This Fall Home Maitenance Checklist will help you prepare your home and equipment for the upcoming seasons and weather changes.
Fall is the time to begin preparing your home – indoors and out – for colder temps, bad weather and winter. It’s important to make sure your home is in tip-top shape and to get ahead of any repairs before peak season and damage gets worse. If you maintane your home and equipment, you’ll extend the life of your home and save money for costly repairs down the road.
Walk around your house to see if you have any low-hanging trees that obscure walkways, hang over your house where they drag on the roof or scrape against the siding and windows, and even over your driveway where cars may be parked. If you live in a climate where it snows, it’s especially important to clean up your trees and trim them back away from your home. The weight of the trees can cause branches to snap and break and render pricey damage to your home – nothing any homeowner wants to deal with.
Trim trees in the Fall and early Spring, never in the summer or you can cause damage to the tree and spread disease.
YARD CLEAN UP INCLUDING GUTTERS
Once all the leaves fall from trees, clean up your yard by raking, getting rid of dead shrubs, bushes and broken or dead branches that litter the yard. It may seem like a pain to do it all in the Fall but the mess that you’ll uncover next Spring if you don’t, will make your life ten times easier when you don’t have to dig your way through it then.
If you notice any low spots near the foundation of your home, be sure to fill with soil so that water runoff will slope away from your home and avoid water damage to your foundation and in your basement.
Clean out gutters from debris and check downspouts so that they push water away from the house.
AERATE, FERTILIZE & SEED YOUR LAWN
Aerate, fertilize and reseed your lawn, including seeding any dead spots for next year. By spring, you’ll have a revitalized lawn to start the season off with.
MAINTAIN HVAC SYSTEM & FIREPLACE
With the cooler months approaching, have your HVAC units serviced so you can access any problems before the winter months reek havoc on the professionals and you have a hard time getting someone to your house if your furnace breaks or pay for an emergency repair.
Now is also a good time to change your air filter, something you’re “supposed” to do every 6 months but I like to do every 2-3 months to stay on top of build up and make sure we keep allergens at bay. Clogged filters impact the efficiency of your HVAC system and quality of air filtering in your home.
Have your chimney cleaned and inspected once a year. Buildup in the flue can lead to a fire if its not properly cleaned. If you have a gas fireplace, schedule your repair early before peak season when it’ll be a long wait to have a professional come to your home. Have your gas line inspected and your logs reset, if needed.
MAKE EXTERIOR HOME REPAIRS
Check the roof for repairs that you can do yourself or if you’ve had hail or weather related damage during the summer months, make sure you have someone inspect your roof to see what repairs you may need. You can repair any loose or missing shingles yourself.
Fall is a great time to begin weather-proofing your house for cooler and wintry weather. Look for airy spots in windows and doorways and caulk windows and replace weather stripping to keep the drafts at bay. Also check window well covers for basement windows to make sure water isn’t getting in.
WINTERIZE SPRINKLERS & PIPES
Have a professional come to your house to winterize your sprinklers and prepare your pipes by draining your water lines. Water left in pipes may cause them to burst in winter months, a costly problem you don’t want to have!
Wrap and/or use insulated covers for the outside exposed pipes and faucets. Be sure to also insulate any exposed water pipes inside your home as well. Wrap up any outside hoses and store them in a dry, indoors location.
Also, drain your hot water heater and remove any sediment that can clog the pipes and cause damage. This can also improve your water efficiency by 50%.
WINTERIZE LAWN EQUIPMENT & PREPARE FOR SNOW
Drain your lawnmower and weed eater’s oil and gas for the winter. Leaving your lawnmower with gas in the tank sitting for months can cause a lot of damage and you’ll extend the life of your equipment if you maintain it and store it in a dry place.
If you have a snow blower, make sure you have it serviced or repaired for the upcoming season. Buy ice melt if you’ll need it during snow season.