Fall Home Maintenance Tips and Checklist
Many people have reported that fall is their favorite season. From the comfortable temperatures to all of the seasonal decor – what’s not to love? Fall is also the perfect time to thoroughly inspect your home and perform any repairs that may be needed before those harsh winter months arrive. Below we have listed out some fall home maintenance tips to add to your checklist.
Exterior Home Maintenance
There are many things to consider when it comes to maintaining the exterior of your home. Below is a checklist we have provided for you to consider. This will simplify the process and ensure you do not overlook an important element.
The foundation of your home serves as more than just a solid base to keep your home off of the ground. A well-constructed foundation is designed to keep moisture out, provide insulation, and resist movement of the surrounding environment.
Professionals recommend thoroughly inspecting the foundation of your home for cracking and repair it as soon as possible. Caulk around areas where the foundation meets the siding of your home, around any wiring or pipework that enters the structure, as well as all windows and door frames.
Proper caulking in these areas is the least expensive but possibly the most important part of your maintenance checklist that you can do for your home. Cracks that are left untreated allow moisture and water to enter the house, leaving behind a build-up of mold that you may not be able to see.
Windows and Doors
Remove all screens from your windows and replace them with storm windows. In addition to the storm windows, adding storm doors is recommended. Be sure to properly clean the screens that were removed, make any needed repairs, spray them with a protective coating, and store them in a dry area to be used the following spring. If your windows need to be replaced, consider replacing them, or at the very least seal them with caulk to keep the drafts out.
The exterior of many homes is beautifully painted to provide curb appeal. However, exterior paint is often something that gets overlooked on the home maintenance checklist.
Exterior paint was not constructed just to make your home beautiful; it was designed to protect the siding of your home. When the paint begins cracking or peeling, it’s no longer providing a protective barrier leading to the outer walls and siding deteriorating. It’s vital that you regularly repaint the outside of your home to ensure it is adequately protected.
Experts advise having a professional inspect the condition of your roof at least once per year for any loose or missing shingles. The roof of a home is exposed to extreme temperature changes, as well as an ample amount of humidity throughout the year, which inevitably will result in damage to your roof if it is not maintained.
Without a well-put-together roof, your home is left vulnerable to damage to the insulation, wood, drywall, and all wiring systems throughout the house. It is better to have a professional regularly inspect your home rather than finding yourself holding a bucket beneath a leaky roof in the coldest months of the year.
Interior Home Maintenance
Like your home’s exterior, interior aspects of your home need to be inspected and maintained regularly.
Homes are often equipped with lifesaving devices, such as smoke detectors and carbon dioxide detectors. These machines are battery operated and sound a loud alarm when there is a danger in the home. These machines must be tested regularly and have the batteries replaced as needed. Keep extra batteries in the house for these devices too.
Proper sealing and insulation of the home are key factors in trapping heat during the winter months and keeping the house cool during those dreaded summer days. In addition to trapping in cold air or heat, maintaining your home’s insulation can help save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs on your energy bill.
Above, we mentioned caulking around the exterior of windows, but it’s essential to check the seal from the interior side of each window as well. You can feel for a draft by simply running your hand along with the frame of the window. Don’t forget, if your home was built with a basement, check for a proper seal around these windows as well.
If your home was designed with a fireplace and you use it, have a professional chimney sweep come out at least once per year, typically just before winter, to professionally clean the chimney’s interior and ensure it is in proper working order. Experts also recommend cleaning the door of your fireplace and ensuring the door gasket holds a tight seal. Have the flue checked cracks, debris, and creosote buildup to avoid chimney fires.
Other Maintenance Tips
Homeowners often overlook the smaller details of their home maintenance checklist, including the following:
- Clean gutters regularly and repair or replace them as needed.
- Inspect pool cover.
- Add a weather strip to your garage door to keep out water, moisture, or small animals.
- Repair cracks in the driveway with filler and a commercial sealer.
- Shut off outdoor water valves.
- Drain and store garden hoses to prevent water from freezing inside of them.
Lawn maintenance equipment, such as lawnmowers and weed eaters, are not typically used in the winter months in many areas of the country. It is, therefore, recommended that you either drain these machines of their fuel before stowing them away or add a fuel stabilizer to prevent the fuel from degrading and damaging the internal working parts. The same goes for pressure washers.
If you live in an area where snow is expected, be sure to inspect all snow equipment and organize it to where it is easily accessible before the first snowfall.