It’s fall maintenance time…
Before you sit back and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of fall you will need to spend what amounts to a couple of weekends worth of work to prep your home for winter.
Fall is a good time to get outside and knock off some of those important fall maintenance tasks such as:
Trim Back Trees & Hedges—
Aside from saving you leaf clean-up time it’ll prevent potential damage to your house from branches that fall during stormy weather.
Lawn & Garden—
Reseed any areas of your lawn that need it. Apply winter fertilizer—this will feed the roots, making them strong and healthy for spring.
Make sure that all landscaping is sloping away from the house to prevent any flooding come spring.
Clean & Repair Gutters—
You face a multitude of problems if you have dirty or clogged gutters:
- Flooded basements
- Damaged foundation
- Destroyed landscaping
- Encourage rot in wood siding
Cracked or Split Siding—
Be proactive and prevent expensive repairs when water and/or bugs get where they shouldn’t be. Repair as needed.
Caulking & Weather-stripping—
Walk around your home inside and out, and inspect the perimeter—check around all windows and doors for leaks and apply new caulking and weather-stripping where needed.
Inspect all your windows for cracks, leaks, condensation, or weeping between the layers—repair or replace as needed.
Check the seal around hose bibs, dryer vents, air-conditioners, and any other area where cold air could gain entrance into your home and seal off as much as possible.
Taking the time to fix these areas now will prevent heat loss and improve your home’s energy efficiency.
If you haven’t already been up there this summer now’s your last chance to make sure everything is in tip-top shape.
Pay special attention to the area around the chimney and any roof vents—check for gaps around the flashing.
While you’re up there be sure to take a few minutes to check for any damaged mortar around the chimney, especially the joints.
Visually assess your chimney—is it leaning… are there any cracks or holes?
If it’s a metal chimney is there any corrosion, staining, or wobbly sections?
Look for any signs that would indicate that repairs are needed. Not sure if you have a growing problem or not? Consider taking a picture of the problem area and check it out again come spring. Use this picture to check and compare… to see if there has been any change in your suspected problem area.
Your attic should be no more than five to ten degrees warmer than the great outdoors. Anything more and you risk having a condensation freeze and thaw situation which could result in a collapsed roof.
Make sure you have adequate insulation in the attic along with sufficient venting in the roof.
For Those Cold Days—
There are some indoor tasks as well:
- Check all air vents to make sure they are clean and that air flow is unimpeded
- Vacuum electric baseboard heaters or air ducts
- Have your furnace or heating system cleaned and serviced if needed—clean or replace the air filter
- Clean bathroom and kitchen venting fans
- Clean fridge drain pan and vacuum condenser coil
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Check fire extinguisher
- Clean faucet aerators and shower heads
- Examine caulk and grout in tub/shower
- Clean dishwasher
And You’re Done—
By setting aside a few weekends now you’ll be saving yourself considerable hassle later on.
Once you’ve finished your fall maintenance you can sit back— relax and enjoy the falling leaves, crisp air and jack-o-lanterns—knowing you and your home are prepared to face anything winter has to throw at you.