It is the time of year again where it is getting colder (or should be!) and your home starts to require some basic maintenance. Fall home maintenance is crucial in keeping the value of your home up and preventing costly damages in the future! Don’t go through Fall or Winter without taking these HUGE steps first.
Gutters are the first thing to feel the affects of Fall. You will want to clean your gutter frequently to prevent buildup of falling leaves or other debris. If neglected, this can cause wood rot or infestations of all sorts of pests. Worse yet, clogged gutters can lead to overflows and improper drainage during rain, which could leave water settling against your foundation walls and cause serious damage over time. You don’t want to deal with foundation repair! Gutters are one of the easier fall home preparations for you to handle (leaf blower!) but it’s also fairly inexpensive to hire someone to clean your gutters. If you already have some sort of protective covering or guard over your gutters, fantastic, but still put up a ladder and take a quick check to make sure they’re properly preventing your gutters from getting clogged.
Neglected windows and doors can cost you a pretty penny in the colder months. Inspect any damaged windows or door frames and make sure there are no leaks. You can install weather stripping or caulking around edges of windows and door to prevent an excess drafts. If you want to take it a step further, change your Summer screens to weather storm windows and doors. You could be shocked by how much drafty windows can affect your winter heating bills.
While we are on the subject of heating, consider having a professional check your heating system as part of your fall home maintenance checklist each year to make sure everything is running at prime performance. Professionals will also be able to discover any minor issues before they become costly issues or safety concerns. If you have a furnace, you will want to make sure you change the filter before you start using it heavily in the winter months.
Those are the most common and crucial Fall home maintenance items to remember, but there are a few honorable mentions for Fall home maintenance. Make sure your pipes are well insulated so they don’t freeze but also, make sure you know how to find and turn off the main water supply line in case your pipes do freeze. And don’t forget to shut off your water if you’re heading out of town for more than a couple days on any sort of trip or vacation. Nothing would ruin a return home faster than a flooded, frozen home. Next, if you have a chimney or a fireplace, hire a professional to come inspect and clean it so you can get plenty of use out of a cozy fire. For both wood and gas fireplaces, your health and safety could be on the line if your fireplace isn’t properly maintained. Have it checked out, you don’t want to mess around with a fire risk or unsafe particles in your air. Finally, check your attics for any unwanted guests and make sure attic vents are clear of insulation! You don’t want to know the horror of a family of squirrels living in your attic or hundreds of stinkbugs continually laying eggs that will hatch and make their way into your home.
Do everything on this list and you will be ready for Fall and Winter in no time, or at least two steps ahead of most people. Fall home maintenance is important for your home and your wallets. Stop any small issues in their tracks so they do not grow into expensive investments down the road. You won’t be sorry! Have a happy Fall!