With summer quickly coming to an end and school back in motion it’s time to start thinking about fall maintenance.  Fall is the perfect time to do some important maintenance to your home so you’re not caught in the middle of winter with a drafty house or a malfunctioning heater.  Below is a lost of the top eight fall home maintenance tips, along with what you can do to ensure your home stays warm and comfortable this winter.

1. Smoke Detectors, Fire Extinguishers, and First Aid Kits

Every six months, check and replace batteries in all the detectors in your home. Check expiration dates on your first aid kit and fire extinguisher. Make sure everyone in the house knows where they are. This is also a good time to plan and review your fire escape route.

2. Chimney and Fireplace

Chimneys and fireplaces cause some of the most expensive damage to homes. Build-up can easily ignite, causing a devastating fire. If you are unfamiliar with inspecting a chimney, it may be worth calling in a chimney sweep, which is usually quite affordable. Make sure to leave your flu closed when not in use, and always have a fireplace screen in front of open flames to protect your home from wayward sparks.

3. Windows

Windows can be a source of frustration for homeowners. There are many seal repair kits available at local hardware stores. Walk around the interior windows, placing your hand near the seal. Check for any breezes flowing through. Do the same thing for doors. When you find one, mark it with a sticker or other indicator so you can tally how many repair kits you need. If a window is improperly sized, cracked, or broken, it needs to be replaced.

For doors, you can purchase draft preventers and other seal kits to improve the seal. Every 1/8 of an inch can lower a room a whole degree, so it can really pay off to have updated, well-sealed doors and windows.

4. Pipes

Winterizing pipes is one of the easiest, most valuable ways to protect your home over the winter. Most home repair stores carry fitted insulation that can easily wrap around any size pipe. If you can’t afford to do every pipe in your home, give priority to the pipes that are on exterior walls, or most likely to freeze. You should also shut off water to any area that won’t be used, especially places like the garage and backyard.

5. Roof

Inspecting your roof may seem overkill, but harsh winter winds and heavy snow can take a toll on your home. It may be a good idea go on your to check for any broken or loose shingles. It’s important to take care of any damage now to avoid repairs during the cold winter months.

6. Heating System

For conventional heating systems, you may already have a contract with the installation company. Many HVAC companies offer a fall/spring maintenance program. If not, start with your water heater. Ensure that your water heater is protected from the elements. For your heating unit, check the filters, gas lines, and flame. Make sure that you have a proper flame and oxygen flow. There should be no cracks, kinks, or holes in gas lines.

7. Stock Up on Winter Supplies for Your Home

Before prices on winter gear soars, stock up on winter items such as snow shovels, firewood, or sidewalk salt. It’s better to have the supplies now than to have to run to the store during a snowstorm!

8. Yard Maintenance

Fall leaves may be beautiful, but these can slowly rot, causing backup and damage in gutters. This backup will cause water to spill over the gutter and into your yard and walking areas, which can cause damage to your home and make walking conditions dangerous. Disconnect all garden hoses, and store them coiled and flat in a cool, dry place. If possible, turn of water to all outside faucets and drain them to protect the outside pipes from damage. Store any outdoor furniture that may become damaged from snow or ice.

 

Categories: Home Ownership

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