While your spring checklist is the longest to make your home look beautiful, the fall is the most critical time to complete a few home maintenance tips to protect your investment. Consider these important tasks to keep you warm and cozy this winter and your house in tip top shape.
Critical Fall Home Maintenance Tasks
Clean Gutters and Gutter Spouts – It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it. So, get your work gloves and a plastic spatula. Yes…crazy but it’s the perfect fit and won’t scratch the metal. Make sure to clean those leaves out so you don’t have water running around your house where it shouldn’t and doing damage.
Drain water hoses and winterize hose bibs – Make sure you turn off water to the hose bibs and drain the line before the first frost. This will prevent your hoses from cracking and prevent a costly insurance claim. Water leaks from cracked hose bib pipes is one of the leading causes of interior floods each year.
Seal your windows with paint caulk– The fall rain and winter snow can bring a lot of moisture to the wood trim around your windows leading to wood rot. The water gets into cracks in the paint and freezes and thaws leading to wood rot. Grab and tube of calk and some exterior paint and ensure that your windows and frames are sealed and painted from the exterior—this really should be done every 2-4 years.
Change your furnace filters/check heating systems – You don’t want your heat to go out on you when it’s below freezing outside. So have your HVAC services and replace your filter. Take care of it now before you really need that warm heat.
Check Safety Items – Fire detector batteries, carbon monoxide detector, fire escape plan, fire extinguishers. This is a great time to make sure that all your items that are in place to protect you are functioning and working properly. If you haven’t made an evacuation plan with your family or put fire extinguishers around you house there’s no better time than the present. Check out this fire escape ladder you can keep in your linen closet if you need to evacuate through a window. You will sleep better knowing you are prepared in the case of an emergency.
Also consider the following additional tasks…
Arrogate and fertilize lawn – This is an important task that will maintain a healthy, good-looking lawn. It relieves compaction caused by foot traffic and creates extra space in the soil, allowing air, nutrients and water to enter. All of that helps roots to thrive. You can rent a lawn aerator, just be sure to get one that actually removes plugs of soil rather than one that just pokes holes in the ground.
Clean chimney – Make sure Santa can safely get down your chimney this year. Soot buildup in the chimney flue is dangerous because it can ignite and cause an uncontrollable chimney fire. A quick way to tell if your chimney needs cleaning is to run the point of your fireplace poker along the inside of your chimney. If you find a 1/8-in. or more layer of buildup (the thickness of a nickel), call a chimney sweep. If it’s been a few years since your last chimney cleaning, take care of that soon.
Clean your carpets – A great time to clean your carpets is in the fall. The humidity is low as is the pollen so you can leave your windows open and let the carpets dry out. Regular professional cleaning extends the life of your carpet and area rugs. From personal experience you can also check out this EASY do-it-yourself carpet cleaner, that works extremely well!
Make a winter driving kit – Don’t wait until it snows to get prepared. Do you have a blanket ready? Make sure to have your snow scraper in your car, jumper cables and a can of fix a flat.
Are you ready for snow? – We don’t just mean the hot chocolate and sleds! The stores are always out of shovels and salt when you need them. So, stock up on those now while there are plenty. What about a snow blower? Maybe it’s time to make your life easier this winter and make a purchase.