As we turn the corner, we discover that fall is once again upon us. This means shorter days, a chill in the air, and time to do some preventative maintenance on your home. Conducting a thorough inspection of your home once a season can help save you time and money in the future. Here are some great maintenance tips to help keep your home beautiful, healthy, and happy.
General Home Tips
- Change the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Clean dryer vents, exhaust fans and vents in the bathrooms and kitchens.
- Change all of the household filters, including water filters and the filter in your AC/heating units.
- Trim all bushes and trees away from your home. Trees should be at least 6 feet away and bushes at least 6 inches away.
- Turn off AC Unit.
- Seal exterior concrete (driveway).
Chimney and Fireplace
- If you use your wood fireplace on a regular basis, it should be inspected and cleaned each year. If you have a gas fireplace with ceramic logs, it should be serviced if you see soot on the logs or the glass.
Gutters and Downspouts
- Clean gutters and downspouts frequently throughout the fall to prevent buildup of leaves and other debris.
- Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems, pest infestations, wet basements, foundation damage and many other expensive complications.
- Be sure water is not coming down behind gutters and that all support brackets are securely in place.
- Check to ensure water drains completely, and away from the foundation, driveways and walkways. Downspout extensions may also be required so damage does not occur.
- The installation of heat tape can be helpful in preventing ice dams. Make sure the heat tape is plugged in and working properly.
- Most people don’t remember when the last time was that they had their heating system serviced. To ensure optimal performance, have a heating professional check your system to make sure it is operating correctly and most efficiently. This can prevent you and your family costly repair bills in the future.
- Replace the filter in your furnace.
- Check for leaks around the duct joints. Most home inspectors frequently find disconnected ducts that are blowing warm air into crawlspaces or attics.
- If you have any faucets that produce icy cold water in the winter, these pipes may be in danger of freezing. Consider having these pipes insulated to protect them.
- Disconnect all garden hoses. Even frost proof spigots will freeze if the garden hose holds water in the pipe.
Windows and Doors
- Check around the window frames inside and out for potential leaks. Caulk any visible gaps.
- Inspect and repair any loose or damaged window locks, latches or doorframes.
- Check around all exterior doors for gaps. If it’s sunny, look for daylight around the door. Install weather-stripping to prevent drafts and lower heating bills.
- If you have older windows, check around those for gaps and weather-strip as needed.