Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

With weather getting chillier with each passing day, it’s time to revisit and take care of big home repair projects before days get shorter and in many areas ice and snow hits. And if you are living in area with cold winters it’s time to boost your home’s energy efficiency and prevent damage from winter storms with proper tree care.

Here is the list for you to tick off this fall in your home improvements projects preparing your home for winter snow, ice and sleet.

Stock up on winter supplies

It’s time to check up on the condition of your winter tools like snow shovels and ice scrapers and replace if need be. Stock up on bag of pet and plant safe ice melts.

 

Cover A/C units.

Remove A/C units from windows and if you must leave in, cover the exterior of the unit with insulating wrap to keep cold air out and to prevent rusting of vital parts.

 

Perform roof repair and replacements

Roof is first defense system of your home. Secure your roof with inspection of whether there is any shingles curling, missing or loose in advance of the first snowfall.  Hire professional roofers for the inspection and repair and replace if necessary. If you have to replace it, choose a shingle that performs well in the area in which you live. Also check the flashing around skylights, pipes and chimneys.

 

Check the gutters and downspouts

Cleaning gutters may not be glamorous maintenance jobs but it’s one of the most important jobs to be performed to prevent ice dams during the winter. Remove leaves, twigs, and other debris that prevents proper drainage. Flush out the gutters with water, inspect joints and tighten the brackets if necessary. For a more permanent solution, consider installing a gutter guards.

Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and pest infestations not to mention ruined gutters.Pooling can cause damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways.

 

Attic insulation

Check the attic to ensure that insulation is installed properly. If installed improperly, the insulation will trap moisture inside causing possible water problems. Cut slits in the vapor barrier to allow moisture to escape. Be sure attic insulation doesn’t cover vents in the eaves to prevent winter ice dams on the roofs. Be sure ridge vents and vents at eaves are free of plants and debris.

 

Plumbing

To prevent exterior pipes from freezing and bursting, turn off the valves to the exterior hose after running water until pipes are empty and ensuring all water is drained from pipes and wrap pipes with heating tape.

 

Prepare deck for winter

Perform safety checks on your decks and porches. Clean and seal the porches and deck to prevent wood rotting from moisture soaked in. clean outdoor furniture and store them or cover them after ensuring there is no moisture trapped and store in dry places.

 

Check your heating systems

Heating system is the heart of your home in winter so make sure your home heating system is efficient and properly secured. Clean and replace filters in furnace or heating systems.  Vacuum radiators, baseboard heaters and grates to reduce household dust and to provide relief to those with respiratory problems and also to ensure that your heating system has peak performance. Hire a licensed heating contractor for inspectionand discover any minor problems now before they turn into money guzzling repairs. When shopping for replacements, look for the Energy-Star label.

 

Clean your fireplace, inside and out

If you have fireplace installed, clean out the fireplace inside and out and have properly inspected from professionals to ensure its safe operation. Fireplaces that are regularly used during the season should have an annual cleaning to prevent dangerous chimney fires. Test your fireplace flue for a tight seal when closed.

 

Landscape and yard work

Prune your trees and shrubs after leaves turn to encourage healthy growth. Trim any tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines or roof. Heavy snow and ice can cause damage in the winter. Fall is the dormant season for plants above soil but roots are actually growing deeper to prepare for winter so is now the best time to fertilize and reseed your lawn.

 

Windows and doors

Seal and caulk any cracks before winter hits and makes your problem bigger. To prevent cold winter air to enter, change summer screens to cool weather storm windows and doors and repair any loose or damaged windows and door frames. Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to prevent drafts and lower heating bills.

This fall tick on these home maintenance and improvements checklists to prepare your home for cold winters to come and keep you and your family warm and comfy during the winter.

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