Now that summer is over and the cool fall weather has arrived, it’s important to make sure your house is ready for the change in season, so today we bring you a list of tips on how to prepare your home for the fall season.
Fall Maintenance Checklist
- Remove water hoses and drain outside faucets before the first frost sets in by the end of fall. Most modern homes utilize freeze-resistant hose bibs that require little to no maintenance, but take into account the age of your home before relying on this. Keep in mind, they must not have anything attached that will prevent water draining from the interior of the faucet, during freezing weather.
- Clean the gutters and check downspouts. Debris in the gutters can hold water and, if it freezes, can cause damage to the roof. Excess water needs to be moved away from the foundation. You certainly do not want water flowing into your basement, crawl space or the lower floors. The mere weight of clogged gutters and all the water held up there may cause the gutters to tear right off the home.
- Fall is the perfect time to correct soil grading to facilitate drainage away from the foundation. Never allow water to stand or drain near the foundation except into functional drains. Just one foundation crack can let in a large amount of water!
- Check the exterior of your home for cracks and holes that would allow wind, water or pest entry. But don’t get carried away- never seal-up brick weep holes. Weep holes need to be open to provide drainage and ventilation for the wall area in behind.
- Fall is perfect time for painting the exterior since wood surfaces will tend to be thoroughly dry after the long hot summer. Remember – horizontal surfaces will water and take far longer to dry out after rain occurs.
- Have your home checked for loose or damaged roof shingles before the rainy season begins.
- Trim tree limbs away from the roof and walls of your home.
- Weather-strip your garage door. Make sure the seal between your garage door and the floor is water tight, prevent drafts and keep out small animals. Check all other doors and windows for a tight seal.
- Cover air conditioners/heat pumps. Vacuum internal parts of air conditioners and remove units from windows. Clear vegetation from around your air conditioner to prolong the life of the unit.
- Clean yard equipment and prepare them for storage once you have finished using them. This includes draining fuel from all gas-operated equipment such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and chain saws.
- Check the supports, stairs, and railings on porches and decks. Make sure the handrails can support someone slipping/falling on the stairs.
- Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Make repairs now before the fall rains do more damage to the exposed wood.
- Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. All exterior slabs should drain away from the home’s foundation. Fill cracks with a suitable crack-filler or caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete/asphalt.
- Remove any firewood stored against the home. Firewood should be stored off the ground and at least two feet from the structure.
- Now is a great time to have your heating system serviced by a licensed heating (HVAC) contractor – a large majority of service companies are not that busy yet and may offer maintenance specials. This includes cleaning and replacing filters, inspecting it fully to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and checking for efficiency. If you have your furnace /heating system serviced regularly it will be more efficient, less likely to run into problems and should last longer. Weather changes rapidly and having no heat when a “whopper” arrives can be a painful adventure.
- Check your attic for proper insulation levels and any damage by workers and /or rodents. You may have to have insulation removed and replaced to prevent a Fire.
- Clean or self-clean the oven (in preparation for seasonal cooking/baking), vacuum the condenser coils at the back of your fridge annually, at least, clean your coffeemaker and clean your kitchen exhaust hood
- Change the direction of ceiling fans to create an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling.
- Look for worn power cords. Replace them immediately; never use “permanent” extension cords.
- Change the batteries often in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. This is not to be taken lightly, as these devices are designed to save your life and that of your family.
Be sure to follow this checklist to make sure your home is ready for autumn weather. Making sure your home is ready for the change of season will make things a lot easier on you and your home once the dreaded winter weather comes!