Everyone associates spring with cleaning, but fall maintenance is just as important. Home maintenance in the fall can help prevent costly mishaps and unwanted surprises from draining your bank account over the holidays. Some simple fall maintenance steps may also help improve your home’s energy efficiency and save money on your energy bills.
Completing some simple fall checklist maintenance tasks as the winter approaches will help you stay cozy and warm this winter.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Fall leaves are beautiful but can create big problems if they clog up your gutters and downspouts. Checking gutters and downspouts for obstructions is also a great time to ensure they are securely attached to your home and not causing damage to your roof. As a preventive maintenance step, adding leaf guards to the gutters can help lighten your workload in the future.
Weather Seal Windows
Cold air easily slips in around doors and windows. When temperatures start to dip, some homeowners close the windows and do not open them again until spring. In that case, you can winterize them by temporarily caulking each window shut, a solid option for blocking unwanted drafts. If you prefer to be able to open the windows, removing old caulking and then re-caulking around the window’s frame is the best option. Using a door sweep along the bottom of exterior doors also helps with drafts. Weather-tight windows and doors help keep the heat inside and the cold air out.
Clean Out the Garage
If your garage is cluttered and messy, some unwanted guests make their way in to prepare for winter. Rodents and other small animals may find nesting spots in messy garages. Small mice or other rodents may seem harmless at first glance. However, wild animals like rats or mice can do extensive damage. Allowing them to nest in your garage may damage your possessions, building structure, and even your electrical wiring. A decluttered, organized space makes spotting and removing these little critters much easier.
Inspect and Seal the Deck
Preparing your deck for winter by power washing and inspecting it will help increase its lifespan. Performing safety inspections and repairs on your deck enables you to provide a safe space for your friends and family in the fall and on milder winter days. Checking for water retention and resealing, if necessary, is crucial for the lifespan of your deck. Another deck safety check includes looking for loose or missing nails and screws, then tightening or replacing them as needed. Repair cracks, and splintering spots with wood filler, and a nice coat of water-repelling stain can help protect the deck from melting ice and snow.
Roof Inspection and Repairs
Inspecting and repairing your roof is an essential part of fall home maintenance. Winter makes roof repairs almost impossible if you live in an area with ice and snow. In addition to the many physical hazards created by ice and snow, shingles require a specific outside temperature for a successful installation. Ensuring your roof is in good condition can also help decrease energy costs over winter. Scheduling or conducting a fall roof inspection may save you time and money.
Fall and winter are perfect times to cozy up by the fireplace – but not before you schedule the right fireplace maintenance. Clearing out the chimney and having a professional inspection are crucial to the health and safety of you, your family, and those who visit your home. Fireplace inspections are essential for wood burning, gas, and electric fireplaces. Woodburning fireplaces require the most maintenance but ensuring the proper functioning of any fireplace is critical for the safety of people and property.
Protect Your Pipes
Temperatures begin to dip in the fall and may soon stay below freezing. Below-freezing temperatures increase the risk of frozen pipes, an inconvenient and expensive problem to fix. Take preventative measures and protect your pipes from freezing weather by wrapping exposed plumbing in foam insulation or old blankets and setting your thermostat at 65 or higher during winter. Other precautionary steps include removing hoses from outdoor faucets and draining water from outdoor sprinkler systems.
Attend to your HVAC
An HVAC check is critical in the fall because you don’t want to end up in the cold winter months with a broken furnace. You can perform simple maintenance tasks like checking and replacing air filters and cleaning your outdoor unit and surrounding area. Follow up by scheduling a professional inspection and system tune-up with a licensed HVAC contractor. In addition to guaranteeing that your system is running correctly, this is an important safety measure to confirm your equipment is operating properly and safely.
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Blue Arrow Lending is a boutique mortgage brokerage specializing in conventional loans and first-time home buyers. If you are looking for financing or refinancing options, we’re here to help! Home financing in the face of inflation may feel discouraging, but we pride ourselves on helping all of our clients find financing solutions. Contact us today for more information.