spring.
  • Trim any tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines or the roof of your house. Heavy snow and ice can cause damage in the winter.

Home maintenance will keep your home in good condition and protect it. Now is a good time to put this on the top of your priority list. If you rent let your landlord know immediately if you notice problems. Enjoy the fall weather and be prepared when the winter approaches.