Fall Home Maintenance

1.) Examine your roof/gutters/downspouts for debris:

Clear leaves, dirt, and pine needles from gutters and examine downspouts for damage or loose pieces.  Check the flashing around your chimney and any openings in the roof, such as skylights for leaking problems. This will prevent water damage and new furry roommates that might think your gutters would make a nice home for their nest.

2.) Examine the grounds of your property:

While the ground is still free from snow, check walkways for cracks and loose paver material. Fix walkway and entryway areas before slippery weather can cause a tripping or falling accident.

3.) Change the filters in your home:

It's recommended that you change your furnace filter every 1-3 months. If you have a window air conditioning unit, remove from the window or place a waterproof cover over it to prevent damage. Change filters in stove vents, clothes dryers and room fans if applicable.  Clean air filters will keep your family healthier in the fall months, plus help your appliances last longer, costing you less money heating and cooling your home.

4.) Leaky faucets:

Before the temperatures start to dip low, examine leaky faucets in the kitchen, bathrooms, and utility room locations. Most likely the time and money spent now to fix will be less than a broken pipe in the dead of winter!

5.) Prepare your fireplace:

Discard old ashes and ensure the damper is open to allow air to freely move through the chimney.  If the air is becoming cold, close the damper after cleaning. Check the damper handle and springs to ensure the flue is operating correctly. Hire a professional chimney sweep if needed.

6) Drain your hot water heater:

If your live in an area with hard water, sediment could be building up in your tank.  Fall is a great time to drain and make sure rust is not developing in your tank as well. Signs of buildup are going through hot water faster than normal, water looks rusty and/or has a funky smell, water heater makes noises ie hissing, you notice water leaking from the appliance.

7.) Check windows and doors for drafts:

The majority of conditioned air in your home is lost through the windows and doors.  Go through your home and open windows to ensure the seal and caulking around the window frame is in good condition. Think of adding heavier drapery around windows that are extra drafty, to help block some air infiltration.

8.) Clean and store seasonal outdoor furniture: 

power wash outdoor furniture and cushions.  Once dry, store cushions in a dry area to prevent cracking, and fading over the fall and winter months. 

9.) Maintain garden & power tools:

Once your grass begins to enter the dormant stage, sharpen lawnmower, trimmer,and other bladed tools.

10.) Take care of your irrigation/lawn needs:

Consider having an irrigation service professional fix broken heads before the cold weather sets in. If you want to prevent spring weeds and winter lawn damage, don’t forget to fertilize. Visit your local garden center to find out information on what type of fertilizer to use and when to spread it.