Every home needs maintenance from time to time, and there are some things homeowners have to do before the season changes to avoid issues later.
Fall Maintenance Tips to Avoid Problems
Fall is a refreshing change to the heat and humidity the summer months can bring, but when the cold breezes begin and the leaves fall, you know winter isn’t far behind. Winter brings a whole host of new issues with it, and it reminds you that there are some chores you need to take care of before the weather turns colder. Here are 14 fall maintenance tips to avoid problems around your home during the winter months.
Fall brings a lot of leaves and other debris down around your house, and gutters can get blocked very quickly. If these items freeze under winter snow and ice, it can cause major problems for your home. If you hate the gutter-cleaning job, consider installing gutter guards to make the chore faster and easier. It’s a one-time expense and job that will speed you through the chore next year.
If you have wood trim around your windows and doors, check the trim for holes on the outside of your house. If you find any that you can probe with a screwdriver, fill them with caulk or replace the wood. Leaving the holes could allow cold air to leak into your home or heated air to leak out. Filling them will help you save money on utilities.
Inspect the Roof
Your roof isn’t something you think about every day, but you should inspect it for wear and tear every fall before the harsh winter months hit. If you have a lot of damage, the roof may leak or buckle under the snow and ice winter can bring along with it. Fall is the time to make any minor or major repairs.
You may have hoses running all over your lawn from summer watering activities, but once fall hits, you need to disconnect those hoses and drain the water from the exterior pipes. The water can freeze in the hoses, back up into the pipes, and cause them to burst in the winter if you leave them where they are.
It may be a while before you turn your furnace on, but when you need it, you want it to work properly. It is a good idea to have a professional give your furnace a tune-up before the winter hits. The furnace can get a thorough cleaning, and any minor issues can be addressed before it goes into high gear over the wintertime.
Stock Up on Filters
When your furnace is inspected, the professional contractor will replace the filter on the unit. You will want to get additional filters so you can change them out yourself as needed throughout the winter months. Have them on hand and set reminders on your calendar to help you change them out regularly. If you buy them in the fall, you won't have to remember to make the purchase all winter.
Check Window Seals
Hot, humid temperatures can cause window seals a great deal of distress. This includes checking your seals to make sure they have not cracked or torn. Sometimes these seals even shrink. You won’t want leaks and drafts around the windows, so install weather stripping or caulk cracks as needed. Checking in the fall can prevent problems with heat escaping from your house in the winter.
If you have any large trees around your house, inspect them in the fall and see if there are any dead branches that need to come down. Cutting the dead branches from the tree prevents them from coming down and causing damage to your house or yard during a winter storm. The tree no longer needs the branches, and they can make nice firewood if you have a wood-burning fireplace.
Activate Pest Control
Pests love the interior of your home during the cold winter months. Check the outside of your house for any small holes that could allow mice and other critters access to your garage or attic. Fill these holes to keep the critters out so you don't have to deal with having too many guests in your house over the winter. It is easier to keep them out than it is to get them to leave.
Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Check your carbon monoxide detectors before you start running your furnace to ensure that they can save your family’s life if you ever have a gas leak. Because carbon monoxide is odorless, it can cause issues without you realizing it. Make sure the detector works and change the batteries to ensure its operation. Fall is also a good time to change smoke alarm batteries.
If you have paint on the exterior of your home, you will want to make sure it is fixed up before the winter hits. Leaving any wood exposed to the elements can cause it to rot and deteriorate. The paint protects the wood from the elements and keeps your house looking nice, even in a deep freeze.
If you live in a snowy region, you know it’s just a matter of time before the snow melts and that can cause plenty of issues to your home. Check to make sure your yard slopes away from your foundation walls so the melting snow won’t cause floods and issues in your basement.
When you close your house up in the winter, the air circulates repeatedly. Anything in your air ducts, including dust, debris and germs, gets put out throughout the house. Cleaning the ducts helps to improve the quality of your indoor air. If anyone has allergies in your home, this is an especially important process. This is one of the fall maintenance tips to avoid problems that can help everyone breathe easier all winter.
Check Snow Equipment
Before your home is buried under a foot of snow with no way out, it is a good idea to check the snow removal equipment. These fall maintenance tips to avoid problems
include ensuring the snow blower works and that you have gas, checking the shovels for cracks, and stocking up on hot chocolate and warm gloves.