7 Tips for Fall Home Maintenance
With fall right around the corner, now is the time to enjoy the outdoors and soak up the nice weather before winter sets in. But when you’re not throwing around the football or working in the garden this fall season, you should take the time to prepare your home for the cold weather and make important repairs that you didn’t get to during the summer. Gather up your tools and materials and get started on your fall home maintenance with these seven helpful tips.
1 Clean the gutters: Autumn foliage might be bright and beautiful, but when the leaves start to fall, things tend to get messy around the yard. This fall, make a point to inspect and clear your gutters of leaves, twigs, and other debris a few times throughout the season. Clogged gutters, combined with overflowing water can cause serious damage to the paint and siding on a home. If the blocked water freezes, it can destroy the gutters, loosen shingles, and cause additional leaks.
2 Inspect the roof: It’s important to keep a close eye on your roof during the fall season and make sure it is in good shape for winter. Look for missing or loose shingles, and fix any problem areas as soon as possible. The cold temperatures, combined with the destructive elements of rain, ice, snow, and wind could damage your roof and cause serious issues inside. If the damage is severe or you’re not comfortable working on the roof, hire a professional to do the dirty work for you.
3 Check for indoor air leaks: Don’t let precious heated or cooled air escape your home this fall; seal drafts in walls, windows, doors, and any other gaps throughout the house. Install weatherstripping and caulk any areas where air escapes. Doing so will give you optimal heating or cooling this fall season and help save up to 10% on your total annual energy bill.
4 Reverse your ceiling fans: One of the simplest maintenance tasks you can do this fall is reverse the direction of your ceiling fan by hitting the switch on your fan. While it may not seem like much, reversing the direction of your ceiling fan can actually keep your room warmer in the colder months by creating an upward draft that redistributes heated air from the ceiling throughout your room.
5 Get your heating system checked: Before the cold winter months set in, you will want to have your heating system checked by a licensed professional to make sure it’s clean and working properly. This includes inspecting the filters, pilot lights, and burners. A clean, properly functioning heating system will save you lots of money and headaches in the future. While you’re at it, you might as well have your woodstove and fireplace examined and cleaned to ensure optimal heating options for winter.
6 Install storm windows: If you live in an area that experiences winter storms and extreme cold, you should strongly consider installing storm windows before the first flurry falls. Not only do storm windows better protect against breaking, but they can also help you save energy and money by reducing air movement in and out of windows.
7 Clean your yard equipment: An often overlooked maintenance task is cleaning the yard equipment and preparing it for storage. While you may need to keep the rakes and leaf blower out for a few more months, you can drain the fuel from other gas-operated equipment like lawn movers and chain saws. This is also a good time to pull out your snow equipment and make sure everything is working properly.
Source: HomeInsurance.org; Blog Post, 7 Tips for Fall Home Maintenance (September 20, 2012)