Fall is the absolute best time to perform basic maintenance on your home and yard. Take advantage of fall’s moderate weather and spruce up your house before that first frost sets in! Here are the top 8 fall home maintenance tasks to make sure your home runs in peak condition all winter long.
Clogged gutters are one of the major causes of ice dams and can cause damage to your siding or roof. Clean out your gutters and downspouts, inspect all the joints, and tighten any loose brackets. Install leaf guards if your gutters don’t have them already.
2. Windows & Doors
Sealing up a drafty house can save you big money on your heating bills! Remove your screens, and install storm windows and doors. Find air leaks, and apply weather stripping and caulk to these areas to help cut down on drafts, boost winter warmth, and cut energy costs.
3. Fix Driveway & Foundation Cracks
Cracks in your driveway will allow water to get in and freeze, resulting in larger cracks and more damage. Cracks in your home’s foundation structure can allow pest infections and mold build up. Clean out and repair any damage you find to make sure everything is all sealed up before the snow flies.
4. Furnace Inspection
Clogged filters make it harder to keep your home at your chosen temperature, which increases your utility bills. Monthly cleaning helps keep your filters clean and functional, but once a year, you should have your heating system inspected by a professional. To avoid the late-fall rush, make sure you schedule an inspection in early fall before the temperatures really drop!
5. Safety Features
Before you seal up your home for the cooler months, test all your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace batteries as needed. Also check the expiration date on your fire extinguishers and replace those if needed.
6. Fireplace & Chimney Inspection
If you have a fireplace, schedule a chimney cleaning and inspection. Make sure your chimney and fireplace are cleaned and in good working order before you turn on the heat. And be sure to add a chimney cap if you don’t already have one! No one wants critters crawling down your chimney looking for a cozy nest!
7. Trim Trees & Bushes
Fall is the best time to check your trees and shrubs for dead branches, disease, and potentially unsafe growth. Trim any dead or diseased branches out of the trees to prevent them from coming down and causing damage during a winter storm.
8. Store Summer Stuff
Check, clean, and store any of your summer-specific outdoor items, like outdoor furniture, pool accessories, hoses, and lawn equipment. Drain your garden hoses and store them inside, and make sure to shut off all outdoor water valves before it freezes. Any water left in your exterior pipes and faucets can freeze and expand, breaking the pipes and causing damage. Add fuel stabilizer to your lawn mower, and cover and store all your outdoor gear in a protected area so it doesn’t get damaged by winter weather.