Plummeting temperatures and changing leaf colors bring to light that fall is here. This is the perfect time to attend to those little niggles that can result in expensive repairs if you ignore them. Before cold winter sets in follow this fall maintenance checklist to ensure you don’t miss any part of your home. You will be grateful for it, and your home will thank you for it.
1. Roof and Chimney Inspections
Snow, rain, and ice can easily enter your home through damaged roof. Replace missing and broken shingles. Make sure the roof is clean. Clear dead leaves and twigs from the roof so that they do not facilitate the formation of ice dams that can melt and seep into your home.
Look inside your chimney and make sure that it is free from any obstruction and waste. Call in a professional to clean the chimney. Make it a point to check your chimney even if you rarely use it.
2. Clean the Gutters
Fall is the season when trees shed their leaves. Broken twigs, branches, and dead leaves can clog up gutters. Clean out the gutters and then flush them with water. Make sure you tighten up brackets and inspect joints. You can replace old gutters with new ones that come with built-in leaf guards is a good idea. This will prevent ice dams from forming to a large extent.
3. Inspect Your Furnace
Check your heating system and get it serviced by a qualified and licensed professional. This will help your furnace work more efficiently and also minimize the chances of breakdowns. Make sure you change the furnace filters at regular intervals.
If you hear loud whines and screeches, it means that the belts linked to the blower motor are damaged. If your furnace does not work properly, you will spend winter shivering, and it will be more expensive to get the problem fixed. Make sure you get the furnace and thermostat checked regularly
4. Clean and Store Your Gardening Equipment
Fall is the time to clean and store your gardening equipment. Clean the garden hose and roll it. Store it in a place where it does not get damaged. You should also clean other gardening equipment and put them away. You may want to hold on to the rake as you will have a lot of raking to do in the fall. Drain out the fuel from chainsaws, lawn mowers, and other gas-operated equipment.
Check your snow equipment to see if it is in proper working condition. Organize your snow clearing gear so that you can access it when the need arises. Now is the time to keep roof rakes, shovels and snow blowers within arm’s reach.
5. Seal the Driveway
Take a look at your driveway for cracks and crevices. Repair them with driveway filler to fill in the gaps and holes. Then apply a commercial sealer on the driveway. This takes care of the asphalt throughout the winter. Handle stairs and walkways in a similar fashion. You will need to repair cracks that are 1/8-inch wide. Sealing will not fix the issue.
6. Prepare Your Deck for Winter
Cover and store outdoor furniture and barbecue in a safe place. Inspect the furniture for damage and fix any that you see. Make sure you clean the outdoor furniture before storing it away for winter. Empty out outdoor planters. Get rid of soil and dirt. If you leave them in place, they will expand and crack the planters.
7. Prune Your Plants
Fall is the perfect time to prune plants and trees. Keep branches and limbs three feet from your home. This will prevent moisture from entering the roof and siding. Cutting trees and shrubs to a specified height help prevent damage to the exterior of your home when it is windy, or a snowstorm occurs.
8. Change the Direction of Your Ceiling Fans
Altering the orientation of the ceiling fans will help generate an upward draft. This will distribute warm air from the ceiling to the entire room. Don’t forget to clean the humidifiers. Heating will cause the air inside your home to turn dry and humidifiers can restore the moisture in the air. Clean the water tanks of the humidifier thoroughly to get rid of mold and mildew spores and other pathogens.
9. Put Off Your Sprinklers
Drain your irrigation system thoroughly as irrigation lines can freeze and damage pipes, hoses, and sprinkler heads. Turn off the water to the main valve and shut off the automatic controller. Let drain valves be open. It helps to remove water from the system. Dismantle above ground sprinkler heads and shake out the water completely before storing them away safely.
Seal and caulk openings in your windows. It will prevent the heat from inside your home escaping outside. This will increase your heating costs and make your HVAC unit work harder.
Minute gaps and crevices in windows and door frames allow moisture to enter and freeze against the glass panes. Moisture also facilitates buildup of mold and mildew. So it makes sense to caulk windows and door frames.
Fall is a good time to give your home some TLC. Fixing minor issues will prevent them from getting bigger. This will give you sufficient time and energy to enjoy the vibrancy of fall and festive air of winter without worrying about your home.