Before it gets colder and the days get shorter, it’s important to prepare your home for the cooler months. Here are some fall preventative home maintenance items that will help keep your house in tip-top shape!
Gutters and Downspouts
• Clean gutters and downspouts frequently to prevent buildup of leaves and other debris. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and pest infestations.
• Check behind the gutters to ensure water is not flowing behind them and check that all support brackets are securely in place.
• Watch how water drains away from the house. It should not pool, as it could cause damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways.
Windows and Doors
• Inspect and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames.
• Check windows and doors for drafts. If there is a draft, the weather stripping or caulk should be replaced to help lower heating bills.
• Replace the filter in your furnace.
• Consider having a heating professional check your heating system to ensure optimal performance and discover minor problems before they turn into costly, major repairs.
• Clean your ducts. This will help the heating system’s efficiency as well as to reduce household dust.
• To prevent pipes freezing and bursting, ensure that the pipes are well insulated.
• Know how to locate and turn off the water shut-off valve in case pipes do freeze.
Chimney and Fireplace
• If the fireplace is used, call a professional in to inspect and clean your chimney. Fireplaces that are regularly used during the season should have an annual cleaning to prevent dangerous chimney fires.
• Test your fireplace flue for a tight seal when closed.
• Be sure attic insulation doesn’t cover vents in the eaves to prevent winter ice dams on the roof.
• Be sure ridge vents and vents at 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.
• 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.