Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
After a long, hot summer, you might be more than ready to welcome a cooler season with open arms. But it’s not as easy as setting out some pumpkins and mums. There are a number of things you should do, such as creating a fall home maintenance checklist to prepare your home for the harsh winter months ahead. Fall home maintenance done correctly will save you money in the long run. Always remember: prevention is the key to avoiding costly repairs.
How to Prepare the Outside of Your House for Fall
1. Clean your gutters
Rain gutters that are clogged with debris can lead to expensive repairs, so you’ll want to remove the leaves, twigs, and gunk from your gutters once all the leaves have fallen. Check to make sure gutters aren’t sagging and trapping water, and tighten all of those gutter hangers and downspouts.
Downspouts should extend at least five feet away from your house to prevent foundation problems, so if that’s not the case, you’ll want to buy downspout extensions, which are inexpensive and available at your local hardware store.
And while you’re up there, check the roof. Inspect for missing, broken, or loose shingles, and check to make sure the roof is in overall good shape.
2. Check for cracks
Grab a few tubes of caulk and walk around the house, checking the foundation for cracks. Pay close attention to areas where pipes and wires enter the house. Cracks mean heat can escape in the winter, wasting energy, and water could come in and cause major damage. Preventing moisture from getting inside your walls is perhaps of the most important fall maintenance jobs.
3. Lawn and garden maintenance
Fall is a great time to aerate your lawn, letting some much-needed moisture and nutrients get into the roots. After you aerate, spread fertilizer and grass seed so your lawn comes back nicely in the spring. It’s also time to rake the leaves, prune plants, remove dead annuals, and mulch your perennials.
An early fall priority should be to drain garden hoses and store them in a garage or shed. Hoses that stay attached to outdoor faucets through the winter can cause water to back up into the plumbing pipes just inside your exterior walls, and that water could freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes. For that reason, it’s also a good idea to turn off any shutoff valves on water supply lines that lead to exterior faucets.
If you have an irrigation system, you’ll need to hire an irrigation pro to blow out the pipes. Irrigation lines can also freeze, leading to busted pipes and broken sprinkler heads—even the ones buried underground.
Cover and store outdoor furniture, and remove potting soil from pots. Frozen potting soil can crack the planters, and you’ll have to buy new ones in the spring.
Also, it’s time to clean and stow your mower. Before you put it away, top off your mower tank with stabilized gas and then run the mower for about five minutes to make sure the stabilizer reaches the carburetor, or you could run your mower dry before stowing it.
Last but not least, make sure your snow removal equipment is in good working order.
How to Prepare the Inside of Your House for Fall
1. Check your furnace
Unless you have an annual maintenance contract, now is the time to schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling pro for service. You don’t want to wait until it’s below freezing to find out there’s a problem with your heating system. Furnace filters should be replaced every three months, and if your HVAC includes a built-in humidifier, that filter should be replaced, too.
2. Check your fireplace
Look around the firebox and check for cracked or missing bricks or mortar. Then, take a look up inside your fireplace with a flashlight to make sure the damper opens and closes properly, and look for birds’ nests, branches, leaves, or anything else that could cause an obstruction. You should be able to see daylight at the top of the chimney, so if you can’t, or if you have any damage around the firebox, it’s time to call a professional.
A Well-Built Custom Home Is Modern and Efficient—With No Surprises
Existing homes will always show at least a bit of general wear and tear, which requires maintenance, as we listed above, and possibly even expensive repairs. One of the many benefits of building a custom home with Premier is that you’re investing in a structurally sound, energy-efficient home that’s built with top quality materials selected by you, resulting in lower utility bills and increased peace of mind.
Contact us for more details on our efficient approach to building beautiful custom homes.
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