Grab a pumpkin spice coffee, your favorite flannel and a pair of work gloves - it's time for fall home maintenance!
Why is seasonal maintenance important?
Sure, cleaning the gutters may not be your idea of a fun fall weekend, but taking the time to tackle seasonal maintenance will save you time and money in the long run. It's easier to prevent a problem than deal with the aftermath down the road. Here are 10 essentials to take care of before the snow flies...
1. Rake 'em Up
Oh how we wish the beautiful foliage would stay on the trees and off our lawns! Make raking a family affair and bag up your leaves to prevent them from killing the grass next spring.
2. Clean the gutters
Speaking of leaves, when they clog your gutters, rainwater can’t flow through and will eventually spill over. So what, right? This overflow can damage your home’s siding, roof and foundation.
It’s better to remove the leaves from your gutters than to chance the buildup turning into a costly problem.
3. Check the roof
While we’re on the subject of the roof, fall is a great time to check that all shingles are in place and in good shape before winter snowstorms pop up on your radar.
4. Conduct a walking inspection
Take a walk around the exterior of your home, keeping an eye open for damage along the pathways leading to your doors. Cracks could mean loose cement or gravel, increasing the likelihood that someone could trip or slip and fall.
To ensure the safety of visitors, seal any cracks you see. Be sure to inspect the siding and foundation while you’re at it, and tackle any repairs as soon as possible.
5. Cracks and gaps can cause problems indoors too
When you shut doors and windows, make sure there aren’t any spaces allowing air to escape. If there are, seal them before the real cold weather hits.
You may not think much of these little gaps right now, but you will when you open your heating bill and see how much you’re paying to keep the whole neighborhood warm, or when you find out that a mouse has made your cabinet his home for the winter.
6. Store summer staples
Patio furniture is susceptible to damage from winter weather. Since you probably won’t spend as much time outside, move patio furniture etc. into storage.
7. Sweep it up
Schedule a time to have your chimney and heating system cleaned and maintained, including swapping old filters for new ones. It’s important that everything is in good working condition to decrease the likelihood of house fires.
8. Pipe down
Shut off the water supply to exterior faucets and insulate your pipes before the weather dips below 32 degrees. This will help prevent pipes from freezing, bursting and flooding your home.
9. Take time to vent
Dryers are a leading cause of fires - make sure to have your dryer vent cleaned annually. Aside from safety issues, if your vent is clogged with lint, your machine will not be as energy efficient.
10. Testing … 1, 2, 3
Test safety devices, such as smoke alarms, and check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher. In case a fire ignites, it’s important to know that you and your family will be alerted and able to get out of the house quickly and safely, or able to extinguish smaller fires before significant damage is done.