Oct 12, 2016

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

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Fall weather might not be as harsh as Winter or Summer, but your home feels it. Getting together a Fall home maintenance checklist will ensure that you protect your home. This is also a great time of year to start preparing for Winter maintenance – before snow, sleet, hail and frost hit. This moderate weather will allow you to get any necessary upgrades or repairs done. Here are some Fall home maintenance tips to add to your annual checklist:

EXTERIOR:

  • Inspect your roof. Look for missing and loose shingles, as humidity, wind, snow and rain can cause serious damage.
  • Check the exterior of your home for peeling paint and major chips. This needs to be fixed before the weather changes, to protect your house. If you have indoor painting to do, here are some great painting tips & tricks!
  • Inspect your foundation and driveway. Cracks can fill with rain water and cause damage. It’s easy to fill these with caulk to protect your home. Be sure you look for damage around windows and places where pipes and wires enter the home, too.
  • Seal your driveway. Before doing this, be sure you repair any cracks with driveway filler.
  • Drainage pipes (downspouts and gutters) should be checked that liquid is draining at least 2 feet away from your home.
  • Leaves will soon be falling – in your gutters. Be sure that they are cleaned out prior to the changing season, so they don’t get clogged too quickly. Flush them with water and tighten when necessary.
  • Check the seal on your garage door. If it needs repairing, now is the time to do that. Weather-stripping is another good idea. Here are more tips for maintenance on your garage door.
  • If you have screens behind your doors, take them down and store them before Winter hits.

INTERIOR:

  • Inspect your fireplace, and be sure it’s ready to be used. If you need to clean it, you can become your own chimney sweep with these helpful tips. Leaving this unmaintained can lead to serious damage, fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Make sure your hot water heater is properly functioning. You won’t want to be dealing with costly repairs once the weather cools down! Here are some DIY water heater repairs you can try.
  • Change the batteries in your smoke alarm and CO2 detectors.
  • Keeping cold air out of your home is key during these cooler months. Watch for air leaks from your windows and doors. Caulking them is an easy way to prevent anything from getting inside.
  • Test out your heating system. Make sure it’s working properly, so when you need it, you don’t have to wait for repairs or maintenance.
  • In Texas, we use our air conditioners most of the year. But if you aren’t going to use it for an extended period of time, cover it with a plastic air conditioner cover or tarp. You’ll also want to vacuum the inside of the unit before covering it.
  • Clean humidifiers and change the direction of your ceiling fans. You want to be sure that warm air stays in, but the moisture doesn’t affect it. Creating the upward draft will move and redistribute the warmer air.
  • Check your basement windows. If you feel a draft or see cracks in the panes, they need to be repaired now.

DECK, PORCH, PATIO & BACKYARD:

  • Be sure that shrubs and foliage are not touching the exterior of your home.
  • Check your pool cover for rips, tears and damage. If you need to replace it, do this before the harsh weather hits.
  • Inspect all of your stairs, railings and supports for your deck. Once inclement weather hits, you’ll need to be sure they can support someone that slips or falls.
  • Seal your deck or porch to protect it from harsh weather.

LAWN & GARDEN:

  • Once Winter hits, it will be too late to check on your snow equipment. Be sure it’s all running properly. Also check your shovels for damage and replace them if you need to.
  • As it gets cooler out, drain your garden hoses and store them inside. Turn off outside water valves, as well.
  • Prepare your garage or storage shed for storing your lawn mower, garden tools and other outdoor furniture you don’t want left outside. Clean it all before storing away, and drain the fuel from your leaf blower and lawn mower.
  • It’s a great time to fertilize your lawn! Find a high phosphorous mix so that your lawn will be incredible in the Spring!